Aizen was staring at the Golden-haired girl that sat across him. Their eyes were locked, and they both had smiles on their faces. However, the smile on the girl’s face was in amusement whereas the smile on his face was to cover up his restlessness. He felt naked under her gaze.
Lysaria sat by his side and she vigilantly looked at the two girls sitting in front of them. The fact that they had been recognized even in their masks and illusion cloaks was scary. Coupled with the fact that the purple-eyed girl was immensely strong, it rang the crisis bells in her head.
Keira, however, felt irritated by the fact that Aizen was ignoring her completely. He had not even said a word to them and had only gestured them to sit when they arrived in the suite. It was just the same as before. He wouldn’t initiate the talk with her on his own accord.
“Lord Aizen. If you are uncomfortable with our presence here, we can just leave.” She said in her irritation and unlike her usual composed self. It was too late for her to realize her mistake as he just looked at her and smiled some more. He was amused to see her behave in such a manner.
“What do you want from me, Lady Zion?” He asked her.
“Please address me by my name. It’s Keira.” She replied. The fact that he always addressed her unemotionally as a Zion irritated her. She didn’t like it and wanted him to see her for who she was and not by her family. However, she couldn’t blame him for his guard and attempts to draw a clear line between them. Her family had their hands smeared in his family’s blood.
Aizen only nodded to her and looked forward to her to explain the reason for coming here.
“Don’t you want to know how I recognized you even with the attire you wore?” She asked to get some of his curiosity.
“It was not you who recognized me. It was the lady sitting by your side. And I don’t think you would tell me the specific details about her.” He replied casually and looked back in the Blue eyes that still made him feel naked.
Keira felt disappointed and lost in his reply. It was so easy for him to get on her nerves that even she couldn’t believe it.
“She’s Irina, my Shadow. She specializes in Clairvoyance and has a variant power in her eyes that can see through everything other than the thoughts and emotions. She, however, can still tell when a person is lying or speaking the truth.” She replied in hope of showing her sincerity to him.
He was quite surprised to find her reveal this to him. And he was shocked and uncomfortable as his doubts proved right. She could see through the clothes. And he was naked in front of her. Lysaria too seemed to have understood it as she tried to hide her privates.
Irina chuckled as she found it amusing and spoke in a soft and sweet-sounding voice. “Don’t worry. I can control what I want to see. You are still dressed in my eyes.”
They both felt relieved at her words even though they didn’t know if she was telling the truth or not.
“My apologies, Lord Aizen, for not giving my name before. I can’t say it unless Keira allows it.” She said respectfully.
“It’s fine.” He replied with a nod and turned his focus to Keira. He slightly raised his brow questioningly.
“Do you think Yuren’s reason is just as simple as revenge?” She inquired for seeking his opinion.
“There’s always more to everything than what we can see and hear. And also to what we can understand.” He replied in affirmation.
“Do you plan on completing the task and acquire the dagger?” She asked again.
“I don’t know. But I do want that dagger.”
“So do I,” She smiled and continued, “But we cannot acquire it if we act alone.”
“You are here to ally with me on this?” He asked with a smile.
Aizen had already guessed it, and he too realized that if he wanted something out of what was going to happen on The Whistling Star, he needed to collaborate with some people. He could just call Viara but the Vow he made did not allow him to do that. He knew she would follow him even without asking questions, but he didn’t want to put her in harm’s way.
“Yes, if you are okay with it.” She replied.
“May I ask what you would do if I reject?” He asked seriously.
Keira smiled at him and said. “I would leave this place then and give up the pursuit for the dagger.”
Aizen couldn’t help but be lost in her purple eyes for a moment. She was beautiful but she was someone who he couldn’t be careless with. He sobered his mind and laughed lightly at her words.
“Sure. We can work on this together. However, we need one more ally.” He said to her and asked. “Is there anyone who we can trust on this deal?” He knew that Irina had seen through all the people present in the Hall.
“There are few people but I would suggest Aaron Avalon and his Sister-Wife Alexa.” She answered as if she had already expected him to ask this question.
