I’m excited, anxious really, about everything. Being sent, as an apprentice, to Sinslar Academy. I’m not worried though, even here my father’s reach is substantial. Yes, I know that there is a chance that any apprentice could become a familiar. Not me though, I’m a full elementalist, able to manipulate all elements equally, not just one, or sometimes two like most.
Upon arriving, then time and again, the familiar duel was explained to us. What it would do, how the familiar would be the winners completely, how the magus would control everything. I already knew the rules by heart. You see, my magic manifested early. It was Mohan, the fire specialist that worked for my father, Viscount Reed, that identified it. Not that there was much identification needed, he just found me first.
I’d escaped my tutors and gone to play in the garden, after a rain. I’d decided to build a castle out of the mud. I’d started by piling up mud. When Mohan found me standing atop a pile of stone and mud directing, shaping, and growing it higher.
Once it was known that I commanded the elements, father took to avoiding me. Meals were taken at odd times with him leaving the estate for meetings. He was terribly jealous and afraid or of me. Jealous due to my magic and afraid because he knew, fully trained, I could command the elements. All his years and pride as a decorated noble officer and I, a young girl could overcome any physical challenge he could throw at me.
The jealously was always apparent, but the fear didn’t take hold until I left for Sinslar Academy.
Father at least hired magus as tutors. Although, that was more for appearance’s sake as they were all single elemental specialists. He absolutely refused to hire a full elemental magus. And he certainly worked to ensure I’d never advance. Those hired were either untested or slothful, caring more for his money and pleasing him than anything else. After a few months of lessons, father would find some reason to let them go, hire another, and demand I start over with the basics.
So, I did. But not the way he intended. Since Viscount Reed wouldn’t spend time learning anything about magic, I was able to direct my own training. Taking lessons on each element, air, earth, fire and water in turn. Then on each form in particular detection, defense, analysis, manipulation, and lastly attacks.
The one consistent was Mohan. Viscount Reed kept him around as something of a court magus. Mohan wasn’t allowed to teach me magic directly, but he did tutor me in other aspects of being a magus. He’d go into long stories about the academy, his duel, how to judge the strength of others, what to watch out for, even how to cycle mana and increase my base capacity. But never direct magic.
He had a cute ferret familiar, Clarise. Father didn’t like Clarise so Mohan kept her a ferret most of the time. Well, except at the barns. Mohan was an animal magus and he could have Clarise take multiple forms.
Overall, I was as prepared as I could be upon arriving for my first year at Sinslar Academy. We, myself, a coachman, guards an older aunt as a chaperon, but not father spent almost a full month traveling to the academy by carriage. A proper group on horseback could make the trip in under two weeks. A grope on magus breed horses could make it in under a week. Father wouldn’t give permission to use our magus breed horses, not even to just pull the carriage. When I ask, he told me the trip was too dangerous to risk them.
The morning I left the Reed Estate, I was ordered to find a suitable apprentice. Then given a list of noble apprentices that would also be at Sinslar and told not to socialize with those unworthy of our title.
I’d barely arrived at Sinslar when I meet Gretchen Pena. I think she was assigned as my guide or something.
She was everything I wasn’t short, blond, overly buxom, pale, absolutely covered in freckles, enthusiastic, untidy, and best of all a commoner. Her family had a few knights, but definitely not the type of person Viscount Reed would want me associating with. Well, almost everything, she was also a full elementalist.
While full elementalist weren’t as unique as I’d been told by Mohan, the ability to manipulate all elements with alacrity is fairly rare. There were just over a score at the entire academy, that’s including second year apprentices, full magus in the last year and even staff.
For the first time ever, I didn’t stand out. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
I’ve been here almost two full weeks and other students are still arriving. Most trickled in over the course of a few weeks. There is always a large influx of new students at the beginning of a year. Not surprising really as Sinslar Academy is famous for producing some of the finest magus seen since the war. It ruthlessly enforces the rite of the familiar and while nobles wield power in their cities and fiefs the academy is sacrosanct.
