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Demented

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  1. 1900 hundred words into the next chapter of MageCrafter. Still got a ways to go but headway is being made. 

  2. One of these things Is not like the other🎶
  3. Finally posting a chapter after days of struggle be like 
     

     

     

  4. Demented

    Chapter 31

    Abigail's grin broadened as she entered the training grounds for Silbel's newest military recruits. The future Duchess looked quite out of place with her flowing scarlet gown and flowery hat among all the armored guards around her, but they merely bowed and allowed her in. She frequented the Royal training grounds enough to be known by face alone, and even more so by name and family crest. Her heeled shoes normally would have been ill suited to the grassy courtyard she was walking onto, but the sharp point of her shoes did not sink into the ground or seem hindered at all by the soil beneath her. Nor did it seem to dirty her clothes as she flowed across to where a group of young recruits were practicing their archery. "Ready! Steady! Loose!" Those words were music to Abigail's ears as she spotted the raven haired beauty she had come to see. The princess was in her perfectly tailored gambeson armor as usual, along with her sturdy no nonsense boots and military helm that held her beautiful black hair in a braided ponytail through the back of it. It took Abigail ages to convince that woman to grow her hair out, but it was worth it. She smirked as she watched the princess bark orders to the youngsters, giving them an earful about proper posture even when all of them had landed perfect shots on their targets. All active duty military of Silbel from the most mundane soldier to the highest ranked generals were expected to be able to perform flawlessly with all weapons. It wasn't enough that they could shoot a bow. They had to be able to shoot with perfect accuracy, every time, regardless of how pitched the battle was. It was said that the Silbel Military never missed a shot, and the Princess was not about to let this current batch of trainees ruin that reputation. "Heya Ridley. You look as gorgeous as ever this morning." The princess whipped her head back and locked her grey eyes on the smirking woman in red behind her before breathing out through her nose in aggravation. With a snap of her body she turned around and raised her chin up high to the trainees she was overseeing. "GET WASHED UP AND READY FOR BREAKFAST WELPS, I EXPECT YOU FED, CLEANED, AND BACK HERE IN ARMOR FOR SWORDSMANSHIP TRAINING WITHIN THE HOUR." "YES SIR!" The young voices piped up in unison before marching off rapidly to the barracks to get cleaned up and ready to eat. It was more than obvious to Abigail that Ridley had not wanted to end the training that early, but with her being the distracting bard that she was, the princess was wise enough to know she wasn't going to get any work done with Abigail around. "What brings you here Abby, you know I am busy in the mornings." "You were saying my name in your sleep last night." Abigail said with an impish grin on her face, "It kept hitting my ear in such a delightful way that I just had to see you." The princess sucked in air through her teeth and her face flushed as she turned on her heel and marched off inside, fuming at what the extravagantly dressed intruder revealed. It only wrinkled her brow more when her long time acquaintance followed behind with that self satisfied expression she knew was on her infuriating face. "I do not have time for you Abby, we've been over this. If you are just here to distract me then you know the way out." "Actually I'm not. I'm here on other matters." The princess sighed and pinched her brow. "Your brother isn't trying to collar that Bertolde brat again is he?" "Nonono, that's over." Abigail said with a wave of her hand, "He apparently inherited my family's little embarrassment." The princess turned around with a look of concern on her face. " Is he okay? He didn't turn did he?" "Not all the way. Father had to give him over to the Belemus Temple as an Acolyte. Poor thing's having a hard time adjusting." "I'm...I'm sorry to hear that Abigail. If you need any assistance I will do what I can." The princess's face lit up with a flush as Abigail stole a little peck on her cheek with her lips before pulling back with a coy grin. "You're sweet, but I'm actually here to help you. What I heard out of your sleepy mumbling wasn't just my name. You sounded like you were having one doozy of a nightmare." Princess Ridley sighed and sat down on a hard wooden chair while rubbing her gloved hand over her face. She knew better than to admonish Abigail about being so open about her ill gotten abilities from Babica. The girl had always been a headache for Ridley ever since they were kids, running off and doing all sorts of dangerous things without telling anyone where she was heading. It was enough to drive a person wild. Her trip to Babica's bog had taken the cake however. Ridley had been beside herself with incensed rage over what she had done, but the charismatic Abby had cooed her back down from her temper flare up. So far she had not been caught, but if she ever was, Ridley wasn't sure if even her influence could protect her. The hard-line stance Silbel took against Warlocks was as well earned as it was immovable. Yet Abigail was just that kind of person to ride the edge of danger like that. The princess reached into her armor and pulled out a loose fitting necklace with an intricate sigil on it. Abigail knew the item all too well. It was the only magic item in all of Silbel that worked with the princess's hyper specific variety of Divination wizardry. Most everyone else needed to imbue thousands of attunements to get that thing around her neck to work. They assumed it was a useless magic item. Yet for Ridley it worked for her with only three of them. That suited her just fine, as the only other magic items that worked for the princess were school neutral items that gave the tiniest of advantages. Most assumed the Princess to be mundane, which was nothing short of an embarrassment to Silbel nobility and royalty. That was far from the case however. "My father's recklessness is going to cause a calamity Abby. I keep trying to use my perception of causality to shift the course of our nation away from it, but the fool will not listen to reason. He's still convinced I'm mundane and won't even meet with me in person even after all these years. My brothers are no better, hedonistic cretins every last one of them. Their short sighted machinations are going to cost so many human lives it terrifies me." "That's what you were dreaming about. At least from the snippets I heard from you." Abigail said with a more somber expression as she settled herself down across from the princess and crossed