From Now On, I Can Smile (Part 4)
Castell didn’t believe Freya for a moment. He just didn’t have a counterargument to offer. Freya told him she didn’t know, while Nier and Lucia would never tell him. Thus, Castell resorted to threats. He couldn’t continue staying in the Imperial Palace, as he threatened them. If he did, Freya would definitely make things hard for him.
It was impossible for Castell to see Her Majesty in the Imperial Palace. Frankly, a major reason that he wanted to see her was because of the vassals. She hadn’t been in home in so long when she was connected to her administration style. Without her, nobody dared to step up and lead. Summer was almost starting, so there was a mountain of things for her to sort out. Of course, there was something of even more importance, and that was that Castell wanted to see Elizabeth.
It had been too long since Castell last saw Elizabeth. Castell knew he was able to stay by Elizabeth’s side, because Elizabeth viewed him as a substitute. Elizabeth was very kind with him before Troy’s return, simply because she didn’t have anyone else to express her instincts as a mother to.
In reality, Elizabeth had never considered Castell a man before; or rather, she had never even considered him a human being before. Elizabeth allowed him to enter her bedroom and bathroom even when changing or bathing without any concern. She also didn’t mind revealing her perfect body to him. It wasn’t anything worth being excited about. Elizabeth had a voluptuous and perfect body that was extremely alluring, so alluring that no man could resist; however, the fact that she hid behind a veil all the time proved that she wasn’t a very open individual. She would never let any single “person” see her body, yet she allowed Castell to see her body without any qualms. That proved she didn’t consider him a human being. Would you care if your dog ran into the bathroom while you were showering?
Elizabeth later on forbade Castell from coming in and out of her room as he pleased. It wasn’t due to her discriminating him for his gender, but solely because she didn’t want her son – actually, she no longer viewed him as her son, but a man by her side – she didn’t want to let the man she cared about, Troy Galadriel Rosvenor, get jealous.
Others respected Castell and feared him, but that wasn’t because of him as Castell. He was somebody who wielded the power granted by his connection to the Empress. People always called him Elizabeth’s lapdog behind his back. Whether it was Elizabeth or others, he was only ever viewed as a dog.
Castell was aware of his feelings, and he was also aware that it was an impossible romance. He came to terms with it back when he was sixteen. Elizabeth, to him, was the Empress of the empire, as well as the proudest and strongest woman on the continent. There was no way he’d have her attention. More precisely, the Empress would never pay anybody attention. She was inherently a majestic and tyrannical monarch. He didn’t ask that she paid him more attention. After the incident with Alice, he was even more attentive. He ensured he never made any suggestions when Elizabeth and Troy were involved, for the incident nearly completely tore down their relationship. Ever since then, Elizabeth cared for Troy’s feelings more than ever before. Nevertheless, their relationship seemed to undergo a bit of a change due to the incident.
Castell noticed Elizabeth’s feelings for Troy change. With that said, he was uncertain as to whether or not the two, themselves, were aware. He was worried when he learnt that Elizabeth went to the North. There was nobody else around, so if something happened between Troy and Elizabeth and Elizabeth abandoned her nation to indulge in pleasure, what would happen? Putting the Rosvenor Empire aside for a moment, what was he to do? Was he supposed to migrate to the North, and take care of Elizabeth with Troy around? He knew that was impossible for him and Elizabeth. Still, it didn’t mean he was willing to take care of Elizabeth when she was with another man, and he most definitely didn’t want to see a shy Elizabeth. Not one bit.
Castell couldn’t obtain anything from the North at the moment, but that was also applicable in Hilles City. He had done so much and done his best for ten entire years, yet he was still the same as back then. He was hopeless and incapable of doing anything without Elizabeth. He wanted to become Elizabeth’s most excellent personal assistant, but he couldn’t even find his master. As a matter of fact, he didn’t even know where to start his search for her. With that said, just standing around was futile. He had to get moving.
Elizabeth saved Castell from the darkness. She was the first woman to provide him with warmth and give him a hug. She gave him everything he had. Without her, his life would be gloomy; he’d still be locked in a prison and tortured, including being at the mercy of those creeps. Elizabeth was the one who hugged him when he was filthy, and she was the only ever one to hug him. He had made up his mind back then to give up everything he had for Elizabeth, including his life.
