Sorry for not updating for so long. I had already written this chapter a while ago and totally forgot to upload it. Hope you like it.


Chapter 8
Kisses

It was one of those days where Andromeda didn't want to move. It was a few days after she had returned and no fucking thing was going to make her go outside. Sighing once more Andromeda looked towards that window in the throne room that showed her the view of the west wing of the palace.

It was finally fixed and had a hallway leading to the tower. Gnarl had said he was doing something in the tower, not that she really paid attention to what it was but it seemed important.

"If your that really board maybe you should go and do something, instead of sitting here and sighing." Erebus said as he helped the elves light the throne room. It was his way to keep busy, helping the elf servants.

"What ever... Erebus." Erebus looked at her, it sounded like she didn't care what he said or she was calling him after the what ever. He wasn't sure which it was. "Erebus, you know Mayberry better than I do." Erebus nodded slowly not sure where this was leading. "Show me around." Well it was something to do.

"All right." He said as he watched Andromeda descend from her throne. Her decent wasn't as elegant as he used to see her do it. He presumed it was because she was still recovering from her ordeal in the swamp or the wound she got in the swamp had done some permanent damage to her.

Erebus hoped that she was just still wounded, he hated to think it was the later. Especially with her kind of body. Erebus shook his head slowly clearing that last thought out of his head and followed after the retreating lady.

It was a rare sunny day in Mayberry. It was pleasant day for a walk and the towns folk did just that. They milled about and talked about the latest news of the town and them. Unknowing that the lady of their town was taking this opportunity as well to look around the small city she didn't know much of.

"What do most people do here, it's a city. I know farmers work the land." Erebus nearly tripped at her question. He was surprised she didn't know anything at all. "Don't think I'm shit stupid, I know there are jobs here. But other than that... I can't think anything else."

"Well, most walk around talking to a close friend or loved ones. There is a maze in the garden section of Mayberry. One could walk through that maze all day and talk. The children play games in the street. But otherwise there isn't much to do." He finished explaining as they reached the last step of the grand stairs that led to the palace front doors.

Andromeda was looking around, well more like observing how people interacted with one another. There was a man and a woman walking with one another. The woman had her arm looped around that man's arm. They were talking and laughing as they walked by unaware that they passed by their queen. One thing Andromeda knew right then and there, she didn't understand how to interact with people or what those interactions meant.

"Erebus. What are they doing?" She pointed towards a couple that was making out. Erebus looked over and then blushed. "Erebus?" Andromeda at the moment was not looking at him, but when receiving no answer turned to find his face all red. "Are you choking?" Erebus just looked at her surprised, she actually sounded worried.

"No! No..My Lady. That is what we call a couple. They were just displaying their love for one another." He saw the disgust on Andromeda's face right away.

"They look like they're trying to eat each other." Erebus sighed. He guessed that she wasn't all that experienced in this kind of relationship or she just found love disgusting.

"Stop them." She ordered a knight by her. Knight seemed to sigh and walked over to couple and broke them apart. He got a few angry curses from the man, but the knight seemed to talk him into a calm before leaving.

"Show me this mazzing foliage." Erebus laughed slightly and offered him his arm the Andromeda, who looked at it. "Ah!" She exclaimed as she finally figured out what he wanted her to do. Slowly and uncomfortably Andromeda linked her arm to his by the elbow.

"Its called a maze. Its supposed to get people lost in it."

"What a strange place to put something torturous."

"It's not torture. It's fun." Erebus laughed a little.

'Your evilness. The prince of that swamp is back.' Gnarls voice vibrated in Andromeda's thoughts.

"We must postpone our…walk through the torturous foliage. It seems we have guests." Andromeda looked toward the front gates of the city to find Prince Lagom walking with a few of his knights.

"Lagom, what can I do for you?" Logam looked at Erebus up and down slowly and gave a distasteful scowl. His white coat still in pristine condition gave off a glare into Andromeda's eyes making her squint and scowl.

