With the armour fully removed, his body felt considerably lighter, and all the servants had been dismissed after finishing their task. But Marianne remained in her place, and the discussion continued on. Growing more heated with every passing second.
“Oh well, no one dies after just two days of starvation.” He finally stated, brushing off his concern for the queen’s stunt.
But Marianne appeared to be in disbelief he would allow such a thing to continue and scolded him like a mother would her child.
“Your Majesty!” She exclaimed incredulously. She raised him better than this!
“I understand your distaste of her, but she has made her sacrifices as well.” She pointed out. “The queen came all this way for you, all this way from her native land, where she was born and raised.”
“Your Majesty, you are the only person she can rely on in this place.” She finished softly.
She was imploring him with her eyes to do the right thing.
Kasser turned away from her gaze and remained silent. And Marianne knew she needed to change tactics and let out a sigh.
“Your Majesty, don’t do it for the queen then, but for your subordinates.”
“The subordinates she kills?” he asked her, a fine pristine brow raised.
“The subordinates that are still alive.” She clarified. “If they hear of how you treat the queen, others, who are not on your side might spin this into a weapon against your credentials, against your dignity.” She could tell she had almost had him convinced,
“How well you take care of your queen could be seen as a reflection of how well you can take care of your kingdom. Do not let your emotions get in the way.”
Despite her heartfelt words, the king remained impassive; indifferent to her plight and remained still as a statue.
Feeling frustrated Marianne couldn’t help but raise her voice…
“What would you have me do then?” Kasser finally said before he sighed and turned to face Marianne. “What am I supposed to do with her?”
“All I ask is for you to check on her,” Marianne said, repeating the subject of their conversation, “Just check on her, and see if she’s all right.”
Kasser stared at her for a moment before he looked away once more.
“I have a meeting to attend to in a while,” he finally said, “I’ll stop by her chambers after it.”
“But Your Majesty, meetings run for hours. Stopping by would take only a few sec-“
He all but yelled at her before calming himself down.
“Fine.” He repeated, albeit a lot more calmly than he had a second ago.
“I’ll take my leave now.”
Saying so, he swiftly left the room, if only to escape the never-ending nagging Marianne was about to launch at him.
Kasser snarled at the thought of the queen, and all the troubles she brought to him.
The only love that woman has is for herself! He thought spitefully, yet Marianne’s voice caught up to him as she called out one final bidding.
“Your Majesty if you truly are to speak to her, speak softly and don’t be furious at her!”
Despite the logic behind Marianne’s reasoning, he found it hard to keep calm, but he needed to before he’d speak to the queen. It’d only take a few seconds after all. Still, one had to admire the persuasive abilities Marianne had. No one else could have convinced the king to check on the well-being of his loathed wife. But it made sense that she could. She was the only one to have given him warmth after all.
Eugene hadn’t butted an inch from her position ever since she’d heard the news that the Fourth King had returned. Her eyes frantically glanced around her as she panicked in confusion.
What should I do?
She could feel her own throat dry up, too filled with nervousness to even bother looking for some water. She had hoped she could avoid it even today, but it seemed like even her luck had run out. Suddenly someone was at her doors.
A cold voice called out.
“Open this door.”
Eugene gulped as she turned towards the door. Cold dread filled her entire body as she knew exactly who it was. She couldn’t turn the king away! When she uttered not a word of permission, Kasser continued.
“I’m going in.” He announced.
The knob turned and he entered the room. The ice in his voice was unmistakable,
Eugene could hear it as plainly as she could hear her own harsh breathing.
Barely able to stand up to greet him properly, the door swung with such force, she almost let out an involuntary squeak but sprang up in fright instead. The chair falling backwards as she did so.
Kasser’s gaze first fell on the empty bed, before travelling to the chair and finally meeting Anika’s eyes. And yet, what struck him as odd was the panic that her gaze now held as they locked eyes with one another, but with it was another expression he couldn’t quite get a grasp on.
Initially, he only planned to get in, converse for a while to gauge what she was up to, then get out. He was confident enough the queen would not harm herself. She loved herself too much to do so!
It would only not make sense for her to begin starving herself now. And looking at her now, perhaps she was only pretending.
His doubts had stemmed from when she had not come out to greet him upon his return. But the way she stared at him had him reeling in confusion, and he was all the more suspicious. He’d never seen her sport such an expression.