Bored, bored, bored. Boredboredboredboredboredbored…
Lily had an extremely exciting day. Amelia might have taken away the man she claimed, but despite that, it was still a good day overall. There were plenty of humans, she could always catch another one later and bully him or her into giving ‘permission to touch them’ like Amelia wanted.
Everyone was asleep. It seemed humans were like the other animals, sleeping every night. Unfortunately, Lily wasn’t like that. She slept on Tanya during the cart ride into town, so she wasn’t going to be tired for another day and a half at least.
Lily dug herself out of her pillow fort and paced around. She had too much energy. She was used to marching through the woods, she’d never been idle this long. She needed to wander and explore.
So, she decided to wander and explore the fancy human house. The upstairs was first. Using her prey stalking skills, she snuck along the hallway. The floorboards creaked underneath her weight, but after a bit of trial and error, she discovered that she could solve that problem by walking closer to the walls. The hall was mostly empty, there wasn’t much to see up here other than closed doors. It was just bedrooms. That said, there was plenty to see inside the bedrooms.
Lily snuck into Amelia’s room first. As expected, she was fast asleep, tucked underneath the covers. Lily crept closer and carefully lifted a corner of the blankets, peeking underneath them. She wasn’t wearing her usual white robes this time. Her sleeping clothes were closer to a dress, or a long shirt that reached down to her knees. It was much lighter than the robe, and Lily could see more of her figure. She’d already gotten a good look at her while she was bathing, so there wasn’t much new to see.
Lily covered the sleeping girl with her blanket again and decided to dig through Amelia’s stuff. The girl had her clothes neatly organized. She had three different sets of those white robes she always wore, along with two more long sleeping shirts. She also had a few pairs of what looked like tiny pants. These delicate looking things covered the crotch and butt, and that was it. For a girl that liked to cover up so much, Lily wondered why Amelia had something that showed this much of her legs. She had quite a few of these tiny pants, Lily wondered why. This was another mystery to solve later, Lily crept back out of the room.
Danica’s room was next. The girl was tossing and turning in her sleep. She was sleeping too lightly to investigate closely, so the state of her sleepwear would have to remain a mystery. She wasn’t wearing her glass eye things while she slept. They were folded up on top of the dresser next to a book. It seemed all the books that were in the cart belonged to Danica. She had two large chests full of them.
Her clothes were more varied than Amelia’s. She had several dresses, all in different colors. There were also several more of those tiny pants. Amelia’s tiny pants had been all the same shape, and all made from the same soft white cloth. Danica’s pants seemed to come in a variety of colors and shapes, all of which covered less of the butt than Amelia’s selections. There were some that looked like a similar soft fabric, and other that seemed to be made from a lacy material. Lily noticed one pair of tiny pants that were extra tiny, little more than a bunch of strings. Why did she have this? It was basically the same as being naked. Was it damaged? As Lily dug through Danica’s underwear, a small hard object, hidden within the clothes fell out and landed on the floor with a thud.
Lily ducked down, immersed herself in a shadowy patch of floor, and held her breath, ready to flee if Danica woke up. Luckily, the timid girl just mumbled the word “Caiden,” and rolled over. Lily assumed that meant something in human-language, but she didn’t know what.
The demon looked down at the noisy item she dropped. Hmm… Lily didn’t know what it was. It was a sculpture of some kind, smoothly carved out of some creature’s horn. It was sort of shaped like a long, slightly curved mushroom. It almost looked like a man’s… No, that was probably just Lily’s imagination. It smelled strange, a bit like Lily’s squishy bits after she’d been fighting. That raised a lot of questions for the demon. She would need to ask Amelia about the mysterious connection between mushroom statues and female squishy bits. This was yet another mystery to solve later. Lily left the mystery mushroom on top of Danica’s clothing pile and left the room.
Tanya’s room was next. Lily didn’t know what she was expecting, but what she saw seemed appropriate. The other two girls were nicely tucked into their blankets. Tanya, on the other hand, seemed to be a fighting with hers. Half of her blanket was crumpled into a ball, and the other half was on the floor, leaving most of her body exposed. She was flat on her back and sprawled out. The fighty-girl was clad only in tiny-pants, similar to the ones the other two girls had, and had nothing covering her chest. Lily got a good look at her toned body outlined in the moonlight and drooled a little bit.
No. There was a right way to do things. Licking Tanya’s thighs right now would be fun, but it would turn out just like the earlier incident with the pretty healer man. Get permission first, that’s how humans did things. She had to keep reminding herself of that.
