Fox, Dragon and Elf (Part 2)
Ling Yue was a woman Ying and Xia met for the first time. Actually, perhaps a mother fox would be more accurate? Xia had just acquired a pair of eyes, so she liked to check everything out. She scanned the scenery she had never seen before and the world she learnt of through word of mouth from her sister. Being able to see her sister was a great blessing to her. After learning Troy was the one who gave her the eyes, her belief that Mr. Troy was a genuinely nice man was reinforced.
Troy protected Xia and her sister without any reason and unconditionally. She was very eager to meet him, but she didn’t meet him after regaining her vision. Instead, she met his mistress. She was puzzled as to why the dignified, confident and polite woman was willing to live there as his mistress. However, when she took Troy’s kindness and gentleness into consideration, it wasn’t too hard to figure out.
Ling Yue never met the sisters, Ying and Xia, before nor had she ever met Sylvanas before. They came to her abode out of the blue without any prior notice, but because of Vyvyan, Ling Yue allowed them passage. Ling Yue was more interested in Ying and Xia, as judging from Vyvyan’s relationship with Sylvanas, she surmised the two were equal in terms of seniority, and therefore were a relatively small threat to her marriage and love. Ying and Xia, on the other hand, were most definitely women around her husband, so she determined that she needed to pay more attention to them.
“The three of us should bath together tonight,” thought Ling Yue.
Ying was more mindful of Ling Yue than Liu Yue, since Liu Yue was but a child, while Ling Yue was a grown fox, thereby potentially being able to put His Majesty at risk… Of course, that was merely her excuse for peeking on Ling Yue.
For the reason the group’s visit was abrupt, they needed longer to prepare dinner. As such, Ling Yue sat down in her soft armchair by the fire to wait. She had her tail hanging down as she sat there jotting something down on a document with her pen. Ying eyed Ling Yue’s every movement from behind. She was very curious. On one hand, Ling Yue was a species she had never seen before. On the other hand, she was His Majesty’s mistress, who lived outside the palace.
“Why does she not reside in the Imperial Palace?” wondered Ying.
“You looking for me for something?” asked Ling Yue.
There was no way Ling Yue couldn’t detect somebody watching her the entire time. She sighed and placed her pen down. The document she wrote on was a record of the recently exported Brilliant Moon Stones. She turned to face Ying. Ying jolted, and then shook her head: “Sorry, nothing.”
Ling Yue turned to point at the armchair next to her: “Not exactly, right? Else, you wouldn’t have stared at me from behind for so long. Come sit. There’s still some time before dinner. If you have something on your mind, let’s talk about it now. There’s no need to keep it inside. I’m not the violent maniac type Nier is. I can patiently listen to all you have to say.”
Ling Yue’s house wasn’t large, but it was very quiet. Vyvyan and Sylvanas were in the baby room with Liu Yue. Xia was most likely in the kitchen watching dishes be prepared. The maids went back and forth in the residence, but they never disturbed their mistress’s work. Ling Yue’s room was very noisy, but the only sound was the crackling flame. Ying walked inside then gently shut the door.
Ying sat next to Ling Yue; Ling Yue coiled her tail behind her. Ling Yue said, “This is our first time meeting, isn’t it? I’ve already introduced myself, but I shall now reintroduce myself in private. I am Troy’s wife. I’m fine with you considering me his mistress, however. What about you? You were the girl my husband brought back after going out to the ocean. Did something happen between you and my husband while I was not present? There are always women by that man’s side. I can understand. He looks decent and is sometimes far too gentle; not to mention that he won’t ever let go of a girl’s hand he’s caught. I wouldn’t be surprised if you fell for such a man. Frankly, I’m in the same boat as you.”
After lingering for a short while, Ying shook her head: “Miss Ling Yue, you have misunderstood. I have not fallen for Mr. Troy, so you need not worry.”
That was the phrase Ying was most fluent with among everything she learnt. She said it to Nier and Lucia previously. In fact, it was starting to get on her nerves.
Ling Yue nodded: “I see. So, what do you do at my husband’s side? Judging from your appearance, you aren’t a maid and definitely not my husband’s personal servant. You’re not carrying a weapon, either, so that proves that you’re not a guard. What exactly do you do, then?”
Ying answered, “I am his bodyguard, albeit a bodyguard in training.”
Ying only needed Xia, so she didn’t need to carry a weapon. In other words, Ying was actually armed except Ling Yue couldn’t tell.
