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Daydreams of Elysium

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Mei slams closed the door to her room, or the room that the World Serpent has assigned to her.

Only with that superficial board of wood now cutting her off from the rest of the world does she trip, does she stumble, does she blink until she is bracing herself with two arms against the edge of the mattress, her breath coming in short and desperate gasps like a wounded animal. Her control—the control that is so critical to everything—risks slipping and falling apart.

The recent mission was too close a call, and Kiana still hasn’t backed down. She’s somehow evolved into a new herrscher, one with multiple pseudo-cores…but how is that any different? How won’t those just run her down and bleed her dry the same as true Honkai gems? How much time is left? How many days or weeks or months does Mei have left to fix things?

Mei…Mei it’s okay. We’re alone now—it’s okay.

Elysia’s voice runs over her, and Mei seizes her sword scabbard, holding it in a death grip out of sheer instinct while she struggles to rein in her breathing back to something calmer and more assured.

“I can’t have these moments, though. I can’t afford to. If I slip up, if I mess things up again…” 

She squeezes her eyes shut as Kiana’s face flashes through her mind—the carefree school girl, the golden-eyed herrscher, the false smile hiding the rampant Honkai infection in her body as she lay in the Hyperion. She’s the reason why Mei is doing all of this, why there’s no turning back and no room for error. And she doesn’t have to say it for Elysia of all people to know.

Because Elysia is always with her now, and has been since Mei left the Elysian Realm for the final time, her newly remade Honkai-crafted sword in hand.

A weapon now forged of not one but two herrscher cores—the Key of Domination still red and black, but now decorated at its hilt with flowering crystals, petals of pink falling in the wake of thunderous lightning.

Even as the Elysian Real had crumbled then—fifty-thousand years of efforts finally come to its end—Mei had not left empty-handed. Elysia’s final gift to her: her power and consciousness, permanently imbued into Mei’s weapon to help her in the fight. It is a sacrifice that Mei would have never willingly accepted had she known Elysia’s intentions, but by the time she had realized just what the Flame-Chaser was doing, all was said and done. The Realm is finished, and there is no upload for Elysia to return to. There is nothing to return to. Not anymore.

(In that, and in so many other ways, they are alike.)

Even now, Mei can recall Elysia’s first words to her within the confines of her mind, speaking through the sword to its distraught herrscher handler.

Don’t be sad, Mei…I know I’m not. Pretty girls should be smiling and making the world brighter. And now I get to be with you as long as you’ll have me, no longer bound to the Elysian Realm. I can’t think of a more wonderful story for us.

An entirely different existence, but one inextricably intertwined. After all, Elysia shares bits of Mei’s consciousness now, too—her thoughts, her fears, her wants. Mei is laid bare in the most vulnerable of ways, ways she would have never believed she would willingly consent to.

And yet here she is.

She’s the herrscher who speaks to herself now, drawing nervous looks and anxious whispers from the servants of the World Serpent whenever she passes by, worried that a woman who hears voices in her head is all that stands between them and the Will of Honkai.

Not that Mei is affected. She cares nothing for the Serpent and even less for what it may think of her. 

Elysia knows that, just as she knows better than anyone else possibly could the depth of the personal hell that Mei has consigned herself to. She knows the adamantine bars of a Raiden’s cage; she knows the unyielding resolve that holds Mei there. She knows the agony that is Mei’s love for the best of the Kaslanas, a girl that Mei will willingly break the world for again and again if it but means that Kiana can live .

And Elysia is the only one who can ever possibly get it.

Perhaps that’s why Mei doesn’t mind. Why she keeps her sword at her side at all times and the thought never once occurs to her to cast both weapon and Elysia aside…even now, when she is at her weakest.

Mei finds she has slid onto the floor, back leaning against the side of the mattress and the bed as she tries not to contemplate everything that has not come to pass. Not yet. She stares up at the ceiling and the plaster lines, and can’t help the words that slip from her lips.

“Does it never get any easier?”

Aiya, Mei…

For once, even Elysia sounds subdued.

The sword is a warm and familiar buzz beneath her gloved fingers, and Mei almost wants to brace it in her lap, to partially unsheathe the weapon and search for the glimmer of pink hair and blue eyes in the reflection of the bright blade. But she is so, so tired.

Her body feels stretched as tight and taut as an over-tuned string, ready to snap. But she can’t afford that. She can’t falter.

She made a choice to never falter.

Even if the cost was her own damnation.

Will she break first? Or will the world? What will happen when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force?

“It’s not enough.”

Her voice is loud in the silence of the bedroom, practically a croak.

There is a full length mirror on the wall across from her, and Mei looks at herself in it—legs splayed out on the floor and leaning against the bed as if it is the only thing that can prop her up. What would they think, those fangs of the Serpent, to see her at her wits’ end like this? To see their famed and leashed herrscher ready to crumble?

