Embarrassed, Eugene turned speechless as she came to realize how the king was only playing with her.
“You don’t believe me?” She sounded offended; the urge to strangle the man before her was strong.
“Of course, I don’t.” He looked haughty, with his arms folded and his chin slightly raised.
Eugene’s face twisted in bewilderment. “Then why did you pretend to believe me?”
“I just wanted to hear your excuse. If we switch positions, do you think this lame reason can convince you? And just because you act like you don’t remember anything, you are faced with a crime only you are capable of doing.”
Eugene shrugged her shoulders as if to say that if he didn’t believe her, then there’s nothing else she could do. She had nothing to say nor had the energy to convince him anymore. With her eyes drooped, she spoke gloomily.
“What did I do? You said something was missing. What is it? Please tell me the details. Maybe something would come to my mind.”
The missing national treasure was an artifact handed down to generations of the royal family. It’s a historical treasure, a priceless object, which the riches of the world could never buy. Fortunately, the absence of the treasure did not mean an imminent danger to the kingdom.
In truth, not many people knew of its existence as it was kept secret in the first place. Therefore, the person who stole it was rather familiar with the treasure trove—Jin Anika had been visiting the treasure house often.
Rather than reclaiming the treasure, Kasser found the situation far more interesting—more interesting now that his bewitching wife was involved.
If she is indeed lying, I never knew her acting was this great.
The queen was adept at faking laughter. However, she had never acted as convincing as she was doing today to make the lie seem sincere.
Her deception, Kasser was not ignorant of. Yet today, why did he feel doubt in his heart?
When he heard her talk about the rightful compensation for the lives that were lost at her expense, Kasser began to have qualms. She indeed acted like a different person.
Come to think of it, it was also the first time that he had such a proper conversation with the queen. Before, whenever they talked, it was either just a formal greeting or a heated disagreement.
“Uhm… Yes?” Eugene looked up at his expressionless face.
She didn’t know that Kasser called her “queen” to observe how she would react to being called the title.
Watching her clueless response, Kasser said nothing and remembered Anika’s reaction when he called her “My queen” after their marriage.
“Please call me Anika, Your Majesty.”
As ironic as it may sound, Jin Anika hated being called ‘Queen’, and everyone in the palace knew of this.
“If you indeed don’t remember anything, what contract were you pertaining to over our lunch together?”
Eugene broke out in a cold sweat. Her situation seemed to be getting more and more twisted. Finally, she answered with a look of resignation.
“I didn’t really know what you were talking about.”
“Then, you have no idea what our contract is?”
“But what if I say I have no intention of breaking the contract because of your sudden loss of memory?”
He pronounced the last words with absolute sarcasm showing that he didn’t believe Eugene at all.
“Do we have our contract written and signed on paper?”
“No, but you swore on your name.”
In Mahar, an oath by name had the same effect as the law. People of Mahar believed it would be better to die than be shamed from breaking a pledge. To them, honor was worth more than one’s life. It was quite a contrast with Eugene’s original world where swearing under one’s name was null without documents supporting it.
To blend in this strange world, Eugene had to abide by its rules. Therefore, the contract was for her to continue despite her reservations.
Especially now that the party that signed the contract was gone, and she had to carry out the contract even though she didn’t know what it was.
Jin would not sign a contract that wouldn’t hurt herself. There’s no way I would be hurt by fulfilling whatever it is.
“Then… I can’t help it,” she said dismissively.
“It seems you still have common sense even after losing your memory.”
Eugene frowned. Praise or ridicule, she hated the way he spoke to her. She narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips while looking down at her hands resting on her lap.
Kasser suppressed a laugh that exploded with an idle cough. Her sullen expression revealed her innermost feelings. The queen he knew never looked like one.
“Tell me, Your Majesty, what is our contract?” With a determined voice, she asked the king courageously.
But Kasser wasn’t able to answer back as an urgent voice suddenly intervened.
“Your Majesty, it’s Marianne.”
Just now, he had stormed in with rage and drove everyone out. Perhaps General Sarah rashly called someone who could abate the tension. And who would it be but Marianne?
“I’ll get it for now.” Kasser got up from the sofa. Eugene looked up at him with wondering eyes.
“What do you mean?”
“I said I’d meet Marianne.”
“Why won’t you just invite her in?”
Just so I could see who she is. Eugene thought cleverly to herself.
“Would you like to meet her? Do you remember Marianne?”
“I need time to think. Would you rather talk with Marianne and discuss your situation with her?”
“All right but let me talk to her first, alone.”
Kasser then left. Eugene stared blankly at his broad back, and in no time was left alone.
Oh, what is it? What contract is it? Someone has to tell me! I can’t just sit here like a prisoner waiting for a verdict.
Eugene lamented to herself.