Chapter 54 – Becoming A Flower
by lemuel moo
Lucy rested on Gale’s body as they ate food. She fed Gale and herself, and Gale wondered how did their relationship get intimate so quickly. Lucy didn’t want to miss a moment of intimacy as she pressed herself on him for warmth.
“I’ll teach you the secrets of the [Black Ice Technique],” Lucy said. “You’ve gained some of my powers, but you won’t be able to use them without my special breathing techniques.”
Gale and Lucy spent many hours in sweet intimacy, while their bodies harmoniously poured their powers into each other as they mated. Gale noticed that within his body, there was a unique power which he could identify which was separate from his energy.
“Seems like your powers couldn’t completely assimilate with mine yet,” Gale said. “I felt that there is a unique energy that is flowing within my body, and I can’t seem to dissolve it with my [qi].”
“That energy isn’t meant to be dissolved. The [Black Ice Technique] is a mixture of magic and martial arts, and that energy you felt different in your body is my [Black Ice Energy],” Lucy explained. “It’s impossible for the human body to produce [Black Ice Magic] naturally, so my predecessor embedded a magic sequence on my body.”
Lucy reached down and wrote a magic sequence with her tongue on Gale’s chest. Gale blushed as Lucy took ownership of his body like a cat. Once she finished, the magic sequence glowed for a moment and vanished.
“This magic sequence will help you to generate [Black Ice Magic] with my special breathing techniques. Unlike most magical abilities, [Black Ice] has to be produced before a fight. My technique’s weakness is that I have a limited amount of [Black Ice] during a battle,” Lucy said. “Moreover, it takes a lot of time to produce [Black Ice] and store it in one’s body. An average person’s lifespan wouldn’t be enough to produce [Black Ice] to fight an ‘A’ class assassin.”
“So your massive powers are built on the foundations of many generations!” Gale said.
“Yes. Centuries to be exact. Selphie keeps a record of these things for me,” Lucy said. “However, [Black Ice] grows exponentially, not linearly. The more [Black Ice] you have in your body, the easier your powers grow. I’ve reached a point where I can’t stop producing [Black Ice] unconsciously, and my powers are eating me up within.
Because you can absorb my powers, you’re my lifeline. Other people would’ve been killed by my [Black Ice] since it feeds on heat and energy, and that’s why I forbid Selphie from entering in here.”
Gale realized that he could speed up Lucy’s training, and his body would benefit from it too. However, his heart was full of Kasumi and Reyna, and he didn’t want to spend too much time in the cave.
“We’ll need to be quick! Teach me the [Black Ice Technique]!”
Lucy pouted. “No. You’ll run off to save another girl.”
“Lucy, I can’t wait around here! Reyna doesn’t have much time!” Gale pleaded.
“Then promise me something. You’ll take responsibility of me,” Lucy demanded. “You said you’re already dating someone else, and it doesn’t seem to be Princess Reyna. Who is it?!”
“I-It’s my combat instructor, Kasumi Mizushima,” Gale stuttered. He was reluctant to let the cat out of the bag, but he had no choice as his sense of uprightness was tugging at his heartstrings.
Lucy glared at Gale. “All pretty girls! I’ve seen Kasumi Mizushima’s report from Selphie!”
“It’s natural to incline to pretty girls, isn’t it?” Gale argued. “I’m a man, after all.”
“Then you’ll take responsibility for me? I’ll allow you to have other girls since you don’t have a choice with Princess Reyna and Kasumi. As a compromise, I will be sisters with your lovers,” Lucy said.
Gale hesitated, and Lucy was displeased. She immediately rode on Gale to start round two.
“Don’t! You’ll get pregnant!” Gale protested.
“Precisely! I want to get pregnant!” Lucy defiantly said.
“But you have many enemies to face, and I have a lot of unfinished business to do! If you get pregnant, you’ll be vulnerable!” Gale said.
“You’ll fertilize my eggs, and I’ll freeze it for later,” Lucy said. “You will be the father of my children!”
Under Gale’s helpless resistance, Lucy pinned him down again and played with his body. It took less time than before to tame Gale, for his body had no defense against Lucy’s attractiveness and pleasure.
“N-No!” Gale struggled.
Lucy licked Gale’s ear with her tongue, and it sent shivers down his spine.
“Give it up, darling. I have all day!”
Reyna was practicing the [Turtle Breathing Technique], and she heard a knock on her door.
