The giant massive double doors gave in easily to Lucarad’s forward motion, suggesting more strength within the skinny white-haired High Priest than meets the eye.
Ember and Beatrice followed the High Priest inside, finding themselves inside a giant throne room.
Like the other places within the palace, it seemed a pale shadow of its former glory. The hall that could easily fit twenty elephants was nearly utterly empty of decorations. The couple dozen people that were inside, standing together in small clusters, seemed like ants here. They all stopped their discussions and look at the arriving trio. Like before, though at first, the nobles looked at the High Priest, their gazes quickly switched and remained on the practically naked, big-breasted succubus. Beatrice tried no to look back at them and continued walking behind Lucarad.
Lucarad, Beatrice, and Ember walked on the wide red carpet that led directly to the throne. The throne stood on an elevated marble platform, that stretched from one side of the room to the other, was wide enough to fit an orchestra, and had five steps along its length to ascend to it.
Upon the golden throne with a narrow, five-foot back, sat an elderly man with long, unkempt grey hair and a messy beard. His garbs were worn and dirty. The golden crown on the man’s head was about the only thing that informed of his royal status. In front of him, he had a small table with a glass surface, on the same level as his knees.
Standing just behind the throne stood a single guard in heavy armor. Nearly seven feet tall, he had a weathered red cape and a giant claymore behind his back. The figure seemed to have no weakness. Not a single spot of skin was visible. The helmet covered the guard’s entire face, not even his eyes were visible. Beatrice would’ve mistaken him for a statue, had the guard not moved his head slightly in the direction of the arriving trio.
Beatrice couldn’t help but feel a menacing aura emanating from the guard. He seems like the type that would rush into combat ahead of the other troops and dominate the carnage, she thought of the knight.
The guard did seem to draw attention to himself. Only when the doors closed behind them and Beatrice looked back, did she notice that there were two more guards at the doors behind them. Looking around, the succubus counted eight guards apart from the one behind the king. They were armed with spears, taller than the men themselves, but even though they were also heavily armored none of them were as menacing as the guard at the throne.
Beatrice wrote it off to the fact that their helmets were open and revealed the faces of the men—young, clean-shaven, with a sense of duty in their eyes. But deep inside Beatrice knew, the guard behind the king was unlike the others. He’s not human, a thought flashed through Beatrice’s mind. Thus far, she had only seen and met humans. But in no way did she feel any kinship with the guard.
Apart from the guards, on the platform stood a girl who was talking with one of the guards. Unlike the others, she paid no attention to the arriving trio, until they were nearly at the throne. Her bright aqua eyes met with Beatrice’s for a moment, though they were not friendly, nor welcoming.
The girl had straight ruby hair that reached her shoulder blades. Several of her long bangs fell on the girl’s face but her bright aqua eyes shined through. She wore an embroidered blood-red dress with a tight waist. Her gloves ended above her elbows. Her black choker was adorned by a ribbon. Her collarbone and shoulders were covered, but the dress was low-cut, revealing the so-called “boob-window”.
Beatrice also could appreciate the look of the girl’s thin, smooth, naked thighs, which were revealed thanks to the black over knee boots and the cut-up dress that looked like a miniskirt. A separate part of the dress, attached with belts and brooches reached all the way down to the floor.
“Lucarad? How dare you show up like this unannounced?” One of the nobles scoffed at the passing High Priest.
“It’s fine!” the man on the throne spoke.
One of the guards on the platform took a step forward and announced to the approaching trio, “You are standing in the presence of king Selirius, of the Sinatus line, the eighteenth ruler of the Kingdom of Larpsus!”
The king leaned forward and put his nose on the glass surface of the table, pressing his left nostril against the glass. Beatrice finally saw a line of black powder on the table surface. The king closed his right nostril with his finger and slid his left nostril across the black powder line, vacuuming it all inside.
“That's the good stuff!” the king exclaimed as he straightened his back and shook his head. He then wiped under his nose with his finger and looked at the trio that stood within permittable speaking distance from the throne. “Now, what is it that you want from me this time, Lucarad?”