Chapter 45: You Who Treats Me Like a Dog
News of the envoy’s arrival from the palace roused the soldiers and sailors nearby. The port was bustling. The soldier on board Arundell’s ship delivered the letter to a messenger as he waited. His mission was to deliver the letter with the king’s seal and return to the lady with a proper answer.
The king’s loyal servant, Basil, with a grin planted on his face, entered the cabin holding a letter in his hand.
A black-haired man sitting on the desk raised his head. His Chrichton blood was apparent. His hair and eyes had the distinctive traits common amongst Arundell while his height and facial shape differed from Arundell’s men. He raised his hand and swept his hair back – his skin was slightly tanned while those dark purple eyes gave off a sense of intensity.
“The letter has finally arrived!” Basil placed the letter stamped with a royal seal on the desk. Then he said excitedly, “Now that the letter is here, are we heading back to Arundell? I’m sure the letter contains an agreement to send their princess.”
Igor did not reply and tore open the sealed letter. While reading, Basil’s mouth moved nonstop.
“Do you know how much my wife has been cursing at me lately? It’s been over a month since I’ve last seen the birth of my second child. Aiish, it’s all because of this mess. I’ve yet to properly give him a hug…” Basil sniffed. “It’s all because of you, Your Majesty… who treats me like a dog… ahhh!”
The king, Igor stood from his seat with a bang and Basil, surprised, shrieked loudly. His legs weakened and he replied with a fervent and sincere excuse. “Oh, no… I mean… I don’t blame you at all, Your Majesty… uh… just relax and…”
Much to his surprise, Igor moved to the window instead of criticizing him. Basil wondered what oddity spun in the king’s head this time. Igor’s eyes seemed to look at something… at someone… like a puppy who needed to sh*t.
Basil cleared his throat and hurriedly dispelled the naughty thoughts in his head. “Your Majesty, what’s wrong with you all of a sudden? What the hell is written in the letter…”
“A noble whose family name is Alessin has arrived as Chrichton’s messenger. That person wants to be alone with me.”
“Allessin… ah… wh-what if…”
Basil suddenly remembered an incident a long time ago, an incident he would never forget for it nearly cost his life.
One day, out of the blue, without informing the Queen of their sudden departure, Igor and Basil escaped the palace and ran all throughout the night to a small estate in the south. They journeyed for days without end and rest, without eating. But alas’, the young king failed to meet her. He was so anxious to see her, but in the end, she had long sailed off to Chrichton before they arrived.
And then, the next problem occurred.
Though they safely returned to the palace without problems, a brewing storm quickly headed his way. The Queen, furious, immediately unleashed her wrath to Basil, the young king’s servant. Basil had been threatened left and right demanding where they ran off to. If he fails, he’ll die from a torturous death.
But prior to that, Igor once asked if he could trust Basil.
“Can I trust you?” Igor asked.
“Of course, Your Majesty!” Basil blurted.
“Then do as I say if you want to live.”
Basil was moved to tears at the boy’s answer. He won’t die!
“Yes, Your Majesty!”
And so, Basil was dragged away by the Queen’s people. And the Queen herself was like a dragon that spewed fire. Yes, Basil vividly remembered that fiery spit spewing out from her mouth nonstop like a fire breathing dragon… she was like a heroic female general. The Queen approached Basil with her sleeves rolled up, lips smiling cruelly, and hands nearing his neck. No, it was no heroic female general but a devil! Basil knew his death would come from the Queen herself – death by choking.
“Where have you been with Igor?” the Queen asked.
But he remained silent and so he was beaten to the point of near-death. Then the Queen asked again. But Basil was silent. And beaten he was again and thrown to prison thereafter.
Igor probably had a bit of sympathy left over. He later came to save Basil from near death. And in the end, their secret rendezvous became a secret locked in their hearts. No one had known that the young king had plans to visit Count Alessin’s estate that day.