“Fay! Hey, Fay!” a soft hand shook her body. “Wake up!”
Fay opened her eyes. Again lying on a bed, was it hers this time? The sunlight entered through a large window with balcony.
Fay sat up on the comfy bed. A white blanket was covering her naked body and slipped down her chest when she got up. Noticing that someone was next to her, Fay grabbed the blanket in a rush and tried to cover her privates.
“Embarrassed?” grinned the pink-haired woman. “There is nothing that I haven’t seen already.”
Fay tried to remember her name.
‘So everything happened after all…’
“I-I… so it wasn’t a nightmare… Did I hurt someone?”
“What? If you hurt someone?” Valyxa laughed at her. “You have had the night of your life and made someone else had theirs too and you’re worried if you’ve hurt someone?”
But Fay was genuinely worried. What’s wrong with that demon woman? Did she not think about other people’s feelings?
“Oh, my… You’re so funny gal.” Valyxa rested one hand on Fay’s shoulder. “You don’t have to worry, everyone’s fine. You don’t have enough power to injure anyone.”
“T-That’s a relief… I suppose.”
Valyxa moved away for a second to grab something from the closet.
“I have mended your belongings with my magic.”
“Hm… Thank you…?”
“Don’t need. Everything’s right here.”
Valyxa handed over a pile of folded clothing containing Fay’s dressing.
“Your bag it’s right there too.” Valyxa pointed at the desk.
Maybe this demonic woman even had a heart.
“Well… I’ve told you last night. I can’t afford to have an astray succubus running wild and…”
“We have to look after each other now that we’re the same.”
Fay looked horrified at her hands.
“Do you mean I’m still a monster?”
“Monster? Wow! No… We’re not monsters… We are desire, gal… The kind humans thrive but cannot reach.”
“I think you said that it could be reversed, that I could be human again… Am I not?”
“You look human, that’s correct, and I’ve taken all the measures to revert your condition back, stopping the transformation but…”
Fay was preparing to receive a shock.
“I think you’re special.”
That didn’t sound so bad.
“And what do you mean by that?”
“Means that the succubus taint is still in you.”
The nightmare wasn’t over after all.
“Can’t you get rid of it? Remove it in any way?”
“I’m afraid not. This is no usual succubi breeding… Look, you have something inside you. That man, Shakron, was correct, this essence inside you has awakened and you will see more of it for sure.”
“So I really am a demon…”
“And will I turn again into that… creature?”
“Hmmm… It depends… Can’t tell you for sure.”
“But I can help you control it.”
‘Control it? What does she mean by that? Was there a chance to contain it?’
After another quick visit to the closet, Valyxa brought with her a box made of wood and opened it before Fay. Inside the box there were six vials containing an orange liquid that looked just like the one Valyxa made her drink during the night.
“Take one. If you get your lust taking over again, drink it. It will help keeping your senses an soothing your hunger.”
Fay grabbed one vial and put it with care inside her bag.
“You are being too kind Valyxa. Perhaps I misjudged you.”
The pink haired woman raised one eyebrow.
“Well, I’m not your enemy,” Valyxa said with a smile. “Now, don’t you have a life? Get out of my apartment!”
Fay suddenly realized.
“O-Oh my gosh! T-That’s right! I’m getting late to my work and today is a special day! T-They will get mad!” Fay talked desperate as she finished dressing in a rush. She grabbed her bag, put it on the shoulder and walked toward the apartment door.
“Hey!” Valyxa stopped Fay on her rush. “I shouldn’t need to say it but keep your mouth shut about your condition, will ya?”
Fay nodded before twisting the doorknob and getting stepping out of the room. She leaned out her head one last time to say one thing. “Thank you for everything.”
“We will meet again. Now go!”
Valyxa waited two minutes after the door closed. Thinking, considering her options. There were a lot of variables now, unexpected agents. Her Lady’s plan might need a new perspective.
‘I suppose that the best choice shall be to consult her directly.’ The mere thought of visiting her Mistress made her shiver. ‘The sooner I deal with it the better.’
Valyxa gestured with her hands, lighting up the room with the bright sparkles of her magic. A dark glooming portal with the shape of an oval appeared on the wall where she aimed for.
Valyxa gulped before taking a step into the vortex of darkness.
Valyxa appeared inside a large room after she crossed the magic portal. It was a long chamber carved in the hard rock of an ancient cave. A red silk carpet with clear signs of degradation went across the central hall, guarded by pairs of columns that supported the weight of the stone ceiling.
