Actions

Work Header

Just Business

Work Text:

There were few things Elise hated more than the Frozen Eleum Loyce, she hated it the moment the peculiar white flower had transported her to this land, she hated the bone-chilling cold, she hated the harsh blizzards that seemed to start and stop out of nowhere, and she hated the hostile inhabitants she had the misfortune of coming across in the snowy desert, hollowed beyond any ability to reason.

Luckily for her, the young woman she had unpetrified the previous week had taught her a pyromancy spell for keeping one’s body warm, but the severe cold of the Frozen Eleum Loyce was intense enough to make its detestable presence known even through the spell, although at times it made it somewhat bearable, and she was thankful for at least that. The black robes of Leydia witches that she wore, on the other hand, she had lost count of the amount of times she regretted not discarding and finding a more winter-friendly attire when she was still in Majula; then again, she only had herself to blame, since she had ventured into the land without proper investigation of its nature, snow was among the last things she expected.

For what felt like the hundredth time, the odd hood of the robes fell over her eyes, and she quickly pulled it back with frustration, uncovering her head, only to quickly put it back in place once a cold breeze hit her from the side, and wrapped her auburn hair around her neck with trembling fingers.

The very sight of the castle wall in the distance ahead seemed to be an illusion, as she could have sworn she should have been far closer by that time, yet she barely seemed to have made progress. Discarding the odd thought as merely her mind playing tricks on her, she pushed herself to walk faster, her sandals no match for the snow that reached well past her ankles, and when the snowstorm decreased in intensity once again, allowing for further visibility, she was overjoyed to notice the stairs leading to a low bridge and towards the large gates of the castle wall.

With renewed hope, she put on her pyromancy glove and reignited the spell, a soft sigh of content leaving her as the wave of much-needed warmth traveled from her hands up to every part of her body. Removing the glove, she placed it back in her belt pouch next to her catalyst, a peculiar catalyst at that, short, wand-like, and holding a unique spell that allowed her to greatly increase its length into a sharp, thin spear-like weapon for melee combat; not that she much used it for such purposes, she was not a great mage, and despite keeping a dagger by her side, her close quarter combat skills were even worse, to the point that she often found herself wondering how she had made it as far as she did. Until she realized it was a silly question to ask, since death was a mere inconvenience to most undead such as herself, and she had met other travelers along the way with whom she teamed up and together managed to overcome the obstacles in their path.

Much to her chagrin, however, there hadn’t been a shadow of a person in the frozen land so far, which didn’t surprise her, considering the hostile environment.

I’m the only lunatic to venture here.. Seek greater souls? Perhaps the Herald didn’t mean to seek this far..

Since she arrived in Drangleic, she lost count of the number of times she had died, only to awaken at the last bonfire she came in contact with, each death increasing the dryness of her skin, a feeling she greatly detested, since she knew how it would eventually progress her into a truly undead appearance, which unsettled her, she still disliked dying, but being the incarnation of a living corpse deeply disturbed her; to her relief, however, she had found an ample supply of human effigies in her travels.

The peculiar items helped to maintain her sanity and human appearance, yet they weren’t enough to maintain her memory, she found it increasingly difficult to remember the world she came from, most of what she could recall being her desire to break the curse of the undead, and the Firekeeper’s vague instructions of seeking greater souls.

After long minutes, stepping foot on the stone surface of the stairs was more relieving than she expected, the solid ground felt much better to her already unsteady cold feet than being buried in the snow.

Once again, she reignited the warmth spell, and made her way up the stairs and onto the bridge, thankful at the fact that the snowstorm had died down enough to allow her to see the gate of the castle, cracked open under what seemed to be the icy branches of a completely frozen tree.

Cautiously advancing past the gates, she was met with only two paths on either side of her, but she was overjoyed to see the light of a bonfire in a small room to the distant left, she followed the castle wall into the brick enclosure, thankful at the lack of hostiles in the vicinity. The shelter of the small room and warmth of the bonfire was a godsend as far as she was concerned, after the hours she spent trekking through the snow, and even after she was more than warmed up, she still found herself very reluctant to continue on her journey.

Eventually, a few mental arguments later, she convinced herself to carry on. The castle wall protected her from the harsh winds once the snowstorm picked up again, which, to her frustration, made it difficult to distinguish anything that might be of interest in the large yards directly ahead of the entrance, so she settled for continuing past the gates until she found herself between cold brick walls again.

Much to her dread, however, it wasn’t long until the first sword-wielding, armored hollow soldier charged at her, whose swing she barely avoided, then dispatched with her soul arrows. The fight had been a lot more perilous than she would have hoped for, and from past experience, she knew there could be dozens more of such hollows scattered throughout the area, so she made a mental note to proceed more cautiously and keep an eye out for archers whenever possible.

When she came across a strange woman sitting on the snowy ground outside, partially covered with a thin layer of ice, she paid her little attention, suspecting that she might had already frozen to death, since she was completely still, until she turned her back to her, and a sudden shock of pain prompted her to look down and see what looked like a thin, sharp icicle pierced through her chest from behind, held by the woman she passed by just moments before.

The blood rising in her mouth made it difficult to cuss out loud, and the next thing she knew was her vision fading as she fell to the ground and lost consciousness, consciousness which she regained what felt like seconds later when she awoke at the bonfire near the castle gate.

This time, her fury kept her more than warm enough, dying had become a relatively common experience to her, what she couldn’t stand, however, was falling into traps, traps of any kind. Making her way back to the place she was backstabbed, she had no hesitation in killing her attacker, and only then did she notice the white fur the woman was wearing. It was fairly thin and torn in a few places, but it had a hood and longer sleeves than her robes, so she didn’t think twice before grabbing it off the corpse and wrapping it around herself.

Many near-death experiences and foes slain later, she grew increasingly tired, both physically, due to dodging the incoming swords and spears, and mentally, due to her inability to find a closer bonfire, and the constant stress of any mistake leading to death and the undoing of all her progress.

After clearing another risky area of hostiles, she sought shelter again, and left one of the snowy castle yards she was in, heading into a hallway, at the end of which she quickly noticed a soft orange light emanating from the exit on the right. Praying that her hopes would become reality, she cautiously rushed forward, exiting the hallway into a moderately small room, with a flight of wooden stairs leading to a floor above.

As she approached, she could feel the warmth of the light, and much to her relief, her wishes were granted, the bonfire near the center of the room being a sight for sore eyes. The bonfire, however, was not the only one that greeted her, she quickly noticed the man sitting in front of it, seemingly warming himself up.

At first glance, she could vaguely recognize the armor he wore, his helmet and gauntlets were those of a knight, the rest of his attire resembled that of royal swordsmen she had the displeasure of fighting in previous days, while a lance and greatshield laid at his side.

Before her disbelief at meeting another person in such a bleak hostile land could settle, he spoke up, his voice slightly muffled by his helmet

“Oh, hello there! I was not awaiting company, but yours is welcome.”

