However, the chancellor seemed like he didn’t care about that future, and had kept Jin at a distance even after three years. This behavior of his was very intriguing to Eugene. She certainly thought he was an interesting character by far.
She looked back at the time and finally deduced that there was still time left before the promised meeting. Maybe it was because she was already here and was only waiting, but she soon heard a maid call out to her, announcing the chancellor’s arrival.
Eugene confirmed she was requesting for him, and when the maid entered, a young man came in shortly after. It was a face she already knew through hours spent studying portraits, but it was still a different feeling seeing him in person.
He had a better physique than she had expected. He was even taller than the maid standing next to him.
“Greetings, Your Majesty. How have you been?” The chancellor greeted her as soon as he entered.
“I’ve been well. Sit down, Lord Ricksen.” She offered him, greeting him the way she would a duke.
“It is my pleasure A…, Your Majesty.” He quickly amended, almost slipping up to use her old title. He must have heard she no longer went by the Anika title, but when he addressed her the rightful way, as their queen, it must have felt awkward on his tongue.
He didn’t know why she would change the title that she had obsessed over and excessively punished the maids over in the past, on a single whim.
“This is my office. The king has entrusted me with the management of the royal castle.” She quickly told him.
He blinked back in shock.
“What?” Verus quickly glanced around the room in surprise, noting the way the room had changed. He immediately schooled his expression before bowing his head towards her. “You have been trusted with such a heavy burden. Please feel free to come by and ask me if you ever need help. I will do everything I can in my power.”
Eugene noticed the big difference in behavior between Verus and the bank president she had met the other day. The chancellor was polite but did not excessively lower himself in her presence, his posture and expressions didn’t seem stiff nor scripted. It was always poised.
The bank president, though he was much older and probably just as socially experienced, didn’t hold that much confidence. Despite his youth, the chancellor gave off an air about him that commanded more respect than the bank president ever did, the way she discerned.
Not anybody can become a chancellor. She inwardly praised him.
“Thank you for saying what I was planning to ask. This was why I asked you to see you today,” Eugene finally said after her initial assessment of him.
“It will be my pleasure.” Verus bowed his head towards her once more, trying to cover his confusion.
He felt a strange sense of inconsistency. He was never one to hold long conversations with the queen before, but still, she never gave off this kind of vibe to him. Although the queen had not behaved outwardly rude towards him, she never hid her conceit or her strong sense of superiority over others.
Honestly, Verus never saw someone treat him as someone so insignificant in all his life until he met with Jin. Being born in a prestigious family, Verus had been treated well and with respect wherever he went, more so when he assumed the position of the chancellor. No one dared to speak ill against him. Even the king, his liege, was not one to pull rank, even onto his subordinates.
That’s why, despite the unpleasantness of the queen’s arrogance, it was also entertaining. To remedy the displeasure he felt towards her, he merely chalked up her immense pride in being an Anika.
“Also, I must have made things difficult for you due to my rash decisions. I assure you that won’t happen again. If you have any complaints about me at all, I hope you know you can tell me honestly.” Eugene continued.
At this, the chancellor frowned. Huh? He thought in confusion.
For a moment, Verus doubted his ears heard correctly. He couldn’t believe that the person talking right now was the queen he had known for three years! To make sure, he even looked up.
His eyes met with the soft eyes of the queen, who was smiling at him assuringly. He was genuinely astonished to see the smile. It was one that spoke in volumes of gentleness.
“Complaints?! That is absurd. I have already forgotten about it, now that you returned safely…” He sputtered out, after having overcome his initial shock.
“I’m glad to hear that.”
Verus had taken on a nonchalant expression, but inside, his mind was churning wildly. Why has the queen’s attitude changed? Has the queen, who has been quiet for three years, finally tried to form political connections?
He was definitely warier now than before, but he did his best to conceal it. He must be able to look friendly to the other side under any circumstance.
“Also, I have a personal favor to ask of you. I’d like to do a secret background check on a person, can you help me?” she finally asked.
Verus nodded. “It’s my duty to help you as long as I am able. Please, tell me, Your Majesty.”
“His name is Cage. He is an information broker.”
Eugene then proceeded to tell him all the personal information she had about Cage. What he did, and even the stories of her often meeting him to buy information.
“I suspect he is not just a simple information broker, and he is connected to some other force. I want you to investigate him in a way that he won’t realize someone is investigating him.”
“Can you tell me what kind of power you suspect he is associated with and why you want to investigate him?” he asked her, trying to gauge out her thoughts as she remained silent for a moment, thinking of the best way to answer him. “The more information I know the more focused the direction of my investigation will be.” He elaborated.