This story takes place after another called Proof, and the whole series begins with a story called Welcomed. That being said, you'll probably be a bit confused if you don't read those two first. Of course, if you already have read the other two, then reading this intro was completely pointless (trolled). Enjoy!



Cirella rested herself against a tree for the dozenth time, breathing heavily and holding her bloated stomach with one arm and supporting her weight with another. It started to happen every few minutes, with her body convulsing violently as though something was moving inside of her. It did not stop for several minutes once it began, with the building pressure inside of her threatening to make her burst. It was not painful, but was as though her entire body, mainly at the womb, was being stressed beyond belief without actually moving anything.

"Agh!" She screamed as her body responded to the sheer unbelievable force. Having never born a child before, it was hard to tell if this was normal, but her logical mind guessed that women did not normally have spasms shooting throughout their bodies at random times, pregnancy or not. Slowly, the sensation ebbed away, and she felt like she could walk again, but what good that would do, she thought to herself. Her memories of events, places, and people were gone save for the most basic information about herself and the knowledge she retained. She knew for one that her will was stronger than most, and her body was, even before the "change", extremely durable and enduring. Even so, she hardly felt the desire to bring herself into immediate danger, knowing that, without even thinking about it, that she needed to protect her unborn child. In hopes that they might be born any second, Cirella had long since cast off the cloak she had worn before, leaving herself completely bare.

She set off again through the forest that never seemed to end, noticing occasionally something familiar, if distant. Voices of people she thought she should recognize echoed in her mind, with laughter sometimes that made her feel warm.

Hours later, after her body several times again reminding her of her state forcibly, Cirella came to the realization that she was neither tired nor hungry. With what she knew about pregnancy, it was completely abnormal to disregard food. In fact, she felt that she should be almost pressured into eating everything in sight, but none of this occurred to her. As she thought about this, she almost missed a few branches snapping behind her. She whipped around as fast as she could, hoping to see an animal or something of the like. Nothing revealed itself to her.

"Who's there?" She asked tentatively, brushing her thick blonde curls away from her face, "Show yourse-" She halted mid-sentence as she felt another wave of pressure envelope her body suddenly, sending her to the ground out of a sudden loss of strength. She screamed again, one hand flying to her belly as she waited for the worst. Although she tried to focus on a spot just uphill from her, her eyes started to fog and cloud with tears as a new sensation was brought to her.

It was some kind of burning feeling, like she was being split in half by some kind of giant hot coal at her groin. It did not stop, but again was not painful like she'd thought. Her mind started to become distracted, and although she could still focus on her intent, whatever it was, the main part of her mind was focusing on pushing the child out of her. She hardly realized until she started paying attention that she was still screaming, perhaps her body was in more pain than she knew? Something else caught her attention though, as she felt peeled open, someone was muttering in either a language she couldn't understand, or it was because she was so delirious that it wouldn't make a difference.

Eventually, Cirella became aware that her womb was slowly becoming more empty, and whatever was crawled out of her hardly needed her help as it did. She also noticed in her shockingly returning lucidity that someone was kneeling in front of her, one arm shrouded in a scaled black thing that's slithering length reached inside of Cirella, which was a thought that she did not want to pay heed to. The other arm of this mysterious figure was on top of her belly, which had shrunken down in size immensely.

As gradual vision returned to Cirella, she could see was a jolt of familiarity who was standing before her. Her face was refined and pointed, with silver hair framing its blueness perfectly. Her beauty was actually quite shocking, but still bearable. The woman continued to whisper in the strange archaic language while the odd creature had completely exited Cirella's body, leaving absolutely no trace. The thing, with further examination, was some kind of ridged snake-like creature with human-like appendages, but with seven long, slithery tails hovering serenely around its body that clung to the woman's arm.

"You're awake." Was the first thing the woman said, looking into Cirella's eyes with an expression devoid of both compassion and coldness. It was the look of someone who accepted another, but never placed into words their real thoughts.

