The fact that Leah wasn’t human finally kicked in after witnessing her transformation at night. Heck as if I saw that coming. I wondered if I should keep a bit of distance from her at night. I might actually end up doing something to her, otherwise… Although Leah transformed into an adult, she had the mental age of a child. I’m not a paedophile. I wouldn’t violate a child.
Maybe I left quite a good impression on Queen Sisi last night, and we, therefore, were provided with a relatively comfortable tent to sleep in. It was somewhat noisy outside when I woke up. I went outside and met a peculiar young girl who stood in front of our tent with her arms folded… Needless to say, if she didn’t have her pretty and short hair, there’d have been no way of distinguishing her as a female… She had a small physique, but her gaze was mature. She had a bow strapped to her back and wore tightly leather army, making her resemble Veirya.
“Oh, so you’re the human Veirya brought back yesterday?’ She twitched her ears when she saw me. She ignored the human guards around and scanned me earnestly. She muttered to herself, “Nothing odd about him sticks out. He’s an ordinary human…”
“Do you have business with me?”
I suppose she was what they called an elf? Her appearance was pretty close to the concept of an elf that I had in mind.
“The girl, yes, the Demon King’s daughter, is with you at the moment, right? According to what was discussed yesterday, we elves have the rights to her, so I came to pick her up.”
“Sorry, she wishes to stick with me. She’s just a kid. I want to adopt her. You’ve already achieved victory, so there’s no need to take her back as a spoil of war, is there? She’s just a kid, not a tool. Whatever her father did is not related to her.”
“Is that right?”
The elf didn’t have counterargument. She scratched her long ear and stopped to think to herself. She appeared torn, while I froze. I never expected my casual remark to be enough for her to deliberate so thoroughly. Under normal circumstances, nobody would pay any mind to such excessively justice-oriented statements. Nobody would care if she was a kid or not or how she was viewed. Leah was perceived as the equivalent of a tool to them. Actually, they considered everyone to be their tool.
After the elf finished thinking, she frowned: “Do you really plan to adopt her despite her not being related to you whatsoever?”
I didn’t quite know what she was trying to find out. Nonetheless, I replied, “Of course. I’ll protect her. I will take responsibility for my decision to the very end.”
She scratched her ear again, still looking torn: “Yeah…? Okay, then… I can’t oppose a child’s wish. Moreover, you’re right. It’s not a just act to use a child as a badge of victory. I can’t ignore a child, either. You’re right. It might be better just to let her go with you.”
She then smiled: “Seeing as the girl is willing to stay with you and you are willing to take care of her, I’ll leave her in your care, then. She never did anything wrong. My name is Lucilia. I’m an elven warrior. While this goes against our Queen’s wishes, I value justice more!”
She suavely waved: “Say no more. I admire your bravery. Having the courage to adopt a demon completely unrelated to you while staying with that Queen is worthy of admiration. We shall meet again.”
I nodded and heaved a big breath. I was fortunate the elf was easy to talk things out with. She had persuaded herself before I even said anything significant. Though she was a warrior, she was awfully pure-minded. She believed in a so-called justice. By the looks of it, she wasn’t a political player but a naïve warrior.
After last night’s party celebration, humanity’s soldiers began to pack their luggage. A fair number either dragged or carried their things on their back to the merchants. Victory had been attained, which meant that lots of things were no longer needed. It would only be a waste of energy to take them back; it was better to sell them. From the soldiers’ perspectives, their spoils of war were worth money. They weren’t mementos of the experience.
There was also the heavy armour, weapons and so forth. They were no longer needed, so why not exchange them for money to take home. Their wives and children weren’t going to be after a badge of honour or something. They wanted money and their husband back by their sides.
I looked around me. I felt somewhat confused. I didn’t know what exactly would become of me next. I had the right to live; however, I had no sense of security at Queen Sisi’s side. To the contrary, I felt as if I was planting a ticking bomb to myself. I had to find a chance to leave her and find a safe place to live out my life.
Several fully-loaded horse carriages passed by me. I didn’t know what they transported, but they appeared heavy. I speculated they were transporting Sisi’s stuff.
I suddenly heard footsteps approach me from my side. I turned my head to see the soldier with the cold expression. Veirya calmly informed me, “Her Majesty. Is looking for you.”
“Is something the matter?”
Veirya appeared displeased with me asking so many questions. She spun around after her response. I sighed. I had no idea what to do with her for it was impossible to converse with her. I figured I might never have a friendly relationship with her.
I deliberated, “I wonder if we can get along when we’re both working at the Queen’s side in the future… She resembles the Queen’s bodyguard more, while I resemble the Queen’s servant. Let’s put that aside for now; what exactly does the Queen want me for?”
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