In the wake of their Quest's completion, Angela and her companions face decisions about their future.
The Knight and the Acolyte
Book Ten: The Flaming Woman
Chapter Twelve: Decisions
Note: Thanks to B0b for beta reading this.
Aurora Xandra – Dominari's Lair, The Despeir Mountains
Conflict warred through me as I watched my husband administer Thrak the healing potion. The orc drank the creamy elixir, his wounds knitting together. Elation and anger, joy and horror swirled through me. Chaun lived. He survived the fight with the dragon.
He fucked my mother.
The images the Goddess Slata showed me burned through my mind: Chaun in my father's form seducing my mother, mounting her, fucking her, making her moan and gasp and break her marriage vows. My husband survived, and he betrayed me. Betrayed everything my people stood for. How could he do it?
The anger beat faster and faster, a drum drowning out the symphony of joy at his survival. It grew louder with every roaring thud. My heart pounded in my chest. I clenched my hands as I glared at his back.
His pointed ears twitched, thrust black through silver hair. He turned, staring up at me, and I could see it in his face. The guilt. The words spilled out of my mouth, “You did it. You slept with my mother!”
He nodded his head, his eyes glossy.
The anger's beat exploded through my ears. I couldn't hear anything else. He did it. The Goddess showed me truth. How could he fuck her? How could he assume my father's form and violate their nest? He made her his whore.
Just like he made me.
With a screech, my body transformed. I couldn't look at him. I wanted to rip out his eyes. His cock. I became a hawk, my toes growing into sharp talons, my lips into the sharpest beak. I spread my feathered wings wide, screeching again.
A single flap, a single swipe of claws. I could hurt him.
I flapped my wings. He didn't flinch as I launched at him. My claws flexed. But I tucked them beneath my body. Another flap propelled me up and over his head. I winged towards the exit of the cave. I flapped harder and harder, the wind howling past me as I burst out into the overcast day, a soup of murkiness wreathing the mountains. I soared past Angela sitting at the cliff's edge and danced on the air currents swirling through the pass.
How could he do that to my mother?
Aurora's screech echoed through the cave, drawing my attention away from my wounded husband. Chaun, kneeling on the other side of Thrak, flinched as his wife flapped over his head. He turned, watching her soar out the cave, his shoulders sagging.
No one was happy. Thrak, groaning beneath me as his wounds healed, grimaced. There was pain in his eyes, and I knew it wasn't from his injuries. Slata had shown me my betrayal, and Thrak had seen his.
I stroked his face as Chaun slumped. I traced my husband's brutish features, brushing the bone piercings dotting lips and eyebrows and nose. My fingers were pale on his swarthy skin. I reached his woolly hair, sliding through the thick curls, my fingers growing tangled in the strands.
“She showed you the truth about Serisia's death?” I asked.
His hands clenched. Murderous rage flashed through his eyes. “Bruk!”
“Your brother?” I gasped in shock. “He...”
He grunted again, a deep, snarling rumble bursting from him.
“So we'll be traveling to your home after all,” I said.
“I do.” I leaned down, kissing his forehead. “I know you, Thrak. He has to die. You have to kill him.” It was so strange to speak of such callous murder, but I had known Serisia, if only briefly as a spirit. Such a loving woman. Thrak would have been happy living his life with her. I never would have met him, but he wouldn't have had this sadness that not even I could touch.
“What about you?” he asked, sitting up, the wound almost knitted in his side, the dragon's bite vanished. Only his blood remained behind.
The images of Saoria's betrayal, sabotaging my vials and ensuring that I failed the test, hurt, but it was an old pain. “It doesn't matter. It won't change anything.”
“I'm still a Warlock. The Magery Council won't let me retake the Test if I expose her treachery.”
His eyes narrowed. “You didn't make a mistake.”
“I did, just not the mistake I thought.” I believed Saoria was my friend. I took a deep breath. “I'm a Warlock. That's who I am.”
Saying those words filled me with a kind of peace. It wasn't a great peace, giving up my lifelong dream, but it was gone, evaporated. Angela would never be High Queen, she would never reinstate me. My life was different. I was a Warlock, free of the Magery Council's rules.
“I can do as I please, Thrak. It's...freeing.”
“And what is that?” he asked.
“What is it?” I asked, still hugging Xera's waist. I felt like such a child right now, clinging to her taller body, my head resting on her hip while she cried with quiet pain. “Why are you so sad?”
Her green eyes stared at me with such raw, naked grief. Tears welled in the corners before tumbling down her greenish-tinged cheeks. “Atharilesia cheated on me. With my sister.”
I trembled. “She...put her elf-cock in another hermaphrodite.”
“The other way. She let my sister...fuck her pussy.”
My heart tightened. “Oh, no, Xera. She's not your...daughter?”
