Chills formed on my arms when I caught the emperor’s red eyes glaring at me.
His bloody sword was pointed at my chest, nudging it forwards until the sharp tip grazed my skin.
Panic washed over me instantly and I found myself paralyzed and unmoving in front of him.
I gasped, but no words came out of my mouth as I quickly shook my head in desperation.
If I step back, he will surely kill Lina and I can’t let that happen!
Then as if provoked by my disobedience, the emperor’s eyes darkened even more that I felt like I was about to pass out.
I bit my lips hard, feeling my knees buckle under the intensity of the emperor’s gaze.
He stared at me for a few seconds longer, his mouth turning into a frown as he lowered his sword.
He clicked his tongue, then he roughly grabbed me by the arm and began pulling me away from the room, “Follow me.”
I can’t help the small whimper slipping past my lips.
The hold he had on my arm was too tight but he paid no attention to my soft cries of pain.
I was dragged helplessly and I felt Lina trying to reach out for me, “Io…!”
I wasn’t able to answer her since the emperor proceeded to haul me much farther away and led me to a separate room, and harshly banged the door close behind him.
He sat me on the sofa.
My arm was still throbbing, and I didn’t dare look at him directly in the eyes in fear of his rage.
My heart felt like it was going to combust anytime soon.
I tremblingly peeked at him, realizing this was the first time I saw him this emotional.
I sat still and rubbed my reddened arm.
It’s been quite a hard day.
What’s going on now
He huffed and turned his back to me.
I could see his back slightly heaving as he took a deep, shaky breath.
It seemed like he was trying to calm himself down, and he brought a palm to his forehead in exasperation.
Why was he so angry
I tried to reach out to him but I quickly stopped myself at the last second. Wait, what was I doing Did I really just try to comfort him
Was comforting the emperor something that I felt naturally now I need to get a grip of myself. Now is not the right time to act this way, I thought as I closed my fists tightly.
He took a series of deep breaths, his shoulders loosening its tension as he turned to face me.
His eyes were no longer red, finally back to its original, golden color.
Although he seemed to be much calmer now, I am still apprehensive since I could still faintly sense a roughness to his demeanor.
He situated himself in front of me and placed his hands on the backrest, his arms enclosing me on either side.
I tore my gaze away from him since I couldn’t bring myself to look at him directly.
I could feel his ragged breathing fanning my cheeks. He’s too close, way too close.
No one spoke for a while, and the emperor only broke the silence after a few beats, “Are you going to run away from me”
My eyes grew wide at his question.
I didn’t expect that at all.
I thought he would reprimand me for going out on my own and without his permission, but it turns out he was worried about something else entirely.
I was so surprised that I shook my head by impulse, realizing a second too late that I should’ve answered him instead.
“Say it!” The emperor growled.
The volume of his voice made me tremble from my scalp down to my toes, and it also prompted embarrassing hiccups to emit from my throat.
I hastily covered my mouth but the hiccups still persisted.
The emperor grew angry once again.
His ragged breaths were heaving now, like a giant beast looming over its prey.
I felt like my breaths were knocked out of me as I clasped my mouth even tightly.
“I healed your throat, and I was going to let you stand beside me.
And this is how you repay me By running away”
No! I did not run away! I shook my head desperately with my mouth still covered.
Looking at him so enraged prevented me from speaking at all.
“Answer me!” He roared, breaking the backrest he was holding onto in a rapid movement.
I couldn’t move and at this point my body was trembling visibly.
He pulled his hand off the backrest and took a step back.
His grip was so strong that the torn support crushed under his fist, sending pieces of wood to fall to the carpet.
With the space that lay between us, I got to see his face more clearly.
While he was undoubtedly angry, I could also see a hint of sadness in his eyes.
The sight caused a faint stirring in my chest, like my heart was being constricted.
The hiccups stopped altogether.
Why are you making that face Varying emotions of confusion, fear and shock soared within me.
He was the one who made me a doll and brought me here, and he was the reason why I ran out of the room.
How come he was the one who looked hurt now