Ling Yue nodded: “Since you’ve come here, can I safely assume that my husband has recovered? My husband set out alone, yet you came here all of a sudden, so I would presume you are on your way back after finding him, right? Based on Queen Vyvyan’s temperament today, it would seem you have already found him.”
“Yes. His Majesty has recovered.”
Although it was very joyous news, Ying’s tone didn’t change. It was as though His Majesty just caught a negligible cold. Ling Yue nodded. Ying heard a strange sound from Ling Yue. It sounded akin to skin rubbing against the back of the chair, which was made from pure leather.
“I knew he wouldn’t disappoint me. He looks frail and weak, but he is highly capable. He’s always able to pull off what I consider to be impossible. I think that’s precisely why I have absolute confidence in him and like him so much. After all, we’re wild beasts; we like strong males.”
Ling Yue laughed, albeit to mock herself. The topic of wild beasts was a somewhat sensitive one for Ying, since she fought them until then. The very sound of a wild beast’s voice could stimulate her. However, she didn’t harbour any hostile feelings toward Ling Yue. Further, she was the wife of the man she devoted her loyalty to, so she couldn’t have a desire to kill Ling Yue.
“As long as he is alive, then all is well. I’m glad he’s alive. Liu Yue won’t have to suffer a life without her father, then. He’ll be back; he’ll be back.”
Ling Yue looked at the fireplace in front of her. A blissful smile surfaced on her face. The flame illuminated her face, making her smile appear gentler and warmer. Ying scanned Ling Yue. Ling Yue looked the same as Lucia and Nier. Perhaps it would be best to say that the three of them all sincerely loved her master. Ying didn’t know what the story between Ling Yue and her master was. But nevertheless, judging from her expression, Ling Yue wasn’t with him for money or power, but solely because she loved him.
“Miss Ling Yue, may I ask you a question?”
Ying proceeded to ask, “Why do you not live in the Imperial Palace as Lucia and Nier do? Seeing as you love His Majesty so much, is it not lonely to live here? And, since you like him, should you not be by his side?”
Ying didn’t give the impression that she was the type to ask that sort of question.
“Ying doesn’t seem to be somebody with complex emotions dwelling within her, so why did she ask that question?” pondered Ling Yue.
Nevertheless, judging from Ying’s sincere eyes, she apparently wasn’t trying to find a topic out of desperation.
“For the reason that I also have my own business to attend to. While I love him, that won’t stop me from giving up what I want to do. He has his business, and I have my obligations. This doesn’t clash with our love. Love is impervious to time and distance. He will not forget me or Liu Yue for as long as we are in love even if I stay here, while he lives in the North,” answered Ling Yue.
Ling Yue then pursed her lips before continuing with her explanation: “Moreover, I’m not willing to compete with Nier and Lucia for anything. I have no place to speak out in their presence. They know my husband much better than I do. I wouldn’t be able to spend more time with him even if I did live in the Imperial Palace. Additionally, I have the initiative, since he comes to see me. This is my home, after all. Ying, you have never been in love before, have you? In love, you must seize the initiative, because that is power.”
Frankly speaking, Ying didn’t listen to what Ling Yue said toward the end. Ying didn’t care about the fighting between the women around Troy. She was occupied with trying to make what Ling Yue said at the start, specifically the part about feelings and obligations not clashing with each other, cohesive for herself.
Ying analysed, “Ling Yue loves Troy but doesn’t stay by his side. So, should I focus on being a bodyguard, then? I promised Troy I’d be his bodyguard, but if Xia is always by my side, I’ll be distracted with taking care of her. I’m aware the that distractions makes me a failure as a bodyguard, but I was the one who offered to be his bodyguard. Troy has also given my sister a pair of eyes. Plus, he’s looked after me a lot as his bodyguard. If I don’t treat my duty as a bodyguard properly and dedicate myself to my duties, I’ll have let Troy down.”
“Do feelings really not hinder obligations…?” Ying murmured while spacing out.
Ling Yue looked at Ying feeling curious. Somebody gently knocked on the door. Leah was there to inform Ling Yue that dinner was ready. Ling Yue gracefully sat up from her chair and swung her tail. She looked at Ying and, with a smile, replied, “Of course, although I said that, I must admit I occasionally feel lonely, since I’m not by his side. Obligations and feelings do not clash. However, you will suffer some torment due to your feelings.”