Chapter 19: Even Babies Sulk
I, who thought that I would continue to sway as we travelled since we were on Rug Dragons, was confused while we continued in a slow and rhythmic pace. The Rug Dragons, which I had ridden until yesterday, had probably ran at an unreasonable speed since the people that had kidnapped me had to make their escape.
Despite that, the dragons had protected me. This reminded me of Hannah, so I sealed this memory at the back of my mind. What can you do now?
I took out the bread, which had become hard, from my poncho pocket. Come to think of it, I’ve received water, but I haven’t had breakfast. People get pessimistic when they’re hungry.
They had placed the water flask where I could reach for it. I began eating the small, hardened bread. *CHEW CHEW.* However, it was hard to eat it without water. On second thought, there was no one to open the flask for me. Too bad. *CHEW CHEW*
I put the rest of the bread into my pocket, took the flask with both hands and looked up. There were a lot of gazes on me.
Apparently, they were watching me eat the bread. You should have stopped me! Or at least given me a new piece of bread! I got annoyed. I raised the flask to the person closest to me, “Wather. Opawn.”
“Alright, we’re stopping for a bit!” That person called out to everyone else. Alistair came rushing back from the front.
“Did something happen to the Chibi?”
“She wants to drink water. Well, she’s probably hungry. She was nibbling on stale bread.”
Shouldn’t you have done something if you could tell that the bread was stale?
“Bart! Can I feed her some food?!”
“Sure. We’re already late anyway.”
Alistair was short, but he opened the basket and pulled me off the dragon with a jerk. He’s strong, unlike brother.
“This is the only thing we have that can be eaten straight away,” he said. He tore the long bread until it was the size of a hand, and served it with cheese. Then, he opened the flask. Cheese! I nibbled on the cheese since I’d only had bread and water for the last three days. For some reason, everyone was holding their breaths while they watched me eat and drink. Alright, I ate a little more bread, so I’m satisfied. I returned the leftover cheese and put the bread in my pocket. Alistair raised his eyebrow.
“I’ll give you more whenever you want, so take that out.”
I knew that he would give me more if I asked for it, but I’ve become a little wild during these three days.
“Whose princess are you? Why are you so greedy with food?” A nearby man muttered. I’m not greedy. It’s crisis management. And even if I was a princess, a one-year-old doesn’t eat any type of food in particular. I pretended that I hadn’t heard those words and stood up.
“Cheeshe thhanw. Wide.”
Giving thanks is important. Alistair was dumbfounded by my actions for a second and then quickly lifted me into the basket.
“Strange kid. She’s creepy,” the man, who said I was greedy for food, muttered. I’m alright with being weird. If I hadn’t been strange and selfish, then I would have been dejected all the way here.
As the dragons began moving again, I moved the luggage behind me as much as I could and made a snug space. It wasn’t noon yet, but I was tired. So, all I could do was sleep.
“She’s asleep,” the man, who called Leila a strange kid, muttered. The town we were heading to was called Lentforce. Even though it was located at Frontier, it was located west of the Royal Capital. But, it was impossible to travel to the Royal Capital from here because the steep Walsall Mountains divided the two. Kingdom probably didn’t even know that this town existed.
“What’s wrong, Mill?”
I got off my dragon.
“Think the baby’s asleep.”
“Ah, Leila? She’s a strange kid, right?”
“So you think so too.”
Lentforce was a big town, and there were many children there. I became a hunter when I was really young, so I interacted with adults, but I also had a lot of chances to mingle with little kids. But, how do I put this, “She’s too calm, like an adult?”
“That’s it! Even grown-up women would be more frightened in situations like this, right?”
She had cried when she found out that the person who had accompanied her died but do babies understand death?
“Alistair, are you alright with taking this baby in?” Mill said anxiously as he looked at the baby.
“Even if you say that, would one of you take her in?”
“That’s……” Mill’s was at a loss for words. My comrades at Lentforce weren’t the type to dispose of children. However, her light violet eyes were proof of nobility. They didn’t want to bring that type of trouble onto themselves.
“I wasn’t raised by my father, but I was at Kingdom until I was eight. So, I do know a little about how people with magic are treated. I’m not cold enough to abandon my brethren.”
I had to move around a lot in Kingdom because of my eyes. Leila’s purple eyes are without a doubt, a symbol of one of the four Marquis Houses. I reflexively placed my hands on my eyes. My eyes too. They’re summer-blue.
Mother moved me from one place to another as if she was afraid of something. Mother was good at lacing, so we never had trouble getting food on the table, but we moved as soon as someone found out about my eyes.
“I don’t have a dad?” I had asked mum once.
She properly explained to me without looking down on me for being small: my father was a noble, that mum didn’t think that he was happy even though he was a noble, therefore she didn’t want to give me to his family. But, she didn’t tell me why he couldn’t be happy.
And so, I got used to living while hiding my eyes. Even if people treated me kindly, they would always change once they found out what my eye colour was.
I dared to reveal my eye colours where I’m living now and made my high magic power my selling point to live. Mum had passed away, but I was living much freer than I did in Kingdom. I don’t know how Leila will live from now on, but at least she’ll be able to live freely. Probably.
I remembered how warm she was when I held her. In the end, it might have been me who was seeking that warmth.