The bright morning sun lit the central area of Princess Cherisse’s room. The light shone through the enormous windows, illuminating the noble and elegant decor that were befitting of the highest royalty. Thick velvet curtains of a regal violet shade were pulled to the side, and a massive canopy bed covered in the softest quilt available was off to the side. Not that the Princess herself particularly cared for such furnishings. But she understood the need for appearances, and as such she tolerated her bedroom being covered in such lavish finery.
In fact, understanding the need for proper appearances was the only thing that kept the Princess going through her current ordeal.
“Ugh, Valia! Do you really have to pull the pants so tight? I won’t be able to walk in this thing.” The Princess squirmed as her handmaiden pulled at the various laces of her outfit, ensuring everything was fit properly.
“It would be much simpler if you would simply cooperate, Princess Cherisse.” Valia rubbed her hands along the Princesses sides, smoothing out any wrinkles and ensuring the tunic was on properly. “This is an important day today, and if it were my choice you’d be wearing an elegant ball gown. Be grateful that Queen Meredith allows you to walk the castle like this.”
“For the last time, you can call me Cherry. All of my friends do.” Cherry stared down at herself, examining her outfit. She was wearing a fairly standard set of clothing for nobility, complete with a button-up shirt and pantaloons. Overall she felt a little ridiculous in it. But for a formal meeting, it would have to suffice.
If Valia had any similar reservations, she kept them to herself. “I am honoured that you consider me as such, Princess Cherisse. But you know as well as I do that I am bound by duty to take care of you.” She let out a deep bow, her lengthy maids dress swaying with the movement. “Now I would advise against any further delays. It’s poor form to keep the Queen waiting, and doubly so for you since she’s your mother.”
Cherry rolled her eyes. “Sure, like she’s going to get mad at something. Honestly Valia, you’re the one who likes all these fancy clothes and formal stuff, you should almost be the one going.” Although she spoke in a light-hearted tone, Cherry felt a twinge of sadness. Despite their status and respective roles, the two of them used to be genuine friends. But in recent times Cherry had found her maid acting more distant and formal than usual. Something had to be bothering Valia. However, today wasn’t the day to get to the bottom of it. “Thanks for the help though, you’re a real lifesaver.” She gave her handmaiden a swift kiss on the cheek.
“It was my honour, Princess Cherisse. Give my regards to Lady Bellwyn when you see her.” The name sent a wave of butterflies through the Princess’s stomach. Although she didn’t particularly care what her mother had to say, Bellwyn was an entirely different story. Cherry made her way out the door, her paces stiff in her formal outfit, leaving her friend to resume her chores around the castle.
For several generations, the land of Tirencia was kept safe from most forms of harm. There were always enough crops to last the winter months, and invading forces found themselves battered by vicious storms and landslides. Most of the citizens believed this to be an act of good fortune, or perhaps the favour of the gods. But a few members of the inner court knew better.
In truth, the kingdom was protected by a powerful artefact. An ancient diamond called the Seraph’s Tear. Every year, a ritual would be performed by the current ruler. It would renew the spell and keep Tirencia flourishing in the face of adversity. For as long as she could remember, Cherry had watched her mother perform the ritual. Queen Meredith was one of the most powerful mages around, and her capabilities rivalled that of the academy masters.
Only this year Meredith wouldn’t be the one doing the ritual. This year, it was time for Cherry to hold the fate of the kingdom in her hands.
“Someone’s looking a little grumbly. Having cold feet, are we?” Lost in thought as she was, Cherry didn’t even notice she’d just walked right past her cousin. Jinta had an arrogant smirk on her face, one that the Princess knew meant she was looking for trouble.
Instead, Cherry did her best not to let her annoyance show. “It’s nice to see you too. And thanks for the well wishes on this important milestone of my life.” Her cynical response wasn’t the most diplomatic one, but she didn’t particularly care about being nice.
To say that she didn’t get along well with Jinta would be an understatement. Her cousin had a jealous personality type, and was self-centred enough that she made everything about herself. She just had to be the best at everything she did. And although nobody ever said it, Cherry knew that Jinta resented her for being the one in line to the throne. Her attitude wasn’t helped by the fact that she was a highly talented individual in general. Jinta excelled in her studies, and Cherry had to begrudgingly admit that between the two of them, her cousin was better with a sword. But that never stopped her from wanting more.
