I felt a sudden sharp pain as my face hit the floor below followed by the splintering of wooden shelves around me. Thankfully the drop was much more shallow than last time but I still didn't appreciate getting close and personal with hard stone. It was unusually silent, the giggles and glowing apparitions from above now gone.
I got up, coughing and rubbing the settling dust off my glasses. Scipio's special reinforcement worked wonders, regular lenses would've been fractured beyond repair. Seems I could at least stand on my feet now from the medicine, but the aching was still very apparent. Turning on my phone flashlight I was in what looked to be some kind of museum, glass cases situated all over the place holding strange artifacts. Some clearly demonic in nature.
"Weapon...weapon…." I scanned the room looking for anything that would 'resonate' with me. A low ringing developed in my ears, seemingly coming from my left. I turned my light to the source but froze when I saw a figure sitting in a chair, book floating close, and glaring at me disapprovingly.
It was a stunning young lady, but upon first glance something was clearly off about her. Her skin was unnaturally pale, almost white, as was her long wavy hair. She appeared to be dressed in nothing but a purple flowing cloak bearing a bizarre design on it's hood, resembling a tombstone. The design was decorated with a glowing orb at each point, shining the same ominous purple as her eyes. It was obvious who this person was. The ruler of this godforsaken place and someone I stood no chance against - A Lich.
"Why aren't you quite the troublemaker?" she stated, her tone reminiscent of a frustrated mother. "You waltz in with the intention of raiding my tomb, knock down shelf upon shelf of my precious texts, and abuse my cute servants. A very naughty boy indeed."
I just stared at her, frozen in place. The pain in my feet wasn't so apparent anymore as it sunk in just how screwed I was. That annoying ringing was more apparent than ever, I realized the source was coming from a particular glass case behind her.
"A quiet one aren't you? You didn't seem so timid during that little game of cat and mouse." the Lich smiled, twirling a snowy lock of hair around her finger. "My servants did a splendid job. A bit sluggish, but they herded you exactly where I wanted."
So she was playing us from the start. Should've seen this coming. The way the trap door slammed shut, the sudden flood of corpses, it all pointed to-
"Do you mind?" the Lich shielded her eyes from my light.
"S-sorry." I stuttered on reflex, shutting off the flashlight and turning around to power walk in the opposite direction. I only got a few steps in before an invisible force pulled my ankles and nearly made me faceplant, only to briefly hover then connect with the ground.
"It's strange, I sense no spirit energy in you. It's as if you lack a soul. A dead man walking." A small giggle escaped her lips. "Funny, coming from me."
"Uh-, Uhuh…." I muttered, trying to crawl away.
The corpse absentmindedly extended her hand towards me, an invisible force again dragging me back. "Now what to do with you….ah!"
The floating book slammed shut, her glowing orbs and eyes illuminating the room and giving her an ethereal beauty. "I propose an experiment. I've been in dire need of a male for quite some time, and it seems that you're quite the special breed."
"Though fret not, I believe you shall find the experience very enjoyable." She stood from her chair and levitated towards me, stopping to lean over my form and flaunt the fact that she was most definitely not wearing a bra.
"So how about it sweetie? Would you like to be my eternal sex toy?"
"-I should be going!" I scrambled to my feet in an attempt to run, but a freezing hand snatched my wrist as her equally cold face pressed against mine whispering something indecipherable. Some kind of faint energy coursed through my entire frame like a pleasant tickle, making me shiver.
"Intriguing. That eromancy spell should've had you on your knees in ecstasy."
I gave her a nervous chuckle. "I'm….not a good partner for you. Magic has basically no effect on me."
"Even better!" The Lich's cheeks somehow flushed purple, a deranged pervert's smile splitting her face. "I wonder how much pleasure it'll take before you brea-Ahn!"
I drew my staff back and bolted, hoping the punt to her gut would buy me enough time. Of course it was nowhere near enough, I only got a few feet before something violently yanked me back by my hood.
"I tried to be nice, but it appears you need a lesson in discipline." the corpse growled, hunching over and irritably clutching her stomach. My staff flew out of my hand and stopped in front of her, bending in half when she closed her hand. The Sorceress's cloak and hair floated as if she was underwater, the entire room glowing an ominous purple. Four large translucent tentacles emerged from sickly pentagrams on the floor oozing demonic energy.
