“Papa, you’re back!!”
As soon as I got inside, Leah, who was playing the strange card game with Anna at the table, jumped out of her chair and cheerfully ran up to me to give me a big hug around my waist. I picked her up and spun a circle with her in the air. She gleefully grabbed my hair and cheered. I then hugged her and kissed her on her face.
“Papa, Papa, what’s wrong, Papa? Haha… haha… Papa, you look very happy,” asked Leah. Leah tightly hugged me around my neck with a bright smile. She looked at my face with joy and smiled. “Papa, how come you are so happy after leaving for just one night? Did something good happen? Papa, what exactly happened? Did something happen to make you so happy?”
I looked at Leah and gave her another kiss on her forehead. With a smile, I replied, “Guess what Papa went and got? Papa managed to make lots of gold coins. Gold coins, Leah. Papa has done the calculations.
I slammed a sheet of paper onto the table with a smile. Leah snatched up the sheet of paper; however, she couldn’t read the text on it. She flipped it over and over, but couldn’t figure out what it was. After dawdling for a moment, she handed it back to me. Somewhat disappointed, she said, “You are tricking me again, Papa. This is just a sheet of paper, not gold coins.”
“No, Leah, this is gold coins.” I replied. I picked Leah up and sat down in the chair. I then pointed to the text on the sheet of paper. “This, here, says Achilles Company owes me two-hundred and fifty gold coins. It may be just a sheet of paper, but the ink and seal on this gives it a value of two-hundred and fifty gold coins. As long as we have this, we can buy anything that you want.”
“Really?! Papa, doesn’t that mean that we can write however much we want?!”
“No, Leah, this sheet of paper is backed by Achilles Company’s wealth and credibility. There’s no point to us writing whatever we want, because we don’t have any wealth or credibility. This is just a substitute for two-hundred and fifty gold coins. Behind it are two-hundred and fifty gold coins.”
Leah frowned. She deliberated it, but soon gave up. She cheerfully smiled, “But we have two-hundred and fifty gold coins? Let’s buy a house, then, Papa. Let’s go live in the house! Papa! Papa, I want to live in the city. I want to buy things!”
“We can’t, Leah. We only have two-hundred and fifty gold coins. If we buy a house, we won’t have money to buy living necessities. We’ll be very short on money if we live in the city. That’s not what I want; it’s far from what I want. I want more money. I’m not after a house in the city, either. I want a house in the imperial capital!”
Anna smiled, “You would need, at least, one-thousand gold coins to buy a house in the Imperial capital. You have only made two-hundred and fifty gold coins. It appears that you are very ambitious.”
“Needless to say, this two-hundred and fifty is just my starting point. I want to use this to obtain some other stuff.
I never thought of the future. Now, however, I envisioned the future. I imagined living in the warm South, living in the prospering imperial capital, looking at Leah’s bright smile, the night sky and the sunlight every day. The more I envisioned that future, the more I looked forward to that day. Looking at Leah’s smile reinforced my belief that the bleak North wasn’t fit for Leah’s smile.
“Papa, Papa, I want to do it again. Up high, up high, I want you to lift me up high again!”
“Sure!” I replied. I swiftly picked Leah up and happily spun a circle. Leah laughed as she grabbed my hair. I gently placed her back on the chair. “Anna, take Leah up to sleep. I’ll be there soon.”
Anna scrubbed Leah’s head with a smile. I gave Leah a kiss on her forehead.
With a smile I said, “Have Veirya take you out to buy some stuff tomorrow. This time, you just need to show shops this, and you’ll be able to buy what you want.”
“Papa, I want you to accompany me!!!” pouted Leah with a grumpy expression.
I pinched her face, “Leah, Papa still has work tomorrow, so let Veirya take you. You two got along all right, didn’t you…? Be a good girl, Leah. Papa will definitely take you at next time, promise.”
Leah grumpily hopped off the chair and ran upstairs. She poked her tongue at me before disappearing upstairs. Anna glanced at me, and then dryly laughed before following Leah upstairs. I then sat down in the chair. I looked at Veirya with a hint of eagerness. I asked, “Is there anything that you want? We have money now. Is there anything in particular that you want to buy or do?”
“I want. To do what Leah just did.”
I froze. I looked at her with astonishment. Veirya stood up. She stood before me and raised her arms up parallel to the floor. With an expressionless look, she seriously said, “I, too, want up high.”
“Mmmmmm???? You want what?’
Veirya wore an expressionless look. There wasn’t a hint of emotion in her eyes. She just stood in front of me with her arms raised. In a serious tone, she said, “I, too, want up high.”
“Say what? What?! Say what?! Up high?!”
Ten minutes later…
As soon as I lied down on the bed, Leah vigorously flipped over to land on top of me. This time, though, she didn’t do anything, yet I groaned in pain, thereby frightening Leah, so she rolled off. She looked at me with panic and asked, “Papa, is Leah too heavy?”
“No… no… it’s just that Papa… Papa’s back… just… just got injured… ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch…”