I was pleased with the state of the palace. Although I hadn’t been back for a long time, the palace was clean and tidy as I remembered it. Honestly, it was a little unfamiliar. It was my palace; there was no mistake about it, and I had lived in it for at least two months, but I almost had no recollection of it. Seeing the bed Nier and I once went wild on made me sigh. It must’ve been hard on the maids taking care of the bed sheets.
Preparations in the palace had commenced. Our guests were scheduled to arrive in two days. We had to prepare their rooms, food, water and things for the meeting. It was a big process. However, because the palace had a plan, and Vyvyan and Elizabeth weren’t bringing too many people, the palace was ready after burning the midnight oil.
There was nothing I could do in the palace. I brought Ying and Xia with me. Xia excitedly looked around. I knew what she was after. Xia wanted to go to the kitchen to see how national banquets were prepared. Three of the highest ranked rulers of this continent were going to convene together for a discussion, so the food was of the highest quality. Xia was eager to learn more about chefs, so she certainly wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity. However, people couldn’t just casually approach the kitchen, especially this time, where food was being prepared for three monarchs. Even the chef had to be strictly inspected and basically placed under palace arrest. That was done so that they could immediately be interrogated should something happen. Without a written order from me, the guards wouldn’t let Xia near the kitchen.
“Thank you so much for complying with so many of Xia’s requests.”
“It’s fine. I told you, your loyalty is what’s most important to me. If I can’t give you my trust, how could you entrust your loyalty to me?”
I gave Ying a smile. She nodded. She seemed to have a smile of embarrassment. Ying rarely showed any expressions, but she’d look very blissful whenever it had to do with her sister. She asked me and Dragon Mom, whom were preparing to head out, “Do you really not need me to accompany you? With so many people in this city, it would be dangerous, would it not?”
“It’s fine. This is my city, and I have my Mom with me, so I should be safe.”
If I didn’t have my mom with me, Ying was a very powerful bodyguard; however, if Nier was the one who came to kill me, Ying might not be able to defeat her. That said, Nier was unlikely to try and kill me, unless I had several mistresses out there that she found out about. If she did, I’d probably be assassinated during the day by Lucia, and then hacked by Nier at night.
Dragon Mom was with me. Her true form was that of a dragon. Besides Ying and Xia, nobody could pierce her dragon scales. Even if Mom didn’t have her combat prowess in her dragon form, once she did transform into her dragon form… Let’s not go there. If she transformed into her dragon form, half of Troy City would become ruins. I think it would be more convenient to have her burn everything up with a blast of fire, instead.
We just finished dinner, but because I didn’t put curfew policies into place, Troy City was bright with fires. Merchants lived for money. Nobody bears a grudge against money. As long as there were things to sell, there’d be people selling things. There were stores on both of the streets in front of the plaza. Dragon Mom lived in the desert, so she had never seen such a scene before. It was her first time seeing so many people. She was very eager to go onto the streets and look around. We only went past the plaza during the day, after all.
I noticed the astonished look in Dragon Mom’s eyes. Humanity’s population was a miracle, so I wasn’t surprised. Even elves were shocked by the human population, let alone Dragon Mom. Nonetheless, I also noticed the hint of loneliness in her eyes. Perhaps it was because she didn’t see any of her own kind.
Mom looked at me with a poignant gaze. She had a smile on her face, but the loneliness in her eyes was akin to a captured rabbit. She was a dragon, a big and powerful entity, yet she was utterly defeated by loneliness. Scales that were impervious to blades and magic couldn’t shield her from the grief and pain she felt within.
Loneliness is scary. No creature out there can resist loneliness, including my mighty Dragon Mom. Compared to being lonely by herself, being unable to find any warmth among such a bustling city was worse.
Dragon Mom’s fingers were slightly quivering. Perhaps she was thinking about my father. Those were the only moments she didn’t find lonely among the hundreds and thousands of years, but those ten years were short as a sweet dream. It was incomparably blissful and beautiful. Once she woke up, unfortunately, she felt even lonelier.
