Taliyah had been carrying out her tasks as empress dutifully over the past few weeks, at the same time she had been forging an identity for Lirian in the world of Xelia, it was one of the better worlds for education in the Clovis Civilisation while its laws were a bit more relaxed, due to that she had no problem with forging an identity for Lirian on that world.
There was a sudden knock on her door and a moment later her husband entered her study with a servant following behind him pushing a small cart with trays of food and a pot of silica rose tea, one of her favorite drinks.
"You haven't slept in weeks my love…" Albus started but was quickly cut off by Taliyah, "I will sleep when I'm done, there is still too much to get done."
Albus sighed and clapped his hands to dismiss the servant, as soon as the servant left he pulled the device out of Taliyah's hands and continued forging the identity as if he had been the one doing it the entire time. "Eat." He said pointing at the food, while he continued her work.
"Since you're doing that I can start with the next thing," .
"I've already prepared the route to smuggle him off-world and I assume that you want him to join the batch of orphan children that are being transported from your homeworld to Xelia."
"Am I that easy to read?" she asked with a pout that made Albus smile.
"I'd be a failure of a husband if I could understand my wife.", he spoke with a little smile to divert her attention while putting the finishing touches on the forged identity.
"To think the good girl, I met all those years ago is so good at forging identities, you've gotten better at it, if I didn't know better I'd think you were an expert." He spoke with a teasing smile.
"Shut up." She said with a small blush on her face as she poured two cups of steaming hot tea, "When do plan on forgetting that?" she spoke with a wrong expression.
"How could I possibly forget my first meeting with my wife." He laughed and took one of the cups of tea from the desk.
Taliyah blushed again at the embarrassing memory from when she was young, both she and Albus were on the same world searching for a very expensive plant, and they both found it at the same time after a short fight in which both of them realized that it was a hopeless fight she lied about her background.
She had done it on several occasions and had a very well thought out and convincing story to tell about her being a princess candidate of the Clovis Civilisation, she remembered so clearly how he pretended to be scared by her identity then he tossed her his ring and asked her to look inside for his gift that he was giving her as an apology.
She remembered being so proud and moments later she peeked inside the ring and almost had a heart attack, she had found the documents of his identity showing that he was an official prince of the Civilisation.
Thankfully she was a saint while the prince was a warlock, so she managed to escape, and their next meeting happened about two decades later.
Before long they were happily conversing and enjoying their meal, Albus sighed in relief as he continued to complete the identity for Lirian, his wife had really covered every minute detail to cover up Lirian's past.
She made a large donation to give orphans a better life on her homeworld, something that many nobles do to gain a better reputation.
She even had a batch of children brought to a higher world, and as an excuse, she could always say that she wanted to do more for the children of her homeworld which would earn her an even better public opinion.
She had one of her most trusted aids that was stationed on her homeworld for its protection to create a fake identity for Lirian and he also placed a transmat portal on the ship for a small group of people to get on and off the ship unnoticed.
In this way, they would be able to get Lirian on the ship, and when the ship arrives at Xelia she would be able to go straight to the orphanage find Lirian, then she would make an announcement to officially adopt him. It was like that saying, 'The best place to hide something is in plain sight.'
Albus looked at Taliyah hesitantly but he didn't hold back when he spoke, "Taliyah it's not too late to change your mind about this, if you disagree with killing the child then we can place him on one of the lesser worlds where the most he'll be able to do is raise to the seventh rank and possibly become an immortal one day."
"NO," answered Taliyah firmly, "I have already declared him as my own."
"I know what it is that you fear Albus but I assure you that I will raise him properly as a guardian of our realm, on my honor as the empress should he turn against our people then I will end him myself."
Albus fell silent, a short while later they finished their meal and prepared to leave but before he left, he paused at the door, "Taliyah please, try not to get to attached to him like…."
"Like with our children!" she spoke sharply, "I can understand why you don't get attached Albus but never ask such a thing of me again."
Albus sighed and walked away he was raised in a cultivator family and for cultivators who live such long lives, there are rules so that they can have peace of mind, one of those rules is to never get attached to your children until their power is close to your own.
An ordinary seventh-grade cultivator could live for 150000 years, a warlock such as himself could live for at least 200000 years, and his wife as a saint could even live up to 350000 years, in their life lime they could have enough children to populate half a world and if they were to get attached to all those children it was the same as digging a hole in one's heart.
The journey to the peak of the mortal realm is a perilous one and the emperor could not allow a weak child to take his throne when he ascends to the immortal realm, thus it was his duty to be heartless in his choice, a good leader requires strength, talent and above all else wisdom, despite all the power his empire possessed it was foolish to believe that strength meant right, all those places with such beliefs had long since been brought to ruin.
In order to ensure the survival of his empire he could not pamper and raise an heir, his children had to be cast out onto the many worlds without any support, and only after achieving specific attainments were they allowed to return, they could not even use the influence of the empire to protect their lives as such a thing would disqualify them from becoming a prince/princess of the empire.
The Empress however was different, she grew up on a lesser world as an ordinary mortal with a large family, her values were different and while she understood Albus's standpoint she still remembered the days when she was young and longed to marry the farmer three fields away, and after that, she would have many children with him and raise her children as her mother had raised her.
Of course, her fate had been completely changed, but she would never forget her roots, from their children none had graduated from being candidates, not one managed to live through the trial and it always made her despair.
Despite all the pain that it brought the empress she never stopped each time she lost a child she raised the next diligently until she lost the ability to bear children and since she had never expressed any interest in having another child.
The Emperor sudden stopped in his steps as his thoughts reached this point he walked back to Taliyah's study, "You never expressed any interest in adopting a child before, can you tell me why you are suddenly so determined to adopt this child?" he asked with urgency, there was something strange going on but he couldn't quite make it out.
Taliyah looked at him a melancholic expression, "Before our date on the roof when I was visiting our children I made a prayer asking to have a child once more, and just hours later a new-born appeared before our very eyes in an impossible way, it's like an actual god answered my prayers."
He nodded his head and left with his head lost in thought, 'Could it really be just that? A god answering a prayer or could it be fate taking its course.' He wondered but ultimately, he could not make heads or tails of the situation the only thing he was certain of was that Lirian's arrival was definitely no simple coincidence.
Yo, Silver here,
I hope you guys stick around because the day after chapter 20 drops I'm going to do a mass release,
So, look forward to that and have fun reading.