Aingeal faces the pain of her past as she helps Sven destroy the Lodestone!
The Rogue's Harem
Book One: Rogue's Sultry Harem
Part Sixteen: The Faerie's Pain
Note: Thanks to B0b for beta reading this.
Chapter Forty-Six: The Fairy's Pain
Aingeal's wings fluttered as she concentrated on the Lodestone. Her eyes grew unfocused, her breathing slowing, her large breasts rising and falling. Light played along the gold rings piercing her nipples.
“What do you think she's doing, Master?” Zanyia asked as she crouched beside me in that cat-like manner she was fond of. Her tawny years twitched and flicked, her tail swishing behind her.
“Breaking the stone,” I answered.
“I know that,” the lamia said. I could hear the eye roll in her words. “But how? She's just staring at it.”
“I'm directing the spirits that neither of you can see,” Aingeal said, her voice strained. “But they are not very cooperative here. We are trespassing.”
She said that last word with such vehemence. I hadn't pried at her loathing for Duke Gallchobhar, but it was clear she detested the faerie lord. He had done something to Aingeal that got her banished from her home to our world.
If he worked with Prince Meinard in something as heinous as this... My gaze swept around the humans in the stocks, drooling, their souls slaved to statues in our world. I could only imagine the crimes Duke Gallchobhar committed against my new faerie-wife.
My hand rested on Zanyia's head, scratching between her ears. They flicked against my flesh. A purr rose in her throat. Her tail swished faster, jutting out against the pale, naked swell of her ass. Her back arched, supple skin almost glowing in the alien moonlight of Faerie.
“The enchantment is strong,” Aingeal added. “A mage of some strength did this.”
“Yes, Ava mentioned her father employs a master mage. This is his work. Magic combined with imbuing to make this... monstrosity.”
Zanyia let out an angry hiss.
“This will take some time,” Aingeal added. Her jaw set. Her big breasts jiggled as she stamped her feet. “Come on, spirits. Stop fighting me. This was my father's land! Don't you remember me?”
Then I saw it. More than strain to disenchant the Lodestone tensed her face. Pain twitched her cheeks and set her jaw. Yes, Duke Gallchobhar had hurt her. Done something terrible to her family. Killed her father? Definitely usurped her family's land. So that made her a duke's daughter. A noble faerie.
Her wings fluttered. Then purple energy flickered around the edges. I saw faint glimmers streaming from her hands towards the lodestone. A nimbus flickered around the stone. An aura just perceptible to my sight.
Zanyia's ears flicked. “Master!”
“What?” I asked, scratching between her ears.
The ground shook. Thud. Thud. Thud. I groaned, throwing a look over my shoulder. Two of the treemen trudged towards us. In the distance, my sister's bonfire no longer roared, her illusion snuffed out. My stomach twisted. A sick oil writhed through my guts then through my veins. My heart ached, laboring to pump blood through me.
“Master!” Zanyia shouted again. Then she threw her slender body into me.
She caught me off-balance. I stumbled to the side, my lamia slave's limbs wrapped about my body, her entire form trembling. I opened my mouth to shout at her and throw her off when something flashed down from the sky striking where I stood.
Purple energy burst, leaving a scorch mark on the ground.
Wings flapped above. A faerie appeared, looking like a young and beautiful man. The type of effeminate perfection that could almost pass for the feminine but has too much masculine in the square of the jaw and the muscles of the chest.
Purple energy swirled in front of him as he aimed at Aingeal.
Sven's shout jerked my head from my task. I stopped directing the blue abjuration spirits at the lodestone when I saw him. Duke Gallchobhar fluttered in the sky above. Evocation spirits rushed in front of him. The red balls of light danced and swirled into a blast of energy, purple light flaring at the edges as he directed the attack at me.
My heart exploded in fright, my stomach sinking.
My wings flapped hard as I redirected the abjuration spirits. They fought my will. They didn't want to obey me in the presence of the duke. But I grit my teeth and ripped them into place as the beam lanced down. The air crackled with energy. The evocation spirits hurtled down at me encased in purple plasma.
The attack slammed into the abjuration spirits.
Violet energy rippled before me. The air crackled. My skin tingled from the released energy. Sven and Zanyia shouted, the pair thrown to the ground by one of the stocks, my husband cradling the lamia in his arms as they hit.
