We returned just as the song for the dance ended. Everybody who was dancing scattered with smiles. The venue was quite chaotic, so nobody noticed our disappearance before. However, Vyvyan seemed to instantly notice that Mommy Elizabeth had changed her clothes.
Mommy Vyvyan came up to me and looked at me feeling suspicious. I knew why she was so tense, as she, too, changed before the last ball. She was definitely thinking about that after noticing Mommy Elizabeth had changed, as well. She must’ve deliberately come over to inquire about it.
“Did something happen between you and Elizabeth?”
“No.” I shook my head.
I was upfront with Mommy Vyvyan, since I knew that she’d definitely believe me. Lying would be pointless, after all; Mommy Vyvyan could tell if I’m lying. In a quiet tone, she said, “Son, remember that it’s fine for you to do it with Mommy, but you can’t have those sorts of thoughts for Elizabeth. Elizabeth is your Mom. The people’s evaluation of you will be ruined by that woman!! She’s your mom in name! If you can’t hold it in, you can come to Mommy, but not Elizabeth!”
I smiled: “You’re my Mom, too. How could I go looking for you when I have those desires? Yes, I did do it with you, but it was force majeure every time, right?”
“Was it? It was force majeure?” Mommy Vyvyan amorously chuckled, and then gestured for me to come over with her finger. She quietly said, “That time a few days ago wasn’t force majeure.”
“That… That was because you were too pretty that I couldn’t stop myself! It counts as force majeure, too!!”
I think you could boil an egg by pressing it against my face at that moment. I quickly picked up a cup of wine by the side and smashed it back to hide the true reason my face was flushed red. Mommy Vyvyan pursed her lips into a smile. She then leaned in all of a sudden and gave me a gentle kiss on my face. That was such a tremendous shock to me that I sprayed the wine out of my mouth.
Standing in front of me was Mommy Elizabeth. I just sprayed a mouthful of wine onto the back of her neck. She was speaking to someone, but my mishap infuriated her to the point she crushed her cup in her hand…
Mommy Elizabeth interprets spitting wine on her as an insult to her and her power as royalty. It was unacceptable to her. She swiftly spun around and looked at me with a gaze so cold I almost dropped to my knees.
Her murderous intent enveloped the entire venue. It was akin to an oppressive aura coming down from overhead and crushing everybody below. Nobody dared to look at Elizabeth. Her aura was incredibly frightening. The red wine running down her hand was akin to blood. She appeared as though she wanted to hack everybody around her to death with a kitchen knife by the side.
Not a soul dared to look directly at Mommy Elizabeth. Though it happened right next to her, nobody dared to look over. As a matter of fact, they were afraid their breathing was too loud. When a lion sets its sights on a gazelle, the best course of action is to lower its head and avoid being next to the lion. The Goddess of War and Destroyer of Men emitted a bloody aura. One could smell the smoke and blood of the battlefield standing next to her.
Elizabeth looked at me puzzled, and then wiped away the traces of wine at the corner of my mouth. All of her murderous intent dissipated in an instant. I quickly waved my hand for the band to pick up their instruments again. However, I could detect the musicians’ trembling in their playing. Everybody quickly revealed awkward smiles then turned away and avoided looking in our direction again.
“What’s wrong…? Ah…” asked Elizabeth
Elizabeth looked at me and then at Vyvyan by the side, who was furtively smiling with her lips pursed. Elizabeth then immediately figured out what happened: “I can overlook you spitting wine on me, but I’m sure Vyvyan was the one who made you spit it, right? What did you two say to be laughing so happily?”
“It wasn’t because of laughter.” Vyvyan had a drink of wine and then pulled Elizabeth over to look at her back. She said, “How sad. You just got changed and it’s already stained. You should head back and get changed. Head on back and get changed. You’re the main star of today’s banquet. Do you plan on showing yourself in that wet dress stained with red wine?”
Elizabeth nodded: “Uhm, you’re right. She’s right, Son. I’ll go and change again… Umm, Son, come with me.”
I lingered for a moment. Just as I prepared to leave with Elizabeth, Vyvyan grabbed me and whispered, “Son, be wary of rumours about you. You can’t follow her out right now. You need to wait a few minutes, and then find an excuse to sneak out while nobody is paying attention. You can’t let your future prospects and future itself be destroyed due to a moment of impulsiveness. Heed my advice, Son. Elizabeth has warped ideas for you. You must understand that your future lies here, not with Elizabeth!”
I turned my head around to look at Vyvyan. Eyebrows furrowed, I asked, “Mom, do you know something? Mommy Elizabeth told me about not wanting to return to Hilles City. Nevertheless, I don’t have a valid excuse at the moment. Mom, could it be that you know something?”
Vyvyan nodded: “Yes, I do. After seeing me, Elizabeth seemed to have the same idea as me. After all, you only need one ruler. She just needs to have another child. Your father has passed away, so the only person she has now is you.”
I shuddered. Mommy Vyvyan gave me a nod. She then touched my face: “I can help you hide it, but can Elizabeth? You’ll both be done for if your affair is exposed. You two can’t do that, understood? Son, you mustn’t gamble with your future, no matter what!”
I peered at the exit. There was nobody looking at me. Basically, everybody was going about their own business. Freya moved about in the crowd as a fish to water. She was an adept at socialising. She knew very well what we needed and what they could provide, so I didn’t need to stick my nose in.
“Remember, Son. Don’t waste your present and future. Remember that, Son!”Vyvyan warned me again in a soft voice as she let go of my arm.
I nodded in response. I then turned to head outside.
I needed to go to Mommy Elizabeth. I knew what she had in mind after Vyvyan filled me in. I didn’t have anything in particular that I wanted to say to her. To the contrary, I was as calm as though it had nothing to do with me. With that said, I knew Mommy Vyvyan was right. Mommy Elizabeth couldn’t hide it from everybody. Once discovered, I’d basically be crucified to the pillar of shame. After all, we weren’t in a society that could accept such a thing. It was humanity we were talking about, not elves. It was Mommy Elizabeth we were talking about, not Mommy Vyvyan.