Chapter 8

On a normal day, if she happens to wake up early in the morning, she goes to the dining room to have a human breakfast and then walks in the garden before she has the normal breakfast. But today is different. In her white nightgown and her messy hair spreading over her shoulders, she heads to the open window that looks over the garden. The cool morning breeze brushes her thin cloth, chilling her; she hugs herself with her black wings.

Knockings come from the closed door of her parlor.

“May I come in, your highness?” asks Clara from the other side of the door.

“Come in.” There must be someone nearby, given how she is addressing.

Clara enters the room with a tray, pushing the door open. On the tray are a steaming crystal cup, a dish of sweet pastries, other items including a blood bottle, and an extra item, which is a folded paper. The announcement.

“Why is this only for me? Have you had your breakfast?” Elysia questions, crossing the room to Clara, who is now at the table in the middle of the room.

“Yes. I had in the kitchen. There were others around. They would ask me questions if I were taking breakfast for two while they knew I was delivering it to you.”

Elysia sighs. There are a lot of things she can’t help with and this is one of them. Humans aren’t supposed to eat together with her kind.

She takes a sip of steaming cocoa from the cup. She enjoys human food and warm cocoa is one of her favorites. Her eyes can’t help reaching to the folded paper on the tray. She might have a good idea of what the announcement is about. The last time the court spread it was three months ago, it was about the new law about drawing and painting on public and private properties. The law said it was punishable by death if the depictions were found as treason.

With her free hand, she unfolds the paper.


Our god-king blesses the kingdom with his new marriage. Let’s honor his holy majesty, her holy highness, and the gods by celebrating on 18th of the Third. Enjoy the blessing by gathering at the respective Townsquare…

Elysia drops the paper. Eight days from today it is. There will be a grand ball at the main castle on that evening of that date, the announcement says.

“Why are you having this breakfast in your room? Are you hiding from someone?” Clara’s sudden questions make her choke on cocoa.

“Oops…sorry.” Clara hands her the napkin and a glass of water.

After a flurry of movements such as drinking water and wiping her mouth, clearing her throat, Elysia asks, “What made you think I am hiding?”

“Are you not? I was just asking,” After a pause, Clara continues eagerly, “By the way, you should have seen him in the kitchen.”


“Your pet, obviously.”

Thankfully, she is drinking nothing this time “What?! He is not my pet.”

“Everyone else seems to think so,” Clara remarks innocently.

“Um…” Elysia is speechless.

“All the females in the tower can’t stop staring at him. Like he is some food they want a bite so much,” continues Clara, “You won’t believe it, Ely. I see they even blush at the sight of him. I did not even know they could blush, honestly.”

“What about you? You didn’t?” Why did she ask that? So silly.

“I admit he is quite handsome. No, handsome is an understatement. Beautiful, in fact. But I swear I did not blush,” laughs Clara and she joins in.

“Because he was too scary for my liking.”

“Did he do something?” Elysia is worried about her.

“No, of course not. I don’t know…he is intense? Intimidating?”

Clara continues her gossips including how the butler gave him the unused storeroom; Elysia feels guilty at that. She is responsible for him. Buying a slave, like someone who enjoys enslaving humans and leaving everything with the butler after that, she has never done before those things.

At that moment, the consort walks through the door, and at the sight of Clara, she gives her usual reprimanding expression—frowning with a heavy sigh—at Elysia. She knows her mother is not unkind towards Clara, but she doesn’t agree with her daughter in treating a human who is supposed to be a slave—since this is within the palace and humans can only stay as slaves here—as a friend.

After Clara leaves the room bringing the breakfast tray with her, leaving only the blood bottle and an empty glass, Sumerie locks every door and window there is. She then occupies the seat to the direct opposite of her daughter’s and examines her face. Something’s come up. Elysia feels as though she should go change into formal clothes instead of this nightgown because her mother looks about to give her a speech.

“I immediately fell in love when I first saw your father,” the consort starts slowly, emphasizing the last word, surprising Elysia. This is not what she expected her mother to say. In the past, the consort always has always denied Elysia about her birth father.

“A hundred and fifty years seem like a long time, but I was younger than you when I was sent to this kingdom from our native world. I was one of the last who could pass through the portal to…”

“The portal?”

“Please don’t interrupt, dear. Yes, the portal. It was exactly what it sounded. The gate to this world. At the least, you already know we have our own world, don’t you? The royal tutors were to explain to you all that when you were young.”

“Yes, mother. Please continue the story,” answers Elysia in an exaggerated, demure tone.

“Where was I?”

“You were one of the last, mother.”

“Right. I was one of the last who entered here before the portal closed for good. Unlike others, I was alone and could barely survive on my own. Luckily, I found a family who’d adopt me and that’s the story for another time. I had to live with the adopted family a few months before they presented me to the king as a gift. That’s much I’ve already told you before, I think.”

Elysia nods.

“I said my family—my adopted family—married me to the king against my will. However, it was hardly that, because I’d never told them I did not want to do so. I’d never told them what I wanted, feeling indebted to them, you see. I obeyed what they planned for me without a single refusal.

“The king took me for his consort. He was fond of me throughout the early years of our marriage; that’s why he granted me the Purple Garden. Unexpectedly, merely days after I became a consort, an ambassador from another kingdom arrived. In my eyes, he was the blessing I’d never had in my entire life. He was so handsome and different.”

“Was that my father?” rushes out Elysia.

“Yes.” Her mother doesn’t reprimand her for interruption this time. She must know how Elysia has been so anxious to know who her birth father is.

In the past, as far as Sumerie let her know about her birth father was, her birth father was not King Issaharic of the Great North and came from a different race.

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