The Titan and the Temple
Several days had passed as the trio made their way up into the foothills and then the high mountain forests. This way they could advance towards Mt Iso with cover, hopefully avoiding any bandits or cult member who could be watching for them. They made good speed as all three were fast on their feet, and the warm spring air made the trip quite pleasant. The forest near Mt Iso was bright and spacious, the white aspen trees allowing a breeze to flow through the air. The soft rustling of the leaves was pleasant and gently lifted Jewel’s hair behind her. They walked in single file to hide their numbers, and often looped back around to check for followers.
Krya was walking slowly in the rear, her arms up behind her head as she took slow steps. She began to whistle a tune, a quick paced song as if she were bored. This was not the case. Titania noticed and slowed down a bit, so she could be within ear shot.
“Followed?” Titania asked.
“Yeah… three.” Krya said softly as she continued forward. “They are trying to flank us… any moment I think.” She whispered.
Titania laughed as if she had heard a funny joke, and then walked to catch up and warn Jewel.
“She hear something?” Jewel asked.
“Indeed. Better start focusing some mana.” Titania said with a nod, putting her hand on the hilt of her sword.
Jewel stayed close to Titania and began to chant her magical words, drawing magic in around her. However, she was a professional and said the words in a jaunty, almost amused tone. It was as if she was speaking to Titania and occasionally one of the other two would laugh or make a comment to cover what she was really doing. It was like having a conversation, even though no one was actually speaking anything.
Titania laughed and spoke as if telling a funny story. “Are they there still?”
“Yeah…” Krya responded as if responding to an annoying joke. “And one is big…”
“Big? Or big big?” Titania asked.
“Green… like an orc.” Krya said, before making a gesture for her to look forward. “Here they come.”
From a small pile of broken wood nearby, Mila and company watched. They were slowly catching up with the Blade’s, preparing to put Mila’s plan into motion. Olga was as silent as a mouse as she moved, but the other two were light on their feet as well.
“They seem oblivious. They’re just talking and laughing” Jaks said with a grin. “We should rush em now.”
“Wait.” Mila hissed in his ear. “We need time to get my spell up and ready.”
“I will take brown haired tinplate girl.” Olga said, referring to the knight.
“I got the knify scarred one.” Jaks added.
“Remember!” Mila hissed. “We need to catch them off guard! This has to work or we won’t get another shot at this!” The others nodded and Mila sighed. “Ok then we go on my command, and be careful to-“
“Go! Got it!” Jaks cried, leaping up and rushing towards the trio with his blade drawn.
“No dummy! WAIT!” Mila snapped.
“He thinks with his little sword, more than his head.” Olga said, grunting and leaping up. “We improvise then!” She said as she rushed off.
“Damn it!” Mila hissed, starting her spell. “I guess we improvise…” She said, as she stood and hurried after them.
Krya heard Jaks coming behind her, leaping up and back flipping over him before he could strike her with the flat of his sword. He missed and stumbled forward towards Titania, who whirled back, her own blade sliding from her sheath with a metallic hiss. She swung as he tried to slow to a stop, her sword slapping into his and sending it flying from his hands. As it crashed into the bushes, he threw a punch at Titania who slid aside. He felt his leg hit something hard in the shin, looking down to see Krya had jumped in with one leg outstretched and had tripped him.
Jaks yelped as he hit the forest floor, dirt flying into his face as he knocked the wind out of himself with the fall. “Shit!” He managed to wheeze.
He was about to roll back to his hands and knees, when a glowing spectral knife slid under his throat. Krya was grinning at him, and he was surprised to see she was far more gorgeous in person. “Stay put bandit, or I’ll have to bleed ya.” She said with a wink.
“You got it.” He coughed, not wanting to be cut.
A roar caused Krya to leap back, a huge orc woman rushing in from the side. She was green, covered with scars and brown furs, her white fangs flashing as she raised her axe above her head. Krya was about to leap away, when Titania flew in, her weapon implants glowing through her clothes as she focused her power. Olga swung her axe, intending to plow Titania out of the way with the flat of it. However, to her shock, Titania rushed into the attack, which Olga suddenly feared meant she would be cut by the blade. However Titania swung with unnatural strength, guided by her magical implants that Mila had failed to notice or report. Her blade sung and sliced through the air, cutting Olga’s axe in half before a wall of magical force flung her back.
