Wizardquest Part 17: A Cold Night at the House on the Hill Pt.2

Chapter 161

 

Hala finishes hacking up a final chunk of ectoplasm, some hair, and a little bit of white fluid before she groans and looks up, disoriented. She tries to move her arm but realizes that Harmony still has her in a vice grip. Groaning, she stops trying before looking to you.

“W-Wizard? Why am I here?” Blinking, she looks down at herself, then back up to you. “And why am I naked?”

You unconsciously hand her a cloak from the wagon, waving Harmony to let her go as your mind races about the implications of losing contact with Bubs,

The Wolf Girl takes the cloak and starts putting it on, although she doesn’t have the decency to remember to close it up, which defeats the purpose. You sigh, once again inured to the sight of her slim and toned body in the nude.

“You were possessed by a Ghost and were out here, roaming around naked, but we don’t have much time to waste.”

Hala furrows her brow and then sniffs herself. “Hrm, doesn’t smell like Ghosts…” She looks to you suspiciously. “Unless you used your vile magic to-“

You raise your hands in exasperation, “Oh by the Gods, can Blake just let that go? Look, you got possessed by a Ghost, and that goop there is what’s left of it.”

Hala looks down and pokes at it. “Yeah, I don’t remember eating anything like this, and that’s way more than he exploded in my mouth.” She sighs and rests a furred hand against her cheek, looking down at her crotch. “Such a waste… Well I think some of the other load is still there…”

You put a hand on your forehead and groan. Hala is a nice girl, but sometimes, oh ho sometimes, you wonder if you shouldn’t have just left her in that forest. Delilah chortles from the wagon where you set her down.

“Quite the free spirit, isn’t she? Of course, she’s really the only one getting any, so I suppose she has the right to-“

“Not helping Delilah.”

“True, but as I told you, I am quite depleted on magic reserves and it’s making me rather… anxious.”

You sigh and turn to the Wolf Girl as she stands and stretches out, looking at the unconscious form of Veronica. She points to the Aspirant, her eyebrow raised. “What’s the story with her? Oh, by the way, where’s Blake, Saya, and the other one?”

“Well, that’s the problem at the moment. Tabitha was possessed as well, she did this to Veronica, and she’s somewhere in the manor.” Gritting your teeth, you say, “I just lost contact with Blake and Saya.”

Hala’s eyes go wide and she bares her teeth, growling. “What? You let him go alone?”

“Well first off, he wasn’t alone, and second off, we don’t have time to argue. We have to get back inside.”

You look down to Delilah and pick her up, cradling her in the crook of your arm. She doesn’t protest or really do much of anything in response. You nod to her. “You’re going to help me with these Ghosts.”

She rolls her eyes, “And you’re going to learn to listen, because unless I suck out a little bit of semen, I’m spent. If you want your Ghosts gone, you’ve got to give a little.”

You groan and think about it for a moment. Yes, you’ve made metaphorical deals with Nerg before but you still don’t feel comfortable about it. Although you might end up thinking about Selene again and-

You shake your head free of such thoughts. No matter the moral implications of this, you straight don’t have the time to rub one out and you you’re NOT going to allow any mouth anywhere near your junk.

Thankfully you have one last option.

You reach into your [Sack of Holding +1] and pull out the last [Concentrated Mana Potion], pop the cork, and shove the viscous fluid into Delilah’s mouth. She sputters for a moment, confused at the sudden intake before she starts drinking the potion, he eyes glaring at you.

“You wanted to suck on something, right? Well suck on that.”

It scares and makes you curious to see that the potion doesn’t just leak out of her neck like you expected. Actually you’re wondering where in the hells it all goes because there’s physically was no way that her face can hold all of that fluid.

She interrupts your little thought process by spitting out the vial from her mouth and licking her lips before frowning at you.

“It’s stale.” She says in a flat tone. “Honestly it would have been much better fresh.”

“My crotch is a no mouth zone.” You say with a growl, starting to walk back to the manor. “And that should have been plenty enough energy for you.”

She sighs as you walk. “While true, it’s just… unrewarding.”

“Maybe Hala will let Blake use you as a stress relief device when she’s busy or something.”

“You think?” She asks with a hint of hope.

“What? Eww, no, don’t even say that.” Growls Hala from behind you.

You don’t care about keeping quiet anymore as you stride forward quickly, grass crunching under your feet. The maid, and probably the lady as well, know that you’re out and about and the time for skulking around in the dark is over. As you think this, Chaika starts saying something in your mind at the same time Delilah’s eyes snap to attention. Turning your head to follow her gaze, you notice someone standing in the paved area in front of the fountain, their back toward you.

Narrowing your eyes at the figure, you see it’s a woman wearing pure white clothing while carrying parasol that to seems glow in the dark evening, contrasting with her raven black hair. As you stride forward, she turns her head and then continues to turn it, a full 180 degrees as she smiles wickedly.

“Oh why hello my dear, would you like-“

You raise the Dullahan’s head and her eyes glow a bright purple. The Ghost before you shrieks a terrifying wail, holding her ghostly arms up to her face as her clothing shreds and tears by an unseen force, her ectoplasmic flesh dissolving into nothingness. Her wail rises to a fever pitch and you answer with the [Irate Frog Song], the power of your echoing chords meeting and overpowering the unearthly shout.

And just like that, she’s gone. Delilah’s eyes fade back to their normal black sclera and she yawns, looking at you with calculating eyes before speaking,

“I’d be careful with that, you could wake the dead.”

You shrug and continue moving.

When you reach the manor doors, you plant a firm boot to the wood to kick them open. Sadly, your foot bounces from the door as you kick and you flail your arms, almost falling on your face from the recoil. Righting yourself, you stare at the doors, breathing out your nostrils. Okay, so the fuckers are going to lock you out now? Well fuck them, you’ll just blast this entire fucking door down!

You raise your staff to blast it when Hala calmly walks up to the door and pulls it open. She looks back to you with a very disappointed expression. Embarrassed, you grumble with your eyes down and stride into the dark manor, raising Chaika up for light.

There, in the middle of the foyer, upon the chair surrounded by rose petals, sits Tabitha, completely nude. She sits, legs crossed with the bare steel of her blade laying flush against the pale skin of her chest, a contrast to the tanned skin of her arms and face. She shifts ever so slightly and you appreciate the full aspects of her curves as her legs change their crossing. Her shoulders roll, accentuating the delicate curve of her neck and full breasts.

You stare in fascination as the fey light of your staff plays over this seductive tableau and you realize that her hair is also fully down and undone, hanging loosely across her back. You fumble for something to say, momentarily stunned, and she breaks the silence with a small, haunting laugh.

