After dancing for a few more minutes, the dance ended, and the song slowly faded away as though it never existed.
Then, the lights turned on, and all the guests, including Zach, Aria, and Aurora, celebrated Aquarius' birthday.
Aquarius cut the cake with Aquitius and Rilu, and they fed each other. After that, the cake was given to all the guests.
Even after serving two slices each to over 500 guests, 30% of the cake was still left uneaten.
Zach noticed Ruli wasn't there, so he assumed she must be sad over Maxim's death.
'She was his wife, after all.'
Aurora ate five slices of cake, and she wanted to eat more, but Zach stopped her. Aria ate two slices while Zach ate four.
Once the celebration ended, most of the guests left, but the guests who came from far away stayed the night in the palace.
Now, only Aquitius the sixth, Rilu, Aquarius, Aria, Aurora, Zach, and the guards were present in the hall.
The female guard of the elite four was also with them.
"So, Zach… have you decided yet?" Rilu asked.
"What is your answer?" the sixth asked with a curious look on his face.
Zach glanced at Aurora from the corner of his eyes, then turned to Aurora before finally looking at Aquarius.
Aquarius seemed anxious because she was worried about Zach's decision.
Zach took a deep breath and looked straight into the sixth eye with a soft glare. He then exhaled slowly and uttered, "I have decided that…"
Zach purposely stopped to make the suspense deeper.
"I have decided that I will…" Zach stopped again.
Everyone had the same reactions on their faces, and Zach was enjoying that.
"I have decided that I will not marry you daughter— Aquarius," Zach responded in a calm yet solemn voice.
"You had to keep us in suspense only to reject my daughter?!" Rilu shouted.
"Calm down, queen. Let me finish what I am saying," Zach sighed.
Zach looked at Aurora and said, "I will be completely honest with you. I do think you are beautiful, and plus, you are a mermaid and a princess. I want you to know that I am not rejecting you for that. I rejected you because I didn't love you. I don't know a thing about you, nor do you know anything about me. Sure, we might fall in love if we spend time together."
Zach then turned to Aquitius and continued, "However, I don't think this place is suitable to fall in love. The underwater realm is absolutely fascinating, and I doubt any other realm can beat it in terms of beauty. But if I were to fall in love with someone, I would rather do it on land in a normal way."
Zach glanced back and forth at everyone before saying, "In other words, I want Aquarius to join me in the journey. That way, we can spend time together, and if everything goes right, we might eventually fall in love."
"That's preposterous!" Rilu exclaimed. "You want to take my daughter, the princess of his kingdom and soon to be the queen, to the land and follow you?"
"That's what I said," Zach nodded. "And that's my only condition. If you…"
Zach shook his head at Aquitius and Ruli and turned to Aquarius before saying, "If you truly want to marry me, then join me."
"I…" Aquarius shot a glance at Rilu, who shook her head in disagreement. Then, she looked at Aquitius, and she wasn't sure what to answer.
"I am leaving this choice to you, not your parents," Zach remarked.
"If you want to come, then say yes." Zach frowned his face at Rilu and Aquitius and said, "No one would dare to stop you, and if they do—"
"There is no need to finish your sentence," Aquitius quipped. "My daughter will join you on your journey. But, after two months."
Zach raised his brows and asked with a curious look on his face: "Why after two months and not now?"
"Aquarius needs to get the Sea God's blessing, so she can manifest her beast form's powers," Aquitius responded.
"But why two months? Can't you adjust the ceremony tomorrow or something?" Zach wondered.
Aquitius nodded and said, "I can schedule it now if I want to, but I can't. Aquitius would turn 19 after two months, and that's when she would be able to harness the power."
"Wait…" Zach raised his brows in confusion and asked, "Didn't she turn 19 today?"
"Aquarius had a premature birth. So according to the custom calendar, there are still two months left for her existence to become 19th." After a brief pause, he added, "Usually, the blessing ceremony happens when one turns 18, but last year was a mess."
Aquitius the sixth was referring to the incident where Aquitius the fifth tried to abduct Rilu and later kept sending his strongest men to kidnap her. And due to that, the sixth never got a chance for the blessing ceremony.
"And it is our custom that the blessing ceremony must be done at a specific period of time followed by the cosmic calendar," he asserted.
"I will come to pick her up after two months then," Zach said in a solemn voice.
"There is no need to. I, myself, will send her to you as soon as her blessing ceremony ends," the sixth reassured.
Rilu sighed and walked out of the hall after saying, "I am not happy with this, dear."
Aquarius hugged Aquitius and hugged him before saying, "Thank you, daddy! I love you!"
"Now then, you all must be tired after dancing. And especially you, Zach. I believe you are exhausted too. So let's end this celebration now and get some sleep," the sixth suggested.
"Hey… sixth…" After clearing his throat, Zach said, "I want to have a talk with you."
"In private," Zach added.
"Oh!" Aquitius the sixth turned to his guards and asked them to leave.
Zach nodded at Aurora and Aria and signaled them to leave too.
Then Aquitius and Zach turned to Aquarius and said in unison: "You should leave too."
Everyone left, and the door of the hall automatically closed when the sixth clapped his hands.
Aquitius sat on the stage and let out a weary sigh as though he was exhausted after standing for hours. He then glanced at Zach with a curious look on his face and asked, "So… what did you want to talk about?"
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Author's Note- Father-in-law and son-in-law are going to have a private talk. Or maybe you guys would have preferred the private talk with mother-in-law? *inserts Lenny face*
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