Although Lucia threw the entire speech into my lap, thereby leaving me quite feeling quite hopeless, I did have to speak up about it in the end, anyway. Consequently, there wasn’t much of an issue.
Anna’s dishes seemed to be dishes served in the military. Nevertheless, they didn’t taste special in any form. In essence, she chopped up vegetables and meat, tossed them into a pot, added some seasoning and then let it boil. I’d say that the taste was slightly odd. Leah and Veirya looked as though they greatly enjoyed it, though. Lucia, too, cheerfully gave herself another bowl. “How nostalgic. This is the random taste from randomly boiled that we found as well as the seasoning and flavours we carried on us. We ate this sort of stuff at lots of places, including forests, on lawns, in caves on snowy mountains and even underneath the Demon King’s city.”
“The food at the Demon King’s city. Was the worst.” said Veirya. She paused for a moment. She appeared to have recalled the taste from back then, which disgusted her. “There was nothing but moss and the taste of rotten meat.”
“Who doesn’t know that demon meat isn’t edible? That was all we had.”
Leah cautiously peered at Lucia. “Umm… actually, all of the plants outside of the Demon King’s city were inedible… They’re poisonous… In the past, Mama told me not to eat the grass outside…”
“What may be poisonous for you demons may be ineffective on us elves and humans. There are no side-effects for us besides tasting disgusting,” casually responded Lucia.
I frowned in response, “Leah, did you consider eating grass before?”
“At the time, we didn’t have any food. I was very hungry so… I ate lots of stuff,” stated Leah. She paused for a second, then tightly gripped her bowl and went on in quiet voice. “So, at the time, I cherished everything that I could eat. It may not have tasted nice, but it was much better than eating moss.”
Veirya nodded. She seriously looked at Leah, who had her had down to eat. Veirya was expressionless as always, but I sensed a type of sympathy from her. She poured half of her bowl’s contents into Leah’s. In response, Leah looked at Veirya with surprise. “But now I have food.”
“I know. The feeling of starvation. It’s distressing. Worse. Than getting injured” simply replied Veirya.
I gently held Leah’s hand and solemnly told her, “Leah, trust Papa. Papa won’t let you starve again, promise.”
Leah firmly nodded with a bright smile for me.“Uhm! Leah trusts Papa! Leah gets full meals now no matter what. Leah trusts Papa!”
I softly chuckled. Suddenly, Lucia softly coughed. “I don’t want to get involved with your family affairs, but I do need to discuss with our elven matters. If we don’t talk it over, we might not have lunch and dinner anymore.”
Veirya looked at me and sternly said, “So. What’s this about? Do not. Lie. To a chief.”
“I’m not a soldier… It’s actually very simple. Lucia and I discussed it with each other. We want to carry out a very important deal, but we need to make a trip to the elven lands for it.”
Leah looked at me with surprise. Then, she excitedly said, “Papa, are you going to the elven lands? I’ve always wanted to go there. Papa, hasn’t Miss Lucia always said that it’s a great place? I want to go there. I heard that it’s very warm there, which means that there are definitely flowers. I really want to see the elven lands, Papa.”
“Sorry, Leah, but I can’t take you this time. This is a very urgent matter. It’s not dangerous, but I don’t have time to take care of you or play with you. We must be quick this time and try to get back within a day. Therefore, I can’t take you this time. However, Papa promises that Papa will take you there in the future.”
“Papa has already promised too many things. Leah no longer knows when Papa can fulfil the promises. In fact, Leah is almost about to forget all the things that you promised Leah. That said, it is what it is, so you must hurry back as soon as possible, Papa. You must come back within a day.”
Leah unhappily lowered her head to eat. While she was in a poor mood after being rejected, she was sensible enough to not stubbornly make a scene over it.
Lucia nodded and seriously replied, “We can make it in less than one day. If we set out at night, we’ll be able to return here at noon the next day.”
“What. Do you plan to do?”
Veirya looked at us and placed down the spoon in her hand. She looked incredibly serious. I explained, “We’re going to the elven lands to bring back some flavouring to sell. That’s it. It’s that simple. I just need to buy some flavouring. I’ll be back very soon.”
Veirya asked, “You won’t. Leave. And not come back. Right?”
I sincerely responded, “No.”
“You won’t. Go to the elves. Correct?”
“You won’t. Belong to Lucia henceforth. Correct?”
Veirya looked at my eyes. There was no expression in her eyes. It resembled a calm and tranquil lake of water. For some reason, though, I felt that she was on edge despite the way her gaze looked. She seemed to be eager to hear that I wouldn’t leave.
“Good. I feel. You’re not lying. Angelina. Betrayed me. Left me. Now belongs to the chapel. My mom. Went to the chapel. I. Don’t want to experience betrayal. Again.”
After exchanging eye contact with me for a while, she looked away and picked up her spoon again. She just mentioned what she hated most and least wanted to recall, yet she didn’t show any disturbance. Her tone and voice didn’t change. Not even her gaze changed. Nonetheless, I felt uneasy due to it.
The experience – her mother’s betrayal – must’ve been the most frustrating and painful thing to her. The issue still weighed on her mind. Therefore, she had misgivings that history would repeat itself with me. I guess Veirya couldn’t accept being betrayed a second time.
With my eyes on her, I seriously said, “Don’t worry Veirya. I’ll be back before the day ends.”
“I want to go with you, then.”
“There’s no need to, Veirya, it’s not dangerous this time. We just need to pick up some flavouring. Also, there’s one more thing: in order to avoid our operation being discovered, Lucia may need to live here for some time.”
Before I could fully explain the situation, Veirya nodded. Leah looked at Lucia, surprised, while Veirya contently said, “So, we can spend tonight together. We can bath together. Add Leah and him. Tonight. Will be lively.”
The two who had warped views on the three fundamental views didn’t react as though anything strange was said. Lucia and I, on the other hand, were totally stunned! I looked at Lucia.
‘With that body of hers… I can’t seem to find a reason to feel happy…’