If you haven't read the first book, or the first two chapters of the second book, you probably shouldn't read this one. This chapter is a bit of a 'set up' chapter, and it is long as fuck, but I tried to keep it interesting, while also laying the foundations for things to come. It is split into two parts, and has an prelude, interlude, and postlude that divert from the main characters. Please leave comments! NOTE: EDITED FOR GRAMMAR 10/10/18
Chapter Three: Father
The sun was dark in the astral plane. It stayed low in the sky, some part of it always dipping below the horizon, as through perpetually setting. It burned around the rim like a great circle surrounding a void, and that bit of radiance that escaped the edges, illuminated the astral plane in twilight.
“It’s being eclipsed by the true sun,” a familiar voice said beside me, “but the true sun doesn’t shine in the world.”
“Hi, Arby!” I grinned at the little man. His eyes were orange surrounding green now, and I didn’t doubt that mine were purple surrounding emerald.
“Hello, Diamond,” the old dwarf smiled, his kindly wrinkles sinking into his face, “it seems that you’ve found your way to your garden.”
“Mother’s garden,” I mused, looking around the plush, overgrown estate. It looked like it had been abandoned. Stone pergolas and gazebos were crumbling and entwined with vines, marble statues were defaced and laced with foliage, the earth had reclaimed what might’ve once been a great pavilion, “or what’s left of it, anyway.”
“This is her gift to you,” Arby said, “it is yours now. It is in rough shape, but you’ll tidy it up in time.”
“How do I do that?” I frowned at the decay around me.
“Just by living.” Arby chuckled, “This is the realm of cognizance, Diamond; it is a thing of experience and memory. Right now, the vestiges of your mother’s existence are diminishing to give way to your own. Look over there,” Arby pointed to a well-trimmed shrub that looked entirely out of place, “that one’s new. What is it? My eyes aren’t so great, even here.”
“My first blowjob.” I said simply, looking at the bush trimmed to excruciating detail.
“Oh.” Arby said, shifting beside me. My eyes drifted around the garden, where little bits of renewal were springing-up from the decay.
“If all of this is going away, does that mean I’ll lose all the things Mother taught me?” I asked.
“No, those things are a part of you. What you see here, is already dead. Your mind is just clearing real-estate for new thoughts.”
“Mom sure had a lot of experiences.” I mused, looking at the vast, derelict expanse of marble and foliage. There was even a palace in the distance, with the dome caved-in, and vines spiraling the pylons that supported it. A procession of maple trees led to its classical entrance, whose columns were festooned with glowing mushrooms.
“That is where your mother’s oldest memories were.” Arby said, “That is the center of her realm. Over the millennia, her borders expanded with her expanding knowledge, and as you can see,” Arby gestured over the grandiose spectacle, “her knowledge was vast.”
My eyes wandered to the south, where the hint of a stone path could be discerned through moss. It led to a gate, whose iron bars and stone supports looked as new as anything here.
“Where does that go to?” I asked.
“That is the end of your realm,” Arby said, “and it is firmly locked and shut for a good reason. You are untethered, Diamond; you must never venture from this place.”
“Untethered. I can walk the astral plane with impunity, because I have a safety-line back to the world of life. You have this realm, and in this realm, you are safe, but venture beyond the gate, and you will be exposed. The astral plane is not like the real world, Diamond; space and time don’t follow the same rules. In the voids between realms seconds can be minutes, feet can be miles, and the gate you exited will not be there when you turn back. It’s best if you just- hey, what the hell are you doing?!”
“Leaving.” I said as I skipped down the path.
“Didn’t you just hear me?” Arby said, jogging alongside me as I bounded toward the gate.
“You’re coming with me, aren’t you?” I smiled at him, “So since I’ve got you, I don’t need to worry!”
“Just because I can navigate the astral plane, doesn’t mean I’m safe!” Arby was huffing as he tried to keep pace with me.
“I thought you said only Mom could kill you?”
“Safety is more than just not being dead.” Arbitrus said, red-faced, “There are great dangers here, Diamond, and it’s best to observe them from a great distance, preferably in the physical world. Where are you going?”
“I’m going to wake up Wrath and Sorrow, and ask them about Corruption.”
“They probably know her, so they seem to be the right people to ask.”
“Diamond,” Arby grabbed me by the arm, “remember those ‘great dangers’ I just told you about?! Well, two of them are Wrath and Sorrow!”
“And I am neither sad, nor angry,” I offered my dazzling smile, “so I have nothing to worry about.”
“That’s not how it works,” Arby shook his head, “also, why do you need to learn about Corruption? Your mother is just going to kill Night Eyes and be done with it anyway. Diamond? Why are you smiling like that?” Arby’s face fell, “Julia isn’t going to kill Night Eyes, is she?” My smile grew wider, and Arbitrus’s face fell further, “Because Julia learned the truth about her… shit.”
“You old bastard!” I laughed, “You knew all along!”
“Well, I heard it from your other mother,” Arby grumbled, “so obviously she didn’t feel like telling you either. Willowbud needs to die, Diamond; there’s no way around it.”
“That’s not what Mom thinks,” I said, taking Arby by the hand, and continuing my skipping, “I don’t know what she’s doing, but whatever it is, she’ll need my help, and what better way to help, then to find out all of Corruption’s dirty, little secrets?”
“There’s no way to dissuade you, is there?” Arby asked.
“Nope!” I grinned, and unlatched the gate.
The astral plane outside of my realm was not… anything. Mountains turned to oceans turned to forests turned to deserts, never staying one for long, always transitioning. The sky turned from orange, to pink, to blue, then to black, a canvas of billions of stars blanketing each hue, never the same constellations shown. The one constant in the ever-changing world, was the stone path we walked upon, and I knew that if I released Arby’s hand, the path would not be there for me, and I would be lost in the chaos. Suddenly, we were walking through massive stalks of grass, and an ant the size of a mountain crawled above us, its footsteps shaking the earth. Then, I was walking through blackness, my face hitting specs of light that I realized were stars, each one orbited with its own system of planets almost too small to see. That gave-way to an immense field of lava, where fish leapt from the inferno and walked on two legs to sit around a camp fire lit with water. Then, there was a gate. Wrought-iron and imposing, it stood tall with black statues of warriors siding the path.
“This is the realm of Wrath,” Arby sighed, “and I will go no further.”
“Why, are you scared?” I teased the ex-Heat Bringer.
“Terrified.” Arby said quietly. Maybe Arby’s foreboding tone was meant to give me pause, but I was too excited to meet an ancient being of evil to share in his fear.
“Well then stay out here, you weenie!” I laughed, and pushed open the gate.
Wrath’s realm was one of contrast. The sun shown a blood-red, and the shadows it cast didn’t form gradients, but sharp changes from light, to dark. Hundreds of thousands of black statues were stuck in poses of struggle, a still-image of epic battle that stretched to either horizon, where jagged mountains marked the boundaries of the realm. Great fortresses of obsidian shot from the earth, their walls shear and without windows or doors, their battlements standing hundreds of feet above the hardpan earth. The visuals were deafening, but the world was silent.
“Hello?” I called out, “Wrath, are you awake?”
Boom. The sound thundered across the valley, echoing against the iron walls, singing through the statues. Boom. It was closer now, sharper. Boom. The earth began to shake. Boom. I stumbled. Boom. I fell to my knees, hands clutching at the gravel in a vain effort to level myself. Boom, boom, boom, boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. It sounded like footsteps now, and they were getting closer. I looked up, and saw a shadow on the horizon. Immense, and hazy with the fog of great distance, its red eyes barely glinted from a face that was miles away- and he was right in front of me, red eyes staring into mine, black skin shining, white teeth filed to points and grinning at me. The shadow that had seemed massive so far away, had kept the size of its perspective, now making him eight-feet tall, instead of the thousand-foot behemoth he had seemed before.
“Hi!” I smiled back at him, “My name’s Diamond, and I-”
“Hello, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One.” Wrath interrupted with a deep, boisterous voice, “I am Wrath, spirit of battle, spirit of rage, spirit of glory and blood! Why have you come to my realm?”
“Well, I have some questions about-”
“But where are my manners?” Wrath yelled over me, “I have a guest, and I have not offered her food, nor drink, nor bed! Forgive me, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One.”
I was sitting at a massive table, a feast of only meat covering its expanse. Suckling pig, slabs of beef, turkeys, chickens, and a few animals I didn’t recognize, all steaming and moist. And I was a vegetarian.
“Your mother,” Wrath said through a mouthful, apparently three-plates into his dinner, “used to come to me from time to time. She was quite a warrior, Passion was. We would spar in my arena, and the bouts we had were TREMENDOUS!” the whole table shook with his voice, “The crowd would roar as our steel clashed, as the sweat dripped from our bodies, and the blood dripped from our blades. Do you enjoy the exhilaration of the contest, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One?”
“Well, earlier today I got in a fight with a-”
“EXCELLENT!” and we were in a massive arena, stone risers stretching to infinity, the crowd all wrought iron statues, frozen in expressions of great excitement, but silent. Wrath paced across from me, naked save for a loin cloth, his black, orc body bulging unnaturally with muscle, his movements that of a tiger; graceful, but hinting at great power. He wielded an enormous sword, almost comically big, and I realized I was holding two blades, my body encased with tight-fitting leather.
“Your mother was a natural at dual-wielding,” Wrath stretched his neck this way, and that, “she would cut me to a thousand pieces before I got my strike in, but when I did, I would TURN HER BODY TO MIST!”
Wrath let out a great bellow, and charged headlong across the sand. I yelped, threw away my swords, and sprinted to the wall, frantically searching for an exit. Of course, there was none, and I squawked in terror as Wrath’s enormous blade came crashing down on me. I dove to the right, tumbled, rose to my feet, dove to avoid another downward strike, then grabbed my swords from the sand, rolled away, and skidded as I spun, my pivot heel digging into the sand, my trailing heel creating a semicircle, and kicking dust into the air. Wrath was on me again, and I ducked his decapitating swing, scrambled between his legs, and drew blood along his calves with my outstretched blades. He didn’t make a sound as steel cut through flesh, but simply turned on his heel, and dropped his shoulders for a moment.
“Fabian tactics!” Wrath bellowed approvingly, “Make your enemy come to you, on your terms. Feign weakness to goad him, then show your strength when he is committed. I like it!”
“Yeah,” I gasped, “that’s what I was doing.”
“It will not work again!” Wrath grinned broadly, “It is now in my memory forever, and I will use it against you, you can be certain of that! You should have saved it for the killing blow!”
Wrath charged again, back arched behind him as he raised his sword over his head, red eyes bulging, his black torso stretched to reveal too many abdominal muscles. I sidestepped the downward strike, barely hopped over the dragging swipe, then spun in the air, and stuck my blades to the hilt through his bicep. Once again, Wrath didn’t seem to acknowledge the great wound I delivered him, and I almost lost my swords as he moved his arm for another strike. I pulled my weapons free, scrambled from a thrown elbow, ducked a slice that would’ve cut me in half, then charged in, screaming at the tops of my lungs as I lunged toward his exposed chest. A foot caught me in the stomach, and I was hurdled away, rolling and tumbling on the sand, scraping my skin, losing one sword, and barely holding on to the other. I struck the wall with a thud, my blurred vision seeing a black figure surging toward me, a cloud of dust in his wake.
“I told you I would use it against you!” Wrath cackled as he charged, “You must listen, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One!”
I lurched to the side just as Wrath’s blade cracked the stone.
“You are nimble!” Wrath yelled.
I hopped over another sweep, ducked the elbow, but didn’t lunge for the exposed chest. Instead, I stabbed him in the foot that was meant to intercept my would-be lunge, then jumped away as that foot gave-way to a knee, barely pulling out my sword in time.
“You learn fast!” he yelled again.
He swung overhand, and I stepped into the blow, letting it pass over me at the last second. His entire body was open to me, and I raised my sword to put it through his chest, but speared him through the thigh instead. I didn’t wait for the blade to sink deeply, but pulled it across fast, spurting blood, then diving between his legs, and rolling away from his stomping foot. Wrath turned around, his wound a gruesome display of red and pink, but not seeming to affect him in the least. He was grinning from ear to ear.
“But you do not have the killer instinct,” Wrath smiled, “you had my heart in your sight, but you went for a disabling blow. Perhaps I was wrong about you, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One. Perhaps you are made of flaccid and soft things. Perhaps you are as weak as that cock between your girly legs.”
Did that just goad me? Was I really that easily manipulated? At first, I was annoyed. Then, I was mad. Then, I felt… not anger, but… rage. It burned behind my eyes, pounded in my chest, ignited in my muscles. Oh, did it feel GOOD! My teeth were practically cracking as they ground in my manic grimace, my hair was standing from my flesh, my knuckles were white against my hilt. My bones felt like titanium, my muscles felt like they’d burst from the skin, and that skin felt like it was impenetrable. I’d been in a cage my whole, fucking life, and now someone had just left it unlatched, and the animal would have her revenge. I screamed, and the sound was as joyous as it was wrathful, and I charged at the orc with my teeth bared, no longer caring for my safety, no longer bothering with being “nimble.”
Wrath shared my manic grin as we exchanged steel. I moved with the recoil of my sword, faltered back to let his blade pass over me, then I dived at him, catching his fist on my ribs, hearing the bones crack, and welcoming the pain, relishing it, hoping for it. I spun with the change of momentum, my sword held tight to my chest, my manic eyes searching in slow-motion for the opening, until I saw it. The aorta in Wrath’s neck was bulging, pumping with his heart, and my blade sung forth, and sliced it. The fist that had struck my ribs had an elbow following it, and I smiled my last smile as bone met jaw, and my face caved-in. It didn’t matter. I had won. I had killed. I rolled across the dirt, seeing teeth fall from my unhinged jaw, watching my bit-off tongue flop in the sand, and I grinned internally as the pain screamed against me. I stopped, rose to my feet, realized that my left lung had collapsed, but I wasn’t feeling too bothered by it. Wrath was still smiling at me as he collapsed to his knees, blood burbling from his throat. He let out a strangled laugh, and fell onto his face. Soon after, so did I.
“Ah, it does feel good to taste to defeat again,” Wrath said as we lounged in his hot tub, drinking ale from the horns of some great beast, “I don’t get many visitors, but the ones that come are often too full of bluster, and die too easily.”
“Who comes here?” I asked, enjoying the jet of water riding up my ass crack.
“Oh, all sorts,” Wrath said, “I leave my door on the other side open to any mortal who cares to test me.”
“There’s a door on the other side?”
“Of course!” Wrath laughed, “How else would I journey to the world when I am called for?”
“Where is it?”
“There is a great hole beneath the Gratoran Desert,” Wrath said, ale dripping down his chin, “it is an immense cavern, filled with the heinous beasts that seek shelter from the heat. It was once a city, if I am not mistaken.”
“Droktinar?” I asked.
“THAT’S IT!” Wrath boomed, “Droktinar! Any warrior who can fight through the ground-dwellers of Droktinar and reach my door, is worthy of seeking audience with me. If they defeat me in battle, then I may meld with them, and give my gift to their hordes!”
“Is that what I felt? Your gift?”
“So full of questions, you are!” Wrath laughed, “But yes, you tasted my gift. Did you find it to your liking?”
“I did.” I grinned at him.
“As did your mother!” Wrath seemed to yell everything, “She would taste my gift, and I would taste hers, and we would have the most VIOLENT SEX THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN! Good Mother, do I miss her already!”
“You follow the maternal path?” I asked, “Shouldn’t you be a Creationist?”
“Why would I be a Creationist?” Wrath inquired. “The heathen gods are temporary things, but the Holy Mother is eternal!”
“But, you were created by Trenok, so…”
“I do not know of what you speak,” Wrath said, taking another drink, “I was created by the Holy Mother so that I could lead her crusading warriors to glorious victory!”
“The Holy Mother is a pacifist!” I exclaimed.
“IS SHE?! Than why is the earth stained with the refuse of war? The Holy Mother desires her creations to be made of iron, to be sharpened to the finest point, to be forged in the great smelter of battle!” Wrath said, as if his words were prophecy, “She wants BLOOD! She wants DEATH! She wants the bowels of hell to be filled with the weak, and the halls of heaven to be blessed with the strong! I am the filter of her purpose, and I have yet to fail in my assessment!”
“That’s not what I was taught.” I mumbled.
“THEN YOU WERE TAUGHT WRONG!” Wrath bellowed veins bulging in his neck. This was obviously not an argument worth having. If Wrath wanted to believe his version of the maternal path, who was I to say otherwise? I didn’t believe in the version Mom taught me anyway. It was strange that he didn’t remember how he was created, and I wondered if he remembered anything of what he once was.
“Halok.” I said quietly, carefully watching Wrath from the tops of my eyes. He gave me an inquisitive look, like I was speaking gibberish, then redirected his attention to the horn of ale in his hand. He doesn’t remember anything, does he? Does even know what he is?
“What do you know about the most ancient one?” I asked.
“Who is that?” Wrath asked, raising an eyebrow.
“A great problem in politics,” Wrath frowned, “often only resolved through revolution, and bloodshed. It is a weak man who sells his nation for coin. If a man desires wealth, why not simply seize it through conquest?”
“Corruption the Sentient?”
“What babble is this?” Wrath looked perplexed, and a little annoyed.
“Corruption, Sorrow, and Wrath?” I asked, exasperated, “You know, Sentients? What you are?!”
“I have heard enough of your blathering nonsense, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One. Let us retire to my chambers, and-” Wrath stopped abruptly, inclining his head as though listening intently. A wide grin stretched across his black face.
“Sun Man!” he grinned at me. In a flash of black, he was gone, and then he was back, a very terrified Arbitrus Gen in his arms.
“Sun Man!” Wrath bellowed, tossing Arby into the hot tub, clothes and all, “I have not seen you for generations! Sun Man, this is Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One, this is Sun Man. Sun Man used to visit me often, but does no longer. He would also ask me silly questions. Sun Man, why have you not come for so long? My realm is always open to you!”
“Wrath,” Arbitrus sputtered, “wait just a sec-”
“But where are my manners?” Wrath yelled over him, “I have a guest, and I have not offered him food, nor drink, nor bed! Forgive me, Sun Man.”
“I bought you time, now use it!” Arbitrus hissed to me right before Wrath seized him. The two immortals were gone in another flash of black, leaving me alone in the hot tub.
“You and I used to clash steel for hours, Sun Man,” Wrath’s voice boomed from far away, “tell me, do you still enjoy the exhilaration of the contest?” Arbitrus probably mumbled something, but all I heard immediately following Wrath’s question was a robust, “EXCELLENT!” as though it didn’t matter what Arbitrus said, which was probably true. I grimaced to think how many times the geriatric dwarf would die before Wrath got bored. I shook myself from my contemplation, slid from the hot tub, and left the steaming bathhouse.
Wrath’s realm didn’t seem to be organized in any pattern, and there certainly wasn’t any indication of a center. The fortresses that dotted the landscape were often tilted at odd angles, as though they’d been dropped carelessly from the sky. Trenches ran with no heed for placement, battlements jutted like jagged teeth from the hardpan, siege weapons pointed in all different directions. I couldn’t find one structure that looked different than the others, nor any path that would guide me. Wrath’s realm was chaotic, but it was uniformly chaotic.
“If I remember correctly, you were partial to the hammer.” Wrath’s voice echoed across the desolate realm.
Did the trenches form a web of some kind? Would it lead to the center?
“Ah, I see you’ve adopted biological tactics! You’re not the first warrior I’ve faced who’s introduced bacterial attacks to their arsenal; I have seen this move before!”
Was there a pattern to the placement of statues?
“Did you place poison in your tear ducts before this bout? How crafty you are, Sun Man!”
Maybe there’s a tunnel system between the fortresses? How would I- the clash of steel rang across the valley, and the entire world suddenly shifted. In one motion, every statue turned, and pointed their weapons. The ring of steel faded, and the statues shifted back to their positions, their movements eerily mechanical. Another clash of steel, and all the warriors pointed again. I followed the path of their blades, my eyes leading to one fortress. It looked like all the others, but as I squinted my eyes, I realized it had a door.
A great shriek of pain cut through the air, spurring me into action. I sprinted toward the fortress as Wrath’s disappointed voice echoed.
“Disembowelment on the third strike? Sun Man, what tactic is this? Have you hidden weapons in your intestines?”
I grasped the handle and yanked the door open. The fortress was pitch black, lit only by slotted windows that allowed red beams to illuminate the confines. Each beam ended on a pedestal, and each pedestal displayed a painting. The nearest was of a woman, pale and with crimson irises. The portrait was abstract, as though the image had been distorted in memory; nose and eyes misplaced, fangs overgrown, hair a wild mess. I moved to the next painting. It was of an orc, the portrait even more distorted than the one of the vampire. I moved to the next painting, and it was so abstracted, that I could not tell what it had ever been. Each successive painting was worse and worse, each memory distorted to nothing, the remnants of Halok turned to smears of paint that could’ve been created by a child. Had Wrath painted these? I realized as I moved down the line, that they had been painted by a child. Paint brushes turned to pencils turned to crayons turned to finger paint, until the last picture in the lineup was nothing more than tiny, red handprints on a white canvas. But that was not the last pedestal. The last pedestal was a book. The bible of the Maternal Path. I frowned, and opened it.
In the dawn, there were but two. The Holy Virgin walked alone upon the world, bathed in her light, while The Interloper walked beneath it, reveling in the dark. The Holy Virgin found peace in her solitude, but The Interloper could not. He climbed the ladder between worlds, beset himself upon The Holy Virgin, and… I’d read this before. It was different than the version Mom had taught me, but I’d since procured my own copy of Mom’s favorite book, and realized she was sugarcoating it. What Wrath had here, was word-for-word the same things as… wait. …and on the third day, The Holy Mother birthed Wrath. “You will be my forge,” The Holy Mother said to him, “you will be the rage that sharpens man to my purpose. You will be the divider of the strong and the weak. You will be the wind of war.” On the fourth day, The Holy Mother created the birds and the butterflies, for the sky was so empty of life…
“What the heck?” I whispered. Every other line in the bible was the same as the original, but the third day (which if I recalled correctly, was the creation of wind), had been replaced with Wrath. I examined the paintings once again. There was no doubt in my mind that Wrath had made them. He had been born here, and put to canvas the memories of a dead man, as though expelling Halok’s legacy to make room for the new. I recalled Mother’s derelict palace, the center of her astral cognizance. It was massive, capable of fitting galleries and libraries, and it undoubtedly had. Passion had been Silvia Dawnbark once, and she had not lost that part of her, because she had not degraded to Sentience. What was left of Halok, was ten paintings, only two of which were discernable. And a bible that told lies. Had Wrath created his own origin story, or had someone made it for him? I closed the book, puzzling over the mystery. If someone had made it for him, who was it? Corruption? But Wrath didn’t know Corruption, had never met Corruption, and did not even know she existed. Did he know of Sorrow? Did Sorrow know of him? Did Sorrow of know of Corruption?
“Using your severed leg as weapon! Now THAT is ingenuity! Look, your tibia has punctured my femoral artery; A KILLING BLOW!”
I rushed to the exit, scrambled up a hill, and was back in the bathhouse just as Wrath, and a very traumatized-looking Arbitrus, plopped into the hot tub.
“Hello again, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One!” Wrath boomed, “Have your muscles warmed and loosened? Would you care to dawn armor, and kill, or would the bedroom be more to your liking?”
“Actually,” Arby said, painfully hoisting himself out of the tub, “I must take Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One back to her realm. She has many battles to fight on earth, many armies to lead, and many nations to conquer, and she can’t do it if she is stuck here.”
“Ah, of course she does!” Wrath laughed, “The daughter of The Destroyer must have enemies by the millions! If you are ever in need of aid, Daughter of Passion, Daughter of The Destroyer, the Untethered One, please find my door in Droktinar, and seek my meld. I will turn your armies into hordes of savages! I will strip fear from their minds, and place death in their hearts! They will pillage, rape, and burn without regard! They will cast a shadow of terror across the very sun, and that shadow will have your shape! They will carve your likeness onto face of the earth, and paint its detail in BLOOD!”
“Thanks!” I said brightly, pulling myself out of the tub, “I’ll definitely consider it!”
“PLEASE DO!” Wrath yelled, toasting us with his horn of ale as we stepped from his bathhouse.
“I hope you found what you were looking for.” Arby said through gritted teeth as he dragged me away.
“I didn’t find out anything about Corruption,” I frowned, “but there were some weird things about Wrath. Did you know he has a doorway to his realm, and he put it in Droktinar?”
“He’s told me several times.” Arby said, “The irony isn’t lost on me, though I suspect it is lost on him.”
“Do Sorrow and Corruption have doorways?”
“Yes, but I do not know where they are.” Arby replied, “Wrath’s meld is something sought after, so the location of his door, while secret, is not completely unknown. Sorrow and Corruption’s doorways are hidden from all, as I doubt anyone sane would want to seek audience with them. Granted, I thought nobody sane would want to seek audience with Wrath, but ambition has a way of clouding judgement.” Arby looked pointedly at me, and I gave him an apologetic smile.
“There was something else,” I said as Arby guided us through the wrought-iron gate, “Wrath had a version of the Maternal Bible in his center. It was the exact same as the one I’ve read, but it was altered to include his origin story. Judging by the its placement in his center, it was the oldest memory he had.”
Arby stopped at that. “That is odd. It also explains why Wrath believes he is ordained by god to do what he does.”
“Did somebody put it there?” I asked, “Or was it made as he was made?”
“I don’t know, Diamond.” Arby frowned, “I don’t know why Sentients become what they are. I suspect that during Halok’s degradation, his mutating mind created a purpose for his new self. Perhaps that bible is the last act of Halok.”
“That would explain why it was legible,” I mused, “everything after that looked like it had been made by a toddler, but the bible looked as though it had been written and bound by scholars.”
“Well, mystery solved.” Arby said, recommencing his dragging, “Now, let’s get you back to your body. While I waited for you, I took a peek into your realm, and saw a very confused-looking young lady calling for you. Was that Angela Sorenson?”
“Yep!” I said, now skipping beside Arby, “She’s keeping my body safe while I’m adventuring.”
“And does she know that’s what she’s doing?”
“Nope!” I giggled, “I just left without telling her. Is she untethered, like me?”
