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I sat on the steps of the great cathedral of the city of Snowwall staring at my armored hand as the sunset started to dye the city red. It used to hold so much but now seemed so empty. Clenching my fist I wished that I could throttle the fate that had led me to this point. Looking out over the city my thoughts went back to how I ended up here, how I became a hero of the Order.

My name is Julian Jannsen and I grew up in Zhyren City in the northern parts of the Rhinsefeldt Kingdom. Along with my childhood friend Frida Akisdottir we were the enforcers of the town. Those were good times busting petty criminals and con artists. And then it all fell apart in spectacular fashion in one day.

While we were the law in the town our jurisdiction actually extended quite a bit further. After all we were the only city for many leagues so sometimes we were called out to the outlying settlements for help. That day I had been called to the old Englson farm to deal with some vagrants that were bothering the owners. A good thrashing sent them on their way, and I leisurely walked backed towards town. However, as soon as I saw it I knew something was up. There should not be that much smoke coming from the town at this time of day. My stroll broke into a run. And then I came across my childhood friend Estrid slowly walking away from the town in a daze.

She looked up at me relief parting the clouds on her face. “Oh Chief God it’s you Julian. I knew you weren’t in the city because of my scrying, but still it’s so good to see that you’re all right.” She ran up to me and started to cry, her tears staining my leather armor and her priestess dress. While I would love for her to get it all out of her system something was up and I had work to do.

“Estrid” I said taking a knee so I could look into her eyes. “I know something horrible happened. Please tell me so I can go fix it.

Sniff “That, that’s impossible. Everyone has already fallen. Our wonderful city is nothing more than a demon realm now.”

It felt as if a cold had grabbed my heart, to think of losing everyone. Still I was a professional.

“It doesn’t matter. We need to meet up with Frida and save who we can.”

“WHO DO YOU THINK DID THIS?” She screamed with a hint of madness in her voice. She pointed with an accusing finger toward the burning city. “Your beloved Frida was the one that doomed them all. That BITCH got corrupted and cut everyone down. It’s her fault that we no longer have a home.”

My legs felt like jelly and my head spun. “That, that’s not possible. Frida would never…”

Estrid shut my mouth by placing a finger over my lips. “I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. The Frida that we knew no longer exists. Her soul was consumed by that accursed sword of hers. It drove her to madness and caused her to corrupt the rest of the city.” She looked at me sadly. “She cut them all with the blade turning them into monsters. She tried to cut me down too, and would have if it weren’t for the barrier.”

“Isn’t there anything we can do? Is there no way we can save her?”

Estrid buried her face into my chest as if she was ashamed to look me in the eye. “No. Once you become a monster that’s it. The best we can do is to keep her sealed in the barrier until the heroes can come and put her out of her misery. I didn’t want it to come to this. She’s my friend too you know.”

I stood there for a moment stunned. The immensity of what had happened hit me like an avalanche. Then a thought wormed its way into my head.

“No I can’t let them do that.”

“Julian there’s nothing you can do. You can’t save her!”

“Then at least let me take care of her and not some stranger! It’s the least we can do.”

“And how are you going to do that?” She said poking me in the chest. “You couldn’t even beat her when she was human. They get stronger when they become monsters ya’know.”

“Then I’ll train, I’ll get stronger. I’ll even become a hero if that’s what it takes just let me be the one to do it. I just can’t stand the thought of some callous stranger killing her.” I ran my fingers through her soft golden hair and gave her my best pleading look.

“Fine” She sighed. “I can keep the barrier up around the town indefinitely to buy time for you to train, but I won’t wait forever. Promise me one thing though. No matter the situation, no matter how hard it is that you will come back to me. I have lost too many friends already.”

I gently smiled at her “Of course Estrid.”