Xera shook her head, more tears spilling down her cheeks. My heart only ached. I hugged my elf tighter, tears burning in my own eyes. That horrible bitch! How could she cheat on this wonderful elf? What was wrong with her? Every aching beat of my heart fueled a growing anger. I stared up at Xera, a fierce heat flooding through me.
“Then we'll kill her, too,” I hissed.
“Too?” Xera stared at me. A crystal tear fell off her cheek and splashed on my forehead, burning hot. “Who do you want to kill?”
“Spray!” The words came out with such vehemence. I pictured that damned nixie who had hugged and comforted me after my sister's death. “She betrayed my sister and me. She's the reason Fox hung! And then she told me she loved us both!”
“Oh, Minx,” Xera said, then she fell to her knees, her face at my level. Her delicate fingers cupped my cheeks.
“We'll kill them both,” I spat. “How could she cheat on you, Xera?”
“She never loved me.” Xera's ears twitched. “We were both young and drunk when it happened. I think...I think she thought I was my sister, and then it was too late. My cock had entered her pussy, cum in her, uniting us.” She shook her head. “She encouraged me to go with Angela so I would...” Wounded pain shone in her eyes.
“That bitch!” A dagger appeared in my hand. “We have to kill her.”
Xera's exclamation made me flinch. I blinked at her, my heart aching so badly. The pain had to be stopped. “No?”
“Killing her... It won't change anything. It won't undo her betrayal. It won't mean I have a daughter...” Her pointed ears twitched. “I don't even know where I'll go. I can't go back. They don't want me. Need me.”
“You'll go with me,” I told her, cupping her cheeks, feeling her hot tears.
Xera nodded her head. “I love you, Minx.” Something touched her tear-filled eyes as a smile crossed her lips. “I can...say that without feeling guilty. I'm really no better. I cheated on her with you.”
“It was never cheating with us,” I said. “Remember. I'm not a hermaphrodite. You can't knock me up.”
“I still loved you more.” She shivered. “But...I really wanted to hold my daughter. I was so excited and...”
Fresh tears fell down my face. I really, really wanted to kill her wife and sister.
Then she sniffed and shook her head. Her head glanced past me. I frowned, following her gaze. She peered at the dragon's corpse, the piles of gold behind it. A smile touched her lips, something light and amused.
“What?” I asked, blinking.
“You're not rolling in the gold.” Her ears twitched. “Are you feeling okay?”
I shivered. “I'm not sure I ever will feel okay.”
An exhausted emptiness consumed me. I stared out at the cave, watching Aurora vanish into the sky. I could remember that day so clearly. We had only been married the night before. I was so confused by everything that happened. I wanted to prove I was still myself. It was so stupid. I saw all the avian women, how bright and white their auras were. I had never seen married women shining so bright.
I had to fuck one. And why not my mother-in-law? To make it as depraved as possible.
I pushed up from my knees, not hearing Thrak and Faoril's conversation. I stumbled across the broken cave, bending down and picking up a piece of my lyre, a long chunk of the frame with broken wires still clinging to it. I walked a few paces, picking up another and another. The wood had snapped and splintered, the gold filigree bending out of the joints or gone entirely. The priceless strings tattered.
I was given this lyre when I graduated from the Bardic College of Az, proof that I had done what only a handful could. Hundreds failed every year to master the magic of song and note. It was an instrument crafted for masters.
I held the pieces. I stumbled out of the cave, away from the sulfurous reek mixing with the coppery tang of blood. I needed fresh air before I vomited. I blinked against the gray glow of the clouds, the sun hidden behind them, but its light diffused and assaulting my gaze from a thousand directions.
I reached the ledge's edge, sitting down, my legs dangling off the side. Angela and Sophia were nearby, peering down at the mountain pass. It was a gorgeous sight. A song could be composed about it.
I snorted. A song. Could I even finish my epic now? What was the point? It didn't feel like we won.
“Chaun,” Sophia gasped. “Your lyre.”
I glanced down at the pieces as Sophia broke away from Angela and knelt beside me, her robes stained crimson with her blood, ripped and torn in so many spots it barely hung on of her. Dirt and more blood smeared her face, stained her brown hair.
“It was so beautiful,” she said, running her finger across the largest of the broken pieces.
“It was.” I blinked my eyes then glanced up at Angela. She looked so strong, so resolved. “What are your plans?” Were they going to pursue making Angela High Queen anyways?
I realized I didn't care about that. I didn't care about being a Court Bard any longer.
“We're building a temple,” Sophia said. She sounded...not quite happy, but contented, accepting of what had happened. “We're guarding the pass. Angela thinks Lady Delilah set up her lair here for a reason.”
“The Shizhuth Empire,” I said, glancing to my right. The dark land of the nagas. “A noble idea.”
