Knowing that the dolls would be welcomed with hostility, Raven was currently having doubts if his decision in bringing a new one was a smart move.
The last doll only lasted for three days before it was disposed of completely. But still, it was done with nothing but good intentions, and he hoped the lord would fall into slumber soon.
He’d want him to sleep in for at least a day; which was why he had spent several days scouring the island looking for a new doll.
No words were exchanged for a while.
Ridrian glanced down at the man kneeling before him, regarding the man’s loyalty to be unmatched since he never once faltered in listening to whatever he says.
But when it comes to the dolls, however, the man does not comply with his wishes at all, going on as if he didn’t hear anything. He must be really aware that it is my weakness.
And truthfully said, Raven was not wrong in that regard.
Someone else being aware of the Imperial emperor’s weakness was quite unnerving, but of course he knew that ignoring Raven’s proposal wasn’t a good idea either.
Being arrogant in all this would only result in more bloodshed.
Suddenly, the eyes of the doll that stared back at him came to the forefront of his mind.
She really dared looking straight into the emperor’s eyes, and a sliver of curiosity rose within him as his brooding eyes glassed over.
“Shall we go and see”
“Your Majesty.” Raven exhaled.
He did not anticipate the emperor to change his mind so quickly.
He was still in a kneeling position when the emperor strolled out of the room and waved to follow him.
“Well, let’s try not to break it today.
Wouldn’t want my excellent aide to go searching again, would we” He laughed mirthfully, but his eyes were sharp as razor.
After having just finished my dinner, I was still seated on the chair as I surveyed the emperor’s bedroom absently, interrupted only when the emperor himself appeared just outside the room.
“You really are skinny.” His voice tore through the silence like a knife and I winced in surprise.
My head turned to where he was leaning against the doorjamb, arms crossed as he stared at me.
It seemed like the focus was fully back in his eyes, unlike the first time I saw him when he looked not quite himself.
He must have come here right after washing up, his hair still noticeably damp.
Even his messy tresses looked beautiful.
I could also make out a tight, muscled chest through the small opening on his garment.
The string there was not fully tied, loosened like he didn’t bother closing it all the way through.
I felt blood rushing to my head, and I know my reddened face would’ve been more visible if not for the transformation bracelet wrapped around my wrist.
Is he planning to have me suffer!
As much as I wanted to turn around and cover my face, I couldn’t since I am supposed to be a doll, and a doll wasn’t supposed to express such a vivid reaction. I am a doll.
I am a doll. I chanted the words over and over again.
He examined me for a while longer before walking into the room.
He stopped right in front of me, tipping my chin up with his index finger.
I desperately avoided his eyes and focused downwards instead, and that proved to be a wrong move on my part since I could clearly see his exposed neck and chest in this angle.
I shut my eyes tightly, trying to push the sight of water droplets cascading down his skin out of my head.
“Excuse us for a moment, Your Majesty.”
The emperor’s finger dropped from my chin at the sound of the head maid’s voice.
When he gave her his permission, the maids who were waiting outside came in and cleaned his bed up.
The emperor did not pay them any mind, his eyes intent on me still.
I did not do anything wrong, but found myself sweating nervously under his penetrating gaze.
At least say something.
He watched me for a while, not saying anything.
It seemed to go on for hours when it was only for a few minutes.
The head maid announced they were done and bowed to the emperor.
“We will take our leave, your Majesty.
Have a great night.”
My ears perked up at that. Aren’t they going to help him change his clothes or something!
Now that I thought about it, that idea seemed to be absurd since the tyrant would not allow anyone to touch his body or go near him.
The maids retreated from the room and the door closed behind them, leaving me alone in my despair.
A hushed silence enveloped the room.
With the maids nowhere in sight and the curtains half drawn, the atmosphere was a little too intimate for my liking.
The room was still and quiet, and I could hear the cadence of my own heartbeat.
The Emperor then covered his mouth and turned his head to the side.
He yawned, body expanding and contracting as he took a lungful of air.
I briefly glanced at his dark eyes, noticing it bleary from lack of sleep.
I tore my gaze off of him quickly, feeling like I saw something I’m not supposed to see and willed my heart to stay still.
A sigh was emitted from his lips and he frowned.
“It looks like I can’t.” He said, ruffling his hair.
“Damn it.” He swore under his breath.
Then suddenly, he placed his hands on my shoulders like he finally came to a decision.
I flinched under his touch but the weight of his hand pressed firmly prevented it from being too noticeable.
His gaze was fixed on me again, and I detected a small difference from the way he’s looking at me now compared to the way he looked at me standing by the door earlier.
Before, it appeared like he was simply looking at an object he found interesting, but now, there was a glint in his eyes as he studied me closely, like there’s something he had missed, a semblance of longingness.
He closed his eyes before opening them again as if in deep thought, then the emotion I saw just a second ago vanished.
Like it was never there in the first place.
He inched his face closer to me and whispered in my ear.