13 – The Mage
Flappy-flier songs grew quiet, a young female horns-impaler, spooked by the silence, fled for her life. A blur of motion, like a bolt of lightning, shot past the place where the creature had been standing only moments earlier. Lily could have easily caught and eaten the horns-impaler if she wanted to, their meat was delicious, but she was searching for a different kind of prey this time.
The man’s scent led her to this animal trail. Lily suspected he was prioritizing speed over sneakiness, which was why he chose to follow such an obvious path. It was good for Lily. She could move quickly and quietly without disturbing the forest too much and alerting her prey.
After twenty minutes of sustained running through the forest at a pace no human could hope to match, she came upon a small clearing. The man’s scent lingered in this place, and she saw the remains of a campfire. This one had died some time ago, though the ashes were still warm. The man had stopped to rest and had only moved on recently. Both the animal trail, and the man’s scent continued past this place, so Lily continued her pursuit.
After another ten minutes of running, Lily slowed her pace, lightening her footsteps, trying to move silently. The scent was strong now, and she was close. For once, she was actually grateful to be wearing clothes. Her white skin contrasted her hair and horns nicely, but it was definitely a hindrance to her stealth during the daytime. The black maid dress was too pristine, and the flat texture contrasted against the rough leaves of the forest, but the dark color was a significant improvement over her bare skin. She’d have to ask Amelia to find her a dark outfit with a rougher natural texture later.
Lily crept onwards, and eventually heard her target. Crunching leaves and snapping twigs with an obvious two legged gait betrayed his presence, he was making no attempt at stealth. She snuck closer and peeked out from behind a tree trunk. The man was walking down the path ahead of her.
He wore a black robe, like the man Father squished underneath the tower, but this man was much younger. Instead of white hair, he had a chaotic mess of black hair that reached down to his neck. The man seemed tall, taller than most, and while his shoulders were probably normal sized, they looked narrow because of his height.
This man was a mage, or so Amelia told her. Lily remembered the succubus and the red magic that turned flesh to dust. Magic was dangerous, but this man didn’t look physically strong. The succubus could only shoot the red magic out of her hands, so Lily might be able to avoid getting hurt if she restrained the man correctly.
The demon crept up behind the mage in near-perfect silence but when she within twenty feet of the man, there was a faint shimmer of magic. Alerted to the assailant behind him, the mage spun around to face her. Stealth failed, but Lily could still use surprise to her advantage. The demon burst forward into a charge as a surge of magic gathered in the air. The daylight seemed to turn dark and a swirling black shadow gathered in the man’s hands, crackling with occasional bright streaks of violet. It was an intimidating sight, but Lily reached him before he could complete his spell.
Lily lost about a third of her weight due to last night’s ordeal, but she was still too heavy to stop. The charging demon pounced at his ankles, scooping the man’s legs out from underneath him. The mage fell forwards onto his stomach, bracing himself against the fall with his hands. The partially completed spell discharged into the ground, and a large patch of grass and shrubbery around the man withered and died.
Lily learned her lesson from the succubus. She quickly climbed onto on the man’s back, and pinned his wrists together above his head, forcing his palms to face the ground. With his wrists firmly imprisoned with a single claw, the second claw lined up to spear through his heart from behind. The claw tip pressed lightly into his flesh, enough to offer him the promise of future pain should he struggle, but not enough to do any real damage. She just wanted him to feel the danger.
“Struggle and I’ll pierce your heart,” the demon said in a low, growling voice.
The man’s squirming ceased. “Who are you? What do you want with me?” he asked.
“Lily. I want to capture you alive.” the demon explained.
“Fuck,” the man said, “Who sent you?”
“Idiot Guard Captain and Amelia.”
The man remained silent for a moment, turned his head, and gave Lily a curious glance.
“I don’t suppose you’re talking about Saintess Amelia, The Chosen of Truth, are you?”
“Yes, but Idiot Captain was really the one that wanted me to capture you.”
