“You… Summoned me to this place? But I’m not really here… “ I wasn’t sure if I was asking her or talking to myself. It felt like I was in a dream, but I could tell that it was real.
She smiled at me, then told me “I recognize you. You’re Rae, Michael’s daughter? I didn’t call you here. At least not intentionally. This is… Hell, the ‘Morning Star’ in the sky of Earth. I’m Angelica Cain but… Everyone here calls me the Goddess of Thunderstorms, Raijin.”
“I’m not Michael’s daughter… He’s my son.” I immediately refuted, then I gasped and asked, “If you’re Raijin, then aren’t you my daughter? Uh, all this reincarnation is giving me a headache.”
The young girl had glowing blue irises, orange hair that had electricity arcing off of it nonstop and tanned beige skin. She giggled as she commanded the yellow storm in the sky to create thousands of massive lightning bolts, which slaughtered half the army that was charging out of the distant volcanoes. Although her Mana didn’t seem to be unlimited, the atmosphere was at least a Level-6 Mana Zone. Unlike the Garden of Eden though, the gravity wasn’t amplified. The air was so dense that flying was actually easier than on Earth.
“Maybe the reason I called you here… Is something I’ve been subconsciously worrying about, all this time.” Angelica stared into my eyes and seemed to put on a ‘stern’ expression, though she still looked adorable to me. Eventually she asked, “Have you heard anything about my mother? She should be somewhere in Lorthon Forest now. Her name is Bariel… I think she goes by Ariel now. She has golden eyes, a lot of purple tentacles coming out of her back, beautiful black hair and umm… Nevermind, it looks like you’re clueless. If you see my mother, tell her that I’m still alive and well. I’m actually pretty famous and respected here in this Dark Elf Empire. I’ll return back to Earth when I get the chance, so she doesn’t need to try and find a way over to Hell. Please, make sure she doesn’t do anything stupid like opening another Hell portal, okay? I have to go now. It’s been nice talking to you, Rae Rae… Bye bye~!”
Before I had the chance to even be shocked, I was sitting upright and looking around the almost pitch-dark room. Then I nudged Ethir’s arm a few times and whispered, “Come outside with me… We need to talk.”
He was already fully clothed in his black garb and standing by the archaic ‘door’, before I even realized it. Rather than a door, it was more like a tall and thin stone slab that was enchanted to open and close very smoothly. Otherwise it would attract attention and also wake everyone up every time someone had to uh, ‘relieve themselves’.
“Your mother is still alive… Umm, Bariel, I talked to her daughter? I can’t remember the exact details, but I thought you should know that she’s in Lorthon Forest right now.”
Even though I told him that the moment we went outside and closed the door behind us, he didn’t seem to have any reaction. After a few seconds he whispered, “I know… She sent me a letter a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure… If it was really her. She told me some things about what happened to her after leaving back then. Her penmanship is… Unfortunate. I sent her some money, but haven’t decided whether… I want to see her or not.”
I was worried for nothing. It was a little annoying that he didn’t mention anything about his mother reaching out to him, but… Ethir was never really good with words. At least not speaking them. Instead, I connected with him telepathically and showed him what I could remember of the ‘dream’ I had.
“Oh.” He was biting his lip a bit, which was cute. Eventually he suggested, “We should keep this from Michael and the others. I don’t think that woman… Ariel, is evil. But if she meets Michael, or especially Beatrix… There may be conflicts. I don’t want her to die… Not until she answers some questions for me.”
“I see…” I sighed, then moved closer and placed my hands on his tiny face. He blushed, but it was hard to tell, since his skin was already so ‘red’. Then I bent down a bit and pressed my lips against his, before whispering in his left ear: “Since we finally have some time to ourselves… Why don’t we make the most of it?”
As a Wood Elf, I was never so ‘aggressive’. I remember many of nights when I saw my husband for the first time in months, yet didn’t even feel slightly aroused. Yet, every moment I was with Ethir… It was like I constantly had to push down my ‘bloodlust’ and well, regular lust, just to avoid ravaging him in public. Fortunately, he wasn’t that weak little boy anymore. Even if I got a little out of control, I didn’t need to worry about hurting or killing him.