The academy itself is located just north of Chongula, the largest trade city in the region. Chongula sits near the headwaters of the Rosejour river and the great Yorksby trail goes through the city.
Once the academy opened its gates for this year’s students, I was placed in a carriage and sent that very day. The ride wasn’t bad, only half a day. Certainly much quicker than any other trip I’d been on, but that’s to be expected. I’m from a long and distinguished trade family. I’ve been as far south as Icemoor and as far east as Steepwatch. I’ve seen the golden harvest. Fields stretching across the horizon, although most are still fallow, even this long after the war.
It was on the trip to Icemoor when my magic blossomed. I was the youngest of my family on the trip, but I was surrounded by a whole host of cousins, a half-wife, two of my older brothers and a niece by my oldest sister. My father had three wives and a husband. We were a large family and it was rules by the elder council with my father standing to inherit a prominent position once my maternal grandmother passed.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was to be betrothed to a minor noble house, the Ostros. They desired to strengthen trade with the Pena family and the Pena’s wanted a noble title, or really another noble title. We already had multiple squires and few knights and a baron, but their sights were set on a earl.
We arrived in Icemoor on a cold, wet, miserable day in early Spring. It had been raining for the past two days, the type of rain that seeps into everything not matter how tightly shut. The only thing keeping it out of the carriage was the enchantment. I’d been staring at the glowing rune the entire trip. Watching it light up as the weather grew worse. It had taken on a warm glow, keeping the water and the chill out.
The city walls were impressive, large stone things at least forty feet heigh and half that in width with towers doting the length, runes running the length. One of my brothers left to speak with the city guards and we were soon waved through. Instead of stopping at an inn to refresh ourselves, the carriage I was in and one other were directed to the keep. The rest of the caravan splitting off to find stabling and an inn.
The keep sat on top of a hill overlooking the town. It had originally been constructed for defense and the road snaked its way up the hill to another wall surrounding the keep itself. The carriage stopped near the bottom of the stairs leading in but between it and the door was almost forty yards of long wide stairs leading to the main entrance.
Once the door opened, I shot out of the carriage, happy to be free of the small confined space, the never ceasing pounding of the rain, and my brothers endless talk of business. Standing impatiently by the carriage, waiting, my brothers finally emerged and waved the coachman over.
The coachman approached with a great oilcloth cloak held up to cover my brothers and I. The rain had other ideas and by the time we made it to the top of the stairs and Earl Ostros, both my brothers were soaked and shivering.
I remained was warm and dry.
The earl directed the coachman to lower his cloak. Which he reluctantly did. Earl Ostros watched as the rain parted above my head and I was surrounded by a soft warming glow. Flabbergasted my brothers turned as one and stared, one in wonder the other in disgust, at me.
In a commanding voice Earl Ostros declared me ‘not suitable for his son.’ Then turned and walked back into the keep.
After that I was treated as an honored pariah.
Honored because being a magus was power, not the type expected but power nonetheless. I got everything I wanted, everything.
I’d ask for some trinket, rare volumes, jewelry, even enchanted items like my cloak. Its not as good as my magic, but I’d wanted it. I’d express a desire for something and in a short while it would be delivered to my door.
I’d been moved out of the main compound and put up in a converted carriage house; to allow for more focused study. I had tapestries, hanging lamps - magic of course, even a personal rune tub.
A pariah because I wasn’t allowed close to anyone in the family, at least not anyone important. I was allowed around others my age. But even my ‘friends’ were hired and watched. People who’s parents could be paid if my magic was unleashed. Not that that ever happened. Even when I would play with them, I’d never let my magic out of control. I can burn clothes without blistering the skin beneath.
Amongst all the finery, a tutor was hired. The Pena’s wanted to develop the power after all. They wanted to send me to the academy and guarantee I’d come back a full magus. To that effect I was tutored. That was the only thing I wasn’t allowed to skip out on, my magic training.
