Since Leah is a kid, she was soon exhausted. I know I should find her a room, but this house has been vacated for a long time. It would take ages to clean up a room once I found one. This is a horizontal house with just two floors. I went up the stairs carefully with just a candle in one hand. It was pitch-black on the second floor. The steps below my feet creaked. I felt like they were going to snap at any moment. It looks like we’ll need to get someone to repair the floor and stairs in the future. Otherwise it’ll be dangerous.
Let’s just bear with it for today.
I led Leah up to the second floor. There was a candle on the wall in a corner of the second floor. I lit up the candle and then looked around. There were a fair few rooms on the second floor. I can’t inspect the rooms tonight. I have plenty of time to repair this house later. But for now, I just need to provide Leah with a clean room so she can sleep. Leah needs a room to sleep, because if Veirya sees her, we’ll probably have a homicide case on our hands.
I found a room toward the inner area and tried to pull the door open. Fortunately, the door wasn’t locked, for if it was, I’d have to destroy the door to get in. After I opened the door, I found a very standard room. There was one bed, a folding window where you could see the flower garden outside and a very standard desk in front of the window. There was a fireplace in the room as well. Looks like I’ve got a knack for picking rooms. I entered the room and checked it out. Luckily, there wasn’t a lot of dust on the ground. However, it appears that the previous owner of the room was decently rich as the furniture was quite sturdy and pretty. It’ll become a decent room once I’ve cleaned it.
I pulled the bed-sheet off so that Leah wouldn’t have to lie on a bed of dust. The mattress was thick, but it was filled with soft fillings inside. I pressed on it. It seems pretty comfortable. I clapped my hands and then flipped the blanket on the bed over. I then looked over to the fireplace and said: “Papa is going to ask Veirya to get her to light a fire.”
Leah hugged my arm tightly. She looked at me slightly angrily and said, “I told you not to get so close to that woman already, but you keep spending time alone with her and even took the initiative to block her sword with your body. Papa, you don’t care about Leah’s feelings, so Leah wants you to always stay by Leah’s side at least for tonight……”
Leah hugged me very tightly, afraid that I would leave her. I looked over to the fireplace, smiled helplessly and replied: “But papa can’t light a fire. If Veirya doesn’t light up a fire, it’ll be cold in the room.”
Leah fastened her arms around me, buried her head in my chest and softly said: “It won’t be cold with you, papa. It’s warm enough with your embrace…… We don’t need that woman…… We will never need that woman…… Leah just wants you, papa…… Leah is fine as long as you’re with Leah…… Leah doesn’t need anything……”
“But we still need Veirya to take care of us right now, because otherwise, we’ll die with just you and me alone.”
“What about afterward then? Will you leave with Leah after?”
Leah looked up. She looked at me more seriously and impatiently than ever. Her hands trembled slightly while her gaze was filled with hope. I know that she’s afraid of Veirya and desperately wanted to leave Veirya even now. We must stay with Veirya right now. Leah however, was already looking forward to leaving Veirya. She wanted to leave Veirya and start a new life with me. This is already her new life to her, but it’s still not the happiest life she could have.
I looked at Leah unsure how to answer her because I haven’t thought about our life afterwards. I’m not someone who thinks about the future. For me personally, I don’t have that much energy to spare on thinking about the future. My attention is focused on the present. I need to think about the other party’s attitude, them as a person and what they’re gossiping about. I don’t have the energy to think about the future because if I can’t handle the present well, I won’t have a future.
Therefore, I focus more on the present. I just want to get through the present peacefully. As for the future, as long as I can live every day in peace, the future will become the present that I place a heavy emphasis on.
But maybe I need to think about the future now.
How am I going to live with Leah in the future? Are we going to stay here forever? Frankly, staying with Veirya here isn’t a feasible long-term plan. Though Veirya can be considered a kind person, Leah doesn’t like her. As a matter of fact, she hates her, so she wants to leave Veirya. If their relationship doesn’t improve, it’d be better to depart with Leah.
Moreover, I don’t want to let Leah be left stuck here in the deserted north. The north isn’t a place that makes Leah happy, It’s cold and shabby. Leah won’t be able to be receive a good education here. If possible, I want to return to the imperial capital in the future. I want for Leah to live in peace in the most prosperous and safe city, not here. I want to show her the most beautiful flowers in this world. Consequently, I need to do my best to return to the imperial capital. Returning to the imperial capital means I need enough money or I need to earn the acknowledgement of that scary queen. I want to live there with dignity, not as a dog.
