There was a deafening silence throughout the room. Everyone was staring in disbelief at the woman calling herself Zenith. Instead of bringing peace and prosperity to the entire Kingdom for another year, they’d brought a new danger right into the heart of the castle. She had made her own intentions perfectly clear as well. .
Meredith was the first to compose herself. “How unexpected to meet you. Zenith, was it? I’m the Queen of this land, and I’ll be happy to work with you.” Despite her diplomatic tone, Meredith’s body was tense. Cherry was far less kind with her words. She drew her sword, brandishing it towards Zenith.
“Be careful with your words, or I’ll have to cut your tongue out.” The princess was ready to fight at a moment's notice. Jinta wasn’t far behind either. Despite the situation, Cherry felt oddly happy at knowing her cousin had her back when things got serious. No matter how much they argued they could still fight on the same side.
For her part, Zenith was completely unphased by Cherry’s threat. She merely laughed, her cruel melody bouncing off the stone walls of the dungen. Zenith turned to get a good look at all of them before focusing on Meredith. “Don’t worry, I know who all of you are. And I know all about the secrets of Tirencia.” She bent down to pick up the Seraph’s Tear, the normally beautiful diamond now a dull grey. “In any case, your little reign ends today. I don’t expect you to make it easy… but I do expect you to make it fun.”
The next thing she knew, Cherry was watching helplessly as Zenith shot a dark purple bolt of energy towards her mother. She charged forward to try and block the hit, but she was too slow. Meredith screamed as her body was wracked with bolts of purple lightning, causing her to convulse where she stood. “My Queen!” Valia rushed to her side, but there was nothing she could do.
Bellwyn fired a volley of arrows at the attacker, but Zenith disappeared from the line of fire and rematerialized across the room. “Now now, is that any way to treat a guest? You really ought to be more hospitable.” Jinta drew her rapier and dashed forward, but her blade struck against the stone wall as Zenith teleported again.
“What have you done Aunty Meredith?” Jinta was angry, more so than Cherry had ever seen her. “You can’t possibly attack the Queen and expect to walk away from here.”
“I believe you’ll find I rarely walk anywhere,” Zenith responded, teleporting back in front of Jinta to prove her point. “But don’t worry, your current monarch will be just fine. In fact, I believe you’ll find she’s enjoying herself.” As if on cue, the Queen let out a moan, drawing the attention of the girls. Not a moan of pain, but one of pain. Her cheeks were flushed red, and the lust in her voice was obvious.
Cherry had never seen her Mother like that before. Meredith was always calm and inspirational in public, or doting and affectionate in private. It was unthinkable that she would debase herself like this in front of an enemy. But here she was, rubbing her crotch between her dress. Cherry was mortified at the sight of it. Never in her life had she imagined that she’d see her mother doing anything remotely sexual. Sure, most of the townsfolk talked about it when they thought no one was listening. About what they’d do with the Queen’s fat tits and thick thighs if given the chance. And Cherry herself was no stranger to… questionable dreams involving her mother. Hearing her directly moan with pleasure, however, was another situation entirely.
So caught up was she in the perverse sight that Cherry lost track of the fight itself. Her drifting mind was interrupted by a warning from Valia. “Princess Cherisse, look out!” Cherry saw Zenith preparing to strike again. Her palm contained what could only be described as a ball of solid latex. It wobbled in her hand, but held its form as she hurled it towards Cherry.
Time felt like it slowed down. She saw the projectile flying towards her, but she was too late to properly react. There wasn’t enough time to conjure a defensive spell or dodge out of the way. And even if she could, there was no way of knowing how the attack would work. For all she knew trying to block would only make things worse. But as she pondered whether or not she would end up in the same state as her mother, something pushed her to the side. A force tackled her out of the line of danger, replacing itself as the target of Zenith’s spell. Cherry could only watch in horror as Bellwyn took the hit intended for her.
The latex hit her square on the chest, creating a shiny black splatter upon impact. It then started to bubble, slowly growing outwards around her torso. Cherry lept into action, clawing at the material and trying to peel it away from her girlfriend, But no matter what she tried, the magical latex ignored her and continued to surround Bellwyn.
“I know I said to make it fun, but this is a little too easy.” Zenith retrieved the Seraph’s Tear from the ground while she gloated, examining its dull appearance. “You’re supposed to put up a proper fight. It makes it so much sweeter when you finally give in.” Cherry examined the situation, trying not to let her panic sink in. Two of them were already down for the count. Meredith was openly rubbing herself over her clothes, her eyes vacant and unfocused. Bellwyn had a minute at most before her entire body was covered. Perhaps worst of all was despite this, none of them had made a scratch on Zenith.
“Since you’re starting to figure out what kind of situation you’re in, I’ll give you an offer to spice things up,” Zenith continued. “I’m planning to make all of you mine, but there happens to be an opening available in my crew. If anyone wants to betray their friends right now, I’ll let you join the winning team and fight by my side. You can even be my second in command.”