My first tutor, Beatrice, was a water magus. After a month of training and testing she declared me a full elementalist so no expense was spared and more tutors were brought in.
First Meeting and Year One
The elementalist were the elites of Sinslar Academy. Every elementalist was expected to be a magus. The other schools, illusion, mind magic, summoners, plants, all the way down to the very bottom, healers were considered beneath us. Our training reinforced that mindset. Ostentatiously we were training to expand our knowledge of the other schools. The reality was a bit different. We were taught the very basics of the other schools. To better control the magic our future familiar would bring to the bond. But the real focus was power and control. Every school has a weakness and we were taught to recognize and exploit them all.
It was barely acknowledged that some elementalist would lose their duel. Those that lost would have their name stripped from the School of Elementalism. They’d be listed on the academy roles but not their old school. There was also the practice of ‘buying a familiar’. The academy had to know but did nothing. In those cases, the name of the former apprentice was also removed from the elementalist roles.
If elementalist were the elite, then how to determine who was truly the best? Dueling of course. The school of elementalism thrived on competition. A student’s entire standing in the school was based on duels. Once we were halfway through our first year there were official duels every week and some unknown number of unofficial ones. There was always the school of healing if things got out of hand.
The tougher the opponent the more points were awarded with other elementalist being worth the most.
All of which leads me to how I meet, defeated, and decided to claim Grace Reed.
An entire caravan of new apprentices arrived at once, traveling in a group for safety.
I saw her jump down from a carriage, not waiting on the coachman to place the step. Turning she ordered the guards to lower her trunks. While that was going on, an older lady descended from the carriage, after the coachman placed the step. She headed to toward the administration building clutching an overstuffed bag.
Having both trunks down, she and the guards looked around as other new apprentices swarmed down from other carriages, wagons and even a few magus breed horses.
I overheard her speaking with a guard, “You would think there would be someone here to greet us, or at least tell us were I’m staying.”
I silently approached amidst the chaos of so many apprentices arriving. “Hello.”
She looked down, then took a small step backwards so I wouldn’t have to crane my neck so far back. “Oh. I’m Count - -. Um,” Holding her hand out. “I’m Grace Reed. Do you know what we’re supposed to be doing?”
Gretchen, smiling up at the lovely young woman in front of her, “Yes.” Shaking her hand. “You’re supposed to check in with the magus at the gate. I’m Gretchen Pena.” Releasing her hand to point back along the line of wagons. “They only expect one or two new apprentices to arrive at a time. Probably waved you in, thinking to deal with everyone at once.”
“The introduction is the same for everyone. Follow me and I’ll show you where you get your room.”
“Room? Only one?”
Laughing at her reaction, “Yes, all apprentices only get one room. In third year, after becoming a magus you get a full suite.”
Our first duel was at the end of the second month.
Not my first duel, I’d been challenged by some overly muscled boy thinking he would physically overpower me. A quick ring of fire and some simple air blasts through it sent him running.
I did spot a few apprentice healers after that match. It always paid to keep an eye out for a possible familiar.
Grace and I stepped into the dueling circle as the professor activated it. This first duel set the pattern for the rest of our time at Sinslar. I immediately went on the offensive. Grace dodged and begin casting an overly complex defensive spell.
I was on my third attack as she finished it. Then I had the ground rise up and toss her from the circle.
I stepped from the circle and approached her. She was sprawled out and covered by dirt and a few bruises.
Holding my hand out and smirking, “I though you were a full elementalist. That shield is good, but leaves you open to non-direct attacks.”
Grace reaches up for Gretchen’s hand, releasing an overdone groan. “I only ever practiced again one element at a time before.”
Since neither of us had required healing, we were both ordered back to another practice circle.
This time I drove her out with a blast of water.
