Chapter 28. Until You Have A Proper Hand (3)
In the back garden of Heisia Palace where Queen Silica lived, there was a greenhouse twice the size of Calian’s room. Its walls and its ceiling were all made of glass, and the whole greenhouse was filled with Ranieri leaves. Unlike Silica’s strong perfume, the greenhouse didn’t particularly smell like anything special. The white Ranieri flowers, as mystic as they were, only bloomed for one day out of a whole year.
And sitting on a white chair in front of a white table inside that greenhouse was none other than Silica, as beautiful as a painting. However, Lennon’s shoulders flinched when he saw her fierce eyes.
She seems to be in a bad mood again… which is certainly understandable.
On the first day of the celebration, Franz, the second prince, came to the plaza drunk. While that in itself was enough to frustrate the Queen, that wasn’t the real problem. Two days had passed since, yet nobody was criticising Franz. The fact that Franz wasn’t so much as receiving criticism because of Calian angered the Queen even more.
Lennon’s heart also sank. He was planning to report to the Queen that Alan Manassil had arrived in Kailis, but he concluded that it would be better for him not to bring that up while the Queen was in a bad mood. She would receive the news sooner or later even if Lennon wasn’t the one bearing the news.
I’ll just give her the heels and take my leave. Lennon hesitantly blinked at the butler who was standing behind him. The butler handed the gift box to the head maid. The head maid opened the lid and lifted the box up for the Queen to see.
“What might this be?” asked Silica as she glanced at the contents of the box, despite seeing it for herself.
Inside the box were yellow heels that resembled the colour of Silica’s eyes. A large diamond was attached to the centre of the gold plate that adorned the shoes. Silica raised her brows ever so slightly upon inspecting the shoes. It meant that she was pleased.
“This is Tensil’s diamond that I had told you about before. They found a diamond mine while constructing a canal, and this is one of the few products that has been made using the very first diamonds that have been mined. Is it to your liking?”
Silica withdrew her gaze and took a sip of her coffee. “Not bad.”
“I am very glad to hear that. Speaking of which, about the plan—”
Lennon was bluntly shushed. Having cut off Lennon’s sentence, Silica turned to look at the head maid. It was a sign that she was done looking at the shoes.
Lennon’s face crumpled slightly when he was interrupted by the Queen let alone offered a word of thanks. Does she even know how expensive they were? The head maid, however, was oblivious to Lennon’s thoughts. She showed her respect with a stoic face and retreated from the greenhouse with Lennon’s butler..
“It has already been two whole months. Why is there no news yet?” Her voice leaked out from between her teeth. Her fists were clenched tight as they rested on the table.
Lennon was not surprised by Silica’s sudden change of attitude. He knew better than anyone that the Queen had always been this way. Lennon pulled out a smile and comforted Silica.
“That, I believe… is because of Sispanian’s Blessing.”
“You told me that you had taken the blessing into account. I hear about the third prince everywhere. It’s quite unpleasant to say the least.”
Lennon gulped. Silica silently fluttered her fan for a few seconds before opening her mouth again.
“Send me more of it as soon as you go back. I shall increase the dosage.”
“Wouldn’t that be too dangerous? Using a different method would be—”
Silica did not listen until the end. She turned her head and waved towards the door as if she were swatting away a fly. Lennon quitely gritted his teeth, but was forced outside without even being able to bring up his business.
* * *
Rumein was deep in his thoughts as were his eyes. An estate in Kailis?
Of course, Alan was fully welcome. In fact, he had called Alan to his study so that he could convince Alan to stay in Kailis. In order to suppress Silica’s influence, he needed someone as powerful as Alan.
Just what is his intention?
He couldn’t help, however, but to doubt Alan’s intentions as he brought the subject up himself.
“I came across a red-eyed cat in the plaza, and I’ve taken a liking to it. I am thinking about teaching it a few things and looking after it for a while… but I don’t have a place in this country.”
A moment of silence went by before Rumein opened his mouth again.
“What do you intend to teach Calian?”
“It sounds entertaining, Your Majesty, doesn’t it?” answered Alan with another question. He picked up a cookie from the table, cracked it in half, and munched on it before gulping it down. It was an incredibly impolite response to a King’s question, but Rumein waited silently. After drinking a sip of his tea, Alan continued with excitement in his eyes. “Black hair, red eyes… and magic.”
“In order words… you wish to stay in Kailis to teach Prince Calian magic.”
“Not only that, but I plan to create a cat-friendly environment. In order to do that, I believe I must assist the master of the house in cleaning up the house.”
Looking after his student was just an excuse. Rumein understood from his hinted words that his true intention was to suppress Silica’s influence and support Calian as the next crown prince.
Needless to say, it would do no hard to Rumein. He picked up his teacup and took a sip.
“Are you confident that you will be able to handle it? You would probably know, but my house is quite chaotic right now.”
“It is also my first time looking after something. Will you be able to handle it, Your Majesty?”
Rumein smiled faintly. “A teacher and a student. Quite a good excuse, I would say.”
A student-teacher relationship with a prince. It was the best way to justify Alan’s stay in Kailis. Silica and those Marquis Brissen’s family were bound to be against the prince learning magic, but they were up against the famous Alan Manassil.
“I am the one volunteering to teach Prince Kalian, so Brissen does not have a good reason to stop me. Since I cannot just be teaching magic all day, they will not be able to prevent a royal tutor with time on his hands from assisting His Majesty. It was quite a clever invitation.”