Dreamweaver Chapter 165
I still can’t believe how close we came to being caught. I wipe the sweat from my forehead. And the others are around me also trying to de-stress while Rina is chattering about stuff that doesn’t really matter.
“Wow that was so intense!” I hear her going on to Sunghee of all people. It’s kind of funny that Rina and Sunghee have bonded like sisters.
Sunghee is listening patiently while glancing at me. “We should go home soon Shun. I don’t like being out here anymore.”
“I agree,” Rina said right after that.
Gyle is trying to peek from behind some big crate bins in the alley to see if anyone is following us.
Crap, crap, crap….that was so close. I was literally seconds away from being tested. And who knows how it would have turned out.
If the clergyman hadn’t been a greedy pig rapist then he would have caught me as being a half demon I think. We only didn’t get caught because he was drunk on his own power. Perhaps he thought he sensed a demon and then calculated that they could get what they want as pretty girls and then rushed his judgment and common sense by wanting it to be women?
He seemed pretty shocked when what we believe was the first test turned out negative on Sunghee. That counts for something. He must have had a way of knowing there was a demon nearby or in our party.
I need to research this somehow.
And there’s the red robed teenage mage girl. She’s just calm as can be. Wait is she watching us? She’s so calm that it stands out a lot. The red robed teenage mage girl keeps explaining the situation to us over the next few minutes as we all hide in the alley at the back end of town.
Why did she follow us?
Weird…so many cats nearby all the sudden…
This alley is filthy. Perhaps because I think this a restaurant next to us there must be like over thirty weird looking cats here. But stranger still is that it seems like the cats are watching us.
“That’s guys done that to over forty dwarven girls. There’s ironically a big market for cute little dwarven girls somehow through the underground. This fortress isn’t so big that people don’t notice that sort of thing,” she said a second time with those same old cold looking eyes. There’s like no life in her face and eyes. It’s like she’s giving up everything for revenge.
We introduce ourselves to her.
Gyle is hungry for female attention but she has a look like she’s being patient with him while he tries to tell her about himself. “Hi, I don’t believe I’ve met you,” he smiled at her.
“Call me Lotti. Let’s be friends,” she gave a quick nod curtsey thing, which the others returned. She has a business like face up.
“That’s such a nice name. Pleased to meet you,” Gyle said.
“Likewise,” she said but she’s looking at me and not Gyle.
Overall Lotti has a cute face and she is a mage. She looks a bit young though, maybe younger than Rina if that’s possible. I’m guessing mid teens? But somehow her eyes look old and very cunning even though the appearance doesn’t look young.
Gyle seems accepting of her but Sunghee is still suspicious and so are Rina. But that might just be because they fear another girl will be competition.
As we walk with her, she tells us a little bit about her life, because we’re curious why she helped us.
She grew up in the refugee part of this province then traveled here for work last year. When her sister was abducted by the Church of Gaia she wasn’t making enough money to be able to leave town. She didn’t tell us much more after that but I could tell by the sound of her voice that she’d had a hard time.
Something strange is up though. Like there must be like two dozen mostly black cats following us while she’s talking to us.
Like for instance, Lotti is talking to me like really closely and looking at me a lot. And she’s standing so close she bumps into me while Sunghee and Rina used to be next to me but now are wondering how they lost their spot to Lotti.
Lotti sure is friendly as she stands there smiling big at me.
Or it could be the pheromones affecting her? I’ll know soon enough either way. But I don’t know if this is a good thing. Is this like a capture flag of some kind?
Maybe we can work up a deal, if that’s the case. Who doesn’t need an ally to scratch your back? And if she is some kind of mage then it would be helpful to gain her help. But I wonder what kind of specialization she might have. In this world it seems all mages vary from one another quite a bit.
“Lotti, would you join me for lunch?” Gyle said, almost tripping over her to try to make an impression. Gyle stepped in before I could work it out or even tell if it’s appropriate. Normally shouldn’t you let the leader decide if this person is of good character before you rush them into your inner circle? Plus she wasn’t looking at Gyle or coming close to him, but me instead.
“Is that OK for a dwarf to be flirting with a human girl?” Rina teased him but he ignored it.
Lotti blushed, but is looking at me.
Gyle just interfered in something he knows nothing about. And is it OK for dwarves to pursue human girls?
Wait, for that matter is Lotti even human? She does look human but is clearly magic something.
