Walking back inside, we found the Queen was already awake, playing with her sleeping daughter's hair.
When she saw the two of us, she stared at my scars and let out a small gasp. While I had just opened up to Selene, there was no way in hell I was going to do that again.
Before she could start all of her questions, I cut her off and asked, "Do you have anything that we can wear in here? It will be hard to walk around with us looking like this." I could tell that the Queen had questions, but she pointed to a chest in the corner of the room. Opening the chest, I was happy to see multiple plain-looking cloaks and threw one on, tossing another to Selene, who did the same.
Turning back to the Queen, I said, "We are going to be paying the King a visit. Unless he has something brilliant to say, he will die. If that happens, what's next for you?"
She looked unsure, but eventually replied, "I will be in charge, but I don't see the high court letting that last. While the King is in charge, the nobles share in his greed. Though, if I manage to stay in power, I am sure the townspeople will be on my side."
I was quiet for a moment, thinking on her words, then said, "We can deal with that," and began to walk out of the room. Calling over my shoulder, I said, "Make sure you don't leave this room. We won't be gone long."
We exited the room before she could answer and I closed the door behind us. Grabbing the handle, I slowly bent it until it was a mess of metal. Happy that no one would be able to get in or out, I turned to Selene, who was staring at me with an amused expression.
Trying not to laugh, she asked, "You think it would have been better to ask where we are going before you destroyed the door?" I paused for a moment to try and think of a way to tell her she was wrong. But she wasn't, so I just grunted and walked past her.
Walking through the massive building, Selene and I kept our heads low. While I assumed most guards didn't know what we looked like, they knew we were here.
Eventually, we ended up in front of a wing that had to be where the King resided. The floors were covered in expensive carpets, and huge paintings and tapestries covered the walls. There were considerably more guards, and they all glared at us as they moved to block our path. One of them barked in my direction, "What business do you have being here?"
I paused at his words. I really had no plan. I was just going to casually walk forward, knowing that they couldn't hurt me. Before I could execute my poor excuse of a plan, Selene stepped forward, removed her hood and, in a surprisingly meek voice, said, "The King summoned us here. We are behind on our taxes, and he said that he could work something out with my husband and I."
I had to hand it to Selene. In the short time that she knew about the King, she had already figured out his character. The King would clearly want someone of Selene's beauty to himself, and I could tell that the guard also agreed by the way he was looking at her.
Once he was done staring, he said, "I was not made aware of this, but follow me, and we can find out." The two of us quietly followed in line behind him. Soon we took another turn and were stopped by a second set of guards. Our escort barked at us to stay where we were and went to talk to the others. Selene and I stared at the floor, trying to look as weak as possible. I could hear the guards arguing and overheard our guard say, "I know that they weren't on his list, but look at her. Her skin is perfect. She doesn't even have a single wrinkle. The King should commend us for bringing her to him."
As the guards continued their thorough appraisal of her body, I turned to Selene. I was about to whisper a joke about her admirers, but as I turned, I could feel her anger and quickly bit my tongue. A new guard walked up to us and said, "Follow us. We will take you to the King."
Walking behind the guards, I was careful not to make eye contact with Selene. The guards were casually appraising her as if she wasn't in the room with them. The longer we walked, the more I could feel her anger as if it was my own, and soon I was as mad as she was.
Our party stopped in front of a massive door. One guard knocked on the door with a nervous look on his face. It was quiet for a moment, then the King yelled out, "What do you want?! Haven't I told you not to bother me when I am with my women?!" The guard was nervously responding to him, but I wasn't paying attention.
How could this King casually state that he was with other women while trying to kill his own wife and daughter? My anger continued to build. I was about to force my way into the room when Selene suddenly grabbed my hand.
Staring at me, she smiled and said, "Don't worry, my husband. Everything will be fine." Hearing this, some of the guards snickered, figuring that we didn't know what would happen. Selene leaned in, and any guard who was watching would think that she was kissing my cheek, but she quietly whispered, "I feel your anger, but if you go in, you will kill him right away. Let me go in, and I can promise you that he will suffer for what he has done."
I stared at Selene for a moment, then responded with a forced smile, "Make sure to send the king my regards." With that, she gave me a nod and followed a guard into the King's room, leaving me alone with multiple smirking guards.