“I know what you are,” said a gruff male voice from behind her.
Lylyth paused mid-sip of her Piña Colada. Then she recontinued her sip, crossed her legs, and reclined further into her cushy sofa seat. She would much prefer not to be bothered right now. She was in the middle of having a grand time.
“I’m here to put you down, monster.”
Lylyth sighed. She was sitting near the floor-to-ceiling windows of The Succubus Lounge. It had an exquisite view of the obsidian-like bay and marvelous Downtown lights of Legends City. The electric radiance dazzled her when she came here at night.
It had been six months since her abrupt arrival to this world, and humans still amazed her with their expansive innovation. How could one overlook the power that made giant dwellings glimmer brighter than the stars?
The male harrumphed. “Let’s keep the violence away from these innocent people and take this outside.”
Strange, she did not come here to hand out murder, mayhem, and madness—that was her old life. She had paid the bartender cash, with a generous tip, of course. She gave the regulars she knew friendly waves. Then she sat herself down like a proper human lady.
No violence was brought here by Lylyth’s account.
Lylyth sipped more from her drink.
“If you think you can run away from me, I’ll have no choice but to slay you here,” he grunted, “monster.”
Lylyth stirred her drink with her straw, humming with delight. Who would’ve thought another world could compete with faerie wines and dwarven ales? It made her reflect on her previous life, where vassals piled offerings at the base of her burning skull throne. Lots of those offerings were barrels of alcohol and other bloody knickknacks.
But few brewers in her old world had the mixology techniques of this new world. Techniques that enhanced Lylyth’s experience while being surrounded by superb views, a hum of friendly conversations, and fantastical songs that seemed to play magically from the black boxes in the corners. Speaking of which—the Beatles were singing now!
Oh, my, she adored these bards!
The rude male interrupted the lead bard Paul McCartney. “Don’t play stupid, monster, and try to pretend you’re human. I have the—”
“[Tracker] skill, I imagine.” Lylyth recrossed her legs. The top of her over-the-knee boots pinched her supple thighs; she was still breaking them in. “And I also imagine your singularity is [Ranger], correct?”
The male took a step off-beat, surprised most likely. From the sound of his movements, she figured he was quite large, perhaps even muscular. But he clearly had what humans called two left feet—what a shameful condition.
“I’ll make your death a quick one if you tell me how you know all of that.”
“Can this wait until the outro?” Lylyth finished her drink and placed it on the table in front of her. “It’s amazing how you humans can record the breath of bards and replay them perfectly no matter the years that pass.”
“And the outro to ‘Hey Jude’ is just so lovely. Don’t you think the same?”
“I have an enchanted knife drenched in demon’s blood,” he hissed through gritted teeth. “And I’m a 2nd Circle High Super, which I’m sure you can feel. Now get up and move outside or else.”
Lylyth started standing and facing around. She nearly fell back into her seat since she enabled the alcohol to affect her, but she caught her balance at the last moment. With a self-mocking chuckle, she looked up at the gruff male.
Ah, yes, he certainly had the look of a Hunter. He had vengeance in his eyes and a body that trembled with violent intentions. He was the tall, dark, and brooding kind while contained in all black leather. His hand was reaching inside of his jacket, too.
“I’m sure I feel like a Low Adept to you, and you may think you have me at your mercy, but in just a few more seconds, the best part—”
“My girlfriend wanted a few more seconds until you fucking monsters showed up.” He pulled out his enchanted knife.
“It sounds like you need a drink.” Lylyth motioned for the bartender’s attention. “I have considerable knowledge on matters dealing with the heart. Perhaps I can help you, hmm?”
She beamed a broad and friendly smile.
The Beatles bellowed out the beginning of the outro to “Hey Jude.”
The gruff man charged at her. He raised his knife that swirled with insidious power and slashed at her neck.
Lylyth carefully lifted the suppression on her circles, so it wouldn’t blast out for all to feel. She parried his blade with her finger.
His eyes nearly bulged out of his head. Then he bared his teeth and swung again with more big man gusto.
Lylyth sang along with McCartney and his bardmates. “Naa na na na na na na!” Meanwhile, her finger parried the knife again.
“Gah!” he sang incorrectly, interrupting the flow of the song. He raised his arm, readying a strike with all his weight and power, it seemed.
How terrible of the High Super Hunter. He couldn’t dance or carry a tune, and he planned to damage an establishment Lylyth liked by going all out. That wouldn’t do.
Lylyth covered his folly by continuing to sing along correctly. And she poked his chest with her one finger while it glowed.
He became a flash of intense violet light and fell into a pile of fine black ash, another victim to her colloquially named Boop of Death.
“Oh, damn the heavens, you’ve dirtied my new boots.” Thankfully, the apparel was as black as the dark hellish hole she was born from in her first life.
Little remained of the man, not even bones or teeth. But his heart lay unmarred in the middle of the mess. As the song came to an end and the bar’s patrons dashed screaming for the exit, Lylyth picked up the heart.
