“I didn’t expect you’d want to be back. What happened? Did you actually come back for our delicious food? I reckon the food at the imperial palace tastes better. This place isn’t an eatery.”
Serious. I seriously didn’t think the boy would come looking for me. We weren’t ever friendly. At the very least, I didn’t think we were friends. We didn’t do anything but ridicule each other and argue, after all. I inferred that he had a request for me judging from his gift.
The boy grinned. “You don’t appear unwell. Why did the maid say you were unwell?”
“Because that was an excuse. I don’t want to be involved with the matter or interact with them. It’s a different case for you because I never expected you to visit. Whatever, come in. I don’t know who told you to buy me stuff, though.”
He felt right at home. He had already been to our place, so he was familiar with it. Maids even greeted him. The steward took the gifts, while we went to the dining hall. Leah was happy to see him.
“Miss Leah, are you well?” he inquired with zest.
“I’m great, thanks.”
His stupefied reaction at Leah enunciating “thanks” in the elven language earned a mischievous laugh from her. Leah then gracefully sat down – which was totally unlike her usual self. The elven diplomat often reminded her to mind her manners as she usually paid no heed to them. I had no doubt she was trying to display her noble lady demeanour in front of the boy. He did indeed live together with us before but never came to the dining hall and, therefore, didn’t have any chances to see Leah.
Leah enjoyed boys ingratiating themselves with her and admiring her. I’d probably be jealous as a father if I didn’t know I was his target. I just felt sorry for him, however. I felt I should’ve persuaded him to just focus on his sister since Leah was just playing him.
Playing him was just Leah being a succubus. I didn’t feel a need to force her to adjust her nature since she definitely, absolutely, certainly loved me. Succubi liked men fawning over them as that was their innate nature. That said, they were stubborn and loyal to their food and target, a fact I personally witnessed… Leah, who was willing, to become a Demon King to possess me wouldn’t fall for a boy.
“You haven’t forgotten your goal while you’re conjuring ideas about my daughter, have you?” I sat down in my seat.
The boy’s face turned red as a ripe tomato. He glanced over to ensure Leah wasn’t angry before facing me. Voice stifled, he protested, “I’m not having ideas about Miss Leah! I just… just… I was just speaking to her…”
“Oh, really? I’m disappointed to hear that.”
Leah bit her fork then flirtatiously licked the tip while charming the boy with her entrancing smile. Veirya slapped her on the back after watching her for a while. The boy quickly took his eyes off Leah. I suddenly understood why he was so sensible around me… It was because he had a crush on Leah!
Ross never liked him and still didn’t want to give him any attention. He coldly snorted and flapped his ears down, indicating his intent to ignore him. That was the first time I saw Ross express hostility.
“I came to ask you to join this evening’s conference. As the nobles in the imperial capital control all the resources, I need them to provide us with help. I need Queen Sisi to give the command, if necessary, to provide us with the best reinforcements. Also, I heard you were in charge of firearms and gunpowder.”
I doubt the boy would’ve been so polite and reserved if it was a personal matter between the two of us. We weren’t completely hostile to each other; I quite liked him. Realising something, I replied, “I can do that. I didn’t plan to attend the conference, but since you’ve pleaded me, I can attend. With that said, bear in mind that those nobles aren’t good people. They won’t do much for your justice and well-being. All I can do is help coordinate between you and them. Most importantly, I want you to stay here.”
“Here?! My Queen needs me, though!”
The boy’s reaction didn’t surprise me.
“Calm your horses. Why would your Empress need an assassin who can’t carry out assassinations? What’s the point of keeping you around? To hold her curtain? You need to stay here and supervise them. That way, they won’t try to tamper with things. You can’t just leave your reinforcements to their own devices. The two of us can stay here and keep an eye on the resources they provide. Else, you won’t be able to find them when you need them.”
He pointed to himself and me. Unconvinced, he asked, “You and I… work here?”
“Correct. By the way, stop giving me that look. I’m not celebrating working with you, either. But nonetheless, this is for your goal. You understand what I mean, don’t you? It’s just a suggestion, having said that. The final call is in your hands.”
He couldn’t change the outcome of the war alone at home. Here, on the other hand, he could ensure his soldiers didn’t receive boots with holes or uniforms made from stitched fragments. He was more useful away from home. I suppose he couldn’t accept it. Alas, he had no choice.
MYSD Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/wjzmysd