Several pokegirls of different species are corralled in a large cage. Some are beaten, some aren't even conscious, and all of them are afraid, as they are the lucky ones. A series of tents line the open area these girls once called home, those tents housing their intruders and captors, except the black one. The black tent was the largest of them all, and has held doom for many of their sisters already. Taken in there two or even three at a time, none of the imprisoned girls know what goes on in there, but the screams of agony from their kin suggest nothing good. A theory confirmed when every time, a hideous abomination gets escorted out of there, a horror come to life as the girls taken in there come out fused together in the worst way possible.
With what seem to be Archmages as their guards, they take their orders from a tall, dark haired woman and surround the cage at all four corners, making sure nothing goes amiss as they conduct their experiments on them. Huddled up close, the outer layer of girls showing their fear and sorrow, all the while they do their best to conceal what is truly happening on the inner ring, their glorious leader and her daughter making a last ditch effort plan of escape. Their leader gave her daughter a kiss on her forehead, their meeting done, as they both stood up. Their leader turned to her people, great sadness on her face met with the brave determination on theirs, and they bowed deeply.
"It has been an honor, my queen." One whispered as quietly as she could, to which the others nodded in firm agreement. A tear made it's way down their queen's face as she gave a slow nod, signalling them to begin. Three of them stepped forward to the bars, inhaled deeply, and used Yell as loud as they could, taking their Archmage guards by surprise as they covered their ears. Taking the chance, and Amachoke at the back of the cage pulled on two of the bars with all her might, the creaking noises concealed by the Yell, by she had to move fast. The bars gave way just a tiny bit, which was just barely enough for the daughter to slip her tiny body through, sneaking quickly past the distracted Archmages and into the bushes where she took off in a sprint.
The dark haired woman rushed out of her tent and to the source of the noise, the Yell diminishing by now.
"And to what do I owe this rude awakening?" She asked, her voice surprisingly calm and smooth.
"You hold us captive yet expect us to remain quiet? If we are to be imprisoned, the least we can do it keep you annoyed." One of them answered. The dark haired woman simply smirked. She gave the Archmages a nod, which they all returned and gathered around the door. Opening it, all four of them unleashed spells on their captives, stunning them in place. Three of them took the three that had made the noise, while the fourth stayed on guard. The girls still stunned, the dark haired woman made her way to the center of the group, and stood in front of their queen.
"Well, since you can't keep your court in control, you are of no use to us, and the good doctor has been crafting so many ideas. Once we're done with those three...you're next, my lovely Elfqueen." She said, cupping her cheek affectionately, then dragging her hand away, her nails digging into her skin, leaving marks behind her.
As the queen's daughter ran through the trees, she heard a horrible scream from behind her, but dared not look back, less she lose her nerve.
I must find help, I must! Oh please gods, lend me your strength, please!
With the confirmation that she was on the team, Cylene had been absolutely insufferable, at least in Valk's opinion. While she had stopped calling him master, he found himself wishing she would go back to that as now she proudly started calling him pet names such as "Hon" or "Dear". Even doing this out in public, speaking loud for all nearby people to hear, causing him no end of annoyance. More than once Hana had to stop him from drawing his sword, but all that gesture earned him was Cylene wrapping her tail around his leg affectionately. His hand was always twitching on his sword, so ready and eager to hack and slash away.
Though by no means was it was pleasant stroll out of town, not with a Medra at your side clinging to you. Tamers were fighting among themselves just to see who got to challenge him to Salvage, as at least seven had challenged him at once. Cylene put on a coy smile and clapped her hands together in front of them, getting their attention for a second, before her chest stole it. She had refused to wear clothing, insisting her armor can serve as it, but wanted to be shown off in all her glory, making others jealous at what they couldn't have.
"Alright, listen up. None of you are gonna win, I'll tell you right now. But if you insist, then I choose...eh, you'll do for now, I guess." She said, stopping in front of a fairly short, thin male. He had the biggest shit eating grin as he strutted up, gloating back to the others at being selected.
