Those at the world’s end are born for the hunt. For the lands of monsters and ice, where no crops grow and the Demon Lord’s influence has yet to arrive, they have to be. The Old Age still reigned, that of monsters who thirst for blood rather than carnal lust, and in the lands of the world’s end, where no matter how strong the lone wolf still dies, only the strongest and wisest warbands survive, no matter human or not.
The civilized world knew of hunting well. Alone or in groups, with stealth or assault, the craft had evolved into a fine art. In the uncharted wilderness of neverending winter, however, a simple hunting party would not do.
A deafening shriek tore through the wind, like the howling screams of a hundred thousand souls trapped in the ether, each one screaming louder than the last. Ear-drilling as it was, loud enough to be heard from kilometres upon kilometres away, the two hundred stampeding riders hearing it in all its painful clarity flinched not a muscle, no matter man or mount.
“The wyvern caught whiff of us already.” Said Erik, a man of ancient age with the darkest strands of hair in his head still whiter than the snow, raising his voice to a mad shout by the sheer chaotic cacophony of their gallop. Lumps of snow had collected on his hair, hair of enough length to reach well past his shoulders, with a beard of equal length and whiteness.
Upon the great distance, all saw a great shape taking flight; a giant in size comparable to a small castle, the two-headed wyvern of their chase, followed by a great many smaller wyverns of singular heads taking flight behind it. Over a dozen monsters in total, aware of the only other living souls kilometres away.
“Keep going forward!” Ordered Krakk as he raised his axe.
Far younger than Erik, his hair had not yet lost its color, remaining vibrant chestnut tied into numerous thick braids, as so too was his beard. As were the men of Freiksgaard, he, Erik, and all others remained mastodons in appearance, not only by the thick mixture of fur and scales their mountains of clothing consisted of, but so too in the tremendous mass of their bodies. Musculature and flesh enough to survive not only the harsh conditions of the endless winter, but the harsher beasts thriving in it. Even the ancient Erik, age already marking his last few decades, carried upon him the appearance of a brutal dwarf of old had it been stretched in both height and width proportionally to two meters tall.
Their mounts fared the same aesthetic. Horses, they were not; such docile creatures of the civilized world would not survive a week, starving with no crops if the winter didn’t kill them within a day. Too fragile, too tame, even if bred for a hundred generations. Only the beasts in the frozen landscape at the end of the world would do, and though taming them had been a near-impossible task, to tame them they did: Their mounts were the dire wolves of Freiksgaard, tall as a horse and musculature to match, mastodons to normal wolves as were the men of Freiksgaard to any other. Near-rabid, feral yet disciplined, readied for war with saddle and a great many javelins strapped to their sides, each a worthy mount for worthy men to be sent against worthy beasts.
Close enough, the wyverns had begun chase, taking speed towards the cavalry Krakk led.
“Turn back!” He ordered, waving his axe up high for all to see. “Turn back! Drag them to the main force!”
The block-formation of men on their wolves began to turn, never losing speed as it changed direction till they had begun running the way they came from, wyverns chasing fast behind them; the hunters had become the hunted in that moment, be it a willing action or not.
The ‘main force’ caught up, men without mounts yet in great formations reminiscent of an army, and an army it had to be for the beasts of the Old Age. Spearmen in block-formations, each over two hundred strong, rushing forward along with those who carried javelins on hand and on their backs instead. Though two hundred riders still were a great sight to behold, still they remained eclipsed to the thousand infantry arriving.
Through the great gaps between each company, the wolves galloped to safety, infantry halting and steeling themselves against the incoming foe; with the wyverns unknown to have any breath like the frost dragons shrouded in myth and legends, only a brutal, messy clash of tooth and iron awaited them all.
The first wyvern descended, a whelp despite the size of a great house, crashing against the formations of infantry and hurling a great many away, leaving its desire to devour the wolves aside for its newfound prey. At that very instant, a loud warcry escaped the towering men armed with spear and javelin, swarming it as it fought with mouth and tail. All threw and thrust to puncture its cold, permafrost-like skin with spearpoint and projectile, just to leave mere scratches and flesh wounds. Two more wyverns then descended in equal destructive manner elsewhere, to meet the same greeting of blades and piercing ends. Those who did not descend, remained flying above in circles like vultures.
“Come down, you worthless pest!” Taunted Krakk to the sky above, outline of the two-headed wyvern pressed against the sun behind it.
As if answering his call, from its graceful glide it took speed downwards, flying away only to return like a slingshot. With Krakk moving aside as the rest of his cavalry did, just barely did they avoid the crushing claws of the two-headed wyvern as it crashed against the ground. It slid against the snow a considerable distance, like a great boulder off a trebuchet striking against the soil, shaking the earth with a cataclysmic earthquake and deafening cacophony.
All wolfmen scattered in all directions, two-headed wyvern lunging at whichever unfortunate soul lied closest with tooth and claw. Yet, no order did Krakk need to shout for all to begin circling the beast as they galloped, all keeping their distance as well as they could to throw their javelins to their fullest strength. Just barely could Krakk keep balance on his wolf with the earthquake caused by each of the wyvern’s steps, shrieks destroying any focus other than the basic instinct to fight; tall it stood like a miniature castle, javelins glancing off its steel-like frost leather, leaving only cracks and marks upon hit, yet greater foes had long been felled with worse methods and equal determination.
But as he was about to take a javelin from the side of his wolf, the wyvern spun in place. The last thing Krakk had seen was its tail’s whipping motion across the snow, shoveling away snow and rider alike no matter what ended up caught in its wake.
Coughing the snow in his throat out and grabbing on for dear life, he found himself clinging against its tail as it so wildly moved about in combat with those who still rode. So too he found himself staring at a few others of his kin, staring back as they fared the same fate, all clinging against its tail. But the wyvern did not notice, skin too thick and armored.
Even past his gloves, he could feel the chilling frost of its skin, siphoning off all heat it could find. Like a cliffside of protruding rocks, Krakk and the others climbed on and on despite such erratic movements of combat, going from its tail to its back, and with his axe gripped tightly in hand, Krakk moved ever closer to its neck. As the creature roared with its two heads, as if taunting those ahead, Krakk found the opportunity to let go of the scales and stand on his feet, bringing his axe up and, with a furious cry, bring it down towards its neck.
Thud. Almost cracking his ribs, the other head of the wyvern rammed against him in the nick of time, almost sending him off to the ground had he not found one of its horns to grip. Just barely did he manage to cling with his whole body against the horn, just as the wyvern began shaking its head about in an attempt to throw him away. Bloodflow flooding into his head by the movements, only to drain downwards by an erratic change, repeated over and over till the wyvern smashed its head against the snow. He still clung on, finding the layers upon layers of snow serving to cushion the against the blow, layers which half-stuck to him after impact.
God knew where his axe had disappeared to, but still he saw a chance as the wyvern now remained distracted with the others on its back attempting the same. Taking out his dagger of a size comparable to a short sword or machete, he waited till the moment was right. Opportunity now presenting itself as the wyvern’s head lunged against another Freiksgaardian, Krakk used the momentum and, holding onto the horn one-handed, extended himself forward and stabbed the wyvern in the eye, which immediately let out a deafening, pained scream. whipping its body side to side and rolling, Krakk could no longer hold, sliding the sword out as the wyvern stamped him against the cushioning snow. Dug into his own hole, safe and sound as far as deadly combat with a wyvern went, he sat up to see it taking flight and escaping, along with the other single-headed wyverns.
“…Come back, you little shit!” He ranted, standing up and extending his arms aside. But it did not answer, flying further and further away as he let his arms drop. Little by little, the ringing in his ears caused by its howl subsided, allowing him to pick up the relative lack of chaos around him. True enough, combat had ended in such anticlimatic note; as he glanced around, he found his army gathering around the fallen wyverns, most either gazing in awe or involving themselves in the preparations to carry it back.
Then, Krakk’s wolf walked back to him, carrying in its mouth the poleaxe-sized axe. Freiksgaardian wolves, majestic creatures of near endless failed taming attempts since generations ago till now, raised together with its rider for a lifetime bond. Chuckling to himself of seeing it still alive, extremely hard to kill as all things Freiksgaardian were, he swung his sword in the air to get rid of the blue wyvern blood, cleaned it with a rag’s pass, sheathed it, and took back his axe. As he ruffled the hair on the wolf’s head, it gave in return a happy whine as its tail swung from side to side. Then, he marched to the side and jumped on the saddle once more.
“Krakk, Krakk!” Shouted Erik afar, arriving in a rush. “I fear the wyverns were running from something else. We’ve got an army heading our way from the north-east.”
“For sure they aren’t ours! I’ve never seen those damned things ever before in my life!”
“…Cavalry!” He shouted, raising his axe in signal. “With me! Infantry, form up and hold!”
His wolfmen followed as he took speed, even those who just now returned to their mounts after riding the wyvern instead. The stampede began anew, moving through the forming infantry blocks and fallen wyvern corpses that littered the earth, till they got out of the land the army stood at. There they saw on the horizon, an army not unlike theirs of seemingly-human infantry, along with a detachment of riders galloping their way in turn. Vultures, he thought, those who must’ve waited till the heavy lifting had finished to sweep in.
Bears. The other army’s cavalry had consisted of them, pristine clean white fur, with riders on top much like Krakk’s cavalry. Yet, the closer they got, the more they found details of their riders; human in form, body encased in as many clothes as Krakk and the others. Hair much like a human’s, long and flowing down with their light chestnut color, though their skin gave away their clear inhumanity: blue as a frozen lake, all of them with the white of their eyes replaced instead by pitch black darkness, along with a pair of horns on each of varying sizes and shapes. Most striking still, Krakk and Erik found why they sported such clean-shaven faces: They were all women.
At least, all shared those traits save for one single individual at the front; the one leading the group.
The closer the two groups converged, the slower they advanced, slowing down to a mere march till just a few meters away from each other they halted. An abrupt silence engulfed all as their mounts ended their gallop, staring at each other, rabid canine against rabid ursine sharing what traits of strength and ferocity one would find in any animal life in such unforgiving environment.
“Well, hello… You look like a fine gentleman.” Taunted the odd one out, revealing her grin of serrated teeth. Contrary to the others, her hair lacked any color; rather, it flowed as white as the bears they rode, as the snow over the world, tied into numerous braids starting from the height of her eyes and lower. Tribalistic runes lied upon her skin, all of a cyan color running by her cheeks and neck, leaving hint for more down the skin her clothing covered. He saw her horns curved forward, aggressive as her demeanor, and behind her he spotted a thick tail ending in a spade, all of such bright white color.
