Four months later…
Sihlk just stared at what was before her. “… You told me she was arrogant, but… this is just…”
“I know, right?” Ouran said dryly, flicking his ringed tail.
The two were disguised as an Owl and a raccoon, respectively, gazing down on the village Althra had taken over as chief and goddess.
“I mean, I can see why the villagers would see a wizard as a god-”
“I can’t.” Sihlk muttered, turning her head and changing her eye color from yellow to bright purple. “Comparing a wizard to a goddess is like comparing a minnow to a giant squid.”
“Well, they haven’t seen anything more powerful than her before.” Ouran growled, twitching his ears irritably. “Or as self-assured. It’s probably overwhelming to them, and without a real god to latch onto…”
Sihlk shrugged and flipped upside down on the branch, twisting her beak into an impossible grin. “Sooner or later some prophet or actual god will arrive to put her in her place.”
Ouran cocked an eyebrow at her, shifting the patterns on his tail into an arrow, which he pointed at her. “This was YOUR idea. I honestly don’t care what she does.”
“Well you better change your mind and START caring, because we’re gonna kill her. That’s the favor you owe me for Shifting lessons.”
“…Why do you care?”
“I’m the one who was tortured, subjected to numerous magical potions and rituals to make me into a shapeshifting monster, and tossed into an ocean to drown after nearly being set on fire and I honestly do not care about this arrogant waste of flesh. Why do YOU care?”
She just stared at him, blinking massive owl eyes. “Because YOU don’t. So I’m going to.”
Ouran stared right back. “You’re weird.”
Althra slapped aside the well-cooked salmon. “I hate fish!” She spat. “Bring me your beef!” She sat down on her throne carved from stone and covered in sheepskin as the young supplicant left the tent, shoulders sagging. She scratched her neck, grumbling about an itch.
Silence had fallen around the village as her subjects settled in for the night. It was calm and quiet, and the world was at peace. She knew it to be so – everything had gone exactly as it should be. She had made herself leader of these people with an impressive display of magic, and she was on her way to becoming a goddess in her own right.* Everything in the world was perfect, and she deserved everything it had to offer for slaying that little abomination Ouran and tossing him into the sea.
“Oh gods this hurts!”
Sihlk swore. “No no no, lift with your knees, not your back!”
“You have any idea how hard it is to lift a tree?! You could’ve at least helped me pull it out of the ground!! Why are these roots thicker than the actual trunk anyway?!”
“They’re not. Those are part of the trunk.”
“Ugh, this is pointless…”
“Hey, it’s YOUR archnemesis! She tortured you, made your life a miserable living hell!”
“This was still YOUR idea!”
The pink-purplish snake thing turned her head away in a huff. “Well maybe I felt the need to give you some closure on the matter. Coming here may have been my idea but throwing a tree was your stupid idea.”
The raccoon scowled as the tree above his head sank further down, giving the false impression it was squishing his head. “I didn’t think you’d take it seriously! How am I even supposed to throw it that far?!”
“You can shapeshift, boy! Physical limits mean nothing to you! Change your muscles so they’re stronger and throw the thing!”
Ouran’s knees immediately buckled and the tree crashed down on top of him.
“…Er, try doing the opposite of whatever you just did.”
“Oh just stitch it back into one piece, you big baby!”
Althra was as egotistical as they come (or more accurately as they DON’T come) but she wasn’t a complete idiot. As a habit she kept spells on her to protect herself from enemy attack.
So when a tree suddenly shattered the tranquility of her perfect night by crashing into her tent, it shattered her shield and didn’t do much more than piss her off.
Fire leaped into her hands and danced around her arms. Her glare was absolutely livid as she searched for her assailant. “Who dares challenge me?! I am Althra, goddess of-” “-Being a total ****?”
A bolt of fire flashed in the direction the words had come from, exploding in the forest behind the camp and setting it alight. As her servants gathered around her, she pointed into the burning woods. “Find the little bitch.”
The villagers dispersed into the woods to find the ‘little bitch’ that had spoken. Althra stayed at the camp, fire burning along her arms and in her hands. She had nothing to fear, she reminded herself.
A hawk suddenly dropped from the sky and slammed right into her face, schreeching in rage as it tore at her eyes. Althra grabbed the hawk with one flaming hand and threw into into a nearby tree, which she then set aflame. The scream of pain from the poor creature’s mouth was music to her ears… for the six seconds or so it continued before turning into giggly laughter.
She whirled to face the tree to find the hawk gone. In it’s place was a bright purple jackal. She brought up both of her hands and streamed flames at the creature, but it just laughed. She stopped and found that the land around the jackal burned, but the creature itself did not.
“You act too rashly, wizard.” Sihlk said cheerfully. “Do you think I am alone?”
Althra suddenly fell over as something rammed into her head at a speed too great to measure. Her shield stopped the damage but she could not remain standing. As the wizard pulled herself to her feet, she saw a raccoon standing next to the pink serpent.
Althra snarled. “You dare strike me?!”
“‘Dare’ implies your superiority.” The raccoon said coldly. “But every action you have taken suggests otherwise.”
Althra pulled herself to her feet. “You think yourself ABOVE me, you little rodent?”
The ‘raccoon’ cocked an eyebrow. “You still think I’m a raccoon. Yet you also think I’m a rodent. Brilliant, little pink weasel.”
“Don’t you mock me!!” She roared, fire in her hands flaring up. “What are you here for, little rat?!”
“To kill you, of course.”
Althra sneered. “Really.”
“Well, technically, SHE is the reason I’m here.” He pointed to Sihlk. “She taught me how to maintain my form, and in exchange I had to come back here and kill ya for what you did to me.”
“I have no idea who the little snake is or-… wait. What I did to YOU?” Her eyes narrowed. “So who’re YOU then?”
“Aw, you don’t recognize me? I’m almost hurt, Althra. You don’t recognize your old mistake? The old mistake you pumped with potions until he could barely move? The one you tried to drown but didn’t bother to find a body for? Your old mistake that you never learned from?”
“…YOU!!” Althra shoved her open palm forward at Ouran and a wall of flame rushed towards him.
- Lord of Change – Part 3 (halftangible.wordpress.com)
- Lord of Change – Part 5 (halftangible.wordpress.com)