Chapter 25:

Your Grace

Aether: Sin

The powers of this world are simple enough to understand.

Yet difficult to attain.

Some are simply impossible.

Onyx, Matrix, Hyrex…Aether.

There’s a distinct other power that resides in between a few of those.

One in which brings humans great hope for this war.

But brings nothing but distress to those who possess it.

Most believed I was one of those few. It was the only way to settle their conscience.

I can’t blame them…

I did too.

“Wow. Your dad is really serious about you, isn’t he,”

“More than I wish he would be,”

“He’s scary up close. And seriously tall!”


“And his breath stinks too. Yeah, that.”

Kato withholds himself from laughing, and says nothing.

Aurelia looks towards Kato, as they sit tightly inside a mini aeron slowly gliding past the streets of Floritian to return back to the Temple of Sol. The white marble pavement, mixed with different patches of grass and granite flooring, would have made for a great walkway; but Aurelia’s public appearances had been far too much of a spectacle, in which Kato was trying to avoid at all costs.

The modernized streets of Flortiian beamed with Triken technology all over, which Aurelia had officially gotten somewhat used to after a week in the city.

“Say, what was your dad talking about? The whole thing about you being the one to start the clan?”

“There are seven major clans, all regarded as the most important bloodlines amongst humans, aside from the Crown. The Okoda Clan, the Jamaerah Clan, the Ventura Clan, the Kikimora Clan, the Seiji Clan, the Eversen Clan, and the newly officially recognized major family line, the Jikama Clan. They are of first nobility. The second nobility clans are recognized bloodlines that have built a name for themselves in the Militia for generations. Third nobility clans are those- ”

Aurelia waves her hand, ”Yeah, yeah, sorry I asked. Jeez. You would go on forever about that stuff, wouldn’t you?”

“I am a sol-”

Aurelia cuffs Kato’s mouth and stares blankly at him.

“I get it. Trust me. I get it.”

Kato sighs. His warm breath fills the palms of Aurelia, causing her to feel…tingly.

Aurelia smiles: “Whoaaa…do that again!”

Kato slits his eyes as he stares at Aurelia, insinuating that he will not comply with her request.

Aurelia retracts her hand: “So, your dad always believed that your family will be one of these great clans someday, huh,…”


“And even if you never bothered to tell him what you were going through all these years, he finally got to hear everything you had to say…”

“Seems so.”

“But that still doesn’t stop him from wanting you to be one of the pioneers for this new Izana clan of yours. And he can’t necessarily do anything to stop the people coming after you because it’s out of his reach, and falls on the Judge of Floritian….”


“Damn, you got it rough. There seems to be a lot of eyes on you, Kato. Does the pressure feel heaviest coming from your dad?”

“ feels heavy coming from everyone…but yes, you’re right. His faith in me hurts the most.”

“It hurts? Why? Wouldn’t anyone be happy to have parents that believe in them as much as your dad does for you?”

“You’re right…but It’s hard to feel that way when you already know the outcome of such hope. That…is what hurts.”

Aurelia pauses. She then stares out through the large glass window to her right.

Aurelia: “I don’t understand what you mean by that. But I hope that someday, I will.”

Kato stares at the pilot in front of him, who was busy staring at both the aeron’s course and Aurelia at the same time.

“I’m sure you already do. You just haven’t gotten to the outcome of it.”

Aurelia puffs her cheeks and starts whacking Kato, “ooooOOHHH, enough, already! It’s like you’re talking in a language I can’t understand! Why do you always talk like that?! You aren’t smooth, you know!”

Kato smiles in amusement as he stops Aurelia from continuing her whacks, “Sorry. I don’t know what you mean.”

“Figures. You are so…you.”


Aurelia glances at Kato’s obsidian earrings.

“Kato Izana. The son of the general, but also the bane of every noble’s existence, but also the bane of every commoner’s existence, but also a great friend to some of the most powerful people in the land, but also-”

“Are you finished?”

“Hey! How rude, it’s not polite to interrupt people when they are talking, you know,”

“You literally just did the same to me mere moments ag-”

Aurelia frees herself from Kato’s clutches, and turns the tide by clutching Kato’s forearms instead. She then nears close to Kato, and smiles brightly.

“But also!....a man just trying his best!”

Kato stares at Aurelia. Aurelia's bright smile begins to fade, as she stares at Kato.

The scene comes to a standstill.

Their eyes lock.

Their breathing slows.

Kato: “What…”

Aurelia: “…why…”

“Excuse me, sir. We have arrived.”

Kato and Aurelia snap out of it as they stare at the pilot’s rear-view mirror, and see the pilot staring at the both of them.

Kato: “Right…thank you.”



All of the Royal Guards in the vicinity bow in reverence to their King as he walks through the halls of the palace. The King’s two young sons, Rowan and Ramses, playfully fight each other as they parade the halls with their father.

The King smiles as he turns his head back to watch his boys: “There you go, Rowan! Hit him where it hurts! Ramses, play fair, now! No hair pulling.”

“Corinthian! Please don’t spur them on!”

The King looks to his first wife, and lifts his eyebrows.

“Huh? And why shouldn’t I?”

“Corinthian, dear, she’s right. Please, don’t be upset.”

The King then turns to his second wife, and smiles.

“I’m so sorry dear, I’ll be more mindful.”

The first wife rolls her eyes, unsurprised by it all. King Corinthian then opens the doors in front of him, and walks in to see his younger brother, Prince Jusades, reading comfortably by his desk.

Jusades, with a seemingly shy voice and awkward bearing, speaks up as the King walks in: “Brother. What can I do for you?”

Corinthian: “Jusades…you knew I was coming didn’t you…”

Jusades tucks his legs into his chair: “Preposterous. How could I have predicted such a thing?”

A bang suddenly comes from underneath the desk of Jusades, followed by a small groan of pain.

Corinthian sighs, “Your grammar always suddenly improves whenever you’re lying, Jusades.”

The King then folds his arms.

“I want you to participate in this year’s festival. You will be choosing from amongst the women in the temple to be your bride, just as I did.”

Jusades stands up abruptly: “I’ve already told you brother, I am in no need of a bride!”

“Oh, look who finally found a backbone. Regardless, you will still participate and choose. That is an order.”

“You would really order your own brother? A prince of the humans?”

“I am KING!”

Jusades quickly ducks behind his chair: “F-F-Fine. But for what? To save face?”

“It is embarrassing enough with the rumors going around. You need a wife of your own, Jusades. I will not allow this to go on any further than it has. You are the son of the late King. This is your duty.”

Jusades grits his teeth. Corinthian begins to walk out.

“You have one month to decide, so do as you please until then. But in one month’s time… you will be an engaged man. Heed to that.”

Jusades watches from behind his chair, as his brother storms out of his room. His expression darkens.

“As you wish…your majesty…”