《Guilty x Creatures》Chapter 10 : Late Morning
Chapter 10 : Late Morning
“Mmmmm!” moaned Kianna as she rested her head on her sister's shoulder and let herself sink a little further down into the warm water.
“Hey, no falling asleep in the tub!” chastised Anton as he glanced over to check which of the dark elves she was “Kianna!”
Kianna grimaced but kept her eyes closed as she lifted her head up a bit.
“I like how he can tell us apart!” she whispered softly as she leaned in close to her sister's ear.
Fiona blinked and gave her an annoyed glare before rolling her eyes and going back to picking at her nails.
Both of the dark elves were now soaking in the six person sized, extra large Jacuzzi style tub in the bathroom of the master bedroom. The water they sat in was tinted a very faint bluish color due to the healing potion that had been added to it.
Since they had yet to regain complete mobility, they sat shoulder to shoulder to help each other stay sitting upright. The water level in the tub was high enough that even at their sitting positions the water came up to just below their shoulders. This allowed the majority their bodies to rest in the healing water and let their limbs soak up the soothing warmth.
Although this was the first time in days that the two dark elves had found themselves completely free from any sort of bondage, neither one of them had any intention of moving from right where they were.
Anton was sitting comfortably next to the tub in a cushioned, deck chair that he had brought in from the outside patio. The thick book being propped up in his hands gave him something to stay busy with while he acted as a lifeguard for the soaking dark elves.
Kianna cracked open a single eye and peeked out at Anton and her sister. Seeing them both distracted, she quickly dipped her lips below the water line and covertly sucked in a mouthful of water.
“Kianna!” muttered Anton as he shook his head without looking away from his book “Stop drinking that water! I'm not going to tell you again!”
“Seriously! Quit that!” growled Fiona as she nudged their shoulders together “You're a grown ass woman Kianna! Stop being gross!”
“I'm sorry!” whined Kianna as she lowered her ears in embarrassment “But I'm still really thirsty!”
“Well you can drink as much as you want when you're done with your bath” declared Anton as he flipped to the next page in his book “Until then you're both cut off. I'm not going to risk having to drain the water again just because we can't trust a certain “grown woman” not to pee in it”
Kianna stifled a laugh as she smiled at her sister.
“That was!” cried Fiona as she turned her face away from them and blushed “That was an accident!”
“I never said it wasn't” smiled Anton “I'm not going to waste another potion though. So if it happens again then you're both going to sit in it!”
Kianna made a disgusted looking face before lolling her head to the side and going back to her dozing.
Still frustrated, Fiona wrapped her arms around her legs as she pulled her knees up to her chest.
“...Hey, Mr. Master!” she muttered grudgingly as she tentatively shifted her gaze to Anton “...Mind if I ask you a question!?”
“Of course not” answered Anton as he pressed his finger down in his book to mark his place on the page he was on and turned to look at her “Ask away”
“...What the Hell are you!?” asked Fiona as she creased her brow and looked him over.
Kianna opened her eyes and looked up at him as well.
“Excuse me!?” laughed Anton as genuine surprise appeared on his face “What do you mean!?”
“What are you!?” repeated Fiona as she looked him over again “You look like a human! ...But I don't think you really are one!?”
“Well, I was born a human, and as far as I know I'm still a human! So that label should work as well as any!” smiled Anton as he closed his book and laid it down in his lap “Why? What did you think I was?”
Fiona pursed her lips and looked down as she started fidgeting with her hands under the water.
“I don't know!” she mumbled as she pointed her ears straight back behind her head “You just don't seem like a human! ...You're different!”
“Really!?” asked Anton as he tilted his head at her “How so?”
“I don't know! That's why I asked!” exclaimed Fiona “...You're just, different!”
“You seem different...” whispered Kianna as she shyly looked away from him “Really different...”
“Oh really!?” mused Anton as he looked from one to the other “And why do you think that is?”
The dark elves were quiet for a moment before they both shrugged in unison.
“Hm!” nodded Anton as he continued to smile broadly “Well, tell you what! When you two come up with a theory as to how I'm different, just let me know! And we'll discuss it!”
Kianna nodded tentatively while Fiona stayed silent and continued to fidget with her hands.
Chuckling, Anton leaned back into his chair and reopened his book.
Kianna watched him read for a moment before leaning forward and tilting her head as she tried to get a better look at the cover of his book.
“...What are you reading?” she asked as she looked up at him.
Anton turned to her and without a word lifted the book up to give her a clear view of the cover.
Fiona glanced back up as Kianna leaned in even closer and squinted at the book.
“...“Morris and Simmons Medical Encyclopedia : The Natural History and Anatomy of the Dark Elf, Volume 1”...” she read out loud “...Wait!? You're reading about us!?”
“Mm hm” mumbled Anton as he repositioned the book to keep reading.
The two dark elves glanced at each other before quickly looking back at Anton.
