Book II: Episode 88 – Country of Music 2 ‘Eugene’s unwanted spotlight‘
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Episode 88 - Country of Music 2 ‘Eugene’s unwanted spotlight‘

The King raised his hand, motioning for the instrumentalists to play.

“Well, well.” The King paused. Continuing, he spoke with sympathy in his voice. “Why don’t you relax and release all your tension from your long trip by listening to some music?”

Before anyone could reject or refuse, he sternly added. “Please sit.”

“.......” Didn’t we get tense because of you? Eugene rolled her eyes in her head, walking with the others to their stoned bench to sit.

Ario moved to the King’s side and continued his introduction. “My King, this is Duke Earnest of the Marleigh family, and Duke Amos of the Rodriguez family. They are Xenperia’s military general and Xenperia’s Great Noble’s.” He motioned with his hands to Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez as he spoke.

“Welcome, Welcome!” The King spoke with a smile on his face. His previous prey-like behavior, no longer on display.

‘Bi-polar?’ Eugene blinked at the King’s sudden change of character.

“Thank you very much for inviting us. We will be in your majesty’s hospitality for the next five days.” The quiet Duke of Marleigh spoke, nodding his head to the King.

‘The quiet man will take care of all the talks this week?’ Eugene looked at Duke Marleigh in surprise. Even Louis, Ron, Aeselak, and Euria looked at Duke Marleigh in shock.

“Hm!” The Emperor hummed, nodding to Duke Marleigh.

Motioning to the children, Ario continued. “These are the 8 Paladin of Xenperia, L-”

“I know who they are.” The King cut Ario, raising his hands to stop him from speaking.

‘Again?’ Eugene glanced at the King and Ario in suspicion. Raising her eyebrows, she thought back to the Chinese drama her former manager forced her to watch.

The King was rude. But his rudeness was the type of rudeness of a typical romance-tragedy tv genre. He was like those overbearing male-lead characters doing the wrong things to get his female-lead.

‘Hmm..’ Eugene rubbed her chin, turning her detective radar on.

According to her insights, men in these types of shows treat the person they fancy badly because the person they fancy doesn't return their romantic feelings. Seeing as to how the King always stopped Ario from talking, or when he showed the whole world he just bedded four men, this theory was definitely right!

‘So when he showed those four men to everyone, it wasn’t to us, but Ario huh?’ Eugene finally concluded.

‘Ario sure is brave to refuse the King’s advances.’ Eugene glanced at Ario.

Ario was currently smiling gently towards them, as if nothing was wrong, as if he was never interrupted. To this Eugene wanted to laugh!

‘Ahh.. this King!’ Eugene shook her head in her mind. ‘Even though he stands above everyone, is a Supreme leader who commands overall, he still can’t get a man he likes!’ Eugene gently tapped on the stone-bench she was sitting on in fascination with this situation.

“A pity..” Eugene mumbled to herself, not knowing that the two Dukes heard her.

______

“Do you know how to play instruments, or write poems?” The King spoke to the Dukes, his eyes closed as if he was enjoying the harps playing in the background.

“No, Your Majesty. We are military men, so we are not familiar with these types of arts.” Duke Rodriguez replied in honesty. All he knew was military drills. Poems and music was not something he touched.

“Ahh..” The King hummed. “So, you love blood and those explosion weapons?” The King raised his brows in question.

“And the children?” The King continued, being persistent on this subject. Glancing at a grey-like-white hair boy, he pointed. “Sure enough, you know one or the other?” The King smiled. His smile hinted that he had no expectations what-so-ever.

“I only know how to play the key,” Louis honestly replied. And sure enough, the King’s grin got wider.

“However,” Louis looked at the King blankly. “When it comes to poems, my sister seems to be well versed at, Your Majesty.”

“.....” The King dropped his grin. “Hmm..” Chuckling, he questioned. “Your sister?” He glanced at the two identical girls. One had grey eyes, and the other had blood-colored eyes.

“Hahaha!” The King suddenly laughed! “I shall look forward to your sister’s poem then!” The King lazily held his face with his hands as he laughed. Within a second, he ceased all laughter, becoming serious all of a sudden.

“If they don’t live up to expectations, you know what that entails… right?” The King raised his brows at Louis, attempting to scare the little boy.

“......” Eugene blinked, blankly staring at Louis and the King. ‘By sister… Did Louis mean her and Euria?’ Eugene tilted her head to the side. ‘ So.. Euria is good at poems?’ Eugene turned towards Euria who was stuffing her mouth with grapes.