Princess Charlotte entered the room, and Reyna rose up to greet her.
“Charlotte? What brings you here?”
Charlotte sat on the sofa next to Reyna. “I’m here to check on you. We’ve been childhood friends, aren’t we?”
“Indeed.” Reyna wasn’t in a mood for chitchat. She wondered what Gale was doing at that moment.
Charlotte held Reyna’s hands and asked, “that Gale guy. Do you really like him? Since he didn’t know you are a girl, he probably only thought of you as a brother.”
Reyna didn’t resist Charlott’s warm hands, but she stared out of the window as though she could see an image of Gale in the horizon. “Gale wanted to help me fight in this marriage duel even when I was a guy. He stood nothing to gain, and he would rather step on the toes of royalties than to give up on me. How do you not fall in love with such a guy?”
Charlotte slumped into the sofa as felt helpless trying to convince Reyna to give up on Gale. “Such a guy existed, huh? But my brother is in love with you from our childhood days, and we’re all royalties. Couldn’t you give him a chance?”
Reyna sighed. “Sometimes, I wished I wasn’t a royal.
Regulus isn’t my type of guy. I told him we should remain friends since five-years-old, but he’s so obstinate. ”
Charlotte reached out from her bag and took out a pen and a piece of paper. “Do you want to write a letter to Gale? I will make sure it reaches him without my brother’s knowledge.”
Reyna raised her eyebrows, and Charlotte sighed. “I’m only tasked to locate you because I’m good with magic, but I don’t wish for you to be unhappy. Honestly, there is no lack of girls in Nevarre, and my brother shouldn’t be so obsessed with you.
In any case, I don’t want you to have regrets.”
Reyna had nothing to lose even if Regulus read the letter, so she took the pen and paper, and began writing.
Charlotte mulled to herself as Reyna wrote. Gale interrupted her when she wanted to retrieve Reyna at the camp and injured her bodyguard quickly.
“I’ll test you out, Gale Gainsborough!”
Kenji and Hideki met at a coffee shop alone in Aelfsige City. It was a warm afternoon, and the streets were buzzing with people.
“Uncle Kenji, where’s Naomi?” Hideki asked.
“She’s out shopping. It has been some time since we came to a city.
I’m surprised the [Mysterious Allure] drug didn’t work. It’s money wasted since I paid Gwen the Scrooge to use the recipe I suggested for your lessons. What happened?” Kenji asked.
“I’ve replaced the incense as what you told me, but Gale came into the kitchen in the nick of time.
Uncle Kenji, can we let my sister choose what she wants for her marriage partner?” Hideki pleaded.
“Nonsense! You children don’t know how to choose, and you need adults like us to guide you along!” Kenji barked. “It’s a pity Kasumi doesn’t have your foresight. You chose well in Clere Sigrun because her family is worthy for the Mizushima family.
Who is this Gale Gainsborough who dares to associate himself with us?! We have a rich heritage and our family produced an outstanding line of swordsmen for years!”
Hideki didn’t think Gale would make it because he fell off a cliff, and he didn’t want his uncle to throw shade on Gale since he was dead. “In any case, give my sister some time to grieve. Gale has been a good friend overall, and I think we should let the matter rest.”
Kenji agreed. “Right. No need to force the issue since the obstacle is no more. I don’t want Kasumi to hate me too.
Since it will take some time before I can talk to Kasumi about her marriage plans, let’s focus on yours. I planned to speak with Agatha Sigrun about Clere and you. Are you ready? ”
Hideki shook his head. He knew Clere was in love with Gale too and she could need some time. “I want to spend some time with her as she lost a friend too. Gale has been her bodyguard for some time.”
Kenji was having none of it. “He’s only a bodyguard, and why should Clere oppose to this arrangement? Both of you are childhood friends, and she cried so hard when I took you away from her five years ago.
I will speak to Agatha soon, and we’ll have a meeting together.”
Hideki didn’t want to oppose his uncle, so he nodded in agreement, and tried to switch to a different topic. “Oh yes, thanks for sending me the [Water Serpent] katana! It was beneficial!” Hideki said.
“Isn’t it so? That sword was one of my personal collection, and I thought I should lend it to you for training,” Kenji said.
“Yeah! Thanks to it, I learned a new sword skill!” Hideki replied.
Kenji’s countenance changed when he heard Hideki’s words. “You learned a sword skill from the sword I gave you?!”
