***Chimera, The Eternal Palace***
Cleaning up the battlefield took the better part of the day.
We barely survived our diplomatic endeavour, but with the use of a lot of healing magic, it was finally possible to send all the ambassadors on their merry, tumbling way – sans Elsaria and her ilk. Ahem! Yeah, I suppose we can't get along with everyone.
Where was I? Ah, yes. The important point is that everyone managed to return home safely.
I shake my head, annoyed that I am seemingly unable to concentrate on my task. Right now I am hiding inside my personal workroom in the palace. There are times when I simply have to retreat from the world in order to calm my mind.
Despite my desire to drown myself in my work, my thoughts keep slipping. The alcohol and the sleep deprivation from the party took a lot out of me.
The mood among the recovering party-goers was somber after healing magic and cold water did their job in waking up even the worst of the drunkards.
It has to be mentioned that everyone who could remember even small parts of the previous night was embarrassed and ashamed of turning the most important diplomatic event in recent history into a stain on godhood.
Therefore all of us took a magical oath. Everything which happened that night would be a national secret for the rest of eternity. Should anyone talk, ever, all the other nations would band up and crush the snitch. The only problem lay in finding a way to purge Warden's records, but we ultimately managed to come up with a threat that was reliable enough to threaten even the A.I.
I look up from the draft of an advanced runescript which is supposed to become part of an improved spell projector, although getting the damned activation sequence right turned out to be tricky. Spells can only be amplified so much before the physical limits of controlling the energy flow are reached. As so often is the case, the problem lies in the theory.
Giving up, I put down my pen. There is no chance of finishing this today anyway. “Enter.”
The door opens and Celes intrudes into my workroom. “Honey? We have to talk.”
I turn away from my theory work and smile at her, noticing the serious tone in her voice. “Yes?”
“I heard some rumours at the party regarding certain feats which apparently involved your person. Originally, I intended to ignore what you are up to behind my back, but the matter didn't let me calm down.” She tilts her head and crosses her arms in front of her chest, studying me.
My wife is wearing one of the light tops with wide silk trousers which she tends to prefer in private. It’s less a choice of good looks and more so one of comfort and ease of movement.
I continue to smile at her, keeping my smile in place like a mask while my past misdeeds flash by. Did I do anything to draw my love's ire? Of course. There are many things on my plate, but I thought I had taken sufficient care to hide my tracks.
My eyes wander involuntarily to the window as I search for a route of escape.
Of course, my intention doesn't stay hidden from my wife's watchful eyes. She clears her throat, making it clear that there is no running away from this one.
I sigh and stay put, finding the floor suddenly very interesting. “What have you heard?” It’s an iron rule of mine to never fess up to anything without knowing what I am accused of.
“There is this rumour that you were seen in a certain red-light district,” Celes explains, wearing a forced smile. “I find that worrisome.”
“Hah?” I frown, feigning ignorance as I shift in my seat. There is only one place she could be possibly talking about, but I thought I had cleared up any loose strings. Unless...
That damned little gnome. He must have talked!
“Where did you get that!?” She reveals the lingerie which I 'acquired' for her.
“Uh...” I lick my lips, trying hard to come up with a plausible explanation. In this situation, explaining the obvious clearly won't suffice. Saying that I bought the lingerie in that exact red light district clearly isn't what Celes is inquiring about. Knowing her, she must have heard more than she let on so far.
If I say anything that doesn’t fit into her version of the story it’s as good as admitting my guilt. Think, think! What if she doesn't believe me that I was there purely for research? Oh, gods! This situation has the potential to become my doom!
Celes is clearly fuming, but thankfully she decides to throw me a bone. “The rumour said that El Shaddai is also working there... as a woman!”
“Ahem... do you remember that one time when you said that you don't want to know whatever it is I was up to? You said that I should just see to it that you never learned about it.” I need time. Time to run to the other side of the multiverse.
