“Why are you so quiet?”
A sweet voice inquired him, and a soft hand lovingly brushed his hair.
Aizen opened his eyes to look at her lovely face. The softness of her lap was an allure that lulled him into serenity. Though his mind was thinking of something dreadful, the comfort of her care didn’t allow him to drown in sorrow.
“Just some thoughts,” He smiled at her. “Where are the rest of them?” He asked as he senses that the people that were present in the room were already gone.
“It’s dinnertime in half-hour,” Viara answered him as her fingers brushed his black hair. “Zeros, Lyla, and Yuliya have gone with a Lady that had come to take them.”
“Yes,” Viara nodded. “It’s about the Tournament you have submitted their names for.”
“And where are Lysaria and Xeina?”
“Lysaria is upset with you,” She giggled. “She was not pleased when she learned that you had not submitted her name. And she has gone with the three of them to learn more about the event. Xeina is with Lia, and Akira is with Jalaisha.”
Aizen sighed when he heard her words. He had known that Lysaria would react in such a manner. Her rebellious nature was just as adamant as her love for battles.
“And you want to request me on her behalf to allow her to take part in it?” He closed his eyes again after questioning her.
“Yes,” Viara whispered. “It will be fine,” She nodded to him. “She said that she wouldn’t be reckless.”
“It’s not in her control,” Aizen shook his head. “She doesn’t have complete control over her Berzerk Power. She will harm herself.”
“And you are not taking part in it as well,” He said in a low but resolute voice. “I forbid you.”
Viara’s body trembled under his words. Her heart felt a little uncomfortable. He had seen right through her intentions, and he knew what she would ask him.
“May I ask why?” She asked as her brows furrowed.
Aizen opened his eyes and stared in her wine eyes that had a hint of anger in them. He smiled at her and then closed his eyes again.
“I don’t want people to witness your strength and talent, and I mean it to keep you safe from the harm.” He sighed. “And it would be inappropriate for the Empress to fight in a tournament of a generation that would have to wait for centuries before they could have a status worth your time. You are not the same as them, never were.”
“But I want to…” She sighed.
“Why?” He asked her and smiled brightly. “Not confident enough in your strength?”
Viara stayed silent at his words for a while but then asked another question in irritation.
“Why would you allow the three of them to take part in it? Isn’t Lyla your bride to be?”
“The world already knows about their talent, and the world needs to see what the surviving Blood of Azereus are capable of.”
He didn’t mind answering her questions. What he wouldn’t have liked would have been her decision to keep silent about her discomfort.
“And Xeina?” She asked. “So you still count her as a guest?”
“I never did,” He opened his eyes and nudged her nose. “I told you clearly what my intentions are for her. I want her and Ayana.” He caressed her soft cheek with the back of his fingers. “And I don’t want to see her take part in the tournament as well.”
“Because you plan on making her your last High-Queen?”
“There’s another reason too that I can’t speak of,” He sighed.
Viara curiously looked at him but found him not intending to answer her curiosity. He sat up on the couch and lightly yawned.
“I am hungry,” He commented lazily.
“Huh,” She scoffed at his words and ruefully got up from her couch. “You keep secrets from your Empress. Speaks a lot about your trust.”
Aizen chose to not comment at her words. He knew that she didn’t mean the words and had only said them in her dissatisfaction. It was how she was. She failed to control herself in his presence. It was the reflection of how comfortable she was around him.
“Aizen,” She called him out.
Viara furrowed her brows and took her time to decide if she should raise the question or not. It was a question that bugged her, and she had been stalling it all this time.
“You are interested in the Princess of Zion?” She asked and stressed on the name of Zion.
“What do you think?” He asked her with a smile.
“You smile when her name is taken” She squinted her eyes. “And you smile a lot when you are around her.”
“What does that have to do with anything?” He asked her curiously.