††††

Estrid was as good as her word, using her magic and position in the church to essentially make Zhyren City disappear. I used this time to train to become a hero capable of defeating a cursed sword. In the Order Territories there are two types of heroes. There are the Divine Hero’s, those that receive the blessing of the Gods. They receive a holy Valkyrie to train them and receive all sorts of powers through their link with their god. Then there are the Base Hero’s. These are people who train their butts off so they could be stronger than any human or monster. Then once they have proved themselves against the forces of darkness they would be awarded hero status from their king.

Of course it would have been far too easy if I had been a Divine Hero. So I sweated and bled through training that would have killed most people. After all, for every mile ran, every boulder I lifted, every foe defeated brought me closer to ending the torment of my best friend. This eventually led to me being crowned a hero, but it took time, precious time. Before I knew it ten years had passed leading to me sitting now melancholy looking out from the cathedral hill.

In the ever lengthening shadows I noticed a figure making its way in the direction of the cathedral. Even at this distance I could tell that it was Estrid, her golden locks giving her away. Since the debacle at Zhyren City Estrid steadily rose in the ranks until she was the Bishopess of Winterwall. This was one of the highest level positions in the church controlling the faithful n the entire northern reaches of the kingdom. Even with her busy schedule she always seemed to find time for me. Sometimes she would cheer me on in training or welcome me back from a mission. Being the Bishopess’ knight also helped to smooth things over in court and she funded most of my arms and armor. She was basically my pillar of support especially now that Frida was …

While it would not be unusual for Estrid to go to her cathedral I had the feeling that she was looking for something else. “Yo Estrid!” Her face lit up when she heard my yell and gave a little smile.

“Just the person I was looking for. Congratulations on completing your last mission. I hear it was rather difficult.”

“Yeah. Had a bit of trouble but managed to make it through. Your plate mail really came through for me.” I pounded my breastplate with my gauntleted hand. “I was looking to talk to you as well Estrid. I think that it’s time we go back to Zhyren City and take care of our unfinished business.”

Her face instantly fell. It was like I had just informed her that her puppy had died. “No-no it’s not. I said we could go when you’re ready. It’s full of strong monsters and I don’t think...”

“Estrid!” I grabbed her by her shoulders and shook her. “Look at me. It’s been a year since I finally became declared a hero. I won the national swordsmanship competition. I regularly fight the strongest monsters. Heck the last mission had me take out ten Redcaps. TEN! And you know how nasty those buggers are. I am as ready as I am ever going to be.”

Estrid stared at her shoes. “Why do you have to do this? She’s gone you know? Your, our friend is never going to come back. There is nothing you can do for her.”

“But there is Estrid. I can end her madness. I can finally let her rest. As her partner it’s the least I can do. Please I have to do this, for her as well as for me. If you don’t let me I can always find another mage to break the barrier, but I don’t want to. Please Estrid.”

As she looked up I could tell there were tears forming in her eyes. “Fine.” Sniff “You always were stubborn with the stupidest things. But you must promise me one thing: that you will come back. I have lost too much to Frida, I don’t want to lose you too.”

“Of course Estrid.” I embraced her small body and we sat there a while in the light of the setting sun.

After a week of preparation and getting Estrids affairs in order we set out for our hometown. While she was rather depressed about the whole affair I couldn’t be happier. Finally, finally I was going to put this to rest and get to move on. Our trip was fairly uneventful with only a few monster attacks that I easily fended off. In order to move fast and not let the world know what had befallen Zhyren we kept our party small. It was just Estrid, two trusted priests, and myself. The only reason why we included outsiders in this mission was to act as magic batteries for Estrid to raise and lower the barrier. Our protection was totally up to me as the resident hero.

The road to town was overgrown, but still quite visible and the barrier could be seen on the ground as a small gap in the vegetation. Estrid turned to me, looked up into my eyes, and gripped my shoulders. “Good luck. We will take the barrier down for a couple minutes to let you through. If you are not back in three days we will assume that you have failed and we will have to get outside help to purge the town. Remember: Stay safe and you can’t save her.”

I gave her arm a reassuring squeeze. “Of course.”