“Yes, though she is more a part of this world, than the other.” Arby said, “She builds her own realm without her knowledge, and it is expanding with her memories and thoughts. Look,” a projection of a realm filled with rolling hills and villages floated above us, the eclipsed sun tinted yellow-green, “it is her mind, and it is beautiful. If she is not bound or tethered before Brandon passes, then it will decay into something simple, and lifeless, like Wrath’s realm.”
“Wow.” I whispered, “Can she go to it?”
“Not while she’s trapped in your body, and her astral self is trapped in your garden. Come on.”
“No.” I said, stopping, “No, there is more I need to learn.”
“Do the things I learn here, go back to my garden?” I asked Arby. He nodded. “Then Angela can see them. I want to talk to Sorrow, and see what she knows.”
“You learned nothing from Wrath, what makes you think you’ll learn anything from Sorrow?”
“She’s much older,” I frowned, rubbing my chin, “maybe she knows something we could use.”
“What makes you think she would help you, even if she could?”
“What’s the harm in finding out?”
“Do you know how close you came here?!” Arby pulled me down to his level, “Do you know what would have happened if I hadn’t intervened? Diamond, Wrath would never have let you leave. He would have fed you, fought you, and fucked you for eternity. Wrath likes me, I’m his ‘Sun Man,’ so I was allowed into his realm, but Sorrow doesn’t give a shit about me. If you go into her realm, and I can’t follow to pull you out, then you’ll be lost. You. Are. Untethered!”
“There is something here, Arby!” I hissed, “I know it! The key to saving Willowbud is-”
“THERE IS NO ‘SAVING WILLOWBUD!’” Arby yelled, “She expelled Corruption a year ago, something that to my knowledge, has never been done before, and Corruption still got her! I thought that once you saw Wrath, and realized the depths these things have fallen to, you’d abandon this moronic venture and come to reason, but I guess not, so let me give it to you! You are going back to your body, and you are going to explain to your mom exactly what I told you, then Julia is going to do what she must do-what she promised to do- and the world can move on from this impending disaster! There is no other way!”
“I am going to Sorrow’s realm,” I said, peeling Arby’s finger off my shoulder, “and you are going to take me there. You owe me this; you could’ve told Mom the whole truth, but you decided to deceive us.”
“So did your mother.” Arby whispered, “There are some things better left unknown, Diamond.”
“I loved my mother,” I replied levelly, “but she would have kept Mom captive until she wasted away. Passion was a great woman, but she was not a good one. You were a great man, but you were an evil man, Arby. Even necessary evil, is still evil. Now, are you going to help me, and do the right thing, or are you going to do the necessary thing?”
I held out my hand. Arby stared at me for an excruciatingly long time, then took my hand, and led us through the chaos of the astral plane.
When I woke up, she was gone. The dawn sun cast its golden rays over a mess of sheets and covers, all kicked to the end of the oversized bed. I sighed, and reached for Diamond, but Diamond wasn’t there either. For the first time in god-knew-how-many years, I woke up alone. It didn’t take much investigation to figure out why.
Can you read this? Draw your finger against the wall like you’re writing. I’ll be able to see it. The stone message on the ceiling read, the letters imprinted into the rock. My eyes followed the conversation, each response from Julia obvious by Willowbud’s next reply.
Can’t sleep? The next line read, Me neither. Read the next, Maybe we could help each other. And then, Why not? Because of the princess? Which lead to, She can’t give you what I can. And then, No, Brandon’s off limits, you whore! We have a deal! And then, If you do that, then I get Diamond and the princess, and I won’t be nice to them. Followed by, I’ll fuck you in the ass, Sister. And I could practically feel Julia’s thoughtful pause before Willowbud hammered the nail in with, I’ll let you do it to me first. I’ll even put on a skirt for it. And then a final, Meet me in the parlor. Don’t worry, I’ll erase this before Lucilla sees it. With an added line that was undoubtedly just for me: ;)
“Fucking bitch!” I hissed, my face red with rage. I battled with the plush bed, struggling to hoist myself out so that I could march down to the parlor and… and do what, exactly? Give her a piece of mind so that she can laugh at me? Scream and thrash for her amusement while Julia shakes her head pitifully? Maybe I should suck her dick again, that might throw her off! I fumed silently, swallowed the bitter anger, and huffed back into bed. I had a feeling that all those lessons about inner-peace Julia had once taught me were going to come in handy during my stay at The Screeching Siren. If only I’d been listening to them.
When I woke up, she was gone. Her messages to Julia were scrawled across the bedroom ceiling, left without a care for what I’d think of them. I actually didn’t care that Willowbud was fooling-around with Julia, but it did feel incredibly odd waking beside just one beautiful woman; I guess that made me a spoiled son of a bitch. Tera snuggled contentedly against my side, but Astrid was conspicuously missing, and Justina was sleeping in her work place (daytime bedroom) with Diamond.
“What are you doing?” Tera groaned sleepily, her supple, bronze thigh resting on my crotch, her lips breathing on my chest.
“Sending a message to Lucilla,” I said, growing vines out the window that would snake three rooms away, to where Lucilla was undoubtedly fuming alone, “I want her to know she has friends here.”
“That’s nice of you,” Tera’s voice was thick with sleep, “I like the little princess. She’s fun.”
Did your girlfriend ditch you too? my vines formed the words in her window. I grew a large-petalled flower below my message, and indicated with a miming vine that she should trace her finger against the petal to reply.
And my adoptive daughter :( Lucilla’s message read.
Well, fuck ‘em. We don’t need those losers! Come hang out with the cool kids. I grew a marijuana leaf from one of my vines, and a question mark beside it. A few seconds later, I got her knock on the door.
“I will not be joining you two.” Tera groaned, stretching her body, which was always fun to watch.
“I have to make amends with my fighting partner,” Tera sighed, snaking off the bed, “lest she feel like adding me to her tattoo collection.”
Tera pecked me on the lips, opened the door, gave Lucilla a surprisingly-passionate kiss which left the princess wide-eyed and blushing, then strutted away, her tail flicking behind her. Lucilla held her fingers to her stunned, gaping lips as she watched Tera go, then she looked at me, and by the glint in her eyes, I could tell the joint in my hands wasn’t what she was interested in anymore.
When I woke up, she was still inside me. Her morning glory pulsed in my pussy, throbbing in congruence with her little snores. It was oddly comforting to feel her there, to feel her heat invading me, to feel her rigidity stretching me with her sleeping shifts. I snuggled into her oversized breasts, smiling contentedly as milk leaked from one nipple, and drippled to the corner of my mouth.
“Hmm,” Sister Julia moaned sleepily in my ear, “it’s a strange thing to wake up, and realize my dream has come true. Good morning, Night Eyes.”
“And a good morning to you too, Sister.” I giggled, “Did you sleep well?”
“I hardly slept at all,” Sister Julia smiled, “your insomnia cure is a lie; I thought you told me you were the most honest person I’d ever meet?”
“That sounds like something a liar would say.” I grinned on her lips, then pressed mine to hers. I rolled my lewd muscles up her length as I passed Corruption’s gift between our mouths. I felt Sister Julia mold herself to me, her heart slowing as she breathed in my offering, my narcotic for the soul. Then, just like before, she pushed it out, shooting it back into my lungs, sending a jolt of fear through Corruption, but only exhilaration through me. What a challenge you are, Sister Julia. More powerful than me, stronger-willed than me, and even more dominant. Oh, how I want to see your evil. Oh, how I want to taste it. I surrendered my body to her, grew limp atop her, waited for her to retaliate, to abuse me like she’d done so beautifully all night long. She rolled us over, her weight pressing down, her mouth curving to a grin against mine, her cock pushing deeper, touching my cervix, almost pushing through it. I shivered in pleasure, and she pulled out.
“WHY?!” I screamed my frustration.
“Because if we’re going to play this temptation game, then you need to follow the rules.” Sister Julia lectured into my mouth.
“Rules are so boring.” I outlined her red lips with my tongue.
“But they are necessary.” Sister Julia sighed as she rolled over, revealing a back covered in scratches, welts, and bitemarks. Her perfect, pale ass was still the color of her hair with my handprints, and its center was dotted with a bejeweled plug that sparkled tantalizingly from the good sister’s asshole. “And if you aren’t going to play fair, then I’m not going to play at all.”
“Liar.” I grinned at her, shifting my body alluringly, “You want me just as much as I want you.”
“Maybe,” Sister Julia smiled, “but I’ve spent my life denying myself. I can go days, weeks, even months without release, but Corruption has made you a creature of impulse. How long do you think you’ll last?”
“Fine.” I grumbled, “Friends and family are off-limits, and I won’t try to corrupt you when it’s your turn.”
“Which starts now.” Sister Julia grinned, and pulled out the rubied plug, leaving her rim gaping exhaustedly, before slowly contracting into a pink star of spiraled spokes. She crawled over to me, back arching, shoulders hunched, hips swaying behind a devious smile, and she gently placed the metal tip of the plug against my lips.
“I used to be a very unruly child.” Sister Julia pontificated as she deformed the outline of my mouth, “So one day, Mother Septina taught me a lesson that has stayed with me to this day. She said, ‘Julia, good things are only granted to those who earn them through suffering. If you wish to taste the honey, you must first stomach the bitterness.’”
“But your bitterness is so delicious.” I hissed, lathering the filthy cone with my tongue.
“That’s not my bitterness; you’re sampling my honey.” Sister Julia snickered, “I want you to remember what it tastes like when you don’t think you can stomach my medicine.” Sister Julia pulled the plug away, and slowly pushed it into my ass, “I want you to remember what it feels like,” Sister Julia whispered the words against my moan, “when you begin to think it’s not worth the suffering.”
“What do you want?” I groaned, my hips twisting as Sister Julia rotated the plug. Anal was a new experience for me, and ever since Sister Julia had introduced me to it, I’d been a slave to its wrongness.
“I can’t scare Corruption out of you, but you’ve expelled her before.” Sister Julia’s breath was hot on my neck, her body was heavy atop mine, “How did you do it?”
“She made me kill my father.” I hissed, legs parting for her, back arching.
“You already told me, but that’s not what I asked,” Sister Julia’s cock slid between my petals, her stiff heat flatting them, smearing my secretion onto her teasing shaft, “I asked how you did it.”
“I don’t remember.”
“I don’t believe you.”
“It’s the truth!” I growled, unable to keep the desperation out of my voice. I could feel my pussy flushing with desire, oozing with want, aching with emptiness. I molded myself to Sister Julia, meeting her gaze with big, needful eyes.
“OK, Night Eyes,” Sister Julia said, “if you can’t remember how you rid yourself of Corruption, then tell me how you made the meld.”
“Go fuck yourself, Sister.” I snarled.
“You know what?” Sister Julia grinned, “I just might.” And she hopped off the couch, her cock wagging stiffly from her crotch, her ass bulging from cheek to cheek as she walked away. She looked back, smiled teasingly, then disappeared around the corner. I almost leveled the whole tower in my frustration. I clenched my fists, gritted my teeth, felt the power teem beneath my flesh, and… then I felt the plug inside me, and tasted Sister Julia’s filthy sweetness on my tongue, and I sighed. She had me. She had me dead to rights, and she knew it. I groaned, defeated, and sunk into the cushions. How do I turn the tables on you, oh pious sister? What is the temptation you cannot deny? What is the key to your darkness? I looked out the window, across the expansive cityscape, until my eyes fell upon the spire of a church, with the crescent symbol gleaming atop it. Your darkness walks hand-in-hand with your righteousness, as we saw yesterday when you almost killed me. What stopped you? What is the divide within you that separates good from evil, and how do I destroy it?
I sighed, drying my hair in the mirror, running through the conversation I was going to have with Lucilla. The truth was always the best route, as I was terrible at lying, but still, I sought a way to sugarcoat it. I am performing a therapeutic service; it’s hard to explain. You see, Night Eyes needs to be corralled so that Willowbud can be free, and since she’s such a sexually-driven individual, well... that would hardly work, Look, I’m not kissing Night Eyes because I have strong feelings for her. You see, every time Night Eyes kisses me, Corruption… no, telling Lucilla that a Sentient was tempting my very soul would not make things easier. The truth is, Lucilla, that Night Eyes is giving me something that you can’t. She feeds my darkness. What is my darkness, you ask? Well, it’s all the evil that I keep hidden away from you. Night Eyes wants me to dive into the wretched depths of myself, and drink guiltlessly from the temptation that dwells there. And Lucilla, there is a part of me that wants to do it, and she’s getting louder.
“Good Mother, what have I gotten myself into?” I asked the mirror. I looked down, and realized I still hadn’t taken care of my throbbing problem. I’d shamefully masturbated during my days as a nun, usually following and preceding an hour’s worth of prayer, but I’d never done it with my new manhood; not when I had Lucilla and Diamond eagerly awaiting to do it for me. I wrapped my fingers around my cock, eased myself onto the toilet, ran my other hand between my legs, and pushed my digits inside.
Lucilla is on her stomach-no, her back-, legs spread, eyes staring lovingly up at me. I clasp her chin, and kiss her softly as I slowly push myself inside. Diamond’s behind me, and she’s sucking my neck while penetrating my womanhood. We move slowly, sensually, moaning quietly as our bodies shift in the dusk light. I run my hands through Lucilla’s hair, and pull it a little. She grins at me; she likes it when I do that. I pull a little harder, and her smile gapes with the pleasure of it. I pull even harder, and now there’s a touch of pain in her eyes, but she doesn’t protest. I pull harder, and now the pain is evident. I pull harder, and I see fear. Her chin juts forward, her eyes well with tears. I’m not making love to her, but fucking her into a writhe of jiggling, porcelain flesh, her glowing patterns nothing but streaks of light, flashing like a strobe with my untamed lust. ‘Stop!’ she screams, but I just laugh. I slap her face, whipping her head to the side, her neck wrenching back as I yank her hair, the roots stretching her forehead. ‘Julia, stop! You’re hurting me!’ Lucilla screams again. ‘Don’t stop, Mommy,’ Diamond whispers, ‘keep beating her, and I’ll fuck your ass.’ Only it’s not Diamond anymore, but Night Eyes. She’s squeezing my breasts, matching my thrusts, compelling my hips to move with the motion of her own. She bites my neck teasingly, hinting at her violence, hinting at the darkness she wants to share with me. ‘Julia, please stop!’ Lucilla is weeping now, her face a red ruin of handprints, her back forced into an arch by the pull of her hair, but her cunt squeezing me, her abdomen flexing with ecstasy. She’s in chains now, her nipples pierced and stretched by hooks that I’m pulling, her body wrapped in leather, the same leather Astrid wore yesterday. ‘Please stop, it hurts, it hurts!’ she cries, yet I can see the euphoria her body is enduring, I can feel the contractions of her insides as they react with glee. ‘She wants it to hurt,’ Night Eyes whispers, ‘she wants you to rape her. Every time you hurt someone, Sister Julia, it’s because they wanted you to do it. You’re not to blame. It’s not your fault. They asked for it. They wanted your darkness.’
And I came, my back arching against the wall, my juices dripping into the toilet, my seed shooting across the room. As the catharsis left me, and the heat of lust faded, I saw my reflection in the mirror, and my eyes were black. I blinked, and they were white again. My hands were trembling when I put my face into them, and I realized my legs were trembling as well when I rested my elbows on my knees. I reached between my breasts, and clutched the crescent symbol of The Holy Mother.
“Diamond, Lucilla, God.” I whispered to the tiled floor, “Diamond, Lucilla, God. Diamond, Lucilla, God. Diamond, Lucilla, God…” I said it for ten minutes; not a prayer, but a reminder. A reminder of what made me, me.
“…Arbitrus… Wrath… maternal path…” Angela’s enslaved voice moaned the words, her violet eyes rolled halfway into her head, her slender, olive body slowly thrusting against me as I laid on my stomach.
“Specifics, Angela!” I half-hissed, half-moaned, turning over my shoulder to look at her. My handwriting was getting noticeably worse the longer this went; the notes I was taking becoming less detailed, and devolving into single words. Angela lifted one of my bent legs, and splayed it to the side, allowing her to push deeper into my slit. My belly pressed into the bedding, my shoulders relaxed, and a resigned groan sung from my purple lips as my face fell. This was no way to do research.
“Diamond… was… with… Wrath…” Angela’s words came from her in a drawl, “...in… his… center… the… origin… of… him… is… a… lie…”
“What?” I hissed. Angela held me loosely by the hips, her motions slow and gentle, almost mechanical as her body acted solely on instinct; most of her mind in the astral plane.
“Keep going.” I whispered, though I wasn’t talking about the research anymore. There was something about the plodding, methodical way in which Angela’s possessed body moved that was gradually driving me insane. My back curved as I purred through smiling lips, and I closed my eyes in blissful surrender, and pushed my ass into her crotch. My arousal dripped from my purple petals, my pussy welcomed the invasion with little clenches, my tail curled behind me in contentment as my body began to tense with the imminence of orgasm.
And that dour note was what I came to. My moan rose in pitch until it was a teeth-gritted whine, my thighs trembled as the feeling ballooned to my extremities, and my eyes closed tightly as my mind was flooded with the euphoria. Angela thrusted three more times, each movement as automatic as the last, then climaxed without emotion or reaction. But I felt it. Oh, did I feel it as she pulsed and throbbed inside of me, pouring nectar into my starving womb, giving me what biology demanded I covet. I panted my ecstatic relief, and eased my pelvis slowly down, taking care not to spill any of what had been pumped inside me. I held Angela fast as her seedless-spunk sated me as well as it could, then I released her from my enslavement.
“What did you just say?” I gasped. Angela’s eyes rolled forward, turning from violet, to blue, then to emerald when she applied the astral meld.
“Diamond’s going to see Sorrow now, because she thinks Sorrow might be old enough to know Corruption.” Angela lifted my back end up as she pulled out, like I instructed, “Wrath doesn’t even know what he is, so he was no real help.”
“No, I meant that part about her not ever coming back?”
“Arbitrus knew Wrath personally, so he was allowed into Wrath’s realm,” Angela pulled up her pants, “but he doesn’t know Sorrow at all, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be there to help Diamond. I still can’t believe the old inn-keeper used to be a god. I guess his liver had to be divine to last this long.”
“So, if Arbitrus can’t help Diamond, and Sorrow doesn’t let her go, then…” I gulped the last words. I glanced over the piles of open books that scattered my room; all the information I could find on Creators and Sentients, all practically useless. Our only source of reliable info was coming from Angela’s borrowed brain, and its provider’s absence was the very reason Angela and I were so fervently researching.
“We just have to wait and hope.” Angela sighed, sitting beside me, “You ready?”
“I’m not much of an actor,” I laughed nervously, “now that I think of it, this is a stupid plan.”
“I’m an even worse actor.” Angela replied, “I couldn’t even pretend to be you when I was inside your body; that’s why we need to do this. If anyone spends more than five minutes with me, they’ll realize I’m not Diamond. It’s a good plan.” Angela squeezed my thigh encouragingly, “We’ll be fine.”
“That’s easy for you to say.” I snorted, “Julia won’t kill you if you’re inside her daughter.”
“Exactly,” Angela grinned, “all the pressure is on you, so don’t fuck up, or you’ll die! Now, let’s go!”
There were times when I saw Astrid, and I didn’t know who I was looking at. The dawn sun caught half her face, the other half shrouded in a thick layer of smoke that billowed slowly from her mouth. The cigarette dangled casually from her lush lips, like it was a part of her persona, and not a habit she’d picked up barely a week ago. The stiff, formal way in which she carried herself had given away to a nonchalant laziness, as if everything was to be leaned and lounged upon, but only a fool would think she was any less deadly.
“Tera.” Astrid said, not looking up as she sharpened her sword. The sound of stone on steel seemed to soothe her, like it was her form of meditation. Either that, or she was getting ready to use it on a treacherous succubus. Brandon had healed the burn scars that plastered her neck and chest, but she insisted that he leave the blade mark that crossed her gullet. It was a small scar, but my eyes were inexorably drawn to it.
“Hey… Astrid.” I said, fishing for words, “I… I’m, uh… I’m…”
“You’re sorry that you used me.” Astrid said, looking at her reflection in the blade. I just nodded. “You’ve never been unsure of your tongue before, Tera,” Astrid mused, “is it painful for you to come to me?”
“Yes.” I said quietly.
“I forgive you,” Astrid said, tilting her head back, and watching me through her veil of smoke, “but I won’t forget,” she grinned around her cigarette and ran a finger over the scar, “I’ve kept a memento.”
“Mistress would’ve killed me just to prove a point.” Astrid smiled, “Not out of hatred for me, or anger with me, or even annoyance at me. My death would’ve had nothing to do with me. I’ve destroyed myself so that Mistress would love me, and she tried to kill me for emphasis.” Astrid examined the scar on her neck, “It is a lesson I am fortunate to have learned and survived. Mistress will never love me, will she?”
“No.” I said, “Corruption only wants Brandon, and Julia is just a conquest for your Mistress; like you were, until you fell.”
“And Mistress has no interest in the fallen,” Astrid let the smoke tumble from her mouth, “it’s those yet to fall she cares about.”
And you have fallen far, my dearest friend. I thought, God, if your mother saw you now, would she even bother trying to rescue you? But it’s not question of ‘if,’ is it? Freydis Skyborne is coming for her daughter, but Astrid of Iona is dead. There is only Angel now.
“Astrid,” I said, crouching down to her level, “the reason I needed you to distract Willowbud is… there’s something…” How do I say this?, “your-”
“I don’t want to know your secrets, Tera,” Astrid interrupted, “they’ll just sound like excuses to me, and you’re above that. You used me, and I accept that, and I forgive you.” Astrid finished sharpening her sword, then grasped the handle with one hand, and extended the six-foot length of steel outward. It would’ve taken me two hands just to drag the thing across the ground, but she held it straight-armed before her like it was a twig. She inspected the pummel, the crossguard and the hilt, and then swung her arm until the point of her blade was a whisper from my chest.
“That’s nine feet,” Astrid said quietly, “nine feet between you and me. You’re good, Death Kiss, but I’m the best there ever was. If you ever fuck me over again, you won’t get a chance to touch me.”
I nodded, and Astrid pulled the sword away. “C’mon,” she said, yanking me onto her lap, “show me how sorry you are.”
“OK, first stop is Astrid.” Justina said, taking a deep breath, “She should be the easiest, so she’ll be our practice run. You ready?”
“Yeah.” I said, steeling myself, “You got this one, right?”
Justina nodded. “I’ve got everyone but Mom.”
“Why do I have Tera?”
“Because I can’t lie to her!” Justina hissed, “She’d see right through it, and compel the truth from me with just her fingers, but she wouldn’t dare touch you with Julia around.”
“Why don’t we just tell her the truth?”
“Because it’s a dangerous fucking truth, Angela, and I don’t feel like putting my gladiator-mother in any more danger than she needs to be!” Justina snapped, then took another deep breath, grabbed the door knob, and opened it.
“Don’t stop, you whore!” Astrid screamed, her back arched, her magnificent wings spread, her tattooed body gleaming as she straddled Tera’s face. She turned toward us, leaning forward and resting her hands upon Tera’s breasts, then squeezing until I could hear Tera’s muffled scream of delight. “Hey Diamond, hey Justina!” Astrid said warmly, like we just caught her baking cookies, “Would you care to share Tera with me? She is in an apologetic mood, which means she’s feeling very generous. Aren’t you, Tera?” Tera moaned her muffled concurrence.
“Um…” Justina said, her voice trembling, “no. We’re uh… well, we’re…” Justina looked about ready to piss herself, “D-D-Diamond and I… you see… we…”
“Justina and I are deeply in love!” I yelled, affecting Diamond’s speaking mannerisms, “And we have decided that we will only be physical with each other from now on. Please respect our decision, and our privacy. Thanks!” and I slammed the door shut as Tera wrestled her way out of Astrid’s leg lock.
“Justina?” Tera’s voice came from the other side of the door, “Did I just fucking hear that?!”
“Oh no, you don’t!” Astrid’s voice replied, the sound of crashing furniture following, “You owe me an apology, remember? Open your mouth wide, and say ‘sorry!’”
“We’ll give your mom some time to cool off.” I said, grabbing the ashen-faced succubus and pulling her along, “Who’s next, Brandon? He should be pretty easy, right?”
I hadn’t seen my brother since yesterday, and was feeling a knot of anxiety, but I knew the worst he’d give us would be a gentle teasing. Still, I didn’t know how my new body would react to him. We rounded the corner, and I ran face-first into Julia’s tits.
“Well, good morning to you too, Sweetie.” Julia chuckled, pulling my head from her bare bosom, “Did you want some breakfast?”
“Um… Justina and I… uh… Justina and I… are…” I tried to find the words, but they were lost in a gridlock of panic and stupid arousal. My body still remembered the way Julia touched it yesterday, and my flesh teemed with the memory of her rigid heat throbbing between my grinding thighs.
“What is it?” Julia asked me, then turned to my friend, “Justina, why are you shaking?”
“D-D-D-Diamond and I are love!” Justina screamed, “Which means we won’t be fucking anyone else! This is our decision, please respect it!”
“In love?!” Julia laughed, then turned back to me, “Diamond, is this your attempt at humor?”
“No,” I barely mumbled, “it’s what I really feel. She’s my violet rose, and I’m her diamond in the rough. We made passionate love all night long, and can’t bear the thought of being with anyone else.”
Julia looked frankly at me for an agonizing moment, then burst into laughter. She pulled me into a tight embrace, practically smothering me with her sparkling breasts.
“Sometimes, I forget how young you really are.” Julia sighed, then held me at arm’s length, an endearing smile on her face, “Of course, I’ll respect your ‘love,’ Sweetie. Just remember that if you ever get tired of your ‘love,’ that you always come back to me.” Julia cupped my cheek, her own apple cheeks creasing with her adoring grin, “Good Mother, how was I ever blessed with someone as wonderful as you?” She kissed my forehead, then continued down the hallway.
“Whew, that wasn’t so bad.” I breathed, watching as Julia undid the towel around her waist, and walked into her bedroom, giving me a little wink as I gawked at her full, pale ass.
“Holy shit,” Justina was clutching her chest, “I’m too young to be having heart palpitations. Alright, next is Brandon, then Lucilla, then Willowbud. After that-”
“Be careful when you speak the devil’s name, Justina.” I felt the hair stand on my neck, and I slowly turned around. Willowbud advanced toward me, hooking her thumbs in her waistband, her toned midriff peeking from her cutoff top, her trademarked grin creasing her lips. “You know, we haven’t been properly introduced yet.” Willowbud eye-fucked me, “God, you look like your mother, Diamond. From the neck, up, anyway, though I understand you share something in common down below.”
