My schedule was incredibly hectic, but I needed to pass down as many of Michael’s techniques as I could… because I was running out of time. My writing skills were terrible back then, so I needed Ethir’s help with recording the spells that were above level four; since not even Nadja was able to learn or perform any of them.
He had actually been doing the same for all the runic, enchantment, technological, alchemical, and artistic magic that he invented; I was pretty sure that he was actually learning it all from his seal though.
When I had heard that my cute little Lorelei was planning on going all the way out to the ostrich farm in the middle of that ridiculous storm; I decided to tag along as her bodyguard. We met a huge group of dark-elves who were traveling from a city called Angren; they obviously heading towards Black Mithril, so we decided to escort them.
Beatrix and her cavalry abandoned us just moments before a gigantic wave of terrifying monsters appeared in the distance. Even in such an abnormal situation, she was completely calm; Lori reminded me a lot of Michael when she had that scary look in her radiant, blue, serpentine eyes.
There was only one reason for her to stay outside of my ice barrier; it was just a game to her. When she smiled at me, I could hear an aura many times more frightening than the stampede of magical beasts in the distance behind her.
She was by far my best student when it came to earth manipulation; even if she didn’t realize it herself. Combined with her natural agility and the myriad of weapons she received from Ailyn, I knew that she would be fine even in such a ridiculous situation.
On the other hand, if I didn’t protect those dark-elves… most of them would have died. There were a lot of children among them as well: even a few infants and toddlers.
It was amazing that they had made it all the way from the third ring, but it was obvious that they lost many of their comrades in the process. After I reinforced the barrier with several layers of ice, I decided to speak to their leader.
I had only seen one pure dark-elf before then and he was a swordsman from the golden-eyed clan, whom was in my ex-husband’s party. He was an adventurer… I honestly can’t remember his name and never met him again after they left for that last mission.
While I was levitating above them, creating violent winds in the process; I heard a lot of screams, and people seemed to be yelling at me or each other. A few of their mages were throwing fireballs at the wall of ice, others were trying to attack me with them.
Unfortunately, the air currents caused their poorly constructed creation magic to strike and injure a few of their warriors. If they didn’t have so many healers, they would have been in trouble.
I gently landed in the center of the crowd, that had spread out around me; creating a relatively large empty space. When I looked around, I noticed that many heavily armored soldiers with silvery plate shields and swords or spears, were aiming their weapons towards me and creating a protective wall for their mages; who were casting incredibly inefficient spells.
A very large and jagged icicle nearly stuck the left side of my head, but melted the moment it entered the super-heated air around my body. There were a few surprised gasps from the crowd, and the warriors who were directly in front of me seemed to be wearing determined expressions.
Directly behind me, at least six meters away, three flamethrowers were being combined into one; to create a powerful inferno which hit my black-mithril infused cloak, and did absolutely nothing. I sighed, then released a wave of heat all around me, creating a comfortable environment for the lightly dressed civilians. I could hear them shivering; even the armored knights and heavily clothed mages, had been struggling against the unfamiliar sensation.
Suddenly, a woman came out from the crowd; there was a relatively large male warrior at her side. She was wearing a beautiful golden robe, that appeared to be made entirely from silk, which showed far too much cleavage: considering her nearly nonexistent breasts.
In her right hand was a thin, white, wooden staff, which had a huge blue crystal sphere adorned at the top. On her hands were at least one, thin, silver ring on each finger; every one of them with many small blue jewels encrusted into the metal.
Every part of her exposed skin was covered with vibrant, crimson, runic-tattoos; it was actually a method that Ethir began performing on mages that wished to increase their mana pools dramatically, in a short period of time. He would use certain types of magical beast blood as ink, and then use a black-mithril needle to draw certain symbols and patterns under their skin.
None of the other grey skinned and white haired elves had markings, so I knew that she was special. Her eyes were a solid-red, but I could slightly make out a large circular discoloration that was probably an iris; there was a very small black dot at the center, which appeared to be a relatively normal pupil.
The blue jewel-encrusted, silver, chains around her neck, and bracelets on her wrists; made an irritating jingling sound as she hesitatingly walked towards me. For whatever reason, the entire crowd that was yelling only moments before, had become completely silent.
I had already heard the extremely skinny woman’s name, so I muttered “Ariya…”; but the moment I spoke, she fired a beam of concentrated water toward my face. The power was definitely above the others, but it took so little effort to disperse that I was truly disappointed.
Without even raising my arms, the gallon or so had been turned into steam: a meter away from my body. She moved on to form hundreds of icicles in front of her, consuming a massive amount of her mana, then preparing to fire them at me.
