It was at this point Eugene could see the clear difference between Marianne and the chancellor. Marianne would have done what she asked without further questions but not the chancellor. He was quite thorough.
She was not confident in taking her chances if they’d be dragged into a debate. It would probably get better in the future, as soon as she adjusted to life here. However, right now if she were to say a careless lie, she’d be discovered immediately especially in front of a seasoned politician.
“I bought information from him. However, I found out that I might have gone to the wrong place because of the information he gave,” she finally said, trying to avoid a direct answer. “I can’t tell you right now why I’m not interrogating him and instead investigating him. Chancellor, if I needed someone to confess and discuss everything with, I would have met the king, not you.” She pointed out haughtily.
Verus’s eyes widened fractionally at her statement. It seemed, by her tone, she trusted the king explicitly. The king’s words echoed in his mind…
Stop concerning yourself over my personal affairs.
Which only further ruined his mood. There was something more… something else must have happened between the two in the last month.
“Also, I will report this to the king separately.” Eugene added for extra measure.
The only person Verus feared in the whole world, was the king. If Kasser was indeed supporting the queen, then he could not go against her. He bowed his head in subtle defeat, before finally responding.
“Then I shall secretly investigate him and report back as you instructed, Your Majesty.”
After Verus left, Eugene sat looking exhausted. Marianne, who had left earlier, came back inside. Eugene’s frown smoothened as soon as she saw the baroness.
“It’s strange. I didn’t talk to the chancellor about anything out of the ordinary but I am so tired.” Eugene remarked.
Marianne laughed. “You must have been nervous, then. You can talk comfortably with him, even the chancellor is your subordinate.”
“He’s not easy.” Eugene grumbled. She could feel the stark difference after meeting the chancellor today when before all the people around her treated her with reverence.
It was good that I met him.
It was a good way to practice before she started socializing and attending social gatherings, attempting to broker peace, and establish connections. Not everyone would be as welcoming as Marianne was to her. He seemed somewhat unfriendly towards Eugene too.
Before she met with him, she had pondered whether to tell him about her memory loss. She was glad she followed Marianne’s advice and did not tell him.
“I agree the chancellor isn’t an easy person to deal with. His morals are much more worldly than peers his age. He’s reached the position of chancellor at such a young age. I doubt there is much he would fear in the world.” Eugene snorted.
“Your Grace, there is still the master of the kingdom to be fearful of.”
“I think anyone, even the chancellor, will act stiffly when faced with the king.”
Marianne shook her head, an amused glint in her eyes. “I doubt it. You should see them together, and you’ll understand what I mean. He’s very docile around him.”
“Really?” Eugene piped up with a bemused expression. She thought the chancellor was a straight-faced, competent second-in-command, like the rest of the others. “I can’t imagine it. The king seems much easier to be with compared to the chancellor.”
Marianne burst out in small laughter. “Your Grace, I had never thought someone in this lifetime would tell me the king is easier to talk to.” She laughed, shaking her head slightly in amusement at Eugene while looking at her with a puzzled look on her face before the laughter died down, but the smile remained.
“It seems like the king is not the king I know when he is with you, Your Grace.”
Eugene felt her face flush for a moment, discreetly averting her gaze to prevent Marianne from seeing her blushing face. Something in her stomach fluttered at the thought of the king being different around her.
And she was reminded she had yet to see him in person for the past three days. He had yet to return after going to the storage.
She thought she was lucky, as she didn’t have to run into him with this awkward feeling between them, but the feeling only lasted for a day and by the second day she felt empty due to his absence.
It was only three days but it felt like she had not seen his face for a very long time.
“Will he be back today?”
“It’s about time for him to return. It is still the active season, so he won’t leave the kingdom any longer than necessary.” Marianne told her.
Eugene wondered what he was doing right now. It occurred to her that what she was feeling right now could be… longing…
“Have you heard any news on the king?” Eugene asked Zanne while being served breakfast. She watched the maid lay out her food in practiced movements and arranged her utensils meticulously.
“He’s in a meeting right now, Your Grace.” Zanne softly answered.
Eugene froze. “What?” She looked back in surprise.
Zanne became flustered, shifting in her steps. “I apologize, Your Grace. His Majesty returned after midnight, so I forgot to tell you.” She excused, biting her lip in nervousness.
The king would often come and go unannounced when there’s an emergency. He had never cared about protocol, so the maids didn’t really react anymore every time he disappeared, and unexpectedly returned.
Zanne was also accustomed to such a routine and forgot to inform the queen right away. She was suddenly dismayed by her oversight, but she didn’t tremble in fear because she made a mistake. Not anymore, at least.