The world is a terrifying place, and there are people more terrifying than your imagination.
Aizen had never thought that he would face such a day, where his amazement would shroud his thinking. He was still in shock of what was happening as his supposed Mother-in-Law inspected him.
The woman who claimed to be Arianna’s mother, and who forced him to call her Mother as well, looked even younger than her daughter. Yes, the people wouldn’t age after the age of 19 to 25, unless their time of demise neared, but the woman before him looked as if she was 15-years-old. She was short, with a small stature and a massive rack on her chest. With her arms locked on his arm, he could feel the very softness of those jewels. Her big eyes were shining as she inspected his features as if he was an artwork, and there was an excited smile on her face. It was more of a grin that bloomed beautifully.
“Ne-ne Aizen-re…” She chimed. “Say it again… call me Mother.”
She requested again, and his heart skipped a beat. He was scared of her.
He didn’t dare to turn his eyes off her. He feared that she would get mad at him and reprimand him in front of everyone. The little Lolita didn’t care who was present or not. She did and said as she pleased. And right now, he was certain that everyone in the room was laughing in their hearts at what they were witnessing,
Her wine eyes squinted as he had still not listened to her request. Her silver hair fluttered as if they were brushed by the wind. It was scary.
“Mother…” He gave in and complied.
“Yay!” She laughed happily. “I have a son now!” She swayed her head left and right as if she was hearing some music and dancing on its beat. It was her sudden shifts in the mood that amazed him the most.
Aizen looked at Arianna for help but found her trying her best to suppress her laughter. She was enjoying what was happening to him.
“Alright, that’s enough, Beena,” The woman who was waiting for her turn to inspect him said with a displeased voice.
“You keep quiet, Lusty-Bimbo,” Beena sharpened her gaze at the woman who was Jalaisha’s mother. “He’s my son, so wait for your turn patiently.”
“What did you say?!” The curvaceous succubus was fuming in rage now. She didn’t like the name she had been called out with.
“Huh… Lusty-Bimbo has lost her head again.” She shook her head as if she felt bad for her. “Go search for it back in the Devildom. I want to spend time with my son at peace. Go…” She shooed her away.
“Y-you…” The succubus seemed to be at a loss of words, but then she just stepped forward and grabbed Aizen from the other side. “I have shown you enough respect, Mother of Devils. Now I am not going to wait on my turn. He is my Son-in-law as well.”
Unlike Arianna who was suppressing her laughter, Jalaisha, at least, had signs of embarrassment on her face as she tried to contain her laughs. But he couldn’t find it comforting in the least. They were not going to help him with this.
Others may have felt blessed pressed between their soft embraces, but Aizen felt like he would lose his mind any moment now.
“Elsa, show some respect to Lord Morningstar.”
Aizen looked at the man who had just come to his rescue. He was the Lord of the House Azmodeus, Husband of the Succubus that was hugging him, and the Father of his bride, Jalaisha.
“No!” She shook her head. “She should let go of him,” Elsa complained. “She has been holding him for the past half n hour, and I haven’t even gotten the chance to introduce myself to him.” She sounded as if she had been wronged.
“It’s the same for everyone present here…” He whispered and shook his head.
It was clear to Aizen now that the two women would not let go of him for days if it stayed like that. He glared at Arianna to get him out of this, but the Devil just smiled brightly in return.
“Get away from him…” A whisper echoed in the Hall, and the coldness in the warning shocked everyone.
The eyes of the people turned to the person who had just said those words, and their expressions couldn’t contain their disbelief. It was the little girl who had come with Aizen. She had been standing silently by his side, and no one had expected the cute girl to suddenly say some dreadful words.
Elsa furrowed her brows as she looked at the girl who was Aizen’s shadow. She was reluctant to let go of him, but the anger in the little girl’s eyes told her that she needed to let go of him now. And she did part with him.
Beena curiously looked at Liafina. She was not like Elsa. She had not paid attention to the little girl since her Son-in-law had all her attention, but now her eyes shined in a dangerous glint as she looked at the little girl of green eyes and light blonde hair.
“Ne-ne Aizen-re… Is she your little shadow?” She asked dangerously.
