Chapter 68:

I Bless Thee

Draconia Offline

“Husbands, husbands, husbands,” Erik is drumming happily the whole morning, to the point it becomes rather annoying. We should be working on establishing our new governmental departments, but one of us is obviously not focusing at all.

“Erik, we know,” Liana rolls her eyes. “Trust me, everybody knows.”

“I’m just so happy that I can’t help it,” he stands up and hugs me from behind, burying his chin in my hair.

“Ehm, I’m working,” I sigh, but secretly enjoy his affection.

“Wait, I’m not Gotrid’s husband as well, am I?” Erik asks, startled by the sudden intrusive thought.

“Not according to the Celestial lore, no,” I calm him down.

“You don’t have to be so obviously relieved, you know,” Gotrid raises his eyebrow. “Besides, you’re slowly warming up to me, don’t hide it.”

Erik sticks his tongue out at him and tries to make himself busy petting my feathers. But he is gradually warming up to Gotrid, whether he wants to admit it or not.

“Luvi, could we leave a bit earlier today?” Erik asks my adjutant who’s in charge of our busy schedules. Since we can’t have the whole weekend free as regular people would, Erik is always doing his best to negotiate our overall working hours.

“I’m afraid not, Royal Consort,” Luviael has to disappoint him. “His Majesty and Lord Gotrid have to train. We can’t afford to slack any longer, the priority now is to level up as quickly as possible.”

“Sorry, we really have to,” I clutch his hand, “but you could invite Elizabeth over again and spend some quality time with your new friend?”

Erik’s emotional state changes into a slight bitterness.

“Actually,” he takes a deep breath to answer. “Elizabeth suggested I visit her for a change.”

“She did?” I’m surprised because Erik never mentioned it and I can’t read every single thought when I’m telepathically connected to my partners. That would be both maddening and rude.

“I didn’t tell you, because when I asked Vermiel, he said it’s not safe for me to leave the premises even with an escort,” he sighs.

I freeze. That realisation is so sudden and painful that I forget to breathe for a moment. Just how stupid and selfish am I?! How could I not have realised that earlier? Always being busy isn’t an excuse. I can at least go for my regular flying session, but Erik isn’t so lucky. He can’t leave because it’s not safe outside for him. Everyone knows whose partner he is and that makes him my weak spot, a perfect target for abduction.

“Erik, I… I didn’t realise…,” I mumble in panic. “You’ve never actually been outside ever since the Great Evolution started if we don’t count New York! I’ll talk to Vermiel, surely we can arrange it so that…,” I’m frantically looking for a way but Erik shakes his head.

“And would you be allowed to come with me?” he points out.

“Definitely NOT!” Liana answers for me, without looking up from her screen.

“Then I have no reason to go out,” he shrugs. “Where would I go anyway? My parents and friends can visit me, and it’s not like I could go shopping or take a walk. I’m not naïve, Ryuu. I know what I signed up for when I became your Consort.”

I hug him in a feeble attempt to comfort him, so I’m surprised to discover that Erik doesn’t feel that devastated about it. He’s more than content with our new apartment and enjoys the luxury. He also likes to be in the centre of everything. And, right now, the Draconian skyscraper seems to be the centre of the world.

“I’d welcome to pilot a helicopter again, though,” he admits. “Li, didn’t you promise me that it’s supposed to be one of my employee benefits?”

“I certainly did,” my Viceroy nods. “We can arrange that at least.”

“Thanks,” Erik smiles.

He’s feeling much better already, but I still get up and hug him tight while sending all my love and gratitude towards him. And I promise that I’ll do everything in my power to give him as much freedom as possible. Even though there’s little freedom for the Celestial Emperor and his Consorts.


Erik doesn’t mention it again, but it keeps bugging me. Now that the issue came to my full attention, I’m starting to notice all those little things, which I had been absent-mindedly ignoring before.

I’m the Celestial Emperor, I get it. I work long hours, so it’s understandable things like house chores and cooking have to be delegated to someone else. I got used to having maids, my own doctor and a chef. I don’t mind any of that, even though it’s still kind of weird that I can’t even dress by myself in the morning anymore.

The main problem is my schedule and I don’t mean how packed it is. I just can’t seem to do anything outside of it. The Royal Guards hate spontaneity, everything is meticulously planned for me, although, mostly for safety reasons rather than time management.

