The Tyrant's Beloved Doll - Chapter 72
Raytan dropped his sword to the floor due to the excruciating pain. He shook his head and gasped.
‘Denhelder doesn’t want…to be cursed.’
Again. Raytan heard another unknown voice.
However, since the day he killed Baron Eind, Raytan had been fine. Just why?
‘It’s just a hallucination.’ Raytan struggled to regain consciousness, but the voice continued.
‘His Majesty’s will is God’s will. Unfortunately, it is.’
Raytan suddenly felt something aching in his stomach. He reflexively looked down.
There was a sword.
It wasn’t the sword that General Hayden was holding before. It was a different sword.
Raytan’s gaze moved from his stomach to the sword and ultimately went to the person in front of him who was holding it.
‘So it’s only up to here.’
The person looked like General Hayden, but it wasn’t him. It was someone Raytan didn’t know. The person twitched the side of his lips slightly, then uttered something strange.
‘Please forgive me, Sir Raytan.’
As agonizing pain arose, Raytan sat down on the floor.
When he looked up, he couldn’t see anything. There was only General Hayden, who had become a corpse, lying on the floor.
No sword pierced through his stomach, and there was no one else.
He could only sense the metallic smell of blood in the cold winter wind.
Raytan, who had been sitting blankly, vomited. He gasped after he finished throwing up everything he had eaten. The severe headache slowly subsided, but the bloody smell that stabbed his nose did not go away.
Sezh wrote a letter all night long. It was the letter she wanted to send to Raytan along with the cloak. Looking back, she never gave him an appropriate gift or wrote him a letter before.
But she had no idea what to write. After thinking for a while, Sezh decided to write about the cloak.
[This is a cloak. I’m worried that Brother always wears light clothes. It’s getting colder day by day, so you must wear it.]
Sezh quietly pondered to herself as she was about to seal the simple letter.
Maybe this will be her last gift to him. Sezh didn’t know what would happen in the future. Nevertheless, regardless of everything that was bound to happen, she had to survive and not die. She must leave this Imperial Palace.
Sezh was terrified of Raytan in the past, and it’s not like she is completely reassured by their current closeness either. However, she wanted to be a little more sincere. It’s because Sezh thought this might be her last letter.
“The good thing about letters is that people can say things they can’t say by talking face-to-face,” Luna spoke in a gentle voice while looking at the anxious Sezh.
“Of course. So please write anything down. Words that you would not normally say and words that the Princess always wanted to say.”
Sezh, who was worried, eventually showed a little courage to write her letter.
It was early in the morning when Sezh left her palace.
She already went to Raytan’s palace late at night for the past few days, so Sezh decided to leaving early today. If she goes to his palace in an irregular time pattern, there will be less risk of getting caught.
A cloud of white smoke came out of her mouth. Suddenly, Sezh was reminded of the fact that winter had arrived.
Soon it will be colder, and it will snow. Her 17th birthday quickly approached before Sezh’s eyes. In other words, it was not long until Raytan stages the coup.
The day her throat was slashed was also in the middle of winter.
As she walked with a swift pace, Sezh fiddled her fingers in the cloak she wanted to give to Raytan.
“Brother, I’m coming in…” Sezh knocked, then opened the door. She could see Raytan was lying down on the long chair as usual.
‘Did he fall asleep again?’
Sezh sat silently in her chair then placed the cloak and letter on the desk.
‘But do I have to wait until he wakes up?’
As Sezh was thinking about it, she suddenly heard a strange noise.
Sezh’s eyes widened while looking at Raytan. He was groaning in a small voice. Surprised, Sezh jumped up from her seat.
His face turned white. Is he having nightmares? Sezh shook Raytan’s body to wake him up. Raytan then slowly opened his eyes.
“Are you okay? You were groaning, so I woke you up.”
Raytan left the question unanswered. He just stared at Sezh with blank eyes for a moment, then got up and sat down again.
“You’re sweating a lot. Are you hurt anywhere?”
Raytan shook his head.
Sezh narrowed her eyes. The atmosphere around him was a little different from usual. Raytan looked more tired, and his expression was also stiff.
“I’m okay,” His low-pitched voice cracked powerlessly. “There is…. Nothing.”
“Well- then, I’m glad but-”
“You… do what you want to do. Whether you’re studying or reading a book… I’m going to take a little rest…” Raytan finished his words and leaned back on the chair.
There was some worry in Sezh’s blue eyes, ‘Did he really catch a cold? He’s sweating so much.’
“Wait-… wait a second.”
Sezh touched his forehead. Raytan flinched for a moment but didn’t push Sezh away.
“I don’t think you have a fever…”
But why is Raytan like that? Sezh had a worried expression on her face.
“First thing first… I’ll wipe the sweat off your face.”
‘If you sweat like that, you might catch a cold,’ Sezh hurriedly pulled out a handkerchief.
A soft handkerchief ran across Raytan’s forehead, Sezh wiped his face thoroughly. This time, the back of his neck caught her eyes. Like his forehead, it was sweaty there.
‘….So is he really okay?’
Sezh gently reached out her hand to his nape.
But at that moment, close to the back collar of Raytan’s black shirt, Sezh saw something on his skin. It was red.