Mei…you’re doing all that you can—

“It’s not enough!” Mei snaps. “If I can’t...if this doesn’t…if I can’t even end up making a difference…”

This time, her voice cracks and breaks. She doesn’t care about the world, but she can never stop caring about Kiana. She can never stop trying, even as the risks only continue to mount.

When Elysia speaks again, her voice is soft and gentle and infinitely kind.

Then you’ll do your best, and Elysia will do her best to help you, and to help keep a smile on your pretty face~

And of all the things that could be said, somehow, that’s what Mei needs to hear. She almost chuckles as she exhales. If one thing never changes, it’s Elysia. Through the best and the worst of it, she only ever seems happy to be at Mei’s side.

I know what could relax you and bring a smile to your face~

The suggestion is so overt and so blunt that the abruptness of it startles Mei. The implication sinks like a hot ember down her gut and flares into her blood with a surprising ease, making Mei blink as she stares at herself. In the silvered reflection of the mirror, there is a flicker of pink and blue within her irises…but it could just as easily be her own passing fancy.

She shifts, and becomes acutely aware of the heat that is now growing beneath her skin—a heat that she knows Elysia is equally aware of.

It’s hard to be embarrassed or modest when she shares her brain space with a woman who has already loved her so deeply and unconditionally, who has now seen her shower and sleep, snore and piss, who has seen her cut down enemies mercilessly and then have nightmares that it is Kiana she must face instead.

And it wouldn’t be the first time Mei’s gotten herself off since leaving the Elysian Realm with Elysia in her sword. Even if she is a herrscher, she’s also still only human...with human needs and human wants and human desires, all of which Elysia has only ever recognized and encouraged. Still, there’s a difference between putting a hand down her pants, alone in bed in the strange darkness of night while sharing some semblance of consciousness with a living weapon versus sitting in front of a full-length mirror to masturbate according to said living weapon’s directions.

Is this even…does Elysia truly want to see her actually…?

I don’t think you understand how much I want to see you, Mei…especially when I can’t touch you myself anymore.

A wash of emotion that isn’t her own floods Mei’s senses for a moment, a yearning so fierce and genuine that for a moment she forgets how to breathe. When she swallows again, Mei finds herself nodding at her reflection, momentary bashful doubt now receding in the wake of revelation.

“What do you want?”

He question is whispered into the still air of the room, a request that she has never dared make before. Elysia’s hum tingles her skin, full and pleased, and it’s as though Mei can feel the weight of that invisible, second gaze on her as stares at her reflection.

Mmm~...touch your horns for me, Mei.

“You always were obsessed with my horns,” Mei snorts softly, but somehow the request to start with her horns has her feeling more relaxed. She gets a psychic giggle back, sighs, and then reaches up to fondle the length of one black and red appendage.

It’s not the same as Elysia touching her, and it never could be. But maybe because Mei still has her gloves on, dulling the tactile feedback of her own senses, she can pretend for a moment that she isn’t running her own fingers suggestively along her own horn. There’s just enough confusion to her own biofeedback to send a set of shivers rippling from crown to toe.

It sends her blood pumping a bit harder, her breathing comes a bit faster, and the slow and lovely sigh from Elysia washes over her like gasoline being poured onto a fire. Suddenly she doesn’t want pretexts or gentle foreplay; she wants to be touching herself shamelessly until she doesn’t have to bear the burden of thinking anymore.

Elysia must know. She must sense the change in sensation and want from Mei.

Your chest…play with yourself for me. Put on the show for me. Just like how I would be doing for you.

Mei brings both hands to her chest. She doesn’t even bother with pretenses before pulling down the front of her armor, immediately pinching and pulling at her pert and sensitive nipples as soon as they are free to the air. No holds barred, not for what she needs right now.

It’s a crude concept, getting herself off in an attempt to forget everything else that weighs on her, even for just a few good and guilty minutes. Maybe it’s Elysia’s own want bleeding over into her mindset, or maybe it’s the fact that Mei just can’t be bothered to care for once. Either way, the idea takes like a flame to her blood, liquid heat dripping straight to her groin.

Fuck. She needs to get one off now.

The moment the thought streaks through—the pointed intent—Elysia’s voice follows, shaking with a breathy and uncertain request.

Mei…can I instead? Please?

Mei feels her breath catch at the request, only half-spoken. What Elysia is asking for—pleading for—is no small thing: for Mei to allow her control, to share not only her consciousness but her physical body. To surrender her independence and allow Elysia to puppeteer muscle and bone for a bit. She’s only ever allowed it once or twice before, and even then, only brief moments on the battlefield, ceding to Elysia for some maneuver or technique when there is no time for it to be explained or taught.

This is far more personal, a boundary that they’ve never crossed before, and Mei hesitates.

Mei—

“Elysia—”

Their thoughts and words intersect, and when they both pause, Mei drives forward before she can think too much.

“Yes.” She swallows down her own uncertainty, feeling a thrill of the unknown spark within her gut.

Elysia, to her credit, doesn’t ask twice.