Shifting herself on the ground, Cirella responded in kind, "Yes, I am." What was so shockingly familiar about this woman? There was certainly no lack of trust, which must have meant that the old Cirella, as she had taken to calling her, certainly must have known this one. She noticed that this woman had clothes on, and an elegant white dress to complement her features. Not certain why, but this made Cirella extremely uncomfortable.

"Why do I recognize you?" This was the first of many questions, but if this was one of the old Cirella's friends, perhaps they would know that she had no memories left. The thought was depressing, but there was nothing to do.

The other woman smiled, looking for the moment more compassionate than a mother, "My name is Fyrah, but we have never met, not personally anyway." She said, seeing the sudden recognition on Cirella's face, "You met someone very much like me. My mother, in fact, but I assume that she is long dead by now." It was too much to take in. Fyrah saying that her mother was dead, the person that she might have known, and was almost certainly one of those skeletons where she'd awoken, while she sat here discussing it so quickly. To understand these things so quickly actually brought tears to Cirella's eyes and she cradled her knees, realizing now that someone she'd known for likely many years was dead, and she'd left the remains of their skeletons to fall apart or worse.

Fyrah tried to comfort her by sitting next to her and running a hand across her back soothingly, but Cirella was already sobbing into her knees. "I cannot remember either of them!" It was the only thing she could bring herself to say that she understood about what was going on. Her memory was gone, and so was her knowledge of people that were, no doubt, very good friends of hers. "I remember nothing!" She said, correcting herself.

The throbbing of her body had mostly subsided, but she could still feel herself pulsating violently inside. It would be too much to stand right now, even if she wanted to. Still, somewhere in her head, she knew she had to bring herself away from crying to ask still more questions.

"Do you know me?" She asked Fyrah shakily, not looking at her, but at the newborn latched onto her arm. It was a strange thing that was inside of her, and was far different than any knowledge of children she had. The tails continued to sway casually this way and that, as though they were unaffected by the downward pull of the world, weightless.

Fyrah sighed and responded, "In a way, yes." The answer was as vague as the last, but Cirella understood that this was as elaborate as it could get.

"Can you help me?" She asked, knowing this one had very few equally vague answers, but Fyrah surprised her.

"In a way, yes." She said, smiling now in what was likely supposed to be comforting. It was, but Cirella could see past that. Fine then, she thought, thinking of the one thing she had left to ask that could have a definitive answer.

"Will you?"

The smile widened, revealing unnaturally white teeth, "Yes."

Guided by Fyrah, the two of them wandered through the wilderness in a direction that was surprisingly similar to the one Cirella was already travelling. They crossed onto a wagon-engraved trail that provided more of a certain path. This one continued for still more hours, with neither of them really speaking at all about anything. There were still so many questions Cirella had about her life before, but guessed that those would have to wait until the two of them arrived at wherever Fyrah was taking them.

Finally, she spoke, curiosity overtaking her, "Why are we not hungry or tired. I feel as though I should be. Am I dead?" Fyrah laughed heartily, the sound of it reverberating through the woods beautifully.

"No," She said, looking to Cirella as she spoke, "You are not dead, and you will never feel the need for sustenance again. I could tell you why, but there is so much else that you must know first." She turned away and they walked for a bit more. "Oh," She added, "by the way, you shouldn't need to breathe anymore either. Go ahead." It was an odd statement, but Cirella tried to halt her intake of breath, expecting her lungs to start burning at any moment, but they did not. She tried several things, such as breathing in as much air as she could, but there was no limit. It was the same for breathing out, with an endless flow escaping her lips and nose. Eventually, she settled to stop entirely, only ever taking in a breath out of an impulse that seemed suddenly distant. It wasn't just breathing, either, as she started to notice that she hadn't blinked for hours now.

