Waiting and Hope (Part 4)
Luna and Ling Yue met for the first time when I went out to play with my daughter. Somewhat tired, Ling Yue rested in her armchair, while Luna stood before her. Wearing a polite smile, Luna announced, “Hello, Miss Ling Yue, it is a pleasure to meet you for the first time. I am His Majesty’s personal servant, Luna.”
Ling Yue looked at Luna with her tired, red eyes. She then responded with a soft nod: “I know you. My husband once mentioned you, but I have never met you before. You should be dead. So, have I died or did you come back to life?”
With a smile, Luna replied, “I came back to life.”
Ling Yue pursed her lips into a smile, “You really lack a sense of humour. Or is that your idea of humour?”
Luna calmly responded, “I am merely a personal servant, while you are His Majesty’s wife. Thus, I dare not joke with you. I merely answered your query.”
Ling Yue wagged the tip of her tail: “But you and my husband smile so brightly when you’re by his side.”
“It is my honour to make His Majesty happy. His Majesty is a unique master. You could say that I can always smile when I am at his side. Perhaps that is what you called… humour?”
Ling Yue narrowed her eyes as she looked at Luna’s neutral expression. With an expression that said, “You win,” she hopelessly smiled and said, “Forget it, Luna. Even if something did happen between you and my husband, it’s too late for me to say anything. It’s already happened between you two, hasn’t it? When you two had your relationship, I was still in the North, so I’m in no position to criticise you, either.”
“You are thinking too much.” Despite having said that, Luna didn’t shake her head. She merely gave that simple response. It wasn’t a denial, but rather, a surface-level courteous response.
Ling Yue smiled. Honestly, she felt a little upset, for it was rare for her husband to visit their daughter, yet he brought his former mistress along, too. Moreover, she was a mistress who had been with him for longer than herself. Plus, from Luna’s neither supercilious nor obsequious expression and her calm attitude, it was evident the two of them were prepared to be exposed. You could even say that Luna resembled Troy’s wife more so than she did. In fact, you could go so far as to say that Ling Yue was a mistress who was avoiding Nier and Lucia, since she was unwilling to go to the Imperial City.
Ling Yue’s attitude towards Luna was complex. If Luna was an unrelated outsider, she would consider Luna a very outstanding personal servant who wouldn’t embarrass her master. As a matter of fact, her calm and collected demeanour and her polite smile could win her master respect points. As his wife, however, she was jealous of the elf and felt threatened.
Ling Yue’s lips moved, but it was only until a moment after that she asked Luna, “What do you plan to do, then? Will you continue being my husband’s personal servant at his side?”
Luna nodded and responded with sincerity: “Yes. His Majesty has helped me with a lot. He gave me everything that I have at the moment when I had nothing or anyone to depend on. I previously died protecting His Majesty. I am now alive again, so I should continue taking care of my Prince.”
Ling Yue nodded. That last part where Luna said, “My Prince,” left Ling Yue feeling uncomfortable, but she didn’t want to throw a fit in her husband’s presence. Perhaps it was better to say whoever lost their composure first in the war of words was the loser.
Ling Yue knew Luna had no plans of fighting with her, but the way that Luna surrendered without a fight made her feel as though she was being belittled, therefore insulted. Nevertheless, there was no scoffing or animosity in Luna’s gaze. Ling Yue looked at Luna’s eyes for a very long time, but the latter’s gaze never changed. She was collected and respectful from beginning to end.
Somewhat befuddled, Ling Yue continued asking, “Do you plan to be a personal servant for your entire life? Just a mere personal servant?”
“Yes.” That was all Luna said. After chuckling, Luna elaborated, “I am merely an ordinary elf who was kidnapped. What right do I have to ask for anything? I will be happy for as long as I can be by His Majesty’s side. His Majesty gave me everything, and I have died once already. As such, I do not ask for anything. I only hope to be able to refine myself so that I may better fulfil my role as His Majesty’s personal servant and not be sacked.”
“You really are without desire, huh? How are you able to be so calm?” Ling Yue hopelessly laughed. She then immediately stood up and said, “Oh, did you know, there’s another woman who has joined my husband now? No, she’s not a wife. She should be his mother. She left here to head to the Imperial Palace with the group that came here. She’s a descendant of the venerated dragon race.
“Is that right?”
