Authors Note: A special thank you to Coyo for allowing Donnie to uh, visit the Covet Corner Hotel. I tried to keep his stay there as brief as possible as I know he can be quite the trouble maker. I also do want to apologize to everyone for the quality of this chapter. I’ve been going though some rough times in my personal and work life, it makes finding time to write as well as getting into that writing mood very difficult. I hope you all can forgive me and I hope to be back up to a better craft sometime soon.
I opened my eyes to the sun rising over crashing waves and a sandy beach. The sound of sea-gull calls over head and the salt air on the wind. Looking around, I saw high rises behind me and off to the distance. This seemed all very familiar, but from where? Taking a deep breath of the ocean air, I walked over to a little food shack behind me. I stared at the peeling red paint on it’s front and the faded menu above the order window. Tacos, burgers, fries and hot dogs, all beach style food, then it came to me. I was in Florida! This was the last vacation I went on with my folks, before going to college! I remember now… we went to SeaWorld, the beach and Disney World.
Hold on… Wait a god damn minute!!
”No!” I shouted, pointing a finger to the blonde in a sundress, making her way over.
“No, no, no and NO!” I walked away, my feet kicking up sand behind me.
“Donnie, wait! Please, I just want to talk!” She called.
I passed by the faded food shack. Fuck that place, their prices were insane and the hamburgers sucked.
Getting to the side walk I cursed as my bare foot touched the scorching hot cement. Turning back I saw her staring at me from afar.
Sighing, I closed my eyes and tried to will some sandals to appear in front of me. Opening them I was rewarded by an actual pair at my feet.
Gotta love lucid dreams. Slipping them on, I stomped away from the beach only to blink back to where I started.
“God damn it, that’s cheating. Look, no means no, Ilias! Seriously, do all women in this damn dimension have a problem understanding that word?” I said to her.
“You said my name,” She smiled at me.
“Leave me alone. I might have fallen for that cute little trick you played on me last time but not again. Which, by the way, should have been impossible.” I growled pointing a finger at her.
“Your immune to magic, not the Gods, Donnie,” She explained as she walked to stand in front of me, “Now we can do this all night, and the next night and the next or you can listen to what I have to say.”
“I’ll take door number 3.” I said stubbornly, walking a few steps away. Staring at her, I held out an arm to my side and concentrated. She gave a slight look of apprehension before a folded lawn chair suddenly appeared in my hand.
“What are you doing?” She asked bewildered as I opened it and stuck it in the sand. Ignoring her question, I then summoned up a side table and a foot rest. The Goddess watched in growing confusion as I set up a perfect little beach spot. Concentrating again I instantly changed my clothing to a pair of black swim trunks and a grey tank top.
“Are you finally going to listen to me?” She said with a blush on her face. Guess my beach attire was a little too scandalous for her.
“Nope,” I replied as I sat down and willed a Mai Tai in my hand and a pair of sunglasses in the other. After putting them on my face, I flicked a finger at the sky and Kokomo by The Beach Boys suddenly started playing loudly around us.
Throwing her hands over her ears, she looked around wildly in fear of the foreign sound. Finally she settled her gaze back in my direction.
“In all my time in existence, I have never met anyone as difficult as you!” Ilias screamed at me in frustration over the music.
”Thaaaaaaats where I waaaanna gooooo… waaay down to Kokomooooooo.” I sang back to her then took a sip of my drink.
Ah damn it, I didn’t add enough rum.
Another blink had me suddenly falling to the ground on my butt in front of Cinderella’s castle and a setting sun. Fuck for a dream that hurt like a bitch. Throwing off my sunglasses I looked over and saw Ilias giving me a smug grin. I returned it with a glare.
Pulling myself up, I continued to glare at her as I walked over to a nearby churro cart and grabbed one out to eat.
$8 my ass and they say Mamono are the rapist.