Olga roared and slammed into a tree, cracking the white aspen and hitting the ground like a sack of bricks. “Grrrr, damn human magic! Cheaters!” Olga snarled, as Titania pointed her blade down at her.
“Stay down beast!” Titania said, a pearly smile on her face. “Or I’ll cut that green skin off and make a belt for my friend over there.”
Olga spit. “Girlfriend more like.”
Titania winced in anger at the implication as Krya blushed, for there was some truth to this. “Foul beast!” Titania snapped.
Mila darted in, slashing at Titania to force her back from Olga, and then releasing her hands as a cloud of blue and purple roiling smoke engulfed them. She pulled Olga back up as Jaks rolled away from Krya, taking cover besides them.
“I said…” Mila started to scold Jaks.
“I know I know!” He blurted, pulling a long dagger. “What’s the plan?”
“Keep them busy like I said!” Mila said as she hurried forward towards the advancing form of Titania in the gloom.
She tried to rush past Titania with the intent of tackling Jewel before she could use her magic. However Jewel was already glowing like a burning torch, her hands outstretched and her hair fluttering above her head.
“Be gone darkness!” Jewel boomed, and a burst of wind hit all three, sending them tumbling back like logs dropped down a hill. When they came to a stop they were covered in bruises and quite dizzy. Mila sat up, still dazed as Jaks groaned and tried to stand, his legs wobbly beneath hm. Before either could move, Krya snapped a pair of bolas at them, the whipping ropes black and shiny. They snapped around Jaks and Mila, tangling them in loops as they groaned and tried to stand. Krya was on them in an instant, tripping Jaks once more, and then forcing Mila down onto her knees with a shimmering blade at her neck.
“I’d stay still buddy… unless you want me to cut your pretty girlfriend here.” Krya said, Mila’s wide eyes looking at the blade… and Krya’s surprisingly large bust.
“Wow… those are big…” Mila quipped.
“What?” Krya said, a curled smile forming in her face. “Did you just comment on my chest?”
“Staying still!” Jaks interrupted. “Staying still! So don’t cut her…”
“Smart boy.” Krya laughed.
Olga recovered and began to roar, hurrying forward to tackle Titania. “I bury you in the dirt up to your chin!” She threatened.
“Sleep like a big green baby.” Jewel laughed, sending a spell of soft luminous dust towards her.
Olga entered the dust and began to groan, her eyes rolling back and her charge running out of steam. She stumbled, plodded and then came to a slow stop before Titania, who was preparing to attack her, but then lowered her sword. Olga swayed like a felled tree and crashed down onto her back, her large breasts bouncing ash she did. Soon she was snoring and sputtering in a deep sleep, her black hair over her eyes.
“Great!” Jaks barked, trying to break free from the loops around his arms. “Fine time to take a nap Olga!”
With Mila’s gang subdued, the Blades all began to move in, grinning at their would be attackers.
“You three really suck at being quiet, you know that?” Krya snorted. “I heard you way back when we entered the forest.”
“Lemme guess…” Mila said sardonically. “It was the guy grunting wasn’t it?”
Krya nodded as Jaks huffed. “Sure… blame me.”
“I don’t know why the three of you attacked us…” Titania said, keeping her sword at her side. “…but it was foolish. We could have killed you easily.”
“We should still kill you.” Jewel snorted. “Peasant riffraff.”
“Up yours princess.’ Jaks growled.
“We were just desperate for money!” Mila spoke up, trying to head Jaks off before he made matters worse. We didn’t mean to hurt you…”
“Well it was a pretty inept endeavor.” Jewel said.
“Yeah… especially big boy over here, charging out of the forest like an orc.” Krya said, winking at Jaks. “Rooooooaaaaaah!!!” She imitated, trying sound like him and stupid at the same time.
“I didn’t sound like that!” Jaks barked.
“Yes you did.” Mila said with a sigh. “So… are you going to kill us?”
“No. We don’t kill if we don’t have to.” Titania said.
