Mommy Villainess Chapter 44


44 Chosen Ancient Beas
TILLY was in the carriage while looking outside the window.

She brought Lani with her and she was sitting across her. Sitting beside the young maid was Damian the one Kiho assigned to be her personal knight. Because Damian was still being punished, Kiho didn't send him with the squad and made him "house sit" the Black Serpent Knights' barracks.

[But it's still not official.]

Kiho wanted Blake to be her personal knight but she refused. Being a bodyguard didn't suit a vice-captain like Blake. Personally, she wanted the vice-captain to be by her husband's side because he was the one Kiho trusted most among the Black Serpent Knights.

[Plus, only Blake can scold Kiho and stop him from overworking. If the vice-captain becomes my personal knight, who's going to look after my husband?]

But she wasn't saying that she wanted Blake to "babysit" Kiho, okay?

[Oh!]

Her thoughts were cut-off when she saw a familiar boy in front of a weapon store called 'Equip.'

"Stop the carriage," Tilly said when she turned to Lani and Damian. "I'll step out for a while. Lani, you stay here and wait. Damian, you go with me."

"As you wish, Lady Prescott," Lani and Damian said at the same time.

A few moments later, she got down the carriage while being assisted by Damian.

Lani stayed behind with the coachman to find a place where they could park the carriage since they couldn't just leave it in front of the shopping district.

"My lady, are we going to the weapon store?" Damian, who was walking behind her, asked. "Are you going to buy a present for Captain Kiho?"

"If I find something interesting, I will," Tilly said. When they entered the store, she smiled widely when she confirmed that she wasn't mistaken with what she saw a while ago. "Flint."

Flint turned to her and when recognition crossed his eyes, he smiled and ran towards her. "Big sister!"

The child was about to hug her but Damian stood in front of her and literally blocked the boy.

"It's okay, Damian," she told the knight. "I know the boy. Just wait outside for me." Her gaze went past the little boy to focus on his "guardian." "I don't think I'll be harmed anyway if Captain Denver is here."

Yep, the captain of the Red Phoenix Knights was also there. He was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed over his chest.

"And contact Kiho," she told the young knight. "Tell him that I'm here."

When she talked to Kiho a while ago using their linked communication device (a couple ear stud made of black diamond pierced in their upper lobe), he said that he was near Sky Plaza. She asked Damian to call Kiho instead because it was his job to report to her husband anyway.

[And I'm avoiding using my communication device in public. The "couple communication ear stud" is part of the new collection that Prescott's Choice will launch in the market soon. I have to keep its function a secret for now.]


"As you wish, my lady," Damian said with a bow before he left the store.

"Big sister, I'm glad to see you again," Flint said, then he politely bowed to her. "I received the food that you sent for me and my brother, big sister. We shared it with everyone and we all enjoyed them. Thank you."

She smiled at how happy Flint looked now.

To be honest, she wanted to invite Flint and Julian to her wedding. But she didn't want them to be seen by the royal family. So instead, she just sent them food with a big quantity enough to share with the guild.

She ruffled his head. "You're welcome.

"Big sister, how do I look?" the child asked excitedly. Then, he opened his arms and turned around. "Do these clothes fit me?"

Flint was dressed like a young lord now and it looked good on him.

[Oh, wait. That outfit looks familiar.]

"These are some of the clothes that you sent me, big sister," Flint said after spinning around. "I'm wearing them nicely, am I not?"

[Ah, I see.]

"Yes, the clothes look good on you," she said with a proud smile.

His face lit up as he held his hands. "Big sister, thank you."

"You're welcome," she said. "But you should thank my husband, too. He's the one who chose most of the clothes we bought for you and Julian."

"I still don't like your husband because he stole you from me, big sis," the child said with a pout. "But okay. I will personally thank him if I see him."

She laughed softly before she changed the subject. "How are you and Julian?"

"We're doing great, big sis!" he said with a grin. It was as if he suddenly forgot about Kiho and his "rivalry" with the captain. "Julian is being taken care of the nice big sisters in the guild. Last week, Grandma visited us and she brought vegetables for everyone."