She dusted it off.
Then she bit it like an apple, moaning delightfully throughout. The pleasures she had with hearts remained the same here as they did in the old world. But Lylyth knew this current life had more ways of enhancing her pleasures. Such as having another cocktail!
Thankfully, the bartender didn’t run away. He was crouching behind the bar counter, probably to look for a drink. Or to hide from her.
Lylyth hopped onto a stool, her half-eaten heart in hand. “I know this is a frightening situation for you, child, but know that I won’t harm you. I don’t want to hurt those who serve me admirably.”
The bartender peeked above the counter. “R-really?”
“Are you… are you what they calling Mythics? That’s what the crazy people on the news say. I’m guessing they aren’t as crazy as I thought.”
Lylyth smiled. “I appreciate that term more than monster. Good of you to use it.”
The bartender rose a little. “You… you turned that man into ash and took his heart.”
“Indeed, I did.”
“He should’ve died many times over for his plot to attack and murder me. Still, I forgave him for his transgressions and offered him an opportunity to break bread with me. But he continued to interrupt the bard Paul McCartney, which was, I’m afraid, unforgivable.”
“Well…” The bartender slowly straightened. “That is offensive.”
“Would you like more of Paul McCartney then?”
“That would please me greatly.”
The bartender nodded. “And, um, another Piña Colada?”
Lylyth grinned, and the bartender got to work quickly.
It was nice having considerate humans around. She would make it rain the funny green currency on him for his diligence.
Lylyth allowed herself to get drunk. She could only drain one more Piña Colada when the authorities with the blue and red flashes arrived. Before they attacked her, she cleaned up the ashes for the bartender since she had made the mess and departed without further incident.
She soon found another bar. Then another after that. She teased a few human males who attempted to woo her, and she even allowed them to continue living to fail with other females. She turned to ash and ate the hearts of those who thought they could drug her drink and force themselves upon her.
Then she found herself strutting drunkenly through the streets of Legends City with the gilded rays of a new day shining upon her.
She could imagine her behavior would shock her high servants from her past life. A Grand Arch Demoness reduced to a drunkard? How atrocious! She should be ruling this new world as their dark queen. The rivers should run red with blood, and the towers of humanity should be lit by her all-consuming flames. She should have more hearts to eat than the time to eat them.
Instead, she was meandering through the streets while singing her rendition of this world’s bardic music. Some humans even clapped and cheered for her appreciatively as they passed. As if she was a court entertainer rather than a high lady of the demonic court.
Lylyth was relatively uninterested in repeating the events of her previous life. It was more fun to enjoy life here!
But she also knew she was too powerful to avoid what was to come, unfortunately.
“I can hear the intro to the song of chaos,” she said with a slur. “And I will surely dance my part, oh yes, I will. It is unavoidable.”
There were more people on the street corner ahead of Lylyth. They were talking about a troll being in the subway. Given time, she was sure they would mention more tidings of Mythic appearances.
The bartender’s disbelief would become a widespread belief: this world wasn’t solely for humans anymore. More so-called monsters would show, and they would do so at an increasing rate.
She did not know. She simply understood this as a fact. The humans of this world just have to adapt, which they seemed to be doing already.
Lately, there seemed to be more Hunters, humans who awakened. That awakened human that suffered her 4th Circle [Instant Immolate] (Boop of Death) was her second Hunter to track her this week.
“They will fight back harder,” Lylyth murmured to herself. “Awakened and unawakened alike.” And no matter what she did, Lylyth was certain the humans would hate her and want to kill her.
And she would kill them in return.
Suddenly, a particular frequency passed through her body and made her shiver. She gasped. She was behind a tall hedge on the street, so she had to push the branches out of the way to see with physical sight.
On the other side was a dark-skinned male. He was tall and wiry. He looked like one push would knock him over, and the fall would snap him apart.
There was lots of anger and pain in his eyes. With a strong sniff, she could smell the sorrow leaking out of his chest. She could hear how deep his hurt ran into his soul.
He was the epitome of heartbroken, and she could sense he was one of the tastiest hearts she could ever consume. His mere presence made her salivate a little.
He was also Awakened, she sensed. It would be wise of her to remove him from existence. To do so now would stop him from being a future nuisance.
But there was one little problem slowing her murderous inclination. The heartbroken male had an aura similar to an Epic hero from her old life who was part-nemesis, part-lover.
It wasn’t an exact match—no one could ever match her darling Gylgamos. But it was close enough to make her heart flutter. Like finding a specific type of mate despite how rare they could be. And her type was always trouble for her.
Lylyth bit her lip. She really should kill this young man. One Boop of Death and he would be gone, and she would spare her heart from needless romantic complications.
But she froze, and in her hesitation, she knew she had dug herself into a hole of weakness. She would have to kill him by indirect means now.
Oh, damn the heavens.
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