Rilliana and Trisha

by TheLargeEmpty

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© Copyright 2022 - TheLargeEmpty - Used by permission

Storycodes: F/f; fantasy; majick; vacbed; vaccube; latex; catsuit; bond; cons; X

Continues from

Part 9: Conscience

Jeffrey and Rilliana rode the carriage most of the day until they finally arrived at a barren field. The sun was already very low as Jeffrey climbed down the carriage and helped Rilliana free herself from the blanket.

"I suppose Miss Trisha showed you how to use this?" asked Jeffrey, tossing Rilliana a sword which she caught deftly.

The elf nodded and swung the sword back and forth a few times in rehearsal.

"Go ahead then, attack me!" he demanded, raising his blade.

"Are you sure Jeffrey? The blade seems sharp…" said Rilliana as Jeffrey rushed forward and struck at her. Instinctively, the elf blocked his sword and looked at him in disbelief.

"I said attack me!" he repeated, shoving her backwards.

Rilliana stumbled back and fell over a stone that was behind her.

"Dodge this!" he roared, leaping after her. He swung his sword high above his head and let it crash to the ground where Rilliana had just been lying, had she not rolled to the side at the last moment.

"Are you insane?" asked Rilliana, standing up while Jeffrey pulled his sword out of the ground.

"Ohhoho I'm perfectly fine," said Jeffrey, examining his blade to see if the ground had damaged it, "You're the one we're worried about."

"I told you, I'm good…" again she was interrupted as Jeffrey struck her a slash and she parried and deflected the strike with her sword. Her blade began to vibrate, and her hands began to shake from it.

"Where is the warrior who has been with me for the last few days?" asked Jeffrey and struck her with another blow. Rilliana tried to block the swing again, but she lost her grip on her sword, and it flew out of her hand into the dirt in a high arc.

Rilliana clicked her tongue in disappointment and bent down for the sword when she saw Jeffrey's blade out of the corner of her eye. He hit her full force with the flat side of the sword and Rilliana's breath caught.

"Was that really necessary?" asked Rilliana, kneeling on the floor and gasping for breath.

Jeffrey didn't dignify the question with a response and said, "Pick up your sword and get ready!"

Rilliana gulped. She picked up the sword again and faced him.

This time he did not ask her to attack him and took the initiative. He struck with his sword and Rilliana had to use both hands to block the blade. In a flash he repositioned his blade and again Rilliana's sword flew out of her hands. This time the elf dodged his blade, which again flew in her direction, but did not manage to escape his foot, which hit her in the stomach and threw her backwards. Rilliana rolled across the ground to lie trembling in the dirt.

"Pick up your sword and get ready!" he repeated, waiting for her to stagger to her feet and raise her blade.

This time Rilliana had enough and put the last of her strength into a slash that he effortlessly blocked. He feinted, pretending a blow to her right side but changed direction at the last moment, as she readied her sword to parry the blow. Rilliana went down for the third time and remained face up. Tears streamed down her face as he stood over her and sank the sword into the ground beside her head.

"What was that all about? If you wanted to have a one-sided fight you might as well have given me a butter knife!"

"Can we talk now or do you still prefer to lie to me and your friends?"

Rilliana nodded weakly. "We can talk," she murmured and accepted his hand as he tried to help her up.

Jeffrey led Rilliana up a hill with a large rock on top. He helped her up and climbed after her. He sat down and motioned Rilliana to do the same. The elf looked down into the valley that lay below them, illuminated by the full moon in a cold light.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" asked Jeffrey, looking up at the moon.

Rilliana said nothing. She waited to hear what he wanted to tell her, anything that might ease her conscience.

"If you want to know if I know any spells that can help you, I'm sorry to disappoint you. There is no such thing, but I can help you work through it, so you can move forward on your own," he said as he continued to watch the moon rise.

"All these people… They had friends and families and I took them from them," murmured Rilliana.

"Yes you did, but what if you hadn't? Then Celine wouldn't have a sister now. I wouldn't be able to get back to my children. Lady Terra could never clear her name, and you? You could never travel this world, save it, explore its wonders and mysteries."

"But they can't do that now either!"

"Yes… But they have also chosen to devote their lives to a man without honor."

"I suppose you mean that Trisha's father is more honorable than Faluden?"

Jeffrey snorted. "Not by a long shot. They both have their bad sides and one day I may lose my life because of my loyalty to Trisha's father, but it was my choices that got me there. So were those of the men you killed in the last few days."