Celes smashed the lingerie onto my office table with enough force to break off the edge, completely dissolving it into splinters and causing me to jump!
“That was steel oak!” I complain before I can stop myself, wanting to point out the value of the table she just destroyed.
“I think...” She growls and pokes my chest with the tip of her tail. “I will postpone the interrogation and advance directly to judgement, and then punishment!”
The look on her face is dangerous enough to make me gulp. “Please let me explain!” I get to my knees and kowtow to her. Maybe this situation is still fixable without a family dispute.
Celes takes the chair which I vacated to kneel to her. Turning it with her foot to face me, she sits down and crosses her splendid legs. “Why were you there, repeatedly?”
“To do some research!” I answer quickly. “And to make sure.”
“I wanted to make sure that El Shaddai is properly punished!” I explain quickly. “I wanted to punish her and to educate Nix on her divinity at the same time.”
“So he is there!?” Celes roars. “You really reincarnated him inside the body of a girl!?”
“Yes,” I admit. “B- b- but I didn't touch him! Her!” I don't look up from my position. “The fact that he is a girl now is entirely coincidental. Fixing her soul came with a few… flaws… but I hope that I can avoid those in the future!”
“Explain!” Celes leans back, seeming at least a little appeased.
I wring my fingers. “Maybe I got a little carried away after we decided to release his soul. I experimented with different ways of repairing damaged souls. I succeeded, but since El Shaddai was our enemy I wanted to make sure that he doesn't have it too easy. Especially so that he wouldn't turn into a powerful enemy again.”
Pinching my fingers together, I indicate that I put at least some thought into my actions. “So I fiddled -just- a little with the normal reincarnation process. I allowed him to reincarnate as the daughter of the manager of a famous brothel on an unimportant world. It's a family business with strict rules and a system of forced inheritance. It won't be easy for her to get out of the circumstances of her birth.”
Celes narrows her eyes. “What about your later visits?”
“I was just there to see if everything went it's proper course,” I defend myself, placing my hands on my chest.
She snorts. “Continue.”
“El Shaddai. I mean, his name is Sharid now, was properly born and is a baby right now. So, I couldn't have possibly done anything to her! I am not a paedophile!” Hah! Yes, that's right! She is still a baby, so whatever rumour Celes heard has to be bullshit!
“There are quite a few other girls there...” Celes reminds me, her voice low and dangerous.
“I just went in and out after confirming the situation! I didn't even look left or right!” I promise quickly, remembering vividly that I stole a look more than once.
“Liar! I investigated the source of the rumour and you were there for over an hour at times!” Celes holds onto the chair's armrest, causing it to creak as her hand tightens down on it.
“Ah... I may have gotten distracted by this and that... their establishment is surprisingly advanced,” I babble before I can stop myself. “They have an entire room themed after-”
Snap! The armrest of the chair gave in, causing me to shut up. Better to stay on topic.
“On my way back I got a glance at the girls' costumes and I got carried away and... and... It was like the pent up frustration of a few hundred years was set loose. It just happened that once, I promise. I never lost control before. It really hurt my pride to give in to my instincts.”
Celes's face turns a little paler.
“I somehow had to get hold of one! And then I found another nice one! And before I knew it, I had collected a whole set of costumes and lingerie!” I cover down and await my end.
“You only... collected their... costumes? Why should a brothel sell that stuff!?” Celes frowns.
“Ahem... They didn't exactly sell them,” I admit, ashamed of myself.
“Oh? Then how did you collect the costumes?” Celes raises an eyebrow, clearly expecting me to answer the question. “I wonder why my sources didn’t say anything about that.”
“Hm... yeah... I guess it isn't exactly a good reputation for a brothel if a guy isn't interested in the girls and just strips them of their working dresses,” I whisper.
There you have it! She is sure to throw me into the black hole! I bow to her. “I am so sorry! You have to know that you are the only one for me in the entire multiverse!”
