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In short, the weddings were very successful. Both humanity and the elven imperial guards indicated that they were very pleased with it. Echte cried tears of joy as his daughter had married into the imperial family and couldn’t speak coherently in front of the queen. Vyvyan told him to forego the formalities and allowed him to bring his weapons into the imperial palace since we were basically family now. For the elves, being a family member of imperial family didn’t hold any extra significance because power was determined by mana. Echte was now a member of the imperial family, but he still wasn’t worshipped by anybody.
It was different for humanity though, except, Nier didn’t have any family so there won’t be anyone who rises into the heavens from the bottom-rung. That saved the empress the trouble of considering power balances.
The merry of the wedding continued until night before ending. Everyone enjoyed it as much as they could, filling the air with the smell of wine. You didn’t have to drink to get intoxicated. You could get drunk by smelling the air alone. Lucia had to leave early due to her health. That caught the attention of lots of people who tried to find out if I had an heir to which I denied.
I don’t want for everyone to know about Lucia’s pregnancy because if somebody is plotting something then Lucia who’s pregnant will easily become a target. I intend to have her stay with Vyvyan until she gives birth for the sake of keeping her safe. Lucia soon had to return to the elven side. I don’t want to part with her, but I don’t feel safe keeping her by my side.
Vyvyan can protect her better. As a man, I don’t want to admit that I can’t protect my wife because of my pride. But the truth is, I really am not as strong as Vyvyan, so I entrusted mom with her safety. I believe that Vyvyan will do everything in her power for her grandchild’s sake.
I have absolute confidence in my mom too. That is indisputable.
But now I’m slightly worried about Elizabeth since she wasn’t in a very good state today. She looked like she was forcing a happy smile. She was crying but it didn’t look like tears of happiness but tears of sadness. She left the party very early so I’m really worried.
“Your majesty, congratulations on your marriage to Miss Nier.”
When I went back to my palace, all of the maids greeted me with a smile. I nodded to greet them back. They all received two empire gold coins today as a reward. A single gold coin is considered a huge amount for a girl from an ordinary family so they were particularly hard working when serving the guests today as well.
Nier doesn’t hold her liquor well so she left first. Lucia had already turned in. I carefully pushed the door open. The fire was already out. Nier was curled up and sound asleep. It looks like I can sleep in peace today. Luna who was sitting on a chair to the side stood up and took my cape with a smile. She quietly said: “Your majesty, congratulations on your marriage with Miss Nier and Miss Lucia. It looks like I will have to call Miss Nier, princess from now on.”
“Uhm. You’ve worked hard too, Luna. I made you go through something so dangerous”
Luna shook her head and with a smile replied: “It’s alright. It was my decision to go and I decided on my actions. Thank you very much for coming to my rescue today…… You could have chosen not to come but you still did……”
“Don’t say that.” I cut her off and sternly continued, “Luna, you’re as important as Nier and Lucia to me. I won’t abandon you for them.”
“In that case, right here in front of Miss Nier, I mean, our princess, please kiss me.”
Luna looked up at me with a smile but serious look. I lingered for a moment before taking a step back awkwardly. I was a little scared now. Don’t you think Luna’s request is a little too strange…? It’s basically playing with fire. Nier is drunk right now, but if she wakes up and sees me kissing Luna in front of her, I bet she’ll run her sword through this cheating husband of hers heart and Luna’s.
“I was joking, your majesty.” Luna giggled softly and then picked up a paper bag. She said: “A man sent this over before. He said that it was clothes that you ordered. They are ready now. Are you going somewhere now?”
“Uhm. I’m going to go and see her majesty.”
I took the paper bag then made a hand gesture to keep quiet and said: “If Nier wakes up, just tell her I haven’t returned yet. I think I’ll be back tonight… if nothing unexpected happens that is……”
“Alright, your majesty.”
Luna didn’t say anything else. I got changed outside. This is the robe I asked to have made based on the information Vyvyan provided. The previous set was the set my father left behind. It wouldn’t be such a good idea for me to wear that one, but it looks like his tastes are similar to mine. The robe’s main colour was white.
It was very similar to what I usually wore. Could it be that Elizabeth had my clothes made according to her memory?
“Inard, did you know that our child, our Troy got married today?”
Elizabeth gently touched the long-sword in her hand and muttered to herself. Her eyes were full of tears. Several bottles of strong wine lay in all directions on the ground next to her feet and the air smelt like wine.
She gently and affectionately touched her long sword, the sword her husband gifted her. The sword was the sword elf-kings wielded, which is the only other thing Inard left with her other than their child. It was the last time he provided her with his protection. Inard can’t protect her at her side so he had to have the sword stay with her in his place. That was the last gentle gesture he left for her.
“Our son has grown up…… How ironic… He’s our child and yet neither of us watched him grow up. He was just a tiny infant back then. It’s like he grew up in the blink of an eye. He’s my child and yet I couldn’t see him…… You’re my husband, so why aren’t you by my side?”
A few drops of tears landed on her sword and ran down it slowly. Elizabeth ignored the tears coursing down her face. She spaced out as she looked at her long-sword. She wanted to see her husband on the sword one last time.
“When I watched our child’s wedding today, I noticed that he looks more and more like you. He’s becoming more and more like you back then…… I almost couldn’t hold myself back from hugging him…… His wedding reminded me of us. We didn’t even have a wedding, did we? Inard…… Our child has returned to my side…… Please… when… will you be able to return to my side? I can give up the throne and the empire if it means that you can return to my side. Let’s find some place and have a happy and peaceful home, okay? …… Let’s just lead ordinary lives… just like back then……”
The door to her room slowly got pushed open. Without raising her head up, she grouched: “Get lost. Without my orders, no one is all-……”
In a hazy state, Elizabeth looked up. Through her hazy vision obstructed by her tears and dizziness, that familiar long-white cape, that familiar smile and that familiar physique appeared in front of her……
Elizabeth looked at him blankly while she murmured her loved one’s name: “Inard……”
This wasn’t a dream……
Nor was it a hallucination from being under the influence……
Because Inard’s embrace was still as warm as it was back then. Hugging him put her ease… just like back then……