Lily half-heartedly rifled through Tanya’s stuff. She had some pants, some shirts, a sword, and no dresses. The stuff wasn’t nearly as interesting as Tanya herself. Lily was too distracted and decided she needed to leave the room before she lost control of herself and pounced on the sleeping woman.
The last room in this particular wing of the fancy house had set of double doors as its entrance. Lily approached, but she heard humans on the other side of the door. There were two voices, panting heavily, and speaking to each other in human-tongue. Lily recognized them as Roland and Claire, the owners of the house. There was also the sound of flesh hitting flesh coming from inside the room. They must be fighting, Lily concluded. If so, it was best not to disturb them.
The remaining bedrooms were empty and boring. Having finished with this particular section of the house, Lily snuck back down the hallway. There was another wing on the second floor of the house, from a distance it seemed to be full of bedrooms too. Lily was bored of spying on sleeping people, so she went downstairs.
There were a variety of different rooms downstairs, none of which were bedrooms, and most of which Lily knew nothing about. She wandered aimlessly until she walked by a suit of armor set in an alcove for decoration. She stopped, and doubled back, glaring at the armor hatefully. Stupid armored men, cutting off her arm. With a devious grin on her face, she held out a claw and thrust it into the armored chestpiece, piercing the imaginary armored man’s heart. With a splendid sense of accomplishment, she withdrew her finger, and inspected the hole she left. The armored man was dead. She won.
The demon continued into a large room that featured a wide open space and a row of chairs along the walls. A strange device was in one of the corners. It was a flat and wide black box standing on three legs like a misshapen table. One side of the table had a long row of white and black pieces of wood. Lily reached out a claw and poked one of the wood pieces, a white one. The table produced a loud sound, a single musical tone that pierced the nighttime silence inside the house.
It was a trap! Lily ran away.
The panicked demon ran at full speed through the house’s twisting halls. While turning a corner, she lost her grip on the smooth wooden floor and slid into a wall, tangling herself in one of the curtains. Lily flailed with her claws and managed to free herself from the dangerous assailant’s grip, tearing it to shreds in the process. She stepped away from her defeated enemy, stood in the hall, and listened. Good. No humans seemed to be coming for her.
With her composure regained, Lily casually walked away from the shredded upholstery. Who did that? She didn’t do that. It must have been another demon.
Lily continued through the house and found herself next to a set of doors that opened out onto a patio in the rear gardens. Still nervous about the noisy table and the curtains, the demon decided that it was safer to explore outside for now.
Lily emerged into the cool night air and immediately smelled something burning. She looked around and spotted a human, sitting on one of the patio chairs with a small roll of burning leaves in her hand. Was it a human? She was one of the maids, with white hair tied back in a ponytail, pale golden eyes, and a grey-violet skin tone. Unlike the other humans, her ears were long and pointy. She still looked mostly human despite the weird color. She didn’t feel like a demon at least.
The mystery maid turned and waved casually at Lily, “Hey,” she said. Lily recalled that this was a greeting in human.
“Hey,” Lily repeated.
The maid raised the roll of burning leaves to her mouth and breathed through it. The embers at the end glowed for a second, and then the maid breathed out a cloud of smoke. Strange.
Lily approached and sat in a sturdy looking chair next to the maid. Like Amelia, this human didn’t seem very scared of her. She mostly looked bored. The maid said something incomprehensible in human-language and offered the roll of leaves to Lily. The demon carefully took the roll of leaves from her, slowly brought it up to her lips, and ate it.
It didn’t taste half bad. The maid gave the demon a startled look as she chewed the burning treat. Wait… was she not supposed to do that? The maid shrugged, said something else in human-language, and took another roll of leaves out from inside her pockets somewhere. She held her thumb up to the end of it, and a small magical flame appeared above her finger. She lit the end of this new roll of leaves and breathed out another puff of smoke.
“Patricia,” she said, and pointed to herself.
Was she introducing herself? Probably. Lily pointed to herself, “Lilizath.”
Patricia relaxed back in her chair and looked up at the stars. Lily did the same. The night sky was pretty, and with no trees to block her view, she got to see the stars in their entirety. The two of them sat in silence for a while, looking at the sky. After Patricia burned through most of the leaf roll, she handed the end to Lily. Lily ate it too.
Patricia pointed up at the sky, “Thule,” she said.
Lily moved her head closer, looking down Patricia’s arm. She was pointing at a group of stars. Was ‘Thule’ the human word for stars?
Patricia moved her hand, pointing at another group of stars, “Lyra,” she said.
