Jennifer Drey was coming in from a night of work to drop off the night’s pay and get her fix. Her pimp, Marcus Nolan, was small time with only six girls working for him. Because of that, none of the more successful pimps in LA bothered with him, seeing him as a small source of income when he buys only just enough heroine to keep the girls he has on a tight leash. Marcus doesn’t seem to have any plans to expand his operations, which is fine with Jennifer. The fewer girls under him, the better.
Jennifer knocked on Marcus’s office and walked in. “Hey. I have my pay for the night.”
“Your heroine is on the desk by the door,” Marcus said without turning around from his computer.
The slightly muscled white man in his early 30s appeared unremarkable, with his brown hair and eyes. People would be surprised what he did for a living. He didn’t even hit his girls too much. Honestly, Jennifer and the others didn’t understand why they felt so uneasy around him. There was just something about the look in his eyes. Jennifer had even seen some drunks that he’d pissed off back down after a glance at his eyes. While he didn’t treat his girls like others like him, he didn’t exactly treat them like people. Sometimes, it didn’t even seem like he was interested in making money. His head always seemed like it was somewhere else.
When Jennifer was about to leave, Marcus spoke up, stopping her. “Tell the others not to make any plans tomorrow night. I’m going to need all of you, doesn’t really matter what you look like.”
“Feel like saying what we’re doing?”
“Don’t worry, everything we’ve been working towards will bear fruit tomorrow night.”
“Okaaay.” Should have expected a freaky answer like that. Resigned, Jennifer answered, “I’ll let them know.” With that, she left him to whatever was so important on his PC.
The next night, Jennifer was getting ready with the other five girls for whatever Marcus had prepared for them.
“So Jenn, he really didn’t say what we’re doing?” Asked Lacy Bouroux. At 19, she was the youngest of them, and her appearance showed it. She was still as beautiful with her smooth mocha skin and dark eyes and hair as when she came from Louisiana as a runaway, looking to make it big in LA. Life hasn’t had a chance to beat her youth out of her, and Jennifer had hope that she’d get out of this life and make something of herself.
“Yeah. When I asked, he got all weird again, so I just dropped it.” Jennifer answered, looking herself in the mirror. She sighed as she saw how old she appeared. At 27, she shouldn’t look like she was pushing 35, but life had been hard. Being an orphan wasn’t easy, but she always had a nasty temper, a short fuse, and sticky fingers. When a teenager continuously lost their temper and went on rampages, ending up with people getting hurt, they sent her to counseling. When she became an adult and still couldn’t control herself, they gave up trying to help her, and tossed her into jail. Now that she had a criminal record citing her temper as a problem, she had no where to go. This was the only place she could get work, seeing as the government had made perfectly clear to everyone who cared to look that she was a lost cause, and everyone seemed to care.
She used to be quite beautiful, with her raven hair, blue eyes, and slim figure, but that was stolen by time, worry, and pain.
Lacy, noticing Jennifer’s mood, hugged her from behind, “Hey, hun, don’t worry. You still have it.”
“Heh. You’re sweet, but you know that’s not true.”
“Jenn, you know that half of it is confidence. I’ve seen you fake it enough times to know that you know.” This came from Zoe Wright, a slim woman with an Asian appearance she inherited from her mother of 25. Her ultra conservative parents had disowned her for letting her boyfriend at the time talk her into an abortion when she woke up pregnant at 20. The boyfriend broke up not long after that. She had been willing to forgive him sleeping with someone else, but he decided her catching him was a good time to break up. When she went back to her parents to ask forgiveness, her Vietnamese mother started yelling at her in her birth language, and her retired U.S. Marine father slapped her and sent her down the front steps. She hit the concrete hard enough to require several stitches for the injury to her temple. She hasn’t been back since.
“Come on, you three, we have to go.” Alice said. She, Mary, and Debra were waiting beside the door. At 25, 26, and 23 respectively, the three of them looked like they could be sisters with their blonde hair, blue eyes, and curvy figures. In fact, they were popular when men were looking for ‘sister play’. Jennifer didn’t know much about the three, but they were nice enough, and that was all that mattered to her. “If we don’t leave now, we’re going to be late.”
“That’ll be a shame.” Muttered Mary.
“If we hurry, we might be able to get this finished early.” Debra sighed in response. “It’s always best to speed up the process with perverts like the ones we’re undoubtedly going to be dealing with tonight.”
“What makes you think they’re going to be total perverts, Deb?” Lacy asked with a confused expression.
Jennifer spoke up then, “Because nobody hires six prostitutes in a single night, kiddo. We’re probably going to have to do some orgy, or something.” Jennifer grabbed her purse, “Let’s go see what we’re dealing with.” And with that, she and the others walked out the door.
Three hours north of LA, the girls were taken into the basement of an isolated house by four people. Everyone there was wearing black robes, with hoods covering their faces. They couldn’t tell clearly, but they suspected that a couple of the people were women.
No one would answer any questions, or speak for that matter. All of this was causing the six girls to feel greater unease. When they arrived at the basement, there was six more people dressed the exact same way. They were standing around a pentagram with a small pedestal in the center. On the pedestal was a statue of…something. Two of the people stepped forward with several lengths of rope and cloths that were obviously meant for the six prostitutes.
The girls tried to step back, momentarily giving into their instincts, but the four that led them downstairs had blocked their retreat. Sighing, Jennifer stepped forward and held her wrists out. If something happened, then it was too late to do anything about it now. She just wished the others could have avoided whatever it is that’s about to happen.
After all six were bound and gagged within the pentagram, the ten people formed a circle outside of the painted boundary. One of them lifted his hood from his head, revealing Marcus to the girls’ surprise, which was quickly overshadowed by what he said.
“Brothers and sisters. The time has come. We have been working tirelessly for years for this moment, but finally, our god can be given a vessel and enter this world. He shall bring destruction to this world, and make our desires reality!” He turned his feverish eyes to the six girls before him. “It is time to open the gateway that will allow our god access to this world, and universe. We shall now perform the first sacrifice.”
With that, the two standing to either side of Marcus stepped forward and grabbed Lacy. By now, all of the women were struggling to undo the ropes tying them, desperation in their eyes. When the cultists grabbed Lacy, she started screaming around the gag, tears streaming from her eyes. The two easily held her flat as Marcus approached. “Rejoice, for with your deaths, the world that wronged you all and threw you away will be destroyed in a cleansing fire!” Having said that, Marcus drew a dagger from his robe and quickly plunged it into the young girl’s chest, cutting out her heart as the seven robed cultists outside of the circle began chanting in a strange language, and the five bound women let out muffled screams.
Quickly, three of the other women were killed, hearts cut out, and left on the pedestal in front of the idol. Their bodies were left around the pentagram, eyes wide in terror, and tears still on their cheeks. Jennifer and Zoe were the only two left. The cultists moved to Zoe, who was so consumed by despair, she couldn’t even struggle. Jennifer could only sob as she watched the last of the only friends she had have her heart cut out.
