A squirrel-headed and fluffy-tailed, white-furred dominatrix-ninja was meditating peacefully on the top of a huge and reflective, silver-disk. Hurricane-force winds were raging around her, while lightning was viciously striking her black-mithril cotton, and demonic-beast leather armor.
However, none of the rain was able to reach her completely dry clothing, because she was in total control over the air within her relatively thin but incredibly dense aura. Alexis had her crimson eyes tightly-shut, until she heard a ringing in her mind, and quickly examined her burning right palm; the girl let out a sigh of relief, as she muttered “So that dumb-ass didn’t really die, huh… Good, that means I can be a little more reckless as well.” with a sinister smile on her small, pink mouth.
After a few moments, another thunderclap caused her head to ache; even if she could negate the heat and damage that lighting would cause her unprotected body, the armor couldn’t remove the incredibly loud noise. Fortunately, most of the sound was drowned out by her own wind-barrier, which was protecting her sensitive and twitching, pink, pointed ears.
Then, as if celestial beings were descending from the heavens, beams of bright, white-light began falling through the previously black, storm-clouds. In mere seconds, the entire sky had become clear, and not even a drizzle had remained.
Gazing down at the beautiful ocean below the gigantic tower, and the cliff that it was built upon, the squirrel-girl felt a burst of inspiration. She discontinued the barrier, and began utilizing her favorite wind-manipulation technique: “Angelic Harmonization.”
It was an incredibly popular series of relatively complex spells, that most musicians in Black Mithril struggled to learn in Alfirin Academy. There was an even more challenging aspect of it, that only the former Principal truly understood, called “Illusory Instrumentals.”
Essentially, a person could create any sounds that they could imagine, simply by controlling the vibrations of the air. Performing such magic was unreasonably difficult though, and most mages were more interested in offensive and defensive spells. Alexis began singing a song that she made up as she went along, though it was a little… strange.
“You don’t know who I am
But you saved me from the darkness and the aftermath of every night without them
When the angels, are away
When the monsters, are out to play
I can find a reason to be free
The demons fighting, hoping to save me
When the angels, spend each day
Finding, the words to say
Before it all, crumbles to the ground
The demons will be waiting for the sound
Of your screams, of pain and despair
Your dreams, of flying through the air
Why did you save me from myself
Why did you raise me in this hell
And the angels, fly away
When the monsters, plan to stay
I can find a reason on the sea
The demons crash into the oceans, all around me
You don’t even know my name
But you fear me more than any demon, fight me with or without reason
Angels have to sing before they pray
For monsters and the humans that they slay
Why do I, even have to try
Every night, to create the brightest light
Without a name, it’s just a game
For me, to be free”
An obsidian-furred fox-headed girl with four raven-like wings coming out of her back, was in the middle of sleeping, when she was awoken by an extremely depressing but incredibly beautiful song. Her five devout ‘followers’ were staring at the ceiling, towards the vent that the sound was reverberating through.
Maat called out “Transparent Mode!” and the entire room lit up with a blindingly bright light, from the sun. She immediately yelled “Agh, my eyes!” as she quickly looked away; the other five were suffering as well, but they weren’t about to complain in-front of their ‘goddess.’
Then she noticed the cold, scarlet orbs staring down at her; belonging to a strange woman, clad in tight black-leather armor, which showed no skin, but still managed to be extremely revealing. Only that squirrel-face, filled with arrogance and disdain, and that adorable bushy white tail, could be seen clearly.
The obsidian-fox was instantly terrified, and so were the five mystics; she blurted out “Oh shit! Opaque Mode!” As the room became a lot darker, with only the glass-like walls allowing the sunlight inside, she turned to the stunned women and shouted “Quick, go make sure that the door is closed and locked! We have to… damn it! Never-mind, just don’t do anything to offend her, okay?! Actually, don’t even speak, just go hide in your tents over there! Go, now!”
Her experiences with other beings similar to herself, never went very well. She managed to survive for so long by learning how to hide, flee, and generally avoid anyone who was even slightly powerful.
