Disclaimers: See part 1
Fortunatus Light of Dark
by AJ Marks
Ami felt herself settling in over the next couple of days, or at least the best she could do considering the situation. She discovered the library one day, and started reading everything she could. She asked questions to Kira about some of the stories, as she would be more apt to answer such questions. Kari seemed stricter and less receptive to the fact Ami had come from ‘that’ place as they put it.
Ami’s day usually started late, with the usually Empress gone. Breakfast and a bath, then she was on her own until before dinner. Sometime before dinner time the Empress would send for her. Usually they shared dinner, unless Tess was in some meeting, then Kira or Kari would bring her something to eat. The night usually meant in the Empress’ bedchamber where she would stay for the rest of the night.
Ami learned she did have a small room of her own where the twins kept her clothing and she could sleep or take a nap during the day. She did this once after a particularly long night with Tess. Ami smiled at that night, Tess had introduced her to being tied up and things had ended up going on longer than either of them planned.
Ami also learned that she could talk to Tess, especially during dinner or if she was still lying in bed when Ami woke up in the morning. She learned more about where she was, and that there were different races, reminding her of some sort to Tolkien novel with elves and dwarfs in it. Tess had also answered her questions from stories she read, learning that even here some stories were unreal, despite magic.
Ami missed a few things from her old world, such as TV, internet and her cell phone, she also realized she had gained quite a bit. In her old world she had still been in college and unsure of what she wanted to major in. Now she had a much more comfortable life, despite the fact she was the Empress’ pleasure slave.
Ami took a moment to think about all of that while lying in bed. She realized Tess was still in bed as well. Ami never knew if what to expect the next morning. She wondered what Lycos thought of Tess taking so much time with her. Ami had seen quite a lot of interesting people, and more than a few that were beautiful. She wondered why Tess had taken her as a slave. Ami considered herself with redeeming features, her small breasts and nipples always embarrassed her, she was too short in her mind and her hips were too big, even her long hair could be a pain to maintain.
“So, what are you thinking of little one,” Tess’ voice said, startling Ami with the knowledge that the Empress was awake.
“Um, nothing much,” Ami replied, getting a soft chuckle in return causing her to look up into blue eyes.
“There is very little you cannot ask me little one. Go ahead and get it out of the way,” Tess said, causing Ami to wonder if the question in her mind would be wise.
“Well,” Ami finally said, pausing not sure how to ask the question. It sounded easy in her head, but actually saying the words she found to not be so easy.
“Come on,” Tess repeated, tickling Ami’s side, causing her to squeal a bit at the touch and move away. “If you don’t tell me I’ll keep it up,” Tess told her. Ami paused in consideration before making up her mind.
“Okay,” Ami said, eyeing Tess’ long fingers poised to strike. “H-How, I mean, why me?”
“Why you what?” Tess repeated.
“Why me, as a slave, I-I’m not beautiful, nor do I have a great figure. You’re the empress after all,” Ami said.
“Not beautiful? By whose standards?” Tess asked, her blue eyes focused on Ami’s green eyes.
“My breasts are too small, hips too big and I’ve seen many prettier girls in the palace,” Ami said, continuing her thoughts now that she started giving them voice.
“I should spank you for such thoughts. I never said I wanted some big breasted bimbo, besides I think your breasts are cute and I like how sensitive they are,” Tess replied, as Ami felt those long fingers tease her nipple causing her to gasp slightly at the touch. “And, you are beautiful little one.”
“No buts, degrade yourself again and I will spank you,” Tess replied. Ami could see the fierce determination in the blue eyes, and finally decided she would not doubt right now.
“Okay,” she finally stated, though the thought of being spanked by Tess continued to float in her mind. They had not done anything like that yet. She felt her heart rate pick up at the thought of such an action.
“Hmm, spanking might not be a suitable punishment for you,” Tess said catching Ami off guard. “Perhaps you like that thought?” Tess whispered in her ear. “Maybe a few hard spanks to that cute behind of yours followed by soft exploring caresses?”
Ami wiggled slightly as Tess’ hand ran over the part in question, before sliding between the cheeks. Ami felt a finger pause at her asshole before pressing against it. Ami squeaked before at the touch feeling Tess’ leg part her legs brushing up against her wet slit.
“Wet I see, did the possibility of being spanked turn you on?” Tess asked.
Ami blushed at the thought, and instead of answering hide her face in Tess’ shoulder. She felt the slight laugh before Tess spoke again.
“Won’t talk I see, well we have ways to find out,” Tess said.
