Moonlight Ball - Chapter 121
“I-I’ll ask you one last time. Who did you say the queen was?!”
“Iris. My first love, the princess of the magic tower. Foster daughter of Elaine Rosi. Knight. Disciple. Iris Elaine.”
Clarence’s mouth twitched helplessly as he tried to process this revelation. He had so much he wanted to say, but he didn’t know where to begin. At the same time, a great wave of regret washed over him. He shouldn’t have asked. It would have been easier not to know. Now, there were dozens of landmines that he couldn’t ignore, now that he knew the truth.
Clarence pressed down on his temples, trying to gather his thoughts. There was one more thing he needed to confirm.
“What are you going to tell the Marquis of Samain?” he asked, his voice heavy with concern.
Rosemary’s maiden name was Samain: Rosemary In Samain. Although he was an outcast in the royal social world, he was a member of a prominent family of founding contributors. How would he react when he found out about the death of his child, and that the death had been neglected? It was a question that weighed heavily on Clarence’s mind.
“I’m going to make a deal,” Sidrain replied, “He’s not an idiot.”
“I would not take the deal if it were me, Your Highness.”
Sidrain looked at Clarence En Sethang, confused by his words. What was he talking about?
“If my Elena died in a carriage accident, and I found out there was someone else in her body, I would never…” Clarence trailed off, unable to finish the thought. The mere idea of it was enough to shock him. He covered his face with his hands, his voice seeking the goddess Ruthna low and dry.
“Your husband is too empathetic,” the king said, his eyes filled with reproach.
“Oh,” Elena said with a troubled smile, understanding the king’s frustration. She knew that Clarence’s empathetic nature was one of the things that made him cute, funny, and attractive to her, but from the king’s point of view, it might be annoying. Just a moment ago, Elena had been talking nonsense to the king, and now her husband was being weepy and overly empathetic. Elena lowered her head and gently caressed Clarence’s hair, apologizing to the king.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness,” she said. Sidrain clicked his tongue at her.
“I-If something like this happened to Elena, or Rodrick, I…” Clarence stammered.
“Same goes for if something happened to Ris, but you acting like this for Rosemary seems a bit odd, no?”
Sidrain took out a bottle of liquor from a cabinet in his office and poured it into three glasses. It seemed like it would be good for all of them to drink. He needed one because his heart wouldn’t calm down, and Elena was a heavy drinker, so it was okay for her to have a glass. Clarence, on the other hand, was a lightweight and would probably collapse after just one drink.
Elena quickly sensed the king’s intentions and walked over to him, politely taking two cups. She handed one to Clarence, encouraging him to join them in a drink.
The king walked over, pulling a chair in front of Clarence and sitting down. He forcibly clinked his own glass against Clarence’s.
“If you wish, let’s toast to Rosemary’s unfortunate passing,” he said, his voice laced with sarcasm. “But I’m curious, do you really have that much interest and affection for her? Because as her husband, I didn’t have an ounce of anything for her.”
“Your Highness,” Clarence began, but Sidrain cut him off, not interested in hearing what he had to say.
“Or do you think Rosemary’s father, the Marquis of Samain, would care? Who do you think will cry for Rosemary? Do you think anyone would? Because the answer’s no. And do you know why? She had nothing to be proud of except what you could see, and what we could see, well, that’s left in this world and no one has ever truly loved her. She reaped what she sowed,” the king spat out, his words harsh and cruel.
“Your Highness,” Clarence tried again, but the king was not finished.
“Comparing Elena with Rosemary is an insult to your wife. And don’t even think about comparing my Iris with Rosemary. You’ll have to pay greatly for it,” he warned, a dangerous glint in his eye.
Clarence’s heart sank at the thought that the king might be considering making Elena a widow. He knew he needed to tread carefully if he wanted to protect his wife and their marriage.
As Sidrain spoke, Clarence couldn’t take it any longer and quickly finished his drink in one gulp. No one was mourning the death of the queen, but Clarence couldn’t understand how everyone could be so callous about it. Someone had died, after all.
As Clarence stumbled, Elena, who had also finished a drink, quickly caught him. She then turned to the king and gave him a sly smile. “Your Highness,” she said, “my husband has a kind soul. He just can’t stand to see suffering, even if it’s someone as wicked as the queen.”
“I know,” Sid replied.
“He is not the same as you or me,” continued Elena, “and that’s what initially drew you to him.”
Clarence was a dear friend who possessed both intelligence and a gentle spirit – a rare combination in the cutthroat world of the palace. But now, seeing him just reminded him of someone else. She was smart and kind, always doing the right thing. She was the polar opposite of Sidrain, and he had always admired her for it.
But now, Sidrain couldn’t stand to be around Clarence anymore. He stood up and ordered him to leave. Elena called for the attendants to help Clarence out, but she kept her eyes on the king. She wanted to ask him something, but the words wouldn’t come.
Did he avoid sleeping with Iris Elaine because she wasn’t disgusted by the idea of s*x, but by the sight of his rock bottom that he had shown her that night?
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