Chapter 45:

Celestial Desires

Draconia Offline

“She’s okay, Your Majesty, don’t worry,” Julia reports. “A bit malnourished but Clawfangs are resilient enough to overcome longer periods of discomfort. Unlike Celestials,” she narrows her eyes.

I sigh. Did my maids tell on me that I don’t eat properly? I came to the infirmary to check on Brina, the pregnant Clawfang lady I brought with me yesterday, not to get a scolding. The woman in question looks fine and healthy, I’m glad. Her partner Tai is with her and looks devoted. It’s heart-warming to see a Draconian couple in love.

Will Draconians date only other Draconians in future? I’m a living example that interspecies love is possible but it’s not like we’re planning to have children with Erik. But even with heterosexual couples, I doubt Draconians can have children with humans. Or with other races. That makes things tough, especially for straight couples who would like to start a family.

“Brina is my concern now, Aefener,” Emi assures me. “Stop worrying about everyone and focus on your race, okay? You have too much work as it is.”

I nod. She’s right, I should focus entirely on Celestials but I guess I feel responsible for Brina because I brought her here. I study the young Clawfang female. Like Emi, she’s a fox but with a differently coloured fur. My nose isn’t sensitive enough to catch those special smells but even I can tell that Emi just looks like the Alpha whereas Brina and Tai are not even betas. Are they sigmas? Deltas? I have to ask Emi later about their pack roles.

“Thank you, Your Majesty, for bringing us here,” Brina speaks up and is hugging her stomach. “But I can’t stop thinking about my friends back in the squat. I feel guilty about leaving them.”

“We’ll help them soon,” Emi pats her shoulder. “Once the right laws are pushed through, all Draconians who lost their jobs will get a financial aid. We’ll also press employers to start giving us jobs again. Once they realise how proficient we are in certain areas, I’m sure we won’t have a problem to find employment.”

I hope so, too. Since yesterday when I faced the harsh reality, I don’t feel good about living in luxury when so many Draconians suffer. My subjects are trying to spoil me but I won’t let them. I’m the Emperor and it’s my duty to think about others first.

“Are you okay, Your Majesty?” Miruel suddenly approaches me and clutches my arm. She’s afraid because I nervously fluttered my wings just now and looked longingly outside the window. “You don’t feel like…?”

“I’m fine,” I shake her off. “How’s Fefnir progressing with those drones? Will they be ready tomorrow?”

“Hopefully,” she chews her lip. “You think tomorrow…”

“I’ll definitely need to fly,” I nod. “Regardless of whether I’ll master the shield today or not.”

“Of course, Your Majesty,” she gulps. “We’ll do our best to make it safe for you.”

“Your regular medical check-up is this Friday morning before breakfast, Your Majesty,” Julia’s new assistant Noage reminds me.

“My transformation is finished, do I have to?” I frown.

“It’ll be once a month from now on,” he says. “Just to make sure you stay healthy.”

I sigh but I know that there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s in our lore that the Celestial Emperor can’t decide anything regarding his protection and well-being.

What is Erik doing right now I wonder? We were divided after lunch. I went to check on our newest inhabitants while he had to deal with two representatives of the Prague City Hall in order to agree on material help. Liana assumed it’d be better if Erik handled these lower officials who might have been too nervous around me.

I miss him already but I could use some time without him, to be honest. I was really looking forward to meet his parents but after yesterday, Erik is convinced that they will be afraid of me. I want to make a good first impression but there’s nothing I can do about my looks. And I can’t go back to act seemingly more human either. I don’t want to even if I could. I won’t twist my nature just to make humans like me more easily. Not anymore.

I say goodbye to Julia and the rest because I have a magic training next. Surprisingly, Emi joins me. I never noticed it before because she’s usually alone in the office but outside it, wherever she goes, there’s always a bunch of Clawfangs tailing her.

“We haven’t had many opportunities to speak privately,” she smiles at me, revealing her vulpine teeth. I smile back. She’s so cute. How could anyone see her as a monster?

