“Your highness, you may go out, but you must remember to return on time…”
Under the barrage of my ultimate Tai Chi attack (read: If you guys dare to follow me, I’ll kill myself), the imperial guards finally agreed to not follow us out. However, as they saw us off, the captain grabbed me by my arm and begged me like he was about to cry.
The guy was more annoying than my mom!
After we finally left the palace, Lucia wrapped her arm around mine and cheerfully strolled under the sunlight with me. Nothing changed around the elf capital. The same shops were there where they originally were, and the crowds were bustling as usual. Lucia cheerfully scanned our surroundings with her arm still around mine and then said: “Let’s… Let’s go get some grilled rabbits first. I can smell their aroma! It looks like they just finished grilling a batch!!”
“Alright… But how is your nose so incredible…? Can we not use the buffs provided by the wind elves to blow the aroma over towards us?”
I smiled helplessly as Lucia pulled me over. The boss raised his head up to look at me, stopped moving, then revealed a smile and said: “Your highness, it has been a while. If my memory does me justice, the last time you came to buy this from me was a month ago.”
“Ah… Yeah… I left for a while.”
“You came back at a good time because the deer hunting festival is coming up. You will be participating will you not, your highness? I really anticipate the moment you successfully kill the deer!!”
“Oh… I haven’t made plans for that yet…”
What’s this deer hunting festival…?
Lucia happily accepted the grilled rabbit thigh wrapped in something like leaves and grabbed some beer while she was at it. I looked at the oily and glimmering rabbit thigh and slightly felt like some myself. However, since I have to see the perfumer in a bit, it’d better if I don’t eat anything. I don’t have enough time to finish it before I see her after all…
After I paid, Lucia wrapped one arm around mine again, and then began to bite into her grilled meat. It’s not very elegant for a girl to walk and eat something like that, is it? Lucia, however didn’t care. The elves by the side didn’t have any opinion either. Lucia ate as she looked at me and asked: “Aren’t you going to participate in the deer hunting festival, your highness?”
Can you tell me what the deer hunting ceremony is first? You needed to kill a white deer for the wind elves buff, and now there’s a deer hunting festival. Why do the deer have to suffer so much…? Do you elves really protect the forests?
But I don’t recall any elves I’ve come across mention they wanted to protect the forests anyway… That idea that elves protect the forests seems to be an idea I’ve gone and formed in my own mind…
“Actually, forget it. You shouldn’t participate, your highness. It’s tiring and rough. You also don’t know archery or magic, so deer hunting would be too difficult for you.”
Lucia heartlessly hurt me, then shrugged and continued: “You should just stay like this, your highness.”
“I feel like I’ve lost all my pride as a man after what you just said…”
“No, it’s fine with me protecting you!” Lucia proudly continued: “That’s what I work so hard for! You’re fine as you are, your highness. The kind prince you are is the prince I like!”
The voice of a female that was trying to hold in her laughter from behind said: “Oh~ if it isn’t the kind prince and Miss Lucia… It is most fortunate of me to see you two here.”
I turned my head around and saw the perfumer dressed in a black dress with white silk gloves and a face veil looking at us. She lifted up her face veil a bit, smiled and bowed to salute us.
“Ah, hi, umm…”
“Mera, Elie Mera. We have met many times and yet you have not asked me for my name before, your highness.”
Mera chuckled as she lowered her face veil. She looked at us with a teasing gaze. I looked back at her, smiled weakly and said: “I am very sorry, Miss Mera. But we were just about to pay you a visit.”
“Oh? You were going to pay me a visit personally, your highness? I do apologise, your highness. If you ask me for a potion to attract Earth Dragons, then I can do that, but there are no potions in this world that could attract a white deer king. I can only spray the scent of green grass on you so that it covers your scent.”
Her sigh hinted that she was tired. It looks like she’s done many of these jobs and answered this question many times. I smiled helplessly. Is the deer hunting festival such a big deal for the elves? I thought it was just a small event, but it looks like it’s a celebration for all elves.
“No… Does it look like I’m eager to participate in the ceremony?”
“Or rather, it would be a problem if you did not. All the previous kings participated in the deer hunting festival at least once before they were crowned. Further, they had to bring back a white deer king. Your father holds the record for the fastest time when he participated. It only took him two days to kill a white deer king. He really lived up to the title ‘The Strongest Elf King’.”
I smiled weakly and nodded. I knew my father wasn’t some loser. Otherwise there’d be no way he could’ve conquered those two crazy nut-heads. But my empress-mom’s sword skills were enough to put my dad on his ass, so…it’s understandable as to why she’s called the “Strongest Swordsman of the Mainland”.
“That is why it would be a little strange if you did not participate, your highness. I personally would like to have the opportunity to see your heroism. I was very impressed with your resourcefulness in the battle against the Earth Dragons. However, everybody has their own way of thinking, so it is not as though you must participate in the ceremony. So what is it you were looking for me for, your highness?”
“Lucia wanted you to make her some perfume…”
The perfumer looked at us, laughed out loud and said: “Haha… Haha… It is such a huge event. All the other elves are preparing for the deer hunting festival. They are either seeking advice from those experienced, making weapons, looking for people to make potions or visiting shrines and whatnot to receive blessings. Your highness, you two are the only people who are so carefree. Hahaha. You two could easily ease up the tensest atmosphere. Sure, I will go back and make some perfume. You can come and collect it tomorrow. But if you have time, your highness, how about you come over for some tea?”
“Ah… Uhh… Sorry, but we don’t have much time. We still have business to attend to, so… Sorry.”
I smiled helplessly and scrubbed Lucia’s head. I really do want to share some tea with Mera, but my time is limited. Doesn’t Lucia want to buy some clothes?
“It’s fine, I want to have some tea with Miss Mera too. I want to ask a lot of questions about perfumes. Let’s go together then, shall we?”
Lucia agreed to Mera’s request before I could speak. Mera smiled and gave us a nod. She then invited us with a hand gesture and said: “It is an honour to have you, your highness. We are lucky in that this is a teahouse. Let us go. Your highness, please do not think poorly of the tea I select.”
I smiled and raised my head up to look at the small two-storey building made from timber. There was no sign. There was only a wooden plank with leaves carved onto it. It looks like the tea here is derived from tree leaves. I wonder if there are any differences to the tea I have in mind.
Although I was prepared to drink water with tree leaves in it…