“Freya, are you really not planning to search for His Majesty?”
Freya spun around to see Tanya. Her lips budged a few times while she was looking at Tanya. She hesitated for a long time before replying, “I don’t plan to.”
Tanya’s tone was very calm and void of emotion just as she usually was. She didn’t hold any opinion of things around her due to her past as a tool. She still lacked much emotion. Everybody around her liked to take care of her, yet she hadn’t changed much.
“It’s not that I don’t want to, but that I can’t.” Freya lowered her head and continued in a soft voice, “Where can I search for him? I’ve never really been to the elven lands, and I don’t have a single clue as to where Queen Vyvyan took His Majesty. Furthermore, what can I do, beat the drums, march around flamboyantly and announce this to the world? Wouldn’t that just end in a third war between the elves, humanity and the North? The North has just been established. How can the North bear the burden of war? Onii-sama went through so much to conquer the North. I must protect this place. I must turn this place into an empire that’s not inferior to humanity’s and the elves. I can’t let Onii-sama come home to a barren scorched piece of land…”
Freya’s voice was shaky for the first time ever. In the past, she always carried herself with the air of a noble in Tanya’s presence, but her slightly mocking look was gone. Freya had been out of sorts since Troy’s disappearance. She spaced out at random moments and would suddenly cry. She’d quiver and feel apprehensive about speaking to others. She was completely different to how she previously was. She was akin a hedgehog that had lost its spikes and was curled up, quivering with its red belly exposed.
Tanya didn’t bother with Freya’s response. Gerald walked over with a frown. His instincts as a bodyguard told him Tanya was dangerous. He stood in front of Freya and vigilantly watched Tanya. In a serious tone, he said, “Miss Tanya, you are His Majesty’s guard unit’s captain. I’d like to ask you to calm down. Miss Freya is His Majesty’s sister, and you can tell how sad Miss Freya has been recently. It’s not that she doesn’t care about His Majesty, but, argh!”
Tanya didn’t seem to care about what Gerald had to say. She walked straight up to him. Then, she swiftly snatched up a kitchen knife and stabbed it into Gerald’s gut. Gerald’s body jolted. The pain from his gut spread to his entire body and nearly brought him to his knees. Tanya coldly watched his writhe in pain, and then pinched his face with one hand. She sternly said, “You are protecting Freya, because she is your master, but don’t forget that His Majesty is my master. I am the captain of His Majesty’s guard unit. I have to protect him. Am I supposed to stop here and wait when my master is missing? I’m going to find him. I can die, but I must die protecting him or searching for him. Unlike you, I can’t die in this palace, you weakling!”
“Ugh…” Big droplets of sweat rolled down Gerald’s forehead. He panted for air and was unable to speak.
Tanya then looked to Freya, who was standing behind him. Scared, Freya desperately retreated. She looked as though she was going to cry. Gerald extended his arm out. He was trembling, but he still managed to tightly grab onto Tanya’s ankle.
“I won’t let you hurt… Freya!”
“I won’t hurt her.”
Tanya kicked Gerald’s face away. She then coldly grabbed Freya’s collar with one hand. It was the first time there was anger in Tanya’s eyes: “You’re a coward, Freya. And here I thought you were worthy of staying at His Majesty’s side. Who would’ve thought that you can’t do anything besides quiver in this situation? I’m going to look for His Majesty. I would rather die on my search for him than stay here shaking in my boots, Coward!”
Tanya shoved Freya away then turned to head outside.
Freya crawled across the floor over to Gerald. Gerald covered his wound on his gut. He took in a deep breath and gritted his teeth. His grimace sounded akin to a wild beast as he desperately pulled the knife out. Blood sprayed out as the knife was pulled out. With a completely pale face, Gerald shook as he threw the knife aside. He then powerlessly dropped onto the ground.
“I’ll go get someone. I’ll go get someone now. Don’t… Don’t! You’re… you’re the only one left by my side…Gerald…Gerald!” cried Freya.
Freya wobbled to her feet. She used the wall as support as she staggered off, as her legs were too weak. Gerald struggled to crawl up from the ground. He looked at the hole in his soft armour feeling puzzled. He wondered, “How in the world did Tanya… do it…?”
Elizabeth opened her eyes. She looked at the ceiling with her hazy vision.
“Your Majesty! You have come to!!”
Elizabeth turned her head to the side when she heard a pleasantly surprised. Sounding comparable to a whimper, she asked pleasantly surprised maid next to her, “Where am I?”
“You are in the Imperial Palace. You have been unconscious all this time due to a serious injury. You have finally come to. I shall go and notify Miss Nier and Miss Lucia. They will surely be very happy!”
Elizabeth yelled out to the maid just as she went to run out. Raising her voice generated a painful sensation from chest, almost knocking her out again. It had been a long time since she experienced debilitating pain that frustrated her. She panted for air. Stupefied, the maid turned fearfully spun around. She panicked: “You suffered a very serious chest wound!! Do not force yourself!! You need to lie down for now. I shall go and call the doctor now. I shall go call the doctor now! You…”
“Come here…” Elizabeth could feel the fatigue radiating through her joints, and thus, gave up on trying sit up. She shut her eyes and weakly asked, “Where’s my son? Tell me, where’s my son?”
The maid blankly looked at Elizabeth. Elizabeth felt another spot on her chest throb when she looked at the maid. This pain came from deep within her heart and bones. The pain seeped into her blood and circulated around her body; it literally melted away all of her courage.
“Where’s my son?!!!!!!!!!”
Elizabeth roared with all her might, which was enough to practically tear her entire body apart. Compared to the pain of losing her son, that sort of pain was insignificant to her. The physical pain she felt was nothing to her. Elizabeth’s tears coursed down her face. Her heart hurt so much that she just wanted to die, because what hurt most to her was forever her heart…
Losing her son once was enough to Elizabeth. She knew the pain of separation from her son better than she’d have liked. The pain when she left her son in the elven lands tore apart her heart and body. The grief almost overwhelmed her mind and body. The pain she couldn’t alleviate drowned her again. She struggled with all of her might. All of her nerves were calling her to go back, but she couldn’t… She kept telling herself, “I can’t… go back… I’ve once again… abandoned my son…”
“Your Majesty! Your Majesty!! Calm down!”
“Let me die! Let me die!!! I’d rather die! I want to die!! I want my son!! Give me back my son!! Give him back! Give him back!! Vyvyan!! Vyvyan!! I’m going to kill you!! I’m going to kill you!! Vyvyvan!!! You fucking bitch! Give me back my son! Give him back!” Elizabeth raged, throwing everything she could get her hands on.
The pain in Elizabeth’s chest seemingly shattered her bones. The maid quickly stopped Elizabeth so that she wouldn’t roll off the bed. She fearfully called to the doctor rushing in: “Doctor! Doctor!! Calm Her Majesty down! Calm her down!”