“Then go do what you have to do!” Estrid said and faced the doomed town with the priests putting their hands on her back. They chanted in the sing-song old holy language an aura of light forming around their bodies. When they had reached the climax Estrid yelled and pointed at the barrier. A wave of glowing particles formed at her focus and rippled across the surface of the dome its auroral light shimmering in the morning mist.

I took off running trying to get inside as quick as I could so no monsters would escape and I could avoid those curious at the sudden light show. Thankfully the barrier was cast a little way from the city walls so there was a swath of forest I could hide in. There was no way I could achieve my objective fighting my way through a city full of demons. As these monsters would all be old friends of mine it increased the odiousness of trying to fight them.

I made my way around the western wall to the sunset gate. Of course no one had bothered to man it with the barrier outside. I snuck a glance at the city. It look exactly as I had remembered it, the only difference being the number of succubuses wandering around. Staring at my hometown I wondered how I would find Frida. Apparently, I was too focused on the threat of the town to find the problem at my feet.

“Hey mister!”

I nearly yelled out, but my training as a hero served me well. Slowly turning around I found a little girl had snuck up on me. She was a cute little thing with long brown hair and a frilly black dress, but she was obviously a succubus. Her horns and a tail gave that away. “Mister are you from outside? I don’t remember you.”

“Maybe.” I reached into my bag of supplies and took out a piece of candy. “Would you like a honey drop? There really good.”

She snatched it out of my hand and popped it into her mouth. Her face lit up completely. Poor thing, probably growing up in the barrier this is the first time she’s had something sweet. It took her three minutes to finish it showing various expressions of delight the entire time.

“Mister that was AMAZING! Can I have some more?”

“That depends. You might be able to help me. Do you know where a person called Frida is? She has dark hair and uses a red and black sword.”

“Hmmm. That’s probably the scary lady with big boobs and long hair. We play with her all the time. We tease her until she wakes up and see how far we can run away before she stabs us and makes us go all tingly. My furthest was ten paces.” She flashed a little victory sign and beamed at her accomplishment.

“Well if you can tell me where this ‘scary lady’ is I would be more than happy to give you a whole handful of candies.” At the mere mention of a reward you could see the child start to drool.

“She sleeps in the graveyard on the hill. Look for the largest one and she will be sleeping in front of it. More please!” She cupped her hands and thrust them towards me. I brought the bag down but before I gave them to her I paused.

“One last thing, and this is important. You must tell no one and I mean NO ONE about me. If you are a good girl and keep your promise then in three days I will give you the rest of the candy in this bag.” Her small eyes went big and round at the promise of an even greater reward. “Can you keep a promise?”

“Yes, yes, yes!” I dumped a handful of the candies into her hands and she dashed off with her prize. Before she got too far I did have one final question for her. “Hey how old are you?”

“Alva is nine years old! Good luck with your girlfriend!” With a little wave she disappeared. That means that she was born shortly after the town was converted into a demon realm. While a part of me wondered whose child she was, I quickly shoved that to the bottom of my consciousness. After all I had bigger issues to worry about.

I made my way to the cemetery skirting through the backroads and alleys of the town. Thankfully being a former member of the city’s law enforcement made this rather easy. Fighting back my last bit of my anxiety I climbed through the monuments of my ancestors and there at the top right where the little girl said, Frida sat.

My breath failed me. Frida had not seemed to age a day over these past ten years. If anything she resembled nothing more than a statue made by one of the greatest sculptors then a person, all smooth curves and fairest skin. The only thing to mar her was the black crystals that seemed to radiate from the black and red sword gripped in her right hand. These crystals had completely consumed her right sword arm and swirled through the rest of her body like streaks through marble. This was actually quite a good thing because it managed to protect her modesty, although just barely. The clothes that she had been wearing, the city guard uniform that she had been so proud of, had long ago rotted away leaving only a few tattered pieces behind.

I hardly dared breathe. It felt like if I just stayed still that Frida would be the same as she always was. That if I didn’t violate the tranquility of the scene everything would be all right. Then she opened her eyes.

