Determination at Sixteen Years Old (Part 2)
Castell woke up very early the next day. He carefully used a string to make a necklace out of the ring, which he hung off his neck. He let it dangle down to his chest, so that his heart beats, warmth and the ring could be placed together. That way, the most important gift Her Majesty gave him could be together with his most important thing. His life and Her Majesty’s reward are equally important. In fact, he viewed Her Majesty’s gift with more importance than his life.
He entered the inner court. Today’s work had just begun. He was in a particularly good mood, since he received a gift, which was Her Majesty’s most cherished item. As a matter of fact, he was excited. He was determined to carry out his work well today. He had to do everything for Her Majesty.
But honestly, he had always been doing so.
“Is that you, Castell?”
Somebody called out to him before he could drop off Her Majesty’s breakfast and clothes, but he didn’t see anyone along his line of sight. He stopped, though. He then lowered his head respectfully and said, “Miss Alice, do you have business with me? If you do, please make it quick. I need to hurry and deliver Her Majesty her food.”
Alice nodded and sternly said, “Ah, go and deliver Her Majesty her stuff then come to the break room to see me.”
Castell nodded and then hurried to the Empress. He knocked on the door then pushed the door open and placed breakfast on the table. The Empress had woken up long ago and was going over the briefing for today’s conference. It seemed to be about the five nations of the desert to the South. Castell didn’t look into it too much. He made a small bow and notified her, “Your Majesty, I have brought today’s breakfast.”
“Uhm. Got it. Leave it there.”
The Empress replied casually and lazily. It seemed that her attention was focused on the documents in front of her. Castell didn’t say anything superfluous, as he didn’t want to disturb her thinking. He made a small bow and prepared to leave.
“Ah, Castell, what job do you want?”
When he reached the door, the Empress spoke out to him. He paused before turning around to look at the Empress with confusion. The Empress placed the document in her hand down then brought breakfast over and slowly tore the meat and bread apart. She waited for Castell’s response.
“Your Majesty, what do you mean?”
The Empress looked up at a confused Castell and then chuckled. She explained, “I asked what sort of job you want to do. Anything is fine, be it inside the palace or outside. You can even open a store if you want. You can live how you want. I’ll satisfy you. If you don’t want to work, I can give you money to go off and live your life. You can choose a location and find a house.”
“Sorry, Your Majesty… I… I do not know… Is my… Is my job not being your personal attendant?”
Castell had no idea what the Empress was saying. His mind was blank. He wasn’t afraid. He was just at a complete loss for what to do, because he didn’t know what he could do without Her Majesty.
‘Aren’t I Her Majesty’s personal attendant? What job do I want? I want to serve at Her Majesty’s side as her personal attendant until the day I die.’
The Empress looked at him and put one leg over the other. She smiled and replied, “That’s why I want to know what you want to do if you’re not my personal attendant. Ah, I must’ve confused you. I guess it’s understandable. The question was too sudden. You never thought about it, right? But, you should think about it. Do you remember the elder who brought you here? You need to consider your life in the future.”
Castell nodded with puzzlement. He never thought about that. For him, serving as Her Majesty’s personal attendant was what he intended to do for a lifetime. He had never thought about what he could do without Her Majesty. Her Majesty gave him his life. His purpose in life was given to him by her. What exactly could he do without her?
He had never considered it. He had never considered what he could do without the Empress. If there came a day where he couldn’t serve as her personal attendant, then that must be the day he leaves this world.
Castell bowed and then left the room. He didn’t think about the question again, for the answer was the same regardless of how much he thought about it. He remembered that Alice called him to her break room, so he headed to over. He passed by a few Valkyries on the way there. He met with their eyes and nodded in a friendly manner before passing by.
“Ah, you’re here, Castell.”
As soon as he pushed open the door to the small break room, he saw Alice sitting on a bed kicking her feet as a child with nothing to do would. She held a cup of tea with steam coming from it. A cup of tea was placed on the table to the side. Castell walked over. He sat down on the chair and picked up the tea cup.
“Miss Alice, do you have business with me?”
Alice looked at him and in a serious tone asked, “I do. I wanted to ask you what you wanted to do after you are no longer Her Majesty’s personal attendant.”
“That… Her Majesty has asked me… Did you discuss it with Her Majesty?” Castell smiled helplessly then had a sip and continued, “If it is about this, my answer is the same. I have never considered it. I do not know how to answer the sudden question.”
Alice looked at him and responded, “You need to think about it properly, Castell.”
“I will deliberate it when I have time. Thank you for the reminder. However, I need to go and prepare other things now. Please pardon me. I will be taking my leave now.”
Castell wasn’t brushing it off. He really did have other business to attend to. Her Majesty had to go to the conference chamber soon; hence, he had to go and see if the chamber was ready, as well as organise the order the vassals entered the chamber.
Alice didn’t mind him or keep him as though that was all she wanted to speak to him about. There was no “so…”
Castell stood up and placed the tea he only had one sip of down on the table. He apologetically bowed to Alice and then walked to the entrance.
“Castell, it’s worth deciding conscientiously. You only have this one chance.”
“Yes. I am not acting carelessly.”
Alice called out to Castell from behind while he gave a calm response. Alice didn’t hop off the bed. While seated on the bed she sternly said, “You don’t have much time left, after all. You have less than a year left at Her Majesty’s side, after all.”
“What are you saying…?”
“Your life as Her Majesty’s personal attendant will be over in less than a year.”