That sentence makes me think, though. Private is a very vague term when it comes to race rulers. No wonder it makes Erik mad. I’ve always been an introvert but I got used to the fact that I’m surrendered by people all the time astonishingly quickly. Naturally, that applies to Draconians only. Their minds don’t hurt me. On the contrary, I enjoy feeling their telepathic imprints.

“Is Rien doing okay?” I ask and curiously eye Emi’s guards.

You can’t even tell they’re guards. Unlike mine, they don’t wear uniforms and they aren’t as stiff and serious about the job. I guess Emi just brings random people from her pack who take turns which is unthinkable for me. Clawfang mentality can’t be further from the Celestial one. But they’re still fellow Draconians so I don’t mind their company.

“Rien’s adapting fine considering that his family was keeping his from other Draconians,” Emi says. “He’s meeting his aunt, Bauerova, right now.”

I’m happy to see that Draconians still want to keep their previous family relations. Would it be different for me if I had an understanding family? I haven’t spoken to my grandmother for weeks now, Erik blocked her number on my phone so that she won’t exploit me again.

But I still felt some kind of connection to her, my only living family, so I sent her some money. She should be able to live comfortably with it till the end of her days and I won’t feel guilty about never talking to her again.

She was horrible to me but it was still a better alternative to an orphanage where someone would have found out about my telepathy sooner or later for sure. So I’m actually grateful that I could live with her even if it wasn’t ideal.

“Rien will make an excellent beta warrior,” Emi remarks, interrupting my pondering. “But I can’t wait to finally get my Supreme Beta when we visit New York. He should get his diplomatic immunity by then so I’ll take him with me.”

“Right,” I realise that her deputy Rin is stuck in New York.

But we’re coming there soon. Oh, and Gotrid is also there. I look forward to meeting him in person but I’m a bit worried at the same time. It’s obvious that Erik is super jealous whenever I talk to him. It’s not just silly petty jealousy I could ignore. I have to admit that in this particular instance, Erik is apprehensive for a good reason.

Gotrid is my type and a Celestial which is a dangerous combination. While I truly love only Erik right now, I do have quite a rich history of polyamorous relationships due to my telepathic addiction. No wonder Erik is twice as nervous.

I’m absolutely sure about my love for him but now that my Celestial nature is fully awake, I can’t guarantee that seeing Gotrid in person won’t trigger something. While I do love Erik’s human body, I have to keep making a conscious effort lately not to turn around when I see a pair of really nice wings on a man who’s my type.

“Are you okay, Aefener?” Emi sniffs me all of a sudden. “You’ve just smelled Celestial funny.”

“W-what?” I flinch. “Celestials don’t sweat much so I don’t bathe as often. Am I starting to stink or something?”

“No, that’s not it,” she shakes her head. “But you faintly smelled of pheromones. Were you thinking about something dirty? Gosh, Erik isn’t with you for two hours and your imagination runs wild. Does it ever get old for you two?”

I turn completely red. Thankfully, Emi thinks that she guessed right when in reality I got aroused when thinking about Gotrid and his wings. Does that count as mental cheating? Can I even resist feeling this way about Celestial men?

I quickly recall Erik’s handsome muscular body and it excites me all the same but when I try to remember my old lovers or human men in general, I get no reaction. Can it be that I stopped being attracted to humans and Erik is an exception because I love him? Will he feel flattered when he finds out or threatened?

I’d like to test our newly discovered long-distance telepathic connection to see how far I can reach with sending my thoughts but I don’t want to startle him when he’s at an important meeting.

“Are you listening, Aefener?” Emi pulls my sleeve. “I was asking if I can watch your training session today.”

“Oh, sorry. Sure, why not,” I nod.

“I’d like to see how you do it because I also have to come up with a training regime for my race,” she elaborates. “I have to admit that I’m not good at organising things. Being a Clawfang is more about spontaneity. All that administration is killing me.”

Oh, does she really hate it so much and the reason is mainly because she’s a Clawfang? I realise that I don’t mind my new job actually and it’s totally unexpected. I rarely watched news before. I wouldn’t even know the name of our current Czech Prime Minister is she wasn’t queer. But Celestials like things to be orderly and neatly organised. Unlike Clawfangs, we don’t like chaos.

