It was close to spring after the Fire Torch Festival ended. Perhaps the flames of that day completely melted the ice-cold winter air in the North. The first rain came three or four days after the festival. Though it was so freezing that Leah and I shivered in the blanket when it rained, Leah’s body was very warm. It seems as though her body temperature is higher than a human’s due to her succubus nature. And so, it was very warm when I hugged her.
However, Leah was no longer large enough to cover my body when morning came. Therefore, I’d miss her form she took on in the middle of the night. She could hug my entire body when she was in her adult form. Her warm and soft skin is the wife of every man’s dream, except, she’s not my wife, but my daughter.
After the ice-cold rain, it seemed as though the frozen land was woken up. The flames buried deep in the ground lit up, and the air started to become warm. The town became a lot livelier, because of the alcohol and feeling of gold coins from the Fire Torch Festival. When we first came to the town, the streets were virtually empty. Once spring came in, however, people began to sell small goods on the streets. They sold things you might need for farming in spring. Blacksmiths began to light up their flames. Clothing stores opened their doors. People started drinking at the tavern and eating that ear dish. Hunters began to hunt the rodents that came out to search for food after winter, because of the ear dish. Green grass had also begun to grow on the white snowy mountain in the distance.
Spring had walked in. People say that spring is the season of seed planting and hope. Seeing the life in the town, as well as the green grass gradually covering the mountain oddly filled me with confidence. I don’t know where the confidence was coming from, but I felt that I could realise my dream in the coming year.
‘I think I could make history by making enough to move to the Imperial Capital in a single year.’
While I don’t know where I got the confidence from, I was confident.
Leah seemed a little excited when spring came. She slept less and less at night. She looked at the children outside with eagerness. Though the children didn’t have clothes as nice as her, they had their own friends and could play around inside the town. There’s a running river outside the town. It was frozen in winter, but was flowing once again in spring, so a good number of children went there to play in the water.
‘Leah didn’t mention it to me, but we watched the children playing in the water without regard for the cold, I noticed Leah’s envy in her eyes. Leah needs a friend. Though I’m by her side, Leah is still a kid. She needs friends. I also think she needs mother.’
‘Of course, I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve had some ideas about romance recently. My stance that Leah needs a mom has grown stronger and stronger…’
‘I haven’t deliberated it yet, though. I wouldn’t be thinking about it in front of Veirya, after all…’
Veirya hasn’t tried to deepen her relationship with me, during this time, but the three of us don’t feel as awkward as we did when we first cohabitated. Leah’s relationship with Veirya isn’t so rough anymore, either. At least, Veirya hasn’t shown any aggression again, while Leah isn’t so fearful of Veirya anymore, either. She can live with Veirya now and isn’t so vigilant of her. Trust requires time to be established, after all. Leah has gradually come to accept Veirya after living with her for so long. Nonetheless, Leah still doesn’t take the initiative to talk to Veirya. They don’t say a word or spare each other a look when they’re with each other. It’s as if the two of them have reached a very subtle balance.
They only have very minor fights when they fight for food, but Leah let go in the end literally every time. Veirya can accept anything, but not letting somebody else have her food.
After that time, Veirya hasn’t interacted with me unless necessary. She hasn’t said anything to me, either, after Angelina returned to the city. That crazy night was fated to be a memory. Veirya didn’t kiss me again or come into contact with me. She says no more than ten sentences to me a day and never asked a thing about the situation in the town. Once the warmth of spring came in, Veirya had an extra activity, which was to go horse riding in the plains outside before coming back for dinner.
In the evening, Veirya would allow me to take care of her when she took a bath. Wait. That’s not right. She needed me to be by her side whenever she took a bath. She generously displayed her body to me. I’ve now seen it so many times that I’ve remembered the mole on her breast.
‘Honestly, I hope for Angelina to make a trip here, since Veirya is a bit livelier when she’s around. Otherwise, I have nothing to talk to Veirya about. It feels horrible for the three of us to be at home, yet not talking to each other.’
I had things to attend to once spring came. I had to select a location for the man’s company to come and construct an exchange of foods station. The villagers here will send the fur to the station, and the merchants will sell it and deliver it into the city. The station doesn’t need to be large, but it needs to be convenient for traffic. Lighting also needs to be good. With those conditions in mind, the centre of the village and town would be the most appropriate location. Building it next to the plaza will also make it easy for horse carriages to perform a u-turn.
After I finished checking out the location for the station with the record keeper, he looked at Leah next to me, who looked lifeless. He smiled and said, “My Lord, the mountain forest is now warm. The ice has pretty much completely melted, as well. We have a place that you can play around in, which is located on the mountain at the rear. Would you like to go there with your family to have some fun? The former lord loved to go there in the past. There should be a small home there. You can go there to have some fun.”
“Such a place exists?”
I was caught by surprise.
‘I’ve never been into the mountain forest. I don’t think it’s particularly warm in the forest yet, is it? Is it really a good idea to go into the forest?’
“Yes, there is. Nothing will happen in the town in the coming days. Everybody will soon go off to plant crops, so nobody has anything in particular to do. You, therefore, do not to stay in the city. Everybody is very happy with the Fire Torch Festival this time. You have not been able to fully enjoy yourself, either. How about enjoying a few days’ vacation before spring kicks off? Go have fun on the mountain.”
“You can actually play around on the mountain in this season?”
“Yes. Yes. Further, though there are demons on the mountain, you would not need to worry with Lord Veirya present, right?”
“Papa!! I want to go!! I want to go!!”
Leah, who was next to me, grabbed my arm and called out to me with excitement. I looked at her gaze. It was clear that she didn’t want to go there to play. What she was looking forward to even more was seeing demons. Demons are our enemies, but they’re Leah’s brethren.
I stroked her head and met with her anxious eyes. I gave her a gentle nod and replied, “All right. Papa will take you there to look around, then.”