“I heard that you were present on The Sky Mountains before the war broke out,” Keira asked as Aizen led her and Irina to the lounge of the guest area. “I was informed that you were there for a girl. Is that true?”
Despite her casual voice, he caught the unease engulfing her heart. A smile crept on his lips.
“Yes,” He answered. “I was there for Akira Azereus.” He didn’t say anything more than that.
Keira managed to stay quiet for a minute before she couldn’t help but voice the question that was eating her.
“You braved all that risk for her, why?”
“She is important to me. And in a sense, she is the sister of the woman who gave birth to me.” He glanced at her and mirthlessly smiled.
Perhaps it was the melancholic smile on his face that her worries were no longer about her selfishness but concerned for the person she loved. She didn’t ask any more questions regarding Akira. His answer was enough to make her understand why Akira was important to him. It was not that she had no questions to ask. She wanted to know the mystery the world was trying to figure out. Everyone wanted to know how the last Empress of the Star Palace managed to save the legacy of the Morningstar. She was no different.
Aizen sighed as she didn’t raise more questions. He was receiving one surprise after another from this Princess, and even though things were in his expectations, the reality still left him a little shocked. She cared for him.
“You have heard of the treasure that was in Azereus’ hands, right? It belonged to my Mother. I was sealed inside it.”
Irina and Keira listened to his words with shock evident on their faces. They had not expected that he would reveal this to them, but what shocked them was the truth of the matter. The Morningstar was sealed inside a treasure for thousands of years, and no one in the world had any clue about it.
“A forbidden Time and Space magic,” He nodded at them, “The price was her life.”
The sadness in his voice congested their hearts, but they didn’t know what to say to him to console him.
“I have two Mothers, and both of them sacrificed their lives for me. My Empress-Mother, whose blood runs in my veins, and the other is the one who gave birth to me by sacrificing her Life Essence. It was Alana Azereus, Akira’s older sister.”
Keira realized that the place of Akira in his heart was due to his love for his mother, Alana. It made her uncomfortable, but she realized that he had no power over his feelings for that girl. She was after all his mother’s little sister.
“So you had to save her from the predicament Azereus were about to suffer,” She nodded to herself and tried to console the unease in her heart that had suddenly risen.
“Yes, and since my High-Queen needed a Knight, I decided it would be Akira.” He revealed some more information to them. “Akira will be my wife in the future.”
“Your High-Queen, Vienna?”
“Yes,” He nodded. “Also, I found a Knight for my Empress as well. It’s Lyla Azereus, Akira’s cousin, and Allison’s daughter.”
“What?!” Irina exclaimed in shock.
Keira kept quiet when she heard his words. Her eyes flashed a cold glint at the mention of Allison. The Alpha was on her hit list since she was now Ares’ subordinate. The fact that Lyla was Allison’s daughter made her hold some animosity towards her even though she had never met her. She was aware of the kind of personality Allison was. How different could a daughter be from her mother?
“You were forced to accept her as your Empress’ Knight, right?”
Her question surprised Aizen. He glanced at her and found her looking at him for an answer. And he didn’t need another glance to see that she was worried for his safety. The most dangerous enemy would dress as your trusted and stab you when you least expect it.
“She’s not like her mother,” He smiled at her as he said his words. “You will realize that, eventually.” Then the smile on his face bloomed. “She’s a fiery girl with an exciting beauty.”
Irina giggled as she heard the playfulness in his voice. He had not hidden his desire for that girl, and somehow, she didn’t find it repulsive.
The Morningstar was notorious for his lustful nature. It was a common belief that beautiful women were his weakness. But no one to date had truly managed to exploit that weakness. The charm of the Lord of Star Palace was even more terrifying than that of the Devils. It was impossible for women to not fall for him after being with him.
“Be careful, Lord Aizen,” Keira said. “The most poisonous creatures are one of the most beautiful ones.”
She scornfully looked at Irina who was smiling brightly. Her shadow knew that she was not happy with his remarks about Lyla’s beauty, but she was taking his side now.
