The Tale of a Mage (part 4)

Nyx shivered slightly as she sat in the tree staring up at the moon. The sun had set at least an hour ago and it was now rather cold. Nyx’s hand throbbed where she had cut herself and her stomach was starting to growl. She now regretted refusing Livia’s offer of food. She peered down through the leaves. She could just make out Livia’s form in the dark, still sitting at the base of the tree in roughly the same position she had been when she initially sat down. Could she be asleep? Nyx wondered. She had stopped muttering profanity under her breath about half an hour ago that was a good sign. Nyx’s stomach grumbled again, she stared intently down at Livia’s silhouette, she knew that Livia’s pack must be nearby. Perhaps if she was careful she could slip down the tree, steal some of Livia’s food and other supplies and sneak away into the darkness without being detected. It would be taking a huge risk though. While Nyx would never tell the queen what she wanted to know she knew she would find a way to use her to achieve her ultimate goal. The prospect of terrifying. Nyx could not allow that to happen.

Nyx remained in the tree for another ten to fifteen minutes staring longingly at Livia’s pack before her hunger and anxiety over being cornered won out. Nyx took a deep breath and slowly began to descend from the tree. She reached the ground and glanced at the still sleeping Livia with a sense of pride. Few people could climb down a tree in virtual silence but stealth was one of Nyx’s strengths.

Keeping her eyes on Livia she slowly reached for the pack. Livia still appeared to be sleeping peacefully, oblivious to Nyx’s attempt at theft. She turned her attention to the pack determined to find what she needed as quickly as possible. As an elf, her ability to see in the dark was superior to that of the average human however it was largely experience which led Nyx to locate the lump of bread and knife for which she was searching. Feeling pleased she made to slip the knife between her breasts. However, her actions were cut short as a hand closed around her wrist. Nyx let out a high pitched squeal.

“And just what does the little elf think she’s doing?” Livia’s other hand reached for Nyx. Before she could fully register what was happening Nyx had been flipped onto her stomach, both her wrists pinned by Livia’s right hand and a knee in the middle of her back.  The knife was removed from her hand and tossed to the side. Nyx squirmed and kicked her feet but her efforts were futile. Livia grabbed a fist full of Nyx’s hair with her free hand and roughly yanked her head backwards. Leaning forward she positioned her mouth next to Nyx’s ear and chuckled. “I do hope the little elf wasn’t attempting to steal from me”

“I don’t believe it possible for me to steal my own knife” Nyx spat.

“Perhaps” Livia growled, “however my bread certainly does not belong to you.”

“You did offer it to me earlier” Nyx pointed out “so technically I had your permission to take it.”

Livia remained silent abruptly letting go of Nyx’s hair. She reached into her pack and pulled out her rope. Not expecting the sudden lack of tension on her hair Nyx’s face slammed into the ground a sizable amount of dirt making its way into her mouth. She spluttered attempting to spit out as much as possible.

“It seems I underestimated you” Livia began wrapping the rope around Nyx’s wrists “I will not do that again”.

When she finished tying Nyx’s wrists Livia began weaving the rope over her arms in and out until they were thoroughly immobilised. She then focused her efforts on her ankles progressively working her way up her calves finishing off just above her knees. Satisfied that Nyx would not be escaping Livia lifted her, placing her face down over a nearby rock. Before Nyx had fully registered her new position, Livia pushed up her skirt and pulled down her undergarments. Livia drew her sword flourishing it in front of Nyx’s face.

“I hope the escape attempt was worth it, little elf.” Livia smirked. Nyx growled at her. Livia raised her sword and brought the flat side down hard on Nyx’s bottom. Nyx screamed. She knew this was going to hurt but she had not expected it to hurt quite that much. Livia brought the sword down again. Nyx let out another squeal and tried to roll out of the way. Livia thwarted her attempt at escape grabbing a fist full of her hair and dragging her back into position.  Livia placed a hand in the middle of Nyx’s back to hold her in place her sword finding its mark three times in quick succession.  Nyx burst into tears. It felt like she was being branded, repeatedly. Well, maybe. Nyx had never been branded before so she was not entirely qualified to make the comparison. This is how she imagined it would feel to be branded though.

“Please… I’ll cooperate!” Nyx howled. Nyx had no intention of cooperating however it was worth a try. Livia was not moved.

“It appears the little elf is regretting her decision” Livia chuckled with malice in her voice. She continued to deliver the lesson with increased tempo. Nyx struggled, screaming with each searing stroke. The sword fell again and again. Nyx quickly lost count of how many strokes she had received. She had never experienced pain like this before. She revised her previous thought. This was worse than being branded… probably.  Nyx was starting to doubt Livia would ever stop when she finally returned her sword to its sheath.

Livia surveyed her work with satisfaction. Nyx’s bottom had surpassed a uniform shade of red, now embellished with patches of dark purple. Nyx remained over the rock sobbing brokenly. Livia sighed impatiently, propelling Nyx off the through the application of her boot. Nyx screamed again as her bottom met the forest floor.

“Get some rest.” Livia growled, “We leave at first light.”

Nyx rolled onto her stomach and lay fuming in silence. The bounty hunter would pay dearly for this. Not right now. Everything hurt too much right now. When her bottom healed, however, Livia was going to die.”

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