Chapter 114 Bedtalk
“I’m sorry, it’s just that I’ve never been asked that directly...” the man lying next to her said, watching the stars with her.
“Don’t worry about it Kyrian.” she said, turning over to the man. He was beautiful. Tall and muscular without it being too much. She touched his side, making him look at her. “Have you ever kissed someone?” she asked, getting a little closer to him.
“No...” he said, his heartbeat speeding up. Ilea slowly went closer until their lips met.
“Now you have...” she said and grinned, going in again. His arms slowly wrapped around her as she kissed him again, this time longer, more passionate.
“You tell me if you want to stop, it’s really alright.” she said, right over his face.
“Are you kidding me?” the man smiled at her, pulling her closer for another kiss. A couple minutes later Ilea moved up, now sitting on the man, making her leather armor disappear. The clothing below was still on her and she slowly removed her shirt, revealing herself to him.
“Oh my god...” he said, a bit overwhelmed by the sight before him. Ilea smirked and went down for another kiss.
“You’re allowed to touch me you know?” she said in between kissing. A shiver went through her as his hands brushed against her side and got to her chest. She started removing his leather armor, the two getting into a battle of clothes and kissing, stopping only at the underwear.
Ilea kissed his chest and slowly went further down until she removed the last piece of his clothing. Getting rid of her own, she slid up again and helped guide the man into her. A soft moan left her as she went to kiss him again, her body starting to move in a rhythm of pleasure. Kyrian’s face changed a minute later as his muscles tensed up.
“Sorry...” he said as Ilea slowly slid off the man.
“That was nice, don’t worry about it. Did you enjoy it?” she smiled at him from the side, summoning a fresh cloth to clean herself up.
“That was incredible...” Kyrian said, closing his eyes and falling back on the pillow. “Thank you.”
“Here.” she said and held another cloth to the man who took it and cleaned himself as well. The two laid there for a couple minutes, looking at the stars.
“Was that a one time thing or?” Kyrian asked after a while. Ilea looked over and then back up.
“I don’t know. Probably not.” she said and Kyrian laughed.
“Not that I expected anything else from you. Well you were right, it was fun. So whenever you feel like it again.” he said. “Can one get some fresh air in here?”
“I’m glad you understand and I have a better idea, follow me.” she said and walked downwards and towards the balcony overlooking the ocean.
“You’re beautiful.” Kyrian said after a while, the wind brushing against their naked skin.
“You’re not bad either. Do you feel like sleeping?” Ilea asked, looking into his eyes. He shrugged as an answer.
“Me neither… I never tried this naked...” she said and blinked out over the ocean, waving at the man as gravity took her. Ilea smirked at the look on his face as she started falling, wings of ash spreading behind her back, not slowing but increasing the speed at which the woman descended towards the water. Looking backwards she found a man surrounded by metal spheres following behind.
Her wings spread and slowed her fall a couple dozen meters before impact. It would likely not hurt her badly but going underwater wasn’t something she planned to do tonight, at least not straight into the deep part. Ilea continued onwards a couple meters over the waves while the moon shined on, behind her Kyrian followed with a bright smile on his face. A game of catch ensued and led the two out onto the ocean and then back towards the mountains, Ilea skidding on the rock to avoid capture.
She did let him catch her after a reasonable time as the two embraced in the air, his metal spheres drifting below them to create a surface to stand on. “Ever thought about doing this when you were in prison?” she asked, putting her arms around his neck and getting closer.
“Not in my wildest dreams...” he said and kissed her. The two slowly drifted back towards her house where round two of their personal tournament was held, confirming that it would not stay a one time thing after all.
“You know, I wasn’t exactly a prisoner… at least not officially.” Kyrian said as the two were lying in bed. Ilea turned towards him and brushed his chest with her hand.
“You never struck me as much of a criminal...” Ilea commented, summoning a bottle of mead. “Want any?”
“No. Thanks, I’m not very fond of it.”
“What mead?” she asked and looked at the bottle before smelling it, unsure of its vileness.
“Alcohol.” he stated.
“Ah, yes. I don’t remember you drinking. Bad memories?” she asked “Alright if I do though?”
He just nodded. “Yea, to both… I grew up in the prison, some of the people were… well a little too fond of it.”
“I can see that. It’s pretty much the same everywhere but I have to say the booze here is much better than on e… from my village. Maybe it’s magical brewing?” she said and swirled the bottle.
“I’m not gonna push you Ilea but I do wanna know, are you human?” Kyrian suddenly said, looking deep into her eyes. Ilea chuckled.
“I am, don’t worry about it.”
“Mhm… I believe you.” he said. “Gonna catch a bit of sleep though, been a long day.”
“Do that, I’ll join you in a while.” Ilea answered and smiled as the man started snoring mere seconds later. ‘It really must’ve been a long day for him...’ she smiled, thoroughly satisfied. Sitting back, she brushed through his hair and summoned one of Albert’s books before she opened it and started reading.