“Your Majesty, welcome,” Taranah greets me when we reach the training suite. “Oh, Supreme Alpha is with you?”

“She wants to watch me train,” I nod. “Is that okay?”

“If you say it’s okay, then it is,” he says. “But I’m afraid her numerous escort has to wait outside. For safety reasons in case some spell goes berserk again. We can’t possibly watch for so many people.”

“No problem,” Emi instructs her pack to wait in the corridor and goes inside alone.

“You can do that outside your apartment?” I’m astonished. We’re both race rulers, yet we’re treated so differently by our people.

“What do you mean? I’m the Supreme Alpha, they have to listen to my every command,” she claims proudly.

I frown and look at Miruel. She shakes her head which means that I shouldn’t expect the same treatment. Even if I fully identify as the Celestial Emperor now, there’re still some things that go against my feathers and I have to tolerate. Like being anxiously guarded all the time.

“Different race, different customs,” Emi shrugs. “To be frank, I’d be nervous to leave you all alone as well. Celestials are extremely weak towards surprise attacks and you have no resistance.”

I sigh. She’s right.

“Sorry, I’m late,” Liana appears a few minutes after us. Her magic training is also mandatory, of course.

We start practicing and I think it must be very boring for Emi to watch. Inner mana channelling isn’t perceivable by anyone who isn’t a Celestial and most of our attempts end in failure. I’m very motivated to make it work but I’m trying to be not as enthusiastic because last time my spell backfired.

This time I feel different, though. Calmer. More confident about my skills. I managed a level 15 healing skill in that squat so there’s no way I wouldn’t manage a level 5 shield. I suspect my problem is that I push out too much mana for such a simple spell. So… what about I try a level 15 shield? Would that work better for me? I recall the transfiguration symbol needed for it and channel my mana.

“Aefener?!” Liana is staring in disbelief because I get surrounded by a thin layer of protective light.

She tries touching it but her hand goes through.

“Another failure?” she’s disappointed.

“Emi, try throwing something at me,” I ask.

The Supreme Alpha grins, takes a tennis ball out of her pocket and throws it at me. The ball gets repelled when touching the barrier.

“How?” Liana opens her mouth wide.

“Because I think of you as my ally,” I smile, take her hand and pull her to my chest.

She comes through easily and I make the shield stretch so that it can hold both of us.

“And I’m not?” Emi purses her lips.

“The ball definitely isn’t,” I explain. “No non-living object gets through by default. Why do you have something like that on you anyway?”

“To play with when I’m bored,” she laughs. “Congratulations, Aefener, it seems you should be safe enough tomorrow.”

“Ehm!” someone coughs from the door.

Not just someone, Erik!

“Cheating on me with your Viceroy?” he raises his eyebrow but his tone is teasy.

I realise I’m still holding Liana tight. When did I transform from someone who’s afraid of any touch to a person who loves hugs? It must be Erik’s doing.

I let go of her and run to hug my partner instead. I think it would take just one more hour and my telepathic addiction would kick in. I was already missing him terribly and we’re been away each other only for three hours.

“Okay, okay,” he laughs because I shower him with kisses.

He feels a bit better now. Was it because he was with humans so he could relax despite them being state officials? It seems so. I have to do something about it.


“Your parents are coming this Friday but you could also sometimes invite your friends, you know,” I tell him when he’s washing my wings that evening.

My white feathers attract dirt like magnets ever since my wings got so big that I almost drag them behind me. There’s barely a five-centimetre gap between the tips of my folded wings and the ground. I have to meticulously wash them at least once a week.

“You mean here?” he’s taken aback by my proposition but keeps soaping my feathers. Regular wing maintenance is very time-consuming but, fortunately, Erik loves doing it.

“Why not? You can use one of the lounges,” I suggest and moan because his handiwork is out of this world and my wings unbelievably sensitive. “They didn’t turn their back to you, did they?”

“A few of them did,” he admits sadly. “But most of them support me. I didn’t have time to properly stay in touch but we text from time to time. I try to reply to their messages between meetings.”

