The impending sound of the explosion never arrived. His turbulent heart calmed down, and the ugly expression on Alyson’s face told him that Akira was safe.
Aizen turned around and looked at the peak where Azereus stood. The collar was not on Akira’s neck but in Renera’s hand. The prime Alpha of the Azereus had a satisfied smile on her face, and her eyes were looking in his direction.
“You owe me, Morningstar.”
Her motive finally became clear to Aizen. He recalled the moment Renera had put Alyson under her Frozen Glare. She had pierced a shard of ice in her neck and taken it out with her hand. At that time it only looked like she was intimidating Alyson, but in truth, she had done so to acquire her blood.
They had all been played by her. She always had the measure to save Akira and could have made them owe her by doing so. However, she had not only made them owe her but had used them to eliminate the deserters.
“Did you know that she would save her?”
“No…” Jalaisha answered.
“Why did you stop me then?”
“Do I need to answer that in the presence of everyone?” She teased him. “I wouldn’t mind though, after all…”
She didn’t finish her sentence, but he had understood what she wanted to say.
Aizen nodded to Renera and turned his attention back to Alyson and the Grey Wolf that stood behind her.
“Who is he?” He asked Jalaisha.
“His name is Victor. A Blood Wolf and the pet of Ares Stavros.”
“Oh, you seem to know me, Miss. Have we been in bed before?”
The wolf transformed back into a man and smiled lewdly.
“However, I am not a pet.”
“Yes. You are a traitor first, who betrayed his family and his Lord.”
The man laughed loudly as he heard her words and didn’t seem to mind what she had just said.
“Trust me. There’s nothing more satisfying than betraying the Devil of Pride.”
The Blood Wolf clan was the guardian family of the House Lucifer. Aizen looked at the man and his eyes squinted. This was a dangerous enemy. The two methods that Blood Wolves used to become stronger were by copulating with the other Monster Wolves and by devouring the Blood of stronger enemies. The Copulation made their bloodlines purer and stole the strength of their partner. Whereas devouring the blood of enemies boosted their strength.
The eight cloaked men behind him were all in the early False-Origin phase and now held metallic balls with black gems embedded on them.
These were the artifacts used to disrupt space fluctuations and stop someone from using space magic. The enemy had come prepared for them.
“Forgive me for being so rude, Morningstar, but you are not getting away today without handing over the Lycan behind you.”
“I don’t hand over things that belong to me.”
There was no need for him to even consider that.
Her voice was no more than a murmur, but her gratefulness pulsated in it.
“Oh well, it seems like we will have to battle it out.”
“I am so going to enjoy devouring your blood.” Victor licked his lips and smiled sinisterly.
Aizen was not sure if Renera would interfere. The enemies were powerful and they were already tired from the battle they had just fought. Jalaisha could deal with Victor easily, but there was Alyson on the enemy’s side. Add on to those cloaked people and the fact that neither he nor Viara would be able to use space magic, they were doomed to suffer casualties. He was glad that he had already sent Lysaria to the Star Palace.
“Do not stop me this time.”
“If she will not then I will.” Viara stubbornly spoke.
“You are not allowed to save us by sacrificing your life.”
The rest of the group nodded in agreement.
He needed to forcefully open the Space Channel to the Star Palace. He would lose several years of his life, but it was not a price he wasn’t willing to pay to secure their safety. He did not answer them and started to prepare for the Forbidden Magic.
“Ask me for help, and I will help you.”
Renera’s said to them and flew to their side together with Akira.
All of them surrounded Aizen protectively and blocked her path to approach him.
“Be wise, Morningstar. Perhaps you can get away without sacrificing hundreds of years of your life.”
“The enemy already knows that they cannot stop you from escaping and all they want is you to suffer a loss.”
“Do you want to grant them the satisfaction of achieving their goal?”
She let go of Akira’s hand and came to stand by the side of Jalaisha.
Aizen thought over her words and debated if he should take on her offer. But Viara spoke before he could even decide.
“Get rid of these enemies and I will listen to one of your requests as long as it’s not beyond our power and against our principles.”
