“Why do you always have to wear Battle Suits?” Aizen shook his head and asked. “You would look more beautiful if you wore a pretty dress.”
Yuliya frowned at his remark, and the smile on her lips ceased.
“I am happy with what I am, and this is who I am, Lord Morningstar,” She grudgingly answered.
“Is it?” He smiled at her. “You are a Monster Blood, and yet I don’t see you letting out your pretty tail and Wolf-ears?”
Yuliya seemed to be taken aback by his words. It was the first time he was talking to her in this manner, and it felt strange to her. He had barely had a proper conversation with her since the day she had arrived at the Star Palace, and now he was making requests.
“You meant the tournament of the Younger Generation, Lord Morningstar?” She asked.
Aizen ignored her question and scanned her body without hiding the intentions in his eyes.
“I think you would look ravishing with your tail and ears, dear Yuliya, but I suppose you are not comfortable with your identity as a Monster Blood.” He regretfully sighed, “What a shame.”
His words managed to make her mad. Her expressions were flushed in her anger at his words, and her piercing black eyes glared at him.
“I have never seen you ask the other girls the same thing,” She grinned. “And you are a wolf too. Why don’t you take your other form as well?”
“Have I ever claimed that I like my other forms?” He smiled at her. “But I heard a certain Alpha once telling a girl that she was a proud Wolf.”
The two of them remained silent after his words.
Aizen’s eyes never left her, and slowly, the pale smile on his lips shrouded her mind in chaos. She could feel that if she didn’t give him an answer now, she would either be sent back to the Palace or she wouldn’t be allowed to take part in the Tournament. And she was unwilling to go back to the Palace without taking part in the tournament he had just mentioned.
Yuliya had heard a lot about the Tournament held at the event of the Blood-Mood. It was a prestigious event for the younger generation. They would compete with others of the same generation and prove their might and capabilities. The winners would go down in the Hall of Fame and would be awarded different prizes. She didn’t care about all the aspects of the tournament. She just wanted to test herself in the ones related to her love for the battles. It was important to her. And she finally gave in to his demand.
He watched as her ears receded in her head and then two beautiful wolf-ears sprouted out. The fur on those ears was shiny and looked soft and silky. His eyes ran down, and he found a fluffy tail wiggling lightly in the air. Again, the shine and softness of that black coat of fur urged him to go forward and run his fingers through it.
“Beautiful,” He nodded to her. “Now you look more like a proud Monster Blood.”
“The tournament, Lord Morningstar?” She squinted her eyes and asked.
“Yes,” He nodded. “I called you here for the tournament of the Younger Generation at the Blood Moon event. I have already submitted your name, and you will be taking part in it with Lyla and Zeros.”
“You didn’t submit Lysaria’s name?” She asked him confusedly.
“No,” He shook his head. “I have found out that she doesn’t have complete control over her Berzerk ability. And if an opponent would force her to use it, I am afraid she might end up killing her opponent. Killing is forbidden in the tournament.” He reminded her.
Yuliya seemed displeased at the reminder. To her, everything was about the survival of the fittest. And even though killing was forbidden, it had happened before in the events, and the people had gotten away with minor punishments. It was because the circumstances had necessitated the killing, and the jury had deemed it not inappropriate. She wouldn’t bat an eye before taking someone’s life if they forced her to do it.
“Kill them if they come for your life, and if they are too strong for you,” He gently looked at her. “I will be there.”
“Huh,” She looked away from his eyes as they made her heart uncomfortable.
“Did you like the girls I just sent home?” He inquired as he sensed her discomfort.
“They are cute,” She nodded her head, “And that little girl named Kazumi had jumped on Ayana the moment she saw her. It scared your little fairy, but then she started apologizing, and Ayana forgave her.” She told him what had happened.
“They will get along with each other just fine.” He nodded at her.
“Of course they will,” she answered with a smile. “Vienna and Meera will make sure of it.”
Aizen smiled at her as he saw a genuine smile on her lips. Her swaying tail and cute ears made her look even more attractive. And she looked beautiful when she smiled. It was a rare sight.
“Come here,” He drew his hand to her.