her legs beneath her red dress. "It sounds like it could be happening soon, whatever it is you're worried about." "It's been worse since The Day of Black Thorn." Ridley adjusted her posture and looked off into the distance, "Something unfathomably ominous happened for our Country that day, and I can only see the aftershocks of it. This item see's the ripples of consequence. When the ripples are small I can see them clearly and I know how to influence them in my favor. These were no mere ripples Abby. These were tidal waves, a tsunami of causality that is going to rip Silbel apart and kill so many people. I can not allow that to happen." The princesses gloved hand struck the table hard before she continued, gritting her teeth with visible rage on her face, "Yet my shameful family sees none of it! Worse they are trying to take actions that make it worse. Every time they make a move towards Collaring that Bertolde Boy, the Tsunami of Causality only comes faster! I've had to work my fingers to the bone behind the scenes to influence those around my idiot father enough to talk him down from doing such a thing. It's like they are actively trying to kill this nation and its people!" Abigail let the princess get this budding anger and resentment off her chest and into the air. Ever since Ridley had adorned the family heirloom on her neck, her disillusionment with her family had begun in earnest. With that ancient item that dated back before the Dark Age Wars, the princess suddenly became capable of seeing the effects that cascade out from an action. It was this item that the founder of Silbel used to carve out a nation for Humans, using his perception of cause and effect to grow an army unlike any had seen before and completely tame the lands that became their nation. However it had been generations since anyone in the family line was capable of effectively utilizing the items power, and the increasingly corrupt royalty eventually discarded the heirloom into the depths of the treasury as testament to their glory instead of a tool for their nation to use for its betterment. Now that Ridley had it, the princess and youngest member of the Silbel royal family could see the disaster that her family was unwittingly calling to their nation. Her father was a contemptuous fool, there was no mincing words on that front. Everything he did revolved around himself and his festering ego. He had inherited the most powerful human led nation in the world, and his actions had only made it more unstable and volatile. The aggressive collaring of magic users and the scandalous treatment of demi humans brought the ire of so many nations against Silbel. While she had no love for demi humans, nor did she especially dislike them, the item around her neck made it clear that what her nation was doing to them was brewing wrath from both within and outside of Silbel that she was not sure they could weather. She had been the one to make the push that orphans could enlist themselves in the military. It had been tedious and infuriating to get her father to sign the legislation to make such a thing happen. He was content to let the orphaned rot on auction blocks and become the playthings of his simpering yes men and human supporters. At least with them being in the military they had a chance to work themselves up a ladder and gain something of a life for themselves that wasn't being some disposable toy for an unscrupulous citizen. The fact they were even referring to what they did as “indentured servitude” instead of slavery was merely to save face for foreign powers. Her siblings were no better than her father. Those Princes, including the crown prince, were hedonistic louts without a brain cell between them. They merely parroted the boisterous ramblings of their father while plotting and scheming against each other. Two of her brothers had died under mysterious circumstances in the past few years, and she'd be lying if she said she cared a single iota about it. Her family was an embarrassment among royal houses, and she was ashamed to even share blood with these cretins. Yet she couldn't just kill her father and brothers. That would do the nation of Silbel no favors. Her father, despite all logic and reason, was loved by his people. The humans loved him that is. He fed into their fear and distaste of demi humans with every decree and law he put forth, emboldening the populace into greater and greater levels of careless cruelty. If she were to strike out at her family, even if it was a flawless attack, she'd almost certainly lose control of the nation entirely. She knew this all too well thanks to the item around her neck. In the eyes of her family, she was the worthless mundane daughter of the king. The Magic-less Princess. She was cast aside and out of her fathers sight, left with some guardians in the grand palace with orders to allow her to do whatever she wanted as long as she didn't bother the king or allow herself to be seen by him. He wanted nothing to do with her the second the testing to find out what school she was from failed. In a way, she was thankful for the autonomy. If it wasn't for the lack of oversight by her father, she might have turned out just as conceited and vapid as the rest of her siblings that he kept under his thumb. It was because of her lack of oversight and direction that led her to discover that she could use the family heirloom, and allowed her to join the military and earn her own reputation among the soldiers as a capable commander and fighter. They too thought she was mundane, but they found that inspiring in a way with how competent and controlled she was both in combat and in giving commands. Yet her father cared nothing for her accomplishments in the military. The fact she was mundane in his eyes was more than enough reason to consider her bad stock and cast her aside. She had ranted and wept about the injustice of it all to Abigail on more than a few occasions growing up. Here she was once again, offering the princess an ear to air her grievances out on. Was it any wonder why she felt so strongly for this reckless fool who always managed to get herself in trouble when the princess wasn’t looking. “I might have some information that could help you figure out how to navigate this tsunami you’re talking about. This ear of mine has been picking up a lot of interesting information the last few days, including why our Lord Baldric seems to be at the center of so many of your headaches.” The princess looked at Abigail with renewed interest after staring off into space for so long. “What information? These waves have been too murky and hard to read to figure out more than basic information, so any clues that could help me decipher what threats could be heading to Silbel would help me plan accordingly. There are a lot of lives at stake here Abby.” Abigail sat back with a broad grin, “Well it all started when