I was a little uncomfortable tasking Luna with such a dangerous job because Luna is more unwelcome on the elven side than she is on humanity’s side. Plus, Luna had been hurt by the elves.
Her brother tried to sell her off, and kill me, last time. That must’ve left a scar on her heart, I imagine.
Though she didn’t mention it, I noticed that she had put everything related to the elves away, including the head cloth that I had given her.
‘I guess she’s not willing to have anything to do with the elves anymore and just wanted to stay by my side as my personal servant. However, seeing how loyal she is to me, I believe that Luna will go if I need her to…’
‘If only all this happened before Lucia got pregnant…’
‘Maybe this is my fault, because my relationship with Luna wasn’t actually bad, before. I’ve been totally focused on work, Lucia and Nier recently, though. Luna replied with annoyance whenever she spoke, so Luna seems to be angry…’
“Welcome back, Your Majesty.”
Though Luna welcomed me with a smile when I returned to my room, she didn’t say another word after she turned from taking my cape and coat.
I smiled as I looked at her back and called, “Luna?”
She turned around to look at me and asked with a very polite smile on her face, “Do you have orders, Your Majesty?”
I could see that there was a hint of sadness in her smile. She never looked at me with this sort of smile in the past. Her smile used to be more passionate and gentle.
The smile she wore now was one she would show an outsider.
I scratched my head and asked, “Erm… Luna, how is the training for the palace maids coming along?”
Luna made a small bow and then replied, “I have already reported the progress and status to Miss Freya. Most of the maids are now able to perform some jobs. Major and minor jobs in the palace have been organised appropriately.”
“Luna, you’re not angry are you…?”
“No, Your Majesty. Why would I be angry?”
I think I just asked a question that all girls hate. Luna’s reaction made it obvious she was angry.
‘That question of mine truly was mega-stupid… Of course, she won’t say she’s angry. How was she going to admit it? What, is she supposed to say “I am angry because you ignored me”? Luna doesn’t have any right to be angry over that. We agreed that we wouldn’t act on our feelings for each other.’
“Sorry, Luna. I’ve been too busy recently, so I’ve left you alone.” I decided to take the initiative to apologise. I looked at Luna and bowed deeply, with sincerity.
“Luna, I’m very sorry. I didn’t leave you alone on purpose, nor was it because of the new maids that I ignored you… It was just because I was too busy. So I’m sorry.” I added.
“… Hmph!” Luna looked at me then looked away and snorted.
She then said, “No. I said I wasn’t angry. You are a man with wives. A personal servant, such as myself, has no right to be angry. So, Your Majesty, what brings you here? If you have business, just tell me. I will make sure that it is done.”
I reached my arms out and pulled Luna into my embrace.
Luna hesitated, then gently wrapped her arms around to my back. She softly said, “Your Majesty… you… sometimes… you are stupid, while, sometimes, you know how to win the affection of girls… You are a scary man… But tell me, you came to me with a request, right?”
“Ah… Yeah.” I looked at Luna and fell silent for a moment.
Luna looked at me then tilted her head and said, “Your Majesty, just tell me what it is. If you have come to me, when you have so many people by your side, then that means that this job must need me, right? Please tell me, Your Majesty. I will definitely complete your request.”
“Indeed, this job requires you… However… I don’t think you will be too willing… But… But… This job does require you… Though admittedly, the reason is very selfish.”
I looked at Luna. I twitched my lips a few times and then in a serious tone continued, “Luna, I need you to enter the elven forest to help me locate some elves, and then persuade them to come here to work for me.”
The atmosphere suddenly went silent. Luna looked at me blankly, with surprise in her eyes. She pushed me away then touched her face and ears. She stopped when she reached her ears and stuttered, “Your Majesty… I… I…”
“I know. I know what you went through on the elven side. I also know that you might not want to go back there ever again. But I don’t have any other elves by my side. Lucia is pregnant, so I can’t let her go…”
Luna is very smart. She smiled helplessly and cut me off, “What you are trying to say is that the place I need to go to is dangerous, correct?”
“… Uhm.” I nodded.
I looked at Luna as I nervously elaborated, “But it’s not very dangerous. The people that you need to locate aren’t the kind who wears their hostility like a coat. I should say that they’re people I want to convince to come to my side. However, we don’t understand them which makes it dangerous… Umm… umm… It’s definitely not the sort of job where you’d be killed if you go there…”
Luna seemed to be absentminded as she listened to my explanation. She then revealed a relieved smile and responded, “Please tell me where I should go, Your Majesty.”
“Ah?” My explanation suddenly got cut short.
I froze up.
Luna tilted her head and then asked, “What is the matter, Your Majesty? Did you not say you needed my help? Did I not need to go somewhere?”
“I don’t mind.” Luna tilted her head and then with a casual smile said, “Miss Lucia is pregnant, so, we cannot let her go on such a dangerous job. Since I am the only elf left by your side, I am duty bound. I am your guard, Your Majesty. My body, soul, and my everything belongs to you. I shall head into danger. I will not cower.”
I looked at Luna’s earnest gaze. I smiled bitterly, then reached my arms out to pull her small body to me. Luna’s body was soft, but I could see that her heart and soul were incomparably strong.
I had always felt sad about the things that such a strong girl had to go through. And now she was heading into danger without any concern for herself, for my sake.
As I hugged Luna, I sincerely said to her near her ear, “Thank you, Luna. Thank you.”
Luna laughed softly and leaned onto my shoulder. She softly said, “It is alright, Your Majesty. I am willing to do anything for you, even if it is giving up my life…”
I firmly said next to her ear, “Don’t say that, Luna. I won’t let any of you leave me… If you run into danger, run. Forget everything. I just want you to return. I just want you to return.”
‘I don’t want anyone to sacrifice their life for me again. If Luna is in danger, I’ll go and save her like I did Nier, even if that means I’ll die to the mana of elves. I’ll put my time and life on the line to save her.’
We separated. Freya then opened the door and looked at us with suspicion. She then informed me, “Your Majesty, please come to the guest-room. Socina’s envoy is waiting.”
“Didn’t I see him already last time at the ball?”
“He must have something else he wants to discuss this time. Just head on over.” Freya made a small bow and then glared daggers at Luna.
Luna draped my cape and coat back onto me and said with a smile, “Please be careful not to overwork yourself, Your Majesty.”
I looked at Luna and this time, her smile was gentle like it usually was again.