“Can we talk now?” She walked over and bent down, placing her elbows on the carts table top to watch as I chewed away at the cinnamon and sugary goodness. I had the sneaking suspicion that she was doing it to show off her cleavage to me.
“You know this is my dream. I could pull some real bullshit on you if I wanted to.” I pointed the churro at her, semi-threatening the blonde between chews.
“Yes, I know,” She sighed, standing back up straight and giving me an aggravated look, “But you should also know I’m a Goddess and I can return the favor.”
Taking another bite out of my pilfered snack, I regarded her. She still looked the same, attractive in her 20’s, silky blonde hair, good-sized boobs, red, full lips, some mascara and eyeliner on. Definitely Brazzers material for sure. Had about 10 girls just like her in my Art History class because they liked to look at the pretty pictures.
“Fine, what do you want?” I asked after I swallowed the last bite.
She snapped her fingers and suddenly she was wearing Cinderella’s classic blue gown. Looking down, I saw that I was dressed in a royal white and black suit.
“I’m already married to a princess.” I said with a frown as the churro cart faded away.
I really could have gone for another.
“You could be married to a Goddess…” She breathed as she stepped closer and wrapped her arm around my waist.
The world melted away and we were in a massive ballroom I didn’t recognize. Stained glass adorned the huge windows, pure white marble tile it’s floor and intricate white stone pillars held its ceiling. Classical music started to play as her other hand grabbed mine and we started to dance.
As hard as I tried, I couldn’t free myself from her grasp. A part of me realized that there really was no way I could, she was a celestial being after all.
”Where are we?” I asked as she spun me out, our hands still linked. It was a little emasculating as “Cinderella” took the lead but I really didn’t have a say in the matter.
“This was the great ballroom of Lescatie‘s castle, before it’s demise. Many grand parties were thrown here,” She explained as she pulled me back into an intimate hold.
Staring deeply into my eyes, she added with a tilt of her head and a slight pout of her lip, “Many great romances also started within these walls as well.”
“I told you, I’m already married.” I growled to her.
“I know. I also know what the Maou is planning. You do too. Soon she will do to your world as she has done to mine.” She said as we slowly swayed to the music.
“You don’t know that.” I replied with my best poker face.
”Yes I do. You do too.”
Damn it, bluff called. We danced in silence for a few moments after that as her words weighed on me.
“I can’t stop it… What’s done is done” I said softly looking away from her.
”You’re right. You’ve doomed your world,” I turned my head back, staring into her deep blue eyes, “But I offer a kinder alternative to your fate. To seeing your world fall to them just as I had to watch mine.”
Ilias released her hold on me and placed both palms over her ample chest, “Come with me. Escape the misery and the heartbreak you will endure watching what will follow and be my companion.”
“And what? Help you and The Order re-take over the planet?” I snorted.
”No Donnie,” The Goddess replied sadly, “This world has already fallen, as will yours soon enough. Come with me, just you and I. We can travel, explore the infinite number of worlds in the cosmos. With me by your side, you will never age, nor grow hungry or tired or cold. I would never allow you to be harmed like you have been here.”
”And what would the cost of all that be? All the tea in China?” I asked sarcastically.
“No,” She took a step closer until our faces almost touched. She was perfection, not a blemish, not a flaw, she smelled of the sweetest perfume and her breath had a hint of cherries on it, “All I ask is that you be mine and mine alone. I would give up what I have left of this world to have you by my side. In all my time, I have never met a man such as you, is it so wrong to want someone who has captured your heart?”
I won’t lie to you. The promise of exploring the galaxy with a beautiful Goddess by my side was more than tempting. To fulfill a dream that I had no chance of fulfilling was seductive in by itself but to have a gorgeous being such as her profess herself to me was…
Well it was indescribable.
But it was an offer I couldn’t accept. I had the most amazing woman in existence as my wife already. I made my choices and for better or worse, I had to stick by them.
“I’m sorry,” I finally mumbled, not having the courage to meet her eyes.