However, even after several minutes, the mysterious squirrel-girl didn’t appear. When Maat activated the “Transparent Mode” again, she noticed that the leather-clad woman was still sitting there.
There was no way in hell that the anti-social dominatrix-ninja was going to go out of her way, to talk to, or investigate something so tedious; from what she could tell, it was just some sort of ancient magical device, and the little brat inside was simply a mutant redwolf-girl. Fox-Tribe typically looked like humans with fluffy tails, vertically-slit pupils, and cute triangular-ears on the tops of their heads… but it wasn’t like Alexis actually cared about such trivialities.
Rachael on the other hand; she would have been ecstatic to discover such a ‘unique specimen.’ Fortunately, she was preoccupied by an ‘interesting’ plague: two-miles to the southwest and in a dank, dirty cave.
“Die demon!” A bulky, brown-skinned and white-furred fox-tribe man, swung a large stone-club towards a small, deer-centaur, who seemed completely unaware of his actions; she was too busy scanning through an unconscious, little-girl’s mana-pool, with her aura. However, before the man could finish his attack, he screamed “Ahhhh, wh-what have you done to us?!” before thousands of tiny, red, flying ants, erupted from his eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, and anus.
The doe stopped what she was doing and quickly turned around; with a sigh, she muttered “So that’s how it is…” Then dozens of thin, pink, wire-like vines, fired out of her right hand, into the man’s chest; immediately spreading throughout his body, and attempting to prevent his death.
Unfortunately, at that same moment, the other sickly men, women and children, all suffered from the same strange phenomenon. Rachael retracted her tendrils and yelled “Fucking hell!” as she received the information from her Lunar-Seal directly into her mind.
“Quest Objectives Changed! Ninety-nine percent of all the desert-fox population has been eradicated, only the matriarch of Quena, Anouke and forty-nine other members of the clan that you were able to treat have survived! Among each village was an agent of Beelzebub; you must find and kill the nature-mage responsible for spreading the pestilence, while protecting the remaining NPCs from harm!”
Rachael’s expression became extremely terrifying, her beautiful and snow-white skin seemed like it had thousands of squirming, pink, worms underneath it. Her black shirt burst open, along with her Elven flesh, and it seemed like the upper-half of her body had completely transformed to that of a dryad; her bright-blue eyes exploded, and glowing azure mana-crystals were left in their place, along with her lustrous blond hair, falling out completely.
Even though the deer-parts didn’t change at all, she was wearing a black-mithril cotton spandex-like material, keeping her most vulnerable organs from harm. There was no bark covering the vine-like muscles and veins on her torso, head, and arms; it was truly a horrific sight to the remaining Fox-Tribe, but the more frightening scene was the swarm of millions of small, flying, red-ants.
The insects completely ignored the dryad, and only aimed towards the group of ‘treated’ people that were gathered by the crystalline lake-shore. In the crowd, where even the matriarch was in a state of panic, was her husband: A brown-skinned adolescent-looking boy, named Taoru, whose bright-green eyes were glowing slightly.
Rachael roared “You… so that’s how it is!? Fine, if you want to play with pestilence, then I will show you my own creations!” in a voice that was deep and raspy, as she glared at the man who was surrounded by a violent, green and red whirl-pool of mana. Suddenly, all of her previous patients, except for him, began to collapse and their bodies spasmed relentlessly; their shrill screams and cries reverberated throughout the cavern, as the dryadic-doe began laughing hysterically.
Thousands of tiny pink-cockroaches erupted from their mouths, but left their hosts in an unconscious state and not dead. Then she yelled “Hahahaha~! Devour them all, and once you’ve finished, eat those corpses as well!”
Even if her own insects were extremely outnumbered, they were obviously of a much higher quality. The ants could barely be considered magical-beasts, yet every roach was packed with nearly enough mana to become a low-end demon; the swarm didn’t even have a method for piercing their thick pink exoskeletons, no matter how they desperately tried.
As that pestilence war was going on, Rachael had a huge grin on her wriggling, viney face, while she slowly approached the furious Fox-Tribe man. He was a few inches taller than her, but comparing their auras… It was like a whirlwind facing a tornado; within a few steps, his mana-pool was completely surrounded by hers.