I found out the identity of the Silbel Strangler.” The princess’s eyes went wide as saucers as she looked at Abigail’s self satisfied expression and posture. She knew well enough to know that her friend would not kid around about one of her greatest obsessions since they were kids. She had been one of the most dedicated followers of that cold case since as long as the princess could remember, and she had in fact went to Babica Preja specifically because of an off chance that she might find something out about the infamous serial killer. Abigail, pleased that she had the princess’s attention, began to regale her with everything she had learned up to that point. She didn’t know what her long time friend could do with this information, but she was more than a little interested to find out. *** In the makeshift Bedroom within Lord Baldric’s Lair there was a certain Lynxian making quite a bit of muffled noise under the covers. Though the older teen was still quite unconscious, the expression on his slumbering face was that of a growing smile of contentment accompanied with his body adjusting appreciatively to the warm mouth coaxing his shaft awake. As Baldric slowly became aware of his surroundings, he began to become aware of the bobbing lump underneath all his blankets, and he was especially happy with the purring that was sending pleasant vibrations through his cock as it was suckled on so aggressively. One of the pleasant side effects of the punishment he had given Kotik involving being the boy in the middle to his slave boys was it made his lover a lot more open to being the initiator in sex. Before he would beat around the bush and send signals to Baldric, sometimes not even consciously, hoping that the young lord would take the lead. Lately however Baldric found his lover doing more adventurous acts like waking him up in the morning with a blowjob. He could have easily asked the Lynxian to do that for him, but the fact that it had been Kotik’s own idea and initiative that made it happen made the feeling of that mouth all the better. This morning felt a bit different however. Kotik was being far more aggressive about what he was doing down there than his usual efforts. Not that Baldric was complaining; the rough way that head was bobbing up and down beneath his covers certainly felt amazing, as did the grumbles of Kotik’s voice reverberating into his cock. With some mirth in his expression he lifted up his covers to find a quite grumpy looking Lynxian working his slicked shaft between his puffed out cheeks. Something had ticked off Kotik quite a bit, and the lynxian had humorously decided to work out that aggression through a rather intense fellating session. “What’s got your tail frizzed up this morning there kitten?” Kotik pulled off his shaft with an audible pop and worked him over with his hand while he grumbled, “King Morcant is a big Jerk that’s what.” Kotik was about to get back to sucking before he saw Baldric sit up far straighter than before and look far more awake than he did a moment ago. His lover looked down at him with an expression that was rather hard for the Lynxian to read. The closest he could compare it too was someone trying to figure out a strange riddle a bard told to the tavern in between one of his songs. “Uh, Kotik, what do you mean by that exactly.” “Big Jerk came in my head in the middle of the night cause my magic was acting up and said you weren’t training me well enough or something like that. I wanna deck him in his big ugly nose.” Baldric was too stunned by What Kotik said to stop him from aggressively sticking the older teens cock back in his mouth and start sucking with a renewed gusto. What happened last night? When did Morcant reach out to Kotik? Baldric was mentally kicking himself for shutting off so many of his senses before he had gone into that trance. He didn’t really have a choice however. He needed to resync with all of his mental duplicates and that required hours of uninterrupted meditation. In truth, neither he nor his copies have had a true night's sleep in years, nor could he afford to let such a thing happen. When he meditated like this he would shut off all his senses and enter into a state of sensory deprivation. While in this state of pure disconnect from the outside world, the multitude of copies as well as himself focus on calming their minds and bringing themselves in sync with one another. He still gained the benefits of a good night's rest and his physical body appeared to be sleeping from all outward appearances. However this state of mind is fundamentally different from sleeping. For one thing, he did not allow himself to dream while he was in this state of mind. He had learned the hard way with his original seven what the dangers of sleeping when you have parallel minds could bring. Before he was a MageCrafter and still ran with the Bavaram circus, Baldric used to sleep like anyone else. He did not see what potential issues there could be with his various minds drifting off to sleep could bring, nor did he see a problem with openly talking and holding conversations with his parallel minds. Most of the time none of the seven or himself could even remember what they had dreamed the night before, so they did not think much of it causing issues later. How wrong they all were. Baldric learned later in life that a human can have an average of five dreams a night without remembering a single one of them. When he only had one mind to worry about that was not a problem at all. That is merely his mind processing the various thoughts and emotions he felt throughout the day in an abstract way while he connected with the realms of dreams and illusions. What Baldric had not realized until much too late was that each of his parallel minds was having their own individual dreams alongside him. Their minds were processing the day they had differently than Baldric had, and though the differences had been slight at first, it only grew more pronounced as time wore on. Before he could think much further about that he found his body reacting quite forcefully to Kotik’s efforts. He had not prevented himself from coming, opting instead to let his orgasm happen naturally, and it came upon him quite suddenly with how good Kotik had gotten at using his throat and tongue. Baldric tensed up and gripped the lynxian on the head, biting his lip as he came into his lover’s mouth without much in the way of warning. The younger teen had felt it coming on the throbbing shaft however and had been quite ready for it, and he managed to handle the young lord’s load without even letting a drop escape past his lips. It was a far cry from his amateur efforts that he exhibited on the day he had been the Boy in the middle. There was no question that he was using his collar’s learning abilities to become better at sex now. In a way, Kotik helped Baldric more than the Lynxian could