“Something wrong Wizard? Lizard got your tongue?”

 

Chapter 162

 

You shake your head and raise Delilah’s head up before you growl back, “You’re not Tabitha!”

She chuckles again and slides a hand over her sword, fingers delicately touching the steel in a loving caress. “You wound me Wizard. And here I am, all ready for you.”

She licks the blade before closing her eyes and moaning softly in pleasure. “There’s no need to be hasty, why don’t we just stop and take our time-“

“The real Tabitha would never do this. She wouldn’t throw herself upon someone without first dueling them, judging them as a warrior.”

“But Wizard, I have judged you as a warrior, so many times before…” She strokes the blade a little faster as she whispers, “When you fought those Dark Elves, when you killed that Arachne, oh and your fight in the coliseum, mmmm.” She shudders for a moment, sliding her fingers down the sword and tracing the line of her breast.

“I know exactly how much of a warrior you are.”

While the show is uh, deeply erotic- it’s not like you can deny that Tabitha is incredibly attractive if she wants to be, you can’t afford to be distracted by this. However, you don’t want to just hurt her as that’s actually Tabitha’s body! That means your only choice is to subdue her somehow and get Delilah to exorcise her.

You gulp at the mental image of Delilah’s head pressed against Tabitha’s naked body, their saliva mixing together, small moans of pleasure escaping from-

“Are you sure you can’t give me something fresh, because it looks like your trying really hard there.” Says Delilah in your hand.

You look down, then back to Delilah before groaning as Tabitha chuckles. “Hora, hora… Is that a wand in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

{Hey!} grumbles Chaika. {That’s my schtick!}

“Alright, that’s enough.” You say standing firm. “Either leave Tabitha’s body, or you’ll be destroyed. I don’t have time to deal with you right now, I have to find my daughter.”

Tabitha puts a finger delicately to her lips. “Oh, so forceful Wizard. I just wanted to have some fun with you, but you’re acting so mean.”

She stretches her lean body, reptilian tail swishing back and forth behind her as she stands up, exposing the full glory of her sculpted form. With a sigh, she takes a fighting stance, blade held at the ready.

“Well, if you won’t willingly come for me, I’ll just have to come to you.” She licks her lips. “It’ll be more fun that way anyway.”

You nod to Harmony, who places Veronica carefully down on the ground before striding up next to you, prepared for battle. Hala also strides up but you place a hand on her chest, then quickly adjust your aim to her shoulder, before shaking your head.

“You just got possessed. Besides, I’m afraid she’ll cut you up too much with that sword and I need your nose for later.”

Hala pouts but nods slowly before standing over Veronica’s prone form. You nod to Harmony and Delilah and then to Tabitha, who starts panting.

“Three on one is not very sporting you know.” Her eyes alight as her chest begins to heave up and down. “But it’s really turning me on right now.”

You groan and motion to Harmony who charges forward, fists ready. As she contacts the Lizardman, Tabitha deftly parries a blow with and delivers a wicked slash across Harmony’s leg, the armor easily glancing aside the blow. The strike sends Harmony off balance however, causing her to stagger forward. Tabitha quickly takes advantage and flips to the pommel of her sword, slamming it into the back of the construct and forcing Harmony to stagger to a knee before the lizardman turns to you with a flushed face and wild eyes.

Well, that didn’t go as planned. Fuck, normally you’d freeze her or something, but it’s already cold in here that she should have been sluggish as the hells, but she clearly isn’t. You figured it must be due to the possession which wards off the feeling of hypothermia.

This is very unfortunate for you.

You don’t want to use fire as that would probably kill and/or maim the poor girl- you don’t want that, but you need a way to immobilize her. Yes, you can freeze her legs but, at the moment, electrocution sounds good.

{Yeah that sounds fine.} Says Chaika, bored. {You should try bindings of darkness someday, it’s quite effective you know, just have to-}

Ignoring her blathering about corruption, you steel yourself as Tabitha dashes toward you, quick as a blink. You snap cast [Lightning Bolt], the power coursing from Chaika to slam into Tabitha’s blade. She deftly twists and somehow manages to divert the flow of electricity away from herself, ignoring the minor arcs of power that singe her skin.

The next thing you know she’s upon you. Tabitha knocks Delilah forcefully out of your hands and quickly delivers two precise strokes of her blade before turning about in a roundhouse kick that sends you flying backward into a heap.

You blink, trying to figure out what just happened when you realize that her sword blows didn’t cut you, but instead were precisely made to sever your belt. The fall dropped your trousers as well, exposing your cock to the air. Your eyes go wide as the lust crazed Monster moves upon you, her sword held low as she reaches one hand out before her, a lewd smile on her face as she moves to claim her prize.

Hala tries to jump her but, with barely a thought, the lizard grabs the wolf by the neck and throws her violently aside, not even deigning to use her blade on her. You scramble back, channeling power into your staff before discharge a gout of [Ice]. Tabitha neatly dodges before she straddles you, slamming her hand on your own to make you drop your staff. She lays a cold hand atop your penis, shuddering at the warmth as she slowly strokes the tip.

“Oh Wizard… I’m a little disappointed in you. If only you came at me with the intention to kill, this wouldn’t have been so easy.”

She leans down and breaths upon the tip of your penis, her breath oddly cool, yet stimulating. You feel a shock run through you as she adjusts position, ready to plunge onto you before you can stop her.

Giggling, she lowers herself down. Before her dripping entrance reaches however, her eyes suddenly go flat and she turns about, rage apparent on her face. “You should have stayed down you pile of scra-“

Her words are cut off as a jet of purple electricity slams into her, sending her flying forward onto you, smashing you to the ground under her weight. You can feel tingles of energy course through your own body as she spasms atop you, her smooth skin and rough scales haphazardly sliding across your flesh.

You struggle, trying to free yourself when something pulls back the Lizardman’s head and suddenly Delilah is shoved in between the two of you, her lips locking onto those of Tabitha’s.

The two Monsters struggle against each other but Tabitha is forced in place atop you, her skin rubbing against your shamefully erect member, sending tremors through your body. Soon enough though the struggle stops and you hear lewd noises and moans as the two war for dominance of mouth space. Taking the opportunity, you forcefully roll them off you before taking in a deep breath.

Sighing in relief, you look up to see Harmony standing above you, expressionless faceplate looking down. With a quick yelp, you cover your shame and blush furiously before looking over to Tabitha, who is on her side, retching up ectoplasm. Delilah, lying next to her, licks her lips, seeming satisfied with herself.