"I knew you were a lady of good taste. A 1v1 Salvage match, and when I win, I'm taking you home. I'll show you a better time than this tool ever could." He said with confidence practically oozing off of him. Cylene rolled her eyes slowly as she got into position. Her armor sprung forth, covering her entire body, much to the disappointment of the onlookers, and waited for her opponent. The male sent out an Ice Maiden, who appeared gracefully in her flowing blue dress, giving a slight sneer at the dragon before her.
"My my my, aren't you unlucky. Don't worry my soon to be pet, I'll take it easy on you, promise~." She nearly sang her words as she took her stance. Silence was all the got in response, and shrugged slightly. Though went the "Begin" rang out to signal the start of the match, she soon found a large, clawed fist in her stomach, all the wind knocked out of her, and then found herself sliding across the hot pavement, her dress ripping as even more pain came from the road rash she was experiencing, before all went black. The tamers all stood there with their jaws hung open, especially the cocky one, who went from shocked to terrified as Cylene walked over to him.
She leaned her head down to meet him face to face, and with the most wicked grin she could muster, said "What's the matter, don't want to tame a lady with great tastes anymore?"
"Cylene, that's enough! I told you I wanted to be out of town soon, and we're already behind schedule. Stop playing around and let's go." Valk said flatly.
Without missing a beat, she spun around and put on the most innocent smile she could. "Yes Dear, on my way."
Valk muttered a few curses under his breath as he settled things with his short lived opponent, deciding on taking money instead of a girl, and left the others to stand there stupefied from the battle. After that display though, there were conveniently no more attempts at challenges as the group made there way out of town.
"Oh master it was so scary! To think that close match with that strong, intimidating man nearly tore our love apart! Oh, just thinking about it sends shivers down my no longer severed spine. Hold me master, so I may feel your sweet embrace of comfort!"
Hana was doing her damn best to contain her laughter as she danced just out of Valk's reach with his sword. Said sword owner was currently being held very firmly against a large, scaly yet soft body, his head trapped between her chest. His entire body was forcefully glued to hers as she practically carried him in a full body hug, one arm pinned to his side while the other desperately tried to grab his blade to end either his suffering or his captor, or both.
Shira, taking point in their trek through the forest, was idly wondering if she should help him, or deal with the annoying Kitten quite literally on her back first. Finding the constant licking and kneading of her fur incentive enough, she made her choice. As casual as she could, she slowly started drifting towards the trees a little closer, feeling annoyed as the Kitten made herself more and more comfortable on her. When she was finally close enough to a solid looking one, she whipped around and smashed her back on the tree, though instead of feeling a small body between her and the object of her choosing, she felt the bits of bark make direct contact with her back. Yelping slightly as some of the wood penetrated her, leaving some blood behind, she carefully reached back to pull out the splinters, but felt something furry, and it wasn't her.
"You poor puppy! Don't worry, I know the forest is scary, but I'm here, so cheer up! I'll get these pesky bits out of your perfect fur, just you relax." Nina said in a cheery voice. Though Shira growled threateningly, before she could speak, a series of yips and yelps escaped her and Nina yanked the bark out of her fur, some of it in fairly deep from the crash. Shira hunched over a pit, temporarily stunned by the pain, until she felt the last bit of wood leave her, and gave a short sigh of relief and discomfort.