“You smile like that when you are around the girls you love,”
“Is that so?” He brightly smiled at her. “I smile a lot around you, I must really love you, girl.”
Viara blushed at his words but the seriousness in her eyes only aggravated.
“Just tell me, do I need to treat her as a Zion or as a family?”
“You wouldn’t treat her as a family even if I asked you to,” He palely smiled at her. “Treat her as Keira Visor Zion,” He told her. “She will always be a Zion, even if she is your family one day. The blood in her veins would never change. But look at her for who she is as well.”
She looked at him with conflicted expressions. His words were ambiguous, and his intentions were unclear. She failed to see through him, and she hoped that Vienna was here at this moment. The little Princess would have been able to give her an answer in his stead.
“Do not give her a reason to count you as an enemy, Viara,” He sighed. “I don’t want to see you at odds with her.”
“So you do not count her as an enemy,” She nodded to herself. “That will do for an answer for now.”
Aizen shook his head at her words and started putting his shoes on.
“She’s here for you,” Viara whispered as she came close to him and crouched to help him with the shoes.
“I know that,” He smiled at her words.
“And earlier today you drew out the Chaos Blade?”
“Yes,” he nodded, “She wanted to see it, and I let her have a taste of it.”
A bright smile bloomed on Viara’s face.
“You are too cruel,” She commented, definitely pleased with what he had done.
Viara was happy about it. She had failed to even land a single blow on her when they had sparred. It still bugged her. She didn’t want to lose to someone who was vying for her husband. And for him to have punished her recklessness, it was pleasant to her.
“Stop smiling at other’s pain,” He chuckled. “Or do you want me to make you take your Half-form as well? Yuliya looked really beautiful today.”
“It was you who made her do it?” She surprisedly looked at him.
There was a smug smile on his lips, and his eyes were shining with a mischievous light.
“I wonder how soft your tail would feel like, girl.” He teased her. “Is it as fluffy as hers?”
Viara felt her sixth sense tingling her nerves. She teleported a safe distance away from him, and then she started setting her clothes for dinner.
“You are not going to play me in on that,” She commented and cutely glared at him. “I will take that form when I feel like it. Come, it nearly dinnertime.”
“Let’s go,” He shook his head and answered.
The chilly air of the nighttime made their mood pleasant. There were no maids in the corridors at this hour, and the Hall of Blood Moon seemed lonesome yet serene. The Tower stood desolately all in the night, and the jade texture made it stand out even in the dark.
“I selected three girls today, and have sent them back at the Palace,” He told her as his eyes stared at the top of the tower.
Aizen shook his head.
“Maids,” He answered. “and the last one is Jalaisha’s little sister.”
Viara seemed confused at his words, and her brows were tightly knitted. She seemed to be lost in her thoughts, and it was reflecting on her face that she was not pleased. He narrated to her what Axis Azmodeus had revealed to him. Her expressions turned solemn as she listened to what he told her.
“Is that what you were thinking of when you were resting?”
Aizen nodded to her. The pain of Axis was still fresh as ever. He had seen how much pain the Lord of Azmodeus had been in when he had recalled what had happened. His heart trembled as he tried to understand how strong of a man Axis was. He had not allowed the hurt to destroy him.
“I am worried about Kazumi,” He sighed. “She had witnessed everything with her eyes, and it’s bound to have left some scars in her memories and mind. She had not shown any signs of pain earlier, I am glad about that, but it worries me even more.”
“I will take care of her,” Viara nodded to him, and her eyes held a determination that he was grateful for.
He had told her about it for he knew that she could take care of that little girl. Lysaria was the same as that little girl, and Viara had dealt with someone with so much pain in their heart before.
“There’s another girl,” He smiled at her. “It’s Arianna’s little sister, the Knight of my High-Queen, and my wife to be.”
“She told me about her,” Viara nodded to him.
