Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer? Maybe, but he preferred to keep his friends at arms length and his enemies dead.
Some called him evil, but he knew they were wrong. He took no joy in cruelty. He simply understood what power was: the ability to remove limits, and that was what he'd always done. He had worked his way up, becoming Advisor to Princes and Kings, and now he was Emperor. One by one, he had rid his life of limitations, until few remained.
What was next? Godhood?
Yeah, that seemed like a good place to start.