The music of the orchestra is playing in the air in that throne room. Everyone is enjoying the night, forgetting every political conflict and argument.
The night was more peaceful than this party though.
The stars lined up perfectly on the night skies like diamonds to be picked.
It was peaceful and quiet on that balcony until he heard someone singing.
A song he was quite familiar with and heard recently.
The orchestra stopped and the whole crowd silenced. He gazed back inside over the balcony and he saw everyone looking at a single person. The woman with long silver hair was approaching the Throne while singing. Not sure if he was hearing her from where he was standing but he can hear her sing like she is right in front of her.
"Oh no!" he began to worry when the woman was now in front of the Throne where her mother with the Queen was currently sitting.
The 3 Knights that were with the Queen blocked the woman with their weapons—a spear, a sword, and a pointing arrow. The strange woman stopped singing and before she does or say anything, he instantly 'teleported' right beside her and grab her arm.
"Apologies your majesty and fellow knights for the rudeness and alarm. I'll just have her go back to—" the woman talked for the first time, stopping him from his escape line.
"How fascinating. So this is the outside world" she claimed as she look at everyone with weird entertained bluish cold eyes.
He reached her arm again but this time she avoided it. She looked at him and smiled.
"Oh finally we meet" she reached his face with her both hands, enclose it, and demanded a kiss.
He heard his mother's grasp of surprise.
Even he was surprised!
What is this woman doing? he uttered inside his head.
"I've never known that you have the quiet beauty of a wife, Loren" surprised and confused, asked the Queen.
He doesn't know what to say. Everything was moving faster than he can comprehend or process.
"I never knew you have a wife too, Your Imperial Highness. In fact none of us" He heard Muscovante from the crowd of confused people.
He knew that tone. He was testing if he can use this situation to make a scene.
"I-I never mentioned it to you, Muscovante, or to everyone else. My wife you see has a habit of making people—"
He stopped when he saw the Queen rise to the throne and walk towards them—her eyes locked on the woman.
What am I saying? Even he was lost for words but he knows that he has to deny it or else...
"I have this question in my mind the moment I saw your wife, number 7...
The Knights made their way and the queen then touches the strange woman on her chin. He began to feel nervous when the queen's eyes glow in yellow.
...I'm not sure but she is different" she explained as she carefully examined the woman's face while her fangs are insight.
"You are trying to read my mind, don't you?...."
Talking back at the Queen without giving her respect, he admits that this is rather a doomsday.
"...my Queen" She raised the side of her dress and bow down to Queen Elena.
He internally gave a sigh.
Just like the glowing eyes of the queen, the woman smiled and glow her eyes in blue as well.
"You have a very powerful barrier in mind and I can't penetrate. What is your name?" asked the Queen, now entertained.
"My name is Anastasia, my Queen. Daughter of someone who hasn't had a name in social gatherings such as this. Only lucky to be married to a loving husband"
She reached his hand and smiled like a proud wife to the crowd.
"Liar! We never knew that Your Imperial Highness has a woman aside from my daughter!" he heard a shout from the crowd.
There it is!
It came from Venicio, the head of the Garados Family and the father of Elaine—his fiancée.
He found Elaine in the crowd and when they both meet their eyes, the woman gazed in the opposite way avoiding him. He saw her leave the crowd after.
He wants to chase her but he is unable to 'cause the woman whose name is Anastasia wraps her arms around his.
Anastasia smiled and he gave a confused smile at her.
The Queen then got control of the crowd and announce him as the official Knight that will directly serve her until the very end of her rule. When they can finally move at ease and everyone returns to normal, she saw her mother approach Venicio and by the looks of it, he knows that her mother was apologizing to him. Though Elaine's father refuses to be put to shame and left the crowd eventually. He doesn't know what to do. Should he stop this act at once? He looked at Anastasia and he can feel how dangerous the power it has. Not sure but she blended in perfectly and present herself as one of them.
Again, he escaped the crowd and proceed to the garden. He knows he will see her there. Elaine.
The woman in a brown dress was sitting on a bench while talking to the plants. With her earthy powers, it has been said that Elaine can communicate with any of the plants and animals. She is refined and beautiful on that starry night. Before he can able to approach her, she already felt her presence.
"Then there he is, the man who swore to make me her wife, lilies" she said talking to the white flowers planted on the pots beside her and not looking at him.
He almost runs towards her but he did not. When he arrived, he, without any second thought, kneel his right leg and bowed to the woman instead.
"Elaine, my love" he almost lost his voice.
"There's no need to call me that, my lord" The voice was bland and unenergetic.
