[Zako fiction] A deal with the Devil

ZakoLover

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#1
Hello everyone, I'm back! And I am returning to write zako fiction! ^^
I will not continue the Fall of an Empire series though. Instead, I will start a completely new story.

Not sure whether I will be able write it to the end :tongue:, but we shall see.
Anyway, enjoy! :grin:

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
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ZakoLover

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#2
Chapter 1: An Unexpected Encounter



Why did this happen?

Why could this happen?

She did not know. She could not understand. Why? Just a few days ago, she was having a life that anyone would truly envy. She was Anastasia, the Second Princess of Maven, daughter of Queen Katherine the Pious, and since the moment she was born, she had been living in luxury and comfort with her loving parents and sister. But now, everyone was gone, and she was probably going to join them soon, dying an unceremonious death in this cold and dark cave in the middle of nowhere.

Minerva was still fighting. Her knight, and also her closest friend, was the last wall that stood between her and her enemies. But she was just delaying the inevitable. Even though she was a formidable warrior, Minerva was alone, tired and hungry, while the enemies were so numerous. Sooner or later, she would fall, and the enemies would get to Anastasia. Either they would kill her at the spot or they would bring her back to their mistress for execution. It did not matter. That would be the end for her.

Those soldiers were the henchwomen of Duchess Carmilla, the top advisor of her mother, the Queen. Anastasia didn't have many chances to talk with her, but in the rare occasion when they had a conversation, the Duchess appeared to be a polite and pleasant person. Therefore, there was no way Anastasia could have imagine that that woman would start a coup to overthrow her mother. Her soldiers butchered her family in cold blood, and they would have done the same to her, if not for Minerva, who took her and fled from the palace.

Of course, the Duchess immediately dispatched pursuers to go after them. The villainesses found them when they were taking refuge in this cave. Having no other, they kept running deep into the tunnel, hoping to find another exit. But the only thing they found was a dead end, and the enemies had finally caught up with them.

Minerva had been fighting for a while, but she showed no sign of exhaustion. The relentless knight swung her battleaxe, and with a devastating overhand blow, she crushed the skull of one of the soldiers. The headless girl dropped to the ground, her body twitching. One more corpse added to the pile of bodies at the knight's feet.

“Is there anyone else?”

The mighty warrior shouted, firmly holding her trusty weapon, which had tasted the blood of a dozen of her opponents. There was no answer. Anastasia could see fear in the girls' eyes. No one wanted to be the next.

“Lady Minerva …” One soldier said hesitatingly. “It ... it doesn’t have to end like this. The Duchess only wants the princess. It has nothing to do with you. You can just walk away. Or you can even enter Her Grace’s service. There is always place for a someone like you …”

“Fuck you!” Minerva abruptly cut off the soldier’s offer.

That’s not a bad offer, Anastasia thought. It was only the matter of time. More would come, and Minerva would fall. She could take dozens of enemies with her, but she would fall nonetheless. There was no way they could get out of this cave alive.

“Minerva,” she said, “there is no need for you to die with me. You can …”

“Shut up, Anastasia!” the knight yelled at her, then turned back to the soldiers. “Are you cowards coming here to fight or to talk nonsense? Come on! If you don’t come to me, then I will come to you!"

Why?

Why?

Why did this happen?


Anastasia cried. There was nothing she could do but crying. She cried and she cried. She cried and she prayed. "Oh Lady Isastha! Protect us, please! Save us, please! I am begging you!"

There was no answer.

Why?

Why?

Why did you abandon us?


“Because she doesn't give a fuck about you. To her, you are nothing but an useless pawn that is going to be discarded."

“What?”

Suddenly, Anastasia heard a voice. A man’s voice. How? She looked around. Everyone here was female.

“Who are you? Where are you?”

“Kukuku …” the man laughed. “I am right in front of you.”

Could it be? Anastasia thought, staring at the sarcophagus that she was hiding behind. When she and Minerva explored the cave, instead of an exit, they found this chamber, with a large stone coffin inside. They found it weird, since this didn't look like a tomb at all. The sarcophagus piqued their curiosities and they would have attempted to open it up if the enemy soldiers hadn’t arrived soon after.

There is someone inside? Anastasia was shocked. “How? What? I ... I don’t understand ...”

"I can explain, but explanation takes time. Time that you do not have. Your friend over there is going to die soon. What are you going to do?"

“I don’t know," Anastasia shook her head. "There is nothing I can do."

“You can pray," the man laughed. "But not to someone who refuses to listen, but to someone who is here and willing to help.”

“You?”

“Yes, me. I am Ba’al Ishkur. Pledge your allegiance to me and I will save you.”

What? What was going on? Anastasia didn't understand. Perhaps she had become insane. Yes, that was the most logical explanation. Of course, who wouldn't go insane in this situation? Yes, yes, she had cracked under pressure. That was why she heard the voice of someone who was not here.

But ...

Do I have anything to lose?