"There you go puppy, all bet...ter...hmm. Master, do we have any potions?" Seeing the bloody wounds formed and opened more than she would like, Nina hopped off Shira's back. Valk gave Cylene a glare, which she returned with a sigh, and very reluctantly let him go. He brushed himself off and quickly made to yank his sword back from Hana, who at this point was a giggling mess, and started digging through his pack. He tossed a standard potion to Nina, who took it eagerly and sprayed it all over the Lupina's back. With that matter settled, the two pairs went back to their normal routine, with Nina climbing back on top of Shira, who growled menacingly enough for a Dronza to take notes, and with Cylene wrapping her tail around her tamers waist. Drawing his sword, he was about to let Cylene know his opinion of her action when a noise to his left caught his attention. Rustling, and some heavy breathing, as what sounded like someone was running for their life, and right for them. Dropping the antics, the group got serious and formed near their tamer, who held his sword drawn and at the ready. A few seconds pass, and a silhouette becomes visible, revealing a female frame and long hair, though through the shade of the trees, not much else could be seen. She stopped a few feet away from them and dropped her hands to her knees, her breathing very heavy and raspy as she tried desperately to catch her breath, rambling on about something.
Testing the waters a bit, Valk moved slightly closer, put the tip of his sword back in the sheath, though leaving most of it out just in case, as he approached the figure. "Hey, are you alright?"
The figure let out a few dry coughs before stammering out the word "water". Sheathing his sword, he kept one hand on the hilt as his other reached for his canteen, tossing it to the ground in front of her. She hurriedly picks it up and starts gulping it down like she's never had it before. With a small sigh of relief, she clears her throat as she tosses it back, Valk slightly amused and annoyed to find it emptied, as she began to speak.
"My sincerest gratitude, though pleasantries must wait. I implore you kind travelers, nay, I beseech you, please help save my family from those dastard, barbaric heathens that dare dabble in the Witch's rejected magic they have the GALL to call science!" During her speech, she stepped forward into the light, and once finished gave a humble bow, the now visible Elf holding her hands tightly in a silent prayer.
Valk was slightly confused, unsure how a technically feral pokegirl had just a colorful vocabulary, but put that aside. Studying the Elf, it was very apparent she needed help, just from her current state. Her long golden hair was a tattered mess, mostly caked with dirt and grime, her body itself slightly malnourished. Cuts and bruised covered her delicate skin, some looking much worse than others. Cursing his morals, the Elf let out a small shriek as she was picked up rather easily and set down against a tree.
"Start from the beginning, tell us the whole story and we'll think about it." He said, digging out another potion and set to work applying it.
The Elf cooed as relief washed over her body, before shaking herself. "Fair enough. It started roughly two weeks ago, my mother holding a meeting for our court as usual. Then out of nowhere, I felt my body being paralyzed, as though someone had a grip on my spine and was squeezing it. Four similar looking girls stepped out of hiding, their hands aglow with their spell. I apologize for my lack of information, as the best I can surmise is they are magic breeds. And then...the laugh."
She paused as her whole body shuddered, the mere memory disturbing her.
"A tall woman with hair as black as the abyss stepped forward, and started ordering even more girls around. Once more I must apologize, I haven't a clue as to what they are. What I found most disturbing was how this tall, powerful and intimidating woman was always calm. If she hadn't been my source of grief the past several days, I would say her etiquette would make her the most polite woman I've ever dealt with."
Valk's whole body froze at that mention as his mind began to race. He stood up, drew his sword, and held out a hand for the Elf to stand up. "Miss, I really, really hope I'm wrong about this, but lead us back to where they are keeping them, and we'll see what we can do from there." He kept his voice calm, though Hana could pick out the nervous tone in it. The Elf's smile could have lit up a room as she nodded and took off back into the brush, the group following close behind.
A couple hours later saw the group taking a short break, the poor Elf exhausted from all her running. She was leaning against a tree, trying to recover her breath, and was soon joined by Valk.
"So, what do we call you by the way?" He asked.
She took a second to answer, and in between pants managed to get out "I don't...have a name."
"Then do you mind if we just call you Fey during this little adventure?"
Her lungs recovering better, she gave him an amused look at her would be name. "Lazy and clever at the same time. I suppose it will do."
Valk furrowed his brow in confusion. "What do you mean lazy?"
"You would name a fey being 'Fey', so it's lazy, though not many know the Elf breeds are called fey beings, so it's also clever. An acceptable name, you may call me that." She responded.
