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I watch her go with tear-filled eyes fixed on Celyz’ back, on her hips. Her gait is far from being as assured as usual, she isn’t saying half as much, she isn’t as supple. I would start plotting to hurt her, but… I don’t function the same way with her as I do with Leomi.

Besides, while she tried the same bullshit as Leomi, I feel that she did this for herself as well as for me, she did this for us, to make a clean break and have a chance to be together in the future.

It’s only a feeling, but it’s a strong one, one born of the trust that still exists between us despite her clumsy attempt. It may all be a delusion born of my own desires. No matter, I’ll figure it out.

My symbiont wriggles its tendrils against my ribs, communicating deep hunger. Not for food, or not only. I shiver in excitement at the burst of what I can only interpret as passion. The Little one wants to mate.

You want to take her?” I ask out loud.

It responds in the affirmative but there is no image or person associated, it is simply expressing a primal desire. I try to make it tell me if I should chase after my Princess or my Lady but it doesn’t seem to be able to differentiate much.

It wouldn’t be bad to die from Leomi’s hands in Celyz’ tendrils tonight, although I would need to find a way to ensure that both would survive. No, if it is to happen, I want both, at once. My symbiont pulses in agreement.

That’s settled then, Little one.” I laugh. “I have leverage on both now.

It’ll take a while to use that leverage to get more, but I’ll get there, eventually. Although I need both to willingly agree, they’ve thrown away their right to demand I be fair about how I do. Fantasy, let I not cling to it too much lest I destroy us all.

I take a deep breath and head out towards the human camp. It’s laid out away from the coast and the hills held by Caeviel’s army, to the south-east of the Rykz’ camp. As I approach, I notice that there is one large tent set apart from the rest but within eyesight.

The sun is on its way down but there are still a few hours of sunlight left. The members of Leomi’s organization are gathered together up a small hill, two-third training while the rest seem to be giving them advice. A couple are being treated by Roisia for their injuries.

I don’t see Leomi but my symbiont volunteers her location, likely smelling her out. My limb guides me towards the tent that’s apart from the camp, unsurprisingly.

I let my feelings for Celyz’ betrayal meld with my anger for Leomi since I lashed out at my Princess partly because of my Lady when I broke her knee, it’s only fair the latter suffers for the former’s actions as well.

Roisia waves at me when I pass through their camp. I nod back at her without stopping. In fact, I’m slightly accelerating and making a bit too much noise. I slow down on my approach, angling my course to the side of the tent and take careful steps.

I scour the inside of the tent with my symbiont’s sense, finding a few coffers, a bear pelt standing in as a bunk which is large enough for three along with plenty of warm blankets.

Leomi is scouring one of the coffers. Her gestures are rather frantic and imprecise which, along with her rather elevated temperature, signifies that she’s embarrassed. I move closer, finding that she’s handling odd items.

A few cloth ropes that couldn’t hold a bull for long, a tiny one-handed whip that wouldn’t do much of anything to a horse because there are no knots at the ends of the short thongs, and lastly an odd belt that has three straps with a thin polished metal rod attached to it.

I blank as I realize that setting it on would mean that the rod would… probably function as a penis if I go by what I’ve observed. I remain unable to think or move for a long time, completely taken off-guard as a shiver makes its way up and down my back.

Leomi’s actions are what pull me out of it as I realize that she isn’t doing anything new, she keeps moving from one item to the next without taking any out. She ends up closing the coffer to take a dagger from under one of the bunk’s pillows to set it on her waist.

That’s the one she stole from me, the one I used to touch her heart. She starts pacing inside her tent, going back and forth from one end to the other. I slowly make my way to the entrance, taking my time so as not to make any noise as I settle right next to the tent’s flaps.

Leomi suddenly goes back to the coffer, opens it and reaches inside before changing her mind and slamming it close again. She sets her index’ knuckle inside her mouth, biting down on it.

Go in!” Roisia suddenly yells out, encouraging me.

Damn. Oh well, I was going to need a way to lure her out anyway. Leomi’s cheeks grow several degrees hotter and she hurriedly grabs a blanket that she throws over the coffer. She then adjusts her uniform and her straight black hair before making her way out of the tent. She isn’t wearing a bra anymore.

I extend my right hand out just as she pushes the flap open, seizing her shirt and pulling her in. She reacts almost instantly, sending a back-handed strike towards my trunk. I slide around her blow by side-stepping behind her back.

