"Are you my dad?"
Many, many years ago, the Boiling Isles, home to all of Earth's myths and magics, was a very dangerous place. Witches, masters of the magical arts, would spray their spells all over the place willy-nilly like unsupervised children, causing untold chaos and havoc. The isles were, without exaggeration, a living hellscape.
But one day 42 years ago, the great Emperor Belos, blessed speaker of the world, conqueror of the Boiling Isles, appeared and brought peace and order onto these wildlands, albeit by force. Claiming that he could hear the voice of the Titan, he crushed any and all competition and declared himself the sole ruler in all the land.
Emperor Belos was a great man, unparalleled by any. He created the coven system to put witches into ranks and any wild witch that dared challenge his rule would be swiftly dealt with through his superior magic and overwhelming support. He was, without a doubt, legendary.
But there was one thing the great Emperor Belos wanted, almost as much as power: love. Either than or really weird sex. It was hard to tell. However, the great Emperor Belos could not be seen hotdogging some random witch in the privacy of his bedroom. The controversy alone would pull his long rule into ruin.
If he could not love a witch on the Boiling Isles, why not a completely different dimension?
Now, dimensional portal magic was not something he was particularly used to. The spell would be extremely complicated and even the great him wasn't sure where to start. Plus, even if you did figure out how, the caster would require so much magical power and so far, he was the only one he knew with that kind of energy.
So he did what any other witch would do and looked for someone who could. Luckily, he found some young greying witch living in an alleyway with the exact spell he needed. She was highly protective of it but a large bag of gold coins was enough to convince her, even if it was just a little while. Said something about 'finally being able to build the owl house'.
With a snap of a finger, he created a suitable disguise and thus, he was able to blend in seamlessly with the humans. And just after one step into a new world, he was hit by a car.
Such cursed contraptions. Who in their right mind would ride a 2-tonne hunk of metal, speeding as fast as a willow? He'd make sure no such machinations would exist during his rule. Just ride a staff or take a carriage like everyone else.
Anyway, he was out for a few days and when he woke up, this beautiful, young and most definitely single woman stared at him. She was a nursing student and had apparently been the one to hit him. Despite her vile actions, he could not stay mad at her, not when she stayed to nurse him to health.
It was love at first sight. She would visit him every single day and each time, he loved it. They would talk for hours and while he told her his tales of greatness as the emperor of the Boiling Isles, she would be ever more enamoured.
He only stayed in the hospital for a week but even as he left, he wanted to see her more. So he visited her there just as she did with him, not a day missed. Every moment with her was more magical than even his own spells.
But... He could not stay. From the very beginning, he knew very well this was temporary and truly, he wanted to spend every waking moment in his life with her but he was an emperor first. After all, if he wasn't back to squash rebellions and execute criminals, who would?
And so, after one month and several beautiful hotdog sessions, he disappeared without a trace, back to his original dimension. He left a sizable bag full of gold coins as penance but he knew it was not enough. It was never enough. He felt as if his heart and bile sac was ripped out of his chest, for there was no greater pain than leaving.
He would never experience love ever again.
Many years passed and he grew cold and distant. He was not as cruel as before but many realized he was less caring. No more torturing wild witches. Just quick beheadings and life sentences. Even when lax, he was and always will be Emperor Belos.
That was until this weird little human girl appeared in his throne room.
"My mom said that my dad is Emperor Belos. You're Emperor Belos, right?" said the little girl in her purple sweater.
Belos blinked. "... I am Emperor Belos, yes. And who might you be, human child? And where did you come from?"
"My name's Luz and I'm 6 years old! I saw this wiggly hole in the air and walked through!" she cheerfully answered. "Then I heard you called yourself 'Emperor Belos' and I remembered mom saying that name a lot!"
"So... Are you my dad?"
For the first time in many years, Emperor Belos was utterly baffled. You could not see it because of the mask but his eyes were as wide as saucepans. Looking closer, he realized the little human girl looked vaguely similar to his beloved, especially the round nose and brown hair.
However, it could just be a coincidence. Belos laughed nervously.
"Kikimora?" He called out.
"Y-yes, your Greatness?" His faithful attendant answered, just as shocked he was.
"Call for the leaders of the Healing and Oracle covens. I demand their presence immediately."
"Of course, your Greatness."
"And, uh... Get the Luz some toys. The non-deadly ones."
"... Of course, your Greatness."
A few minutes later, the two coven leaders appeared before him. Immediately, he ordered them to inspect Luz's origins and whether or not her words held truth. At the same time, Kikimora left the complex and went to town in order to find non-deadly toys.
It was a shame the least-deadliest thing she could find was a despiked flail. Even a wooden stick on the side of the road was either burning or covered in acid or worse: cursed by damned souls with unfinished business. Ghosts were always such annoying pests in a castle.
