We had lunch at the restaurant solely for the High Priests’ use thanks to Lavis’ guidance.
Most of the priests were at the ceremony so we had the restaurant all to ourselves.
Afterwards, we went to two more gardens that were hidden away from the public.
We casually chatted about every topic under the sun and unlike the well-manicured garden of the Imperial Palace, this garden in particular had a certain wildness to it like the ones you would see in the gardens of France.
I feel like I’m starting to appreciate greens now considering I’m stuck in my room every day.
To my surprise, even though we spent the whole day walking outside, I still have a lot of energy left in me and I have to thank Lavis for that.
He was considerate enough to match my pace and we occasionally took breaks in between just so I wouldn’t get tired.
He also gave me a tour inside the Detached Palace where they accommodate VIPs coming from other countries.
The few hours went by so fast and before I knew it, it’s already time for dinner.
I should head back to my room.
Lina was probably waiting for me.
I had one of the best days today and even though I had to wear a hood, I was able to go to the central temple, watched the ritual, and took a stroll at the gardens while chatting with Lavis.
I am very pleased at how this day turned out that I felt like I would be sleeping soundly tonight.
As we neared the emperor’s bedroom, Lavis spoke,
“Yes” Lavis was looking at me, and I could tell the slight hesitation in his demeanor.
“Would you be alright staying with His Majesty”
I blinked, tilting my head to the side at the unexpected question.
Was he simply concerned because he’s brothers with the emperor
And why was he asking me this
I tore my eyes from him and said, “It’s fine.
I am His Majesty’s doll.”
Of course it’s not fine.
But it’s not like I could tell him that and plus, I only have nine months left to endure and everything will be fine after that.
He chuckled humorlessly at my response.
“Apparently, Ridrian is very poor at expressing his feelings.
It’s bound be realized late.”
I raised my eyebrow in confusion, “What What are you talking about…”
“If you find yourself struggling or having a hard time, please let me know.
I can hide you somewhere safe as long as it’s within the temple’s halls.”
What Wouldn’t doing so equate to going against the imperial family Not knowing what his intentions were making sweat run down my back.
“Iona!” Lina was standing in front of the door leading to the emperor’s bedroom.
She immediately sprinted towards me upon seeing me appear at the end of the hallway.
I noticed her pale face right away.
Did something happen
“Lina What’s going on”
Lina’s eyes were wide with panic.
“Iona! Didn’t you hear the news”
“What news” My heart was starting to hammer frantically against my chest.
I was about to ask her for more information, but Lavis spoke in an urgent voice, “What’s going on”
Lina hurriedly stepped back, almost slipping on her feet and said, “High Priest! I didn’t know you’re here.
I apologize for my lack of—“
Lavis waved her off.
What happened” He repeated, this time with much more urgency and I could tell that he was becoming impatient as we waited for Lina’s answer.
It was a side of him I have never seen before.
We looked at Lina expectantly and she answered,
“His Majesty collapsed.”
I felt my breath hitch, “What”
Let’s go inside the room first.
I don’t think it’s something we should talk about here in the hallway.” Lavis said as he led us inside the room.
Even though there was nobody else in the hallway but us, talking about it outside really didn’t seem appropriate.
He closed the door behind him and turned to face Lina, “Did he suddenly faint”
Lina shook her head.
“I wasn’t there when it happened.
A maid told me that he collapsed as he was coming out of the ritual.
And the thing is, he also vomited blood…”
“Blood” Dizziness washed over me as I listened to Lina’s words.
The emperor threw up and collapsed right after. What’s happening This was not written in the original novel!
I lost my footing and I almost stumbled on my feet if not for Lavis catching me by the elbow.
“Iona, are you alright” He asked worriedly.
“I-I’m okay.” Lavis stirred me towards the sofa.
I took several deep breaths to keep the overwhelming dizziness at bay.
As I willed myself to calm down, my eyes widened when Lavis suddenly brought himself to one knee in front of me and I hastily urged him to stand up, but he simply ignored my attempts.
“Stay still for a moment.” He said in a soft voice, “When you fainted a few days ago, I conducted an urgent response using my holy power.
But still, that doesn’t mean you’re fully okay.
You need to rest more, Iona.
You’re already doing so much.”
“So much” I repeated and for a brief moment, I wondered what on earth was he talking about since I know I’m not straining myself recently.
Then, I realized he was referring to the weight I’ve been carrying deep inside me, one that took up so much space in my heart and mind.
Having stayed inside a room for months would surely bring one into insanity.
Especially when a lot of things have also transpired during those times.
And wasn’t I the complete testament to that when I berserk in front of the emperor
I gave Lavis a brief nod.
He placed his hand on my forehead and drew his holy power once again.
The sight of the warm blue light gradually made me feel at ease and it wasn’t long until my dizziness completely subsided.
“What happened Did His Majesty have any chronic diseases I don’t know of Is it possible that he was poisoned” I asked the words so quietly it’s like I was talking to myself.