As the fifth heart was placed on the pedestal, there was an unnatural sound, as if something that should never have been damaged was ripped apart, and some kind of portal opened in front of the pedestal.
The cultists finally stopped chanting, and let out excited voices. Marcus raised his hands, “As we have been promised, the gateway to our god has been opened with the offering of five hearts and souls! And now, the sixth sacrifice shall be given to him through the portal in order to become his vessel!”
The two who had been assisting Marcus stepped towards Jennifer. They secured her arms as a third cut her bindings and removed her gag.
She immediately began struggling, “Let go of me! Let go now!”
Marcus stepped toward her. “Jennifer. Jennifer. Don’t you realize how glorious this is? Your soul is going to be consumed by a god, you are going to become a part of something so much greater than any of us can comprehend, and your body is going to become a divine vessel and bring destruction upon the world that rejected all of us! Do you have any idea how envious I am of you?”
Marcus was so devout towards his god, that he truly believed his words would calm the woman down. Instead, the opposite happened, and his words only served to ignite the rage that Jennifer had carried throughout her adolescence. The fury she had thought she finally got rid of quickly blazed to a magnitude she had never seen before, and she renewed her struggles with more vigor than before. “I’M GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU BASTARDS!” With that, she began screaming profanities and abuse at the cultists around her.
Her struggling became so violent, that the two holding her was having trouble. When someone stepped forward to help, she suddenly lashed out with a kick that sent the cultist flying across the room, knocking her hood off.
The two men finally managed to maneuver Jennifer in front of the portal. As she was about to work one of her arms free, Jenn felt a solid shove from behind as the two holding her finally let go. She immediately fell through the portal.
She found herself floating in an empty void. Jenn knew enough about space to recognize it and wonder how she was still breathing and able to see. Those thoughts were quickly forgotten as she noticed that there was something with her. She looked and found it easily enough, she just didn’t know what it was. The rage that had consumed her was extinguished in an instant by the sheer terror that the creature before her inspired. Marcus had called it a god, but Jenn knew the instant she laid eyes on it that it was no god. Even demon didn’t adequately describe the horror that she was looking at.
Letting out a wordless scream, she was engulfed by the creature whose body was made of smoke. It quickly entered her body, masses of it going through her orrifices while a smaller amount passed through her skin. Jennifer quickly lost consciousness.
The creature that had invaded the woman was pleased. Everything had been going according to plan. Now all that was left was to consume the human’s soul, and go through the portal to the small, out of the way world that was not governed by any of this universe’s gods.
The gods of this universe had prevented the creature’s brethren from invading from the void between the universes. This angered them greatly, as they themselves were revered as gods by the mortals of their native universe before it died from them not maintaining it. As it was, these creatures were unaccustomed to being refused, and attempted to take what they wanted by force.
This ended badly for the invaders as, while they were only called gods, they were unable to match with the true gods of the universe they wanted. Most of the invaders were eradicated by the gods.
Now, this one had come up with a plan to plant itself on a world that it would go unnoticed on. With that foothold, it would be able to summon its brethren, and they would be able to gather strength and attack the gods from behind.
The creature was so pleased by the success of this plan, that it was already deciding on whether or not it would kill its pawns that opened the way for it quickly or slowly, as it finally closed in upon the mortal’s soul.
As the creature touched the ball of brilliant, white light, savoring the moment as it usually does when consuming a soul, something went horribly wrong.
Brushing one tendril across the soul, the creature was startled when the soul’s light quickly changed from white to violet. At the same time, what should have been a normal, mortal soul began fluctuating and radiating several forms of magical energy. The cocktail of energies was extremely potent, and the creature wasn’t sure if it would be able to take the inevitable explosion of magic unscathed. Deciding to retreat until its prey tired itself out from its instinctive struggling, the creature attempted to pull back out of the human’s body, only to find that it couldn’t move back. Even worse, it could feel itself being dragged towards the soul. The tendril it had extended earlier was being used to drag it closer, and something painful was happening that it couldn’t quite comprehend.
It didn’t take long for the creature to figure out what was happening, and for the first time in its existence, it felt true horror as the soul it had been attempting to consume was instead consuming it. The creature couldn’t even understand how this was happening, and as it struggled to escape it realized that it couldn’t.
As the creature was consumed, the Chaotic, Divine, and Elemental energies that had been building up within Jennifer finally reached a critical level. They exploded outwards, the portal that was still open allowed the destructive power to pass into the house. The cultists were still gathered in the basement watching the portal their god was supposed to pass through.
What passed through instead was their deaths, as the energies caused an explosion that destroyed everything within half a mile. It also served to destroy the portal, erasing all evidence of what occurred there.
As for Jennifer, the force of the explosion propelled her across the universe, the distortions caused by the rampaging magic bending space to bring her to the other side of the universe. While she traveled through space, the newly awakened magic began changing her body, working to shape it in ways that hasn’t been seen on Earth for millennia. The changes began to show physically as she neared her destination.
The throne room of Zhekar Rhakhan was crowded as he sat upon his throne welcoming his guests.
Frey and his sister Freya of the Vanir had come attempting to make a more solid peace between the Draconian gods of Shefal and Asgard. Zhekar had a deep, almost instinctual, dislike of the Aesir, and it didn’t get any better when the activities of Thor and some of his brothers insulted him several times over the millennia, not to mention going out of their ways to attempt to rape his two daughters when they refused to warm their beds. It was a very close call that time, Zhekar had actually organized his armies and was getting ready to march on Asgard because of that. The Aesir might have been confident that they’d win, but Frey and Freya was far from sure that Asgard would survive war with the greatest living Lord of Primordial Chaos and his children.
Zhekar and his five children were certain that they’d never get along with the Aesir, but they felt that they should at least listen when the other party extends their hand themselves.
As Oyana Rhakhan watched the Vanir greet her father, she was seriously reconsidering whether or not this was really worth their time. She was the second divine daughter of Zhekar, and his youngest divine child. The words ‘divine child’ means that she inherited enough of his power to be born as a demigoddess at her birth just over 1000 years ago.
He had sired several hundred bloodlines in the 10000 years that he’s ruled Shefal, and not all of them were on Shefal, but only five of them had been born as demigods and been able to ascend to full divinity.
Oyana herself had been born with aspects of Chaos and War, which wasn’t saying much, considering she was a goddess of a warrior race and everyone born with Zhekar in their bloodline has strong ties to Chaos. She was thought of as beautiful by all of Shefal’s races, with her white skin, golden hair falling just past her shoulders, almost ending where her wings emerged from her back, her golden scales matching the hair, sapphire blue eyes usually dancing with joyfulness and laughter and claws, with horns the same color coming from the back of her head. Her figure was lush and at the same time toned with subtle muscles. She especially seemed beautiful in her golden armor with her sword on her waist and kite shield strapped to her back. She was regarded highly amongst the mortals, but she didn’t have much aptitude, or patience, for politics.