It was blood
“Brother. Your neck- its blood…”
Raytan’s eyes shook wildly in an instant.
“Are you hurt? Let me check it…”
Sezh stretched out her hand but couldn’t reach him. Raytan had covered his neck with his hand and suddenly jumped up from his seat.
She called his name, but Raytan left the room without answering.
The sound of splashing water filled the bathroom.
Raytan wiped the back of his neck without paying any attention to the fact that his clothes were all wet. The blood had been cleaned a long time ago, but his hands did not stop. In the end, Raytan put down his hands only after the skin on his hand had turned red.
Raytan sat in the bathtub with a pale face then he started unbuttoning his shirt.
A bandage was wrapped around the stab wound caused by General Hayden’s dagger. He brought out a first aid kit and some medicine. Fortunately, the injury was not very deep, and the blood seemed to have stopped. Raytan lowered his head to check the white bandage once more.
He didn’t know why he went to the library.
It wasn’t a fatal injury, but it wasn’t a minor one either. It was enough to make Raytan rest in his bedroom.
But Raytan went to the library. It’s the library that Sezh always comes by, but he didn’t know if she’d come there that day or not. Lying on the long chair, he looked at the empty chair and desk. After that, Raytan sighed then fell asleep.
He felt like he was having a nightmare, and he was also calling someone’s name.
And when he woke up, Sezh was really there.
Raytan had no choice but to admit it. At that moment, he was relieved.
But the confusion didn’t go away.
‘His Majesty trusts you, and I will too. So, to further solidify that trust… Seal… The power…’
That was the voice he heard when he killed Baron Eind.
‘His Majesty’s will is God’s will. Unfortunately, it is.’
Today… The voice Raytan heard resembled General Hayden’s.
‘Please forgive me, Sir Raytan.’
And the moment that unknown person called out his name, something pierced his stomach. Then the sword disappeared as if by magic.
He had no idea what was going on.
They were words he had never heard, and it was a person he had never seen before.
“I don’t know…” Raytan muttered with his confused eyes. “I don’t know- why…”
Why does this keep happening to him? Why the hell?
Raytan suddenly vomited. However, there was nothing to vomit. Clear gastric fluid was all that came out.
But it’s not just that.
Somehow, he kept smelling the strong smell of blood.
Raytan recalled the blood that Baron Eind spewed out. The sound of General Hayden’s cough as his blood splashed on Raytan’s face.
Raytan smelled blood.
From his own body.
So maybe that was the reason he kept hearing strange noises?
His heavy body collapsed to sit in the filled bathtub. The ice-cold water seeped into his body, and the injured area throbbed under the terrifying cold. It was painful. But he wanted to erase it: the bloody smell.
Raytan covered his face with a trembling hand then didn’t move at all.
‘Raytan, please don’t ever forgive me…’
As his consciousness gradually faded, Raytan felt like he heard someone’s faint voice.
Raytan did not come back at all.
Sezh spent the entire morning roaming in Raytan’s palace with her sore feet. However, she was unable to find him.
The only thing she encountered was a messy bathroom with puddles of water everywhere.
“…Luna. Have you seen Brother today?”
“Weren’t both of you together until dawn? I didn’t see you this morning….” Luna said as she put down the tea.
“So it’s like that… Okay.”
The hot tea released hazy steam, but Sezh didn’t have any desire to drink it.
The image of Raytan groaning while wet with a cold sweat stuck in her head. He shook off her hand and then left in a hurry yesterday.
Moreover, the blood on the back of his neck…
“Sorry, Luna. I’ll go out for a while.”
“Yes? But it’s still noon…” Luna’s voice trembled as she finished her sentence.
She looked worried. Yerena didn’t know that tutoring was still going on. So she would think that Sezh was keeping a distance from him as she had said in the past.
If she carelessly goes to Raytan’s palace and gets caught, it’s clear that things would get messy.
But Sezh was worried and couldn’t stand it any longer.
“Just a moment. I’ll be back soon.”
Sezh rose from her seat. Then, she ran out before Luna could even catch her.
Her effort was in vain. Rayan’s palace was still empty. He was not in the library, in the bathroom, or in his bedroom. The only thing that greeted Sezh was the cold air.
The hesitating Sezh eventually went to Lize’s palace.
Marie, who came out of the palace, widened her eyes. There was some doubt on her face when she saw Sezh.
“What are you doing here?”
“I know that the Kazaki tutoring has ended….” Sezh also thought it would be better to hide it from Marie, so she lied. “…Yes. The tutoring has already stopped.”
“Did you see Brother Raytan, Marie?”
Marie’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“It’s nothing… Just… I have something to say to him. However… so he didn’t come here either?” Sezh asked.
“No, I didn’t see him today.”
Leaving the puzzled Marie behind, Sezh started walking the whole way back.
‘Then where the hell did he go?’
There was nowhere for Raytan to go in the Imperial Palace. Lize’s and Sezh’s palace were everywhere he went. Sezh checked the training ground, but it was the same there.
After wandering around for a while, Sezh suddenly remembered the hill.
The hill she visits with Raytan every year on Founding Day.