“Let’s go over there…” He murmured, as he pulled my hand and led the way. We ran half a mile in what seemed like a minute or two, then he pushed me down next to a huge tree. The snow was freezing, but my body felt like it would burst into flames regardless. We hurriedly took off each other’s clothes, then he thrust inside of me as I was biting into the left side of his neck.
Even though we never used any kind of protection, I hadn’t laid any ‘fertilized’ eggs again since that first time. Yuri told me that it was because under normal circumstances, I shouldn’t have even been able to reproduce with my husband at all. However, since Iris and Raijin used some weird tricks, they managed to force Ethir’s sperm to make bodies for them to inhabit. That tentacle-monster offered to ‘artificially inseminate’ me, but I declined. She did take some of my unfertilized eggs and freeze them for me though, in case I wanted to have kids again but couldn’t for whatever reason. I think she just wanted to study my reproductive process though…
“I love you, Rae.” When I came out of my blood-frenzy, I was shivering all over. Not because of the cold. I giggled and then hugged the man that was laying on top of me, then I rolled over and sat up on top of him.
As I leaned down next to his ear and was about to say “We’re not done yet~!” or something like that, I felt a pain in my back. Near my left shoulder-blade. It felt like a bee sting, but before I could even react, Ethir had grabbed his revolvers and started firing rapidly.
“Manticore…” The naked crimson boy vanished from my sight as I heard those words and turned around. It had stung me with that giant stinger, and was wailing in agony from the bullets piercing its monkey-like face.
“Oh no! Ragh~!” I couldn’t help but start shrieking, but it wasn’t because of pain. The venom was making me lose control…
Before I even understood what was going on, I was standing in the middle of a village somewhere in the mountains. Hundreds of tall Elves, with pale white skin were covering the ground. Some of them had weapons in their hands, but others just looked like they had been fleeing for their lives. Even the children and elderly were drained of all their blood.
“No… No, no!” I screamed as I fell to my knees, but then I realized that I was laying on my back, completely naked, on the edge of a snowy cliff. There was no blood on my hands or chest that I could see. However, I had no clue where I was.
I was lost in the mountains somewhere, naked and worried about my children. Even more than that, I was terrified that the ‘hallucination’ I had was actually a memory of something I had done while being intoxicated.
It did teach me a valuable lesson though: I wasn’t invincible. Even some random Drake that I could probably rip apart with my bare hands, could still poison me. And I was a lot more terrified of hurting innocent people, than getting injured.
The sky was still dark, and I could see that the moon hadn’t changed its position much. Unless a day had passed, I figured it had only been an hour or so… But Ethir should have been able to find me easily in that time.
“No way…” I gasped as I felt just how far he was from me. It was at least a thousand miles. Even if I had flown at full speed, I couldn’t make it that far in an hour. I had an inkling that it was something different though. A sensation I had felt many times before then. Michael had only started to teach me how to teleport a few feet and that would usually expend most of my Mana. I did feel weak though, but the thin air was filled with enough Mana to keep me going.
When I looked over the edge of the cliff, I realized that I was looking at a deep canyon between two mountains. It was hard to see through the thick mist covering it, especially in the darkness, but I could tell that there was a river and plenty of trees. Although it was freezing at several miles up, where I was standing, it looked like the climate down there was decent. Maybe not as hot as Lorthon, but definitely comfortable.
I decided against delving down into that mysterious yet warm valley. Instead, I wandered around naked through the mountainous wilderness. Snow covered the ground, but it melted the moment it touched my skin. It felt like their was a raging fire inside of my body. Then again, it was most likely an instinctual reaction. If it was cold, I would just heat myself up. The Mana in the air was at least thick enough to prevent me from running out if I only needed to warm my body up.
“Holy shit~! Hehehe~, even though I have x-ray and infrared vision, it ain’t the same as looking at you when you’re completely naked. Have I ever mentioned how much I love tattoos and piercings on girls? Damn, you even have enchanted nipple rings! That’s what I call class!”
When I heard that deep voice behind me, I screamed out of instinct. But I immediately realized who it was when I turned around and saw the holographic image. I couldn’t help but complain, “Why are you naked?! And a woman?!”
There was a tall, brown-skinned human woman standing before me. However, the hologram quickly turned into a lizard-woman, a female ogre, then it even turned into me for a few seconds. I knew it was Mike talking to me from the voice and the way he spoke, so it was really creepy when his face and ‘race’ kept changing randomly.