I would literally do anything to get out of this right now. She thought, as the Vanir spun useless political flattery for her father, while their Asgardian guards puffed themselves up to make themselves look more important in front of their Shefalan counterparts. She whispered out of the side of her mouth to the man beside her, “Hey, Weir, you wouldn’t happen to know who I’d have to kill to get out of this, would you?”
Weirfik, Zhekar’s youngest divine son, and the God of Magic sighed, “Oya, if I knew who to kill to get out of this, do you seriously believe that they’d still be drawing breath?” He had copper colored scales and hair, kept short, matching his tanned skin. He also had smoky gray eyes, claws, and a pair of short gray horns sprouting from his temple just below his hairline. His wiry frame in his red mage robes, successfully gave him the air of an intellectual, and the serious look usually found in his eyes added to that.
“Mmm. Good point. Damn.”
At that point, Zhekar interrupted Frey’s speech, “Why don’t I save you the trouble, Lord Frey, and summarize what you’ve been saying, hmm?” Zhekar didn’t speak loudly, but he didn’t need to. As a Lord of Chaos, and a God of Destruction, putting him on the same level as a God of Creation, his every word carried power when he wanted them to.
Even when he didn’t speak that way, the way he held himself spoke of age and power. Currently in his favorite form, he had obsidian black hair worn long, and tied back into a ponytail, and black scales to contrast with his white skin. His slim frame, white skin, and pointed ears was similar to the Fey, one of the five races of Shefal. He wore black pants and boots, a black breastplate with red inlay, a black leather long coat, and a longsword with a bastard hilt made of wrought iron. Sitting upon his wrought iron throne with platinum inlay, he cut an imposing figure. His ruby red eyes and claws, with his long horns sprouting from the top of his head of the same color, made one think of fresh blood, which was reinforced with the look currently in his eyes. Something that combined sarcasm, anger, and mocking laughter.
Seeing this, Oya muttered, “Oh shit. They’ve managed to really piss the old lizard off.”
Weir agreed. “Uhhuh.”
“What you are basically asking for, is for my oldest son to become one of Lord Odin’s retainers,” Oya was impressed by how much disrespect and disgust her father managed to squeeze into that ‘Lord’. “And you also want my daughters to be taken to Asgard to become the wives of those whore-sons who tried to get them into their beds, and subsequently tried to rape them when they decided to not take ‘no’ for an acceptable answer. You also want us to give you resources that can only be found on Shefal for a pitifully cheap price. I’ve always known that you Asgardians are nothing more than shameless buffoons that can barely swing a sword properly and rely on brute force and berserkers to win whatever it is you call fights, but to think you would actually come here with concessions of surrender as a method to foster peace!”
Zhekar’s words caused the Asgardians to show displeasure, but the two Vanir could only show unsurprised expressions at Zhekar’s reaction. They knew that this was how it would go from the moment they read the speech that Odin had prepared. It was almost as if Odin was trying to provoke the Draconian gods into a war. He was confident in Asgard’s strength, but the siblings had a feeling that no matter what, the Draconians would always win.
Now all they could do was hope Zhekar didn’t have them killed for this. The God of Dragons, Destruction, and Retribution was famous for having an amazingly high tolerance for insults. It was said that he would let almost anything go, so long as it was properly apologized for, but that just causes the retribution he exacts for the things he doesn’t forgive to be extreme and gruesome. He had been heard to say that the fact he so easily forgives minor things should mean that when something truly angers him, he should be able to go to extreme lengths to punish them. Several pantheons have taken his easygoing personality at face value, and been erased as a result of trying to ‘bring him to heel’, as they called it. The exact same thing that Odin wished to do.
“I have half a mind to kill all of you, and carve my answer into your corpses to send back to Asgard. But if I do that, I would be the one declaring war, and your allies would be free to come to your aid. No, if Odin wants a war, he’s going to start it himself. Tell him that if he wants to steal my children and resources, he can come and try to take them, if he’s man enough. Now get out of my palace!”
After the envoys had left, Jadsher, Zhekar’s oldest son, asked, “Father, why do we not declare war on them? For them to come to our home and speak to us that way…” As he trailed off, everyone looked to Zhekar.
“Hah. Because us declaring war would draw several other pantheons into it. While the rest of the gods overlook us destroying the odd pantheon every few millennia for insulting us, they won’t ignore it if we just destroy several of them at once. The Aesir seem to be the only ones still wanting war with us. For whatever reason, they seem to think that they have a chance of defeating us, and want to conquer us the way they did to the Vanir and Jötunn. They’ll come to us for this war, and when they do, they’ll come alone. We’ll just use this time to prepare.”
Just as Jadsher was about to respond, a sound similar to shattering glass rang through the throne room, and a hole in space suddenly appeared in the middle of the room. Flying out of the hole was a naked human woman. As soon as she exited the hole, it closed itself, leaving nothing to hint that anything existed there.
The human hit the floor and tumbled to a stop. As soon as she stopped, a deep inhalation was the only warning to the pain filled shriek that split the air.
It soon became apparent why she was screaming in pain as her body began changing. Her body’s apparent age regressed from that of a mature woman, to a young woman of around 20. Her skin darkened from white to dusky tan, while her ears became pointed, and her eye teeth sharpened to fangs. Her nails became obsidian black and sharpened, while streaks of silver, crimson, and violet appeared in her raven-black hair. As this was happening, her eyes were glowing violet, and tattoos of flames were burnt into her skin from head to feet, all the same shade of violet. From her entire body, she radiated wild magic. Oya couldn’t even imagine the pain she was going through, seeing as the power changing her was surely doing more to her than they could see.
When the changes finally stopped, the woman became quiet. Everyone watched her as she lay there naked.
Oya spoke up, “I don’t think she was conscious during that entire thing. At least, I hope not.”
Oya’s words broke the stunned silence holding everyone. The courtiers began muttering to themselves, while the guards stepped forward to secure the unconscious girl.
Zhekar spoke then, “Stop. What are you doing?” This was directed at the guards who stepped forward.
The Captain said, “Sire, we are going to secure the intruder.”
Zhekar raised an eyebrow, “Oh? So an unconscious child is a threat to six Gods of Chaos? You also seem to not have noticed that she is currently radiating enough wild magic to bring down an entire herd of Behemoths with Magic Poisoning.” The looks on the guards faces became startled, and split between indecision for their duty or their safety. “Captain, I am pleased by your devotion to your job, but securing an unconscious girl like she’s some dangerous animal like this makes it appear that we are afraid of this and weak. Besides, you and your warriors are very good at your jobs, and I’d rather not lose you to the negligence that was about to happen. Oyana. Take the girl to the nearest guest quarters and tend to her. Make sure nobody comes near her until her power settles. Send for me once she awakens. I will wish to speak with her.”