In a strangely surreal sequence, Mei watches as her hand, which had been frozen in space, continues moving. But it is not at her own behest. It moves autonomously, no longer under her control.

Fingertips graze over her crotch, where the material feels too tight and too hot, and Mei grunts.

“Don’t tease me, Elysia. Not today.”

Not today. The agreement is a remarkably easy concession. Mei…Mei…the most beautiful Mei in all the world. Let me give you everything you deserve today. Let Elysia take care of you…”

The hand at her groin is pulling at her waistband, wiggling the fabric down and loose until the air of the room is cool against her exposed skin.

It should be embarrassing how aroused she already is, how she is practically twitching before even being touched, but Elysia’s warm hum echoes within her mind, both fond and pleased.

Mmm~!

The first gentle but firm stroke along the length of herself has Mei jerking and sucking in a broken gasp of air.

“Hngh.”

The air hisses back out through her nostrils, and Mei groans as she tries to firmly plant her hips in place again. It’s hard to keep from moving and squirming, hard when what feels like someone else’s hand entirely is focused toward dedicatedly giving her an orgasm. Harder still to keep her eyes from fluttering closed at the thrill sparks through her, her world compressing and squeezing down to one critical junction of sensation.

Keep looking at the mirror. Let me see you, Mei. My beautiful, perfect Mei…you’re so good to me. That’s my good girl.

Mei gasps and gives a choked, whining cry as Elysia adjusts, stroking faster and harder. Her toes are curling, muscles growing tight and wound up. The stillness of the bedroom is broken only by the sounds Mei can’t hold back anymore, and by the faintly rhythmic and telling noise as one hand works between her legs.

“...ah…hah…hngh…”

All the while, Mei is staring at her own reflection, watching everything unfold in a paradox of voyeurism.

She can feel the love from Elysia, as strong and true as the sun. She can feel how genuine it is, how much that—locked though her sentience is to a weapon—Elysia has no regret and no remorse, but only simple, encompassing affection. And she knows, too, what Elysia must be feeling back from Mei. How she can sense quite clearly just what touches excite the most, drive Mei deeper into the expanding bubble of pleasure and desire that will consume them both.

Her hips cant upward, desperately searching for a steady, thrusting rhythm. Elysia’s laughter is delighted but kind, filled with equal parts longing and admiration.

Oh, Mei…you look so pretty like this! And pretty girls deserve pretty rewards, don’t you agree? Mhm~!

In the mirror, she looks like a mess, red splashed across her pale cheeks and up to the tips of her ears, her clothes haphazardly pulled off to reveal her hard nipples and her prominent sex. And one hand works at herself seemingly of its own volition, gloved fingers grasping and stroking and applying just the right kind of pressure with a prescience that comes only from shared sensation and feeling.

There is a force building now. Like a growing wave that continues to approach the shore, ready to crash and burst the world apart into tiny droplets.

Will you come for me, Mei? Please?

And Elysia’s voice is so, so perfectly pleading—her hand (Mei’s hand?) feels so wonderfully divine as it drives her to the crest of pleasure. Mei blinks into the mirror and swears for a moment she sees the phantom impression of a woman with curls of pink hair and a knowing, searching blue gaze wrapped at her back, reaching around with one hand that overlays Mei’s own between her legs.

Everything shatters around her.

“E-Ellie!”

Mei comes with the name as a broken cry parting on her lips. She comes all over herself, spilling wet and hot across her hand and thighs. Elysia continues for a bit more, coaxing out everything until Mei is twitching and spent and falling backward into the side of the mattress. Stars flash and wink at the edges of her vision; her breath comes in heavy, rapid gasps and gulps. She trembles and twitches when Elysia finally withdraws her hand, and as Mei comes down from the heights of her orgasm, she looks over herself.

She is a wet and sticky mess in the aftermath, and a shower is no doubt the next thing in order, but it couldn’t be further from her mind. Not when her body is feeling so languid and spent, the high of the endorphins blunting the edge from her earlier tension.

Not when Elysia is still right with her, still moving her.

Ah, Mei~! I wish I was there to touch you myself, to taste you…

The hand that she has only just finished getting herself off with rises up to her mouth, and Mei parts her lips without a second thought, licking and sucking the taste of herself clean off of her fingers, a soft sigh echoing in the recesses of her mind.

When the last fingertip withdraws—almost regretfully—from her lips, her hand is again wholly her own. Elysia returns to being but a presence that lives within a sword, a voice that only Mei can hear within the confines of her mind. Mei tries her best not to think, not to let the endless doubt and even more endless pain come creeping back in. She’s almost surprised when it doesn’t.

In the post-coital calm that comes over her mind, Mei feels a ghostly sensation run over her. Invisible arms encircle her from behind, and a phantom kiss presses against the side of her neck, where sweat is only just beginning to dry.

She lets herself be weak then, even if just for a second.

She lets her head hang low, closes her eyes in the whispered memory of a body that is no longer there, and pretends—for just a moment—that the world is still, and there is only herself.

And Elysia.