“It will be.” Sophia bit her lip, looking at me. “You are more than your lyre, Chaun. You make beauty with your voice.”
Tears burned in my eyes. I croaked, “Thanks.”
She gave me such a beautiful smile.
I stared down at the broken pieces of my lyre. Then I threw them off the ledge. They clattered against sharp rocks, breaking into splinters as they tumbled down to the twisting path we had climbed up what felt a lifetime ago. One of the horses neighed where we picketed them outside the cave.
Then I looked up at the gray sky. I cleared my voice and sang out my pain, wondering if she would ever come back.
I sat in the cave, Faoril leaning beside me. Minx and Xera talked near the gold, tears and smiles on their faces. My thoughts dwelled on Bruk. The image of my brother raping and murdering my wife burned through my thoughts. The rage called. But he wasn't here. He was thousands of miles away.
I could already feel his neck snapping beneath my fingers.
Armor clinked. Angela walked back inside the cave, Chaun's sad song drifting in with her. Sophia sat beside the changeling on the ledge, her body rocking side to side with his crooning lament. My eyes flicked to Angela as she walked past and then knelt before the scaly head of Lady Delilah. Her hand reached out, stroking the still snout.
With a grunt, I rose. Faoril didn't say a word. She just gave my hand a squeeze before letting go. Despite Sophia's healing potion, my entire body ached. I had almost died...three times today. I was so reckless in the fight, so consumed by the rage for Bruk's crime, I didn't care about myself. I just had to take out my wrath on something.
On the dragon.
The Goddess Slata was such a petty, vindictive thing. She wanted us all to kill each other. But only one of us died.
I reached Angela, standing over her as she stroked the dragon's snout. “I don't know what to do with her, Thrak.”
“She's so big.” Angela didn't look up as she spoke. “I want to bury her, but how? She's immense.”
“Faoril could do it.” I put my hand on her pauldron, the shoulder guard groaning as I squeezed. “It was a nice dream.”
Angela nodded her head. “But so many people would have died to see it realized. We'd have to fight the entire world. All the mages, the three knightly orders, and all the kings and their armies. Maybe Peter did it a thousand years ago, but he had a God's blood in him. After all that much time, how much do I have? A drop of Holy Pater's blood?”
“More than a drop,” I grunted.
She looked up at me, her blue eyes filling with tears. They fell down her face. “Slata won.”
“Only if we surrender.” I looked at Lady Delilah. “Only if we don't make something with our lives. If we don't create something...important out of all of this.”
Angela back straightened against her burden's weight. “I know where to bury her.”
I drifted through the mountains, flying aimlessly, letting the vagaries of currents guide my wings. As the anger grew colder and colder, a fire dying down to coals, I felt so empty. The rage had burned out everything in me. I felt so hollow.
And thoughts echoed through my emptiness, memories of the terrible things I did.
I defiled myself.
I let those two pirates ravish me in the hold, begging for their cocks, eager to violate my marriage. I sucked them and fucked them. I was eager to spread my legs for Thrak, to violate my marriage vows, to satiate my lusts.
Lust... It was such a powerful thing.
I could still taste Castor and Abdwal on my lips, feel them in my body.
Was I any better than Chaun?
When he found me dripping with their cum in the hold, seeing the proof of my adultery, he had apologized to me. He hadn't been angry, he hadn't been disappointed. He hadn't hated me. He had loved me and felt my pain. He felt so guilty for pushing me towards violating our marriage. He'd finally understood how important monogamy was to my species.
It was ingrained in us. Luben had stamped his love strongest on our souls.
Memories of Chaun fucking my mother echoed through my thoughts. The dead coals flared to life.
And then a song of pure grief drifted on the wind, a wordless lament. My claws flexed as it swirled around me, my feathers rustling as I banked in the wind. A melody and countermelody of sorrow and guilt. It was so beautiful. So heartbreakingly pure. Raw.
My husband was a changeling. I was compelled to monogamy. He was compelled to polygamy. We never should have loved each other. I never should have chosen him. He never should have returned my affection. But we had. Our love had been so hard. We didn't fit together well. We had to shape each other, carving a place for the other in our hearts.
And what he did to my mother... That was at the beginning, when our marriage was ill-fitted.
I could keep flying. I could keep feeling so lost. I could raise our son without him, making an empty nest. Or... Or I could smooth another rough edge to make us fit together even better than before. My claws flexed. I balanced on those two decisions as his song wavered, the wind shifting, taking it away from me.
My soul could be desolate of love or populated with it.
I turned, my wings flapping hard. My heart beat faster. The anger was still there, but I concentrated on that other emotion I felt. That joy on witnessing that my husband survived the devastation of the dragon's attack. With every flap of my heart, my gizzard tightened with fear. Was this the right decision? What if he betrayed me again? What if he seduced my mother again? What if she...liked it?
