Dee rubbed her stomach as she stepped back into the Radiant Sun headquarters. For the first time in a long while she actually felt satiated. That was one of the reasons for her gluttonous nature, as normal food didn’t quite seem to remove the feeling of hunger completely, even if she did enjoy the process of eating greatly. The souls of the elven warriors however had made her hunger go away. She still felt like she could eat a lot more, in fact her stomach might be bottomless, but she didn’t feel hungry anymore. That was a real improvement and made her feel rather chipper.
She reported back to the office handling the affairs of the recruits and was told to wait. She only had to wait half an hour before she saw Commander Luthana coming down the hallway to get her for debriefing. While they were walking the commander told Dee that the rest of her group had already left on their next mission as they couldn’t be entirely sure how long it would take for Dee to return, as they were unable to communicate.
As they sat down the commander spoke. “Before we get to evaluating your performance on this mission, why don’t you tell me what you found out on your little side trip. Such information might turn out to be important and time sensitive.”
Dee had checked and couldn’t sense any spells nearby that would reveal lies, and their presence when debriefing a recruit would have been a little odd anyway. The check wasn’t a hundred percent guarantee that spells like that weren’t there however. Her senses were incredibly sharp but not infallible. Thus she decided to stick to as close to the truth as possible.
“Well I can’t confirm all my information as true as something overheard from soldiers is not always reliable. That said, I did hear these rumors from multiple sources.” Dee hedged a little, mixing just enough truth within to fool any truth spells.
“That’s fine, very rarely do we get guarantees on the correctness of our information.” The commander waved away Dee’s feigned concern.
“According to what I know, the colonel leading the army that came to suppress the rebellion and her two advisors were assassinated in the middle of the enemy camp after the attack on the city began.” That part was easy. No lies needed.
The commander gave a slight whistle of appreciation. “No wonder their army was suddenly a mess. What a bold assassin. Do you know what happened to him after? I would imagine escaping might be hard, but the army seemed to leave to search for something.”
Dee nodded. “As far as I know the assassin is still alive. At the very least that was the impression I got when I decided it was time to retreat. The elves had not caught the assassin, who had lost them inside the great forest, by then and it seemed unlikely they would do so either.”
The commander was also nodding in agreement. The information made sense with what she had observed and would explain the odd behavior of the army. “Any idea about the identity of the assassin?”
Here Dee had to be a little careful. “I overheard several elves saying something about a Dark Avariel. They also referred to the assassin as female. I’m not quite sure of the significance of the information, but it seemed rather important to the elves.”
Commander Luthana drummed the table with her fingers while wearing a frown. “Well this complicates things. It’s not widely known but the Avariel are something of a sacred existence to us elves. They tend to be extremely peaceful and excel in healing magic. Winged elves also happen to be a much desired commodity in all slave markets and they are hunted relentlessly on other worlds aside from Pantheon. The other elves have taken a rather protective stance with the Avariel as a result. The Avariel also tend to be highly gifted both physically and magically, even more so than normal elves.”
‘Ah, I’m not sure I like where this is going.’ Dee thought to herself.
“Of course not all Avariel are happy to be protected. They strive for power on their own. The problem is that they happen to be very emotional creatures tending to the extremes. While normal Avariel are pacifists almost to a fault, those that do take up weapons go to the other extreme and revel in bloodshed and combat. They eventually turn into the Dark Avariel, and become the favored agents of the Autumn court since they share much of their sentiments with the Dark Avariel. The Dark Avariel are pretty much the embodiment of vengeance over the humiliations and suffering endured over the millennia. If a Dark Avariel is involved, then we can be certain that the Autumn court is involved. Not that we didn’t suspect it already but this proves it.” The commander finished her explanation.
‘Oops.’ Dee thought while shrugging her imaginary shoulders. Not her problem really.
“I’ll pass this information on. The higher ups will be very interested.” The commander left the room for a moment to pass along her report.
As she returned, they could get into the discussion on Dee’s performance during the mission. “You performed you duties as the scout and spy in an exemplary fashion. Your reports on both the movements of the rebels and the elven army were timely and precise and might have helped to save the lives of hundreds of refugees. I’m not wild about you not following orders when you were supposed to escape, but you did provide important information in exchange. There’s also the fact that your actions fit the order’s philosophy.”