“So tell me, Miss Keira,” He chuckled. “How deadly is your venom?”
His question took her by surprise, and she coldly looked at him. It took her a while to realize that it was a compliment to her beauty.
“Very,” She smiled palely and answered. “Pray that I don’t bite you.” She warned him.
“I do, Keira. I do.” He smiled and nodded to the Maids that were waiting outside the lounge.
Keira’s smile ceased at his answer. Her heart became uncomfortable. His words told her clearly that he didn’t trust her completely and still held some reservations against her in his heart. However, he had not addressed her with her family name this time, and it was her only solace in the turmoil of her emotions.
She had to take her mind off her fears, and so she made a request that surprised him.
“Would you let me take a look at your Sword?” She asked. “I want to see the weapon that the world fears just as much as they fear you.”
Aizen turned around and looked her in the eyes. He wasn’t mad at her request. But his eyes were grim right now.
“You cannot handle it.” He told her. “It will corrupt you.”
Irina and Keira looked confused at his words, but then they realized what he meant.
“Is that because it’s a Divine Weapon with its own consciousness?”
Aizen nodded to her.
“Even I can’t fully control it. Every time I call it out, it wants me to dye the world in Blood.”
He felt a chill run up his spine as he recalled how blood-crazed he had felt on The Sky Mountains. The sword was his, and it would never harm him. It would never make him lose his mind, but the sword excited his desire for blood, and it was terrifying.
“May I see it?” Keira insisted.
He sighed at her behavior. She was too stubborn. She would only accept things after experiencing them herself. It was the trait of her personality that made her strong as well as vulnerable.
“Fine,” He agreed.
“Keira, if he’s saying that you can’t handle it, then don’t insist on it.” Irina expressed her worries.
“Let her see it for herself.” Aizen shook his head to Irina.
He placed his hand on his Blood-Ring and then pulled out the Sword from inside it.
Irina, who had just been a moment ago worried about the harm that the sword might cause Keira, was now looking at the beauty of the sword in admiration. The blade was shiny, and thin, and felt deadly sharp. It was clear as a mirror and held a deadly charm to it.
Keira impatiently stepped forward and looked at it closely. Her eyes scrutinized every inch of it, and the glint in her eyes brightened. She carefully drew her finger to it, and when it touched the surface of the mirror-like blade, she felt as if her soul would be frozen by it. It was cold as death.
“May I hold it?” She asked.
She was scared of the feeling the sword emanated, but it inflated her curiosity and interest in it. She loved Swords, and this was the first time she had seen a sword that gave her the fear of death.
“Lady Keira,” Aizen shook his head. “You are crazy.” He complimented her will and love for death.
She sweetly smiled at his words. She liked the compliment.
“Here,” He shook his head again at her ambitious heart.
Keira held onto the hilt and took it off his hands. For a moment, she felt as if she could rule the entire world. The feeling of holding death in her hands was ethereal. She loved it. And then, when a smile blossomed on her lips, her heart stopped, and her soul froze. She couldn’t breathe, and her mind was hammered by a pang of incredible pain. She opened her mouth to cry out, but the voice never came out of her. Her vision darkened, and right before she fainted, she fell in the arms of Aizen.
“Stupid,” He chuckled as he picked her up and carefully put her down on the couch.
His eyes then turned to the Sword that was hovering in the air, and he drew his hand to it. The sword rushed to him at an incredible speed and planted itself in his hand. It was only after he had stored the Sword back in his ring that Irina stopped shuddering in fear.
“What was that?” She asked with a pale face. Her eyes were lost, and her voice was hollow.
“What was what?” He feigned ignorance and asked back.
“That coldness that had engulfed us. It was…”
Aizen stepped close to her and pulled her in his embrace. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her protectively. The devoid expression in her eyes finally subsided. The coldness that was haunting her was gone now. It was replaced by his warmth.
“It’s fine now,” She shyly said.
“Is it?” He refused to let go of her. He quite liked the feeling of her ample breasts. The softness and elasticity were enchanting.
