But it was still a mystery why he came to her room earlier this morning.
Lost in her thoughts, Eugene had completely forgotten Marianne’s presence. As she took her time mulling over in her head, Marianne took it as an opportunity to study her expression, feeling concerned over what was going on with the queen’s mind.
When Eugene finally remembered her, she gave Marianne a soft smile.
“I’m fine, Marianne, truly.” She reassured. “You don’t have to make new measures because of what happened yesterday.”
“Yes, Your Grace.”
“Though inform me when he returns.”
“Of course, Your Grace.” Marianne answered with relief.
Eugene brought the cup of tea to her lips and took a sip. As soon as the warm liquid entered her mouth, a delightful aroma wafted through her nose as the drink slid down her throat smoothly. She put the cup down on the table, satisfied.
She looked out of the window, and there she saw a view she’d only seen in miniature models before. Just beyond the palace walls, was the full view of the village.
A gentle breeze passed, making her hair flutter softly along.
She walked along the bridge between two towers of the palace. It was a short walking distance, a canopy arching above her head, pillars so tall as it was spaced evenly along the bridge, holding up the roof.
It was her first time strolling on the bridge when she was struck with an idea of having tea in this beautiful spot. When Eugene had ordered to bring up a table and chairs, the servants were quite surprised at her instructions.
Although they found it odd to have tea on the bridge, everyone still obeyed her and had done as she had asked without complaint.
And there Eugene created her personal café. With the roof over her head, it provided her a cool shade from the heat of the sun. And with how high up she was, it provided her with a perfect overhead view.
Ah, this is life!
As the sun began to set, the once clear skies were slowly being painted over with hues of red, orange, and purple. Eugene couldn’t help but imagine spending the rest of her day coming to the bridge, enjoying tea at the magnificent spot she had found whenever she felt like it.
This here, this was one of the simple joys she could enjoy as the queen.
Resting her cheeks on her hand propped on the table, watching the setting sun in the orange sky, she was too absorbed with the view that she didn’t realize someone had been staring at her.
Kasser, standing a few steps just behind her, drank in the sight of her—perched on her chair, looking serenely over his kingdom. He had a busy day, trying to assess the scale of damage that had been done and making things right once more. He hadn’t even found time for his meals.
When he was returning to the palace, he still had to command the soldiers, debrief them, and sort their duties. And then he rushed like a madman back to his palace, as if someone were hot on his heels.
He’d asked around for her whereabouts, and this was where they led him. Upon the bridge, they told him, right between the two towers. He was shocked, but he went to see her anyway.
And the sight that greeted him was so bizarrely unique: her drinking tea, enjoying the scenery. He couldn’t help but let out a light chuckle. It was lovely seeing her relax over tea. He didn’t even notice how much time had passed just by looking at her.
Eugene was brought out of her reverie by the sound of a scuffling against a stone and looked behind her. She was surprised when she saw the king.
“Your Majesty.” She gasped and stood up to greet him properly, but he just gestured her to sit back down, and so she did. Kasser pulled out the other chair across from her and sat down.
Why does he appear out of nowhere all the time?
Unprepared, she didn’t know how to face or even act around him. He was simply a stunning man. He was undoubtedly an artist’s masterpiece, God’s handmade man. She had plenty of things she wanted to say to him when she’d finally see him.
That he did well in protecting the kingdom.
And above all…
How great it was to see him safe and without injury.
But now that he was in front of her, she found herself at a loss for words. Clearing her throat, she finally asked…
“When did you arrive?”
It was all she could think of at the moment. But she backtracked for a moment and feared he might mistake it for her asking why he had come.
“It’s just that I had told them to tell me when you returned.”
“I’ve only just returned.” He assured her. “It was quicker for me to come to you myself instead of relaying it to a servant.”
This meant that he had come straight to her as soon as he entered the palace. Eugene couldn’t help but think it was about the reports; the one she saw had been misplaced in her room.
“You needn’t worry.” She told him. “I’ve already asked the servants to put it in your office.”
“Worry about what?”
“The general’s reports.” She answered.
“I already saw it. This morning.” He mumbled in an embarrassed tone. He couldn’t find the words to explain his intrusion into her room at an impulse, watching her as she slept.
“Ah yes,” she said, nodding, “I heard you came by.”
“It was still very early, so I didn’t wake you up.”
“Of course, but I just made it more convenient.” She added.
He quirked his head.
“Made what convenient?”
“The papers,” she said and took a sip from her tea, “You did come by to check on those.”
Kasser opened his mouth and then closed, like a fish.
He was currently speechless, not knowing what to make of this. The papers were never in his mind when he stopped by her room—It didn’t even cross his thoughts. But Eugene didn’t know or hadn’t realized this.
She took his silence as a sign for her to continue, and so she did.
“The general’s work was brilliant. Most of the time, I left the decision to her, but I did decide a couple of times, especially when it needed your approval.” She explained. “Did you find anything wrong with what I’ve done?” she asked him, worried.
Especially with the opening of the gates still fresh on her mind. He might have thought she was challenging his authority when it was the farthest thought in her mind.
She couldn’t entirely brush the concern off, mainly when she’d to deal with numerous people who’d held power. She was unaware of what lines not to cross with them and hoped her decisions during her time as queen wasn’t one of them.