So she did what she was told. "I, Anastasia, Princess of Maven, pledge my allegiance to you, Ba’al Ishkur!"

"Good!" The man replied. And then, it happened.

With a deafening sound roaring through the cave, the sarcophagus broke apart and erupted into countless fragments, and from it, emerged a tall man in tattered clothes. His face was covered by long dirty black hair and unkempt beard.

Without wasting anytime, the man dashed toward the soldiers, bypassing Minerva, with inhuman speed. He grabbed the nearest soldier's neck and effortlessly snapped it in half. The other girls were too shocked to react, and they hadn't realized what was going until the man killed two more. Then they screamed, some attacked the man, some tried to flee, it didn't matter. The man danced a dance of death, and his partners, one by one, fell lifelessly to the ground.

"No ... please ... no ... " The last girl knelt down and begged, urine running down her legs. But the man paid no heed to her plea, mercilessly broke her neck.

Anastasia and Minerva were also unable to do anything. They stood in shock, silently watching the carnage. After killing the last soldier, the man turned to the speechless audience, grinning. "You two don't have anything to say to your savior?"

“Who … who are you?” Minerva asked.

“Me? Hmm …” The man pondered for a brief moment, then replied with a smirk. “Well, from your perspective, you can say that I am the Dark Lord.”
 

dinomoneyman

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#4
I'd recommend to simply plan this one as something shorter. Fall of an Empire was planned as something too ambitiously long, that it's no wonder you'd get burnt out before finishing it. :smile:
 

ZakoLover

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#5
wow, glad to see you are back to writing fiction. Are you still drawing on pixiv?
Yes, I intend to draw pictures of the characters' introduction (and their demises) in this story.
Then I will post them on both here and pixiv.

I'd recommend to simply plan this one as something shorter. Fall of an Empire was planned as something too ambitiously long, that it's no wonder you'd get burnt out before finishing it. :smile:
Haha, I don't think that "Fall of an Empire" is long. It is just very, very slow :))
And writing two story lines (the protagonist's and Touko's) simultaneously made it worse.
 

ZakoLover

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#6
Chapter 2: A God With Only One Follower



I am free!

Yes, after ten thousand years, finally I, Ishkur, was free!

Ten thousand years. That was how long those bitches had kept me imprisoned. For ten millennia, I was alone. Abandoned. Forgotten.

I had nearly given up the hope that there would be some day someone would found this place. Not only that, it was very fortunate that she was in a situation so dire that it didn't take me much efforts to convince her to pledge her loyalty to me. And, after getting my first worshiper, I had regained a tiny bit of my former power, allowing me to break out of the cage that I was locked inside.

I looked at the two girls in front of me. Even though I knew nothing about the world outside, after being isolated from it for such a long time, I had figured out a lot about them just from their conversation. It seemed that Anastasia was a princess, and Minerva was her knight, then there was a Duchess Carmilla who wanted to kill them and sent soldiers after them.

There was one more thing. Despite the fact that they were bruised, dirty, hungry and exhausted, it was easy to realize that both of the two young women were very attractive. The princess had a pretty face with innocent eyes, and a body looking so soft and juicy; while the knight was tall, wearing an armor that fit her lush and toned figure perfectly, showing her ample hips and long legs. I hadn’t touched a woman for millennia, so naturally I was captivated by the two beautiful girls.

But no, I shook my head. They were more useful to me than just being bedmates.

While I was looking at them in silence, the two girls were also staring at me, whispering to each other. Then finally, the princess raised her voice. "You are the Dark Lord?"

"Yes, I am." I nodded dramatically.

"What is a Dark Lord?" The girl scratched her head.

Wait, what?

She didn't know what the Dark Lord was?

How? Everyone called me that. Well, to be exact, ten thousand years ago, everyone called me that. Things changed, I guessed.

"I am the one who will destroy the world as what you know now." I replied. "I will tear down the current society and replace it with the new order. I will drag the three bitches, by that I mean the ones you call the three Goddesses, from their thrones and then rule as the one and only God.”

"But ... why?"

“Why, you ask? Because that is what Gods do. Waging war against each other. That’s what we have done since the creation of the world." I explained. "There used to many Gods in this world, but during the course of the war, most of them, after defeated, have given up and left this world. But I am different. After ten thousands years of imprisonment, though my strength faltered, my resolve did not. I am going to take back what is mine. And the three bitches will get what they deserve."

"Can you stop calling the Goddesses by that word?" Minerva's eyes twitched a bit.

"Why can't I?" I laughed. "And you should too. That bitch Isastha abandoned you, didn't she? She paid no heed to your prayers and left you to die. She is no longer your Goddess. I am your God now."

Now anger spread clearly across Minerva's face. "I am a knight of Lady Isastha," the knight declared furiously. "I do not allow such insults toward my Lady. If you continue, I will fight you to protect the Lady's honor, even if it costs my life."

"A knight of Isastha?" I asked. "Weird. I sensed nothing from you. There is no trace of her magic in your body."

