Following our passionate rendezvous, Cass had rather immediately taken to sealing her lips tight whenever I was around. She approached me only when necessary during expeditions, and if the two of us passed by each other in town, she would merely give a knowing wink before walking in the opposite direction. I would have been irate with her had I not been so unbelievably turned on by such a brazen gesture. I had no doubt that she herself realized this and was milking it for its full worth.

Questions of what the woman meant to me continued to resonate in the back of my mind. It was an admitted long shot, though I had to consider its plausibility regardless. Even if it turned out as little more than infatuation, I was willing to settle for whatever would give me more time to spend around her. So by the tenth day, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

The monks at the monastery informed me that when she was offered lodging as part of her training, Cass had politely declined. As such, they knew not where she stayed currently. Since I couldn’t ask her outright, I decided to follow her home one evening, careful to stick to the shadows every step of the way. After thirty minutes and a few close calls, we had arrived to what appeared to be a blacksmith’s forge. An elderly man motioned her inside, the thick wooden door slamming behind them.

I watched inquisitively as the glow of candles suddenly illuminated the second floor. Could this be it, then? I waited thirty minutes, rooted in place as the dusk bathed the town in violet. There was no mistaking that this was where she hung her proverbial hat, though Cass herself had never mentioned anything like this – not to me, anyhow. She probably has her reasons. I’ll ask her tomorrow. Turning on my heel, I jogged briskly through the streets in the direction of my own tenement. This could certainly wait, and I had more urgent needs to attend to anyway.

As I lay down to rest that evening, I found myself thinking back to what Cass had said just days prior. She had regarded the magic I used as being more akin to an offensive technique, similar to the Black Arts. I couldn’t understand how that was even possible. In its simplest elements, healing magic of any sort was to be granted through the blessings of the White Arts – blessings granted only through cooperation with the energies of nature.

However, that was only our human understanding of what magic actually was. This ethereal substance which permeated our world could only be observed by obtaining a thorough understanding of its core language. The Arts represented a fundamental dichotomy inherent to that language: the will to ask, or the will to command. Being a channeler meant that my blessings upon others would be matched by this magical energy, nothing more or less than that.

The reasons for that were self-evident. Asking for anything greater would traverse into territories unholy. Those of the White Arts were never to attempt acts of the divine – we couldn’t raise the dead or grant eternal life. For the sake of reality and preservation of the status quo, our reach was limited. The same could not be said for those of the Black Arts.

To command the magic to act in accordance with one’s will was no different than rewriting reality altogether. It had the potential to run rampant, consuming vast amounts of magic while destabilizing the area surrounding it. Demons, while not known to have knowledge of magical languages, had somehow been naturally granted this taboo. That was why they needed to be fought. As for the humans who relied on it, I found myself incredibly anxious around them. Even Cass terrified me a little whenever she was at the peak of her power.

And yet, as a demonkin, where exactly did that leave me? If within me this taboo existed, would it even be possible for me to… No, that could never happen. I need not entertain such foolish ideas. Closing my eyes, I resigned myself to the world of dreams for the time being.

Morning brought with it a rather unseasonable chill which coated the town in a thin layer of frost. I was awoken by the stirring of my cock, its tip poking free of my robes and rubbing sensually against the soft cotton of my bed sheets. When I pulled the fabric aside, the air rushed into my robes and thoroughly saturated my skin with its icy sharpness. I could feel my breasts tingling, my nipples hardening with an unbridled sensitivity.

Huh… This could be a problem… I pressed my fingers to the side of my shaft which caused it to recoil slightly. That’s not good. How am I supposed to get off like this…? Twisting my fingers, I began to curve my erection downward until its surface rested against my womanhood. My thighs parted, lower back arching up as I pushed more firmly. To my delight, it slipped through my lower lips with little resistance.

Oh… Oh, fuck! Without warning, my vaginal muscles started convulsing against the invading member, stimulating the head and forcing shocks through my whole body. I rolled my hips ever upward, my fingers clawing at the sheets, threatening to rip them off the mattress entirely. Beads of sweat dripped down my forehead as a powerful heat engulfed my very skin. Moans welled up from my throat, and I bit my lower lip to silence them.