Trudging back to our dorm, Grace looked like a drowned rat with matted hair, torn, ripped and mud-stained clothes.
Once inside, grinning, “Shower?”
Nodding, Grace headed straight to the shower. She didn’t head upstairs for toiletries or clothes, just straight in.
I followed wide eyed as she began stripping. She had her top off before I caught my breath. Words tumbling out in a rush, “Be right back, just grabbing towels and stuff.”
Dashing from the room and running upstairs. I kick off my shoes, grab towels and literally run back downstairs to the dorm showers.
I notice a pile of muddy clothes under one shower and Grace under another. Standing there under the spray, golden skinned, dark haired, perfect breasts, gods - even her feet are cute.
Once we had the basics for dueling down, we were given permission to challenge other apprentices of our year. This opened the floodgates, at least for the school of elements.
It was quickly established that a full elementalist had an advantage over a single element specialist. Just from versatility. That isn’t’ to say all elementalists were good or specialists were bad. You still had to work for mastery.
There were six apprentices that consistently won, myself, Mansel, Grace, Lara'lia, Iris - the only specialist, and Amara.
The two of us started practicing together, then studying together. Grace was studying the more formalized ritual magic. The kind used to cover entire fields or strengthen a cities’ walls.
We pushed each other in our elemental magic and began working on combining elements: fire and stone to create magma, water and air to form ice. We were even regularly besting second years in duels.
When we did lose, we learned and never lost the same way twice. Except to each other.
Then we began talking about what we each wanted after we graduated. Both dismissing the possibility of becoming a familiar. Instead we focused on discussing good candidates to become our own familiars. I’d picked out a cute brown haired first year healer named Solona. She didn’t have the most power, but what she did have was an amazing understanding of healing magic.
Our discussions continued and by the end of the first year, we were lovers. It started off chaste enough, kissing, some groping over clothes. Until Grace walked into my room after I returned from the shower. I don’t remember what she said, just that she tugged the towel down (yes I’m short enough that one towel works) and the next thing I clearly remember was laying on the bed between her thighs as she held handfuls of my hair pressing me to her and crying out.
She certainly wasn’t quiet and didn’t seem to care who knew what we got up to. I tried to stop, but when that didn’t work, I learned to cum quietly.
Grace returns from the Reed estate early. Her anger banked, barely held beneath the surface of her emotions. Searching for Gretchen she discovered that Gretchen was still at her family’s compound in Chongula. Grace, as an apprentice, can’t leave the academy grounds without a full magus as an escort. Giving up on finding one, she throws herself into her studies.
When Gretchen finally arrived back at Sinslar. Grace almost drug her to her room.
Grace, turning to face Gretchen, anger visible for the first time in weeks, “Do you know what he did?” Pointing to a set of folded parchment on her desk.
Gretchen approaches but before she can read the documents.
Voice rising, “He’s selling me!” Pacing arms held stiffly folded under her breast. “My father. No! Viscount Reed is trading an unpromised apprentice. That happens to be his own daughter! to a noble family of means.”
Grabbing another document. “He hasn’t decided to whom yet.” Waving the parchment around. “I’ve got orders to meet and the sons and daughters of these noble houses.” Poking at the parchment. “He didn’t even tell me! He had the one of my aunt’s deliver the letter a week after I arrived back at the estate. Said the whole family had decided it was for the best”
Deflating and flopping onto the bed. “I’ve been trained my entire life to follow his orders.”
Leaning up on one arm to face Gretchen. “He didn’t even remove me from the line of succession. He said, ‘familiars aren’t human, they can’t inherit’. He set me up to fail in every way. Then when I proved adept at magic, he decided to get rid of me another way.”
Letting out a hollow laugh and sagging back onto the bed. “He knows I’ll probably do it, follow the families orders.”
Unfolding the parchment and holding it up to read. “He promised I’d get to pick. Then said this isn’t even the full list. Still taking bids on me." Sighing, "Give it a month and I’ll get a letter telling me who I picked.”