"Well," Minerva turned her head away. "I was excommunicated, and the power she bestowed upon me had been taken back. Nevertheless, she is still the Goddess I serve. She can abandon me but I will never abandon her."

"Interesting," I looked at the knight. "Tell me, who is more important then? Your princess or your Goddess? If you have to choose one, who will you choose?"

“Why do I have to make such a choice?” Minerva narrowed her eyebrows.

“I have a feeling that you will have to make that choice soon enough," I grinned. "But let’s stop discussing this matter for now. Let’s get out of here before more soldiers come.”

No one objected, so we began to walk toward the entrance of the cave.

We managed to get there without encountering anyone, but of course the exit was guarded. I saw there were about twenty soldiers, led by a knight, standing outside the cave. The soldiers were just small fries, but the knight could be a problem. Even from here I could sense the aura of her magic. That girl, unlike Minerva, was clearly a knight of Isastha.

“Do you know her?” I asked.

“Yes,” Minerva nodded. “That is Lucia, Duchess Carmilla's first daughter.”

"And ..." Anastasia gritted her teeth. "... she is the one who killed my sister."

"I see," I nodded. "What kind of magic does she have?"

"She knows only one spell, but it is a powerful one." Minerva replied. "Its name is Virtue of Resilience. When she activates it, she becomes invincible. Yes, I am serious. It makes her immune to every kind of damage. I don't know why she even bothers wearing armor."

“Every spell has its limit,” I said. “Perhaps there is a limit for how much damage she can take. If you keep hitting her, eventually she will lose the protection. Or maybe it's limited by time, or by her stamina.”

“I see.”

"Now knowing that," I asked. "Do you think you can kill her if you have a duel with her?"

"I think I can. But why?" The knight looked at me, puzzled.

"Princess," I turned to Anastasia. "That woman killed your sister, right? You want revenge, right?"

Anastasia nodded grimly.

"But of course we can't let you fight her yourself. It's not hard to figure out how that will end. Kukuku," I grinned. "So why don't you let your champion do it in your stead? Your knight will defeat your enemy and kill her for you. While I will make sure that no one will interfere with the duel."

"Let me do it, Ana!" Minerva urged.

"Okay! But be careful!"

"I will! Don't worry!"

Well, the true reason why I wanted Minerva to engage the other knight in single combat was different from what I told them. What I wanted was to see Minerva's actual worth. While Anastasia was valuable with her lineage and birthright alone, it seemed the only thing Minerva could do was fighting, so unless she was exceptionally good at it, why did I need her? I had seen how she killed a dozen of common soldiers, now let's see how she fared against a powerful knight.
 
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Bad7

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#7
I like it so far. Would be nice if we got some kind of description for what the soldiers looked like
 

ZakoLover

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#8
Don't worry, I am drawing the characters, both the important ones and the nameless generic like soldiers :grin:
 

ZakoLover

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#9
Intro_01_Anastasia.png

OK, here we are, the first picture of this fiction: Anastasia, Princess of Maven!

She is an innocent and sheltered girl who has been living a comfortable life without having to worry anything until now. Then suddenly, she is thrown into a situation where she is burdened with responsibilities and forced to make difficult choices. How is she going to deal with it?

I also made a character sheet where you can see various kinds of information about the character like: class (occupation), age, attributes (the character's strength and weakness), abilities (miracles or spells), as long as a short description of the character so you can get to know her. Sometimes the description is just a summary of what you have already learnt from reading the story, but sometimes it may include extra information.
 

ZakoLover

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#10
Sorry I was a bit busy last week so there was no update.
And here you are, the second character introduction: Minerva, the Excommunicated Knight.
Also, I will post the third chapter in the next few days.


Intro_02_Minerva.png

Minerva is a honorable knight who is torn by divided loyalties.
On the one hand, she is Anastasia's bodyguard and close friend, on the other hand, she is a devoted follower of the Church of Isastha.
What is she going to do after her princess swears fealty to the Dark Lord?
 

ZakoLover

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#12
Chapter 3: A Duel Between Knights



Minerva was not sure how to feel about her current situation. They had just faced certain death and then been saved at the last moment. That was a happy outcome that she should be content with, right?

But maybe it would have been better if she had died fighting. When she made her last stand, she had prepared herself to fight to the death. That was why she rejected the soldier’s offer. That was why she refused to turn Anastasia over. She would have had her heroic death, and with it, she would have been able to regain her honor, which had been lost at the end of the Gothorian War. She could have died satisfied, knowing that she had done her best at her last moment. That should have been once-in-a-lifetime chance for her to redeem herself.

It would have been better that way, right?

No, it is not! How can you be so selfish, Minerva? You can die satisfied? You can die with honor? How about Ana then? Are you telling me that having that innocent girl butchered by a bunch of thugs who have just murdered her entire family is a better outcome? You should be ashamed of yourself!

