“Imperial Princess!” saluted the maids.
“They’re… still alive, right?” Lucia asked. She looked at the two lying on the bed and touched their gunshot wounds on their gut. She took out a small bottle from her pocket and handed it to a maid: “Just give them this. It’ll heal their external wounds. Take good care of them. Freya has gone a little overboard this time.”
Lucia didn’t plan to get involved with the matter. She knew that, as His Highness’ wife, she needed to stay out of political affairs. Furthermore, Lucia didn’t want to be involved with politics. She felt she’d negatively impact her husband if she did. Nier and Lucia had great chemistry when it came to distancing themselves from politics, refusing to involve themselves regardless of what Troy said or did. They both refused any requests others brought up with them as well as gifts. They focused on fulfilling their roles as mothers and wives in peace. The two already felt very blessed to be able to marry Troy and become mothers. Nevertheless, the maids tearfully complained to Lucia this time. Thus, she went to see the two on the brink of death.
Freya’s marksmanship and strength were still lacking. Consequently, she had to shoot at close range. She hit their lower abdomens. The two were in critical condition, but the bottle of elven spring water could help them heal.
The elven spring water was originally intended to be used in emergencies, but Lucia used it to save Gerald and Alex. Lucia didn’t want to dabble in politics, but she was aware Freya had gone too far. Her husband wouldn’t have done that when he was still alive.
Lucia wouldn’t let Freya destroy her husband’s North. Her husband shed blood to capture the North. She could see her husband’s determined eyes when he was in the North. In her opinion, that was when he looked coolest. The North was her husband’s proudest achievement. The North had just started to develop according to her husband’s desires. Was she supposed to just let Freya destroy it?
Lucia’s girls still needed to grow up in the North. How would she explain herself if the North fell into chaos, not to mention that her children wouldn’t be able to live in peace? Her husband‘s current status was unknown. How was she going to explain its downfall if he survived? She couldn’t let her husband return to a devastated North.
Lucia believed her husband was still alive, because she firmly believed he wouldn’t leave her. She firmly believed in her Prince. She didn’t believe he’d leave her and their children. That was the trust between childhood friends and the belief of the woman he trusted most.
Lucia wouldn’t feel that she was abandoned because of one more woman or one less woman, for she knew that she could always find herself in her husband’s eyes. She could feel the strong love he had for her in his eyes, something which hadn’t changed even today. She also believed her beloved and respected Queen Vyvyan couldn’t possibly hurt His Highness. He was her Prince and Vyvyan’s son.
Lucia saw Queen Vyvyan as the strongest elf. Nobody knew mana better than Vyvyan. She believed Vyvyan could solve everything related to mana. While Lucia was awfully concerned for her husband, she had to take care of her children. Her motherly instincts as an elf wouldn’t allow her to abandon her children. As she believed in Vyvyan, she stayed to look after her children. She strongly believed that her husband would surely return to her in one piece.
Lucia said, “Take me to Freya.”
“Princess, it is night time already…” replied a maid.
“It’s all right. There’s nothing on at night. The children are asleep. Take me to see my husband’s sister. I can’t sit and watch any longer. If this keeps up, she’ll destroy the North. My husband’s absence is not a reason for her to be doing as she pleases. She can’t act violently and give up on herself. My husband has gone off to recuperate; he hasn’t passed away. There’s a line she can’t cross. This empire belongs to my husband, not her!”
The maids let out breaths of relief. They were incredibly worried about what the North would become, not so much the political side of the North, but everybody in the palace was walking a tightrope. Freya was the Regent. Nobody could get a grasp on her mood, and she killed at her own discretion, which could be any moment, sometimes using horrifying means of punishment. As a consequence, all of the maids were worried they’d die if they said or did something wrong. As a matter of fact, lots of people left.
Initially, everybody was envious of those being able to work in the Imperial Palace, as the work location, salary, benefits and treatment were all fantastic. After Freya began her madness, everybody thought about how to leave the Imperial Palace and was on edge, afraid they’d anger Freya. They were essentially standing at the edge of a cliff and could, therefore, lose their life at any moment.
