The Rogue's Harem Book 2, Chapter 12: Weakened Passion
The Rogue's Harem
Book Two: Rogue's Wicked Harem
Part Twelve: Weakened Passion
Note: Thanks WRC264 for beta reading this.
Chapter Thirty-Four: Weakened Passion
Princess Ava – The Princedom of Kivoneth, The Strifelands of Zeutch
My stomach twisted and writhed as I moved around the campfire. My reunion with Sven and his harem had not gone nearly as well as I hoped. Instead of the passionate delight, making love to Sven and his women, the poison ensured that I couldn't sleep with him. Abstaining from sex with them kept my bedmaid Greta and I healthy while Sven and his harem grew worse and worse. The last two days were awful.
We were one day out from Az, and I feared we wouldn't make it.
I knelt down beside Sven. He had his eyes closed, his face pale and clammy, sweat beading his forehead. I dabbed at it with my cloth, giving him a forced smile. His blue eyes stayed closed. A nervous writhe ran through my guts, the dread clawing at my heart.
What if my Sven died? We still had to travel all day tomorrow to make it to Az.
I glanced at the woods. The southern edge of the Forest of Lhes loomed to the north of us, a wall of dense woods that ended abruptly against the cleared strip along the road. I shivered. I tried not to look. I could feel the assassin watching us. He had to be tracking us, watching my family getting weaker and weaker.
What could I do? I didn't know how to fight. And my bedmaid was utterly useless.
“It'll be okay,” Greta said as she leaned over Aingeal. The faerie was doing poorly. She whimpered on her back, her feyhound Scáthnamhaid lay beside her, resting its head made of wicker on his paws. “Just hang in there.”
“K-kora?” Aingeal asked through chattering teeth.
I glanced at Sven's sister. She lay beside him, her body looking so small, the blanket pulled up over her. She trembled in her sleep. I leaned over her, my heart pounding ice through my veins as I peered down at her.
“Kora?” I asked.
“I I” Kora opened her eyes, her blues dulled to grays. “It's so cold”
“I know.” I dabbed at her sweaty forehead. “Do you think you can eat something?”
I hated this poison. It had destroyed my family. Zanyia, Ealaín, Sven, Kora, Aingeal, and Nathalie all lay trembling. And the assassin watched us. I could feel the malevolence of his gaze. When would he strike? When would he attack and put down my family?
“We're not going to make it to Az,” Greta said, her voice tight.
The time had come.
I cloaked myself in shadows. Sven and his harem lay dying. Too weak to stop me. The princess and her maid would pose no threat. The shadows surged around me, writhing and undulating as I shaped them, molded them, transformed them. My flesh vanished. The shadows hid me. My shoulder throbbed, still healing, but that didn't matter.
“Now, Master?” my lamia hissed. Hithina crouched on a branch nearby, her dyed-black hair falling about her feral face. She licked her chops, her tail swishing back and forth.
“Now,” I grinned and dropped out of the tree.
I landed as soft as a leaf. Hithina fell down beside me. An owl hooted above. She scurried off to the right, moving through the field on her hands and knees. Only the rustle of grass gave any sign of her approach. I moved to the right, uncoiling my chain-sickle. Using my enhanced shadows had failed me last time. The faerie could counter it too easily.
I'd kill her after dealing with the princess and her bedmaid.
Night deepened around me. The campfire drew me closer and closer. Princess Ava crawled into her blanket, lying next to her bedmaid. Around her, Sven and his harem huddled in their own blankets, too weak to fight. I'd watched them ride, slumped over their horses, hardly aware of the world around them. The styrchnos insidious presence had done its work.
My heart beat sped up as I crept up to the edge of camp. Princess Ava rolled over in her blanket. She stared at the fire, her strawberry-blonde locks painted by the dancing oranges and reds. Wood popped as it burned, smoke pouring into the air.
“It'll be okay,” the bedmaid said, her voice light. She had blonde hair gathered in twin pigtails. “Maybe we will reach Az tomorrow.”
Princess Ava shook her head. “We won't. Look at them all. How can any of them ride? Can you lift Sven up into the saddle of his horse? I can't!”
I crept closer and closer. I slipped past Sven and his sister Kora. I could feel the amulet around the whimpering priestess's neck. My hands clenched, wanting to grab it but keeping myself disciplined. Deal with the threats first, then claim my Mistress's prize.
