The elf’s home had a more welcoming feeling compared to Lucia’s. There were gardeners in the courtyard’s flower garden cleaning up; actually, I take that back. They weren’t gardeners. The humans toiled in the garden without wearing any clothing. The elf rode on a horse, gun in hand, and supervised the work. There were also female elves who came specifically to clean. They carried things around with smiles on their faces. It was clear that those elves were happier. All elves would also make way for them.
I carried the bucket for Ascillia. Frankly speaking, the bucket of water was a bit too heavy for me when I had to hold my cane with my left hand… Nevertheless, Ascillia looped her arm around mine and smiled. Ascillia led me through the elves. The elf on horse watched me then immediately bowed from their horse: “Sir Travor, I am honoured to meet you.”
I didn’t know what to say. I just waved and continued on my way. Ascillia gave me a smile: “So, you really are getting married with Madam Lucilia, huh? It feels a somewhat too sudden, honestly. I never heard her mention you before.”
“I did help her a fair number of times when she was in humanity’s lands.”
Ascillia’s expression turned slightly glum. She lowered her head and seemingly murmured, “I thought you were so nice purely because of me…”
I figured I should pretend I didn’t hear anything.
When we reached the front door, an elf welcomed us. He froze when he saw me but didn’t reveal the same expression as the elf before. To the contrary, he was vigilant and tense. Apprehensive, he crossed his arms in front of him: “What are you here for? Miss Ascillia, I believe you stand with Her Lordship; I do not think he is a guest we welcome, is he?”
“Hmm?” Ascillia froze for a second before replying, “Sorry, Sir, I did not know. I think we humans are uninformed of the elven conflict, and I doubt any of us are willing to be involved. Mr. Lin has just come here. I do not think he is aware of the elven internal strife. Therefore, technically, he is not on Lucilia’s side. I want to give him a reception as he was the person who sorted out the logistics to send me here.”
“I see.” The elf nodded but didn’t drop his guard. Watching me, he gently cleared his throat: “I apologise for my rudeness, Mr. Travor. It is just that, as you may know, we elves do have an internal dispute. Unfortunately, we and your wife are oppositions. Hence, I hope you do not ask about the matter here; it has nothing to do with humans.”
“What matter? Is it about Queen Sisi?”
The elven conflict he referred to unquestionably had to do with Linna. There was a rebellion, and the throne was usurped, therefore creating two factions. One faction supported Linna, while the other party revolutionists. The internal turmoil definitely pertained to the two factions. Since Lucia was part of the revolutionaries, this household’s attitude proved they supported the Queen Linna. Perhaps the two factions were far from confronting each other physically, but they had drawn the line between them.
“Oh, no, it is not about Queen Sisi.”
The elf seemed to misunderstand. He shook his head as he headed in.
I loudly said, “So, you are talking about your Queen, then? In that case, I have a right to speak. Your Queen is living in the small town under my jurisdiction, after all.”
It wasn’t just the elf stopped in his tracks; Ascillia, herself, was startled: “Mr. Lin… did you say… Her Majesty is at your town?! Was she not exiled?! Why is she at your place? Did you find her?”
“Not exactly. It was Lucilia who sent her to me. I’ve been taking care of her all this time.”
The elf spun around as soon as he heard that. He sprinted over and seized my collar with one hand: “Did you just say that Her Majesty is at your place?! She is alive?! You found her?! Are you sure?! Are you absolutely sure that it is Her Majesty?!”
“Of course,” I answered and quickly put down the wooden bucket. I clutched his hand on my collar: “Your foreign diplomat officer and your Queen’s bodyguard are with her, too. They’re doing well. You don’t need to worry. It’s just that they can’t return to the forest again.”
“I know. I know. That is good to hear. All is well as long as Her Majesty is still alive.” The male elf patted me on my shoulder then revealed a guilty countenance. He respectfully addressed me again: “Sir Travor, I am sincerely sorry. I apologise for my rudeness before. I did not think that you were so benevolent that you would accept elves you have no obligation to welcome into your home. I bow my head in apology. I apologise on behalf of our lord. Please come with me now. I am certain our lord will definitely want to meet you after hearing you took in our Elven Queen.”
