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    Demented
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Though not present in every chapter, this story will contain graphic violence and coerced sex/rape, some of which involves underaged characters. Keep this in mind before reading. 

MageCrafter - 7. Chapter 7

Some obligatory warnings to keep in mind for this chapter: This chapter will explore some mild fetish play and feature depictions of sex with an underage character. A character who, given the circumstances of him being a slave, does not have much say whether or not he can consent. With that said, the story continues...

Due to it being an Estate Holiday, the adorably coined Addis Be Gone day by the righteously indignant Baby Baldric, the halls of Kotik’s owner’s expansive abode was not as active as it usually was. There was something of a skeleton crew that elected to keep working to allow for the needs of The Duke and his son to be met should they have anything that needed to be acquired, but otherwise any non essential work was put off until next day.

Baldric had elected to spend a lazy morning in one of the Estates Libraries. Kotik had never seen quite so many books in his life. In just this one library in one small part of the Baldric estate, the room itself had at least ten expensive floors unto itself with mirrored winding staircase on the the four corners of the room, and a straight staircase that sat in its center that zig zagged all the way to the top. It would almost seem like an absurd waste of room if every single shelf was not completely lined with books of various sizes and shapes.

The Young Lord himself had placed himself in the soft and luxurious white pajamas he had made a pair of for Kotik during his exhilarating illusory tale, though he elected not to give himself the socks he had provided for the Lynxian. He was Draped over one of the most comfortable and plush looking chairs Kotik had ever seen, thumbing through a large book filled with the tiniest of scrawled words that appeared to be about something Kotik hadn’t heard of called Alchemy. His seated position had his legs lazily draped over one of the armrests, and his large and smooth bare feet crossed one on top of the other as they swayed and flexed about ever so slightly.

A few days ago when the Lynxian was a peasant boy, he would have thought nothing of such a sight. He had no idea about sex or what went on in the bedrooms of those who did such acts. However, the Lynxian knew all too well now of a certain pleasure that he had discovered in himself. During one of their many positions where Kotik had put into another embarrassing yet erotic pose with restraints, Baldric had used his mouth on the Lynxian’s small and dainty feet in ways that still summoned itself in the boy’s mind when he closed his eyes. It had been so sensual how he had sucked and licked them, yet the ticklishness and sensitivity of his soles made it fun and playful at the same time, especially after he had been yelling and crying not but a few minutes before at the time.

Yet he couldn’t quite bring himself to ask to try that himself. Part of him still resisted the idea of being a slave, even if it was to someone who had made him feel so amazing as Baldric. Someone who had such a fascinating life and could make the world seem however he wanted. Kotik’s heart thumped wildly whenever he looked into this older teens face, but the nature of their relationship still had something in it that made him not fully leap into it unless he was already aroused beyond words.

Cause he’s had masters who seemed nice in the past. He didn’t kill every master right away, not really. Like he had told Baldric, he had always given those who invoked Compulsory Indentured Servitude a chance to prove they were a better master. Some even kept the act going a couple days, but eventually their contempt for Kotik would make itself known and then the beatings and whippings would begin. Time and time again he was fed a line about someone being nice, only to have them turn on him.

It scared him so much to think that Baldric might do that, because he liked Baldric more than anyone else he had ever known. Rivaling his love for the Old Man even, which was a feat in and of itself. As he sat on a stepping stool used to get at books higher up beside Baldric in the silence of the Library, he squirmed and wondered what their relationship was going to be like going forward.

Baldric did say they would need to keep up appearances as Master and Slave out in public right? So what did that mean exactly? Normally his masters whenever they had acquired him off the street after finding out he was an orphan would lay out the ground rules right then and there, and the harsh punishments for disobedience. Yet Lord Baldric hadn’t done that. It hardly felt like he was a slave at all with him. In fact Baldric seemed more interested in serving him than the other way around.

It was very confusing.

With Kotik sitting in silence, fiddling with his tail in his fingers and stealing glances between the floor and Lord Baldric from behind his massive book, he finally worked up the courage to talk.

“Um, Lord Baldric?”

“Yes my sweet Kotik?” Baldric asked while turning a page slowly.