Ami felt herself in a whirl of activity as Tess moved to a sitting position with Ami lying on her lap. Ami barely had time to recognize the position, when a loud thwack sound echoed in the room, feeling a slight sting on her behind. Ami barely processed that when a second followed in rapid fashion hitting the other cheek as Tess rapidly spanked her switching between the cheeks before stopping. Ami felt her breath hitch, as that same hand now lightly rubbed all over her behind exploring every bit of flesh there.
“Well?” Tess’ asked, both of them knowing what question Tess wanted. Ami knew that Tess already knew the answer to the question but wanted to hear Ami say it.
“Yes mistress,” Ami finally replied to Tess chuckle. Ami had a feeling that this morning would be interesting.
Ami stood on the balcony overlooking the training grounds and parts of the city several stories below. She was about four stories up making the palace one of the highest buildings in the city. She avoided sitting right now as the morning activities left her behind sore still. She felt happy despite the soreness as Tess had relieved some of her fears.
She looked down at the training grounds quickly spotting the Empress squaring off against a couple of men. Ami watched her easily fight off the men before stopping the training and calling out to several of them and going through some motions. Ami watched as each man seemed focused on what she was doing. Ami found herself focused on the Empress figure and the way she moved like flowing water.
“There you are,” a familiar voice said behind her. Ami turned to see one of the twins walking onto the balcony. She had finally been able to figure out which twin was which thanks to the fact they parted their hair differently. The twin who entered the room had her hair parted on the right.
“Just enjoying the view,” Ami replied, turning back around to look out at the training grounds as the Empress now had the men in different formations going over tactics.
“It is nice, isn’t it,” Kari said.
“Huh?” Ami replied unsure about the question, looking over at Kari who looked into the city and beyond. “Oh, yeah, the mountains are nice,” Ami finally replied, looking at the mountains. The view reminded her of pictures she had seen on the internet. She never expected to see such a sight so soon.
“I see, I think that what we were looking at were two different things, interesting,” Kari said, causing Ami to turn. Kari’s brown eyes were looking right at Ami in a strange way.
Ami decided to say nothing and looked back down in a different direction. She spotting several strange-looking figures in the crowd, one with white hair, another gold and the third with silver hair. They were tall and thin compared to others around them..
“Hm, Soulviers,” Kari said, almost as if she was asking a question.
“Soulviers?” Ami asked, looking at Kari then back down at the three figures, hearing Kira walk out onto the balcony. Ami knew of the race in some of her readings but till today never seen one.
“Yeah, they are out to the East, share a border with the Shadowlands with us,” Kira stated, causing Ami to nod her head.
“Powerful magic, but a bit reclusive,” Kari said.
“Usually they only come as merchants.”
“Sell good wares.”
“But those look…”
Ami turned to see Kari glaring at Kira with the look. Not the first time such interactions had happened. Ami learned Kari took her job very seriously while Kira had a curiosity for the unknown. Ami had a feeling that Kari stopped her twin from saying something she considered off-limits.
“So, you, I mean we, have contact with most of these races?” Ami asked, hoping to change the subject.
“Most, there are about a dozen races,” Kira said.
“Some we have contact with others we don’t.”
“But not everyone gets along.”
“Like the Soulviers and Yeelks.”
“Yeah, they hate each other.”
Ami processed that for a few seconds, along with the knowledge she still had a lot to learn. She turned back to the training ground, seeing Tess make her way towards the palace with another tall woman standing beside her. It seemed obvious to Ami that Tess knew the brown-haired woman well by their interaction. Was this woman a lover? Ami’s eyes narrowed a bit studying the woman.
“Your bath is prepared,” Kira said, interrupting Ami. She looked at Tess and the other woman before following the twins off to the bath.
Ami disrobed after entering the bathing chamber, and headed over to the bath carefully sitting down on her still sore behind. The water stung for a second but she got used to it quickly. Kira went to wash her hair as Kari walked out of the room.
“So, what is this device called a computer?” Kira quickly asked. Ami quickly recalled their conversation yesterday, as Kira would ask these questions whenever Kari was gone.
“Oh, a device that we use to just about everything from shopping to sharing information, talking, entertainment, videos, and anything else we can get it to do,” Ami replied hoping she could adequately describe it.
“All in one thing! Amazing! How large is it, do people fit in it?”
Ami chuckled slightly at that. “No, most times it can fit in the palm of your hand. It has a screen which you can use to view the information displayed and we can use touch-pens, keyboards or a mouse to input information.”
