Ling Yue opened her eyes. Her ears twitched as she listened to the person next to her speak. She turned around and said, “I’m not surprised that I’m kept here. After all, this is about his wife, Lucia. It would seem that Lucia really has had a mishap. Otherwise, there’s no way he would not come back for me.”
The Queen giggled. “It’s very normal for me to be kept here, since I am not one of his own. Whether or not I can return to the Galadriel tribe will depend on whether their leader approves or not. It’s different for you, though. He has not come back to take you to see Lucia after all this time. Maybe he doesn’t plan to marry you.”
Ling Yue whipped her tail with a hint of displeasure. “He will. I’m certain something happened to Lucia. Else, he would never leave me here and ignore me. He came for me when I was in the North. We are now but just a city wall apart. He won’t abandon me.”
The Queen smiled and asked, “True. You two must have gone through a lot, right? However, if something happened to Lucia, and he doesn’t want to marry you, what are you going to do?”
“I… will probably be his mistress,” answered Ling Yue. She hugged her own tail and slowly groomed it. However, her gaze was evidently not focused. She looked indifferent on the surface, but she was wrestling with herself inside. She looked overhead. “What else could I be? Lucia is too important to him. I am just a woman who has been around him for a short time. He couldn’t possibly abandon Lucia for me.”
“Do you love him, then?”
Ling Yue nodded without any apparent hesitation. “I love him. I knew he had a wife, but I still fell in love with him; therefore, he having a wife is not a reason for me not to love him… I don’t mind being his mistress, either. I was reluctant to go to the palace and be a noble lady in the first place. I want to return home and revive my tribe!”
“I’m very sorry.”
The Queen snuck her hand into the blanket and grabbed hold of Ling Yue’s hand. Ling Yue smiled, and then held the Queen’s hand. Voice sincere, she said, “It’s all right. It is not your fault, My Queen. It is not your fault. You did your best to end this war.”
“Uhm. If possible, I really want to see your child with him.”
Ling Yue went a little red in the face when she looked at the Queen. She stroked her own tail and then giggled. “I’ll need to ask him when I can get pregnant. But, My Queen, I hope that you will be able to be the first person to give our child a bath.”
A tradition of the North is that the first child must be given a bath by the person the child’s parents trust most, and said person must also be a wise and respected individual. They also say that the child will be able to attain the character of the individual that gives them their bath. Ling Yue respected the Queen’s strong, yet calm and graceful character.
The two of them stayed outside of Duargana. The Queen was in no rush. She could see flowers and all sorts of plants outside. They were incomparably beautiful to the Queen, who had always been in the North. Further, she didn’t want to return home to see the Galadriel tribe members, but to see the things growing in the South.
Queen Evelyn, who was always in the North, a place that lacked mana, was very sensitive to mana. She was now close to the elven holy spring, therefore allowing her to finally experience the comforting sensation of the spring water. It was similar to a thirsty person finding water. For every day she was close by, her body would become a little stronger, and she would physically feel a little more soothed.
As such, the Queen didn’t mind being left outside the city for too long. It was as she herself said. Whether or not she would be accepted would depend on whether or not the leader of the Galadriel Tribe approved of her return. She could only enter the Imperial Palace if she was accepted. If she was rejected, death could not be ruled out. However, dying in the South was better than dying in the North to her!
Ling Yue’s situation was different, though. Her purpose in coming to Duargana was to see Lucia. As somebody who got together with him later, she had to be considerate of his main wife. Her assumption about Nier was right. Her lover didn’t care about Nier’s thoughts too much. Instead, he brought her here to see the elf named Lucia. Lucia was her true rival.
However, she cared nothing for the elf’s attitude toward her, because of her dignity and confidence as an esteemed lady. She was not going to bow or go down on her knees in front of Lucia. If Lucia was rude to her, she wouldn’t let her push her around. To the contrary, she would push back. She was the descendant of a noble tribe in the North, after all.
‘There’s no way I’m going to be prostrating myself before an ordinary elf!!’
That was Ling Yue’s last shred of dignity, so she was adamant on not giving way.
But, Ling Yue was struggling to fall asleep now. She had no idea what had happened inside. She didn’t enter the Imperial Palace with her lover. Tanya was the only one who went in as his bodyguard. It had been two days since he entered, but she hadn’t heard any news from him. Ling Yue had no idea what happened to Lucia or Troy.
She tried asking the Imperial Guards. They showed her respect, since she wore Troy’s cloak, but they didn’t know what happened inside either. The Galadriel tribe’s internal affairs were not something these Imperial Guards had could be informed of, so they couldn’t help her, despite their willingness to.
Ling Yue, herself, couldn’t enter the palace, either, as she is an anthropoid, the enemy of the elven and human alliance. An anthropoid couldn’t enter the Imperial Palace in spite of the fact that the war had ended. The only way she could was if she had a written decree from the Prince, but the best option was still for him to personally bring her in.
‘What happened to Troy?’
Ling Yue restlessly smacked her tail on tail on the ground in a fanning motion. She curled her body up and forced herself to shut her eyes. What Queen Evelyn said to her caused her to imagine all sorts of scenarios, wondering if Troy no longer wanted her, if he didn’t love her or if she was just a tool for relieving his lust…
“Don’t think too much. Don’t think too much. Don’t think too much.”
Ling Yue shut her eyes tightly to try to prevent herself from overthinking things.
‘Troy won’t abandon me! We definitely won’t! He’s just busy right now! He will soon return to my side! I’m sure of it! I’m sure of it!!’
Current time inside the elven Imperial Palace at Duargana.
“My son, you must calm down. You must calm down.”
I huffed and puffed. I had my fists clenched tightly. I looked at the elder opposite me. Behind me was Vyvyan, holding me back tightly and stroking my back as she repeatedly told me to calm down next to my ear.
I took in a deep breath. I forced myself to calm my shaky voice down. I told him, “I really admire you. As an elder and as my senior, you have managed to infuriate me to this degree twice in the few days we have just gotten acquainted. You really are something.”