“Your Majesty, this is the poetry collection that has been sorted for you. Although the hunting event ended awkwardly this time, the annual meeting was a success.”
Castell passed a small booklet to Elizabeth. Elizabeth sluggishly took it and saw the poem she composed when she opened it.
When will I be able to spend my days with my son,
Gazing at the snow in the North until I grow old?
It had only been a few days ago when she wrote those two lines. She was looking forward to her blissful and simple life with her son in the future. Castell was yet to be injured, Alice was still around, and her son was still sitting on her lap watching over her as she wrote a poem.
‘It hadn’t been long. It hadn’t been long ago at all… It was merely been a few days ago. Only a few days had past. My personal bodyguard, who had accompanied me for over ten years, is never coming back.’
‘At the time, I didn’t have anything. The barbarians had taken Rosvenor, and I had lost everything. Not one person was willing to stay with me. Only Alice stayed with me the entire time. Alice smashed my throne with me and followed her conquests. I was able to be fearless and bold, precisely because I had Alice. Alice wasn’t just a bodyguard to me. Alice was a friend, a very loyal friend to me.’
However, I beheaded her friend with her own hands. I avenged Luna and saved my son, so why was he not willing to stay? Luna is very important to him, and similarly, Alice was very important to me. Alice didn’t revolt. Her thinking was just off-track. She killed the true rebels for me, so why, why can’t I commemorate Alice?’
‘I didn’t want to be at odds with my son. I can do anything for my only son, but I can’t bear letting somebody else savagely kill my old friend. I never expected that would happen to Luna. My son’s rage was reasonable, but can’t he be a little considerate of me?’
The Empress doesn’t have many friends. Honestly, she only had one friend she could talk to about anything, but she wouldn’t have such a friend again.
Her tears smudged the letters. Elizabeth spaced out as she looked at the booklet before her. She softly murmured, “Castell, what exactly did I do wrong…? I’ve killed those who deserved to die. I’ve buried those who deserved to be buried, so why? Why…? Why did it still end up this way?”
“Your Majesty, I think that you may have never understood…”
Castell hesitated for a moment and then explained, “Perhaps it is precisely because you did everything which infuriated His Majesty.”
Elizabeth looked at him with a dumbfounded look. Castell hesitated then elaborated, “His Majesty’s personal servant died this time, so he is bound to want to personally get revenge, but you killed Alice. I think that will be resolved if we explain it to His Majesty. However, you did not give His Majesty the right to put Luna to rest. You placed His Majesty’s hero with our hero. His Majesty cannot accept that.”
“But… My son’s and my… do you people not support my son?! He’s my son!”
“It is different, Your Majesty.” Castell let out a heavy sigh. He clarified, “To be honest, I am reluctant to acknowledge it, as well, Your Majesty. His Majesty’s vassals are not your vassals. If you are always with His Majesty, then you could explain that your vassals are His Majesty’s vassals, and we will support His Majesty. But if he is a Prince who appears out of the blue, we will distance ourselves, while His Majesty will also maintain his distance from us, who he is not familiar with. As we are by your side, we naturally support you. Meanwhile His Majesty’s people will not be as loyal to you as we are when they see you; thereby creating a faction that supports His Majesty and another faction that supports you, in other words, those around His Majesty and those of us around you. Luna is His Majesty’s vassal. She died at the hands of Alice, who is from our faction. You did what His Majesty should do on his behalf. I think that is what His Majesty is angry about.”
“Simply speaking, you do not have the right to put Luna to rest, and you also put her to rest here in humanity’s lands. In my opinion, His Majesty has every reason to be angry.” Castell then sighed softly before continuing, “We interact amicably, for the reason that you and His Majesty are very close. In reality, however, we belong to two different factions. You and His Majesty are family. You are his mother. No matter how angry he gets, you are still his mother. If you wish to mend your relationship, then you should allow me to send Luna’s remains to Troy City. If you like, we just need to leave a crown here in her place.”
The corner of Elizabeth’s mouth twitched a few times while she was looking at Castell. She then lowered her head and softly said, “I just wanted to avoid making my son angry… So I did something I shouldn’t have? I thought it would be fine if I bestowed Luna with the title of ‘Hero’… I never expected that my son didn’t want that… All right. It’s good for my son to have his own vassals. I shall approve. Send Luna’s remains to Troy City. Luna is my son’s personal servant. Alice is my personal bodyguard. Let’s commemorate them separately, then.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
“Elizabeth doesn’t treat her relationship with Alice as just any other relationship, but a friendship. Alice has served Her Majesty from the beginning. She has been at Elizabeth’s side longer than you and Vyvyan have been together. Elizabeth is a very emotionally driven individual. She killed Alice, her only friend; therefore, she must be hurting a lot, too. Of course, the worst pain for her is that her good friend tried to kill her son.”
“Even if that’s the case, it doesn’t justify her putting them to rest together!!”
“You’re mistaken, Your Majesty.” Lorana sternly cut me off, “Elizabeth put them to rest together, because she holds them both in high regard. Do you know where their resting place is? They were put to rest in the royal family’s cemetery. Only members of the royal family may be put to rest there. Elizabeth didn’t mind Luna’s status and background. She allowed a personal servant, who she wasn’t even acquainted with, to be put to rest with her family and old friend with the same rights. Do you think that’s disrespectful and insulting?”
“Your Majesty, you’re not angry about Luna being put to rest and the particulars. You’re angry, as you didn’t get to put her to rest. That’s the source of your hatred. You’re angry that Elizabeth took your chance to get revenge away from you, and now you’re angry that she took the right to put Luna to rest from you. You’re angry, because Elizabeth decided to do things to Luna without your input, which is something that you can’t forgive. And that’s because Luna is your hero, not Elizabeth’s. You feel guilty toward Luna and want to do something to console yourself, but Elizabeth took away all of your chances to do something. That’s why you’re infuriated.”
Lorana gave me a gentle knock on my forehead. She then stood up, “It’s not a huge issue in the first place. At most, it’s a mother and son quarrel, and then the son left. A mother took matters into her own hands without getting her son’s input first when he wanted to do something, thereby angering him, and that’s it. It’s not something unforgivable. I believe that Elizabeth will soon realise what she did wrong. When she does, go and put Luna to rest.”
“A mother and son quarrel……”
“Yes. It’s just a minor matter. However, Luna’s death isn’t a minor matter. Your Majesty, if you can’t convince the people to obey you, this sort of thing will happen again. So hurry up and grow up, future King. Who’s going to stand up for you next time?”
“I won’t need someone to stand up for me again. In the future, I’ll stand up for myself!”