The Reason for Marriage - Chapter 12.2
Iveca enjoyed his temperature on her hand. A soft, warm, connected feeling. Come to think of it, Iveca couldn’t think of a time she had held hands with anyone. She felt strangely relieved when she was with him, and she felt at ease as all the anxiety was pushed back by his affection. There was a sense of stability that was different from the desperation that she felt with Anriq.
She followed him and walked through the passage by pushing the picture on the wall like he had yesterday. However, the route was different in the middle of the journey. Left, left, right, right, left…
“Your Majesty, it was so fast that I couldn’t keep track,” Iveca confessed.
“Did you memorize the way to my bedroom?”
“I’ve memorized it, but I’ve already lost count of the turns to… wherever we are going today.”
“Then just follow me,” reassured Daniel.
The voice coming from the dark was refreshing and cool, but Iveca wasn’t convinced. After seriously thinking about how far she could take her complaints to the King himself, she was amazed by the sudden appearance of the banquet hall. There was no banquet, so the hall was dark and empty. Without hesitation, he led her up to the stairs towards the second floor. Suddenly, she recalled that there were no guards attached to them. Daniel didn’t share her concern and, in a familiar fashion, he pushed a still-life painting in front of him and saw a staircase going up open in front of them. Iveca looked at him with surprised eyes. She danced with him right here after the wedding. But she never thought there would be such a secret path, where anyone could have watched them completely unnoticed. He climbed the stairs slowly, and as she followed him up all the breathtakingly high stairs, a cool breeze blew and Iveca was met with a view of the roof of the Royal Palace. Daniel skillfully helped her to take her seat and sat down next to her. A panoramic view of the prosperous capital, Amenity, spread out for miles before them. The Judicial Affair Bureau building, the Bureau of Investigation building, and the mansion of Count Esselburn in the distance came into sight. The view was magnificent.
“It is a secret passage that I found while wandering around with Ashe when I was younger. I haven’t been here for years,” shared Daniel. The cold wind swept his blond hair. It was fun to see people busy walking around the street as small as ants. Iveca looked from place to place, bewitched, and felt compelled to ask a question.
“Why did you bring me here…”
“In case the Queen feels stuffy,” he replied, a soft smile hanging on his lips.
“You should have lived freely, but it seemed like you had been trapped in the palace for three days. It was supposed to be a special vacation, but you could not even go to a nice place to enjoy yourself. But nowadays, it is a terribly busy and important time for our kingdom, so it is hard to leave. I hope you understand.”
Even with the view in front of them, Iveca couldn’t help glancing at Daniel’s profile while he was holding her hand tightly. His eyelashes were as long as the ones in the paintings of him.
“There will be no freedom in the future. Even if you go to the Judicial Affair Bureau, the guards will always be there. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
Iveca nodded. As soon as she ascended to the throne as a Queen, she was basically joined at the hip by three guards on her side. The three; Kenta, Merryn, and Esther, would still be guarding the palace right now. When assigning her escort guards, she noticed that Daniel wanted to put more numbers on her, but she refused. To be honest, she was confident of protecting herself without a guard. But Daniel had insisted.
“I’m sorry to have kept you like this. To be honest, it feels… greedy of me.”
It was difficult to answer because he looked a little bit sad, and Iveca didn’t want to make him feel worse. But at least it crossed his mind that he was sorry for making her a Queen. By now, the sunset was already over, and the twilight completely colored the entire Amenity’s landscape, with a purple tone almost as deep as her eyes.
Why did this all have to be so complicated? Iveca wished Daniel had just been up front with her about everything from the start; all this confusion wasn’t needed. His kindness, his gentleness… Iveca would have rather he ordered her to do worse if she knew what was going on. However, she kept her calm. Now wasn’t the time to question a King.
“Your Majesty, what do I have to do for you?”
Daniel turned his head to her.
“What do you mean, Iveca?”
“What do I need to do in the Judicial Affair Bureau as a Queen, rather than being involved in politics? That is why you married me, right? I… I need to know.”
Daniel had a slightly troubled look on his face.
“It was going to be a lot of work, Iveca, so I was hoping you would get some rest.”
“I,” she paused, “I want to prove my usefulness.”
Daniel was taken aback at her frankness. “Your usefulness?” he inquired.
Iveca lowered her eyes. Whatever Dasniel wanted from her, it would be easier than turning her black hair to blonde for the sake of family. She wanted her family to be proud this time. She wanted to say to Count Esselburn that she and His Majesty were now a family.
“I want you to be proud for choosing me,” she said, and she meant it.