"That helps me less than you might be thinking right now."

Jeffrey laughed out loud. "I didn't expect you to, but you asked. No, what I'm saying is that you have a good heart, Rilliana. That it was so hard for you to kill those men, and now you're so worried about it is testimony to that."

"Does it ever get easier?"

"Gods no! But as long as you protect the living who are important to you and honor the dead, you can continue to live and enjoy it together with Trisha."

Rilliana exhaled heavily. Jeffrey put his hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently. "Do you want to go back?"

"Yes… And… Thank you, Jeffrey."

He nodded to her and escorted her back to the carriage.

The morning was already over as Celine lay on her couch with a glass of wine in her hand. She was browsing through a book, trying to figure out where her spell had failed after the magic in her choker had worn off, and she was finally able to take it off. Instead of the dress she was forced to wear, she had put on one of her catsuits, which shone darkly in the sunlight and left no room for imagination. She swirled her glass as she skipped a passage that didn't help her. "Mmmmhhmmm!" said Trisha to get her attention, but Celine ignored her and sipped from her wine as if her sister was not present.

There was a knock at the door. Celine exhaled heavily and flipped her book closed. "Coming!" she called, yawning loudly as she opened the door.

Standing in front of her were Rilliana, who looked a little worn but had a more cheerful expression than yesterday, and Jeffrey, who blushed when he saw Celine's outfit and quickly turned away.

"Miss Celine, do I need to remind you that I have worked for your father since you were a small child and I have no interest in seeing you like this?" said Jeffrey and you could see that he was desperately trying to erase the image from his mind.

"Sorry Jeffrey. Won't happen again," she said, laughing and gently pulled Rilliana into her arms.

"If only that were true," he said, and took the horses to the stables to finally give them some rest.

"How are you feeling sweetie?" asked Celine, gently stroking Rilliana's head.

"Better… I think. I'm not sure yet, but I think I can move forward now…" Rilliana murmured into Celine's shoulder, "What are you doing right now?" she added as she broke free from Celine's embrace and looked at her catsuit.

"I'm just glad I finally got out of this dress Terra will probably have some more of it, she's upstairs still sleeping."

"And Trisha?"

"Trisha? Oh, you mean my new piece of art! It looks truly AMAZING above my sofa!" said Celine, walking into the living room.

"It?" asked Rilliana amused, closing the door and following her.

Celine stood in front of her sofa, her arms on her hips, beaming at the wall. Rilliana entered the living room and opened her mouth in shock when she saw what Celine had done to her girlfriend. A picture frame was fixed over Celine's sofa and Trisha was pressed against the wall by a big slime sheet, stretched in its middle. Rilliana could see every detail of her girlfriend through the black layer, that's how tightly the material enclosed the shifter.

"Celine what is this?"

"I already told you!" said Celine, tickling Trisha's foot. Immediately the shifter started shrieking and twitching. However, both were suppressed by the canvas and Celine just kept going without paying attention to her sister. Only when Trisha's screams began to sound distressed did Celine stop and look at Rilliana with her broad smile. The elf didn't know what to say until Celine spoke up. "This, dear friend, is a vacuum bed. After Trisha laughed so heartily at Terra's and my clothes yesterday I decided to turn her into an overpriced piece of art. So… What do you think?"

Rilliana stroked her hand over Trisha's thigh and her friend started shaking again. "Does it hurt her?" asked Rilliana.

"No, no. The bed enhances our touches and at the same time it applies pressure all over her body after I have sucked all the air out of it."

Rilliana saved herself the trouble of asking if her friend wouldn't have to suffocate and pinched Trisha's stomach through the varnish. The shifter squealed loudly. "Celine?"


"Do you have another one of those?"

"I thought you'd never ask." Celine had removed the dining table from the living room and placed a black cube between the chairs instead. Rilliana, meanwhile, had put on her catsuit and was surveying her soon-to-be prison.

"It's different from Trisha's, though." she remarked as she was pushed through a small opening in the side by Celine.

"Always the same is boring. Besides, Terra should be awake soon, and I'd love to talk about her business."

"And what does that have to do with the cube?" heard Celine, the elf asking in a muffled voice.

"I wanted to show her my new table!" exclaimed Celine, starting to take the air out of the cube.

Rilliana frowned in confusion as she sat down in the dark cube and touched the walls as well as the metal frame.

"Celine is something happening there too?"

"Make yourself comfortable, this will take a little while!" Rilliana heard her mistress' voice.