...The question cannot remain unasked as to the nature of the mathematical and magical law that governs our every life and abilities. I do not want to accept the answer of gods as I have conversed with beings thousands of years old and powerful enough to destroy entire cities with a single breath. Neither them nor anything they cared to share with my lowly being indicated the existence of higher beings…
The author certainly had interesting thoughts but Ilea wasn’t quite believing much of it. ‘Too much self praise...’ she thought as she continued to flip through the pages. None of the books she had already checked out were written by Albert himself but he certainly had an interesting collection, seemingly geared towards the game like system that had taken over as soon as she had appeared in Elos. Maybe there was a connection to her appearance in this magical land, a weird feeling spread in her stomach as she continued reading, remembering earth.
Ilea stopped a couple minutes later and sighed, looking at the man laying next to her. ‘Either this is a simulation and others are caught in it, trying to find out what exactly it is or this is real and somehow I was teleported here...’ she thought but stopped herself. Snow was falling again outside. ‘I literally know nothing...’ Ilea was aware that there were people theorizing on the universe being a simulation back on earth as well but it always seemed a little abstract to her, and not something one should think about too much.
Now though? Stranded in this place, she wasn’t so sure anymore. As much as she enjoyed herself in Elos, she was still curious. And with magic, flying people and lightning being summoned by only one’s mind, there might be a possibility to actually find out something. Summoning the Tungsten Key she had found in the Taleen dungeon, she stared at the pyramid like object and turned it around before she made it vanish again, catching her breath at the amount of mana she lost again from the action. ‘Ah, I forgot about that...’
“One of the dwarven keys?!” Aki exclaimed.
“Didn’t you not want to talk while others are here?”
“You could’ve warned me at least. I’m sure you made his day though, congratulations.” Aki continued. “If that is what I think it is then you should probably not show it to anybody my dear friend.”
“Why do you sound sarcastic?” Ilea asked, sighing and blinking downwards and onto the balcony not to wake up the sleeping Kyrian.
“I change according to the person wielding me. And you’re one sarcastic ass.” the dagger said.
“Maybe I am. What do you know of that thing?”
“It looks like the descriptions I’ve seen. I believe it was one of my previous owner’s goals to get it, or one of them. There were supposed to be more and they were immensely important to those dwarfs.” the dagger explained.
“Any idea why? What do they do?”
“No idea, sorry mate.”
“Unhelpful thousand year old blade pet.” she said.
“So I’m your pet now? Isn’t that one sleeping upstairs?”
“Ah don’t say that. He’s a good friend and who said friends can’t have fun?” Ilea smirked, twirling the dagger in her hand.
“You know I hate that.” he said.
“Oh I do.” she did it again as she blinked back to her bed, made the dagger vanish and cuddled up to Kyrian before sleep took her as well.
“We expect them to make another move soon enough. With our influence in the Hand growing it will be an easy thing to protect the important cities.” a nicely dressed man said into the room. The group of people shrouded in shadow showed different reactions.
“It’s been two years already, you’re aware that you and your master aren’t the only ones that will suffer should this investment be for nothing.” a female voice whispered. The man didn’t know who had spoken, the tension in the room a little much, even for him.
“The organization has been standing for over a thousand years, it’s not easy to...” he was interrupted.
“We know. We’ve been watching. The time is now and if you do not act quickly the window will close.” a man said with finality in his voice. “Now go back and we hope to hear from you soon.”
“What should we do about the boy? He managed to get out the void mage. I told you we should’ve killed...” the man overheard as he nodded and teleported out of the room. His smile vanished as his hands started to shake a little. It would be a long week.
The preparations were going well. Ilea was sitting on top of a house in Ravenhall, watching the people around her more busy than she had ever seen them. Building and decorating all over the place, turning the stony city into something more akin to Salia. Or at least what Salia had been before the accident. She finished her meal and looked up at the suns shining down on her, trying their best to melt the layer of snow covering the city and wilderness beyond.
A thud could be heard next to her as she lifted her head to look at Kyrian in his light leather armor. She bit into a fruit, checking the man out her eyes moving on to two people nearly fighting about a cart blocking the road.
“You left? Could’ve woken me up.” Kyrian said, his voice neutral.
“You looked like you needed the sleep and you were cute.” Ilea answered in the same neutral voice. The man just grunted.
“Watching the girl?”
“You noticed? Yea, she’s inside reading.” Ilea answered, seeing Cless with her Sphere in the building she was sitting on. The man next to her didn’t ask any further questions.
“I’ll go train in the forest. You can join if you want to.” he proposed but Ilea didn’t quite feel like that after so much of it in the past months.
“Probably not, enjoy yourself though.” she said genuinely and looked at him with a smile. He awkwardly smiled back and then looked away.