Pretending he planned that all along, Valk nodded and went along with it.
A few more minutes pass for the group to recover, then they sped off once again, the panic that gripped Fey's heart lessening now that she has backup.
With Cylene as far in the back as possible, Valk and the group snuck in through the tree line as close as they could before ducking into some bushes. Crouching low, he began scanning any girl he could see, his silent curses getting more and more colorful after each one, ending in him nearly giving away their position at the final one.
"A Dark Queen. A fucking Dark Queen." He whispered.
Fey crouched down next to him and quietly asked "Is it really that bad?"
"A Dark Queen is literally the queen of Infernals. What's more, most of the pokegirls I see are too weak for what the dex would claim to be in her main covenant, so there's even more than what we see, and they are hiding. So yes, this is really fucking bad."
Panic once again growing in her chest, Fey looks desperately at Valk. "What do we do?"
"We can't do shit about this. All we can do is run back to town and get the Hunter Guild to take care of this. They're the ones who are specialized in this, not us."
Fey looked at him with horror filled eyes and clutched his shirt. She was about to say something, but took a few breaths to calm herself, and let go, sadly nodding. "You're right. With this few forces, we couldn't drive them out. Take me to your Hunters then."
As they were about to sneak out the way they came, the Dark Queen, followed by a few Daimon approached the cage. The Archmage guards nodded, and stunned their captives before entering. A moment passes, and they drag out the Elfqueen and another girl that the dex identified as a Shieldmaiden. As the Infernals dragged their stunned prisoners towards a large black tent, Valk felt his shirt being grabbed once again.
"What, what's wrong?"
"Mother. That's my mother, and the queen of this court. Things have changed, we must act now!"
"I already told you we-"
"I'm aware of your circumstances, now listen to mine. Aside from the obviousness of me wanting to save my mom, my mother's court consists of rescued and abused pokegirls of great power. Only through her kind and gently ways are they soothed, but if she were to perish, even if we get these Hunters to aid us, there will be nothing to stop their wrath, and they will rampage!"
Valk bit his thumb as he tried desperately to think, and motioned for her to fall back to the others. Explaining the situation to the rest of the group, Fey was near frantic at this point.
"We must rescue my mother at all costs, even if we have to destroy that accursed black tent, we must act quickly!"
Inspiration struck Valk, and he immediately grimaced as he realized what he would have to do.
Turning to Cylene, the unpleasantness in his voice was evident to all as he spoke. "Cylene, I am loathe to rely on you, you and I both know this, but if you were to ever ever EVER earn brownie points with me, it would be now, because I really need you to not fuck this up."
While Cylene raised an eyebrow in amusement, Shira raised one in suspicion.
"What are you planning master?"
Armed with only his sword, Valk walked out into the clearing amidst all the pokegirls. Several turned and were confused about the male casually walking into their base of operations.
Stopping in the middle of them all, Valk waved a hand in hello to them all. "Good morning ladies. Is your queen available, or do I need to schedule a meeting with one of you?"
Getting over their shock, several Daimon encircled him. Though his casual smile and demeanor unsettled them, one of them was about to subdue him, when he turned right to her. "Oh yeah, on the ground right? How we doing this, flat on my face or sitting up?"
"Uh...sitting up." She couldn't help but be unsettled, even more so as the male in front of her just shrugged and got into position. "I'll...um...I'll go get Lady Catherine, keep watch." She said, and scurried off towards one of the more lavish tents.
Valk was just looking around at nothing in particular, as if waiting in line at a store, before he looked to one of his guards. "So, did you girls make these tents yourselves, or did you get them at a store? If so, mind telling me where? I really like the style they have."
They looked to each other, exchanging looks, until one of them shrugged. "We have a Seamstress who is quite talented. She worked hard making these, and it shows. You won't find quality like this in one of your human stores." Her smirk faded slightly when Valk looked at the tents again with an appreciative nod. "No you're right. This kicks the crap out of the junk we sell. Shame you're evil, you'd be filthy rich designers."
