The orphanage returned to normal operations like nothing happened. If I didn’t see some slightly older kids struggling to take the rubbish out, I might’ve thought they didn’t suffer anything in the whole mess. They didn’t need to go through it.
“Your majesty, thank you so much this time. Not only did you save us, you have given us so much money as well. We are really moved by what you have done. We cannot pay you back.”
It was just as I said. His office was old and rundown as ever. Even though he had thirty-thousand gold coins, he didn’t repair his office. While I admire that spirit, I feel like I’m about to fall through the floor I’m standing on at any moment right now. It’s not too much to spend some of it on fixing the floor, is it?
I looked outside the window. Nier and the children were cleaning the orphanage, a sight which put a smile to my face. I said: “You don’t have to thank me. The credit is all Nier’s. I promised the church that I wouldn’t get involved with this matter, so the credit belongs to Nier alone. At most, I was just an onlooker from the sidelines.”
He looked at me with a smile. He understood what was going on, or rather, he could tell just by looking at this orphanage. I don’t intend to take credit for this because I’m satisfied if Nier and the children are happy. I really like Nier’s smile because her smile is rarer than the sun in winter.
“But I still have to thank you regardless. You are the one who saved us. To be honest, I already gave in at the start. I thought that you had already abandoned us, but you came for us.”
“You really need to thank Nier for that.” I turned around and earnestly explained, “To be honest, this had nothing to do with you to begin with. It was a personal grudge between the church and I. But they went and made you their bargaining chip. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t actually care about your lives because your lives serve no purpose to me. It was because Nier wanted to save you that I saved you. So if you must thank someone, you must thank Nier, not me. It’s actually because of my personal grudge with the church that caused you all to be captured, so I should be apologising to you.”
He nodded and replied: “You are Nier’s master, so thanking you is the same as thanking Nier.”
I looked at him and suggested: “No, I am not Nier’s master. You should say that Nier is just guarding me, that’s all. Thus, if you want to thank someone, you should personally thank Nier. You must. Of course, I don’t think that Nier actually wants your thanks. How about letting the children thank Nier?”
He nodded and looked at Nier downstairs. He sighed and said: “I never thought someone who looked so cold would actually like children.”
I looked at Nier downstairs and softly said: “Yeah, I never thought so at first either. But I think Nier is really pretty when she’s with children. I think this is nice, with her playing with the children downstairs while I watch from here. I’m not interested in children, but I do like to see her smile.”
“I see…… I wonder what your child with her would be like. I think your child would be very cute.”
I turned my head around to look at him dumbfounded. He smiled as he looked at me and added: “I feel that you and Nier look great together. After all, it is not just you that watches Nier. Could it be that you have not noticed that Nier also looks this way frequently?”
Current time at the inner court.
Freya took in a deep breath and began to ascend the steps of the inner court.
“The inner court is her majesty’s resting place, strangers are not permitted entry! Take one more step and you will be killed!!”
Over ten long swords were at Freya’s neck in the blink of an eye. She shivered and then looked at the Valkyries in front of her. She took in a deep breath and said: “I am his majesty’s adopted-sister, Freya. I am here to see her majesty under his majesty’s orders. This is his majesty’s brooch. Please pass it on to her majesty.”
The Valkyries exchanged glances. While they were aware her majesty permitted his majesty to come and go freely, they were caught off-guard when they heard he had an adopted-sister. Even though she looked inconspicuous, the brooch in her hand was genuine. It was a type of brooch that was exclusive to the royal family. So do they let her in since she’s his majesty’s adopted-sister?
“What’s wrong? What’s the ruckus about?”
Alice came out and looked at the Valkyries gathered together below. The Valkyries turned around to look at their captain and replied: “Captain Alice, there is a young girl here claiming to be his majesty’s adopted-sister. She seeks an audience with her majesty. The brooch she has is genuine.”
Alice took a glance and paused for a moment. She then revealed a smile and asked: “I never imagined you would be able to transform from nobody to a phoenix. What did you do to his majesty to become his adopted-sister? Did you use your body? Does his majesty like young girls?”
Freya narrowed her eyes. She looked at Alice and mercilessly replied: “Please do not insult his majesty. I am his majesty’s adopted-sister. I will not hesitate to tell her majesty that you insulted his majesty.”
Alice clenched her teeth. Starting to get slightly angry, she asked: “Aren’t you the ungrateful one. I was the one that saved you yesterday, and now you’re threatening me?”
“I cannot allow anyone to insult my onii-sama, even if it is you.”
“You really think you’re his majesty’s sister?!”
“Whether or not I am is up to his majesty to decide. As long as his majesty does not throw me out, I will be his majesty’s adopted sister.” Freya looked at her, tilted her head and then continued, “If I take another step forward now, your swords will be stained with my blood. Do you think you will still be able to stand here when I tell his majesty?”
Alice looked at her and furiously clenched her fists tightly. Valkyries have always been the ones threatening others, there’s never been anyone who’s dared to threaten a Valkyrie. She can’t hurt Freya since she’s been adopted by his majesty after all. Killing her would be the same as killing a royal family member. Suicide wouldn’t be a sufficient apology.
“Let her go!”
Alice waved her hand and the Valkyries backed off. Freya casually walked up to Alice’s side. She then looked at Alice who was fuming, bowed deeply and said: “I am very sorry, Miss Alice. I am very thankful to you for saving my life. But I was representing his majesty’s reputation just now. If I were to cower in fear in front of the Valkyries, the Valkyrie’s would look down on his majesty even more. But I would like to now apologise as myself.”
Alice stood still and silent as she watched Freya gracefully straighten up. She smiled hopelessly and said: “I think I understand why his majesty took you in now. I can’t get angry at you now. Damn. No matter where you find yourself, you’re always able to seize the initiative. Go and see her majesty. But you must remember, if her majesty wants to kill you, she will not give you a chance to speak.”
“I understand. Thank you.”
Freya looked at the entrance of the inner court and took in a breath of air. She then quickly wiped the brooch she stole from his majesty’s desk last night. It was the first time she was ascending the steps of the inner court. She had never even passed by it when she was still a noble.
Relying on his majesty alone isn’t enough. At the end of the day, I need to gain her majesty’s support and trust.
So the bargaining chip to use with her majesty is her beloved prince……
*”… to go from nobody to a phoenix.” Basically is basically the same as “Cinderella becoming a princess” except that we have nothing to substantiate that Cinderella exists in this world, thereby making it an inappropriate quote.