I spat on the ground bitterly. I glared at the smirking royal, sheathed my sword and turned my back on him.
“Well, that’s rude,” I heard him say. “I didn’t even get a chance to thank my rescuer.”
I ignored him and started walking away but I noticed my cloak behind the rock and remembered what I hid under there. I had to get rid of him first before I went home with my prize.
Sighing heavily, I turned back to him. “Forget about it, it’s what anyone would have done.”
“Maybe so,” he replied smoothly. “But not as well as you did. And judging from your words when you realized who I am, you may not have wanted to do it.”
I stared at him. “Does what I want matter?”
“I don’t know, does it?”
I crossed my arms and continued glaring. “I don’t have time for time to play games, Mad King,” I replied. “You should really go back to your castle before more wolves come. I don’t think our swords can handle much more than two.”
“Ah, so you’ll stay with me to make sure I’m safe?” he asked, smirking.
It took everything I had not to pick up a rock and throw it at his smug face. “I may have to. Your sword may be sharp but it seems to me that not much else is.”
His smirk faded a bit. “Careful. I’m still a king, even if you don’t think so.”
I rolled my eyes at him, willing myself not to say anything he would take too much offense to. I did value my life, after all. “And we both know how I feel about that,” I muttered. “I still think you should go now.”
He raised an eyebrow. “At least let me thank you properly,” he said. “There will be a ball in a fortnight to celebrate my birthday. I’d like it if you could come.”
“I have nothing to wear,” I replied, glaring. “I’m a lowly peasant.”
“Don’t fret your little head about that. I’ll have something sent.”
I gritted my teeth. “I assure you, king, your gratitude is enough. There’s no need for me to go to a ball.”
“I’m quite aware that there’s no need for you to attend the ball,” he replied smoothly, raising an eyebrow. “I’m inviting you because I want you to attend the ball.”
“I don’t want to attend your ball.”
“As you wish. I’ll have something sent anyway, if you change your mind.” With that, he turned and started walking back towards the forest. Without looking back, he called out, “You should get your pig home as soon as possible. It might spoil.”