“So invite them,” I repeat. “You should be with other humans more.”

“Without you there?” he’s making sure he understood right.

“Well, would they be able to relax if I was present?”

“No, but they’re dying to meet the Celestial Emperor in person,” he grins. “And I like boasting with my beautiful partner.”

“Okay, you can introduce me but I’ll leave after an hour,” I give a condition. “I’m serious, Erik, you need to be among your kind. Do something normal for a change.”

“You became my new normal,” he kisses my wet shoulder. “But I guess you’re right.”

He washes the soap off my wings and I feel cold the moment I step out of the hot water. Erik quickly wraps himself into a towel and is reaching for a hair dryer but that always takes forever. I think I should be skilled enough to dry myself after yesterday’s flight when I could finally practice air magic freely.

I envelope myself in a warm air current and sigh with relief. It’s so pleasant! Like a giant hair dryer. Erik curiously steps closer and our skin gets dry almost immediately. Feathers take much longer but it’s still just a fraction of time compared to hair dryers.

“Okay, this spell is actually very practical,” he appreciates.

“And my other spells aren’t?” I nudge him and flutter my nicely clean wings. They shine with whiteness and I feel so proud of them.

“The shield certainly is, I’m glad that you’ve mastered it. Otherwise, I’d be scared to let you fly again,” Erik hugs me.

“Didn’t I prove that I’m an excellent flier?” I raise my eyebrow.

“You know what I mean, Ryuu,” he hugs me and his worries flood over. “It’s extremely dangerous for you out there.”

We stay like that for a while. Naked but not doing anything erotic. Just being together. And even though we’re seemingly together almost all the time, for some reason it feels rare and precious.


“Aefener,” Liana grabs my wrist, her eyes open wide. She’s afraid.

The wind is playing with her hair. If she could, she would forbid me to go. But this is the one thing which is so inherent to Celestials that she can’t do anything about it. Besides, I can’t be stopped at this point and she knows that.

I’m already almost losing my mind, exercising the last shreds of sanity. I wanted to go flying the moment I woke up this morning but they forced me to eat breakfast first and then I had to wait for them to prepare. My wings are trembling with anticipation and the wind blowing into my feathers isn’t helping to calm me down.

“I’ll be okay, Li,” I assure her and eye Fefnir to see how he’s doing.

He’s switching on four huge drones that will accompany me and it takes him forever because he double-checks everything. The deal is that the drones will fly around me in a safe distance and monitor my surroundings, especially the ground to spot any possible danger. The security scanned the immediate vicinity of AstraTech’s skyscraper already, of course, but they’re still afraid that something might happen to me.

“I can cast a shield now,” I add because Liana won’t let go of my wrist.

“You can’t fly more than three hundred meters away from us,” she reminds me. “Up is okay, but not away, do you understand? If you do, we’ll have to punish you for disobeying a direct order concerning your safety.”

“Yes, my Viceroy,” I smirk because I can’t imagine any kind of punishment they could do to me. Would they take away my retro videogames I don’t have time to play anyway?

“Does the robe fit well?” Ayala the maid approaches me and is trying out for the tenth time that the binding won’t come off even if I do pirouettes and that my hair is tied firmly.

“Much better than the previous one but not a real flying robe yet,” I comment but I have to admit that compared to the full royal attire I had to fly in two days ago, this one is pretty light.

The maids took one of my current robes and adjusted it. It has one layer less, it’s not as loose and I’m wearing leggings underneath. To be honest, it would be much more practical to wear modern human clothes for flying but I wouldn’t put it on anymore. I’d feel ridiculous and tragically underdressed.

“Ryuu, be careful,” Erik hugs me the moment Liana finally lets go. “Don’t do anything crazy, okay? Just fly around a bit to stretch your wings and come back to us.”

“Okay, okay,” I’m nodding furiously.

“Promise me that,” Erik frowns because he suspects that my head is blank. He gently grabs my chin and makes me look into his eyes. “Ryuu, promise!”

“I promise!” I repeat after him and send him reassurance through telepathy.

