“Do you have any ideas Aren’t you much nicer to people than I am”
Lavis was caught off guard by his question.
Ridrian had always been wary of his surroundings ever since he was a kid.
Having suffered from the hands of his brothers made it hard for him to deal with people.
Lavis, who was raised in the temple and who received so much love, felt sorry for Ridrian then.
He had eyes that were dark and gloomy for a young child and one who doesn’t know what love was.
Before, whenever the imperial family visited the temple, they would make it a point to mock and ridicule him, but Lavis paid them no mind.
He couldn’t be bothered since he had his focus set on the gods and nothing else.
He was just concerned about his half-brother who he shared a small age difference with.
Then one day, the person he saw after a long time looked eerily different.
Darkness was evident in his brother’s eyes, and it was darker than it’s ever been.
It appeared like an endless abyss.
His eyes were like a bottomless pit and Lavis was worried out of his mind.
But unfortunately, he was too preoccupied with the royal family’s reception that he completely neglected Ridrian altogether.
The year after that, the news about his young brother reigning as an emperor broke out, and the person he met at the coronation ceremony was somehow a different person.
While he was still as ruthless and blunt as ever, there was no ounce of empathy left in his half-brother’s eyes.
Lavis wondered what exactly happened during those years.
He managed to hear bits and pieces of what had transpired but there wasn’t anything he could do about it anymore.
Closing his eyes in despair, he visualized Ridrian in a closed off world all by himself, and he had no choice but to take a step back.
Am I too late
The darkness that enveloped Ridrian contrasted with Lavis who was full of divine light, and Lavis made sure to keep his distance.
Ridrian sighed and rested his forehead on the back of his clasped hands, “If I do it my way, I would only hurt her again.
I have no use for this.” He said in an exasperated voice.
The unfiltered words uttered from his mouth were quite astonishing.
Seeing his brows furrowed in concern as he worried about other people took Lavis by surprise.
Lavis glanced at Iona’s sleeping form.
She was a special person herself, he thought, recalling the first time he saw her where she was all skin and bones and more wounded inside than she appeared.
But even with such flaws, she was nonetheless a very strong person.
She stayed by Ridrian’s side for three months, and yet she was still standing strong.
I was angry, but I didn’t break down at all.
Only Theres deserves my attention. After gathering his thoughts, Lavis turned to Ridrian and said, “I’m sure Your Majesty knows what Miss Iona is feeling.
Isn’t she doing what she enjoys the most”
“What she enjoy the most” Ridrian contemplated.
“What does Iona like the most doing” Lavis asked.
There was a pause before Ridrian replied, “A nap”
Lavis fell silent.
“…Well, she did say she was sick all the time.
Maybe she needs to rest more.”
Ridrian pondered beside him and added, “Well, she likes to eat too.”
“What sort of food does the lady like”
Ridrian’s brows furrowed in thought.
Nothing came to his mind since they rarely shared a meal together.
He came to a realization that he didn’t know much about Iona, not having any idea what she was doing when she’s left alone as he worked, what she was thinking of, and the things she was fond of.
All he knew about her was her name, age, sleeping habits and what caused her neck injury.
It was all he knew about her as far as being his doll.
Ridrian burst out laughing.
Come to think of it, she really was like a doll.
He thought he liked her a little bit, but how could that be when he barely knows anything about her He was not someone who shared whatever he had with others and he had taken it for granted.
For him, there was no reason for anyone to share something that’s his.
Those who stayed by his side were those who were looking for a chance to steal something from him.
But she was different.
Never did she ask anything from him.
Thinking about it made him feel miserable.
He wanted to give something so he’d get to keep her by his side, but he has no idea what to give her.
He wouldn’t even know if she’d like whatever it is he ended up giving her.
She never came to his palace and asked anything from him.
It was as if she had no interest in material things.
Sensing Ridrian in deep thought, Lavis said, “Once the lady wakes up, patiently ask her what she wants.
Your Majesty should ask her what he could do for her.”
“A-ask her” Ridrian stammered, feeling chills creeping up his back.
It was a feeling that was foreign to him, one that he had never felt before.
Being surrounded by enemies on the front lines of the borders didn’t even bother him as much.
He wondered what he would feel if he ever saw her looking at him with coldness in her eyes.