I stood over the princess and her maid. I drew back my fist, my chain-sickle held in the other hand, the chain wrapped about my waist, connected to the sickle. One blow to knock her out. Hithina approached the camp from the other side.
“Kora!” the faerie shouted, her eyes springing open across the campfire.
My head whirled around to the priestess sitting up in her bedrolls, a spike of cold shooting through my veins. She pulled wet fingers out from beneath her blankets as she faced her feverish face at me. Her dull-blue eyes focused for a moment.
“Rithi, I call upon a light of such radiance to reveal the beauty around me!” she screamed out.
Daylight burst from her and washed across my skin. I felt it bathing me, destroying my shadows, revealing my flesh. A trap. They'd baited me into attack. The chain clattered as it whisked against my waist, coming loose, the weighted end swinging around me.
I popped to my feet and
The world spun around me.
Exhaustion leaded my limbs. I didn't want to fight. Didn't have the strength to fight, but we had to defeat the assassin before we grew even weaker. Kora's light died. She fell to the ground, trembling, groaning, frothing at the mouth. She'd done it. She'd held back the poison long enough to cast her light spell and rob the assassin of his shadows.
Now Now she convulsed on the ground. My stomach twisted. I wanted to help her but
The assassin stood feet away over Ava. He whirled to face me, blinking his eyes against the blinding glare of Kora's spell. He held a sickle in his hand, a chain dangling from the end. He swung the sickle, whirling the chain around him. It hissed through the air at me.
I pushed through the sickness and dodged to the right. The weighted end of the chain punched right over my head, thrusting out from him like a thrown lance. The chain snapped taut beside me. I sprang forward, racing along side it and
He flicked his wrist.
I ducked low. The chain whipped over my head. He slashed forward with the sickle as the chain warped about his thin torso. I raised my short sword, a wave of dizzy exhaustion fuzzed across my vision.
Metal clanged. My sword shifted in my grip. I almost dropped it as I parried his sickle. The impact shivered up the blade. I grunted and stumbled back. I needed to focus. I couldn't be weak but My stomach roiled. My head pounded. My eyes wanted to shut. Sleep I wanted to—
“Las's putrid cum!” I snarled, diving past the fire as the chain uncoiled from his waist and flicked at me, hissing through the air.
How could I beat him?
I sank into my alabaster proxy. I opened my eyes, staring out at the fire, shrunk and tiny. But Aingeal had enchanted this form for me, putting the same ability on it the twinborn witch had to my rose quartz statue. I swelled larger and larger, ballooning out to my full height. I whirled around, Sven fighting the assassin and—
“Princess!” Greta hissed, pointing across the campfire.
The assassin's lamia crept out of the grass, advancing on the trembling Zanyia. The catgirl struggled to get out of her blankets, her face flushed from the poison. I cried out and charged around the fire, my stone steps thudding with weight. Made of alabaster, it had a solid presence. That had to be good for something.
I had to fight. I had to help my family.
The lamia looked up at me, hissed, and then launched herself at me. I gasped in shock as her nubile body crashed into me. I stumbled, the fire crackling only feet away, the heat washing over me. The nimble lamia scratched at my stony flesh as she squirmed around me. I fought to keep my balance, my feet thudding on the ground.
Sven cursed behind me.
“Get up,” I growled at myself as I lay in my blankets. They felt so heavy, smothering me with warmth. Sven rolled across the ground as the weighed chain hurtled after him. He gained his feet and battered away at the chain. It wrapped about his sword instead. With a hard jerk, the dusky-skinned assassin yanked the blade out of Sven's hand.
Sven stumbled, yanked off-balanced by the jerk. He stumbled, his sweaty face grimacing. I had to help him. I had to help him fight and protect my charge. Kora lay quivering, the poison wracking her body. We had to get her to Az.
All of us had to get to Az.
I found the hilt of my ax hidden beneath the blanket. I groaned and heaved off my blanket. I gained my feet naked. My breasts swayed before me. The world swam around me. My feet stumbled as I lurched to the right. I grit my teeth. I had to focus. I had to kill the assassin.
The world swam into focus for a moment.
The assassin swung his chain at Sven, driving back the Zeutchian.
I charged. My stomach heaved, bile burning the back of my throat. I swallowed it down, focusing on the assassin. On carving him in half. One single stroke of my crescent-blade ax and finish him off. I raised it over my head. It felt so heavy, like the weight had doubled since I last swung it. My arm shook.