Luna nodded as though she was thinking about something. Ling Yue didn’t care what she was thinking about. Instead, she went to the door of the guest room and continued, “I have to go join my husband and daughter now. I won’t go to the Imperial Palace in the North; therefore, I will be entrusting you with taking care of my husband’s life. My husband has just recuperated. I know he’s in high spirits at the moment, but one must rest when it’s time to rest, and one should eat when it’s time to eat. Everything has a place and time. Please make him treasure this life that he struggled so hard to obtain.”
Luna looked Ling Yue’s proud and erect back as well as her magnificent tail. She solemnly nodded: “That is my duty.”
“That’s good, then.” Ling Yue gave a small nod, and then turned to leave the guest room.
Although my reunion with Liu Yue wasn’t a blissful one at first, when night came, Liu Yue came running to Ling Yue and my bed with her pillow. I initially planned to get cosy with Ling Yue at night, but it turned into a night with the three of us snuggling up together.
I noticed Ling Yue was a little unhappy, but when she saw Liu Yue’s pitiful expression, she sighed and made room for her daughter. Liu Yue struggled to climb up onto our bed. Honestly, the three of us only took up half of the bed that belonged to Ling Yue’s parents.
Liu Yue cheerfully shuffled her way in between us. She then looked at Ling Yue’s face and then mine. She cheerfully grabbed our hands. Smiling, she said, “Daddy and Mommy are both here. It’s the first time. The first time, hehe, sleeping with Daddy and Mommy.”
Ling Yue touched Liu Yue’s ears and smiled: “You’ll still have to sleep alone in the future.”
I asked Ling Yue, “It’s just one month. Isn’t that too cruel?”
Ling Yue sulked, “It’s not cruel. Children of the Moon Fox Tribe grow up incredibly fast, too. Liu Yue is already about the equivalent of a five or six year old human child, right? That’s why we need to treat her as the equivalent of a fix or six year old human child.”
“Will you still be here tomorrow, Daddy?”
I looked at Liu Yue’s naïve and innocent eyes that glittered underneath the moonlight. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t bring myself to say I was leaving when I saw her eyes. However, I knew I couldn’t stay. I had to go tomorrow. If I didn’t hurry back and continue having fun outside, Nier would probably turn me into a steak when I get back.
I shook my head with a helpless smile. I then caressed Liu Yue’s small head: “Sorry, Liu Yue. Dad has to leave tomorrow.”
Liu Yue suddenly looked absolutely distraught. Her ears that were standing up, flopped down similarly to a dog’s. I caressed her face with a helpless smile. I consoled her by saying, “It’s all right, Liu Yue. It’s all right. Dad promises to come and see you both every month. If you miss Dad, just come see Dad.”
“Uhm… You’re never with us anyhow…”
Liu Yue pouted. She did say that, but nonetheless, she shuffled over to me and tightly clung to my arm. I lowered my head to give her a kiss on her forehead. I smiled: “Don’t be like this, Honey. Liu Yue, Dad very much so wants to be with you. It’s just that Dad has to work the same way Mommy has her work.”
Liu Yue blinked her eyes. Curious, she question, “What exactly do you do, then, Daddy?”
Ling Yue pulled a funny face at me. Ling Yue didn’t tell her daughter what I did for work. There was no such thing as a “His Majesty,” to the girl.
I thought about it for a moment, and then looked back at Ling Yue. I chuckled, “Dad’s job… Dad’s job is protecting you and Mommy, in addition to everybody else around you. You could say that Dad protects everybody in the North.”
“Are you a knight, Daddy?! Are you a knight who protects everyone and challenges evil dragons?!”
I hopelessly smiled at the sight of Liu Yue’s excited and eager gaze: “You can say that, I guess.”
Liu Yue threw herself at me and clung to my arm. Eager, she exclaimed, “Daddy! Daddy! I want to hear a story! I want to hear the story of you fighting with a dragon to protect everyone! I want to hear it, I want to hear it!”
From behind, Ling Yue seriously exclaimed, “No! Daddy has to go tomorrow! Be considerate of your father. It’s late now and you should sleep.”
“But it’s rare for Daddy to come back… This is my first time seeing Daddy…”
I stroked Liu Yue’s small head and smiled: “It’ll be all right. Daddy will definitely be back next month; promise. When Daddy comes back next month, Daddy will tell you a story but not tonight. Listen to Mommy, Liu Yue. Daddy will tell you a story next time.”
Liu Yue looked at me with a somewhat disappointed look, and then she hugged me tighter. She buried her head in my chest and, in a child’s voice, said, “Okay, then… Goodnight, Daddy…”
“Goodnight, my Liu Yue.”