Again I scrambled to my feet and hotfooted it full force. One of the tentacles tried to constrict around my waist, but it simply phased through leaving the same tickling feeling. I didn't really process what happened, the only thought pounding through my head was get the fuck out of there.
"Fine! Run, run and scurry like the little mouse you are!" her warped voice echoed through the tomb. Hall after hall I blindly rushed through the catacombs. Something was rumbling. Scraping. I was forced to skid to a halt at a dead end, doubling back to take another route. Another dead end.
Fuck fuck fuck! They're all fucking dead ends! I bit my tongue to prevent cursing aloud and turned a random corner. This time the tremors of stone were near deafening as a grey wall formed in my path, forcing me again to stop.
She's changing the halls.
It dawned on me just how foolish it was to challenge a Lich in her own domain. Tsutsumi was right, we'd severely underestimated her.
"Come out come out my little test subject, it's no use running~" her voice crooned not too far behind. I looked around for something, anything to use in my situation. Nothing. Think, how can you shake off a hunter who can block off hallways? Confuse her. Somehow trip her up in her own maze.
I took off my shoes and power walked heel first down the left hall to mask my steps. Reaching the end I threw one shoe hard on the ground a few feet away, the footwear bouncing and making loud flops each time.
"There you are!"
A stone wall formed at the far end of the hall followed by another emerging a few feet in front of me, completely blocking off the intersection. A purple glow became visible through the cracks as my pursuer entered the area.
"Where'd you run off to? Ahh, crafty! You purposely had me raise the walls to block us off and make me guess your position! Not smart enough though, the noise made it clear that your shoe came from the left!"
I stopped trying to scale the darkness and broke into a mad sprint, shining my phone flashlight aimlessly as the rumbling of stone came from both sides. Walls shot up left and right at every passing crossway, forcing me into a straight line. She was obviously herding me somewhere, but what other choice did I have?
Wheezing heavily I barreled into the same enclosure of artifacts I originally fell into, though clearly a different section. Coffins from different eras were lined in a neat row ranging from Egyptian to European. I desperately glanced around for any glass cases containing my weapon, but none came to sight.
"How scandalous of you, intruding on a lady's sleeping quarters~" A look over my shoulder veiled a sickly purple glow down the hall and a pale figure in it's center flying dangerously close. Seeing no other options I ducked out of view and wrenched open a thankfully empty sarcophagus, hiding inside and pulling the lid back in place.
A few seconds later the rustling of a cloak could be heard as the dead mage entered the room. "Is it really necessary to draw out our little chase? If you come out now my punishment won't be as harsh…."
"Your choice, just know when I peg you it was completely avoidable!"
My breath hitched at her threat, but I held it regardless.
"Are you in…..here?"
The loud sound of a stone lid ripping off its hinges made me jump.
Another lid flying off the case.
Every kind of swear shot through my head as I wracked my brain for a solution. Ainz Ool Gown hentai rendition bent my staff like a plastic straw, leaving me virtually defenseless. The only thing I had left was my Ex10 knife and my healing potions.
My eyes widened in realization as my hand tightened around the glass vials in my pocket. Would that even work? I guess anything is worth a try at this point….fuck me, it always comes down to these halfassed gambles!
"Two tombs left my dear~" the corpse taunted in a seductive purr. I steeled my nerves and quietly flicked open my butterfly knife. This would either be really effective or really piss her off.
"I think I've found-"
I kicked down the lid of my hiding place and sploshed a vial of Doppio's medicine right in the Sorceress's face, then stabbed her straight through the eye. My hope was even if the healing potion wasn't harmful to an undead like her, the blade would prove at least somewhat effective.
Judging from her Asuka-like scream and melting flesh both were very much so.
Wrenching the blade out of her eye socket I kicked her against the wall and turned tail. It set in just how exhausted I was, my stamina beyond drained and lungs more than tired. I was at my limit.
"WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU I'M GOING TO DISECT, DISINTEGRATE, AND RAPE YOU IN THAT ORDER!"