The man’s oddly friendly tone gave her mixed feelings, it was more than relieving to meet another person with whom she could potentially team up, yet at the same time she found it strange how he seemed to be in a pleasant mood in such a harsh environment. The comfort of the bonfire and her desire to rest at it, however, was more than enough to wash away whatever paranoid thoughts she might’ve had, so she flashed a small smile and sat across from him, warming her hands and feet near the fire.

“Likewise, mister. I-I mean.. I didn’t expect company either. I thought I was the only one crazy enough to venture into this dreadful place. I mean, not that you’re.. Ugh, I’m sorry, I think I’m going hollow sooner than I should.”

To some surprise, she received a hearty chuckle in response “No need to fret, my lady.”

Sheesh, how is this guy so cheerful in this awful place.. She wondered as she took another look at him, and on second thought, she figured it might be a good sign that he was in a pleasant mood, since both that and the fact that his greatlance looked heavy and was considerably taller than her could’ve indicated his ability to deal with the situation and environment better than she could.

“Um, but what brings you to such a place, if I may ask?” knowing it was none of her concern, she questioned as politely as she could, and received an answer a few oddly silent moments later, unable to see the smirk under his helmet

“Just business.”

“Business, huh? Well gods, it ought to be business of life or death importance then, only reason good enough to spend time in this land, if you ask me.” she hugged her bare legs to her chest in front of the bonfire

“How right you are, my lady.”

This time, she had been able to notice the fact that his words seemed to have been spoken with some sort of smile on his lips, which drew her curiosity ever-so-slightly, but seeing the faint puzzled frown on her face, he questioned before she could

“My name is Maldron. What about you? What brings you to such perilous lands?”

The whistling of the wind and snowstorm outside briefly attracted her attention, making her pull the coat over herself tighter

“I’m Elise, nice to meet you, but.. what brings me here.. I wish I had a good answer. Can’t say I do. I suppose the desire for a purpose, to break the curse of the undead. I know, foolish dream. The Firekeeper told me to seek greater souls.. And so I’ve been doing. I don’t believe there is much left of my willpower to do so, but.. I’ve been told I must keep trying, keep a purpose in mind, I can’t.. remember why, sometimes..”

“Lest you go hollow.” The man reminded her in a more serious tone, his words snapping her out of the little trance she found herself in as she spoke while staring into the bonfire.

“Y-yes, right, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to bother you with my troubles, I get carried away sometimes.”

“As do I.” he replied again with a small smirk, in an almost playful tone, which drew some of her attention.

After a few more minutes of small talk, Elise decided it was time to continue her journey. Normally, if she was by herself, she would’ve had difficulty convincing herself to leave the safety and warmth of a bonfire and head out into the snow and cold, but after the both of them agreeing to move forward together, she felt considerably more confident with the man’s company.

“I think it’s time to move. Have you been that way?” she signaled towards the exit of the room behind Maldron as she prepared to stand up, holding her hands over the fire to warm them for the last time, then reignited the warmth spell on herself.

“Oh yes. There is a terrible, giant slug demon below, I’ve been contemplating on how to best deal with the beast.” The man said standing up, then walked over to her, which made her guard raise ever-so-slightly, until he offered her a hand.

With minor hesitation, she took it and he helped her stand up, but when she noticed she barely reached the chin of his helmet, she took a discreet step back, hoping she didn’t appear either intimidated or rude

“Lovely, as if these hollows weren’t bad enough.. Let’s see if we can find another way.” She said with some awkwardness but mostly concern, then began walking towards the exit past the man, who turned rather quickly to face her.

Elise found the gesture only mildly strange, she didn’t necessarily blame him, since they had barely met and she had only recently been backstabbed herself, but discarded it and walked out the door, over a short narrow bridge and into the next small building, whose exit led to a platform above a snowy yard.

Much to her chagrin, atop one of the towers next to the northwards gate stood one of the mage hollows, the same mages whose soul arrows she risked her life avoiding while tossing her own magic projectiles at them earlier.

“Ugh, be careful with those, they have nasty homing magic.” She said with precaution, keeping her eyes on the target, while Maldron scanned the area below, patrolled by hollow ice soldiers.

“We ought to dispatch the mages before proceeding, they stand too close to the gates. Those hollows, on the other hand, we need not waste time on, that lever opens the gates, we could pass without alerting them.” He pointed towards a large lever in the direction of the gates, which Elise could barely notice through the falling snow and the distance, but she nodded

“Very well, should I- huh?” her words were interrupted when Maldron suddenly began running to the right, disappearing through a doorway. Confused but intending to stick together, she quickly rushed after him, and it wasn’t long until she was going up flights of stairs, his route made sense to her then.

By the time she reached the top of the tower, all she managed to catch was the sight of Maldron charging at the mage with his lance, impaling him and pushing him off the tall tower.

“I could’ve dispatched him with a few soul arrows from below.” She crossed her arms over her chest, more out of cold than displeasure.

“Apologies, my lady, I prefer a more direct approach.” Maldron spoke with a hint of amusement as he stepped towards her. Without further thought, she dismissed the situation, and they made their way back down, to the lever that opened the gates.

Elise hesitated to grab it only for a moment, the fact that it was almost as big as her somewhat frustrated her, and she wasn’t surprised at all when she pulled it with all her strength without even budging it.

Behind her, Maldron watched her struggle with some amusement as he squeezed the handle of his lance tighter, but stayed his hand, and instead, decided to assist her. Stepping to the other end of the lever, he grabbed it and pushed while she pulled, and soon, the frozen metal budged in the other direction, slowly dragging the large gates open.

With some relief, Elise pulled her coat tighter around herself, then began making her way down the stairs towards the gates, beyond which she could see a wider snowy path with trees on each side. Stopping right at the exit, she took a few moments to scan the area through the trees for any hidden hostiles waiting for an ambush, and once she was satisfied with the apparent lack of danger, she decided to head out.

After taking the first step past the gates, she was about to look behind for her companion, but just as she began turning her head, the sound of cracking bone and torn flesh, along with a wave of incredible pain stopped everything in her mind. The force of his lance piercing through her chest pushed her forward, making her fall onto the ground face first, the warm blood pouring from her wound melting the snow and painting it red, then another painful shock made her grunt when he roughly pulled his lance out of her.

Her hair and hood fell over her face, but didn’t entirely block her vision, she was still able to see Maldron step to her side, with his lance coated in her blood, looking down at her and cocking his head to the side, almost expectantly.

“S..swine..” Elise struggled to speak through the blood leaving her mouth, and moments later, both her vision and body vanished.

When she awoke at the bonfire, she was furious at first, but then she recalled how close by she had been killed, and quickly pulled her wand out, cast a magic shield, her warmth spell, and lengthened her catalyst into the sword-spear-like weapon.

Once she made sure the area near the bonfire was safe, she walked across the small bridge again, and cautiously made her way towards the lever from earlier.

“Show yourself, backstabber!” she shouted loudly when she failed to find Maldron near the spot where he had killed her, somewhat relieved that at least the snowstorm had temporarily died down again, allowing for a clearer view.