He remembered meeting Aaron at the ceremony. His amiable and sincere eyes had left a good impression on him, and he was someone with a capable mind and strength.
“Any idea about where he might be right now?”
“He’s staying here in the Moonlight Inn. Irina had seen him this morning walking out of the 12th Floor.” She answered.
Aizen walked over to the side desk and wrote a message to Walden on the Virtual Screen.
He sat back on his couch and asked.
“So who else was present in the Room?”
It was not long after they had discussed some things that a knock on the door was heard.
“He’s here,” Aizen said and saw Irina nod to him. He walked over to the door and opened it.
“Lord Aizen.” Aaron nodded respectfully “It was quite a surprise.” He said with a smile. The woman by his side was undoubtedly his sister. Her golden eyes were just as deep as his.
Aizen respectfully averted his eyes and looked back at him. “I hope you didn’t mind it.” He said sincerely.
To have found where they were residing when they were not willing to be seen by people could be considered rude.
“No worries, Lord Aizen. I know you wouldn’t hold any ill intentions towards us.” Aaron said sincerely.
“Of course, please come in.” He invited them in and led them to the lounge.
Aaron and Alexa were quite surprised to see Keira present there. They looked at Aizen and understood a few things. They were called here to not just for a chat but to talk some business as well.
After the greetings, they all sat down and asked about the well-being of their families. Aizen then asked Aaron about his intentions for the dagger.
“I do want that dagger. It’s a priceless treasure and a deadly weapon.” Aaron replied affirmatively.
“Well, then I will start with what I have understood of the situation,” Aizen said as he ran his eyes over the people present.
“Yuren’s motive is not as simple as revenge. There’s more to it. With his strength, he could have easily braved the risk of killing Mervin and Selena, but he didn’t. He sought help from various influences to achieve his goal. He put out a Priceless family heirloom that no sane man would offer to other people without a life-threatening reason.”
“I believe that he holds something even more precious than the Dagger. It doesn’t mean that it’s another treasure but may very well be something he wants to protect, and for that, he can’t risk his life taking revenge on Mervin. But something, shortly, might happen which Yuren worries about. Mervin must know the treasure that he holds. Therefore, he decided to use people to get rid of Mervin as soon as possible.”
Everyone nodded in agreement with his words, and they were all in deep thoughts.
“I can tell that as soon as Mervin realizes the danger he is in. He will do something shocking to get the attention off him. Yuren in his urgency made a mistake. He forgot that if the treasure he’s protecting is revealed to the world, the attention of people will lock on him.”
“It’s possible that Mervin might not reveal the treasure Yuren is protecting if he wants it for himself. But if he does do something shocking, which I believe will be offering another treasure of equal if not more value than the Dagger, it will make people wonder about what is going on. At that time not only Mervin but Yuren as well will be the target of the people.”
“So we can pretty much assume that there are going to be at least two treasures involved in this play. And if the second treasure does come in the play then we can expect that the most valuable thing is in Yuren’s possession, the third treasure.”
Everyone was shocked when they thought of this possibility and looked at Aizen absentmindedly.
Aaron quickly regained his composure and asked. “If this happens then it will result in a War. So we need to do what we have to before that War starts.” It would be a lie to say that he wasn’t tempted by the prospect of so many treasures involved, even if this meant great danger.
“It will not be easy to get our hands on all the treasures. Laurent and Louisiana were present in the Room earlier. So was the 5th in command of the Jade Temple. There were people from the two other families of The Hand of Kosmos. I also believe that people of other Hidden Organizations were present as well.” Keira said solemnly.
“It’s good to have all these people in the play. It will keep any of them from acting rashly before the right time.” Aaron nodded and gave his evaluation.
Everyone nodded to his words and then Alexa asked. “How exactly are we going to get our hands on these treasures? Will we go after Mervin, or will it be Yuren?”
“Our target is Yuren. But we are not going to kill him to acquire those treasures. After all, the Lady of the House was the broker of the deal with Yuren. She might not like us acting in such a manner.” Aizen said to the surprise of people but everyone soon understood his reason.
“We will contact Yuren and try to set up another deal with him. A deal he will not be able to refuse when the right time comes. He will hand over whatever treasures he has only to us.”
