“Son, you really enjoyed yourself with mommy didn’t you?”
Her tone seemed to indicate she had something to punish me with. She puts me down on her lap and holds me. There was a scary smile on Elizabeth’s face as it seemed she was a bit angry at that.
I smiled back at her. This was what I wanted.
“I’m glad you can finally talk to me like this mom. I had to do extremely embarrassing things just to get you to stop frantically begging me to pay attention and like you. I like you better this way mom, because now I can really talk to you.”
“Really talk to me?” The scary smile turned to a surprise expression.
“After doing something like that you’re not as afraid of making me upset anymore are you?” Elizabeth’s psychology is pretty easy to understand. “Before you having a lot of running thoughts about what to do in order to keep me here and how to tell me how much you really loved me. It was hard wasn’t it mom? You couldn’t even calmly look at me because you were so afraid I’d hate you. It ruined your ability to work. I don’t want that to happen so I had to do this mom.”
“Son… I… but this…”
I grab her and kiss her before she can talk again. A child is allowed to be naked in his mother’s arms right? No, the fact is she’s not really my mom in spirit and I’m totally taking advantage of her.
“Mom, the fact is I love you, there isn’t anything that will dispute this fact. I can’t say I love you as much as you love me yet because you knew of me before I even knew you, but I love you and I never want there to be a moment that you don’t know that.”
Elizabeth begins to have some tears in her eyes.
“Mom please don’t cry, it’s not nice when pretty girls cry.”
She snickers. “Son you’re such a playboy. You know how to play with all of mommy’s feelings. Mommy knows you’re dangerous that way even though mommy loves you. You didn’t even spare mommy from your hands even though you know I’m your biological mother. You made me swallow it. You’re a bad bad boy.”
She took a breath.
“But mommy understands now. Mommy could never talk to you like this before… those intrusive thoughts about you leaving me aren’t there anymore. Mommy feels like you wanted to tell me this for a long time… Son, you took a risk with me… if you shocked me too much I might have accidentally killed you because of all my military training…”
“I would rather die than not be able to tell my mom how I feel.” I said that while making close eye contact and then kissing her softly again where there was a lingering salt taste in her mouth.
Zhu/Troy had constantly pushed Elizabeth away in the beginning of the novel. It’s funny if you think about it, he was basically constantly forced to do it with Nier, Vyvyan and was thankful Lucia didn’t require it as much. He turned down Sylvanas because her stamina was described as something beyond himself but honestly I’m curious about it.
It was only in the last few volumes that he became more intimate with his Elizabeth, and at that point I was already frustrated at how she was treated despite being one of the most emotionally tragic of the characters. Sure Luna had a worse past, and sure Sylvana was completely lonely but Elizabeth had the most complex block of emotions to the point where even though she was a sadistic killer and murderer you couldn’t really help but feel sorry for her.
She also had the least amount of time left due to being a human, and she was older than her half-elf son. It resolved later, but the heart ache was relatable.
The other girls in contrast for me became boring. If Vyvyan weren’t so dangerous I wouldn’t mind just staying with Elizabeth only, but the situation doesn’t really allow for it. To get her out of her cage and allow her wish to come true, the Empire needed a successor. To prevent complete destruction or devastation of the continent Vyvyan couldn’t be thrown away.
I guess Zhu/Troy’s best accomplishment was getting his moms to make an alliance and peace treaty despite all the idiotic adventures he had. Still I wanted to make sure I extended Elizabeth’s life from that of a normal human. Even if she grows old I want her to have the adequate time to enjoy by my side.
“I’m sorry for being a playboy mom, but even if you are my biological mom and it’s wrong for humans, it’s not wrong for elves and I’m a half-elf.”
She let out a laugh, a true one, then she started to cry again.
“Mom, let me put on some clothes, maybe you should change out of the uniform and lets sleep. I think you have a conference tomorrow. I don’t want to be your weakness.”
“Yes son, mommy understands.”
“Yes son, mommy is listening.”
“You can’t let me manipulate you into ordering your subordinates anymore. Even if you don’t agree with me I won’t leave because of that, but I’ll leave if you kill Nier or Luna my Elf Maid.”
