Vur sat across from Tafel with a table filled with food between them. Vur was shirtless with his crown resting on an empty chair next to him. Tafel wore a purple sleeveless dress that stopped at her ankles. Vur made a face as he swallowed his drink and sniffed at the empty goblet.
“Was it poisoned again?” Tafel asked as she eyed the liquid in the goblet next to her. She sighed and put her fork down as Vur shrugged. “You shouldn’t drink it if it is, you know?”
“Sometimes it tastes nice,” Vur said as he rinsed his mouth with a conjured ball of water. “And you know it won’t hurt me.” He glanced at the rose tattoo on his chest.
“But still, it makes me uneasy,” Tafel said and frowned. “You go through ten assassination attempts a day. There’s no need to take unnecessary risks. Why don’t you do something about the people targeting you?”
“They’ll give up eventually,” Vur said as he started to cut his steak. “It’s a waste of effort. My problems tend to go away if I ignore them long enough. The attempts are already starting to lessen.”
Tafel sighed and shook her head. She nibbled on a piece of bread and leaned back in her chair. She remained silent as she watched Vur eat. The corner of her lips quirked upwards as Vur used a fork to bring a cube of meat into his mouth.
“What?” Vur asked after he swallowed his food.
“Nothing,” Tafel said and giggled. “I was just thinking back to the first time you ate with my parents. You’ve gotten better at not breaking things.”
Vur stuck his tongue out before focusing his attention on his steak. “I’ve gotten better at a lot of things.”
“Oh? Like what?”
Vur rolled his eyes. “Like everything.”
Tafel smiled as she placed her bread down. “I suppose that’s true,” she said and leaned forward. “You’ve gotten better at controlling your emotions and thinking before acting. Although your common sense hasn’t improved one bit.”
Vur shrugged. “I think my common sense works well. It’s everyone else’s that don’t make sense.”
“Mm. You’re right. Everyone else is clearly wrong,” Tafel said and nodded. She rested her chin on her palm. A moment of silence passed as Vur chewed on his steak. “Hey.”
Tafel’s cheeks flushed. “When are you going to marry me?” Her gaze lowered to the food on her plate. “Because, you know. We’re almost seventeen and all,” she said in a soft voice. “Most girls are married when they’re sixteen.”
Vur blinked a few times. “I thought you didn’t want to get married young,” he said and scratched his head. “Didn’t you want to be an adventurer?”
“What does being an adventurer have to do with marrying young?” Tafel asked and raised her head. “There are plenty of married adventurers.”
“I don’t know,” Vur said and rubbed his chin. “I just assumed you wanted to explore the world before you got married.”
“I can still explore the world,” Tafel said and crossed her arms. “And it’ll be more fun if you came along too. This is why I said you have no common sense. Jeez.”
Vur slowly nodded his head. “I see,” he said and wiped his mouth with a napkin. “Then let’s get married. How do we do that?”
Tafel froze. “Um. I’m not too sure on the details myself,” she said and looked at her hands. She nodded. “Let’s tell our parents first.”
Vur swallowed the rest of the food on his plate in one gulp. “Alright,” he said and nodded. “We should go see my parents first before they decide to sleep for a few months.” The two stood up and left the room, leaving the dishes behind.
A boy with a suit flinched as the door opened and Tafel and Vur stepped out. “Y-you’re done eating, Your Majesty?” the boy asked with wide eyes. His face was slightly pale.
Vur nodded. “You can clean up now,” Vur said. The boy lowered his head and nodded.
“Hey,” Tafel said. “Don’t you think he’s acting suspicious? He probably the one that poisoned you, you know?” Cold sweat rolled down the boy’s back as he froze in place.
Vur shrugged. “I know, but it doesn’t matter,” he said and held Tafel’s hand. “He’s just the messenger. Let’s go before it gets too dark.” The two walked down the hall, ignoring the frozen boy. Only after Vur and Tafel rounded a corner did he dare blink.
Julia stood across from Raffgier’s table with her head lowered. Raffgier’s face was red and veins bulged on forehead. “You’re saying that none of the nobles want to join forces with me?”
Julia nodded. “They accepted the gifts at the start, but eventually all of the gifts were returned,” she said. “They requested we not ask them again, in case they’re mistaken for colluding with a traitor.”
Raffgier’s armrest splintered as his right hand clenched into a fist. “What is the meaning of this?”
Julia pulled a stack of letters out of her bag and passed it to Raffgier. “All the nobles who were originally receptive to the idea have attempted their own assassinations and failed. To quote Sir Klug, ‘I refuse to fight against an enemy that drinks poison like water and uses a sword like toilet paper.’”
Raffgier ground his teeth as he read through the letters. “Not only that,” Julia said with her head still lowered, “but the assassin’s guild has refunded us fully. They said that after further investigation, they’ve come to the conclusion that it’s best not to anger him due to his background. The full report is within that stack of letters.
“Also, we’ve received reports from multiple sources that skeletons have been delivering food to the poor ever since Vur removed the soldiers stationed on Konigreich’s borders. We’ve been unable to gain the support of the nobles and Vur has gained the support of the masses.”
Raffgier’s face blanched as he read letter after letter. He sighed and rubbed his temples. “Take all the gifts we sent to the nobles and consolidate them,” he said after a while. He crossed his arms and nodded.
Julia raised her head. “Understood,” she said. “Who’s the recipient?”
“We’ll send it to the king. A spy says he’s planning on having a wedding,” Raffgier said as he leaned back into his chair. “If you can’t beat them, join them. Who knows, I might be able to gain more benefits from Vur than I did from Randel.”
Julia smiled. “I’ll have it ready to be sent at a moment’s notice.”