What do I consider to be the most precious in the world? That would be Lucia and Nier. I also had to include Ling Yue to that list.
I could give up the entire world, but I couldn’t give up any one of them. They were the most precious gifts given to me after coming to this world. They loved me, and I loved them. They had given up so much for me. I wanted to protect them, too. I didn’t want any harm to befall them.
‘How is Lucia now? I want to know what exactly happened. I haven’t heard anything from her in ages. The last piece of news I got on her was that she returned to Duargana with Mommy Vyvyan. She’s an elf, so I would understand it if you said she needed to rest in the elven lands. I trust that Mommy Vyvyan also wouldn’t… Okay, I do feel that there’s a possibility there.’
The possessive nature of elves was extremely frightening. Their jealousy and possessiveness was so overwhelming that they would forego their usual gentle and graceful nature to face their old companion and friends armed, and they would definitely personally kill them. Mommy Vyvyan had made unfriendly gestures to Lucia since the beginning. She did stop after we got married, but she had been raising a new successor recently. I couldn’t say for certain if her possessive nature would burst again. There was a legitimate chance that Mommy Vyvyan might lock Lucia up. She might have done something in my absence. I had to confirm Lucia’s safety.
‘I only ask that I find Lucia healthy. I must go and see Lucia.’
The guards of Duargana looked at us and froze. I waved my hand and shouted, “Move! We’re entering the city! We’re entering the city! Get out of the way!!”
“Your Highness… Behind… behind you are humans…”
“Humanity and elves have formed a military alliance. Now, hurry up, and get lost!”
It seemed that the elves didn’t care if an alliance had been formed in spite of the military alliance being formed already. It appeared that the elves still considered humanity to be unwelcomed guests that were still trying to invade their lands. They still refused to give passage. Seeing that my guards were humans and armed, they were slightly reluctant to let me enter the palace.
“Your Highness, even if it is you, bringing armed humans into the Imperial Capital… We need to report it to Her Highness first… After all… it is too dangerous.”
The imperial guards had their spears aimed at my guards behind me, but not me. I don’t think they would be that bold. My guards ignored them and waited for my orders, instead. I couldn’t alarm Mommy Vyvyan yet. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to find out what happened. I took in a deep breath and said, “All right, then. Let me in alone, then. My other guards will remain outside the city.”
“That will work.”
The Imperial Guards nodded, and then opened the city doors. The White Deer King looked at them with displeasure, and then ran toward the Imperial Palace. The White Deer King didn’t like the Imperial Palace, as it was once imprisoned there and Mommy Vyvyan almost tamed it into becoming my meal, I mean, steed.
The Imperial Palace was the same as before. There was a level lawn, a fountain slowly spitting water and Imperial Guards coming and going. The elves’ grand Imperial Palace was the same as it was before.
I held Tanya’s hands and went up the stairs. The people around all looked at me with stunned looks, and then swiftly saluted me, but I ignored them. I concentrated solely on heading toward Mommy Vyvyan’s room.
“Ah, Your Highness, you are back! Welcome home!”
Just when I reached the entrance of Mommy Vyvyan’s room, a maid carrying bed sheets and an emerald green dress came out. She got flustered when she saw me, but then saluted me. I nodded and asked, “Do you know where Her Highness is? Is she in the conference chamber or somewhere else?”
“Her Highness should be in the guest room…”
“Got it,“ I simply responded with a nod. I then turned to leave. I looked at Tanya behind me and quietly said, “Tanya, remember, no matter what happens in a moment, do not utter a word if Mommy Vyvyan gets angry, which you can tell by her eyes turning red. Do not speak. The less you stand out, the better. Do not show any hostility, ever.”
“What if she tries to hurt you, then?”
I solemnly promised, “Mommy Vyvyan won’t hurt me. I guarantee it. But if we get into an argument, Mommy Vyvyan won’t vent on me. Instead, she’ll definitely vent on somebody else. If you unfortunately end up being chosen as her target, I can’t save you, because you’ll instantly die. I’m not threatening you; I’m being serious. Mommy Vyvyan’s demi-god prowess is not a joke, so don’t do anything silly.”
“If she is rude to you, I will step up for you even if it means death.”
“There’s no need to. There’s no need to. Tanya, listen to me, Tanya, listen to me. Mommy Vyvyan is my mom. Nothing she does to me is considered overboard, and we’ll be fine after shouting at each other. For you, however, things are different. Vyvyan considers you an outsider. She won’t go overboard with me. At most, she’ll threaten me. She won’t harm me when she’s at her craziest, but you’re different Tanya. She’ll kill you. She definitely will.”
Tanya lingered for a moment then responded, “I am not afraid to die.”
“I’m worried,” I responded. I pressed my hand down on Tanya’s shoulder. “I’m worried about something happening to you, Tanya. Did you think I was just saying it for the sake of saying it when I said you can consider me your brother? I genuinely consider you my sister, so don’t let anything happen to you here. Do not let yourself get hurt in this sort of meaningless situation.”
Tanya looked at me. Her cheeks went a bit red, and then she lowered her head. She looked shy for the first time instead of looking expressionless as she usually did. She gripped my clothes and nodded.
I then looked at the room in front and took in a deep breath. I pushed the door open. The guest hall wasn’t the conference chamber. The guest hall was a large room with floor-to-ceiling windows. I was told that the first time Elizabeth and Vyvyan fought for me was there. However, I basically never visited the place.
“I said that nobody is allowed to enter without my permission.”
Mommy Vyvyan stood up slightly angry. Her blue eyes stopped on me. She then revealed an overwhelming expression of surprise and joy. She leapt over to hug me without any regard for Tanya who was with me. She wrapped her limbs around me as if she was an octopus
“My son… My son… You’re all right… You’re all right… I’m so glad! I’m so glad!! Mommy missed you so much… Mommy missed you so much…”
Vyvyan tightly hugged me and repeated those phrases in a hoarse voice next to my ear. She continued to stroke me with her hand, afraid that I would vanish from her sight in the next instant. She sobbed next to my ear as if she was going to break down and wail loudly in the next moment.
“Uhm, Mom, I’m back. I’m back.”