Circle Star Adventure. The Ever Blooming Flower.

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Chapter 38. Htilil's True Intentions.

(at the seats)

- My Master is so amazing. He’s so strong and smart. He won the fight by himself against a Gold Rank adventurer! - Eve was beaming with joy.

- Yeah, but... - Stan scratched his head. - He used Karina as a hostage to win.

- I didn’t expect sir TC to use such a trick as well. He didn’t look like that kind of person. - commented Robert.

- But my Master won. Isn’t that what matters? - Eve’s childish directness surprised everyone again.

- The lass is right. I believe ya youngsters are missing the point here. - said Sieran.

Everyone looked at him with puzzled expressions on their faces.

- I agree with dear Eve here. Mister TC won in a very elegant way. Even if it looks otherwise on the outside. - added Madam Norel.

- What do you mean Madam? - Rori asked.

- It just shows ya lack experience. All of ya need to see the bigger picture. - added Sieran.

- I don’t understand. - Stan was confused.

- By the Yornforge Hammer. - Sieran sighed. - Didn’t ya see where the fight was going? If they kept at it, one of them would’ve ended badly hurt. Clearly the lad wanted to avoid that. On top of it, the lad did Stigmarl a favor as well.

- A favor? - Robert tried to understand.

- If TC defeated him out right, it would’ve hurt his pride and reputation. - Grog joined in. - Making it look like a Gold Rank adventurer had an upper hand, helped him save his face. And in people’s eyes, Stigmarl came out as a winner, even if he lost the fight.

- I see. - said Robert. - I must admit, I didn’t look at it this way. All of my attention was on the fight.

- TC surprised me more than once already. I didn’t expect him to be so strong. - added Grog.

- That’s why my Master is the best. - cheered Eve.

(back at the lounge)

I came back to the lounge only to find two remaining teams left. Roland was there as well. He looked at me unimpressed with my win, but didn’t say anything.

- We will start our next match shortly! - informed Vorin.

Mordan and Htilil were ready to go. She winked at me cheekily, impressed how I won my match. But her face showed a little disappointment. Probably because I didn’t slice Karina’s throat.

That suggestion made me worried. Not for myself, but for Uegi. He didn’t look so good. As my guess was, no outside healers treated his wounds. Getting pierced by the rain of arrows will leave a ‘scratch’ no matter how good your armor is. And Healing Potions are really hard to come by in this world, even for a Gold Rank adventurers. None the less, he was getting ready to go out to the arena.

- Do you think you could talk some sense to Uegi? - I approached Roland.

- What do you mean? - he was surprised with my request.

- Don’t you see the state he’s in? There’s no way he’ll be able to fight, let alone win. Not against Htilil. You saw what happened to Vallery, didn’t you? - I said.

- Why don’t you talk to him yourself? - Roland was reluctant.

- I don’t think he’ll be willing to listen to me. Even you like me less than before after what I did. - I spread my arms for emphasis.

- Hmph... - Roland was unwilling, but his face showed I made sense. - Fine.

He turned away and walked to Uegi. They spoke for a moment, but it didn’t look like Uegi will back down from the fight.

- Next match! Number twelve, Uegi and Sanli, versus number thirteen, Mordan and Htilil! - Vorin started the intro.

Team number thirteen entered the arena first. People cheered for them. Uegi, despite being injured, went out to the arena as well. Sanli followed him.

Oh well. It’s your own funeral.

I stood at the front, ready to witness someone about to get killed.

- Begin! - Vorin gave the signal.

Mordan charged at Uegi. That was no surprise to anyone.

- Fire Wall! - but Sanli’s spell cut him off.

Uegi stayed calm and didn’t move from his spot. He looked more like an observer than a participant.

- Flame Arrow! - but Sanli was full on offense instead.

She shot Flame Arrow at Mordan. He couldn’t see it coming due to the Fire Wall blocking his view, but raised his axes in front to cover incoming attack.

- Aaargh... - Flame Arrow hit his axes, but Mordan’s hands were burned.

- Flame Blast! - Sanli cast another spell.

This time Mordan was blasted away. He fell on the ground with his body being partly burned.

- Flame Blast! - this time Sanli aimed at Htilil, who paid no attention to a fallen team mate.

She raised her hand and the Flame Blast evaporated on impact. It looked like the blast hit an invincible wall of some sort.

Yeah, I did expect as much. They won’t defeat her with magic.