Placing a hand to your head you groan and look back to Harmony who is looking away, pretending to cough, even though that’s impossible. You shake your head before asking, “Harmony did you just…?”

“Shoot lighting? Yes, apparently I did.” She raises one of her hands as the metal from around the hand separates, revealing a thin disc that lights up with purple power before dying out. She shrugs, “Guess that’s what I was feeling before, this extra system. Doesn’t look like it was only meant to do lightning, but I can’t say why I feel that.”

You stand up, finding a way to fix your pants as you look down at Tabitha. The poor Monster is huddled in a ball, shivering with such intensity that her teeth are chattering. She looks up to you, dazed,

“W-W-Wizard? What’s h-happening?”

You lean down and place a hand on her shoulder to feel that she’s exceptionally cold. Your grit your teeth and search around for something to use as clothing before pulling down a curtain and using it to wrap the poor girl for warmth.

“Tabitha, I know this is hard to believe, but you were possessed by a Ghost.”

Bundling herself up, she nods her head, “That s-sounds reasonable.”

You blink, “It does?”

“W-Why else would I be n-naked in a mansion while covered in l-lewd juices?”

You rub at your head and try to think up a good answer before shrugging and picking up her sword, handing it back to her. She pulls herself to a sitting position and takes the blade, then frowns.

“Ugh, this is going to stain the blade unless I get it cleaned.”

Coughing into your hand, you try not to think about what exactly is going to stain the blade. “Right, okay then, look, Blake and Saya were captured by the maid, and while I really would like to help you here, we need to get going.”

Tabitha looks up to you and nods, standing up slowly while shivering. “Ugh, I really hope that Ghost didn’t destroy my under garments. That warmth spell you put on them is a lifesaver.”

You smirk and then have a thought, handing Tabitha the [Darkness Attuned Compass] before you pick up Delilah, who has a curious expression on her face. The Dullahan just looks at you and rolls her eyes.

“Ghosts always kind of taste funny.”

You blink and look at the ground, trying to fully process what she just said. It’s just… You mean… Wow.

Shaking your head, you look to Hala, who still seems perfectly fine flashing everyone, and ask, “Hala, I’m having trouble connecting with Bubs, can you smell Blake?”

She closes her eyes and sniffs loudly before pointing upstairs. “Yes, I found him, and his scent is strong-” A frown comes across her face before her eyes flare up. “Oh that fucking bitch. Only I can make him give off that scent!”

Growling, she charges up the stairs and you follow in pursuit behind with Harmony, still carrying the unconscious Veronica, Tabitha trailing behind you. You quickly move upstairs, looking out for any signs of Ghosts, but seeing nothing until Hala comes before a large set of doors that obviously lead to the master suite. She growls ferociously and paws at the door but is unable to open it.

You sigh, readying your magic when Tabitha calls, “Wizard… Your device is pointing directly ahead, and it’s shaking quite furiously.”

Chaika growls, {Damnit, that’s some intense power!}

The doors before you slowly open inward, revealing the pleasantly smiling face of Xanthia, her arms crossed before her as she bows at the waist. Beyond her lies an ornate hallway lined with statues, paintings, and other rich furnishings. They’re all covered in a thick layer of ice and you can practically see energy of ghosts flowing around the room.

As she rises she says in a gentle voice. “The lady is currently entertaining a guest right now. Please return to your rooms.”

You grit your teeth. “Cut the crap, I know you have Saya and Bubs.”

“And Blake!” Chimes in Hala.

“Him too, I guess. We’re not leaving without them.”

Xanthia tilts her head before gently touching her cheek with her hand. She sighs and shakes her head.

“Oh dear. I’m afraid we have a problem then.”

Without warning, a pool of darkness spreads from the maid, covering the walls, floor, and ceiling, casting the area around you in an oppressive gloom. Random shapes twist and move in the unnatural dark as teeth flash, eyeballs twitch, and a sea of unseen and ever-changing horrors writhe around you.

Xanthia adopts her characteristic smile again as tentacles of dark purple appear from her body and start to flow from her.

“My lady gave my explicit instructions to not be disturbed. She did not, however, forbid me from having a good time.”

 

Chapter 163

 

Oh what the fuck is this.

Everywhere around you a cold, oppressive darkness fills your vision as twisted words enter your mind, speaking of unseen horrors and promised torture. You feel your skin begin to crawl as phantom tingles spread down your body and the sensation of thousands of spiders trickle down your face and into your mouth, suffocating you in a disgusting embrace of raw terror.

You stagger back, searching everywhere, but all you see are eyes staring back while unnatural teeth gnash and somehow scream of forgotten memories. Your put a hand to your head to stop the pressure, but it feels as if your skeleton is trying to claw it way free of your flesh.

Of course it would, it doesn’t want to be here. No one wants to be here.

You see Hala tremble uncontrollably before kneeling down and curling into a ball while tiny pink kittens dance on her head, each whispering something vaguely anti-Danuki. You look down and panic and you realize you’re holding a fucking head! How long has that been there! Dropping the unfortunate thing, you fall back, swinging your knife-stick around, feeling as if someone is trying to tell you something, but Gods damn! Those fucking spiders man!

Your staff collides into something and you whirl about, eyes wide. Before you is a tall, imposing creature made of flesh and bone, but it’s all wrong, as if the skeleton is fractured and broken.

“Wizard! Calm down! It’s me, Harmony!,

The monstrosIty says this from one of its many mouths and you pull back, preparing to cast a bolt of magic at the thing. Something solid hits the small of your back before you can however, sending you forward in a heap on the ground where those damn spiders return to chew on your flesh!

You writhe and squirm as you feel a pair of arms turn you over and you see the fleeting images of a fist slam into your face. Your vision swims in and out as the nightmarish hellscape suddenly resolves into Tabitha, then slips back into the visage of a raging beast, howling at you with sounds that chill your soul.

Then the fist comes again and as blood trickles from your nose, you realize with shock that yes, that’s Tabitha and she’s punching you. Wait a second, then that means this isn’t a horrifying world of pain and misery, it’s only your mind being rent asunder by the power of a terrifying abomination!

That’s so much better!

“Woah woah hold the fuck up!” You shout, holding an arm up over your face. “You did it Tabitha, I’m good, holy fuck, stop!”

You see the fist, cocked and ready again, waver in the air. Your eyes find Tabitha’s face where she stares at you before sighing and rolling off you, her makeshift toga slipping down one shoulder as she grips her sword.

Groaning, you and rub at your face, removing the blood from your nose as you look about, eyes focusing on the source of your pain. The fucking maid, smiling that demure fucking smile still stands before you, her tentacles lashing back and forth, blocking a barrage of blows from Harmony and the occasional blast of lightning, which becomes absorbed into her black body and causes her to release small moans of pleasure.