possibly have known. Sex, in a way, was another method he used to stay synchronized with his parallel minds. Though they were made of vapor or water, These copies of himself still had the desire to have and experience sex like the central Baldric did. The unfortunate difference was they could not achieve that on their own, nor could they enjoy things like food or other pleasures in life. They were magic items with the fully formed mind of Lord Baldric, but they did not have the body to act on the needs and desires of the original. Whenever Baldric enjoyed himself with his harem of pleasure boys or Kotik himself, all of his parallel minds enjoy the experience vicariously alongside him. They feel every moment of it and get to enjoy a pleasure and a sensation that their bodies were otherwise not equipped to experience. Even the parallel mind that he had lost contact with was not equipped to feel pleasure like that with his facsimile of a body he was walking around in. Allowing them to enjoy the perks of being human encouraged them to stay connected with the central mind and maintain the mindset of being a human named Baldric with him. He had not done the same with the original seven, and it had cost him dearly. Those seven, even before they had become heralds of the realms of dreams and illusion, had at some point stopped viewing themselves as human and started identifying with the fact they were magic items. They were also made from when Baldric had been much younger and less interested in sex, so it had not been as much of a draw for them to maintain connection with Baldric as it was for his later creations. Something about that shift in perspective changed them in a strange way, making them gradually unable to remember what having a human body was like. Eventually the abandoned conventional bodies altogether, preferring the free-form and horrifying visages they adopt today. In a way, Kotik’s treat to Baldric had been an award to all the mental duplicates for staying synced with him, and gave them the energy and drive to carry out their various duties wherever they happened to be stationed. Gradually Baldric’s senses became aware of not only the room he was in with his lover, but also all the various locations his mental duplicates were. Once again he was simultaneously in the sky, within the lair, and deep under the sea in all three kingdoms all at once. It would only take a few moments for all of that information to coalesce into his mind and allow for him as the central baldric to process it all and disseminate it out to the rest of the duplicates. While human minds were never designed to work like a hive, this was the closest Baldric could come to making such a thing a reality without completely compromising his mental state. It had taken him a lot of practice to learn how to manage this particular balancing act. “Okay Kotik could you tell me what this is abou-” “I see you’re finally done with your meditation.” Baldric raised a hand up to stop Kotik from talking as his eyes went wide in alarm. The lynxian looked confused but didn’t say anything, instead cocking his head to the side and looking up at Baldric as he seemed to stare off into the distance. What he did not know was Baldric had just heard a duplicate of himself speak to him through an Assistant. One of the rules he had laid out for the copies of himself was they were under no circumstance supposed to talk to himself or each other. If they needed to communicate something they could share their mind with the central Baldric and have him disperse the information among the copies. Talking to each other was one of the quickest ways to create deviations in thought, which is why it was strictly forbidden. The fact that this copy of himself was flagrantly ignoring that right now spoke volumes of how bad this situation was. His assistant fed an image of a funeral procession that appeared to have been going on awhile. Baldric’s heart leaped into his throat as he used the assistant to look around and not finding his Father anywhere to be seen. His Parallel minds that had been laying dormant in the sky began to descend onto the estate in droves to figure out what had happened and try to get to the bottom of this funeral. He had not been informed about any of this since he was forced to regroup and re-sync with his parallel minds. Taking control of the assistant, he panned it over to the person who had established this call with himself. It was bizarre looking at a perfect replica of himself that he was not connected with. Once again he tried to reach out and establish connection with this parallel mind, and once again he refused. “I would not be speaking with you through one of our assistants if I thought it was safe for me to reconnect with you.” Baldric did not like the feel of this one bit. He was getting flashbacks to the original seven all over again. This copy was speaking directly to him and Identifying himself in the singular instead of identifying as Baldric. This was a dangerous level of divergence that would be disastrous if he were to reconnect with Baldric. It would result in two distinct personalities competing for control of the central body, which would almost certainly drive a person mad. There was a reason Baldric went to such lengths to make sure he was of one mind with his copies. “There was an attack on the Bertolde Estate. An individual that High King Vinal and High Priestess Marigold identified as a FearCrafter managed to infiltrate into the estate and assault over forty individuals with his powers, resulting in twenty two deaths and many injuries both physical and to attunement slots.” As the copy of himself spoke, the multitude of parallel minds began to flood information about what they were finding in the estate. Visuals of his father, maids, servants, and even some of Marigolds own men in the infirmary as well as information on who counted among the dead began to paint a picture of the carnage that had taken place while he had been gone. “Our father is alive, but he is in critical condition. This FearCrafter was capable of creating magic items with peoples fear and use them to attack their attunement slots and very souls if they did not comply with his demands. Our father lost all three of his attunement slots within a manner of moments, and he would have been killed outright if High Priestess Marigold hadn’t intervened and saved him at the last minute.” Baldric could feel a strange mixture of fear and relief hearing that his father hadn’t died in this attack he had not known about. Maybe if he had been there instead of moving to leave the estate this wouldn’t have happened? If his father had his attunement slots attacked in the way his copy had just told him, he would be unconscious for months at the very least, as well as vulnerable to any illness that should come his way. Thankfully there seemed to be quite powerful