91 Chapter 91: Christmas Party

After putting away the new wand, Axel looked at the gifts from the Greengrass family. He first picked up the card, still unable to believe that he had gotten such a thing. Free ingredients for a year? That sounded too good to be true.

At this moment, Martina also happened to peek over. "Hey, is that…" she frowned, taking a closer look. "Isn't a VVIP membership card from BigOwl?! I've been trying to get one for years!" She exclaimed.

Axel looked back at her in surprise, "Wait, you couldn't get it?" He asked. There was something that even Martina couldn't get?

Martina nodded. "It can't be bought for money. Only special business partners and those who've given considerable concessions to them can get them. It lets you have the freshest and exclusive ingredients and other exclusive items from their stock."

"Damn…" Axel realized that the value of this card is much, much more than what Daphne had tried to show. He shook his head with some helplessness. It was just like that girl to downplay whatever she does for him. 'It's as if she wants to stay in my debt forever,' he thought in exasperation, not knowing that might have actually hit the nail on the head.

Putting away the card, he proceeded to open the painting Astoria had drawn. It was a painting of Axel sitting together with the Greengrass at the dining table, all of them smiling. It was titled, "Family." The painting was beautifully drawn, and Axel could see that the girl must have put in a lot of work into it.

Looking at it, Axel recalled the time he had spent at the Greengrasses'. It was certainly a pleasant time, much more pleasant than the Valentinos who had begun interrogating him as soon as the dinner had begun. He had felt more at home at the Greengrasses'. In fact, he had even briefly wondered if that was what it was like to have a family. Observing their happiness and Astoria's pure smile, he had felt that even as a murdering thief, he had at least done one good deed in his life, even if it may only be a one time thing.

Sighing, he carefully placed the painting back and finally got down to the last gift. It was the strange box that Daphne had sent him. He was already quite satisfied with what he had received but he was curious what kind of gift Daphne had sent him. Opening the box, he found an old and shrivelled piece of wood that was wrapped up in a silk cloth. It looked like any ordinary wood to him, but Martina, who had been sitting beside him, suddenly widened her eyes, her head turning to look at the wood.

"What the hell?!" She exclaimed, making Axel confused at her reaction.

"What happened?"

"This…" Martina didn't seem to know how to explain it. "I am much more… sensitive to magic than other people. And I can sense an amazing amount of magic from this thing," she explained, looking at the wood in surprise.

"Really?" Asked Axel, looking skeptical. "How come I feel nothing?"

If that's the case, then how come even after directly holding it, Axel could feel nothing from the wood?

Martina shook her head in confusion. "That's what I can't figure out. It's like, the wood has been sealed or something."

Axel decided to use [Arcane Eyes] on the wood. But as soon as he did, he almost got blinded by the light trapped inside the wood. But it was bound by some kind of magic, which was keeping it contained. Axel could make no sense of the thing.

"Can you unseal it? We could use this in my new wand," said Axel, offering the wood to Martina.

Martina looked at a loss. "I can try. But… are you sure about handing out something so precious casually to me?"

Axel raised his eyebrows. "Is it really valuable?"

Martina looked affronted. "Axel, I've never seen anything like this before, that's how rare this is. It's value can't be estimated, but I would be willing to spend a lot to get my hands on this thing," she said, shaking her head in wonder. "Who is giving you all these gifts?" She asked enviously.

Axel was at a loss of words. What did Daphne say? Here's some wood that's been lying in our treasury since forever. The girl is casually handing out precious family heirlooms to him like this. Her father must be rolling in his grave. Axel did like that thought, and so must Daphne too so he decided to accept that wood for now.

He held out the wood to Martina, "Try to find a way to unseal it."

Martina looked perplexed, "Did you not hear me? It's very valuable."

"It IS quite important to me," said Axel. "That's why you have to be extra careful with it," he said, looking her into the eyes.

Martina nodded vigorously as she gingerly held the piece of wood. "I'll… I'll do my best!" She didn't know why, but she felt this inexplicable feeling brimming inside her at being trusted by Axel.

Axel began checking other stuff. Surprisingly, he had once again gotten a gift from Bellatrix and Andromeda.

Andromeda had given him some more health supplements with a note saying, "Don't reject even these. I really didn't have anything to do with what Bella did. I hope we couyld start over."

"Heh," Axel shrugged as he chucked the gift into his bag. At least she knew not to give something too precious this time, because it would have been returned anyway. But Axel was tired of being angry with this lady. Whether or not she wanted to look into his mind to find out how he had survived, the fact of the matter is, she didn't harm him personally. She could have just broken into his mind forcefully, gotten the information, and simply left him to fend for himself.

Instead, she introduced him to the Wizarding world, bought him nice things, got him a hair cut, and even took him to dinner with her family to introduce him to Rose in hopes of getting him a friend. And even if that was all just to get information from him, it was only to cure her husband.

