As Lilia had yet to fully recover and Albert died, Lilia frequently spaced out. That was why I had Ross stay with her. Once Lilia was feeling better physically and mentally, I told Ross to bring her over. I had to head back first for my wedding. Due to the course of things, I figured I should plan the wedding, too.
“Who sent this? Why did someone send us money?” I pointed to the chest of gold coins before me.
“Simple. Because you and Veirya are getting married, people are sending you gifts. There are some relatively creative ones. Otherwise, they just sent gold coins. I must say, they have no taste whatsoever. Who sends a chest of gold coins as a wedding gift?” responded Angelina, with her arms folded.
Despite Angelina complaining, I could tell that she loved the mountain of gold coins, not that I was surprised. Having a house but no money in the imperial capital wouldn’t do. My company and factory would’ve earned something by this point, as well, which conveniently fit the timing of my wedding.
“Is everyone getting used to life here?” I asked while carefully placing the coins back.
“Do the elves not want to live here? I haven’t seen Anna, either. Anna must be feeling awkward here since we don’t need her care anymore. Surely Leah likes Anna more than the mother maids, though, given she was the first to join us,” I mulled.
“I… guess everybody is getting along all right. The elves don’t leave, but they’ve also refused to let the maids take care of them. Anna is unable to handle the awkwardness. Despite Veirya saying that Anna could stay, Anna is struggling to come to terms with it. Whether she stays or not will be on you. All you have to do is convince her to not worry and stay.”
I nodded. Then, I heard a ruckus from the front. As I thought, it was Leah’s excited voice. “Papa is back!! Is Papa back?!! Leah heard Papa is back! Where’s Papa?! Where’s Papa?” I heard upon arriving in the main hall.
Leah cheerfully ran over to hug me. I scrubbed her head with a smile and kissed her cheek. “Yes, Leah, Papa is back! Papa won’t go running around again, Leah. We can stay here in peace from now!”
Leah kissed me on the cheek then took my arm. Oh, she also turned to flash Veirya a smug grin. It was my first time seeing Veirya with make-up on. The sapphire necklace rested on those magically engineered mountains and accentuated her blue dress. Had Leah not clung to my arm, I’d have gone and hugged Veirya. Anyway, I took in a big breath to suppress my excitement and said, “Veirya, I’m back.”
“Uhm.” Veirya was so calm that it was as though I never left or I just went out for two or three days. However, it made me feel awkward.
“Look, I understand that you don’t wear expressions, but it’s perfectly normal for you to react in this sort of situation, right? At the very least… At the very least… you should give me a hug and kiss, right? Angelina isn’t even my lover; she’s my lover’s mother, yet she kissed me, so why don’t you?! Woman, you are frustrating me! Do I have to be more assertive or something? Uhh… I think I’m supposed to take the initiative since I’m a man,” I told myself.
I went to grab Veirya’s hand, but she just nimbly zipped past me to gracefully and calmly ascend the stairs. The maid and steward looked at each other, confused as to how Veirya was there when she was with me a moment ago. I’d surmise Angelina deceived them, claiming herself to be Veirya, and they fell for it as I would’ve. Nevertheless, I didn’t have time to think about all of that trivial stuff. Stunned, I watched Veirya. I had no clue what happened.
“Have our feelings for each other faded? We were apart for only twenty days. That’s a short amount of time separated than when we were in the North. Actually, she wanted to protect me back in the North. She’s behaving as if she’s forgotten me now…
What exactly happened while I was gone…? Veirya… Veirya went out daily. I wasn’t with her… The nobles were sweet-talking machines who practiced daily with the succubi. Veirya is still a very innocent idiot who’s ignorant of how dangerous people can be. C-could someone have done something to Veirya while I was setting Albert up?! Does karma come around that fast?!” I mused in a panic.
Though I intended to give chase, Leah persistently clung to my arm with a smile.
“Leah is so glad Papa is back! Leah missed Papa! Papa, what did you do there?! Leah wants to hear what happened! Leah w-“
“Sorry, Leah.” I shook Leah off roughly.
Leah stumbled backwards and revealed a look of surprise. I ignored her to chase after Veirya. Sadly, all I caught sight of was her silver hair before she entered her room.
“Miss Leah…” carefully called a Maid.
“That woman… really does deserve to die…” Leah gazed at the stairs with hostile intent written on her scowl, frightening the maid off. The maid couldn’t understand the reason Veirya’s daughter would reveal such an expression in that situation.
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