Anna revealed a surprised expression when she opened the door: “Sir, are you back already?!”’
“Why does it sound as if you don’t want me to be back?”
I handed my cloak to Anna with a smile.
“I meant, I am just bewildered somewhat. In the past, you would be out for three or four days before coming back. I am glad you are back, though. When you were out, Lord Veirya was quite anxious, leading to her pacing back and forth all the time,” reported Anna, who dusted me. “It is only noon, so did you want a drink before turning in until evening? Or would you prefer tea as usual?”
“A cup of tea will be fine. I need to write a letter. When I was away, did anyone come? I’m including elves, too.”
“You would be nervous if it was an elf, would you not?” answered Anna, with a shake of her head. She elaborated, “However, workers did visit. Due to your absence, though, Lord Veirya met with them. There appeared to be no progress, nevertheless. They said they would visit again soon.”
I stopped in place: “Workers? What workers? Do we have workers at the town now? Also, if we do, tell them to see the accountant first. Don’t just come looking for us.”
“No, they seem to not be from the town but from the mine on the mountain. In my opinion, they were tense. I was never there, hence do not know what they talked about. I suppose it does not matter to Lord Veirya.”
Ross came in from outside as Anna and I spoke. He queried, “Sir Lin, your horse has been taken to its place. Do you have any other orders?”
“No. You can finish up for the day now, Ross. By the way, when I went to the bank, you were with Edward, weren’t you? What do you think of him as a businessman?”
Ross lingered. The tips of his ears twitched a few times before he awkwardly replied, “Sorry, Sir Lin. Sir Edward does not seem to care for me… I… I did not have the courage to speak to him, either… so… so, I do not know… Sorry… Sir Lin. Have I embarrassed you?”
“No, you’re fine. That’s Edward’s personality. He won’t spare a glance for anyone who doesn’t help him forward a goal. That’s how his life is. As a businessman, you could say that he’s a businessman through and through. He could give up everything for it and abandon anything deemed dead weight. He’s a true businessman, not me.” I scrubbed Ross’ head and added, “Are you disappointed?’
“No!!” asserted Ross, as he shook his head vigorously. “Sir Lin, you are more humane. I feel honoured to be with you!”
“Haha.” I laughed as I strolled into the house.
Without surprise, the Elven Queen sat in the long corridor. Her loyal knight leaned on the same pillar and watched over her Queen. This time, though, the fountain displayed a real rainbow flower. I spotted Veirya and Leah there. Leah laughed cheerfully as she allowed the droplets of water to rain down. In her hand was the black and white walking bird. It flapped its wings and called out in similar fashion to a chicken. It seemed to enjoy the temperature of the water. Veirya stood in the water behind them and silently watched over them.
Veirya and Leah’s thin clothes stuck to their body due to the water, thereby revealing Veirya’s curvaceous lines and Leah’s young beauty. Ross blankly stood in place, wanting to look, yet not daring to. I covered his eyes and chuckled, then pushed him toward the house. He was my disciple, indeed, but I wasn’t sharing my wife with him. As for Leah… if Leah liked Ross, then… I… as her father… I’d strangle the runt to death. What’d you think I’d say?
With an elated smile, Leah put placed the walking bird down and stepped out of the flower garden. She ignored the fact that she was wet from head to toe. Regardless, I hugged my daughter with a smile and kissed her cheek: “Papa is back!”
Leah clasped my face. She left her footprint on my foot as her foot was muddy. The befuddled walking bird wobbled over to us. The heartless bird had completely forgotten who brought it here from the elven lands. However, it’d remember Lucia if it saw me, so… I figured it’d be better for it to stay away from me…
Veirya called out to me before getting close, apparently in an attempt to grab my attention before the Elven Queen could turn to face me. I finally noticed that she wasn’t wearing any pants. Presumably, she came out with her shirt to play in the water. Her two legs blinded me with the reflection of the sun. Okay, I could accept that… but… she didn’t even wear pants!!!
I screamed, “Veirya, what are you doing?!!! Why are you out here without pants?!!!”
I put Leah down and ran over to Veirya. I took off my outer coat and wrapped up her legs.
“But now. I’ll get wet. Also. We’re at home. There are no outsiders.”
“You still can’t be undressed!! What if somebody does come?! I bet you didn’t even want to wear this shirt!! Thank you to whoever had you wear it!”
Veirya still seemed baffled. According to her perception, as long as she was bathing or showering, there was no need for her to wear clothes. She still hadn’t understood how important her body was. She titled her head and touched my face: “But. You’re back.”
I turned silly from worry. I sighed again, and all my anger dissipated. I cracked a smile: “Yeah, I’m back.”
“It is my turn now, right?” asked the Elven Queen from behind.
I turned around to see Ciara help her to her feet. She faced our direction and bowed: “I am glad you are back, My Lord. We all missed you.”
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