All the beings around Haru moved swiftly to execute her request. The three great Kings took her to the royal study to discuss the laws that she would like to implement and the subtle way of introducing it to the court officials and elders. Before she was done providing them an overview of her plans, it was already past noon.
When Haru informed the Kings that she would like to go back to her bedchamber, Adis called out for two stunning beings inside the royal study, leaving her dumbfounded at their sight.
Unbeknownst to Adis, she was attracted to anything sparkling and beautiful, whether it's a male or female, human or not, living or non-living things. So long as it was delightful in her eyes, she would always be in a trance. And right now, the two felines in front were the perfect example of it.
She heard Adis introduced her new eye candies. "Haru, meet Millie and Hannah. They will be your lady-in-waiting from now on. If I'm not with you and you need something, they can help you with that." He shifted his attention to the two women, "This is my fated mate and my future consort, Haru. She will be in your care, henceforth."
Both the women bowed gracefully in front of her. The one called Hannah spoke her greetings. "It is our honor to serve the future Queen of Umbra."
Haru's eyes brightened as she walked towards the women. Without any warning, she caressed each of their cheeks at the same time. "Waah! You ladies are so adorable. Ah, no need to be formal. Nice to meet you, Millie and Hannah. From here on, let's be friends, okay?" She smiled heartily at them, totally glad that she finally had the courage to make friends.
Millie's eyes widened upon seeing her carefree grin, then it watered at the reminder of such a familiar demeanor. She suddenly hugged Haru with eyes clouded in memories of the past.
With tears silently flowing on her cheeks, Hannah followed through and hugged them.
Haru awkwardly patted their backs, totally confused about what had gotten in their mind. 'Are they happy to be friends with me that made them cry tears of joy?'
Despite feeling a bit jealous that Haru was embracing someone aside from him, Adis just sighed in understanding while a complicated expression flashed in his eyes.
After the dramatic first encounter, Haru went back to her bedchamber to accomplish a very important task. She asked her new companions to bring her several cotton, fur pelt, cloth, and sewing kit.
Once she had all the materials she needed, she locked herself in her bedchamber for hours while Millie and Hannah lost count of how many times they went in and out to bring her meals, as well as the squeaks she made whenever she was punctured by the needle.
"Kyaaa! It's finally done!" Haru finally squealed in excitement while raising her creation in the air.
Millie and Hannah got startled when they heard Haru suddenly yelled out. In her hands was a shabby-looking stuffed toy with uneven ears and eyes made of black buttons. Its entire body was made of pelts with different colors and textures while thread marks could be seen on each side of its limbs.
Millie tilted her head then spoke in a tiny voice to Hannah. "Does our future Queen wants to scare someone?"
Hannah shook her head. "I don't know. Perhaps, she will use it as a medium for black magic?"
Haru ran off towards the royal study, where the three Kings were still brainstorming on how to establish their plans to the royal court. When the door burst open, a fair maiden with eyes as bright as the stars came in with a weird-looking doll in her embrace.
"Adis, let's go!" Haru enthusiastically hollered as soon as she barged in.
Adis looked at her with furrowed eyebrows as he tilted his head.
Zen voiced out his curiosity. "Sister-in-law, are you off to scare someone? Bring Zen, too, I'm good at playing pranks. Or are you going to the Witcher's Hamlet to sell your scarecrow?"
Haru's eyes widened and instantly watered while her lips trembled. Her energetic aura suddenly became gloomy as she scrutinized her handiwork.
Aquarius severely knocked Zen's head and buttocks which made the latter cry in pain.
"Hm? I think it's the cutest doll I have ever seen." Adis softly exclaimed as he approached his sulking maiden and patted the toy on the head. "Is this for me? What do you call it?"
Haru's emotion gradually lightened upon introducing the little guy. "This is Mr. Bear. It's a birthday present for my recently adopted son, Vladimir. What do you think? Does it really look scary?"
For the first time in history, the three great Kings were speechless. They just blinked as they stared at the scarecrow in her arms.
'What? That's a bear plushie and not a product of black magic?" Zen screamed in his mind.
'I didn't know that bears were portrayed as such. It was truly a fascinating sight.' Aquarius tilted his head as he silently thought.
"Mn," Adis nodded in approval "It is indeed cute and heartwarming." He patted her head as he praised her. "My Haru is quite talented."
Haru giggled and twisted her body left and right, feeling satisfied by her man's recognition.
"Waah, love is the scariest thing in this world." Zen grimaced as he whispered to Aquarius. "It can blind even the most powerful being, and yet, the devil doesn't give a damn about it."
The petty Demon King was still feeling unreconciled with how Zen made his beloved upset. With narrowed eyes, he sternly summoned his royal aide. "Fang, bring Zen to Gehenna and make him clean the entire basement and torture chambers. I want it to be spotless before the break of dawn."
