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The most relatable thing is Leliel wanting to chug wine

a guest May 19th, 2019 88 Never
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  1.  
  2. Leliel slept soundly that night, the cool night air and sea breezes lulling her into a deep slumber filled with sweet dreams. Even the gentle caress of sunlight on her cheeks wasn't enough to rouse her, as she softly snored in her lifeboat. She felt a vague sensation of movement, and could hear soft voices invading her dreams.
  3.  
  4.  
  5. "What'd'ya s'pose it is, Thomas?"
  6.  
  7.  
  8. "Heard tella these things in Kaj. Succubus they call em. Suck a man's soul clean outta his body."
  9.  
  10.  
  11. "How'd it get all th'way out here?"
  12.  
  13.  
  14. "Dunno. Looks like it might be dead already."
  15.  
  16.  
  17. As Leliel listened to the invasive conversation, her eyelids opened groggily with a yawn. She blinked a few times, and stretched her limbs, suddenly realizing she wasn't in the lifeboat anymore. She was sprawled out on the deck of the ship, with a crowd of sailors looking on in shock.
  18.  
  19.  
  20. "Ye Gods! Its alive!" One of the seamen shouted, as the entire crowd seemed to brace for some unseen impact.
  21.  
  22.  
  23. "Not for long! Let's send it back to hell!"
  24.  
  25.  
  26. Leliel was suddenly very awake, leaping to her feet just as a boarding axe slammed into the boards where she had been resting. She swept her hand, as a flash of arcane runes wove in the air around her, only for her to receive a sharp blow in the back of the head with what she thought must have been an anchor. She fell to the deck in a crumpled heap, as stars flashed in her vision. She felt something impact her in the stomach, probably a boot, and she choked for air as hands told hold of her shoulders and yanked her to her feet.
  27.  
  28.  
  29. "Overboard!"
  30.  
  31.  
  32. "String it up!"
  33.  
  34.  
  35. "Shoot it ya damed fools! Shoot it!"
  36.  
  37.  
  38. Leliel's head was spinning like a top, and the whole world felt like it was a blur of motion. She thrashed and struggled against the sailors holding her down, throwing punches, kicking, screaming, and even biting in a desperate gamble to save herself. Something was slipped over her head, and she felt the prickly sensation of a rope being tightened around her throat. She screamed, and was cut off by her own choke as the cord went taut.
  39.  
  40.  
  41. "String it up! Ya gotta hang 'em to send 'em back t'hell!"
  42.  
  43.  
  44. The rope was thrown over the topsail, and a small group of the crew helped to tug it down, turning the mast into a makeshift gallows. Leliel struggled with deadly fury, trying to claw at her bindings with her nails, but to no avail. With a heave, the sailors tugged on the noose and lifted her up, and her kicking and screaming was suddenly replaced with desperate chokes and gasps for air. Everything seemed to be going black, as her vision began go give out. She was dragged up higher, much to the cheers of the crewmen below. Then one sound suddenly pierced through the bloodthirsty din of the crowd like an arrow through its quarry.
  45.  
  46.  
  47. "LET HER GO!"
  48.  
  49.  
  50. The entire crew turned to face the source of the sound, and it was as if they were struck dumb. Silence fell over the decks, save for Leliel's mournful choking.
  51.  
  52.  
  53. "I said, let her go! Now!"
  54.  
  55.  
  56. Leliel suddenly felt the rope go slack, and she hit the deck with a painful thud. She tore at the rope around her neck; gasping down air as she choked it down. When she had finally steadied herself, she looked up from the deck, her eyes tracing the source of the voice to Vivian, unmasked and standing in front of the crew, her green eyes set like emeralds.
  57.  
  58.  
  59. "Are you okay, Leli?" She said, offering the half demon a small smile, which earned her a nod in return. Vivian seemed to breathe a sigh of relief, which faded into a sigh of resignation as she faced the crowd of sailors.
  60.  
  61.  
  62. "You're... you're beautiful." One of the crew said, taking a step towards Vivian with eyes dilated. "What's your name?"
  63.  
  64.  
