“You don’t have to be so polite, Iona.
My younger brother, His Majesty, is probably causing you trouble.
To make up for it, please feel free to treat me as you wish.” Ravis flashed me an apologetic smile, holding my hands tighter.
What was he talking about Saying that I should treat him as I wish, and why was he still holding my hands I felt my temperature rising from his touch.
“That’s… uhm…” Could he please stop smiling at me like that And it doesn’t help that he had a natural pretty face that it’s making me more flustered than I already am.
Ravis bit his lips and chuckled quietly, as if seeing my reaction was entertaining for him.
His green eyes curved upwards from smiling.
“Are you teasing me” I tore my gaze off him.
“No, I mean it.
I really am worried.
Did His Majesty cause you any trouble”
Then, the image of the emperor kissing me came to the forefront of my mind once again.
My face probably looks like a ripened radish right now that I could only drop my head in embarrassment.
And without the bracelet on, I’m sure my face looked much redder than usual.
For some reason, I felt like Ravis could see through my embarrassing memories one by one.
After a minute of silence, I tried to answer him as honestly as I could, like I was confessing.
“He’s been nothing but nice to me recently.
He gave me my own room and we went for a walk together.”
I have no clue why he was treating me so kindly, but I couldn’t really complain since things have been good lately.
He doesn’t express rage anymore, and he no longer terrorized me the way he did before.
“Oh… As expected.
But this is not right.
I can’t believe he let a woman wait, alone and unaccompanied at that, too.”
“He is the emperor, His Majesty.
Someone like me is fine with waiting.”
“But it’s not safe to walk around the city without an escort.
If you don’t mind, would it be alright if I keep you company for the meantime”
I flashed him a smile, “I would be grateful.” I sat back down and patted the seat next to me, urging him to sit.
Ravis was one of the very few people I could comfortably talk to.
He sat next to me, smiling.
“So what brought you here in the imperial palace Did His Majesty call for you”
“No, I volunteered to come here.
There is an urgent matter that needs to be dealt with.
The sister who was supposed to come to the expatriate hall is currently ill.”
“There’s an expatriate hall in the imperial palace” I asked.
“Before, ten priests were stationed in the imperial palace since the divine power proved to be useful for emergencies.”
“How about now”
“His Majesty hates priests so much that he only allowed one priest to reside here for communication purposes.
For other important matters, he contacts me by using the crystal ball.”
“I see.” That’s strange.
The emperor went all the way to the temple and had my injury treated there.
This is a world where priests are also regarded as doctors, but there was a lack of priests in the imperial palace.
Maybe he kept it that way so no one else would know of my existence, but it could also be because of personal issues.
“Then is it your turn to reside here”
Fortunately, I was given permission to stay in the imperial palace.”
I smiled at him, “Of course.
His Majesty would surely allow it especially when you’re his brother.”
Ravis let out an awkward laugh, “That might not be the case.
This is actually my first time staying here.
I couldn’t help but think that maybe it’s because of you.”
“Because of me”
“I heard you went through a lot of difficulties ever since you entered the palace.
His Majesty thought I could be used as a substitute for holy water, since there’s no holy water here in the royal grounds.”
Using the high priest as a substitute After his explanation, Ravis smiled at me once again.
I didn’t know how to answer him so I decided to return his smile.
Then, a familiar voice said behind me.
“What use could you be for me, then”
I looked back and saw the emperor briskly walking towards us.
I hastily stood up from my seat and grabbed the ends of my dress before bowing, “The great Ivant Empire’s first…”
There’s no need for such a greeting.” He waved his hand in dismissal.
Everybody’s been cutting my salutations lately.
I bit my lips and straightened my back.
“You don’t act this way whenever we’re inside the room.
So what are you doing being so polite suddenly”
I didn’t know how to answer that so I remained silent.
I’m just concerned because we’re outside, and with the presence of the high priest, too.
I avoided his gaze and tried to smile but it only came out stiff.
The emperor then walked closer to me and signaled his servants and royal guards to leave.
He gently grabbed my hand and turned to look at Ravis.
“I thought you’d be in the Ministry of Finance by now.
You seem to have a lot of free time, Ravis.”
“I was just talking to Miss Iona, who was waiting for you all alone.
I was simply concerned.”
Why does it feel like there’s tension between the two
“Now that I’m here, you can back to your business.
Iona has an appointment with me.” He tilted his head to me, showing a kind and gentle face.
A bright smile pulled his lips.
“I’m sorry it took me a while.
Did you wait for a long time”