The elf pressed against the walls for a test and felt that with every second, she encountered more resistance, and she felt that they were getting closer and closer.

First the floor pressed against her butt and lifted her slightly, then the walls pressed against her back and from one moment to the next her whole body was enclosed.

She could barely move as the walls wrapped around her without a gap and Rilliana was stuck as if she had been frozen in a block of ice. The elf's breath caught in her throat. She felt hugged and squeezed from all sides at once, and at the same time it felt forbiddingly sensual as she tried to fight the slime walls.

"How does it feel?" she heard Celine say.

"MMMHMMMH!" was all Rilliana could say as her mouth was pressed shut.

"Fine! Let's see how you…"Celine said before she suddenly fell silent.


Rilliana didn't hear a reply, but she felt someone stroking her body and she immediately got goosebumps.

"This feels amazing!" thought Rilliana, and felt all the tension that had built up in her, over the last few days vanish as Celine massaged her body.

Celine heard footsteps coming down the stairs. She stood up from the cube Rilliana was in and grinned at Terra who was still trapped in a white dress and standing in the doorway with her mouth open when she saw Trisha and Rilliana's state.

"What's this?" asked Terra, running her hand down Rilliana's back.

"These are my creations. I call them vacuum beds… Although this is more like a cube. I build them out of a couple of simple materials and my inventions, with a touch of magic," said Celine, placing a glass plate on the cube, so they could use Rilliana's prison as a table.

"Can they see us?" asked Terra, waving her hand around in front of Rilliana's face.

"Not right now, while they are in there they can't see or hear anything unless I allow them to. Speaking, of course, is also out of the question, except for the occasional groan," said Celine, giving the elf a light slap on the butt. As if on cue, the elf gave a startled moan.

"I must have this for my girls!" said Terra, admiring the shiny black bodies of Trisha and Rilliana.

"Why do you think I turned Rilliana into a table? Sit down, we have a lot to talk about."

Rilliana woke up from her trance when her prison lost pressure and made a squelching sound. Celine's hand appeared in the cube and gently pulled the elf out.

"You did a good job Rilliana. I've made the deal of a lifetime with Terra… As soon as she takes over her business again," said Celine, helping her lie down on the sofa where Trisha was already lying. She wrapped her charges together in a thick blanket and pressed a kiss to both of their foreheads.

"Thank you mistress," both mumbled and snuggled up to each other.

"That's two darlings you have there," whispered Terra who had been watching from the doorway.

Celine said nothing and just nodded while putting on a warm smile.

They went into Celine's workshop to look at more products as Terra's choker finally ran out of magic and her princess dress disappeared into thin air, and she was back to her normal clothes.

"Finally!" she moaned and took off the choker to give it back to Celine.

"How did you like it?" asked Celine who took the collar and put it back with the others.

"Let's get back to the question when you get these things fixed," Terra said, but had a hint of red on her cheeks.

"I think as an apology and for the successful business deal, I have a little gift for you," said Celine, rummaging around in a closet until she pulled out a catsuit and handed it to Terra.

"I can't accept this," said Terra, taking a few steps back.

"I'm begging you. You've only had eyes for the suits since we each put one on, and you were still stuck in the dress. Come try it on."

Terra bit her lower lip and carefully accepted the suit.

"You can change here. I'll fix us something to eat while you do that. Have fun" Celine said and winked at her.

Terra stood in Celine's workshop and admired her body covered in a black catsuit. Her long black hair fell down her back, causing a tingling sensation when it came in contact with the suit. "By the gods… Now I know why Trisha talked so dismissively about my bondage gear." she muttered. The catsuit fit her like a glove, and she imagined what else could be made with this strange material. "Celine? Can I look around a bit?" she asked aloud but got no answer. "I'm sure she won't mind," she thought and took a closer look at Celine's inventions.

She made a wide arc around the chokers she had already made acquaintance with and discovered a sleeping bag on one of the pedestals that was made of the same material as her suit. It was cut much tighter than her leather ones. Terra suspected because the material was so stretchy and didn't rely on being shrunk with magic.

In a large vat, she discovered a slimy pink substance. A piece of paper was attached to it with various names for the substance written on it, but always crossed out. At the end of the list was written "Latex?" Celine seemed to have trouble finding a name for her invention, but Terra liked the sound of "Latex" and took a pen from the work surface and crossed out the question mark behind the name.

