Living As the Villainess Queen - chapter-74-significant-changes-in-the-palace-1
Chapter 74 – Significant Changes in the Palace (1)
When the gates to the castle opened up for him, Kasser pulled on the
reins of Abu to prevent him from entering immediately. His eyes scanned
through the guards and landed on the one who was tasked with opening it.
With the long battle over, this was usually the time when one gets
complacent. Which was a critical moment, because then they would be open
for an ambush. This was one of the most basic teachings one learned in
warfare, and thus Kasser hadn’t let down his guard even once.
Normally he would’ve just entered without a scene, but something stood
out to him as he stared at the guard. As if realizing he was being
scrutinized, the guard squirmed beneath his gaze.
The more he looked at him, the more Kasser thought him familiar.
He knew for a fact that most of the guardsmen who were tasked with
staying behind in the palace were low ranking officers. Which was why it
was troubling him why someone who was familiar was staying as a guard
when he should’ve been one of the warriors contributing to the war.
For a normal person, the surrounding area was dimly lit. As it was still
dawn, there wasn’t enough daylight for anyone to see a person’s face
But that wasn’t the case for Kasser.
For in his eyes was his Praz, lighting it up with a bluish hue, making
him see the person’s face as clear as day. But as the guard’s face
was trailed to the ground, he couldn’t see it properly from on top of
“Raise your head,” he ordered, and the guard flinched at the harsh
tone. Hesitating, the guard eventually raised his head. As he faced him
nervously, the King knew the guard knew he was caught.
He was definitely someone he was familiar with.
“Sven,” he said, narrowing his gaze at him.
“Yes, My King,” the guard quivered and hunched in on himself, trying
to make himself appear smaller.
Normally a warrior with his status was still busy cleaning up in the
aftermath, dirtied from the sweat and grime on their armor from all the
fighting. But one look at Sven’s armor, Kasser could see it was very
Which meant he hadn’t been part of the fight.
For him to leave his post, someone should’ve gotten in contact with him
and informed him of these changes, but he never received word of this
A cold look flashed through his eyes as Kasser thought about someone
meddling with his soldiers, but he soon schooled his features back to
Sven was Kasser’s favorite warrior. He was outstanding, a man of many
talents, and had morals. He was certain he wasn’t the type to cower in
the face of larks.
“Follow me,” he told him, and Sven bowed his head.
“Yes, Your Highness.”
Kasser nudged Abu, and the horse began to walk inside the palace,
followed by his entourage and Sven. The distance to the castle from the
gate was long, mostly because it was located in the center, surrounded by
He half expected for the palace to be dark, but to his surprise, he saw
the lamps still lit up, shining brightly as if expecting his return. The
light leaked out from each window, and he wondered why it was still on.
As soon as he reached the garden, he pulled on the reins once more,
making Abu stop in his tracks, and the palace steward came out to greet
them with a puff. He was followed by an array of servants and other
courtiers, welcoming him for his return.
This sight, this was normal.
“Your Highness, we’re so happy to see you return!” greeted the
As a king, Kasser frequently left the castle at a moment’s notice.
Several times a day, he’d leave and return like a common person leaving
their house. Which meant they were used to him leaving without a word’s
notice of where he’s gone or how long he’ll take to return.
Even today, when he returned, there was no notice, except for the warrior
who had gone ahead when the gates opened for him to inform the palace
servants of his return.
The steward approached him, helping steady Abu, as the King climbed down
from his back. As soon as he touched ground, the steward and his
entourage bowed in reverence.
“Steward.” he called out, and the steward straightened up.
“Yes, Your Grace?”
“Why are the lights on?” he asked him.
Despite not being low on oil, and the royal family having enough to spare
to not worry about it, it was protocol not to waste valuable resources
whenever an emergency happened.
Which was why he couldn’t understand why the lights had been lit up
when his return date was uncertain. The steward certainly didn’t
possess enough authority to permit this type of continued use.
“It was under the queen’s order,” he replied, and Kasser was taken
aback. The queen? He hadn’t expected that answer.
“The queen’s order?” he asked, frowning in confusion, “Why?”
“She had waited religiously for your return, Your Grace,” he began,
“When she left to go to bed, she told me to leave the lights on in case
you return late in the night. Something about making you feel less lonely
when you return home.”
He had expected for the reply to come shortly after his explanation,
ready to defend the queen’s good intentions if the king wasn’t
certain, but when no reply came, he finally chanced to look up.
The King’s face was hardened, but he didn’t look angry. Quietly, he
observed his King.
Home, Kasser thought, it was a foreign concept, one he wasn’t used to.
Did he think of the castle as his home? He didn’t think so.
For him, the castle was a symbol of power, of his blood, and birthright.
For him, it was only part of his kingdom, something to rule over and
protect from danger. Hearing the word home from the steward…
He didn’t know how to respond to that.
Shaking the thoughts away, he figured he must solve first this issue with
Sven before delving into another business. He nodded to the steward, who
bowed back and stepped aside before Kasser turned to Sven.
“Come with me,” he told him, and Sven bowed his head.
“Yes, Your Grace.”
As Kasser entered the palace halls, he couldn’t help but feel something
had changed in his absence. Everything seemed different today.
He didn’t have any problem navigating the dark hallways in the dark.
Hence, the use of the lamps was for the benefit of the courtiers who
roamed the hallways, especially after sunset. But oftentimes, the light
provided was only enough to shed some light and not stumble and fall.
He’d never seen his castle this bright in the dark. He could even see
that no corner was left unlit.
He soon reached the Oval Office, and as his habit, took a quick glance at
his desk as soon as he entered. Immediately he went in front of it,
scanning its contents and saw there was nothing on it.
He heard Sven come in after him, and that’s when he began to ask.
“On whose authority was it, that you stayed behind instead to fight the
larks?” he asked. During his short walk through the halls, Kasser has
thought about what he knew, along with the facts presented to him at the
moment, and came up with a rough conclusion.
Sven couldn’t have missed the opportunity to fight against the Larks to
save his own skin, it wasn’t in his nature, so he must’ve been
ordered by someone. Someone high enough to have swayed from his position.
“Chancellor Verus,” he answered softly, and Kasser hummed in reply.
It was just as he expected.
“Elaborate,” he said, turning to Sven, “With details, if you
“I was tasked with patrolling the fortress’ perimeter.” he began,
“Just make sure if something was wrong, report anything unusual.”
“And have you?” Kasser asked him, “Reported anything unusual?”
“Only once, Your Grace,” he said, “When the gates opened right
after the green signal was lit.”
“The gates were opened?” Kasser asked in an alarmed tone, “On whose
authority?” he demanded.