A Cell Made of Glass

Chapter 1 — The Desires of Man

In the world of Ayni, imperialism and monarchies were the only forms of known government. Oftentimes, these monarchies would cite that they have a specific ”way of life ” which oftentimes included killing ones own siblings just to become the next ruler. Many royal families noticed this trend, oftentimes ensuring their bloodline would survive beyond one child by having many. This had become a common practice for centuries, even beyond the Centhos familys rule over Kairos.

The kingdom of Kairos is quite the extravagant place, holding festivals that are known all over the continent. The amount of traffic that went through the kingdom was astounding, something far beyond what any of the other countries could handle. Due to their high population of skilled entrepreneurs and educational institutions, Kairos has remained as the oldest country in the entire world; however, they have seen many different royal families come and go. The Centhos family is only one of the hundreds that have graced their land.

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”Oh, Aithne~! Where might you be hiding, darling child? ” A voice called out from the entryway.

Cairbre was known for showing up unexpectedly, making it a habit of making his younger sisters staff uneasy with his presence. Even if he were not the Emperor of Kairos, they would still find reason to be terrified of the man. Aithne was one of the few people that he genuinely cared about in their family, but that was not saying much. Many of their siblings had betrayed one another to slowly have the crown closer to their hand.

Whispers could be heard from the halls and other corners of the room. Somehow, the palace seemed empty with not a soul in sight besides the poor servants tasked with greeting any guests and the guards at the front door. Bits of these hidden conversations caught the ears of the Emperor such as ”Does she know…? ” or ”Hopefully he does not… ” After the staff of Innes Palace had caught wind of his arrival, nearly everyone disappeared once his carriage approached. No one would dare to approach Cairbre first.

He was known for his tendency to solve familial disputes with violence, something that everyone in the kingdom was aware of. Yet, at the same time, it was almost a normal thing at this point. Even though the Centhos family had only presided over this land for just over a century, it had become a common occurrence for each generation to result in bloodshed just to secure what they considered their ”birthright ”. It seemed as if just being born into the family was a death sentence in itself. Greed and pride had permeated through the walls of the main palace as if it were death, itself.

The tall figure made his way into the center of the foyer, unfastening the clasps that held the cape on his left shoulder and tossing it towards one of the servants by the door who scrambled to catch it before the precious white silk touched the floor. Cairbre should have been in Hiemal for another few weeks, obviously deciding to stop by his younger sisters palace on the way home. Much to the discomfort of the staff, he of course had decided to arrive wearing traditional military dress, equipped with a sword, medals, and sash to really add to the ”murderous monarch ” idea. Of course, he knew how this made others feel… And he loved to know how much it made others squirm.

His gray eyes shifted around the room, debating on if he should go find the princess on his own or if he should send for her. ”I know she is listening, ” he thought to himself. Placing a hand on his hip while he gazed at the monsoon of polished white marble and slate before him. Aithnes palace was somewhat of a labyrinth if you were not used to it, especially with how similar everything looks as you travel through each hallway.

”Cairbre? ” Aithne asked, almost as if she were in awe. The princess made her way towards the Emperor as she practically appeared out of nowhere. ”What are you doing here? I was told that you would be away for at least another month. ”

In the main entrance, everything was very bright and orderly. Golden, silver, and red accents could be found decorating the walls while wide twin staircases broke up the spacious area. Five halls could be found in the foyer: three on the first floor with one on each wall, and two on the second floor on the far wall. Lanterns offered little light in the chamber, but that was mainly due to the towering windows beside the front door.

”I am on my way home, but I wanted to see you first, ” he explained, meeting his sister halfway through the lobby.

”The thought is appreciated, but why are you really here? ” As soon as she had finished her sentence, a sly grin appeared on Cairbres face. ”You never visit just because you want to see me. What is it, ” Aithne asked, very bluntly.

”Come to the capitol, stay with me for a week, then you can go home. ”

Aithnes eyes fluttered, obviously not pleased with the idea and equally as bewildered. She hated even the thought of staying with the rest of her family. The entire purpose of her moving into Innes, the palace farthest away from Kairos capital, was to get away from everyone in the royal family. Cairbre out of everyone knows this and her reasoning all too well.

”No―, ” she began, immediately cut off by her brother.

”I mean, if you would rather everyone celebrate your birthday at your home… That will work as well. The choice is yours. ”

”No, no! No need at all, ” Aithne quickly replied. ”Although, I would lik

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