"Rich you say?" One of the Daimon asked, her eyes lighting up before she was elbowed in the ribs by another.
"Oh my yes. Humans are stupid, vain, and careless with their money, especially the pure bloods. Look, when this little shindig you got here is all over, this is what you do. You go to a pure blood family, and show off you fancy tents. Now, they might pretend to be interested, but won't go for it, and that's when you say 'So the others were right, they are inferior'. Then you have their attention and can rob them blind. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they buy your whole stock out of spite so no one else gets them." He said.
The Daimon around him were enraptured by this, one of them practically drooling, before they all snapped to attention at a voice behind them. "Well well well, I thank you for your business advice, and may take you up on that. As for now, I believe we have other matters to address, no?" The little circle of Daimon opened up, allowing the Dark Queen to gracefully walk to their casual captive.
"Ah, you must be Lady Catherine. I would shake your hand if I thought for second I wouldn't be eviscerated by your covenant."
She covered her mouth in a short giggle before resuming. "As I doubt you've come just to tell a humble group of Infernals how to get rich, would you care to explain what you are doing here?"
"Well, I'm here to attempt diplomacy. I see you have a base of operations here, and was hoping to talk you out of continuing."
Catherine gave a small sigh. "I should have known. I do apologize, but we don't plan on leaving until either I get what I came here for, or they all perish."
"Came here for? What, did this court steal from you?"
"No, nothing of the sort. I know of the power in this court, and want a G-Splice for my covenant."
"Uh, now I mean no disrespect, but how?"
As if on cue, a Hellcat strolled out of the giant black tent, carrying in one arm a very goblin-like old man. He looked very short, around 4", wrinkles covering his face, and comically large gloves covered his hands as he attempted to grab at the Hellcat, muttering something or another about being disrespected. The Hellcat dropped the man in front of her queen and bowed, before taking her leave. Catherine looked down at the man, and even with her polite nature, Valk could see disgust in her expression.
"Ah, Dr. Clone. I was just mentioning your work to our new friend here. Which reminds me, we need to talk about this work of yours if you don't mind." Her tone was losing patience ever so slightly at each word, becoming cold by the end.
The elderly man either didn't notice or care about the obvious impatience of the Infernal queen before him, as he stood up, laughing maniacally and look up at the taller woman. "Yes, let's talk about my creations! Also, I give my thanks for finally giving me access to the Elfqueen. I've been dying to get at her forever, and I feel like this one will be the one."
"You said that about the last fifteen abominations you dare call G-Splices, and my patience wears thin. Your expenses are drying up our funds rather quickly, and we cannot afford to continue this any longer. If you fail yet again, with the Elfqueen no less, you will suffer, are we clear?" There was no hint of politeness any longer, she wanted to make this threat very apparent to him.
The old man stopped his laughing and did something even more stupid in Valk's eyes; he started talking back to the angry Dark Queen. "And as I have told you, if you left me alone to my work, instead of having your subjects tamper with my experiments, you would have a small army of perfect G-Splices by now. Your Hellcats mess up the quantity of my vials, your Daimons steal my tools, and that damn Cardian continues to destroy so much. Leave me to work alone and I promise you the best. Continue to force your subjects on me, and you will get these ugly beasts time and time again, are we clear?"
There was silence in the court yard where they stood. The Daimon were exchanging terrified looks with each other, and even Valk did not dare to talk right now. Catherine's eyebrow twitched, and her hands started glowing for second, before she brought her hands together and inhaled deeply. Letting go of the breath, her polite tone was back, yet painfully forced as she told him "Very well. You may work alone. However, as I said, this is your very. Last. Chance. And if we do not get what we want, we will take our financial loses out on you personally. Now get out of my sight and get back to work."
Clone nodded with a large, smug grin as he sauntered back to his work station, a few pokegirls leaving the tent.