The beam ended. The evocation spirits surged in every direction, bouncing off my shield. They recovered, arching back towards him for another attack. I leapt into the air, my butterfly wings flapping with frantic need.
A beam knifed at me. It swept beneath my feet as I soared higher and higher. The energy struck my feyhound, shattering its wicker body and releasing the spirits animating it. Then the attack crashed into a stock. Wood pulverized. The insensate human didn't make a sound as the evocation spirit blasted his flesh into torn bits of bloody meat.
“You monster!” I snarled at him, anger at losing Cú Mheá swept up in the horror of the poor humans death. “Have you no propriety! To hurt the innocent.”
“If you hadn't dodged it, Aingeal, he would still live,” the duke said, his voice melodious, even beautiful. Far too beautiful.
How did I ever love this thing? How could I miss his black heart? That damned smile!
“So you would murder a daughter of Cernere?” I demanded. “Murder her where she stands.”
“It's death for you to return to Faerie after what you did, Aingeal.” He grinned. “Covering our beloved queen in iron... She still remembers the pain.”
“Only because you arranged for her to enter the glade! You used me to destroy my father and usurp his land.”
“Does that take away your guilt?” He asked. “You brought iron into Faerie. You plotted to dump it on your father's rival. Is that any better than the Queen herself?”
“Duchess Oona deserved to be covered in iron for what she did! And so do you! My father is dead because of what you did.”
He shook his head. “Always blaming others for your actions, Aingeal. You broke his heart. You sent him to his grave with your treason against our beloved Queen.”
I screeched in rage. My will shot out to the spirits of evocation swirling around him, grabbing those at the edge to fashion my own attack. They fought me. The little balls shuddered and darted back and forth, struggling to escape my will as I fashioned my attack.
Duke Gallchobhar had no such trouble. The spirits of evocation flocked to him. They swirled around him like larks singing to a pair of lovers. I gritted my teeth and threw my attack at him with a screech of rage, a pitiful beam of purple energy with only a dozen evocation spirits in the core.
With a negligent wave of his hand, a horde of blue abjuration spirits swirled about him. They formed a vortex, deflecting my attack with ease. The evocation spirits I sent to kill him didn't return to me. They darted to him, gathering in his hand.
“Cernere's black cunt!” I screamed as he aimed his beam.
The air crackled above me. The heat of his attack licked at the soles of my feet as I darted for the stocks, glimpsing Sven and Zanyia fighting with the treemen. I pulled out of my descent, my wings flapping hard. Energy built behind me.
I dashed to the right.
A magenta beam hissed by. My right wing ached from the heat of its passage. The attack struck the ground in a violet explosion. Stocks ripped apart. Three more humans killed, unable to defend themselves. Tears stung in my eyes.
I had to do something!
I reached out to the world. I gathered more abjuration spirits. I yanked the unwilling entities to me. I forced them to swirl around me as I climbed. A purple beam struck my new shield. Abjuration spirits flew in all directions, knocked free by the intensity of the attack.
I struggled to draw them back to me. I fought against his will. They recognized his authority. The spirits that once served my father now obeyed his usurper. Such anger boiled through me. I climbed higher and higher, struggling to snatch up every spirit I could that the bastard didn't control.
It wasn't enough.
A beam shot at me.
I crashed through the brush as the treeman stomped after me. The vegetation parted around him. Trees bent out of the way. Bushes pulled back their branches to let the towering monster follow. The treeman creaked and groaned with every booming step.
I had to think. I needed to think. What could I do?
I dodged around a thick pine tree, its trunk as wide as I was tall. I circled it. The trunk was too big to bend out of the treemen's way. He lumbered around it, struggling to get to me as my mind whirled. What could I do?
I was a radiant of Rithi. I had her blessing. I had mastered the Arts of Painting, Dancing, and Love-Making. I had spells at my disposal. Illusions would not work. Not when the treeman knew I could make them. And that faerie lord might still be around. He could just disrupt them.
Rithi's spell didn't grant complete invisibility. Moving gave you away.
I could daze it. One of the spells from my mastery of painting. Yes, yes, I could daze it. Nathalie had already escaped. The other two treemen headed back to the lodestone. My brother would need my help there.
I needed fresh paint. I shoved my hand between my thighs, my pussy still juicy from my masturbation. A hot shudder ran through me as I stroked myself. I gathered the cream on my fingers and then darted to the right now, putting myself out before the treeman.
