Zeres opened his eyes, and the crystal ball that initially showed nothing but pitch-black darkness abruptly returned to its normal silver state.
He swiveled around, looking up at Alicia with an expectant look on his face. With neither a sign of suspicion nor a sliver of doubt that existed on his unquestioning face – Alicia honestly and truly felt like she was blatantly taking his absolute trust in her for granted. Was this man serious? Was he really not suspicious of her at all? He didn't even spare a second glance at the crystal ball!
Alicia found herself not being able to control her own body actions – and ended pursing her lips quite tightly – as she tried her best to act normal, like she had done nothing wrong. She was feeling a little sorry, but she was left with no other choice! This was the only way for her to find out about his secrets!
Zeres literally jumped from his seat and faced her. He was excited, to the point of grabbing her shoulders as he leaned closer to her. She could tell from the stars and sparkles in his eyes at how excited and impatient he was to know the whereabouts of his so called wife.
But before those lips could form any word, the door swung open, causing both persons in the room to divert their attention towards the door immediately.
The man in the black cloak was already standing before the door, looking at them. "She's here," he said, and Alicia felt Zeres froze in surprise.
Zeres' brows creased. "H-huh? Dinah?" he asked, and when the cloaked man nodded, the look in Zeres' eyes suddenly turned peculiar and that threw Alicia off. His grip on Alicia's shoulders tightened before he slowly looked at her with a troubled expression. "Queen, conceal yourself and stay here," he firmly told her before gently letting go of her. He hastily went toward the door but paused and looked over his shoulder. "Never let them know you're here, understand?"
Before Alicia could respond, Zeres already stepped out of the room. She then stared at the man in the black cloak, but the man only afforded her a sharp glance from the corner of his eyes before allowing the door to silently close behind him, leaving Alicia standing there, looking at the closed door with a stunned look on her face. What? Dinah? That immortal woman was coming? Or was she already here!? And why did Zeres showed such a reaction? They were supposed to be allies, yet Zeres looked so troubled just by Dinah's presence? What was going on?!
Alicia's brain was in a mad whirl of activity. The voices she heard in Zeres' memories were still boggling her, and now this! What the hell was happening?
Since Alicia already had herself concealed from the moment she stepped out of the Dark Forest, she really didn't need to expand any extra effort but just quietly stay in the room. As long as there was no powerful witch with Dinah, no one could ever detect the presence of a witch inside this castle.
Alicia's curiosity will never let her just stand there and wait. So she sat on the chair and closed her eyes. She activated the crystal ball again and when she opened her eyes, she saw Dinah and her minions appeared in the crystal ball.
Outside the room, Zeres and the man in the black cloak halted midway in the corridor. They were planning to meet them outside, but it seemed they can't do that anymore. Dinah was already inside the castle, approaching them. She was flanked on her right and left by two powerful looking witches and numerous men in a black cloaks were moving as one behind her.
It seemed her wound from the other day had healed, thanks to the formidable witches next to her. Dinah was wearing another revealing red gown under her black cloak. Her face was delicately and beautifully crafted that it even bore a slight resemblance to Abi's innocent features. However, those eyes full of malice and malevolence betrayed her deceptively delicate look. Nothing she did could ever hide the evil glint in her sharp eyes.
"Zeres," she called out as a smile crept across her face at the sight of Zeres.
But Zeres might have been a marble statue. There was not an ounce of response from him. The gentle look in his eyes was gone, and his bright face turned serious.
"Why are you here?" Zeres asked – voice emotionless.
"Of course, I came to check on you, Zeres."
Zeres' eyes narrowed suspiciously at her statement. "Why? You don't trust Kiel anymore?"
A low and sensual yet sinister laugh echoed. "What are you saying, Zeres? Of course not. I personally came to ask you to come with me."
"Dinah…" Zeres gave a tiny sigh of displeasure after a short silence. "Didn't we already talk about this? We already agreed that I'd be there in two days."
Dinah's smile faded. "Well, the truth is I am just a little worried because I couldn't locate you last night." She said as she glanced at the cloaked man beside Zeres. Despite her pleasant voice, she couldn't fully conceal that sinister look in her eyes. It was obvious that she was suspicious of them.
But Zeres remained calm, and he simply let out a more obvious sigh – blatantly showing his obvious displeasure at her current actions and behavior.
"I am a witch, Dinah. I can hide myself from anyone whenever, however, or in whatever way I choose to – if the need ever arises." Zeres said.
"Well yes, you are right, Zeres…" she trailed off as she nodded while the two witches beside her were looking around, as if something suspicious had caught their attention.
Noticing the witches' actions, Zeres could only resign himself to the situation as it is developing. "Fine, Kiel, and I will be there tomorrow." He said, hoping to distract the two accompanying witches and causing Dinah to smile in triumph for a fraction of a second before she tilted her head slightly.
"Why not now? Do you have another plan today?"
Before Zeres could respond, the two witches next to Dinah suddenly disappeared. When Zeres turned behind him, he saw the two witches appeared in front of his room, hands reaching for the door handle. Zeres' eyes widened in surprise, and the next moment, he too disappeared and materialized before the two witches in a very menacing manner – even causing those two powerful witches to flinch back a fraction.
"What are you two doing? Who allowed you to approach my room?" The usual warm glimmers in his eyes were gone. Instead, his eyes were narrowed, rigid, and cold – shooting very visible threats like vicious ice spears. His piercing glare was lethal, but it seemed the threatening look in his eyes was not enough to cause the witches to stop their advance. However, when his irises began to turn gold, the witches immediately leapt back away from him.
The atmosphere turned heavy in that split second. The witches even subconsciously prepared themselves for a fight, but Dinah gestured them to stop.
Dinah then calmly stepped forward, locking eyes with Zeres' as she asked him with a misleadingly soft tone.
"Are you hiding something... or someone from me? Zeres?"
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