“I am sincerely very sorry… Your Highness…”
“It’s all right; it’s all right.”
The maid followed behind me while quivering. She nervously apologised over and over, while I told her not to worry over and over with a helpless smile. I didn’t know if she kept following me and apologising because she was that frightened or what. Perhaps Mommy Vyvyan disturbed her.
Mom didn’t continue to punish her after I told Mom it was fine. Instead, she paid more attention to me, checking to see if I was hurt. I was still normal, albeit lacking mana. A blanket couldn’t squash me; I was fine. Mom didn’t say anything else, either. Afterwards, the maid stayed with us. I, myself, didn’t know what she wanted…
“I-I am a new maid… I am not very skilled yet… This is my first day at work… and yet I made such a blunder… Your Highness… I honestly did not do it on purpose.”
I sighed. I turned around to see the maid sobbing with her head down. She quickly grabbed onto the long dress maid uniform. Tears coursed down her face. I lifted her chin. I met with her teary eyes with sincere feelings. Her light-green eyes were the exact same as Luna’s. It was the first time I thought I saw Luna crying and almost kissed her. Her hair was short as Luna’s. She must’ve had a gentle smile as Luna’s if she smiled, I reckoned. Sincerely, I stated, “I told you already that it wasn’t your fault, so I won’t punish you. I won’t let the head maid punish you or whatever, either. Just pretend it never happened. You don’t need to worry.”
“R-Really…?” The maid fearfully raised her head. She maintained her tight grip on her dress. Still scared, she quietly said, “I once heard a rumour… that if this sort of thing happened with you, then I would have to… with you… I… I… I have somebody I love… So…”
“Everybody says that.”
I face palmed myself. I didn’t know who started that sort of false rumour, but I had to punish whoever said it. It was definitely a false rumour; it was one-hundred percent false. Yes, I had a mistress and wives, but I wouldn’t threaten somebody over something so trivial!
I waved my hand: “That’s a false rumour. Ignore it. I’m married. How could I threaten a maid into doing that? Moreover, my Mom is with me, so how could I do that? However, since you feel apologetic, just stay with me for a while. To be honest, you’re very similar to my original personal servant. I’m reminded of her when you’re with me. Just stay by my side to let me reminisce the past for a bit.”
My request appeared to confuse the maid initiailly. A moment after, she lowered her head: “But… I have to leave at night… Your Highness… Is the person you mentioned… Miss Luna…? You only have one personal servant…”
I nodded: “That’s right. I was talking about Luna, my only personal servant. Can you occasionally come back tomorrow? Come look after me when you’re here. The head maid or whoever won’t be able to say anything if you’re with me, either.”
The maid nodded as though she understood, yet not. She then wiped her tears and raised her head to look at me with her slightly red eyes. She mulled on her words before articulating herself: When will you return to Duargana?”
I shook my head in response: “I don’t know.”
“I heard… you are unwell right now… Is that true? Did Her Highness bring you here so that you could relax and recuperate?”
I could sense the maid’s tinge of fear. Panicking after her query, she explained, “No, no, no, I am not trying to pry… I am just very curious… I am worried about you… I… I heard about it from some maids’ insider information… I- I… Can you tell me…?”
I didn’t let the maid continue with her explanation. Instead, I directly responded, “That’s right. I’m in very bad shape right now. In fact, I could pass away at any moment. I know it’s not really wise to tell a maid about my condition, as it should be a secret of our imperial family, but since I want to have you with me, I must be upright. I treated Luna the same way. Frankly speaking, I consider you a replacement for Luna. I don’t think highly of your skills. It’s purely because you strongly resemble Luna. So, Miss Maid, would you be willing to take care of me alone during this time? I will treat you the same way I treated Luna.”
The maid was too similar to Luna in every way. I wasn’t sure if it was because Luna was also an ordinary elf, therefore the strong resemblance. In any case, there was no disputing she was profoundly similar. She was basically a copy of Luna. When I met with her eyes, memories rushed into my mind, reminding me of Luna’s smile.
I don’t know how much longer I have to live, but I wanted to see Luna at the end of my life. I let her down. I let her down more than I let Mera down. As a matter of fact, Luna was the one I let down most. Luna gave up so much for me, but I couldn’t give her anything. In the end, she sacrificed herself for my sake. If I could’ve gone out that night, Luna wouldn’t have died.
I was flabbergasted to learn Luna’s killer enjoyed the funeral of a hero. I forced my way into the cemetery, but what good was that? I couldn’t do anything besides vent my anger and pang of guilt. I couldn’t do anything to a dead person. I felt completely powerless at the time. Everything I did after her death and every person I killed was because I wanted to apologise to Luna and my weakness.
I then had a pair of gentle eyes watch me. Her eyes let me apologise for what I couldn’t put down and the knot of pain in my heart… And, I could finally say, “I love you.”
The maid resolutely responded without any hesitation: “Yes, I am, Your Highness. It is my honour to take care of you. I will be sure to do my best! My name is Eiru Silner. If you do not mind, please allow me to be your personal servant. I do not know how your condition is, but I believe our god will respect you for your kindness! You are just unwell right now! You can surely recover.”
I chuckled softly. Gods? I had one right next to me. Mommy Vyvyan was a demi-god. If the gods care could heal me, I would’ve recovered by then for sure. I destroyed my own body. Not even god could repair what I did. I could rely on this god to hang on by a thread, though.
I still hadn’t made up my mind to live at the villa forever. Certainly, it was a decent way to live, but I wanted to go back to see my children and wives. I intended to go back once my condition stabilised.
I felt physically worn out. I turned around to open my door: “I’m going to have a short rest. Remember to call me when it’s dinner time. Oh, right. Here, this is for you.”
I removed my chest pin from my chest and tossed it to the maid: “Luna had one back then, as well. This is my personal servant’s emblem. Take care of it. Otherwise, you might not be allowed to be my personal servant.”
“Understood!” The maid gripped the pin tightly and pressed it to her chest while looking at me with a serious look.
I smiled, and then turned around to shut my door.