Looking to Tabitha, she grunts at you. “That’s the second time Wizard, if this happens again, I’m charging you.”

You slowly pick yourself up, grabbing Chaika from the ground before nodding to Tabitha. “Fine. How did you resist this and not the Ghost?”

“This is merely a mind trick, and Lizardman are immune to those. A Ghost instead possesses the soul.”

“Are you saying you have no soul?”

“Wizard I swear to the Gods, shut up and blast this bitch.”

You nod sharply and channel your will, thinking to Chaika, {Ready for this?}

{I’ve been ready you dunce. I swear, you could have broken me swinging me about like that!}

{Sorry, I wasn’t in my right mind.}

{I saw.} She says offhanded as she focuses your power. You channel the power into a focus of raw energy and discharge a [Lightning Bolt].

The energy, tinged purple through Chaika, courses through the air and into the maid. Her body lights up, sending her near translucent skin into luminescent sheen. Despite this, she turns her face to yours, that smile now literally lit up as her black eyes shine with your power before it slowly fades away.

“Hehe. Oh my, how… shocking!” She giggles some before blocking a blow by Harmony with a tentacle, pushing the construct forcefully away.

She raises an arm, the first time since this began, and from the murk around you rises little copies of herself, about four in total. They giggle softly before assaulting you and Tabitha.

You raise your knife-stick and stab toward the little creature, its giggling managing to rip into your soul as it pushes aside your clumsy blow. Maybe you should ask for training from Tabitha or something.

A second creature jumps at you and latches its tiny, smooth body about your arm. You wave her about furiously, but she won’t come free. In your distraction, the other one runs up to you and attaches to your leg. Though you flail about wildly, you aren’t being hurt or anything until the one on your leg smiles manically as tentacles sprout from her back and become deadly sharp.

Cursing, you lash out with your free arm, smashing your hand into her face and pressing down into the soft, almost gelatinous skin before you scream and channel [Fire] through your hand. The creature shudders and trembles, your fist growing incredibly warm as the creature screams and starts to bubble before shuddering and then exploding outward, showering you in goo and causing the other creature to squeal in shock. You grab her with your arm and throw it off onto the ground before driving Chaika into its chest.

A surge of power and magic shudders into the thing, it’s body trembling as a spike of darkness flashes from the spear tip and darts to the thing’s head. Its face distorts into a twisted grin before it shudders and melts into the ground.

You pant before looking over and seeing Tabitha slash up the two assaulting her with ease, holding the curtain up to her chest with one hand while her sword cleaves through them with no trouble.

She nods her head to you when she’s finished. “Wizard, we need to hit her with something hard, now.”

“She’s absorbing my magic like it’s a joke, and she still has that fucking grin on her face.”

Xanthia does still have that smile and, as she looks into your fucking soul from across the room, she lashes out with her tentacles and pushes Harmony back toward you, the construct sliding through the murk to stand next to you. You put a hand on her shoulder and she growls.

“Damnit! She doesn’t seem to be hurt by anything.”

You nod. “If only you were still in the staff, we could call up some massive lightning or something.”

{Oh sure, okay, wow, fuck you too.} Growls Chaika from the knife-stick.

“Sorry, geez.” You breathe out before grinding your teeth. “If only we could use the [Plasma Blast].”

“You’d need sufficient heat and electricity, right?” Harmony asks. “How can you do that, she’s absorbing all of this.”

You grit your teeth and search about before staring at Harmony’s fist, which crackles slightly with electricity Your eyes go wide. Could it be…?

You snap your head to Tabitha. “Quickly, engage her, I need to concentrate.”

Without a second thought, Tabitha dashes forward to the creature and starts fighting, slashing apart her tentacles as fast as they flash forward. The maid frowns as she starts to concentrate on the assault, giving you the time to look to Harmony.

“Wizard, what’s going on?” She asks, watching Tabitha go toe to toe with the creature, not able to harm it, but still keeping her at bay. If Harmony had a real face, your certain she’d look jealous.

“Harmony, if I bring the fire, will you bring the thunder?”

“Thunder is a sound wizard.”

“Not now MOM.” You groan as Harmony nods her head, understanding that perhaps this isn’t the best time for a joke. She holds up a hand and you take it as she points her other hand at the maid. You level Chaika forward and channel your rage and power into the staff, causing the tip to burst into red light.

“On the count of three.”

“One…” Tabitha slashes at the tentacles as they come toward her.

“Two…” The maid frowns deeply before sprouting a massive burst of tentacles, each laced with multiple mouths and teeth, jabbering with madness and exuding an aura of madness.

“Three!”

 

Chapter 164

 

From your staff spews forth fire so hot it burns your face at the same time as lightning bursts from Harmony’s hand. The two fly forward and converge into swirling spear of light at the moment they reach the maid.

Tabitha jumps back as the maid’s tentacles swing toward her, missing by the barest margin before the magic hits. You see a burst of blinding light followed by blast of sound. A “woomph” of air sends you staggering backward, only able to stand because of Harmony’s hand.

It takes a while before your eyes clear and the mild ringing in your ears dies down. As the light fades you see where the maid once stood is now… Nothing. The pervasive darkness that flowed from her is gone and in her place the floor for about ten feet is splintered and shattered. Paintings lay broken and burning while statues are shattered and melted, others leaking and melting into disfigured heaps from the heat.

You sigh and hang your head. While this was an act of desperation, you were afraid it wasn’t going to work or, even if it did, it would be like the coliseum. Of course, had it worked like that, you’d be dead, Selene or no, from this distance.

“By the Gods, it worked!” Shouts Harmony, her grip hurting your hand.

“Yeah, I guess so.” You say, feeling exhausted as you try to pry out of her grip. Casting this didn’t wipe your energy like before, but the mix of the terror you felt earlier and the magic needed…it made you tired.

Looking down, you see Hala shuddering and pulling herself up as well as Delilah, who you just realized you threw onto the ground like common trash, laying there and sighing, annoyed.

Then your spine stiffens as you remember that Tabitha was right in sight the creature! Your eyes dart about, looking for her until you see her crumpled form, laying prone against a wall that was cracked from the force of her impact into it. You race toward her and roll her onto her back, feeling for signs of life and sighing as feel she has a pulse, but is unconscious.

Harmony walks over to her and puts a hand on your shoulder. “Is she-?”

You shake your head. “No, she’s fine, just unconscious.”

She nods her head, “Of course, of course.” Turning her gaze to the broken and shattered doorway she says, “We need to move on and rescue the others.”