“And you three were pretty pathetic.” Krya added with a wink.
“Not a real threat at all.” Jewel snorted.
“OK! We get it.” Jaks huffed. “We suck… don’t need to rub it in.”
“Maybe we don’t, but there will need to be some… punishment to humiliate you for your attempt…” Titania said coldly.
Mila and Jaks exchanged a nervous look, before turning back to their captors.
“You three need to be taught a lesson.” Krya laughed. “What do you think Titania?”
“Hmm… the same thing we did to Tethys that time?” She asked Jewel.
Jewel grinned. “Yeah… that will do. Take em off.” She said coldly.
“Take of… what?” Mila asked.
“Your panties… and his underwear.” Krya said with a grin. “And… whatever… that wears.” She added, pointing to Olga.
“SHE happens to prefer not to wear them!” Mila snapped. “She’s also a big sweetheart!”
“I’m sure she is just delightful. Now take yours off and give us all your underwear from your satchels too.” Jewel said, raising her hand as a flame appeared over her palm.
Mila sighed and looked to Jaks who shrugged. “Better than dying…” He muttered.
Ten minutes later, Krya was grinning as she held a pair of soft white boxers and a skimpy little blue pair of panties in her hand. “You bought underwear that matched your hair?” She laughed.
Mila was standing straight, face as red as a tomato, her hands pulling her short skirt down in front of her. She was desperate to keep her groin covered so they would not see she had blue hair there too. However as she was pulling her skirt down, she could feel a cold draft from behind as she could not keep both sides down and her round attractive butt was flashing in the breeze. She knew they could see her butt and Krya continued to laugh at them, the other two smirking as she trembled in humiliation.
“I’m glad this is so funny for you…” Mila said with a sneer.
“Hey, better not let her see you checking out her butt big man.” Krya said with a laugh.
Mila whipped her head back, her eyes shooting to see if Jaks was looking at her exposed rear. He was looking away, holding his own pants up so his butt wouldn’t be exposed, whistling as he tried to look innocent. However… his cheeks were red and he was covering his groin with one hand.
“Jaks… I swear… if you peeked.” She growled.
“You three are the most pathetic guttersnipes we have ever had the misfortune of facing in battle.” Jewel said, flipping her hair back over her shoulder. “Just trash.”
“Indeed. I would invest in some combat training before you try to fight anyone else” Titania added.
“Or perhaps just go back to your dirt farms and stay there like good peasants.” Jewel snapped as she turned. “Come on Blades. We’re leaving.” She said as she walked off.
Titania turned and followed after her, while Krya winked and stuffed their underwear into her pockets. “See ya! Next time… we’ll leave ya naked.” She laughed and then skipped after her friends, leaving Mila and Jaks trembling as Olga snored.
As Krya caught up to Jewel she laughed. “Damn Jewel… you’re pretty cruel when ya want to be.”
“Indeed…” Titania said with a shake of her head. “You should lighten up.”
“I’ll treat dirty peasants however I like. That’s why they are peasants.” Mila could hear Jewel say as they started to move off.
“Uh… we ARE peasants.” Krya added before both she and Titania began to laugh at their stuck up friend.
Soon they were gone and Jaks began to sigh, gently nudging Olga to wake her up. “Well that was pathetic… Olga… OLGA wake up.”
Olga woke up with a long yawn and a slow stretch. “Have we lost yet?” She asked before she looked up at Mila and blinked in surprise. “Mila, you have a naked butt! Where did your panties go?”
“They uh… spared us… but not our underwear.” Jaks said with a grunt, Mila still silent.
“Eh is no loss… Olga no wear panties and she fine.” Olga said, rising up and noticing that Mila was not paying attention. “Mila, you ok?”
Mila was silent, but grinning. She nodded and then began to laugh. “Oh… I’m better than ok.”
“You are?” Jaks snorted. “I hate to say it, but we just lost… and you’re uh… butt is showing.”
“Yeah… but I got it!” Mila said. “They were so focused on you two that my spell worked! I got it!
“Got what?” Jaks asked, exchanging a glance with Olga.