“What are," a small gulp interrupted his speech patterns slightly, "you know, my rules I need to follow being your sl-present?” Kotik nearly bit his tongue when he stopped himself from saying slave and filled it in with saying present instead. Hopefully Baldric didn’t notice that. “You haven’t really gone over the rules with me yet.”

“Oh?” Baldric let out an amused and curious noise put the book down a bit while keeping his thumb on the page he was reading. An impish grin lightly played on the young Lord’s face, “do you want me to tell you what to do, Kotik?”

Crap!

Kotik wanted to backpedal so hard from this conversation, his face was heating up so much as he tried to stammer out a reply to that question that made his heart thump even faster.

“W-well I’m supposed to, you know,” he squirmed on the stool and fiddled with his tail in his grip even more, practically hugging it to himself, “keep up appearances at least. That’s wh-what you said when you t-told me the plan, r-remember?”

He was almost scared to look back up at Baldric since he had glued his eyes to the ornately patterned floor as he stammered that out. There was a prolonged moment of silence, and Kotik could feel the embarrassing levels of mirth emitting from Baldric’s emotions. When he did steal a glance back at Baldric, his devilish grin was so big and his eyes looked at him so seductively that it made Kotik’s hairs and fur frizzle out a bit in something akin to both fright and lust that he couldn’t quite describe.

Baldric held Kotik’s gaze before he spoke, amusement dancing in the way the words rolled off his tongue.

“My sweet, has anyone ever told you you’re positively atrocious at lying?”

“It’s come up once or twice, yeah.” Kotik admitted sheepishly with a wry self deprecating smile of his own as he glanced off to the side. He looked back at Baldric, a lot more shy looking this time as his cheeks took on a pink hue.

“What rules do you usually have for,” the boy gulped louder as he said the next words, “slave boys.”

Baldric watched the delightful turmoil of emotions playing on Kotik’s face and posture with great interest and enjoyment. He didn’t get up though, instead he kept the Lynxian’s attention from exactly the position he was in.

“My my, you look like you’re getting awfully excited.” He cooed over to Kotik. He then, waiting for exactly the right moment and saying it in the most sultry tone he could conjure up; he spoke his next words and used his illusory abilities to have it play directly into the boy’s ears as if he were whispering into all four of them at the same time.

“My sweet,” Kotik shuddered and writhed in his seat in the most delightful way at reacting to voices so close to his ears like that, “ the reason I haven’t is simply because I was waiting for you to ask for them.”

“Wh-What?” Kotik looked up at him in confusion, his face still flushed from the unexpected whispering from that distance.

“Sweet Kotik,” He did it again, and he enjoyed Kotik squirming and responding to the rumbling tones he was using so close to his eardrums, his rump wriggling about on that stool he was sitting on as well. He continued with an even more devilish grin, revealing how far out he has planned this moment out in advance.

“I knew everything I needed to know when you never complained about the leash modification I added to your collar.”

“What?” Kotik’s voice cracked and squeaked delightfully while his eyes went as wide as saucers from what Baldric just said.

“Oh yes, this is not standard with the collars Kotik.” He made a gesture, and a much longer leash than normal materialized between his hand and Kotik’s collar, before he tugged on it lightly, bringing the boy and his rolling stool closer to him. Kotik was too mesmerized and shocked to pull away.

“I simply asked my Butler and Maids to try leading you around with it lightly and test to see if you would complain. If you, at any point, would have said you did not need a leash and could follow them just fine, they were instructed to get rid of the leash for you.” He smiled triumphantly down at the boy, “But you never said a thing, just blushed and walked along like it was the most natural thing in the world for you.”

“B-but I was, I thought,” Kotik was trying to talk himself out of these revelations about himself, but Baldric pressed on, putting the final nail on that particular coffin.

“You only confirmed it for me more when you revealed how you react to something you actually don’t like,” Again he employed his illusory whispers, “like taking a bath in water.”

Kotik gulped as his face was on fire. How much did Baldric know? How much planning did he do? How did he even know Kotik was going to ask a question he himself wasn’t sure he was going to ask until just a moment ago. How did this person know him so well already? Know him maybe even better than Kotik knew himself.

Baldric continued.

“You were quite vocal about being against that bath, and yet even during that you never complained about the leash once. Which is of course, because you love it, just like how you love being in my restraints. Just like you love being blindfolded and gagged. Just like you love giving yourself to me in ways that make you feel helpless and I’m in control, yet you trust me enough to do so anyway.”

