Editor: Areth Kyntaul
After sorting all the food out and categorising it, we then transported it to the supply warehouse.
Despite the people having already prepared themselves to survive this winter, everybody rushed into our residence when they heard that they could get bread and even strings of meat if they cleaned our residence, sold us planks, nails, ropes and helped us repair the floor.
They cleaned up the lord’s residence, repaired the floor and stairs within a single day. They even repaired the roof.
After the lord’s residence had been repaired, I noticed that they yearned for more. I quickly informed them that besides this job, selling precious goods and defeating monsters nearby could earn them food. If they didn’t work every day, they could still get three-hundred grams of food to get through winter.
I’ve done the calculations. If we continue distributing food like this, we would still have a fair bit in the supply warehouse left over when spring comes. Most importantly, though, was that order had been restored to the market.
Those who obtained extra food tickets could use them to purchase the things they wanted, like clothes or hand-made items they needed. Thanks to that, goods in the market started circulating.
Despite it being just firewood and some unattractive items, I knew that getting a town to start trading was like getting someone’s blood to circulate. This was proof that the city was coming alive. The town, finally, had a chance of survival.
However, the volume of business deals was too small, and the prices were too low for this town. This level of trade was just child’s play in a small town. This definitely isn’t what I’m after.
When night came, Leah looked at the new and refreshed hall with glee. She hugged my arm cheerfully and exclaimed, “Papa, Papa, it’s clean now! That was so fast! The aunties and uncles were so fast!”
I nodded, smiled and rubbed Leah’s head gently. While smiling I said, “Of course. It’s their job. If they didn’t clean properly, they wouldn’t get to eat. They’re aware of that, which is why they worked so fast. We won’t have to worry about firewood and food in the future, now. Plus, the room has been cleaned so you can live here with peace of mind now, Leah.”
“Uhm!” Leah nodded cheerfully.
That’s when Veirya pushed the door open and entered the residence. She then turned her head around to look at us.
With an emotionless expression, she said, “I’m hungry. Come back and cook.”
“Huh…? Oh… Okay… Aah!!”
As soon as I said “okay”, my daughter standing beside me gave me a hard pinch on my back causing me to shriek out in pain.
When I looked at Leah, I discovered she was looking at Veirya with a furious expression.
It was evident Veirya had also noticed Leah’s gaze on her. She looked at Leah and surprise crept into her eyes, since not only did Leah not talk to her, she didn’t even look her way, previously. Now, however, she was surprisingly looking at her. Even though she was looking at her with nothing but rage, Veirya perceived it as Leah finally paying attention to her.
But then Veirya looked at me. I wasn’t sure what she wanted to do, but I walked passed her.
Suddenly, Veirya grabbed my hand.
Leah and I exclaimed at the same time, but I was dumbfounded while Leah was shocked.
Veirya looked at me and then Leah.
Leah looked at me and Veirya with panic and then anger. Actually, she looked at Veirya with what you could consider resentment. She then immediately looked at me and shouted, “Papa!! Let go!!”
“No… Leah… it’s not me…”
I wanted to speak my mind, but couldn’t. I knew why Leah was angry, but I honestly couldn’t help it. I didn’t grab hold of Veirya’s hand; she grabbed hold of mine.
Veirya held my hand tightly. Veirya then pulled me out toward her front view and scanned my hand. She then looked back at Leah. She then pressed my hands on her face out of the blue.
Leah shrieked with despair, resembling a dog wailing after its tail got stepped on.
I was so frightened my entire body quaked. I wasn’t afraid of Veirya doing something to me. I was afraid Leah would do something to me at night. I’ve still got hickey marks on my neck, here!!
Veirya looked at me without any emotion on her face.
My hand was placed gently on her face. I could feel the cold temperature on Veirya’s face, as well as her supple flesh. She had my hand in her clasp. However, I didn’t feel the gentleness and warmth of a female. I could only feel the determination of a warrior. Veirya’s palms aren’t soft. Her hands had calluses from fighting and training.
Her grip on my hand was particularly firm, so I couldn’t take my hand out. I wanted to pull my hand out, but it was impossible.
Veirya looked at Leah seriously, but she didn’t say a word.
Leah looked at me with puppy eyes, like a pitiable small animal that got wounded. But I couldn’t help it. I wanted to pull my hand out, but Veirya is too strong.