His words ceased the smile on her lips, and her brows furrowed as she searched for his intentions. She didn’t want to get close to him as they were all alone here, and she was not sure what he would do to her. Her hands clenched in fists and she finally gave in.
She took light steps and came to stand right in front of him, with a distance of a foot between them. Her black eyes looked in his as she looked up at him.
Aizen leaned in near her face as he waited for her to show any expressions, but the stubborn her only clenched her fists tighter. Her eyes turned misty in the rage that was boiling inside of her.
“Scared?” He asked her as he leaned in closer.
Yuliya didn’t answer him. Her breathing eventually turned uneven.
“You are mine, girl.” He told her as he softly caressed her soft cheek with the back of his fingers.
His arm snaked around her waist and pulled her in his embrace.
“The sooner you accept me, the more benefits you would have,” He whispered. “You know,” he smiled devilishly near her ear, “you would gain more strength if you accept me.”
The words made his intentions clear to her. He wanted her.
“You will accept me as your wife?”
Her sudden question surprised him. It was something he had not expected to hear from her. However, the question she had raised told him of the things that were eating her deep inside. He had first seen those expressions arise when Lyla and Akira had started living with them.
“You want to be my wife?” He asked back as he chuckled and separated from her.
His night blue eyes stared in her misty eyes, and his hands softly caressed on her waist.
Yuliya nodded to him and stubbornly looked back at him.
“I am not a slave,” She told him. “I will not allow you to have me as a Slave.”
“Is that so?” He inhaled her aroma and sighed. “Is it because you are jealous of Akira and Lyla?”
“They just came in, and you accepted them as your future wives.” She lowered her head. “Am I lacking in beauty and strength that you would not accept me as your wife as well? Since the day I have arrived at the Palace, you never told me what was my place there.”
“I never said that you were a slave…”
“And you didn’t say what I was either… Tell me, what am I in your Palace?” She looked him in the eyes. “I wanted to build my place there. I wanted to be your Vienna’s Knight. But now she already has one. Your Empress has one too. And your new High-Queen, she would never accept someone like me as her Knight.”
“Arianna has already named her Knight,” he nodded to her.
Yuliya didn’t seem surprised at his words and only nodded back at him.
“And you wouldn’t be making me Xeina’s Knight, right?”
“Xeina?” He asked curiously.
“I can see that you are interested in making her your last High-Queen,” She smiled at him. “I know, Lord Morningstar. I may not be a match for the women who you have chosen as your Empress and High-Queens, but am I unworthy of being a Knight at your Palace as well? And am I unworthy of being called your wife?” There was a sadistic smile on her face. It was in her anger that she was trying her best to keep under control.
Aizen stayed silent as he gazed in her eyes. The expressions on her face were like a song to him. It was lovely.
“Or is it the same as your Empress? Do you also believe that I am a spy that has been put by your side?” She questioned him as her smile ceased, and her eyes were grave now.
“If you were,” He caressed her cheek lovingly. “Vienna or I would have sent you to your grave by now, silly girl.”
Yuliya didn’t seem surprised at his words. She just gazed right back in his eyes and waited for an answer on her existence.
“Your father sold you to me, girl.” He smiled at her. “You are my possession now.”
Her body trembled under his words.
“I will toy with you as I please, and I will break you when I feel like it,” he smiled devilishly near her lips. “What if I told you that you have the next one minute of your life to decide your fate? What if I told you that you could run away from me without any consequence? Would you do it, girl?”
His questions surprised her. She looked at him with unbelievable eyes, and her brows furrowed.
“I meant the words I said, your minute starts now.” He stepped away from her and turned his back to her.
He had not given her an answer. He had not told her what she meant in his life and at his Palace, but instead, he had given her a minute to decide if she would like to live the life she was living, or if she would like to search for something new.
Yuliya was not someone who relied on her brains a lot, but even she could understand the meaning behind his words. If she chose to stay, she would never be able to get free again. Freedom for Alphas was equivalent to the air they breathed to feel alive. It was essential for them.
