Chapter 36 - Aled
Cecile was starting to fully realize why the elven king had feared the entity within the ring.
“So I’m saying that the one who named me Aled was the first elf to be born in this world. I’m like a shadow of his. An alter ego, should I say? So I lived my whole life with the first elf. He was the only one I knew in the world, after all. And honestly, the only other creatures around were humans, beastfolk, and such, but they looked so ugly I didn’t want to talk to them. Humans like you wouldn’t know, but elves are very delicate beings. The sight of ugly things inflicts mental wounds upon them, mind you. It’s why we only lived among our kind in the forest. All those that aren’t beautiful are living in sin. Sometimes, those humans came out with some ridiculous nonsense, comparing our similarity in that we have two eyes, one nose, and one mouth, but if we were to go by that, wouldn’t it be right to say you humans all look exactly the same? Anyway… Hey, are you sleeping?”
“No, sir, I didn’t sleep!” Cecile hastily wiped the saliva by her mouth and strained her eyes to focus, but she began to slowly doze off again as the entity resumed talking. ‘Save me…’
Cecile pinched her thigh as she listened to Aled’s continued chatter. It had already been four hours. During this time, Aled had gone on and on about itself without taking a break. About how it was born, what its name was, what kind of being it was known as. Yes, she could handle that much. But around the time the spirit began to digress and recount a story 851 years ago of somebody planting three trees in an elven village and how it counted their leaves and it added up to a total of 18,376,261 leaves, she could not for the life of her figure out why she had to listen to this.
Many times she had tried to stop the sidetracking and return to the main topic of reimbursement, but her every attempt was met with Aled shooting back a ‘Did you just cut my words?’ gaze with raised brows. Fixed with such a fierce look, Cecile could only shrink back again and answer ‘please continue’.
Now she knew: never-ending rambling. That was the power of Aled which the elven king feared.
‘Your Majesty, when are you coming back?’
She needed Estian at that moment more than ever, yet he was off somewhere doing who knows what. Normally, he would always make his appearance whenever night fell, but there was no sign of him coming tonight even though the night was deep. She wanted to ask him to take her place for a moment and go cover her ears in some quiet corner.
Minutes passed of Cecile repeatedly pinching herself all over to try and stay awake, until Aled, fortunately for her, eventually turned the subject back to the one she had been waiting for.
“…So I signed a contract with the spirits and bought that gem. Someone like me couldn’t possibly just go in anything, don’t you agree? And thankfully, the spirits offered me a fixed interest rate. As you might know, interest rates usually don’t ever go down. Not to mention that at that time, the situation in the spirit realm was extremely unstable. All the investment advisors I met back then were expecting a continuous rate hike, too.”
Cecile nodded as she gained the new knowledge that even spirits carried out financial transactions.
“And so I worked hard every month for the past 1,252 years, and now I only have 247 years left on my loan. Through it all, I did my best to decorate the inside. But then you flung my jewel!”
“I’m so sorry…” Cecile bowed flat down the moment Aled was about to point at her. She had to plead first and ask questions later, after all.
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