Elizabeth’s eyes suddenly turned and I detected jealousy within them but before she could speak:
“I know you’re jealous mom, I know. That’s why I knew you would let me see you as a woman and more than just my mom. If you’re jealous you can punish me. As long as it doesn’t cause pain I don’t mind the discomfort. I’ll show you how to punish me when you pick up what you need from Lorana.”
“Okay son, mommy will believe you.”
“There’s one more thing mom, the stone that turned red that I had you look at during dinner,” I said.
“Yes, mommy forgot about that.”
“I want to break you free from this cage mom,” I said. “I had a plan… I wanted to get you pregnant… you can’t hide it but I could have pretended to be my father visiting you and doing that… but the red glow means you can’t get pregnant anymore. Then in 18 years the child whom you could raise here could easily be the ruler unlike me who was too spoiled since birth. If I became emperor I wouldn’t be happy… I’d be trapped away just like you because I also don’t want to rule.”
There was a look of both shock and revelation in her eyes. It then turned to loss.
“It’s fine son… mommy shouldn’t get pregnant by you anyway. Mommy is happy that son really understands mommy doesn’t like being empress. The empire though is what mommy still has to take care of. If mommy had a child with you mommy would have been very happy. You thinking of mommy, makes mommy very happy.”
There were bright eyes with her. So I guess she is willing even this early on to see me as more than just a son. Well, she did get jealous at the mention of other women… and with the prostitutes in the original novel she spared the one Zhu/Troy chose because she was happy that woman looked like her.
“I promise I’ll find a way mom,” I said.
She smiled and got up, changed into a night gown in front of me as I put on some of my clothes. She pulled me into her breasts and my face rested there. She would definitely be happy with that line as it was one of the lines she loved hearing the most in the novel.
“Son, thank you for helping mommy understand. Mommy loves you.”
“I love you too mom, but hold me a bit looser so I can breathe.”
The next morning I woke up and had breakfast with Elizabeth. She was happy and in a good mood but most important she was now calm in my presence and there wasn’t anymore of that coquettish behavior. It seemed she calmed down and understood how her subjects saw me as making her weak.
She might be going around killing again but that’s how the empire was formed and suddenly changing couldn’t happen on a whim. Running empires was something I didn’t want to get involved in.
I made a note to spend a few hours each day to go to the library in the palace and spend time reading the historical records. There were many books everywhere and learning about a world usually involved increasing my knowledge. If I can’t fight then I should at least be informed since I do have influence in the palace regardless of whether I want that power.
I learned a lot about mom’s actions, who she killed, her tactics… everything glorified her as a God of Battle. It showed many artist depictions of her gloriously beheading enemy monarchs, tales of her cutting through hundreds of soldiers along with her invincible valkyries… yes… that woman… drank… my… last night…
I do didn’t much beyond that and buying candy for children for the next week or so. I just talked with Luna as she began to open up and get to know me. I asked her if she could help me on the full moon and told her there will be people there to prevent her from going all the way for now. The truth was she would probably be able to control it better with time if I remember the novel.
Each night of the week I was summoned to Elizabeth’s bedroom and spent it there. Yes we did go all the way now that she new she couldn’t have a child. The first time however she never actually covered her face but happily looked me in the eyes and kissed me over and over. It made me wonder about the differences between the times he made love between volumes 12, 15 and 17.
She was a little sad about not being able to have more children at first, but I guess Vyvyan never bothered to bring those stones even if she knew it existed for her to find out. She could have completely dashed her hopes of the plan she had in volume 12.
Now without that fear of embarrassment, she started to be more open and willful each successive night. Yes, more than one time each night. I told her to wear the military uniform if she wanted to be the strong mommy and she could punish me whenever she wore it. If she wore something else then it’s understood she wants to be vanilla.
She seemed to wear the uniform more and preferred swallowing more than taking it. I was thinking that she probably got sore easily and found it hard walking, and I suppose that while her outer body was young and magnificent looking, the place where she gives birth was indeed aging. Women her age could get pregnant, but it was also an age of complications.
During the day time I continued to go out with Nier, but mostly it was to buy candy, sweet food, sometimes clothing for the orphans. Nier didn’t seem as cold to me now.