Puzzled at the almost dead silence around, she remained on alert as she climbed down the stairs and headed towards the open gate, still unable to find her killer.

Much to her chagrin, just as she stepped past the gate, a loud snarl from one of the hollows patrolling in the yard spooked her, but when she looked behind, her willingness to fight had quickly diminished upon noticing that he had alerted his comrades, and five hollow soldiers began charging at her.

Oh. Fuck…

After slipping on a patch of ice under the snow, she took off as quickly as she could down the path with trees on each side, too determined to escape the pursuers to take the time searching for other enemies that might flank her.

Running through the snow that nearly reached her knees was an arduous task, the instinct to survive fueling her enough to put a greater distance between her and the enemies to the point that they had given up on the chase, and she allowed herself to stop and catch her breath.

Resting her hands on her knees as she bent over and took deep breaths, her relief upon escaping with her life was suddenly cut short when, from behind a bigger pile of snow, a figure charged at her from between the trees.

The price for her slow reaction was a painful one, as once again, Maldron’s lance penetrated through her chest, pushing her back until it pierced into a tree, pinning her in between.

A wet cough escaped her before blood began sliding down her chin from the corner of her mouth, but she managed to speak, barely, with pain

“Why?..” was all she could get out, only to receive a puzzling answer

“I am called Maldron.” The man said, still holding his lance through her, his reply momentarily making her believe she was being delirious before death, replaying things she had heard recently before, until he spoke again “The Assassin.”

Elise’s eyes slowly widened as her jaw dropped in shock and confusion, but before her mind could even begin trying to make sense of the situation, she blacked out.

Awakening at the bonfire once again, this time she was more baffled than angered, she didn’t know what confused her more, the fact that someone had hired an assassin on seemingly a nobody like herself, one undead amongst countless, or how the whole process was supposed to work; by definition, killing an undead made no sense, so she failed to see the point of killing one such as herself.

As much as she would’ve liked a logical reason, she couldn’t afford sitting around and attempting to find one, for the time being, she had to deal with him, even though she despised this land, she still needed to search it for greater souls.

Seeing the corpses of the hollow soldiers in the yard below gave her a good idea of his location, and, to some relief, following the bodies with her gaze before they vanished lead her to the sight of Maldron as he was killing off the last one without noticing her presence.

She prepared her own spells again, and summoned five dark orbs behind her, ready to be launched at the assassin the moment he stepped into range, then cautiously made her way forward when she lost sight of him behind a wall.

She only noticed the ladder leading up to the platform she was on when his arm suddenly grabbed onto the brick surface of the floor and he began pulling himself up. A small yelp of surprise escaped her, but she acted quickly enough, launching a dark orb straight at him, the force of which threw him off the ladder and down into the yard below with a painful grunt.

“Ha-ha!” Elise exclaimed victoriously and ran to the edge of the platform, taking advantage of the situation to toss the rest of her hexes at him, but much to her displeasure, he quickly began running away, and the orbs that did hit him were partially nullified by the greatshield on his back.

“You slimey-“ she shouted in frustration as she watched him run out of range and casted more orbs above her, frustration which shifted into panic when after disappearing through a door below, he soon charged at her from another one on the level she was at, the point of his lance aimed right towards her as he ran.

Oh fuck oh fu-

Too alarmed to even finish her thoughts, she hurriedly tossed another dark orb at him, which he evaded with a quick side step and continued closing the distance, but his dodge allowed her the opportunity to take off in the opposite direction.

Who could have hired this rotten bastard on me?! She managed to ponder as she ran for her life, back past the bonfire, down the fragile wooden stairs which nearly gave in under her rushed pace, and through the narrow brick hallway until she reached a wider area populated by more, smaller buildings, most of them worn down and semi-demolished.

As far as she could tell, it was a more advantageous position to be in, she couldn’t see any hostiles nearby, and she could hide behind the various walls and debris. She waited behind cover for what felt like a long minute, until she finally caught sight of Maldron, approaching as he scanned the area for her.

Despite being well aware that it was in her best interest to simply remain hidden, take advantage of the area and stay in cover until he gave up on the search and left, she could not resist the temptation of landing another painful spell on him, she felt her cautious expression turn into a scowl as she watched the man look past the various low walls for her, occasionally turning his back to her. The more that happened, the more a thin wicked smirk grew on her lips as she imagined launching a devastating crystal soul spear right through him and ending him, albeit far less painfully than he deserved, as far as she was concerned.

With mischievous excitement, she clutched her catalyst tightly as she gathered the magic required for the spell, praying that she would not miss, since she was able to cast such a powerful spell twice at most without rest, and, more urgently, she would alert him of her presence and position.

Once the spell was ready, she made sure to time it properly, and the moment he turned his back to her to look through the doorway of a building, she carefully stood up, took quick aim and launched the powerful spell towards him with as much accuracy as she could muster.

To her dread, his hearing was as keen as his reflexes, as he was able to hear the whistling of the fast-traveling crystal spear and dodge out of the way just enough to avoid a fatal shot, but still receiving some of the painful blast of the explosion when the magic made contact with the building, demolishing a portion of the wall.

“You.. slippery rat..” Elise whispered to herself in disbelief, until she realized she was making a huge mistake standing there watching him get up, and quickly took off into the snowy clearance.

She wasn’t surprised at all when she threw a glance over her shoulder and saw him chasing after her, but made an effort to increase her speed and the distance between them, which worked for a good several seconds, getting her hopes up, until she suddenly spotted three hollow soldiers approaching through the snow, and her pace considerably slowed as her jaw dropped.

You can’t be serious…

Understanding that she was trapped by dead ends to the left and right, and faced with death from the back and front, an idea further cemented by the fact that she could hear Maldron approach dangerously close, a frustrated deep exhale left her. It was already too late to cast any spell, he was too close, and she had no foolish hopes of being able to defeat him in close combat, so she settled for bracing herself for the excruciating pain of his spear piercing through her once again, only consoling herself with the fact that it would be over soon, and she would then have another chance.

A soft sigh left her as she stood in the snow that reached past her knees, preparing herself for the swift agony, her heart thumping increasingly harder the closer she could hear the man running towards her. When she could tell he was only several feet away, she closed her eyes and her body tensed up in anticipation, as ready as it could be for the pain.

Much to her confusion, the pain she felt was much less than she expected, not so much of a lance running her through, but rather of his armored body slamming into hers from the back, immediately pushing her to land face first on the ground, her fall somewhat cushioned by the heavy amount of snow.

“What the-“ she began shouting, until his hand pressed over her mouth, silencing her, and he shushed her. Still, she protested, attempting to push him off and crawl away, she squirmed under the weight of his body, although it didn’t take her long to realize her efforts were in vain.

When his grip on her slightly tightened, she was further encouraged to quit her escape attempts, and once she did so, she could notice that the snow around them was tall enough to conceal the both of them from the incoming hollow ice soldiers.

