Chapter 83:

My Other Heritage

Draconia Offline

I immediately put up a mental shield, but my father’s mind isn’t pushing into mine this time. It seems he’s just broadcasting his thoughts to me. I try to search for him in the crowd, but it’s hopeless. His presence is like an empty void. How is he doing it? I have an opposite situation—my emotions and thoughts tend to leak out.

I watch you grow stronger, but you still have much to learn, my father says as if we’re having a normal conversation. Or do you seriously think you mastered your telepathy yet? You’re barely scratching the surface. Your mother’s DNA might have diluted our lineage, but the transformation should have awakened all your latent abilities.

“Love? Is something wrong?” Gotrid takes my hand because I froze all of a sudden and my wings started shaking.

We will meet very soon, my son. I encourage you to enjoy Japan because it’s the culture I decided to adopt, but don’t get too attached to it. After all, you would be kidding yourself if you seriously thought that we’re human, let alone Japanese.

“Aefener!” Gotrid panics at this point and envelops me in his wings because even the delegates notice something’s amiss and are looking at me with startled expressions.

My father’s voice disappears as quickly as it appeared, leaving me with no clue how to follow him. Who knows, his telepathy might be strong enough to cover kilometres. I don’t think he would humiliate himself by hiding in the crowd.

“Your Majesty, are you getting dizzy with hunger? We should have given you a snack, it’s been ages since lunch,” Liana hurries to save the situation even though she doesn’t know what’s going on. She readily takes a protein bar out of her belt and forces it into my hands.

Aefener, what’s wrong? she asks when our hands meet.

My father… he spoke to me just now, I explain and clutch Gotrid.

Are we in danger? she widens her eyes.

I don’t think so, I shake my head. He’s gone.

Eat that bar, hon, we can’t afford to alarm humans, Gotrid insists and helps me unwrap it.

I force myself to eat it, but I don’t feel like eating at all. It’s just for the show.

“Your Majesty, will you be able to fly?” Gavreel is worried-sick. It seems our little ruse persuaded Celestials as well. Well played, Liana.

“I’m fine now, my head just spun momentarily,” I try to sound firm. “My doctors claim that my mana circuit is still developing. Occasional episodes of dizziness can be expected. I will feel better in the air.”

“We’re departing immediately!” Liana orders despite the chaos I caused.

We take off and I insist we follow Erik’s limousine. I don’t think my father would try to harm my beloved—for some reason, I’m convinced he’s not even remotely interested in anyone else besides me and underhanded practices are below him—but I’m still uneasy. I feel calmer only when we reach the mansion and are safely inside the shield dome.

“Ehm, I can see that something obviously happened?!” Erik is confused when I land in front of him the moment his car stops.

“My father happened,” I say and hug him. I always feel safe with him.

“Your Majesty’s father?!” Gavreel overhears us and panics. “How? When?”

“I got his telepathic message when we were leaving,” I explain. “Gavreel, gather everyone in the throne room, we have much to discuss.”


Within our expanded inner circle, it was no secret who my father is—the infamous magnate and the founder of Nebula, the company that developed Draconia Online. Still, not many Celestials made a connection between my telepathy and my family heritage. Most of my subjects seem to consider my telepathy to be something their Emperor is supposed to have, even though nothing of that sort is included in our lore.

“So Your Majesty wasn’t human, to begin with?” Gavreel can’t believe his ears.

And he’s not the only one. All the high-level Celestials who gathered in the throne room are astonished by that revelation. I have to hold myself back not roll my eyes. Did they really not think about my telepathy properly? Did they just take it for granted because I’m their miraculous Emperor? Just how unrealistic their image of me is?

“Half-human,” I set the record straight. “My mother was human, my father… we have no idea what he is.”

The Celestials start murmuring and jerking nervously in their seats, fluttering their wings.

“That’s why we asked you to cooperate with the Japanese government and investigate Haruto Takeda, our Emperor’s presumed father,” Liana stands up to calm down the commotion.

“I’m afraid the investigation didn’t yield any results so far,” Gavreel admits. “We know only the things that are publicly known: Haruto Takeda is one of the richest people in Japan, the founder and CEO of Azuchi Group. He’s spending a lot of money to keep his private life a total mystery.”

“But he has a connection to Nebula, right?” Erik frowns. “The Japanese government was investigating all companies connected to the developers of Draconia Online and found a link.”

“Azuchi Group has a certain stock share in Nebula, but many financial companies do,” Gavreel says. “This information alone wasn’t enough to call Takeda for a testimony.”

“But somebody surely must have seen Takeda and Aefener’s mother together? They were supposed to be colleagues in Nebula,” Gotrid recalls.

