Author’s Note: As promised, here’s the 13th chapter. Not too much to say other than it might seemed a little rushed due to the information overflow. Still, we get to learn some things that no one probably thought about. Anywho, please enjoy?
Chapter 13 – Sweet Child o’ Mine?
I couldn’t believe it. If I recall, she had been forced home by her father. Yet the legal loli was out at night the same time that I was.
“Wait… why are you out?”
“I decided to take a moonlit stroll.” (Nyra)
“And your father?”
“I slipped some sleeping draught into his cactus tea.” (Nyra)
Wow… she’s borderline yandere if this is going where I think it is.
“I don’t even know what to say right now.”
“Then don’t say anything. However, mind if we walk and talk?” (Nyra)
I will admit, I was getting nervous here. Especially since I was alone with her of all people. I was just hoping that I really wouldn’t need the knife.
“So you and Mr. Coy are leaving tomorrow?” (Nyra)
Be careful Yuki, you could be walking on some very thin ice here.
“I see. Washboard… no, I mean Yuki. I am sorry about my father.” (Nyra)
“My father has always been overprotective of me. Ever since my body stopped growing twenty-seven years ago, he’s always treated me like some frail object. It’s mainly due to the fact that my mother had a weak constitution.” (Nyra)
“This is the first that I’ve ever heard about your mother.”
Seriously, I’m surprised that we never touched down on that topic.
“According to my father, mother was a frail woman. However, she was the one he loved. Even though he was much older and watched her grow up, things just happen. All I know is that she died when I was little. And that was when his overprotective personality started to show. It only got worse after my body stopped aging.” (Nyra)
Wait… so it started before her aging stopped?
“I… didn’t know.”
“It’s alright, most people don’t know. However… there is one mystery that I can’t solve.” (Nyra)
“For some strange reason, no one else will tell me about her. Even when I ask, people who knew her will change the subject. It’s like my mother’s some kind of taboo?” (Nyra)
So the legal loli’s mother is a taboo? This is getting somewhat interesting.
“Honestly, I do not know how to answer that.”
“Just so you know, you are the only person that I have ever shared this with. I haven’t even tried to share this with Mr. Coy.” (Nyra)
“So it’s a secret just between us?”
“I guess it is?” (Nyra)
I never thought that the two of us would be sharing a secret? Then again, stranger things have happened. Speaking of secrets… I’ve been meaning to ask her!
“Nyra… can you tell me about Coy’s party?”
“You mean those people? Sure. There was this tall elven warrior with blond hair and blue eyes who wielded a sword way taller than she was. Just what was her name again?” (Nyra)
“I think she was Nia?”
“That’s right! I didn’t like her because our names were similar. Not to mention the forest elves from Olko and the night elves from Lethe don’t really get along.” (Nyra)
So Olko is an elven country? Kind of explains why Coy didn’t really want to bring Nyra along. Well… it was better explained when Nyra mentioned that her people don’t get along with them.
“A human priest who kept badmouthing us as demons, I really didn’t care much for her. And there was this annoying halfling archer.” (Nyra)
Wait… there’s halflings here too? Let alone a halfling archer?
“Why was he annoying?”
“When he found out my true age, he proposed.” (Nyra)
“Apparently it’s because he likes women who are both older and shorter than him. I just don’t like guys who are shallow. However, he didn’t show the night elves any hostility. Only him, Mr. Coy, and that man with the mask didn’t show any contempt for my people.” (Nyra)
“Wait… one in a mask?”
“Some mysterious person. He was a strider who wielded two daggers. I don’t know why, but he had a tendency to be surprised about things and be amazed by others. He called himself Nanashi, I think?” (Nyra)
Hold the phone!
“Nyra, that name comes from my homeland. It literally translates to “nameless”.”
This was too unreal. I’ve known a few characters in light novels, anime, and manga that went by Nanashi. But for one to be here… it’s both a surprise and a cliché at the same time.
“But why would someone with that name be here? Do you think that someone else was summoned?”
“I’m not too sure on that. You might want to ask your maid though, she is still technically a shrine maiden.” (Nyra)
“Maybe I should ask Coy-kun too? I mean, that Nanashi guy was in his party.”
“I… don’t think that’s a good idea.” (Nyra)
“About a week before Mr. Coy came back here with you… his party returned to get supplies before going back to the other side of the badlands.” (Nyra)
“It’s true. They claimed that Mr. Coy was dead. That Nanashi person was even wearing the black long-coat that Mr. Coy was originally wearing and had the sword that Mr. Coy wielded when they first arrived on his back.” (Nyra)
This seems interestingly suspicious. Did Coy have a falling out with his party? Did they betray him?
