Chapter 3 The Chancellor’s Game
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Demon continent Alsace in 290 after the destruction of the empire

 

She looked at the little thing on her arm with its almost human features. One could already say too human features. She had to look once again at her sister-in-law to compare this child with the ones in her arms.

She looked once again at her sister-in-law and her brother, the former still marked by the strains of childbirth. Whereas her husband was beaming at her as he tried to steal his daughter from her mother's arms. Eventually, he was able to take his daughter in his arms and his already big grin grew even bigger.

The little one had an interplay of the skin patterns of her two parents and she was also a head taller than her twin. Which she put down on a changing table installed in the room especially for this purpose. It was a shame of parents with such potential came a child with how it seems all the talents. While the other child had received only the scraps.

It would be a hard life for her little niece. Which was born with only a level one core. Whereas her sister was born with an excellent and large level three core. Which was a good sign, it was normal for demon children to be born with a level three core, but the size was of unheard proportions.

She had to look back down at the small sleeping figure, whose skin grain did not resemble either of her parents. Also, the size was disturbing, she was far smaller than most demon children. And she had already delivered many children Lilith and Asmodus in her function as a sister in the service of the goddess Lilith. And it happened every now and then that one of the children of the gods was not born like the other children. In the case of the little girl who was sleeping on the changing table in front of her, it seems that she had been given a great burden.

 

"Are you sure?" She stepped around to her brother and his wife, who had given the little girl back to his wife. She knew her brother only as a strict and logic-driven demon, but the decision to give his daughter away because she was too weak. Seemed to eat at him, she could see how he had to wrestle with himself. The same struggle she could see in her sister-in-law.

At this moment there was a knock on the door from outside, which was pushed open shortly after. In came a demon in a black uniform, whose right breast was bristling with medals. The demon had to bend down to even get through the door and then filled it completely.

"Chancellor." She nodded to Chancellor Abraxas. He did the same and greeted her with a nod. After that, his gaze immediately wandered to her brother and his wife.

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Abraxas eyed the two fresh parents, both of whom were descended in a direct line from the gods. Maybe that was why their little daughter had such a potent level three core. One that he had already sensed from the outside. Thus, his measures of help, which he had determined for Theodora, had been a stroke of luck.

There were enough possible rivals or enemies who wanted to harm Theodora and Justinian, probably to the same extent that they had allies and friends. Still, with a possible pair of demon rulers, one had to be careful that news of a pregnancy didn't fall on the wrong ears. Especially with a newborn like this.

He couldn't even remember the last time he had felt such power from a newborn. After looking at the little demon girl for a while, during which the room had become completely silent, he turned his attention to Justinian.

"Then the three sisters must have been sympathetic to you..." He made a weighty pause"... You see that the gods see it the same way as many of my allies see it?" He tries to find signs in the young demon's facial features if he was aware of the fate that lay ahead for his daughter. Whether he knew what role he and all the others had to play.

In his long life, he had seen many young demon's who had failed at this very point, who could not face the burden that the gods had placed on them. But he believed that with this young couple he had a chance to achieve what he and other demons had failed for a so long. To resurrect the former demon realm and what better time than the present. Also, he could not wait any longer. His health was no longer the best and when would he find such a promising candidate again.

Justinian and Theodora were themselves promising demons who could still reach unimagined heights. Besides, he did not want to serve this child-king anymore, with his false gods. He and his clan had already harmed the realm enough.

"We are not some chess pieces that you can move back and forth at will." Said Theodora to him in an icy voice.

"No no, my dear, you have misunderstood me. I was a good friend of your father- "That's as far as he got before she interrupted him.

"I also knew my father well, perhaps better than you knew him and you - " She pointed at him with her free hand, in the other holding the child protectively away from him. He liked her as he had liked her father, both were true demons. Not like most of the nobility or the king, let alone the common people. All had become too weak and lazy. Just like the new god wanted, like cattle being led to the slaughter."- I know well enough, too. "Immortal Chancellor Abraxas." She paused, which hung heavily between them. "You and my father and others of the old guard have been working on your plans in the dark for a long time. What your plans are exactly, I do not know. But I will avoid being used by you like a chess piece on a board invisible to me." He had to control himself not to show his grin. His old friend had left him a magnificent demoness.He looked from her to her husband.

"Do you have the same opinion as your woman here?" He tried to provoke him, to see what Justinian was made of. He had eyed the two for a long time and tested them countless times, but he still liked to see a demon bite back at whoever challenged him and insulted his wife.

It was rare in a marriage today that both partners were equally strong, it was much more common that one of the two was weaker than the other. Which in his eyes led to such weak demons as there were today.

"Watch your tongue Chancellor. You may be the immortal chancellor, but I wonder how you will do your job if we tear off your limbs and feed your tongue to the poor?" At these words, a smile crept onto Justinian's face, while his body seemed to be relaxed. He had to admit that he would have trouble winning against either of them, even if Theodora had just given birth to a child. But was he still in their own house, in which they had certainly taken precautions for such cases. Also he could not forget the high sister of Lilith, who was also the sister of Justinian.

"Chancellor, you should perhaps say what you are here for." she suggested, while looking at him.