You look about and see Veronica, still unconscious, as well as the groaning Hala. You hang your head and stand up. “I need you to stay here and protect them.”

“But, you can’t-!”

“Yes, I can.” You say, smiling. “It’ll be fine. Stay with Delilah, and keep them safe, I’ll be out soon, alright?”

She looks down before nodding. “Alright, stay safe Wizard.”

You smirk and tap her shoulder before walking through the doorway.

As you step past ground zero, you hear a lingering giggle and stop, looking about. She- she’s dead, right? Seeing nothing, you put the giggle out of your mind and look about the hallway. The swirling gale of ghosts seems to sense an intruder in their presence and they dash toward you, screaming in lust and anger. You slam your staff onto the ground and channel magic into Chaika, causing her radiate power which pushes the Ghosts back, screaming in terror.

Some of the more powerful Ghosts press forward anyway, gritting their spectral teeth as they press in. You reach into your [Sack of Holding +1] and pull out a vial of [Holy Water], then uncork it with your teeth and splash the water through the air.

As it contacts the Ghosts, their translucent bodies burst into green flames and they recoil back, allowing you to continue your trek forward, wails of torment ringing about you as you run toward the door. Cold fingers brush your neck as you slam into the door with your body, forcing it to burst open.

Instantly, your beard begins to frost over and you feel your very bones chill inside the room. You shiver uncontrollably as your breath becomes visible in the veritable freezer of the master bedroom.

The room is quite large and decorated and a multitude of furniture all made of pure, shining ice. The floor is a slick with frost as well as the walls, and you notice that there are no paintings here. In fact, the walls are bare to the point where you notice that the ice has formed a sheet of mirrors that focuses on a single point: the four-poster bed in the center of the room. Now that you notice it, the only thing that isn’t made of ice in this room is the bed and its mattress, which rock back and forth, curtains open.

Upon the bed is Lady Juliant straddling the recumbent form of Blake, his skin blue and cold as he shivers, body stiff. Of course, the stiffest part of his body is his erect member, enveloped on the warm folds of the lady’s vagina.

You watch in panoramic view as she rides Blake over and over, forcing herself onto him as her body rocks his into the creaking bed. Their forms press into the mattress, causing it to shudder with every undulation of her hips upon his manhood.

You growl and take a step forward, raising your staff when the Yuki-Onna throws her head back and cries out, her nails digging deep into Blake’s chest as the Hero shudders and groans, thrusting his pelvis up into her as if being sucked into a vacuum. They stay like this for what seems an eternity before Blake drops back down, breathing heavy.

The lady smirks, looking to you with sultry eyes as she slowly lifts herself up from Blake’s body, small gobets of semen leaking forth in a dribble form her snatch. She sighs and rubs at her nether region before addressing you.

“Oh! Wizard! Did Xanthia send you in? I’m afraid you caught me at a rather inconvenient time I’m afraid, but I just finished with the Hero for now and might I say, he was very much worth it.”

 

Chapter 165

 

You growl and point your staff at the ice spirit, the tip lighting into flame. “Your maid is dead and the same fate will occur to you if you don’t release my daughter, my familiar…” You look to Blake and sigh. “And the Hero I guess.”

She raises an eyebrow as she lays down atop Blake, pressing her body onto his. He shudders, instinctively seeking warmth from her flesh.

“Dead? I sincerely doubt that. As for your daughter…” She points to a corner of the room where a frozen stature of a woman and a rat reside.

“They’re just spectating for now. Honestly if I didn’t have experience with such unstable beings I would have had to be much more aggressive with her.”

Your eyes go wide and you shout, “You bitch!”

She gasps with a mocking tone. “Oh, no, no, no, such manners will never do here! You must never threaten a host, that is poor form.” She places a hand to Blake’s throat, her nails drawing drops of blood.

“Unless of course, the host threatens first. But we can be civil! In fact, I don’t ask for much at all.”

“What are you talking about?”

She chuckles and rubs her belly, “I just want a little warmth. It’s so lonely, so cold here. But when guests come by they warm me up so well.” She looks outside the doors at the swirling ghosts. “Of course, after the fun we have, most decide they want to stay, forever.”

“You fucking monster. You just lure people in and kill them?”

She shrugs, “That’s a very boring way to saying it, but I suppose it’s the crux of the matter.”

“Why would you do that?”

She sighs and traces her finger across Blake’s chest. “It wasn’t always this way. I used to be human you know, and this place used to be quite lively until one of the early Monster Invasions. In exchange for my life, I was transformed into this, and my life of comfort became one of cold, always seeking warmth.

“Well why not find a husband or whatever the fuck you Monsters do?”

Her expression becomes fierce. “I had a husband before the change, but the Lady- Well, her army stole him along with the other male staff, killing the women and trapping their souls as Ghosts.”

She snarls, “I can never forgive her for that. Try as I might, I can never love again like I did my poor Henry, however…” She grips her hand on Blake, a crazed smile coming to her lips. “I can fill that void with warmth, however temporary, from those who travel these lands. Should the Lady or her minions try to disturb me any further, however, they will be destroyed- mercilessly.”

You try to process all of this. Slowly, you ask, “What if I told you that we’re fighting the Monster Lady, that we seek to destroy her?”

“Well, then I’d say you have a good head on your shoulders, but I only care about the head between your legs.”

“Why? Why not use your strength to fight against the Lady?”

She laughs, “The Hero here tried the same tactic on me, as did many others before you. No, I feel the resentment in my bones, but I will not leave my lands to be pillaged by the scum of this land.”

You sigh and hang your head before igniting your staff again. “Very well then, but before I burn your icy body into oblivion, can you tell me where you get your food from? It’s the one question I just can’t figure out.”

“Oh.” She shrugs, lifting herself off Blake’s body. “Xanthia makes it from her own body, she’s quite skilled.”

You feel your stomach roil and you shoot a lance of [Fire] at the Monster.

She laughs and rolls off the bed, causing the fire to miss her and crash against the wall, melting the mirror. Standing in her nude glory, she conjures up spikes of ice from the floor that race toward you, prompting you to quickly apply your own skill with [Ice] to split the flow enough for it to miss.

“Ara Ara… I don’t say that often, I feel you deserve it. Oh I remember the last Wizard who walked into my domain. He was quite skilled with his magic and his staff served him well in the bedroom too…”

“I swear to fucking Solos, what is with your Monsters and your damn lust?!” You shout back, firing off a bolt of flame that she deftly stops with blocks of ice.

“Dogs eat dog food. Fun things are fun. Monsters have sex. These are the constants of our world.” She raises a hand and shrugs, “Take it up with the Gods.”