Castell wasn’t afraid of even death, so he wasn’t going to be afraid just because he didn’t have any clues. He had done countless more outrageous things. The North was only so big. All he needed to do to find his master was search every nook and cranny and cross seas and mountains.
Castell’s thoughts: “I can surely find Elizabeth. I, at least, must locate her before Troy does. Troy isn’t here right now, so I should take advantage of his absence to find her as soon as possible. If she sees Troy, she won’t bear to leave. I must take Elizabeth away for her sake and the Rosvenor Empire’s sake. Elizabeth can’t continue being together with Troy. They’re biological mother and son. The two of them may not have a very good relationship if they don’t meet too often; however, the two of them cannot cross the line. If they do and it’s discovered, Elizabeth will be done for.
I don’t care what happens to Troy, but Empress Elizabeth’s dignity cannot be tainted! Troy will only be a problem if he’s with Elizabeth. I mustn’t allow this to happen! I must find Elizabeth before Troy does! I must!”
Castell began to walk. The guards in the Imperial City had just lit up the street lamps, since night had fallen. There were dim lights glimmering on the streets. He wrapped himself up in his black overcoat and resolutely walked on.
I looked at the road before me and felt a little lost. I don’t have the foggiest clue as to where Mom is… I would never believe Mommy Elizabeth ran away from home. She should’ve been waiting for me at one of the city doors. She wanted to be the first to see me and welcome me. That was very much what she’d do, so she had to be outside the city or inside the walls, specifically at the locations closest to the wall.
But with that as a parameter, there were plenty of places she could be at. Where should I start my search from? I was aware that someone from Rosvenor Empire was in the North, and I didn’t need to think to know it was Castell without a doubt. I knew for certain he’d come to take her back, and I understood Mommy Elizabeth couldn’t possibly stay in the North forever. She had to return, but I wanted to see her before she left. I wanted to let her see my recovered state. Mommy Elizabeth had waited here for me for a long time, so I had to let her see me!
Elizabeth was my mom. She would probably smile when she saw me. I should let her see me safe and sound to reassure her. That was my duty as her son.
I told myself, “I must find Elizabeth before Castell does. I want to see my mom even if we only get to exchange a few words or have to separate the next day. I want to see my mom in my home. I must find her… But where in the world is she? Where?”
I rubbed my head. The dragon blood granted my body invincible scales, but it couldn’t change my brain, so I still deliberated matters with mine. I shut my eyes and considered all the possibilities: “My mom knows I headed toward the elven lands. That’s located southwest. If Mommy Elizabeth wanted to be the first to see me, then she should be at the in the Southwest… Of course, even if I was to go to Ling Yue’s place first, I might have come through on that side, or maybe entered the city directly from the West… I didn’t see anything on the way back, though. My White Deer King wouldn’t have missed her. If she was waiting for me there, she must’ve recognised me. Could I have missed her when I went to Ling Yue’s place? Hold up!”
I suddenly remembered that there was an extra small run-down house on my way back. I only took one glance at it. I suddenly realised it wasn’t run down due to time. The house never existed there previously. Logically, it couldn’t have been worn out due to time. It was shabby, as it was quickly put together. Why was that house built there, then? What did the person residing in it want? What was the point of building a temporary small home in a place without any value? There was only one possible purpose, right?
I stood up and went to the stables. The White Deer King was lying to one side, taking slow breaths. I went inside and stroked her face. She opened her eyes and grumpily looked at me. She must’ve been angry, because I disturbed her sleep. I smiled and rubbed her face. In a soft voice, I requested, “Sorry for disturbing you, but I really need you to come with me once again.”
The White Deer King snorted. She refused to move. I hopelessly smiled, and then took out some soft grass to feed her. She glared at me then blew it away in one big huff. She begrudgingly stood up, and shook herself out before walking out.
I caressed the White Deer King’s face, and then mounted her. She began to walk. I gave her a kick on its belly and said, “Run to your heart’s content, White Deer King, go at your fast-, aaahhhh!!!”
I got deer sick. Yeah, I got deer sick for the first time…