Blood red, glowing as if coals plucked from the deepest of hells eyes stared at me. Then a jagged smile cut across her face as she recognized who stood before her. Any delusions that Frida was still human and we could go back to the old days was blown from my mind. I shifted to a defensive posture and gabbed the hilt of my sword.

“hUMan jUliAn yOu cAMe fOr mE! huMANs aRe sOOo NIce fEEEEl soOo g00d To cUt. lEt ME cUt yoU!” With that she flung herself towards me with the force of a raging storm. Had I been the old me I would have lost instantly, but ten years of facing off against some of the nastiest monsters had given me the skills needed to avoid her blow. It wasn’t easy though. Cursed swords can transform even the meekest girl into an avid fighter and Frida was a master swordsman to begin with.

“hEEhEEEhEE whAT Is WROng JUiaN? Let me cuT yOu, pIErce yoU. i pROmiSe iT wILl fEEl gOOd!”

“Shut up YOU DEMON!” I met her flashing sword directly in a parry. This was not a good idea and I should have known better. I could feel the impact numb my arms but my anger dulled the sensation. How had it come to this? Frida was the nicest, best person that I knew. To see her in a frenzy of destruction was disheartening.

Our swords clashed throwing sparks. Moving my sword a little I redirected her force to the side. Taking another direct hit would be foolhardy due to the difference in strength. Thankfully, this was easier than it had any right to be. While Frida did have the strength and stamina of a monster and all the experience of a swordswoman it was totally being wasted. She still retained enough of her original mind to pull off all of the sword techniques, but her madness threw any strategy out of the window. Her moves were a set of uncoordinated slashes so it was easy to force her back. After fighting the worst the hordes of the Demon Lord had to throw at me it was almost easy. Almost.

We danced together, back and forth missed strikes hitting the headstones blasting them into dust. Frida never managed to hit me while I landed a few strikes on her, but nothing major. It was clear I had the upper hand but for some reason I never could land a clean strike. Every time I went in for a major strike something made me stay my hand. It became increasingly more frustrating to see myself destroy the blows I had to work hard to get. Why, why wouldn’t I let myself kill this monster? I had many others before. Then it hit me. I was in love with her.

Even with Frida as a drooling mad monster I couldn’t forget the Frida that was before. The Frida that would always carry candy so she could give it to children, the Frida that was always bright and cheerful no matter what the weather or how nasty the task at hand, the Frida that was always kicking my butt at swordplay. Ok so that last one wasn’t a happy memory, but still I couldn’t get her out of my mind. There was no way that I could harm her. Shame it took this long to figure that out. With my newfound resolve there was only one thing to do. It worked in fairy tales, I just hoped it would be effective in real life.

On Frida’s next strike I allowed my guard to drop. As expected her blade plunged deep into my chest. It felt like there was a huge hole that had been gouged into my chest and that my insides were gushing on to the ground. However, I could not let myself fall just yet. I took a step forward pushing myself further up her blade each step feeling like lead. “Frida!” I tried to yell, but it came out as a horse whisper. I lunged forward letting my weight carry me straight to the hilt and embracing her pressed my lips against hers. No sooner had I done so then the world faded to black.

Intermission – Frida

There seemed to be a haze over my mind. Try as I might I could not think of anything, so I let myself just be carried along by the flow. For the longest time it seemed as if time stood still as I sat there waiting. Waiting for what, I wasn’t sure. I just knew that something eventually would have to happen. Then a familiar prescience came to me. Even in this state I could tell that it was Julian. I was so glad to see him! I had been so lonely and cold without him. “lEt ME cUt yoU!” The voice pierced through me. It’s Julian. Why would I ever want to cut him? If it wasn’t for the fact that it was said in my own voice I would have thought it to be a strangers, it sounded so odd. Anyway I can’t let anything harm him! I fought and fought against the fog, but was unable to do anything. Then I had a pleasant sensation form on my lips and the fog melted away.