The darkness made it hard to see, even with the thin beams of light that entered through the narrow openings in the broken ceiling.
Valyxa used her demonic eyes to dilate her pupils, accommodating her sight to the lack of light. She walked between the columns towards the other side of the room where a throne chiseled in the stone awaited in silence after centuries have passed since the glory of better days abandoned this cursed place.
The throne was not empty. A dark thick feminine shape was sitting on it. Her chestnut skin was covered in droplets of sweat and crowned by a scarlet mane of hair locks and two pairs of black horns. Her breath was heavy and she let out sweet moans of pleasure through her half shut lips. The mounds of her buxom chest jiggled every time a wave of ecstasy exploded in her loins, which were being worked by a poor human woman who happened to be the latest succubus victim.
Valyxa stopped just a few meters before the throne and waited with patience making no sound. She crossed her arms behind her back and stood still. Valyxa knew well that her Mistress made no please in being interrupted in the middle of her meals. She wanted to avoid discussing with an angered Mistress.
The ancient succubus didn’t realize the presence of Valyxa as she had her eyes closed, locked in a delightful joy that was firing through her veins. She opened her mouth in a joyful shriek that echoed through the chamber, revealing a set of fanged teeth and a long blue tongue that stuck out to lick her dark plush lips.
The Mistress raised her eyelids as the wave of pleasure reached its end. A pair of magenta iris inside a pool of darkness fixed their look on Valyxa.
“Oh, Valyxa, my dear child. I assume you bring news from Lumnex…?”
“My Lady.” Valyxa bowed in reverence when she felt the fire of her Mistress’s eyes looking at her. “That’s right.”
“Then speak my dear.”
Valyxa took a moment to consider her words.
“The plan is going as you have foreseen…”
“Hmmm…” The Mistress expression was a delightful wide opened smile. “Something tells me that your presence here brings more than that.”
“Yes, my Lady, something happened.”
“Oh.” The mature succubus pushed her victim aside and crossed her thighs. The pressure on them made her love juices to slide down her copper limbs, reaching for the dark hooves at the end of her hairy legs. “Tell me everything.”
Valyxa explained the details in the progress of their scheme under the watchful eye of her Mistress. She looked pleased with what she was hearing.
“… but, I’ve found something tonight. A woman who is like us but not exactly the same-”
Valyxa’s words caught the interest of her Mistress.
“Tell me more about this gal.”
“She’s just a young human, awakened to the ways of succubi but not yet a full succubus.”
“A proto, huh…? I suppose you’ve dealt with her as I commanded.”
“Yes, my Lady…”
“So what’s the matter? Why you bother me with her?”
“She’s not a usual proto, my Lady, hasn’t been turned by another of our own. She doesn’t even have the Covenant Sigil.” Valyxa was talking about the twisted and thorny black heart that every succubus displays under their navel.
The Mistress raised one of her scaled eyebrows.
“Hmmm… That’s… interesting…” The demoness took a moment to think. “This… woman, what’s her name?”
“She goes by Fay.”
“Fay…” The Mistress drummed her fingers on her cheek.
“Tells you anything?”
“Not at all… But… A succubus without the Covenant Sigil… Where does she get her power from?”
“I think she has a Primal Essence inside her.”
The demoness stopped her finger drumming and stood up from the throne. Her dark dragon wings spread wide to the sides from her back while a thick tail twitched around her legs, dancing with grace.
Those fiery magenta eyes pierced through Valyxa’s soul.
“Are you serious?”
Valyxa nodded as well as she trembled.
“And not a usual one.”
“A Primal Essence granting the gift of succubi? Never heard anything like that… Are you sure, Valyxa?”
“I felt it inside her. It has awoken… Reacted to my sounding, it almost burst with a tremendous amount of power.”
The Mistress kept her gaze on Valyxa, now with a straight face. “I see… I want to see this… Fay. Bring her to me.”
“There is more, my Lady. She is a librarian sorceress, I saw her red quill.”
“Now, now…” The demoness brushed one arm over the prominent mounds of her chest. “That is something rather interesting… We might have found a diamond in the rough.” She sat back on the throne, making herself comfortable. “She could be very useful. Now I’m even more interested in meeting her. You know what to do… Anything else?”
“In fact, yes… When I was cleaning the mess that Fay caused when she turned I met someone… A man, dressed in a white coat.”
The Mistress leaned her head over one hand, resting on the stone armpit.
“Joyd Marsyus…” She mentioned. “So you’ve seen the Man in White. What did he tell you?”