“It ain’t my fault damn it! I know what I looked like for the most part, but all I can think about are sexy women…” The hologram vanished, but he kept talking into my brain: “Let’s just stick to an audio call. Anyway, I can obviously see your location from the satellite footage but… How the hell did you get over there?”
“Is Ethir okay? What happened to me?” I asked him, but then realized that my worries were pointless. I could feel from my telepathic link with my husband, that he was fine.
He still replied, “Oh yeah, Ethan’s fine. Just kind of you know, upset or whatever. He told me you disappeared in a cloud of red mist, but you’re a vampiric mage, so I figured it was pretty normal. You’re about a thousand miles West of us. Almost near the ocean from the viewpoint of space, though it’d be pretty far if you tried to walk there. Head south for a few miles and go down into Lorthon Forest, Michael can teleport you back here from there. Oh wait, nevermind… Yeah, you gotta go like three hundred miles North, I mean East… Yeah, go like three hundred miles East or so, then go south a few dozen miles and you’re good! Just fly or something, it’ll be easy. Anyway, adios, I’m going back to sleep.”
“Wait… Ugh, three hundred miles?! Ragh~!” I was a little angry, but there was nothing I could do to reconnect with him. Ethir was way too far to send actual messages and Michael hadn’t even gotten up yet. Honestly, if I had enough Mana, I could have just flown to Lorthon in an hour or two… Unfortunately, I wasn’t impervious to cold and it would have been ridiculously difficult to fly while trying not to freeze to death and conserving Mana. Especially at that altitude. Not to mention the Wyverns, Drakes and other creatures that lurked in the mountains.
“Ahhh~!” I suddenly heard a scream in the distance. It sounded like a woman, but I wasn’t sure if it was even from a person. Then I noticed a ‘familiar’ scent in the air, blood… More specifically, Elf blood. I had a flashback to that weird hallucination, then started sprinting towards the crying and roars in the distant woods.
The mountains were obviously very uneven. There were sudden drops occasionally, while huge boulders were everywhere. I couldn’t tell whether I was climbing up or down, but I knew where the sounds and scents were coming from.
Then I saw it. The village from my vision. Except it wasn’t completely destroyed. There were dozens of male and female Elves, fighting against those red-scaled lizard-people who attacked us before.
I’m not a racist. I simply sided with the ones defending their home, rather than the attackers. Those lizard-people had horns on their heads, like dragons, while they wore thick leather and hide armor, unlike the nudists in Lorthon. The Elves were also wearing a decent amount of armor and clothing, but they were much weaker overall.
Both sides had mages, the lizards had javelin-throwers, while the Elves used archery… But there were almost twice as many of the attackers. The defenders had no walls or palisades. There was nothing but a group of shieldbearers, who were being slowly slaughtered.
“Enough!” I shouted, then reached out with my right hand. My attempt at invading their bodies with my Mana was useless, since they were about as strong as people in the Third Ring of Lorthon. Still, I did manage to piss them off.
One of the lizard mages glared at me and ordered, “Kill that ugly Elven hag!” Then a large group of the men, who were at least two meters tall, started charging towards me with spears and axes.
“I’m only forty!” They may have irritated me a bit. So I dashed forward and evaded the spear thrusting towards me, reaching out with my left hand, I accidentally ripped the poor guy’s face off. Honestly, I didn’t usually fight in hand-to-hand combat… But I started to learn why Michael and Amber enjoyed it so much.
I grabbed a javelin, then threw it at a lizard that was about to behead an Elven woman. It didn’t kill him instantly, just pierced his lower-back. Yet the swordswoman was able to dodge his strike because of that, then cut his head off in turn.
It was a little embarrassing for so many people to see me naked, but the snow turned into a thick fog around me everywhere I walked. At the very least, they probably couldn’t see anything clearly. That’s also why it was so easy for me to evade the attacks of the lizard-warriors.
Ultimately though, I was a mage. Good at manipulating every ‘Element’ in a lot of ways. The knives and spears that were laying on the ground, all around me… I launched them at the enemies with a thought. The bigger and heavier the object, the more difficult it would be to manipulate though. A spear flying at sixty miles per hour would do a lot less damage than a knife moving at a thousand miles per hour.
“The weapons, haunted!”