She would have felt better if their savior was someone else. If he had been a hero sent by the Goddess came to save them from those villainesses, she would have been thankful to him wholeheartedly. That would have been perfect. Instead, she had an absolute mad man who thought that he was a God, a heretic who showed nothing but contempt against the Goddess she had devoted her life to. It did not matter whether he was God or man, she didn’t want to get involved with him at all.

That was why she agreed with the man’s suggestion. A duel between knights. That was a fight that she wouldn’t have to rely on him, and she would be content no matter the outcome was. If she won, the princess would have her revenge. If she lost, she would have the honorable death she was seeking. Anastasia now had someone more capable protecting her, so she would be okay even if Minerva was gone. Yes, everything was perfect.

With that in mind, she walked out of the cave with Anastasia. The man named Ishkur told them that he would stay hidden inside. The enemy hadn’t known about his existence yet, and he intended to keep it that way, and he wouldn’t show himself unless the situation demanded it.

The enemies immediately noticed when they emerged from the cave. There were about twenty soldiers with Lucia. “Fewer than I expected,” Minerva thought.

“Oh my, so finally you have decided to get out of that little hole,” Lucia smirked, her right hand casually caressing the handle of her deadly weapon, its chain slung on her shoulder. “Where are my girls, by the way?”

“Inside. And dead.” Minerva replied curtly.

“Oh really?” Lucia laughed. “You are much tougher than I expected. But what now? Are you going to kill all of us by yourself?”

“No, I doubt that I can. But killing more than half of you is possible.” Minerva said coldly, ignoring the mocking tone of the other knight. She eyed the other soldiers one by one, and all of them looked away when they met her gaze. “There is no need for the others to die though. So why don’t we just settle between ourselves, Lucia? One on one?”

Normally no one would accept her challenge. Minerva herself would not if she were Lucia. If you had an advantage in number, you used it. Lucia could have just ordered the soldiers to surround her and attack at once. She could manage if she was holding a choke point inside the cave, but she would have difficulties dealing with so many enemies in open field.

On the other hand, she knew the woman Lucia was. That girl was impetuous and hungry for glory. Even though Minerva had fallen from grace, she was still known as the Taurus Slayer, one of the strongest warriors in the Kingdom of Maven, and taking her head in a single combat would greatly boast Lucia’s reputation.

“A duel? That is the solution you have for your situation?” Lucia laughed even louder. “But fine, I’ll entertain you. I’m going to win anyway. Someone who is favored by Lady Isastha fight against someone who is not. The winner is already decided.”

So the duel began. The other girls formed a ring surrounding the two warriors. Anastasia was watching as well, several soldiers standing beside and behind her. Lucia was not stupid enough to leave a chance for the princess to escape while everyone was distracted.

Lucia’s weapon of choice was a huge flail. While even a normal flail was already a rare sight on the battlefield, due to the danger it posed to its own user, the one Lucia was wielding was even unusual with a chain thrice as long and a spiked ball twice as big. It was near impossible to use such a weapon effectively and you could easily hurt yourself badly if your swing missed.

But Lucia was no way a normal warrior. Thanks to the power bestowed upon her, Virtue of Resilience, she had no fear of injure herself, and she had been training very hard to become adept at using the deadly weapon. During the Gothorian War, the young girl had made a name for herself after she wreaked havoc upon the ranks of the northern soldiers.

“Let us begin, Taurus Slayer!” Lucia grinned and opened the fight with a powerful swing, the metal ball of death whirring toward Minerva’s head. It could crush her skull and ended the duel immediately. However, Minerva had estimated the length of the chain and distanced herself properly, so she evaded the attack by just stepping back.

There was another problem with using the flail as weapon. There was a dangerously long recovery time between each swing, and it was an opportunity Minerva would not fail to exploit. In a blink of eye, she charged and smashed her trusty axe into Lucia’s face. Once again, the fight could have ended right here, right now, if her opponent was someone else. Instead, Minerva felt like she had just hit a wall, her axe bouncing back by the impact. Lucia’s left gauntlet flew out, ramming into her stomach. Minerva gritted her teeth, enduring the pain, and jumped back, increasing the distance between them again, a heartbeat away from getting hit by Lucia’s flail’s second swing.

“Well dodged!” Lucia smirked. There was not a single scratch on her pretty face.

“I would have lasted long against the Tauri if I hadn’t been good at it,” Minerva replied. Those creatures’ devastating attacks, just like Lucia’s ones at the moment, could not be blocked and could not be deflected. So evading was the only option. However, Minerva could kill the Taurus with a counter-attack after dodging, but she couldn’t do the same with Lucia. She didn’t know how long she could keep it up. Eventually her luck would run out.

They exchanged blows for a while. Minerva had hit Lucia’s body multiple times and each strike could be fatal, but it seemed that the only thing she did was hurting her own hands. Lucia didn’t even bother protecting herself, instead she kept attacking aggressively. Such tactics were suicidal to most people, but it worked well in the young woman’s case.

Minerva had done well evading her opponent’s attacks, but she was not completely unscathed. The spiked ball once grazed her shoulder, leaving a dent on her spaulder. Even though the armor piece absorbed most of the damage, it still hurt a lot, and Minerva now had trouble swinging her axe with two hands.