The man’s eyes immediately perked up, and a sudden look of relief appeared on his face. “Bring me to Amelia. Let me speak to her and I’ll come with you willingly. I won’t fight.”
“You can’t escape anyway-” Lily began.
“Maybe not, but I can make your life difficult. Even if you bind my hands, I can still cast some spells. If I come willingly there’s no risk, no difficulty for you. I just need to talk to her for a minute, just
. You can take me to the executioners after.”
Lily sat on his hips and considered the offer. Amelia said she wanted to find a demonologist to ask about Lily’s nature. Lily wasn’t sure what a demonologist was exactly, but she assumed it was someone knowledgeable about demons. This guy summoned one, so he probably knew a lot on the subject.
“Are you a demonologist?” Lily asked.
“Uh… yes? sort of? I’m more of a generalist,” said the man.
“Meh, good enough. I’ll take you to Amelia,” Lily said.
Lily dismounted the man, who slowly climbed to his feet. She got a good look at him for the first time, he was almost an entire head taller than her, with a thin face and body. He had a lanky figure, clearly not built like a fighter, but he also didn’t look completely feeble.
Lily considered whether she wanted to claim him for herself or give him away to the Idiot. His bony body didn’t look especially soft or comfy, not like the girls. His sunken eyes looked tired, with dark rings underneath them and he wore a scowl on his face that Lily found endearing. It reminded her of Tanya a bit. Overall, he was on the edge of attractive, when it came to cuddle-human or fuck-human potential.
But his smell… it was better than last night at least. He probably tried to clean himself off, but he still smelled quite unpleasant. His hastily washed body and clothes were still somewhat filthy from his earlier ordeal in the cage. The succubus hadn’t bothered to bathe him or give him a sanitary place to do his business. The lingering grossness of body waste overpowered any sort of alluring sweat odour he might have had. Lily wasn’t impressed. She’d let the Idiot Captain have this one.
Lily made the man walk in front of her along the trail. She walked closely behind with one clawed hand on his shoulder, keeping a close eye on him to prevent him from trying something stupid and making a run for it. It would mean his death, but it would also mean that Lily failed her mission to catch him alive.
Ugh… the stupid human walked so slow.
With a lingering sense of shame, Amelia sat on the chair while she waited for Lily’s return. One of the guards brought the chair for her, all the way from the garrison. At first, she refused to sit on it out of principle. They were trying to pamper her and butter her up like she was some sort of fancy-pants noble. Apparently the Saintess shouldn’t be asked to stand. Well
that! She was still just Amelia, they could relax and treat her like a normal person, couldn’t they?
That said, after an hour of standing around, her legs got tired, and nobody else claimed the chair…
Captain Richter remained standing. He tried to tell Amelia that she didn’t need to stay here to wait, but she didn’t trust him to handle the situation. The Lord and Lady called the town guard when Lily set off their intruder detecting wards by climbing over the fence last night. Somehow the Captain managed to turn a relatively harmless situation into a mansion-demolishing battle.
Amelia blamed him, not Lily, for the destruction of the Montagne family’s expensive hardwood front door and flooring. Knowing him, he’d probably find an excuse to draw his sword on Lily again and get himself killed. No, Amelia needed to be here to defuse the situation before it degenerated into a murderous demon rampage.
Shortly after the second hour of waiting, Amelia saw Lily emerge from the tree line. She was running at a steady jog with a man in a black robe, presumably her prisoner, carelessly slung over her shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Amelia stood up, and scooted the shameful chair away to the corner, out of sight. Lily soon reached the gate and put the man down in front of her.
“Your Eminence, please listen!” the dishevelled man shouted desperately.
Amelia nervously took a step back but gave him her attention.
“I am Elias Bigby, wanted for treason and terrorism. I did what I had to, there was no other way to set them free. They were killing children! Hundreds of children, slaves and orphans, whoever he could kidnap without consequences.”
Though incoherent, the man was convinced he was telling the truth, Amelia held up a hand, “Wait, slow down.”