“Stop, Willowbud.” Justina said, “Diamond is off-limits.”
“So, I hear,” Willowbud grinned at Justina, tapping her foot to the stone, “but if you think I’m buying any of that ‘we’re in love’ bullshit, then you’re insulting me. I don’t know why you two want your privacy, and frankly, I don’t really give a shit, but if you want to keep it,” Willowbud stopped right in front of me, watching me from those leering pits of eyes, her hand moving up my thigh, “then I believe I’m owed a little something.”
“I believe I don’t owe you shit.” I said without thinking, and slapped her hand away, also without thinking. Goddamn it Angela, stay in character!
“Not such a friendly forest critter anymore, huh?” Willowbud looked me up and down, “Or was it all bullshit to begin with?”
“Maybe I just got a pair swinging behind the trunk, but you’ll never find out.” I hissed, unable to keep my hatred hidden. Willowbud looked annoyed for a moment, then her expression changed, and she cocked her head.
“You remind me of someone, Diamond.” Willowbud narrowed her eyes as she searched mine. I met her gaze, watching as Corruption inspected me, and found nothing. Willowbud relaxed, and dawned a more congenial expression, “Hey, do you guys want to see some god-shit?” Before we could respond, Willowbud grabbed our hands, and dragged us to the porch. I half-expected her to throw me over the five-hundred-foot edge, but she stopped short, and contemplated the vast city below her. Willowbud’s tower stood at the center of the brothel district, intersected by four streets that ran like spokes through the borough.
“A god needs a temple, right?” Willowbud asked, obviously not looking for an answer, “Well Diamond, your mother has convinced me to be a benevolent god today.”
And with that, the Earth Former knelt, pressed her palm to the stone floor, and the shook the world. The worshipers that crowded the streets below scattered in panic, but no buildings collapsed, nor bridges buckled. Instead, the entire brothel district began to rise. The buildings groaned as their foundations were lifted in increments, and the once-flat district became a terraced hill divided by sheer walls that had once been alleyways. Willowbud hunched her shoulders, and the elevated city blocks began to slide down the mountain she’d made, coalescing at the bottom like refuse down a chute, stacking into makeshift towers, and nestling beneath newly-formed causeways. What was left in their place, were four perfectly-smooth triangular slabs. The brothel district had become the crowded the base of a massive pyramid, and the roads that once divided it, had become the structure’s polished sides.
“Holy shit.” I whispered.
From the side pointing to Drastin’s downtown, Willowbud formed an extravagant staircase, lined with hundreds of statues of naked women in various poses of lechery. At the base of this staircase, stood a seven-hundred-foot-tall statue of Astrid. She was nude, her spread legs creating an archway over the staircase, her wings spanning resplendently, her face cast stoically skyward as her arms stretched above her to hold the Sword of Iona aloft. The blade was made of polished iron that gleamed black in the sunlight, and its length added another five hundred feet to the statue, making it the tallest structure in Drastin by far. There was a rumble behind me, and I turned to see The Screeching Siren was gone. In its place, was Tera. Her thick, stone legs straddled the pyramid, their voluptuous lengths running hundreds of feet down two of its sides, before coming to stiletto heels, her only garment. She looked over her shoulder, her stone hair flowing about her horns and covering one eye, her smiling lips pursed behind an extended index finger that asked for secrecy. Her shoulders were pinched together above an arching back, whose spine sloped gracefully into a pointed tail that curled backward above two, bulging cheeks, which in turn, opened at the spreading of Tera’s legs, where her other hand forked two fingers for the slit entrance of Willowbud’s new temple.
“There,” Willowbud panted, her body drenched with sweat, “a fucking miracle. I call it: ‘The Pussy Palace,’ because I’m shit at naming things.” Willowbud struggled to her feet, legs shaking. She wobbled over to us, then collapsed into our arms. I didn’t know why I didn’t let her drop. Hell, I didn’t know why I didn’t just roll her off the side, and let her body bounce down the steps until it was a red stain at the bottom. Maybe it was because I was so in awe of what she’d done, or maybe it was because seeing her so weak was just so strange. Maybe I just wasn’t the killer I needed to be.
“What the fuck?” Tera hissed beside me as we walked down the hall.
The Screeching Siren had undergone some very sudden renovations. Immense columns lined the walls, each adorned with immaculately-detailed pornographic statues. The ceiling was two-hundred-feet above the floor, and domed in a cranial shape, with windows that looked like... eyes? Massive chandeliers hung from the stonework, made of twisted iron, but unlit. Julia emerged from her bedroom, and fixed that problem. My breath caught in my throat. The entire interior was gilded to hellish opulence. The stone statues shined with gold leaf, the walls climbed with it, the ceiling was decorated with golden murals of debauchery.
“What the fuck is going on?” Lucilla’s voice crowed from Brandon and Mistress’s room. Her whining tenor dropped to hushed awe when she looked out her door. “Holy shit.” she whispered, and I reckoned that if a woman as rich as Princess Lucilla was astounded by what she saw, then it must be truly remarkable.
“This must be more gold than in The First Bank of Drastinar.” Tera said.
“That’s because it is all the gold in The First Bank of Drastinar, plus a little from the Second Bank of Drastinar.” Mistress’s voice answered, sounding very tired, “I robbed that place years ago, but I never found any use for the money, so I just stashed it beneath the floor.”
Mistress was flanked on either side by Diamond and Justina, who helped her along. I rushed over to her on instinct, and pulled her little body into my arms.
“Hey Astrid,” Mistress croaked, “take me outside, I’ve got something to show you. Call it an apology for yesterday. For whatever reason, I’m feeling… good today.”
Astrid looked like humming bird next to her statue, and flew with just as much excitement. She inspected every angle of her likeness, and I could practically hear her exclamations of glee from across the newly-formed pyramid. Her statue was proud, powerful and majestic, while Tera’s statue was… less so, but Tera didn’t seem to mind.
“Does my asshole lead anywhere?” she asked Willowbud, who was gliding around the patio surrounding The Pussy Palace on a stone chair, unable to walk. Judging by her pale complexion and state of being, she’d found the limits of her power.
“I was thinking about making it the sewage line, but its position above the entrance wouldn’t allow that.” Willowbud sniggered, “No, that’s just the window to the theatre.”
“There’s a theatre?”
“You still have a championship fight to promote,” Willowbud replied, “and I’ve increased the occupancy-limit by tenfold, so make sure to do your stretches tonight.”
I walked around the patio, staring up at the massive, stone tits Tera’s statue was pressing together with her stone elbows; one arm bent to put a finger to her lips, the other held straight to put her fingers between her legs. To the west, there was a large patch of green, and beside that, a flat expanse of bare rock.
“Didn’t that used to be Duke Cranston’s estate?” I asked Willowbud.
“Huh,” she mused “was it?”
“I hope you at least made sure it was empty before you leveled it.” I frowned. Willowbud’s silence was all the answer I needed. “Why?” I asked.
“To make space for your temple, and Sister Julia’s.” Willowbud replied, “I thought all of ours should be connected. Shows unity, you know?” Willowbud groaned as she stretched her leg, and touched a dainty toe to the patio. A water slide formed from the side of the pyramid, and ran to the center of the late Duke Cranston’s expansive lawn. “So that I can get to you when duty calls, or booty calls.”
“What makes you think I want a temple?”
“Are you not the Life Giver?” Willowbud asked, “Is it not your duty to heal the sickly, cultivate the fields, and create wonders of life? Get a fucking job, Brandon; you can’t just spend your life in a brothel wasting your miracle on S.T.I-riddled whores.”
“When did you start caring about what I do?” I grinned down at Willowbud, “For that matter, since when did you give a shit about the wellbeing of others?” my grin widened, “Willowbud, is Sister Julia getting to you? Are you going start praying when you think I’m not watching?”
“Sister Julia threatened to turn the sex off,” Willowbud’s cruel smile spread across her face, “and I can go without you for days, Brandon, but Sister Julia is too good to deny.”
“Are you trying to make me jealous?” I leaned onto her chair, “Because all it’s doing, is really turning me on.”
“You pathetic, little cuck.”
“Goddamn, you get me going.” I kissed her neck as she tilted her head for it, “Maybe I’ll take advantage of your current predicament. You can tell me how unsatisfying I am while I cry into your tits.”
“You’re such a romantic.” Willowbud grinned up at me, “Now bye-bye, Lover.” And I was swept off my feet by a jet of water. I screamed as I plummeted the length of the slide, then skidded across the pool like a stone. I floundered in the water for a moment, then hoisted myself onto the lawn, and looked up. The jet of water that had propelled me down the five-hundred-foot drop, flowed from Tera’s stone urethra, because of course it did. I sighed, and looked around the lawn. I felt oddly powerful today. The energy ran freely though my veins, unhindered by the restraints I’d felt for the past two weeks. That should’ve made me happy, but it only concerned me. It would normally mean that Angela was in a host, but that was impossible, since I hadn’t made a connection between her and anyone else but Julia and Justina. The only alternative then, was that Angela had figured out how to go to the astral plane, which presented an entirely different set of problems. I glanced upward at the pyramid, and barely distinguished the antlered-outline of Diamond; a spec before the immense statue of Tera. Diamond had a connection with the astral plane; perhaps she could help? Julia couldn’t know though, because Julia was getting too close to Willowbud to trust. I didn’t know Diamond nearly well enough to trust her to keep secrets from her mother, but I did have some trust in Lucilla. Maybe if I… Gah! Fucking secrets; I hated them!
I cracked my knuckles, stretched my back, and pushed my hand into the grass. I felt the soil, the roots, the billions of life’s signals teeming to the bedrock. I’d never tested my limits before, because my power had always been kept secret, but now at least that fucking secret was out the window, and I was finally free to see just how strong I really was. I took a deep breath, and surged my being into the soil.
“Good Mother.” I gasped. Twelve sapphire circles burned at the edges of the lawn, the tiny outline of Brandon kneeling in the center of them. Lines of energy coursed from his hands, and spread in a web to the twelve nodes, pulsing in waves, just like the energy that had thrummed from Passion’s womb, only blue instead of white; unbound power. The circles began to constrict on themselves, growing brighter, denser, then, exploding. Twelve baobab trees shot from the earth in a spray of sapphire, their bulbous trunks alight with energy, the lines of power drawing outward, creating branches high in the expanding canopy. The tropical trees accelerated into the air, forming walls with their girths, and a ceiling with their interlocking branches. They stopped at two-hundred feet of height, but Brandon was not done. A Great Maple emerged from the center of the baobabs, it’s black, straight trunk contrasting the tan lengths of its tropical neighbors, it’s immense canopy shadowing the trees below it. Vines wrapped and connected the trees, growing tropical flowers along their lengths, coloring Brandon’s temple in a spectacular display of reds, blues and yellows. The Life Giver emerged from the entrance he’s made in the eastern wall of baobabs, extended his middle finger to Night Eyes, then collapsed in exhaustion.
“Bravo.” Night Eyes clapped lazily, then turned expectantly to me.
“I left a spot for you, in case you didn’t notice.” Night Eyes pointed to the rocky pavilion adjacent to the two new temples, “Duke Cranston made his fortune on iron mining, and he put his estate right on top of the deposit. I could pull some up, and you and I could make a temple of steel.”
“That is pure blasphemy, and you know it.” I frowned at Night Eyes, “The only temples that matter, are those with the crescent symbol above their thresholds.”
“Don’t tell me I went to all that trouble just to get a fucking lecture.” Night Eyes scowled at me from her chair.
“That’s what you get with Julia.” Lucilla chuckled, obviously enjoying Night Eyes’ distress. I frowned at her, and she stuck her tongue out at me.
“Sister, you’re a god whether you like it or not.” Night Eyes said, “People are going to come from hundreds of miles just to catch a glimpse of you, and when they get here, are you going to tell them their hope was foolish, their faith was blasphemous, and that they should leave?”
“I am going to tell them to seek hope in the only true god.” I replied, and even to my ears, it sounded like sanctimonious horseshit.
“Well then, Sister,” Night Eyes grinned, “since you’re the Good Mother’s number-one cheerleader, maybe you should build her a church.”
“I would never presume to erect a building in the name of the Maternal Order!” I snapped, “I have been excommunicated! It would be heresy to do such a thing!”
“Does the Maternal Order speak for God?” Night Eyes was salting open wounds, and she knew it, “To me, they just seem like a bunch of dried-up cunts gatekeeping heaven. Who’s to say they’re right? Who’s to say you shouldn’t start your own version of the Maternal Path?”
“Shut up!” I screamed at her, my fists turning into balls of flame. Night Eyes grinned broadly, then turned her chair around, and slid away, leaving me burning with rage. Why the anger, Julia? I asked myself, If you were confident in your devotion, why would Night Eyes’ obvious attempts to goad you anger you so? I watched her stop at the top of the massive staircase, where a multitude of the Brothel District’s residence were slowly ascending. She spread her arms wide, as though wishing to embrace every whore in Drastin, and they knelt for her, hundreds of them. Some bowed their heads to the steps, some raised their arms to the heavens, but they all kneeled in worship to their new god. It’s because you think she’s right. That night when you sat with Malek and Drask around the fire (Good Mother bless their souls), you decided that your purpose would be to spread the word of God to heathens all over the world, despite your exile from the Maternal Order. What changed? Why does it feel so wrong to do it now? I frowned as a darker thought snuck into my mind, It’s because before, you wanted to do it for the faceless, damned masses, but now, you want to do it for you I watched Astrid land before her god, her face radiant with adoration even from this distance. You want them all to look at you like that, don’t you, Julia? You want them to love you for the reason you hate yourself.
“Hey, don’t feel so bad;” Lucilla put a hand on my shoulder as she watched Night Eyes, “you can always just kill her.” I could tell she was only half-joking. She turned to me, studying my face, and I steeled myself for the argument we were about to have. Instead, she just asked, “What is it you’re trying to do, Julia?”
“I’m trying to save Willowbud.”
“By fucking her?” Lucilla gave me a frank look.
“That’s part of it.” I grimaced, remembering the lines I’d practiced in the mirror, “Night Eyes is… very physically driven. Getting emotionally close to her is difficult, as Corruption only cares about Brandon, so I have to be sexually close to her, to get beneath her skin -metaphorically, of course- ...and I guess physically.” I offered Lucilla an apologetic smile, “I know that sounds like the weakest excuse in the world.”
“No,” Lucilla said quickly, “you don’t need to explain yourself.”
“We’re in an open relationship, right?” Lucilla’s smile looked extremely forced, “That means we don’t need to explain our escapades. There’s no shame or jealousy; we trust each other.”
“I can tell you don’t like it.” I frowned.
“I’m totally fine with it!” Lucilla laughed, almost convincingly, “I’ve been fucking Brandon on the side since we got here, so I can hardly throw stones. Besides, I always got Diamond if I need to fuck someone who looks like you.”
“Um…” I tucked my chin into my neck and gave Lucilla a side-eyed look, “about that…”
I frowned as I watched Diamond and Justina run hand-in-hand away from Lucilla, the pair of them giggling like schoolgirls as they jumped onto Willowbud’s waterslide, and made their escape. The flustered princess stopped, took a tentative step in the water, withdrew her toes hurriedly, and glared after them.
“I taught you everything you know, and this is how you repay me?!” Lucilla called after Diamond, though I doubted she could be heard, “By giving it all away to some whore?” Lucilla huffed away, then noticed me, “Sorry, Tera.”
“There’s no need to apologize for honesty.” I replied, “My daughter is-or was- a prostitute. Now, I don’t know what she is. A monogamous succubus is… well, it’s a contradiction. It’s strange for Justina to make such a rash, emotional decision; she’s usually so level-headed.”
“Level-headedness seems to be short supply now.” Lucilla lamented, watching Julia. The ex-nun stood alone for a moment, her eyes fixed on Willowbud, her posture conveying deep uncertainty. Then she made her decision, and walked toward the Earth Former.
“What is going on with those two?” I asked.
“Julia thinks she can fix Willowbud… by fucking her.” Lucilla spat. I recalled the look on Willowbud’s face when Julia stuck her dick up her ass, and wondered idly if the good sister was on to something. That thought inevitably led to me wondering how Julia would feel in my ass, which led to me fantasizing about Willowbud and Julia turning me into a bridge, which led to a fantasy of all three gods filling me up, which finally led to the absurd fantasy my musings always degraded to: a world made of penis. I would frolic through the phalli fields, climb Purplehead Mountain, swim through rivers of viscous white… the mind of a succubus really is a disgusting place, which made Angela’s foray into Justina’s conscience a truly remarkable feat of mental of fortitude. Angela… in all of yesterday’s chaos, I’d completely forgotten that Brandon’s sister had made an abrupt appearance, and then an abrupt disappearance. Willowbud could see the infantile Sentient, but Willowbud hadn’t seen her, which meant when Willowbud vaporized Gloria’s house, Angela had found a very close and convenient place to hide…
“Tera?!” Lucilla snapped in my ear.
“Huh?” I offered an apologetic smile, “I’m sorry Princess, my mind wanders. What was it you were saying?”
“I asked you what the fuck we we’re going to do about Freydis and Flora!” Lucilla hissed.
“What can we do?” I sighed, “Since I didn’t release them from my slavery, they’ll both be hobbled by the physical effects for days. If we’re lucky, they’ll try to scratch the itch, and only make it worse, but something tells me Freydis isn’t lacking in self-control, and Flora is the same. My sister is a lot of things, but weak-willed is not one of them.”
“Can’t you just… sniff them out?”
“I’m not a dog, Lucilla.” I frowned, “If they were male, then I could tell you what they had for dinner two months ago, but since they’re female, I can only detect them if they’re very close, and Drastin is very big. Did you tell Julia about our problem?”
“Yeah,” Lucilla murmured, watching as Julia placed her hands on Willowbud’s shoulders, “but she doesn’t seem too worried. She said she has faith in Freydis to make the right decision, whatever that is. We should at least warn Astrid.”
“I thought about it.” I muttered, watching Astrid undo Willowbud’s belt, “But Astrid can’t keep a secret worth a shit, and at this point, I’m not sure she wouldn’t sell out her own mother for a pat on the back from her mistress.”
“She carries the Sword of Iona; shouldn’t that make her High Guard?”
“Technically, yes.” I replied, “She beat Freydis in a duel, but for whatever reason, Freydis never relented. From what I gathered, that point of contention was what led Astrid to leave Iona in the first place.”
“So, Astrid is just one Freydis Skyborne away from being High Guard of Iona.”
“Yeah,” I sighed, “which means Willowbud is just one Freydis Skyborne away from owning the greatest fighting force in the world.”
I could tell Mistress hadn’t showered today. She tasted like old sex, both vaginal and anal, but her flavor was decadent all the same. I hummed as I knelt before my god, my eyes staring their adoration, my lips slurping her clean, my tongue lathering her slowly, finding all the bumps and veins that I knew so well. Mistress, usually an ardent connoisseur of my greatest talent, was otherwise distracted. Once again, I was just the prop for her to impress Sister Julia, but I didn’t let my jealousy take me. I knew my place. And I’ll never forget it.
“Have you ever seen a woman look at you like that?” Mistress asked Sister Julia, the pair of them glancing down at me. There was desire in Sister Julia’s emerald eyes, there was greed as well, but there was mostly pity, and it insulted me. I watched Sister Julia through narrowed eyes as I moaned and rotated my lips, showing her what an honor-what a privilege- it was to suck this cock. And I will taste you as well, Your Holiness, and then we’ll see if you find me pitiful. If your manliness is so potent as to subdue Mistress, then I must have it.
“I prefer love to worship.” Sister Julia answered Mistress, but there was uncertainty in her, I could see it. That same uncertainty that I’d felt once, that sickening realization that you desire the things you detest. I wonder what you will look like when you fall, Your Holiness. Will you cover your skin in ink as I have, or is your darkness of a different shade?
“What will you do with your flock?” Sister Julia asked, surveying the women that prostrated to Mistress, before entering the temple.
“I’m going to house them free of charge, pay for their education, and turn them into productive members of society.” Mistress grinned up at Sister Julia’s frown. I chuckled as best I could with a cock in my throat.
“I don’t even know why they bow to you.” Sister Julia shook her head, “All you’ve done is give them a new place to whore.”
“Some whores love whoring, Sister.” Mistress said, pushing my head forward, making me choke delightedly, “Some just don’t know anything else. Maybe you could show them the better path, hmm? Go preach to them, and see if you can find a nun in the brothel. Get enough of them, and pretty soon you’ll need a church of your own.”
“You keep playing out of turn, Night Eyes, and I’ll deal with you another way!” Sister Julia growled.
“I’m getting close, aren’t I?” Mistress smirked, “Am I picking at scabs that haven’t scarred yet, or are these fresher wounds? What if I start my own church of the Holy Mother? What if I made an idol of that fake cunt, and-” Mistress’s head whipped to the side with Sister Julia’s slap. Mistress didn’t make a sound, but shocked gasps sung from every whore who witnessed it. I was halfway to reaching for my sword, but I stopped the instinctual motion. Mistress was coming. I saw her lips gaping and her eyes widening through the veil of her disheveled hair, I felt her balls pulsing on my chin, and her cock throbbing wildly in my throat. She reared back her head, thrusted deeply, and screeched her delight as she erupted into my belly. The earth shook with her ecstasy, and the followers around us scattered, but Sister Julia just placed a gentle hand on the cheek she’d slapped, turned Mistress’s face to hers, and opened her lips for a kiss. Mistress thrusted with the echoes of her euphoria, squishing my muzzle against her pelvis as she lost herself in the Heat Bringer’s mouth, and mine. When Sister Julia had sated Mistress’s lust, and the two were sharing their eyes, I slowly sucked the last of my master clean.
“Fine, I’ll play by the rules,” Mistress whispered, “but Astrid stays with me the whole time.”
“Why?” Sister Julia asked.
“Because if you ever need to kill me, then you’ll have to kill her first.” Mistress grinned evilly at Sister Julia, “And if it ever comes to that, I want her death on your conscience. Plus, I need a meat-shield to buy me a second for my escape.”
Night Eyes’ followers milled about their new home, singing their high spirits in a harmony of laughter and jubilant calls. The sound echoed against the domed ceiling, the contours of Tera’s stone skull creating a sound chamber that dulled the revelry. The two of us sat on a balcony overlooking it all, the noon sun shining through Tera’s right eye, and casting an ovoid beam through Night Eyes’ new bedroom, which preceded the balcony. Night Eyes spoke in even tones, her lips pursed around a cigarette, her eyes cast downward, a look of boredom as she surveyed her new followers.
“…after they had their fun with me, they left me broken in that alleyway.” Night Eyes finished, “When I woke up the next day, eyes all crusted, mouth swollen shut, I saw her. She kissed me, and that was that.” Night Eyes flicked the cigarette over the balcony, and watched it burn all the way down.
“That’s terrible.” I said quietly.
“I wasn’t asking for a fucking pity-party.” Night Eyes grunted, “So now what? Are you going psychoanalyze me? Let me save you the trouble. Corruption’s allure is that she fetishizes the things that broke us. I was raped, so now I like to rape. I was abused, so now I like to abuse. I was forced into submission, stripped of my dignity, and turned into an animal, so now I like to do that to others. Just look at what I did to Astrid.”
I just nodded, considering the tattooed woman standing stoically behind her mistress. Astrid had heard every word of her mistress’s tale, and though her cheeks were wet, she stayed remarkable impassive.
“So…?” Night Eyes prompted, “Now what?”
“Corruption didn’t really fetishize what was done to you.” I mused, “Since your rape, have you ever been with more than one man at once?”
“One would think that the notorious hedonist, Night Eyes, would have a pack of studs ready to fill her at her desire.” I smiled at her.
“One might think that,” Night Eyes smiled ruefully back, resting her elbows on the balcony, “but I enjoy herds of the fairer sex.”
“Because you’re afraid.”
“Are you trying to goad me into getting gangbanged?” Night Eyes grinned, “Do you want to see me writhing powerlessly between muscular bodies as they break me open? Will you yell passages of the bible at me and make me repent while I squeal like a pig?”
“You’re terrified.” I said, leaning next to her, “You can’t hide your fear behind obscene comments and a snarky smile with me, Night Eyes.” I put a hand on her shoulder, and felt it tense beneath it, “Corruption wants me to be the sadist to you; she wants me to be the pious hypocrite, but I’m not.” Liar. “I’m your friend, and all I want, is to help.”
I had never seen so much… skin before. Whores of every race and creed, mulling about in various stages of undress, hauling their goods into new quarters and decorating their abodes to their liking. It wasn’t just women, however. Gigolos of every shape and size walked past Astrid, Tera and I, and the three of us stared unabashedly at the new options we had.
“It’s like a buffet.” Tera grinned, violet eyes reflecting the knobby form of a goblin.
“But Sister Julia is a picky eater.” Astrid replied from my other side, “No, Tera, not him.”
“But he’s so handsome!” Tera insisted.
“You say that about everyone.” I smirked, “Is there such a thing as ‘ugly’ for a succubus?”
“Prepubescent.” Tera crinkled her nose, “But after that, no; I find beauty in everything with a penis. Actually, penis isn’t always a requirement.” Tera gave me a covetous once-over, and I didn’t mind in the least.
“Muscle is what I find pleasing to the eye.” Astrid said, smiling as an orc past us, “Valkyries naturally seek seed-givers that will gift their daughters with strength.”
“And yet, you limit yourselves to the mountain men.” Tera tsked.
“You should see the Gratoran mountain dwellers, Tera.” Astrid sighed, “Seven feet tall, arms like trunks, thighs like boulders. It’s no wonder that the weaker-willed Ionans abandon the Guard to live the rest of their lives in disgrace with them.”
“What about you, Princess?” Tera asked me, “Do you have a type?”
“Variety is the spice of life.” I smiled, “Though I do have one caveat: no fatties.”
“Agreed!” Astrid proclaimed.
“Oh, but they’re so comfortable!” Tera insisted, “Once you’re done, you can make a nice, soft bed of them. You two don’t know what you’re missing.”
“That one.” Astrid said, pointing to a thirty-something human. Square-jawed, decently-built, and a bald spot on his crown, but I supposed he was good looking. Still, to my mind, there were much better options.
