Editor: Areth Kyntaul
Veirya looked at me and asked, “Where are we heading to now?”
“The warehouse.” I gave a simple response and then walked in its direction.
Leah staggered a bit as we led her by her hands. She had to jog to catch up to us, and complained because she couldn’t quite keep up with our pace.
I, however, was excited and really wanted to get to the warehouse quickly. I quickly crouched down to pick Leah up.
Leah exclaimed in surprise.
Veirya seemed slightly reluctant to let go of Leah’s hand.
Leah was surprised at first, but then she cheerfully hugged my neck and giggled. She then pulled a funny face at Veirya.
Veirya looked at us, but didn’t say anything. She just continued to walk by my side.
The warehouse was located on the other side of the city. We went through the middle. Life inside the city seemed to be more relaxed in this section. At least, I saw some kids in short clothing running around and laughing cheerfully. They didn’t wear a robe. Their faces were somewhat dirty, but they wore bright smiles. Their short clothing stopped at their waist. They didn’t wear thick winter clothing due to the weather, as we did, so they had frostbitten hands.
Leah looked at them, intrigued.
They, too, stopped to look at Leah in surprise. They had a tinge of envy in their eyes. After all, not everyone has the fortune of wearing such thick and warm clothing.
Leah scanned them, feeling very interested.
I looked at them as well, then asked, “Leah, do you really want to play with them?”
“With human kids?” Leah pondered the question for a bit, then nodded and replied, “I want a human friend… But aren’t you busy right now, Papa? You don’t need to mind Leah.”
“Wait until we get back then. Once we get back, I’ll go and see if there are any kids who can play with you. However, you must remember to not strip in front of others Leah, understood?”
“I know, Papa!!”
I wasn’t worried that she’d strip in front of people without a care as Veirya does. I was worried that people would notice that she doesn’t have a belly-button. Humans have belly-buttons but demons don’t.
The fact that Leah is a succubus must be kept secret.
The town we live in was joyous when they heard Veirya, who had slain the demon king, was coming. Based on the attitude of that group of people, the people of this town genuinely hate demons.
If Leah’s identity as a demon is exposed, everybody in the town will probably rip my daughter apart with their hands.
I can’t forbid Leah from interacting with others, but she has to look after herself.
After making a turn, we saw a team of soldiers pass by us. The buildings in front of us were no longer houses, but rectangular buildings.
‘This must be the supplies warehouse. One of the warehouses here belongs to the city. These are this city’s remaining supplies after it was attacked.’
Part of it had been taken by the military. I looked at the heavily guarded area. I didn’t intend to find trouble.
I looked in another direction.
‘The slightly smaller warehouse must belong to the food merchants, I assume. But usually, there is only one food merchant per city, because food merchants in this sort of ancient era made up prices as they liked. If there were two people selling food, there would be an intense competition, with one side deliberately lowering their prices a little. If they did that, there’d be no guarantee there’d be food.’
‘That means this warehouse belongs to the store we visited. Yes, the one that claimed to have no food. I’ve waited the entire day and prepared for a long time. This is the place that was marked as the most important place to defend on the chief’s map.’
I don’t believe the boss’s claim that he had no food. I believe that there’s food here for sure. If they didn’t even have food, this city would be basically history. The merchant is, definitely, trying to raise his prices as a result of the food scarcity. I need to find evidence to prove that there is food inside.
However, I can’t just stroll in.
I circled around the warehouse before me and scanned it in detail.
This isn’t a place that’s prospering. There’s no such thing as public hygiene here. There was sewage water collected on the paths in between buildings, and you could see garbage floating in the water. The smell in the dark places truly stank. It was as if time itself had rotted here and carried the filthy stench of despair.
Where the sun shone, a few cats crawled along the walls of the fence around the outside of the warehouse to bathe in the winter sun. They looked indifferent to fame, or gain, and had a lazy expression, as though humanity’ famine had nothing to do with them.
Honestly, I never thought I’d see cats here, and the exact same cats for that matter. Both wore lazy expressions. This group of cats must be strays. However, they made it clear that they were the master of this place.
They showed no fear of us when we walked toward them. As a matter of fact, they looked slightly unhappy, as though we had trespassed on their property.
There were lots of cats here, so it resembled a small community. They spread themselves out on two sides. They licked their fur and meowed. Some of them returned from outside and then leapt up onto the wall to bathe in the sun.
“Papa! Papa! What are they?! They’re so cute!” Leah ran over to them cheerfully.
A large plump yellow cat saw Leah run over, but didn’t budge. Maybe it was lazy to move because it was fat and therefore didn’t run around. The other cats, however, all ran over to Leah and meowed when they saw her.
Leah cheerfully picked up the large yellow cat.
The cat looked at me like it had nothing left to live for; as though it wanted me to shoo Leah off.
‘Dream on. Isn’t it comfortable to be hugged by a loli?’
“They’re cats.” I chuckled.
Just as I went to touch the cat in Leah’s arms, the big yellow cat immediately prepared to attack me. The other cats also swiftly stood up and looked at me aggressively.
I looked at them startled.
‘Could it be that Leah can attract all living organisms due to her succubus nature?!’
Leah happily stroked the cat and played with them very cheerfully. I really wanted to hug Leah tightly and give her a kiss when I saw her innocent smile.
I looked at the cats then cleared my throat softly and said, “All right, we can head back now.”
“Do we not need to go in to take a look?”
Veirya moved her neck around and then in a serious tone said, “I can go in.”
“Veirya, we won’t gain anything from you doing that. But I have found the answer I was after. For merchants, being considerate of each other’s feelings is what’s most important.
I stood up. Leah looked at me with glee and exclaimed, “Papa, you’re smiling!”
“Yeah, Papa is very happy.” I picked Leah up and placed her on my shoulders.
Leah exclaimed with surprise, then laughed with delight. She grabbed my hair gently with her small hands. She then cheerfully exclaimed, “If Papa is happy, Leah is very happy, too! Leah doesn’t know what Papa came to understand, but Papa is the best!! Papa will definitely be able to bring food back!”
Though I didn’t know why Leah was so confident, I should be capable of doing everything as a father. I’m just an ordinary man. However, Leah must see me as a strong father, I guess.
Veirya looked at me with envy.
My body shuddered violently.
Veirya wasn’t envious of being able to carry Leah, but because she wanted to ride on top!! I don’t know why Veirya suddenly felt the childish urge.
‘I can carry a kid on my shoulder, but there’s no way I can carry One-Slash Maiden Veirya!’
“Papa, where are we going now?”
“We’re heading back now, to go and see that food merchant. While I’m not absolutely certain, I believe my guess is right, now that I understand a lot. At least I know that they’re lying. They have food in their warehouse. We just need to go back and talk to them, now. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to go home tomorrow.”
“Papa, can we help the people outside once we get the food?”
Leah tightened her grip on my hair. She sounded a little tense as she asked, “They’re very pitiful. They’re humans, too, so why don’t they have food to eat? Papa, if possible can we help them?”
“That’s not something we need to think about.” I softly explained, “Leah, those people are very pitiful, but we can’t do anything about it. Her Majesty was the one who caused the famine this time, so she must be the one to solve it. We’re just the lord of one area. We just need to ensure the safety of our territory. Kindness may be a unique trait of humans, but we shouldn’t test the limits of our kindness, or else it will become venom that will get those people killed.”