He raised his gaze and look at the woman sitting on a bench in front of him. Elaine was still looking at the flower smiling—a smile that hides the pain she has inside. He can't control his urge to touch the woman. With his left hand, he reached hers and on his right, he gently touched her face to make her look at him.
Elaine looked at him for a second then gaze down. He can see the tears trying their best not to flow on his beloved's cheeks.
"We don't have anything to discuss, Your Imperial Highness. Your wife surely is looking at you inside" she gets rid of his hands and sits back to give the both of them space.
"Elaine, she is not—"
Before he drops the truth they, suddenly felt a killing intent in the atmosphere. When he identifies the location, he raised his left hand then out of surprise, he is blocking a fiery arrow. It's not an ordinary arrow. It has an elemental power that contradicts his.
"Elaine stand back!" he covers himself from the woman while blocking the arrow with his own power.
He is trying to cover the arrow with the chilling wind and at the same time trying to stop it from piercing his hand. He felt movements and he knew he can't be stuck in this situation. His eyes glow and a force from his hand covered the entire arrow to ice, as he closed it, the arrow breaks into pieces.
"Your Imperial Highness!" an almost scream from Elaine when she saw another shadow behind him.
The first shadow start to move and he knew the target will be her. Elaine on the other hand controls the garden and made the plants move according to her will. Before the first shadow was able to get closer to her, she captured it by wrapping the thorn veins of the roses on it and leaving it to immobilize. Loren moved next and cast a spike of ice beneath the assassin but was canceled by an unknown force. The second shadow beside him was also immobilized when he froze the floor same time he cast the spike of ice on the first shadow.
"Enough!" commanded someone.
They look at the source of that voice and they saw Queen Elena. It was a surprise, especially when they look back at the two assassins and recognize them as the two Knights who accompany the queen.
"That was fast and breathtaking, number 7. You as well, my lady" The queen gave a smile to both of them and both gave their respect.
The two knights were released at once. They both introduce themselves to them. The first shadow who sneaked behind Elaine's back was Gregorio, he holds a sacred sword called Saints of seven seas. The second shadow who faced him was Leomord, a knight of the queen who holds a spear— Letterin.
"You have an excellent tandem with the lady Elaine but you've missed one, Loren" said the Queen of Queens.
He already knew that. A man jumped off the balcony and approached them. The third person was the first to attack with an arrow, Arthur. He holds the bow called Khryselakatos that sends fiery destructive arrows just like what he blocked a while ago.
"You have great reflexes and you also plan for your next move faster than anyone, my fellow knight" commended Arthur then offers a handshake. They shook hands and smiled at each other.
"Yeah and he also managed to immobilize Gregorio from his feet," said Leomord teasing the other knight and he and Arthur laughed making the man get pissed off and shouted at both of them.
"I have a disadvantage. He is using Ice!" argued Gregorio but the other two laughed harder.
He looks at the Queen and the Highness is silent with poise laughing as well.
"You underestimated your opponent, Gregorio" she said.
He never knew the Knights and the Queen can act like this!
"Let's go inside, Loren? Elaine?" The Queen asked.
Going back to the party, he saw Anastasia again and nothing is new compared to the first time she revealed herself to the crowd. She is quite enjoying the people and the attention they are giving to her.
"I have to go. I need to go to my father" he gazed back at Elaine.
He and her father met each other's eyes, Venicio didn't flinch. Though he knows his eyes are in rage just by looking at him. Garados household left the party after a few minutes.
"I have heard of what happened to the former Viceroy, Alyssa" the queen started at the Dinner table after the party was over.
It's not actually a 'dinner' but more of a meeting in the dining area. Her mother stops slicing the piece of meat on her plate and looks up to the Queen. Both of them are getting nervous. Though they knew that this topic is inevitable.
"Y-yes, My queen. My husband, the former Viceroy and Emperor of this country has been sentenced to death by our people" her mother answered shivering yet coated in false bravery.
The Queen picked up the wine glass and sign the wine bearer to fill it. She moved her wrist to mix the wine on her cup and smell it. The Queen's eyes glow in yellow as she smells the blood mixed on her cup. That brought a chill to their veins.
"You offer us a dinner fit for humans yet you all know that a wine will suffice. What do you think you are doing, New appointed Viceroy, Alyssa" The Queen stood up and walked to the nearest window with the cup of wine in her hand, smelling it.
"My Q-queen—" her mother loses her composure as we witness the meltdown of food on the table-- table consisting of Roasted young pig, loaves, sweets, and pastries.
"Is it true that your household is protecting the humans who are in your territory?" still in her powerful glowing eyes, looking outside of the window with her glass on the tip of her nose.
They stood up from their seats as the melting of food on the table gave a rotting smell.
He tried to stand strong on his feet and answer the Queen.