I screamed out and swung with all my might.
The blade hissed down hard. Right at the assassin's back. The whip-thin man danced around, pulling his attack from hitting Sven while whirling to face me. I growled in frustration as I missed; my ax slammed past his body.
And struck the ground.
The impact shivered up my arm. I almost released my weapon as I stumbled forward. I fought to keep my balance. Another wave of dizziness beset me. A chain rattled. Something silver streaked off to my right and—
Light exploded across my vision. My head erupted in pain and—
Chapter Thirty-Five: Exhausted Desperation
Ealaín hit the ground hard, struck by the weighted end of Keythivak's chain. The aoi si lay in a dark heap by the fire, her sword lying before her, arm spilled out reaching for her weapon. She didn't move. Red stained her pure-white hair.
I hissed as I threw off my blankets. I had to get into the fight. Hithina wrestled with Ava. The lamia bitch had her thighs wrapped around the princess's alabaster body, her claws scratching at the pretty face, marring the perfection of Ava's sculpture.
I crouched low, my limbs trembling. A wash of dizzy darkness spills across my vision as a deep chill shivers through my body. My tail twitched hard. I had to focus. I couldn't afford to be distracted and weakened. Stupid poison.
I hissed and threw myself at Hithina.
Her head snapped around, baleful eyes glaring at me. Then she jumped away. I gasped moments before crashing into Princess Ava. She cried out in shock as I smacked into her naked breasts. Though they felt as soft as real flesh, she was still made of the alabaster. I bounced off hard, my head ringing. I hit the ground on my back, yowling.
“Zanyia!” the princess gasped.
“Slimy naga scales!” I hissed, the world spinning around me.
“Whoops,” Hithina hissed. “Did you bump your head, little kitten?”
I yowled at her and rolled over onto my hands and knees. I crouched, my tail swishing back and forth as I glared at her. She licked her lips, her ears twitching. Then, with a hiss, we sprang at each other. We crashed together.
We hit the ground and rolled. The world flipped around me as we snarled at each other. I struggled to get my claws into her flesh while fending off her gleaming nails. I remembered the burning, flesh-devouring pain of her poison.
I wouldn't get scratched again.
But the chemical in me
Darkness washed across my vision. I shuddered, rolling across the ground. Ava gasped, chasing after us, her hands darting in, trying to help me. We bumped into her feet and bounced off as the world spun around me.
My stomach heaved.
My body shook.
“So weak, little kitten,” Hithina snarled as I ended up on my back. She leaned over me, her hands pinning mine over my head. Our breasts pressed together as she licked her lips. Hissing, she bared her fangs.
My exposed throat quivered.
I dove to grab my short sword. I snatched it up and grabbed my weapon. The world spun around me as I gained my feet. I swayed, fighting against the dizziness. My stomach churned. The acid burned at my throat. Chills rippled across my flesh.
“Las's putrid cum!” I growled as I staggered around and—
I raised my sword, smacking the hissing chain out of the air. It hit the ground at my feet as the assassin darted in, swinging the sickle at my face. I backpedaled, swinging my blade before me, knocking back his blade.
“How long can you fight?” the assassin asked, the blade whipping at me from my right.
I didn't answer, focusing all my will on fighting. I couldn't relent. I had the skill to be beat him. Desperation pushed me through me exhaustion.
“How long before you collapse?”
I parried the chain then blocked a swipe from his sickle. Zanyia yowled in the background, Ava screaming out her name. I backed up, leading the assassin from the fire, from Kora twitching and shuddering.
I had to keep fighting.
“Do you feel the styrchnos weighing down your limbs?” A deadly smile crossed the assassin's limbs. “Robbing you of all your strength. How does it feel knowing you are growing weaker and weaker with every moment? That it's only a matter of time before you collapse.”
Sparks exploded from our weapons as I blocked his sickle. I took another swaying step back. Cold sweat poured off my body.
“You're shaking. You're barely standing, Sven. When you collapse, I'm going to kill all your women one by one.” Such pleasure filled his voice. “You'll lie there, helpless to do anything, shaking, wracked by the poison.”
Anger boiled through me.
My left hand darted down as I lunged forward, thrusting my blade at his guts. He swung the chain around in a sweeping, looping arc. It slammed into my sword, knocking my blade downward. He raised his sickle to slash at my face.
