I hate Mera. She betrayed me. I regarded her as my best friend, gave her my respect and friendship, and yet she slit my throat with a dagger.
I pity Mera. She’s not inherently bad, and she’s definitely not an assassin. She’s just an ordinary perfumer. She’s helped me before and taught me many things. However, she values her tribesmen more than me.
She truly had no choice but to kill me.
But she did slit my throat.
I went down to the dungeon. Mera was restrained on a cross. She was naked so her beautiful body casted a beautiful reflection. She didn’t have any wounds. I think it must’ve been because the men didn’t want to treat such a beautiful body cruelly or maybe because they felt that it was pointless for them to torture a person who had been sentenced to death. Her skin was white and virtually pale. You couldn’t see veins on her skin. However, her exquisite body exposed her most private parts to my eyes. She had her head lowered. When she heard footsteps, she smiled helplessly.
She raised her head. Her blood-red eyes had no hints of compassion. She smiled and said: “I apologise for letting you witness such a pitiful scene, your highness.
What she said caused me to choke on my words and give a strange response: “Ah… No, you’re very beautiful, honest.”
Mera smiled and continued: “Thank you, your highness. It has been a long time since someone last evaluated my body. I do not have a husband or a family. This is the first time I have displayed my body to someone of the opposite sex. I once thought that the first male to see my body would be my life-partner. But it looks like I slit the throat of my life-partner a day ago.”
She mocked herself with a laugh and then took in a deep breath. Her gaze focused itself on the long sword on my belt. She shifted her lips and then said: “It is an honour to be executed personally by you, your highness. That is good, for it will be a release for both of us. Your highness, in the small cupboard by my bed at my residence, there are some potions, perfumes and strange formulas stored in there. If it is possible, please allow the many flowers in my workshop to live on. There is nothing else I would like to ask of you. Please go ahead now, your highness.”
After she finished speaking, she closed her eyes, and tilted her head upwards, revealing her white neck.
I looked at her without drawing my sword. I then sighed and asked: “Aren’t you going to say something for yourself?”
She laughed after she asked me. She then looked at me with a ridiculing smile and said: “Your highness, do you still not understand? The crime I committed is treason. I made an attempt on the life of the future elf king. My crime cannot be forgiven.”
I looked at her and said: “I can forgive you if you give me a reason to.”
“Reason? I apologise then, your highness, for I have no reason.”
Mera shook her head and said: “My attempt on your life is an undeniable truth. I am not an assassin. I am but a mere perfumer. However, I almost managed to kill you, so what would have happened if I was a professional assassin? If you do not kill me, then even more people will try to assassinate you in the future. Your highness, those by your side are not necessarily friendly. Everyone who you come into contact with could be a threat. If a mere perfumer like me was threatened, then the merchants you bought things from or those you asked for directions from could also be threatened into making attempts on your life. How will you protect them? How will you deter the traitors who are after your life? You cannot do it with just your gentleness and kindness. You can share your kindness and gentleness with countless people through your power as royalty, however, such bliss relies on blades and determination to protect. Magnanimity is a trait of royalty, but the power of royalty needs to be protected with power and bloodshed. I have already told you this. Consequently, what you must do as a qualified king is kill me”
Mera looked at my eyes and smiled slightly. She softened her tone and said: “Your highness, I am very happy to have befriended you for a month. I usually have work, but nobody initiates a conversation with me. Further, nobody considers me a friend. People look down on me, and treat me with caution because I am a dark elf. It was your gentleness and kindness that gave me warmth. If you were to ask me what period of my life was the happiest, I would definitely say it was during the time we spent time together. Although it was less than a month, you gave me warmth and light that I had lost decades ago.”
I looked back at her. My hand I had on the sword handle trembled. I looked at my familiar friend. She was the first friend I made since coming here. She was like an elder sister earnestly that taught me many things. She also helped me out a lot. I went out for tea with her. We chatted together. She gave me advice when I was puzzled and she comforted me when I was upset. If you ask me whether or not I like her, I most definitely do.
She may have wanted to kill me, but she was threatened into it. I can forgive her. Yes, I can. If I let her down, she can return to her workshop and continue her work. We could go out for some tea together during a noon she’s free and chat idly.
If I forgive her, how will I answer to Lucia? If I forgive her, then it would be the equivalent of me accepting assassinations, and anybody who’s on good terms with would be a potential candidate that would take my life.
I don’t want to kill her, but I must kill her…
As a friend, I don’t want to kill her.
As a prince, I must kill her.
“Go ahead, your highness. It is time for you to prove you are a qualified prince.”
She smiled helplessly and then in a loud voice said: “Do not forget what I said. Your life is not as beautiful as a fairy-tale. You are surrounded by dangers. Use your power to punish enemies, and use your arms to shield loyalty. Your highness, kindness is beautiful, so please bestow it upon good people. Please kill me, your highness and we shall find our salvation. I have faith in you. You will definitely become an outstanding king.”
I raised my head as I quivered and met her teary eyes which were simultaneously filled with happiness and regret. She looked at me with her gentle and happy eyes like an elder sister that was happy to see that her younger brother had finally matured. She puffed her chest out and looked at me with a blissful smile.
I violently drew my sword and cried out like I was sobbing as I charged towards her. My tears felt cold on my face. My sight was blurry due to my tears, but her hazy body was brimming with warmth and bliss.
I will be a good king. I will be a wise king. I’m not doing it for some ambition or fame. I just wanted to ensure I settled the score with the person before me, the person who had placed her hope on me.
She will be satisfied if I kill her, while I will finally say goodbye to the Zhu Liangzhe of the past. Zhu Liangzhe can forgive those that hurt him, but Troy can’t. If Zhu Liangzhe gets hurt, the law can protect him, but Troy can only rely on himself to protect himself when he gets hurt.
When the sword stabbed into Mera, that Zhu Liangzhe was also stabbed dead. What was left was the prince, Troy. There won’t be anybody who wants to kill Zhu Liangzhe, however, there are without question people who want to kill Troy.
The blade pierced through her skin, muscles, veins, heart and the wooden cross… to the point where I could push it no deeper.
The long sword pierced through Mera’s body. Her bright and warm red blood stained my crying face. Mera’s body became completely still and her head flopped down onto my shoulder. I let go of the sword handle and desperately tried to hug her. However, since her body was tied up, she couldn’t even die in my arms.
“Your highness… If… if you were not.. .the prince… then perhaps… perhaps… our ending… might have been better…”
Mera’s painful voice gently rang in my ear. I wailed loudly as I tightly embraced Mera. I could feel her warmth slowly disappear. Her heart had been destroyed, and she had only one last thing to say.
“Do not cry… Your highness… I will… I will… watch you… become… become… an outstanding king…”
While I was holding Mera’s body which was slowly turning cold, I didn’t think about how to forgive Mera.
What I was thinking about was how to prevent a second Mera from appearing by my side….