I didn’t see anybody I was familiar with at Hilles City. I didn’t even see Castell, let alone Mommy Elizabeth. It suddenly occurred to me she most likely went looking for Mommy Vyvyan; I was certain of that. I was out of time to return, though. I didn’t think the two of them would fight.
I went to Troy City next. Upon arrival, I was shocked to discover Mommy Vyvyan and Mommy Elizabeth’s statue had been demolished. The new project they were working on there was a statue of me. It was the first time I’d seen such a massive statue. My moms’ statues were demolished, and then added together to make my statue. However, it seemed a little excessively large and expensive. The base alone was made using gold and embedded diamonds.
Troy City hadn’t existed for even one year. Where would we have so much money from? I told them to halt the project, only to be surprised by the news that taxes at Troy City had been raised by four times and an extra year of taxes was collected. Anyone who couldn’t pay their taxes laboured away day and night to build the statue. Talk about an unimaginable scenario. I never thought about erecting a statue of myself. If we had to erect one, a water fountain or a normal large stone statue would suffice. Why splurge on such expensive gold and wring the people dry? Those were signs of a nation meeting its doom.
“Who ordered you to do this?! Who ordered you to do this?!!” I raged.
It was the first time I grabbed somebody by their collar and raged so aggressively. I really did want to bite his neck off. Troy City was my city. It was my moms’ gift for me. I liked the city named after me. I put in a lot of effort to return the city to normal. I didn’t want this city to become hell on Earth. When I stood atop the hill and admired the flowers all around, I felt a big sense of accomplishment, but then I found out that it costs these citizens their blood, sweat and tears.
“Why did it turn out this way? There’s no way Freya could’ve done this!” I shouted in my mind.
Nier and Lucia didn’t involve themselves in politics. This sort of commemoration activity was definitely not something the two of them would do. Freya would stop them even if they lost their minds and wanted to go through with it. Freya would never do something akin to digging your own grave.
“It was Princess Freya! It was Princess Freya’s command! She… she erected an even larger statue in the North. She took all sorts of expensive gold and diamonds, and delivered them to the North. This is just a small statue. All of Troy City’s money has been sent to the North! Virtually all of it!” explained the panic-stricken General Manager.
The surprise and shock almost put out my anger. I was shocked. I never thought Freya would be the one to give the order and come up with the idea.
“Freya wanted to do this? If Freya is going this wild then what happened? Why did she do this?” I wondered.
It wasn’t an intellectual problem; that much I could be sure of. You didn’t need to be a genius to see the problem. It was the equivalent of digging your own grave. It was totally different to how Freya used to think. While she didn’t allow the citizens to hang on to too much wealth in the past, she’d still let them live, give them something to work for and give them hope. She considered the people domestic animals that wouldn’t put up a resistance as long as they have enough to drink, eat and could find entertainment. She was planting the seeds of rebellion in the people with this madness.
Freya even robbed the people of hope. Would the people still be willing to be domestic animals in that state? Did Freya really give the order? Would she really do something so atrociously ridiculous? I didn’t believe it. I understood Freya; however, nobody, besides Freya, would have the right to give the order.
“What exactly happened in the North? What happened to my Imperial Palace?” I wondered.
I wanted to make a lap around to all of the places I’d been to with the mentality of being relieved and not having to worry about anything. Only to find a fire had been lit again. Troy City and the North were the fruits of my labour. I wanted for both of them to stably develop even if I died. I was confident and satisfied when I saw the fields of dye flowers from the hills. I thought I could see the fruits of my labour and depart feeling satisfied. I never expected such madness to be taking place!!
I released him and threw the person in charge away. I did some thinking to myself, and then gave new commands: “Dismantle the base. Melt the metal, and remove the diamonds. Take these things that were found and sell them for gold coins. Cancel two years of tax for Troy City. Hand out this money as seasonal benefits, such as spring harvest benefits. Also, buy food, necessities and distribute them. In winter, officials are to provide salt and firewood. You must ensure the livelihood of the people. This sort of stuff is absolutely meaningless. Why make these things when I’m not even dead. Taxes are to return to normal after two years, understood?”
