Chapter 90:

The Other Way Around

Draconia Offline

I somehow manage to cushion Erik’s fall with telekinesis so he doesn’t bump his head at least. My concussed brain spins because I stand up too quickly, but I don’t care about that. I jump to my beloved and pull his unconscious body to my chest. My heart is pounding wildly and it takes me a few seconds to realise what just happened. Did Erik… faint?

“Love, let me help,” Gotrid is trying to take Erik off me, but I don’t let him.

“Call Noage!!!” Liana shouts at the guards.

I try to connect to Erik’s mind, but it’s shut down completely. He isn’t sleeping, he’s unconscious. I try again and again and, after that, I try kissing him, but he isn’t waking up. I must have been panicking and not responding because what finally slaps me out of it is a combined effort of Vermiel and Miruel tearing me from Erik by force.

I scream, but I’m not able to use telekinesis against my subjects and I’m too unfocused for a telepathic push. My eyes water when I see Noage connecting to Erik’s arm with his rooty tentacles and I calm down a bit only when Gotrid hugs me.

“Let the doctor do his job, love,” Gotrid says softly. “Earthborn powers are much better suited for this.”

Those few minutes when Noage is examining Erik feel like hours. I’ve never been so scared in my entire life, not even when facing my father for the first time or battling monsters. What if it’s not just fatigue? What if there’s something seriously wrong with Erik?

“The Royal Consort is just exhausted and overworked,” Noage finally says his verdict. “I’ve checked everything, Your Majesty, he’s going to be okay after he rests properly.”

I sigh in relief, but my heart is still pounding wildly. How come I didn’t anticipate it? Was I so focused on the meeting that I didn’t notice Erik started feeling dizzy? Isn’t Erik my absolute priority? Seriously, I just might be the worst telepathic partner ever.

“Don’t blame yourself, hon,” Gotrid forbids me, takes me into his arms and stands up.

Vermiel takes Erik even though I want to be the one to carry my beloved. Instead, I’m being carried myself. I hate to be weakened like that, but there’s nothing I can do about it right now. When we finally reach our suite and we’re both put on the bed, I can finally touch Erik again.

“Why isn’t he waking up, Noage?” I don’t understand and my eyes water. The shock is gone, but I’m still in panic mode.

“He will wake up naturally when his body rests a bit, Your Majesty,” Noage assures me. “Please, be patient, the Royal Consort isn’t in any danger.”

I lie down and hug my beloved tightly. I can’t help blaming myself. I should have insisted on him resting. I should have paid more attention.

“Love, that’s not helping,” Gotrid shakes his head because he can read my thoughts. He lies down behind Erik’s back and uses his right wing as a blanket to cover us both.

“Li, take a break for the rest of the day,” I order my Viceroy who’s nervously stepping by the bed, not knowing what to do for a change. “Tomorrow, I need you to take care of the Celestial Council and all meetings for me and you have to be well-rested.”

“As you wish, Your Majesty,” Liana bows, gives Erik a worried look and leaves.

“Tell the cooks to prepare a European-style breakfast for tomorrow,” I order Ayala. “Everything that Erik likes.”

“Of course, Your Majesty,” the maid nods. “Should we prepare some wellness procedures for tomorrow as well?”

“That would be nice,” I appreciate.

Noage tells us that he will check on Erik in the morning and leaves as well. When the guards take their position outside the door, we finally have privacy. I’m trying to slow down my still wildly beating heart.

“Love, seriously, it’s no use blaming yourself,” Gotrid caresses my feathers.

“What about you? Are you okay?” I worry. “You’re working just as hard.”

“I haven’t been with you for that long,” he reminds me. “Erik has been with you from the beginning and he’s always under tremendous pressure. Much more than me, I do realise that.”

“More than you?” I don’t understand.

“He’s always trying to be perfect and the world is expecting that,” he sighs.

“He’s perfect just as he is,” I emphasise. “Just as you are.”

“Oh, love,” Gotrid is deeply moved. “You love us so much that it brings me to tears. I guess that’s why you don’t understand.”

“Make me understand then,” I beg because I’m really lost here. Being a telepath doesn’t automatically make me an expert in human behaviour and social cues. Now that I think about it, maybe I’ve never been good at comprehending certain things because part of my mentality is Divementis.

“Both Erik and I have to try hard to be worthy of the Celestial Emperor,” he starts slowly, suspecting that I won’t like his answer. “Your powers are divine and you’re naturally beautiful, but Erik is an ordinary human and I’m an ordinary Celestial.”

“There’s nothing ordinary about you two,” I frown and poke Gotrid’s forehead.

