The hard part, Kei thought to herself as she swung her lithe, taut body up and over the ancient crumbling wall of the Night's Keep, was coming up with a title for her latest adventure. Perhaps 'Kei and the Night Bloom's Doomed Tomb of Gloom'? Or was that a little too much assonance? She wanted something catchy, something that would roll of the tongue of the traveling bards that wandered through the Blind Unicorn Tavern every night and listened to her tales of heroism. A good tale worked wonders for her reputation, after all, and a monster slayer was only worth as much as her reputation.
She dropped down lightly, landing behind a patrol of lethargic zombies and decapitating a straggling undead soldier with the blade of her shovel before it even noticed her presence. Perhaps 'Kei and the Revenge of Gravedigger's Glory'? Kei ducked under the swipe of a necrotic set of talons as she mused on her artistic decision, bringing the shovel up like a spear to slice cleanly through the tomb guardian's neck. Perhaps that one focused a bit too much on the shovel? It was really just a focus for her powers, and Kei didn't want every wannabe adventurer out there thinking that all they needed to do to become a badass was steal her weapon.
On the other hand, she liked the idea of putting 'revenge' right there in the title. Kei brought the shovel around in a wide, slicing arc that went clean through the next three zombies that lurched forward at her. 'Revenge' was one of those good strong words that always got an audience's attention, and there was always someone hiring adventurers to avenge the death of a friend or a loved one at the hands of a bugbear or a troll or something. And these days, the gold couldn't flow in fast enough--Kei's little common house at the end of the street was full of new queerbabies who needed a place to stay until they got on their feet, and the king's taxes didn't pay themselves.
(Well, except for that one year where she negotiated a full tax holiday in exchange for taking out that frost giant who was blockading the main road into Hound's Port. But frost giants didn't come along every day, especially not with a very big head on a very big pike warning them off.)
Kei converted her momentum into a spin, ducking low under the outstretched arms of the last two undead and taking their legs off at the knees. She speared each of them through the skull, finishing them off, but her mind was still more on her muse than her battle. Would people really understand that a gravedigging shovel was getting revenge if it re-killed the zombies who unburied themselves? Or was that a bit too abstract? The Blind Unicorn attracted a bawdy crowd, there more for the liquor and the glory holes than the literary arts. They might not appreciate some of the subtleties of Kei's ideas.
Which wasn't to say Kei was above liquor and glory holes herself. She'd spent enough nights on both sides of that wall to appreciate the tavern's lewder charms--hell, one evening a month servicing the patrons could be as lucrative as a week's adventuring, depending on the clientele. Not that Kei had any plans of giving up monster slaying in favor of her oral talents just yet, but she did enjoy showing off her skills every once in a while. And it paid to keep in practice, just in case she met someone cute with the right equipment.
Kei got a forcible reminder that it didn't do to get distracted when the ground around her suddenly erupted in a forest of animated, skeletal arms. She did a whirling leap through the air that landed her on a headstone ten feet away and got her mind back on her principal task--devising a title for her adventure. 'Kei and the Forest of Skeletons' sounded pretty cool, of course, but nobody was scared of skeletons these days. Even the bartender had taken down a skeleton during the invasion of the Lich Prince. Those old bones just shattered too easy under the force of a good solid blow.
Especially from someone channeling the pure power of confidence in her true self, Kei thought, smashing a half-dozen ribcages with a wave of thunderous force from her shovel's tip. Not that any of the other women she'd encouraged to transition had wound up so determined in their gender identity that it literally leaked out of their fists, but Kei was pretty sure that they just needed a little more support. And maybe something heavy to hit things with.
Or possibly it was the sex. Kei had enjoyed a pretty high sex drive even before she transitioned, but now... well, confidence wasn't the only thing she was full to bursting with. Even with three girlfriends, she wasn't exactly breaking out of the 'lusty adventurer' stereotype any time soon. If anything, a bit of quality violence only seemed to turn her on--watching those skeletons crumble into bone fragments was enough to make Kei glad she had a roomy codpiece, and she really hoped she didn't run into a lamia or a siren. The last thing she needed was more distractions when she was sure she was about to come up with the perfect title.
She turned and headed for the ancient castle, slicing a ghast lengthwise when it charged her and kneecapping a couple of ghouls that tried to converge on her from the sides. 'Kei and the Onslaught of the Deadly Dead'. 'Kei and the Dreaded Dead at Night's Keep'. 'Kei and the Ghoulish Ghouls in the Shadow of Night's Keep'. 'Kei and the Unquiet Graveyard of the Night's Bloom'. The titles came almost as fast as the waves of zombies, and she got rid of them just as quickly. None of them seemed to have any real poetry. Maybe the problem was her choice of foe? Perhaps she'd find something better inside the keep. Certainly she had higher hopes for discovering treasure--Kei didn't even bother to search these losers' moldy old pockets.