Mila turned around and slowly opened her palms. “While they were busy with you two… I cast my switching spell and they never noticed.”
“And this did what for us?” Jaks asked as he and Olga leaned in to see what was in Mila’s hands.
She her palms opened, a soft green glow emanating from within as Mila grinned broadly.
“Our payday!” Mila said with a laugh.
By dawn of the next day, the Blades had arrived at Mt. Iso, and found themselves staring down the hill at the temple. It was a gaudy building with high towers and spiraling architecture, white architecture painted with crimson and maroon tones that made it stand out against the green pines and rocky granite cliff faces of the mountain. However it was strange, with swirling patterns, hatching patterns, odd faces and grimacing skulls hinted at the unnatural presence within.
“Well, someone went for “creepy” when they designed this structure.” Titania said as she and the others hunkered down in a row of bushes to the east. She furrowed her brow. “It seems almost as if it was designed by a crazed committee, than be designed by any mortal.”
“Most likely the Demon demanded changes to the original structure.” Jewel said, leaning down to peer through a small pair of opera spectacles. “Hmm… It looks quiet. I don’t see any cultists on the outside and all the windows appeared to be sealed.”
Titania turned and looked at her. “Perhaps they are asleep in the day?” She then leaned back. “Or perhaps they are hiding. This is supposed to be a siege is it not?”
“More like a cordon.” Jewel said, putting her spectacles back in her bag. “The Order just stops them when they try to come out.”
“No, something’s up.” Krya said, peering through the clearing around the temple. “I didn’t see any Order knights or archers hiding in the trees on our approach.”
Jewel considered this a moment. “Perhaps Dominique pulled them back… knowing we are coming?”
“Maybe… but to vanish all at once is odd.” Titania commented.
Jewel waved her hand. “No matter. We have a job to do. We have to take out the Titan first.”
“Well where is it?” Krya asked. “Hard to hide something called a “titan” after all.”
“There.” Jewel said pointing to the gatehouse. “See in the shadow of the arch.”
Peering forth, the other two could see there was a shadow there. The gate was arched and the door itself was heavy and thick, parted down the middle. There in the darkness of the shadow cast by the noon day sun they could see a shape, humanoid, but odd and alien. It had a muscular shape like a man, but the hands were wrong, too few fingers and its head was a bizarre shape. It was like a face with no head behind it, but instead of a mouth and eyes it had a single round hole in the exact center, two large prongs like horns rising up above it. It was easily twenty feet tall, and its body had a gray texture like stone or mortar.
“Phoo…” Krya hissed. “That’s a Titan alright.”
“So what’s the plan?” Titania asked. “We can’t attack it from the front.”
“No, we need to get it to come to us. I say we attack the building from a distance and the cultists will send it out to attack us.” Jewel said, reading through her tome.
“How do we know they’ll take the bait?” Krya asked.
“Because they always sent it out to attack when the Order would throw magic or boulders at the building with onagers.” Jewel said, grinning as she chose a particularly loud and percussive spell. “This should do the trick.”
“So we lure it out and take it from behind?” Titania said, drawing her sword, her implant stones humming in resonance with it. “I’ll go east. Krya, stay down and move to the west, get around behind it.”
“Sounds good to me.” Krya said, ducking down and moving west to circle the building. “Good luck as bait.” She said, giving Jewel a thumbs up.
Jewel smiled. “Let’s do what my parents hated… let’s make some noise.
Mistress Lani was now a short little girl, pouting as several cultists rubbed her feet and tried to cheer her up. She was wearing an initiate’s garments which had been trimmed to resemble her sexy transparent garments, though she now lacked a mature body to show off. She had her arms crossed and stared ahead with a furrowed brow.
“Don’t worry mistress. In a few years when you grow up, you will be able to do all the adult things you wanted to do now.” The first cultist said.
“Indeed! And you will be the youngest and prettiest master who ever ruled over the temple for the Great one!” The second added, as she rose and patted Lani on the head gently.
Lani’s face twisted as she pursed her lips, her anger growing at being treated like a child. But she was a child and unable to enjoy any of the pleasures an adult could imbibe in, not even alcohol, much less naughtier things.
