|Author: TypeAxiom||Original Source: ScribbleHub|
“It’s not morning, you know?”
“Eh? It’s not? So is it afternoon already? But I shouldn’t have been sleeping for so long…”
“No, you dummy.” Carmen put her hand under Kagriss’s head and helped her up. “Look around you and see where we are. Thanks to this place, we both recovered much faster than we would otherwise have,” she said.
Kagriss did look and her sleepiness evaporated. “We’re still in the camp! And this place is…an accumulator formation?” She seemed to have understood what Carmen did. “Why didn’t we leave, Mistress?”
“Don’t forget that my original purpose here was to investigate this place since it relates to my goals,” Carmen replied, handing the book to Kagriss.
The lich stared at the book, not recognizing it. She flipped it over, turning her head quizzically. “A book…” she whispered. “Holy and undead? Ah…why do you have this, Mistress?”
Carmen pointed at the bookshelf. Kagriss followed her finger and her eyes landed on the dusty books. Kagriss’s eyes lit up when she saw them. “More books?”
She was so happy that she stood up and rushed over to them while Carmen watched in surprise.
Carmen hadn’t expected Kagriss to have such a reaction to books. It reminded her how little she knew about Kagriss, or rather, how little they knew about each other. “You like books?”
Kagriss nodded. “There was nothing to do in the fortress but sit around,” she said as she put Abersom’s journal onto the table next to the shelves and ran her finger over the dusty book spines. “Unlike many of the other undead, I can read…and it was through a short book I found that I first discovered what emotions truly were.”
“Even though undead can talk, they can’t read?” Carmen asked, surprised. She went over to stand by Kagriss. “How can you speak anyway?”
She never really thought about that, but now that she had, the whole thing seemed strange. Unfortunately, Kagriss wasn’t very helpful because she simply shrugged helplessly.
“Instincts…? I don’t really know, but it has to do with who the caster was. But I was raised by the fortress itself, so I don’t really know…”
“You don’t know…” Carmen sighed. “Never mind. So there aren’t many books in the fortress?”
Kagriss shook her head as she took out a book and began to flip through the pages.
“There are. However, most of them had been confiscated and gathered in one place at the center of the fortress. The great lord-classes restrict our access, so overall, I haven’t had much chance to read.” Kagriss turned to face Carmen, a glint in her eyes. “That’s why, meeting you was truly a blessing, since you accepted me and you taught me everything I couldn’t learn about from books!”
Carmen stepped back as Kagriss suddenly jumped at her, nearly knocking her over. Although Kagriss wasn’t that heavy, she was still much bigger and taller, and Carmen nearly lost her balance. She staggered until she managed to stabilize.
Kagriss looked down at her, their noses almost touching.
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“What’s wrong, Kagriss? You’ve been a lot more…touchy, lately…”
“You too, Mistress,” Kagriss shot back. “You were the one that kissed me earlier, and then wouldn’t let me go any further…it feels painful.”
Kagriss’s words made Carmen’s body tingle, especially on her breasts and between her thighs. However, she shook her head even as she clenched her fists, trying to force the feeling away. Although her first time was unforgettable and she wanted to experience that feeling of loving and being loved so intimately again, now still wasn’t the right time.
“We can’t right now. We’re still technically in an enemy base, not to mention we should be getting back now. Fleur and Anne might be getting worried,” she added. She gently pushed Kagriss away.
Kagriss relented with some reluctance, returning to her book. She suddenly looked up, her eyes pleading. “Tonight?”
“That’s a bit…” Carmen shook her head. “Let’s wait until all this is done. It’s a bit embarrassing doing it in a forest…”
Her face reddened. She couldn’t believe that her first time had been in a forest in the middle of nowhere! At least it could have been on a bed—it would have been more proper that way. Not to mention, that night, she didn’t know what she was thinking.
If she had been in her right mind then, she never would have agreed and would have told Kagriss to wait, like she did now…probably.
Okay, maybe not. But still…
“Let us get to a town first after we finish everything,” Carmen repeated. “I’ll listen to anything you want to do then.”
“Anything? Really, Mistress?”
“Why would I lie to you?” Carmen said, kissing Kagriss on her cheeks next to her lips.
Kagriss didn’t jump for joy like Carmen imagined, but then, Kagriss had always been mature so jumping like a little girl seemed to be a bit out of the realm of possibility. However, even she couldn’t predict Kagriss’s reaction.
Today truly was a day of surprise.
Kagriss’s eyes were practically glowing. No, they really were glowing. A brilliant violet light shone from Kagriss’s irises, lighting up the dark room.
It wasn’t just from her eyes either. Lines of glowing writing that Carmen couldn’t read or even recognize appeared on Kagriss’s body. It circled around her neck like a collar, on her arms like a set of armlets. It traveled down her arm and chest, disappearing beneath her dress.