So yes, Axel could no longer be bothered to stay angry at her. He guessed he had matured that way by now.

'But this bitch…' he thought, looking at Bellatrix's gift. No matter what, Axel would take revenge on her one day. Opening Bellatrix's gift, he found a vial and portrait of what looked to be an older version of himself, minus the scars. The note attached with it said,

"Dear Axel,

I am in the life debt of your father, so harming you is the last thing I'll ever do. Please forgive me, I didn't know your identity back then. I didn't mean anything I said. I've sent the proof. It's his portrait which I painted myself and the memory of him saving me.

Bellatrix Black."

"Who is this?" Martina couldn't help but ask, but then she quickly clamped her mouth shut. After looking at two of Axel's gifts, Martina couldn't help but start secretly peeking more at Axel's gifts. She wanted to know what gifts Axel was getting and from whom. It may be the only way to find out more about him at this point.

The previous one, for example, were some very high quality health supplements, which are good for Athletes. It was from someone named Andromeda. She hadn't been able to properly see who it was, and it could be any Andromeda, but she was apologizing in the note. 'I wish we could start over?' What does that mean? Is it an apology note from an ex-girlfriend? And who is Bella? These were the questions she had in her head as she began working on her own gifts.

But the next time she peaked, she happened to see a portrait of someone who looked quite similar to Axel. There were differences, of course, but the resemblance was uncanny. "Who is this?" She had blurted out before she could control.

Axel, who had been reading the note, was annoyed to know that she had seen it. "Nobody," he replied, taking out his brand new wand. He figured it was time to test it out.

Martina couldn't understand. It was clearly someone related to Axel, most likely his father. "You two look quite alike. Is it your father?" She blurted out, her curiosity getting the better of her.

"I have no father," snapped Axel, pointing his new wand at the portrait. "Reducto."


A very powerful beam of light hit the portrait, causing a huge explosion. Axel was surprised by the power of the wand. He hadn't used much power, just enough to destroy the portrait and not the floor below. But his wand turned out to be much more powerful than he had anticipated, resulting in this situation.


But, what was more surprising, was that the portrait was unharmed even after that attack! Mystified, Axel looked at the rest of the note.

P.S.: I made the portrait indestructible so you can also use it as a shield when you're in danger.

Bellatrix Black, fuck you!

The explosion attracted a lot of attention, and the rest of the family also saw the portrait, making Axel curse inwardly.

If things weren't bad enough, a deep, austere voice sounded at this moment, making him freeze. "It is good to finally see you, son. You're quite powerful."

Oh great, it speaks.

That's it, he'd had it now. Having no other choice, Axel chucked the portrait in his bag. Looking around, he saw all eyes focused on him.

"Excuse me," he said, storming out of the room.

As soon as Axel left, the curiosity exploding in the Valentinos was akin to the level that the readers feel when an extremely skilled author leaves them at a Cliffhanger.

"Son! He said son! It WAS his dad after all," said Martia.

"But why would he try to destroy it? And why did the portait say it was seeing Axel for the first time?" Asked Enzo.

"Portraits aren't actually real, Enzo. They're just the depictions of how the painter viewed the subject. At the time this portrait was painted, according to the painter, Axel's father still hadn't met him," explained Francesca. "As for why he tried to destroy it…" her eyes narrowed in interest. "That can only be because the boy loathes his father."

Everyone was now more curious about Axel's family situation. But Martina felt guilty, because her slip had led to the whole situation. To distract her parents, she changed the subject.

"Mom, dad, have you made preparations for the Mikhailovs tonight? What if they try to pull something?" She asked nervously.

"Don't worry, Martini," said Alessandro reassuringly, Axel's situation completely forgotten. "They're coming to OUR territory. Only their family is allowed, no bodyguards. They can't do anything here."

Martina sighed. "That's what I'm actually worried about. Why would they risk coming here for no reason? They must have some sort of plan, right?"

Enzo shrugged. "What can they even do? Aren't our wards the strongest in the whole fucking world?" He asked.

Francesca sighed, "Well, technically, they aren't the strongest, but yes, our wards are indeed quite strong," she agreed. But inwardly, she was also thinking what Martina was thinking. Even proposing marriage wasn't a good enough reason for them to come personally. The Mikhailovs aren't that simple. After all, they're running the most powerful crime syndicate in Russia.

'What are they playing at?' She wondered.


In a dark meeting room, a man with a bald head and a cigar in his hand sat at the head of the meeting table. Even in the dark environment, he was wearing dark shades over his eyes. Sitting around the table were various rowdy men, looking a bit subdued while looking at the man. This man was Andrei Mikhailov, the boss of the Russian Magical Mafia.

"Are all preparations done?" He asked, puffing the cigar leisurely.

"Yes boss. All set," replied one of the men.

