Note: The following is a parody. All characters contained in this story are copyright and trademarked by Capom and are not owned by the author of this story.


Beliefs

"I really wish you wouldn't go," Lilith said.

"Now Lilith, you know I have to," Morrigan said as she looked in the mirror and watched her costume adjust itself to the curves of her body. "I'm the head of the Aensland clan and with that title comes a great number of responsibilities. Among those is that I'm the guardian of Makai."

"Jedah's the guardian of Makai," Lilith muttered. The smaller succubus grabbed a pillow from the bed she was sitting on and hugged it to herself.

"Jedah is many things to many people but mostly he's absent from his duties," Morrigan replied. "What good is a would-be messiah who only comes around every few centuries? I, on the other hand, am here to serve Makai's every beck and call. Besides," Morrigan added, "Jedah always dresses in such a glum manner. I'm a much lovelier looking figurehead. So which do you think looks better Lilith? Blonde or red or maybe something like a strawberry blonde?" Morrigan's hair rippled with energy as it changed colors at her whim. "A dark blue or black would fit the mission but that makes me look too somber," she said as her hair shimmered until it was as dark as the decorative bat wings that poked out of her hair, "so perhaps I should go with my natural green, even if that seems like such a lazy choice. Don't you agree?"

Ignoring Morrigan's question, Lilith rolled over until she was lying on top of the pillow. "You shouldn't have to do this. Aren't there other warriors in the Aensland clan who can go out and fight for you?"

Morrigan stopped her preening and looked at Lilith. "Are you worried about me?" Morrigan sat down on the bed when Lilith didn't immediately respond. "Lilith, darling, I'm only going off to deal with some hunter who has entered the realm, it won't take but a minute," Morrigan gently tugged at Lilith's shoulder, pulling the younger version of herself to a sitting position. Morrigan cradled Lilith's head with one hand while she gently brushed stray strands of hair away from the girl's face. "I'm not like Jedah or our father, I'm not going to abandon you. Remember that." Lilith started to speak but Morrigan pressed her finger against the girl's mouth. "Shhh. You're me, remember? I know what's going on in that little head of yours," Morrigan said as she ran the tip of her finger along the edge of Lilith's lips. "The two of us will go out and have some fun after I'm done, but for now you should quit worrying and rest."

Morrigan pulled Lilith close, until their bodies were pressed together, and kissed her. The two succubae held each other, their arms and mouths intertwined, until the young girl vanished, the barely stable energy that formed Lilith pulled into the woman it originally was a part of. Morrigan gasped and waited for a moment as her body once again adjusted to the influx of power from Lilith. Flicking her hand through her hair, which caused it to revert to its original green color, Morrigan smiled and said, "Right, now to deal with that hunter."

Even after all these years Morrigan still enjoyed the sensation of flight. Morrigan closed her eyes and felt the cool night air of Makai wash over her as she glided through the air. Not only did she never tire of flying, it was one of the few times when she could be alone. As a succubus, a being that lived on intense feelings, the emotions and desires of people in both Makai and Earth flowed through her in a constant stream. Only when she was high in the air could she get a temporary reprieve from her sixth sense. With Lilith asleep in her subconscious and the politics of dealing with the Aensland clan left behind Morrigan was by herself. For a time she was no longer trying to separate herself from her father's legacy or to care for Lilith's fragile psyche, instead she simply was. Relaxing her body Morrigan allowed herself to be pulled along towards the energy that the hunter was projecting.

Feeling herself floating towards the ground, Morrigan brought herself back to the situation at hand. A small, childish looking girl dressed in a red shawl was prancing out of a thick grove of trees. While the girl looked harmless the path she was on crossed over a bridge that was home to a massive troll that would ordinarily never let a morsel like the girl through unscathed. Gliding out of the air until she was a few inches off the ground, Morrigan floated towards the girl.

"Unless I'm mistaken you've been quite the troublemaker recently," Morrigan said. Even though the girl looked harmless Morrigan knew appearances could be deceiving, especially in Makai. Most monster hunters who were foolish enough to venture into Makai were quickly overwhelmed and killed by the multitude of creatures that called the dark realm home. That a hunter could survive so long that she drew the attention of the Aensland house was a testament to her skill.