"That's nice," she said. "So, are you here to get your first weapon as a Fire Wielder?"

"Yes, big sister!" the boy answered enthusiastically. Then, he turned to Captain Denver. "Brother Mikhail brought me here to buy me a customized arm band like his."

Tilly turned to Captain Denver and bowed to him as a greeting.

Captain Denver stood straight and gave her a curt nod in return.

[Gosh. Why does he always look grumpy?]

Their greetings were interrupted when the store owner called Captain Denver and said that he needed to get Flint's arm size.

"Go with him," Captain Denver told Flint. "I'll wait for you here."

"Okay, Brother Mikhail," Flint said obediently, then he looked up at her. "Big sister, I'll be back. Please wait for me."

"Sure," she said. "My husband will pick me up here anyway."

The young boy just pouted at that before he ran towards the store owner. Then, the two entered the staff room.

And it just so happened that only her and Captain Denver were the clients there.

[At least the two store clerks don't look nosy.]

The male clerks were just standing on the other while and they weren't even looking at their direction. Oh, they must be afraid of Captain Denver.

"I heard Captain Kiho will join the upcoming Hunt," Captain Denver said while she was pretending to check the array of daggers on the table in front of her. "I heard my knights talk about it this morning. Is that true?"

"Yes, it's true," Tilly said before she turned to him. "Captain Denver, are you going to join the Hunt as well?"

"No, I'm not interested," he said direly. "And I have an important job during the clean-up operation. I'm in-charge of burning the bodies of the beasts that the hunters would slay."

"Oh, I see."

"Will you be attending the Hunt with Captain Kiho?"

"Of course."

He let out a frustrated sigh while shaking his head. "If Captain Kiho won the Hunt, he'd definitely dedicate his victory to you."

Her forehead knotted in confusion. "Is there something wrong with that?"

"Don't stand out," Captain Denver said in a hushed voice as if he was afraid that others might hear him. "Please don't stand out, Lady Prescott."

Tilly was confused. "What do you mean by that, Captain Denver?"

***

NIA was currently at the High Priest's temple with Aku and the nobles involved in organizing the upcoming Hunt.

Howard, the High Priest, was assigned to choose from the four white mystery boxes in front of him. Each box contained the replica of the four beasts that served as the empire guardians: the Red Phoenix, the Blue Dragon, the Golden Tiger, and the Black Serpent.

Every year, Aku would release a replica of one of the ancient beasts to be hunted by the participating nobles and knights.

Last year, she chose the box that contained the golden tiger.

This year, it was the High Priest's turn to choose from the "mystery boxes."

"Your Eminence, please choose one box," Aku said politely to the High Priest. "I want you to choose from the mystery boxes that I prepared."

"It's an honor to be chosen for this task, Your Majesty," Howard said with a "gentle" face. "I shall perform my duty well."

Nia almost laughed at how "angelic" Howard looked like now.

No wonder many of the nobles suddenly became religious. He had the face that could make anyone trust him easily.

[A gentle faade that hides his sinister personality, huh?]

Howard chose the white box the second box to his left. "May I open the box now, Your Majesty?"

"Of course," Aku said, excited like a child. "I can't wait to see what kind of ancient beast should we release this year."

The High Priest just smiled. Then, he lifted the lid of the box. As soon as he did, a blinding red light burst out from it.

Nia gasped in surprise because ever since the Hunt began, this was the first time that it was chosen as the ancient beast to be released. [The Red Phoenix!]

***

"WHAT DO you mean by that, Captain Denver?" Tilly asked in confusion. "Why shouldn't I "stand out?""

Captain Denver was about to say something but when his gaze went past her, his facial expression became rigid. "I'm just giving you a friendly advice. You've just gone through a "scandal" after all."

Her forehead knotted in confusion. She just realized someone was standing behind her when she felt cold hands on her shoulders. As soon as she got a whiff of that familiar manly and earthly scent, she calmed down.

"Tilly?"