I hurled my throwing dagger.
He flinched back as my knife hurtled at his face. The assassin ducked his wiry body low. The thrown blade hissed over his head. Anger spilled across his features as I recovered from his parry and stabbed my shorts sword at his chest, screaming out my fury. The weakness melted away as the rage powered my limbs.
His left hand moved with blurring speed despite his wound. He grabbed a pouch off his belt and threw it at my face. I reacted. I tried to stop my thrust, but my momentum carried me forward. The bag stuck my face. A dark powder burst around it and—
Itching, burning, aching pain seared my eyes. I reeled back. The world vanished into darkness. I couldn't see. Dizziness spun me around. I tottered and groaned, the poison surging through me as my eyes wept. I cried out at the agony stabbing into my brain.
The feyhound growled as I fell to my knees, dropping my short sword. I rubbed at my eyes, feeling the powdery grit staining my orbs, melting them. I screamed as the pain burned deeper into my mind.
I had to get up. I had to help my family fight. But I just felt so weak. My eyes wouldn't open. I shivered beneath my blankets, my wings twitching. I felt Scáthnamhaid lying near me, whining and whimpering. He didn't know what to do. He was newly born, only created by me three days ago.
When I was still strong.
Metal clash and rang.
Zanyia and another cat girl hissed.
“No, no!” Princess Ava cried out, the heavy footsteps of her proxy thudding through the ground.
I just couldn't open my eyelids. They were so heavy. I didn't have the strength. My blankets strangled me. I needed to help Sven fight. He needed me. My husband was in danger. Fear clawed at my guts, but the poison
The poison shook my limbs.
My entire body trembled. This insidious toxin had spread through sex. It settled inside of us. My spirits couldn't root it out. Kora's magic couldn't heal it. It was foul and loathsome substance. I needed to get up. Sven needed my spirits and—
Sven screamed in utter pain.
The heart-rending agony shot through my body. It galvanized me. My feyhound reacted, sensing my pain. He growled and charged from my side. With a whimpering screech, I wrenched open my eyelids. I threw them up and saw the world. The fire burned to my right. Sven screamed to my left.
He knelt clawing at his face smeared in a reddish-black powder. He rubbed at his eyes as he howled in agony. He stood oblivious to the assassin striding to him, raising a curved sickle. Its edge glinted in the dancing firelight, reflecting orange and red, promising death to my husband.
My feyhound bounded closer. With a flick of the chain, the assassin sent the weighted end at Scáthnamhaid. It struck him hard. He whimpered as he flew back and sprawled on the ground, wicker legs twitching.
The assassin turned his attention back to my husband.
“NO!” The scream burst out of my throat.
Desperation cut through my exhaustion. I threw off the blankets and gained my feet.. No sickness, no cursed poison, would keep me from saving my husband. He rescued me from Queen Sidhe's prison. I would save him now. I reached out to all the spirits in the world. They surged around me, responding to my will.
“SAVE HIM!” I screeched, voice hoarse and dry. “HEAL MY HUSBAND!”
Purple light exploded from me as the spirits responded. Evocation and enhancement spirits streaked out at the assassin. He whirled around, gasped, and reached out with his own will. He seized blue abjuration spirits out of the world, forming a haphazard shield before my onslaught. My spirits crashed into his defenses.
He stumbled back, face twisting as he struggled to chain his abjuration spirits before him, whipping the blue balls of intangible energy into forming his defense. Where he had to dominate, I only had to ask. The spirits loved faeries. They happily performed feats of magic for us.
The green enhancement spirits, used to heal the injured, swarmed around Sven while the orange evocation spirits battered into the assassin's shield. Dizzy exhaustion swept through me. The world swirled around me as my hands balled into tight fists. Focusing my will sent my heart pumping and I could feel the poison coursing through my blood, spreading through my body and
The world trembled.
My limbs shivered.
Violent paroxysms seized my body.
The world became darkness. I drifted
I staggered back from the onslaught unleashed by the faerie. I panted, shaking my head. My heart raced from the awesome feel of her power. She had so much of it. What she did with her spirits left me feeling weak, impotent.
But now she convulsed on the ground, overwhelmed by the poison. Froth foamed her lips as she shuddered. Her feyhound regained its feet. It growled low and dangerous at me, advancing, its body gliding towards me. Fangs made of carved wood glistened in its maw. I could feel the enchantment spirits wreathing its body, animating it, giving it life.
