The Tyrant's Beloved Doll - Chapter 114
“That- the Princess just fell asleep….”
Kaen looked very apologetic.
Raytan visited as he had said but much later than expected.
Sezh was sleeping at the moment. She had a cold, and the medicine prescribed by the doctor contained ingredients that made her sleepy, so Sezh couldn’t help it. In any case, the Emperor had come in vain, so Kaen felt concerned.
‘What do I do if he gets angry? He has come all the way here.’
“As soon as dawn comes, I will tell the Prin-”
“How’s her condition?”
“The doctor said she’ll get better in a day or two.”
“Ah, yes. The Princess did catch a cold, but it isn’t severe-”
“Has she eaten anything?”
“The Princess only had a little soup.”
Kaen, who lowered her head, had a puzzled expression.
Everything was still hard for her to swallow.
She was surprised when Sezh moved to the palace where Lize used to live. But now, the Emperor, who killed everyone in the Imperial family except Sezh, paid this much attention to the Princess…
“Open the door.”
“Your Majesty? B-But, the Princess is already asleep…”
“Don’t worry, I’ll just look at her condition. I won’t even wake her up,” Raytan promised tenaciously.
After a moment of hesitation, Kaen finally opened the door.
“I-If Your Majesty needs anything, please tell me, and I’ll be wait-”
“No need,” Raytan said expressionlessly. “I’ll just go in. If I need anything, I’ll take care of it myself.”
Then, Raytan entered the bedroom, leaving Kaen perplexed and alone in the hallway.
Raytan closed the door and slowly walked to the bed. He grabbed a gorgeously decorated chair and sat quietly in front of the sleeping Sezh.
The sound of her breath was the only thing that filled the silence, and the moonlight streaming through the half-closed curtains lit up Sezh’s face and her peacefully closed eyes.
Raytan sat still and looked down at her figure.
‘Brother, perhaps… something is bothering you?’
What a bizarre thing for her to say. Now, everyone in Denhelder was tremendously afraid of him. It was the same with Sezh. The night the coup took place, didn’t she say with her own mouth that she was scared of him too?
‘But, why are you always the first to notice?’
‘Why not pretend you don’t see anything?’
‘You’re bleeding, Brother. If you leave it alone, it may get worse.’
‘It’s not my blood.’
‘Please sit down. I’ll apply the medicine for you. I do it because I want to.’
When they fought Bern and the others in the library back then…
‘I should have come a little later, right? Then Princess Sezh would have felt more sorry for you.’*
‘Brother – are you okay-?’*
She cared even when his own mother, Lize, didn’t.
‘How can I not care? It’s not anyone else but you. I came here because I was worried. I think Brother will feel lonely.’
Even on that hill…
And today too…
Sezh was always the same.
“…You are so weird, Sezh,” Raytan said, half whispering.
“If you don’t care how I feel, it won’t be strange. I’m more used to it…”
‘…You keep making me discover an unfamiliar side to myself.’
‘Making familiar things unfamiliar, and making me used to new strange things.’
‘It’s as if you’re breaking into me.….’
“You’re so weird, and maybe I’m starting to get weird too.”
The warm gaze he had never received in his life, the gentle voice that called his name, and those genuine concerns…
…Raytan wanted to keep those things tied up.
Because if he had all of them, it felt like he could withstand anything. Like he could kick away the anxiety wrapped around his ankles like a snake. Like he could breathe through all of this chaos and confusion that crushed his body.
‘The fact that you can’t feel bereaved… I hate it.’
Sezh’s words at Lize’s funeral suddenly passed through his mind.
‘If you can only grieve with permission… I will give it to you.’
Raytan ruminated alone, ‘Maybe, the permission you gave me that day has ruined everything.’
…Even his faith about killing everyone with blond hair.
Raytan stood from the chair and quietly sat on the thick carpet. Then, with his upper body lying on the bed, he reached out to the sleeping Sezh.
His large hand gently stroked her cheek, and he felt the breath she exhaled tickling the tip of his finger.
It was warm.
Like the affection she used to embrace his loner self.
Raytan slowly withdrew his hand. Careful not to disturb her, he stared down at Sezh’s sleeping form.
It was early in the morning when Sezh woke up.
Dawn hadn’t come yet, and her surroundings were still dark and serene.
But something was strange.
‘It’s heavy…. Did Kaen cover me with more blankets?’
Sezh squirmed slightly. But it was strange. What kind of quilt is this heavy?
Sezh raised her upper body with a sleepy face.
Right at that moment, she flinched a little.
It wasn’t a blanket.
It was a sleeping Raytan.
‘What- what’s going on…’
Sezh stared at Raytan and was unable to do anything. He was using her thigh as a pillow again today. However, last time he was lying on the bed. Today Raytan sat on the floor with only his upper body on the bed. Sezh felt ashamed. How could it be the Emperor himself sleeping this way?
Besides, didn’t he fall into the lake with her earlier? No matter how thick the carpet, the floor will still be cold. Raytan might catch a cold if she left him like that.
“Um… Brother Raytan…”
Sezh called Raytan in a mosquito-like voice. However, he didn’t move at all.
‘What should I do now?’
Under the silvery moonlight, her blue eyes glittered with a reflection of his face. Sezh looked at Raytan, who was quietly asleep.
Come to think of it, hadn’t this happened before? It was back when they did the tutoring at Raytan’s old palace.
A thought instantly came to her mind. When does Raytan take a break? She wondered if there was any time for him to rest and relax.
“Did you do this to get a good sleep…?”