“The drones are ready,” Fefnir announces. Finally!

It’s not like he suddenly became an amateur RC fan but surveillance is part of his job now. And he had help from other Draconians, of course.

“I’ll be fine, don’t worry,” I kiss my partner, hug him tight for one more time and then slowly step away from everyone.

I active the protective shield, wait mercilessly for the drones to take off and then stretch my wings in full. I can hear Ingri and a few others wo didn’t see it first time gasping for breath, impressed by my wingspan. I feel proud about myself which is an emotion I have never felt as a human before. I’m proud of being a Celestial.

I take a deep breath and get into the air with one mighty flap of my strong wings. My mind clears of anything useless and there’s only me and the sky. I have to make a conscious effort to remember Liana’s instructions and stay close. It’s so hard to limit myself.

I start flying around the skyscraper, gaining speed with each spin. My adrenalin spikes and with it also a huge amount of dopamine. Just like last time, I’m high. It feels good to be alive and have wings and be a Celestial and… I can’t think straight anymore.


I stop myself abruptly using air magic and look around, confused. Did I just hear my Viceroy right now?


Oh, her voice… it’s coming from the drones that are barely keeping up with me. I had no idea drones can have speakers.

I turn around and see that I’m really quite far from the AstraTech’s building. But I didn’t do it on purpose! How can I measure something like that? I use a gust of wind to propel myself back, almost knocking the drones off their course. Oops, sorry, Fefnir.

So… I can’t go any further but I’m not forbidden to go up, right? There shouldn’t be anything dangerous high in the sky, my friends are mostly concerned about people shooting at me from the ground. I fly around the skyscraper one more time to gain speed and then shoot straight up like an arrow. Can I reach the cloud that’s hovering right above the skyscraper I wonder?

After a few moments of ascend, I look down and the city is starting to resemble a map. How high am I? I don’t feel any vertigo, not in the slightest. I trust my wings and the air. Everything down there is so tiny. All my problems and the politics seem petty now. If only I could stay here forever. If only I didn’t have to land ever again.

I continue my ascent at steady speed and altitude isn’t a problem, my lungs are perfectly adjusted to thinner air. The cold is becoming a problem, though. I try casting a few fire balls around me but they get blown away immediately. We’ll definitely need quality thermal clothes for flying.

I flap my wings with all might one more time, almost reaching, and suddenly I’m surrounded by white fog. I made it—I’m inside of the cloud! It’s a bit disorienting but my senses tell me which way to go. I play with the white fluff, my shield repelling water inside it so that my wings won’t get wet. But the chill does.

I push myself to go even higher to test how far I can go and soon I’m above the cloud. And I’m left speechless. It’s unbelievably tranquil here. And then I realise another thing which shocks me even more. I… I can’t feel anything that’s not mine! All that emotional ambience of the city is gone entirely! It’s just me and my thoughts and feelings.

Shiver goes down my spine. One reason is because the cold is getting to me, the other because it seems unnatural. I’ve always dreamed of switching off my telepathy but now that it has actually happened… it doesn’t feel right. I realise that I miss feeling Erik, my friends and other Draconians. I’m totally hooked on them.

To distract myself and also to warm up, I start doing crazy air acrobatics and pirouettes. I play with the wind and the cloud. I test what my body is capable of. My mind is full of ideas for Celestial air games we could play in near future and I regret not borrowing Emi’s ball.

I play and play but after a while… I really want to enjoy the scenery for a bit longer but I’m starting to get anxious not feeling the others. And tired. And cold. I want to share this moment, being here alone isn’t fun. And did I mention it’s soooo cold? I sneeze all of a sudden and try to hide my hands into the sleeves. Oh, where are the drones? I notice their absence only now. Did I lose them in the cloud?

Okay, there’s no other way, I have to return. How long was I flying anyway? It felt like twenty minutes but my wings are much more exhausted than that. As the last feat, I try free fall through the clouds but I stretch my wings immediately after I see the city again. I don’t want to give Erik a heart attack in case he spots me with binoculars.

