Editor: Areth Kyntaul
The soldiers didn’t have any opinion of us. I initially thought they’d discriminate against us or something, but they didn’t say anything when we went to grab food and sat down to eat. To the contrary, they seemed to not care about us.
They all looked as relaxed as can be like school kids having casual chats after completing their final exams. They wore happy and relaxed expressions because they were done and could now return home and relax.
These soldiers, who were part of the crusades against the demons, were very fortunate to live through it. They were now thinking about returning home and what to do next with their life.
While Queen Sisi was very cruel to me, she rewarded the soldiers very handsomely. All the survivors received a fair amount of reward money, so they could return home and live in peace now.
Consequently, they were in a very good mood and didn’t have any plans to bother with us. They all had their own lives to live.
It’s the same for us. We’ll have our own lives to live in the future as well.
We’re going to be heading to the north. I don’t even have a grasp of this army camp, nor do I understand it, let alone this so-called north. I don’t know what’s awaiting us but compared to last night, I think that our lives can’t be any worse.
At least Veirya doesn’t look evil. Strictly speaking, she can be considered a kind individual.
I ripped the bread into tiny pieces, put it into the bowl of soup in front of me and stirred it for a while.
I don’t know what this soup is either. It looks like lots of things were tossed into it. Perhaps it was mainly some sort of milk. I looked more like oats in milk but it tasted very sour like some sort of yoghurt.
Leah, who hadn’t had anything to eat, loved it, though. She scooped spoonful after spoonful causing a mess on her face.
I reached out to gently wipe the food off her face. I watched her scoop the bottom of the wooden bowl to get everything she could and chuckled helplessly. I pushed my bowl in front of me to her.
“Are you not eating, Papa?” Leah looked up at me with puzzlement.
I shook my head. I looked at her with a smile and replied, “It’s alright. You have it. I’m not hungry yet. I’ll have some when I’m hungry.”
Leah was still looking at me with puzzlement. She then lowered her head and thought to herself for a moment. She trembled as she picked up the bowl in front of me. She poured half into her bowl and pushed the bowl with half of it left back to me. She smiled as she picked her spoon up and cheerfully said, “Papa, let’s have half each!”
I looked at the soup before me and picked up my spoon with a grin. I rubbed Leah’s small head, which was in front of me. Why does my daughter seem so cute? Leah and I lowered our heads at the same time, looked at the food in our bowls and gulped it down.
I must say, this sort of yoghurt-tasting milk tastes pretty good when you have it when it’s hot. Unfortunately, because we divided it half-half between us, we finished it in really quickly. Honestly, it still tasted sour when it hit my gut.
Not only was I not full, but my appetite was greater now. I looked at the bowl in front of me and honestly felt hopeless. The soldiers had one bowl each, as well, so I couldn’t go and grab another bowl now.
It looks like I’ll have to deal with this hunger pang. I’m a little hungry, but I did eat something. I must remind myself that I had something to eat so that I feel satiated.
This isn’t bad.
Two long pieces of meat were suddenly tossed over, landing in front of us.
“I don’t think you two are full, hey?” A crisp voice came from overhead and I looked up with surprise.
I saw a face shining with cheerfulness and confidence. She looked a little small but her arrogance was nothing like that of a child. She wore plain leather armour, but wasn’t her chest too flat?
I thought her chest was around Leah’s size in her current form. Leah’s form at night is more mature than her by many folds.
Her long ears twitched as she sat down on the bench as lightly as possible. She supported her body by placing her hands on the seat and looked at Leah and me while smiling cheerfully.
She said, “That’s a gift for you two. This is our first time meeting, but I really like you two. Or rather, I really admire and respect you, human. I really admire and respect the courage you showed in protecting a young girl. I’ve seen the brave Veirya but her bravery feels odd as if she’s simply not afraid of death. You, however, are different. From what I saw yesterday, you’re afraid of death. But despite that, you still protected this young girl. I really want to know what you were thinking.”
I looked at the elf in front of me and sincerely answered her, “Nothing. I just couldn’t stand watching as a young girl in front of me was killed is all.”
I honestly didn’t think about it. That’s just what I thought at the time. I just couldn’t bear seeing the young girl get killed like that, especially when she’s this cute.
Leah got a little scared when that was mentioned, so she grabbed onto my arm and lowered her head.
The elf was as gleeful as can be as she twitched her long ears and slammed her hand onto the table hard. She shouted, “That’s it! That’s it! This sort of heroic deed and selfless courage is what an adventurer should have! I wouldn’t be bored if I could meet more adventurers like you while adventuring. Usually, the people of every city I come to flee. I’ve also seen armies defeated and scattered. I rarely see adventurers like you, which are the type I want to meet.”