Taoru shouted “How dare you interfere with Lord Beelzebub’s quest!? Even if you are a ‘player,’ there should be a limit to your arrogance! Do you believe that you’re the only one capable of hiding your true power?!” as his green irises became blindingly bright. He had only been wearing a brown, coyote-hide kilt, so when hundreds of glowing, viridian-tattoos started to appear all over his skin, they were clearly visible.
Rachael didn’t have a very strong understanding of runic-magic, so she had no idea exactly what they did, but it wasn’t difficult for her to guess. Her oppressive aura was spontaneously pushed back by the ‘young’ fox’s; then he started laughing maniacally, as he shoved his sharp fingernails into his abdominal muscles.
The two hands easily tore open his flesh, and he had a sinister smile on his face, as he glared at the dryadic-doe. Suddenly, a gigantic, dark-red robber-fly emerged; the moment that it left his body, he fell limply to the ground, and the menacing creature hovered where he had been standing.
Then the girl’s expression became even more jubilant, and she exclaimed “So~ beautiful! Ah~ I definitely have to capture it without causing too much damage! Oh~ I’m going to have so much fun experimenting on you, my precious little angel!” Faced with a terrifyingly powerful, celestial insect, how could she possibly think about killing it?
Taoru, in his true form, finally realized how horrible of a mistake he had made by not escaping the moment that the two mysterious players arrived. Before he could attack or flee, the writhing tendrils that were covering Rachael’s body, fired several meters towards him; when his buzzing wings were caught by the sticky pink liquid, he sprayed a highly corrosive acid towards the dryad’s face… but a huge, purple, caterpillar-like magical-beast emerged from her mouth, and its pudgy skin somehow absorbed the black-liquid.
He frantically squirmed around, as hundreds of tiny yellow, long-legged spiders emerged from the thicker tentacles, and began spinning an incredibly dense, milky-white web around his entire carapace. All of his mana was quickly being drained by the vines that were tangled across his rather large abdomen.
After slurping the larvae back into her abdomen, then breathing out a thick, pungent black-mist, she snickered and pulled her tendrils back onto her dryadic-frame. In less than a minute, her beautiful, newly formed, pinkish, Elven-skin was covering her entire upper-body and face. However, there was a Taoru-sized bulge, making her seem as if she was ten-months pregnant; of course, her reproductive organs were actually located at the back of her deer-half, but it still looked somewhat natural.
Rachael’s belt was pressing against the bottom of her baby-bump, so she had to take it off, and sling it around her left shoulder: making her satchel, more like a backpack. Her small, but supple breasts were completely exposed, though she wasn’t even slightly worried about something so insignificant.
The millions of flying red-ants had been whittled down to less than a hundred thousand, and her swarm of pink-roaches hadn’t even suffered a single casualty. In fact, each of the tiny little five-millimeter long bugs, had grown to at least ten-times that size; they were truly gorging themselves.
Rather than play with her new toy, Doctor Xiel-Ta had to focus on her forty-nine surviving patients, and make sure that each of them were able to completely recover. Whether they would still be ‘Fox-Tribe’ or not afterwards… that wasn’t exactly part of the quest requirements.
Once her hair, nails, eyes and ears were completely restored to their ‘normal’ state, she accessed the party-chat and sent a message: “Rachael: Oh hey, Demi… Ummm, as long as that Anouke woman’s alive, that’s all that matters right? Cause the rest of her clan is pretty dead, and I can’t really do anything about it. I don’t even know where most of them were, but in Quena Village, there’s only fifty left. Alex, if you’re reading this, you should get back here quickly; there are probably going to be more enemies coming soon.”
A few seconds later, the serenely sunbathing squirrel-girl groaned in irritation, as she read from the holographic illusory monitor. After putting her clothes back on, and getting ready to jump off the edge of that gigantic silver dish, Alexis felt another burning sensation in her right palm: She had received a quest.
Once she accepted the mission, her cold gaze was aimed through the semi-translucent floor, towards a dark-brown skinned, Fox-Tribe woman with braided grey hair, and similarly colored fur; above her head was a large white target, with the number fifty floating over the bulls-eye. Upon seeing the expression on the dominatrix-ninja’s face, the barely-dressed mystic scowled and turned to her worried ‘goddess.’