“Why are you reading about us!?” exclaimed Kianna as her ears pointed themselves straight upwards.
“...I have a few questions about dark elves” mumbled Anton as he continued to read while talking “And I'd like to know a little more about how they work...”
Kianna turned to her sister and found her glaring in annoyance.
“You're seriously reading a book when you have two dark elves sitting right in front of you!?” she exclaimed as she shook her head in disbelief “You do know we can just answer your questions right!?”
“I'd be really surprised if you could” mumbled Anton as a tired look came over his face “I doubt you'd even be able to answer half of them...”
“Why don't you try us!” boasted Fiona as she nudged her sister's shoulder “Who better to answer any questions about dark elves than actual dark elves!?”
“Mmm, alright then...” sighed Anton as he closed his book and set it back in his lap before turning to face them.
Fiona was smirking with an eagerly determined look in her eyes whilst Kianna was clearly nervous.
Anton smiled softly and took a deep breath through his nose.
“At what rate do the livers of dark elves metabolize sugars?” he asked calmly.
The two dark elves went completely still as they stared at him.
“...Uh, what?” mumbled Fiona as she turned to an equally confused looking Kianna “Um!?”
“Your ancestors were originally semi-subterranean in nature” continued Anton as he ignored her lack of answer “So how has this effected your current anatomy?”
“...Wait!?” exclaimed Fiona as her ears pointed themselves straight upwards “They were what!?”
“In order for you to be able to see in the dark underground. Your eyes have developed in such a way that they can utilize low levels of geothermal radiation and process it as a form of infrared” continued Anton as he ignored her question “With this being the case, just how far into the infrared spectrum does your vision actually range?”
“...Hold on!” exclaimed Fiona as her ears pointed themselves straight back behind her head “Did you just say our eyes process shit!? And are radioactive!? Are you just fucking with us!?”
“...Do your bodies metabolize vitamin D naturally like other races?” asked Anton as he tilted his head in a questioning manner “Or does it need to be supplemented into your diets?”
“...Did you just seriously ask if we need to eat vitamin D!?” growled Fiona as she glared up at him “No! We don't need to suck dick to live you sick fuck! You're not even being serious at all are you!? Are any of these even real questions!?”
Anton was still for a moment as he merely stared back at her.
“...How about we try a few easier ones?” he mocked as a condescending grin spread across his face “How many bones do you have, Fiona?”
“...Uh!?” drawled Fiona as she blinked in uncertainty “I think like, a hundred... and fifty?”
“Mm!” nodded Anton as he pressed his lips into a thin line “And how long is the gestation period for a dark elf?”
“...It's like a little more than a year?” questioned Fiona as she turned to her sister “Right!?”
Kianna opened her mouth and then closed it as she shrugged.
“No, it's 11 months” sighed Anton “What is the range for a healthy body temperature in dark elves?”
Fiona stayed silent as she stared at him.
“How many teeth do you have?” continued Anton as he gave her a mock smile.
Again the dark elf stayed silent.
“...Fiona, what color is your blood!?” exclaimed Anton as he began to rub his temples in frustration.
“Red! It's red!” cried Fiona as she frantically turned to Kianna “It's red! Right!?”
“Um, I, yeah! It is!” exclaimed Kianna as she looked up at Anton “It's red! ...Right!?”
“You're both going to need to read this book when I'm done with it” muttered Anton as he shook his head and settled back into his chair to continue reading.
Fiona let out an exasperated sigh through her nose as she scowled down at the water.
“Wait, why do you even want to know all this?” asked Kianna as she tilted her head and cocked one of her ears in a curious manner.
“Like I said earlier, I want to have a better idea of how dark elves work...” answered Anton as he flipped to the next page in his book “I thought I understood dark elves pretty well already but apparently not. You two have really made me question a few things”
“...We did!?” exclaimed Kianna as her ears pointed themselves straight upwards “Really!?”
Fiona's ears pointed themselves upwards as well as she shifted her eyes to look over at Anton.
“Mm hm...” mumbled Anton thoughtfully as he moved the book closer to his face and focused on what he was reading “Dark elves are a very private people, as they like the idea of being mysterious... So there's not a whole lot of info about them out there... Not even online... surprisingly...”
The two dark elves glanced at each other for a moment before turning back to Anton.
“But you say you know a lot about dark elves already?” questioned Fiona as she narrowed her eyes in suspicion “How do you know anything about dark elves at all!?”
Anton didn't answer as he stayed focused on what he was reading. After a moment of silence he eased the book away from his face and turned to the waiting dark elves.
“I'm sorry, what was that?” he asked as he looked from one to the other “What were you asking?”
“How do you know anything about dark elves!” demanded Fiona as she gave him a questioning glare.
“Oh, I lived in Tantarra Estates for a good while” explained Anton “So I got to know quite a few dark elves pretty well”
“Where's Tantarra Estates?” asked Kianna.