“Why him?” I asked.
“Because he has kind eyes.” Astrid said, walking toward the man.
“And a huge cock.” Tera giggled when the man turned toward Astrid. Though that was certainly true, Astrid didn’t seem to be picking men based on their size. The other two she’d selected were of a similar demographic: mid-thirties, worn features, and compassionate eyes.
“Fathers.” I said, “Astrid is picking fathers.”
“Huh,” Tera mused, “I think you’re right. Just what in the hell is your girlfriend doing up there?”
“I don’t know; Astrid didn’t say.” I frowned, looking at the dress I had slung over my arm. Just what in the hell are you doing, Julia?
“Why is Astrid privy to all this, but you aren’t?”
“Julia says it’s not safe for me to be around when her and Willowbud do… whatever it is their doing.” I frowned up at the balcony, so many levels above us, “But I trust her.” I think.
I hadn’t felt this nervous since my first date with Brandon, but it was a different kind of nervous; it wasn’t me feeling it. Corruption was writhing restlessly inside me, trying to compel me to take control, but the other parts of me didn’t want to. I was a dimly aware that the entity called “Night Eyes” was slowly losing its singularity. It wasn’t even becoming a duality, but splitting into a trichotomy: Corruption, Night Eyes, and very recently, Willowbud. She’d almost come back yesterday, before Corruption jumped on her and wrestled her back into submission, but she was no longer asleep. The other two were stronger, bolder and more cunning, but Willowbud knew how to find places to hide, and Willowbud could cower in them indefinitely, like she’d done for so long before the creatures of Drastin finally found her.
“Why don’t you and Brandon just fuck me?” I asked Sister Julia as she adjusted the gown she’d adorned me with. It looked like a fucking prom dress.
“Too many questions.” Sister Julia replied curtly, making sure my hair was to her liking. She had my white mane done-up in some sort of elvish do that looked like something Princess Lucilla would sport.
“Am I going to a ball, or am I getting gang-fucked?” I growled, “What’s with all the pageantry?”
“I want you to feel pretty.”
“I don’t need to feel pretty, Sister; I know I’m drop-dead gorgeous.” I smirked in the mirror, “And if I’m going to be manhandled by three studs, shouldn’t I be in something sluttier?”
“Too many questions.” Sister Julia clasped a palm over my lipsticked mouth, and placed a kiss on the nape of my neck. Once again, she subdued me with her gentle authority, like a kindly mother disciplining an unruly child. I melted against her, felt her body mold to mine beneath our dresses, and she went back to work; lacing a corsage to my wrist, and clasping a velvet choker around my neck. The outfit fell right into place, and I stared dumbly at my reflection. Holy shit, I look… pretty.
“Lucilla picked the outfit, of course.” Sister Julia smiled as I looked myself over, “I told her, ‘I want Night Eyes to look her age,’ and viola, here you are: a flowering teenager; not the twenty-something woman you want everyone to think you are.”
“Why?” I asked, feeling very much like the inexperienced girl staring back at me.
“Too many questions.” Sister Julia smiled again, took my hand, and guided me out of the closet, and to my new chambers, where three middle-aged men were waiting for me. I guessed they were attractive, they were obviously gigolos, but there was something… different about them. Something that tickled a certain part of me; not Corruption, for she loved Brandon, nor Night Eyes, who was fascinated with Sister Julia. It was Willowbud who swooned within me, and the emotions she churned up weren’t entirely sexual. Warmth, tenderness, hope, safety; things Night Eyes had never sought, nor cared for, things Corruption scoffed at, but things Willowbud longed for with aching desperation.
“What are they?” I hissed, “Incubi?”
“No,” Sister Julia giggled in my ear, “that’s Tom, he’s a human; that’s Damian, he’s a dawn-elf; and that’s Jericho, he’s a nymph.”
“But why do they seem so different…” I searched he men, noting their formal, but lax garb, the shadows under their friendly eyes, the slope of their shoulders. Corruption read them like a book, and fed me her analysis. The men were frightened of me, as most people were, but their fear was only expressed with subtle rigidness, as if life had given them greater concerns than their own wellbeing, because it was not their own lives they lived for.
“You’re a cold-hearted bitch, Sister.” I whispered.
“Indulge me,” Sister Julia put her hands on my trembling shoulders, “and go to them.”
I took a tentative step forward, then another, then another. It was ridiculous to feel the level of apprehension that I did, but I couldn’t help it. Willowbud knotted her metaphorical fingers, smiled her metaphorical lips, batted her metaphorical lashes, and I (whatever ‘I’ was) walked with a demure gait, staring shyly at the ground before the paternal, kind eyes of three middle-aged whores.
“Your Holiness.” Damian said, his voice deep and rich. He held out a hand, a hand covered with lines and veins, a hand that looked like a much smaller hand was meant to fit within it. I laced fingers with that hand, and I felt the callouses, the roughness, the strength; the gentleness, the protectiveness, and the comfort. I reached out my other hand, and Tom’s fingers interlaced with mine, forming a seal of warmth around my palm. I looked up, and there were Jericho’s forest-green eyes, brimming with understanding and sympathy.
“You’re so beautiful today, Your Holiness.” Jericho smiled his radiant smile, daring to brush a strand of hair from my forehead. I stared into those pine eyes, those crowfeet that creased their corners, those subtle lines that smiled beneath the lid. God, did they look familiar. Sister Julia, you wretched bitch. I cast my eyes downward, afraid to connect them any longer, ashamed to have dared their depths to begin with. I found the paternal mark all nymph males bear when they’ve sired a child, a downward-pointing triangle just below the navel. It was turquois instead of lavender, like my father’s mark had been.
“What’s her name?” my voice was air.
“Lillypetal.” Jericho replied.
“A little younger than you, Your Holiness.”
“Kiss me like I’m your Lillypetal.” I whispered the words from trembling lips, more of a plea than a command. My pupils stared from the tops of wide, black eyes; fearful, shy, but hoping. I tasted his breath, felt the seal of his mouth part against mine, felt his stubble graze my cheeks as his body encased my own. His lips pressed softly, his tongue touched me tenderly, cautiously, like a father succumbing to the body of his daughter. Like how my father had kissed me before the end.
They moved on me, and I let myself grow weak against them, let their strength surround me, their hands sliding softly, respectfully, lovingly. Rough palms caressed my bare arms, slid under the straps of my dress, trailed down the length of my spine. Calloused fingers grazed the silky flesh of my thighs, their forearms creating tents of my skirt. I quivered at their touch, breathing soft moans of apprehension into Jericho’s mouth, feeling every-bit the teenage virgin Sister Julia had dressed me as. And I loved it. Oh, did I love that fear that only comes with youth; that fear that’s equal parts exhilaration and terror. That fear that had been robbed from Willowbud. From me.
“Are you ready, Your Holiness?” Tom’s husky voice on the back of my neck, his hands stopping below the fold where thigh met glute.
“Call me Willowbud.” I whispered into Jericho’s mouth.
“Are you ready, Willowbud?” Jericho asked, lips smiling affectionately, hand cupping my cheek. I tilted my head into his touch, creating a pillow of his palm, exposing the slender length of my neck so that Damian could lovingly brush my hair behind my ear, revealing the choker necklace that hugged my throat.
“Yes.” I barely spoke the words through tremoring lips. Their hands moved, two still laced with mine, the other four sliding between cheeks, parting thighs, gripping fat, and spreading. Wetted fingers pushed slowly into my ass, three digits separated my petals, two hands held me open as I tightened my grip around the other two.
“Just breathe, Willowbud.” Jericho’s kindly voice, “We would never hurt you.”
“Relax.” Tom’s voice in my ear now, “We’ll make you feel like a woman.”
“Like our little girl, all grown up.” Damian assured me as his fingers explored my rectum. I whimpered as the aching pleasure expanded in my nethers, creating molasses of my muscles, turning me into a creature of reluctant languidness. My legs grew weak, and with a soft cry, I fell into a chair of forearms and gripping hands, my back relaxing against a chest, my head resting on a shoulder. Tom’s fingers massaged me slowly from the inside, stretching my pussy with gradual presses of his fingertips, whispering soft nothings in my ear while his ecstasy turned my pelvis into jelly. Hands moved the dress off my shoulders, exposing caramel flesh, readied for pressing lips. My head tilted back as my bodice slid from my breasts, and the air tickled my erect nipples. Jericho’s hands released my spread glutes, navigated the curves of my waist, slid up my clothed belly, and gently gripped my jutted chest. He took my left nipple into his mouth, then my right; sucking gently, drawing me to aching nodes, coercing pleasant sobs from my parted lips.
“Please.” I whimpered, “Please take me!”
“Where do you want us to please you?” Jericho asked, tilting my chin forward with his hand.
“Everywhere.” I hissed.
They lowered me with gentle strength, leaving my dress to drape over my thighs, but pulling it up for access from behind. I found myself straddled atop Jericho, my body exposed to the hips, my shoulders pressing breasts together, my hands still laced with Tom and Damian’s, their other hands still working fingers gently inside me. They opened my holes with methodical tenderness, and I blubbered my pleas like a wanting daughter spoiling for her birthday presents. My fathers obliged me.
Tom withdrew his fingers, spread my thighs with them, and let Jericho slowly sink his length into my dripping slit. Damian pressed his body against my back, his heat radiating into my shoulders, down my spine, his cock pressing its tip against the relaxed gape he’d made of my asshole. He palmed his sullied hand over my mouth as he pushed his cock into me, and I sucked my ass off his fingers, looking back at him with eyes full of gratitude, then watching in perverse fascination as inch after inch of him disappeared into my shithole. My pelvis met Jericho’s crotch, and my ass squished against Damian’s. My licking tongue went limp in my mouth, my sucking lips gaped, and I moaned a mindless, hoarse tone. Their cocks pulsed within me, touching me deeply, parting my tender insides and pressing together along my nerve-swathed division. I released my white-knuckled handhold to shakenly support my weight above Jericho, but my back drooped spinelessly with the pleasure that ran along it, and with a pathetic cry, I fell onto his chest, my strength failing me once again. His lips found mine, and I shared my tongue with him as he shared me with Damian. They withdrew as one, letting my insides relax, leaving their heat to tease my wanting flesh, before driving in again, stuffing me, stretching me, piercing my sanctity and filth equally. My pelvis elevated behind the curve of my spine, creating shadows along my back every time they entered me. My taint stretched to a ribbon between their reaming rods, glistening with lust that spilled from cunt, aching with the pleasure churning from my ass. I slid slickly along Jericho’s abdomen, feeling his muscles flex against me, feeling his lips and tongue taste me with the same paternal control in which he fucked me. I finally found the strength to lift myself with wobbly arms, and my shoulder blades pinched behind me as my bodily arch deepened, my belly still resting, my pelvis still elevating to take them deeper. Jericho rose with my kiss, then released me from it. I opened my eyes, and an untasted meal stood throbbing before me. I licked my lips up at Tom, and wrapped them around Daddy’s cock.
Astrid gasped beside me. “I’ve never seen Mistress take a man in her mouth before. I knew she pleased Brandon as such, but she never let me see her do it.”
The Valkyrie was shamelessly masturbating next to me, her forearms rolling their muscles as her knuckles pushed her fingers deeper. It was incredibly difficult for me to concentrate on Night Eyes with the tattooed beauty moaning softly beside me, trying to catch my eye with sidelong glances that leered toward the tent I was pitching in my dress. I crossed my leg over my erection, and heard Astrid’s disappointed sigh next to me.
“Why won’t you let me touch you?” Astrid asked, rolling to her side on the couch we were seated on, “Do you not find me desirable?”
“You’re beautiful,” I offered her a smile, but kept my eyes forward, “but I need to concentrate.”
“On what?” Astrid giggled, “Do you think your little game will save Mistress? I tried every day for a month, and look at what has become of me! What makes you think you can succeed where I failed?”
“In the Good Mother?” Astrid giggled again, shifting her voluptuous form closer.
“In Willowbud. She’s in there, Astrid, I know it.”
“She’s dead.” Astrid hissed, and now her hands were sliding along my waist, “I watched her die in Tentigo. There is only Mistress now, and you can’t beat her in a game of wills, little nun; you’re just one more piece on her board. You’ll see.” Astrid’s fingers slid my skirt up my thighs, “You’ll wonder how she made you do the things you’ve done, and then you’ll realize, you wanted to do them all along.”
“I’ve faced far greater seductresses than you, Astrid.” I chuckled, pushing her hand away.
“I’m not trying to seduce you.” Astrid smiled as she rested her head on my lap, “I’m trying to suck your cock.” She ran her fingers over the imprint I was making in my skirt, coercing a shudder from me, “I want to be first woman to taste all three gods.” Astrid raised her eyebrows as my cock flexed against her petting hand, “Will you do me the honors, Your Holiness? You can watch Mistress while I do my work.” Astrid’s voice was practically a purr as she slid her hands beneath my dress, “Just pretend I’m not here.”
Well, that was going to be impossible. I’d been blown by a spirit of lust, and the sluttiest princess in the elven empire, but neither of them could compare to what this Valkyrie was doing to me. Astrid seemed to suck my very soul from the tip of my cock. I stared at her with my mouth agape in shock, and she gave me a sly wink as her tongue lathered my base, her throat constricted in a coil of massaging heat, her lips sealed and pulled with perfect suction.
“Oh, Good Mother!” I cried, and collapsed against the couch, petting Astrid’s braided hair as it bobbed up and down. Her piercing blue eyes stared covetously from her brow, her flushed cheeks went gaunt with the suction of her mouth, and her luscious lips quirked knowingly as I spread my legs wide for her, pushed her face deeper with one hand, and trailed finger past my moaning lips with the other. My dress darkened with the sweat of my pleasure, my chest jutted with the hedonistic arch of my back, and I stared at Night Eyes through blurred lenses as she was taken by her new fathers.
I was filled with man. They squeezed the soft parts of my body, penetrated the tender entrances I offered them, and stretched my vulnerable insides to excruciating euphoria. They were still gentle, but now they were firmer with me, no longer treating me like their precious princess, but like a daughter with an insolent streak. I usually didn’t like giving blowjobs; it went against my nature to please someone without getting something in return, but for whatever reason, it pleased me to please Tom. I loved the look he gave me, the way he pet my hair like I was his good little girl, the way he affectionately wiped the tears away that had been brought on by my inexperienced gagging. I knew I wasn’t great at giving head, but I tried my damndest, and seeing the pleasure on his face, and hearing the groans flow from his lips, were all the reward I needed.
While I pleased Tom, Damian and Jericho were driving me to the brink. They pumped in congruence, pushing my ass into the small of my back, lurching me forward so that my face pressed into Tom’s crotch. They held my body in place with their strong hands; Damian squeezing the fat of my ass and spreading it wide so that he could fuck me deeper, Jericho wrapping his arms around me and pinning my belly to his. They trapped me in this embrace as they had their way with me, leaving me helpless, at their mercy, but I trusted them. They didn’t try to hurt me, or force me to give up my dignity, or make me plead or beg like a bitch. They didn’t do any of the things that had been done to me; any of the things I would have done. I wanted them to have that power over me, I wanted to see what they’d do with it, what pleasures they would give me, what joy their control would bring. I spread my thighs wide for Jericho, hummed my cry around and Tom, relaxed my anus for Damian, and surrendered my body.
The choker around my neck tightened as Tom’s cock bulged down my throat, but I didn’t gag. I tasted his foul masculinity with my clumsy tongue, and expelled my escalating cries through the broken seal of my lips. My breasts jiggled from my chest, the nipples grazing Jericho’s pecs, the supple globes glistening caramel with my exertion. My belly clenched with every thrust; flexing to the feeling of Jericho indenting my oozing petals with his entry, sliding against that spot on my ceiling, and hitting my bottom. My pelvis churned with every pump; aching to the feeling of Damian pushing my stretched rim inside me, creasing my pelvic floor into a shadow with his entry, reaming my sinful channel, and finding depths that screamed for abuse. The sensations combined at the meeting of my holes, wracking my fleshy membrane into a convulsing ruin that compelled me to clench, lurch, and grind. The feeling ballooned, the aching, tortuous delight that crawled down my legs, boiled into my belly, and burned like lightning into my extremities. My three fathers began bucking and heaving, losing their equanimity as their balls to roil with eruption. They thrusted with force now, their cocks driving into me, their sacks slapping against me, their moans and groans mixing with my gagging screams. I lost myself in the heat of it, lost myself in the throes of sweat, of skin, of piercing closeness in my most intimate places. I screeched around Tom, bucked my hips against Jericho, smashed my ass against Damian, and writhed to the dance of orgasm.
Love me, Daddy. Willowbud’s whisper cut through the noise, Love me like you used to.
Night Eyes spoke the next words, I don’t remember Daddy ever loving me like this. Of course, we’ve both changed so much, haven’t we, Daddy?
I tried so hard to follow your rules, Willowbud sounded ashamed, but I couldn’t stand the pain. I’m sorry, Daddy.
Night Eyes sardonically chuckled the words now, I’m sorry, but I’m just not your little girl anymore. If you knew about the things I’d done, you’d never speak to me again.
Willowbud’s voice came now, desperate, tortured, But I won’t let you find out about me! I won’t let you see what I’ve become! You can’t stay with me, but I can’t let you leave knowing what I am! Why did you have to keep looking for me? Why couldn’t you have just given up like everyone else?! I’M DEAD, DADDY! I’VE ROTTED TO NOTHING!
I came with a back-wrenching scream, and I felt the stone, the earth, the bedrock hundreds of feet below me. They solidified in my mind, a picture of granite and shale, connected to me like my veins, at the mercy of my heart. Warmth shot into me, hot seed seeping into my pummeled insides. Wetness sprayed over me, hot, red, smelling of iron. The bodies dropped; holes in their heads, looks of ecstasy frozen across their dead faces. I looked at them dumbly from clear eyes… Willowbud’s eyes… my eyes.
It wasn’t me that killed your father. Corruption spoke into my ear, expelled from my mind, holding onto our meld by a fraying thread, It was you, Willowbud. You didn’t want him to see what we’d made of you, so you killed him. I was blameless. I only wanted to take the pain away, but you wanted so much to feel it.
“I feel it.” I hissed, staring at the corpses I’d made, the fathers I’d stolen. Oh, did I feel it. A weight sinking into the pit of me, dragging all the joy, hope and light into its depths. Guilt. I felt something else as well, something hot, scalding, excruciating. I turned to see Sister Julia outstretched hand, a plasmatic orb of white shining like the sun from its center. Behind her, Astrid swung her sword blindly at walls and columns, vainly trying to save me through unseeing eyes. And that was what drove me back into Corruption’s arms; the sight of Astrid; tattooed, disgraced, stripped of everything she once held dear, and still trying to save me. Oh god, what have I done to you? Didn’t I tell you I wasn’t your god? Why didn’t you listen to me? Why did you stay with me?! I only kill the ones I love!
I looked up at Sister Julia before it happened, and she saw my eyes. Her mouth dropped, her hand extinguished, and she faltered. Kill me. I thought as I tasted Corruption’s kiss, and felt her opium wash over me. My head tilted back, my diaphragm expanded, and I breathed the sweet relief into my veins, feeling the guilt seep from me, feeling Willowbud crawl back into her hole. When it was done, I stared from blackened eyes, cracked my neck lazily, and smiled amusedly from my marred lips.
“That was one hell of a showing, Sister; bravo.” I chuckled, inspecting the three corpses I’d made. “I guess when gods play games, everyone else loses.” I glanced at Astrid, who stared blankly at the wall, then I drew my gaze slowly up to Sister Julia’s, “And now, it’s my turn.”
“When a succubus absolutely needs to feed, there is a technique that never fails.” Tera grinned deviously up at the adolescent orc she was stroking, clearly enjoying the power she had over him. No longer was Tera just ‘Death Kiss; gladiator, whore, assassin,’ but now, thanks to Brandon’s patronage, she was ‘Your Eminence,’ a distinction that put her just below ‘Bound One,’ and pretty much meant she could do whatever she wanted, to whoever she wanted. I thought Tera was a good woman, and wouldn’t abuse her power in malicious ways, but I worried greatly for the innocence of every teenager who walked into The Pussy Palace. Tera could smell virginity like a shark smelt blood, and she was equally ravenous. To help take my mind of Julia and Willowbud, she’d taken me hunting with her, and now that we’d caught our meal, the huntress was teaching me how to feed.
“First,” Tera started her instruction, “you take your fingers like this,” she sucked her middle and ring fingers with purple lips, “you slide them behind the balls -Julia doesn’t have balls, I know, but you get the idea-.” Tera gently clasped the young orc’s testicles, and lifted them. I did the same with my human, a boy of about eighteen. He shuddered with a flex of his cock, and I had to ignore the instincts that compelled me to wrap my lips around his delicious-looking head, and suck him dry.
“Then…” Tera smiled almost lovingly at her prey as he began to groan, “…you rub your fingers back and forth along the taint like this,” she was hissing the words now, her forked tongue flicking like a snake’s, her violet eyes gleaming, “and you’ll feel Julia begin to pulse there. Just massage it nice and slow,” the orc began to growl as Tera’s forearm flexed with the motion of her fingers, the beast’s balls pulsing on her wrist, “until she begs you for it.”
I followed Tera’s instruction, sliding my wetted fingers behind the boy’s sack, and pressing gently, but firmly against his taint. He began to moan as I ran my fingertips along the length of him, feeling his pelvic floor flexing with involuntary convulsions of pleasure. I grinned up at him, and saw that his face was wracked with desire, his tip was oozing decadent precum down his curved-back shaft, his balls were roiling against the blue veins of my upturned wrist.
“Now, my little grasshopper,” Tera giggled to me, “you take those fingers, and circle the rim.”
I snaked my fingers back, and felt the hot, filthy button of the boy. I savored each spoke of him, watching his face from hungry eyes as his brow furrowed, his jaw clenched, and his neck tensed.
“And finally,” Tera’s voice was a purr now, “you penetrate Julia while you take her all the way down your throat, and remind her why she bound with you in the first place.” Tera wrapped her reptilian tongue three times around the orc, and pushed her arm forward. The beast clenched with the shock of her penetration, and as he thrusted, she made his cock disappear, until its only evidence was the bulge in her neck. I gawked at her skill, and she gave me a wink, before blissfully closing her eyes, and sucking mindlessly. I turned my attention back to the boy, licked his tip through smirking lips, then pushed my fingers into his tight heat, wrapped my lips around the crease of his cock, and took all six inches of him into my gullet. My fingertips found his anal organ, and I pressed it, massaged it, tortured it until it was contracting with spasms, and the balls that rested on my chin were doing the same. The boy gripped my head, all propriety for my supposed holiness gone, and pushed my face into his crotch until my nose squished against him, and his scent filled my nostrils. I gagged around him, constricted my throat, and sucked with greedy lips until he was thrusting, grunting, moaning, and then, coming. He blew into my esophagus, and I withdrew slowly until he filled my mouth with his nectar, and it dripped from my smiling lips.
“Thank you, Bound One.” The boy gasped, cheeks flushed, chest heaving.
“Thank you, Your Eminence.” The orc groaned as Tera withdrew, her tongue sliding in coil of pink flesh up his length, scooping his seed into her open mouth. She turned to me, ran a hand through my hair, and I gave her my payment for the lesson. I passed the boy’s seed to Tera between our kissing lips, and she moaned as she tasted it, her body pressing deeper to mine with the passion she garnered from the sustenance.
“Do what I taught you to Julia,” Tera whispered between my parted lips, “and she’ll start calling you the ‘Holy Mother.’”
“How do I get her to call me ‘Satan?’” I grinned.
“I’ve got some lessons for that,” Tera’s tongue flicked across my lips, “but they require lots of stretching, and lots of lube. Do you think you can handle it?”
“Probably not, but I want to try.” I gasped, molding my body to hers. Tera ran her hands down my spine, gripped the fat of my ass, spread me wide, and-
“Bound One?” a shy voice asked. I turned to see an elvish whore, a mixture of dawn-blood and dark-blood, entwining her fingers nervously.
“Yes?” I tried to keep the irritation out of my voice.
“There’s someone here to see you.”
“Tell them I’m busy.” I said, and returned my attention to Tera.
“It’s uh…” the whore looked incredibly uneasy, “it’s your father.”
He was on the stairway of The Pussy Palace, surrounded by his usual entourage of ten mages. They’d cleared a path through the crowd that flocked to Willowbud’s new house of sin, and stood stiffly, watching me as I slowly descended the steps with two gods at my back. I couldn’t believe I’d once been terrified of this man. He’d seemed larger than life, a wielder of incalculable power, a man whose eyes and ears extended to the edge of the world. Now, all I saw was a deranged geriatric, vainly trying to look presentable in ill-fitting armor and a much-needed haircut. The façade might’ve fooled the passing glance, but one look into his eyes revealed the fevered glint of their madness. He’d barely been sane the last time I saw him, but I guess the realization that his own daughter at stolen his life’s work finally broke him. He didn’t even glance at me, but stared longingly at the Heat Bringer.
“Emperor Flitari, what a pleasure.” Willowbud called.
“Your Holinesses,” Father replied in his most regal voice, “it is such a privilege to see you in the flesh. When I received your invitation, you would not believe my joy. It is beyond an honor.”
“You invited him.” Julia hissed behind me to Willowbud, “How?”
“You remember those messages I sent you,” Willowbud chuckled, “well, they go long-distance.”
“This is my temptation?!” Julia sounded incredibly agitated. I might’ve asked what she meant by ‘my temptation,’ were I not so focused on the man before me.
“Sister Julia Glendian.” Father said, almost sounding friendly, “I hope that you’ll forgive me for the… brashness of my pursuit of you, but you must understand, it was all for your own safety.”
“For my own safety?” Julia scoffed behind me.
Father spread his hands before him. “I was only putting the empire’s best interests at-”
“Look at me!” I snapped at him, and Father’s eyes finally fell to mine. There it was: the hatred, the jealousy. The evidence of my crime was glowing white from my flesh, and through the silk of my dress.
“Bound One.” Father nodded with forced respect.
“That’s right, old man.” I hissed, “Bound One. You have the audacity stand in the presence of divinity?” I stepped until our eyes were level, “I would see you kneel.”