She fires a gout of ice at you, but this time you’re prepared, forming a [Shield Circle] that deftly stops the ice cold. Hehe– But no time for jokes as you drop the shield and try using [Lightning Bolt].

The two of you trade blows back and forth, sending magical energy flying around the room, melting and re freezing the furniture in bursts of power. After one particularly nasty strike of ice that you barely block, you find yourself sliding across the floor before colliding into something solid. Instead of crumpling though, you feel strong hands press on your shoulders and stabilize you.

Looking over your shoulder, you see Harmony standing behind you, still as possible, her blank eyes staring down at you.

“Oh thank the Gods! Harmony, I’m glad you’re here, but why aren’t you guarding the others?”

She says nothing. You look at her, concerned. “Harmony? What’s wrong?”

The pressure on your shoulders increases until you cry out in pain and drop to one knee as Harmony presses upon you.

“Harmony, what the fu-ahh!” You shout as Lady Juliant walks up, chuckling.

“Oh my, it seems your little toy has been possessed! How curious, I haven’t seen something like this in ages.”

She gently slides an ice-cold finger over your lips and you shudder as she twirls your beard around her fingers.

“I was going to have some more fun with the Hero, but this little fight of ours has really stirred me up inside. I think I’ll just give you the pleasure early.”

You hang your head, more tired than defeated. How do you always end up in these situations?

Lady Juliant makes a disappointed “tsk, tsk” and uses her forefinger to raise your chin, her icy touch sending shivers down your spine. Her eerie blue eyes stare into yours, searching for something before she sighs.

“Where did that defiance from before go? That raw vigor and power? This is just sad.”

“Why did you do it?” You ask suddenly.

She blinks, confused. “Do… what?”

“You know, abandon your husband.”

She stares at you, a streak of anger flashing in her eyes, if not her face. “What was that?”

“I asked,” You continue, eyes still looking aside. “Why you abandoned your husband all those years ago to the predations of the Monster horde? You could have saved him.”

She growls, “What do you THINK you know about any of this? It happened centuries before you were born you little worm, there was no fighting the will of the Lady back then.”

She looks to the side, snarling, “Besides, he could never love me the way I am now. My only solace is that he is long dead in the grave and free from his torment.”

“I doubt that’s true.” You whisper.

She growls and grabs your beard, “And what does a little virgin Wizard like you know of love?”

You take a deep breath, look her straight in the eye, and say, “More than you, I suspect.”

Then you begin the [Irate Frog Song].

 

Chapter 166

 

The raw force of your infused voice pushes the Yuki-onna away from you. Her eyes go wide with shock as she stumbles backward, putting hands to her ears. You feel Harmony’s grip upon you start to slacken, but it’s still enough to keep you rooted in place.

May the Gods forgive you for what you’re about to do.

You quickly weave an [Amplify] before you. The power of your voice magnifies, causing the whole room to shudder and shake, the icy furniture shuddering under the force of your voice. As you reach the height of the song you feel Harmony groan, then her arms suddenly go slack and you feel her weight slump behind you, though you can’t hear a damn thing.

The shivering of the room increases until, with a sound like a tea kettle overheating, the ice in the room shatters! That is to say, the whole fucking room shatters, sending pieces of ice exploding outward, cutting slices into the bed, the walls, Blake, and Lady Juliant. Even you get cut up, although thankfully your robes protect you from the worst of it.

As one rather large chunk wallops you in the forehead, you stagger back, your song ending as you’re forcefully removed from the stage. Rubbing your head from the sting, you try to get your bearings back when it occurs to you that you just destroyed all the ice in the room. And your daughter is currently a block of ice.

Panic rising, you sweep your eyes across the room to spot the area where the two were frozen. You see a puddle of blackness overlaying a pile of bones, looking nothing so much like a tar pit releasing its ancient victims to the air. You suddenly feel sick. Oh Gods no, you didn’t- you couldn’t have-

As you put a hand to your stomach you notice the little rat sitting next to the goop and a thought occurs to you. If they’re dead, then why aren’t you flat on your ass, shivering in pain from the loss of your familiar? Hells, you might even have died in that case as well!

Quickly performing a [Fast Scan] on both of them, you sigh in relief as you find that, while both are not necessarily hale, they’re alive, if unconscious. That’s more than enough for you at the moment, however.

You wipe some blood from your cheek where an ice shard had cut it and rise, planting Chaika on the now bare flooring. Looking behind you, you see Harmony slumped over, her internal system lights off, but the magical presence of her crystal is still operational, thank the Gods. Of course, if she’s still possessed, which is the only logical answer, then there’s no telling when she might get back up.

Time to make this quick then.

You stride over to the Lady Juliant, who is shakily getting to her feet. Her beautiful body is torn and bleeding from flying shards of ice, though blood is already starting to freeze over the wounds. She growls and raises her hand to cast something, but you slap it away and grab her by the chin.

“You want to warm up, huh?” You say, as fire springs to life through Chaika, who seems positively giddy to do so.

“Well then, let’s heat things up?”

You press the flaming knife-stick close to her face and she screams, trying to pull away. She squirms, her cold, pale face heating up rapidly to a more normal flesh color. You think about forcing her to call a surrender when her eyes flash with murder and she takes a deep breath. Feeling that this is about to get really bad, you pull away as she lets loose a torrent of ice from her mouth. You feel she would have frozen you solid had you not had the foresight to pull away. Even still, your beard took another one for the team is now a veritable block of ice.

As you regain your feet the air around the Yuki-onna goes practically subzero and you can feel the ripples of magic pour through her. You step back, trying to figure out the spell she’s about to cast, when ice appears out of nowhere in wickedly sharp bursts, her eyes going pure white as she snarls in anger.

Your shield probably isn’t going to protect you from whatever the hells is about to occur here. You could try the [Counter Circle], and hells, you’d probably succeed. But that isn’t how this is going to play out. No, this frosty bitch decided to give you the cold shoulder and put your daughter on ice in her house frozen in time so she could make ice with other men instead of rescuing her husband.

Well, then this Ice Queen is in for a chilling realization: you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.

Raising Chaika up, you channel pure fire such to the point that all ice in a circle around you begins to melt, the water coursing away from you in rivulets. When they meet the zone of cold cast by the Yuki-onna they freeze again, creating a visible divide between fire and ice.

Lady Juliant narrows her eyes and channels even greater power around her, pushing back your melting zone and causing you to grit your teeth. You force more and more of your concentration and will into the heat and fire gathering around you. As the stalemate continues, you carefully open your bag and wait, continuing to raise the temperature.