"Why don't we conduct business inside, away from all these…common folk?" Andromeda turned with Erebus still attached at arm and headed up the stairs. A long flowing skirt was easier to walk down the stairs with than up.

In the end she had to lift the semi puffy dress in the front so Andromeda didn't trip. Andromeda didn't let go of Erebus's arm until she was at the entrance of the throne room. The elves were still there, they were just dusting now.

"Clear the hall." The elves scurried around themselves and left the hall in the matter twenty seconds. Andromeda sat on now cleaned throne. "Let me guess…you want the knight to come now?"

"I hate to ask you again, but its…Mother has become a trouble, she has attacked one of our walls. The citizens are growing scared and do not like that we aren't doing anything about it." Lagom said slowly. Andromeda thought about it. 'Go now…or wait? It's not like I had much planned.'

"I shall, speak with the knight." Andromeda stood. "Wait here a moment." As Andromeda left the throne room she snagged an elf by her arm. "Watch the prince in there. Make sure he doesn't leave the room." The elf nodded nervously, but scurried into the throne room. Andromeda sighed as her quarters came into view. Gnarl was already standing there.

"Gnarl. Watch over the place… I have to play knight. Time to kill a vengeful wife swamp spirit." With that Andromeda closed the door and adorned her armor.

This was a new set, the last one got too damaged by the swamp. This one was a bit more silver in color. The sword was the same, just with the better grip. "I won't be able to contact you while I'm in the swamp, this time I'll take a bunch of blue minions with me."

"What of our…guest?"

"He'll be leaving with me." Andromeda made her way back to the throne room, hoping that the prince wasn't smart to figure out that she was the knight. The elf was still there, she had kept herself busy and not suspicious by dusting. "Elf." The elf startled and turned towards Andromeda, bowing slightly. "Get lost." The elf all but ran out of the room.

"Knight…" The prince started. "We're is your lady?"

"Busy."

"Do you know what's…"

"Do not think me daft. I know what's going on. Let's go before I change my mind." With that Andromeda was escorted to the swamp city, Mirshare.

Mirshare apparently was also having a sunny day as well, beside having their eastern wall crumbled by a vengeful swam wife spirit the people were about. They seemed rather glad to see their prince return, but all got quite when Andromeda made her way through behind the party of knights.

"My fellow people." The prince said. "This knight is here to vanquish the evil presents in our swamp. For this knight is a woman, is only she can get to it. Wish well for this knight." Andromeda practically snorted out loud with the well wish.

Getting a good luck is going to help her, but her skill. Blue minions were great at killing magical creatures, perhaps that all she needed. The people continued to mill about after the small speech. Prince Lagom turned toward her and sighed. "I wish you much luck Knightress. How will you kill this spirit alone?"

"I never said I was going to be alone. I have creatures that cut magical ties easily." Andromeda felt the power of a blue minion spawning pit close by and willed the blue minions to come forth.

"Where will find these creatures?"

"They come when I ask them to. See." Andromeda stated as a blue minion rushed by the princess legs and came to stand behind her, soon nine more fallowed it. "I shall be leaving. Of what I know this spirit won't come out till night falls." Andromeda turned and headed back out of Mirshare into the swamp.

Night fall came rather fast and so did the doomed feeling the swamp seemed to have. The blue, blended well into the swampy waters which left Andromeda the only thing sticking out while she leaned against a tree trunk and she sat one of the higher roots.

Her silver armor a beacon to anyone who was looking. The swamp was filled with the sounds of frogs suddenly grew quite. Andromeda rose to her feet feeling the chill of strong magical power ripple through her. Suddenly there was a bright light and a beautiful woman floated ten feet away from the blue minion hole. She seemed weary of them, but otherwise made no move to attack Andromeda as she had done before.

"Knightress." Her voice echoed about. "I had attacked you last time we meet. I am sorry for that." Andromeda wasn't sure how to respond. "I'm sure you have question. Let me answer most of them if you are willing to listen." The spirit gestured with her ghostly white hand toward the root that Andromeda was standing on. Andromeda sat down slowly, quite not sure what the spirit had in mind.

