”My lord ”

Alistair got on one knee and respectfully presented the talisman in his hands to the man in front of him. He lowered his head and extended his hands toward the Emperor, within them lay a silver talisman with strange markings and patterns on its surface.

”I have completed my task ”

”As efficient as always ”

Grisha praised as he grabbed the talisman.

”Rise, you have done well ”

”I do not deserve such praise my lord ”

Despite his words, he obeyed the command and rose to his feet.

”Alistair… ”

Grisha suddenly said the name of his subordinate.

”Yes my lord ” Alistair immediately answered.

”There are times to be humble and there are times to accept well-deserved praises ”

”Humility is not needed in all cases ”

”I understand my lord ”

”Good ”

Grisha slowly walked towards his throne. He looked at the talisman in his hand and trailed his thumb over the markings on its surface.

”You may leave ”

Grisha waved his hand which was a signal for Alistair to leave the room.

Alistair bowed his head and obeyed, leaving the emperor alone in the throne room.

As the huge doors closed behind him, he couldn ignore the doubt that the words of the white witch had planted within him. He remembered her words clearly but decided not to relay them to his lord for the sake of protecting his sister. He suspected that Aria had grown much closer to the white witch than she was supposed to, it would put her in a potentially dangerous situation if the Emperor had a reason to dismiss her usefulness to him.

Alistair knew that the Emperor had a fair share of secrets especially with the sorceress being considered but he tried not to question the methods his lord chose to make use of. All he had to do was obey orders and complete the tasks handed to him, that was his role but he felt a bit of regret whenever he thought of his sister. Aria used to always smile whenever she saw him but now the look in her eyes whenever they met made his conviction waver. He was sure the decision he made was the right one but sometimes his mind would feel muddled, causing him to question if that was really the truth.

Alistair wondered how much the white witch knew about them and how she came to know that they shared the same blood in the first place since it wasn something Aria would be willing to talk about regardless of how close the both of them may be. He did it all for her sake, she just didn realise it yet, she just couldn understand his reasons yet that was what he chose to believe. He was convinced that his decision was the best way, it was the only way he could have saved her. He hoped that one day she would find it in her heart to forgive him but until then, he would patiently wait for her forgiveness while doing his best to protect her from afar. He decided to keep the words of the white witch a secret for now, he couldn afford to make the fact that his conviction wasn as solid as it seemed known to the Emperor. The Emperor was not a tolerant man and nothing was going to change that, even his most trusted subordinates were under constant scrutiny for any signs of faltering. Emperor Grisha was not a man who would tolerate any mistakes, he never liked to have liabilities as subordinates. If they ever faltered even a bit, the consequences would only lead to nothing else but death. Alistair would do anything to avoid putting Aria in danger, that was his own way of protecting her.

Grisha had returned to his place on throne in the empty throne room, silence pervaded throughout the space but he preferred it that way, the empty room was much to his liking. Though that wasn his only reason for leaving the throne room empty on most days, it was indeed one of them but a certain sorceress who preferred to suddenly appear out of thin air without notice was the major one. Not all of his subjects were open to the demonic worshippers and in fact most of them would be repulsed by even the idea of a sorceress filling in the position an aide to their Emperor. The church of light was still the dominant religion on Demidera and it was well known that they considered followers of other gods apart from Lumos especially demonic worshippers as pagans. Demonic worshippers engaged in human sacrifices which was against the moral order and was considered as a taboo by most people on the continent not just firm believers of the church of light. The church of light was built on many secrets but their influence was something that could not be ignored. They usually didn involve themselves in the politics on Demidera except when the results would affect the church of light that was the reason why they never interfered with the war. They didn really care about the side to emerge victorious as long as their power would not be threatened. Grisha may hold the crown of an Emperor but it irked him that the church of light had more influence on the general situation of continent. He was able to calm his frustrations with the thought of his plans and their results, the church of light would no longer be a hindrance to him once his plans are completed.

Grisha stared at the talisman in his hand for a bit longer before storing it away. It was one of the items that served as a key with the ability to control the barrier that kept Kharis trapped in the castle. She was no longer the powerful being that she used to be but it would take nothing from him to ensure that his puppet remained safely within his grasp. He still needed her to be trapped in a cage for now, the barrier was a measure put in place to make sure of that. In his opinion, she didn have the power to escape and it wasn like anybody could help her if they didn know anything about her specific location, she was still just a helpless bird in his cage.

His twisted thoughts resulted in a smile spreading across lips. Control was always an euphoric feeling to him, he liked the feeling of being in power and enjoyed being in control more than anything. He would continue on his quest to gain more control until he becomes truly worthy of the title of a conqueror.

”Do you think she noticed ”

Grisha suddenly spoke, his voice echoed across the empty room, directed at no one in particular but he received a reply from a familiar strange voice.

”You are quite perceptive your majesty ”

”I try my best ”

Lupo emerged in front of him from what seemed like no where as she usually did, her face carefully hidden behind a dark hood.

”Greetings great Emperor ”

She bowed lightly as she extended her greetings.

”How did you notice? ”

Grisha chuckled before answering her question.

”I noticed an odd shadow ”

”Thats quite impressive ”

”We have known each other long enough for me to observe things like that ”

Lupo replied with a chuckle of her own.

”So back to my question ”

Grisha returned the conversation to its original direction.

”It would be quite disappointing if she didn ”

”Really ”

Grisha said, finding her comment intriguing.

”With all things being considered, her sensitivity to both natural energy and magic energy should be leagues above that of any normal human ”

”She was always a special child ”

”She is truly special indeed ”

Lupo commented and continued without pausing.

”Even without her powers, she is still a vessel capable of containing the blessing of two gods, noticing the presence of the devils eye should be second nature to her ”

”She may have noticed but she probably doesn know exactly what is causing it, she can only suspect that we are involved ”

Grisha had a cold smile on his face as he spoke, he didn consider her worthy of his caution.

”She isn a threat to our plans ”

”I know of that fact great Emperor ”

”Did you find what was required ”

”Of course your majesty, I have found the perfect location ”

A loud laugh resounded across the walls. An expression of absolute joy and satisfaction was evident on his face. Grisha couldn help his great mood as he was one step closer to achieving goals.

”A relatively unknown village close to the border of the black forest with just the right amount of sacrifices to fuel the ritual ”

Lupo revealed her findings to the joyful Emperor with a smile hanging on her lips, carefully hidden beneath the hood she always wore.

”How splendid ”

”So when do we begin ”

He failed to hide the anticipation in his voice which only made her hidden smile grow even wider.

”Patience sire, no need to rush ”

”When the time is right and all is prepared, very soon everything will fall into place ”

”I will entrust this matter to you then ”

”As you wish sire ”

Lupo bowed again before leaving the same way she came, blending into the shadows. She was in such a good mood that it rivaled that of the Emperor, all her desires were finally going to be realised. Her plans were finally in place and the foolish Emperor will make the biggest contribution to helping her achieve them all the while being none the wiser.

Grisha was left alone in the throne room again. He was already deep into his fantasies of the unimaginable power of a true god walking among men. When he finally received the power that he rightfully deserved he wouldn need a useless puppet anymore. No one would dare defy him unless they were resigned to having a horrible death. Humans could never hope to challenge a god and that was exactly what he was going to become. He only had to wait a little longer, just a bit longer and everything would be within his grasp. Soon, very soon, they would shiver in fear at the very mention of his name. The anticipation clawed at his heart but he knew it wasn time yet. When it was, he would make Demidera tremble.

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