G2A Many GEOs
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Chapter 26

Magus_Anon Aug 21st, 2019 867 Never
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  1. There she was, Petropa von Chiropta. The source of all this mayhem. If Emballandae had not called her ‘mother,’ you may have missed the familial connection. The buxom, confident woman on the throne was a stark contrast to her spindly daughter. Emballandae’s face looked nothing like hers. Her sharp features demanded reverence and respect, despite you not knowing about her character. Emballandae had inherited none of her mothers chiseled features. She was cursed with an adorable baby face, that didn’t suit her temper and arrogance. Only time would tell if her appearance would change with age. Since vampires age differently, Emballandae may still be going through puberty for all you knew.
  2.  
  3. Petropa’s eyes glinted. “At last.” She sat up in her throne and leaned forwards. “You, human. Come closer.”
  4.  
  5. You stared back at her as you shuffled forwards. Emballandae knelt next to you with her head lowered.
  6. “Mmm…” hummed Petropa.
  7.  
  8. In an instant, she was in front of you. Whether it was magic, speed, or both, the vampire was now in front of you. You reeled back with a small gasp and looked up at the undead in front of you.
  9.  
  10. Petropa let out an exaggerated laugh. “So you fear me already! That is as it should be; you already know your place beneath my kind.”
  11.  
  12. She reached out and grabbed your shoulders. Try as you might to pull away from her, Petropa dragged you forwards effortlessly.
  13.  
  14. “But what a strange specimen! I’ve read all the reports, seen every drawing, and none of it did justice to this aberration before me!” said Petropa with a hint of annoyance.
  15.  
  16. “Aberration…?” you muttered.
  17.  
  18. “This skin! Only the husbands of the selkies can compare! If I wanted such a pale human I could have just bought an albino.” She said. Her right hand clasped your jaw and twisted your head as she inspected your face. “Blue eyes… I was uncertain what shade they truly were…” Petropa stared into your eyes. Her own crimson irises seemed to glow in the faint light of the throne room. “…Disappointing. I had hoped that they would be akin to the finest lapis lazuli.”
  19.  
  20. She released you and ascended the dais to her throne.
  21.  
  22. The humiliation and anger were too much for you to contain.
  23.  
  24. “Sorry I’m such a letdown. I hope it’s not too late to send me back and get a refund.” You said.
  25. Goeth drew a sharp breath from behind you and some of the guards around you shifted uncomfortably. Petropa sat down on the throne and gave you a condescending smile.
  26.  
  27. “It is true, you were not the bronze skinned, golden eyed, warrior that I was hoping to conjure. You have the aesthetic of a cave dwelling hermit. But you are saved by your circumstance. Your value lies in your being, not your appearance. Anon, you are the first of your kind. The only male from a different dimension. Something so rare that no dragon, no pharaoh, not even a lilim possesses anything that could pass as an imitation. You are a symbol of the power of the Chiropta dynasty.” Said Petropa.
  28.  
  29. “That’s it? You’re saying that the only reason I’m valuable is because I’m unique?” you said.
  30.  
  31. Petropa snorted. “Don’t be ridiculous! Surely you have heard the rumors of how you came to reside in this world, no?”
  32.  
  33. “Some sort of experiment.”
  34.  
  35. Petropa laughed. “What beautiful ignorance! You really do no nothing about what transpired, do you?”
  36.  
  37. Your curiosity held your tongue. This undead had the answers to your arrival. Closure to the questions you had been asking for months.
  38.  
  39. “I know that it was a massive undertaking…” you said after a long pause.
  40.  
  41. “More than you will ever know, human. Tomb Haven collected more than fifty years of energy from the denizens of the city to fuel the spell.” Said Petropa.
  42.  
  43. “Spell?”
  44.  
  45. “The most ambitious spell to ever be cast. Millions of gold pieces, half a century of research, and another half of mana collection all went into summoning you.” Said Petropa thrusting a slim finger at you.
  46.  
  47. “That… that doesn’t make any sense!” you shouted. “Why the hell would you do that?! You spent all that time and effort to summon a single human?!”
  48.  
  49. “A single human, yes. But not the last.” Said Petropa.
  50.  
  51. Your heart skipped a beat. “…What?”
  52.  
  53. “Oh? Does experiment have a different connotation in your world? Is that amulet you wear broken? Your purpose was to test our findings; to prove that viable males could be acquired through unconventional means. That is what you are, Anon. A proof of concept.”
