Choosing Between Sisi and Veirya
I knew what to do. Out in the field, it would be Veirya’s business. My battlefield was the table where everyone was sitting at. I didn’t know why the opposition wanted to speak with me. Under normal circumstances, we weren’t on talking terms. The military could marginalise me since they had the initiative. My original plan was to wait for the people to be in frenzy, leaving the military at a loss due to focusing on one thing, and then have Queen Sisi emerge. That would force the military to come forward and talk with us to solve the matter. If they tried to kill Sisi at that point, it would be blatant betrayal. That was the best timing.
We didn’t get the timing right. The military could refuse to talk to me, reason being that the Queen had yet to rally the people. The people didn’t know what happened yet. The imperial capital was still as calm as still water. It was impossible to send the people into panic to incite panic in the military.. Put another way, they could skip all the talking and turn us into hostages, yet they wanted to talk with us.
“Why do they want to talk with us? Does it have something to do with Veirya being at our place? By the looks of it, Veirya sneaked out to go to our place, and still isn’t back,” I analysed.
The military had lost their most important weapon, or rather, their stock crashed. Veirya was the key to their plan. Without her, who’d be able to contend for the throne? Hence, the military had to negotiate with us to do damage control. At the very least, they could ensure that they could keep most of their members. Judging from the situation at hand, the throne was in Sisi’s bag. We could make any request we wanted in the negotiation.
“That said, what do I do about Sisi if I’m prepared to return to the North with Veirya? I promised Sisi. I, in fact, even proposed to her already. I had no choice with Lucia, but what about this time? I’ve basically betrayed Sisi. I gave a girl hope for marriage, yet eloped with my girlfriend. I can’t do it. How can I pull such a scumbag move?
“If we were back a few days ago, I’d definitely waltz off with Veirya with the demeanour of a victor, hand the throne to Sisi, and then you do you, and I do me. Now, though, do I really have to discuss this? Do I want to leave with Veirya?” I mused.
Sitting next to me, Sisi grabbed my hand. Her scent and warmth calmed me. She wasn’t particularly afraid of the people who invaded her nest. To the contrary, she was extremely composed. She held my hand to indicate that she was waiting for me to speak.
I had two choices. We had won. Veirya was on our side. I just need to leave with her, and let Queen Sisi return to the throne. What she did after was none of my business. Everything would be back to how it was not long ago. Sisi would have returned to her throne, and Veirya would’ve returned to my side, mission accomplished. We’ve resolved our differences, and we can go home with Leah to resume our peaceful life.
Alternatively, I could decide to not acknowledge the victory, and let the people hold an official vote for Veirya and Sisi. That would provide Sisi with an opportunity. That was also my stance. Worded another way, I rejected Veirya and was willing to stay with Sisi.
Option C was to elope with Sisi.
“Veirya isn’t with me right now, so I’m calm and rational. That means the decision I make now will be the calculated and correct one. Now, how do I choose? Shall I leave with Veirya and tell Sisi, ‘I was just kidding,’ and then leave as a husband on the surface, or should I give up on Veirya, and tell Sisi that I’m staying here with her as the Queen’s husband and chief of staff?” I deliberated.
The young man opposite us stared at is as if we committed some major sin when he was the traitor. Sisi didn’t pester me. Surely Sisi knew that I could make the call but believed in me and herself; she believed that I’d make the most appropriate choice.
“I know that he’s calm right now. There’s no madness in his gaze. He’s in his most normal state. He can definitely make the right choice this time. Am I the right choice in his mind?” I pondered.
Sisi didn’t know what he thought.
Sisi used to love a type of bird, the type that would often fly around in the flower garden. Its voice was clear and glided along notes. Its feathers were seven bright colours and didn’t fear any possible dangers. It displayed its beauty without fearing nature’s challenge. Sisi really liked those birds as a young girl. She ran outside with bread every day and scattered bread crumbs. She’d watch the birds gather, shake out their feathers while chirping with joy.
That was Sisi’s favourite activity. She wanted those pretty birds more than power, authority, military power or land right now. The birds would visit her flower garden every day, but her doting father never caught one for her. Sisi was always perplexed as to why her father never gave her one of the birds as a present. If her father wouldn’t gift her one, she just needed to catch one for herself.
Sisi was never one to easily quit. Soon enough, she created a device to capture birds as per the instructions in a book. In the early morning, she ran into the flower garden and scattered bird crumbs. The birds were used to being fed; thus, they stood there without any suspicion. Lying in ambush, Sisi yanked the rope, pinning a bird to the ground.
“I caught it. I finally caught a bird that I wanted most!” Sisi cheered.
Sisi rushed over with joy. She put the bird into a bird cage that she prepared beforehand. The bird whimpered sorrowfully as it bashed against the impregnable cage. Sisi proudly took it to her father. Her father laughed but didn’t comment.
It was Sisi’s favourite bird; it was the bird she had been keeping tabs on most recently. Its colourful feathers consisting of five colours dazzled. Its smooth body was charming. Sisi kept poking it, but it only weakly groaned as it lied there. Nonetheless, its groans were pleasing to the ear.
On the next day, however, Sisi found herself surprised when she looked at the bird she finally caught. The bird lied still. It didn’t eat anything. It ran into the rails of the cage all yesterday. It silently stared at Sisi. She didn’t sob or feel upset. She seemed to realise something. What she finally realised was that she didn’t like the bird but the bird’s look when it was able to fly freely in the sky.
Sisi’s current situation was the exact same again. She knew that the man next to her would make the decision he deemed correct when he was level-headed. As such, she wasn’t anxious. At the same time, she couldn’t say anything. She didn’t consider herself doomed to lose, not to Veirya. When he was at rock bottom, she was the only one who stayed by his side and helped him get back on his feet. Additionally, he confessed to her first. So accordingly, failure wasn’t inevitable.
Leah carried a bowl over to Veirya with a smile. A succubus gave her a basket of bread. Veirya accepted the food: “Thank you. Leah. I’m very happy. You came. To see me. Today.”
“It’s okay, Mama Veirya. You protected me, after all,” replied Leah. “Plus, if you’re with Papa, he’ll be happier… Last time… Papa was so upset that he passed out. It was really frightening…”
Veirya put down the food: “He. Passed out?”
“Yes. After he saw you, he passed out when he came back…” responded Leah. Leah grabbed her own clothes and quietly muttered, “Leah thinks that Papa would be so miserable if Mama Veirya comes back.”
“… Sorry, Leah.”
“Mama Veirya didn’t wrong me, but if Mama Veirya can make up with Papa, then that would be fantastic!”
“I will. I definitely. Will.”
Current time at the imperial palace.
I took in a deep breath. I had made up my mind. I couldn’t redo my life over, so I couldn’t change my mind.
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