When she put the pen back, her hand bumped into an apple-sized sphere lying on the table. It had a black coloring and next to it were three other spheres, one white, one in wine red and one silver. She took the black sphere in her hand and examined it. It appeared to be perfectly smooth except for a groove that ran once around it. "Maybe it can be opened?" she asked herself and tried to turn the sphere.

The sphere did turn, but instead of opening, the line began to pulse with a blue light. She curiously put the sphere aside and turned the other spheres. The white one got a red line, the red one a black line and the silver one a golden line. Fascinated, she placed the spheres next to each other and admired Celine's work until she noticed that the lights were pulsing faster and faster. Terra frowned nervously and picked up the black orb to try to turn it off again, but it wouldn't turn back. Instead, her fingers were now glued to the sphere. "Celine?" asked Terra worriedly as she desperately tried to loosen her fingers.

The light from the sphere pulsed faster until it glowed permanently. Blue liquid suddenly leaked from the sphere which attached itself to her hands and spread over her arms. Terra wrenched her eyes open in horror and tried to brush the liquid off the table, but it continued to cover her arms until it reached her shoulders and began to spread over her torso. Terra panicked and hit the table with the sphere, causing the other ones to fall down and roll towards the door. Terra was about to follow them to ask Celine for help when the liquid poured over her lower body and prevented her from walking as it fused her legs together. She lost her balance and fell to the ground. The liquid seemed to break her fall, but still it took her breath away when she hit the ground. "Celine…!" was the last thing Terra could scream as the blue mass crawled over her neck, closing her mouth and taking away her sight. She felt the sphere finally part and her arms were forced by the spheres to cross over her breasts.

"Terra, dinner is ready. Are you all right?" asked Celine who opened her workshop dressed in a cooking apron over her catsuit. She froze when she saw Terra's body lying on the floor in front of her. Celine saw the blue mass covering every fiber of her body, and she was desperately trying to free herself from it. Too late, Celine noticed that the other three spheres were rolling towards her and the silver one was jumping at her like one of her slimes. The sphere splattered her entire front with golden liquid so that she could not call out a warning or cast a spell.

Celine stumbled back against the wall as the silver sphere parted and settled in her palms. More gold came pouring out of the spheres and pinned the mage to the wall. Her body was covered and mummified in no time. Her hands had also been placed over her breasts. When the liquid was done with her, she squirmed against the wall a hand's width from the floor, slowly noticing how the gold became more and more viscous until she could barely move.

"Terra… Why do you have to touch everything at once?" Celine asked herself, annoyed, hoping that at least her charges wouldn't get caught up in her inventions. Trisha and Rilliana were still lying arm in arm on the sofa, resting from their experiences in the vacuum beds. Rilliana blinked as she heard noise in the hallway and peered over the edge of the sofa. She saw nothing, but carefully slipped out from under the covers so as not to wake Trisha. Rilliana stretched. She stumbled over a wrinkle in the carpet, but didn't care as she caught the smell of Celine's food and went through the second living room door directly into the kitchen without taking the detour across the hall. A pot was bubbling on the stove and the lid was threatening to be thrown off. Rilliana quickly rushed to it and lifted it from the hearth.

She put out the fire and looked around the kitchen. "Celine? Terra?" She asked but got no answer. She shrugged, put down plates for everyone and gave each a portion of the stew. Her stomach growled loudly as she put the food on her plate, but she held back and looked out into the hallway. Rilliana noticed that the door to Celine's workshop was open and rose to get Celine and Terra, who were probably trying out some invention. The elf yawned loudly as she stepped into the hallway and squinted tightly, not noticing that Celine was trapped in a golden cocoon next to her on the wall.

It wasn't until she opened her eyes again and saw Terra's blue prison on the floor of the workshop that adrenaline shot through her body and she heard a low moan behind her. Rilliana whirled around and saw Celine's mummified body. She didn't dare to try to free her, though, because a red sphere came flying at her from the kitchen and Rilliana barely dodged it. She rolled to the side and ran into the living room to warn Trisha, skidding to a halt when she saw Trisha's body also mummified in red. "Trisha isn't wriggling like Terra or Celine, so she seems to still be asleep." thought Rilliana and looked around for something sharp. She heard something rolling across the floor behind her and instinctively ducked back to the side. Unfortunately, the sphere seemed to have considered her dodge and hit her dead center.