Today Jinta’s envy was shining through more than usual. “I’m just saying, this is a pretty big responsibility,” she began. “You’re Mommy’s been the one doing the hard work so far, and now you’re trying to play Queen for a day. Tell me, if you screw up do you think she’ll coddle you again like usual? Say that it’s all okay and she’ll take care of everything?”
It was true that Cherry’s mother had a habit of being overbearing. And truthfully, she had been worried that if something did go wrong, her mother would treat her like a child instead of an adult. Jinta calling her out on it was a bit of a low blow. But she wasn’t the only one capable of low blows.
“You’re right, it is a very difficult spell. But at least I’m up to the task of properly casting it. By the way, how’s your illumination spell coming along?” Jinta’s face shifted to a harsh scowl, but Cherry kept going. “Most children can learn it after a few weeks of practice. You’ve been trying for what, fifteen years now? I’m sure you’ll get it soon enough.”
For whatever reason, Jinta had been born without a scrap of magic in her. Even the most basic of spells were completely impossible to her. And although she was one of the best duelists in the Tirencia, her skill with a rapier didn’t make up for the fact that she was a royal without any magic. She tried to act like it didn’t bother her, but Cherry knew just how much her cousin hated her own shortcomings.
Jinta narrowed her eyes, her face betraying the jealous monster she kept hidden so often. Be careful with that tongue of yours, Princess. One day you might find yourself in over your head and begging for my help.” But just as quickly as it darkened, her face lit up to her usual cheery disposition. “I’ll see you later at the ceremony. Until then, take care!” She left before Cherry was able to respond, leaving the Princess wondering if she’d gone too far. They were supposed to be on the same side, after all.
But she’d been stalled long enough. It wouldn’t look good for her to delay any further. The Queen was waiting for her, and more importantly, Bellwyn. To the rest of the court, Bellwyn was known as the head of the scouting division. She was often on leave for weeks or even months at a time, gathering intel where needed and performing reconnaissance on neighbouring kingdoms. But to Cherry, Bellwyn was simply her girlfriend who was away far too often.
They had first met a little over five years ago. The Queen was hosting an archery competition, mostly as an exhibition match for a local festival. The winner would be treated to lunch with the royal family. Everyone was betting on their favourites, expecting a local hero or a seasoned veteran to win the prize. But out of nowhere, a young woman from a remote village in the woods began rising in the ranks. Round after round, she annihilated the competition with her expert aim. At the beginning of the day, not a soul had heard of the name Bellwyn. Yet by sundown everyone in the capital knew her name.
During their lunch together, Cherry found herself growing far more attached to the archer than expected. It was only a few hours later the pair were discovered making out in the depths of the hedge maze. They started dating shortly after, and Bellwyn was granted a position in the royal guard. Over the years she had ascended to become the head of the scouting division. And as proud as Cherry was of her girlfriend, it was impossible not to miss her when she was away. But that only made her return each time all the sweeter.
The front doors of the throne room loomed ahead of the Princess. Without giving herself a chance to get nervous, she pushed open the massive double doors, walking through with an air of confidence. On most days she refrained from acting like she was superior to the common folk, but for occasions like this it was better for her to indulge her regal habits. In the centre of the room, Queen Meredith sat on her throne, a dozen various members of the court surrounding her. Every head turned to the Princess as she walked in, and Meredith’s calm expression grew to a large smile. “Cherisse! Wonderful, you’re here now.” She clapped her hands a few times. “Everyone, that concludes our open court for the day. Please make your leave now, I must speak with my daughter.”
There was a general wave of murmuring from the crowd, but they steadily disbanded. The Queen herself got up from her throne, the light blue silk of her gown rippling with her movement. Unlike her daughter, Meredith was more than happy to adorn herself with fancy jewellery and the finest of dresses. She descended the stairs and wrapped the younger woman in a deep hug. “Oh I’m so excited for you, honey! You’re going to do great, I just know it.”
Cherry tried not to think about how her face was being pushed right into her mothers chest. “For the last time, I”m fine Mom. It’s not that big a deal anyway.” She was lying, but the last thing Cherry wanted was for the Queen to start fussing over everything.