Catherine shook her head slightly as she turned her attention back to Valk. "Forgive me, but that man is truly a test of ones patience, as he does what he can to push your every button. Now then, where were we?"
"Oh well, I asked you to stop, you said haha no, so now I guess you decide what to do with me." Valk said.
"Ah yes, thank you. Well, ladies, he does seem attractive enough. Would any of you like him as your pet?"
A few of the Daimon looked to each other, before one raised her hand. Catherine nodded to her, and she smiled as she went to her prize. The Daimon licked her lips, and was about to start playing with her new toy when a very sickening crack filled the air, coming from the tent. Then there was complete silence.
All heads turned their attention to the sent, and with a bit of nervousness Valk asked "Holy shit, what do you do to those poor girls?"
Even Catherine's demeanor broke ever so slightly. "I'm not so sure myself, though the silence has me troubled."
Another few minutes pass in dead quiet. Finally, Catherine had enough, and ordered one of the Daimon to check on the doctor. She went over to the tent, and slowly opened it and peered inside. When she took a look, her head bolted back, a puzzled expression betraying her.
"What's the matter?" Catherine asked.
"I think...he's dead." She responded, not quite sure herself.
"What do you mean he's dead? What exactly did you see in there?"
"Well, I saw blood, and blood, and a lot more blood. Just a huge splatter of blood all over the ground, no body or anything, and the prisoners have escaped, or they were part of the blood too."
Catherine immediately turned to Valk, her serious look making him hold his arms up defensively.
"Alright alright, we had an escape plan for the hostages, I admit, but murder was not part of the plan. I had nothing to do with that, that's not me." Valk said quickly.
The glare she gave was intense, but she turned back to her servants. "Keep an eye on him, don't let him leave. We have much to talk about, but as for now we search for these interlopers."
She made to take off, but stopped as a clicking noise echoed throughout the clearing, followed by a hollow scream. Everyone froze, horror evident on a few faces as some whimpered in fear. Everyone had heard it, even the Archmages, as they all slowly made to move towards their queen. Valk looked around, puzzled as to the sudden change in attitude.
"What's wro-" A hand slapped over his mouth, silencing him as a Daimon looked fearful, peering around frantically.
The covenant approached Catherine slowly, forming a large circle closing in. One of the Daimon screamed as she finally saw what everyone was fearing; a head appeared around a tent, a pair of eyes around her entire head. Ink black hair, and two sets of mouths, one of them in her chin, and both were opened, dripping with blood. As the rest of the beast came around, Valk finally saw what had everyone petrified. A large, black spider body with a blood red hourglass.
He jumped to his feet and drew his sword amidst the new panic, as the pokegirls around him abandoned the stealth attempt and blitzed towards their queen, a few attacks thrown at the Widow, but they bounced harmlessly off her. Catherine eyed the Widow, then back to the boy as Valk engaged the nightmare made real, and raised an eyebrow.
"Are you sure the tent was empty?" She asked.
"Yes milady, not a soul." One of the Daimon responded. A smile flashed across Catherine's face as the final girl made her way to the group, and as one they teleported out.
Valk squared off against the Widow, the two of them circling each other slowly. A bead of sweat trickling down the side of his face, and once it dropped to the ground, he lunged forward. Ducking under a slash, Valk lashed out at one of the legs, his blade singing through the air only to bounce off the thick armor. Another slash from the Widow forced Valk backwards, but the beast wasn't letting up. With sheer instinct keeping him alive at this point, Valk ducked and dodged the claws, desperately looking for a chance. Finally, the Widow raised a claw up, and as she brought it down on him, Valk burst forward, sliding underneath the spider girl, and jabbed his sword up to the underbelly. Skidding across the ground, his blade still could not pierce the fur, not even clip off any bits of hair.