“Nier how often do you take on challengers?”
“Whenever I need ot sharpen my skills, I will do it then. Are you interested in watching? I thought you didn’t like bloodshed.”
“I don’t like blood shed, but I kept thinking about those kids. None of them know what takes place in the challenges, what if they challenge it one day?”
Nier then looks at me and begins to plead. “Can we go see them now?”
“Sure but lets go to the candy store first.”
She was frantic as I began to purchase the candy. Fidgeting so much was part of her character. She loved children, especially cute children. She would be hard on them but only because she cared for them if training them. That’s the way she was trained but being trained as a child seemed to be the best way to become a good swordsman or discover whether or not you had actual talent.
It felt too late for me. Troy Galadriel Rosvenor, a man born to be weak. I’m probably not going to bathe in dragon blood this time even if the Dragon Heart is the only way I can think of for Elizabeth to live longer.
When we got there Nier called the kids giving each of them a candy.
“Never challenge okay, it’s not good to challenge. Never challenge the Valkyries. If you want to join the valkyries and train that’s okay if you’re a girl, if you’re a boy join the army but never challenge.”
The kids were looking at her all flustered so I decided to go in and help.
“Hey mister, are you her husband?” the kids asked. “You always come by with her.”
I smile at them.
“That depends on her,” I watched as she suddenly blushed. “Listen to her though. Challenging might sound like a good way to make money and be rewarded but it’s a shortcut. A short cut is usually dangerous because you’ll often get into something you don’t have the ability to handle yet. You need to grow up and do things slowly and learn about things little by little.”
“Oh, so I need to learn to do things slowly? My brother wants to challenge because he wants to make money.”
“Your brother shouldn’t challenge, he will probably die.”
Nier yelled at him again. “I told you never challenge it okay? If you think about challenging I wont’ bring candy to you again!”
“If you say you’ll challenge I’ll bring you candy instead.”
“Your majesty!” There was a fierce look in her eyes then she backed down.
“Okay okay, I won’t bring you candy either but if I bring you Empress bread will you promise never to challenge it?”
“Empress bread, is that real?”
“I want to try!”
“Yes, for real.”
I watch as the kids each one by one promise Nier that they won’t challenge the Valkyries. We then pick up and begin to go back to the palace with Nier behind me.
“Yes your Majesty,” she says.
“Do you still want me to off myself for her Majesty’s sake?”
Nier stops. She isn’t glaring at me but she does look at me. She breathes in and out.
“No, I was wrong before,” she said. “Her majesty seems much happier these days. Alice also has stopped harboring ill feelings for you, she says she will talk with you soon.”
Soon was when I was once again called to go see Mommy again. That night it was Alice who came to summon me. I did say she could call me whenever she wanted.
“Your majesty,” Alice said. “I approve of you now.”
Voice was still cold, but at least I’ve solved the problem that would happen later. Since all the talks Elizabeth cleared out her intentions with Alice she was also working better which caused the empire to progress smoother even if the Valkyries were not as strict. People still feared her absolute power however, and the commoners were not allowed to look at her or even me.
I nod. There was no more need for words. I looked at Luna in my room who was smiling while cleaning then walked off with her. Nier left me to go as well.
As we walked.
“I will have no complaints if you’re the next Emperor,” she said. “Even if you haven’t led an army yourself, Castor was crushed from the simple advice you gave Castell. We killed all their leaders but the people are still there working and we lost no port.”
That fast? It hasn’t been a full week yet. Has the timeline from the novel changed a bit? Is this the “butterfly” effect?
“Further more, I have no complaints from her majesty’s behavior. She has become brighter and more domineering when planning the empire’s future even if she is more willing to spare the citizens.”
“Alice, I don’t want to be the Emperor,” I said. “I’m weak. The best I can do is advisor, but honestly I’d rather just be free to do whatever I want as long as those I love can be safe.”
We arrived at the inner court and I walked into the bedroom. Those activities even if the Valkyries suspected it, the word around the palace is I’m sleeping in her arms like a long lost child.
Still the timeline being off made me want to do a few other things quickly.