102 The Sun vs. The Moon
"SENTINEL, may I know what was the rule that you mentioned a while ago?" Luna asked the spirit carefully. Right now, Sentinel was lying on her bed while she was sitting on the chair beside it. She tried to heal the spirit but apparently, it wouldn't work on him. And so, she just made him lie on the bed for the meantime. "To be honest, I only found out that the Ancient Beasts have spirit guardians when I met you. It looks like the knowledge passed down to me by my ancestors was incomplete."
"We were only created by the Beast Gods when they put the Black Serpent to sleep," Sentinel said. "They knew that they had to go to sleep as well because sealing the Black Serpent drained their energy. So to make sure that the Black Serpent would be guided accordingly while they slept, they created us. The spirit guardians are technically a piece of their life force."
"So, you won't die as long as your Beast God is alive?"
"We can die," he said. "But our "death�� is only equivalent to us being absorbed by the Beast God again. Once that happens, our consciousness and human form would vanish. We'd be another lump of life force for the Beast God just like before."
"That's so sad."
"I don't mind," he said casually. "I know that I'm created solely to protect the Red Phoenix's heart, and as well as to make sure that the Black Serpent won't wake up until it's the right time for him to awaken." Anger crossed his eyes. "But that White Snake almost sent me back to my lord again."
"When did this White Snake disappear, Sentinel?"
"It disappeared as soon as the Black Serpent was put into a deep slumber," Sentinel said with a hint of irritation in his voice. "He was supposed to guide the Black Serpent but he suddenly vanished. I'm really going to strangle him once I see him."
"But what if the White Snake didn't disappear on his own volition?"
He suddenly froze as if he only realized that now.
"That's why I'm saying that we should find the White Snake," she said. "What if he needs us to save him?"
Hesitation was evident in Sentinel's face when he spoke again. "The spirit guardians vowed to the Beast Gods that we will prevent the Black Serpent from awakening. But still, each of us has a master to serve." He placed a hand on his chest. "The Red Phoenix asked me to protect the heart. And I can't maintain my human form if I'm outside the Red Phoenix's prayer room. I have to be near Lady Nystrom. If not, I'll be forced to stay inside her heart."
"Then, should I look for the White Snake on my own?"
"You can't leave Lady Nystrom while she's still pregnant," he reminded her. "You're the duchess's doctor, Luna."
"It's not like I'm neglecting my duty," she said. "I just want to eliminate the threat surrounding the duchess for her to have a safe delivery."
"Luna, we're the two people that shouldn't leave the duke and the duchess by themselves," he reminded her. "I know that right now, we only have a few allies. But can you think of someone else to hunt down the White Snake for us?" He snapped his fingers as if he remembered something. "That creepy Blue Dragon captain is out of the question, okay? I don't trust people who are as fanatic as that child."
"I never considered Captain Sherwood as our ally," she assured him. "There's someone in my mind already."
Sentinel raised a brow at her. "Can we trust that person?"
"Like you said, we only have a few allies as of now. But I think there's one person that Lady Nystrom trusts with all her heart aside from Duke Nystrom," Luna said while thinking hard. "I believe we should give this task to Captain Denver."
"HON, I'M going to have tea with the other priestesses," Tilly said while combing her fingers through Kiho's soft hair. She was standing between her husband's legs. Kiho, on the other hand, was sitting on her bed while his arms were wrapped around her waist tight. His face was also buried against her tummy. "I'll be fine so don't worry too much."
"I don't want to leave your side," Kiho said in a clingy voice. "Not after I heard how my stupid version in your first life treated you. I can't forgive myself." He paused for a while, then he rubbed his nose against her tummy. "You, too, Winter. I hate your version in your mommy's first life. If you grow up as a bad son in this lifetime, I'll punish you harshly."
"Don't scold our baby," she scolded him. "Our cinnamon roll is innocent."
Gosh, this was one of the reasons why she didn't want to tell Kiho the truth before.
She knew that he would hate himself and their son (in her first life) for the way they treated her, or for failing to notice that she was under control.
"We don't know if you really didn't do anything for me," she consoled her husband. "I ordered Captain Denver in the past to tell you and Winter the truth."
"But even if Captain Denver succeeded, it was too late," he said in a cracked voice. "You were already gone."
That was what she thought at first, too.
But then, she remembered the times that she heard and saw Winter.
"When the Red Phoenix helped me retrieve my past memories, I almost lost myself to my deep hatred," she confessed to him. When he looked up at her with worry in his eyes, she smiled and touched his face. "Winter helped me return to my normal self, Kiho. I believe that just like me, our son also has the memories of his past life."
His brows furrowed in confusion. "How did that happen?"