“Who the…” Krakk asked, unable to unglue his eyes from hers. Crystalline red contrasting against the black of her sclera, shining bright as if they emanated their own dim light despite her hair almost hiding them. And, as Erik glanced about, he found that the one with white hair had been the only one with such eye color, all others with a blue just as crystalline. Still, it evoked no fear, but rather curiosity; what would a bunch of human-sized beasts evoke compared to the titans they had felled since decades ago? “What the hell are you?”
“I am Yanhildr,” she said, bowing exaggeratedly with her palm open by her belly and other extended to the side, before straightening up once more, “nineteenth daughter of the Demon Lord. Sir, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. How may I be of service to you…?”
Taunt after taunt, Krakk immediately lost interest, replacing raised eyebrows in wonder with a frown that’d make little children run in terror. Had her tone of voice not been enough to go against her words, so too did her bear let out a rough grunt, as if starving for battle.
“Name’s Krakk.” He said, quick and blunt. “Where did you come from? What are you doing here?”
“Oh, we’re just passing by. Figured we might stick around for a couple centuries, admire the scenery…” She joked, for there was nothing but snow. “Have a little fun with the local wildlife. Beautiful weather, isn’t it?”
“You can fuck right off back the way you came from then, miss.” He retorted, crossing his arms. “You really think you can waltz in and hunt our beasts?”
Silent, the lilim kept her grin before lowering her head to chuckle. Soon it grew on and on in intensity, becoming a mad laughter before silencing herself.
“Do you really think I’ll get pushed around by the likes of you, human?” She answered. “Ahhhh, but there’s no hate in my heart… I can pretend I never heard that. A show of good faith, just for you!”
“You had your warning. Don’t come crying to me when I figure your head will look nice on my wall.”
“Lovely…” She said, rough tone of deviancy and lust. “I already can’t wait. See you soon, my sweet.”
With a gesture of her hand, the demons with her turned their mounts and began walking away with her, soon to turn to a gallop. Still cross-armed, Krakk stared on as they left, following with his eyes till the bearwomen reunited with their army, so too turning and marching away.
“Have you really not seen anything like them before?” He asked, turning his head to Erik.
“If I asked all the way back to the first Freiksgaardian, I assure you they’d answer the same.”
“Bah. We better go back home with what we’ve got, I don’t want a blizzard encasing us in ice again.”
The same ordeal fell upon them, to track the wyverns down once more. Not a week after the attack, Krakk had led his men to a land of hills eternal, as if a furious God had stomped in rage to leave a cataclysmic geography for the snow to fill. Little could they see save for the few moments they marched over the hilltops, still to be blocked by ever greater hills ahead, and with the risk of the wyvern or any of its dozens of relatives catching glimpse of them.
Then, a loud cry afar, knowing it to be from that which they fought a week ago. At first notice he raised his arm and halted, prompting all others to do the same. A loud piercing cry, not of fury and hatred as back then, but twisted and wavering, joined in chorus by the voices of a few other of its kin.
“It sounds in pain. Are my ears deceiving me?”
“Mine must be too, then.”
A gesture forward with his raised hand, and his wolfmen followed him in full gallop forward. Up ahead stood the greatest hill forming a ridge, an invaluable vantage point to see the surroundings and the wyvern in the middle of Lord knew what. Combat against a greater beast warband, mayhaps.
One by one skylining against the ridge, all came to see up ahead the source of the shrieks. The wyverns, captured, surrounded. Immediately Krakk recognized them by their small size and great numbers compared to the other beasts, Yanhildr’s army which had managed to subdue and immobilize with rope the wyverns against the ground without apparent casualty on either side. And yet, the most baffling detail of all that the riders could see was the show of lights emanating from the dismounted lilim, surrounding the wyverns like a dark-violet aurora borealis, like glinting dust dancing in the air as the wyverns cried on and on.
And then, the dark mist in the air dissipated as if the wind had blown it away. Immediately all stepped back, just as the wyverns tore through the rope and took flight. The flap of their wings, Krakk could almost feel them from so far away as he saw a shockwave of snow be shot away under the feet of their captors. With a gust of wind, the wyverns flew off, agility and speed the wolfmen had all believed impossible even from such titanic monstrosities. No matter their inability to comprehend, Krakk knew the connection to the lilim’s actions, having let go of them so easily too.
Without a word, Krakk took speed forward with his wolf for all others to follow down the ridge. Didn’t take long for the others to react to their presence, seeing the army up ahead forming up, the lilim mounting up and riding towards the wolves with her own cavalry joining in.
Right at the foot of the hill on even terrain, the two groups converged. Much as the bulk of both forces halted a short distance from the other, Krakk and Yanhildr took a few steps forward to the center of the gathering, soon to circle each other.
“Of all the insects I expected to meet today, you were not one.” She greeted, voice ever showing her taunting and aggressive demeanor complementing her grin of serrated teeth. “But I’m so glad you came back…”
“What did you do to the wyverns?”
“Those poor little things? I gave them a little push… It’s so boring to hunt pesky rats around here, so I might as well strengthen them a bit to be a challenge. Maybe we’ll see them again in a couple weeks.”
“Oh, I forgot about you people. Maybe I ended up making that wyvern too strong for you, so be a dear and give us adults a call next time you see it.”
The circling finished, leaving the two beside each other at arm’s reach, with him achieving an unnervingly close gaze into her inhuman eyes. As if taunting him, eyes narrowed with her cheeks rising by her smile, Krakk’s spirit knew no fear, but anger instead.
“What did I tell you the last time we met?” He asked, tone growing rougher and lower.
“Something forgettable, I’m sure.”
“Are you looking for a fight this badly?”
“Perhaps I am. Why else would I strengthen those wyverns, after all? But don’t get me wrong though, boy… It’ll hardly be a fight if you try anything on me.”
“So you’re a pansy tryhard, eh?” He retorted, gaining the chuckles of a great many of his group. At the same time, he rode off around her till he remained in front, wolf growling at the growling bear. “Little girl looking so badly to get slapped around!”
“You’ve got spirit, boy!” She exclaimed. “Think you can get that spirit to do anything but talk?”
“The beasts around will do a well enough job of eating your carcass, with how you’re helping them. I’ll just need to pick up your skull once they’re done and tell the children back home what happens to tryhards. Assuming there’s anything left of you.”
“Oh? You’re not scared, are you?” She asked, to then extend her arms aside. “Come on, hit me! And let me taste your fear!”
“Figured as much.” She lowered her arms.
“I don’t feel like stealing the spoils from whatever beast is gonna eat your little band. Food is hard to come by here, can’t let them starve to death, no?”
“Pfff. Killjoy.” At that moment, she crossed her arms and remained silent. She then turned her eyes as she inspected him from top to bottom, grin remaining as devious as it ever was before she bit her lower lip for a second. “But then again…” she said, tone lowering to an almost sensual softness and calm, “perhaps your kin would be a fine hunt after all. You hunt monsters, do you not? Here we are in front of you. Are you really not going to make a move…?”
The bears of the demons past her began growling, atmosphere growing tense with the demons themselves gripping spear and javelin tighter, with those unarmed fidgeting their fingers ready to grab onto their weapons at a moment’s notice. Seeing it all, the wolves growled back in reaction, with the Freiksgaardians readying themselves in equal manner.
“Two armies. Hunters hunting hunters.” She continued, gazing deep into his eyes. “It’s almost too good to let pass…”
A tense moment followed of silence and nothingness, before Krakk loudly exhaled through his nose. There he raised his arm in gesture to his wolfmen, just as he took speed the way he came from.
“You were supposed to be brave… noble!” Taunted Yanhildr out loud, seeing Krakk join the cavalry which turned about and slowly left. “Yet you run away like a pathetic coward!”
But Krakk remained ignorant of her, as did the others. Yanhildr then snickered, raising her arm and gesturing in signal as she turned about, marching the way she came from with the others, both groups abandoning the grounds they had met in.
His footsteps echoed within the longhouse, allowed such luxury by the solemn silence and calm within. Timber shielding against the freezing elements outside, the furious howling of the wind and the merciless heavy snowing outside remained as comfortable background noise against the architecture, warm and cozy in each corner with the warmth of the lit hearth at the center.
By the lengthy table past the hearth, Krakk stood. With his palms resting on the table, he stared on and on at the map each of his hands flanked; so much focus did he stare with, in fact, that he could not even notice Erik’s steps coming closer till he left a steaming bowl of stew by his side. The aroma immediately hypnotized him, stomach growling in an instant upon glance to the little wyvern meat chunks mixed in with the ingredients.
“Found anything?” Asked Erik as he sat down, picking the chair opposite to the one beside Krakk.
“No, everyone’s coming back empty-handed.” Answered Krakk. Remaining on his feet, he gave his stew a few stirs with his spoon before taking a bite. “Still waiting on a few.” He added, mouth full.
Just as he gulped down, the door swung open, letting in a furious howl and an equally mad downpour of snow before the one entering swung it back shut. “Boss.” He greeted, taking off his fur-lined helmet and marching to the two.
“Aye.” Answered Krakk, leaving his bowl down and resting his palms by the map once more.
“We got back from the fjord to the glaciers, and we didn’t find anything.”
Grabbing a few figurines which had rested beside the map, Krakk hovered his hand about to find the fjord. Freiksgaard lied before him on paper, a titanic continent-sized territory able to swallow the biggest nations in the world twice over, though still all of it remained as nigh-uninhabitable mountains and ice, population just barely rivalling a diminute kingdom. At the far northern reaches, just on the edge of the crudely-drawn map, Krakk found and placed the figurine on the fjord connecting to the map’s edge, leading to glaciers and glaciers alone.
“How many left?” Asked Erik, taking another bite.
“Titanwurm’s Pit.” He answered, pointing his finger at one specific detail of the map. “The guys I sent there should’ve returned way earlier than those to the fjord. No way a random bunch of beasts got the best of those guys, it had to be Yanhildr.”
“Should I spread the word that we’re leaving for Titanwurm’s Pit?” Asked the Freiksgaardian still with them.
“Yes.” Answered Krakk. “I want everyone organized for tomorrow.”
“Aye, boss.” He answered, soon to put his helmet back on and march away.
The gargantuan cavern entry greeted them by the mountain’s feet, with a howling echo returning the wailing of the wind sneaking within. Titanic as it was, true to the old inhabitant’s name, diameter great enough to accommodate an entire army by its full width without issue. Much as Krakk and Erik stared within, their wolfmen so too caught in silence gaze, they saw nothing but the little crystalline protrusions gleaming with enough light to dimly illuminate the enormous corridor.
Taking an army into a cavern. Not the brightest idea he ever had, yet as he glanced about, he saw the blizzard worsening further. Already did Erik’s beard look like a solid block that could be shattered with a hammer, and setting up camp would do no good. Not even the great titanwurm could have survived the cold out here, in the unforgiving north.