"Why, hello there. I'm B.B Hood and it's riddle time!" the girl squealed. "Are you up for it? I hope you can do better than that stinky troll did," B.B. Hood said as she used her foot to playfully nudge the small terrier that accompanied her. The girl stank of burnt flesh and gunpowder.

"I have to answer your riddle?"

"That's right."

Morrigan smiled. Asking riddles was an old, queer custom in Makai. Treasures could be won or horrible death could be meted out depending on the answer to a question. It seemed this odd little hunter was somehow connected to Makai since she was playing by the rules of the realm. Morrigan also suspected the hunter was also a bit mad, since her behavior was unlike anything she had seen in either Makai or the Earthrealm.

"Very well, what is your puzzle?" Morrigan figured she had nothing to lose. If she answered the riddle she might possibly drive the hunter away. If not, the worst that would happen is that there would be a fight, which is what Morrigan had expected in the first place.

B.B. Hood ran her hand over the front of her shawl and coughed to clear her throat. Looking straight at Morrigan with her large blue eyes she asked, "What is your story?"

It was a trick question. How does one explain everything about your self in a succinct answer? There wasn't even the slight charge in the air that accompanied a charmed spell. It was silly question and nothing more. Nevertheless, Morrigan felt she should try to answer on the off chance it would be enough to drive the hunter away.

"I am a succubus, what children see in the shadows of their room at night and what adults see in the dreams they refuse to admit they need. I am Morrigan Aensland, only daughter of the late Berial Aensland and the ruler of Makai." Morrigan's unconsciously flexed out her wings, drawing herself up to her full dark splendor.

"Is that your answer? Then here's your prize!" the girl barked, a quick snarl of anger crossing her unnaturally cheerful face. A missile flew out of a hidden compartment in the basket she was carrying.

Morrigan's wings enveloped her. The missile exploded spectacularly but harmlessly against her leathery shield. Morrigan grinned and decided that while the young hunter may have some interesting tricks if this was the extent of her power she wouldn't be able to best a professional warrior like herself. Even her riddle was sub par.

As soon as the missile had exploded B.B. Hood came charging, swinging her basket over her head. Thinking she could defeat this girl at her leisure, Morrigan casually raised up one arm in defense with the wing on that side of her body following suit. The small wicker basket tore through Morrigan's wing and slammed into Morrigan's shoulder. Wincing with pain, Morrigan staggered and barely caught herself as her feet dropped to the ground. The bats that formed Morrigan's wings -and were so closely associated with the succubus that they were practically an extension of her- fluttered in the air, direction-less and lost without Morrigan to guide them. As Morrigan teetered on her feet B.B. Hood slapped her in the face, sending the succubus spinning to the ground. Although her shoulder ached so much she could barely move it and her head was ringing from being hit by the hunter's small hand, Morrigan pulled herself to her feet.

"Are you going to attack me?" B.B. Hood asked. The hunter stood with one hand on her hip while the other casually swung her basket. Oblivious to the battle going on around him, B.B. Hood's dog jumped and chased after Morrigan's bats as they hovered in the air. "Thing is, I don't think you have the strength for it."

At B.B. Hood's suggestion all the vitality in Morrigan's body seemed to drain away. She had been preparing to throw a powerful spell of energy, but now she was so weak her knees were buckling from the exertion of standing.

"What... what have you-"

B.B. Hood shoved Morrigan, causing the succubus to fall heavily to the ground. Before she could recover B.B. Hood stepped on her hand causing Morrigan to shriek in pain. Morrigan tried to pull her hand free but she couldn't budge the hunter's petite foot.

"Here I thought someone who claimed to be the 'ruler of Makai' would be a bit brighter, but I guess you would have to be as clueless as everyone else around here if you were going to be in charge of this mess," B.B. Hood said. The hunter had a look of childish delight on her face, as if she had just been given a wonderful present or was particularly enjoying pulling the wings off a fly. "So tell me, what's your story?"

