Elizabeth pressed Vyvyan onto the bed then sighed. Elizabeth called a maid outside to bring a pot of tea. She poured a cup and handed it to Vyvyan. Vyvyan indifferently took the cup. Elizabeth slapped her across the face. Vyvyan revealed an expression of one just waking from a dream. She blankly looked at Elizabeth as her tears coursed down her face.
Elizabeth let out a heavy sigh and said, “What exactly happened? Why are you in this state? Where’s my son? What exactly happened to my son?!! I have to take his corpse even if he’s dead. He’s my son. I will never let go of him.”
Vyvyan looked at Elizabeth. She gripped the corners of her dress tightly and weakly replied, “It’s all over… It’s all over… It’s all over… My son… is gone… He left… He’s gone…”
Elizabeth leapt to her feet and grabbed Vyvyan’s hand. She exclaimed, “Where’d he go? Where can he go in his current state?! Shouldn’t he be extremely weak right now?! Where can he go?! Where else can he go?! Where did you send him?!”
“It wasn’t me. It was he himself…”
Hopeless, Vyvyan closed her eyes. Her tears seeped out uncontrollably. She hugged Elizabeth tightly. She buried her head in Elizabeth’s abdomen and wailed. The steam from the hot tea by the side blew sideways. Elizabeth was stupefied. Elizabeth’s mind was a muddle to begin with. With Vyvyan hugging her, Elizabeth ended up at a total loss for what to do but hug Vyvyan back and give her gentle pats on her back.
“I failed… I failed… I can’t save my son… I can’t help him! What sort of mom am I when I can’t even save my son…? All I could do was watch my son leave right before my eyes. What sort of mom am I?!” Vyvyan hugged Elizabeth and wailed. She got her tears, snot and blood on Elizabeth’s chest.
Elizabeth could only hold Vyvyan in her arms and ask, “Where exactly has he gone, then? Tell me, Vyvyan. Where exactly has my son gone after leaving this place? Tell me the whole story from beginning to end. What exactly happened here? I don’t even know if my son is dead or alive right now!!”
Vyvyan sobbed: “He’s alive, but he’s going to die soon. I’m helpless… I really can’t do anything…. My son can’t live without sucking blood… He’s not willing to… He’s not willing to… He’s not willing to use that method… I really can’t do anything…. I’ve done all that I can. I’ve even tried to use all the mana in Duargana to sustain his mana requirements… But he won’t accept it… I can’t help him….”
Elizabeth scrubbed her hair. Irritated, she thundered, “He wouldn’t choose that sort of method, of course! Do you not know how kind he is?! I just want to know where he’s gone!! Tell me, where did he go after leaving this place? There must be a way. There has to be. If you’re out of ideas, I’ll find ways. I’ll definitely save my son!”
“It’s useless. It’s useless. My son can’t produce mana. You humans can’t help him. I’m the only one who can save him. Only I could… but I have no solution… I don’t… I can’t save my son. I’ve honestly tried my utmost… I really did my best… But I can’t…”
“Don’t just give up. You’re the one who can’t save him, not me. There’s got to be a way. I’m absolutely certain there’s a way. Even if we don’t have one, he should have a way. In short, my son will be fine! There’s definitely a way to save him!! I’m certain there is!!”
“Not even I have a way!” argued Vvyvyan.
Elizabeth shouted back, “That doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t!! I It’s just you who’s out of ideas! You have to trust others around you! You have to trust them! Trust my son. If my son wants to die, then he’ll definitely die, but if he wants to live then there will definitely be hope! As long as he wants to live, he’ll be fine! He’ll definitely make it if he wants to! I believe in my son!”
“He’s just a kid! He’s still just a kid! How is he going to live without his mom? What can he do without me…?”
“He’s no longer just a child. He’s now on the same footing as us. He’s the ruler of the North, the King of the North. He’s no longer a child. He’s grown up. He’s already a great ruler. He can definitely save us. He’ll make it as long as he wants to live. Vyvyan! Tell me!! Where exactly has my son gone off to?! Where?!!!”