We stopped dancing and there was a long silence as the music faded to a stop.
“You will regret your decision.” Is all she said as I looked back to her. Ilias’s face was unreadable as she stepped back away from me. The room around us dimmed until we stood in the star filled void of space.
“You could have had everything, all the indescribable joys that I could offer. Now you will know nothing but tragedy.” She whispered in a small, hard voice. Raising her hand above her head she snapped her fingers.
My eyes shot open as I was ejected from my own hijacked dream. It was still dark out as I recognized the guest suite that Romie and I were assigned to in the Maou’s castle. I was laying on its enormously large bed. Looking over, I saw my Cheshire sleeping peacefully next to me, our bodies still slick and sticky from making love some hours back.
“Damn it.” I breathed aloud as The Chief Gods words echoed in my head.
I sat at a large dining table, having breakfast alone. Romie decided to skip eating and instead go out shopping with a new friend, some red-headed curly-haired Succubus chick named Aeshma. Well, whatever she deserved some girlfriend time and if buying up half the Bazaar of the Royal Maki made her happy then hey, all the power to her.
The sound of heavy footsteps interrupted my musings as the Maous husband walked into the room.
He was dressed in a brown and black jerkin that showed off his muscled forearms with back leather pants and a large sheathed sword on his waist. Certainly the very picture of GQ medieval fashion around here. We stared at each other as I put a forkful of eggs into my mouth and chewed slowly.
“We will talk.” He said gruffly to me.
Nice to know the Maou married this guy for his superior articulation skills and not his Fabio like physique.
“Sure, what’s up?” I asked politely as I wiped my mouth with a napkin.
He regarded me with what I could only consider as disdain. Pretty sure the old man didn’t like me too much.
“Not here. We will talk in private.”
Remember kids, don’t go to a secondary location with a stranger.
“You know I think here is good. Lots of witnesses, a nice large table for me to use as a barrier in case you decide to kill me. Yeah… I really like here.”
He glared at me a few moments longer then a from the corner of his mouth, his frown curved slightly upwards.
“You’re not as foolish as you look or sound.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere.” I retorted with a small tight smile of my own.
“You play a dangerous game, boy. Insulting my wife as you have been and refusing her demands. Do that to any Royal in Order territory and you would likely lose your head.”
Guess, Grampa was angry that I’ve been naughty.
“Well, where I’m from, we don’t have Kings or Queens or Demon Lords, we have elected officials so I’m not as inclined to cower in terror at nobility. As far as what I’ve done or refused, that’s my business. Not that anyone seems to care but I was trying to protect everyone from each other. My people from yours and vise versa. But you know what? That’s no longer and issue anymore. Your wifey’s got Big Boy’s key and the ball is in her court, happy ending right?
”You speak with nothing but disdain and insults. You need a lesson in manners.” He spat as drew his sword.
“And you both speak with nothing but arrogance, fancying yourselves Gods; Infallible, absolute and just. Here’s a little reminder from a mere mortal: You’re not. And what can go wrong will go wrong that’s called Murphy’s Law.” I retorted, tilting my chair back and sliding a hand down to Winona.
God damn it, I did NOT want to take this guy on. Besides would Demon Realm Silver even work on the very first Incubus?
I didn’t know but if he decided to start some shit, I had a half assed plan in place. Tilt myself backwards if he took a swing at me, empty Winona out on him with head and chest shots, pray it’s enough to maybe stop him for a few minutes so I could get the fuck outta dodge.
Yeah not the best plan in the world but hey I was working on the fly.
He then did something unexpected. He turned the blade for me to see. The metal was nothing but beautiful, highly polished with intricate filigree etched throughout. It was both a deadly weapon and a work of art, truly the sword of one the greatest Hero’s of this world.
”Do you see this blade?” He asked.
I nodded slowly, suspicious of where this was going.