Meredith, however, saw right through her daughter’s false bravado. She put her hands on Cherry’s shoulders and looked her square in the eye. “Princess Cherisse Lestarre, you know perfectly well how important this is.” While her voice was firm, it wasn’t a scolding tone either. “In fact, I know that you’re aware of how important this ritual is. Which is why you don’t need to pretend with me. It’s completely normal to be nervous or afraid.”
This time, Cherry found herself looking at the floor. “You’re right. And I know I can do it, and there’s nothing to be worried about, but I still feel a bit worried. Does that make sense?”
“Oh it makes perfect sense.” The Queen had a kind smile on her face. “But just remember, if anything goes wrong Mommy will be right here to make things right again. Okay?” Cherry held her tongue. Her mother needing to step in was exactly what she was worried about. “By the way,” the Queen continued, “there’s somebody else here I know you’re more excited to see. She’s just in the back room.”
Cherry felt her heart do a couple of somersaults. Bellwyn was supposed to return today, but her line of work meant things could never be exact. “She’s here? When did she return?”
“A few hours ago,” Meredith replied. “She wanted to get all cleaned up before seeing you. Go say hi, and when you’re ready we can begin the ritual.” Cherry was hardly listening to her mothers words. She was making a beeline for the door before her mother had finished speaking.
“Right, got it. We won’t take too long. Thanks Mom!” Cherry hastened towards her beloved, leaving her mother to prepare the ritual. A part of Cherry felt guilty, as she was the one responsible and therefore should be overseeing it. But a much larger part just wanted to see her girlfriend.
Behind the throne room was the war council’s chambers, where more serious discussions about the Kingdom’s security would be held. It contained a single long table, with just over a dozen chairs along its sides. Currently it was occupied by a single person, a woman in thin leather armour and a bow strapped to her back. She was facing away from the door, staring at a map on the table while she stood in silence. Cherry felt a warm glowing sensation bursting from within. As much as she hated being apart from her partner, the feeling of being reunited made it all worth it.
“Are you going to stand there and gawk or come say hi?” The Princess wasn’t surprised that she’d been heard. Bellwyn was a natural scout, and her senses were trained far beyond her peers. Cherry walked forward, grabbing her girlfriend and spinning her around before planting a firm kiss on her mouth. Bellwyn responded in kind, leaning inwards and letting her tongue explore. Their passionate and sloppy makeout lasted for a solid minute before Cherry wanted more. She started groping at Bellwyn’s chest, trying to squeeze it through the light armour.
Bellwyn giggled but pushed Cherry away. “It’s nice to see you too. Do you even care about my status report?” She had a bemused expression, one that only made the Princess want to kiss her even more.
“Sorry love, but your status report is just about the last thing on my mind today. You know we scheduled the renewal ritual for the day of your return, right?” It was a bit of a rhetorical question. Bellwyn’s mind was sharp as a spear, and she wasn’t the type to forget important details.
The ranger cupped her girlfriend’s chin and stared at her tenderly. “That’s exactly why we should quickly go over things. The whole point of the ritual is so that the Seraph’s Tear can keep us all safe, and there’s a new threat you should be aware of.” A dark shadow fell over Bellwyn’s face. “You know our neighbours in the south? The Uleran empire? I’ve got some bad news regarding them.”
Cherry felt a nervous sweat start to break. They had never gotten along with the militaristic Ulerans, but there had never been any outright aggression. At least, not towards her own kingdom. “Are they on the move? If their troops are mobilizing, we should do the same.”
Bellwyn shook her head. “Their troops are still, but that’s not what I’m worried about. Take a look at this.” She reached into her bag and pulled something out, dropping it on the table. It appeared to be a glove, but the material was unlike anything the Princess had ever seen. It was pure black, with a glossy look that reflected the lights. Cherry reached out to grab it, only to find the texture even more bizarre. It was cool to touch, but the material was surprisingly firm. She’d been expecting it to be metallic, but it was limp as a wet sheet of paper.