I’m worried that I diverted from the skyscraper too much but then I spot its unmistakable silhouette. The ambient telepathic imprint of the city below me hits me again but this time I don’t wish I could turn it off. I embrace it.

For the first time ever, I’m genuinely happy that I’m a telepath. I can’t imagine my life without my extra sense that’s an integral part of me just as being a Celestial and the Emperor is. This flight was a discovery in more ways than one.

The temperature rises but I’m still shivering. Did I overdo it? But I’m almost there. Home. Home is where my partner is. And my Viceroy. And my friends and subjects. I have so many people I love now. Am I not the luckiest person on Earth?

Oh, that’s not good. I’m so close now that I’m catching everyone’s emotions separately again, not as one ambient jumble. And it’s nothing pleasant because I perceive only two: extreme fear and anger. I gulp but there’s no avoiding it so I go for a landing, people below quickly clearing a spot for me.

I carefully land on my feet, flutter my wings one last time and then fold them behind my back. There’re a few seconds of absolute silence and a new emotion—relief—emerges but it doesn’t erase the previous two.

I want to run towards Erik and go for a hug but I freeze when I look at his expression and feel his emotional state. He’s absolutely furious. Everyone is furious.

“YOU’VE BEEN MISSING FOR TWO HOURS!” he roars. “Do you have any idea how scared we were? And what’s worse—the information got out because we were streaming your flight! Celestials all over the world are panicking!”

“B-but… the drones…?” I say feebly.

“You mean those you left behind after first twenty minutes of your flight?” Fefnir steps closer and his voice is thunder. He’s towering over me like a scaly wall so I instinctively crouch.

My eyes search for Liana but she’s already standing next to me and grabs my wrist quite painfully. Her face is unreadable but her emotional state isn’t. She’s in her Celestial wrath mode.

“L-Li,” I let out but she drags me inside without a word. She’s making sure that she’s holding me over the layers of fabric so that I can’t read her thoughts.

She pushes me into the elevator but doesn’t let go of my hand. Erik joins us and is feeling disappointed in me which is breaking my heart. Miruel and Vermiel board with us, watching me with pursed lips and mixed emotions.

“L-Li, I…,” I want to apologise for making them worry but they stay perfectly silent. It freaks me out. Was I really out for two hours to get them this pissed?

We reach the floor with our apartments so I expect that I’ll be scolded in private but Liana pushes me out while staying in the elevator.

“His Majesty is not to leave his quarters until I say so,” she orders Miruel and Vermiel, takes other bodyguards and the door closes behind her.

I don’t understand. Where is she going? Why did she address me using my title? And did she just order me home arrest? Can she do that?

“Let’s go,” Erik grabs my wrist instead and pulls me through the corridor.

The guards patrolling this floor are looking at me strangely and are whispering to each other when I pass them. Nothing good I assume so I’m glad when we hide in our apartment. I wish to have some privacy with my partner but Vermiel and Miruel stay standing by the door from the inside and I know that nothing I say will convince them to leave.

“I’m sorry, Erik, I really am,” I say tearily. “I had no idea I was there for so long, honestly!”

I collapse on the sofa, the fatigue got to me fully now because the adrenaline rush wore off. I realise that I totally overdid it. My wings are super exhausted, I’m still panting and I can’t seem to warm myself.

“So you really can’t help yourself?” Erik hisses and doesn’t sit down next to me. “This isn’t just a Celestial thing, right? It’s your Emperor quirk exactly as the lore says. Liana was worried after your first flight that it might be the case but we hoped it wouldn’t be so dramatic in real life. But, in fact, it’s even worse.”

“I know that I got carried away a bit, but…”

“A bit?!” Erik interrupts me, annoyed. “Ryuu, Liana left because the Celestial Council is meeting to decide what to do with you.”

“D-do? What do you mean?” I shiver with both cold and dark anticipation.

“They lost their Emperor for two hours and had no idea where you are,” he clutches his wrists. “You caused global panic, you dumb. Don’t you get it? You’re the guarantor of fragile peace between humans and Draconians and Celestials especially revere you as the embodiment of magic itself. You’re the most important person on the planet right now.”