tagSci-Fi & FantasySarlene's Touch Ch. 34

Sarlene's Touch Ch. 34

byFuinimel©

Nyvara looked at the water ahead of them, filling the tunnel as it sloped down into the depths. That Zarenis wanted her to swim though it was just ridiculous. She already regretted having agreed to help the tiefling out, but the problem was that she was too far into it to back out. The only escape route from this passage that she knew of was through a hideous barrier of flesh-eating vegetation that she had absolutely no idea how to neutralise. If she tried to leave, she would probably die in the attempt.

But going ahead looked no safer. She had to try to appeal to whatever sense of preservation Zarenis still had.

"We don't know how far the water goes," she pointed out, "we could drown."

"It's not that far. We're physically fit; we can swim it." The tiefling woman sounded quite positive. Nyvara almost asked her how she could be so certain, but bit back the question. It was the Presence, of course; that strange infernal entity that spoke to her in her head, or whatever it was it did.

"Well don't forget, there's a celestial waiting on the other side," she said instead, "the creature we fought before was one thing, but how can we hope to fight a celestial? I don't know much about them, but I do know they're incredibly powerful. I bet even hardened adventurers would think twice about taking one on, and we're going to allow it to jump us while we're trying to get out of the water. It's suicide!"

Zarenis glared at her, and, for a moment, her face transformed, her horns growing, her eyes changing to blood-red, parted lips revealing sharp and pointed teeth. "We're going on," she said, her voice guttural and deeper in tone than it usually was. Then, just a second later, she returned to normal.

Nyvara flinched back. She did not like what the tiefling had become, how her demonic heritage was so much stronger now than it ever had been before, how sometimes it showed itself visibly, and surely must be clouding her thoughts as well. She had agreed to help because of the promise of wealth and power, but how did she even know she could trust this woman to deliver on that promise?

It had been a mistake to agree to this. But, if the truth was known, she was too frightened now to change her mind, even if that had been an option. She knew, with a sinking feeling, that she was going to have to follow Zarenis into the water, and towards the celestial. She only hoped she wouldn't die in the process.

She said nothing, just glancing down at the floor, and then once again at the water, her shoulders slumped in resignation. Zarenis said nothing further, and began pulling off her boots. So the flooding lasted long enough for them not to want to be weighed down by heavy clothes, she thought, as the Tiefling continued to undress. Great. At least the water would be warm.

Rolgor evidently sensed her submission, and began pulling off his own shirt, revealing a broad greyish-green chest that rippled with muscle. But she doubted his skill in street brawling would help much against what they were about to face. Reluctantly, Nyvara began to join them undressing.

Zarenis turned out to be wearing masculine underwear that showed off nothing of her figure, although, frankly, under the circumstances, Nyvara doubted she would have found the sight of more flesh distracting anyway. Besides, her interest in other women was fuelled more by the desire to corrupt the virtuous into enjoying something that subverted their moral principles, than it was from anything more overtly physical. And Zarenis was too corrupted already for that to even be meaningful.

The tiefling put her belt back on, holding her shortsword and a pouch containing whatever magical devices she had brought with her, then turned back to Nyvara, a fake smile on her face. "Follow me," she said, with a voice that sounded annoyingly cheerful. She was evidently enjoying the sorceress's discomfort. Bitch.

Zarenis stepped into the water, walking until it was deep enough to plunge her head under and disappear. Rolgor, dressed only in a pair of shorts, and gripping his axe tightly looked at her in the glow of her mage-light. He didn't look at all frightened, she reflected. Although she suspected that was possibly because he hadn't fully understood the situation.

"I go first," he said, and followed the tiefling.

Nyvara grimaced, realising she was on her own once Rolgor's head had vanished beneath the slick surface. She had to follow quickly if he was to have any light -- Zarenis didn't seem to need any, but even a half-orc's night vision couldn't cope with the absolute blackness of an underground labyrinth.

All she had taken off was her tunic and shoes, feeling that she really didn't want to be half-naked down here. Her dress would have been inconvenient, but that was exactly why she wasn't wearing it today, just tight black trews and matching top over a white linen shirt. That should be light enough not to weigh her down, even if Zarenis's assurances about the length of the submerged passage were overstated. Or so she hoped.