So, is this the end? Maybe she would be able to get the death she was seeking after all.

But then, Minerva noticed that something was off. Lucia’s attacks had slowed down. She was not as aggressive as she used to be at the beginning of the fight. Instead, she now sent out the deadly ball in a cautious and calculating manner. Why? She was clearly having an advantage, so why didn’t she press on and finish the fight?

Minerva could only think of one reason. Perhaps Ishkur was right about Lucia’s power having limits and the divine protection was about to run out now.

In that case, I still have a chance!
 

Kargan3033

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#13
Lovely story Zako Lover and the artwork is very well done, I'll be watching this story, thank you for your hard work.

The pace of the story is not slow, the description of the action is not as detailed as some stories I have read over the years but it's not boring at all, keep up the good work my friend.
 

ZakoLover

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#14
Intro_03_Lucia.png

Here we are, the first named antagonist of this story: Lucia, the One-woman Army.

Lucia is Duchess Carmilla's eldest daughter. When her mother started the coup to overthrow the Queen Katherine of Maven, she led her soldiers to fight against the royal guards. She was also the one who gave the killing blow to the First Princess Helena, Anastasia's older sister. After Anastasia and Minerva fled from the palace, she was tasked to pursue the princess.

A prideful and impetuous young woman, Lucia is very confident in her power and her skill, so she didn't hesitate to accept Minerva's challenge for a duel. She believed that she could defeat the Taurus Slayer, and this victory would greatly boast her reputation as a warrior in the Kingdom of Maven.
 

Kargan3033

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#15

Here we are, the first named antagonist of this story: Lucia, the One-woman Army.

Lucia is Duchess Carmilla's eldest daughter. When her mother started the coup to overthrow the Queen Katherine of Maven, she led her soldiers to fight against the royal guards. She was also the one who gave the killing blow to the First Princess Helena, Anastasia's older sister. After Anastasia and Minerva fled from the palace, she was tasked to pursue the princess.

A prideful and impetuous young woman, Lucia is very confident in her power and her skill, so she didn't hesitate to accept Minerva's challenge for a duel. She believed that she could defeat the Taurus Slayer, and this victory would greatly boast her reputation as a warrior in the Kingdom of Maven.

Nicely done, you are really bring the characters of this story to life with not only the artwork but their background as well.
 

ZakoLover

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#16
Nicely done, you are really bring the characters of this story to life with not only the artwork but their background as well.
Thank you! :D
My intention is to flesh out the characters no matter how significant (or insignificant) their roles are in my novel.

By the way, I have started posting this series on Pixiv as well:
A deal with the Devil
イラストコミュニケーションサービス [pixiv]

The story posted on Pixiv will be a few chapters behind compared to the progress here, but it also means that the version there will be the "newer" one (with typo fixed, info updated, etc.) so you guys can check it out if you want :grin:
 

Kargan3033

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#17
Thank you! :D
My intention is to flesh out the characters no matter how significant (or insignificant) their roles are in my novel.

By the way, I have started posting this series on Pixiv as well:
A deal with the Devil
イラストコミュニケーションサービス [pixiv]

The story posted on Pixiv will be a few chapters behind compared to the progress here, but it also means that the version there will be the "newer" one (with typo fixed, info updated, etc.) so you guys can check it out if you want :grin:
You are welcome and thank you for your hard work, I worked on a few ryo/zako stories but I have lost my inspiration for writing unfortunately but it is good to see other trying their hand at these types of stories.
 

ZakoLover

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#18
Chapter 4: Broken Pride



Why am I unable to hit her?

Lucia was frustrated. She had launched barrages after barrages of attack at her opponent, but the only thing she had achieved was putting a dent on Minerva’s shoulder armor. On the other hand, the other knight’s battle-axe had touched her flesh eleven times in total, which meant, she would have died nearly a dozen of times by now if not thanks to her power. Even if Lucia’s tactic was to keep attacking aggressively without worrying about defense, this outcome was still ridiculous. Was the difference in skill between her and Minerva that much?

Lucia had always considered herself the best knight of Maven, or to be accurate, wanted to prove that she was the best. As the result, someone like Minerva naturally became an obstacle that she had to overcome. That was why during the Gothorian War, she had constantly put herself where the fighting was thickest, in order to show that she was the better warrior. However, her efforts were all for naught. She won the competition, but not because of her own accomplishment, but because Minerva had fallen from grace due to a stupid mistake. Her achievements were meaningless anyway, because in the end, Maven lost. After the war, the atmosphere was so gloomy and everyone tried her best to avoid the subject. Therefore, no one really appreciated Lucia’s contributions, apart from her own family.

Moreover, post-war Maven was in such a bad shape that it had to avoid conflict whenever possible. As the result, there were not many chances for Lucia to show off her power. There were still tournaments and competitions, of course, but she didn’t really care about them, as what she wanted was to prove her worth in real combat. That was why she was delighted when Minerva challenged her. If she could slay Minerva here in a duel, she would be able to achieve she had always been yearning for. There was no reason for her to refuse that challenge.