“Nyra, we have to tell Coy-kun.”
“But… it would make him hate me if he found out that I was keeping that secret from him.” (Nyra)
“Nyra, he would be even more angry if he found out from someone else and then found out you kept it from him.”
It was true. Even though I’ve known him for only a few days, I already know that he’s more prone to act on rage than anything. With him it’s better to per-ignite the bomb rather than to wait for it to hit critical mass.
“But… I can’t. Not after he said those things to protect me.” (Nyra)
“Wait… you knew why he did that?”
This was a shock.
“Believe it or not, Mr. Coy isn’t the kind of man to just destroy a village on a whim. I can tell that he’s a good actor. With his true personality, we both know that he’s not really heroic.” (Nyra)
Now I can assume that wisdom does come with age? I will admit, this surprised me. But there’s one thing that I have to ask, something that’s been on my mind since I first met her.
“Why do you like him so much anyway?”
“Oh, that? There’s just something about that cannot be explained. It’s like he has either a vibe or an aura about him, something that cannot be seen? Something that separates him from everyone else.” (Nyra)
To be honest, I never really thought about it. I mean, I knew he was some kind of gangster before I met him, thanks to Kimiko using the crystal ball. Even after Kimiko got the intelligence on him, I couldn’t figure him out. He’s like an enigma wrapped inside of a mystery within a sea of questions.
“I can’t really figure him out either.”
“I guess no one can?” (Nyra)
For a moment, I thought we would have a clichéd moment were we would laugh or giggle in agreement. But then something strange started to happen. The sky was clear, I could see all kinds of constellations that were unfamiliar to me. But things were getting… misty. Seriously, there was mist starting to form. It made the night seem even colder. And… I got this feeling.
“Nyra, we need to run!”
She nodded in agreement before we both started a dash towards the shrine. But the mist was following us and fast. It was like it had a mind of it’s own. And when the temple was in sight, it blocked us.
“What do we do?” (Nyra)
I didn’t know. Now was not the time to transform into Sea Green, that light would get attention. And if this was related to the Demon Realm, I would be exposed. All I could do was pull the knife that Cecil gave me earlier from my school bag.
“Nyra, get behind me.”
She listened and got behind me as she was told. The mist gathered until it was concentrated. And then a figure walked outside of it. Her attire, reminded me of the kind of girl you would see on a stage somewhere. It was like a bunny-girl outfit, but without wearing ears or a tail. And instead of pantyhose, she wore long black boots that matched. Not to mention a black cape with red lining on the inside. But the rest of her appearance, was like that of the night elves that lived here. She was tanned and had long silver hair. But her eyes… were not yellow. They were red, as in blood red. And when she opened her mouth, I could see… fangs? Don’t tell me…
“Greetings there, I am Ashtoreth. Or as most know me as… the vampire queen.” (Ashtoreth)
Of all things!!! I was hoping that I wouldn’t run into a vampire. Yet one was right in front of me. I could feel myself shaking in fear. This was bad, she could be an accomplice of the Harem King for all I knew.
“No use pointing that thing at me, it will not do you any good.” (Ashtoreth)
I couldn’t even move. I didn’t know what to do in this situation, I was too afraid. I really wanted to scream for Coy to help me, but I couldn’t. But before I could even hope to pray, I heard the shrine doors open with a thud.
Oh thank goodness. But as soon as I could feel relief, I could also feel it go away as the vampire turned around.
“Well if it isn’t Coy, the Hero?” (Ashtoreth)
Wait… have they met?
Apparently… they do. The questions around Coy are increasing even further.
“No need to show any malice towards me.” (Ashtoreth)
“Why are you here?” (Coy)
“One of my little pretties that came through here informed me that a certain incubus bastard is here. So I wanted to see it for myself.” (Ashtoreth)
So she does know the Harem King.
“And what if he is?” (Coy)
Isn’t that obvious? She’s probably here to spring him.
“Then I finally get the chance to kill him myself.” (Ashtoreth)
Wait… what!? And after all this time being careful about it, I mentally stole Coy’s catchphrase again.
“I take it that you two are on bad terms?” (Coy)
“He was the beginning of the downward spiral that caused my suffering. If he hadn’t taken me from here thirty-two years ago, I would had never ended up a victim of my predecessor; the Vampire Lord.” (Ashtoreth)
All right, I know I’m missing something here.
