“His highness and Miss Lucia are getting married?”
“Ah, ah, the Ecte family’s Lucia, right? Wow… They’re truly a couple made in heaven. However, Lucia is but just a member of the shadow squad, right?”
“The two of them are childhood friends, so they must be relatively close. Lucia is very pretty too, so she’s a good match for his highness. Don’t we usually spot them going out together?”
“Yeah. How nice. Lucia will probably go on to become the queen in the future, while we will remain gate sentries.”
The two guards leaned over and gossiped with each other. Somebody then suddenly hit their helmets hard. The two of them reacted surprised, grabbed their spears and spun around, only to find Vyvyan looking at them with murderous intent. The two of them were so frightened they nearly fell to their knees. Vyvyan waved her hand while looking frustrated, and said: “What are you two talking about?! Do your job as guards properly. What are you talking about his highness’s wedding for?! Do your job!”
“Roger! We are very sorry, your highness!”
The two guards went down on one knee and apologised. They then quickly turned around and zipped their mouths. It is unknown who spread the new of the prince and Lucia getting married, but everybody in the palace now knew. It was supposed to be a happy matter. His highness usually smiled happily, but her highness looked extremely down and frustrated.
Surely it’s not because her highness doesn’t like Lucia… The truth is, her highness doesn’t want to let her son get married. She’d be mad regardless of whom the bride was. If the queen weren’t angry, it’d probably take another century before she would happily hand him over. However, from her perspective right now, letting him get married meant that she couldn’t hold him in her sleep, she couldn’t kiss him whenever she pleases, she couldn’t come and go from his leave as she pleases, and she couldn’t even wash her son.
Vyvyan’s life was basically being stolen from her.
Vyvyan’s expression didn’t look good. She ignored all greetings and shoved the door to the conference chamber open. The eight elders stood up, bowed and said: “Congratulations, your highness. His highness getting married must be a joy-…”
The queen’s cold tone was colder than the coldest peak of a snow mountain. The eight elders all sneezed and then went silent. The queen kicked her leg and sat down on her throne. When she sat down on the gold throne, a dangerous crack could be heard. Vyvyan sat down unhappily and twirled her blonde hair with her index finger with frustration. She then asked in an irritated voice: “How are the preparations for the prince’s wedding ceremony? When can we start? One month? Two months?”
The eight elders exchanged looks. They pondered the question and then hesitantly replied: “Umm… Your highness… The matter was brought up quite suddenly, therefore we have not had enough time to collect the rare materials from various places, items for tributes and other things that need to be made for the wedding yet… I think… I think we need a year….”
The queen jumped up from her throne, looked at the eight elders and without any self-conscious yelled: “ONE YEAR?!”
“Please forgive us, your highness!”
The eight elders quickly knelt down. They were so frightened they were quaking. The half-deity queen had been in a foul mood recently, so they were scared they would get executed for offending her now.
“No, no, no, you all did very well. Good job. Great. This is great. Umu, umu. I’m very glad, honest. I’m so glad. Can you drag it out for a bit longer? A year and a half? Two years? It doesn’t matter. Stall for as long as you again. His highness will only have one wedding, so we need to prepare well for it. Organise it properly. It doesn’t matter how delayed it becomes or how slow you go. Haha… Hahahaha! One year…. One year…. Hahahahahaha!”
The eight elders froze up when they heard the queen’s laugh full of joy. They looked completely bewildered by what was going on. Logically speaking, being scolded to death for delaying it by half a year would be perfectly reasonable. Yet, Vyvyan was laughing like a kid as she laughed and praised them.
“Hahahahahaha…. Good job. Good job. I’m very happy. I’m very happy. Continue like that. Continue like that. I have to go and inform my son. You may all leave.”
The queen laughed as she quickly left the conference chamber, leaving eight puzzled elders behind. They looked at the baffled faces of each other, then asked each other: “Uhh… So… what do we do?”
“What else can we do…? Just follow the queen’s orders… Stall if you can….”
That was the strangest order the eight elders had ever heard. She wanted to delay her own son’s wedding… God knows what the queen was thinking.
Same time at the training ground.
“Kachik! Bang! Clack!!”
Wooden swords clashed against one another, and rang in their ears. The two wooden swords were clashing together after gliding through the air. They clashed, they deflected, and they guarded. Their movements were so swift you could see after-images. Lucia was dressed in her training clothes. She was adjusting her breathing as she attacked. The wooden sword in her hand was like a venomous snake. However, Lucia’s legs were visibly shaking. While she was attacking, her blade was trembling. She clearly lacked strength when thrusting or clashing.
It was time for a half-time break. Ecte looked at his daughter sitting down powerlessly gasping for air. He pitied his daughter and sat down by side her, handed her some water and said: “Lucia, you don’t have to be so serious. We’re just doing some light recovery training to prevent your body from becoming stiff. You haven’t completely recovered. You’ll hurt yourself if you push too hard like this. Moreover, you’re soon going to become the queen. You won’t have to be a soldier any longer, so there’s no need for you to suffer like this.”
“No, dad. I have to push like this.” Lucia placed the cup of water down and sighed. She looked at the ground with a tinge of loneliness and softly said: “I didn’t do a good job protecting his highness. That was my fault. He truly is too kind to not only forgive me, but to also love me. However, I am well aware that I must protect his highness in the future, who will also be my husband. I can’t become lax when we have children either. I must be able to… protect them!”
Ecte looked at his daughter slowly clench her fist and smiled helplessly. He then stroked her head and said: “Lucia… daddy is proud of you, honest.”
“Thank you, dad… Alright, let’s go again.”
I gently flipped through Mera’s diary. To be frank, I didn’t really understand it. I was like a kid looking at chemistry experiments. It looked great, but I had no idea what it meant.
Lucia was by my side, so I temporarily kept the pain of Mera’s passing to myself. I told Lucia I killed Mera. Although she was slightly sad as well, she told me I wasn’t wrong. Mera will achieve salvation knowing this. The elves tradition dictates that their crimes are erased once they’re dead, so it was basically the equivalent of me helping her achieve salvation.
I just hope that’s the case. I hope Mera can rest in peace on the other side.
Mom knocked on the door and then came in. She looked at me and I looked at her a bit surprised. Seeing mom reveal a happy smile after so many days caused me to panic a bit.
“Is something the matter, mom?”
“Oh, it’s about your wedding.”
Mom walked straight up to me and pulled my head right in between her boobs without any warning. She then smiled and said: “About your wedding… We need to spend a bit more time because it was too sudden… We need around more than one year. So don’t feel rushed, my son.”
“WHAT?! ONE YEAR?!”
“Uhm, that’s right.”
Mom looked happily at me who was utterly astonished. She then leaned forward and kissed me on my lips without any hesitation. She sounded like she was so gleeful she couldn’t hold back her joy and said: “Mommy can guarantee mommy didn’t pull any strings. That’s just how it is. But our promise must still be upheld, okay? You have to sleep with mommy for one year~…”