  65. "Vivian Tess." She replied. "You know that, Isaac. We just played cards last night."
  66.  
  67.  
  68. "Can't believe you'd go out in public wearing that, love." Another sailor muttered, a sleazy smile on his face as he sidled up to the Fey touched girl, who visibly tightened up.
  69.  
  70.  
  71. "Its the same thing I always wear..."
  72.  
  73.  
  74. "I thought you only existed in my dreams."
  75.  
  76.  
  77. "No, I'm very real."
  78.  
  79.  
  80. "I just want to touch your body. Such soft lips..." One of the crewmen suddenly leaned in and put his hands on her hips, pulling himself against him as Vivian yelped, before she suddenly disappeared from sight.
  81.  
  82.  
  83. "Where'd she go?"
  84.  
  85.  
  86. "I can't lose her again!"
  87.  
  88.  
  89. "Split up! She couldn't have gone far!"
  90.  
  91.  
  92. The crowd dispersed, splitting off into small search parties seeking out the woman of their dreams who only existed in their eyes. They seemed to have completely lost interest in Leliel now, the stars in their eyes blinding them to the half demon who still lay crumpled on the deck, both from a mixture of shock and confusion. Something suddenly tool hold of her hand, helping her to her feet, albeit a bit shakily.
  93.  
  94.  
  95. "Can you stand up?" She could hear Vivian's voice, though she couldn't see her.
  96.  
  97.  
  98. "I think so." Leliel tested her own weight, steadying herself against an invisible shoulder.
  99.  
  100.  
  101. "They won't bother you anymore." Vivian said softly. "They're gonna have a pretty one track mind until they see me again."
  102.  
  103.  
  104. "Are you gonna be okay?" Leliel said as she took a few tentative steps on her wobbly legs. "They're not going to do anything drastic to you, right?"
  105.  
  106.  
  107. "Not if I keep hidden." Vivian gave the half demon's shoulder a gentle squeeze. "You might not see me much the rest of the trip though."
  108.  
  109.  
  110. "I'm sorry..." Leliel's voice trailed off. She wanted to say more, but the words were hard to find.
  111.  
  112.  
  113. "Don't be." Vivian's fingers massaged her for a moment. "You're not dead, and that's what really matters."
  114.  
  115.  
  116. There was a long pause in the conversation, the sound of the waves lapping against the side of the ship filling the awkward silence before Vivian continued.
  117.  
  118.  
  119. "I'll try to make time for you still." She said in a voice that was nearly as soothing as her cold hand on a sore shoulder. “Can’t make any promises, but I’ll be here.”
  120.  
  121.  
  122. “I... “ Leliel was slow to reply, unsure of what she ought to say. “Thank you. It really does mean a lot to me.”
  123.  
  124.  
  125. “Well, you mean a lot to me too.” Vivian’s words were as sweet as honey and as soft as silk. “Now you just happen to owe me a life debt.”
  126.  
  127.  
  128. The Fey Touched chuckled softly, finally letting Leliel stand on her own two feet now.
  129.  
  130.  
  131. “I’m kidding.” She continued, her gentle footfalls creaking the deck as she slipped off to find a better hiding place. “I’ll try to see you around. Keep safe!”
  132.  
  133.  
  134. Leliel took a seat on an upturned bucket and gently rubbed the raw ropeburn around her neck. She had gotten careless, and there was no excuse for that. Vivian had warned her she was being reckless, and yet she went ahead and risked her head anyways. She let out a sigh, both of relief and of regret, before burying her head in her hands and just letting the world fade away, save for the soft sounds of the sea serenading her ears.
  135.  
  136.  
  137. Despite the fact that she had every right to do so, Vivian had never once uttered an “I told you so” or anything of the sort. She had saved Leliel’s life, yet hardly seemed to recognize the gravitas of her actions. After so long dealing with people who wanted nothing more than to hang her from the gallows, or were at least content to stand by and watch, it was refreshing to come across someone who seemed so genuine and kind. Leliel knew it was unwise to put her trust in anyone so soon, yet Vivian was earning that trust at a rapid rate.
  138.  
  139.  
  140. For the first time in a very long while, Leliel had someone she could call a friend.
  141.  
