“Sit, Nier. There’s no need to be so serious at a family dinner.” Mommy Elizabeth waved her hand then walked over to her seat to sit down.
Nier waited for Mommy Elizabeth to sit before sitting down. That left me feeling very awkward. While Nier already had my child and Mom helped her take care of Daisy, Nier remained nervous around Mom when in private. Further, since she lived with Mom, Nier was so tense that she didn’t mind me not returning last night.
Mom sat down and cheerfully looked at us. She then clapped her hands: “Fantastic, fantastic, children. Let’s eat now. This lunch is to welcome you to the inner court. Truthfully, I’ve wanted to live with you all for a long time now. It’s just that I’ve never had a good excuse. Fortunately, we have a good opportunity now. I can live with my beloved son, Nier and Daisy now. Life sure is beautiful.”
In a serious tone, I asked, “Mom, why did you not discuss this with me?”
I tried my best to hide my complaining undertone. Mom raised her eyebrow then smiled, “Do you really not know? Son, of course it’s because I’m worried about you being in danger.”
That was a perfect two-pronged response. Mom had two concerns. Nier interpreted Mom’s response as assassinations in the Royal Palace, but Mom’s true intent behind her response was to stop me from going to Troy City. I sighed. Mom didn’t look as though she was going to give up. I smiled helplessly to show that I surrendered.
Mom was content as I expected. She picked up her eating utensils and prepared to dig in. Lunch was truly sumptuous. The long table was completely filled. I didn’t think twenty people could finish the food. I guess lots of stuff would be thrown out.
Nier suddenly remarked, “Your Majesty, you look as though you are in a great mood today. You also look prettier.”
Mom froze for a moment. She touched her face and then laughed delightfully: “Nier, you haven’t been married to my son for a year yet. Why are you copying the officials and flattering me?”
“Not at all, Your Majesty. I am not the type to flatter others. I genuinely feel that you look very pretty today, and you look to be in a fantastic mood,” Nier answered with a hint of anxiety.
Nier must’ve been afraid of being misunderstood as trying to flatter Mom on a superfluous level. She looked over to me: “If you do not believe me, you can ask His Majesty. Today, you do indeed look very pretty.”
“Is that true, Son?”
“You’re very pretty every day.”
I improved enough to no longer go red in the face when I said such things. Astonished, Mom laughed. She grabbed hold of our hands and enthused, “What’s with you two today? Why are you both trying to get on my good side? Tell me: what is it that you want? Or is it Daisy who wants something? I’ll get it for you as long as it exists.”
I didn’t know what Nier was after, but I didn’t have anything I wanted. I looked to Nier since she started it. Sounding serious, Nier replied, “Your Majesty, I hope to learn your secrets to maintaining your appearance and to have the same makeup items. You are becoming younger and younger and prettier and prettier. His Majesty has given me the cold shoulder recently. I think the problem lies with me.”
“I was never cold to you!”
Before I could explain myself, Mom gave me a smile: “What’s the matter, Son? Why are you giving Nier the cold shoulder? Didn’t you rather fight with me and go deep into enemy territory to marry Nier? Why do you not like her now? Nier’s body and appearance are still as good as ever. Do you have a new crush? Son, Luna is an inevitable case, but if you want to have a mistress, Mommy is going to harshly punish you.”
“I did not! I never stopped liking Nier! Nier!”
I never expected the flame to blow over to me and for a strange reason, no less.
I was never cold to Nier.
Nier looked at me as though she suffered an injustice but was too intimidated by me to speak.
In my mind: “Doesn’t that look of yours mean that I’m oppressing you and won’t let you speak?!“
Seeing our reaction, Mom wrapped the whole scenario up: “Hahaha, okay, okay, Nier. I don’t use any make-up products or have any special protocols. You were my bodyguard for a long time, so you should be aware of that. I still haven’t changed my habits. Therefore, you won’t get anything. If that’s what you want, I’ll have the lady-in-waiting teach you. As for my son, he’s actually been with me for the last two days. I’m sorry about taking your husband from you; but nonetheless, as a mother, I, too, want to have my son with me. My son didn’t cheat. Thus, there’s no need for you to be concerned. Your love has overcome life-threatening challenges before; it’s not that fragile.”
I gently grabbed hold of Nier’s hand. She lingered for a moment then looked at me feeling quite surprised. I smiled: “Sorry, Nier. I haven’t been able to come back recently, but I’ll spend tonight with you.”
Nier nodded. Nier resisted her urge to giggle. Seeing us with blissful smiles, especially Nier’s shy, yet blissful, smile, Elizabeth oddly felt annoyed to her surprise. She was in a happy mood, but when she saw their smile, her heart hurt as though somebody was strangling it.
“Okay now, leave your issues to the bed. There’s nothing that a couple can’t solve on the bed. It’s noon at the moment. Let’s eat lunch in peace. Son, come with Mommy in the afternoon, and then you’ll be staying with Mommy at the office. Mommy wants to see how your North is doing.”
I nodded: “All right.”
Mom then picked up her eating utensils. Nier cheerfully followed suit.
It had just been over ten minutes, yet the person with the brightest mood had been switched. The one with the brightest mood felt that the dishes were dull and tasteless.
“Am I thinking about eating, or do I just want to look at someone?” wondered Elizabeth. She knew the answer to her own question.