Time is a strange law, and the law of emotions is a mystery. She couldn’t recall the last time she had happily conversed with someone, and she couldn’t recall the last time she had felt so safe in her life. It was not because she had forgotten about those times. It was because her mind was captivated by the happiness of the moment she was living.
Riley lay on the bed with her back resting against its head, and Arianna was lying by her side and narrating to her how she had ended up marrying Aizen. She felt happy for her sister, and the kind of emotions emanating in Arianna’s voice was different than any she had heard before. It was the first time she had heard Arianna respect and show interest in someone to such an extent. And somewhere along the line, she finally started feeling a little envious, and then she was a little depressed.
Arriana could read her emotions, and she smiled at Riley and nudged her nose.
“Be a good girl, ask your older sister to share her husband with you, and I might just allow it.”
“Ehhh..” Riley was taken aback by Arianna’s words, and the little depression vanished. She was surprised, but then she just smacked her fist lightly on Arianna’s shoulder and laughed.
“I am serious.”
The moment she heard Arianna’s words, her smile ceased, and she observed the expressions in her sister’s eyes.
“You want me to be with him?” Riley asked.
“Yes, and I need you by my side,” Arianna affirmed her intentions.
Riley contemplated on her sister’s words. She took her time and then sighed. Did she even have a choice? Her fate was not in her hands. She would be auctioned off at tomorrow night’s event, and her owner would put a Slave-Mark on her. The Slave-Mark would render her incapable of refusing any order by her Master, and she would turn into a toy.
Slave-marks could only be placed with the slave’s consent. And there were several potions in this world and strange abilities that could make anyone give their consent. Is she would fall in the hands of the Hand of Kosmos, someone from the Zion Family would come and help her Master get her consent. She would be helpless in that situation.
“I will be sold off,” Riley lowered her head.
“Do you think I would allow anyone to get their hand on you?” Arianna smiled at her little sister. “I have already talked it over with Aizen. We will not allow anyone else to win you in that Auction. Do not worry about it.”
“Am I worth the price that you will be paying for me?” She looked in Arianna’s eyes as she asked this question.
“Yes, you are important to me,” Arianna replied without hesitation.
“Okay.” Riley nodded. “If you manage to save me, then I am yours.”
Arianna squinted her eyes and gravely looked at her little sister.
“You realize that I can read your thoughts and emotions, right?” She reprimanded her. “You are my sister, Riley. You are not my slave, and you will never be a slave to anyone.”
Riley lowered her head embarrassedly. She knew that she had made her sister upset with the thoughts that were running in her mind.
“You can choose to go wherever you would want to go. I am not going to force you.” Arianna sighed and sat up on the bed. “I asked you to be with me because I need you by my side, and I want my sister to be safe. You can choose your fate after I have saved you from the predicament you have fallen into.”
Her words were sincere, and she gently patted Riley’s head before getting up from the bed.
“Take the Dew of Life now.” Arianna smiled at her. “It’s said that it recovers the injuries at a miraculous speed. I have never seen it before.”
Riley hesitated slightly and called out the vial from her Blood-Ring. The Dew of Life was only a drop, but it was precious enough that she couldn’t afford it. And she knew that if she took it, she would owe her sister a favor. She was not worried about owning her sister a favor, what worried her, was owning a favor to the Morningstar.
“It’s not Aizen’s property. I earned it from an elf after I had helped him in a few things.”
Arianna didn’t tell her anything more than that and waited for her to take it. And Riley didn’t keep her waiting for long.
She opened the vial and downed the drop of the Dew of Life. The moment it entered her mouth, her senses exploded, and she felt as if she was bathing in the air around her. The clothes she was wearing irritated her skin, and she fumbled out of them. Her fair skin was oozing out perspiration, but her body was not warming up. It was turning cold. The feeling was not uncomfortable for her, it was rather blissful. And the taste of the Dew of life was unlike anything she had drunk before. It was only a drop, and she was already craving for more. The blood inside her vessels seemed to be rejuvenated, and her heart started pounding in her ears. The touch of her skin was cool, but she could feel the blood warming up, and then she felt the injuries inside of her body recovering in the blink of an eye.
Her eyes looked at her missing hand in anticipation. The wrist was reforming itself, and then the bone extended out and started taking the shape of a hand. The joints appeared one after the other, and her hand was soon covered by numerous blood vessels. It was as if her blood vessels were knitting themselves in the form of a hand, and her hand was now growing back its flesh. It only took a few minutes before her eyes looked at her hand as if it had never been missing. There was no sign of an injury, and not a scar was left inside or outside her body. It was as if she was born again, and the energy inside her body seemed to not diminish in the least.
She was already in True-Origin Blood Realm, and so she didn’t need the Dew of Life to increase her lifespan. The remaining energy strengthened her immune system before settling down and letting her absorbed it. She knew that her injuries would heal faster than before. As time passed, the energy inside her body paled, and her crimson eyes got darker.