  142.  
  143.  
  144. *****
  145.  
  146.  
  147.  
  148. After another pair of long tendays at sea, Roan finally showed itself on the horizon. Leliel stood on the deck, the captain and crew of the ship having completely neglected her in pursuit of Vivian, and gazed out at the marvelous metropolis they were fast approaching. Roan was a city of spires, with the opulent architecture being constructed with the odd ideal that the more well off you were, the higher your home ought to sit. The city was built along the slope of a cliff which lead down to the ocean, and naturally the closer to the cities pinnacle one looked, the more ornate and beautiful the homes became. The lowest levels were squat, squalid little homes that were barely large enough to accommodate a single room, leading up to a sort of middle district of middle class tenements with three or four stories apiece, and were often adorned with waving banners and fluttering flags of red and yellow. Finally at the zenith of society were the pillars of marble and gold that held Roan's upper crust. The towers pierced the cold, grey sky like the pikes of an army on the march, or perhaps more accurately, on a parade.
  149.  
  150.  
  151. Between all these towers ran a series of steel wires which spread across the city like the tangled web of a gargantuan arachnid. Sets of cable cars slowly traversed the web as they trundled along, swaying and rocking in the wind like fragile autumn leaves clinging to their branches. Each one appeared distinct, even at a distance, with bright patterns and glorious decals standing out in stark relief with the steely clouds.
  152.  
  153.  
  154. As her ship slowly pulled into port, Leliel's nose caught a whiff of the other thing that had made Roan world famous. Roan had invested much of her energy into the spice trade, and the aromas of black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger swirled together with the richer, more earthy smells of tobacco and cocoa to form the sort of scent that overwhelmed the senses in the best possible way. Leliel's mouth watered as the delectable fragrance conjured up fabulous visions of Roanite cuisine she had only read about before. Leliel recalled one of the first scrolls she had learned to read in the orphanage library had told of the glories of Roanite recipes: from flaky pastries filled with sweet jam and jelly, to hearty stews that would make your eyes water with steamy spice, to rich red wines that stung the palate with biting tannins. Leliel could scarcely wait for the ship to dock, just so she could find some food that wasn't meant to last a month at sea.
  155.  
  156.  
  157. As the ship glided into the Bay of Midsummer, Leliel took a seat on a neglected coil of rope and stared off into the middle distance. For such an exciting day, she couldn't have had more rotten weather, with dreary skies and bitter winds to mark her entry. While she patiently waited for the ship to finally reach the docks, Leliel felt something soft and cool against her shoulder. It was a touch she had come to recognize over the past few days as Vivian's invisible hand letting her know she was near. The pair had scarcely seen each other over the past two tendays, with Vivian's few appearances usually ruined by a crewman attempting to grope or forcibly kiss her. Leliel smiled slightly, as she turned to face where she knew her companion must be standing.
  158.  
  159.  
  160. "Glad to see-"
  161.  
  162.  
  163. BBBBBBVVVVVVVVRRRRRRRPT!
  164.  
  165.  
  166. A deep, bassy thrumming assaulted Leliel's ears as a gust of hurricane force wind sent her hair billowing. She attempted to stagger back from the sudden burst of fetid air, only to topple over and fall flat on her back, staring up at the cold sky with watery eyes. Vivian's giggles filled the air, along with the eggy scent of her gas, as she faded into focus, making it very clear to Leliel that the comforting touch of Vivian's hand on her shoulder had actually been the redhead's bouncing, bubbly rear end. Vivian clutched her stomach as she laughed, a few stray tears trickling down her cheeks as she shook from laughter at her own joke.
  167.  
  168.  
  169. "Oh Gods!" She managed to choke out, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. "You should have seen the look on your face!"
  170.  
  171.  
  172. Vivian made a feeble attempt to parody Leliel's wide eyed shock and frantic scrambling as she was hit with a fart she never saw coming, before once again doubling over with suppressed snickers.
  173.  
  174.  
  175. "I'm glad at least one of us finds it funny." Leliel shook her head as she sat up, brushing herself off and wrinkling her nose at the lingering stink in the air. "Phew..."