Ahh, so these groups all had different names. Lily pointed at Thule, and Lyra, and repeated both of their names. Patricia smiled, and moved her hand again.
“Judicast… Sylene… Karth… Lott…” Patricia pointed and named all the different star groups, Lily repeated them.
Finally, her finger settled on a familiar group of stars. When Lily first emerged from the demolished tower and saw the night sky, these were the first stars she saw. These were Lily’s favorite stars, the ones she followed at night in the forest. These were the stars that led her to Amelia.
Lily repeated the name, and remembered Amelia, “Truth.” she said in human-tongue. She’d heard Amelia introduce herself a few times by now.
“Yes,” Patricia said, smiling.
The maid then moved her finger around, naming all the star groups again, and saying a word in common connected with each of them. Lily didn’t know any of these words, but she repeated them anyway.
Lily pointed to one of the chairs on the patio. “Chair,” the maid said.
Lily pointed to one of the tables. “Table,” the maid said.
Lily and Patricia spent the next few hours pointing and naming things. When they ran out of furniture on the patio, and plants in the garden, the maid went inside and carried out a thick book full of pictures. She showed picture after picture to the demon and named everything in them. There were words written in human language too, next to the pictures. Patricia read those out too, and Lily started to see some patterns in the letters.
By the time the sun came up, Lily still couldn’t speak common, but she was able to understand quite a few individual words.
“Morning,” Patricia said, with a yawn, “Sleep now.”
With that, the strange looking not-a-human stood and walked back inside the house. She wasn’t a human, Lily learned. She called herself a ‘Darkelf’ but Lily didn’t know the equivalent word in Infernal. Apparently, Lily was called a ‘Demon’ in common. She’d heard the panicked humans say that word quite a few times. She thought it meant claws at first, but no, it was her species.
When Lily entered the house, Amelia and the other women were awake. Lily joined the groggy humans at the dining table, and they were all served coffee and fresh fruits. Lily liked the melon slices the best, even though they were cold and tasted too sweet, their juiciness reminded her of blood.
“Lily,” Amelia said with a warm smile and a dangerous look in her eye, “Did you go in our rooms last night?”
“No…” Lily lied.
“Lily, I serve the Demon Lord of Truth, I know when you’re lying.”
Lily stayed quiet, avoided eye contact, and focused on eating another slice of melon.
As Lily ate, Amelia took some time to explain the concept of privacy to the demon, why it was rude to dig through people's stuff, why it was creepy to watch them while they were sleeping, why panties in particular were extra-creepy to dig through, and finally, what exactly panties were and the concept of underwear in general.
“Why bother?” the demon asked, “Your robe covers everything.”
“Well… it’s still kind of open from the bottom and…” Amelia blushed, “going without panties would be… immodest.”
The demon scratched her head. Modesty, that was another concept she had trouble understanding.
“Don’t want any,” the demon said. “The dress is already too much to wear.”
“You go right ahead and do that, Lily.” said Amelia, “Humans aren’t going to check, and if they do, its acceptable to slap them non-lethally.”
Lily remembered something else from last night, “Why does Danica have a mushroom statue?”
Amelia blinked in confusion, “A what?”
Lily described the statue, using hand gestures to explain the shape.
“I… didn’t know Danica had one of those,” said Amelia, with her face turning completely red, “It’s… it’s a… thing…”
Amelia’s voice trailed off into silence. No further answers were given. Lily was really curious now, but it didn’t look like Amelia was going to offer an explanation. Oh well, she’d just have to finish learning common and ask Danica about it directly.
When breakfast was over, the rest of the morning was spent on language lessons with Amelia. Lily had made a lot of progress last night with Patricia, but Amelia’s ability to directly translate to and from infernal made a lot of ambiguous things clear. Words like ‘time’ or ‘thirst’ were very hard to explain with pictures. After a few hours, partway through the afternoon, Lily was more or less able to understand someone speaking common if they talked slowly enough and didn’t use any hard words.
She was quite proud of her progress.
After six hours of uninterrupted teaching, Amelia was starting to get burnt out, and Lily was starting to get restless from staying still for too long. Lily stood up, stretched, and noticed Tanya walking down the stairs from her room. She was carrying her sword.
“Amelia,” she called out, “…going… training yard…”
Lily caught only a few of the words, but she understood that Tanya was going somewhere, and she was either going to pull a long line of wagons, or she was going to practice with her sword. Either one of those looked like fun to watch.
“Me… go too.” Lily tried, in common.
Tanya gave Amelia a pleading look, but Amelia seemed to be on the demon’s side. In fact, she wanted to come too. The two women and the demon left the house together.