“We do our best to match you, at least, to some degree,” he catches my hand and kisses it. “We try to always look our best next to you and flawlessly represent the Draconian government during official events. We do our best to ease your workload. It can’t compare the pressure you’re under all the time, but…”

“It sounds like much more pressure than I am under,” I interrupt him, disagreeing. “I’m always making so many mistakes, I’m messy, I lose myself during my flights, I get scolded all the time for not acting regally enough when it comes to the court protocol, I’m not effective at work and…”

“Stop right there,” Gotrid puts his finger in front of my mouth. “Not effective at work? How in the world did you think of that?”

“I’m not even able to give you and Erik free Sundays every week,” I mumble, embarrassed. “I tend to sleep in, I’m either injured or weakened way too often, my headaches sometimes prevent me from working entirely, I still haven’t fully figured out my telepathy so I get overwhelmed easily and because of all those things I don’t work effectively. I admire your patience with me and I often wonder why my subjects don’t complain about that from time to time.”

Gotrid rolls his eyes and pulls a few of my feathers. Not strongly enough for it to truly hurt, but it makes me flinch all the same.

“Ouch, what gives?” I frown.

“Well, you needed to be punished for that nonsense you just let out of your mouth and meant seriously,” Gotrid frowns even more strongly at me. “I’ve never met a more hard-working person than you. Not even our workaholic Viceroy comes close.”

“Liana works way harder than me,” I insist.

“Longer hours don’t have to mean harder,” Gotrid opposes. “For instance, you can never relax even for a second in public because all eyes and cameras are always on you. Celestials constantly ask for your blessing and you’re so kind to never reject anyone. And don’t let me start on how you’re scanning our surroundings with your telepathy all the time to make sure we’re safe.”

“I’m not some security scanner,” I purse my lips.

“Yet, you’re doing exactly that without even realising,” Gotrid stretches his hand over Erik and caresses my face. “Heh, Erik acts as our divider.”

“Well, it’s always me in the middle,” I point out. “Honestly, it’s much more comfortable this way. It makes more sense for the one without wings to be in the middle.”

“As if logic has anything to do with love and passion,” Gotrid laughs silently. “I bet Erik will throw a tantrum when he wakes up and finds out that I’m hugging him from behind.”

“I don’t think he will,” I ponder. “He’s gradually warming up to you. Much faster than he realises.”

“Only thanks to you,” Gotrid grins. “I think it’s impossible to be connected to you on the deepest level and not develop feelings towards the other person in your mind.”

“Am I influencing you?” I bite my lip. “I don’t want to end up like my father. I don’t want to use telepathy as a weapon or a tool to manipulate others.”

“Not like that,” he assures me. “It’s more like I can understand why you like Erik so much and then I can also see Erik’s mind and I can’t help not feeling attracted.”

Suddenly, I yawn. It’s been an exhausting day and it’s nicely warm under Gotrid’s wing. I close my eyes and finally relax. Erik’s mind has just slipped from being unconscious into regular sleep so I feel much calmer now. He’s going to be okay.

“Love?” Gotrid whispers. “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure,” I yawn again, drowsiness slowly overcoming me. Being connected to Erik’s sleeping mind is putting my own mind to sleep as well.

“You really panicked back there,” he says, carefully considering his words. “Would you do that for me as well?”

“Of course, I would,” I answer, battling incoming sleep.

“If something really bad happened to the two of us,” he continues, his tone urgent for some reason, but I’m too sleepy to take it seriously. “If somebody hurt me or Erik, what would you do?”

“I’d have no mercy with whoever did it, I wouldn’t hesitate to wage war,” I say and my eyes close. I merge with Erik’s mind, trying to give him pleasant dreams.


I stay connected to Erik the whole night and I have another dream about flying. I wake up a few moments before him, our minds in perfect synchronicity. I’m glad that he could experience my dream once again because he seemed to enjoy it.

I gently push Gotrid’s wing aside, sit up, lean over Erik and use this rare opportunity that I woke up earlier to greet him with a kiss on his forehead. Erik, slowly awakening, smiles widely. His hands trap me and he pulls me to his chest.

“Sorry that I scared you,” he says. “I don’t know what followed after I collapsed, but I imagine that you must have made a scene.”

“You bet I did,” I hug him tight. “Why didn’t you say anything when you started feeling dizzy?”

“I didn’t want to interrupt the meeting,” he sighs. “Besides, I didn’t think it was that serious until my vision went dark. I’m glad that I somehow managed to pull through the whole meeting and the Japanese delegates didn’t see it.”

“Stupid, you’re more important to me than some meeting,” I scold him.