“Sounds strange, using an animal like a mouse,” Kira replied, causing Ami to chuckle.
“Not an animal, a small device we use to control a computer, sounds strange and I don’t know why they started using that name, It might seem unusual, but to me so is seeing magic and other races,” Ami replied honestly.
“Never thought about that,” Kira stated.
“What about wands, I know people use them, but are they required?” Ami asked.
“Wands, most people do use them, we can do magic without them. Wands are useful in large magic spells. I use it for large-scale cleaning, moving heavy objects that would otherwise require me to use more magic,” Kira answered.
“I see,” Ami said thinking about that for a few seconds.
“People in the military can use them to change their wand into whatever weapon they desire, or a shield,” Kira said surprising Ami a bit. She thought of the wand changing into some sort of long sword or shield. She could see where carrying a wand in the military would be easier than a sword.
“Can they do the same thing with armor?” Ami asked.
“No, too large so they put that on still,” Kira said. “So you don’t have other races where you come from on your world?”
“No, we have other countries, and they don’t always get along either. Some go to war and depending on how large they are it can involve the entire world,” Ami replied.
“Oh, so not much different,” Kira replied, as Kari walked into the room ending their conversation. Ami never asked why Kari disliked talking about such things, wait until she got to know them better and hoping they would tell her first.
Ami stepped out of the tub, accepting the towel from Kira quickly drying off before sitting down. Kira sat down behind her brushing her hair.
“You are finally opening up.”
Ami glanced over at Kira wondering what the twins meant about that. She then looked over at Kari who started the reply.
“You no longer blush.”
“Or try to cover up anymore.”
“When you get out of the tub.”
“Like you did.”
Ami took a moment to think about what they said. She realized that both twins were right in their statement. “I guess you’re right,” she finally said, wondering what else about her had changed in the time she had been here.
“The Empress has said she wanted one more thing that had yet to be done,” Kari said, almost apologetically, reaching over to where a bottle of clear liquid sat. Ami eyed it with a question in her eyes. “This will eliminate your periods.”
Ami opened her mouth in shock wondering if she heard correctly. Something that would eliminate her period?
“We have discovered a magic serum that can do this,” Kari said.
“Tough usually only those who are sex slaves or have sex as part of their profession use it.”
“As there is a side effect to taking it.”
“It usually renders the woman unable to have a child.”
“But the Empress wishes you to have this.”
Ami thought about this again. She knew that by going through with it she would be free of her periods and probably everything else that went with them, but to never have children seemed an awful large step. She also realized that regardless of her personal preference, it meant nothing to the Empress. She understood that by refusing she risked punishment. Tess had described some punishments to Ami in large detail to the point she did not wish to test the woman.
“If the Empress orders it then it must be done,” Ami replied. “Does it hurt?”
“There will be.”
“Some mild discomfort.”
They answered. Ami nodded, hoping it did not taste too bad.
Tess walked into the meeting room. Lyos had found her changing from her armor, telling her that she had some guests who asked to meet with her. Usually Lycos refused such requests, unless the person was important. So the fact that the request got through meant, whoever they were, they were not typical guests.
She looked at the three people sitting down across the table quickly recognizing them. Representatives of the Soulviers sat at the table patiently waiting for her. All three stood as she entered the room. Tess focused her attention on them curious to why they were there. She had no problems with the border with the Soulvier Empire so she returned their bow sitting down and waited to hear why they were there.
“I bring greetings from our Emperor Bararra to Empress Tess,” one said. Tess looked on taking in his clothing and that he was an advisor. He had blonde hair and silver eyes. The person on his left, gold hair and gold eyes, and the third person, silver hair and silver eyes. “This is Perlack,” he said pointing to the Soulvier who had gold hair, “and Uccri,” the Soulvier who had sliver hair, “and I am Jarkal, senior advisor to Emperor Bararra.”
“I greet and welcome you to my Empire,” Tess replied back, knowing that such exchanges in pleasantries were essential in dealing with Soulviers. She hated it and willed herself to be patient as Jarkal went thought the next three levels of greetings, before finally the pleasantries had finished.
“I am impressed Empress Tess, I’ve been told you don’t handle such patience so well,” the gold haired Soulvier said. Tess recalled his name as Perlack and a military advisor.
“Honestly, it does test my patience, but I’ve learned from the battlefield there is time to be patient and a time for action,” Tess replied looking him in his gold eyes and not backing down.
“That might be a wise but you don’t seem to be that type. I’ve heard you like to strike hard and fast,” Perlack said.
