As soon as the screaming started, I grabbed my pants and put them on. Bala too leaped out from behind her sister and tossed a towed around herself, tying it with precision before grabbing a sword. The only one who hadn’t recovered herself was Saria, who was spasming from an orgasm on the bed after her sister had teased her relentlessly. She wasn’t a soldier or warrior and didn’t have the capacity to just shut off the excitement that wracked her body.
I immediately pushed out the door and walked into the hallway. Instantly, I frowned as I saw a strange scene at the end of the hallway. There was a well. As I watched it, a head started to rise out of the well. A young girl, soaked, with long black hair over her face, and a dress, started crawling until she reached the floor. For a moment, reality around her seemed to flicker like the static of a television.
“What in the hell?” I cursed, “Bala, are you seeing this?”
The wet girl with pale skin started crawling towards me. As she did, there was a low, throaty crackling noise coming from her throat. A feeling of intense fear shot through me. On Earth, I used to watch a lot of movies. One of the scariest was Ringu. Not the American version, the ring, but the original Japanese one. I admit I was terrified by the little girl. Now, she was walking towards me, and I couldn’t help but take a step back. Bala clearly hadn’t seen the movie, as she lunged forward with her sword.
“No, stop!” I cried out.
Bala’s sword slashed through the girl, but her body turned to static for a moment and she was untouched as Bala passed her by. The creature’s eyes peaked through its hair, and it suddenly moved toward me as if a tape had been put on fast forward. Not even knowing how to confront a nightmare turned to flesh, I was completely frozen.
Saria suddenly leaped in front of me in the room and held up her hand. A white magical power burst out, and the image evaporated like smoke.
Only with the little girl gone, did the grip on my heart fade. I let out a sound of relief.
“What the hell was that?” I demanded.
Saria gave me a surprised look. “You couldn’t tell? You’re a devilkin after all!”
I looked at her blankly for a second before I pieced it together. “An illusion?”
She nodded. “Mmm… and one that seemed to be based on a person’s greatest fear.”
“So, my Lord’s greatest fear is wet lolis.” Bala surmised
“That explains so much…” Saria’s expression brightened.
Still caught by the scene, it took me a second to realize the girls were teasing me. Although Bala’s face was expressionless, I could see the mirth in her eyes, and Saria was openly smirking! What? They had one threesome and now the two girls were going to team up on me? Well, that was the definition of a threesome but didn’t appreciate their candor given the events.
“Let’s go…” I took one turn and my eyes fell on a small midget.
He was giggling and holding a lollipop. “Saria… do you want a taste? Come… lick my loli!”
I suddenly found Saria grabbing me, her head hiding in my shoulder. I looked incredulously as the little man started running at us. He had a jester’s hat on and bad teeth, but he looked more comical than scary. Was this what the ring girl looked like to them?
Although Saria was in no state to dispel the illusion, I was a devilkin, after all. Now that I knew what it was, and it wasn’t targeting me, it was a simple manner to dispel it. With a wave of my hand, the dwarf jester disappeared. Once it was gone, Saria slowly pulled away. She wouldn’t meet my eyes.
“Sister got lost once when we were visiting a traveling show…” Bala began.
“I said it’s not important!” Saria punched Bala in the stomach.
Bala didn’t move but only grunted. Their relationship really had changed. In the past, Bala would have casually caught or dodged Saria’s fist and then ignored her. Letting her sister punch her again, well, it wasn’t normal, but it seemed normal to them. Saria seemed to blush as she looked at her sister, seeming guilty she had hit her.
“Bala, do you have any fears that we should worry about?” I demanded.
“Hmph… I fear nothing…” Bala responded sternly.
No sooner had she said that then a sudden loud moaning sound came from down the hallway, “Ahhhhhhhn…”
Bala’s face didn’t change in expression but steadily turned white as she stared down the hallway. The noise had come from just around the corner. There were indistinct shadows bouncing around, suggesting movement, but it was otherwise completely empty.
“We should go in the opposite direction.” Bala suddenly declared, turning without another word.
