I looked at the mask Freya handed me. I hesitated for a moment before asking, “What’s this?”
I know it’s a mask. This mask can cover up your entire face, so you’re basically going to have to identify people by their lips once they’ve worn it on… I looked at the mask in my hand that gave off a particularly wild vibe. I asked, “Don’t you think this mask is really unsafe to wear?”
“It cannot be helped, Onii-sama. Her Majesty wished to participate; hence, we must wear masks. If she, alone, wore a mask, she would stand out. As such, we have to get everybody to wear a mask… But it is fine, Onii-sama. You must believe that you will be fine this time. I have already distributed the masks.”
Freya proudly straightened up her posture. She then added, “Further, this can be considered a small present for you. You can go and see the Princesses in a bit.”
“What did you do…?”
“Come on! Put the mask on, Your Majesty!”
Freya went up on her toes and forced the mask onto my head. She then took out another mask and wore it on for herself. Her mask resembled a bird.
Freya spun around before me in a lively manner, and then grabbed my hand to run outside. I felt that it was still early. It’s only morning, after all. However, Nier was gone by the time I woke up.
‘It appears that they’re all really looking forward to this festival.’
Freya led me downstairs. There were two people in the large hall waiting for me already. I dawdled for a moment. The two individuals weren’t strange per se, as they wore their masks normally, but…
‘Why are they wearing the exact same dress and mask?!’
I looked at Freya’s pleased look.
‘You want to confuse me as to who my wife is? Impossible. I’ve been in love with Lucia for over a decade, while I’ve had physical contact with Nier’s body for two months. I can identify Nier just by physical contact. How could I possibly not identify them?’
I reached my hand out and suddenly felt that the feeling wasn’t right…
‘Based on this size… Hmm… it’s off… She’s not Lucia for sure, but… are Nier’s this big?’
I looked at the individual in front of me with suspicion. I gave a few squeezes then turned to look at Freya, but what I saw was her pale face…
“Your Majesty, what are you doing?”
I suddenly heard a voice from behind, so I spun around. I saw a familiar silhouette in the exact same robe. She had her head tilted as she looked at me.
‘That’s Nier. This voice belongs to Nier… So who am I touching right now?! Who?!’
“Umm… Your Highness…”
The person next to the small physique froze up and struggled to say, “I don’t think you can do this despite the fact that we’re mother and son…”
I stepped back as if I got electrocuted, and consequently, tripped into Nier’s embrace. I think I had a worse expression than Freya in that moment. I looked at the person I just grabbed with terror.
‘No wonder why the feeling was so unfamiliar. So it was… it was…’
She finally couldn’t hold it in.
All right, let me tell you it was.
Elizabeth removed her mask and laughed loudly. She didn’t mind my rude behaviour just now. She laughed until she started tearing up. She panted and remarked, “This mask sure is incredible. Not even my son could tell it was me. Son, you thought I was Nier, didn’t you?”
I looked at mom feeling incomparably awkward and said, “Sorry… Mom… umm… I really couldn’t tell it was you…”
“It’s all right. It’s all right. Mommy doesn’t mind. It was once your source of food, so Mommy doesn’t mind it.”
Mom laughed heartily then put her mask back on. I looked at the three women next to me, who looked the exact same. I then looked at Freya with a stupefied look. I smiled helplessly and asked, “Freya, what’s this about?”
Freya looked at me and panicked as she exclaimed, “I swear to God that I did not get Her Majesty to dress that way.”
“It really didn’t have anything to do with her, Son. I, myself, wanted to do this.”
Mom turned to look at me. With a smile she explained, “I think that it’s a bit more fun for me to participate in this sort of celebration this way. Mommy isn’t the Empress here. Here, Mommy is just an ordinary woman, so mommy has no need to be different to Nier. I can freely have fun now.”
“Ah… I see how it is…”
“What? I think it’s very becoming of me.”
Mom looked down at herself feeling a little uneasy. Alas, she couldn’t see too clearly because of her mask. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with her. This is the white dress with gold edges that Nier likes. Nier and Lucia are both still very young; therefore, this sort of clothing suits them. As for Mom… Mom looks really young, too. Hence, there was no major problem, except it didn’t suit mom’s expression too much. After all, faint colours in spring on sunny days didn’t go with Mom’s proud nature too much. That issue was overcome with the mask, though.
Freya gave a deep bow then smiled, “I hope you all have fun, then. You can go for a stroll now. The climax is in the evening. I hope that you can all enjoy it.”
I looked at Freya and asked, “Aren’t you comin?”
“Ah, I will be going. It is just that there are still some minor matters to settle in the palace. I will be there soon. When the time comes, if you could recognise me, I would be very happy, Onii-sama.”
Freya winked slyly, and I smiled, but didn’t say anything. My wives suddenly rushed at me from two sides, with one occupying a side each. They snatched up my arms before my Mom could and dragged me away by force.
A few minutes later at His Majesty’s bedroom.
When she saw the maid, Freya said, “I came to grab some stuff for Onii-sama.”
The maid nodded then bowed and left. No outsiders were allowed into His Majesty’s room. They were not even allowed to peek inside. The maid, therefore, had to leave when Freya entered. Freya pulled the door open and entered.
His wife is meant to tidy the room, but Nier went straight off to get her makeup done this time; thus, she hadn’t tidied up. His Majesty had just subconsciously tidied up the bed a little.
Freya walked up to the side of the bed. She felt that she could still detect her Onii-sama’s warmth. She checked around her. After confirming that there was nobody around, she snatched up her Onii-sama’s pillow and buried her head in it then began taking in big breaths.
“Aaahh!! Onii-sama’s scent… Onii-sama’s scent… Onii-sama’s warmth… It’s the same as being hugged by Onii-sama… When will you hug me again, Onii-sama…? I want to sleep with Onii-sama again so much!”
Freya rolled around on the bed as if she was insane. This was a very rare opportunity for her. She was the only one in the palace. Lucia wasn’t around, and neither was Nier. She had been waiting for this opportunity for a long time. She sniffed the scent he left behind on his pillow with all her might and rolled around on his bed with a bright smile.
“One more breath… one more breath, and then I’ll go find Onii-sama… I’ll lie here for just a while longer…”
Freya buried her head in his blanket she had just tidied up and took in deep breaths…
“Madam Freya?! What are you doing?!”
The air froze in an instant…
Not just for Freya. who was inside alone, but also Gerald…
“You can’t peek into Onii-sama’s room! What are you doing here?! Get out! Get out!! I’m going to kill you!! I’m going to kill you!!!!!”