“Hey! I have an idea!” The second cultist said. “Why don’t I run down and get you a lemon pastry from the chef!”
“Oh! You love lemon pastries! That will make you feel better, won’t it! Won’t it little mistress!” The first cultist cooed.
“Shut UP!” Lani cried leaping to her feet, the other two looking surprised. “I’m not a little kid! I don’t need to be tweated like a little giwl!” She growled, slapping at them both and throwing a pillow at the second. “Feaw me! FEAW ME FOW I AM YOW MASTEW!!!” She belted out, throwing her arms and trying to look powerful.
The two cultists stared for a moment, before both clasped their hands together and put them to their cheeks, squealing at how adorable Lani seemed now.
“OH!!! Mistress you are so sweet!” The first said, bending down and hugging her master. “You are the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen!”
“You are like an adorable kitten! A kitten riding a puppy and holding a baby duckling!” The second said, pinching Lani’s cheek.
Lani grimaced. “When I gwow up… I will kill you both fow dis diswespect.”
“It’s worth it!” They both cheered, causing Lani to sigh, surrendering to them.
“At least they are adoring me…” She thought. “FINE!” She announced. “You… bwing me the lemon pastwy, and you… keep adowing me…” She instructed the eager cultists.
Suddenly there was a bang so loud, the temple shook, dust falling from the ceiling. Lani tumbled backwards, landing on her butt and gasping as the other cultists dove beside her to shield her. Another blast rocked the building and this time the two cultists threw themselves over her, using their bodies to shield her.
“What’s happening?” Lani cried trying to get out from under them.
A cultist ran into the chamber, gasping and bruised slightly. “We are under siege! Magic! Magic bolts are being hurled at the temple!”
Lani gasped, wondering if this was the Order, renewing their attack on their temple. “S-send out the Titan! Cwush the intwudews! Cwush them now!” She commanded, her short hair bouncing, still in the style she wore as an adult.
“Ahhhh! She’s so cuuuuuuuuute!” The cultists said in triplicate, causing Lani to sigh.
“I KNOW I’M CUTE! DO AS I COMMAND!” She bellowed. “SEND OUT THE TITAN NOW!!!!
Jewel hurled spell after spell at the temple; being careful not to hit it too hard, lest it be damaged and black their path. For a long minute the Titan seemed to ignore her, staring at her from a distance, the odd open hole in its face rotating to focus on her. Then from somewhere up on the Temple’s steeple came a horn, a loud ululating sound which then turned deep and echoed out over the clearing. The Titan grumbled almost, as if a big dog roused from sleep and then with a ponderous motion, took a step out from the gate. The step easily passed over almost nine feet and landed with a crunch, before taking a second long step that crushed the stones beneath it. The Titan was advancing towards her, its fists clenched in clear intention to crush her like an insect.
“Alright big guy!” Jewel laughed. “Hold these for me!” She said as she raised her hands and a blue flash of light whipped around her fingers.
Huge boulder’s rose from the ground around her, pulled up through the brown wet soil. They spun, hovering several feet over the ground, before she pointed towards the advancing demonic monstrosity. The boulders shot towards it, one at a time, each one striking it at incredible speed. Each boulder exploded in a puff of dust and stones, pebbles clattering down like thick rain one after the other. However the Titan seemed not to even notice them, stomping closer and closer. She kept up the barrage, her eyes glowing as she maintained her magic, until the Titan broke into a plodding but earthshaking jog. It leapt up at her, bringing both fists together and trying to crush her beneath them.
“Too slow big boy!” Jewel said, her hands opening and releasing a burst of wind. She was thrown backwards out of the impact, wrapping her cape around her to shield herself. The fists crushed down, shattering the dirt and stones, sending debris flying up in all directions and leaving a crater the size of a wagon in its wake. It rose up out of the pillar of dust and then stood like a mountain as pebbles and debris clattered off of Jewel’s cape.
She grinned at it in defiance. “You’re big… but that makes you slow.” She said, raising her hands as a burst of small glowing red balls appeared at her fingertips.
