Waiting and Hope (Part 2)
I decided to take a detour, not because I didn’t want to quickly return to the North – I was actually very eager to head back there. After all, my wives and children were there. I was also aware they were very eager for me to return. The reason I decided to take a detour wasn’t to do it with Luna in more places, either.
Honestly, I wanted to see Elizabeth more during my return, as the Inard she yearned for day and night actually spent his days in bliss and joy with a dragon for a long time. I had an urge to enjoy the misery of another. I wanted to tell Mommy Elizabeth about Inard and Dragon Mom. While I didn’t know why I had the urge, I still wanted to tell her that she didn’t need to wait any longer, because the man she loved most was no longer alive.
I took a detour solely because I wanted to visit Ling Yue before I went back. If I went to the Imperial Palace, I might end up stuck there for a long time. My wives, children and two moms were there.
Ling Yue’s little fox should’ve grown already. She should’ve been about as big as Vera, Nona and Daisy already. She could probably call me “dad” already. I thought it was worth celebrating. Being able to return to their sides before they could call me “dad” meant I wouldn’t miss out on life’s most blissful moment as a man.
Luna hadn’t met Ling Yue before. She was eager to meet the noble and graceful fox, while Liu Yue would be the first child she saw, so she was slightly nervous. She was concerned as to whether or not she should prepare a gift. I patted her shoulder and explained, “It’s all right, Luna. You don’t need to prepare anything, because you’re my personal servant. Ling Yue is a very approachable individual. Although she’ll be a little haughty at the start, that’s just her habit as a noble. In truth, she’s a very nice girl.”
Luna nodded. With a smile, she responded, “I believe Miss Ling Yue is a nice person, for she is your wife. I trust your judgement, and I believe she is most definitely a kind woman.”
I led Luna over to the red house. The mouths of the guards at the entrance were gaping. They probably didn’t expect me to suddenly visit, thus were just as shocked as the guards at Troy City. My recent whereabouts had been a mystery to them, so they were absolutely surprised by my sudden appearance.
“Your Majesty!” the guards saluted.
I waved my hand to indicate they could rise. They courteously inquired, “Your Majesty, shall we inform Miss Ling Yue?”
I shook my head: “No, I’ll head right in.”
I handed the reins of the White Deer King to the guards. The White Deer King looked at me and snorted with displeasure. She then arrogantly looked at the guard in front of her with a threatening look, frightening him. Naturally, he didn’t dare to pull her reins.
Luna followed behind me. She scanned the white uniforms of the guards and the long guns in their hands with curiosity. She said, “Are they your guards, Your Majesty? I had no idea… But they look awe-inspiring. Additionally, they do not look as scary as the Valkyries. I always thought the Valkyries were very scary. Even Princess Nier was somewhat scary…”
I quietly chuckled. The Valkyries were Mommy Elizabeth’s bodyguards, after all. As a majestic Empress, her guards needed to be just as majestic and imposing; hence, the Valkyries looked scary and exuded an overwhelming murderous aura. My guards, however, were different. My guards were tasked with protecting me. They didn’t have the same strict requirements the Valkyries did. Consequently, they weren’t as scary.
I entered the courtyard. Something about it felt off, and that was that there were lots of bed sheets and blankets hung out. There were only a few people in Ling Yue’s estate. There shouldn’t have been so many even if they hung them out daily. That meant lots of people were there, and they likely left by the time I arrived. The conjecture came from my observation; there wasn’t much grass remaining in the stable. As for who dropped by, I had a rough guess, but I didn’t know why they visited.
“Did they come to visit Ling Yue?” I wondered.
Ling Yue sat crossed-legged on the ground in her house. She coiled her tail around her. Liu Yue, who was in front of her, was excitedly lining up building blocks. With an affectionate smile, Ling Yue silently watched her daughter build their own home, which was Ling Yue’s home. Her small tail wagged around on the ground in a rhythmic fashion. Liu Yue carefully grabbed the blocks and built the structure with anticipation. She finally added the last triangular block. Liu Yue excitedly clapped. She tugged on her mom’s hand and cheerfully exclaimed, “Mommy! Mommy! House, house! Our house!”
Ling Yue looked at her daughter’s work with a smile. The small blocky building was very similar to her home. She stroked her daughter’s head. Liu Yue smiled with her eyes narrowed. She greatly enjoyed having her head stroked. She smacked her tail on the floor just as her mom did when she was happy to express her own joy.