Even now, his work kept piling up. Raytan was such a busy man.
In the meantime, he seemed to have lost more weight. And he already had a skinny physique.
“You don’t need to be like this. Please just sleep comfortably in your pala-”
Sezh was conscious of it too. Raytan came to her room even with a tired body because he cared about her.
‘He… is not even my real brother…’ Sezh thought to herself.
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Why does she care about him so much?
Why is she getting so worried?
She couldn’t even take care of her own body properly…
Sezh had mixed feelings. Thankfulness, gratefulness, and she didn’t know why… but also an aching heart.
Sezh stretched out her hand slowly and gently caressed Raytan’s cheek.
Then, Raytan opened his eyes very slowly and quietly.
“Oh, Brother, are you awa-”
Surprised, Sezh tried to withdraw her hand, but Raytan moved faster. His big palm surrounded her small, white hand.
Raytan delicately closed his eyes and opened them again. His blood-red eyes glowed dully today, just like when he hugged her to prevent her from falling in the garden a few days ago.
Sezh, who stared blankly at Raytan, belatedly came to her senses.
“If you sleep on the floor like that…… You’ll catch a cold.”
Raytan let out a small chuckle, “I told you the other day: I rarely get sick.”
“But I’m worried,”
“I’m worried… a lot.”
Raytan got up from the floor and lightly climbed into the bed.
“Then I’ll have to get you a new bed.”
“I don’t want you to worry about anything. You said that a few days ago, right? The bed is too small, so it will be uncomfortable for me to lie down with you.”
“If I’m uncomfortable, you’ll be uncomfortable too, so I was on the floor. Then there’s only one way to solve it, right?”
Raytan smiled softly. He was half-serious and half-joking. Sezh thought it was just a joke, so she smiled a little too.
“How’s your body?”
“I’m okay. I’m not even coughing anymore.”
“That’s a relief.”
“My body is fine… but there’s this one problem.”
“What is it.”
“It’s you,” Sezh replied in a small voice.
“What are you talking about?”
“You haven’t told me yet. I asked you if there was anything wrong…”
Sezh remembered Raytan’s sorrowful face clearly.
She could suspect only one thing: Belkiel’s words about Raytan looking for something…
But Raytan instead shook his head.
“Nothing, there is nothing.”
He was being considerate of her worrying nature. However, Sezh still felt uneasy. She didn’t want to make Raytan worry about her feelings.
“So you don’t have to concern yourself. Like that, you can just… stay here comfortably.”
“… I see.”
Sezh’s face slightly became downcast as she answered.
‘But I might be able to help.’
Sezh pondered, then started, “Um… you know, the person we saw earlier.”
“Yes, that person. What happened to him? I’m just curious…”
She couldn’t say that Belkiel had just been here, so this was the only way to ask about him.
“They tested him at the temple. All the priests there were astounded.”
Those were the words he had heard from Philip. He said that the priests declared in unison that there had never been a single person in Denhelder with magical skills like that.
And at such a young age too.
‘Your Majesty, it’s embarrassing, but I heard that the Archmage position is currently vacant.’
“And I saw his skill with my own eyes at the lake,” Raytan continued.
‘Please let me have it. I’m sure I’ll be of great help to you.’
He was so young: a boy younger than even Sezh. If it had been anyone else, it would have sounded unreasonable. However, everyone acknowledged that the boy had more magical abilities than the dead Archmage.
Moreover, Raytan needed Belkiel too. He needed someone to help find ‘him’.
“He will stay in the temple.”
“If it’s the temple… then that means he will reside in the Imperial Palace?”
“He said he has nowhere else to go. Besides, archmages have lived in the temple from generation to generation. It’s normal.”
An archmage. Sezh honestly thought Belkiel was clever in many ways. Of course, not all of his skills were good things.
“But why are you asking?”
“I also want to work in the temple.”
Raytan’s eyes narrowed at her unexpected statement.
“In some empires, it is said that the princesses were in charge of temple work. I don’t think I’ll be a nuisance to the Imperial family.”
“I don’t care if it’s a nuisance to the Imperial family.”
“The only thing that matters is why you want to do it.”
Sezh voice got lower and lower at the end of her words. What kind of excuse should she use to make it sound believable? Honestly, Sezh was also interested in learning magic from Belkiel, but that wasn’t the main reason.
She wanted to help Raytan.
But didn’t Raytan claim that nothing happened? But Sezh knew Raytan said that to make her not worry.
On that account, she could choose not to be honest as well.
“I’m just in my palace… I feel a little bored.”
“I’m sure there will be nothing dangerous! The temple is close to your office and-”
Without a doubt, there would be nothing dangerous. Wherever Sezh goes, the soldiers will follow her like a shadow. Furthermore, people in the temple would not make Sezh do hard work. Everybody knows that you’ll immediately lose your head if you treat Princess Sezh recklessly.
Raytan would have to wait and see about Belkiel’s trustworthiness, but Belkiel wasn’t suspicious enough to bother Raytan. Raytan had already ordered Philip to watch him closely just in case, so there was nothing to worry over.
‘… But I don’t want to make you suffer for anything.’
Raytan pondered for a while, then looked at Sezh.
“You want to do it?”
Sezh nodded cautiously.
“I promised you I would do anything you want.”
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After all, everything in the Imperial Palace, including the temple, was in the palm of his hand now. So, there is nothing that won’t reach his ears. But more importantly, Sezh wanted it.
“Thank you, Brother!”
Only then did Sezh thank him with a bashful smile. Raytan looked at her and smiled softly too.