Pain on my entire right side. A brief moment of black, and I'm suddenly laying on my side. My mind fails to comprehend anything for a few seconds, but eventually registers the shattered remnants of a glass case in front of me. My eyes follow the shards scattered all over the ground leading to….me.
Oh, I was thrown...
Something again flung me off the floor, smashing me against a large statue. The invisible force crushed and bruised my body against the figure before sending me barreling through another glass case. Clear shards pricked my flesh like shrapnel, staining the floor tiny streaks of crimson. A rough collision against something, and I was again on the floor. Blood trickled down my temple into my eye, staining my vision red.
Through the filter a figure was floating towards me like a ragged puppet. Something slid off her face-, no, that was her face, leaving a nightmarish skull grinning at me through its exposed teeth. What truly terrified me was that her face was still beautiful, even when melted off. The Lich gracefully extended her arm out, her invisible force lifting me into the air by my neck and strangling me.
"Perhaps I'll remove your entire reproductive system for experimentation." the mage snarled, her lips already regenerated."Or maybe I'll just fry your brain's pleasure center until you're incapable of thought. Either way, I'll vivisect and violate every part of you until you're nothing more than my bitch in heat."
My hands clawed at my neck trying to pry off whatever was choking me, but there was nothing to grab. I kicked the air uselessly. Tunnel vision was quickly taking over.
Can't breathe can't breathe can'tbreathecan'tbreathe-!
I was abruptly dropped on the ground from the yelp of pain. Through the blood red lens I saw the Lich hunched over, cradling her side embedded with two small glinting objects.
"Who dares attack me!?" She shouted in the direction of the projectiles. Another barrage of metal objects came from behind, stabbing the Lich in the back and forcing her to a kneel. She grimaced and violently swept her arm outwards to send a large stone monolith careening in the attacker's direction.
The Lich listened for any sounds over the settling debris. Nothing. She observed the spot intensely, only for another slew of projectiles to fly out from the right. The Lich reacted fast and stretched her arm out, stopping what I realized were shurikens mid flight and shooting them back towards the thrower. A slight yelp made her sneer.
The dead Mage brought her arm back hard, lurching out a blur from the darkness. Said blur didn't miss a beat, landing against a stone coffin and launching back towards the Lich. Within a second a pained screech escaped her lips, the Mage's face bearing a claw mark as deep as it was fresh.
"YOU SCRATCHED MY CHIEF-GODDAMN EYES YOU SAVAGE BEAST!" the Corpse roared. Indeed, both her pretty amethyst irises had nasty rake marks leaking purple fluid. In her distraction two kunai attached to rope shot out to the huge statue behind her which she smashed me against earlier. They embedded themselves in the kneecaps before being yanked back, destroying the support. The statue tilted fast, and in her rage the Lich failed to realize what was happening until it was too late. She shot both hands up trying to hold the gigantic sculpture with her mind, but it didn't even slow down as the statue smashed into a million pieces right on top of her.
My thoughts were fuzzy. Everything was aching. Despite this a pleasantly soft feeling wrapped around my torso and hoisted me onto something warm, and fluffy paws grabbed hold my legs. A sudden acceleration and we were off.
"Bear with it Murnax, I'll heal you once we're far enough away from that psychotic mage."
"Tsutsumi….why're you here?"
"To protect the man I love, of course." She giggled. As we sprinted through the countless cases of artifacts, the low ringing returned and increased to hammering volumes before fading in the span of a second.
Seriously, what was up with that?
Finally a new chapter out, even if it's pretty short. Don't really have any excuses besides a combination of being a lazy ass and not knowing how to plot things out. It'll most likely be a while before the next update again, as I want to plot out the story more and grind out chapters so the fic can get back to a weekly updates. Additionally I thought of a better twist than what I had planned so that will require some minor retconning in the previous chapters and a lot of planning to properly do, so that's also part of the reason for me wanting to go on a hiatus.
(Also if anyone's willing a beta reader would be much appreciated, as well as someone who's confident enough to help me plan out the story, so pm me if you're down)
Again, the fic is only dead if I announce it, and thank you for reading!