“Ain geal” panted Sven.
He'd stopped screaming.
The blonde man rose, his face cleaned of the powder, his eyes clear and fresh. His face didn't look as pale. The faerie had healed him while attacking me, giving him back more of his strength. I changed my stance, eyes flicking back and forth between the feyhound and the blonde Zeutchian. Sven held his short sword low.
“What are you going to do now?” Sven asked. “You can't be a coward and wait for your poison to rob me of strength.”
I smiled. “This was a trap. You feigned your weakness.”
Sven and the feyhound charged at me.
I relished the challenge. My blood pounded through my veins. I reached out to the agitated spirits. With the faerie around, they took even more will to control. They fought me, resisted me. I swung my chain at Sven, a whipping barrier of metal driving him back while the feyhound closed faster.
The construct leaped snarling at me.
I seized the abjuration spirits and sent the balls of blue light streaking at the feyhound. They slammed into its wicker-woven body, phasing through the twisted wood to reach the enchantment spirits inside. I attacked them.
Without the faerie giving them buttressing with her will, the enchantment spirits fled. The feyhound became a statue of wicker, stiff and unmoving. Its momentum still slammed into me. I grunted and battered it away with my arm. As I stumbled back, it hit the ground with a clatter and rolled. It came to rest sprawled over the princess's collapsed body, her maid kneeling by her, knife in hand. The girl glared at me, her lips pursed tight, knuckles going white as she clutched the blade's handle.
I winked at her then turned back to Sven.
His blade hissed at me.
I parried with my sickle, falling back before his powerful swings. He hacked the short sword before him like a cleaver. Determination twisted his face as fresh sweat broke out across his brow. The poison still coursed through him.
Aingeal bought him only a little more strength. He would expend it. I need only be patient.
I felt something distant and heavy land on my real body as I lunged my hands down and seized the enemy lamia about the waist. I arrested her biting lunge, ripping her off of Zanyia before she could rip out Zanyia's throat. The black-haired lamia I seized hissed and spat, squirming in my arms as I crushed her to my alabaster body.
“Let me down, cunt!” yowled the lamia.
“Cunt?” Indignation shot through me. “Cunt?”
I squeezed my stone arms around her body, crushing her hard. She yowled in pain and squirmed more and more. Her body wiggled in my grasp as I sought to squeeze the loathsome life out of her and—
She popped out of my arms.
I gaped as she landed at my feet, a big grin on her face. Then she turned around and lunged at the woozy Zanyia. My lamia lover hissed in shock and kicked her feet out before her. The enemy catgirl came down right into those feet. They planted into her stomach. She yowled in pain as Zanyia kicked out hard.
The enemy lamia flew over Zanyia's head and hit the ground a good ten feet away, rolling to a gasping stop. The lamia-bitch gasped and coughed, clutching her stomach, her body heaving. I charged after her, stone feet thudding on the soft ground beneath the grass.
The black-haired lamia rolled to her feet. She leaped back as I lunged to grab her again. Her black-furred tail brushed my arm. I scrambled to close my fingers around it, but it slipped out of my grip as she darted away.
She whirled around, picking up a rock.
“That's not going to hurt me,” I scoffed as she raised her arm.
“Nope.” She flashed me a toothy grin and threw.
I flinched anyways, throwing my arm up to block the small stone. But it didn't hit me. She missed, the rock sailing past me and—
A meaty thunk echoed behind me followed by a soft thud. I looked behind me and gasped. Zanyia lay sprawled on her back, her temple cut, blood trickling from a growing knot. It swelled red as she twitched on the ground.
“This stone,” hissed the enemy lamia. “This stone will do the trick for you.”
I whirled my gaze around. She'd picked up a big stone the size of a smith's hammer. Only the stone tapered to a sharp point on one end like the head of a hatchet. She hefted it in her hand as she advanced on me, her tail swishing behind her the same way Zanyia's did when she grew excited.
“This will do nicely.”
My arms grew heavier and heavier. I sucked in deep breaths, my attack flagging. I had put too much energy into my swings. I wasn't as healed as I thought. The poison attacked my limbs again. Feverish heat burst across my face as my heart flagged.
“Las's putrid cum” I panted, sweat pouring down my face.
The assassin grinned, the expression twisting the scar crossing his dusky-brown cheek, his dark eyes mocking me. He grabbed his chain with his left hand, swirling it in an arc. The weighted end hissed through the air as he advanced.