“When I strike, yes I strike hard,” Tess replied. “So what is this about?”
“Right to the point as usual,” Jarkal said.
“You know what this is about!” Perlack said, interrupting anything else Jarkal started to say. Tess frowned at what appeared two different approaches, content to watch as the two stared at each other for several long seconds.
“Ahem,” she finally said, when it appeared neither would back down. They both turned to look at her and she focused on Perlack. “If I knew, as you say I do, then I wouldn’t be asking, so what do I know that I should know?”
“You have a large force of soldiers in the Shadowlands near our border,” Perlack said.
Tess looked over at Becca then at Carrie, both of them shrugged at the allegation. She looked at Jarkal and Perlack seeing no deception in their eyes.
“You say I have a large military force along your border in the Shadowlands, correct,” Tess said to them both, wanting to make sure the information was correct. She already had a theory forming in her mind.
“Yes, don’t deny it, we know they are human,” Perlock said.
“We only know they are a human force, our mission is to find out if the Human Empire is behind this,” Jarkal said looking over at Perlock.
“I can honestly say I have no force in the Shadowlands,” she finally said.
“But you have been busy in the Shadowlands, we know that you did a deep scan of some areas of it recently,” Jarkal said.
Tess looked over at Carrie, both knew that her mages had done some scans looking for Gregory. She waved her hand bringing up a map on the table.
“Where is this group of soldiers that you’re talking about,” Tess asked. She hoped to gain some insight about where this group was, especially if it might concern Gregory, which she had a suspicion it probably did.
She stood leaning over the table along with Becca as Perlock pointed to an area. She looked at the map realizing the beauty of Gregory’s plan to locate so close to the Soulvier boarder.
“It’s not mine, but I think I know who it is,” Tess finally replied.
“Yeah, yours,” Perlock said.
“Keep quiet, we’ll listen for now,” Jarkal replied as the two once again had a stare down.
“There is a warlord, a Zero-Mage, called Gregory who has recruited mercenaries now for a while,” Tess said to them, watching to see what their reaction might be. “It seems that he needs an army for something he’s planned, what that plan is I do not yet know. Have any or your people managed to infiltrate the group?”
“Ha, anyone we send would be spotted right away, they have some powerful mages with them,” Perlock said.
Tess added that to her information before Jarkal spoke again. “So, what does this Zero-Mage, Gregory, want?” he asked.
Tess rubbed her forehead sitting back down. “That I don’t know,” Tess finally said, seeing a thoughtful look on Jarkal’s face and distrust on Perlock’s. She motioned to a servant who brought over something to drink. She thought about how much she could actually tell them. She spoke the truth that she did not know Gregory’s true goal, only that he needed an army to do it.
“This Gregory, I think I’ve heard of him, he worked with you for a while, did he not, before you conquered this land,” Jarkal stated calmly. Tess realized that he had some good and accurate information. He held up a hand forestalling anything Perlock would say before continuing. “This information greatly disturbs me and I’m sure our king would think the same thing.”
“There is little I can do to alleviate such fears is there not, especially if I do not control them,” Tess said, looking at the three of them.
A guard walked into the room interrupting anything else that might have been said. Tess glared at him watching him stumble for a second under the stare.
“E-Empress, there, um, well there is someone here to see you,” he said, trailing off as he spoke. Becca stood and hauled off the guard heading back out of the room, leaving Tess angry at such an embarrassment in front of representatives of another empire. She prided herself on the order of her people.
“I have to apologize for that, my guards are usually well-mannered and know better than to interrupt such talks,” Tess said, knowing that the outer guards would get a talking to as well.
“It’s to be expected, you are human after all,” Perlock said, causing Tess’ eyes to narrow at the insult to her.
Tess started to reply when Becca walked back in rather quickly right up to Tess. The look on the brunette’s face told more than anything. Something had happened.
“You have another visitor Empress, one that you probably should keep waiting,” Becca said.
“No doubt from that group of soldiers you have along our boarder saying they were caught,” Perlock said.
“Then you are the fool,” another voice said, causing them all to turn towards the door. Standing in the doorway stood a short white-haired old man with blue eyes leaning slightly on a walking stick. Tess realized that he was a Segic, and that Becca was right, she could not ignore such a visitor. They were rare to meet with others.
“You call me a fool old man!” Perlock said angrily.
“Yes, a fool, and a stupid one at that,” the man said, causing Tess to quickly hide a smile at the Segic’s analysis of the situation.
“Be quiet Perlock,” Jarkal quickly said. “Do you know who this is?”
