26: Grace of Chains
Andrea, Oliver, and Charmeine returned to the Hidden Occult. Turing to Andrea, Oliver, as he unlocked the door. "I take it you are getting your things to move into Charmeine's home?"
Andrea returned with a quick quip, "Nope. He's moving in with me."
Oliver stiffened a bit, "Is it not common practice for the groom to take the wife to his house?"
Andrea pushed past him, "There nothing common about me anymore. I choose to live where I want to live. I am a goddess; besides, I have a room upstairs, and that's where we will stay. Unless you want to use a command sigil to order me to go."
Oliver was sure she was letting her power started to go to her head. He was powerless to do anything about this.
Charmeine glanced at Oliver awkwardly, "I go where she goes." Turning to Andrea, "So where's our room?"
Andrea moved over to the bookcase door, giving a tug, the door opened. "This way, upstairs. The room is small, but we will make do."
Charmeine followed her upstairs. "Well, this is much better than sharing a room with John."
Oliver shut the door and leaned his back against the entry door, his head still hurt.
Oliver was listing to the sounds. Charmeine's voice got quiet all of a sudden. He heard Andrea come down the stairs. He knew her the sound of her feet make as she returned to the shop floor.
Curiously he looked at Andrea when she entered the shop, "What happened? He got quiet all of a sudden?"
Andrea raised a finger, "I put him to sleep. Master Raven said that I drained him a little too much, and he needs rest. So I put him to bed. I need to go hunt tonight; I don't think he is truly ready to help tonight. I think my sandy-haired thief is ready for the next harvesting."
Oliver thought for a moment, considering how hungry she may actually be. He would feel responsible now if she killed this man. "I will go with you."
Andrea looked at him with surprise; he never wanted to go on a hunt with her before. "Are you sure?"
Oliver paused, "Yes, I think it might be a good idea if we stayed together or at least have an escort. Mr. Morgan may send somebody out after you or me."
Andrea nodded with a grin, "Sounds like a good idea. Oh, bring some extra healing potions, just in case."
Just after dusk, Andrea and Oliver stepped outside. Walking down the streets of Cormanworth, it was just after dark. Oliver felt a little jealous; he was not entirely sure why. He felt a little inadequate; Charmeines body was far more formed, stronger and appealing; he knew why Andrea was attracted to him. He also knew she was not treating Charmeine as a pet but something more. This was not the same way Heather had treated him. Oliver had to place himself more into Andreas’ life; did he really want her to focus on him. For Andrea, it was almost time for her nightly hunt. She was showing Oliver where she planned on hunting tonight.
Andrea was talking about tonight’s menu; she was thinking of the rogue’s wife, the blond-haired gal she had discovered when tormenting her coin thief. She had planned on giving her pleasant dreams; she was getting a feel for what the woman liked. Andrea was actually excited; Oliver was now taking an interest in her. "I have found that I can create dreams easily enough; for me, it's crazy emotionally, but I have gotten better at finding something that the meal likes to think about. Not all of it is about sex. Inga likes to sew with bright colors of yarn. She normally can't afford to purchase all the pretty colors she likes. I let her have them in her dreams."
Heather waited on top of the tower. Her light blue rams horns contrasted her dark blue leather armors tonight. Her black raven feathered wings were sitting at her side. Her tail started twitching in agitation; she had noticed that the false Ka'Azalin had not been ‘felt’ in over a week. She was wondering if she had moved on. Then she spotted her favorite meal, the one that had been avoiding her for months. Oliver had his charms and protections now. She could not get into his mind, even if she tried to form the link with him. He was with the false Ka'Azalin. The false Ka'Azalin displayed her horns as well out in public. Really? She truly is not hiding that she is a demon?!
As Heather watched, she grabbed her scythe. The weapon was leaning against the wall next to her. She did not like seeing him with another woman or succubus. Jealous, yes, and obsessed, yes. Once she had her claws into someone, they were hers. She thought it was time to remove this winch. Heather tugged on her small crystal earring, a magic item of communication, sent a mental message to her four thralls in the street below. Told them to get ready; it looks like they may have to fight. She spread her black feathery wings, dived off the building, she circled to an alley entrance ahead of them and propped herself up against the house wall, and waited. She mentally told her thralls to move slowly towards the target from behind. Oliver's new girlfriend will learn not to mess with my property. Heather stepped out with her scythe, wings, and full form. She did not have the fangs or claws readied; she did not need them.
