“Your Majesty, calm down. This matter is actually not that serious. It turned out this way, because you refused to talk to Her Majesty properly.”
“Fuck off with that bullshit! What good will calming down do me?! Will calming down bring my Luna back to life?! Will calming down change Her Majesty’s mind?! Calm down? You want me to calm down?! Alice killed my personal servant, and Her Majesty is just going to sweep that under the rug?! She’s going to just sweep this under the rug, because Alice who’s important to her was the one who killed my personal servant?! What about me, then?! Am I unimportant to her?!”
I yelled at Castell’s face with an aggressive glare. I really wanted to flatten his face with my fist. I really wanted to kill Her Majesty’s personal attendant in front of her. I wanted her to taste the feeling of losing her personal attendant. I wanted her to also know what pain is.
“Your Majesty! You have gone too far! You are Her Majesty’s most important son, but Alice is also her most important friend and bodyguard!”
“Fuck off! I’ve heard this shit countless times already!” I shoved Castell off, and then aimed my gun at his forehead and roared, “I don’t give a rat’s ass what Her Majesty thinks of Alice! However much Alice is loyal to Her Majesty is directed to Her Majesty. It has nothing to do with me. From my perspective, she’s just a demented murderer! A traitor who commits all evils! I came today to take my personal servant home and to punish the traitor! You think you’re in any position to be speaking out?! Either bring the Empress here or fuck off!”
Castell staggered two steps back. He then looked at the gun barrel at his head and took in a deep breath. Castell is Castell, after all. It’s hard to threaten him even with death. He gently cleared his throat then adjusted his collar, “Your Majesty, Her Majesty is your mother no matter what the case is. I can guarantee that Alice’s attempt at your life was not Her Majesty’s idea. Your Majesty, I can understand how you are feeling at the moment. You cannot comprehend Her Majesty’s way of handling it; therefore, Her Majesty is showing acquiescence to your actions. However, this is not a reason for you to refuse to speak to Her Majesty. You and Her Majesty both need to calm down and have a proper talk. We were planning to send Luna’s remains to you even if you did not come.”
“That’s enough, Castell. Step down.”
A voice then came from behind Castell. Castell froze up and so did I. I then lowered my gun. Castell made way and the Empress looked at me with a cold gaze. She was in full gear with the Elven King sword drawn and shining.
My guard unit froze up and looked at me a little hesitantly. They weren’t sure if they were supposed to salute her or not.
‘According to what Lorana said, our business is just a mother and son quarrel. I am, without question, enraged, but it’s not directed at Mom. Mom didn’t plot to take my life, and she took Alice’s head; but nonetheless, her handling of the matters after the incident enraged me. But that’s all.’
‘The one I hated most was Alice, alone.’
The Empress walked up to me. She looked at the gun in my hand and at the mess behind me. She let out a long sigh, “Son, this is the royal family’s cemetery. Inside here are your ancestors, which make them my ancestors, too. Even I can’t behave insolently here, yet you brought weapons into here to rampage. This is just unseemly.”
“I wouldn’t have had to do this if you didn’t make mistakes in the first place.”
I fearlessly looked at her black eyes.
Elizabeth smiled bitterly, “Was I wrong…? Mommy makes mistakes now and then, too. Mommy was, indeed, wrong. From your point of view, making Alice a hero is a very stupid action that also ridicules you, right? Mommy made a mistake there. Perhaps Mommy didn’t consider your feelings, because Mommy has never been by your side. Mommy understands that now. Putting Alice to rest as a hero is an insult to you. To Mommy, however, Mommy’s Valkyries and Vassals, Alice’s loyalty is her glory and honour. Alice isn’t important to you; however, she is very important to Mommy.”
I looked at Mom with my teeth clenched and retorted, “What about compared to me then?! How does Alice compare to me?! I’m your son! You went and considered Alice’s feelings, but not mine!!”
“That’s where Mommy went wrong. Mommy… Mommy wasn’t a good mother to begin with.”
Elizabeth lowered the tip of her sword. She looked at the jewels on her sword and spaced out. She then continued, “Mommy has always been called an Empress and been treated as a god of battle. Mommy has always been killing on battlefields, sorting out major and minor matters. Mommy, Mommy never had a chance to be a mother. Didn’t Mommy mention that Mommy feels an empty feeling whenever Mommy looks at you? Mommy neglected your feelings things this time. Mommy was wrong. Mommy really loves you, but Mommy is still too idiotic and clumsy.”
Elizabeth lowered her head and looked at me as though she was pleading me. She went on, “Mommy knows Mommy was wrong now. Mommy will be considerate of your feelings. Mommy will move Alice’s grave elsewhere. Mommy promises to have all the officials in charge of recording history to write everything Alice did and remove her title as a Hero. However, Mommy hopes that you will stop here. Please, my son, please let Mommy have a space to remember Mommy’s old friend. She was Mommy’s only friend, and she’s no longer here… Mommy really doesn’t wish to see Mommy’s old friend’s corpse hung on the city wall… This is Mommy’s only request. Son, can you let Mommy do that…?”
“I only have one personal servant, too, and she is no longer here, either…”
I clenched my teeth as I looked at Mom’s expression that showed she was on the verge of tears.
‘While I’m still fuming, I really can’t find it in me to vent it on my mom standing before me. Mom has already made a big compromise by relocating Alice’s grave. Though she didn’t punish Alice, I, at least, won’t have to see that piece of shit that killed Luna placed next to her. Mom can commemorate her if she wants. Mom doesn’t understand the pain I feel from Alice taking Luna from me. That pain is a sufficient reason for me to forbid anything to do with Alice appearing in front of me again.’
“Now after that, there’s one more thing Mommy has to do.”
Mom looked at me again. She swiftly raised her sword up and rested it against my neck. She looked at me with an indifferent gaze. I could feel her cold blade on my neck. I looked at her with a blank look. She looked back at me and coldly reprimanded me, “You may be Mommy’s son, but Mommy cannot allow you to barge into the royal family’s cemetery recklessly and kill so many Valkyries for no rhyme or reason. Therefore, Mommy will punish you, as well. You can’t deny these mistakes of yours, can you? Or did you want to gamble your life and the lives of those behind you to launch a revolt to the end?”
“Mom, you just…”
“That was that, and this is this. Mommy has acknowledged Mommy’s faults and has remedied them. But son, shouldn’t you bear the consequences of your mistakes, too?
Mom withdrew her sword then looked at me and coldly said, “Mommy will let you take Luna’s remains back to Troy City to put her to rest first. Luna is your personal servant, so mommy won’t get involved with how you decide to do that, but once you’re done, you need to come back here and be grounded here for one month as punishment. You will only be permitted to stay in the palace for the month. And, mommy will give you a spanking in a bit!”
‘I can understand the first part, but what the hell is with that last part?!’
‘Isn’t this a little troubling…? How did such a weird atmosphere come about in such a serious situation?! Mom, did your thinking just veer completely off track?!’