Moonlight Ball - Chapter 91
Duke Zeneth was a decent looking man of average height and average size, with black hair and black eyes. Not the type that would attract attention. The moment Iris saw him, she was surprised at how just ordinary and average he was. He didn’t look like some who would commit treason.
He immediately knelt down and held her hand. As he kissed the back of her hand, Iris tried not to recoil at his creepy lips. She attempted to move her hand away, but the Duke wouldn’t let go. Iris was thankful she was wearing white lace gloves.
“It’s been a long time, my sun.”
Iris blinked at Duke Zeneth’s words. She looked down toward him and realized that he was searching her face, her eyes, for a reply.
“It has been a while, my moonlight,” Iris said carefully.
Is that a password?
Zeneth laughed as he stood up.
“I’ve heard news about you even in faraway places. I heard you broke the magical mold. Your majestic name is well known across the seas.” The Duke held Iris’s hand as they went to the café. She felt like she was tied to a snake. Iris shook her head.
“It was nothing,” she said self-effacingly.
“What do you mean? It’s something even the King couldn’t solve.”
He was undermining the King. It was obvious. He was planning an act of treason. Iris calmed her thumping heart and tried her best to answer evenly.
Elena trailed along behind the Queen and marveled at the difference. The Queen had just finished calling the King by his nickname and defending him, but in front of the Duke she was almost the opposite. Why?
Did the Princess of the Magic Tower and Duke Zeneth know each other? Elena thought about it for a moment and shook her head. Duke Zeneth was also magical but to a much lesser degree. He didn’t have any success at the Magic Tower, so he left and inherited the title of Duke. Iris Elaine came to the Magic Tower 16 years ago, after Zeneth had become Duke. The two wouldn’t have met. They wouldn’t have ever crossed paths.
They wouldn’t have ever crossed paths.
Yet, the Queen’s actions were overly careful, bordering on friendly.
My moonlight? A term of endearment for lovers, but there was not a hint of romance in Queen’s voice. Actually, the Queen’s voice sounded completely dispassionate. What is happening? Elena was on edge.
As they entered the café, Duke Zeneth spoke in a cryptic tone.
“I was out of the country, longing to meet you. The moment is finally here.”
Iris understood immediately that the “moment” was not the moment the Duke would meet her, but the moment for treason. She shuttered at the thought.
The moment for treason is here.
As she lunched with the Duke, she was barely cognizant of what she was eating. She tried desperately to maintain her sanity for the duration of the meal.
Duke Zeneth was sneakily testing her throughout their conversation. She was on her guard, hoping he didn’t find anything amiss. Did he notice that she was someone else? When he talked about the Magic Tower, her fear reached its zenith. Magic Tower! As he is also magical, he could notice that the magic power of the Queen and that of Iris are completely different.
Iris’s mind raced. Was Duke Zeneth a Magic Tower dropout? Iris is a genius. Elaine made Iris his disciple and mentored her. He is the head of the Magic Tower. At the Magic Tower, Iris had met only great magicians, yet barely spent time with any of them. So, she wouldn’t have encountered Zeneth if he had been a dropout, she reasoned. Iris found herself trembling with these thoughts and straightened herself up.
Should she tell Sid about this? About treason? Should she tell him?
She couldn’t be so sure. Her mentor is a great person, but power has produced a coldness in him. He is normally merciful, but he can become unfeeling for the benefit of the Magic Tower. An earlier situation proved it. He had said terrible things about both the child in pain with honsi mold and the child’s mother. Elaine quickly retracted his statements, but Iris knew well that he always means what he says. The teacher who is kind to her is also the cold ruler of the Magic Tower. To rule, one has to be heartless.
What would Sid think?
Sid is kind, but would he believe her if it were regarding treason? Would he trust her implicitly? Let’s say he would. Then, could he protect her from all the possible consequences? To foresee the future, should she try to uncover more about the past, about what Rosemary had been up to?
If Sid decided to trust and protect Iris, it could also have dire consequences for him.
Her thoughts were chaotic.
Duke Zeneth spoke at that moment.
“I would like to speak to you in private, Your Majesty.”
Iris tried her best to not look flustered. What if he speaks plainly of the treasonous plot and it becomes clear she knows nothing about it?
She had searched Rosemary’s room thoroughly before this, thinking there were other letters indicating a treasonous plot. Yet, she couldn’t find any evidence to support such an accusation, anything in writing to show the depth and breadth of a plan.
Iris was truly impressed by Rosemary’s thoroughness.
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