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The Bandit & The Mage

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Chapter 2: The erotic Festive

The mansion no longer looked deserted. There was no sign of that sleeping beast of a building. The structure was the same. There was still a two-story building with broad windows, a gazebo, and a fountain. Yet nothing was as Eli noticed it from outside.

The mansion had changed. The dry, algae-covered fountain Eli had seen was now working smoothly on her left. The water was so transparent that Eli saw a few goldfish swimming in the pool. It was deep enough to let a large man swim in it. The gentle sound of the water broke the silence of the night. Around the mansion’s walls, small lanterns were hanging to illuminate the space in front of the estate. None of them were lit.

The ruins of the gazebo, now before Eli’s eyes, turned into a well-built wooden pentagonal pavilion with tall wooden pillars and fences. Inside the gazebo were sofas and comfortable couches around the empty fire pit.

The entrance was a few stone steps away from the ground. The building was no longer old and rusted. The doors were made of high-quality and shiny dark mahogany wood. Those parts of the house that Eli thought had collapsed were now gargoyle statues staring at the road outside the gates of the house with their open claws and determined grim faces.

Eli stepped back unconsciously, and her shoulder hit the wall behind her.

What diabolical hell had Malikan dragged her into? Eli was sure the bastard knew more than he let on.

Eli didn’t make a sound. Apart from her heart beating like a scalded cat, the fountain sound, and one or two crickets among the rose gardens, no other sound could be heard.

No lights were on inside or outside the building. If anyone lived in this mansion, they still didn’t notice Eli’s existence. Eli thought if a dragon were to come out of the ground to kill Eli, it would have arrived by now. So she gathered what was left of her fading courage and took a fragile breath. Then lowered her head and ran along the wall to the back of the building without making a sound on the pavement.

Behind the building, from outside the walls, Eli could see an abandoned vegetable garden with wild thorns covering the ground. But now, there was a beautiful small farm field surrounded by raspberry and strawberry bushes.

But Eli shouldn’t have spent her time examining the back garden. She had seen a small door at the back of the building, which she assumed opened to the kitchen. Of course, the door Eli had seen had come off its hinges and was covered with spider webs. And this one was all healthy and shiny, had a small lock, and was dark blue.

Eli chuckled. These locks were for amateurs and wouldn’t stop someone like Eli. She squatted in front of the door and took out two thin metal sticks from the small pocket of her leather vest.

The lock was not magical, and it opened with a slight click. Eli quietly put it down and pushed the door inside.

She guessed right. The back door opened to the kitchen. Everything seemed to be in order. Though Eli hesitated. She wanted to turn back and leave. “It’s not late,” Eli thought to herself. She could have explained it to Malekan and hoped he would not kill her. Or worse, sell her to someone else.

Eli’s heart skipped a beat. That thought was enough to push her face into whatever was inside the house.

She took another deep breath and stepped into the house.

Eli couldn’t remember when was the last time everything was this quiet. It was like the place had held its breath and sucked all the sound in the world. There was no rattle from the wooden floor or a rat squeaking around. Eli couldn’t even hear herself breathe, even though her heart was beating fast.

The house looked ordinary. It was pitch dark, and it took some time for her to adjust her eyes. But it didn’t look any different than a regular house. There was a living room, a long dining table, and what seemed to be a library on the first floor. Not a headless giant or a pot of magical poison on fire. Not even some animals trapped in a cage somewhere.

Eli didn’t know where to start to look for the ruby. She didn’t even know whether she should. Part of her expected that she would have faced the mage by now. But he was nowhere to be found. Eli was starting to be sure he didn’t live in the place. But then she saw a faint, trembling light falling on the spiral staircase cast from upstairs.

Eli stood at the foot of the steps. That was it. Something told her that, unfortunately, wherever the light was coming from, it was the same place the ruby was hidden.

Eli went up. As she climbed the staircase, she saw the light coming from a half-open double door. There was a faint sound of music playing. She was extremely cautious not to make a sound.

Something in the sound made her stop at the foot of the staircase. Was it a whisper? Or moaning?

Eli’s eyebrows jumped upward. Malkan noted there was only a mage here. He didn’t mention anyone else. Yet now, Eli was sure what she was hearing was the sound of people fucking.

She looked around the second floor when she reached the top of the stairs. There was not much to see, as it was also dark everywhere. Except for the half-closed double door steps away.

Eli held her breath. What was this place? Was she trapped in some mind illusion, and there was no going back? Or perhaps Malkan was joking around? The latter was out of option because she saw with her very own eyes that the mansion had changed its appearance after she jumped in.

Eli drew her short dagger from her belt and kept it ready. She was overthinking.

The sooner Eli faced what was on the other side of the door, the faster she could die and be done with all this bullshit. Eli stepped forward and peeked through the door.

It took a few seconds for Eli’s eyes to adjust. She couldn’t see much through the door, but the light in the chamber was enough for her to realize the room was big. The lanterns shone bright red light, and harps and lutes were heard.

But none mattered compared to what was happening before Eli’s eyes. Eli blinked once, twice, three times... and when what she saw didn’t evaporate, her jaw dropped in surprise.

There was an erotic festive inside.

Everywhere Eli looked, on the ground, next to the wall, naked lustful bodies were lying, swaying, thrusting, and tangling. Eli couldn’t tell where one body started and ended. There were tens of people, the hands rubbing bare full breasts, the mouths welcoming erect cocks, the legs wide open for all holes. Men and women were enfolding one another. Their skins glistened with sweat and oil under the lantern’s red light. Everyone seemed drunk; apparently, no one knew who they were and what they were doing, as if they were all lost in a distorted dream.

Two male and female dancers were spinning and dancing amid the drunken crowd with a red transparent silken cloth wrapped around them. Their moans, filled with desire, were so loud now that Eli could barely hear the instruments. Two musicians were sitting half-naked by the wall, one was playing the oud, and the other was playing the harp.

Eli narrowed his eyes. Something was strange about them.

She took a sharp breath. None of them were human. They all had tiny, sharp teeth. Instead of nails, they had tipped claws, and their ears were pointed.

Eli saw two thin transparent wings behind a lute player, a dancer, and one or two others on the ground. Their wings looked light and fragile and resembled dragonflies. The height of the dancers was shorter than an average person.

A deep sigh dragged Eli’s attention to the top of the room. A man was sitting on what seemed to be a throne.

The man was wearing nothing but dark pants. His bare feet were on the steps of his golden throne. His chin rested on his right hand. He didn’t seem interested in what was happening in front of him. Eli could not see his face well. His straight shoulder-length black hair covered more than half of his face.

Eli’s eyes slipped down. Rested on his bare hairless chest laid a golden neckless with an enormous red ruby stone.

“Fuck.” Eli whispered.

Before Eli had the proper time to panic, the man rose. She held her breath. The whole room came to a halt. The music paused, and the tangled mass of exotic creatures stopped moving. Everybody turned their heads towards him. Even Eli was frozen.

He looked tired. His eyes were so dark Eli first thought the man had no pupils. He was noticeably taller than anyone in the room. The mage had abs, but it was delicate and slim. And as he stepped more into the light, Eli noticed a tattoo on his right hand. She couldn’t figure out its shape, but it wrapped around his wrist and went up to his shoulder.

The mage raised his grail with narrowed eyes. “You all know the occasion of today.” His deep husky voice put a shiver down Eli’s spine. The hair at the back of her neck rose. “To tonight….”

Everyone cheered. Their voices were squeaky and low. The mage closed his grail to his lips and smirked. As if he just realized something amusing. “And to the special guest, it brings.”

Eli took a sharp breath. The mage was looking directly at her.

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