“You know him, Mistress?”
“He’s interested in Fay too. Seems like he was looking after her, in an unusual human way I mean. Could be trouble?”
The demoness laughing resounded inside the chamber.
“He’s no man, Valyxa. Just a fool who knows one or two tricks. I’ve dealt with him before. Don’t worry about that, he won’t be a problem.”
“As you say, my Lady.”
“You have your orders.” The Mistress was about to bid farewell with her dark taloned hand when she stopped in the middle of the motion. “It’s been quite a while since you and I had fun, right?”
Valyxa felt a sudden eagerness to give herself into the lecherous curves of her Mistress, the result of her master’s intoxicating scent, a fragrance that could make everyone near horny and hard to resist its effect, even for a full succubus like Valyxa.
Valyxa tried to defy her Mistress with all her willpower but the need she felt was stronger, her Mistress’s power was more intense, nearly impossible to counter.
“I don’t think you’re in a position to reject my offering, Valyxa.” The demoness grinned. “Anyway… You have something to do. I will give your reward when you return with that girl.” Her eyes went over the woman kneeling before her, she had a delightful lewd expression on her face, eager to taste the demon juice one more time. “Till then.”
“As you wish, Mistress.”
Valyxa left her master and her new pet in the midst of joyful moans and pleasure groans. The slurping and sucking sounds were still audible from the far end of the room when she stepped back into the portal for Lumnex.
Fay somehow managed to get in time for her first practice class. She knew she was going to have her first contact with the new job as a sorceress that day but didn’t imagine it would involve physical exercise.
The middle-aged man assigned to her teaching put Fay to do a bunch series of push-ups, crunches, and squats. After the last set, her whole body was bathed in sweat and her limbs hurt with the pain of enforcing all the physical activity she has skipped during the years.
The intense session ended with Fay lying exhausted on the ground, fighting to catch her breath.
“Why do I have to do this…?” Fay complained. “Do not sorcerers rely on magic to do the heavy stuff for them?”
“It is equally important to train both mind and body, Ms. Sadford.” The teacher replied. “When you are out there fighting monsters or helping those in need, there will be times when you couldn’t make use of your spells and will have to rely on your own strength.”
“But is so tiring…”
“And this is why I always tell the Archiver we should enforce exercise on the novices from the very beginning.”
“You make everyone go through this torture? I’ve been told that I was going to do fun stuff.”
“What do you mean? This is fun! Watching all of you suffer when you struggle to get in shape. This makes my day.”
Fay sighed, she didn’t even have the will to reply. Lying on her knees, she observed the spacious room they were in, a vast chamber within walls of stone, ground covered in grass. Beams of natural light entered through a glass dome in the center of the ceiling.
From the outside, Fay would never have imagined that a room so large was part of the library’s basement.
“I thought we were going to learn some spells.”
“There is a time for everything. Look at Ms. Oxorn,” He pointed at the voluptuous blue-haired woman who was walking towards them. “Even with all her duties as Archiver she never misses her daily practicing. That’s dedication, my dear. You should learn from her.”
The teacher made a reverence before the Archiver when she got close enough.
“Nice to see you, Ozzy. I’ve told you need not salute me every time.”
“Manners make a man, Lady Archiver.”
Gwenvyr turned to Fay and lent her a hand to stand up.
“Good day, Fay. Looks like you’ve been greeted with our welcoming party.”
“Yeah… I think I’m gonna break into pieces…”
Gwenvyr chuckled with the innocent comment.
“Let me take over from here. Ozzy, if you don’t mind that I teach the first lessons…”
“As you wish, Lady Archiver.”
Ozzy stepped back but didn’t leave, he stood still just a few meters away, observing the duo in their practice.
“Let’s show you some basics, shall we?”
Gwenvyr drew two different symbols in the air with her quill, the glowing ink floated before her waiting for its master’s command. She pushed forward with her hand towards the magic glyphs, they vanished with her touch, releasing the magic spell hidden in the written words.
A fireball blazed past to the other side of the room where it exploded against a magic barrier, leaving ashes on its trail.
“Woah! That’s cool…”
“Now try yourself.”
“Use the manual we gave you in case you forget the glyphs requested.” Gwenvyr was referring to the light volume Fay received from Ozzy’s hands before starting class. It was titled: ‘Spellbook I: Basic glyphs’ and contained a full list of abstract characters requested to do the simplest magic scripture.
Fay searched for the two symbols corresponding to the words ‘fire’ and ‘ball’ respectively. She scribbled them, imagining a hard board in front of her body. Her red quill shined with every trace given.
