“Her Majesty has not been back in a long time… I remember she left last time, because the Royal Princess gave birth. The child should have grown, so she should be back now, right?”
“Didn’t she come back once last time? But then she left again after gathering the navy. Could she have fought with a foreign country across the ocean? Or could have something happened to His Majesty? Whatever happened, neither of them have appeared in a long time.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s been ages. If something happened to them… Don’t misconstrue that… I’m saying if. If something happened to both of them… what is going to happen to the Rosvenor Empire? They’re the only two remaining members of the Rosvenor Household, right…? Who would succeed the throne?”
“We still have the Royal Princess’ child, don’t we? There’s also the Royal Princess, too.”
“Her child is only a toddler, while the Royal Princess is but just a pretty Valkyrie… Don’t get it wrong… I’m not disrespecting her. What I meant to say is that… The Royal Princess is just a Valkyrie. She doesn’t have any right to participate in politics. In that case… would the nation not fall into Castell’s hands?”
“Probably. Castell is Her Majesty’s most trusted personal vassal. Her Majesty doesn’t have a husband, either. You think Castell and Her Majesty…”
“Are you two going to be able to handle the crime of slandering Her Majesty?”
The two of them froze stiff in place. They were trembling so intensely that they literally didn’t dare to turn around. Castell walked in between them from behind. He draped his arms over their shoulders. He was smiling as per usual, but his fiery anger and murderous intent were worn as his coat. The two of them were practically ready to get on their knees.
“He wasn’t here yesterday. How did he abruptly appear today? How did he return so fast and happen to hear us talking about this stuff?!” wondered the two.
“Mr. Castell! Sorry, sorry! I really did not say it on purpose! It was not on purpose!”
Castell looked at their sweaty faces with a smile. He then chuckled, “You mean to say that you don’t intend to deny it and were legitimately making absurd remarks about Her Majesty? It doesn’t matter to me whether you meant it or not. You said it, which proves you disrespect Her Majesty in your mind. All of you will wag your tails with all you’ve got for that slice of bread and gold coin, yet you’ve begun to cause a commotion after Her Majesty left for mere days. It’s easy to swear oaths of loyalty, but it’s not easy to stay loyal in Her Majesty’s absence. The Valkyrie you belittled and whispered about still maintains her stance and devotes her efforts for Her Majesty. That is called loyalty.”
Castell then released them and called a Valkyrie over. He took her sword from her, and then threw it to the two of them: “Do it yourself. You’re bold enough to slander Her Majesty, which means that you’re prepared to face the consequences. I’m not willing to do any more to you two. As long as you kill yourselves, your families shall be spared. Do it yourselves. You Valkyries get rid of their corpses when they’re done.”
The Valkyrie coldly looked at them. The two of them weakly went down on their knees. They quivered as they looked at the long swords in front of their eyes. They looked as though they were afraid the swords would jump up and bite them. They quivered as they looked at Castell. Their lips trembled. They softly pleaded, “Sorry… Sorry… I was wrong. We were in the wrong. We honestly did not mean any ill will… We really did not have any ill will… We were just joking… We were just joking…”
Castell snickered” “You were just joking? So that means you’re still absolutely loyal to Her Majesty? In that case, Her Majesty needs your lives now, so go die. Now is the time for you to prove your loyalty to Her Majesty. You can now die for Her Majesty. Get started.”
Those few sentences totally destroyed their final hope. The two of them sat on their bottoms on the ground and began to wail. The trembled as they crawled over, attempting to cling to Castell’s thigh. They adamantly refused to touch the long sword. Castell took in a deep breath, and then picked up the long sword and, with a single slash, sliced one of them in half.
He raised the sword up high once again. He aimed it at the other male, who couldn’t even make a sound when he was crying and decapitated him with one swing. The man’s blood spurt as if he was a fountain of blood. The Valkyrie indifferently looked at the corpses on the ground. She called her teammates over to get rid of the corpses, and get rid of the blood that had yet to condense.