“Yes…” She struggled and then managed to free herself from his hold. She lowered her head to hide her blush, and then angrily said her next words. “You harmed my Master.”
“But you could have stopped her. You knew that she would lose consciousness and suffer, right?” Irina glared at him. She wasn’t truly mad at him. She knew that it was Keira’s stubbornness that caused her the harm. She was just unhappy that Aizen had let her be stubborn.
“I didn’t stop her because it was beneficial for her,” He said. “She’s just a step away from True-Origin Realm, and she has now tasted what the absolute Power is. It will help her in her Final-Awakening.” He warmly smiled at her.
Irina unbelievably looked at him. She didn’t know what to say to him. He was wearing a smile on his face, but his eyes were shining in a mischievous light. He had the sword under his control, and he had deliberately made Keira go through that pain so she could benefit from it. He had done it for her sake, but also his amusement.
“You…” She wanted to confront him, but then she felt another presence in the room and turned around to look behind her.
The man in the Golden Armor stood there with his eyes fixed on Aizen. His tall and well-built stature gave him an overbearing presence.
“Victorian” Aizen nodded to him.
“Lord Aizen,” He nodded back with a smile. “I guess the presence I felt a moment ago was your doing?”
“Yes, you see, Lady Zion wanted to see what it would feel like to hold my Sword in her hands.” He said as he pulled out the Chaos Blade once again. He waved it lightly as if it was just another ordinary sword.
Irina was shocked that the sword wasn’t emanating the coldness of death as it did before. Her eyes once again glared at Aizen.
“You want to try it, Victorian?” Aizen smiled palely and sent the sword flying towards him.
The Sword hovered before the tall man, whose eyes scanned it with interest. Who in the world had not heard of the notoriety of the Chaos Blade? It was one of the most desired weapons in the world. It was one of a kind treasure. But unfortunately, Victorian knew the truth that only a few people knew, he was not going to fall in Aizen’s trap.
“My Apologies, Lord Aizen. My Blood is not worthy of wielding this Blade,” He said in his resolute voice. “This Sword only allows the Blood of Chaos to wield it. And I have also heard that only Ka’zaed Blood High-Queens and Empress have the right to wield it other than you, that too with your permission.” He smiled. “I would like to know how much truth there is to rumors. Is it true that the Sword holds the Power of Eternal Death?”
“Eternal Death?” Irina confusedly asked Aizen. It was the first time she had heard of these two words. “Is it related to the Law of Death?”
Aizen stayed quiet as he observed the expressions of Victorian. The Golden General was not wavering even though he knew how dangerous the sword in front of him was. There was no fear of death in him. And it was inborn.
The sword flew back to Aizen and planted itself back in his hand. He took out its sheat from the Blood-Ring and covered it in that.
“Eternal Death or the True-Death,” He said as he recalled the information that he had received in his Bloodline Memories. “It is the True end. Yes, it’s related to the Law of Death, and more. It is when your existence is erased from the Samarasa.”
Irina didn’t understand what he was saying, but Victorian’s eyes finally wavered. He was someone in the True-Origin Realm. His Bloodline Memories gave him the knowledge of the things that others were yet to perceive.
“Not every person who dies under my sword receives that Punishment. I can control it and decide if I want to give them the True-Death.” He added.
His words managed to bring peace to Victorian’s heart.
“I’ll take my leave, Lord Aizen.” Victorian nodded. “Thank you, for gracing me with the knowledge.” He added right before he disappeared.
Knowledge was the most fearful Power in the world. It was the Power one would desire the most when he realized that everything in the World was meaningless without the knowledge of the Truth. And that knowledge of the Truth was scarce. Victorian knew that he if stayed there and Aizen told him more about Samarasa, he would end up owing a debt that he would never be able to repay.
Aizen smiled when he looked at the clueless Irina. The girl could see anything, but she was not yet ready to see the truth of the World.
“What did you mean by erasing the existence from Samarasa?” She asked.
