Young Girl’s First Resolution
“Dad, I want to join the Shadow Squad.”
“Pfft!” Echte spat out a mouthful of wine and violently coughed. He looked at Lucia, who had just come home from a vacation, and wiped his mouth. He panted as he said, “What’s wrong? Why do you want to join the Shadow Squad all of a sudden? Dad is an imperial guard, not a member of the Shadow Squad. Also, the Shadow Squad is a secretive intel group. Not even I know them well…”
“I must join the Shadow Squad. Dad, please help me. It doesn’t matter how tiring or tough it is. I can handle anything thrown my way. I want to join the Shadow Squad.”
The current Lucia was clearly more sincere and serious than the Lucia who wanted to be a maid. She looked as if it was the one and only thing she wanted to do in life. It wasn’t a child’s wilful request, but an elf’s most serious decision. As a result, Echte had to get serious in spite of the fact that his daughter was still only a kid. He replied in a serious tone: “Lucia, I want to know why you want to join the Shadow Squad. Blades aren’t the best choice for a girl.”
Lucia took in a deep breath before answering: “I want to be by His Highness’ side. Her Highness said I could become his bodyguard as long as I can make it into the Shadow Squad. Therefore, I must become a member of the Shadow Squad in order to stay at His Highness’s side. I want to protect him. I must protect him! I want to be by His Highness’ side for eternity!! Forever!”
The green eyes that Lucia looked at her father with were the eyes from the past he was familiar with and missed. It was as if the current Lucia was a mirror. When he looked at her, he saw his past self. Admittedly, he wasn’t as determined as her and didn’t have so much on his mind. His romance with her mother was calm as the elven lake water, but his Lucia fell in love with her childhood friend; however, you could say her love had already ended. Every father would be touched by his daughter sincere expression, though.
Echte looked at the cup of wine in front of him. What would happen if Vyvyan found out about it but didn’t agree? There would be no “if”, as there was no doubt she’d refuse. The Galadriel Tribe viewed mana and bloodlines with great importance. His Lucia was but an ordinary elf. What right would she have to marry the Prince?
“I’ll help you train. I’ve checked out the Shadow Squad’s with Her Highness before. In saying that, Lucia, you have to bear in mind that their training is even tougher than ours. If you want to become a member of the Shadow Squad, you must pay the price.”
“That’s fine. I’m prepared.”
Lucia didn’t care about the price she might have to pay. Sometimes, an elf will have something they’re willing to give up everything for. For Lucia, staying by Troy’s side was what she wanted. If she wanted something, her life was disposable. That was how significant the young boy was to her.
“Mom, is this love?”
Vyvyan looked at Troy, who leaning in her arms, with a smile: “Love? Ah, are you talking about the Prince and Princess in the story? Yes, that’s love. Love is when you don’t abandon each other when things get bad and usually remember each other.”
Troy looked at the side of Vyvyan’s pretty face and curiously asked, “Mom, were you and Dad the same way, too?”
Vyvyan scrubbed Troy’s little head and kissed his forehead. With a smile, she replied, “Uhm, I’d say so. But Mommy and Daddy weren’t together for long, so we didn’t have that many blissful moments. With that said, I guess we went through a lot of tough things together when we were outside. Son, your eyes are very similar to your father’s. You’ll probably be very similar to your father when you grow up.”
Troy grabbed hold of Vyvyan’s long blonde hair. He looked into Vyvyan’s blue eyes and, with a tinge of disappointment, remarked, “Not like Mom…”
Vyvyan paused. She then stroked his little head with a smile. She explained, “It’s because you’re a boy, Son. If you were like mommy, then you wouldn’t be like a boy, right?”
Troy looked at the roof, slightly disappointed. Vyvyan looked at the side of her son’s face and stroked it. She asked, “What’s wrong, Son? Didn’t you dislike listening to these sorts of stories? Why do you like them now? Do you have somebody you like?”
Vyvyan was actually fearless, because she didn’t see anything different in her Son’s mind. Troy looked at her then nodded, but then shook his head, “Mom, I, myself, don’t know if this is love. I just know that I want to be with Lucia. When we were in the forest and she was almost kidnapped, I suddenly found myself so scared. I never felt so afraid before. I was afraid I’d lose her. I was afraid I’d lose Lucia. I want to be with her forever…”
Troy was so invested in his own thoughts that didn’t see Vyvyan’s grim look. Of course, he couldn’t see his own face, either. His expression instantly became considerably gentle and blissful, as if he was the most blissful person in the world.
Vyvyan felt the entire world had collapsed. She went through so many painstaking efforts to build her son a world with only her, leaving her son in the Imperial Palace, so why did he suddenly like another woman? His thinking was the exact same as her brother’s. That was what her brother thought of Elizabeth back then.
Vyvyan took in a breath of air. She was so stunned that she was lost for words. She idly looked at Troy. Troy looked back at her: “Mom, I don’t quite get it. I honestly don’t get it. Is this love? If this is love, I want to tell Lucia, but I don’t know if she’ll accept me or not.”
“How can she not?!! You two are so happy when you’re together, she’ll definitely say yes, if you confess! But you can’t! You can’t do this! Didn’t you say you only liked Mommy?! Didn’t you say you only wanted to live with Mommy?!” was what Vyvyan thought.
“Son… What about Mommy, then…?”
Vyvyan’s voice began to shake. She forced herself to resist the pain she felt, as well as her overwhelming urge to kill. If it was a full-moon night, she wouldn’t be able to control herself. She’d definitely massacre Lucia’s entire family. She might even kill their neighbours.
“Mom, I… I want to have you by my side, too… Forever… So… so I don’t know… I don’t know if this is love or not… Mom… I… I have no idea… What’s wrong with me…?”
Troy’s facial expression strangled her heart. He was moved to tears. He was scared and nervous. It was as though he had so much more on his shoulders. Her gentleness for her son surpassed her jealousy. She tightly hugged Troy, and he hugged his mom back tightly as he softly sobbed.
“It’s all right, my son. It’s all right. Mommy will be by your side. Mommy will forever be by your side… Forever… This is love, Son. You don’t need to be scared. You will definitely have this love. This is love, my son. Don’t be scared. You love Mommy; Mommy understands…”
“What about Lucia, then…?”
“… That… you will probably gradually understand…”