A Place Where I Can Cry
I took in a big breath and gently knocked on the door. Leah couldn’t leave me. She couldn’t leave despite feeling furious. If both Veirya and I left her, she’d become mentally unstable again. I didn’t understand why she was angry as Veirya was and didn’t understand me. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to deal with a child’s anger. Leah was a mere child. I shouldn’t blame her. Also, she was my most beloved daughter. I believed that she would understand if I explained it properly.
Leah didn’t respond. I pushed the door open, but something seemed to be blocking it. Leah didn’t let me come in. She just fumed to herself in her room and refused to eat. She starved herself to upset me. Only children would do such a thing.
I placed the food on the ground. I cleared my throat and explained, “Leah, sorry. I didn’t try to hide what happened between Lucia and me in the elven lands. I never thought about leaving you here to move to the elven lands. I wasn’t happy in the elven lands. They kept surveillance on me the entire time. They were sceptical about what my true aim was. I was on edge the entire time, but I fought through it. Leah, Papa missed you every day when Papa was there. Please forgive Papa.”
There was no noise from inside, so I wasn’t sure if Leah heard me. I pushed the door but still couldn’t open it. I wasn’t sure if she was stopping the door or asleep and didn’t hear me. Nevertheless, I planned to go on. Leah should’ve been able to pick up my scent. As a child, she would want my apology. She would return to my side if she accepted my apology.
“Leah, Papa has to go to the imperial capital now. I believe that Veirya is there. Veirya has nowhere to go. I considered it, but I’m sure that she can’t go to the elves or the dwarves. Therefore, the imperial capital is the only viable place she could go. That’s where the military is. They’re going to take advantage of her. I don’t know how many people will approach her for power. By then, Veirya won’t be able to leave. I need to rescue her. Only Queen Sisi can bring the situation under control. Papa needs to return Queen Sisi to the throne. You’ll be unstable if you separate from Papa for too long so Papa wants to bring you along this time. Leah, we’re leaving tomorrow, so pack your luggage.”
The door behind me opened. Ciara poked her head out and awkwardly chuckled: “Umm… Lord Travor, Leah is actually in our room… Leah damaged the door yesterday, so we brought Leah to our room today.”
I felt relieved. I turned around to see Leah’s small head poke out from behind Ciara. She fearfully expressed, “Papa… sorry… Leah was mean to you… Sorry… The elven sisters have explained it to me… You bore with a lot there, yet I was unreasonable… I’m sorry… Papa… Leah… Leah didn’t know…”
I shook my head. I crouched down to give Leah a big hug. She wrapped her arms tight around my neck and softly sobbed next to my ear. I stroked her small back: “Thank you, Leah. Papa is so glad to have you still with Papa… It’s all right. Papa doesn’t blame you. Papa is glad you’re with Papa – very glad.”
“Leah… Leah won’t ever leave Papa. Leah will always be with Papa.”
I heard the Elven Queen’s giggle coming from the made. I judged so based off the fact that she wore a thin sleepwear. The diplomat helped her over to us. I, too, reached out to help her: “Sorry for disturbing your sleep.”
“Not at all. I did not sleep yet as I knew that you would definitely come looking for Leah.” The Elven Queen carefully touched my face and comforted me with a smile: “Sorry, you have been back for some time, yet I have not had the chance to welcome you. I thought I should let Lord Veirya have the privilege of welcoming you first, but it appears that your reunion with her was not a joyous one.”
I didn’t respond. I didn’t want to recall it, but the Elven Queen couldn’t see my face. She went on: “I cannot see what happened between you two, but I can sense that your heart is shattered; or rather, it was shattered long ago. You have become numb to it and no longer feel pain. That is why you were able to recover so quickly. Your most loved one has left, yet you are still concerned about disrupting my sleep. You neglect your own wounds. Perhaps it is because you know that nobody will care even if you cry. That must be why you do not cry.”
I froze. The Elven Queen tugged Ciara. Ciara nodded and then crouched down to whisper something in Leah’s ear. Leah left with Ciara after hearing it. The diplomat also followed suit, shutting the door behind her gently.
I was quite surprised. The Elven Queen smiled with her head titled: “It appears that they have all left. There is only the two of us in here now. Additionally, this is my territory, is it? Of course, it is a place you have provided me with.”
I didn’t know where she was taking it. She didn’t have eyes, so I couldn’t read her thoughts through her facial appearance. Nonetheless, she didn’t get touchy with me or something.
“Your Lordship, can you help me to the bed?”
The Elven Queen grabbed onto my arm and looped hers around mine in the gentlest manner possible. If I may be honest, I had developed a reluctance to have physical contact with women by that point. The Elven Queen, however, was polite and appropriate when making physical contact with me. Therefore, I wasn’t averse to it. Perhaps I didn’t suspect she harboured ill will owing to her lack of sight.
I carefully helped her sit down. She didn’t pull me down onto the bed or anything or the sort. She pulled her arm out then patted the spot next to her. She stated, Can you keep me company? After you came back, you are leaving again without having spoken to me. I want to have a chat with you.”
“Sure, but not for too long since I have to tuck Leah in at night.”
I sat down next to the Elven Queen. She gently hugged my head without wasting any words. The hug felt different to Queen Sisi’s. The Elven Queen’s embrace had more of a mother’s warmth to it compared to Queen Sisi’s. It wasn’t firm or romantic. I juddered, but she didn’t comment. I didn’t struggle, but I could feel tears slowly course down from my eyes.
“Eh…? This is odd… I’m feeling calm right now, not sad. I no longer feel heartbroken as before, so why am I shedding tears? I thought I couldn’t try again. I haven’t cried in so long. Why am I crying in her arms?” I inwardly questioned.
“Go on, cry, Dear. Nobody will see your tears here, including myself. Because I care about you, I do not want to let you suffer so much. Sometimes, crying is a way of releasing pent up feelings. If you keep all of your feelings pent up inside you, you are bound to break down sooner or later. Just cry here. You will definitely have to deal with a lot of pressure. Do not carry this pain with you while bearing more pressure. Even if you are facing insurmountable trouble, I will always be by your side. I cannot see. If you wish to cry, use my shoulder. You do not need to worry about anything or have any misgivings. I will be happy just as long as you are willing to cry on my shoulder.”
I tightly grabbed her thin shoulders and pressed my head to her chest. My tears began to pour out of my eyes. I gritted my teeth to muffle my sobs. I didn’t want to let anyone know that I was crying. She tenderly hugged me in silence and patted me on my back. She quietly hummed an elven melody that was soothing, yet sad.
I still had tears in me. I still knew how to cry. My tears rinsed my brain. I discovered that I couldn’t lie to myself. I desperately tried to forget what happened during the day. I didn’t want to remember the reality that Veirya had left. I kept telling myself that I could find her, apologise and plead her to come back, but my tears allowed me to see myself for who I really was. The truth was that I couldn’t control others.
To crown Queen Sisi again, I had to oppose Veirya. I wasn’t all alone. I still had my loved ones, those who loved me and those who cared about me by my side. At the very least, I had a shoulder to cry my heart out on.
“I will not stop you; however, as before, Your Lordship, I pray that the forest will grant you courage and wisdom. I will always be here, praying for her until you come back safe and sound. I will always be there for you and waiting for you here.”
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