“I didn’t say anything exactly because I know that,” he caresses my hair. “We needed that meeting to go smoothly, it was super important.”

“Oh, you’re both up already?” Gotrid yawns and pulls his right wing behind his back. His chin is leaning against Erik’s shoulder, but Erik doesn’t protest.

I quickly analyse his emotional state. He’s slightly annoyed with Gotrid, but mainly out of habit. Will the time come when I get to witness my two partners kissing each other? That mere idea arouses me.

“Seriously, Ryuu?” Erik rolls his eyes and my human name slips out of his lips, but I don’t mind. It sounds playful coming from Erik and I want to keep using it as my nickname in private.

“Forget about working today,” I straighten myself, sitting on him. “You will be only resting for the whole day.”

“As you command, my Emperor,” he laughs.

“Oh, now you listen to my orders?” I click my tongue. “What about yesterday when you insisted that you don’t have to because you’re not a Celestial?”

“Let bygones be bygones,” Gotrid chuckles, sits up as well and embraces us with his wings. “Since we’re up and we have a day off, what about…”

“Your Majesty, Royal Consorts, are you awake?” Ayala asks from behind the door. They are paper-thin, literally, so the question was only rhetorical. She might not have heard what exactly we’re talking about, but she must have heard our voices.

“Damn, no privacy anywhere,” Gotrid swears.

“Noage is here to check on Lord Erik,” Ayala continues. “Can he come in?”

I sigh, push Gotrid’s wings aside and free Erik. Since we fell asleep almost fully clothed, I don’t have to worry about looking for a nightrobe.

“Your Majesty,” Noage bows when the maid lets him in. “How is the Royal Consort feeling?”

“I feel okay,” Erik waves his hand. “I just didn’t get enough sleep, that’s all.”

“That’s not all, you collapsed from overworking,” I nudge him. “Noage, please, examine him thoroughly.”

Erik is looking dissatisfied when Noage attaches his rooty tentacles to his forearm, but he has to hold.

“At least you know how we feel every time you faint,” Erik comments venomously. “Now, it’s the other way around.”

I sigh. He has a point. If that’s how Erik and Gotrid feel when I’m injured or hurting (and that happens to me a lot), it’s not to be taken lightly. I don’t want to make them feel like that too often. Preferably never, but, in my case, that’s impossible to accomplish.

“A balanced diet and rest will do the trick,” Noage says when he finishes the examination. “Lord Erik is perfectly healthy, just fatigued. Please, make sure he rests and eats a lot today.”

“I’ll see to it,” I assure the doctor. It’s really the other way around now and I quite like that.

“The same goes for you as well, Your Majesty,” Noage narrows his eyes at me. “You do still remember that you suffered a concussion just a few days ago? Normally, it takes humans up to several weeks to fully recover from it.”

“I feel almost okay today,” I assure him. “Draconians heal faster than humans.”

“We do, but the problem is that you’re not fully Celestial, Your Majesty,” Noage reminds me. “I can’t properly examine your brain even with my Earthborn powers and since we don’t know how your unique brain works, we have to be careful and not to underestimate anything.”

“We’ll see to that,” Erik throws my sentence mockingly back at me.

I nudge him and call the maids to serve us breakfast to bed.

“I can walk just fine, but I won’t say no to that,” Erik purrs. “Seriously, though, I slept like a log so I feel completely revitalised. Did you do something to me, love?”

“Nope, I just projected my dreams to you because you liked it last time,” I shake my head. “The rest is all your body’s doing. You were sleeping for twelve hours straight.”

“I strongly advise you to sleep at least 8 hours a day no matter what, Royal Consorts,” Noage says strictly to both of my partners. “If there’s a need to watch over His Majesty during the night, take turns.”

“There’s no need to watch over me during the night,” I puff. “It makes me feel guilty that I’m the only one getting enough sleep. Do my guards and maids get enough sleep? Does everyone? Celestials might not need to go to the toilet anymore, but we still need to sleep just as much as humans do.”

“I assure you, my Emperor, that we do,” Cien says, bringing us our breakfast. “We realise that we need to be as fresh as possible for the important task of guarding and serving you, so we work in shifts.”

“Do you plan to fatten me up or something, hon?” Erik rolls his eyes when he sees how much food I’m putting on the plate.

“Just for today,” I take a tray and put it on his lap. “Eat, I’ll hear no protests.”

“If only you were so enthusiastic when we tell you to eat properly,” Erik protests, but happily digs into his scrambled eggs.

I prepare a full plate for Gotrid as well and he accepts it with a smile on his face. Erik might be the one currently weakened, but I need to dote on both of them. I quickly check how Liana is doing because the Celestial Council should be in an assembly by now. I’m prepared to intervene should they not want to listen to my Viceroy.

