The World of Erasthay
The Knight and the Acolyte Book Five: The Vault’s Treasure
Chapter Eight: The Sphinx and the Concubine
© Copyright 2016
Story Codes: Female/Female, Male/Female, Female/Teen female, Fantasy, Magic, Monster, Oral Sex, Violence
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Click here for Chapter 7.
Note: Thanks to b0b for beta reading this!
Incessae – The Free City of Raratha
My wings fluttered with excitement as the Doge bellowed for his guards. The reputation of my sisters and me combined with the Doge’s base greed spurred him into action. He feared Angela claiming the piece of the High King’s sword.
“We must be smart,” I said to the Doge. “Angela and her companions are dangerous. She has a mage.”
“A Journeyman,” dismissed the Doge. “I have a Master in my employ.
“Then summon him, too. Faoril will need to be restrained.” My hand clenched on my spear. “Then it will be safe to move on Angela.”
“And you will…kill the knight?” The Doge swallowed.
“Do you fear for her life because you fucked her?” A wet heat burst in my pussy as I remembered watching Angela writhe beneath the Doge last night. I wanted to fall on her then, but I couldn’t trust myself to attack when I was so horny. My father’s cursed blood burned too hot in my blood.
Tonight, I would have the Doge of Raratha’s power at my back. Angela would not escape mother’s vengeance this time.
The large, heaving breasts on the front of the sphinx drew me across the polished floor of the hall. I passed the other revelers, the rich and powerful of Raratha, weaving through dancers and pockets surrounding the entertainment.
Monsters and exotic creatures brought to be used for the sexual pleasure of the Doge’s guests. Like the sphinx.
A majestic creature. The body of a tawny lion. Gray-white wings folded along her flanks. A torso of a gorgeous, golden-skinned woman rose from her fur. A human head with a mane of dark hair spilling across her shoulders and back. And those breasts… Large, round, firm with fat, dark-red nipples. They were proportioned perfectly to her body.
And her body was large.
I moved before the sphinx. Her breasts were so plump, so pillowy. I wanted to hug them and revel in them. Her cat-slitted eyes flicked down at me. A lazy smile crossed her lips. Then a thick tongue licked them. A hungry purr rose from her throat.
The music, performed by the lamia Relaria, faded into the background as my nipples hardened beneath my white robes. My hips shifted as a hot, molten itch burned through me. I wanted that tongue on my cunt.
“You have the look of one seeking carnal delights,” purred the sphinx. “A connoisseur of distaff pleasure, to sup from teat and cunny.”
“I am,” I said, watching the rise and fall of her massive breasts. She could smother me with those tits and I would die a happy woman.
“Then shed your modest wear and we shall discover new joys with the other.”
A powerful shudder ran through my body. Angela could play with the disgusting centaur and his brutish cock. I would find true pleasure with the sphinx. My fingers unbelted my robe. The white fabric slipped off my slim shoulders and fell to the floor, my pouch landing with a thud. The sphinx’s tongue flicked across her lips at the sight of my snowy breast, small and tipped with pink nipples. Her eyes flicked farther down to my shaved pussy.
Wet, flushed, and dripping.
Her nostrils flared. I hoped she smelled my tart excitement. “Radiant,” she purred. “Youth and skill combined. A concubine fit for a queen.”
“And your breasts are perfect.” My fingers itched. I reached out for her mounds.
“Enjoy them. That is why I am here.”
I seized her right breast. Both my hands dug into her flesh. I could barely grasp the heaving mound. It was so soft. My fingers almost vanished into her golden flesh. She lowered down. I wrapped my arms around her tit, hugging it to my smaller breasts. Her nipple was fat and thick, rising higher from her mound than my thumb’s length.
I could fuck this nipple like a small dildo. My pussy clenched at the wicked thought. I rubbed my cheek into the swell of her breast. My lips kissed down her breast. Her purr increased, a sensual rumble. My lips reached her areola. I licked and kissed in a spiral around her nipple, running the thick nub against my cheek.
“Child, you are definitely a concubine fit for a queen.” A furry paw stroked down my back, tracing my spine—delight trembled across my skin. “Yes, you are.”
The paw reached my ass, kneading it. I shifted my ass, loving the sensation as my lips reached her nipple. I opened my mouth wide, swallowing her nipple. I moaned as I suckled on it. My tongue batted the end. It was more like sucking the dildo strapped to Angela’s waist than a nipple.
Her paws pulled on my asscheeks, spreading them apart before dipping between them. Fur rubbed on my sphincter, sending a wild thrill through me. I moaned about her nipple, my lips tightening. My pussy clenched, juices dripping down my thighs. She massaged me, the fur tickling my asshole.
And then she went lower.
“There is the font of your womanhood,” the sphinx purred. “Let your passion flow.”
I trembled and sighed as her soft fur rubbed against my pussy. My toes curled. My own purrs of delight rose in my throat, humming around her nipple as she teased and pleasured me. I swayed, hugging her tit to stay upright as the bliss rushed through my veins. Each of her bristling hairs caressing my sensitive labia and clit sent bliss rippling through me.