Strangely erotic sounds continued to come from that direction. There was a slapping sound, a shout, and then a moan. I couldn’t say that this didn’t leave me very curious.
“We really should dispel these illusions. It’s clear they can target others.” I said flatly.
“Mm… it’s our duty.” Saria nodded.
The pair of us started heading toward the noise. Bala made a squeaking noise that was quite cute as she suddenly ran back, trying to pull on our shirts. However, when it was clear neither of us was turning back, she held the back of our shirts with her head down, following us like a child who had been caught doing something naughty.
When we finally turned the corner, the sounds grew crisp, but the sight in front of us took a few moments to grasp. That was because what we were seeing was ourselves. Rather, there was a man that sort of looked like me, except his horns were long and twisted like that of a ram, my skin so darkly grey it was nearly black, and my eyes were glowing red. Saria was there too. Except, rather than an eloquent dress, she was wearing a leather corset, and in one hand was a whip.
She let out a maniacal laugh, and then struck a third person on the ass. That third person was Bala herself. She was butt naked and strapped to a table that resembled a medieval torture device.
“Hehehe… Bala’s been a naughty girl… naughty, naughty!” Saria laughed and whipped her behind.
“Bala, Bala, is a slut, why don’t you suck my big fat cock!” Sang Prince David.
The real Saria’s eyes had turned to pinpoints as she watched herself stepping on her sister and making her lick her toes. As for my form, he had a barbed dick and was whipping her with it before forcing it in her mouth. She had a cock and a foot being forced in her mouth, one from each side.
The real Bala leaped in front of us, frantically waving her hands to keep us from seeing it. “Stop! Stop! It’s an illusion! Just an illusion!”
“What kind of nightmare is this!” I finally snapped.
“I have two demons in my life… if they ever joined forces to torture me, that would be my greatest nightmare!” She finally admitted.
“You…” Saria said darkly.
“You think you’re afraid of us!” I growled. “I’ll show you real fear!”
Saria dragged her to the ground and started stepping on her. Meanwhile, I pulled out my dick.
“For offending this princess, you definitely must lick my feet!” Saria snapped.
“You think my cock is a nightmare? I’ll give you a nightmare!” I said, grabbing at her ass.
“Mmmmmaamamamm!” The pair of us heard a loud gurgling noise and looked up.
The Bala on the table had passed out with bubbles coming out of her mouth, but the two illusions of us weren’t looking at them. Rather, they were looking at us. Only then, did the both of us realize we had put Bala in a position almost identical to the one the nightmare illusion had performed. The illusion suddenly melted away, like a ghost. As our avatar’s disappeared, there was a strange look in their eyes as they watched us. Why did I just feel… judgment?
“You’re not better than me!” Saria cried out at her BDSM self as it faded away.
With the illusion gone, both of our anger seemed to grow under control. I fixed Bala’s underwear and pulled down her skirt, casually putting my dick away. Meanwhile, Saria pulled her foot out of Bala’s face.
“Still, it’s strange that the illusion disappeared, isn’t it?” Saria asked, trying to change the subject.
As I glanced at her, we both had the same realization. By making the real Bala experience her nightmare, did it cause her to resolve her fear? The pair of us looked down and saw that rather than being afraid, she was panting with a flushed face. Saria gave Bala a disgusted look as she stood up and brushed herself off.
“I must have… still had some of my lord’s blood in me, that is all.”
“Of course…” I responded awkwardly.
Listening, the screaming was still occurring across the fort. We had seriously been wasting time. We started walking once again. Every now and then, we’d run into an illusion. Whether there was a person accompanying that illusion, that was the question. We found a dead soldier who had been strangled by a girl with no eyes. We couldn’t make a mistake, these illusions were fatal if not dispersed.
Once seeing that people’s lives were truly in jeopardy, we speed things up, moving throughout the fort. Although Saria could dispel the illusions without me, I didn’t want to send her on her own. I was worried that our own illusions would return. I couldn’t describe the fear that clenched my heart at that moment, making me freeze. Either one of us could have died if we weren’t together.