What if she craved that passion and wondered why my father never gave it to her again?
I rounded a peak, my keen eyes spotting him sitting on the cliff's edge, Sophia beside him, her eyes closed as she rocked to grief of his music. Gold glittered on the mountain slope. Light caught thin strings.
His broken lyre.
He looked up as I swept towards him. His face tightened. His song fluttered. Sophia blinked as I landed on the other side of my husband, blurring into my avian form, my clothing springing upon my body. I perched beside my husband, knees folded up to my chest. I hugged them, balanced on the balls of my feet. Sophia stood up and hurried away as Chaun stared at me, his eyes wide, his body trembling.
“I'm sorry about your lyre,” I said, not sure what else to say.
He shrugged, just staring at me. Such fear in his eyes, warring with hope.
My stomach roiled. “Would you sleep with her now?”
“No,” he said at once. “I understand now. You showed me how important monogamy is to your people. I wouldn't seduce any avian, especially not your mother.”
“Good,” I said, and then I sat down beside him, legs joining his dangling off the edge. Everything felt fragile.
I forced myself to reach out and take his hand. He smiled at me, his body still trembling. He didn't hold my hand tight, but with a light touch, like he feared if he squeezed too hard I'd fly away. I took a deep breath. The pain was still there, the betrayal still stinging, but...
But he had changed since that day. And so had I. If I found out in the aftermath, I would have hated him. But know I understood him. I rested my head on his shoulder. His hand tightened on mine.
“Are we going to the princess?” I asked.
Chaun shook his head. “She betrayed me to her husband. That's why he caught us abed. Why I had to run.”
A new anger shot through me. Indignation chirped out of me.
He smiled. “She regrets it, but...”
“But you don't want our child raised around her.” I nodded my head in agreement. “She gets jealous so easily.” I bit my lip. I don't think I could return to Black Glass Aerie, to see my mother, knowing a secret that would devastate her. “So...where are we going?”
Chaun looked down at the pass. “I think I know where.”
It took most of the day, and a half-dozen loads of cum, for Faoril to bring Lady Dominari's corpse down to the base of the mountain pass, her desolation spread out around us, the spears of the Despeir Mountain thrusting above us. She placed the dragon on a small hill near the pass's entrance and then, with the help of Aurora's elementals, excavated the burrow.
As the world darkened into twilight, I stood over the grave, staring at the dragon's corpse, her severed wing draped like a cloak over her body. She lay coiled, her head resting near her tail, her good eye closed. She appeared asleep. That at any moment, fire would breathe from her mouth and she would rise.
Tears burned in my eyes.
My friends and my lover stood with me. I was so angry when I found out that Lady Delilah had manipulated me onto this Quest. That, thanks to King Edward and High Virgin Vivian, my task wasn't chosen at random, but selected, against all custom, to ensure that I would become High Queen.
But now, I just wanted her alive again. I could still remember the first time I ever laid eyes on her, riding onto my father's estate, looking so regal in her armor, similar to what I wore. A cape had draped down her back and across the flanks of her warhorse, her hair so fiery-bright. She had been so elegant, so powerful, so beautiful.
She'd inspired me. I loved her from that moment, worshiping her from afar. And I had one night of passion with her, shared with my acolyte.
“You brought us all together,” I said, my voice choked by tears. “You manipulated us, but I am still glad for the journey. For the friends I made, and the love I found.” I glanced at Sophia, tears shining on her cheeks. “I understand why you did it all. Why you wanted me to be High Queen. You missed him. Your husband. You wanted to find that love again.
“Which is why I know you're at peace. Your soul is free of the last thousand years of pain and torment, of the suffering you put yourself through. You wouldn't have been happy as my concubine. Not truly. You might have found pleasure, you might have convinced yourself serving me was proper, but in your deepest heart, I know you would yearn for him.
“You spent a thousand years ensuring his dying dream would come true. That is a devotion I could never live up to. He must truly have been a great man to inspire that in you. And I am glad you shared a bit of that with me. I hope you find him in the Astral Realm, that you serve your true king once more.
“Thank you for bring us together. I won't be High Queen, but I will put your Peter's sword to good use. I will be a knight. I will protect the world in my own way.”
Sophia took my hand, squeezing it. She nodded her head, her face so fierce.
Chaun and Aurora's song swelled, a lament that spilled tears down my face. I swayed, staring down at Lady Delilah one last time. She wasn't a monster, though she had killed so many. She had tried to do the right thing. That was all any of us could do. She had made mistakes, terrible mistakes. She had caused pain.
But she had also caused joy.