”This sword is like no other. It is made of starmetal gathered from a hellish tundra by holy monks of an ancient cloister and forged over the span of a year by master blacksmiths with no equal. All with the intent of killing, slaughtering and fighting those that are called monsters. It was to be the blade that would carve the Demon Lords head from her body and once again save humanity for the glory of The Order.”
He paused, allowing his words to sink in.
“As I traveled the lands to here, what is now called the Royal Maki, I saw the world beyond the orphanage I came from, beyond the small room I called my own as a Hero trainee and beyond the constant exercises…”
I saw the distant look in his eyes as he remembered what he once was. His expression was no longer brooding and contemptuous but more nostalgic.
I saw people in villages living no better than animals, while The Order devoted their resources to their warfare. Poverty, famine and plague all ignored for the greater good to end the threat of the monsters.”
His face hardened at his own words.
”I was at my journey’s midpoint when I set up camp near a well-traveled road for the night. I had just passed by a small farm who’s crops had failed because of a drought. I gave the family that lived upon it what food I could spare but I knew it wasn’t enough. In time starvation would take them. Some time into the twilight, I was awoken by the sounds of a cart traveling by. Discovering it was being driven by monsters, I followed it in hopes of finding a nest of them to destroy.
When they reached the farm, I feared the worst for the family, but was shocked to see them leaving the starving farmers food in a basket by their door. Confused, I trailed them throughout the darkness as these ‘enemies of humanity’ brought food to the starving people of the area. In a single night, I saw more kindness from them than my entire life spent being shaped and molded to be a Hero for The Order.”
He ended the story with a sigh. Perhaps remembering the past was rough for him, who knows. But it didn’t have the desired effect on me that he probably was hoping for. In fact it just made me more critical of him. All that power, all that influence, and what did he do with it?
I cocked my head back in thought for a moment, then lowered it back down to regard him as I said,
“That’s a certainly a nice feel good story. Personally I always thought it was a dick move for The Order to send some lone guy out to take on the Demon Lord.” I said calmly, “But yeah, heart warming and all that. Just a little question, though. So you saw The Order basically mistreating and ignoring the hardships of your fellow Humans out there and you decide to fuck the organization over by helping the old ball and chain take over the world? Ever thought of a good ol’ fashioned revolution? Help the common people take back some power? Maybe even get a guy that chopped down a cherry tree as a consultant?”
He stared, as if flabbergasted by the idea, then snorted a laugh at me. “The common people? The peasants? They could not rule, let alone defend themselves. Yes, some are good-hearted, some wise and some even capable. But the idea of them ruling the land is laughable. They can hardly take care of their own, even The Order saw that. Human kind is flawed, weak, greedy and unkind. What we work towards is an unraveling of that. A reality of love and peace.”
Guess he really just lost all faith in Humanity. In the end to him perhaps the Maou’s plan was more of a path to revenge for the wrongs he saw then anything else. I frowned and shrugged.
“It’s been done before in my world. It’s how my country came to be. Don’t doubt the common people’s ability to rise above.”
The husband stared at me hard for a moment then said, “I retract my statement about you earlier. You really are a fool if you think Humanity can change for the better without Mamono, without being transformed.”
For some reason his insult stung me more than it should. I sneered at the former Hero and in an effort to avenge my bruised ego, replied sarcastically,
“Really? An enlightened conclusion coming from a guy who’s only job was to swing a piece of metal around and die for the cause. Why do I find it lacking?”
His visage turned deadly as he pulled the sword up to his side in a battle ready pose.
“Husband of my granddaughter or not, you need to be taught some manners.”
“I wouldn’t do that.” I replied while covertly pulling Winona out from her holster.
As he took a swing, I fired a couple of rounds and dove left. I didn’t know if any hit him so I decided a couple more shots couldn’t hurt. That time I could tell they landed and he seemed to pause slightly as the bullets phased through him.
