He motioned for the Count to leave, who scurried away as quickly as possible.
The chancellor and Raven entered after the man’s departure.
Ridrian ordered the two men to start making a list of any reasons behind the rebellion.
Raven handed over some possible explanations he had already recorded, as the Chancellor opened the doors for the nobles to enter.
Ridrian had summoned the nobles using the pretext of the Lucretian Conquest War.
Under the guise of asking for support for the battles, he wanted to examine the nobles for possible culprits.
Within the next several hours, he spoke to the four most powerful court members, but none of them had reasons to betray him.
They all turned pale at the mere thought of it.
Ridrian rubbed at his head.
The most powerful of the nobles was Vibrio, but he had no desire for fame or power.
He was a stubborn man from a dignified family, and had a high sense of loyalty.
If it wasn’t for the possibility that he might have lost one of the noble’s trust, Raven would have stricken the Marquis Vibrio from the list entirely.
There hadn’t been any news from Ambrio either.
His secret spy networks were also doing their own investigations, but after a day they had come up with no significant results.
Except for the poison.
The branches of the tree the assassin had been hiding in, when he shot the poisoned arrow, were dying.
The poison must have been extremely toxic.
Besides that, there was no other information.
The assassins had left no trace of their motives or who they were working for.
There was a group of people in his realm that used the same kind of poison.
They were a dangerous people. Perhaps…, the emperor thought, working out a theory. I have to get out of here.
“Who’s next” the emperor demanded.
“Marquis Dalen, but he’s still on his way.
I think it’ll take an hour or two for him to get here.
Should I ask the cooks to prepare a meal while we wait” Raven asked.
Ridrian had not realized it was already dinner time.
A small smile appeared on his face.
“Bring it to the bedroom,” he requested.
He didn’t like how he had left things with his doll and thought he could comfort her over dinner.
Last time, she hardly ate.
This time he would make her eat three sandwiches.
Before he left, he gave instructions to Raven.
“I have something to say to Ravis.
Set up a time we can communication.
Tell him I’ll meet him after I have my dinner.”
“Yes, sir.” Raven replied.
On the way to his bedroom, the emperor stopped in his tracks and turned his head slightly.
The hall leading to his chambers was strangely quiet.
‘Five… No, six people.’
The doll should be in the room.
It’s either she’s waiting there doing nothing or she’s with the maid who brought her meals.
But something seemed amiss, something the emperor couldn’t put a finger on but sensed just the same.
The surprising attack yesterday had him on high alerts and with this in mind, he quickly strode towards his bedroom in brusque steps. What’s going on
The suddenness of his appearance startled the knights guarding by the door.
“Y-your Majesty!” They piped after the other, but the emperor didn’t pay them any mind and yanked the door open.
The maids inside the room jolted, hastily rushing out of the side room with their heads bent low.
“G-greetings to the First Ray of Hope of the Great Ivant Empire.” They whispered in unison.
The emperor went on as if he didn’t hear anything.
“What’s with all the fuss”
None of the seven people, including the knights standing by the door, answered his question.
“Where is she The… doll” He asked sharply, eyes scanning the maids who were visibly shaking on their spots.
Judging by the fear in their expressions, the Emperor surmised the doll must be on the small bed in the side room.
He then made his way towards the room he had never stepped foot on ever since living in the palace.
The doll was lying on the bed, a bandage was wrapped around her head and blood was seeping through the fabric and the neckline of her white robe was just as bloodstained.
In the room where sunlight hardly filtered through, the doll had her eyes closed as if in deep sleep, looking as if she was already dead.
What the hell Ridrian’s eyes grew wide and before he knew it, his vision blurred and turned pitch black.
A gripping sensation engulfed his body and he was able to recognize the familiar tremor that he was accustomed with all these years.
It was his trauma manifesting once again in the form of a panic attack, one that makes him lose sense over his surroundings.
His whole body felt like it was much heavier, his mind a jumbled mess and a hushed whisper drilled right into his ears over and over again.
Kill me, Ridrian.” Liliana’s voice begged repeatedly.
He covered his ears in an attempt to shut the voices out, but the words only grew louder and turned into a wailing scream.
“Kill me! Please kill me!”