The great mounds of soil and rocks, excavated by Faoril, tumbled into the grave, pushed by unseen magic. It spilled over the crimson scales as the world grew darker and darker. I watched the cascade of dark soil bury my first love. Sophia pressed closer to me, her arm going around my waist. She shook with silent tears as the last dragon, the greatest of them all, vanished into the earth.
Faoril pulled out another vial, downing its contents, her face covered in a sheen of sweat. She looked at the hill, concentrating. Green grass swelled up the scarred ground, growing from the knoll's base to replace what had been destroyed during the excavation. New shoots thrust up around my booted feet, the tips brushing my thighs. And then, in the midst of them, bright-red flowers blossomed. Faoril groaned, swaying.
Thrak caught her as the sweetest perfume filled my nose. The entire top of the barrow became a carpet of red beauty, a large, coiled shape amid the green grass. The tears burned hot across my face as the new blossoms rustled in the wind.
“They'll always be here,” Faoril panted as she leaned against Thrak. “They'll bloom year after year. Fire will forever cover the top of the hill.”
“Thank you,” I said, my voice broken.
Faoril gave me a tired smile. “I never would have met Thrak without her interference.”
I turned away from the barrow, looking at the bottom of the hill. “That's where we'll build the temple.”
Sophia nodded. “We have the gold for it.”
“My elementals can help,” Aurora added.
Sophia groaned. “Does that mean you're sticking around, Chaun?”
“We are,” Chaun said. “I think something special's going to be here. It should be chronicled by a bard.”
“Great,” Sophia said, rolling her eyes, but a smile touched her lips, her tone with just a touch of playfulness to it.
The dawn spilled over the Despeir mountains as Minx and I buried the bulb. I couldn't return to the Deorc Forest, not even to uphold my promise to the dying elf mutilated by that bastard Vebrin. But I could plant her daughter here. I knew people would come here, gathering around Angela. That plant-elf's daughter would help to protect and guide them. She'd grow adjacent to where Angela planned on building the temple.
The perfect place for a living garden.
Minx pushed the soil over the bulb, packing it down tight. She smiled at me. “I felt something special right before her mother died.”
“You did?” I said, my ears twitching.
Minx nodded. “Right at the end, it just surged into me.”
I frowned at her. She had never said anything. Right before she perished, the plant-elf had mentioned a gift she was giving me. I had no idea what that meant. Had she...done something to Minx? What? The halfling looked the same, smelled the same, felt the same.
“Don't worry, Seed, we'll come back,” Minx promised.
“Bulb just sounds terrible for a name,” Minx said. “Seed is so much better.”
“Seed...” I stared at the mound, touching it. I could feel the life of the bulb. She would hibernate through the winter and come spring, sprout. I knew we would be back by then. I wanted to help Angela make this place special.
But I had to help Minx with her errand. I didn't approve of her desire for revenge, but I understood it. There were moments when killing my cheating wife and my whorish sister sounded...appealing. But those sort of acts never brought redress.
I was sure Minx would learn that after she killed Spray.
I pushed myself to my feet and took my lover's hand. She skipped along, jangling with a few choice necklaces she looted from the dragon's horde. Angela offered us each an equal share. I had given the knight mine while Thrak and Faoril had loaded Aurora's horse with as much as it could carry, treasure to give to Thyrna and pay for her crew.
They had plans of their own.
“It feels so strange to be parting,” Faoril said, “after all these months in united purpose.”
Angela only nodded, her face resolved. She stood with Sophia, Aurora, and Chaun as they said their goodbyes to the orc and the mage. “We achieved our goal. The dragon's dead.”
“Yeah,” Faoril said, her voice choking. “I just hope you'll be safe. We're all still fugitives. The Doge might send more bounty hunters after you.”
Angela shrugged, her hand touching the sword at her hilt. The High King's blade. We had really done it. When I met her, saving my life from the basilisk, I never imagined I would end here, loving a halfling, turning my back on my forest.
“She will kill them all,” Thrak laughed. “And attract followers of her own. They will flock to Angela Dragonslayer.”
The knight winced. “Not a name I would choose.”
“We never do get to choose the names others give us,” Thrak said.
“I suppose not,” Angela sighed. She extended her hand and Thrak clasped it, engulfing hers with his swarthy grip. “The Gods give you safe travels and may Vedr only give you fair winds.”
“I still can't believe you two are going to be pirates,” Sophia said, shaking her head. “I know Thyrna's your pet, but still.”
“Explorers,” Faoril said. “Not pirates.”
“Riiiight,” Sophia said, a big grin on her face.
“Take care,” Aurora said, throwing her arms around Faoril's neck, snuggling her cheek against the mage's.
“Take care of your husband,” Faoril said, then a naughty smile grew on her lips. “Make sure he takes on Thrak's form every so often.”
Aurora's cheeks went crimson. “I will.”
Angela moved to me. “I know you're coming back, but... I will miss you, Xera. You've been our guide.”