Dee looked up in interest. This was new to her. The commander continued. “You were not told as it is not part of the recruit training, but the order is real big on providing their on-site members a lot of leeway for improvisation. They are told enough about the order’s goals that they can improvise and seize opportunities when they present themselves, as well as to avoid making moves that would hinder the bigger picture. Normal army organizations highlight obedience, and it is important especially for those lower on the totem pole, but such rigidity also slows reaction times. If every commander had to wait for their general’s orders, then countless opportunities would be lost. Hence, they will be told enough to not fuck things up with their improvisation and just told to go and accomplish the goals given. The exact methods are left up to them so they can make decisions on the spot and as needs require. Of course this leeway only lasts until your actions start hindering the grander plans, and if your improvisation makes bigger plans fail, then you will be sorry.”
This theory made a lot of sense to Dee. She had always disliked the rigidity of strict regimental structure. This leeway made a lot of things possible. Of course such leeway wasn’t granted to everyone. For instance, Dee most likely would’ve gotten a lot of shit about her actions if they had not been so useful and if the situation had not been so out of the norm. Still, it gave Dee some hope.
Half lost in thought Dee asked a question that had been bothering Dee for a while now. “So switching topics, if the group already went on a mission, then who is overseeing the group with you here? I thought you were watching over us for both of the missions.”
The commander suddenly grinned. “Oh the second mission is much easier so my presence was not required. We sent a captain ranked individual to watch over that mission. Besides, I wouldn’t miss this for anything.”
“This?” Dee’s face twisted a bit. She had a bad feeling about ‘this’.
“Yeah, so while you were gone, a certain female mage came to us. Apparently the highest ranked recruit this year, this recruit being known as Dee, someone you might be familiar with, was involved in an affair with her. Apparently recruit Dee got this female mage pregnant.” The commander’s amusement was obvious.
Dee’s thoughts simply ground to a halt. She couldn’t quite process what she had just heard. “Bwuuuh?” She managed to ask in a typically intelligent fashion.
The two were looking through mirror at a fairly luxurious room. In the room a beautiful young woman wearing the robes of the Mystic’s guild was studying the bookshelves. The woman’s features were mostly hidden by her robes, though the robes were cut in such a fashion that it made enticing suggestions about what lay beneath the cloth. The hood of the robes was pulled back, revealing the silky black hair laying beneath. There was something odd about the woman that Dee couldn’t quite put a finger on.
She also felt familiar. Not familiar enough to be someone Dee knew, but familiar enough to be someone she interacted with before. She couldn’t quite say where though. That was odd considering her memory. She also had trouble identifying the woman’s race. The woman looked like a human, but Dee used other methods to identify beings. The insides of the woman seemed…chaotic. As if the power flow inside her was not really representative of her true nature.
‘She seems to be using some kind of magic to confuse the senses of people.’ Dee thought to herself. She also suspected the effect would be stronger if they were in the same room. As it was though, she and the commander were observing the woman through a pane of glass that only showed a mirror on the other side. There was something weird going on here aside from the woman’s absurd claims.
“Let me talk to her.” Dee requested, as she wanted to get to the bottom of things.
“Oh I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is way too amusing to pass.” The commander’s mirth was obvious.
As Dee walked through the door, she silently used one of the most fundamental templar spells used against mages skilled with illusions, ‘True Sight’. The spell was not a blanket counter to illusions as is basically pit the casters powers and skill against the illusionists, but Dee had quite a few advantages in this field. First of all her sheer amount of holy power dwarfed anything required to see through illusions. Secondly she was a psion who had received training in the mental side of psionics. An illusionist trying to compare with a mental psion in matters of the mind was in for a bad time.
As she saw the true form of the woman in front of her, both understanding and recognition dawned on her. ‘No wonder she seemed familiar. It’s the mage I stole the robes from during the recruitment test in the mages maze.’ Dee only recognized the insides of the woman as the woman had still been under her appearance changing spell when Dee had knocked her out. She really hadn’t paid all that much attention to the woman back then as she had knocked the mage out so easily. Also it can be forgiven that she had not paid more attention to the power inside the woman as she had never seen a Succubus before and didn’t recognize one.
With the appearance changing spell no longer affecting her, she could see the pair of delicate horns on her head, as well as the appearance that inflamed lust in almost everyone that saw it. Which was why it was hidden. Obviously the woman was not advertising her heritage. Few demons were with the purge going on. Even if the Pantheon was a relative safe haven, old habits die hard.
The woman tilted her head a bit as she noticed Dee entering. She got a weird feeling from the girl. She could sense the demonic heritage that the girl made no effort to hide. That said, Dee’s appearance was so close to a demi-human beastman that it made little difference. What made the woman stop in surprise was the fact that the girl in front of her gave her a strong feeling of authority. It was like the woman’s instincts were telling her to submit to a greater being. The last time she had felt a similar feeling was when the hells were still around and she had interacted with an Arch-Devil or a high ranking Fallen. There was no way the young girl was either though, so she didn’t know why she would feel something like that.