“When people die, their Souls don’t. When Souls die, their Origin doesn’t. The Origin never dies unless it’s erased from the source. And the Source is the Samarasa.” He said. “You will not understand the Truth of my words yet, but one day you will.” He added. “For now, in simple words, people who die, get to live another life, here or somewhere else. The Samarasa provides each Soul the chance to live a better life until it meets its True End.”
Irina still couldn’t understand his words entirely. But she got the idea now. It was a revelation to her that people could get to live another life after death. There were such rumors, and families who believed in it, but now that Aizen had ascertained it to her, she accepted it. There were a lot of questions looming on her mind, but she put them to rest and focused on the easiest one to ask.
“So, you lied that you couldn’t control the Sword?” She confronted him.
“I would not lie to you,” He said and put the Sword back in his Blood-Ring after giving it one last caress. “I can not control it completely. I am not strong enough yet.”
“Huh… I believe you. You are still in Royal-Blood Realm. What a shame…” She scoffed at him and then moved to sit by the side of her Master.
Aizen couldn’t help but smile at her behavior. He had not expected her to hold such a side to her personality. She didn’t seem to be the kind of person who would poke fun at the others. Perhaps she did that with Keira since she had no one else who she was close to. And that meant that she felt at ease in his presence now. He was happy about it.
“You want to meet Liafina?” He asked her.
“Of course!” She bloomed in a smile. Her crystal blue eyes radiated in her excitement.
Aizen nodded to her and signaled Liafina to come to him. He could do that through their bond.
“She will be here in a moment.” He said to her and took his seat on the couch. His eyes were fixed on Keira.
The girl looked harmless as she slept soundly. And he found himself growing fond of her sleeping face. It was adorable and beautiful.
“How are Zions faring in The Hand of Kosmos?” He asked.
The question ceased Irina’s smile. Her heart thumped hard as the problems surrounding the Zions appeared one after another in her mind. She looked at Aizen, and seeing him looking at her for an answer made her lower her head in sadness.
“It’s okay. If you cannot answer that, then don’t. Just don’t make that face. It makes me sad.” Aizen warmly said to her.
Irina stayed silent for a while, but then her eyes looked at Aizen with a resolution in them.
“Would you save them if I told you that the House of Zion will soon be at war with the Hand of Kosmos?”
“So they are finally making their move.” Aizen’s eyes flashed with a cold glint.
“Yes,” Irina answered, and there was sadness in her voice.
“It wouldn’t happen anytime soon. They wouldn’t be bold enough to lose Zion’s power. They need that ability to control and plant fear in the minds of people.” He said and sighed. “They wouldn’t do it unless they have a proper substitute.”
“They have found one,” Irina answered.
“Who? The Keyes Clan?”
“How do you know that?” Irina surprisedly exclaimed.
“So it’s true…” Aizen mused at the prospect of Hand of Cosmos having a civil war.
“You haven’t answered my question yet,” Irina asked. “Would you save them?”
His answer was desolate, devoid of any emotion. He was lost in his thoughts, and Irina was drowning in pain as she imagined the fate of her Master’s family.
“I have no reason to save them,” His voice resounded in her ears, and she looked at him with teary eyes. “And I am not Powerful enough to save them. I don’t want to put my family in danger.”
His words were rational, but she still felt disappointed. She took her eyes off him and silently caressed her Master’s head.
Aizen sighed as he saw her depressed mood. He felt bad for refusing her plea, but he was not going to put his family in danger over a request to save people who had murdered his family before. He got up from his seat and walked out of the lounge, leaving Irina alone with her Master.
“Try to make her mood better, Lia,” He whispered to the girl who was standing outside the door.
“Un..” The little dryad nodded her head and entered the room.
♛ Author’s Note:
The Poll for Story of the Month for August 2020 is on my Patreon. It will decide which stories I will be writing on in this month. If you want to make sure that I do write The Cursed Star, do place a vote on it if you can. Result comes out on Friday. Let’s see what happens..
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