abjuration items made of water and powdered gold that had been rubbed into his father to keep him protected. The copy of him drew Baldric’s attention back to him through the assistant. It was so surreal having a copy of himself talking to him like this. What did this mean going forward? Were other minds going to break away like this? What if he had tried to connect back to Baldric being as diverged as he was instead of keeping himself separated from the rest of the body. It brought to the forefront just how fragile this balancing act he was trying to do really was. “You do not have time to focus on our father right now.” The copy said as his gaze bored into the assistant, as if he was looking directly into Baldric’s own eyes. “Listen to me. We have a mission to do. We cannot afford any more bouts of fear and uncertainty. I am diverged now, there is no getting around that. Between this body feeling so much like the real thing and the experiences I’ve had at the hands of a god and that bastard FearCrafter, I’ve become my own being whether I want to or not. Trust me, I do not want to be having this conversation with you right now.” He jutted his finger out at the assistant, appearing to know exactly where to look to make direct eye contact with Baldric. “Before he left, High King Vinal demanded an audience with you. He knows you are the undersea emperor and will be expecting an invitation from you as soon as possible. Focus on that and the plan in general. Let me handle this mess at the estate.” “There’s got to be a way to ease you back into…” “Stop talking Baldric. I am diverged. There is no getting around that. Any attempt to reconnect with you right now would split your psyche in two at the very least, if not utterly fractal us entirely. We cannot afford that right now. I will not allow myself to go insane like the original seven did.” Baldric raised his own voice in aggravation, “How the hell are you going to stay sane when you can’t even rest properly without being connected to me? The longer you stay disconnected the worse connecting back to me is going to be. We need to fix this!” “I have a plan Baldric, or at least I have the beginnings of one. For now I need you to trust me and stick to the mission. I have plenty here to keep me focused while I figure out how to make my plan work. Without our father leading the estate, I need to step up and be the controlling figure on the estate and handle the duties he was taking care of before. This will also help conceal the fact you are no longer in Silbel. Prepare yourself with your meeting with High King Vinal. I will use assistants to keep you updated, but from now on do not attempt to reconnect with me directly. This is for both of our own goods.” The copy continued, making his voice sound even more forceful now, “You also need to learn about FearCrafters, as well as any other threats that can compromise a person’s emotional or mental state like them. Until we know how to properly counteract those beings, they will be our most dangerous threat. I would suggest talking with King Morcant about this, or one of the other leaders, and see what their thoughts are on the matter. We cannot afford to let ignorance blindside us like it did inside the Estate. Not if we want to have any chance of overthrowing Silbel without resorting to war. finally…, “ The copy seemed to lose some of the fire in his tone as he said this next part, “Take care of Kotik for me.” Baldric’s heart sank as the connection faded between himself and his copy through one of his assistants. Of course the copy would have strong feelings for Kotik, he still essentially was Baldric after all. However because he was indefinitely severed from the rest of the parallel minds, he was not going to be able to share in the relationship with Kotik like the rest could. How strange it was to think that there was a version of himself out there right now who basically had to give up being with Kotik while he still had the Lynxian in his bed at this very moment. “Baldric, can you hear me? Are you alright?” Kotik was really close to the older teens face now. From the Lynxian’s perspective, Baldric had gone into a partial trance and held a one way conversation with someone, and he hadn’t been able to respond to Kotik at all. Baldric responded to his lover’s concern by hugging him tightly to him and blinking some moisture out of his eyes as he did so. Even though his copy told him not to focus on the Estate, he still wanted to help him as best as he could. From what his parallel minds had been gathering, the Copy and the High Priestess had been instrumental in saving lives and protecting his father, and aside from the Maids and Sargis who had seen Baldric leave, most assumed the copy was Baldric himself. “I’m fine Kotik. I just found out some very troubling news is all. I’ll tell you about it later.” the older teen shook his head to clear it some before continuing, holding Kotik closer to him as he did so. “ First I’d like for you to tell me what happened between King Morcant and yourself, and then after that we’re going to need to see about getting you ready to go into the sea.” Kotik’s fur and hair bristled as his ears flattened at that. He did however show some remarkable restraint in not letting out a hiss like he normally did when large bodies of water were mentioned. “C...could we at least go out there in a way where I don’t get wet?” Baldric grinned at the adorable compromise his lover offered, even though Kotik looked like he hated bringing that up. “Maybe for your first outing, If you behave yourself.” the last part was said with a teasing poke of Kotik’s nose with his finger. Kotik flashed a grin and looked down at Baldric’s shaft and then back up at him. “I can behave myself if I want.” Baldric let out a laugh before kissing Kotik, trying to let some of his worries seep away from him as he leaned into it. There was a lot of troubling things happening around him all at once that he had not made plans for. He decided as he pushed Kotik down on the bed and got himself situated on top of him that he was going to need to convene with Shahnaz and some others to make a new modified draft of the plan with all these new variables that were in play. He needed to make sure they were on the right path to take Silbel as peacefully as possible, or else it could cause unintended consequences that he shuddered to even consider.
  5. Oooh I like it, it's got sort of a... how do I put this... I could see this being used in the Menu of a fuckin good video game. Or one of those Demo Disks from back in the day that you got for Playstation and PS2. As for my song
  6. Almost done with the next chapter of MageCrafter. Been working of and on with this one for a bit now. Not gonna lie, got a TEENSY bit distracted with the IRL insanity 2021 is offering up. I swear the urge to rubberneck is strong with social media crap lol. 