Maat followed the squirrel’s line-of-sight and immediately felt that her life was in danger; she saw the strange glyphs lighting up all over that six-foot tall girl’s flesh, and felt a terrifying aura encompassing her own. The four other mystics didn’t even understand what was happening to them, before each of their heads were cleanly removed from their necks, and their bodies limply fell upon the soft sand.
On that last remaining mystic’s fluffy grey tail, was a thin, but incredibly sharp double-edged sword; it had actually been there the entire time, hidden under the thick hair. She grinned at the stunned obsidian-fox, and gloated “Ah, I’ve waited sooo~ long for you to awaken ‘Goddess,’ hehehe~ but no, you were safe and sound in that fucking egg for thousands of years! Do you want to know how high your bounty is? Lady Amon offered me ten-thousand favor to kill you~ ah, that was a long, long time ago though… which means that you’re beautiful fur is worth sooo~ much more to me now!”
Once her monologue was finished, Maat glared at her while yelling “Emergency Mode!” She didn’t pick that particular spot at random, it was because there was a special hidden function a few meters below the sand; a mysterious silver, mercury-like liquid rushed up and swiftly surrounded the smirking ebony-fox.
The assassin attempted to attack her with that incredibly dexterous tail, but there was just a loud clanging noise, as the tip of her sword smacked against the rounded barrier. She screamed “No! Damn it! Argh!” as she continued to smack her blade against the rippling surface of the metallic ball; if she was a water-mage, she might have been able to deactivate the strange defense mechanism, but her skills were mainly focused on wind-magic.
Alexis cracked the demonic-beast leather bullwhip in her left hand, and unsheathed the beautiful mithril-katana on her back, with her right. Then she shouted “Oi! Ugly old bitch! Da’fuck you waiting for?! Get yer haggard ass over here and stop wasting my damn time!” using a lot of Lorthon slang, which the relatively young-looking mystic didn’t understand; fortunately though, she was extremely irritated and easily provoked.
Once upon a time, the squirrel-girl was actually a pretty professional ninja… but after retiring and becoming an adventurer, stealth wasn’t needed and longer. Most magical-beasts in the second ring would flee, once they caught a hint of her overly-aggressive aura; the ones who didn’t, weren’t very challenging opponents. She was a lot like Coffee, and enjoyed relatively straightforward, brutal, life or death battles.
Channeling mana into her meter-long katana, Alexis sprinted forward and jumped ten-feet into the air, before swinging the flashy weapon downward; she managed to close the distance between herself and the half-naked assassin within a second, then a concentrated burst of air-pressure assaulted the grey-haired woman. The scarlet runes on that fox-girl’s skin began glowing brightly, and she raised both palms towards the attack, while yelling “Fuck off!”
With little resistance, both the superficial wind-blade, and the squirrel were blasted upwards by a massive gale. Then the pseudo-mystic leaped upwards, launching herself with a bit of magic, and doing a front-flip so that her tail-sword would slash at the dominatrix-ninja.
However, Alexis was easily able to orient herself with a few gusts of her own, and then parried the attack with her right-hand. Immediately after the fluffy weapon was deflected, she used a rather powerful ax-kick to strike at the woman’s completely unprotected groin; sending herself even farther upwards, while forcing her enemy towards the soft, sandy ground.
With a loud unintelligible scream, the furious fox released a blast of wind from her hands: launching her body back into the air. However, before she was able face the brutal sadist, she felt another surge of incredible pain, originating from her tender genitals; there was a loud and deep smacking sound, as the tip of that demonic whip cracked with pin-point accuracy against her exposed anus.
She was forced to use her tail, to protect the most sensitive part of her flesh against that rude and arrogant little squirrel-girl. There was a barrage of thunderous and agonizing strikes all over the ancient assassin’s vulnerable skin: nipples, thighs, toes, fingers, the bottoms of her feet, all up and down her spine, even her left eye was blinded by that unreasonably fast whip.