He let out a creaking bellow. Something hard thrust from his crotch, a polished shaft of wood. I shuddered. Treemen were sons of Las, an all-male race. They would need dual-sex females, such as a human woman like me, to reproduce with.
I did not want to be seeded with a treeman's sapling.
I flicked my fingers before me, spraying my pussy juice at the monster and shouted, “Rithi, paint an image of profound beauty for his appreciation.”
Magic flashed in the air before it. An image of a willowy tree appeared, faint and shimmering to me, but to the treeman, it should entrance it. Blossoms appeared, orange and delicate. I shuddered, backing away slowly and—
The treeman's branch-like arm swept through the dazing illusion. For some reason, the treeman wasn't affected by the spell. He saw through it. Perhaps he'd been in Faerie too long and built up an immunity to illusions.
Or perhaps his race had no appreciation of art.
I ducked his branch, my heart racing. I rolled onto my hands and feet, scrambling to dart away. My feet slipped on pine needles and wet earth, soaked by the treeman's futile attempt to put out my illusory fire.
“No!” I gasped as the treeman creaked behind me.
Its hand seized me by the waist. Woody fingers wrapped about my naked torso. I screamed as he hauled me up into the air. My hands beat at its gnarled knuckles. My feet kicked in the air as my hair swept behind me. The treeman lifted me up to face his acorn eyes. They twitched, studying me. The moss-like beard bristled.
A thick tongue appeared from his mouth, licking at my thigh, gathering my juices.
“Rithi, no!” I shouted as my skin crawled. My breasts heaved, the ruby pendant bouncing between my tits. I had to think of another spell. How could I get out of this short of having sex with him?
But if he had sex with me... I could entrance him that way. I could use magic to befuddle his mind to me, make him a slave to my pussy. I shuddered, my pussy growing hotter as his tongue reached my snatch.
And licked across it.
I bucked and moaned out in humiliated pleasure. His gnarled tongue felt good rasping across my shaved pussy lips.
Chapter Forty-Seven: The Lodestone
The treemen lumbered closer and closer. I stared at the Lodestone. Light flashed above. My hands clenched. We were so close. I wanted to just draw my sword and hit the stone. To break it apart and free all those humans behind them.
“Master,” Zanyia yowled. She bristled at my feet. “They're getting closer.”
“I can hear that,” I snarled. I threw a look over my shoulder at the two approaching treemen towering over the stocks.
An idea popped into my head.
“You take the one on the right,” I snapped.
“Of course, Master.” She paused. “How?”
“I don't know. But you're creative, Zanyia. You'll think of something.”
“I have a dumb idea,” I said, the treemen splitting apart, navigating through the pit traps. “It probably won't work.”
“I hope it does. I would hate to have to find a new master.” Zanyia gave me a toothy grin. “Where would I find one with a cock as amazing as yours?”
I grinned back at her. “You know just what to say, don't you?”
“I'm your slave, Master. Swelling your ego is part of the job!” Then she sprang onto the nearby stocks occupied by a naked woman with gray hair. She leaped to the next one, yowling like an angry bobcat.
I took a deep breath as violent light exploded to the right. I winced as more innocents died. I wished I could do something about the duke, but Aingeal would have to handle him. I had my own problems to deal with.
A big problem.
The treeman lumbered closer, towering over me.
Such anger boiled through me at the spirits. I focused it, ripping at them, whipping them with my will. I cajoled them to lance at Duke Gallchobhar as we danced through the sky. But my attacks were so feeble. He hardly had to think to get the abjuration spirits to disrupt it.
And the evocation spirits...
They were so happy to try and kill me for him.
I swooped to the right, to the left, dodging streams of the spirits. I could feel the delight they took in serving the lord of this land. Tears stung at my eyes. To think even the land would acknowledge Duke Gallchobhar's usurpation. I thought they would remember my father.
The wind whipping by me as I soared over the field swept off the tears from my cheeks. This wasn't my home any longer. He poisoned it against me. Turned the land, the spirits, to his side. They gave him fealty and tried to murder their rightful ruler.
This should be my land. My father was dead. I was his heir.
I hated Duke Gallchobhar. I screeched in impotent fury as I dodged and dived. I struggled to together more spirits. While a horde of them danced around him. They were so thick about him, a sea of reds and blues swimming back and forth, I could hardly see him in the middle now. As we flew over the lands, he swept up even more, pulling them to him. They rose from the ground, from the sky, from the forest.
But less and less came for me.