“Yes…” Before he could say more, she was already by the side of Liafina, cupping her face in her hands.
They were nearly the same height. And it was a strange sight to the people in the room.
“She’s so cute!” Beena explained in excitement. It was unbelievable how fast her mood would change.
The Mother of Devils laughed as she enthusiastically inspected the girl.
“So you are a dryad?” She said and nodded. “Ne-ne… Tell me how old are you?”
Liafina was scared of the sudden actions of the woman. She had never thought that the woman would not only disregard her warning but would instead jump on her in excitement. She retreated, but the arms of Benna were already holding her in the embrace.
“Tell me, tell me… How old are you?” She asked again.
“She’s older than you, Lady Beena,” Aizen answered.
He could feel Liafina asking him to save her.
“Ehh…” Beena looked at the girl in her arms in shock.
The sudden shift in her mood didn’t surprise people this time, but the weird expressions she was wearing did confuse them and piqued their curiosity.
She remained silent for some time as if trying to contemplate on something.
Aizen felt as if she could see through Liafina’s secrets, and that was what made her wear those expressions, but when she finally broke her silence, he felt a chill run up his spine.
“Yay…! I have a sister who’s older than me…” She jumped in the air excitedly. “Umm… Since you are older than me… You can call me Little Sister.” She nodded to her. It was as if it was her wish to be called a little sister.
Liafina stared at the woman dumbfoundedly. Her thin lips wavered, and her heartbeat was rising. She was scared of the woman. And now she understood why Aizen was scared of her as well.
Beena didn’t wait for Liafina to answer her. She pulled her and then floated in the air to come up to face Aizen on the eye level.
“Ne-ne Aizen-re…” She chimed. “Can I take her to my room? I want to talk to her.” Her big eyes had a layer of mistiness covering them as if she would start crying if he refused her request.
Liafina shook her head at him. She didn’t want to be with that woman alone.
Aizen felt bad for his little dryad, but he was scared of what would happen if he refused the Mother of Devils right now. He hesitated and then nodded his head.
“Yay…!!” Beena laughed excitedly and hugged Aizen tightly. She planted a kiss on his cheek and then patted his head. “Good Sons always listen to their Mothers… I am happy.” She swayed her head and sighed. “I wish my daughters were as obedient as you… But they left me all alone.” She squinted her eyes at Arianna and then grudgingly pouted.
Aizen didn’t know how to reply to her. He looked at Arianna and found her still smiling brightly. It was as if she didn’t mind what her mother had just said. And he didn’t have to think much to understand why it was so.
“Ne-ne Anna, where’s little Elly?” Beena asked Arianna with a dangerous smile. “Don’t tell me you are keeping my Daughter as a slave.”
Arianna shook her head.
“She’s in the room right next to yours.”
“Alright… you can all have your meeting now. I am going to see my little Elly.” She said with seriousness that was not present in her expressions and voice before. “And I have so many things to talk about with my Sister!” And it vanished.
Some things never change.
Beena excitedly gabbed Liafina’s hand and disappeared from the Hall with her.
It was only after she left did everyone take the deep sighs they have been holding in. Aizen still wore wavering expressions. His eyes glared at Arianna and Jalaisha, and they both burst out laughing.
He ignored the two of them and looked at the people that were present in the Hall. Other than the Parents of Jalaisha, there were the Four Generals of The Hall of the Blood Moon. Mad Golden, Victorian, was standing as tall as ever, and he was the one who only wore a pale smile, unlike the others who had bright smiles on their faces. The Silent General, Siff, was wearing a mask as ever, and it was not known what expressions she had behind it.
Aizen had not met the other two generals before, but he had heard about them. The Lady in all Black, with Raven hair, Grey eyes, and a tall but well-proportioned body, was Venus. She was the Head of the External Affairs department of Arianna’s Organization. And she was Victorian’s wife. A graceful lady who was highly intelligent, and had the features to be considered a flower that had blossomed to all its glory.
Seeing his eyes on her, the Lady in black stepped forward and bowed to him.
“Venus greets the Lord of the Star Palace.” She respectfully said.
“You are as graceful as I have heard of you, Lady Venus.” He replied to her courteously and nodded.