When she finished writing she touched the mixed characters, leading to a little explosion of light that showed a tiny flaming ball falling into the ground, vanishing into a sparkle.
“Hm… Well… at least the execution was right…” Gwenvyr commented. “You need to build up your anima.”
“Your inner essence, what connects you with the auryl around you and gives you the power to wield magic.”
“And how do I do that…?”
“Practicing and exercising.”
Fay sighed, she expected that answer.
“Don’t be hard on yourself. It’s normal when you just get started. Another important factor for the type of magic we use here is the calligraphy. We base our spells in the scripture of these symbols, the meaning of the glyphs hold their power and we make use of that trait to release their potential into ideas that came alive with our spells.”
“I-It’s like we are writing things into the world? Changing… reality?”
Gwenvyr shut her eyes for a moment, thinking about those words.
“Kinda. There are limitations, of course. In the end, it all depends on the willpower of the sorcerer and its skill to properly use the tools it has.”
“So I just need to get better.”
“You now understand why we insisted so much in practicing calligraphy during your trial period.”
“And here I thought it was just a requisite for librarians…”
Gwenvyr smiled at her.
“Come on, let’s try something easier.”
The Archiver took a small leaf from one of the trees that were growing in the roofed courtyard and placed it over the palm of her free hand.
Using her quill she wrote two more words which glowed with a green light just before a wind current raised the leaf in the air, sweeping the thin layer on its trail.
“Try that. Wind current.”
Fay searched the words in her manual and wrote them at once, then she pushed the characters towards the leaf.
“Now guide it with your quill, imagine the stream of air in your mind, where do you want it to go.”
Fay did exactly that, grabbing her quill with care, she pointed it up. The leaf swept within the air stream and rose in a spiral motion.
Fay giggled. ‘I am doing magic!’
“That’s right, lead the movement. The wind is yours to command.”
Fay kept playing with the leaf in the wind, watching it soar as she wished for it.
“This is awesome. I can’t wait to try more stuff.”
“Sure my dear, there is much to learn and it can only get better.”
Gwenvyr gently caressed her back.
“Now we could move on to water manipulation…”
The Archiver spent the next hour teaching Fay basic spells and how to improve and twist some details to craft her own spells using what Fay had learned today.
“The only limit is your imagination. As both librarians and sorcerers, we are supposed to be creative people, and that should show in our magic too.”
“Just remember not to use it in public. In this region of the world, magic is not well-known and could bring you trouble if someone finds out. Keep it in secret and practice only when you’re alone, here in these grounds or in your house if you feel in the mood to test the most harmless spells. Just try not to burn anything.”
The Archiver patted Fay on the back before bidding farewell.
“Let’s wind up here and take a rest. Remember what I said, practice is the key to mastery.”
Gwenvyr left the grounds at a swift pace, her long mane of blue hair rippling with the waved motion of her hips.
“You heard the Lady, Ms. Sadford. Now take some earned rest and then carry on with your duties.”
Fay’s clothes were sticky and wet by the physical effort she had endured. She needed a cold shower to clean herself as soon as possible.
After taking a shower to clean her body and changing her clothes, Fay felt a sudden wish to take a walk around the new area of the library that was now accessible to her thanks to her new status as a sorceress.
An entire room filled with bookshelves containing piles and piles of books she had never heard of, essays detailing the use of magic, volumes, and maps recording the history and geography of all the civilizations that inhabited the land before the current Lumnex.
“It’s nothing Fay, just focus.” She thought to recall Valyxa’s words. “That won’t happen again if you stay strong,” Fay said for herself.
After losing track of her steps she ended up in a dead end, a little aisle in the middle of the bookshelves maze. A round table placed in the center and a shelf that went all around it. Fay sensed that force once again, a supernatural string pulled her into the tiny space, inviting her to come in.
Something whispered in an ancient language, Fay ignored it. She was looking for a good read.
Finally, she took an old tome, its cover had blue runes engraved in the black leather. The title of the book caught her attention: ‘The Corruption of the Land’. The runes shined with an ethereal light when she read the title.
She opened it and read the first few lines.
‘In this age of receding magic, few of us know about the existence of mythic creatures. Powerful entities, terrible beasts, immortals, demons and all of those who wield the auryl to change the world as they see fit.’
‘Let me tell you about the most dangerous type of creature to ever put a foot in our beloved land of Zeolsya. I’m talking, of course, about the succubus.’
