Elven Forest (19)
“Your Highness, are you all right?!”
As soon as we landed, Lucia leapt over and tightly hugged me. At the same time, Mom grabbed the young girl from me and took her away. I went along with Lucia. I hugged her back and spun two circles. Lucia giggled with joy, but there was a trace of blood on her face.
Lucia touched my body and enthused, “Aside from your clothes being tattered, you did not get hurt anywhere else, did you? I knew it was safe with Her Highness accompanying you. Your Highness, what happened there?!”
“I’m more worried about what happened here with you than what happened there. I haven’t seen you stained with blood in a long time. Lucia, what exactly happened? Who did you fight with?”
“Not elves or humans but a group of crazed white deer. I’m fine, Your Highness. They’re just white deer no matter how crazy they are. I killed one monthly in the past, didn’t I? Therefore, killing that group of white deer wasn’t hard in the slightest. In saying that… I didn’t kill all of them, as the White Deer King protected some of them.”
“The White Deer King?”
Lucia’s expression changed upon mentioning the White Deer King. She looked sad and afraid to say something. The foreboding rustled me. I tightly grabbed her shoulders and anxiously questioned, “How is the White Deer King?! It didn’t get hurt, did it?! How is it?! What happened?!”
“It’s all right… The White Deer King is all right… It… it just got hurt and, well, it suffered severe physical wounds, but the mental blow was a lot more significant. The white deer attacked it last night. As a consequence, the attack left it hurt and despondent.”
“As long as it’s safe, then that’s good.”
I was relieved to hear that. I then kissed Lucia on her lips. Lucia blissfully responded. She wrapped her arms around my neck: “This is the first time you have returned to my side without injuries and without any accidents happening. Your Highness, what happened in the forest? Also, what’s with the kid that you brought back?”
Lucia saw her!!! They didn’t call her Hawk Eyes for nothing! Lucia wasn’t jealous, though. As a matter of fact, she didn’t even emotionally react. That said, I was surprised that she didn’t mind me bringing someone back. I titled my head: “Lucia, aren’t you angry?”
Lucia was more puzzled than I was: “Why would I be angry? Did you do something you shouldn’t have behind my back? You only have Queen Vyvyan’s smell on you, though. You didn’t do anything with another woman. I can smell that. As for that kid, I don’t think you like children; after all, the type you like…”
Lucia looked down at her chest and then revealed a hearty smile. Due to having children, her breast size grew… I choked.
“Does Lucia see me as boob-con…? Since she isn’t worried about kids, does she know that I’m not a lolicon…?” I assumed.
“It’s… a little hard to explain. Simply put, you could say that this incident was that kid’s prank.”
“The prank went a little too far.”
“Yeah, I agree. But she’s just a kid, so I don’t plan to punish her. I, at least, am not willing to kill her. As for what we’ll do with her, I need to have a good think.”
Lucia nodded before pinching her eyebrows together: “I can smell a different scent from her. Your Highness, I suspect that she isn’t a simple elf, is she?”
“Mm… As for what she is, I think it’s better to wait for Mom and me to discuss it. I need to go and see the White Deer King now.”
I rubbed Lucia’s face and then quickly left. She shouted, “Your Highness, aren’t you going to see your girls first?”
“If the girls are all right, I’ll visit tonight. I need to see the White Deer King first. It did get hurt, after all. I need to pay it a visit.” I turned around and waved before continuing forward.
Lucia softly sighed but kept her smile: “All right, Your Highness. I understand. I shall go and see Her Highness first, then.”
I nodded and went downstairs to leave the palace. It must’ve been a busy and tense full-moon night for the imperial palace in Duargana. Although the people in the palace suffered minor issues – since the white deer didn’t do much damage – some maids were traumatised. The remaining maids and guards were cleaning the imperial palace.
I squeezed through the crowd to get out. As I squeezed through, I consoled the anxious maids. I didn’t do it just morality sake. I even hugged a few maids, who were knocked over and licked, to comfort them. I remember there was a girl who appeared to be the daughter of a noble family. I didn’t see where she was hurt, but I gave her a hug to stop her crying.
I finally arrived outside the palace. There were white deer corpses still strewn on the lawn, waiting to be dealt with. The stench of blood of the white deer that Lucia drew still loomed. The ground was still muddy. I went to the White Deer King’s stable and knocked before entering.
The inside of the stable was still sparkling clean and had the fragrance of straw. It was the White Deer King’s stable, after all. The guards made sure to properly clean it. I heard rustling inside. The White Deer King cautiously poked her head out. She cheerfully called out when she saw me. Clearly, she was pitiful as a young girl.
The White Deer King may be considered a young girl… But she didn’t usually look at me that way. In the past, she’d coldly look at me and give me the cold shoulder. Maybe she was a little muddled after suffering the major psychological damage from last night.
I walked up to the White Deer King and touched her face from the other side of the fence. There were wounds on her face. The closest one was between her eyebrows. Somebody had bandaged her wounds. There was one leg she couldn’t plant on the ground.
“Are you all right?” I asked.
I gently caressed her head. My heart throbbed at the sight of the wounds. The White Deer King whimpered and shed a few tears. I opened the fence and sighed. I went inside to sit next to her on the straw. She lied down next to me. I stroked her head on me with delicate strokes: “I’m here, White Deer King. I’m right here. Don’t be scared, don’t be scared. I’m right by your side. I’m right by your side. Don’t be scared. Don’t be scared.”
The White Deer King curled up and rested her head on my chest. Her tears left my shirt somewhat sodden.