If she had really been out for three days, then Alber’s predictions must have been correct. Eugene was amazed by how accurate the woman’s guess had been.
Blinking the sleep away, she found it strange to suddenly be awake. It seemed like she had just said goodbye to Alber and now she was here. She couldn’t tell whether time had flowed in the dream as it had flown in reality, she had no sense of time at all. She had been in such a deep slumber.
Then, she turned back to Kasser as he stared at her with a worried look.
“Did I not tell you that it would take some time?” she asked. “When I told you not to wake me, I must have mentioned it.”
He nodded dejectedly. “You did,” he mumbled. “You told me it would take a few days.”
The problem was that Kasser had not known what to expect. “A few days” didn’t exactly give him a specific amount of time. He had even started researching how long a person could go without eating and drinking, worried that Eugene would be out for longer.
He hadn’t been able to do any work while she was asleep, like he was overcome by an ominous feeling that she would never wake up.
Kasser had stared at her sleeping face, fighting all his impulses to wake her up. He would have to pace the room just to keep himself from shaking her up to wake up.
He had suspected it had something to do with the letter Eugene had received from the Muens. He blamed himself for even letting her go near such a strange thing. It took everything in him to not race to the Muens and accuse them of treachery.
“I’m sorry I worried you,” Eugene said softly. She rested her hand on his. She knew that, because she wasn’t able to explain everything to him in the brief time she was awake, it was hard for him to have to wait. If she were in his shoes, she knew she would have been just as worried.
He stared at her for a long moment, then he sighed and spoke, “Are you okay?”
She nodded reassuringly. “It feels just like waking up normally.”
“You should eat. You haven’t eaten in days.”
Before Eugene could even say a word, he had already gotten up to call a servant.
Is he mad? she wondered. His face had been stern, but he had softened a little when he spoke to her.
Soon, a maid came in to bring her meal. It was porridge made from grains and vegetables. It wasn’t something that she usually ate, but she didn’t mind. What made her wonder was how quickly it had been prepared.
She took a bite and noticed that it had just been made.
How did he know when I was going to wake up?
As she continued eating, started to feel her hunger overtake her. She finished her food quicker than she had ever eaten in her life.
When she was satisfied, she decided that she wanted a bath. As soon as she mentioned it, warm water was brought at once.
There was no way the attendees would have prepared all this on their own. What she had noticed when she became queen was that attendees were very passive about their work. They didn’t do anything unless it was asked of them.
As Eugene sat in the tub, she couldn’t help but chuckle. He is such a thoughtful person.
She knew at once that Kasser must have ordered both the meal and the bath. She liked how he had made sure they were prepared as soon as she woke up. The thought made her happy.
When she was bathed and dressed, she finally found her way to the couch to sit beside Kasser.
“A messenger from your father came yesterday,” he said. “I made an excuse for you and sent him back, but they might get worried if they don’t hear from you soon. You should go for a visit.”
“Oh,” she said. “alright.”
She studied his face. He looked more worn out than angry. Just by seeing his expression, she felt like she understood what he was feeling. He was too tired to even show an ounce of emotion. She had felt that way too in her previous life.
Slowly, Eugen reached out to take Kasser’s face in her hands. She looked into his eyes and found that they were more hazy than usual.
“When did you sleep?” she asked.
“You haven’t slept in three days, have you?”
He looked like he was thinking of how to answer before he sighed and said, “I haven’t.”
At that, Eugene grabbed his arm. “Let’s go,” she told him. “Sleep is so important. People die when they don’t sleep.”
“I won’t die,” Kasser told her stubbornly, but he didn’t resist when she dragged him to the room.
“You will. There are studies to prove it.”
“I’m okay, believe me.”
She glared at him playfully. “You might be better than the average person, but you aren’t made of steel,” she said. “Just sleep for a while. It will do you good.” Eugene climbed into the bed and tapped the space beside her. “Come on, I’ll put you to sleep.”