He had been playing hide and seek with a servant, was hiding behind a curtain in the main hall.

The door opened, and he heard Ifrit's voice-

" I've returned, Mother. I did as you asked."

He hadn't expected him home so early, felt overjoyed, almost stepped out to greet him-

When Ifrit walked by, he was soaked in blood. Nova knew it was blood. It was bright red, and smelled wrong, but Ifrit was walking up to the throne covered in it, from head to tail tip, footsteps red marks on the tile.

" ... I heard. I suppose I can commend that as passable."

He heard Queen Mother's voice, thinly veiled disgust.

" You're funny, you know? You say you hate me, and that Diurn's your favorite, but you've asked me to do something like this?"

" ... Get out of my sight, Ifrit. It was necessary."