I pass my weapon under her extended arm and place it across her chest, settling the handle between her two perfect round breasts. I grab the other end of the weapon with my right hand, firmly pulling her against me, securing her.

Elizabeth.” Leomi mutters in relief.

Lance.” I murmur in her ear. “You seem, off, what could you have you been up to?”

N, not much.” She stutters. “Just, going through my clothes and… other things.”

What other things, I wonder?” I whisper.

N, not important.” She mumbles. “Could you, let me go?” She asks.

Why? It’s just a hug.” I reply.

I’d like a kiss.” She tells me, obviously hanging that as temptation to regain equal ground.

I chuckle and slide my left hand up my weapon’s handle to be able to keep holding her as I let go with my right hand. She tries to pull out, but my symbiont is too strong for her.

You’re, cheating.” She says, voice rough from effort.

Not using any flow.” I reply, unconcerned as I start unbuttoning her uniform with my right hand.

Elizabeth! They can see.” Leomi protests.

Shh.” I blow in her ear.

Leomi shivers, her nipples hardening. I smirk, feeling victorious. I slip my hand inside her shirt and under the one beneath to start caressing her belly. My Lady’s breath grows heavy, her trained abdominal muscles make waves under my rough touch.

I’m taking stock of where exactly I need to carve you up.” I whisper.

Not, too… visible.” She pleads.

That’s not an option.” I deny. “You made me kneel in front of thousands.”

That’s, fair.” Leomi admits, biting her lower lip.

I could take that as a sign that she’ll enjoy it but the way she straightened up, the rising tension in her muscles, her drop in temperature, all those tell me that this isn’t easy at all for her. She doesn’t want it, but she’ll accept it as agreed upon price.

Do it in…” She pauses, likely realizing that an order won’t go well. “Could we do this in the tent?” She asks.

Again, no.” I refuse with glee.

I start moving my hand up along the right side of her torso, heading to her breast, waiting for… Leomi takes a deep breath. I pounce up. I seize her soft breast while squeezing her nipple between my index and major fingers, feeling it harden.

Her breath catches in her throat as she finds herself caught between excitement and apprehension. I feel myself getting turned on as well but, aware that there could be up to a hundred pairs of eyes on us, I manage to retain control of my lust despite her state.

I, wonder, if you can handle temptation.” Leomi mutters in defiance. “Like I have.”

I am.” I reply, giggling.

Damn.” Leomi swears.

I’d love to work on your breast.” I mutter. Leomi squirms, attempting to escape in fright. “But, I couldn’t harm such wonderful assets.” I add. She relaxes somewhat but I can tell she’s starting to panic. “It’s entirely selfish, mind you.”

I fondle her small tender breast for while, the soft feeling soothing me down to my core. My symbiont pulses at me, communicating its envy. It disturbs me a little but that’s only further reason to entertain it as letting it participate would make great ammunition in case it becomes necessary to tear Leomi down.

I plant my weapon into the ground but don’t release my control of the limb to my symbiont as I would not allow anyone or anything to go for my Lady, I must initiate it. I pass my left hand inside her shirt and slip the gloved fingers under her belt.

There, are people watching, Elizabeth.” Leomi warns. “This is as far as I’ll allow, for the price I owe.” She adds very firmly despite the fact I can sense that her sex is getting moist.

Indeed, there are.” I acknowledge, pulling my left hand back despite my symbiont’s protests. I soothe the Little one by telling it that I’ll let it taste her blood in return and that we can still go ahead when we’re in private. “And you’re getting horny, Leomi, which isn’t the goal right now.” I crudely add.

Her light gray eyes turn down to the ground in a short moment of shame. I frown. It’s wrong of me to make her feel such an emotion. My mind reflexively turns to seeking ways to make her more comfortable but the Little one intervenes, reminding me of our goal.

Go back in the tent, find a stool, and bring it back.” I order, squeezing her right breast.

Hmm.” She hums in content between spread lips.

Did you hear me?” I ask.

Y, yes.” Leomi replies, expression shaken as she seems to awaken from a sort of trance.

I reluctantly let go of her chest, pushing her to go back inside. Leomi adjusts her uniform before going. She turns her light gray eyes into mine, silently communicating her dissatisfaction. She’s often seen this in my eyes, I enjoy it but far less than she has.

And bring some ink.” I add.

Wait, you…” Leomi protests.