Everyone was curious as to what was going on in his mind, and Lysaria couldn’t endure it but ask “How exactly will we do that?”
Aizen smiled mischievously and said “We will play on his weakness. We will offer him to protect what he is protecting in exchange for the dagger.”
Lysaria was quite displeased at his way of exploiting other people’s weaknesses so shamelessly. But she understood that sometimes such methods were the safest and most effective.
“But that treasure seems to be something he doesn’t want to hand over to people. Will he just hand it over to us?” Aaron asked his doubt.
“When the situation demands, a man can do things he never thought of doing before. Hope is contagious.” Aizen lightly said but his words caused a chill to run down their spines.
Later that night, Aizen prepared a message for Yuren through the Broker. And early next morning, a News spread in the secret corners of The Whistling Star. An unknown man had put a Vial of Immortal Dew as a reward to the person who kills the man named Yuren. Those present in the meeting yesterday all knew that the unknown man was indeed Mervin. He faced an assassination attempt last night in the Ianserk Court. This news, however, was not known to the general public.
“Immortal Dew” Aaron spoke as they all sat on the table enjoying the breakfast. “That’s an attractive reward.”
Immortal Dew was something that was very scarce and only some Fairies and Elves possessed it. The only place you could get the immortal dew from was a Billion-Year-Old Tree of Life. But there was a catch, after extracting this dew the Tree would die. That was why there were no known Trees of Life left in this world, much less the Billion-year-old ones.
A single drop could heal any kind of injury and regenerate any organ that had been lost. And if there was no injury, this Dew of Life would extend the lifespan of a person by 10 Thousand Years at least. It must be remembered that a person at the peak of False Origin could only live for a maximum of 10 Thousand years. Any year after that point aged the man and took away his vitality, and in a decade or two, he would reduce to ashes.
This kind of reward was something that would draw in the attention of all Old Men that despite being the powerhouses they were, now happened to be on the verge of a Natural and depressing Death.
“So, Yuren owns something extremely valuable” Keira concluded.
“Could it be an Origin Blood of Elven Bloodline?” Alexa asked.
“That’s not likely to be the case. Even if Yuren doesn’t want that Blood to get in the hands of Mervin, he will simply destroy it or just consume it himself. There’s no need for him to be so rash.” Aaron thought for a while and concluded that it wasn’t an Origin Blood.
They all went on to speculate the thing that was in Yuren’s possession while Aizen, without any care, enjoyed the Breakfast. It didn’t matter to him whatever it was, as long as he could get his hands on it.
“Let’s just wait for Yuren to make a wise choice.” He said lightly, and everyone on the table couldn’t help but smile.
Yuren was sitting in his room and he held an incinerating letter in his hand. His expression was painful, and his heart ached as he looked at the girl sleeping peacefully on the couch next to him.
He knew that his decision to offer the dagger was rash but he had no choice. Mervin and Selena had to die before the entire world would come after what that he had protected for thousands of years. He had already gotten the news of Mervin surviving the assassination attempt and posting a reward on his head. He couldn’t help but mockingly laugh when he saw that it was the Immortal Dew that his entire family had died for, being posted as the reward.
He had received this letter not long after he had received Mervin’s news. He was quite surprised to see the name of the sender. But the content in the letter shocked him. He felt mortified about his decision, but it was too late now. The world wanted the Dagger and just like the letter mentioned, with Mervin offering the treasure, the world would soon come for the most valuable thing as well.
He couldn’t help but dread the thinking of the new Morningstar. And he couldn’t blame him for taking advantage of his weakness. He found the letter as his only hope of acquiring trusted allies. He had no choice but to risk trusting the Morningstar, but he was not going to trust him blindly. The Morningstar wanted the treasures, and so he had to earn them.
The war was inevitable now, and he had already braced himself for the worst outcome.
♛ Author’s Note:
The new Poll for the Story of the Month is up on my Patreon. It will be deciding which story I will be focusing on this month, let’s see what happens. The result comes out on Sunday.
To know the result, you can join my discord server. The link is on the ToC page. See you there!