Panicked, Rilliana stood up and tried to brush the ball off while a black liquid oozed out of it, restricting her movements more and more with each passing second. She stumbled over the fold of carpet again, but couldn't catch herself this time, fell to the floor and stayed glued to it. Annoyed, she just lay there and waited until the black mass had completely engulfed her. She felt herself being turned on her back and the sphere crossed her arms. Rilliana's stomach growled again and began to ache. Now Rilliana knew why Trisha couldn't like mages, but decided to make the best of her situation and wriggled in her cocoon. A sensual moan was heard in the living room as Rilliana playfully tried to escape from her prison.

Jeffrey closed the door of the servants' house behind him and went to the main house. He drew on a pipe and inhaled the smoke with relish as he thoughtfully pulled a letter from his pocket addressed to Trisha and Rilliana. A hurried messenger had given the letter to Jeffrey after knocking unsuccessfully on the main house.

Jeffrey took his key and put it in the lock. He opened the door and drew in air sharply through his pipe when he found Celine's body in a skin-tight golden cocoon.

"I need a raise." he muttered and walked back to the employee's house with his face flushed.

Some days later

Rilliana sat in a hut, outside Leon's Keep and meditated. She was reviewing the past days before her eyes and was thinking about the upcoming mission.

After Trisha, Terra, Celine and herself had fallen victim to one of Celine's inventions and were only freed by Jeffrey in the evening, she and Trisha had received a letter from him. Arissa, their gnomish friend, had written to them and offered them an opportunity that could ruin Faluden for good.

An informant wanted to send her sensitive information, but expected something in exchange.

Rilliana heard footsteps approaching and drew her dagger. There was a knock at the door in a certain rhythm and immediately the elf knew that it was her girlfriend and opened the door for her.

Trisha had met with the informant to find out what exactly the mission was about.

"Hey Rilli," said Trisha, pressing a kiss to Rilliana's cheek.

"Hey Trish. Did everything go smoothly?"

Trisha nodded and they sat down at a table.

"He said this was going to be a real easy mission," she rolled her eyes,

"Like this is the first time I've heard this. All we have to do is to steal a Golden Egg from Faluden's warehouse by the docks and bring it to the informant. After that, he can give Arissa anything to be able to bring Faluden down," said Trisha.

"Sounds too easy indeed. What's the catch?" asked Rilliana.

"Well we really only have to watch out for Faluden's henchmen and the city guard, the rest is actually routine for us. Quick in, quick out, just the way we like it."

"I assume you'll go inside while I keep an eye on the outside?"

Trisha nodded and started grinning.

"Nothing escapes your eyes, and I know you always have my back," she said, clasping Rilliana's hands.

"Count on me!" said Rilliana, stroking Trisha's paws with her thumbs.

"We actually have a little time before we have to leave," Trisha said, squeezing the elf's hands tighter, "Would you like to play a little first?"

"Now who's the bondage addict of the two of us," Rilliana asked with a laugh, "Let's save that for afterwards, then I'll have something to look forward to."

"As you wish princess," said Trisha, sighing exaggeratedly.

Rilliana and Trisha were lying on a bed together, waiting for sunset.

"Trisha? What are we going to do after the mission anyway?" asked Rilliana while stroking Trisha.

"What do you mean by that, Rilli? First you want to save our games for after the mission, and now you want me to tell you what I'm up to? Forget it!" replied Trisha laughing.

Rilliana didn't laugh, she looked at her friend seriously.

"No, I meant what our future will look like."

Trisha fell silent, and her smile disappeared.

"I know…" she murmured, "Arissa has offered to go on an adventure trip with her. She wants to leave for Yartar in a few weeks and look for work there."

"Sounds a little boring," said Rilliana.

"Or we could maybe move in with Celine. She always needs help gathering materials or testing her inventions. Since Faluden will soon be history Terra can go back to Onan's Rest and with Celine as a sponsor her store can only make a profit," said Trisha.

"Maybe we could go to Onan's Rest with Terra too," suggested Rilliana.

"Yeah… No. I think I've made enough of a statement about not wanting to work in her store," Trisha said, shaking at the thought.

"Mmhh… And we?" asked Rilliana.

"We stay together Rilli. Whatever comes!" said Trisha confidently and looked her girlfriend firmly in the eyes.

Finally, night had fallen and Rilliana and Trisha jumped from roof to roof under the cover of darkness. The suits Celine had given them were perfect for nighttime walks, and they were able to get to the docks unnoticed. Faluden's warehouse was only a stone's throw away, but they both sensed something big was coming and stopped in awe.

