I held up a perfectly manicured hand, because I take care of myself. "Okay, back up there for a second. What's up with this sis nonsense? Sure, she's my daughter too, but I never said I'd make you my son. And I'm sure I never did anything with your mother, probably." Last time I was here I somehow blacked out--which is damn weird considering I NEVER get drunk--so I suppose anything coulda happened, but still. " How the hell is that girl your sister?"
I sensed yet more secrets on the horizon about to come to light. And lo and behold, I was right, because his next words were, "Well you see, kid, sometimes when a man and a woman are horny--"
"Please don't. I'm too old for the birds and bees thing. Let me guess, your parents had a child late?"
The man was busy looking through a large chest off in a closet near the back. "What? No, my father's just a slut. Lottie's my half-sister."
This...I wasn't sure what to say. A slutty Angel. That kind of thing existed?
"Aren't Angels supposed to be, you know, all righteous and pure and shit?"
"I don't know, I only ever knew one and that was Father." The King explained while throwing back weapons he deemed unworthy. "Dana, seriously, where's that damn axe? I can't just go a-purgin' without my axe."
"Did you check up top?"
"Why would it be up top?"
"I moved it there the last time you got mad and wanted to go cut off Minister Ford' arm."
"Huh? Why would I want to do that?"
"He got drunk and hit on me a couple years ago at a party."
A mocking laughed." Oh please, I wouldn't cut off an arm for that."
"Also, Charlotte called him uncle Harold and said she liked him more than you."
"What the hell? I'm her brother, what bullshit is that? Liking that fop more than this big bro? Impossible. Alright, whatever, I'll kill him later."
The Queen turned her head towards me with a raised brow. "He's really petty when it comes to that kid sometimes. Why do you think she only eats soups and cakes? This guy always gives in to her."
"So it's him!" I shouted. "You're why the kid was so malnourished?" A deathglare.
"My Lottie can have anything she wants!"
"Haven't you ever heard of tough love? I guess it's true, no one can care for a girl like her Papa can."
He rushed out of the room carrying a morning star. "You take that back. I'm her big bro, no one loves her more than me."
"You think you know familial love? But you were merely born to it. I, however, am the family she chose. The Papa she wanted. No one can love or be loved by her more than I."
He was quiet for a moment, staring at me intently. Then he asked. "Hey, kid. Did you know crimes against the Royal Family are punishable by death?
I narrowed my eyes, not liking where this was going at all. "Why do you ask?
Instead of answering my question, he just smiled. "Here, hold this." He handed me the morning star.
An instant later: "Guards! He's got a weapon!"
This fucker's tryna frame me!
I got so mad I kicked him in the shin. "King my ass. Planting evidence on me, you changing your name to Ronald Watts or something? Well too-fucking-bad, Lucy-loo, this ain't the Chicago PD. Baz, curtain please." I instructed. "Dana, my beauiful Milfy Goddess, I'm sorry. I'm kidnapping your husband again. Alex, gag him."
"You can't really expect me to--"
"Wyrm-chan misses you, I'm sure."
"Deus Vult!" The boy shouted with sudden vehemence. He thumped a hand over his chest and got to work after a short bow.
The Queen watched me wrap up a struggling Lucy with a sigh. "Please don't be gone too long. Not much of a Kingdom without a King, understand? I can say he's sick, get him home in a week."
"I'll take good care of them both." I promised.
"And why're you wrapping him up? Isn't that boy Mary's child? You know he can teleport, don't you?"
"This is just tradition." I patted Lucy's rump.
Meanwhile the Prince started consoling his father. "It's okay, it's okay...hush now...just let it happen. It's easier that way."
"Whatever. Ah." She paused, "And what's a Wyrm-chan?" Dana asked hesitantly.
"Likely a trauma by now." I replied. Upon being at the receiving end of her narrowed gaze I hurriedly added, " Don't worry, I'd never hurt my future lil bro."
She went quiet. Then,"...Hey, kid." Now THAT sounded familiar, didn't it? " Did you know we have a new vigilante prowling the streets recently?"
"Weird change in topic, but okay."
"They call her Chrysanthemum Breaker. Apparently she likes to poke new holes in the bums of her criminal victims."
All of a sudden my butt puckered in response to danger. I could feel my left nut tingle like never before.
The woman smiled brilliantly down upon me, holy and pure. "In fact, me and her are quite close. So I happen to know she has you to thank for helping the woman awaken to her... particular brand of justice. It'd SUCH a shame if she had to turn her rapier against you in the future...wouldn't you say?"
SHE'S INTO PEGGING!
Gods help me, this girl's dangerous!
"Baz, get us outta here!"
The green-haired little boy nodded. "Nope."
Thinking fast, I grabbed a pair of scissors from the desk.
The boy nearly fainted. "Going, we're going, okay?!"
And, as he said, we were gone.
" You're saying you want WHAT now? " Bubble's furious voice was the first thing I noticed.
"Please, Goddess, you have to understand the position we're in. This could help save our land."
"All the Clans agree. This is a time where we must unite."
