Hellping

He was headed to the battlefront again the next day, but Vika, who has spent almost all jos time fighting the “Legion” since seven years ago, was neither prepared nor emotional.

He opened the moonlit balcony window and left his room in the castle that was luxurious yet empty, nary any personal belongings.

On a night when the temperature would not rise, the Eintagsfliege was forced to lift its heavy silvery clouds. It was then that one could see the night sky above, akin to a lapel of the Queen of the Night, with snowflakes adorning the silver fox fur.

No matter how much the temperature fell, it truly was a worthy sight to behold at this moment.

Looking up at the starry night of early summer that seemed unbefitting of the frosty atmosphere, Vika recalled.

Lerchelied.

That girl was once his milk sibling, and in the past, after all the trivial quarrels and disharmony that hurt them, she would forget to cry and the time if  he found ‘that’ and told her, and would be mesmerized. She was such a young.

She had the name of a spring bird, but she was someone who liked the winter.

The harsh winter that could freeze the soul in the United Kingdom.

Even in the midst of such a harsh season, she was a girl who could find something worth loving…for she loved the world so.

…Even though they might see different things at the same place.

If she had been alive, once she realized her despair, she probably would return here to look again.

But her reply would never be known.

Vika heard footsteps over the thin snow, and looked backwards.

Looking down into the garden, among the very faint shadows formed by the stars, was a petite Émeraude woman of forty years old or so, dressed as a palace maid.

It was a familiar face.

He could not remember well, but it happened during his infancy.

“Martina.”

She was the woman who once served as his milk mother.

She was also the mother of Lerche—Lerchelied.

“Master Viktor, you will be heading to the frontlines personally. Please take care of your body, the goddess of ice and snow shall surely bless you.”

As a retainer in the palace, Martina was thoroughly raised to behave so, and Vika shrugged as he saw how she showed proper etiquette like a robot, given the angle and timing.

“Yeah. It’s the second time after all. We can’t lose hat badly and escape again.”

“No…please come back safely this time. That is all that matters to me.”

She was not exhibiting the etiquette required in the palace this time, and instead, was on the verge of grovelling onto the ground.

It was a tear-choked voice.

It was the voice of the woman who welcomed him back from the battlefield in place of his mother.

When her daughter was still alive…after the mourning.

“Your Highness…is that child—Lerchelied, still assisting you?”

“…Yes.”

He dared really did not dare to mention that she was so dutiful to lose everything below her neck.

She was the intimate retainer of Vika’s mother, Princess Mariana.

When Princess Mariana died and left Vika behind, Martina was carrying Lerche who was still breastfeeding.

This was the only reason why she ransomed his life along with her only daughter.

And the end result was that her only daughter was transformed into a walking corpse that resembled her appearance.

Although Vika felt it was justifiable for her to hate him, Martina had never shown such a side ever since she lost Lerchelied seven years ago.

Even though he would be bringing her daughter’s corpse to the battlefield in front of her again.

“I’m sorry. I can’t give you back your daughter yet.”

“No.”

Martina looked at him, closed her mouth, and shook her head.

“No. A child shall one day leave its nest. It’s only a matter of time until she flies to a world her parents does not know of.”

She did not expect him to return his daughter or anything.

Not at all.

“The child had left my hand a little earlier, but she had laded upon your hand, Your Highness. It is a pity though…she never had the body to be bestowed with such honor after all.”

Vika was a Amethystus, a royal. And Lerche…her daughter Lerchelied was an Émeraude, a peon.

She could not hope to become a concubine, let alone a beloved wife.

The Idinarohks were the only remaining lineage who possessed the ability of the Amethystus. They could not let the ability be lost, no matter the reason. The pure blood could not be tainted with other colors.

Not to mention, it was a matter of the Prince’s personal love.

“…Sorry”

“No. That is what she would have wanted, right?…I can only send her off.”

At the very least, she hoped the bird that flew away would be happy.

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