"So here we are," said Rilliana nervously and in a hushed voice through the mask she wore.

"Just in and out," murmured Trisha to reassure Rilliana.

Rilliana took her bow and shot a rope attached to a special arrow across the road to Faluden's warehouse.

When they were sure that no one would disturb them, they climbed along the rope to the roof and looked through a window into the hall. Trisha carefully opened it and let a rope slide down.

Trisha climbed through the window, however, still holding onto the ledge.

"Have my back," the shifter reminded the elf.

"For a kiss," the elf demanded and leaned forward. Trisha granted her this wish, and they kissed through the masks.

Trisha slid down the rope and began searching the crates for the egg.

Rilliana meanwhile let her gaze glide over the streets and houses, occasionally glancing through the window to see if no one was lying in wait for her in the darkness of the hall. It took Trisha a small eternity to pull the rope to give Rilliana the signal to pull up the egg.

"Man, this is heavy!" she muttered as she pulled it up. Rilliana was amazed when she held the melon-sized egg in her hands. It was made of gold and studded with jewels. With its ornate decorations, it was truly a magnificent treasure. Rilliana didn't hesitate any further and wrapped the egg in cloth and put it in a shoulder bag.

"Now just Trish and get out of here." thought Rilliana, tossing the rope down to her friend.

At that moment lights flickered on throughout the hall and Rilliana held her hands in front of her eyes to keep from being blinded.

"Well, well, well who do we have here? A little shifter lost in my halls?" asked Faluden's icy voice.

"I was just leaving," said Trisha, drawing her weapon, while Rilliana picked up her bow and started aiming at Faluden.

"I beg you Trisha. Do you really think I'm coming alone?" asked Faluden, snapping his fingers. Immediately, half a dozen of his henchmen appeared beside him, blocking Rilliana's field of fire.

"I suppose you're not alone either? Surely your little elf assassin is hanging around here somewhere?" he asked, surveying the hall.

"But it doesn't matter, I've got a specialist on her, and she's probably already dead."

"Specialist?" muttered a shocked Rilliana and looked up from the window, not a moment later a dagger pierced the air where her head had just been and got stuck in the house's roof behind her.

Rilliana immediately cocked her bow again and feverishly searched the roof for the knife thrower. She saw only the darkness of the night until another knife flew at her. She ducked away just in time and took cover.

"If I can get one more throw out of him I know where he stands." thought Rilliana and jumped out from behind her cover. She sensed movement and drew her bow. The string sped forward as another knife flew at her.

A cry of pain broke the silence of the night and the sound of a body crashing down on the streets. Rilliana bit her lip as she saw the knife stuck in her leg.

"Shit!" muttered Rilliana as she examined the wound. She removed the knife with a jerk and was about to apply a bandage when her suit sealed over the stab wound, halting the bleeding. Rilliana wanted to take some time later to thank Celine and limped back to support her friend when an explosion inside the hall blew out the window and swept Rilliana off her feet. She slid across the roof and just barely managed to grab onto a rain gutter.
"TRISHA!" screamed Rilliana, desperately trying to pull herself up the gutter as another explosion shook the building, causing her to lose her grip and fall.
She closed her eyes tightly and pulled her limbs to her body. Rilliana expected a painful impact on the ground at any moment, but it did not happen. Instead, she landed softly on a soft mattress.
Cautiously she opened her eyes when she could no longer hear the sound of the waves that had just been crashing against the harbor walls of Leon's Keep.
Light illuminated the familiar prison cell in Celine's basement. She lay on her soft bed, and above her was a hole in the ceiling showing the burning warehouse of Faluden and the night sky over Leon's Keep.
"Celine." Rilliana murmured as she recognized the mage's Mighty Magic. The portal that had brought her into the dungeon made a smacking sound as it closed, and in its place appeared the familiar ceiling of the dungeon.
"Trisha!" cried Rilliana, looking into her friend's cell. There, too, was a portal in the ceiling, but there was no sign of the shifter. Instead, sparks shot out of the portal itself, and it seemed unstable as it kept changing its size and shape and showed no image of Leon's Keep, instead just a dark play of colors.
There was a loud bang as this portal disappeared.
"Something went wrong," flashed through Rilliana's mind, and she immediately jumped up from the bed.
She clicked her tongue disapprovingly as she realized that the door to her cell was locked. She lifted her boot and pulled a hidden lock-pick from its socket. Immediately she began to pick at the lock, doubting that Celine could hear her down here.
She felt the lockpick heating up and remembered that Trisha had warned her not to pick the lock for danger of getting an electric shock, but apparently her suit seemed to protect her from the magic. Finally, there was a soft click as the lock finally gave way and Rilliana quickly threw the lockpick aside as it heated up threateningly and would have burned her hand in an instant.
She stepped into the dungeon corridor and ran toward the stairs to tell Celine about Trisha's situation, but stopped dead in her tracks when she heard clicking on the walls. Nervously, she looked around and noticed that dozens of tubes were pointed at her and seemed to follow her movements.
A thudding sound was heard as one of the tubes shot something at her and Rilliana managed to jump aside just in time. A black slimy sphere slammed into the ground next to her and began to inflate with a hiss.
"Celine why?" asked Rilliana weakly, sprinting back towards the stairs while the other cannons began firing at her.
From her blind spot, one of the bullets hit her in the shoulder and knocked her off balance. Rilliana fell and landed on another ball with her right hand. Immediately she scrambled up only to find that her hand was stuck. She pulled with all her might as the balls continued to inflate.
She broke free of the ground, but refused to let go of her hand.
"I need to get out of here as soon as possible before I get buried by these things," she thought and was about to start running again when another shot hit her right shoulder. Instinctively she reached for it with her left to pull it off only to find that she had now lost both of her hands to Celine's new invention.
"Idiot!" she chided herself, jumping clumsily into the air to dodge several bullets on the ground. A mistake as she realized, since she couldn't change her direction during the jump.
A combination of five bullets covered her body and she fell ungentle to the ground, though cushioned by the bullets that engulfed more and more parts of her body as they inflated.
"CELINE!" Rilliana yelled at the top of her lungs as the cannons continued to cover her, giving her no chance to escape.
The hissing robbed her of any chance to hear anything, but she saw two pairs of tall boots just before one of the approaching bullets took her sight.

