“Mom, are you feeling alright?”
“I’m fine, I’m fine. And with you supporting my arm, I’m totally fine.”
Mom leaned on me as I supported her by her waist as we descended the stairs. I must say, mom’s waist felt really nice…. There was no fat around her waist. Since mom’s body was leaning forward, the glow of her bosom which came and went with each step she took put me in a predicament since I didn’t know where to focus my gaze. I actually think mom is fine. After I rejected her request to carry her down the stairs, she asked me to support her waist as a compromise while she wrapped her arm tightly around my neck and did everything in her power to pull me close to herself. I was sorry for my neck. First it got slit and now it was dealing with the pain of being tugged.
“Oh right. Mom, the white deer horn…”
Looking at mom’s boo-, I mean, face, I reluctantly brought up the white deer horn. A life-saving item was in my bag, but because of my reluctance to use it, I forgot about it, which resulted in what happened afterwards. That was my biggest slip-up during the whole event.
“Ah, I know what you want to say. It’s fine, son. That horn was just a decoration since it’s been left for so long.” Mom left and then stroked my head to comfort me and continued, “The underlying principle for why a white deer horn can nullify venoms is very straight-forward. The wounded area is recreated using mana, be it organs or blood. The user will feel their organs and blood being recreated, and it’s thanks to the mana essence found in the horn of white deer king. The horn mommy gave you has been around for ages so it lost its mana long ago. Even if you had used it, it would’ve been pointless. I think Lucia would’ve noticed the horn while going through the bag but discovered that it was useless. The white deer king sent mana into your body to heal your wound. The horn of a white deer that has just been cut off is extremely valuable, but once it has been left for a long time, it becomes useless. If that weren’t the case, I’d have several hundreds of horns now and it wouldn’t be worth so much money.”
“Is that so…? That’s unfortunate then.”
I don’t know what Lucia did while I was out, but since that’s how it was, I don’t care so much about the destroyed white deer horn now. However, I now wanted to know how the white deer king was. I also wanted to know why it saved me, since we weren’t friends or something.
When we entered the large hall, I asked mom: “Umm, mom, I want to know what happened to the white deer king afterwards.”
Mom smiled, pointed outside the door and said: “The white deer king is in the stables. You can use it as your steed from now.”
“You captured the white deer king and brought it back?!”
I looked at mom completely astonished. How would a prideful white deer king allow me to ride it…? Ah… It did send me a hint…. But I don’t think capturing it and bringing it back here to be a steed is such a good idea. And aren’t one-horned beasts like this reserved for girls? For a guy like me to ride a one-horned beast is…
Although the white deer king is incomparably fierce and in no capacity a friendly one-horned beast…
“No, it’s more like a deal isn’t it?” Mom stroked with my head with a smile and continued, “Mommy learnt from it that you spared it once. Mommy was slightly disappointed to hear that, but was at the same time somewhat glad. It saved you to repay you precisely because you spared it once. However, that was a one-off thing. If you want to turn it into your steed, you’ll need to get it to acknowledge you. Mommy honestly ‘convinced’ it. Mommy did not threaten or capture it.”
I looked at the bright smile mom wore on her face. Yeah, no, there’s no way in hell you could’ve convince me she didn’t threaten it! She definitely did something to it! Since mom can teleport to precise locations, capturing it live isn’t a problem for her! How am I going to get a white deer king that was captured to submit to me…?
Further, I didn’t want to repay kindness with ingratitude.
Mom and I left the palace together. A faint scent of blood came from my right hand side as soon as we passed the doors which made me frown. Mom noticed my frown. She pulled me by my sleeve and covered my eyes. She then quietly said: “Don’t look that way.” She then covered my head firmly and forced me to leave.
But I stood my ground instead.
I knew that something was there.
It was either Mera’s tribesmen, or rather, former tribesmen, or humans.
Whatever the case, there were a pile of corpse over there, and they were corpses of those who had just been dealt with after they were trialled. I don’t know why they were in the palace, but they were there. Perhaps they were headless. Perhaps they were dismembered. Mom might even have been the person who executed them.
“Don’t look… Let’s go… Son… Don’t look….”
Mom sounded like she was begging. She didn’t want me to see the scene. Mom wanted to give me nice world where there was no suffering or pain. She wanted me to remain a naive prince within that world. Mom wanted to give me a safe shelter, even if it was only as large as the palace.
However, the fantasy-like beauty had been shattered. It was the first time I witnessed blood and warfare, and it just so happened to be directed at me. Mom desperately wanted me to move on instead of looking at the blood and corpses, but I had already witnessed blood spraying into the atmosphere, albeit being my own blood.
I moved mom’s hand away and the breeze contaminated with the scent of blood brushed my face. There were over ten headless corpses on the lawn of the palace, but their tight-fitting black clothes allowed me to identify them. Not only had they been beheaded, their deaths were all tragic. There was one corpse that had been burnt pitch-black.
The imperial guards surrounded the corpses and noted the symbol on them. They were humans. I presume they’ll be sent to the empress for further investigation. I presume the corpses were thrown here inside the palace for the imperial guards to examine or deal with, or mom might’ve killed them and then just tossed them there.
Mom tugged my hand and begged: “Let’s go. Let’s go, son…. Don’t look at them anymore…”
I turned my head around to look at mom, took in a deep breath of air that carried the scent of blood and asked: “Mom, I want to know if Mera is still alive.”
Mom nodded and replied: “She’s still alive. Mommy didn’t kill her because she was the one that tried to assassinate you. Mommy wanted to let you trial her. The entire plot has basically been unravelled. It was the humans from their side that wanted to have you assassinated. A number of dark elves took the initiative to offer to work with them. The group shipped guns in and then took a number of dark elves who were unwilling to cooperate hostage. They threatened Mera with her family to get her to kill you since you were on relatively good terms with her. Not long before Mera was arrested, the imperial guards located the small hut where the humans and elves held hostage were. However, they were too late. The humans killed all the elves in there and then fled. The other dark elves who were colluded with the humans started firing guns once you all left for the field to create chaos. They wanted to assassinate mommy and the elders. However, they were killed so…”
“So Mera is the last dark elf…?”
Mom responded with a serious nod and a somewhat heavy atmosphere about her. She then called for someone. An imperial guard ran up to our side and handed us a long sword. I froze and looked at mom. Mom took the sword and placed it in my hand. She looked at me with a slight hint of sadness and said: “Son, go and decide Mera’s fate. They didn’t assassinate mommy, so you should decide their fate. She’s your friend, your benefactor and your enemy. You have the right to trial her. If you forgive her, mommy shall not do anything. If you kill her, mommy will not blame you. Go, son. It’s up to you to trial Mera.”