“That building looks big, but there are no other buildings around it,” she said.
Kasser nodded. “It’s in the outskirts, but even then it’s not normal to have that much vacant land,” he said. “There’s not enough space in the Holy City for everyone as it is. The place is always under construction and there are buildings everywhere. So, it seems like this land has been left vacant on purpose.”
“How owns it?”
“It seems like even the realtors in the area don’t know,” Kasser said. “They have a middle-man that they transact with, so they haven’t met the actual owner.”
The place seemed even stranger the more he had learned about it. The businesses in the area didn’t seem to care that the large piece of land had been left vacant. They were told that some people had tried to contact the owner, but they gave up eventually because the owner wasn’t willing to sell.
As he told Eugene this, she couldn’t understand why those people gave up so easily. Wasn’t it only natural for people to seek something that would bring them so much benefit?
Additionally, no one stayed around the area. There was a forest area around the land and the security wasn’t good. There had been a few kidnappings in the vicinity and none of the victims had been found, which probably contributed to people avoiding the place entirely.
“Is it a mansion?” Eugene asked.
“Not a mansion,” Kasser said. “Even the people who live near there don’t know what it is. But an old man told me that, when he was younger, the adults would say it was a jail.”
“A jail?” Eugene looked up at her husband. “So, that must be it.”
“That’s what I was thinking.”
“Alber must be…” Eugene trailed off. They already knew what she was trying to say.
“If this was originally built to be a jail, then it must be a good place to lock someone up,” Kasser said. “I don’t know how we can manage this though.”
“Shouldn’t the knights be fast enough?”
He shook his head. “No,” he said. “We need someone who’s been trained to go through the maze. But our kingdom doesn’t have anyone like that.”
That made sense. The Hashi Kingdom needed people who were used to a desert terrain and were strong enough to fight larks.
It also hit Eugene that, by letting down his pride as king and telling her about what his kingdom lacked, this conversation showed just how much Kasser trusted her as his other half. A warm feeling grew in her chest at the thought. Eugene was glad to call him her husband.
“What?” Kasser asked sheepishly as he looked and saw his wife’s eyes gleam with pride.
“Nothing,” she said. “I just want to kiss you.”
He shook his head. “Don’t just say things like that.”
Then, he tried to hug her, but Eugene dodged his arms. She turned back to the map. “Where can we find the kind of person we need then?”
“We’ll find someone,” he said, already getting closer to Eugene until he had her in his arms. She let out a shriek then laughed as he held her tightly. “We just need to look hard enough.”
“Who do you think will be the best person to handle this?”
Kasser hummed in thought. “The knights from the Flake Kingdom perhaps?” he wondered. “Flake’s terrain is the worst of all the kingdoms. The larks use it for secret ambushes all the time, so they must be good at identifying traps.”
“Do you think we could borrow people from Flake?”
Kasser shook his head. “Knights are a kingdom’s treasure,” he said. “They cannot be traded. If it was the Do King, maybe I could ask, but I have no connection to Flake’s Myung King.”
Flake. The ice kingdom. It was the coldest region out of the six.
Then, Eugene remembered something important. Myung King joined the latest campaign because he was against Sang-je. At least in her novel that was what happened. She considered the timeline then it wasn’t too late to get him to join them.
“Kasser, is the Myung King also in the Holy City.”
“I haven’t heard anything to that effect.”
“Check if he’s on his way,” she said. “I think there might be a way to negotiate with him.”
“I’m not sure. I might be wrong, but I’ll tell you if he shows interest in it.”
Kasser nodded. He assumed it must have been something she had heard from Alber.
Just then, someone called for the king from outside. Eugene tried to release herself from his grasp, but his hold on her waist didn’t loosen up. The door opened just as Eugene gave up her struggle.
“What is it?” Kasser asked as the servant bowed.
“Your Majesty, the Fire King is here.”
“What?” He frowned. “The Fire King?”
The servant nodded. “Yes, Your Majesty. He requested to see you and the Queen.”
This was absurd. The Fire King wasn’t close enough to Kasser to warrant barging in this way. The only time they had seen each other after their fight when they were younger was when they met in the palace.
Then, Kasser remembered how the Fire King had proposed to Eugene and he felt even more annoyed.
When she saw the look on Kasser’s face, Eugen decided to take control of the situation. “Let him in,” she said. “Tell him we’ll be there shortly.”
The servant bowed. “Yes, My Queen,” he said before leaving the room.
“Why does he want to see you?” Kasser complained. Although the servant had said that the Fire King wanted to see the two of them, it almost seemed like he wasn’t there for Kasser at all.
Eugene laughed. “I think he’s happy to see you after all this time.”
“I’m not,” he said stubbornly.
“It doesn’t hurt to have good relationships with the other kings,” she told him. “It’s good to have as many of them on our side. We won’t be able to beat Sang-je on our own. Now, come on, we can’t keep our guest waiting.”
She led Kasser out of the room as he continued to mumble under his breath.