Not being able to go to the city is one thing, but I have a dark suspicion I actually can’t go as I please even within the skyscraper. And I intend to test that, beginning with the most basic things, when my partners aren’t around for a rare moment.

“You don’t have to follow me everywhere I go, you know,” I tell my guards when I stand up to go to the bathroom. “These are our headquarters, nobody dangerous can reach this floor.”

They look at me puzzlingly but don’t say anything. I sigh. Seriously, can’t they just wait in the hall? Do they have to make the bathroom off-limits for everyone else when I’m using it?

Liana had all toilet booths in the skyscraper rebuilt to make them much bigger so that we fit in even with our huge wings, which ultimately means fewer toilets on each floor. Admittedly, Celestials don’t have to use the bathroom that often, so there are hardly any queues, but still—me inside usually creates one.

I flush the toilet, wash my hands and then wash my face to freshen up. The guards don’t come inside, but I can feel them standing just outside the door. It’s more that they are making sure I don’t fly away rather than guarding me against danger because the skyscraper is supposed to be super safe, Liana made sure of that.

“The office is this way, Your Majesty,” Miruel coughs because I intentionally head the other way.

“I know,” I reply patiently. “I’m just going to fetch a snack real quick. There should be a cafeteria two floors below, right?”

“We’ll send someone then,” Miruel says. “What would you like, Your Majesty?”

“No, I want to see their menu first,” I frown. “Is there a problem, Miruel?”

Miruel chews her lip and I can tell she feels conflicted.

“No, no problem,” she says quickly. “It’s just… for Your Majesty to go there in person… it’s just…”

“It’s what?” I narrow my eyes.

“Nothing,” she gulps and reaches for her phone. “Reinforcements to floor 53, immediately. His Majesty is coming.”

I have to force myself not to roll my eyes. Reinforcements? Because I want to buy a muffin at a cafeteria that should still be part of our headquarters? Are they for real?

“We should call for your Consorts,” Miruel suggests nervously when she pushes the elevator button.

“We’re not bothering them with something so trivial,” I forbid because Erik is meeting his human friends right now after quite a long time and I sent Gotrid to help Rien.

“Miruel, what’s wrong? I don’t understand,” I sigh when we enter the elevator and the anxiety of my protectors fills the space. “It’s just a simple snack run.”

“Nothing is simple with Your Majesty,” the Guard Captain says openly. “I just hope that it’ll go smoothly.”

I’m quite lost at this point, honestly. It’s not as if I’ve decided to take a stroll outside. I’m not even leaving our headquarters and most employees here are Celestials. There’s no way that I’m in danger in any imaginable way so why are my guards so nervous about it?

The elevator stops and I quickly get out. I’m still not comfortable with confined spaces that are moving. The others seem to be able to tolerate it to a certain extent, but I, once again, got the full dose of our racial weaknesses together with our strengths.

“This way, Your Majesty,” Miruel guides me.

I visit this floor from time to time, but I’ve been to the cafeteria only once. Somebody always brings snacks for me so that I don’t lose precious time. But it’s not always about perfect time management. I want to do normal things as much as possible. I want to meet people on an informal friendly basis.

“Your Majesty, is something wrong?” Taranah comes running out of one of the offices in frenzy. “Nobody announced you would come. Is it an unexpected inspection? Are you here to evaluate us?”

“I’m just on a snack run,” I inform him dryly. “Please, act as if I’m not here.”

But my efforts to keep the visit casual are futile. Celestial employees, who are feeling my immense mana, are curiously peeking out of their offices.

“His Majesty is here!”

“I hope everything’s okay.”

“Did his schedule change?”

“Why aren’t his Consorts with him?”

I take a confident step, but it’s obvious Taranah has no intention to continue whatever he was doing before I showed up. He joins my escort.

“Hello… hi… how are you…,” I’m trying to make brief eye contact with everyone. “Just passing through, no need to bow.”

The cafeteria is a nice spacious place with many tables and right now quite full. It seems very popular, so the food must be great. The only trouble is it goes completely silent when I make my appearance.

“Hello… hi… long time no see,” I’m saying rather mechanically as I’m trying to get to the counter.

I can feel everyone is excited to see me. I recognise a lot of people I work with frequently, so they must be used to me by now. Is it really necessary to stare at me like that? My guards are growing even more anxious. I don’t know what I was expecting out of my little trip but definitely not causing an uproar.

