“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
- The Journey to the Afterlife
***Kingdom Newerth, Capital City***
I yawn and stretch myself, trying to shake off the tiredness. We've been trying to determine Perseus's escape route for more than a day. The time went by like nothing. It was clear that the way he escaped could only be pulled off if one has a very good idea of the prison's waste disposal system. Shade was teleported right into a big tank with nasty stuff inside when he hitched a ride on the facility's teleportation spell.
But that alone didn't get him out of the prison. He had to break the tank to get out. Which naturally led to a whole room which was inaccessible to us. Dad managed to get out of the cell, that's true, but it's another matter to leave the facility in one piece afterwards. Perseus escaped without a trace, which means that he never left the tank.
That's only possible if he knew exactly when the tank's contents would be disposed of. He had to time his departure with the disposal of the tank, so that he could leave the prison with the tank before it went into lockdown. It's not like the designers of the prison had no clue about their job. If there is a problem, even a small one, the prison goes into complete lockdown. That means that nothing gets in or out. Not even the waste.
So Perseus had to wait for the very last second to hitch his ride, otherwise he would've been caught inside the tank until someone found him. There are search spells for things like that and Perseus would have been the only living thing outside the cells. Not particularly hard to find.
“I suggest you incinerate everything inside the tank with every disposal cycle. It would ensure that everyone who gets the idea to use the same route doesn't try it twice. And I would put the same magical counter-effects onto the tank. We don't want someone to protect himself with environmental magic.”
“That would kill them,” Marcus states matter-of-factly.
Dad nods. “That's the intention.”
I sigh and twirl a strand of my hair around my finger. “I think that's all beside the point. We know that he got out. The main reason why we invested so much time in finding out how, was to determine if he had any help. So what are his intentions? Will he open a portal? Try to take revenge on us? I didn't exactly know Perseus. Marcus talked a lot about his brother though. Perseus doesn't strike me as the type of person who would simply congratulate himself and run away as far and as fast as he can, just to make a living in exile somewhere beyond our reach.”
“Which would be the smartest thing to do,” Clarity growls.
I continue, “As I said, he is probably planning something, maybe even negotiating with our enemy? I'll nonetheless pay a visit to my friends in the underground of this city. Maybe they heard about something. He'll not escape his punishment.” And I need an outlet for my frustration.
Mom raises an expectant eyebrow. “Is there a particular reason why you want to see this Perseus person in a cell? I understand that he is… was the first prince of this country and probably collaborated with the enemy. But can he really do more damage than the average spy or agent at this point? Everyone knows that he is a bad apple. Would the army still side with him? You mentioned that he was a former commander of Newerth’s troops. I've wondered why you are so concerned that he wants revenge especially against the two you.” She regards Marcus and me with sceptical eyes.
“I... err... ahem.” I clear my throat to gain some time. If my parents learn what happened between me and Perseus, they will go apeshit crazy! Not only did I allow myself to be manipulated, I almost killed him and doomed my mission of creating ties to Newerth. I've never actually told them the reason for his imprisonment. Marcus and I just skipped over the event as if it didn't have any importance on the actual state of affairs. My eyes wander over Charles and Clarity, whose throats are equally sealed shut.
Fortunately, Marcus decides to save the situation by masterfully telling a piece of the truth, sugar-coating it as much as possible. “Perseus tried to make a move on Seria. I barged in on them and it led to an argument between me and my brother. The argument went out of hand, which resulted in Perseus losing control over his temperament. Our parents barged in and apprehended him after assessing the situation. That's why it's reasonable to think that Perseus might hold a grudge against us. Firstly, against Seria, because she was the reason of the fight. Secondly, against me, because I escalated it, which led to his imprisonment.”
Charles clears his throat. “At first we tried our best to resolve the situation without a fuss. But Perseus tried to resist with deadly force, which showed us that he was clearly over the edge. Or at least very close to it. So I think we can safely assume that he doesn't think well of either of us.”
“Hah...” Shade snorts, curling down the corners of his mouth. “Seems like a really nice, self-centred person. I would like him if it wasn't for the fact that he made a move on my daughter. Maybe there is a chance for us to sniff him out. He must be somewhere in this realm. My devices would've sensed it if a portal had been opened. And they didn't. So he has to be hiding in a safe place.”
I nod and turn towards the exit. “I'll use my contacts to gather some information.” As I turn around, a wave of nausea washes over me and I clench my teeth, fighting the urge to vomit. Seems like this reincarnation of mine is prone to morning sickness. Or whatever it's called. Isn't it too early to feel the effects that badly? I reach for Marcus and grab his clothes to hold myself upright.
“I don't think you should go anywhere. You are as pale as a sheet of paper,” Marcus says with concern in his voice. He reaches for my forehead to feel my temperature. Though his limited medical knowledge makes it nothing more than a nice gesture.
My mother's sceptical gaze turns towards me. She studies me for several moments, thinking of possible reasons for my state. “You just need a good boning. That's all. Have you made sure to suck on his life force, Sweety?”
Her bluntness baffles me. I steady myself by using Marcus as a crux and turn my attention towards Mom. “No? Why should I? In fact, I am trying to avoid leeching off of him. You always told me that I've to stay in control as much as possible. Otherwise I would end up sucking my partner dry. Though the succubus inside me makes that hard from time to time and I end up doing it anyway. Not dry I mean… just a little comatose.”
Dad whistles and turns away, pretending to polish his nails.
Mom squints her eyes at me as if I am stupid as fuck. “What do you think was the amulet for? Do I have to give you the 'birds-and-the-bees-speech' for succubi?” Then she launches into a pretty demeaning speech, explaining the whole succubus reproduction process. And if I haven't felt stupid for going easy on Marcus before that, then I am surely doing so by the time she is done.
When she is finished I try not to scream. I guess with the amulet there wasn't a reason to hold back with my partner. It was meant to protect him.
We've taken turns in using the amulet, which was exactly the wrong thing to do. The amulet is meant just for Marcus, so that it would restore his life force while I can take as much as I please. And if I can suck as much as I want without tiring him, then there is no need for me having an amulet. Sucking the life force out of another being restores a succubus just as well as having an amulet.
“I feel so stupid,” I mumble, glaring at the ceiling. “But why haven't you told me that this whole pregnancy issue could be over and done with within days!?” I look at my mother, giving her the evil eye.
She huffs and gestures with her hand. “You have to forgive me. While you were still small and cute I had you locked in my study with all those books about my research. I honestly thought that the obvious thing to do, would be to educate yourself about the biology of your own body. It's so basic that I've never really thought about testing you on the subject. How often have you been through the reincarnation process? What did you do during all that time!?”
I feel myself turning red with embarrassment. I sneaked out to spy on all the family members? We've a big family, so there are a lot of dirty secrets to unearth. “I suppose I must have overlooked the document with that particular knowledge. Who would have thought that it would work so different than for everyone else?” I answer, a little miffed. And why am I to blame? Everyone else has normal pregnancies? So why are succubi an exception of the rule?