“They’re calling it Latex,” Bellwyn explained. “Apparently it’s the residue of a powerful magical creature. It’s not inherently dangerous in this form, but it is a cause for concern.” Cherry was only half listening as her girlfriend spoke. She felt strangely drawn to the glove, its unique material capturing her attention. She pulled it over her hand, slipping her fingers inside each of their tight compartments. The latex clung to her like a second skin. Although she couldn’t explain why, Cherry was hit by a small rush of adrenaline.
She turned her hand over, examining the shiny material covering it. “Well I’m glad you informed me about this, I can certainly see the appeal. She turned to face Bellwyn again. “So that’s the concern? They’ve managed to develop a new clothing type?”
An exasperated sigh left Bellwyn’s lungs. “You know the Uleran’s they’re too stupid to develop anything themselves. No, this was given to them by someone. The problem is I couldn’t find out who. Someone is supplying our enemies with new technology, and we have no idea who it is.”
That did make a bit more sense. Cherry pulled the glove off, immediately missing the feeling of it on her skin. “I see what you mean. Still, odds are it’s just a travelling merchant who sold to the first buyer. Unless they can use this latex for combat purposes, I doubt we have much to worry about.” The Princess put the glove down and grabbed the back of her girlfriend's neck. “Besides,” she continued in a sultry tone, “in a bit I’ll do the renewal ritual and everything will be fine. If they do come up with something nasty, we’ll keep ourselves safe and sound.”
A light blush tinged Bellwyn’s cheeks. “Yes, well we really should get going. Aren’t they all waiting on you? We might as well - oh!” Her train of thought was interrupted by the Princess cupping her hand between her legs.
“I’m not taking my clothes off because they take too long to put on again. But you? I think it would be best if you started stripping.” Bellwyn’s breath became heavier at her girlfriend's advances. She pushed the archer back onto the table, spreading her legs wide and kneeling down.
“Are you really sure we have time for this? And in the war room no less? This is where we have our serious discussions.” Despite her protests, Bellwyn was fumbling with her clothes to unbutton as much as possible.
Cherry looked on with a hunger in her eye at her girlfriend's increasingly nude body. “I’ve waited long enough to get a taste of this again, I’m not waiting any more. We can tell the others you were giving me a full report.” The second Bellwyn’s pants were off, Cherry pushed her panties aside and began toying with her juicy cunt. “And besides, this is a big day for me. Isn’t it wise for me to be at my own personal best? And what could be better for me than getting my own personal favourite treat?”
Despite herself, Bellwyn couldn’t really argue with that. “Alright, but make it fast. We don’t want to take too long or they’ll get suspicious.”
“Well that’ll be up to you,” the Princess responded. “I bet you’ve been awfully pent up on your journey, so it shouldn’t take too long for me to make you cum. But try your best to be quiet. It’d be awkward if someone else walked in and saw you, wouldn’t it?”
Bellwyn tried to respond, but her words turned into a soft moan as Cherry’s tongue entered her slit. It was like music to the Princess’s ears. Her girlfriend was often reserved and formal around others, but with her, she melted like butter under any sign of affection. Cherry moved her tongue with expert precision that came from years of experience with eating pussy. She took great pride in her skill, and although she wasn’t getting any pleasure herself, feeling Bellwyn’s thighs clamp down around her head was reward enough.
After all, it was a Princess’s duty to take care of her people.
In the depths of the castle, in a chamber known only to those closest to the royal family, a special ceremony was ready to go. A magical sigil had been drawn on the ground, surrounded by dimly lit candles and glowing mystical orbs. In the centre of it all, the Seraph’s Tear rested, its beauty on full display.
At one end of the circle was Queen Meredith, the blue glow in the air matching her outfit perfectly. She was content to sit on the stone flooring, although the extra cushioning on her rear end made things a bit easier. Jinta sat next to her, but she was constantly fidgeting in place. The young duelist was resentful that she needed to be there, a fact she made known to anyone who would listen. Finally, Valia remained standing across the room, her watchful eyes shifting between the entrance to the room and Jinta herself. The Princess’s handmaiden was always on guard, and the importance of the day only heightened her nerves. Keeping the Princess safe was part of her responsibility, and the sooner they could finish the ceremony, the sooner she’d be able to relax.
To no one’s surprise, Jinta was the first to voice her frustration at the delay. “In the name of the Gods, what is taking her so long? If it were my ceremony I’d never dream of being late.” Valia caught on to the backhanded comment, but the Queen appeared to take it in good spirits.