Then, as quickly as it began, it was over. A powerful climax erupted from my core, both halves of my sex exploding in a torrent of fluid which blended together and formed a thick puddle on the bed between my thighs. My cock slipped free of my pussy and I relaxed the muscles of my back, my chest heaving with every breath.

Out of the corner of my eye, the clock on the wall revealed that it was already a quarter after eight. Crap… I need to wash… Pulling myself up, I hobbled my way into the bathroom, washed away the evidence, and rushed out the door as quickly as I could.

Cass was sweeping the steps in front of the forge when I arrived. She saw me and set the broom aside. “What are you doing here? How did you find out I lived in this neighborhood?”

“Yeah, I sort of followed you home last night. You aren’t mad, are you?”

“Seems it can’t be helped,” she sighed. “I suppose I should show you in.” She motioned me through the door and toward the rear stairwell. On my way past the furnace room, I caught a glimpse of the old man at work fashioning a set of steel blades. It was only a quick look, but I could tell that the craftsmanship was exquisite. Who in the world is he?

Opposite of Cass’s room was a room which she had converted into a kind of workshop. Two wooden tables were bolted together in the room’s center, and a thick bookcase spanned the entire left wall. The table itself was littered with documents and various bits of alchemy equipment. I knew that Cass was diligent with her studies, but this seemed like a bit much.

She sat down in a chair next to the bookcase. “Regrettably, I haven’t been able to turn up any pertinent information for you yet. I have theories but nothing to substantiate them.”

“Oh, that’s okay! I wouldn’t want you to overexert yourself for my sake.”

“So then, why did you decide to pay me a visit today?” Leaning forward, she cupped her right hand to her lips and whispered, “Your symptoms haven’t gone into relapse already, have they?”

“They’re not! I just… wanted to spend time with a good friend! Yeah, that’s it!”

She wasn’t buying it. “I can only assume that you’re hung up on the other night. As I said earlier, your debt has already been paid in full.”

“I don’t feel the same way, Cass. Certainly I am capable of more. Just give me a chance to show you!”

“I… Very well, then how about this? You can take me to a nice restaurant and we can share in a candlelit dinner.”

My cheeks flushed scarlet and I nearly fell into the table. “Y-You mean like a d-d-date!?”

“I wouldn’t say that it isn’t one,” she winked. “Seriously, though, you have no idea the privilege it is to witness your body’s potential up close. You may not be aware of it, but yours is truly one-in-a-million, Audrey.”

“Cass… What exactly are you getting at?”

“You see, I… I wasn’t exactly forthcoming with you about what techniques I was using. If I am to be completely honest, I siphoned your energy using the Elder Theory. I’m sorry for lying to you.”

It took a minute for her words to sink in. My confusion morphed into shock and finally into disbelief. “YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY BE SERIOUS!”

“Keep your voice down! Jeez, I had a feeling you would react like this.”

“Why wouldn’t I after being told a thing like that!? Elder Theory is considered the lost teaching, the precursor of modern magic!”

“Oh come on, Audrey!”

“How did you even learn about it? Everyone I know says it’s little more than a dead language!”

Cass smirked and pressed a finger to her lower lip. “Admittedly, there is an ounce of truth to that. The followers of Elder Theory would pass down their teachings through oral communication, so when their people were wiped out, the language obviously would have died with them.”

“Then how?”

“Somewhere, somehow, someone decided to break the taboo.” Lowering her hand to the shelf next to her, she pulled out a rather small tome. It couldn’t have been more than fifty pages. “What I have here is not a spell book. Rather, it is a historical retelling that was encoded in the language of Elder Theory. You’re even likely to be familiar with the original!”

“The original…?”

“Here is your hint: ‘If I hold out here and I lay my siege to Troy, my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.’”

“That’s a line from a Greek tragedy, Cass.”

“Indeed it is. Yet it also serves as a very clever cipher. Anyone who performs it without understanding its true meaning will quickly be frustrated by the words having no effect whatsoever.”

“So… how exactly did you figure it out?” I asked her.

