“No, that will blow it up!”
“It won’t blow it up, that’s why you feed it through a capacitor.”
“Capacitor, capacitor! That’s all you say. You’re making up words again!”
I took a breath to collect myself while Lilith glared at me. The two of us had been arguing for a while now. No, more like we’d been arguing since we started building this airplane. The more I played around with magical runes, the more I seemed to glean some understanding of them. The most complex ones, in many ways, we’re like electrical circuits. However, magical circuitry didn’t exist at the same level as electrical circuitry and trying to get Lilith to understand electrical concepts was proving to be taxing.
“How about we have a lunch break?” Mia broke in, trying to cut into the dark atmosphere between the pair of us.
She had two plates with sandwiches on them which she had made for the two of us. It was pretty clear to me that Lilith wouldn’t eat if someone didn’t shove a plate of food under her. It wasn’t that she didn’t get hungry. It was more that she was just strangely thoughtless when it came to such things.
“F-fine…” Lilith threw out her hands and pulled a plate from Mia’s hand. “But don’t touch my magical runes!”
Lilith stalked away, going to eat her food in private. She was the kind of girl who always seemed just a bit lonely. She kept her distance from both Mia and me, although it was definitely a greater difference from me. The two of us had linked our magic a couple of times, but unlike with Lyra, I didn’t feel any closer to this mysterious woman. I understood her origins a bit better now. She was the direct descendant of a woman who had encountered the Demon Lord’s inheritance. She possessed 1/4th of his power and some of his memories. In that way, she was a lot like me, although I seemed to have kept none of the power from the inheritance.
I sighed, referring back to the drawings in my hands. In front of us was roughly a small plane in shape. With Lilith’s power, it was surprisingly easy to make a plane design. I just had to tell her how I wanted the metal to sit, and she managed to make it. The construction of the frame barely took a day. Now, we were working on the innards. That was the magical engine which would allow this thing to run. I hoped the plane would be flying by tomorrow. I’d lose three days, but there was really no choice in the matter.
If everything worked out, she didn’t plan to set off the explosives until immediately before the voting. I couldn’t really say exactly why I thought that she might be putting it off. Perhaps it was just wishful thinking. Perhaps, I had it in my mind that Terrah wanted to escape and had the best chance if it was near the end of the visit. Delegates wouldn’t be willing to stay for a prolonged investigation, and she could more easily slip away.
In politics, a week was an eternity. Likely, the two councilmen had been spending this entire week plotting, likely using my own death as Caleb to help further their narrative. That meant that when they were both knocked out, it would put a massive blow on any agreements they had made over the week. If their negotiations created a structure, it made more sense to blow that structure up at its source after it was built rather than before it was started. This was the best way to ensure there was absolutely no way the men could find a way to retaliate.
Mia grabbed the papers in my hand and then softly pulled them away. She placed them down on the table, and then put the food in front of me.
“You must eat as well,” She said with a no-nonsense tone. “You’re still very weak from your premature wake. You need to take better care of your body.”
She had her hands planted on her hips and a stubborn look on her face. With her big belly, holding my offspring, and the apron she chose to wear, Mia was exceptionally cute, and I found myself unable to say no to her at all. I smiled and put my thoughts of Amaryllis aside for a few minutes, picking up the sandwich she had prepared for me herself. In the mansion, no one knew how to cook, and we actually hired a cook to take care of most meals. The same could be said about the palace. Most of my meals were done by a professional, and even simple things like sandwiches weren’t usually made.
However, Mia was the woman I knew who was closest to a commoner. Her mother simply owned a successful grocer, and thus Mia wasn’t like any of the other women that attended Amaryllis Academy. She knew how to cook and sew and was much more down to earth. This resonated with my experiences from before I came to this world, even if they felt distant and vague at this point. After four years in another world, I barely remembered what it was like to be an adult, even the crappy one I had turned out to be.
“Thank you.” I gave Mia a smile as I bit into a turkey and cheese sandwich.
Food like this made me nostalgic for the world I used to live in. I couldn’t help but sigh in satisfaction as I took another bite. I noticed that Mia wasn’t leaving. Instead, she pulled a seat across from me and put down another plate of her own. She moved slowly and methodically, taking her time while keeping one hand to help her support her back and the giant baby weight.
“How have you been doing?” I asked, realizing that since I had come here, I hadn’t really had a chance to talk to her.
I had started on constructing the plane almost immediately. While it was true I had run into Mia more recently than any of the other girls in my life such as my sisters and aunt, it was still a good reason to celebrate any time I was with family. I did consider Mia family. I didn’t think we’d marry in any official capacity, but she was the mother of one of my children. Technically, she would be the first boy born and the first baby from someone who wasn’t directly related to me.
