Demonic Submission Ch. 31byTheLastChaosLord©
Like to start off with saying thanks to WanderingMindGames for proofing this chapter for me. She's always a bit help and I'd recommend looking over her work as well.
Additionally, I wanted to thank everyone who has been patiently waiting for this chapter, and I hope you all enjoy it. Not much erotica in this one, but a fair amount of plot progression.
Celestine moved to sit down in a chair after helping Markus lie down in his simple bed. Thankfully he only winced once or twice as she laid him down, but otherwise the fact that he was alive at all seemed like a small miracle to her. Rena had laid into him, and pretty badly from what she could see, yet somehow he was still alive. That said, he was a menagerie of cuts, bruises and she was fairly certain several broken bones.
"You know, you don't have to look so concerned Celestine, I'll be fine." Markus said simply, looking up to her from where he lay. Yet despite his reassuring words, his easiness only aggravated Celestine.
"Bullshit." Celestine replied back bluntly. "Look at you Markus, you can hardly move on your own, and all these injuries are going to take months to heal."
Markus smiled lightly, which might have reassured her if face hadn't been so heavily bandaged. "Nah." He replied. "I just need some of my tools and I'll be up on my feet again in no time. Once I have them, I can start going to work repairing the runes that were damaged. They in turn will help my body heal quickly." Markus explained.
Celestine frowned lightly. "If you say so... What do you need me to do? I'll try and help however I can."
Markus's visible eyebrow rose lightly. "I'm surprised. I figured you'd ask how it worked."
Celestine's frown deepened. "I can't ask you that Markus, and you can't explain it either." Celestine replied.
"And why not? I thought you wan-"
But Celestine cut him off, her voice gentle, but unyielding. "Not anymore. You heard Tristan just as well as I did. He doesn't want you teaching me anything about your runes, so you won't." She ordered simply.
Markus blinked lightly, clearly surprised. "What? So just because he doesn't want it, it won't happen? Come on Celestine, we can figure a way around him."
Celestine sighed lightly. "No we won't, and we won't for several reasons. Reason number one: Doing so will get you killed. Tristan said as much, and frankly, I think you're underestimating exactly how skilled he actually is. Chances are he'd figure it out long before I actually accomplished anything in terms of learning. Reason number two: We don't have the time. Tristan will be expecting you to work on that sword, and taking time to teach me would only take away from that. I'm responsible for seeing that the sword be completed, so that's exactly what I'm going to do." Celestine explained simply. "If we deviate from that, it'll only end up costing you, which is something we're going to work together to avoid."
Markus cocked his head curiously, his brow furrowing lightly. "So what? I'm going to be a slave, working myself to death for him?" Markus asked bluntly, trying not to be too harsh with her.
Celestine shook her head quickly. "That's not what I meant!" She replied firmly. "It's just... I don't know okay? Tristan ditched out before we had a chance to hammer out the details, so I'm just trying to make sure we don't overstep ourselves. Especially if doing so means you end up dead. Or worse..." Celestine finished quietly.
Markus let out a slow sigh. "Look Celestine, I sorry I jumped to conclusions like that. It's just hard to get over the deal you made for me, even if it probably saved my life... For now, let's focus on getting my tools together so I can get back on my feet. If I leave these runes busted up as they are, they'll eventually degrade to the point where I'd be better off starting from scratch."
Celestine nodded. "What do they look like? Are they in some sort of kit?"
"Yea. There was a green case with the other luggage, a little smaller than a suitcase. It has two combination locks keeping it closed, but instead of numbers, the locks show approximately a hundred runes each." Markus explained easily.
Celestine nodded and glanced towards the door into Markus's room. "Rena, could you come in here please?" Celestine asked gently.
To Markus's surprise, Rena poked her head around the door frame, apparently a bit sheepishly. "...How long have you known I've been here?" The small demon asked, a bit abashed.
"I suspect you've been following us ever since Markus and I left the meeting room. So I suppose it's fair to say you've been there the whole time." Celestine explained before continuing. "Though I'm not entirely sure why you're listening in on us. You're not planning on attacking Markus again are you?" Celestine asked, her voice becoming a bit firmer.
