Mary sighed as she reread the report in front of her. She tilted her head up to gaze into the former pupil's eyes. "So, is this everything that happened?"
Fiona nodded, stiff faced and sad, "Yes, it is as I have told it. At some point, Prince Marcus attempted a demon summoning for unknown reasons. As he was not a practiced summoner of any level, the demon devoured him body and soul. It used his intellect and cunning to come up with a plan to turn the city into a demon controlled land and masqueraded as the prince."
"It enlisted the help of the former sir Koran to drag people into emotional compromise and took control of them. It also shape-shifted into various monsters to cast suspicion on the dungeon and send more people into despair and fury. The two, however, failed to break the noble princess. The princess sacrificed her life in the dungeon to make sure we escaped them. We could not recover the body."
Mary nodded, "What of the voice you heard in the dungeon; do you have any inkling toward its identity?"
Fiora shook her head, "I do not."
Mary nodded as she tapped on an orb sitting on her desk. A picture of a forest pixie appeared on it. "What you heard was a dungeon pixies; a rare variant of pixie that lives within the dungeon. They somehow bond with the crystal and live their lives in willing servitude to the dungeon. Very little is known about them because they cannot survive without their partner. The few that were captured expired after a few days and never said a word. They only talk to adventurers in extreme situations."
Mary leaned forward, "She called Diana the avatar, is that correct?"
"Yes, but what does that mean? It frightened the demon into fleeing and the dungeon rumbled like an earthquake."
Mary sighed and leaned back, tears gathering over her eyes. "It means the dungeon chose her. It happens once in every dungeon, where a member of the sentient races is chosen to communicate the needs of the dungeon to those outside. As a hive mind, dungeons are terrible with communication and require an intermediary. When not slain on sight, avatars have assisted in creating some of the greatest dungeon cities on the world; otherwise known as labyrinth towns. She knew this going in there, and its unfortunate she was slain before she could do her duty."
"Still,” Mary clenched her fists as a sadistic smile came over her, "Slaying an avatar is forbidden as it invites the pure rage of the dungeon that doesn't stop until the perpetrators are dead. That was learned long ago after enough deaths. The demon may escape back to its home plane, but it will be severely weakened for centuries. We will never see it or Sir Koran again."
Fiora smiled wryly, "I guess that's a good thing then. What do you think the responses of the nobles will be?"
Mary groaned and dumped her head on the table, "When this gets out, the church will lead an inquisition as you have never seen. With one of the two princes dead, the succession has been decided, but Father Tobias will have the authority to investigate every level for demon corruption. At least he is a reasonable man, but there will still be many changes before he is satisfied the area is cleansed. You and your group will most likely be promoted a rank, a small comfort to your loss."
"Nic is sorely missed." Fiona admitted, "Natalie is stricken with grief and poison while Jonas watches over her. I only hope the flame he carries for her will save her from her pain. Gran has left to report to his elders, and I'm here with you."
Mary sighed and picked herself back up, "Indeed, this is a disaster for everyone. Go home and rest Fiora, you deserve that much before the questioning begins."
Michelle sighed as she packed her bags. "Such a disappointment, I really thought he could do it."
"I'm really surprised too big sis." Shelly piped up from her side of the tent, "We gave that silly prince a duke level demon summoning book and it still failed in the end."
Michelle turned and tussled her little sister's hair, "It goes to show that our summoned relatives are less than us little one. Then again, summoning from the fury circle is always a risk; we should have asked one of our relatives from the lust circle."
Shelly giggled, "If that happened, than we couldn't have used our powers to control it silly big sis."
"Right you are munchkin. Now, hurry and pack; we don't want to be here when those church dogs begin sniffing around."
Shelly sniffed sadly, "Are we leaving for good big sis? I really liked exploring the dungeon and letting the men take the fall for us. If we go home, I'll be so bored again."
"Patience my little sister,” Michelle knelt down and hugged her, "We can't go home remember? They banished us for embracing our heritage."
Shelly giggled, "I thought it was because we tried to take over the kingdom and bring back the demon lords?"
"There was that as well,” Michelle admitted, "In any case, the dungeon has proved itself to be a formidable force, one that we can use at a later date. That fool duke did teach us that our glamour won't work the deeper we go into the dungeon; it senses us and hungers for our power."
"Is that why they say dungeons are related to demons?" Shelly asked curiously.
"Only gluttony little sister and no one has been able to prove that. We leave for now, but we'll not go too far and return after the church is gone. Let's think of a new plan while we wait."
"Can we use men still?"
"Of course sweetie; I'd never deny your instincts. Let's go find us some bag carries and someone to lend a wagon.
For just a moment, red wings and a black tail appeared on the sisters, but perhaps it was just a trick of the light in the tent.
Diana inspected her new form carefully. She was still getting used to the lack of bones and had to concentrate to keep her body humanoid. She couldn't form legs yet, however, and had to resort to sliding or slithering to move around.
"Are you getting used to your body yet?" Claire asked from above her. The little pixie had been instrumental in teaching her how to control herself.
"I think so." Diana nodded, "It's just strange not being human anymore. I'm so hungry all the time." She licked her lips at the thought of her meal waiting for her back in her cave. The former man was being fed nutrients by a herb slime to refresh him for her next meal.
"Don't be gluttonous now, "Claire warned, "You're just hungry because Doc is sleeping right now after that big meal. Digesting a demon requires a lot of energy; and this one was really spicy."
The little pixie flew down and sat on Diana's head, "I'm happy you made the transition okay. I know what a shook it must have been when you handed you soul over to Doc after your first encounter. Without it, you could no longer grow physically or emotionally. Does anyone outside know what you did?"
"My mentor suspects it, but I never verified it to her." Diana admitted, "In the end, everyone though I made a miraculous recovery and died in the dungeon. I thought I was dead too as a matter of fact."
Claire giggled, "Silly, you can't die without a soul; you were already dead. Now, we need to get back to your practice now; you're going to be a great hidden final boss. With you guarding his heart, no one will be able to take him from us."
Diana turned pink, "I'm guarding his heart am I? Is it wrong to keep it to myself?"
Claire buzzed down in front of Diana's face and glared. She finally relented, saying, "I knew this would happen after he reacted so protectively toward you. He's a bit of an idiot though, so don't expect to get through to him anytime soon. Also, you're the second mate got it?"
Diana giggled at the pixie and tickled her with a tentacle, "Whatever you say first mate."
"I never said that!" Claire cried out, turning into a floating red ball.
"Whatever you say,” Diana laughed, "Now, I need to choose a new name right?"
Claire nodded, calming down, "That's right. We can't have people knowing you as the former princess; it would cause too many problems. What's a new personal name that you can use?"
Diana thought for a moment, "Ever since I gave my soul to Doc, a name has been floating around in my head. It feels really familiar to me, almost as if it was once mine."
"From now on, call me . . . Hannah."
And that is it. In case you guys were wondering, refer back to Diana's encounter with Mr. Slime. She did something there.
The next book will begin after Doc wakes back up to a new world.