I refused to visit the Reed Estate and so stayed at the academy between my second and third year.
Gretchen returned to Chongula, fetched by one of her brothers.
Standing in front of her door, waiting on the chime to declare the official beginning of our third year. The others think it starts at first light, but I read the official school handbook. The earliest a challenge may be issues is one minute after midnight.
Which is why I’m standing here, outside Grace’s door, waiting on a chime. The full bell is for daylight hours. Rocking forward and back, waiting. I know she’s here, she had no reason to visit her family over the break. Her father, Viscount Reed had sent a pack with instructions at the end of last term.
I’m knocking even before the sound of the chime fades.
Knocking, louder. She couldn’t be anywhere else. Apprentices can’t get into the library or any of the workshops this late, and the apprentice dining room is closed.
Waiting. The training field!
I raise my hand to knock once more when the door opens.
Grace, blinking sleep from her eyes. Standing in the doorway in her scandalous sleeping gown, her golden skin on display with her dark hair tussled. Her breasts tenting the cloth as her nipples harden in the night air.
Gods, I want her.
“Huh, Gretchen?” Grace steps back, holding the door open. “What are you doing here?”
Stepping into her room Gretchen takes a quick look around. Anything to avoid looking her in the eye for a moment. The bed is rumpled and the instructions from her father are sitting off to the side on her desk. Gretchen turns to lock the door behind her as Grace takes a seat on the bed.
“I’ve though of a way you don’t have to be.” Raising a hand to hide a cough. “I mean, you don’t want to be sold off to one of those nobles. Not someone your father chose.” Nodding toward her desk. “I got a plan that I know will make your fath-. I mean Viscount Reed angry. It’ll also hurt his plans as he must be getting a fortune for you.” Especially with what the Pena family bid and didn't win.
Stepping in front of Grace. “I mean, my family has some knights and a few squires, but. . .” Shaking her head. “Anyway, that’s not important.”
“If,” Gretchen takes a shuttering breath as everything comes out in a rush. “If you become my familiar, I won’t change you. You’re perfect the way you are now, as yourself. You’ll love me and we’ll be together and you’ll be able to serve me and we won’t have to hide anything.”
Her words tumble to a stop. Gretchen blinks, then weakly smiles as Grace doesn’t look horrified at the idea.
“They.” Pointing to the instructions. “Whoever your father sold you to, will challenge you today. But I checked and challenges can be issued now. And if I challenge you now and we duel before they can issue their challenge then. . . Well, I’ve already reserved the main circle for later this morning.”
Grace nods thoughtfully. “That would interfere in Viscount Reed plans and make him angry enough to spit nails.” Curling her lips and smiling at Gretchen. Thinking of disrupting her father’s plans.
Stepping into the pause, Gretchen points “Grace Reed, I challenge you, in the sight of Blessed Sinsilar and the sanctity of the Circle, to the Duel of the Binding of Souls.”
Taken aback, Grace glances down at her bare arm as the mark of challenge appears. “I was planning something similar, but, that’ll do.” Twisting her arm for a better view. “What time?”
Gretchen smiling in glee, “9:00 am tomorrow morning. Or rather this morning.”
Stepping toward the bed, between Grace’s thighs forcing them apart. Gretchen leans in for a kiss, chaste, promising, desirous. Before she can step back, Grace wraps a hand behind Gretchen’s neck, not letting Gretchen pull back. “Will I really be able to love you?”
Gretchen nods, “Yes. You’ll love me forever. And you’ll always be you.”
Releasing Gretchen and leaning back. “Tomorrow morning then.”
Smiling as she bids her ‘a good-night’.
The Binding Duel
I arrive at the main dueling circle early. Our match isn’t scheduled to begin for a couple of hours but wondering around aimlessly doesn’t suit me and I’m much to worked up to focus on anything but the upcoming match.