I bravely made a run for it. Dashing though the hallways making random turns, I was hoping to lose him. Wherever I went, though, I could hear him not too far behind.
“Shit, there’s gotta be someplace to go other than here!” I mumbled to myself in a panic.
An odd sound make me look up to see a door that I could swear hadn’t been there before. I debated on opening it when heavy footsteps and growling made my decision for me as I quickly ran over and opened it.
Quickly shutting the door behind me, I turned to see something I would have never expected. I was in a hotel lobby! Not exactly like a Holiday Inn or a Best Western, no, this place had a classy 1980’s high end look to it. There were variously different kind of Mamono spread about doing their own thing, even a few couples here and there chatting away to each other. What was this place? Was I even still in the Maou’s castle?
My own self survival instinct slapped me in the face. Tall, dark and pissed was still after me, I had to get moving. Making my way quickly to the desk, I was stopped by a cute, smiling little blonde Succubus girl in a blue dress. She curtsied to me and said,
”Welcome to the Covet Corner Hotel! Are you checking in?”
Kneeling down I put a hand on her shoulder and asked with what was hopefully a calm voice,
“Little girl, a very bad man is trying to horribly murder me… please tell me there’s a back door to this place?”
Paling at my bluntness, she turned and pointed at an empty check in desk saying, “Umm… You should go talk to Gramps.”
Guess this scenario wasn’t covered in her orientation class.
Getting up, I breezed over to the desk, finding an older man stepping out from the back to greet me.
“Names Gramps, son. Now what’s all this about someone trying to kill you? You don’t have to worry about being harmed, you’re safe here.”
“Gramps, I’m Donnie and yeah I kinda do. I got the Maou’s hubby, El Incubus Primus on my ass, wanting to dice me up into sashimi. Please tell me you have another way out besides the way I came in?”
The ground trembled slightly around us as a faint roar echoed throughout the lobby.
“What in the hell did you say to get him that riled up?” Demanded the old-timer.
Crossing together my arms and shifting my eyes up in thought, I frowned saying, “I… uhhh… may have called his life choices into question… and uh, maybe his intelligence as well…”
Gramps peered at me while pressing his lips together tightly. After a few moments, he sighed and said, “Seems like you need to work on your people skills. Look, it doesn’t work like that here, son. If you go back out that door, you’ll just end up where you started.”
“Well that don’t work for me Gramps, cuz that way leads to a very painful death. Any other suggestions?” I pressed as my spidey sense warned of eminent impending doom.
”If you calm down, keep your head on straight and listen, I do have a-“
Another tremor shook the lobby, sending down debris and causing everyone present to gasp and cry out. The crystal chandelier above swung violently as the roar seemed louder this time.
Hearing a ding, I looked over to my left to see a modern-day elevator opening up. Now that might actually just get me further way from that homicidal nut job, I thought to myself.
Fuck it, I’m going for it!
”Thanks Gramps, you’ve been a big help!” I said while making a run for the closing doors.
”Wait! You can’t just go running-“ His shouts were cut off by the doors sealing shut.
Its a fucking hotel, guy. What’s the worst that could happen? I end up on the laundry floor?
According to the controls on the thing, the hotel had… over 100 different floors?! Well whatever, I thought as I pushed at random button. I felt the car rise rapidly until it suddenly slowed and dinged as the doors opened.
A blast of hot air hit me as a sandy desert loomed past the opening. How in the hell… Nope, sorry deserts aren’t my thing. There was an explosion of sand as a Sandworm surfaced suddenly nearby. It’s mouth opened and an attractive pink skinned woman stared at me from its maw as I looked at her in disbelief.
“Would you like a ride?” She asked shyly as clear mucous dripped from her body.
”Uh, no thanks,” I replied, hitting another random button as the doors shut and once again I was hauled upwards.
This time it opened up to a rainforest. It wasn’t too bad except when a swarm of vamp mosquito‘s decided they wanted me for lunch.
