Music flowed around the lobby, people gathered, mingling with each other with drinks in hands.
Aqua was trapped in the prison of her mind, unable to quit thinking. She felt off. Like something grand was going to happen but she didn't know what, or how to stop it.
Irked and anxious, Aqua exited the hotel and into the gardens. She followed her instincts and her magic, which told her that Aurelia's presence was not just somewhere within the hotel, but specifically in front of the fountain.
And she was right.
Aurelia stood tall and mighty, mending the broken marble, her back to Aqua. "I knew it was about time we both met," she said, never once turning around, or even looking over her shoulder. It was like she wished to hide from her daughter, yet still defied that desire, simply to take her scheming to a new level.
"You lied. All your life, you've been lying."
"You're not so different. Don't pretend you're an angel." She slightly turned her head to side glance at Aqua.
"Why?" Anger resonated within her body, threatening to overtake her.
"Is that how you greet your mother?" Aurelia turned around, her head tilted, her gaze mocking. "Shouldn't we at least talk in private?"
* * *
The two had made it to Allen's office, and Aqua struggled to remain calm, impatiently biting the tips of her nails.
"You don't look like you have much time." Aurelia smirked, nodding to Aqua's blackening veins. "Did your immortality get taken away or what?"
"You sound so sly," Aqua said through gritted teeth.
Her mother laughed. "It was like music to my ears hearing you beg Igujin to stop." She giggled even harder. "What a great scene it was! Watching it get taken away, oh dear." She pretended to wipe tears from her eyes.
"You were there?" Her eyebrows knitted in confusion. She only saw Allen.
"Who do you think took you back, silly?"
They stayed in silence for a while, till Aqua broke it. "Why? Why did you lie?"
"Pretending like you don't know." She rolled her eyes, and shook her head.
Aqua knew her mother craved nothing but power and authority. She knew why she'd killed Hedjun, and why she wanted to kill her. But she never knew why she was so power hungry.
For Aqua, she became vengeful after having been at death's door. And she made a pact with herself that she would gather as many powers as she could so she would never be vulnerable to anyone ever again. But Aurelia... She was something else.
Her past wasn't anything special. She's been chasing power the very first day she was born. She learned magic specifically to cast a spell upon her own husband so he would weaken, and the throne would be given to her. However, Allen's soul had stopped her from reaching that goal, but at the same time, helped her achieve it.
"This was part of your plan, wasn't it?"
"Which part?" Aurelia raised an eyebrow. "The part where I died, or the part where you lost your immortality?"
"You put the necklace in Brooke's drawer, didn't you? You knew how I would react and you..." Aqua trailed off, the look of defiance on her mother's face aggravating her.
She gave a curt nod, proud of how perfectly everything fell into place. "Just like that God of yours planned to connect you to Jayden, I planned for your immortality to get taken away. But not just that." She smiled. "I put the necklace in her drawer to distract you from killing Allen."
"What?" Aqua took a step back in defense.
"Stupid. Did you really think I would let you kill him?"
At that same moment, the door creaked open and in walked Allen. But just as Aqua turned around to face him, something sharp dug into the lower side of her stomach. Her eyes went wide, brimming with tears at the pain that she knew all too well. He pulled out the dagger and backed away, watching her stumble to the ground, curling up and shrinking into herself.
She felt the warm blood cover her hands, which so tightly held onto the wound to coax the ache away.
"Good job," Aurelia said, smirking Allen's way. She opened her palm for him to place the dagger into, and the second he did, she planted it directly into his heart. It happened so quick Aqua wasn't sure if it was real. She stared in shock but was soon focused on her own injury.
Allen staggered, losing his balance. His body collapsed to the floor, his gash oozing with the crimson of his blood.
Aurelia pushed her shoulders back. The plan has worked out, after all. Killing both, her daughter and the reincarnation of the soul who had put an end to her life, and on his birthday like she wished, was a prideful victory. As they would say, she killed two birds with one stone. Literally.
"Happy Birthday." She stepped over him, the clinking of her heels exiting the room, leaving the two in their own pools of blood.