When I woke up the next day, I could feel something pressing down on my arm. When I went to look, I saw mom’s black hair messily sprawled by my side. She was deep asleep as she hugged my arm. She was holding my hand so I couldn’t get it out even if I wanted to.
Her breathing was very stable and the corner of her mouth was turned upwards into a smile. As a human, she couldn’t help me last night, but she did what a mother should, and that was to stay by my side.
Mom stayed by my side all last night and recounted the past. I can’t imagine how bloody the war was, but I had a rough guess based on what mom told me. I had no idea I was stained with so much blood. I’m afraid that it would take me several lifetimes to repay those who lost their lives for me. Countless humans and elves died fighting for the sake of my mothers’ anger. It truly was a pointless war.
And the agreement they signed wasn’t one that solved all their problems. The agreement was formed on the foundation that they both realised that both of them were necessary.
They might have considered the war over, but their hatred and vengeful thoughts for one another were yet to be settled. I’m afraid that there are both elves and humans who wish to continue the war from ten years ago.
Mom thought I was asleep but I actually woke up early on and silently listened to her tell me about the past. The story really makes you feel helpless. Perhaps their love would’ve been accepted if humans and elves had communicated with each other right from the start. Perhaps then, Vyvyan and Elizabeth wouldn’t be enemies but close relatives instead. And if that were the case, then Troy would’ve had a perfect family too.
But I probably wouldn’t exist if that happened, right?
Is there no chance for elves and humans to get along? I’m not being distrustful and making cynical presumptions about humanity, but I know that the elves are kind. If they could understand one another, a war could probably be avoided.
But…that’s just my guess.
Mom’s body resting on my arm moved and mom raised her head up slightly. She looked at me with her black eyes. I looked back at her with a smile, and gently said: “Good morning, mom.”
Mom was still for a moment and then replaced her worn out expression with a smile of happiness. People say that the first sunrise brings happiness to people and makes them excited, but the smile mom has on right now makes me a hundred times happier than the sunrise. I experienced the happiest thing you could experience as a son in that moment. And that was the smile mom wore.
“Good morning, my son.”
I gently reached my arm out and hugged mom. Mom gently hugged me back, stroked my head and said with a smile: “Son, you’re mommy’s most beloved treasure.”
“Uhm… You too…are my most cherished mom.”
With a smile on her face, mom touched my face, then stood up and said: “Since you’ve recovered, let’s go have breakfast. You have to return to the elves in two days.”
“Yes, that’s right. I’ll miss you mom.”
In all honesty, I miss both my moms. If you consider just giving birth to me as the empress before me a mother, then, yes I miss her as my mom. And I also miss Vyvyan, my mom who took care of me and educated me. A true mother is one who gives birth to her child, raises him and educates him. Since Vyvyan in essence gave birth to me… My mom should be Vyvyan.
However, my situation is particularly special. I don’t want to try and differentiate who my real mother is. That very topic is what led to the war between the elves and humans the last time…
The empress left the room. I rubbed my eyes. I kept feeling that the door was somehow different… As I was thinking about it, Nier pushed the door open and came in. When she saw that I was awake she asked: “Good morning, your majesty. Your close servant is currently locked up so do you want to find somebody else?”
“Why is Luna locked up? She saved me last night.”
“Because she did something filthy to you and also tried to soil you. Had you not pleaded to spare her last night, she would already be dead.”
Nier coldly continued: “You majesty, you should be aware of her identity. She’s trash that was thrown away after people got bored of playing with her, and she’s also had an abortion. She’s scum of society no matter how you think about it. She’s a bitch that got thrown away after people got bored of her. You’re a prince, so you can’t associate yourself with someone like her.”
I silently listened to Nier, then picked up my clothes by the bed and got dressed myself. Nobody helped me get dressed, but I didn’t need their help anyway. I’ll just take a bath after breakfast if necessary. I wore my boots on, then walked up to Nier’s side and said: “Take me to Luna.”
I whispered to Nier: “She’s not a bitch. She’s not trash. She’s my close servant. That’s all.”
Nier silently lowered her head, bit down on her lip, then turned around and said: “Please follow me then.”
Luna was imprisoned in the Outer Court’s dungeon. It was the first time I knew my palace had a dungeon. I have no idea what it’s used for. The dungeon was stinky and wet. It was so disgusting I almost threw up. It reminded me of the time I nearly died in the sewers. I raised my hand up to cover my nose and followed Nier’s white cape.
Luna soon came into sight. Two Valkyries were watching her. Luna’s clothing from yesterday had been torn to shreds. She was sitting against the stone wall stark naked.
The Valkyries saluted Nier and me when they saw us. Nier waved her hand to indicate for them to leave. Luna’s ears jolted. She raised her head up with disbelief and looked over in my direction. I walked up to the fence and said to the Valkyries: “Open up. I shall pardon her of her crimes.”
“Your majesty! This was her majesty’s order. We must refuse.”
“Oh? Is that so? Shall I call my mom down here then?”
Nier sighed, then looked at them and said: “Open up. Her majesty will agree to it. She’s his majesty’s close servant. Since his majesty has pardoned her, her majesty won’t say anything.”
The Valkyries reluctantly opened the prison cell. Luna kept her distance as she looked at us. She didn’t come out after the cell was opened. I smiled helplessly, walked in and extended my hand out to pull her up.
Luna jerked herself back as if she got electrocuted, tightly wrapped her arms around herself and hid herself in the corner. She shouted in a quivering voice: “I… I’m filthy… Your majesty… Do not touch me…”
I walked over and without saying anything lifted her up by her arm and pulled her tightly into my embrace. Yes, she was really filthy. Her nice faint fragrance had been polluted by the stench of hay and her hair was littered with grass. But even so, I tightly held her in my embrace, not letting go.
The sound outside the dungeon and my embrace rang out. Luna crawled up onto my shoulder and trembled unstoppably. I gently rubbed her back and as I rubbed her back, I felt scars.
How much pain has she gone through?
“Luna, you’re not filthy. It doesn’t matter what you were like in the past. Right now, you’re just my maid. You saved me last night. Thank you.”
“Sob… Your majesty!!”
Luna’s cry echoed in the dungeon. She hugged me tightly and wept on my shoulder, but I could feel her tears of happiness…
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