“He’s in the local jail.” (Coy)
Wait… don’t mean to tell me that you trust her!?
“In that case, I may need to lie to him about rescue?” (Asthoreth)
“You mean that thing about vampires having to be invited when going through a doorway?” (Coy)
So that’s real?
“That is it. However… mind coming with me? There’s still the possibility that he may be suspicious.” (Ashtoreth)
“As long as you leave afterwards. I already have to be out of here by noon tomorrow.” (Coy)
This is just what Nyra and I were talking about, Coy being a mysterious individual himself. And even though my better judgment was telling me not to, I ended up following them to the jail. Nyra went with me because she grabbed my hand and was too scared to let go. But when the wind blew from the direction of the jail, both Coy and the vampire queen stopped.
“Do you smell that?” (Asthoreth)
“I do, we better hurry!” (Coy)
Just what were they smelling? Neither Nyra or myself could smell it. As soon as we got there, it looked like the door was forced open from the outside. Coy entered first and then invited Ashtoreth inside. As soon as I got through the door, I wanted to vomit. I do know this smell, but I didn’t want to smell it. But it made better sense if a vampire could smell it from the same distance as Coy. This smell… was blood.
“Nyra, keep your eyes closed no matter what happens until I tell you it’s okay to open them.”
She did as was told.
He was already in the Harem King’s cell, covering his nose. I guess for him the smell was too much? But when I looked… I wished that I hadn’t. The Harem King was dead… but it was too much. I could barely hold in a scream, let alone my vomit.
I had to rush Yuki and Nyra out of there as fast as I could. It was a good thing that she told Nyra to keep her eyes closed, this was very gruesome. It made the shape of that Gore Grizzly’s head after I smashed it in look tame. Whoever did this, they looked like they had a grudge. His body was slit clean down the middle. It was as if someone was trying to gut him like a fish. But any of his innards that left came out with the cut. I had never seen anything like this before. However, there was more. The person who did this had already slit his throat. And his eyes… they were gouged out.
“I cannot believe this…” (Ashtoreth)
“Whoever did this had a bigger grudge than myself. I mean, look at the corpse?” (Ashtoreth)
I could see her point very easily. Other than the eyes being gouged out, I couldn’t even recognize him. It was like the person who did it beat his face in afterwards. All I knew is that I had to get out of here before the smell made me vomit. But when I touched the cell door… it was hot! I moved my hand away and looked at it. There were scorch marks, as if someone used a fire spell to force it open. But why not burn away the Harem King’s body? This was getting more confusing, but my urge to vomit was getting worse.
I made it outside to see that someone else already did that. It was the last straw, I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I hurled a little before walking up to Yuki. She was crouched down and almost in the fetal position.
“Yuki, are you okay?”
“I’ll be fine…” (Yuki)
“No, I doubt it. You take Nyra and get back to the shrine. And don’t open the door until I say it’s safe. I don’t know if the one who did this is still here, but I need to check some things out first.”
She nodded before taking Nyra back to the shrine. I needed a moment to get my thoughts together. Thanks to that shock from feeling the heat still coming from the cell door, I was able to get past the scent of blood. I even smelled my hand, and it smelled like sulfur. I then concentrated and looked for other scents. There was one that was too familiar.
“Ashtoreth, I’m going to see the Elder.”
“Do you think he has something to do with this?” (Ashtoreth)
“I have my reasons.”
“Alright, I have been meaning to speak to that man for a long time now.” (Ashtoreth)
I didn’t know what business she had with the Elder, but now was not the time to care. Before I could run, she grabbed me and then we were covered in mist. And before I could even complain, we were already in front of his house. I walked in before she reminded me that she needed an invitation. After I invited her in, we found the Elder passed out at the table. I could smell the sleeping draught coming from his cup.
“Nyra… wait, now is not the time. Hey sunshine, time to get up!”
I then kicked the chair from right underneath him, causing him to fall down. It did the trick.
“Coy, what are you doing here!?” (Elder)
“Now is not the time, somethings’ happened.”
“Oh now is the time! You better leave before–” (Elder)
He then noticed the vampire queen right next to me.
“So you do remember your own wife’s name?” (Ashtoreth)
“You are not my wife, you monster!” (Elder)
“Oh sure. You allow me to get taken away by the incubus bastard and then I get taken and turned by the Vampire Lord, and I’m somehow no longer your wife? Or even Nyra’s mother?” (Ashtoreth)
“Wait… you’re Nyra’s mother?”