And by me, I mean my dick…
Jumping back inside the car, I jabbed rapidly at a button as the doors slowly closed. Multiple loud crashes on the other side told me the blood sucking gals wouldn’t be flying again anytime soon.
The traveling car lurched to a stop and streams of water started to gush through the crack of the double doors.
Oh shit, I had a bad feeling about this-
The doors pulled open as a wall of water crashed into the compartment. I didn’t have enough time to get a good gasp of breath as I was hurled out to an underwater coral reef. Stunned, I floated for a moment as a few aquatic Mamono looked on in horror. I spotted some making their way towards me but it would be too late. My burning lungs told me I had to hurry my ass up and do something fast or die. Pulling myself back inside, I smashed at the controls and was rewarded by the doors closing. Thankfully the water started to drain as white stars flashed before my eyes giving me the best light show of my life.
Gasping lungfuls of air, I choked and coughed as I laid on the tiled floor. There was no way I could keep doing this, I almost died. Whatever this place and/ or elevator was, it was deadly to someone who had no idea how to use it. I think maybe that’s what Gramps was trying to warn me about.
The doors opened again but instead of a deadly landscape or horny critters, an old man with a soured expression met my eyes.
“Don’t you ‘Sup Gramps’ me,” He growled as he pulled me up, “You’ve been running a muck around my hotel, scaring my guests and almost getting yourself killed!”
“Almost only counts with horse shoes and hand grenades.” I joked as he dragged me out into the lobby.
“Not by my count,” Gramps grumbled as he hauled me over to the large wooden front door, “I sent your friend off on a wild goose chase to one of our best spa. That should give you some time to make yourself scare as well as maybe calm him down enough to where he won’t kill you. Though I don’t make any promises on the last one!”
“Wow really? You rock, Gramps! How can I ever repay you?” I asked with a smile.
Opening the door, the old-timer glared hard at me and said, “Never come back here again and I’ll call it even.”
He shoved me though the doorway.
Later that evening, I was summoned for a little chat with Maou ma.
”Rumor around the castle is that you and my husband were involved in an altercation with each other that spread even to the Covet Corner Hotel…” The Maou said conversationally as she sat at her desk.
I grimaced at memory but shouldn’t have been surprised that she found out. At least her hubby now probably had better cuticles then she did. I felt like I deserved at least a ‘thank you’ for that one.
“You know there was a slight… misunderstanding… it’s all good now,” I said lying my pants off to the Demon Lord herself.
She made some noncommittal noise as she continued writing in that book of hers. I was a little curious about what she was writing. Maybe doing some memoirs? Maybe she got a book deal? Hell, with all the shit I’ve been though, I need to get me one of those. Sell out and cash in. Get a nice little ranch or something out in the country with Romie. Have them make a shitty movie out of it that will have all the nerds and movie critics getting their panties in a bind…
As I toured around the room, a metallic cup sitting on a nearby table caught my eye. Walking over to it, I picked up the cup… no I guess you could call it a goblet to examine. The thing had a slender neck with a Lamia coiling around it, her eyes staring back seductively at me. The base of it was quite broad with incredibly detailed, tiny figures of men, women and Mamono all getting it on in a wild orgy.
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the Maou’s dinnerware was also lewd as fuck.
“What are you doing with that?!” She suddenly shouted at me.
Looking over I saw that she had risen from her desk and had a look of almost panic on her face.
“What? I’m just looking at your cup!” I exclaimed back, “It’s not like I’m not gonna break it.”
She stared at me for a moment, seemingly forcing herself to calm down. After a few minutes she said in a low, dangerous voice, “Put it back where you found it and never touch it again.”
“Jesus fine, I won’t touch your sippy cup.” I mumbled angrily to myself.
”You’ve been in contact with her again.” The Maou stated suddenly as she watched as I carefully put back down her porn chalice.
I didn’t need to know who “her” was when it came to the Maou and the topic of her BFF.