“Now now, you know how long the two of them spent apart. I’m sure my daughter is just catching up with Lady Bellwyn, and they’ll be here any minute.” Meredith always saw the best in people, and her niece was no exception. It was a fact Jinta had exploited many times over the years.
“Sure, I’ll bet Cherry’s doing something real important. I bet she’s quaking in her boots, terrified of what could happen. I’ve said it before, she can’t deal with pressure like I can, and it’s only a matter of time until-”
“Hold your tongue, knave.” Valia’s tone was harsh and completely lacking in empathy. “You may be a member of the royal family, but Princess Cherisse is my own liege, and I’ll not have you slander her like this.” The two of them glared from across the sigil while the Queen looked nervously back and forth between them.
Fortunately, before the situation could escalate, they were interrupted by light chatter from the staircase above. The three of them turned to see Cherry and Bellwyn, hand in hand, descending into the ritual chamber. “Sorry we’re a bit late,” the Princess commented. “We got a little caught up going over the field report. Bellwyn was just making sure I had a good taste of the action.”
The ranger blushed, and Jinta groaned as she made the connection. “Seriously? This is what we can expect from the future Queen? That’s awfully pitiful for your big day.” Cherry glared at her, and a flash of steel appeared in Valia’s hands. Faster than the eye could see she had a pair of knives at the ready. Cherry and Jinta each put their hands on their swords, and Bellwyn reached for the bow on her back.
But before the situation could escalate further, Meredith raised her hands as a wave of white energy pulsed through the room. The four younger women were each lifted into the air, feeling a calming and rejuvenating magic wash over them. They were each carried to an equal distance around the sigil before being set down. “Now girls, I know you’re all a little stressed out,” the Queen began in a diplomatic tone. “This is an important day, and if you need a break before we get started then that’s fine. It’s better that we’re all in a positive state of mind before we start.”
There was a general wave of discontent, but ultimately they took their positions. The five women stood around the magical circle, a set of glowing lines forming a pentagram as they did. Cherry cleared her throat and began the incantation. “Illuminus nae terminus. Maklevah un testa vos. Belerianus.” Although she had absolute confidence that she knew the words, she felt relieved as the Seraph’s Tear began to glow. It was responding to her spell. That meant the ritual was working. “Cercitus tel servitas, porysianus.”
Around her, the rest of the group were each observing her in their own way. Meredith was beaming with pride at her daughter, and Bellwyn was doing her best to look supportive. Jinta had her usual scowl, evidently annoyed that Cherry was pulling it off. Valia was still on guard, her body tense and ready to move if needed. But Cherry wasn’t worried. She was finishing up the last words, and was preparing herself for the next phase. One that involved tapping into her very soul.
Although she was equally trained in the martial and the mystical arts, Cherry felt much more comfortable with her sword than she did with spells. However, this wasn’t an ordinary spell. Her mother had drilled the steps into her, over and over again, for almost as long as she could remember. The first half was the words, which was mostly memorization, but after that she had to tap into the very essence of her being. The Seraph’s Tear required a powerful connection, and it would channel that power throughout the realm as it had done for centuries.
A bright yellow beam of light shot from the mystical gem and into Cherry, her eyes glowing bright as the connection was forged. Her mother had told her about this part. How it would connect her with the world, and help her feel at peace with all living things within her domain. But although she knew how it was supposed to feel, there was nothing that could have prepared her for it. It was like a warm summer day, a delicious treat, a tender evening with her loved ones. She could feel everything from the birds in the trees to the wolves in the forest. And of course, the will of her people. They all wanted protection and safety. Cherry was happy to oblige. If this was what it took to be the Queen, perhaps she was closer to being ready than she originally thought.
That was when she felt something new. Something foreign, unnatural to her realm. Cherry gasped as the new energy fought its way through, drowning out the rest. It wasn’t just in her mind either. The beam of light connecting them began to change as inky blots of darkness emerged from her, slowly travelling towards the Seraph’s Tear.
“Cherry? Um, sweetie, is everything alright?” There was obvious alarm in Meredith’s voice, but she kept her tone calm to help prevent any panicking. “Just say the word and I’ll help you out. You’ve done great for your first time, but we need to make sure it’s safe.”
