“For the Alliance” is no Longer a Slogan (Part 9)
Freya and I walked together on the glass platform. With a smile, she remarked, “It seems you and Queen Vyvyan have reached a stalemate.”
I nodded: “That’s right. I never expected Mommy Vyvyan would be the toughest one to convince.”
“That is exactly right. Empress Elizabeth is actually very easy to convince, because all of humanity’s vassals fear Empress Elizabeth. If she insisted on doing something, nobody would question her. As such, it would not be hard. On the other hand, convincing Queen Vyvyan will be your biggest challenge.”
Freya nodded. I seemed to notice a hopeless smile from her. She continued, “Frankly, do you not feel it? Elves are actually more stubborn than humans. I would surmise it ties in with their jealousy. Elves will not make compromises when their feelings are involved.”
I nodded. Freya couldn’t have been any more correct. Even Lucia almost ran off when she found out about my relationship with Nier for the first time. Wait, no. Had she defeated Nier that time, Lucia probably would’ve slit Nier’s throat. However, Mommy Vyvyan didn’t outright reject the alliance. She teleported back to Duargana, so I had no clue about what she was doing there or saying or if she was even seriously considering what I said. That said, Freya told me that, if Vyyvan didn’t outright agree, then it would be more appropriate to consider it rejected.
I agreed with Freya’s statement. Elizabeth still needed to consider what her vassals thought, but Vyvyan was the only one who needed to agree. So accordingly, if she didn’t agree, I couldn’t imagine her agreeing after a trip back. While I didn’t know what her purpose for her return trip was, I figured I needed to think about how to persuade her to accept the suggestion. I assumed she wouldn’t refuse me for too long. If I acted spoilt and wilful, it might no longer be a big issue. Having said that, I hadn’t received any news from Mommy Elizabeth, either; therefore, I didn’t know what exactly the situation was.
Just when we arrived at the bedroom door, we saw Ying and Xia standing at the entrance of my room. Xia held a sheet of paper in her hand. She looked so tense that she might tear it. Ying stood behind her with a hand on her sister’s shoulder, presumably to calm her sister.
I didn’t know what they were looking for me for. If there was business, Ying could’ve notified me during the day. Freya unhappily sulked, “It appears you have something to sort out, again. What do you think a young girl standing in front of a man’s room, holding a sheet of paper and looking so nervous is after? I am absolutely positive she is not here to have a normal conversation with you. Do you plan to give your daughters another mother? Xia was blind in the past, but you have given her a pair of eyes. A pair of eyes for a wife; I think it is worth it.”
“What are you saying, Freya…?” I hopelessly sighed, and then pressed my hand on my forehead.
The truth was, my relationship with Xia was very normal. We’d only met a few times. Xia couldn’t see my face in the past, so she couldn’t have even fallen for me at first sight, let alone what Freya was suggesting. I only gave her a pair of eyes. Would she just fall for a man she had never met because of that? Plus, I never met her after returning. Xia couldn’t possibly be holding a love letter. If it was, I wouldn’t accept it behind Nier’s back. Nier might pierce the door and our hearts all in one thrust.
I walked over. Xia was first to hear me. She turned to face me. She nervously called out in a quiet voice. Ying gave her encouragement from behind with pats on her shoulder, and then she pushed Xia over to me. Freya unhappily snorted and left; she wasn’t even willing to spare us a glance. I awkwardly slowed down as I approached Xia. Judging from her floaty walking style, Xia didn’t look as though she had fully recovered. There was a hint of shyness inside her golden eyes. They were originally empty sockets, but there was finally the charm of a beauty behind those windows.
Xia took in a deep breath. I smiled: “Though we’ve met before, I still have to say this. I am Troy Galadriel Rosvenor and the man your sister, Ying, saved. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m genuinely very happy to see you stand for the first time. How is your recovery coming along?”
“S-Sorry for making you worry… I am very well… Thank you…”
Xia spoke more normally and was livelier before she could see me. Her speech was barely discernable. I knew Xia was a sharp blade who could easily slay all animals with mana. Seeing a sharp blade for killing behaving as a cute and shy girl, speaking in a gentle voice similarly to a girl that found her first love makes one question the reality of their life. She raised her head to look at me with her golden eyes shimmering with shyness. Voice soft, she said, “I… I am very grateful… Very grateful… Your eyes… I… I never thought… I would be able to have my eyes again…. It is all thanks to you… Thank you very much… Thank you very much…”
I smiled: “It’s all right, Xia, you should thank your sister. If she didn’t save me, I might not even have had the chance to help you. I didn’t do anything philanthropic. All I did was give a pair of eyes a better home. Live here with your sister from now. If there are any problems or requests, just let me know. I’ll do my best to make it a reality. After all, your sister is my bodyguard. Her loyalty is very important to me.”
Xia nodded. She had shyness and embarrassment written all over her face. She tightened her grip on the sheet of paper. I could hear it screaming out from her hand. She pursed her lips then stated, “I know you have already given us a place to stay and me a pair of eyes. Therefore, it would be too much of me to make any more requests of you… However… I really hope that you and give my sister and me a chance to serve you… We cannot accept your kind gestures for nothing. At the very least, let me do something for you!”
Xia made up her mind before I could refuse her. She passed me the sheet of paper, and then shut her eyes. She exclaimed, “Please let me be a chef!! Though I still do not know how to cook the dishes here and cannot even cook to begin with, I very much want to learn. I will be sure to do my absolute best to learn how to cook. I will do my best to become a good chef in order to serve you! This is my resolution write up! If I cannot become a chef then take my eyes back and kick us out!”
“Hey, hey, hey, aren’t you too serious?”
I looked at the sheet of paper in front of me, stunned. The letters were slightly crooked, and I didn’t recognise any of them, either. Though I could understand what she said, the language that Ying and Xia used wasn’t a foreign language. I accepted the sheet of paper, unsure if I was meant to laugh or cry: “There’s no need at all, Xia. If you want to be a chef, you just need to lodge a request annually every autumn. I’ll arrange a teacher for you. As long as you study properly and spend a year as an apprentice, you’ll be able to work as a chef in the palace. In a few years’ time, you’ll be able to be my chef.
“R-Really?! Is it really that easy?!”
“It’s not difficult to lodge an application… It’s just that the training for being a chef isn’t easy. With that said, I’ve seen your determination. Xia, if you really want to work, I won’t stop you; but, you must look after your health. Also, if you fail, I won’t kick you out or take back your eyes; else, wouldn’t it mean I’m coercing you into working for them? I’m not that sort of King.” I smiled helplessly. I then resolutely handed the letter back to Xia and went on, “Of course, I’d be very willing to see you and your sister working together in the palace. But nonetheless, do not exhaust yourself. After all, you aren’t as fit as your sister.”
Xia, excited, bowed then rose up to look at me with a bright smile: “Yes! Yes!! Yes! Understood! Thank you! Thank you! I understand! I will definitely do my best. I will be sure to not let you and my sister down!”
To be honest, I wasn’t looking forward to anything, since I couldn’t see how it mattered to me if Xia worked or not. Either way, if that allowed her to live with peace of mind, then being a chef was a decent job.
Current time at Duargana, the elven Imperial Capital.
“Welcome home, Your Highness.”
“Your Highness, did His Highness not come back with you?”
The woman in an emerald green dress slowly walked into the Imperial Palace with the maids and Imperial Guards courteously saluting her. She maintained a graceful smile as she went up the steps. She then turned her head around and told one of the Imperial Guards, “Go and call the elders over, tell them the Elven Queen, Vyvyan Galadriel has business to discuss.”
“Yes, Your Highness!”