Damn the bloody woman to hell.

Tucking the glowing source of the mage-light into the draw-band of her trews, she stepped into the water, walking quickly until it reached above her hips. She had been right about it being warm, although there was an unpleasant mineral smell to it that would make it unsuitable for bathwater. Following the others, she took a deep breath, leaned forward and ducked her head under, pushing off from the stone flagging beneath her feet and into the blackness beyond.

Her magical light had little effect in the murky water, just glimmering and giving her brief glimpses of stony walls and a submerged ceiling ahead. She pushed on with firm strokes, moving as quickly as she could through the uncertain gloom. The trip seemed to last forever, to go on for far longer than she had hoped. Her lungs were beginning to strain, but she realised she was already too far along to turn back.

Bloody... damnable... bitch, she thought. And damn you for ever agreeing to this.

There was light ahead. An orange glow coming down from above. Without pausing to think she dove for it, feeling a pain in her chest as she struggled to avoid taking a breath. Barely a second or so later -- although it felt much longer -- she broke the surface, gasping for air, a curse against the woman she had followed on her lips.

Moments later, she registered that there was shouting and banging from up ahead. There was obviously a fight in progress, but her long black hair was trailed across her face, and she could not make anything out, beyond the fact that it was light in here. She should have tied it back, she thought, as she flipped it away and raised her hands into a gesture for a spell.

Something loomed towards her. Something humanoid and golden, blocking the light. Nyvara was a seller of magical items, not a combat wizard, and she did not know many spells for fighting. But she did know some, and threw the deadliest she knew at whatever was in front of her.

With a flash of white light, the spell rebounded harmlessly off the thing's skin. It spoke, a shout of command in no language she had ever heard. She could not even articulate the sounds in the word, could never have repeated those impossibly ineffable syllables, yet they echoed through her brain over and over.

And everything went black.

──◊──

She wasn't unconscious, that was the frightening thing. But she couldn't move, couldn't see, couldn't even hear anything. She somehow vaguely sensed she was being moved, and the warmth of the water around her faded, to be replaced by a drier, cooler sensation. The paralysis made her body numb beyond that and she had no further idea what was happening.

Nyvara struggled to control her fear, aware that she wasn't even able to scream, and that she was completely at the mercy of whatever had done this to her -- no doubt the celestial. They had been defeated, that much was clear, all of her warnings now fully justified as they had faced something that had swatted them aside as if they were no more than irritating insects. And there was nothing she could do about it, nothing she could do to protect herself. All she could do was wait and see what happened, see if there might be even a slim chance of somehow saving herself.

But she feared that the being would simply kill them first. One of them was demon-tainted, after all.

Her hearing was the first sense to return. She could hear something walking about on a rough floor, and the sound of her own breathing, and, a crackling... yes, a crackling fire somewhere. Nothing else though, and it didn't really help.

The blackness began to fade, an orange blur appearing before her eyes and growing, focussing as she began to take in the chamber around her. She was lying on her side, still unable to do more than blink her eyes, looking out across an underground room. The floor was tiled in rough stone, and the ceiling reached up out of her line of sight, while the walls looked much the same as those in the underground tunnels. A pillar of some sort occupied the centre of the room, casting a shadow in the crackling light of the fire beyond it. She couldn't move her head to see the top of it.

The fire had to be magical, for how else would the thing get fuel down here? Besides, the room was not full of smoke. Had there been any doubt, it was clear that the being was more magically powerful than she.

At first, she could not see the celestial itself, although she could hear it moving about. From her angle, all that was visible were Rolgor's bare legs, stretched out on the stone and what had to be Zarenis's hand, peeking out from behind the pillar.

When it finally moved into her view, its nature was obvious. True, she knew little about the different types of such being, but that it was, indeed, a celestial, was beyond doubt. It was, she thought, about seven feet tall, perhaps a little more, humanoid except for great white feathered wings that she assumed must sprout from its shoulders, although she could only see their lower halves from where she was. It wore sandals and a white kilt with strips of silver material decorating it; above that was a belt bearing the holy symbol of the Sun God as a golden buckle.