“...It's in Tantarra, the demon realm” answered Anton as he gave her a perplexed look “It's one of their major cities”
“There are a lot of dark elves there?” asked Fiona.
Anton had a questioning expression on his face as he looked back and forth between the two dark elves.
“Yes, it's almost all dark elves” he explained “If you don't count slaves then Tantarra's entire population is about 80 percent dark elf, if not more. In fact at this point I'd say it's the main population center for dark elves”
“Why are there so many dark elves there?” asked Fiona.
“...Have you really never heard of Tantarra?” asked Anton.
The dark elves both shook their heads in unison.
“Really, that's odd? ...Anyways!” mumbled Anton as he shook the notion from his head “Tantarra is popular with dark elves because of it's laws. Or, really, lack there of! You see, people that are non-citizens have no rights in Tantarra. So basically anybody who isn't a registered citizen, or is from off-realm, can legally be enslaved without consent. Regardless of whether or not they're innocent or guilty of any crimes”
“Really!?” marveled Fiona “That sounds pretty cool!”
“...I suppose it is if you're either a dark elf or a slave-monger. Or someone who actually wants to be enslaved. Which shockingly! People like that are a lot more common than you'd think they would be! I guess the idea of being “owned” by a powerful dark elf is somehow very alluring to certain people” explained Anton as he shook his head “Anyways, I wouldn't recommend even stepping foot in Tantarra if you're not immune to binding curses, don't want to be enslaved, or are not skilled or powerful enough to avoid slavery”
“So were you a slave when you were living there?” asked Kianna.
“Oh, no!” drawled Anton as he shook his head and let a broad grin spread across his face “No, no I wasn't!”
“...Oh, okay” mumbled Kianna as she nervously eased herself back and lowered her ears a bit.
Ignoring Anton's implication, Fiona leaned forward and began to scrutinize his face.
“So!” she mumbled as she looked him up and down “...You really do know a lot about dark elves then!?”
“Yes. I think we've established that!” quipped Anton as he tighten his eyes at her “Though like I said before, I really don't think I know as much as I thought I did”
“Can you tell us about them then!?” asked Fiona in a hushed tone “Like, what you do know!?”
“...I suppose I can” mumbled Anton “Why, what exactly do you want to know about them?”
“Just, what are they like!?” exclaimed Fiona “Are they just like us!?”
Anton shifted his gazed back and forth between the two intently staring dark elves.
“...I don't know?” he answered flatly as he closed his book and set it in his lap “I really don't think so?”
Kianna's ears drooped a bit more as Fiona tightened her eyes in annoyance.
“What's that supposed to mean!?” exclaimed Fiona “How are we different from them!?”
“...Honestly, you two really aren't anything like other dark elves Fiona” mused Anton as he leaned back in his chair “Or at least I've never seen any that act the way you two do... Maybe they just hide it better?”
“What the Hell are you talking about!?” demanded Fiona.
“I'm talking about the fact that you two are as close to each other as you are... It just completely goes against the grain...” mused Anton as he indicated the two dark elves who were not only sitting side by side but had their shoulders pressed together and were obviously supporting each others weight “You two seem to legitimately care about each other... And I'm not sure if this is normal?”
The dark elves looked at one another in confusion.
“You said something like that before!” said Kianna “But we're sisters? How can that not be normal!?”
“It might be! Like I said, I don't know for sure” said Anton “But personally I've never seen any other dark elves that are as close as you two are. ...Maybe it's because you're twins? ...I don't know?”
“You've never met any other dark elves that were twins?” asked Fiona.
“I've never even heard of any other dark elves being twins, or having twins. And I haven't read anything that even mentions twins, here or online” said Anton as he tapped on his book “Obviously it must be possible! But it might be so rare that's it's basically unheard of? Again, I just don't know!?”
“...How can dark elves not care about each though?” questioned Kianna as she lightly leaned in closer to her sister “How is that possible? Don't they have families?”
“Well saying that they don't care might be taking things a bit too far. They do care about each other. And they definitely care about their children! But it's a different... kind of care” said Anton as his face scrunched itself up and became thoughtful looking “It's a little difficult to really describe but I guess one way of looking at it would be that they really don't need to care about each other. And since they don't really need to, they're just not built that way. You see, they're just so capable of taking care of themselves. Dark elves are both physically strong and intelligent, they're viciously strategic and have excellent memories. These attributes make them talented combatants and scholars. Then there's their affinity for magic. Their natural skill sets are a mixture of mana based abilities that have been blended with Auramancy. This alone is enough to set them above the majority of other races, but they can improve themselves even further by learning spells and gaining new skills and abilities outside of their natural ones. And this again is something that puts them a step ahead of the norm. Realistically, there is very little that can actually threaten them. Even the demons see them as equals and would hesitate to face them in a one on one fight, which is one of the main reasons why the two races get along so well. Then you add to all of this the fact that even as children they're such fearless, independent, dominating beings, and there really isn't any reason to be too concerned for them... ever!”