“It’s the [Mizushima Water Serpent Slash]! During my fight with the royal assassins, I fell into a trance, and the sword guided my hands! Didn’t you say you sent the sword to me for training? I see that you planned to teach me a new technique! ”
Kenji had no intention to teach Hideki a new technique. He wanted Hideki to show off a good sword before his friends for the Mizushima family. Little did he know that Hideki was gifted, and Hideki unknowingly unlocked the sword’s secrets by accident.
“T-That’s good to hear,” Kenji cleared his throat to prevent himself from sounding surprised. “You should keep training that technique until it becomes second nature to you.”
“I sure will! Once I’m done, I hope to learn another sword technique from you again!”
Kenji made a mental note not to send Hideki new swords carelessly.
After the camp, Celinda called Jacinta to the Flowers Of Death headquarters. Jacinta found herself in a beautiful greenhouse with garden chairs. She sat alone on one of the garden chairs for Celinda and Camelia.
A beautiful woman with beautiful brown curls wearing a gardening vest popped up from the bush behind Jacinta. “Hello there! My name is Laura, and I’m the gardener here!”
Jacinta jumped from the shock. “O-Oh, hello! I’m Jacinta!”
Laura chuckled. “Did I scare ya? I’m going to get some tea for ya!”
Shortly after, Rose pushed a tea cart with cakes into the greenhouse. She was an elegant, well-mannered beauty. Rose gently placed desserts and a cup of red tea for Jacinta to enjoy.
Just then, Rafflesia walked into the greenhouse with Celinda and Camelia. They sat at Jacinta’s table and started their discussion with her.
“I’ve heard about Prince Regulus’ royal assassins and his pet who attacked your camp,” Rafflesia said. “That stupid Gale was full of himself. He should’ve let Celinda and Camelia help him in his battle, and he wouldn’t fall off the cliff!”
Camelia rebuffed Rafflesia. “Didn’t you say we can’t help other people outside of our own organization unless a contract binds us?”
“All men are trash, and that’s our general guideline in the Flowers Of Death,” Rafflesia said. “But that boy has a little speck of hope when he took on the enemies to allow Jacinta to escape. I don’t detest stupid boys like that.”
Jacinta chimed in, “Gale is still alive! Aunt Agatha assured me about it, and he should be back soon.”
Rafflesia replied, “he better be back. I have lots of things to talk to him about.
Celinda, did you invite Gale to our headquarters?”
“Yes, before Camelia, Jacinta and I escaped,” Celinda answered.
“Good. If he doesn’t oblige, capture him and drag him here,” Rafflesia said. “I’ve tested the boy’s strength myself, and I’m pretty certain he’s not going to die this easily.”
Jacinta was alarmed! “Wait, didn’t you promise you’re not attacking Gale?! What do you want from him?”
Rafflesia turned to Jacinta, but no one could see Rafflesia’s eyes since it shrouded its face with a thick black aura.
“I only promised that I wouldn’t use you to attack Gale. Moreover, Agatha is fine if I force him here. I have questions for him, and I won’t harm him.”
Jacinta could only take Rafflesia at its word.
“Now, let’s get down to business,” Rafflesia said. “Celinda and Camelia will teach you the rules and regulations of our organization later, but before that, I need you to sign your name in blood for a blood covenant.”
“B-Blood covenant?!” Jacinta heard this term at Agatha’s house when Gale safely came back from the City Plaza battle. “What’s this blood covenant about?”
“It’s to prevent you from betraying the Flowers Of Death. All recruits have to sign a covenant with us,” Rafflesia explained. “But I’ll have you do two blood covenants instead of the one.”
“So what are the two covenants?” Jacinta asked.
“The first is a simple protection covenant, and it will tell us your whereabouts through magic if you were attacked. The second covenant is to bind you to Queen Erin’s will. I have deemed you worthy of being part of Queen Erin’s covenant,” Rafflesia said.
There was too much information that Jacinta didn’t understand, so she asked, “who is Queen Erin?”
“Queen Erin was the founder of the Flowers Of Death centuries ago. Back then, she formed our organization to exact justice to errant lords and kings for infidelity,” Rafflesia explained. “We recruit only ladies, and the girls who joined us then were princesses and highborn ladies as they were usually part of a harem.
Times have changed as the number of kingdoms and lords have dwindled. To keep up with the changing times, I started to include ladies from any background and transform our organization into an assassins guild. That kept our coffers running while we uphold Queen Erin’s will.”