Oya bowed her head, and responded with, “At once, Father.” She quickly gathered up the unconscious girl and left the room.
“As for everyone else, that is all of our business today. You are all dismissed.” Zhekar said before he rose and left the throne room. Everyone else wondered out in groups, discussing the events of the day.
Jennifer awoke slowly, moaning as her sore body let her know how it felt about moving so soon. What happened? Where am I? Looking around, she found herself laying in a queen sized canopy bed, in a room that was decorated with expensive, if impersonal, furniture. Side tables to either side of the bed, a wardrobe to her right side of the room. There were glass fixtures for lights, but they didn’t seem to be electric lights. Large windows on the left with heavy curtains drawn, and a small table with two wooden chairs with velvet cushions.
Just as she turned to the far side of the room to examine the double doors, they opened on their own. “Well, well. Look who finally woke up. You know, you’ve been sleeping like the dead for a week.” Came a woman’s voice as she opened the doors wide.
Looking at the woman, Jennifer screamed and immediately attempted to back away. The woman had a human-like body, except for the scales on either side of her cheeks that ran down her neck, disappearing into the dress she was wearing. Two blue horns sprouted from the thick mane of golden hair at the back of her head, the thick base curving down slightly before rising to end in points.Her arms were completely covered by golden scales, and she had blue claws instead of nails. Rising from her back were a set of large wings, and from lower down was a thick lizard tail.
“What are you?! Where am I?! What’s going on here?!” Jennifer screamed out, panicking at seeing something that was obviously not human.
“Now that’s rude-…” Said Oyana as she stepped forward, only to have a pillow thrown at her, along with the words, “Stay away from me demon!”, screamed at her.
Realizing how ineffective a pillow would be, Jennifer quickly reached to the side table. In her panic, she didn’t think to wonder how she picked it up so easily, or threw it either.
Oyana was not amused to be interrupted by a pillow hitting her in the face. She was even less amused to be called a demon. She was annoyed when she removed the pillow to find a heavy wooden side table flying at her. When she knocked the table aside, it flew into the wall, breaking into pieces. With a snarl, Oyana jumped across the room and pinned the panicked girl to the wall.
Realizing belatedly that this probably wasn’t the best way to calm the girl down, Oyana took a few moments to take a deep breath before speaking. “Ok. Let’s just calm dow-!” She was interrupted again as Jennifer suddenly head butted her.
Jennifer let out a pain filled “Owwww…” as her head started ringing from forcefully coming into contact with Oyana’s forehead. Oyana just looked at her with a raised eyebrow. “Are you finished?”
Nodding weakly, Jennifer continued looking fearfully at Oyana. “Good. I’m going to let go of you now, and we’re going to sit at that table and wait for the servants to bring in dinner like civilized beings. Aren’t we?” At Jennifer’s nod, Oyana let her go and walked to the table, sitting down.
Jennifer hesitantly walked behind her and sat as well. When Oyana turned to the door, she said to the servants waiting outside, “It’s safe to enter now. Bring the food in please. Sarah, go inform Father that she has awakened. Make sure that he knows he’s to wait two hours for her to eat, bathe, and get dressed before he can come asking his questions.”
The Seelie servant blinked, “My Lady, surely your father would not barge into a young lady’s room before she is properly dressed.”
Oyana raised an eyebrow. “Are we talking about the same man, Sarah? If it’s to satisfy his curiosity about something, he’d most certainly barge into his own daughter bathing without thinking twice.”
Sarah stopped, reminded of that incident 900 years ago. “I shall make certain that he understands, My Lady.” With that, she left.
Jennifer had completely ignored this conversation, as she had just noticed something that derailed her every thought. Oyana looked to her to find the girl staring at her hands. “Child? Is everything ok?”
Jennifer jumped, and looked at Oyana with panic in her eyes. “My hands. What happened to my hands?”
Oyana nodded as she realized what was wrong. “Ah, I see. Yes, you were unconscious when that happened. It’s only natural that you wouldn’t know about the changes to your body.”
“Yes. There’s a mirror in the wardrobe, if you wish to see for yourself.” Oyana barely finished before Jennifer rushed to the wardrobe, flinging the door open.
“What the hell happened to me?!” She asked, staring at her reflection. Her dark skin, the streaks of color in her hair, the tattoos, her nails, general younger face, and more importantly, her eyes which had become crimson cat-eyes. “My eyes?”
“Yes, I was surprised by your eyes as well. When the changes in your body were happening, your eyes were glowing violet, so I thought they’d wind up that color. I personally feel that this is quite beautiful, though. The colors of your face and eyes compliment each other well, and the tattoos on your face add quite the nice touch.” Was Oyana’s unconcerned reply, still sitting at the table as the servants prepared the meal.
“How can you be so calm?!” Jennifer yelled at the other woman.
“Because getting upset won’t do anything about it. Besides, a being with even limited shapeshifting abilities doesn’t give much thought to appearances. For us, it’s only a matter of what skin we feel like wearing, like clothes.”
“I don’t have shapeshifting abilities! I’m human!”
This caused Oyana to laugh. “Child, don’t lie to yourself. You know full well that you’re not human anymore. You may not want to admit it, but surely you’ve noticed the non-physical changes to your body. How did you throw that table earlier? How are you speaking my language? How did you survive the wild magic that rampaged through your body, changing it to whatever seemed natural to it? Child, I don’t know what you are, but it’s safe to say that you’re not human. Now, come and eat. I guarantee that you’ll enjoy it.”
This caused Jennifer to fall quiet. Thinking about it, the person in front of her was right. She had noticed those things, she was just scared to acknowledge them, but having them shoved into her face like this forced her to admit that she had changed. “Jennifer.”
“My name is Jennifer Drey. Not ‘Child’.” Jennifer said as she returned to her seat.
Oyana smiled, “And I’m Oyana Rhakhan. For now, you may call me Oya.”
“Ok, Oya. Where am I?” Jennifer asked as she started eating.
“You are in the home of Lord Zhekar Rhakhan, God of Dragons, Destruction, and Retribution, as well as the ruler of this world, Shefal.”
Oya’s reply caused Jenn to choke on her drink. “God?! Wait, Rhakhan?!” She sputtered out, looking at Oya with wide eyes.
“Yes, as you have guessed, he is my father. I am his fifth divine child, and second daughter. I am this world’s Goddess of War.” Seeing the look on Jennifer’s face, Oya continued, “Don’t let that change how you act, though. Something tells me that you’re not like the rank and file, if you catch my meaning.”
Staring at the goddess in front of her, Jenn simply said, “I see…,”and continued eating.
