Leah extended her hand out of the bathtub, revealing her body to me. Veirya, who sat opposite me, calmly turned around. I gently cleared my throat then wrapped Leah in a big towel. Leah grabbed onto my shoulders for support and walked along Veirya’s thigh to get out. I gently dried Leah’s hair with the towel.
“Leah, head up and prepare for bed. Papa will come up after a bath.”
“Okay.” Leah jogged upstairs.
Veirya stood up from the water. She copied Leah, extending a hand out to me. I cracked a helpless smile. Despite having some muscle and wounds, her body was still seductive, consequently entrancing me for a brief moment. I draped the towel over Veirya. As she leaned forward I could feel those tips… She, however, wasn’t bothered. She hooked her arms around my neck and got out. Chin raised, she demanded, “I also want. You to dry my hair.”
“Which exalted household do you hail from?!” exclaimed Angelina. “It’s really disgusting to be acting coquettish when you have an emotionless look, you know?”
“No, I think it’s cute.”
I dried Veirya’s messy hair for her. Her uneven hair due to the fire incident didn’t bother her. After I dried her hair, she picked up her ring from the table with the utmost caution and wore it on. It was almost bedtime, yet she still didn’t want to have her ring out of sight for a single moment. I was genuinely delighted to see her cherish the ring so much. That was the Veirya I liked.
Anna handed Veirya a cup of strong wine. Drinking alcohol was, perhaps, Veirya’s only hobby. She knocked back the drink then shook her body out.
“So. Do you need me. To do anything else?”
“No. You can go sleep now. I’m going to take a bath and then turn in, as well.”
With the corner of her lips tugged up, Anna inquired, “Sir, do you need me to prepare you a drink?”
“No. Tea will do.”
Anna then joined Ross and moved the barrel and poured it out. I dare say lots of valuable contents to creeps were lost in that water. After all, it was water Veirya and Leah bathed in…
Angelina, who was first to finishing bathing, was amidst relaxing a fruit wine session at the dining table. In front of her were fruits that welcomed in the cool breeze. I sat opposite her and poured myself a cup of tea. She set her cup down and gave me a smile: “This is the first time we’ve had such a relaxing environment in months, huh?”
Ever since the fire that night back then, I practically had no peaceful days. After eliminating the chapel, humanity attacked the elves. After Queen Sisi went and got herself destroyed, I had to get engaged with Lucia, only for that to end up putting my love with Veirya in the balance. Next, Queen Sisi and I began an amorous relationship that was an ordeal to end and bring in this time of peace in my life.
“You declined Edward, did you? I don’t understand your reason for doing so, but I can tell you turned him down from the way he keeps coming and going. If I’m correct, he came from the imperial capital to offer to work with you, right? Are you enjoying this life you have at the moment?”
“I’d say so. After going through so much, I crave this sort of lifestyle. I know that I don’t need to do anything or obtain anything. Nonetheless, I’m quite happy with this carefree life,” I answered with my pursed lips curved up.
Angelina picked up her cup of wine and drank it in one go. She stood up without a word. Ross and Anna moved the barrel back to its original place and filled it up. They lit up a fire underneath. Before I could give them my thanks, I suddenly heard someone shuffling with their clothes. I cast my gaze in the direction of the sound to be treated to Angelina’s gorgeous back. She didn’t have an excessive amount of scars. Her back was alluring and enchanting. She ignored my gaze and calmly undressed in front of me. She even turned her head to give me the tender smile of a woman. Finally, she climbed into the water that was supposed to be for me.
Ross stood stiff in place with firewood in hand, not knowing what to do. Anna covered his eyes. Then, she took the firewood from him and quickly had him leave. Angelina stretched her limbs out in the most relaxed fashion ever. Without a single care in the world, she opened her legs, putting one on each side. If you were to look at her front on, her legs resembled the letter ‘M’. There was nothing that wasn’t visible. I knew that I should bend over… as it would hurt immensely, otherwise…
“You’re not actually a good liar. Your body is always honest as can be. Like, right now. You always claim that you love my daughter, but my body has conquered your mind. You said you’re happy at the moment, yet there’s no joy in your eyes.”
“They’re two different things…”
I turned around to calm myself a little. Angelina always launched surprise attacks, thereby leaving me lost for what to do… She giggled, but didn’t say anything. Instead, she pulled her legs back in and smiled: “So, let’s bath together. I want to try it again, too. Having said that, I can’t guarantee that I’ll keep my hands to myself. You’ll feel gross if you don’t bath, however, huh?”
“Veirya is going to end me if she catches us.”
“I think this will cheer you up somewhat. You’re not happy in the least right at the moment, after all.”
“Says who? Why are you sounding as if you know me better than my mom knows me? I think I’m happy. I’m genuinely very happy with my current wife! I’m being absolutely honest!”
Angelina frustrated me for some reason. She let me finish what I said before contesting, “You can go ask Leah. Ask her. Ask what she thinks of the current you. If you’re genuinely happy as you say, would she be so anxious to cheer you up?”
I suddenly found myself shut down for I had no argument.
“You’re not happy you’re just afraid. You’re afraid because your errors could cost Veirya and Leah. You’re suppressing your desires and staying here. In reality, you want to do something as always, right?’
I still gave no reply. I didn’t know how Angelina saw through me. I couldn’t see my face. I inwardly questioned, “Is my smile really devoid of joy? I don’t know. How do Veirya and Leah see me at the moment? Am I that easy to read now?”
“No matter what you say, I can’t gamble with their futures now. I have no right to ruin their lives. They like this life. This life suits them better. I can’t ruin their lives for my own selfish desires. I won’t do that.”
“Really?” asked Angelina. She giggled. “People say that marriage is a man’s grave. I guess you just proved it. Previously, you wouldn’t hesitate for a moment as long as there was just that smidge of hope left. What about now? You’re so busy with worrying about losing that you can’t think about what you could gain. Surely you’ve thought about what you could gain if you succeed this time.”
Indeed, I had. Or rather, if I acquired the coal mine, I would essentially have the empire’s lifeline in my hands. I couldn’t say for sure how much that’d be worth as it was impossible to assign a value to it. In essence, the entire empire would be under my control. Nevertheless, if I had to choose between the coal mine and Veirya and Leah, I would choose Veirya and Leah without a thought. That’s why didn’t want to get involved.
“You’ve climbed into your grave too soon. You’re still young. If you give up on everything now, it would be a waste. You need to believe in yourself. You must bear one thing in mind: if a man has given up on everything, what is he left with? What about afterwards? What would you have in the end? Only your regret, I bet. To that end, don’t let yourself regret it. There’s no need to worry about Veirya and Leah. They don’t want their current life; what they want is just you. If the two of them become the reason you give up on everything, they’ll regret it along with you in the future. Therefore, you best do as you want.”
“Obviously, you might regret listening to me. In my opinion, you need to consult Leah and Veirya. I’m an outsider. You three are a family. Or, did you want to be family with me, too?”
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