“Wow! What the hell?” Fay whispered to herself. “What a coincidence… Succubus… that’s what Valyxa said she was…”
She kept reading the book. The words danced, and the sentences rippled when she turned the pages.
‘Succubi are the most dangerous between demons due to their inherent tendency to corrupt everything they touch, especially the flesh of low willed humans. Those weak of heart may find themselves victims of these insidious hunters of the night who are always seeking a mate to pair with, being men or women alike.’
‘Driven by their lust and sexual hunger, many succubi have been responsible for the fall of many kingdoms and decay of society in the past.’
‘When a succubus appears, its corruption extends quickly, infecting other people and corrupting them into demonic creatures like her. If not properly stopped, the corruption spreads quickly, twisting and destroying all that is good and pure in the land.’
“Oh, my… You don’t find these kinds of books in the public area.” Fay mumbled. Completely absorbed by the written words, her mind didn’t realize her own thoughts were betraying her. A text that should make her worry about her own condition… and yet she found it very interesting.
Among the infinite descriptions and warnings about the modus operandi of the creatures the book talked about there were drawings, illustrating demonic entities depicting horns, dragon wings, sharp talons and fangs, long tongues and a usual voluptuous constitution that would make any person aroused just by looking at them. They reminded Fay to those doodles from Valyxa’s.
Fay grinned recalling them. They were so poorly drawn compared to the images she was contemplating now. Instead, these were perfect… so smooth… their anatomy was correct, even their intimates looked great…
‘Enjoying the view?’ Fay read.
Did the book just speak with her?
‘Quite an interesting reading, don’t you think?’ The book turned the page by itself to an empty blank. Blue sparkles tainted the paper, spreading themselves to form letters, words and finally, sentences. ‘It’s been a while since I talked with someone.’
Fay throw the book at the table in instinct. She couldn’t believe it.
“Ok, ok… I know… Magic exists… blah, blah, I shouldn’t be shocked. A talking book? That should be a usual thing, right?”
She moved closer to the table, extended her arm with care till she was about to touch the leather cover. The book suddenly opened itself by the middle, turning its own pages to the same empty one she saw before.
Fay leaned over it and read the words.
She expected something more ominous.
“What are you?”
‘What kind of question is that? I’m a book, are you blind? Gosh… That hurts…’
“Who is your author?”
‘Are you assuming my social status?’
What the hell?
“Who wrote you?”
‘You ask weird questions, miss. I am the one who writes. DON’T YOU SEE? I just know a lot of things.’
“So who are you?”
‘That’s easy! Yes…! I-ah… I’m… I… Who am I…?’
Next to the words, a series of scribbles flowed through the entire page, a chaotic amalgam of dark strings trying to give shape to an idea.
Fay was beginning to lose her patience although there was something funny about all that.
“Who was your first owner?”
‘I can’t remember. It’s been a long time…’
“And your latest?”
‘My last owner abandoned me here thirteen years ago… He was such a jerk, that old man… he didn’t even tell me his name… I think he was afraid or something… What a douche, after all the secrets we shared…’
“For a book with tons of knowledge, you don’t look trustworthy.”
‘Are you hearing yourself, miss? How exactly a trustworthy book looks like?’
“I didn’t mean… Well, whatever…”
‘Look, I… Wow, this is hard… I’m… I-I am sorry… That’s it, I said it, you have it… Let me start over again.’
“Go ahead.” Fay crossed her arms. Her mind decided to abandon the realm of logic.
‘I’ve called you here because you were seeking knowledge and that’s my specialty.’
“But I was just-”
‘Perhaps you didn’t realize consciously but your gut was yelling for answers. I sensed it, you wish to know about succubi because you fear you could be one.’
“I-I… that’s not…” Damn, it was right. Deep inside she knew it.
‘… so I provided you with the official understanding of the “succubus threat” among the magic users. If you want to know more, though, I’m going to ask for something in return.’
“I wonder what it can be.”
‘Nothing lewd, I assure you. I’ll tell you one thing, miss, I’m no ordinary book.’
‘I’m a grimoire… gosh I love that word… It fills my imaginary mouth with it… Grimoire, grimoire… GRIMOIRE!’ The page darkened with the innumerable repetitions of the word, covering the blank spaces with shining blue ink. ‘Don’t look so puzzled, you would feel the same in my position.’
“So tell me grimoire, what were you about to ask?” Did she really consider listening to its offer? Fay knew she was playing with dark powers here, but something inside pushed her to play along, maybe it was simple curiosity, maybe it was something more, something… exciting.