The beams came faster and faster. I clutched to the few abjuration spirits I had, kept them behind me. I couldn't do anything else. I couldn't attack any longer. Not with his defenses. Every attack that struck my shield knocked off an abjuration spirit or two.
He seized them.
My defenses dwindled bit by bit. How long could I fight against him? How long before he killed me?
It wasn't fair. I returned. I should have been welcomed back. They should have helped me overthrow him. It was the right thing to do. They shouldn't help him with the perversity he committed in Faerie. If the Queen knew about this, she would have him executed.
More tears fell as I dodged another beam. They came so fast. Firing with hardly a heartbeat between them. The sky blazed with streaks of purple light arching in every direction. I zigged, I zagged.
I was dead. I couldn't keep this up.
I dove forward. The branch-like arm of the treeman slammed in the ground behind me. Clods of earth sprayed in the air. Such force in that blow. But would it be enough? I rolled and came to my feet, hacking with my short sword.
I slammed into the woody bark of the treeman's shin. My sword gouged in an inch. A spray of splinters flew. My weapon rebounded. A jarring ache shook through my hand and into my arm. My elbow creaked.
A short sword was not the right weapon to use here.
The treeman let out a creaking, puffing wheeze. Heezzz-heezzz-heezzz. Laughing at me. “Tickles, little man.”
I sheathed my blade and sprang between his legs, racing behind it. The treeman lumbered to turn around. The ground shook as he followed after me. I raced around the Lodestone as it swung again. I heard the air rushing at me. I ran faster.
I poured my all into it. My legs pumped. My boots thudded on the trampled grass. The air whooshed behind me. A wind swept over me. The ground rumbled beneath my feet. I tripped, sprawling hard and rolling as sprays of dirt flew over me.
Heezzz-heezzz-heezzz. “Did you trip and fall, little man?”
A shadow fell on me.
“Las's putrid cock!” I snarled and rolled to the side, crashing into the base of the stockade.
The branch-like arm slammed into the dirt where I had lay. The force of the blow sent a hard gust of wind sweeping over me, ruffling my blonde hair. The ground shook. More dirt flew in an explosion from that branch.
It hit hard. Now I just had to get it to strike the right spot.
I stood up as the branch swung laterally across the ground at me. I leaped, pulling my legs up into the ball. The arm surged beneath me, crashing into the stock. I winced as the young man's body burst free and crashed with a sickening crumple into another stock.
I landed, anger surging through me. “Hit me, you wooden oaf!”
“Nimble, little men. Like grasshopper.” Heezzz-heezzz-heezzz. “Me smash you good!”
Foot raised. I darted away as it slammed down hard. The ground shook. I fought to keep my balance, stumbling into another stock. I gripped it for a moment, then cursed, darting away from it. I couldn't stay near them. I couldn't let this thing kill the helpless people I was here to rescue.
I darted around the lodestone. My plan better work. I had no idea how else to kill one of these damned walking trees. I wasn't a lumberjack.
The arm slammed into the ground where I stood. I hissed as I flew through the air, my tail shifting to control my balance. I landed on a stock, my foot smashing into the woman's face. She made not a sound. Then I leaped again at the treeman.
I landed on his rough chest. I scrambled at his bark for purchase. My fingers and toes dug into his knobbly exterior. My tail swished in pleasure as the treeman let out a creaking grunt. He drew back his hand, forming a battering fist, and slammed it at me.
I scrambled up, grabbing his mossy beard. I hauled up and onto his shoulder as he punched himself in the chest. Wood cracked. The treeman shuddered. I clutched onto my perch as his body shook hard. A wheezing cough rumbled from his throat.
I laughed in delight and darted down his back as he reached for me on his shoulder. My claws scraped across his wooden skin. Sawdust and splinters fell around my hands as I dug into his shoulder blades. I bit with sharp teeth, gnawing at him.
“Is this how your kind mates, cat-girl?” the treeman asked. “Back scratching? My cock is in front.”
I spat out a piece of wood? “Mate, with you? I already have one. And his cock is better than yours.”
“That little man? He run from brother. His cock not big like mine. I stretch you out.”
“No thanks. I like keeping my cunt nice and tight.”
“Will be tight on treeman dick!”
“And how are you going to get me to mate with you?” I asked as his hands struggled to reach around him. He wasn't that flexible, made of all that stiff wood. “You can't even grab me. I'll just burrow through your bark bit by bit.” I ripped off another piece and threw it to the ground. “I bet there's something beneath all this woody exterior that will be fun to sink my teeth into.”
