Under the soft golden rays of the sun and the touch of the dawn’s wind, Aizen stood at the top of the Tower, looking far in the West.
There was a path marked by golden and purple flags, and it led, all the way, to the top of the Tower from the starting point set nearly seven hundred miles away.
“I say 10 seconds.” Jalaisha smiled at Victorian.
“8…” Victorian made his bet.
“12!” Arianna joined in as well. “He won’t go all out.”
“You think they can travel this distance in less than 12 seconds?” Xeina frowned. “They are not only racing, but they have to make sure that they collect their respective flags all the way here.”
“Only Silver…” Jalaisha giggled. “Viara has no chance against him, and if I must say, she will take over 20 seconds to get here.”
“If it was Vienna… she could cover this distance in under 12 seconds. But I don’t know how long she would have taken to collect these flags.”
The sudden words of Xeina surprised everyone but Aizen. No one here understood how fast Vienna was. She never showed her true speed to anyone, even Xeina and Viara only guessed it after racing with her.
“I will signal them to start now.” Siff, who was floating in the air, suddenly said.
She threw a luminous pearl in the air, which then burst out in myriad lights.
The first two seconds passed without anything out of normal, but then they witnessed a storm, brewing and advancing from the west.
Aizen’s heart skipped a beat at the sheer speed of the catastrophic storm that was coming for them.
A thunderbolt was leading the storm behind it, and by the time he finally started to get a hold of what was happening, Silver, amazingly, gained more speed.
Aizen heard his heart thump hard. The speed of Silver was faster than he could register with his eyes. It gave birth to an inexplicable feeling in his heart, and his pupils dilated before turning in the form of a six-pointed star. He had no idea about what was happening to him.
The blood in his veins boiled, and the mana inside it shivered excitedly. The Law of Time showed its might and mysteriousness, and the bolt of thunder that was too fast for him to trace a moment ago became slow enough to see past every step and action that Silver was taking. A mere second became like an eternity and his star pupils kept revolving.
Silver entered the vicinity of the Blood Hall, his eyes met Aizen. A pleased smile crept on his face, then a blue flame erupted from his body, and he once more gained in speed.
Everything that had seemed like an eternity to Aizen had transpired in a mere couple of seconds, and when the phenomenon subsided, nausea hit him.
He staggered, and Silver supported him to stand.
Aizen panted hard for breath as if he was the one that had raced, and it was then that all of them heard the crackling of Thunder that Silver had left him. Blood dripped out of Aizen’s nose and flowed onto his lips, into his mouth.
Viara arrived a few seconds later, and she worriedly rushed over to Aizen.
“What happened?” She asked.
“He was reckless…” He heard Arianna whisper near his ear, and then she made him drink a potion out of a vial. “But it paid off…” She giggled.
“Congratulations on breaking through the Royal-Blood Realm.” Victorian was the first to congratulate him.
“I am amazed you could even trace me even after I used my Law of Sloth.” Silver was unbelievably looking at Aizen.
“Nothing can escape the Eyes of Time.” Arianna smiled at Silver.
Silver sighed when he heard that and turned to look at Viara. “You were 16 seconds late, but not bad. 25 seconds is a good time.”
His words made Viara dispiritedly sigh and she clenched her fists.
“You covered the distance in 9 seconds…” She whispered.
“He could have covered it in 6 seconds,” Jalaisha smiled at her. “And he tricked you in a race. It was not fair from the Start.”
“What do you mean?” Viara frowned.
“Lady Beena informed you last night. Do you remember what Realm of strength Silver is in?”
“Second Phase of True-Origin Blood Realm.” She answered and a realization dawned on her. “Elemental evolution?” She whispered.
“Yes!” Jalaisha giggled. “To advance each Realm in that Phase means embracing your Elements in your body and soul. Even if he suppresses his Blood Realm to the Peak of Ancestral Blood, the bond he has with his elements can not diminish.”
“My apologies!” Silver smiled brightly and didn’t sound the least bit apologetic.
Viara nodded at him, but displeasure was evident on her face.
Aizen didn’t focus on the conversations. All his attention was on the concentration of mana in his body, and his aura that had intensified. The new Realm increased the mana pool by twice, and he was still only in the Initial Stage of Immemorial Blood Realm. Surprisingly, he was Rank 3, and not Rank 1.
The realization confused him, and his brows furrowed.
“You won’t get an answer for that no matter how hard you think over it.” Arianna smiled at him as she seemed to have read his mind.
“But you do know the answer?” He smiled at her.
Arianna brightly smiled and nodded, but then she shook his head before he could ask about it, making it clear to him that she would not tell him anything about it.
The group then left the Tower to get inside the Palace after Siff, Silver, and Xeina left to oversee the preparations of the Blood Moon Festival.
Xeina didn’t like to laze about, and so she asked Arianna and Jalaisha for things that she could help with, and she found a job that suited her.