“Before I was taken away by the Harem King, I was her mother. She came from my womb and she fed from my breast.” (Ashtoreth)
“But… you’re one of the Devil King’s four generals?”
“I’m the Elder of this village! And I say you are not my beloved wife or my daughter’s mother!” (Elder)
“Look, we don’t got time for this! Elder, someone broke into the jail and brutally murdered the Harem King!”
“It’s true, I came all the way here to finally take my revenge on that bastard and someone had beaten me to it.” (Ashtoreth)
“Let me go look.” (Elder)
Before we could say anything, Ashtoreth did it again. This time, she brought both me and the Elder to the jail. The Elder walked in and came out not too long to vomit himself. I think even Yuki lasted longer than he did? Still, his face afterwards was priceless.
“Who could had done such a thing?” (Elder)
“I think I know who. Elder, did my old party come through here?”
“Well… I wasn’t going to say anything.” (Elder)
“They did! They claimed that you were dead.” (Elder)
“It’s true. It was a week ago. When the shrine maiden returned, I didn’t believe that you were alive. However, you proved me wrong.” (Elder)
I hit one of the outside walls, causing a dent. I couldn’t believe it, it was true.
“But what does that have to do with this?” (Elder)
“The one who killed the Harem King used a fire spell to break open the cell door. Not to mention a faint scent that wasn’t here yesterday. It was that bastard Nanashi.”
“Wait… you mean that one with the mask?” (Elder)
“Other than his scent, he’s good with fire spells. Not to mention as a strider, he’s very stealthy.” (Coy)
“So this Nanashi person took away my vengeance?” (Ashtoreth)
“Sorry, but he did.”
“In that case, I’ll take my leave.” (Ashtoreth)
“Wait… are you not going to see Nyra?”
“I have been keeping watch over her using a crystal ball. However, I cannot let her see me like this.” (Ashtoreth)
Wow… she does care if her daughter finds out. But didn’t she already see her like that?
“Still, she has a great taste in men.” (Ashtoreth)
Did she just wink at me?
“Please don’t say that while winking at me?”
She then giggled.
“What? Do you prefer the flat-chested Devil King over the daughter of the vampire queen?” (Ashtoreth)
Don’t tell me…
“I have no clue on what you’re talking about.”
“A little bat told me everything. Not to mention that maid and I go back.” (Ashtoreth)
Damn that shrine maid… didn’t she think about everything!?
“I need to have a talk with that shrine maid…”
“Just be careful, young Hero. There’s more than meets the eye going on.” (Ashtoreth)
And with that familiar warning, she left in a cloud of mist. I could only look at the Elder.
“So your wife got taken away by the Harem King?”
“Oh be quiet.” (Elder)
“And then taken and turned by the Vampire Lord?”
“I said be quiet!” (Elder)
“Does Nyra know the truth?”
“No, that’s why I made my wife a taboo. This way no one in the village could answer if even if she asked.” (Elder)
“Or was it to hide your own cowardice?”
“What do you mean?” (Elder)
“Elder, we both know that it’s either that or your shame about not being able to save your own wife. Now I need to get back before Yuki has a complete breakdown.”
“Wait… you’re not going to tell Nyra, right?” (Elder)
All I could do was smirk while walking away. It was time I got him back for keeping my party coming here a secret. Besides, he’s been keeping a secret for thirty-two years. Nyra may look like a kid, but she’s older than me. Then again, I could be too mad right to even care about the consequences?
After Note: And this was chapter 13, peeps. Yeah, I actually wanted to introduce a vampire sooner. However, problem was deciding when and how. As I created Ashtoreth, I wanted to make sure that she could not be forgotten so easily. So what better way to make her a former night elf, let alone Nyra’s missing mother. And this also allowed more possibilities as she could had known Kimiko as well.
One thing I need to mention is Nia’s name. It’s actually pronounced “Nya”, don’t ask.
Chapter 14 is already complete, I’m just not going to post it until next weekend. I got that secret project that I mentioned in that last piece of news to do stuff for after all. And as this story is not as established as I would like, a double update might confuse everyone.
As for any other reading… I got nothing for ya. It’s been a little while since Reigo-senpai updated and BakaGrappler is currently having computer issues. Besides, I’m a little too tired to put links out right now.