Having travelled for days, the sand beneath our horses’ hooves began to gradually get thicker. We had finally left the last place which had traces of Rosvenor Empire. We were finally standing atop the sand dunes. Having just come from the cold Rosvenor Empire, I could truly feel the temperature gradually increase. There was no mana being sprayed around in this region, but I could feel the heat of the desert. The winds felt even fiercer than in the north, while the spiralling tiny specks of sand felt like they were cutting my face.
We advanced along a small road in the desert. We hadn’t seen anyone in a long time since entering the desert. Even when we saw small villages, there were just over ten homes. It was as though this was a desolate area. While it seemed as though the sun didn’t exist in the north, it felt like a volcano spitting lava sat overhead here.
When we entered the desert, we switched into the sets Lorana had prepared for us. The pure white cloth hoodie fastened our cape to our chest. We wore thin gloves designed for the desert and switched into high-boots. We shoved our pants into our long boots before tying them up.
It was actually quite comfortable in the intense sun with our pure-white cape and long robe. Tying up our boots and collars also helped prevent sand from getting in, but we could still pour out a pile of sand when we camped at night. The temperature in the desert at night was significantly different. You could even say it was extremely cold at night in the desert.
Lorana took care of everything to do with our camps in the desert. She led us to find places where we could avoid the winds behind sand dunes and she was able to proficiently set up very sturdy tents. Alice told me that building a nation with the people as the foundation was the equivalent of building it on sand, as in it being unreliable for stability and sand being incapable of thinking. This time, I felt Lorana had something to say.
“Luna, have some water.“
I handed Luna some water. Luna massaged her calves with a smile and then took the cup. She giggled softly and responded: “I apologise, your majesty. I should be the one that is taking care of you yet I need you to take care of me now……”
“It’s nothing. As long as you’re alright, that’s all that matters.”
Luna felt a little unwell during the day today. I think she had a heat stroke. I undressed her and placed her in the Earth Dragon carriage carrying water for her to rest. Luna had basically recovered by night time. However, Luna hasn’t been too well lately. It looks like her past experiences have long-term effects on her health. She appeared ill the entire time once we entered the desert.
Sitting next to her, I rubbed her head with a smile. I then pulled a mat over and wrapped us up together. I said: “Don’t worry about that sort of stuff in this situation. Didn’t big sis say that there are no statuses in the desert? There are only your friends and companions. You’re my companion now, Luna, so it’s natural for me to look after you.”
“Is it…?” Luna smiled. She looked up at the stars overhead and said, “I am very happy, your majesty…… It is not that I do not like being your personal servant, but this is the first time I have had the right to look you in the eye, your majesty. This feeling makes me really happy.”
I handed Luna a bowl of porridge. Luna got startled. She looked at the floating bits of apple and milk in the bowl and then looked at me slightly surprised. I asked Vyvyan to cast time magic on some fruits, except I didn’t bring much since I wanted to focus on bringing more important things. You can consider something exclusive for me. But I cut an apple up for Luna since she wasn’t feeling well.”
“Your majesty… this… this……”
“Ah, this is Earth Dragon milk……” The taste of Earth Dragon’s milk doesn’t taste too bad. It tastes like cow-milk except a little sweeter. However, I don’t get to enjoy it often since it contains mana. It wouldn’t cause a big reaction inside me per se, but I will get a stomach ache……
“Yes…… I know that… but… but… giving this to me……”
Luna stuttered as she looked at me while her hands holding the bowl trembled. I looked at her and smiled. I explained: “Just have it. Didn’t I tell you that you were my companion now? Luna, if you’re unwell, you’ll slow us down. You must take care of yourself now so that you can continue staying by my side to take care of me.”
She hesitated for a moment before having small sips. She then looked up and wiped the white milk off her mouth. She then handed me the remainder and said: “Your majesty, you should have the rest. If you are unwell, then I will be in trouble too.”
“Please have it.”
I looked at Luna’s gaze. I picked up the bowl and had the remaining half. Luna picked up the bowl as she looked at me slightly cheerfully. Her slender fingers wrapped around the bowl. I suddenly realised something. Did I just have an indirect kiss with Luna?! Ah…… But it’s fine, right? We’ve kissed for real after all, so I guess I don’t need to be bothered by this.
After placing the bowl down, Luna and I wrapped ourselves up, and then comfortably leaned back onto the sand dune. We looked up at the stars in the sky. The stars in this world are very beautiful. The entire sky was filled with shining stars. This world is different to the world I came from. The moon here dims and brightens up according to how bright the stars are. Not only were the stars in the sky shiny right now, the moon was like a lighthouse.
The cold wind in the desert blew overhead. Not too far away from us was the fire. Other than the troops on guard-duty standing off in the distance like trees, everybody else was resting under their blankets. The Earth Dragons were having a nap. Only the horses were makings noises as though they never need rest. I held Luna’s hand underneath the blanket. I looked up and softly lamented: “Truly beautiful.”
Luna giggled softly. She held my hand tightly and responded: “Yeah. It is just like the stars we saw in Gale Village. Your majesty, the stars are always that pretty with you by my side.”
“It’s not because of me, you know.”
Luna leaned herself lightly on me and closed her eyes. She wore a tender smile like the moonlight and in a soft voice requested: “Your majesty, please allow me to lean on you like this for a little while.”
I changed my posture so that Luna could rest comfortably on my shoulder and then shut my eyes too. Did the people who were once by my side look at this dazzling sky of stars like me? I don’t know. I can’t see them, but I know that the one next to me right now was looking at the starry sky like me.
“Goodnight then, your majesty.”
“Goodnight, Luna. We will be able to arrive at the city closest to the desert’s five nations tomorrow. We’ll have another good rest there.”
“Yes, your majesty.”
Luna yawned like a miniature rabbit and then shifted her body. We intertwined our fingers and she snored gently in my arms. I breathed in the faint scent on Luna. I listened to the crackling sound of the flame underneath the moon and stars in the night sky as I gradually entered my dreams.