Chapter Seventeen: Giovanni's Plan Comes To Life
In Opelucid Cathedral, Axel and Roxas were on either side of the bed in the bedroom behind the altar. It had become a place for Xion to hide on secret in her final stages of pregnancy and only Axel, Roxas and Father Rowan knew about the bedroom. Axel's Pokemon, a houndoom nicknamed Lea cleared up the mess where Xion's waters broke.
A vanilluxe nicknamed Sea Salt flew around in the room to make sure that Xion didn't become overheated. Roxas' audino who he called Odette was the midwife who kept a close look at Xion to see the process of the birth. Xion's litwick, Kairi gave the room a burst of light to keep the room light.
While Roxas and Axel held held onto Xion's hands, she screamed and threw her head on the pillows as her legs were spread apart.
"What time is it?" Xion asked.
"Nine o'clock," Axel replied.
"It was about midday when my waters broke," Xion panted. "How much longer it going to be?"
"Keep going Xion!" Roxas cheered. "You're really brave for doing this."
"I don't think I have the strength for this," Xion cried.
"You can't give up now," Roxas demanded. "You've come this far."
"Help me up," Xion whimpered.
"You hold that end and I'll hold this end," Axel told Roxas. As the two men brought Xion in a sitting position, she grunted.
Olette smiled at Xion as she gave her a message.
"The baby is nearly out," Kairi translated. "Just one more push and you'll be ready."
"Can't believe it," Xion whimpered. "Just one more push..."
"Hold onto our hands for this one," Roxas said. "Squeeze them if you have to."
"I'm not ready," Xion mumbled.
"Here have some water!" Axel held a glass of water over to Xion's mouth and she gulped all of it in one go.
After the gulp, she panted and twisted her face to Axel and Roxas. She panted, "I'm ready."
Iris couldn't bring herself to sign the warrant for Cilan's arrest, so Lady Caitlyn signed it on her behalf and also signed the warrant for the arrest of Chili and Cress. The meeting with the royal council had been a disturbing session. In one night, Iris felt that her perfect world had been disturbed and her dreams in tatters.
Xemnas's chamber now belonged to Xigbar. It was now a bright office with white lighting to highlight the white marble walls. Now that Xigbar was the new commander of Her Majesty's army, the room was more adapted to his tastes. Iris was sitting on Xemnas' so-called throne whilst the rest of them sat around the round table.
Saďx, Xigbar, Hilda, Bianca, Cheren, Caitlyn, Shauntal, Marshall, Grimsely, Alder, Benga, Drayden and Kamon were sitting on the table whilst the senior dukes stood around them.
Iris' face ached as her lips trembled. She wanted to scream, but she didn't want to cry in front of everybody. Iris held onto her axew as Haxorus comforted Iris.
"I'LL KIll HIM!" Drayden bellowed. "I'll teach that boy to keep it in his pants."
"Why did no one tell me this before?" Iris sobbed.
"I thought it was another of Xemnas' malicious lies," Cheren replied. "I didn't think it was true until Larxene's belly continued to grow. I should have told you earlier."
A delibird ran into the office and passed Xigbar a peace of paper. The delibird bowed then shot off.
"What does the note say?" Iris asked. She slammed her head on the table.
"It is a note from Axel," said Xigbar. "Xion has given birth to a little girl. Larxene is still in labour. No doubt Larxene will pay the price for what she has done."
"What will happen to the children and their mothers?" Hilda asked.
"We will ask Queen Cynthia if she would like to adopt Xion's daughter. I will take Larxene's child under my wing. When Larxene has recovered, she will be tried for treason. As for Xion, no charges will be made against her as long as she follows my orders."
"Larxene will be safe," Saďx declared. "Xion is very cooperative."
Lord Gropius walked into the office with frozen lips and a lowered head. His green hair was all muffled and tangled. He sighed and fell into Hilda's arms.
"What's the matter?" Hilda asked.
"Cilan was very distressed. He was talking about how much of a failure he was because he was infertile."
"He gave his fertility away to that *****!" Iris yelled. Everyone knew she was referring to Larxene. "That's why I haven't got a daughter yet."
"I don't think that's how the body works," Bianca whispered to Hilda.
Nobody expected Riku to enter the room. Unlike the rest of them, Riku appeared to be cool, calm and void of tension and guilt. "Is the queen here?" Riku asked.
"Yes," Iris responded. She stood up and faced Riku.
