“Your majesty, according to my observations, the horse carriage loaded with church’s goods enters the the market every day early in the morning because their carriages are large due to the size of the statues. The royal capital’s regulation is that horse carriages carrying heavy goods may only enter early in the morning. That is when there are the fewest guards and people. Perhaps that is how they snuck in.”
I nodded and waved my hand to send Castell’s subordinate away. Luna walked up lightly and threw my cape onto my back. In a quiet voice, she said: “Your majesty, you got drunk tonight, so I do not think you should go if it is early in the morning.”
I picked up the berries on the plate by the side and took a big bite. An unbearable sour taste suddenly made me almost spit them out. I gave it my all to chew the stuff in my mouth and swallow the unbearably sour juice before throwing the remaining berries away. I then stood up and said: “No, I have to go and inspect the church’s horse carriages tomorrow morning. I might not find anything, but I must check things out.”
“Your majesty, your body will not be able to bear it. These berries can only help you sober up, so you still need to rest.”
Luna gave me a gentle back-hug with her arms around my neck. She softly said next to my ear: “Don’t get yourself sick, your majesty. Don’t overwork yourself.”
“Thank you, Luna. But I can’t sleep even if you asked me to right now.”
I turned around to look at Luna. Luna smiled before letting go and leaving the room. A moment later, Luna came back in with a pot of tea and some simple snacks. Luna placed a tea cup and the teapot in front of me, and then poured me a hot cup of tea. She smiled and said: “In that case, let us have a chat then, your majesty.”
I looked at Luna. Luna wore a gentle smile on the corner of her mouth. She held the wooden cup of tea and had a drink. Humanity’s tea and elven tea is pretty much the same. The difference is that humanity boils tea-leaves, milk and other stuff together. Both hot and cold teas have their own attraction. I picked my tea-cup up. The refreshments were very large coarse wheat cakes. It looks like they were Luna’s refreshments and not mine.
The maids have snacks, but they looked very coarse. I think it must be this stuff.
“Alright, what do you want to talk about, Luna?”
Luna rested her head on her hand and thought about it for a moment. A moment later, she smiled helplessly and said: “Your majesty, I do not know what to talk about either. But let’s talk about the elven lands. Your majesty, did you hear about a place rich in gold while you were with the elves? That place is my hometown. That place is called the Gold Village. It is just a small village, but lots of gold is produced there. The elf king’s crown was provided by us as well as other jewellery made from gold. It is a very beautiful village. When I was young, I frequently played in the lake and could even find tiny gold tablets.”
Luna revealed a reminiscent smile. Her gaze lit up like the way the water in a river reflects the sunlight. She looked at me, smiled bitterly and said: “But when the human army passed through, they massacred the entire village. I fortunately evaded death because I was outside the village at the temple during the time. However, I got sold off to humanity’s side….. I never saw the elven forests after that.”
I looked at her and silently drank my tea. It was the story of her past. Luna had lived longer than I had, yet it could be recounted in mere minutes. For an elf, redundant events in life must not be worth remembering. I wonder how much Luna remembered of waking up every day, going to play by the lake, the adults carrying raw ore, and moms gathering together to sculpt exquisite gold bits of jewellery, a lifestyle not worth mentioning. It was like the lake she once played in was now just a memory.
That river now only flowed in her mind. Does Luna cry when she recalls the memories in her dreams?
After a moment of silence, I said: “That must be where I was born too I imagine…… Mmm…… I’m not sure if it’s the same place. Mom said that I was born in a village that produced gold. If that is true, we might unknowingly be childhood friends…….”
“I do not think so, your majesty. I think you would have been born in a village in humanity’s lands.”
“Haven’t I told you many times that I’m the prince of elves?”
“There you go again. The prince of elves must be a pure-blooded elf.” Luna pursed her lips into a smile but she wore a somewhat hopeless expression like the forced smile you give when someone tries to make a joke that’s not funny. I shook my head helplessly. Since Luna is still unwilling to believe me, I do want to do something.
I looked at Luna and suggested: “Since that’s the case, come with me to the elven side for once after this month ends, Luna.”
“What?” Luna reacted surprised. She then waved her hands frantically and continued, “No, no, no. Your majesty, I cannot go back… I… I cannot return to the elves with my body in the state that it is in now…… If the elves find out what happened to me… If they smell the scent of so many humans on me, they will kick me out.”
“It’s fine. Won’t you be covered in my scent if I hold you tightly? I’m an elf after all…… Can you not smell my elven scent on me?”
Lucia’s scent should be on me. Luna would mind no matter what, right? Luna looked at me. She shook her head while wearing a bitter smile and said: “I am very sorry, your majesty, my elven senses have deteriorated since I have lived here with humans for so long…… I am now a broken-elf…… I do not think I can be a mother anymore either.”
Luna placed her hands on her belly with a sad expression. But a second later, she raised her head and said: “But never mind. I do not think there is anyone who would want to be with me anyway. I am happy just to serve at your side, your majesty. I am fine as long as I am by your side.”
“So are you coming with me?”
I looked at Luna and took in a deep breath. I cupped her face, looked into her eyes and said: “Don’t worry about those things. Luna, no matter what happened, the elves will accept you. If the elves don’t accept you, I will still accept you. If you don’t trust me, make a trip with me. I believe that we share the same birthplace. You’ve been away for so long so you should go back and take a look, Luna. Come with me Luna. Come and see your home.”
Luna looked at me blankly. I could see the flames flicker in her eyes as if a river flowed in her eyes. I could see her longing for home in her eyes. She’s an elf. Nobody would be happy that they lost all their innate elven characteristics. Further, the things Luna experienced here in humanity’s lands definitely aren’t considered pretty by her.
Luna is an elf. I want to take her back there. The human lands don’t suit her. I want to take her home, back to the elven forests where she could truly live her life.
The elven lands were her true home.
“Alright… your majesty.”
Luna helplessly closed her eyes and sighed as if she lost to me. She then opened her eyes, looked at me with a slight smile and said: “Your majesty… it would be so nice if all humans could be as gentle as you are…… Your majesty, I…… I do not want to leave you… wherever we are……”
“But you’re an elf.”
“Are you not an elf too, your majesty?”
Luna looked at me. She gently brushed her body against mine. She hugged me around my waist and snuggled up on my chest. In a relieved tone, she said: “Isn’t my home here…?”