I cleared my throat and then held Dragon Mom’s hand. She juddered. I was the life-saving straw she caught while the wave of loneliness swept her away. I gave her a smile: “Mom, what’s wrong? Didn’t you just want to go and play there? Let’s have some fun out here today. Just tell me what you want. We’re in my city. You’re my mom; it’s only right that I look after you. We can go to the hot springs after you have some fun.”
I softly chuckled. I finished by saying, “Let’s go, Mom. It’s all right. I’m by your side. I’ll always be by your side henceforward. Always.”
Mom shuddered, and then she looked at me with a blank look. I noticed her hand I was holding began to shake. She responded in a trembling voice, “Really…? Son… Do you mean that…? Be with me… You will always be together with me…?”
“Of course. I’m your son. Of course a son should be with his mother. That’s why I’ll be by your side. You won’t have to feel lonely or keep thinking about the past. Mom, I’ll always be by your side.”
I tightened my hold on Dragon Mom’s hand. Tears started to form in her eyes. She didn’t speak; instead, she rubbed her eyes then revealed a blissful smile. She gently interlocked her fingers with mine. I knew she was afraid of hurting me, since a dragon was much stronger than other races. Despite that, however, I was a dragon – technically speaking, so it was fine.
I hugged Dragon Mom. With her head on my shoulder and, in a hoarse voice, she muttered, “Son, Son… I am happy just to have you… You are all I need… All I need is to have you by my side…”
I gently stroked Mom’s back. I gazed up at the stars overhead. The stars at Troy City were bright as they’d always been. It was just that what I was looking for wasn’t a sky full of stars but a shooting star, something people treated as a spectacle. Though I had seen more exquisite fireworks, the fireworks at Troy City that time were something I’d never forget. I kissed the wrong person. I didn’t say anything afterwards, and neither did Mommy Elizabeth mention it. It was the same as this very moment, where I was hugging my mom at Troy City.
Mommy Elizabeth and I would meet again very soon, though.
I spent all my remaining time having fun with Dragon Mom in Troy City. The people couldn’t tell who was who underneath the flames on the streets, but I didn’t think the businessmen who just arrived would recognise the lord of Troy City anyhow.
Dragon Mom was mistaken as my wife. I did hear some strange things, too.
“Is she his wife? Mm, she looks very pretty, but she looks slightly old. She’s not a widow, is she?”
“She most likely is. Young people these days are different to us. Young men should just make themselves some money, right? Why get yourself an old widow? I’ll bet he’s after her money…”
I didn’t care about such gossip, but their evaluations got on Dragon Mom’s nerves. I would assume it was the type of “I want to rip them up with my bare hands” sort of ticked off.
We went to the hot springs afterwards. I saw Dragon Mom’s body for the first time.
I never knew some of her scales and veins couldn’t be erased in her human form. Still, her breasts were weapons. Obviously, I liked somewhat bigger ones. Vyvyan and Elizabeth’s breasts were already excellent, but Dragon Mom’s were slightly larger. I had to be careful in the future. I couldn’t let her do what Vyvyan and Elizabeth do to me; else, my life would genuinely be endangered…
Dragon Mom comfortably leaned on the rocks to one side. She dipped herself into the hot water. She seemed to really like the hot springs. It was my family’s exclusive hot spring. Dragon Mom’s hands didn’t behave themselves too well in the water. I knew she wanted to hold me and bath as Mommy Vyvyan did.
As I resisted, I thought, “I had to let Mommy Vyvyan do that in the past, as I couldn’t move! You want to do it when I can move now? Also, I can’t even straight my back in your arms! It’s impossible to!”
Dragon Mom was somewhat disappointed, but she seemed to understand. I noticed something strange about her gaze. She looked at me in a very odd manner. Her gaze frightened me a little. That was not a normal gaze; it was a gaze filled with lust. I suddenly realised that dragons had sexual urges…
Wait… A light bulb went off for me: “Please don’t tell me… she’s treating me as my father…”