  54.  
  55. The shackles on your wrists glowed with heat as your magic ran rampant through your body.
  56.  
  57. “YOU BITCH!” you screamed. You charged forwards but the guards caught hold of your arms.
  58.  
  59. Petropa smiled down at you. “Did that strike a nerve? Knowing that you were just a preliminary test? Or did you really believe that you were special? Your magic is impressive, and your culture is amusing, but without those things you are just another human.”
  60.  
  61. “You think you can just take people like this?!” you hissed.
  62.  
  63. “I can. Let the Demon Lord toil away at her conversion spell. She is engaged in a battle she cannot win. Instead, the world will know that I, Petropa von Chiropta, found the solution to the lack of males. When the time comes, I will open a permanent gateway to your world, and harvest all the lowly humans of your realm.”
  64.  
  65. “You can't just kidnap people like that! They have lives, they-“
  66.  
  67. “They are human.” Boomed Petropa. “Only fit to feed and sustain mamono. They will have more purpose as our fodder than they could ever dream of having in their previous lives.”
  68.  
  69. “You bastard…”
  70.  
  71. Petropa grinned. “I find your defiance amusing. I look forward to seeing you squirm beneath my boot. In time you will learn your place, and relish in your subservience. It may take centuries to open the gate. But when the first humans stagger out in chains and collars, the first thing they will see is you cleaning my daughter’s boots with your tongue.”
  72.  
  73. You shouted in rage and pain as the magic shackles began to sizzle. The faint odor of burnt hair wafted around you.
  74.  
  75. “I’ll fucking kill you!” you seethed.
  76.  
  77. “Ufufu… How does that saying go in your language Anon?” She blinked in front of you again and you recoiled in shock. A powerful hand shot out to clasp your throat. Petropa lifted you off your feet and the guards released you. You kicked and clawed in desperation to free yourself. Petropa pulled you close and whispered in your ear, in perfect English: “Welcome to hell~”
  78.  
  79. She threw you back down the carpet. You landed painfully on your back, and your head connected with the stone floor. The other mamono tried their best to ignore you as your groans of pain were interrupted by your gasps for air.
  80.  
  81. “Take him away. I will speak with him later. Have all of his things been moved to the laboratory yet?” asked Petropa.
  82.  
  83. “Yes, Lady Petropa.” Said one of the guards.
  84.  
  85. “Very good. You may show him to his room.” Said the vampire with a dismissive wave.
  86.  
  87. The tension in the room dissipated as the mamono quickly filed out of the throne room. Guards jostled you from behind to herd you towards the exit. Emballandae brushed past you with hunched shoulders and her collar pulled up.
  88.  
  89. “Where do you think you’re going, daughter?”
  90.  
  91. Emballandae flinched. Slowly she turned around to face her mother. You were dragged past her though the door.
  92.  
  93. “Y-yes, momma?” she said quietly.
  94.  
  95. “We need to discuss your… ‘tactics’ during Anon’s procurement…”
  96.  
  97. The heavy doors slammed shut behind you. The last thing you heard was a small whimper from your young mistress as she approached her mother.
  98.  
  99. ~~~~~~~
  100.  
  101. “Good day, master Anon. My name is Rhen. I am the steward of the Chiropta estate. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.” Said a skeleton wearing a Victorian dress. She gave a courtesy and stared at you.
  102.  
  103. “…Nice to meet you.” You said. It was a brusque greeting, but after the confrontation with Emballandae’s mother you were in no mood for pleasantries.
  104.  
  105. “Your room has been prepared. This way, please.”
  106.  
  107. The bone-woman turned and began down the hall. Theoretically, you could make a daring escape attempt, but there was no way that you would be able to navigate through the labyrinthian castle back to the exit without getting caught. Unless you chose defenestration…
  108. “Here we are, master Anon.” said Rhen.
  109.  
  110. Two butlers flanked a set of doors leading to your room. They bowed at the sight of their boss and opened the doors for the two of you. It seemed strange to have human men serving as butlers, but if the maids lived here with their husbands it made sense for both of them to serve the Chiropta family.
  111.  