Yet again Celestine amazed Markus with what appeared to be insane confidence. As far as he was aware, she only bore the second Demonic Mark, and while that made her a match for almost any mortal, even a lesser demon should have been able to kill her, so what hope did she have against a beast like Rena? Yet he only found himself stunned further, as Rena seemed to wince and almost retreat a little bit more into the hallway, as if Celestine's firm words held some dire threat.
"No, I won't do that again unless you or Master ask me to." Rena replied a bit meekly. "I'm just here to protect you is all. In case Mr. Wizard there tries something stupid..." Rena explained, glaring at Markus for a moment before looking back to Celestine.
"I don't think you have to worry about that Rena, given that he can barely move. But you heard him describing the case he needs right? Could you go get it for me?" Celestine asked gently, her voice softening at Rena's protectiveness, a thankful smile forming on her lips.
Rena nodded. "I'll go make sure it gets here." Rena seemed to hesitate for a moment, glancing to Markus for only a second before she seemed to take off again.
After a moment of her being gone Markus began to speak up. "She... isn't terribly bri-" But he was cut off by Celestine placing her finger upon his lips.
"Careful." She warned lightly. "Rena's senses are terrifyingly acute. She could probably hear you clear as a bell from more than forty yards, even if you were whispering." Celestine warned calmly.
Markus nodded slowly and eventually Celestine withdrew her finger. "It's kind of strange though, she seems so afraid of you..." He said, hoping that Celestine might explain why that was the case.
Celestine shook her head. "She isn't afraid of me so much as she's worried that I'll be upset with her. Rena isn't great when it comes to understanding other people's feelings and emotions. Given that she's a demon that normally doesn't matter to her, but she would rather see me happy than angry or sad, because when I am, she feels guilty. Not that she fully understands guilt like a human might. She doesn't know why she feels it exactly, but she does know it has to do with us being close friends." Celestine said with a light smile, as if pleased that Rena could feel such things, even if it was only for her.
"Huh..." Was all Markus could think of in terms of response right away. It was so bizarre to hear about a demon that cared how a mortal felt... "Well that's good to know I suppose. It gives me a means to protect myself if I piss her off." Markus explained, clearly amused. However a sharp gasp escaped his lips as hot pain shot up his leg. Looking down, he found Celestine's hand squeezing his leg hard where Rena had taken a chunk out of him through the bandages. "What are you doing?!" Markus gasped out, trying to deal with the pain.
"I don't like being used as a shield." Celestine replied coldly. Markus looked away from her hand and met her gaze, realizing exactly how big of a landmine he had just stepped on.
"Shit! I'm sorry okay!?" he rasped out, hoping she would let go. It took a few moments more but Celestine did eventually let go, and when he looked back to her, he found her looking away; apparently a little ashamed for how she reacted.
"...Sorry about that." Celestine began. "It's just... I'm frustrated! If nothing else, you and Rena share at least the ability to infuriate me. Neither of you seems willing to accept the fact that I want more than just one person in my life." Celestine looked back to him, eyes firm, even if saying this to him hurt her. "She thinks I'd be better off without you, and that I don't need you. The ironic thing is that you feel exactly the same about her. Neither of you are willing to accept the other, or even try tolerating each other's presence. Both of you immediately presume you know what's best for me, and try to impose your wills on me. But who are either of you to make that decision for me?!" Celestine asked sharply, voice striking Markus's ears like flint. "If either of you want to be part of my life, than you'll cut that shit out." Celestine warned.
Markus sat a bit floored by her response. Even as the pain in his leg waned and eventually faded, he still felt like she had punched him with her words. "I... I was just trying to help." Markus managed to mumble out.
"I know that!" Celestine almost snapped back. "But that doesn't justify you trying to run my fucking life! And I know Rena would have replied just like you had... I know it!" Celestine accented, making it clear that it wasn't just him she was frustrated with.
"But Celestine, Rena... She's a demon for god's sake!" Markus tried.
"And so what of it? You're a fucking Runesmith." Celestine shot back, clearly not being wholly rational.
"Well, one of those things is inherently evil. The other is not." Markus tried gently.