Kotik was now beside Baldric with a very short leash pulling him closer while still keeping him on the stool that had been pulled smoothly across the floor to where he sat now. Baldric had his free hand gripping the lynxian by the chin as he brought his face closer to the younger teens, maintaining eye contact with a partially lidded gaze and teasing expression. That expression made Kotik’s stomach do cartwheels as he gripped his own tail like a lifeline to his body.

“My rules are very simple Kotik, and it is the same rules I applied when I performed as the headlining Arch Magician of Bavaram’s International Circus. First is to understand that I am going to trick and deceive you, and I expect you to trust me not only in spite of that but because of that.”

“But...but isn’t lying bad?” All of the men that hurt Kotik in the past ended up being liars after all. Lying couldn’t be good.

“Illusions and Magic Tricks are the art of deception my dear Kotik. Deception is neither good nor evil, it is a tool to achieve a desired goal. Deceiving people comes as naturally to me now as breathing, and I take great enjoyment in making a big reveal to someone after planning out a deception for so long.”

He gave Kotik a chaste kiss on the lips, “No what you’re concerned of is the intent behind the deception, not the deception itself. You are concerned I will use deception to betray you or hurt you, and I need you to set those concerns aside and trust me fully. I may embarrass you, I may play tricks on you, I may have fun at your expense, but you will never have the betrayal of trust with me that you had with your former masters. That is just bad showmanship to put it lightly.”

He gave Kotik’s forehead a small kiss now as he continued, “Second, know that I will do things with you without asking for your feedback. The reason is simple. I have a powerfully strong reason to believe that you will enjoy it, and an equally strong belief that you will talk yourself out of it if given the chance. I want my one lynxian audience to experience in full what I have to offer before he lets fear make up his own mind about something. So far, I have been spot on accurate with my read on you save for one time, which leads me to my third and final main rule.”

Baldric gently took Kotik’s hands from his tail and lifted them up, placing them around the young Lord’s own neck. “I do not ever want to make you feel like you have to do something so drastic as this to protect yourself from something with me. If you truly, absolutely do not like something, communicate that with me as soon as it happens. You know first hand now that if you are pulling away from me, I will give you the floor to speak your mind and vent your feelings. You have every right to pull away when you do not want something, and I will respect that every time, even if I do not ask beforehand. Just please,”

he gripped the boys hands tighter,

“Never let yourself think that you have to resort to those dark times like you did with those other people when it comes to me. I want you to feel as special as I think you are, and I will use my entire arsenal of tricks to make that happen. I want you to trust me as much as I trust these beautiful yet terrifyingly strong hands right now.”

Kotik was moved to silent tears as he looked up at Lord Baldric. He hadn’t expected any of this. Before he even knew what he was doing he hugged the older teen around the head and kissed him so forcefully it almost scared himself. Baldric was only too happy to reciprocate.

Lord Baldric and Kotik eventually broke the kiss, and with the freeing of his mouth Baldric’s next words made Kotik’s face light up with embarrassment all over again.

“Now get over there and worship my feet like you’ve been wanting to do for the past half hour.” He gave the Lynxian a playful swat on the bottom as he did so, moving his stool down towards where his legs were draped.

Gods dammit how did he always know this stuff!?!

With that, Baldric enjoyed a Lazy afternoon slowly reading through a massive book he had long since memorized while he let his Kotik explore yet another fetish he wanted to try but hadn’t been able to summon the will to ask. Baldric was more than happy to give such an indulgence, as there was a decadent and luxurious joy in having one's toes and soles attended to in such a way. He made it even more enjoyable for his Lynxian with his dominion over water. He was capable of changing the flavor and mouthfeel of the water within his sweat and the saliva that was being dragged across his flesh, as well as the temperatures of them.

Kotik was amazed and intrigued at one minute tasting the flavors and coolness of different flavors of ice cream, and the next the steamy and wonderful sensations of hot cocoa, and still others he could not put his finger on. His feet never altered in appearance, but the taste was different with nearly every swipe of his tongue. It made each pass of his mouth against Lord Baldric’s heel up to his toes a game, wondering what flavor would come across his taste buds next.