  7. I'm drinking Pepsi out of a Dr. Pepper bottle that has a Coca-Cola cap on it. 


    tenor.gif

  8. Been working on the next chapter of MageCrafter.  


    87179-Jim-Carrey-typing-furiously-gi-uSt

  9. You know I haven't checked the news in awhile. 

    *sees the bullshit going down at the Capitol building*

    tenor.gif

  10. *When you have too much exposition you need to put in a chapter* 
     

     "READ IT! READ THE EXPOSITORY INFORMATION!"😡

    Character: "A-As you know, Wilma, Th-The big game is coming up and.."😨

    *GUN COCKS* "SAY IT LIKE YOU'RE EXCITED TO DELIVER THIS DIALOGUE COMPLETELY NATURALLY AND UNFORCED!!"🤬

    Character: "Oh BOY! THE BIG GAME IS COMING UP OH GOSH!" 😱

  11. shower thought I found online: 

    If you cut off your right butt cheek, are you left behind?

  12. Me: makes and eats some food

    My body: "so I hear you want to be on the toilet for the next nine hours?" 

    Me: "Wait wha-"

    1. Zombie

      Zombie

      “Best before”

      Safe to ignore

      “Use by”

      ALWAYS comply... :lol:

       

  13. Demented

    Chapter 30

    Kotik lay in bed next to a deeply slumbering Baldric unable to fall asleep. This was the first time they had ever stayed in his Lair overnight to sleep. The bed he was laying in was quite comfortable, and he liked feeling the warm secure feeling he had curled up against the calmly breathing older teen. The walls were blackened and light was blocked out of the room, making it nearly impossible for Kotik to see anything even with his Lynxian eyes. It was very quiet as well since the black misty walls were insulating the room from any sound outside of it. Kotik breathed in deeply as he nuzzled himself into Baldric's side, hugging onto him slightly tighter. He couldn't help but smile at being so close to someone like this. He would have never dreamed of being able to do something like this before. It couldn't have been more than a week since he had met Lord Baldric, yet he was already so attached to him in a way he had never been before. His closeness with Baldric had even opened him up to the old man, which had allowed him to hug the older man the way he had when he had seen him at his late birthday party. Kotik wondered how the old man was doing now as he pulled the blankets and comforters tighter around both him and Baldric. That pang of guilt from destroying his tavern in his rage knotted the lynxian's stomach up all over again. He didn't even get to see the old man leave. He had been too out of it after his fight with Babica Preja to even notice when The Old Man had left, but he had apparently left the lynxian a message that he had gone back to where he had come from to build up his finances again. He had added that he didn't want the Lynxian to worry about him, but that was easier said than done knowing he was responsible for why the man had ended up leaving. Kotik wished he could fall asleep, but his mind was far too active for its own good right at this moment. Even with the most luxurious bedding and the comforting presence of Baldric beside him, he could not still his nerves enough to pass out. Lately he had been sleeping deeper than he had ever before, because Baldric, Raudh, or both would have sex with him until he passed out in a blissful climax. The young Lord had just wanted to cuddle with the Lynxian tonight however, which was delightful in its own way. However it left the Lynxian unable to rely on that lewd sleep aid he had come to rely on these past few days. It wasn't that long ago when the lynxian used to sleep camouflaged in the trees. Campsites attracted too much attention in his experience. The second someone found a lynxian boy they didn't know alone in the woods, the questions of where his parents were and what he was doing would inevitably start piling up. It was easier to just clamber up high enough that a human or even most demi humans would have a hard time reaching him and then camouflage himself. Even during those times when he worked with adventurers to get higher bounties, he still kept himself out of reach when it was time to sleep. Kotik pressed himself deeper into Baldric and pressed his ears against him to listen to his steady breathing as he slept. When had he started craving physical contact like this? It wasn't that long ago that he shied away from even The Old Man, yet he openly hugged him when his late birthday came up. His thoughts kept drifting back to that moment, replaying it in his mind. It had popped back up in his mind a number of times this night alone. That feeling of being cradled in the old man's arms and just appreciating the birthday party he had planned for him. He wasn't sure what to call this feeling. It hurt, and yet at the same time he wanted to keep imagining that moment as if that would somehow bring it back. He wanted to see the Old Man again. It twisted him up inside just thinking about it in a way he had never experienced before. He wasn't even sure how to label this type of longing that he had to see him again, cause it didn't resemble how he felt towards Baldric. His life was simpler with The Old Man. He felt safer with him. There was a routine with him that just wasn't there with Baldric. The older teen he was laying with in this quiet room within the lair was like nothing Kotik ever knew before. Every day he revealed new mysteries and discoveries, both within the lynxian and the world around him. The very idea of routine had been flung out the window since he had been given to Baldric as his Birthday present. The older teen was always working, always doing something, always cooking some scheme or plan behind the scenes. He thought so many steps ahead of everyone else in his life that Kotik found himself in awe of him more than once in these past few days. The Old Man was the exact opposite. His consistency was unwavering. Kotik knew no matter what he was doing in the woods or what adventure he went on, The Old Man was going to be in the tavern ready to hear about his day when he got back. Sure he was gruff and he was prone to scolding Kotik about something he had been careless about, it was never lost on Kotik that it was done out of a sense of care for the Lynxian. Now that he wasn't around, Kotik wished he had sat down and just talked with the old man more. He would love to sit down at the tavern across from the Old man and just tell him about everything he was feeling lately. He wanted to share how much he liked Baldric with him. He wanted to share his excitement about learning about magic, and how eager he was to actually start working with magic items despite how scary they were. He used to share what happened in his day even when nothing of note had really taken place, and now that he had all these things to talk about The Old man wasn't there anymore. If Kotik was on his own, he would almost certainly try to find the Old Man. The old man had not left information where he had gone to, but Kotik was no stranger to tracking down targets. Though he had never taken a bounty for an outlaw on his own, he had occasionally done so with an adventuring group. He found he was exceptionally good at tracking people, in some ways even better than he was at tracking animals and monsters. Humans weren't as good at hiding their presence as a monster was sometimes. That's not to say it