“You didn’t come back last night.”
Nier hugged me and thumped my chest gently with her head.
I hugged her gently and whispered next to her ear: “Sorry, my moms kept me last night… so I couldn’t come back. You must’ve waited for me all night. I told you not to wait.”
“Because I’m afraid…… I’m afraid that it would be the last time I wait for you……”
Nier looked up at me then gently cupped my face and kissed my lips. I closed my eyes and relished her lips and love. The two of us kissed sincerely and passionately. We were passionate enough to metaphorically eat each other.
However, I was geared up in military attire. I had to leave in ten minutes.
After we released each other, I stroked Nier’s face and told her: “Don’t say that. I’ll definitely come back. Nier, you need to look after yourself here. Let her majesty know if you have any concerns or need something. Do not try to deal with it alone and don’t go anywhere dangerous. Look after yourself well.”
Nier wrapped her arms around my neck with a smile, bit my ear and then said: “I know. I know, dear…… Dear, you need to be careful in the desert too. It’s dangerous there. You don’t know how to wield a sword and your guards aren’t as good as I am. I can’t accompany you this time so don’t be impulsive and charge head-on.”
“Uhm, I know.”
Nier and I separated. She then took out a small-cloth pouch and handed it to me. The small pouch was like a bookmark. She carefully placed it into my chest pocket. With a shy smile she said: “This is a protective talisman I made for you, dear. Since I can’t be by your side, let the talisman protect you. You must come back as soon as possible. I’ll be waiting for you. I will surely be waiting for you.”
I responded with a nod. I kissed Nier’s forehead then touched my chest with a smile and said: “I’m heading out now then, Nier. I’ll be back as soon as I can. Look after yourself.”
I walked out, but I couldn’t stop the urge to turn back and look at her. I saw Nier watching me leave. She bit down on her lip to force herself to hold back her tears. Her initially emotionless green eyes were now brimming with tears like a broken piece of emerald.
I stopped in my tracks and turned around. My heart felt like it was being cut over and over again. I felt like I always wanted to leave. I always wanted to build my own power. I had always been here trying to atone for my powerlessness when Mera died, so I wanted to become a qualified king.
I’d always thought that. That’s why I was able to decide on this. This was my first exploit where I completely took it upon myself, to complete a king’s job on my own. That’s why I prepared so enthusiastically. I’ve asked everyone around me for their opinion on my decision this time and finally made up my mind.
But when I saw Nier’s expression like she was on the verge of crying, I thought of moms’ tears last night when they both agreed to let me leave. I couldn’t bear to leave now. I looked into Nier’s eyes and the pain in my chest virtually brought me to my knees. She’s my love, yet she was wearing a painful expression before me so how could I not be in pain myself?
“Nier… I… I…….”
Toss it. I’m not going anymore……
I opened my arms wanting to pull her into my arms tightly. I really wanted to hold her tightly in my embrace right now. I wanted to hug her tightly and never leave her again.
She looked at me and shuddered. She couldn’t hold back her tears anymore, letting big droplets of tears course down her cheeks. Her green eyes looked like shattered pieces of emerald. She walked over to me slowly and opened her arms.
Nier. My love.
Hold me. Let me hold you tightly. If you hug me now, I won’t be able to resist. My weak last line of resistance and courage will vanish in your arms. You just need to hug me again. You just need to tell me not to leave one more time and I’ll immediately cancel the journey. My hard work over the last few days can’t hold a candle to your tears that move my heart even more.
“Nier… I… I……”
Nier walked up to me with open arms. I waited for her to hug me.
But then when she stood before me, she didn’t hug me with her arms. Instead, she gave me a strong push. I staggered out of my room. The sunshine from the end of the corridor was bright like golden wings covering my entire body for that one moment. The golden light shone onto making Nier, her expression and tears stand out.
“Please give it your best, your majesty.”
She didn’t say “Please stay”.
She said “Please give it your best”.
I looked at Nier’s expression. It looks like I read her expression wrong. Inside Nier’s gaze wasn’t just pain and reluctance. Her iron-will and courage were still there. Maybe it’s because I rarely see the determination deep in Nier’s eyes. Her noble and brave heart won’t change or disappear because her status has changed and now that she’s with me.
Like metal and rocks, time and vanity can only leave an insignificant small scratch on her heart. The determination in Nier’s eyes had never reduced at all.
“I understand. I will do my best.”
I looked at Nier’s eyes and revealed a relieved smile. She looked at me with her faced covered in tears and revealed a relieved smile as well.
I flicked my cape and the sunrays shining in from the side lit up my eyes a little. My cape made flapping sounds in the wind. My leather boots were firmly placed on the ground. I walked to the entrance absolutely determined. I didn’t hesitate this time nor did I turn my head back around. The pain in my heart stopped and I felt light like a rubber ball pumped completely full of air.
I don’t need to turn around anymore because the person behind me definitely doesn’t want me to turn around. I had no reason to turn around either. Nier didn’t need me by her side all the time just like Lucia didn’t.
They understood that I wasn’t just their husband, but a king as well. Therefore, they were determined not to be dead-weight holding me back. If you were to ask me what I gained in this world or what made me happy, my answer would be my two wives. They’re the greatest things I gained and what make me happiest. And that will hold true forever.
When I arrived outside, I saw the golden edges on my guard-unit’s uniforms shimmering brightly and gloriously under the sun. I looked at all of their faces and nodded without saying anything. Freya led a horse over. I mounted the horse then stroked her head and softly said: “I’m leaving the city in your hands. Look after Nier. I’m worried that she might not be willing to speak to her majesty while Luna isn’t with her, so I’ll need to trouble you, Freya. Do you have too much work? If you can’t handle all of it, go ask Castell for assistance.”
Freya chuckled softly and then replied: “You are over-concerned. This sort of stuff is considered relaxing compared to when I was in the church. Look after yourself, onii-sama.”
I looked over my men from atop my horse. The sunlight made their guns and the metal buttons on their uniform shine. They stood in a neat formation, ready to move like an unshakable army. I looked at them with pride and a sense of glory.
“Men, I don’t need to say anymore. This is going to be a long battle. I have one word that means more than thousands of words, and that is, march!”