After the chaos in the town, it had finally calmed down. I wasn’t sure if people were still mining or not. Everyone was likely deterred from the anger after the last kidnapping case. Some of the inhabitants of the area had gone with the dwarves and didn’t come back. Another number of them carefully defended the town. They were very surprised upon seeing my horse carriage; they looked very relieved. One individual said, “We are very glad you are back. The town is in complete chaos at the moment. Nobody knows who their new lord is. In fact, some claimed the elves were going to occupy the place and massacre it.”
“They won’t. The town is still ours.”
I headed into the town without much of an explanation. The townsfolk were relieved to see me. By the looks of it, the townsfolk couldn’t handle the increasing changes. Nobody knew what the future held. However, I didn’t come back to the town with the goal of appeasing them. I also had no intention of running the place for the meantime. As long as it could operate without a hitch, then it was fine. Achilles would help me with administrating the place properly, as the steam engine required the coal found at the mine. As long as Achilles wanted his factory to develop well, he’d need the mine. Otherwise, his factory would incur losses.
I went to my house. The place looked abandoned for a long time. Despite it feeling as if it had only been a dozen or so days, the house looked as if it had been abandoned for a decade. I got off the horse carriage and went inside. It was the same large hall, albeit quite dirty and messy. The auction was held at the house, so a fair number of people would’ve visited. The town had gone through too much, and the hall had witnessed just as much.
I went to the long corridor. The fountain on the right appeared to have never stopped. I said that it couldn’t be left on for a prolonged period of time, for it would kill the flowers. The rainbow flower I planted for Leah had vanished underneath the mud. The only visible part was akin to dismembered parts of a corpse desperately trying to plead for something. I silently looked at the place and lightly sighed.
I pushed open the door. As soon as it opened, two swords immediately came toward the doorframe. Anna and Ciara were surprised to see me. They quickly pulled back their swords. A pleasantly surprised Anna asked, “Sir, you are back. Does that you mean you have resolved the issue? Does this place belong to us now?”
“Yes,” I replied with a nod. “We have bought back the North, and I’ve repaid the debt. The place is still ours. With that said, I need to make another trip to the imperial capital now to deal with some stuff. I came back to ensure you were fine. Are you all okay?”
“We are fine,” replied Ciara, with a head shake. “Those merchants hired a group of thugs to stir trouble and kick us out, but after we killed a few, they left, and they didn’t dare to harass us again. There was enough food at home. We had the fountain for water. We had enough firewood, too. Hence, we did not run into any troubles while here.”
“Anna, Ciara, take care of the Elven Queen for now. I’m going to make a trip to the imperial capital. Pack your luggage while I’m out.”
“Did you not say the problems had been resolved? Have you not bought back the North? Why… do you want us to pack? Are you not going to continue living here?”
“We could, but I feel that it’s not the best option anymore. I think that life in the imperial capital would suit us better. It’s also better for Leah. Therefore, I plan to migrate to the imperial capital in the future. This time, I’m going there to buy back Veirya’s property and investigate this matter.”
I looked upstairs. I didn’t know if the Elven Queen was sleeping or what, but she didn’t come down. I quite liked being pampered in her embrace, sleeping in it and whatnot. Nonetheless, it wasn’t time to relax yet. I knew what Sisi’s nature was.
“Ciara, I’m in a rush this time, so I can’t bid her goodbye. As long as she’s fine, then that’s good. Last time, the necklace she gave me saved me from a bullet when I was assassinated. Had it not been for the necklace, I’d be dead now, so I want to thank her.”
Ciara replied, “Her Majesty mentioned you to me. We were truly very worried that something happened to you. Her Majesty persisted that you would return, nevertheless. She is currently resting upstairs. I hope you can personally pick her up next time. She has always been here, waiting for your return. She has always waited here, believing in you.”
“I know. I will come back to pick her up.”
Everyone at home was sound. The town Queen Sisi set up to be auctioned off no longer had any problems. Not even Sisi could take back the land if she changed her mind. The right to the place was now safe unlike in the past.
I also knew that Sisi spent three thousand gold coins to buy Veirya’s medal to lure me back to the imperial capital. I was cognizant of the fact that I couldn’t escape that fate. Three thousand gold coins didn’t appear to be much. The thing was, I was empty handed at this point. I had just recovered from bankruptcy. Where was I going to get three thousand gold coins from? Loan it from Achilles? Moreover, it wasn’t just a money issue. I wouldn’t be able to buy it back because I desired so. It depended on whether Sisi would sell it or not.
Sisi wanted me to go back, and I was prepared to. If that was all she wanted was my service, then I could accept it. What I was afraid of was her wanting me to be her husband.
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