“I’ll be… yea alright.” he said, stumbling over his words before he jumped off the building, catching himself in the air as he wobbled towards the city walls. Ilea chuckled lightly, watching the two men in the street fist fight. She shook her head and jumped off, not to interfere but to move on. The excitement in the city was pallable as she walked through the streets, checking out the already finished stands and shops.
None of it came close to Keyla’s cooking but there was something about streetfood that made Ilea happy. The team would meet again a day before the tournament to discuss their tactics. Having a higher rank than their current one would take time to accomplish. A good result in the tournament would change that rather quickly. With a higher rank came better missions assigned to them and a better pay. Of course money wasn’t on the priority list for Ilea at the moment but better missions also meant stronger enemies to fight.
An excited smirk spread on her face as she heard some interesting music coming from a couple streets over.
His claws sunk deep into the mage before him. A tragic loss. Another high level human, dead at his hands. His resolve was unwavering as he ripped out the man’s throat, blood coloring the street a deep red. With a mere thought two slime like monsters came into existence, taking care of the body and blood. Adam’s hands turned back as he checked his surroundings with all his skills. ‘They’re getting closer...’ he thought ‘I’m sure this one wasn’t with the Hand. Not the only ones investigating then...’
The past months had been very successful. Dagon had believed him and the man’s work was spectacular. Wallace wouldn’t find much purchase in the Shadow’s Hand after their plan went through, even with Adam’s slight modifications. He scratched the last runes in this part of the city, linking the whole picture together, his heart closed to the inevitable result of his work. ‘Maybe I really am going mad…’ he thought, looking up at the heavens.
Three days had passed since Ilea’s night out with Kyrian and the man hadn’t shown himself even once after their talk on a rooftop in Ravenhall. She smiled and entered the familiar pub in Viscera, seeing a familiar face in her Sphere, or rather a lack thereof. As on most days there was a band playing music, giving the establishment a good reason for people to be there instead of in any other bar, at least up in the city proper.
Ilea walked to the group sitting on the table near a corner of the room. “Hello there.” she uttered “May I?” she smiled and turned around a free chair to join Sulivhaan and Rock.
“Ilea. Yes I’ve heard of you joining. I’m glad someone like you chose the Hand. How have you been faring?” the man seemed pragmatic as ever.
“Ah look at you! I expected you to be much higher in level already, what happened?” Rock said as he smiled at her.
“Got a bit bogged down by team trainings. Not that it was a bad idea.” she admitted, looking towards Sulivhaan, quite glad he had suggested this endeavor to her. There was a not so slight possibility that her corpse would be rotting in some long forgotten dungeon out there somewhere without the things she had learned here.
“I’m glad you have cooled down a little. Don’t get too settled though.” the masked man said.
“What do you know? This seems to be more ominous than just a random comment...” Ilea said and motioned to a waiter with three fingers up.
“I don’t drink.” Sulivhaan said “But those are all for you. I see.” he nodded. “Things are in motion that cannot be stopped. Perhaps a part of it will come down upon the Hand. Be prepared.” he said, looking around the room, his last sentence a mere whisper.
“Does he always talk like that? I haven’t been around him in a while...” Ilea asked in the same whispered conspiratory voice.
“You should’ve seen him in Dawntree...” Rock shook his head. Sulivhaan said nothing and just leaned back.
“It’s good to see you safe.” he said quietly, crossing his hands in front of him.
“Same, rest of the team?” a confirming nod left her with a bit of a better feeling. “Where’s Navalis, I wanted to ask her about archery related skills.” she suddenly said but the men looked at each other and shrugged.
“Your guess is as good as ours. So tell me, is your team joining in on the tournament?” Rock asked, his mood turning from bored to excited in the span of a mere moment.
“Yea, last team in the ranks but that should change rather quickly.”
“Oh I’m sure it will. If your team members are anywhere near as crazy as you are then most others won’t stand a chance.” he chuckled and drank one of Ilea’s mugs, the additional one she had ordered just for that reason.
“Only if they’re meatheads like you are.” she said, sipping on her own drink.
“A lot of them are.” Sulivhaan said, getting a hurt look from Rock.
“On another note, you mentioned Dawntree. Did they breach the city?” she asked but Rock just smiled at Sulivhaan.
“Oh if anybody breached anything then it was us. You should’ve seen the remains of those poor elves.” Rock said.
“Not something you hear everyday.” Ilea said, finishing her drink right after.
“You do here.” he said.
“Don’t joke about it too much. You still haven’t fought a true elf.” Sulivhaan said, again in his ominous voice.
“You’ve been talking about that for so long, at this point I truly believe it’s just your myths speaking.” Rock said, shaking his head.
“Just be prepared.” the masked man said. Ilea believed him. It was just reasonable to assume that there were stronger enemies out there. His mistake she thought, was that he apparently limited his view to elves.