Each ball sputtered, flared and expanded into fireballs the size of pumpkins, which then exploded into the creatures face, hitting it hard enough to back it up. Jewel hurled ten in a row at it, her face beginning to drip with sweat as she used a great deal of power to distract it. However this was costly and she was beginning to grow fatigued.
“OK! Any time now!” She yelled. “Getting a little tired!”
Just then the Titan reached down, driven by an infernal power and focus, its huge hand opening and rushing towards her. She gasped, shocked by its power and the realization that it was about to grab her. Just before the huge arm sized fingers closed around her, a shadow arced in from the side, leaping over the rhino like skin of the Titan’s arm. There was a twin flash of blue lights, cutting through the air and Jewel closed her eyes waiting to feel the impact of the hand. The impact never came, but a huge thump sounded before her, as she opened her eyes to see that the massive hand was now cut from the arm. It twitched at her feet, a purple blood pouring from its severed wrists as the fingers continued to grab at her.
“Sorry about that!” Krya laughed, twirling her twin spectral daggers. “You didn’t pee yourself did you?” She asked Jewel with wink.
Jewel had in truth peed a little, but snarled at Krya to hide it. “What kept you, you cretin!?”
Both of them watched as the Titan seemed to look at its severed hand, then the arm before it groaned and rose back up to its full height before them.
“Get that wind spell ready.” Krya said, before rushing towards it. “Wait till I tell you and then push it back!”
“I know what to do! It’s my plan!” Jewel said, trying not to pay attention to her accident.
Krya rushed the monster, flipping over it and slashing deep gashes into its wounds with the spectral blades she could create from her implant stones. The creature moaned and swatted at her, missing by miles as Krya flowed like water around a stone. Blue flashes weakened the creatures legs chunks of its thick flesh around its knees and legs were cut away, the purple blood pouring down its body and pooling around it’s feet.
“You fight like a drunk giant!” She laughed as it tried to stomp her.
Suddenly its fist came from an angle Krya wasn’t expecting and she realized she was about to get hit… HARD. She winced and closed her eyes, gasping as an impact took her from her feet. However this was not the Titan, but Titania who had shoved her aside at the last moment. Krya landed in the dirt as Titania slashed her blade up and cut straight through the Titan’s arm. It tumbled away as the Titan reared back and stumbled away in anger and frustration.
Titania reached down and picked Krya from the ground, the scarred rouge grinning at her. “Thanks!”
“Don’t mention it.” Titania said, blushing as Krya kissed her on the cheek.
“Stop making out you peasant wretches and let’s kill this!” Jewel cried.
“She peed her pants again?” Titania said as she readied her sword. Krya nodded and Titania laughed. “Poor rich girl can’t hold her water.”
“SHUT UP AND KILL IT!” Jewel screamed, red faced.
Krya lunged forward, passing between the Titan’s legs and slashing at both of them at once. Chunks flew from its thick legs as it roared in rage. Titania rushed after her, swinging her sword and cutting its leg in half at the right knee. The Titan wobbled as its leg flopped off and landed before it, trying to stay upright. Jewel threw her hands back and released a concussive blast of wind that hit the Titan like a fist, and threw it back. As it fell, Titania ran beside it, brining her blade up and leaping just as it hit the ground beside her. She flipped in the air, spun sideways and brought her sword down like a woodcutter chopping a piece of wood.
“NOW!” She cried, her stones flaring to life and giving her incredible strength for this one instant.
The sword hit, bit down and then sliced through the fallen Titan’s body like it was made of cheese. The Titan groaned like a wooden bridge collapsing and then its head was sliced from its body rolling away. Then in an instant the body exploded, returning its matter to the abyss from whence it came, the head sputtering fired before doing the same. Then a silence descended on the clearing as Titania rose and smirked at her friends.
“Well… the Titan is done.” She said with a huff.
“We da best!” Krya laughed, her spectral blades vanishing with a flash of light.
Jewel smiled, though still catching her breath. “Let’s get in and finish this.”
The three turned and walked with deserved confidence towards the door of the Temple, tall and proud like heroes of old.
From the nearby bushes, Mila watched and gasped. “No wonder they beat our asses so easily.” She said, turning back to her waiting comrades. “Alright… let’s put out plan in motion!”
END CHAPTER TWO