“Are we waiting on something?” Asked Erik, impatient. Lord knew how impatient the rest of the army behind them must’ve felt.
“Think there’s any other place those things could’ve taken shelter in?”
“Unlikely. It’s only mountains and valleys from here.”
Shaking the snow off his arm, he raised it to his head as shield to look up to the blizzard up high. Not even their home could withstand such torture; even under his heavy clothes and scarf that covered most of his face, he couldn’t fight back against the shivering. Too cold, enough for him to be surprised if he threw water off his canteen into the air without it freezing into chunks before it hit the ground; in fact, it’d surprise him if it didn’t freeze already.
Upon taking the first step into the ancient disturbed earth of the tunnel, the rest followed with exceptional eagerness. Despite the rush, the cavern still stood with a size enough to prevent any would-be traffic from those who so dearly wished to avoid the cold at any cost. By the time they crossed the point where the snow no longer fell upon them, reaching true shelter within, the merciless cold subsided upon their flesh and cloth; though still the howling winds chilled their bones, with each step forward it eased down little by little. Now, all that could be heard from the wind had been reduced to the mere muffled noise far behind them, growing silent the further they walked as their steps took over in ambient noise.
“Scouts. Forward.” He ordered, to see no delay before a few wolfmen rode forward in all haste, down the dimly-lit home of the long-perished beast.
“I’d be surprised if they return.” Said Erik.
In return, Krakk turned his head to show a raised eyebrow.
“They know we’re coming, no?” He continued with a shrug. “Hard to miss this many lads at your doorstep.”
“Not like we’d have much to return to. With the blizzard outside, we’re stuck here for good. Our only chance of survival is killing whatever’s inside before it kills us.”
“Is it ever any different…?” He sighed, pained and irritated as he shook his head with eyes still aimed forward.
As they marched, drumming of their footsteps drilling into his ears with how little variety of ambience presented itself, Krakk couldn’t help but glance about. So did those of the army who had never visited such eerie place; only Erik and a few others one could count in hand retained any memory of it all. The crystals, however, Krakk could make no sense of. Natural geographic landmarks, perhaps, yet not even a mere rumor had he ever heard of their existence. Past a point the sun’s light stopped shining upon them, or what little it had shone without ever rising other than a miniscule amount over the horizon, they still could see well through the blue color of the crystals.
“What are these things…?”
“They weren’t here back then, that’s all I know.” Answered Erik.
Little by little they advanced, no word from the scouts so far yet with the crystals ever increasing in frequency. The further they marched, the more the farthest reach of the tunnel seemed to gleam, with ever greater formations standing by their way.
Far up ahead, they saw the silhouettes, all stamped against a great brightness they couldn’t make out much behind. Drawing ever closer, they found them to be the scouts from before, remaining still on their mounts gazing far up ahead.
Krakk found first-hand what they motionlessly stood gazing at, as so did Erik and those who arrived after them, none sharing an expression other than surprise and awe as the great brightness showered them in its blinding light. They had reached the end of the tunnel, ending on a cliffside overlooking a gargantuan pit extending down to the infinite depths, yet so too extending upwards in the shape of a massive, almost city-sized dome. Crystals littered the walls and ceiling of all they could glance at, with the greatest formation resting at the very top like a shining ceiling light, flooding it all with even greater strength than that of the Freiksgaardian sun; a warm light of life, for wherever it gleamed, life remained. Rather than the brick-solid soil only a titanwurm could dig through, a neverending expanse of flora lush with life covered the walls and the floors, from the tiniest blades of grass to the man-sized leaves of vines greedily extending throughout the dozens upon dozens of caverns littered about, similar to the one they entered through. A paradoxical scenery trapped within the ice deserts of Hell frozen over, like that of an oasis in the cold, unforgiving wastes.
Up there, he saw her. One by one, all found those over their altitude, in a cavern entrance at the opposite side of the pit: Yanhildr and her demons, looking at them on their mounts like a mirrored version of themselves. Upon Krakk and Yanhildr locking eyes, just as how both cavalries did, Yanhildr raised her palm and blew him a kiss before turning about and marching away with the rest.
Eye twitching in annoyance, Krakk soon turned his gaze to his surroundings. The cliffside they had ended up in connected to numerous roads alongside the abyss, leading high up or down low towards numerous other caverns of the same kind. Well-crafted into the earth, spacious enough for his army to travel in column with no great issue.
“How far do you think the tunnels go?”
“Oh boy…” Sighed Erik. “If I remember well how easily that damned thing dug around, probably too big for us to explore in our lifetimes.”
“Boss, eyes left!”
Krakk and Erik snapped their eyes towards where the scout pointed, to see in another cavernous entrance several silhouettes scurrying away, out of sight. Little could they pick up in details, other than them not being Yanhildr’s demons.
“Knew this place looked too well-maintained for its size.” Muttered Krakk, giving a quick glance at the abyss’ surroundings. There he found a path, comprising a great plain by the front of a cavern entrance to the left side of the tunnel-like pit, between their position and the last where Yanhildr had been seen. “With me!” He ordered, gesturing forward as he stepped out of the tunnel, to turn left for the road.
An eerie sensation plagued him, worsened by the massive scale of the cavern network within. The road itself, narrow in comparison to the rest, still remained so titanic in size that not a man felt any fear of heights with how far away the edge stood. The scale remained of such magnitude that, if they took the scenario of walking over the road by a mountain’s side, they’d be the size of ants in equivalence; what the ant would be in that mountainside, now they were here in the home of the dead titanwurm. Inevitably, so too did the length of the road match the awful sensation. Like ants stuck in a dead human’s home, marching their way forward through the grassy field.
“More of them.” Said Erik, for Krakk to follow where he glanced about and see more and more silhouettes by the tunnel entrances all around them. All, differing from the demons. And yet there they stood, silent, watching, immobile from their spots, too far for them to pick up the details of their physiology.
Halfway to their destination, they reached the next tunnel by the left of the abyss from where they started. The road had opened into a great plain in front of the tunnel, as if carved out to accommodate a small city. But, as they marched past it, Krakk couldn’t help but sense something. Immediately he raised his hand forcing the army to halt, and upon exchanging a glance with Erik, both knew that they weren’t the only ones feeling the strangeness that caught their minds.
Noises. Too far away, yet of such intensity to be heard despite the distance, reduced to muffled vibrations alone. However, it did not stand in place, but instead neared with each passing second.
All, coming from the tunnel to their left.
“Shields! Form line!”
At his command, a shout in acknowledgment escaped those who rushed forward. Sword in hand and great, round shield in the other, they ran out forward and bashed shields together to form a line against the yet-unseen force. A wall of wood, steel, and flesh presenting itself, with spearmen and javelinmen to soon arrange themselves behind and at their flanks, Krakk and his cavalry remaining at the rear.
Rumbling. Vibrations growing worse. Finally, clear noises, at least as much as they can be differentiated from mere vibrations-turned-earthquake. Gibberish-like mad rambling soon could be heard by the thousands, a high-pitched screeching not unlike insects; at least, those native to Freiksgaard, as nightmarish as they were.
Movement. In what would’ve otherwise been a pitch-black tunnel, the illuminating crystals allowed them sight of those who came around after a turn for them to witness. Tall as men and numerous beyond accurate measurement, stampeding towards them in mad rage enough to make the ground itself shake, echoing its vibrations through the cavernous geography over and over again.
Antmen. Although, the ‘men’ part of their named seemed anything but. Two legs, two arms, and a head, along with size equivalent, but similarities all ended there; rushing towards them in all fours like starved, rabid ghouls, with another set of limbs on their backs ending in a cluster of fangs and claws pointed forward, face almost devoid of all human characteristics with skin looking like it had melted off over their mouths protruding with a million teeth. Brown skin, shiny yet so too covered in dirt, turning into almost blurs as they rushed in so great proximity with one another, a gigantic blob rampaging their way.
Two hundred meters away.
Their bloodlust turned undeniable. Little emotion could be seen in their completely black eyes, circular as if permanently wide open in their entirety in such inhuman fashion; no fear, no remorse, no compassion, nothing but carnage in their minds, if they had minds enough to process it.
And with a maddening shriek from the antmen, along with a furious unfettered warcry from the Freiksgaardians, lines met. An instant cacophony formed as flesh and steel, fang and shield, carapace and sword met, suicidally impacting against their shields in such wave of bodies after bodies. Cries of fury and pain began to sing in eternal chorus, joined by the ever-lasting drumming of merciless blows exchanged, of shield bashes and sword thrusts, of claws ripping through flesh, of broken bones and limbs torn asunder. Reckless in their endeavors, the antmen had already begun to climb onto each other after the very first seconds of combat, threatening to jump over the wall of shields only to meet their bloody end by the spearmen behind greeting them in kind, to end with corpse after corpse raining down upon those who held their line at the very front.
But true to the greatest virtue of Man wherever he inhabited, they held the line.
More rumbling. Krakk turned aside, only to see from another tunnel an equally endless tide rear its ugly head. To their left, right above the tunnel they had entered from, appearing and taking a direct path towards them through the cliffside roads.
“Reserves! Form line, left!” Shouted Krakk, gesturing with his arm as stress seeped through into his mind. The frontline would potentially be spread too thin, to form another line running the same risk. “Now!”
With as much haste as the swordsmen, the spearmen rushed aside to form the new line. Inevitably, even the spearmen who had bolstered the frontline ceased their task, those who had been thrusting away at the monsters who threatened to push through. Their effect turned immediate for Krakk, seeing those at the front slowly but steadily taking step after step back, threatened not just to be gnawed at but to be crushed under the weight of the tide aiming to climb up on them.
The furious cacophony began anew elsewhere, however, as the antmen arrived to clash against the wall of spears formed against them. An eternal chorus of adrenaline and murderous intent flooded the cavernous geography, swordsmen and spearmen blocking both chokepoints with the full width of their formations as best as they could, antmen falling into the pit as they perished by the spear, pushed past the edge.
“Krakk! Right!” Shouted Erik, for Krakk to then turn from the two lines.
From yet another tunnel, close by to where they had last seen Yanhildr, yet another horde made its presence clear. Too many to count already, and Lord knew if they’d ever see the end of it; perhaps they’d not make a dent in their true numbers even if they fought to the last man. Furrowing his brows and gritting his teeth, he could only conclude that no more men remained at his disposal to form a third line, and his wolfmen, much like any cavalry, could break lines but never hope to hold them. Perhaps a chance remained, in falling back to the cliffside road towards the third horde and holding both chokepoints, yet they’d be cornered without escape.
Not like any remained as they were, anyways.
