*Contains spoilers for Realm 1.
When Effie started to tell Lucius that they needed to look for an heir, his only thought was:
He had no intention of going to slumber or dying anytime soon. So why would they need an heir? But Effie being Effie, she kept bringing it up until he caved. Lucius was an intelligent strategist, and one thing he knew was to choose his battles. This one was not worth the headaches.
So, he looked for an heir. He didn't care about their species. As they wouldn't be biologically his, he didn't want to restrict himself to vampires or humans only. He just wanted someone with a good foundation he would be able to build upon.
He searched for centuries and found no one who would be up to his standards. Were the Seven Realms only made of fools or weaklings?
Then, one day, he found Atlas.
It was pure luck as he was not initially observing the Spartan children. Why would he bother with whiny brats? No, he was there to observe the adults.
Spartans were renowned, after all, for their incredible army, so he hoped that with that number of them, he could find a warrior who would fit what he was looking for. And indeed, Spartans were strong. He almost considered making several of them his heir, but none ever made the final cut.
So, he would come back from time to time, hoping that one warrior would have the potential to succeed him one day.
During one of those random visits, he heard about Ariston's son. People were calling him a genius. They were already proclaiming that people would write songs about him one day.
So, he observed the boy.
At the time, he must have been thirteen, but it was easy to see why people were calling him a genius.
The boy was brilliant.
Some of it was due to the rigorous training his father gave him, paired with the training he received from the army. The other part was due to his raw talent.
Lucius was impressed.
"If he continues like that, he will be the perfect heir."
Of course, Atlas was not perfect. The brat was clearly full of himself, but hopefully, he would become less and less arrogant as he grew older.
Deeply satisfied with his finding, Lucius decided to leave for a few years. He planned to return later if this Atlas continued to be the perfect candidate. He just hoped he wouldn't do something foolish and get himself killed before adulthood.
Luckily for Lucius, Atlas didn't and reached adulthood. He continued to grow both in strength, wisdom, and intellect. Unfortunately, his ego continued to grow, but that was not something Lucius couldn't take care of.
But what was deeply annoying was that he went and got himself fucking killed.
Well, technically, he was not dead yet. He was bleeding out in agony on the ground. Still, he was dying too early, and that was a royal pain in Lucius' ass. He had shit to do in the Dragon Realm, and taking care of a newborn vampire wasn't one of them. This would delay him massively.
Why couldn't he get himself killed in ten or thirty years? Should he let him die?
But how long would it take him to find such a perfect heir again if he were to die?
This Atlas was already a pain in his neck, and they hadn't even exchanged a sentence yet. He had better be worth it.
He should have let the fucker die.
How could someone still be so fucking arrogant after having their teeth wipe the floor so often?
But even if Lucius was deeply annoyed by it, he had to give it to Atlas. The fucker was funny. His witty comebacks were on point; more than once, Lucius had to keep himself from laughing or smiling.
And as much as it was irritating to have someone openly disrespecting him, it was also refreshing. Apart from Ba'el, Norandhil and Effie, nobody dared to talk back to him. And since Effie absolutely despised his two best friends, who hated her with an equal passion, he was now only surrounded by "Yes Men". Hell, they had their head so far up his ass that he wondered when they would try to tongue him.
A shudder ran through his whole body at that thought.
So yes, even if Atlas was a fucking pain at the moment, Lucius was still glad he decided to save him that day.
The years and the centuries passed. Lucius never regretted saving Atlas, even if he liked to complain about him at the start. With time, he even came to see him as a friend and even like a son figure. From time to time, when he would remember that he almost let him die, he would pat himself on the back for once again being smart and saving him.
Well, until the day he broke free from Ophelia's spell, and remembered vividly and in great detail the time his daughter sucked Atlas' cock in front of him.
"I really should have let him die."