“Lucilla I-” and I cut the words from with mouth with a strike across the face. It was an awkward punch, thrown without experience, and its contact lanced pain up my forearm, but god, did it ever feel good. Father stumbled back into his mages, whose angry eyes and astral melds began to gleam threateningly.
“Oh, I wouldn’t do that.” Willowbud chuckled, and I was actually glad the sadistic cunt was behind me. I didn’t need to turn around to know that her and Julia were displaying their power; I could see it in the fear shining from the mages’ eyes, and hear it in the hushed gasps of the spectators. Father wiped a trickle of blood from his lips, shook his mages off him, and got on his knees before me.
“Bound One.” He mumbled.
“Why have you come here?”
“Her Holiness, Night Eyes, requested my presence. She said I could atone for my transgressions, and ensure the safety of my empire.”
“The safety of your empire?” Julia yelled, clearly insulted, “That’s my home you’re talking about!”
Father gulped, and looked at me. “I saw the fire from my keep that night.” He said in a low voice, so that only I could hear it, “I saw it shoot into the heavens. The nymphs are leaving Arbortus now, and the Great Maples are wilting. I just want to know that our people won’t suffer the same fate for my mistakes.”
“Julia would never harm her own.”
“They say she burned her parents to ash.”
“I wouldn’t bring that up, unless you want to join them.”
Father gave me a very pointed look. “Julia would never harm her own.” He echoed my words, then he dawned a bright smile, leapt to his feet, and bowed grandly before Willowbud and Julia.
“Your Holiness, Sister Julia Glendian, I have a gift for you.”
They marched up the steps in unison, like soldiers in nun’s clothing. They all had platinum hair beneath modest headdresses, sapphire eyes beneath their bangs, pointed ears at the sides of their heads, and swords belted over their habits. They all looked like slightly-different versions of the same woman, and in way, they all were; all high-blood, all born beneath the same moon, all suffered the same degradations. My replacements in Emperor Flitari’s sick experiments.
“Your followers.” Night Eyes whispered, “I ordered them this morning, with special instructions to gift-wrap them in matching uniforms, and send them via express mail; mage-teleportation. The emperor was very accommodating, so make sure to leave him a good review on the customer service survey.”
“I don’t want them!” I hissed.
“Well, I suppose I can always tell the emperor to take them back.” Night Eyes chuckled, “But from what I hear, the return policy is a bit… complicated. You see, the manufacturer’s warranty was voided when someone stuck a dick inside them.”
“She’s right.” Lucilla frowned, “These girls can never go back home, Julia; their parents will reject them. They’re all high-blooded nobles, so their virginity was their only asset. The best they can do is become mercenaries, or whores.”
“Mercenaries?” I asked.
“They were trained in lethal combat at a young age.” Lucilla twisted her lips, “My father wanted his pet Heat Bringer to be the ultimate weapon, as well as his concubine.”
“Shit Sister,” Night Eyes whistled, “you’ve got an army!”
“I said I don’t want them!” I growled.
“But you’ve got them.” Lucilla said, “It’s either you, or my father.”
That was no choice at all, was it? I somberly descended the steps, and my new followers knelt in unison, casting their gazes downward. I walked past the emperor without even registering him, and surveyed the rows of women. There was one “nun” whose headscarf was a bit flashier than the others, so I naturally deduced she was their spokeswoman, and I walked to her.
“This is Sara,” Lucilla said, gesturing to the top of girl’s bowed head, “she was my first lesbian kiss, actually. In a way,” Lucilla grinned down at the girl, “she’s what started this whole thing.”
I knelt to Sara’s level, but her face stayed pointed at the steps, so I took her chin, and turned her gaze upward. There was life behind her blue eyes, I was happy to see. Not dull subservience, and not just civility, but barely-tamed wildness. I recalled what Lucilla had told me about these girls, and realized the clothing they wore probably had to be forced on them. Nakedness had been their natural state; nakedness, with opened legs and spread cheeks. These habits were a sick joke at best. I had a team of highly-skilled, highly-trained, sluts. It was a fitting gift from Night Eyes.
“Do you love your master?” I asked Sara. She looked over my shoulder at the emperor, and nodded.
“Are you loyal to him?” I asked. Again, she nodded.
“If I asked you to kill him, would you?” And she nodded without hesitation. Lucilla sucked in air next to me.
“He’s still my father, Julia!”
I held up my hand to Lucilla, and looked closely into Sara’s eyes. “Why?”
“You are what we all hoped to be,” she said, “you are what we were made to be. We were molded and cast into your image our entire lives. You are everything to us, and he is just a man.”
“Prove it.” I whispered. Sara leapt forward with blinding speed, cut down three mages in a heartbeat, rolled beneath the legs of another, and sent a sword through his crotch. The rest of the seven-hundred stood at once, the singing of hundreds of swords ringing out, their eyes fixed on the dumbfounded emperor and the remaining six mages, all of whom were stumbling over each other, trying to cast spells at the nimble elf slicing at their legs. Three more dropped by the time the final three had her pinned, and I sent a lightning bolt through them before they could harm my new captain. They stood for a moment, blackened mockeries of people, then they blew away, their ashes carried on the wind.
That was thoughtless murder, wasn’t it? I thought, Surely, there were other ways to prove loyalty, but why don’t I feel bad? Shouldn’t I be riddled with guilt? I took a sidelong glance at Night Eyes, and frowned at her knowing grin, You have to be careful, Julia. The end is just a kiss away.
“Stop.” I said before Sara gutted Lucilla’s father. For his part, Emperor Flitari did not seem afraid at all. He just stared at me, a look of awe on his face, like it was an honor to have witnessed me murder his guards. Seven-hundred swords returned to their scabbards with perfect timing, making me think drawing and scabbarding in synch had been a priority for practice.
“I guess I have to commend you, Your Grace,” I said to my effective father-in-law, “they are well-trained. I will accept your gift, and I will give you one in return. Here it is:” I gestured to him, “your life. Now take it back to Terondia before it spoils.”
The emperor nodded as if he expected nothing less. He got up, dusted himself off, gave Lucilla a curt bow, then strutted down the steps, passing the women who he’d been father, lover and tormentor to without a glance.
“You could still kill him.” Night Eyes said beside me.
“Fuck off.” Lucilla said from my other side.
“Your Holiness.” Sara said before me, kneeling.
“Call me ‘Julia.’” I smiled, guiding her to her feet. Good Mother, she was beautiful, wasn’t she? They all were, and they all were ready to kill at a moment’s notice. Kill for me, maybe even die for me. Did it stoke a sense of power in me? Did it tickle my darkness? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like the idea of having hundreds of beautiful women ready to do anything for me… or to me.
“Well Sister,” Night Eyes prompted, “I guess you can put them in my brothel. I’m sure they’ll find it comfortably familiar.” Sara offered Night Eyes a wicked little smile that said she was more than content with the idea.
“No.” I said firmly, “I will not have those charged under my care living like that.” And Sara’s smile vanished, replaced with respectful stoicism.
“Well then,” Night Eyes chuckled, leading the conversation to my inevitable defeat, “where are they going to live?”
I stared at the expanse of dark rock adjacent to Night Eyes’ and Brandon’s temples, and sighed.
A procession had already formed outside of Brandon’s temple. The beggars were budged by the poor, who were budged by the artisans, who were budged by the tradesmen, who were budged by the shopkeepers, who were budged by the nobles, who were in turn, were budged by the royals. King Yandon of Drastinar, since rejected by Willowbud, had decided to test his political luck with my brother, and stood firmly at the front. Unfortunately for him and everyone else, it didn’t seem like Brandon was taking visitors. The entrance to his new temple was sealed with bamboo, leaving his would-be worshippers standing expectantly on the lawn as the sun rose to its blistering noon position.
“Just what in the fuck do you think yer doing?” an angry man dressed in garish, expensive clothes growled at me as Justina and we made our way to the entrance.
“Going in?” It seemed pretty obvious what we were doing.
“There’s a line, whore, and you two belong at the very back of it!” the man snarled.
“Um, Lord Brackston?” the lord’s squire nervously tapped on his charge’s shoulder, “That’s Diamond Glendian you’re talking to.”
“Nonsense!” Brackston bellowed, “It’s just another whore following the fad. Those antlers are as fake as the last hussy’s, and that skin is caked in glitter!”
As if on cue, the ground between me and the lord burst apart, and a message written in vines formed for all to see.
Diamond, Justina; I need you guys. Just skip ahead of everyone, and I’ll let you in.
I’d never seen a man’s face change so fast as Lord Brackston’s did. All the color drained from it, and the lord simultaneously blubbered through an apology whilst trying to introduce me to his first-born son, and telling me what an admirer of my mother’s he was. I gave Justina a bewildered look as I walked away from the lord, his sycophantic garble following us.
“Holy shit, I’m famous.” I whispered.
“Diamond’s famous.” Justina corrected. It was true. Every face we passed turned sharply when it saw my (Diamond’s) antlers. As I searched the line, I realized I wasn’t the only one sporting a pair. Fake antlers sprouted from a dozen permed heads, all dyed to match Diamond’s scarlet, but she was hardly the most popular celebrity imitation. Astrid, already the most famous woman in Drastin, was mimicked with hundreds of fake wings, heads braided and shorn at the sides, and body-paint imitating tattoos. Willowbud was cosplayed with astral gemstones that created scores of black eyes, some shining from fake tans, others from beneath bleached hair. Julia was honored by fans that had glittered their flesh, and dawned habits, though the ex-nun never wore one herself. Lucilla was a more popular costume than her god, as dozens of cosmetic astral melds created poor imitations of her patterns. I even saw a few women vainly trying to look like Tera; fake horns, fake tails, and fake tans, but none able to fake the supple curves of the woman.
“People probably think you’re cosplaying as your mother.” I mused.
“I guess I’m not famous enough to have my own fans.” Justina pouted sarcastically.
“Nobody’s dressing-up as Brandon though.” I said.
“Half the beggars look like they could be.”
We arrived at the bamboo gate, where King Yandon bowed to me with exaggerated humbleness. In my few years on this earth, I’d shared the mind of others, visited the astral plane, and experienced death, but this was by far the most surreal thing to have ever happened to me. King Yandon was a man so far above my station, he might as well have been a fairy tale, and here he was, bowing before me.
“Your Eminence, Diamond Glendian,” he said reverently to the ground, “it would be a great honor if your mother would accept my audience.”
“I’ll uh… I’ll put in a good word for you.” I mumbled, unsure of what to say. It must’ve been right thing, because the king practically split his face with his glee. Before he could shower me with thanks, the bamboo gates opened, and Justina and I stepped into my brother’s new temple. My jaw dropped. Brandon’s temple was a dome of branches, lanterned with a bioluminescent rainbow of fungi, and festooned with tropical flowers of every hue. The baobab trunks formed columns along the walls, and the Great Maple created an immense pillar in the middle, it’s length spiraled with knotholes that acted as windows, the cozy confines emitting orange light.
“Up here!” a voice called from within the maple. I looked up, and there he was, like an answer to a million questions I didn’t know I’d asked. The days I’d spent laughing with him were not platonic congeniality, the evenings I’d spent whispering lines into his ear were not me being his wingman, and the nights I’d spent spying on him were not innocent sisterly curiosity. Those days were the golden hours I wasted willfully, those words I whispered were what I wanted him to say to me, and those nights were my wistful fantasies, imagining that he was thinking about me. Ever since he’d saved me, I’d been in love with my brother. I just didn’t know it until I had the body to feel it, and now I felt it.
“Holy shit.” Justina growled at me as I stared doe-eyed up at my brother, “Angela, do I need to leave you down here?”
“My name’s not Angela, it’s ‘Diamond.’” I said, affecting Diamond’s voice, “And I’ve never been with a real man before. The temptation is just too much; I’m going to cheat on you.”
“We’ve been over this, Angela!” Justina growled as we ascended the spiraling staircase, “If Brandon finds out who you are, and you bind with him while in Diamond’s body…”
“But if he doesn’t find out who I am, and he fucks me silly while in Diamond’s body…”
“We’re not taking that risk!” Justina hissed, “Quit being such a slut! I’m the succubus, and I have to be the voice of abstinence?!”
“Fine.” I grumbled, “Maybe I’ll just blow him.”
“Diamond.” I said, tapping a conspiratorial finger to my nose as we climbed the last flight of stairs. Brandon stood in the window, staring out at the long line of people waiting at his gate. My eyes quickly ran the length of him while his back was turned, then averted when they caught his, my cheeks burning furiously.
“I hear you two are being antisocial.” Brandon smiled, causing my stomach to do backflips in my belly, “What the hell’s going on?”
“Didn’t Willowbud tell you? Diamond and I are madly in love.” Justina said, pulling me to her by the hip. Brandon studied me for a moment as I chewed on my lip, pointedly avoiding his eyes.
“Well, good for you.” Brandon said with surprising conviction, “I’m happy for you, Justina.”
“That’s it?” Justina asked, incredulous.
“You’ve never been one to mince words, and you’ve always made your choices after excruciating analysis.” Brandon said, sitting down, “So if you say you’re in love, well, I believe you.”
“Huh,” Justina mused, guiding me to sit beside her on the couch, “that’s very… adult of you, Brandon.”
“I’ve had to grow up fast.” He frowned, looking out the window, “What in the holy fuck am I supposed to do about them? I knew when I made a temple that I’d get some visitors, but I didn’t think I’d get the whole fucking city!”
“I guess being a god made you popular; who would’ve thought?” I said without thinking, my snide voice sounding nothing at all like Diamond’s. Justina pinched me on the ass, her jaw working. Brandon’s frown broke into a grin, and I caught his eyes, and was trapped in them. Oh… fuck.
“I guess so.” Brandon smiled, “Good thing I’m such a people-person. When did you learn sarcasm? That doesn’t sound like the Diamond I met.”
“Diamond’s a very fast learner,” Justina said, pinching my ass even harder, “her social skills have really flourished.”
“You’ve made a project out of her.” Brandon laughed, “Now I see why you love her: she’s just an experiment you can fuck!”
“Kind of like that abomination you were making in Gloria’s coffin.” I sniggered. Brandon looked sharply at me, a touch of anger in his eyes. Oh shit, did that just turn me on? Then it curled into a devilish grin, That definitely did it. Oh-no-oh-no-oh-no-oh-no.
“Justina’s really rubbing off on you, huh?” Brandon sneered.
“It’s usually the other way around, actually.” I smirked back. Stay in character!
“God, you must be something else,” Brandon said, eyes staring where I wanted him to look, “to tame a succubus without enslaving one is basically the pinnacle of manliness, and you’re not even a man.”
“Neither are you, really.” Stop, Angela!
“Ouch!” Brandon exclaimed to the increasingly-nervous Justina, “She bites!”
“Oh, I do much more.” (Don’t you dare lick your lips, you whore!) I said, licking my lips.
“You talk a big game for an infant.” Brandon smirked, “Does your mother know you’re skipping naptime?”
“Naptime with Mommy can be so exhausting,” I whispered, leaning forward until my tits were practically spilling from my shirt, (stop-stop-stop-stop-stop!) “nobody ever gets any sleep.”
“MOVING ON!” Justina yelled before Brandon and I jumped on each other. Her fingers were almost drawing blood from my backside, the nails were digging so deeply, “What is it you wanted from us, Brandon?”
“I want you to tell me what to do with them.” Brandon said, gesturing out his window, “You’re the smartest person I know, Justina; how do I make this work?”
Justina glanced out the window at the line of people. It wasn’t really a line anymore, but a crowd of thousands, all waiting excitedly, some desperately, for a chance to meet the new god.
“Triage.” Justina said.
“Triage is how doctors decide who to treat first.” Justina explained, “If you want to help the people of Drastin, then you need medical experts to determine who needs the most help.”
“Do you qualify?”
“I wouldn’t say that…” Justina said, with undoubtedly false modesty. It seemed that Justina was proficient in everything, and an expert in almost everything. “…but maybe I could help.”
“This,” Brandon said as he scratched-out a few lines on a piece of parchment, “is a holy decree (holy shit, that sounds weird) that instructs King Yandon to bring his finest physicians to assist you-”
“Assist me?!” Justina cut-in. Brandon smiled.
“As far as they’re concerned, you’re the ‘Holy Surgeon General.’ Shit Justina, you’re my holy-insert-title-here.”
Justina looked close to tears. “No one will believe a succubus is your medical expert.”
“Oh, I’m sure they won’t question you.” Brandon grinned, and a great mass of auburn fur grew next to the Life Giver, until the largest bear I’d ever seen sat before us. It panted like a friendly dog, it’s eyes glowing blue with Brandon’s power, it’s kindly, almost stupid face contrasting the twelve-feet of brawn and claw beneath.
“Her name is Ursa,” Brandon said, petting the beast, “and she believes that you are her mother.” Justina cringed as Ursa moved across the room, her immense shoulders pinning behind her hunched, silver-streaked back. The great bear knelt, brought its muzzle to Justina’s wide-eyed face, and licked the paralyzed succubus until she was coated with spit. Justina, never one to cringe from bodily fluids, didn’t push the bear away when she shook herself from her stupor, but giggled like a little girl as the beast’s tongue matted her hair. When the introductions were over, Ursa rested her immense head in Justina’s lap, and Justina ran her fingers affectionately through the beast’s mane.
“She’s beautiful.” Justina whispered, and now she was crying, though it was hard to tell.
“Ride Ursa, and no one will second-guess you.” Brandon assured her, putting a hand on Justina’s knee, “Don’t ever think I’ve forgotten the sacrifices you’ve made for me.” And by the look on Justina’s face, I could tell she was mulling-over our monogamy ruse almost as much as I was.
“Diamond,” Brandon prompted me, “I have a special favor to ask you.”
“Do I get pet?” I asked. Brandon made a snail, and tossed it to me with a smirk. I rolled with his insult, and squealed like I just got a new puppy, before putting Albert (I named him ‘Albert’) on my shoulder.
“You remember Angela, right?” Brandon asked. My ears perked at the mention of my name.
“I remember her being an uptight bitch.” I answered. Brandon scowled again, and I debated whether his angry frown or his teasing smile aroused me more.
“I think that somehow, Angela has gone to the astral plane. I know you have a connection with it, and I was wondering if you could look for her.”
“I’ll keep an eye open.”
“Good.” Brandon smiled again, and my inner-debate continued, “Thank you. If you find her, can you tell her to meet me here in two nights?”
“Isn’t that when the championship fight is?” Justina asked.
“Exactly.” Brandon nodded, “I won’t have to worry about Willowbud knocking on my door. It goes without saying, Diamond, that you should definitely not tell Willowbud about this, or your mother.”
I nodded, the asked, “Why won’t you be going?”
“Because it would be pretty hypocritical of the Life Giver to be seen at a gladiatorial match.” Brandon replied, “It’s a forgone conclusion that Astrid and Tera are going to win, so I won’t need to be backstage in case of a disaster. Also, I think Willowbud will want to take your mother there.”
“I don’t think the holy sister would willingly get within ten miles of The Pit.” Justina frowned.
“Which is exactly why Willowbud will take her.” Brandon sighed.
Lucilla locked her limbs around me as the two of us hovered hundreds of feet from the ground. Jets of white flame blasted from my soles, and I changed direction with minute propulsions from my palms. It didn’t feel like flying; more like pushing on the air, but the distinction didn’t seem to matter to Lucilla.
“Do we have to be so fucking high?” she screamed in my ear.
“You could have stayed on the ground.”
“And let you design your temple, with your artistic mind?” Lucilla scoffed. Before me, below me, and above me, Lucilla’s architecture was coming to life. Night Eyes dragged the ore the from earth, and I turned it to liquid fire, allowing me to shape it like clay. When it was just right, I pulled the heat from it, solidifying the steel in place. It was the first time I actually felt like a Creator, and I couldn’t resist seeing the breadth of my creative prowess. An immense dome centered the cathedral, five-hundred feet in height, and over three-hundred in diameter, resting atop massive, steel pillars that held it proudly aloft. Four towers cornered the dome, each one topped with an onion-dome that was contoured with spirals, making the towers look like lit candles. A grand, arched entrance centered the cathedral, welcoming all visitors. Nowhere on the cathedral, was the crescent symbol. I would try to emulate the Holy Mother, as I’d done my entire life, but I would never presume to represent her, as Night Eyes wanted me to. As I want to.
I finished the last bit of detail on the north tower, then touched down on the steps of Night Eyes’ pyramid, and looked up at my creation from ground level. Lucilla and I gasped. The steel structure was a mirror, it’s heat-glassed surface reflecting the world. With the sun high above us, the immense cathedral reflected the blue sky, giving the entire structure a look of translucence, whose outline and detail could be readily discerned, but whose façade seemed to be nothing but air. I postulated that when the sun’s angle lowered, the reflection would create a building that looked to be made of solar flame.
“Holy shit.” Lucilla whispered, “Julia, you made that.”
“I had help.” I replied, connecting eyes with Night Eyes as she ascended the steps.
“Are you two nudists now, or are you practicing exhibitionism without me?” Night Eyes grinned, and I was suddenly very aware that Lucilla and I were both very naked, in front of tens of thousands of people. Lucilla squawked, and scurried for cover amongst the “nuns” I’d been gifted, many of whom were staring unabashedly at my nudity, a few of whom were gawking at my cock. I felt a surge of panic, my cheeks flushing with color, and I tensed to run for cover, but a hand stopped me.
“I guess gods don’t need to worry over trivial things like modesty, do they, Sister?” Night Eyes grinned, pulling her shirt over her head. She kicked her pants off, ripped away her panties, and stood beside me, naked and proud. A chorus of gasps sung from the crowd, and I looked down to see that Night Eyes had exposed her dangling masculinity to the entire world.
“We don’t need to be ashamed of our oddities.” Night Eyes said as she linked fingers with me, “When you’re a god, it’s not a deformation; it’s a mark of divinity. They won’t scorn us anymore, Sister. They’ll all envy us now.” And as I looked upon the face of the crowd, I realized she was right. There were no expressions of disgust, but only awe, only reverence, only desire.
“Come on,” Night Eyes grinned, “let’s christen your new temple.”
“I shouldn’t have run away.” I lamented as I followed the procession to Julia’s new temple, Julia and Willowbud leading the way, “I should’ve stayed with her; instead, I let that bitch take the scene. God, I’m such a coward!”
“Not everyone is comfortable being naked in front of strangers.” Tera said. Now that Drastin’s succubus-modestly laws didn’t apply to Her Eminence, Tera was flaunting her curves with nothing but thigh-high boots, and her knife belt.
“I’m not a prude, you know that.” I frowned, “I just don’t want the whole world to know what my snatch looks like!”
“You just blew a guy in the atrium of Willowbud’s brothel, and you’re worried about people seeing your pussy?”
“It’s different when I’m horny.” I replied, “Then it’s kinky if people see me.”
“It is quite a simple thing to be proud in your skin.” Astrid said from my other side, wearing only her sword as clothing, “I was once cursed with modesty, but Mistress changed that. All you have to do, Bound One, is take off your clothes.”
“Whoops!” Tera giggled as she snagged a finger against my shoulder-strap, causing my right breasts to pop out. I slapped her hand away, and embarrassedly began stuffing my tit back into my bodice, when Astrid snagged a finger on my left shoulder-strap.
“How clumsy of me.” Astrid chuckled, and I squawked furiously, now trying to stuff my left tit back.
“I’m just all thumbs today!” Tera laughed, unhooking my bra with expert swiftness, and any hope of hiding my chest was quickly dashed when she threw the garment over her shoulder.
“I must have two left feet.” Astrid piled-on, and stepped on the hem of my skirt, causing the whole thing to tear down the back.
“Hold still, Princess, I can fix that!” Tera cackled, and in one quick motion, she sliced the waistband of my panties with her knife, and Astrid pulled them away, leaving me naked, glowing from my patterned flesh for all to see.
“There,” Tera smiled, “now you have nothing to be afraid of.”
“Walk proud, Bound One. You know you are beautiful.” Astrid smiled companionably as she wrapped muscular arm around my shoulders. Tera draped an arm around my waist, and the two of them framed my figure as I went from terrified, to apprehensive, to shy, to confident, and then to proud with every step.
I’d never lusted for attention, but sitting astride three meters of fur and savagery while the gentry looked up at me with fear and awe was certainly quite the experience. I estimated Ursa to be around nine-hundred and twenty kilos, and if I were to take a gander at her taxonomy, I’d say she was an offshoot of grizzly, though the facial structure and hydrophobic coat were both more akin to an arctic breed of animal, perhaps a-
“Your Eminence?” the king’s physician interrupted my train of thought. I could tell the spindly man didn’t like giving my name distinction, and that made his subservience all the sweeter. A succubus’s natural beauty meant she never wanted for the necessities, but our station had a very low ceiling, and I’d just shattered it.
“Yes, Mister…?” I asked, acting as though I’d forgotten the man’s name, just to rub the salt a little more.
“Doctor Tanner,” the flustered man replied, “and I have the triage report.”
“Thank you, Mister Tanner.” I said, hiding a grin as I snatched the clipboard from his hand. The diagnoses and their severity were listed in precise , with annotations purposefully meant to be condescending. Mycobacterium Leprae infection, priority one. (His skin is bad). Yersinia Pestis infection, priority one. (He hurts from the inside). Femoral spiral fracture, priority three. (He’s got a boo-boo on his leg).
“Thank you for simplifying the report for His Holiness; I’ll make sure to mention you by name, Doctor Tanner.” I laughed as the man paled, and I turned Ursa away. Angela was not facing any kind of prejudice, partly because she was wearing the body of a new species, and partly because she was the “daughter” of a god. She lounged in King Yandon’s camp, enjoying massages from a dark young man who probably had a name you had to roll your “r” to say correctly.
“Don’t give me that look.” Angela grinned lazily up at me, “I didn’t promise King Yandon anything; I just hinted that maybe “Mother” would accept his audience.”
“You’re supposed to be helping me organize the patients!”
“Oh, I’m not good at any of that.” Angela sighed, adopting a posh accent that sounded strikingly like Lucilla’s, “And besides, the esteemed daughter of divinity need not burden herself with the concerns of lowly subjects, especially those from lesser gods.” Angela smirked evilly from Diamond’s lips, then rested her head into her arms. “Lower, Fernando... a little lower… that’s it.”
I was about to order Ursa to drag Angela up by her antlers, when a sound stopped me. A deep, thunderous horn boomed from the west, and echoed through the man-made canyons of Drastin. All eyes turned upward, squinting against the sun. Two dark clouds rolled across the harbor, only the clouds were moving too fast, and against the wind.
