At some time, presumably, maybe Hilles City. Unknown time.
“Your Majesty, Your Majesty, sorry but that is truly not acceptable.”
Nier extended her hand out to stop the boy in front of her with a helpless smile. She crouched down and looked into his eyes. She smiled then checked to ensure nobody was looking. She gently pulled him into her embrace and caressed his head.
“Her Majesty is still in a meeting. You should not disturb her while she is in meetings. Please be patient.”
“Ugh… Not even a little peek?”
From her embrace, the young boy looked up at Nier with tears in his eyes. Nier found herself sporting a dumbstruck look. Her entire face squirmed with a clash of heartache, obligation and personal feelings. Nobody could resist against such a pitiful gaze, especially Nier, a woman who was fond of children. She clenched her teeth then set her long sword down on the ground. She picked up the boy: “I shall take you to take a look inside, but only from the window. Do not recklessly move around.”
“Thank you, Sister Nier!”
The boy beamed. He tightly hugged Nier around her neck and kissed her on her cheek, thereby leading to her jolting. She was elated. Had it not been for her status and their location, Nier would’ve tightly hugged him with a fanatical smile and rubbed her face against his.
Nier checked left and right then jumped into the lawn on either side of the conference hall. On both sides of the hall were huge windows that came down to the floor. Owing to the windows being made from frosted glass, however, the view inside from outside wasn’t clear. Nonetheless, vague silhouettes were visible. Nier stood at the window while carrying the boy. The young boy lightly pressed his hand onto the window and curiously scanned the interior. Inside was his mother, who was in a meeting with her vassals. The sunlight shone through the window, bathing his mother’s silhouette in a warm light that made it hard to see her details. Nevertheless, her black hair still stood out.
The boy focused on the woman in front of him with all of his effort. He pressed his tiny hand onto his mother’s silhouette, which showed just how serious and focused he was. Nier had never seen the Prince serious; therefore, she was a little surprised. The Prince was still very cute when he was serious, though!
“What are you two doing?”
A voice suddenly spoke out to the two from behind. Nier spun around in a panic. She saw a short, yet refined, woman that resembled a doll. Panicked, she replied, “Umm… Alice… I… I…”
“Auntie Alice, it’s not Sister Nier’s fault. I was the one who asked her to hold me, because I wanted to see Mom…”
“I see.” Alice gave the boy an understanding smile. She gently touched his head and said, “That can’t be helped, then, huh? You sure are clingy, huh, Prince? You will not be able to become a King who can hold his own weight if you do that. Nonetheless, you are still a child. I suppose this is the nature of children. Nier, while this was His Majesty’s order, you still must ensure that you fulfil your duties. For instance, the peeking suspect over there. You must be attentive, mustn’t you?”
Nier looked in the direction that Alice indicated feeling surprise. There were two people standing behind the shrubs, watching Nier and Troy. Nier immediately took a step back and prepared herself for battle. The two suspects didn’t strike, though. Alice gave Nier a smile: “You don’t need to mind them too much, Nier. I don’t understand why, but the two of them give me a very familiar feeling. I’m not sure who they are, but they won’t be a threat for us.”
“Barging into the Royal Palace of Hilles City is punishable by death!!”
Before Nier could finish, , the woman adorning herself in a white cloak and cloth battle gear, who was one of the two people opposite her, removed her olecranon hood and flicked her long black hair. She disputed, “From my perspective, you’re the one who barged in, Nier.”
Nier was stunned. She was slightly taller than herself and a little older, but her clothing and physique differences were so minimal that they were barely noticeable in the face of their similarities. Their hair colour, eye colour and facial features were the exact same. The woman took a step forward, revealing her smirk: “How embarrassing, Nier. You’re a guard, yet you threw your sword on the ground to run around carrying a boy. How are you supposed to fulfil the role of a guard with that sort of attitude? How embarrassing. I’ve never committed such a mistake in over a decade of being a guard!”
“Who exactly are you?!”
“You still can’t tell?”
The woman walked toward Nier. Nier passed the boy to Alice and walked over to meet the woman. The two clashed. Nier grabbed the woman’s collar and thundered, “Who exactly are you?! Who exactly are you?! Why do you resemble me so much?! Who exactly are you?! What do you want?!”
“I’m you, Nier. Have you still not realised that you’re a fake? The question isn’t what I’m disguised as you for, but why you’re disguised as me!”
Current time at Duargana? Vyvyan Galadriel?
“Queen Vyvyan, this is an invitation from Hilles City. Empress Elizabeth has invited you and Elven King Inard to come to Hilles City to celebrate her birthday with her.”
The human went down on one knee and handed over the invitation. Vyvyan took it with a smile. She then turned around to say to her brother, “Elizabeth celebrates her birthday every year. I truly can’t understand humans. They just got older. Is that worth celebrating? However, Brother, it should be something worth celebrating to you. After all, you only get to see your wife a few times each year. It must be very hard, huh?”
“Yeah. If you were the ruler of elves, I’d be able to stay by Elizabeth’s side. You want to swap with me?”
“No way. I want to be able to go see Elizabeth whenever I like to, as well. It’s not just you who loves Elizabeth. I love her, too!”
Vyvyan stood up and informed the envoy, “Inard and I will be there on time.”
“Yes, Your Highness.” The envoy nodded and stood up. With a smile, he added, “For the human and elven alliance.”
“Yes, for our alliance. The alliance between elves and humans will forever be the strongest alliance!”