Liu Yue excitedly exclaimed, “Mommy, What is the place Daddy lives at like?! I want to see where Daddy lives!”
Ling Yue’s expression froze. She curled up her tail as though she was trying to contain her grief. She smiled helplessly while looking at Liu Yue. The truth was that Ling Yue, herself, wasn’t too sure how life was in the Imperial Palace. She had only ever visited it once. That was where Liu Yue’s father resided. Ling Yue, therefore, felt she should take her daughter there to take a look around in spite of her reluctance to go there.
“Mommy will take you there. Mommy will take you there in the future so that you can see the place your father lives. You’ll be able to meet your father there, as well.”
Ling Yue revealed a discomforting smile, but she tried her best not to cry in front of her daughter. Although she knew her husband should still be alive, she was still very scared, since she had yet to see him. She had an uncontrollable concern he wouldn’t return to her side again.
“Really?! I want to go! I want to go!! I want to go!”
“Okay, okay, Mommy will take you there in the future. Promise.”
Ling Yue looked at her excited daughter. Liu Yue leapt over and curled up in her mom’s embrace with bliss. Ling Yue lovingly caressed Liu Yue’s ears. She couldn’t stop her tears from surfacing in her eyes. Fortunately, her daughter was in her embrace, and thankfully, didn’t see her tears.
“Miss Ling Yue, you have a guest.” Leah’s voice came from behind.
Ling Yue sighed, and then spun around. She noticed an oddity with Leah’s expression. Leah’s face was red as though she was trying to withhold something. She patiently told Leah, “How come there are so many guests recently? Tell him to wait for me in the guest room. I’ll head down after taking Liu Yue back to the room.”
“I do not think there is a need for that, Miss Ling Yue, since this guest is not a very patient individual.”
Seriously, I wasn’t that patient. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t willing to wait any longer after Ling Yue and Leah exchanged barely two sentences. I was so anxious after hearing Ling Yue’s voice. I couldn’t hold it in. I barged through and rushed over to Ling Yue from behind Leah just in time to see Ling Yue’s look of bafflement. The sight of the fiery-red hair, long ears and the tail Ling Yue was proud of, gave me an urge to cry.
Ling Yue looked at me with a dumbfounded look. Her tail froze in mid-air while her fur stood up, thereby enlarging her tail as if it was a furry ball. Her entire body intensely quivered. I walked over with big strides and pulled her into my embrace.
I hugged her as tight as I could. In my hoarse voice, I leaned into her ear and said, “Sorry, Ling Yue. I’m late. I’m late. I’m back. I came back alive, Ling Yue, and I’ll be fine from now. I’ll always be here from now on. I’ll always be by your side. I won’t leave again. I won’t make you worry again.”
Ling Yue cried when she responded. She couldn’t hope for anything more than to lock me with her arms, legs and tail. She tightly hugged me and wailed on my shoulder. I had never before heard the wails that she let out on my shoulder. It was as if she was crying her lungs out. I held her tightly, and let her cry to her heart’s content. I caressed her ears and waited for her to calm down.
I noticed the child standing in the centre of the room, completely stupefied. However, I was slightly scared. I left for only roughly one month, yet she was already big enough to stand and play with building blocks in one month. I remembered Daisy, Nona and Vera still needed to be taken care of when I left…’
Liu Yue looked at me with a hint of fear. She didn’t dare to approach me. She never met me before. She never saw me after her birth, so I guess it was only fair for her to be afraid of me.
Leah walked up to Liu Yue with a smile. Afraid, she tightly gripped Leah’s chest and hid herself in Leah’s embrace. In a shaky voice, she said, “Sister Leah… He is a bad man… He is a bad man… He made my mommy cry… He made my mommy cry… Kick him out… Please… drive him out.”
Leah revealed a hopeless smile and caressed Liu Yue’s head. She explained, “No, no, he’s not, Liu Yue. He’s not a bad man. Your Mommy isn’t crying because she’s scared or in pain. She’s crying because she’s overjoyed. You don’t understand yet, Liu Yue, but you will experience it yourself in the future. I can’t kick him out, either, because I’m more of an outsider than he is. He, is your Daddy who you’ve always yearned for.”