After lifting my left hand and making a waving motion, they all flew away: into the dome’s ceiling. A few more fireballs came from the angry mages behind me, who weren’t nearly as quiet as they thought they were, and then I shouted “Enough!” in an furious voice.
I finally used a level seven air magic technique that Michael taught me called “Oxygen Deprivation”; which made it impossible for anyone to breathe the air in a limited space. It wasn’t something I liked to use often, since the slightest mistake could be catastrophic; and at the time, I didn’t even understand the concept of atomic elements which he had attempted to teach me.
Everyone of the soldiers and mages, that were a part of the shield-wall surrounding us, were losing consciousness one by one. After a few seconds, Ariya finally screamed “Stop! We understand! Please stop killing them!” desperately, as she dropped her staff on the muddy ground and fell to her knees; which her bodyguard and many of the audience seemed to emulate.
It only took an instant for me to release the spell; then I asked her “Why did you attack me?” with considerable annoyance present in my tone. I could hear a lot of whispers and murmurs among the thousands of elves around me, but I already knew the answer to my question.
She was facing the ground as she begrudgingly spoke “I apologize… you’re a blood elf; when you created that cage around us… we thought you were going to do what all of your kind does.” in a shaky voice. There were at least a couple dozen extremely noisy children crying, and many adults doing the same: even Ariya was whimpering quietly.
I sighed dramatically, then gestured with my right hand for then to stand; when they didn’t, I released a powerful gust of wind beneath everyone who was kneeling, forcing them to their feet. Well, some of them just fell face-first into the mud; like a certain water sage.
After waiting for her to stand up, I furiously declared “I’m obviously not a normal blood elf, and none of you are very powerful mages… despite your surprisingly large mana pools.”; while glancing around at the demoralized, or unconscious, robed figures.
Then Ariya’s already large eyes, seemed to become slightly wider as she quickly scanned my body. She frantically yelled “Your aura hasn’t even changed?! How could you create this massive dome and fend off all those attacks without losing any mana?!” in an extremely loud and irritating voice; her mouth was left agape and I was able to learn an interesting fact about dark-elves: Their tongues were naturally blue and their saliva was luminescent.
The man who was standing next to her, wearing heavy plate armor, murmured “She doesn’t even have any mana gems…” in a shocked voice. He was wearing a helmet that covered his entire face, so he was very forgettable; like most of the other soldiers.
I sighed as obnoxiously as possible, which was becoming a habit, then said “Oh, I was wondering why you were wearing all that jewelry. You really shouldn’t use creation magic; it’s dangerous and inefficient. Anyway, my name is Raelin Nerorneth, Archmage and current principal of Alfirin Academy.” in the stern tone I usually used while teaching.
Ariya was wearing an irritated expression as she mumbled “This arrogant bitch…” while looking towards the ground for a moment. When she raised her head, she forced a smile and asked me “Why would someone of such high esteem, such as yourself, bother with something so trivial as escorting us?” in a curious voice.
I suddenly felt a familiar presence that was completely unnoticeable before then. When I moved to the left and turned to look behind me, there were quite a few gasps; even I was a little surprised to see the short man, wearing all black cloth, with an aura that seemed nonexistent.
Ethir was dressed in his usual assassin-styled garb: without any visible weapons, a hood that covered his head, and a blank, obsidian-colored, mask that only had a few small holes for him to breath out of. His glowing golden irises were beautiful; although the reaction from the crowd was filled with more fear than anything else.
In his hands were several very ornate and expensive looking silver rings; encrusted with blue jewels, along with a necklace which had a red spherical gemstone. I smiled as he realized I was looking at him; then sternly told him “They’re very pretty, but you shouldn’t borrow them without permission.” while revealing an mischievous grin.
He whispered “Ask… how they made… these.” in a nervous voice, which was barely audible; even as I was standing a few centimeters away. I grabbed one of the rings which looked extremely familiar, and walked over to Ariya; who seemed terrified by my presence in such close proximity.
It wasn’t really her fault though; from the way Ethir explained it: My aura extended at least a few meters from my body, and looked like a giant swirling orb of boiling blood. Hiwel had told me that it sounded like a thousand drowning babies, but I’m pretty sure that was supposed to have been a joke.
I knew from experiencing Michael’s mana when he was angry; that being inside of someone elses aura was incredibly overwhelming. Even when he was calm, there was a deafening silence and an intense pressure which reminded me of being submerged, deep underwater: but after a while, I actually started to crave that environment.