The elf passionately dragged into the building. After entering the house, a large hall more resplendent than Lucia’s home greeted me. There weren’t many ancient elven decorations. To the contrary, it bore a stronger resemblance to humanity’s set up. For example, there was the big staircase that came into sight after entering, the red carpet and banshees in black and white maid uniforms. The banshees in the household were more confident and happy compared to the ones at Lucia’s place. They weren’t fearful; as a matter of fact, they had the confidence of other elves.
The banshees must’ve been part of Queen Linna’s faction. Needless to say, those in her faction liked her. If that data was anything to go by, it was safe to assume the elves at the property were friendlier with humans. That would explain why they adopted more of humanity’s habits and aesthetic views. Thanks to humanity’s civilisation baptism, the banshees, who were slaves, became maids. Slaves and maids were different.
“These elves must be advanced elves who adopted humanity’s culture,” I thought.
“Oh, oh, human, Travor, elf’s friend.”
Coming down the stairs was an elf with her hands raised.
“She’s… a young girl?!” I thought with my eyes wide.
Correct, the petite female elf was the lord the male elf mentioned.. I was stupefied upon first seeing her. I thought I saw Queen Sisi. She wore a long dress made with humanity’s style in mind. She extended her hands out as she eloquently descended the stairs. Her calves looked perfect. She came down wearing the same confident and proud smile Queen Sisi wore. She came over and hugged me. Before I could react, she kissed me on the cheek.
“You humans all greet each other this way, right? I think I did a good job imitating it,” the lord expressed.
The lord took a step back and put her hands behind her back. She didn’t give me a chance to speak. She took a cup of wine from a tray that a banshee was carrying. Then, she pulled the banshee over and kissed her on her lips. She pushed the banshee away with a smirk, leaving the banshee looking flustered as she shyly moved aside.
“All right, it appears this lass has some weird ideas about kissing,” I thought to myself.
The lord shoved the cup of wine into my hand: “I heard about what you did. You protected our Queen. I also know you came here to marry that wench, Lucilia, to become an elven husband. What intrigues me most, though, is that you’re a human who’s alive and kicking. You’re not a prisoner or war, but a human who holds a rank that corresponds to our own.”
Puzzled, I asked, “So, what is it that you want?”
“What are you talking about?” The elf’s surprised reaction befuddled me. She elaborated, “No, no, no, Dear. I think you are mistaken. What could I possibly be looking for you for? I am just interested in a human. Here, I can have as many humans as I want; therefore, I have never thought about making you mine or anything. You’re the wench, Lucilia’s, husband. I don’t want to die yet; at the very least, not yet. You came to see me. I should be the one to ask you what you are here for.”
Ascillia answered before I could: “Ah, Your Lordship, Mr. Lin saved me during my time in humanity’s lands. That is why I really wanted to give him a reception.”
The elf widened her eyes and then nodded: “Sure. No problem. No problem at all. You can do that. Go ahead. Ascillia, I love you, Dear. Hence, you can use everything at home. Eat and drink as you please. So, Mister, did you come to see me for something?”
I bluntly stated, “I want to know about Queen Sisi.”
Dumbstruck, the female elf then narrowed her eyes and raised the corner of her lips: “That’s too direct, no? Mister, if you say that to me, I will think that you have an agenda.”
“Correct. I protected your Elven Queen, so I hope to find out about our human Queen.”
“How much loyalty could a man, who married the elven war hero, possibly have for a human Queen?”
“I don’t need her; however, the woman I like needs her.”
“Lucilia needs Queen Sisi’s throne?”
“I meant Veirya.”
“Oh, I see now.” The elf nodded with a smile. Fiddling with her maroon hair, she went on, “I understand what you mean now. You are a crazy man. With that said, Dear, I love your idea to bits. I love everyone who opposes that wench, Lucia. Fantastic. I shall do my best. I promise.”
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