My head spun so fast my neck cracked. My binocular vision focused on the source of the sound, and I saw clearly what everyone else could only barely discern. There were thousands of them. Half had silver streaks in their white wings, silver-highlighted armor, black hair, oriental complexions, and long katanas strapped to their backs; the warriors of Breyta. The other half had gold streaks in their white wings, gilded armor, wooly hair, dark-brown complexions, and long scimitars strapped to their backs; the warriors of Ofan. Word had traveled from Drastin fast, undoubtedly by astral power, and the Valkyries had answered the call, but… where was Iona?
“What the fuck is that?” Lucilla asked from my side.
“Astrid?” Tera asked. I barely heard her voice. I pivoted my feet against the earth, and shot into the sky. My wings flapped in broad motions, my body straightened parallel to the ground, and I flew to the approaching flocks, watching their features clarify, seeing their expressions warp when they realized who I was. The Ofanians stared with stunned confusion that slowly changed to contempt, while the Breytans’ expression changed from surprise, to placid acceptance.
“Astrid Skyborne, is that you?” a familiar voice asked from above. I looked up to see Jade Tao, High Guard of Breyta. She was the youngest High Guard in a century, only twenty-two, but her slanted brown eyes spoke of wisdom well beyond her years.
“What have you done to yourself? You are a disgrace! Where is High Guard Freydis?” and that was Bianca, High Guard of Ofan, and a class-A cunt.
“Not here.” I frowned at Bianca, “I was hoping you would tell me.”
“Freydis left her peak almost a month ago.” Jade replied, flying closer, inspecting my tattoos curiously, “She was looking for you. Rumor was that you’d found the Earth Former. Did Her Holiness, Night Eyes request that you do this to yourself?”
“Desecration of flesh!” Bianca barked, “Glory-seeking, dishonor, and disloyalty!”
“I am guilty of dishonor, certainly,” I said, rolling my head over my shoulders, “but disloyalty… oh sister, the things I’ve done for loyalty. I’d love to show you them some day.”
“Oath-breaker!” Bianca just wouldn’t shut up, “Heretic! Blasphemer! Infidel! Whore!”
“‘Ma’am’ is what you should be calling me, Ofanian.” I said softly, “Remember that you fly from the lowest peak, and must crane your neck to look upon your betters. You are the shit that rolled down the mountainside, and settled in a pile. One day that pile grew palm trees, and we decided to call it ‘Ofan.’”
Bianca always was too slow on the draw. I made sure she put her hand on her weapon first, then I drew, swung, and struck before she even had her grip right. The flat of my blade careened into her helm, and sent Ofan’s best warrior spiraling unconsciously toward the ground. She was intercepted before she struck the earth, and her bearers stared up at me with that familiar Ofanian hatred. They would never learn; their feud with Iona was as one-sided a conflict as there could be, and they’d be wise to keep it that way. It was like a mosquito quarreling with a dragon.
“That was brash, even for you.” Jade remarked, the sound of her sword sheathing behind me, “Do you wish to make two-thousand enemies, Astrid Skyborne?”
“They were only enemies when they thought they had a chance.” I scowled at the Ofanians in their garish armor, “Now, I’ve just made two-thousand cowards.”
“Your tongue has sharpened with your temper, old friend.” Jade noted, “Does Her Holiness desire your wit to be as quick as your blade?”
“I just picked up a few things from her, I guess.” I sighed, turning to Jade. There was no judgement in her eyes, though there never was with Breytans. The samurai of Breyta more monks than warriors, and believed their volcano to be a holy creation of the first recorded Heat Bringer, for whom the mountain was named. They sought serenity over passion, and so were not prone to the rages of the Ofan, though that hardly meant they were weak. If the Breytans had a mind for war like the Ofanians did, then Ofan would be overrun in a day, and Iona would have an enemy that could go toe-to-toe and blade-to-blade with her.
“And this ‘Sister Julia,’” Jade asked, looking down at the steel cathedral, “will she require me to scar my flesh with ink, bare my nudity, and…” Jade examined my more intimate places, “…please her, as you have done with your god?”
“Her Holiness is a kind and pious woman,” I said, “but she has dark desires she tries to hide, and they are coming to light. Will you break your codes for her, if she asks you to?”
“We do not adhere to them when in the service of the Heat Bringer.” Jade replied, “Her Holiness’s word is law until her passing, then our codes will be reestablished. You Ionans follow your codes even as you follow your god, and given Her Holiness, Night Eyes’s proclivities, I fear that your people might find themselves perpetually at odds with their ideals.”
“It has been trying.” I conceded.
“I sincerely doubt Freydis will approve of this.” Jade Tao gestured to my body.
“I suspect you are right." I grimaced, "I suspect my mother's faith in me will be shattered, and her faith in our god will be tested."
“Not if you laid claim to her title.” Jade mused, eyeing the sword on my back, “By right, it is yours.”
“She has to pass it to me.” I clenched my jaw, “I would never take it from her.”
Jade nodded, watching as her warriors descended to Sister Julia’s cathedral. “How do the gods engage with each other?”
“They are young and passionate.” I smiled, “My mistress is in love with His Holiness, Brandon Sorenson, and I don’t doubt that they will bind with one another any day now. Sister Julia and Brandon seem to be on friendly terms, but Sister Julia and Mistress are in contest with one another. For now, the game they play is… relatively peaceful.”
“For now?” Jade raised an eyebrow, “Will we be enemies, Astrid Skyborne?”
“I don’t know, Jade.” I muttered. But if you knew what was in my mistress, you wouldn’t hesitate.
The whore’s touch still lingered on my flesh, whispering to seek her out, telling me to find the one I once called ‘Master.’ Only decades of discipline kept me from doing so; that, and several hours of fervent self-release. Flora had regained herself, but she too suffered as I suffered, and was bed ridden with her own perversion. It was better that way. The arch-matriarch was a dignified woman, and I respected her greatly, but her blind spot was a crucial fault, and she would have attempted to stay my grim purpose.
There she was: The Earth Former, the matron god of my people, the slave of an ancient horror. My binocular vision saw her clearly from a half-mile away, saw the blackness in her eyes that marked her infection. My god had been turned to a plaything of evil, and it was my duty to save her in the only way that I could. I said a silent prayer to the Earth Formers of the past; to Droktin, to Gratora, to Feradiotus, to Hendrika, and to Iona, the creator of my peak. I said a silent prayer to the Earth Formers whose names had been lost to history, then I reached for my axe, and-
A lone Ionan flew from the flocks of gold and silver. Great Creators, what had been done to her? Ink darkened her body, the braids of her vows had been shorn from the sides of her head, she had piercings in vulgar places. Astrid… no, not Astrid. This woman -this thing- was not my daughter! This whore, this reveler, this… no. Astrid was still there. This was my daughter, bearing the degradations of the one she swore herself to. She landed beside her god, standing straight-backed and unashamed, proud before the leers of the Ofanians, representing Iona like I should have. It should’ve been me, dearest child. It should’ve been me with ink stabbed into my flesh, with hair shorn to shame, with metal defiling my sanctity. It should’ve been me who was raped, who was used as entertainment, who was disgraced for all the world to see. Oh child, how you must suffer. Do you wish for death at nights? Do you stare at the veins in your wrists with longing? Do you curse my name with your sleeping breaths? You should. I am a hypocrite, and a coward. You were right to flee from Iona; I should have given you the title you’d earned. I see now that I mistook your desire to do good, for ambition, and your path of honor, for glory-seeking. I see now that I was blind, for you have true honor; the honor to accept dishonor for a higher cause than your own.
I turned from the pavilion of gods. I did not belong in this sacred place. I would hide in the shadows, not like the eagle I thought I was, but like the snake that had bitten me. I would watch as a silent witness, if only to share a fraction of the hurt my daughter endured. If only so that someone would understand and honor her sacrifice. Stay strong, Astrid. Stay yourself. Please don’t hate me for what I’m going to do. Don’t hate me for wasting your sacrifice.
I had built a pulpit in my cathedral, but now it felt like a throne. Two-thousand samurai bowed their heads, put their knees against the steel floor, and waited. Seven-hundred elves sat in the pews, straight-backed and at attention, watching me expectantly. The sheer amount of reverence I was being dealt was mind-numbing, but I enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it the more it happened, which was alarming. I hadn’t even bothered putting clothes on, and I was realizing that being naked before everyone wasn’t just thrilling, it was empowering.
“Which one of you is High Guard Jade Tao?” I asked the Breytans. One woman’s head rose above the others. I was surprised at how young she was. Freydis was a woman in her forties, but Jade looked to be barely past her teens.
“I am Jade Tao, Your Holiness.”
I could see myself stepping forward and saying, ‘Please, call me Julia,’ but I didn’t. Instead, I nodded toward her, and she stood, her eyes cast reverently to the floor, and stepped toward me. Her motions were careful, elegant, like a ballerina in armor. She stopped five paces from me, still not meeting my eyes, then she drew the Sword of Breyta, a katana of perfectly-polished steel, sat in the lotus pose, and laid the blade across her lap.
“I have oaths I must swear to you, Your Holiness,” Jade’s voice was slight and wavering, clearly nervous, “and hope that you accept them. If you do not find me worthy of speaking for Breyta, then I will end my life, and you may choose a better guard to bear your standard.”
“Would you do it right now?” Night Eyes asked from my side, “Kill yourself?”
“Yes, Your Holiness.” Jade said quietly. I didn’t feel the need to make her prove it, though I could tell Night Eyes enjoyed the idea.
“Say your vows, Jade.” I said, kneeling until I was eye-level with her. She dropped her head to avoid my gaze, and I reached forward, and held her chin. I tilted her face upward until our gazes met, like I had done with Sara, but this time, I didn’t do it so that my follower would see me as an equal. I did it because she didn’t want to, and it made me feel powerful. Jade was beautiful, with beige flesh, big, slanted eyes, a delicate nose and chin, and a permanent flush in her subtle cheeks. She almost looked like a doll. She stared fixedly into my eyes as she said her vows, one after the other, each wordy sentence culminating to one idea: the samurai of Breyta would do anything for me without question, or hesitation. My gaze wandered slowly to Lucilla’s, and I saw the concern on her face. Then my gaze slid to Night Eyes, and I saw the grin on hers, and I smiled back.
Bianca was a boisterous woman who seemed incapable of speaking in anything but a yell. In fact, the Ofanians in general seemed to be a very… lively bunch. They beat their breastplates and stomped their feet in rhythm with Bianca’s dance, and she shouted her vows like everyone within a quarter mile needed to hear them.
“I wonder if she’s just as obnoxious in bed.” Diamond whispered in my ear.
“Valkyries are abstinent.” I replied.
“I guess Astrid never got the memo.” Diamond giggled.
“What kind of a god would I be if I made my followers debase themselves for my own amusement?”
“You’d be Willowbud.”
“She at least has an excuse for being an evil bitch.”
“Is that why you like her? Because she’s a bad girl?” Diamond’s hand was sneaking behind me, “I can be a bad girl too, Brandon. I’ve heard all about where you like women to put their fingers; I can give you something betteraaaaAAH!”
And Diamond was pulled off her feet by the antlers, kicking and screaming in the air. Justina scolded her promiscuous paramour as Ursa lumbered away with Diamond thrashing below her jowls. Bianca didn’t miss a beat, and labored through the last steps of her violent dance, the sweat flinging from her brown skin, her wooly, braided hair flying from her head. With a twirl of her curved sword, a battle cry, and a back flip, Bianca ended the ceremony, and plunged her weapon into the ground. She breathed heavily, then looked up at me.
“I…” I had no idea what to say, “thank... you…?”
“Do you accept the vows I have offered, and do you believe me worthy of speaking for Clan Ofan?” Bianca shouted, like it was demand instead of a question.
“Yes…?” I asked, like it was a question instead of a confirmation. Bianca’s warlike demeanor immediately vanished, and a delighted smile spread across her face. Now that she wasn’t screeching and stabbing at the air, I noticed she was quite beautiful. Mid-thirties, with a broad nose, impossibly-full lips, big, brown eyes, and high, pronounced cheekbones creating gaunt cheeks; she’s was absolutely gorgeous, and Diamond’s words echoed in the back of my head. No, penis. We have ethics. I scolded my genitals, and my anthropomorphized penis shrank with a metaphorical huff of indignation.
“What would you have of us?” Bianca asked, and my penis had a few answers for her.
“Come on in, I guess.” I waved to my new followers as I opened the bamboo gate, “Do you guys like… build nests or something?”
“We are not birds, Your Holiness; we sleep in beds.” Bianca smiled, stepping past me. The winged-warriors gasped and exclaimed when they entered the expansive, bioluminescent atrium. They stared wondrously at the height of my trees, the color of flora, and the diversity of fauna. I’d since added a few woodland critters to my self-contained forest, and they all glowed with my sapphire power from their eyes, antlers and hooves. There was one beast that looked very out-of-place in all the arboreal majesty, which was strange when you considered her birthplace. Tera was trying to skip rocks across a pond, but only succeeding in making loud splashes, interrupting the serene atmosphere.
“Do you need me to escort her out?” Bianca asked me, reaching for her sword.
“What? No, this is Tera. She’s been granted eminent distinction.”
“You gave the title of ‘Eminence’ to a succubus?!” Bianca sounded horrified.
“I gave it to two of them, actually.” I eyed the woman beside me, “Is that going to be problem?”
“No.” Bianca gulped, “No, Your Holiness, it will not be a problem from me. I can… I can take orders from a succubus.”
“Great.” I patted Bianca on the back, and she stiffened at my touch. I quickly withdrew my hand. “Oh shit, was that culturally insensitive or something?”
“No, Your Holiness.” Bianca averted her eyes, and I saw that she was blushing, “It’s just… you cannot know the honor. To be the High Guard who is named protectorate of the Life Giver…” Bianca gulped again, “It is the dream of all Ofanian girls.”
“Don’t put me on too high pedestal, Bianca, or I’ll disappoint you.” I chuckled as Tera finally noticed us, and began walking over. She was surprisingly overdressed; she was actually wearing boots.
“You could never disappoint me, Your Holiness.” Bianca said firmly, and if I was being honest, all the reverence was starting to get annoying.
“Goodness, look at this black beauty.” Tera smiled companionably to Bianca.
“Your Eminence.” Bianca replied stiffly, failing to keep her lip from curling.
“Oh, she doesn’t like me.” Tera pouted her lower lip, then turned to me, “Why did you call for me, Brandon?”
“You will address him as ‘Your Holiness!’” Bianca barked. Tera smirked at the enraged woman, then shoved her hand down the front my pants, and pulled out my cock before I could object. Bianca’s face fell as her eyes widened, staring stupidly at my arousal as Tera’s magical touch coerced it to aching levels.
“Does this shock you, High Guard?” Tera giggled at the stunned woman, “Because this is about as tame as it gets around here. You saw Night Eyes’ statues out there; didn’t you recognize me? You may be in the service of a god, but he’s also a man.” Tera grinned evilly at me, “Actually, he’s really just a sick, twisted little boy,’ and Tera turned around, clasped her hands together behind my neck, pressed my cock between her supple cheeks, and grinded, “who wants nothing more than to get his dick dirty.”
“I think you’ve you made your point, Tera.” I whispered in her ear. Bianca’s eyes looked like they were going to pop from her skull.
“You don’t want to fuck me right in front of her?” Tera smiled at me from the tops of her violet irises, “Why else did you need me? My master called, and I came padding over like a good bitch. Now give me my treat.”
“You and Diamond are fucking incorrigible.” I growled, struggling to push Tera off me. There was a significant part of me that wanted to give in to Tera’s sick desires, bend the succubus over, and give all of Ofan a show, but the better part of me (the more ‘adult’ part of me) prevailed. Tera sighed and separated our bodies, revealing an erection that looked like it was never going away. Poor Bianca was redder than she was brown, and I smiled apologetically as I holstered my weapon into my waistband, the barrel aimed in a suicidal position.
“Sorry about that, Bianca,” I grumbled, pulling my shirt over my bulge, “but I guess it’s better to get that out of the way now. Things are laxer around here than you’re probably used to.”
“Y-y-you don’t need to apologize, Your Holiness.” Bianca stammered, sounding like she was about to have a panic attack, “I am a mother after all; I am aware of how things… work, biologically.”
“Well, they work overtime around here, Bianca.” Tera smirked at the flustered High Guard, “You’ll find a new biology lesson in every room, so make sure you knock,” and Tera ran her hand down Bianca’s armored chest, “unless you’re a hands-on learner, of course.”
“Not her, Tera.” I growled, yanking the succubus away by the tail. She twirled her body with the pull, then landed dramatically in my arms, resting her head on my shoulder.
“Well, Your Holiness.” Tera giggled, “What do you want from me?”
Like Ionans, Ofanians wore their emotions as masks. Every word that fell from Brandon’s lips seemed to compel a new expression from Bianca’s face, which made me wonder about what kind of expressions I could compel from her with my tongue. That, of course, took me down the proverbial rabbit hole until I ended up at my inevitable mental destination: a world made of penises. Being denied sex after so graciously offering it was like being denied the needle after pumping the vein; I was going to go crazy unless I got stuck.
“…which is why I need you to find Freydis Skyborne and Flora Autumnsong.” Brandon finished. Bianca’s face finally slackened into just one expression: horror.
“You’re telling me that Her Holiness, Night Eyes, is actually Willowbud Autumnsong, and that she has been taken by Corruption?” Bianca whispered. Brandon nodded. “Your Holiness, may I speak my mind?”
“Always, Bianca.” Brandon said.
“We don’t need to deal with Freydis; we need to deal with Willowbud.”
“Out of the question.” Brandon replied, surprisingly firmly, “And don’t bring it up again.”
“Yes, Your Holiness. I am sorry.”
“Apology accepted.” Brandon replied, wisely refraining from telling Bianca to not apologize to him. Every time Brandon tried to treat her as an equal, Bianca became incredibly uncomfortable. She was happy with the idea of serving a god, and was not flexible with that perception, so Brandon had begrudgingly accepted that role. He was maturing fast.
“Thank you, Your Holiness.” Bianca smiled, obviously relieved.
“Do you think you can do it?” Brandon asked.
Bianca tapped her chin, considering the map on the table. “I can do one every three blocks. I’d want each warrior to be in eyeshot of at least five others, especially in these districts.” Bianca pointed to The Docks, The Wharfs and The Shanties, “Valkyries make tempting prizes for slavers, and now that we’ve come from our peaks, we are extremely vulnerable.”
“Willowbud could probably help there.” I mused, “If she puts the word out that your people are to be unharmed, then you’ll be safe. No one crosses Night Eyes in this town.”
“What would you tell her?” Bianca asked Brandon.
“The same truth you’ll tell anyone, if questioned.” Brandon smiled, “Ofan is the new city watch. You won’t enforce the king’s law, but you will intervene if you see violence, and you will bring me those who need medical attention. If you just so happened to spot a lost arch-matriarch and a wayward High Guard, then you’ll call constable Tera to apprehend the suspects.”
“Why do we need Her Eminence?” Bianca scowled at me, and my little fantasy of Bianca took a darker turn into bondage, whips, and lots of ‘I’m sorry, Your Eminence,’ and ‘punish me more, Your Eminence,’ and ‘spit in my mouth, Your Eminence.’
“How many Ofanians would it take to capture Freydis Skyborne?” Brandon asked.
“Twenty, at least.” Bianca gulped, looking very embarrassed.
“Well,” Brandon smiled, “I wouldn’t want twenty dead Ofanians on my conscience, so that’s why you’re doing observe and report. You spot Freydis, Tera captures Freydis, you fly Freydis back to Iona, and my psychotic girlfriend doesn’t turn the storied Ionan warriors into a pack of drooling sluts. Sound good?”
“Yes, Your Holiness.”
“You are dismissed.” Brandon said, and Bianca shot upright, saluted with a fist against her chest, turned on her heel, and marched out the door. Brandon looked at me, then motioned toward the door.
“Right now?” I asked.
“You got something better to do?”
“Yes, actually.” I replied, eyeing the bulge in his waistband that hadn’t yet gone away.
“Sorry Tera,” Brandon sighed, swiveling on his chair, “but I’ve got patients that need help. You’re also dismissed.”
“Did you just give me an order?” I exclaimed, running my eyes over him appraisingly.
“You swore yourself to me, didn’t you?” Brandon replied, not looking up from Justina’s triage report.
“I did, but you’ve never commanded me before.” I stood up and walked over to him, “The boy who nearly shit himself when I first touched his penis is now the healer of the afflicted, and organizing covert operations.” I ran my fingers down his shoulders, pressing the back of his head between my breasts, “Where did Brandon go, and who is the handsome, in-control man sitting before me?” I slid my hands down his chest, and whispered in his ear, “And what kind of orders will he give me next?”
“You better get your ass out there, Tera,” Brandon grinned up at me, “or I’ll have you doing pushups until your arms give out.”
“I’d rather be doing squats until my legs give out.” I hissed, and left Brandon to stew over that, hoping vainly that he was as sexually frustrated as I was. I gave him ample time to call me back into the room, but he never did, and god, did only make me need him more.
Now that my work organizing King Yandon’s doctors was completed, I’d finally stolen some time to work on helping Diamond with her upcoming Sentient meeting. Angela and I sat on the bed of my new bedroom, a secluded branch of Brandon’s Great Maple. The cavernous room had curved walls of ebony wood, lit by green bioluminescence.
“Do you think Brandon would like my hair like this?” Angela pulled Diamond’s curly hair behind her pointed ears, “Or like this?” Angela pulled her hair into pigtails.
“I think Brandon would prefer that his sister wasn’t stuck in the Heat Bringer’s daughter.” I sighed, “Now get back to work. What does Ancient Spirits of the Astral Plane say about Sorrow?”
“That she’s sad.” Angela replied curtly, “I think Brandon would like my hair like this,” she put her hair in pigtails, “so he has something to grab onto.” I sometimes forgot that Angela had physically died at the age of ten, and though she had matured spiritually, getting a body of her own must’ve been an incredible shock to her system. She had gone from a child, to a hormone-fueled teenager without any growth in between, and she had no hope of controlling the new urges.
“Look at this.” I said, turning my book around so that she could see it, “There are five documented cases of mass suicides, each exactly a millennium apart. Our records goes back ten-thousand years prior to the first recorded case, but there are no recorded mass-suicides of this magnitude before then. That would mean that Sorrow isn’t nearly as old as we think she is!”
“But if she returns cyclically, then who is her Life Giver?” Angela asked, “Five-thousand years ago puts her eight-hundred years before Ray Dawnbark, but more than two-thousand years after Rayson. That doesn’t make any sense.”
“No…” I conceded, biting my lip in contemplation, “but if she does return cyclically, then we can take her one-thousand-year partition, and extrapolate it back until it lines up with a Life Giver. The Creators don’t appear on a perfect cycle, so it should be really easy to find out which Life Giver made Sorrow. Obviously not Trenok, not Dawnbark, not Rayson, not Barchotti, not Ofan… shit, we’re out of Life Givers.”
“So, she is really old.” Angela sighed, “She just did her mass-suicides where history didn’t record it. Once again, we are limited by our books.”
“Sorry, Diamond.” I muttered.
“Well, should we tell her what we found?” Angela asked, unbuttoning her fly.
“We didn’t find jack shit.” I grumbled, feeling incredibly useless. I had spoken a grand total of two-hundred words to Diamond, but the things we had said with just our eyes could’ve filled a library. I didn’t know if it was love, but the idea of what it could be was driving me insane, and the idea that it might be lost was torturing me. I ground my teeth in frustration, and felt a single tear form at the corner of my eye.
“Hey,” Angela said consolingly, putting an arm around my shoulders, “just remember that whenever you’re feeling bad, you can always suck my dick.”
“You’re such a good friend.” I laughed, brushing the tear away before it fell. Angela chuckled with me as she began to pull down her pants. I stopped her. My head shot up my, my eyes narrowed, and I sniffed the air.
“Ah, shit.” I hissed. I grabbed the books, stuffed them in my sack, and quickly tossed them beneath bed as Mom strutted into the room.
“Hello, lovebirds.” Mom grinned at me, then at Angela.
“Hi Tera.” Angela giggled, affecting Diamond’s voice and mannerisms. Mom studied the hermaphroditic elf-nymph with obvious interest, like a wolf studies a rabbit.
“So, you’re the one who stole my daughter’s heart.” Mom said softly as she approached the bed.
“Leave us alone, Mom.” I growled, pushing Angela back.
“Why are you being so protective?” Mom smiled at me, “There’s no reason to be afraid. We’re family, Justina, and if Diamond means as much to you as you say she does, then she’s family as well.” Mom ran her hands down her thighs, “Besides, Diamond is more than capable of defending herself, aren’t you, Diamond?” and with that, Mom whipped out a knife, and threw it across the room. The blade thudded an inch from Angela’s face, and wobbled in the bark.
“Huh, I’m surprised you didn’t catch that.” Mom chuckled, “I noticed that you were using the Mantis Technique in our duel yesterday.” Mom brandished another knife, “I haven’t seen that fighting style for centuries. Since I’ll be fighting in the championship, I’ll need every technique at my disposal in case things go awry.” Mom kicked away a table, and planted her feet, “I was hoping you’d teach me what Passion has taught you.”
“Uh…” Angela droned stupidly, “maybe later.”
“We were kind of in the middle of something.” I glowered at Mom.
“Oh, don’t let me stop you; you never have before.” Mom grinned, “I can wait. I’ll just sit over here and watch, since you’re monogamous now.” Mom sat down, her eyes taunting me as she spread her legs, and began caressing herself, “Go on, Diamond,” she purred, “show me how you fuck my daughter.”
Angela let out a stuttering breath against my neck, and began moving stiffly against me, clearly not enjoying her audience. She awkwardly tried to push down her pants, swore when she snagged her shirt on Mom’s imbedded blade, then reached back, and struggled to pull the knife out.
“Try your left hand, Angela.” Mom called, “That’s Diamond’s dominant hand.” Angela stopped abruptly, and the two of us turned to see Mom’s face split wide with a shit-eating grin.
“I’d prefer it if you didn’t think I was stupid, Justina.” Mom giggled at my slackened jaw, “You got your brains from somewhere, and it sure as shit wasn’t your dad.”