I settle back and watch the matches, attention wandering as they progress. Questions and forced answers endlessly streaming through my mind.
‘What if she’s upset?’ She’ll be my familiar and she’ll love me for it.
‘What if she doesn’t show up?’ I scheduled the main dueling circle. Everyone will know. The magic will deposit her in the circle in two days, but everyone will know she avoided me for that long. Everyone will know she ran. I’ll have to punish her.
Thighs squeezing together imaging Grace kneeling before me, begging for mercy. The visions changing as she lays across my lap as I deliver another smack to her bottom. Grace begging me for more, promising anything. My skirt wet from her need. Another image, Grace straddling my lap as I beg for a kiss.
The scream of the new familiar breaks me out of my musings. Then I spot her directly across the circle. Sitting, calmly watching me, not the transformation of some apprentice. She notices me looking and gives a small wave and smile.
As the last transformation completes, Grace stands and walks toward the circle. She’s gorgeous and she changed clothes before coming to the circle. Now wearing a pair of soft low-heeled boots and a split maxi dress, scandalous, allowing a glimpse of her legs as she effortlessly glides into the circle.
My mouth goes dry, and I realize my palms are moist. Wiping them off on my sensible dress. I’m wearing it along with sensible stockings and a pair of sturdy work boots. Reaching up I remove my necklace and amulet. Firmly holding the amulet I wrap the necklace around my wrist. Wouldn’t do to lose contact in the middle of the duel. I really do need a better option, later. Now though, I need to claim my familiar.
I clomp into the circle, hiding my nervousness.
We courtesy to each other, raise hands, and begin casting at the sound of the chime.
Stepping to my let I conjure a pair of air blades and send them spinning toward Grace. Barely turning her head, Grace completes her first spell and an air shield swirls into existence absorbing the blades.
I’d have been disappointed if my first attack ended the fight. I know she wants to make it look good. News of the duel has probably already been sent to Viscount Reed. He’ll be angry at me for the challenge, especially since my family wasn’t even invited to bid for her. The better she makes me look now the better for both of us long term.
Continuing left I swipe my foot through the gravel, thankful for my boots. Stomping down the ground cracks, a stone half my size pulls free, floating before me. A few quick gestures shapes it, lengthening straightening and adding a spear point. Turning my attention back to Grace. She hasn’t moved except to keep casting. A thin layer of stone has been added behind the air shield. She doesn’t appear rushed. Seizing control of the stone, I raise it, take aim and launch it at Grace. It shots across the circle in the blink of an eye.
Grace moves her shield to intercept. The stone spear impacts her shield and I feel it penetrate, forcing its way through toward her. However, I feel my control slipping as it passes through the shield. She’s taking control of the stone. Pulling deeply on my mana, I flood the remaining stone shaft causing it to explode and rain stone and dust onto the other half of the circle.
The dust swirls, caught up in the vortex of Grace’s air shield. As visibility is restored, a dusty gray Grace is revealed. She doesn’t look pleased. Raising one eyebrow at me she frowns and goes back to her casting.
Emotion welling up, “Aaaagh! Why won’t you fall? Step out of the circle. One, little, step. That’s all you need to love me.”
A small blue flame appears at the center of Grace’s shield.
Anger stirring, mana rising in waves from my outstretched arms, I call forth FIRE. Stepping forward, the flames growing as I walk across the circle. I reach the center of the circle as the flames reach twice my height. Brining my arms down, I unleash a gout of FLAME that completely engulfs Grace.
The flames continue to the circle’s edge which begins glowing, runes flickering to life in the air. People move back and away from the flame as it continues to burn hotter, from red to orange to yellow. The flame craws up the shield until it begins looping back as it reaches the bottom of the force dome.
I stop the fire. What if I went to far?!? The change heals everything. As long as she’s alive. Emotions banked for the moment.
Grace, slightly blue from being covered in a thin layer of frost, stands up from behind her shield. Ash gently falling and coating everything touched by the fire.
