1 Forcing Her Hand
"You dare make my daughter suffer in such a manner?" Silver eyes blazed alight. The shadows on the walls grew towering, the flames in the golden hall grew to a devastating heat. No matter how strong or how arrogant, every person couldn't help but fall to their knees, trembling.
The deathly pressure was concentrated around a woman who looked no older than twenty five. Her brows, sharp and straight like blades, were furrowed in anger. Before her was a white figure who hadn't succumbed to the world shattering power that emanated from her bones.
When the Goddess of Darkness saw that her husband's handsome countenance had not moved to display even a tinge of regret, she chuckled bitterly.
In her anger, the people surrounding the two beings became reduced to a state of prostrating. Only her closest confidants were able to remain kneeling. Thunder bellowed outside the palace walls, lightning striking erratically.
Outside, the other deities watched the Dark Lands from the safety of their own territories, unwilling to send spies in fear of further upsetting the Dark Mistress. Mother knows that if she set their sights on them, it would be a quick task of annihilation.
"Speak, before I turn this place to rubble and bury the two of us in it." Her words were sharp, quick, and scalding. If it were anyone else but the person in front, they would have already been begging for forgiveness by death.
Resisting the urge to grimace, the man spoke calmly. "As our daughter, others will seek to destroy her until not even an inkling of her soul remains. Leaving her in the lower realm without any clue to our relation will be for the best until her powers emerge."
"Who would dare to challenge me? None except you. If they come, they must have the capability to do so." Her blood red lips broke into a grin at the thought, a dangerous glint in her eyes. The scene might have been beautiful, if not for the terrifying chill that ran across one's soul as they glanced at the Goddess of Darkness.
Opposite to her, the man shook his head. "You of all people know of the unrest occurring. You are the ruler of the Dark Realm. If what we fear comes, you must lead the men into battle. How will you bring our little one with you?"
She glared, "And how will she be safer without me and you?"
"I've made arrangements for her. She will be monitored and protected."
The goddess pursed her lips, unwilling to let it go. Mother only knows the panic she had felt waking up from childbirth to find her daughter gone. It was the first time she had truly felt a fear so all consuming, she didn't know what to do.
"A day has yet to pass since her first breath, but she was already stolen away from me. You have stolen her away from me. You've shielded her from me so that I would not interfere with your plans. If not for the life flame on my wrist and the life string around my heart, it would be as if she were dead."
She wanted to hurt this man who hurt her. Right now, the man before her wasn't her husband. He was the villain who would force her to lose eighteen precious years of her child's life.
Jade like fingers ran across the red string around her wrist. The man's expression finally moved, a hint of worry creasing his brows. "Sha, what do you plan on doing?"
She smirked, "I know that the strings of love twined by Mother Fate herself are impossible to break." Her expression immediately soured, her eyes darkening. "But that doesn't mean my body isn't."
Faster than light, the man moved towards the woman. An air solidified around her. The barrier she had put around herself was broken almost instantaneously, but it was still too late.
Golden liquid pooled on the ground, reflecting the light around them. The stench of iron filled the hall. On the floor lay a dismembered hand, cleanly cut through. Uncaring of the blood staining her fingers gold, the woman removed the red string bracelet from what remained of her wrist. In the next moment, both it and her fallen hand disappeared.
"Stupid woman, what have you done?" Grief saturated her husband's voice and his eyes shined in the light. A warm embrace engulfed her, and she allowed it.
For a moment, just this moment, she would permit herself to forget the pain he inflicted upon her.
Their lips met, soft and tender. In it he bared his regret and resolution, while she bared her pain and disappointment. Time stood still for the unparalleled beings that had conquered all.
"If our daughter befalls any harm, this separation will be made permanent by death." She swore against his lips.
Both their eyes which had closed from the passion remained shut. He knew what this meant.
He felt helpless.
He wouldn't contest her here–he owed her that much.
Opening his eyes, the God of Light found himself on his throne, its twin gone. Never before had the brightly glimmering Palace of Stars looked so empty or solemn.
Turning his palm up, slivers of silver gathered in the center. The small specs moved to form a moving image of an infant in the arms of an elderly man. Though a blurry picture, none could deny the strong set of the baby's jaw, or her piercing eyes.
He sighed. "Little one, grow quickly. Your mother will miss you, but your father will miss you both."