  112. The doors beguiled the true nature of the space. Plush finery and hand-carved furniture radiated sophistication and wealth. Towering glass doors led to a balcony overlooking a courtyard. The attached bath and closet were larger than your dorm room in Admaz. The ceiling was high enough to make you dizzy looking up at it. Crystal chandeliers illuminated the room with a comforting glow. The bed was comically large, bordering on impractical. It was at least twelve feet wide and just as long. The remainder of the floorspace was cluttered with tables, chairs, dressers, mirrors, and shelves. Curiously, the Chiropta’s had filled the closet with an entire wardrobe’s worth of clothing. How they managed to obtain your measurements, you could not say.
  113.  
  114. “Hey…” you said.
  115.  
  116. A pattern of cloth caught your eye.
  117.  
  118. “My shirt!” you exclaimed. Indeed, the very shirt that you had worn when you had made your impromptu arrival in this world. Though it had been reduced to tatters, you had kept the cloth for sentimental reasons. Checking the collar, the mangled manufacturers tag proved that it was indeed the genuine article and not a mamono replica.
  119.  
  120. “All of your clothing has been mended as per Lady Petropa’s orders.” Said Rhen. “However, we were not able to find a suitable material to fix your shoes.”
  121.  
  122. Understandable. Even if mamono did have rubber there was no way that they could just slap a chunk of it onto your shoes to fix them. The soles had been worn down to wafers and your toes had turned the soggy top into more of a sandal than a shoe. None the less, they sat ready for you underneath the hanging shirts.
  123.  
  124. “This wardrobe was made custom for you, using transcripts from your lectures to craft {Earth}-style clothes. We hope they are to your liking.” Said Rhen.
  125.  
  126. The tailors had done an impeccable job of creating imitations of the things you had described, considering that they had no visual reference. Most of the clothes were close enough to pass from a distance. The shirts looked a little tight, the jeans were a little slim and didn’t have the bulk of denim, and the shorts were… very short.
  127.  
  128. Come to think of it, everything looked like it was a smidge too small for you…
  129.  
  130. Oh well, they could just fix whatever they needed to later. Clearly they had the budget for it.
  131.  
  132. “Now then, I have been instructed to inform you of the rules Lady Petropa has set forth for you.” Said Rhen pulling a small scroll from her apron. “First and foremost, you are to obey all orders from the Chiropta family, and any who speak with their authority. This includes me, the captain of the guard, and Lussazan. If you fail to comply, we are authorized to use force as necessary.”
  133.  
  134. Not a great start. Rhen seemed alright, but the idea of that lich having free reign over your body made you nervous.
  135.  
  136. “You will be guaranteed at least two hours of time a day to use as you see fit. You may travel anywhere that has not been made off-limits by Lady Petropa or the castle staff.” Continued Rhen.
  137.  
  138. Nice. It was good to know that you would have SOME reprieve from Emballandae if you needed it.
  139.  
  140. “…This time allotment will be nulled if your presence is needed for an event or function. In addition, the two hours cumulative. If you have used forty-five minutes and are interrupted, you will have one hour and fifteen minutes for the rest of the day.
  141.  
  142. Sounds like that was a loophole…
  143.  
  144. “Under no circumstances are any mamono other than Emballandae to make sexual advances on you. Any such incidents are to be reported IMMEDIATELY to the nearest staff member. Anon, you, are likewise forbidden from making any sexual advances on any monster but Emballandae. Incidents involving a monsters latent magical abilities, such as a banshee’s crying, will be reviewed by a tribunal of senior staff members and Lady Petropa.”
  145.  
  146. Standard protection stuff. Alright. You had the same deal in Admaz albeit with different intentions.
  147.  
  148. “With the exception of the two hours to be used at Anon’s discretion, he is expected to remain in the presence of Emballandae at all times unless ordered otherwise. Sleep is exempt from this stipulation, but Anon may not sleep more than eight and a half hours a day unless debilitatingly ill.”
  149.  
  150. Fuck. You were afraid of that. At least here you weren’t confined in a carriage with her.
  151.  
  152. “All privileges are dependent on Anon’s compliance and good behavior. Any individual acting under the Chiropta’s authority may withhold, revoke, or reduce the things, time, or company that Anon has been given, at any time and for any reason, provided that the deprivation of said person/object/time does not result in serious harm or death.”
  153.  
  154. You gulped. It didn’t take a lawyer to know what that meant: if you stepped out of line, Emballandae could do anything short of murder.
  155. “That concludes your expectations. Do you have any questions?” asked Rhen.