“Oh!” Angrily stalking to my left, I snarl and reach up, pulling water from the air. Feeding mana in I multiply the effects until I’m surrounded by a spinning pool of water. Arms waving, the water mimics my movement spreading out five feet then ten feet and finally fifteen feet wide. Imbued with forward momentum, enough to push a fully laden wagon from the circle I send it crashing toward Grace. I continue pumping mana into the wave keeping it coherent, knowing that a strike will force her from the circle.
Grace interposes her shield, the stone tip digging in and stabilizing, air folding to each side, blue flame flickering, a water portion sliding into place behind the stone. The wave reaches Grace and slams into the shield. Instead of forcing her back, the oncoming wave’s momentum is forced upward. As the wave crests a bright flash appears deep in the water. The wave slows, stops, then freezes solid leaving a giant inverted icicle. Grace, now covered in a thin layer of muddy ash, steps out from behind the ice.
Head spinning at the vast amounts of mana expended. Deep breath, letting my mana flow freely, I release all constraints. Boots beginning to smolder I slam my foot down forcing the heat, and my anger, into another stone as its yanked free. Red veins run through it until it’s more magma than stone. Circling my arms, forming an air vortex directly to Grace I begin shooting chunks of magma at her.
“That Damn Shield!”
I drop the other half of stone, breathing heavily, head pounding as I look over at Grace. Breath in, correcting my posture, “Air and water this time. No! Fire and Water!”
Wearily raising my arms and casting, my mana almost spent. Pulling more water sends a spike of pain through my head. A throbbing starts as I use fire to draw out the heat leaving a giant ice spike floating in mid-air.
Grace calls out, “You may stop now!” Approaching Gretchen at a steady walk.
Eyes wide, Gretchen stared. She was coming straight for me, elemental shield floating to the side, out of the way. “What?” Throat suddenly dry. Swallowing, “But we’re in the mist of our duel?” Taking a step back before straightening and sending the ice spike forward.
Grace moves her shield angling it to send the spike spinning off into the dueling shield.
“That’s enough of that. I know you must be hurting after using all that mana.” Grace casually says.
“But the duel!” Gretchen whines.
Grace casually waves her hand, dismissing that as a concern.
“I know you can combine elements.” Nodding and stepping closer. “I’ve no desire to experience your combined earth and water attack.” Shaking her head, “The resulting mudslide would ruin my dress.”
Grabbing a fistful of cloth and sniffing. “As it is it’ll take a full scrubbing to get the smoke out.” Fanning the skirt out to reveal burnt holes, dirty stains, and an overlying layer of ash. “Oh.” Half shrugging, “Oh well, too late for that then.”
Grace takes another step forward, almost looming over Gretchen.
Gretchen cranes her neck back, “Does this mean?”
Grace raises a single finger and places it over Gretchen’s lips stopping the flow of worlds before they can begin. “Yes, as you wished.” Eyes dropping and running over Gretchen’s form.
Stunned Gretchen lets her hand drop, bracelet dangling loosely. A weak smile flittering across her face, “You’re going to be my familiar?”
Grace lets out a full-throated laugh. “What? No silly.”
“But, I worked for you! I’ve wanted you since the first moment I say you. Every attack, every defense, every counter or deflection, I studied them all until I could overcome each and every one.”
Eyes beginning to glow with heat, “I spent days, no weeks, months practicing!” Gretchen raising a hand for emphasis. “I mastered air blades to overcome your water shield. I mastered dual manipulations of fire and water.”
Voice raising to a shout.
“Fire and Water!” Foot stamping down. “To create those ice spikes. I didn’t take the easy way and combine water and air. No, I gather water from the air and stripped all heat from it for my ice spikes.” With a chopping motion, “My mudslide would have forced you from the area!”
Crossing her forearms beneath her breasts, Grace nods along.