Lord Baldric had some teasing fun by occasionally slipping sour flavors in the mix like lemons, making the Lynxian’s face scrunch in amusing ways, but he was forgiven quickly enough by the time he got back to suckling on a few of Baldric’s thick and perfectly shaped toes. Baldric didn’t interrupt him or give him any orders, he just let the Lynxian have his fun down there and casually changed about the flavors and temperatures for his enjoyment. All the while he moved onto the latest chapter in the Alchemical tome he had been devouring to relax.

He would also let the Lynxian stew on new ideas, such as what else Baldric could do with these taste altering abilities, and what other sensual locations he could have them happen at. If the Circus and Lord Tugast had taught him anything, its that patience and planning make the big reveal that much sweeter when it finally happens. Till then he was more than happy to flex his big toe against the sucking lad’s tongue as it rubbed more of the flavor of sea salt ice cream off of the underside of the digit and onto Kotik’s eager taste buds.

 

***


Kotik was excited. Today was his first actual lesson in magic. He had been practically dancing in bed next to Baldric waiting for him to stir. They had some more fun that night, and Kotik had actually taken some initiative and had impaled himself on the older teen’s cock while he laid in bed with his hands behind his head. Kotik had balanced himself by placing his slender hands onto Baldric’s torso for support and used his strong legs to pump himself along the shaft. He had heard doing things in the rear was supposed to hurt, but Baldric had apparently done something to Kotik’s ‘rectum’ as the older teen had called it which allowed for Kotik to take the Young Lord’s girth a whole lot easier than the otherwise would have while still being pleasantly tight for Baldric.

Kotik had been mildly irritated with him making such a change in his body, but as soon as Baldric pointed out that he could reverse it if he’d like, but he’d have to start doing these complex and just unpleasant sounding cleaning sessions called enemas if he wanted to continue having anal sex, he decided to leave well enough alone. It did explain why he hadn’t felt the urge to use the restroom for a long while. Plus from the sounds of it, Baldric made it feel more pleasurable to get stuff shoved up there as well, so it was in truth a welcome improvement after the Lynxian had thought it over.

After Baldric awoke and they had their breakfast, Baldric led Kotik deep down into the Estate far past anything they had gone before. It felt like they were deep underground by the time they came upon an entryway that Kotik had seen once before.

An Entry Way that was seemingly forged of storm clouds and had two bright white Doors in the center made of thick sheets of ice. There was normal MageCrafted stone like the rest of the Estate’s walls after a few feet from the entryway, and on either side of the doors stood a Maid, one of which was Shahnaz. She must have known he was coming down here as she had been the one to serve breakfast that morning. If Kotik thought about it, it was probably easy for Baldric to shoot her a brief message with a stray thought through his ring into her collar and she’d be able to follow his order from anywhere in his estate. No wonder they seemed to always know what Baldric needed to have done.

That did make it kind of curious that he gave his meal orders in person, but Kotik was sure there was reasoning behind that. Baldric didn’t seem to do anything without an absurd amount of planning behind it. So much so that it was fairly frightening, since he could never get a read on how in control of a situation the Young Lord really was. Between his track record with Kotik so far and the near suffocating levels of confidence the older teen could exude when he wanted to, it was quite hard to tell where his stage persona of Lord Baldric ended and Baldric the human teen began.

Kotik had more than a little trepidation in being so near that heat filled chamber that was before them. He had felt how hot it was from some distance away when it had appeared in the Courtyard. He was fairly certain if he attempted to enter such a place without Lord Baldric he would be steam broiled alive without protection. It was that hot within its confines.

“Taking the Cutie into your Lair eh Lord Baldric? This should be fun.” Shahnaz said with a toothy grin, revealing her sharp teeth that still managed to make for a cute smile.

“It’ll be easier to do some of the illusions I need to do in there for demonstration purposes. If you would open the door please.”

It was a formality, he could easily do it himself, but Maids handled that kind of thing for him more often than not.

Steam hissed as the Doors were pulled open by the two maids and revealed the ethereal world of heat and vapor to Kotik. His heart threatened to burst out of his chest from nervousness approaching such a place that radiated such overwhelming power. Yet as soon as Baldric touched him, he could feel the heat dull to the level of something like a Sauna for Kotik. Still hot, but not to the point of making him concerned he’d be immediately cooked alive should he let himself enter.