  156.  
  157. “No.” you said softly.
  158.  
  159. “Very good, master Anon. Would you please follow me? Lady Petropa wished to speak to you after you had been acclimated to your room.” Said the skeleton.
  160.  
  161. Before you could respond, she turned and exited the room. You hurried after her, not wanting to offend one of the people who now had control over your life.
  162.  
  163. ~~~~~
  164.  
  165. “Ah! There he is. The choleric alien!” said Petropa swirling a glass of wine.
  166.  
  167. Rhen had taken you through the castle to the courtyard that sat in the middle of the superstructure. The walls formed a ‘U’ shape, with the courtyard looking out over the land surrounding Tomb Haven. An impressive feat of architecture, the sprawling space was filled with terraces and steppes. Water features and plants obscured the towering walls around you. Trellises of flowers formed curtains to pass through as you meandered to your destination. Though the flora of this demon realm lacked color, the gardener had done an impeccable job of breathing vibrant life into the clearing. Pathways led through the foliage and over the brooks to a patio area that faced west. Or… whatever the equivalent of west was here…
  168.  
  169. You grit your teeth and took the seat that one of the butlers pulled out for you.
  170.  
  171. “Leave us.” Commanded Petropa with a wave.
  172.  
  173. Rhen and the other servants bowed and returned to the castle.
  174.  
  175. “So Anon, how are you? Help yourself to the food, it’s all been prepared for you in accordance to that unicorn’s notes.” Said Petropa with a smile.
  176.  
  177. The table was covered in an assortment of dishes, each the size of an appetizer. Though you were reluctant to eat anything, it had been hours since you had had breakfast. Taking a few small samples of various dishes you cautiously loaded your plate.
  178. “What do you want?” you asked coldly.
  179.  
  180. Petropa’s smile faded. “Some manners would be lovely. Do you always behave so callously when someone enquires about your health?”
  181. “Only when I know they don’t care.” You said dryly.
  182.  
  183. “I do care.”
  184.  
  185. Her sincerity caught you by surprise. Petropa’s smirk had been replaced by a stern glare.
  186.  
  187. “Though you are a human, I have no desire to see you endure any undue suffering.”
  188.  
  189. You stared back at her.
  190.  
  191. “I wanted to talk to you alone to ensure that you understand what is expected of you.” Said Petropa.
  192.  
  193. “Yeah, Rhen gave me the rundown.” You said.
  194.  
  195. “More than that. This is about my daughter.”
  196.  
  197. “What about her?”
  198.  
  199. Petropa poured herself another glass of wine and contemplated the horizon. “She informed me of your first meeting, and your… ‘tantrum’ at the gates of Admaz.”
  200.  
  201. You gulped. This moment had always seemed so far away when you were safe within the walls of Admaz with days of travel between you and the shadowy oligarch who was threatening you. Now you were sitting with her for lunch.
  202.  
  203. “I-“
  204.  
  205. Petropa raised a hand to stop you. “I know that she can be a handful. From the reports I read regarding the incidents I have determined that it was her poor handling of the situation that exacerbated the conflict into a ground war.”
  206.  
  207. Tension flooded from your shoulders. What a relief! Knowing that Petropa was willing to make an informed decision based on evidence made the list of rules Rhen had read you less daunting.
  208.  
  209. “I told her that she should read the transcripts of your lectures. Your culture has such an intriguing fascination on personal freedom. But when I encouraged her to appeal to your virtues of self-righteousness and liberty, she told me that she could handle it. Next thing I know she was detained in Admaz for smuggling out your spirit supplement and had been humiliated in front of an entire class of students.” Said Petropa.
  210.  
  211. “I never meant to embarrass her…” you said.
  212.  
  213. “I understand. I had the other students interviewed and they all agreed that Emballandae had overstepped her bounds. That’s why I wanted to clear the air between us, Anon.”
  214.  
  215. “What do you mean?”
  216.  
  217. “Though you are a human, the blame falls on the Chiropta family for the mismanagement of this affair.”
  218. “Is that an apology?”
  219.  
  220. Petropa took a sip of wine. “It is an invitation. I will not begrudge you a petty outburst. Traveling between worlds would be enough to break the minds of some. You are ignorant of our customs and culture. If you are willing to behave yourself, I promise that you will be treated with respect.”
  221.  
  222. “And by behave you mean follow every order your daughter gives me.” You said dryly.
