“Your Majesty, please have mercy on me. I have a family to take care of. Please spare me.”
A man in his early fifties with hands tied at the back was kneeling on the ground, trembling like a newborn deer. His quavering voice was the only sound reverberating in the cold army tent. Not a single sound was made by the formidable knights who were standing at the corners of the tent, waiting for an order from the king. The hatred in their eyes was enough to show how much their hands were itching to tear the trembling man’s body into pieces. Breathing heavily, the man occasionally took glances at the devil sitting in front of him, begging for mercy.
“Mercy? I have already given you two choices. It’s you who is gambling with your own life.”
A deep chuckle escaped from the bow-shaped lips of the exceedingly handsome young man sitting majestically on the chair which appeared like a throne. A dark-colored linen tunic with black leather armor hugged his well build muscular body while a fur shawl was wrapped around his upper body, helping him to withstand the cruel claws of cold. Chin propped up while face contoured with arrogance, he glanced at the trembling man while the murderous gaze of his almond eyes was enough to declare how much animosity he felt towards him. Sitting upright on the majestic chair, the young man slightingly leaned backward while waiting for a reply, resting his hand leisurely on the arm of the chair, giving off the powerful ruler's aura. His sword-shaped straight thick brows knitted together into a deep frown upon not receiving any reply. Messaging his glabella, he closed his eyes a bit, trying to relieve himself from the head-splitting headache. Being undefeatable at the young age of 22 years, he couldn’t help but take all the pressure and responsibility on his shoulders.
He was the famous heartless devil- Alastair Maynard who ascended the throne of Kingdom Wrisian at the age of 14 years. Having hybrid bloodline of pure demon wolf and vampire, he was the undefeatable vampire-demon alpha. At the age of 22 years, most of the kingdoms were under his rule, declaring himself as the supreme power. The kings had to either surrender to him or form an alliance, and the remaining who refused to surrender were mercilessly eliminated without thinking twice. Clashing against Alastair Maynard meant inviting their own death.
“Are you planning to try my patience?” Alastair’s anger-contoured deep voice echoed, sending shivers down everyone’s spine. He was known for having thin patience and testing his patience was definitely not a good idea.
“Your Majesty, h-how c-can I agree t-to this a-alliance? M-my daughters are s-still too y-young,” The man’s voice quivered, realizing that he was totally at the mercy of the devil sitting before him.
No sooner had the man completed his words than he heard a thunderous growl, followed by the sound of someone standing up, and the next moment he could feel himself dangling in the air while cold fingers were clutched around his neck, strangling him.
“I don’t have time to play games with you,” Alastair snarled, iris turning glowingly red while his fingers were clenched against the other’s neck, intending to kill him. “I am giving you two options again - one, a marriage alliance, and two, die mercilessly in the hands of my men. Choose fast!” He tightened his fingers around the other’s neck, embedding his sharp wolf claws into the epidermis of the latter’s neck.
“M-ma-arriage a-alliance!” The man managed to blurt out, struggling to breathe.
“Good decision,” the young ruler smirked, letting go of the older man.
His eyes turned into the usual black color as his anger dissipated. Adjusting his shawl, he walked towards the entrance of the tent, unbothered by the man who was gasping for air. Before leaving the tent, he side-glanced at the man kneeling on the ground.
“We will meet again at the marriage altar, father-in-law,” lips curving upwards into a devilish smirk, Alastair signaled his guards to escort the man to his residence safely. Pulling the edge of his cloak, he stormed out.
Alastair walked past the guards, entering into another tent which seemed relatively bigger than the other ones. Upon entering the tent, he saw a lady in her mid-forties standing with her back facing him. The light from the flaming torches lightened up the entire tent, casting a tall shadow of the lady on the wall of the tent.
“How did it go?” A cold female voice spoke in a low tone, unbothered to turn towards the guest, busy looking into some yellowish paper that seemed like a map.
“Dralia is going to come under our control tomorrow,” Alastair replied in a serious tone before helping himself with a precious glass of wine, kept on the mahogany table.