Seeing Jennifer’s response, Oya couldn’t stop herself from laughing, “Ahahaha! You know, I say that people shouldn’t be continuously bowing and scraping to me all the time, but I’ve never seen anyone actually agree to it!”
Jenn just shrugged. “Where I come from, we don’t have much in the way of gods, or at least, if we did, they’ve abandoned us a long time ago. My country doesn’t even have nobility or aristocracy. Anyways, even if we did have any of that, I wouldn’t know how to act around any of those people. I’m a prostitute, not someone who rubs elbows with important people. If you say to treat you normally, then that’s what I’ll do. I don’t usually have time to worry about rank and social standing, considering I’ve always been at the bottom of the ladder in whichever room I find myself in. I’ve been called overly practical, whatever that’s supposed to mean.”
“I see.” Was all Oya said, an amused smile on her face.
“So, if you’re a Goddess of War, are we talking about Athena, or Ares?”
“Oh? So you at least know some names, huh? I’m actually more in line with Ares than Athena. Someone who looks after the front lines, although not as much battle madness. Hate politics and talking when things need doing, you know?”
“Oh, yes, definitely. So they really do exist. Don’t be too impressed, I only know some old names from fictional stories and such.”
“You can read?” Oya asked, impressed.
“My country has minimal standards for education, and reading is one of the most important. Along with basic mathematics.”
“I see. You’re country must be rich and powerful, for them to have the luxury of worrying about such things.”
“I don’t know about rich, we owe a massive amount of money to nearly every major country in the world, it’s probably just that the people of our world have found ways to make everything cheaper. But we are considered one of the major world powers, for better or worse.” Jenn replied sardonically.
“You’re not fond of your homeland.” Oya commented. It was not a question.
Jenn sighed, “Not really, no. I understand. I’m just one of the ones who fell through the cracks. There’s bound to be people like me in every country. Heh. In every world. We can’t all have prosperity left on our doorstep, gift wrapped just for us. You can’t have happiness without misery, right? And the best any government can do is minimize the amount of suffering the majority of their people go through. Even if it means throwing certain undesirables into the shadows. The only things that separates the prosperous from the unfortunate is luck, opportunity, and self-control.”
“Buuut, it doesn’t mean that you can’t wish for the good life, or hold a grudge against the world for not being one of the prosperous.” Oya said.
“Only so long as you know that wishing without trying is pointless, and trying to hurt people simply because the world hurt you doesn’t help.” Jenn shuddered as she recalled Marcus and his cult. “I’ve seen what happens when you let yourself get consumed by a pointless grudge.” She had already decided that they, and their creature, or god, or whatever they called it, wasn’t something that she could deal with. She didn’t know why it had let her go, but she would tell this Zhekar about it when she spoke to him. If he was such an important person, then it was probably something that he needed to know about anyways.
Oya noticed Jenn’s expression, “Very true. But that only goes so far, as long as those in charge aren’t purposely hurting the ones they are paid to protect.”
“If someone has a better way, and a concrete plan to accomplish it, then they’re free to rock the boat and bring about reforms. But if they don’t, and are just looking for a way to get power at the expense of others, then the status quo needs to remain.”
“Nicely put. Let’s move away from this topic for now. Do you want to hear about Shefal?”
Jenn shrugged, “Sure. There’s magic right? What are you anyways?”
Chuckling, Oya answered with, “Yes, there is magic. And I’m a Draconian, one of the ten races of Shefal.”
“Ten races? I’m guessing you mean species, instead of how my people view races.”
“Mm. Yes and no. There are five species, and each species is divided into two races.” At Jenn’s raised eyebrow, Oya expanded on her explanation. “Humans are divided into Magi and Juxri. Demons are either Daemon or Indrins. Lycans can be Werebeasts, or Beastmen. Fey can be Seelie or Unseelie. And Dragons can be Wyrms, or Draconians. And the races aren’t inclusive, meaning the child of two Indrins can be a Daemon, or the offspring of a Magi and a Juxri can be either. Each race has their own defining traits and talents, with exceptions of course. My mother was Draconian, and I was born as Draconian, so I consider myself that. My brother Weir was born of an Indrin mother, and he came up looking like a Daemon with Draconian wings and tail.”
“So can those of different species interbreed? And if so, is the child able to breed?” Jenn asked, genuinely interested.
The question caused Oya to giggle, “You know, as a mere prostitute, you seem incredibly educated and curious. Well, a Human isn’t going to breed with a Wyrm, if that’s what you’re asking, but yes, inter species breeding is possible, and the child in question won’t be sterile. The magic between the species is compatible, allowing for this by correcting the differences and short comings of the genetics involved.”
“It’s not like I’ve been doing that because I like it. I once wanted to be a scientist myself, but my temper caused me to ruin every chance I had.” Jenn said self-consciously.
“You wanted to be a philosopher? Interesting. Were you also going to study alchemy?”
Jenn was puzzled by the question, “Oh! You mean chemistry, right? No only animal research and biology. But, I wonder why interbreeding is a problem back on Earth.” She continued. “Actually, if magic exists, why don’t we know of it?”
“Your homeworld is probably in one of the various dry zones. The parts of the universe that are devoid of magic. It would explain why there aren’t any gods there, actually.”
“Hmm. So, if you’re a Dragon goddess, what’s your father?”
“He is a long story, one that can be told in the bath.” Oya replied as the two finished their meal.
Jenn followed Oya and the maids, one a Lizard Beastwoman, who looked like Oya except for the fact that she didn’t have claws, wings, or horns, and the other what was apparently a Daemon. Jenn thought the Daemon looked like what a succubus was supposed to look like in movies and such, with a whip-chord tail, wings smaller than Oya’s, and small horns below her hairline on her temple.
Once they had entered the massive bath, Jenn had to calm down from the surprise of the Daemon suddenly beginning to wash her, and the three women stopped laughing at her reaction, Oya started the story.
“Over 10000 years ago, a different pantheon ruled Shefal. Four of the races each had two patron deities, except for the Dragons, who only had one. There were multiple kingdoms, divided by the species. There was balance and order. For the most part, it was a good system, where everyone benefited, except one species.”
“The Dragon races were powerful, physically, and magically. In the beginning, everyone feared them, but their low birth rates caused them to be weaker than the others. They were overwhelmed, and became slaves to every other race, in some cases, treated as little more than intelligent animals. Even their goddess was forced to become a slave to the other gods.”
“After countless centuries of service and nearly being broken, the goddess used the last of her strength to do something that any other Lord of Order would have thought to be insanity, and perhaps they’re right to. She sent a message into the Primordial Chaos, inviting any powerful Beast of Chaos to come to Shefal.”
Jenn had a puzzled expression, “Beast of Chaos? Are they evil or something?”
