It was, in fact, several days since she realized the man before her and the man she characterized had varying personalities, but it’s only now she’s actually seeing him as an entirely different person.
She was this world’s creator. This was her story. And as much as she’d like to think the people in the story, the king especially, wouldn’t be able to do things she’d never given them an ability to, she continued to be surprised each time.
No longer was she seeing them as just her characters, but in a much more realistic sense instead. The more time she spent alone with him, the more uneasy she got.
This was indeed reality.
“To answer your question, yes, it is a usual formality.” Kasser finally answered.
“Isn’t it a little excessive?” Eugene asked, “It’s only an upset stomach.” She pointed out.
Kasser shook his head.
“It’s the first time a physician was needed.”
“You wouldn’t have given orders to check the kitchen staff and look through the ingredients had I been frequently sick, then?”
Jin must’ve been pretty healthy for a woman who didn’t do much exercise, she thought, but she knew that this wasn’t the case in her mental health. No healthy mentality would’ve given a woman an ambition to take over the world.
A healthy body, and a strong mind. Being a villain wasn’t indeed easy. Eugene almost laughed at the silly thought.
“I should probably have more healthy habits then.” Eugene quipped. “I don’t want to hassle everyone anymore,” she said in a light tone.
Apparently, that wasn’t the correct response.
“This isn’t a joking matter.” Kasser scolded her slightly.
Eugene looked taken aback before breaking her gaze away and looking down in embarrassment. She felt her heart palpitate. She hadn’t meant to appear to be brushing off their concerns.
Kasser’s face softened. He reached for her hand and in a gentle tone, said, “If you can’t talk to Marianne about something, don’t hesitate to ask me.”
Eugene finally looked up from her musings, and felt a foreign feeling pool in her gut.
She didn’t want to disappoint him, to fall out of favor. At this point, she wanted to be in his good graces just to ensure her survival, but things were much more complicated than she originally thought.
His skin against her palms felt hot yet comforting.
She knew she couldn’t tell him about what she saw in her dream, he wouldn’t understand. And as much as she’d like to wring the answers out of Jin, she was all but gone in mind, leaving only her body with Eugene.
“If it’s not too much trouble, I’d like to go back to town since I wasn’t able to get a good look around,” Eugene said, wetting her lips. “I’d also like just Sven to escort me, this time.”
She wondered if she overstepped her bounds. Kasser seemed to be thinking it over before he nodded at her.
Sven was a good soldier, loyal and strong. He did as was commanded with little complaints and was disciplined and trained to perfection. Knowing this, it must be the primary reason Chancellor Verus used him to keep a close eye on what went on in the palace, to spy on the queen.
“One guard isn’t enough, though,” he told Eugene.
“Yes, I know.” Eugene said, “That’s why you can tell him to gather a small group of guards to accompany us, I won’t protest,” she said, “I don’t know any other soldier aside from him, so it would be the best course of action.”
Kasser quirked his head, observing the sudden change of heart. She had been so adamant before about not needing guards, even going as far as to insist they’d only need one.
“You’d need at least five.” He added.
Eugene nodded obediently.
“Of course.” Eugene beamed.
“Why the sudden change?” Kasser asked her, his confusion growing.
“It’s not that I changed my mind.” Eugene quickly amended. “It’s only that, now that I’ve gone, I realized you were right,” she said.
Eugene knew now that it was childish of her to think it would be fine to go to town unguarded. It was a rookie mistake on her part. She wasn’t just Eugene now, she was Jin Anika, wife to the Desert King, Kasser
She couldn’t go anywhere without an escort. Especially not with the active period, and Larks about to attack at any given moment. It was time to get serious—she couldn’t remain in her civilian mindset.
It was time to be Queen.
When Kasser finally stepped out of the queen’s chambers, he brought his hands up to his chin, caressing his light stubble. He stood there for some time, deep in thought.
It wasn’t the first time this happened. It wasn’t the first time Jin had actually retracted her opinions and offered a compromise as a roundabout way of apology. Just like that time when a disagreement had come about with Marianne on a servant’s punishment.
She knew how to bow out, let better solutions take place instead of the one she wanted.
But this wasn’t a forceful type of yielding, no. This one stemmed mainly from understanding how flawed she was in her thinking. She showed great maturity in backing down.
He’d never felt as light-hearted whenever they’d reached an agreement before. It was nice.
To be honest, he was quite enjoying the back and forth argument about the guards from before. It was so trivial; he hadn’t really cared who would win the debate, he just continued for the sake of it to keep talking with her. He found her amusing, more so when she was flustered, much like a child throwing a tantrum.
He couldn’t wait until their next argument. It would be amusing to see his wife get riled up.