I shuddered, sucking hard on her nipple. My pussy clenched. Her wonderful fur teased me. She rubbed faster and faster. My body tensed. My fingers dug into her tit. I bobbed my mouth, pressing my tongue stud into her sensitive nipple, bringing purring yowls to her lips.
I sensed her excitement. Her heart studded beneath her heaving tits. My mouth stimulated her nipple, rubbing my tongue piercing harder on her nub. I was a priestess of Saphique. I could read a woman’s pleasure as easily as my own.
“Ooh, yes, you’re shuddering. You love my fur, concubine. Your pussy drinks in the stimulation.”
Those wonderful hairs brushed all my folds. My clit throbbed. My pleasure swelled. I let it crash through me. I didn’t fight my bliss. Her paw rubbed my cunt, prolonging the rushing ecstasy flowing through my body. I trembled, clutching her tit to stay up right as her fur teased my labia.
“Let your passion flow out of you, concubine.”
I did. It gushed out of me. My mouth popped off her nipple. I swayed as my orgasm reached its peak. Her paws held me, lowering me to the floor. I thrashed on the cool, blue tiles, my toes curling as the bliss held me.
The sphinx lowered her head, her cat-slitted eyes hungry. Her rough tongue ran across my pussy. I shuddered, my body trembling. Her tongue was thick, laving across my entire pussy in a single lick. The end flicked at my clit.
I bucked. “Saphique’s hymen!”
I humped into her amazing tongue. It was at once both rough and abrasive and soft and wet. My labia and clit throbbed as the tongue rasped up my slit. Her licks were long, languorous, and breathtaking. My eyes rolled back into my head as I trembled on the ground.
I was watched by the revelers, but I didn’t care. Even the men. I savored too much joy. Relaria’s music played louder, thrumming through the room, an erotic beat playing just for me, matching the rhythm of my excited body.
“Oh, you are so wonderful,” I gasped. “A treasure, sphinx.”
“As you shall be to your queen, concubine. One of her twin pillars, the sweet shade of comfort.”
Her words hardly registered in my mind even as I loved them. Concubine to a queen… But they didn’t matter as much as the immediacy of her tongue lapping at my cunt spurring me to another orgasm. My body heaved, my breasts jiggling and my belly piercing slapping against my flesh as the chain swung. My tongue piercing clicked against the back of my teeth as I hissed out my pleasure.
Another orgasm racked my body with ecstasy.
My head arched with my back. I stared at the feet of my watchers or the bottoms of their hoop skirts. Stars danced as my head tossed. I pressed the tip of my tongue between my pierced lips, the end of my tongue stud popping in and out as I keened and moaned.
“A flood of royal delight,” purred the Sphinx. “A bath of molten gold. Sweet and rare. Treasure your sex.”
“I will,” I gasped. “Oh, yes, I’m treasuring it.”
With a yowl, the sphinx fucked her tongue into the depths of my pussy. The rough, flexible appendage plumbed me to my core. It swirled, caressing my convulsing sheath all the way to my depths. New pleasure washed over me. I humped against her mouth, savoring her feline tongue pleasuring me.
But I had another pleasure in mind.
“Let me fuck your nipple,” I gasped as a third orgasm blossomed inside of me. “Let me feel that thick, turgid nub slam into my cunt. Please.”
“I am your servant, concubine,” the sphinx answered, her body shifting, her breasts dragging across the tiles as she slid them to me.
My greedy hands reached down as my body trembled, wafting on the perfume of my orgasm. It filled me with sweet delight. My pussy convulsed, aching to be filled by her fat nub. I grabbed her breast and brought her thick nipple to my flesh, rubbing on my excited mounds.
Her tongue bathed my small breasts, rasping across hard nipples. I shuddered and humped against her breast, bringing her nub to my cunt. I groaned as it sank into my pussy, filling me. I humped against it, sliding my pussy around her girth and pressing into her soft mound.
“Oh, what delight,” shuddered the sphinx.
Her nipples were sensitive. I squeezed and clamped my pussy on her nipple. My knees bent and my legs gripped her tit, holding her nipple in my pussy. I fucked her hard, writing on my side as I stirred the nipple in and out of my cunt. I massaged her nub, giving her such pleasure.
“I’m going to make you cum,” I moaned. “A concubine pleases.”
“Yes.” her eyes rolled into her head. Her tongue lapped harder at my nipples, sliding from breast to breast, leaving each aching.
My pussy clenched every time she bathed my nipple with her tongue. We both shuddered, our bodies charging towards our orgasms. My hips moved faster, working her fat nub in and out of my cunt, my knees squeezing harder on her tit, sinking into her pillowy mound.
“Queen’s concubine,” the sphinx gasped, her excitement building.
“Cum,” I moaned, rubbing my hands through her tawny hair. “Cum for me. Let it spill out. Let it consume you.”