  223.  
  224. “I said it was an invitation. You WILL obey my daughter. Your consent is not required. It would make things easier for all parties if you learned your place.”
  225.  
  226. “And if I refuse?”
  227.  
  228. “You already know the consequences. I’m sure Lussazan would be delighted to have you all to herself.”
  229.  
  230. You set aside your silverware and wiped your face. “Emballandae already has it out for me. Why should I listen to her when I’m fucked either way?”
  231.  
  232. Petropa sighed. “Anon, my daughter has not lived up to the Chiropta legacy. She is whimsical and naïve. She demands responsibility and cries when she inevitably fails. Though I’ve tried to teach her well, she is prone to eccentric outbursts. But beneath all that, she has a noble soul. I have ordered her to make amends with you. If you are patient with her you will no doubt find your place in her service where you belong.”
  233.  
  234. “Oh boy.”
  235.  
  236. Petropa lunged across the table and seized your throat. “Listen well, Anon. I don’t much care for this attitude but that is beside the point. All your feeble human mind needs to understand is that if you ever embarrass my daughter again, if you disobey her, I’ll have you chained to an examination table to let Lussazan experiment on you until your skin turns to dust. Got it?”
  237.  
  238. You sputtered and gasped as her nails dug into your throat. Petropa thrust you back into your seat and you collapsed onto the table trying to catch your breath.
  239.  
  240. “I’m glad we understand each other. Now then, I sent my daughter to her room to contemplate the mistakes she made. I suspect she would be delighted to see you, don’t you think?”
  241.  
  242. Petropa snapped her fingers and a ghost hovered out of the floor. “Show him to my daughter’s quarters.”
  243.  
  244. The ghost bowed and bid you to follow her.
  245.  
  246. “Ta-ta, Anon~” said Petropa as you walked away. She finished her glass of wine and let out a satisfied sigh.
  247.  
  248. ~~~~~~
  249.  
  250. “The young Lady is inside.” Said the ghost. Without waiting for a reply she floated through the floor.
  251.  
  252. Were abrupt exits an undead thing, or had you already offended everyone? You would have to ask Goeth later.
  253.  
  254. “Emballandae, it’s me. Can I come in?” you asked, knocking on the door.
  255.  
  256. You could hear Emballandae shuffle around in the room for a moment before she opened the door for you.
  257.  
  258. “So, you’ve come to me. Are you finally prepared to serve your mistress?” said the vampire. Her attempts at condescension were crippled by the redness of her eyes. Though she tried her best to muster the smug sneer she envisioned, she just looked tired.
  259.  
  260. “Yeah. Something like that…” you said. No matter how hard you tried, you just couldn’t be the doormat that the vampires expected you to be.
  261.  
  262. You entered the room and looked around. Emballandae’s room was even bigger than yours. The layout and furniture were similar, but all of the containers were scaled up to match the amount of clothing, books, or accessories that Emballandae had. The room was spotless, save for a cluster of chairs and a coffee table in front of a fireplace. Mountains of books and notes cluttered the table and various chairs. The only place unburdened with tomes or parchment was a love seat with a worn blanket.
  263.  
  264. “Good that you learn your place now. Your futile resistance would only have brought you to ruin.” Said Emballandae.
  265.  
  266. You ignored her and walked over to the stacks of books.
  267.  
  268. “Hey! Put that down!” whined Emballandae.
  269.  
  270. Whatever the book was about, it went beyond the basic written words you had learned at Admaz. After Morala’s departure, you had forewent learning the mamono language and took notes in English instead.
  271.  
  272. Emballandae tore the book out of your hands and glared at you. As much as you didn’t like her, she was pretty cute when she was blushing like that.
  273.  
  274. The tiny vampire put the book back on top of the stack and huffed. “Don’t touch anything unless I give you permission to.”
  275. “Fine, sorry. I was just curious.” You said.
  276.  
  277. Emballandae nodded in approval at your capitulation. “So… Why are you here?”
  278.  
  279. “I thought you might want to see me.” You lied.
  280.  
  281. “Oh! Well, yes… I suppose that it would only be right that you learn my tastes so as to serve me better.” Said Emballandae.
  282.  
  283. She gulped and looked around. A painful silence dragged out as you waited for her to follow the statement with an example.
  284. “What are some of your tastes?” you asked.
  285.  
