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A/N: "It's aliiiiiive!" *Stab* "S-Sorry, sir." "Dammit Pon! I had that pig revived so I could kill it!" "S-Sir, we're live." "It can hold for now! Meanwhile, Eva!" *A Baphomet appears in a flash of light* "You called, Big Brother?" "Take this man and teach him the punishment games. Then go back to your husband, kay?" *Eva giggles before grabbing Pon and disappearing with him* Ahem, what was I doing again? Ah, I doubt it was important anyway. So welcome to Lich one-shot, everyone! It's late, but if you've read my latest announcement, you'd know why (hint-hint...kyun!). But really, this was another difficult chapter like the last one. Lich is extremely fun to work with, but when you place her in the scenes that I made in this one-shot, you just can't help but beat yourself up over it. You'll see, eventually. F-Fine, you all have my permission to read the one-shot now.

---ILikeBooks---

The stack of books in my hand grows heavy as I take one more off the shelf. I haven't had much time to visit the family library, mostly due to my dad arranging marriage meetings for me at least twice a day. Most of girls are powerful and wealthy, but I never really feel a personal connection to them; all motivation is strictly political. So, both to give my dad a hard time and to find relaxation, I quietly excused myself from my first marriage meeting to come here. The books lining the dozens of shelves all comfort me somewhat, for I can take my time in here and go at my own pace. I set the books in my hands on a nearby work table and reach a hand out to grab another. Strangely, there's another hand moving towards the same book that I need.

My green eyes look up to this new guest and I'm greeted by clouded dark red ones. Standing in front of me is an elegantly-dressed woman with white skin. I stare at her for a while, admiring her pale-blonde hair and noticing how well it compliments those mysterious eyes.

“Um, excuse me?” She breaks the silence.

“I'm sorry for staring at you.” I mutter.

“I don't really mind, but what interest do you have in this book?” She asks.

“Well, I need it to round out my reading list for the next few hours.” I answer frankly.

“Hmm...would you mind showing me what you've gathered so far?”

“Please come this way.”

I take her hand as she pulls out the book and lead her away from the bookshelves to my work table. With a gasp, she instantly sets upon my books, reading the titles aloud with various comments and praises my taste in literature. Her once-clouded eyes are now gleaming with enthusiasm and I can see a wide smile on her face she continues to inspect the books. I can't help but grin along with her all the while, until she eventually looks back at me in curiosity.

“What are you smiling about?”

“Oh nothing, except for the fact that there's someone else who shares in my interests.”

“What do you mean? 'The Errors of Human Nature', 'The Eternity of Love', and 'Death's Grasp on the Living'? All of these are classics that I'm sure anyone would enjoy.” She happily speaks to me, as if these subjects were second nature.

“Usually when I try to talk about these things, everyone ignores me.”

“They just can't appreciate these philosophies like you and I do.”

“Speaking of which...who are you?”

“My name is Ivana. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance...?” She hold out her hand, which I take in turn.

“Tomas. Forgive me for asking, but why are here in this library? Only members of my family are allowed here, and you don't look like someone I know.” I narrow my eyes as I await her response, ready to act at once.

“I'm here for a meeting with the eldest son of the family, but since he wasn't present, I came here.” My eyes widened at the realization that just came from Ivana's words.

“W-What was the boy's name?”

“Hmm, it began with a 'T'...Terry? Taylor? I can't seem to remember.” Ivana rests her head against her hand as she ponders.

“Did your family tell you what he looks like?” I begin to get nervous as we both sit across from each other.

“He's about my age, a bit taller than me, dark hair with emerald eyes, and he has a tendency to get into trouble. Sort of like you...” Ivana leans forward across the table until she's inches away from my face.

“Ah, a-anyone could have those traits around here; it's not only me.” I turn my head away and fold my arms, just as Ivana comes even closer to me.

“The man is also a avid reader, so I'm told...”

“Uh...um...hmm...I-” I move my hands to distance us, unaware of the elaborate glass jar that Ivana placed on the table just moments earlier.

-Shatter-

“...?” Ivana's eyes become a deep misty shade as she slowly backs away from me to examine the broken jar on the floor.

“I'm sorry! I didn't see it-woah!”

The next instant, I'm on my back against the floor with Ivana sitting on top of me with a carnal haze filling her eyes.

“You just broke my phylactery...you know what happens next, right?”

“If that's how it going to be, then I'm not backing out either.” In a whirl, I flip Ivana onto her back and smile as surprise spreads across her face.

“Huh? W-When did you get so confident?” She whispers as her face is set into a deep blush.

“I guess no one ever told you that I never like to lose...”

We meet halfway in a firm, passionate kiss as our instincts take over and the world around us fades into a blur.

---LoveInTheLibrary---

About an hour later, we leave the library and walk down to the foyer, where our families are looking at us with alarmingly pleased expressions. Ivana and I exchange glances, then separate as soon as we notice that our closeness was probably causing the commotion.