“Yes,” she yowled. Her eyes rolled back into her head. “Yes, yes. Such sweet delight.”
“I know,” I groaned. My pussy clamped down hard on her nipple.
She screeched and yowled as she came, such wonderful noise. Her tongue flicked across my nipples as she trembled. My knees squeezed tight about her tit, holding on, her nipple shifting in my pussy. My clit rubbed into her areola, my own pleasure swelling.
“Sweet concubine,” she moaned. “You shall be remembered. Maidens will yearn to be you. They will fall asleep dreaming of serving a queen like you.”
“Yes,” I hissed as my pleasure burst out of my cunt.
My pussy spasmed on her nipple, milking it, wishing she lactated and her cream spilled into my cunt. I shuddered and moaned. My eyes rolled back into my head. I gasped and sighed, my pleasure exploding out of me. My head spun at the bliss. Such wonder consumed me. It breathed such delight through me.
And then I collapsed and moaned. I shuddered against her. My fingers clenched and relaxed against her tit. I spasmed. Such wonderful delight. I never wanted it to end. My eyes rolled back in my head as the pleasure washed through me. My cheek rested on the cool tile.
“You are remarkable, concubine,” the sphinx purred. Her rough tongue licked my lips, a kiss.
“So are you,” I panted, my pussy spasming a final time about her nipple. “I love your tits.”
“You must be bold and decisive. Your queen’s life will depend on it.”
“Uh-huh,” I panted, rolling onto my back and my head lolling. I spotted Angela beneath the centaur, cheered by impressionable women. “My queen,” I smiled. It was a better name then mistress. It encompassed the word “mistress” and conveyed far more. I smiled. “My queen.”
Journeyman Mage Faoril
“Fascinating,” I said as I scrawled my measurement of the warg’s cock into my notebook. The intelligent, wolf-like creature was made from a transformed kobold, modified using the elemental essence of shamanistic magic. The creature’s ears longer than a normal wolf’s and the eyes red and full of cunning intelligence.
“Are you going to fuck it?” a woman asked, a nasally petulance in her tone. “I want my turn if you’re not.”
“Once I am done with my inquiry,” I said in annoyance. I moved my length of thin rope knotted in even spaces for measuring. I wrapped it about the dick, measuring girth. The dick was slippery with the pussy juices of the last two women who had fucked the monster.
The warg let out a yipping snarl. I fixed my gaze his eyes and arched an eyebrow. The beast was tamed and ruffled his mangy fur. My pussy clenched. It had been a wondrous sight to watch the warg rut with a woman. He fucked with a power that rivaled Thrak’s intensity, and it was curious how he knotted and tied himself to a woman.
“Do I have to excite you to the point of orgasm to expose your knot?” I asked, stroking his dick.
The warg turned his head and gave me a flat look, ears laid back. Then he barked.
“I’ll take that as a yes.” I leaned in and let my tongue lick at the tip, gathering his precum mixed with the tart musk of his last lover.
What properties did a warg’s cum possess for magic? I would learn so much today. I stroked his slick shaft and latched my lips about the tip, sucking hard. The warg let out a growling bark, his dick throbbing in my hand. It was stiff.
Did he have a penis bone? Fascinating.
“Excuse me, Madam Mage,” a woman said, “but Master Mage Yolun requires your presence.”
I froze and lifted my mouth. “What?”
“Master Mage Yolun. He needs your assistance in the eastern wing.”
I frowned. I couldn’t refuse a master mage’s summons. My stomach twisted. The timing was…suspicious. Right now, Xera and Minx were breaking into the Great Vault. I stood and cast my gaze around the room. The Doge had still not arrived, though none of his guests, enthralled by the delights he had procured, cared. Angela stood before a knot of young women who praised her while a centaur stood proud behind her.
Another cock I needed to examine.
Sophia lay sprawled on the floor watching a sphinx lick a mature woman’s pussy while a bold man fucked the creature from behind, standing on a stool to align himself with the sphinx’s cunt. Chaun was surrounded by admires, singing a romance while a pair of girls sucked and worshiped his cock, a smile crossing his face.
I had to answer the summons. It would be suspicious. And we could do nothing suspicious tonight.
“Very well, lead on.”
I followed the serving girl out of the hall. The sound of the revelry softened as we walked away. I pulled a vial of cum from my pocket and downed it. The warm cum, provided by Thrak, slid down into my belly. In a moment, I had a reserve of power to use to manipulate my magic. It burned bright next to a small knot—my connection to Relaria.
The lamia bard was still was under my domination. I would release her once we had safely left Raratha. I resisted prodding the knot. When I touched it, I could feel her emotions, thoughts, and flesh. The knot became a hundred strings attached to her mind. I could control any aspect of her, from manipulating her mood to controlling her body.
It was a monstrous thing I had done.
“Did he say why he needed me?” I asked.
She shook her head. “No, Madam Mage. But I doubt I would have understood.”