“...So what you're saying is that because they're so tough and badass they don't even have to worry about each other!” reasoned Fiona “That's pretty cool!”
“Yes... but you two do... a lot” mused Anton as he rubbed his chin in a thoughtful manner “And I wonder why? It might be because you're twins? Or maybe it's because you were raised together? Since that isn't normal either...”
“It's not?” questioned Kianna “Dark elves don't raise their kids together!?”
Anton shook his head.
“No, they don't” he said as he looked to her “They only ever have one at a time”
“They only have one!?” exclaimed Kianna as her ears pointed themselves straight upwards in panic “Really!? Why do they only have one!? Can't we have more than one!?”
“I don't mean they only have one and that's it! I mean they only ever have one with them at any given time!” chuckled Anton “They can have plenty of children but I've never seen a family that had more than one child in the house at a time. The parents will raise a child until it's old enough to be out on it's own, then once it leaves the house they'll have another baby. Since they're so long lived they can do this quite a few times and still have a large family. It's just takes them longer to build it up than it would other people”
“Oh, okay!” exclaimed Kianna as her face became relieved “Yeah, that actually makes a lot of sense!”
“It does?” questioned Anton “You really think so?”
“Well yeah!” smiled Kianna “That's how you make sure you can take of the little babies!”
“You don't think dark elves could take care of more than one baby at a time?” asked Anton as he became focused on her reactions “You don't think it might be better for siblings to be raised together? Like you and your sister were? Don't you think that might be why you're so close with each other?”
Kianna was still for a moment before she scrunched up her eyes and tilted her head in a thoughtful manner.
“...Maybe?” she mumbled as she looked down into the bathwater “...I don't know though!? ...It still doesn't, that just doesn't sound right?”
“Hm...” mused Anton as he watched the pondering dark elf “Do you two fight with each other a lot? Or did you when you were younger?”
The dark elves both glanced up at him before looking at each other.
“Sometimes. I guess?” said Fiona with a shrug “Not really though”
“Yeah, not really” said Kianna as both of the dark elves shook their heads “Why?”
“Because whenever I've asked any dark elves why they would only have one child at a time they've always answered with “Because kids will fight” so I was just curious if you two ever fought” answered Anton “Doesn't seem like you did though...”
The dark elves looked at each other again before shrugging in unison and turning back to Anton as they shook their heads.
“Hm, maybe its the magic then?” reasoned Anton as he began to rub his chin again “Maybe you'd be different if you could use magic? It might make you more inclined to fight with each other? Which might drive you apart?”
“We can use magic!” declared Fiona as she pointed her ears straight back “We just don't know how!”
“And you still don't want to talk about why your Mother won't teach you?” asked Anton “Or are you ready to talk about that now?”
“We already told you!” growled Fiona “She's a busy woman! She just doesn't have time!”
“Right” mumbled Anton as he nodded absently and continued to stare at her “...I wonder what you would be like if you learned though? I wonder if it would change you, make you more... normal? ...It would be pretty interesting, and kind of scary, if it didn't!”
“What do you mean!?” asked Fiona as she gave him a pointed look “Why would it be scary if it didn't!?”
“Because dark elves won't normally work together. When they do! Well, I've never seen it happen myself but I've always heard that it was a terrifying sight” explained Anton “It would normally take a pretty extreme situation to get them to that point though. But if didn't... if you had a pair that was willing to “team up” with each other... That might be a pretty interesting sight!”
“...I don't like the way you're looking at us!” muttered Fiona as she narrowed her eyes into a glare and eased herself back “...Quit it!”
“Why won't dark elves work together?” asked Kianna “If they're stronger as a team then wouldn't it make sense to always team up?”
“It would. But they're just naturally too independent, so it would take a pretty powerful threat to bring them together. And like I said earlier, there isn't too much that can even threaten them to begin with. So it really would have to be an extreme situation for it to happen” explained Anton “That's the easy explanation at least. Personally I'd say the fact that they're a “control race” is also a factor. It really wouldn't be surprising to find out that something was built into them that kept them from being too united. They might be unstoppable otherwise”
“A “control race”?” questioned Kianna as she tilted her head and cocked one of her ears in a curious manner “What does that mean?”
“It means we control other races!” exclaimed Fiona “Obviously!”
“Well, it's a little more complicated than that” said Anton “It's not an official term or anything so I'm not surprised you've never heard it before. It's also considered inappropriate to apply it as a label since it denotes a particular race as being superior to another. It's not necessarily meant to be derogative in that way but I can definitely see an argument there. In reality it's only meant to be a collective term for a group of otherwise unrelated races, and nothing more”
The two dark elves were completely still as they listened.
