24. Looking for the dining hall

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These questions soared my head, but I would never be able to speak with the King about them, for my identity must stay hidden.

"I want you to know,..." I search for the right words to bring across my intentions.

"Know what?" The King's eyes shoot at me, he seems tired, no not tired. He seems exhausted from having to relive those memories, which quiet possibly never leave him. Possibly not even in his dreams. It must haunt him.

"That I care, about your father."

He looks confused so I explain, "You said no one cared, but I do. I'm sincerely sorry for your loss." I say as I slowly hold my open hand towards him. To my surprise he takes it. We sit there looking at each other, as I hold his hand.

After a while there's a knock on the door, as a knight wishes to check on his King, if everything is alright. Our hands part, and soon we are alone again.

I have many questions and don't know where to begin. "Is your fathers death the reason why you started this war?" I ask.

His lips turn into a thin line as he gets up unexpectedly. "It was King Artus who started this war not I," he hisses and then starts towards the exit and leaves his chambers with a loud bang of the door.

I should have chosen my words better but he did start this war, or at least the murderer of his father did.

Being glad that I now understand him better was a good thing, but at the same time I now knew that he would kill me if he knew. Even if he would use me to get to father, he'd kill me either way and that scared me.

I'd hated him and he'd hated me since we've gotten to know each other. I've disobeyed him and angered him because I thought the worst of him and he thought the worst of me. I stroke my long hair behind my ear. We'd been living in a misunderstanding, but now I understood. I could make him understand. Understand that we're only human. Make him understand that I know that he's in pain and maybe get him to change his ways. That was my plan.

I didn't see him that afternoon. I strolled around both of our chambers aimlessly, thinking about my plan. Maybe I could stop this war from going on but I needed to find out the truth about who killed his father. I didn't even know his name.

As I walked around the chambers I didn't dare look at Theodores letters again. It felt like invading his privacy would be to much after he had shared such a big piece of his life with me. Nevertheless the temptations remains.

It was slowly turning dark and King Theodore hadn't returned to his chambers. I waited at his window until the sun started setting. Dinner!

At this time dinner would usually start. It felt like I had been waiting for ages, and now no one was coming to get me. I wanted to see him. It still felt strange living here. I didn't know my way around but I knew for once what I wanted. And that was to see him. I won't forget Otis or what happened but this would be about more. If I could get through to the King maybe I could change his way of thinking.

I take a deep breath and head towards the pair of double doors. I creak open the door and slip outside. The stationed guards were no more that evening. He had thought I wanted to take my life after seeing the shocking murder of a man by the crimson king Theodore. To prevent this he had stationed two guards outside his chambers and locked the door to the balcony. For some reason it warmed my heart because it made me feel as though he cared. Even if it was just my imagination.

I slender along the halls, trying to remember if I was going the right way towards the dining hall, when Mrs Jane came my way. Her hands held a tray and her face held a smile for me.

"Hello there, Ms Alice!" She beamed. I slow down in my path. "Good evening, Mrs Jane. I thought we'd agreed on only Alice?"I smile at her.

"Oh right, right, sorry Alice."

He motherly like features make her whole being welcoming.

"I've got your dinner, hun." She raises the tray of meat and vegetables. "You must be starving if your headed towards me already," she jokes. I giggle and tell her, "well, I would prefer to eat with the King tonight to be honest."

The old lady lifts a brow and a sneaky smile plays her thin lips. Christ. "Alright then, I'll bring you your tray there then." She winks at me.

"No worries I'll take it with me." Before she can say otherwise I've already snatched away my dinner. "Thank you, Mrs Jane." I nod at her politely before continuing down the hallway.

"Oh, sure honey, but uh, Ms Ali- I mean Alice?" She laughs halfway. "The dinning halls that way dear." She points on the opposite direction with a laugh.

Embarrassed my face flushed and I laughed with her. It felt good to laugh again but I didn't have time to fool around. A few minutes and a short chat later Mrs Jane has accompanied me to the dining halls and helped me to open one of the heavy doors, before saying goodbye. They should really start leaving these doors open, then no one would need to push them open and closed all the time, but that's not important right now.

The King was seated at the end of the long table as per usual, seemingly not caring or noticing my approach. His hand gripped his cup of wine and his eyes were dulled and looking down at it. I notice that he hadn't touched his food as I gently place down my tray at the corner next to his seat.

"How about some dinner with you wine." I try to joke. He shoots me a look and then chugs a big gulp, letting me know that he's ignoring me. That didn't work at all, so I try a different approach. "Have I burdened you by my accusations today?"

I take a seat next to the King, as a servant comes running with a wine bottle. I nod my head "no" and wait for the King to reply. His eyes bore holes into my head but I had gotten used to it. He was always watching me.

"If I had wished for your company I would have sent someone to go get you," He murmurs, and I notice it's clearly not his first cup of wine.

Okay, this isn't going accordingly.

"Well I wish to be accompanied by you, so I came." I smile. Strangely my smiling gets him off track shortly before he sighs and takes another sip.

I start to cut my meat into pieces and setting up my dinner of the tray. After a few bites and continued staring in my direction the King speaks, "Tell me, Alice." He lifts his cup and gently starts swirling the red liquid in his cup, reminding me of my father. "How is it that you can read?"


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