He threw it at me.
I swung my sword, battering the bludgeoning aside, chain clattering. He charged in after, swinging the sickle at my throat while he already whirled the chain around him to attack me again. I parried the sickle and retreated, the chain hissing down to trip up my legs.
I jumped backward. The chain hit the ground beneath my feet, ripping up a thick tuft of grass. I groaned, landing hard. The world spun around me. My balance tottered. I sucked in another breath, my strength flagging faster.
I needed to do something fast. Aingeal and Kora convulsed on the ground. Zanyia and Ealaín lay in unconscious stupor. Ava faced the advancing lamia in her alabaster form while Nathalie huddled in her blankets and Greta held a knife in a trembling hand, kneeling over the princess's real body, the dead feyhound resting beside her.
I needed something bold. Something reckless. Something that would save my women. And I needed it right Gods damned now.
Chapter Thirty-Six: Dwindling Strength
I savored the weakness of my enemy as I attacked. My chain swung through the air, slashing and thrusting at him. It was such a versatile weapon, hard to deal with. Sven had talent. He had trained to fight, to use his natural grace and dexterity to his advantage. But the poison slowed him down more and more. I just had to wear him down.
And kill him.
His flushed face glistened with sweat. Rivulets poured down his neck to his leather jerkin. He swung his short sword before him, knocking back my chain. Each time, I redirected the swing, attacking him from a new direction, weakening him more and more.
His left hand moved down. He did it slowly, turning his body, almost hiding what he was doing as he went for a throwing knife on his bandoleer slung over his chest. I didn't betray my knowledge. I kept fighting the same, letting the fool think he could full me with the same trick twice.
The knife flicked out.
I battered it out of the sky with my sickle as he charged in behind it. I didn't flinch in shock like last time. I could see it in his blue eyes as he thrust his blade that he knew his ruse had failed. My chain lashed out for his feet.
He tried to jump.
Instead, he tripped himself. His legs, weighted down by exhaustion, didn't move as spry as before. The chain caught him as he struggled to hold his balance. It smacked into his calves. He cried out as it swept his feet out from beneath him.
Sven crashed hard onto his side.
“Did you think the same trick would work twice?” I asked, advancing, savoring this moment. I would disable him then start killing the women. All but the princess. My Mistress would love to play with her royal beauty. “Huh?”
“Maybe” Sven panted while rolling onto his back. “Getting tripped was part of my plan.”
“I like you,” I said, tightening my grip on my sickle. “Cocky and brash to the end.”
The lamia crashed into me. I gasped as she smashed the pointed end of her stone into my face. I shuddered, feeling the proxy shivering beneath the impact. Her attack hit with force, and alabaster wasn't the strongest of stone.
What made it easy to shape into pleasing forms also proved its undoing here. I grabbed her waist, struggling to push her off, but her legs squeezed about my torso. She raised her weapon up again and slammed it down.
A chip of white spun through the air; a piece of my face.
I gasped, feeling the proxy crumbling as she slammed her stone in for a third time. Cracks ran through the delicate material. My soul struggled inside of the vessel. I had to stop her. I shot my hands up to grab her wrist.
She dodged and struck my head from the side.
My proxy's head shattered. I had a brief glimpse of white stone flying away from me, chucks that held the carved features of my face. Then my soul flung out in a shock of pain, shooting back to my body and
I didn't slam into my body. I found something else. Something that felt so empty, just aching to be filled. A proxy that wasn't a proxy. It had never been inhabited by me. I had never formed a bond with it, and yet Yet it felt so familiar. It begged for something to animate it. It had been constructed to be possessed.
So I possessed it.
I gripped my sword. This wouldn't work. His reflexes were still sharp, unlike mine,, but what choice did I have? His sickle swung down to rip out my throat.
I thrust my short sword before me. Not to parry it, but to throw it. I let go, the point knifing right for his chest, a missile he couldn't ignore. The assassin's face twisted in surprise. He hadn't expected it. His attack changed.
His sickle knocked the sword from the air, bouncing it to the ground.
I drew a dagger as I gained my feet, growling with the last of my will. I had to close the distance to him. I sprang at him. The world spun around me. Only the assassin remained clear to my sight, standing tall and deadly, the chain whipping around him.
I threw myself at him.
The chain struck my side.