No, she probably would not have understood. I rubbed my hands together. What spell would he require my assistance to perform? I doubt it could be anything too dangerous. He was the court mage of the Doge of Raratha. He could cast anything I was capable of. Unless he needed help.
A ritual? For what? To strength wards? Ensure good weather for the olive harvest?
The Saltspray Palace was built on the edge of a cliff pounded by waves. Perhaps magic kept the Nimborgoth’s fury from eroding the cliff and dropping the palace into the ocean. That would require an expenditure of earth magic. If so, then the spell had to be renewed and strengthened periodically to maintain complete efficacy.
The servant paused at a door. “He is in here.”
“Thank you,” I nodded as she opened the door.
It led to a garden overlooking the Nimborgoth. The moon shone above, the stars twinkling. Yolun stood in a clearing in his black robes, arcane lights hovering around him, illuminating the garden with soft, blue-white glow. He was a tall man, weedy, with bushy-white eyebrows and a craggy face. He had practiced magic long.
“Master Mage,” I bowed when I approached. “How can I assist you tonight?”
“Doge Aurelius demands your arrest,” Yolun answered as his magic radiated out of him. “Will you comply?”
Before I could answer, the ground at my feet became liquid. I sank to my ankles into flowing stone. More earth seized my wrists, holding them fast. The liquid stone hardened, manacling me to the earth. I blinked in shock, my stomach twisting.
The Doge knew.
“I will divest you of your paraphernalia,” Yolun said, wind reaching into the pockets of my robe.
He didn’t know I had a reserve of cum. I had power.
I sent my magic out as I glared at him. The stone holding me melted away even as I seized the moisture out of the air and sent it hurtling at him, a barrier of water to trap him. I stepped out of the depression, my robes swirling as the air attacked me.
He struck back.
My globe of water became a fine mist, drizzling across him as I fought off his wind knifing at me. It howled about me, whipping my robes and hair. I sent my own magic crashing into it, creating vortexes to suck in his attacks.
“This is a lawful order,” Yolun cried out. “You must submit, Journeyman.”
“I can’t,” I said. “Angela’s quest is too important.”
His magic was swift, quick. The wind knifed at me from every direction. I barely put up my defenses. I had never seen air sharpened to such a point. It would cut me if I let it. He tried to kill me. My heart raced. Panic nibbled at the edge of my stomach.
But I could not fall apart.
As I spun my vortex shields, I pulled the heat out of the air and sank it into the ground beneath his feet. Steam rose and then the earth flashed into molten lava. Plants erupted into flames at his feet. The edges of his robes caught fire as he lifted himself into the air and landed nearby.
“Clever,” he said, narrowing his eyes. “You are skilled.”
“I know,” I said as he renewed his knifing attacks.
I made the plants come alive. Trees and vines reached for him, controlled by my life magic. Every vine that touched him burst into flames and became ash billowing around him. I seized the ash, shaped it and compressed it into daggers and thrust them at him.
His magic caught my daggers and transformed the ash back into a fine grit. It swirled around him, an abrasive shield shredding the next wave of plants lunging for him. His control over air was remarkable. He had learned much about the element.
Downdrafts hammered at me. “Pater’s cock,” I gasped as my vortices ripped out of my control. The wind through me to the ground, pinning me. I groaned, my eyes burning. I closed them against the pain.
The ground warmed beneath me.
I sank my magic into the earth, pulling out the heat he dumped into it, stopping it from becoming molten. Then I pulled the ground over me, cocooning me from the downdraft. I sent out my earth magic, blasting a tunnel forward. I moved through the ground in hunched over, hollowing out a path before me. I sent out more magic into the earth, detecting his footsteps.
The ground shook. My heart hammered as I burrowed faster through the earth, exposing the roots of plants. Dirt smeared me as I crawled. Another explosion rocked the earth. Dirt fell from the ceiling. What was he doing up there? Randomly blowing up the ground to kill me?
I had to defeat him. A sudden attack. From behind.
I moved past him. The booming shakes dwindled. He fired them before him. His footsteps moved in circles like he scanned the garden for me. The roots penetrating my tunnel grew thicker. I neared a large tree. I changed direction until I was under it I touched its taproot with life magic. The trunk was wide. I hollowed it, killing the tree but allowing me to rise into it. Then I shaped a small hole, using an existing knot in the tree, and peered out.
An explosion boomed. Earth fountained in the air. Craters dotted the cavern as the mage paced back and forth, the shield of ash still surrounding him. He cast his gaze about, searching for me. I took a deep breath.
I would have to kill a Master Mage. This was a travesty. The Magery Council would call me a warlock for this act. I froze in the tree. What was I doing? I joined Angela and her quest so I could prove to the council I had the skill to be a master mage.
Killing Yolun wouldn’t help with that.
But if I did nothing, Angela and my friends would be captured by the Doge. He had to know we were robbing him. I don’t know how. Had the Doge’s guards captured Xera and Minx sneaking to the Great Vault? Xera was skilled, and the rogue appeared competent, but mistakes could be made.