  176.  
  177.  
  178. "Aww, lighten up, Leli!" Vivian reached a hand out to her, helping the half demon to her feet. "Its just a joke!"
  179.  
  180.  
  181. "Well, your sense of humor stinks." Leliel retorted, folding her arms over her chest.
  182.  
  183.  
  184. "Was that a joke? From you?" Vivian's lips curled into a grin as she raised an eyebrow.
  185.  
  186.  
  187. "Perhaps." Leliel replied with the trace of a smirk playing about her features. "I'm not completely devoid of humor you know."
  188.  
  189.  
  190. "Could have fooled me."
  191.  
  192.  
  193. "Quiet you." Leliel gave her an elbow in the ribs for that. "So, what's the plan once we dock in Roan?"
  194.  
  195.  
  196. "Well, I've been thinking, and I-"
  197.  
  198.  
  199. "Gods! I thought I lost you forever, my love!"
  200.  
  201.  
  202. Vivian was cut off by one of the crew that spotted her, and she almost instantly vanished again, leaving the sailor to break down in tears, blubbering something about how he couldn't go on like this.
  203.  
  204.  
  205. "Maybe it's best we talk after we disembark." Vivian's voice was a whisper as she moved silently over the deck. "Shouldn't be long now..."
  206.  
  207.  
  208. Indeed, it wasn't long at all. The ship was docked only moments later, as it pulled up alongside one of the long wooden piers that jutted out into the bay. The captain gave orders to begin unloading their cargo as the gangplank was lowered, clattering against the dock with a resounding slap. Not wanting go get pulled into the throngs of goods that were about to flow from the cargo bay, Leliel disembarked quickly, her legs feeling strange and wobbly as she tried to find her land legs. As she stretched out her legs, she took in the scene that surrounded her.
  209.  
  210.  
  211. It was like the dockyard in Fairharbor, but on a scale Leliel could scarcely comprehend. The galleons in port were offloading a steady stream of foreign goods, and she spied trunks of silk from Aradek, chests of gold from Kaj, and spices from Roan's island colonies. Even with the dismal clouds above, the docks were filled with vibrant colors, melodiously accented voices, and wonderous aromas that blended together into a dazzling treat for the senses. Leliel however knew better than to let herself get overwhelmed with the beauty. Roan was a massive city filled with peoples from all the world over, and while it welcomed diversity, she doubted that tolerance extended towards someone like herself. She pulled her hood up, and pulled her cloak tight, doing her best to conceal her face as she stepped into the teeming throngs of the crowded docks. She didn't get far however, before something cold and wet thudded against the side of her head, splattering her with chilly slush. Leliel swiveled her head in the direction of the attack, and saw Vivian's masked face peering at her from behind a rack of shipwright's tools, motioning for her to come closer.
  212.  
  213.  
  214. "Was there really no other way to get my attention?" The half demon said as she approached, still wiping the residual snow from her cheek.
  215.  
  216.  
  217. "Well, I could've farted on you again." Vivian's smirk was plain even with the mask in the way.
  218.  
  219.  
  220. "Why can't you just tap me on the shoulder like a normal human being?" Leliel huffed.
  221.  
  222.  
  223. "Cause that would be boring!" Vivian chuckled. "But, I wanted to show you something..."
  224.  
  225.  
  226. "If its-"
  227.  
  228.  
  229. "Its not my butt this time." Vivian quickly cut her off. "Its something you might be more interested in."
  230.  
  231.  
  232. "I'm listening."
  233.  
  234.  
  235. "So, I wanted this to be a surprise for when we got to Roan, but I spent the trip practicing a new spell. I wanted to have more time to test it out before we got here, but... well, you know what happened." Vivian summoned her wand, before tapping it like a conductor trying to silence an orchestra. "It might not be perfect, but hey, you can't say I didn't try!"
  236.  
  237.  
  238. Vivian wove her wand through the air with all the elegance of a skilled seamstress. She appeared to trace some sort of invisible pattern in the air, before she closed her eyes, reached out her arm, and gave Leliel a tap on the nose with her wand. There was a soft tinkling sound, almost like a wind chime in a garden, before Vivian cracked her eye ever so slightly. Finally she opened them fully, and let out a gasp, clasping both hands over her mouth in what Leliel assumed must have been relief.