Andrei nodded in satisfaction. "Remember now. You all have to play nice. Their daughter is the key to the Valentino family. If they agree to the marriage we don't need to go to plan B. After all, we just have to control the daughter."

One of the men raised his hand, "But brother, what if she refuses to be controlled?"

Andrei laughed, and the rest of the men laughed with him. "Sergei, you seriously asking this? We have more than a hundred ways of making bitches listen!" he said, taking another puff. "Besides, Max can handle her, right son?" He asked, turning his attention to his son and heir, Maksmilian Mikhailov.

Maksmilian nodded. Unlike his bald father, he had light brown hair and he could be quite handsome if not for the sleazy smile on his face. "Don't worry dad. Leave her to me."

Axel had stayed in his room for the rest of the day, training, and he was glad that the Valentinos had given him his space. He was just not ready to answer the butt load of questions they must have had after seeing the portrait. Currently, there was a potion vial in his bag containing a memory of his father, and his Portrait as well. Axel would be lying to say he wasn't curious. But, at the same time, he had a feeling of strong repulsion as well.

The portrait was nothing. It was just a depiction of what Bellatrix knew of his father, which couldn't have been much, considering the fact that she didn't even know his father had a son. As for the memory, well, he didn't have a pensieve, and there was not much to gain in watching a memory of a person who's already dead. Besides, though he didn't know why, but his parents had left him at an orphanage, of all places. Who does that? certainly not good parents and certainly not people who deserve his attention. So, Axel had just spent his time training his skills.

Later that evening, Axel was in his room, wearing a black tuxedo that the Valentinos had sent to his room this afternoon, ready to go to the party, as he had promised.

Just as he was putting on his velvet loafers, there was a timid knock on his door. "It's open," he called out. He kinda knew who it was just from the knock. .

Martina opened the door. "I'm really sor—" she was saying, but she paused as she actually caught sight of him.

Finished putting on his shoes, Axel straightened up, looking at Martina. She was wearing a purple cocktail dress, with the sleeves and shoulders made out of translucent gauze, displaying her fair skin.

"You look nice. What were you saying?" Asked Axel.

Martina shook her head, as if to clear her thoughts, "I wanted to apologize for what happened this morning. If I hadn't been so nosy, the situation could have been avoided. But don't worry, my parents won't be anything about your situation anymore."

Axel shrugged. "Then, it's alright I guess," he said, accepting the apology. Her behavior earlier was a bit irritating but he couldn't really fault her for it. Martina is a girl who can't hide her curiosity. In fact she must still be quite curious to know more. It's already a punishment for her to try not to ask more. "Is it time to go already?" He asked.

"Thanks," Martina was relieved. "Yes, are you ready? Mom told me to pick you up."

On his nod, Martina looked at Axel's neck, "You aren't going to wear the bow tie?"

Axel shrugged. "I don't really know how to," he accepted. Tie, he still knew from his time at school, but bow tie? That never came up.

"Well, let me help," said Martina, picking the tie. While Axel was thinking of how to reject without coming across as rude, Martina had already bridged the gap. Stepping closer, she unfolded his collar.

As she put the tie around his neck, Martina suddenly realized that Axel was now taller than her. His figure is also much better than anyone she had seen, making him look quite dashing in the slim-fit tux. She also got a closer look at the two scars on his face. They were quite light, almost faded, but they were jagged, making you wonder how he got them. Martina wanted to run her fingers over them.

At this moment, Axel cleared his throat, making her realize that she had gotten distracted.


Martina shook her head of all thoughts and quickly tied up the knot, stepping away from him. In retrospect, she wondered why it didn't occur to her to tie it using her magic. Maybe because she didn't think it would be a problem to tie it herself, or maybe she wasn't thinking at all.

Turning around, she quickly began walking. "Come on, we have to leave now. The party has already started."

Axel shook his head as a walked along. 'My two years younger self would probably try to steal from me if he saw me,' he thought, looking down at himself. The things he's doing for his wand…

They went to the ballroom where the party was, and Axel was surprised at the magnificence of everything. A red carpet laid on the ground, surrounded both sides by the Christmas decorations, leading into a huge ballroom. Everything was great, but—

*Click* *Click* *Flash* *Flash*

"Princess Valentino is here!"

"Miss Valentino, one photo!"

"Wait, that's Axel Hunt, right?"

"Miss Valentino, can you tell us why you invited Axel Hunt to the party?!"

"Are you two dating?!"

There were annoying reporters as well. Taking Axel and Martina's photos together. Frowning, Axel and Martina pushed past the annoying reporters, into the venue, drawing a lot of eyes. Axel sighed, trying to look on the bright side. At least he's one step closer to getting the organization's attention..

A.N.: Daphne reading tomorrow's news be like:



next chapter: A DUEL

next next: A Brutal Beat down

next next next: Axel Going Super Savage Mode, Protect Martina

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