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The creak of a rusted gate opening ripped Merrie from her shadowed dreams. The memories of having hundreds of bodies pressed up against her, clawing and kissing, faded away with a shudder as her attention was brought firmly into reality.

She had two days and four hours left before she had to be in front of the court. The need to present herself hovered in the back of her mind but it wasn’t overly powerful; that would change as she grew closer to the time.

Merrie didn’t move at first, forcing her body to remain still as she imagined some fell creature looming over her ready to strike. Reaching out with her physical senses, she ignored the distant sounds of multiple people walking through the overgrown plants on the front walk to focus on the room around her.

The triple beat inside her gave her comfort as she listened for another heart, another breath, even another scuff of fabric. She inhaled slowly, tasting the air but finding nothing more than sake and dust.

When she caught no hint of anything near her, she focused next on gathering energy to cast her combat spells. Black calligraphy swam across her mind, forming into the spells that had been long practiced into second nature: armor, speed, and strength. Energies swirled around her insides with an icy flare as her heart beat faster.

Perking her ear up to listen better, she focused both her physical and magical senses toward the intruders. Her ears twitched, tilting to catch every hint of sound.

There was three of them, walking up the walk steadily, chatting as they did. All three were shielded but the defenses were the natural ones that occurred with any skilled individual. None of them appeared to be ready for a fight, nor did they have the continually maintained defenses of a psychic who always assumed an intrusion.

Confusion rippled across her thoughts. They were intruding in her home but they weren’t prepared for a battle nor did they move as if they were not in danger. It seemed like a casual visit despite them penetrating the shade that she had just enforced.

Merrie slowly pushed herself up on her knees and wrists as she focused on the intruders. Fear raced along her mind as she scanned for how they entered her home.

She found it after only a few seconds, they were following a beacon that had been placed under the stairs. The energies were arcane in nature but very focused, it drew a second lodestone that the lead intruder had toward it despite the shade’s pressure to look and walk away.

With a silent snarl, she melted into shadows and raced along the floorboards as she headed for the beacon. More spells raced along her mind, gathering the darkness around her until she was nothing more than shadows.

Underneath the stairs, she reformed with her defense spells bristling. Anger burned in her mine, causing the spells to ripple and distort. Her cloak peeled out of the wall of darkness behind her and wrapped around her, the semi-sentient fabric wrapped around her limbs as she looked down at the item that broke her defenses.

It was a Whore’s Guild seal. A black ribbon folded over itself with an white pin with a silhouette of a woman dancing on it. It looked a lot like hers, before she was destroyed by a goddess.

The energies in the seal were set down with precision, a very simple spell with a lot of power to get through the shade. She could easily destroy it, but seeing her guild’s symbol in her house made her hesitate. Why would they be coming back?

Curious, she cast her senses back to the three intruders chatting as they approached. This time, she sank into the lead one’s shields to identify who was coming into her house.

His mind was burning and he danced among the flames. The heat around him, though there was little, showed as ghostly flames where it rose up from a cat corpse and an old vent across the street. But the mansion, it was black as it was cold, a forbidding place. He could feel the spell driving him to look away, the only way he could keep going was to follow the tugging and have faith that it would lead him past the gates.

It was Scorch, one of the guardians of the guild. The fear faded away into a blossoming joy. Her tail wagged, thumping lightly on the rotted staircase.

“Stop!” snapped Scorch.

“What is it, Scorchy?” Merrie recognized Elf’s voice. Another of the guild guardians, he was a submission who used butterflies and rainbows to devastating effect.

“Quiet! I hear something.” There was a flare of energy as fire spells began to gather around him. She felt his mental shields hardened in anticipation of an attack.

Moments later, the other two warriors also prepared for combat with flashes of magic.

Elf’s energies were brilliant, almost too bright to sense even over her magical senses. His defenses were butterflies flying in a cloud around him. She knew from experience that he used clouds of butterflies for everything, from cleaning a room to stripping the flesh off an opponent’s bones.