Those lizard-people didn’t seem to understand what was happening or why the random items laying on the ground would suddenly start attacking them out of nowhere. However, I didn’t stop with just that. As the three lizard mages were trying to chant a spell together, probably to summon a fireball or something simple like that, I raised my right hand towards the sky. Then clenched my fist, as the snow and ice surrounding those three men or women, rapidly lifted up and engulfed them. Then that huge snowball condensed, crushing the poor fools inside, while also freezing solid whatever was left of their corpses.
“I gave you a chance. But I’m too hungry to spare your lives.” I sighed, then plunged my right hand into the chest of the nearest lizard-woman. The leather and hide armor did little to protect her from my claws, then I umm… Wow, this is getting a lot more graphic than I originally intended.
Let’s just say, for vampires at least, eating a heart while it’s still beating is uh… This really makes me seem like a monster, doesn’t it? No, I shouldn’t censor my own memoires! Mike would just make up an even more disturbing story then.
Okay, as I was munching on the beating heart of that unfortunate red-scaled lizard-woman, I used Water Manipulation to ‘pull’ the blood from the open wounds of all the remaining enemies at the same time. Whether they were unconscious on the ground or already dead, all of that blood was spiraling around in the air before me. It was so cold out that even the freshest blood was starting to freeze, but that wasn’t really a bad thing. I just congealed it all into a single giant ball, bigger than my own body, then kept it floating in the air behind me as I nervously walked over to the terrified Elves.
There were only four ‘dead’ villagers, but I didn’t drain their blood. Not out of respect or fear that they would attack me. No, death is just not as simple as I used to understand. At the very least, I knew that by cooling down a body, it can be preserved for much longer. If you want to heal someone that’s technically dead, it’s best to keep the corpse cold. Not so cold that their cells would freeze and become useless though. Thus, I hurriedly walked over to the dead ones and kept them from freezing.
“Stay away from them, Demon!”
The general consensus among the villagers was probably that I was a monster that would kill them next. However, I didn’t care what they thought of me then. Maybe if they attacked me outright, I would have just left them to their own devices… But they didn’t. Either from fear or caution, it didn’t matter.
I turned to them and smiled wryly, “You aren’t wrong. I am a vampire. A Blood Elf. And probably one of the only Blood Elves left alive. For now at least. I’m not offering to turn them or bring them back as zombies, but if you want me to help heal these people… Can you find their missing limbs? I don’t really know them that well. I’ll start treating them now, but if you can’t find their digits and other pieces before I heal them… Well, I guess that’s their problem.”
Without wasting any more energy trying to converse with the terrified villagers, I just placed my bloody left palm on the disemboweled torso of a teenage girl. Without much effort, the organs slid back inside of her belly. Then the wound closed up, along with the slash on her neck and the terrible bruise on her broken right leg. Once all the pieces were in place, I started forcing her body to regenerate. The first was the heart, then the brain and the other organs began working again after that. Soon enough, she even started breathing and coughing violently.
“Eliza!” An Elven man with a bow, rushed over and put down his weapon next to the girl. He was crying and hugging her, then eventually turned to me and said “I don’t care if you are a Devil! Thank you…”
Elves are a lot easier to heal than most Races, because they usually have excessively long lifespans. Such severe organ damage and even brain damage, would have shortened the life of a human to the point where a teenager might only life for another decade after being restored. I went through and started with the technically dead ones, even reattaching someone’s head. One person was still breathing and crying out in pain, but their body was severed in half at the waist. Of course, with my help, the man could even start walking again, only a few hours after my treatment.
I wasn’t like Yuri or Michael. I couldn’t manipulate people’s DNA or anything crazy. Just forcing their bodies to work ‘normally’ was my limit. Yet those villagers saw me as some sort of Spirit or Deity once I finished healing them. Similar to my people, they had a Matriarch as the leader their little group. I was invited by the tall woman, over to the largest hovel in the village. I was fortunately given some clothing to wear as well. I was only tall enough to fit into the Matriarch’s daughter’s outfit though.
“You don’t look like Wood Elves. Umm, what I was, before becoming a Blood Elf.” I was drinking a warm cup of lizard blood out of a stone mug, while sitting on a slightly uncomfortable wooden chair. There was a simple chandelier hanging from the ceiling, while a fire was raging in the fireplace a few feet behind me.
