Mom’s birthday huh…… Though I really want to jump on a horse and ride off to Castor to wrap this up, I can’t do that with mom’s birthday coming up. My conscience won’t let me after seeing mom hug me with such a blissful smile. This is the first time I’m celebrating mom’s birthday. The next time is a year away.
My plans can wait, but I don’t want to see mom look disappointed. Castell is right. More presents don’t add more meaning to it. What mom wants most is a birthday present from me.
Uhm, so now I need to think about what present is most appropriate.
Mom has personally cooked for me. While I was prepared to die, mom surprisingly cooked edible food this time. It tasted so-so, and most of it didn’t require much work, but mom still looked at me with anticipation and nervousness. When I told her it tasted good, I noticed mom secretly wipe her tears.
I presume they were the “I made a meal for my son” being successful tears. Mom really tries to love me. She learnt to knit a scarf and learnt to cook. She has almost forgotten that she’s an empress. In front of me, mom is really just a mom, ordinary and silly.
From behind, Luna handed me a cup of tea and asked me: “Your majesty, did you not already solve your issue? Why are you still worried? Are you worried about that kid?”
“No, not that. I’ve thought about what to do with Freya already. I’m thinking about something else.”
I turned around to look at Luna who puffed her cheeks. Clearly she was unhappy with me bringing that girl back again. She looked at me and rolled her maid-uniform. In a soft voice, she muttered: “You can just tell me what you are unhappy with. It is pointless to have another personal servant. And she is so young. Or is it that you like young girls, your majesty?”
I smiled helplessly as I looked at Luna and said: “Didn’t I already tell you that she’s not my personal servant? She’s a girl from a noble family who got sold off after her family fell. I didn’t take her in to make her my maid, but to help me come up with ideas. You can consider her a strategist. Though she’s young, she’s very smart.”
“Is that how it is…? But she is quite pitiful.” Luna revealed a smile of relief……
I don’t really understand why elves are so possessive. And she’s not my wife or fiancée either. She’s just my personal servant and yet she’s angry because I found someone else. Luna looked at me and continued, “She’s very young too. She must’ve been played with after being imprisoned as well. How pitiful. She was exhausted. She fell asleep as soon as her head hit the pillow. Looking at her makes me feel sorry for her.”
“Yeah, but even so, she still maintained the calmness and eloquence of nobility. She didn’t cry nor was she afraid even when she escaped her suffering. To the contrary, she thought about the next step. Based on that alone, I feel that I’ve found myself a treasure this time, just like when I bought you at the market.”
I held Luna’s hand. She smiled and held mine. She then looked at me as she said: “Your majesty, you do not question yourself after this time, do you? You truly can bring happiness to others, regardless if it is me or Miss Freya, or Nier. We are all the same.”
“I gave Nier happiness?” I shook my head. Nier’s happiness is the empress. I didn’t give Nier happiness. You should’ve said that I stole her happiness. But seeing Nier smile so happily when she held the children, I thought that maybe Nier might actually be very happy right now.
“So, your majesty, let us return to the topic. What are you worried about, your majesty?”
I smiled, spread my hands out and replied: “Mom’s birthday present. I don’t know what to give mom since mom doesn’t lack anything. I think that others will be able to gift her anything that I can think of, so I don’t what sort of birthday present could make mom happy, as well as being unique.”
Luna reacted surprised and replied: “Her majesty’s birthday is coming up…? Jeez… I did not even know… But you should not be worried about this. Is what her majesty wants most and the only thing you can give her right in front of your eyes?”
I froze up. Luna extended a finger out, pointed at my chest and said with a smile: “As long as it is something you personally make, it doesn’t matter what it is, that to the empress will be a treasure.”
Current time at the inner court.
“Nier, you’re here.”
The empress sat on the bed and looked at Nier who was kneeling down with an expression that looked like she was smiling, and yet not. Nier lowered her head and replied: “Yes, your majesty. I am very sorry for being late!”
“No, I don’t care whether you’re late or not because what I do care about is the most important thing. And that is, whether or not you are still loyal, Nier.”