A few minutes earlier. Inside the warehouse.

Lights flickered on throughout the warehouse and Trisha blinked several times as her eyes adjusted to the new lighting conditions.

"So, so, so who do we have here? A little shifter lost in my halls?"

"Of course it had been a trap," Trisha thought, drawing her black dagger.

"I was just leaving," she replied to Faluden, smiling when she realized that Rilliana had a clear shot at him. Her smile vanished instantly, however, when he said, "I beg you Trisha. Do you really think I'm coming alone?" and snapped his fingers. Immediately, a half-dozen henchmen appeared beside him.

"Missed chance." Trisha thought.

"I suppose you're not alone either? Surely your little elf assassin is hanging around here somewhere?" he asked, surveying the hall.

"Doesn't matter though, I've got a specialist on her, and she's probably already dead."

Trisha's heart sank when she heard Faluden's statement and noticed hurried footsteps on the roof.

"Don't underestimate her, she was taught by me after all," Trisha said and raised her weapon towards Faluden, ready to fight. At the same time, she let her innate strength take over her body. Her arms and legs became more muscular and her eyes took on a yellow hue. Trisha began to smile again and showed her long fangs.

"Get her!" Faluden ordered, and his men ran towards Trisha without hesitation.

The shifter leaned forward slightly and pushed herself off the ground. From one moment to the next she ran to one of the men and rammed her Dark Blade into his torso as she passed. Stunned, he looked down at her and opened his mouth as if to say something. Trisha pulled out her dagger with a swift movement.

She dropped to the ground to avoid a sword swing from another henchman and slid through his legs.

Trisha's dagger found an unprotected spot on his thigh and drove her blade into it. He folded and felt cold steel against his throat.

Trisha withdrew her weapon in a high arc and turned to Faluden's other men, who recoiled in shock as the two men slumped to their deaths behind the shifter. A bloody veil spread around Trisha, slowly sinking to the ground and turning it red. "Who wants to go next?" asked Trisha, casually twisting her dagger in her hand. The men made no move to approach her and Faluden's expression darkened as he saw the fear in his men's eyes.

Trisha was about to sprint to Faluden when she heard a cry from the roof. She looked up with concern.

"I need to finish this quickly," she thought as she heard something roll across the ground and come to a stop next to her boots.

Trisha looked down, and her veins froze as she spotted a fist-sized sphere with a burning fuse sticking out of it.

She didn't think twice and kicked at the bomb. It flew in a high arc on a shelf, on which several boxes stood.

