I held Luna tightly in my embrace, and she tightly grabbed onto my shoulders. She leaned on my chest and affectionately looked at me. I lowered my head and kissed her lips. In a slightly concerned voice, I asked, “Luna, my body… is now covered in scales. How does it feel to hug me? Is it slippery? Is it disgusting?”
Luna clasped my face and, with a smile, said, “The scales do feel different to your skin in the past; however, Your Majesty, you do not need to mind it. Although the scales are slightly slippery to the touch, your body is still as warm and gentle. Your Majesty, you are still as warm and gentle as before despite having scales cover your body, so there is no need to worry.”
I nodded. I took hold of her hand and placed it on my face. She gently ran her fingers along my face. Her gaze was incredibly tender. Some say one must lose something before they learn to cherish it. I’d say, you particularly cherish it after you’ve lost it once.
We found each other again after losing each other, so we held onto each other tightly and were very reluctant to let go. Luna gently and carefully ran her fingers across my face. She caressed my face as though she wanted to remember every little detail of my face.
I pressed my hand firmly on Luna’s hand and apologised to her in a soft voice: “Sorry. Sorry, Luna, sorry… I’m sincerely sorry… I shouldn’t have let you go out that night… I shouldn’t have let you go… I should’ve had a better idea. There had to have been one… You have suffered too much… You have honestly suffered far too much…”
Luna didn’t let me finish. She hugged me and kissed my lips. I lingered for a moment before closing my eyes and responding to her kiss. Her kiss was gentle and besotting as it always was. Luna knew very well where I was most sensitive, so I really enjoyed the feeling. The two of us reluctantly separated. Luna touched my lips and softly giggled: “It is all right, Your Majesty. It is all right. I am your personal servant. Protecting you is my duty. Moreover, I love you. I would protect even if I was not your personal servant, so there is no need for your to apologise. I am glad you are still alive. That is the greatest consolation to me.”
I couldn’t bring out a smile. I tightly held her hand and, in a quiet voice, said, “Life without you was so painful, Luna. It was honestly too painful… I don’t know how many tears I shed for you. I have always hoped for you to return all this time. Luna, I love you. I love you. I never got myself a new personal servant after your departure. Never.”
Luna was startled. She then pinched my nose with a smile: “As your mistress, I never thought I would see a moment where you are so loyal. I am very touched. I am sincerely very touched. Your Majesty, if it is possible and if you still trust me, I am willing to continue being your personal servant!”
I touched her face and gave her an absolutely serious nod: “Of course, of course, my Luna. You’re my personal servant. You always will be. You always will be my personal servant no matter when. You’re my only personal servant. Always.”
Luna responded with a blissful smile. She leaned onto my chest and shuffled around: “Tell me your story, Your Majesty. We are still a long way away from the place you mentioned, right? Please tell me what happened during my absence. I see that your gaze is completely different to the past. Lots of things must have happened after I left. Your Majesty, please… tell me about it.”
“Uhm.” I nodded.
There were some things I couldn’t tell Luna. I couldn’t tell her how many people I killed after her death. I couldn’t tell her how many things, which shouldn’t have been done, I did. I told her relatively light-hearted and glorious things. After all, there were some things I wasn’t willing to recall. I killed lots of people after she died, which included both anthropoids of the North and humans.
The White Deer King snorted as an expression of annoyance. However, I tapped her belly, so she didn’t continue complaining. I was so happy on the White Deer King’s back, so I didn’t want to be disturbed. The White Deer King turned around in a somewhat angry manner; she, however, didn’t say anything upon seeing Luna. Instead, she revealed a “I’ll settle the score with you when we get back” look and then turned back to continue going forward.
The White Deer King wasn’t fast, as I had Luna with me. I wasn’t in any rush, though. I had recovered. Luna was in my arms, too; therefore, I had nothing to rush for…
I cut myself off: “Wait… I think I do… If my three moms fight it out in the North now, I’m going to have a serious issue on my hands. I’m not in a rush to return right now, though. I’m sure it’ll be fine with Freya there. Freya previously erred, but she shouldn’t this time.”
I had Luna in my embrace. Overhead was the warm and comfortable sunlight. Occasionally, a clear and refreshing breeze would blow the natural scent of leaves and grass over. The White Deer King stepped over the floor of dead leaves to take me and Luna home. We travelled at a relaxed pace. Luna wore such a bright smile in my arms. It was much warmer than the sun. My purpose in life was her bright smile.
Imperial Palace in the North…
Freya took in a deep breath. She kept her eyes on the small can in her hand as she opened it. While Freya could be considered a genius young girl – at least that was how Troy and the other people around him evaluate her, including Castell, who was full of praise for her – who could easily handle anything, she wasn’t good at daily living tasks. She tried making soup many times, and only managed to make one barely edible after many failures.
She looked at the door in front of her and hesitated for a long time as she deliberated to herself. She tried her best to mentally prepare herself. She bit down on her lip and rehearsed in her mind what she should say. She then earnestly looked at the door and knocked on it.
Gerald opened up looked at Freya with a hint of puzzlement. She found herself struggling to find the words. She spent a long time thinking about what to say, but she was tongue-tied and speechless when facing him.
Gerald hadn’t been on duty for some time due to his injury. He was recuperating in his room and under house arrest, because they wanted to keep the fact Freya was the one who hurt him under wraps. A professional doctor came to treat him daily and deliver food. Gerald didn’t complain. He actually considered it a holiday as opposed to being wounded by his master he was devoted to. He needed some time to regain his composure.
Gerald didn’t know if that was what she intended, since she was way too crazy at the time. However, he was positive he made the right choice. Gerald was honestly upset about being wounded when he did the right thing; not to mention it was Freya who hurt him.
“Ah… Miss Freya…” Gerald felt awkward.
Freya took in a deep breath. She then shut her eyes tightly. She then spoke at an extremely fast pace, emphasising her words as though she was speaking to a wall, “Sorry, Gerald. I admit that what I previously did was wrong I admit that you were completely right everything I did was too crazy too stupid, and I wounded you, which has made me suffer, so sorry, Gerald, I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have hurt you, so I made this soup that can speed up your recovery. If you are willing to forgive me and continue being my bodyguard, then please drink this soup.”
Freya gave her speech in one breath similarly to a machine gun. Her rapid apology was her true feelings. That was her apology. Gerald looked at her with a dumbfounded look. Freya carried the can in her hands. Her small hands were turning red due to the heat of the can. He grabbed the can and saw many wounds on her fingers.
He softly chuckled. Freya looked embarrassed, but her apology was sincere. She acted fierce on the surface, but she was truly apologetic and felt guilty. Gerald suddenly wanted to scrub her head; nevertheless, he was aware that, if he did, she’d whip out a gun again… Thus, he didn’t enact his urge. Instead, he nodded and sincerely replied, “All right. I understand. I am your bodyguard, Miss Freya. I am your loyal bodyguard. How can I not be? I shall return to your side once I have healed. You do not need to worry. I am your bodyguard, and I will not be angry about what you did to me. I just hope you do not become, like that, again…”
Freya raised her head up to look at him. She took a deep breath: “I know. I know. I will not do that again. I also… won’t hurt you again… Promise…”
*In the big paragraph where Freya blurts out a bunch of things, full stops were deliberately kept out, because that’s how she spoke. She just blurted everything out in one breath with no breaks.