No damn way.
That means I need to learn what it takes to live in the imperial capital.
It would be best if I could get a decent job so that I could provide Leah with a decent life. Now that I think of it, I realise that I have many things to consider. I need to do lots of things in order to realise that goal. I reckon I’ll need to prepare for a long time too. It’s not something I can rush. I need to earn enough money here first.
I nodded then squatted down and held Leah’s hand. I nodded again with absolute seriousness and then said: “Papa will take you away from here. Papa won’t let you live here forever. Papa will definitely take you to a warm place and let you see colourful flowers. Papa will let you see a colourful world instead of staying here forever.”
Leah looked at my face and then reached her tiny arms out to hug my head. She tippy-toed up and hugged my head tightly. I didn’t say another word and instead kissed her head. I then carried her up to the bed. I took off my cloak and gently covered her with it.
Leah looked at me with anticipation written all over her face. However, I didn’t lie down. Instead, I bent over and kissed her forehead then softly said: “Papa needs to look into the food matter. That food is very important. We can cook, but those people can’t cook without this food. They will starve. There’s nothing to eat in winter. I don’t think they even have firewood. They’ll freeze to death in this winter, so papa needs to investigate the matter.”
Leah looked at me with confusion and softly asked: “Papa, why do you want to help them? If we keep the food, we will be able to eat such delicious food all the time, won’t we?”
I stroked her small head. I chuckled softly and explained: “Then why did papa protect you back then? It’s what we should do.”
Leah looked at me and asked, “Papa, humans are different, huh? If it were us, we wouldn’t give it to them. Are all humans like this papa, protecting other people?”
I hesitated for a moment before replying: “Not really, Leah. There are humans that think like you. It’s just that humans view it as immoral, something wrong. However, there are still lots of people who do that. Lots of humans think the same way as your demon race. But there are humans like me too. There are also those who will help others without regards for their life. Humanity has come to where it has today thanks to those people and not the selfish ones.”
“What do I have to do to be like a human then, papa? What do I have to do?”
“Just be considerate of other’s feelings.”
I looked at my daughter and kissed her forehead again. I chuckled softly and added: “I would say that the difference between humans and other living creatures is that we’re capable of showing empathy. Leah, you just have to be considerate of others to be considered a human.”
Leah reached her hand out to grab my shirt and seriously said: “Really…? Then… you must come back here to Leah after you’re done with business. Don’t go looking for that woman.”
I looked at my daughter and nodded my head with a helpless smile. I then put her small arms into the cloak and then turned around and left the room.
When I got downstairs, I saw Veirya who was sitting facing the dinner table we were sitting at. She had the water-kettle placed in front of her. She faced the fireplace while sitting completely still like a statue. I walked over gently and sat down next to her. Veirya didn’t move or speak. Her eyes were focused on the flame.
I sat next to her and picked up the kettle that was now boiled. I picked up a wooden cup and poured a cup of water. I said to her: “We need to inform the townsfolk about the food so that they can come and collect what’s theirs. The troops didn’t keep any records so we’ll have to just divide it equally among them.”
I had no idea how to react to her thanks. I had no idea what she was saying. I looked at her puzzled. She turned her head toward me. I could see the flames in her sapphire eyes. She sincerely said: “You stopped me today, preventing Leah from hating me even more, so thank you for that.
I looked at her and softly responded: “No, I honestly didn’t do it just for Leah. I stopped you for your own sake too. If you lack credibility here, there would be no point in ruling.”
“I don’t like deserters.”
“Me neither. But as a lord, you sometimes need to interact with people. Further, deserters are easier to deal with than a rebel army.”
She looked at me and softly said: “I don’t know how to fulfil the shoes of a lord.”
“Neither do I. But what I do know is that a lord’s job isn’t just to simply kill.”
Veirya nodded. She then looked at me and asked: “Can you turn me into an excellent lord?”
I looked at her and asked: “Do I have that right?”
“As long as you are able to.”
“Well then, first, we need to sort this food out appropriately, don’t we?”