"My Queen, we are governing the country for decades and we haven't lost our power even to the humans. My father wanted to manage the extraction of blood to them still but not to abuse power and make the humans suffer!" he loses his composure on that last word.
"Loren" her mother whisper his name to the air to signal him to calm himself.
"Yet you lose power controlling the nobles here. After the tragedy, you remain in defense and cover the entire region with your ice and blizzards" The queen calms down as well, and her eyes stop glowing. The food meltdown into liquid by that time when the Queen returned to her seat.
"My mother, the late Queen of the vampires appointed your household to be her power in this lands, to get control of the vampires and vanish the werewolves—" the Queen was interrupted.
"Which our family did graciously for centuries!" he said proudly.
Gregorio moves in his position to attack but the Queen raises her hand to signal him to remain calm.
"No one shall interrupt the Queen when she is talking, my fellow knight" calm but firm advised by Arthur who is standing as well with the other knights.
Leomord remained silent and unbothered. He disrespected the Queen, he knows that but a misunderstanding of his father's motives he won't let slip.
"My son, please" her mother spoke again. Weak and begging him to calm down.
"My Queen, allow me to speak" surprisingly Anastasia who was silent from the very start speak and break the tension in the air.
He and his mother as well were put into shock, when he tried to advise her to remain silent the Queen had already given her permission.
"Thank you. I knew nothing in politics but your Knight in the tour will return soon and give you proof that the lands still in Descovick's territory are loyal to their governance. The humans and other vampires outside their household remain loyal to the throne"
They were all surprised at her stand. How does she know that a knight is at a loss searching and examining their lands? He doesn't know a thing and her mother surely is too!
The Queen didn't bother to be surprised compared to them and just smiled.
"I knew you have the psychic capabilities parring to the royal family" she was commending her.
"Marco" The Queen summoned this Knight.
A small whirlwind began to show up beside the Queen and it brought the man in front of them.
"Yes, my Queen" the man in his tuxedo bows his head to her. He was with a human girl beside him.
"Who is the human, Marco?" asked the Queen.
Marco then signals the human child to speak by winking and smiling at her.
"M-my name is Lecieta, my Q-queen. My family lives in the territory governed by the Tsesarevich" the girl introduces.
"What brings her here, Marco?"
Without directly answering the Queen, Marco just soft-spoken and caringly advised the human child "Go ahead. Speak for your prince"
The knight Marco then let the girl speak and defended their household by sharing how they were treated compared to those humans under different noble vampires.
Since the grip of the Descovick's on the land weaken, other noble vampires and other 'stray' vampires began to treat the humans poorly. Closing their territories to defend themselves from other nobles who wants to steal the crown gave out the humans who were left outside their territories to be treated inhumanely. Other villages were massacred or even enslave for their blood.
The Queen was surprised at how it turned out to be bloody and hellish. She taught that the issue is just a conflict in power and ruling.
"This is still the result of how poor you manage the vampires, Alyssa. If this continues, we all know that the werewolves will not be silent about this. War is happening on both species in Europe, we can't let another one here, and you will surely be defeated. Your household against other vampire families and the werewolves entering the battlefield"
"Y-yes, my Queen. We will control the lands and make sure to prevent the wars" his mother knelt and gave allegiance.
"So then, I won't extract you here yet, Loren. Your first mission as my Knight is to bring back power to Descovick's. I can't personally interfere with your lands' power struggles but through you, this won't mean I have chosen sides even if you are officially my knight. You are still the crowned prince of Russia for vampires anyway"
He knelt giving the same gestures as her mother.
Anastasia also knelt and mirrored their gestures.
"Since I won't be publicly supporting you in uniting this country, you know I won't give you any of my soldiers, right?" The Queen asked, disclaiming.
"Yes, my Queen" all three responded.
"But do not dismay, a powerful creature is with you." the Queen said and walk away from the room.
He and his mother look at each other, puzzled.
Before the daylight explodes in Russian lands, the Queen and her forces flee to their next destination.
"You surely give yourself a scare whenever I speak on your affairs, Prince Loren"
Anastasia is standing on the water in the center of the pond located in the garden where he made sure to approach silently but got busted right away. She is meditating.
"It is because I am sure you are not one of us. Who sealed you on that frozen lake, Anastasia?" he confronted as he come closer to her.
The mysterious woman looked at him. She stops meditating and faces him.
"You are correct. I am not a vampire nor a werewolf not also human" she flew and landed on the side of the pond, walking towards him.
"I am what you call a Fairy," she said stopping in front of him.
"That is ridiculous. Fairies are myths and tales for kids" he exclaimed.
