From Now On, I Can Smile (Part 8)
One of them was the Empress of Rosvenor Empire. One of them was the personal servant of the Empress of Rosvenor Empire. One of them was me, the new King of the North, and the only ruler of the entire North. The three of us were sat inside a tiny house made from piled up stones that was reinforced using mud, and it could collapse at any given moment.
We looked at each other with awkward looks. While Elizabeth still wanted to maintain her dignity as an Empress in Castell’s presence, what just took place left her with a red face and ears. Even her usual imposing voice was shaky. Somewhat scatterbrained, she fiddled with her long hair. Her hair had just been messed up, but it was actually still sitting behind her quite smoothly. Castell’s eyes looked lifeless as though he was shook so badly that he was speechless. He spun his hat in his hand. The hat looked as though it’d take off flying. As for me, I sat to one side and calmly watched the two of them. I couldn’t have been any calmer.
Frankly, when Mommy Elizabeth said, “All right” I knew I had won. Elizabeth didn’t want to leave. That was enough for me to find an opportunity for her to stay. I was cognizant of the fact Castell wanted for her to return, because Rosvenor Empire couldn’t be without her. That was an irrefutable fact. However, what I wanted was to prevent letting Elizabeth being chained to Hilles City forever.
I wanted Elizabeth to be able to come and go from the North whenever she liked. She would have to handle some things in the North, but she needed to be able to move about freely and at her own liking. I wanted for her to be able to see me when she missed me, while my children should be able to see their grandmothers when they wanted.
I didn’t ask for much. I didn’t think Elizabeth be too willing to stay by my side if I just brought her to my side. She did say she wanted to stay by my side, but she didn’t want to give up the Rosvenor Empire, either. Wanting to be by my side didn’t imply that she was willing to abandon the empire.
Taking Mommy Elizabeth’s wishes into consideration, my desire was to allow Mommy Elizabeth to run Rosvenor, but also be able to visit the North whenever she pleased. The question was how to go about achieving that. It took approximately four to five days to go from Hilles City to the Imperial Palace in the North. The absolute fastest was roughly one day. Problem? That would just be far too exhausting. Even if we constructed a shorter route, it would still take around three days. That was not going to allow her to come at her leisure. I thought it was still a unrealistic to allow her to visit us at her leisure; nonetheless, considering we had steamboats, it shouldn’t be too hard to have trains.
Once trains were in operation, it would take just one day to reach the Imperial Palace in the North from Hilles City. With that, Mom would be able to visit whenever she fancied. Nonetheless, there was something more imperative to address before the train discussion, and that was how to install iron railways from the North to Hilles City. That was the toughest issue to address.
The Rosvenor Empire was a very proud empire, because it ruled all of humanity and possessed the mightiest military. Let me correct myself there. They possessed the mightiest military on the entire continent. Further, Rosvenor Empire wasn’t falling; it was at its peak. Therefore, the vassals of the Rosvenor were conceited and considered themselves above everybody else at the time. I bet they considered the North to be a vassal state and felt proud about it. In fact, some didn’t even care that the North had established a nation, so not one of them would agree for me to say that I wanted to form an alliance with humanity’s Rosvenor Empire on even terms. Why? That was because the Rosvenor Empire didn’t require an alliance. They only needed vassal states. From the perspective of their generals, we either submitted ourselves as vassals or faced extermination. If they couldn’t defeat us, they had the God of War behind them, and that was none other than the invincible warrior of the continent, their Empress, Elizabeth.
Given those parameters, it was an incredibly difficult challenge for me to form an alliance with the Rosvenor Empire. I did want to give it a try, however. Elizabeth was on my side. I was sure they wouldn’t go against Elizabeth’s wishes, hence my very calm demeanour.
In a very serious and imposing voice, Elizabeth said, “Castell, do not mention to anybody what happened here.”
If I was being honest, it, indeed, wouldn’t be good if word got out. After all, humanity didn’t share Vyvyan’s views. If Castell were to spread news of the matter between Elizabeth and me, nobody would dare say anything, but it would definitely reduce the Empress’s iron-fist rule to a certain degree.