  286. “I… I like… Sleeping!” said Emballandae.
  287.  
  288. “Alright, but I don’t think that I can help you with that…” you said.
  289.  
  290. “Hmph! Some day you will! When my noble blood has uplifted you and you have transcended your humanity, you will warm my bed forever more as a source of sustenance!” said Emballandae thrusting a finger at you.
  291.  
  292. That reminded you of a question you wanted to ask.
  293.  
  294. “Hey Emballandae, whe-“
  295.  
  296. “Excuse me, MILADY.” corrected Emballandae.
  297.  
  298. “Pardon me, milady…” you said without missing a beat. “…But where’s your father?”
  299.  
  300. Emballandae squirmed at the mention of father. She glanced at the door and frowned. “He’s busy.” She mumbled.
  301.  
  302. “Is he just sustenance to your mom?” you asked.
  303.  
  304. “Yes, of course.” Said Emballandae. “Why would he be anything else?”
  305.  
  306. She smiled at you. You stared back at her and she turned away.
  307.  
  308. “Anyways, that isn’t important. The matter at hand is most pressing: you are COMPLETELY unfit to serve me.”
  309.  
  310. “How so?” you said.
  311.  
  312. “You overstep your bounds! You’re contentious for no reason. And if you aren’t arguing with me, you’re way too familiar! I’m your owner, so you need to show me the respect I deserve!” Said Emballandae angrily.
  313.  
  314. “I think I treat you with the respect you deserve.” You said.
  315.  
  316. Emballandae blushed and smacked you. “YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT NOW!” she shouted.
  317.  
  318. You chuckled and shielded yourself as she battered you with a slap-punch hybrid. Clearly she lacked the supernatural strength of her mother. Maybe the superpowers came after she got creampied a few times.
  319.  
  320. “Alright, alright. Sorry, jeez.” You said.
  321.  
  322. “It’s not funny! I’m in charge and you have to listen to me.” Said Emballandae.
  323.  
  324. “I am! You haven’t told me to do anything yet.” You said.
  325.  
  326. “Well then… uhh…”
  327.  
  328. Emballandae looked around the room.
  329.  
  330. “Fetch me that book!” she demanded, pointing to one at the top of a pile.
  331.  
  332. “This one?” you asked, reaching out to grab it.
  333.  
  334. “No! I mean, yes, that’s the right book. But you have to get up and bring it to me; don’t just sit there.” Said Emballandae.
  335.  
  336. You unseated yourself and took one step forwards to grab the book. Taking one step back, you handed it to her.
  337.  
  338. “Ufufu… Very good human. I’m surprised that your simple mind could even accomplish such a simple task.” Said Emballandae.
  339.  
  340. Oh God, it sounded like she had been practicing in front of the mirror. Hadn’t she already used that line already? If not, it was something really similar. Did that mean she was already almost out of material? Would you have to hear the same cliched phrases over and over again?
  341.  
  342. “W-why are you looking at me like that?” said Emballandae clutching the book to her chest.
  343.  
  344. You realized that you had been looking at the poor vampire with an expression of pity.
  345.  
  346. “Sorry. What’s that book about?” you asked.
  347.  
  348. “It’s a history of our family. Well, one volume of it. Momma told me to read up on our lineage since I was going to bring you into the family.” Said Emballandae.
  349.  
  350. “Are all these family records?” you asked surveying the clutter.
  351.  
  352. “No, only a few. The rest are history, economics, philosophy… that kind of thing.”
  353.  
  354. “What about this one?” you asked picking up a slim book from the coffee table. The pages were not yellowed with age like the others, but the small volume had more wear and tear than most of the other books.
  355.  
  356. “Hey! Put that back!” said Emballandae.
  357.  
  358. You set the book back down and opened to the middle. The book naturally parted at a certain place.
  359.  
  360. “Stop!”
  361.  
  362. The page you had turned to was an instructional section detailing how to draw arms. The text was complimented by small sketches to demonstrate what was being taught. A collection of paper scraps filled with practice sketches were wedged between the pages.
  363.  
  364. Emballandae resorted to using her magic to yank the book out of your hand. Scraps of paper flew out of the book as it shot towards her.
  365.  
  366. “If I say not to do something, you damn well better not do it.” Said Emballandae.
  367.  
  368. “What are you so mad about? I can’t even read most of this stuff.” You said.
  369.  