You feel, rather than see, as her energy reaches its peak. She screams, throwing her arms toward you as the raw fury of winter crashes down upon you in a wave of freezing cold.

In response, sweating though you are, you cast out your magic, knowing that it just isn’t nearly as powerful as her blast of ice. Still, your [Fireball] crashes into her ice, and the resulting steam is blinding, the heat nearly scalding and turning the room into a veritable sauna. Still, you can feel that her ice is overpowering you. You step back, afraid of the cold embrace of the grave.

And then, without warning, it stops. Gone, vanished, vamoosed. All that remains is a roiling cloud of steam and pools of water as the gas billowed out through the room, dispersing and granting glorious warmth while at the same time giving you a modicum more of vision.

As shapes began to take hold again, you see Lady Juliant, lying on her back before you, breathing in ragged gasps, unmoving on the floor. You take a slow step toward her, your beard dripping water all down the front of you as you look down at her.

Jutting from her breast, abdomen, right arm, and thigh are globs of brown, viscous looking material that slide down her body, creating rivulets in the meltwater. Her eyes dart back and forth as she struggles to make words, her breath coming in ragged gasps and choking coughs.

“H-how… Wha-?” Is all she’s able to say before she goes into coughing fits again.

You sigh and point to your [Sack of Holding +1].

“I knew the fire wasn’t enough to stop your power- you were too strong. But I had a secret weapon in my arsenal.”

With a wave of your hand, a stream of feces appears from the bag, flowing around you and creating a stench that becomes magnified in the swamp-like confines of the room.

She coughs, blood running from her mouth, “Y-you shot me with… Grah…. Shit?”

You nod your head. “Aye, fired it through the steam, and the freezing power of your magic made it powerful enough to piece your skin.”

She groans as her eyes flutter. “Am… Am I going to die?”

“Yes. You are.”

She coughs, blood and sputum spouting form her lips. “Ah… At least I’ll get to see… my Henry again…”

You don’t say anything to that as she shudders one more time before going slack, her face lolling to the side.

 

Chapter 167

 

You just stare at Lady Juliant, her body still as ice in death and wonder if someone so cruel should be allowed to look so peaceful.

{It’s the nature of things.} Says Chaika softly. {Don’t cry for her, she wouldn’t have cried for you.}

{I’m not her though.} You say, wondering just how many Monsters you’ve sent to the grave by this point. You’ve lost count, or perhaps you never wanted to start counting. The thought is too depressing.

As you take your eyes off the body, you feel a surge of magical power about you and you whirl around, trying to locate its source. It seems to be coming from everywhere all at once!

{Chaika, what the hells is this?} You ask, trying to think of a plan.

{Ghosts, it’s the Ghosts! They’re all moving together, literally all of them!}

You frown, concerned as an unearthly howl echoes through the halls, causing your body to shiver and shake with the pressure upon your soul. You stagger, your tired form resting on Chaika as the sound flows through you.

{Hold on Wizard, I think I know what’s going on.} Chaika says in a reassuring voice as you stare out into the corridor and see a swirling gust of green power. Opaque figures twirl in the billows of energy, their voices stretching and screeching to your mind. As the sound reaches a crescendo, the energy spirals upward in a funnel and the souls of the dead fly up through this tunnel and out of the house, leaving an echo of their pain and the impression of joy.

You slump back to the floor, the psychic backlash of so many souls being freed to enter the realm of Nerg causing your magical senses much anguish. You pant, trying to recover yourself. It’s over. The lady is dead, her maid is obliterated, and the souls of the departed are released to their eternal slumber.

Sighing, you close your eyes and allow your tired body to give in to its accumulated insults when you feel strong arms grasp you around the shoulders and the world suddenly shifts as you’re thrown forcefully through the air, crashing full-bodied into Blake’s prone form. He pulls up, coughing in pain as you try to get your bearings.

You look ahead of you and see Harmony, walking slowly toward you, a fey glow about her. What the hells is going on, did you scramble Harmony’s crystal somehow?

“Harmony, what are you doing? Stop, it’s over!”

Harmony hisses, static seeming to pulse through in her voice. “No… No it’s not over. I finally have a body again, and I refuse to just enter the void.”

She flexes a hand, staring at it while soft electricity plays over the fingertips. “Though this form does not seem to possess a vagina or feeling, there are yet ways I may play with you and fulfill my pent-up lusts.”

The construct turns its emotionless face upon you and takes a step forward. You try to pull back grabbing onto anything to get away, and you feel your hand grab something long, thick, and solid. Turning about, you see that you’ve grabbed Blake’s shaft and you hurriedly release it, feeling horrified as the possessed Harmony leers above you.

She reaches for you when a quick, thudding sounds echo from behind and you hear, “Through Solos our purity is assured, through Solos the plight of man is alleviated, through Solos we might purge the darkness and live in his light, blessed be our hallowed Lord to deliver us from our misery!”

Harmony turns and then shudders violently as Veronica’s hand latches onto her face and radiant yellow light flows through the woman and into the construct. Harmony emit a powerful, static scream as green ooze flows from the cracks in her plating to pool on the floor.

Veronica releases her grip on the construct’s face, causing Harmony to slump down to the ground and fall over in a heap. The Aspirant looks down at the fallen device, then back to you before shrugging.

“Evening Wizard, did I miss much?”

————————————————————————————–

The rest of the party joins you soon after that, Hala cuddling up with Blake when she realizes how cold he is. This is much to the dismay of the other girls, who thankfully don’t say anything, although Tabitha gives Blake’s naked form a loooong glance before turning away to inspect the Yuki-onna’s corpse.

You quickly go to check on Saya, who had spent the time since unfreezing to literally pull herself together, and by the time you reach her, she’s mostly humanoid.

Bubs is out cold the entire time, but he also wakes up and you can feel your link to him reignite. He stumbles about drunkenly for a moment before looking up to you.

{Hey there big guy… What’s going on?}

You smile and pull the little dude into an embrace. {Nothing buddy, just glad to see you’re alright,}

{Oh, cool…} He says, eyes drifting back closed. {I’m going to take… Another nap. You owe me two Bubsy snacks for this…}

You smile, place him in your pocket, and whisper, “Sure thing bud.”

After making sure Saya is able to walk, which thankfully none of her bones are broken, you give her the biiigggeesssst hug and a kiss on the forehead to the point where she starts to try and push you away, complaining about how you’re embarrassing her. Whatever, she can deal with it. You stay there for quite some time before making your way over to the others to see Veronica helping Harmony up, her systems online again. The construct shakes her head and looks to you before looking away- probably embarrassed.

