Editor: Areth Kyntaul
My hands could feel the warmth of Leah’s breasts all night.
Leah had forced me to grab her breasts.
After that night, I could remember her exact breast size clearly. My hands could even remember how the tip felt. My palms could remember clearly how the curves were.
That was the enraged Leah’s only request.
She even took my face and buried it in there, so I had several nightmares of suffocation by breasts…
Leah’s scent seemed to have a sort of special mana which froze me in place so I was in pain all night.
Leah had reverted to her smaller form when the sun came up. Small Leah hammered herself boldly on my face and then slept on top of me.
I couldn’t sleep well last night, so I woke early to make breakfast.
When I got downstairs, I saw Veirya already sitting at the table.
Veirya sat there with her eyes closed, like she was meditating. But she opened her eyes when she heard my footsteps.
She was already dressed in a big thick overcoat and cape to guard against the cold. She wore a leather belt and her high, thick boots. She also had her gloves placed on the table.
Even with the fire behind her still burning, she was expressionless while dressed like that.
‘Can’t she feel the temperature?’
She looked at me and said, “I want to have meat stew.”
“What, first thing in the morning?”
“Uhm.” Veirya nodded with a very serious expression.
Honestly, I felt very hopeless, as Veirya still doesn’t seem to have grasped the problem this town is facing.
‘She just sold all the food off. The entire town is facing the risk of starvation, yet our Lord Veirya here wants meat stew for breakfast. It is as though she doesn’t care about the food issue.’
I sighed and went into the kitchen to grab a few strings of dried meat. This meat was dried by simply airing it out. It was marinated with salt and then just left to dry. It doesn’t taste bad, but there was nothing else to accompany it.
The only thing I could use was salt. As a result, the dishes looked very plain and it didn’t taste all that great. If possible, I want to use some herbs and spices. However, I doubt those things exist in a cold place where there’s a shortage of food. Spices and herbs are always saleable and purchasable.
But let’s put that aside for now.
A meat-stew that’s just salty isn’t that tasty. To Veirya and Leah however, it was a delicacy that they treated as a rarity.
I took the bread that I’d rolled into mantous yesterday and put them into the crate for steaming, which was similar to the ones I was familiar with back then. They’re round, wooden containers you use for steaming.
By the time I had served breakfast up, Leah was coming down with a yawn. She looked at Veirya seated at the table and then looked toward the kitchen, somewhat scared.
I smiled and wiped Leah’s face with a towel I had prepared.
Leah sniffed the smell in the air and cheerfully exclaimed, “Is that meat stew?! Wow, I’m so glad to be able to have meat stew for breakfast!”
“I really don’t get how you two can have such a big appetite first thing in the morning.” I smiled helplessly as I pinched Leah’s cheek.
Leah turned her head around to look at Veirya seated at the dining table. This time, she went over to sit next to Veirya, who was already having her sixth bowl, herself. Although she was petty, Leah had come to accept the reality which she had to accept and sat next to Veirya to eat while I sat next to her.
Leah looked at the mantou on the table with curiosity and then asked, “Papa, what’s this?”
“This is bread where dad lived.”
‘Where I came from, these mantou would cost a dollar for six. But here, where even white flour is a rarity, it didn’t cost one dollar for six. I’d estimate it would cost one gold coin for six.’
‘Put it this way; Lucia had bought twenty bags of food from us, at one and a half times more than the normal price. She gave us a total of six gold coins and ten silver coins.’
‘One gold coin is about sixty silver coins.’
‘That means she paid roughly twenty-one silver coins for one bag of food. The usual price is, therefore, fourteen silvers per bag. Under normal conditions, it should be ten. In a place where food is produced, it should be cheaper. Just three silver coins, maybe?’
‘If I could buy the goods at the usual price of ten silver coins then the net profit I make will be eighty silver coins, or otherwise, a bit over one gold coin.’
‘But I’m not after only that tiny amount; I want to go and live in the Royal Capital.’
‘I will need at least several thousand gold coins to get my necessities, I reckon. I need to buy a house first. Then there are living expenses. It’s not easy to make a living in big cities, just like in Chang’an, back then. Of course, these are all my guesses. Who knows, I might need even more…’
‘In short, I should be able to secretly embezzle some of the money that remains without Veirya knowing.’