Gretchen’s anger is given full reign, she points and yells, until she realizes Grace is just watching, foot tapping, smirking at Gretchen’s antics.
Grace unfolds her arms. “And you did very well. I was impressed, I haven’t mastered all the dual castings, yet.” Shaking her head. “Which is how I knew. You almost had me worried with your speech this morning.” Smiling down at Gretchen. “But once the dual started and you stepped to your left. I knew your plan. What you wanted.”
“You’ve known my elemental shield. It was one of the first defenses I learned after arriving here. You know how it absorbs like elements.” Opening smiling at Gretchen, “You even remember the order I like, air, earth, fire, and water.”
Blinking and shaking her head ‘no’. “I was. I mean. It was logical to.” Trailing off.
Grace leans down and kisses Gretchen. “You don’t have to pretend anymore.” Standing straight. “I’m going to give you everything you ask for.” Slightly humming, “Well, with a few modifications.” Smiling, “Just a few. But I promise you’ll like them all.” Sighing, “I’ve always wanted a personal slave.” Waving a hand, “Oh not like that. Not some mindless drudge.” Grace, laying a hand on Gretchen cheek, “I want someone completely devoted to me. A servant,” Lightly caressing. “A plaything.” Sliding her hand down Gretchen’s neck onto her chest. “A perfect body slave.” Cupping Gretchen’s breast. “A toy.” Thumb circling a nipple. “Someone all mine!” Pinching her nipple hard! “Someone that will always love me.”
Gretchen releases the amulet. A soft ‘clink’ is heard as it strikes the ground, dragging the necklace from her wrist. Gretchen surrendering, the focus for her mana, her life, everything. Looking up to Grace in wonder.
“And someone I’ll always love.”
That’s when the pain hits. A complete rebuilding a rebirth into a new existence, one completely dedicated to another, nothing that isn’t allow, no goals, no aspirations, an existence completely defined by another.
Gretchen drops to her knees, whimpering. Legs stretching as bones pop and reform, forcing a scream. Spine stretching like taffy as her ribs shift. Her breasts decrease in size and firm-up leaving her with a noticeable but not overly large bust with cute, upturned dark nipples. A flash of heat as the entirety of her skin changes hue, no more freckles, no more blemishes or scars. Her entire body takes on a fit carnal look with a narrower waist and hips.
The mental changes are more blatant, if not as visible. The drive to be the best, to win, to push forward is replaced with a desperate need to obey Mistress. Where there were future-plans now there is only a desire to serve. pleasing Mistress, being her toy, amusing her, whatever she wants. Where there was once a Gretchen, now there is ‘_____‘ her love for Grace even stronger.
Uncurling from a fetal position ‘_____‘, or what was once Gretchen, feels reborn. Standing, unsteady at first, but quickly finding her balance.
Hearing her mistress’s command ‘_____‘ desperately shucks her blouse, exposing a now lose set of breast bindings. The wraps are quickly discarded revealing erect dark nipples.
Running a hand down her narrowed waist to the top of the skirt. Off it comes and the stocking all in one go, revealing long svelte legs. Stepping out of the pile of discarded clothing she stands eagerly, almost at attention before mistress.
Head tilted, Grace orders, “Shoes as well.”
Nodding ‘_____‘ bends to obey. Standing straight looking mistress in the eye. Glancing down, raising an arm, turning to look over my shoulder, looking at my legs, my feet everything. Knowing this body, obsessing over it for two long years. Until I turn and face mistress. On the same level, not having to crane her head back to look up.
Seeing her reflection in Mistress’s eyes. “I’m you?” Holding an arm out, a quizzical look on her face. “I’m you mistress?”
Mistress returns my smile, “Yes, from now on your name is Grace.”
Head bowed as a feeling of excitement, contentment and love wells up within, threating to burst forth. A radiant smile on my face as I feel the same from Mistress.
“Of course dear. After all, you know I could only ever truly love myself.”