As we went, we encountered a giant spider that filled the hallway, a ghostly creature with a high-pitched screech that nearly caused our ears to bleed, and even a small contingent of devilkin. Bala had been convinced the devilkin was real and even fought with them. Unlike the ring girl, her sword struck iron.
“I knew it!” Saria declared as Bala cut down a devil, “This was a devil plot all along.”
I sighed and shook my head, throwing out my hand. The devils disappeared in an instant, dissipating just like every other illusion.
Bala’s sword flew forward when the sword she was expecting to hit disappeared and she hit nothing. She looked back at me with shock.
“How did you know it was an illusion?”
I shrugged, deciding it wasn’t worth answering. It was actually pretty easy. Had they been devilkin, they definitely would have looked twice at me. If they were on a mission in this fort, they would surely be surprised to run into another devilkin. These guys had eyes that held nothing in them. They might as well have been dead.
It would make sense that more than one person in the five nations had a fear of devils. I felt it’d be too convenient finding devilkin running around. However, I couldn’t deny that this was devilkin magic. We were the best at illusions. The best, but not the only. Was it another conspiracy? If so, who was the person who was targeting this fort and why?
The two sisters didn’t meet my eyes for a bit after wrongly blaming it on devilkin. I didn’t mind. I had no connection to devilkin. Even if it had been them, I would have gladly cut them down myself. As I was passing near a room, I heard the sound of a woman wailing. Her cry was one of pure despair. If that was all, I wouldn’t have worried, except that I recognized the voice of the woman. It was my mother. I could also hear the low murmur of a male voice.
I immediately kicked open the door. What I saw was my mother in the corner, crying her eyes out as she curled up. Meanwhile, there was a man standing over her that looked just like me. Except, he had a cruel expression on his face.
“You’re not even my mother? How could I love a hideous creature like you!” He sneered.
Bala pulled her sword out and decapitated the man before either of us could dispel it.
“Y-you didn’t even hesitate!” I cried.
She looked back at me. “Oh… it was a nightmare version…”
“Tsk…” I made an irritated noise as Saria chuckled.
Was it because I pushed her down earlier? Or was it because I took away her opportunity to kill devilkin. I rolled my eyes and ignored both sisters. After what we did earlier, both girls were surprisingly relaxed despite what was going on. I glanced over at mom, who seemed almost incoherent as she muttered to herself.
I could guess what happened. I had promised her to come to the chambers set up for me, and so she did, but I wasn’t there since I was in Bala’s room. So, she probably slept on my bed waiting until I came back, only to have an illusion walk through the door and instantly begin to berate and hate her, causing her worst nightmare to become a reality.
“Mother…” I said.
However, she barely responded to that voice. It was the same voice that had been saying horrible things to her for the last half-hour.
“That was a nightmare creature.” I tried to explain it to her. “You’re my mother, always. Everything that creature said, was a lie!”
She shuddered for a second, but then slowly looked up. Even though she had been sobbing her heart out and her eyes were red, she still was ridiculously beautiful.
“S-so… it’s a lie that rather than spend time with your mom, you were fornicating with two elf princesses?”
“Geh!” Just what did that illusion know!
“Saria… Bala… can you give us a moment?” I asked.
The two women gave me an odd look, but they left the room anyway.
“Mother,” I turned back to her, “I love you.”
“H-how can I know it’s true?” She asked, looking pouty, but alluring at the same time.
I grabbed her, and then kissed her. Our tongues started to explore each other’s mouths, and it grew more and more heated. My hands found their way to her chest. She let out moans as I fondled her. If I had to sleep with my mother to help her overcome this trauma, I absolutely would! She started fumbling with my pants.
“Ahem.” The sound of a woman clearing her throat caused both of us to freeze.
I pulled away from mom and then looked to see Aeryn standing there with her arms crossed. There was a blush on her face that didn’t match the expression she was wearing. I realized that her room was connected to my room. She must have entered from there.