She spent the next several hours discovering new aspects of her body that were unfamiliar to her. She found that her feet, although as smooth as her baby's human skin, had no cuts or scrapes from walking on the rough cobblestone pathway. No matter how many times she tried to empty her mouth of spit, it was as moist as if she'd just drunk a sizable glass of fresh water, and she found that she could expel tears from her eyes that were as pure as the same kind of water, so much so that she felt she could have drunk it herself if she needed to. The knee-length, thick blonde locks of hair would, no matter how many times she tried to cut it with a dagger that Fyrah had lent her, regrow itself to the same length. It was not bothersome, either, as it seemed to naturally avoid being a nuisance on its own, but it was extremely durable. Even cutting it off felt as though she was trying to carve through boiled leather. Then there was her breasts.

Cirella knew that, from flashes of insight she could never seem to relate to an event, when children were born, their mothers would be able to feed them from their breasts. It was something she felt oddly anxious about before she'd given birth herself, but the small thing seemed to have no need or desire for it. Regardless, she'd found that from squeezing her massive orbs, she would expel an endless flow of milk that was extraordinarily sweet.

Fyrah seemed to have noticed when Cirella started to suck on her own nipples, because she giggled again in that melodic way, "I would be cautious about that if I were you. It is intoxicating. Anyway, look!" She was right, Cirella found herself losing desire to do anything other than draw milk from herself, but even the knowledge braced her for that kind of trance as she sucked. Eventually, she released her breasts and turned her head upward to find something magnificent.

Fyrah was pointing toward a massive fortress that was hidden in a strange blizzard that seemed extremely out of place in the environment they were in. Although, she thought to herself, she could not feel the cold from the gentle breeze that reached them here. The storm created a clearing of snow around the fortress walls where no trees dared to grow. She wondered how deep it was by now.

"Beautiful, isn't it?" Fyrah asked smiling again in that serene way, "This is where everything began, for both of us." There was a kind of powerful air to the way she'd said it, almost cryptic, that gave Cirella a flash of insight into her old life. Fyrah did not lie, this was indeed where it all began. Anxious, she followed her into the storm.

It was as though the snow that had piled around over the years cleared the way for the two to pass, shifting to the side to create a path that did not impair their pace. Even the harsh wind that would surely be enough to send any normal person to the ground instantly seemed to divide around the two, almost protecting them from the force of it. Just like before, the bitter cold did not bite at Cirella's still exposed skin, but merely soothed her as only a slight breeze by an ocean could.

There it was again: Oceans. She had neither seen one nor remembered her life before to even know what they were, but here she was relating to a feeling that she'd never known. It was bazaar.

Once the two of them had travelled along the makeshift trail, Cirella was again embarrassed when she'd seen a pair of armored soldiers standing guard by the bulwarks, although neither appeared to pay heed. What was stranger still was that, even though the two of them were braving almost the worst of the storm, and yet they stood stalwart like it was not even there. Nonetheless, Cirella covered herself as she could with her arms while she and Fyrah approached.

Fyrah walked to a spot perhaps twenty feet away from the entrance and spread her arms wide. She threw back her head, letting the breeze lift and play with her hair while she did so, and her dress gradually rippling in the stronger wind. Soon, the full strength of the gust was attacking her, but she neither flinched nor moved. With the wind moving around her very pale dress and hair, she looked to be some kind of beautiful extension of the storm. The two soldiers simultaneously inclined their heads and stepped aside, the gate lifting as they did so and the storm clearing itself around Fyrah once more.

"What just happened?" Cirella asked as the two of them passed through the entrance and into a courtyard. Neither of the soldiers seemed to regard her as she passed, but she was still not confident enough just yet to allow anyone other than Fyrah to see her completely.

Fyrah laughed, "I requested entry, and they allowed. You do not need to cover yourself, Cirella." It was the first time that Fyrah had mentioned her name, and Cirella was almost surprised that she'd caught that just now, although that Fyrah knew that she was covering herself was evidence enough that she had other ways of knowing such things. Casting a look around for no real reason, Cirella let her hands fall away from her breasts and groin, giving in.

The two of them passed into what looked to be some kind of keep, where it was pointedly different from the outside. The color theme was mostly red and white, with the warm interior contrasting the breeze from the outside wonderfully. It wasn't just that, either, as she noticed the faintest aroma that seemed to relax her still further than before, making her forget that she didn't need to breathe. All worries at losing old friends or not knowing herself seemed to vanish instantly, but the effect almost attempted to haze her mind. She murmured something incoherent to Fyrah, who turned back to her, still smiling.

"Oh yes, this place will have that effect on you, but do not worry. Given time you will come to accept it." Her words almost seemed faint. Accept it? No, she meant get used to it, but the more she'd tried to remember that, the less she allowed herself to think of it. She let herself be guided absently to a separate room, vaguely aware of a number of other people passing by the two of them as they walked. This new room, decorated with the same deep red, gave off a more pungent smell than before, flooding her mind strangely. Part of her tried to fight off the fumes, but the other breathed as deeply as she could. She could hear Fyrah's voice more clearly than before, aware just now that it was in her mind.

"You need to wake up, my girl."

She lost consciousness instantly, in a way. Part of her was still somewhat aware of the other woman standing over her, sending waves of energy this way and that, but her attention was drawn to something different.

In her mind, all was dark, save for something off in the distance that, in spite of the lack of light, gave off a faint glow of its own. She rose to her feet, realizing now that she was no longer naked, but clad in what seemed like a heavy set of plated armor. Its weight did not slow her movement in her mind, and it almost seemed like the feeling of encumbrance was familiar. It was different than pregnancy, where all of the weight was concentrated on her central body, but rather she used her central body to lift herself.

When she reached the item, it was not one, but two. A heavy metal shield designed the same way that her armor was, and a longsword emblazoned with a scripture that came to her with a sense of nostalgia. It read In darkness, I shall be shrouded in a light greater than the sun. As she read it, her voice issued from her lips of their own accord.

"I have been waiting for you." Her hand clasped the sword again on its own, lifting it so she could better see it, while the other reached for the shield and slipped it on her arm. A sense of welcoming came to her, but she did not know why. Her voice came again, this time directed to her.

"I see you have found me. When you came into being, without mine, I left you with uncertainty, but I had no choice." Strange, that made little sense. She was speaking to herself, but it donned on Cirella that this woman that seemed to have taken her body must have been the old Cirella. No, not the old one, this was the true personality that belonged to the figure that Cirella occupied, and she happened to have chosen the same name for herself.

"It looks like you are understanding, then I will explain more." The sword was glided back into a sheath at the side of the armor. "Myself and two others found a place that, in legend, would hold vast power and wealth. It was true, it did, but we had been deceived into seeking it out. Not before long, the three of us found ourselves at the mercy of a beast far stronger than what we could handle. It killed my closest friends, and took me." She did not need to elaborate. The thing, coming to her now as that creature with seven long tails, violated her and impregnated her with its spawn. Not only that, but it attempted to take her mind as well. To ward this off, Cirella concealed a part of herself deep in the back of her mind to preserve herself for long enough to fall into oblivion.

Her dormant self waited for almost two decades before waking, and by then her two comrades had already rotted down to the bone, while her body changed to never be able to. Clearly, as the thought of one of the two that had been with her returned, and the memory of her, Fyrah had found a way around that fate through a spawn of her own. Garen, on the other hand, was dead for certain.

She returned to consciousness now, her mind now one and her experiences returned, but not without grief. She sat up on a bed that she was now on and started to cry again. Fyrah moved to try to comfort her, speaking soothingly.

"Everything is well, darling. Do not feel ashamed." She ran her hand along Cirella's now bare back, but there was no comfort to be had now. The fumes were an effect that she was accustomed to almost instantly, and so did nothing for her.

"Don't you see? Garen is gone, and he did not gain the same thing we did!" She looked up to Fyrah to see her still trying to give a calm expression. How could she act so much so when Cirella was faced with this kind of sadness? It almost made her want to lash out at the only thing she had left of her other friend. She clung to her knees again, sobbing in spite of herself. How could she have been so stupid?

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byThe_Defective_Pawn© 2 comments/ 9409 views/ 6 favorites

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