Chapter 75:

Confessions (4)

My Demon Queen

A few weeks ago..Bookmark here

"You called father?"Bookmark here

I entered the office. There, my father on his chair-- facing away from me spoke.Bookmark here

"Take a seat," with the most dramatic tone he could muster, sounding like a yakuza with a missing cigarette.Bookmark here

"What's this about?" I asked in a flat tone.Bookmark here

He spun himself around, elbows on the table, hands weaved together to support his chin.Bookmark here

"This is about Liliath. How do you feel about her. honestly, Noel."Bookmark here

My body froze up, like a lightning bolt had just struck out of nowhere. I wanted to speak but there was something caught in my throat. My saliva obviously.Bookmark here

"I suppose that's the answer.. i won't pursue the matter further," my father continued in a matter-of-fact tone. "Here's the thing, you're already aware of the risk when you're together with LIliath correct?"Bookmark here

Risk.Bookmark here

Yeah, Liliath is a Demon Lord.Bookmark here

Not to mention the kind of person she is.Bookmark here

'Don't trust me.'Bookmark here

Her words echoed in my mind once again.Bookmark here

"Don't let it get to you," my father smiled.Bookmark here

"Huh?"Bookmark here

"See here, fear is one of the strongest emotions in the world. Fear is what causes a relationship to break down. Take for example.. me. I'm not a perfect spouse.. There are times when your mom and I give each other the cold shoulder. But the root of it all is what? It's fear. Fear is what causes us to close up.. to act defensive, afraid of facing each other, causing us to make mistakes. Get that?"Bookmark here

Fear. Right.Bookmark here

The last time I had fear take over my system was when I doubted Liliath. When i thought Liliath was plotting something--Bookmark here

It only hurt her.Bookmark here

I never intended to betray her but it just happened. A misunderstanding-- caused by fear. Well.. partly. Then again, It could be said the same for Liliath, she misunderstood my prudence because of fear.Bookmark here

"Being careful and fearful are two different things.That siad, it's not like you can live a life devoid of fear-- there are times when you will undoubtedly feel fear. Fear of doubt, fear of death, fear of rejection, fear of the unknown.. the list goes on."Bookmark here

"Your point is?" I asked, a little taken aback.Bookmark here

"Take care of Liliath." he replied in a serious tone. "Her mental state is unstable, and since you're taking responsibility for her, I thought to remind you of something that may be holding you back from doing the right thing in the future. And don't be afraid to reach out of help if things go out of control. Especially when your life is at stake. Though, the chance of you actually being beaten black and blue by LIliath is shrimpishly small.. i'm guessing. TALENTS don't usually bite back, some do, I'm not sure which category your's is under."Bookmark here

I nodded.Bookmark here

Liliath's mental state is unstable-- an undeniable truth. Her twisted personality might just be the surface of all the pain she had locked inside of her.Bookmark here

Fear.Bookmark here

Fear of death--Bookmark here

Fear of being manipulated--Bookmark here

Liliath is superior to me in almost every aspect-- be it strength, magic abilities and wits. She can very well toy with the entire world with her magic-- and I'm responsible for keeping her away from that path.Bookmark here

Well.. the only thing I beat Liliath in is the aspect of common sense.Bookmark here

I should probably invest in common sense but.. Liliath told me she preferred learning about this world from scratch. It was a lot more interesting that way. To experience something new every day.Bookmark here

It's more fun that way.Bookmark here

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Knock. Knock.Bookmark here

The sound of the bedsheets shuffling could be heard. Liliath opened the door-- dressed in her nightgown-- tonight, she looked even more beautiful than any other day.Bookmark here

Even more beautiful-- even more distant.Bookmark here

"Good night?" Liliath raised a puzzled voice at my silence. In her hand was a self-help book. She had been reading this sorta book a lot recently.Bookmark here

Seeing my gaze at the book in her hands--Bookmark here

"It's wonderful how various thought leaders encapsulate and distribute these insights to the people of the world. Knowledge is indeed power-- or so the quote says.. Noel?"Bookmark here

"Liliath. I need to tell you something.."Bookmark here

My voice tapered off.Bookmark here

"I believe it's something of importance... should the discussion be held inside my room or yours?"Bookmark here

"I think anywhere is fine."Bookmark here

Take a deep breath.. calm yourself down. This question will eventually have to come.. better do it now than later before the chance is gone.Bookmark here

