Mommy Elizabeth was dressed in a black evening dress that highlighted her white skin and obsidian eyes. Her long black hair was behind her, highlighting the black material. The design of the dress itself was similar to Vyvyan’s. However, it was less revealing.
Judging from her choice of style, Mommy Elizabeth wasn’t fond of revealing clothes. I wasn’t sure if it was due to the design of the dress or not, but it was clear that it was a bit tight, making Mommy Elizabeth’s body lines particularly prominent. In fact, it forced the black gem at her chest to sit on top of her breasts, while her hips looked as though they suffocated.
Mommy Elizabeth looked at me while twiddling with her hair. In a slightly nervous tone, she said, “To be honest… This is Mommy’s first time trying this sort of clothes… It feels a bit tight… I can’t hang the gem down…”
Mom tugged on the gem at her chest. It seemed as though she wanted to adjust her collar. I quickly reached my hand out to stop her dangerous action by holding her hand.
That was a dangerous action. Too dangerous. If she tugged it, they might jiggle… That was too scary.
“Castell had it made according to my measurements…”
Mommy Elizabeth froze stiff. She blankly looked at me, and then at her own body. She clenched her teeth and angrily exclaimed, “Castell!! He must be sick of living! Listen, Son, listen. I haven’t gotten fat! I swear, I haven’t gained weight! It’s just… Mm… Castell definitely got my measurements wrong! He definitely got the wrong measurements! It’s definitely because he gave them the wrong measurements!”
I chuckled. With a smile, I said, “It’s fine. I know, Mom. You’re not fat. You’re not fat. You’re not fat. Your dress seems a bit too tight, but I think that you look very pretty in it. How about going back to change?”
“Change?” Elizabeth looked at herself and then me. She titled her head: “I think that this dress looks quite nice… What do you think, Son? If possible, Mommy doesn’t want to waste your time. Being late would give you grief, after all, wouldn’t it?”
“I think it’s very becoming of you.”
Elizabeth smiled in an embarrassed manner then looked at me again. She swept her hair aside, and then hooked her arm around mine. With a smile, she said, “Son, you’re getting better and better at sweet talking. Mommy is very happy, son. Mommy doesn’t need to take care of others this time, so Mommy wants to have fun this time.”
“Uhm, have fun while you’re here, Mom. The North is my territory. You’re my Mom and my guest, so you don’t need to do a thing.”
Mom stroked my face and smiled: “Mommy has to do something for you, son. Mommy can’t let you continue to wear yourself out this way, son. You fell asleep so fast yesterday and didn’t even wake. That’s proof of how tired you are. I’m here now, so I won’t let you be so tired. I must do my best to help you, Son… After all, I can’t stay here for too long.”
“I have to return to Hills City. Hills City needs me.”
Mom looked melancholic. Her reluctance to part and sorrow was evident in her eyes. I held her hand, while she kept her eyes on me. She gently bumped her forehead on mine. Tone gentle, she said, “Mommy can’t help it. Mommy can defeat all of the enemies in this world. Mommy dares to fight them regardless of how formidable they may be. Nonetheless, I have never defeated myself.”
“Mom, I made a promise to you. I’ll definitely help you break that bird cage.”
Mommy Elizabeth shook her head: “It’s impossible. It’s impossible, Son. Mommy personally constructed that cage. Mommy has reinforced the cage with every passing year. Mommy used the sturdiest cage in the entire empire. If you want to break the cage, you’ll have to break the empire.”
Mom shook her head. She then pressed her forehead back onto mine. She pulled her hand out of my grip and clasped my face: “Additionally, it’s not just Mommy. The same goes for you. Mommy isn’t Vyvyan. Sometimes, Vyvyan’s long lifespan is a form of suffering, but right now, I feel that her long lifespan is fantastic. Mommy can tell mommy is old now when Mommy sees you. If Mommy ages and passes away, Mommy will have to entrust the empire to you.”
“…” I didn’t respond. I just looked at Mom.
Mom looked into my eyes and elaborated in a soft voice, “This bird cage isn’t just built to lock me in, Son. It’s built to lock our entire family in; not just me, but also you and your child. Hilles City is a curse against us. Sometimes, I truly hate myself for naming that city. I shouldn’t have named it The Phoenix’s Nest, but Hell’s Prison. A land of death!”
“Son… Sorry… Sorry… But, it’s fine. It’s fine, Son. It’s fine… Mommy will do Mommy’s best to take care of you. Mommy must give up some things for the empire, so… Sorry…”
I didn’t let her continue. I grabbed a firm hold of her hand and kissed her lips. She froze up for a moment. It was the first time I felt her lips were so incredibly cold. She froze as if she was a block of wood, but I didn’t give up, persisting with my kiss.
I finally stopped after I couldn’t breathe. I gasped for air, and then tried to kiss her again, but she turned her head away to reject me. “Son… That’s enough…”
A feeling of puzzlement came over me. She showed the side of her face to me. Her face was red, but it was clear that it wasn’t red makeup. She wiped her lips and softly pouted: “You’ll ruin my lipstick… Son… Don’t…”
“All right.” I nodded then asked, “So we’ll continue after you remove your makeup?”
Mom pinched my face. She smiled and replied, “No way. I’m not your wife, Son. That trick of yours is useless against me. Stop messing around, Son. Go and attend to the banquet. Mommy has told you a lot. Don’t be too sad, Son. Mommy will still love your child despite not being able to raise your child.”
“Mom, I’ll help you break that bird cage.”
I released Mom, and then pressed my hand on the wall. Normally speaking, it’d be as easy as the click of a finger for Mom to get away from me, but she didn’t escape. I took a step back for her to wrap her arm around mine. After a breath’s time, my arm was buried between her warm valleys. Their softness and warmth covered my arm in a flash.
Mom giggled: “Don’t be silly, Son. It’s a joyous night tonight. Son, don’t think about those things. Let’s enjoy tonight. Don’t go thinking about those pointless things.”
I watched her purse her lips into a smile, evening out her lipstick a little. It wasn’t actually spoilt, though. She wore a smile, but her eyelashes were slightly wet.
Mom didn’t believe I could break the cage. From the empire’s perspective, Mom’s departure was the equivalent of the main system shutting down. That, subsequently, meant the collapse of the empire.
Mom didn’t believe that I can break it. To be absolutely honest, I didn’t have faith in myself, either. Regardless, I had to make the impossible possible for my mom, because she was my mom, my most dear mom.