Echte looked at me, feeling dumbfounded… Ah, I shouldn’t be calling him Echte, since he’s my father-in-law now. He was, once again, in his Imperial Guard uniform. The elven Imperial Capital was under martial law now. You virtually couldn’t see a civilian on the streets. All you could see were Imperial Guards and soldiers tasked with defending the city. No anthropoid was sighted in the vicinity of the Imperial Capital, but martial law was raised to the highest level, nevertheless.
I looked at him and asked, “Where’s Her Highness?”
“Her Highness is in the conference chamber right now…”
“I’ll go see her now, then.”
I began to walk toward the inner section of the palace. Echte lingered for a moment before saying, “I think… mm… Her Highness… would not be too happy to see you…”
I chuckled. How could Vyvyan not be happy to see me? It would be considered uncommon for Vyvyan to not leap at me and kiss me when she sees me.
Echte shrugged his shoulders and replied, “Because we are at war. Her Highness has stated that she was glad that you were not here on more than one occasion. If you are here, I bet you would charge out as you did against the Earth Dragons. Further, according to what Her Highness said, you are more impulsive now than in the past. Her Highness really did not want you to return this time.”
“But this is a war!!”
“She does not want for you to return precisely because we are at war. Your Highness, you have never been on the battlefield, so you do not know how brutal and cruel war is. You should not take to the battlefield even if you are looking to make a name for yourself, not to mention that we are battling anthropoids this time. The horde of anthropoids seems to have no concept of pain or fear. Fighting them is fighting with your life on the line. There are lots of them, too. I really have no clue where they come from.”
“I’m the next Elven King!” I looked at Ecthe and seriously exclaimed, “The elven nation will be in my hands next. My people are being threatened by the anthropoids right now. I’m not doing this for reputation or something. I just want to fulfil my duty as the Prince. How can I just sit and watch this sort of war?!”
“But your safety is Her Highness’ primary concern. Frankly speaking, Her Highness could end this war if she personally fought back, but it seems that she does not consider this to be very important, and hence, she has not gone to the frontlines, yet… However, I feel that there is something wrong with her mana. Her Highness’ reaction and energy are far inferior to the past. It feels as though… she is the same as Lucia right now.”
I frowned. Mom did mention that she seemed to have some issues with her mana. It sounds as though the mana I replenished for her is no longer enough. I don’t know what’s wrong with mom.
‘Could she be sick? By the sounds of it, I’ll have to replenish Mom’s mana.’
‘However, replenishing mana via kissing is frankly too slow. Sucking out blood is a very good method though. The issue is that I’ll be left weak for a long time afterwards.’
‘The last method…’
‘I can only replenish Lucia’s mana using that method…’
I’m essentially Mom’s mobile charger. She’s supposed to suck a bunch of my mana each month, but she hasn’t sucked any the last few months.
‘I don’t think I can use Mom this month, either. I don’t know who else around me I can use.’
I didn’t care about what Echte said. I went straight to the conference chamber. Echte sighed when he noticed that I didn’t care whatsoever. He said, “In any case, you must be careful, Your Highness. If possible, it is best that you do not leave Her Highness’s side.”
I pushed the door open and with a smile replied, “I might not bring Her Highness with me this time.”
In the centre of the elves’ conference chamber is a large tree. The grass and flowers underneath said tree were the same as the grass I saw during the Deer Hunting Festival. Mom had her back to me. I didn’t know what she was thinking about as she looked at the tree.
“Son, Mommy doesn’t want to see you here right now, as Mommy can tell what you want to do when Mommy sees you. Mommy won’t be able to stop you either, right? Actually, Mommy can stop you.”
Vyvyan turned around. Her emerald dress was comparable a feather descended from the heavens. Mom’s dreary smile that accompanied her long-blonde hair made her look very haggard.
“No, Mom, I don’t intend to personally go there this time.”
I looked at Mom’s eyes and emphasised ‘Mom’.
Mom lingered. She looked at me and giggled in a soft voice. She replied, “So, what do you want to do, then, Son? Did you want Mommy to go and deal with the anthropoids?”
“I wouldn’t say that I want you to go and deal with them.”
I looked at Mom and undid the buttons at my chest. I then removed my cape and the scarf Mommy Elizabeth made me. I revealed my neck, “Here, Mom.”
Vyvyan paused. She titled her head, “Son, what are you trying to do?”
“Suck my blood; absorb my mana, Mom. Mom, you’re having issues with your mana, aren’t you? Don’t worry, just suck my blood.”
Mom smiled and walked up to me slowly then clasped my face. She ran her slender fingers across my cheeks as if she was trying to carve the memory of my face shape into her hands. I looked at Mom. I looked at her smiling eyes. I looked at Mom’s blue eyes that resembled the ocean. I waited for the moment Mom would bite me.
Mom continued stroking my face while looking into my eyes. She gently said, “Son, Mommy isn’t most worried about Mommy, but you. Son, if Lucia dies or disappears from now, what will you do?”
I was befuddled, not because of Lucia, but because I didn’t have the foggiest idea as to why Mom suddenly brought this up.
‘That has nothing to do with what I want to talk about!’
“Son, did you not know? Our Galadriel tribe’s mana is very pure; therefore, our tribe won’t allow a descendant with mana purity that is too low to exist. Lucia has very little mana, and her only reaction during her pregnancy is lethargy. That goes to show that your child’s mana will be middle to low grade.”
“So… what will that mean…? And… right now, I…”
Vyvyan solemnly replied, “Lucia will be exiled. Not even Mommy will be able to keep her, for the reason that the decision to exile her is an elven tradition. Only he, with the most pure bloodline, will be able to succeed the Elven King’s throne. As a Princess, Lucia should give birth to a satisfactory Crown Prince. She has failed to do what a Princess must do. She has disappointed the expectations of all the elves, and as such, will be exiled. Normally, she and her child would be executed together for the sake of the Galadriel Tribe’s purity before she is even exiled.”
I felt my hands and feet go numb.
‘I don’t know what Mom’s purpose in telling me this now is, but nevertheless, that is definitely not what I want.’
‘Mom may be the ruler of elves, but she can’t control what the elves think. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did that if our child wasn’t capable of succeeding the throne… However, I don’t want for that to happen.’
“Mommy only has one method to prevent that. There is only one way to save Lucia.”
Mom leaned into my ear and bit it. She then whispered into my ear her idea.
My entire body shuddered. I looked at her, absolutely stunned, lost for words and with no idea how to react. As opposed to saying that Mom suggested something, it would be more accurate to say that she set a bomb off in my head.
“It’s no big deal, Son. This is for Lucia’s sake! Mommy resorted to this for your sake!!” Mom made eye contact with me. Her gaze was stern. She said, “Do you want to save Lucia or not?! Do you want your child or not?! This is Mommy’s only solution. We can’t change what the elves think, so this is the only method left to appease them!”
“But… but… but…”
“Son, is there something you can’t let go of? Mommy should be embarrassed, not you.”
Mom sighed, and then grabbed hold of my hands. She placed them onto her chest and in that split second, the softness and warmth of her breasts transferred to my hands. Mom looked at me and next to my ear, whispered similarly to the devil, “This is for your wife, your child, yourself and Mommy. Mommy warned you before, and now it’s happened… Son, you should know what to do now, right?”