Its skin was burnished gold in colour, almost metallic, not like mere body paint, and it shone in the reflected firelight -- her own mage-light seemed to have gone out. It seemed to be bare from the waist up, although, without moving her head, she could see no more than its lower torso, legs, and part of the wings. Aside from its colour, and her guess as to its height, all that that told her was that it had no navel, just smooth skin across its belly, and that its legs were clearly muscular. As, no doubt, was the rest of it, if she could but see.

Feeling began to return, the sensation of rough stone beneath her body, and a tingling sensation in her feet and fingers. Experimentally, she flexed a hand, and the fingers twitched. Her legs and arms stubbornly refused to follow suit.

The being turned, and stepped towards her. Now she could see nothing above its knees, although, even in the shadow it cast it was close enough that she could see its skin clearly. It was entirely hairless, lacking even the pores that normally covered human skin, almost as if it was made of flexible golden metal. Not even remotely human, then, regardless of its overall form.

"You wake," it said. The voice was deep, resonant, inhumanly smooth, and she was not even sure she was really hearing it, at least not with her ears. Instead, the voice seemed to be inside her head, although she could tell it came from the being standing in front of her. "Good."

What did it want? At least there was no chance it would try and ravish her. As a celestial of the Sun God, the damn thing was probably sexless, and, besides, it would be a paragon of nobility, law, and general sanctimonious decency. She moved her lips, finding them responding sluggishly to her will, and tried to speak, but it came out as a slurred mumble, her tongue barely moving.

"What are you? Why are you here?"

"Go tuuh hllll..." she managed. Her voice seemed to be returning, if slowly. She could even shift her feet slightly. Although what she could do even when full control of her body had returned, she had no idea.

"Unnecessary," it said, apparently taking the request literally, "you shall tell me, and I shall know if you speak a word of untruth."

"Fuck off," she said, enunciating the words carefully, and pleased at her success in doing so.

The celestial reached down, and grabbed her under one shoulder, hauling her upright, and then pushing her up against the wall -- which, as it turned out, was only a few inches behind her. She found she could hold her head up, but she still had no strength to stand on her own, although a tingling in her legs told her it would not be much longer now.

"Why are you here? Why do you bring one that bears a demonic taint?"

The celestial's head was as hairless as the rest of its body, although more or less human in its general features. Its eyes, though, glowed with an inner light, lacking any pupils or visible iris, just a featureless white sheen. Its expression showed that it knew it was completely in control of the situation, and no more worried by her than she might be by an errant mosquito.

"What makes you think I would tell you?"

"Your life matters so little?"

"You promise to spare me if I answer truthfully?" Perhaps she had a chance. She had no compunction about sacrificing Zarenis, especially after what she had been through, but she needed it to make the promise before she would take the risk.

The celestial looked away, and said nothing. Her heart sank as she realised she was surely doomed. After a pause, it looked back at her, boring down on her with those unreadable opalescent eyes.

"Nonetheless. You will tell me."

Its arrogance and certainty were beginning to grate on her. She was acutely aware that it had her pressed up against the wall, she was only barely regaining control of her limbs, and that her shirt was soaking wet, plastered to her skin, and making her look as vulnerable as she felt. Time to show it that, no matter the situation, she still had some fight in her.

"Are you holding me like this just so you can get a good look at my tits?" she sneered, knowing that it clearly wouldn't be, but thinking of no other way to sound defiant in her current position.

The celestial looked away suddenly, refusing to meet her gaze as it moved its mouth as if to speak, then closed it again. A mere second later, it turned back to face her.

"Do not speak such crude words in my presence, mortal," it said, a hint of anger in its voice.

But she had seen its reaction, and, human or not, its meaning was unmistakable. Nor, she could not help but note, had it actually denied the accusation. It made no sense, for such a being should surely be free from any carnal desire. The Sun God would not make such a being corruptible, what would be the point of that?