The maids were hopeful Lucia would speak up, since she was the Imperial Princess. Everybody knew Lucia’s status, but the other party was His Majesty’s adopted sister. His Majesty wouldn’t help Freya with it, unlike Lucia. Having said that, Lucia’s mood was also very unpredictable. She’d either be crying, spacing out or mad at random moments; hence, they never found the right opportunity to bring it up with her. Fortunately, Lucia decided to take the initiative to speak out.
“Princess Freya should be in His Majesty’s room at this time… She goes there every night… Except, she does not allow us to approach the room…” said a maid. The maids sounded as if they were pleading Lucia: “Imperial Princess, please, can you have Regent Freya leave the Imperial Palace? She is going overboard now. Everybody is now afraid she will kill them if they are careless. Today, she locked up a group of children to starve them to death!”
“What?!” exclaimed, Lucia astounded. “What did you say? She imprisoned a group of children?! Why?! Why did she do that?! Even if there was an assassin after her last night, the children are still innocent. Is she certain that it was those nobles who sent assassins after her? Isn’t she just senselessly killing people according to her conjectures?! Isn’t this just indiscriminate murder?! Isn’t this just savagely killing people? Isn’t she destroying my husband’s name ‘Hero King’ title?!!”
The maids witnessed Lucia fly off the handle again. Lucia took in a deep breath and rubbed her face: “Release them. Give them some monetary compensation. I don’t know how much to give them myself. Just give them as much as you think they can accept. If somebody tries to stop you, tell them that I gave the order. My commands hold precedence over Freya’s, so my husband’s guards should follow my orders.”
The maids were actually very reluctant to carry out the order. They didn’t want to involve themselves with the guards. The maids weren’t Troy’s exclusive employees, but his guards were. They didn’t take orders from anybody. Troy was the only one who could command them. Of course, Lucia should’ve been able to, as well, presumably. She was the Imperial Princess, after all, and His Majesty was currently absent.
Lucia took in a deep breath. She thought she could settle it by speaking to Freya, but she never expected Freya had gone nuts. Freya wasn’t just a little crazy; she was totally crazy. The worst part was that everything Freya did would be associated with her husband despite her initially saying whether Freya went crazy or not had nothing to do with her. Put another way, the consequences of Freya going crazy would eventually end up being blamed on her husband. Her husband was the Hero King, a man who was fair and just, but Freya destroyed his reputation bit by bit.
Lucia knew how kind and gentle her husband was. But the nut job’s actions meant her husband’s name would be tarnished, and he’d never be forgiven. Her husband was a great man. As such, he couldn’t let the mistake of another destroy his name. The last problem was that Freya wasn’t inadvertently destroying it, as Freya definitely knew what would happen, and yet still went ahead.
Lucia pondered, “Is she not deliberately committing a mistake? Is Freya scheming something?”
Lucia rubbed her face. She didn’t hate Freya. While she knew Nier and others all thought that Freya had ulterior motives for caring so much about her husband, Lucia couldn’t see a hint of desire for any power or ambition in the young girl’s eyes. What she saw was love and the shyness of a young girl. That was why she held no animosity towards Freya. After hearing of Freya’s recent madness, nevertheless, Lucia was angry.
Lucia reasoned that, if Freya truly loved her husband, she wouldn’t do that as his sister. The thought wasn’t directed at Freya’s recent frenzy alone, but most importantly, barging into her husband’s room. Not even Lucia had been in there. She wanted to go into her husband’s room really badly herself… Lucia considered the inside a treasure trove…
Lucia took a deep breath when she stood at the door, and then knocked. She heard the sounds of footsteps inside. She then heard Freya’s angry voice shouting: “Didn’t I tell you to not disturb me at this hour…? Ah… Princess Lucia…”
Lucia saw the door suddenly open. Lucia viciously slapped Freya across her face before she could react. Lucia’s slap almost knocked Freya out cold. That was a full-strength slap from a soldier from the Shadow Squad on a child’s face.
“Think about what you’ve done for my husband! Think about what you’ve done for your brother! Think about it! Is this what you brother wants to see?!” exclaimed Lucia.