"Your Majesty for you bigamy, your marriages have been declared null and void."
Null and void was enough for Iris to collapse on the table. Her fists gave a huge bang that shook the people sitting down. Bianca bounced and hugged her from behind.
"Bigamy?" Cheren asked.
"I'm not the one whose cheated!" Iris snapped.
"You were still married to Lance when you married Cilan," said Riku.
"But she divorced Lance," Xigbar said. "Everybody knows about the divorce."
"His Holiness states that the divorce was never finalized nor approved by His Holiness, so it is unlawful in the eyes of Arceus. As His Holiness has declared both marriages invalid, your sons are to be declared as bastards until you marry. His Holiness has also requested that as soon as you are engaged, you come straight to The Vatican."
Iris huffed and slammed her head against the table. A stinging sensation rustled in her head like it was being stretched apart. She slapped her face with her palm. She muttered to Riku, "Get out!"
Riku bowed. "I apologise for any inconvenience caused." He left the room and was assumed he made his way back to The Vatican.
Then an even unexpected guest entered the room: Giovanni Ketchum who bowed.
"Forgive me for the interference, but can I borrow my son?" Giovanni requested.
"Don't make it long," Iris replied. "I will need him. He is a great friend to me."
"I assure you that it will only for a brief moment."
Kamon marches out of the room and walked past his father, who followed him out of the room and into a discreet room.
Giovanni told his son, "You understand that because Ash is the eldest, that I need to have him as my priority."
"But now that Ash has settled down in Hoenn, I can concentrate on you. So my son, how are things."
"Not well," Kamon replied.
"Why is that?"
"Cilan has been arrested for adultery and incest. On top of that Pope Mickey has declared both marriages invalid and that her sons are bastards."
"I would say that is excellent news," Giovanni admitted. He patted Kamon on the back and grinned. "This is a great opportunity for you."
"I know it is," Kamon replied. "But watching Iris get so upset... I find it really frustrating. I could have punched Riku."
"Well it looks like you're doing well," Giovanni said. "You should write to your mother more often. She prays for you and brother everyday. So tell me, have you bought the ring?"
Kamon nodded. Out of his pocket, took out a red box with golden ribbons. Kamon untied the ribbon and revealed the ring to his father. Kamon saw his eyes widened at the silver ring and the glistening sapphire shaped as a love heart. Kamon and his father smiled at each other.
Kamon closed the box and fastened up the ribbon as Giovanni spoke. "It looks beautiful. Where did you get it from?"
"Custom made by Steven Stone."
"He makes wonderful jewellery."
"I should go," said Kamon. "Her Majesty needs me."
"Very well and congratulations, you have succeeded in earning my blessing."
It was a quiet evening in Petalburg Castle. Giovanni was late. He told Ash he would have been there at seven. The clock struck ten when The Queen rested against Ash's shoulder.
"I wonder what happened to him?" asked Ash. "He said he would be here by now. I hope he's okay."
"I'm sure he's fine," May said, "As long as Gary hasn't arrested him for treason"
"I think he's wise enough to stay far away from Kanto."
"Sir," one of the servants came in and bowed. "Your father is here. He wishes to apologize for his lateness."
"Apology accepted," Ash responded with a smile.
"Send him in," May requested.
"I bring you the most exsqusite news from Unova," Giovanni called out to his eldest son, Ash as he sat quietly on the throne with his wife.
"Really?" Ash asked. "So Iris is pregnant?"
"No," Giovanni replied. "Even better, Cilan has been arrested for adultery and Iris' marriages have been declared by His Holiness: invalid."
Ash gasped and jumped out of his seat. He stomped over to his father and roared, "HOW IS THAT GOOD NEWS?"
May raised her eyebrow at Giovanni. "You do know that Ash is a great friend to Iris and Cilan?"
"My son has many friends," Giovanni announced.
"He's innocent," said Ash.
"But there is lots of evidence against him," Giovanni explained. "He committed adultery with his enemy's maids, got them pregnant, and took part in incest."
"That's all lies," Ash cried out with his hand pointing at his father. "Cilan would never do that to Iris, nor would she have the guts to send him in that dungeon."
"If you don't believe me then and come and see for yourself."
"You should leave," May told Giovanni. "We will discuss this in the morning."
Giovanni nodded at The Queen, then turned to face his son. "Would I lie to you?" he asked before he left the room none the wiser.