The realization made her ease up more, enough to the point that she could begin hearing the enemy approaching through the snow. She listened quietly for the footfalls growing ever closer, until they were only several feet away, then, to her surprise, they stopped and began walking back, without catching a glimpse of them.

With surprising stealth for a man clad in armor, Maldron got up from her, keeping his knees on each side of her hips, then pulled a bow from his back and readied an arrow. From under him, Elise watched with confusion, more at the fact that he hadn’t killed her yet, but also at the fact that he was about to shoot an arrow at a retreating enemy.

“What are you doing?! Let them go, they’re leaving!” she whispered hurriedly, unsure if he could hear her over the whistling of the wind. Regardless, he let his arrow fly, landing it through the head of one of the hollows, who dropped motionless to the ground, and before the others even turned towards him, he shot another one, downing the second enemy.

After hearing two thuds, Elise figured only one of the hostiles was still standing, normally she would be relieved, but in these circumstances, she couldn’t help but imagine with dread what would happen once all the enemies were dead, and she would be left alone with the man.

Her mind came up with scenarios worse than death, if he was paid to kill her and she was undead, she didn’t find it that far-fetched for him to make up for that by torturing her. Refusing to wait and see if her theory would prove accurate, she decided to act fast, while he was still busy with the last hollow.

Quickly rolling over on her back, she pressed her fist in her palm and elbowed him between the legs as hard as she could muster, and, as expected, the effect was immediate. The bow and arrow dropped from his hands as he followed them to the ground, rolling over and groaning in pain, and without a moment wasted, Elise got up on her feet and ran back towards the bonfire, throwing a glance behind her only to see the last hollow soldier running in her direction with his axe, but much to her relief, stopping in his tracks when he saw Maldron on the ground.

Moments later, the sound of an axe burying into flesh and bone made her wince and a shred of sympathy for the man she despised crossed her mind, mostly because she knew from previous personal experience how painful being killed with an axe was. Still, she didn’t slow down, rather sped up into a sprint when she recalled that the man was also undead, and it wasn’t unlikely that she could meet him again at the nearest bonfire.

Much to her relief, when she passed by the bonfire, then by the courtyard following it, Maldron was nowhere to be seen. Knowing her relative safety was only temporary, she didn’t waste a second, she dropped down into the courtyard, past the giant open gates, down the snowy path, and only occasionally looked back to make sure she wasn’t being followed.


 

It had been a few weeks since Elise’s trek through the Frozen Eleum Loyce, and if she didn’t know better, she would assume fate was mocking her, as this time around, she found herself in the even more perilous land of the Brume Tower, which radiated a temperature of the opposite extreme.

Her eyes rolled with disbelief as her gaze landed on the massive chain connecting the suspended landmass she stood upon to the top of a distant tower, she dreaded heights, death caused by falling from great distances was arguably her most despised way to die. It took her a solid minute to convince herself to step upon the giant links of the chain and make the dangerous trip across, and as she walked, despite her best efforts, she could not prevent herself from throwing quick glances down, only to feel her balance weaken upon seeing the incredible height below.

Steady now.. focus.. Mentally encouraging herself proved to have little to no effect, as even the slightest hot breeze threatened to push her into the abyss that her trembling legs barely managed to hold her above.

After a few painfully long and tense minutes, even she was surprised that she safely stepped foot at the other end of the chain on solid ground, a deep sigh of relief left her, and her thumping heart began to settle, although the thin layer of sweat on her skin did not vanish, in part due to the heat radiating from the furnaces and molten metal that were commonplace in the area.

The surface of the top of the tower felt steady enough, although there was a thick layer of ash scattered on it, which slightly bothered her feet as it easily snuck through her sandals and between her toes. With much worse issues lying ahead, she ignored the dusty substance, and carefully stepped towards the opening on the top of the tower, through which she watched a long spiraling staircase descend.

She could only assume the staircase reached the bottom of the tower, since her vision failed to confirm her guess about halfway down, due to the oddly thick darkness in the air, urging her to make a mental note for some pyromancy once she stepped so far down that the light from the outside could no longer reach.

Still, the darkness proved to be the lesser of her concerns, as she didn’t fail to notice the archers and hollow ashen warriors stationed along the staircase, already knowing their numbers would prove troublesome to her. Again, it took some self-convincing to push herself into action, and with some difficulty, she managed to take out three of the enemies without alerting the rest, which allowed her to descend lower into the tower.

Carefully crouching and squinting down, she thought she could distinguish the last floor, as well as the vague shape of a doorway in the wall, barely noticeable through the darkness. It was still an uncertainty, but seeing as she had little choice in the matter, she decided to push ahead until she could have a closer look, and hoped that if the doorway was truly there, it would lead her closer to her destination.

With much-needed caution, she stepped further down the staircase, and tossed a dark orb towards the closest enemy she spotted, which, she already began having trouble clearly distinguishing in the dark. As expected, her attack drew the ashen warrior’s attention enough to make him rush in her direction, but then, her heart skipped a beat when she noticed two of his comrades emerging from the darkness, following in his footsteps towards her with alarming speed.

Oh no… No-no-no! She inhaled sharply in fear, and immediately started backing away as she tossed more dark orbs towards the incoming enemies, her panic lessening her accuracy quite dramatically. Just when she thought her situation couldn’t be worse, one of her spells threw the enemy off balance, causing him to drop all the way to the bottom of the tower, not without shouting on the way, alerting other hostiles of the disturbance above.

Oh gods, why do you hate me… Elise’s stomach sunk when she heard the commotion deep inside the tower, which steadily began approaching up the stairs towards the top.

By that point, even though her hopes of making it out alive were vanishingly thin, she decided to at least take out as many of them with her as she could, dreading the thought of having to come back all the way to the tower after the perilous journey she had to endure, but seeing no solution to the frustrating, time-consuming problem.

Having nearly reached the top of the tower as she kept backing away and launching magic projectiles at the persistent enemies, the thought didn’t escape her that even if she managed to get back on the massive chain without slipping, the chances of her making it across without one of the arrows from the archers approaching from below piercing through her back were small to none.

Then, slowly but surely, even through the sounds of her magic, the incoming armored soldiers, she managed to hear the increasingly clear sound of metal clashing on metal, and even arrows flying and striking the brick walls of the tower.

The noises were more than a little puzzling, as she could tell the metallic sounds did not emerge from the soldiers attempting to close in the distance to her, they came from below, deeper into the tower, and she could see no arrows flying in her direction either.

When she reached the top of the tower again, she nearly lost her footing in the thick layer of ash below her sandals, and wasn’t surprised to see that she continued being followed. Without approaching the chain, knowing it would be a death sentence with pursuers behind her, she did her best to defeat the axe wielding hollow, barely avoiding the relatively clumsy but powerful swings.

One last soul arrow was all she needed, and she did manage to launch it, but not without the near collapsing hollow landing a hit on her, sending her flying, dangerously close to the edge of the tower. Holding her injured side with her even worse injured arm, she tried to reach for her estus flask, only for the next ashen warrior ascending up the stairs to catch her eye, the figure growing larger and larger, especially from her position on the ground, and only when he took a step towards her did she realize she was missing her catalyst.