He let out a snort of anger and I laughed in delight.
“This is so dumb,” I groaned, pressing my back against the lodestone. “Las's putrid cum, but this is dumb.”
But I had no choice. The Gods damned treeman just refused to cooperate. He wouldn't throw his blows where I needed them to land. I glanced up at the sky. Aingeal swooped and dived as beam after beam launched form that damn faerie lord.
He was too high for my throwing daggers or hand crossbow. I couldn't do anything for her. So I had to do something else. Something that would help. If things were going bad for us, at least I would make Prince Meinard weep.
The Lodestone quivered. I felt it vibrating through my black leather jerkin and into my back. Energy filled it. Brimmed in it. Aingeal had weakened the spell. Now I just had to hope that this would work.
The treeman lumbered up before me, laughing: heezzz-heezzz-heezzz.
And I hoped I could dodge.
“Yes, yes, you scared of treeman, little man.” It drew back its gnarled arm. Wood creaked and groaned together as its joints moved. Its branch-like fingers balled into a thick fist looking as tough as a club wielded by a hulking ogre. “You should be.”
“Just get it over with,” I growled. “Your breath smells like a log rotting in a swamp. Turns my stomach.”
The treeman blinked acorn eyes. “Turn... stomach. How does stomach turn?”
I groaned. Great. I confused him. “Just punch, you Las-damned pile of walking kindling!”
“Kindling!” bellowed the treeman. “You think burn me?”
His fist hurtled at me.
I dove beneath it. I hit the grass with a hard roll. I heard the screaming roar of his punch sweeping over me. Wood cracked into stone as I gained my feet and dove between his legs. A great hum split the air. Then a violent flash of light—
Something punched me in the back. My body flew like a ragdoll. The light bathed around me. Wood snapped and groaned. The treeman bellowed in agony. I struck the grass hard, rolling between stocks. I came to rest on my back, blinking against the bright light staining my vision. I couldn't see anything but a smearing after blur.
Something toppled to the ground. The treeman wheezed. Large thuds rained around me, striking the ground, hitting stocks. More streaked through the air. I blinked against the blur, spotted glowing chunks of something streaking across the skies, a shower of stars that was far, far too close to me.
“It worked,” I groaned, my entire back aching. “It Gods damned work.”
The pieces of the Lodestone fell to ground in blazing streaks. I laughed as the treeman wheezed. I sat up, more and more of my vision returning. My entire back felt peeled. Smoke rose off my leather jerkin. I shuddered at the sight of the treeman's arm blazing like a torch. He lay on his back, thrashing on top of a crushed stockade.
I winced. “Sorry,” I whispered to the dead human.
The fire ate down the treeman's arm. He burned so fast. He crackled and popped. His moss beard burst alight. Thick smoke rose in the air. I sucked in a breath, my heart laboring. The world spun about me. I looked up at the two faerie struggling to fly in the sky, dodging the last pieces of the Lodestone soaring through the air.
I groaned and forced myself to stand. My women were still in danger. It wasn't over.
A great light flooded through the trees. A rumbling crack echoed through the air. The treeman pulled my pussy away from his licking tongue. He stared out at the fading illumination. Glowing bits streaked through the air and rained down across the meadow.
“They did it,” I breathed.
The treeman's grip tightened on my torso. I screamed out in pain. The branch-like fingers rasped across my skin. Everything grew so tight in my stomach. I felt my orgasm shifting as he squeezed me. My back arched. My innards wanted to burst out of my body.
“Our duty!” the treeman snarled. “Pussy distract me. You distract me.”
“Didn't... mean...” I shuddered. “Kill me... no... no... fucking... my... pussy...” Every word was a labor to speak. His grip tightened. I couldn't even suck in a breath. My head pounded as all the blood rushed to my skull.
It hurt so badly. I didn't want to die I didn't want to be squeezed so hard my head popped off.
“Bad pussy!” roared the tree.
My brother's face filled my mind. I held onto it. I hoped he would be happy with Ava. That she would help him grieve my death. I didn't want it to consume him. He'd already lost our parents and our sister.
Any more pain might destroy him.
Chapter Forty-Eight: The True Prize
My wings flapped frantically as I dodged a burning piece of the Lodestone. I swept around it, felt the heat of the blazing stone. I didn't know how Sven did it. But he found away. I grinned as I straightened up my flight.