I’d sort of forgotten that Gyle has a crush on her. But for him to fall so fast on someone we just met its harsh. Maybe he was thinking because I have lots of women he is entitled to it too? Will my being around other humans cause problems?
But does Gyle have a crush on her because she looks so young and is shorter and slimmer than a human like dwarven girls might look? I guess dwarves have different taste huh?
“No, sorry I’m not in your league kid,” Lotti lets him down but still smiled apologetically. She keeps looking around at me and smiling a bit despite rejecting him.
“Oh…dang. And what’s with calling me kid?” Gyle sighed. Gyle’s face twisted from hopeful into the opposite.
“But I’ll join Shun for lunch,” Lotti looked hopeful and is smiling big. She’s staring at me intensely.
Gyle is now glaring at me. “Jerk…” I thought I heard him mumble under his breath.
So is Sunghee and Rina also glaring at me, but for different reasons. This feels a bit embarrassing even though I’m the one with all the power here.
Wait, I didn’t ask for this…what’s going on here?
Actually this is weird. It’s like one of the first times that I’ve been able to have someone interested in me right off the bat that isn’t already trapped in a slave crystal or some such.
Lotti continues to look at me hopefully with puppy dog eyes.
She looks too young, like maybe fifteen or sixteen.
“Are you old enough…” I started to say. But I was interrupted.
“I’m 147 years old,” Lotti said proudly and still looking to emulate innocence at the same time.
Uh oh…she’s not human is she?
“EH?!” Sunghee and Rina gasped. They are looking at her jealously. While looking like a 15 or 16 year old girl she still is 147, so other girls hatred would surge. They want something like that I think too.
The path we’re all walking down seems to be a hardly used alley. I’m not sure where this neighborhood leads to, but it’s like something near the South East side of town but still outside of where the goblins had gotten into town.
Lotti keeps waving us forward to follow her. “Come, come! Come with me! Hurry,” she beckoned. She skipped ahead a bit and then turned back to wave us to follow.
“I guess we could,” Rina said.
“Eh? I didn’t know there were any places to eat around here,” Gyle said.
“Well, actually I was going to take you to my home for lunch,” she said hurriedly.
“Actually I am hungry,” Gyle said.
“I am too,” Sunghee blushed.
“But we were talking about her age,” Rina said looking at the witch girl suspiciously.
“Oh! I thought something was off about you! You’re a witch aren’t you!” Gyle gasped in shock. Uh oh, somehow that triggered Gyle’s aggression even more. He tripped over a rock; he’s so fascinated with her.
I glanced at Gyle. Is being a witch a big deal? What is a witch anyway? There’s nothing that says a witch on our world is the same concept on this world either? What if they are different? In short we know nothing still.
Sunghee froze but didn’t say anything.
Rina and I are just puzzled.
I just realized now too that Gyle is a total lolicon. He only likes young and short girls. Svinn might be one too actually. Or are dwarves by nature lolicons because their whole race is short? Is the whole race like this or just a few of them?
But it triggered an argument unfortunately. We are forced to be patient as there’s an exchange between Lotti, Rina, Sunghee, and Gyle. Rina is the most vocal while Sunghee was trying to keep the peace. And in between Lotti was rejecting Gyle, while he accused me of stealing his heart’s desire.
I hate arguments. And Gyle has a lot of frustration built up from wondering why this young human gets all the women and he has nothing. It’s not my fault that I’m more powerful than the others.
Gyle shouted and screamed at me for stealing all the women. Then he ran off pouting. I can’t believe it. Gyle ditched his money tree?! Is he really a dwarf?
Oops. There goes our guide. It’s going to be a big problem. It will take some stumbling around for us to figure out how to get back to the main roads of the fortress town now. It will be bothersome but I think we can do it, but it would have saved time for Gyle to now get his head in the clouds.
Lotti and the others seemed to not really show that it bothers them that Gyle is gone. Lotti offers to be our guide instead.
Come to think of it, this kind of happens anytime I mix with people not outside our group. I need to tighten things down so only me and my own core people are with me.
Thanks to Gyle losing control of his feelings we might not be able to go take an adventuring job today. We were depending on him to help us navigate dwarven writing and documents.
Even if we do want to find something we’d have to go hire someone who we don’t even know if we can trust.
This is hard.
Now it’s just me, Rina, and Sunghee alone with Lotti. She keeps leading us down some dark alleys and streets in a part of town that looks mostly rural and few people with nobody on the street. Actually this isn’t too far from the foreign quarter now I think.