‘Veirya seems to want to leave with us, but I still don’t know if Leah will be able to accept her. I still plan to leave with Leah in the event that she can’t.’
‘Veirya is the hero of humanity. People will look after her, even without me around. That’s not the case for Leah. Without me, Leah will die, in a human society. It is the equivalent of the desert to her.’
We soon finished breakfast and, needless to say, there were no leftovers. The two of them finished the majority of the meal.
I should indeed prepare some food. Otherwise, these two might eat me when they’re hungry. I strongly believe that possibility exists. The two of them seriously could eat me.
We mounted our horses, however; before we set out, I used my scarf to cover Leah’s face a little then softly told her, “Leah, sit in my arms diagonally and let me hold you. Don’t look around. Close your eyes and don’t speak.”
“Papa, you can hug me?” Leah sat on the horse diagonally cheerfully and leaned onto my chest comfortably, as she giggled.
I stroked her head with my hand and then called the Record Keeper to the side.
While he’s a Record Keeper, he tends to get used as a free labourer by me. He looked at me slightly oddly and asked, “Is something the matter?”
“Go and spread the news that Leah is sick, and so we’re going to the city to have a doctor see her. Also, reduce the volume of food distributed a little. You must maintain the situation until we return, understood? Oh right, you can distribute some of the meat in the warehouse as well. That will calm everyone down a little. You must not let the townsfolk panic while we’re gone.”
“I understand.” The Record Keeper nodded.
The Record Keeper understood my intent. The entire north was experiencing a famine, right now, so the townsfolk were frightened and very sensitive about our lord. If they saw the three of us leave, there’s a good chance that they’ll think we were planning to flee. Once that rumour spreads, the entire town might get robbed until it’s empty.
But with this news announced, everyone will know that we’re going to take Leah to the doctor. So, they know that we’ll be back and thus won’t panic. This way, nothing major will occur while we’re away.
Veirya walked next to me. She wore her usual attire, with the military uniform and a long sword.
Leah leaned against my chest comfortably and rested her head on my arm. She grabbed my chest with her hands and smiled cheerfully.
‘I’m assuming it is envy.’ I’m talking about how I could feel like Veirya would look at me every now and then.
There are two routes to the closest city from here.
That location was the furthest place Queen Sisi controlled. It was once a small city at the border, for humanity. Due to the frequent battles with the demon race, lots of armies came here, bringing along countless family members and merchants. Many blacksmiths also moved here to repair weapons and armour for the soldiers. The quick influx of money allowed the city to develop and become the biggest city here.
Veirya claimed that she didn’t have many memories of this city, known as Pearl City, which sat at the border.
I expected as much.
Veirya never cares about these things so I couldn’t find out much from her.
To be frank, I’m not too sure how serious the famine around here is. However, it appears that harvests are still acceptable.
The only problem is that the army that came here took far too much and didn’t leave the food behind when leaving. This caused the people here to have no way of getting through winter.
This place wasn’t under Queen Sisi’s jurisdiction in the past, and the army didn’t have any sentiments for these humans. They took the food without caring if the people here would be able to survive after or not.
It’s not a natural disaster, but a man-made disaster and they’re always more terrifying than natural disasters. A natural disaster wouldn’t be so bad that the people can’t grow crops. Man-made disasters, on the other hand, really could cut off the source of life.
On our way to the city, I hugged Leah tightly the entire time, to avoid letting Veirya find out Leah can transform. Leah could only curl up in my arms, even if she did transform.
Leah didn’t seem to hate the way I treated her. Actually, she really liked me hugging her tightly. She would even sneakily lick my chest and neck.
I didn’t dare to make a sound since I was afraid Veirya, who was next to me, would hear.
Leah had no idea how dangerous her actions were. If not for me, Leah would be in danger.
‘Wait, let me rectify that. The person in trouble will be that person… At the end of the day, Leah is a succubus.’
*Mantou is a type of cloud-like steamed bread or bun. Imagine a meat-bun but without any fillings.
**Chang’an was the capital for ten dynasties in Chinese history