If he could find a way to destroy the lodestone, then I could find a way to defeat Duke Gallchobhar. I just had to wound him and...
Spirits made poor defense against iron and my husband was covered in throwing knives. He had his hand crossbow. He could inflict real damage on the bastard. I cast my gaze around and spotted him struggling to stand up near the smoking ruin of the Lodestone and a burning treeman.
I smiled and turned, diving for him.
A purple beam soared over my head. I shuddered. The duke had recovered from the explosion and hunted me. I flapped faster and faster, streaking for the ground and for Sven. I shouted his name, needing to get his attention and—
Energy surged behind me. I twisted my body, diving harder for the ground. The evocation spirits encased in the beam of purple magic slammed into my wings. Pain burned. My wings dissolved in the attack of the spirits. I shoved them away as the world tumbled, fighting to keep them from finding my flesh.
From killing me.
“Sven!” I screamed in fear, the ground and sky whirling past me as I plummeted towards the ground.
Arms caught me. Sven grunted, stumbling to his knees as he cradled me in his arms. I whimpered in pain, my butterfly wings burned down to numbing wounds on my back. My head swirled as I stared up at his blue eyes.
Such loving blue eyes. He caught me. He saved my life. Kora was right to trick me into agreeing to be his husband. She knew this man. Behind his cavalier attitude and mocking grin, he had such a loving heart.
The pain swallowed my thoughts and plunged me into soothing darkness.
The treeman staggered as the light flooded around him. I clutched to his back as a great roaring surged through the air. I gripped on tight and laughed even louder as chunks of the Lodestone rained down from the sky.
“That's what a real man does with a real cock!” I yowled. “Not some wooden mockery, but real flesh and blood!”
The treeman roared in maddened rage. My tail swished. I ripped out another chunk of his bark and there it was. I could see the softer wood beneath, that pulpy flesh oozing a clear liquid. The scent of sweet sap filled my nostrils.
I had him.
I dug my claws into his flesh. His maddened roar became one of creaking pain. He twisted and swayed his back, trying to jerk me off with violence of his body. My claws gripped his wood, fighting against the force wanting to throw me off of him.
I wouldn't be thrown off so easily. When he tired, I tore out another chunk, my fingers grown sticky with sap. It ran thick down my fingers. I purred so loudly, my ears twitching. I would find his gnarled tree heart and rip it to pieces.
With a mighty bellow, the treeman threw himself backward.
The air rushed past me. The ground soared up at us. My eyes widened in realization. With a yowl, I leaped to the right moments before he made booming impact with the earth. I landed on nimble hands and feet, my tail swishing to keep my balance.
“That's not fair!” I hissed. “Cheater!”
He let out a rumbling laughter as he pushed himself to his feet. Now how was I supposed to kill him?
Aingeal went limp in my arms. Fear clutched at my heart, banishing the pain in my back. I struggled to breathe until I saw my faerie-wife's breasts rise and fall. She breathed. She lived. But she was in so much pain. I could feel the charred skin on her back.
Anger boiled through me. Wings flapped above. The faerie lord descended, that beautiful face gloating at the pain he inflicted on my Aingeal. My heart pumped anger through my veins as I stared at Duke Gallchobhar. He settled on the ground before me.
“Well, human, you have cost me greatly tonight,” he said, purple energy dancing around him.
With care, I set Aingeal on the grass beside me. She let out a soft whimper of pain. Her face contorted for a moment. Her eyes fluttered open, but they were unfocused, not seeing anything. They closed a moment later with a sigh, her head lolling to the right.
“This will be a mess,” the duke sighed, shaking his head. “Already, they are waking up.”
Around me I could see blinking faces trapped in the stocks. Men and women groaning, shuddering. Some coughed. Others cried. Shouts rose. Wood rattled. They fought to break free, their feet digging into the ground.
“I'm glad I could be a pain in your ass,” I said.
“How droll,” he said. “I see Aingeal still maintains the same quality of companionship as before.”
My hand drifted down to my short sword.
Energy hummed in his hand. A beam of purple energy shot forward, a sword of light. He drew it up before him, his feet shifting, his wings folding back behind him. My hand reached the handle of my short sword, gripped it. My heart beat faster and faster.
His muscles tensed.
He sprang at me.