Heather picked up the scent immediately, the presence of the foul disrespectful succubus she had been tasting. This was going to be even sweeter, she thought. I am going to grind this demon beneath my heels. She will learn not to make a pact with my Oliver. She stepped around the corner and stood before the two. “Oliver,” she said coldly, her green eyes narrowed, focusing on the rogue element.
Andrea's eyes narrowed as well, her mind screamed, NOT NOW I finally got Oliver to do something with me, you are messing my plan up. Andrea has had enough of her interference in their lives. "I am the Demon Sorceress Ka'Azalin, I am the Hand of Katalina. Heather, leave now." She drew some of Katalina's commanding tones the best she could remember.
“Oliver is MINE! I am sending you back to hell false Ka'Azalin!” Heather's scythe swung in a wide arc, slashing Andreas abdomen, and Andrea began bleeding profoundly. The scythe Heather carried she called WallFlower, as when the weapon is used in combat, rose petals trail behind; this is just a glamor, and the glamor provides a scent of roses as well.
“Andrea, run!” Oliver spotted the four men approaching from behind, each producing daggers.
Andrea dodged the next swing; as she rolled to the side, her red leathery wings and scorpion barbed tail extended out of her body. The rose petal scythe came down again; this time, Andrea caught and deflected the rose-scented blade with her own staff, knocking the blade to the side. Andrea was having a hard time concentrating; the pain was intense but still bearable. Andreas’ tail lashed out at Heather. Heather saw the threat and quickly sidestepped the barb.
“How dare you taste my Oliver! You are a false Hand!” Heather’s eyes were aglow; she was channeling some infernal energies into her body. Andrea leaped back and upwards into the night sky, Heather followed, some feathers fell out of Heather’s black wings. Andrea climbed as fast as she could; Heather was quicker.
Andrea cast her spell “Arcana, Binding Chain” and pointed at Heather. Erupting from a rooftop, a single chain shot skyward. The chain wrapped around Heather’s arm. She swiped down with WallFlower, rose petals trailed down, and around the blade, the chain broke and retracted back into the wall. Heather responds by coming down hard with an overhead swing. Andrea tried to twist and turn but was not quick enough.
Andrea felt the scythe pierce her wings, a large section was flailed off, and she noticed through the pain that her tail had been severed with part of the other wing as well. Andrea was sure glad about being able to heal fast; the damage would regenerate, but only after the fight was done. Andrea began to plummet;
Heather circled and waited for the rogue demon to hit the ground with a satisfying crunch. Heather watched as the rogue screamed as she fell. She was upset when the rogue landed foot first with the simple grace of a feather. She turned and angrily dived down towards Andrea. "You are no god! Imposter!"
Andrea turned around and looked up. She was in an alleyway; forward or backward, she was looking for a way out. Concentrate, I can do this; push past the pain. She looked back at “Aracana: Binding Chain” she heard the chain off in the distance, snaking toward her with ever gaining speed. She had time for one more spell before Heather got here. “Arcana: Uplift.” Her binding chains wrapped around her waist. Heather scythe was coming down on her, followed by a trail of rose petals. Andrea was close enough to the scythe; she could smell the scythe produced rose scent, “Retract!” Andrea shot backward as the chains pulled her with a good, quickened pace. The levitation spell kept her from being dragged on the ground, reducing her resistance. She tossed Bloodfang at the somewhat surprising succubus whose scythe now was planted where Andrea was at the moment ago. Rose petals burst around Heather as the scythe strikes the cobblestone street. Heather could see that the false god had a bit of a smile as she glided backward. Somehow, Heather skillfully moved her scythe into a position to block the dagger. Bloodfang returned to Andreas’ hand.
Heather yielded to her anger and launched herself forward again. Her wings fanning out, losing some of the looser feathers.
Andrea was nearing the end of the wall, where the chains were about to trap her. “Arcana: Winged Flight.” A new set of magical wings formed, working in conjunction with her damaged one. She climbed upwards and released the chain spell. Andrea noticed that Heather had not used ranged attacks. Heather was a brawler, something not many succubi would be. This did not help Andrea out; she was a magic caster; her hand-to-hand skills were lacking.
Andrea swooped up and down, spiraling around the area; Heather followed as close as she could. Andrea could pull some maneuvers that you could not do in normal flight with the Uplift spell, some corner maneuvers while grabbing onto building supports and chimneys. These would cause Heather to overshoot, forcing her to correct and miss with her scythe. But Andrea could not keep this up for long. She was on the defensive and running out of arcane mana, her reserves of infernal power were low as well, and she had not properly been fed in days.