Htilil was amused by Sanli’s try, but didn’t counter attack with her own magic. Instead, she walked over to where Mordan was lying. He was severely wounded from the Flame Blast.

- Heal. - she cast a healing spell on Mordan.

The burn marks vanished and he was healed of his wounds. He stood up, ready to fight again. Needless to say, both Uegi and Sanli, didn’t expect it.

Sanli was more shocked than her Master from what I was able to see. She was readying to cast another spell, but Uegi stopped her. Sanli lowered her staff and her Master gave the signal they surrender.

- Number twelve surrendered! Winner number thirteen! - announced Vorin.

So that’s what their plan was. Uegi wanted to see if Sanli can deal with Mordan and Htilil on her own. Once it was clear fire magic had no effect on Htilil, he didn’t risk his or Sanli’s life. He lost, but he was smart after all. Can’t blame him though. Htilil isn’t someone you can defeat easily. But then again – how do I deal with her myself?

- We had some exciting fights today and now we’re at our last and final match! - Vorin tried to hype up the crowd one last time. - Number thirteen, Mordan and Htilil, versus number sixteen, TC!

And it worked. The crowd went wild. Mordan and Htilil stayed in the arena after their win. I walked down slowly, wondering how should I deal with them.

Using Blood Halbert agaisnt Htilil probably won’t work. And Mordan is not an opponent worth summoning Blood Armor against. What do I do? Hm... hm... hahum... hm... - I hummed a melody to clear my head.

- Hello lover boy. So glad to finally meet you. I was so looking forward to it. - Htilil bit her finger in anticipation.

- You sound rather ‘friendly’ considering we’re about to fight, my lady. - I was still full in thoughts.

- Your performance made me so hot inside. I was looking forward to... getting close to you. - she hugged herself.

Right... and how am I to fight you now?

Htilil looked as hot and sexy as... the first time I saw her. And it didn’t help at all. If anything, I wasn’t thinking about the fighting right now.

- Get that smirk of your face you damn insect. You’re about to get squashed. - Mordan blurted.

Bleh, talk about the mood killer.

But his comment did help me get my fighting spirit back. It was still a tournament match after all and I still had to win.

- Begin! - Vorin gave the signal to start.

- Haaa! - ‘Swing!’ - Mordan charged at me with both axes.

I stepped to the side to avoid his attack. He swung with the other axe instead.

- ‘Bang!’ - I blocked his swing and...

- ‘Bam!’ - punched Mordan in the face.

- Bghaa! - my hit blew him away.

He fell on the ground and stayed there.

- Hihihi. - Htilil giggled.

- Now... How do I deal with you? - I thought out loud.

- I have a few suggestion about that. - her cheeks were burning red.

- Maybe not today. But I have a question, my lady. - I addressed her.

- Anything for you lover boy. - she was curious.

- Why would a succubus assist someone like Mordan? - I asked.

- Aaaah... my heart will melt. Never thought someone will figure it out. How did you know, handsome? - Htilil’s eyes were burning from excitement.

- I had my suspicions from the start. Also your name, Htilil, kinda gave it away. Or should I say - Lilith? - I asked.

- So perceptive. I knew I was right to set my eyes on you. My skin tingled hearing you call me Lilith. I’m flattered, however, I am only a servant to my mistress. Htilil is my true name. - she was open with her answers.

She’s only Lilith’s servant? Damn. That’s good and bad at the same time.

- And to answer your question. I was summoned here by some unpleasant man, whom I’d never want to make mine. I was promised a soul in exchange for my help. He sai-

- Shut up! Don’t you dare tell him anything! - Mordan woke up from his slumber.

- Oh my. Looks like our pleasantries were interrupted. Hihi. - Htilil laughed.

Her laugh suited her. She looked really adorable... and sexy... and...

Brrr... get it together. She’s a succubus, of course she will be hot and sexy.

- Quickly! Kill him! - Mordan ordered.

- Hmm... I refuse. - she declined.

- What? - Mordan was surprised. - We’ve made a contract! I order you!

- I agreed I will assist you. I never agreed I will obey you. - Htilil didn’t mind him at all.

- Tsk... - Mordan wasn’t happy about it.

He picked up his axes and glared at me angrily.

- Excuse me my lady. - I turned to Mordan.

- By all means handsome. - she had no intention to interfere.

- Haaa! - ‘Swish! Swoosh!’ -

Mordan swung with both axes at me. But he wasn’t fast enough to reach me.

- ‘Swing! Bang!’ - he attacked me again.