Her words were not submissive. She did not beg for help.
“Very well, do remember your words, Empress.”
“Azereus!” She called out to her people. “Assemble for the war.”
“Do not meddle in the affair that doesn’t concern you, Old Woman!” Victor growled.
“No one gets to tell me what I need to do.” Renera’s eyes glinted blue, and she vanished from her place.
The next moment shockwaves spread on the summit as Alyson and Victor blocked her sword with their swords. The ground cracked open and both of them were sent flying, crashing into the mountain behind them.
No one was not shocked at her strength. Even Jalaisha clenched her fists tightly. This prime Alpha had fooled the world into thinking that she was just another True-Origin Monster.
Alyson had managed to get away with light injuries but Victor’s right arm was destroyed. It was destroyed by the sheer difference in physical strength.
Her one move had made the enemies scared, and they all gathered up in one place.
Alyson unbelievably looked at her sister and her body shivered in fear.
Victor’s face grimaced in pain. The blood dripped from the lost limb and dyed the snow under his feet in its color.
“We are leaving.”
The cloaked men channeled their mana in the Metallic balls and opened a space portal.
“I will make you pay for this, Morningstar. And she won’t live past today to save you on that day.”
He entered the portal, and the rest of his men followed.
Alyson took a last look around The Sky Mountains and entered the portal.
“Farewell.” Her words echoed after she was gone.
Renera didn’t stop her from leaving and walked towards his group. The smile on her face was pale, her menacing aura subsided and then vanished.
“What do you want?” He wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.
“Oh I will get to that, but I would like to know something first.”
Her smile brightened as she looked at Akira and then back at him.
“Was it you that got the Blood-Winged Lucifer to interfere in this war and seal our fate?”
“Yes. It was me.” He answered and remained ready to trigger his time magic.
The smile on Renera’s face paled and she looked at each one of them. Her silence scared them as their minds recalled the strength she had just displayed.
“Well, we got what was coming for us. You only fastened the arrival of the war.” She sighed.
“Why did you go that far for Akira?”
“I don’t want to answer that.”
“And what do you plan to do with her?”
Aizen frowned at her question but answered his intention.
“She will be my wife and serve as a knight to my High Queen, Vienna.”
His words surprised all of them.
“So she’s not going to be your mistress but will be your wife and also a knight to your first High Queen.” She mulled over what he had just said.
“Why? Why does she hold so much importance to you?”
“Is it related to Alana?”
“What do you want?” Aizen didn’t answer her questions, but he was quite surprised to see that Renera had guessed it right.
“I want you to take away the younger generation of Azereus with you. The name of Azereus must not end because of the mistakes of few.”
“You want me to take them to a safe place and shelter them from the world?”
“No. I want you to make Azereus one of the Guardian Families of the Star Palace.”
The group was quite shocked to hear her request. Only Jalaisha didn’t seem a bit surprised, but half of her face was masked so her reaction could not be confirmed.
Aizen thought over it but couldn’t find her request disadvantageous to him. Rather it was beneficial to the Star Palace. He had not wanted to think over the matter of Guardian Families for a few years since it was a pain to look for families willing to vow their eternal loyalty to you. And to find special and powerful bloodlines was more difficult. Being a Guardian family did not restrict the freedom, and the only obligation was to protect their Lord and his family with their own lives.
“Why didn’t you take on Ares’ offer then?” He asked the only question he had over this matter.
“He was not looking for a guardian family but slaves. You don’t seem to treat your guardians as some disposable pieces.” She said and glanced towards Arthur. “Also, Star Palace is the safest place in the two realms even though its ruler is always a dangerous man.”
“I will accept your offer, on the condition that I will decide who gets to lead your clan in the future.”
“Of course, you may decide on the next Matriarch of the Azereus.”
Aizen smiled at her words.
“There will be no Matriarch of the Azereus again.”
Contrary to his expectation, Renera didn’t seem to mind his words.
“I see. The old customs need to be repudiated.”
“Alright. Choose one then.”
