Nier released my lips. She licked her own lips then climbed up. She gently drew circles on my chest using her finger. While she was at it, she grabbed my head and used it to rub her breast. In a quiet voice, she whinged, “Your Majesty, I feel as though you’re always somewhat absent-minded now. You’re so mean, Your Majesty. This is something so joyous, yet you’re always thinking of something else. Have you begun to grow sick of my body?”
“No.” I shook my head and explained, “Sorry, Nier, I’m not in the best shape today. Let’s turn in now. I can’t help worrying that you’ll be attacked during my absence tomorrow.”
Nier obediently got off me. She hugged my arm and chuckled in a soft voice: “Someone able to successfully attack me is yet to be born. Though I’m no longer a Valkyrie and not keeping up with my training, I still have my skills. I have more than enough to spare if it’s to protect myself and Daisy. You don’t need to worry about us. You, on the other hand, must look after yourself out there.”
I shook my head: “I’ll always be with Mommy Elizabeth, so I’ll be safe.”
I pulled Nier into my embrace. She went along with me and snuggled up in my arms. Nier was about as tall as I am, but she always seemed so small in my arms. It was rare for Nier and I to have such a heart-warming moment, as we basically did it in one position if not another at night. Then, we’d both pass out on the bed once we were exhausted. On some days, I was even woken the next day when I felt her sucking me off. Lucia rested during the day, but Nier didn’t.
I wondered to myself, “How is Nier so tough…?”
I hugged my Nier. She shut her eyes and fell asleep in my arms, her haven. Her long black hair looked akin to a still pond underneath the moonlight. I gently stroked her hair and hugged her to feel her warmth and smell her scent. Despite that, however, I couldn’t find a sense of security in the slightest. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking about Nier. I was preoccupied with Mommy Elizabeth the entire time.
I asked myself, “Why, though, am I so preoccupied with Mommy Elizabeth?”
I shut my eyes. Mommy Elizabeth appeared in front of me again. In my mind, I mulled on the question, “What exactly am I worried about? Why can I not stop missing Mommy Elizabeth? Am I worried about her? She doesn’t need my concern, though. Why am I so worried?”
Usually, Nier was alert even in her sleep. However, she was deep asleep in my arms tonight. I gently pulled my hand out then gently moved her leg and arm aside. I covered her up with the blanket properly. She let out a soft moan but didn’t wake up. I stood up. I grabbed my clothing, got dressed and then carefully opened the door.
A maid at the door was startled to see me. Red in the face, she asked, “Your Majesty, have you already finished…? Do you need something? Do you need me to bring you a pot of tea to refresh yourself?”
“By the sounds of it, Nier must’ve been too loud…” I realised.
I went red in the face, too. I then scratched my forehead: “Nothing, I’m heading out for a bit. Help me prepare my cloak.”
The maid paused for a moment before saying, “You are going out now at this hour? I shall go and call a Valkyrie, then.”
I stopped the maid: “You don’t need to worry. I don’t need a guard. I just want to go for a stroll in the Royal Palace; I won’t go far.”
The maid paused mid-step then nodded, albeit feeling unsure. I turned to grab my cloak and went downstairs. Once I wore it on properly, I looked back and instructed, “If Nier wakes up, just tell her I went for a stroll. Let her sleep.”
The maid nodded: “Yes, Your Majesty.”
I noticed a strange type of sympathy in the maid’s eyes. She must’ve misunderstood my relationship status with Nier.
I wasn’t the type to sneak off at night to cheat with my mistress. I just wanted to go and see my mom! That said, I didn’t need to explain myself to her.
“I hope that Nier has a good sleep and doesn’t wake up,” I silently prayed.
It wasn’t as cold as I expected it’d be outside, so I wasn’t quite used to it. Howbeit, that allowed me to realise that I wasn’t in the North. Summer had almost descended upon Hilles City. The Royal Palace wasn’t quiet late at night. The noisy bugs on the plants attracted their friends. There were still fireflies flying in the sky. The Valkyries were scattered about in the Royal Palace. The wind would buffet their white capes.
The Royal Palace must’ve been heavily guarded due to the recent assassination. As soon as I got into the vicinity of the inner court, a Valkyrie called out from within the shadows: “Who goes there?!”
I swiftly stopped in my tracks. The Valkyrie cautiously approached me with her sword brandished. The Valkyries behind her rushed over upon hearing her. I didn’t intend to sneak in. I wanted to strut in through the front door.
“Oh, Your Majesty.”
The Valkyries let out sighs of relief upon seeing me. They didn’t make way; instead, they looked at me with baffled looks: “Your Majesty, what are you here at the inner court so late at night for? Are you here on Her Majesty’s orders, or is there something urgent? Her Majesty has turned in. If you are here for a stroll, it is best for you not to approach the inner court.”
“Ah, I don’t have any business. I just wanted to see Her Majesty.” I shook my head and looked at the dark inner court. I couldn’t help feeling the urge to laugh at myself.
“What in the world am I doing? Mom needs to sleep at night, too, yet I came here to look for her… Of course, I won’t find her. What on Earth am I thinking…?” I chided myself.
The Valkyries didn’t drive me off even though I wanted to leave. Instead, they exchanged eye-contact with each other then made way: “In that case, we think that you should see Her Majesty. You are her son. We believe you will not harm her.”
“What, do you not want to see Her Majesty?”
I nodded: “Oh, yeah, I do.”
There was no way back. I might’ve found my way there on a whim, but I had to go and see Mom.
“Mom must be asleep by now. She probably won’t be able to wake up if I disturb her now.” I surmised.
I entered the inner court. The Valkyries gently pushed the door open when we got to the door. Mommy Elizabeth’s room was warm and cosy, yet majestic. Red bed curtains hung from the huge bed at the centre of the room. On one side was a dim fire. Mom’s beautiful silhouette was reflected onto the bed curtains. Her stunning shadow gently danced to the breeze’s choreography.
The Valkyries bowed to me then left the room. I suddenly came to a realisation: I basically entered Mommy Elizabeth’s room while she was sleeping… Last time… last time… when Mom and I…