She huffs, but at least she doesn’t look like she is about to tear off something important. “And where are those costumes which would prove your story?”
“They are in our holiday residence at the lake. Inside the chest I got your red lingerie from. It has a double-layered ground plate!” I confess.
Celes stands up and grabs me at the front of my shirt without saying a word. Then she hauls me to my feet without any effort.
Our surroundings shift, and I realize that she pulled me with her through the pathways to our bedroom at the holiday residence. She turns to the mentioned chest and opens it, carelessly tossing out my camouflage of normal clothing.
Grumbling, she raises her fist and brings it down on the chest’s double floor. There is another ‘snap’ as the fake base plate is broken out of the chest.
“You didn't have to break it! There is a hinge, it could have been opened perfectly fine...” My voice trails off when my loving wife looks at me.
“I understand.” I sit down on the nearby bed. “I’ll just sit here and be as quiet as a mouse.”
She returns her burning gaze to the chest. “Hmm. Let's see... bunny suit... cat ears... a tiger tail with a butt plug!? No way I stick that into my... lots of panties and bras... a rope? Handcuffs... did he rob the entire brothel? So much stuff, did he cast a dimensional spell on the chest to get it all inside? There is still more!”
Celes picks the chest up tilting it over. She pours the contents onto the floor. Female underwear and other items of the questionable sort keep tumbling out until the pile reaches above her hips. She was right with the dimensional spell.
When the flood of high-quality gear stops, she looks at my collection with a suspicious expression, using one foot to spread the clothes out in order to get an overview of my collection.
I watch her, assured in my belief that I am screwed. As soon as she regains her composure she will skewer me with something sharp. Or she will use her fists. There will be a new volcano on Chimera.
After a few seconds, she bends down and picks a red leather outfit from the pile and holds it before her. She turns to inspect herself in front of the mirror at the side of the room.
Yes! Exactly like I imagined it on her! It perfectly gives off that sadistic dominatrix aura! She doesn't even need a whip!
Growling, she returns to the pile and picks a flail with leather bands at the end. Nodding to herself, she gives it a testing swing against the wooden chest, the impact hard enough to cause a loud ‘Crack!’.
“Aaaah...” I wet my lips. “I am not really into that sort of thing. I only admire the tight leather outfits...”
She turns to me and tilts her head, smiling at me with half-closed eyes that could as well be crescent moons. “You should see that face of yours, but this is your own fault. You went too far this time and I thought that I might as well punish you by making those dreams of yours come true.”
Celes blinks and places a hand on my shoulder, digging her fingernails into the fabric of my tunic. “We clearly have what a psychiatrist would call a relationship problem, Angrod. It’s not healthy if we can’t be open with each other. I promise that you can talk to me about all of your fantasies. And once we do that, you can stop assaulting poor little mortals.”
She turns back to the pile and pulls out a set of handcuffs, sending a vicious grin towards me. “What do you think? Should we start with this?”
I clear my throat and raise a finger. “O- only if I get to use the rope in turn.”
***Noth - Mortal World, The House of Ember***
I watch in silence as the pair of mother and daughter huddles together on the bed, relying on the fact that my glamour will hide my presence from the mortals. I sigh and watch my clock. Two more hours until another member of our little pantheon will take over playing guardian angel.
“What's that statue, mommy? It looks like a devil!” The little girl tugs at her mother’s skirt.
The woman is the manager of the city’s most renowned brothel and surprisingly enough turned out to be a better mother than I expected.
She takes a look at the little statue right outside the window and shudders visibly. It is positioned above the brothel’s entrance, depicting a demon making a horde of naked women flee.
The woman returns her attention to the child and smiles warmly.
“That's the greatest disaster which ever happened to the House of Ember! That demon appeared one day out of nowhere and robbed us of most of our inventory! It took me weeks to get replacements for everything. I also paid a hefty sum to a wizard, so that he would put up this warding statue. Make sure to keep the statue safe at all times, Sharid! It protects us from the ‘Thief!’ ”
“Why would he steal our inventory?” The little girl looks at her mother, her eyes wide with disbelief.