“His Majesty’s mother is easy to track only during her first year in Japan. She started as a VR developer and since her talent was quickly recognised, she was recruited by Nebula shortly after,” Gavreel explains. “Nebula guarded the privacy of their developers as fiercely as of their products and made sure nothing got out. They had their own campus with apartments for employees where no public camera could reach.”

“But still… nothing at all?” Erik doesn’t believe it.

“Money can buy a lot of things, Erik,” Liana sighs. “Especially privacy. Talking from my own experience here. If I didn’t want to be seen or recognised, I simply wasn’t. My people and high-tech technology made that possible.”

“Long story short, if His Majesty didn’t tell us a few pieces of information, we wouldn’t be able to make any direct connection between Haruto Takeda and Nebula in the first place,” Gavreel concludes.

“Your Majesty, sorry for interrupting,” Luviael speaks up. “But how is it possible that your father had no idea you existed until quite recently? If he’s a telepath, wouldn’t he feel that your mother was pregnant?”

“He probably wouldn’t,” I shake my head. “I suspect he’s not an empath and embryos don’t have thoughts. I can feel them thanks to my empathy, he can’t.”

“Oh?” That information takes everyone aback.

“I suspect,” I continue, “that whatever my father is, his race has pure telepathy. As for why I can perceive emotions as well… I guess my mother’s human genes mixed with my father’s genes in an unexpected way. As a result, my telepathy was weaker compared but my father’s, but I developed empathy.”

“So—and this will probably sound stupid and totally unnecessary—but does that mean you’re technically not half-Japanese at all, my Emperor?” Gavreel realises only now.

“I do look half-Japanese,” I shrug, uncertain myself. “I speak the language, I was born here and my father himself mentioned that he decided to adopt this particular culture, maybe because he could blend more easily. I still consider myself Japanese enough.”

“Never mind that,” Liana waves her hand. “What does it matter anyway? We’re all Celestials now. What we have to figure out is how to protect His Majesty. Takeda’s intentions stay unclear, but it can’t be anything good considering our Emperor’s first encounter with him ended up with a nosebleed and fainting.”

“The Imperial Guard will do anything to protect His Majesty,” Sareash, my new Guard Captain, stands up only to go down on her knee in front of me. “We will double the shield and reinforce the security perimeter immediately.”

“Be discrete,” Liana implores her. “We can’t alarm humans.”

“Of course, Viceroy,” Sareash nods and runs off to take care of it right away.

“Your Majesty, do we still proceed with your original itinerary?” Luviael asks.

“We do,” I insist. “We can’t know when my father appears again and where, so there’s no use changing our programme. I would appreciate a free evening today, though.”

Just a few days ago, I wouldn’t dare to ask for something like that. I came to Japan to work, not for a holiday. But I promised Erik that we would have a nice romantic evening and because I don’t know what happens when my father finally decides to strike, I want to spend as much time as possible with my partners.

“As you wish, my Emperor,” Luviael bows.

Nobody argues that I was supposed to have dinner with the court. They are a bit sad that I’m leaving prematurely, but they understand that I need to rest and devote some time to my Consorts. Discussing the matter further won’t solve anything.


I ask the Japanese maids to prepare a hot bath for us while Ayala takes off my battle armour and Cien helps Gotrid out of his.

“I love you in a kimono,” I try to smile as I untie Erik’s knot myself.

“You love me naked, you love me in a suit…,” Erik laughs, but it’s a bit cringy.

We can’t stop thinking about what happened. Nobody can. I can feel that everybody is tense. We’re not afraid of humans anymore, not even another missile could hurt us because the mansion is protected against that. We’re not particularly afraid of monsters anymore either. But I’m afraid of my father and my subjects subconsciously sense that. They realise that he’s a real danger to us.

“The bath is ready, Your Majesty,” one of the Japanese maids tells us. “Dinner will be served after that if that’s okay with you.”

“I’m not hungry,” I say. “I’d rather go to bed earlier.”

“Love, you know we can’t allow that,” Gotrid frowns. “Come, you will feel better after a bath and hopefully get your appetite back.”

I doubt that, but I follow him to the bathroom nonetheless. Naturally, the mansion isn’t an outdoor hot spa Japan is so famous for, but the bath still doesn’t fail to impress. Three people can fit easily and even our huge wings shouldn’t be a problem.

“Japanese bath is quite different from ours,” I stop Erik from hopping in. “We should clean ourselves first.”

“It’s okay, Your Majesty, there’s no way we would be reusing the water when it’s for you,” the Japanese maid, who was helping Erik to put on a kimono earlier, assures us.