“Julian?” My voice cracked as if it hadn’t been used in years. He was right there in front of me his face a bit more worn yet quite rugged and handsome. He was dressed in the armor of an Order hero and … oh my god my sword sticking INTO HIS CHEST!

I let go of the hilt and Julian’s body collapsed into a heap. Rushing to his side I found that his vitals were especially weak. “No, no, no, NO! We just got reunited. How can this happen? Please Chief God I know that I am corrupt and beyond saving, but not Julian. Please, please don’t let him die!” I couldn’t help myself and started sobbing, my tears falling like rain.

Julian

Surprisingly my body felt all fuzzy and warm as I slowly regained consciousness. It would even be rather pleasant if it weren’t for the fact that someone was sobbing nearby. I opened my eyes to find Frida hovering over me her cute face marred by the streams of tears and snot running along it. “Hey Frida.” I croaked while raising my hand to caress her cheek. “How’s it going?”

“Julian, JUILAN! You’re ALIVE!!!!!” She launched at me tackling me in a vise like hug. It was so tight I could feel my bones creaking.

“Frida let me breathe.” She instantly let go and backed off a bit. “Nice to see that you’re back.”

“It’s so good to see you too Julian. How are you alive though? I stabbed you through the heart.”

“Silly goose.” I gave her a playful chop to the forehead. “Did you forget that your demon sword can’t kill anyone?” and from the bright red she turned I could see that she had. Typical Frida. “How did you manage to come back anyway?”

“I don’t know. You were just there and the fog just lifted from my mind. Although it hasn’t gone completely. I can feel it gnawing on the edges of my mind. To get rid of it I am afraid you are going to have to use your sword to subjugate me.”

“NO!” I grabbed her shoulders and shook her. “No. I don’t want to hurt you. I can’t hurt you.”

For some reason Frida flushed and even deeper red and started to nervously play with her fingers. “W-well I am g-glad that you don’t want to hurt me, but I h-hear that it’s only painful in the beginning. After that it becomes rather fun. Besides I don’t mind if it’s you Julian. Please hit me with your sword.”

God she’s so cute! Although I couldn’t take the stare that she was giving me. While I was loathe to hurt her if that’s what she needs then that is what I am going to do. I slowly reached for my sword which had fallen nearby but Frida jumped on my arm.

“Wait, what the heck are you doing Julian?”

“You wanted me to subjugate you so I was getting my sword.”

“Now who’s being a silly goose?” She gave me a playful flick to the forehead. “Just like I have a sword that is part of my body you have one too. I need you to subjugate me with your body-sword.”

What the heck is she … My thoughts were interrupted by Frida planting a long deep kiss on me. Our lounges intertwined as if they were dancing and for a moment my entire world was her. After too brief a time we separated a thin thread of saliva connecting our lips and glistening in the light. Oh, I get it. She was talking about THAT sword. I couldn’t help but feel a huge smile spread across my face. Now that’s one subjugation I can get behind.

††††

The “subjugation” took many hours and it ended up being late afternoon before we were done. It ended up with us cuddling together on the ground. It wasn’t comfortable and was probably the least romantic place in the world yet it felt great as for the first time in years we were together and all was right with the world. That and the subjugation was AMAZING.

“Hey Frida, how are you doing?”

“I’m fine, but what are we going to do now? If I remember correctly the city is surrounded by a barrier. While I don’t mind as long as you are here,” She snuggled up a bit closer, “it would be nice to travel.”

“Don’t worry about that. I have an idea.”

††††

Several hours later the sun is starting to set when I return to where I entered the barrier. In my hands are clenched a set of blacksmiths tongs holding the black and red sword at arm’s length. Even in the darkening night the waves of energy rippling off of it could be seen. The two priests who were watching for my return were quite startled to see me come back and scrambled to start lowering the barrier. Estrid was practically beaming. It almost made me sad to think about what I was about to do. Almost.

“Julian! I knew you could do it! Now we can put this all behind us and finally move on.”