The central gate was closed and locked, but the old bricks and crumbling mortar gave Kei plenty of handholds to climb up to one of the open windows that overlooked the ancient cemetery. There were no shutters, no bars, not even any glass--clearly, whatever inhabited the keep wasn't worried about midwinter drafts, let alone intruders. That was probably a good reason not to go in by kicking down the front door and demanding any loot that the owners had on hand, despite Kei's personal predilections in that direction.
Perching on the window sill, though, Kei discovered that there wasn't much in the way of cover inside. The interior was more a folly than a castle, opening up onto a single vast chamber with no furniture save a single wrought-iron throne at the far end. And seated in that throne... Kei's eyes narrowed. She recognized that corpse-white skin and raven-dark hair all too well. To say nothing of that slinky black dress and that extremely memorable cleavage. Once again, she'd come face-to-face with her old nemesis, the Dread Vampire Lilly of the Night's Bloom.
Well. One of her old nemeses, at any rate. The Night Bloom sprouted up new lairs and lieutenants and hordes of undead as quickly as the mushrooms that were their namesake, to the point where a graveyard full of ghouls and ghasts was as good as a signature that they'd infested an area again. Honestly, keeping their zombies at a manageable number for the city guard was enough to earn Kei her adventurer's pay tonight, even if she didn't know from long personal experience that Lilly kept a stash of gold and gems wherever she made her temporary home. A stash that a cunning, clever young woman might relieve her of, with a little stealth and a good distraction. Kei slipped a bottle of oil and a match out of her rucksack.
But she'd failed to reckon with the vampire's preternatural hearing. "Ah, Miss Kei," she called out, staring up at the window with her glowing red eyes. So much for stealth and cunning. "So good of you to visit. I trust that my guards gave you enough of a workout to inspire an appetite for the pleasures to come?" She smiled, baring a beautiful white smile with two razor-sharp fangs where her canine teeth should be. Kei suddenly wished she had a piece of paper handy--she'd just come up with 'Kei and the Necromantic Neck Romancer', and she didn't want to lose the idea during the battle.
Kei flipped the shovel around and dug the point into the ancient stone wall hard enough to sink in a couple of inches. She stepped off of the ledge, allowing the countering forces of gravity and the rock's resistance to the blade of Gravedigger's Glory to carry her down to the floor of the great hall safely. Once her feet touched the flagstones, she pulled the shovel free and whipped it around her head in circles in a combat stance. "Ready when you are," Kei shouted confidently, the eldritch energies she channeled tracing lines of force in the air with the weapon's every move.
Lilly chuckled. Her eyes flared up in twin crimson starbursts, instantly pinning Kei with overwhelming mesmeric power that left her brain blissfully numb. The shovel slipped from her nerveless fingers mid-spin, flying across the room to skitter across the flagstones and come to rest some thirty feet away from either Kei or her nemesis. The helpless, hypnotized woman's arms dropped to her sides, slack and limp, and her jaw hung open in a vacant expression of dazed, bewildered arousal. "Okay," Lilly said, her voice heavy with smug triumph. "I think I'm ready now."
She glided across the room faster than Kei's confused mind could possibly process, and caressed Kei's cheek with long, blood-red fingernails. "Oh, darling, you always do forget what a weak, vulnerable mind you have, don't you? Such a potent young woman in so many ways, but my strength is the strength of the night. And when the sun goes down, you sink into slumber, don't you?" She pressed lightly on Kei's forehead, and the helpless woman sagged to her knees on the stone floor. She knew she was seeing the delta between Lilly's thighs, barely concealed by the gauzy dress, but the afterimage of that blazing crimson stare was superimposed over her field of vision.
With skill born of long practice, Lilly dematerialized into mist for a scant fraction of a second, just long enough for her dress to billow and float down to the floor. She reappeared, completely naked, and entwined her fingers through Kei's short, dark hair. "Of course you do," she continued, her voice lulling Kei deeper into peace and pleasure. "The night brings sleep. The night brings darkness to your mind, sweet sapping lethargy that poisons your will and makes you mine. The night reminds you that you are still an animal in the end, with an animal's instincts... and an animal's lusts." She tugged Kei forward until the vacant, hypnotized woman's lips caressed Lilly's cool, pale labia, and Kei's shaft bobbed and twitched beneath her codpiece in uninhibited lust.
