“You didn’t perform too shabby back there.”
After we left the crowd, Nier gave me a rare word of praise. I paused, smiled weakly and said: “It was partly because I was angry back there… But… I did strangely feel quite happy when they saluted me. How should I put it? Hmm… It was like… That’s it… I felt exhilarated?”
To be honest, when they saluted me and as I started to feel scared, a strange feeling of excitement suddenly filled me up. I was so giddy when I saw them lower their heads I was lost for words. I’ve encountered people who treated me politely, but not respectfully. Is that the treatment a prince receives? Is that the so-called sense of pride and vanity?
It feels bloody amazing!
I want to try it again!
“That’s normal. You’re the prince. It’s normal for a prince to be saluted by commoners. You’re feeling excited and happy right now because you received the respect you deserve. This street actually belongs to you. You don’t need to spend a penny here if you come out here to play. People will naturally come up to you and shower you with gifts.”
Nier tilted her head, looked at me and said: “You finally have some semblance of a prince now.”
“What?! I didn’t resemble one before?!”
“How were you any different to a commoner before?”
I had no comeback for Nier’s retort. She had a point. Was I any different to a commoner before? Other than being wealthier, was there actually anything that set us apart? I’ve never been a king or prince. Also, in my mind, a good king or prince is someone who’s approachable, someone who upholds the rules and doesn’t take bribes or spend lavishly for selfish ends, which is the same reason why I didn’t accept any gifts from the elves. You can’t accept everything people offer you after all.
However, it seems to be different here with humanity. It seems that this is how the power of royalty is meant to be wielded. It’s just as Nier said. If I’m not having people kneel before me, salute me, and not having them revere me, then I’m essentially the same as a commoner. I’m the future emperor. Will I become a supported emperor if I continue like that?
Thinking about it carefully, an emperor can seem to have someone killed on a whim because he’s the emperor. Everything in this land belongs to him. He can have whoever he wants dead, dead.
I shook my head and tried to remove the dangerous thoughts from my mind. No, no. An emperor should abide by the law even if he is the emperor. Killing people on whims is not a good thing no matter how you put it.
It looks like we’ve already reached the end of the market. That should be all the tasks to do for today, right? I need to head back and have a chat with the elf-girl. I ran my eyes over the remaining stores and saw a familiar place. I smiled to myself. Nier rejected food, rejected clothing, but she definitely won’t reject this.
I walked over and looked at the candies. High-end candies like toffee and the sort don’t exist yet. I presume these candies were sugar boiled and then rolled into a ball. There was no packaging, just a ball of sugar, but kids love this sort of junk food most, don’t they?
Nier stared at me as I handed her a small bag of candy. She then looked at me confused and asked: “This is…?”
“Candy… Now you’ve got something to give the kids next time you see them.” I placed the candy into her hand with a smile, then looked at her and said: “You look cute when you’re with children, Nier.”
She looked at the candy in her hand in a daze. There was a crude and childish flower drawn on the bag. Look as you may, the combination of her bloodied military uniform and the bag of candy just didn’t match. However, she resolutely put it into her belt. The huge difference in themes made me want to crack up.
Nier went down on one knee, lowered her head and sincerely thanked me: “Uhm… Thank you for your reward, your majesty.”
I reached my hand out to help her up. It was the first time she didn’t look at me like I was trash. It was the first time she looked like she was smiling before me.
I told you I wasn’t lying. Nier looks bright and beautiful when she smiles.
“Mmm… Uhm… Let’s head back.”
I got embarrassed when she looked at me like that. I vigorously turned my head away and suppressed my racing heart. I then took big strides towards the royal palace. Nier casually followed behind. Her smile vanished in an instant, but she still plucked my heartstring.
Ah man. I went red in the face when I saw a girl’s smile when I’m a prince. I haven’t become conscious of my identity as a prince yet. What I felt before was probably just narcissism…
Inner Court of the Palace…
The empress sat on her chair with one leg over the other behind her black veil, looked at the elf dressed in a maid’s uniform and said: “I never expected this… I was going to buy you and let my son kill you, but he got a step ahead of me and bought you first…”
Beside the empress were two Valkyries with their swords drawn. The elf was trembling as she knelt on the ground. It was as though she was completely prostrating herself on the ground.
The empress switched which leg went over the other, and then said with a sigh: “I can’t do anything to you now that it’s come to this. You were purchased by my son, so all your rights will be determined by him. If I hurt you, he will probably not speak a word to me for a few months as he did in the past… Forget it. Go take care of my son.”
The elf replied while trembling: “Understood…”
“However, remember your place. If you dare to have any thoughts which cross the line while living with him, I’ll personally rip you limb from limb.” The empress then stood up, waved her hand and said: “Take her to the outer court and familiarise her with my son’s life and activities. I’m disappointed that the first time he mentioned my name was for the sake of an elf.”
The two girls looked at each other and then asked: “Your majesty, do we need to bring his majesty here?”
“That’s not a bad idea… But, Mmm… Forget it… If I talk to him again I won’t be able to attend the conference tomorrow again…”
The empress’s eyes were filled with dissatisfaction and anxiety. Being able to spend time alone with her son was the greatest blessing for her, but at the end of the day, national matters still have to be dealt with. As for the matter with Castor, the empress still wanted to hear some more opinions from the elders of both parties instead of going all-in like a hot-head.
“Your majesty, do you really intend not to teach his majesty swordsmanship?”
The empress outright rejected the idea and said: “Those who learn swordsmanship must see bloodshed. I can’t stand the thought of my son getting hurt… I’ve already conquered enough land. It’s fine as long as the prince can protect the lands I’ve conquered. I will never let him learn martial arts and let him crazily enter the battlefield. I won’t allow it even if he’s my own kin.”
The two girls exchanged looks, nodded and then dragged the elf along the ground as they intended to leave.
The empress thundered from behind the black veil: “Stop! Is that anyway to treat the prince’s close servant?! If you don’t respect his servant, then how would you have any respect for the prince?”
The two Valkyries were shook. They quickly and carefully supported her by her arms and slowly left.
The empress pulled open the veil, turned to Castell seated to one side and said: “Castell, prepare another candidate.”
Castell bent over to salute the empress and said with a smile: “There’s no need, your majesty. His majesty had everybody kneel for the first time. It was the first time he announced his identity in public. It was the first time he was saluted by all. His majesty has come to understand the power that he wields as a sovereign. I believe his majesty will soon realise that he is different to others.”
The empress paused for a moment and then laughed out loud and said: “Hahahaha! My son used my authority to save an elf?! Nice. Nice. No one can give up imperial power, the power of royalty, once they’ve experienced it. I’m glad. I’m very glad. Castell, go and prepare more events like this so that he slowly begins to understand what it means to have the power of royalty!”
Translator Comments: I hope the site didn’t drop for anybody yesterday because I got execution limit warnings. It’s the exact reason I post 4 chapters currently until the first milestone on Patreon is reached where I’ll then get the upgrades and whatnot necessary to cater for more chapters. How is Nier not best girl when she tells Troy to kill himself so nonchalantly the way she does? It’s funny as. Even funnier when she handed him her sword after saying that. Anyway, chapter 20 will drop in 48 hours.