Sisi’s return was a resounding success. The entire empire was drowned in merry. Everyone figured out what happened once Sisi brought out the Elven Queen. Humanity didn’t lose the war. The reason Queen Sisi couldn’t return wasn’t due to her mistake but due to the military’s betrayal. The disloyal military delayed Queen Sisi’s return. She had never been defeated against foreign forces before, so all of the suspicions the people had were erased. Queen Sisi had returned to resume her role as the Queen of humanity’s empire without anyone questioning her. The oppressive rule was immediately lifted, thereby returning the city to the state of a city that never slept.
I left after personally leading Queen Sisi up to the balcony, where she could look down at everyone below. Queen Sisi knew what to do next. She didn’t need me to tell her what to do next even though I was her guardian in name. I couldn’t remain at her side. It didn’t matter that the ladies-in-waiting were aware. Howbeit, it wouldn’t be good if the people saw the man behind Queen Sisi end up with Veirya in the end. Rumours in the imperial palace were to remain in the imperial palace.
Queen Sisi knew I left, but she had the empire and the people of the imperial capital in front of her.
Before I left, I removed my sky blue cape and wore on my thin, white cloak again. The white cloak was one that Veirya personally helped me wear on. Ordinary it may have been, it was still the item that I cherished most. I folded up the sky blue cape properly because I was most likely going to have to wear it daily when I went to the imperial capital. I didn’t hate the colour. Sisi felt that the colour was appropriate for me. After all, I was considered a bird. It eluded me as to why the people of this world always associated me with animals.
The streets were practically empty. Virtually everyone had gone to attend the Queen’s return ceremony. I didn’t have anything else I could do. The young man’s punishment wasn’t the priority. Spilling blood at the Queen’s coronation ceremony was also inappropriate.
I went to place I went to before. Yes, the one that left me with a psychological blow. Even though Veirya had come back to me, the association brought back unpleasant memories. The jewellery shop was as quiet as always but was open, nonetheless. The dwarves probably had no interest in humanity’s Queen.
I went inside the store. The items were much simpler than what was available in the modern day. There weren’t many treasures. To be precise, they were just wooden chests and more wooden chests jammed together plus a huge counter. There were several dwarves behind the counter using a scale to weigh gems. Noticing me, one of them inquired, “Is something the matter?”
“Did Veirya have a ring made here?’
“Lord Veirya? Yes, she did. Is there something wrong with it? If there is, we do provide free repairs.”
“No, I just wanted to ask if you could make another one.”
“Did you lose the original?”
“No. I need a more extravagant one than that one. It’d be best if it was your best ring.” I paused for a moment before resuming: “What can you make with your best materials for a ring?”
“We dwarves refine the best mithril and combine it with dragon bones. After we smelt them, we turn them into a crystal. A big one. There are six smaller ones around it. We carve names on the ring itself then fill it with gold. We get it precisely right so that there isn’t any overflowing gold. It looks amazing, but it’s expensive. It costs four thousand gold coins.”
“I’ll take it.” I placed the invoice I had on the table: “Show this to the merchants listed, and they will pay you. I just need to sign.”
“Mm… All right.”
Dishing out four thousand gold coins at once wasn’t the norm. I did loan the ten thousand gold coins to take back Sisi’s throne, but I had successfully achieved the goal. Further, I didn’t need to pay back the loan. Ten thousand gold coins was spare change for Sisi. However, she was going to have more burdens to deal with going forward as she had to repay the loans she took out for her campaign against the elves. With that said, along as the empire got back on track, that sum would soon be repaid. Humanity’s empire’s demise wasn’t due yet. It’d better to say that it was at its prime.
The dwarf quickly went back. I asked, “How long will it take to have it made?”
“You might have to wait for a bit, so I suggest you come back for it in the evening.”
The dwarf was understandably courteous. They immediately put down their gems and scale to hurry on with my order. Their workshop must’ve been behind them. I took the invoice they handed me and then left. I was petty, to be honest. I wanted to buy a more valuable ring to wave it in the young man’s face and tell him who the better man was.
I didn’t know where to go after I left.
“I guess I’ll take Leah to the imperial palace,” I decided.
Standing with Veirya in a narrow alley that didn’t stand out, a man checked around then proceeded to say, “Hehe, all right, let’s do a trade. As I said before, I have the ring you need. It’s amazingly pretty. You won’t find another one that can compare. Only I have such good stuff.”
Veirya took the ring and checked it out. On the pretty ring was a clear gem that shined.
“What do you think? Amazing, isn’t it? Madam, this would be the perfect gift for your man. I’ll give it to you for cheap. This was my mother’s ring when she got married. I wouldn’t be selling it if I wasn’t in desperate need of money.”
“I. Don’t have money.”
Veirya popped the ring into her pocket then reached for her sword at her waist. The frightened man was about to go on his knees. He had been conning people for a long time but never expected to run into another scammer!
“This. For you. In exchange. Her Majesty. Gave it to me.”
Veirya passed her sword to the man. His gaze stopped on the handle as there was a counterweight stone on the handle, and the stone happened to resemble a gem.
“Deal! You have excellent taste!”
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