Unlike the first two, the third person with Scorch and Elf was a stranger to Merrie. She could feel feminine energies leaking through the shields along with a watery taste with a hint of necromancy and death. The water mage’s power was reacting to Scorch’s power and Merrie expected to see steam gathering between them.

Scorch started up the stairs, his heavy boots causing the rotted boards to creak. “Elf, out front and guard. Wight, with me.”

“Be safe, Scorchy-poo!”

“As you command,” said Wight with a raspy voice.

“Be careful, anything that can break into Bitch’s house can probably eat us.” He chuckled. “It’s probably hungry too.”

Wight came up behind him. She was a slender woman with very small breasts and boyish hips. Her short white hair was limp against her face as if she had just come out of the shower. In her left hand, she had a large hunting knife with a translucent blade that steamed with the heat radiating from Scorch.

She peered around. “That isn’t helping me. This place is creepy enough as it is. It always feel like there is something about to jump out at me.”

“Scared of shadows?”

“Didn’t you say the previous owner had shadow powers or something?”

Scorch smirked. He held up his hand and a ball of flame appeared in it. It started as a golden flame but quickly grew brighter, turning blue and then a brilliant white. Spears of light cut into the darkness, forming beams that blurred her vision.

Before she could duck down, the light splashed over her skin. Immediately, a searing pain raced up her arm. It set her nerves in agony. With a whimper, she threw herself behind the rotting stairs.

Wight let out a scream of her own. “I just saw something move!”

Flashes of magic exploded toward her. It was a spear of black-streaked water.

Merrie’s cloak billowed out between her and light. The rippling darkness shielded her from Scorch’s light and Wight’s attack spell. The spear splashed against the cloak, ripping a hole through the animated darkness.

She flung herself further into the darkness, letting her body dissolve into shadows. She streaked back to her room, projecting as she went. (Kill your spell, please!)

“B-Bitch!? Why?”

(The light burns!)

“Oh, oh!” The spears of light faded as she reached the hallway.

Without looking back, she dove down the hall while radiating fear and pain.

“Bitch, what is going on? Why does light hurt you? It never did before.”

Whimpering, she reformed into her human form and crawled into the bedroom. Her body still burned from the light but it was slowly subsiding. She managed to project back to him, coloring her thoughts with fear and urgency. (I merged with the shadows when I came back. Ever since, sunlight kills me and bright light causes my skin to melt.)

“Oh, fuck me. Seriously? Wight, stand down. Elf!”

Merrie ducked her head. (Sorry.)

“Scorchy-poo?”

“Bitch is here.”

“Bitchy!?” Elf’s voice rose an octave. The brimming hope brought a smile to Merrie’s lips. “Where is she?”

There was a flash of rainbow. It reflected off the walls, sending little shooting pain across her skin.

Merrie whimpered and tucked her body tight against the cage, shielding herself as best she could as the cloak tightened.

“No, no light!”

“What? Why?”

“Something’s wrong.”

Elf gasped.

“Take Wight and fly home. Bitch is hurt and she needs us.”

As brilliant as Elf’s emotions were, feeling them suddenly clamp down surprised Merrie. “Wight,” Elf said in a flat, serious tone.

Merrie felt Elf and Wight leave and Scorch approach. The fire mage’s boots thumped loudly against the creaking wooden boards. He walked slowly down but there was no light following after him; his fingertips scraped against the wall.

“Bitch, are you down this way?”

Merrie sent an image of room and hall to Scorch. It was a detailed map but she could easily see through the darkness to give him a clear image of where to stand and where to turn.

He shivered, fear and surprise and joy bubbling in his thoughts, and then came in. Walking blind but surely, he came around to Merrie’s cage and crouched down.

Merrie let out a soft whine and reached out for him with her severed wrist.

He took it. Bringing it up to his cheek, he rested it against the roughness of his beard. “They said you were dead. It tore Nir’s heart out, she cried for days. All of us were broken when we heard.” There were tears in his eyes.

(I did die.) Painful memories flashed through her mind, of the goddess Lemetri shattering her bones. (A goddess destroyed me.)

