Sang-je made an announcement regarding the date of the Celestial Festival and provided a justification for the change. Kasser, upon reading the report, expressed his disbelief.
“Is he claiming to have received a divine revelation?” Kasser scoffed.
Sang-je’s proclamation, stating that he would deliver a message from God on the day of the Celestial Festival, would undoubtedly spread throughout the kingdom by the end of the day. The news would generate excitement among the entire kingdom, possibly leading to devout individuals camping near the palace to be the first to witness it.
Kasser found the deceitful monster’s cunning tactics repulsive. He couldn’t fathom how someone like Sang-je could impersonate the will of God, akin to a lark pretending to be divine.
Gathering the report, Kasser stood up and inquired of his attendant, “Where is the queen at the moment?”
“She is in the garden chamber,” the attendant replied.
Nodding, Kasser proceeded past the attendant, lost in contemplation about the report he had just received. Unaware of the attendant’s concealed expression, as if withholding something, Kasser walked along the corridor with the hesitant attendant following closely behind. The attendant had caught a glimpse of an opportunity but hesitated to interrupt the king, who appeared deep in thought, merely seeking confirmation.
Surely His Majesty is not going to the chamber of the garden right now, the attendant thought, incredulous. Inside the chamber, the queen was engrossed in conversation with noble ladies from the kingdom. The attendant tried to maintain a positive outlook, believing that the king, known for his exceptional memory, wouldn’t have forgotten the information he had already been given.
However, as the king confidently opened the closed door and entered the garden chamber without hesitation, the attendant realized his mistake, but it was too late. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead as he hurriedly followed behind the king.
Kasser, lost in his own thoughts, had completely forgotten about Eugene’s scheduled meeting with the noble ladies. Upon hearing that she was in the garden chamber, he assumed she would be there, as it was a place she often enjoyed for tea. With confidence, he called out to her and entered the chamber.
“Eugene, there’s something I need to tell you. The report I just received…” Kasser began, but he halted in his tracks. He was greatly surprised by the widened-eyed gazes of the noble ladies directed towards him. A hushed silence fell, and an awkward atmosphere filled the room. As Kasser regained his composure and coughed nervously, the noble ladies promptly stood up and bowed their heads.
Eugene also rose from her seat and spoke calmly, her voice steady. “Your Majesty, what is the matter?”
Kasser observed Eugene, who appeared to be smiling and speaking with a hint of ambiguity.
“Well… my Queen, I made an error. Let’s discuss it later,” Kasser said, his hurried departure evident. Eugene couldn’t contain her amusement, finding it unbelievable that he could make such a mistake. Even from his retreating figure, a sense of bewilderment seemed to emanate. She continued to maintain her composed demeanor, bowing her head while addressing the still-bowing noble ladies.
“Please, everyone, take your seats. It appears that His Majesty momentarily confused the timing,” she calmly stated. The noble ladies returned to their seats, exchanging subtle glances with one another.
All the ladies gathered were from the kingdom. Some had accompanied Eugene on her journey, while others were meeting her for the first time since her arrival in this realm. They had all heard rumors at least once about the affectionate relationship between the king and queen. However, many had never witnessed a scene that could substantiate those rumors.
Within the brief encounter that had just unfolded, there were numerous intriguing points for discussion. The king’s casual demeanor when addressing the queen, his expression while calling her in, and their natural and unpretentious interactions left a more lasting impression than overt displays of affection as a couple.
Among the noble ladies, the most talkative one spoke up, breaking the laughter-filled silence.
“It seems His Majesty addresses the Queen by her name. Even though it wasn’t my name that was called, my heart fluttered. My Queen,” she playfully remarked. The other noble ladies joined in, erupting into laughter. Eugene also smiled and responded, “In private moments, that does happen from time to time.”
“I had always thought Your Majesty to be a rather cold person. Perhaps I misunderstood,” another lady chimed in.
“It’s not a misunderstanding. Isn’t Your Majesty’s tenderness reserved only for the queen?” Eugene replied, causing the room to fill with laughter once again.
The unexpected mistake made by the king had lightened the atmosphere, and the noble ladies, who had been cautiously observing Eugene since their first meeting earlier that day, now seemed much more at ease.
After the enjoyable conclusion of the gathering and bidding farewell to the noble ladies, Eugene sought a private conversation with Charlotte. One of the purposes of today’s gathering was to have a natural encounter with Charlotte.
“Count Oscar, your grandfather provided me with a great deal of help when we first met. I apologize for not having had the opportunity to express my gratitude personally,” Eugene sincerely expressed her appreciation. It was thanks to Charlotte’s grandfather that the Muen family had been contacted, ultimately leading to Eugene’s meeting with Alber.
“However, if I may be so bold, I have another difficult request for you,” Eugene began.
“My queen, it would be an honor for me to assist you in any way possible,” Charlotte replied, able to discern the genuine gratitude and request for help in Eugene’s words, unlike the previous queen’s pretentious attitude.
“I would like you to return home in a few days, using the pretext of urgent news from the kingdom. And I would appreciate it if you could bring one person along with you,” Eugene requested. Her plan was to have Charlotte accompany the wanderer from Myung King and bring them one step closer to their destination.
“But I suppose you won’t be able to attend the reception at Arse Manor. It seems all the bustling affairs will come to you,” Eugene added.
“My queen, what is so important about the festival? Please don’t worry about me; I will be fine,” Charlotte assured her.
“Thank you so much, Count Oscar,” Eugene expressed her gratitude.
With one matter resolved, Eugene proceeded to meet Kasser. As she turned a corner in the corridor, she noticed a man emerging from the office in the distance. Judging by his appearance, it seemed he had just arrived in the city after a long journey.