“I can’t leave the palace like this.
I promised His Majesty,” I said.
Minister Ivan sighed and put his hand on his forehand like he knew this was going to happen.
“Lady Lesprey, if you stay your honour will continue to be damaged.
Please think about your family’s honour, which you just recently got back.”
“I won’t allow my honour to be affected.” I was certain there was a way to avoid that.
“If you’re concerned about His Majesty’s sleeping, then don’t worry.
We can find another doll,” Raven suggested.
Ridrian shouted at him, “I don’t need a new doll! I won’t bring in any more dolls!”
I already knew, from the original story, that I was the emperor’s last doll.
Even though, it still warmed my heart to hear him declare that fact.
“Your Majesty, Lady Lesprey needs to leave the palace.
Please, insist that she does.” Minister Ivan was adamant.
“I will not!” Ridrian shouted.
I now realized why I had been called.
The argument would never be settled between the emperor and the other three.
I would not be the deciding vote.
“I have no intention of leaving, so we’ll have to find another way,” I stated.
Minister Ivan looked angered.
“Is there another way You’re really not planning on becoming a concubine like those loose women”
My breath caught.
The comment showed how frustrated Minister Ivan was.
He knew I would never be a concubine, even if that might be the easiest choice for them.
If I became a concubine, then we could sleep together legally, and I could still help to ease the emperor’s trauma.
But I would also become an extreme liability for the emperor.
“Of course not.
That would be the extreme last resort, but I’m sure there is another way.” I clenched the hem of my dress.
It wasn’t like I didn’t have a solution.
I had to leave the side of the emperor vacant for his intended mate.
That was the most important fact.
An idea crossed my mind.
It wouldn’t be the perfect solution, but it was something that was worth trying.
“How about during the day” I asked.
The other stared at me in confusion.
“I heard you were hiring a new aide.”
Ivan and Raven looked surprised at my words.
“Who did you hear that from” they asked.
“From Baron Saboa.”
“Take care of him,” the emperor said, coldly.
Apparently, this was information that he hadn’t wanted to get out, but killing the Baron was a little extreme.
“Your Majesty, I also don’t like the Baron, but you can’t kill him.”
“I’ll be as merciful as I can be,” Ridrian said, his face grim.
It wasn’t a problem for the emperor to kill a few nobles if needed, but I didn’t like it when people were killed because of me.
Eris wouldn’t have accepted it either.
Raven interrupted to try and ease the tension.
“Lady Lesprey, do you have another solution”
I smiled and faced Ridrian.
“Raven, I’ll become the emperor’s aide.”
All three men’s jaws dropped in shock. They all just see me as a doll, I thought. Because I have no responsibilities, they assume that I have no talents. I sighed as the men looked flustered.
“You said you can read,” Raven spoke up.
“And I know that you’ve been achieving decent results in your classes.
But is that enough to assist His Majesty The aide we’re looking for is someone who can take care of the business of the entire Empire while His Majesty is absent.”
I’ve had a professional career for 25 years, if you include the time from previous life.
I’ve been praised as a dedicated and hard worker.
As much as it surprised the men, I knew how to use my mind.
I looked Raven in the eyes and nodded.
“I have been present when His Majesty worked through important documents, so I know what is involved.
I’m very good at organizing, summarizing, and reporting statistics.
Let me have a trial period and if you really don’t think I’m fit, you can fire me.”
Everything I said was true.
The emperor liked to talk about business a lot, so I was very familiar with current issues.
The only thing I would have to get used to is writing out all of the documents by hand.
If there was anything I wasn’t familiar with, I could ask any of these men for assistance.
He kept fixing his glasses and stared at me.
It was the same as the way he examined me when he came to buy me.
Raven just examined me as he fiddled with his glasses.
It was the same scrutiny he did when he had picked me as a doll.
“She doesn’t seem like she’s bluffing.
She has no reason to anyway.
What do you mean you’ll come during the day”
The answer was a little embarrassing, so I was hesitant to answer.
“She’ll make me take a nap,” Ridrian answered for me, his ears turning red.
“If I’m an aide, I could use a heavy workload as an excuse to stay late a few nights.”
“And if that isn’t possible, I could also sneak to your house some nights,” Ridrian suggested.
“You’re going to jump over the wall each night That’s not acceptable,” Raven said.
“Well, His Majesty has always been very good at sneaking out,” Ravis commented.
“That’s not the point!” Raven shouted.
To stay in the palace, I could become a maid, but for a maid to keep going into the emperor’s bedroom would attract attention.
The rumours would increase and become more scandalous.
For Eris and Ridrian to become closer, that couldn’t happen.
“Your Majesty, will you allow me to become an aide” I asked Ridrian.
Everyone stopped their arguing and looked at the emperor.
He sat there in silence.
It was clear he didn’t like the idea of sending me out, nor bringing me in as an aide.
But for me to come into the palace without causing any more gossip, this was the only way.
If only I could use a sword, like Eris, then I could’ve come in as a knight, I thought.
But, as I had no skills in fighting, becoming an aide was the only way I could think of.
“I need time to decide,” Ridrian said, and left the room.