So, while Luz ran around chasing Kikimora with her flail, the two coven leaders and Emperor Belos discussed their findings. The results struck horror into his dead heart.
Luz was, without a doubt, his biological daughter. Despite her spunky human attitude, inside every cell of her body was a piece of his withered soul. Even the leader of the Healing Coven, the cyclopsean Lady Getrude said so. In fact, Luz even has a witch's bile sac, albeit smaller for her age, either due to her biology or her growth in a magic-free environment. Though according to her, should Luz continue to grow within a proper environment, her sac would be larger than average.
As for the 'wiggly hole in the air', he sent the Oracle coven leader, the moustache-for-arms Lord Jenkins to check. While the hole had disappeared by then, the traces left were exactly as he suspected; Luz had walked through a tear within the fabric of space-time. These tears weren't exactly uncommon. After all, it was how the human realm and magic realm were connected, outside of trash slugs. Nonetheless, they were usually so small and dissipated so quickly that it rarely became a nuisance. Never once had a human passed through one.
"So… you banged?" Lady Getrude asked.
Emperor Belos scowled at her choice of vocabulary. "Must you word it that way, Lady Getrude?"
"Look, I've been with you for over 50 years and never once had I seen what's under your robe. For Titan's sake, I thought you didn't even have one!"
Lord Jenkins nodded. "Yeah! We even had a bet once whether you'd do the fusion on the cushion! We stopped counting after 186 months and that was… uh…"
Lady Getrude leaned slightly. "9 years ago." She whispered.
On his majestic throne, Emperor Belos sighed as he rubbed his temples. This was a disaster. It was one thing to have a random human child within the premise of the Emperor's Coven, it was another for said child to be his very offspring. Well, the good news was that Camilia did not have any harsh feelings against him, or maybe she simply decided not to say it. Another good news was that his gift was put to good use, seeing that Luz did not look impoverished.
"Also, can I have 100 snails? I'm a bit low on rent this month." Asked Lord Jenkins.
Emperor Belos stared at the Oracle coven leader. "I am not giving you money to further support your gambling addiction. Furthermore, using your Oracle magic in gambling is illegal. It baffles me how you managed to lose ever so frequently despite the ability to peer into the future."
"Hey, those darn kids cheated and you know it!"
Lady Getrude quickly cut in. "Look, that's not the issue at the moment. We now know that this Luz is your daughter and without a dimensional portal, there's no way of her sending her back. It's time for us to start thinking about what to do with her."
All three leaders of the Boiling Isles turned downwards at the centre of the room, where Luz finally managed to hit Kikimora into the floor and was currently being chased by two other Emperor Coven initiates. She was so full of energy and carried so much potential. If given the chance, she could even become the strongest witch on the Boiling Isles.
Lord Jenkins coughed. "We could eat her."
"NO!" "ABSOLUTELY NOT!"
"B-but she's half-human! So it'd only be half-cannibalism…" Lord Jenkins reasoned.
Lady Getrude glared at the moustached man. "Even if she was fully human, we are not eating her!"
"Might I also add that she is of my flesh and blood? Consuming her flesh would be equal to consuming my own and I would rather not have one of my coven leaders attempting to cannibalise me." Emperor Belos added.
Lord Jenkins, startled by the aggressive disapproval, fixed his glasses. "Well, the alternative is have Emperor Belos here take care of her. Y'know, since she's his child and all. But let's be honest; the man doesn't have a single fatherly body part within him. The Luz girl would die within the first week."
Immediately, the atmosphere grew cold and thin. Underneath his golden mask, the two eyes of Emperor Belos glowed a menacing blue. "Are you insinuating that I am flawed? That I, Emperor Belos, am unable to take care of a single child?"
Lord Jenkins stood unnerved. "Well, yeah. If it's too much for you, we can always call the other coven leaders. I'm sure one of them would be thrilled to succeed at the one thing the great Emperor Belos can't."
Underneath the mask, his eye twitched. "I will take care of her myself. Your help is no longer requested, Lord Jenkins, as with you, Lady Getrude. Both of you may leave…"
As the atmosphere slowly returned to its more-or-less comfortable setting, the leader of the Oracle coven simply shrugged. "Mmkay." Alongside Lady Getrude, the two coven leaders walked away, leaving the fabled Emperor Belos and the funky human Luz to their personal whims. Once outside of the building and away from his prying eyes and ears, Lady Getrude sighed.
"You said all of that to get him to take her in, didn't you?"
"For someone so smart, how are you homeless again?"
"Like I said, those darn kids cheated!"
Meanwhile, back at the throne room, Luz had fallen down and injured her knee. Watching her cry tears of pain at her skinned knee left him with a shocking epiphany. Now he truly was forced to watch over a child.