“Don’t tell Wight that. Her ex-husband was a necromancer.” Scorch chuckled. “Well, until he ended up dead and she fled her in-laws who wanted her body to bring her back. She joined the guild a few months ago. Sweet girl, bony ass though.” He shifted around to sit down on the ground. “Took a shine to Nir though, so we’ve been spending a lot of time together.”

(Fucking?)

“Of course.”

Merrie grinned. It wasn’t long ago that Scorch was rude to everyone, an angry whore that was protective and private. By the time he married Nir, a girl that Merrie brought to the guild, he had softened up.

(How is Nir?)

Scorch sighed and the smell of ash grew stronger. “She grows more beautiful every day.”

Merrie picked up different thoughts, unsaid but fore in his thoughts. (She’s pregnant?)

He grinned and reached out. He scratched Merrie along her head, finding a sensitive spot behind her ear. “It must be hard to keep secrets from you.”

(Sorry. Congratulations.)

“Thank you. I’m pretty sure I’m the father too.”

She send out a questioning pulse.

“It’s kind of hard between the gang-bangs, bukkaka scenes, and everything else she does for the guild. We had her off the sterility rune but she didn’t want to stop working.” He chuckled. “I don’t mind though, I’m going to be the child’s father no matter who’s cock it came from.”

Merrie grinned and leaned into his scratching fingers. Her tail thumped against the bars.

“How… how did you die?”

She started to gather her thoughts to send her memories.

He held up his other hand. “No, wait. Kirin will want to know. Might as well wait for the boss, otherwise I’ll have my ass handed me be again. I really don’t like it when she spanks me.”

“Aw,” said the guild mistress as she stepped into the room. “That was sweet of you. You are also correct.”

Both of them jumped. She didn’t hear Kirin appear.

Kirin was a large-breasted woman wearing nothing more than a single yellow corset. Her breasts stood out, nipples sticking out. Between her legs, an inhumanly large horse cock swayed between her legs. Seeing it, Merrie felt a surge of desire rising up. She wanted to feel it inside her, to have the massive shaft tearing into her body.

Her pussy grew slick with the memory of feeling Kirin’s acidic cum burning her insides.

A light flickered underneath the corset, responding to Merrie’s desire. Years ago, Merrie had seen the Infernal Marks that burned on Kirin’s chest and marked her as having traded her soul to devils for power.

Setting down three large bottles of wine, Kirin sat down lightly on the ground with one knee pressed up against Scorch’s and the other against the cage. Casually, she reached down to grab her horse cock, pulled it out from underneath her thigh, and dropped it heavily on her leg. It made a loud thump, one that cause Merrie’s pussy to clamp down with desire. The tip of Kirin’s cock almost reached her ankle.

“I’m so glad to see that your death was temporary,” she said with a grin to Merrie. “I’ll admit, I was worried that I would never see my good girl again.”

Merrie shivered at hearing the phrase “good girl.” Years ago, Bass had imprinted it into her, causing a flush of pleasure every time someone said the words. Her tail thumped faster.

Kirin grabbed one of the bottles. Using her thumb, she snapped off the head off and took a long swig of it. The broken glass from the bottle cascaded off her knuckles and to the ground.

Up close, Merrie could feel energy gathering inside Kirin, it came as she chugged the bottle with casual grace but surprising speed. She gulped loudly as the sounds grew more hallow. Kirin let out a gasp when she finished. She set down the empty bottle with a clink. “Want to tell me what happened?”

(How far back?)

“Start with the day you left the Guild with that paladin, Gillette.”

Merrie shuddered with the memory of the paladin who almost killed her. She thought back for a moment, working through the hazy memories that had faded with the long periods of agony. (Gillette was a trap.)

She closed her eyes as sorrow rose up. (He killed Thorn and Tamin.)

Both Scorch and Kirin shuddered at the pain that Merrie accidentally projected.

Kirin rested her hand on Merrie’s shoulder. “Can you show me?”

With a deep breath, she cast a spell to dredge her memories and began to project the detailed images and emotions into both Kirin and Scorch.