“So Lotti, how could you be 147? You look pretty young,” Rina asked. I was going to think of a way to ask it. Women don’t like you asking about their age however.
She shrugged, “all witches live for a long time. We typically live at least five hundred years, longer for those with a lot of power and less for those with less power. We tend to retain a youthful appearance as long as we aren’t involved in necromancy which ages us prematurely for some reason.”
“Hmm is that so? If it ages witches I wonder if it’d do something to humans too?” Sunghee looked at me questioningly.
“Interesting theory,” I said.
“Yeah its fun to figure stuff out. I’m curious by nature too which is why I was really into noticing those Church of Gaia people too,” she added.
“So is witch your race or your job? I don’t get it,” I asked.
Lotti is somehow hanging onto my arm. She doesn’t have much in the chest department but her skin and face look very healthy and almost have a refined look, like perfect beauty to them with no blemish.
Rina and Sunghee look like they want to hit her they are so jealous.
“That’s my arm rest,” I hear Rina mutter. And Sunghee has the other one. Sunghee is trying to use her cleavage to offset Lotti’s charm.
“Oh that’s our race silly. It’s not a job. Well I guess it’s a job too,” Lotti giggled.
I glanced at Sunghee.
“I’ve never heard of them. This is a big world Shun. I won’t know every creature out there,” Sunghee said.
“Oh right,” I said.
“Hey let me make you lunch!” Lotti said again. If she were to get any more energetic her tail would be wagging like a puppy.
“No! Anything but that!” Rina cried out.
“Oh she’s dangerous huh?” I heard Sunghee whisper to Rina.
The two of them aren’t even phased by Lotti and I hearing them, probably as a result of the pheromones making them sexually more bold with me.
By the time we end up crossing town we end up in a vacant lot of some kind over on the south side. To be honest I was expecting something to backstab us or sneak up. But Lotti keeps gesturing for us to move forward.
“Aren’t you guys being paranoid? I don’t bite,” Lotti said sweetly.
Then as soon as we entered the clearing in the middle of the vacant lot and got around a few corners of ruined buildings I saw what I’d least expected. It’s obvious we aren’t going to a residential area.
What is thi-….I stopped in mid thought as we rounded the bend.
A giant pumpkin in the middle of the vacant lot?!
Sunghee and Rina also are staring at it.
“Weird,” both of them cringed.
“That giant pumpkin is as big as a house,” Sunghee said in shock.
“Well duh, it costs too much to have the dwarves build one. And that’d be wasteful when I can do it with magic for almost nothing but reshaping and recycling stuff,” Lotti said.
“Eh?!” Rina is also shocked seeing it.
I almost exclaimed surprise too but I didn’t want to offend Lotti who is hanging onto my arm.
“Isn’t it wonderful? It’s almost as dreamy as Shun!” Lotti said. Her hands played with brushing the hair on my head back behind my ears where it had gotten loose.
“Eh?!” Sunghee and Rina also exclaim in shock. They are alarmed at Lotti’s advances.
“You can’t take our man!” Rina said.
“Oh I would NEVER steal your man. Relax, I’ll share him with you. And you guys get him really I only need him for a temporary deal. I promise I won’t do anything underhanded when he can make me some money!” Lotti exclaimed with more innocence than I’d expected. Still, she’s pretty close to me and seems to be getting closer.
Is it show or real?
“Um…Shun is our man but we don’t need to be rude about it,” Sunghee stepped on Rina’s toes.
“Ouch,” Rina said.
“Um we really should get going Shun. Maybe we can still pull off a smaller job today before the city night curfew hits,” Sunghee said.
“That’s be nice. I can get my skills up,” Rina joined in. You know that’s fake because Rina doesn’t like adventuring much because she’s weaker and can’t help much.
“Hey what about lunch?” Lotti exclaimed quickly.
Within seconds Lotti on one side is doing a tug of war while Sunghee is on the other side with Rina. But Lotti has used some telekinesis to counter it. But it doesn’t feel good being caught in a girl’s tug of war. For about a minute they keep yanking me to and fro until I got sick of it and told them both to stop.
That has me curious too.
My telekinesis is super weak right now but Lotti’s is clearly strong. Does she know some secrets to getting it more powerful? It’s amazing how strong she is.
In fact Lotti is using it to float herself and her staff while tugging at my arm. And her grip is so strong that I wouldn’t be surprised if magic was involved there too.
