Queen Who Won’t Surrender
Leah gently touched my foot. In a concerned voice, she asked, "Papa, has your foot healed? We will arrive at the imperial palace tomorrow afternoon. Can you work with your foot, Papa?"
"It should almost be good. The elves' medicine is quite effective. I've recovered for the most part. I can work. I just can't run fast. I should be fine."
"Mm… You shouldn't push yourself if you can't take it, Papa. Work is important, but you're the most important to me. If something happens to Papa for the sake of avenging Leah, Leah will never forgive Leah."
Leah's embrace was particularly warm after she transformed into her adult form. She wasn't curled up in my arms; to the contrary, she buried my head in her chest. I admit her succubus beauty was superior to Veirya's. Veirya would probably feel awkward if she found out Leah was bigger than her when she grew up. That said, Veirya probably didn't care about sizes.
"I'll take care of myself. But, Leah, you must keep yourself safe this time. Papa will bring you along for work this time. There may be some situations where you can't show yourself at night, so you'll have to wait in the room. Things will be very dangerous this time; you must stay alert."
Leah responded with a firm nod: "I know, Papa. Leah won't give you grief."
Leah gently kissed my cheek, and then cheerfully hugged me with joy. She whispered, "Goodnight, Papa."
"Mm, goodnight… Leah."
I gently shut my eyes. I didn't know if I felt particularly calm because I was hugging Leah's warm body instead of the thin air. I didn't think about the chapel's schemes or think about Veirya back home. I quickly fell asleep with Leah in my arms..
Current time in the North.
"Lord Veirya, do you want to go upstairs to sleep?" asked Anna.
Veirya gently nodded and placed her cup of wine down. Ever since Lin Dongqing left, Veirya was liberated, for lack of better word. She didn't live a rigid lifestyle while he was still around, but she would sleep in the chair at the dinner table at night. After he left, Veirya started sleeping upstairs and would even have a cup of strong alcohol at night. However, she never reacted to the alcohol with her facial expressions, so it looked as if she was drinking water.
"You have begun sleeping in a bed now, huh?" Anna picked up the cup and looked at Veirya with a smile.
Veirya lingered for a moment before turning her head around to reply, "Because. Don't need. To protect Leah now."
Anna nodded: "I see. Do you miss them, Lord Veirya? They have left for several days, yet we have not heard from them. I wonder how they are doing."
Veirya never showed any special emotions for the two who left, but Anna was very curious as to whether or not Veirya actually had strong emotions.
Veirya's response had the vibe of a young girl responding, but she still wore her indifferent expression, and her body didn't respond out of the ordinary. She was composed and void of emotion as always. It was a very girlish response. Seeing Veirya's expression, Anna lost any interest in gossip that she just had…
Veirya went upstairs; she gently pushed the door open and surveyed the layout of the room. It was the same as before the two left. She calmly climbed into the bed and rested her head on the pillow that man used. Veirya didn't say a word. She waited to fall asleep.
Veirya didn't lie; Leah and Lin Dongqing were two people became her companions, something which she rarely had. After having a taste of loneliness, one will cherish the time they have with someone. That applied for Veirya, as well.
At noon, we stopped at the top of a cloudy and misty mountain. Although it was early spring in the North, and people needed to wear winter clothing, flowers were in bloom, and the grass was lush. A breeze carried the scent of flowers. The sunlight was warm. Birds soared across the clear blue sky. Leah and I hopped off the carriage. Just as I was about to ask why we stopped, Leah, who had sharp eyes, exclaimed, "Papa, look! Look! Wow! It's so beautiful here!!"
Leah ran and pulled me along, forgetting that my foot was injured… She was just a kid at the end of the day.
I smiled helplessly as I staggered over. I smiled. Leah was overwhelmed with surprise. I followed her line of sight. The large plain below wasn't a natural plain, but humanity's developed civilisation. Humans divided agricultural fields into orderly segments. In the centre of the fields was a blue city enclosed inside blue walls. The city was in the shape of a six-corner star. Inside the city were neatly arranged red and orange houses. At the very centre of the city was a large gothic style structure resembling a long sword piercing the sky. The huge golden lion head statue was placed at the top of the structure. We could see it clearly from our location. I assumed I was looking at the imperial palace. It, indeed, was a stately edifice.
"That is the imperial capital, Karterlarya. The name comes from our ancient language, which means 'the city the monarch resides at'. Simple, huh? It is where the Queen now lives, though. Her Majesty has been very vocal in trying to push for a plan to rename the city. She wants to change it to Water Fairy Flower's City, but the bill has not passed. She is very angry about that. If the demon race did not distract her from it, the city definitely would have had its name changed."
Achilles came up from behind and put a hand on my shoulder. Leah gave him a frown, and then squeezed in between and hugged my thigh, thereby separating Achilles and I. Nonetheless, Achilles placed his hand on Leah's head. Leah looked as though she shouldn't have; I almost laughed. Achilles continued, "That city, Her Majesty's city, is the battlefield this time. Her eyes and fangs are scattered all throughout the city, and the chapel has done the same. The military commander, the elves' diplomats, the dwarves' businessmen and individuals from all over the continent gather there. It is the most extravagant and prosperous place, but is also the most terrifying place. Are you ready for this? You may never be able to leave the six-corner star city."
"I can see that," I replied with a nod. Then, I turned around and headed to the carriage: "It's time to get going. Her Majesty is waiting. Veirya is also waiting. I must return. I can't stay. I came here with a mission. I didn't come here for Her Majesty or you but my daughter, Veirya and myself. I came to decimate the chapel."