“Yes you’re right, it’s good to have closure. Estrid?”

“Yes Julian.”

“I’m sorry.” With a flick of the tongs I threw the sword into the air and catching it slashed the two priests before they could react. Estrid’s mouth fell open in shock as if she could not believe what was going on. With a mighty throw I lobbed the sword at her like it was an oversized dart. It hit her dead on in the chest and she collapsed like the rest. I watched with great interest as her body rippled and morphed into that of a monster. This was the first time I had personally observed monsterization and seeing Estrid change into something that was not quite Estrid fascinating.

As I was retrieving the sword I heard a soft voice call out from behind me “Is it over?”

Turning I found Frida standing there looking at our former friend with a sad gaze. My breath caught at the sight of her. Getting used to her new scantily clad and very sexy form is going to take some getting used to. However I noticed she was rather red and her eyes were moist.

“Yes. Are you ok though? You seem a bit flushed.”

“I’m fine. It’s just that the sword you are holding is part of my body now so touching it is like touching me.”

“Is that so?” I ran my finger down the flat of the blade. Frida moaned and with a shudder collapsed onto my shoulder.

“Careful big boy. Keep doing that and you might need to subjugate me again.” I hastily shoved the sword back into her hands. Frida hissed like I had taken her candy away, but I didn’t really have a choice. If I had to subjugate her twice in one day I think my body would break.

“So what do we do about Estrid?”

“Oh I have an idea.”

Frida went over and dragged the two priests over to Estrid and arraigned them into a rather lewd pile.

“Hey Frida you know when Estrid wakes up to her new monster instincts she will-“

“OF COURSE I KNOW!” She made the cutest little pouty face in the world. “But right now I am feeling a little petty. After all she separated me from my owner for ten years. 10 YEARS.”

“So my dear where do you want to go? I imagine after being trapped for so long anywhere is probably better then here.”

“True” she said while performing an exaggerated stretch which I am sure she just did to show off her assets. “Oh I just had a wonderful idea!” Snuggling close to me and taking my arm “Do you remember when we were kids and we played that we were heroes invading the demon lords castle?”

I shrugged. “Well yeah. But as you are now a monster it would probably not be a good idea to attack them.”

“Right, but I would at least like to see the castle at least one time, and it’s better than staying here in Order territory. Besides it would make a wonderful honeymoon.”

“You do have a point.”

“Of course I do! I’m always right!” With that she grabbed my hand and dragged me off into the night on our epic journey to the Royal Demon Realm.

EPILOUGE

It’s been about a week since I rescued Frida at Zhyren. We have made steady progress to the east and monster controlled lands, although it’s been slow going as we have had to avoid all towns and villages. This all could have been solved if Frida had just put on a cloak to hide herself, but she has been refusing to put on clothes of any kind. Seriously, what is up with monsters not wearing clothes? Thankfully, she finally broke down and consented to a disguise so we can finally have a soft bed tonight.

The door of the smoky tavern swung inward and instantly all eyes were directed towards us. Not surprising given the fact that Frida was covered from head to toe in a thick robe. Still it was far better than the chaos that would have happened had she gone in without it.

With a few silvers to the grizzled old man for our room and our dinner we went upstairs to do our nightly “subjugation.” The biggest change in Frida’s personality is that she gets cranky, and to be honest scary, if we don’t have a subjugation session every night. Not that I am complaining though.

As usual I passed out directly after taking care of her, but was shaken awake in the middle of the night by Frida. I tried to complain but she prevented me by placing her hand over my mouth. With a silent gesture she pointed to the window, and crawling over I saw a horrifying sight. It is never a good sign when the locals come with torches and pitchforks, even less when there is a good chance that they will be directed towards you.

We stealthily left the room and tried to go to the back of the building, but it was clear from the landing that we were completely surrounded. I looked over to Frida to see her eyes glowing an ominous red.

“What’s up Frida?”