The Lair was much bigger than Kotik had initially thought it’d be. It was almost like one of the estate halls with how much room there was, and all of it nearly blindingly white. The walls were white, the ever present and suffocatingly thick steam was white, The floor was the same. If someone had told him this place was one of Baldric’s illusions he would readily believe them if not for the overwhelming sense of power built up inside of this place.

Lord Baldric gave a hand gesture over his head in an almost flippant way, and the steam went to work immediately even as Baldric kept walking. Kotik watched in awe as a classroom quite literally forged of clouds, snow and ice was quickly put together by the swirling vortex of steam that just as suddenly died down after they were done, leaving an open pocket of free air around where the classroom was located. As soon as the two stepped onto the Ice tiled floors that were not slippery at all, the steam seemed to thicken around the confines of the classroom till they resembled white walls and a ceiling.

Surprisingly for Kotik, now that the steam just worked as walls and they were sealed off in this strangely perfect representation of a magic university classroom, the air felt nice and cool now. He also noted with some befuddled amusement that there were a comically large number of desks and chairs present in this class meant for only one cat boy. No matter where he took a seat in this place, it felt just silly having all this empty space between himself and Baldric.

“Welcome Class.” Baldric said in a flawless impersonation of an academy professor's voice as he walked behind the podium with a gravely serious look on his face, “To Magic 101: Attunements; What the hell are they, and why do people keep talking about them?”

The serious, deadpan delivery coupled with the title of the class that appeared on the blackboard behind Baldric even as he spoke the words itself sent Kotik into a fit of giggles. Still maintaining his University Professor persona, he picked up some reading glasses as well as a clipboard, both of which were made out of ice.

“Settle down class, thank you. Now we shall take roll call.” He cleared his throat and adjusted the faux reading glasses before scanning the room slowly, “Kotik?”

Kotik had his face buried in his hands from how much he was giggling, but he called out through the mirth, “Here!”

“Hmmm, that appears to be everyone.” Professor Baldric said in a serious tone that threatened to knock Kotik out of his chair with how amused he was. How could he keep a straight face delivering all these lines like that?!

“Now class, what do you know about Attunments. Raise your hand and I will call on you.”

Kotik’s stomach was in stitches now as he shakily held his hand up in the air, which only got worse as he watched Professor Baldric make a scan of the entire classroom before pretending to just spot Kotik.

“Ah yes, Kotik. Please share with the class.”

It took the poor Lynxian a moment to gather his composure enough to talk properly. He was not ready for Deadpan Professor Baldric! This was far too much power for one being to wield!

“I know they have to do with some magic items, and that almost everyone who is a magic user or MageCrafter only has three attunements. I also know that there are items that don’t need attunements, though I’m not sure why some do and some don’t beyond one seeming like they are more powerful than the other.”

“Very good! I see you have been paying attention. To the outside observer, it would certainly seem like the main reason for a magic item requiring attunement is one is more powerful than the other, however that is not quite the case.”

Kotik let out a noise of surprise as the darkened warped wood he had used to skewer Darzi as well as a pair of earrings rose up from inside his desk, phasing through the material and resting on top of it.

“Before you had used your MageCrafting to weaponize it, you had turned this piece of wood into a communication item that required one of your attunement slots to operate. You would have felt it as a shiver going through your body as you made the connection, and you probably might have noticed yourself having difficulty maintaining the connection with me.”

Kotik’s mouth gaped open as he recalled those exact things happening that day when he had reached out to contact Lord Baldric. His Deadpan Professor then pointed to the pair of earrings.

“Those earrings on the other hand can perform very similar functions, can communicate over much farther distances than your creation, and hardly use any magic whatsoever to do so.”

A wand-like stick appeared in Baldrics hand and he slapped his black board, making new words appear on its surface.

“What is the difference between these two items?”

Kotik felt stumped at first, but the more he thought about it the more he wanted to say these next words. “I’m not sure how exactly, but maybe they do the same task in different ways?”

Delight flashed on Baldric’s face before he resumed his stoic professor persona. “Excellent deduction Kotik! These items reveal one of the first laws of magic that you will come to know over the next few months.”

He rapped the blackboard again, this time diagrams of his former pendant item and the earrings materialized on its surface.

