Ileus: The Dark Prince Chapter 87
"The dining hall is on the left of the corner." Robert's face reflected kindness when he said that.
"Thanks," she said politely and got up from her chair. The last thing she saw while leaving the salon was Robert's head hanging low. He was looking in his lap with shoulders hunched and sadness on his face. With a heavy heart, she walked out of there and headed to the restaurant. A smile lingered on her lips knowing that at least she had a family and someone to always come back to. She would come back to them once her task was over. She would
The dining hall wasn't difficult to find. The dining room was big where several empty narrow tables were placed at regular intervals. On the right side there was a candelabra with flickering light from tallow candles. Oil lamps hung on the door, which must have led to the kitchen. A glass window over the ledge of which snow had accumulated, was on the left. Pine tree brushed its glass with every gust of wind that passed through it. Her eyes fell on a small cat curled under a table, happily napping.
She heard the two men chatting in low tones as one of them pulled a wooden bench near him. It scraped over the floor making an irritating noise.
A thick smell of wood smoke from the fire hung in the air. Sour smell of mead and smoke from the tallow candles was unnerving.
The room was empty barring only two people sitting at the last table. She noticed Aidan who was sitting with his head hung low. He was slowly stirring the broth that was perhaps now cold and staring at it.
Anastasia walked to the table and sat opposite to him.
He looked up with surprise as if being drawn back to the present. With a weak smile, he said, "Anastasia, how are you?"
"I am well. Rested for a long time," she replied feeling sad about his entire demeanor. "What about you?" What he went through Virgine Falls was gruesome and she wanted to ask about him and Darla, but restrained.
He nodded lazily. "I am good too."
"Did you rest well?" she asked with precaution.
He scoffed and said sadly. "I did."
"Where is Kaizan?" she asked.
"I don't know. He must have gone to arrange for things for the next part of our journey."
"He too. They are both pretty worked out. And the owner of the inn has taken a king's ransom for our stay."
"I guess he hardly gets guests in this weather," Anastasia explained, feeling protective about Robert.
She glanced up at the movement from the kitchen door. Lilette entered the room with a tray of boiled eggs, crispy chicken and white bread. She walked up to him and served it to him. Then looking towards Anastasia, she said, "What would you like to have?" Her voice was jarring.
Anastasia realized that if Robert was her uncle, then Lilette was her cousin. Ignoring the acid in her voice, Anastasia said, "Do you"
"Oh don't bother!" She cut her off. "We don't have too many things to serve. I will bring stew and bread for you."
Anastasia narrowed her eyes in irritation. "Add braised chicken to the order!" The girl was impossible, but not someone she couldn't deal with.
Lilette jerked her head back in shock. She turned to her heels and then stomped away.
Anastasia turned her attention back to Aidan who was still sulking. She reached out for his hand and held it. "Aidan, would you like to tell me what is going through your mind? I know you are still mourning Zlu and Carrick, but we all are. Sometimes I feel that it happened because of me."
He stopped stirring the soup in his bow and sighed. "I don't think it's your fault Anastasia." He became quiet. When he looked back at her, his light brown eyes flickered with emotions.
Over the next few minutes they talked about it all. Lilette came and placed the food on the table for Anastasia. Before she was about to leave, Anastasia asked, "How old are you Lilette?" She really wanted to start a conversation with her.
At first she frowned and then crossed her hands across her chest. "Why?"
Anastasia didn't have an answer to that question, so she remained quiet.
"I am sixteen! Big enough for"
Anastasia chuckled. "Would you like to sit down with me?"
Lilette considered her and then a moment later sat down beside her. "What do you want to ask?" she asked with puffy cheeks.
"There are way too many things that I want to ask you, Lilette, but maybe some other time. Right now I just want to say that you are very beautiful and I am sorry for what happened between us last night."
Stunned, Lilette was totally disarmed. Her mouth opened and then closed like that of a fish fresh out of water. Her earlier hatred for Anastasia evaporated in a minute and the cold glaciers in her eyes melted. Her lips kicked up lightly and managed to warble, "I I don't know what to say."
Anastasia laughed and tucked a loose strand of her hair behind her ear. "You don't have to say anything. Just relax."
Lilette's smile turned broader. "We have made some fantastic biscuits. Let me grab some fresh ones and get them for you." She said and jumped out of her seat excitedly. She came back soon with a big tray of warm biscuits and set it on the table. "I'll be right back, okay?" She added, as a flush rose on her cheeks.
"Sure," Anastasia replied with a beaming smile and Lilette darted back to the kitchen.
Anastasia turned her attention back to Aidan. She took a bite of the chicken along with bread. The food was so delicious that she ate it fast. "This is too good!" she remarked. She looked up towards Aidan and stopped eating, seeing that he still hadn't eaten anything.