Eventually, she gave up on trying to chase after the hovering dominatrix, and retreated back to her tent while covered in deep gashes and horrible bruises. It was the first time in thousands of years that she had felt so helpless and full of rage, not to mention the humiliation; yet she knew that her enemy was far too powerful for her to use such simple tactics against.
Alexis was utilizing wind-manipulation to maintain her position near the ceiling, and following the retreating fox-woman without becoming impatient. Seeped into the black-leather of her bullwhip were trace amounts of a special poison that Rachael created to make their ‘sessions’ more enjoyable. Essentially, it was a toxin that caused pain sensitivity to increase by at least ten times… on herself; to most ‘normal’ elves or beast-races, the effect would be a lot more severe.
That mysterious assassin named Eirene, according to the quest-info that the squirrel-girl received, was experiencing sensations of unbearable anguish with every incredibly light step that she took: since grains of sand were digging into the open wounds on her heels, arches, and toes. She was actually crying out of her right eye, which seemed rather pathetic behavior for an envoy of Amon to display, but all she could think about was getting to her tent as quickly as possible.
When she finally reached the small cone-shaped dwelling, she didn’t even need to go inside, because her weapons were within her arm’s reach. There was a meter long, mithril rapier in each of her hands, as she turned around and hastily shoved a mysterious red pill into her mouth. Three seconds after swallowing that strange medicine, all of the wounds on her entire body began to heal rapidly, and even her diminishing aura started to flourish again.
The squirrel-girl noticed the extreme change in her opponents condition, and maintained her indifferent expression while slowly returning to the sandy ground. Eirene grinned as she said “I hope you weren’t expecting a quick death~ Little-Girl. Hehehe~ it’s been so long since anyone’s forced me to actually try, but I’m definitely going to enjoy playing with you!”
Alexis slowly and meticulously wound her favorite whip back up, and fastened it to her left hip. Then she held her relatively long katana in both hands, and pressed the mana-crystal encrusted hilt against her relatively huge right breast: pointing the tip towards her adversary. The black-mithril cotton covering her chest was extremely thin, and was very stretchy; so it appeared as if she was topless, since the skin on her entire torso was a dark-obsidian color.
As soon as Eirene’s eye was completely regenerated, she sprinted forward, releasing powerful gusts of wind with every step. A bright-red vortex of mana-rich air was swirling around her body, and with a loud scream, she thrust both of her rapiers towards the stationary squirrel-girl; the thin, flexible swords bent to an absurd degree, as they failed to penetrate the woman’s left leather pauldron and the side of her breast.
There was no significant damage from those strikes, so Alexis didn’t even bother to parry, and waited for the real attack. When the brown-skinned fox-woman quickly ducked down, her tail-sword had finally struck; it was aimed at the five-foot tall girl’s defenseless face, but that was what the dominatrix was expecting.
Rather than deflect, the ex-ninja merely evaded, and then slashed off her enemy’s right nipple, before jumping backwards a few meters. She had the perfect opportunity to disarm or decapitate the reckless assassin, yet she was still only toying with her; that obviously made the easily excitable Eirene, even angrier.
The two rapiers continued to jab towards Alexis, and occasionally, a large tail-attack would occur; they used wind magic to help with their acrobatic fighting styles, but didn’t use it to directly attack each-other. It would have been nearly impossible for either of them to penetrate the other’s aura, so there was no point in wasting mana on flashy and ineffective spells.
It was rare for the mithril blades to clash, because regardless of the weapon’s quality, that would still cause a decent amount of damage to the edges. If the dominatrix-ninja couldn’t dodge, she would just use her armor to block and try to ignore the bruises or welts that were building up on her beautiful Elven skin.
Eirene wasn’t quite so lucky; she was pretending to be one of those Fox-Tribe mystics, so she had been following the standard dress-code of being practically naked all the time. All of her fancy armor was stashed in the desert near Quena Village; she didn’t expect to need it to deal with someone as insignificant as Maat.