Oya chuckled. “Good and evil are terms that are to simplistic to describe it. Those of Chaos are more dangerous than those called good or evil, simply because they are completely unpredictable. Most Beasts of Chaos are just that, beasts going on instinct. Those who are of higher orders are the dangerous ones. Intelligence and unpredictability make for a dangerous combination.” Oya paused gazing into space, “It’s unknown what her intentions were. Was she seeking help? Or was she just driven insane, and willing to see the world destroyed for her revenge? It’s impossible to know why she did it.”
“So what happened?”
“She didn’t just get a higher order Beast, she caught the attention of one of the most powerful Lords of Chaos there was. He came to her, and by some strange coincidence, his favorite form was heavily draconic. They spoke, and she begged for him to do two things. Kill her, and absorb her essence to claim her dominions. And then save her people. He was a Lord of Chaos. Expecting him to destroy everything was not paranoia.”
“But expecting someone like that to keep to expectations is like trying to fall up.”
Oya laughed at Jenn’s words. “Exactly! By some random whim, the Lord of Chaos decided to grant the fallen goddess’s request. He killed her, took the name Zhekar Rhakhan, and led the Dragons in a revolt. Of course, you won’t understand the significance of his taking a name.” Oya said, “The Lords of Chaos don’t have names. They view it as nothing more than bindings that restrict their freedom, the thing they value above all. One willingly taking a name is almost unheard of.”
“Because he was a Beast of Chaos, he didn’t have any qualms about bending the rules of the gods. He never went to far, mind you. He never used natural disasters, or plagues, or unnatural calamities. He was much subtler than that. Small miracles, revelations in dreams, getting key members of the opposition, or members of their families to turn to his side. He fought dirty, but it was well within the rules established by the Lords of Order. The gods of Shefal were actually about to break those rules when Father brought the war to the attention of the other gods. He did it in a way that kept them at a distance observing everything. This prevented the Shefalans from taking drastic measures, and allowed him to continue unhindered. Until he finally stood victorious.”
“He was such an anomaly that the other gods decided to not press the issue. They recognized him as the ruler of Shefal.” Said Oya, finishing the story. “That’s why he is such a difficult thing to describe. He is both God and Lord of Chaos.”
Jenn considered all of this. “I see. And that’s the person that I’m going to speak to in a few minutes.”
“Yes. Let’s get ready. He has a bad habit of doing rude things when he’s impatient.” Said Oya standing and stepping out of the large tub. Jenn followed her, and after some struggling with the maid, allowed her to help dry and dress.
When Oya led Jenn into the study, the first thing she noticed was the shelves. It wasn’t just normal bookshelves, there were shelves shaped as cubbies holding rolls of scrolls, and shelves built to hold tablets, vases, and other artwork containing writing. It was a large room, with a second level. It had small tables and comfortable chairs scattered around, with a desk at the back of the second floor. And in the middle of the first floor was a coffee table with two sofas and four chairs situated around it.
Taking in the room, Jenn couldn’t help but to let out a small sound, voicing her amazement. “Impressive, isn’t it?” Came a man’s voice from around one of the shelves. “I’ve been collecting everything from histories to magical grimoires from many different worlds for millennia now. What you see here are my favorites.” Said the man as he came into view accompanied by a woman.
The man looked like a Draconian like Oya, had a slim build, white skin, pointed ears, black hair and scales with ruby eyes, claws, and horns. He was wearing a light blue tunic and pants, with worn leather boots.
Beside him, the Draconian woman was wearing a simple cotton dress. Her scales and hair were white, with silver eyes and claws, and a pair of short, silver horns above her ears, and they along with her slim frame all lent an ephemeral feeling to her.
The two had pleasant expressions on their faces, but Jenn didn’t miss them both closely examining her before they hid it.
Oya stepped forward, “Jenn, this is my father, Zhekar Rhakhan, and my sister, Frikha, Goddess of the Sea and Moon. Father, Sister, this is Jennifer Drey.”
Jenn did an awkward curtsy, and said, “I’m sorry, but I don’t know quite how to address you, Your Highness.”
Chuckling, Zhekar said, “That is actually how someone addresses a foreign king. My worshippers and vassals generally say ‘lord’ when addressing me, but I’m not attached to such things. I prefer to leave those forms of address and such to those who are insecure enough to need them. If it makes you uncomfortable to call me by name, you are free to use ‘Lord Zhekar’ or something along those lines. Now, please sit. We have much to discuss.” He sat on the sofa as he said that, followed by Frikha, Oya, and finally Jenn. The maids all stood at the edges of the room.
“Before we begin talking about myself, I think I have information that you may want to know, Lord Zhekar.” Said Jenn as she sat. She then explained what had happened to her before she lost consciousness. When she finished, she said, “I don’t know why it had let me go, but that’s the last things I remember.”
The three gods had fallen quiet as they listened to Jenn. When Zhekar finally spoke, he said, “Well, this might explain a few things. But before we proceed, I need to ask. You do know that you could have negotiated some sort of reward for that information, correct? It’s a moot point, now, though.”
“I don’t care. If telling you that means those bastards and that thing is killed, then I’m happy. Because of that thing, I wasn’t going to be able to kill them. This is the only way I can get revenge on them all.” Jenn replied defiantly.
“I see. Well, we can see what happened after you lost consciousness. Sarah, can you bring the bowl?”
“Yes, My Lord.” Said the Seelie as she stepped forward with a wide shallow bowl, almost a basin.
“Now, Jennifer,” continued Zhekar, “have you learned how to manipulate magic yet?” At Jenn’s nonverbal no, he said, “I see. No matter. Can you feel the magic flowing through your body?” Jenn closed her eyes as she felt for the power she had noticed before, assuming that was her magic. When she managed to grasp hold of it, everyone in the room noticed. “Good. I want you to focus on wanting the magic to flow in the direction you choose, instead of where it would flow naturally. I want you to direct it into the basin of water. Oyana, help her redirect the flow, if you would.” Zhekar said, as he noted the young woman’s struggling to do as asked.
Oya reached over to Jenn and grasped her hand, as she did, Jenn gasped when Oya’s magic began flowing through her and gently directing her own magic. As the magic began leaving, directed towards the basin, Zhekar continued, “Now Jennifer, I want you to concentrate on the creature, and you. Concentrate on the moment before you lost consciousness.” Jenn nodded, closing her eyes, and her memories of that night appeared within the water of the basin. “Excellent. Now, I want you to back off Jennifer, and allow Oyana to take over the spell. Oyana, we want a third-person view point of this.”
“Of course, Father.” Oya replied, as Jenn opened her eyes, letting go of the flow of power, and breathing heavily at the exhilaration that using magic had made her feel.
As Oya took control of the spell, the water rippled, and suddenly the view point was overhead of the events, allowing everything to be seen, from the moment that Jenn had kicked the cultist in the chest, screaming her rage at everyone around her. When it got to the creature forcing itself into Jenn’s body, Zhekar muttered, “So it was one of them.” But a few seconds after the creature was completely inside Jenn’s body, the three gods’ faces became shocked, staring at the image before them. Oya almost lost her hold on the magic. The next moment, the image of Jenn began radiating violet light, which exploded outwards, sending Jenn flying through space and destroying everything around the portal.