“Law Number 1: The most efficient magic items are the ones that assist natural processes, not generate supernatural ones.” He pointed to Kotik’s pendant diagram that had been part of his Bavaram dancer’s costume, “This magic item sent out a probing tendril of magical force that sought out someone you had no knowledge of other than their name and some tertiary information. This is a very supernatural task, or to put it another way, give it a task that is ‘outside of what is natural for this plane of existence.’ to give such an item. As such, it requires the item to pull a lot of magical force from the planes of existence where the required magic for the task resides.”

He turned to Kotik, “As such, The magical item wanted collateral while it performed such a task so that you would have an incentive to not let it be destroyed while it does so. That Collateral is known as an Attunment.”

Kotik’s eyebrows crinkled at the unfamiliar word. “What is collateral? What do you mean it ‘wanted’ whatever that is?”

Baldric pondered for a moment. “Have you ever done any bartering Kotik?”

“A little bit yeah.”

“Have you ever seen someone leave something they believe is important with another person, in order to convince the other person in the bartering agreement that they will make good on their side of the deal?”

Kotik nodded in understanding at that. “Yeah, The Old Man does that all the time when people ran their tab up too high and he didn’t trust them not to skip town.”

“Very similar concept here. Since the task you are asking the item to perform requires so much of it, it requires something of value from you to know that it won’t be harmed while it completes its task.”

“So are you saying the magic item can think?”

“Once you reach the point where the magic item requires attunement, it has achieved the lowest variety of sentience, where it has only basic survival instincts. I would also like to add,” he made sure to look into Kotik’s eyes for this part, “Much of the surface nations are no longer privy to this knowledge. The only Land Dwelling individuals I know that understand this about magic items are truly ancient beings like High Elven Queen Felsalvia and Babica Preja of Preja Bog, both of whom I’m not exactly on speaking terms with for vastly different reasons.”

Kotik nearly jumped out of his chair in alarm.

“Wait what!? You actually KNOW Babica Preja?”

“Know is a strong word.” Lord Baldric said with a shaky noncommittal hand gesture. “I’ve met her and have had, shall we say, altercations with very determined Warlocks before that. I actually had a long standing truce with her for a while before,” He gestured to Kotik with a smirk, “recent developments, so to speak.”

It took a second for Kotik to catch Lord Baldric’s meaning. “Wait, you were fighting Babica specifically because of me?!”

“This is diverging a bit from the class subject, but I’ll allow the detour.” Baldric said with a casual shrug. “Yes, the Truce pretty much ended after a True Dominion MageCrafter awakened in a gray area between our two territories we had defined in the truce, and well, I wasn’t going to let her have you soooo," he gave a shrug that communicated the casual idea of 'it is what it is,' "yeah we kinda have a bit of border dispute over you at the moment. Not that I’m particularly concerned. Babica is not quite the powerhouse she was in centuries past.”

Kotik’s brain was reeling from this casually dropped revelation. What did this even mean? He was so confused.

“Why did you have a truce with Babica?”

Baldric shrugged again. “Why don’t I just show you the meeting itself?”

With a wave Kotik’s whole world went black save for Baldric who was standing where he was before. Then he snapped his fingers and allowed for a scene to materialize before Kotik.

What Kotik saw before him made him wet his trousers right then and there, and if he had the capability of it he probably would have messed them as well.

If it wasn’t for the absurd scale of the house, it would almost look like something he would have been inside of the Mining Town the Old Man’s Tavern was in. It was Rustic and Homey with kitchenware and a dinner table. It looked like somewhere a grandmother would call their roost and bake cookies for their grandchildren.

However it was so much larger than Kotik that he felt like a mouse that wandered into a home by mistake. The truly terrifying thing however was the stooped over elderly woman with a large hump protruding out of one side of her back, giving her a near crippled appearance. She was draped in a patchwork of a cloak that seemed to be made of an unfathomable number of wolf pelts, and the hood cast her haggard and immensely wrinkled face in deep shadow, and hid the wisps of long gray hair hidden beneath the massive hood. One of her eyes were nearly bulged out of her sockets while the other was closed in a craftily intelligent slit, and her face somehow had more wrinkles than he had seen on some old trees.

She was gigantic. The largest living being Kotik had ever seen, standing at what he had to assume was at least sixty feet tall even in her stooped over position, using a large wooden stick that was probably an entire tree as a walking stick.