Tears dripped out of her eyes as she felt her heart ache for the first time in her life. She had not felt much pain when her father had stripped her rights of an Alpha. She had not been much hurt when she had been traded as a chip that meant nothing. But now, her heart ached for she could choose her fate now. She could choose what she wanted, and yet, she felt like she would rather have not received this opportunity. The tears that dripped out of her eyes were the blood of her freedom that her heart was murdering. She was an Alpha now who didn’t want her freedom.
Yuliya felt her anger boil when she realized why he had turned around. He had known what her decision would be, and he turned around so she wouldn’t have to hold back her tears. He was ruthless to her, but he had provided her with a speck of his care as well.
Aizen turned around to find Yuliya standing there with her head lowered. She had brushed away her tears, and she stood there silently as her body lightly trembled to the beat of her heart.
“Why do you choose to stay?” He smiled at her, “Did you fall in love with my Palace, or it is the desire to be a part of my family? Do you believe that you would gain far more power and riches if you stayed with me than what the world has to offer you? Is it the Pride, Honor, Danger, Glamor, Fame, and Fear that surrounds my presence that you desire? Or do you desire me?”
His words were soft, and they were the questions she had to ask herself. Why had she chosen to murder her freedom just now?
“I don’t know…” Yuliya whispered.
Her red eyes looked at him for an answer, but only found a glint of amusement in them. He was indeed the Chaos Blood. The world did not call him Evil for no reason.
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her tightly in his embrace.
“I told you,” He whispered, “I will toy with you as I please, and I will break you when I feel like it” He caressed her back gently. “That’s the consequence of falling in love, girl. The person you hand your heart has all the power over you.” He softly blew on her furry black ear, and her entire body shook to the tickling sensation. “Another one fell for the charm of the Morningstar.” He teased her.
She didn’t refuse his embrace, but she refused to embrace him back. He had not given her the answer she sought. The meaning of her existence depended on it.
Aizen sighed when he felt her still stubbornly holding back.
“Vienna sure knows how to make someone speak out their true feelings,” He patted her head lovingly.
“Here’s your answer,” He took out a Six-Pointed Star Ring of a golden color. It was shining brightly and looked dazzling. “It’s yours.”
“What is it?” She asked as her brows furrowed. She scanned the ring in her hands with evident curiosity.
Aizen smiled at her as he saw a glint of hope in her eyes. She failed to hide her expectant happiness that was shrouding her heart.
“Why don’t you ask your High-Queen when you return to the Palace?” He teased her. “I won’t tell you. Wear it when you know what it means.” He caressed her cheek. “And for the matter of being my wife,” He leaned in and sipped a kiss of her warm and soft lips. He wanted to retreat, but the softness and her scent pulled him in. He kissed her again and took another sip. His arms wrapped her waist, as she tiptoed to let him kiss her with ease. She didn’t know how to reply to him. She left herself in his care.
He loved the taste of her, and her fragrance was making him burn in desire. A desire he had felt the moment he had laid eyes on her for the first time.
“And as for the matter of being my wife…” He separated from her reluctantly, and then a devilish smile crept on his face. “You will have to earn that right.” He didn’t even give her time to punch him as he grabbed on her fluffy tail and stroked it, he ran away before she could react to his words.
“You…!” Yuliya was fuming in rage.
“It’s softer than I thought it would be…” He smelled the hand he had grabbed her tail with. “You smell so well, dear Yuliya.” He smiled at her.
Yuliya didn’t know what to say to him. Her rage was taking over her now. He had kissed her, taken advantage of her, hurt her heart, and in the end, he told her that she needed to earn her right to be his wife.
“Why, girl?” He smiled mischievously, “Scared that you wouldn’t be able to earn that right?”
She suppressed her anger and took deep breaths.
“I will make you pay for this…” She threatened him.
“Is that so?” He doubtfully asked.
“Yes…” She nodded at him.
“Good,” His smile ceased. “I will wait for that day.” He then turned around to walk to the door, “Come, we have kept my High-Queen waiting for a while now.”
“Lady Arianna is outside?”
There was a sudden shift in her mood. There was excitement in her eyes, and then there was reverence and fear. It was not hard to see that this girl admired the Blood-Winged Lucifer as well.
“Yes,” He stopped by the door and nodded to her. “And the Lord of Azmodeus and his Wife are there as well. They are Jalaisha’s parents.”