A quick glance around confirmed its position just out of reach, nearly sunken in the ash, she immediately squirmed to grab it, panic soaring as her foe increased his pace dramatically, axe already lifting in the air to land her a finishing blow.

The intense pain prevented her from dragging her body closer to the catalyst, her hand only grabbing handfuls of ash, getting under her fingernails as she clawed at the ground, desperate to reach the object, unsure why herself, since, even if she got a hold of it, she wouldn’t be able to perform a spell faster than the axe landing on top of her.

Finally accepting the futility of her struggle, she decided to close her eyes again, and start over the struggle of fighting her way back to this position from the distant bonfire, it was unpleasant, but far less unpleasant than the incoming feeling of her ribs and organs being crushed and slashed through yet again, no matter how many times it happened, she still dreaded it.

Squeezing her eyes shut, the agonizing feeling of her own death was yet to arrive, instead, she only heard the sound of metal piercing through old armor and flesh. More confused than relieved, she cautiously opened her eyes and the sight of the hollow pierced through the stomach from the back by a greatlance only made her brows furrow, she then flinched as the axe from his hand dropped with a loud clang, then flinched again from the wave of sharp pain that hit her due to the abrupt movement.

She quickly reached for her estus flask again, unsure of what exactly happened but sure of the fact that she needed to take advantage of the enemy’s disadvantage while it was still present, yet failed to locate her flask. It couldn’t had been anywhere but on her belt, with escalating concern, she even searched the pouches where she knew she never placed it then quickly scanned around the ashen floor with no luck, hesitantly realizing that she had most likely lost it when she was hit so hard she was sent flying.

Her search was suddenly interrupted when the impaled hollow before her began dissipating into dust, the ashen cloud quickly blown away by the gentle warm wind, revealing the figure behind it.

If Elise could move freely, she would’ve pinched her arm in an attempt to make sure she wasn’t having a nightmare.

“No…” she mumbled more to herself as she eyed the assassin with malice, malice evident in her tone of voice too “What kind of-” a cough interrupted her, while Maldron only stepped towards her slowly and casually “What kind of sick joke is this…”

“You don’t appear joyous of our reunion, my lady.” his muffled voice came from behind his helmet, the friendly tone making Elise slightly sick to her stomach, knowing too well his sinister intentions from their previous encounters.

“I’d be more joyous about a tea party with Freja and The Rotten than being in your unsightly presence..”

To that, Maldron only grabbed his greatlance with both hands, and Elise fully expected it to be the first of a series of infuriating and painful fights and deaths, until he swiftly struck it towards the ground, impaling it in the ash, piercing it through the old stone enough so it would remain upright by itself.

The gesture startled her, seeing as it was struck relatively close to her head, but it also confused her, confusion which was shortly followed by fear and anger, suspecting that he was planning to use smaller weapons to cause her more harm before killing her.

When his hand moved behind him to his belt, her eyes widened and her wounded body tensed, increasing the pain even more, she fully expected a knife or some sort of blade, so she did a double-take when he pulled out a full estus flask and tossed it in front of her, the thick bottle raising a small cloud of ash as it landed.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Elise’s tone was cold and cautious, while his maintained the eerie friendliness despite the harsh words

“Do I have to force that down your throat? Because I will if I have to.”

Confused but accepting that healing herself was in her best interest regardless, she took a big gulp from the flask, her pain and wounds vanishing before her eyes within seconds. She lightly tossed the flask next to his feet, but instead of picking it up, he stepped over it and towards her.

Taking advantage of the fact that she could now move freely, she placed her palms on the ground to lift herself up, only to be pushed down by the boot on her back.

“Bastard!” she scowled at him, not too surprised by the gesture “What do you think you’re doing?!” her voice raised in annoyance as she was pushed further down, struggling in vain against the weight on her back, and only once she was laying on her belly did he remove his foot.

Her panic began rising again when she realized the only reason he did so was in order to straddle her, he didn’t even fully get in position before she snaked between his legs and frantically crawled away through the ash. She wasn’t sure why she was heading towards the chain connecting to the other landmass, she knew how unlikely she was to make it across without being able to take her time and with a pursuer right behind her, but she wasn’t allowed to reach it regardless, only moments later she felt a tight grip on her ankle, and before she could flip herself on her back to be able to kick properly, Maldron lunged at her, knocking the breath out of her when well over two hundred pounds of man and armor landed on her back. As if her escape wasn’t already near impossible enough, he brought an arm around her neck, pinning her both under his weight and in a choke hold, tight enough to keep her in place but loose enough to not restrict air or blood flow.

“Not so fast, I have been looking for you for quite some time.” even though he was wearing a helmet, the vertical slits on it still allowed her to feel some of his breath on her skin.

Elise drew in a sharp breath before she spoke in a whiny struggled voice “What.. do you want?!”

Cocking his head to the side next to hers, he found her tone almost pitiful, while she hoped for a logical answer, or at least a sensible one that would allow her room to reason with him. Instead of words, however, she only felt some of the weight shifting over her as he placed his hand on her thigh under her robe, moved it up to her hip, then, in a swift, rough motion, grabbed her panties and pulled them down around her thighs.

It had an immediate effect, Elise screamed and began squirming harder than she ever did, causing him some trouble holding her still, until he moved his other arm to pin her down.

“No!” her protests were further halted when he removed his arm from around her neck only to tightly grab it with his hand, mildly restricting her breathing.

“And praytell why not..” the false friendliness in his voice was gone, he spoke in a lower, albeit somehow distant tone.

She only responded with a whine, which she quickly wished she suppressed when he moved one leg between hers, only to expose her enough to pull her skirt aside and slap her bare rear cheek, drawing a short scream out of her, his heavy metal gauntlet landing hard enough to already begin reddening the skin.

This isn’t happening.

Elise could only keep her disbelief to herself, she recalled how surreal it was mere minutes ago when he seemed to appear out of nowhere and save her life, making her briefly considered it could had only been a dream, and now, how it would easily be a nightmare.

When his free hand slid up, pulling down the robe around her shoulders, she felt some anger at the realization that her eyes were beginning to tear up, she felt confused by a mixture of feelings, while she was scared, her fright laid on top of a layer of rage and hatred; during her travels, it was not extraordinarily rare to be assaulted and have to fight or flee, some of the aggressors being already hollow, mindless husks reduced to their most basic instincts, while some of the still sane ones sought to take their hopeless frustrations out on others, their deeds enabled by the lawless, accursed world they inhabited.

All the previous harassment and attempts on her life frightened and upset her, yet none sparked nearly as much fury within her as the man above her did, the way he acted friendly towards her at first, the way he deceived her, the way he spoke, in a seemingly respectful manner, only to stab her in the back and kill her repeatedly, and then, on top of everything, having the gall to save her life only to force her panties down in the next minute, it was beyond infuriating.