“I wasn’t foolish enough to attempt a blind recitation, if that’s what you were thinking. No – my tactic was actually quite simple. I started by associating the symbols of the book with those used in both the White and Black Arts. Naturally, I had no reason to believe it would work, but then I noted that the translations did indeed match, if only partially. I had to ask myself why that was.”

“Well, it’s said that the modern languages of magic had their origins in the Elder Theory, right?”

“That was the conclusion I came to at first, only to realize the opposite was more correct.”

“I don’t follow.”

“We have to assume the three languages existed in conjunction with each other, or that Elder Theory was meant to be a replacement for the two Arts.”

“That’s impossible! What are you saying, Cass!?”

“Well, it’s only a theory.” She placed the text back on the shelf and stood up. “It’s going to take a long time before I can provide anything more concrete. Nevertheless, the miniscule knowledge I’ve gleaned thus far is what allowed me to control your flow so expertly that night. I gained valuable information as a result, and for that I am grateful to you.”

“Cass…” For once, I was truly speechless. Is that really the whole story? She could have picked anyone in that case, so why me? Is it because I’m a demonkin? Sensing my indecision, Cass quickly attempted to change the subject.

“There is one more thing I haven’t told you about. The truth of the matter is… I kind of have a boyfriend.”

“Wait… WHAT DO YOU MEAN A BOYFRIEND!?”

“Relax, Audrey!” she shouted back. “It happened about six months ago. The old man working downstairs was kind enough to let me stay here, and it just so happened that he had a son around my age. We hit it off, and that was that.”

“If that’s the case, where is he right now? Hold on, you two aren’t having a row or something, right? I mean, you did kind of…”

“No, no! – He and I are perfectly compatible. I let him know of my intentions before he left on business! He’ll be back the day after tomorrow.”

“He was okay with it…?”

“He most certainly was! Of course, I think it had more to do with him being a longtime fan of the great Audrey Songbird.”

“Oh. I suppose that would make sense, wouldn’t it?”

“Admittedly it was just as much my fantasy as his. Not to be creepy, but your body has always been tight as fuck! Not to mention your cock was so different! It felt almost leathery to the touch; what’s up with that? Is it because you’re demonkin?”

“Alright, I get it! You don’t have to go into detail!” Bringing a hand to my chest, I exhaled a deep sigh. “Listen, if that’s all this was then there was no need to hide it from me to begin with. I see this all the time in my other line of work. Actually, you have me a bit curious now.”

“Audrey?”

“Tell me about him, this boy of yours. Am I to understand that you shall be regaling your exploits to him upon his return?”

Cass couldn’t help but smirk a little. “It’s something to that affect, yes. Let’s just say nothing quite gets him off like the idea of idol sex. He’ll even ask me to act like you in the bedroom. Oops! I hope that wasn’t too much information!”

“I’m actually kind of flattered! How about this? What if the next time you satisfy my urges, you have him come along?”

“P-Pardon me!?”

“I generally abide by a policy of ‘look and don’t touch,’ though if it’s you, I think I can make an exception for once. After all, I wouldn’t be a good model if I didn’t enjoy being watched, now would I?”

“Oh Audrey, thank you so very much!” She pressed her hands together tightly, her eyes practically sparkling. “You’ve made me super excited for our next session! I simply cannot express the full extent of my gratitude; you have no idea!”

“You’re too much! Really, going through with this should make the two of us even. Talk it over with him and if he likes the idea, we’ll put something together. As for me, there are some things I must tend to before the day is done.”

“Would you like me to see you out?”

“No worries; I can find my way. Good luck with the translations, and please let me know if you find anything else!” With that, I bid her farewell and descended the stairs to the first floor. The old man was now in the kitchen, boiling a pot of tea while reading the front of a newspaper. He smiled warmly at me but said nothing. I wonder what he would think of his son partaking in such taboo fantasies…

The weather had warmed up considerably compared to the early morning hours. Stretching my arms upward, I let out a yawn and turned in the direction of the main shopping district. My mind continued to echo with all sorts of questions, yet I lacked the foresight to do a single one of them justice. For now, it was imperative that I approach the situation with an open mind. Only by immersing myself in the scenario could I ever hope to develop a definitive stance on relationships and on my perception of self…

TO BE CONTINUED…

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