“...Anyways” continued Anton “The dark elves are one of the control races, along with the dullahan, the nurarihyon, the aos si and so on and so forth. These races were each brought into existence to help bring a balance to the world by controlling another race, or group of races in some way. You see, every now and then a race, or a whole group of them, would find a way to somehow tip things too far into their own favor. And when this would happen one of the “Gods” or whatever they were, would create a new race that could counter this threat and bring everything back to a balance. This was how they'd keep one race from taking over and wiping out all the other races. Each of the control races were created with the instincts and abilities to accomplish their given task without taking the place of their “counter race”. In other words, they were built with a toolkit to get the job done, but not become a threat themselves. All of the control races are very powerful and each could potentially take over the world if they choose to. Fortunately, none of them, including the dark elves, seem to have any desire to do so. And it's believed that they were each designed with built-in behaviors to keep this very scenario from happening”
The dark elves had both gone silent and wide eyed as they sat motionless and listened intently.
“It's my opinion that this unwillingness to work together is actually one of these “check-and-balance” type of behaviors” continued Anton “But there's really no way of knowing for sure if that's true or not”
Fiona slowly raised her hand out of the water and held it up as a signal that she had a question.
“Yes?” said Anton as he nodded his head to her.
“So, you're saying that...” she mumbled as her face began to brighten with excitement “The dark elves are like heroes then! Because we stopped a threat, and saved the world!?”
Anton rolled his head back as he began to laugh loudly.
“In a way..., yes!” he answered as he wiped a tear away from his eye “Your ancestors did at least!”
“So, wait! What is our “counter race” then?” asked Kianna “The one that we're supposed to control?”
“Well, why don't you tell me?” grinned Anton as he looked down at her “What race hates your kind more than any other? ...And you can't help but to get excited whenever you see them?”
The dark elves looked to each other as thoughtful expressions marred their features. Their eyes went wide and they both gasped in unison as realization spread across their faces.
“Highlights!” they both exclaimed as they looked up at Anton.
“...What!?” asked Anton “Excuse me!?”
“Woodies!” exclaimed Fiona.
“Rockies!” cried Kianna.
Anton was completely still as he continued to stare at them.
“Elves!” they both exclaimed as a hungry looking red glow began to shine in their eyes.
Anton stared at them for another moment before nodding his head and grinning.
“...Yes!” he chuckled as he continued to nod his head “That's correct... Very good!”
Both of the dark elves were smiling wickedly as they stared at him with their still glowing eyes and waited for him to continue.
“...The dark elves were created to counter the other elven races when the high elves learned to utilize magic in a way that would allow the then three elven species to take over completely” explained Anton “This happened ages and ages ago. And at this point no one is exactly sure on the time-frame or the actual events that took place. What we can be sure of though, is that whatever happened it was significant enough that the slave-mongering dark elves were created and they brought a balance back to the world”
“...How does that work though?” asked Kianna “ How do we bring a balance by enslaving people?”
“Well, to understand that you have to understand the nature of the other elven races” said Anton “Elves in general are all naturally racist, xenophobic beings who will generally stay among their own kind in their own cities, which are far and few between. They are all very long lived and don't produce a lot of children very quickly. Wood elves and rock elves both produce more children than high elves and dark elves do, but not by very much. So none of the elves have very high populations. Especially when compared to other races. And their populations are spread out in small pockets across the world. High elves in particular are even more prone to racism than the others and have the smallest population of any elven race. They're technically the dark elves counter race as well, and although no dark elf is likely to ever say no to playing with a wood elf or a rock elf, a high elf will always be their first choice. So now it's easier to understand that if the dark elves had the instincts to kill the other elves, with their small, spread out populations and low birthrates. It wouldn't be too difficult to wipe them out completely. Especially the high elves, who are the main targets to begin with”
Fiona and Kianna both nodded silently as they digested what they had just been told.
“Do either of you ever have the desire to kill a high elf?” asked Anton and the sisters immediately shook their heads “What do you want to do to them then?”
The dark elves were still for a moment before broad, wicked looking smiles spread across their faces.
“Find the ones that think they're strong!” whispered Kianna “And then tie them up! So tight that they can't even move!”
“Then punish them and make them crawl!” continued Fiona “Until they cry and hide their ears!”
Anton went still and stared at the vicious looking dark elves for a moment before nodding slowly.
“...Right!” he drawled as he warily cocked an eyebrow “...Your instincts are telling you to control them. And your nature and abilities are all based around this goal. In this way you countered their threat, not by killing them, but by forcing them into submission... literally!”
“So we beat them by turning them into our little pets!” exclaimed Fiona.
“...More or less?” shrugged Anton “That would be the footnote version of it I guess. Though I'm sure there was more of a skirmish involved... Well, probably... Then again, maybe not! Especially considering there really isn't too much a high elf can do against a dark elf. You guys beat them in pretty much every imaginable way”
“Smug little creamies were made to be beaten!” boasted Fiona.
“No, it was actually the other way around” mused Anton “They came first, and then you were “made” to beat them. And everything about you was literally designed with this in mind”
“What do you mean?” asked Kianna as she lifted her hands out of the water and watched herself open and close her own fists “How are we “designed” to beat them?”