  239.  
  240.  
  241. "Did it work?" Leliel said as she glanced around for some evidence that a spell was even cast. Vivian didn't reply, but merely took the half demon by the hand and lead her to the waters edge, pointing with a shaking finger at her reflection. Leliel glanced down, and saw herself.
  242.  
  243.  
  244. Her reflection had no horns. Her black hair was still messy and curled, but now framed a face that was missing its golden eyes. Now they were a shimmering amber color, with distinct pupils and irises. Her skin was no longer red, but a soft, sun kissed tawny hue that reminded her of the sunbathers she occasionally saw on the beaches of Fairharbor. Leliel blinked in disbelief, then put a hand up to her own cheek, fearing that her own touch would somehow knock her out of this dream. When it didn't, she could scarcely breathe as a font of emotions bubbled up from within her. She looked completely human. The way she had always dreamed she would look had she not been born under a curse. She eyes welled up with tears, and she had to stifle a sob in her throat as it all sank in.
  245.  
  246.  
  247. "I don't really know what you would look like without all the demon stuff, so I just sort of took my best guess. I hope you-"
  248.  
  249.  
  250. Vivian was silenced as her traveling companion suddenly pulled her into one of the tightest hugs she'd ever felt.
  251.  
  252.  
  253. "Thank you." Leliel whispered, sniffling as she choked back tears. "You don't know how much this means to me."
  254.  
  255.  
  256. "I... think I've got a good idea." Vivian smiled as she returned the gesture, albeit much more gently. Their hug broke only seconds later, and Leliel wiped her eyes with her sleeve as she let her hood fall down.
  257.  
  258.  
  259. "How long does this last?"
  260.  
  261.  
  262. "Well, it doesn't really have an ending. It just ends when I say it does, or I stop holding up the spell. So as long as I keep it in the back of my mind, you'll look one hundred percent human!"
  263.  
  264.  
  265. "I just can't believe..." Leliel stammered, unable to find any words that sufficed except two. "Thank you."
  266.  
  267.  
  268. "No problem at all!" Vivian's smile was a mile wide. As the two of them spoke, Leliel felt something wet impact the bridge of her nose. A soft rain was beginning to lazily drizzle down onto the city, with large drops splashing against Leliel's cheeks and face as they began to fall. Her companion reached into her coin purse, before drawing out a full sized umbrella, opening the white canopy of canvas with a flourish. "C'mon, let's walk together."
  269.  
  270.  
  271. The two of them stood close together beneath the umbrella as they began making their way through the docks and into the city proper. It felt so strange to Leliel to be walking without the need to conceal her face. She found that despite the fact that she no longer needed to, she still did her best to avoid meeting the gaze of the other travelers on the cobblestone streets. Old habits die hard, after all. She and Vivian were surrounded on all sides by throngs of men, women, and children weaving their way through the crowded streets in the shadows cast by the high rise spires. They were dressed in a rainbow of colors, and displayed styles of dress from all the world over. Leliel recognized the earth toned modesty favored by Shearhaven contrasting with the flowing silk robes and sashes worn by wanderers from Kaj, and watched with quiet satisfaction as they began to duck beneath the awnings of shops and homes to take shelter from the falling drizzle.
  272.  
  273. As the pair pushed through the crowded street, they seemed to burst out into a large open air market, with shops and stalls of every shape and size stood with their brightly colored wares on prominent display. Spices, produce, fish, clothing, trinkets, baubles, and even liquor were among the products that the loud, boisterous shopkeeps were currently flogging, with each one proclaiming that their stall was the “best all the world over”, as if they were oblivious to the four other stalls right beside them selling the exact same thing. Many of them tried to take Leliel’s hand, or to grip her by the shoulder and lead her to their booth, though she shrugged them off as politely as she could. The marketplace was noisy, bustling, and almost overwhelming as Leliel tried to stay close to Vivian, hoping that her mask would act as a deterrent to the ever encroaching salesmen. When that failed her, Leliel settled on a deterrent that was much harder to ignore.
