“Mmm… I told you so. Inard, you are my child as well as the next elf king, so you couldn’t have fallen for a human woman.” The elf king laughed aloud as he pat his son on the shoulder and gulped mouthfuls of the grape wine in his cup.
Inard smiled and said: “Dad, you have had too much to drink.”
“No I haven’t. Of course I’m happy to see my grandson born, but him being the child of my son and daughter is great because of his pure blood. His mana would be more pure than yours and Vyvyan I imagine. Vyvyan is demi-god, so I’d totally believe it if my grandson were a god! My, my, son, you’ll be a man from now on. Take care of your sister properly.”
“Haven’t I always been looking after her……?”
“The past was the past. You now need to look after her as a husband.”
The elf king laughed aloud and stood up, but almost tripped over so Inard quickly supported his father. The elf king happily sung an ancient elf song loudly as his son helped him down the stairs. After he watched the elf king get onto the horse carriage and leave the palace, he let out a sigh and returned to his room.
Vyvyan silently lay on the bed as she looked at the roof with her lifeless blue eyes. The newborn infant was sleeping soundly and quietly next to her but Vyvyan didn’t want to hold him. Inard smiled helplessly and walked over to the bed. He bent over at the waist and softly kissed his wife on her lips. He then picked up his child which he had once held.
“Do you really not want to take a look? He’s undergone some changes. Look at his ears and body, he’s starting to resemble an elf.”
Vyvyan stayed silent for a long while before softly saying: “……He’s not my child. As if I want to hold him.”
“Breast feed him. We agreed that you would look after him……”
Inard released the time magic which restricted the child. The child was hungry a good while ago, but Vyvyan was adamant on not feeding him. After that, the elf king came, and so Inard temporarily stopped the child’s time to avoid revealing any mistakes by having the child pretend to be asleep.
The child’s cries echoed throughout the entire room. Vyvyan squint her eye a few times. A second later, she grumpily sat up, opened her arms and held the child. The child gently sucked her mountain peak out of instinct. Vyvyan held him gently, and her lifeless blue eyes slowly starting to show affection as she watched him breastfeed……
Is this… the bliss of feeding a child? Why? He clearly wasn’t her child yet she felt satisfied from his sucking. His movements were very gentle and he smiled as he looked at her. She didn’t know why she had an impulse to just hold him tightly in her arms when he smiled at her…..
Is this… the feeling of being a mother…?
The tenth month.
The plate in Vyvyan’s hand dropped to the ground. Startled, she turned her head around to look into the cradle. She hesitated for a moment before pushing the maid coming over and threw herself over to the cradle.
Vyvyan looked at the child. Her hands trembled as she reached her hand out and cradled the child. The child revealed a happy smile and stretched his hand towards her and called her again: “Mommy!”
Big tear droplets fell from her eyes and onto the child’s face. A blissful smile appeared on Vyvyan’s face. She held the child tightly in her arms. She choked on her words: “My son… My Son… My Troy… can call mommy now! He can call mommy now!!”
“Uhm! I’m here, I’m here!!”
Vyvyan tightly held the child and stroked his head, face, and back as she placed her ear close to him to listen to his happy laughter. Her tears gently flowed down her face as she wore a happy smile on her face. This is my child. That’s right, he called me mommy. I’m his mom, and he is my son, my only son……
Every time she heard “mommy”, Vyvyan would repeat to herself that he was her son. At some point, hearing “mommy” no longer reminded Vyvyan of Elizabeth……
“Where’s my son?! My son!! My son!! Troy!! Troy!!!”
Two months later, when Vyvyan woke up, she kicked Inard off the bed, stood up and then formed a gigantic fireball in the air like she had gone insane, thereby burning up the room. She crazily flipped through every nook and cranny of the room as she screamed like she had gone mad.
“Where’s my child?!! My child! My Troy!! Troy!!”
“Calm down! Troy is going through his one year old baptism. Did you forget that he has to sleep under the moon alone tonight?!”
“That won’t do! That won’t do!! Forget the baptism! Forget the baptism! I’m going to go crazy if I can’t hold Troy. I keep having nightmares. I keep seeing Troy die in my dreams, seeing him disappear, so no. That won’t do! I want to hold him! I want to hold my son! I want to see my son!!”