Cherry laughed at the offer. “You can’t possibly think anyone would consider siding with you. After showing up here and essentially declaring war on the entire Kingdom, you think that one of us would just give up on our entire life to kiss up to you?”
Zenith levelled her gaze towards the Princess. “Well, I wouldn’t expect you to accept my offer. You’re welcome to, but you’re still hoping you can hold onto that crown of yours. But the people around you have far less to lose. Can you really be certain you trust them?”
Once again, Cherry was ready to give her confident answer, but something was off. Jinta was slowly walking towards the sorceress. She had dropped her rapier, and was completely unarmed. Valia was the first to respond. “Vile cur, I knew I shouldn’t have trusted you!” She flung her daggers towards Jinta, but with a wave of her hand Zenith made them disappear.
“You said you wanted a second-in-command. Do they have to be a mage like you?” Jinta’s voice was oddly soft and vulnerable, the usual snark completely gone.
Zenith smiled at her. “Not at all. I welcome anyone to my employ, regardless of their talents.” She extended a shiny hand towards Jinta. “Kiss my hand, pledge your allegiance, and you can take your place at the head of the throne. Under new management of course.”
The room was silent as Jinta knelt down. She took Zenith’s hand in her own, and brought it to her lips, just as asked. Cherry felt like she was watching her entire life collapse in on her.
Then Jinta made her move. Instead of a gentle kiss, she bit the hand in front of her, chomping down on Zenith’s fingers with full force. There was a cry of pain from the sorceress, and for the first time, they had landed a successful hit. Cherry took initiative and followed up with her own strike. Instead of using her sword, she shot a projectile of ice towards Zenith, watching with glee as it struck her in the side.
“Well done girls. Everyone, brace yourselves!” Meredith had recovered from her state of arousal, and was getting ready to cast a powerful spell. She was making complex gestures with her hands, and bits of gravel were starting to levitate around her. “I don’t know where you came from Zenith, or what you’re planning, but you won’t be getting away so easily.”
Zenith opened her mouth to respond, but before she could, the entire room was filled with a blinding cerulean light. The glow enveloped everyone and everything, preventing any further actions from being taken. Cherry felt herself starting to fade away. She shielded her eyes, trying to see what was happening, but it was no use. Her mother’s spell was running its course.
When she was able to see again, Cherry noticed that they were back in the throne room. All five of them were. Bellwyn was gasping for breath, the latex completely gone from her body. Zenith was nowhere to be found, but that didn’t set her mind at ease. Before she could ask what happened, Meredith crumpled to the ground. Cherry rushed to her mother’s side. “Mom, are you okay? What’s wrong?”
There was a scoff from Jinta. “What’s wrong? Everything went wrong, that’s what. We have an insane pervert in the basement trying to take over the Kingdom. And in case you hadn’t noticed, she was kicking our asses in a five versus one.”
“Can you try to be understanding, just this one time?” Bellwyn’s sudden outburst caught everyone off guard. “You’re right, we’re against a powerful enemy and we don’t know what all she’s capable of. So why are you still trying so hard to spite us?” Cherry felt her heart melting at the sight of her girlfriend choking back tears. “You’re so full of hatred and jealousy, and you’re taking it out on the rest of us, just like you always do.”
Before Jinta could respond, Meredith held up her hand. “That’s enough girls.” Her voice was weak, but it was enough to snap everyone to attention. “I placed a barrier around the cellar and brought us to safety. Normally that would be enough to contain a foe, but I doubt it’ll hold Zenith forever.” She sounded weary, and required Valia’s help to stand up again. “First of all, Cherry. My dear. Why didn’t you ask for help when you knew something was going wrong?”
The question felt like a dagger in her stomach. “I… I wanted to do it right.” Her voice was cracking as she spoke. She felt meek and ashamed of herself. “You’ve been doing the ritual for so long, and I felt like I was ready to take over, and…” her voice trailed off as the weight of what happened fully sunk in. It was fully possible her mother would’ve been able to do something to stop Zenith from appearing. “I just wanted you to be proud of me.”
Meredith pulled her daughter in for a hug. “Oh sweetie, you know I’m proud of you. And you know I’d happily do anything to help you.” But this time, her words felt somewhat hollow. “In any case,” the Queen continued, “It’s only a matter of time before Zenith breaks out and we have to fight her again.” She was speaking in a firm voice that was typically used in one place. The war council room. “Bellwyn, stay with me. I need to regain my strength and want you for protection. Jinta, get a messenger pigeon to the nearby lords as fast as possible. Valia, round up the guards and see what’s going on. It’s strange we haven’t seen any of them yet. The girls looked around, and sure enough, the throne room was strangely empty.
“Finally, Cherry. Get yourself suited up for battle.” A weak smile cracked her face. “I know how much you hate formal attire, and I think we can all agree your armour will be much more useful in this situation. Any questions?” Four heads shook at the same time. “Good. Let’s go and save our Kingdom.”