A/N: I anticipate that this will be the best part yet, since the last few were just plain disappointing :')
A pill is pressed down onto your tongue, dry and cold. Someone squirts water into your mouth, and you unwillingly swallow. The Empress is your child. The Empress is your child.
Yulian strips off the blue surgical gloves clinging to his hands and throws them aside. "That'll numb your pain for now."
The Empress is your child.
All you want to do is go home, to your husband and soft, warm, non-hospital bed. The fire would be crackling in the distance, its heat radiating throughout the house. There wouldn't be strange blond boys that appear for reasons unknown, or girls heterochromatic eyes staring at you with unhuman senses. Just before you close your eyes again, Yulian vanishes into thin air, leaving behind a tattered parchment.
The natulys are in your account. But here is one thing the Empress requires of you: You must not tell anybody of the girl's powers, or Anzhelika Natadova's true identity. Failure to do so will get you executed by me. I don't care that this falls into the zone of your consent, because you have to anyway.
You push the parchment off your bed with an uneasy finger and hear it clatter on the floor.
"Viktoriya. Demonstrate your abilities."
Viktoriya stands still, her gray and purple eyes swirling with a strange light. She is ungagged but refuses to speak. She takes a glance left, where guards have gathered into a rigid formation, shields against the ground. Viktoriya balls her fists and stares at the humans around her, loathing their presence. Loathing that in hours she will be turned into a mortal. Understandably, she is a goddess. A young one, only having roamed the earth for a millenia, but she has the wisdom nonetheless. Her name is not Viktoriya, yet she can't pinpoint the identity she used to go by, the identity she owned before the supposed Empress turned her into a freak show. The knowledge she bears could turn the entire empire into a desolation of burning flames and wreckage. Viktoriya waits for the day when the tables will turn, the day she will rediscover her true lineage. When that day comes, she will have her revenge.
"I have one request," Viktoriya snarls, her voice hoarse and unrecognizable.
"Rid me of these chains, Marie," Viktoriya pauses, before taking a deep breath. "YOU'RE NO EMPRESS! YOU'RE A LIAR, MARIE ISABELLE MOULIN! DAUGHTER OF MERCENARIES, MURDERER OF THE LEGITIMATE ROYAL FAMILY! BASTARD!" Viktoriya spits, a glob of crimson on the floor. The guards surrounding shuffle uneasily, questioning whether the girl has just said is the truth, for the previous Emperor had no heirs. To their surprise, the Empress does not jump at her. She stands rigid, like she's aware she's playing with fire.
"You will not call me by that name," Empress Maria says, grinning madly. She digs her nails onto her perfect doll face and drags them downward. She takes a few paces forward towards Viktoriya, who stands her ground. Waiting. "You'll start wondering how it'll end. Don't go there, Viktoriya. Here, we hear actions, not words. No one will believe you."
Mortals. Stupid mortals. They radiate no energy except for a stale one that ebbs and flows within and out of reach. Viktoriya thinks about the era of the gods, the era that she ended. Humans were no longer mere pawns in this deadly game. They were the kings, and gods had been caught in between.
"Yulian. Take away her powers."
The blond steps into view, a large sword at his side covered in ancient runes. Viktoriya could read them. She knows she once could've. If only. If only. Quickly, before he unsheathes his sword, Viktoriya catches the words: Taliy raponje garasu. Of discord.
"NO!" Viktoriya screams, tearing into the flesh between her left thumb and wrist, and a blinding light explodes from the bitemark. The metal chains fly off from her wrists, piercing the guards nearby. Empress Maria and Yulian duck while the Empress barks at the guards to rise. Viktoriya realizes it happens too slow, yet too fast; The light is fading, and so is she. Viktoriya bites again, harder. The guards point their swords at the middle of the circle, and surprisingly, Yulian does the same as Viktoriya. Sleek white fur. Razor sharp claws, scratching the tiled floor, begging to spill blood. Piercing azure eyes that meet Viktoriya's.
In the ring are two lynxes.
In the ring are two gods.
In the ring are two gods, unknowingly playing a human's game.