“I’m just so excited. I finally get to cut people down for my owner, he, he he. This is going to be FUN!” So it looks like she’s still a little bit of a psycho, but at least she’s my cute psycho.

Having lost our option for a stealthy exit, we decided to try a head on confrontation. Slamming the front door like we owned the place we faced the crowd. It was obvious that they weren’t expecting such a bold move. The owner of the inn who was at the head of the crowd even fell on his butt.

With a shaky voice he yelled to the crowd “Iz er th monster. Git er.” The crowd started for us but Frida let lose a high pitched and slightly hysterical laugh that cut through the crowd. With one movement she flung off her robe reveling her monstrous form to everyone. At once all eyes were on her. Her stunning body with pale white skin contrasting with the black crystalline streaks took everyone’s breath away. Even me who had gotten rather close look over the past week.

A sneer spread across her face. “My aren’t so brave now are you? That’s a shame I do so love cutting people. After all my sword was forged by the previous demon lord, it demands blood. While I am sure that you might be able to defeat us, most of you are gunna die.” She started to swing the sword in a figure eight pattern so fast that only an afterimage was visible. Walking up to the innkeeper who still had his butt planted on the ground she placed the tip of her sword beneath his chin. With a great grin “Do you want to be first?”

That broke the spell that held the villagers in place as the scattered to try and get away from us. I gave a sigh of relief thinking we might actually get out of this without hurting anyone.

“Well aren’t you useless.” Rang out from above our heads. There floating in the night sky was a small yet well-proportioned succubus with golden hair. It could be none other than Estrid.

Someone in the crowd stuttered “B-bishopess.” This caused Estrid to laugh hysterically her peals echoing around the courtyard. “My, my. Does it look like I am still the bishopess? It’s all thanks to that stupid piece of rusty trash there. I must say I am a bit disappointed in you all. I had expected you all at least to injure her so I could finish her off. But I guess that peasants are only worthless peasants after all. Why don’t you just take a nap?”

Estrid made a gesture and a black mist spread engulfing the crowd causing people to collapse wherever it touched them. Thankfully I was able to cast a sigil in time and Fri…

Oh my. Frida was MAD. I don’t think I had ever seen her this pissed off before. She probably could have burned straight through the spell with anger alone.

“ESTRID!!!” Frida bellowed her face flushed with fury “How dare you try and hurt my owner!”

“Oh that’s right he’s your ‘owner’ now. To be fair I wasn’t trying to hurt him. The villagers were ordered to capture Julian unharmed as he had been put under your spell. I was just going to have the town kill you and reforge your sword into something more appropriate like a trash can or a muck rake. Then I would have taken him for my own. God why did you have to come back from the dead? When Zhyren fell and you lost your mind I thought finally, finally, I had a chance with Julian. But noooo. It was always Frida this and Frida that, I need to go take care of Frida, I miss Frida, do you remember when Frida did this? Gah, it was so annoying being right next to him and him having eyes only for you.”

Frida couldn’t help but smirk at this. “Well Julian did always have the eye for the better woman.”

Estrid laughed “Better woman how? The only thing you were remotely good at was swords. You were probably content to stay in that backwater town forever. But me? Me, I was going places. I was even planning to take over the entire church, but you, YOU RUINED IT. Do you know how many years it to become a bishop? And in one night you took it all from me. You even took my humanity you rusty scrap.”

“At least I am not a horrible person that uses people as tools you overgrown bat.”

“Oh and whose fault is that you cheap paring knife?”

“Horns for brains”

“Madwoman”

“Slut”

“Thieving cat”

At this point it was fairly obvious that if nothing was done that they would come to blows so I tried to intervene. “Can’t we just get along ladies? After all we are all friends here.” The response was immediate and severe.

“Julian shut up!”

“Julian shut up!” 

I guess our trip to the Royal Demon Realm is going to be quite a bit more lively then I originally thought. Hopefully they won’t kill each other or me.

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The poll was created at 00:51 on April 2, 2017, and so far 18 people voted.