|Author: We Ain’t Fish||Original Source: SFACG||Word Count: 2649 characters|
|Translator: Myuu||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1612 words|
In the pink room filled with smoke, the aroma of tea wafted through the air, temporarily overpowering the pungent smell of smoke.
Lesiah carefully and elegantly took a sip of the most premium black tea she brewed, and closed her eyes as she savored the taste. The pleasant fragrance of the warm tea filled her senses and cleansed her soul, like a growing lush forest with a clear river flowing through it. The noises around her gradually faded away, leaving her feeling as though she was in a peaceful mirror lake on a quiet morning.
“The most premium black tea produced by the Holy Dragon Empire truly lives up to its reputation. The tea leaves grown on the snowy land of the Macedonian Empire simply cannot compare.” Lesiah gently placed her cup on the table and let out a satisfied sigh.
The production of this black tea was simply too limited, even the Macedonian royal family was unable to acquire a large quantity each year. At most, they could only obtain half a kilogram of it. There were often supply shortages, and this year was no different.
Therefore, even a noble princess like herself was only allowed to enjoy a richer brew with an extra amount of tea leaves when she was entertaining distinguished guests.
Recently, she had been able to enjoy it more often because she finally discovered the person responsible for the Macedonian royal family’s difficulty in acquiring the tea leaves this year—Lilith.
She had nearly bought all of the most premium tea leaves available on the market, which caused the prices of such tea leaves to soar this year due to their shortage. It was hard to find any that cost less than a thousand gold coins.
Lilith drank black tea like plain water every day. When making tea, she never bothered to carefully measure the amount of tea leaves before following a set of complex methods to prepare it. She instead opted for a bold approach—simply grabbing a handful of tea leaves and throwing it into the teapot.
She never put much effort into making her tea either. In most cases, she only added the tea leaves, some water and a small fireball she created with the lowest-level Dragon Language Spell to heat the water in the teapot. The fireball would extinguish itself once the water reached boiling point. When the tea was ready, she just quickly gulped down the expensive drink.
Giving the most premium tea leaves to someone like Lilith was akin to casting pearls before swine! Did she call that brewing tea? She looked like she was operating a boiler!
Brewing the perfect cup of tea should involve picking the finest vermilion pot, selecting the sweetest and most refreshing spring water, heating it to the optimal temperature, rinsing the teacup with tea before letting the tea for three to five minutes. In the meantime, one should rinse their mouth before sitting down and savoring the tea with a grateful heart, for each sip was a beautiful blessing.
Lesiah was horrified to discover Lilith pairing a cup of most premium black tea with meat buns. If she hadn’t stumbled upon that scene, she shuddered to think how many more tea leaves would be ruined by Lilith.
At the thought of this, Lesiah’s heart ached once again for the premium tea leaves she had failed to save. It was truly a tragedy for those precious leaves that were worth a thousand gold coins to be treated like those cheap leaves that were only worth a silver coin for a large sack.
Lilith is rich, so she wouldn’t realize the true value of these tea leaves. No one can blame her. After all, the happiness of the rich is often unpretentious and boring. I guess my presence may be a blessing for her.
Lesiah savored another small sip, enjoying the hint of sweetness amidst the bitterness. She then lifted her head and glanced at the others seated at the table with a frown.
“Brea, Thea, don’t you two want some tea? Or perhaps you think the tea I prepared is not up to par?”
“Umm… The tea is delicious, but…” Brea tightened her grip on the tea cup and continued mumbling, “Should we really be leisurely drinking tea here, considering the situation right now?”
Thea nodded in agreement next to her. “Right, I’m not in the mood for tea until we find out what’s going on.”
Lesiah chuckled as she played with her now empty tea cup. “If that’s the case, then why don’t you just go out and investigate, instead of sitting here and wasting the tea I prepared, Saintess Thea?”
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Thea raised an eyebrow at Lesiah. “You seem quite comfortable. Aren’t you worried about Lilith?”
“Of course I’m worried, but I also have a lot of faith in her.”