Yuliya nodded to him and then pulled out a cloak from her Blood-Ring. She wore it over her Battle-suit and hid her tail under it. She didn’t put on the hood and her Monster ears were still visible. Aizen smiled at her behavior but didn’t tease her about it.
“Ready?” He asked her.
He led her out of the room after she nodded to him.
The three people waiting for them curiously looked at the new girl. Elsa scanned the girl carefully and nodded to herself, and Axis had taken his eyes off her after he had concluded who she was.
Aizen didn’t need to introduce Yuliya to the others. She had done so herself.
“Yuliya Lycan has seen the Blood-Winged Lucifer,” She respectfully bowed to the Arianna and then turned to look at the couple. “And she greets the Lord of Azmodeus and his Queen.”
Arianna smiled at her and then stepped closer to her. She was wearing her mask right now, and so Yuliya curiously looked at her to try to figure out if the rumors were true or not. She was rumored to be the most beautiful girl there was.
“Those are cute…” she commented as she looked at her ears. “Can I touch them?”
The sudden request took Yuliya by surprise. She looked at the lady with her eyes wide open and then nodded.
“I want to touch them too!” Elsa stepped closer to her asked pleadingly.
Yuliya was a little scared now. She regretted not taking back her normal form.
“Yes, you may…” she whispered as she lowered her head.
The two ladies softly touched her ears and then stroked their fingers on the soft fur.
“It’s so soft!” Elsa giggled.
Arianna was the first to take back her hand and then she glared at Aizen.
“You made her take this form, right?” She asked.
“Not really, she wanted to embrace her true self, and so I helped her with it.” He shrugged and shook his head.
Yuliya glared at him when she heard his words. She couldn’t do it right now, but if she found him alone again, she was definitely going to punch him hard for lying so blatantly.
Arianna sighed when she read the thoughts running in Yuliya’s mind. She shook her head and smiled at the silly girl.
“He will play with you like that for the rest of your life. Get used to it.” She advised her.
Yuliya nodded to her in understanding, but her anger had not abated.
“You sure have some beautiful wives,” Elsa winked at him as she commented.
Her words made Yuliya tremble, and she lowered her head. She wanted to hear what he would answer with. She had prepared her heart for more hurt.
“Beautiful women are my weakness, Lady Elsa,” He smiled and answered.
His words didn’t hurt Yuliya, and they didn’t please her either. She clenched her fists again.
Aizen turned to look at Lord Axis, and then his smile ceased.
The two men looked at each other for a few minutes before Axis sighed and shook his head.
“So you figured it out,”
“Yes,” Aizen nodded. “Kazumi is your daughter, and she’s Jalaisha’s half-sister.”
Elsa’s smile ceased as well. And her grim eyes told Aizen that something was not right.
“Yes. Kazumi is the youngest princess of the Azmodeus Clan.” Elsa nodded at him.
“I want to know why she refuses to acknowledge her existence.”
His words brought several expressions on the faces of the Azmodeus couple. Elsa’s eyes turned misty and she angrily looked at her husband.
“It’s her mother’s fault.” She said.
“Why?” he asked.
“Her mother was from the branch families of the Azmodeus. She was breathtakingly beautiful, and she was a princess from her demure. I fell in love with her when she appeared in my court one day.” Axis told them as he recalled his past. “I married her, made her one of my Queens, and let her close to my heart. She bore me a daughter. A beautiful little girl and we were happy.”
Aizen grimly looked at the man before him. He could already guess what had happened.
“She was a spy?” He asked.
Axis stayed silent as his eyes turned a little hollow.
“Yes,” Elsa replied to him. “She fooled us all.”
“She tried to take my life,” Axis’s said in a painful voice. “She was ordered to kill me and let our daughter witness it. But I was saved by my Shadow, and I took her life in my rage with my own hands, right in front of our daughter.”
The pain Axis bore in his heart was visible on his face. It was the betrayal of the worst kind. And the viciousness of the enemy was ruthless. The politics of the nobles had always been the dirtiest war. The enemy had failed to eliminate his target, but he had succeeded in planting a scar on his enemy’s heart that would forever remain fresh.
♛ Author’s Note:
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