Interrupting his orders, he saw in full clarity as the antmen passed by another tunnel. The white fur, the hellish growling, the horns of the riders; coming out of the tunnel, Yanhildr and her cavalry smashed through the antmen, sending them flying by pure weight of their mounts and the ferocity of their blows, all letting out a warcry overtaken by the ecstatic rush of adrenaline in battle. Flying away by the blow, antmen struck against each other sending them down, condemned to be trampled upon by the crushing weight, skulls and flesh turned to pulp while dozen other fiends fell into the pit. Immediately thereafter, hundreds of demons on foot approached out of the cave, joining their sistren in combat.
As a line formed with the demons on foot coming in, the bear cavalry backed away, their merciless task of shattering the antmen lines done. Solidified into an insurmountable wall of blades, their infantry now held the line, just as Yanhildr turned to lock eyes with he who stared right back. A devious grin of serrated teeth, showing no intent other than a lust for combat and bloodshed, an expression soon to grow in the faces of those demons with her who turned to glance at the Freiksgaardians. With an order he could not hear, Yanhildr sallied forth with her mounted kin, galloping through the cliffside road towards them.
“Erik, you’re in charge of the infantry now. Don’t let those things interrupt.”
“Consider it done. Don’t disappoint, boy.”
As Erik rushed away, Krakk raised his axe to the sky. “Freiksgaardians, do you want to be replaced?!”
A jeer escaped the wolfmen, a chorus of booing and insults to those up ahead, and so too did the wolves growl and bark.
“Then let it be like the times of old, when Erik united the tribes and purged those who’d have done the same to us! With me, to our hunt!”
Digging away at the earth like a shovel, his wolf’s feet sprung forward. With a rallying shout from all others, they joined his side in furious gallop to the cliffside road. Still a great distance remained, hundreds of meters as both wolf and bear stared at each other in bloodlust, taking the road leading to a direct collision course.
Krakk then moved his axe to his other hand, to then grab a javelin just like the others did. Still too far to throw even with the momentum their mounts granted them, leaving them to wait for the one opportunity before the inevitable carnage.
Close. He gripped the javelin in place, and with all his strength threw it high forward, just as those beside him did in that moment. A rain of javelins with the wolves’ momentum flew on high, making an arc in the air towards the demons, yet before impact Yanhildr raised her palm. In but a single fraction of a second, the javelins had been encased in ice, a cold chilling enough to be felt from so far as if it had sucked in the heat from the surroundings. In the blink of an eye, the javelins then shattered into a million pieces, releasing out a rain of minuscule fragments glinting and shining like stars as the light of the crystals gleamed upon them.
“Nobody touch that one!” Shouted Yanhildr loud enough to be heard, eyes fixated upon him with her own axe at the ready. “He’s mine!”
Curse or blessing, to have her cavalry ignore him yet still have the pale demon focus solely on him. Little time to ponder, for lines would meet in no time. Taking his axe and readying it, as did both sides with their own weaponry, both galloped the last stretch with eyes fixated upon each other, a rush of adrenaline overtaking those to soon find themselves in murderous deeds, where instincts to secure one’s safety had been replaced by a bloodlust for grievous damage upon the other. Krakk readied his axe for a swing as did Yanhildr, and with both their forces joining in with their voices, they let out a warcry as great as their lungs allowed, deafening to all who took part in the masses of bodies throwing themselves against each other in primal rage.
Both Krakk and Yanhildr swung at each other, shaft of their axes blocking their blows before they pulled back. The axeheads, that of a bearded design for both, became lock onto each other forcing the two into a tug of war, bear and wolf circling as neither Freiksgaardian nor Lilim let go. In a second, the wolf and the bear remained still, for the two combatants to stare at each other dead in the eye.
“These ants are quite the nuisance, no?” She taunted. “Ahhhh, you don’t want to be bothered with this business! We should go to a more pleasant spot…”
“Want to run away already?” He retorted in kind. “Looks like you had your hands full before we even got here!”
“Your concern is touching, but I am quite capable of killing these beasts… after I feed them your ‘eads!”
With a kick to the side of his wolf, it lunged towards the bear as Krakk pulled with his axe. So too did the bear turn in attack with a furious growl, but at that moment Yanhildr readied her wings and, with a swift movement, propelled herself against him, jumping off her saddle and tackling him with furious strength the likes of a battering ram, sending him to the ground.
Quickly he reached for his axe lying in front, grabbing the shaft just to see Yanhildr slowly descending ahead, grinning her merry way down till her feet touched the ground and her wings halted their flight.
“Did I hurt you?” She said, voice never erasing its sadistic tone. “Want me to call your parents?”
Immediately he stood up and remained in stance with his axe, just to see Yanhildr not moving a finger in turn. Rather, a bear’s howl caught his attention, only for him to turn aside and see her bear charging madly at him. Heart skipping a beat, he turned and steeled himself for the eventual impact, but at that precise moment his wolf reappeared, jumping on the bear’s neck and throwing it off course as the two began their fight anew. So too did all around them play out the carnage of Freiksgaardians and Demons joining each other in bloodlust and fury, be it through human anger or ecstatic adrenaline-drunkenness the demons used as their fuel.
“They’re having the time of their lives!” Exclaimed the lilim. “What about us then, my sweet…?”
“You’ll look nicely in the spot I reserved for the wyvern’s head. An actual demon… I’ll be the envy of all Freiksgaard.”
A maniacal laughter escaped her, boisterous beyond limit as she moved her head back and brought her palm to her chest.
“Ohhhhh, you’ll wish I was just a demon.”
Slow and silent, she took one step forward towards him, making him ready himself for any incoming blow. She took the second step, reveling in her idea of frightening him with her inactivity, but upon the third step, she propelled herself forward with her wings and with her axe swinging. Krakk attempted to deflect, but just before impact she turned into smoke, disappearing completely. A second later he found an arm gripping his shoulder. Next thing he knew, an unimaginable forced pulled him like a slingshot with enough strength to nearly dislocate his arm out, sending him out at breakneck speed. A weaponized teleportation he cared little to understand. Rolling on the earth floor, he attempted to stop to no avail past the sudden pain, but as he slowed down he had begun falling to barely cling by the abyss’ edge with his arms. His axe had disappeared, gone Lord knew where, yet other worries took up his mind to care.
“Need a hand there, little human?” Taunted her voice. There she approached with axe in hand, slowly walking up till she towered over him. With a devious grin, she brought her foot and stepped upon one of his arms. Before he could react, she pushed away, leaving him to almost fall and just barely hold himself up by his hands this time. Still with her devilish smile taunting him in silence, she brought her foot to one of his hands and trampled upon his fingers with force enough to pain him even underneath his thick gloves. “You need not fight me!” She exclaimed almost in ecstasy, lowering herself to rest on one knee while her foot still weighed upon his fingers. “Swear undying loyalty to me to show good faith, and I’ll stop fighting!”
Not even with a second to spare, with a frown in his eyes and teeth showing in grit, Krakk threw his hand up and grabbed onto her leg before not only just letting go of the edge, but pushing himself further into the abyss with his feet. Her serrated grin died in that very split second, replaced with shock upon his act to then fall down with him with a scream.
And another, and another.
The abyss’ wall, a mere vertical tunnel, changed steepness as it slowly curved. Krakk fell further and further, hits lessened by the steepness rather than having the misfortune of hitting the ground perpendicularly, facing more and more blows by the soil as the tunnel turned horizontal. Rolling on and on and on, with grunt past grunt, dust sent flying wherever he passed, he eventually began losing speed till he came to a full halt. For a few moments he remained silent on the ground, body unwilling to put any further effort past the blunt trauma.
There, he clenched his fist to find it empty. The memory took time to return, wondering where Yanhildr’s leg had gone only to remember her teleporting out of his grasp with such painful ease. With a great, painful sigh he forced himself to sit up, to then throw a glance about. Another tunnel, illuminated by the same kind of crystals lying about, covered in the vegetation he had already grown used to. However, no antmen could be seen, and it seemed as if he had fallen deep enough to not hear a mere noise nor vibration at all anymore.
Then, flapping. Heavy gusts of wind sounding out, making him turn his head to find Yanhildr slowly descending till she landed on her feet. Upon the sight, Krakk pushed himself up and stood on his feet.
“Not dead yet?” Asked Yanhildr, smile returning in full. “That’s great. Wouldn’t want you missing anything…”
Her grin, however, grew wider as she saw Krakk unsheathing his sword-dagger.
“Think that little thing will help you?” She taunted, gripping her axe tighter. “Hah, you still have no idea who you’re dealing with, do you…?”
“An axe is to chop off a wyvern’s head, something strong down to the bone. A dagger will do against skin as thin as yours.”
“Pray those are your last words… because I plan for things other than death to fall upon you.”
In the blink of an eye, she disappeared into smoke. Quicker still she reappeared right in front of him, to immediately punch him in the gut with inhuman strength, forcing him to release all the air in his lungs with a gasp. Too strong of a blow, he felt his stomach deforming and contracting even past all the layers of clothing that’d have otherwise protected him, fluids escalating for an inevitable release; the second punch arrived not a second later, impacting upon his cheek and snapping his head aside, puking his guts out as he stumbled about to then halt with hand on stomach and sword-gripping fist on knee.
“This is the great hunter of these lands? The fabled Apex Predator?” She said in such slow, taunting manner, taking little steps towards him. “Getting beaten up by a girl… Disgraceful!”
Lashing out he swung his weapon, only for her to dodge with a step back. Twice, thrice he swung and thrice she dodged, before she swung in kind for him to bypass. Axe to dagger, the two traded swings, dodging and deflecting as they advanced and withdrew, till Yanhildr hooked his leg. She pulled, throwing him to the ground and raised her axe to bring it down upon him, but Krakk rolled aside before the blade embedded itself into the ground where he had been a split second before.
A chance. Grabbing onto whatever soil and grass he could get his hands on, he threw it at the lilim who just barely managed to block with her arm. A distraction as good as any, allowing him to shout as he jumped up to combat once more, swinging his sword and managing to hit flesh before she could react.
Upon the soil, her wing fell. As Krakk backed off and Yanhildr remained with axe in the dirt with her smile long gone, they stared silent at the lost body part, to then see the profuse bleeding from the resulting stump at the cut. One by one, droplets of blood formed upon the wound to then fall onto the ground. However, her grin soon returned as the lost wing slowly turned to ashes as if an unseen force burnt it to a crisp. At the same time the bleeding halted, till a few tendrils and veins grew from the amputated part. Little by little, it grew and gained shape, till her slowly growing laughter accentuated the regeneration back to complete, full recovery in time.
“You think me so weak, human?” She said, dislodging her axe and standing up. “Demons tremble upon hearing my name, and you believe a mere wound would do anything to me?!”