“Thank you!” She seemed glad to hear his compliment and then stood back in her position with a straight back.
Aizen turned to look at the last man. He had a lazy expression in his eyes, but his presence reflected the aura of Wisdom. He had brown hair, short height, lithe physique, and blue eyes. He was handsome, and the aloof expression was the sign of his Bloodline. He was a Devil of Sloth. A member of the House of Belphezar. A prince who was 9th in the line of the Lord of the House Belphezar.
“This Silver greets the Lord of Chaos.” The young man bowed his head respectfully.
There was a sudden coldness in the Hall at the words of Silver. He had addressed Azien with a name that the people tried to not call him with. It reminded them of what the Morningstar was capable of.
Aizen’s lips curved in a slight smile. He liked the name he had just been addressed with. The Title that was the truth of his existence, and the reflection of the Power he held.
“I have remembered you, Lord Silver,” Aizen nodded.
“It’s an Honor, Lord Morningstar.” He smiled respectfully. “And I would appreciate it if you would call me a General instead of a Lord.”
There was genuine respect in his voice, and it was a request that he meant.
Aizen nodded to him before turning to look at the Head of the House of Azmodeus.
“Axis Azmodeus greets the Morningstar.” The handsome man bowed to him respectfully.
“I am glad to meet you, Lord Axis.” He returned the greeting and smiled politely. “They say that you are the most handsome man in the Devildom. And I can tell you that they may not be wrong.”
A compliment to the Devil of Lust on their beauty was what they appreciated the most. And all the compliments on their beauty were true.
Axis burst out laughing when he heard the compliment, and nodded happily. To have the Lord of Star Palace acknowledge him as someone Handsome was the highest compliment he had received in his entire life.
“You are too humble, Lord Morningstar. I am afraid that even I would lose in front of your charm.” Axis answered as his laughter finally subsided. He voiced his true feelings.
“That may not be true.” He shook his head and looked at the woman who was smiling brightly at him.
“Lady Azmodeus,” He greeted her.
She was pleased why his courtesy and stepped forward to hug him. He didn’t refuse her. It would have been impolite of him to refuse her.
“I wouldn’t ask you to call me Mother, like that crazy woman, but you can address me as Mother-in-law or by my name, Raine.” She separated from him and held onto his hands. “And take care of my daughter, okay?” She requested.
“Of course,” He nodded to her and brightly smiled.
The woman sweetly smiled at him and nudged his nose.
“You may be the Lord of Star Palace, and the Morningstar the world revers, but you are still too young.” She teased him. “And I will treat you as such.” She nodded at him.
Her words didn’t make him uncomfortable. What she had said was the truth. He was still too young, and too weak. Since he was her Son-in-law now, it was only fair that she would treat him with the familiarity of a family.
“I would appreciate it, Lady Raine,” He replied to her and nodded.
“Good.” She stepped back to stand with her husband.
Aizen nodded to the rest of them before walking to Arianna. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her in his embrace.
“I am so going to make you pay for what you just made me go through…” He whispered near her ear.
“Is that so?” She asked back.
“Yes…” He took a deep breath. Her scent filled him, and he chuckled to himself.
Arianna’s body trembled under his playful laugh. She wasn’t sure what he was going to do, but her face was already turning red now. She placed her head on his chest and hugged his waist.
The people in the Hall didn’t disturb them. They had never before seemed their Master be intimate with someone, it was for the first time, but they couldn’t be disrespectful to them by staring at their affection.
“So… I have heard that you have some something you want me to be a part of, what is it?” He asked.
“It’s about the Arbitration Ceremony. And about the Tournament.”
“What about them?” He asked.
Arianna nodded to him and separated from his embrace.
“Silver…” She called out to the Devil of Sloth.
Silver nodded to her and then turned to look at Aizen.
“We have received requests to invite you to the arbitration ceremony by quite many affluent families,” He said and waited to Aizen’s permission to continue.
Aizen frowned at what Silver had said. He nodded at him to continue.