Arianna observed the changes taking place in Riley’s body, and she was amazed at the benefits that the Dew of Life had on the physique of a person. Riley had not realized it, but her body was now more powerful than before. Even her elemental control had improved. She was proud of her little sister for touching the first phase True-Origin Realm at the age of only 700 years.
“Congratulations!” Arianna smiled brightly and hugged Riley.
She didn’t know why Arianna was so happy, but her heart warmed in the embrace of her sister. She was embarrassed about being naked and being hugged by Arianna, but she didn’t mind it.
“Thank you.” She said from the bottom of her heart. In some part of her mind, she had prepared herself for the worst fate possible, and she was ready to live the rest of her as a cripple. And now that she didn’t have to think of all that, her heart felt at ease.
Arianna let go of her and set her loose hair off her face. She smiled at her little sister gently. She had left the House of Lucifer when Riley was only seventeen years old, and even though they had met from time to time, she had never managed to spend a lot of time with her. And now she was adamant about keeping her by her side. But she was not going to force anything on her. Riley had the right to make the decision herself.
“Let me know what your answer is when you have made up your mind. Take all the time you need. Don’t worry about anything, okay?” She caressed her cheek and then turned around to leave, “I will send someone to call you over for dinner. And yes, dress your best, my Husband will be there.” She ended her words with a mischievous laugh. Arianna knew that it was hard for girls to resist Aizen’s temptation. She had already planted the idea in Riley’s mind, and now it was just a matter of time.
“Arianna,” Just as she was about to walk out of the door, Riley called out.
“Yes?” She asked with a smile.
“I agree,” Riley nodded to herself and answered Arianna. “I will take your offer. But yes, I have my pride.” She reminded Arianna with her words that she was also the Devil of Pride.
Arianna laughed at her words and then smiled brightly at her little sister.
“Of course,” She said and walked out of the room. “You will be the Knight to me, and a wife to our Husband.” Her words whispered in Riley’s ears.
Riley stood there in a daze, and a smile bloomed on her face. How silly of her to even think that Arianna would mistreat her. She walked back to the bed to get some sleep. She was looking forward to meeting Aizen, the man who had managed to woe her Older Sister, and the man who would be her husband.
Arianna walked down the hallway with a pleasant smile on her face. It was good that Riley had already made up her mind, and now she could take part in the game that Aizen was playing with his women. She understood what he was doing, and why he had made Vienna a High-Queen and Viara the Empress. She understood the reason the rest of the girls had yet to figure out. He wanted to empower his Empress and the High-Queens and make them equal to each other. He wanted them to compete against each other, and become powerful, in both mind and strength. If he had made Vienna the Empress, Viara would have happily submitted herself to the Empress, and he didn’t want that. It wouldn’t have been fun for him. And she was more than willing to play this game. She wanted to feel what it would be like competing against the other girls. It was going to be a new experience for her.
Aizen stood inside the Palace Core by the side of the Black Star, and he was waiting for the women who were going to accompany him to the Central State. His heart felt a little empty, as he had not seen Liafina for these few days. The bond of a Master and his Shadow was a bond of souls, and he realized now why Lysaria always worried about Viara. And why Meera and Vienna were always happy with each other. The blood-bond of a Shadow was not so simple. It was a double-edged sword. As the Master of the bond, he had the power to shut off this emptiness in his heart that Liafina’s absence created, but that would be a torture to her as she would not be able to feel the bond between them. It was the worst kind of punishment for the Shadow. Being alienated by their Master could kill them. The sadness would eat them alive.
He was lost in his thoughts when a person entered the hall, and his eyes stayed on her. Her blooming smile warmed his heart, and all the uneasiness was erased by that warmness. She walked over to him, tiptoed, and planted a kiss on his lips, before hugging him and burying her head in his chest.
He wrapped his arms around her protectively and planted a kiss on her head.
“Brother, don’t keep me waiting for long this time.” She whispered, and her body trembled.
“I won’t.” He squeezed her in his arms and sighed.
Aizen felt bad for not being able to take her with him. He had his reasons. A Ka’zaed Blood must stay in the Star Palace at all times. And Viara was already in the Central State. And then there was the protectiveness that didn’t allow him to take Vienna with him. He was protective of her more than anyone else. It was because he knew he loved her the most. And then there was her beauty. Her beauty was sublime enough to wreak havoc in the World. She was getting prettier each day. And each day he would be dazzled by her charm. The deadly possessiveness in his heart for her even scared him at times.
The rest of the girls entered the hall one after the other, and no one had disturbed them as they hugged as if this was the end of the world.
Vienna only let go of him when everyone had arrived. She controlled her heart, and only after the mistiness in her eyes had sobered, did she turn around and smile to everyone. She gave way to Meera to enter Aizen’s embrace and walked over to have a chat with Xeina, Akira, Lysaria, Lyla, and Zeros. They were the people who were going to accompany Aizen to the Central State. It was Vienna who had decided that Xeina and Zeros would also go with him in addition to Lyla and Akira. Zeros had complied with the High-Queen’s command. And Xeina had accepted Vienna’s offer without any reluctance. Lysaria had to go to the Central State as she was worried about Viara, and a Shadow must always stay by the side of its Master. But Little Fairy was going to stay back at the Palace with Vienna. She was unwilling at first, but then she accepted as she enjoyed the care and love of Vienna. And she loved playing with her and Meera. She was not going to get bored. She was only unwilling because she was worried about Xeina, and after Xeina had assured her that she would return soon, Ayana had happily complied.