‘I am a vessel of knowledge. My purpose is to accumulate all the knowledge I can fit, and for your information, I have an immense storage, a lot more than the three hundred pages you see here.’
“For some reason, I think you don’t belong to this library, so someone must have hidden you in here.”
‘Who cares? What matters here is what I can offer you. I will let you consult everything in my records if you give me a name and take me whenever you go.’
“A-A name?” Fay didn’t understand. “How’s that gonna help?”
‘Names give power to things, just as knowledge, for I have plenty. So tell me, do you wish to take this unique chance?’
“What kind of knowledge?”
‘All kinds. From history records to mighty forgotten and “forbidden” spells… Every bit of product made by the human imagination and ingenuity for you to use as you see fit.’
The truth, it sounded quite interesting, having all that forbidden knowledge at her disposal. It was tempting… A piece of Fay’s mind knew it was wrong, that easy chances never brought good outcomes, however…
A deep dark sentiment rooted in her consciousness and took over her logical reasoning. Fay grinned with malice.
“Suppose I accept your offer… What else states your fine print?”
‘Hah, clever gal… You compromise yourself to provide me with a proper body that I may use in the future when I demand it, be it organic or crafted. Don’t worry, it won’t be yours… as long as you don’t want to.’
‘That’s all. You can check these conditions in the last page if you still are unsure.’
Fay turned the whole set of pages till she got to the last one. After a quick glance to catch all the information, a trait she gained after years of book reading, she decided that everything looked in order.
“Fine, let’s do this, grimoire.”
‘Good, good, now you only need to give me a proper name. Something epic, worth remembering.’
“Does not your title make you have a name already?”
‘That was just a catchphrase to hook you.’
Fay took a minute to think about the perfect name.
“What about ‘Edgy’? It suits you.”
‘Hey! No deal! This was a bad idea… Forget it!’
“See? It’s perfect.” Fay joked trying to contain her laughter.
The grimoire rattled in its place. A series of unintelligible symbols appeared on the paper, made with vague and rushed strokes, clearly stating anger.
“Ok, ok… I’m gonna call you Edge, as you’re gonna be my source of power, my weapon…”
What was happening to her? Fay found hard to believe she was saying those words, when did she…?
‘Edge? Hmm… Yeh, sounds good… I can imagine some fine uses for this name. I’ll take it. Now if you please… Write my new name on the cover.’
‘As a sorceress, I assume you have in your possession one of those neat-looking quills.’
“Sure.” Fay took her quill from her bag. The dark spikes on the far end tingled with her touch. Turning the book to its front, Fay swiped her hand across the leather surface, it was soft to the touch.
As soon as Fay finished engraving the symbols in the leather, they twitched along their length, changing shape. Both the ‘e’ characters moved by themselves, spinning around, looking at everything they had close until they finally settled on Fay’s prominent chest, then slowly raised their gaze into her eyes.
“Wow, so you’re a nice looking lady.” The middle characters of the grimoire’s name joined themselves to create a nose and a mouth that was now speaking to her with an audible sharp voice.
“And now you’re a really talking book, huh.”
“If you don’t mind adding your own name to the lower section of the cover, that will seal our agreement.”
She did as the grimoire asked. ‘Fayress Sadford, current owner.’
“Fayress… What a peculiar name. Fay… Do you mind if I call you Fay?”
“Be my guest.” Grinned Fay. Her eyes shined with a blue light for a brief moment.
“You won’t regret this, Fay. There is so much you can learn from me and I’m eager to get out there to learn more myself.”
“What about all the knowledge stored in this library? I may understand why you’re in a place like this.”
“I have dried up all the useful information I could take from here so many years ago. Now I’m thirsty for more and that’s what you’re gonna help me with. You can learn from me and I can learn through you… See? It’s a symbiotic relation we have, just beautiful…”
“For your own sake, you better have something useful for me.” Fay surprised herself by her menacing tone, she never said anything like that in her life.
“You will be pleased with my extensive pool of information.”
“Then tell me more about the succubus,” Fay demanded.
“As you wish, master. Do you prefer to read or shall I recite it for you?”
“Just show me.”
Edge opened itself and began printing words into the paper accompanied by drawings of demonic and angelic beings, battling each other in the middle of huge battlefields.
‘As far as everything that was written before was the propaganda of paranoid and delusional close-minded individuals of the past, succubi are indeed among the most powerful and threatening beings in the world. Their ability to turn others into their own granted them a tactical advantage only shadowed with their infinite lust.’