“This man is a rebel and a traitor,” Captain Richter interrupted with sneer on his face, “don’t pay him any attention. It’s just a traitor’s lies, meant to tarnish the glory of the Imperial throne.”
Amelia shot the Captain a venomous glare, “I think I know the difference between the truth and a lie Captain, be quiet if you have nothing useful to add. Please continue Elias.”
The nervous mage, cowed by the Captain’s glare, hesitated for a second, but continued, “I was an advanced student of Master Tyren at Dursten’s Mage Academy, specializing in soul magic, and one of my duties was to assist the Master with his research. One day he asked me to look up several different rituals to extract the soul from a living body and bind it into a gemstone. I was told to assess them and choose the most efficient and reliable one. I did as he asked, selecting an Envy demon derived ritual, but I wondered what he intended to use the ritual for. Trapping a soul is one of Sylene’s taboos after all.”
All true so far. Amelia gestured for him to continue.
“A few weeks later, I found out what Master Tyren used the ritual for. I was going over the research budget, and I noticed he bought some research materials, but he hadn’t noted down what they were or where they were stored. I knew he’d rented a warehouse nearby, so on my way home I went to investigate. Inside the warehouse, I discovered cages filled with children, and a ritual altar set up for the Envy soul ritual I suggested. Next to the altar was a pile of tiny skeletons, infants and toddlers, their flesh burnt away by the ritual’s magic. The research materials were smuggled slaves from Ryth and illegally adopted war orphans, all of them younger than ten years old. He was ripping the souls out of their bodies, trapping them in the void between life and death.”
“The infants were… converted to gems already, but the older children weren’t. I smashed each gem, releasing the souls, and opened the surviving victims’ cages to let them go. Then, once everyone was clear, I burnt the warehouse to the ground. I don’t know what Master Tyren was doing with those soul gems, but when I destroyed the warehouse it must have pissed off some important people. I was branded a traitor and a terrorist, and he was never charged with a crime.”
He was honest. The Truth was horrifying.
“That’s… troubling,” said Amelia, “Captain, he’s telling the Truth.”
The Captain looked skeptical, “And what does that have to do with him summoning a succubus into my town?”
“I uuh… needed a translator,” the man said awkwardly, “I stole a book from the Master, written in infernal. Lesser succubi are usually the least dangerous of all the sapient demons. Unfortunately, this one broke free of my control. Her geas stopped her from killing me, so she imprisoned me inside my own house instead.”
Amelia coughed and gave the man a knowing look.
The man looked annoyed, “Ok, fine. There
other, less dangerous demon types that I could have summoned too. Potentially fooling around with the succubus might have factored into the decision. Happy?”
Amelia blushed and nodded. Now he was being truthful.
“I heard you were stopping here on your way to the capital. Can I go with you? As your prisoner? With your help I can tell the truth and bring Master Tyren to justice. Once his crimes are brought to light, they can execute me.
Amelia considered it, “Are you planning on escaping, or harming me and the people I’m travelling with in any way?” she asked.
“Hold on, you’re not actually planning on-” Captain Richter stammered.
Elias interrupted, “No, Your Eminence. You’re the only one who could hope to bring that evil man to justice. Please, I need your help, isn’t it your duty to seek the Truth?”
Yep, he was honest. “I can’t believe I’m going to do this…” Amelia grumbled, “Fine. You can come with us if you behave yourself. Same rules as Lily, don’t hurt any innocents. And don’t summon any more demons. Lily alone is hard enough to handle.”
“Hold on,” the Captain interrupted, “you can’t just steal my fugitive and invite him into my town.”
“You heard him, he was obviously unjustly accused, and the succubus escaped by accident. He discovered something shady, and I’ll need his help to bring the Truth to light. Seeking the Truth is my most sacred duty as Verita’s Chosen.”