I didn’t even know telekinesis could be used like to float around. And to do so would you have many forces or just like spread them out into a whole bunch of forces pushing you up?
But then Rina accidentally got into another spat with Lotti. They keep going back and forth for a minute.
“Enough! Stop!” I said quickly and harshly.
“You will all behave!” I added seeing as there was about to be a whole, “But she started it first,” comments from all of them except Sunghee.
“Sorry,” Lotti and the others said. They all look downcast.
“Are we close?” Sunghee asked curiously.
“Yep, pretty close to my house now,” Lotti said.
“It’s rare to get a chance to network with another mage. This could open doors for us to find out how witches live and how to be more stable in this place too if we learn something,” I said to the other girls.
“Ahh, I guess that’s true,” Sunghee admitted.
“Blah,…” Rina is unhappy.
“Witches do have a few similarities to human mages. But to be fair there are many differences too. You’ll love lunch. I have the best cook ever,” Lotti added.
“Come! Come! Let me show you the inside of my house!” Lotti said.
“Um where’s the door?” Sunghee asked the most obvious question of all as we’re staring at the giant pumpkin…house?
All we can see is a jack o lantern smile in the middle of the giant pumpkin that’s easily taller than a house with probably several ‘floors’ inside it. I think it might be like two and a half stories tall on the pumpkin but I could be wrong. There is a porch hanging over the front face that also resembles the front of a baseball cap with several lanterns also in place. There’s a mailbox at the front of the pathway leading up to the Jack O lantern’s mouth, and curiously even a few crows or ravens are hanging around here. The pumpkin has two eyes that are carved out, and then the nose is painted on with no hole, but there is a mouth that’s nearly at ground level but a bit of a reach.
“You go in through the mouth silly. But be careful of getting scraped on the teeth,” Lotti laughed.
“EH?!” Rina and Sunghee are shocked for no real reason. They looked at each other and then me.
“So we’re supposed to let it eat us?” Rina asked.
“I don’t know Shun…” Sunghee looks worried.
Is it that big of a deal?
Lotti seems nice. I don’t think she has bad intentions?
Lotti is still playfully hanging on my arm. She keeps lightly tugging at my arm for attention and to keep going into the pumpkin. “Hurry, it’ll be fun! I have some cool stuff to show you!”
I shrugged at the other two.
“I guess it’s probably OK,” Sunghee said skeptically.
Did Sunghee agree to not want to make me feel bad or does she really feel that way.
Before I can decide it seems she’s going forward to inspect the mouth doorway. “It seems pretty clean. Nothing gross or slimy,” she said.
“Go on, go on, welcome to my home!” Lotti bowed deeply while holding her staff.
Rina was the first to go up, using Sunghee’s hands as a stepping stool. She sort of tumbled in the first part. Then Sunghee goes afterwards.
I was a bit shocked though that as I’m pushing up Sunghee from her behind I realize she’s skipped wearing underwear when my hand accidentally went under her mini skirt. She also tumbles into the darkness.
That would have been awkward for Gyle to see. Maybe it’s good he’s not here?
“I won’t lose to her,” Rina muttered from up top. I guess she saw what had happened.
But I sort of am worried about if it’s a trap. I can de-summon the girls. But I become a bit paranoid too.
“Go on, I’m right behind you,” Lotti said while still smiling.
“I’m going last so I can lock up. Can’t be too careful about security lately,” Lotti said. Then quick as can be she stopped and suddenly turned around. Briefly her eyes scanned around the yard outside suddenly.
“Huh? Did you hear something?” she asked.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Sunghee shrugged.
“How does this work? You made a pumpkin into a house, but is there no trouble with smell or rot?” I asked.
“Oh its totally fine. I keep it well preserved. Maybe you’ll feel safer if I go first?” she suggested.
“OK, can you give me a boost?” she asked.
I pushed her up from behind. But I could have sworn I heard her moan when I pushed her up by her tiny little ass. “Just a bit more,” she encouraged. “Sometimes I get stuck.”
I gave her another push on the ass and then she fell in.
Then I come up afterwards. Despite the look of the girls falling into the mouth, it’s not small but roomy and big inside once we get past the door. It’s definitely huge in here and got something like extra dimensional crafting at work because the ceiling is higher than some government buildings and forts. When my eyes get used to the light again I can see we’re in like a coat rack front hall. Then Lotti closes a giant zipper from the inside of the pumpkin and the mouth closes.