I embraced her, my ears twitching. “Take care of your acolyte.”
“I'll keep her out of trouble,” Angela said. “She needs a stern hand.”
“I do,” Sophia sighed. Then she joined the hug. “Be safe, Xera. Don't let Minx get you killed.”
“I wouldn't get her killed!” Minx bristled beside me.
Sophia broke the hug to give Minx an arched look.
“Well, I'll do my best not to,” the halfling admitted. “I'm more than a little fond of her.”
“Her or her elf-cock?”
Minx gave Sophia such a naughty grin. “Both!”
Sophia laughed and bent down, hugging the halfling and kissing her on the lips.
Chaun stepped up to me. “Take care, Xera. We'll watch over the bulb until you return.”
“We'll see she's watered and ensure no weeds try to choke her,” Aurora promised, slipping up beside her husband, her cheeks still bright-red.
“Thanks,” I said then hugged them both. “You take care of each other.”
“I will,” Chaun said, his voice breaking as he returned the embrace.
And then we broke apart. Faoril was already on her horse. Minx scrabbled on behind her. Thrak held the reins to Aurora's horse turned packhorse, laden with treasure. I walked to him. Together, we marched down the scarred remains of the road that once must have been so prosperous, but now was choked by nature, reclaiming what the humans had merely borrowed.
It was truly over. The Quest was done, and now a new journey stretched before us. Because that is all life was, one journey after another. Events would happen to change our direction, to change who we traveled with, but it never stopped even if we no longer headed for the destination we expected.
The ground rumbled behind me. I felt it through the soles of my feet. Aurora's elementals getting to work clearing out the foundation of a new temple, a new place of hope for the future of the world. I couldn't wait to watch it grow.
I was so tired when I sank down into my bed past nightfall, already missing Faoril, Xera, Minx, and Thrak. After they left, we spent the day planning out the temple and clearing brush. Aurora's elementals were a huge help, and Chaun, it turned out, had studied more than music at the Bardic College of Az. He actually knew something about architecture.
I snuggled against my Queen. She would only ever be my Queen, no one else's. It was bittersweet that she wouldn't be High Queen, and yet it pleased me I was her only subject. I rested my head on her arm. Already, she was a sleep. She didn't have quite the amount of energy as before, Gewin's blessing having ended the moment she completed her Quest—slaying Dominari.
Poor Lady Delilah...
That damned Slata ruined everything. She was such a cunt of a Goddess. And there was nothing we could do about her. We were mere mortals. She was beyond us, dwelling in the Astral Realm, in her own place of power. Pater himself, the King of Existence, the being who had created the universe with Matar, would protect his wife. He may cheat on her at every chance he could, but he loved her and was devoted to her.
Jealous bitch didn't deserve it.
Anger spiked through me as I sank into dreams. Anger at Slata and at the High Virgin. She had profaned the selection ritual, not allowing Angela's Quest to be chosen at random, but tarnishing Saphique's name by choosing it. And for such selfish reasons.
A tax break!
It wasn't right.
The soft sound of waves lapping on a beach washed through me. My eyes fluttered open onto an azure sky, a blue so pure, so perfect. Warmth wafted around me. Women laughed and giggled and moaned in pleasure.
I smiled, waking up in my Goddess's realm, the Isle of Women. Every God and Goddess had their own domain in the Astral Realm, their own pocket where they welcomed their faithful followers, providing them with an eternity of peace and joy.
And such joy was found here. As I sat upon the soft sand, my body naked, I smiled at the women making love in the surf around me, their skin a variety of hues. And they weren't all human. I spotted a few halflings and even an orc female. There were no avians or dwarves. I thought I even spotted a warty goblin though.
I stood up and then shuddered as a slim figure hugged me from behind, her breasts small, her pubic hair silk on my ass. I shuddered as her hands rubbed at my stomach, her lips nuzzling at my neck. My Goddess...
“Well done, my dear Sophia,” she told me, rubbing at my stomach. “Your daughter will change everything.”
“Proving that women can breed with women?” I said, a giddy rush shooting through me. “That your followers can experience every aspect of womanhood without touching a man.”
“Yes,” she smiled. “Something good that came out of my sister's meddling.”
“They aren't the only ones who meddled,” I said, my anger growing.
Saphique sighed. “Mortals are forever corrupt.”
“You know?” I gasped. “That your High Virgin corrupted your ritual?”
“She is not my High Virgin, but yours,” Saphique said. “She was selected by mortals. I do not interfere. So long as I am worshiped, I allow mortals to tend to their affairs.”
“But...” I spluttered. “Doesn't it make you angry?”
“It makes me disappointed. They betrayed a woman for greed.” She shook her head. “She and her accomplice will not find rest on my island when they finally pass.”