“Whatever,” the Captain massaged his forehead let out an exhausted sigh, “If things go to shit, it’s your fault. At least you’ll be out of my town soon. Just keep your pet demon and pet traitor on a leash until you leave. Got it?”
“Yes, sir,” Amelia replied with exaggerated cheerfulness, “Thank you Captain Richter.”
Amelia gestured for the two troublemakers to follow, “Elias,” she said, sniffing the air, “you’re having a bath as soon as we get back to the mansion.”
When they arrived at the mansion, Elias was shown to his room immediately. A bath was prepared for him, and his clothes were stolen away by the maids to be washed. Amelia told Lily that the man was exhausted from his ordeal with the succubus and needed some time to rest without being bothered. In other words, Lily wasn’t supposed to sneak into his room.
Amelia had to go meet with Caiden and the leaders of the caravan. They would leave for the city of Dursten tomorrow, and they had to figure out their luggage, travel arrangements, and how best to accommodate Lily. Amelia did not invite Lily to the meeting, and Lily was fine with that. It sounded boring.
The demon was left to her own devices inside the mansion. She knew enough of the common-tongue to hold her own in a conversation now, so Amelia wasn’t needed to translate. She spent the early afternoon wandering around the mansion, watching the maids work. After several days of following Amelia everywhere, it felt very strange to be around other humans without her.
Lily searched for rooms she hadn’t explored yet and found one near the kitchen. She entered to find a maid kneeling over the edge of a large basin of soapy water, scrubbing clothes against a ridged wooden board. She seemed to be a younger maid, and almost as tiny as Amelia. She had her brown hair loosely styled into a single braid dangling down her neck, and she was whistling a cheerful little tune as she worked.
The maid let out a shriek of terror when she noticed Lily looming behind her, and Lily barely managed to catch her before she fell into the wash basin. The maid remained still, kneeling over the edge of the water, chest supported by a lethal array of razor sharp claws, completely frozen with fear.
“M-Mistress Lilizath… w-what are you doing h- I mean, how can I help you?”
The tiny little human stiffly turned her head to look at the monster, eyes wide with fear. Lily found her fear… enticing. She couldn’t stop herself from smiling at the helpless little thing. The girl’s eyes grew wider when she saw the demon’s sadistic grin, and she began trembling slightly. Hehe… Lily had a toy to play with now, this was going to be fun. Lily easily scooped up the feather-light girl and set her down against the floor on her back, pinning her arms up over her head and laying on top of her.
“M-Mistress? What are you doing?”
The demon brought her face closer to the maid’s. The maid turned her head away from the demon and fearfully closed her eyes. Lily brushed her lips against the poor girl’s ear as she whispered.
“I like how scared you are.”
“No… please,” The maid whimpered.
Lily gently bit her ear, and slid a claw tip up her thigh, “My claws are very sharp you know. You’re going to have to be careful not to move too much…”
“Please…” the maid quietly moaned.
The trembling maid’s cheeks turned red as she submitted to the demon’s abuse. Lily straddled the girl’s leg, grinding herself against her thigh, savoring the intoxicating feeling of power and dominance. Bullying this tiny creature was so… delicious. Lily was turned on, and she wasn’t the only one. Despite the maid’s protests, Lily’s sensitive nose picked up the faintest hint of feminine arousal coming from between her legs as well.
“Please be gentle…” the trembling maid whispered.
The monster and the maid were interrupted by another maid standing at the door. It was Patricia, the dark elf. She was… probably blushing? It was hard to tell with her skin tone, but her grey-violet cheeks were a little less grey, and a little more violet. She bit her lip for a second, before shaking off her lewd grin, and hardening her face into a scorn of disapproval.
“Lily,” Patricia said, in a scolding voice, “Naughty. No raping the maids.”
“B-But she likes it!” Lily replied with indignation.
“Is that so?” Patricia looked down at Lily’s victim with ice cold eyes and disgust on her face. It was the sort of look one might give to an insect they spotted crawling along the floor. The blushing maid’s face turned redder. The dark elf held her silent disapproving glare for fifteen long, agonizing seconds, until the maid quietly whimpered again.
