At noon, Leah sat next to Veirya, albeit very unhappily. She stabbed her fork into her meat pie with a gloomy attitude. She looked at Veirya, who was next to her, with an extremely unhappy look. She seemed to be filled with reluctance, even now, after calling Veirya ‘mama.’ I sat opposite Leah and silently pondered the connection between the chapel and the merchant, so I didn’t pay attention to what was happening here at the table. Leah’s gaze was fixed on me the entire time. She seemed to be hoping for me to say something, but then she shifted her gaze away with even more anger, since I didn’t pay attention to her.
Meanwhile, Veirya ate her steak. These steak pies are a delicacy of this place, so I’ve learned how to make a new dish. It’s similar to mincemeat inside a pie. It’s soft and it tastes delicious. Soon, we won’t be eating much meat, since hunters won’t go hunting in spring.
However, this spring didn’t appear to be too peaceful.
Leah finally couldn’t contain her anger any longer. She slammed her fork onto the table, and then shouted, “I’m not eating anymore! Hmph! Stupid Papa!”
I looked up with puzzlement. I looked at Leah, who had jumped to her feet, feeling totally bewildered as to what was going on. She got even angrier upon seeing my look of bewilderment. She angrily stomped her foot and exclaimed, “Papa, you big idiot! You don’t care about Leah at all! I’m not eating anymore!!”
Veirya stood up before I could get up to stop Leah. Veirya grabbed Leah’s collar with one hand. She then stood up and grabbed Leah around her waist to pick her up. As Leah screamed, she put Leah back in her chair. Leah fearfully looked at Veirya, but Veirya remained expressionless. She didn’t show an angry look, either. Instead, she looked at Leah as per usual and asked, “Is the meat pie not good?”
“… That’s not it…”
I could tell that Leah couldn’t be any less reluctant to care for Veirya, but she had to respond, since she was afraid. Leah looked at me as if she was also afraid that I’d be sad if she said that the meat pie wasn’t nice. However, my meat pie tastes quite good in my opinion. I’m very confident it tastes good.
Veirya then looked at Leah with an absolutely serious look, “Why, then? Eating is very important; you can’t fight if you’re hungry, so I must know why you don’t want to eat. Is it because you aren’t feeling well? If you’re not feeling well…”
“I’m just in a bad mood!”
Leah irritably cut Veirya off. Although it was impolite, I was no longer as nervous as I once was, because I knew that Veirya, in actual fact, doted on Leah. Normally, she wouldn’t get angry over this. Additionally, their relationship must’ve improved by a lot, for Leah to dare to cut Veirya off that way.
“That is not an acceptable reason, for it is not good if your mood impacts your appetite.”
Veirya looked at Leah with a firm look. She cared nothing for Leah’s feelings. She placed the meat pie in front of Leah again. Leah smiled helplessly as she looked at the plate. She then looked up at me. However, Veirya did, indeed, look very firm in her stance. She looked at Leah particularly seriously, “You must have a full meal no matter what.”
Leah raised her head.
“Finish it, Leah. Tell Papa why you’re not in a good mood. Just tell Papa what Papa didn’t do well.”
I looked at Leah and rubbed her head with a smile. She unhappily pouted, and then told me, “Papa, you were with that woman all day. You never cared for Leah. You didn’t pay attention when Leah spoke to you, either. Papa, do you not like Leah anymore?”
“No, that’s not it, Leah. It was just that Papa had work to take care of.”
“What work…? Why do you have to be so intimate with that woman?” Leah looked at me very unhappily. She muttered under her breath, “You left Leah and chased after that woman. Papa, Leah was very lonely and very scared.”
I looked at her and sincerely replied, “Sorry. Sorry, Leah. What happened today happened somewhat abruptly. I was a bit worried about your safety, so I didn’t bring you with me. Moreover, if the chapel finds out that you’re a succubus, you will be in danger. As for me chasing after Veriya, that was because it would be too dangerous for me to leave her to her own device. I was quite reassured, as Angelina was with you. You don’t hate Angelina, right?’
“Uhm… Sister Angelina… I don’t hate…”
I nearly spat the contents in my mouth out.
‘Angelina already has a daughter, and she had Leah call her ‘sister?’ Angelina is a woman at the end of the day. If she’s able to call herself ‘sister’ without any hesitation, I think I better not call her old in her presence. She’ll probably snap my spine. I’ll just consider her eighteen. An eighteen year old lady with silver hair.’
Veirya’s reaction was intense just as I predicted. She grabbed Leah by her shoulders and forced her to look at her. She sternly said, “You can’t call her sister! Don’t go near her!”
Leah looked at Veirya with a very unhappy look. Displeased, she said, “Sister Angelina is gentle and considerate. She smiles, too! I like Sister Angelina very much.”
Veirya paused. She then looked at Leah and tilted her head. She asked, “If I smile, as well, you won’t like Angelina anymore?”
Veirya’s weird question led to Leah freezing up. Leah looked at me with a hint of fear. I, on the other hand, looked at Veirya with curiosity. She had never smiled in my presence before. I actually suspected that she can’t smile. I really wanted to see her smile. Leah noticed that I didn’t respond in any way. Veirya then looked at Leah even more seriously. She said, “I shall smile for you, as well, then.”
“What do you want?!”
Leah shuddered with fear. She looked at Veirya with shock. She seemed to never imagine that Veirya would smile. Veirya smiling is as terrifying as the end of the world. Nevertheless, Veirya didn’t mind. Instead, she rubbed her own face, and then used her fingers to make a smile, well, force her mouth into the shape of a smile.
Leah sat in her chair with a dumbfounded look. She appeared to be startled by the man-made smile. It was the first time that I’d seen a smile that didn’t contain a smile, as well. Veirya looked at Leah. In a barely discernable voice, she asked, “Like this?”
“Ah… Uhm… Okay…”
Leah was so startled that she couldn’t make out a sentence. Veirya’s behaviours were beyond what Leah could comprehend. Very satisfied now, Veirya let go then returned to her usual expressionless look. She looked at Leah and said, “You need to call me something, too, then. You call that woman sister, so call me Mama.”
“Wait! There’s something amiss, isn’t there?! Angelina is your Mom! How can you have Leah call you Mama?!!”
“Don’t wanna! I don’t wanna call you Mama!!”
Veirya looked at me, feeling baffled. She asked, “… Why can she use Sister, but not Mama?”
“There are… lots of reasons…”
I feel that there is a need to explain these terms for addressing people… Leah adamantly refused to call her Mama. In the end, Veirya had to give up. However, I don’t think Leah is going to get off so easily judging from Veirya’s look, which showed that she was reluctant to give up.