“Your Majesty… Your Majesty… you… you sure change your orders quickly… We were already ready. For us to suddenly cancel the project and sell it, it would impact the mark-”
I interjected: “It wasn’t my order!! Are you retarded?! My palace is just a simple collection of buildings. Why in the world would I construct such an expensive statue? Do you not know what would happen if this continues? What do you think I’m doing? I’m saving you here. You want to bet these people will kill you if you continue constructing it?!! I don’t care what happens. I’m asking you to turn these things back into money and return them to their rightful owners. I don’t want my people’s lives to be impacted. Sell all of these expensive metals and diamonds to Rosvenor. Worse comes to worse, we can sell them to the elves. That has nothing to do with me. Sell it off however you bought it, am I clear?!!”
I mounted my horse.
I couldn’t face the citizens of Troy City. Although I wasn’t the one who gave the order, the people were convinced I was the one who gave the order. Freya gave the orders under my name. I was confused. In fact, I was completely confused as to why Freya would do such a thing. I’d believe it if it was somebody else, but not Freya!
Something undoubtedly happened in the North. Something definitely happened in the Imperial Palace. The nobles I spared ran into trouble. I was certain it wasn’t Freya who gave this order. The nobles in the North might’ve taken advantage of my absence to control Freya, and then used these means to destroy our rule. I said to myself, “I must take back my palace. It’s my North and my Troy City. Freya, my wives and my daughters are in danger there! I can still move despite having a body that’s practically dead, so I can’t let anybody harm my family!!”
Lucia gently knocked on the door. She looked at the girl, who was curled up, and softly asked, “Freya, are you asleep?”
The bed sheets rustled. The blanket was pulled off. Freya poked her small head out to look at Lucia. She quietly replied, “Not yet, Miss Lucia. Should you not be with the girls tonight?”
“Not tonight. The maids will be able to take care of them for one night.”
Lucia walked up to Freya’s bed and sat down. Freya made way for her. Lucia pulled on the blanket and smiled, “Can I get in?”
“What?!” exclaimed Freya, dumbfounded.
Lucia didn’t care for Freya’s response. Instead, Lucia pulled the blanket off, got into the bed and then hugged Freya. Lucia pulled little Freya up against chest. Lucia was still in her breastfeeding period. Hence, the scent of warm milk lingered around her chest. In addition, she had a unique scent mothers had; the scent could put children at ease. Lucia stroked Freya’s head. Freya was speechless.
While holding Freya in her embrace, Lucia said, “I don’t know how I should treat you myself, but I think that if we need to open our hearts, then sleeping in each other’s embrace is the best method. I guess, entrusting your most defenceless moment to the other will allow them to feel trusted. Freya, I don’t hate you. I hit you, because you went overboard. If you continued with what you were doing, you would lead the North to its doom. The North is my husband’s glorious achievement that he gave up so much to create. Similarly to Troy City, it’s his proudest achievement. I believe he doesn’t want to see this. What he wants to see definitely isn’t a scorched land and the statue. He’d rather see the people in his land leading happy and peaceful lives than a statue of him made from pure gold. Freya, I’m sure you understand that, right? You’re my husband’s most trusted vassal. You’re my husband’s favourite sister. I understand your feelings for your brother. Freya, I love you; do you understand that? Freya, you’re my husband’s sister, so it’s a given that I love you…”
Next to Freya’s ear, Lucia softly said, “That’s why you need to stop doing those things, Freya. Trust Troy. Trust His Highness. He loves us; he won’t just up and leave. He’s not dead. Queen Vyvyan just took him away. He’s just gone for treatment; he’s not dead. His Highness won’t leave me. I believe in him. He was able to return to my side regardless of whether he was facing the Earth Dragons or the desert. Therefore, Freya, please don’t destroy the North. We need to wait for His Highness’ return. We need to wait for him to return to us. He loves you, and so do I. You’re his sister, so you must trust believe in him.”
Lucia spoke as if she was speaking to her child. Freya’s tears suddenly went out of control, leading to her crying in Lucia’s embrace. Freya wasn’t willing to wail; hence, she clamped her fingers into her hand. Her body began to quiver intensely in Lucia’s embrace. Lucia stopped speaking and wore a smile while tenderly hugging and caressing her. Lucia didn’t know how to bring Freya back to normal. Nevertheless, she strongly believed that they could become good friends if they slept together. For instance, the young girl completely fell for His Highness after they slept together…