“Yeah, she hit me up in a dream again last night.” I said calmly as I could, resuming my walk around.
“Oh?” She said with a raised eyebrow, “Did anything… untoward happen?”
The Maou herself dancing around the topic of sexual assault, now that’s a first.
“No,” I frowned and shrugged, “We just talked.”
“She… offered me something… and I turned her down.”
“I see,” The Maou said slowly, “Well it’s not to be unexpected. One of my Demons did steal away a couple young Hero trainees yesterday, I’m sure that did not sit well with her.”
Was that the real reason why? Or did she actually have feelings for me? I had to wonder if all this wasn’t some kind of fucked up daytime soap opera battle between her and the Maou?
“Exactly how young?” I asked with some trepidation, trying to distract myself from the questions that I would never have the answers to.
”The boy is 15 and the girl, 16. Barely ripened fruit but it seems Acacia couldn’t wait anymore. In fact, she maybe taking their virginities as we speak.”
”I guess age of consent is a moot point for you guys.” I remarked pointedly.
”Pleasure knows no age, nor requires consent, Donnie.” She purred seductively in return.
“Whatever.” I replied giving her a dirty look, “Why did you want to see me?”
“I have a… request of you.” She said almost painfully.
Huh, Maou ma hitting me up with a ‘can you do me a favor,’ this had to be good.
“I have learned of an event, far into the future. One that will cause the deaths of many people, both Human and Mamono. “ The Maou stated.
“And how do you know all this?” I asked suspiciously.
“How I know is not what’s important,” She said evasively, “What is that we prevent the event from occurring.”
”Oh it’s “we” now? When did I sign up to be on Team Maou?” I asked sarcastically.
She suddenly appeared right in front of me and grabbed my throat, her eyes turning blood-red. The demonic pressure she radiated around us was crushingly intense as she lifted me up on my tiptoes, she growled, “Is it that you think of nothing but insults in your day? I have continually suffered your disrespectful attitude, your snubs and contempt in good humor, because your are my granddaughter’s husband but no more.
I could barely breathe as I gripped her wrists trying to pry her hands off my throat. As the Demon Lord, her strength was immeasurable, I knew that I didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell and she could very easily snap my neck if she wanted.
“What I speak of concerns lives, real lives! Or do you see all of this as nothing but a jest?”
“Erzk! Nnerrro!” I managed to struggle out as she tightened her hold my windpipe.
Releasing me, I fell back coughing and gasping as she walked back to writing on the ever-present book on her desk while mumbling to herself,
“We are extremely fortunate that the event takes place almost exactly in your current alternative time space, albeit on the other side of the country. I will have to have her address that… perhaps move you… Yes and she will need to be in that area as well to take it from you. Curses that’s not enough, though! Still too many possibilities against them. The other, she will need more help before hand. Perhaps Dam’s sword? Oh well, he never uses the thing anyway, he just walks around with it, making himself feel important. There that should do it…”
Placing a hand on my throat, I felt for any signs of harm. Surprisingly enough there was nothing but for the first time, I feared her. She had called me out and I lost.
At the time, I didn’t understand what she was going on about. It was almost like she was verbally setting up pieces on a chess board. Little did I know how right my musings were.
“Would you have killed me?” I said as the last flame of defiance flickered in me.
“You needed a reality check. To know that life and death past your own is no less important, no less meaningful.” She said simply, closing the book and walking back over to me. I looked to her with a glare. Fuck this bitch! I saved more lives than she could ever know. Who was she to spout out that bullshit? But was she going to finish the job, I wondered absently.
Sighing, she grabbed me by the arm and said.
“Will you help me save lives?”
“Do I have a choice?” I asked, slightly wondering if the question would set her off again.
“We all have choices, Donnie. It’s what we do with those choices that define us.” She said calmly, all trace of her rage gone.
“…What do you need me to do” I asked after a few moments.
