Valerius leaned towards the woman he thought was Cardelia. “The popinjay shows his true colors, eh?”
Dianthe shuddered; the thought of Cardelia, or any woman being wed to such an ass was unacceptably repugnant.
“Perhaps the king is much wiser than I gave him credit for.” Valerius continued.
The nobleman, having run out of curses for the king, turned his attention to Cardelia. At the first insult thrown her way, Xavier pushed through the crowd, balled his fist and thrust hard and upward into the nobleman stomach. It was enough to send the nobleman gasping and to the floor. Xavier grabbed a handful of the man’s clothes and pulled him upward so their noses were inches apart.
“Do not irritate me with your poisonous words any further or I will run you through with my sword!” The nobleman, still gasping, and with fear in his eyes nodded hurriedly and repeatedly. Xavier dropped the man to the floor, watched him crawl towards his servants.
Xavier bowed to the king and retreated back towards the door.
“Wait!” Dianthe called out. Xavier turned. “Who are you?”
As much as it galled Xavier to lie to her, he told her his brother’s name, Valerius, and that he served the man sitting next to her.