The expressions on her face were dire. The mere thought of losing Lysaria made her soul cry out in agony. It was how special the bond of a Master and the Shadow was. She couldn’t imagine what kind of a girl Riley Lucifer was now. The pain in her heart was perhaps the most intense. She had lost a part of her that she would never regain.
“The best actions would be to treat her normally,” He told her. “She’s a Devil of Pride. Do not show pity to her, never.”
Viara nodded to him and shook her head. The weight of responsibilities on her shoulders was heavy.
“I will choose some lovely maids for you in the Auction tomorrow.” She smiled at him.
Viara shook her head.
“Vienna and I had already decided that there will be no Butlers inside the Palace. The Guardians can choose their own, and we will have some guards as well, but no Butlers for the Palace. All maids.”
He chuckled when he heard her words.
“Let me guess,” He laughed some more, “It was Vienna’s idea?”
“Yes,” Viara giggled as she recalled her sister’s words, “She said that you would love it.”
“Who doesn’t love being surrounded by beautiful ladies?” He shrugged innocently. “But wouldn’t that mean that there will be fewer people to manage the Palace?”
Viara shook her head and lovingly tugged her arms with his. She nestled close to him as they headed to the Dining room.
“No,” She smiled brightly. “It was just the six of us before you came, and we got used to managing the Palace. And if we ever need more personnel for the events, you could always ask Arianna to provide them, right?”
“Right,” He sighed.
It was the decision of the women of the Palace, and he knew that he had to respect it. Since the butlers were out of the list, he now had to look for some good guards, people who could be trusted.
The dining room was quite lively. There were several maids in the room, setting dishes on the table where there were people already sitting.
“Lord Aizen, Lady Viara,” Silver and Victorian stood up to pay their respect.
“Be seated,” He smiled at them.
Aizen looked around the room and then his eyes landed on Arianna who was discussing something with Jalaisha and Akira in the corner. They had wrapped themselves in a shield, and so he couldn’t make out what they were talking about. The three of them smiled at him as he looked at them, and after he nodded to them, they continued with their discussion.
“Come,” He grabbed Viara’s hand and pulled her to sit on the table.
Aizen then went on to sit at the head of the table, right next to Arianna’s seat.
“Viara,” He smiled at then and then introduced the two generals of Arianna to her. “The Golden man is the Golden General of Arianna, Victorian,”
“I have heard a lot about your might on the Battlefield, Lord Victorian,” She nodded to the Mad Golden with reverence in her eyes.
“You can address me as Victorian, My Lady,” Victorian politely nodded his head.
“And the man with the keen blue eyes is Silver Belphezar, Arianna’s General, and one of the Princes of the House Belphezar, the Devils of Sloth.”
Viara curiously looked at the man that had a lazy aura around him.
“I have heard that one must never underestimate the intelligence and the speed of a Devil of Sloth,” She asked with curiosity. “How fast are you, Lord Silver?”
“You think highly of us, Lady Viara,” He smiled politely, “We may not be as fast as you hope us to be. We can have a race if you would like that,” He proposed with a glint of interest in his eyes. “I have heard that you have the Element of Light, you must be fast,”
Viara smiled brightly at his words.
“I would want that, but I am afraid that I am no match for a man who reigns in the realm of True-Origin,”
“Of course,” He nodded with respect, “I would be suppressing my strength to your level.”
“Well then, when do we race?” She asked.
The competitive nature of Viara was rousing her interest to the levels where her face failed to contain her excitement. She wanted to race with a Devil of Sloth to test her speed.
“Tomorrow, morning?” Silver thought and answered.
“I will be there,” She accepted the small crystal ball that Silver sent to her.
“It’s the Map of the route we will be taking. I will be at the starting point when the Sky is finally bright.”
“I will be there,” She replied with confidence.
Aizen had already guessed the outcome of their race. The pale smile on Victorian’s revealed to him that Viara had fallen in a trap. It seemed as if Victorian himself revered the speed of Silver. There was a reason why people called him the Silver Storm. Silver Belphezar was a speed demon.