“Hmph, you don’t even look remotely worried.”
“How I feel is none of your concern.”
“U-Umm… I have faith in Lilith too, but… I’m more worried about our side.” Brea hurriedly tried to diffuse the tension between the two as the smell of conflict was growing stronger by the minute.
They were still surrounded by a thick, white fog that obscured everything in sight save for the table in front of them and a few people who were seated nearby.
From time to time, they could faintly hear the sound of explosions, which made them even more nervous, especially when they were in such a quiet environment.
Lesiah took another sip of her tea and said, “Just relax and drink your tea. It’s very safe here.”
Thea sneered. “I can’t believe you can be so relaxed.”
Lesiah shrugged. “Why not? Besides, I’m not the only one who can.”
On the other side of the round table, Aneva Durance, the former strongest student of St. Caroline Academy and a young prodigy who had reached the gates of the Saint Realm, demonstrated exceptional mental fortitude. Despite the uncertainty and being in enemy territory, he remained calm and focused. He meticulously polished his longsword as if there was nothing in the world but him and his sword.
Durance lifted his head, noticing the attention of the crowd. He took a sip of his tea and smiled before speaking, “The crown princess is correct, this is indeed the safest location on the entire boat. You all can relax and focus on your tasks without any worries.”
“Is it because we have that little girl with us?”
Thea glanced to the side. Although her vision was obscured by the white smoke, she knew there was a cute little girl sleeping on the pink bed. Although the child did not bear any resemblance to Lilith, she referred to Lilith as her mother.
Thea could not sense any powerful aura from the little girl, but Lesiah and Durance made it sound like she was a rare find. It was almost as if her presence alone could transform the room into a safe haven that no enemy could breach. As Thea thought about it, her heart began to feel heavy. Lilith had only left for a trip to the Ancient Ruins, but Thea could not shake the feeling that she had missed out on a lot.
“Even if our safety isn’t a concern, shouldn’t we consider meeting up with Lilith?” she asked.
“Of course, I have considered that,” Lesiah said as she finished her tea and let out a small sigh. “Currently, the most effective way to meet up with Lilith is to first eliminate any white smoke that could distort our senses and perception. Otherwise, we could easily fall into the enemy’s trap and be at their mercy. To get out of the white smoke, our only solution is to venture outside the boat. After all, we are on the largest river in the Holy Dragon Empire’s capital and the owner won’t be foolish enough to create a phantom vessel that produces smoke in broad daylight. If she did, the authorities would have undoubtedly arrived to investigate within three minutes.”
Lesiah pointed upward. “Therefore, it’s best to head to the deck of this boat. Lilith should have considered this as well.”
Thea gave her a puzzled look. “Then why aren’t we waiting for her on the deck?”
“Because we most likely won’t find her there,” Lesiah explained, then pointed to her ear. “You heard those noises earlier, right? What do you think they were?”
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Thea answered without hesitation, “I’m ninety-nine percent sure they’re under attack.”
“Correct.” Lesiah seemed pleased to find that Thea had a few braincells and continued, “We’ve been sitting here for quite some time and even have a few rounds of tea, yet nothing has happened. Unless the enemy is intentionally toying with us, their objective likely lies with Lilith. Even if we were to find a way to escape this smoke, it’s highly unlikely Lilith would be able to do the same. So it doesn’t matter where we wait for her.”
“So there’s really nothing we can do?”
“Nothing.” Lesiah poured herself another cup of black tea and continued, “There’s no point in taking action. Whether Lilith wins or loses, the smoke will inevitably disperse. So we’ll just have to wait for now.”
Thea gulped down her black tea in frustration.
“Actually, I’m feeling a little bored from drinking tea. It would be nice to find a villain here for an after-party to our tea-tasting session.” Lesiah stared at a tea leaf floating in her cup and sighed wearily.
“It’s here.” Durance suddenly stopped polishing his rapier and perked up his ears to listen. An imperfect domain expanded inside the room. “Something is here.”