“Um that isn’t airtight is it?” I asked worriedly.
“hehe. No way! Don’t worry buddy! I won’t let anything happen to you,” Lotti smiled. She slapped me on the ass.
Sunghee is giving her an ‘I should kill you for that’ look.
Is this a trap? Is Lotti here to hurt us? Why do I feel wary? I feel stupid going into a witch’s house without Fox here. But it would be rude of me to wake up Fox from her sleep without a reason. It would throw off her sleep schedule too.
But as we leave the coat rack hall we find ourselves into a living room with beautiful hardwood floors, bookshelves surround and coat every wall in the house, though most of them are still empty. And because the place is so big it means what furniture she does have is stretched pretty thin.
I did notice she has oil paint based family portraits up of many witches in a long line on the main living room wall, which immediately caught our attention. In varying degrees of miniskirts, thigh length black socks, and various types of vests and blouses are faces that look remarkably similar. From left to right there are three witches before getting to the portrait of Lotti’s, and then there are three others to the right of hers. None of them are people we recognize but it’s interesting to look at them and see the culture of witches. Just like in our world, for some reason they also favor pointed black cone hats, though the color varies with some of them. One of the witches even has a red bowtie while Lotti is the only one with a cat in her picture.
The paintings are done so perfectly they almost look like a printer from our own world copied someone’s photograph they are so real. But to be fair they clearly are oil based, and I suspect it was some type of magic that was involved instead. It gives the whole place a sort of elegant cultured feel like an old 1700s mansion on Earth complete with strange exotic furniture and forgotten architecture, but this time in witch style.
“Master, even if you do like this girl. She and her family are all flat chested. Only I can satisfy your heavy boob fetish,” Sunghee whispered in my ear while pushing her chest up.
“Come again?” Lotti asked. Lotti looked horrified.
“Don’t listen to her. I don’t have boobs as big as her or Asakura and I still get lots of love,” Rina blushed while this time siding with Lotti. I think she has too because she’s a smaller cup size than Sunghee and Asakura both.
Lotti frowned but didn’t say anything while I blush. Now Lotti is giving me a hard look.
I looked around trying to change the subject. “I like your place here.”
Lotti smiled. “Sorry, I’m still getting settled. I have plans to get more furniture later on but it’s so expensive to live in a dwarven city,” she blushed.
“That’s OK,” I said looking around.
We find ourselves studying the place.
She has magic continual light lamps all over the big living room with a high ceiling. I suspect this is probably one of the biggest rooms in this house but I can’t be sure. There are four huge armchairs in the center of the room with one of them facing the other three with a coffee table, some side tables, and to the side there’s a massive fireplace surrounded by brick and masonry work.
Strangely enough what surprised me next were all the black cats everywhere. There’s thankfully no smell of dander anywhere but it’s true that she does have way too many cats. And not all of them are black come to think of it, as I see almost like a school of fish like flow to them, except they are cats instead of swimming fish.
The weird part is that the cats look intelligent. They aren’t beastkin, nor are they anything in between but they are cleaning the place incessantly. Rina and Sunghee are both shocked to see at least three of the cats sweeping the floor with brooms while two others hold the dustpans.
“What in the world?” Rina asked.
“Cat mage?” Sunghee asked.
I don’t actually like that many cats. The air feels kind of stuffy because of too many things in one place at the same time.
“Maybe.” Lotti giggled. She seems suddenly very impishly excited with a Cheshire cat grin. “In a way. Like I said, I’m a witch. But witches are similar to mages. And we have our differences too as I stated before.”
“Would you like some tea? Also please have a seat,” she asked. She went and sat in the lead chair while we sat in the three seats facing her with me in the center middle one.
I was then shocked too as the cats brought pillows and cushions for us to feel more comfortable. They did this by standing on their hind legs and somehow tip toeing forward until they deliver all the pillows…awkwardly holding the pillows in their paws. They must have been changed somehow with magic because cats shouldn’t be able to do that kind of stuff.
“This is…weird. How do you train your cats so well?” Rina said.
“It takes a lot of work,” Lotti winked at us. Compared to before her composure seems almost like a different person. I find it unsettling. Lotti seems different psychologically now that we’re in her…cat throne room but I can’t quite put my finger on why.
Why is it different?
“Um….” Sunghee coughed. She’s too surprised too.
“So what kind of tea would you like?” Lotti said ringing a little bell, acting almost like a noble in a large estate.
