Disclaimer: I don't own Legacy of Kain, Eidos and Crystal Dynamics do. Nor am I making any money from this.

I wrote this in an odd mood, and then decided not to post it because LoK and cute chibis do not mix, but Nemi says they do, so...

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He'd known, theoretically, that the pillars were symbiotically bound, mentally bound. That was what had allowed Nupraptor's madness to infect them all, but he had never felt anything from the others.

Which was a good thing, in fact.

Still, it had left him unprepared for Raziel. The Pillars were the lock and the Reaver was the key, after all. First he'd been bound to the Reaver and then to his newborn fledge… now he not only had a talkative sword to deal with, but eight children. And, pure as he was, the binding surpassed anything he had felt with Raziel before he was purified.

None of them his children or fledges, but they all looked up to him as though he was truly their father, as the Scion and the eldest. Three born vampires, two human-born that would be made vampires by someone else as soon as they were old enough (he was the third human-born) and three Hylden to assuage his new subjects. And even if they were not his children they seemed to be… picking up on his personality. His determination.

For instance, the Conflict Guardian, Vorador's daughter Umah, seemed to have appointed herself his bodyguard and bullied the Mind Guardian (another born-vampire, as was the Time Guardian) and Dimension Guardian (a Hylden, of Hash'ak'gik's own clan no less) into helping her in her self-appointed mission. Whenever Kain found himself angry at someone, he would suddenly find three toddlers in his throne room flying around pelting the annoyance with blocks or whatever was in range of the childrens' telekinesis before tackling them. And biting and clawing.

And Balance help… oh, there he was doing it! How was he going to make people stop worshipping him if he found himself swearing by Balance? In any case, there was no help for anyone who bullied any of the children. They were as dead as the Elder God.

Children needed limits, and he had to deal with the infant Mind Guardian's utter lack of understanding of privacy. Even his shields couldn't stand up to the child, and he'd found himself trying to get out of explaining certain activities with Raziel to a six-month-old.

At least the mental replaying of his adventures won him the admiration of the other children.

They weren't repulsed by what he had done to Raziel. It was odd that someone finally understood the true horror of the Corruption. He remembered what the Guardian Mortanius had killed had said, that the Pillars were for the Guardians, not the other way around. It was a mark of how far that Guardian had fallen that they had actually believed that.

Of course Kain had done whatever he had to to fix the pillars, but of course he hadn't sacrificed himself: as Jaav'ak'gik pointed out, if Kain had chosen death then the hylden would just have done something else to the new Guardians. Now everything was good. Well, things were very messed up because of how long there hadn't been guardians, but they would fix it.

And the Death and Nature guardians were pretty sure they could make Raziel another body, but right now they were busy 'cause of all the souls the squid-thing had messed with and having to make everything pretty again.

The ocean had been the easiest to fix. The new ancients were happy because they loved raw fish. The hylden, who had spent their millennia of imprisonment longing for steak, were not. Most of the usable grazing land was owned by humans, who were raking in the cash.

Balance! He'd gotten used to the voices in his head, relayed by the Mind Guardian. Telling him to cut him off made everyone cry. I gotta demon!

What?

Is my first demon! Mommy says if I take good care of it I can have more and go hunting! Is a lightning demon! Is zoom fast! The Hylden had domesticated some of the inhabitants of the hell they had been sent to and, possessing them, could hunt other creatures. Kain and Raziel had fought many such once upon a time. Black demons are the best, but I can't have one yet. Kain could almost feel the pout.

Make them give you one! Umah interjected. You're a Guardian! I'll beat them up if they won't!

Kain winced at the diplomatic repercussions of a daughter of Vorador, Vampire Duke of Termagant Forest, beating up two high Hylden nobility, even if she was a Guardian. Assuming she won at all.

Blacks haveta respect you, so you've got to be big and strong with muscles and stuff. I'm still small.

I could make you big, the Nature Guardian suggested.

Nah, Azzie, I haveta earn it. You have to be really good at taking care of demons to earn a Black. It's no fun if I cheat just 'cause I'm a Guardian.

That's right, Kain agreed. I never had special privileges because I was a Guardian. All I received was trouble, and yet I succeeded.

Impressions of nods. They wanted to make him proud.

I'm going to have Umah marry me, and I'll have to be tough and have lots of good demons so I can fight off my family for the right to choose my own mate. Jaav was determined.

what? I don't want to marry you! I want lots of husbands and brides just like Daddy! That way I'll have lots of people to do what I tell them to!

Umah, you will have people who will do what you tell them to. They'll be called, 'the army,' Kain reminded her as soon as he stopped choking with laughter. A hylden marrying a vampire? Vorador would…

"Your Imperial Majesty?" The herald coughed for his attention.

"Continue." He'd already decided to reject this petition. The children were far more entertaining. And far more important. They were the future of Nosgoth, the replacement guardians for the purified pillars he had worked so hard to bring about the birth of. He had best be sure they all grew up well, no jealousies such as Mortanius had or, bal- himself forbid, another Moebius.

It's a good thing they seem to be naturally decent people, Raziel spoke up. Considering your past success, or lack thereof, at parenting.

You were the only one that mattered, and you were more than I deserved.

What about Rahab?

It would have been easier if they were all like Zephon and Dumah, yes.

Still, you did it.

I had two choices, Raziel. Let you all become monsters and die in vain… or let you all become monsters and die for the purpose of the salvation of all Nosgoth. I did not want my children to die in vain, starving in a dying land.

Better a quick death at my hands?

I am sorry, Raziel.

I know. You're only capable of feeling that way because I purified you. Still, you did regret it before. 'Azzie' told me so.

Little…

Should I be jealous?

You, Raziel? Never. You will always be my firstborn, the first in my heart.

Despite me tearing that heart out of your chest. But Raziel was satisfied, and Kain idly stroked the hilt of the sword.