Living As the Villainess Queen - Chapter 338.2
“Your Majesty, Sir Sven requests an audience,” the chamberlain announced.
“Allow him to enter.”
While Eugene had been taking a brief respite, Kasser had swiftly perused through the Commander-in-Chief’s journal. Despite his declaration of taking the day off and dismissing all other officials, he couldn’t entirely let go of his responsibilities.
Sven entered the room a short while later. Having returned from the Delano Kingdom via the Hashi Kingdom to divert any trackers, Sven had taken quite a detour, arriving in the capital several days ahead of the royal couple. Kasser set the journal aside and looked up. Sven had already greeted him upon his arrival and relayed his findings.
“What’s the matter?” Kasser inquired.
“Your Majesty, Aldrit has arrived,” Sven reported.
Kasser’s eyebrows twitched. Eugene was already exploring ways to contact Mara, and in a situation where they didn’t know how much assistance the wanderer, taken from Myung King, could provide, Aldrit’s appearance seemed timely.
“Unless it’s an urgent matter, have him come in tomorrow.”
“Your Majesty, Aldrit requests to meet you outside the palace before seeing the queen. He insists on meeting you first,” Sven cautiously conveyed. He had heard Aldrit’s request and secretly wondered, ‘Is this person out of his mind?’ How could he dare demand an audience with the king before approaching the queen?
Kasser frowned. The idea of meeting outside the palace, away from prying eyes, was unsettling, as was the request for a private audience. However, learning the reason behind Aldrit’s sudden appearance before meeting Eugene might be a reasonable course of action.
“At midnight tonight. Bring him discreetly.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
As midnight drew near, Kasser silently slipped out of bed. Despite Eugene’s long nap that extended into the late afternoon, she had been showing signs of drowsiness since evening. He gazed at her peaceful slumber for a moment, then gently kissed her as if he were caressing her lips.
He proceeded to the reception room to change, giving solemn instructions to the palace servants, “There can be no room for error. Do not abandon your posts for even an instant.”
“Yes, Your Majesty.”
Kasser arranged multiple layers of guards around the bedroom, yet he couldn’t completely shake off his unease. To further ensure security, he brought in a small birdcage. The vicinity of the royal palace was already meticulously patrolled by warriors appointed by royal decree.
Beyond the royal palace’s borders, several covert safe houses masqueraded as ordinary residences. One of them had been selected as the rendezvous point with Aldrit. Upon his arrival at the designated safe house, Kasser found Sven already waiting with Aldrit.
Aldrit immediately prostrated himself upon seeing Kasser and uttered, “Greetings, Your Majesty.”
Kasser’s emotions were a tangled mix as he regarded Aldrit. He empathized with Aldrit and the plight of the wanderers he had come to know through him. Meeting Aldrit again was a cause for satisfaction, given the high probability that their paths might never cross again in their lifetimes.
However, his happiness was incomplete, overshadowed by the sense that this meeting wouldn’t conclude with mere pleasantries.
He was determined to support Eugene’s audacious plan to meet with Mara and devise a strategy to challenge Sang-je. Simultaneously, he harbored the hope that Aldrit could assist in ensuring Eugene’s well-being throughout her pregnancy and recovery, with no concern for the intrigues within the royal palace.
“Why did you request an audience with me?” Kasser inquired as he seated Aldrit on the opposite side of the table.
“Your Majesty, I received a request to meet with the queen. However, I couldn’t ascertain whether it would be prudent to introduce this individual to her,” Aldrit explained.
Kasser nodded thoughtfully. “You’ve exercised due caution. Who is this person? Do they belong to your tribe?”
“No, Your Majesty, they do not. And… I’ve brought this person with me. They are here, in this room,” Aldrit replied.
Sven, taken aback, assumed a stance ready to draw his sword at a moment’s notice, his gaze darting around the room. However, Kasser remained fixated on Aldrit.
‘ only sense the presence of the three of us in this room, Kasser thought, confident in his ability to detect any deception from such close proximity.
Aldrit reached into his pocket and retrieved something. He then placed both hands on the table and, as he pulled them away, only a small mouse remained. Both Kasser and Sven wore bewildered expressions upon witnessing this unusual sight.
Sven’s patience had worn thin. “What in the world are you up to now…?”
“Sven,” Kasser raised his hand to quiet Sven. His attention was laser-focused on the mouse, which appeared to be observing him rather than attempting to scurry away. There was something decidedly unusual about the way the mouse regarded him, and the eerie redness in its eyes only added to the peculiarity.
Since it doesn’t possess horns, it can’t be a Hwansu…
A voice resonated in Kasser’s mind, causing his gaze to momentarily waver. He glanced toward Sven, but he, despite shooting Aldrit a glare filled with annoyance, showed no signs of being shaken. It appeared that only he had heard the mysterious voice.
“It’s the first time I’ve seen the king so up close… I asked to meet with Anika first and get permission from the king. Even though there’s no reason for me to harm Anika, this suspicious person doesn’t seem to trust me.”
Aldrit didn’t know Mara’s true intentions, but he believed that by gauging them, he could eliminate any perceived threat. After all, Mara was a lark, and the king was seen as a nemesis of the larks. This was precisely why Aldrit had insisted on meeting with the king before Anika.
Kasser listened attentively to the chattering voice in his mind. It bore a striking resemblance to the way Sang-je conveyed his thoughts. However, the tone and demeanor were distinctly unsophisticated, which elicited a chuckle from him.
He was already privy to a wealth of information. He knew that Sang-je and Mara were larks, as well as the fact that Sang-je had established a presence in the Holy City and that Mara had some connection to the wanderers. Armed with this knowledge, it wasn’t particularly challenging for him to discern the identity of this mouse.
“Why do you want to meet the queen?” Kasser inquired, his gaze fixed on the mouse.
The mouse blinked its red eyes. Mara was taken aback by the king’s response, which was entirely unexpected. He hadn’t anticipated engaging in a conversation right away, and Kasser’s reaction was far from typical.
“I’m not quite sure how to explain…” Mara hesitated.
Kasser’s smile turned cold.
“For someone like you to appear before a king…”