Chapter 356.2

On the inaugural day of the dry season, the king found himself obligated to embark on a ritual journey to the sanctuary in the desert. The strategy this time involved a swift departure with only the company of warriors.

Eugene, desiring to witness the king’s departure beyond the city gate, encountered staunch opposition from Kasser. Eventually, she had to bid him farewell within the confines of the royal palace.

In the palace courtyard, courtiers and officials formed a line on one side, bidding adieu to the departing king. On the opposite side, warriors readied themselves for the journey, each holding the reins of their horses. The assembly of people behind them witnessed the royal couple exchanging parting words.

“I’ll make every effort to return swiftly,” Kasser assured Eugene.

“Take care not to overexert yourself,” she reminded him. “Be cautious and avoid harm. Return safely.”

“You too.”

“What could happen to me?” she quipped.

“You possess a subtle bravery. Remain within the royal palace until my return. Refrain from meeting strangers recklessly, and always ensure there are courtiers or guards in your vicinity. This is my request,” he said firmly.

Eugene cast a sidelong glance at him, feeling a hint of being treated like a child prone to mishaps. In an effort not to disconcert him about the impending journey, she simply nodded in compliance. After regarding him silently for a moment, she whispered, “Come quick.”

Kasser responded with a gentle smile, bowing slightly in her direction. The inclination of his head seemed to aim at aligning his lips with hers. However, the unexpected gust of wind when their lips met caught Eugene off guard, prompting her eyes to widen.

Though it was merely a kiss on the lips, his lingered for a considerable time even after parting. After withdrawing, he bestowed a brief, additional kiss.

Nonchalantly, as if nothing had occurred, he turned around and mounted the black horse. “Let’s go.”

As the king departed, the warriors swiftly mounted their horses to trail behind him. The courtyard of the royal palace emptied in an instant. Does the saying “kings are untouchable” allude to something like this?

Eugene still found herself unaccustomed to Kasser’s occasional obliviousness to his surroundings. It wasn’t that he was intentionally brazen; rather, it felt as if he treated people around him like inanimate objects—almost like rocks or trees.

Nevertheless, Eugene had become skilled at managing her expressions. Without displaying any signs of embarrassment, she gazed at the spot where he had departed for a moment and then averted her eyes.

The day Kasser left ushered in an uneasy atmosphere. Despite the infrequency of their encounters during the active hunting season, the reassurance of his proximity and potential return at any moment provided a sense of stability. However, in his absence, despite the presence of numerous individuals, the royal palace felt strangely vacant.

The following day, in the late afternoon, the Commander-in-Chief visited the reception room and delivered a report.

“Your Highness, someone has come to request an audience with the Queen.”

Given the formal procedure for such requests, Eugene adhered to it for the sake of fairness. The Commander-in-Chief, intimately familiar with this process, personally came to request, and Eugene couldn’t shake the feeling that something unusual was happening.

“Any particular reason?” she inquired.

“Not exactly. There’s an individual who insisted on a direct escort by the royal guards to meet the queen. Usually, these matters resolve themselves, but the guards were baffled and brought it to my attention. The visitor is Anika.”

“What?” Eugene, who had been comfortably reclining on the sofa, sat up in surprise. “Are you certain it’s Anika?”

“Yes, I personally confirmed it.” The Commander-in-Chief nodded. “We attempted to bring her in, but she remained silent, only leaving a letter requesting an audience with the Queen.”

Eugene unfolded the letter provided by the Commander-in-Chief.

[Jin. I didn’t anticipate reaching out to you like this.]

After scanning the first sentence, Eugene quickly perused the contents and discovered the name inscribed at the end of the letter.


Flora? Has Flora come here?

Eugene revisited the letter from the beginning.

[I’m uncertain whom to trust now. I’ve uncovered a chilling secret about the one I once believed in and relied on. I left the Holy City blindly, not knowing my destination. I just felt the need to distance myself from the Holy City, and then I stumbled upon a mountain range.]

[Jin. I envied you greatly, which is why I hated you. I never wanted to say anything regrettable to you, but I couldn’t think of anyone else to turn to.]

[Come meet me. I have something crucial to share with you, something involving the Arse family.]

Eugene scrutinized the letter meticulously, searching for concealed codes or subtle hints. Then, turning her attention to the Commander-in-Chief, who patiently awaited her, she inquired, “You mentioned encountering the individual who delivered this letter was Anika?”

“Yes, Your Highness. I received the letter directly from her.”

“Can you provide a description of her appearance?” Eugene pressed for details.

The Commander-in-Chief nodded. “I was under the impression that she was undoubtedly Flora.”

“Her demeanor?” Eugene further probed.

“She appeared fatigued, as though she had endured a challenging journey. Her countenance was somber, and exhaustion was evident,” the Commander-in-Chief replied.

Eugene rose from the sofa, pacing around as she organized her thoughts. The latest information Eugene had about Flora was her assumption of the role of a priest.

How did Flora manage to depart the Holy City without Sang-je noticing? Eugene halted and glanced down at the letter. Her eyes quivered as she absorbed the weight of the final passage.

[I’m so scared. Help me, Jin.]

Eugene’s sentiments toward Flora were intricate and nuanced. She wasn’t someone who had shared a convoluted friendship with Flora. Limited to a few glimpses of fabricated memories, Eugene lacked a genuine understanding of Flora’s character. The Flora she knew existed as a heroic figure in the future she had envisioned.

It wasn’t that she harbored any dislike for Flora; in fact, Eugene would willingly extend her assistance if Flora sought help.

I may not comprehend what Flora has discovered, but I can empathize with the sense of despair. If her trust in Sang-je has crumbled, it must feel like the sky is falling.

“Do you know the inn called Golden Key?” Eugene inquired, seeking the Commander-in-Chief’s knowledge of the meeting location specified by Flora.

“Yes, Your Majesty. It’s a well-known establishment in the capital.”

“Is it conspicuous?”

“Yes, it’s near the square, easily accessible. A seven-story building, so it stands out,” came the reply.

The fact that it was not a discreet location provided reassurance. A prominent and easily accessible inn would not attract undue attention, even if accompanied by several people. The letter didn’t explicitly demand her presence alone. I’m also concerned about the stories surrounding the Arse family.

Since departing the Holy City, Eugene had been troubled about the family members she left behind. Conversations with Kasser shed light on the Arse family’s standing in the Holy City, surpassing her initial understanding and somewhat alleviating her concerns.


“Yes, Your Highness.”

“Now…” Eugene paused, deep in thought, gently caressing her abdomen. If not for the child within her, decisions might have come more easily. However, she couldn’t afford a reckless choice that might jeopardize the safety of her unborn child.

“Don’t move a muscle within the royal palace until I return,” echoed Kasser’s sincere plea in her mind.

Right. I made a promise, and I must keep it.



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