‘A trait that was manifested during the dark days of the Grand Magic War, when the Lilin Onslaught almost covered the entire land in shadow. As long as demons, celestials, humans, machines and colossal beasts clashed with each other in the battlefield, the succubi corrupted and twisted everything in its way, using their own enemies weapons against them.’
“Who was the first succubus?”
‘Records talk about a woman named Erisvel who was the first to be granted the Covenant Sigil from the High Mistress herself: Lilith the Enchantress, desire incarnate.’
‘It’s ironic how all demonkind and other auryle creatures owe so much to Lilith and her succubi, yet they are feared to the point of being hated by almost any aurylei.’
“What happened to Lilith and the ancient succubi?”
‘They were pursued and hunted down after the war came to an end. The largest purge the world have ever seen. An alliance rose from the ashes of Zeolsya to cleanse the land from corruption and destroy every trace of the succubus taint. It was a slaughter, even more vicious than the ones seen across the land during the war. Every man and woman who was suspected of carrying the lilin legacy on them were prosecuted and executed. It was a witch hunt.’
“But some succubi survived, right?”
“Life always finds a way.” Edge spoke. “Someone said those words, somewhere in the past.”
‘The surviving succubi spread out and hid in places they couldn’t be found, trying to stay alive, waiting for their chance to return someday. Many fell into traps made specifically to catch them, others just vanished to never be heard of again.’
Fay found hard to believe everything she was reading really happened in the world. This story sounded like a tale taken from those fantasy books, but on the other hand… She has seen demons with her own eyes…
“What happened to Lilith?”
Fay kept on asking Edge questions and reading all the information that she found interesting. Hours passed by without notice and her break time had long come to an end.
“Who are you talking to, Fay?”
She startled on the chair she was sitting. The voice came from behind, the unmistakable tone of her friend Deborah. The grimoire closed itself with a silent and swift motion.
Fay turned back to face her friend.
“H-Hey! I-I… I was just reading out loud…” She said the first thing that came out of her mind. “What are you doing here…?”
“I was looking for you, actually.” Deborah looked cheerful, she suspected nothing. “I’m surprised you found this place.”
“You’ve been here?”
The young redhead woman moved closer to Fay and leaned over her, placing one hand over her shoulder to rest her weight on Fay.
“Many times, when I’ve needed a quiet place for me and my thoughts or to study without interruptions. It’s been a while since last time, though… So what were you reading?”
Deborah took a quick glance at the cover of the book Fay had in front of her. The black haired woman closed her eyes in resignation.
‘That’s it, I’m busted, it’s over…’
“Records of the Ancient World. Kind of heavy reading, don’t you think?”
“I-ah… W-What?” Fay checked the cover on the grimoire she had just given a name. Written in blue ink were the exact same words Deborah mentioned. Could Edge do that too? “Eh… Yeah… W-Well, what can I say…? History has always been something that I liked so…”
“Huh, you little bookworm.” Deborah’s freckled cheeks got full when she grinned, teasing Fay. Her perfect round nose tingled with her chuckles.
Fay lost herself in the sight of those blinking emerald eyes. Deborah was… so pretty… She always was…
“Well, well, Fay… I gotta ask… How did last night go? Did you… hit that beast? Grrr…”
“Attagirl! I knew it! How did it-?”
Fay moved her gaze away from Deborah’s eyes. Her cheeks became so red they looked like apples in autumn.
“I don’t want to talk about it…”
“Hey! There is nothing wrong in having a little talk about… Well, you know…” Deborah drew some graphic obscene gestures with her hands.
“Joyd told me that Shakron was very pleased.” Deborah raised her eyebrows up and down, biting her lip. “You must’ve given him a hell of a night.”
‘If you only know, Deb…’ Fay talked in her mind. “I… please… I don’t feel in the mood to talk about it…”
“Ok, ok, I won’t insist… Besides, we have work to do.” Deborah stepped away and signed Fay to follow her. “But don’t you think you will get away from this.”
Fay grabbed her bag and walked behind Deborah, following her friend back to the upper levels of the library.
“And what about Joyd… Did you…?”
Deborah looked back at Fay and grinned viciously.
“Hah, hah… you scamp… But nay, this night we didn’t feel in the mood, you know…?”
“Too bad, y-you looked… very close at the pub…”
“Yeah, well… I’ve already tasted that fruit anyway… You should try it someday…” Deborah stuck out her tongue.
“Oh, stop it, Deb!”