  274.  
  275. Prrpt-pssssssst!
  276.  
  277. A small pop and a low hiss seeped out from beneath her tunic, and Leliel adjusted her cloak to give it a small flap in the back, sending the stench of sulfur and brimstone into the crowd around her. A puff of her own product reached her nose, and Leliel grimaced at the foul concoction she had unleashed. She almost felt bad for the people around her. Almost. She could hear a few scattered complaints, and a glance over her shoulder confirmed that the stink bomb she had dropped was having its intended effect. Although no one blamed her, it had certainly done its job of getting rid of the merchants, at least for the time being.
  278.  
  279. “Oh don’t you try and play innocent!” Vivian said, giving Leliel a sly smile from behind her mask.
  280.  
  281. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
  282.  
  283. “Leli, that was totally you. I’d know that smell anywhere.”
  284.  
  285. “Why did you commit the smell of my farts to memory?” Leliel questioned, her face screwing up with confusion.
  286.  
  287. “I mean, it’d be pretty hard not to!” Vivian put a hand on her hip, chuckling softly. “You do it so often, and it’s always so pungent that its almost impossible to-”
  288.  
  289. “New topic.” Leliel interjected, anxious to end this line of discussion. “Where are we going?”
  290.  
  291. “Oh! Right! I never mentioned that.” Vivian brought a palm to her forehead, “One of the sailors on the ship mentioned he wanted to do... Erm... Some things to me at a place called The Ivory Point. He said it was some sort of really fancy inn in Roan, way way up at the top of the city. He told me that after we... did stuff... we could sit on the balcony and watch the sunset over the bay. I figured we could do that too!”
  292.  
  293. “You want me to-”
  294.  
  295. “No!” Vivan blurted, before catching herself. “I mean, I’m not trying to say that you’re... Ugh, you know what I mean! I meant we could do the sunset thing!”
  296.  
  297. “I know, Viv.” Leliel said, the smirk on her face as smug as could be. “I’m just messing with you.”
  298.  
  299. “Now that’s just mean.” Vivian said, before kicking at a puddle in the street to splash a bit on Leliel’s cloak.”We’re looking for a cable car station. So keep your eyes peeled.”
  300.  
  301. Leliel noticed one of the stations just across the plaza, and nudged Vivian towards it, choosing to ignore the splash for now. It was a small open air structure built from rough hewn wooden beams, and prominently featured a large gear with a massive hand crank, which a pair of orcs were busy turning over and over, propelling the trams along their steel wire. Leliel couldn’t imagine how tiring a job like that must be, though she imagined orcs must be well suited to it.
  302.  
  303. “Alright alright! If ya missed your tram there’ll be another in twenty minutes!” He yelled over the din of the mob. “Next cars goin’ up to Ivory Point!”
  304.  
  305. As he spoke another metal car trundled into the station, painted bright white with elegant calligraphy on the side displaying the name of its destination. Vivian folded her umbrella as she and Leliel followed the throngs into the open doors of the waiting tram. The interior was almost barren, with cold steel seats along the walls the only furnishing, and the drab grey contrasted woefully with the painted exterior. Leliel subconsciously nestled herself in a corner near the exit, a habit she had picked up from boarding any sort of transit where she might be spotted. As the conductor shut and locked their doors, the car began its journey, rattling along its wire track with a gentle rocking and swaying.
  306.  
  307. Leliel leaned against the wall in silence, watching through the dirty glass windows as the carriage slowly ascended. They went up, and up, and up, until they passed through a low hanging cloud which shrouded the world around them in a chilly fog. She sighed, gently rapping her knuckles against the steel barrier to pass the time. Vivian was humming a little tune alongside her, picking out tiny pieces of ice from her hair. Apparently, the raindrops froze when they hit her. Leliel closed her eyes and tried to just relax, though something within her wasn’t about to let that happen.
  308.  
  309. BBBBRRRRRRRRRPPPPPPsssssssr!
  310.  