Her internal rage was interrupted by the feeling of the cold touch of his gauntlet grasping her breast borderline painfully tightly, making her gasp. The pleased purr she heard from him next to her ear only angered her further

“I hate you so much…” even though her every word radiated animosity, his tone returned to its previous faux politeness as he pulled the rest of her robe down, exposing her back and trailing his fingers down her spine, the cold touch giving her chills

“I’m sure you do, my lady, it matters not.”

Seeing as he had lifted some of his weight off her back to make room for his hand, the idea to attempt an escape struck her. She didn’t think it through, she merely grabbed at the thick ash in the hopes for some sort of support while trying to push with her feet to slip away from under him. Immediately, she felt his full weight on top of her again, as well as the grip on her neck briefly tightening painfully. She half-expected him to be displeased at her attempt, so she was mildly surprised when he spoke in the same kind tone

“Not yet.”

Her hopes that his words implied her incoming freedom were interrupted by the feeling of some weight lifted off of her again as he slid almost completely off of her to her side, but kept her leg securely between his, and his hand around her throat while his free hand adjusted her clothing, pulling the top of her robe around her waist and moving her skirt out of the way.

The feeling of the warm wind on her bare rear was almost as uncomfortable as the ash beginning to stick to her chest, she grabbed hand holding her and made a gradual attempt to unclutch it from around her neck, which was swiftly punished by a heavy slap on her lower cheek, a yelp leaving her before she could silence herself.

When he neared his other hand towards her, however, the gesture puzzled her

“Grab it.” he simply said, and, reluctantly, she slowly grasped onto the wrist of his gauntlet, from which he pulled his hand out with mild difficulty.

She didn’t know what she hated more, the feeling of his cold metal or his warm skin on her own, she bit her lip tightly as he grabbed her hip with his bare hand, then alarms began ringing when he attempted to angle them up. Immediately, she began kicking with her free leg and pushing against the ashy floor, and almost just as quickly, another slap landed on her ass, drawing a pained squeal out of her, she assumed earlier it had been mostly the metal gauntlet causing the heavy blow, but even without it, he made it hurt almost just as much.

A frustrated, fearful, and especially irate whine left her when he then gently caressed the flesh he hit that had already turned red while shushing her, and when he angled her hips up again, she took a sharp breath in, but didn’t squirm again.

The feeling of fingers slowly traveling along her slit made her quickly cover her own mouth to remain quiet, not wanting to give him the satisfaction of drawing any more sounds out of her, but a heavy exhale left through her nose, raising a small cloud of ash in front of her, upon feeling a finger press against and rub her sensitive clit, and then briefly halted at the sensation of its tip pressing at her entrance ever so slightly

“Now…” his voice, low and slow, drew some of her attention away from the internal panic “Why should I.. ease you into it..”

Removing his hand from her slit and positioning himself back above her gave her pause, but the sound of unbuckling his belt and moving his chainmail out of the way immediately caused her internal panic to shift to the outside, as she quickly began squirming, only to be stilled once again by the weight lowering on top of her and squeeze another whine out of her before she raised her voice

“I swear on the Lords’ graves if you do this I will spend the rest of my miserable existence making you regret yours!”

He only lifted off of her enough to finish undoing his pants, her outburst didn’t appear to faze him, he didn’t even seem to acknowledge it

“No, I’m not going to ease you into it..”

Her heart stilled at the feeling of the warm tip of his cock positioned and already pressing at her entrance. With a grunt and without a warning, he thrust forward, burying as much of his uninvited cock into her not nearly wet enough pussy as it would allow. Elise immediately slapped her hand over her mouth and screamed into it, muffled and slightly raspy, the intrusion encouraging her eyes to moisten further with pain. When he began moving in and out, it was surprisingly slow, she suspected only due to the lack of lubrication and the friction against her overstretched walls, he pushed her hips up for a better angle, one that allowed him to burrow more of his cock into her, making her grit her teeth as more of her tunnel was being forced open.

Leaning into her neck, she could hear the deep exhale from him, sounding almost relieved, content that he was finally inside her, it only made her blood boil more as her eyes landed on her catalyst, half sunken in the ash and seemingly just out of reach, she stretched an arm towards it, not surprised she only got more ash under her fingernails from her failed attempt at grabbing it.

The tightness inside her soon grew distracting, he only kept thrusting deeper, the head of his cock pushing against the sensitive spot at the bottom of her pussy, and much to her ire, and as much as she would’ve rather jumped off the tower than admit it to him, it felt good, infuriatingly good.

An involuntary whimper left her at the realization, a feeling of physical and emotional weakness made its presence within her before she pushed it away; unsure how to resist anymore, she squeezed her internal muscles in an attempt to deny his cock access, which only seemed to have the opposite effect, drawing a pleased groan out of him as her pussy briefly hugged his shaft even tighter.

As if her effort backfiring and only pleasuring him instead didn’t incite her ire more, she further panicked internally as he suddenly began thrusting in longer, deeper strokes, aided by the ordinary amount of slickness within her as well as his own precum. Pressing her hand tighter against her mouth to keep herself quiet, she told herself she would rather get impaled by his spear again than allow herself to moan and let him know her body was beginning to involuntarily enjoy his violation, despite all her deepest disagreements.

It was of no use, the cold chainmail and armor pressing against the soft warm skin of her ass with each thrust, the thick shaft holding her walls widely apart as it massaged them, replacing more and more of the pain with pleasure, especially as his head kept hitting the sweet spot at the bottom of her pussy, making it increasingly harder to remain silent, it all made her weak to the point that she removed her hand, giving way for soft breathy exhales that she still made an attempt to prevent from turning into moans.

She whimpered at his hand releasing her neck only to roughly grab her breast, squeezing the tender flesh between armored fingers before pinching a nipple, the sensation making her attempt to back away, which she promptly regretted, as she only reared her ass back into his hips, accidentally deepening the penetration, tightly enveloping more of his shaft.

The tighter grip on both her breast and hip, accompanied by the husky exhale that she could faintly feel on her bare shoulder reignited some of her ire, she caught her lip between her teeth to prevent herself from cussing at him again, partly because she bitterly knew it was of no use, empty words wouldn’t sway him, and partly because both the gust of ire and the strength she thought it gave her almost immediately evaporated.

What made her jaw drop with realization was the sudden feeling of his cock gliding in and out of her with significantly more ease, it struck her that she involuntarily got wet, her own body betraying her

“No..” she whispered wide eyed to herself, it was under her breath, but loud enough for him to hear due to the proximity. Much to her dread, he easily noticed the change in feeling as her juices coated his cock from head to hilt, and had no reluctance to bring it up, on the contrary, she could hear the smirk on his lips as he spoke, his tone maintaining that infuriating faux friendliness, and although it was in a rougher voice, she could still discern the delight in it

“I knew you would enjoy this, my lady, sooner or later.”

She made an effort to keep her mouth shut and take quick breaths through her nose to lessen the chance of any moan escaping

“Fuck you..” she spoke weakly and impulsively through gritted teeth.

