Chapter 16- Catching Gazes
“What work is it?” She asked curiously and I paused in my steps to look down at her, unconsciously feeling a smile grow on my lips.
She was so cute, with her short height that only reached my shoulders and curious eyes.
What?... No. I take that back.
I shook my head to snap out of my weird thought process and continued walking towards the throne room.
“I have an audience with my chancellor,” She hummed and didn’t say anything else as we approached the grand room and the double doors were pulled open by two guards.
We walked down the red carpet that led up to a single, golden throne which sat in front of some large, french windows.
“You sure took your time,” My older brother said with a frown, sitting on the steps that led up to my throne while he skimmed through the papers in his hands.
“I’m a busy man,” I replied with a half-smirk before slouching down on the cushioned throne.
“And I’m not?” Silas turned his head to glare at me but stopped upon seeing the beautiful lady that stood in front of the windows. I followed his gaze and stared at Nora who was admiring the beauty of the garden outside, unaware of our gazes.
I didn’t pay much attention before but she looked beautiful.
Her hair was no longer a tangled mess that dragged behind her but rather tumbled down to her thighs and shined with a healthy glow, her skin looked cleaner and these clothes only brought out her beauty more than the white rags she had previously been wearing.
I must have been blind to not have noticed the change.
I got ready to introduce my brother and mage but didn’t have the chance as one of the guards spoke from behind the throne room doors.
“Chancellor Ludwig is here for an audience with King Vincenzo!”
I crossed my legs and rested my elbow on the armrest before placing my chin on my palm and with my other arm, I sent a small wave to the guards on my side of the door and they nodded before pulling open the doors.
I graced the older man who walked into the room with a smirk.
“Mr Elias Ludwig. How nice of you to drop by,” I said and the man dropped down to his knees in a bow and I showed my hand and he stood back up, keeping his head tilted down in a respected bow.
“I am thankful that you’ve accepted to meet with me today, King Vincenzo. I hope all is well with you and you too- Prince Silas,” I didn’t reply but Silas did.
“Yes, thank you for asking. How are you?” My brother said.
The both of them started talking about Elias’s newborn daughter and I rolled my eyes, momentarily turning my head to look at Nora who was still looking out the window but this time she was smiling at the squirrels on the tree beside the window.
She seemed to be in deep thought with a dazed look on her face but I didn’t say anything and simply admired her until Silas and Elias’s voices were starting to get on my nerves.
“Okay, that’s enough. Mr Ludwig, what brings you to the palace today?” I cut both of their incessant bickering off and frowned at the chancellor and my brother who wasn’t the least bit affected by my annoyed gaze. The same can’t be said about Elias though, he almost dropped down to his knees in fear.
“I came upon hearing that a bomb went off in the palace a few days ago, the council are wanting to know what it is that happened and if everyone is okay?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, as if they would care if any of us were injured- let alone killed-”
“Brother,” Silas warned but I ignored him.
“And no. Nothing is okay. My men have had to work extra hard to capture the runaway prisoners and even then, one of them, the worst prisoner, still got away and as of yet- It’s still unsure of where he is,”
“So I’m not in a good mood right now,” I uncrossed my legs and leaned forward to glare at him and as if I would have been able to reach out and strangle him, Elias took a hesitant step back.
“I have to find out how a bomb was able to be brought into the palace, I have to find the rat that’s living in my palace and sniffing out details, I have to find the prisoner then teach him a lesson- my grandfather!” I stood up with a loud stomp and Elias jumped.
My blood was boiling at the mere thought of all of this.
“...And I have to prepare for the upcoming ball that is to be held next week,” I counted to three in my head with closed eyes and clenched fists before slowly opening my eyes and faked a smile at the chancellor who shivered.
“Go tell the council to shut their gob unless they plan on helping me,” I ordered and Elias dropped down into a deep bow where his face was basically level with his feet.
“Yes, your majesty,” I sighed and slumped back down on my throne, massaging the place in between my brows with a groan.
“Wait,” I said upon hearing the retreating footsteps of Elias.
“Yes, my King?” He shakily said.
