Only One by My Side
Despite my misery, I couldn’t say verbalise it. I had never felt so hopeless before. I truly did my absolute best to make Veirya happy. I got engaged with Lucia for Veirya’s sake.
I did it all for Veirya, but why didn’t she understand me? I did everything I could to make up for my mistake. I did my best to stop Lucia from clinging to me. I didn’t go on a crusade for Lucia’s affection. I had returned to Veirya’s side. I could have chosen to stay with Lucia, but I chose to return to Veirya’s side. Didn’t that prove I loved her?
Veirya left without giving me a chance to explain myself. Angelina pointed outside and thundered, “Go and tidy up your mess. Go outside and explain it clearly to the elf. Tell them who you love and who you want to marry. I don’t want my daughter to have a man with a fickle heart, staying by her side while having ambiguous relationships with other women. Either you leave with Lucia or be with Veirya, and ensure Lucia won’t come over to harass you and my daughter again!!”
I went to reply to Angelina, but she spun around and left. Sisi stood up and laughed: “It’s fine. I’ll accompany you. About Lucilia… I believe it had to do with me.”
I was grateful to Queen Sisi. She was probably the only one who could understand me and was willing to help clarify the fiasco. I had tosee the elven messenger and have them put it aside. Veirya was here, so there was no way they could run.
I touched Leah’s head, but she avoided me. I should’ve been a hero who did the impossible, yet everyone, except Queen Sisi, abandoned me. Even Veirya wasn’t willing to spare me a glance. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find fault with what she said. I told Veirya that I loved her, but then got engaged with Lucia. I didn’t even know if that counted as me betraying Veirya.
I, myself, knew that I never loved Lucia. I knew it and firmly believed it, but Leah said I lied.
Did I love Lucia, or have I always loved her? Never. Impossible. I love Veirya. I went to the elven lands for Veirya’s sake, subsequently leading to the string of events. I didn’t have the time to think about love when I was together with Lucia. I admit that I was swayed at one point, but it wasn’t a deep feeling. I didn’t love Lucia. I loved Veirya. How do I prove it, though?
Queen Sisi and I went out. The elf bowed to me upon seeing me I had never seen the elf before. I surmised he was a new vassal Lucilia had instated. After chuckling for whatever reason, he reported, “Lord Travor, Queen Lucilia’s wedding with you has not yet been cancelled. Since you have returned to humanity and informed people here, you should return to complete the marriage now. We have sent out invitations already, so you should return to marry Queen Lucilia.”
“Hasn’t she already been enthroned as Queen?! Isn’t there a rule that Elven Queens must offer everything they have for elves?!”
“That was true in the past. After the recent incident, however, elves felt that our previous approach was wrong. We believe we cannot force our Queen to sacrifice everything for elves on her own. Instead, we believe elves should select a representative, and everyone should work together for elves. Her Majesty should also live together with elves. That way, she will be able to understand everyone’s views. As such, the engagement is still effective. You are our Queen’s fiancé. You have worn on for her the ring that represents love, which means that you sincerely love her. Her Majesty is our Queen. Her dignity is, therefore, our dignity. If you lied to her, that means you lied to all elves.
“Playing with our Queen’s feelings is a loathsome lie. You lived in our lands for one week, which means your feelings should be genuine, correct? Regardless, Queen Lucilia is still waiting for you at the border with our elven team. If you lied to us, I suppose you know what the consequences will be.”
“How should I choose now? Should I go see Lucia or turn back now? My decision will be the catalyst for a war or lack thereof. I did consider it would be a possibility. If I fail to handle this appropriately, I’ll be watching a war between Lucia and Veirya. They’re going to fight to the bitter end. This is also a war between humans and elves. I have to avoid a war. Why didn’t I think of this?! Why did Lucia change the elven traditions out of the blue? Why didn’t she just work as a Queen? I’m just a human; why is she clinging to me?!
“What can I do now?!! I can’t go to your forest again! Didn’t I tell you that I never loved you?! Why are you still clinging to me? I know that I was wrong for lying to you, but what can you do about it? You want to dig my eyeballs out?!
“I really should let Veirya see what I went through. My eyeballs were at risk the entire time. Why does Veirya not believe me? I did so much for her, only for the verdict to be that I was in the wrong?! Why?!!
“Why in the world am I in the wrong?! Was I wrong?! Should I have not gone? Should I have just stayed here? She wanted me to go, too. I used what I considered to be the best approach, yet this is how I’m treated?! Why?!! Why didn’t I even get a thank you for everything I did?! What in the world did I do it all for?!! The elves want to force me around. The humans don’t understand me. What the devil am I even doing?!” I fumed to myself.
History repeated itself all over again. The situation was no different to life before I died. I helped people resolve their mires, but nobody remembered me. Instead, I was abhorred, hated, and no one understood me. I always believed there was one person who’d understand me. When people treated me well, I thought I found someone worth my efforts, only for it to end up the same way. I couldn’t fathom why nobody could ever understand me.
“You have to go,” Queen Sisi whispered in my ear.
I felt a warm and firm hold on my hand. Queen Sisi stood next to me, my hands in her, and added, “It’s all right. Don’t panic. Just be your usual self. You didn’t do anything wrong. Just stay calm. You were able to rescue me from the elven lands. By the same token, you should be fine handling Lucilia. Don’t panic.”
Queen Sisi’s voice was akin to freezing cold water flowing into my body, cooling my boiling and irritated blood. Her gaze was gentle, yet firm. She cracked her signature smile. She gave me a push from behind: “You’re the only one who can resolve this. I don’t believe there is anything you can’t do. I will always be by your side. I understand everything you did. If you wanted to save me, that was the only way you could. I would’ve done the same thing if I was in your position. What happened has already happened. You’re now in humanity’s lands. Lucilia wouldn’t dare to push the envelope. Veirya is here, after all. Therefore, there’s no need for you to worry.”
“I don’t believe there is anything that you can’t do.” I never heard that from Veirya before. Only Queen Sisi would say that to me. Not everybody would treat me that way. I won’t ever deny Queen Sisi’ attitude used to be loathsome, but she was genuinely grateful after I rescued her and was the only one who was grateful to me.
I took in a much-needed deep breath. What Queen Sisi said calmed me down. Strangely, Queen Sisi and I never had any deep conversations, but we were always able to read the other. During the commotion with the chapel, Queen Sisi sent an invitation. When she was down in the sewers, she didn’t shout loudly to avoid exposing me. When my feathers were ruffled, she helped me stay calm. I wasn’t almighty. I always had some flaws when I acted alone. When I teamed up with Queen Sisi , however, I was truly capable of doing anything.
“I’ll do my best.” I squeezed Queen Sisi’s hand then let go.
She softly giggled, and let me go. The two of us put some distance between each other and then made our way to the forest that we had just left.
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