Vyvyan had her eyes wide. Elizabeth clasped Vyvyan’s face. She looked at her solemnly and sternly as she spoke: “Vyvyan!! Calm down! You have to calm down! My son isn’t dead yet! He’s still alive! As long as he’s still alive, he’ll make it, Vyvyan! Right now, though, you have to calm down! You must calm down! Now, tell me, where has my son gone? Tell me! Where exactly is my son? We must empower him with the will to live again, so tell me!!”
Vyvyan eyes had terror and despair in them. Her lips budged, but it took her a long time before she could reply, albeit softly: “The North… The North…”
“Where in the North?!!”
“The Imperial Palace… He should have arrived by now. The mana in his body will only last for a few days, so he should be back at the Imperial Palace by now…”
Elizabeth threw Vyvyan aside, and then exited. Two silhouettes suddenly emerged from the forest. Nier was surprised to see Elizabeth, but the same couldn’t be said of Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s reaction suggested she predicted Nier and Tanya would show up at the villa. She didn’t say anything to them. Instead, she rubbed her chest, for Vyvyan’s maniacal behaviour from before hurt her.
“Your Majesty?!” exclaimed Nier.
“Nier, return to the North, the Palace in the North. My son is there right now. He’s returned to the Imperial Palace. We must reach him before he leaves!! We must hurry!” stated Elizabeth.
“Ah, yes, Your Majesty!” responded Nier.
Nier and Tanya had no idea why Troy was there, but Elizabeth didn’t provide them with an explanation, either. Instead, she rode off to the North. Puzzled, Tanya inquired, “Royal Princess, why would His Majesty be at the Imperial Palace in the North? Why did we not meet him if I wasn’t there?”
Nier turned around: “Perhaps we just missed him. We have to analyse what exactly happened. We just need to do that. Since His Majesty is in the North, we must head there. Let’s go, Tanya, let’s head back as fast as we can. The faster the better.”
As a guard, Tanya didn’t make any complaints and followed Nier’s direction. The three of them sped off toward the Imperial Palace in the North.
Lucia gripped my arm tightly: “Your Highness, Your Highness… Please… Please… don’t do this… Don’t leave us… Aren’t you still alive? Aren’t you still alive right now? Why must you die? Why must you die? You still have me. You still have me, don’t you? Why do you have to do this…? Your Highness, there has to be a way. There has got to be. You could make it through so much, and I trust you so much. You’ve made it back to me every time. Are you lying to me this time? This time… don’t lie to me…”
It was the first time that I saw Lucia cry. I had never seen her cry so tragically. I virtually couldn’t see her eyes behind her tears. All I saw were trails of tears. Her legs were completely powerless as a result of her crying. She practically had to grab onto my arm to barely stay standing. I supported her body and let her wipe her tears with my clothing.
“I promise you. I promise you, my wife, my Lucia. I promise you. I won’t just roll over and die. I previously planned to see you, and then leave. I thought that there was no hope, since Mommy Vyvyan was out of ideas. Now, though, I suddenly feel I can’t just vanish. I must survive. I must survive for all of you. I understand that now. I truly want to be by your side and see our children smile. I want to be by their side as they grow up and see their smiles. I want to live, so I must work hard. I must do my best to live. I must live for all of you. Believe me. Believe in me, my wife. I’ll definitely be back. Do you trust me?”
Lucia raised her head. I looked at her expression of agony and despair as I slowly wiped away her tears: “Are you willing to trust in me this once, my wife? Are you willing to trust me this once? Lucia, I hope you can trust me. This is the last time. It’s the last time, I promise. After this time, I won’t make you trust me this way again.”
Lucia looked at my eyes and I looked back at her. I lowered my head and kissed her lips. She kissed me back with her moist lips as though she never wanted to separate from me. The two of us eventually released each other. She wiped her tears. In a soft, yet resolute, voice, she responded, “I always believe you. Your Highness, I have and will always believe you…”