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The knights abandoned their tactics and formation as they swarmed Hera, the remaining soldiers had nothing to fight for, nothing to protect their lives were destroyed and laying in the streets. Most were filled with rage others had a death, very few left the battle and the town. Hera speared the closest one through the chest, her claws pulled out the heart and parts of the colon. She lifted her foot and kicked the dying husk of a man into the blob of soldiers, The barreling corpse landed into two men causing them to topple under the weight of metal and flesh.

That didn’t stop the mob for a moment, some were horrified at the sight but were not discouraged. She was able to block most of the incoming attacks with her forearms until she felt a something trickling down her forehead. The group of soldiers backed up giving space. She reached behind her and pulled an ax embedded from her head. The blade was practically glowing in her vision. She touched the back of her head and brought her hand to her sight, the same effect. If she were human she’d most likely be dead. But she wasn’t, that only successfully pissed her off.

Erwin stumbled back as his sword was pushed back, he was suffering from exhaustion. Rinae barely was on the offense, she had cut him a few times not enough to cause any serious damage but just enough to keep the fight engaging.

“Rinae!” He yelled in between breaths. “Where is Elrich!” He cupped his hand over top his sword's hilt, gripping tighter. She did not respond. This enraged him, he charged at her. She grabbed the upper part of the sword and backhanded him. He was knocked onto the ground with a cut bleeding under his eyebrow. He looked up to her and saw her snap the blade in half. She discarded it to the side.

His vision slowly became divided by the color red and normal vision.

“Rinae, you were a great help to us at the farm.” He paused getting on his hands and knees. “The kids really liked you!”

In a moment he scrambled for the broken sword. He grabbed the hilt and attempted to stab her. He didn’t even get to bring the blade up to her waist before his hand was stopped. He looked and saw black claws over top his hand. He felt the sensation of the grip getting tighter and tighter, soon enough the pressure was unbearable. He could feel the bones in his hand begin to the shift and crack. He screamed and screamed but she kept going until she felt every bone shatter.

He dropped the broken sword and clutched his wrist. She delivered a kick straight to his face. He was rendered unconscious.

“Sister, Why is his magic is all inside... is there a reason you aren’t eating him?” She asked looking over the sleeping Erwin. In most magic users magic leaks outside the body regardless of whether or not the mage is using it, the process is magic venting. This is how magic trails are made. If he had made a run for it she’d have a hard, if not impossible time trying to track him down.

“Meet me back at the cave. I’ll show you.” Rinae grabbed his forearm, she opened her forewings and hindwings taking and took flight. Her wings beat in a perfect sync creating a buzzing sound as they beat the air beneath her, she was gliding high above tree line. It would be a good minute or two and she’d reach her home.

Erwin was able to regain consciousness for a moment, “Rinae... “ She looked down at the dangling man, no doubt he was in incredible pain from the proximity of her claws and his shattered hand. “...Where is Elrich.”

She didn’t answer him, she squeezed his hand causing enough pain to force him to pass out once more. Before long they were landed. She let go of him and allowed his body to hit the dirt. She grabbed his leg and drug him into the deepest part of the caverns, the same place the goblins held their captive females. He was promptly chained to the wall.

He sat there for a few hours before he regained consciousness. He looked around, he was blanketed in darkness, save for a singular torch above his head. He jangled the chains, he was pretty secured in. He could only think of one thing, escape. They left him alive for a reason and everything in his mind was telling him that it wasn’t a good thing.

The pain in his hand persisted. He cupped a hand over them and activated the magic he knew. A dim glow shone from beneath his hand. He let it go for a few seconds then stopped. The hand was slightly healed now but remained broken it just hurt less. He used his good hand to push against the cuffs and pulling on his shattered hand. He could feel the pain like none other. The bones sounded squishy and liquidy. He grinded his teeth, every second felt like minutes. But he couldn’t stop, he needed the sweat that was building on his hand as a lubricant.

His fingers looked like sausages being filled, they were a reddish-pink and swollen to an unreal size. After minutes of grueling pulling and pushing his hand no more than a sack of blood and skin was pulled free. The relief was accompanied by the pain, a sweet pain.

He healed the hand fully this time. He sighed, there was nothing more blissful than having his bones reconstruct themselves from a soup. Now the hard part came to, he picked up a rock. He smashed his still captive hand until it was just as easy as getting out the previous. The thing about knowing healing magic also came with the knowledge of being able to self-harm and be okay with it.

It took him a short while but he was fully free and fully healed. He took the torch above his head. If he was going to navigate the dark. He’d also like something that could double as a weapon.

Fifteen minutes of walking in the pure darkness and he could already tell he was lost in the cave. Until he found the neon blue blood that was dripped on the ground, which way was the exit and which was deeper rested on a 50/50 choice. He went north of the blood trail.

Another fifteen, it took him a minute or two but he finally realized he was in the goblin cave. And by then he was already at the shaman’s lair. There wasn’t exactly any choice in turning back now, especially since he saw Elrich in the corner, his back up against a rock. The room didn’t look like it had either of the two females, he dashed for the boy.

The closer he got the more he saw that Elrich was in a worse situation. Black liquid was smeared around his mouth and was leaking from the corners. His skin was pale and his body was cold to the touch. His body was also bloated to an exaggerated size.

“Elrich!” He whispered. The boy had no response so he called out again and shook him slightly. “Wake up, Elrich!” The boy’s eyes fluttered open slowly, they barely could hold their original position they shut just as fast as they opened. He leaned over to his side and remained motionless.

“Fuck.” He muttered. Dropping the torch he picked up Elrich in a piggyback style. He started for the way he came in.

There was now an obstacle standing in the way, Hera. Behind her Rinae.

“Let us leave.” He said.

“No,” Rinae said in retaliation. Her gaze remained the same whether she was angry or neutral.

“Rinae, please. At least let Elrich live.”

“The boy is already dead.”

“I can heal him!”

“You cannot. He is to be harvested.”

“You speak nonsense Rinae!” He shouted.

She stepped from behind Hera. She walked over to the pit of reddish glowing liquid. She reached her hand in, she seemed to be fishing around for something. When she pulled her hand back up was a green leech looking creature with inverted barbs all around the sides, they wiggled as it was suspended in the air.

“He’s a host.”

“Host? The hell are you talking about Rinae?”

She didn’t respond but Hera just about talked him to the ground, his strength was nothing compared to hers. His mouth was forced open as one by one Rinae feed him the parasites. He could feel them wriggle down his throat and enter his body, even then they didn’t calm. They scratched at almost everything within his body.

When the last one was put in his throat, he choked and coughed, spitting up the black goo. At one point he straight up vomited the stuff. He looked at his captors with hate. Hera licked her lips. That's when he finally realized, what they were doing to Elrich and him. He could feel his insides turn into magic, the only problem was that with his organs turning into mush making focus quite impossible.

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MimicFeline

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Dragrath @Dragrath ago

And that is why it isn't rational to try and reason with parasites that only see you as food. You were pretty much doomed once you helped them and they saw you as having enough magic to be "tasty" (if they have such a sense I know a lot of specilized parasites can't taste as they have no need to)

That is a brutal method of parisitism, actually probabaly closer to parisitoid, not sure if it will be effective in the long run but it does seem like somthing that will maximize the yield from individuals... I just hope they don't forget that populations take time to replenish and most humans seem to have very weak magic. Otherwise well parasites who wipe out their host don't leave descendants or live much longer. Tongue

Thanks for the chapter

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