Eugene had retreated to her tent to get ready for bed after dinner and was waiting for Kasser’s return. Tonight, she was determined to test the interim result of her training, which she had been working on for the past few days.
She had decided to put Kasser to a test. But to be exact, he was the second subject to her experiment as she had first tested her act on Pides, when she exchanged greetings with him earlier today. However, there was no way of knowing if her act was indeed successful as she couldn’t have asked Pides for his opinion.
Looking forward to Kasser’s reactions to her changes, she giggled while she stretched her facial muscles to warm up before her act.
“My queen, I’m coming in.”
When his voice was heard from the outside, she quickly settled down on the bed with her back turned away from the entrance. After hearing him coming into the tent, she slowly looked back over her shoulders to see his face.
With their eyes met, she promptly broke into an alluring smile by wrinkling up the corners of her eyes. It was important to fully show her coquettishness without revealing any emotions from the face.
“Your Majesty. You must be tired from the day’s riding.”
With a hint of nasal tone as to give off a subtle seductive vibe, she consciously emphasised every word she said and spoke with a courteous demeanor.
For a moment, silence descended in the tent. And to her disappointment, Kasser remained expressionless, not having moved an inch from where he was standing. Thinking that she still lacked practice, she turned around to face him in his direction. But in that split second, she caught him flinching as he took a step back, away from her.
‘Did he just step away from me?’
Surprised by what she just saw, she blankly blinked her eyes while she glanced up from his feet to his face. Yet, she saw no change in his countenance.
Eugene then gave him an amiable smile, as if to reassure him that it wasn’t her intention to give him a fright.
“Your Majesty, it’s me.”
“Yes, I am Eugene.”
“But, just now…”
“Did I pull that off alright? I have been practicing lately…”
“Yes, I have been practicing my old way of speaking and demeanor with the help from Count Oscar.”
Running his fingers through his hair with both of his hands, Kasser let out a sigh as if he had just been brought back to life again. Once, there was a time he was surprised by himself, thinking how fast he was to erase the past images of the queen from his mind. But to his regret, it suddenly dawned on him that he was clearly mistaken about himself after all.
The memories weren’t gone from his mind completely. In fact, they had only been left unattended by him this whole time. And it was almost as if he was taken back to the past when old images of her overlapped over her face just now. Breaking out in a cold sweat, he literally felt his heart dropped by the flashback of the hair-rising memories. He had never felt so frightened in his life so far.
After staring at him for a while. Eugene rose to her feet from the bed and walked right up to Kasser. With his eyes levelled with her’s, Kasser carefully examined her before he finally let out a sigh of relief and spoke to her, still looking displeased.
“Why would you want to practice for something like that?”
“You don’t like my past self?”
“Of… No, that’s not what I meant.”
“Well, that’s not what you told me last time. I thought you said you’ll accept me for who I am, even my past self.”
At a loss for words, Kasser had fallen silent. However, the corner of Eugene’s tightly closed mouth was twitched at the sight. And in the end, she ended up bursting into laughter as she couldn’t hold back any longer.
Never in her wildest dreams did she think to witness someone as fearless as him, who fights endless wars with the Larks, to actually take fright at something like this. She laughed harder when she recalled his blank face from earlier, which was turned ghastly as he shuddered at the memories of his wife’s past self. Despite feeling sorry for him on one hand, she still couldn’t stop herself from laughing.
“What are you laughing at?”
Kasser, who was provoked by her giggle, abruptly lifted her body up in the air. A short shriek was then mingled in her laughing sound. After laying her on their bed, Kasser climbed atop of her sprawling body and pressed her down with his weight.
He then vented out his cross feelings by showering her with his kisses, nibbling on her chin, cheeks, nose and so on while she continued to laugh away.
Eugene skillfully shook her head from side to side while she snickered. But when it only had made him come at her more tenaciously, she cupped his face in her hands.
“Was my acting good enough to fool you?”
“What are you practicing it for?”
“I felt the need to behave in my past demeanor so that my old acquaintances would let their guards down with me.”
“Who is it that you’re trying to take advantage of with your acting?”
Suddenly, his brows furrowed when the answer dawned upon him as soon as he was finished with his sentences.
“Eugene, what are you…”
But before he could say another word, Eugene swiftly placed her palm over his mouth.