The tree’s trunk creaked and swayed as Yolun detonated another swath of the garden. Shrapnel struck his ash shield. The whirling particles ground it to dust, adding more strength to the shield. He was skilled.
I couldn’t kill him. But I could incapacitate him.
Ideas flashed through my mind. It would have to render him unconscious. And swiftly. A blow to the head might kill him. I could choke him, but then an even simpler plan crossed my mind. If I changed the composition of the air around him. Experiments had shown that a number of gases mixed together to create air, and only one of them was what humans needed to inhale to live.
I sent out my magic. I gripped the air about him in the sheath, transforming the composition into—
My magic recoiled back into my body. I let out a scream of pain, my agony echoing through the hollowed out trunk. I shuddered and clutched my head. A stabbing headache pierced into my mind. My stomach churned. I sent out my magic again.
It crashed back into me.
“I put an ouroboros about you,” Master Yolun said, turning around and facing me.
The tree’s wood flowed about me, transformed into a thick liquid. It seized my arms and legs, holding me tight as it solidified. A creaking crash. The top of the tree fell. Branches sheered off and snapped as the might eucalyptus smashed onto its side, exposing my head.
“What?” I gasped, my head casting about on the ground.
Inscribed around the trunk was a magical circle. The hardest to draw—the ten points of the starburst. I studied the arcane markings. He had inscribed it in the dirt with air, controlling it with such precision. He did it swiftly, without looking, while he detonated the earth, distracting me.
“I felt you move trough the ground,” he said, shaking his head. “Did you think truly think I wouldn’t sink magic into the earth to follow you?”
I swallowed, trembling. The magic circle reflected my magic back into my body. If I tried to reach out, it rebounded, causing me pain. I was trapped. He could reach into the circle with his magic, controlling the tree, holding me in place. The ouroboros only worked against magic originating from the center.
“I shall hold you here overnight. Let the cum you swallowed burn through your system.” He paused before me. “You are skilled.”
“So are you, Master,” I said, my mind working. I touched my reserve of power. Could I put out a trickle? A tiny tendril to—
I grit my teeth and grunted.
“Not even a little bit of magic can leave your body,” he said as he paused before me. “I do not know the crime you are guilty of, but I fear the council will declare you a warlock for this act.”
I closed my eyes. “It’s for a greater good,” I said. “To kill the dragon Dominari.”
My magic was useless. I pushed away from it and my awareness brushed the knot of Relaria. I frowned. I could still feel her within me. I prodded and felt her emotions and her body. She played her lyre and sang, her music burning with lust. The strings still connected us. I had already cast the spell. The magic was outside my body.
I tugged on her strings.
The music went silent, the notes drifting through the room as the young women rubbed at my cum-covered thighs. They stared at me with such worship for taking the centaur’s massive cock. My pussy ached from his girth while his seed coated my legs.
“You were so brave and majestic,” cooed one girl as she brought her fingers, stained with the centaur’s seed, to her lips. She sucked on her finger. “Mmm, just amazing.”
“Yes, you were,” another girl gushed. “You took his thrusts. They were so powerful. I thought he would kill you.”
“Now, he only made me explode,” I smiled, drinking in their worship. I pulled off the top of my dress, baring my large breasts. The centaur had ripped off my skirt already. What was the point in staying half-clothed? “You should try him.”
“Oh, I couldn’t,” the girl said, her bluish face paling. “His cock is so massive. I’m not as strong as you. He would tear me open.”
I seized the girl and pulled her to me. Her eyes widened as I lifted her skirt. It was bulky, the metal hoops that kept her skirts billowed around her clinked as they brushed together. Then I shoved my hand between her thighs and thrust three fingers into a dripping snatch.
“You’ll stretch,” I told her. “And you’ll cum so hard. You’ll remember this night until the day you die. Fuck him.”
“Do you think I can?” she asked, biting her lip and craning her head to look past me and admire the centaur.
My words trailed off. Metal clinked. Boots thudded. Soldiers approached. I turned around as the Doge’s bronze-armored guards burst into the ballroom, each carrying partisans, long spears with sharp protrusions at the base of the metal blade for parrying swords.
“Knight-Errant Angela,” their commander, armed with a sword belted to his side and marching at the front, “you are under arrest by order of his excellency, Doge Aurelius of Raratha.”
“Pater’s cock,” I groaned. And then my heart froze. Sweeping in behind them, at the Doge’s side, walked Incessae. The naked erinyes cloaked in her black-feathered wings, her flaming spear clutched in her hand.
The soldiers rushed at me.
“And then did Abujimbor steal across the sultan’s harem, passing the unearthly delights he witnessed.” The women around me let out breathless sighs as the story built to its climax. My own dick also rushed to its climax as the two girls nibbled and sucked on the tip, giving my performance a lusty cadence. I struck a cord on my lyre, full of restrained passion. “He was sorely tempted, for such were the beauty of the sultan’s harem.