I dodged his first swing, then blocked the other.

- ‘Slash! Thrust!’ - I cut him in the leg.

- Aaaa! - Mordan slumped down, grabbing onto his leg.

- How wonderful. - I heard Htilil’s soft whisper in my ear.

- ‘Swoosh!’ - I turned and swung with my sword.

Her visage disappeared in the air. I glanced at Mordan quickly. The blood pouring from his leg indicated he won’t be a threat anymore.

- Hmm... How touching. - she laughed cheekily.

- Flash Move. - I jumped at where she appeared.

- ‘Swoosh!’ - and missed again.

- Here! - ‘Slash!’ - and Htilil vanished before my sword could touch her.

She evades my every attack. Even the Flash Move isn’t fast enough. I have no idea where her real body disappears to. This doesn’t look good.

- ‘Swoosh! Thrust! Slash!’ - every time I swung, Htilil vanished before I could reach her.

- How cute. I love your passion. Here’s a gift for you handsome. - ‘Mmua!’ - she blew me a kiss.

- Ugh... - I felt like my heart was being squeezed.

- How lovely. Your heart is so strong. Mmm... - Htilil licked her lips.

- Haaa! - ’Slash! Swoosh! - my attacks missed again.

- Now, now. No need to be in such a rush. Let’s enjoy our time together. - ‘Mmua!’ - she blue another kiss.

- Aaagh... - I felt pain in my chest again.

- What’s this? Your heart is crying? Oh my, how sweet. Did you lose someone dear to you? - Htilil asked thoughtfully.

- Stay out of it! - I shouted.

- No need to be so rude. Hihi. - she giggled. - I took a liking to you handsome. I can heal your heart’s pain. How about you come with me? We can enjoy our time together.

- ‘Mmua!’ - another kiss flew in my direction.

I braced myself for another hit. However, this time it wasn’t painful at all. As a matter of fact, it was soothing and pleasant instead.

- What did you... just do? - I was confused.

- I am simply making you feel better, handsome. I do want to... make... you... mine. - she whispered into my ear seductively.

I wanted to swing, I wanted to stab her, but my arm didn’t move. My whole body didn’t want to move all of a sudden.

- I want to be your woman. I can be any woman you desire. - Htilil whispered again, then disappeared. - No need to fight anymore. Here, drop your weapons. Let’s have some fun.

My body didn’t listen to me. My sword and shield slipped from my hands and dropped on the ground.

No, no, NO! Get a hold of yourself! This is an illusion. She’s a succubus. She’ll wrap you around her finger in no time if you don’t do something.

But my body didn’t listen and I could do nothing about it. I was charmed and trapped by Htilil’s magic.

- ‘Mmua!’ - she blew another kiss.

- No need to resist. Here, my body is all yours. You can touch it. You can feel it. - Htilil appeared in front of me.

Her body was inviting me to take it. Her smooth skin, her curvy hips, her wonderful breasts, her sexy lips... They were all so tempting.

- Come on... touch me. I know you want to. - she opened her arms

I raised my right hand and tried to reach her. My mind was screaming to get back to my senses, but my body didn’t listen. The tournament, the arena, heck, even the spectators didn’t matter to me anymore.

My hand was getting closer to her breasts, so enticing and bewitching. All I could think of was to touch them, to feel them, and to sink my face in between them. Few more inches and...

- Master TC! Stooop! If you want to touch someone’s breasts, you can touch mine any time you want! - a familiar voice echoed through the arena.

- Huh? What? Eve? - my mind slapped me on the forehead. - Humph... Ha!

I shook my head and tried to grab Htilil’s hand, but she quickly escaped. Like an avalanche, Eve’s comment woke the arena up as well.

- You go girl! - shouted someone.

- Haha! A cheeky one! - added the other.

- Hey mister! You’ve got yourself a date for tonight! - yelled yet another one.

- Hahaha! - laughs and whistles filled the arena.

I was burning from embarrassment. Comment after comment, people were making jokes about me and Eve.

Eve... out of all the embarrassed situations you managed to put me into, this one was the most... timely one!

- Thank you Eve! Looking forward to it! - I waved at her.

She waved back and the crowd joined with cheers. Even from my spot, I could see her cute smile. Once again, she was a real life saver.

- Boohoo. What a disappointment. I was so close. How did I miss that little girl in your heart? - Htilil was slightly upset.