We were in Tera’s safehouse, where a conspicuous hole in the roof let in the dusk light. Justina and I followed her up the stairs to her bedroom, and I made sure I was about three steps below Tera the entire way up. Justina was a beautiful girl, but Tera was a beautiful woman. Her bronze curves jiggled with every step she took, seeming to defy gravity, and the toned body they perched from rippled with lean strength, and flowed with flexibility. It took a considerable amount of willpower not to purposefully trip on a step, and faceplant into the very-comfortable-looking crack of Tera’s perfect ass. God, I hate having a penis.
Tera unlocked her bedroom door, and opened it to reveal what looked like the office of an insane private investigator. Newspaper clippings were cut out and taped to the walls, books were scattered with pages ripped out, piles of cigarette butts and bottles festooned the floor, and sex toys of all variety sat on tables and shelves. At the center of it all, was a bulletin board with three columns: Wrath, Sorrow, and Corruption.
“Mom,” Justina gasped, “what have you been doing?”
“Did you think I was just sitting around waiting for Willowbud to fuck me while you were her slave?” Tera sounded insulted, “Once Brandon gave me the astral communicators, Gloria and I began our research. She had books you’d never find in the royal tomes, not to mentions was a primary source herself. Since Willowbud took our communicators, I’ve had to go at in alone, and it has been… trying.”
“Why didn’t you include me?” Justina asked, “I could have helped!”
“I’m sure you could have, Baby, but I didn’t want you in anymore danger.” Tera beamed at her daughter, “But now things are moving fast, and my progress has slowed to a crawl. Dead ends after dead ends, false trails and fool’s errands. The further back you go, the bigger the holes are,” Tera bit her lip the same way Justina did, “it’s like hundreds of years didn’t even happen.” Tera looked at me, “But now we have a golden opportunity. With Diamond getting answers directly from the source, we can uncover the truth.”
“What exactly are you trying to find?” I asked.
“Corruption’s origin.” Tera said, looking at the emptiest of her three columns, “I believe that’s the key to separating her from Willowbud. I don’t think there’s enough guilt left in my dearest niece to expel the Sentient, and I’m wary at best of Julia’s tactic of forcing the bitch out.”
“Do you think she can’t do it?” Justina asked.
“I don’t know,” Tera frowned, “but I do know that cornered animals fight the hardest, and Julia has Corruption cornered. I sincerely doubt I can change her mind, but if I could, I’d tell Julia to back the fuck off. If Corruption is forced out, the divorce will be a violent one. Astrid didn’t tell me what happened, but that woman can’t lie to save her life. Things aren’t going like the holy sister had planned.” Mom tapped the knife strapped to her thigh, “A good assassin always seeks the least violent route. You must know your target intimately, make them believe they are safe, then you strike; don’t ever face prey when they’re baring their teeth with blades in hand. Knowing who Corruption is will help us to understand her, and in turn, to extract her from Willowbud without confrontation. Then, Sister Julia can plunge the dagger.”
“OK,” Justina nodded, “So, what have you found out about Corruption?”
“Jack shit.” Tera said simply, “She’s ancient history to ancient history. Any texts pertinent to her are written in dead languages. I’ve created a cypher for some of the languages, but the structure…” Tera gestured dramatically to a book, “some of this ancient dwarvish is like trying to read calculus; it just doesn’t make sense as a language!”
“Huh,” I said, reading through the lines, “it looks like you’ve got it translated just fine to me. And on the fifth day of reckoning, Bentius surrendered, marking the end of the Highland Kingdom, and a new age of empire. God, that is ancient. King Dreus of the Lowlands seized power through conquest of The Tundra, extending human rule to the reaches of Alkandra. Hey Tera, I think this is a history of Tenvalia. Sure, it’s interesting, but it’s not exactly rare knowledge. Why did you translate it?”
“I transcribed it,” Tera said slowly, gesturing to the identical print in a much older book, “the was nearly illegible, so I copied it mark-for-mark. I never translated it, Angela.”
“Oh.” I frowned as Justina and Tera gawked at me, “I guess I can read ancient dwarvish. Fancy that.” There was a pregnant pause where Justina and Tera exchanged a look, and I wasn’t sure if I liked it.
“Diamond can read ancient dwarvish.” Justina said, “Passion must’ve passed that to her. But why don’t you have any of Diamond’s memories or skills?”
“But she does.” Tera said, stepping toward me, “She can breathe with Diamond’s lungs, see with Diamond’s eyes, and pump with Diamond’s heart.”
“Those aren’t exactly skills, Tera.” I frowned.
“You couldn’t do them with Justina.” Tera said, still walking toward me, “And you shouldn’t be able to do them with Diamond; you’re still dead, Angela, so why are you alive?”
“Because she visited Diamond’s garden,” and now Justina was walking beside her mother, “because she took what she found there, and brought it back with her.”
“And Diamond’s garden is rich with Passion’s knowledge. What does a spirit of the forest trapped in a tree do with her time?” Tera was strutting now, looking at me from the tops of hungry eyes, displaying her curves in all their glory.
“I imagine she read a lot.” Justina smiled wickedly, her lithe gait complimenting the slender elegance of her form.
“Four-thousand years of reading.” Tera undid her knife belt, “That’s a lot of knowledge.”
“And we need all the help we can get.” Justina hooked her thumbs into her panties, and pushed them down her thighs with each step.
“You know, I fantasize about every person I meet, Angela.” Tera pressed her body against me, her supple curves squishing, her touch radiating into my flesh, her breath sweet in my nostrils, “But you were the last person in the world I ever thought I’d fuck.” Tera undid my belt with one hand, while she undid my bra with the other.
“Tera, hold on a second!” I gasped.
“What?” Tera grinned, “Were you really about to tell me to stop? I’ll take that shit from your brother, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to take it from you.”
“No,” I said, my heart pounding, “I just needed warn you that it’s... it’s not very big.” Tera glanced at Justina, and the two succubi burst into laughter. They guided me onto my back, stripping clothing with practiced fingers, exposing my breasts, my belly, then the rest of me.
“Aw, it’s adorable!” Tera giggled.
“She’s just fucking with you, Angela.” Justina chuckled, “Trust me, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”
“Size only matters if you don’t know what you’re doing.” Tera grinned, wrapping her fingers around me, her touch causing my cock to curve backward, and a moan to slip from my lips, “And I’m sure Justina has been an excellent teacher.”
Mother and daughter pressed their grinning mouths together, opened their lips, and entwined their forked tongues above me. They watched me from the corners of their eyes as Tera moved her hand down my shaft, and Justina grabbed the last length of me. My tip oozed with precum, and they lathered my shaft with their soft strokes, moaning into each other’s mouths, wetting their palms with my lust. Their faces descended together, their hips shifted up the sides of me, and before I knew it, my vision was flanked with two bent-over, bronze asses, and centered with two smiling faces, looking back at me. Their tails wagged expectantly, their slits flowed needfully, and their purple sphincters winked teasingly. I wasn’t much of a multitasker, so I made my choice, took two handfuls of Tera’s succulent flank, squeezed until my fingers disappeared in the fat, spread her wide, and firmly planted my face into her. I heard her sigh of gratitude, tasted the salt of her lust, and smelled the decadent filth of her as my tongue found her womanhood, and my nose pressed into her star. I explored her insides, and she wrapped her mouth around my outsides. Her tongue lassoed my shaft, her lips sucked sensually, and I fell blissfully into her sweet slavery.
“Oh god, I needed this.” I sighed, rocking back and forth on Angela’s cock, moaning each time she passed through my slit, glided along my clit, and ran against that spot on my ceiling. She wasn’t her brother, but for a dead girl, she sure knew how to use a man’s tool.
“And what’s this word mean?” Justina asked the enslaved Angela, pointing to a book. She rested on her elbows above Angela, her bronze back curving behind her, her supple cheeks divided by my hand. Three of my fingers did their gentle work in her slit, my pinky toyed with her clit, and my thumb widened her little, purple asshole.
“Chaos...” Angela replied, her voice void of emotion. Her eyes were my violet, but instead of brimming with unconditional loyalty, they were dull, and distant.
“That’s the fifth time someone has referred to Corruption as ‘Chaos.’” I mused, curling my fingers and thumb, turning my daughter into handle.
“All before the time of Ofan, Breyta, and Iona!” Justina probably didn’t mean to scream the sentence, but she did.
“Is it a translation issue?” I wondered, massaging the spasming division of my daughter.
“It must be,” Justina heaved the words in a gasp, “maybe they just didn’t have a word for ‘Corruption.’”
“But still nothing on Sorrow.” It was getting difficult to speak in a ponderous tone with Angela working her way into me. Justina was right; the mechanical way in which Angela’s enslaved body moved was gradually driving me over the edge.
“It doesn’t make sense! She’s older than recorded history, but her cycle stops five-thousand years ago?” Justina had abandoned the book, and was instead focusing on Diamond’s petite bust, squeezing the sparkling flesh with covetous fingers, coercing an emotionless groan from Angela.
Justina jolted upright, her holes contracting like a vice about my fingers, a yelp of shock and delight bursting from her lips. She thrusted with the reaction, pulling free from my fingers, allowing me to suck them clean as she hurriedly crawled to the books piled beside Angela’s antlered head.
“What?” I asked, my voice heavy with pleasure.
“Evolution…” Justina echoed Angela’s words as she made a stool of her friend’s face. She flipped through a book, her tongue poking contemplatively from the corner of her mouth, her hips gyrating instinctively below her, creating an odd picture of lust from the breasts down, and studiousness from the collar up. Angela compliantly pushed her tongue between Justina’s dripping folds, and Justina moaned in reaction, her belly stretching with her circular dance, but her eyes running rapidly through the text.
“Sorrow returned on a thousand-year cycle, but we don’t have any record of her before the last five millennia.” Justina pondered, her voice breathy with pleasure, “She has to be older than that, because her cycle never lines up with a Life Giver. But, if she wasn’t always Sorrow…”
“…then whoever she was would appear on a different cycle!” I finished with euphoric gasp, feeling myself ascending.
“What other thousand-year anomalies are there?” Justina asked, her hands quivering as she began to grind passionately on Angela’s face.
“That’s not the pertinent question, Justina!” I cried, bucking and heaving against Angela’s methodical drives, my bronze body flushed with pleasure, my hands gripping her hips, my knuckles white.
“Then what?!” Justina yelled back, the book falling from her hands, her brow furrowing, her mouth gaping. She planted her palms behind her, stretched her abdomen, and cried her amorous tones as Angela’s chin grew wet with Justina’s flowing nethers.
“The question is…” I took a deep breath to steel myself from the ecstasy, “…why did Sorrow change? Think, Justina!”
“Her meld!” Justina cried, her belly spasming visibly, “Her host changed her somehow!”
“Willowbud can change Corruption!” Justina screeched, and we both lurched forward, our mouths connecting, our tongue entwining, our eyes wide, quivering and locked together as we shared our climax. Angela’s tortuous repetition drove my insides to a churning ball of delight that grew, and grew, and then, burst. My womb filled with hot seed, my body melted in the heat, and I mindlessly consumed my daughter’s mouth as her friend thrusted the last bit of herself into me.
“Actually, Mom,” Justina panted, “the pertinent question isn’t why did Sorrow change, it’s how did her meld change her.”
“I guess we’ll just have to ask the woman herself.” I said, “But now we have the information Dimond needs.”
“What?” Justina asked, lifting her leg to reveal Angela’s blank face.
“The center of Sorrow’s realm won’t be her origin, Diamond.” I spoke into Angela’s emotionless eyes, “It will be a door to another realm. If she tries to hold you prisoner, run for her center.”
“What will be on the other side?” Justina asked, a touch of fear in her eyes.
“Who will be on the other side, is the more pertinent question.” I frowned.
“…I want the homeless sheltered in the atrium.” Sister Julia instructed her new captains, “I want any of Brandon’s patients that couldn’t be attended to, to be housed in the northwest tower, and monitored. Sara, since you’re used to dealing with royalty, you can placate King Yandon.”
“You want me to suck his dick?”
“What? No!” Sister Julia exclaimed, “Just take his gifts, distribute them to the homeless, then tell him to come back tomorrow. Why Diamond said I’d accept his audience is beyond me.” Sara bowed, then walked briskly away. “Jade,” Sister Julia prompted her High Guard, “I want your warriors holding the peace in the city.”
“Your Holiness, the Ofanians are already acting as city watch.” Jade replied, walking with a remarkably small stride that required her to shuffle beside her god.
“I’m glad to see Brandon’s taking the initiative.” Sister Julia smiled quickly back at me, before returning her attention to her self-given duties. “Then I want your warriors looking for those that need aid. House the orphans and battered women in the northeast tower, the drunks and drug addicts in the southeast tower, and the mentally ill in the southwest tower. Take precautions to ensure your people’s safety, but do not harm the civilians.”
“Yes, Your Holiness.” Jade bowed, and shuffled along to her officers.
“Lucilla,” Sister Julia put a hand on her lover’s back, “can you do me a big favor?”
“Julia, if you try to give me a fucking order…”
“Can you bring Diamond back here?” Julia asked, “Invite Justina to sleep-over or something, and be nice!” Julia cupped Lucilla cheek affectionately, “I know how jealous you get.”
“How jealous I get?” Lucilla growled, “Are you fucking serious right-” and Sister Julia pulled Lucilla into a passionate kiss. Their naked bodies molded curve to curve, their fingers entangled in platinum and crimson strands, their eyes closed to savor the taste of each other as their mouths consumed. Lucilla cracked open one eye, looked right at me, and winked. The two ended the moment with a gasp, their lips bridged with glistening saliva, their gazes locked with love.
“You know you’re everything to me.” Sister Julia whispered to Lucilla, “Now hurry up before I make one of these elves dress up as you.”
“You wouldn’t!” Lucilla giggled.
“You sure?” Sister Julia chuckled, and spurred her giggling lover away with a smack on the ass. Sister Julia watched her go, then turned to me. Her expression didn’t have any of the love she’d saved for Lucilla, nor any of the tenderness. It was filled with carnal hunger, and creased with a malicious smile. Before I knew it, she had me against the wall, her lips smearing against mine, her tongue wrestling with mine, her body radiating with heat, with danger, with need. Her breasts consumed my chest, her nipples leaked milk, her cock throbbed against my stomach, oozing precum from its tip.
“Give it to me.” Sister Julia panted into my mouth, “Whatever it is you’ve got cooked up, I need it now!”
“Maybe I’ll make you wait for it, like you did.” I grinned, biting Sister Julia’s lip, and pulling playfully.
“Maybe I’ll make a Night Eyes-sized hole in this wall.”
“Such hypocrisy. Whatever happened to your precious rules?”
“Rules only matter if you can enforce them. Now finish your turn, Night Eyes.” Sister Julia stared imperiously down at me, her hands clasping gently, but threateningly around my neck. My grin widened, and I slid my fingers down Julia’s belly, caressed the underside of her shaft, and parted the folds of her dripping lust.
“Ok, Sister.” I whispered into her mouth, then turned to Astrid, and nodded.
Night Eyes’s back flexed against me, her head shifted on my shoulder, her hands linked behind my neck, and her rectum coiled around my cock as she shifted slowly up and down on my lap, moaning an escalating tone with each drop, and sighing with each rise. I squeezed the modest swell of her bust until her breasts were just flesh protruding between my fingers, and she grinned against my lips, tightening her anal muscles, and squishing her ass onto my pelvis with her lustful grinds.
“You have to taste her before we start.” Night Eyes whispered. She kissed me, and breathed Corruption into my lungs. I felt her sweet temptation burn into me, leak into my mind, and pool sweet toxins into the depths of my psyche. I held her there, trapped in the moment when the narcotic enters the vein. Then I regretfully pushed her back into Night Eyes, and felt her presence echo its last whispers into the void, and the void replied with whispers of my own. Maybe just keep a little. What harm could it do? I waited until almost all of the blackness had left me, then I sucked the last of it back in. Just a taste; just to enhance the experience. Our kiss broke with a gasp, and I became very aware of how small Night Eyes felt atop me, how weak her frame was, how soft her flesh was. I pressed her against me, trapping her with my strength, threatening her with my heat when she tried to struggle free. I felt her breath cut with fear and excitement, felt her pussy leak down her indenting taint, felt her legs lock around me, imprisoning herself willfully, waiting for me to hurt her.
“Nice try.” I gasped. Instead of jackhammering until Night Eyes prolapsed, I turned my bearhug into a firm embrace, and held her in place as I tenderly violated her sinful hole with long, slow drives. She grinned back like a guilty schoolgirl, and recommenced her impassioned grinds, continuing our flowing dance of anal sex. We moaned in harmony, moved in unison, and turned the sheets of my bed dark with our lust. I slid my hands from her breasts, down her clenching belly, along the lines of her thighs, and between her spread legs. She cried out when my fingers penetrated her, she hissed when they pressed on her walls, and she growled when they began to massage, press and prod. I explored her, I found her spots, and I turned her womanhood into my plaything, spasming and convulsing at my will.
“Make me come.” Night Eyes commanded through a rasping whisper. It wasn’t a hard request to fulfill. Her asshole twitched around me, her rim trying to squeeze me dry, her rectum contracting violently. Her inner-walls fluttered with reaction, seeming to grow more sensitive with every touch of my fingers. Her thighs quivered, her belly clenched, and her head dragged up my shoulder until her face was pointed to the ceiling, her back arching painfully, increasing its curve with the increase in tension, her mouth gasping next to my ear, her eyes trembling and bulging, staring at nothing at all. With a cathartic release of breath, her body relaxed suddenly, and I felt my fingers grow wet with her expulsion. But I hadn’t come yet, so I didn’t stop fucking her, and I could tell by the way she looked at me, that she appreciated it. There was a knock on the door, and Astrid stepped in before I could answer, with Jade Tao and Sara following.
“Ah, the sinner and the saint have arrived.” Night Eyes chuckled. Sara stared unabashedly at our display of divine debauchery, while Jade stared extremely uncomfortably at the floor.
“I am sorry, Your Holiness.” Jade’s voice was meek, “If I had known you were… occupied, I would have waited outside.”
“I’m the one who’s occupied, High Guard.” Night Eyes chuckled, splaying her legs wide so that Astrid and Sara could get a good show. At the sight of my erect manhood, Sara’s jaw dropped open. Considering all the sex she’d seen in her time, that reaction was actually quite flattering. Still, I had standards to uphold.
“Why are they here?” I whispered in Night Eyes’s ear.
“Why do you think?” she grinned back.
“Yessss.” Night Eyes hissed, turning my face until our eyes were locked, “I indulged you, Sister, now you will indulge me.”
“I will not rape for your amusement!” I growled.
“Who said anything about rape?” Night Eyes grinned back at me, then called over to Jade, “High Guard Tao, if Sister Julia asked for your virginity, would you give it to her?”
“Without question, Your Holiness.” Jade answered the floor.
“Sara,” Night Eyes said to my captain, “if Sister Julia asked-”
“The answer is ‘yes’ to whatever you’re going to say.” Sara smirked at Night Eyes, then let her eyes fall back to what I was doing to the god.
“High Guard Tao, do you find Sister Julia sexually attractive?” Night Eyes moaned the words as she grinded her hips in a circular path, stretching her gape wide.
“Yes, Your Holiness.” Jade’s voice was shaking slightly, and Astrid put a comforting hand on her friend’s shoulder.
“High Guard Tao, do you want Sister Julia to fuck you?”
“It would be honor to be so desired by my god.” Jade answered the floor again.
“That’s not what I asked, Jade.” Night Eyes grinned. Astrid pulled Jade close, and whispered something in Jade’s ear.
“Yes.” Jade said, her voice cracking slightly, “I would like to feel the pleasures of a woman. I…” Jade gave Astrid a sidelong glance, and Astrid grinned, and nodded, “…I want to feel Her Holiness’s cock inside me.”
“And would Her Holiness deny her doting follower?” Night Eyes whispered on my lips.
Sara was apparently not too interested in waiting for my crisis of conscience to resolve, because she tore off her nun’s habit, hopped nakedly onto the bed, and began crawling lasciviously toward us. ‘Sara, stop, this isn’t right,’ was what part of me wanted to say, but the other part had control of my mouth, and what she said was, “Clean it off,” when I pulled my dick out of Night Eyes’s asshole. Jade gasped audibly, but Sara didn’t even flinch. The high-elf just widened her hungry eyes, and crawled between our spread legs. I felt an unfamiliar hand grab me, then I felt wet heat enclose me, a practiced tongue lick the filth from me, and experienced lips slowly slurp their way down, followed by a humming moan of satisfaction. Night Eyes rolled off my lap to reveal Sara, eyes half-closed, her splayed hands sliding up my pelvis as her mouth covetously took every inch I had to give. I groaned and locked my legs around the sides of her head, my body relaxing in hedonistic splendor, in sinful surrender. I petted Sara’s head, and looked at Jade. I could tell she was frightened, I could tell she was shocked by what she just saw, but the fact that I knew she’d obey me despite all that, made me want her even more.
“Come, Jade.” I called lazily to her, beckoning with a finger. She looked to Astrid as though asking for guidance, but Astrid just smiled, and shook her head, and Jade nodded in resignation. She turned to me, her eyes cast demurely downward, and she began to strip. Her breastplate clattered to the floor, her shoulder guards followed, her shin wrappings and her leather skirt came after, leaving her in a modest kimono. She shuffled toward me, her silver-streaked wings bent behind her, her gaze still pointed downward. Night Eyes watched her with an amused smile, then spread the woman sucking me, and inspected the options between Sara’s cheeks.
“May I?” Night Eyes asked me, her cock growing from her slit.
“Ask Sara.” I moaned.
“I don’t give a shit what Sara wants. I’m asking you.” Night Eyes growled, and roughly pushed Sara’s head forward. Sara gagged and choked, her sapphire eyes bulging, but also looking expectantly up at me, waiting for my decision, waiting for me to choose for her. Sara thought my opinion was more important than her own, even regarding her own body. She had given herself to me as completely as I’d given myself to the Holy Mother. To Sara, right and wrong were based on my morality, facts were superseded by my opinion, and the judgement of a higher power was the verdict I passed. I pulled my cock from Sara’s sucking mouth, and I gazed into those sapphires, brimming with the same adoration I’d so coveted when I saw Astrid kneel before Night Eyes on the steps to her temple. I would reward my faithful servant.
“Take her.” I whispered, caressing Sara’s cheek, “Take her however you want.” Night Eyes ripped Sara away, pushed her face into the bed, hoisted her back end up, and forced every inch of her cock deep into Sara’s asshole. Sara screeched in pain and delight, her lips squished open by Night Eyes’s pressing heel, her hands obediently spreading herself behind the exaggerated arch of her back. Night Eyes grabbed two fistfuls of platinum hair, and pulled until Sara’s scream was high and hoarse, and her legs were trembling with masochistic euphoria.
“Your Holiness?” Jade Tao asked from beside me, eyes pointed to her feet. Astrid stood behind her, either a supporting friend, or a guard ensuring the inmate didn’t try to run.
“Look at me, Jade.” I commanded softly. Jade’s gaze rose, and her eyes ran over my body, lingering on my erect manhood.
“Is this the first time you’ve ever seen a man’s arousal?” I asked her. She nodded.
“How does it make you feel?”
“Nervous. Flustered. Hot.” Jade said the words softly, “It makes me feel a lot of things, Your Holiness.” Jade glanced fearfully at Sara’s predicament, “Is that how sex is? In the romantic poems I’ve read, it is often described in much… gentler ways.”
“I can be gentle, Jade.” I said, extending my hand. Jade took it, her fingers remarkably delicate, and I guided her onto the bed, until she sat upright beside me. I pulled on the collar of her garment, and exposed a toned shoulder. Jade shuddered and tilted her head, as though trying to protect that side of her neck. I reached around her, and exposed her other shoulder, until all that was holding her kimono was the pronounced swell of her breasts. She shrugged as though the cold were biting her, but the glassy walls were fogged with the heat of lust. I slowly pulled her kimono down, until it fell from her bust, exposing pink nipples standing at attention, peaking the sloping cones of her chest.
Stop. the pious part of me whispered, Can’t you see she’s terrified?
Take her now. Take her hard, take her rough. She’s just a thing. She’ll like it eventually. the other voice commanded, and though its timbre was that of my inner-monologue, its affectation sounded like Corruption. It wasn’t the Sentient herself, but her ambassador in my mind.
Let her go. Let them both go. Sara might be a lecherous creature, but it wasn’t a choice she made. She was forced into this mold, and you are doing exactly what Lucilla’s father did to her.
We are but the sum of our experiences. the ambassador countered, Sara is who she is, and there’s no fixing that. I am who I am, and there’s no hiding it.
There’s always hope. the pious voice was sounding faint now, People can always change.
So let’s change Jade Tao. I want my Astrid Skyborne. I tore the kimono from Jade’s body, revealing curves and lean muscle canvased by smooth, beige flesh. Jade let out a startled cry at her exposure, but she stifled it quickly, her Valkyrie honor present even as I compelled her to roll to her knees, and bend over.
“Spread yourself.” I whispered in her ear, and though she winced at the command, she complied obediently. Her head rested on the pillow, half her face turned to the side to watch me with fearful eyes as she reached back, grabbed the succulent meat of her heart-shaped ass, and reveled her virginity to me. Her flower was a tight seal of petals, its ovule concealed, but leaking its nectar. Above that, her anus was a coiled button of pink, clenching with her fear. I smelled the lust wafting from her, and felt my animalistic masculinity burn behind my eyes. I licked my lips, and planted my face into Jade’s crack. I heard her gasp, felt her tense, and tasted her chastity. My tongue licked her from clit to taint as my nose pressed into her filthy button, then I snaked between her folds, and tasted Jade from the inside. She breathed with sharp intakes at first, consumed by the shock of feeling another touching her intimately, but soon, her breathing eased, her stiff posture relaxed, and the tones she spoke were of soft acceptance. I found the spot on her ceiling, and I licked it slowly back and forth, back and forth, pressing hard, squishing my palate against the subtle ridges, feeling her insides begin to awaken with her budding womanhood. I mercilessly exploited that spot until her breathing was moaning, and she wasn’t just accepting me, but pining for me. She pressed her ass against my face, spread herself wider, and began to shift up and down, grinding with apprehensive, unsure motions. I held her by the hips, and dragged my tongue from her slit, up her taint, and pushed it into virgin rectum. Jade’s entire body went rigid, and a shuddering exhale of shocked delight sung from her lips. I grinned knowingly, wrapped my lips around her, and sucked her asshole as I pushed my tongue deeper, and deeper.