I try to ignore the excited murmur and finally reach the counter. The cafeteria staff consists of a young Earthborn couple. They are wearing matching aprons, which look cute on them, though right now they’re panicking.

“Hello,” I smile innocently and look at their menu. The variety is nice and the prices are reasonable.

“W-what c-could I g-get you, Your Majesty?” the Earthborn woman stutters.

“I’m not sure, what do you recommend?” I ask and realise that I’m starting to get hungry when looking at all those nice sandwiches, wraps, muffins and cakes.

“Everything is fresh,” her partner assures me enthusiastically.

“I do not doubt that, it looks delicious,” I say. “Maybe a cheese wrap?”

“Of course,” the man nods several times. “Anything else?”

“Hmm,” I look at the menu again. “A chocolate cookie and latte.”

“Just pulled out of the oven,” he says proudly.

“Nice,” I appreciate and slip my hand into my robe. “Oh, I didn’t take my phone!” I realise. “Could you put it on my tab or something? I’ll send someone to pay you later.”

“Your Majesty,” Taranah sighs a bit irritably. “Just take what you want.”

I raise my eyebrow at him. The cafeteria isn’t part of my personal catering, we have to pay these hardworking people properly. Why can’t he see that? Why is he almost annoyed with me that I intend to pay?

“Your order will be ready in five minutes,” the Earthborn waiter tells me nervously and gestures at his partner to skip the orders that came before me and start working on mine immediately.

I turn around and see that all tables are taken. The only free seats are bar stools by the window. Great, I’ll have a nice view. However, when the guards realise where I’m heading, they get horrified and they aren’t the only ones. Suddenly, every Celestial in the room is hastily standing up, offering me their seat.

“Your Majesty, take this table!”

“Majesty, here!”

“You can have ours!”

What’s wrong with bar stools? I like them better, to be honest. They don’t have backrests and I can see outside better. But Miruel gently grabs my sleeve and leads me to one of the vacated tables. So I can’t even choose my own seat anymore? That’s absurd! As I get seated, I accidentally touch Miruel’s wings and catch her immediate thought.

The Viceroy will kill me, these plastic chairs are unbecoming of our Emperor. Oh, why did His Majesty have to insist on coming here? This isn’t a place for him.

I choose to pretend I didn’t hear anything and fold my wings. The chair is adjusted for Celestials but it’s not very comfy. Still, I don’t mind because I can experience something normal for a change. I’m not like Erik; I don’t pursue luxury.

“Won’t you sit down?” I look up at Miruel because nobody from my escort joined me. It’s starting to get a bit weird sitting alone with so many people standing around me.

“We can’t sit, we’re at work,” Miruel shakes her head and flinches when a group of Celestials suddenly moves from their table and slowly walks to us.

“Your Majesty, could we join you?” a Celestial woman with ginger wings asks me and her voice is trembling. Even her friends are trembling.

I would frown at them but I know I can’t. Liana told me many times that my frown could be easily misinterpreted so I watch myself.

“Sure,” I nod. “Sorry, I don’t remember your names. But I do recognise you,” I add quickly. “You’re helping with our funding, right?”

“We’re honoured you do, Your Majesty,” a Celestial man with short dark hair and dark brown wings smiles. “It’s refreshing to see you visit us.”

“Eeh, sorry about that actually,” I bite my lip. “I’d like to do that more often but I’m always so busy.”

“Nobody doubts that,” the Celestial man shakes his head furiously.

“We’re just sad there aren’t that many opportunities to see our Emperor,” the woman explains. “And we’re the lucky ones, being blessed by working here. Most Celestials worldwide haven’t had a chance to see you in person even once yet.”

“Oh, I…,” I’m not sure how to respond to that. Is it such an issue for my race? Are they really deeply unsatisfied by not being near their embodiment of magic?

“Your order, Your Majesty,” the Earthborn waiter brings me my snack.

I bite into the cheese wrap immediately so that I don’t have to talk for a while. The Celestials are just looking at me with content smiles. I don’t have to touch them to guess what they’re thinking— that I’m so skinny it’s good I’m eating. When their moods fluctuate a little for the worse, I can tell they think my caretakers aren’t feeding me enough.

I cough and have to sip my latte to clear my throat. If it was up to these three, they would be stricter with my diet. What do they see when they look at me? Do they even realise I’m not some perfect idol but a person? I finish eating my wrap but couldn’t enjoy it with all those stares I’m getting. It’s as if I’m being scrutinised for every tiny move.

