The girl was oddly cold and deeply contemplative, desperate for some reassurance of the perfection Mother required.
The tutor was the one tasked to both ensure that and protect it. He was easy on the eyes, as most who manage to climb such heights are, bright-eyed and solidly built but there are many in the Empire who possess such qualities. His advantage had been his charm, endurance and willingness to do what others would not.
His loyalty was unwavering, duties always fulfilled, and so the Emperor was sated.
The Emperor was sated while he had his fill of the rewards such status would bring and protections from any fallout after those rewards grew tiresome.
The Emperor was sated as her Daughter grew in the image she wished, so aptly shaped by the tutor. ...A reflection of herself, someone to pass the throne to after her course was done.
...But the tutor wasn't just teaching her the art of cunning and the way of might.
The girl was curious and ever-questioning. Her intense gaze was full of greedy curiousity, and at times, a sad longing. Never had she set foot outside of the palace from the time of her adoption. Her innocence and finely-tuned talent a wholly unique dichotomy for one of her age and beauty in this amoral universe.
The questions had not narrowed to a finer more precise point until two words he had danced around were finally uttered from her mouth, 'the rebels'.
"...You lead them don't you?" she said, but it was more a statement than a question. Her naivety he counted on, her sharp deduction he underestimated.
He lied quickly and adeptly for both their sakes, but it didn't matter. She knew his tells, because he had taught them to her and like a dog with a bone she would not let go.
So, he thought to distract her... The Emperor would likely approve. The girl had been chaste for far too long and she had many eyes upon her within the palace, those whom she would not deem worthy. Those who would pluck without any care for the state of the flower after. She bloomed under his experienced attentions, as in this too he excelled.
It had been but a notion before, but no more. His world was encompassed by his proper tutelage of the Emperor's Daughter, so much he became middle-aged in this work. -There was no time to think... And then there was and it swallowed him whole, it strengthened and weakened him in equal measure. The perfection long sought, he was certain he'd found. Consummation made it tangible, the girl's imaginings and stubborn mind latched onto the rebels and her own first taste of desire. The power and lust in it. It became a taste she acquired, one which expanded to a lust for life beyond those palace walls.
...Beyond Mother, whom she now saw as her jailer and not the Liberator the child she once was, saw.
But he was good at distracting and so he did, while planning his own way of Liberating the Daughter from the Mother.
It failed and he had to flee before the Daughter was implicated.
He knew how to slip between the hedges. He was a snake after-all. His people captured, -they would not be granted a swift death.
He would find a way back to them. He would find a way back to her.
Until there wasn't a way.
She followed him and he watched her shuttle burn his eyes as it was blasted from it's course.
His agony was short-lived...His ambition twisted by his failure, encouraged by his knowledge of the Mother's secrets.
...The other universe.
Oh, he believed in fate, but he also believed that sometimes you have to give it a little push.