"I'm not sure," she said. "But what if Winter was the one who brought me back in this lifetime to change my destiny? At first, I thought I was able to return here because I have the heart of the Red Phoenix. And the Red Phoenix is known for its ability to reincarnate. But when Winter said that he was happy to meet me "again," it made me wonder if he returned back in time just like me."
"Why didn't he bring me back with him?" he asked with a pout. "I feel left out."
She laughed softly at that. "I prefer that you don't have the memories of your past life, Kiho. I don't want you to remember that you fell in love with another woman."
His face turned sour even more. "I don't know what happened to me in your past life for me to fall in love with another woman. But I swear it won't happen in this lifetime, Tilly."
"I know that," she assured him. "I trust you, Kiho."
"I know that this will sound like I'm making an excuse. But still, I can't really believe that I cheated on you," he said. Then, he pulled away from her. "We should consider the fact that I might have been manipulated as well. After all, based on what you remember, I stayed by His Majesty's side, right?"
She nodded at that. "After you became Duke Kiho Prescott in my past life, you became one of his aides."
"I already ended my bond with His Majesty but I have to make sure that he won't have any control over me," Kiho said firmly. Then, he stood up and opened his palm. A few moments later, a sword enclosed in a "ice coffin" materialized from thin air. The blade of the sword inside the ice had complete black blade and holder. It was also just a little thicker than a fencing sword. It was one of the most elegant swords that she had seen yet. "Do you know what sword is this, Tilly?"
"This is the first time that I've seen you summon that sword in this lifetime," she said. "But I recognize that from my hazy past memories. It's the sword that you received from His Majesty when he appointed you as the new captain of the Black Serpent Knights."
"His Majesty calls this is as the 'Nameless Sword,'" he explained while looking at the sword with sad eyes. "I only use this whenever I need to execute an assassination mission from His Majesty. I rarely bring this out in public because this sword elicits fear from the citizens who know what I do as the emperor's "shadow beast." But still, I treasured this sword because this was a gift from His Majesty."
She gasped when she saw the Nameless Sword being enveloped in a thick layer of ice. "Kiho, what are you doing to that sword?"
"I'm destroying it," he said in a flat voice. "I have to get rid of everything that I received from His Majesty. We don't know if those things have a spell that might allow him to control me. It's better to be safe than sorry."
Well, he had a point.
And he looked like he wasn't half-hearted by the choice he made because a few moments later, the Nameless Sword– now completely covered by ice– broke into thousand pieces.
There was sadness in Kiho's eyes, but it was quickly replaced by determination.
He doesn't regret it.
"Now, I've completely stopped serving the moon," Kiho said, then he turned to her and held her hand. "From now on, I will only bow and kneel before my sun."
She blinked in surprise. "Me? I'm your sun?"
He nodded before he explained. "You're a Fire Mage, Tilly. Your flame is comparable to the sun." He caressed her face with his other sun. "And just like how we only have one sun in the sky, there's only you in my life– always have, always will. I love you as big as the sun, Tilly."
She immediately got teary-eyed. "You're so sweet, Kiho. I wish I could be as vocal as you. But I suck at expressing my feelings through words."
"I already know that," he said teasingly. "And I'm not complaining."
She laughed softly at that. "Thank you for promoting me from being a goddess of crabs to the sun in your sky."
"You're still my goddess of crabs," Kiho said, then he gently pulled her for a tight hug. "You're both a goddess and a sun to me, Tilly."
Tilly smiled and hugged him back tightly. "You're spoiling me too much, Kiho."
AKU was surprised when his Celestial Sword suddenly appeared before him when he was having breakfast.
It was the sword that he only used whenever he was in war.
The blade and the holder of the Celestial Sword were completely silver, save for the red diamonds embedded in the holder. Those red gems resembled the eyes of the Moonchesters.
Anyway, if the Celestial Sword appeared by its own will without being summoned, that only meant that something bad happened to its "sibling"– the Nameless Sword.
Kiho probably destroyed the sword I gave him.
Now that the Nameless Sword was gone, he could no longer track down Kiho's location.
"What a shame, Celestial," Aku whispered to himself while looking down at his pitiful sword. "Our stupid younger brother really chose the sun over the moon."
"WHO are you again?" Howard asked the woman clad in black cloak standing in front of him. He was shocked that the woman was able to enter his office without the Holy Knights noticing her presence. But he didn't call for his guards because the only people who could do that were the people from Her Royal Highness's collection. "And what do you need from me?"
"Your Eminence, I'm here to help Her Royal Highness recover," the woman said. Then, she took of the hood of her cloak– revealing her hair that was as dark as night. "My name is Lucina Morganna."
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