Castell returned the Valkyrie her sword. The sight of the blood on his sleeves irritated him. He then turned around and said, “Find their families and eradicate them. I already gave them a chance. I have no reason to forgive them when they didn’t cherish the opportunity. The crime of slandering Her Majesty is far too severe. Don’t allow their families to have painless deaths.”
“Understood,” responded a Valkyrie.
The Valkyries were fine with carrying out such missions. They were masterful at those sorts of missions.
Castell filled a void. He was feeling agitated, and their conversation naturally made him grumpier. He raised his head and peered toward the North. Since Her Majesty wasn’t in Hilles City, she was definitely still in the North. She would never leave her son.
Castell couldn’t leave again. There were people who started to harbour ideas. If one did, others did, as well. Her Majesty was the brain of the entire empire of humanity. Said brain had been absent for too long, so he had to settle the situation.
“I really hope that Her Majesty can come back sooner,” Castell prayed.
I ran downstairs to see Elizabeth running toward the Imperial Palace, too. The two of us nearly collided with each other.
We hadn’t seen each other in a long time. I didn’t even know how long she had been running around for. Mommy Elizabeth had the smell of dirt on her. Her soft and smooth black hair was messy. I had no idea how long it had been since she last groomed herself. She was also out of breath. Her dishevelled appearance surprised me. I was so emotionally overwhelmed I sprinted out when I heard she had returned. I had so much I wanted to say to her, but I couldn’t say a word when I saw her.
Mommy Elizabeth’s lips budged a little. She, too, had lots to say to me, but we ended up silencing each other. Our minds were blank and the words wouldn’t come out. We just looked at each other’s faces and thought out how much we missed each other.
Mommy Elizabeth broke the silence with a soft chuckle: “I’m glad you’re back, Son. Mommy is so glad to see you again, ah…”
Mom made a soft exclamation, as I went and hugged her tightly. She jolted then placed her hands on my chest to attempt to push me back. She worriedly said, “Son! Son! What are you doing?!! We’re in the presence of outsiders! If people see us like th-”
“It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter! Mom, Mommy Vyvyan once said that the benefit of being a mother was that you could hug your child whenever you like. You’re my mom, and I’m your son. There’s nothing wrong with you hugging me. I’ll kill whoever has a complaint! Let me hug you, Mom. I’m so glad to see you again. So glad… You’re all right… I feel that it was worth it to see you safe and sound…”
Mom relaxed a little, but she was still shy. She carefully wrapped her arms around me and sniffled very softly. She whispered next to my ear, “Silly child. Silly child. That’s what Mommy should be saying. Mommy is so glad to see you’re okay. Mommy has been running around all this time to see you as you are now. I’m so glad you’re all right… Vyvyan has informed me about your situation. It’s all right. It’s all right, Son. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. You’re my son. We Rosvenors don’t die that easily. Mommy will do everything in Mommy’s power to save you no matter what. Mommy doesn’t care what it’ll take!”
I released Mom and looked at her face solemnly. Her resolve of steel was still glimmering on her face. I think she wore the same look when she took on the enemies with a numbers advantage on her horse back then. That was the courage and rage to fight when backed against the wall. She was genuinely willing to give up everything to save me. Luckily, I didn’t need her to give up much.
I took in a deep breath: “Mom, I’d like to ask you to stay here. I want to live, but I want to go and search for a method on my own. Mom, I’d like to ask you to take care of the North, my wives and children. Can you stay?”
There was a tinge of sorrow in Mom’s eyes. She grabbed onto me tightly and took in a deep breath: “Son, Mommy can promise you that. Mommy can absolutely agree to your request, but you must promise me to come back alive!”
“I’ll try my best…”
“Not try your best!!” Mom slapped her hands onto my face and clasped them with a serious look. She shouted, “Not try your best! Absolutely not try your best! I want absolute certainty! I don’t care where you go or what you do. For your children’s sake and my sake, you must live! You must!”