Then again, I wondered if it was even incestuous. After all, when I died and was put into Caleb’s body, my children were born at 50/50. I knew enough about biology to know that children were decided by the sperm of the father. Even if Clyburn was for some reason different, Caleb was sterile until I took over his body. I didn’t believe that the poison that killed him somehow fixed this problem. I hadn’t confirmed it, but I suspected that Caleb’s children came out 50/50 as well.
Would they genetically be his? Or would they be mine? On that note, was my genetics a part of my soul, or my body? For all I knew, my mother Morgan’s child and Rose were both children of the original me from another world. Didn’t they have to be? Clyburn was born in this world. Only my soul traveled from another world, and now Lilith claimed she detected that same thing in the body of my children. It was for that reason I suspected that these children were biologically mine. Then again, in my old world, I was sterile… maybe it was better if I just didn’t think about these things so much.
“It’s been a crazy couple of months,” Mia spoke lightly while sipping a drink out of a thermos. “I’d never imagine I’d be in another country doing stuff like this. I’ve been to old libraries, demonic ruins, and I even met a shadowman.”
Huh? What’s a shadowman? I decided not to ask. Mia seemed genuinely happy when she spoke about what she had done, even though a lot of it sounded a bit scary to me. I personally felt like my life had been far too exciting of recent. I didn’t want to be in life or death situations. I didn’t want to explore the world. I had left the mansion for various reasons, but I still preferred to stay at home. If I had a choice, I’d return to the mansion immediately and live out the rest of my days without ever leaving Amaryllis again.
We chatted for a bit as I ate, catching up as to everything that had happened after the pair of them had fled Matahari. From what Mia claimed, very little had happened. They had set up a base nearby and had lived mostly in hiding ever since, right under the nose of the Queen. When it came to Rebecca and Ashton, they had no clue where they were. Lilith was still working on healing me and removing Mia’s curse before she started to search for the next Demon Lord’s castle.
As to where it was, she didn’t know the exact location, but just a general position. I suggested that the Demons might already be there, but Mia didn’t seem as worried. It was almost a fluke that the Demon Lord castle was discovered under Matahari. If these places were easier to find, then they would have been found at some point over the last thousand years or so. Lilith’s family had notes and guesses about where they were, but largescale mining expeditions like the one that Matahari pulled off were hard to pull off on a guess. If the demons did try something like that again, Lilith was on the lookout.
“What do you think, about her?” I asked cautiously, glancing at where Lilith had left to eat by herself.
Mia followed my line of sight and then shrugged. “Lilith is Lilith. She’s just trying to follow what her family started. She’s doing the best that she can. She’s a bit of a mess, though. If I wasn’t helping her out, I think she’d be in a worse situation.”
“Is that so…” I said, tapping my finger on the table, “She seems very sad to me. Kind of isolated and lonely.”
“I try to give her company when I can, but she’s had a burden placed on her by generations of family. Her very name strikes fear in the hearts of millions. She has a reputation as a natural disaster. It has to wear on her a lot.”
“Hmmm… that reminds me, how does the next line of Lilith come along?”
I coughed. “ I mean, naturally, she had a mother, and that mother had to have her somehow.”
Mia blushed and touched her own stomach as if reminding herself about the baby inside her. “Well, I’m sure it happens eventually. She’ll find a man, have a baby, and then raise it up. W-wait… you’re not saying you want to be the father of-“
“Ah!” I let out a noise and almost stood up. “That… I’m not even interested in little girls!”
“I mean… I know that you’re a man and you must impregnate a lot of women, but Lilith isn’t exactly someone you can claim on your-“
“No, no, no, no…” I shook my head. “I’m not saying that. I was just curious about her history, that is all! I didn’t mean anything like that!”
Mia still looked suspicious, but thankfully she dropped the subject. Although, now that I thought about it, my magic was a little weird. What would happen if I slept with Lilith? I’ve connected my magic with her and nothing ever happened. However, I also remember absorbing the demon inheritance and watching all of that power sucked into a black hole. Would the same thing happen to her inheritance? At that moment, Lilith returned from eating solitude, and my eyes fell on her.
She was cute in many ways, and although she looked young, she definitely didn’t appear much younger than Kemala despite her small body. No, that wasn’t right at all. She was actually older than I was, she just happened to have that kind of body because of genetics or something. She was a loli-baba, that was what she was… although she really wasn’t quite old enough to be called a baba. Wouldn’t that make her a loliojosama. Nevermind that, I turned away deliberately, even though Mia was still looking at me with narrowed eyes.
“She’s here…” Lilith said, not seeming to notice the awkward atmosphere from the conversation we were having a moment ago.
“Who is here?” I asked curiously.
