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Another half hour passes in the bar. The night starts to drag on. But, before everyone heads home, Sudirja asks a question of the group.

“You know, tomorrow, Baron Liri and the Bishop are having a public announcement ceremony in the middle of the city. Are you going to that, Ajax and Shaula?”

Sudirja, Ajax and Shaula are human. In this city, only humans are allowed to attend a public gathering held by the Bishop and the Baron. In an upper class space like that, the city guards would have demihumans thrown out as “agitators”.

“What’s it going to be about? We haven’t been to one of those before.” Ajax is curious about what the Baron is like. It feels quite surprising to both Ajax and Shaula that this ten thousand year country still has an aristocracy. Are all the noble houses thousands of years old?

From what they’ve been hearing, the nobility are like a separate species from humanity. It’s another thing that they wish to learn more about. After all, normal humans cannot touch the two of them. Even Angelidis isn’t a threat to them. But, they have not seen what the more powerful beings in this world are capable of.

The crawlers, the usurpers, the dragons, the heroic nobles… They still need to be careful as strangers on this alien planet.

Sudirja answers Ajax’s question while thinking about what she remembers about the formal announcement event.

“Hm. Well, I think I read about it in a newspaper that one of my clients shared with me. From what I can remember… Ah, yes, it's about the war. I’m hoping it’s good news. Oh, I think the Baron is also going to explain the rumors about what’s happening down south. Probably doesn’t want a panic to spread in the city. I’ve heard people are even thinking of running North, as far away from where the gods are fighting. Not that it’ll do them any good…”

“Are you going to go, Sudirja?” Maybe Sudirja can make the two of them feel less out of place. It’s what Ajax would like, but Sudirja immediately strikes down the idea.

“Fuck no. I really like you two, you know? Neither of you haven’t even commented on my albinism. You even treat me well, no cruel remarks, no condescension. I’m guessing it’s because you’re from somewhere far away from the Federation’s cities. Whenever the humans around here talk about me, it’s always something about my fucking albinism. I hate being around big groups of humans. I’m not gonna spend time being gawked at, I get enough of that from my human clients… No, I’ll be getting some sleep. Sorry, you two.”

“No, no, don’t worry about it. What you go through… It sounds terrible.”

“It is what it is.” Sudirja only stares into her nearly empty cup of alcohol.

The night finally starts winding down. The girls all leave the bar in a group and head in the same direction. Ajax and Shaula head back to their hotel room.

They’ve been given some interesting details to chew on. But, it’s getting around the time when they should really be using books to supplement their knowledge. The word on the street has just about reached the limits of its usefulness.

Ajax and Shaula take the scenic route back to their temporary home. They remain silent while seeing the light of sunrise. Neither of them feel any sort of tiredness. Shaula realizes how much they’ve both been changing. She looks over at Ajax and notices him smiling.

“What’s with you? Did you like hanging around such pretty girls the whole night?”

“No, no, that’s not it. It’s… it’s just been a while since I’ve met such interesting people. And what about pretty girls? You’re pretty too, you know? I’ve been out here with you this whole time, haven’t I?”

“Oh, so suddenly a bunch of strangers get you hard and not your best friend? Why can’t you smile like that about me more often?”

“Shut up.” Ajax laughs just a bit. Shaula laughs along with him. But, she realizes something.

“Actually wait. Wait, haven’t we lost a lot of our bodily functions since we came here?”

“Yeah? So what? No use crying over spilled humanity…”

“Whoa. That’s a good phrase, nice one. No, it’s just… you’ve been through puberty already and… you’ve… you know…” Shaula scratches her head through her head wrap in embarrassment.

“...No, I don’t know. What’s up?”

“Ajax. Be an adult about this, but has your… libido changed?”

“...Oh. Oh yeah. That.”

“Can you still get erections?” Shaula stares him directly in his eyes with concern written on her face.

“Wh– Yeah, of course I can, the fuck?”

“It’s really not that crazy a question, considering what else we’ve lost… what else has already changed, I mean. So… really, like, when you see girls, you can actually get hard?”

“Yes, Shaula, yes, I can get hard.” Ajax decides that he can’t look her in the face while saying those words. He turns away from her, but she takes this as a sign of him telling a lie. She circles him and their eyes meet again. He realizes by her serious expression that he should not break eye contact. She is genuinely worried. After all, sex is a fundamental part of humanity.

“So, like, you’ve seen a beautiful woman on this planet, or man, I’m not judging, and your dick got harder?”