“So, they agreed to the alliance,” lips curving upwards into a proud smirk, the lady let out a small chuckle as she turned towards Alastair, slightly pushing her long navy-blue cloak.
“Did they have any other choice, mother?” Alastair said proudly, being so confident about his twisted ways of making his enemy surrender to him.
The lady whom the heartless devil addressed as mother shook her head as she smiled as her son’s confidence, continuing what she was doing previously. She stood there in a full-sleeved royal blue velvet gown designed with silver embroidery while her hawk-like sharp eyes were keenly observing the map kept on the table. An expensive fur shawl was wrapped around her slender body, keeping her warm. Contrast to her age, she had soft arched brows which occasionally frowned, beautiful downturned eyes and the pale flawless skin which made her look much younger. Her long lases casted shadows on her high cheekbones as she blinked her eyes. The way she stood with her hands crossed across her chest, chin propped up, she appeared like a powerful empress who could alone conquer the whole world within a blink of an eye.
She was the famous Uphara Grimald – the mentor and guardian of the Alastair Maynard.
The entire world knows her as “The Guardian of the Heartless Devil” who herself had a hybrid bloodline of the most powerful demon, vampire, and scorpion, making her one of the most powerful creatures ever existed.
“Mother, aren’t you happy?” Alastair asked upon not receiving any compliment from his mentor. Since childhood, he was used to receiving warm compliments from his mother over his every win, encouraging him to become unstoppable.
“Your mother will be satisfied when the whole world will bow before you,” Uphara replied in her usual stoic tone, rolling the map carefully, earning a disappointed sigh from the other.
He is still a kid. Uphara snickered internally upon witnessing the sulky face of Alastair. Putting the map carefully in its place, her long, slender fingers casually brushed against her nose as she glanced at the younger.
“Still, I am happy that Dralia came under our rule without any bloodshed,” she added. “The tricky duke has the bloodline of fox and those who have that particular bloodline are the sliest with tricks up their sleeves.”
“If he dares to trick us, I will wipe off the entire family!” Alastair let out a low growl, fingers clenched tightly against the brass glass.
“He doesn’t have the guts to hold a grudge against Alastair Maynard. He surely knows the consequences.” Uphara stated, tucking in few raven-black locks behind her ear. Walking to her son, she tenderly cupped his face, smiling gently. “Take rest, Alastair. Tomorrow’s going to be an important day. Good night.”
“Good night, mother.”
A soft smile appeared on the king’s face which disappeared in a bat of an eye, returning to his usual stoic expressions. Bowing gently, he left the tent.
After the departure of the king, Uphara let out a deep breath while her facial features turned into a dark one as she remembered a task that was left undone. Frowning, she closed her eyes for a brief moment. As she opened her eyes, her iris turned into complete white before they turned into dark red.
Uphara spread her hand, allowing the formation of red sparks which turned into red glowing butterflies. She widened her eyes, changing her iris into vibrant red and in the blink of an eye, the butterflies glowed into the same shade of red before flying away.
She raised her hand a bit higher, allowing the magical butterflies to carry her message of their return and deliver it to Queen Maeve, the Queen of Wrisian. With hands clasped at the back, she watched the magical butterflies fly before they disappeared into the moonless night sky.
“I don’t know why Alastair trusts Queen Maeve Stark so much. She might be a polite and responsible lady but she isn’t suitable for the Luna position.” Shaking her head in disappointment, she lifted her right hand, looking at the exquisite ring which had a vibrant red stone on it on her index finger. “I hope Alastair finds his mate and Luna of Wrisian soon.”
Taking in a deep breath, she returned to her bed. Closing her eyes, she tried to drift into dreamland. But in reality, she was far away from falling asleep. Being the guardian of Alastair Maynard wasn’t an easy task. She had the responsibility of guiding him, protecting him, and showing him the right path. But the recent conversation with the young king made her so worried that she couldn’t get a wink of sleep. Sitting up, she let out a sigh, face countered with worry.
“We need to find that witch as soon as possible. She even dared to injure him and warn him last time. As long as the witch is alive, there is a potential risk to Alastair as well as Wrisian.”