“I was able to leave halfway during the audience last time because of Kid. But I haven’t actually got the chance to have a proper talk with Sang-je. And I think it’s about time for me to revisit him since he had said that he would be looking forward to meeting me again upon my recovery from the fatigue of the journey. He might become suspicious if I don’t pay him a visit until I am summoned.”
Eugene was confident that she wouldn’t be as tense as she was last time. Unlike the days where she had been severely insecure about her identity, she no longer had any reason to hide or fear anymore. The importance of one’s state of mind in life seems to have finally dawned on her.
As a matter of fact, she was very much reassured by the endless support from her loved ones. If Kasser is a shield that protects her from the enemies who attack her in the front, her parents are then a solid wall that keeps away the enemies lurking behind her.
“I guess I will stop by the library which I hadn’t had the chance to visit last time and also at my mother’s on my way back. There are a few things which I want to check with my mother about. I think I might come home late tomorrow.”
“….” Kasser looked down at her face with somewhat mixed feelings. Eugene, who had cried her eyes out in his arms just a few days ago, seemed to have gotten much stronger in the meanwhile.
In the past, she used to lean greatly on him whenever she grew uneasy. His heart had then fluttered along every time, since she couldn’t be happier when she burrows into his chest whenever he takes her in his arms. Of course, he wasn’t wishing for her to feel helpless to the point that she wouldn’t be able to do anything without him. However, he somehow hoped that she wouldn’t get too far away by herself, forgetting the fact that he would always be around her side.
Eugene gazed back at Kasser as he remained silent.
“It’s alright. I will be fine.” said Eugene as she thought he was worrying about her.
“But Pides will be there too.” Kasser grumbled to her with a sullen look. Even though he wasn’t bothered as much by Pides’s presence around her as before, he still found himself saying needless things to her.
Eugene, who was leaning against him, straightened up halfway from him with a start. “Your Majesty. I’ve told you there’s nothing going on between me and Sir Pides.”
“But Sang-je will try to keep him close to you nonetheless. And I’m most certain that Sir Pides has feelings for you.”
“Sir Pides, to me? What made you think he is?”
“I don’t like the way he looks at you.”
“Your Majesty!” Eugene cried out, stunned by his absurd accusation. But as much as she was unaccustomed to seeing his petulant side, a chuckle escaped her lips. She didn’t feel all bad to see him jealous after all.
Kasser drew her back into his arms. At the same time, he straightened himself and changed his position. So in the blink of an eye, it was Eugene who was now lying on her back on the sofa instead. Kasser lowered his torso until their noses touched.
“Make sure you take Kid with you tomorrow.”
Eugene wrapped her arms around his neck as she smiled. “I will.”
Kasser had already made up his mind to wait for her somewhere nearby the palace tomorrow. As much as he wished nothing would happen to her, he wanted to stand by in the vicinity so that he could run straight to the palace should Hwansu call for him in case of emergency.
All of sudden, Kasser’s head was turned as he sensed some presence in the surroundings. Soon, a cautious voice of the chamberlain was heard beyond the balcony’s window.
As Kasser had already made himself clear that he did not wish to be disturbed unless there was a life-and-death situation, he was determined to bring the chamberlain to account if he was disturbed for nothing.
“What is it?”
“There’s a man at the door who demands to have an audience with Her Majesty. According to him, he said he was assigned a task from Her Majesty and was told to come visit her anytime.”
The chamberlain had indeed hesitated before his decision to make this report since the king’s command was more of a warning that there would be consequences to those who disturbs him. For that reason, he had greatly grappled with how he should deal with this mysterious guest whose identity and status was unknown.
If it was the king the man had sought, the chamberlain could have just postponed the report without question. However, since it was the queen the man was looking for, it was hard for the chamberlain to decide the urgency of the matter.
“A guest who came to see me?” Seemingly intrigued, Eugene pushed aside Kasser’s chest to get up. Kasser helped by grabbing her hand and pulling her up. After she had straightened herself on the sofa, he commanded the chamberlain to come in.
The chamberlain then continued to give more details about the queen’s visitor. “The man had further identified himself as a storyteller and also said that he met with Her Majesty back at the royal palace.”
There was indeed a face which came to her mind upon hearing the further description.
“Did he come with a company perchance?”
“Yes, he came along with an old lady.”
Eugene’s eyes immediately widened with great surprise.
‘I can’t believe this. Did he really bring his maternal grandmother all the way to the Holy City after he’s found her?’
She couldn’t help but to be genuinely taken aback by the power of money.
“Bring him i—.”
Eugene took a pause, taking a glance at Kasser. There were still a few hours left before the day’s end, which she promised to spend with him alone. However, she didn’t feel like she could hold back any longer. She was getting impatient to meet the storyteller’s grandmother and ask the lady about everything she knew about the spells.
“Your Majesty.” Eugene called out to him with an apologetic smile.
“Bring the man in,” Kasser bid the chamberlain after letting out a faint sigh.