She frantically attacked Alexis, but in every exchange, she lost a small chunk of flesh and could feel her mana-pool draining at a rapid pace; however, her opponent never even winced after receiving a powerful stab or slash. Even though her swords were designed to release electrical jolts, that squirrel’s face didn’t even twitch after being hit repetitively.
It wasn’t difficult for the grey-haired assassin to realize that her enemy had at least tier-one armor, so rather than continue relentlessly going on the offensive, she decided to flee… or at least, she tried. However, while the two of them were flying, jumping, and running around the room, Maat had rolled her protective bubble onto the stairway opening: completely blocking the only exit and entrance.
Noticing the desperate and hopeless situation, Eirene scowled, and realized that she had no choice but to use her trump-card: illusion magic. Any mage who lives for long enough could learn all kinds of spells, and train in the various affinities; of course, under the right methods and techniques, everything could be achieved in much less time.
Telepathic attacks could be extraordinarily effective against unsuspecting opponents, but the person with a stronger willpower, imagination, and mental fortitude would always win. Typically, the person who was older, more experienced, and had the most mana would have a huge advantage; Alexis was lacking in all three of those aspects, compared to the ancient fox-woman.
From an outsider’s point of view, it would have merely seemed like their gazes met, and a beam of immensely dense mana was fired out of Eirene’s forehead; it instantly penetrated the squirrel-girl’s aura, then both of them just stood there, for six hours. What happened within their combined consciousness, could only be known to the victor, because the moment that the battle had ended, the loser’s mind was ejected from their body.
At the end of the day, the incredibly sweaty and tired, leather-clad dominatrix finally revealed a satisfied smirk. All of the stress and anger that she had built up over the months towards her ‘friend,’ was released onto an imaginary Rachael; a deer-centaur who had suspiciously darker skin and much larger breasts, plus a completely different face… but that wasn’t important. All that mattered, was that she had finally been able to watch that doe cry, scream, and beg for mercy under her vast array of torture-techniques.
Long before Eirene’s body finally collapsed, with so many flesh-wounds that she would have bled to death if she hadn’t taken that regeneration-boosting pill, Maat had emerged from her metallic-liquid barrier. Obviously, if it required a constant supply of her mana to maintain, then she could couldn’t make it last for more than an hour at most.
When the obsidian-fox hesitantly approached her, Alexis glared at the easily-frightened ‘child,’ and then shouted “The hell d’ya want from me, shitty brat?!” It would have been completely against her nature to act even slightly respectfully to anyone, but the ancient being didn’t care about something so insignificant anyway.
Maat smiled at her ‘savior’ and sincerely told her “Thank you, kid… I really would have been fucked if you hadn’t been there. Ummm~ you aren’t here to kill me, right? If you are, it would be nice if you could tell me ahead of time, rather than waiting until I trust you and then stabbing me in the back; that’s actually happened to me a few times, so it’s a legitimate concern.”
The squirrel ninja sighed, then completely ignored the ‘child’ and accessed her Lunar-Seal. “Congratulations! You successfully defeated a member of Amon’s guild, Eirene! Since she was a chaotic player, her avatar will be banned from returning to Earth for a period of five centuries. In case you didn’t figure it out already, this was a warning to you; those who murder innocent NPCs as if their lives don’t matter, will be punished by us… Anyway, for your first PVP kill, you have received three-hundred Solar favor, and fifty honor. A bonus of ten skill-points has been earned, since your enemy was a higher level but of a similar class.”
Alexis reached into a fist-sized pouch on her unassuming black-leather belt, and pulled out a small vial of blue liquid. She quickly popped off the cork, and an extraordinarily powerful aroma of highly dense mana, wafted out of it; aside from that, there was also the distinct scent of alcohol as well.
After drinking it like a shot, she immediately began to feel her aura returning to full strength; her bruises began to vanish, and mind started to become hazy. It was one of Rachael’s special concoctions: A mixture of fermented demonic-treant sap, and white-mithril powder.
Only a small sip was enough to cause a ‘normal’ Kodiak-Tribe male to pass-out immediately; the five-foot tall, ninety-five pound squirrel-girl had an amazing resistance to both mana and most poisons… but she wasn’t immune. Once ten seconds passed, she was completely healed, and utterly intoxicated.