“But Abujimbor would not be dissuaded from rescuing his love from…” My words trailed off as the entire hall gasped in shock. Soldiers thudded through the crowd carrying polearms, their bronze armor jangling.
And then my heart clenched. The erinyes. Her black wings threw wide as she stared at me. She leveled her flaming spear. My dick, so close to erupting, went soft as fear thudded through me. Incessae threw a merchant draped in a rich toga to the side as she advanced on me.
My fingers played my lyre without thought, sending out the song. My voice added its power. I had to drive her wild with lust. I had to make her worship my cock. Pink nipples hardened as she rushed at me. She threw another rich man to the side.
“You will not trap me, bard,” she screamed.
And then I noticed the cloth dangling from her ears. She had stuffed strips of linen into them, muffling my song, dulling its effectiveness. Though lust shone on her cheeks and glistened on her thighs, she would not be enthralled.
“Pater’s cock,” I gasped and turned, racing away from her.
It was too late.
Pain flared in my back. Then fire burned. The scent of cooked pork filled my nose. Agony seared me. A burning spear point burst from my side. She had stabbed me in the lower back. I stared in shock at the burning point. My blood sizzled on it. My skin rippled, my midnight black returning as I lost control over my transformation.
Then I collapsed onto my side and gasped, her spear sliding out of my flesh. No blood pooled on the marble floor. Her weapon had cauterized my wound. I rolled onto my back, staring up at the fleeing guests of the Doge. My vision fuzzed.
“Las’s poxed cock,” I groaned, rubbing at my seared wound.
My mind fuzzed. I shook it. No. No. I couldn’t let unconsciousness take me. I couldn’t die. So I sang. Not to those around me, but to myself. A song of encouragement and stamina. I dulled away the pain, I kept back the agony as the wordless notes flowed from my voice.
I was a graduate of the Bardic College. Magic dwelt in my song. I conjured stories and made them live in the minds of my listeners. I could make them swoon or cry or burn with lust. I could make them sleep or entrance them. I could make them believe anything.
I could make them believe they would live. That the wound they took was of no importance. So long as I sang, I would believe it. The wound was minor. A flesh wound. It was hardly threatening at all. I would not die.
I would not die.
Minx’s forehead squinted. Her tongue thrust between her lips as she worked her tools in the lock. My keen ears heard the clicking of mechanism and the scrap of metal as she worked. The halfling’s slim body stood still, her ear pressed against the metal.
Every heart beat grew the tension inside of me. Minutes had passed as she worked the lock. I did not say a word. I would not interrupt her concentration without need. I stood still, my breathing shallowed, my senses keen.
I waited with the patience of a hunter.
A distant boom rocked the palace, followed by a second and a third. I frowned, swallowing. They were faint, muffled. Far away. Was it part of the celebration. Was there a demonstration of eastern fireworks or, perhaps, magic. The explosions came fast, one after the other, faint, hard to hear. I felt them vibrate the floor more than heard the cracks and booms through the air.
Then they died and a new sound replaced it.
Metal jingled. My ears twitched. The boot steps of guards rushed through the corridors above us. My breath quickened. The music from the dance hall ended, though the sounds of revelry continued unabated. The musk of sex drifted on the air.
Then metal and oil. Bronze and iron oiled and polished.
The boots grew louder. Feathers rustled. Fire crackled. The footsteps split apart, a group of six broke off from the large patrol. My head moved, tracking the small group as they moved above. The ringing boom of their boots changed pitch as they descended the stairs towards our level.
They came for us. We had been exposed.
“Minx,” I whispered, “we have soldiers coming.”
“Six.” The guards cleared the first flight of stairs and headed down the next to our level. “Not much time.”
“In my pouch,” Minx said, not lifting her head from her task, her metallic-red hair pressed against the metal of the Vault’s door, “are clay jars. Ones with crosses inscribed on them are sleeping powder, the ones with chevrons are sticky bombs.”
I shoved my hand into her pouch. Many clay jars were in there. My nimble fingers brushed one with a spiral. “The third type.”
“Lust. Made from damiana. Useful for distractions.” A smile crossed her impish lips.
I couldn’t help smiling back. “I bet. But not what we need right now.”
“Horny guards will not make this easier.”
I found a pair of sleeping bombs, the type she used to knock out the guards before the Vault, and one sticky bomb. The footsteps boomed down the corridor. Minx sucked in a breath. She could hear them now.
How had we been discovered? No one had spotted our entry into the palace. None heard us overpower the guard. Was there magic wards guarding the Vault? Or had we been betrayed? The other group of guards, large, marched towards the ballroom where the music stopped.
Where Angela and the others established their alibi.
My questions could wait. The soldiers were close. I smelled the musk of human sweat beneath metal and oil. Their weapons had wooden handles, adding a dry, almost desiccated scent to the other aromas. My heart thudded. Their footsteps grew louder. I pictured them streaming down the corridor in groups of two, moving faster.