“Love, stop it,” Erik suddenly pulls my sleeve.

I blink, disoriented for a moment. It’s not as if I completely stop perceiving what’s going on around me when I send my mind away, but I can’t pay proper attention to my surroundings either.

“I was just making sure Liana is okay on her own,” I explain. “When I return to work, I will order her to take a day off as well.”

“See? That’s what I meant when I said that you’re working all the time without even realising it,” Gotrid points out. “Don’t wander off, sweetheart.”

“That’s right, I can’t possibly eat all this food by myself,” Erik cries.

We dig in and, for a while, there’s only a sound of clinking cutlery. When we finish eating, Erik wants to get out of bed, but I don’t let him.

“I’m not sick, I just fainted because I didn’t sleep enough for a few days,” he protests.

“You’re also deaf to my pleas whenever I’m weakened,” I remind him.

“That’s because when you faint, there’s always a much more serious reason behind it,” Erik argues. “I’m just tired, you suffered a telepathic concussion.”

“What about I keep you in bed with this?” I kiss him.

“I might reconsider,” he grins. “Still, you do realise that humans have to use the bathroom, right? I desperately need to pee and taking a shower would be nice.”

“Okay then, but I’ll take a shower with you,” I insist.

“Let’s make it a bath, all three of us,” Gotrid suggests. “I know that it feels weird to have a bath in the morning, but consider it to be a wellness procedure.”

I want to help Erik get up, but he doesn’t want to lean on me, so Gotrid helps him instead. I notice that Erik doesn’t have any remarks about that and accepts Gotrid’s touch as if it’s the most natural thing to do. I’m glad about that. I want them to like each other and maybe even love in future. I hide that thought from them for now, though. I don’t want to make Erik self-conscious about it and endanger the progress those two have made.

“Your wings need to be washed anyway, Your Majesty,” Ayala says when I tell her our wish. “The Japanese gave us some bathing salts that are suitable for our feathers so let’s try them.”

Erik goes to the toilet while I insist on helping the maids with the bath. It’s annoying that they won’t let me do anything that would even remotely resemble a house chore. I get it most of the time because I’m always so busy that I can’t waste any time, but today is different. Still, at least they let me apply the salts.

Love, stop checking on me here, it’s embarrassing, Erik sends me his thoughts from the toilet booth.

Just making sure you’re not dizzy, I explain and pull my mind back, realising that it was indeed super embarrassing.

Erik takes his sweet time which is okay because it’s not easy to fill a bathtub this big.

“Your Majesty, I know that it was an emergency, but we can’t let you sleep in your royal attire next time,” Ayala sighs when she takes my upper robe off, noticing how wrinkled the fabric is. “The same goes for you as well, Lord Gotrid.”

“Sorry,” I say, but I’m happy that she’s able to scold me like that despite my yesterday’s telepathic emanation. “Ayala?”

“Yes, Your Majesty?” she looks up from the folding.

“I overdid it yesterday, I didn’t mean to include everyone,” I apologise. “I really appreciate the care you’re giving me, my partners and our home. I’d like to give you my blessing if you want.”

“If I want?” Ayala giggles. “Your Majesty, how can someone as powerful as you be so clueless at the same time?”

“That’s our Emperor,” Gotrid smirks.

It’s a bit strange to give my blessing in the bathroom, but I don’t care about pompous ceremonies. Ayala doesn’t either for once. She’s so excited about the blessing that she forgot where we are. I know her well, so I don’t stay with a simple touch of our wings. I kiss her on her forehead, sending her my deepest gratitude.

Erik arrives at that exact moment and raises his eyebrows at the sight. There’s not even the tiniest hint of jealousy coming from him, though. The kiss is as innocent as it gets.

“My Emperor,” Ayala’s eyes water. I’ve never seen her cry before. Unlike me, Ayala is one of those people who can always keep a stiff upper lip and isn’t sentimental about things.

“I’ve brought a change of clothes for His Majesty and…,” Cien enters the room and narrows her eyes, quickly analysing the situation.

I don’t let her feel jealous of her colleague even for a second. I don’t want feelings like that among my subjects.

“Thanks for always taking care of us, Cien,” I say and before she can even comprehend what I’m about to do, I kiss her on her forehead as well.

“Careful there,” Gotrid has to catch her because she was completely unprepared for a sudden telepathic connection.

“Tell Dalia to come to me after the bath, I’ll give her my blessing as well,” I say. “Oh, the bath is ready!”

