It’s the first time I’m able to speak ever since I got my memory back, so it’s still quite strange hearing my own voice flowing past my lips.
“Feel free to speak anytime.
It’s not like I’m going to kill you.”
I looked up at the emperor and saw him staring at me with a smirk on his face.
He must’ve assumed I was not talking simply because I was scared.
But that’s not the reason at all.
After months of not speaking, I somehow became so used to it that I shook my head by instinct.
It would probably take me a while to get accustomed with the fact that I have my voice back.
I cleared my throat.
“… Yes, thank you.”
I didn’t bother to correct the emperor’s assumption, however.
Now that I have his permission, I am finally allowed to act like a real person, no longer the non-speaking doll I was previously.
A couple of knocks on the door startled me.
A familiar voice spoke from the other side, “Your Majesty, this is Raven.
Are you there”
“Come on in.”
The door opened and Raven came in with a bunch of papers and books on his arms.
He didn’t bring a cart with him and I’m guessing he brought those himself.
“I heard the temple was packed earlier.
What happened” He asked, settling the materials down before placing his right on his chest to show his reverence.
“Long time no see, Your Highness.”
Lavis nodded in greeting.
“Long time no see, Lord Raven.
But I’d rather be addressed as a priest.
It’s more fitting, don’t you think” Lavis smiled sheepishly after correcting Raven’s use of honorific but Raven only shook his head.
“Your Highness is what fits you.”
Seeing there’s no way to make Raven think otherwise, Lavis relented.
“All right, Lord Raven.”
The emperor on the other hand was frowning at the stack of paper Raven just put down.
“What are those documents Are you making me work here On my first day” The emperor asked in an incredulous voice.
“I apologize, but this is urgent and it requires your attention as soon as possible.
Your Majesty, may I ask what just happened”
With Raven’s question, the emperor’s eyes landed on me, staying there for a brief while before turning to face Raven once again.
“Well, I guess I could tell you… Theres showed up.”
“… what” Raven asked, eyebrows furrowing from the emperor’s words.
“Are you talking about Theres, the goddess of abundance”
It’s her.” The emperor confirmed.
Raven instantly paled at the revelation as he muttered, “… my goodness.”
The emperor didn’t seem interested in explaining further as he led me to the sofa.
“Ask her why she came here.” Before I could sit, the emperor pulled me towards his lap and I immediately flushed at the intimate position.
“I’ll sign the papers later.
Now, everyone get out.”
Raven and Lavis looked at each other in understanding and bowed their heads low.
Have a great day.”
“Don’t push her too much.
She just got better, so it’s only normal for her to still be confused.” Lavis supplied.
The emperor waved his hand irritably.
“Just shut up and get out of here, both of you.”
Lavis and Raven chuckled at the emperor’s impatience as they went out of the room and closed the door behind them, leaving the two of us alone.
I am wondering what else he was going to tell me.
I subtly tried to get his attention but it didn’t work.
Then, a wave of realization washed over me; Now that I’m not regarded as a non-speaking doll anymore, does that change the dynamics of our relationship Being in the same room as him suddenly felt strange, especially when he had been more friendly than usual that I couldn’t even recognize him.
What’s wrong with him
The emperor’s eyes were fixed on me while I was seated on his lap.
He leaned his forehead against my neck as he stroked my hair carefully, looking like he’s a leopard contemplating whether or not he would eat his prey.
Did he really just have my throat healed only to eat me later
I swallowed the lump in my throat, feeling nervous at our close proximity.
“You don’t really look like Liliana.
If you’re her, you’d be hiding right now.
She hated being confused.” He lifted his head and began to caress my cheek.
His gaze was trained on me and I’m a little startled to see the weight of his gaze; he was looking at me not as a doll, not as Liliana, but the real me.
Was he looking at the real me right now
Even if there’s a change in his behavior, that doesn’t erase the fact that I am still his doll.
“How old are you” He asked, and I know that the question was meant for me.
“I’ll be twenty in a couple of months.” I replied.
Then, he leaned his head back, seemingly lost in his own thoughts.
Liliana died around my age, and after a year, he rose to throne whilst still in despair.
According to the book, he will turn twenty-four this year.
His eyes darkened as thoughts began to fill his mind.
After a brief while of just sitting with no words exchanged between us, a smile slowly crept his face as he took my wrist in his hand.
“You need to eat more.
With how scrawny you are, you don’t look like you’re going to reach twenty.”
I actually ate and slept quite well for the past couple of months, but still, it wasn’t enough for my thin body.
I nodded, prompting him to smirk at me.
“Talk to me.
You have a nice voice.” He said before burying his face on the back of my neck affectionately.
Such a sweet emperor! And I am so tempted to run away.