‘Seems the paladins here wised up and sent a woman and a fellow demon to interview me. It seems they’re not entirely stupid.’ She had easily managed to charm the other person sent to talk to her, though there had been something weird about his reactions that she couldn’t explain. It seems that something had caused the man to send someone who might be able to resist her influence. They were still underestimating her!
“Have a seat please.” Dee said cordially gesturing to the chair on one side of the table at the center of the room. She herself took the chair on the opposite side of the table.
The woman made her beautiful green eyes moisten with fake tears. “Oh I don’t know why this is so difficult. I already spoke to the man before. Why must you make it so hard for me to meet my boyfriend? You certainly didn’t make it so hard before! And look what happened.” The woman gestured towards her flat belly. Even though the robes it was clear that there wasn’t the slightest bit of sign of any pregnancy.
“Do bear with me if you would. You said that a recruit named Dee was the father of your child? What would your name be, if I may ask?” Dee tried to remain as calm as possible. She already knew the woman wasn’t even pregnant. She would’ve felt the smidgen of power within the child as she checked the woman.
The woman sniffed. “My name is Nessera. I’m a rank four mage in the guild. I met D just over six months ago. At first I didn’t even know that he is the first ranked among the recruits of his year.” She gave a charming smile. “Such a modest boy. Didn’t even brag.”
In fact, Nessera had been forced to ask the other recruits what the first ranked recruits name was. They all just gave the nickname D and she didn’t even know what it was short for. Dominic? Derek? Darthoridan? She could understand the prevalence of the nickname if his real name was some difficult elven name like Darthoridan. The problem was that she wouldn’t know what to say if this girl asked her what the D was short for. That’s why she was using her magic to influence everyone’s mind away from such topics. She was fairly sure it was working. Why would it not? Succubi were experts in mind magic.
Dee was struggling to keep her face blank. “So could you tell me how you and Dee met?”
“Oh, it’s such a sweet story. Though I’m rather displeased with your order for this as well. Some of the new recruits were harassing me and my friends and one of them was getting aggressive. D stood up for me and chased off those guys. He introduced himself and the rest is history. He’s such a romantic and gentleman too.” Nessera faked a blush. “He waited for months until we got…you know…intimate. He lit candles and had flower petals on the bed and everything.”
The two of them could faintly hear a rhythmic sound of some kind from the outside. The walls muffled it though so they couldn’t tell what the sound was.
“And you’re saying this Dee got you pregnant? With such a sweet story I wouldn’t be surprised, but I do need to ask. You are certain you are talking about the same Dee that is the first ranked among the recruits? There’s no chance that another man might have lied to you?” Dee’s poker face was not showing a single crack.
“Oh yes, I’m certain. I even heard that he might be missing which is why I rushed here to make sure my darling D is ok.” She feigned another blush. “Once we got the first time over, he was such a passionate man and couldn’t get enough. It was only a matter of time until I became pregnant.”
It was in fact the rumors about D being missing that had brought Nessera here. Everyone knew that it was time for the class of recruits to be sent on their missions before being sent out to their actual posts, and while the order made things as safe as possible sometimes a few recruits didn’t come back. It was rare for a high ranked recruit to not return, which is why it had caused rumors. Nessera was hoping to benefit from the death of the first ranked recruit. Surely the order would feel bad for such a great potential being lost, and would compensate his girlfriend and a mother of his child adequately. It had happened before.
Nessera happened to be short on cash and was quite sure of her ability to bullshit her way to a payday. And if this D returned? Well she was sure she could convince the guy to go along using her charms. A night with her should be enough for compensation. And rough sex happened to her favorite! An angry paladin ravishing her for being naughty! Just the thought sent shivers through her back.
The questions were weird though. It shouldn’t be this difficult! She decided to go on the offensive. “Why are you delaying things? Are you someone who is in love with my darling? Is that it?! Are you trying to hinder me out of jealousy?”
Now the sound outside the room became loud enough to be recognized, and Dee knew it to be Commander Luthana’s raucous laughter. “What’s so funny?” Nessera asked, suddenly apprehensive.
Dee gave a small grimace. “Incidentally, I may have forgotten to introduce myself. My name is Haydee.” She emphasized the Dee part of her name. “I’m also the first ranked recruit that has just returned from HER mission. I’m pretty sure that although Succubi are perfectly capable of charming women as well as men, you’re not able to reproduce with women.” For emphasis Dee used her mental psionics to shatter the attempted attacks on her mind, showing the fact that the attempt had been futile.