Love and Loyalty
Veirya was puzzled why her mom would look so startled. Angelina quickly put down what she was doing and wiped her hands while keeping her eyes on her daughter: “You’ve never taken the initiative to speak to me ever since you grew up. Do you have something you want to talk about this time?”
Veirya earnestly explained, “I. Probably had an argument. I gave him. A poor attitude. I assume. He is vangry. He didn’t. Bid farewell. When he left.”
“You two argued?”
“He. Stopped the doctors. From saving the wounded. I wanted. To have them help. Then. I told him to leave.” Veirya gave a very simple recount of what happened, rendering Angelina dumbstruck.
Angelina couldn’t wrap her head around what happened. Lin Dongqing’s methods were somewhat utilitarian, but he wasn’t someone who left people to die. He didn’t let the doctors save the severely wounded. Therefore, by the sounds of it, he knew what he was doing better. After all, he could see the truth.
“What do you want to do now, then? Apologise?” questioned Angelina.
Veirya titled her head: “I. Won’t apologise. I didn’t. Do anything wrong.”
“I didn’t mean apologise for not taking the correct course of action but for hurting his feelings. Of course, it’s the same for him; he also needs to apologise to you. If you truly think you didn’t do anything wrong, you wouldn’t have taken the initiative to come and told me about this, would you? You want to make up with him, don’t you?”
Veirya looked away. Angelina laughed, thinking, “She’s my daughter, no doubt about that. She’s the exact same as I was in the past. I behaved the same way around the man I liked back then.”
While Angelina would usually be obedient and sensible, whenever she argued with her husband, she would refuse to admit her wrongdoings despite knowing he was upset. She’d insist on waiting. Veirya, too, acted wilful and stubborn when she was in a similar predicament.
“Veirya, neither of you actually did anything wrong. It’s just that you two have different views. You don’t need to argue with each other; you both end up miserable when you argue. It doesn’t matter who apologises first. You’re telling me this as you’re also feeling guilty, aren’t you? It’s nothing to be embarrassed about. See, he argued with you, yet he still went off to the elven lands. It’s not easy on him, either. When he returns, apologise to him.”
“No, he’s just someone. Her Majesty gave me…”
“Veirya!” Angelina immediately cut Veirya off. Frowning, she asserted, “What are you talking about? Yes, Queen Sisi gave him to you at the outset, but after going through so much with you, do you still consider him a mere accessory? He didn’t do so much for you out of loyalty. Veirya, when someone unconditionally treats another person kindly, it’s not purely out of loyalty. Do you think he’s unconditionally nice to you? Wrong; he’s not loyal. That’s love. He loves you. That’s why he tries to make you happy regardless of the price he has to pay.”
“Love. Love. Is a higher form loyalty?”
“No, I just told you that he isn’t being nice to you out of loyalty. It’s because of love. To put it into perspective, it’s essentially a man being loyal to a woman similarly to a knight devoting himself, I guess. He’ll love you with all his heart, and you will only have that one knight. You two aren’t master and servant; you don’t obey each other. He’s not your accessory but your romantic partner. It’s the same as Lucilia and you, except he loves you more than Lucilia.”
“Is that. Love?”
“Yes. Therefore, you’re both in the same boat. If you hurt his love for you with what you said, you also need to apologise. He, too, must apologise.”
Veirya nodded: “I will. I will apologise. But. Love. How do you respond. To love? Do I need to. Love him, too? But. What is love? I have never. Quite understood it. I thought. It was the same. As me serving as Her Majesty’s soldier.”
“It’s not the same. There’s no one who doesn’t understand what love is, Veirya. You’ll come to understand it. You just need to stay by his side and keep searching for it. I promise you’ll come to understand it.”
Angelina’s hand reached for Veirya’s head on its own; sadly, Veirya stopped her mother. Surrendering, Angelina chuckled then turned around and continued busying herself with her job. Veirya didn’t say anything else and left the room.
Veirya gazed in the direction of the elven lands. There was no news from him after he left. She pondered, “He said. He could rescue. Her Majesty. But. How will he do it?”
Veirya just spent a short second thinking about it before giving up. She had gotten used to it. Lin Dongqing had exceeded what she perceived to be impossible every time. She, subsequently, believed that he could rescue Queen Sisi if he was the one who went to her rescue.
Current time at the elven forest.
From my side, Lucia looked down at her feet as she walked and minced her words: “I have never received a proposal… or… been in love with anyone before… This… is the first time someone has proposed to me, and is also my first time being someone’s partner… I…. I don’t know if I can do a good job… I’m… I’m a bit worried.”
“There’s no need to worry, Lucia. I love you because you’re Lucia. You just need to keep being yourself, while I take responsibility for loving you.”
“But… I don’t know how to love someone… I… I’ve never been a wife or mother, either… I… I’m worried….”
“I’ve never been a husband or father, either. I think we’ll be able to learn how to fulfil the roles if we’re together.”
Lucia giggled quietly. She couldn’t resist the urge to lean closer to me and tighten her hold on my hand. We had entered the interior of the elves’ city. Subsequently, the number of elves around also increased. There were lots of gazes of surprise and confusion. There was no backing out at that point. After so many elves saw us, I had to become Lucia’s husband. Next was Lucia’s brother, I guess.
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