Translated by Tianic, edited by Grammarly
[dropcap]I[/dropcap] was pressed on the ground surface by a handful of muscular royal guards. One of them thereafter placed a thick cushion on my butt. He said with a friendly smile at me.
“Work with us, scream harder.” He said.
“One!” Guard’s rod slammed down.
“Ahhhhh…” I yelled though it wasn’t painful whatsoever thanks to the cushion.
“Two!” Here came one more.
“Ouch… ahh… ahh!” They beat for twenty-eight times, and I made twenty-eight different styles of screaming.
Now there were two more rods left and I was still waiting. I turned my head in order to urge them to hurry only to find Fischer’s evil smile.
“NO!” I sensed a mischievous vision from his eyes, and as expected, the cushion was promptly lifted. The last two rods landed harshly on my back!
”PUFF PUFF!” With two stuffy sounds, I was hit right on. An unnamable sharp and sorrowful pain spread from my skin to my bone marrow. My mouth was wide open without a sound but “Ssssssi… ssssssi”.
“En, my father said the last two rods are a must.” He ignored my sad eyes, “Stand up, my mom wants to see you.”
Hence I hobbled on the Royal Garden Lane. Lovely streams and exotic flowers and plants didn’t offer help to the pain.
“My father said, the last two rods have to be real. Don’t want others to know it’s a fake punishment, am I right?.” Fischer led, “By the way, you blessed dog, you got a mil-pos for 2 rods, lucky you.”
“I don’t care! You remember that I’ll have my revenge!” I barked.
“Whatever… you’ll still have to call me Majesty.”
“Hey hey… that’s gonna wait, you are still at ‘Highness’.”
In a small pavilion surrounded by rivulets, we met Queen Nashor. She wore a silver dress and sat on a white stool. She was doing ikebana with a pair of scissors, concentrating on exotic plants.
“There you are.” She said softly, “Have a seat, I’ll be right with you.”
“Please continue.” Fischer sat down, and I decided to keep standing considering the condition of my butt, “I’m better off straight.”
Queen Nashor greeted me by slightly nodding her chin and continued her trimming. I froze the moment she smiled at me. Her expression was so real, natural, and comfortable.
No birds were humming while I heard only the lower roar of the streams. I watched the queen gracefully put down her scissors then cleaned her hands in a silver tray.
“I had a sense of everything you’ve done recently.” She stood up, put the finished bouquet on the side, “However, I don’t understand why you have to do it in the rudest way.”
“I…” Out of nowhere, faced with a kind woman, I lost my words and the ability to lie.
“Mother?” Fischer said, “It’s just who he is. Are you saying he faked all these?”
“Silence!” Queen Nashor then asked, “Tell me, Cohen.”
“I… think, this way it would be more… straightforward,” I tried hard to remember my thought then, “and time-saving.”
“I see, then it was all part of your personality.” She paced over and she faced my eyes, pointed her right index finger onto my forehead. A feel of a drop of cold spread like a ripple.
“A boy of sixteen.” She gazed at my eyes, “What are you hiding, Cohen Kheda.”
“Your Grace…” I tried to end this conversation
“Queen Nashor will be fine.” She interrupted, “Doesn’t it work better for you like this?”
“Yes, Queen Nashor.” I surrendered.
“You two are in grave danger.” Slowly, she sat down, “Do you know?”
I confusedly shook my head.
“The Minister was a man of great importance as the chief quartermaster during the last Protoss/Asmodian war two decades ago. He singlehandedly managed the necessities of 460, 000 soldiers in perfect order. Do you still think you can defeat him with your petty tricks?
“He’s been underestimating you kids. During the days he assumed the position as the Prime Minister, he has not encountered any noticeable impediment, except for Viceroy Kheda, your father.” Queen Nashor continued, “He has never imagined anything that could mean a threat to him in Swabia. As for you, Cohen, you are the very first variable in the empire during the last twenty years. For us as well as for the Minister. You are always an unpredictable deal breaker to him. Now he will add you to his watch list. He will save a piece of his evil plans only for you on whatever he’s scheming. You should be worried.”
“Mother, so the danger comes from the Minister?”
“You think? Why do you think your father gave him a military position for 2 rods?”
“That I have no idea.”
“Little brat.” Queen Nashor kept her smile, which has been lively altering shapes like my emotions, “Let me tell you.”
“The Divine City seems peaceful for the moment, which in fact is flown in turbulence. Within the entire empire, only the Kheda’s territories are comparably safe for you. Within which Cohen’s land is the safest. This place is yet to develop without other forces’ intrusion.” She said, “Your father gave Cohen’s a mil-pos, now he will be able to build an army.”
“Cohen’s army will be yours as well, you stupid little.”
“I have discussed with your father. You will go to the Dark City with Cohen together immediately. There you will have much opportunity to practice and the chance to avoid disputes in the capital.”
“Are you sure you want me to leave, mother?”
“Positive. We will worry about the Minister, and you are free to realize your dreams.” Queen Nashor then turned to me, “Cohen, carry on. The more you thrive, the safer Fischer will be.”
“As you wish, Queen Nashor, rest assured!”
“You need to take this really seriously. Cohen, do you remember my advice?”
“Loud and clear, Queen Nashor.”
“One more thing.” She said, “Since today, I want you to think before you act. For us, this world is full of various temptations and dangers. A single mistake, you could lose yourself.”
“So?” I asked, “What should I do?”
“Follow your heart.” She gazed at my face, “Your heart will not lie. It will lead you whenever you’re lost.”
“We…” Fischer stuttered, “Don’t we have the Gods?”
“The Minister himself,” Queen Nashor pulled Fischer’s ears, “is a spokesman of the Gods. Do you want him to lead your way?”
After our conversation, we all grew hungry. Thus the three of us, stood or sat, enjoyed fine desserts in the pavilion.
“By the way, Cohen.” The Queen asked, “You have two cute fiancees, don’t you?”
“Yeah.” I smiled, “Earned those two by accident at that moment.”
“I couldn’t care less. Bring those girls on the morrow. I want to meet them.”
“Why on earth, Queen?”
“You little bastard, it’s about the reputation of these two lovely girls!” My ears were yanked, “Or were you just saying they’re your wives for fun? I intend to ready your wedding.”
“Queen!” I said, completely acted silly, “No need to be in such a rush?”
“Why not?” She smiled, “I need someone to watch this little bastard of you.”
“I’m only sixteen!” I protested loudly.
“You’ll be spending much time with Fischer, what if the girl he likes shed eyes on you?” Queen Nashor whispered in my ears, “I’ll be so relieved once you are married.”
Beneath the setting sun, I returned my residence in the Divine City on a stretcher while carrying the Queen’s gifted flower for my mother.