Nier raised her head out of astonishment and quickly replied: “Your majesty!! Of course I am loyal! I have no other master besides you! Of course, I am loyal to you, your majesty! That is true now and will not change in the future! I am a Valkyrie, so I am loyal to you until I die.”
The empress smiled. She raised her arm up and a sword dropped down in front of Nier. Nier looked at the sword blankly. It was the long-sword Nier removed. She clenched her teeth. She removed the sword her majesty gave her and swapped it for the sword his majesty gave her. That must’ve meant that she no longer wanted to be a Valkyrie from her majesty’s perspective.
The empress put one leg over the other, looked at her and nonchalantly said: “Kill yourself, Nier.”
Nier raised her head as she trembled. She looked at the empress and stuttered. She looked at the sword on the ground and reached her hand out to pick it up with her shaky hand. Valkyries have no right to refuse. If the empress gave the order to kill themself, a Valkyrie had to kill herself. It was time to display her loyalty and bravery.
“What’s wrong? Tana, come here.”
A Valkyrie walked up to the empress. The empress smiled and hugged her, and then stroked her head. Next to her ear, she softly said: “Tana, kill yourself.”
That was the first time Tana received a hug from the empress. She was so excited she was shaking all over. She drew her long-sword from her waist with an ecstatic smile and thrust it into her own chest without any hesitation. Blood spurt forth from her chest. She rolled off to the side with a blissful smile. Her blood from the wound in her chest and heart sprayed her blood all over the floor.
“See that, Nier?”
The empress walked up to Nier’s side. Nier lowered her head while still gripping the sword tightly as she trembled. The empress looked at her and asked with a smile: “Do it, Nier. Kill yourself. I order you to. Shouldn’t you follow my orders as a Valkyrie? Or do you have something you can’t let go off?”
The empress looked at her and thundered: “Do it, Nier, I order you to!”
“Don’t tell me you have feelings for my son! I already told you, you can’t develop feelings for my son! You are just a Valkyrie! If you don’t have any feelings for him, stab the sword into your chest right now! Hurry up!”
Nier slowly drew the sword. She clenched her teeth tightly as she raised her head. The empress saw Nier’s face covered in tears and frowned a little. Nier looked at the empress and quaked as she raised the sword up to her chest while her eyes were filled with despair and unwillingness. She looked at the empress and took in one deep breath before closing her eyes. Her two hands holding the sword handle were shaking intensely as if she was going to snap the sword by shaking it.
“Yes! Your are right! Your majesty! I care about his majesty! I want to live! I want to stay by his majesty’s side! His majesty helped me! I want to always stay by his side!”
When the tip of the sword reached Nier’s chest, her hands could no longer grip the sword. She dropped the sword and cried loudly as she knelt on the ground.
“I… I do not know if this is me liking his majesty. But being by his side makes me feel very relaxed. I like going out with his majesty too. I want to see more of the world with his majesty as well! In short… in short, I want to look at his majesty for longer! So I do not want to die! I want to live!”
“You are a Valkyrie!”
I am his majesty’s bodyguard now too!”
Nier raised her head. Her eyes carried determination and resolve. Her face covered in tears was distorted like a devil from hell. She looked at the empress and shouted, forgetting her status.
The empress looked at her blankly and said nothing for a long while. Nier didn’t lower her head either. She kept her eyes on the empress while shedding tears.
The empress let out a long sigh. She then sat to one side, crossed one leg over the other and looked at Nier as she said: “My son will definitely get angry if I kill you. My birthday is coming up, and I don’t want my son to be angry. Rise, Nier. I trust you a lot. You are also the Valkyrie I am most proud of. But I’ve got one final job for you. Take this letter to the church’s headquarters. Once you come back, I shall agree to the matter with you and my son. Of course, that’s if he accepts you.”
Nier slouched onto the ground like she was letting out a sigh of relief. But a second later, she used the wall as support to stand up. She gave the empress a deep bow and in a loud voice said: “Thank you, your majesty! I shall serve you with my life!”
“Leave now then. Stay on standby.”
*Check comments for something cheeky*