“Yes, you’re right,” Patricia finally said, feigning surprise, “Josie? Why don’t you tell both of us what you are…”
“Patricia, Mistress Lily… I am a filthy depraved pervert, a sh-shameless wanton slut,” the maid whimpered quietly.
“Yes, that’s right… A filthy depraved pervert and a shameless wanton slut,” Patricia slowly repeated Josie’s words back to her and the tiny maid flinched. She squirmed helplessly underneath Lily. The demon could feel the tiny maid subconsciously grinding her hips against her leg. The fabric of the maid’s panties was soaked through. Josie was officially wet now.
Patricia’s disapproving face melted away into a playful smile, “Josie here doesn’t like pain as much as… erm… another masochist I know, but she’s a total slut for humiliation and degradation. The next time you bully her, you can use that to your advantage.”
Lily smiled, grateful for the advice, and looked down at the helpless Josie. Ready to resume the fun.
“But,” Patricia said, in a slightly serious tone, “Please leave the other maids alone, not all of them share Josie’s… proclivities. Also, Josie is working right now, so you can play with her later. Right now, it’s laundry time, not play time.”
Lily frowned at Patricia and out of the corner of her eye, she thought she saw a flash of disappointment appear on Josie’s face too. Reluctantly, the demon climbed off the maid, and let her up.
“I seem to recall there’s another maid with the same tastes as me… Care to tell us who that is Patricia?” Josie said, with a taunting voice and sly grin.
“That’s not important right now,” the dark elf replied, with a guilty cough. She looked slightly ashamed, and her cheeks were colored with a deep violet blush.
Josie whispered in the demon’s ear, “I’ll be done my shift at eleven… whatever you do… please don’t sneak into my room,
second floor, third on the right
, tie me up with the ropes I’m going to accidentally leave under my bed, and abuse me. Okay?”
A slightly confused Lily sat back on her haunches, as the wobbly kneed girl crept back to the laundry basin to continue her work. Lily scratched her head. She thought she understood sex, but this behaviour was… new. Was Josie’s statement meant to be an invitation? Or should she take her words literally? Humans and dark elves were weird.
Before Lily could ask for clarification, Patricia shooed her out of the laundry room and Lily ended up standing in the hallway again.
As she continued wandering, the other maids kept their distance. Lily knew she had a wrathful scowl on her face, but she didn’t care. It was frustrating, her fun had been interrupted.
After pacing through the halls for a bit, Lily’s next stop was the rear gardens of the estate. There was a nice open grassy area near the rear patio, and Tanya chose that spot to train. Tanya was wearing her usual pants but was topless aside from a tightly woven chest wrap binding her breasts. She was kicking and punching at the air, coated in a thin sheen of delicious sweat.
Lily, still wound up from her earlier encounter, couldn’t help herself. She crept over to Tanya. The fighty-girl noticed her and stopped her practice, catching her breath.
“Hey Lily, what’s up?”
“Hold still for a moment,” Lily said.
The demon walked up to the confused Tanya, who obeyed Lily’s strange request. Her head followed the demon as she circled around behind and…
“Lily? What are you- Ack!”
Lily ran her tongue along Tanya’s spine, starting from the upper band of her chest wrap, all the way to the top of her neck where the fringe of her short black hair started. The salty sweat didn’t taste as good as it smelled, the flavor was boring, but Lily very much enjoyed the act of licking Tanya’s body.
are you doing?” Tanya asked, her voice a mixture of confusion and outrage. She turned around to face the demon.
Lily grabbed her shoulders, and spun her back into position, facing away again.
“Stay!” the demon ordered.
“No seriously, wha- Aaack!”
This time Lily traced her tongue downwards along her spine, starting at the bottom edge of the chest wrap, and slowly moving down until she reached the band of Tanya’s pants. Tanya shivered from the sensation, and a small moan escaped her lips. Lily brought her claws around to the front, and slowly teased the sharp tips upwards along Tanya’s firm stomach as she slowly kissed her way back up to Tanya’s neck.