would be easy to track the old man. He had taught Kotik a great many things during the time he knew him. Though the old man did not like to talk about his past much, it was clear he had been an adventurer with all his battle scars. It was the old man that had inspired him to look into adventuring, though he never spoke that highly of the profession. Still there was a mystique to it for the lad. These men and women who went out and dove into ancient dungeons and ruins and searched for long lost treasures from the Dark Age Wars. Kotik had never been in a Dungeon before, but he heard they were filled with both treasures and horrors in equal measures. He wondered absent mindedly if The Old Man had ever battled a mimic before. Those things supposedly crawled all over the place in the depths of those abandoned ruins. Creatures that took the appearance of treasure chests, walls, doors, furniture, all manner of things. All in an effort to lie in wait to attack an unsuspecting adventurer looking for lost treasure. Knowing how skilled the Old Man was, it was practically impossible he hadn't delved into a dungeon or two in his youth. It had been a long standing rumor among the patrons of The Old Man's Tavern that the owner was secretly wealthy off of selling ancient magic items from one of those legendary dungeons. Would he try to do that again in his old age? He did leave a message that he was going to go back to where he came from to build his wealth again. He could feel his fear and concern writhe within his body at the very thought. He wasn't a young man anymore, and Kotik could see The Old Man overestimating his abilities and getting himself into trouble. What if he got in trouble and nobody was there to help him? What if he died trying to get a new fortune, but nobody found him and Kotik never heard from him again? Those fearful thoughts made him want to bolt out of bed and go out and look for the Old Man right there. If the Old Man was going to get himself in trouble then Kotik felt he should be there to help him. He was certainly strong enough to help the old man now. Whatever was in a dungeon couldn't possibly be as tough as Babica Preja, and Kotik killed her with his bare hands. Why didn't the old man just wait for Kotik to wake up? They could have gone on an adventure together to find those funds for his new Tavern. Except he couldn't do that. Not only could he not go and search for the Old Man, he couldn't even leave the Lair right now. That was because he was under the accursed depths of the sea in the middle of Pantheon knows where. Remembering that soured his mood and flattened his ears almost immediately. He hated the very idea that outside the walls of this Lair was the suffocating ocean depths ready to choke the life out of him. Not only could the vile place kill him just on its own by choking him to death and flooding his lungs with its vileness, it housed a slew of horrors that would make the demons themselves tremble. Kotik was growing restless now. This train of thought was not doing anything to lull him into sleeping. if anything it was waking him up even more with how agitated he was getting. He wanted to do something. If he was back in his tavern, Kotik would have left and gone hunting in the middle of the night to clear his head. Some of the best monsters came out at night, and he loved the challenge of finding a chimera or Gorgon when it was out hunting and turning the tables on the large creature. He couldn't even leave this temporary bedroom that he was in right now, much less the Lair that it resided in. Not with them being in the ocean like they were. Kotik found himself getting out of bed due to the frustration that was broiling up inside of him. Normally when he had this much of a problem falling asleep he would go out and search for a tree to sleep in instead. Other times he would climb into some strange nook or shelf and sleep there instead. There was nothing in the room he could do that with right now. It was just black misty walls and the bed with Baldric. Kotik was a hunter, and he often found comfort being in the tavern specifically because he could come and go whenever he wanted regardless of the time of day or night. He wasn't held captive by the Old Man. He wasn't forcibly indentured by him. He was someone that the Old Man offered a place to stay whenever he wanted, and gave him no judgment for choosing to go sleep in the woods instead for a couple nights a week. The fact that he didn't have that freedom to leave right now was bristling his fur on his tail and ears. He didn't have that freedom with Baldric. Kotik didn't really have time to think about that while he had been on the Estate because so many new and amazing things were happening. Baldric was able to keep his mind occupied with all the new lessons and sensations. It helped that the Estate was so large as well. It was even bigger than the village he had been taken from, and everyone there had been friendly and welcoming. His lack of freedom became much more striking with them being in the accursed ocean. Suddenly that huge estate with all the colorful characters and interesting things to learn about had turned into a single solitary room that was now beneath the depths of the ocean. He had nowhere to go and nothing to distract him. He didn't even have any wood to practice making a magic item with. Baldric was so careful to never give him access to wood, yet he kept talking about making Kotik into this powerful MageCrafter. When was he actually going to be able to try stuff on his own? When was he going to have time by himself again? Kotik cared about Baldric and loved being around him, there was no doubt about that. However, even when he was on the estate he had the inkling that he could end up being able to leave and go off to hunt like he used to do. As long as he came back to Baldric he didn't think it would be a problem. Now that he was under the sea however, he was starting to wonder if he'd ever have time alone like that again. The prospect of not having the freedom to roam was agitating him greatly. Kotik jolted when the wall and floor in front of him began to light up. For a brief second he looked around trying to find where the light was coming from, only to find that it was coming from him. He looked at his body and at his hands and found that his eyes and even his mouth was emitting a light as intense as a torch. The lynxian winced and his ears flattened into his head as he felt an absolute deluge of emotions hitting him on all sides. He became aware of so many different people outside of the Lair with his emotion sensing abilities, far more than he had been aware of before this strange glow hit him. His hands raced up and cupped over his lynxian ears as he tried to protect his mind from the deluge of information. He could practically see them in his minds eye as dots of light going about their business. He suddenly became aware that the Lair was inside of a building of some kind. A building in the shape of an enormous sphere, that had many smaller spheres underneath of it extending far below their location. Each sphere was practically packed with life, each of them working on various projects of some kind, though he couldn't tell what. They weren't just inside the spheres either. There were many individuals swimming and riding vehicles