“Oh, my bad.” I replied sheepishly.
It seemed like I made a mistake of speaking informally.
I only got to speak for the first time in days, so my words came out a little bit rash.
Now that I think about it, I realize the harsh words I’ve said towards the emperor days before, and it’s making me feel anxious.
Why do I have to worry about you so much Lina shook her head.
Her face fell and she said, “No.
It’s me who should be sorry.
It’s been three months since I made a mistake… If only I’d been more alert and kept my eye on you…”
What had transpired that day must be really intense since Lina was basically blurting the words out.
I remembered what happened that very day and Lina was not at fault.
I shook my head, “No, I know you were busy.
It’s not your fault.
Besides, the tyrant emperor is also the problem since he was the one who imprisoned me.”
“Iona.” Lina said warningly.
But I didn’t bother apologizing.
I decided to ask something else, “How long has it been since I passed out What about His Majesty”
“It has been three days since then.
His Majesty was in the bedroom until yesterday, and I’ve heard that he had been working nonstop.”
“Okay…” The last time I woke up after fainting, I heard he was running rampant while barely having any sleep.
I went to his library to stop him and he pulled me in his embrace once I got close.
We had stayed in that position for quite some time.
And after that day, I knew something changed between us.
He felt different from the emperor I initially knew.
What the hell are you thinking
Lina said he was still working and he had yet to return to the bedroom.
His dark circles were probably darker now and I just know he’s more sensitive and snappy at this point.
I could only imagine the terrified look on the people’s faces every time they’re caught in his moods.
What does that have to do with me Once the one-year mark is over we won’t see each other anymore anyway.
There’s no use thinking of such things.
But somehow, thinking about it made me feel a little bit upset.
Dazed in thought, Lina spoke after a short silence, “Is your body feeling okay Your wounds might have healed now, but don’t forget you’re still recovering.”
“I just feel dizzy, that’s all.
Lina, I’m worried that you weren’t able to sleep well.
Your eyes have dark circles around them.”
Lina shook her head, dismissing my words, “I fell short in taking care of you.
I’m actually surprised that I could still get to serve you and be your maid.” Lina sniffed as big tears fell from her eyes, “Thank you, Iona.
I would have died that day if it weren’t for you.”
I remembered how the emperor looked at Lina with unmistakable anger in his eyes.
He had tried to kill her right then and there.
I shook my head and decided to make the conversation lighter, “Do you think I would let my friend die”
“Of course not.” Lina sniffed and blew her nose.
She rolled her eyes, which were still wet with tears and threw me a smile.
I smiled back.
But unexpectedly, my thoughts drifted back to the emperor and I could feel my heart constricting.
I wonder what he is doing right now.
The hot blazing sun was flooding the world outside with its scorching heat, and I realized it is only a day away until the Theres festival.
Raven came to my room that same evening after hearing the news that I finally woke up.
It was already late, and I wondered if the emperor would come with him.
I didn’t realize the breath I was holding until Raven arrived alone.
I’m not ready to face the emperor just yet.
“Thank you.” Raven said suddenly.
I looked at him in confusion, “Huh What for”
“You stopped Lina from being killed.
And….” He shook his head and looked straight at me.
“I’ll give you a day off, so feel free to look around the temple.”
I raised my eyebrows.
“Isn’t my existence a secret Tomorrow is the prayer festival, right”
Raven sighed, “Speaking of which, you’re not as meek as I expected.
I guess the slave trader didn’t know any better.”
“Well, I really was meek at first.”
Not anymore now that I regained my memories about my previous life.
I gulped, “I was only gone for two hours, and this happened.
I don’t want this to happen again.”
“Tomorrow, Your Majesty will attend the prayer ceremony and it will take all day long.
So, there is no need for you to be confined in this room.
I’ve already got his majesty’s permission in advance.”
I shut my mouth.
It was nice to hear that I’m finally getting a day off.
However, my situation is largely dependent on the emperor’s moods.
After the big fight we had, I don’t feel entirely at ease.
Even the prospect of a rest day didn’t excite me as much.
Is Lavis going with me
“Are you going to use Lavis, the High Priest, to guide me like the slave I am”
He looked at me with a flat face, “You are no longer a slave, remember I don’t think everyone knows, but as soon as you stepped foot in the Imperial Palace, you were instantly recognized as a maid, a commoner.
Which reminds me, do you know how to read”
Being freed from slavery and becoming a commoner was a gift in itself.
And it was some sort of a miracle.
But somehow, Raven knowing that I could read caused my excitement to simmer down, and our atmosphere suddenly felt cold.