We were both surprised again when a pure snow white cat came over that’s wearing a red bowtie and a small red cape. He gave a slight bow to Lotti first. He looks boredly at us then back at Lotti his master. He even yawned with a paw over his mouth. But the weird part is that he didn’t walk over like a cat, but walked over like he was a human on two feet trying to be bipedal but not quite getting it right either.
“My dear Jeffrey, please take their orders,” Lotti gestured at us.
“…the freak…?” I heard Rina stifle a gasp.
Jeffrey seems to be acting like the perfect butler. From a small side table he somehow has an old piece of chalk and a slate from which he is trying to take notes in a strange way. Of course since he’s writing in cat speak we have no idea what the little cat scratches are supposed to say.
“You named a cat Jeffrey?” Sunghee giggled.
Lotti’s smile twisted into a smirk. “Well…it’s truer to say I turned a human into a white cat who happened to be named Jeffrey.”
It’s like the room is suddenly icy cold as we realize what she just said.
We’re so in trouble.
We walked right into her trap.
What kind of person would turn a person into an animal? Only the worst kind, and because Lotti looked so innocent we weren’t sure what to do.
We’re in a witch’s house that can turn people into animals?! And the whole place is full of her slaves?! She has dozens of cats here to basically play feudal lord over things that can’t fight back.
Lotti suddenly laughed at us harshly. For many long seconds her victory laugh fills the room. She then pointed at Rina.
Then poof! A black cloud of tar like smoke clears. And just like that Rina was turned into a cat. She even had a horrified expression as a cat while looking at us and then staring at her paws. But she was so horrified she then squeaked and then fainted.
“No!” both Sunghee and I cried out.
In horror we stare at the new cat that Rina has turned into. Unlike the other black cats Rina is turned into a white cat with black and orange spots on it. If things weren’t hell right now I’d be tempted to name her Patches, after a cat in my previous life that looked like this.
The other cats look vaguely interested but not surprised.
Weirdly enough the cat is still sitting in the chair on its haunches but its staring at its paws with them turned up.
We’re all petrified in fear. Our hearts are beating like mad.
“Oh dear, Miss Lotti this wasn’t I thought you were doing,” the cat named Jeeves said in a human like voice. Wow, the cat can talk. But it doesn’t seem like the others can. Only her special cats can talk, but most have already lost their identity which is scary.
But Lotti hasn’t attacked us yet. She doesn’t seem to want to attack us but we don’t like that Rina is turned into a cat from her curse spell. We also can’t really kill Lotti because then we won’t know how to change Rina back.
“What do you want?!” I cried out.
“Please! That’s our precious ally! Please!” Sunghee pleaded while on her knees.
I find myself on my feet shouting at Lotti angrily. “We aren’t your enemies! We haven’t done anything to you, please!”
Instead Lotti wags her finger back and forth seductively. When she speaks we’re afraid to cross her so we quiet down, “Tch, bad little humans. You are so like cockroaches. Did you think you could just come into my realm? You come around throwing your weight with your heads lifted up in pride and think that you can exterminate all witches?!”
Lotti has left her recliner soft chair and is pacing in front of it. It’s strange seeing what looks like a human teenager acting like a tyrant queen or king however. She doesn’t make a lot of noise like a teenager would, plus she’s too smart and very calculating with her intense eyes watching for trying to predict how we might move or react.
For looking small, and cute she’s a villain. We found an enemy boss of huge power right here in the dwarf city.
“But we haven’t done anything!” Sunghee pleads frantically with me.
We are powerless.
Lotti is even more powerful than I am, vastly more powerful. And her power is tricky with side effects you didn’t wish on your worst enemy. Because she uses a curse one shot or nothing power, my shielding isn’t good for fighting against it. In fact, I’d had runic shielding on me, Rina, and Sunghee before we’d even gotten inside her pumpkin house.
Not only that but I can feel an invisible wall in front of us. It’s like a field that won’t let us get past a certain point. But it’s not a force field or a barrier but just a massive telekinesis block that won’t let us approach. She’d instead done a work around with several very powerful telekinesis fields blocking us.
“Please turn her back. We’re willing to help you if you can cooperate with us reasonably,” I said.
Sunghee also keeps pleading. We’re like this for several minutes while Lotti gloats at us hatefully.