“For now, nothing. I will need the night to prepare. We can’t wait until the gateway is built as it would both take too long and be in the wrong space-time. Therefore I will need to send your consciousness to your other body back on Earth.”
”Wait, what do you mean by that?” I asked, concerned.
”As I told you before, you are a sliver between our two worlds. In order for this to work, I will need to “push” you back to Earth.”
”Um, okay, but are you going to send Romie with me too?”
“No, I would only be able to send you, unfortunately. Dimensional sending is one of the most difficult and energy intensive magic’s one can evoke.” She said, staring past me to her porn chalice.
“So how do I get back then?”
It was ironic, what I dreamed of for so long, a way back home was now something I didn’t want. At least not without Romie by my side.
“By the time you arrive, you should encounter a future version of me. The time space you currently occupy on Earth is slightly more advanced than what would be when the gateway would open. The “future” me will be able to “push” you back here.”
I shook my head, confused as hell to what she was saying.
I flinched as she laid a hand on my shoulder. “I… I’m sorry Donnie. I know you have no reason to trust me and sadly I have nothing to say or offer to change that save for one thing. In all that you know of me, of what you’ve heard, the rumor and the lies, tell me. Have I ever killed before?”
I shook my head, no.
“Above all else I cherish life, Donnie. I cherish my families happiness as well. I promise, you will be reunited with Romie.”
I eventually agreed to her request. It was the second most foolish mistake I had ever made in my life…
We were gathered in an empty throne room as the Maou looked over to Romie and said,
”Now child, this will seem frightening with what I am about to do. But fear not, he will experience no pain.”
Releasing her grip on me, my Cheshire kissed me deeply before I walked up to stand before the Demon Lord herself.
“Can I get that part in writing?” I mumbled apprehensively as she gripped my shoulders with her hands. Leathery wings spread out from behind and wrapped around me so that I could see nothing but her as she looked me straight in the eye and said,
”I need you to wake up.”
”I am awake?” I said to her, confused.
”Wake up!” She said again only louder, shaking me a bit as her grasp tightened. I’ll admit I felt a kind of pressure building up around us that made me want to pop my ears. But whatever the Maou was doing, obviously wasn’t working.
“I am!” I angrily yelled back at her, seriously what was her problem?
“Damn it. Well, Plan B it is then.” She said under her breath as she brought up her palm up and said quietly to me,
”Wake the fuck up, Donnie.” Smacking me hard in the forehead with it, I found myself falling backwards, but slowly as if I were going through molasses. Time itself slowed to a crawl as I looked back and saw Romie’s face. She was yelling something at me but I couldn’t figure out what. It was then everything faded to black.
I awoke, finding myself floating in a sea of stars once more. Below me laid a blue and green world… their world.
“Space… the final frontier…” said a familiar voice.
I looked over to see Patrick Steward in his signature red and black Star Fleet uniform, floating besides me.
He offered me a smile and wave before a flash of light overtook him. From that, another familiar voice spoke.
”Oh everybody loves Picard,” The light pouted before it became another recognizable figure.
“Wait, you’re …”
“Yes, yes it’s me.” He said with a smug smile. “I doubt you’ll remember this, but I wanted to finally meet you before sending you back on your way. Now that I have, I must say I’m not very impressed. I honestly thought having you on this planet would cause much more chaos, such a shame, really. As to why the other one down there has taken an interest in you is beyond me and this coming from an omnipotent being.”
I stared at him in absolute shock as he talked. There was no possible way this was happening. He rolled his eyes at me in disgust at my disbelief and said,
”Well this is boring, but let me offer you a bit of advice if you ever do end up remembering our little rendezvous….”
He snapped his fingers and a flash of light enveloped him again as he became a 1980’s era Bill Murray. Floating over, he placed a hand on my chest and whispered into my ear, “…They’ll never believe you.”
With a rough push, I found myself once again traveling through a tunnel made of stars.