I had been afraid of the emperor when I first met him.
He had felt like a carnivorous animal hunting for prey.
The man in front of me was different.
All I could feel was pure darkness, as if I was falling headfirst into a void.
The unpleasantness that it left within me was worse than being drowned in the muck of the sewers.
All of my senses screamed at me that this man was evil.
Ravis’ instruction returned, to find him or the emperor, even by screaming.
I wanted to call them immediately, to have the guards remove this man, but I also needed to find out what he wanted with me and why he had been spying on me from the moment I entered the palace.
“What are you” I gasped, through clenched teeth.
“It’s the same question, I have of you,” Piett said.
“I know of the emperor’s illness.
I know that everyone, but you, died at his hands when he went crazy.”
He was talking about the dolls of previous lives.
The emperor’s illness would cause him to go crazy in a month or two, and he would kill the dolls.
But it was a particular doll that would quell those nightmares, and this is why he always had one with him to comfort him in the night and listen to his fears.
Still, facing the possibility of death by the emperor’s hands was a scary situation.
The original story always made it seem like there was no hope of a cure, no way to heal him.
But what if the illness had been caused by the influence of someone else
Piett could see the realization appear behind my eyes and smiled.
“I see you figured it out.”
Something clicked within my mind.
I had witnessed how much the emperor had struggled with his trauma.
In the past, he only saw his painful existence and tried to live with it.
Now, in the present, he had met the one who calmed him and kept him from killing.
I had comforted him as much as I feared him.
He could now sleep and exist in society like a normal human being.
He had become a kind and peaceful person.
And now the person who had cursed the emperor had come to meet the one who had begun to heal the his illness.
This man had wounded the emperor’s mind to unimaginable levels.
The knowledge that I stood before a man who could perform such evil made my stomach boil.
Seeing Piett smile, I felt an anger I never felt before.
Before I knew what I was doing, I tackled the man.
“The emperor! His suffering! It’s all because of you!”
“Are you mad You must know your life is threatened every day you are by the emperor Is he really worth protecting” Piett struggled to get himself out from underneath my body.
“What does the emperor’s intentions have to do with you” I shouted as I pummeled Piett on the ground.
“It’s because of you that the emperor is ill! You manipulated his hands, made him kill the dolls! You’re the reason why the emperor acts the way he does!”
I was so angry, the words rambled out of my mouth.
I wanted someone to appear who could beat this man more effectively than I could.
It didn’t matter if it was the Emperor, Ravis, or Dalen.
I wanted someone, with the strength to hurt Piett, to appear, as my blows were only a nuisance.
“I don’t think that’s what is important right now, Ms.
“Don’t you dare use my name!” The sound of my name on this man’s lips disgusted me.
I began to yell for someone, anyone, to help, but, as I looked around, I could see the revelers at the masquerade continued to talk and dance as if nothing odd was occurring right beside them.
It was strange, as if we did not even exist in the room anymore.
I screamed so loudly I hurt my throat, but still no one paid any attention to us.
“I’ve moved us into a parallel universe,” Piett explained.
“Neither His Majesty, nor the guards will be able to detect us here.”
I clenched my teeth again.
I knew this world was entirely different than earth.
Here, there were gods, magic, and a vast variety of types of people.
The fact that this man could move us into a parallel dimension was not a surprise at all.
I needed to keep track of everything Piett did so I could inform the emperor.
“Why did you contact me” I asked.
“Are you surprised I’ll just say that there’s more to this meeting than it looks.
I just needed to meet you first, before I dealt with Theres’ arrangement.”
Theres’ arrangement I remembered the incident that Ravis had to deal with from the Central Temple of Theres.
Maybe it had something to do with that
“What do you mean” I asked.
Piett smiled at me in an unpleasant manner.
“That is not for you to know yet.
It doesn’t matter.
There’s still time.”
“Explain!” I demanded.
“Not yet, the timing isn’t right.
If I tell you know, it will go against our plan.” Piett came up beside me and whispered in my ear, “Please try harder.”