Living As the Villainess Queen - Chapter 334.2
Eugene, fresh from disembarking the carriage, cast her gaze towards the path winding up the distant mountainside.
“It appears rather distant, and the road seems narrow. Can we not proceed by carriage?” she inquired.
Kasser shook his head. “No, we cannot.”
“What?” Eugene turned to face Kasser, puzzled.
“I’ve altered our route. This is a shortcut. The terrain is rough, but we can traverse the mountain in a day.”
“But you mentioned we can’t take the carriage. Are you suggesting we ride on horseback?” Eugene probed.
“No, I’ll be carrying you. It won’t be like riding in a carriage. There’ll be less jostling. Your motion sickness is truly peculiar, no matter how I contemplate it,” Kasser replied. Eugene couldn’t help but feel a tad embarrassed.
“Instead of aimlessly wandering here in search of a suitable doctor, it might be wiser to take the shortcut over the mountain and consult the kingdom’s physician. If you find it uncomfortable, I won’t insist on this journey.”
“Oh… I’ll be fine, but I’m concerned for you, carrying me not on level ground, but up a mountain,” Eugene responded with genuine concern.
She understood that the king possessed an exceptional level of stamina and physical prowess compared to ordinary people, but doubt crept in nonetheless. “Is this truly possible?” she wondered aloud.
“I will do it because I can,” Kasser replied calmly, his expression devoid of any self-satisfaction. Eugene nodded in sheer amazement. In that moment, the man standing before her seemed more than just a mere mortal.
As there was no suitable road for a carriage all the way to the mountains, they reluctantly left it behind and continued on foot. Suddenly, Kasser came to a halt. He peered into the distance, squinting.
“Why?” Eugene inquired, her gaze following Kasser’s line of sight, but she saw nothing out of the ordinary.
“There’s someone over there. A knight, perhaps…? I’m not entirely certain,” Kasser responded.
Eugene was taken aback. “Have they spotted us?”
“Then let’s swiftly move elsewhere.”
“If they were tailing us, there would likely be two or more. But there’s only one. Wait here for a moment. I’ll go and investigate.”
Kasser left Eugene and their two horses behind to conduct his inquiry. When he returned after some time, his expression bore subtle news.
“He has something to convey to you,” Kasser stated.
“Who?” Eugene inquired.
“Pides,” Kasser responded.
“What?” Eugene’s eyes widened. As they had ventured back toward the mountain, they had spotted a distant, diminutive figure. With each step, the figure had grown clearer until they could distinguish it. However, Pides appeared different in some way, lacking the customary knight’s attire, like the silver armor and flamboyant cloak.
Pides maintained his gaze on the approaching pair until they were near enough to discern each other’s faces. At that point, he nodded slightly.
“Sir Pides,” Eugene murmured, her expression one of puzzlement. His presence here had caught her completely off guard.
“Did you track us on Sang-je’s orders?” Eugene inquired.
“I did receive orders, but I wasn’t actively pursuing both of you. I volunteered to come to a location where the chances of finding you were minimal…”
“By sheer coincidence?” Eugene raised an incredulous eyebrow.
“I can hardly believe it myself,” Pides admitted.
Eugene glanced at Kasser, silently asking, “Do you buy this?” Kasser merely shrugged. Perhaps he found it amusing that Pides had shed his armor. Knights never removed their armor during missions; it was a symbol of their identity. So, when Pides had appeared earlier without his armor, Kasser had suspected a significant shift in his intentions.
“If you didn’t track us, have no intention of obstructing our journey, or plan to report our presence, can I take this as your word?” Eugene pressed.
Pides responded promptly, “Yes, I never laid eyes on both of you.”
Eugene’s curiosity had piqued. Pides, at first glance, appeared to be the quintessential knight. What could compel such a seemingly earnest knight to defy Sang-je’s orders, even if it meant facing death?
“…You mentioned you have something to share?” Eugene prompted.
“There’s a matter that troubles me. Why did you depart the Holy City in this manner?” Pides inquired.
Eugene paused briefly, contemplating how to convey her reasons, but then decided on candor. “I fled. Sang-je was attempting to keep me confined within the Holy City. He’s after the Ramita I possess.”
Pides, whom she had expected to instantly object, remained silent. He spoke with a solemn expression, revealing that he was deeply engrossed in thought.
“I… haven’t found the answer yet.”
With that, he handed a small note to Eugene, a note left by Joseph, whose current fate was unknown. Pides couldn’t bear to part with the note, yet he couldn’t bring himself to read it. An unseen weight pressed upon him, causing considerable distress. As soon as Eugene took the note, Pides withdrew as if afraid to have any further contact with it.