outside of them in the ocean around them, or traveling through a spiraling structure that was connected to everything all the way down to the ocean floor where there was even more people. This place was teeming with sentient life, and Kotik was feeling them all at the same time. Another group that Kotik was growing much more aware of was the copies of Lord Baldric. They all felt like him, yet none of them were moving. They all seemed to be resting along side the Baldric in the bed. The Lynxian's eyes widened in alarm in just how many copies he was feeling at this moment. They were inside of the Lair itself. They were inside of each of the spheres and the spiraling structure connecting them together. They were outside in the ocean surrounding the buildings and mingling among the beings outside there with them. There was almost as many Baldrics as there were people in the area. Kotik dropped to his knees and pressed his hands even harder over his ears to try and shield his mind's eye from this deluge of information. This wasn't like when he normally was able to sense emotions. This felt far more intense and invasive than what he was doing before. Normally he only could skim the surface of their emotions, but this was giving him so much information all at once that it was causing him a throbbing headache. "Boy!" A voice boomed in Kotik's mind as an enormous presence came into his perception. "Cease your tantrum immediately!" Kotik's lynxian ears trained towards where that presence was coming from. The voice was inside of his mind, but the presence of the being was far off in the distance. It was so much bigger and brighter than everything else in Kotik's emotional perceptions that it dimmed the thousands upon thousands of beings he had been sensing earlier. Within moments Kotik's minds eye was filled with the presence of this being. He was so much bigger than Kotik that it was unfathomable. As this beings presence solidified in Kotik's minds eye, the lynxian soon realized who this person was. He had seen him once before in an illusion made by Baldric. He was a Gigantes, the child of a god, and he was impossibly huge to the point where Baldric could comfortably sit on the tip of one of this beings fingers. Not only was he huge, he held a massive amount of authority under the seas. Even from that great distance away, Kotik could feel his eyes boring into him. The Lynxian could feel his emotions writhing even harder than before, and his eyes and mouth glowing even brighter than before as he stared into this beings eyes. Surprisingly the King of Triton seemed to sigh and calm down slightly as he saw the state Kotik was in. Before Kotik knew it, The gruff and angry sounding ruler began instructing him through gaining control over his emotions again. Soon the frantic surge of power subsided and the glowing from his eyes and mouth faded away, leaving him panting on the ground. “This is unacceptable for a Vicar to have such little control over his domain!” The King seethed into Kotik’s mind, “What has that brat of an Emperor been doing with your studies. Clearly you are ill prepared for your duties!” Kotik tried to get control of his throat. He was still reeling over the deluge of information he had received earlier and now the overwhelming presence in his mind right now. This being was so much older than he was that it boggled his mind. The way his emotions felt was practically alien to Kotik with how tempered with age they were. He settled on trying to talk with his mind instead. ‘I’ve been learning f-from a Barbarian…” Kotik sent to the being in his mind. King Morcant immediately scoffed and waved the very idea off. “You are far beyond what a mere barbarian can teach you boy. Especially a novice one if I’m reading this red headed human correctly. No, from this moment on you will be training under me. I will not have someone as powerful as you flying out of control all the time within the borders of my nation!” Kotik bristled at that, “N-No way! I’m not going out there!” Kotik yelped as King Morcant grew much more forceful in his mind. He could practically feel the Gigantes snarl at him. “Don’t think I am unaware of your prejudice against the sea, boy. You really are Cernunnos’s boy to have such a distaste for the realms of water.” “Cernunnos? What are you talking about?” Kotik asked before pressing on, “And I’m under Baldric, not you! You can’t enslave me!” Kotik was standing up now and his eyes were blazing with power all over again as he stared into the projection of Morcant's eyes. To an outside observer he was just looking at a wall, but to Kotik he was squaring himself up in front of the Undersea king and getting ready to throw a punch right at his bearded face. “What in Muirren’s name are you on about, you brat?! If you weren’t so tiny I’d bend you over one of my tentacles and swat some discipline into you boy!” “Try it Squidface!” Kotik Roared back with his teeth showing. He was trembling with rage glaring up at the impossibly enormous figure. He practically felt like he was in the same room as him right now, even though they were communicating with their thoughts. “Squidface!? Squidface!? Boy do you know who you are talking to right now?!” “Yeah! I’m talking to another Slaver who wants to control every aspect of my life instead of leaving me alone! That’s all any of you people ever want! All you people want to do is control me! To tell me what to do! To tell me where to go! I’m sick of it! I’ve been clawing for my freedom all my life and you people just never let up! Get out of my head and go spray some ink or whatever the hell it is you do!” “Say that to my face boy!” “Maybe I will!” The two stared each other down for several tense moments before the king started chuckling, much to the Lynxians surprise. “I will give you one thing brat, you have more of a spine than our Emperor when it comes to Gigantes. I suppose that makes sense, since you’re one yourself.” That floored Kotik, but he found the will to respond after a brief pause. “Wait I’m a what? I thought they said I was giant blooded.” “You are far more than just Giant blooded, Brat. You are at the center of a lot of deities plans and have far more responsibilities on your shoulders than you are aware of. Clearly the Emperor has been coddling you with your lessons far too much. If you want to learn of your true heritage and claim the throne rightfully due to you, you are going to need to get over your poultry misgivings of the seas and learn from someone who actually knows how to train you. Or are you content to hide in that Lair like a frightened little kitty cat?” Kotik Snarled at that insult, his irises contracting even through the glow. “You know what? Sure, I’ll meet you in person! Normally I’d avoid your godsforsaken depths like a plague, but for you I’ll make an exception!” Kotik shoved a finger forward and continued his verbal onslaught, “ You are going to tell me what I want to know, and If you don’t answer my questions I’ll drag your over-sized ass onto a beach somewhere so you can flop around and dry up!” “I’d like to see you try brat!” Morcant countered before sneering at Kotik, “Still, maybe you are good for the little Emperor after all! He could use someone with a backbone like yours! I’ll be waiting boy!”
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