The Tyrant's Beloved Doll - Chapter 96
“What a good night, Your Highness.”
He stared at the Emperor with an emotionless face.
“…It absolutely is.”
Sezh was dazed as she saw Raytan with blood all over his body.
It felt like she was in a dream.
An atrocious nightmare she had never wanted to behold again.
“Ray… tan,” Between the Emperor’s frail lips, words that resembled a sigh flowed out.
Interesting how he mistook Sezh for Lillian but recognized Raytan at a glance.
Sezh then quickly realized the reason…
“I knew it was going to happen… the day you’d finally do something like this.”
…The Emperor still recognized Raytan even under the heavy dose of medicine he’d consumed…
“Like what it said… in that legend.”
…Because of his fear. The fear he’d held all his life.
“However, it hasn’t been that long since Lize… left…”
“Don’t put my mother’s name in that dirty mouth.”
Raytan’s voice was unbearably cold. No, everything about him was frosty that night: his crimson eyes staring at the Emperor and his aloof expression too.
He took a step forward to approach the Emperor, then pointed his sword at the Emperor’s neck.
Everyone could see blood from an unknown victim trickling down from the tip of his sword and dropping onto the Emperor’s clothes. Hiding behind the curtain, Sezh covered her mouth as she peeped at them.
“It’s all over, Carta Rowain. No one can help you.”
Raytan’s voice overlapped with the horrible screams coming from the outside.
What he said was true. Here and now, no one in the palace could help the Emperor… because they were all also dying at the moment.
The Emperor seemed to know it too. There was a deep sense of defeat on his wrinkled face as he spoke his ‘son’s’ name.
“My son… How is he?”
Isn’t the person standing in front of him also his son? The Emperor still seemed to deny Raytan’s existence even now.
“It’s amazing. In this situation, are you instead curious about that?” Raytan scoffed.
Help me choose, Carta,” He smirked. “Should I cut off your head and show it to Bern? Or should I do it the other way around?”
“I don’t mind either way.”
The Emperor looked at Raytan with a blank face and then made a strange laughing sound. His laugh sounded small and was closer to a sigh.
“Everyone… told me.…” The Emperor’s voice was fleeting. “That I must kill… someone like you.”
“If only so… we could prevent terrible things…”
Raytan’s brow twitched.
“If Lize hadn’t stopped me… I would have done it…”
The Emperor’s words did not continue. It was because of Raytan who suddenly rushed to him. Even Sezh was startled at his sudden movement.
Raytan, who grabbed his father’s collar, showed that dreadfully cold face, just like when he cut her neck in the past.
“What are you talking about?”
“I’m asking you what you are talking about?!”
Raytan pushed the Emperor harshly. The young man’s chest went up and down heavily.
“Tying you to a stone and throwing you into the river. Even leaving you in a forest teeming with lions. Who could stop me?”
It was a story that Sezh knew too. Wasn’t everyone sure that the Emperor did such a thing to Raytan, who hadn’t even been able to open his eyes properly at that time?
However, the Emperor shook his head.
“She… stopped me.”
“While holding you… Lize begged me.”
‘Your Highness, this is my child, my son.’
“She said that if you die, she will die with you….”
‘If Your Highness wants to do that, then do it to me too.’
“She… begged like that.”
‘Please tie a stone to my ankle and throw me into the river. Tie me and abandon me in the forest so I can be together with my son.’
Lize was like a lake: always quiet and calm. No matter what happened, she never laughed or cried. Even when she received expensive jewels that low-borns could never touch in their lifetimes, or when he forced her to get drunk…. she was always like that. Such a woman grabbed his leg while begging for her child. If he had to kill the child, Lize told the Emperor to kill her too.
‘Or I will die first.’
Lize crawled and aimed the dagger at her slender neck.
Raytan was the child that the Emperor should have killed.
However, he couldn’t lose Lize.
“But contrary to what people knew and expected of me, I spread a rumor that said even when I threw you into the river or left you in the forest… you would not die.”
“If I still insisted on killing you… Lize said she will go crazy.”
The Emperor did not throw the child into the river, nor did he leave him alone in the forest.
He’d left the child in the shallowest part of the river downstream with a maid. He also sent him to the forest with an escort knight.
The child survived, and everyone believed the ruse.
“If it wasn’t for Lize… You would be dead. Undoubtedly.”
Raytan’s eyes trembled ferociously. If it wasn’t for his mother, would he have died? No, she was forced to do that. She left him alone. She pushed her son into this hell… *
“Your mother risked her life to save you, but you… dare….”
It was not because of motherhood or love that Lize risked her life to save him. Raytan knew it all too well. The only reason she clung to the Emperor, whom she hated, was for none other than…
“Shall I tell you a secret, Carta?” Raytan grinned.
“It was for this very moment that my mother risked her life to save me.”
The Emperor startled and clutched his chest.
“She always dreamed of it. The moment when that cursed child, I…. will finally ruin everything like in the legend.”
