Chapter 6:The Devil's Son
All the people within the hall studied the man who had just commented in support of Third Princess Seren's claim regarding the curtain and the flammable oil.
A tall man wearing black clothes with delicate gold embroidery was inspecting the window and the leftover of the curtain with his back facing towards everyone.
He brushed his forefinger along the edge of the window frame and then rubbed the forefinger with the thumb. He chuckled, "Wasteful prodigals."
Who was he? That was the question on everyone's mind. The nobles of Abetha had never seen him and the clothes he wore indicated that he was from another kingdom.
"Are you sure?" asked his companion, who was a man wearing luxurious golden yellow ceremonial clothes meant for royalty.
The guests recognized this man. He was the groom's brother and the Crown Prince of Griven, First Prince Arlan Cromwell.
But who was the one accompanying First Prince Arlan?
The unknown man turned to look at the First Prince. "Check for yourself."
Prince Arlan repeated what his companion did and reached the same conclusion.
"You are right," Arlan confirmed the presence of flammable oil.
The Second Prince of Griven, Lenard Cromwell, and the groom of the political marriage joined them too. He wore the same signature royal clothes from Griven, just like his elder brother, Arlan.
As the three mused over the scene, the crowd shifted and parted to make way for King Armen, who had left his throne to oversee the situation personally.
King Armen looked at the young man in black. "King of Megaris!"
The young man nodded in greeting, as they both had the same standing, and there was no need for him to bow to a king of another kingdom.
Hearing what King Armen called the man in black clothes, everyone realized who he was, and whispers echoed within the huge hall.
"Is he that famous Devil's son?"
"After the witch, now we have a devil too. How unlucky!"
"Keep quiet. He is so dangerous that even his father is scared of him."
"True. His father made him king when he was just eighteen, even though from what I heard, his other son was the crown prince."
"No, from what I heard, the previous King of Megaris is not his birth father. He is the devil's son that the queen bore."
"I heard he is vicious and cruel."
"That's why he is a powerful king even though he is just twenty-three. The youngest and cruelest king in the entire continent!"
"Who won't be scared of the devil?"
The royal guard behind King Armen knocked the base of the javelin in his hand on the marble floor, and the heavy sounds silenced the unruly whispers.
"Pleasure to have you here, King Drayce," said King Armen.
"The pleasure is all mine, King Armen. But, I must say Abetha has a unique way of welcoming their guests," said the young king as he smirked and pointedly looked around at the gossiping crowd.
Everyone felt intimidated by the way this young king looked at them. His red eyes carried a mocking gaze, as if he looked down on others, thinking of them as nothing but lowly creatures.
Though they felt intimidated, their eyes didn't stop gazing at this handsome young man.
King Drayce Ivanov of Megaris was a tall man with an inherently charismatic appearance, his magnetic demeanor captivating enough to make people keep staring at him even though they found him scary as well.
Standing proudly before them was a man with a strong build, with wide shoulders and a long neck, a well-sculpted face with intimidating red eyes. His face was more than handsome with his thick eyebrows, sharp pointy nose, thin lips that carried a light smirk, and fine jawline.
His elbow-length jet black hair was pulled back, half of it tucked at the back of the head and secured with a gold accessory. His black clothes, upon further observation, was in fact the royal clothes of Megaris, and it was tailored perfectly on his well-sculpted body.
Together, all of these added to the dark and intimidating aura he carried.
"Apologies for the kind of welcome King Drayce had to see. I will surely make up for it," said King Armen, his tone polite.
"I'll look forward to it," King Drayce responded.
"Allow me to guide you to your place." King Armen gestured for them to follow him.
The three young men followed the King of Abetha while the rest of the guards escorted them, pushing the crowd away.
'Where is she?'
Drayce looked around to search for the young woman who was being accused, for she did well to protect herself. He was never interested in women in general, but her bold and fearless attitude today made him curious about her.
Upon Drayce's arrival in the hall with the two Griven princes and their own royal guards, instead of an announcement of their entrance, they were welcomed by yells and chaos. They had stopped to check what was going on and heard the entire conversation.
Drayce could not see her face as her back was facing him. The only thing he knew was that she owned long red-brown hair and a dulcet voice with a confident and mocking tone.
'Seems like when I was busy investing to support her pleading to the King, she left,' Drayce concluded and sighed. 'No acknowledgment of my kind intentions. So rude of her.'
As the newcomers crossed the path from the back of the hall towards the throne, the crowd had taken the liberty to observe Drayce. The people of Abetha had heard plenty about the young King of Megaris but never had the chance to see him in person.
They couldn't stop admiring the handsome man who continued walking, not sparing a glance at anyone.
The young women, and even the older and married women, couldn't stop looking at him as if they were in a daze.
"They say devils and witches are enchanting. No wonder, it's the truth," said one older nobleman to his subordinate as he observed the scene in the hall.
The engagement ceremony finally started after a seat was prepared for the King of Megaris.
As Drayce was a good friend of Prince Arlan and he had been in a nearby territory on official business, he joined the brothers to catch up. Afterwards, he was then invited by Arlan to accompany them for his brother's engagement.
"Who is that girl?" Drayce whispered to Arlan.
"First, pay attention to the engagement ceremony," Arlan instructed, whispering back.
"Not interested," Drayce countered.
Arlan gave him a displeased gaze.
"Lenard is not my brother," Drayce countered to that gaze.
"Such a devil," Arlan mumbled, but then, he relented, "Later."