Aizen knew that Vienna was helping Ayana grow up. She had always been the care of Xeina, it was not wrong, but she now had to spend some time focusing on herself, and exploring herself. Xeina too understood that, and so she hadn’t interfered in Vienna’s plans. His High-Queen had even befriended Yuliya. It was hard for anyone to resist her charm. Yuliya was very excited about going to the Central State with everyone, but when Vienna had asked her to stay back with her, she had readily complied. He hadn’t believed his eyes when he had seen her readily comply with Vienna’s request. The unruly Alpha seemed quite docile in the presence of Vienna.
There was another person present in the hall with everyone else. It was a little girl called Rin. She was Zeros’ little sister’s wife. And she seemed unwilling to let go of her brother’s hand. Aizen smiled when he saw Zeros apologetically looking at him for her behavior.
He didn’t mind her behavior at all. He was pleased by her behavior. He liked how much she cared for her brother, and it was a pleasant sight to him. He knew that her presence was the reason why Zeros was so capable. She made him complete, even though she was not as powerful as him.
Aizen picked up Meera who had been hugging him and caught her lips. He sipped them and earned a giggle from his little bride.
“Always be as mischievous as you are, naughty girl. I love you.” He said to her and planted a kiss on her nose before putting her back on her feet.
“Don’t worry, Brother. I am never going to change even if you ask me to.” She pulled out her tongue at him before escaping away. “I love you!” Her words echoed in his ears, and he could see the blush intensifying on her face.
This little girl never shied away from expressing her feelings, no matter who was present around her. She was dangerous.
Meera walked over to the other girls that were going to leave and gave them generous hugs and kisses on their cheeks. Everyone had happily accepted them, even Lyla hadn’t refused her. She had understood what kind of a personality this little girl was, and she realized that there was no good in refusing her.
Lyla was still not at ease in this place. Everything was new to her. The enthusiasm and the contagious happiness of Vienna, Meera, and Ayana was something that made her apprehensive, yet she couldn’t help but smile every time she laid her eyes on them laughing and creating mischief. She felt defenseless against them, and that was what scared her. But she had long ago realized that no one held any animosity to her, and everyone here accepted her as a part of their family. She wanted to behave casually with them, but she was not as good as Akira at expressing her feelings, and so she had still not adapted to the new environment completely.
Akira was happy being here. She loved everything about this place. She loved the people that lived here, and she loved the atmosphere this place emanated. Here, she felt at home, and she felt an inexplicable feeling in her heart that she couldn’t explain. She felt like she had a family again. Something that she had missed almost all her life.
Her eyes landed on Aizen who was standing near the Black Cyrstal Star, and she found him wearing a happy smile as his eyes ran over everyone present around him. That sort of smile on his perfect face made her heart beat faster. And she knew that she was already his. She still remembered his words that she would be his wife. He had not made a move on her yet, but she knew that she was not safe from his clutches for long. He was only giving her time to get used to this life. Her mind indulged in thoughts that she had never indulged in before coming to this place, and she lowered her eyes to control the heat that had started emanating on her cheeks.
“It’s time.” Aizen’s voice echoed in the hall.
The words were said gently, but everyone’s expressions changed after hearing them. They knew that it was time to get serious. All of them looked at Aizen and watched him as he placed his hand on the Black Crystal and opened a Portal. And those that were going to accompany him stepped forward.
Rin let go of Zeros’ hand after planting a kiss on it. And her body lightly shivered. Vienna who was not away from her appeared by her side and wrapped her arm around her.
“Your brother will be fine.” She told her, and Rin nodded to her.
Hearing Vienna saying those words to her, helped her control her emotions. Rin had seen how much Vienna loved Aizen, and she knew that Vienna was experiencing the same feelings that she was experiencing. And if she was certain that her Aizen would return, then she had to be certain for her Zeros as well. She didn’t want to be a burden on her brother.
“Go,” Aizen said to Zeros and the rest. And Akira stepped first inside the portal followed by Lyla and Zeros. After them, Lysaria entered the Portal, and lastly, Xeina entered it.
Aizen didn’t enter the portal as he walked over to the Little Fairy and patted her head.
“Take care of Vienna, okay?” He asked her and earned a blush from her. The Little Fairy nodded to him and lowered her head to hide her blush.
Aizen smiled at her behavior, and then he turned to Yuliya that was standing there. He smiled at her and nodded to her. And she nodded back to him. He didn’t need to tell her what she needed to do. She was going to look after everyone in the Palace, and also watch over the Azereus in the absence of Zeros. He walked over to the Portal and left words for them before entering it.
“The smiles must stay on.”
♛ Author’s Note:
Stay Blessed! Keep smiling!.
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