The majority of people here are Celestials I realise. What does it say about Draconians in general? Do other races have so little interest in politics and administration? And what does it say about my race?

“So… do you like it here?” I ask, nervous about the silence.

They blink, totally confused by the question. Oh, right, they’ve mentioned something about being allowed to work here as an honour. I find it weird frankly. I mean… I love my new apartment but I’d prefer to live somewhere I could fly freely.

Too anxious to continue eating, I wrap my cookie in a napkin and put a lid on my coffee. The Celestials grow pale when they see I’m about to leave.

“Your Majesty, a little blessing before you go?” the woman pleads.

“A little… what?” I don’t understand and stand up.

It’s like a wave. Everyone in the room stands up as well, even other races. The Celestials around my table are looking at me with excited anticipation. What are they waiting for me to do? They can’t seriously expect me to bless them, right? I’m not some priest.

“Majesty, please?” the Celestial woman is kind of in my way and has no intention to step aside.

Well, she’s waiting for something and I’d hate to let my subject down. A handshake isn’t a Celestial custom but maybe a little pet of wings is a good alternative? I stretch my right wing to her left wing, gently brush her feathers and because I don’t have to hide my telepathy with Celestials anymore, I send her my love.

It’s nothing special really, I do it with my partners every day and with much greater intensity. What I send her is quite shallow compared to that but I do convey my overall love for my race and channel a tiny portion of mana which should be nice enough.

The woman sighs and wobbles. I quickly fold my wing back, afraid I overdid it. Her friends catch her so she doesn’t end up on her knees. So much for a Celestial handshake. I just hope it didn’t look weird to onlookers from other races.

“S-so beautiful,” she whispers, dazed. Wait, so she liked it?

Her friends quickly seat her in the chair and stand in front of me, expecting the same. Miruel is gesturing at me wildly that we’d better leave immediately but I’d feel guilty if I just ignored them. I don’t want to be that kind of ruler who ignores their people.

To make things quicker, I stretch both my wings and touch them at the same time. I watch my telepathic strength this time so I don’t make them wobble. A little success.

As I’m folding my wings back, I suddenly feel Miruel catching my left wrist and pulling me away. I want to complain because I don’t understand her behaviour but then it comes to me. The atmosphere in the cafeteria has changed drastically and all the Celestials present here are suddenly trying to get to me first. There’s pushing, intense emotions and the ambition to get to touch me.

“Are you nuts? Stop it this instant!” Miruel yells at them but her voice disappears in the ruckus. It’s as if my guards lost all their authority. It’s as if the Celestials turned into a mob.

The Guard Captain hugs me, enveloping me in her wings protectively and I get a full salve of her fear. That’s why she was so nervous to let me go in the first place. She was afraid something like this might happen. There’re only six more guards apart from her in my escort so they are easily outnumbered.

If it was humans, they wouldn’t hesitate to use the most destructive spells in their arsenal to protect their Emperor but these are fellow Celestials. They have no idea what to do. I have no idea what to do. Everyone is so crazed about me giving out blessings that I doubt they would listen to reason.

I get nauseous. Their fanatical emotions are too strong and are crushing my brain. I haven’t had a migraine since New York but it comes now in full force and brings all those little side effects I was glad to be rid of. Like my stomach turning upside down.

I throw up and the only good thing about it is that I miraculously managed to turn my head and lean down in time so I don’t stain Miruel. My head is spinning and I’m seeing little stars. Out, I need to get out!

I thought I overcame my panic attacks and I did—at least those that had roots in my anxiety disorder—but this is a completely different matter. This literally calls for a panic attack. I’m surrounded by a bunch of crazed fanatics.

My first thought is to use some spell that’s rather safe and would allow us to escape. I think I should be able to muster some mana even with a migraine. But as I try to do so, something deep inside my Emperor’s nature stops me.

The idea of using force against my subjects is unthinkable. I… I just can’t do it. I simply can’t in the sense I’m mentally incapable of it. I’m their Emperor and they are my subjects. They are the very people I’m supposed to protect. The mana I channelled twists inside me as my mind doesn’t allow it out and dissolves.


Liana shows up in all her Viceroy glory and might, coming just in time to my rescue. And Gotrid is with her. Oh, my beloved. I want to be held by him so desperately.