But perhaps that was a mistake.

Her role in every battle up until now was to spearhead an assault. Thanks to her power, she could just run straight the enemies without having to worry about anything, as any projectile they threw at her was negated. Once she got close enough, she used her deadly weapon to launched devastating barrages of attacks to disrupt their formation, and then her soldiers charged and slaughtered the disarrayed enemies.

It appeared that such tactic did not work well in a duel against someone of Minerva’s caliber. Her weapon was just too cumbersome. While it was easy to hit many people in a crowd, it was very hard to hit one single opponent who was experienced and agile enough. Wielding such a heavy weapon also made her tired quickly, and with her stamina depleted, the protection coming from her miracle became much more unreliable. Lucia had been forced to slow down her attacks, and the situation was not promising at all for her.

If Lucia had been in the battlefield right now, she would have retreated. But she couldn’t retreat from a duel. Yielding and letting Minerva and the princess go was obviously not an option, but if she went back against her words and ordered her soldiers to interfere, her reputation would be destroyed forever. There was no simple way for her to get out of this situation.

I can try bluffing.

That could be a solution. While she was in a bad shape, maybe Minerva was even more desperate. Most people did not know about her power’s limitation. Minerva could be very frustrated right now after failing to kill her even though her blows connected so many times. She was also wounded. Yes, she was clearly having trouble holding that big-ass axe of hers.

“It’s impressive that you can manage to dodge most of my attacks,” Lucia decided to give it a try, putting every ounce of her confidence on her face. “But you are just delaying the inevitable.”

Minerva did not reply.

“Killing a capable warrior like you is a waste though,” Lucia continued. “So why don’t you just surrender? Give me your princess. I want her, not you. You will not be punished for killing my soldiers. In fact, you will be welcomed to join the service of our family. My mother can give you back your position in the army. She can even appeal to the Saint to annul your excommunication. You can get back everything you have lost.”

Minerva was still silent.

“If you don’t want your little friend to die, well, even her life can be spared. If she begs my mother to allow her to become a breeding slave, I’m sure that mother can grant her that.”

It was not implausible. If Anastasia became a breeding slave, she would be politically dead. No one would ever consider her or any of her offspring’s claim to the throne legitimate anymore. Anastasia might be not very happy with the life as a breeder, but at least she was allowed to live, so she should be thankful. That was the best deal she could get in this situation.

Minerva still didn’t say anything. That was a good sign. Because it meant that she was considering her offer. Given Minerva’s personality, if she did not like the deal, she would have already started cursing with foul language by now.

“Hey Lucia …” After a while, finally Minerva opened her mouth.

“What is it?” Lucia smiled.

“Your protection … It’s gone, isn’t it?” Minerva said, staring Lucia in the eyes.

“What …”

Suddenly, Minerva started sprinting toward her. Lucia was startled and she swang her flail at her opponent in a panic. However, Minerva’s charge was just a faint. She stopped right outside the range of the chain, and then resumed the offense after the spiked ball had passed.

Minerva used her axe with only her right hand, gripping the handle at the middle. Doing that would reduce the weapon’s reach, but it would also make it easier to control. The vicious axe came down, aiming at Lucia’s chest. She was not confident enough to let the blow connected, so she reluctantly let her weapon go and jumped back to evade. However, by doing that, she had essentially confirmed Minerva’s assumption.

Minerva did not stop with just one attack, instead she made another swing from the right. Lucia couldn’t dodge in time, and she raised her hand to cover her head in reflex. Steel met flesh in a violent clash, the both of the two warriors bounced back by the impact.

Lucia stared at her right hand. It was still intact. She was still protected by her power, otherwise the limb would have been sheared off cleanly. However, her relief didn’t stay long, as immediately she felt an unbearable pain.

It hurts! It hurts!

Tears kept pouring out of her eyes, and she started crying. The pain was so terrible that it could drive her mad. Never in her life had she ever suffered from such injury. Her hand could no longer move. The bone was broken. Her power had only partially protected her, and obviously, that time was the last. She couldn’t use her right hand, she had lost her weapon, and she had no protection. Now Minerva could just walk to her and casually finish her off.

“Yield, Lucia!” Minerva said.

Lucia looked back at her opponent, and what did she see? Pity. The other knight looked like she was staring at a pathetic creature that she did not want to dirty her hand by killing it.

Is that how you look at me?

How dare you look down on me?

I am better than you are!

You are nothing but a slut couldn’t control your lust and then lost everything!

“Kill her!”

Overwhelmed by her rage, Lucia shouted the order. The soldiers, who were forming a ring around them, drew their swords and rushed in.

“If that’s how you want to end our fight, so be it!” Minerva sighed, raising her weapon to meet the new opponents. She was alone, and completely surrounded. There was no way she could win this fight, even when she was in full strength, let alone now she could use only one hand.