"As you already know my name is Kathleen. My husband is the current Lord of Mirshire. I had died by my husband's hands. I had long forgotten about what, but all I know is hatred for this man. He had asked you to kill me. But I never truly meant to hurt you. Any man that enters this swamp dies. I am driven by this hatred towards my husband to kill any man. My husband had throne my deceased body into the swamp to get rid of any evidence that I had died." The angered spirit of Kathleen took a calming breath before continuing.

"I ask you that you kill him, there is no way of you killing me, but I am willing to lend you my power to do so. For I can't exit this swamp, but you can. Give the man who had killed me his justice. But now that I look at you, I feel this evil that runs through you. And I…Like it. Shouldn't two powerful women fight together to get rid of…week men?" Andromeda knew the spirit had a point. What use was a man in the world who killed women. Then again, what if there was a way to take the power of this spirit permanently? Worth a try. Plus she could get some killing done.

"You have a deal spirit." Andromeda stood up from her sitting position and stretched.

"I'll bring us to the edge of the swamp, I'll give you my powers then." The spirit glowed slightly and Andromeda found herself at the edge of the swamp with her minions. The spirit floated at her side sighed. "Let us do this." The merge wasn't too painful but it left Andromeda slightly breathless. She could feel the magic of the spirit floating through her. Lifting her left hand Andromeda concentrated on creating a fire ball. The ball quickly came to her and got big rather fast. A predatory glint and smile appeared on Andromeda's face before she started to laugh and how powerful she felt.

'Ah. My lady. So good to see you.' Gnarl stated as Andromeda walked over the bridge of the Mirshre. It was now early in the morning. A few people wondered about, getting their stalls ready. Andromeda knew she could flatten this city now.

'Gnarl. I made a deal with the spirit in the swamp. In return I get her powers. Can't you feel them?'

'Yes I can. The Tower Heart glows brightly now.' Gnarl sighed happily. Andromeda ignored his evil happiness and made her way up the stairs of the palace in Mirshire. A knight greeted her at the top of the stairs. Another ran inside to tell his lord that the knightress had returned.

"Knightress you have returned to us without a scratch. Had I known you could get it done so quickly I would have asked earlier." Lord Ulesh stated. The throne room was filled with knights and other nobility. The nobility clapped at her achievement.

"I must ask you something." Andromeda stated. Ulesh gestured for her continue. "What possessed you to kill you wife?" The hall suddenly grew quite.

"I beg your pardon?" Ulesh stood angrily.

"You heard me. You wife, the one you killed. Kathleen is the spirit. She had never died in the swamp. You dumped her there. She told me herself. Spirits can communicate rather well if you are willing to listen.

"I would never. She was kidnapped." Andromeda's body glowed as the power of the spirit emerged. A ghostly form appeared above Andromeda's glowing body.

"I am right here love. Let the people find out how you choked me to death, bumped my body in our swamp and then got this knightress to kill me. I am lucky she was willing to listen." The spirits voice was merged with Andromeda's giving it a strange sound. "My people. The man upon the throne has lied to you. Should you not want him on the throne?"

"Mother…is that true. Had father truly?"

"My son. You have grown so much. Yes Lagmon. I must go. This one's body is strong and is refusing to be used like this. Tell the knightress that I'm sorry about this." With that the former queen of Mirshare disappeared leaving only an angered, panting Andromeda on her knees.

"My mother says she is sorry for using your body for that." Lagmon said as he helped Andromeda back to her feat. Andromeda swatted his hands off of her. "Father." The prince turned back to the king. "How could you. Knights. Arrest. My fellow nobles, please make your way home." Lagmon turned towards Andromeda as the knights dragged his father, kicking and screaming, out of the throne room. The nobles fallowed shortly after.

"Knightress you have my and the city of Mirshare thanks. Is there anything I could do for you, as a boon."

"A bath." Andromeda said. The prince laughed.

"That I could do."