When Oya finally ended the spell, the three gods turned to look at Jenn. Jenn, not realizing what they were so shocked about, said, “I’m not sure what happened, but I’m glad that those bastards are dead. What?”
Frikha, who had been quiet so far, finally asked, “Father, is this possible? How?”
“Well, nothing is impossible. Improbable, yes, but not impossible. And this counts as likely the most improbable thing I’ve ever seen. I doubt that if you ran this scenario again, the results that appeared would repeat even if you were to try trillions of times every year for the next 50 billion years. No one could have ever predicted this.” Zhekar answered, shaking his head, the stunned expression still on his face.
“What? What happened?” Jenn was becoming frantic, not knowing what they were talking about.
“Jenn. That creature didn’t let you go. Once it entered your body, it never left.” Oya said.
“What do you mean? Are you saying that that thing is still inside me?”
“No. It isn’t inside of you. You didn’t see it because you can’t see souls. It intended to eat your soul, and use your body as a meat suit. But when it came into contact with your soul, two things happened. The first, was that contact caused Chaos, Divine, and Elemental magic and energy to awaken within your soul. The second, was your soul consumed the creature that tried to eat you.” Oya said, calming her down.
Jenn stared at them. “How is that possible? Not just my soul eating that thing, but everything else?”
Zhekar shook his head, “We don’t know. Jennifer, child, everything about you is a mystery. Luckily, we will be able to find some answers. For this, I’m going to have to ask you to spill a few drops of blood into the basin. You should be able to do so simply by using a fingernail to cut one of your fingers.”
Jenn didn’t think that a few drops of blood was a big deal, especially if it got her answers, but something caused her to hesitate. “Why do you need my blood?”
Zhekar nodded his head. “I understand your hesitance. You might have noticed, or at least feel on an instinctual level, when that ritual occurred. The reason they required five hearts was because the heart is the seat of the soul, and the central hub for the body’s blood. It moves the blood throughout the body, and therefore the most important organ, solely because of the importance of blood. Our blood holds everything, our souls, our life energy, our magic, our memories. Everything that we are, is archived within our blood. I believe that your homeworld discovered something that they call DNA? They are only scratching the surface of what is within blood. One must never give their blood to another, unless they have absolute trust in one another. And never more than a few drops except in extreme circumstances. What I wish to do could be accomplished with saliva, hair, or nails, but it wouldn’t give us anywhere near the amount of information as just one drop of blood. I ask that you trust me for now.”
Nodding her head, Jenn used her fingernail, and cut across the tip of the opposite finger, allowing two drops to fall into the basin of water. As the blood spread and diluted in the water, Zhekar began chanting. As he finished the short incantation, the water began glowing a deep blue. Jenn was amazed as it began to rise up into a floating globe, with the glow shifting so that only small parts glowed in patterns that were obviously a written script. It looked like the globe of water was covered in lines of writing that covered the circumference of it in varying lengths. Jenn was surprised that she couldn’t make sense of the writing. The meaning of it felt like it was on the edge of her understanding, but it was maddeningly just out of her reach.
Noticing the expression on her face, Zhekar nodded. “This language is older than Chronos himself. Even gods, who can speak most languages fluently and naturally, must study for a long time to even begin to understand it. If you wish to study magic, I’d suggest that you begin elsewhere, and come back to this when you’re ready. I myself would gladly teach you at that time, if you meet my standards, of course.”
Jenn asked, “What does it say?”
Zhekar studied the ball of water for a moment. “Most of it basically tells your life story, which is understandably short, and appearance, even your new appearance. It even lists the bindings, bonds, and oaths that are connected to you, as well as the names of those involved. But this line, this line is what we are looking for. Just like everything else about you, it is extremely interesting.” He said, as he pointed to a short line near what Jenn could only assume was the orb’s pole. The line didn’t seem to have anything that Jenn could recognize as writing, just markings that seemed to be family seals.
Zhekar continued, “This line is where your ancestral lineage is recorded. Most of these are merely mortal bloodlines, I would think that most of them are insignificant. But four of these are familial seals of great significance. First, a seal originating from the djinn.” He said as he pointed to a mark that Jenn thought looked vaguely Arabic.
“Wait,” Jenn interrupted. “Do you mean a wish granting genie?”
“Djinn are Elemental Spirits of Fire. Just as I am a creature tied directly to the Primordial Chaos, they are tied to the Primordial Fire where all flame originates, similar to the phoenix. Not only that, djinn are the most powerful type of Fire Elemental spirit, with more than enough raw power to bend reality and grant wishes. I do believe this particular mark comes from what once was the greatest of their clans. This mark is also interesting,” Zhekar said, pointing to another symbol. “This is the mark of Cognatione Ira, a clan of gods of the world called Infernum.”
“Hold on, if ira means the same thing here as it does back home, then they aren’t gods right?” Jenn blurted out, surprised to hear the Latin word for one of the seven deadly sins she had heard about one of the many times she was forced to attend church. The priest especially preached about wrath when he knew she was attending.
“There really is no difference between divine and demonic, except each comes from a different source. The House of Wrath, as they were called, was a powerful clan that did draw from the demonic side of the spectrum. They were Gods of Fire, and their connection to it, while not on the level of the djinn, was by no means meager. The fact that you have this mark makes you a descendant of Satan, the head of their clan.” Zhekar answered calmly, allowing Jenn to ask any questions that come up. “This third mark is of another divine clan. It is the mark used by the Morrigan Trinity, the three Goddesses of Death who were together known as the Morrigan, the Queens of the Crows.”
Stopping for a moment, Zhekar made sure Jenn didn’t have any more questions. Not seeing any, he continued. “The last symbol of interest, is one I have known since the day I took my name and bound myself with that name and the duties and responsibilities of a god.” He pointed to the last symbol that the two goddesses had noticed long ago and was so stunned by it they haven’t spoken since noticing it. “This is my own mark. Having this here means that you are my descendant, Jennifer Drey.”
“You want to know how you consumed that creature? My guess is that it coming into contact with your soul caused an instinctive reaction from the three different energies that had been buried beneath countless generations of mortal blood. This reaction caused the three natures to rampage. If they had been left alone in that state, they’d likely have destroyed one another in an attempt to consume the others to gather strength. Luckily for you, there was an incredibly powerful and appetizing being that was in direct contact with your soul. By eating the creature, your triple nature was able to find equilibrium, stabilize, and proceeded to change your body to something that felt more natural.”