Kotik's blood ran cold and he backed away from the towering illusion as he realized something horrifying about the immense cloak she was draped in. It was breathing and pulsing with life. His lynxian ears could hear the thrum of so many heartbeats within the cloak along with so many rasping nostrils sucking in air, and realized they all seemed to work in tandem making some sort of superstructure of a blood circulatory system. What he had assumed was the cloak of pelts waving slightly on her body was some strange abomination of nature itself, MageCrafted together in the macabre visage of a cloak.

“It was so nice of you to stop by dearie!” She spoke out in a shaky voice to someone who was standing on her kitchen table without showing the slightest hint of fear. Kotik recognized this person immediately as Lord Baldric, who was wearing thick traveling gear. “I’ve been meaning to meet this True Dominion MageCrafter I kept hearing about since you awakened, but my precious little Warlocks didn’t tell me you were such a cute little munchkin! I would give your cheeks a pinch dearie, but alas I do not have the control over these hands of mine like I used too. Wouldn’t want to smoosh your little head by accident!” She let out a raspy cackle at that.

“I’ve heard a lot about you myself. Though my country claims you are something of a necromancer.”

“Oooh pish posh,” she said with a roll of her unevenly opened eyes and flippant hand gesture,” Necromancy was banned from this plane of existence two thousand years ago, and good riddance to it. The practitioners were insufferable little weasels anyway. Lich's were beyond irritating, This one I knew back in the day would prattle on for days to anyone who'd lend an ear about how he was going to take over the world with his zombies. You are not missing anything, trust me.” She let out a wheezing chortle at that, “No dearie, Babica’s MageCrafting only works with living flesh and bone, not the dead.”

“This is the first time I’m hearing of an entire school of magic being banned.” Baldric said to Babica with curiosity in his voice. Kotik’s brain was screaming and wondering how Baldric could handle being near something so massive without so much as a quiver in his voice. He looked as if he was carrying on a conversation with a normal old grandmother, not Babica Preja the Hag Giant of Preja Bog. “Who banned the magic?”

“The Gods of course dearie.” Babica said as if that was the most obvious thing on the planet, “You silly humans do love to keep eachother in the dark for having such short lifespans. This was common knowledge back in the day, but then this old Babica closes her eyes for a few minutes and poof!” she made a wide gesture with her walking stick, “Suddenly humans and most of the demi humans have no idea what happened back in the day anymore. It’s difficult for this old gal to keep up with these youngsters and what they even know about the world they live in anymore.”

“May I ask why you have those men in cages over there?” Baldric asked casually as he gestured over with a point of his thumb to the countertop. Kotik realized with horror that there were indeed cages filled with dirty and half starved looking men sitting next to otherwise benign looking kitchen items of immense scale.

“Oh them? Why don’t you ask them yourself.” she slammed her stick into the ground, causing the house to shake as she glared at the huddled group of men in cages. “Answer the boy’s question, and know that if you lie, Babica will not take kindly to it.” Her Grandmotherly persona took on a frightfully commanding and terrifying edge to it as she glared down at the men.

One of the braver ones spoke up.

“W-We took an ad at the adventurers guild. We-we thought it looked like a normal ad to clear out a Goblin infestation, but when we-”

Kotik nearly jumped out of his own skin as the man began to choke and freeze in place. He looked down at his own trembling body in some horror as patches of ice formed on his skin and clothing. Kotik glanced back to Baldric who was on the table and his face had taken on an immediate shift in appearance, growing darker and colder than Kotik had ever seen.

“Care to repeat that last line one more time, Anti Demi Human Filth.” Baldric spat with ice in his tone, “and this time phrase it in a way that won't cause me to make what Babica will do to you look like a tender mercy.”

The man trembled in fear of the boy frigidly staring daggers at him from his position on the table, exuding a presence every bit as intimidating as the Hag Giant beside him. It suddenly became very clear to the men in the cages why he could speak with Babica of Preja Bog so casually.

The now frigid man that the rest of the men moved to get away from gulped in fright as he chose his words carefully. “We-we took a job to Wipe out a village of Goblins and leave none alive. The ad was put in anonymously but offered a huge reward, so we took it. But when we got to the location our guide was taking us too…”

“My Lovely Warlocks then revealed their true colors and rounded these ruffians up for their Dear old Babica to play with. I’m thinking they’d make for some good Werewolves, maybe the fat one over there could be an ogre, I’m still mulling that one over though.”