Celinda continued. “However, because every person joins us with their personal agenda, our moral ethos to punish infidelity eroded significantly. To mitigate that, Boss started to form blood covenants with ladies whom it deemed worthy.
Others who don’t subscribe to Boss’ moral ethos are welcome to join our organization, but they aren’t invited to form a blood covenant.”
Jacinta mulled after hearing the backstory and surmised that it wasn’t a compromising covenant to join.
“What are the benefits of joining myself to Queen Erin’s will through a covenant?”
“You will receive an inheritance which is from Queen Erin’s treasury when you accomplish her will. She had gold, silver, precious gems and all kinds of treasures in store, and lands for you to inherit,” Rafflesia explained. “There are more benefits than this, but it’s secret until revealed. However, never disobey the moral ethos and Queen Erin’s will, or you will be eaten alive by worms.’
Jacinta gulped, and Celinda assured her by holding her hands. “I’m sure Queen Erin’s moral ethos is closely aligned to you, so you won’t have anything to lose, but all to gain.
Celinda spoke the truth, and Jacinta pondered for a moment before agreeing. “I’ll do both then. Did both of you sign the other covenant too?”
Celinda and Camelia nodded. “We did.”
“Good. Let’s get started then,” Rafflesia said.
Rafflesia and the rest got up from their seat, and it led them into the inner chambers within the greenhouse. It was a brick house with a chimney which extended out of the greenhouse.
“The inner chambers are not allowed for anyone except for Rose and me. She keeps the place clean while I concoct my pills here.”
Rafflesia opened the door and a large vessel towered in the center of the room. The ship was twenty feet tall and an eighteen feet radius.
“I’m a herbalist. We grow precious herbs here and concoct using its essence to create pills. A single pill is equivalent to ten years of ‘qi’ training for the average person,” Rafflesia said.
Jacinta was amazed. “Doesn’t it mean our powers can grow perpetually?”
“Not at all,” Rafflesia explained. “Our human bodies are limited, and we will plateau in our growth by using pills only. Furthermore, the density and quality of energy differ for each individual based on their training and their innate attributes.
My pills only shorten the time to train, but it can’t replace training.”
Celinda added, “Boss’ pills are famous. Even the weakest pill sells for millions of dollars! Boss is also considered one of the top five strongest in the world.”
Jacinta looked at Rafflesia in awe. The Top Five were more famous than the Twelve Gemstones. SPAW only allowed their top commanders to deal with the Top Five and everyone else were required to flee on sight.
Rafflesia walked to an empty space within the room and tapped its feet. A cellar door opened near where it stood, and he descended the stairs. It was several floors down, and the group arrived before a door which needed Rafflesia’s handprint.
“This is Queen Erin’s and her late husband’s tomb.”
Rafflesia opened the door, and in the middle of the room stood two coffins. Flowers surrounded both coffins beautifully, and the air smells fresh like a garden.
“Queen Erin loved King Anders dearly. When he died, she tasked her subjects to place her coffin beside his.
Unfortunately, King Anders took other wives and concubines, which led to his downfall. He played with women more than governing, and his kingdom ended prematurely.
During King Anders’ philandering ways, Queen Erin setup the Flowers Of Death as defiance to him. Countless of kings met their downfall because one of our members would exact justice on their husbands by assassination.
This is the Flowers Of Death.”
Jacinta could tell Rafflesia was full of admiration and loyalty to its late queen as the latter described the organization.
Rafflesia went to a closet at the corner of the room and grabbed two parchments.
“The blood covenants are bounded by magic, and it starts the moment you sign both in blood,” Rafflesia said. “The details of the covenants are written on the parchments, and it’s exactly as how I described to you. If you’ve no other questions, sign them in your blood.”
Jacinta took the parchments, read them, and looked at Rafflesia. “By signing these, will it cause trouble for Aunt Agatha or Gale?”
Rafflesia answered. “The Mistress of Secrets and I are business partners, so there isn’t anything I would do to harm her. Gale is just a cheeky brat who needs discipline, but I promise by Queen Erin’s will I will do him no harm.”
After signing on the parchments, Jacinta would be bound by a life-and-death agreement. She took a deep breath and signed both papers bravely. The parchments glowed, and the magical runic words floated out of the parchments.
Those words flew into Jacinta, and she felt a strange sensation in her heart. After a while, Jacinta felt normal, and the words within the parchments disappeared.
“The covenants are complete. Welcome to the Flowers of Death!” Rafflesia said.