It did nothing to frighten him, having faced beasts of similar traits before. Giving no thought to her words, he spent his time with other ideas. Perhaps a killing blow would do the trick, for wounds would just regenerate regardless of severity. Chopping her head off, maybe. For that, however, he’d need to disarm her, to leave her exposed enough for the aforementioned tactic.
Once more he stepped forward, swinging as Yanhildr parried, parrying as Yanhildr swung. The trade of blows began anew, conservative in his dices and slices aiming not for a buildup of wounds, till finally a chance presented itself: Once Yanhildr swung and he stepped back, he grabbed onto the shaft of the axe and swung into her arm, managing to chop into the cloth and flesh; limb wounded, she could no longer hold onto the axe with it, reduced to a one-handed grip. Immediately she teleported out, yet he held onto the axe even as he got sucked in with her, facing the same almost-dislocating strength as before swinging him around, but he persevered. Still holding as he almost fell to the floor, he swung again to hit her other arm and dig straight down to the bone, freeing the axe from her grasp at long last.
“That’ll do you no good, Kra–” She taunted as she backed off to heal her wounds, only for her smile to die as she saw him charging again, swinging.
With her wounds just barely healed enough to recover her nerves, she lifted her arm to block the swing aimed straight for her head. It struck into her arm used like a shield, once more chopping into the flesh and sending out a gush of blood as it slid out, but relentless as he was he swung back in. Helpless as she was she lifted her other arm while backing off, letting the blade carve itself into her limb, yet quickly he brought it back and swung again. Both her limbs disabled, she could not stop it, seeing wide-eyed and dead silent the blade drawing near at so great a speed.
Through her exposed neck, the blade cut through and petrified her, a blow with all his strength behind it enough to almost decapitate her. Only a mere piece of skin held it in place, skin he sliced as he dragged his sword out, letting the head fall and leave the body standing with nothing past its shoulders. Blood still pumped through the artery to leave out an absolute mess, till the body stumbled back by pure reflexes alone, soon to succumb and fall down.
Silent. Wordless. Staring at the product of his hunt, the headless body of a demon in front of him, he allowed himself the luxury of a few breaths. Sweat had piled upon him too much, bringing his sleeve up to clean it off his face, just to find his sleeve smeared in blood after a pass. Not only his sleeve, but so too his hands, finding it stained with what her earlier wounds had let out.
His sword had been smeared, and with a swing he got rid of it in great part. There where he stood, he looked upon the scarred body, clothes left torn with no regeneration to heal them like the very first wounds he had landed upon her; with scorn in his frown, he lightly tapped its side with a kick.
A deep sigh followed, before he walked up to the head and lifted it by one of its horns. Subsequently he gazed about, wondering how he’d get out and how long it’d take, if the antmen didn’t interrupt his stroll. With how he had arrived from a distance unclimbable, only one single path remained, regardless of whether it’d get him out or not.
Strange sensations took hold, feeling a weird tickling on his hand that prompted him to immediately let go in fright, if only because it had somehow gotten through his thick gloves. Yanhildr’s head fell down to the ground as he snapped his eyes to it, to find it slowly turning to ashes. His eyes then fell upon the body, to hear the noises of movement as he spotted it slowly yet steadily sitting up despite its lack of head. From its neck he then noticed the same tendrils, the same veins, the same as those regenerating an entire lost limb coming to shape. Eyes wide open in fright and stepping back, Krakk could do little but stare in stupefaction, killing blow remaining as anything but, witnessing in all its grotesque horror the tendrils regenerating what would’ve killed any other being. It gathered in the loose shape of her head, soon to grow greater in density as more and more veins gathered, to then form tissue, organs, bone, on and on like some abhorrent reversal of the process of flaying.
Her eyes remained to be seen in all their details as they came to creation, of red iris and black sclera with no skin to cover them nor to cover the muscles of her face, till the skin itself and her hair finally took shape. Remaining in silence for a second after completion, she kept her eyes closed before slowly opening them once more; there her eyes found Krakk’s, for a slow chuckle to form. It grew on and on, from a mere snicker turning wilder and louder, until a maniacal laughter took hold, laughing to the skies as violently as her body allowed.
And upon her neck, where he had wounded her, he saw a scar forming. Another of her myriad of tribal markings in light blue. Scars, all of them perhaps.
“Pathetic!” She exclaimed, laughter never subsiding. “Honestly believing you were close to defeating me! The look in your eyes of relief when you thought me dead, or even what miserable joy it brought you to think you finally turned tables against me! Ahahahaha!”
“Who the…” He asked in almost gasp, stepping back as she brought herself to her feet. “What the hell are you?”
“Forgotten already, boy?! I am the nineteenth daughter of the Demon Lord! I am the closest thing to God you will ever see in your worthless, miserable existence! Do you think I couldn’t have erased you from all Freiksgaard with a mere flick of my fingers? Do you think you were fighting me on equal terms, rather than being toyed around like a cat with a mouse? I didn’t even know of your kin’s existence when I arrived here to turn these lands into a demon realm for my mother, that’s how little you are compared to me… You’re just entertainment, Krakk. Beasts are too stupid to know what a God is!”
Upon the lilim taking a step forward, Krakk took one back with sword gripped tight. His heart beat faster and faster, adrenaline drunkenness returning by the mere sight of her ecstatic bloodlust alone. However, his fear subsided in part, replaced instead by determined grit; whether true courage, or the ‘fight’ part in fight or flight, he cared not to know.
“Do you want a taste of this power, darling?” She asked, remaining in place with a grin from ear to ear. “I can share it with you… if you kneel to me.”
“For someone who claims to be that strong, you sure feel the need to try convincing me instead of forcing it.”
“Ohhh, I want to hear you squirm of your own accord. Where’s the fun in trampling you like an animal? In hypnotizing you with a mere gaze?”
“Hardly interested. Do me a favor and keep your head from turning to ashes next time, I can hang it on my wall like that.”
“Courageous, just how I like it…”
Another step forward from her, another step back from him. Another step, and now he stood in place, patiently waiting for her to make the first move, a move never to come as she calmly walked his way without a sudden attack. A silent mockery, knowing it too well whatever he’d do would do nothing to her, granting her the luxury of calm movements and zero worries.
Within reach. Swinging as he had always done, he struck her in the neck without her even attempting to block it, digging into the flesh right to the bone with ease, though still with less strength than the time he had decapitated her. For naught, for it affected her not, ever-smiling throwing her fist and hitting him in the chest with enough for to leave him stumbling back in pain, all as her wound slowly regenerated.
“Think of all the beasts we’d hunt with such power within you!” She exclaimed, still advancing at so excruciatingly slow a pace. “Wouldn’t you love it? Master and servant setting out in the cold to find that wyvern, stronger than ever before!”
“You can’t even die right.” He retorted. “What makes you think you’ll not just bog me down?”
“I love your defiance… How long until you break, I wonder? Hopefully never. I want this to last a long, long while!”
Once more a step forward, and once more he slashed, lacking any other options to resort to. Once more she blocked it, this time with an extended open palm and allowing it to dig between her fingers in such gruesome display, to then clench her palm into a fist and immobilize the blade in her grip and solidifying scars. Much as he tried to pull, it did not budge, but just then Yanhildr had raised her palm to his chest.
An overwhelming force blew him back, making him lose grip of his sword and let out all the air in his lungs by such blunt trauma aimed at his torso. He then struck the ground as he flew back, bouncing and soon drifting till he came to a halt, feeling a strange sensation upon him. Landing face-up, he immediately noticed the source of that which sparked his curiosity, to find his chest on fire. Panic struck him in full force, unwilling to even stand up lest the flames roasted his face, and with all haste grabbed onto his clothes and pulled them off. Little care could he afford to grab onto the jacket alone, gripping even the layers underneath and pulling them up past his face, to then throw the burning pile aside. Standing up and glancing upon the soon-to-be ashes, he found himself with everything above his waist now completely naked.
Upon his glance shifting to Yanhildr, he noticed her eyes fixated upon him. Staring intently and with a half-goofy smile, she soon narrowed her eyes as she bit her lips, piercing him with her gaze from top to bottom as she raised a palm to her cheek. Little could she do to resist the sudden sight of his musculature, remaining what mastodon his thick and heavy clothes had suggested him as, shining as a layer of sweat built up over the flesh and hair.
“You know how this will end, Freiksgaardian.” She said, soothing tone as soft and calm as her gaze, witnessing him take stance for a fist-fight. “Do you think you’ll accomplish anything here? If I don’t bring your end, the antmen will do.”
“I’ve figured as much a long while ago. Stopped caring.”
“What do you care about, then?”
Her head rose as a boisterous laugh escaped her.
“I love it! The fury in your heart! Animals feel no anger, no passion, nothing! They only fight to survive and nothing else, but you know emotion all too well like the apex predator you are… or were.”
“What about you, then? I imagine you don’t consider yourself an animal.”
“Would you like to find out?” She asked, tone growing rougher like a mutter. “Or are you going to stand there wasting words?”
“Then show me!”
With a furious shout from both, anger and grudge undeniable in their voices as they cried out against each other, both took speed and rushed against one another. No magic, no techniques, no weaponry, nothing but what their basic primal instincts and bodies dictated, running towards the other with clenched fists to engage in the most primal form of combat since the very dawn of man.
In range. Both drew their fists back and then threw it onwards with all their strength, disregarding defense entirely for the offensive, to have their fists connect with the other’s cheek at the same time. Skin dragged, bruised, rippling by the kinetic force, revealing the grit of their teeth as it pulled by back by the cold, hard blow. But as much as pain and concussion followed, both chose to ignore it. Yanhildr then threw another, for Krakk to dodge and throw his own connecting against her belly, just to receive her uppercut against his jaw with spit forming an arc as it escaped his mouth, head whipping back. Stumbling back he held his now bleeding mouth, before wiping it off and joining in combat once more against she who smiled with ever greater deviancy.
Injury upon injury. Bruise upon bruise. Blood beginning to flow as pain and numbness settled in, with their strikes forming an orchestra of drums as knuckle dug into flesh. Disfigurement from blunt trauma, that which only Yanhildr regenerated from with undying glee. Until, she caught his fist.
“Yes… Let go of your inhibitions. Krakk Verrand, grandson of Erik Verrand, entertain me where all beasts in this forsaken land have failed!”
He threw his other fist, only for her to grab onto it and use his own momentum against him, throwing him afar over her shoulder. Once more he bounced onto the ground, once more he drifted, and once more he came to a halt, yet as he snapped his head towards her, he saw a flame heading his way. In panic he rolled aside, to find the patch of vegetation he had been on a second ago set ablaze upon violent impact; just as he stood up, however, he saw yet another flying his way.
Just barely he dodged it, picking up speed and running as quick as his legs allowed. Another fiery projectile flew in, to land where he had crossed, then another, and another, a bombardment sent his way each second as he ran in a massive circle around the source.