“Oh, Great Creators!” Jade cried, “That shouldn’t feel good!” Astrid laughed at that, watching from the corner of the bed as she touched herself, licking her lips like a dog waiting for scraps to fall from the table.
There, you’ve been a gentle, benevolent god, now use this samurai-bitch like you want! I slid forward, tracing kisses up her spine until I was at the space where her wings sprouted from her shoulder blades. I felt her dripping heat brush delicately against my stiff rod, and I felt her suck in air, stiffening in anticipation. I aimed, and pushed inside. Jade’s legs began to tremble, and a whine began to rise from her throat, growing in pitch as I broke through her virginity by the inch. I didn’t stop when she clenched, nor when she whimpered, but made her take every bit of me, until my crotch was pressed to her flushed, stretched petals, and my head was throbbing in her tightness. She was in pain, I could tell, but it wouldn’t last. I felt the blood of her broken chastity drip from her, and I pulled back to the crease of my cock, and pushed in all the way again. This time, Jade cried out, and the pathetic tone of her song only goaded me to continue. I thrusted harder the third time, then even harder the fourth time, gaining speed, driving in earnest, marveling at the way she contracted around me with each pained exclamation. Jade buried her face into the pillow, tearing at it with white knuckles and fingers standing stiff with tendons. I grabbed her black, silky hair, and pulled her face upward, letting her sing her pained melody aloud. She lurched with my drives, her beige body jiggling, her conical breasts slapping, her thighs wobbling, her ass rippling with our impacts. She never verbally objected, but I could tell she was gritting through it, hoping it would be over soon. I pulled her hair back until she stared tearfully from the tops of her eyes, then I clasped her chin, leaned forward, and gave Jade her first kiss. She was as demure with her mouth as she was with everything else, and I had to guide her with my lips and tongue. The kiss distracted her for a moment, and in that moment, her body relaxed. I felt her resistances fall, her insides unclench, and her back collapse into an arch. I felt the realization dawn on her by the way she kissed me back, her tongue tasting mine curiously, testing the flavor of her own ass. Her mouth opened unsurely, but I could tell she was enjoying herself by the coy grin that creased her lips. Mine curved in reciprocation, and we shared the smile as I taught Jade how to kiss me back. Before long, the innocence was gone.
“There,” I smiled down at the tops of her eyes, “you’re a woman now.”
“Yes.” Jade beamed back, “I am your woman.”
“The first of many for the holy harem.” Night Eyes said beside me, her belt imbedded in Sara’s teeth, her cock imbedded in Sara’s ass. ‘There will be no such thing as “the holy harem,”’ the pious part of me wanted to say, but I wasn’t listening to her anymore.
“Would you like that, Jade?” I asked the oriental beauty, running my hands through her feathers as I ran my dick through her cunt, “Would you like to be the leader of my new disciples?”
“Surely Captain Tanasi is more qualified.” Jade moaned, glancing at Sara.
“Sara has experience, but you can always get experience. You have the spirit, and that’s not something you can teach.” I crinkled my nose, very-much enjoying the look of gratitude Jade wore in reaction to my praise. It seemed my words were worth more than gold to her.
“It is an honor… Mistress.” Jade said, drawing the last word out cautiously. I didn’t correct her. I turned her leg-over-leg until she was on her back, then I splayed her legs to the sides, and railed between them. She cried out with each thrust now, her equanimity thrown to the wind, her voice high and joyous. Her doll-like face was flushed, her eyes wide, her mouth gaping, her head titled back as her spine arched beneath her, its curve increasing with every thrust I dealt. I pressed myself breasts-to-breast with her, and shared my mouth once again. This time, Jade wasn’t bashful with her kiss, but vulgar with her tongue, hedonistic with her lips. It was wet, and sloppy, and filled with moans as we grinded together, converging, rising in congruence with the ecstasy taking us.
“I’m coming!” Jade announced, though she hardly needed to. She was thrashing wildly beneath me, her legs kicking sporadically, her head whipping from side to side, as though trying to exercise the feelings possessing her. Seeing her like that, seeing her joy, seeing her ecstasy, it… it angered me. There must be a penance! said a different part of me, The Holy Mother demands punishment for this sin! It was a bastardization of my piety, and it raged to the forefront of my mind. It was my darkness, my true darkness; not the ambassador that cajoled me, nor the hedonist from Passion’s womb, but the woman who had laughed while she burned Passion alive.
“Time for you to get some experience, Jade.” I snarled as I pulled out of Jade’s pussy, ran my tip down her moist taint, and forced myself into her virgin shithole. She screeched, her rectum wrapping around me in clenching agony, her reddened, swollen pussy spurting her ecstasy. I turned to my side, grabbed a fistful of Sara’s flailing hair, and forced her face into Jade’s crotch. Night Eyes uncinched the belt that wrapped Sara’s mouth, and the high-elf enthusiastically ate her winged-counterpart’s oozing cunt.
“Please, Mistress!” Jade screamed.
“Repent, whore!” I growled, finding my maximum depth in her, and stretching her with each thrust until it was deeper.
“I don’t know how to repent!” Jade sobbed, bucking her hips, grasping at the bedding, flapping her wings against the sheets. I slapped her hard across the face.
“Repent!” I screamed again, and Jade sobbed in return. I drove relentlessly into her battered hole, watching her face grow red, watching her cheeks puff with her held-back scream, watching her eyes glisten with pain.
“Repent!” I hissed, grabbing the back of Sara’s head, and smooshing her muzzle into Jade’s cunt, “Repent!”
Jade’s lips trembled. “I don’t what I did wrong.”
“You worship a false god.” I whispered, touching those trembling lips with one finger, “You offered yourself willingly to her, and you laid with a heathen idol like the blasphemous whore you are! Now, repent!” My voice hardly sounded like me at all. It was raspy, hateful, and manic, but it came from my mouth, and it spoke my thoughts. Jade looked at me, confusion mixing with terror and pain. Astrid laid next to her friend, petted Jade’s black hair, and whisped something in Jade’s ear. Jade nodded tearfully, and I felt her loosen on the inside, unclenching her muscles, offering me no resistance. I entered her relentlessly, feeling her stretched rim sliding down my shaft, twitching sporadically, feeling her rectum squeezing me, but not resisting me. She thrashed, heaved and pivoted on kicking heels, but her surrendered hole stayed relaxed, and soon, the violence of her motion followed suit. The expression she wore began to soften; her brow furrowing, her eyes growing needful, her quivering lips gaping. She started shifting her hips in time with my thrusts, pushing against me, taking me in as I drove. Her chin titled back every time our bodies met, and her neck striated with the tension of her growing pleasure.
“Punish me.” Jade gasped, and it was a breath filled with masochism, “I am a sinner who needs to suffer! Give this whore what she deserves!”
“Yes!” I laughed, then turned to Night Eyes, my insane grin reflected in her black orbs, “If you wish to taste the honey, you must first stomach the bitterness! I’m glad you got it, Jade!” And I slapped her again, sending her head whipping, her hair flailing. She didn’t cry out, but her shoulders pinched back, her breast jutted forward, and her arms stretched to her sides, presenting herself, giving herself, asking for more. I gave it to her. Again, and again, and with every strike I delivered, Jade moaned louder, pushed harder, writhed beneath me in a dance of euphoria, stirring her asshole with her gyrations, stretching it around my driving rod, gaping herself for her own pain, for her own pleasure. Sara drooled dumbly across Jade’s pussy as she panted her exhilarating ascension, her unfocused eyes speaking of mindless euphoria. Her back oscillated in waves, each motion ending with her ass driving against Night Eyes’s pelvis, her porcelain domes now ruby with abuse. With a scream, she gushed her release down her legs, and Night Eyes unceremoniously tossed the high-elf aside, where Astrid greedily took the leftovers. I pulled out of Jade’s ass, and pushed back into her pussy, sullying her pristine womanhood with her own filth. She loved it. She wrapped her legs around me, and I hoisted her up, pressing bellies, breasts and lips, and opening her wide for Night Eyes. Jade’s head flew back, her wings spread wide, and she screamed to the ceiling. I felt Night Eyes push against me from the other side, filling what I had broken in for her. She wrapped her hands in Jade’s hair and pulled, and I wrapped my hands around Jade’s neck, and squeezed.
“Temptress!” I growled, spittle flying from my mouth, speckling Jade’s face, “You were sent here to set me astray from the righteous path!”
“I am sorry!” Jade squeaked, her abdomen clenching with spasms against me, her pussy gushing with release after release, each one more violent than the last.
“You are a harlot of Satan, a wretched slut dressed in the skin of purity! Admit it!” I growled, feeling my internal organ quaking, the pressure building.
“I do not know of what you speak!” Jade was sobbing the words through her constricted throat, but her tears were of ecstasy, and her screams were exaltations.
“Liar!” I growled. Jade’s hips were shifting right to left, grinding in a sinuous wave as she was penetrated back and forth, fucked like piston, never given a chance to relax.
“I… can’t… tell… untruths…” Jade’s eyes rolled into her head, spit leaked down her chin, her mouth hung open, expelling possessed euphoria through a strangled throat. Her hands grappled for purchase on my back, and she mindlessly heaved to the rhythm of her defilement, her belly spasming with yet another orgasm. Night Eyes and I moved on her like animals to downed prey; grabbing, pulling, slapping, biting, scratching. Night Eyes stretched Jade’s mouth with fish-hooking fingers, and I pulled the tongue out between teasing teeth, and sucked self-indulgently upon it. Jade moaned and licked me playfully back, and I spit her tongue back into her mouth, grabbed her nipples, and torqued her breasts to spirals of beige. Jade screamed her delight, arching her back, pressing harder against me. Night Eyes raked fingers down the High Guard’s flank, and Jade wrenched the other way, her pitch growing higher, her insides clenching in gratitude. Our thrusts became fervent, manic, turning Jade’s delicate spots into a ruin of reddened flesh, leaking with heinous delight. Her body jiggled, her flesh moistened with exertion, her mindless screams grew soundless. I growled and cried out, pumping with all my strength, grinding against Night Eyes from the other side, feeling her throbbing with my ecstasy, hearing her yelping with it every time we thrusted. The pressure in my loins reached its critical point, the pulsing in my prostate turned to a torrent of convulsions, and I roared as I emptied myself into Jade’s womb. Night Eyes drove in tempo with me, and we hoisted Jade aloft between our groins, a trophy of our depravity, her wings spread resplendently as her upturned face exalted breathlessly to the heavens. I grabbed her by the throat, tossed her onto the bed, and sprayed her down with my release. I sullied her body, gave the sinner what she coveted, then I raised my hand, and prepared for her judgement.
“Jade Tao of the Breytan Clan, you are a whore, a blasphemer, and a heretic. What say you to these charges?” I stood over her, heat radiating from my palm, watching her eyes clarify, focus, and come to realization. She didn’t cower before me, nor raise her arms to shield, nor even object. She just bowed her head.
“If you say I am those things, then I am those things, Mistress.” Jade whispered, “I accept your judgement, and your punishment.”
“Then in the name of The Holy Mother, I sentence you to death.” I whispered the words, my excitement too great to give voice to. The plasmatic ball formed, its brilliance reflecting against the walls, so bright that it created a contrast of black and white, with no shade in between. Jade closed her eyes, and took a deep breath.
Diamond, Lucilla, God. The voice whispered in the deepest reaches of my mind. I closed my hand, and let out a breath of my own. The room dimmed, the colors returned, and blackness flowed from my lips. There was so much of it. It flowed from me like smoke, dissipating into the air, then coalescing, swirling, and shooting back into Night Eyes. There was a pregnant silence where Jade looked at Night Eyes, Astrid looked at Jade, and Night Eyes looked at me. There was a flash of beige, a flash of blonde, and a clash of steel. Jade’s sword was an inch from Night Eyes’s throat, barely blocked by the flat of Astrid’s blade. The two Valkyries shifted so quickly I could barely see it. Astrid ran the edge of her sword up the length of Jade’s katana, slapping it away, before springing forward. Jade backflipped from Astrid’s leg swipe, arced her sword with the movement, and forced Astrid to rapidly sidestep before she was split down the middle. Astrid moved fluidly with the motion, bringing her side-stepping leg into a kick, tripping Jade mid-flip, and swiping her sword around. Jade adapted as she fell, turned her descent into a roll, blocked Astrid’s swing behind her back, then unfurled her wings, flapped, and corkscrewed into the air, the point of blade leading her, aimed right at Night Eyes’s chest. A steel hand burst from the wall, grabbed Jade, and held her parallel to the bed, her arms still outstretched, her wings flapping between the metal knuckles.
“Stop!” I yelled. The steel fist squeezed until Jade’s eyes were popping, then dropped my High Guard breathlessly onto the bed.
“Corruption!” Jade managed to choke-out.
“I know.” I said, kneeling beside the woman, “I should have told you beforehand.”
“You…” Jade searched my eyes.
“Yes,” I nodded, “but she’s gone now.”
“Which makes it a tie game,” Night Eyes groaned beside us, “and nobody likes extra innings.”
“Sudden death is much more exciting.” Sara whispered, holding a blade to Night Eyes’s throat. Where she’d been keeping the knife, Good Mother only knew.
“No, Sara.” I shook my head, and Sara pulled away, but not before planting a threatening kiss on Night Eyes’s throat. Night Eyes smirked back at the elf, running her finger across the spot with equal threat.
“Mistress, you cannot let her live!” Jade insisted.
“I can do as I please, Jade. Remember your place.” I said softly.
“Yes, Mistress.” Jade’s eyes averted to their natural downcast position, “Please forgive me.”
“Hey,” I raised her gaze by the chin, “call me ‘Your Holiness.’ You’re not my slave, Jade; you’re my disciple.” I let my hand fall, “Unless, given what has come to light, you no longer wish to follow me.”
“I would die a thousand times for you.” Jade replied, that adoration in her eyes, that love, that reverence. I leaned forward, and kissed her, and she kissed me back; demurely, subserviently, but not weakly. Jade had tasted the pleasures of womanhood, and the girlish apprehensiveness she’d shown before was gone. It was why I didn’t suggest we return our relationship to its previous status; that, and for more… selfish reasons. I breathed deeply, and felt the vacancy left in my lungs. I had been so self-assured, so confident in my righteousness, so certain of my purpose. I had been the Flame of God, her judgement, her hunter, her Destroyer, and now, I was just Julia, but not the same Julia. A darker Julia. How much longer can I take this?
“I really wish you’d hate me.” I whispered to Jade.
“Why?” she asked, concern in her eyes. I looked at Night Eyes, and saw that she wasn’t grinning her usual, confident grin at me. She was studying me closely, narrowing her eyes, tapping her temple contemplatively.
“Because I’m going to deserve it.”
It had taken me two hours of looking for Diamond and Justina before I realized my beloved had sent me on a wild goose chase. They weren’t in Brandon’s temple, nor were they in Willowbud’s. Julia just wanted me out of the house. I paced back and forth, biting my nails, running through the possibilities. My mind had always been in the gutter, but now it was in the cellar, and it was going to some very dark places. She never loved you, Lucilla. She only bound with you because she didn’t know any better. She had real love once, but you stole it from her. She hates you for waking her from Passion’s spell. She wishes you’d just let her be. She could’ve been happy forever with Diamond and Passion, but you just had to destroy her family, didn’t you? My hands balled, my eye blurred, and I took two stumbling steps, before collapsing to the ground. You’re a weak piece of shit, and Julia needs strength. I tore at the grass. You were just a hole for her, and now she’s found a better one. I bawled into the ground, snot running from my nose, tears running from my eyes. I tore at the roots until I was ripping soil from the earth, and showering my naked body with it. My fingernails had already been chewed to stubs, and now they splintered from my fingers, shooting pain up my hand. The distraction was pure relief, and for a moment, I understood why all those emo girls in middle school cut themselves.
“Why are you digging up my lawn?” a familiar voice asked. I looked up to see the blurred outline of Brandon.
“I’m looking for Diamond and Justina.” I whimpered.
“Do you think they’re hiding in there?” Brandon asked, crouching to my level.
“They may as well be.” I fretted, looking at the earth as it fell between my fingers. Brandon sighed, and wrapped me in his arms. I shuddered against him, curling my knees to my breasts, pulling as much of him around me as I could manage.
“They’re at it again, aren’t they?” Brandon asked.
“Yeah.” I sniffled.
“I didn’t think you were the jealous type.”
“Then you’re shit at reading people.”
“If it took you this long to figure that out, then so are you.” Brandon chuckled, and I snorted with him.
“Doesn’t it bother you?” I asked.
“Not really.” Brandon said, repositioning me on his lap, “Willowbud and I just… understand each other, I guess.”
“Or you don’t really love her.” I said, wiping my face.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about.” Brandon said softy.
“If you loved her, you’d be as terrified as me and Willowbud are.” I replied.
“Willowbud isn’t scared of Julia.” Brandon chuckled.
“Not of Julia.”
“Of you?” Brandon laughed.
“Of Angela.” I said, meeting Brandon’s eyes, seeing his mirth leave him, “She’s terrified of Angela, because Angela could take you from her. Why do you think Willowbud made you ditch her?”
“She’s my sister, Lucilla.” Brandon’s voice was wavering, “Gloria fucked with my head and made me want her, but I don’t love her romantically.”
“Then why did you make her a new body, if you know you won’t bind her to it?” I asked, “And more importantly, if you do love Willowbud so much, why haven’t you bound with her?”
Brandon didn’t answer, but stared wordlessly at the stars peeking through the canopy of his grand arboretum. Through a window, I saw those same stars reflected from the top of Julia’s temple, whose straight sides mirrored the millions of lights shining from Drastin, and whose domed top magnified the constellations above. On the grassy expanse that divided the three temples, a lone figure strode toward us.
“When they love you, Lucilla, they always come back. So, go to Julia.” Brandon whispered as Willowbud knocked on the bamboo gate. I got off him, and wiped the grief from my face. I past Willowbud on my way out, and she didn’t give me her usual sneer. She nodded to me, and I nodded to her, and we made our way to the ones we loved.
“Please help me, Freydis!” I hissed into the pillow. My knees pressed into the mattress, the sheets wadded and damp between my grinding thighs, my fingers moving behind me, inside me, sullied with my secretion.
“Discipline will save you, Your Grace.” Freydis just said, looking out the window of our shanty hut. The golden armor of an Ofanian gleamed resplendently in the moonlight, it’s bearer hovering a block away. Freydis watched her from the edge of the window, obscuring herself behind the curtain, petting her pussy with one hand, and penetrating it with the other. The groceries she’d gotten on her trip lay forgotten on the floor, along with the leather armor and oversized cloak she’d stripped off the moment she’d returned.
“I’ll touch you.” I whispered to her, looking ravenously over her busty, muscular body, “I’ll touch you however you want.”
“You can watch me, if it helps.” Freydis replied, still looking out the window.
“Goddamn it, Freydis!” I growled desperately, my unsatisfying fingers burrowing into my holes. I’d never touched myself anally before, but now I had four fingers back there, and was seriously considering the thumb. I had no such compunctions about my womanhood, which greedily swallowed my other hand to the wrist.
“They are looking for me.” Freydis said, studying the winged-warrior, “His Holiness considers me a threat, undoubtedly due to your sister’s testimony. Your paranoia has cost us dearly.”
“You were unconscious when Julia killed Passion; you didn’t see what she did.” I gasped into the pillow, “If you had, then you’d understand. Even if she’s not an agent of the emperor, she is still too dangerous, and far too volatile.”
“I must seek the Bound One out.”
“Are you nuts?!” I groaned, my legs quivering from yet another unfulfilling climax.
“I have sworn myself to her.”
“But you owe yourself to my daughter!” I snapped.
Freydis stayed silent, staring out the window. Every time I asked her about Willowbud or Astrid, Freydis would simply ignore me. I knew it meant she was hiding something from me, as she could not tell a lie, but I didn’t have the capacity to press the issue when every thought was interrupted by a grotesque fantasy of Tera. My flesh burned to feel hers, my nethers ached for her tongue, my mouth watered for her taste. My mind was mostly my own, but my body still belonged to her. It was a disturbingly familiar feeling; It wasn’t the first time this had happened.
The cathedralic canopy of leaves and branches soared above Tera and me as we raced through the undergrowth of Arbortus. She was taller, faster and stronger, but I was born for the forest. I climbed trees like they were stairs, swung from vines with ease, and sprinted atop branches whose path was barely the width of my heel. Tera tried very hard to shadow my movements, but she was a clumsy beast, and even at ten, she was already becoming top-heavy at the chest. Her tail was her only asset when navigating the forest, and it corrected for the awkward footfalls that would’ve sent her careening though the underbrush. I looked over my shoulder, gave my twin sister a teasing wink, then tripped on a root, and staggered forward. Tera took the bait hook, line and sinker. She accelerated, her bronze body turning into a blur of motion, her violet eyes fixed on me. Finally, she would win. Finally, she would beat me at my own game. As Tera crossed the finish line, I saw the look of triumph cross her face, then I saw the look I’d been waiting for.
“Oh, shit!” Tera managed to scream before she went flailing off the side of the cliff. The call of her terror dwindled as she fell, then was silenced with a splash. I split my sides with laughter, barely holding myself upright as Tera noisily floundered in the water, sputtering and cursing, then swimming to shore.
“I still won!” Tera screamed up at me.
“You sure look like a winner!” I called back.
“You know what? It was fun! Thank you, Flora, for enhancing my victory.”
“Fun, huh?” I cackled, “I think the water looks a little browner than it was before.”
“Bet you won’t jump!” Tera yelled back.
“You bet right, because I’m not an idiot.”
“No, but you are a pussy.”
“Do you really think I’m that easy?” I smirked.
“Lacus Elmsong was.” Tera sneered back, and made kissy-lips at me.
“Liar!” I yelled, “Lacus would never go for you!”
“Ask Soli.” Tera giggled, twirling her tail, “She saw the whole thing. By the way, I kissed her too. That makes you the only one of our friends who hasn’t been kissed yet.”
“Quit fooling around, Tera!” I yelled, “It’s not funny!”
“Come down here, and maybe I’ll kiss you too.” Tera called teasingly, “It can be our little secret.”
“I’m telling mom!”
“I’ll just deny it!”
“Then I’ll-” and my words were cut from my throat as the earth below me gave way, and I tumbled head-over-heels off the side of the cliff. The air whooshed, the pit of my stomach leapt into my chest, and I hit the water in a head-first dive. The cold stabbed into me, the darkness surrounded me, and I sliced through the medium like an arrow. I struck the bottom of the pond with my chin, and felt the world vibrate against the inside of my skull. I gasped, and water flowed into my lungs. My chest felt like it was exploding. My diaphragm heaved vainly, my stomach knotted, and I vomited into the depths, but I couldn’t expel what I’d taken. Panic took my mind, forcing me into a delirium. Breathe! Swim! Cough! I didn’t know which way was up, couldn’t discern where the light was coming from, and all the while, my strength seeped from me, and my tortured lungs screamed in agony. The faint sunlight cast its rays through swirling specs in the deep, and I finally discerned its direction. I clawed at the water, trying to swim to the sun, but I was so tired. The cold enveloped me, terrible, piercing, yet… perversely comforting. My vision dimmed, my hands splayed and floated above me, and my body rested against the jagged rocks. Silence. Blackness. Nothing.
Pain. Horrible, deep, pain. My eyes flew open, and I hacked and sputtered. The water spurted from my mouth, and I attempted a useless, drowning breath, but nothing came in. I couldn’t feel my arms or legs, and my hands and feet might as well have been amputated. There was a pressure on my chest, a pounding, then my vision went dark again, and I felt something soft and warm against my cold, clammy lips. Someone else’s air flowed into my mouth, and sank into the water that pooled in my lungs, but oddly, my fading life was no longer a concern. Whose lips were these? How could they feel like that? Why was I suddenly so hot? The moment passed, the sun hit my squinting eyes, and the pressure on my chest continued.
“Come on, Flora!” a familiar voice yelled, “Get it all out! Cough! Cough!”
My diaphragm swished like a half-filled bucket, spurting water in laughable increments from my blue lips. The world was all fading again, blurring, becoming colors instead of shapes, then light instead of colors, then nothing at all. That warmth against my mouth, the sweet breath pouring in. It burned into my dying muscles, electrified my nerves, shot pain back into my chest. Tera kept her lips pressed to mine, and breathed, pushing the contents of her lungs into mine, filling them, expanding them, giving them room. I gagged on the expulsion, my eyes brimming with the pain, and with a wrenching back and a burning throat, I wretched what I’d taken in, all of it, sending it pooling across the rocks. I took a deep, agonizing breath, and felt the life flow back into me.
“Oh my god, Flora!” Tera screamed, pulling me into her arms. She held me against her, resting her chin on my head, petting my stark-white hair behind my ram-like horns.
“Master?” I croaked.
“What?” Tera looked sharply down at me.
“Master?” I asked again.
“Oh shit.” Tera gasped. She looked from my face, to her hand, then back again. “Oh-shit-oh-shit-oh-shit!”
“Master.” Now it wasn’t a question, but a confirmation. This was my master. Why she was my master, I didn’t know, but I did know that I would do anything for her.
“I am not your master!” Tera said, looking around, panic on her face, “It’s not supposed to happen until I’m older! They said I had more time!”
“Fuck, how do I turn it off?” Tera poked and prodded at me as though I was a machine. It tickled, and I giggled, and Tera only became more panicked. She jumped upright, leaving me on the rocks, and she ran into the forest without a look back. I was left there, confused, scared, and still feeling hot all over. At the time, I was too young to have the urges that would compel me later in life. Instead, the feeling was a thrumming, a persistent burning beneath the skin that demanded that I seek out Tera. I just wanted to hug her, and I tell her how much I loved her.
“Master?” I called to the forest. Silence answered me.
“Master?” I called again. Not the call of the eagle, nor the patter of the woodpecker, nor the chirp of the squirrel. Not even the rustle of leaves in the mid-afternoon wind. I looked to the left, and saw nothing but green. I looked to the right, and the sandstone outcropping filled my vision. Ahead of me, there were only trees, but I wasn’t alone. Silence. Coldness. A whisper. She came from the water.