Maybe it was an Argument
Though we had to leave again after just coming home, Veirya didn’t express discontent. As for Leah, who didn’t get to join us last time, she was bouncing off walls. Travelling in this world was a pain in the neck. Further, we had to bear with shoddy meals and living conditions. Leah, however, seemed to enjoy travelling. Perhaps all kids enjoyed travelling as they weren’t the ones who needed to account for the challenges and tiresome aspects of the journey. They just have to be responsible for enjoying the different scenery.
The trip would be a safe one as we were still within our territory. Our destination wasn’t far, either. Francis probably had to head back to prepare, while I wanted to check out how things were over at the village. Sadly, it sounded as though the humans at the village didn’t interact with the humans at the town too much. All I found was a rather old map. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t even confirm if the map was correct.
That was all the information I had on the village. I had no clue what they wanted. My question was whether they considered money or physical goods to be more important. For all I knew, bringing a bag of elven flavouring and salt might’ve been more practical to them than gold coins.
Uncertain, I decided to bring everything in case everything was useful. I brought some cereal and meat, flavouring, salt and money. I had gone through a lot of stuff and lent a fair amount to the elves. I was slightly short on savings at the moment. As a result, I needed to find an opportunity to carry out the first flavouring trade.
I prayed the two nations wouldn’t start the war while I was away. Nonetheless, I also noticed the North was somewhat abnormal as of late. The North was one of the places furthest from the imperial capital. Similarly to throwing a pebble into a stone, however, the ripples would eventually reach the North. I had no idea what exactly happened in the imperial capital, what Queen Sisi wanted to do or did; however, I noticed a fair number of people visited the North to inquire about purchasing properties.
Edward’s people had also arrived In the North. They entered the forest to begin setting up to mine. There were a considerable number of artisans who accompanied them. I let them have the run-down houses for a low price, and let them repair and renovate. In two years’ time, they’d be allowed to live there for free. If they chose to become permanent residences after two years, I could sell them the properties for a low price. In essence, they’d repair the homes and become potential assets that could upgrade the town.
Because there were new mines to be explored in Veirya’s territory, lots of people wanted a piece of the pie. In saying that, I had an unnerving hunch that they might not have come for the coal mine. However, if we were talking about metal-work artisans, the miners would, without question, go through their tools. Therefore, it was fine for the artisans to provide them with tools.
This was the conundrum. The artisans weren’t limited to making only pickaxes. They could repair more than mining tools; they could make weapons and repair armour. If there was a war in the North, they wouldn’t be making money from solely the miners, but also the soldiers. If that was their purpose, it was conclusive that elves and humans were going to march against each other.
I didn’t want a war. I didn’t know what exactly happened on Queen Sisi’s end as I didn’t have spies in the imperial capital. Consequently, no one informed me of what happened. If I wanted to know, I’d have to go to the imperial capital.
“You haven’t been back for even two days yet. Are you not rushing too much?” Angelina asked Veirya, concerned. “I know you need money, but you’re not that short on money, are you? Rushing around as you are must be more tiring than fighting.”
Veirya shook her head: “It’s not. I basically. Don’t have to. Do anything. I just. Need to follow him.”
“True.” Angelina sighed then looked at me with a weird smile. She touched my face: “Do you still not understand what I mean? Heartless man. Poor little me has looked after the empty house for a long time and needs your company. You brought me her, yet abandoned me here to suffer loneliness. That’s not what a responsible man would do. How about you make a baby with me so that I have something to do?”
“I don’t need to take responsibility for you, do I?” I sarcastically asked.
I calmly had a drink of water. I was finally capable of calmly dealing with Angelina’s teasing. I had dealt with her teasing too many times by then, after all. Noticing my calm demeanour, she unhappily pouted: “Heartless man.”
Anna came out from the kitchen with a plate of fruit akin to watermelon but milk white inside and set it down in front of me. Anna looked at the three of us with a smile and asked, “Sir, do you have to leave again?”