Her words of earlier in the day came back to her, how she had sarcastically asked if the old adventurers had created a shrine to Pardror down here to summon a celestial. She now knew had been wrong about which god they had chosen, but they still had to have summoned it somehow, and sunlight was in scarce supply down here.

Then the truth dawned on her, and her eyes went wide with the sudden realisation. They had not made a shrine, not in the conventional sense. They had performed a worship rite to a different deity, and called on the Sun God through her. The adventurers had used Sarlene as their conduit, and somehow, what they had summoned had been tainted by that connection!

The celestial felt sexual desire because of how it had been summoned. It was corruptible, but only just. Yet that was all Nyvara needed to gain control of the situation; corruption was part of her stock in trade. The entity did not know it yet, but the tables had already been turned.

"Want a better look?" she said, fingers struggling against the receding paralysis to pull her shirt up out of her trews. Arm shaking, she pulled it up over her chest, large breasts hanging free, still slightly damp with water.

The celestial suddenly released her, turning away and using its arm to shade its eyes. "No mortal can tempt me with such ephemeral things," it stated, although she fancied now that its voice was uncertain.

Nyvara realised that she was still standing, although partly slumped against the wall. Her legs could just about hold her up, so long as she did not try to step away from the support. With increasingly sure movements, she pulled the shirt over her head and threw it away. The celestial still refused to look at her.

"Replace your clothing, mortal," commanded the being.

"Very well," she said, putting a false hint of reluctance into her voice, "you can look back now." As she spoke, she ran her hands over her breasts, fondling her pale nipples, rubbing herself enticingly.

The celestial, somewhat naively, looked back, and its face displayed clear shock at what it saw. "How dare you be so brazen before me!"

"You wish these were your hands, don't you? I bet you even copped a feel while you pulled me from the water."

"I... I would not... I should not even listen to such an accusation."

"You did, didn't you?" she said, realising it was true, "you couldn't resist the opportunity!"

"Do not speak to me in such a way."

The celestial lunged forward, grabbing her arms by the wrists and pulling them away from her chest, pinioning them against the wall. Feeling stronger every second, Nyvara pushed herself forward, so that her breasts brushed against the naked skin of the celestial's hairless torso. Its touch was warm, she realised, noticeably more so than that of any human, although fortunately not enough to hurt. Her nipples tingled at the sensation, and she knew that the paralysis had finally faded for good.

"Nor must you touch me in such a manner. I am an agent of the divine!"

It released her hands, and tried to push her away from its chest, realising at the last second that its hands were now cupping each of her breasts. Nyvara squirmed enticingly against the wall, and the celestial held her there, eyes wide as its fingers ravaged her breasts, squeezing and caressing them, rubbing and circling her erect nipples. Its surrender to such obvious lust sent a shiver of excitement through her body, a longing ache forming in her loins. To seduce a celestial, a self-proclaimed agent of divine powers... just the thought made her wet.

Suddenly, it pulled away, as if it had only just realised what it was doing. It turned away again, covering its face in its hands, spread wings turned towards her.

"No!" it cried, "do not tempt me, foul strumpet. For I am strong, and such carnal thoughts do not affect one such as I. Beg for forgiveness, o base mortal."

Very well, Nyvara thought, that I can do for you. She knelt, humbly, crossing her arms across her chest. "I am sorry," she said, "you must forgive me my actions."

It turned round again, ready to speak, and she took the opportunity to wrench its kilt free, giving it a hard tug until it came loose and fluttered to the floor. Whether this was a natural attribute of its kind, or something to do with the manner of its summoning into this world, she was relieved to discover that it had all the natural equipment of any human male. It also had a slowly stiffening erection.

"How dare you gaze upon such a thing!" it cried, "such parts are not for you to see."

Given that the being was over seven feet tall, it was scarcely surprising that its cock was sizable, with a suitably wide girth. Its groin was, of course, as hairless as the rest of it, and the sheer gold of its hardening shaft glittered in the reflected firelight. She grabbed onto it before the celestial could turn away again, sliding her hand along its great length. The skin was soft, not at all metallic, yet completely smooth, more like silk than human flesh.

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