“Ah, Lucia must go. It’s something that she must do.”
After our mother and son relationship returned to normal, mom and I got dressed and left the bathroom. Mom wrapped her arm around mine and suggested to me that she’d take back her orders to have Lucia leave. Her reason was the following: “It’s on the way to retrieving the buffs from the wind elves. Further, the army in the North noticed that the temperature at the large canyon in the North had dropped a fair bit. Therefore, Lucia was to go and investigate if there was a problem. Didn’t mommy tell you already? Mommy won’t interfere with your love.”
Really…? I never would’ve thought so if you never said so…. However, what mom said also made sense. I’ll just interpret it as Lucia going out for a job. But I don’t know why it has to be Lucia. Can’t someone else go…? Lucia is a member of the shadow squad. She’s not a messenger…..
“The large canyon in the North?”
“Yes, the large canyon in the North. Opposite to it is a snowy terrain and snowy mountains. It’s the territory of trolls. Before winter comes, the trolls sometimes discretely build bridges to come over and rob food from our villages. We therefore have two army platoons stationed up North. However, it’s said that the temperature dropped really low there and the soldiers can’t stand it.”
Mom smiled helplessly, shook her head and said, “There’s nothing we can do. Elves struggle to stay warm in snowy weather like unlike humans. Wearing thicker clothes doesn’t overcome the problem either. Therefore, if it’s too cold there, the two army platoons stationed there will have to retreat to somewhere where they can warm up. Further, I’ll need to station even more army platoons close by.”
“Why?” I looked at mom puzzled. Is the temperature really decreasing at the moment? I feel like the temperature for all four seasons is pretty much the same in the elven city. I can’t tell that the temperature is dropping. However, perhaps it really is winter according to the monthly calendar and it is indeed becoming colder. But if the elves can’t stand the cold, why are more troops being stationed there? Isn’t that contradictory?
“Because if it’s become colder in the North, the trolls won’t be able to survive there. And so they’ll harass us much more frequently. Consequently, the armies stationed in the north will need to be on maximum alert.” Mom frowned and gazed towards the North. She continued in a slightly concerned tone, “Nothing good will come out of the North becoming colder. We know very little about the place. We don’t know how many races and tribes live there. If they lose their habitats due to environmental factors, they will definitely come down South. We can’t communicate with the trolls over that side so if they come down South, a war will definitely break out.”
I looked into mom’s eyes. There was no indication in her eyes that she was concerned about the nation or the citizens. Instead, what I saw was a crazed hunger for war. Please do not use what you commonly hear about elves to evaluate or think about the elves I’m surrounded by here. The elves are by no means a loving and peaceful race. They just don’t pick fights. However, elves will become excited when there’s a war to fight. It’s related to the fact that elves are trained in swordsmanship and archery as children….
Mom kissed me on my forehead and said: “But no matter what happens, they can’t approach the imperial capital, so don’t worry son. Even if they do manage to, mommy will protect you just like before.” I nodded. Mom pushed the door to the room open and then said, “Let’s sleep now, son. Mommy shall let you and Lucia go out to play tomorrow afternoon before she leaves. However, you only have one hour, okay? Only one hour.
“Mom… can’t you extend the time limit just a bit…?”
“No. That one hour is mommy’s tolerance limit.”
Mom sat on the edge of the bed. She was already in her sleep attire. While mom doesn’t mind me watching her dress and undress, I turn my back to her every time even though I really want to watch….
I undressed and then wore on my silk pyjamas. Mom opened her arms for a while. The candle went out. I carefully walked to the side of the bed and mom pulled me into her arms. She then cradled my head in her arms and gently held me in her arms.
Mom gently pat me on my back like she was coaxing a child to sleep as she hummed a soothing melody. She watched me with her gentle and kind blue eyes. Before my eyes was mom sleeping on her side and her even more prominent bosom….
And this is why I always see mom’s pride every morning which never fails to surprise me no matter no many times I see them…. The scent on mom’s body relaxed me and soothed me. And so, as long as mom held me, I could happily fall asleep regardless of what I wanted to say.
I assume Troy must’ve been held by mom like this as he slept when he was young. I wonder how many years he slept like this.
Seeing me slowly close my eyes, mom gently kissed me on my forehead and quietly said: “Sleep, my beloved son.”
At that time, at the inner section of the palace…
Two imperial guards noticed Lucia walk to her room so they ran over and asked: “Good evening, Miss Lucia. How are the preparations for your luggage coming along?”
Lucia narrowed her eyes as she looked at the two of them and said: “I’ve finished packing. I’m to leave in three days, correct? I can understand why… It’ll be a full-moon night in two days….”
“Yes. We are your bodyguards.”
“Is that so? You two better not be a burden then. I’m only his highness’s bodyguard. I have no duty to guard anybody else. You two have to look after yourselves.”
Lucia casually waved her hand as goodbye. The two guards smiled helplessly, nodded and said: “Understood… We will look after ourselves, since… you’re his highness’s wife after all….”
Lucia lowered her head and bit her lip. She then raised her head back up, looked at the moon resolutely and said: “But I definitely will be. I definitely will be.”
Lucia bid goodbye to the guards behind her and entered her room. She sat on her bed and changed into her sleepwear. However, her eyes glowed with a tinge of green which indicated that she didn’t want to sleep. Normally at this hour, Lucia should be staring into the darkness in the area close to the watchtower, or otherwise gliding through the air searching for suspicious people down below. While the elven capital is very safe, Lucia who was on patrol duty every day didn’t loosen up.
Lucia’s energy bar would be maxed out if she caught a glimpse of his highness’ window. She was at the stage right before the wedding with his highness, so she was determined to carry on regardless of what may come. She was determined to forge forward to become his highness’s wife. She had to be patient.
Lucia climbed onto her bed and shut her eyes. She resisted her impulse. She had habituated to patrolling every night, so she was particularly sensitive at night. Just hearing footsteps outside would wake her up. Moreover, even if it was dawn which was her bed-time, she couldn’t sleep in peace without his highness holding her.
She wanted to hug his highness really badly…… She wanted to warm her body up with his highness’s embrace. Her fatigued and freezing body would be revitalised if she could just touch his highness’s body. She would be able to fall asleep blissfully with his touch. Even if she could only catch a few hours of wink-eye, that would be enough to replenish her energy. But she couldn’t hug his highness right now.
“Fight on…. Patience. Patience….”
Lucia bit down on her lip firmly and cheered herself on as she imagined her blissful life with his highness in the future. As she imagined it, her lips couldn’t help but creep up into a blissful smile. She couldn’t hold his highness right now, however, as long as she can make her highness happy, she could hold his highness in her arms forever….