Story:Holy Opposites Chapter 39
Chapter Thirty Nine:
I drifted aimlessly through a deep, shifting dream. This was no hateful illusion of Asmodeus, I could tell at once; for starters, I was in control. I felt myself move through skeins of smoke and darkness, until all around me was a faint, white mist. I heard the presence of others behind me, and I turned to see five similar ethereal shapes – the others from our party.
A warm voice spoke softly through the mist. “You’re all here, good. I can’t speak to you all in visions at once, but I want you to hear me.”
“Lady Ryaire,” Doshellas breathed.
“Yes, my friend. The service you have done me and your city is incomparable,” Ryaire told us all. “You have earned my gratitude. I would have you all name a boon that I may enact, for succeeding in saving the lives of hundreds of innocents, and preventing the opening of a planar gate. If it is within my power to grant, I shall.”
Luanea acted first. “I thank you, your Ladyship,” she said reverently. “I would ask only that you watch my husband’s footsteps in the Night Below as he struggles to escape the rage of the demons.”
“It is done.”
Kyria was quiet. She slowly shook her head. “This is… a lot to take in. May I ask later, please? I want to consider my options.”
“As you wish. I shall return to your dreams in one week’s time. Sir Embersson?”
Suivi swallowed. “I… I don’t know either. May I postpone, too?”
“Very well. Doshellas?”
The ranger nodded. “I want a map.”
“A perfect map, of the city, the woods beyond it, the rivers, the ocean, the islands, Skullport. I want to have a map any hunter on Toril would give their teeth to have. Your Ladyship,” he added.
“And you shall. Axio?”
Her great-grandson looked off into the mists. “A list of the names of every child involved in this entire affair, and their addresses. I want to be able to give their families closure.”
“Ever selfless. Done. Cavria?”
“Can you make me something other than a Fiend?” I asked.
“Sadly, I cannot. I am denied the power of the Greater Gods, who may will their own power into the world and shift flesh and blood as that would require,” Ryaire said. “Ask me something else, my dear.”
“Then… I want to…” I hesitated. No. No, that was too selfish. “I want to have the names and locations of each of my sisters from the High Succubus prototype batch.”
“You wish to track your ersatz siblings, then?”
“Asmodeus says he already turned them loose in the world. I want to stop them from raping and killing their way across Toril,” I said firmly.
“I see. I will warn you now; Asmodeus has shielded some from my sight, but not all. Nor can I tell you where their Queen is,” Ryaire cautioned. “She is a part of Hell’s inner court, and I have no power there.”
“I’ll find her,” I said.
“So I trust. When you wake, you will know.” Her voice lightened. “Now, my children, sleep well. Awake refreshed and healed. The world shall greet you as heroes, for what you’ve done.”
“Thank you, my Lady,” Axio said, and we all chimed in. “This is an unbelievable honor.”
“No, this is fair payment for your efforts. Rest, and rise anew. Know that I love you all.”
Axio and I opened our eyes at once, the next morning. Neither of us had moved an inch overnight, it seemed, and from the way we immediately looked at each other, I knew he remembered his vision too.
I immediately punched his shoulder. “Of course you wished for more burdens to shoulder,” I said despairingly. “I would have been shocked if you hadn’t!”
He smiled ruefully. He turned to the bedside table and picked up two parchments. “I suppose we both did. Here, here’s your list.”
I took it and looked it over. Sure enough, there were thirty-nine entries on a list, with far too many question marks for my liking. “This is a lifelong mission, I’m sure,” I said. “You know, I’m not scared. I’m looking forward to this.”
“Anybody who does what my vision showed and actually enjoys it is pure evil. Yes, Axio, I’m going to find these monsters, and I look forward to the challenge.” I clenched a fist and tapped it on the bed. “What about you?”
“I have letters to write,” he said. “This list runs to thousands of homes.”
I stood from the bed and slid into my robe again. “Well. I should get started, I suppose.”
“You’re leaving the city?” he asked.
“Not right away. I’m going to take a while, train, get my things repaired, bank my share of the treasure,” she said. “But after that? You bet.”
He nodded. “And I’ll be with you.”
I leaned over the bed and kissed him. “Of course you will, no matter how many times I tell you to stay.”
“Your work’s as noble as any, and I couldn’t send you off alone,” he said, blushing.
“I know, Axio, I was kidding.” I looked at myself in the mirror and sighed. “Going around the city without my amulet is going to be difficult, but until I get a new one, I imagine I won’t have a choice.”
He stood beside me and wrapped his arm around my midsection. “Good thing we got all that treasure,” he pointed out. “That could easily cover the costs.”
“Yep.” I leaned sideways against his head and looked at our image in the mirror. We made quite a pair, him and me. The angel who wasn’t and the fiend who shouldn’t have been. My red pinprick eyes and his glittering gemstones, my blood skin and his snowy paleness.
“We’re a fine team,” he said, and I smiled in contentment.
“Yes, we are.” I returned his one-armed hug. “Yes, we certainly are.”
|The tale of the Holy Opposites ||
|Arc 1: | Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 |
Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10
|Arc 2: | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |
Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19 | Chapter 20
Chapter 21 | Chapter 22 | Chapter 23 | Chapter 24 | Chapter 25
|Arc 3: | Chapter 26 | Chapter 27 | Chapter 28 | Chapter 29 | Chapter 30|
|Arc 4: | Chapter 31 | Chapter 32 | Chapter 33 | Chapter 34 | Chapter 35 |
Chapter 36 | Chapter 37 | Chapter 38 | Chapter 39 | Glossary