Spider Threads Of Fate

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   Snowflakes drifted from the grey colored sky. Yet the world has never looked more beautiful. Kiyomei looked over the last bit of her paperwork before lighting her candle since her room was getting incredibly dark.

The peaceful quiet environment was ruined by the loud knocking at the door. Kiyomei's eyes darted to the side, listening carefully before firmly stating for the person to state their business and who sent them.

"P-princess... The mistress has requested to meet with you." The servant croaked out, obviously shaking by the sound of their stuttering voice.

Kiyomei however, froze. A creeping unsettling sensation quickly overwhelmed her body. And maybe for the third time in her life, Kiyomei Ren felt genuine fear.

It overtook her mind, corrupting it with the worst possible thoughts. Gyokuen Ren was the woman who bought her to where she is now. Her adoptive mother was without a doubt, a demon. She watched Kiyomei's every move and monitored the Kou Empire in secrecy.

The first time Kiyomei had met Gyokuen Ren, Kiyomei had only been around fourteen years old. She was young but had seen horrors many cannot imagine. Kiyomei had been hardened by the horrors she had to endure.

Kouen has bought her to the palace to train as a military soldier or even a bodyguard. However, Gyokuen had different plans.

Gyokuen has requested to meet Kiyomei and assessed her abilities herself. Though it proved to be worth all of the hardship and trials that she had to go through.

Even then, there's something that was just screaming out whenever Kiyomei was around her adoptive mother. It terrified her. She had no idea what it was and Kiyomei did not like not knowing.

Her heels clicked through the palace halls, her silk slippers contrasted from the heavily red carpet that lined the hall. Her aquamarine dress dragged against the floor as she glanced around the hall a tad bit uneasy.

After the assassination attempt last time, Kouen had even more serious about watching over his elder sister. It wasn't going to be easy to slip away anymore.

Kiyomei stood before a enormous oak door, engraved with gold and silver lining that made it even more elegant. Fitting for her mother. A quick inhale after and she pushed through the door to greet her mother.

Gyokuen sat at her lilac velvet chair, fixing her nails. Around her was servants that was attempting to put her hair up in a more regal style. Though with a simple hand wave and they all exited the room without another word.

The tension in the room was enough to strangulate someone, suffocating almost. A uneasy shiver went down Kiyomei's body. Something was about to happen.

"My my Kiyomei. You've grown so much since the last I've seen you!" Gyokuen stood up, circling Kiyomei with a haunting smile that lingered on her lips. Kiyomei bit her lips, holding back the urge of just lunging at her adoptive mother.

"Good evening mother. How are you?" Kiyomei still frozen, glanced over her mother's figure. There was something about Gyokuen Ren that did not set well with Kiyomei's sharp instincts. Perhaps it was her alluring charm that had a sinister smile behind it all. Or maybe it was just her mind messing with her?

Gyokuen sighed, "I'm doing phenomenal my dear Kiyomei. Say, I heard about that terrifying encounter with an assassin last week? I am most grateful that you werent severely harmed." She placed a hand on Kiyomei's exposed shoulder, the touch sent shivers down her spine.

"Perhaps I should enlist more guards to you? It would be beneficial to your safety after all my dear." Gyokuen twirled around to touch her adopted daughter's chin with her hand delicately as if she was handling a child. "That will not be needed mother. Enough blood has been shed due to my incompetence, I'm sure that assassin don't plan on returning anytime soon." Kiyomei retorted back, staring her mother straight in the eyes.

Gyokuen was silent for a mere moment. But a sinister smile glided across her lips. "I like that confidence my dear Kiyomei but that will be your undoing if you're not careful. You mustn't be so headstrong..." She pulled her hand away from Kiyomei and looked at her in admiration. "You've grown into such a strong and beautiful young lady..."

Kiyomei was unsure whether to take that as a compliment or not and decided on the latter as she was still extremely cautious about her mother. "I thank you mother." She lied, looking down upon her mother with a stoic expression. Gyokuen pulled away from her and sat back down in her red velvet chair.

"Mother I am sure you didn't call me here simply for this talk and you know I don't like small talk." Kiyomei's voice was low and almost whisper-like, she was afraid of her mother there was no question there. She didn't understand what Gyokuen Ren was fully capable of and Kiyomei was not willing to risk her life to find out.

Gyokuen played with the fabric at her sleeves, teasing the threads of silk out of the cloth. "Oh yes! I've nearly forgotten," she looked up with this spark in her eyes. "Kiyomei my dear daughter..."

"Would you like to be Empress?"

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