There was no bathtub in Queen Sisi’s tent for this visit. There was only a group of soldiers sporting dark blue capes and red capes in addition to Queen Sisi herself. Perhaps the table of sand had yet to be cleared belonged to the commanders. Queen Sisi stood to one side of the table and watched the officers. Apparently, Queen Sisi wasn’t too happy with the conclusion of their discussion. She wore a smile, but judging from the ambience and her crossed arms, she wasn’t happy at all.
I blankly stood at the entrance. The officers looked at me suspiciously but didn’t comment. They, instead, asserted, “Your Majesty, we do not believe that those uninvolved should come to our discussion during its proceeding. This is our business alone.”
“That is not true. As I am in discussion with you, why can’t my new little doggy listen in? To add, you are a group here to debate with me, so it is only a matter of course for me to call someone over. Come, Little Doggy, come here.”
Queen Sisi gestured for me to come over using her hand the same way you’d call a dog over. My dignity couldn’t quite accept her attitude, but what could I have done? Queen Sisi let me keep Leah last night; if I embarrassed her in that situation, she’d most likely order for me to be executed on the spot. I carefully went over. Every step hurt as if I was stepping on my own dignity.
Queen Sisi joyfully scrubbed my head: “Go, Little Doggy, bite them! They’re bullying me.”
“Your Majesty, now is not the time for jokes…” appealed an officer.
“Oh? Why is it not?” Queen Sisi shrugged nonchalantly: “The Demon King is dead. Are you worried that his head can still speak or something? The entire army is packing things up in the camp. Why can’t I? The entire Demon King’s city should be my spoil of war. I’ve been decent enough to not turn it into my holiday resort. You can’t even spare me a few horse carriages?”
The officer didn’t back down. He expounded, “Your Majesty, we do not have anything to say if you have plans to turn this place into something. However, the carriages for resources are already packed tight as is. If you want to send back things that are unimportant, as well, we truly cannot manage. The entire castle belongs to you. Why must you insist on this? You just need send out your spoils of war one batch at a time when the time is right.”
With her arms folded, Queen Sisi fumed, “I want to have them sent back right now. They are spoils of war. Do you not understand what spoils of war are? If I can’t take them back when I win, what’s the point of them? That’s why I want to bring them back with me now. Why can’t you free up a few carriages for me? You’re my soldiers. You should satisfy my desires!”
“Your Majesty, I think we have already fulfilled your desire. We fulfilled our duty and defeated the Demon King for you,” contended a young man. I would say that he was a bit too young. Perhaps a kid would be a more appropriate term for him. Surprisingly, he had the right to be there. He continued, “We are an army, not your attendants. We will charge into enemies under your command, but it is not our duty to oblige and cater to your wilful desires. The carriages are currently carrying out reserves and provisions. We cannot unload anything from our guards unless you do not plan to keep us in existence?’
Puzzled, I blurted, “Provisions?”
The soldiers immediately looked at me with gazes of contempt. The young man crossed his arms: “Outsiders can shut up. Do you think there is any place for you to be speaking here?”
“Why not? Little Doggy, go. Bite them.” Queen Sisi cheerfully scrubbed my head.
Curious, I asked, “May I ask approximately how many days it will take to get to the imperial city from here? Roughly seven days?”
The young man replied, “Four or five days. What are you trying to say? Buy provisions from the imperial capital and send them here? That is a waste of labour and funds. Moreover, the war has ended. Why would we purchase food? How are we supposed to explain that? All of the soldiers want to go home as soon as possible!”
I shook my head: “No, that was not what I meant. I do not know how much provisions you require, either. If you are left with only four to five days’ worth of food, however, I think that was quite an arduous war for you.”
Queen Sisi: “What, my excellent generals, don’t tell me that you ran out of food now. Don’t tell me that, had it not been for Veirya risking her life to infiltrate the Demon King’s city and slain him, we would be here nursing our woes.”
“Impossible! We prepared sufficient provisions this time. Even if the war had not yet ended, we can still fight for over another month.”
It sounded as though a defeat was once suffered due to lack of provisions. That would explain why the officers adamantly refused to admit they no longer had provisions to sustain their forces. I argued, “In that case, since everyone wants to return home, you would only need four days’ worth of food. Why are you transporting enough provisions for an entire month? Leave the spare provisions here. Why can’t you then leave the spare space in the carriage for Her Majesty?”
“Uhm! Uhm!” Queen Sisi sounded extremely delighted: “Hear that? I think that is a fantastic plan. Go with that. Leave behind your provisions here. Let me use the remaining space to transport my spoils of war. Go now!”
“Your Majesty!! Those are military provisions! They are military provisions!!”
I responded, “True, but the fact is that the war is already over. What is the point of hanging onto all those provisions? Furthermore, this is now Her Majesty’s territory. Is there a difference between leaving behind provisions for Her Majesty’s citizens and you staying here?”
The officers opened their mouths, but no argument came forth. Queen Sisi hugged my head and gleefully rubbed my head against her globes: “Amazing, amazing. Now that’s my Little Doggy. That’s the plan. That’s the plan. You have nothing else to say, either, right? I’m very pleased. Proceed with that. While I’m at it, let me think about what to give Little Doggy as a present.”
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