Then something incomprehensible happened.

Suddenly, inside the ring appeared a newcomer. A tall man in tattered clothes, two swords in his hands, and three soldiers had already collapsed before Lucia could even realize that he was there, their blood splashing on the ground.

The girls halted, staring at the man. Minerva, on the other hand, didn’t show any reaction, as if the man’s arrival was the most natural thing to happen. Without saying a word, the two of them unleashed themselves on the soldiers like a storm. The man’s blades went through the women’s bodies like a hot knife through butter, while Minerva hacked her axe left and right with her brutish strength. Heads and limbs and fingers and nipples flied everywhere.

What is happening?

Lucia gaped, staring at the carnage in disbelief. She knew that she shouldn’t be here. She knew that she should run away from this place as soon and as fast as possible. But she couldn’t move her legs.

“Finish your duel! I’ll take care of the rest.” The man said in a low voice.

A cold shiver ran down Lucia’s spine. She saw Minerva nodded, and walked toward her. The other knight were staring at her with eyes filled with murderous intents.

“Wait! Stop! Don’t come here!” Lucia cried. I am going to be killed!

Minerva did not stop.

“No! Please! No! I was wrong! Okay? Please forgive me! Don’t kill me!” Lucia begged. Her pride was completely shattered now. The only thing she wanted now was to get out of here alive. She would do anything, including becoming a breeding slave, to have her life spared.

Minerva was not slowed down a bit.

“No no no no … Not this … Not this …” Lucia sobbed. She couldn’t control her bladder anymore and urine started running down her legs.

Minerva was in front of her now. She was just a bit taller than Lucia, but at this moment she was towering over her. She looked like Death itself.

“I yield! You win!” Lucia whimpered.

“It is a bit too late for that now, isn’t it?” Minerva coldly replied, raising her battle-axe.

“I … don’t want to die …”

That was Lucia’s last word, right before the vicious axe came down and buried into her cleavage.
 

Kargan3033

Club Regular
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Aug 10, 2015
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#19
Another lovely chapter Zako Lover, Lucia died like a bitch which suited her just fine.

You story telling is becoming better, the action is still well paced but you are starting to show more of your character's personalities.

Don't going to a long winded block of text about your character's personalities and motives but tease them out and I'm sure you will have many of the readers coming back for more.
 

ZakoLover

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#20
Chapter 5: After The Battle



Minerva looked down at her opponent’s lifeless body.

It was done.

She felt empty. If the fight had been an honorable duel between knights, she would have been content no matter whether she won or lost. It was a shame that it had to end up like this. Nevertheless, Lucia made the decision, and she faced the consequence.

“You should have just surrendered.” Minerva sighed. Her axe was still buried deep between Lucia’s pair of large breasts. She was so exhausted that she didn’t bother pulling it out, instead she picked up one of the dead soldiers’ sword lying on the ground and used it cut off Lucia’s head. While she didn’t really want a trophy from this not so graceful victory, a proof that the enemy commander had been slain could be useful.

It seemed that Ishkur was also about to finish his fight, no, his one-sided slaughter. The last few remaining soldiers tried to flee, but they were not fast enough, and Ishkur impaled them from behind. What a terrifying man! She didn’t like him, but she was glad that he was with her and Anastasia, not against them. However, there was no way to know how long he would remain an ally, and whether he would turn an enemy later on. Their future was so uncertain.

“Good job!” Ishkur grinned, walking toward her.

Minerva didn’t reply, and the man went past her. He knelt down by Lucia’s corpse, and started stripping the armor from the body. At first, Minerva thought that he wanted to loot the equipment, but then she immediately realized what he was going to do.

“What are you doing?” She demanded.

“Exactly what you think that I am doing,” the man replied with amusement.

“You claimed to be a God! You should be better than that!” Minerva shouted.

Only scums did this. She had witnessed those disgusting acts a few times during the Gothorian War. Men arrived at the battlefield after the fighting ceased, and collected the dead bodies. The Mavenish soldiers would kill those men if they dared to touch their fallen comrades, but they didn’t care what happened to the corpses of the enemies. The army kept the weapons and armors, while the men took the naked bodies away. Minerva dared not imagine what they would do next to those corpses.

Minerva couldn’t understand what those men were thinking, and she didn’t understand what was in Ishkur’s head right now. Was he that desperate for sex? And seriously, who wanted to fuck a headless corpse with a huge axe still stuck in her body?

“What exactly is the problem anyway?” Ishkur asked.

“It’s vile! Immoral! Sinful! Against Lady Isastha’s teaching.”

“Oh yes, Isastha’s teaching. Do I look like a sheep who does everything she says?” Ishkur sniggered. “Besides, there is another reason for this. Unlike you, she was a knight who could use miracles. Magical power is running through her veins, but it began to disperse after her death. It is a waste to let it fade away like this. I need to collect that power. Yes, I must gather power in order to regain my former strength. Any bit of power helps.”