Vyvyan grabbed Inard’s collar and shouted like she had gone mad. One of her blue eyes had turned red due to her anger. The initially still air became cloudy and blocked out the moon. There were so many layers of clouds that not a ray of light from the moon could pass through, throwing the entire continent into darkness.
Changing the weather is but a simple matter for a demi-god.
“The moon is gone! Gone! End the baptism!! Return my son to me! Return my son to me!!”
“Okay, okay, okay, okay!! Don’t get angry. I’ll go and bring Troy back!’
“Don’t move!! I’ll hold him! I’ll go and hold him!”
Vyvyan shoved her husband aside and walked out. Inard hopelessly sat back on the bed and sighed. At the start, he was worried if Vyvyan would like the child or even mistreat him. However, ever since he called her “mommy”, she has dedicated her everything to Troy. She insists on holding him no matter where she goes. She insists on personally cooking when it comes to meal-times, and forbids anybody from approaching Troy’s cradle. She also insists on holding Troy when she sleeps. Inard originally wanted to have another child with Vyvyan to compensate her, but that thought became worthless. Every time he brought it up, Vyvyan would say, “I don’t have time, I’m busy looking after Troy” and reject him. She wouldn’t even let him onto the bed at bed-time because she insisted on seeing her child sound asleep for her to be at ease.
“My child… My son……”
“Hmm? What’s wrong, son?”
“My, you’re so naughty. Do you want to touch mommy’s face so badly? Let mommy give you a kiss……”
Inard silently listen to the two of them walk back in and let out a heavy sigh, immediately followed by a comforted smile.
“Isn’t this better?”
Their days like that didn’t continue for long. After the second month, Inard went to the North alone to subdue the dragon in the North. Later on, only his ring returned. The elf king didn’t have a second son so he passed the throne to Vyvyan. As a demi-god, Vyvyan became the ruler of the elf kingdom. Because of the timing of things, she didn’t have time to grieve over her brother. Further, elves don’t view death as painful, but a form of escape.
“You can walk now, son! Hurry over and give mommy a kiss.”
Troy giggled as he walked over and threw himself into Vyvyan’s embrace. Vyvyan gave Troy a silent kiss on his lips and hugged him tightly. She then picked him up and said, “Son, do you have something you want to eat today?”
“What… what mommy cooks!”
Troy leaned in towards her, hugged her around the neck, and kissed her on her cheek. Vyvyan was so happy her heart was ready to explode with bliss. She didn’t know how else to express her love for Troy so she kissed him continuously. Her heart was filled with Troy. She delegated all national matters to the elders, while she stayed in the palace looking after Troy all day. She refused to let anybody else touch him.
Troy was actually very attached to his mom. He always wanted to be by his mom’s side regardless of what he was doing including: eating, getting dressed, washing up or sleeping. Vyvyan relished the process of looking after her son. Troy was now her everything, including her meaning in life.
She had already forgotten what her once beloved elder brother looked like. She had even forgotten something very important. And that was that Troy’s first mom was Elizabeth.
“This is my son.”
She continued to repeat it and tell that to herself. Vyvyan had formed an unwavering resolve in her heart. She was not going to accept anybody else getting close to her son other than herself. He was her son. She remembered very clearly the moment she hugged her husband, the pain of giving birth to her son and when he called her “mom”. So doesn’t that make him her child? Is that even a question?
“Mommy! What does marriage mean?”
Vyvyan caught the grown-up Troy, smiled and said: “Marriage? Marriage is where you live together with the girl you like, Troy.”
Troy blinked a few times out of puzzlement. He then looked towards Vyvyan with his black eyes and asked: “I like mommy and want to live with mommy. Can I marry mommy in the future?”
Vyvyan looked at Troy completely stunned. A borderline insane smile slowly crept up onto her face. She quickly reached her arms out and pulled Troy in her embrace. She smiled and said: “Alright. That’s a good idea. Yes you can! Live with mommy, Troy. Mommy will always be by your side even if you get married or whatever in the future. Mommy won’t leave Troy, and won’t let Troy leave. We will continue living together!”
“Uhm…. I like mommy most. I like mommy most, most, most, most!!”
He hugged his mom with his small and thin arms. Vyvyan let out an ecstatic cry that sounded almost like a wild beast’s howl. She tightly hugged her son. She stared out the window and towards that forest with her eyes that had turned red from excitement……
I will not let anybody come close, to, my, son!