As funny as it was, that little act didn’t change the fact I still had to defeat Htilil. None of my attacks worked so far. I needed to think of something or else I would lose anyway.

- Where were we? Ah yes, I was about to take you with me. This time I will make sure nobody stands in our way. - ’Mmu-

- No you don’t! - ‘Slash!’ - I missed, but that stopped her from ‘grasping’ my heart again.

- How rude. Don’t you want me, handsome? - Htilil bit her lip, with an inviting, sad look on her face.

- In a different circumstances, I probably might. You are indeed an irresistible beauty. And I probably would be satisfied beyond my imagination staying by your side, my lady. - I was surprised how honest I was.

- Aahhh... you make me hot inside out. How I want to make you mine, lover boy. - Htilil touched herself.

- However, as tempting as it is, I am not ready to leave this place just yet. So forgive me, but I’ll have to decline my lady. - I clenched my sword.

- Hmph... so not fun. - she puffed her cheeks.

- Haa! - I sprinted and swung at her. - ‘Slash!’ -

- Hihi. - she giggled and was about to vanish.

- Shield! - I cast a shield on her. - Here! Flash Move!

- ‘Thrust!’ - I thrust my sword right at the spot she appeared.

- Aaah!? - Htilil sighed as my sword stabbed her in the belly.

- Huh? - but I was surprised more than she was.

- You’re a real lady killer, aren’t you? - she wasn’t in pain at all. - That was something I did not expect.

I used my Shield spell on her right before she vanished. With the magical shield’s glow, I was able to see where she was moving to. That was enough for me to stab her as soon as she reappeared.

However, even with my sword stuck in her body, Htilil didn’t look like she was hurt at all. And there was no blood too.

- So sad. You leave me no choice. - ‘Smash!’ - her left hand transformed into a claw and smashed my sword.

Htilil jumped back, with the sharp end of the sword still in her belly.

- Huh? What? - I looked at the hilt with a broken blade.

Nooo! That’s Robert’s sword. - sad face.

- This thing is a little in the way. - Htilil pulled out the blade out of her belly.

She threw it away and her wound instantly healed.

Oh damn. Now what?

I could feel her magical energy growing immensely. Not knowing what to expect, I was getting ready for the worst.

- Look at what you’ve done, you bad boy. Now I can’t maintain this human form anymore. - I noticed her body started to change.

The spectators were on the edge of their seats, gasping at what was happening. Htilil extended her arms and the two sided mantle, that was covering her shoulders, stretched out and grew into wings. The clip on her head, that looked like an ornament, grew into a horn. Right after, a long thin tail appeared from behind her, with a pointy sharp end, shaped as a small heart.

- Woah. You were hot and sexy in a human form, but now you’re absolutely stunning my lady. - I couldn’t pass the opportunity to compliment her.

- Ah, do you like me more this way? I am so pleased to hear it. I so wish to make you mine, handsome. - she smiled seductively.

Her aura was overwhelming. Beautiful, yet terrifying. I was about to summon my gear and bet it all on the next strike.

- But you made me sad as well. I wish I could play with you longer, but now that I lost my human form, I can’t stay her anymore. - Htilil was actually sad. - I look forward till we meet again. Here’s a small farewell gift.

She vanished in an instant and reappeared in front of me. I had not time to react.

- ‘Mmm!’ - she kissed me before I could do anything.

The kiss was sweet and electrifying. It sent soothing and passionate sensation through my body. Then she vanished as swiftly as appeared. I was waiting for the crushing pain to take me down. But to my biggest surprise, nothing happened. It was a simple, true kiss.

Wow. I did not expect that.

- Now then, I shall take my leave. I will be thinking about you, lover boy. Oh, how I wish to make you mine. - with those words, fire engulfed her body. - I will take a payment with me, as pitiful as it may be.

Htilil’s sweet laugh echoed in my ears. The fire vanished, together with her body. I looked around and tried to sense her magical energy, but found no traces of Htilil’s aura.

Phew. That was hot. Now then, I still have Mordan to dea-

- No, no, please! No! - Mordan desperately tried to get away from something. - Help me! Please! Aaaa!

The ground opened beneath him and crimson flames engulfed his body.

- Aaaa! Nooo! - the flames dragged him into the hole bellow.

The ground closed down afterwards, leaving no traces behind.

A hefty price to pay indeed. - even I felt sorry for him.

- Woooaah! - the arena errupted with shouts, reminding me where I was.

- Winner number sixteen, TC! - Vorin words added more cheers.

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