"I don't understand. What do you-" Morrigan stopped as B.B. Hood pressed down a bit more with her foot.

"What are you? What's your story?" B.B. Hood stamped down on Morrigan's hand one last time for emphasis. Morrigan pulled her hand away and cradled it against her chest. "Don't any of you understand? You're all fake! Makai is a shadow of Earth; it's the dumping ground for the world's collective subconscious. This realm gets its power from the dreams and imagination of the regular world. The only reason you exist is because, without realizing it, people create and sustain you."

"Thing is," B.B. Hood continued, "I'm having none of that. I figured out I could destroy Makai when I realized that I didn't have to believe in it. If the minds of those living on Earth could create Makai, then someone from Earth could un-create it."

"It looks like you don't believe me but I don't think you have anything to say about it," Morrigan tried to speak but found she had been struck mute. "See? You claimed to be the queen of Makai and a creature of the night but that's only because that's what others say you are. You're a collection of ideas people have of you, but instead of the real you that should be inside all that you're hollow. Instead of being a real, living thing all you are is a made-up story. You're imaginary and now you're dead."

Was everything she knew a lie? Was she nothing more than a collection of impressions? Morrigan refused to believe it, but it didn't change the hold the hunter had on her. Even if the girl was using some sort of subtle spell instead of unrelenting logic on her the effect was the same; she was going to be destroyed if she didn't act soon. Lilith, who was normally silent when joined with Morrigan, was screaming frantically inside her head.

B.B. Hood pulled a hunting knife out of her basket and advanced on Morrigan. Focusing on Lilith's voice, Morrigan found the strength to sit up and grabbed B.B. Hood's arm with the hand that hadn't been crushed. Although her shoulder burned with the exertion Morrigan was able to hold the hunter's knife at bay. A look of surprise and annoyance crossed B.B. Hood's face as she tried to pry Morrigan's fingers away.

"Let go of me. Stop moving would you?" B.B. Hood grumbled. "How come you're still able to fight me?"

Morrigan was unable to hear the hunter's complaints over the cries of Lilith. Ignoring the pain, Morrigan laid her other hand on B.B. Hood's chest. Morrigan's bats -which could take on any form her will demanded- flowed up her arm like quicksilver, formed a hard, pointed edge, and slid between the hunter's ribs.

B.B. Hood lurched back from Morrigan, pulling herself off Morrigan's spear. The hunter held her hand over her wound and watched with a look of odd fascination as blood gurgled out in a constant rhythm.

"I can't die. I don't believe it. I can't die..." Repeating this mantra over and over again the hunter staggered away from Morrigan and back down the path she had come on, leaving a trail of blood behind her. The dog that accompanied B.B. Hood stopped to lap up a small pool of blood and then followed it's mistress back into the dark woods they had emerged from.

Morrigan slumped to the ground, barely managing to support herself with her hands. In a shimmer of light Lilith separated from Morrigan.

"Morrigan!" Lilith cried. "What can I do?" Lilith began to reach for Morrigan's shoulder and hand but was afraid to touch her injuries. "Should I kill that hunter?" Lilith asked, pointing down the path the hunter had staggered away on. "I can kill her for you, just watch!"

"Shhh..." Morrigan said, as she pulled the smaller succubus to her and wiped at Lilith's tears with her good hand. "If that hunter somehow does survive we can defeat her anytime we want now that we know her secret. For now, however, I think we both need to rest."

The two succubae sat on the dirt road, with Lilith trying to tend Morrigan's injuries while Morrigan did her best to assure her counterpart that she was going to be fine and to stop Lilith's nearly hysterical crying. Morrigan didn't know what sort of bewitchment B.B. Hood had used on her. Perhaps the hunter was right and Morrigan and all the creatures in Makai were figments of someone's imagination. Lilith's belief and love for Morrigan, however, was so strong and so complete that it could seemingly counteract any spell or possibly even the nature of the world around them. Morrigan could not fully explain why and how she existed, but she was real in Lilith's eyes and for now that was enough.