The light blade hissed through the air. I dodged to the right. IT flashed past my face, leaving a streak of green light blazing across my vision. My sword rattled from my sheath, swung through the air. Smoke flared.
The duke screamed in pain.
His right butterfly wing spun through the air, fire burning at it. On his back was the seared stump of the wing oozing blood. He staggered to his feet. His head threw back as he plunged the light sword into the grass. Stalks sizzled.
His blood boiled on my blade.
“That's right. Faeries can't tolerate iron?” I drew a throwing knife in my off-hand. “And I have plenty of it.”
He whirled around, face twisted in maddened pain, no longer beautiful. Shadows made deep crags, his eyes almost glowing in the darkness cast by his eyebrows. He brandished his blade as I flicked my knife.
I scampered from the treeman. He bellowed in fury, his wood cock thrusting out hard before him. I darted past one of the pit traps then dashed between the next stocks. The inhabits yelled at me, struggling to break free.
“Just hold on!” I said, the treeman lumbering after me.
“Bad pussy!” it snarled.
“Yep, I'm bad pussy,” I said.
The air whooshed. I jumped. His arm smashed the ground hard, splashing a naked woman struggling to break out of her stockade in mud and grass. I landed with a purring laugh, throwing a mocking grin at the treeman.
“You have to try harder than that to squash this naughty pussy!” I wiggled my ass at him, flashing my tight slit between my thighs. “You'll never get in this snatch. So you have to kill me. So pathetic! No wonder every woman prefers flesh and blood cock to limp, wooden dicks!”
He roared again and punched.
I dodged. The impact jarred open the nearby pit trap I avoided. I landed beside it, peering down into the depths. I shuddered at the sight of the spikes down there. At least a fifty-foot droop and then impalement.
It was such overkill. Nobles had to much time on their hands.
I darted away, the treeman following. Even made of plants, men were so easily offended by mocking their dicks.
I was dead. I closed my eyes, ready to embrace my afterlife in the Adamant Palace. An eternity of practicing my art beneath the Goddess Rithi's tutelage. Finding new ways to create something beautiful. Something stirring. I would miss my brother. Ava and Zanyia and Aingeal and Nathalie would help him grieve me.
A silver moon flashed by my face and buried into the arm of the treeman. The monster bellowed in pain. Pale sap spurted around the crescent object. Wood creaked. Then the treeman's arms snapped with a loud crack. I plummeted to the ground.
And saw an armored woman wrench free not a moon, but the wickedly curved head of an ax. I gaped at her. She stood tall, her face delicate and inhuman, an exotic beauty with a small nose and dainty cheekbones at odds with the armor that molded to her curvy figure. The martial embodiment of beauty. Her eyes flashed like helidors, as pure yellow as the sun. Short, white hair swayed about her pure-black face, darker than even a Halanian, as she swung the warhammer gripped in her other hand.
And crashed it into the leg of the treeman.
Wood splintered. The knee joint shattered into jagged pieces. She felled the monster, her ax swinging a final time as she slammed it down into the monster's head, severing it. Pale sap splattered the silver breastplate of her armor, running down the curving swells to contain her large breasts.
“Aoi Si,” I gasped, recognizing the divinity standing before me. A demigoddess, one of Rithi's daughters from her tryst with the hermaphroditic Goddess of the Hunt. “You're an aoi si.”
“Radiant Kora,” the armored figure said, her voice throaty and formal. Her armor creaked as she bowed before me. “I have arrived in time.”
“In time?” I blinked.
“You are in grave danger, Radiant. You have walked unknowingly into ancient evil. It wreathes around you and you know it not, a lodestone that draws evil unto you.”
I blinked at her, clutching my hands to my chest, brushing the ruby pendant my brother gave me. “What? Did Rithi send you?”
“My mother is concerned for your soul, Radiant,” the aoi si said. “But first, your brother still lingers in peril. Let us attend to him. I shall make all clear once he is safe.”
I clutched the pendant hard in my hand. “Yes!”
I leaped between the stocks and landed on the ground. I whirred around to face the treeman and backed up as he lumbered around the stockades between us. He didn't trample them, but walked between them like he had on guard duty.
“Come on,” I said, standing up. I shoved my hand down my stomach to my tawny bush. “My bad pussy is right here. Come and smash it with that puny, little twig!”
“Is big twig!” the treeman bellowed, grabbing his massive cock, easily the size of Sven's arm. He wagged it at me as he marched forward, raising up his arm.
