When Ah Gui and his people had first left, I’d promised them to bring their families to Queen Town. Now, they’d come back but their families weren’t here.
It was only normal that they felt worried.
I smiled, glancing at Raffles. Raffles grinned and nodded in return, taking out the imaging device. He looked around at everyone gently, saying, “You can take a look for yourself.”
Then, the imaging device hovered in the air and lights weaved into a holographic image of Zone 1. When the magnificent mountain city appeared before everyone, they shot to their feet in astonishment.
“Wow!” Ah Chen and the others gasped in shock.
Ah Tu, Karloff and the others who happened to enter the hall were attracted by the mountain city hovering in the air too. The mountain city’s murmuring running water and gurgling waterfall glistened under the moonlight.
“Where, where is this?” Ah Gui asked, gaping at the mountain city in disbelief. He didn’t seem to recognize his own hometown.
Raffles chuckled, saying, “This is your hometown. The people in Zone 1 are not willing to come to Queen Town. So, we built a city for them. There’s clean water and fertile soil for planting in the city. Ice Dragon, connect Eletta.”
“Okay,” Ice Dragon obeyed. Eletta immediately appeared before everyone. Seeing them, he asked excitedly, “Ah Gui! You came back! How did the war go?”
“Eletta! How’s everything at home? I saw that Her Highness built us a city!”
“Yeah!” Eletta got even more excited. He stepped away from the screen and revealed a piece of land behind him. Green sprouts swayed on top of the black soil like a green fluffy carpet. There was a waterfall, like Lavre Resort City back then.
“Your Highness!” Eletta turned to me, saying, “After you left, there was suddenly a heavy rain, like God was helping us too. It instantly filled up our water reservoir! The wheat seedlings had sprouted too! Your Highness, you are definitely under God’s wings! Otherwise, why would the water come right when you built us a water reservoir?!” His cheeks were red from excitement.
“It’s so beautiful… That’s great! Thank you, Your Highness! Thank you, Professor Raffles!” Ah Gui and the others expressed their gratitude.
“Ah Gui, when your wounds are healed, come back. It’s my turn! I want to go to war too!” Eletta said.
Unexpectedly, Ah Gui and the others immediately turned around and left, saying, “That’s great! We can be at ease now.”
“That’s right. When our wounds heal, we shall return to the battlefront. I only laid down here for half a day and already I felt not right.”
“Me too! That’s strange. I was afraid to follow the old lady for war back then. I was afraid of death. But now, I feel empty staying back in Queen Town. It’s so strange.”
I smiled, glancing at Eletta. I told him, “You don’t stand a chance. They won’t let you. You’d better be a great zone leader and develop Zone 1.”
“But!” Eletta pouted like a child. “Moto and Juye went for war…” He complained.
“Your Highness built this?!” Ah Tu and his men stared at the mountain city in surprise.
I pushed my husband, the great Professor Raffles, to the front proudly. “Professor Raffles did. It is unsustainable to provide for all zones long term, relying on Queen Town’s crop production alone. So, instead of giving a man a fish a day, teach a man to fish and he could feed himself for a lifetime!”
“What?” Everyone stared at me, dumbfounded. They repeated, “A man a fish a day. What?” Ah Tu seemed to be doing a tongue twister.
“In other words, instead of feeding you, we might as well teach you how to feed yourselves,” Raffles explained patiently.
“Oh!” They gazed at Raffles and I in admiration, saying, “Educated people are different after all…” He suddenly looked solemn and asked, “Your Highness, I am actually good at engineering. Can you teach me more? I want to do something for you too! I want to contribute to Queen Town too!”
“Me too, Your Highness!” The people in Zone 2 stood before me and said.
“Unlike Karloff, we don’t have amazing superpowers. But we can help in other areas! We, we can plant, build houses, take care of the wounded, repair spaceships! We can help too!” They patted their chests, volunteering enthusiastically.
“Like this!” They pointed at the field behind Eletta, saying, “We’ll help rebuild everyone’s home!”
“That’s great, brothers!” The warriors hugged them and they hugged back, reassuring, “Fight the war! We will take care of your homes!”
The palace became warm because of their hugs. Our family had grown stronger again.
I glanced over at Karloff, who was watching them in silence. I smiled, asking, “Are you still worried?”
Stunned, he blushed and lowered his face, shaking his head as he said, “I am only thinking of getting to the battlefield quickly.”
“You…” He lifted his head to look at me. “Will you really continue to lead us to rise in revolt? You wouldn’t abandon us halfway through, would you?” His eyes were hot with emotions, revealing a slight tinge of insecurity.
“Lil Bing wouldn’t!” Raffles held my shoulder, facing Karloff with an unusually determined gaze. His bright and loud voice soothed everyone and they all looked at us.
He looked around at everyone, saying with conviction, “Lil Bing has never abandoned anyone. She will definitely protect you until the very end as long as you are her people!”
Raffles’s forceful speech reverberated in the hall, and the hall suddenly became pitch silent.
“Long live the Queen!” Suddenly, the soldiers shouted an ear-deafening cheer in unison.
I looked at Raffles in surprise. It was his first time standing next to me, speaking so steadily and resolutely. He suddenly wore the dignity and charm of a King, shining next to me. I was astonished that my Raffles could be like that too.
Raffles was slowly changing into a confident, dignified person.
“Professor Raffles, can you show us Zone 3 too?”
“Yeah. How’s our Zone 3 doing?”
Raffles put Zone 3’s situation on display as everyone waited in anticipation. The clear Soul Lake rippled under the moonlight.
The palace finally regained its tranquility. Everyone went to sleep silently. The men who had returned from the battlefield slept soundly that night. The palace was filled with their loud snores.
“Ah Wang and the other children are so cute!” Raffles gazed at Ah Wang and the children who were sleeping soundly in the hall. His gentle expression revealed a hint of anticipation.
Ah Wang and the children looked adorable after they’d washed up. Xiao Ying and Sis Ceci especially liked them. If it wasn’t because Sis Ceci was taking care of Butterfly, she would definitely have been with Ah Wang and the other children.
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