"Do I look like I fucking care right now!?" Celestine barked at him. "I know what Rena is. I know better than you can possibly imagine. I've seen her cruelty and violent tendencies with my own eyes. I've seen her covered in gore all the while smiling like a girl who didn't have a care in the world. I know she has a demon, and is perfectly willing to kill and murder for her own gain. But I also know that Rena is noble, and can be surprisingly kind to those she cares for. She isn't all murder and bloodshed, even if she would love to have almost everyone believe that. But she is my friend! And the closest one I've ever had. And I won't let you tear us apart! No more than I will let her tear you and I apart." Celestine finished, breathing hard as she kept her own anger in check.
Markus didn't want to upset her further. Hell, he was desperate not to, but he knew he was right about this. He couldn't just let her throw herself into the fire like this. "Celestine... I want to believe you... I really do. But she attacked me completely unprovoked. What more proof do you need for it to be obvious that she doesn't really care about how you feel or the things you want? If she were a true friend she wouldn't have attacked me." Markus tried to reason.
But his attempts to sooth her with reason only seemed to have the opposite effect, as Celestine scoffed at his argument. "Your pride is blinding you to the truth." Celestine shot out.
"If I'm blind, then tell me what I'm not seeing." Markus replied, unwilling to accept that he had missed something.
"The things you said to me when you got here Markus. You told me that I wouldn't need her. That once you taught me how to use your runes, I wouldn't need her any more." Celestine outlined. "How exactly would you feel if you heard someone else explain how unneeded you were? How would you feel if someone labeled you with a stereotype because of being a runesmith? I'm sorry, but if you call that unprovoked, then you aren't as smart as I gave you credit for." Celestine explained coldly. A large part of her was desperately hoping he would realize his error and apologize, while at the same time, another part of her kept getting angrier and angrier at his reluctance to realize his mistake. "Sure, Rena might have gone too far, but she's a fucking wrath demon, what did you expect her to do? Hurl strong words at you?" Celestine didn't think Rena was blameless of course, but Markus's words were the spark that ignited Rena's powder keg...
Markus just lay there for a moment, unsure of how to reply. If Celestine was right, he had called this down on himself, at least partially. He hadn't seen Rena anywhere when he had first arrived, but that didn't mean she was hidden away in a nearby hallway or something to listen in on any conversation going on. Hell, if she was a proper guardian, like Celestine had said, that was probably exactly what she was doing, just in case Celestine was ever in danger. With her keen senses she could have heard him from anywhere nearby. It was hard to admit though, that he did bear some of the blame here. Still, he eventually replied. "... Shit. You're right Celestine." Markus admitted, even though it almost made him sick to do so.
Celestine's anger began to wane and eventually she smiled lightly, letting him know that she understood what he was staying, though she hid her smile away quickly again, not wanting to seem overly relieved by his response. "Good." She said firmly before continuing. "It's not like I'm asking either of you to like each other. You just have to accept that I want each of you in my life. And not try and kill each other again because of that fact. Understood?" Celestine demanded frankly.
"Understood." Markus allowed. Despite himself, he found himself smiling at Celestine's unyielding nature. "But as inappropriate as it is, I'd like to comment on how it's kinda hot when you get all demanding and forceful." Markus added playfully, smiling wider as he saw Celestine blush at his words.
"S-Shut up!" Celestine replied, suddenly embarrassed.
"And you're even cuter when you're embarrassed." Markus teased a bit more, unable to keep himself from laughing, right up to the point where Celestine squeezed his leg again. Thankfully, it wasn't right on top of an injury and she wasn't squeezing so hard this time. Still, it stung painfully. "Okay okay! Uncle!" Markus cried out, holding his hands up in surrender.
Celestine let go and gave a huff. "Serves you right for being an ass." She chided, though he could see the corners of her mouth fighting to keep from curling up in a smile.
"Yea, I suppose so." Markus agreed. However after a few moments, Markus let out a sigh. "Look, and I'm not trying to piss you off by bringing this up, but... What about Rena? What if she doesn't agree to this?" Markus asked, clearly not believing she would.
Celestine looked to Markus, and he was surprised to see her smile ever so lightly, though he could tell it wasn't a smile for him. "I don't know... but let's hear what she has to say first hum? So how about it Rena?" Celestine asked as she glanced over her shoulder to the doorway.