Want to leave something as permanent on you as my kneeling will be in Caeviel’s memory.” I finish, defying her to challenge me.

That’s not fair.” Lance declares, straightening her spine. She’s looking down on me but I somehow feel like she isn’t. “You can’t keep adding to my debt.”

Then I’ll slightly owe you.” I reply. The mark will pay off for Jessica as well, it’s worth it.

Still.” She frowns. “A tattoo on my body is… a lot to demand of me.”

Are suggesting that the story of Elizabeth Vil laying her knee in the dirt for Leomi Lance isn’t going to be repeated ad vitam ӕternam?” I counter.

Elizabeth.” Leomi utters sharply, her voice matching her loveable traits.

Yield or renege.” I throw the ultimatum in as flat of a voice as I can.

My Lady snaps her mouth shut, her expression grows aggressive. She slowly reaches down to the dagger at her waist with her right hand, to my dagger. I feel my heart starting to shatter as I observe her betraying me.

I know I won’t be able to handle this blow, not so soon after Celyz, and so I don’t react. I go so far as to suppress my symbiont even though it isn’t reacting defensively yet. I would rather die by her hand than live with it, taking satisfaction in the fact she’ll break when she finds out who lays beneath the mask.

She pulls the weapon out of the sheath, seizing it tightly inside her fist which is the wrong move if she wants to score a win against me. Does she underestimate me? No. She expects me to stop her, turn this into a fight she can win and use that to overturn the price she owes.

Leomi suddenly strikes out with her fist, simply holding the weapon within without any intent to use it. She hits my left chest right above my heart, landing on a tendril which sends a small electric shock up to my brain.

I blink, entirely confused by the fact she didn’t even try to stab. I inspect her, finding that her desire is entirely gone, that none of this is motivated by lust. The determination in her light gray eyes provokes a cold shiver that travels down my spine.

Then use the dagger that brought our hearts closer, Elizabeth Vil.” Leomi declares formally.

Very well, Lady Countess Leomi Lance.” I reply in the same tone.

I place my right hand over hers and we link fingers, slowly taking hold of the dagger as she releases her grip. Her slender fingers trail the back of my hand as she pulls back in a small gesture of affection, likely all she can bring herself to do in this situation.

I feel my respect for this woman grow, not quite certain why. She nods and heads inside the tent, unbuttoning her uniform’s shirt as she does. I check the inside of the tent, looking for the clothes she spoke of earlier, finding a nightgown inside a thick wooden chest.

I can’t wait to see her in that. My symbiont sends out a feeling of hunger, apparently afraid I’ll forget. I’m not that… The Little one pulls on my ribs while pushing on my spine, making me feel a tension that promises quite extreme pain. Okay, I am a bit scattered at times.

My symbiont’s tendrils swiftly twirl around my bones as it tries to soothe them despite the fact it didn’t harm me, it didn’t even come close. I shake my head, telling the Little one it’s distracting me from a very important revenge. It recedes, making me once more wonder about how much it understands.

Leomi doesn’t waste time, she grabs a stool and grabs a vial of ink out of a chest. Her back is rigid, chin held up, but there is a slight tremble in her hands. I can’t quite bring myself to enjoy her predicament but I refuse to consider wavering as long as she does not.

Besides, I’m looking forward to leaving my mark on her body, which is all I can allow myself since our virginity is out of bounds. Although I doubt either of us can be considered such anymore.

Leomi walks out, stool in hand with only a black shirt on her shoulders. She holds the vial of ink out. I don’t take hold of it yet, waiting for her to lose control and reveal that she’s shaking. Her defiant eyes hold my steady gaze for a long while but her slender fingers twitch, betraying her.

Are you not able to go through with the bargain you struck?” I ask.

Where do you wish to carve?” She responds, ignoring my question.

Your back.” I reply with glee, taking hold of the vial.

Very, well.” She says between grit teeth.

Leomi turns around and pulls on her shirt to reveal her lower-back. I grab the hem and pull it further up, which also exposes her abdominal muscles. She seems to be more annoyed at the rolled up piece of cloth pressuring the underside of her breasts than otherwise embarrassed by showing off her belly.

I throw a glance up, finding that Roisia and a dozen members of her organization, male and female, watching intently from fifty or more meters away. The rest are sneaking glances as they keep training. I run a glare among them all, not a single one manages to maintain it.

They turn away and go back to guiding the trainees, taking over my role of keeping their eyes off my Lady. I would have rather done this in private but her discomfort beats my preference in this matter.

