Chapter 136 – Do You Really Want Me To Be Queen? (1)
Heinley’s words were both amusing and laugh-worthy. Sovieshu—my husband—wanted to leave me, and I was stuck waiting for the inevitable divorce. Sovieshu had accused me of being cold-hearted and without compassion.
And yet, the king of another country praised me by saying that the people would love me…What a strange thing to say.
“Thank you for the compliment.”
I smiled to hide the bitterness in me, but Heinley noticed my unease at once.
“Queen? You don’t look well. Did something happen?”
He looked at me earnestly, but I didn’t answer. No matter how good of a friend he was, I didn’t want to show him my humiliation. Talking to him about Sovieshu’s imminent divorce with me would distress me to no end.
Heinley studied me carefully, and though I refused to say a word, he didn’t pry. Instead, he hesitated for a moment, then continued on with a serious expression on his face.
“My words were not empty praise. I meant it.”
“I don’t want a queen unless she’s like you.”
“No, I wish you were my queen. There is only one queen.”
His voice was firm. He was not joking.
I stared at him and his cheeks flushed red, but he didn’t turn away from my gaze. I could sense the heat in his eyes. Heinley was just being complimentary when he said he wanted a queen like me, but those words…
Embarrassed, I sipped a spoonful of soup. I could still feel Heinley’s eyes on me, and I smiled half-jokingly at him.
“And what if I accepted?”
The soup was still hot. I ate another spoonful and looked up Heinley. I expected him to laugh at my joke, but he made no sound at all.
My eyes widened in surprise when I saw his face. His expression was lit up like the sun.
“That would be incredible.”
“I was joking.”
“I’m not. If you come to my side, I will have you as queen immediately.”
“I swear on my life.”
We had been talking about Heinley taking a queen for himself, so how on earth did the conversation turn into an oath on his life? I kept silent instead of answering. I couldn’t tell if he really meant it, or if he was saying words to comfort me. But I wasn’t unhappy with what he said.
‘This is how it feels like to put honey on a wounded heart.’
It was bitter, but sweet.
“Thank you for your words, Heinley.”
“I only speak the truth on what I see.”
We both stopped talking for a while and continued eating. I didn’t want to say anything because of the mixture of sadness and gratitude in me, and Heinley didn’t speak either, and so the table remained quiet. Then, at the end of the meal, he spoke.
“Why are you here, Queen? I don’t believe this is an official visit.”
“One of my sponsored students attends the magical academy.”
“They’re in the academy? That’s great.”
“She’s a gifted child. I came to visit her.”
“Ah. Are you here to support her?”
“I’m here to console her.”
“I hear that she’s losing her mana.”
The fact that the mages’ power was declining was not something I could hide. Heinley, in particular, was already a mage himself and had attended the academy, so he likely knew of the phenomenon. As expected, Heinley’s surprise only lasted a moment.
Both of us finished eating, and so we stood up. Heinley, however, was quiet. When I first told him about the decreasing magic, he didn’t seem shocked at all. His face was serious, as if he were bothered by something. Because of this, I didn’t ask if he wanted to come along with me, and we parted at the restaurant entrance.
I went to the dean’s office, but then to my surprise, Heinley was already there. I was startled at the sight, and Heinley looked up and toasted his cup of coffee in the air. A smile broadened on my face.
“Are you following me?”
Heinley laughed and refuted me.
“Queen followed me. I came here first.”
I didn’t know if he really was following me or not, but his visit was casual while I came with an appointment, so the dean turned his attention to me first.
“Here is Evely’s report card.”
When I asked about the child, the dean showed me her weekly academic report.
“As you can see, she performed quite well in the beginning.”
“Well, she had a hard time adapting to liberal arts and general knowledge, but she’s good with spells, and she scores highly in magical classes.”
The girl was inconsistent with some of her subjects, but as the dean noted, she did well in all magic-related classes. The dean sighed, then flipped through the files quickly to show the most recent document.
“And this is her latest report.”
Heinley, who was watching from the side, clicked his tongue. The liberal arts and general knowledge grades moved up to the middle, but her grades for the magical classes plummeted. Only her classes on theory remained adequate.
The dean gave a regretful sigh and closed the file.
“The child is having a hard time, but she can’t keep up no matter how hard she works. She seems to be under a lot of pressure not to disappoint you, Your Majesty.”
“Thank you for your visit, Your Majesty. Yesterday, she fainted from over-training.”
“Is she alright?”
I looked at the dean in surprise, but he shook his head gloomily.
“No. After that, her mana…was completely gone.”