Ileus: The Dark Prince - Chapter 446 - Her Condition

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"What happened?" Ileus rushed to Anastasia who was helping Iona to leave the main hall where a feast was arranged for the royal family and nobility. 

Rolfe and Iona were escorted out of the throne hall into the main dining hall with a dozen soldiers surrounding them. A long table laden with exquisite menu was sitting in the center of the room. At least two dozen guests could sit at it. When Rolfe reached the head of the table, the servants rushed to his side to help him sit. Iona was seated at his right while Dmitri and Adrianna sat on his left. Next to Iona, Anastasia was sitting and a seat was left vacant for Ileus and General Yion. 

The food was simple but plentiful. There was fresh water fish, various types of bread, herbed cheese, fruits, cold salads and wines. The guests appeared to only look at the king and queen, hoping for them to look his way once. When Rolfe sat down, others followed suit. The guards lined the side walls with their spears ready, keeping an eye on any untoward movement. The servants ran in and out of the hall with dishes and bottles of wine.. 

Iona was feeling very nervous. Not used to so much attention for a long period, she had forgotten the ways of the palace. She was so crude as a Dark Witch that she thought her roughness would spill over. She kept to herself all through the ceremony, acutely aware that the nobility was watching her like a hawk. Now also she was sitting with her head lowered. She was fiddling with her thumbs. Rolfe had to maintain a lot of restraint on himself for not picking her up and making her sit on his lap. He understood her panic and her increased heart rate affected him. From beneath the table, the king brushed his feet on her leg, conveying silently that she should relax. 

"Your Majesty," said one of the men sitting not far away. "When will you have the next council meeting? There are many important subjects that the lords wanted to discuss with you." Lords headed the small regions within the kingdom of Galahar and reported directly to the king. 

"I will let you know," Rolfe gave him a curt reply. He didn't want to let them know about his future plans when he hardly trusted any of them. He was already in talks with the villagers with whom he had worked closely. 

"We would like only you to meet the Lords because we don't know how they will take the queen's participation in the meeting," the man added. 

Rolfe's jaw clenched and he narrowed his eyes. He replied in a low, dangerous voice, "My queen will attend every meeting." He put an end to the conversation. Little did these nobles know that the Lords that they were talking about were already in talks with him. After all, it was Lord Jas who had helped them to enter the tunnels through his house to make the water logging channels. He had gathered enough support from other Lords. Armed with their support, Rolfe was keeping his cards under wraps. From the corner of his eye he noticed that Iona only got more flustered. Anastasia's hand was on her back. She was stroking her in long brushes. Before he could say anything, Iona got up and retched. 

Adrianna went still. She stared at her daughter and then looked at Anastasia. "Help her," she instructed Anastasia. 

Anastasia sprang up and she held Iona's hand. "Come, I think you need to freshen up a little." 

Iona wanted to vomit. She felt she was about to faint. She gripped the edge of the table. Rolfe stood up too. Immediately two guards came behind Iona. "Escort the queen to the bathroom," he ordered them. 

Iona bowed quickly and then along with Anastasia she left for the bathroom, as Rolfe watched her till she exited the entrance. He extended his magic to her, surrounded her with it, still not trusting the palace. On the entrance they met Ileus and Yion. 

"What happened?" asked Ileus, his eyes flitting to Iona who looked pale as hell. 

"She is unwell!" Anastasia replied quickly and they pressed her hand on Iona's back to urge her to walk. 

Ileus watched the two women leave as dread and cold unsettled him. He wanted to follow them to the bathroom, but General Yion nudged him to come to the table. He took a deep breath and walked with him to the table to sit at his designated place. Both he and Rolfe now looked nervous and didn't know how to deal with the vacant seats beside them. 

When Anastasia and Iona reached the nearest bathroom, Iona rushed to the basin and vomited her heart out. Anastasia held her hair at the back and brushed her back until she had puked completely. Once she was thrown out the last bit of her breakfast, she washed her face and mouth and then sagged against the counter. "Anastasia," she whispered. "I am nervous," she said and tears spilled out of her eyes. "I am nervous as hell. I hate the way councilmen look at me. I feel so out of the place. I want to go back to Draoidh and be with my mother and father!" 

Anastasia wiped her mouth with a fluffy damp towel quietly. "I understand your nervousness Iona, but would you leave Rolfe alone here?" she asked. 

Iona had no answer to it. She only cried more. "I was so—" her shoulder wrecked with a sob. "I was so confident, but now this anxiety is killing me on the inside. I can feel my stomach twisting in knots. I can feel my chest burning as too many thoughts churn in my mind. My heart beats so hard that at times I feel it would leap out of its ribcage. And—" she shook her head, "And I hate the smell of everything that is not vegetarian! I am surely not in good shape. I am just too exhausted, emotionally and physically. I can't endure this unease." Iona was hysterical by now. "What is happening to me, Anastasia?" She wanted to stop crying but she just couldn't. "I think I am going to be a horrible queen to Rolfe. He has so much trust in me and just look at me—" She shook her head again. "I am a mess! I am a bloody mess! I can't keep up with it." 

Anastasia felt so bad for her sister-in-law that she hugged her tightly. "Everything will be fine, Iona. If you wish, then you must come to Draoidh with us or you can even come to Vilinski with me."

"Did you ever think that your condition has got nothing to do with your general anxiety?" a voice boomed from the entrance of the bathroom and the girls jerked their head towards the door. Adrianna stepped in. She walked to her daughter and her daughter-in-law. They looked so adorable together and she loved the fact that they bonded so well. 

"Mother!" Iona flung herself at her. "Whatever do you mean?"

Adrianna hugged her daughter tightly. She leaned over and whispered, "Have you ever thought that you could be pregnant?"

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