A moment later, Markus saw Rena step in again. "It's getting harder and harder to sneak up on you." Rena complimented Celestine. A part of Markus suspected the small demoness had never in fact left at all, but he was surprised that this was in fact the third time he had missed her presence. Worries that there was something disrupting his senses began to form in the back of Markus's mind. It could have been the fact that the damaged runes were causing some sort of interference, and that Rena had simply snuck up on him last time. Yet despite being wholly plausible, that idea didn't sit well with him.
"Thank you for the compliment." Celestine said turning to her friend completely. "But what say you? I know you overheard all that, so I suppose the question falls to you now. Will you tolerate him, for me?" Celestine asked, voice hopeful but still firm.
Rena let out a frustrated growl as she glanced to Markus but eventually she stepped up to Celestine and nodded. "I'll do it, but only because it's you asking me to." Rena mumbled out, even as she fiddled with the hem of her shirt.
Celestine stood and quickly hugged her smaller friend. "Thank you Rena. It means a lot to me." Celestine explained warmly.
Markus saw Rena's features shift from frustration to blissful happiness as she hugged Celestine back, burying her face in the curve of Celestine's neck and shoulder. Eventually their embrace separated and Rena glanced to Markus before whispering up to Celestine, even though it was clear that Rena was keeping it loud enough so Markus could hear. "I still don't like him though... That's okay, right?"
Celestine shook her head, amused but ready to give up on convincing the two of them to get along. "I suppose it is. It's not like I can dictate who either of you do or do not like. So long as you don't try and rip his head off or anything fatal like that, I suppose I'm happy." Celestine said with a pleasant smile.
"Don't you mean to say that she doesn't try anything else that could be fatal? Cause you know... kinda in rough shape here." Markus said indicating himself. "And I didn't beat myself up." He added, giving Rena an annoyed look.
"You make too much noise to be dead, so that means you're fine." Rena replied easily, dismissing Markus' complaints like they were utterly unimportant, all the while sticking close to Celestine, even going so far as to hold gently onto her arm.
"Speaking of being fine," Celestine began, cutting off Markus's retort, "weren't you going to get Markus's kit for him? I don't see it with you." Despite her earlier anger, Celestine's voice was calm and relaxed again, happy with just the fact that the two of them weren't trying to kill each other any more.
"I've got it handled. I sent someone to get it." Rena replied.
"And what makes you think another demon is going to listen to you?" Markus asked, annoyed that she shirked her responsibilities onto someone else. Even worse was the complete lack of guarantee that the job would actually get done...
Rena cocked her head, as if she were listening for something, and a moment later running steps began to be heard coming down the hall. Everyone turned to see one of the butlers run past the doorway, only to hear him skidding to a stop and rushing back into the room, offering a green case to Rena. "Is this what you were looking for Miss Rena?" The butler asked, bowing his head lightly. "If it isn't I'll return to searching for the case in question." Rena simply looked to Markus and gave a cocky grin.
Markus, despite seeing his case, had to fight the urge to tell Rena and the butler that they had it wrong. "That's it... but just because he brought it doesn't mean you shouldn't have gone to get it yourself. How do you know he would have listened to you?" Markus asked, annoyance staining his voice.
Rena surprised him though when she giggled pleasantly. A moment later she turned to the butler and spoke up, clearly amused. "Tell him why I can trust you to do what I tell you to. Go on, tell him." She finished with a voice that was almost chipper in its excitement.
The butler looked to Markus, eyes damming him for ever asking the question. "I am one of the many demons that serve Lord Durial. Miss Rena is one of his closest companions and easily one of the most powerful demons in this facility. It only makes sense that I do as she wishes... If I didn't, I'm sure I'd displease her. And from what I understand, individuals that displease Miss Rena tend to have a remarkably short lifespan..." The butler concluded as he placed the case on the floor. He then turned to Rena and bowed his head. "If I might be excused to return to my normal duties?"
Rena grinned wide as she heard his explanation and shoed him away once he was done. Once he was gone, Rena turned to Markus. "See? That's why I knew he would do it. Demons have a pretty strict hierarchy, and I'm near the top of that hierarchy, in this place at least. But then, even if I wasn't he'd probably do it anyway given that I'd paint the corridor with him if he didn't." Rena explained, clearly proud of her murderous reputation.