"Yeah. Great. God this armor chafes with all the sogginess of the swamp." Andromeda removed her helmet and shook out her soggy hair. Prince Lagom starred in utter shock as the queen of Mayberry stood before him in armor all wet with swamp water. "The bath?" He beckoned somebody to his right. A small servant curtsied to them both and awaited her instructions.

"Draw Lady Andromeda a bath in one of our guest quarters. Come get her when you are done." The servant curtsied again and left in a hurry to do her masters bidding. "Lady Andromeda, you could have told me you were the knightress."

"That would go over well. I had many people think I was a man and are shocked I am a lady? I see your people have lots of trade here. Think we could get some of the trade to flow my way?"

"With the swamp clear, I'm sure people would make the journey to Mayberry. My lady may I ask who the man was with you yesterday?"

"Erebus is his name. I had found him. Quite the interesting man. He redecorated the palace."

"So he's your decorator?"

"I guess…though he does do other things. Why do you ask?"

"He wasn't really dressed for someone in his position."

"I guess. He seems rather comfortable." The servant from before shuffled in. Elves were totally more quite and they didn't make all this noise walking about or doing things.

"The bath is ready My Lord. My Lady, if you would please." Andromeda was shocked at the bathroom as she walked in. There was white marble everywhere and the bathtub could fit four people comfortably. Bubbles slowly popped one top of the water. "Do you need any help?" The servant asked as she looked at the armor. With a shake of her head Andromeda pulled two straps and the armor came tumbling off. Slowly She pulled her arm armor off while the servant unbuckled her legs.

The water was comfortable as Andromeda sank down into it. A layer of dirt rose from her small frame as she wadded in the pool like bath tub. The swamp had made her really filthy even if Andromeda didn't fight. Sighing Andromeda laid her head back against the rim.

'If only a man had joined you.' Gnarls voice made Andromeda sit up quickly.

'Gnarl… I'll kick you again if you're watching' a hushed laugh was heard…actually it sounded far off. It sounded like Erebus, he must have been in the throne room of the tower. Where else would the scrying pool be located. 'At least Erebus has a sense of decency by not looking.'

'I would love to see her kick you…she said again. Lady Andromeda had kicked you before!" Erebus sounded closer this time.

'You had better not be looking.' Andromeda swiped a cloth that sat at the edge of the bathtub and proceeded to scrub herself down. A servant slowly walked over to a chair that was placed inside the bathroom. In her hands she held a red gown that she gently placed on the chair.

"My lord request that you were this to lunch. He was sure you wouldn't want to sit in your armor." Andromeda stood from the now rather brown water. The servant that had just put down the gown grabbed a white towel and patted down Andromeda's wet body. Another servant started drying her hair.

"The guest quarters are yours to use for the day if you wish." The servants eased the dress over Andromeda's toned thighs and flat stomach before zippering it up. This dress was like the last one she wore, puffy skirt, long sleeves. The only thing that changed was the color. Hers was more dark red this more of a red-red.

"Is there anything else?" The servants backed off from Andromeda when she was fully dressed.

"Where's the dining hall?" With that Andromeda was shown to the dining hall. The nobles that were in the throne room had returned from who knows where, all sat around a rather large table. There was only one seat available, that one was next to the new king of Mirshare.

"Ah, the honored guest of the hour. Lady's and Gentlemen of Mirshaire. I present you the knightress as well as queen of Mayberry, Lady Andromeda." Andromeda just stared at the nobles as the nobles stared at her. "Please, join us. I'm sure your hungry after your trek in the swamp."

Andromeda sat down slowly. The dresses actually hindering her movements than actually making her look elegant. Not that she cared much for elegance, especially when one would chop heads off.

"So tell me Lady Andromeda, how did you acquire Mayberry, when my nephew is the Lord?"

"She obviously married him Nick." The woman next to Nick chided. She was obviously his wife.

"I had not." Andromeda stated. The hall grew silent. "I simply came in and took over. You know your…nephew didn't put up much a fight. And the knights seem to like me more. By the way your nephew fell down some stairs. Not the most coordinated lad. He hit his head and can't seem to remember much. Gnarl…my… well Gnarl, he's been trying to get his memory back." Andromeda thank the evil gods how stupid these people were. They ate up her story and actually believed that she was worried for Harith… 'I think that's his name.'