  370. “Then why did you open the book in the first place?”
  371.  
  372. She had you there. Curiosity demanded you open the book, but if it had been anything but an art guide you would have had no idea what the contents were.
  373.  
  374. “Force of habit…” you mumbled. “Sorry…”
  375.  
  376. Your invasion of Emballandae’s privacy must have struck a nerve with her. Judging by the look on her face, she wasn’t going to let this go.
  377.  
  378. “My feet are weary. Kneel in front of me.” Said Emballandae coldly.
  379.  
  380. You got down on one knee in front of her.
  381.  
  382. “No, turn the other way and get on both knees.” Said Emballandae.
  383.  
  384. Following her instructions you wait patiently in front of her. The fireplace in front of flickered and crackled. Emballandae grunted and hoisted both of her feet onto your shoulders. Each foot stretched past you, hovering in your peripherals.
  385.  
  386. “Ufufu… Much better. How do you like this, Anon? This is where you belong. Your entire purpose is now to fulfill my whims and desires.” Said Emballandae.
  387.  
  388. “It’s not so bad.” You said. The rug underneath you was soft enough to cushion your knees, and Emballandae was light enough to support without pain. Her slender legs were thin enough to not sandwich your neck either. In fact, they smelled quite good. Now that the little lady was back in her element, she must have started using perfume again. Though you wanted to get a better whiff of the inviting aroma, you knew that sniffing her ankles would be a death sentence.
  389.  
  390. “Oh… I see…” said Emballandae.
  391.  
  392. She picked up the book that had been sitting on the loveseat and began reading. Time slowly crawled by in silence as you waited for her to make the next move. Emballandae was slowly realizing that although the position she had forced you into was humiliating, it was not as comfortable as she had imagined. Her feet twisted and squirmed as she tried to find a good position on your shoulders for her tender ankles. Having her feet propped up also made it difficult for her to wrap a blanket around herself. The kicking became more frequent until she pulled her legs off of your shoulders to massage her aching calves.
  393.  
  394. “I think you’ve learned your lesson.” Said Emballandae rubbing her legs.
  395.  
  396. “Yeah.” You said, unsure how you were supposed to be validating this gloating.
  397.  
  398. Emballandae slipped a piece of paper into her book and set it down.
  399.  
  400. “It must be frustrating to not be able to read any of these books, isn’t it?” she said.
  401.  
  402. “I can read a little.” You protested.
  403.  
  404. “Oooh? Can you?” said Emballandae. She leaned towards you with a sneer. “I take it back! What a smart human you must be to be able to read SOME things.”
  405.  
  406. Emballandae laughed and picked up a thick book.
  407.  
  408. “Go ahead,” she said handing it to you. “Read ‘a little’ of this.”
  409.  
  410. You opened the book and flipped forwards a few pages. Rows of nonsensical symbols stared back at you. The only tidbits you could understand were the small words: syntax like to, we, how, then, the… The only word that stood out to you was ‘home.’
  411.  
  412. “The home… is…” you stuttered.
  413.  
  414. Emballandae roared with laughter. “The home is! Wonderful! You’re almost there. Or is that all you can read? Three random words? I’ll admit, it’s two more than I expected from you.”
  415.  
  416. Your shackles flared as you slammed the book shut and tossed it onto the table.
  417.  
  418. “Aww, did that little test bother you? Not so clever when someone reminds you that you’re just an illiterate human, huh?” said Emballandae with an exaggerated frown.
  419.  
  420. “Fuck you, you bloodsucking {womanlet}! You can’t read my language either!” you retorted.
  421.  
  422. “I don’t need to read your shitty language!” screamed Emballandae.
  423.  
  424. She stood up to try and stare you down, but she only came up to the middle of your face.
  425.  
  426. “Ahem.”
  427.  
  428. Both of you turned to see a zombie standing in the doorway.
  429.  
  430. “I apologize for interrupting, but Lussazan has requested to see the human.” She said.
  431.  
  432. Emballandae turned her back to you and snapped her fingers. “Take him.”
  433.  
  434. Two guards hurried in to grab you by the arms and haul you away.
  435.  
  436. As you were dragged down the hall to the mad scientist, you reminded yourself that you had only been here a few hours. In that time, you had ignored every suggestion and order given to you and pissed off the woman who now controlled every aspect of your life.
  437. You should see if the library has any guides on how to apologize…
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