I stood up from my seat and walked down the few steps until I was on level ground with him but still towered above him with my height.
“We have a guest of honour this year,” I smirked.
“A guest of honour?” He echoed, confused.
“For the festival of Eleanora. We have a guest of honour,” I expanded but he only seemed to be getting more confused since there has never been a guest of honour for the festival before.
The festival of Eleanora is a famous festival in which the whole city participates from morning till midnight, sometimes even past that. It takes place every 5 years and it celebrates Eleanora, the mage that helped the first King create our beautiful Kingdom.
Alpheus turned it into a ball for the rich though during his reign but father turned it back to a festival when he became King and it is still a festival that the people love. There are lots of people that genuinely believe that Eleanora is real and up until recently, I didn’t take them seriously which should be understandable.
Even people who don’t believe in magic still celebrate it since it’s a happy gathering in which families come together to have fun.
Stalls are placed throughout the whole city with lanterns floating all over the night sky. Dancers, magicians, acrobats and so many more entertainers come and dance through the streets with food and everything.
The festival ends with people dancing around the statue of Eleanora and gifting her with presents. Be it food, jewellery or even flowers.
Father and I were the only ones that never danced around the statue but the same can’t be said about the rest of my family. My mother was good at a lot of things but unfortunately, dancing was not one of them- Unless father danced with her... but he didn’t.
“I’m afraid I do not understand, my King. There has never been a guest of honour before-”
I cut him off.
I turned my head just in time to see the mage turn her head away from the glass to look at me and I almost gulped at her beauty, even the sun rays couldn’t get enough of her.
“Come here,” I simply said and held my gloved hand out for her. She spun her body away from the window and walked towards me, placing her hand in my outstretched one.
I smiled at her lightly and she didn’t miss a beat to smile a small smile back at me. My heart sprang to life with that small action but I hid it well if I do say so myself.
I turned back to Elias Ludwig who was unable to look away from the mage.
“Mr Ludwig, meet Eleanora. The mage that created this Kingdom. She will be the guest of honour at the festival,” I simply stated.
I heard a noise and turned to see my brother standing there with a bunch of papers lying scattered on the ground around him with his jaw on the floor with them.
Half an hour later, after Nora proved that she was real, to both the chancellor and my older brother, Elias left the palace a bit shaken up and Silas’s jaw was still scraping around the ground.
“Are you okay?” Nora asked and Silas quickly snapped his mouth shut, nodding at her.
“Y-Yeah... but damn... Wait till mum and Char see you,”
“Mother’s already seen her,” I sighed, tucking my hands into my pockets as I stared out the window that Nora was looking out of all this time. It was a pretty view but I just never had the time to admire it.
We’ve brought in so many animals in the garden, or rather my father did- Since mother loves animals so much and since her precious eagle passed away a good few years ago, father brought a lot of animals for her.
She seems to have gotten over the death of that eagle, it took some time though. Apparently she grew up with it on Marlowe island, the island she was shipwrecked on and ended up growing up in for a long time.
I think its name was Ryder or something.
All I know is that Silas was terrified of that eagle but now he’s best friend’s with its son called Yoshi, I really don’t pay any attention to this kind of stuff.
“Really? How did she react?” Silas asked.
“I got shouted at,” I glared at the memory and my glare hardened when I heard Silas laugh.
“You probably deserved it,”
I didn’t say anything, knowing I did deserve it.
Instinctively, I felt my eyes travel to Nora who was helping Silas pick up the papers he dropped and while she was oblivious of my gaze, my brother wasn’t.
He looked at Nora then looked at me and smirked and I quickly turned my head back around.
I don’t do romance, especially with Eleanora. She’s a mage and I’m a king, a relationship between us is impossible, it’ll never work out.
I turned my head to look at her again but this time she was already staring at me and we both jumped, surprised before looking away from each other again.
Yeah. No way.
AN- I said this in my previous book but I’ll say it again for those who haven’t read the previous book:
Lysandra is the name of the Kingdom.
Lazarus is the capital city.
Redfield palace is the main palace situated in Lazarus.
There are other cities in Lyasandra too e.g. Viaseth