Whatever had been on the ground sent him straight to the floor. Landing almost face-first, he found the culprit: His sword, which Yanhildr must’ve thrown aside. Quickly he picked it up and threw himself into cover behind a great crystal formation, dodging the fiery death that would’ve awaited him at that moment, for the point of impact to remain as a patch of vegetation set alight beside him.
“Krakk…” Yanhildr called, a voice of icy calm almost enough to send a shiver down his spine.
Panting on and on, he let himself rest sitting against the crystal twice his size. His eyes soon fell on the sword he held, seeing a drop of his blood fall on the blade, wondering if Yanhildr had seen him pick it up. A bladed instrument sure did better against flesh than blunt force; all that remained was figuring out a way to get close once more. The bombardment had subsided, however, leading him to wonder what she was doing.
Strange noise. He could swear it was that of a stomach rumbling, barely noticeable.
But for the silence he had grown half used to, the sharp noise of crystal shattering so close left his ears ringing. A hundred million fragments flew forward past him, glinting like snowfall on a bright day if the Freiksgaardian sun ever shone up high. Nearly throwing himself forward, he turned to see Yanhildr’s hand which had punched through the crystal, bloodied and wounded after carving its path through to just little above where his head had been. Then, she gripped onto the crystal, to pull back and destroy it whole, boulder-sized parts and minuscule fragments alike flying aside to reveal her grinning figure.
No time to waste. Holding onto his sword and spirit, he propelled himself against her before the first crystal-boulder hit the ground, swinging with a warcry his lungs just barely allowed. Inactive, uncaring, Yanhildr let her chest be sliced with the blood forming an arc, taking a step back by the blow, but the next blow, she caught the blade in her right palm. Without delay he threw his fist, connecting against her elbow and breaking the union, leaving it to bend the wrong way and let go of his weapon, but a punch to his belly with her other hand reduced him to a grunted mess as he stumbled back.
A short laugh escaped her, gleeful and just barely controlled rather than her low chuckle. There and then she brought her arm back and whipped it forward, using the inertia to break her arm back into shape with its awful bone-grinding noise echoing about in the cavern, to soon regenerate. Then, however, she stood in place, smile from ear to ear barely containable before another grunt escaped Krakk, signalling his next attack.
Another swing, one this time countered only for her to miss, and then another swing, chopping her wing off by chance, a loss thoroughly ignored. Stab, useless as it was for a mere wound quick to regenerate, not even making her stumble back despite sneaking through her ribs straight into her heart, sliding it out before her nails had a chance to dig against his arms. Swing upon swing upon swing, building up wound after wound through slice and dice, to barely an effect if any at all. Then, a chop, hastily aimed yet lucky enough to land where so many cuts had built up without time to regenerate: With a solid strike, he managed to chop her arm off just below the elbow.
But rather than a scream of pain as the lost limb flew off, instead she indulged in a maniacal laughter, swinging her other arm at him as if nothing had happened.
“More, more!” She cried out in ecstasy, laughter uncontained for it to drown out all else, even the crackling of the fires around them. “Hurt me more! Cut me, break me, smear these crystals with blood! Ahahahaha!”
Each limb lost turned into ashes in due time. Sliced off a wing, an arm, another wing, even her head, and yet they all returned in their grotesque horror as if nothing had happened, with barely a speck of pain for her to experience. Grunt met laugher as blade met flesh, his blows losing discipline and aim while growing uncontrolled as the fight took its toll on his stamina, reducing him to throwing the weight of his blade about, without her even entertaining the idea of stopping it without blood spilled. Hotter grew the fury within him, and so too hotter grew the cavern as the fire spread, leaving him to completely forget what cold had once been striking against his damp, exposed torso.
Then he noticed: Just as he heard the audible growl in Yanhildr’s belly, he noticed her wounds regenerating at an ever slower pace. She had begun panting too, something he had not noticed of her till now.
But as if noticing these signs at the same time, Yanhildr jumped back and created distance between them.
“Never giving up, eh?” She asked, laughter subsiding in full to remain with her usual smile. “Maybe I should–“
But Krakk charged forward once more, not allowing her the luxury of a mere few sentences. Grin dying to merely grit her teeth, missing one wing preventing her flight, she stepped back till Krakk jumped towards her with a shout out his mouth and swing of his sword. With her functioning arm she passed her hand, creating a layer of thick ice between them, but upon the sword connecting against it, it shattered like the crystal from before. Immediately she formed an axe out of ice, swinging it in kind against him, yet as he blocked it with a swing from his sword, so too it shattered. Starvation had weakened them too much, integrity failing each time. Then, he landed a blow on her arm, once more chopping it off yet this time for it to not even begin regenerating.
Panic befell her. With her functioning arm she raised her fist to her mouth, and with a second of focus a great gust of wind escaped from her. A gust strong enough to extinguish all the fires surrounding them, slapping his sword out of his hand and forcing him to cover himself with both arms as he nearly flew off like a leaf, but on his ground he stood on the brink of falling over. Gust subsiding, he bumrushed once more, throwing himself against her who stood like a deer caught in headlights, to then tackle her and drive her into the ground with a loud grunt from both.
There he pinned her down, sitting over her with both hands by her neck. Despite the cacophony of combat which had plagued the cavern since their first trade of blows, now it all fell into silence, without even a breeze to drown out their panting.
“Ahhh…” She sighed, still smiling yet melancholically so. “Father always used to say that being so full of myself would get the best of me, one day. Maybe that’s why he got Mother to make me this hard to kill… It’s not like an arrogant enough person to deserve those words would magically not be arrogant enough to disregard them, no…?”
A pause. Despite her words, Krakk did nothing but stare in frown, hands never leaving her neck.
“What are you waiting for?” She continued. “You wanted my head on your wall, no?”
But still he said nothing. Expressionless, holding barely an emotion within after all had been said and done, staring with a frown of exhaustion and focus rather than anger and grudge.
“You won.” She added. “Woe to the vanquished. You can do anything you want. Will you not claim your prize? Will you not revel in knowing yourself to be the predator in front of your fallen prey?” Her only hand soon caressed his arm, sliding ever so gently from his elbow to his own hand to then push it stronger against her neck, as if inviting him for choking. “Do it. Make me yours. What am I to do against it? Fight back? Hah…”
Little reaction other than mere skeptical blinking, without any additional strength on his part. Just staring into her red eyes as she lay on the ground grinning with her serrated teeth, a droplet of blood from his mouth falling to her chest. Then, she narrowed her eyes and closed her lips in a smug smile, to then chuckle lightly to herself.
“Don’t you want to ‘Krakk’ me open…?”
Instant reaction as his eye twitched, gritting his teeth and applying full force to his fingers, strangling her throat as if trying to tear it apart. Her eyes shot wide open as her mouth opened in almost apparent glee, gurgling in a manner suspiciously close to moaning as her breath had been so violently cut short, in reflex gripping his arm to no avail as her body writhed on and on beneath him. Once he lessened his strength, a loud gasp escaped her as she began breathing for dear life, inhaling and exhaling so noisily, just to remain with her near-orgasmic grin with a slight blush to complement it.
“You’re not the type of woman who gets off on getting hurt, are you?”
Yet, without him knowing of her tail’s spade end sneaking up behind him, it struck him in the nape of the neck with just enough force to frighten him forward, at the very exact time she leaned forward past his hold to steal a kiss off his lips. Staring dumbfounded at her whose lips had been filthied by his blood, he soon found his aching wounds and bruises subsiding. Healing, as if. Letting go with one hand and cleaning off the blood in his lips with his sleeve, he rummaged with his tongue to find no signs of the bleeding wounds anymore in his mouth, along with a strange energy to a certain part found only in men. Returning his eyes to her, he found her licking her lips clean, sight reminiscent of a vampire.
“What if I am?”
Quietly sighing to himself, his gaze then fell on her still bleeding arm, missing all it once had below the cut. A gaze she soon noticed.
“I can regenerate these wounds. I just ran out of nutrients to do so. I’m sure you can help me with that, though~”
“How do I know you won’t suddenly start slapping me around by then?”
“Darling, you saw how fired up you got me just now. Think I’m gonna try to change you? To chain you? Unless you’re into getting slapped, but then who will do that to me~?”
A second passed as her words fell fully in his ears, before a wide grin made itself apparent upon him, reflected as she widened hers in turn. Lowering his head and both closing their eyes, their lips connected with each other, warmth exchanged between one another as their tongues danced on and on. Hands began wandering about, with her raising hers to embrace him by the neck as if pulling him closer, while his own rummaged elsewhere; her tattered clothes left it as a mere series of swipes for him to remove them, dragging his hand over her skin and tearing off that which remained, clothing so ruined that it mattered not anymore. There his senses found her breasts, skin as perfect and delightful to the touch as the rest of the body, an almost addictive sensation to run his palms over them before making his fingers fall in contact with her nipples. A massage, as if, with a sensation neither felt they’d ever get tired of; but still his palms lowered down further to her midriff and sides, pushing off the clothing to reveal the nigh-perfection of her figure he needed not eyes to realize.
Their lips then separated. Krakk straightened back up in impatience and brought his hands to her feet, where swift movements undid and removed her boots. Then, his hands moved to her waist where her trousers remained firmly in place. He undid the buckle and then grabbed by its hips, for Yanhildr to so eagerly let her garments be pulled off in one fell swoop to be thrown aside, leaving her naked in her entirety. Blushing in half-embarrassment yet so too proud and boisterous, she smiled from ear to ear knowing Krakk to be laying his eyes on her figure whole, inspecting each and every nook and cranny like a fine marble statue from the greatest artists in existence; perhaps a fitting allegory for she who had been brought to life by a God. Giving away her excitement, Krakk found her nether regions so damp and humid, dripping with a certain clear liquid.
“I hope these wounds aren’t a turn-off…” She said, voice revealing no worries but almost as if it were a mere confident joke. “…Or maybe I do hope that, since you’ll be eager to help me cure them~”
Her midriff, the perfect combination of lean and curvy, with a hint of abdominals showing under her silk-smooth skin. Her hips, curvature striking his mind as so deliciously perfect. Her thighs, so meaty and firm, inner parts drenched by her excitement with the aroma acting like pheromones to him, driving him crazy with any semblance of logical thoughts escaping his mind till only her figure remained in his focus. Hypnotizing, as if hitting all the right spots in his definition of the perfect woman. The runes that had shown on her face ran down throughout her body, shapes and thicknesses accentuating it all like paint upon a canvas; rather than scars, it all seemed like works of art upon her skin complementing her figure, all of various widths and lengths, of various shapes and patterns, from her neck to her feet, all sharing the same cyan color. Couldn’t take it anymore, those so-inviting limbs almost screamed to him to be massaged, to be gripped, to be toyed with, and soon enough he found himself almost by instinct reaching with his hand, but at that instant she took hold of his arm in one near-instantaneous movement, to pull and make him fall on her once more, face to face.