Ariya yelped uncontrollably, then stammered “W-w-wait! P-p-please d-don’t kill me!” in a squeaky voice as she tried to back away, but tripped on her staff and fell onto her backside. Even her bodyguard seemed to jump away from me unconsciously and made an audible grunt; as he slid on the muddy ground and smacked into a group of other plate-wearing warriors.
After reaching down and grabbing her right hand, I quickly placed the ring on her index finger; then I calmly said “My friend would like to know how your lovely jewelry was made.” in a gentle tone, while helping her stand.
She made a puzzled expression and seemed to be thinking for a few seconds, while composing herself. The trembling dark-elf nervously explained “I’m not a jewelcrafter, blacksmith, or alchemist, but I do know a little bit about the subject…” as Ethir seemed to suddenly appear in front of me.
Ariya shrieked in surprise for a moment, then continued “The elven-steel bands are made from mithril; so that the mana can be channeled properly into the gems. Each crystal either occurs naturally or are created through magic, but as far as I know, it’s only possible in the third ring. They aren’t usually very valuable, since they can be found in the seeds of fruit; which are pretty much everywhere in that jungle.
“Even the smallest crystal can be grown over time; if a mage charges it with enough mana. My staff is made from the branch of a doron tree; it helps me channel my spells faster and with less effort.” in a surprisingly cheerful voice, as she picked up her muddy staff and held it out to me.
The moment I touched it, I could feel an uncontrollable surge of power pour out of me and fire into the blue orb. As the sphere drained my mana, it started to glow with a dim red light; it warped into a dark black and steadily growing form.
A deep and loud humming sound began emanating from the ball; which had transformed from the size of a fist, to a little bigger than my head, in only a few seconds. Then I heard a familiar snickering as the orb began taking the shape of a woman: with two massive red flaming wings coming out of her back, elven ears, obnoxiously large breasts, and my face.
I looked around and realized that I was alone, in complete darkness; except for that glowing white skinned, completely naked, person who always seemed to copy my proportions wrong.
She grinned at me, exposing her menacing fangs, then said “Stop asking them about such boring shit and get to the damn point, brat. Why are they here? Would you like me to tell you or maybe you should just find out directly from the grey-skinned bastards yourself?” in a jovial tone as she gracefully floated over to my shoulder and pressed her lips against my left ear.
Iris seductively whispered “I’ll give you a hint… they sure seem to despise blood elves. Almost as much as you do…” as she vanished; then the world seemed to return back to the moment before I reached out and touched that staff.
I cautiously asked Ariya “You said that you all came from Angren; why did you have to leave?” while tilting my head slightly to the left. Her solid red eyes locked onto mine and I saw a flash of memories flood my mind.
There were thousands of dark-elves, and I could actually see their auras; they looked like humanoid figures made entirely of blood. Then there was another recollection, of a little boy who could have been more than a few years old; he was tearing apart a girl, that was around the same age, with his fang-like teeth.
Without thinking, I frantically screamed “No! Stop!” in an incredibly loud voice, which was enhanced by wind magic; it completely shattered the dome that was protecting us: blasting the shards away in every direction. Luckily, I was able to come back to my senses as a gigantic slab of ice fell on top of us, and easily threw it to the side; making sure it didn’t land on anyone, using a bit of earth manipulation.
Everyone one was completely silent, and only the white noise of rainfall could be heard; there were no magical beasts. I fell to my knees, getting my black robe extremely dirty, and started tearing up as Ariya backed away from me with a shocked expression.
Ethir turned towards me, bent down a little, and wrapped his arms around me; the edges of his mask were rubbing against my left shoulder and the side of my face, but I didn’t mind. Then I started bawling like a child… it had been a long time since I had actually cried: at least that was what it felt like.
I was pretty out of it for a while after that, but I can vividly remember what that little boy said after devouring his sister. Blood-elves could still eat for their first few months, so the fresh ones tended to be much more brutal while consuming their victims delicious juices.
He had tears in his bright-red eyes, as he whimpered and whispered “I’m sorry mama… I was so thirsty… please don’t hate me.” in a strained voice. The obsidian skinned boy suddenly turned his head to the left and started smiling, he gleefully said “I have to go now, Belial is calling for me.” as he scampered away.
There was a beautiful and terrifying mana in the distance; it was an aura that I was very familiar with. My glimpse into Ariya’s past was a short one, but I learned two very important things.
That monster was still alive; the evil demon who possessed Eredhon was still out there, and causing devastation on a scale that I couldn’t have ever imagined. The second, was that Michael was close to Angren when the dark elves evacuated.
Of course, they explained a lot more about their situation afterwards: A few seconds of a memory wasn’t nearly enough for me to gather that much information. However, I was able to put the pieces together once I heard the full story from Ariya.