She didn’t have any intention of releasing my hand, either. She just continued looking at Leah. She even stepped in closer to me and leaned on me.
Leah wailed and looked at us with despair. She then looked at Veirya fearfully, while Veirya looked at her with a serious look, without budging. Leah clenched her fists as she looked at Veirya. She lowered her head out of fear as her entire body shook. She looked like she was nearly about to run away.
“Veirya, what exactly do you want…?”
“You, shut up.”
Veirya demanded I shut up before I could finish. She kept her eyes on Leah silently.
I didn’t have the foggiest idea as to what the two of them were doing, and even less of an idea as to what Veirya was getting at.
Leah then raised her head up and looked at Veirya. Her tears of fear brimmed in her eyes. She looked at the warrior before her fearfully. She took two light steps forward and looked again. She quivered as she opened her mouth.
The first time she opened her mouth, she didn’t make a sound. She then murmured a few vague things. Veirya didn’t lose patience, instead, continuing to look at Leah and wait.
“Pl-… pl-… pl-…”
Leah shifted her line of sight and looked down at her feet. She then softly continued, “Please… let… let… let go… of Papa…”
Veirya didn’t seem satisfied. I noticed that her face twitched like she was going to smile, but she kept her eyes on Leah and waited.
“I beg you… I beg you… please… please… let go of Papa…” Perhaps her speech was smoother this time since she spoke before that. Leah looked up at Veirya with a pitiable expression.
This was the first time Leah took the initiative to speak to Veirya. Veirya looked at Leah. The corner of her mouth twitched, but she didn’t smile in the end.
She let go and then pushed me over to Leah. She then turned and walked into the residence behind her. She closed the door loudly, leaving me, who was looking at her blankly, and Leah, who sat on her bottom on the ground.
I ran over to Leah and pulled her into my arms.
Leah wailed as she leaned onto my shoulder and hammered on it hard. She cried and exclaimed, “Idiot! Idiot! Papa, you’re an idiot! Why do you have to do this?! Why did you make Leah do this?! Leah already told you not to get close to that woman, but why do you keep letting yourself get caught by her?! Leah doesn’t want… Leah doesn’t want to see Papa and that woman together… Leah is very scared… Leah… Leah…”
I hugged Leah tightly and gently stroked her back. I then softly said, “It’s fine, it’s fine, Leah. Don’t be scared, don’t be scared. Papa will take you away from here in the future. Did you forget? Papa made the promise with you yesterday. Papa will take you away from here. Don’t be scared.”
“I just want you, Papa… I just want you, Papa… I don’t have anything left. I don’t have anything left. That woman took everything from me. I only have you, Papa…”
Leah crawled up onto my shoulder and held me tightly as she cried loudly next to my ear.
I held Leah in my arms and next to her ears gently said, “It’s alright, Leah. Your past isn’t worth dwelling on anyway. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Veirya was the one who helped you break out of your old prison. You are living your new life, now. Leah, enjoy your life now. Although Veirya is here, too, I promise to take care of you forever and ever.”
At the same time on the other side of the door, Veirya was looking at her hand. Envy and curiosity surfaced in her eyes. She then gently formed a fist as if she wanted to keep the warmth for a moment longer. She then touched her face and turned around to look at the shut door. She hesitated for a moment before pressing her hand on the door.
The knight had never shaken hands with anyone.
A knight’s hands were forever reserved for their blade and reins. They would hold each other’s hands in their small team, but that definitely was in order to climb together. Other than that, knights never touched anyone else.
When they saw her covered in a demon’s body liquid on the battlefield, as she walked up to them with a weapon she snatched from somewhere, the soldiers would tremble with fear. They would not dare to approach her, despite her wearing armour which indicated she was on their side.
The warrior reversed the tide of the battle, but she wasn’t as suave as warriors in stories, afterwards. She knew that the demons’ flesh and blood were disgusting to eat and knew how stinky their blood which covered her was. Her eyes would be covered by their blood, causing her vision to be hazy. She would return to camp like a zombie, shower, sleep and then return to the battle to advance on the enemy again.
Everyone admired the warrior from afar, yet nobody was willing to shake the hand which she wielded her long-sword with.
The warrior was slightly surprised, as it was the first time she’d touched another.
Turns out humans and demons aren’t the same. Human hands are surprisingly warm.
And Leah would approach her and speak to her if she approached that man.
Veirya then realised how to go about forming a good relationship with Leah…