The Tale of a Mage (part 29)

Nyx stared at Livia for a long moment suspicion marking her features.

No offense but I find that hard to believe.” Her voice finally broke the silence.

I don’t particularly care what you believe.” Livia shrugged. “Besides we’re unlikely to be leaving this island in the foreseeable future. In time you will see I speak the truth.”

Does this mean you won’t spank me anymore?” Nyx’s tone was hopeful.

That will be entirely dependent on your behaviour.” Livia chuckled “So I suspect I will spank you frequently. That being said I promise I will only spank you if you truly deserve it.” Nyx frowned.

What gives you the right to determine whether I deserve it!” She snapped. Livia ignored the question.

I discovered a stream when I went for a walk. It would be wise for us to set up camp closer to it.” Livia turned a took off into the jungle at a stride. Nyx sighed and followed her.

Upon reaching the stream they began to set up camp. Nyx would have been satisfied to find a tree to sleep in but Livia insisted they set up a temporary dwelling. They worked in not quite companionable silence building a shelter out of branches, palm fronds, and vines, making beds out of bark moss and ferns, collecting firewood. Once the camp was completed to Livia’s standards, which Nyx felt to be unnecessarily high, they set to the task of collecting food. Livia set off to gather more coconuts. Nyx put together a makeshift bow using a vine and a bendy stick, she had lost all her weapons save one knife during the sea serpent attack. After sharpening several additional sticks against a rock she set off to hunt. By the time Livia returned with more coconuts and a collection of berries Nyx had a rabbit roasting over the fire. As they tore into their first decent meal since the sea serpent attack Livia broke the silence.

In the morning we’ll need to properly scout the island, determine whether there’s anything here we need to be concerned about. I’m not in the mood for surprises.”

And search for the others.” Nyx interjected.

False hope is for the weak.” Livia snapped.

Assuming the worst so as not to be disappointed is for the weak.” Nyx retorted.

What makes you think I care whether the others are dead or alive. It’s not like I had many other options after you dragged me into your little… adventure. I didn’t stay with you because I was invested in your mission’s success.”

Adventure? Dragged you?!” Nyx felt her temper rising. She took a deep breath. “You’re trying to make me angry because you don’t want to talk about this because you hope they’re alive just as much as I do. You care about Cassandra I can tell by the way you talk to her. You definitely care about Drucilla she wouldn’t get under your skin as much as she does if you didn’t.” Livia fixed Nyx with a fiery glare.

I do hope we find Drucilla tomorrow. I hope we find her rotting corpse.” She snarled.

It’s okay to care you know?” Nyx’s voice was soft. “It’s good actually, makes you almost resemble a person.”

Caring is foolish.” Livia jumped to her feet and stalked towards their makeshift hut. “I’m going to get some sleep. I advise you do the same.” Something about the way she said those words made Nyx’s heart ache. She shook herself. Caring, in general, might be a good thing but caring about Livia and the fucked up ways she chose to deal with her emotions was not. Nyx would not be doing herself any favours by humanising her. Nyx sighed and rose to her feet. Sleep did sound like an excellent idea.

Sleep was elusive. Nyx tossed and turned to the sound of Livia’s snores for what felt like an eternity. It seemed like she had only just drifted off when she was awakened with a jolt to cold hands dragging her from her bed. She looked up at the person responsible and a chill crept through her body. The woman was beautiful in a way that felt wrong. Everything about her was dark with the exception of her alabaster skin which seemed to glow in the moonlight. Nyx blinked a few times willing herself to wake up from what she desperately wished to be a dream. In a moment which felt instantaneous, she was shackled, left in the middle of the campsite. She glanced around. Her heart skipped a beat. Cassandra and Izzy were also here, also chained. It felt like the universe was mocking her. Against the odds, she and her sister had both survived and now they were about to get murdered by this… demon. Within moments Livia had been brought to join them.

The woman paced back and forth before them eyeing them like prey.

I’m about to offer you a deal.” She purred “A deal you would be wise to accept. I am currently in possession of your friend. I am also lacking a crew for my ship. Given that I cannot venture above deck during daylight hours this has left me stranded here. If you agree to serve as my crew I might just allow you all to leave with your lives once I reach my destination. If you refuse your friend will die.”

I vote we let this bitch kill the other bitch.” While Nyx felt terror building inside of her Livia just looked angry.

Oh..” The women chuckled. “Did I forget to mention, if you refuse I shall feast on all of you. Your friend is just extra collateral. If you agree to my terms she will remain with me at all times to ensure none of you try anything foolish.”

Nyx glanced at Cassandra confused upon noting her calm expression. She didn’t appear afraid just intensely focused on something Nyx could not see. She looked like an entirely different person to that which Nyx remembered.

Cassandra reached deep into her core feeling the magic build. One moment the strange woman was posturing before them making her threats. The next she was gaping in shocked confusion as the chains which held them in place disintegrated.

I have a counter offer.” Cassandra stepped forward. “You need a crew, we need a boat. You will free our friend and if you allow us to use your vessel to reach the Isle of the Fae we will assist you to go wherever it is you wish to go.”

Deal” A devious smile spread across Adrielle’s face.


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