“That was seriously dangerous.”
Lucia crawled out of my embrace. She gazed toward the door with her hair still messy and a lingering fear, yet she couldn’t hide her mischievous smile. I scrubbed her head, and she touched my face in response. She got off me before fixing her hair.
“If Veirya caught us, what would you have told? Or did you not have any intention of explaining? What do you think she would’ve done to you? If you got a divorce, would you spend the rest of your life with me, or do you have another candidate?”
I had no response to Lucia’s questions because I had no idea what to do in that scenario. I had two choices: option one was to remain in the elven lands and live a life of peace. Option was to spend the rest of my life as humanity’s Prince Consort with Queen Sisi. While it was undeniable that I was assassinated, I knew that it was unlikely under Sisi’s direct orders. She most probably just refused to protect me. I couldn’t deny that I deserved it. I did give Sisi hope twice and then walk out on her, so it wasn’t as though her wrath wasn’t justified.
I was cognisant of the fact that I couldn’t oppose Sisi. Opposing her would never lead to a good ending. I still had many backers; none of them could oppose her, which went to show that I most certainly couldn’t.
“Lucia, you said that your elves captured the merchants, right?”
“Yeah,” responded Lucia, who sat in her chair, combing her hair. “In saying that, I haven’t figured out how to deal with them. What do you think? Travor, they cornered you. How do you think we should do with them? They are your enemies, not ours, after all. Perhaps I should say that virtually all humans are the elven race’s enemy.”
“I know you want to kill them, don’t you?”
“Not exactly. I just have some new experiments that I’d like to try.”
After combing her hair, Lucia got dressed. If Veirya noticed the clothing, I’d have been doomed because I wouldn’t have been able to explain Lucia’s clothes, otherwise.
Lucia was no longer the girl I knew, though her body hadn’t notably changed. However, I could see that she had matured a lot. It was probably attributed to her taking on more and more. She had to carry the honour and fate of the entire elven race on her shoulders.
“I don’t think you should kill them. How about using them for a ransom? Lucia, you know that neither elves nor humans stand to gain anything if you maintain this war situation. Times are changing. One day, the forest won’t be able to protect elves. Elves must leave their forest, not wait for others to enter. Lucia, heed my advice. Exchange the group of merchants for humanity’s steam engine prototypes.”
“Steam engines?” asked Lucia, after turning around to me. “Sorry, my clan doesn’t research that stuff, so I’m not educated on the topic. Travor, what exactly is this steam engine you speak of?”
“It’s a machine that can provide you with what you want. To be more precise, it can provide every imperial city with what they want. Power. Lucia, they are power. Steam engines can replace a lot of manpower. The elven population is small, which is why it is even more necessary to have steam engines.”
“Is that right? … All right, I’ll bear that in mind. However, what I’m about to tell you next is as Lucilia, not the Elven Queen giving you suggestions. I would like for you to leave this place as soon as possible, Take Veirya and your family with you. The elves now want to kill you in order to keep you here, but that’s not what I want.”
“Got it. You think Veirya can still recover after leaving the elven lands in her current condition?”
“She’s essentially fine now. I’ll provide you with the remaining medicine. If she wants to undergo a complete recovery, she’ll need to rest for a year. Nevertheless, her wound won’t open at this stage. Her day to day life won’t be impacted, either. You, to the contrary, need to rest up properly for some time. You’re awfully weak physically at the moment, not to mention you bled excessively this time.”
Lucia walked up to me and gave me a peck on the cheek. Voice soft, she went on, “Although I want for you to stay by my side and recuperate for a while until you’re healthy again, if you stay here, you might never be able to leave. I have no choice but to let you leave. Travor, if you have time, remember to come back and visit me. We don’t have the chance this time, or I’d let Travor Jr. call you ‘Dad’.”
“It’s fine. I acknowledge him as my son. Our son.”
I kissed Lucia, who was in my arms, on the cheek.
“You can see Veirya today. Hurry and take her away from here; anywhere will do. In short, it’s no longer safe here in the elven lands.”
Lucia picked up the Elven Queen crown and wore it on. She had transformed into the Elven Queen, Queen Lucilia, not the Lucia by my side. At the same time, I was no longer the elves’ Travor. I had my own business to deal with, while Lucia had everything she had to protect. The two of us wouldn’t cross paths again after that night.
Lucia wouldn’t lie to me. By the sounds of things, the elves had designs in mind. I surmised that the last human kidnapping case was to allow Lucia to meet me. I, therefore, wouldn’t put it past them to kill Veirya for their Queen’s sake. As such, I had to leave with Veirya as soo as possible. The question was, where could we go? Besides the imperial capital, I guess the Demon King’s castle was the only alternative.
Wherever we go, as long as we’re together, then that’s enough. Anything will do as long as our family was together.
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