Living As the Villainess Queen - Chapter 338.1
Kasser disembarked from the carriage and rode Abu at the front, just before entering the grand capital city. It was imperative that the king’s arrival, after a lengthy journey, was witnessed by the public; otherwise, unsettling rumors might brew.
Despite the warm reception from the people, Kasser maintained a stern countenance as he made his way towards the royal palace. He couldn’t help but feel a twinge of nervousness, apprehensive that the exuberant cheers of the crowd, loud enough to surprise Eugene, might startle his son. Nevertheless, he understood their joy at his return and wished to expedite his entry into the royal palace.
The ebony stallion bearing the king strode through the open castle gates ahead of all. As he glanced back while entering the royal palace, a faint smile graced Kasser’s lips. The moment had finally arrived. His wife and child had safely reached their sanctuary. The anxiety that had gnawed at his insides dissipated, replaced by a profound sense of responsibility.
This royal palace would henceforth be the world’s most impregnable fortress, safeguarding his family. With unwavering determination, he vowed that no hostile force would ever come close to them.
The courtyard of the royal palace was lined with officials who had gathered to welcome the royal couple. In deference to the king’s aversion to extravagant displays, they refrained from organizing a lavish reception.
In the solemn ambiance, those officials towards the rear could not bear the tension of waiting and resorted to hushed conversations.
“The queen’s presence is a true blessing.”
It had been three years since the king’s marriage, and there had been no news of an heir. Speculation abounded that the royal couple’s relationship was frigid, causing many to secretly worry.
Therefore, when the king and queen departed for the Holy City, more than a few harbored fears that the king might return alone.
“His Majesty the King has arrived,” the herald proclaimed, dashing forward. The hushed murmurs that had filled the air abruptly vanished, and a wave of alertness washed over the crowd.
As the figure of the king, mounted atop his ebony steed, emerged into view, the chancellor, positioned at the forefront, took a measured step forward. The procession of officials, who had been in motion, ground to a halt as Verus, trailing along naturally, stopped as well. In the absence of any formal greetings or ceremonies, everyone subtly raised their heads.
The spectacle of the king assisting the queen as she descended from the carriage unfolded before their eyes. As the king escorted the queen towards the assembly of officials, those who had been observing from a distance quickly averted their gaze.
“Your Majesty, Your Highness, it is a great honor to welcome you back,” Verus extended a courteous greeting.
“The Chancellor’s efforts were significant. Has Count Oscar returned unharmed?” Kasser inquired.
The king’s inquiry caught Verus off guard momentarily. While it was true that Charlotte had embarked on a special mission and returned from the Holy City, it was no secret that she was his wife. Addressing this fact in such a formal setting felt somewhat awkward. Verus responded, considering it an unusual question for the king to ask, “Thanks to your concern, she has returned safely, Your Majesty.”
“That is indeed fortunate. I have reviewed the reports you sent through the courier. It appears there are no pressing matters to attend to, so I will hear a more detailed report tomorrow. I am weary from the long journey,” Kasser stated.
Verus couldn’t help but wonder. What is he talking about? In the past, even a few days of the royal palace being unoccupied would typically lead to the king summoning his advisors for a late-night meeting. The words “I will rest today” were unexpected.
“I apologize, Your Majesty. If the preparations for your reception were inadequate, the fault is entirely mine for not ensuring it met your standards,” Verus humbly admitted.
“The reception was far from lacking, and the skills of the court physician were exceptional,” Kasser said.
Verus found himself perplexed. Was this praise or a veiled reprimand? What possible reason could the king have had for requiring the services of the court physician?
Unable to contain a subtle smile at the corner of his lips, Kasser turned to Eugene and remarked, “I was reassured because the queen is not helpless and has a capable court physician.”
Verus exchanged glances between the king and queen, then realized his own audacity and lowered his gaze. His lips, attempting to stifle a chuckle, quivered.
At last, the king had secured an heir, laying a solid foundation for the kingdom’s future. With genuine joy, Verus extended his congratulations, saying, “My congratulations, Your Majesty.”
The officials who had grasped the situation joined in unison, their voices echoing, “We give thanks, Your Majesty!”
Eugene’s face flushed as she glanced at Kasser. She had initially found her formal greetings with the chancellor quite lengthy, but upon reflection, it appeared he was attempting to create an opportunity to reveal her pregnancy.
Amidst the boisterous chorus of congratulatory cheers from the officials, Kasser wore a proud smile, his expression radiating an unmistakable self-satisfaction. To any observer, it would appear as if he were the proudest father in the entire world. His inner sense of accomplishment and eagerness to boast were laid bare for all to see.
Eugene had often marveled at how she couldn’t always decipher his thoughts solely from his expressions. It was difficult for her to fathom that he could be so delightfully childish in his moments of joy.
I’m happy because he’s happy. But… She sighed inwardly.
The officials were wholeheartedly raising both arms in enthusiastic cheers. Eugene understood that the news of the queen’s pregnancy and impending childbirth could not be kept a secret. Nevertheless, the notion that someone, even a stranger, could derive such happiness from her pregnancy left her feeling somewhat bashful. The rosy flush on her cheeks showed no sign of abating.