There was a sedative effect to the potion, which was the main reason why it wasn’t suitable for use during combat. Alexis lethargically leaned on the small raven-winged obsidian-fox, and quietly asked “Duh’zis place has a shower?” with slightly slurred speech: not that it really made a difference.
Maat smirked, and led her over to the southern edge of the disk. The four mystic’s corpses had been devoured by a pack of coyotes, shortly after they were killed; once they left Eilene’s corpse, it suffered the same fate.
Meanwhile, three-hundred miles to the southeast, there was a cluster of villages spread-out near the end of the Iteru River. The people who lived in that region were known as “The Eight Clans of Sobek” because of their common ancestry; of course, over several millennia of genetic degeneration… very little of their original appearances remained.
In fact, the Crocodile-Tribe had lost a great deal more than Maat’s descendants, because the fox-woman really wasn’t that powerful; hell, she wasn’t even a player. Sobek on the other hand, his children were able to inherit a decent amount of innate magical affinity, and had been born with excellent physical capabilities. Some of them were still alive, while others killed each-other or died in various external conflicts.
However, as generations passed in a land with very little mana, there was a gradual change that was fairly common: Humanization. It was something that occurred with all ‘natural’ beast-races; they either evolved or devolved depending on the environment.
Unlike Quena and the other Fox-Tribe ‘villages,’ Sobek-Clan’s towns were actually relatively developed. Instead of a couple hundred tents, there were several sandstone fortresses; though they were spread out over ten-thousand square miles, and there were only nine of them.
Most of the small desert cities, were a fair distance away from the Iteru River, but still connected to various offshoots. Fortunately, none of the streams were deep enough to hinder Angu; whose mithril-plated body couldn’t float, but his iguana-like legs were each over four meters long.
It had been whole day, but Demil and Geb still hadn’t encountered any enemies from The Seven Sins faction, since those miscellaneous camel cavalry minions. The travel-speed of a giant proto-dragon wasn’t too ridiculous, but even at a comfortable pace, it was still able to travel hundreds of miles with ease.
They were only eight or nine hours away from meeting up with Rachael and Alexis; unfortunately, even the most powerful creatures needed to rest eventually. The tigress was also tired of wandering through the desert, camping on the back of Angu, and figured that it would be fine to take a short break in a small town by the main-river.
With four meter tall sandstone walls, and a gate made out of logs, the gigantic iguana’s silver-scaled back was still slightly higher, even after it laid down on its stomach. On the relatively wide ramparts, dozens of archers and spear-men were so terrified that they hadn’t even sounded the alarm; in fact, the commanders of the various guard squads gave strict orders to their men “You must not offend these people!” or something similar.
After all, even if there wasn’t a ‘goddess’ riding upon the colossal beast, they still wouldn’t have dared to provoke the monster. Angu laid down onto the granite slabs, between the eastern side of the fortress, and the Iteru river; then he shoved his massive maw into the water and began slurping up a few dozen gallons, along with any fish that had been swimming by.
Before leaving the proto-dragon, Demil turned to the obsidian-foxman and told him “If someone attacks you, don’t hesitate to shoot them in the face. Now come on, let’s go see if there’s anything interesting in this shitty town.” Then she proceeded to sling her assault rifle across her back, and gave Geb a huge, empty leather bag; she also made him carry a pack filled with emergency supplies.
As the white, demonic-silk, bikini-clad tigress hopped onto the rampart, her silver irises flashed with a blinding radiance. She was scanning the minds and bodies of the various, Crocodile-Tribe men who were gathered around her; each of them had bronze-colored skin, short brown-hair and beards, fairly masculine facial features, and were around six-foot tall on average, with a decent amount of muscle.
However, the difference in size between herself and them was still quite significant, regardless of whether she was a little lanky or not. Demil towered over the all male guards, who wore baggy grey robes over most of their bodies; their leader quickly came forward and knelt in-front of her, announcing “We welcome the Goddess to our humble city! Whatever Your Eminence wishes, please feel free to command of us!”