Their hearts thudded in their chest, eager for the thrill.
I threw the first sleeping bomb. The small, clay jar tumbled through the air. The first guard stepped around the corner and the jar smacked him in the face. It shattered. The alchemical ingredients reacted to the air. Purple smoke exploded.
“Vedr’s queef,” the guard grunted before he collapsed in a metallic heap, his partisan skittering across the floor.
A second guard burst out of the mist, coughing and choking. He took a step, shaking his head. He tried to catch himself on the wall. The metal of his gauntlet scraped against the stone and then fell on his side, his helmet bouncing down my feet.
“What was that?” a man cursed.
“Don’t breathe it,” a second man growled. “Seljan’s gold, I feel dizzy.”
The men backed away from the cloud of mist. It grew thinner, dissipating. My heart thudded. I could stay here and wait, or I could be proactive. I took a deep breath and rushed forward on my bare feet, making hardly a sound to my ears.
The humans would not hear me.
The mist wrapped about my body. My eyes burned. My skin tingled and my nipples went numb. My lungs burned, demanding breath. I kept my mouth clamped shut. I stepped around the corridor. Through the purple haze, I spotted the guards, four of them, waving hands before their eyes.
“Is something in the mist?” one asked as I threw the clay jar.
I turned and burst out of the mist, rushing back to Minx’s side. The clay shattered. The gas blossomed with a swelling hiss. Two more guards clattered to the ground with a clash. I paused by Minx, glancing down at her.
She had her attention focused on the lock, her picks moving, twisting. Another mechanism clicked. A hollow tone rang from the door. Progress, I hoped.
“Alchemist tricks,” a guard growled. “Chamomile powder. Las damned street urchins use it.”
“That was no street urchin,” the other guard said. “Too tall to be them or a thieving halfling.”
“Still. Hold your breath. We got to rush her.”
“Didn’t you see the tits on her. She was naked and heaving.” A guttural growl. “Once we grab her, we can have fun with her.”
I arched an eyebrow, clutching the sticky bomb with my right hand while my left drew my dagger. They thought they could capture me? I crouched low. The smoke from the first bomb had almost vanished, leaving only a slight haze.
“Let’s go,” the guard growl.
“Vedr’s gusting queef,” groaned the other as the pair charged forward.
I threw the sticky bomb low, aiming it for the floor right before the side corridor entered ours. The clay burst as the first guard stepped out of cover, his lips pursed tight, a long spear clutched in both hands. The sticky bomb didn’t make a gas.
It whooshed as the alchemical ingredients struck air. A white-brown foam surged around the guards feet, bubbling like boiling water. It swelled, swallowing his legs up to his knee. He tried to step, but his leg didn’t want to move.
“Pater’s cock,” he cursed as he pitched forward. He dropped his spear and put his hands before him to catch his fall. He grunted and his helm smacked into the wall, striking sparks.
The final guard leaped over the gummy foam. He landed in a jangle of metal, stumbling and crashing into the wall. He grunted as he rebounded. He stumbled, struggling to stay on his feet and not touch the foam that had trapped his fellow guard.
Then he saw me. He leveled his spear. The point sharp. I took a deep breath. A drop of perspiration dripped down his forehead. Then, with a bellow, he rushed at me. Fury burned in his eyes. I had disabled his companions, embarrassing his unit. He would even the stakes.
I tightened my grip on my knife and waited for the perfect moment. Another click resounded from the door. Minx chortled in delight. Had she even noticed the guard charging at me? I wanted to glance at her, but my concentration couldn’t waver.
The world slowed as my heart thudded. I tensed, focused on the point hurtling at me. It grew nearer and nearer, aimed at my chest. My toes curled as I rose on the balls of my feet. He took a step closer.
I drew in a breath.
My thighs tensed.
My body darted about the partisan. The iron point knifed past me. I twisted my stomach, trying to clear the sharp protrusions jutting from the side of the spear blade. I winced at it nicked my side. With my senses slowed, it seemed an eternity as the blade cut through my skin. Blood welled.
And then I was past his weapon and in his guard. My dagger planted into his shoulder between the joints in his armor. He screamed in pain. His left arm went limp as he stumble past me. I hooked out my foot, catching his shin. His body twisted as he fell.
He hit the ground hard, rolling past Minx and crashing into the wall at the end of the corridor. He groaned, his right hand reaching for my dagger buried in his shoulder. Blood welled about the wound as he cursed.
I pressed my right hand to my side, stemming the blood as I bent down and shoved my left into Minx’s pouch. I brushed a clay jar with a chevron. A sticky bomb. I yanked it out and threw it. The foam burst around the guard’s chest, pinning him to the wall.
“I did it!” Minx shouted, hopping to her feet.
“So did I,” I said as she twisted the mechanism of the Vault. The door creaked as it swung open.
“The Great Vault,” Minx breathed, trembling in excitement. “Come on, Xera.”