“What’s your name?” I ask. I remember blessing her and while it’s almost impossible for me to forget somebody’s telepathic imprint, I’m not very good with names.

“Dalia, Your Majesty,” the maid bows. She has very long black hair, grey wings and all her movements are graceful and deliberate.

I’m way past being embarrassed in front of my maids, but Dalia is new and has never seen me naked before. The fact that she was allowed in here means that Liana made her my new permanent maid. I would get angry about it before, way too many things are decided for me. But, honestly, I don’t care about trivialities anymore. I simply got a new maid.

“Come, hon,” Erik helps me out of the last layer of my robe. It’s not like I need help, but Erik likes doing that.

Gotrid throws our clothes to the maids and masterfully covers me with his wings in the process. Then we’re finally given some privacy. I can still feel the guards all around us, but walls give some illusionary sense of enclosure even to a telepath.

We dive into the hot water and I land on Erik’s chest. Then I spread my wings over the bathtub because I don’t want to soak them. Gotrid starts kissing my back.

“Ryuu, don’t fall asleep,” Erik warns me because he can tell I’m making myself too comfortable on him. “There’s no way you’re skipping dinner.”

“And there’s also no way we’re skipping making love tonight,” Gotrid smirks and squeezes from behind.

“Maybe Ryuuto doesn’t feel up to it considering…,” Erik says, but I interrupt him.

“I feel up to it exactly for that reason,” I puff. “I won’t my father’s sudden appearances to ruin our precious time together.”

“Ryuu, why are you acting as if this is the last time we will able to enjoy ourselves?” Erik gets worried because it’s hard for me to hide my fear.

“Is your father giving you such fright?” Gotrid caresses the feathers between my wings. “You’re the Celestial Emperor, the most powerful being on Earth and I’m not exaggerating.”

“Oh,” that takes me by surprise because I’ve never really thought about it that way. But… I guess I am?

“You’re so slow sometimes, hon,” Erik laughs, this time for real.

We enjoy the evening to the fullest, trying to forget about the world. When it’s just the three of us, there are no titles, responsibilities, monsters and politics. There’s only love.


Morning comes too soon and too abruptly.

“We’re really sorry, Your Majesty, but we need you,” Cien is gently shaking me. It wasn’t the movement that woke up me, though, it was her turbulent emotions.

“It’s only five twenty,” Erik whines, yawning.

“Is something wrong?” I sit up, rubbing my eyes. Because I’m still half-asleep, I accidentally shove my feathers into Erik’s face. Fortunately, Erik is used to it by now.

“An emergency?” Gotrid stands up first, ignoring the fact that he’s naked.

“An emergency,” Ayala confirms. “Let’s get you dressed quickly.”

“Battle armour?” I ask, suddenly wide awake.

“No, it’s not anywhere near, Your Majesty,” Ayala shakes her head and starts putting on me layers of my royal robe.

We’re dressed in record time, have barely time to wash our faces at least and in just a few minutes, we’re in the throne room. Celestials are pouring inside and there’s a nervous flutter of countless wings. Liana is here already, her expression grim.

“A new monster has been spotted in three different places in the last four hours, Your Majesty,” Vermiel positions a 3D projector in the middle of the room and shows us footage.

“It’s a wyvern,” Gotrid gasps for breath and adds just for Erik: “A level 30 beast.”

“What’s the average level of Draconians at the moment?” Liana asks Luviael.

“The average level is 18, but our battle units consist of warriors with an average level of 25,” Luviael reports. “There’s a five-level difference, but we have strength in numbers.”

“Not in all countries,” Vermiel says and shows us footage from Spain, Vietnam and Colorado.

I clutch the handles of my throne. The wyvern in Spain has been slain without any casualties, but countless people were injured and a whole city block was badly damaged. The fight in Vietnam had twenty-six casualties because the monster appeared in a highly-populated area, but the beast was killed rather quickly. As for Colorado…

“It’s still on the loose?! When did the rift open?” I ask, horrified by the carnage it has done so far.

“Thirty minutes ago,” Vermiel informs. “Because we don’t have any battle units in the States, or rather we don’t have any Draconians there at all, the President called for the army.”

“Where are they then?” I don’t understand.

“Still getting there, Your Majesty,” Vermiel bites his lip. “I didn’t happen near any military bases and the local police couldn’t do anything.”

“Maybe they will finally see why cooperating with us is a necessity,” Gavreel clicks his tongue.

“Not at this price,” I give him a wrathful look, so he shuts up immediately, but most Celestials gathered here have the same opinion on the matter.

The police drone finally finds the wyvern which took roost on the roof of one of the high buildings and, fortunately, isn’t doing anything for a while. It looks confused by where it has emerged.

