Editor: Areth Kyntaul
At dinner, I looked at Veirya opposite me and told her, “That sale was a poor decision.”
Although Veirya very decisively sold the food to Lucia, and I couldn’t even stop her, I needed to explain to her that we cannot do business based on emotions.
‘The entire north is suffering a famine right now, and everybody is struggling to survive. Selling food now is just plain retarded. I think that only Veirya would make such a weird deal. This town won’t be able to trade if she continues like this.’
“When we adventured together, we shared the food.” Veirya lowered her head with a nonchalant expression to have a mouthful of meat stew. She then added, “Food, just buy more.”
“The problem is, where are we going to buy it from…?”
Veirya titled her head with puzzlement while looking at me and said, “You don’t know the way? I’ll lead the way when you go.”
I face-palmed myself since I had no way of speaking to Veirya like this.
‘Veirya doesn’t get it at all.’
I took in a deep breath and explained, “The entire north is suffering a famine, right now. Even if we were to go to that city, they might not be willing to sell to us. Moreover, the transporting process comes with great risk. Who can say for sure what the people will do? Our town had enough food, but now, in the blink of an eye, all of the townsfolk have become victims as well… if there’s no food that is.”
Veirya looked at me calmly and after a moment of silence asked, “Did I do something wrong?”
“… All right, as long as you understand…”
“But I don’t feel that I did anything wrong. Helping your comrades is an honourable thing to do. Lucilia is my closest comrade as well. I can’t just sit and watch.”
“The problem is that Lucia is no longer the Lucia of the past anymore…”
“Has Lucia changed?”
“No… I’m talking about her standpoint… Lucia is an elf now.”
“Wasn’t she an elf back then, too?”
Okay, it doesn’t look like Veirya has spotted Lucia’s problem.
Leah, who was seated to the side looked at her with a horrified expression. Although Lucia treats Leah very well, and Leah doesn’t view her hostilely, she gets scared as soon as their warrior team was mentioned.
I placed my hand gently on Leah’s hand and curled it up to calm her down.
I then followed up by asking, “Veirya, do you not sense that there’s a problem with Lucia?”
“What problem does she have?”
It didn’t seem like Veirya even considered Lucia’s problem. She dipped her bread in the meat-stew, then picked up a string of meat on the table and put it in her mouth. While chewing she continued, “Lucilia is a very upright warrior. She’s a very skilled archer. I can trust her with the rear. Lucilia is really cute, too. If possible, I’d like to continue living with her as well.”
“… I don’t really get why you want to continue living with cute girls, but that’s not the point here. Veirya, there’s a very obvious, very large problem with Lucia buying food this time, because the money she prepared was spot on. That indicates that she had researched the market price before bringing enough money here. Further, she, alone, doesn’t need that much food. Why would she transport this food back home? It’s clear that she’s buying it to take back to the elven lands, but we don’t know why she did that.”
‘I can say with absolute confidence that there’s certainly something happening there, in the elven lands. Otherwise, she wouldn’t buy food to take back. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice that initially, until I saw how she left the perfect amount of money behind. That’s when I realised that there’s definitely more to it than what meets the eye.’
‘But what’s Lucia up to now?’
“In any case, you were too rash this time. For you, as the lord, it is basically a disaster. You, personally, sent all of the townsfolk into the abyss of starvation!”
I started to get a little angry. Maybe it was because I had no way of communicating with her, leaving me with nowhere to vent. It was all stuck in my throat and I couldn’t settle down.
“I should help my friend. That’s my decision.” Veirya then placed down her sixth serving and said, “We’re heading out early tomorrow morning.”
What I wanted to say got stuck in my throat.
‘It looks like Veirya is totally uninterested in Lucia’s business. Or rather, she’s not interested in anything. Up until now, she’s only been interested in Leah, but Leah isn’t interested in her. Arguing with Veirya is pointless. The way we think is completely different.’
‘Veirya isn’t an individual who knows how to live. She’s like a blank sheet of paper. She can easily lop off someone’s head or dig their heart out, but she has no way of understanding someone’s feelings.’
I remember Veirya told me that she wants to experience a true life. She’d always been in the army previously, fighting as a knight and as a warrior. After the fighting ended, she still couldn’t leave the battlefield. She’s sitting here now, but her heart is still on the battlefield of blood and corpses.
She couldn’t escape from it.
It wasn’t that she didn’t want to, but that no one helped her.
She had worked hard to find her direction on the battlefield, but it had been littered with corpses, flames, and smoke. She had lost her direction. She doesn’t know where she should go or how to leave.
