Luna made a small bow while looking at us and saying, “All right then, I shall take my leave now, Your Majesty, Princess. His Majesty’s washed clothes are over there. Another maid will bring tomorrow’s breakfast over. I apologise for having to trouble you to look after His Majesty, Princess.”
Nier nodded and replied, “All right, Luna. It’s been rough on you, too, having to journey so far with my husband. Have a good rest tomorrow. I shall take care of him tomorrow!”
I nodded then looked at Nier next to me and said, “Sorry, Nier. I might not be able to keep you company, because I have a feeling Her Majesty will keep me there.”
Today is her majesty’s private invite. There will be nobody but Nier and I. I don’t think I’ll be able to leave this sort of banquet. Once the banquet is over, I’ll definitely be called to her room. Then Elizabeth, who’ll be drunk, will sleep holding me; so, I won’t get to keep Nier company tonight.
Nier nodded her head with disappointment. However, she quickly regained her spirits and replied, “I understand, Dear. I’m all right. You were off far away before, but you’re right next to me this time so I won’t lose sleep, because you’re not next to me. I know that you must go to Her Majesty.”
“Thank you for being understanding, Nier.” I kissed Nier on her head then held her hand to leave together. Luna pulled the door open. From behind, she bowed with a smile and said, “Please enjoy dinner. Goodbye, Your Majesty.”
I turned my head around to see Luna smiling with a tinge of loneliness.
‘I couldn’t say anything to Luna. Our relationship was no longer what it was in the desert now. We’re now only Prince and personal servant. My Nier is next to me. I, therefore, can’t be as intimate with Luna as I was in the desert.’
I stopped in my tracks and turned around to call out to Luna. Luna looked up at me feeling somewhat surprised. She didn’t know what to say. She seemed to never expect me to turn around and call out to her. I looked at her face. I gulped my saliva and after a pause, said, “Come back to work soon, okay? You’re my only personal servant. Without you, my life is a mess, so resume work soon, okay?”
Luna froze up for a moment, and then a bright smile gradually surfaced on her face. With the sun coming down, her smile was similar to the one on that night in the desert. That night, Luna hugged me tightly, and it was the first time we embraced each other and enveloped each other in our love for each other under the moonlight, not because of my condition, but our feelings. But that was our only night, as we had to then return to Troy City.
Luna responded with a firm nod. With her eyes shining, she smiled and responded, “Sure, Your Majesty!”
“Goodbye then, Luna.”
I waved my hand, grabbed Nier and turned back around. I didn’t add anything after that or even look at her again. Nier looked at me with suspicion, but didn’t comment.
‘Luna and I are now back to our master and servant relationship, and nothing more.’
‘However, she’s my only personal servant. She will be the only one ever. If Luna leaves or is not around, I won’t ever have another personal servant. For me, “personal servant,” is a title reserved for only Luna, alone.’
“Is it ready?! I personally prepared this dish for my son. Do not drop a single drop! Have you all taste tested it? It’s fine, right?! Uhm, uhm. Remember, I personally made this for my son. None of you had a hand in it, understood?! Understood?!”
The chef looked at the floor and trembled. Elizabeth stood with arms akimbo and watched the maids at the side, sort out the dishes. The dishes don’t look bad. They weren’t drool inducing, but they should be normally edible. It’s no longer that rubber soup anymore. But we’ll have to see if these dishes were prepared by Elizabeth. Since she said she did, let’s just take her word for it.
“Uhm, uhm, the dishes are ready. What else… what else… Ah, wine, wine. I must prepare good wine. You won’t let me hug my son outside? Fine. I’ll hug him in my room then.”
Elizabeth grumpily tossed a few bottles of wine into the water barrel then looked to the kitchen and thought about what else she could give her son.
‘Frankly, I don’t ask for much. Just a meal is fine. When Castell came to see us, he wore a “You’re on your own. Good luck.” sort of look and informed us that Her Majesty, personally, prepared the dishes this time. I was more terrified than I was touched… Mommy Elizabeth’s rubber soup still gives me nightmares today. I don’t think I will ever forget that strange smell.’
‘That’s why I was honestly reluctant to bring Nier along… If by chance… If something bad happens after Nier eats the food, what are we to do…? Nier has two lives right now! We must be careful!’
‘I noticed that the dishes could be considered normal when they were served up, though. How shall I put it? They were very ordinary? It makes sense, though. It’s a massive improvement if something mom prepared was edible. I’m very satisfied with the food this time, since I came to the table feeling as though I returned from death.’
“Son, how is it? How is it? Is it good or not?”
I raised my head and sincerely nodded. I saw Elizabeth clasp her face with a silly smile as she looked at me as if she was going to explode with happiness. I replied, “It really does taste good. Thank you, Mom.”
“Hehehe… hehehe… Have some more if you like it. If you like it, Mom will cook for you every day, so that you don’t have to eat that’s Elf’s food anymore… Cooking? Big deal. I can cook now…”
Elizabeth wore an extremely blissful smile as she pushed everything over to me. It was virtually comparable to having the entire desk slammed on my face. I started to panic a little…
‘Am I supposed to finish all of this…? You’re going to kill me!!’
Fortunately, Nier helped me finish some of it. As she was a Valkyrie, she had very low requirements for food, so she didn’t have an opinion on the taste.
‘It seem that I need to nurture Nier’s taste standards now. For Nier, up until now, all foods were to be “eaten”, and all wine was to be “drunk”. That’s not how a Princess should be.’
“After dinner, come with me for a walk, son. Then we’ll have a bath and rest. Sleep in my room tonight. I feel bad about Nier, but a mother should get priority over a wife. Therefore, bear with it for another night tonight, Nier.”
The instant I placed my fork down, the Empress stood up and tightly grabbed hold of my hand. I couldn’t have fled even if I wanted to. Nier looked at the Empress’ determined eyes. She silently lowered her head and answered, “Understood, Your Majesty. I shall return to the palace to rest, then. Goodbye.”
Despite Nier now being a Princess, before the Empress, she still replies the same way a Valkyrie would.
The Empress nodded and then pulled me up the same way you would yank a torn doll up. She dragged me by my arm as she headed out and said, “Let’s go then, Son. I want to hear what happened in the desert. I want to hear everything. It’s slightly cold outside, but exposing yourself to the cold before getting in a hot bath is even more soothing. Let’s go, Son, let’s go.”
‘All right! All right! Gentle, Mom! Gentle! You could rip my arm off like this, you know?! Save me! Save me!’
‘I felt my body was at risk after leaving the desert once again…’