“Aeryn… ah…” I pulled away from mom quickly. “I was just showing mom… my… um… love…”
“I see that…” She looked down at my pants, where I had an erection.
Mother stood up brushing her dress off. “Well, only my true son kisses me like that, so naturally, I’m convinced that thing was a fake!”
She spat at the head of the illusion, which was still there. I know she was making a point, but it was still was an illusion of my head. I’d appreciate it if people didn’t spit on it.
“Aeryn, have you encountered anything that causes you to feel fear? Illusion magic has gone amok and is making nightmares become reality.”
“I did,” Aeryn said shortly.
I blinked. “Um… do you care to explain?”
I frowned stepping up to her and noticing various scrapes and cuts on her skin. Although she didn’t say anything, it was clear that she had experienced something frightening.
“Aeryn, it didn’t… by chance, take the form of something like me?”
“Hmph… conceited!” She spun around and walked out the door.
I told the mother to stay put in this room with the door locked. She listened to me for once and I followed Aeryn. We joined up with Saria and Bala and then continued on. Aeryn was quiet and didn’t mention her experience at all. Actually, no one wanted to talk about their experience. We continued on until we reached the courtyard.
At that point, a small girl suddenly emerged from the water. She had her hair over her eyes. Bala immediately flashed.
“Another wet loli!” She exploded towards it, ready to cut it down in exchange for the one she had failed at.
“You’re a hundred years too young!” A wall of water rose up between them and then slammed into Bala, causing her to break off her attack. “What the hell is the big idea?”
The woman pulled her hair apart, revealing Baba who was glowering at us with an angry face.
“Baba should be mindful of my lord’s fears before she takes a bath!” Bala declared.
I held up my hand stopping her from talking. I had known the moment I saw her that she wasn’t an illusion.
“That’s not… forget it.” Explaining would be annoying.
Baba shrugged. “Whatever… I wasn’t taking a bath. There are damn mermaid illusions in the water. I saw some idiot man wandering in to drown himself, and when I tried to stop him, they dragged me in too!”
“Do you have any idea where these nightmare illusions are coming from?” I asked.
She shook her head. “This magic is unusual. It feels like it is coming from the land itself.”
“It’s come every night for the last week,” Ayda said, walking out of the darkness towards them.
She was wearing her armor and was followed by a dozen other men who had their weapons drawn. They were all staring off into the night like they were afraid something might leap out. Given this night, it was possible that something would.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” I demanded.
“I’m glad to see my niece has recovered quickly.” Ayda ignored me, walking up and holding the hands of Bala.
Bala nodded in acceptance. “Aunt Ayda.”
Ayda sighed and finally turned to me as I continued to glare at her. “Would it have made a difference had we told you? We’ve lost half our men to these nightmares made flesh. They’ve all been on edge. This is why, when a devilkin showed up at our door, he shot. When you came, we were setting up a magical ward to repel this. I even asked the grand magus to check it. Had it worked; you’d have never experienced a single problem.”
“Clearly, this isn’t traditional illusion magic.” Baba said, “It’s something older.”
At that moment, there was a thudding sound on the front gate.
“Oh, what now?” Ayda cursed, gesturing for some of the men to go up to the wall.
The first man to look over gave Ayda a signal. She nodded and turned to the men at the gate.
The door started to creak open, and then a hand full of cloaked people walked in. Several of them lowered their hoods as they entered, revealing that they were elves. The men by Ayda’s side immediately began to breath easier. The person in charge, however, as soon as their eyes landed on me, they started walking straight toward me. They moved slightly fast, making me want to step back and grab my sword. However, they stopped just short of me and looked up.
“Well, what do I have here, nya?”
“Nya?” I repeated her word.
The person suddenly stomped on my foot. “Don’t nya me, nya!”
The girl pulled back her hood, revealing a face I had only ever seen in paintings. She had jet-black hair, cat ears on her head, and a somewhat short physique that put her as smaller than even Saria.
“Hello, sister Olivia.”