Fay laughed when her friend tried to tease her.
Silence reigned once again over the solitude aisle in the middle of the bookshelf jungle. The round surface of the table lied empty.
Despite her promotion as a sorceress, Fay still had to take care of her duties as a librarian, just like Deborah. She spent the rest of her work day gathering the books that people left behind and putting them in their respective places, ordering the shelves and checking the lend out registries.
The Red Quill Library was the largest one in Lumnex and received many visitors every day besides the constant collaborations and projects it promoted with local investigation societies. As a center of cultural and intellectual sharing, the library was always a crowded place.
The success and reputation of the library were such that Gwenvyr Oxorn even proposed opening a little bookstore and a coffee shop in one of the most recently built wings. The Archiver’s suggestion was welcomed with open arms and now the Red Quill Library fancied on its popularity.
Deborah had made some of her turns working as a waitress in the library’s cafe, inviting Fay to do the same every time but Fay never felt in the mood to join.
Deborah has been always so open and receptive to people, she really enjoyed working directly with the public.
Fay, instead, was fonder of working alone, away from the constant noise of endless voices, where she can be herself, like now. Absorbed deeply into her work, she found a sense of satisfaction in her organizing tasks; they made her feel like she had even a remote part of her life under control, that not everything was a huge mess like everything has always been.
The closing time was nearly over as the building started getting empty of souls. Fay grabbed her things and headed out when the hour finally came. She exited the building by the coffee shop to check on Deborah before leaving.
“Hey, Fay!” Deborah wore a tight apron, her generous bosom squeezing forward the white fabric. She had a silver tray on one hand and a half-empty glass of beer on the other. “Can’t walk home with you today. Sergeant Tightboots has me cleaning the place after closing…”
“Wonder if that has something to do with your punishment.” Fay pointed at the beer her friend was holding. “Drinking at work again, Deb?” She shook her head, disapproving.
“You know me… I can’t help but have one sip now and then…”
“You have no remedy, Deb…”
“Don’t look at me like that…” Deborah lowered her eyebrows, trying to make an innocent look.
“That won’t work on me.”
‘But damn, she looks cute.’
“And won’t work on the Sergeant either…”
Deborah joked constantly about Sergeant Tightboots, the man who ran the library’s cafe. Deborah made up that nickname the first day she began working after she realized the peculiar footwear he had, something that didn’t match well with the rest of his working outfit.
The joke spread quickly among the waiters and it didn’t take long to reach Sergeant’s ears. Since then, Tightboots had Deborah under his watchful eye and has taken every opportunity to avenge the offense.
“Well, see you later at the pub, maybe?”
Fay wasn’t sure if she wanted to see Shakron again. She didn’t felt precisely thrilled with the idea of confronting a man who could have been killed by her own hands… And there was the fact that he was a demon too.
“I don’t know… We’ll see. Bye, Deb.”
Deborah followed Fay’s departure with her eyes.
‘Hmm… Something’s not right. You look different somehow, Fay.’
“Hey! Back to work, Ms. Naver!” Sergeant Tightboots snapped Deborah out of her self-absorption.
“Yeh, yeh, I’m coming…”
Deborah would find out what troubled Fay. She was her pupil, after all, it was her responsibility and duty as a friend too.
Fay was walking down the street after leaving the Red Quill Library, she didn’t even make it to the first corner when she heard the voice of a woman she had met before.
“Come here.” The pink-haired woman took Fay’s hand and pull her to the side of the road, taking her through a narrow alley. “I’ve been waiting for ages for you to come out.”
“V-Valyxa? What’s the meaning of this? What are you doing?”
Valyxa fixed her golden eyes on hers, they struggled to keep still.
“My Mistress wants to see you.”
“Oh…! Wait! What? Who’s that?”
“Someone you don’t want to keep waiting.”
“Should I be afraid?”
Without further explanations and showing a serious demeanor, Valyxa made her magic to create a dark oval against the wall. Taking Fay by the arm and ignoring her grumbling, Valyxa dragged the librarian through the portal and disappeared into the darkness.
A white feather fell from the sky when the small bird of the same color flapped its wings to rise into the air.
The lonely feather swept with the wind and made its way to the ground next to the golden auryl sparkles spread by the vanishing of the magic portal.
“I see…” Said a distant Joyd, far away, in a place that could’ve been a huge factory in times of glory, the metallic sounds of machinery replaced by a forbidding silence. He was amazed by the ancient technology he had just found, or probably was something else what caught his attention… “Very interesting.”