The keen sword swung and made a horrifying sound. He pointed it at the Emperor’s chest.
“My mother gave this to me on my 18th birthday. She told me that I would use it someday. It’s not just the sword. She painstakingly prepared many things since long ago.”
“From the day you smashed in my father’s head mercilessly.”
The Emperor’s eyes, full of torment, shook wildly.
“Have you ever had any doubts? Just once?” asked Raytan in a cold voice.
“No… It can’t be…”
Looking at the Emperor with an inscrutable face, Raytan pulled out the collar of his blood-soaked shirt. A grunt released from his mouth, and Sezh could see a button topple down to the floor. Now, his shoulders were visible.
“Do you know what this is?”
He pointed to his left shoulder, which had always been wrapped in bandages. Even Sezh had never seen it before.
On his tan skin.… there was a mark.
A bird-shaped mark.
“The mark of the Kunir tribe.”
‘Why are you wearing bandages here, even though you’re not hurt?’
Sezh covered her mouth immediately as she recalled a question she once asked him.
‘Do you know how happy I was when I gave birth to you?’
Lize tried to kill Raytan on the ship since she thought he was the Emperor’s blood. It was natural for her to be uncertain about the baby’s father. As soon as the Emperor touched her, she took medicine to abort the baby, just in case.
Pregnant Lize hit her belly with a stone and incessantly drank poison, but the child did not die. The fetus was attached to her body like a leech she couldn’t get rid of.
So, in the end, Raytan was born.
It was right at the time when Lize, who lost her mind, was about to strangle the child with her trembling hands.
A familiar mark appeared on his shoulder: the Kunir tribe mark inherited from generation to generation. A bird-shaped mark…
‘But it was strange. Neither Moonid nor I have black hair. Then suddenly… I realized something.’
Recalling Lize’s words, Raytan smiled coldly.
‘You are…an opportunity God has given me. Like the legend, you’re the chance for me to ruin everything.’
Embracing her newly born baby, Lize laughed. She squealed like a madwoman.
‘Look at this, Moonid.’
‘I did it.’
‘I did it!’
“You were deceived, Carta.”
‘After that, I decided… I will take revenge.’
‘But Mother… You won’t be able to take revenge… That’s impossible.’
Young Raytan said so to Lize. He wasn’t even seven years old at that time. Back then, he was already well aware that in the Imperial Palace, there was nobody on Lize’s side. Besides, her target for vengeance was none other than the Emperor. It couldn’t have been possible.
‘No, I can,’ said Lize with a smile. ‘That’s why I gave birth to you and continuously keep you alive, isn’t it?’
“I am not your son.”
The Emperor’s face darkened. He instantly recalled a memory from years ago… The words he heard from Lize when he was about to kill the newborn child.
‘This is my child, my son.’
At least once in her life… had she ever said something like, ‘It’s our child’ or, ‘It’s Your Majesty’s child’?
“You… merely because of that…”
There was deep remorse in the Emperor’s eyes.
“’Merely’, you say?”
Raytan’s eyes filled with rage.
“Mother never forgot about something you describe as ‘mere’, Carta. Mother’s mother and my grandmother’s mother would also never forget how you all persecuted us.”
‘What made us like this is Denhelder. Don’t forget that.’
“This is not the first time.”
‘A woman who betrayed God gave birth. The Emperor threatened her life. She had no choice but to escape without even having time to cut her baby’s umbilical cord. They said that was the root of all of this.’
“The woman who betrayed God and the girl she gave birth to— You all did the same thing to them. Am I right?”
‘From here to there, from there to there. It was because of those people that we were unable to settle in one place and had no choice but to lead lowly lives.’
“Even after such a long time, you all still continually track them down over and over. Then after you find the woman’s bloodline, you kill them again and again…”
‘But look at me. Didn’t I come back here after all? They didn’t even allow me to have hope.’
“You brought the last of that bloodline to Denhelder. With your own hands.”
‘This, too, must be the will of God.’
The Emperor gave Raytan an disbelieving stare. Appearing on the Emperor’s face was a look of bafflement from being told something he should never have heard.
“You… and Lize…? It’s a lie. It has to be a lie. They said they died long ago. That woman’s descendants….”
“It’s all your fault.”
The Emperor gasped with his face pale. All the things he had been afraid of all his life eventually happened at once.
Raytan stared fixedly at the Emperor then continued to speak.
“Even if you’re going to die, keep your eyes on me, Carta. Watch everything that happens.”
Raytan took out the sword that he’d stabbed into the bed before. He then directed it at the Emperor’s neck.
“God will not forgive you… Raytan…”
As the Emperor cursed him with a waning voice, anger dawned in Raytan’s ruby eyes.
“Then pray now. Pray and wail with that throat. So that God can help you…”
“Because I’m going to kill you.”
The sharp blade of his sword swung in a flash.
With a thump, something round rolled on the floor until it reached Sezh’s feet, who was hiding behind the curtain.
It was the Emperor’s head.
Sezh fell to the floor with her mouth shut.