“If I’m right, then you’re body and soul aren’t finished changing. They just reached a stage where the changes are not as physically or magically violent as to cause pain or wild magic to radiate off of you. Right now, we can safely assume that you’ll settle somewhere around a demigod.” Zhekar finished speaking to the stunned room.
After Jenn had been led back to her room to sleep on what she learned, Zhekar, Oya, and Frikha remained in the study. They had goblets and a pitcher of wine in front of them.
“I can’t believe something like this could happen. I mean, is it just her? Or can we all eat those things.” Oya asked, looking at her father.
Shaking his head, he answered with, “I don’t know. During the war, they were never foolish enough to try, and we always felt disgust at the thought. It’s likely that this child is an anomaly that never should have happened. An impossibility whose existence will have repercussions that no one could ever predict.”
“Well, she exists now. And besides, it’s not like unforeseen impossibilities are anything new to us, you yourself are one, Father. What are we going to do with her?” Oya said, asking the most important question.
“This will not remain quiet,” said Frikha, in her usual calm tone. “Once word spreads, the others will either be scrambling to claim her as their own weapon, or try to destroy her before she becomes too powerful.”
“Correct. They’ll either try to end her, or ruin her potential. Neither of which I have any interest in seeing.” Zhekar said derisively. “Oyana, you’ve come into direct contact with her magic, what did it taste like?”
“It felt like a rampaging tempest, a blazing inferno, death, and heavy abyssal shadow.” Oya shook her head. “Three of those I can understand after hearing about her ancestry, but I can only assume that the fourth was her own personal magic. What she would’ve been able to do in an environment capable of supporting it.”
“Oya, are you saying that she is a natural born umbramancer on top of everything else?” Frikha asked, showing a rare startled expression.
“Exactly, Sister Fri. All of this points to one conclusion. If she is trained properly, she will likely be one of the greatest terrors to ever step foot on a battlefield.” Oya and Fri both looked to Zhekar. “Which brings me back to my question, what are we going to do?”
After a few minutes contemplating, Zhekar quickly drained his goblet and looked at his daughters. “This is what’s going to be done…”
A week after waking up, Jenn was being dressed in a formal ceremonial dress. She was to appear in front of Zhekar’s court as he publicly announced her fate. She was well aware what was going to be said, which was why she was so nervous.
“I can’t believe we’re doing this.” She said to Oya, who was standing by the door in her golden armor, smirking at her. “You’re crazy for coming up with this. Hell, I’m crazy for agreeing to it!”
“Which is why it’s perfect, we’re all crazy.” Oya replied with a laugh.
“I mean, isn’t this the kind of stuff gods smite mortals for claiming?”
“Oh yeah, sure we do. The pretentious bastards deserve it, you know. But this is different, we’re offering this to you, you’re not just going around making unjustified claims.” Oya looked Jenn over as the maids finished. “Looks like you’re ready. Listen, we all agreed to this. All seven of us. You, Father, and us five sons and daughters. It’ll be fine.” Oya finished, seeing the expression on the younger woman’s face.
“Will it? I know the stories about immortals. You don’t do anything without expecting something in return. What do you want from me?”
“Oh dear, you’re accusing me of being guilty of ulterior motives, the basis for all interpersonal relationships since the dawn of time.” Oya jokingly replied. “Jenn, I understand your fears. And the truth is, we do have our own reasons for this. Most of that is purely curiosity about what you are, and what you have the potential to do. Jadsher wants to make sure you’re not going to go around, randomly destroying things for no reason. Dremdan wants to see how you can be helpful politically. Frikha is curious how you will impact the universe, the same as Father and myself, actually. And Weirfik wants to see where you can go with magic.” Oya named off everybody Jenn had met in the last week. “Everyone wants to use everyone else, surely you want to use us in some way, hmm? The best you can do is to try and make sure the way others use you won’t hurt you, and prevent the way you use others from hurting them. That’s how gods work, and I doubt that most mortals are any different.”
“I see…I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, dear. It’s the truth, there’s no reason to be sorry for speaking such a truth.” Oya placed her hand on Jenn’s shoulder as she said that. “I need to go now. Listen to the maids, and do just as we practiced.”
With that, Jenn was left with the two maids who had taken her to the baths when she first awoke. She was left to her thoughts as they continued fixing her hair, which she had cut to shoulder length.
The throne room was crowded as Zhekar’s highest vassals were gathered once again in less than a month. There was a path down the middle of the room between the throne and the large doors. Zhekar and his children were arrayed on and around the throne, all dressed in their divine regalia.
The doors suddenly opened, admitting a single person. The woman who had shockingly landed in the middle of the room two weeks ago. She was dressed in a formal dress as she slowly stepped through the room, coming to a stop before the throne, and kneeling to one knee with her right hand held across her chest at her left shoulder and her head bowed.
Zhekar spoke, his voice ringing through the quiet room. “Jennifer Drey. As a newly born demigod, and as my descendant, you have been offered a place in my house and clan.” He stopped as the surrounding audience all started talking at once, shock at his decision on all of their faces.
Jadsher cleared his throat, letting his own power leak into his voice, causing silence to fall again as Zhekar continued. “You have voiced your desire and acceptance of this offer. Do you understand the magnitude of such a choice?”
“Do you understand the responsibilities and expectations that you will be required to meet? The standing you will have, and standards you must uphold?”
“Is there anything that you wish to say?”
“I swear to uphold the name Rhakhan. To never knowingly put any of the clan, or their loyal vassals and retainers, in danger, either with my actions or inactions. All of the clan’s enemies are my enemies, and if they should bear their fangs against any of the clan, I shall do all in my power to crush them, either in protection or in vengeance.” Jenn said, speaking evenly the oaths that she spent the last few days thinking about. Everyone in the room heard her oaths, and faint smiles appeared on the faces of Zhekar, Fir, Weir, and Oya.
“Then rise, and take your place by the side of your family. From this moment forth, the human mortal Jennifer Drey is dead. You are now the demigoddess Jennifer Rhakhan. Bear this name with pride and honor, my youngest daughter.”
“Thank you, Father.” Jenn said, standing and taking her first steps as a demigod of Shefal.
Sooo. I’m late. There are several reasons. The first is, I was finally given my walking papers at work, (it was known and accepted that it was coming for months, but managerial changes and paperwork getting lost several times delayed the process and made the exact date a sudden surprise). I had to drive halfway across the country to get home. And finally my laptop won’t connect to my new house’s wifi unless I stand outside with the damn thing above my head, so I had to type everything out on my phone. This being my longest single post to date caused that to be more of a pain than I’d thought. That said, the other posts I promised might be delayed as well. I’m trying to get them before New Years, but I can’t in good conscience promise anything.
About this story, I believe I can make another novel with this setting. But, that’s for a later date.
I also have created a patreon page. Here is the link https://www.patreon.com/coatl45. If anyone can help me set up the button for it, I’d appreciate it. The patreon site only talked about it, not how to place it.