“What is she going to do?” Aizen asked curiously as he watched the three of them fly away to the North.
“She is going to design the first test of the Blood Moon Tournament.” Jalaisha smiled at him. “It is the competition of Speed. She will design the type of race, the distance, and the times according to the Blood Realms. She will also serve as one of the Judges in that Round.”
“You had not decided on these things before?” He frowned.
“We did, but we decided to let her design it in her way.” Jalaisha giggled. “Her proposal was interesting.”
Viara was walking right behind them, and listening to the competition of Speed, she sighed.
“I haven’t seen Keira and Irina around.” She asked Jalaisha.
“They are Overseers, Judges, and Designers of the round of Mental Strength,” Jalaisha answered, and giggled at the displeasure of Viara.
“Why them…” The Empress of the Star Palace was not in a good mood.
“Because they are capable,” Arianna told her. “What do you think about Riley?” She changed the subject.
Her question made Viara silent. And Aizen’s heart skipped a beat.
He recalled last night when Riley had entered the Dining Room.
The pride that she held in her eyes was contagious, and the aura she exuded was divine. Riley was not like Arianna, but she had taken after her mother perfectly. Crimson eyes, platinum hair, luscious red lips, an inch taller than her mother, and forever sixteen. One look at Riley could tell that she was Beena Lucifer’s daughter. However, unlike her mother’s eccentric nature and terrifying mood-swings, she was a peaceful personality.
Riley nodded to everyone on the table and quietly sat down. She did not pay any attention to anyone more than necessary, and she only looked at Aizen in the eyes once during the time they sat on the table. And it was when she was answering his greeting.
To the surprise of everyone, she was not in the least embarrassed when Beena kept treating her like a little child, fed her with her hand, and complained about things concerning her. Unlike Arianna, who, at times, failed to hide her smile at her mother’s behavior, she was more obedient.
“If I was not aware of what happened to her, I would have believed that she was perfectly fine.” Viara sighed. “She good at hiding her emotions and focusing on things at hand.”
“The Law of Pride…” Arianna smiled. “A Lucifer can never show weakness.”
“But that makes me worried…”
“Don’t worry about her.” Arianna shook her head. “She does not need you to be concerned about her. It is his job…” She smiled at Aizen. “And she has me. She would not allow anyone else to even try taking care of her unless they prove they are worthy of her respect.”
Viara frowned at her words and questioningly looked at her.
“You are younger, weaker, inexperienced, and more fragile when compared to her.” She was blunt with her words, and she was only stating the facts. “In her eyes, you are someone that she needs to take care of in the future…”
“I don’t need anyone to take care…” Viara interjected Arianna but stopped what was saying as she realized what Arianna was trying to convey to her.
Arianna and Aizen smiled at her.
“See…” Jalaisha giggled. “You detest the thought of having her take care of you. And she is the Devil of Pride.”
“How do I treat her?” Viara bemusedly asked. “You Devils are tricky creatures…”
“Just don’t come out strong or do things a little too overtly…” Jalaisha answered her. “Do not let her feel like she is an alien in the family who needs more attention. She is different from Lysaria.”
Aizen let the girls be as they talked about things. The image on Riley was soundly imprinted in his thoughts. He couldn’t help but sigh at the truth. And it was scary.
“She is her mother’s daughter…” He whispered.
Arianna laughed when she heard that.
“You are in trouble…” She planted a kiss on his cheek and giggled some more. “On the bright side, you would not have a dull day in your life now.”
Victorian silently walked behind them, not saying anything. He was good at masking his presence when no one was not looking at him.
“Victorian” Aizen turned around to look at him, and let him catch up to walk by his side. “You are not organizing anything in the tournament?”
“Venus took care of things on my behalf, I will just preside as one of the Judges in the Strength, and Combat tests.” The tall man answered with a smile.
The group spent the afternoon talking about things that were going to take place tonight. It was after Lunch when Arianna and Jalaisha left with Viara to check out the venues, and Victorian left for the Throne Room to stand at his position.
“How many of these have you eaten since you came here?” He curiously looked up at the girl that was busy eating a frozen delicacy.
Liafina took another spoon full before looking at him and sweetly smiling.
“I don’t remember… This is a new flavor.” She leaned in and planted a kiss on his lips.
Her little tongue traced his lips, and then she straightened her back and continued enjoying her food.
Aizen licked the lingering feeling and taste she had left on his lips. Her lap was warm as ever, and her floral scent that brimmed with the spring of life was dangerously intoxicating. Looking at her carefreely eating her favorite dish made him smile.
Mischievous thoughts raced in his mind, and he turned to bury his face in her soft tummy. Her body shivered at his soft kisses, but she kept eating and giggling.
Not long after she finished her meal was she pressed under him. He took off their clothes in urgency, and their lips were locked passionately.
