It had been three days since he had been released from the hospital. Today was the first day that he found some time completely alone. Due to the murder attempt, his family was understandably overprotective, but he really needed some privacy to fully consume his host’s memories. He did not think he would be able to hide his ignorance of this world or any personality deviations once he was fully recovered.
Looking back on Heru’s life, he couldn’t help but hold some disdain for his host. Heru was very narcissistic. He was a spoiled brat who did anything and everything for attention. Having a wealthy and loving family who did not pressure him on anything, whether studies or career, a family that was often too busy to more closely examine and prevent Heru’s attention seeking behaviour, had ensured a safe and worry-free life for him, up to the day he died by poisoning.
It was Heru’s wish that he found most disdainful. It seemed as if his raison d’être was reflected in that last request. Narcissistic as he was, Heru did not wish to be loved, adored or revered. He wished to be envied.
What an ugly, selfish wish.
Looking on the bright side, it was much simpler to fulfill than becoming universally loved. It would have been easier still, if it weren’t for that annoying marriage arrangement.
Not wishing to think about that mess, he got up and decided to take a shower. As he undressed, he remembered that he had not seen his new appearance yet. His memories told him that he was very attractive, and from the last few days he had noticed that his long blonde hair was quite soft, but he was curious to see how much of Heru’s narcissism was deserved.
Not having removed his pants yet, he faced the full-body mirror in the bathroom.
A shocked gasp escaped him. A pair of big, astonishing sapphire eyes stared back at him, popping under flawless creamy skin, with high but soft-seeming cheekbones, bow-shaped lips and radiant locks of hair falling messily over his face.
He was beautiful.
He had lived for so many years, and yet, he had never seen a more stunning mortal. Hell, he had seen deities with more physical flaws than this!
Tall, slender and well-formed, his body helped push his overall figure toward the more masculine side of androgynous but there was no doubt that his appeal could not be limited by gender.
He, personally, had never had a host as beautiful as this. After gaping rather stupidly at what was now his body, Heru hid in the shower, embarrassed for having felt lust for his mirror image. Narcissism indeed.
After a few minutes of promising himself never to gape at his appearance in the mirror again, Heru turned his thoughts toward more serious matters.
Despite his host’s excessive self-esteem, he enjoyed a good reputation for being kind, if a bit childish. That was a good thing, he could more easily move toward a gentle and mature image as a result of the traumatic assassination attempt. Acting childish, while inwardly being an attention-seeking brat was not something he wished to do anytime soon. Furthermore, that sort of personality is more easily loved, so he could start working on his host’s wish that way.
On a different note, he was on a very difficult position right now. Politically that is.
There were three main superpowers in known space: The United Federation of Terra, The Bet’heldt Empire and The United Republics of Istergard. The Federation and The Empire had been enjoying a period of uneasy peace between them for the last few decades. And both had a Cold War going with The Republics. The Empire especially, was on an arms race with The Republics and actual war seemed to be looming on the horizon.
Heru wouldn’t have been so worried about a potential war, if it weren’t for the fact that both he and Galecia were in the middle of it. The Galecian Union was a small interstellar nation that didn’t have an abundance of resources or people. Such a place would have usually been utterly ignored, if it weren’t for its horrendous geographical location of being smack in between the borders between The Empire and The Federation. In addition, as if Fate herself had arranged it, the Galecian people were a rare commodity. Their longevity, their empathic abilities and their biotechnology knew no equal. An interesting titbit he learned was that native-Galecian a/b/o dynamics were spread among the Federation and Republics humans, as a result of a bio-tinkered virus that went out of control during first contact between the two species, more than 120 years ago. Since then, Galecians kept tight control of their biotech, as that accident showed how much potential for destruction their biotechnology had and how powerless they were to keep it hidden without powerful allies. There were simply too few of them in number and their civilization was not primed for war and aggression. Fortunately, The Federation had signed a peace treaty with them, while The Empire mostly ignored them. As for The Republics... well, there was a reason why young Galecians were told to never leave allied space.
In barely 40 years, The Empire had grown to become an aggressive nation with the greatest military in known space. The Federation was on the edge of civil war, and its leaders were pushing for an external war that would help unify its people. The Republics were starving for energy resources and needed the richer territories.
But how did this affect Heru personally?
A week ago, his mom had taken him to her study and explained the current political situation to him. There was a growing xenophobic movement in the Federation to annex Galecia. They couldn’t win in a war, and losing Federation protection would lead The Republics to their door. Desperate, they had turned to the Empire for negotiations and surprisingly, the Bet’heldtian crown princess had seemed optimistic about an alliance. She had asked for reasonable conditions, despite being in a more powerful position, and had sworn to protect The Galecian Union without threatening their sovereignty or their technology.
She had only asked for one thing that had shocked the diplomats.
She wished to seal the alliance with a marriage. Her future consort did not have to be of political importance or part of any academic circles. In her words, “My consort must be the most beautiful person in the Union.”
Reliving the memory, Heru felt a headache prompting. His host had raged in Delis’ study. The Empire didn’t have a good reputation. They were aggressive, war-mongering and this marriage proposal added the epithet ‘backward’ to their resume. Sealing alliances by marriage was done in ancient times. What millennium did this princess live in?
“No!” the previous Heru had yelled. “You can’t give me to those barbarians!”
Now look where he was, a new Heru, stuck between a rock and a hard place, since the previous one had vaguely whined about the proposal to his Terran boyfriend, who then had told his politician father, who then informed The Federation and now, a murder attempt later, he had to accept the marriage as soon as possible, for Galecia could no longer delay with further negotiations.
Heru’s wish had been to be envied. Galecians certainly wouldn’t envy him, once this came out. The Federation and The Republics people would hate his guts, while Imperial citizens would pity him.
Because, of course, the princess he had to marry couldn’t be the normal type of power-hungry future tyrant. No, she was the sadistic matricide type.
He closed his eyes as the steam became denser. Just his luck.