“That's it?” I demanded. “They won't get to come here when they die? She still gets to be High Virgin?”
“Mortals made their decision. They have consequences.”
I spun in her embrace, staring into her eyes. “You won't do anything?”
“I did do something. I gave you magic before you were ready.” She smiled. “You're building a new temple to me. A new order of hermaphrodite priestesses will one day serve there, descendants of you and Angela. Especially Angela. And new knights. A new balance. Perhaps those who follow will not be as corrupted.
“But greed lies in the heart of us all, even the Gods.”
“That's depressing,” I muttered.
“But without temptation, how can you choose to do right?” She smiled. “That's a remarkable thing, don't you think?”
“You are young. It's easy to see things with such clarity, but as you get older, things start to blur. Nothing is really so simple. The High Virgin thought she was doing something good for my church.”
“And she just had to sacrifice me,” I muttered.
“She did,” sighed Saphique. “And she'll pay for those decisions one day. Just like you'll pay for your decisions.”
My eyebrows furrowed. “What?”
Her hand slid down, rubbing at my stomach. “You had sex with a hermaphrodite, and now a child grows in your belly. The wages for your decisions. It's not always bad.”
I beamed at her. “No, it's not.”
“Treasure your life with Angela. Love her. Support her.”
“I'm her acolyte,” I breathed. “Her concubine.”
She smiled. “You are, my priestess.”
Saphique's lips brushed mine. Heat shocked through me. My pussy fluttered. I groaned, undulating against her. My shaved snatch rubbed on her smooth, silky thigh. Pleasure burned through my clit as her lips consumed me. My hand slid down Saphique's belly, reaching for her pussy. I found her clit throbbing in her folds.
I massaged it.
“Sophia,” a voice whispered. “Someone's horny.”
“Your temple has my blessing, Priestess,” Saphique said despite her lips on mine. “The Temple of Dragon's Rest will prosper.”
The clit swelled in my fingers as my eyes fluttered open. I stared into Angela's eyes in the dark of her tent. I could just make them out through the moonlight bleeding through our canvas tent. Her cock swelled in my stroking hand while my pussy ground on her thigh.
“Sorry,” I moaned, my thumb running over the spongy crown of her dick. “Saphique visited me in my dreams. She blessed our temple.”
“Good,” Angela moaned, her body trembling.
“She called it Dragon's Rest.” I trembled. “I like the sound of it, my Queen.”
“I'm your Knight,” Angela corrected. “And you're my acolyte. I'm no queen.”
I shuddered, hearing the command in her voice. “Always.”
She claimed my lips in a kiss. I shuddered, feeling the heat of her. It stirred even more passion through me than my Goddess. My heart fluttered. I ground my pregnant pussy harder against her thigh as her girl-dick throbbed in my hand.
Then she rolled me onto my back. Her pillowy breasts brushed mine as her weight settled upon me. Our hard nipples kissed, hers fatter than mine. I shuddered, still gripping her cock. I rubbed the tip into my belly, smearing hot precum across my skin as our tongues danced, my tongue stud caressing along the roof of her mouth.
She broke the kiss, her red hair caressing my cheeks. “My submissive acolyte.”
“Yes,” I breathed. “I love you, my Knight.” I liked saying it. The sphinx was right, I was fit to be a Queen's concubine. But I liked being a Knight's acolyte more. Prophecies didn't have to control us, they merely...pointed out alternatives.
The choice was still ours.
Angela's lips burned as they nibbled down my chin to my neck. I groaned, squirming, loving the heat as she sucked and nibbled. My body trembled. My pussy clenched. Juices burned, staining my thighs. I rubbed them together, groaning in pure delight. My heart raced. This was so hot. I couldn't believe this was happening.
It was awesome.
Her tongue licked and her lips nibbled. I kept a firm grip on her girl-cock, her pussy juices trickling down her shaft, as she nuzzled lower and lower. Her breasts dragged down my body, nipples leaving burning furrows in their wake. She kissed to my breasts, her cock moving farther and farther away until I had to let go of it.
Her hands cupped my breasts, squeezing them in her hand. I shuddered as she squeezed them. Her fingers swept over my nipples. I trembled, groaning at her touch. She made me shiver in delight, my pussy clenching.
“My Knight,” I moaned, my eyes fluttering.
I gasped as she engulfed my right nipple. She sucked on it, her tongue swirling, loving my nub. It was a slow slide, teasing me. She flicked my nipple before engulfing it in her hot mouth, sucking hard once before her lips popped off. Pleasure raced down to my pussy. It clenched. My back arched.
So good. She was so wonderful. So amazing.
She sucked on my nipple, nipping, tugging, driving me wild with delight. Her back arched, her hips swiveled. I groaned, my hands digging into our blankets as the pleasure shot down to my pussy.
