After getting changed, I walked out of the outer court with the holy water of the elves in hand as I headed to the inner court. I honestly don’t know why the queen always gives me a bottle of holy water to give to mom every time I come here. Does the holy water of the elves work for humans? I thought about how mom looked. Mom should be almost forty now, but her skin and appearance is like that of a twenty year old young girl. Could it be because of this holy water? I’d be impressed if she would dare use the water the queen gave her. I mean, they aren’t exactly compatible with each other.
The Valkyries standing at the door saw me but didn’t stop me. The empress told them to let me freely come and go from the inner court last time, but I guess the ruckus I caused last time has caused them to dislike me even more. I stepped up onto the steps and Nier just happened to come out from the inner court. She saw me and scanned me from head to toe. She then nodded and said: “This way, your majesty.”
I followed Nier into the inner court. Nier saw the bottle hand in my hands and asked: “Is this the present from the elves?”
I nodded and then handed the bottle to Nier. Nier frowned as she looked at it. She returned it to me and said: “I cannot see any problems with it.”
I looked at Nier and said: “I prepared a present for you too, Nier. When we get back, I’ll give it to you.”
“I don’t need a present, so there is no need for you to bother.”
Nier rejected me and coldly continued, “I cannot accept a gift from another. Please don’t do something that could cause me to misunderstand. The armour you previously gave me was a great present, and I am thankful for it. However, lavishing me with rewards will cause the Valkyries to question my loyalty.”
“That doesn’t matter. It’s just a simple present. I think you’ll like it. I brought an elven scimitar. It’s crafted beautifully.”
“Please forgive me, but I cannot accept it. Your majesty, are you not aware of what it means to gift someone a blade?” Nier sounded slightly angry. Her anger showed on her face. She stopped in her tracks, looked at me, took a deep breath and spoke as calmly as she could, “My current sword was given to me by her majesty. Accepting a sword indicates loyalty. I am a Valkyrie, and I devote my loyalty to the empress, so how can I accept your blade? Further, it was made by elves. My parents died to the weapons crafted by elves. Are you insulting me or ridiculing me?”
I had nothing to say. I honestly overlooked that. I forgot that Nier’s parents died in the war ten years ago and that Nier hated elves with every fibre of her being. Nier wouldn’t accept something from elves. I only thought about getting Nier a present and forgot about that.
“I’m very sorry!”
I bowed and said, “I’m sincerely sorry, Nier, I overlooked that. I didn’t intend to insult you or ridicule you. I honestly just overlooked it. For that, I sincerely apologise.”
Nier’s anger on her face slowly disappeared when she saw me bow. She adjusted her expression and reverted back to her emotionless look. She then took a big step towards the door in front and said: “Your majesty, you need not be like that. Even if you were to actually insult me, it wouldn’t mean anything. I only care about her majesty’s judgement. Please do not think that I am trying to build a friendly relationship with you. I am just your bodyguard for a month. Now, please go and see her majesty.”
Nier then pushed the door open. To be honest, my feelings felt a little tangled. Nier was right. We only have a monthly relationship, with her being responsible for protecting me for that one month. Her post is with the Valkyries, that won’t change. Indeed, I have no need to improve my relationship with her.
But I really want to build a good relationship with Nier here in humanity’s land. Luna and I have a good relationship, but Luna is an elf too. I want a human friend, and Nier was the first person I interacted with; it just so happens to be that she’s a Valkyrie.
I walked into mom’s room. Mom sat on the bed. When she saw me enter, she hurriedly hid something in her hands behind her. With my elven senses, I noticed it resembled some sort of red ball or bundle, but I didn’t get a clear look of what it was.
What’s mom trying to do this time?!
My warning sirens immediately went into the highest level of alert. Normally speaking, red is a colour which makes one feel uneasy because it carries a very stimulating implication. While I trust that mom won’t hurt me, the empress is an idiotic mother! She might’ve heard some rumour and then invented a new dish or something. I would believe she’d do that if it’s her.
“Ah, son, you’re back. I’m glad, very glad. Come, let mommy hug you.”
Mom faced me and cheerfully opened her arms. I walked over and mom hugged me tightly. Compared to the queen, mom’s hug was unmistakably excessively tight. It wasn’t a gentle hug at all. A better description would be that she yanked me into her embrace and squeezed me. Well, I guess that’s a perk of having a generous bosom. If she were flat, I’d probably have a concussion.
Mom on the other hand hugged me very happily. She stroked me head, smiled and said: “Son…… My son has finally returned. I missed you. I felt lonely every day you weren’t here. It’s great to have you back. So great. Mommy is so happy, so, so happy, hehe. Son…… If you lack anything, just tell me. Like say…… if your clothes aren’t warm enough……”
I’m alright, I think. All else aside, this thick cape is very warm and with my leather clothing inside, I don’t feel cold. But I noticed that mom’s gaze was full of anticipation. It looked like she was hoping I wouldn’t say “not cold”. I smiled helplessly and said: “I’m sort of cold……”
Before I could finish, mom happily exclaimed: “That’s great!! Mommy made you a scarf. Son, see if you like it.”
Her shout scared me, freezing me in place. Mom excitedly took out the red thing from behind her back. Ahh, so it was a scarf. Mom pulled me over in front of her and wrapped the scarf around my neck without saying anything prior…… Wait!! There’s something wrong with the way you’re putting it on! Are you trying to strangle me?! Stop!! Stop!! I’m going to get strangled to death!!
Mom wrapped the red scarf tightly around my neck as if she were scared I was going to run away. She tightened it so much I almost suffocated. I desperately escaped from her grasp and yanked it off my neck as I panted for oxygen.
Mommy anxiously helped me up and pulled me into her embrace before whispering: “Ah…… Sorry, son… Sorry…… Mommy got a bit too excited…… Mommy… mommy was worried you wouldn’t like it since… since the scarf doesn’t look good……”
I noticed that mom’s body was shaking nervously. I looked at the scarf in my hand, and indeed, it should be called a red piece of cloth as opposed to a scarf. It didn’t have any decorations on it. In a corner, there were the initials for my name and mom’s name, sewn on crookedly.
I noticed that mom had wounds that had yet to heal on her fingers. The wounds were prick wounds from needles.
I don’t know how much of mom’s blood was on the red piece of cloth. While the scarf admittedly didn’t look good, it was a scarf mom sewed for me. It’s a one and only.
It was a scarf filled with a silly mom’s love.
“Thank you mom, I really like it. I truly really like it.”
I slowly wrapped the scarf around my neck in front of mom.
After that, this scarf never left my neck in winter……