Zen panicked and struggled at Fang's strong hold. "Nooo! Big brother, this stupid brother is wrong. Please forgive me. Wait! Help meeee!" His voice waned while being dragged away.
Aquarius followed Zen to Gehenna, planning to add insult to his wound and to make sure that he would finish in due time.
Adis sat on the chair and ushered her to sit on his lap while embracing her small body. "It took you a while before mentioning that boy again. I thought you forgot about him, already. What if I tell you... that he's already gone. He incited the wrath of the Demon King, thus his end is inevitable."
"Is that your idea of a joke?" She raised an eyebrow then rolled her eyes. "Look, even if I did not offer to be his adoptive mother, I still won't forget about him. He is that precious." She faced him and made the teddy bear showered his cheeks with kisses. "The reason why I didn't mention Vladimir at first was because I knew that he is safe with you."
She adjusted herself on his lap as she continued, "I told you that I will give you my everything, right? That includes my unconditional trust. I realized that no matter how much you are suffering, you will never hurt the people I cared for. Even without me telling you what to do, I knew that you will always act with their best interest in mind. It's honestly weird to feel this way to someone who I haven't been with for so long, but... who cares. All I know is that no matter how hard it may be, you will try to accept and love those that I hold dear. After all, that's how you made me fall for you." She smiled sweetly and kissed the tip of his nose. "Besides, I have to prepare our plans for tomorrow so I can play with Vlad throughout the day without any worries."
"You're wrong," Adis opposed her claim. "I think... I have hurt him... more than you can think of." He gave her a remorseful smile.
"Well, that's why Mr. Bear is here." She said and covered her face with the stuffed toy's weird face. She spoke in a cute voice and moved the bear's hands. "Don't worry, I will make up for your stupidity, idiot King! I will protect and make him happy."
He chuckled and poked the bear's forehead. "I think that kid will really like it. It's cute but weird. Perhaps, a bit of enhancement here and there will do some trick," he carefully suggested.
Haru pouted and shot him a piercing glare. "You just said that it's cute! You can't take it back now!"
Vladimir fell on the ground with a thud when a fat half-blood kid, a year older than him, pushed him. His palm grazed on a sharp stone, causing the snow beneath him to become dyed in red.
Behind the half-blood boy were identical twins who were of the same age as Vladimir. They were all laughing out loud while looking down at him, proud that they have defeated a high ranking demon.
Vladimir's eyes instantly reddened and watered, but he quickly wiped it off with his arm. "Why did you do that? I didn't do anything to offend you," he sniffed.
He just wanted to make friends with the kids at the new orphanage he was staying at the moment. The place was so much better than the previous house he lived as he could eat different food everyday, a soft bed at night, and toys to play with. However, most of the kids were either avoiding him like a plague or treating him with contempt while calling him a monster. As such, he would always be alone while sitting at the foyer of the orphanage, reminiscing the day he met his mother and hoping that she would come and visit him.
But the bullies loved to pick a fight with him no matter how he tried to avoid them. Unfortunately, today was his unlucky day. The biggest bullies at the orphanage saw him as they passed by and suddenly pounced at him.
"Hmph! Why do I need a reason to hurt you? Even if I slice you a thousand times, you still won't die." The fat kid scoffed and yanked his collar while glaring at his face like a ferocious beast. "You know why? Because you are evil and a curse to us all. Your kind was the reason why all the children here don't have home and family. You, vampires, killed my parents! The likes of you should just be eliminated from this world--"
The boy was unable to finish venting out as something hit his forehead. He unwillingly let go of Vladimir's collar as he stepped backward from the force. He gritted, "Why, you!--"
The fat kid suddenly stiffened and the twins behind him were stupefied at the creature in front of them, even Vladimir was bulging his eyes out and was lost for words.
"You sniveling brats! How dare you bully someone. Watch this old man kick your smelly butts!" A little creature with uneven ears, eyes made of buttons and body made of colorful pelts talked in a hoarse voice like that of an old grumpy man.
The fat kid fumed in anger and pounced at the scarecrow, but the little guy's speed made up for its small frame. After dodging the attack, the little creature punched the fat kid's nose then threw a right hook on his jaw.
After determining that it could pack a punch, the fat kid and his cohorts ran away while screaming and crying.
The little twerp guffawed as he watched the kids leave. "That's right, run along, you naughty kids! If you touch this kid again, I will eat your heads off!" It yelled out heroically with hands on its waist as if it was as tall as the Eremus mountain. Then, it turned around and faced the still shocked Vladimir. "Ah, good child, are you hurt? Come now, I'm not a foe. My name is Mr. Bear." It extended its small hand full of criss crossing thread marks. "Can you be my friend?"
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