With a snicker, the giantess easily read his inner thoughts and asked “Oh, so this little town belongs to Amon eh? Hmmm, then doesn’t that mean that they broke the rules of the game? I mean, I clearly remember reading that the punishment for enslaving people is pretty severe…” Indeed, even if there wasn’t quest involved, she could see that the nervous ‘Guard Captain Abasi’ had a bounty of two-hundred Lunar favor.
Out of the others, only a handful of them didn’t have red targets above their heads. Demil had a sinister smile on her lips as she glanced over the hundreds of small and large buildings in front of her, most of which were only a single story high, but she even noticed a few white, yellow, blue, and black illusory markings.
When Geb had finally managed to carefully make it onto the ramparts, next to the tigress, she pointed to the kneeling man with her right hand’s index finger. The long mithril-talon glowed bright-white for a moment, and she told her confused assistant “If anyone tries to resist, blow their fucking brains out. Your ammo only costs a few copper a piece, and there should be a couple thousand rounds on Angu’s back, so don’t feel bad about spending a little money. You can pay me back later.”
Obviously the guard captain realized the situation, and since he somewhat expected it, he immediately yelled “Sound the alarm, we’re under at-!” Before he could finish his sentence, a beam of mana penetrated between his viridian eyes, and a tiny orb of incredibly hot flames was created in the center of his brain.
It wasn’t exactly instant death, but there was no possible way for him to survive for very long with a grilled cerebellum. His body spasmed violently, but there were no other visible signs of injury on the outside; then she swiftly unsheathed her mithril combat-knife with her left hand.
Though she preferred to only use firearms, it would have been incredibly wasteful to use her assault-rifle bullets on such weak enemies. With a gentle, outward swing, Demil gracefully decapitated an unprepared warrior, whose arterial blood evaporated upon contact with her watch’s mana-barrier; though that was merely because she was able to immolate anything that came within her aura.
A series of horns resounded throughout the city, followed by a loud and terrifying gunshot. No one had any idea what that sound meant, but every few seconds it appeared.
Geb was clueless as to why his ‘goddess’ began killing people, yet there was no hesitation in his actions. Every time he pulled the trigger on that nine-millimeter revolver, a snake-eyed man had a hole punched through his neck or face; just like that, he continued to kill anyone who tried to approach him.
With each ‘bang,’ he remembered flashes of his life up until that point. A kind female master, who treated him as her own son… up until the point where he showed her his talent in earth-magic; then she quickly sold him for a huge sum of money without a second thought. There were so many times when he thought “This isn’t so bad, at least they feed me better than the others.” but he was still a slave, and regarded as nothing more than a beast of burden.
He still didn’t understand why Demil had saved him, or what she wanted from him, yet he easily killed for her. Sometimes he would miss, but for the most part, each round that he fired was enough to end the average Crocodile-Tribe’s life.
It was just like how many of his previous owners would mercilessly execute the other slaves came to know over the years. He had finally experienced what it was like to be the one in control; while he was contemplating the meaning of his pathetic existence, the irritated tigress had finally finished her minor massacre.
There were only a few dozen guards, and even if they tried to attack her with spears or shoot her with bows, it only took her a few seconds to slaughter each person. Her beautiful white fur was still in pristine condition, but Geb’s black-mithril cotton robe was drenched in blood; even though he was shot by a few arrows and stabbed a couple times, none of the attacks were able to penetrate that fabric.
A handful of survivors were left, but Demil casually put away her combat-knife, as she calmly told them “The rest of you can fuck-off now; I would suggest going home to your families, and leaving town. None of you have bounties on your heads, so I won’t kill you unless you’re actually stupid enough to attack us.” They were obviously new recruits, and too terrified to even react before all of their superiors were annihilated; once they heard what the monster in-front of them said, they shamelessly fled as quickly as possible.
There was a satisfied smile on her lips, as she read “You and your ‘follower’ have collectively executed thirty-one criminals; current total Lunar favor has reached four-thousand, one-hundred and fifty. Congratulations, you have earned the ‘Bounty Hunter’ title! As a reward, you have received five skill-points! Infamy with the fortress-town Amara, has reached the maximum.”
(Proofread by Thoeberus)