The village chief, or Matriarch, was named Kelsey King. She was at least two meters tall and really muscular, which made me wonder if she was actually just a pale-skinned Orc. Still, her facial features were very similar to mine. She didn’t have any tusks, though her ears were indeed not as long as a Wood Elf’s.
“We’re Snow Elves.” She smiled at me with her crooked yellow teeth, “We got some records about the tiny Elves off the big Forest, but I never actually seen one before now. I have to admit, though we have quite a few healers, mages and warriors… I never heard of anyone as powerful as you before, in any field. Makes me think you’re one of them Immortals from the Inner Peaks. Haven’t seen you fly on a sword or use any talismans though. And I never heard of any Immortal Nudists either.”
“I’m not a nudist!” I complained, then explained “I just was in the middle of doing something, umm, you know, without clothes. Then I got attacked by a Drake and poisoned… Then I found myself a thousand miles away, not far from your village. When I heard the screaming and fighting, smelled the blood… Maybe I was called here to save your people?”
“All I know is that you’re a real badass motherfucker, and I mean that in a good way.” She chuckled, then asked “So what you gonna do now? I think you should stay the night here at least. Oh yeah, you’re a blood sucker, so you probably can’t run ‘round in the sunshine. You can stay the day too if ya want.”
She had an interesting dialect, but it was still technically what we consider ‘Lorthon’. Kelsey’s manner of speech was full of vulgarity and really informal, yet she gave me a feeling of comfort. Maybe because I spent so much time with Michael when he was growing up? Regardless, it was nice that she wasn’t afraid of me or treating me like a monster.
I smiled and replied, “My plans… To be honest, I don’t really know. I need to travel three hundred miles to the East, but ugh… Anyway, for tonight at least, I’m not going anywhere. Way too exhausted for that. And sunlight… Doesn’t do that much anymore. It’s like having really sensitive skin. I get sunburned easily, but I can heal the injury faster than I get hurt. It’s really unpleasant though, so I usually just wear heavy clothing. I should be fine with a decent hat, scarf and coat. By the way… Can you tell me more about those lizards? Why are they attacking you? I ran into them a thousand miles away from here too… Are they everywhere in the mountains?”
“Those fuckin scaly bastards…” She growled, then turned her head to the side and pushed her long wavy black bangs out of her face. After tying her hair up into a ponytail, she told me “Redscale Tribe, their Race. Never saw a single one of those assholes until a few years back. Came from inside the mountain, bringing their war with them. It ain’t just the Redscales… Fuckin Fire Elves. Look like demons, straight outta hell. Act like goddamn savages. At least the scaly ones just kill and eat ya… Fire Elves will eat and fuck you at the same time, while keeping you alive long enough to perform their twisted rituals. Blood Elves ran rampant for a while too, wiped out a few villages, but it’s hard for the blood suckers to survive up here… They usually thrive down in the misty valley below. The Wyvens ain’t half-bad though, Drakes can be dickheads and the Dragons don’t come out of the Inner Peaks.”
It wasn’t that surprising, but there really was a lot to the mountains. They were called the Barrier Mountains, or the Northern Wall by most people in Lorthon. However, the name that the Snow Elves knew the mountain range by was a bit more sinister: Armageddon’s Spine. Though it was more of a literal description.
My first instinct was to return back to my daughters, grandkids and husband as quickly as possible… But then I remembered, who I am, what Michael taught me. If I left, that village might have survived for a while, but a lot of people would have died. Children would be slaughtered, maybe even taken as prisoners… It’s different when you have to go thousands of miles out of your way to help people you don’t know. However, if there are people in your sight, within your reach, who you know that you have the power to save… If you abandon them, it’s not much different than killing them yourself. That’s what it means to be strong.
“I’ll stay here…” I let out a sigh, then hesitated a bit before ultimately asking: “How many Snow Elves are there throughout the mountains, do you think? If, if I were to offer to escort your people… Every village you know about, to migrate somewhere ‘safe’… Would you be interested in that? I know it’s hard to give up your home and run, becoming refugees… But I can’t just stay here forever. We don’t even need to go all the way to where I came from… Even just three hundred miles to the East would be good enough.”
She smiled at me, “I can’t speak for the other Matriarchs, but Kingstone Village will follow ya. Five Hundred years in the same fuckin place, my old bones are itching for a change anyway! Hahaha~! So when are we leavin, Boss?”