The Celestials grow still and the room gets unnaturally quiet again. Unlike me, Liana and Gotrid don’t seem to feel much conflicted about using magic on their fellow Celestials and start making their way using telekinesis where necessary, pushing people aside rather mercilessly. Seeing that it’s okay with the Viceroy, my guards get confident again and do the same.

Liana is raging, Celestial wrath manifesting as her mana leaks out and intimidates everyone. Gotrid does the same most impressively because he’s freezing the air around him. But I don’t see the rest of their grandiose entrée. I’m saved so I can finally allow myself to faint and escape that maddening throbbing headache.


Thirst wakes me up and it’s not a pleasant coming back to reality because my migraine is at its worst. I find myself lying on my huge bed, changed into a night robe and my wings spread comfortably on one side behind my back. The room is dimmed and the curtain around the bed is closed.

But privacy is only illusionary, I feel Liana, Gotrid and the others just behind the door. To my annoyance, I feel the guards inside the bedroom. They aren’t normally supposed to be inside, this space is for me and my partners only.

“Drink, honey,” Erik is with me, of course, and gently lifts me up. “I know you can’t eat anything right now, it’s just water.”

He puts the glass to my lips and I gobble it down. I feel weak and nauseous. Even dim light and slight noise are hurting my brain. Erik carefully puts me down, snuggles to me and starts caressing my wings.

“It’s going to be okay, rest,” he tells me softly. “Liana is doing what she can and Gotrid is helping her. In situations like these, it’s good to have two husbands, isn’t it?”

I want to say something but I’m too drowsy to think properly. I give in to sleep, escaping into dreams in which there’s no pain and worries.


When I wake up again, both Erik and Gotrid are with me. My migraine got a bit better, mitigating sensory stimuli always helps the most. What would help even more, though, is not feeling panic across the whole skyscraper as the Celestials are freaking out. Well, in this case, maybe they should, I think bitterly.

“Can we get you seated?” Erik asks while Gotrid hastily piles up all the pillows.

I nod and let them push me upright. My head spins but my wings are quite comfortable leaning against the soft pillows. At the very least I don’t feel like throwing up again.

“We’re supposed to try to feed you this,” Gotrid says slowly in order not to startle me. He knows my relationship with food deteriorates rapidly every time I don’t feel well.

“It’s just apple puree, not one of those protein drinks,” Erik assures me. “I tried it for you and it’s yummy.”

“I can try,” I say weakly. I don’t have any appetite but I feel my body desperately needs some calories.

Erik and Gotrid take turns feeding me and they’re very patient with the spoon. It’s just one small bowl but it takes me at least fifteen minutes to empty it. But I managed which is an achievement.

“Do you feel like talking about what happened?” Gotrid clutches my hand. “Zetraya is worried you might be traumatised.”

“I…,” I want to oppose to that but my voice fails me. I’m not able to deny it. I don’t know yet.

“That’s okay, take your time,” Erik kisses me on my forehead. “Liana is working on making sure it won’t happen again.”

“By prohibiting me to enter public spaces ever again?” I comment sarcastically but I don’t have the energy to get angry about it. “I bet she thinks it was stupid of me to visit the cafeteria.”

“She doesn’t think that,” Gotrid shakes his head. “Nobody blames you, the guards were tragically unprepared.”

“It wasn’t their fault either,” I frown. “Tell Liana not to be hard on them.”

“She knows that,” Erik nods. “Well, it’s not like anyone could anticipate you would just casually start giving blessings. Of course, Celestials would go crazy for something like that.”

“I didn’t start giving blessings,” I set the record straight.

“You kind of did, though?” Gotrid says softly. “We interrogated those three who received it and they describe it as exactly that. They said it was amazing.”

“Amazing doesn’t make it a blessing,” I insist. “I make you two feel amazing all the time. It’s just telepathy and a tiny bit of my mana.”

“Technically? Sure,” Gotrid shrugs. “Still, in the end, it’s all about how it’s perceived. Forget human religions. From the Celestial point of view, the Emperor doing something like that can be categorised as giving a blessing.”

I whine when a sudden thrust of pain surges around my temples. I’m far from being recovered from my migraine and thinking about the consequences just makes it worse. Gotrid and Erik put me down again and let me rest while gently caressing my wings.

I know that assumptions made during a severe migraine aren’t objective but I can’t help not feeling despair. The skyscraper suddenly feels like a golden cage with my subjects acting as my wardens.