“W-Wizard, I… I could feel that thing invade me and she made me think such… Such lewd thoughts and- I’m sorry, I couldn’t fight her.”

You sigh and pat the head of the construct. “It’s fine, we’re all safe now. What happened anyway?”

Delilah pipes up at that from her place atop the bed. “I was keeping the spirits at bay from repossessing the bodies of those three when a massive surge of them came forth. I had thought that they would leave the construct alone, but it seems I was mistaken.”

Harmony shrugs and chuckles softly before looking away. You rub your head and then narrow your eyes. “Wait, you said you knew what was happening, was that the same with you two?”

Hala and Tabitha exchange a glance before pointedly looking away from you.

“Nope, we were fully possessed, I don’t remember a thing.” Says Hala, snuggling up to Blake.

“That is foolish to insinuate Wizard, I am insulted.” Mutters Tabitha as she pulls her makeshift clothing tight.

The two exchange another glance and giggle, leaving you perplexed and mildly annoyed as Blake wakes up, looking about in confusion.

“Oh hells, I got raped again, didn’t I?”

 

Chapter 168

 

Since your [Darkness Attuned Compass] is now quiet again and Delilah feels there’s no real threat left, you all decide to stay the rest of the night in the house. This time you all stay in one room with proper wards up and a nice, gentle heating via the new, wonderful spell you crafted, [Warm Blooded].

Tabitha and Delilah stand watch again, the latter in exchange for your pipe, and you quickly fall asleep on the floor apart from Blake, while the girls all share the bed.

The morning comes far too quickly for you however, and you awaken to the naked form of Hala stretching her tail over you, giving you a full view of her nether regions. You just blink your eyes before sighing.

“Hala, put some damn pants on.”

The Wolf Girl sticks her tongue out at you as the rest of the party awakens and you begin to gather your supplies up. Harmony finds Tabitha’s undergarments hanging from a chandelier in a side room and, in a short period of time, the women are fully dressed again, much to your good spirits Blake’s disappointment.

Since the Lady is gone, you decide to go searching for supplies as you had been asked to, unable to bring yourself to tell the others that everything was created by the maid. Of course, when Hala finds a storage cellar full of fresh vegetables and salted meats, she gleefully brings it back to the rest of you, excitement on her face and terror on yours.

There… There’s was no way that this should be here unless Lady Juliant lied to you or… Or the maid really isn’t-

You keep that disturbing thought to yourself as you comb through the place some more, looking for possible artifacts. All you find however are empty paintings and couches, the chair from last evening mysteriously gone. The only interesting thing you note is a large cabinet in the cellar which, when opened, has multiple vials of white fluid labeled, “chilled semen.”

Your stomach roils at the sight but Chaika practically drool, begging you to “please, please, please take some, it’s not like it’s going to hurt anyone, come on pleeeaaseeee.”

You groan and take a few vials. Might as well have some on hand for Delilah also. It isn’t fresh, you don’t think, but it’s probably just as energy dense or whatever the hells is going on in semen that makes Monsters crave it so much. Salt? Do they want salt?

Ah, whatever.

As your search of the premises ends, you hear the sound of hoofbeats coming from outside. Opening the front doors, a frown comes to your face as you see the Reindeer Girls approaching, their leader crossing her arms under her breasts as she pulls up short in the rotunda. She looks over your party and smiles wickedly.

“Well, well, well, look at you! Our brave group of adventurers managed to survive the night in Juliant Manor. You didn’t kill the Lady, did you?”

You narrow your eyes, suspicious. “We did.”

She smiles even wider, “Wonderful! Oh that makes things so much easier then.”

You frown. “Easier? What are you talking about. We had a deal, where’s that mountain pass?”

“Deal? What, for that stupid little pass near the waterfall to the northwest? Oh well, see we originally thought you were just going to die here like everyone else, but wow, you actually killed the bitch.”

She paces about, looking around the grounds and nodding her head. “But hey, now that she’s dead, that saves us a world of trouble. The lady wanted this place as a forward command to assault that Fortress, and, wouldn’t you know it, a dumb group of muscle heads was able to save us trouble. I guess patrolling south did pay off in the end.”

She waves a hand, “Kill them, this time no playing around.”

As she says this, the Monsters around her start to charge forward toward your group. Caught by surprise, you’re unable to mount a proper defense!

As the first reindeer reaches you, her spear thrusting for your throat, you recoil back only to see tendrils of blackness grab the spear, then the Reindeer Girl as they pull her down into a sea of nothingness.

The other Monsters stop in their charge, prancing about in confusion as more of them are randomly pulled down into newly formed murk, their screams and brays echoing in the darkness. The leader looks about, furiously shouting for order when out from the ground the shape of Xanthia materializes. She delicately strokes the chin of the leader before her hand becomes a seething mass of eyes and teeth which rends the Reindeer Girl’s face asunder before more tentacles drag the body, still trashing, into the abyss.

Your party stares in horror as the Reindeer Girls are destroyed or flee, running off the premises as fast as they can by bolting over walls, or charging through the gate. Xanthia lets them go, smiling toward your party as she touches a hand to her cheek,

“Oh my, they were such rude guests.”

You gulp and raise your staff, not wanting to fight this thing again, when she giggles softly, the darkness retreating back into her as she calmly glides toward you.

“There is no need for that, you put my lady to rest and I thank.” She looks behind her. “They, on the other hand, sought to defile her memory, and that just wouldn’t do.”

She touches your nose and you shudder. “I hope you like the gifts I left you. Have a safe journey, and please come back to visit. I’ll be here,” She continues to move beyond you, back into the mansion,

“Always.”

The rest of you watch her go, stunned in silence at what just happened. Veronica slowly licks her lips and whispers,

“Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

————————————————————————————–

The next day as the wagon plods on down the road, you have a [UFT] out ahead of you, searching for whatever waterfall you’re looking for. The others are either resting or tending to their equipment, and Veronica of all people is driving the horses. You narrow your eyes at one point while searching through the sentry when you see something in the far distance that looks like it could be your target.

“I think I found it, far out ahead, due northwest.” You say, continuing to scan for threats, which thankfully you find none.

The others sigh in relief and Hala beams, slapping a crate. “See, everything turned out alright. We survived, we found the mountain pass, and we got a crate of fresh food!”

You and everyone but Hala share a look and then nod your heads in silent agreement. Hala just looks around, confused and scared as the rest of you move in toward her precious meats.

As the sun hangs heavy in the sky overhead, two crates sit on the road, silently fading back into the nothingness from whence they came while a wagon trundles onward to the looming hills and mountains ahead.

 

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