“So you put ads out in the adventurers guilds to bait these lowlife scum to being material for your forces.” A cruel grin grew on Baldric’s face, “I have to admit that’s pretty clever.”

“I’ve been around the block a few thousand times dearie, you learn little tricks like that. No one decent will miss genocidal cretins who besmirch the name adventurers.”

“Well, while I will turn down your offer for becoming a Warlock, I do have something of a proposition for you. A sort of ‘I look the other way with your work, you look the other way on mine’ type arrangement.”

“I think we could work something out Dearie, though if another True Dominion does show up on my borders like you did when you awakened, I’m claiming that one. I could really use someone useful like that around the Old Bog Lair.”

“Well, let's just see how we partition out our territories and then we’ll go from there, deal?”

As the illusion faded Kotik slumped back into his desk with some shock in his features. That was not what he expected Babica to be at all. Then there was Baldric and his truly terrifying side he put on display in that vision, coupled with how fearless he was standing before such an immensely tall being. It took his mind a moment to even process what he saw.

“I know you assumed Babica was ‘evil’, but in truth she’s more like me than anything else. I’m sure once she’s settled down and I negotiate some repayment for Darzi she’ll cool off. Her people know better than to set foot on my property though. Truce or not she was losing Darzi for him daring such a stupid stunt. Especially one where he was trying to take you from me.”

“Lord Baldric,” Kotik said while gathering his nerves, “You’re kind of terrifying, you know that?”

The Young Lord beamed at Kotik with some amusement in his eyes, “You’re one to talk, Silbel Strangler. Might I remind you you impaled that very same Warlock for threatening one of your friends and then ripped his arm off, caved his chest in, then sent him flying clear across the courtyard.”


Kotik had to admit he had a point there. Plus he also felt a whole lot less bad for those men when he heard they wanted to kill a bunch of villagers for the only crime of being a particular race. Still, this person who owned him as his birthday present was not someone to take lightly at all.

“Now! With that detour out of the way, back to the lesson!”

Copyright © 2020 Demented; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

All of these concepts and emotions are slowly broadening Kotik's mind. He will be received because deception is Baldric's specialty, but it will never be malicious or harmful. Kotik will always have a measure of control.

When it comes down to it, Babies, Baldric, and Kotik all have much in common

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Everything is a matter of perspective, no?  I think so, yes!

Am I starting to feel bad for Magical Items?  Especially ones with more sentience?

Hhhmmm...

Snobbery is funny ain't it?  Seems Baby Baldric followed through on his, “I’ll be the best ‘whatever you just said’ ever!”  I can't believe they thought Illusion was useless...

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I wish I had Deadpan Professor Baldric as my teacher in school, it definitely would have been more entertaining! What an intimidating meeting between Babica and Baldric, but I have to say, I'm really looking forward to seeing the Silbel Strangler and Lord Baldric take over with their powers and plans! Also, your song at the end was very interesting!

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Fundamentals are always so important.  Those that try and skip steps to get ahead before they understand what is truly going on, never are as good as those that work and understand all the underlying issues and tasks.

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When the whole antagonist protagonist "we arent that different" trope is agreed upon by both parties. I love it!

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Just gets more interesting by the chapter. 
 

Excited to see how powerful Kotic will be. 
One thing I agree with our protagonists at this point is that something really has to change in their countries... hopefully Baldric and Kotic will lead a successful revolution or coup or whatever.

Also... both Baldric and Kotic are hot/adorable yet frightening at the same time! Hehe I like it. 

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1 hour ago, gabz2000 said:

Just gets more interesting by the chapter. 
 

Excited to see how powerful Kotic will be. 
One thing I agree with our protagonists at this point is that something really has to change in their countries... hopefully Baldric and Kotic will lead a successful revolution or coup or whatever.

Also... both Baldric and Kotic are hot/adorable yet frightening at the same time! Hehe I like it. 

Hello! Today we are here to make one of Demented's famous Main characters! 


The recipe calls for 

1/3 hot 
1/3 adorable 
1/3 Frightening 

Add salt to taste! 

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