  311. A heavy, bassy ripper echoed off the walls in the cable car, which Leliel quickly did her best to silence as she clenched her lower cheeks before a blush crept over her upper cheeks. The sulphurous stink quickly wafted around the cabin, followed by a wave of angry glares and complaints from the other riders. Leliel mumbled an apology and excused herself, doing her best to make herself seem as small as possible. Among the complaints breathed at her through covered noses, Leliel could make out at least one person snickering, and knew instantly who that was.
  312.  
  313. “Gods, that was so loud!” Vivian giggled behind her mask, her voice scarcely above a whisper. “I’ll bet I could do one better...”
  314.  
  315. “Vivian it’s not a competition.” Leliel chided, though she could tell her pleas fell on deaf ears. Vivian swayed her hips slowly, as though she were winding up, before she stuck out her rump in the direction of the other passengers, and let ‘er rip.
  316.  
  317. PPPPPRRRRRRRRRRRLLLLLLLORRT!
  318.  
  319. Vivian easily topped her companion’s blast of fetid air with a soaking wet explosion that sounded like it left a stain. Leliel’s nose twitched as the bitter scent of spoiled produce proceeded to sucker punch her nostrils, and she quickly lifted her tunic to shield herself from the rapidly worsening stench. If Leliel’s fart had provoked discontent, Vivian’s had pushed the travelers to the brink of outrage.
  320.  
  321. “For the Gods sake!”
  322.  
  323. “Do that in a toilet, you pig!”
  324.  
  325. “Disgusting cur!”
  326.  
  327. “Ugh! I’m gonna vomit!”
  328.  
  329. Yet, despite the reactions she was getting Vivian only giggled sweetly, playfully fanning the air at butt level and giving the cabin an exaggerated “Excuuuuuuse me!” in response.
  330.  
  331. “I told you I could top it.” She whispered to Leliel, who was currently trying to hold back tears as the cloying concoction of horrid stink made her eyes water. “Your turn!”
  332.  
  333. “Vivian, I’m not playing a game here.” Leliel said as she turned her gaze back to the window. They were approaching the upper district now, with the radiant spires piercing the fog as they drew nearer.
  334.  
  335. “You just don’t wanna try because you know I’ll win!”
  336.  
  337. Leliel was about to reply, when she felt a sudden cramp hit her stomach. Oh Gods... She knew what that meant. She cursed her patron with every fiber of her being for the brief moment she had before the flood came. She made up her mind then and there that her next trip to the Hells wouldn’t be complete until she made Baalazog eat his own tongue over this.
  338.  
  339. pssssssshhhhhPPPPPPPPPPPPRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRMMMMMMMMMMMMM-
  340.  
  341. The short hiss at the start gave her hope that it wouldn’t be nearly as bad as the fart she had been forced to unleash back in Fairharbor, but that was dashed almost instantly when it rose in volume into a rumbling, raucous bomb that she was certain was making the dangling car tremble with its sheer power. The confined space didn’t take long to fill with the choking, stifling aroma of brimstone, spoiled spices, and raw sewage.
  342.  
  343. -BBBBBBVVVVVVVVVVVVVVRRRRRT!
  344.  
  345. Leliel’s fart ended with a sort of zipper like sound, which might have been humorous had she not just unleashed it in public. She glanced over her shoulder just in time to see one of the passengers, a lady in a flowing white dress, faint in another traveler’s arms. Leliel wasn’t sure if it was the smell or the shock that had knocked her out, though it could have gone either way. She glanced sheepishly around the cab, trying to shrink away from the shocked and disgusted gazes of the people she had just gassed. Vivian’s eyes were wider than she had ever seen them, and she blinked a few times as if trying to process what she had just seen and smelled.
  346.  
  347. “Gods...” Vivian slowly trickled back into reality, futilely fanning the rancid, heavy air away from her face. “You win! You win! Whew!”
  348.  
  349. One of the larger passengers, a broad shouldered man whose robes failed to conceal his muscles, stood up, cracking his knuckles as he approached the two girls, towering over them like a predator facing his prey.
  350.  
  351. “You think this is funny, huh?” He said, holding his robes over his mouth and nose as a makeshift shield with one hand, and clenching the other into a fist. “Lemme show you something else funny...”
