Ever since we left the Demon King’s palace, we never went back; I never considered going back there. The castle lost any meaning after Queen Sisi conquered it for there was no new Demon King. In addition, Queen Sisi most likely looted it. As a result, going there really would be to just take a look, literally.
“Papa, you see it? That’s the castle. Leah can recognise it.”
Leah leaned out of the carriage with me and pointed to the dark, towering figure on the plain. We were too far away for me to see it clearly. Nonetheless, the black castle was pretty intimidating. If there were crows flying around, it really would resemble a Demon King’s castle.
It took approximately three days to travel from the castle to the North. Back when Veirya scared us silent, she trotted at the forefront of the icy, snowy land without a word, holding the long sword she slew demon’s with in hand. Back in the day, I sat there in the carriage with no clue how my future would turn out, how to raise Leah, how to return to a place with warmth and how to escape violent Veirya.
In contrast, nature had started to decorate the path. The violent freak tenderly watched healthy, lively Leah from my side. Her prankster mother dozed off. The carriage behind us transported our luggage and a variety of food, and I had money to spare. Not only could I take Leah to the imperial capital but had also formed an amiable relationship with elves. Would my trembling self, who wanted to protect Leah despite my circumstances, have imagined I’d be in here with what I have today when I made my way to the desolate North back then? Certainly not.
“Veirya, that’s the castle we met at, huh?”
Veirya responded with a small nod. She pulled Leah back by her clothes and cautioned, “Leah. Don’t do that. It’s dangerous.”
“It’s all right, Mama Veirya. I won’t fall out.”
Veirya then shifted her gaze to me:“Yes. We met there. For the first time. At the time. I never thought about. Why there was a human. In the Demon King’s castle.”
In the spur of the moment, I asked, “Veirya, if I now told you that I’m actually the real Demon King and the one you killed back then was a substitute, would you kill me now? You are an adventurer, after all!”
Leah recoiled: “Papa, if you say that to Mama Veirya… I don’t think it’s a good idea… Mama Veirya… really might kill you…”
I shook my head. I was curious to know.
“Not now. In the past. I would’ve . But not now. Because. I love you. I won’t kill. Someone I love.”
Veirya easily said, “I love you.” It made me both happy and shy. I hid my face because I couldn’t contain my smile.
Veirya clasped my face and sternly questioned, “Was what. You just said. True? What do you want. To do. When you return. To the castle?’
“It’s not true. I was just making a hypothesis to see what you would do if it was true. In the imperial capital, people call me Demon King. That’s why I was curious.”
“I won’t. So, you don’t have to worry. But what do. You want to go back for. Leah?”
“Mm… Nothing in particular. Leah just wants to check it out. Leah also once lived in the castle, except Leah didn’t dare to look around in the castle back then. Leah hid in Leah’s room because Leah was afraid of being killed… There shouldn’t be anyone in the castle anymore. Leah wants to have a look around and experience the type of life Queen Sisi lives.”
Veirya bobbed her head.
“I think you’ll be disappointed, then. Papa would have to plan for a very long time to allow you to live as Sisi does… Regardless of what the case was, Papa is just the Queen’s vassal,” I inwardly responded.
Leah should be the true successor to the Demon King’s castle. Of course, I couldn’t actually say that since Queen Sisi was the one who conquered the place. Having said that, I didn’t think Sisi had any interest in the castle as her attention was bound to be focused on the South next. My plan was to ask for the castle since she had no more designs for the North. There was no point in Leah having the castle for she was going to move to the imperial capital. The North could just remain a vacation location for her.
“Are we. Going to live. At the castle. For some time. This time?”
“Yeah. We can’t just come, take a look and then leave. I think we’ll stay for a night most likely. Leah, don’t go thinking that living in a castle is all sunshine and rainbows. We would need a lot of people taking care of us for it to be comfortable. We don’t have anyone to fulfil the roles at the moment, so we’ll need to take care of ourselves.”
Leah effused, “It’s fine, Papa. Leah didn’t have anyone to take care of Leah back then in the castle. Leah has Papa, Mama Veirya, Angelina and Ross with Leah this time, however. That’s blissful enough for Leah. Hence, don’t worry about Leah being unhappy. As long as Papa is with Leah, Leah will be happy. Leah just wants to live together with Papa. Leah wants to live happily in the castle. That’s it.”
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