Queen’s Favoured Vassal
They say that nerve and bone injuries require a hundred days to heal. I had rested my fractured ankle for some time already. Queen Sisi continued paying me a wage and providing me with food so that I could live through my recuperation. Leah was very happy during my recuperation. Despite her young age, she took care of me, an adult. A lady-in-waiting from the imperial palace would send me food. The food wasn’t anything sumptuous, but it was enough to keep our bellies warm. Queen Sisi never visited me. Speaking of which, I was quite perplexed for, before my injury, I was always thinking about how to escape the loathsome Queen. However, noticing that she didn’t visit me after so many days, I began to feel unhappy and frustrated.
“Papa, do you really not want to have a good rest? Your foot hasn’t fully recovered, has it?’
“I don’t think it will.”
I shook my left foot. I wasn’t sure if a nerve was damaged or not because it was extremely difficult to move my left foot. It was akin to it declaring independence from my brain. I wasn’t used to walking with it in that state. Leah grabbed my cloak from the side and checked my foot with concern. She softly expressed, “Papa, Leah thinks you should rest some more… Plus, being with Papa makes Leah happy. Leah feels bored here when Leah is alone…”
“Mm… That’s a problem. I’m sorry for neglecting you before, Leah.”
I realised I was focused solely on how to please Queen Sisi and escape her before my injury, thereby forgetting about Leah, who called me ‘Papa’. I woke up early and returned late every day. The time Leah and I spent together was limited to sleeping. That was why Leah was bored in the room during the day.
Leah docilely leaned over and hugged my arm. I hugged my newly adopted daughter and pursed my lips.
I began to think, “What should I do? Bringing her alongside is certainly not realistic. The atmosphere in Queen Sisi’s imperial palace may not be very serious, but it’s a place with rules and regulations when it comes down to it. It’s no place for me to be raising my child even if she obediently sat there.
Now that I think about, I don’t have any other reason… I can’t continue wasting time here. I couldn’t move around due to my foot injury, which was why Queen Sisi didn’t say anything. If I continue to wait for the ladies-in-waiting to deliver food, though, they’ll soon begin to complain. After their complaints reach Queen Sisi’s ears, I might be thrown out. She’ll surely hate us if not throw us out. I don’t seem to have a choice, then… I can’t keep Leah by my side, but then I can’t stay by her side, either… This is contradictory… What should I do? Wait… I think I just made a wrong assumption.”
I adjusted my thoughts again to see if I misinterpreted anything…
Leah said that she got bored. There was nothing wrong with the place… but I mistook something… For Leah to not be bored, I had to be with her.
I kissed Lean on the forehead: “I’ll think of something, Leah. When I come back tonight, I’ll provide you with a proper answer, Leah.”
“Uhm…” Leah looked at me with a tinge of distrust (Author note: Leah and Ol’ Lin had yet to be close at this point). Nevertheless, she didn’t have a way of refusing, so she just gave a reluctant nod.
As soon as I took a step, I wobbled slightly… I really wasn’t use to it. My left foot wouldn’t flex. I quickly leaned on the hall.
“Papa, are you sure you’re okay…? Your leg has not yet fully recovered… You… you should rest some more…”
“No need, Leah. If that Queen finds out we’ve been mooching for free here, I’m sure the consequences will be serious.”
Leah stopped talking at the mention of Queen Sisi as I thought. Evidently, Queen Sisi left Leah with a psychological trauma after she tortured the girl. If Leah was still a kid, just enunciating Queen Sisi’s name could probably get Leah to stop crying.
I wobbled to the imperial palace. The ladies-in-waiting didn’t think I’d be back again, apparently. The head lady-in-waiting was also surprised to see me. She gently cleared her throat: “How is your leg?”
“As you can see, I doubt I can do any heavy work in the future.”
In my mind: “Oh, you don’t feel it’s a pity for my foot, but that it’s a pity that you’ve lost a slave to order around! I must be a domestic animal to this woman! What a vicious woman… Queen Sisi is still worse, nonetheless…”
“What’s wrong? How come everyone is here? Shouldn’t there be work right now?” I asked after seeing so many ladies-in-waiting without work.
“Her Majesty is with a guest in her private kitchen. We are awaiting orders here.”
My response was a nod. In that case, Queen Sisi’s guest was bound to be some famous and prestigious guest. Actually, they must be her favourite person. Normally, she would never receive a guest in her private kitchen. At most, she’d meet them in this imperial palace but wouldn’t invite anyone for a meal. For them to have the right to enter Queen Sisi’s residential palace, not to mention via invite and have the maids on standby, the individual must’ve unquestionably been Queen Sisi’s favourite individual.
“Who exactly is that person to be able to win the favour of the odious Queen? Also, they should have a big appetite… Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many ladies-in-waiting delivering food…” I assumed.
The stack of empty plates on the cart by the side gave the impression that several people were dining together…
Sitting at the table in the dining hall, Queen Sisi supported her face in her handed. With a crafty smile, she watched Veirya, who wore a cold expression while wolfing down food.
“So, you killed them and then gave the food to the elves. In the end, you came back after eating all of the remaining food?”
“There’s. Nobody left there. There’s no food. To continue living. There, either.”
Veirya was calm despite that.
“It was my mistake. It was a foolish decision to send you to the North,” Queen Sisi commented with a sigh. Queen Sisi looked at Veirya, who leaned back, and smiled helplessly: “I was folly on my part. It’s all right, Veirya, it’s not your fault. I shouldn’t have let you go in the first place… I want to attack the elves now… but, without a replenishment base, how do I transport supplies over…? It seems I’ll have to put the plan on hold for a while… Who do I have that would be suited to going there…? Hmm… let me have a think…”
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