  352.  
  353. The cab suddenly lurched to a halt, as it pulled into the Ivory Point station. The doors were opened by a pair of attendants on the outside, and Leliel suddenly felt Vivian grip her hand tight. The two girls vanished as Vivian’s invisibility spell was cast, and the two ran like their lives depended on it through the open doors.Leliel was nearly dragged along behind Vivian as they sprinted, dashing through the open air station and over the white brick bridge that connected the station to its namesake.
  354.  
  355. The Ivory Point was, by all accounts, every bit as beautiful as the pair had been lead to believe. It towered high above the city skyline, with only a handful of spires taller than it in eyesight. The exterior was covered in marble and inlaid with gold all over, making the entire building appear to glisten in the dim, hazy sunlight. As the pair swept into the lobby, Vivian canceled her spell and nearly fell to the tapestry covered carpet in a fit of giggles. She laughed so hard that Leliel was nearly certain she was going to need help breathing.
  356.  
  357. “Oh Gods! I’m crying!” Vivian laughed, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Oh, that was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life! You really knocked ‘em dead out there!”
  358.  
  359. “Vivian, someone was about to punch us over that fart.” Leliel said dryly, as she headed to one of the desks and checked in with the concierge. Vivian, still chuckling, paid for their room with a surprising amount of gold drawn from her coin purse.
  360.  
  361. “Yeah, but we got out of it just fine.” Vivian’s voice shook as she received the key to their room, and motioned for Leliel to follow her up an ornately carved spiral staircase. “Gods, I’d love nothing more than to ride those cars up and down all day, just getting to watch all the reactions I could get.”
  362.  
  363. “You want a bunch of people angry at you all the time?” Leliel questioned as they tread laboriously up the staircase, passing by sets of doors marked with stylized numbers as they ascended.
  364.  
  365. “Not really angry but just...” Vivian paused, as if searching for the right words. “You saw the way all those sailors talked about me on the ship, right? I guess its just sort of refreshing to hear the opposite from time to time.”
  366.  
  367. Finally, they reached their room, room twenty-one, judging by the number on the door. Vivian turned the key in the lock, and opened the portal to a luxurious little suite for two. The floors were carpeted in soft red, the beds were laid out with fresh linens, and the end table and dresser they were provided with filled the room with the aromatic scent of cedar. The table held a pair of wine glasses and a freshly chilled bottle of champagne, which Leliel was drawn to like a moth to a flame. It had been a while since she had a good drink, and as she popped the cork she had to stop herself from drinking straight from the bottle. She filled the glasses, and handed one to Vivian, who instantly dragged her out onto their balcony, despite the fact that it was raining.
  368.  
  369. “Cmon! I don’t wanna miss the sun-” Vivian glanced out over the city with a look of disappointment. The sun was setting for sure, and right over the bay as promised, but the clouds reduced it to a few golden beams of dying light over a gloomy grey sea. She sighed, leaning on the wet railing. She slowly peeled off her mask, setting it aside with a huff.
  370.  
  371. “Well...” Leliel felt she should say something, but fumbled for a response. Then, an idea struck. “How about instead, we watch the sunrise tomorrow morning?”
  372.  
  373. “It’s not quite the same but... well, I’ll take it.” Vivian said with a small smile. She took her glass of bubbly wine and raised it up. “Lets toast.”
  374.  
  375. “To what?” Leliel murmured over the edge of her glass, lowering it and holding it out for a toast.
  376.  
  377. “Your choice!” The Fey Touched offered.
  378.  
  379. “To... uh...” The half demon stammered, running a hand through her wet hair. “I dunno. I’ve got nothing.”
  380.  
  381. “To nothing then.” Vivian chuckled softly, holding out her glass.”
  382.  
  383. “To nothing.”
  384.  
  385. Their glassware let out a soft clang as the sun sank into the bay. The first leg of their journey was complete, and yet Leliel knew there was so much more to come. But that was an issue to ponder for another day. Today, she was intent on finishing a bottle of champagne, and sleeping it off in the softest bed she had ever seen.
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