"That's a good slut," Lilly cooed, her chest utterly failing to heave in arousal as Kei's tongue slid out to explore the slick channel between the vampire's labia. "It's impossible to resist my cunt, isn't it? You need to taste the dark, forbidden pleasures of service to my will. You need to debase yourself on your knees before your mistress, show me your devotion with every lick and every moan against my clit. Do a good job, darling, and perhaps I won't drain you of every last drop of blood to feel your stolen warmth running through my veins." She laughed wickedly. "Or perhaps I will. You won't stop me if I do, will you? You will beg for death at my hands should I choose it."
Kei couldn't resist loosening the latches of her codpiece, stroking herself in mindless lust as she licked and sucked at the vampire's pussy. It tasted bitter with just a hint of sweetness, like one of the concoctions made by the city-states of the southern jungles that Kei had visited in her travels. Xhocolatl, that was it. Lilly tasted just like the darkest xhocolatl, and Kei couldn't get enough. Her tongue worked its way as deep as it would go between the hypnotic seductress's soaking labia.
"That's it," Lilly purred, her body retaining the stillness of death even as her orgasm soaked Kei's chin with her fluids. "Admit defeat for me. Debase yourself in service to your goddess, feel my control forcing you to lick until I choose to release you. Your resistance is meaningless, and your strength turns to water beneath my bottomless hypnotic stare. Doesn't that make you so aroused, my sweet slave? Don't you just love being weak and helpless for me?" Kei's eyes rolled back in her head, the tingling shaft in her hand sending pounding waves of ecstasy into her numb, drowsy brain. She couldn't hold back much longer.
"A-again, lick again," Lilly moaned, her breathless voice stuttering and halting as the climaxes intensified. "More, deeper, harder, longer, oh, oh fuck yes!" The tiniest quiver broke the stillness of her undead muscles, a sign of pleasure beyond Kei's imagination. It was enough to set off the kneeling woman's own orgasm, and she felt sticky heat spill out into her hand and onto the stone floor. She sagged, feeling the grip of Lilly's hypnosis finally ease away from her drowsy mind.
Lilly released Kei's hair. "Oh, that was a nice one, darling! Did you like all the 'beg me for death' shit? I was a little worried it might be over the top, but eh. Some of my compatriots say things like that all the time." She hauled Kei up to her feet and scooped up the codpiece to hand it over to the adventurer. "This is the bit that's always tricky," she murmured, dissolving into fog and flowing into the shapeless dress on the floor.
Kei took the opportunity to rebuckle her codpiece, then watched as the dress billowed out into an upright stance under the force of the gradually solidifying mist. "That's harder than it looks," Lilly muttered to herself as she finally straightened up into fully tangible form. "There's a lot of control involved in materializing at the right speed." She leaned in and gave Kei a quick peck on the cheek. "Thank you, daring, it was lovely as always. I trust you smashed up enough of my more boring servants to earn your pay tonight?"
Kei chuckled, crossing the great hall to pick up her shovel from where it fell. "Probably not quite yet, but I'm sure I'll have enough by the time I fight my way out. I assume you've got your usual excuses ready?" Lilly had gotten so skilled at concealing their little trysts from the other lieutenants of the Night Bloom that Kei didn't have the heart to tell the beautiful vampire that most of her compatriots were just as disinterested in conquering the world as she was. It was fun to let her various nemeses each think that they were the only ones more interested in sexy 'Evil Overlord' roleplay than in actual battle.
"Of course, darling," Lilly purred, pressing her hand dramatically to her forehead. "'Oh, that sneaky bitch bathed in holy water before our fight! Her very touch burned me and I had to flee for my own safety!' I'm sure none of them will suspect a thing." She gestured back at the throne. "The gold is in its usual compartment if you need any--I know those poor girls of yours need food and clothing and, um... so forth." Lilly had already forgotten many of the human necessities, but she understood that dignity was always important.
Kei smiled. "Thanks, sweetie. You'll be at the lair on Shadow's Bluff in two weeks, right? The cavern with the abandoned mines?" Lilly nodded eagerly. "Then I'll meet you there," Kei murmured, giving the vampire's cool hands an affectionate squeeze before the other woman transformed into a bat and flew off into the night sky. Kei went over and unbarred the front gates to reveal dozens of skeletons, zombies, and ghouls just waiting to charge, and she smiled eagerly as she prepared for the fight. By the time she got home to her girlfriends, she'd be more than worked up enough for another bout of sex... and they weren't worried if Kei had a few nights with Lilly and her friends here and there. They knew that no matter how many times the vampires hypnotized Kei, she always remembered who to come home to.