“Onii-sama, what do you need to include in your luggage for your trip to the desert? I have prepared your basic necessities. As for your escort and guards’ preparations, I require your confirmation.”
I took the document Freya handed me and pressed it down onto the table before sighing heavily. Freya looked at me, smiled and said: “Onii-sama, could it be that you do not bear to leave? That is normal. Men always let go of lots of things when they have a wife.”
I rubbed my temples, a habit which I picked up from Elizabeth. I sat off-centre on my chair and replied: “Yeah. I really don’t know what I should do. Both mom and Nier don’t really want for me to go, do they?”
“No. You should not say that. You should say that the princess, your majesty has already prepared for your journey. She has packed your luggage, despite it being just your clothes. But that goes to show that she supports you going to the desert. You are blessed to have such an understanding wife.”
Freya smiled as she looked at me and I looked at her smile and eyes. I still don’t know what emotion her eyes are giving off and what she’s thinking. She’s just a child and yet she possesses such deep and profound thoughts. She noticed my gaze on her so she giggled softly and asked: “Onii-sama, are you concerned about my opinion?”
I nodded as I looked at her and responded: “Uhm. I depend on you lots, Freya, since I’ve always seen you as my sister. I should get my family together to think about this to be fair. So Freya, what do you think about what I want to do?”
She nodded and thought to herself for a moment. She then answered: “That is a very interesting question, onii-sama. Before I answer you, please allow me to preface my answer. Onii-sama, you should be aware that the answer given for the same question will differ depending on one’s identity. So now I am wondering which identity I should answer you as.”
I looked at her with curiosity and said: “Give me your answer from all your perspectives then.”
“Alright, your majesty.” She emphasised the two words “your majesty”. She then answered: “As the proxy of Troy City and as your advisor, Freya believes that it is absolutely vital that you make this trip. It would be best if you can locate the metal. Even if you do not, presenting yourself to the five nations in the desert would not be a bad decision. It is a good move no matter how you look at it.”
I nodded. I understand that. I’ve never seen the five nations of the desert. I’ve only drank their wine. I have to make a trip to these surrounding vassal states to announce myself and to let them know who they should pay tribute to, since I’m the next emperor
Freya took in a big breath and then in a slightly hoarse voice said: “Onii-chan… onii-chan… please… don’t go… don’t go…… You could live well and happily here, so why must you put yourself in danger……? Why do you want to go to such a dangerous place? Even if you disregard this sister of yours, you should consider my sisters-in-law and their children…… That.”
Freya then stopped with her wronged and upset voice, and swapped it out for her usual voice. She looked at me and grinned with excitement like she just put on a perfect performance. I looked at her seemingly recite her lines in one breath. I thought it was Freya’s true personality, only to see her perfect sarcastic smile which brought me back to my senses with her usual voice.
There won’t be any bro-cons or sis-cons here in this world…… You can’t be a sis-con for a sister like this! Moms are better. Mom is the best in the world. Nursery rhymes didn’t lie to me.
“That’s it. As your vassal, I naturally hope that you can personally make a trip there. But as your family, I naturally don’t want to let you go somewhere so dangerous.”
Freya then spoke in a serious tone: “The desert is extremely dangerous. Both sandstorms and the bandits there are extremely frightening. Further, we are not certain we can find that mine. If you cannot find it, then we would have gone there for nothing. There is no sister that would be willing to see her brother go to such a dangerous place, right? Moreover, you are not bringing me, your sister along.”
“Nothing I can do about that. The only one I have around me that I can trust to look after the city is you.” I smiled helplessly and asked, “Freya, do you still not really want for me to go?”
“Did I not already tell you? My answer will differ depending on the perspective I answer you from. If you see me as your vassal, I would fully support your journey to the desert. If you do not want to leave your sister as her brother, then you can stay and we can continue living peacefully. Our princess has moved into the room next to her majesty’s as well due to her pregnancy. So who knows, you might not be able to resist your urges and do something to me too to make me happy……”
Hey, hey, hey, did you just say something very, very scary?! Did you just suggest a crazy idea? Have you been watching me for a long time?! I don’t have the balls to commit incest. If they find out, they’ll “duel” you!
Heck, they might even drag me into it. Though Lucia is in a very good mood at the moment, I think that accepting Nier alone is the maximum she will accept. If I have a third woman, she probably really will skewer me with a sword……
I ignored the last section of what Freya said. I then looked at her and said: “I understand now. Freya, are you saying that you want to come with me?”
Freya paused for a moment and then straightened up her posture like her emotions exploded. She looked at me angrily and thundered: “Have you only just realised that, onii-sama?! Of course I want to go with you! You are my onii-sama! I still need you to help me realise my future, so how can I let you die in the desert?! How can I let you die in the desert?! I do not mind you going, but at least bring me with you! I will definitely keep you safe! What do you expect me to do by leaving me here……? Ah!!”
I jumped up and pulled her into my embrace. Freya froze up and resisted for a moment before settling down and relaxing onto my chest.
She didn’t bring her arms up to hug me. She let me hug her and didn’t say a word.
I didn’t say anything either. I just gently stroked her head like combing a cat’s fur.
A moment after, Freya raised her head up, let out a sigh of relief and softly said: “Sorry, onii-sama. I got a little too worked up….. I just feel that I have become a little odd recently…… I think it was around when we arrived here and began leading a steady lifestyle…… I was glad to see you slowly grow stronger in the past, but I am now used to having you by my side. A life without you causes me to panic and I cannot calm down…… So… I do not really want for you to leave… but… but… I cannot hold you back from moving forwards because of that because I do not have the right to…… I am not your sister. I always knew that…… I want you to stay by my side…… But I do not even have the right to……”
“Stop it. You’re my sister. My only sister.”
I hugged her tightly and cut her off. After a moment of silence, I took in a deep breath and told her: “Let me deliberate it some more. But help me make preparations to leave first, Freya……”
“…… Understood, onii-sama.”