“At every event of the Blood-Moon, we hold a Dinner after the Auction where people sit together on the table with whoever they wish to sit with. The reason why we do it is to gain the favor of those people and to hold power over them. It’s not a secret.” Silver nodded to himself and continued in his lazy voice. “Several families request us to nominate a suitable Arbitrator to be there on the table with their enemies. They want the arbitrator to be a witness to what happens there, and to mediate their differences.”
“So there are families that want me to be the mediator?” He asked.
“Yes, and…” Silver furrowed his brows as he continued, “Some have requested to sit with you on the table as well.”
The words didn’t surprise him. The Morningstar was back in the World. His mere presence rose fear in the hearts of the people who had been at odds with the Star Palace in the past. Some of them would wish to mediate the differences as soon as possible, while some would now look to build friendly relationships. And he was certain that there would be people who wish to sit with him and threaten him in their own ways. He was looking forward to dinner now.
“And who has requested to sit with me on the same table?”
“Ares Stavros. He is the next Lord of the House Stavros.” Silver said the first name.
“It’s him…” Aizen wore a dangerous smile on his lips. He was told about the intentions of Ares on The Sky Mountains. And he wanted to meet this ambitious Lord of Stavros.
“Messiah Hexis wishes to be on the same table as you as well.”
“Hexis? From the Hand of Kosmos?” He frowned at the name. Another member of the Hand of Cosmos wanted to meet him as well.
“Yes, he is the Young Lord of Hexis. And there is another one from the Hand of Kosmos as well.” Silver nodded with a smile. “It’s Lady Keira’s older brother, Kyle Viser Zion.”
Aizen stayed silent at the mention of the names.
“Dorion Lucifer, The Lord of Devildom.”
“Interesting…” He glanced at Arianna and then back at Silver. It seemed as if the Devil of Sloth had more names to take. “Are there more?”
“Yes, Lord Morningstar.” He nodded his head. “There are two more people who wish to be on the same table as you.”
“The White Dragon, Abomius, and The Silver Fox, Merka.”
“Two of the Twelve Lords of Beasts?” Aizen asked in grave seriousness.
He couldn’t recall being on bad terms with the Beasts of East. They were the only two people on the Table that made him a little apprehensive.
“Would you choose to accept their offer?” Silver asked.
“Of course…” He smiled brightly. “It will be fun. Put them all on the same table as me. I will meet them all at the same time…”
His words made the people in the Hall tensed. They looked at him in horror. His intentions implied that he had no interest in reconciling any disputes with those people. And to have them all on the same table showed that he couldn’t be bothered to meet them one by one. It was him telling them that they were not worth it…
“Lord Aizen… That..” Venus tried to advise him.
“Do as he says…” Arinna shook her head.
Aizen nodded to Venus and gave her the instructions.
“Let them know of my Intention to meet them all at once. Those that would still be willing are worth my time. And whose pride steps in, I will not bother to see them. Tell them that I have my reasons for what I am doing, and I in no way want to disrespect them.” He smiled. “The smart ones will understand my intentions, and they will still come.”
Venus furrowed her brows, and she seemed to be lost in some thought.
“So it’s your way of not making them suspicious of your intentions?”
It was Siff who spoke.
“Yes…” Aizen nodded in surprise at the masked girl. “The three of them are from the same Organization. And right now, they are on the verge of a civil war. I do not want to let them feel like I am stepping in their internal affairs.”
“So you are giving Zion more time…” Siff asked again. “But in truth, your intentions are totally different. You want both the sides to prepare for the war and be ready for it so that their losses would be bigger at that time.”
He smiled brightly at the masked lady. He was impressed by her thinking. She guessed his intentions right, but there was more to it that she had yet to understand.
“You think a little too much, Lady Siff.” He shook his head. “I just want to show them my good intentions.”
“Right…” Siff didn’t seem to believe his last words.
He was glad to see the Devil of Sloth finally show some fear. He was perhaps the only man in the room who had guessed his intentions correctly. But he knew that Arianna had already known what his plan of action would be. There was a reason why people feared her. They could never hide their intentions from her. He glanced at her, and the slight smile on her lips proved him right. Her eyes seemed excited at the prospect of what was about to happen.
“And who are the ones that want me to be the arbitrator of their disputes?” He looked at Silver and asked.
♛ Author’s Note:
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