White Deer King’s Feelings (Part 1)
“What’s wrong, Lucia?”
“It’s not too comfortable sitting on horseback. It’s more comfortable sitting here.”
Troy held Lucia in his arms with a smile. Lucia leaned onto her husband’s chest. Troy carried Lucia as if he was carrying a Princess. Lucia had her arms around her husband’s neck in the most natural fashion. She used a weird posture to stretch her body across and pluck a wild berry from a shrub. She then fed it to her husband with a smile.
Lucia shyly looked at herself and then looked at her finger. After a moment of hesitation, she dangled a red wild berry from her mouth and shut her eyes. Her face was redder than the berry. Troy froze up. He smiled upon seeing his wife’s sudden assertive gesture. He leaned down and grabbed the berry with his mouth. The two of them passed the berry to each other using their mouths while atop the White Deer King. They were exchanging the essence of their blood.
“Whoa!!” Lucia exclaimed.
Just as the two were getting intimate, the road suddenly trembled. Lucia nearly bit Troy’s tongue. Troy swiftly tightened his hold on her to prevent her falling. He quickly asked his guard next to him, “What’s wrong?! What happened?”
The White Deer King indifferently kept her eyes on the road. There wasn’t a sound from ahead. Nonetheless, Troy realised there was a problem, while Lucia also realised something.
Lucia agilely leapt to one side, and I also dismounted. It was then that I noticed that the White Deer King had stopped on three legs. She had one leg raised up to her chest. I walked around to the front of the White Deer King and touched her injured leg. Concerned, I asked, “What’s wrong? What’s wrong?!! Are you all right?!”
The White Deer King indifferently snorted. She ignored me but didn’t pull her leg back. It wasn’t that she didn’t want to pull it back. It was uncharacteristic of the White Deer King. Given her proud nature, she wouldn’t show me her injury. That meant she must’ve been able to move her leg. I quickly but carefully caressed her leg and carefully checked the wound.
Lucia stood next to me and looked to the White Deer King’s hoof. She exclaimed, “Your Highness! Your Highness! Look at the White Deer King’s hoof! There should be a problem with the iron hoof!”
I looked at the White Deer King’s hoof. It dawned on me that there was an issue with her new hooves. I said countless times before that the White Deer King wasn’t a horse. I said not prepare hooves for the White Deer King according to a horse’s standards. I didn’t know who made the hooves for the White Deer King this time around. The nail was too long. It’d be fine otherwise, but after travelling for so long, the nail stabbed into the White Deer King’s flesh, while the path consisted of stones. The White Deer King must’ve accidentally stepped onto a stone that pushed the nail in deeper.
I cautiously grabbed the long nail. The White Deer King whimpered, startling me. I quickly looked up to see the White Deer King with tears in her eyes. I swiftly let go. I then apologetically stroked her neck. I stood up and gave her head a hug. In a soft voice, I apologised, “Sorry, sorry, I neglected you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry… I didn’t think this would happen. Don’t worry. Don’t worry. We’ll be home soon.”
The White Deer King looked at me sadly. She tried to stand up but struggled.
I tried to pick her up, only to discover that I couldn’t. The White Deer King was an adult deer, after all. Not to mention she was much larger than the average deer. I couldn’t get her off the ground. Yes, I was strong, but it was still impossible for me. Therefore, I had to get someone to ride to the Imperial Palace first and bring back a carriage to help.
“Get ready to lift the White Deer King onto the horse carriage. Let’s ride another horse, Lucia.”
I didn’t notice the White Deer King’s expression at the time. I mounted a horse and went to pull Lucia up. The White Deer King peered at me with a stunned gaze. I had contemplated it but couldn’t think of how I could help her. I didn’t dare to directly pull the nail out, either. Of course, I couldn’t let the White Deer King limp to our destination, so my only choice was to switch horses and wait.
Fortunately, we were already at the doors of the Imperial City, so a horse carriage soon arrived; but nonetheless, the White Deer King had another problem. She didn’t allow any guard to approach her. She wore on a, “I’ll fight you to the death,” look when guards tried to approach her. The guards, therefore, didn’t dare to approach her due to fear of hurting the already injured White Deer King. I went over to her with Lucia. She vigorously raised her head and looked at Lucia. She loudly hissed at Lucia, so I immediately extended out my arm to stop her. The White Deer King was seriously angry. If Lucia continued to approach it, the White Deer King might really spear her to death.
