Night Under Surveillance After Departing
Vera turned to see the youngster coming over. He acquired a set of clothes from the guards. He also washed his face and did his hair. He wore a presentable white shirt over his thin, yet firm, body. The button on his wrist glimmered. His visible bones on his hands were free of the mud that once covered them, revealing his white skin as well as his green veins. He had long slender fingers, but they weren’t the fingers of a musician. They were the hands of someone who wielded weapons. The youngster’s clear facial features stood out. With his determined gaze, everything came together to make him look as though he was a new man. His smooth and tidy short hair didn’t look cumbersome. His small brown vest perfectly sat around his waist. His long black pants made his legs appear long and slender which, when combined with his boots, made his appearance that of a suave young soldier.
Vera scanned him with a look of appreciation. As if she thought of something, she remarked, “Yes, very pretty.”
He looked down to the water and softly laughed: “I once lived out at sea. I got to see this sight every sunset. At the time, I felt I wouldn’t ever get to see this scene again as I wanted to leave my hometown, which was a small fishing village. I wanted to go to the city. I wanted to go out there and add some accomplishments to my name.”
Vera’s interest was surprisingly piqued. Perhaps it was because she shared his sentiments. Perhaps she was joyous to find somebody who shared her sentiments as this youngster. Vera and her sisters also wanted to see the outside world. The Imperial Palace was a grandeur place, and they were doted on, but it was far too small in comparison to the outside world. Vera knew she would return to the elven lands to succeed the throne later in life as her mother lacked the mana to qualify for the throne, while her father was the King of the North. As such, she was born with the mission of becoming a qualified Elven Queen. Vera didn’t hate or dispute it. She merely craved more opportunities to explore the outside world before it was time for her to succeed the throne. She wanted to see the ocean, the snowy mountains and the grassy plains.
“Afterwards, I found myself in the city. I found employment as a guard with my own skills. Work was tiring, but I was quite happy. I managed to save some money from work, and I even fantasised about marrying a girl from the city. Then, I’d continue living in the city as a resident.”
The youngster leaned onto the rail close to her. The golden sunlight coated his entire body. His fine golden hair emitted a naïve halo, emphasising his innocence, youth and kindness. The youngster looked at the water surface with a smile, scoffing at his former self.
“But then, I got into gambling and lost all of my money. In the end, I went as far as resorting to pilfering to pay back my debt only to end up stealing from the hotel Miss Vera was at. I stole from her, ah, sorry, I just remembered that you’re Vera, too…”
Vera waved her hand to indicate that she didn’t mind her name appearing in his story. He smiled in response and then continued, “Nevertheless, Miss Vera forgave me. Not only did she help me repay my debt but even appointed me a guard in the Palace. I’m grateful to her from the bottom of my heart. She’s so gentle, kind and polite. Back then, Miss Vera had someone she loved and her loving parents. She always wore a blissful smile. Abner wasn’t the way he is now, either. Back when Aber was with Queen Vera, she’d be beaming all the time. When I saw her bright smile, I made a promise to myself to protect her happiness. But perhaps I was a bit arrogant. In the end, the two didn’t get to be together, sigh.
“Afterwards, Queen Vera totally changed. She went from her innocent and kind self into a woman who began to nurture her power, and she began to get involved with politics. The cute, innocent and kind Queen in the flower garden vanished, and she started to resemble the neighbouring Ikana more and more. However, she also hated Ikana. She really, really loathes Ikana. I occasionally picked up dolls resembling Ikana that were torn to pieces. I can understand her. I can’t help her find that bliss and happiness, which is why all I could do was watch her change bit by bit. Perhaps that was good. It’s good to become a commendable monarch. Alas, because women haven’t been involved with politics, those people opposed her and even want to kill her. Ikana wants to piggy back off that to kill Vera. After all, she’s not just a powerful enemy, but also a love rival. Hence, I came to seek intervention from your nation. I’m grateful beyond words that you agreed to come and help us.”
