“Troy City’s festival, huh… Mommy must take part, then.”
Mommy Elizabeth looked at me. From the bed, she turned onto her side, and then patted the spot next to her, which was a signal for me to come over…
‘I swear to the heavens I didn’t go over to her because I could see the contour of her body through her sleeping gown. I swear I went over to her purely as her son!’
I sat on the edge of mom’s bed. Vyvyan supposedly returned to the elven lands as something came up, not to prepare materials. Meanwhile, Mommy Elizabeth chose to wait for me to return before returning to the Royal Capital, herself, and while she was at it, brought some Valkyries over to help guard the palace.
Nier, who was the current captain of the Valkyries, was present; therefore, the Valkyries here were not going to do what Alice did. In reality, there weren’t many Valkyries who sided with Alice. The majority of them only followed the Empress’s orders. That was the reason the Valkyries ordered to guard the outer court were willing to fight their captain to the death without any hesitation. The Empress and Nier were both here this time, so this group of Valkyries was absolutely loyal.
As such, I didn’t worry about Nier and Lucia’s safety.
Mom hugged me from behind. I could feel her weight from behind. Mom wrapped her slender white arms around my neck. Her faint scent enveloped my body. Mom must’ve just had a bath. Her black hair gave off a mellow scent. I could even feel the warmth of her chest.
“Mom… I actually wanted to invite you to this festival…”
I desperately tried to stop myself from focusing on the soft feeling on my back. We only had two thin layers of clothing between us. I felt an urge to turn around as I felt Mom’s breaths and small tremors. However, I was not here to do that sort of thing this time. I’ll leave once I’m done saying what I have to. I will leave once I’m done.
“Sure. Mommy will definitely take part. Mommy must participate in the first festival you’re holding at your city, Son.”
Mom bit my ear gently and giggled in a tender voice by my ear. She whispered, “It’s so nice to be able to hug you, like this, Son… Mommy is honestly very scared. If you get angry, Mommy won’t be able to hug you again. Mommy would suffer so much if that happened. Mommy has gotten used to having you with Mommy. Mommy has gotten used to life with you. If you’re no longer with Mommy, Mommy will have to live as Mommy did for the last ten years again. How would Mommy live that way…?”
“Mom… At the time I… mm… well… I was indeed angry. That’s why I left without a word… In actuality… I should’ve spoken to you about it.”
I felt Mom tighten her arms around me.
‘Please, please don’t continue… You might not feel anything, but I can’t take it… If you hug me any tighter, my hips are going to give in… I want to distract myself with something. Otherwise, I’ll start hating myself again!!’
‘I’ll never have a boner in front of my mom again!’
“Yeah. Mommy understands now. Mommy understood after you said that… Regardless of who it is around mommy, be it Castell, Alice, Nier or whoever, they’re forever merely Mommy’s vassal. You will forever be the only one who understands Mommy’s thoughts…”
Mom gently brushed her face against mine. With a smile on her face and in a soft voice, she said, “Nobody has ever noticed mommy’s suffering. The Royal Capital is a bird cage to Mommy. Mommy should’ve been in the outside world enjoying freedom; but instead, Mommy is on the throne carrying the expectations everybody has for Mommy. Mommy can only look at the iron bars Mommy, personally, built up. Everybody says that I’m the greatest woman in this world, but none of them realise that I’m also the loneliest woman in this world. There’s nobody I can lean on in this cage. The only one who could provide me with warmth was the man in my arms, who will never return to me. Mommy still has you, though… You probably don’t know how happy and how moved Mommy was when you said you would destroy this cage. At that moment, Mommy just wanted to give up everything and leave with you, just as Mommy eloped with your father back then…”
‘Hold up! Please wait a moment!’
‘I can understand you being touched and your circumstance, but don’t compare me with my father! Do you know how much that scares me, Mom?! I’m your son! If you say that I’m the same as your husband, it sounds disturbingly weird! Am I supposed to ask my father for forgiveness?!’
‘I don’t detect a miniscule chance of him forgiving me!’
“I finally get to see my son grow up. Mommy can understand the bliss of being a mother now… Mommy particularly understands it…There’s nobody for Mommy to rely on, act wilful with or coquettish to anymore. Mommy has gotten used to living as an Empress. Mommy has gotten used to the determined mask behind the black veil, but when Mommy sees Mommy’s son growing up, Mommy finally recognises how tired Mommy is…”
Mom sat straight up and clung to me from the back. I felt something heavy pressing down on my head. It also gave off a warm and dark sensation… Mom continued from overhead, “Son, you’re becoming more and more like your father. No wonder why Vyvyan’s love for you has never decreased ever since you were a kid. It’s because you resemble our most beloved so much. Although my relationship with that woman is bad, I must admit that we share the same thinking… Come, turn around, Son.”
I felt the weight and warmth leave my body. I then felt my heart beat speed up as well as the odd smell of sensuality in the air.
I turned my head around to see Mommy Elizabeth wearing a gentle smile that didn’t suit her usual self at all. She was kneeling on my bed. I’ve only ever seen Mom’s confident and proud look, or otherwise, her silly smile. Recently, I’ve seen her kind and consoled smile, as well. But this time, it was the first time that I saw her wear such a gentle and shy smile that made it seem as though she wasn’t the Empress, but a young girl in love.
‘This smile must be the smile that belongs to my father…’
“To be honest… Mommy was always slightly jealous to hear that you and Vyvyan kissed… You finally took the initiative to kiss Mommy last time… Mommy wants to kiss again…”
My entire body shuddered. I looked at Mom’s peach-coloured lips that glistened under the light of the flame. Her lips were shiny as diamonds.
I quickly stood up and walked to the door with big strides. I then pulled the door open. Without turning my head around to look, I said, “Sorry… Mom. It’s late now. I’m going back to sleep… You should sleep soon, too. Goodnight…”
I quickly closed the door behind me then leaned on it. I took in deep breaths in order to calm my racing heart down.
‘That was seriously too scary, in every meaning of the word…’