“Wow!” Leah looked up and exclaimed. It seemed that it took a bit of effort for her to look at the tall blue stone walls.
Without a doubt, the imperial capital was the richest and most resplendent city I’d seen up until that point. I didn’t notice it from higher ground; when I was below the city walls, though, I could see how tall the blue stone walls were. There was practically no visible gap between the walls. Imagine a single meteoric-sized blue stone; that was how I would describe the city’s appearance. It was tough to look up at the tall city walls. Surely it’d be extremely difficult to attack the city. As for the six corner structure, it was even sturdier. By logical deduction, it was easy to defend the city but very hard to capture.
The guards at the entrance to the city weren’t strict with their inspections. In fact, they even greeted Achilles when they saw him. By the looks of things, the atmosphere in the South wasn’t tense in the slightest unlike in the North. As soon as we entered the imperial city, we were met with bustling crowds. The citizens were dressed in the best clothing and wore top-of-the-line accessories. Lots of people wore the same formal robe Achilles lent me. I noticed there were elves among the crowds, since I saw their ears.
The horse carriage was forced to slow down to a crawl upon entering. Achilles hopelessly said, “Welcome to the imperial capital. This is how daily life in the imperial city looks. Consequently, we usually don’t ride a horse carriage here.”
I nodded: “It’s understandable.”
The same problem plagues every place. By that, I meant traffic problems.
There were stores, selling all sorts of strange things, set up on the street. There were also performance teams along the street. Musicians played strange instruments. There was an assortment of food smells mixed together, yet was oddly alluring.
Leah excitedly peered outside. She turned back to excitedly exclaim, “Papa, can we get off the carriage?! Leah wants to walk on the street!”
“We can’t. While I can understand what Leah’s thinking, we do not have time right now. Go to the tavern and settle down first; then, we have to head to the imperial palace. Didn’t I tell you Her Majesty wasn’t a patient individual? The consequences will be serious if we’re late.”
Disappointed, Leah lowered her head, and then leaned onto the window to look outside. I apologetically stroked her head and hopelessly smiled: “It’ll be all right, Leah. Papa promises to let you have some fun around the imperial capital just as we did during the Fire Torch Festival. Promise.”
“Mm” Leah nodded then turned around to give me a smile as a means of reassuring me.
Leah’s sensibility and understanding induced a vexing feeling due to me being aware I let her down. I pulled Leah over onto my thigh. She hugged me around my neck and happily snuggled her head up next to mine. Achilles watched us wearing a helpless smile but didn’t comment.
The carriage came to a stop after turning into a six-corner star shaped area. Two people ran out and opened the door in a flustered manner. They looked inside the carriage and saluted us: “Sir Achilles, Sir Lin, Madam Leah, welcome to Karterlarya.”
Achilles softly chuckled: “Let’s get off. We’ve arrived.”
Leah was dumbstruck for a moment, as it was the first time she was referred to as ‘Madam’. I gently pulled her off the carriage by her hand. The people considerately provided me with a cane with a black gem on it. While I was surprised, they gave me a smile: “We have heard about you. This is our company headquarters. Please do not stand on ceremony here.”
I took the heavy cane. My left foot’s wound had healed, but I still couldn’t put all of my weight on the foot. I felt uncoordinated; therefore, having the cane made things a lot more convenient.
I looked up at the rectangular building. It was a very long house. Rows of windows were neatly arranged. The outer perimeter of the property was used to keep horses. The stables must’ve been behind the building. There were guards at the door. There was a shiny golden plaque hung on the wall between the first and second floor, with the name of the company written on the plaque.
The orderly structure was surprisingly stately and robust. Achilles pointed to an identical building opposite his company: “That’s the tavern we specifically use. Everything inside is free to use, so help yourself. Put your luggage in the room on the side of the street on the third floor, and then we’ll head to the imperial palace. Remember to change. Don’t forget what I told you last night.”
Night fell rather early. It, therefore, was about time for us to head to the imperial palace. When we entered the tavern, workers led us to our room. The room was very spacious, the temperature was perfect, and the decorations were magnificent. The room did the ‘premium’ claim justice.
“Wow!!” exclaimed Leah, after leaping onto the bed, only to sink into it. Leah rolled around several times then rolled off in flustered fashion. She was shocked: “Wow… this bed… Leah… Leah felt it devoured Leah… It’s so soft.”
I pinched Leah’s face and smiled: “Leah, you can experience it firsthand tonight. Let’s head to the imperial palace now. You might get to see Her Majesty.”
As soon as Leah heard the mention of Queen Sisi, she shuddered. She was scared and rightfully so, since Queen Sisi threw her into a tub of bathwater and nearly left her to die in there. I guess that was the closest brush to death she had. Leah feared Queen Sisi, really feared her. That was why it would’ve been best not to let them meet.
“It’s all right. It’s all right. Papa will be with you this time. It’ll be all right.”
I rubbed Leah’s head. She obediently hugged my arm. I changed into the compulsory attire then picked up my cane and went downstairs with Leah. Leah hugged my arm and looked up at me, eyes gleaming with excitement. She seemed to really like me in the attire that Achilles gave me.
Current time… imperial city Interior…
Now, let us turn our attention to a room filled with flowers. Even in the city, there was only this one red building that was completely surrounded flowers. On both sides were curved staircases that led to the second floor. The main door on the first floor was open. The glass door with a carved naked female was open. Inside was a display of naked females. They laughed and mucked around with men. Every single man wore elated expressions. It was daytime, true, but business was boomed.
“Please come again next time. The girls miss you.”
A woman, who wasn’t dressed in a revealing manner, but was very eloquent, stood at the door with a luxurious metal tobacco pipe. She watched the men leave with a smile on her face. The men who left looked as if they were on the brink of death from exhaustion, yet they looked eager. The woman giggled as she looked onto the street, gently smoking from her pipe. With a subtle smile, she said to herself, “Another new succubus has come? Is she hiding? Why is she hiding? I look forward to seeing her. We’re a minority now; it’s not bad if I can enjoy these humans’ money and food with my own kind.”
“What’s the matter, Mommy? Did you sense a newcomer of the same kind?”
The woman narrowed her eyes and puffed it out. With a soft giggle, she replied, “Mm, that’s right. She’s a noble succubus. She arrived this afternoon.
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