“Mom, Dad, why are you all smiling like that?” I ask my parents as I approach.

“Hmm...what were those sounds coming from the library, Tomas?” Dad gets straight to the point and leaves me frozen in horror.

“I didn't know you became a brave young man, Tomas.” Mom broadens my embarrassment as I feel my face redden.

“...Heh.” My little brother Mathis laughs in acknowledgment as my eyes widen.

“Uh, we didn't do anything at all. Ivana and I were just commenting on our favorite books, nothing more.” I try to act confident, but it's hard against family members.

“How do you know her name, then?” Mathis picks at the weak point in my excuse.

“Eh, um...crap.”, my parents and little brother resume the grins they had before, “Fine, I admit it, alright? I kind of...had a little fun with her.”

I look across the room to Ivana's family, but it seems the same situation is unfolding over there too. Ivana's looking at me with pleading eyes, but I subtly shake my head in defeat. Looking with more detail, I notice that Ivana shares a great resemblance to her mother, but looks nothing like her father. The thought of her being a monster girl appears, but I wave it off since all of my marriage meetings have only been with human girls; however, the thought is still there.

“Say, Dad, who exactly is Ivana?”

“Why don't we find out then?” Mom and Dad push me along as we walk towards Ivana and her family until she is right in front of me.

“Go ahead, Ivana. Introduce yourself...again.” I can easily tell that her dad gets along well with mine, based on that sentence.

“H-Hello, my name is Ivana Rina Lunara of the Moon-Bathed Kingdom and I am a...Lich.” Ivana's hands are folded as she looks down at her feet with a blush.

“Huh, I figured out that you were a Lich when you mentioned your phylactery; you are also too beautiful to be human. But...Moon-Bathed? As in the famous Moon-Bathed Kingdom?” I inquire, hoping that it wasn't true.

“Y-Yes...I'm the cousin of the ruler, Lady Viola.” Ivana looks up at me with fragile eyes, as if she expects me to be angry.

“Oh, I see. Excuse me for a minute.” I say, while desperately trying to stay calm.

I put a hand on Ivana's shoulder before walking back to my parents, specifically my dad.

“Dad, what the hell is this? I thought you wanted me to be happy, but you just want to use me to gain favor with the Moon-Bathed!” I'm almost shouting now, if not for my natural courtesy.

“Tomas, you know that powerful Human families are losing their grip. Why not join the monsters since they seem to be gathering all of the power now?” My dad's stern words don't stumble me at all.

“I love Ivana, but if you're going to bend that to your advantage, then I'll denounce my family name!”

“You leave this family and you'll have nothing good coming your way!” I hear Dad yelling at me as I briskly walk through the front doors with determination.

“...Tomas! Wait!”

I feel someone tugging on my sleeve just before I pass the front gate. I look down and see Mathis holding on to me.

“I'm coming with you.” He boldly states.

“Hmph, alright. But I'll be supporting you from now on, okay?” I smile at him as we both take a step before being interrupted.

“You two aren't going anywhere; at least not without me.” I feel someone's arms wrapping around my neck, but I don't even need to look to know who it is.

“I'm sorry. I really meant it when I admitted that 'I love you', but I just can't do it.” I tell her in a soft voice before starting my stride with Mathis.

“You don't have to apologize...my parents want me to go with you.” Those words make me freeze on the spot.

“What?”

“They both value love most of all; isn't that what we have?” Ivana takes my free arm into both of her as she rests her head against me.

“...Hahahaha! If that's how it's going to be, then let's go, you two.”

With those words and our backs to our pasts, we take our first steps into the wild and free world around us.

---BackstoryCompleted---

A/N: A good story, if I may rate it from the average man's perspective. "Speaking of which...Eva!" *Eva appears again, holding an shaking Pon* "He was a lot fun, Big Brother!" "I'm sure he was. Did you teach him not to ruin my fun anymore?" "Yup! He doesn't like me very much, though..." "That's fine, I'll watch over him now. Thanks again!" *Eva disappears* "Now you, my friend, are a very interesting individual. I think a reward is in order." *Attaches a Valkyrie feather to Pon's charm* "Now you should be almost immune to Demonic energy." "T-Thank y-you..." *Pon passes out* Well, as I was saying, this one-shot was something I've wanted to do for a very long time, mostly because it ties in with some of my principles. Yes, I disapprove of political/financial/arranged/etc. marriages; I think marriage is only something that should result from love. I'm not sure how many of you readers would agree with me, but I'll make an estimate of about 85%. Up next for the one-shots is a heavily (and I mean heavily) requested species, this one is for all you tsundere lovers out there (myself included)...Dragon! Oh, the fun I'll have with this one. Please keep in mind that after this next one-shot, I'll be taking a break to work on one of the full stories that won in the last series' poll. Thanks for reading and commenting!