Lucia reluctantly retreated two steps. The White Deer King furiously looked at everybody around her. I cautiously walked over and touched her neck. I gave her a hug and whispered, “What’s wrong, White Deer King? What’s wrong? It’s all right. It’s all right. As long as it doesn’t hurt…”
The White Deer King turned her head toward me and bit my breast pocket. I broke out in cold sweat owing to the fright. People say that herbivores don’t have teeth strong enough to bite into flesh, but the White Deer King would rip my flesh off if I didn’t have a body covered in dragon scales. Lucia shrieked when she saw the bits of clothes that were torn off. Even my guards around me were startled. I quickly covered the White Deer King with my arms to protect her in case somebody around me tried to hurt her. The White Deer King spat out the material in her mouth and then stared at me. She looked as though she’d chomp my face off. Nevertheless, it was impossible for her to pierce my scales with her teeth. I was actually more concerned that she’d break her teeth, instead.
“Okay, okay, okay, I’ll personally carry you up, okay? I’ll personally carry you up.”
The White Deer King continued to angrily look at me. A second later, she snorted then looked away. I quickly got underneath her and picked her up. Did I not say she was heavy? She was exceptionally heavy. It took a lot out of me to lift her up. I carried her up the same way I was holding Lucia before, except she wasn’t a young Lucia, but a white deer as heavy as approximately three Lucias.
The White Deer King was still looking around in a lively manner when I picked her up as if she was looking at scenery she had never seen before. She appeared to even forget about the pain in her leg. She looked at the people around, Lucia in particular, with an excited and proud smile. She even stuck her tongue out at Lucia. Lucia was perplexed; she had no idea what happened. Honestly, I didn’t, either.
“Even the expert in getting jealous, Lucia, wouldn’t get jealous of a deer now, would she…?” I wondered.
The White Deer King was initially so angry that she’d gnaw my flesh off, but she was suddenly conceited and free of any ailment. I suspected the wound was insignificant to the White Deer King, but she was merely cranky and unwilling to continue walking… Of course, I couldn’t make unfounded guesses about the severity of another’s ailment since I wasn’t a veterinarian. It was best for me to rush the White Deer King back for safety sake.
I placed the White Deer King onto a horse carriage. Those few steps to the carriage caused my scales on my back to grind against each other and nearly brought me to my knees. I let out a sigh after putting the White Deer King onto the carriage. The White Deer King hissed when I touched her rear leg. She glared and sent me back a few steps with a kick to my chest. She then pulled her rear leg in and angrily looked at me.
I suddenly realised that the White Deer King was an intelligent animal aware of gender differences. She wasn’t an ordinary deer. Perhaps it was also a sensitive body part for female deer, as well. I gasped for air and then walked up to the White Deer King. Frustration and shyness gleamed in her eyes. I sighed and caressed her back: “Sorry, White Deer King. It was my fault. It was my fault. I didn’t notice your wound and forgot about your identity. It’s all right, though. I promise there won’t be a second time. Just focus on recuperating. Sorry, White Deer King. Just focus on recuperating.”
The White Deer King bit my cloak all of a sudden when I went to leave. I turned around feeling surprised to see the White Deer King clinging to my cloak. I couldn’t read her gaze. She seemed to be slightly shy. She let go when she saw me turn around then calmly shifted over. She continued shifting over, since I didn’t react, and continued shifting over until she no longer could. Finally, she bit my cloak and aggressively pulled me to the carriage.
“Could the White Deer King be the same as us, in the sense that she wants somebody familiar to accompany her when she’s hurt or ill? Does the White Deer King want me to get onto the carriage and keep it company?” I pondered.
I quickly realised what she was trying to express. She wanted me to get onto the carriage and accompany her.
I turned to look at Lucia. She hopelessly sighed and smiled helplessly: “Even your steed has weird ideas. It’s all right. Keep the White Deer King company. I will follow you on a horse.”
I nodded: “All right, then.”
I then hopped up and got inside the carriage. The White Deer King looked at me with satisfaction and then nudged my hand with her head. She generously helped herself to my thigh without any misgivings, laying her head there as though it had always been her territory.
The carriage carefully began to move. I didn’t think the White Deer King ever experienced sitting in a horse carriage, since she was a steed that carried people. For her to be able to comfortably sit on a horse carriage must’ve been unimaginable to her in the past. Further, her master was keeping her company and even letting her use his thigh. I didn’t think a steed would imagine it’d be able to enjoy such a nice life.
I smiled helplessly as I stroked her ear. I guess it was understandable. The White Deer King and I weren’t rider and steed, but rather, a human and a deer in a partnership.