“Well, to start off, you're technically modified high elves yourselves, or at least derived from them. So you have all of their same physical capabilities. You may not be quite as agile as they are, or as fast but you are bigger than them and physically stronger. And you have all the same keen senses, although you've got better night vision than they do. But the main creche of your secret weapons are your magical talents, and your immunities. You see, again, since you are in all actuality high elves yourselves, and since all of the high elves are so naturally proud and racist that they apparently could never even imagine a scenario where they would ever need to raise a hand against another of their own kind” explained Anton as he rolled his eyes “They can't hurt you, or each other, literally, even if they wanted to. And this is not merely a mental hangup either. It's literally a core element of their race. You see, the high elves have been designed in such a way that they are completely immune to their own mana signature. And what this means is that their combative abilities will target and harm other races but never themselves. This sounds like it's meant to be a sort of built-in safety measure and it is, but it's one that they can and do take advantage of, as it does allow them to attack at full power and not have to worry about any comrades that may be around them. This can actually be incredibly devastating on a battlefield in which they're fighting another race. Since this allows them to set loose massive, large scale destructive abilities and still have no need to be concerned for their teammates being harmed by them”
“Oh shit!” mumbled Fiona “That explains why they win so many battles! They can just blow everything away and not worry about it!”
“Yes, exactly. When it comes to any form of fighting they know exactly how to use their advantages to the fullest” said Anton as a thin grin spread across his face “Unfortunately for them though! These same advantages are exactly why they will forever lose to the dark elves. You see, you are again technically high elves yourselves and as such, you are also completely immune to all high elven based combat magic. While they on the other hand are not immune to your magic which is designed to effect literally every race and species. So in other words, magically speaking, they can not hurt you, but you can hurt them, very easily. So, with all of these factors combined, any fight that may take place between your two races, regardless of whether its magical or physical, is going to be so one-sided that it isn't even funny. The dark elves have, and will, always win. Without question, every, single, time”
Fiona nodded slowly as a broad, smug looking smile spread across her face.
“So, wait, if we always won... Then what happened next? What did we do with all the elves we beat?” asked Kianna as she stared down into the bathwater “...Did we enslaved them all? Like, all of them!?”
“Well, no, none of the elven races were ever completely enslaved as far as I know” mused Anton “And as for what you did with the ones you did enslave? Well, dark elves may be more or less sadistic depending on the individual, but I've never known of any that are actually bloodthirsty towards their slaves. And I doubt they were any different back then. So I'd say it's safe to assume that they didn't eventually kill any of the elves they enslaved. If I had to guess, I'd think the elves had more than likely seen a similar if not the same fate that most modern slaves do. I'm sure many were made useful by being trained as household servants and used for pleasure and entertainment. In the end though most were probably just kept for the novelty of having them. Fiona isn't really far off when she referred to them as “pets” that's pretty much what they were, and are, even now”
Kianna was silent for a moment as she nodded thoughtfully.
“So how did they enslave them?” she asked as she looked up at Anton “And how do we enslave people now?”
“Mm, well, the easiest and most common method is to use a binding curse that's been anchored to a piece of silver. This is usually crafted into the shape of an accessory that can't be easily removed. Normally it's a collar, but it can also be a bracelet, an anklet, a belt or even a piercing” explained Anton “This isn't always necessary for a dark elf though. Since they have a built-in dominant presence, they're naturally attractive to people with submissive tendencies, and if a person is submissive enough then just being exposed to the right dark elf could be all it takes for a natural binding to form between them”
“Seriously!?” exclaimed Fiona as her eyes flashed red in excitement “We can really just enslave people by walking up to them!? It just happens!? We don't even have to use a curse!?”
“No, no it's way more complicated than just walking up to someone. There is also magic involved so it's going to be something that you know is happening. It's not going to happen just by accident” explained Anton as he shook his head “This is why dark elves have such a stigma though. People think that they can just naturally enslave whoever they want but they can't. Like I said, it takes a very submissive person for this to happen, you can't just do it with anyone”
Fiona's shoulders slumped in disappointment as Kianna's eyes went wide in realization.
“This is something all dark elves can do though!?” cried Kianna as she leaned forward “All of them!? And people know about this!?”
“Well, yes!” answered Anton “As far as I know they all can? And again, yes, this is fairly common knowledge”
“This! This explains!” cried Kianna as she turned to her sister in a panic “...A lot!”
The two dark elves stared at each other in silence as Anton looked back and forth between them.
“You two really never knew any of this?” he questioned as he arched an eyebrow at them “Did you?”
The dark elves both turned to him before slowly shaking their heads.
“...You're Mother never explained any of this to you?” asked Anton “None of it?”
Fiona looked away as Kianna shook her head and let her eyes fall to the water.