“You will come to watch our race?” Viara asked him expectantly.
Aizen smiled palely. She was a little too excited about it. He had seen how the two sisters would always compete in speed in the Star Palace. Xeina had joined the two of them as well, but the two of them had never been able to beat Vienna even a single time. It was all the more reason for Viara to improve, and she wanted to test herself with more people now. But he was not sure if the Silver Storm was the right choice.
“Sure. I will be there.” He nodded at her.
“Ne-ne Aizen…” A sweet voice whispered near his ear, “You want your mother to be there with you?”
A simple question had sent chills up his spine. He had not even felt when the Mother of Devils had entered the room. And she was right behind him, floating in the air and leaning near his ear.
“The race?” He asked.
There was silence at his words, and he felt as if the air surrounding him had gotten chilly. It had received the answer. She was not talking about the race.
“Yes,” He nodded. “I want you to be my Arbitrator tomorrow night,”
“Yay!!!” She laughed happily and hugged him. “You are a good son!” She nodded to him as she looked at him with misty eyes. “Don’t worry. I won’t let them bully you. I will kill them if they are rude to you.”
Her simple words had dawned the fear on the hearts of everyone present there. Her words were not a joke. Aizen saw Victorian brave a cold sweat, and Silver’s body was slightly trembling in fear. He understood now, why the people were trying to convince him that it was not a good idea to have Mother of Devils on the Arbitration table.
“You don’t have to worry about it, Lady Benna,” He smiled at her and patted her head as if she was a child. “I can take care of them myself.”
Beena squinted her eyes at him, and then she smacked on his head. She didn’t appreciate him patting her head.
“I am the Mother!” She reprimanded him, and then she proceeded to pat his head. “Okay, I won’t kill anyone unless you ask me to.”
Viara was dumbfoundedly looking at the two of them. Her eyes were wide open, and the curiosity in her eyes had never been stronger before in her life.
“Umm…” He palely smiled. “Lady Beena is Arianna and Riley’s Mother.” He introduced her. “And of course, she’s my mother as well.” He added before he would get reprimanded again.
“Hehe…” Beena smiled in acknowledgment and then looked at Viara. Her big and curious eyes scanned the girl and the crown she was wearing on her head. “An Empress, huh…” She smiled palely. “You are beautiful and capable, but not the right Empress.”
Her remarks paled Viara’s face. She felt as if Lady Beena could look right through her. She felt as if her every thought was being read, and her every emotion was bare before the girl who looked to be around 15 years of age.
The remarks of Beena had confused the people in the room, but there were some who had understood the meaning behind her words. They knew that her words were not meaningless.
The mood in the room had turned solemn.
“She’s my Empress, Lady Beena,” Aizen smiled and said his words.
“If you say so…” The Mother of Devils smiled brightly at him, and the next moment, she was hugging Viara. “Ne-ne… what’s your name?”
“Viara…” She answered in confusion and fear.
“That’s a beautiful name…” She nodded to herself. “Would you call me Mother if I asked you to?”
Viara stared in the wine eyes of the Mother of Devils. The shade of her eyes was similar to her eyes, it was breathtakingly enchanting. The gentleness in her eyes confused her, and the mistiness that she would get upset if she didn’t call her Mother scared her.
“Mother…” She whispered.
“Again…” Beena instructed.
“Mother…” Viara answered with clarity.
“Yay!” Beena laughed happily. “I have another beautiful daughter!” She swayed her head to the song of her emotions. “I have the most beautiful daughters in the world!” She proclaimed with confidence.
Speechless, that’s what everyone was.
♛ Author’s Note:
MSB is now caught up with SH in the public Chapters. Chapter 49 is available on my Patreon, and the continuation of the story depends if The Cursed Star is voted for in the Poll for the Story of the Month on my Patreon or not.
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. The result comes out on Friday. See ya!.
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