Veirya and Angelina sure knew how to choose a good place. They chose a tall hill nearby, so it was a part of the plain that bulged upward. Perhaps the lawn was lush, as there was enough sunlight exposure there. Veirya and Angelina passed Leah a small wooden sword. Veirya and Leah stood opposite each other with their swords poised.
Leah tightly bit down on her bottom lip and meticulously observed Veirya. Veirya raised her sword. Leah hopped left and right while constantly feeling out Veirya, lunging, throwing thrusts non-stop similarly to a fencing match. Leah looked comical, but Veirya earnestly monitored her without moving. She didn’t bother with Leah’s feints that were meant to feel her out, but her gaze didn’t change.
Leah soon exhausted herself with her hopping. The moment she stopped for just a second, Veirya sprung. Veirya was lightning fast. The force she generated swayed the grass. Veirya rushed straight out in front of Leah; before Leah could react, Veirya gave Leah a hard smack on the buttocks using her sword.
“Aah!!” Leah cried out; then, she threw down her sword and leapt into my embrace.
I chuckled as I hugged Leah. I looked at Veirya. Veirya gave off nervous vibes. She hesitated before speaking: “I. Honestly. Didn’t hit hard.”
Leah just wanted to be spoilt. She tightly hugged me around my waist and cheerfully giggled. I scrubbed her head. Angelina sat next to us and gently pinched Leah’s hand: “Leah, didn’t I already teach you what to do? It’s pointless for you to senselessly move around. If a fighter had any degree of training, he wouldn’t fall for your obvious feints. You’ll only tire yourself out doing that. Once you’re exhausted, you’ll be defeated. That’s why you must remember to not move randomly.”
Leah turned around in my arms to face Angelina and curiously asked, “But if I don’t move at all, wouldn’t I be an easy target?”
Angelina shook her head: “No, that’s not true. Here, Veirya and I will demonstrate for you to see.”
Angelina stood up. Veirya and Angelina exchanged eye contact. Veirya tossed away the wooden sword in her hand and drew her long sword, which was lying on the lawn. I watched the shiny sword wave in the air and spaced out. I didn’t expect her to use a real sword just to demonstrate a point to Leah. Angelina didn’t comment. She, too, drew her sword.
The two poised themselves. The two of them moved extremely subtly. They slowly circled around. They assumed different stances to each other, but they were both as serious and steady. There wasn’t a single thoughtless movement until Angelina accidentally stepped on a stone and wobbled ever so slightly. Veirya immediately rushed at her.
Angelina revealed a strange smile. She quickly bent backward, evading Veirya’s slash. At the same time, Angelina raised a leg to try and perform a perfect a mid-air spin and land a kick on Veirya’s chin; however, Veirya swiftly sheathed her sword, leading to Angelina’s kick landing on Veirya’s scabbard. Regardless, the force of her kick was enough to wobble Veirya’s sword.
“All right, all right, we can stop there. We’ve established the point with that.” Angelina panted as she took two steps back and then held her belly. Panting, she asked, “My stomach is empty, but it’s impacting me physically. I’m so tired after just that. Veirya, aren’t you tired?”
“I’m fine. I’m not tired.”
Veirya placed her long sword aside. The two of them just sparred intensely despite their bellies still bulging. It was a frightening sight to behold. Angelina gasped for air as she sat down next to me. She assertively hugged my arm without any hesitation and leaned on me. Veirya looked at Angelina for a moment then walked up to my other side. She sat down next to me and seized my other arm. I sat there without daring to move. Leah sat on my lap. Angelina looked up at Veirya with a strange smile: “Didn’t you just say that you weren’t tired?”
Veirya tugged me toward her. Without going red in the face whatsoever, she replied, “I’m now. Tired.”
Angelina giggled. Leah took glances at the two of them. She grabbed their hands with a smile and placed them before her chest. She then leaned onto my chest, putting more of her weight onto me than before. We just sat there in silence. The three of them should’ve loved it, but I didn’t feel comfortable whatsoever. My heart was palpitating as if I was having a panic attack with a Veirya on each side. I imagine my blood vessels would burst if we stayed there. I was so nervous that I didn’t dare to budge. I asked myself, “The four of us came out to watch Leah have her afternoon training session, so why did this happen again?”
Leah shut her eyes. With a quiet and groggy voice, she murmured, “Papa, this is so nice.”
I rubbed my chin on the top of Leah’s head and, in a soft voice, responded, “Don’t you need to train every afternoon, Leah? You taking it easy today?’
“Hehehe… Papa is here.”
I silently let Leah rest on me. Her breaths were gentle and calm. They were as soothing as if I was listening to birds singing. I looked at the far-away sky. The white clouds leisurely drifted across the sky. The sun didn’t sting my eyes. There was no breeze, but it wasn’t hot. The cool grass and clear air enveloped us. The air contained Veirya’s scent that bestowed me bliss and mesmerised me.
Everything in that moment was beautiful. Time felt as though it had slowed down. There were no cell phones or internet in this new world. I rarely gazed at the sky, but I didn’t feel inconvenienced or frustrated in the slightest with their company. As long as I had their company, I would be satisfied gazing at the sky forever. The question was how long those blissful times would continue. I didn’t know the answer.
What would the coal quarry and machine that practically appeared out of the blue bring to the North? What would Queen Sisi’s ambitions and so-called kingship bring to the North? I didn’t know the answers. I never tried to predict the future; I just focused on making the present the very best it could be. Yet, I thought sitting there with their company was beautiful.
Current time in the elven lands.
“I’ve told you many times that I don’t eat this stuff!! This is how humans prepare it! I don’t eat this filthy stuff!”
A plate flew toward a quivering banshee. A flying knife flew through the air and knocked the plate in the air away, pouring the contents onto the ground. The banshee trembled. Lucia came up from behind and pressed a hand on the banshee’s shoulder. She whispered, “It’s all right. You can leave.”
The banshees were one of the races that the elves conquered. All banshees were basically the elves maids. Lucia was fond of the adorable banshees, but her brother looked down on them and considered them filthy beings.
“What’s the matter, Brother? Don’t get angry with an innocent child.”
“It’s nothing. It’s just that some people really get on my nerves.”
“I’ll head out tonight.”
Lucia nodded without asking any more. Lucia’s brother glanced at her and smiled: “I’m so glad to have such a sensible and patriotic sister. Lucilia, you make me proud. Go on. You can test the power of the guns tonight.”
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