I nodded my head. The cut on my side was shallow. No organs injured. I kept my hand pressed against my side and followed Minx into the Vault. The soldier cursed behind me. I ignored him. He couldn’t do anything to us.
My eyes fell on the pommel. It rested on the plinth in the Vault’s center. My ears vibrated. The piece of the High King’s sword. Minx chortled beside me, her head casting about, taking in the rest of the wealth. It was all dross to me.
“Now you shouldn’t be in here,” a voice purred as we stepped into the Vault.
Wings flapped. The faerie who guarded the Great Vault rose into the air. Her purple hair swirled about her shoulders in the breeze created by her butterfly wings. Her body was lithe and beautiful. A violet down of curls adorned her pudenda. Her legs were long, her pale skin glittering with flecks of gold.
“No, you should not be in here at all,” she smiled.
I cast my eyes about, searching for the runes of iron that held her imprisoned while the faerie unleashed her magic.
The women around me fled as the guards charged towards me. Ten of them. Armed with partisans. And I was naked and weaponless. My heart raced. Behind them, Incessae charged at Chaun, ramming her spear through his guts.
Ten guards and an erinyes out for my blood.
My feet shifted on the cold tile of the floors. My right foot slipped, the centaur’s cum slicking the floor. I groaned, stepping back, but more dribbled down my thighs, heading towards the soles of my feet.
The officer with the sword sheathed at his side folded his arms across his bronze scalemail. It clattered as he stared at me. They wore armor made of weaker bronze for the burnished look, but their weapons looked forged from the finest of Valyan steel, the edges sharp.
“Did you think I would let you have my treasure?” the Doge spat as he marched towards me.
“You weren’t using it,” I answered, shifting my foot as the guards spread out to surround me. “I need it. The world needs it. I will reforge my ancestors sword and slay the dragon Dominari.”
“Madness,” the Doge spat.
His guards surrounded me. Their partisans leveled, a fence of sharp points. None lunged in to attack me. They penned me in to keep me from attacking the erinyes while she dispatched my allies. She marched on Sophia. She scrambled up by the sphinx. My stomach tensed.
It was smart. Eliminate my allies before coming to me. I had noticed Faoril leave a few minutes earlier. She was the most dangerous. Her magic would have seized all the guards and Incessae.
Sophia was in danger. I had to act. I couldn’t let Incessae get to my acolyte.
The ten guards surrounding me were nervous. They knew I was a Knight Deute. I had been trained to fight for ten years, my body honed. And it was more than men I was trained to fight—my purpose was to fight monsters. Creatures that could attack from multiple directions. Foes stronger than me, quicker.
So I had to be quick, too.
And I had Gewin’s blessing in me. More stamina. More speed. More strength.
I lunged at the partisans to my left. The guards cursed and gaped in shock. They had not expected me to attack. What naked, unarmed woman would attack ten armed and armored men? A knight who would not give up without a fight. My hand snagged the wooden haft. I twisted and wrenched it out of the guard’s startled hand.
“Pater’s cock,” their officer cursed.
I choked my hands up the shaft, finding the center of balance. I lashed out of the polearm, catching another guard in the chest. The hard, tempered-steel tip slammed into the bronze armor. The softer metal dented. The guard grunted and stumbled back. I swirled the heft, deflecting a partisan’s lunge then cracked the butt into the guard’s face, blood spurting from a broken nose.
Chaos ensued. The guards cried in shock as I stabbed and whirled the partisan. I wasn’t encumbered by armor. But they were. They tried to charge in at me, but they bumped into each other. Their polearm hafts clattered together as they all tried to stab me. I parried and dodged, tripping one guard then stabbing the next in the thigh above his greave.
My red hair danced around me as I kept them from entering the circle I drew with my spear. It was my space. I owned it. And any of them who crossed it would pay. A guard cursed, his wrist broken by the partisan’s haft. Another guard gasped as I cracked him across the head, knocking off his helmet and sending him crashing like a drunkard into his friend.
“Incessae,” I roared as I lunged at another guard, crashing the point into his shoulder. The spear bit through the soft bronze. He spun, clattering to the floor. I leaped over him, my breasts heaving. “That’s my woman. You won’t harm her.”
Incessae turned, her wings flaring wide, her flaming spear leveled at me as I rushed across the clear hall. Behind me, the guards still in fighting condition charged in pursuit. The Doge screamed for reinforcements while his guests, huddled again the wall, watched in awe.
Incessae smiled. “Yes, you’re right. This is the way it should be. Your little acolyte doesn’t matter.”
Chaun’s soothing song echoed through the room as I lunged my partisan. Sparks flared as her spear knocked the point to the side. I glared at the erinyes. She had tried to kill my friends two other times. She unleashed barguest and an avalanche to kill us.
Now she would pay.
Our weapons crashed again as we both screamed out in rage.
To be continued…
Click here for Chapter 9.
I have released a part 28 of the revamped Devil’s Pact on Smashwords. Read this post for more information if you’re interested!by