The expression of cute and innocence is gone. Instead there’s like black mascara so thick around her eyes they resemble triangular pumpkin shaped eye sockets and a hatred so thick it could almost turn into soup in her facial expression. She would be pretty if her whatever…mascara or whatever they use on this world weren’t so thick around the eyes. Plus the short black hair is wild and spiky in places like a pin cushion but not symmetrical, and also completely different from the shy innocent girl we’d seen before. This is like she went to a heavy metal concert and came back in dress up mode from it. The red robe has melted away and was probably not even there in the first place. It was likely an illusion similar to how Fox uses illusion clothes.
She’s glaring at us with a ‘I don’t give a fuck’ look and even seems to hope we’ll try violence. She looks like she could slit our throats and not even blink. We’ll be lucky if she doesn’t do just that.
I can feel Lotti’s powerful magic aura surging through the pea soup hate fog that’s so thick coming off her that I can almost see mana waves in the form of a dark violet black fog. Lotti has more power than I do by far.
I bet she could even take on a dragon and win. And I’m not even at half her potential right now.
Lotti shakes her head. “You don’t understand! This is war! Humans killed my six sisters. Did you know the Northern Forest was once a witches’ exclusive retreat. Until some dumb fuck discovered gold in our lands after trespassing under guise of feigned friendship. In less than a year we were being burned and exterminated to make room for their mass numbers of mining and the timber industry felling our forests. The places we lived in were all confiscated and burned; my people were cut down by the dozens, many of them helpless young we were raising on our own as single parents. Then the human sorcerers twisted a magic plague to go through the forest to take what was left of our resistance.”
“I hid here in the caverns of the dwarves for safety. Then what did they do? They started a foreign quarter and the humans pour in again about twenty years ago. Now my efforts for living in a human free zone come to nothing! All this work to escape them and they are here of all places?! You can imagine my frustration. You cannot comprehend what hatred I feel for all of humanity. There is no rock deep enough or far enough for you to hide. Now I will play with you. This time you will be the bugs to be squashed under my feet. And I have the patience for a long term revenge!”
“But this is a dwarven city. You don’t need to do that,” Rina said.
“Oh ho ho…but I do. I’ll save the dwarves from the human plague. Right now they are too focused on the orc plague to realize they’ve let in other cockroaches. Those cockroaches will then outbreed them in less than fifty years, so someone has to take attention to the small stuff. They won’t appreciate it now but will later. You’ll see,” Scary Lotti version 2.0 said.
Lotti’s intense psychotic stare is still there as in her heart no doubt she’s trying to think about how to kill us.
Just then I realized the dozens of cats don’t look at Lotti with admiration. They look at her out of pure and terrified fear. We stare in horror at all the cats surrounding Lotti. All of them were once humans and now there are too many to count properly. Now they are regarding her with strange expressions both in fear and having to protect her at the same time. Some of them are angry with us; those are the ones probably that have Stockholm syndrome from being with her so long. Others look like they are defeated, and others sort of in between with all kinds of vapid stares.
We’d been mistaken to think the cats were here as her friends. They are paying for their lives with servitude to somehow hope that someday she’d be willing to change them back to whatever bipedal creatures they were originally, which I suspect were humans and possibly a few other minorities. And they act too human for this to not be true.
It’s alarmingly scary.
And now that she’s unmasked in her real mood, the cats are even acting like they would when they were humans. They stand like humans would on their hind legs, though they can’t do it for very long in these forms. They also try to hold things with their paws like humans would. They never stop sweeping the floors, or padding her pillows. They are moving about just like human ‘cats’.
It’s scary fighting orcs that try to kill you, but something that will steal your entire identity is way worse.
I’ve found a new version of hell in an even bigger part of several adjoining hells.
I can hardly believe it. I can’t believe I’m in bondage and how quickly it happened. In short, if we don’t do what Lotti says, Rina will now instead become ‘Patches’ forever.
And if we do what Lotti wants, she gets more powerful and preys on even more people.
There’s no way of getting Lotti to listen to reason after thirty minutes of tearful pleading.
But it raises questions about that clergyman perv too. Maybe he really was detecting demons and Lotti was trying to take him out. Though the part about him targeting women was probably true because that mob was real; but maybe the demon detection spell will pick up witches?
I’d have to consult with Fox on this. She would be able to know.
There had to be a reason the clergyman was a threat to witches. And I’m not sure if I bought the previous red mage girl’s story. It might be true, but it might not be.
What weaknesses do witches have?
And how do we leave her alive without making this worse?