‘Elizabeth can sleep well without a hitch when she holds me, but I can’t.’
‘That’s because of Elizabeth’s behaviour. They’re similar to Vyvyan’s, but not as trained. Vyvyan likes to sleep holding me, as well; but, perhaps it’s because she’s done it enough times that I can still breathe even when she buries me in her breasts. I don’t resist, either. Being held by Vyvyan also gives me an odd reassuring feeling, making me feel as though I don’t want to get back up once I’ve lay down.’
‘I can’t say the same for Elizabeth, though! Being hugged by her is akin to being grappled in a fight and clung to. Though something passes by my face every now and then, nobody can enjoy it when they’re on the verge of death! I felt that I might never wake up again if I were to shut my eyes. Further, due to the stifling feeling, every time I fall asleep, I have all sorts of nightmares such as being hacked to death in the desert and then tossed into the sand to be buried and so forth…’
‘That’s not all. I wake up with an incredibly sore back the next day, because Mom clings to me all night. She also doesn’t respect my dignity as a man. She keeps squirming with her body and even leg locks my hips… I couldn’t fall asleep like that. Even if I could fall asleep, I’d still be concerned if my hands subconsciously traverse into forbidden territory…’
‘And so, I didn’t get any real rest all night. When I bid Mom goodbye the next morning, though, I noticed that she looked radiant as Nier does after a couple of nights of grappling in bed with me… It takes me a long time to slowly warm up in the mornings, while Nier is full of vigour.’
‘It seems that I really need to give my body some proper rest, or else I’ll accidentally die in bed, instead of the battlefield… According to some underground news, Nier apparently drugged my drinks every day when she wanted to get pregnant… Said underground news came from the doctor in the palace. Therefore, I would say that it is highly trustworthy…’
Alice looked at Her Majesty walk over, made a small bow and greeted her, “You look very radiant today, Your Majesty.”
“Yeah. My son is back, so I’m in a great mood. Is something the matter, Alice?”
Elizabeth turned around with a smile and touched Alice’s head. While they’re about the same age, Alice seemed to really like it… Of course, that was only if it was Her Majesty who touched her head. If it was someone else that did, their arm would’ve already been ripped off by Alice… Alice looked at Elizabeth and chuckled. She responded, “Your Majesty, I have come for a matter with the Valkyrie squad.”
“Can’t you just handle their matters? You’re the captain of the Valkyrie squad. If you want to do something, just go ahead and do it.”
Elizabeth had honestly stopped paying much attention to the Valkyries. You can’t blame her, since she can’t take everything into consideration with almost a thousand Valkyries. As such, giving orders and daily life matters were handled by Alice. Her majesty was basically a totem that acted as a commander now.
Alice essentially controlled all of the Valkyries; however, her majesty trusted Alice while Alice was absolutely loyal to the Empress, so there weren’t any issues.
“No. Your Majesty, this matter must be handled by you, mainly because it involves His Majesty’s guard unit. If I make a decision on my own, it might cause His Majesty to be angry with the Valkyries.”
The Empress lingered for a moment before laughing. Pleased, she rubbed Alice’s head and replied, “Not bad, not bad. Alice, you’re starting to consider consequences and see things from more perspectives now. Good. Very good. Hmm, so what is it? Is there some conflict between the Valkyries and his Guard Unit or something else?”
Alice sternly explained, “It is about the new sword instructor we appointed to His Majesty’s guard unit and his Guard Unit’s leader being in a romantic relationship. That is the second Valkyrie now. If we keep losing Valkyrie sword instructors this way, there will be no way to compensate for the missing role. Furthermore, Valkyries do not involve themselves with other powers. This creates a very bad ethos for the Valkyrie squad. Nier, I mean, the Princess created the initial bad example. If we do not punish Shusia, the Valkyries will become a little lax with their ethos.”
Elizabeth nodded, but didn’t say anything. Alice waited. Normally, Her Majesty is very sensitive about her Valkyries. She’d never allow there to be any internal issues with the squad. Shusia having a romantic relationship with someone was not permitted for Valkyries. Alice thought the empress would be furious, call Shusia over and tell her to kill herself.
“She’s in a relationship with my son’s Guard Unit’s captain, right…?”
Alice replied seriously, “That is correct. That creates very bad practices within the Valkyrie squad. All of the Valkyries are girls. If this encourages them to pursue love, how will they be able to guarantee your safety? Plus, guards with private motives cannot exist! A tool which gains self-awareness must be disposed of! Your Majesty, please order Shusia to kill herself to give the distracted Valkyries a warning! That way, we can bring the state of the Valkyries under control!”
“I see. But forget it. There’s nothing bad about them being in a romantic relationship.”
Alice froze in place. She never imagined Her Majesty would respond that way. She thought Her Majesty would become enraged and kill her, or secretly kill her as a means to prevent other things being impacted. There are dozens of ways to kill her, but she never expected to hear “forget it.”
The Valkyries are Her Majesty’s most important guard unit. They were the symbol of Her Majesty’s royal power.
‘She said forget it?!’
The Empress tilted her head. She looked at Alice and with a smile, continued, “Alice, I’ve always been thinking what to do with the Valkyries once I vacate the throne. I just want to peacefully be a mother. I don’t want to see blood or wield a sword anymore. The Valkyries might as well find a good family to marry into. That way, I’ll have done one good deed.”
“Wh-Wh-Wh-What… what did you say…?”
Alice virtually couldn’t make out proper words. Everything before her eyes became hazy and she almost lost her footing.
‘Is the person in front of me truly the Empress?! Is she really the Empress?! She had to kill countless people to get to where she is today! Why are her eyes so clear and gentle? Why? Why? What happened to the Empress that slaughtered without end?!’
“That’s all I have to say. If the Valkyries have someone they like, there’s no point in keeping the team, because I don’t want to be the Empress anymore. Alice, did you know?! Yesterday, my son was particularly gentle. He was so cute. I just want to be a mother now, not an Empress. I think it’s time for my guard unit to gradually break up. I also don’t want to see blood anymore. How can I hug my son when I’m covered in blood? Hey! Hey!! Alice! Alice, what’s wrong?! Alice! Alice!”
That was the worst day for Alice.
She was dealt one blow after another, causing her to completely pass out…