I Became the Tyrant's Helper - Chapter 10
Ray smiled at her disgruntled look, almost like he found it charming. Then, he held out his hand to her silently.
Ahel tilted her head to the side, confused as to what he wanted from her. What does he want me to do? She thought as she stared down at his outstretched hand. She was still trying to figure out what his intention was when he suddenly spoke.
“I want you to go to the Imperial Palace with me. That’s my condition,” Ray said.
Ahel stared open-mouthed at him in shock. Never in her wildest dreams had she ever thought she would hear the words ‘Imperial Palace’. What the hell…?
Before she could stop herself she asked, “Excuse me? What did you just say? Because I’m sure I heard you say you want me to go to the Imperial Palace with you.” She just had to understand, she had to make sure she had heard right.
“That’s exactly what I said. I want you to come to the Imperial Palace with me,” he said patiently in reply to her half-enthusiastic question.
Even though he repeated himself, Ahel still couldn’t believe what he’d said. Just hearing that word ‘Imperial Palace’ was unrealistic to her. She had convinced herself she was dreaming. Why does he want me to go to the Imperial Palace with him?
Just this morning he had shown her his ID card and introduced himself as Count Herman. It made her wonder if the son of a royal noble could come and go at the Imperial Palace as he pleased. It felt like she was being drowned under a flood of questions.
As she tried to think through everything, Ray kept his large, calloused hand held out to her; ever calm and patient. Ahel was starting to think the only way she could get the truth she so desperately wanted was to take his hand.
Ray said nothing. He just stayed perfectly silent as he waited for her to make a decision.
The Imperial Palace… A place she had never been in, and a place she never thought she’d see. I can’t help but wonder if agreeing to this is the correct decision…
Suddenly she felt uncertain. Perhaps it was the thought that this decision could impact her future. But no one but God knew what a person’s future held; both immediate and long term. It was only natural that she felt a little afraid.
Ahel clenched her jaw. Her purple eyes started glittering brightly with determination as she reached out and clasped his hand. “Alright Ray, I accept your terms.”
Ray squeezed her hand and smiled. He couldn’t help it really, she just looked so serious. “Wise choice.”
Ahel raised her head to look at him and forced a smile onto her face. She hoped she wouldn’t regret this decision later.
Ray and Ahel were silent for a while as Ahel’s decision sunk in. Finally, Ray let go of her hand.
“Get ready then,” he said.
“Get ready for what?” Ahel asked, her eyes widening in confusion.
Ray cocked one eyebrow at her question, keeping his face perfectly neutral.
Ahel stared at him, as if she was trying to force him to answer. His green eyes stared steadily at her like she was supposed to know the answer. “Are we leaving now?” she asked.
“Correct,” Ray answered.
I’m going to the Imperial Palace right now? Ahel thought frantically and looked down at what she was wearing. Her cheeks colored in embarrassment as she beheld her common clothes. As ordinary as they were, at least they were clean. Thank goodness she had decided to wear an apron during her shift at the dessert shop.
But even then, she wasn’t just going to any ordinary place; she was going to the Imperial Palace! She thought back to the clothes she often saw the aristocrats wearing when they came to Ophelia’s. Those colorful clothes and accessories… In truth, she always thought they looked rather uncomfortable to move around in, but they were beautiful.
Compared to those flamboyant outfits, her clothes were sorely lacking.
She frantically fled to her closet to look for something to wear, but she knew deep down that there wouldn’t be anything worthy in there anyway. Defeated, she dropped onto all fours, her hands empty.
Ray had been watching her the entire time. “Is there anything important that you absolutely must bring with you?”
“Anything I must bring? No… Not really,” she replied, raising her head at his question.
We aren’t going to be there that long, there is no need for all this fuss. Ray thought, nodding at her as he watched her shifting uncomfortably from side to side. “Good thing, because you really don’t have to bring anything. Everything you need will be at the Palace,” he said in such a low voice that Ahel could barely hear him.
What did this man say? she thought sourly.
“Then let’s get going,” Ray said with another nod, cutting off the rest of her thoughts.
Ahel watched as Ray stood, then shot to her feet and obediently followed him. The two of them exited the small house one after the other. Ahel turned around to lock the door as if she wanted to keep the shadows safely locked up.
“It’s quite a way to the Imperial Palace,” Ray said as she turned the key. “Is there a place here we can rent a carriage from?”
“There is. There’s a place just 10 minutes walk from here,” Ahel said with a nod and gestured for him to follow her.
The two of them walked in silence through the streets. Neither had anything to say to the other. It wasn’t long until they arrived at the rental shop and picked out a carriage. Ray carried all the expenses, and soon, the two of them were ready to leave.
“Let’s ride,” Ray muttered as they stood waiting for the carriage to arrive.