She wanted to try and let Leah lead her away. Perhaps it was because she felt that living together with Leah would inform her on what a normal life is. Perhaps she felt that a bright and lively girl like Lucia was what it meant to be a normal girl.
Her thinking was that she should do everything in her power to help Lucia, who she viewed as her comrade, when Lucia made a request of her. She had never managed food or whatnot. That’s why she was so generous.
I watched Veirya stand up and exclaimed, “Veirya, you keep saying that you want a normal life, but you still adopt your old way of thinking. Are you working toward it?”
“The war has ended, Veirya, it is over. Lucia is not your comrade and companion, anymore. Lucia is just an elf, now. You can’t show her sympathy because of your past. If you still think that way, then, aren’t you just a murderous monster?!!”
I had raised my voice a lot. My voice carried my rage and frustration. I don’t know why I was so angry, either. Put another way, maybe I was just angry with Veirya.
She doesn’t know anything, yet she made a decision with her minute experience and is unwilling to realise her mistake.
My voice became the loudest voice in the room. Veirya stood in place, motionless.
Leah looked at me, panicked and unsure what to do. In her soft voice, she said, “Papa… Papa… don’t you think you’ve gone a little overboard? Calling her a monster… Although she is one… you can’t tell it straight to her face like that…”
Honestly, I regretted it right after I had said it. I did indeed go overboard.
When I was going to apologise, Veirya turned around to face me and seriously said, “What is a normal person’s life? I’ve never experienced it. I don’t know what is considered a normal life, and I don’t know what sort of girl is a normal girl. Do you know? I’ve always been viewed as a monster, but I want to live as a human being. I want a family and what everyone else wants, too, but do you know how to obtain that which I don’t have?” Veirya looked at me, absolutely serious.
If it was somebody else who was looking at me like this and saying this sort of stuff, I would surely interpret it as sarcasm. But, I know that Veirya asked those questions sincerely.
“I don’t understand why the current Lucia is no longer Lucia, why the things we did before are now wrong, and why you disagree with my previous beliefs. What happened to this world? Why has the world not become a better place after the Demon King died? Why is everyone still starving? Why? Why? Clearly, it’s all over, but why don’t I detect any difference?”
Maybe what I had said right at the start had lost Veirya completely. Which is why she asked all the questions she has had, up until now, in one breath.
She looked at me. Though she kept asking questions, her expression didn’t change at all. In fact, her tone didn’t change either. She looked at Leah and me.
Leah looked back blankly, as though she was surprised. She looked as if she were wondering why Veirya had become like this and why she suddenly ask so many questions.
I looked blankly at Veirya in silence for a moment. I then stood up and said, “Veirya, I don’t understand you. But, you could say that I know what’s considered an ordinary life and what’s considered a normal girl. If you can trust me, I’ll be very happy to…”
I didn’t know what I was supposed to do now. My anger for Veirya had been erased by Veirya’s calm demeanour.
“I want to see them as well. Those flowers.”
Veirya suddenly spoke out, and Leah’s entire body shuddered from fright. She looked at her with astonishment, but Veirya didn’t care.
Instead, she kept her eyes on me and continued word by word, sincerely, without any embarrassment or excitement, “The flowers you promised to show Leah. I want to see them, too. Will it count as having my own family if I can become friendly with Leah? I did say I wanted the life of an ordinary person, and I want an ordinary family.”
I looked at Veirya in front of me, somewhat lost for how to react. I never thought she heard the things I said to Leah.
‘Doesn’t that mean Veirya knows of our plan to leave in the future, too? But she doesn’t care about those things. Instead, she wanted to being able to leave with us. How should I evaluate Veirya exactly? Veirya is a very easy to understand girl, yet very hard to understand. I just can’t comprehend Veirya’s train of thought. But Veirya’s thoughts always stun me.’
But I nodded.
Leah unleashed a cry of despair. She looked at me with her gaze filled with despair.
I knew what she was thinking. It was supposed to be the place we were going to go to in the future. A place with just us two. Only now I went and made the promise to a third person, and it was Veirya, who was the last person she would accept. That made it more impossible for Leah to agree.
“Leah, it’s all right. Can you not accept Veirya as an ordinary person, either?” I looked at Leah and took hold of her hand. I then looked at Veirya and said, “After this matter, you need to discuss your decisions with us, first, before carrying them out, Veirya. Further, in the future, I will tell you what a girl and lord should be like.”
Veirya solemnly nodded while looking at me.