“You all have a lot of guts!” A voice yelled out from the room Lilith was just in.
Before she could reply, the door she had come out of was kicked open and someone came strutting through. Upon seeing her, I immediately got goosebumps shooting up and down my arms. I was the one who had suggested her, but it still left me feeling very uncomfortable. Unfortunately, we needed a pilot to fly an experimental plane, and I knew no one who would be able to take the risk except maybe this woman.
“Angela…” I said, not able to keep the sigh out of my voice one bit.
Oh, thank the gods, she wasn’t pregnant. I found myself exceptionally happy that Caleb hadn’t sealed the deal with her as I’d managed to do with so many other women. I didn’t want that kind of baggage to deal with.
“You… you’re alive? The last I saw you, you were a shish kabob,” Angela sneered as she looked at me and then shot Lilith a look. “After the bunch of burned down my ship, why did you think I’d be willing to work with you again?”
“You kidnapped me!” I shot back.
“That was outside our control,” Lilith added. “Besides, I instructed you to bring Clyburn to us, not to ransack an entire ship!”
“Oh, I’m sorry, you said it was of the utmost importance!” Angela sniffed. “You said nothing about not hurting anybody.”
“I bet she also didn’t say anything about raping me either!” I snapped.
She held up her hands. “Perks of the trade? Besides… how was I supposed to know that you guys were buddy-buddy? For all I knew, you were their greatest villain. It’s rare in my business that people who are chummy must hire a girl like me to kidnap them. Your instructions should have been clearer.”
Lilith turned red, and Mia was grinding her teeth. It did answer a question I had been having since I was taken. They had hired her to bring me to them, but they didn’t condone her brutal actions. I still remembered the crew member who Angela had casually shot, not to mention all of the other innocent people on board that ship that she had destroyed. I had put it down to Lilith and Mia’s naivety that they trusted a woman like this to bring me home.
It seemed like after they had realized that I could make nondemonic babies, they wanted to sneak me away and inform me in private. From that innocuous event, my entire life had been this mess for the last half-year. In reality, I couldn’t really blame Angela, who acted to her orders. If I did blame her, I’d have to blame Mia and Lilith too, and I really couldn’t blame them. Lilith was the only reason I was alive right now, as well as the only reason Mia and my child were alive. Simply put, she was my benefactor. As Mia put it simply, her life was a mess.
“Enough of this reminiscing…” Lilith sighed. “I bought you from the slave market. You are my slave now, so you’ll do exactly what I say.”
“Oh? Is that so?” The way Angela spoke, there was a dangerous look in her eyes.
Lilith looked uncertain for a moment, but then her hands tightened and Angela let out a cry. She grabbed a collar that was placed around her neck, pulling at it as she cried out in pain. A few moments later, Lilith relaxed and looked away in embarrassment.
“My family was once forced into a slavery contract like that. I don’t like slavery at all. However, you’re like a rabid dog, Angela, and I can’t afford to have you off your leash.”
Angela lifted her head after the pain diminished, a sneer on her face. “You’ve got more balls than I took you for, girl. “
Lilith sniffed. “It doesn’t take anything to cause someone pain through a slavery collar. Rather, if I wasn’t such a coward, I’d free you.”
Those words caught Angela off guard. She seemed to look at Lilith thoughtfully for a moment. As for Lilith, she turned and pointed to the plane, however, her expression was uncertain. It wasn’t like we had it flying yet. She didn’t quite have the confidence that I had that this would even work.
Angela’s eyes followed where Lilith directed, but when she gave a blank look, I decided that I needed to step in. “It’s called an airplane. Rather than float through the air, it glides across at incredible speeds. I need you to pilot this thing to Amaryllis as quickly as possible.”
Her eyes widened for a second and then narrowed. “An airplane? It looks like a suicide glider that they used to use back in the war.”
I didn’t know what country Angela actually came from, so I had no clue what war she was discussing. However, it appeared like she had seen something like this before.
“You should be able to land this guy. Just get me to my mansion in Amaryllis. At that point, I’ll figure out what to do.”
“Hmmm… interesting…” She scratched her chin thoughtfully, “Well, if this can fly, then I’ll fly it.”
I let out a sigh of relief. She was in a slave collar, so she technically couldn’t refuse, but that didn’t mean that Angela couldn’t still cause use a load of trouble.
“You do have it flying, right?’ She suddenly added, causing me freeze.
“Ah… that’s a work in progress.”
Angela’s eyes narrowed, but I no longer cared. We had someone who would fly it. I didn’t even know if any of her flying experience up until now would prepare her to fly something like what we were building. However, I had only a few days left, and I had to try. The entire world of men was counting on me to stop that assassination attempt. Whatever else happened, I just knew I had to be there.
“Then… let’s end this.”