“Yes, yes. It was actually during… No, I won’t tell you the times I got hard, but I got hard. Can you drop it?” He’s reached the limits of his unease. He was never expecting that Shaula would ask a question like this of him

“...Ok, sorry.” Shaula turns her eyes to the ground as they keep walking. He feels slight guilt as well as curiosity. He answered her so he should receive her answer as well, right?

“...What about you? Your… libido… No, it’s alright, you don’t have to–”

“No, don’t worry. Hm. Well, you know some of my past, right? I have certain complexes about… sex or lust… or whatever.”

“So… you haven’t felt that way here? I mean, you know… sexual interest?”

“No, no, I have, I have. I’m not gonna describe it obviously but… I have. I just wanted to make sure we both have our libidos working in full. Things are still different for both of us, right? I mean, it’s not like our bodies work the same as regular humans anyways, fine. It’s certainly possible that any kids we both might have will turn out differently from normal kids too. And, maybe we don’t have to masturbate as often, or maybe we’ll have to do that more often… who fucking knows…”

*Sigh* Just another thing to get used to.”

In truth, both Ajax and Shaula have experienced some changes with their sex drives that they cannot put words to.

Ajax can still feel the full range of sexual desire. But, at the same time, he has more pure control over his urges, while also feeling sexual desire more potently. His erections were once completely impossible to suppress once the desire arrives. The way a normal young adult is… Not anymore though.

He hasn’t noticed this change yet. It might feel off to call it sexual desire anymore. It feels more important to him than that. It’s as if he instantly bypassed the sexual frustration of youth, that base instinct to procreate. He has already become someone who focuses on sex as a function of love, pleasure, and deep emotion.

To him now, sex is more about those emotional and spiritual aspects compared to the base desire to fuck and / or have kids. Those perfectly normal human impulses… It is as if his lust has also transcended to a higher plane.

Shaula meanwhile feels similar feelings. Just like him, she used to be more beset by sexual desires on Earth, even while having deep trauma in that area. She is a young person herself after all. She felt somewhat comfortable talking about this subject with Ajax, but only because she had to at that moment.

She doesn’t want him to get worried. She is more aware of her own changes than he is. This change feels at the same time insidious and liberating. It is a change after all, one that sets her apart from other humans and demihumans. Only time can tell her how she will handle that change.

Once or twice, she has had sexual thoughts about Ajax, both here on Omicron, and in the past back on Earth. It is the same for him with her. Each of them only seems to have that desire for each other. That’s how it’s been for a long time, and that’s how it still remains.

Here, their love and lust for each other has entered a different phase. A phase that he cannot quite articulate, but one that she is scared of. They are at an impasse where progress cannot continue until something else changes.

Shaula’s past trauma has prevented her from doing anything about these feelings. She also still possesses that dream. Her dream of vengeance, of taking back what was stolen from her life. From her spirit and soul. Her time on Earth was not meant to be one to fulfill love or romance.

Her life was one where she would exact a price against everything that had tried to destroy her.

Meanwhile, Ajax feels responsible for Shaula’s fate and happiness, ever since he convinced her to live at his family home.

He did not want to cross that boundary with her on Earth where he was basically her landlord. He would never use that implicit power he had over her, especially for love or lust. If he even tried, she might simply have returned to the streets. She would then be more likely to get hurt or die in poverty.

If she died because he overstepped the boundaries of their relationship, he would not be able to live anymore. The guilt would have torn him apart. He can never lose his best friend. She’s the only one he has left now.

Here on Omicron, perhaps things can be different. But, he hasn’t considered the possibility just yet.

After Ajax and Shaula head back to the hotel, they find information about where the formal announcement will be held. From what the hotel employees are saying, there is a special city square where the Baron descends. They used the word “descend” as if he were a god once again revealing himself to his people.

After returning to the inn to discuss what they’ve learned so far, the two of them decide to walk through the city. It is mid morning by now. They wish to make their way slowly to that city square. They pass by food stalls and have some breakfast. They keep an eye out for locations along their route where there are bookstores that they can make use of.

They also find their first library. They learn that they can get library rights with a payment of one silver coin for the both of them. Printing out their library cards takes some time though, so they decide to pick up their cards after seeing the formal announcement.

Eventually, they reach the city square. It is not what they expected.

It is here that they learn about the news that the God of the Federation, the God of Humanity itself, Osva, has finally killed the Devil, Semjaza.

With Semjaza’s death, a new war is declared. It is called the “final crusade” against the Empire of the demons.

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About the author

Icanica

  • The dark valleys of Canada
  • Itachi Uchiha supremacist

Bio: Let he who is without sin, kick the first ass

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