I couldn’t imagine what the status quo of the imperial capital was. Rather, it seemed to always be prospering no matter when. Despite what took place during the military’s reign, the people still had enough to eat. I, however, knew that the city was a city of blood. Perhaps it’d be more precise to describe it as a monster’s mouth, where countless people had been minced in it and then their bones spat out but were fortunate enough to survive. For example, Queen Sisi could.
I wondered if I had some sort of peculiar fate connecting me to the city. When I lived in the North, I had no clue what the imperial capital had to do with me. However, due to several encounters that jeopardised my life, I ended up coming to the city. I could consider it the home to my life.
“All right, we’ve arrived.”
I carried Leah off the carriage. Ross disembarked after us. We had lost track of how many days we spent in a carriage. I had even abandoned my carriage. We had to board a carriage carrying fur to travel to the imperial city. The fur was excellent cushioning and kept us warm. Sadly, we ended up reeking of fur.
“Papa, where are we going?” asked Leah, who I led by the hand. “Papa… if we have time… Leah would like to take a bath…”
“I know, Leah. Papa promises to let you have a good rest…”
I touched my pocket. I only had approximately a few gold and silver coins. That was enough to let Leah have a good rest. We, at least, could get a decent room. However, they were my last dollars, my last legs. It wasn’t remotely enough for me to get back on my feet. All I had left was only enough to not ruin Leah’s living experience.
I had no idea what the future had in store for me. If I went bankrupt, Leah wouldn’t be able to stay with me. It wasn’t a question of whether I wanted her or not. My daughter would unquestionably be sold off after I was bankrupt. My bankruptcy had nothing to do with Leah. I couldn’t allow her to be sold off owing to my incompetence. I had to entrust her to someone trustworthy. Until then, I couldn’t mistreat her as her father. I didn’t inform her of what her fate in the future might be. She didn’t ask, either. Perhaps she wasn’t upset as she still considered me her almighty father. Unfortunately, I might’ve been at my wits end.
“This place is…” Ross cast his gaze onto the dark-red structure.
“What, you don’t recognise it anymore? Isn’t this the place where you sneaked into our carriage?”
It had been restored to its former glory. I could hear the succubi’s cheerful laughter from within. All of their laughs promoted the circulation of money. The men wouldn’t hesitate to spend money inside in exchange for a glance form the girls they fancied. Nonetheless, the succubi didn’t need gold. They needed the men’s bodies.
Shy Ross lowered his head. The revealing clothing the succubi wear was a bit too much for him. The succubi virtually never showed themselves during the military’s reign, but they were now in bloom.
“Miss Leah?!” A succubus exclaimed.
“I need to see Sophia,” Leah demanded.
Little Leah neither had any powers or weapons, yet the succubi remained absolutely loyal to her merely thanks to her lineage. When a trail of smoke came out, I knew Sophia had come.
With her pipe in hand, Sophia respectfully bowed deeply to Leah. She then questioned, “What is the matter? I am rather busy with business here. We will obey Miss Leah’s commands, nevertheless. Something must have happened for you to be back here again. Go ahead and tell me. We will be sure to help.”
“I need you to hand this place over to Papa!” demanded Leah, before I could speak. “Papa is in desperate need of money. You definitely have a decent amount of money here. You must hand the money and place over to Papa!”
Sophia’s brow popped up. “Haha, is this your idea? If it is your idea, I am fine with it. Money is meaningless to us now. I am fine with handing it over as long as you can allow us to stay employed. So, what do you have in mind?”
“That’s not what I’m after,” I replied, then pushing Leah over to Sophia. “Sophia, I need you to take care of Leah for a while. I’ll be back to pick her up. Before I do, could I trouble you to take good care of her?”
“Is there something you need to do again?” Sophia inquired without rejecting me. “Judging from your expression, you have a problem, and you give the impression that it is not easy to resolve.”
“You’re right.” I crouched down. I stroked Leah’s head and kissed her face. With a smile, I said, “Leah, stay here for now. Papa will come back once Papa resolves the money issue. Papa can’t take this place. It’s not Papa’s. Plus… if Papa fails, Papa hopes you can stay with your succubi kin.”
I couldn’t take the place. If I did, it’d become part of the solvency. Putting aside the fact that it wasn’t worth much, I couldn’t guarantee that the succubi would be safe from the bank. The bank might tear the place down and build it back up. What would be done with the succubi, though? The place was their only home and place of survival left. Moreover, if I was done for, Leah would have somewhere to go. At the very least, she’d have her succubi kin. I didn’t feel assured with letting Leah go anywhere else. The succubi would undoubtedly treat her well, at the very least.
“Papa! I want you to come back!” exclaimed Leah, tightly hugging me around the neck and sobbing. “Leah will be a good girl… but Leah doesn’t want to lose Papa… Papa won’t fail. Papa won’t fail… Leah will wait for Papa. Papa… please… you must pick Leah up…”
“I know. I know, Leah. I promise to come back to pick you up. I promise.”
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd