So apparently I’m going to be part of some wacky ceremony tomorrow where I get pronounced Champion of Lust, Hero of the Seventh Circle, and Super Hell-Warrior Deluxe (hold the tomatoes) or some crazy nonsense like that. Sorta like being knighted, I think, except instead of being patted on the shoulder with a sword by some old broad who probably shouldn’t be trusted around swords, there’s no old broad. Unless Morgana’s one of those age-defying immortal types who likes looking way younger than she actually is, of course. Most of those folks have the decency to wait until around thirty or forty or so before locking themselves in, so you at least have some idea that they’re not quite as young as the people around them, but every now and then there’s a few jerkface exceptions.
If a propaganda imp steals this and reads it out loud to you and you’re not twenty seven I swear I didn’t mean that. Please don’t kill me, Lady Morgana. .-.
Aaaanyways, so yeah. Champion of Lust. Sorta ironic, really, since I was only in it for myself and not trying to be a hero at all or anything. And also because I don’t give a damn about lust, and haven’t slept with a single freaky hell-thing since I got here, and have absolutely no plans to change that. Ever. Forever. As long as I un-live. No matter who’s asking, even if it’s Lady Doomface herself. The drow are a perfect example of why rampant sexing aren’t good for a society. So is whoever used to rule this circle before Morgana showed up and exploded everyone’s skulls, come to think of it. Curtains make people slow, lazy, and apathetic, and I’ll be damned all over again before I let myself become any one of those things out here.
But enough of that, let’s get back to that big important mission I was telling you about. Unless someone’s tampered with my past entries (an entirely plausible possibility, unfortunately. I still need to sleep now and then), we left off with Libby’s fortuitous arrival, just as my team got TPK’d by a single measly fireball like the filthy NPCs that they are. Seeing as she’s a death goddess and all, my first impression was that she came to collect the splattered goo pasted all about the cavern walls. My second impression, after that first one turned out wrong, was that she looked really cute with this new form, with a sort of sandy brown hair beneath that dark reaper hood she’d just pulled off, and a figure that I’m almost certain was completely naked beneath the robes, as per her usual way of going about things. Please don’t ask me how I found out that’s how she normally goes about things, by the way. Please, I really don’t want to go back down that road again.
It wasn’t until she was right up in my face and quietly trying to pull the harpoon out of the wall that I realized I’d been stupidly ogling her without a word for about an entire six seconds. Gods, and this was the girl I’ve been trying to convince to stop having a crush on me, too. Way to completely sabotage everything forever, MagBrain. You’re a real pal.
"So err…not that I’m not grateful or anything, because I am, but what are you doing here?"
A long pause followed that curt reply, in which I briefly wondered if the surface world was still holding its annual Obvious Statement of the Year awards. Libby deserved at least the bronze medal for that one.
"I walked right into that one, didn’t I?"
"You did." Her trademark cheeky little smile shone back at me, looking more radiant than ever. Gods, it’d been so long since I’d been near a woman without a pair of spikes growing out of her skull, I think I was starting to lose it. Then again, it was just the stress of nearly being turned into roast Magtok on a stick, before realizing I was instead Pinned And Totally Helpless Succubus Snacks On a Stick.
"Okay, but seriously, doesn’t this break a few rules?"
"Oh don’t give me that line of bull. I don’t know, I’m not the fudging death goddess in the room, but I’ve got a pretty good guess that yes, yes it does! I didn’t ask for you to come down here and possibly endanger your position just for one measly clone, y’know. Neither of us would’ve been gaining or losing anything of any real value if you’d just sat this one out!"
Just as quickly, that adorable little smile was gone. With one last tug, the harpoon finally removed itself from the wall, and I was left flailing about like an idiot, trying to regain my balance as Libby turned her back and just started walking along deeper into the tunnel. As much as I didn’t want to go down that path, and even though I had enough more corpses around me to justify turning back and running away in terror, I knew I couldn’t. I didn’t even like Libby (or at least the part of my brain that isn’t a dirty, rotten traitor doesn’t like her), but I couldn’t just let her walk away like that, ruining her day for something as terrible as saving me from an embarrassing and helpless death at the hands of whoever happened to feel like coming down that tunnel next.
"Libby! I’m sorry! I just…"
I don’t know when the hell she learned to move so fudging fast, but I found myself wrapped up in a hug before I could even figure out what I was about to apologize for. It was a bit of an awkward hug, of course, since I hadn’t taken Ol’ Impaley out of my chest and it’s sorta right in the middle of the part of my torso where hugs are supposed to happen, but she seemed to manage her way around it anyways. I was starting to regret my own guilt now, as this huggy thing was just about the most confusing and uncomfortable and vaguely numbing experience I’d ever gotten from a hug.
"It’s okay, really. I just wasn’t expecting you to worry about me."
And just like that, guilt crashed right into my face with the force of a thousand oncoming freight trains. Gods, Libby was just lousy with accidental guilt-lobbing today. Breaking off from that hug actually felt physically exhausting, which was a bad sign of things to come, surely. What chance had I against ravenous hordes of sociopathic, carnivorous sex-devils, if I couldn’t even fight off snuggles? I was no soldier, and this was a war I wasn’t even remotely likely to survive.
"So what now? Was pulling me out of the wall your entire rescue operation, or...?"
"You’re here to clear out Biela’s devils, aren’t you? They’re down this way."
"Well yeah, but the original plan called for two full squads worth of backup and magicky support and giant fighting robots to do most of the work. I don’t think-"
"Everything will be okay, trust me."
Whenever anyone else says a thing like that, you just know things are going to turn out horribly. I was putting some serious thought into just dropping my gun, running right out of the mountain, and surrendering myself over to the nearest enemy soldier in the hopes of slightly less painful death, or maybe try to exploit some loopholes or something by proposing to Libby, but both choices were taken right out of my hands in an instant. Libby unexpectedly turned around, wrapped her fingers around mine, and started pulling my hesitant butt right into the horrific abyss I was trying so hard to avoid. I could hear ghoulish laughter and the crackle of a fire farther into the tunnel, but with the way noise echoes about in these places, I couldn’t quite place how much farther the enemy would be. It’d be only minutes before the true battle began, and while those incubi and junk wouldn’t be expecting very many upright bodies after that vicious fireball trap they set for us, I was sure they’d be more than prepared for a catgirl in a silly black reaper dress, and a flimsy little human with a metal pole in his spine. There was hardly any time left to prepare. My knees felt like those wobbly gelatinous cube monster things Ms. Rubyteeth used to motivate cadets to not fall behind whilst running laps, and my throat felt as dry and coarse as sandpaper. I only had time for just one last trick up my sleeve, and it had to be a good one, because despite Libby’s promise, I knew things wouldn’t be quite so simple.
Reaching into my uniform with the hand not wrapped around Libby’s, I slowly pulled out my sidearm, thumbed the safety, and took a deep breath. I raised the clockwork handgun up to around shoulder height, let go of Libby’s hand so I could hold the weapon with both of mine, took a step back, and in one fluid motion, before she could even realize what was happening, I shot her. I shot her five times, right in her pretty face.