"You'll have to think of something better than that," Trisha said, and fell silent when she saw that Faluden himself had fear written all over his face and was hurriedly running out of his warehouse. Trisha swallowed. The bomb tore the shelf apart and a massive fireball erupted in the hall as the crates were destroyed.

One of the henchmen was immediately engulfed in the fire and Trisha was thrown back by the blast. She held her arms protectively in front of her face. Her suit shielded her from the worst of it, and she prepared herself internally for the impact, but she felt herself losing speed and being gently set down on a soft surface. She opened her eyes and saw an unstable portal above her, and she flinched as sparks rained down on her from it. It popped as it disappeared and Trisha was alone in a square room whose floor and walls were padded. A magical light shone on the ceiling, sparsely illuminating the room.

Trisha did not see a door anywhere, let alone a crack in the padding. Only now did she notice that her weapon had disappeared. Trisha suspected that the explosion had snatched the dagger from her hand.

"Hello, can someone get me out of here? Is anyone there?" she asked, but no one answered.

She clicked her tongue disapprovingly and scanned the walls for a hidden passage.

"Is this one of Faluden's tricks?" Trisha muttered perplexedly and sat down against one of the walls. She pulled her legs close to her and stared at the opposite wall.

Her thoughts were with Rilliana when a wave of exhaustion hit her and forced her to close her eyes.

Rilliana was startled out of her sleep and drew in a panicked breath as if she were afraid of being pushed underwater the next moment. She felt a hand on her shoulder and backed away.

Sitting next to her with a worried expression was Celine who slowly took her hand back and began guiltily kneading her hands.

"Rilliana, I am so, so sorry. Terra and I were testing a new security system and forgot to turn it off. I didn't think you could be teleported to the basement," Celine muttered, growing quieter as she spoke, "I've already sent a letter to Leon's Keep to let Trisha know where you are. I'm sure she'll be…" She fell silent as she saw Rilliana's tears streaming down her face.

"…What happened?" she asked, in a serious voice.

When Rilliana finished her narration, Celine looked at her with narrowed eyebrows.

She got up from her chair and covered Rilliana.

"What is the meaning of this Celine? Where is Trisha?" asked Rilliana anxiously.

"I don't know for sure yet, but I have a guess… Stay down for a bit, I need to check some things. If you need anything, Terra will take care of your every need. And could I have a look at this egg and your suit?" asked Celine, pointing to Rilliana's bag as well as her black one-piece lying next to her bed.

"Yes of course…" Rilliana mumbled and closed her eyes.

Celine picked up both things and quietly walked out of the room. She silently pulled the door shut and turned to Terra, who had been waiting outside the door, worried.

"What happened to those two? I knew I shouldn't have let them help me, it's all my fault." she said somberly, seeming close to tears.

"No, it's not your fault. My suits should have protected them both, but someone seems to have tampered with them and Faluden doesn't have the knowledge to do that… In all of Aegissake, I can only think of a handful of people who could pull something like that off." Celine said, putting a hand on Terra's shoulder soothingly. "Can you take care of Rilliana? I need to follow some information."

"It's the least I can do for Rilliana," Terra said and hurried to the kitchen to prepare something nutritious for the elf.

Celine disappeared into her lab and spread Rilliana's suit on the table, carefully placing the Golden Egg next to it.

"THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!" cried Celine as she checked Rilliana's suit for the tenth time and found no flaw in her magic. The egg had also been enchanted, for what she could not say, only that it was so weak that there was no way it could affect her magic. Fearing for her little sister, she began to bite her fingernails and stared at the egg, hoping to get an idea. She picked it up and checked it over again, with the same result once more.

"USELESS!" she yelled, tossing the egg back onto the table. It rolled across the counter top and fell to the floor.

Celine rolled her eyes as the egg disappeared down the hallway and got up, annoyed, to retrieve it. She accidentally touched Rilliana's suit and winced as she suddenly sensed alien magic in it.

"Terra? Can you bring me the egg? It's in the hallway!" she shouted throughout the house, waiting to see what would happen.

"Couldn't you have gotten it yourself?" asked Terra with the egg under her arm and was about to put it on the table next to Celine when she stopped her.

"Take it to the kitchen, please," Celine said excitedly, not looking up at her. Terra raised an eyebrow, but did as she was told. There it was again. A spell that didn't belong to the suit. The egg had suppressed it as soon as it got into Rilliana's hands. Celine examined the strange spell and her breath caught. She felt a tear run down her cheek and swallowed.

"Jinara…so you're really still alive?" she muttered, clenching her hands into fists.


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