Realisation hit her! ‘No.. he meant her!’ Eugene sharply turned her head towards Louis!

‘Wait. Wait. Wait! Wait, one minute! What do ‘you know what that entails’ mean??!?!?’ Eugene rapidly blinked her eyes.

Even Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez were staring at Louis in shock!

“Yes Your Majesty, I understand.” Louis’s lips raised.

‘What do you mean you understand?! For what reasons am I involved in this situation!? Am I going to be executed if I don’t live up to expectations?!?! And most importantly, why are you smiling!??’ Eugene’s head exploded with questions! She wants Louis killed right this moment!

“Alright then!” The king replied happily, not giving a chance for Eugene to refuse! The King then motioned for the men playing the harp to come over.

On their way, the men grabbed papers and ink before walking to the King. Handing the things to Ario, Ario then handed multiple papers to Louis who then forced it into Eugene’s hands.

“........” Eugene who suddenly received the tools glared at Louis before glancing at her opponents sitting across her. They too were staring at her, gently smiling.

“Alright then, shall we begin?” The King excitedly waved his sleeves for everyone to begin.

“Haa…” Eugene sighed, giving in to the current situation. What can a small girl like her do anyway? She picked up her brush and before she could think, the King spoke again.

“Oh, as for the rewards. This King will grant you anything you want.” Continuing, he added. “The loser… well… The loser should take a swim around the lake? Hahaha!” The King boldly announced, shocking everyone in the room.

“YOUR MAJESTY!” Ario shouted, jumping up in shock!

Startled, the King furrowed his eyebrows at Ario. “You spooked me. Why are you raising your voice as if it’s not a good idea?” The King raised his brows in question.

“.....” Ario looked down.

“Reply.” The King threatened.

With his head down, Ario softly replied. “It’s nothing.”

“....” Eugene glanced back and forth between the two. ‘Well, swimming in the lake during summer is nothing.’ Eugene optimistically thought. ‘But then again, why would I lose?’

She glanced at Ario who was shifting around in discomfort and the King smiling, pleased because of Ario’s reaction.

Eugene silently shook her head before feeling a nudge on her waist. Turning, she saw Aernest looking at her worriedly.

‘Quickly write!’ Aernest silently communicated, sending a telepathic message to Eugene.

‘I know!’ Eugene telepathy back.

Glancing at her blank paper, Eugene sighed again.

She wasn’t one who cared much about poems but because of her career, many of her lines had to be poetic. Some roles required her to say elegant and sophisticated sentences. ‘Ha...Those days were tiring.’ Eugene daydreamed.

‘I’m sorry poets! I shall steal your poems!’ Eugene made up her mind. In deep thoughts, she twirled around her clean brush. ‘Long poems were boring, but short poems wouldn’t look good.’

The paper-cloth they gave her was thin and transparent. It was roughly the size of her whole body.

‘What poem is appropriate in this setting?’ Eugene tapped her brush, hesitating about what poems she should use. She had way too many options! She could use poems from her scripts, or famous poems everyone knows!

“Hmmm..” Eugene heard a hum. Glancing towards the noise, she saw the King smiling towards the poets who were currently acting shy and coy. Their faces were red and looked as if they were deeply in love with the King.

‘..... Hello? Why are you flirting mid-competition?’ Eugene frowned. ‘Were they taking me lightly?’ Eugene’s mood dropped.

“Ha. Ha,” Eugene suddenly laughed, an idea popping into her head. Should she write down poems about H.I.V, and that practicing un-safe xxx would lead to unwanted diseases?!? SHOULD SHE?!?

The loving atmosphere is too cringy! Should she destroy it with this brush and paper!?

“I’m finished.” A soft voice suddenly announced.

Glancing up, Eugene stared at the Poet who was also looking in Eugene’s direction. The mock in his eyes when he saw that Eugene’s paper was pale of any ink. ‘... That’s it, I’m executing you.’ Eugene silently thought.

“I’m done too, Your Majesty” The 2nd poet also announced. Unlike the first poet, he never glanced at Eugene but only at Ario's direction.

‘The jealous type.’ Eugene’s detective radar actively picked on.

“Alright then, begin when you are ready.” The King smiled, motioning for the first poet to read out his poem.

Before the poet began to read, the Dukes and the Paladins worriedly glanced Eugene’s way. They were anxious because she hasn’t written anything yet. Even Louis, the culprit behind the scenes, furrowed his eyebrows.