A wood elf calling himself Belial had visited their city, and somehow managed to hide the fact that he was a vampire. He actually befriended her and many other people; once he had gained their trust, over the course of five years, he started infecting their friends and family.
Of the five-hundred thousand dark-elves who lived in Angren, only about ten percent had survived the epidemic. When they evacuated to the surface; the two clans, separated by the difference in their eye color and affinity, decided to band together.
However, the water sage Ariya wanted to travel west; while the fire mage Saiya believed that the eastern city White Mithril was the safer choice. Most of the group chose the ancient dark-dwarven city, because they thought that they were more likely to be welcomed there.
Less than half of the refugees who chose Black Mithril had survived; they were in extremely high spirits when Conor and his heavily-armed battalion came to reinforce us. They brought along with them, my adorable Lori, and a massive quantity of meat.
I was happy to finally have something to quench my thirst, but I was still feeling pretty crestfallen. The armored giant was elated that he could finally have revenge, and the cute little mouse girl was as boisterous as ever.
My very short term as principal was about to end, and Ethir had easily sensed my intentions when I distanced myself from everyone else. It was raining heavily outside the cover of that gigantic tent, but I needed to get back to Alfirin Academy to start making preparations.
With Conor and his small army there; I knew that Lorelei and the dark elves were going to be fine, so I left. Hiwel, using the squirrel tribe as a reference, created a style of cloak that made wind-based flight magic much more effective.
It was essentially just a thicker, expandable, cloth that could be attached to the sleeves of robes, shirts, or even leather armor; functioning in a similar way to a birds wings, without the flapping aspect.
Even if it was soaked from the rain, I easily dried my cloak with a bit of water manipulation: to remove all of the moisture. Although, I had to keep performing it constantly; but even without that, I could have flown perfectly fine in that turbulent hurricane.
Once my artificial wings were attached to my underarms; I spread them and began forcing the violent winds around me to behave. Before I could release a burst of fire magic, I heard a muffled but familiar aura approach my left side.
Ethir wasn’t wearing his mask, so I was able to see the determined expression on his face. He quietly murmured “Raelin… if you go… so will I.” in a serious voice, while staring into my eyes.
I sighed for the fourth time that day; then I told him “Before I started crying, I saw one of Ariya’s memories… I heard Michael’s aura. If he was there, then it’s only a matter of time before a whole city’s worth of blood-elves, pours into both Black and White Mithril.
“We probably have less than a year to prepare; are you sure you want to go with me? This isn’t about revenge, or retribution, Belial just needs to die: if that’s even possible. Even if we kill it, that thing will probably find a way to come back, somehow.” in an unintentionally angry tone; as I clenched my fists and accidentally glared at him.
He smiled innocently, as he softly whispered “We’re connected Raelin… forever; I will always… protect you. Even if… I’m only your, shadow.”; while his red skin seemed to become a little brighter.
After a few seconds of staring, I couldn’t help but squeal “Awww! You’re sooo cute!” in a childish voice that was an octave higher than my usual tone. Before I even realized what I was doing, his face was already being pressed against my chest and my arms were attempting to crush his surprisingly muscular body.
Since my baggy robe was still drenched, he was struggling to breathe; my tiny breasts weren’t nearly enough to cushion the impact of his jaw against my sternum. I quickly released him, and noticed the large amount of red liquid leaking from his light-pink lips.
With such large and sharp fang-like teeth, it didn’t take much effort for him to do a lot of damage to his own mouth. He was obviously struggling to maintain his composure; as his eyes darted away from mine and I swiftly attacked.
The delicious crimson nectar had a much more savory taste than I had remembered. I started with a simple lick; lapping up a small amount that had poured from the left side of his cheek, but it wasn’t enough.
My instincts were taking over, and I was beginning to feel that special effect his blood had on me. It was a hundred times more potent than Hiwel’s; my mind was becoming incredibly hazy, but I managed to maintain control.
Although, my tongue was already wrestling with his; trying to wring out more of that amazing goblin juice from the source. Then began the sucking; trying to drain as much as I could, while pinning him against the muddy ground.
The rain was pouring down onto my back, and the winds had picked up since I had lost my focus. Both his blood and saliva together, were more than I could handle… I lost consciousness.
On a beautiful sandy beach, with birds squawking in the sky, and waves crashing in front of me; I stared into the bright blue horizon. There was an intense pain in my lower abdomen; it was something that I hadn’t felt since my daughters were born.
I heard a worried voice whispering “You’re bleeding… Raelin… wake up.” in a serious tone; as I looked down at the dark-red liquid seeping from a part of my body, that I hadn’t used in a very long time. Technically, it was two different parts that were leaking out onto the previously white sand, then a massive crimson wave broke upon my face.