"As it was in eras past, so will it be again. We beg you, Goddess. Take his hand and bless us with your favor. If you do so we will forever follow your rule. And if you are not satisfied with only us then we will gladly conquer in your names."
Several men stood before her. The representatives, whose names I all forgot. The whole "take his hand" thing, combined with the fact they invited me here, made me pretty sure I knew what they were talking about.
"What the eight hells is wrong with your heads? You want me to MARRY the guy?" Chelsea glared at them imperiously. "And what, just because you're offering your fealty? What's that, can you eat it? I'm helping because I WANT to. I don't need a Kingdom and I'm certain neither does he."
"We have report that his forces may intend that very thing, though, Goddess. They're already trying to establish relationships with merchants in the area. They're bandits who used to hold several dozen potential trade routes, never used as they made them extremely dangerous. Now that they've been either destroyed or converted to his cause they're offering to open those routes and offer protection. Their numbers have reached that of a sizeable human city. They're using an army of wolves and other monsters God Solaire has tamed to quickly bring materials and erect walls! And the mutant beastkin who'd been in hiding train every day, copying Solaire's morning practive routine, and have made great strides in learning Aura control! If this doesn't show their intent on the creation of a Kingdom all their own, what will?"
I snapped my knee and chuckled, announcing my presence at last. "Damn, you serious? That's hilarious!"
I didn't know any of that stuff was happening. Where've I been?
"Your Grace!" Bubbles got up. "Did you hear what these dirty old men want us to do?"
"Men?" Yesmina, who'd been listening quietly up to now, muttered. Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot she was part of the reps.
"Wait, who is that?"
As one, the representatives turned and stared. They let out sounds of shock!
"The King of Elior!"
"It really is. What's he doing here?"
"Look, it's Lord Solaire. Don't tell me he--"
Before the men could even react I used the giant blunt known as Lucy and smacked them all to the ground. Double tapping for good measure.
I mean I can't have it be known the King of a Kingdom was brought out to behead cultists. Completely of his own volition. Ahem.
Yesmina looked at me warily.
She gave a shaky little smile. "Erm, look, just because I like you doesn't mean I can just ignore--"
I held up Lucy, who was gagged but still shouting with a red face.
"You know I'd never betray you, hubby. Shame on you for even thinking it. What kind of woman do you take me for?" She quickly changed tunes. "I saw nothing."
"That's why you're my favorite." I started slowly unrolling the King.
"Really?" The girl perked up, pleasantly surprised.
"Nah, I love all my girls equally, except Dolly. She's the first of equals, but still first."
"...Oh. Wait, why does it feel you're treating me as a sister or something?"
"I am, though?"
Her cheek twitched. "I'd like to apply for the girlfriend position."
I flicked her nose playfully. "Silly goose, you have to be at least 18 years of age to get on this ride. Come back in a few more years, 'kay love?"
"18?!" She stomped her foot. "Most Nobles that age are engaged by then!" I heard her sniffle. "I'm wasting my best years on you, aren't I? And you don't care at all. You're such a cold guy, Damien. So mean and cruel..." I heard her then whisper to herself. "I kinda like it though..."
I had to admit, she had me in the first half.
I mentally shrugged. To each their own. I mean I already rejected her. Kid's gotta move on. Maybe I should hook her up too?
"Your Grace, did you have to do that?" Bubbles cut in.
"You wanted to do it, didn't you?"
"Yeah, and now they're already asleep. What's the fun in hitting them if they won't even feel it?"
"The fact that it'll hurt more when they wake up."
She thought about it. "And they won't know it's me either..."
"Use your agressive feelings, girl. Let the hate flow through you!"
Before she hit them the blue-haired Undine coughed and glanced at Yesmina. "Uh, just for the record, he told me to do it. The guy's a bad influence, okay? Totally not my fault. I was seduced."
"Hey, where's Lottie?" Alex questioned. "And the others?"
"I sent them to a nearby building to rest. But that Cass guy's been locked up in his room ever since he got in. There's a weird smell coming from inside."
My Divine Herbs!
"Alright. Anyway, I'm back now. Time to party. Then, the hunt. Oh. Shit. Wait, I forgot something. Baz!"
The boy groaned. "Not again!"
"No rest for the traitorous. Come, my pretty. To Jacob's house we go."
The Broschart Estate. Settled on a flat plain of emerald-green grass and nestled right next to a large pond that always seemed to glow with a mysterious light every full moon without fail.
There were several figures in front of me. One of whom I recognized instantly.
"It's time, son." A tall man with graying hair spoke up, gripping his son's shoulder.
"I know, father." The son, a youth with jet-black hair and sea-blue eyes, replied. He gave me a cool appraisal. "You're late."
Ah, I see. They expected me. That's the weird Broschart intuition at work again, I suppose. Shoulda known.
I waved. "Only by a month or two. Sorry I missed your birthday."
"No you aren't. But it doesn't matter." He stepped forward. "You're here to pick me up. " It wasn't a question. "Let's get this over with then." He sighed heavily.
I noticed his hand tightening around the hilt of his sword.
"Dude, I'm setting you up with an adorable girl who has all the love in the world to give, and you're bitching?"
Another great sigh. "It's never that easy where you're involved."