The situation was getting worse. Everything was being crowded out by the feeling of malice, and she was losing control of the spell. There was some sort of a powerful entity approaching. One that certainly did not have the best interests of the Kingdom at heart. But rather than accept defeat, Cherry dug her feet in and tried to focus harder. “I’ve got this,” she told everyone. None of them had seen the ritual act like this before. But Cherry was determined to rule on her own terms, not in her mother’s shadow. “Everything is under control, just give me a little longer.”
Despite her words, the situation was getting worse. The darkness was making its way towards the gem, spreading through the light and turning it to an oily black. The Princess pushed onwards, doing everything in her power to think about the positives. Everything up to that point had been going so well. Whatever this mysterious force was, it wasn’t going to ruin everything in front of her friends and family. Even Jinta, as much as she hated her, was still under her protection. Above all else she couldn’t let the Seraph’s Tear get corrupted by whatever dark magic was upon them. The only way out was to ask her mother for help.
As she opened her mouth to admit she couldn’t handle it, she noticed how they were looking at her. All four of them carried the same expression, and it wasn’t one of terror of the situation. It wasn’t concern for her health or anger at the turn of events.
It was pity.
Valia had a sad look about, like when Cherry spilled her tea and created a mess the maid had to clean. Meredith was trying to hide it, but she was resigning herself to another decade of handling the responsibilities of the throne. Cherry knew her mother well enough to recognize the weary face she took such effort not to show. Even Jinta wasn’t taking any joy in her suffering, instead hunching her body like a drowned rat trying not to be seen. She knew that for the first time, her cousin was glad she wasn’t the one performing the ritual. Finally, Bellwyn, her beloved. Bellwyn just looked sad. They had spent so much time apart, and on what should have been a joyous day, her face only showed pity for her girlfriend.
Their reactions fanned the flames of determination in Cherry. These were the most important people in her life, and she couldn’t bear to see them look at her like that. No matter what happened, she made a vow that no one would ever pity her again. “This is nothing. I’m not sure what’s going on, but the ritual is under control.” The steel in her voice was loud and clear. Cherry let out a roar, pouring every ounce of energy she had left into the spell. And for a moment, it appeared to be working. The dark blots making their way up the beam of light began to falter, retreating back towards the Princess. Cracks of a yellow glow started to form around the shadow encasing her. Cherry felt a spark of hope begin to rise, that she could protect everyone.
But it was just a spark. It didn’t take long for the malicious energy to overtake her, regaining lost ground and speeding towards the Seraph’s Tear. Queen Meredith cried out, doing her best to cast a protection spell in response, but it was too late. The diamond was covered in the black inky magic, severing the connection with Cherry and causing the entire sigil to darken.
Although the ritual had been completely disrupted, whatever dark forces had entered their dungeon was only beginning. The Seraph’s Tear began to levitate, expelling bubbles of blackness up above it. The globs began to coalesce, melting into each other to slowly form a larger shape. With a start, Cherry realized they weren’t just random bits of magic. It was latex. The same material Bellwyn had introduced her to was a key part of whatever was happening here.
As more and more of it poured out from the diamond, the singular blob of latex began to smooth out and take form. A pair of arms emerged, and the legs followed shortly after. Soon the head and torso became clear as well. Cherry could only watch in horror as the blank and glossy latex began to solidify, revealing the intruder in her entirety.
The latex began to peel away in places to show a pale woman underneath. She had icy blue eyes and blood red lips, with silky hair as black as the magic that brought her into the castle. Cherry found her eyes drawn to the plunging neckline that revealed generous amounts of her cleavage. But from her breasts and below, not a scrap of skin was visible on her. The intruders body was covered in a black latex dress, hugging her body above the torso and billowing in an invisible breeze below it. She had a pair of gloves not unlike the ones Bellwyn had showed her, but these ones went all the way to the forearms instead of just the wrist. While it was impossible to see what was under the hem of her dress, a pair of shiny heels could be made out as well.
The woman looked around, taking note of each of the shocked faces. “Pleasure to meet you,” she said in a calm tone, a cruel smile on her lips. “You can call me Zenith. I’ll be taking your Kingdom now.”