“I like you,” she whispered into Tanya’s ear.
“Hold on, slow down.”
Tanya grabbed Lily’s clawed hands, pulled them aside, and squirmed free of Lily’s grip. Lily was disappointed but she didn’t try to stop Tanya as she stepped away and turned around to face the demon. Lily finally saw her face. This was the first time Lily had seen the brave Tanya really unsettled.
“Are you trying to hit on me? or is this just some demon weirdness I don’t understand?”
“Hit on you?” Lily asked, this was a term she hadn’t heard before.
“Ok, what do you mean when you say you like me?” Tanya asked, “Do you like me as a friend? as a mattress? or like… like?”
Lily tapped a claw tip on her lower lip as she thought of an answer, “Yes. Friend, mattress, fighting partner, and I want to kiss you and make you lick my pussy because I’m kind of turned on right now.”
“Woah, okay there!” Tanya coughed, nearly choking on her own spit when she heard Lily’s answer. “Thanks, I’m flattered, but holy shit girl…”
Lily cocked her head to the side in confusion and watched Tanya slowly regain her composure.
“You’ve got a lot to learn about the subtleties of seduction…” Tanya finally managed to say. After pausing for a few seconds, she managed to add, “At least you know what you want though… I can respect that… Wait, how did you even know I was gay? Amelia doesn’t even know, granted she’s a little dense, but…”
“Gay?” Lily asked. That was a new word.
Tanya fidgeted awkwardly, “It means I’m a girl that likes girls.”
“Yeah, me too?” Lily was confused. Who
like girls? Girls were great, they were softer, easier to bully, “Anyway, want to make out?”
Tanya went red, “Ugh, this is weird… I’m usually the aggressor in these situations, being on the other side is… Look, can I uuh… let’s take it slow, ya know? I mean you’re hot… hot as
but uuh… you’re also kinda a terrifying murderbitch, and I uuh…”
Lily slowly stalked up to the stammering Tanya, grabbed her by the waist, and interrupted her with a kiss. Tanya’s body tensed for a second, and she placed a hand on Lily’s chest, ready to push her away. She paused, taking a moment to reconsider, and then reached a hand around the back of Lily’s head, grabbing a handful of hair. Tanya immediately took control. She took a step forward, returning the kiss, and pushing her tongue deeper. She grabbed Lily’s hips and forcefully pulled the demon closer. Lily relaxed and went with it. Their tongues played for a minute or two, then Tanya pulled back, separating their lips.
“Okay. I’ll admit that was awesome, but let’s slow down for a second. I need to get my head straight. Is this just lust, or do you like me romantically? Because I also have to warn you, I am not good with romance. I am fucked up. Fucked up with a capital ‘F.’ I have issues.”
“What does romantic mean?”
“Ugh… it’s like… you don’t just like my body, but like… Fuck… I don’t know what it means either.”
“I like your body, but I also like how violent you are, and how good you are at fighting. Does that mean I like you romantically?”
Tanya laughed wryly, “Fuck if I know.”
“What does issues mean?”
“Oh… that…” Tanya suddenly looked very uncomfortable, “Let’s just say that I had a rough childhood, and it sorta fucked with the development of my sexuality. If we fool around, I need to be in control of things. If you get too pushy, bad memories happen, I start crying, and the fun’s over. Normally, it’s not an issue because I’m usually stronger than my lovers, but with you… I don’t have that safety net. I’d need to trust you, and I’m not exactly the trusting type.”
“I don’t really understand, but I can pretend you defeated and captured me. That could be fun.”
“That could be fun indeed,” Tanya grinned wickedly, “You sure you’re not a succubus? Look, let me think about it. You sorta sprang this on me suddenly, and I didn’t see it coming. I need a bit of time to unfuck my head and get my thoughts straight.”