He stepped between the stocks. On the patch of ground that I had jumped over. It didn't support his weight.
The treeman dropped into the pit trap with a bellowed grunt of surprise. A moment later, came a loud crash and the cracking snap of dried wood. The monster croaked in pain. I scampered to the edge of the pit trap, grinned down at him.
He lay in a splintered mass, clear swap running from his many wounds. He looked like a rotten log hit by an ax and burst into pieces. “Oops, you can never trust bad pussy, can you?”
He let out a final, creaking groan then went still. Dead.
Now I just had to go and save Master.
Pain wreathed me. The faerie lord didn't bother attacking me. Instead, he lifted me into the air with his magic. Lightning zapped from the aura of purple that engulfed me. My back bent in a rictus of pain. Time slowed as my body spasmed.
My eyes watched the tumbling knife.
It spun with an almost lazy path, tumbling end over end. The blade flashed in the purple light. The duke swept his light sword at it. Energy sizzled. His weapon flickered out. The duke's eyes widened.
The knife buried in his throat.
As his blood sizzled. I dropped to the ground. My legs folded beneath me. I fell onto my raw back. I winced in pain, my entire body trembling. I tried to move. Tried to speak, but only moans of pain burst from my lips.
Zanyia appeared over me, hale and hearty. Her eyes were wide, her ears twitching. She stroked my face. I couldn't just lie here whimpering. Not before my slave. I sucked in a deep breath, warring with the agony shooting through my body.
“See you... figured it out...”
“I'm a bad pussy,” she said.
I was in too much pain to ask about that.
“I'll go get Kora,” she said, biting her lip. “I hope she's okay. That third treeman is still out there.”
“The third treeman is dead!”
Kora appeared, holding her robes over her arm. Her torso was scratched and raw, blood oozing down her hip. She looked so disheveled and yet so beautiful. My sister fell to her knees beside me, the pendant I gave her bouncing between her round breasts.
“I'll fix you up, brother mine,” she said, plunging her fingers into her pussy.
“Aingeal,” I said. “She's hurt... worse.”
“And I'm right here,” my sister said, pulling out her fingers.
Another figure appeared, a woman with short, white hair, skin as black as night, and eyes that almost glowed like a pair of yellow moons. Plate armor clad her body, molded to her curvy flesh. She stared at me impassively. I groaned, blinking my eyes.
“Whose your friend?”
“My mother named me Ealaín,” she responded, her voice had a deep, husky cadence.
“An aoi si sent by my Goddess,” Kora said.
“For the evil your sister wears around her neck. The Phylactery of the Biomancer Vebrin. The true prize you liberated from the servants of the naga Zizthithana.”
Kora froze. Her hand grabbed the red ruby I gave her. I “liberated” it from the Shizhuthian warleader who owned Zanyia's tent before I killed him. Then I shivered. “The Biomancer? The one who made half the monsters that plague the world?”
“The very same. His servant has long searched for the receptacle of his soul; his phylactery.” Ealaín shifted. “With it, the Paragon can restore the mad warlock to life so he can continue his vile research. You are in grave danger for it has fallen upon you to stop this great evil from happening.”
“Great,” I groaned.
Princess Ava – Echur, The Princedom of Kivoneth, Strifelands of Zeutch
I couldn't sleep as I lay beside my father. I kept waiting for word from Sven, for him to activate my proxy and tell me that he had destroyed the Lodestone. That he'd robbed my father of his foul army of statues.
Slaves. Thousands and thousands of slaves. It made my skin crawl pressed against him. The ardor that had consumed me earlier, driven me to writhe atop him, had faded right now. I wanted to vomit. I hated how much I craved his touch.
I wanted this to be over. I wanted him defeated by my Sven.
A loud commotion echoed outside my father's chamber. A servant shouted. Someone roared back. My father stirred, coming awake. He sat up, his arm pulling out from beneath my head. I clung to him, feigning fear as the door threw open.
Master Mage Shevoin entered, sucking in deep breaths. “It's been destroyed.”
“What?” my father growled.
“The Lodestone, your Highness. The Lodestone has been destroyed.”
Triumph surged through me. Sven and his women did it. We were one step closer to defeating my father. I was hear to witness the horror sweeping across his face. The knowledge that his greatest weapon in holding onto his conquered territory was taken from him.
His dream of becoming the next High King crumbled before him. It was beautiful to witness.