“This doesn't make any sense! How could she just...” wondered Anton as he shook his head and rubbed his chin in confusion “So, have you two ever even been around any other dark elves? Other than each other?”
The faces of the dark elves tightened as obvious unpleasant thoughts began to dance behind their eyes.
“...There was one at Bridgemont. For a little while... She wasn't nice though!” answered Kianna as her voice began to become strained “She, was the reason that...”
The dark elf wrapped her arms around herself and went silent as her ears began to droop.
Anton watched her for a moment before letting his aura seep out and surround her.
Kianna stiffed as the calming warmth closed in and enveloped her in it's balm. As recognition took form in her eyes she relaxed and looked up at Anton.
“What is Bridgemont?” prompted Anton in a hushed tone.
“...It's a boarding school. ...On the East coast” explained Kianna as she looked back down at the bathwater “...It's where we went to school”
“I see” nodded Anton “And there was only one other dark elf there? And only for a short time?”
“And you weren't friends with her?” asked Anton.
Kianna's face scrunched up in displeasure as she shook her head.
“I see” said Anton as he nodded again and looked ahead at nothing “...And your, “Nanny Ma” she wasn't a dark elf?”
Kianna shook her head as her ears drooped even lower and hung in sadness.
“No” she whispered “...She was a troll”
Anton stayed silent as he nodded.
“But she loved us anyway! Ever since we were little babies! She raised us, and loved us! She always told us to love each other and that we should protect each other! No matter what happens! And... she always said, that we were her little treasures! And that we would always be important to her! And that she would always be here for us!” exclaimed Kianna as her eyes began to well with tears and her voice began to crack “...But, she d-died! And now she's g-gone!”
Anton turned back to her as he increased the power flowing through his aura.
Kianna looked up at him as she let his soothing presence embrace her.
“...It was when we were 12” she continued as she looked into Anton's eyes “...We came home for our spring break. ...Our Mom was still here, and she, told us that... that, Nanny Ma was... she was gone!”
“I'm so sorry...” breathed Anton as he looked from her to Fiona and back “Truly, I am”
Kianna had a small smile on her forlorn face as she nodded in thanks. Her smile faded as she looked back down into the water.
“Things kept getting worse after that” she continued “When we came back for summer... Our Mom was gone too. That's when she left, and moved out”
“She left you when you were kids!? Right after you just lost...!?” exclaimed Anton “How could she!? Why would she do that!?”
“I don't know!?” cried Kianna as an angry scowl spread across Fiona's face “We were alone! We didn't know what to do! And, and it was dark in here...”
“Kianna” breathed Anton as he shook his head in sorrow “I'm so sorry...”
The dark elf started to tremble as she sobbed quietly. For some time they all stayed still until Kianna blinked up at Anton.
“...Thank you” she breathed before looking back at the water and continuing “...We just stayed at Bridgemont after that. We didn't come home on the holidays anymore... There was no one here, so there was no point...”
Anton nodded in understanding.
“And then! That new semester!” muttered Kianna as she glanced up at Anton and looked back down “That's when Sierra came!”
“Sierra?” questioned Anton “I'm guessing she was the dark elf?”
Both of the sisters nodded in silence.
“She was horrible!” growled Kianna through her clenched teeth “She was mean to everybody! For no reason! ...She was the one who told us our Mom doesn't love us because she won't teach us how to use magic! She laughed at us and said we were worthless! ...She kept doing mean things to us! And to everybody!”
“The school got rid of her after that semester!” declared Fiona as she continued to stare angrily at nothing “But it was already too late!”
“...Too late?” asked Anton.
“Everyone saw what she could do!” explained Kianna “They saw what she could do to people! She could make them afraid of her! And make them do things! Even the teachers! They were all scared! Then she starting talking about enslaving people! And that's when the school finally made her leave... But it was still too late!”
“I don't understand?” questioned Anton “What was it too late for?”
The dark elves were quiet for a moment before Kianna looked up him.
“Everyone saw what she could do!” she explained as her face twisted in misery “And they all thought that we would do the same!”
“...Oh!” exclaimed Anton as he looked away and nodded “Because you were dark elves like her...”
“We never even did anything to any of them!” snarled Fiona as tears of anger began to form in her eyes “It was all Sierra!”
“They didn't trust you after that” reasoned Anton as he nodded slowly “Or at least not what you are...”
“No one would talk to us anymore! Not even the teachers! Everyone was just scared!” exclaimed Kianna as she flattened her ears behind her head “We were all alone again!”
Anton shook his head as Kianna fell into a fit of sobs.
“And you barely even understood what was going on” muttered Anton “If you had at least known how to flare your auras you could have made a stand. She wouldn't have been able to effect you and you could have stopped her from running amok... But you couldn't, because you didn't know how...”
“We didn't know anything!” exclaimed Kianna “No one told us what was going on! They just made us stay by ourselves! We thought we were in trouble! But they never told us why! We were just alone!”