"I heard there was some fighting."

"Well most people don't take kindly when someone comes through their land here apparently. Just protecting myself."

'Evil god, if you there I could kiss you right now.'

'I'm sure Erebus wouldn't mind You Awfulness.' Gnarl interjected.

'Gnarl!' A startled yelp was heard from Erebus. 'Don't say such things.' Gnarls laughter could be heard. Andromeda sighed. The meal was some bird that Andromeda couldn't pronounce even if it was written down. With the side of vegetables and mashed potatoes.

"Lord Lagom. I must head home now. I thank you for the meeting, but my people shouldn't be without their queen for too long. 'They'll start thinking.' Andromeda stood curtsied slightly and made her way back into the guest room that she was given. Her armor was laid out on a manikin all polished as if it was just made.

Andromeda made her way out of the palace and back into the city of Mirshire. She found the portal she used before and disappeared back into the tower.

"Welcome back." Both Gnarl and Erebus said in unison and then glared at one another. It seemed that Erebus and Gnarl bonded somehow. 'Men.' Andromeda sighed.

"Andromeda. You are home. Yay!" Harith exclaimed and ran over and hugged Andromeda. Andromeda just stood there, quite not sure what to do with the brainless idiot. Gnarl pulled Harith off and said something about giving Erebus a turn.

"You are not wounded?"

"No. Even if I was the Tower Heart would heal me. But I did get more power today, so I'm pretty good." Erebus nodded. An awkward silence fell between the two. "Now I believe you said you would show me this maze…" Erebus clapped his hands together in excitement once before nodding. "Let me change and we'll head out."

The maze wasn't so bad at all. Though at first Andromeda panicked slightly when she found out that this maze seemed never ending. Erebus said he knew his way around the maze since he was a child and that he wouldn't get them lost.

"What can you do now? You know with your powers?" Erebus asked.

"I don't know really." Andromeda sighed. " I never got to try them out."

"It probably would be really cool! Maybe you could shoot lighting…" Erebus was all excited. "Oh! We're in the middle of the maze." The middle of the maize had a large fountain.

"Lighting…that would actually be awesome. We should go to Spree, it has great target practice places."

"Spree…as in the farming town?"

"No the Spree that in the middle of the mountain top!"

"That would be Spret…they do mining…not farm work."

'Mining means gold…gold mean new stuff…lets plunder that land next!' Gnarl wheezed in excitement.

"I was being sarcastic…but its good to know about the mining town." Erebus shook his head.

"Well can head to Spree…I haven't been there in many years. Is Archy still the mayor?"

"That large blob….yes. He called me young miss." Andromeda glared at a bush, she wondered if she glared long enough the bush would catch on fire. Erebus snorted. Whipping her head around Andromeda glared at Erebus next, maybe he'll catch on fire faster. "It is not funny!"

It only made Erebus snort once more before a full blown out laughed. Andromeda just stood there seething. It was strange, Andromeda didn't know why, but she could bring herself to actually hit Erebus. It's like some strange force prevented her from doing so.

"Young miss… Oh! He hasn't changed!" Erebus seemed to be getting a kick out of it. He sat at the fountains edge, still chuckling. "I'm sorry. I'm not laughing at you…I swear." Erebus looked up to Andromeda's seething face and smiled. Her purse lips and the narrowed eyes soon disappeared and she sighed.

"You're lucky I can't seem to bring to hit you."

"Ah…My charm is working." Erebus chuckled.

"In your head Erebus, it's all in your head." Andromeda huffed and turned around with her arms crossed over her chest. Erebus chuckled some more at his Lady's unknown discomfort and stood up.

"Of course My Lady, it's all in my head." He gave a quick peck to Andromeda's right cheek before dashing off. Erebus new better than to be anywhere near his soon to be very angry lady.

Andromeda stood there for the rest of the day all read and unsure what to do. Perhaps it was time to talk to Gnarl.


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