Now out of underneath it, Valk flipped around off his back as the Widow wheeled around to face him again. A hollow yell rung out through the clearing from the beast, and it lunged forward again, only faster this time. Valk only had time to deflect one claw with his sword before the other claw knocked him to the ground. The Widow slammed her body on top of him, keeping him stuck to the ground. Leaning her head down to face his, both of her jaws open up as she snarled. With the awkward angle he was at, Valk tried in vain to jab his sword at the claw pinning his arm down. As the face dropped closer and closer, Valk clenched his eyes closed, ready for the worst as the Widow's jaw consumed his head.
His eyes then bolted open as he felt the familiar sensation of scaly lips overlapping his. He was met with the sight of Cylene grinning from ear to ear at him, barely holding back laughter. Looking around a bit more, he saw the inside of the "Widow" was hollow, which made Valk all the more confused.
He looked to Cylene, torn between a glare and confusion. "I have so many questions."
"Shoot." She said, releasing him from the costumes grasp and began climbing out.
"What happened to our plan?"
"I found a better one." She finished taking it off and stretched her wings out gratefully, the Widow skin crumbled down in a mess.
"Ok, where did you get that?"
"The fucking psychopath just had this! How freaky is that, he just had this laying around! Well ok, not laying around, it was actually in a chest off in the corner pretty locked up. Still, doesn't change the fact he just had this." Her face changed from casual and playful to legitimately disturbed as she looked back at it, a shudder running down her body.
"Alright, final question. How did you do a Widow call?"
"I was feral for awhile. You fly around enough places, you'll see and hear a lot of things, and you never forget what a Widow looks or sounds like."
Valk sighed and shook his head slowly as he tapped the heel of his foot against the ground twice. Given the signal, Hana dug her way up and out of the ground, gulping down fresh air like water.
"I REALLY hate staying underground. Thank the gods I can't evolve, I don't even want an accidental chance of becoming a Chippyna." She exclaimed as she climbed out of the hole. Behind her, Nina and Shira followed out, and behind them was the Elfqueen, guiding her court out of the hole.
Valk walked up to the Elfqueen and gave a small bow. "Glad to see you unharmed your highness, though my condolences about those we could not save."
The Elfqueen gave a sad small in response, and bowed back. "Though they will be missed, they won't be forgotten. I believe I speak for us all when I say thank you for your service, and your good deed will not go unrewarded. My people are starving, and I believe a feast is in order!" She turned and gave the announcement, which got tired cheers from the court, as some stomachs growled at the mere mention of food.
Gathered around a fine cut oak table, Valk sat with his harem towards the top of the table near the queen, treated as guests of honor as the food on the table quickly vanished. The court ate as if they never had food before, and Valk's group nearly had to fight for the little amount they grabbed for themselves. Fey sat on his left and looked on at her family, just happy to see them together again, and absentmindedly laid her head on his shoulder. Her mother took notice of this, and smiled to herself as she pulled something small out of her sleeve.
"My daughter, though our guests deserve the credit for the rescue, the court owes you a debt as well. Thus, I have a request for you." She placed a small, purple stone on the table, and Fey's eyes went wide as she recognized the Mana Crystal in front of her.
"Though you are wise beyond your years, you are still far too young. Thus, I wish for you to travel and learn as much as you can. Gain what you will about the world, and come back one day a more experienced woman worthy of succeeding me. Will you accept?"
Fey found herself lost for words for the first time in her life, though she knew her answer. She looked to her mother and nodded proudly, reaching her hand out and touching the crystal. Her body was then consumed by a blinding light, lasting for a few seconds before dying out as quickly as it came. When her body became visible again, the changes were evident from the drastic height difference, shooting up two feet. Her ears seemed longer as well, and her chest grew ever so slightly, though when she noticed the small difference in that area, she gave a small huff of annoyance.
Fey turned to Valk and lowered her head. "As the one who saved my people, I can think of no other whom I would wish to be with. Please allow this selfish Grandelf to make one more request, and take me with you as your adviser."
(A) Eva-Hana lv36