Anton nodded again as he let even more power flow into his aura.
“It was like that until we graduated...” mumbled Fiona “Everyone else was so excited, and sad, saying goodbyes to each other... We just packed up and left...”
“We thought college would be better but it was even worse!” cried Kianna “Everybody there was still scared of us! And if they weren't scared then they were weirdos!”
She looked up at Anton as her face became marred with irritation.
“Everyone acted like we were gonna attack them or something! We had no idea what the Hell was going on!” she exclaimed as she clenched her teeth “Then there were the weirdos that would follow us around! At first they acted like they wanted to be friends but then they'd start calling us their Mistresses and acting like they were our servants! That got old really quick!”
“Those guys were fucking creeps!” declared Fiona “I still can't believe you fucked those two...”
“Shut up!” cried Kianna as her eyes went wide in panic “I didn't know they were gonna be like that! I had no idea!”
Anton pressed his lips together to hold back his laughter as he looked away. Recomposing himself, he shook his head as he sighed through his nose. His chest tightened as he looked back at Kianna.
The dark elf had hunched herself over as she tried to keep from trembling.
“Nanny Ma always told us that if we were good girls then everybody would love us!” whimpered the sobbing dark elf “But they didn't! No matter what! They'd never say we were good! And we never knew why!”
Anton was taken aback as she raised her head to look him in the eyes.
“But now we do!” she sobbed “It's because we're evil!”
“What!?” exclaimed Anton “Kianna you're not evil! What are you talking about!?”
“Yes we are!” cried Kianna “We take people's lives away! We enslave them! That's the only reason we exist! We were made to be evil!”
“No! Kianna! You don't understand!” exclaimed Anton as he leaned over the edge of the tub and quickly took hold of her face with both hands “You don't take people's lives away! People who kill other people take lives away! You might control lives and change them but you don't destroy them! You were not created to be evil Kianna! You were created to punish evil people! If you didn't exist then the other elves would have been able to wipe out everyone else! But you stopped them! You saved us all! How can you think you're evil when that is the real reason you exist!?”
“...But, but that was a long time ago! Now all we do is enslave people!” argued Kianna as she pointed her ears straight back “You said it yourself that all the dark elves on Tantarra have slaves! All those innocent people...”
“I never said that all the slaves were innocent Kianna, I never said that!” exclaimed Anton “And you don't understand, the dark elves living on Tantarra is a compromise that they made themselves! They live there because it's an easy place for them to be what they are. They can't just stop being what they are, and they're not going to force the rest of the world to follow the rules that they want. And they could! Remember when I said that the dark elves were one of the races that are powerful enough to take over the world? Well they are! But they don't! They don't force the world to bend to their will, they may control people but they leave the world itself alone! They have a place with rules that they like and anyone who makes the decision to go there understands the risks that they're taking when they do. And that is fair!”
Kianna remained still as she stayed focused on everything being told to her.
“As for the slaves. Where do you think they come from? Hm? If you think there are big enough free populations of different species on just Tantarra itself then I can tell you that there isn't. No, the majority of slaves on Tantarra come from Terra, and they come from the same place they do on Terra. They're criminals Kianna, guilty people that have been banished” explained Anton “People that took lives and livelihoods away from other people. They made the choices to do what they did and now they're paying the price for those choices. They knew the consequences. They knew that the dark elves existed and they knew that the dark elves would just love to have another toy to play with! And yet they still did what they did. You can't save people like that. But you can give the rest a warning! Either play nice and be moral or-”
“Or play with us!” declared Fiona as she continued to stare off at nothing.
“Hm, exactly!” smiled Anton “You weren't created to be evil Kianna. You were created to punish evil people. That is what you really are, and what you'll always be!”
Kianna was still for a moment before a thin smile took form on her face.
“So you really don't think I'm evil?” she whimpered as a shiver racked her body “You really don't!?”
“No, I don't. And I don't think the dark elves as a whole are any more evil than anyone else!” said Anton as he shook his head “Well, at least most of them aren't. Now your Mother on the other hand! If she isn't evil she's close! Very close!”
Fiona lifted her head and stared at Anton as Kianna's eyes went wide.
“That she would abandon you both like this!” exclaimed Anton as his agitation began to show clearly on his face “She leaves you alone with no knowledge about yourselves and no understanding of how to manifest your abilities! And won't even give you a reason why! How heartless and cold does she have to be to do this to her own children! Her own daughters!”
Both of the dark elves were still for a moment as they stared at Anton.
“...No” whispered Kianna as she lightly shook her head “...W-we!”
Both Anton and Fiona turned to her as she spoke.
“Kianna!” exclaimed Fiona as she gave her sister an exasperated look.
“We, know...” whispered Kianna as she stared into Anton's eyes “We know why she won't teach us!”
“You do?” questioned Anton.
Kianna scrunched her eyes closed and nodded her head as she laid her ears back submissively.
“It's because, we ran away!” she wailed.
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