Editor: Areth Kyntaul
"Nier! Don't!!" I shouted as loud as I could.
The direction of Nier's thrust changed mid-way down and stabbed into the ground. Nier indifferently released the sword, looked at me with a smile and said, "Alright, dear."
Hold up! Hold up! Where did that new way of addressing me come from?! And aren't you too good at changing the trajectory of your sword?! I highly suspect you were waiting for me to order you!
"My sincere apologies, onii-sama…"
Just as I was about to continue speaking, Freya who appeared God-knows-when suddenly pushed me in between my two moms all of a sudden.
I staggered and wobbled a few steps before falling straight into Vyvyan's arms, where my head buried itself in her valleys of bliss.
Vyvyan subconsciously dropped her sword and hugged me tightly.
Elizabeth, who swung her sword this way screeched and then tossed her sword away.
Vyvyan hugged me very tightly, like a hen protecting its child, as she retreated a few steps. She thundered, "Are you crazy?! You crazy woman!! If you had hurt my son just then, I would have erased humanity from this planet!!"
Elizabeth looked at me with a blank expression.
Her sword had been two centimetres away from my neck just now. I could feel the whistling wind created by her swing.
Elizabeth shook so much she nearly dropped to her knees. She staggered as she ran over. She trembled as she stuttered, "Son… Son… Mommy… did mommy hurt you…? Did mommy hurt you? … You didn't get hurt, did you…? Mommy didn't do it on purpose… Mommy didn't do it on purpose… Don't… don't be scared… Mommy… Mommy didn't do it on purpose…"
"I'm okay, mom, don't worry. I'm okay."
I escaped from Vyvyan's embrace and looked in the other direction.
Luna helped Lucia up.
Lucia's face was covered in tears of humiliation. She bit down on her lips hard while clenching her fists tightly. She was the first one to suggest a duel, yet failed, and was even spared by her opponent's generosity.
I now somewhat regret it. If I could be as decisive as Freya then perhaps the two of them didn't have to fight it out.
Freya looked at me with a hint of satisfaction.
I don't know when she started watching, but she saw a solution with her first glance. She really is amazing…
Elizabeth stood next to Nier with joy. She wiped the corner of her eyes to wipe away her tears of fright from just a moment ago and said with satisfaction, "See that, Vyvyan? Your Lucia can't be my son's wife. If she can't even protect herself, how is she going to protect her husband? And it was a fair-and-square fight. There was no scheming or underhanded tricks involved. Do you elves not respect such a victory?"
Vyvyan scoffed coldly and replied, "If your Nier could protect herself, why did my son have to travel thousands of miles to rescue her? What does that prove? It proves that Nier also enjoys undeserved fame. She'll only put my son in danger again!"
Elizabeth slammed her scabbard on the ground hard and sternly said, "Put that aside for now. We're talking about this particular duel. Nier fought Lucia fair-and-square. There were no schemes or underhanded tricks involved. She won with her own bravery and skills. So can you refuse Nier and my son being together?"
Vyvyan clenched her teeth tightly. She looked at Lucia with a hint of despair. She had no way of arguing that. Whether it's elven lands or human lands, a fair fight is legally sanctioned.
Say what you want; Nier won. It doesn't change the result even if you bring body weight into the equation since Lucia initiated the duel.
"I acknowledge this duel. However, that doesn't nullify Lucia's love for my son. The two of them genuinely love each other. Are you trying to suggest that love is about strength, too? My son loves Lucia. Since you love my son so much, are you going to steal his love from him, nevertheless?"
Vyvyan's counterargument was somewhat weak.
Elizabeth noticed the flaw in Vyvyan's argument and revealed a smile that indicated she was pleased with herself. She replied, "Is that so? Didn't you say that it needed to be monogamous? I don't care how much Lucia loves my son. Nier is the winner. My son travelled day and night to rescue Nier without regard for his own life. He loves Nier, too. He'll be happy regardless of who he marries, so you don't need to concern yourself with this matter anymore. Go home, Vyvyan. I'll send you an invitation when my son gets married."
Vyvyan clenched her teeth tightly. She had no argument for it. In elven tradition, the loser of a duel has to hand over their lover. And the same applies for humanity. Nier won regardless of what you try to say. That was a fact. Vyvyan couldn't deny it.
But then I decided to step up.
Elizabeth reacted with surprise. She looked at me blankly for a moment before switching to her gentle voice to say, "Son, is there something you want to say? It's okay. Say it loud and clear."
I looked at Elizabeth and replied without hesitation, "Mom. I love Lucia."
"What about Nier then?!"
"I love Nier as well."
I looked at Nier and said, "Nier went through life and death for me. We ventured into dangerous places together. We laughed together, got angry at each other, and worked towards a goal together."
"But the same goes for Lucia. Lucia didn't abandon me when I was on the brink of death. She starved herself for me. We've spent so much time together. Lucia has done far, far too much for me. I will not give up one of them for the other. Mom, sorry, but I might have to break conventions. I don't want to abandon either of them if possible! I want to marry both of them! If we can't live together, then I'll live with Nier here in humanity's lands and live with Lucia in the elven lands. In short, I won't give up on either of them! This is my only request. I want to be with both Nier and Lucia!"
Elizabeth and Vyvyan looked at me with utter surprise. The two of them exchanged glances and then looked at me with reluctant expressions.
Vyvyan budged her lips a few times before saying, "That… W-We can't decide there. If that is what you wish… we won't interfere… This is between you three… I understand what you want now, though. I, too, support your decision. If they can accept it, mommy is fine with it, too."
Elizabeth nodded and then said, "Nier, can you accept that? I mean His Majesty and Lucia being together. I have no means of rejecting my son's choice, and he isn't playing around just because he lusts for you both. If he loves you both, I can't separate him from his love."
Nier made a small bow and replied, "I respect His Majesty's decision. I shall soon be His Majesty's wife. While I do have my dis-satisfactions, I support all of His Majesty's decisions. As long as His Majesty can love me and be by my side, I shall not interfere with His Majesty's choice."
The empress nodded and then Vyvyan looked toward Lucia. Her tone sounded somewhat relieved when she spoke, "What about you then, Lucia? You can see that my son loves you as well. Sometimes love isn't a one-and-only thing. If you want my son's love, then you must be able to love him the same way as well."
Lucia froze up. She trembled as she looked up. Her face was covered with her tears. She looked at me with a hopeless expression.
Her gaze made me feel worried; it held a sense of not wanting to let go, and surprise, like I had abandoned her. She bit down on her lips and clenched her fists tightly. She then took in a big breath and shouted, "I can't accept it!!!"