“An old man who should learn to keep quiet,” Perlock said.
“No, he is Gallic, a famous seer,” Jarkal said.
Gallic, a name even Tess had heard of. He was noted for his famous visions for so long. He vanished about twenty years ago and people thought he had finally died. Tess realized that they were wrong if he stood in front of them right now. She also realized that he had something to tell her if he came out of hiding.
“I think I should listen to my new guest, if you’ll excuse us,” Tess said, standing up to head to another room.
“No, this is for all of you for it concerns the fate of the world,” Gallic said to them. Tess took a second before sitting back down and motioning him forward to speak to them.
“A deep darkness is spreading outwards from this land,” Gallic said causing Tess to bristle. “It is an ancient evil that is awakening. I have seen the return of the Enokrad.”
Tess thought about that but could not recall such a name. She looked over at the others to see if they knew. Becca’s face showed confusion at the name as did the three Souldivers but Carrie’s face showed something else.
“Enokrad! You must be mistaken,” Carrie finally said.
“No, I’m afraid not,” Gallic said.
“You’ve heard of this, Enokrad?” Tess asked hoping to gain some information about this.
“Only from obscure texts that I’ve read, very old scrolls telling about an ancient evil, one that could suck up magic,” Carrie said.
Tess looked at Carrie then over at Gallic wondering about this. If this person was indeed so evil why had she never heard of it?
“Almost all texts were destroyed regarding this creature. It was hoped that it would slumber for all eternity,” Gallic said. “However it seems someone has learned about this creature.”
“Gregory,” Tess said at last. “This has to be what he’s after, he is a Zero-Mage.”
“I do not know much about this person you speak of, my visions do not show me who is behind it, only that if action isn’t taken it will awaken,” Gallic said.
“So, we’re to do what? If we don’t know what this is, are we to wait for this, Enokrad, to wake up?” Perlock said.
“No, if Gregory really is in that area then we attack him,” Tess said. “He said he needed a large army to break a seal when we rode together. But I always assumed the seal was in my land, so why is he near your boarder?” she mused to herself. “It makes no sense to bring another group into the mix, unless he hoped to start a war. I also find it hard to believe that he’s working with powerful mages, he hates all magic, and this creature, this Enokrad can absorb magic then,” she trailed off at that thought looking up at the others.
“He’s trying to ride the world of magic,” Carrie said.
“Then those machines of the Zero-Mages will rule supreme,” Becca said finishing off the thought.
“This is getting too complex,” Tess said.
“Why does he hate magic,” Jarkal said.
“And what’s this Zero-Mage you keep talking about.”
Tess sighed knowing that while among the humans they were well known in the other races they were less known.
“Zero-Mages are a group of humans who have no magical ability, they build machines instead. Almost all are evil and murderous,” Tess stated to them. She had learned so much thanks to Ami, but now she guarded some of that information. Some races harbored fears of humans and such a group would not improve relations at all.
“And how would this person have found out about such a creature,” Perlock said. “If all records were destroyed?”
The question bugged Tess as well. “I don’t know, only that he’s known about it for a while now.”
“There are obscure groups around the world who know about this creature,” Gallic said finally. “Some to protect the secret others to revive it. If he found the right group, they would tell him easily.”
Tess felt unsure knowing that groups were out there operating in secret about such things.
“The Psyoks,” Jarkal said.
“Yes, but they usually don’t concern themselves with the physical world,” Gallic said finally.
“I think we need to read up about this, Carrie can you bring the scroll for us to read?” Tess finally said looking over at the red-head who had a strange look on her face.
“Um, I suppose, it’s not here,” she finally replied. “I’ll see if I can, it might take me until tomorrow or so.”
“We shall wait to hear all of this, but if it is in your empire then it is no concern of ours,” Jarkal said. “We shall retire for the night and make up our minds after reading this scroll.”
Tess waved at one of the servants telling him to get Lycos. A few moments later he appeared with a bow at Tess waiting for her orders.
“Lycos, our guests are staying the night, make sure they have comfortable rooms,” Tess said to him.
“Of course Empress,” he said with a bow and then left the room followed by the three Soulviers leaving Tess with Becca and Gallic.
“Well, that was interesting,” Becca finally said stretching slightly.
“And what about you?” Tess asked the old Segic.
“I shall stay as well, for now,” he said.
“Then we’ll have a dinner in the main hall,” Tess replied. “I’ll have Lycos fins you a room as well.”
Tess headed out looking for Helen.
End Part 4
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