I grunted, missing with my attack. My shoulder hit him in the stomach before I bounced off of him. He stumbled back as I landed hard on the ground. I groaned, rolling, the world tumbling into a blurring mess. My stomach rebelled. My limbs shook.
“Part of your plan, eh?” the assassin asked. Then he laughed, stalking up to me. “Oh, yes, daring. You don't give up.”
“Only when I'm dead.”
The assassin nodded. “So be it. You'll have to watch your women die from the Astral Realm.”
I stood in my new body, crouched low. It had four legs and a tail. I felt it swishing behind me as I padded around, adjusting to the new proxy. I faced Greta, her eyes wide as she knelt over my body. I shook my new flesh. It felt woven together.
“Princess?” Greta asked, her voice soft.
“Yes,” I said through the muzzle of the of the feyhound. How was I in Scáthnamhaid?
Then I remembered the lamia. My eyes found her creeping up on Zanyia. She straddled Sven's sex slave, prepared to rip out her throat. Metal clanged behind me. The assassin laughed as I sprang at the lamia.
She looked up just in time to hiss. My new jaws felt so strong as they crushed about her throat. She yowled in pain as I carried her off of Zanyia. I bit with all my strength. I felt the warmth of her life pouring out over my muzzle as I carried her to the ground.
I landed on her. Her eyes were so wide as she convulsed beneath me. Claws raked at my wicker body. I felt the scratches, but didn't care. I kept biting, shaking my head from side to side as more and more of her life spilled out of her.
A man bellowed behind me.
Sven struggled to hold his dagger before his entire body shuddering and shaking. The poison burned through his veins. But I couldn't afford to leave him alive now. As much as I wanted him to suffer, to lay impotently as I killed his women one-by-one, I needed to eliminate him.
Just in case.
I kicked the dagger out of his hand.
He struggled to draw another one as I raised my sickle up in the air. I focused on his throat, on slashing down and cutting it open. Of seeing his bright-red life gushing out of him. A tremble raced through my limbs.
Hithina yowled in pain.
My gaze snapped to my right. The feyhound had Had animated again. It had its jaws wrapped about my lamia's throat, biting deep. Her blood spilled around its muzzle as it carried her to the ground. Her body spasmed, her claws raking ineffectually across it's woven body.
My heart clenched.
“Hithina!” I snarled as her body fell limp.
The feyhound lifted its bloody muzzle and stared at me. My body trembled with rage. I—
Cold pain stabbed into my heart.
I shuddered on the ground as the assassin looked down at his chest. His eyes widened in disbelief at my throwing dagger planted between his ribs and into his heart. He stumbled back, dropping his sickle. He grabbed the hilt of the knife and wrenched it out of his flesh.
Blood pumped down his black shirt in thick gushes. It spilled in a dark flood of crimson. He blinked then stared at me. The knife fell from his grip as he staggered to his right and collapsed hard on the ground. He let out a gurgling moan, his body collapsing.
A great chill ran through me as the assassin died.
The poison wracked my body. I shuddered, closing my eyes. My entire body shook and shuddered. The world spun around me. I whimpered, casting my gaze around for my sister. For Ava. For Zanyia or Aingeal.
I won. I killed the assassin and And
The poison killed me.
“Sven!” Ava cried out, her voice sounding twisted, almost like the barking of a bitch dog. “No, no, Sven!”
“Ava!” I groaned. My teeth chattered. “Need Kora or or Ain geal For”
Why did I need them? The chills wracked my flesh harder. My entire body convulsed. Foam rolled out of my mouth as the world spun around me. Darkness crashed into me. It dragged me down deeper and deeper into
I drifted through burning fever.
I abandoned the feyhound and opened my eyes. I sat up, Greta shivering. I gained my feet, my nightgown whirling about my feet as I spun to face Sven. He convulsed by the dead assassin, foam flecking his mouth.
“We have to help him!” I shouted. “We have to get Kora up. Or Aingeal.”
“How?” Greta asked as I darted to Sven lying away from the fire in the cold grass.
“I don't know!” Tears fell down my cheeks. We won and yet Everyone was dying anyways. How could I get them to Az and the Temple of Rithi to be healed?
I felt so weak, so helpless. I was just a princess. I didn't have any strengths. I didn't have any powers. I could only imbue
I could imbue. I glanced at the feyhound. An idea formed in my head.
To be continued