The woman reached his face and gently pull him closer to hers. Their face is a meter away from each other. She looked at his deep blue eyes and he looked at her cold bluish-white eyes.
"So are your races. We lived longer than you were. We are one of the first beings on this world, Loren" he felt the warmth on her breath reaching his skin.
"Why do you have to introduce yourself to the party as my wife? My mother scolded me for that too. I almost risk our house for that"
Loren is irritated but Anastasia just turns her back and dance in front of her. Dancing as if there is a song playing in the air.
"Answer my question, my lady. What you did might cause my family another enemy" he has tensions both in his words and his movements.
Anastasia stops dancing and faced him in distance.
"You asked me who sealed me on that frozen lake?"
An eerie atmosphere envelops the two of them.
"I sealed someone in there. I caught up with my own spell when I tried to give my all just to trap her in"
She is not making any sense but she continues.
"Do you know exactly why your kind exists?" she then asked. Serious when she's looking through his eyes.
It gave him a shiver in his spine but collects himself to answer.
"It was a curse from a powerful witch, they say"
She walks around him afterward. Silent and mysterious she circled him, looking at his entirety from every angle.
"A powerful witch is not the reason for your existence. It is my Kind, Your Imperial Highness. Your ancestors were once human and been cursed by the evil fairy"
He paused. Confused.
"What does that to do with you, the sealed lake, and the person you are trying to trap in there?" He wants to jump down to where the woman wants to point it.
"That person I tried to trap in the lake was a celestial being. She annihilated the rest of my kind and I was the only one who managed to escape and survive"
He stopped her from circling him as he gets dizzy and confused about the words she is releasing from her mouth.
Why does he think the small world he knew suddenly gets bigger and wider? And a celestial being? Why is this a joke?
"Celestial beings are creatures I assumed humans call Angels. With the creation of the Vampires and Werewolves, which are not natural beings from the world, Angels started to persecute us for committing abomination from the Creator"
He grabbed her shoulders, face to face, and looked into each other's eyes. He is looking for some signs that she is playing on his mind. But there's nothing but the truth in hers.
"Vampires and Werewolves are myths from the humans who never encountered them. Do you really think that aside from your race there is no one hiding from the shadows? Angels, Demons, Fairies, Mermaids, Beastmen... all of them are real, lurking in the shadows. Vampires and werewolves are considered new races from the Beastmen. We are the first dwellers of the earth together with humans since the beginning of time. You have only existed hundred thousands of years"
He released her from his grasp when all of the information started to slowly sink into his mind. Gazing down and eyes looking for answers, Anastasia touches the man's face to stop him from overthinking.
"The first powerful beings won't publicly harm any of the present beings including humans, Your Imperial Highness. You don't have to think about any worst scenarios" she tried to assure him.
"But you're here, in front of me. You start to ruin everything, our relationship to Garados household, to my fiancee--"
"I have valid reasons for that"
He forcefully removed her hand from his face by throwing it in the air.
"Valid reasons?" tears went visible in the sides of his eyes. He is frustrated.
"That man, Venicio. He is hiding something and I can sense that Angel-- who massacred my family and friends from him!" she shouted. Angered with his face, hating him.
"You have no power over what you are claiming. You're just playing around with us"
Anastasia walked toward him, removed the distance from their body, and slapped him in the face.
"You saw no one with me when the spell broke from that Lake! The angel got released before me! Someone freed him and I am telling you that that might be Venicio! How dare you talk to me like that, HUMAN!" she emphasized the last word then her eyes glow in bluish-cold eyes showing her anger.
The trembling force came around them after he received her slap. The water in the pond trembles as the air give destructive power.
"How dare you call me human?" angered and with eyes glowing, Loren faced the woman after she slapped him in the face.
Silence! the woman commanded through his mind.
His power suddenly stop rushing out of his body, his anger stopped, and everything in their surrounding was silenced and he was confused looking at the woman.
The woman's eyes return to normal and smile at him.
"Now you know what I'm capable of"
She turned her back and walks away from the pond.
"W-wait!" Loren tried to reach Anastasia but he was stoned from his feet.
"If Venicio is hiding the Angel, without me severing your family ties with them will not change the fact that Garados will betray you in the future. They will use the power of the Celestial being to seize the throne without your help of marrying and combining your houses."
"How sure are you? Garados are our allies centuries ago even from now"
She stops walking away and faces him one last time.
"I have psychic abilities greater than your Queen Elena and I know how greedy the man in the shadows"
She then left.
Loren was speechless. When Anastasia is gone, he is then able to move but he has no strength and fell from his feet and floated into the pond.
"But do not dismay, a powerful creature is with you."
He then remembered the last words of Queen Elena before she departed.
Is the Queen knew this all along?