Three days later. Conference chamber in humanity’s Imperial Palace.
Queen Sisi lazily sat in her chair. There weren’t many people in the chamber; there were roughly only ten or so people. They were her ears, eyes and brains. This time, she specifically placed a new seat at the long table, except that there was nobody sitting there. Achilles knew who the seat was reserved for, though.
The young man took in a deep breath before standing up: “Your Majesty, I am not objecting to your idea. I just want to ask you if we can push back the plan to attack the elves for a while.”
Queen Sisi narrowed her eyes. She twirled her burgundy hair and chuckled: “Oh? For how long?”
The young man quickly responded in a loud voice, “Five years. Wait, no, three years. Just three years will do. We will train up soldiers and officers in the three years as well as prepare the resources required for combat in a forest. In addition, we will construct weapons and machines to tackle the elves. Three years. Three years will suffice.”
The young man thought there was finally hope. The escort came back very quickly on the return trip. Therefore, he believed Queen Sisi regarded the matter as important.
As he stood there, the young man thought to himself, “I just need to make Her Majesty understand what I need. If it’s victory that Her Majesty needs, then I can bring her victory. She just needs a little bit of patience. An ordinary war requires approximately one year to prepare for. How can we attack the elves without even a single day of preparation. The current military isn’t ready for battle. They need to be reprepared.”
“Three years?” Queen Sisi smiled then nodded. She raised her voice: “All right. I shall give you three years. That’s not a problem. I have time.”
“Thank you, Your Majesty!!”
The young man was elated. He immediately gave Queen Sisi a deep bow; he was nearly moved to tears. He celebrated to himself: “Her Majesty has not let me down. She was just too impulsive before today. After going out for some fun and thanks to that man’s persuasion, she has finally regained her rationality. We can attack the elves; it’s just that we need time. In three years, humanity’s military will definitely be powerful enough to conquer the elves!”
“But… you need to do something for me.”
“I am at your command!!”
“Go to the elves and tell them: don’t attack us in the next three years. We need to prepare ourselves.” Queen Sisi sniggered as she got to her feet. She walked up to the young man and gently pinched his chin. She looked at the young man’s expression that went from delighted to grim and snickered: “I think there’s something wrong with the way you think. You’re a soldier, a soldier, whose duty is to protect me and the nation’s dignity, yet you want to talk about time with me?! If the demon race was to be revived now, are you going to tell them, ‘Please wait three years for me. Let’s fight when I’m ready in three years’ time?’ What you soldiers need to do is be at my beck and call at all times whether it’s to attack or defend. If you can’t do that, how about I let someone else who can do that?”
“Y-Your Majesty… I… I….”
Queen Sisi sighed. She turned around and went back to her throne. As she walked, she loudly remarked, “Why is there only one Little Doggy? If Little Doggy was here, I’d probably already be sitting on the Elven King’s throne.”
“Please forgive me for being blunt, Your Majesty, but Mr. Lin is not in support of the attack. Furthermore, he is not well-versed in military affairs.”
“But he knows how to please me,” contended Queen Sisi, sitting down. She looked at Achilles, who just spoke up for the young man, and supported her face with her hand: “Achilles, how much can you provide in funding to support this war?”
“As much as you need, Your Majesty.”
“Don’t give me that nonsense. You can provide me with however much I ask for?” Queen Sisi gave Achilles a warning glare: “Give me an exact number. How much can you provide? Don’t try and humour me with hogwash.”
“Twenty thousand gold coins.” Achilles paused then added, “I meant, twenty-five thousand gold coins.”
Queen Sisi nodded: “All right. Twenty five thousand gold coins. Next, I want you prepare the money and purchase necessary resources for the military and provisions. As for the remainder, Edward, you know those people with the money depository, right? Go and loan fifty thousand gold coins under my name. Use that loan to purchase goods, too. Oh, before I forget, how is your machine coming along?”
Edward lingered for a moment. It was his first time in the chamber, so he had yet to adapt. He quickly rose and loudly replied, “Yes, Your Majesty. The Machines, they, they are fine. We will be able to begin mining and begin production very soon.”