The army finally makes their grand entrance, but it couldn’t be more obvious that they simply aren’t equipped and trained to fight monsters. The helicopters are too slow in their turns while the agitated wyvern isn’t, so they miss more often than not. Because machine guns aren’t harming the wyvern much, they are forced to switch to rockets which is never good in a populated area.

The first two rockets miss because the wyvern is simply too quick and evades them, but the third finally hits and the wyvern starts falling down, damaging the building in the process and I can only hope there isn’t anyone standing below. Americans managed to kill their first beast without Draconian help, but there will be many casualties.

“Your Majesty, the race rulers are calling,” Luviael announces.

“Connect them,” I nod.

Holographic projections of Deminas, Emi, Twyla and even Werden, who looks recovered enough, appear in the middle of the room.

“We demand those dead wyverns for research purposes,” Twyla blurts out without any greeting.

“The Dragonkin need their skin and bones for crafting,” Deminas grunts. “It will benefit all races in the end.”

“Our research will also benefit all races,” Twyla insists.

I frown. Did they call just to argue over new resources? Do they feel nothing towards humans who lost their lives?

“What about our battle units? Was anyone injured?” I ask.

“Six Draconians lightly injured, two more seriously,” Werden says. “Our people are tending their wounds as we speak.”

“I’m afraid you will have to decide, Aefener,” Emi sighs. “The Dragonkin and the Earthborn will never find a reasonable compromise when it comes to biological resources. On the other hand, Celestials are neutral in the matter, you’re not interested in monster loot.”

“We have to trust each other and cooperate,” I say firmly. “I suggest we let the Earthborn do their job first because we need those samples fresh, but everything that remains can go to the Dragonkin. Clawfangs can help with the transport and oversee the process. My people will focus on damage control and after-battle evaluation.”

It seems everybody is pretty content with my suggestion. Are Celestials really a neutral party here? Or is this just their excuse to push all responsibility on me again? I hope they won’t start considering me to be the Draconian Emperor for real. It’s supposed to be a purely representative function when it comes to human-Draconian political relations.

“Our battle units proved highly effective even when fighting a foe above their level,” Deminas reports proudly.

“Don’t forget that we had three attacks in just four hours,” I point out because it’s too early to celebrate. “We might have a problem with keeping up should monster attacks become this frequent.”

“We have battle units in all cities of allied countries, they will finally have a chance to earn their pay,” Emi isn’t concerned much. “We’re twitching to fight. Training is one thing, but honing our skills in real battles is what matters the most.”

She’s right. She couldn’t be more right. If only that battle experience wasn’t built on innocent casualties. Why do monsters appear only in populated areas, though? There’s never been a monster spotted in the wilderness. And what force has the power to tear the fabric of reality itself? Does my father have answers to those questions?


The situation in the world is tense the whole day. Two more rifts appear, but, fortunately, no more wyverns come out and the monsters are defeated quickly by Draconian units. I order my research team back in Prague to make a chart of all the attacks we had so far and try to find a pattern if there is one.

To keep things as normal as possible, I decide to stick to my original itinerary and meet Sunako’s parents in the late afternoon for a cup of tea. It’s not like I can fight monsters hundreds of kilometres away anyway. I refuse to let the Watanabes sit on the ground in front of the throne and insist we have our snack in the garden gazebo.

“Your Majesty, the Watanabes are here,” Gavreel introduces the owners of the estate, a nice couple in their forties.

“Hajimemashite, douzo yoroshiku onegishimasu,” I say in formal Japanese. It’s probably overkill for the Emperor to say something like that, but I want to be polite towards our benefactors.

The Watanabes bow to me in the Japanese way, not Celestial, which is understandable. Mrs Watanabe is wearing a traditional kimono and has her black hair tied into a perfect knot while Mr Watanabe chose a modern well-fitted suit and his hair is turning grey already. It seems that they got used to having Celestials in their mansion, but hosting the Celestials Emperor is a totally different matter. Their nervousness is reaching astronomical levels.

“Your house is lovely, Mr and Mrs Watanabe,” I say in English. “Thank you for your hospitability.”

“It’s an honour to host you, Your Majesty,” Mrs Watanabe says timidly while Sunako is grinning and playfully poking her anxious mother.

We’re interrupted because the maids bring us afternoon tea and some snacks. I was looking forward to those. While I love everything sweet, there’s something nostalgic about the specific taste of traditional Japanese candy. I bet my Mom was giving me these when I was a child.