Eugene shook her head to relay that everything was alright. Putting her brush down, she glanced across the room to the Poet who stood up to read.

‘Everything is alright.’ She didn’t need to write to remember her poems. She was, after all, using poems from her former world. Besides, she was going to decide which poems to use after her opponents finished reciting. This way, she will have the advantage to counter their attacks and win!

The 1st poet nodded to the King, indicating that he was ready.

“You may begin.” The King replied, crossing his legs and closing his eyes to listen.

“Yes, Your Majesty” The 1st poet with bobbed hair replied.

Shifting his body towards the guests, he began in a sad, sorrowful voice that came up from nowhere.

“Let your children be flowers,

Free from pains and hardships,

Oh, god, overestimations,

Lead to eternal sleep,

Regrets and pains,

Are not worth your greed.

Innocent innocent flowers,

We pray for thoust loss”

The bobbed hair man ended, swiping tears that dripped down from the corner of his eyes.

“........” Everyone stopped breathing.

Eugene felt her face dropping. With a face devoid of any emotions, she glanced at the people sitting beside her.

Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez's faces were completely black. Even Louis and Aedelak who normally didn’t show any emotions looked stiff.

The poem roughly translates to:

“Let your children be flower” - ‘Let the children be children.’

“Free from pains and hardships” - ’Free the children from adult’s war.’

“Oh, god, overestimations.” - ‘You're overestimations.’

“Lead to eternal sleep” - ‘Will kill your children.’

“Regrets and Pain” - ‘You will regret and face the worst agony’

“Are not worth your greeds” - ‘Their death isn’t worth adult’s greed.’

“Innocent innocent flowers” - ‘The children are innocent.’

“We pray for thoust loss” - ‘We pray for your loss’

The last line of the poem was problematic. They weren’t dead yet, yet the poem was praying for their loss. This was something that should never be said to someone who was still alive, as it brings bad luck. Not to mention, the poem was certain that they were going to die.

“Young Miss.” Aedelak softly muttered. She broke character and publicly glared at Louis for putting Eugene into this situation!

Clenching his hand for 2 seconds to release his unwanted emotion, Louis glanced at Eugene. To his surprise, Eugene was smiling as if she was holding in her laughter.  Following her gaze, Louis saw that the King too had the same reaction.

Like Eugene, the King of Zene almost burst out laughing. Sending love eyes to the poet, began to clap in acknowledgment.

This action of his made Eugene lean for her STD poems even more!

Eugene looked at Ario who had the same dark expression as Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez. The three stayed silent, looking as if their mouths were stuffed with paper.

“What’s wrong? What’s happening, sister?” Aernest noticed the dark atmosphere and asked.

“Hmm... They are sick.” Eugene replied, loud enough for the people sitting on her side to hear. By sick, Eugene meant mentally ill.

“Sick? What sickness?” Euria furrowed her eyebrows and asked. Her cheeks, now stuffed with watermelon.

“Hmm..” Eugene pondered for a moment before replying in all seriousness. “This sickness is in the head. It’s called being mentally dysfunctional or mentally disabled. They only contract this sickness when one feels inferior to you.”

Eugene smiled, knowing what poem she was going to use to counter.

“Huh? I don’t understand what you are saying, sister.” Euria drooped chin, displaying her double chin publicly.

Eugene shook her head, her eyes conveying that Euria was too young to understand.

“Sister, I also do not get it!” Aernest chimed in, seeing that Eugene wasn’t going to elaborate further. She was always like this, using difficult words that he couldn’t understand when they were around people of older age! She becomes a different person when she meets different people, especially when she encounters people she dislikes!

Eugene softly sighed, before explaining. “They are sad people. Every day, every year, every second, they are sad people. People we should pity!” Eugene explained in simple terms. “Their heads are broken into many pieces.”

“.....Psh…” Ron Graeme snorted, unable to hold back his laughter.

Duke Marleigh and Duke Rodriguez too had a hard time holding in their laughter. They were worried for Eugene but seeing her saying that the people across from them are basically retards, they felt relief. She was still alright with the competition!

Elbowing Louis, Ron Graeme whispered. “Your sister is amazing. So young yet as sharp as a sword. I really don’t want to be the one she talks about! It’s too hurtful!”

Louis shook his head. He was worried over nothing. In these types of situations, Eugene was the best person to play. And that was simply because she was young yet sharp.

Because she was young, she could get away with anything and that was why he had Eugene be put in the spotlight instead of him…

Okay, that was a lie. He just wanted to see Eugene give up…


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