You getting queasy, Elizabeth Vil?” She asks provocatively.

Just wondering if you’re enjoying showing your body off.” I fire back.

I’ve trained bare-chested with soldiers and Templars, you’re not going to embarrass me like this.” She replies offhandedly.

Y, you…” I stutter. Shit, she doesn’t care but I can’t really back down anymore.

Wore a bra. I did not think you were such a prude after I led you by the nipple.” Leomi says, repressing a victorious smile. I try to think of a response but the smirk quickly fades away. “Why are you taking the kneeling thing so differently?” She asks.

Because it has other repercussions.” I growl.

Which are meant to protect you.” She justifies.

I place the dagger’s tip on a very precise spot at the edge of her left shoulder-blade. I did not consciously choose this location but it makes deep sense to me as it is where her sword cut to sever my arm.

I’m not saying I didn’t thoroughly enjoy making you bend the knee.” Leomi hurriedly adds. “But I would not have demanded it of you othe…” She pauses, falling in internal turmoil. “No. The excuse is meaningless as the events have already occurred. Proceed, Elizabeth Vil.”

I assemble an armor-piercing construct without enhancing it with lightning, thinking that she might feel it if I did. Leomi closes her eyes but it doesn’t quite matter as she can’t see the somewhat golden-black color of my flow if it isn’t in her range of sight.

I very carefully apply pressure on the handle, plunging the tip of the dagger into her flesh, only stopping once I’ve pierced a little into the bone. Leomi jerks forward, biting her tongue to avoid screaming as her traits twist from the intense pain. I give her a moment before choosing whether or not I need to settle her back in position.

If this is, the price, you want. It will require something other than a stool.” She whispers in a shaky tone.

Too much?” I ask, worried but reluctant to stop.

I’m not sure, yet.” She admits, failing to stop her expression and eyebrows from showing how much pain she is in.

What do you think would work?” I question.

I need to, lie down.” She says.

Alright.” I nod.

I set the vial of ink and the dagger down next to her stool, dismantling the armor-piercing construct before heading inside the tent. I resist the pull to take a look at that odd belt I saw her hold since it won’t fail to distract me from taking my due if I take stock of it with my own eyes.

I pick up a blanket, finding out that they’re made of thicker material and lesser quality than silk. I feel proud of her for not having chosen luxury so I take a second one to make her more comfortable.

What’s this made of?” I ask, stepping out.

Quality wool.” She replies, having apparently recovered. “I can’t afford anything else.”

Oh.” I frown. “I thought you grew common sense.”

Ha! Elizabeth Vil talking about common sense.” She chuckles.

Annoyed, by the delay and her attitude, I pass my left arm around her waist and pick her up. The fact I’m able to without making use of a construct makes me unreasonably happy.

Liz!” She protests weakly.

Shush.” I reply.

I throw the two blankets down, holding her tightly against my chest. I can’t quite read what her expression means but she isn’t fighting back too hard, certainly not enough to break my hold even if I had normal human strength.

I take hold of my liangi with my right hand and use it to arrange the blankets. I then set it down alongside them to have access to it, just in case. It’ll be within her reach but that’s okay, even preferable to give her a way out if I go so far I wouldn’t forgive myself.

I firmly put her on the improvised bunk, picking up the bottle of ink and the dagger while she proceeds to lie down on her belly. She rolls up the blankets’ hems to provide support for her shoulders and avoid pressing too hard on her breasts.

I won’t stop anymore.” I tell her, setting my knee on the pit on her back.

Nh.” She agrees, already gritting her teeth.

I pull her shirt up to her neck, passing the hem over her shoulders to reveal her entire back. I admire her well-defined muscles, bronze skin, and her spine’s curve. I take my time to assemble a thin blood-blade and then an armor-piercing construct for our dagger.

Once done, I send the first construct inside her left shoulder, settling it just beneath her skin without asking for permission. It’ll be useful to guide the blade and avoid doing real damage.

Her expression grows curious and interested. I make use of her distraction to once again plunge the dagger into her left shoulder-blade, finishing the first vertical bar of the letter ‘E’, leading the blade with the blood-blade construct. She tries to move away by instinct but is unable to in the position she’s in.

Fuck!” Leomi swears, taken by surprise.

Lady Lance, such language!” I exclaim in an outraged tone.

Oh, shove it, Liz!” Leomi growls.

Ha.” I laugh.

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