She failed her goal, a loud moan left her when he began pounding into her considerably harder in response, despite the decreased friction thanks to his slick shaft gliding inside her easier, the tightness remained and heat continued to pool in her nether regions at increasing temperature.

“I am fucking you, and you’re taking it well, and you’re going to keep taking it until I decide otherwise.” he rumbled close enough to her ear to make her lean her head down, away from him, with a whimper that barely masked another moan, but her gaze was forcefully lifted back up when he dug his gauntlet in her hair and pulled her head back “Keep talking like that to me and I will wipe my cock on your face then shove it down your throat, do you understand?”

Although he sounded calmer, it was nonetheless still threatening, she quickly nodded, glaring ahead, out of his sight.

The scowl didn’t last long on her face, gradually dropping with her jaw, allowing a series of moans to escape before she could silence herself, she hesitantly acknowledged that she couldn’t suppress it anymore, that she hadn’t even been considering resisting or trying to find a way to escape anymore, she could hardly focus on anything but the infuriatingly satisfying and blissful feeling of his shaft keeping her walls apart and tightly caressing them with each thrust, accentuated by an even stronger brief gust of pleasure when the head of his cock rammed the bottom of her tunnel.

The more it went on, the more she could feel her hatred for him diminish, or at least temporarily vanish from the front of her mind, and the hatred for herself growing for not even attempting to fight back anymore, until that too faded. Lightly digging her fingers in the ash, she allowed herself to let go of more inhibitions, moaning and mewling more freely, discreetly pushing her hips against his when he buried himself to the hilt, hoping that he wouldn’t notice, although she couldn’t help noticing how oddly satisfying his weight on her felt, especially when the cold chainmail near his hips slammed against the warm skin of her ass with each thrust.

Since he released her hair and supported her with a hand on her neck, she raised herself up on her elbows as well to not choke, she wasn’t minding his heavy breathing and grunting over her shoulder anymore, on the contrary, what remained of her rational mind cussed at her for being aroused by it.

Her breath grew heavier and faster as she began feeling her rapidly approaching orgasm, she closed her eyes and curled her toes in delight, it took considerable effort to keep her mouth shut and not start begging him to keep fucking her.

Just when she was getting dangerously close to her peak, her eyes opened with some confusion as his pace slowed considerably, a few hairs rose on the back of her neck at the feeling of his bare hand gradually ascending up her naked back, she shamelessly whimpered with need, suggestively pushing her ass against his hips, faster than his thrusts that slowed even further.

She would’ve liked to think his chuckle made her cheeks heat up more with anger than embarrassment, but she didn’t have to dig deep at all to realize it wasn’t true

“What’s the matter, my lady?” the amusement in his tone should’ve bothered her far more than the lack of friction of his cock inside her, but it didn’t “Do you need me to fuck you harder?”

Another whimper left her as she mustered the strength to reluctantly nod her head

“I didn’t hear you.”

To her dread, he stopped moving inside her altogether, the heat in her sex gradually but noticeably cooling. In protest and frustration, she pouted and bent her legs up, kicking up a small cloud of ash when she straightened them back out, his bare hand sliding to her shoulder in an almost gentle caressing manner, mirroring his tone

“You can throw a tantrum all you like, you’re not going to get your wish until you beg for my cock.”

She briefly squeezed her eyes tight, both at his words and at the shaft moving to rub her insides painfully, teasingly slowly, reigniting some of the delightful friction that she craved, but not nearly enough to bring her lost orgasm back.

Swallowing her pride, she pushed herself to speak “Please…” her voice quickly faded as she lowered her head to the ashy floor

A sudden quick, deep thrust into her core drew both her attention back as well as a loud moan from her

“I’m listening.” he spoke with a smirk and a low exhale left him at the feeling of her sex clenching around his shaft with need, but it only made pulling back mildly more difficult.

Another protesting whimper left Elise, she raised a hand to cover her eyes, for reasons that didn’t make sense to her, she felt less embarrassment that way, and mustered the strength to get her words out in a breathy, lightly trembling voice

“Please keep..” she swallowed, feeling her face heating up to peak temperatures, needing to conjure up another bout of courage to continue “F-fucking me… I need it, I-I need your cock.”

A long, heavy but pleased exhale left him, she could also tell he was content by the throb of his cock inside her, drawing a small mewl out of her just by itself.

When he suddenly fully exited her, however, she was hit both by a wave of confusion and an unpleasant feeling of aching emptiness in the absence of his shaft, accompanied by a mild cold sensation of the wind against her exposed wet entrance.

Daring a glance behind, it added to her confusion seeing him lean back on his knees, he took a few moments to watch the wide eyed needy look on her face as she reluctantly gazed at him, wordlessly urging him to fulfill her wish and fill her, he eyed the messy robe pulled down from her shoulders and up over her ass, followed by the spread legs exposing the soaked empty entrance begging to be stuffed again. It made his cock throb, the sight of which she caught and ran her tongue along her lower lip without even realizing it.

A small gasp left her when he grabbed her ankles and twisted her legs, making her turn over on her back. Having her legs spread to his sides rose the diminishing sense of shame within her, and the sight of her bare breasts exposed to him, partly covered in a thin layer of ash sticking to the slight sweat on her skin added to that. What made her heart skip a beat, however, was the sight of him leaning right over her, moving his hips above hers, although no contact was made yet, the position was considerably more intimate and personal, immediately bringing back a sense of embarrassment at what had been happening and what she had said to him.

To some relief, it hadn’t lasted long, forgetting a considerable amount of it the moment he grabbed her breast and especially when he lowered his hips over hers, pressing the underside of his cock against her sensitive clit, a small but high pitched mewl leaving her as he began rubbing it up and down with his shaft.

The unpleasant emptiness in her pussy still pulsed to be filled again, but she also still felt her cheeks burning when he lowered his head until he pressed the forehead of his helmet against her forehead, she tightly closed her eyes in shame upon catching a glance of icy irises watching her with satisfaction through the slits in the metal.

She didn’t have much time to look at the darkness behind her lids, her eyes shot back open at the mildly painful but heavenly feeling of his cock pressing against her soaked entrance then filling her up to the brim in one long thrust.

She forgot to even try to suppress her moan, her hand grabbing his shoulder and the other gripping around the wrist of his hand squeezing her breast.

To her delight, he maintained a slow pace for only a short period of time before beginning to pound into her fiercely, and as good as it felt, his proximity right above her didn’t allow her to moan and mewl without a slight but noticeable nagging feeling of shame and guilt, in an attempt to lessen it, she moved her hand to cover her eyes. It seemed to have a somewhat positive effect, allowing her to lose herself more in the increasingly satisfying feeling of his cock ramming into her with speed, raising back the temperature in her nether regions as his slick shaft abused her insides.

It even allowed her to take in the oddly arousing sound of his slightly raspy, ragged breath above her without that pesky embarrassment, she spread her legs wider and mewled in delight, even more so at the feeling of her returning orgasm.