“No more making out?” Lily asked, disappointment clear on her face.
Tanya moved in, and kissed Lily again.
“I want to, but I have issues…” Tanya explained, “Just give me some time okay?”
Lily reluctantly nodded. Thanks to the kissing, she was even more turned on now. Now, even more frustrated, she left Tanya to her exercising and went back inside.
“He’s our prisoner, so I get to do what I want to him, right?”
It was an hour after sunset, Lily and Amelia were both downstairs working on language and reading lessons. Lily had pretty much mastered the common-tongue, but she’d only just started to learn to read. Amelia sat on the couch, and Lily sat on the floor, too scared to break another chair. Lily was fidgeting for some reason, not really focused on the lesson. Amelia suspected that Lily was going to find something else to destroy soon, so it was time for a break.
“No, Lily. Firstly, it’s unethical to sexually assault prisoners too, and secondly, he’s only sort-of our prisoner. We’re treating him like a free person.”
Lily crossed her arms and pouted, “I don’t get to touch anyone,” she grumbled.
“Sorry, that’s how consent works.”
“I’m horny!” the exasperated demon groaned, loud enough for half the mansion to hear, and let herself teeter over, falling onto her side with a heavy thud, “Everybody keeps stopping before I’m satisfied.”
Amelia felt herself blush, “umm… can’t you just… take care of it yourself?” her voice was barely louder than a whisper.
Lily gave Amelia an annoyed glare and held up her razor sharp claws for Amelia to see. Amelia cringed at the sight.
“Okay, not inside… but can’t you like…” Amelia couldn’t finish saying it out loud, so instead she just cupped her hand, pointed her fingers down, and moved them in a gentle circular motion. It worked for Amelia… and the
of Lily’s claws weren’t sharp…
Lily mirrored Amelia’s lewd gesture but didn’t seem to understand.
“…the outside?” Amelia hinted, in a barely audible squeak.
Lily still didn’t understand. Frustrated, she rolled onto her back, and stared at the ceiling.
“You do it.”
Amelia kept her face blank, “Do what?” She asked cautiously.
“Lick me, or use you fingers… it doesn’t matter, just… uuurgh!” Lily arched her back and thrust her pelvis at the ceiling in frustration before flopping back onto the floor again.
Amelia could feel her cheeks getting warm. She wasn’t sure how to handle such a straightforward proposition for… that. It wasn’t that she didn’t like sex, she was well acquainted with her own fingers after all, but she’d never done anything with a partner… and certainly nothing like… and Lily was a girl… F-word! She wasn’t good at dealing with this sort of thing. Amelia stared awkwardly at the floor in silence, wishing that Lily would just go away.
“I’m flattered by the proposition Lily… but uuh… I like men?” Amelia finally spoke, unable to stand the awkwardness any longer.
Lily nodded, “Me too… And?”
Oh. Amelia understood the source of Lily’s confusion, she pushed away the urge to flee and explained, “Most humans, me included, are only attracted to the opposite sex. According to the teachings of the temple of Lyra, Goddess of Growth and Fertility, this is the natural way to be. A smaller number of people are born who like the same sex, or who like both sexes. It’s… a complicated situation. The temple of Lyra says that it’s a deviance, a curse from Lilith, the Demon Lord of Lust. The temple of Thule, God of Love, says that it’s perfectly natural, and considers bisexual people to be especially blessed since they can love everyone. The acolytes argue about it a lot. Thankfully, the other gods don’t care much at all…”
Amelia realized she was getting off topic and was only confusing Lily further.
“Anyway, what I’m saying is that most girls are straight, and if you proposition a straight girl for sex, one that only likes boys, she’s basically always going to say no.”
Lily finally seemed to understand, because she pouted. Before she could grumble out loud, her eyes focused on something behind Amelia’s shoulder.
“I beg your pardon, Your Eminence, there is a messenger at the gate. He says he has an urgent letter of extreme importance that he must give to you directly.”