The youngster turned and bowed sincerely. Vera curled her lips then said, “You don’t need to mind it so much. The reality is that we have no interest in helping you. The main reason we came was to train ourselves. Miss Ying and Miss Tanya won’t thoughtlessly get involved, either. They will act based on your deeds. You’re the only ones who can save yourself.”
The youngster went into a daze but then revealed a comforted smile. He bowed: “I still have to give you my heartfelt thanks. I know King Troy doesn’t want to come. Further, I hurt you owing to a variety of misunderstandings. You were still willing to come with me, nonetheless. I, therefore, feel guiltu. Once this is sorted, I am willing to do anything to make it up to you.”
Vera waved her hand to indicate she didn’t mind the misunderstandings. The golden sunlight eventually vanished. The sea breeze turned cold. The guard by the side removed his cloak and went up to Vera from behind. Vera elegantly draped his cloak over her shoulders and wrapped herself up. She gave the guard a gentle, yet enchanting, smile, taking his breath away for a second.
“I don’t mind. After all, I understand where you’re coming from. I think you should be most apologetic to Liu Yue. My sister paid you a lot of attention. She was first to forgive you and the one who suggested letting you see Dad. Moreover, she went to see you on her own volition that night; the one you hurt most was her. If I was you, I’d apologise to her.”
“I will. I definitely will… It’s just… I feel a bit intimidated… I feel that my apology won’t be sincere if I don’t have anything.”
“If you wait until you have something, I doubt there’ll be any sincerity to speak of by then. Liu Yue is different to us. She grew up outside of the Imperial Palace. She’s a lot more generous and tolerant than we are with lots of things. I’m sure she’ll forgive you if you apologise to her.”
Vera headed to the cabin. Ying came out at the same time to call Vera to dinner. Guards called over the youngster. He glanced at the cabin one last time. The place with the warm yellow light was where the four sisters ate. Only vague silhouettes were visible through the small window. The faces behind the window weren’t clear
She had taken medication, but Daisy was clearly still low on energy after sleeping until dinner time. She stabbed into the big, fat fish steak without an appetite. Tanya placed a cup of hot tea down in front of her: “This tea can help you calm down. I’ve also added a medicine from my hometown that can boost your energy. If you don’t want to eat, have some tea and some snacks. If you’re hungry, just go to the kitchen and have them make you something.”
“Thank you, Sister Tanya.”
Frankly, among all of her “sisters”, the only one whose age would make it appropriate for her to call a sister was Tanya. It was a bit of a stretch to refer to Freya as a sister. However, she was also the one who was most reluctant to hear herself be called ‘aunt’, which was why the four sisters referred to her as a sister.
Liu Yue lifelessly played with the steak fish. She didn’t have an appetite purely because she wasn’t a fan of fish. So accordingly, Liu Yue had lots of bread and honey yet never had a bite of the fish steak. She wasn’t at home; there was nobody to tell her off for being a picky eater. Ling Yue didn’t allow descendants of her noble Moon Fox Tribe to practice such pampered habits.
Though they were a noble family, Liu Yue didn’t live as nobility. To the contrary, she led a very organised and disciplined life. Liu Yue actually suspected that her mom didn’t actually adhere to any of the stipulations and regulations she set out.
While cutting her steak fish and with her head down, Vera said to Liu Yue, “Speaking of which, the youngster seems to want to apologise to you.”
Liu Yue, who had her face in her hand, dawdled for a moment before responding, “Indeed, he should come and apologise to me. Not only has he frightened me twice, but also pulled my tail out and locked me up. Though I know he didn’t do it on purpose, I still get angry thinking about it. I was so nice to him.”
“Isn’t that a good thing? We’ll have to work together in the coming days anyhow. Finish what you should, Liu Yue. You don’t hate him, do you?”
“If you ever met the pretentious boys in my school, you’d realise how likable this pure young man, who wholeheartedly pursues his goal, is.” Liu Yue laughed then placed her fork and knife down.
Ying looked at Liu Yue’s plate. She lowered her head and threatened, “I’ll be reporting to your parents about what you do here without missing a letter.”
“…” Liu Yue sat back down and picked up her fork and knife…