“Good.” Queen Sisi nodded then stood up to stretch her limbs out. She looked at the young man, who had a grave look on his face down below, and Achilles. She chuckled: “See? If you did that sooner, wouldn’t everything have been fine? You know what? I don’t need your field military anymore. Since you’re so displeased with this war, you won’t give it your best. Zero, you prepare. I’ll be relying on you guards and the garrison soldiers to come with me. The elves’ forest is just a dot on the map. It’ll be enough with just you. Also, you don’t need to manage the field military anymore. Go home and enjoy a three year vacation. I’ll give you three years. I’d like to see how you’re doing in three years.”
Queen Sisi didn’t give the young man any chance to speak, which indicated she was truly disappointed in him. She spun around and left the conference chamber. Despite there being differing opinions still, the plan was set in stone with Queen Sisi’s departure. They might all be against it, but if they were to be worthy vassals, they had to serve her and win the war that appeared to be a wrong war in spite of victory looking impossible.
Current time in the North.
“Leah, you must study hard at home. Angelina and Anna will take care of you. Be a good girl and listen to them. Papa and Mama will be back very soon. There’s no need to worry.”
Veirya and I were on our horses. My initial plan was to go alone, but Veirya said that it wasn’t safe for me to go alone, thus forced me to bring her along.
I wanted to bring Leah along, but it was too dangerous for Veirya and Leah at night. I was referring to the risk of Leah’s transformation being exposed, by the way. I explained that to Leah, which was why she wasn’t too upset. She tugged on my trousers and asserted, “Papa, you have to come back soon, okay? Also, you and Mama Veirya need to sleep in separate rooms. Sister Angelina said that something will happen if you sleep together.”
I complained, “Angelina, don’t go telling children anything and everything.”
“It’s nothing bad. She’ll eventually experience it for herself anyway,” Angelina responded with a nonchalant smile.
Angelina must not have considered the topic shameful… Admittedly, it wasn’t. Still, I thought it was still too soon for Leah to learn about the topic.
Veirya knew what happened, but she didn’t comment. She, instead, carefully stroked Leah’s head. She told Leah, “I will. Take good care. Of him.”
Leah responded with a firm nod: “Uhm.”
Leah then took a step back and wiped her eyes: “Bye, Papa. Come back soon. Leah will be a good girl at home, so focus on your work, and don’t let yourself be distracted, Papa.”
I really wanted to grab Leah and take her with me in my arms when she looked so adorable. I gave her a smile and pivoted. I tapped my horse with my foot.
After I turned around, I heard a voice from behind Angelina and Anna. I turned around to look, feeling surprised. The three elves came up to me. Ciara supported her Queen. They carefully came up to my horse. Veirya revealed a hint of unhappiness in her gaze when she saw the Elven Queen.
The Elven Queen came up to my side with Ciara’s help. With a smile and a soft voice, the Elven Queen inquired, “Is that you, Sir Travor?’
I nodded: “Yes.”
I stretched down and took hold of the Elven Queen’s hand. Her hand was soft and slender. I could feel her gentle fingers in my hand. She gently felt my palm and softly said, “You have taken care of us for so long, so we cannot just stay upstairs when you leave. I, too, wish to see you off.”
To be frank, after my relationship with Veirya was exposed last time, particularly after the Elven Queen learnt Veirya was pregnant, we didn’t speak again. However, Ciara probably informed her that the pregnancy claim was untrue, since she saw Veirya’s belly gradually return to normal. That must’ve been why the Elven Queen took the initiative to make an appearance.
The Elven Queen moved my hand up to her mouth and kissed the back of my hand. She clasped it with both hands. She looked up and, in the gentlest voice ever, expressed, “I pray the elves’ light will guide you no matter where you go. My Dear, I hope you can come back soon.”
Veirya’s scabbard immediately touched my hand, scaring me. I thought Veirya would swing down without hesitancy. She callously asked the Elven Queen: “Can you. Let go of each other. Yet?”
“Sorry, Veirya. I have no intention of fighting over him with you. It is just that from our elven perspective, a brilliant man with power will have even more women. Therefore, I do not mind being your maid as long as you can allow me to be with him. I have come to understand that status and ranking means nothing in love.”
I said, “I think you may have misunderstood something…”
“I believe your kiss will not lie. After all, Ciara told me that you rarely kiss anyone. Furthermore, you do not kiss Veirya.”
The Elven Queen let go of my hand and bowed with a smile. She looked up and, as a bright smile bloomed on her face, added, “I shall not hold you up, Sir. I hope you can come back soon.”
*For now, don’t worry about the term ‘money depository’. It will be explained later.
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