“I’ve always wanted to go on adventures, but the things I see on my adventures aren’t things I want to see. Seeing you humans fight among yourselves when there’s an enemy you should be fighting, and seeing your church cause chaos, makes me feel that adventuring lacks something. My adventure has ended. The Demon King is dead. I have completed my oath to my people, as well. I can’t help but not want to resign myself to it. But when I saw you, I felt that there are noble and brave people like you among humanity. You can have these things. She may be the Demon King’s daughter, but she never killed my people so I don’t hate her. As a matter of fact, I really like this cute girl. Take good care of her. I need to return to the elves now, so let’s meet again in the future!”
The elf in front of me said all of that without a single pause. But I did detect a sense of admiration from her.
She jumped up from her seat in an incomparably nimble fashion and cheerfully stroked Leah’s head. Her long ears twitched with joy and she tossed the things in her pocket down in front of me. She then left the eating area like a green whirlwind.
The soldiers around revealed looks of hopelessness, as though they were already used to the elf.
I looked at the things she left for me. Two strips of meat and then a few strange coins. I don’t know what their value is, but the gold one among them should be the one worth the most.
Leah watched the elf’s back, as she left, with what seemed like envy. She asked me with puzzlement, “Papa… do you know her?”
I nodded gently and replied, “I guess you could say that. She helped me out a lot last night.”
To be fair, she did more than help me out a lot. She saved my pitiful dignity.
I picked up the meat and packed it away. These two strips of meat might be able to save my life on the road. I can’t eat them for a moment of pleasure. While the elf was rash and hasty, I was very grateful for her kind gesture.
After putting them away properly, I grabbed hold of Leah’s hand and stood up.
We then went to the agreed-upon meeting place. When we arrived, there were already a number of horse-carriages there waiting.
Veirya now wore an extra white cloak on her. She led a horse and looked in our direction.
Leah’s body trembled and then she hid behind me. She grabbed the corner of my clothes while trembling, as she looked at Veirya.
I took in a deep breath and then walked up to Veirya.
She scanned us with her blue eyes and then spoke in a monotone voice, “You two eat too slow.”
I decided to behave and apologise. I thought that it would be better to be direct with Veirya.
Veirya looked at us and then pointed at the horse-carriage in the centre. She said, “You two sit in the horse-carriage over there. You take care of this girl.”
Veirya turned around and ignored us.
I looked at Veirya who was in front of me and seriously said, “Veirya…”
I initially thought Veirya would get mad if I addressed her by her name directly, but she didn’t get angry. Instead, she turned her head around to look at me sincerely.
I looked at her and my gaze slowly swept down to look at the long-sword at her belt. I was a little afraid because it had rested on my neck last time and had nearly separated my head from my body. I was really worried. I didn’t know what sort of things would provoke her. However, I had something of utmost importance that I had to say.
“I would like to ask that no one disturbs us at night. Do not approach our horse-carriage. We will sleep in the horse-carriage. I ask that no one approaches our horse-carriage and that no one opens the door.”
Veirya looked at me and asked, “Does that include me?”
I looked back at her and nodded as serious as a judge. I replied, “Yes.”
Veirya didn’t get angry or scold me. Instead, she looked at me very calmly and asked, “Reason?”
“Because she’s a demon… I would assume humans would usually have ill-will toward her. As such, if someone tries to do something violent at night, I can’t protect her.”
“Didn’t you have the courage to stand in front and take the attack from my sword?”
“Having the courage and having the ability are two different things.”
I looked at Veirya. She never had any expression. It’s very important to pay attention to someone’s facial expressions when you negotiate with them. Though, strictly speaking, this wasn’t a negotiation. I don’t have a bargaining chip. All I’m doing right now is pleading.
I was honestly worried because Leah at night was different from her daytime form. Leah is a very cute girl during the day, as everyone has seen. But people would recognise that she’s a succubus through and through at night, won’t they? Plus, from Veirya’s perspective, she would probably see her as the “Demon King’s daughter” that has come of age.
A Demon King’s daughter that has come of age and one that hasn’t are two separate things. From the way Veirya carries herself as a straight-laced soldier, she’d probably kill Leah without hesitation if she saw her form at night.
Therefore, I couldn’t let Veirya see Leah in her form at night. Moreover, Leah’s form at night… Frankly, I don’t want to let anyone see her in that form either, because… that belongs to me… It’s impossible to not be happy when my daughter hugs me like that… You could even say… it makes me very happy…
Veirya pulled a rope, looking at me. She nodded and replied, “Understood. As you wish, no one shall disturb you two.”