Chapter 69 – Faith in the Monarch (2)
“Everyone, please leave,” Eugene ordered, and the servants bowed. Everyone left the room except her and Marianne. She then explained the situation to the king’s former nanny.
“I don’t know if the maids will think me weird about this. But I overreacted like it was my first time seeing it.”
“Do not worry, Your Grace,” Marianne said, smiling softly when Eugene frowned. “I must make sure a word of this would not spread. His Highness works tirelessly for all of us; the last thing his subordinates must do is to gossip about their Queen.”
Marianne continued, “The king would surely be back before sunset just to be with you.”
“Just to be with me? May I ask what you are insinuating?”
Marianne hesitated a little before speaking carefully, “Since you’ve been ill, Your Grace, the king always goes out before sunrise and comes back at sunset. Before, he rarely stayed in the castle, working even at night.”
“I thought he only works in his study all day long…”
A shake of her head, Marianne smiled, “He used to work during the night as well, Your Grace. But…”
Eugene looked down and stared at the recently emptied tea glass she had been fumbling with her hands. Her ears felt burning.
It seems that during this activity period, there will be long working hours until night. But he had always come to her room every night though.
“Your Grace, this might be impudent of me, but if I may speak freely… It’s really good to see both of you getting along nicely. Please forgive the king whenever he commits a mistake—though I’m not saying that you should always forgive him… He is just not good at expressing his feelings.”
Marianne’s voice wavered a little as she spoke. As Eugene looked up, she saw Marianne’s face, with bloodshot eyes.
She was moved by Marianne’s genuine concern for the king. She had presumed that the king has a complicated family background. But since Marianne stood by his side, he had not gone astray and grew up well.
Having this conversation, Eugene somehow felt envious of the king. If someone like Marianne had stood with her since she was young, she imagined that her life would not be difficult.
“Marianne,” she called out softly and the Baroness looked up at her, “I know that the king is a good man,” she said with a gentle smile, and Marianne returned her with a beaming smile herself. “Yes, he is truly kind with a gentle heart,” she finished, and Marianne pulled away from her with a confused look upon her face.
Kind and gentle-hearted?
No matter how hard he tried to show that, those words never did suit him. It also wasn’t one she’d associate with him, despite knowing the king the most.
“The king himself will be touring me around later.” Eugene quipped, and Marianne blinked.
“The king himself?” Marianne found her lips curling up to an amused smile. She thought that the couple are eventually becoming like a real couple. She felt like she’d been relieved with such a heavy burden.
“I will be preparing for your tour outside later,” she said, giving Eugene one last smile before patting her knees softly.
Marianne’s thoughts drifted back towards her yesterday’s visit to the king. He looked like he wanted to speak to her about something important, to tell her why he wished for everyone’s attention. He must be fretting over the queen’s first tour, after her memory loss, outside With this thought, her lips curled up ever so slightly, hardly noticeable to those around her.
“Can I send the Chamberlain over today?” Marianne inquired, which only made some of the people chuckle in amusement at her eagerness. Eugene shook her head in response.
“Perhaps tomorrow,” Eugene answered.
The weather today was appropriate for touring around the market. It wasn’t too hot, and the wind was gently blowing around cool air. Perhaps this will be one of those moments that could further improve their relationship and bring the married couple closer together.
A stepping stone for their relationship. One where they can learn to work together to overcome whatever hardships life would throw their way.
For now, all Marianne could do was to ensure there would be a warm bath for the queen later tonight.
The black leopard that was carrying the king ran across the walls. It seemed to soar through the air as it leaped in long distances.
There was misty blue energy surrounding the king’s body as he rode on top of Abu. Once an average person climbs on Abu’s back, he would not be able to endure a minute and would be forced to back off.
The shouting of the soldiers could not be heard even as they approached the wall. Rows and rows of soldiers were lined up. Their eyes were burning with hidden valor as they waited patiently and silently for the flare to burst once more.
It was a useless warning. Kasser only climbed up the walls once while riding Abu. The King’s facial expression hardened as he reached the top of the wall and looked out to the desert.
The sand of the yellow desert stretched out as far as the eyes could see. And not too far, yet not too close to them either, there the king spotted them.
There were black dots scattered across the sands, moving in synchronicity, running at high speeds directly towards them. At that distance, the Larks almost looked like an army of ants.
He couldn’t estimate precisely how many they were headed towards them, but he was certain it was no less than an army’s worth.
Lester approached his side. There was a grim look in her eyes, like a warrior who’s seen the end of the battle.
“It’s Class Yellow,” she said.
A Class Yellow meant they were up against Ant Larks. These types of larks weren’t that dangerous and were just about the size of a large dog. Warriors can even hunt them down, but would usually take a pair of ordinary soldiers to take them down.
But the tricky part in fighting against them was not their strength. Ant Larks didn’t have much in terms of combat prowess, but what they lacked in strength, they more than made up for it in numbers.
“Raise the green flare.”
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Lester turned around and raised her hand, waving. After a while, the soldiers fired the green flare, which exploded in the sky. Then another green flare went off.
The series of green flares will serve as a good warning to the people of the city. Women and children, the elderly, and the sick will hide in their shelters. All business transactions are suspended, and stores closed.
The strong young men will stop what they are doing and will only build defenses throughout the capital. Every house will have its spear and bow. Officials will quickly distribute weapons with oil applied to it.
“I’ll go down and provoke it. Lester, you take command here.”
“The opponents want a time fight. When a warrior gets hurt in a war like this, the damage will be serious. If the first line of defense breaks, raise the green flare again. If the second line of defense breaks, raise the red flare. ”
“Yes, Your highness.”
“Let’s go, Abu.” He told his trusted steed and lowered his body until he was lying flat on his chest against Abu’s back.
The black leopard leaped off the wall and towards the desert. The King steadfastly ran towards the colony of ant larks, equipped with nothing but his sword and courage.
Lester watched in her post; her fists clenched tightly as the sides as she waited in anxious anticipation. It could end up brutally; it looked impossible to win.
But she trusted her king, and so she has faith.