I watch Erik as he takes a piece of mochi and is chewing it with an undecided expression whether he likes it or not. As for me, I love these rice cakes with pretty much any filling. Moreover, these are freshly made and not out of a box that was being stored somewhere for months. It’s so yummy! I might actually gain some weight in Japan!

“Do you like them, Your Majesty?” Sunako asks with a wink. “My Mom and I made them for you.”

“You did?” I’m surprised. “They are great!”

Gotrid also takes one and while he likes them much more than Erik, he puts the plate right in front of me with a clear instruction that I’m free to eat all of them. I won’t say no to that, these marvels are wasted on my European and American husbands.

When we’re past pleasantries, I ask the Watanabes about their family history. Mr Watanabe is enthusiastically retelling a shortened version of their family background that dates back to the establishment of the shogunate. Their ancestors had an important political function at that time and even though Mr Watanabe himself is just a middle-rank official working at the Ministry of Agriculture, the tradition lives on.

Sunako then tells me about her rare disease that made her almost completely bedridden and how her father got special permission for her to start using VR when she was just eight years old. VR gaming freed her from everyday pain and showed her the world.

“So you can imagine how happy my parents were when my condition started to get better,” Sunako recalls. “They thought it was a miracle. When I started to sprout wings, they even thought I was an angel sent to them.”

“We don’t care that our baby girl is a different species,” Mrs Watanabe says and her eyes get wet. “She can walk, she can run… she can fly!”

“I prefer flying,” Sunako says. “I don’t mean to boast, but nobody has ever beaten me in a flying competition.”

“Challenge accepted,” I laugh.

“That wouldn’t be fair, love, nobody can match your divine speed,” Gotrid nudges me, but we’re all laughing at this point, even the nervous Watanabes.

We talk and talk until it’s time for dinner. Because skipping to dine with my subjects wouldn’t pass twice in a row, I’m forced to return to the throne room. But eating with my people isn’t as bad if I don’t have to be on a pedestal so I quite enjoy myself in the end. Tiredness comes too soon, though, we woke up extremely early today after all and were working nonstop.

“Sorry, but I don’t think…,” I yawn when we finally get to our suite, “that I can keep my eyes open for much longer.”

“That’s okay, love,” Gotrid yawns ostentatiously after me. “I’m exhausted as well.”

“Erik isn’t,” I envy.

“I don’t need as much sleep as Celestials,” Erik shrugs, grinning and feeling superior for a change.

We snuggle to each other and I fall asleep the moment I close my eyes because I feel safe in their loving presence.


I’m standing on some sort of platform, wearing a simple three-layered white robe and my feet are bare. I expect the stone to be cold, but I don’t feel anything. I look around and my surroundings look strangely familiar. It looks… like the world of Draconia! But how is that even possible? How did I end up here?

“So, we meet at last,” a voice resonates in the space.

I turn around wildly and see my father standing just a few metres away from me. Only he doesn’t look the same as at the conference. He has the same features, but he looks younger, taller and much stronger. I panic and my first reaction is to spread my wings and fly away.

“Oh no, you don’t,” he smirks and a strong gravitation pull throws me on the ground. “My world, my rules.”

I gasp for breath out of pure reflex, but it’s as if the air doesn’t exist here. I have no idea what’s going on, so I desperately try to push him away in my mind. He freezes for a moment but breaks through my attack easily and clicks his tongue in annoyance.

“Still so much to learn,” he sighs. “And we’re running out of time.”

“W-what… where am I?” I don’t understand and try to sit up. I couldn’t have been kidnapped, could I? I just appeared here out of nowhere.

“Where do you think?” my father shrugs. “Does this feel real to you?”

“N-no?” I answer carefully. “I can’t feel temperature or the air flowing.”

“You’re not dumb after all,” he smirks, content, and towers above me. “Let’s begin with the training, shall we?”

“W-what? Training? Now? But… aren’t we…,” I try to find the right words for my suspicion. “Aren’t we inside of my dream? I’m sleeping, am I not?”

“Dreams are shared among our people and your mind is hopelessly unguarded,” he clicks his tongue again, this time impatiently. “I mean to change that.”

“B-but… who are you? I mean really? I have so many questions! What am I?!” I demand to know.

“You will have to earn those answers, my son,” he leans down only to catch my chin and study my face. “You look so much like her.”

“My mother…?” I tremble. His presence is like a void, threatening to suck me in.

“Now, get out of those shackles first and then we can talk,” he says almost matter-of-factly.

I suddenly feel something metallic wrapping around my wings. I try to shake it off, but I can’t spread my wings anymore. Any resistance is met only by tightening the grip. I cry in pain, turn my head and see chains trapping my wings. This place might not be real but the pain is. And I have no idea how to wake up.