“Papa, grilled fish!!”
As I expected, Leah, who was a child, was very happy to see that I brought back food. Needless to say, a kid as mature as Leah would naturally snatch the grilled fish I was holding. I sighed. I touched her head, “Leah, you must remember to pay next time you buy things. We may be the lord of the town, but the goods don’t belong to us. We’ll only be able to lead a normal life if those merchants have money.”
Feeling slightly ashamed, Leah lowered her head and pitifully replied, “Leah understands… Papa…”
I rubbed her head with a smile then looked at Veirya, who happened to just look toward me, too. Before I could speak, she said, “I don’t have money.”
“And isn’t that because you refused all the money Queen Sisi offered you? If you took the money, you wouldn’t be short on money. As the warrior who slayed the Demon King and saved the entire world, you have the right to accept that money.”
“I’m not a mercenary,” retorted Veirya, who appeared to be very unhappy. She slightly frowned as if I just insulted her. She grumpily turned her head away. Voice serious, she stated, “I’m a soldier. I pursue loyalty and honour. I don’t need money.”
“But did you ever consider the fact that you wouldn’t be a soldier once it was over? As a soldier, you don’t need money; however, as a lord, you need money.”
Veirya expressed her absolute loyalty, “I’m still. Her Majesty’s soldier. If she needs me. I shall return to the battlefield. With a single word from her.”
I scrubbed my hair. Indeed, trying to reason with Veirya was a struggle. I still had to say it, though, “Didn’t you want to be an ordinary girl? Ordinary girls usually aren’t soldiers who kill people. Additionally, there won’t be any war anytime soon, will there? Just lead a peaceful life from now. You can’t have the honour and war merit you want now anyway. Without money these days, you’ll die from starvation. The military is in charge of food, but henceforth, nobody will give you food.”
I think the mention of food was the heavier blow to her.
She froze up when she heard she’d starve to death. She then turned to face me with a serious look, “So. How do I get money?”
I nodded before standing up, “Veirya, can you still contact Lucia? You are former teammates, after all. You must have a method of contacting each other, right?”
Veirya nodded, but then she looked at me with a very bewildered look. She hesitated for a moment before asking, “What… do you want to do?”
“What do you mean what do I want to do? You’ll know when the time comes. Just know that it’s a little complicated to explain.”
It certainly might be a little difficult for Veirya to understand; therefore, I didn’t plan to waste my time trying to explain it to her. After all, she never cared about what I did anyway. All I needed to do was let her help out. I was, therefore, surprised that she suddenly asked me what I wanted to do. In saying that, it was difficult to explain, so I didn’t want to go there.
Veirya looked at me, but then turned her head away after a while. She seemed to be very disappointed. She looked at the grilled fish in front of her and aggressively gnawed a big piece off. She almost gnawed the fish’s waist off. She didn’t respond to me. Instead, she continued eating her grilled fish. I dawdled in place. I never expected her to respond this way.
‘What sort of response is that? This is the same as a kid throwing a tantrum no matter how you look at it. I bet Leah would react the same way if she was angry. Did I do something wrong? Didn’t I ask for her help the same way as usual? Also, I did it for her sake. The two of them didn’t bring home any grilled fish for me when they went out. If somebody should be angry, shouldn’t it be me?!’
Understanding that it was pointless for me go head to head with Veirya, since she could just snap my back, I took in a deep breath and walked up to her. I revealed a very gentle smile, “What’s the matter, Veirya? I want to see Lucia. Can you help me get in contact with her?”
“No seeing Lucia.”
Veirya’s tone was cold and emotionless. Due to her eating the grilled fish, I could smell the grilled fish from her breath, and her speech was unclear. Her reply left me in a dead end. I lingered and lingered. Confused, I asked, “Why?”
Veirya turned her head to look at me with a serious look, “Because she wants you. Lucilia wants to exchange. Something for you. I don’t want. To exchange you for money. So you can’t meet her in private. You’re my property. So no.”
“What?! What sort of reason is that?!!! I’m not going to see her to exchange money. A man exchanging his body for money?! What?! How could I possibly do that? I’d never do that, don’t worry.”
I looked at Veirya. Her peculiar reason left me dumbfounded.
‘I literally can’t explain it. No normal person would have this sort of problem!’
Veirya looked at me and asked, “Really?”
“Of course. I don’t have any special thoughts for that elf. Moreover, if I wanted to run away, I would’ve done so long ago. Would there be a need to look for Lucia? I’m looking for Lucia for your sake and Leah’s. Lucia has a way to make money, which is why I need to talk to her.”
Veirya continued keeping her eyes on me with her expressionless look. After hearing my explanation, she dallied for a moment before replying, “You’re not. Allowed to run away.”
“Just what do you consider the point here…? I won’t leave for as long as there’s Leah. Plus, I am your property, aren’t I?”
Veirya seemed very pleased with my response. She passed me the remaining half of the grilled fish she had. I lingered. She calmly said, “For you. Your reward.”
“I’m not a dog…”
I smiled helplessly as I looked at the grilled fish she passed me. It was a rather strange way of expressing things, but it was a rare moment where Veirya made a friendly gesture. Further, she made the biggest compromise by sharing food when she never shared food.
Nonetheless, the moment I went to take it from her, Leah dash over, snatched Veirya’s fish from her and bit it. She angrily looked at Veirya. Veirya froze for a moment, “You want some, too?”
“I… I… Yes!”
Leah angrily looked at Veirya. Her chest rose and sunk as she huffed and puff due to anger. She furiously shot me a glare then chomped down Veirya’s grilled fish.
I looked at the two of them with a helpless smile.
It looked as though their relationship was no longer was bad as it once was. At the very least, Leah now dared to snatch food from Veirya.