"I think everyone here already knows that? Do they?" He let a questioning look wander over the present ones. Whereby he noticed another small newborn, which he had not noticed at all up to this point. The discovery of another newborn demon made him pause for a moment. The relationship could not be denied. This meant that Theodora had given birth to twins.

But at the same time he could feel why the high sister of Lilith took care of this newborn. Its core was almost non-existent and its presence was almost not felt. A Cikarti, a child who was not born with the same potential as normal children of Lilith and Asmodus. Children who had yet to earn the gift of being a demon.

"Which one is the firstborn?" He asked in a strained voice. Lilith's high sister pointed to the newborn lying on a table beside her.

"She will have to earn her place." He said it without malice more to state a fact. All present, of course, knew of the customs and the traditions that went with them.

"Onyx would you let her..." Justinian's voice broke. It was not an easy request, he knew that, yet they had to obey the traditions.

"Leave it, I'll take care of it." He interrupted Justinian as he started to speak again.

"Parts of the tradition are probably forgotten today, but in my time they didn't kill every child born a Cikarti. Today, everyone has become too soft-hearted." He paused for a moment to sit down on one of the chairs, which was ready against the wall next to the door.

"I suppose you are aware of why I am here?" He looked questioningly at all three. He believed that all three had a good idea of what he wanted from them.

"You do not need to answer. You are a couple who carry both bloodlines of the gods, and your children will be born with both. Your child is the proof. Or rather both your children are the proof."

"In my time, when there was a great demonic realm that stretched across the continent, Cikarti were not as rare and afflicted as they are today."

"Then, as now, the basic tenor of our race is strength. We seek it in all and everyone is driven by this pursuit. To become stronger."

"But and here I am sure you know this. Demons are born with a level three core. Like the other long-lived races that live on Arcane, we come into the world with a higher level than say humans or other short-lived races."

"Yes, we know all that Chancellor, but what are you getting at with your history lesson?" Theodora threw back at him. He smiled in the face of her youthful impatience. "What I'm getting at is that despite the fact that we all strive for strength, we don't have any more higher level demons than other races with shorter life spans. And these are mostly Cikarti as well, which today are just always killed in an act of false mercy. That's what I'm getting at." This he let sink in before continuing.

"You will also be aware that your marriage has made some waves. Should your second daughter now take over the role of your firstborn and say you had the support of a political heavyweight like myself. You would be immensely closer to your goal of getting the rule out of the hands of this incompetent child, who sits on our throne and plays ruler for the moment. The people as well as the nobility want to be ruled again by the lineages of the gods and not a puppet of foreign gods."

"I want to see the old demon empire revived and this will only be possible under the rightful rulers."

"But what exactly do you want to do with our firstborn?" Theodora asked him, while Justinian watched him with eagle eyes.

"This let be my concern, let me only say that I can give you a way with which your daughter can stand by your side. At least one day and can take her rightful place."

 

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"Do you think we did the right thing? And that we can trust him?" His wife asked him. If he was honest with himself, he had no idea. Abraxas' visit had not been without warning, he had been supporting them for a long time. He was also right that they would like to take their rightful place in the hierarchy of demons.

Of course, a Cikarti would not look good there, but on the other hand, they could have put it out of its misery. They both were not from the same generation as the chancellor. In their generation, Cikarti were left to die or were killed after birth. They, with their mere one hundred years each, were of course still children in the eyes of someone like Abraxas. Even if they were the last children from the lines of Lilith and Asmodus. But they were not the only demons who came from a line of the gods. Only the others were from lesser gods or even gods foreign to the demonic pantheon.

"I believe that we can trust the Chancellor in this matter, and if not, it is only a Cikarti. How will he prove that it comes from us?" He fixed his gaze on her to watch her reaction. He was a little worried that she might regret her decision. It didn't look like it, though; she had a thoughtful expression on her face.

"If what the Chancellor told is true, it could be that she becomes a true demon and she can stand by our side. Not that she can get Minerva's legacy, but she would make a good addition." He had to laugh at himself, he had not trusted his wife enough. She, however, had again thought only of their future and how she could get them both on the throne.

He just had to kiss her.

"You know I love you?"

"Yes."

 

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"Did you do what I asked you to do?" Abraxas asked his most loyal servant as he looked into the open fire of his study's fireplace.

"Yes my lord."

"Good, you can retire for today."

"Thank you my lord." With a bow, he walked out of the open double door and closed it without coming out of his bow. He played with a dagger, which he had taken earlier from a crest of his own coat of arms. He was pleased with himself. Justinian and Theodora would do exactly what he wanted them to do. Or rather, what Lilith wanted them to do. He had been a loyal servant of Lilith all his life. Still, he could sense that he was too old for the coming storm, which would rearrange Arcane.

That's why he had helped the young couple a little, also he wanted to see his life's dream realized. The dream of a new great empire of the demons, led by him and ruled by the lineage of the goddess. He had long worked on Lilith getting the bloodline Asmodus or one of her descendants. But his greatest move was the theft of souls for his people, with which he could increase the birth rate and breathe new life into his people with strong souls

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