Liafina mingled her little tongue with his, letting him savor her taste, layered with the taste of the sweet delicacy she just had. A seductive moan escaped her small mouth into his, and he buried himself in her warm, wet folds. Her thin legs wrapped around his waist, locking him in her hold, and she rocked her small waist before he could begin his assault.
Aizen chuckled when he saw lust sparkling in her eyes, and his hands explored every inch of her body, tracing her ever softly, and clawing her greedily every time he hit the door to her womb.
The carnal fire burned fiercely in loins, and his craving fueled with every thrust he made. Her sweet moans reverberated in the room, and her skin glistened as her perfumed sweat poured out of her body, making the air around them turn in the floral scent of ever spring.
Every part of her smelt of life and flowers, and no matter how many times he had experienced it, he was left mystified each time. A shiny droplet of the Dew of Life poured out of the corner of her left eye, and Aizen intensified his assault. She was happy.
He ravished her, pounding her insides hard, making her gasp and moan in pain and pleasure. It wasn’t long before he screamed out when she jumped off the edge of the peak of pleasure. Her body convulsed uncontrollably, pleasure jolted inside of her, and her insides clamped tightly around his length, hurting him a little.
Her frail arms locked around his neck, and her thin lips tightly pressed on his collarbone.
“Take your time…” He whispered near her ear as he bore the aching fire in his loins, and planted soft kisses on her head as she caught her breath. “Next round…” He chuckled as soon as her emerald eyes regained some clarity.
Aizen flipped her on top of him, letting her mount him and take the lead at her pace. Liafina enjoyed the expressions that passed on his face as she tried moving her waist in different rhythms. Over their time spent together, she had indulged in their carnal desire enough times to give her power over him in the bed. It was not long before he was at her mercy.
Liafina locked his hands above his head, binding them in cuffs made of her water element. She placed her small hands on his chest and moved her waist forcefully, yet slow enough to savor every sensation.
Her insides milked him, clamped around him from time to time, and her shivering body sent shivers down his spine.
“You can’t play the game with me like this…” Aizen grinned at her and groaned she slammed her weight on him.
Liafina seemed to have lost her mind as she crazily rocked on top of him, letting out seductive moans, and her glistening skin, scent, misty eyes and shivering lips enchanted him. He could feel her heart throbbing in her insides, and he could hear his heart thumping hard.
Aizen bore the temptation long enough to let her jump off the peak again, and then he broke free of elemental cuffs, grabbed her waist and slammed her on his length, breaking past the door to her womb.
He burst inside of her, and the spreading warmth in her womb made another droplet of the Dew of Life escape her left eye.
Their fray had only just started, and after catching their breath, they were soon indulged in their carnal fray again. They did not leave a single couch in the room where they did not make love, and it was well in the afternoon when they were too tired to continue. The two souls, in their naked bodies, entangled with each other as they drifted off to a sound sleep.
An emerald flame caught the letter in his hand on fire, incinerating it into ash that vanished in the air.
“That’s disrespectful!” Berrick yelled angrily as he watched the letter in his brother’s hand burning. “He dares to treat us that way…” He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists tightly.
“Calm down…” A mellow voice called out with a sigh. “The goal was to have a sitting with him at the Arbitration Table. We achieved it.”
“Verona…” Berrick complicatedly looked at his sister but lowered his eyes when he saw the seriousness she held in hers.
“I never expected to get things done this way,” Kyle smiled and allowed Verona to sit in his lap. “We have an interesting night ahead of us.” He planted a kiss on his wife’s fair cheek, earning giggles from her.
“Keira will be there with you on the table…” Verona couldn’t contain her smile.
“Mhm…” Kyle nodded. “To allow two Zions to be there on the table with him is respectful enough. It is a subtle message, and that is enough.”
Berrick frowned when he heard his older siblings’ conversation. His heart tightened when a sudden thought emerged in his mind and his eyes turned severe.
“Tonight, she will break off her ties with us.” He grimly spoke.
“Blood bonds are not that fragile Berrick…” Kyle smiled at his brother. “She will always be our sister, no matter what decision she makes. And I would be happy if only she survives the catastrophe that is upon us.”
Verona frowned when she saw the complex expressions that passed Berrick’s eyes and face at Kyle’s words. Out of the five siblings, he was the one that failed to contain his emotions at times when the situation pressed on him.
Berrick was not a weakling, he was immensely capable and strong, but his lack of self-control over his emotions was a dangerous flaw, and that was the reason why he disliked having too many responsibilities pushed on him.
“You will be there with other envoys to lead the team of youngsters for the Tournament.” Kyle smiled at him. “The Stavros and the Krone would try to instigate you…”
Berrick sighed when he heard that.
“I won’t let our family down, brother.” He assuringly nodded. “And yes, I won’t lose my temper.” He whispered, but he sounded confident.
♛ Author’s Note:
The next two chapters will come out on Friday..
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