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Carmen took a step back as a powerful pulse of mana emanated from the lich’s body. It reminded Carmen of the raw power that she felt from the undead monsters she had managed to defeat, but there was a quality to it that the undead monsters lacked.
“I don’t know,” Kagriss said. “This has never happened before—” Her voice cut off as she let out a silence scream, but one that Carmen felt she heard in her soul. It was as if Kagriss was becoming connected to her in some way, and what Kagriss felt, she felt as well.
There was a pain as if she was being torn apart bit by bit. At the same time, something changed in Kagriss, causing a memory to surface within Carmen.
At that time, she was still a young templar, and it hadn’t been long since she took the position of commander. She didn’t think that she’d ever forget the events. Back then, she had accepted the offer to join an undead hunt with the Order of the Radiant Sun.
Their goal was to jointly destroy a desecration site that had been rapidly growing. At first, the hunt had gone well, with many knight-classes falling before their blade, but when they neared the center, a terrifying enemy revealed its presence.
The feeling that Kagriss gave off was starting to resemble that enemy from back then—a lord-class undead. However, a resemblance was all it was. All of that power flowed to the center of Kagriss’s chest, causing some sort of transformation, but before the process could even really get going, it stopped abruptly as Kagriss closed her eyes and stopped it from continuing.
A mana shock rippled through her body, backlash from that interrupted process, and Carmen felt every bit of it through their shared connection. The pain left Carmen dizzy and sick to her stomach, as if she was going to throw up any moment.
She coughed as she tried to catch her breath.
“I don’t understand. Why did you stop?” Carmen asked. Kagriss had returned to normal, a regular lich. That feeling unique to a lord-class undead was nowhere to be found.
Kagriss pursed her lips. “Because I’m not strong enough right now. I don’t have enough mana to fuel my evolution, so it would have failed anyway.”
“I could have given you that mana,” Carmen protested. “Besides, we’re in the middle of an accumulator formation right now. It was the perfect time. You gave up such a precious opportunity that you might not ever get again,” she said.
There was a reason why there were so little lord-class undead. Whereas knight-class undeads simply needed to be able to gather and retain enough mana to evolve—those undead monsters aside, growing to become lord-class wasn’t so simple.
The requirements were unknown, but it couldn’t be just raw power. Although Carmen didn’t know how or why Kagriss triggered that evolution, but even with her limited knowledge of undead evolution, she understood the importance of the opportunity that Kagriss had just thrown away.
“I’m not wrong,” Kagriss insisted. “It’s too soon for me to evolve. I still have a long way to go before I reach my potential as a normal lich, and it wouldn’t be too late to evolve then.”
“You’re talking like it’s a sure thing that you’ll evolve once you reach your full potential,” Carmen said, scoffing.
To tell the truth, she was angry that Kagriss let that chance slip out of her hands. The reason wasn’t entirely selfless, since if Kagriss became a lord-class undead, the amount of power that Carmen would have at her disposal increased dramatically. But it wasn’t entirely selfish either, since she was truly worried that Kagriss let go of a once-in-a-lifetime chance.
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Although she had only known Kagriss for around a week, Carmen realized that she cared about Kagriss. She liked Kagriss too—both sides of her: the cute side that called her Mistress and was obedient, and the slightly scary side at night.
She cared about her future with Kagriss. She didn’t want Kagriss to just throw away a better future like that.
But it was too late, and what’s done has been done.
In the end, Kagriss was her own person and as an outsider, Carmen had no say in any of Kagriss’s personal matters.
She pressed a palm to her face, not looking at Kagriss. “No, never mind. I’m sorry for being so overbearing…it’s your decision to make…”
…and she should respect it.
While she repented for her mistake, she didn’t see what Kagriss was doing so when Kagriss suddenly grabbed her hand, she jumped in surprise.
Pulling gently, Kagriss made her take her hand off her face. Then, she made Carmen look at her. Carmen opened her mouth to ask what she wanted before she closed it again.
“You’re the dummy, Mistress,” Kagriss said. “I know that I’ll definitely have another chance again, as long as I stay by your side.”
That mysterious bond that Carmen felt originating from Kagriss did not disappear entirely, even after the evolution was interrupted. Affection and trust poured over from the other side, but it only made her more confused that she already was.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s just a feeling I have. Instincts. I think…that you are the key to my evolution,” Kagriss said. Before Carmen could question her about it more, she pressed her hand to Carmen’s mouth. “Don’t ask anymore…it’s all I know, but I trust my instincts, and I trust you, Mistress.”
Her mind still foggy with confusion and half-realized revelations, Carmen could only leave it at that. Perhaps one day, Kagriss will tell her everything—or rather, she already has.
Kagriss didn’t lie to her. Carmen vaguely felt her sincerity straight through their mysterious bond.
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