Liliath went back into her room, shut the door and locked it.Bookmark here

Huh?Bookmark here

There was a moment of silence. What's this?Bookmark here

"Are we going?" Liliath tapped my shoulder from behind. I flinched.Bookmark here

"Y-You scared me there.." I exhaled. Liliath probably used teleportation magic.Bookmark here

"If I don't practice magic my skills may become rusty you know?"Bookmark here

"Well.. I don't think you have to jump on me like that.."Bookmark here

"Noel has a strong heart so it should be alright.. isn't it?" Liliath's words implied an innuendo.Bookmark here

I had no words to retort.Bookmark here

We proceeded to my room where LIliath-- as usual, sat down on my bed.Bookmark here

"What is that you want to talk about," Liliath crossed her legs.Bookmark here

"H-how do you feel about me Liliath.. as a person.." hesitantly, I asked.Bookmark here

No matter how much I steeled myself for this moment-- this fear I'm feeling is inevitable. I can't run away from these feelings of mine. Push on, push through, fight, accept.Bookmark here

"As a person-- Noel is my saviour." Liliath said in a serious tone.Bookmark here

"Ah.. not in that sense.. let's phrase it in another way.. how do you feel about me.."Bookmark here

Heck. Are you dumb Noel? Liliath is already misunderstanding because you're beating around the bush, and here you are with another rhetorical question.Bookmark here

"Kind… Noel is kind.. and supportive.. I suppose?" Liliath tilted her head.Bookmark here

My hands were shaking, my throat unusually dry.Bookmark here

"Liliath.."Bookmark here

"Yes?"Bookmark here

Just say it.. don't dodge. Say it straight.Bookmark here

"I love you."Bookmark here

There you go. My confession. I said it.. the weight is lifted-- but a new weight dawned upon me.. The weight of anticipation and the fear of the unknown-- fear of rejection.Bookmark here

Liliath's eyes shot open wide at my words.Bookmark here

I looked down to the floor.. my heart racing, head spinning. Rejection fills my mind.. a turmoil of negative thoughts-- the infinite spiral of..Bookmark here

"Noel.."Bookmark here

I raised my head to look at Liliath.Bookmark here

She wiped a tear from her eyes, taking a breath.Bookmark here

"Noel, I.."Bookmark here

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"Oh, you've come Liliath, sit down please," Diana-sama, who was seated on the table beckoned. Two cups of tea had been prepared, it seemed Diana-sama had come to understand my tea preference.Bookmark here

"Thank you, may I ask what this is all about?"Bookmark here

It was a while ago when Diana-sama requested a 'heart-to-heart' talk. I came her exactly for that.Bookmark here

"Ahahah, i'll get straight to the point LIliath, how do you feel about Noel?" Diana-sama held a motherly smile.Bookmark here

Goosebumps formed on my skin.Bookmark here

"About Noel.." I looked down at the tea, shimmering under the warm light.Bookmark here

Noel.Bookmark here

How do I feel about him? He's a vessel. My vessel.Bookmark here

He's also someone I'm painfully aware to be emotionally attached to..Bookmark here

"It's hard to put into words, however, I do find myself quite fond of him."Bookmark here

"Oh, what a princess-like answer. Alrighty, I won't dig into it too much. The next one is the more important one-- do you have any future plans?"Bookmark here

Plans for my future-- as an individual who is not of this world.Bookmark here

It would be wrong to say I didn't have one.. Only one.. the most important one.Bookmark here

One driven by the instincts of thyself-- thyself, a demon lord.Bookmark here

That however, brings about itself certain risks that.. I presume Diana-sama wouldn't be willing to hear, nor agree with this ambition of mine.Bookmark here

"I don't have any future plans as of the moment. At best, I plan to learn more before coming to a conjuncture-- perhaps that's my current plan."Bookmark here

"Good. Then I have a recommendation."Bookmark here

Diana-sama then took out a stack of books that she seemed to have planned to pass to me. Lowering it to the table, our tea created ripples.Bookmark here

"Maybe these can help. Liliath, you're the kind who likes reading right?"Bookmark here

I nodded, taking up one of the numerous books on the table-- I scanned the cover and contents. It was a genre similar to the one I borrowed from Noel, 'thinking fast, thinking slow'.Bookmark here

"Reading can help expand your views, perhaps you would learn something here you wouldn't otherwise can back in your world," Diana-sama had a motherly smile as she spoke.Bookmark here

"I will keep that in mind, thank you Diana."Bookmark here

"One more thing, take care of Noel alright?"Bookmark here

I nodded at her kind words of care.Bookmark here

What a nice family. I envy this fact about Noel.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.