My head was hurting like crazy when I woke up the next day. It was probably a hang-over. I rolled over.
Luna hasn’t called me up yet today. Well, don’t wake me up then. I feel like crap today. I just want to lie in bed all day.
Everything has been solved. This is all I can do with humanity. I’m not feeling too good, but the matter with Castor is over. My relationship with Nier is doomed to remain tense, so that means everything to do with me and humanity is done and dusted.
I’ll just kick back and relax now. Oh, wait, I can still go hang out at the red-haired lady’s place and play with the kids too. But with the safety conditions there, I wonder if the kids can still run around like before.
Luna came in with a basin of water, looked at me with a smile and said: “Good morning, your majesty. You do not look too well. You probably had too much to drink yesterday.”
I rubbed my throbbing head and in a weak voice said: “Yeah. I’ve got a headache…”
“Please take a bite of this fruit. It’s similar to mangosteen, but doesn’t have a shell. It’s more like apple skin and feels like an apple to the touch too.”
Luna had a naughty smile on her face, so I realised there was probably something off about it…. I took a sniff. There were no problems. It had the faint aroma of fruit. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with this fruit which is like an apple, right?
I forgot an important fact. Even apples can be sour. I could imagine how contorted my scrunched up face looked after I bit down into it. It was so sour my tears were coming out. I’d crap my pants laughing if I could see my face right now.
Luna who stood to a side pursed her lips tightly and avoided looking at me. I know she wanted to laugh but didn’t dare to. I sat up quickly and spat it out, picked up a cup of water and drank a few mouthfuls to erase the sour taste. I gasped for air and angrily looked at Luna. Luna was fighting for dear life to keep her lips pursed, while her body was shivering from holding in her laughter. I sighed and said: “Fine, go ahead and laugh.”
“Pfft… Your… Your… Majesty! Hahahaha… S-… Sorry… Hahaha!!”
Luna burst out into laughter. She was holding her stomach with her hand and wiping her tears with the other. She took two steps back and continued laughing. I smiled to myself helplessly when I saw her bright smile. My most proud accomplishment here is saving Luna. Luna now had red cheeks and she could finally laugh without worry.
I can light up her world regardless of how dark her past was.
It’s easy to rob someone of their happiness. But trying to give someone happiness is overwhelmingly difficult.
Luna finally finished laughing. She wiped her tears, pat her face, then politely smiled at me again and asked: “I… I am sorry… Your Majesty… Haha… Hmm. But do you feel a bit better now?”
You don’t say. It really works. My mind was now blank. My headache and lethargy went away in an instant. I’ve never felt so awake before. It looks like I need to prepare this stuff often in future. One bite, and your hangover is gone. But to be fair, you can only handle one bite. I guiltily looked at Luna who brought me a plate of the fruit. Are you positive it’s for curing my hangover and not killing me?
“Ah… Good morning, your majesty.”
As I was doing up the buttons on my shirt, Nier came in looking a bit out of it. Her voice was evidently weak. I looked at her and recalled that the two of us finished four or five bottles of red wine last night and then sat on our asses on the balcony. I don’t have a clue how I got back. Nier must be feeling sick too…
Wait a second!
I adjusted the expression on the lower part of my face, looked at Nier and asked: “Nier, you don’t look too good. Do you have a hangover?”
“It was my mistake for not controlling myself last night.”
Nier lowered her head to apologise, then raised her head and said: “However, it won’t affect my swordsmanship. Please don’t worry, your majesty.”
“But it’s not a good idea for you to go out when you’re not feeling well, is it? And further, it was I who told you to drink last night. This fruit can cure hangovers, I personally tried it myself.”
I don’t think humans know about the fruit elves use to cure hangovers, do they…? I picked up a purple fruit and handed it to Nier. I could force Nier to eat it, but that’d be boring. I wanted to see Nier’s look when she scrunches up her face. I guess this can be considered a prank.
But it really does cure hangovers, so I guess not?
Nier accepted the fruit, then bowed and said: “Thank you, your majesty. I won’t stand on ceremony then… Ka-chik.”
I noticed the slow but evident change in Nier’s expression after she took a bite. Her hand that was holding the fruit squeezed it as if she were trying to crush it to pieces. Her body shivered. Even her sword on her waist shook. Just as I was about to laugh, a tear fell down her face due to the sourness, but she wore no expression as always.
Nier’s tears ran down her face even though she was expressionless as she chewed that fruit which would bring people to their knees and then swallowed it.
I was stunned as I watched her take a second bite, and then a third bite, until she ate the entire thing.
Nier’s tears continued running down her face but she didn’t utter a word. That sourness must’ve killed her. Surely. I know because I couldn’t stand it after one bite, while Nier ate the whole thing. I initially planned to laugh after she got caught by surprise and spat it out, but I can’t laugh now.
Even Luna looked at her completely dumbfounded.
Nier licked the juice of the fruit off her hand, then raised her head and took a deep breath. She suppressed her quivering and struggled to say in a calm tone: “Thank you, your majesty. I feel much better now. So what are the plans for today?”
“What plan?! You must feel sick!! Luna! Bring water here!!”
“Ah! Right away!!”
I clumsily took the cup of water handed to me and shoved it into Nier’s hands. Nier looked at the cup, gave it back to me and then said: “This is your cup, your majesty.”
I shoved the cup back into Nier’s hands before providing an explanation. I then looked at her diffidently and said: “Who cares whose cup it is right now?! Wasn’t it sour to you?! You can just spit it out if it’s sour! There’s no need to make yourself suffer!!”
It was awkward, like when you crack a joke not knowing that you hurt the person in question.
Nier raised her head but didn’t touch the cup. She instead raised the cup up high and poured it into her mouth. She placed the cup down, wiped the corner of her mouth and tears. She then looked at me and said: “That’s because you gave it to me, your majesty. I’d finish it even if it was poison.”
That’s just how Nier is. She’s her majesty’s Valkyrie and my bodyguard. We’re not friends. When I said “joke”, I was referring to your circle of friends. Nier takes everything I say seriously which means I can’t crack jokes with her.
“Let’s go. We need to go to the industrial street today.”
I don’t know if Nier’s hangover is gone or not, but she looks a lot better now. I sighed to myself. I felt slightly bad for Nier, but there was nothing I could do.
After looking at Nier for a while, I let out a heavy sigh, put on my coat and left. It’s bound to be a peaceful day today, but the start to the day has left me somewhat bitter.