I Became the Tyrant's Helper - Chapter 11
When the carriage pulled up on the sidewalk, Ahel stepped in first, closely followed by Ray. He settled himself in the seat opposite to her and went silent. Once the two of them were ready, the carriage pulled off into the night, immediately getting swallowed by the darkness that waited beyond the lights of the shops.
The inside of the carriage was as quiet as their walk there. None of them seem inclined to break the oppressive bubble of stillness.
While Ahel didn’t mind the silence, she did want answers to some of her questions. One of which was why Ray wanted her to go to the Imperial Palace. She found the suggestion incredibly strange. Surely, if he wanted something, he could throw some money around and fulfill all his desires?
Ahel raised her eyes and looked at Ray, who was more invested in taking in the scenery outside than anything else. “Hey, I… I wanted to ask you something.”
Slowly, Ray moved his gaze over to her. While he didn’t verbally respond, he blinked slowly at her in a way that invited her to speak.
Ahel pressed her suddenly shaking hands against her knees and pressed her lips together as she mentally phrased her question. Then she asked, “Why do you want me to go to the Imperial Palace with you? If there is something you want, you could always just use your wealth and status to get it.”
“That’s what you’re curious about?” Ray’s green eyes sparkled with excitement at her question as if it were funny to him.
“Yes. That’s what I wanted to know,” she said, digging through her memories as she studied his round lips.
Ray leaned his head into his hand and rested his elbow on the window. He was silent for a moment, blinking slowly at her question. “Because you’re worth it; that’s the answer to all your questions.”
I’m worth it? It meant his favor was one with reason. A favor that had started with the tattoo on the back of her neck.
She had anticipated that response from him. It had only been a day or so since she had met him, but she could already tell he was a man who didn’t offer favors lightly.
That was the end of their conversation. Ahel didn’t push the matter further and once again lapsed into the landscape of her unresolved suspicious thoughts.
The carriage was once again silent.
Ray looked back out the window when it was obvious she had nothing more to say. His handsome, strong face was picked out at charming angles by the light of the moon streaming in through the window.
Ahel snuck a glance at him and studied his profile. She couldn’t help but reach up and rub her fingers over the area of her neck where the tattoo was. What on earth is this tattoo?
In the serenity of the night, the carriage made its way to the Imperial Palace, carrying a woman who desperately wanted answers.
“We are approaching the Imperial Palace. Please be ready to show your ID in order to enter,” said one of the two knights guarding the main gate to the Imperial Palace.
The other knight was just quietly regarding the carriage.
Ahel initially thought Ray would show the knight the same ID card he had shown her, but he did something totally different. Instead of saying anything, he just calmly looked down at the knight, with his chin resting his forearm.
Instead of getting angry at Ray’s silence, the knight started examining the carriage. It was a normal, old carriage from the outskirts of the Capital. It was nothing special and paled in comparison to the ones the aristocrats owned.
The knight looked up at Ray after his inspection and said in a cold voice, “You may not go past this point. Please turn around and go back the way you came.” With that said, he turned around and started walking away.
Ray opened the window with his other hand.
The knight stopped in his tracks when he heard the sound. He looked back at Ray, waiting for him to show some type of identification.
But Ray behaved as he had before. He just looked arrogantly at the knight with his chin cupped in his hand.
The knight frowned so deeply that his forehead wrinkled. It was obvious he was offended by his behavior. He couldn’t tell whether this man was an aristocrat or a commoner. What made the situation all the more frustrating was the fact that he was refusing to show any identification or even give an answer.
Ahel started getting uncomfortable. What is he doing? The only explanation she could think of was that she needed to show her ID card instead of him. She shifted to get it out, but Ray’s voice stopped her.
“This is all rather… disappointing. You haven’t been back long, have you?” he asked in a voice laced with curiosity.
The knight tilted his head in confusion. “What do you mean?”
“I just find it funny that you don’t know who I am. I didn’t think there was anyone in the Imperial Palace who didn’t know me,” Ray said with a grin that was enough to make someone shiver with goosebumps. What made it all the more eerie was the way his green eyes seemed to be sparkling. “Do you honestly not know who I am?” By the tone of his voice and the expression on his face, he was rather enjoying himself.
It also looked like he was giving the knight another chance.
Granted, he was behaving a bit like a madman, but it was enough to make the knight take a second, closer look at him. As the wind picked up strands of his fine pink hair, the knight’s face paled and he stepped back.
The wind was barely even cool, yet he shivered as if he were freezing, looking very much like a terrified lamb who had been cornered by a ravenous beast.
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