“Akira” His words snapped her out of the thoughts she was lost in. “Who is the most capable male Alpha in the younger generation?”
“It’s Zeros, lady Renera’s only son.”
“It will be Zeros.” He looked at her and told her his decision.
Renera was surprised to see Aizen asking Akira to recommend the next Prime Alpha of Azereus. She thought he would test them and decide, but he had gone with what Akira had said.
It was not his laziness or inability as a ruler but his trust in Akira’s judgment. After all, she was to be his bride.
“Zeros” She called out her son.
“Yes, Mother?” A young boy in his early twenties walked over with a girl younger than him by his side.
Just a look at them and Aizen could tell that they were siblings and were Renera’s children. The resemblance was uncanny. He smiled as he saw the little girl protectively keeping the side of her brother.
“You will be the Future prime Alpha of the Azereus. The clan from today onwards will be the Guardian Family of the Star Palace.”
It took the siblings a while to register the words they had just heard. Their faces turned from surprise to shock and then to sadness.
“Mother, what about you?” The little girl asked.
“Only the younger generation gets to live. The predicament the clan has fallen under is because of the mistakes made by the Prime Alphas. I made some too.”
“I need to own them and fight for my pride today. If I live then the future of the clan is doomed. The old customs need to be repudiated for the new era to begin.” Renera smiled at them and said determinedly.
“I need to die observing the vows I had taken when I became the Matriarch of this Clan.”
Aizen and the rest didn’t bother the family of three and let them bid the farewell. Only he knew how much pain he was in right now. His head hurt as he had almost executed two forbidden techniques and constantly kept the time magic ready to be executed. His body was almost numb and even the slightest movement made it hard for him to breathe. He was constantly channeling his earth element to replenish his strength, but the numbness was not going away. However, he couldn’t show weakness here and make his family worried.
“Lia!” He called out her name softly and patted her head.
She looked at him with her innocent emerald eyes. Aizen knew how tired she was. She was not an expert in battles and today she had used almost all of her strength to protect everyone.
“I am thirsty.” Aizen teasingly said and got down on his knees.
Blush adorned her cheeks as her eyes glanced at everyone around them. It was usually how he asked her to feed him water when they were alone. But now she had to do it in front of everyone.
He smiled as she cupped his cheeks and put her lips on his. He sipped a kiss and then their tongues mingled as she produced water in her mouth and carefully poured in his. This exercise had enhanced her kissing skills, and Aizen felt proud of his ingenious idea.
When they were done being intimate and their lips separated. They found that everyone was looking at them. There was the surprise in some eyes and some were curious. Some averted their gazes after they realized that they had been staring.
Jalaisha pinched his back and he grunted in pain.
“Just you wait, Mister. I am so going to show this to her.”
Aizen saw her storing away a memory stone.
Viara frowned as she heard Jalaisha’s words and looked at Aizen with a questioning gaze.
“Lord Aizen, the people who will accompany you from today onwards have been selected.” Zeros respectfully said.
He was glad for the rescue and looked at the group of young Azereus assembled behind Zeros. They were 28 in total including Zeros. And most of them were in the Ancient Strength phase. Only Zeros was in the False-Origin phase.
He looked towards Lyla who stood behind Renera. She had rejected going with him, and it was evident on her face. Aizen was surprised to see the change in her eyes. The last time when he had seen her and pressed his dagger against her throat, she was scared of death. But right now her eyes were determined to embrace fate together with the people that stood by her side.
Renera caught him looking at Lyla and smiled.
“I hope you remember your words, Empress.” She looked at Viara.
“The request earlier clears the account your husband owed me for saving Akira.”
“Now it’s your turn to respect and observe your promise.”
Viara was baffled by her words and Aizen’s eyes became stern. He was not ungrateful and shameless enough to not acknowledge that he owed her, but how Renera was pushing her demands on them bothered him.
He nodded to Viara to go ahead and listen to what she had to request.
“If it’s nothing inappropriate and not beyond my power, I will accomplish it.”
“Oh don’t worry. It’s within your power. You are his Empress after all.” Renera nodded and said.
“There are some things even he can’t deny you.”