Amelia turned to the maid behind her. It was Patricia, the dark elf maid that made potentially-evil, yet highly effective, coffee. She gave Amelia a warm pleasant smile that was entirely fake.
“Did you invite him in?” asked Amelia.
The maid looked uncomfortable, “Err… no Your Eminence, I’ve been told that, for safety reasons, we are not to allow any of the townspeople inside the estate’s walls. Yes, it’s because of Lily, and yes, I know it’s stupid.”
Amelia rolled her eyes, “Fine, I understand.”
The Saintess followed the maid outside and down the long winding road through the gardens to the very edge of the estate grounds. The messenger seemed to be an elderly man, bald and with a face full of wrinkles. He stood with a hunch, using the wrought iron bars of the gate to support himself. Amelia felt bad for making him stand, he was caught up in this stupid situation too.
When the man saw Amelia, he started to kneel. Amelia had to stop him, “No, no, it’s alright, don’t hurt yourself.”
Patricia opened the gate for them, and Amelia walked out into the street to talk to the man. “Hello, I am Saintess Amelia Voss, Chosen of Truth. Patricia said you had a letter for me?”
“Your Eminence, it is an honor to finally meet you after all these years,” the old man said.
“Pardon?” Amelia raised an eyebrow. She’d been the Saintess for only a couple weeks. What did he mean ‘all these years’?
“I was given this letter ten years ago and told to deliver it to you here today, and to place it in your hand myself.”
Amelia would have raised her eyebrow again, if it wasn’t already raised, “So… ten years ago somebody gave you a letter addressed to me, to be delivered to this place? How did they know I was here? Why now?”
“I’m sorry Your Eminence, I didn’t have the presence of mind to question him. When a golden dragon the size of a castle lands in your corn field and tells you to deliver a letter for him, you bloody well do it, end of discussion.”
Both of Amelia’s eyebrows were raised now. A dragon? A dragon the size of a castle landed in his corn field and gave him a letter to deliver to her after waiting a decade? Ten years ago, she was a random unimportant 11 year old girl, and nobody could have known she’d become the Chosen of Truth. This story was obviously a lie…
And it wasn’t a lie!
Amelia looked at the simple little letter, it wouldn’t even fit inside a dragon’s claws. How would a dragon even write a letter on a normal sized piece of paper? Magic? Probably magic.
A wax seal bearing the holy symbol of Lott proved the contents hadn’t been disturbed. Amelia nervously reached out to take the letter-
Night became day. An eldritch green luminance banished the darkness.
A dreadful star appeared in the sky, a blinding mote of white, ringed by ghostly flames of green. It streaked down from the heavens, leaving trail of eerie emerald flame in its wake. A boom of sound and the roar of flame overwhelmed her ears. Even from a distance she could feel the searing heat radiating from it. And it was flying towards them…
“Down!” Amelia shouted.
Amelia grabbed Patricia and the old man and dragged the two people to the ground with her. The maid followed without objection, the old man groaned in pain, not used to bending those joints.
“Flat on your belly, cover your ears!” Amelia shouted again as she threw herself prone to the ground, covered her ears, and closed her eyes.
She didn’t have time to check on the other two. Despite ducking for cover behind a small hill, the shockwave still struck her side with enough force to wind her. It was followed by a wall of heat behind her back so intense that it felt like she was standing in the mouth of the blacksmith’s forge back home.
In an instant, the cataclysm came and went. Amelia opened her eyes and uncovered her ears. The world around her was completely silent aside from the crackling of fire and the ringing of her ears. The air was hot and dry. What in the infinite abyss just happened? Still trembling, Amelia slowly pushed herself up to her knees.
Amelia stared in horror at the burning crater that was once the Montagne estate. The ground was glowing red and molten near the centre of the impact. Tongues of green flame flickered in the air above the molten pools. Nothing remained of the surrounding area but ash. No scrap of structure, no trees, absolutely nothing remained. Danica? Tanya? They… they survived… right?