“You’ve seen first hand the wonders of the Demon Lord’s daughter.” She said in a soft, lustful voice, eyes turning from gazing upon his to gliding lower, just as her tail reached for his trousers. With finesse and agility of almost paradoxical ability, with her spade she undid his belt within a mere few seconds. Then, her tail reached for one side of his waist, while with her hand she reached for the other, gripping his trousers tight. “It’s only fair that I get to see the wonder in front of me just as much!”
Slow and steady she pulled down his garments, savoring each peek of new flesh that revealed ever further down his hips. Her eyes and smile revealed it all, her expectation and glee, lust and greed, emotions she didn’t even bother to hide. Trousers now gone, his underwear had been left to reveal the full size of what protruded from underneath; hard to hide, for he nearly felt it painful to contain after the sight he had been made to witness. By the sides of his underwear she pulled down, just to have his member start fighting back ever so slightly, caught in the way of the cloth pulled down. Stopping for a second, she then pulled down in one swift motion, for her eyes to shoot wide open and her grin to widen as she saw it free itself almost as if catapulted out, relief flooding him over no cloth constricting him any longer. The chill greeting it felt like a blissful escape, heat having built up to be caught within his clothes to an excruciatingly uncomfortable degree.
“Have you been hiding this from me, boy…?” She asked, to then grip his waist with her tail and drag him close, enough for him to rest his firmly erect member against her damp inbetweens. From his perspective it almost seemed in place, resting over her belly with his hilt lining up with her entrance. At the same time, she brought her arm to embrace him, palm firmly resting on his back. “I want it… inside me already.”
“This fast? Not even a bit of foreplay?”
“Oh sweetheart, we’ve had enough foreplay for a lifetime already~”
Once more its exceptional agility came to display, with her tail drawing closer to his member and soon to wrap around it. Upon contact, he couldn’t keep himself from twitching, pleasure immediate by her touch from the tail, skin just as smooth and precious as the rest of her body. She pulled her coil back to reveal the glans, thick and shiny with anticipation of the inevitable, to then pull back further to move his hips in position, allowing her to drag its head down her belly till it finally coincided with her warm, damp slit. Too great of a sensation for him, gritting his teeth in an attempt to control himself lest he loses his mind, only to know that it’d only get worse for his sensations to cope.
Almost by subconscious instinct alone, he pushed ever gently. A deep breath escaped him like a sigh, coinciding with a low moan from her as he felt her crevice wrapping around him, soon to engulf his member’s head and have it disappear from sight. Warm, emanating heat like the fires of a forge to make him believe his flesh to almost be melting, bathed in her fluids. Too much, too blissful, too tight in all the right places, couldn’t hope to last long; an almost sensory overload deep down he knew not to be natural, not to be expected from acts with a human, and clearly enough a woman she was not. A paradoxical description, for him to find her as perfect for him within as she had been without. Slow and gentle, fearing his sanity’s loss, he pushed his hips forward little by little, exhaling in exhaustion over being at the edge of his wits, made worse with her sensual moaning cut short by her own act of biting her lips, to remain muffled rather than silent. In due time, his hips struck hers as her tightness swallowed him whole, straight to the hilt. The constriction of her walls almost felt like she didn’t want to let him go, feeling her twitching just as he did.
Shivering breathing from both followed as he slid it outwards, remaining with the glans within before moving his hips forward once more, only to halt midway for a breather. So great the sensation turned, that if he were to be any quicker, he’d be condemned to release within her, with all the negative connotations of a mere few thursts of endurance following to no doubt haunt him.
“I know what you’re thinking.” She said; a surprisingly soft and reassuring tone. “Go on. Indulge yourself.”
Silent in thought, he pursed his lips and took a deep breath. Elbow resting on the ground along with his arm around her waist, pressing himself against her like he had already been, he thrust in without regard for self-control. That act alone sent him over the edge, feeling that undeniable sensation warning of the inevitable. Like the pistons of an engine his hips began moving, withdrawing to them hit against her with hilt each time, force enough to make her recoil a slight bit back with each impact as she stared with an unchanging smile. And then, just as he knew it to be his last thrust, Yanhildr raised her legs and locked him in place, preventing him from pulling out if the desire had ever been present in his mind. Twitching and quivering, he found release with a long, quiet exhalation, feeling the dopamine numbing his senses with each gushing wave sent into her. The last drop then came out, leaving him panting with his member still lodged deep within her.
A few seconds came to pass before he noticed the change, that which Yanhildr so too noticed. Her missing wing had begun regenerating, spreading out its tendrils from the amputated part to slowly form back into shape. At the same time her arm went through the same, with her turning her head to see her stump slowly but steadily healing. She raised her arm just a bit, both looking at it obtaining form and growing into bone, flesh, and finally skin in due time, forming into upper arm, lower arm, hand, and finally fingers she fidgeted upon regaining feeling. After lowering her arm, she gave him a peck on his cheek, surprising him whole and leaving him blinking blankly for a few moments.
“Don’t feel bad. You did well for your first time.”
“…Hah? You could tell?”
“Monsters can tell very well. If it makes you feel better, you’d have not lasted any longer if you had a thousand partners past you. Plus, it’s so romantic to be each other’s first… I’d not have it any other way. Now…” She brought a finger to his chin, to slowly bring his face to her. “You had your fun, but you’re not gonna leave me hanging, are you?”
Without leaving him time for a single word, she lunged forward and invaded his mouth with yet another kiss. Tongueplay reckless as it once was, though shocking him with a burst of energy flooding into him not unlike the first when his mouth wounds healed. His eyes had shot wide open, understanding not what happened to him as energy built up in his body much like a titanic surge of adrenaline, stamina and endurance not just replenished but shooting past their limit. The old aching from bruise and wound died down, knowing his body to be healing back to full strength by her actions. Stupefaction had befallen him, dancing his tongue with her by pure instinct alone while his eyes had remained petrified save for mere blinking, till she leaned back and separated from him with a loud sensual gasp, a trickle of drool bridging their lips before snapping.
With her palms finding his waist, she nudged him aside for him to fall against the soil on his back, shaft sliding out with a barely containable stimulus upon what now remained oversensitive. Afterwards she brought herself upon him, sitting with both their genitals pressed against each other yet with her back turned to him. Head turned enough to look at him from the corner of her eyes, she grew a devious grin as she began sliding back and forth in an excruciatingly slow pace, seeing how he grit his teeth over the stimulation, finding his seed only lubricating it further as it slowly drip out of her.
But the most curious detail he found then had been his lack of exhaustion. Despite climax, his eagerness did not die down a single bit. Rather, it grew swollen to an uncomfortable extent way past what he once felt had been its limit, burning and twitching under her weight almost screaming for more action rather than a rest. Refractory period be damned, her kiss had been like a cold, hard reset, if not an outright aphrodisiac on par with the demigod she was. Little did the ample view help, of seeing her rear presented to him in all its glory to hide not a single detail from his eyes, along with her thick tail slowly moving about in its hypnotizing grace with the spade end following along. Beauty to his eyes and so too to the touch, feeling the soft skin pressing against him as she slid on him on and on.
It almost hurt, to contain all the pent up energy. Though great a sight and experience it was, his mind couldn’t help but slowly descend into the singular thought of impatience for what the tease suggested.
“I hope you’re ready.” She said, to then slightly raise herself and use her tail to line up his shaft with her entrance. “We’re not stopping until I’m satisfied!”
Grinding herself against his glans in tease, she soon slowly lowered herself to engulf its head whole, to halt rather than continue downwards to the shaft. Then, a devilish grin revealing her serrated teeth came to view, before she brought herself down with all her weight, swallowing it whole in a split second and striking her butt against his hips with a gasp to escape him. Merciless, without a break to even attempt to hold back against the sensations now flooding him as her walls so tightly slid against it. But as much as he feared it’d overtake him like last time, it only reduced his member to mere twitching rather than a furious release.
Then, she raised herself once more, to reveal the shaft so drenched in her fluids, a chill to greet him as the dampness intensified it. Yet, with her devilish grin never subsiding, she slammed against him once more; this time, he retained just enough control of himself to not let the gasp escape, catching it in his throat.
“How does it feel, Krakk?” She asked, sitting upon him and grinding against him, keeping it inside her to its fullest extend. Much as she asked, he could not speak if he even cared to do so, mind focused entirely on that which toyed with his throbbing organ. “To have someone like me all to yourself… A simple human, with the daughter of a God!”
Once more she raised, and once more she dropped, this time with a quick gasp to escape her in pleasure she did not bother to even hide. Again she brought down her weight, bombarding him with stimuli he could not hide the absolute difficulty in containing as it showed in his troubled yet half-smiling expression, only to turn her grin wider. Up, down, up, down, with a pounding noise now reverberating through the desolate cavern much alike her quick gasps, soon to turn into an ecstatic panting for both; such was the silence in the tunnel, that even the noises of fluids pushed and squished about and about with each motion took over inbetween each pounding.
Her motion, however, captivated his eyes. Though once he had locked eyes with her, the seeming perfection of her rear turned too much upon witnessing it bounce over and over, rippling lightly with each impact against his hips. An otherworldly mixture of traits that felt addictive to see, piling temptation upon temptation within him just as her divine thighs had once done. Indulging himself, he raised his hands and left them upon her still moving waist, grabbing onto them first with care, to then dig his fingers into the soft skin. Surprise befell him when she brought her hands upon his, grabbing and pushing ever stronger against her own waist as if not only encouraging him, but even leading him on to a firmer grip.
“Aren’t they nice?” She asked. “So plump, so firm… I know you had eyes for them, wanting to see them jiggle. It almost makes you want to… slap them.”
With her hand once pressing his right palm against her waist, she slid it higher freeing him from her grasp. Still with her movements uninterrupted, Krakk pondered momentarily as if believing it too good to be true. Mind wandering on and on to just barely allow him to focus, he lifted his hand and, after a second of pause, brought it back against the cheek of her butt, striking a sharp noise to echo throughout the cavern just as the impact left her cheek to ripple.
“You call that a slap?!” She chuckled. “Do it harder~!”
With her still pounding against him, he gladly complied and brought his hand back once more, to bring it forward with a gust of wind to be heard just before impact. Then, ‘slap’, right throughout the geography to be heard surely from half a kilometer away.
“Harder, you dog! I want the sizzling mark of your palm branded on me!”