Aizen frowned as he heard those words. He couldn’t grasp what Renera wanted from Viara, but it was something concerning him.
“He chose Akira to be his Wife and the Knight to your younger sister.”
“I want you to marry Lyla to your Husband and make her your knight.”
“No!” It was Lyla who called out. “I don’t want to become his wife or her Knight!”
Yuliya burst out laughing when she heard Lyla’s words. It was the first time anyone of them had seen her laughing, and smiles crept on their faces.
The only person not smiling was Viara. She did not like Lyla’s words. It was as if this white wolf was looking down on her and her husband.
“I accept your request, lady Renera.” She said with a pale smile.
“I think I would enjoy taming an unruly Alpha.”
The look in her eyes scared Lyla as she stepped back.
“I don’t want it. Please.” She begged her aunt.
“It’s an order Lyla. You will listen to my request.”
Renera sternly looked at her.
“I want you to trust me on this.” She cupped her cheek and said.
Lyla looked reluctant first but then obediently lowered her head. She walked over to the side of Viara and silently stood there.
“With this, you don’t owe me anything, Morningstar.” Renera’s smile disappeared and her eyes turned serious. “However, I request you to look after them.”
It was the first time he didn’t feel bothered after hearing her words. He would look after his people even if no one asked him to.
Aizen nodded to Renera and sent a signal to the Star Palace.
A space channel opened behind him, and he ran his gaze over people who will be coming with him.
“Enter after saying your goodbyes.” He said and stepped in the space channel.
It took several minutes for all of them to arrive in the Star Palace. The last one to arrive was Jalaisha.
Aizen nodded to Arthur, gesturing him to lead the Azereus to choose the castle that would be their new home. He was in no mood to make them swear their loyalty to him today. Their minds were all lost in the thoughts of their clansmen who were about to engage in a war.
Vienna came over and lightly hugged him. He patted her head lovingly.
“Where is Lysaria?”
“I put her on your bed. She is still asleep.”
Aizen nodded to her and turned around.
“When do you plan to leave?” He asked Jalaisha.
“Why? Do you want to get rid of me?”
Aizen felt bad for not choosing his words wisely and apologetically smiled at her.
Jalaisha laughed lightly and shook her head.
“I have to leave right away. There are some things I need to help my Master with.”
Aizen nodded to her and placed his hand on the Black Star to open a channel for her. He turned around to look at her, but his lips were captured by her. The softness of her lips and her sweet breath melted his mind and he ardently reciprocated her sips. He wrapped his arms around her waist and squeezed her against him. The kiss was no longer gentle as they hungrily mingled their tongues.
When she separated from him she was panting and staggered back.
“You are so mean, Husband.” She giggled and said before disappearing inside the portal.
Aizen smiled at her words, but his smile froze when he felt several gazes locked on him. Their questioning eyes and the grave look on Viara’s face scared him. He wanted to sleep, but he had a lot of explaining to do now.
The night had fallen on The Sky Mountains and Renera addressed her clan for the last time.
“Fight for honor and pride.”
“Die contently, for our Clan would still live tomorrow.”
“Let the world see the might of the Rulers of The Sky Mountains!”
Everyone dispersed to take the position on their battlegrounds under the lead of Alphas.
Renera stood alone and stared at the full moon that shined brightly. She would die today, but there were no regrets in her heart.
However, a question still loomed in her mind that made her curious.
“Did you finally find the man worthy of you?” She voiced her question “Blood-Winged Lucifer, Arianna.”
She had always revered that woman that shined so brightly, it even made her envy. And in the morning she had received her letter. All she had done today was of her own will, but it was also suggested by Arianna Lucifer. Otherwise, she might have been reluctant to leave the future of her clan in a Morningstar’s hand.
Perhaps by having her on his side, he would never face the same fate as his ancestors.
She wondered if there was life even after death. Or she was about to fall in an eternal slumber. She truly wished that there was a life after death, or this Nature would be too boring.
♛ Author’s Note:
And the Sky Mountain Arc concludes here… Hope you guys liked it!.
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