It was the perfect solution, until it was suddenly yanked from her, he removed his hand from her breast, grabbing her wrist and moving it away from her eyes, pinning it above her head. She whimpered both in protest and at his thrusts considerably decreasing.

At first, she didn’t understand his reasoning, then she assumed he was only doing it to torment her, but when he raised the visor of his helmet, she thought she understood, she thought he wanted her to feel more self-conscious by looking at him while he fucked her. The realization that she found him frustratingly handsome reignited some of her ire, ire which was almost immediately quenched when he crashed his lips against hers.

She moaned in surprise at first, muffled between their mouths, and it took her an embarrassingly short amount of time to return the kiss, his lips soft but unsurprisingly demanding against hers. She placed her free hand against his chest and made a pitiful attempt at a push, unsure even why, since she opened her mouth with little hesitation when he bit her bottom lip, allowing his tongue to delve in.

Her attempt to wrestle it was even more pitiful, too distracted by the gradually increasing pace of his cock driving into her, her tongue remained mostly dominated by his, and when it slithered more into her mouth, the thought crossed her mind at how he was filling both her mouth and her pussy, making her walls throb and clench against his shaft, briefly squeezing it tighter.

Needing a better position to thrust into her harder, he pulled away, the heavy visor of his helmet falling back into place as he propped himself on his elbow, she didn’t protest when he grabbed hold of her neck with one hand, and made no attempt against him when he released her wrist from the other.

“Oh fuck-” she meant to only think it, but the words escaped her in a quick breathy squeal when without warning he began pumping into her pussy at a vicious pace. Her jaw dropped with a plethora of approving moans and mewls, she made no effort to suppress them, her insides felt like they were on fire while her orgasm approached with alarming speed.

Somewhat mindlessly, she hooked her fingers through the short chainmail on his shoulder for some support, the force of his thrusts slightly pushing her along the ground over the ash, and it took some effort to raise her legs around his hips.

Only now did she realize that it was her bouncing breasts that he occasionally kept glancing down at, she couldn’t bring herself to do anything about it, even though the heat in her cheeks was almost as hot as the one in her abused tunnel that began tightening, clenching on his cock harder as the beginning of her orgasm took her breath away and then some when the blissful blast spread through her body, cramping her leg muscles and especially her internal muscles, squeezing his cock in a vice grip. She made a weak attempt at muffling her loud moaning with her hand, but thanks to him not stopping pumping into her until he was done as well, it only prolonged her peak, turning her moaning into a half muffled squeal as she could only continue taking it and riding it.

The feeling of his hot cum spilling into her as he began thrusting more unevenly and grunting was like the cherry on the top, she didn’t know why she found it so satisfying but as her own orgasm began to die down, it allowed her the ability to wrap her legs around his hips despite the aching in her muscles from the intensity of her climax. She mewled in delight as more cum filled her with each slowing thrust, his grip on her neck loosening and his hand dropping to her side, the thought briefly crossed her hazy mind with some amusement, if someone had told her after their last meetings that she would be taking both his cock and cum into her willingly and enthusiastically, she would’ve either laughed in their face or gotten so angry and insulted she would’ve shot an arrow at them.

A weak squeal left her when he suddenly collapsed over her, his helmeted head falling above her shoulder as they both attempted to catch their breath.

As they laid there and the high of the orgasm died down, mixed feelings began making their way to the surface of Elise’s mind, and even though she became lucidly aware of what she had done, she couldn’t summon the full magnitude of the shame, guilt and anger she expected to flood her once it was over, some of those feelings were there, but not nearly as intense as she anticipated they would be.

Once Maldron’s breath steadied, he made an effort to roll over her and slowly get up, briefly losing his balance as he got to his feet, tucked his tool back in his pants and placed his gauntlet back on his hand, as well as his estus flask back on his belt. Elise didn’t move, her eyes only gazed up at him with mixed feelings, suspicion king among them, which she thought confirmed when he clumsily grabbed his grandlance, but then blinked in confusion seeing that he only propped it against the ground, using it to assist his balance as he stepped away, towards the stairs leading down the tower.

“What are you waiting for, you bastard, do what you came here to do..” she spoke with a still mildly heavy breath.

He glanced at her over his shoulder, she couldn’t see the puzzled look on his face “I already did.”

A light frown grew on her face as her chest rose up and down, she swallowed “You know what I’m talking about..”

“My contract on you is void. If you can even call it a contract.” he straightened up and turned to face her, his words only deepening Elise’s frown, but this time in confusion

“Explain yourself..” she attempted to sit up before the still present cramps in her thighs changed her mind, so she settled for pulling her witch robe back into place, and paused when he lifted his lance with one arm and pointed it at the pouch belt around her waist then buried its sharp tip back into the layer of ash on the ground

“You carry a petrified egg, do you not?”

Elise blinked, her confusion only deepened, but she did reach for a pouch and pulled the peculiar round object out.

Maldron nodded and answered her questioning gaze “My former employer.. Demanded one of those, they said they are exceptionally rare, and they required one, specifically the one you carry. I can’t tell you who they are, but I have reason to suspect they don’t like you very much..”

Elise’s jaw dropped in shock and deep confusion along with the petrified egg from her hand “This… this fucking thing, that I found randomly on the ground.. This is what you killed me multiple times for?! Why didn’t you just steal it from me?” she raised her voice more in bewilderment than malice, but he spoke calmly

“No, it was not the only reason, and I could not simply steal it because.. as I said, I believe my former employer holds ill will towards you, I was instructed that you were on the verge of hollowing, that only one or two more deaths would push you over the edge, and once you were hollow, I would be able to take the petrified egg and the Yore branch my former employer required from you much easier, as well as grant their request of driving the supposed last ounce of humanity out of you. I do not know their reasons for desiring your hollowing, but clearly they had been wrong about your proximity to it, and whether they lied to me or were merely ignorant in their orders, it doesn’t matter to me, they broke my rules, so I broke the contract.”

A long heavy sigh left her, she briefly wondered who could she had wronged so much to the point that they hired an assassin in the hopes that he would kill her until it drove her hollow, then brushed the thought aside

“What the heck does this petrified thing do anyway?” she spoke calmly, but he only shrugged, another person who didn’t have a clue about the apparently useless yet oddly valuable object, she glanced at it once more before placing it back in a pouch on her belt.

A more relieved exhale left her knowing that at least now there was no one purposefully hunting for her anymore, and with the mystery solved, some heat returned to her cheeks with the memory of what she had done together with the man standing in front of her. She cleared her throat and adjusted her robes better as she propped herself up on an elbow, her feelings also returning to nag her, despite cuming so hard she almost forgot who she was, the memories of the times he caused her multiple agonizing deaths maintained the feeling of animosity she held against him, the fact that it was nothing personal lessened it only to some extent.

“So now…” Maldron rolled his shoulders and turned to look down the stairs, grabbing his greatlance with both hands before glancing to her “Despite our bloody history, would you need my assistance to reach the bottom of this tower, my lady?”

Elise’s jaw dropped slightly and her brows faintly furrowed with disbelief.

This bastard…