A strange expression grew on him, a mixture of gritting his teeth in anger along with grinning wildly in almost sadistic anticipation. Not just his arm did he move back, but so too did he position his torso for the strongest blow he could achieve. In position, he threw all his might, turning his body along with the swing to feel the wind caught in his wake, till with a wide open hand he struck her flesh with force that left a sharp pain on his own palm. Ripples formed with an intensity that made even her opposite buttcheek bounce a slight bit; upon receiving it, a loud, high-pitched yelp mixed with a moan escaped her, eyes shooting wide open.
“Again!” She exclaimed.
Without the aching in his palm over, but rather seemingly enjoying it, Krakk brought it back once more in equal manner and threw it with the might of his body against her, forcing out yet another moaning yelp from her. There and then, she began laughing. True to her demands, Krakk could very well see the mark of his hand upon her now.
“Do you like getting ordered about by the woman that almost beat you up?!” She taunted, looking at him from the corner of her eyes with that devious grin returning. “Pathetic!”
Strange grin never erasing from his face, he propelled himself forward and embraced her in surprise, to then drag her up as he stood up.
“Waaaah!” She cried out in half-fright, yet so too in half-joy.
Still with his member lodged within her and arms locking her in place and not letting go, he forcibly moved her towards a crystal and almost slammed her against it. Now with Yanhildr stuck between the glowing crystal and the warm flesh pushing her against her, he moved his own hips this time, taking over the leading part in the act as he thrust. Little she could do now, hands pressed against the formation in front of her as so her cheek was. With each thrust, with each impact, her legs shook in recoil as her cheek rose ever so slightly through pressure against the gleaming earthen protrusion.
“Yes!” She cried, excitement turning her voice rough and uncontrolled as it wavered with each repeated motion; the very first time he had heard her like that. “Ravage me, make me yours!”
Little could he disagree with, grinning sadistically at how he had her in his power, regardless of her most likely having wanted it that way since the start. And yet, he still felt it possible to see more of her mindless side, lost in herself much like how she currently was compared to time ago. Knowing her to enjoy it, he moved his hand till it remained on her neck and gripped ever so tightly, enough to make breathing an uncomfortable endeavor; at the same time, with his other hand he pressed it against her cheek, to then run his finger over her lips. Surely enough she almost immediately opened her mouth fully, panting and moaning with each motion leaving her voice erratic and wavering, and upon finding her mouth almost inviting him, he gently moved his finger inside, just for her to gently bite on it and drench it in saliva. Her moaning turned into gibberish, much like the words she had attempted to say, speech turned into an impossible task by the hand on her throat and finger in her mouth. Still, the tonality and absolute lack of grace and self-control only gave it away, that she had been losing herself further as he wanted her to.
So drenched she had left his finger, that a trail of drool escaped her lips and fell down her chin. Her nails had driven into the crystal, grip strong enough to, at that very moment, ring out a cracking noise as it broke the surface with a few tiny fragments falling off.
“Who won?” He asked, returning the taunting tone he had grown so used to receiving. At that moment he took out his finger and lessened his grip upon her neck, allowing her to take a deep gasping breath, panting in hedonistic indulgence.
“You won, my sweet!” She gasped out loud, no longer finding control enough to speak in any elegant fashion, or even a mere attempt had he not been thrusting into her non-stop.
“If I won, then who’s the hunter?”
“And who’s the prey?!”
Another yelp escaped her, this time as he pushed himself and her to the side for both to fall to the ground. Stamina endless thanks to her earlier action, still he drove into her without rest nor break, Yanhildr lying on the ground and Krakk lying on Yanhildr. The smell of the plants greeted them so low, contrasting with the charred aroma of the burnt plantlife afar; a smell of death, now replaced by a smell of life in the places once believed to harbor none.
Still her body recoiled with each thrust, with each sound ringing out upon impact of his pelvis against her butt. Her knees had begun bending for her feet to remain high, barely containing the ecstasy running throughout her entire body. Her tail, thick from start to end, now constricted his leg which it had entangled around upon landing, and her wings gave away her nigh-uncontainable lust, twitching furiously with each movement. On the wrist of his hand which he gripped her throat with, she held onto with her hand, gripping tight yet never with any force pushing away, but rather aiding in keeping his hand in place.
Head resting next to hers, both seeing each other in the eyes, he couldn’t help himself and nor could she. Instinct alone dictated it, and soon enough both their lips met again in the middle of so furious a session, tongues finding each other like the very first time once more, but in haste they ended up separated as both gasped for air. There and then he noticed within her, within her eyes, a change complementing her unrestrained grinning and uncaring gasps in pleasure: Her eyes, once normal, had turned into hearts, keeping the old red color of her iris against the black of her sclera.
Like a spasm she shot her eyes wide open, biting her lips. “Nnnnff~!” She held back the loud moan, eyes narrowing with her lips still bitten though forming into a wide smile. “Ohhh, I’m getting close, darling~! You are too, aren’t you?”
No words left him, too lost in focus to even speak. Rather, a hearty smile and a nod served enough as an answer.
“Then let’s finish together~”
His hands drifted off over her skin, soon to find her hands and press firmly against them for their fingers to intertwine, still engaged in his piston-like movements. Their panting never subsided, to only grow fiercer as his actions hastened; her insides felt like a forge, hot enough to give him the feeling of his organ melting, friction worsening- or bettering- the sensation past the squishing noises of fluids that had begun to drip out with so furious an undertaking. Faster and faster, he soon narrowed his eyes as he came to pass the point of no return; it turned undeniable that she too had passed it, immediately closing her hands and holding so tightly onto his fingers, to which he tightened his grip in turn.
With the point passed, he thrusted as quickly as his human capacity allowed, regardless of stamina, endurance, or any other semblance of obstacle, listening only to the basic primal instinct within him. Panting worsened, complemented by Yanhildr letting out a constant voice wavering in so quick a fashion, eyes opening wider and losing all focus in her mind other than that which penetrated her. Pitch increased just as speed, both locked in increment the closer they drew to climax. And then, a gasp escaped her with a moan as loud as it could be from her, coinciding with his final thrust into her while embracing her as tight as he possibly could. The dopamine rush into their minds blacked out all reality around them, reducing their consciousness to only process their partner as all that remained in reality other than them, caring not for a single thing left in the world. Blissful beyond extent, addictive, otherwordly for man and monster, losing their minds to each other and depleting all the energy they had left in that one singular moment.
Just as he released within her, her body had begun to spasm wildly in place. After a minuscule pause another thrust followed, forcing another moan from her as he shoveled deep within her for another wave, worsening her spasms before a third thrust caused the same. Little by little he let out all he had left inside, till all movement subsided save for their heavy breathing from then on; at least, other than Krakk letting himself slowly tilt aside. Shaft sliding out, leaving the two to wince by the stimulus in their so oversensitive period of time, he then fell aside with his back against the soil; too tired he had become to even see like a trophy his own seed soon to drip out of her, choosing instead to bring his arm over his head and close his eyes for a well-deserved rest.
A quick kiss on his cheek, however, brought him to open his eyes in surprise.
“Well done.” She said, now lying on her crossed arms towards him, eyes still shaped like hearts as he had seen. “You’re lucky I wasn’t the one to win. I’d have pulverized your pelvis otherwise.”
“Eh…?” He asked in exhalation, to which Yanhildr just chuckled before making her way towards him. There she then lay next to him, placing her head on his chest to rest while embracing him with arms and legs as if he were a mountain of a teddy bear.
Then, with her finger she traced a path over his chest, fidgeting playfully. “I wonder if my girls up there are having as much fun as we had…”
A gasp escaped him in shock, heart skipping a beat and chest twitching through the erratic breath. “It must be a massacre up there!”
“Relax. I gave the order not to hurt any of you. Not too much, at least.”
“What about the antmen?”
A grin and a snicker were the answers he got. She climbed on him to remain cross-armed over his chest with chin over arm, breasts squishing tightly against him and with those heart-shaped eyes still gazing deep into his.
“Dummy.” She then said. “I made my demons as unkillable as I am. Think that pest is gonna stand a chance? Hah, now that I think about it I could even turn them into monsters like my girls. Ant girls sound nice, no?”
“I’ll tell you how it’ll go. Your guys and my girls will beat each other up a bit, take a break to beat the antmen up, and once it’s done each new couple will find their own private spot in these tunnels for themselves. Well, those who are single anyways, but the ones in your army already taken are so tiny a minority I’ve noticed…”
Though still startled ever so slightly by the earlier thought of a massacre, slow and steadily he left his heavy eyes to close once more with a sigh in relief.
But as his mind returned in full, he couldn’t help but think of some peculiar instances. She sure had boasted about being the daughter of a God, and yet he had defeated her. She could’ve trampled him, had she not fallen victim to her own hubris, and still she could’ve hypnotized him when she admitted defeat. Something felt off.
“Hm?” She asked, snuggling up against him and embracing him with arms, legs, wings, and tail, to then close her eyes with her cheek against his chest. Both, naked in their entirety, skin pressed tightly against one another.
“Did you lose on purp–“
“Hush now, sweetheart.”
No use in pressing the issue, surely. Rather, he’d find it better to worry about getting new clothes before even thinking of returning home through the ice fields of the north, though curiously enough he felt no chill upon his sweat-covered body. Still he felt the warmth of the lilim against him, along with the warmth she had given him with the kiss. A resistance to the cold, as if; shouldn’t surprise him that she’d be able to do that, and with her boasting of demigodhood she’d surely be able to get the two of them a new set of clothes from thin air. Hardly anything to worry about, much less when tiredness had begun to sink in. With a quick peek down at her, he saw her sharing the signs of exhaustion; seeing her now aiming to take a nap, he found little reasons not to join in, closing his eyes as he moved his arms to embrace her. Those up there would be busy for the foreseeable future, granting them the private luxury.
The screeching cry of the wyvern evoked not fear, but certainty of her whereabouts. Rather than to run away, all ran towards, stampeding through the snow hills of the far north as snow fell on and on. Leading the wolfmen Erik rode along at the head of the formation, with a certain young lilim of cyan tribal markings riding beside him on her own wolf, along with those Freiksgaardians joining them in the perilous hunt.
Past the hill they saw the wyvern taking flight, wings flapping with so titanic a force that the gusts of wind could be heard from so far away, followed by numerous other wyverns following suit. From there they could see the one of greatest size, two-headed contrary to the rest as it took to the sky, though the detail striking Erik the most had been its missing eye in one of its heads.
“A magnificent specimen. Don’t you agree, Erik?” Said the lilim.
“You had not even been born back when I last saw it.” Answered the white-bearded Freiksgaardian, fair share of wrinkles having built up over the years. “Your parents have been trying to find it since then. You better not disappoint them.”
“Yes, its heads will go nicely in my father’s trophy collection.” She added. “Aim low…”