When I opened my eyes; there were two glowing golden orbs, with black pupils, gazing down at me. I could hear the rain, but my body felt completely dry: except for one particular area.
Ethir anxiously muttered “I’ve tried… healing you… but the blood won’t stop flowing.” as he looked towards my waist. We were inside of a small tent and I was laying on an uncomfortable, but waterproof, leather bed.
Then I noticed that we were actually moving, and I was staring up at the roof of a covered wagon. When I realized that I was completely naked, I felt extremely embarrassed and quickly looked around for something to cover myself.
He had seen me nude many times before, but no woman wants to be seen bleeding… never-mind, Hiwel and Gwyneth probably would have turned it into a competition. I however, was not interested in that sort of play: at least not at that point in time.
There was a horrible cramp in my lower back, then an awful aching throughout my abdomen, and I immediately stopped caring about modesty. Sharp pains shot down my thighs and surged up my spine; it was far more physically agonizing, than anything I had ever felt before then.
Although, burning to death in a pool of lava, having my skin melted off by acid, ingesting horrible poisonous mushrooms, being torn apart by a tornado, and having my bones removed; were all a lot worse. Obviously, Michael’s evil magic training in those illusions didn’t count; since they didn’t actually happen to me. That’s what I told myself every time I had a flashback of those not-so-happy moments with my son.
My reflex to the pain, was to try laying on my stomach, and it actually did help a little. Then Ethir, as if he read my mind, began massaging my lower back gently with his tiny but powerful hands.
I felt a huge wave of relief rush over my body as the intense agony subsided; leaving behind a bit of pleasure. His thumbs pressed into the tight muscles right above my waist; I may have moaned very quietly, but he probably didn’t hear me.
It seemed like he was making random motions at first, but then I noticed definite pattern. He was tracing the normally invisible runes that were inscribed underneath my skin; I actually recognized some of them.
Symbols and shapes that I remembered seeing on Iris’ body when she taught me magic in my dreams. Whenever she would cast or charge a spell, the glyphs would shine brightly in a myriad of colors: depending on her erratic mood.
Ethir softly whispered “Regeneration, recuperation, restoration…” as he placed one palm on the middle of my back and the other just above my tailbone. There was a fairly large and cold puddle gathering between my legs, and it felt incredibly disgusting.
With my sensitive nose, I was easily able to tell that it wasn’t menstrual blood. Although, considering that it was coming out of both openings, and my obvious absence of a womb, I wasn’t very surprised.
After an hour or so of a particularly magical massage, I finally felt comfortable enough to truly examine the mess that I had made. There was a thick, clear, glue-like liquid, covering the whole area where my blood was supposed to have been.
Thousands of tiny red beads were scattered within the disgusting juices. I yelled “You told me I was bleeding!” in an irritated voice, as I used some simple water magic to gather up all of the slime.
Before I was able to dispose of it, by launching the fluids out of the the back of the wagon, Ethir nervously muttered “Wait… it was blood… don’t throw it away… need to study. Might be a… curse… have to examine all of it.”; he was showing me such a desperate expression, so I had to give-in to his demands.
I sighed dramatically, as I begrudgingly used the mucus-like excrement to fill up several large glass vials; that he seemed to pull out of nowhere. All of the tiny crimson crystalline spheres, each of which was only four millimeters in diameter, were somehow attached to the goop.
It was almost like they were connected by a nearly invisible string; when Ethir was gazing at the disgusting mess, his adorable face seemed to be filled with awe. Then he mumbled “Mana crystals… eggs… mystery… powerful.”; it was too incoherent for me to understand, he seemed happy though.
It took us nearly a week to make it back to Black Mithril with that gigantic caravan; we weren’t exactly rushing since the dark-elves were exhausted and couldn’t move very quickly. I wanted to just fly the rest of the way, but I kept having muscle spasms and phantom pains all throughout my body.
My mana was being drained, so I had to keep drinking copious amounts of magical beast blood: plus a little of Ethir’s every now and then. The cramps returned at least once a day, even more powerful than before, so I had the perfect excuse to enjoy a lot of runic massages.
The cycle continued for about a month after we returned to Alfirin Academy; but it became less dramatic and eventually tapered off. In total: I excreted at least twenty gallons of that sticky goop, and over a hundred thousand of those tiny crystals.
It felt like I was dying the entire time, but Ethir didn’t seem very worried. When he wasn’t comforting or healing me, he was working with Ailyn on the floor below ours; trying to figure out what was wrong with me.