The breakfast Anna prepared for us was Queen Sisi’s leftovers from last night. Anna placed large pieces of bread in. The bread had been boiled. It tasted splendid when it was soft and was soaked with the broth. Presentation-wise, it earned a gold star. Anna scooped us generous servings of broth. Then, it was followed up with salted meat, bread and something akin to egg drop. There was also Leah’s beloved fruit spread and sweet whipping cream. I surmised Anna prepared such a sumptuous breakfast as I had just come back.
Leah cheerfully sat down. Veirya, who sat next to her, picked up her bowl. Queen Sisi came downstairs with careful steps. Queen Sisi revealed a tender smile, void of her usual arrogance. You could even make a case for it containing a tinge of timidness. Upon sighting Queen Sisi, Veirya immediately rose and bowed: “Good morning, Your Majesty.”
“Good morning, Veirya.”
I chortled: “Good morning, Your Majesty. May I ask if our breakfast suits your palate? We do not have the ingredients in the Imperial Palace available or chefs of the same calibre. I hope you are satisfied with what we can offer.”
“To be honest, I want to try Little Doggy’s cooking more.” Queen Sisi chuckled. Eyes cast on the table and head angled, she requested, “Can you spare me a seat?”
Vierya immediately looked over to me, hinting to me to go and cook for Queen Sisi right away.
In my mind: “Come on now! Oh, come on! I just sat down to eat, yet you want me to get up to cook?! I just came home, man.”
“Ah, don’t worry about it, Veirya.” Seemingly have noticed the signal Veirya gave me, Queen Sisi instantly interjected.
Angelina brought over a chair again and set it beside her. What she meant was for Queen Sisi to sit next to her. Unfortunately, Queen Sisi was a step ahead. She came straight up to me and sat in Angelina’s chair. Queen Sisi scrutinised the eating utensils before her and then told me, “Little Doggy, I want those. They look tasty.”
I had never seen Queen Sisi behave in such fashion. Her gentle demeanour and mannerisms were impossible to adapt to… Leah appeared to be in the same boat as me. She had no idea how to treat Queen Sisi anymore. Queen Sisi giggled: “I am no longer a Queen, so there is no need for you to mind. Just be your usual selves. I will have to trouble you during my stay.”
Veirya immediately responded in all seriousness, “Queen Sisi. You will always be Queen. After you. Rest here. Go to the imperial capital. You will. Become Queen again. So. You do not. Need to worry.”
I nodded: “I will go with you to the imperial capital in a few days’ time. I believe it will not take you long.”
Queen Sisi had nobody else to depend on besides myself anymore. The imperial capital was already under the military’s control. The vassals were unlikely to dare to speak up for her, but I was sure the military wouldn’t dare to harm Queen Sisi. My trip to the imperial capital should’ve been smooth sailing as nobody could compete with Queen Sisi.
Veirya suddenly stated, “I’m going with you. After all. This has to do. With Her Majesty.”
That was only normal of Veirya to say so, but then I’d have to bring Leah along. Judging from Leah’s health during my most recent trip, I surmised her mental state could be controlled without my care as long as she had Veirya. One of us, therefore, had to always be with Leah. The trip to the imperial capital sounded as if it was a tour all of a sudden. I needed to see if I could investigate the steam engine while I was there.
Knock, knock. Anna stood up to open the door.
“Who could it be now? Please don’t be someone weird or troublesome asking for my help. This man is busy. Am I the town’s problem solver now or something?” I silently whinged.
Anna came back with just a strange letter. There was no name or writing on the envelope. I assumed it to be a letter from someone we were familiar with as they knew who to give it to. The first candidate who came to mind was Achilles. If it’s from him, it must’ve been for me, and it must have to do with Queen Sisi.
I instinctively extended my hand out, but Anna ignored me. She, instead, reported to Veirya, “Lord Veirya, this is a letter for you.”
Veirya lifted her chin, while I raised an eyebrow. Someone sending Veirya was unheard of in my time with her. I presumed it might’ve been from the military trying to test Veirya again. Veirya probably didn’t take it for the same reason.
“I. Won’t read it. I’m guessing. It’s from them again.”
“It is not, Lord Veirya.”
I couldn’t figure out what Anna’s gaze was suggesting… She elaborated, “Lord Veirya, this letter is from the elves… for you…”
“Don’t read it!”
I immediately realised what the letter was when I heard Anna’s response! My assumption was wrong! I bound over, thereby almost knocking the table over in the process. Anna exclaimed, but Veirya had snatched the letter before I could. She curiously scanned at the letter and I. I knew exactly what was inside, which was why I was particularly nervous! I had no idea what Lucia wanted, but she sent the invitation over!
“Why?! Should’ve Lucia be the Elven Queen now?! How can she call me back if she’s the Queen?! Elven Queens can’t get married!” I panicked in my mind.
Veirya questioned, “You know what this letter is?”
“I know, Veirya. Let me explain. The letter is from Lucia. It’s useless. She’s probably just asking about Queen Sisi’s whereabouts. It’s a useless letter. We just need to ignore it. Just ignore it.”
Veirya obediently set the letter down. I lightly let out a pent-up breath. Nevertheless, I knew I couldn’t leave the dangerous letter there. I was only going to be safe once it evaporated in the fire. Before I could do anything, however, Anna added, “Sir Lin… there is actually an elven messenger outside with something to hand you… and an oral message.”
I shuddered: “D-”
Anna placed a head veil on the table: “Queen Lucilia says… her wedding engagement with you has not yet ended. She asks you to return to the elven forest to marry her. She also said to bring Lord Veirya along to attend… Lucilia and Travor’s wedding…”
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