The first day of the journey was considerably relaxing since we went through uninhabited areas. We finally reached a small town today. This is a small town at the edge of the desert with very few people here. The people became quite noisy when we passed through. There were only two hotels in the small town. After settling the people around me, I had the remaining soldiers set up camp outside the town. And as our regulations dictate, they were not to disturb or harass the inhabitants.
Not many people were able to stay around me. Luna and I shared a room, Lorana and Shusia shared a room, and then Tarak stayed with his roommate, Philes.
Shusia is a really cute girl. Among the domineering and brutal Valkyries, the girl was always smiling which was a rare sight among them. It didn’t feel like Nier and Shusia came from the same unit considering the way Nier stared at me coldly at first while Shusia was smiling. Her name, Shusia is full of respect and admiration for Nier. Nier was an instructor that was very deserving of her respect from Shusia’s point of view.
Shusia is a little shorter than Nier, but her sword skills were excellent. According to Nier however, innate talent for swordsmanship is a very important component of it. While Shusia has lots of talent, she was not as talented as Nier because Nier was five levels above her. She had longer reach and more explosive power than Shusia. Those were innate factors that couldn’t be trained, so a true sword master was rare to come by every century. However, Shusia had great perception and comprehension skills.
Among the new Valkyries, she was like the Valkyries back then, diligent and not afraid of hard work. Nier had a very positive evaluation of her and she was the new sword instructor after Nier left.
Shusia is very friendly with me. I think it was more like worshipping me. According to her, I created a huge uproar among the Valkyries since I was able to turn Nier into an obedient and gentle princess. After the development between Nier and me, the Valkyries weren’t so vigilant of me anymore and it made some of the younger Valkyries desire love……
But because of that, Alice has been complaining daily that the Valkyries are difficult to lead. I have to bear some of the some responsibility there……
“Your majesty, the other team-members have finished setting up camp and are preparing to turn in.”
I nodded. I looked at Shusia who was in her Valkyrie uniform, smiled and said: “Alright. Thank you for your hard work, Shuhia. It’s late now so you should go and rest too. We need to wake up early to get moving.”
“Understood. Goodnight, your majesty.” Shusia made a small bow then looked up at me. She hesitated for a moment then asked, “Your majesty, I have not seen Instructor N-…… I mean, the princess! I have not seen the princess in a long time. I wonder how she is doing, you……”
“Ah, I think Nier likes being called ‘instructor’ more.” I smiled and shook my head. I then went on, “Nier is very well, at least she was before I left. Nier is very careful with her health nowadays so I don’t think anything will happen to her.”
“Th-Then what about Instructor Nier being pregnant……?”
“You only just heard it? I thought everybody knew already, at least I thought everyone in my guard-unit knew already, since I had you become the instructor after she got pregnant.”
Shusia’s eyes are round as a cat’s. She looked at me surprised and covered her mouth. Stunned, she said: “Wh-What?! I… I can’t tell at all. I didn’t believe she was pregnant when she told me since her belly wasn’t larger……”
I forehead-palmed myself help hopelessly. I’ve just remember the Valkyries basically lack common sense. Nier wasn’t that stupid though. It looks like she’s less of a woman of the world than Nier: “Of course not! Nier has only just gotten pregnant, so her belly naturally won’t be that big. But she is without question pregnant…… Wait, we don’t need to talk about her anymore. What’s happening with you and Philes now?”
Shusia’s expression stiffened up. I looked at her face that was getting redder and redder like a boiled prawn and smiled. It looked like her body temperature was increasing too. With a smile I said: “Didn’t you two ask Tarak lots of question about love today? As Big sis said, if you don’t even tell us about your love, we’ll feel restless.”
“We… we… our… mm… we envy you and Instructor Nier a little…… We… we considered life after marriage…… But when we looked at the cost of housing outside the royal capital… the houses were honestly too expensive… erm…. umm…… No! No! We are not saying that you don’t treat us well, it’s just… I have never had a salary……”
I nodded. I’m aware that the Valkyries don’t have a salary. If I wasn’t the prince, I would have to cover all our expenses if Nier and I got married. I’m sure that life is very tough for Philes and Shusia since while Philes has a good salary, it’s not easy to live in the royal capital.
“Don’t you two worry.”
I stood up and touched her head. I then walked up to the window and looked at the desert. It was still bright outside when it was already very late. I said: “Be with each other and don’t worry. When you’re ready to get married, I’ll cover your wedding fees and pay for your home. If you two want, you can live in the palace as well.”
“Don’t be so happy, Shusia.” I looked at her moved expression with tears brimming in her eyes and smiled. I then leaned on the wall and explained, “Loyalty cannot be bought with money, but true loyalty is worth lots. You two stay by my side to protect me. Your loyalty is worth me repaying.”
Shusia thanked me over and over before leaving my room. I sat for a while before Luna came in. She smiled when she saw me and said: “Your majesty, are you still not sleeping? I have checked our stuff and our expenditure is reasonable.”
Luna shook her head. She then looked at me with a smile and responded: “But your majesty, if I could get married too, would you prepare a house for me in the royal capital as well……? Forget it, I was joking. I have thought it over carefully. I only have you by my side… and I can only be with you, your majesty.”
I hugged Luna gently and then softly asked her: “Luna… do you not like being by my side……?”
Luna snuggled up in my arms and with a smile replied: “No… I feel very blissful… very, very blissful. I am happy as long as I can be with you, your majesty……”
I nodded then kissed her pointy ears and said: “Did you know, Luna? I was a little moved by what I heard Tarak say today. I really admire and respect him. I really do. I want to be like Tarak too, being able to put everything on the line for my love. I want to gradually become stronger for my loved one…… I feel like he is a happy person. Honest. Very happy.”
“So then your majesty… am I included… among the people you are gradually becoming for?”
Luna looked up in my arms. She clasped my face gently with her hands. Her eyes carried a tinge of sadness and love as she looked me meekly.
I lowered my head gently……
Luna went up on her toes……