“My Knight,” I whimpered as her teeth nipped my nipple, adding a splash of pain, my hips humping, rubbing my wet pussy on her stomach.
“Someone's getting wet,” Angela purred, her fingernails biting into my small, firm tits. I loved the pain. “Aren't you?”
“You always make me so wet, my Knight!”
“Good.” She shivered. “because you make me so wet and so hard.”
“And that's new,” I giggled.
“So new.” There was something in her voice, a moment of pain, of grief for Lady Delilah.
Tears burned hot at my eyes, too. I missed her. That one night we shared was rapturous. I would have gladly shared my Queen with the dragon.
And then my Knight engulfed my other nipple, sucking so hard. Pleasure banished grief. I moaned, my back arching, pressing my stomach into her pillowy breasts. My hands shot out, squeezing them, loving how soft they were as she played with my nipple.
And then she worked lower. She left my breasts behind, kissing and smooching down my stomach. Her lips nuzzled at my bellybutton. Her tongue probed, brushing my piercing dangling down my stomach. I groaned, giggling and whimpering.
“My Knight!” I gasped. “Oh, that's so naughty.”
“Not as naughty as this,” she purred, pushing lower, her hands thrusting my thighs as wide apart as they could, my pussy lips parting.
“Yes!” I moaned as she licked through my folds.
Tonight, she wanted to give me pleasure, to love me. So much had happened yesterday. We both almost died, but we survived. Other nights, I would serve her, worship her, but this one night it was all about my pleasure. She had to give this to me.
And I loved her so much for it.
I bucked and moaned, grounding on her face. My pussy slid across her folds while her tongue probed into my depths. I shivered, my ass clenching as she swirled and swept through my pussy. She had learned so much from all the many times I had gone down on her over the last six months.
I had taught her how to love women.
My hands cupped my small breasts as I shivered, the pleasure building and building. I didn't fight it, I didn't hold back, waiting for my Knight's command to cum. I groaned, letting the delight burn through me.
“Angela!” I cried out as the pleasure burst through my pussy. It washed out of my cunt and through my body. “Yes, yes, yes!”
Her eyes shone as they looked up at me from between my thighs. Her tongue probed my folds. She made me tremble and groan. My legs twitched and my toes curled as her tongue lapped through my cumming folds. Wave after wave of pleasure washed through me, crashing through my mind. It was wonderful. I treasured it.
I squeezed my breasts harder and harder. My fingers dug into my folds as the rapture burned through my mind. It was such a heady rush. My eyes fluttered. I shivered and moaned out my joy as I bucked against her.
“Angela,” I panted. “Oh, wow. Oh, yes, that's soooooo good. I love you so much.”
“I love you,” she purred between laps, caressing through my passion.
I shuddered, twisting on the blankets, loving this so much. Her tongue was amazing. Her fingers squeezed into my ass as she kept my pussy planted tight against her hungry mouth. She drank my tart juices as they flooded out of me.
She left me drunk on pleasure.
And then she rose. Her heavy breasts dragged up my body. She draped herself over me. I trembled as her lips claimed mine. They were seasoned with my tart passion. I kissed her with such greedy hunger, my tongue swirling about her lips as my arms clutched around her neck, holding her.
And then I felt her girl-cock nudging at the still-cumming entrance of my pussy. I widened as she slid into my convulsing sheath. I moaned into her kiss as she filled me. Her thick shaft spread me open as she speared deeper and deeper.
A woman's cock. What a beautiful thing.
I heaved against her as she pumped in and out of me, thrusting with such passion. She was so horny, so in need of her acolyte's satisfaction. My Knight fucked me hard. I loved it. I embraced the friction of her shaft pumping in and out of my depths.
“Yes, yes, yes, my Knight,” I gasped when she broke the kiss, our nipples kissing, her cock driving faster and faster into me. “Spill your seed in my pregnant pussy. Cum in me. Satiate your lusts!”
“Yes,” she groaned, pumping away. Her cock slammed so deep into me. It speared into my depths, churning me into a hot froth, another orgasm boiling through me. “I'm going to cum and cum and cum into your sweet snatch!”
“Good!” I howled. “I'm your acolyte! It's my job to support you! Love you!”
She kissed me again, her tongue thrusting into my mouth. I shuddered at the pleasure. My body drank in the delight of her dick spearing over and over into me. It had me dizzy with passion. It had me trembling in rapture. This was amazing. This was what I wanted. I held her so tight as our bodies writhed.
And then she buried into me. She moaned into my lips as her seed flooded me. That hot delight of her girl-cum spilling in me. Together, we would create something new. Something wonderful. What we would build at Dragon's Rest would stand for eternity.
I just knew it.
I cried tears of joy as I trembled beneath my Knight, submitting to her love and passion.