Tilly turned to Kiho who was standing behind her. She smiled when he kissed her on the forehead. "Kiho, you're here."

"I just arrived," Kiho told her before he turned to the other captain. "Captain Denver."

"Captain Kiho," Captain Denver greeted him. "I heard you joined the Hunt this year. Captain Sherwood is a tough enemy so good luck."

"Thank you, Captain Denver."

And an awkward silence ensued after.

"Big sis!"

Tilly was relieved when Flint came out of the staff room.

"Ekkk!" Flint made a weird sound when he saw Kiho. "What are you doing here?"

She giggled at what the young boy said.

"I'm here to fetch my wife," Kiho said smugly. He wasn't smiling but his tone was obviously "mocking" the child. "I'm going to have a lunch date with my wife. What about you, child? What are you doing here with my wife?"

[Gosh, he said "my wife" thrice!]

She could tell that Kiho did that on purpose to rile up Flint.

And it worked.

"Scary Brother, there's this law called "divorce" in our empire," Flint said with a smirk. "Big sister can dump you anytime she wants."

Her husband looked shocked by that. He turned to her with a scared look on his face.

[Gosh! How could he let a child scare him when he was the one who started it?]

Well, she still found it cute.

"That's how divorce works," Tilly teased Kiho. When he looked like he was about to have a meltdown, she giggled and gently pinched his cheeks. "As long as we're happy with each other, we won't divorce."

Kiho seemed to be relieved by that. Then, he gazed down at Flint with a smug look on his face. "You heard that, brat? We won't divorce."

Flint hissed at him. "Wait until I grow up, you scary brother!"

Her husband just smirked at the child's "threat."

She rolled her eyes while shaking her head. [Maybe it's true that your husband is your "first son."]

"I didn't know that you have this side, Captain Kiho," Captain Denver said in amusement. "I thought you were just an ice sculpture pretending to be human."

Flint laughed at that.

Tilly giggled, then wrapped her arms around Kiho's waist that seemed to surprise Captain Denver and Flint. "Kiho is literally cold but he's warm inside," she said. "He's my ball of sunshine."

Kiho looked at her with shining eyes that made his yellow eyes glow in gold. "I really don't deserve you, Tilly."

And in her book, that was one way of saying "I love you."

***

"WHY are you sulking, Aku?" Nia asked her brother while they were sitting across each other inside the royal carriage. "Do you hate the fact that His Eminence has chosen the box that contained the red phoenix's energy?"

"You know that phoenix is considered a bad omen in our empire because it is the guardian of the Fire Mages," Aku said. "Our predecessors tried to change its image by creating the Fire Wielders that use the phoenix as their symbol as well. But still, most of the old families consider the red flaming bird as bad luck. That includes us, Nia."

"The Fire Mages have long been banished from our empire," she reminded him even though she wanted to laugh at her brother's ignorance. "The phoenix is now the symbol of Fire Wielders. And the Fire Wielders are loyal to the throne."

That seemed to relieve him a bit. "You're right."

"You're still sulking, aren't you?"

"I just hate the fact that the chosen ancient beast is favorable to Captain Sherwood," the emperor admitted. "The captain has wind attribute so he can fly. He has the advantage when it comes to catching the sky beast."

"We chose the ancient beast fair and squarely," she said. "It's not Captain Sherwood's fault that he was born with wind attribute."

"I hate it when you're taking his side, Nia."

"I'm not taking his side," she insisted. "I'm just being fair. And shouldn't I say the same thing about you? You obviously want Captain Kiho to win the Hunt, Aku."

Aku smiled at her accusation. "Kiho will emerge the victor of this year's Hunt, my dear."

"Don't underestimate the other hunters, Aku," Nia said carefully. "Captain Kiho may not see what's coming if he becomes too complacent from your support."

[I won't let your "shadow beast" win, brother.]

"Nia, shall we make a bet?" Aku challenged her, his red eyes glowing menacingly. "If Kiho wins the Hunt, you'll tell me why you're trying to delay our wedding."

Nia's eyes widened at that. [Did Aku find out about my secret?!]

***

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