The Empress was revered and respected, because she always appeared behind a black veil. Nobody knew how she looked. They only saw the side of her face on the gold coins. People fear the unknown. Some even believed it wasn’t a human behind the veil, as they believed God didn’t have a fixed form. Some rumours claimed Elizabeth was the incarnation of the God of War.
It was the Empress’ mysterious nature similar to that of a God that her subordinates wholeheartedly worshiped her. If they were to find out that she was merely an ordinary human with the same desires and emotions they had, their fear and respect for her would diminish. They would no longer fear her, which would mean rebellion. If those below dare to rebel and resist, the foundations of the empire would be shaken. That was definitely not what Elizabeth wanted to witness.
Castell silently nodded before saying, “Your Majesty, I would never mention it. You can rest assured. If you are worried, you may just kill me. I am just worried about one thing, and that is your coming plans. You should be aware the humanity’s empire cannot be without you.”
I nodded: “I know.”
Castell extended forth his hand and said, “Your Majesty, please do not speak up yet. Allow Her Majesty to consider this on her own. This is very important. If you speak up, you will affect her judgement.”
I shut my mouth. Elizabeth glanced at me, and then went to speak, but she took a big breath before she did: “I’m heading back, Castell. I’m returning to Hilles City.”
“When are you heading back? Your Majesty, do not play word games with me. I came here to find you, as your return cannot be delayed any longer. Although there is nothing urgent, you must show up now. Humanity requires reassurance now; else, those with ambitions may begin to move.”
Judging from Castell’s tone, Hilles City had an urgent matter on its hands. Otherwise, he wouldn’t be so serious. That was normal, though. If the Empress of an empire was to disappear for so long, those harbouring evil ambitions would definitely begin to take action.
Mommy Elizabeth’s answer was quite surprising. My expression remained the same, however. If I reacted to it, it’d prove that I was tense. That would, consequently, prove I lacked confidence in her and questioned her.
Mommy Elizabeth glanced at me. Seeing my calm demeanour, she felt somewhat relived. Mom then nodded: “I understand. I shall set out tomorrow. I’ve left Hilles City for a very long time, so it is, indeed, time for those people to move. I’ve cleaned up a bunch of them, but they’re no different to tumbleweed. You can never get rid of them for good. I shall begin dealing with them once I’m back.”
Castell looked relieved and nodded: “Understood. I shall now head back now, then. I shall return first to prepare for your welcome ceremony. All of Hilles City needs to know about your return. That will show off your unquestionable rule.”
Castell thought he was victorious. Seeing me and Elizabeth kiss was basically torrential rain on his parade, but he recovered from it. I assumed he regarded us as a mother and son pair with thinking that exceeded the norm; he thought there wouldn’t be any “hereafter,” since we couldn’t be together despite having kissed. So accordingly, there wouldn’t be any consequences. It’d, therefore, be forgotten as though it never took place. He was mistaken, though.
Castell already heard what he wanted to hear. He gripped his hat tightly, revealing his green veins underneath his skin. Though he wore a calm expression, his gaze was unsettled. I looked at Mom and revealed a slight smirk. I then looked at Castell.
“I’ll go to Hilles City, but I will invite Vyvyan and my son to Hilles City to discuss an alliance soon thereafter. The entire continent has been separated for too long. It’s time to unite it. While we aren’t uniting it via military force, it’s basically united now. I would never use military force on my son, and he would never be willing to be our vassal state. There’s nothing to gain from us being separated. After we form an alliance, we’ll be able to share everything the entire continent has to offer, including knowledge.”
Castell reacted, “Including elves?!”
Humanity liked the North, which shared the same roots as them, better than the elves. The war from ten years ago left scars on both the elves and humanity that still existed. Subsequently, it was likely there would be objections to the alliance between the two races. Fortunately, it was not so bad from the perspective of the North, since we were humans. As a matter of fact, a human army occupied the North.
Castell froze for a moment when he saw Elizabeth’s absolutely resolute eyes. He had lots of things that he wanted to say, but he knew that he couldn’t oppose the Empress’s command, because the woman before him was the reigning Empress of humanity’s empire, an overlord who was not to be questioned.
Perhaps Elizabeth Rosvenor would eventually become Elizabeth Galadriel Rosvenor.