Gotrid pushes the dazed maids out of the room, the guards stay outside the door and we’re finally alone. At least as alone as the Celestial Emperor can be. We hop in and the huge bathtub doesn’t seem so huge anymore with two winged beings trying to squeeze in. I lean on Erik, Gotrid hugs me from behind and we stay like this for an hour, just enjoying the hot water and each other’s company.

“I can reheat it,” I offer when the water starts to get cold.

“Nah, I’m good,” Erik shakes his head. “Let’s wash your wings and don’t tell me that I shouldn’t because it’s super relaxing for me. I love cleaning your feathers.”

I turn around and tell Gotrid to turn as well so that I can wash his wings. For beings who don’t like getting wet, we love to keep our feathers spotless so we learned to tolerate getting our wings soaked in the name of necessary maintenance.

“Seriously, Ryuu, how do you always manage to get your wings so dirty?” Erik comments, scrubbing the tips of my primary feathers.

“My snow-white colour is like a dirt magnet,” I lament. “Liana has it easiest, nobody ever notices when her wings get dirty.”

“It’s a mystery,” Gotrid laughs. “The maids are trying to keep everything around our Emperor super clean, but it’s a lost battle.”

“I think it’s because you use your wings too often for things that have nothing to do with flying,” Erik ponders. “When you give blessings, you always touch other Celestials with your wings and you don’t like folding them too closely to your body in general.”

“Oh, I noticed that as well,” Gotrid nods. “On the ground, we fold our wings as much as possible so that they don’t get in the way, but our cute Emperor never does. He uses every opportunity to spread them, especially now in Japan when we’re sitting on the floor all the time.”

“It gives me cramps when I fold them too closely,” I frown and use telekinesis to fetch another bottle of shower gel for Gotrid.

“Hmm, are your wing bones built a bit differently?” Erik ponders and massages my back. “Or is it just your bad habit?”

“You’re teasing me,” I whine and make soap bubbles to distract them. It works like, well, magic.

After the bath, we spend half an hour drying our feathers which always takes a lot of time even when one is using spells that produce hot air. After that, we get dressed in light robes and Erik willingly puts on a kimono. When we get out of the bathroom, Dalia is waiting for us.

“Ayala asked me to give Lord Erik a massage. I assure you that I’m qualified,” she says, but that’s obviously not the only reason why she’s here. She hasn’t been my maid for long, but I don’t want her to feel left out.

When I lean towards her to kiss her forehead, it’s evident that she didn’t expect that and she twitches away instinctively. Realising her mistake, she widens her eyes, furiously apologises and bows. I kiss her then. I try not to overdo it so that she’s still able to do her job. When she comes to her senses, she tells Erik to lie down.

“Just for the record, I wouldn’t allow a male masseur to touch me,” Erik remarks, but when Dalia starts working on his back, he shuts up.

We spent the whole day resting and cuddling and it’s a small miracle that nothing happened. Liana took care of the Council for me and because I didn’t show up in public, it gave everyone time to calm down after my yesterday’s telepathic tantrum.

“Ryuu?” Erik pokes me gently when we’re falling asleep, all three of us utterly satisfied.

“Yeah?” I yawn.

“What if your father shows up tonight?” he worries. “Do we wake you up if he starts hurting you again?”

“I’m not sure you’ll be able to tell,” I have to disappoint him. “But don’t worry, I’ll do my best to guard my mind against him. I think I’m getting the hang of it.”

“Hmm, love,” Gotrid snuggles to me.

“You’re my absolute priority,” I whisper. “Both you and Gotrid. I’ll get stronger for the two of you.”

“Feels good to be the Celestial Emperor’s priority,” Erik smiles and we fall asleep at the same time.


I get annoyed when I find myself standing on that ancient stone platform again. Couldn’t my father give me generously one more day? But I’m ready to properly face him today. I’ve survived an encounter with the force that drove the Divementis out of their home dimension. I’m sure that I can fend against my father now.

I freeze when I turn around and discover that my father isn’t alone. Three more figures are standing next to him, studying me. They don’t bother with any disguise so they look Divementis right from the start. All of them are as androgynous and ageless as me and I finally understand why my looks must be so unnerving to people.

“You’re finally letting us meet him,” one of the Divementis says and I have trouble recognising whether it’s a man or a woman. Not that it matters.

“Your real biological offspring,” another Divementis contemplates.

“You mated with a lower species,” the third Divementis spits. “Tell us why we shouldn’t kill that thing on the spot. It’s an abomination!”

“You won’t because he’s our best shot at reclaiming our lost home,” my father clicks his tongue and looks at me with a hint of pride, “and because he’s my son which makes him your prince.”