Editor: Areth Kyntaul
I looked at Lucia blankly.
Lucia looked at us with rage. However, there wasn’t just rage in her eyes. It was primarily despair and sadness. It was like the pain of being abandoned by the entire world. The way she looked at me was like the despair and pain a kid felt upon finding out the fairy tale she believed in was fake.
My heart ached when I saw her look like that. It was as though someone was cutting my heart into pieces. I didn’t want to betray Lucia. I never wanted to betray Lucia. I have always loved Lucia. Always. That has never changed. I’ve always loved her. I’ve never wanted to abandon her.
But I don’t want to let go of Nier, either. Nier has done so much for me and I like her. I don’t want to betray either of them. How nice would it be if they could get along?
Nier looked at her indifferently. She then extended her hand out to make a hand gesture and added, “You can leave now, then. I won the duel, so normally speaking, you should’ve left. It is only because His Majesty likes you that it’s not my place to say anything. However, since you aren’t willing to accept it, please leave. You don’t seriously think you’re in a position to be negotiating, do you?”
Lucia took in a big breath and then shouted, “His Highness is mine! I was first!! I was by His Highness’s side first, ever since we were kids! We were childhood friends, so we should be together! I’ve done so much to be together with His Highness! I’m His Highness’s wife!”
“But you lost our duel. That is enough. What meaning is there even if you have done more? You saved His Highness and I did, too. Don’t tell me you think time makes you a winner. Time has never been a factor!” Nier indifferently continued, “I love His Majesty, so I can obey his every request. What can you not accept as a failure? Leave. Leave His Majesty if you can’t accept it!”
I shouted, “Nier!”
Nier immediately obeyed and stopped speaking.
I looked at Lucia who was crying and softly said, “Lucia, I love you. I really do. I won’t forget how you saved me, and I won’t abandon you for any other woman.”
“Then don’t acknowledge that woman!!” Lucia screamed as loud as she could. Big droplets of tears coursed down her face. She looked at me. She looked like she had been sapped of all her strength and consequently dropped to her knees. She sobbed as she continued, “Your Highness… I beg you… please… please stay by my side… ignore that woman… can’t… can’t we be together peacefully? I… I’ll be obedient… I’ll do anything… but… but… please… please… don’t… don’t acknowledge her… please… I don’t need a wind-elf buff or wedding. I just want to get married to you. Please… please…”
Nier looked at my painful expression and fidgeted with her body out of frustration. She softly pleaded, “Your Majesty… Your Majesty… you wouldn’t… you wouldn’t… you wouldn’t, would you…?”
I looked at Lucia. It took a lot out of me to shake my head and reply, “Sorry, Lucia. I can’t abandon Nier. You can tell how Nier feels for me. Plus… plus… sorry… Lucia. I don’t know when I started to fall for Nier. I like you both equally. Lucia, stay by my side. I promise. I promise I won’t be biased toward any of you. I will give both of you happiness equally.”
Vyvyan looked at Lucia and gently comforted her by saying, “It’s alright, Lucia. Trust my son. Trust His Highness and trust your love for each other. My son won’t abandon you for Nier. He has always loved you. He was willing to cut ties with me for your sake. He definitely loves you. He travelled a long way for Nier, yes, but if you were to run into trouble in the North, he would disregard his life to save you, too.”
As Lucia cried, she looked at Vyvyan and shouted, “Your Highness… Your Highness… this is love. This is the love that God blesses us with that we are talking about… How can… how can such a holy love be shared…? Can this love be shared? I don’t understand. I don’t understand, Your Highness! It was meant to be a love reserved only for me, so why do I have to share it with a human? I want His Highness’s love. I’ve done so much. I just want His Highness’s embrace. Have I not done enough?!”
“If you want a hug, I can give you one at any time. If you want a kiss, I can give you one at any time. I’ll hug you and kiss you for as long as you want as long as you’re by my side. As I mentioned, I won’t be biased. Perhaps my love isn’t mature, and I don’t know how you two view love, and I’m even less sure what sort of ‘me’ you two want. But I will love you both equally! There isn’t just one piece of love! Lucia, I love you. I really do!”
I walked forward intending to hug Lucia.
However, she retreated a few steps as she continued trembling. She looked at me with fear and shouted, “Don’t come here! Don’t embrace me with arms that held another woman!”
Nier drew her sword. Before I could react, she had already rested it on Lucia’s neck. She looked at her with a cold look and exclaimed, “You are not to be rude to His Majesty! You bitch, you’re getting angry when His Majesty is willing to accept you? You should be thanking His Majesty for his generosity and thanking me! I should be the one who’s angry right now, not you! What right do you have to reject His Majesty? Look at your pitiful appearance right now!”
Lucia took in a deep breath. She didn’t pay any attention to what Nier said. She extended her neck forwards, scaring the living daylights out of me.
Fortunately, Nier managed to pull her sword back in time, so Lucia was safe.
She stumbled to the ground and cried loudly. She shouted, “You’re all picking on me! I trusted all of you! I trusted you, Your Highness! I trusted you, too, My Queen! I’ve tried so hard already! I just want His Highness’s love! Is that too much to ask?! I just want to stay by His Highness’s side! Is that fated to never be possible?! You’re right! I’m just an ordinary elf! But I love His Highness! You can take anything from me, but… but don’t take His Highness!!”
I looked at Lucia suffering. I started to choke on my own tears. My conscience was hammering my brain, making me feel that I betrayed her over and over again. I betrayed someone I loved so much. But I genuinely do love Lucia. I genuinely want to be with her.
It’s just that I want to have Nier by my side too…
Lucia stood up. She looked at us and shouted with despair, “I hate all of you! I hate all of you! I shall ask God to curse all of you! I’ll curse all of you! I’ll curse all of you to never be loved! I’ll curse you all so that your love rots and becomes more rotten than rotten leaves!! My Queen! Your Highness! That includes you!! I hate you!! I hate every fibre of your being! You cheated me of my love! And you cheated me of ten years of my life!!”
I couldn’t take it anymore. I really wanted to just tightly hold Lucia and cry loudly. I wanted to tell her I didn’t betray her. I wanted to tell her just how much I loved her.
But in the next instant, a strong gale blew and all that was left was a vague silhouette in the air.
Lucia ran way… No. More accurately, she left in despair…