“And you have to have sex with her in order to do that?” Minerva frowned.

“Well, just touching only is enough, but what’s the fun in that?” Ishkur grinned. “That’s called killing two birds with one stone, my dear.”

Who is your dear? Minerva thought furiously. There was nothing she could do though, so she turned around and walked away.

She went to the cave. She saw Anastasia retreating back there when Ishkur started his slaughter. When every eye was focused on him, the princess used the opportunity to sneak out. That was a good decision, as things could get messy if the enemy attempted to use her as a hostage.

“Your Highness, it’s over!”

Anastasia’s cute face emerged from the entrance of the cave. “Are you okay? Your shoulder was hit by that metal ball. Are you hurt?”

“I’m fine, Ana.” Minerva smiled. “Yes, it hurts, but not much.”

“I was on edge during the whole fight. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest when you got hit. And I was so scared when Lucia ordered her soldiers to attack you …”

“Okay, okay,” Minerva laughed. “Calm down, Ana. As I said, I am totally fine.”

“I was only relieved when Lord Ishkur intervened.” Anastasia looked around. “Where is he, by the way?”

“He is, eh, searching their bodies.” Minerva was flustered. “They may carry something that can give us more information about the enemy.”

“I see,” Anastasia nodded. “Why don’t we help him then? There are so many bodies. It will take a lot of time if he has to do it alone.”

“No!” Minerva blurted out. “I mean, eh, it is not really necessary. Besides, eh, it is highly inappropriate to make a princess like you witness such an ugly and disgusting scene.”

“Come on, Minerva!” Anastasia pouted. “I have already seen a fair share of corpses in the last few days. I can handle it. Don’t treat me like a kid!”

“That is not what I mean …” Minerva panicked. Then she decided that she must change the topic immediately. “I think that it’s better if we start planning our next move.”

“You are right,” Anastasia agreed. “Well, before Lucia caught up with us, we intended to go to General Cornelia’s place ...”

General Cornelia was the Commander-in-Chief of the Army of Maven, and a good friend of Princess Helena, Anastasia’s late older sister. She was also a political rival of Carmilla, so she would be their natural ally.

“We couldn’t get to her camp because Carmilla had set up checkpoints blocking the route that leads there.” Minerva pondered. “But now we have him, we will have no problem breaking through.”

“Yes,” Anastasia said, her eyes brightened up. “Lord Ishkur can easily destroy any enemy standing in our way.”

Minerva had just now realized that Anastasia kept calling Ishkur ‘Lord’. Not only that, the tone she was using was very respectful, as if he was someone of higher status.

“Princess, why do you call him Lord Ishkur?”

“Why not?” Anastasia was dumbfounded. “He is my Master, after all.”

“Master? What do you mean?”

“It’s exactly what it sounds.” A voice came from behind Minerva. “She is my servant now.”

She turned back, glaring at the man. “Your servant?”

“Yes, and what is wrong with that?” The man grinned. “You are a servant of Isastha, are you not? And it’s not just you. Everyone in this region, nobles and commoners alike, are all her servants. Your princess just simply chooses to serve a different God.”

“So she has to do everything you order her to do?”

“Yes. But worry not. I won’t give her unreasonable orders, and if there is anything that she disagrees with me, she is allowed to speak out her mind and ask me to reconsider my decision. I prefer that way. Obedience is good, but I don’t need mindless dolls who can’t think for themselves.” Ishkur said. “Well, she can even break our deal. After all, she has changed her God once, so nothing can stop her to do it again. I don’t recommend it though, as I don’t take betrayal lightly.”

“I will never betray you, my lord!”

“I know. I merely stated a fact.” Ishkur told Anastasia, and then glanced at Minerva, smirking. “I am not threatening your princess by any mean.”

Minerva hated that smirk. She also hated the fact that Anastasia was so head over heels for that man. And she hated herself for being unable to do anything.

“By the way, princess,” Ishkur said. “Don’t call me Lord. Call me Ba’al. That was my title ten thousand years ago.”

“Understood, Ba’al Ishkur.” Anastasia nodded. “By the way, you seem to be in good mood.”

“Of course I am.” Ishkur grinned. “I have just got rid of ten thousand years’ worth of load.”

“What do you mean?” Anastasia was confused.

Minerva decided to intervene before that conversation got out hand. “I told the princess that you were searching the enemies’ bodies to see whether they had anything useful.”

“I see,” Ishkur chuckled. “I’m sorry, princess. I didn’t find anything.”

“Well, that’s expected. It’s not like they conveniently carry things that can help us.” Anastasia replied. “Anyway, we are planning to go General Cornelia’s camp. She is one of the allies that we can count on at the moment. What do you think?”

“Fine by me.” Ishkur said. “I need to get some clothes first though.”

“You are right,” Anastasia agreed. “I think there is a town on the way. We can stop there, get some rest, and buy you a new outfit.”

“Let’s go then.”

After having decided their course of action, Ishkur and Anastasia started moving. Minerva walked behind them, in silence.
 
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