Despite the child’s young age, the manager already taught her daughter the most important matters which she would have to know as the successor of the brothel. The woman simply doesn't believe in keeping a child ignorant of the world.
Sharid is already perfectly aware of what men want from women and how to give it to them. There isn't anything the manager would ever hold back under the assumption that it would be bad knowledge.
“Do you remember our discussion about perverts and their value for the business?” The manager asks her daughter.
“Yes?” Sharid nods.
“That demon belongs to the worst kind of pervert! They aren't after women! They only yearn for their belongings! Those perverts are bad for the business! See to it to never let them enter the house!” The mother indoctrinates the innocent little mind of her daughter.
“Mhm, okay!” Sharid turns toward the statue in order to burn the image into her mind.
I can almost see the thoughts which are coursing through her little brain. ‘Bad for business!’ ‘Worst kind of pervert!’ ...
“Ah! I totally forgot!” The mother claps her hands together. “You are old enough for your Status Plate!”
She gets up and retrieves a package from her office desk. “Normally, people like us don't get access to items like this one. The church prefers to keep those with impure minds unaware of their abilities. But it's useful if you ever have to travel. And without one, you aren't recognized as a proper citizen.” Her expression turns dirty. “Let’s thank our patron god that the local bishop has a few dirty secrets which he wants to stay within our establishment’s walls.”
The manager takes a metal plate out of the package and holds it towards Sharid. “Thankfully, the whole ceremony which is performed by the church isn't needed. Put your hand on it.”
Sharid shivers as she looks at the plate. “My friends talked about those! The cook said that those plates give a glimpse of someone’s true potential and fate!”
I pull down the corners of my mouth, frowning in displeasure. Knowing Angrod, the girl is in for a shock.
As long as I watched over Sharid, I always had the impression that she felt out of place. Like she was destined for more than being the manager of a brothel. Surely, she is thinking that this is her ticket to the world.
The girl follows her mother's instructions and as soon as she touches the status plate, it starts to shine and letters appear.
|Titles bestowed by the gods:|
(In your previous life you awoke the ire of a divine being. You are cursed.)
~~~~~Angrod, King of gods. Divine ruler of the realm of Chimera:~~~~~
(Take that up your cute ****!! Next time try not to mess up the multiverse!)
- Divine Beauty: All men will turn their head after you.
- Fertile Mother: You are sure to have twins or triplets.
- Flexible Snake: You are able to move your body in wondrous ways.
- Siren's Voice: Your voice is too beautiful to behold for any man.
- Man among Males: Your mentality is male. (Cancelled due to conflicting blessing!)
(A divine being took pity on you and gave you its blessing.)
~~~Miruliru, Divine Goddess of the Path:~~~
(Sorry, I can't help you more. You aren't under my jurisdiction.)
- Limitless One: You may change your fate with hard work.
- Woman among Females: Your mentality is female. (Cancelled due to conflicting Curse!)
~~Nazareth, Local Deity:~~
(Poor one. Maybe Angrod will forget his grudge if you do some proper prayers. I am just a small deity so I can't do much.)
Psychologist: You may unravel the problems in your mind and those of others.
-Deleted Potential (unknown)-
-Deleted Potential (unknown)-
-Deleted Potential (unknown)-
-Deleted Potential (unknown)-
-Cursed Divine rank Belly Dancer-
-Cursed Divine rank Eyes of Lust-
-Cursed Divine rank Songweaver-
-Cursed Fertility Goddess of Lust and Sex-
Taking a single look over the girl’s shoulder, I wince.
Sharid just stares at the plate with big round eyes.
Then her mother takes a look at it. “KYAAA! You are the perfect successor! And to be in the favour of three gods! I don't know who this Angrod and Miruliru are, but maybe we should start praying to them?”