Veirya has no interest in clothing. She had no opinion on the cape. She only minded that it had the chapel’s symbol on it. Veirya wouldn’t be grateful if I bought it, but she wouldn’t have minded if I didn’t buy it, either.
‘It’s not a good idea for her to always be in military uniform, though, right?’
I looked at the scarf in my hand. Though I wanted to give it to Leah, I gave it Veirya on second thought. Veirya looked at me without saying anything. She just took the scarf and touched the white fox fur. She then looked at Leah and pulled her over. Leah got a fright and froze, but Veirya then gently placed it on her neck and wrapped it around. She then stood up to look at me, and asked, “Anything else?”
“Didn’t you say you had to speak to that man?”
“I could… but, would you be willing to see Angelina?”
Veirya immediately went silent once she heard her name. She then looked straight in the direction of the city door, and said, “Let’s head back then. We’ll travel through the night.”
“That’s not safe, is it…?”
“I’ll protect you.”
‘I think I’ve heard the same dialogue between Angelina and that man… But, whatever. Our clothes are ready. Why didn’t I buy Veirya clothes, again? I’m actually worried that Veirya will strip in front of everyone… Plus, I don’t have enough money, so just getting Leah a set was good enough. However, that cape for Veirya was the most expensive piece. After all, it was worth the price.’
Leah grabbed the scarf around her neck gently. She looked at Veirya, who was next to her, with a bit of surprise. Leah really wanted the scarf right from the start, but she was shy to mention it, as she already got a set of clothes. However, she kept her gaze on the white fox fur scarf. Young girls must think it’s very cute. She didn’t get it from me, though. Instead, Veirya gave it to her.
‘I actually wanted to get on Veirya’s good side. I felt that Veirya might give it to Leah, but didn’t expect her to actually give it to her.’
It put Leah in dilemma. I held Leah’s hand and she lowered her head. She swept her gaze over to Veirya, who was walking next to her, every now and then. She showed her dilemma with her gaze. Her lips twitched as though she wanted to say something, but after wrestling with herself, couldn’t bring herself to say it. I knew what Leah was thinking, but didn’t say it. It’s more appropriate for Leah to personally speak about these things. I tightly held Leah’s hand. She looked up at me feeling somewhat surprised. I looked at her. I gave her a smile and a nod. She panicked a little while still looking at me. I then stroked her head and gently said, “Go, Leah. You should know what a good girl should do.”
Leah’s expression showed that she was extremely torn, so she looked at me slightly scared. But nonetheless, she finally managed to bring herself to look at Veirya.
I walked up to the horse. Just as I was about to mount the horse, Leah finally raised her head up to look at Veirya, who was in front of her. She cautiously thanked her, “Umm… Umm… Thanks.”
The last word seemed to consume all of Leah’s strength. You could even say that Leah felt incomparably ashamed, as though she was just executed in public. Saying “thanks” isn’t something that makes us feel very distressed and the same applies for Leah, except it depends on who the person you’re thanking is. Leah was trying to thank Veirya, who she was always afraid of and hated. She had no choice but to thank her this time, but it did indeed make her feel very distressed.
Leah immediately leapt at me after giving her thanks. She hit my belly, as she felt tremendously ashamed and could almost scream. She desperately tried to do something, so that she wouldn’t feel so awkward. I smiled as I stroked her head.
‘I shouldn’t agitate her when she’s already worked up.’
Veirya stood in front of the horse and didn’t mount it. Instead, she looked at Leah with a blank look. Despite her gaze still being void of emotion, she had begun to move. She yanked Leah out of my arms. I didn’t have my arms wrapped around Leah, so she ended up being pulled into Veirya’s tight embrace from behind. Being picked up from the ground, Leah panicked and didn’t know what to do, so she screeched and kicked her legs in the air while extending her hand out to me to plead for help. But, Veirya didn’t release Leah. She, instead, tightly hugged Leah the way she did that time. Seeing Veirya tightly hug Leah with an expressionless look made me both afraid and yet reassured.
“Let go of me!! Let go of me!! Leah is going to be eaten… I… Papa, help me!!”
Leah distressfully cried as she struggled with all her might to escape Veirya’s evil grasp; but, Veirya didn’t let go. She, instead, lowered her head down and buried it in Leah’s hair, causing Leah to scream even louder. Veirya even placed her hand on Leah’s chest. It looked as though the two of them were going to do something…
‘What does this make me…? A third wheel…?’
A moment after, Veirya put Leah back down. Leah cried as she ran over to me. I picked her up and stroked her head with a smile to placate her. Veirya still looked expressionless, but I could tell that she was now in a very good mood from her dexterous movements.
“Papa, Papa… Leah… Leah got violated!”
“How does that count as being violated…?”
I carried Leah who was crying up onto the horse with a smile. She gripped my shirt at my chest tightly and sobbed. I could sense that Veirya did what she did out of good will, but I do wish she’d express it with normal means. It doesn’t seem as though Veirya feels her method was overboard, though. Actually, she’d consider it very normal.
The three of us set off again, back to our small home that wasn’t rich, but was very warm.
“They bought clothes?”
The man chuckled and nodded. He then looked at Angelina, who was to the side, and asked, “I think you should make a set of clothes, as well. It looks like they’ve got some purpose in mind. Also, do you not intend to see your daughter?”
Angelina shook her head. She then wore on a cold expression and extended a hand out. The man dawdled for a moment. Angelina then said, “Money to make clothes.”
The man revealed a smile and placed a small pouch into her hand, “She is your daughter, regardless of the circumstances, right? But I can’t figure out Vierya’s relationship with that man. It appears somewhat strange.”
Angelina didn’t reply. It seemed as if she didn’t care about Veirya’s business. The man, however, knew what his bodyguard was thinking. He stood up and next to her ear whispered, “Could Veirya have found somebody she likes?”
Angelina gave a short and concise response before explaining, “That child doesn’t understand anything… She doesn’t know what she wants, even now.”