I asked, “Ah, yes. We need to go and sort out a property deal. I’d say we will be gone for a week. Actually, make that half a month. What’s the matter, Anna? Is something going to happen at home while I’m gone?”
Leah handed Anna a piece of fruit. Anna smiled brightly and scrubbed Leah’s head. She answered, “Not exactly… It is quite peaceful in the town… It is just that you are out rather too frequently. You should spend more time with your family at home.”
I nodded: “I’ll definitely have time in the future. I just have to grind a little for now.”
Veirya looked at me but didn’t comment; instead, she lowered her head once again. Angelina chuckled as she watched her daughter. However, she gave me a serious look: “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I heard the artisans state Queen Sisi has already led her army out and is heading this way. Judging from the sounds of things, she is proceeding with her plan to attack the elves. This place will definitely turn into the frontlines for her attack. If you leave now, what do we do?”
I shook my head: “There’s nothing I can do about that. In fact, it would make things troublesome if I was here. Don’t inform the three elves about it. Once they find out, they’ll definitely leave again. If my prediction is correct, they went to inform the elves last time. There’s nowhere else they could go.”
“You want to prevent the elves from passing on information to help humanity?”
“I just don’t want to drag us into it. There’ll be hell for us if Queen Sisi finds out that the elves we’re taking care of leaked her plan. We’re not getting involved with this war. We’re the victims in this war.”
“Hasn’t everything you’ve been doing to help the elves? Actually, I feel as though you’re playing to two sides. You gave the elves money and helped Queen Sisi deal with the chapel. You seem to be looking forward to a war.”
“Why don’t you think that I hope both sides lose?” I smiled helplessly: “I helped them for other reasons. I don’t even want this war to happen; it’s a meaningless war. As a matter of fact, it’s destroying what I worked so hard to build. I’m not participating in this war. My attempt to stop it ended in failure. Since Queen Sisi insists, I can’t stop her.”
“Are you saying that you’ll help if Queen Sisi fails? You claim she’s a pain, but you’re on good terms with Queen Sisi, aren’t you? Everyone says you’re her favoured vassal. There’s no smoke without fire. Something is going on between you two. Before Veirya arrived at the imperial capital, did something between you and Queen Sisi happen?”
Angelina glanced at her daughter as she spoke with her smug smile and eagerness to see some bickering. It played out just as she desired; Veirya shot me a disgruntled look, leading to me shuddering. I quickly faced Veirya and explained, “Nothing actually happened. Serious. She merely asked me to stay with her because I took down the chapel. The whole favoured vassal business is merely a ploy to force me to stay with her. Nothing happened between us. I won’t bother with her regardless of what happens to her this time. I’m much more interested in what the two mines can bring me instead.”
“Really? What about you, then, Veirya?” Angelina looked at Veirya with a smile: “You’re Her Majesty’s knight. If she’s in danger this time, will you oppose Lucililia?”
“Yes,” responded Veirya with a calm nod. She sternly added, “Not matter who. Hurts Her Majesty. I will. Kill them. Even if. She’s Lucililia.”
“Let’s put that aside for now. Who knows how things will develop?”
I quickly cut off Angelina and Veirya’s conversation. Truthfully, I was eager to end the subject. I knew what Veirya’s stance was. It was a miracle she refused to participate in the war. She was Queen Sisi’s knight and fanatically loyal to her. I didn’t want to let her go and rescue Queen Sisi, though, as the elves would undoubtedly attack her once she entered the forest. Veirya might be powerful, but what are the chances she could defeat so many elves in the forest? Would she really be invincible in those circumstances?
I wouldn’t let Veirya go, but she’d go without a doubt. If we kept discussing the topic, we were bound to get into an argument. I didn’t want to argue with Veirya and, thus, put it aside for the meantime. I had nothing to gain from arguing with Veirya; arguing wasn’t even in her dictionary. Arguing with her might just completely tear down our relationship. I, therefore, wanted to do my best to avoid that.
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