A few weeks later, Phoebe had moved to the central region. Still, the only thing in the kingdom she didn’t quite like was the King himself, but what could she do, when she was content with his kingdom? She saw him again one night, one quiet night in the ghost village where she lived.
“Why are you in all the places I go to?” he asked.
“Why are you?” After having thought about it for a few days, she started to find it strange that the King would be alone in remote areas. But then she made a conclusion that he must be awfully powerful, otherwise, he wouldn’t have the confidence to behave so.
“Came to see you. By the way,” he said as she scowled, “What do you think keeps friends together? Don’t tell me it’s a stupid question, just answer.”
“Aren’t you talking about your generals? How are they friends?”
“How do you know? And didn’t I say ‘just answer’?”
“A peasant ought to recognize a king,” was her answer. “And I know nothing about palace politics.”
“Oh? I thought you knew everything. Wait, how long did you know?”
That you were king? “From the start.”
He was silent for so long then, just looking at her, that she began to invent excuses for the time when he would finally open his mouth to issue a sentence.
“You knew I was the King, and still you defied me?” he inquired in disbelief.
“Huh?” That was out of her expectation, again.
The King was wearing the interested smirk then, slowly walking towards her while speaking with a dangerous tone. “Shouldn’t all peasants obey the king? If you knew my secret from the start, you should have bowed down to me and said ‘This is my honor, Your Majesty’ when I invited you to be my girlfriend. That’s what anyone would have done.”
“Well,” Phoebe took a step back each time he took one forward, matching his rhythm. “I’m not anyone then.”
“Such confidence,” he commented, looking amused. “If I ask you again now, will you say yes?”