Ling Yue placed her fork and knife down. She then responded resolutely, “I refuse.”
I sighed, “Ling Yue, look around you. You have nothing right now. If I didn’t come, you might’ve died here! You can’t survive on our own. Do you still not get that? Your life right now is basically torture!!”
“This is my home! This has been the home of the Moon Fox Tribe for centuries! I can’t leave! I can take it! I can hang in there!”
Ling Yue looked at me. The resolve in her eyes didn’t diminish.
‘I really think I shouldn’t speak to her about this when eating. I should get her to leave with me when she’s freezing and starving.’
“Don’t you care about yourself?! You’ll die if you continue this way! Look at your life as it stands. You have nothing to eat, and you can’t start a fire! Who is going to look after you when you get sick?! Aren’t you worried that you might never wake up again one day?!”
“I don’t care!!”
“I care!!” I shouted. I stood up and pressed a hand down on Ling Yue’s shoulder. “We’ve known each other for a long time at the end of the day. It wasn’t easy for me to save you from the snowy mountains. If you go and die for no rhyme or reason now, wouldn’t that have wasted my efforts? How can you face me if you die for no rhyme or reason after I did so much for you?!”
Ling Yue’s expression didn’t change. She stared at me and exclaimed, “My life has nothing to do with you! My tribe has nothing to do with you! I’m very grateful for all the help you gave me, but I have to maintain my bottom line, too! I must watch over my tribe! I must watch over my tribe until it’s revived!”
“You don’t need to stay here now, then! I understand that you want your tribe to be revived. I have a young girl with me who wants to do the same thing. She wants to restore her family to its former glory, too. I can understand how you feel, but what’s the point of you staying here?! Tell me what the point of you staying here now is! How are you going to revive your tribe? You think you can revive your tribe by living in a home without life, eating rye bread?! Is there any point to what you’re doing? I’m not suggesting that you’re incapable of bearing some suffering. What I want to say is that the suffering you’re going through now is for nothing.”
I looked at her and grabbed her hand tightly. I looked straight at her eyes and went on, “I’m not your lover or your family, but I’m your friend. I don’t want you to suffer for nothing. I can help you revive your tribe, but what you’re doing now is pointless. Leave with me for now. Once things have settled, you can return once it’s possible to live here, all right? I won’t force you to always stick with me. I respect your freedom. Ling Yue! You have no reason to do this! Look at your current state! Do you not think that it saddens me to see you in this state?! I did everything I could to save you! We accompanied each other on such a long journey! Are you not going to consider my feelings at all?! I really like you, Ling Yue!”
Ling Yue looked back at me. Her lips trembled a few times, and so did her eyes. She responded in a shaky voice, “I… I… I don’t want to… I… By your side…”
“It’s all right. Nobody will question you, Ling Yue. I’ll soon be able to attain victory. I won’t keep you in the North. This isn’t where you should be. I’ll take you to Troy City. Once I’ve settled things in the North, you can come back.”
She suddenly whipped her tail and asked me a question that came way out of left field, “And live together with your wives?”
I subconsciously answered, “Of course you can. If it’s okay with you, then of course you can.”
Ling Yue’s face instantly turned red. She looked at me and pulled her arm out before stepping aside. I suddenly realised what my response meant, so I quickly covered my face in case she unleashed another slap combo. I looked at her and rushed to explain, “Wait, wait, wait, I didn’t mean it that way. What I meant was that it would be all right if you wanted to, not that I wanted to marry you. Mm…”
“Who says I’d marry you?! We’re talking about something serious, and you’re taking advantage of me all of a sudden! You’re a poor excuse for a man!!”
Ling Yue went to slap me again. Fortunately, I was mentally ready and had my double shields ready. I caught her arm that she swung toward me. Ling Yue, who was angry, showed no signs of backing down. She struggled with all her might to pull her arm back. We fully stood up next to the table. As a result of our tug of war, Ling Yue tripped over the chair leg and fell toward me.
I wasn’t standing stably, either. Consequently, I tripped over my chair. The two of us cried out at the same time and fell on the ground.
Ling Yue sprawled out on my chest. The two of us tightly held each other’s hands. Ling Yue normally refused to hold my hand. That was the first time we tightly held hands.
Her cherry-coloured lips were right in front of my face. I could even see the marks on her lips. She spaced out. She didn’t release my hand, however. From my chest, she looked at my face and eyes before snuggling up.
I looked at her eyes and her lips.
“Nobody ever said they loved me besides Marvel…”
Ling Yue looked at me. She reached her hand on to press it on my lips. She earnestly asked, “Can I take that ‘I like you’ response as your confession to me?”
“You already have wives, and they’re even pregnant, but you still like me?”
“I won’t betray them.”
Ling Yue titled her head. She then laughed and asked, “You humans follow such a strange logic. Your wives love you, and you confess to another woman when they’re pregnant, and you don’t consider that betrayal?”
“I will not let anything reduce my love for them. I deeply love my wives. That goes for both of them. I won’t abandon any of them because of you, and I won’t give them the cold shoulder because I like you. Ling Yue, do you think that love is limited to just one share?” I solemnly said. “I love Nier, and I love Lucia. I could give up my life and anything for them.”
“This is the first time I’ve heard somebody speak of their philandering adventures so righteously.”
I laughed, “I thought I was very loyal before I met Nier. Now, though, I can’t remain single minded when I’m faced with countless extraordinary females. True love isn’t always restricted to one share.”
I reached my head toward her. She backed off a little, but she didn’t push me away. I patiently waited for her. She hesitated for a moment then looked at me and quietly asked, “So, how many shares of true love do you have?”
“I don’t know… Three maybe?”
I gave her a gentle kiss. She shuddered, but still didn’t push me away. I sat straight up while she sat on my lap with her hand holding mine tightly. She quivered similarly to experiencing the nervousness of a first kiss. That was normal, though, because it was her first kiss.
‘I’m absolutely certain I wouldn’t have kissed her if I was my previous self.’
‘However, I’ve kissed Nier in front of Lucia already. I seem to no longer care about the monogamy concept of loyalty any longer. I guess you can say I’ve become scum, as well. I will not give any of them the cold shoulder, because I love one in a biased manner, however.’
‘Perhaps my mentality has changed. I no longer wait for the law to judge me, because I am now the law. I no longer believe that kindness will be reciprocated with kindness, for I’ve witnessed too much darkness. I’m no longer a man without desire. I now pursue more power and more love.’
‘If I had no pursuits or goals, I would be stuck as a commoner forever. If I want to become a King, I must pursue more power and benefits than the average man. Else, how would I qualify as a King?’
‘When did I stop thinking and living like an ordinary person? When did I start chasing after Mommy Elizabeth? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that this is the path most suited to me.’