Ascension Rebirth – The future’s divergence
[Eternum Calendar 503]
[Lilith] took a deep breath as she stood before the magnificent structure that was the [Sanctuary]; home to her mother, the [Demon Lord] – [Astaroth].
The last time she was here was the year before along with her master but at the time she did not come of her own volition but because she deemed it necessary to accompany her master. This time however, was different.
At the time she and her master went their separate ways she promised him that she would go see her mother once she had become ‘worthy’ enough to set foot. In truth she had already become worthy many moons ago but she had delayed her sojourn back into the Demon Capital out of fear.
“Do you ever plan to go in?”
To her side was her childhood friend, [Deborah], one of the leading members of the Lycanthrope tribe. Furrowing her eyes she stared uncomfortably at Lilith, urging her to make a move already.
“I- I am! Just let me prepare my heart a little.”
Deborah gave a hearty sigh as she waited for her friend to take meagre steps into the Sanctuary. It took over an hour just to get Lilith to the final floor of the building and then the worst part came.
They both stood at the large iron door that was the entrance to the Demon Lord’s chamber.
Lilith gulped audibly preparing herself for whatever was in store for her. Though she knew very well that her mother wasn’t likely to disparage her for anything and would welcome her with open arms, it was the others that really worried her.
The other demon generals did not have a positive view of Lilith due to her cowardly actions, though that may have changed somewhat after becoming Morgant’s servant.
Still, the stigma would’ve remained and now that she was truly alone since her master had left for his own future the true test had come for her.
Deborah rolled her eyes as she saw her meek friend tremble at the sight of a mere door. She crossed her arms and tapped her foot loudly as possible to put more pressure on her so she would get on with it.
Despite their difference in ranking and lineage Deborah had no inclination to show any signs of respect. Something that didn’t really bother Lilith, in fact she was thankful that Deborah still treated her like she did when they were younger. Though they did have a period of falling out they quickly made up once again with the help of Morgant.
“Perhaps you shouldn’t be tapping so loudly? It might cause annoyances to others.”
“Hurry up and open the door then I’ll stop.”
“Ugh, how mean.”
Lilith took steady steps and walked towards the large iron doors. She softly placed her hands on the handles but decided to immediately withdraw them as her soft flesh came into contact with the cold steel bars.
“On second thought maybe we should come back later. I don’t want to bother mother with my trivial visits, she might be busy with a lot of things. Now that things have progressed after our battle at [Vertloch Downpour].”
Deborah placed her hands on her head as she gave out a heavy sigh. She then forcefully kicked Lilith through the door.
Lilith fell forward, bursting the door open and tumbling a few meters forward until she planted her face firmly on the elegant red carpet of the Demon Lord’s chamber.
“You kept dawdling outside the door that I was starting to get annoyed wondering when you would finally come in. Looks like that wolf child had to force you, huh? I guess no matter how much time passes you will always be timid.”
Astaroth shook her head as she berated her daughter’s bashful nature.
Hearing her mother’s voice Lilith bolted up into position. She glanced around to see that the chamber wasn’t as nearly full as she expected it to be. The only ones there were her mother and Kyrios who stood still in the background; at this point he was more an accessory to the room rather than a separate person.
No, that wasn’t quite correct; there was one more person in the room, one that Lilith had never seen before.
A small child; an infant crawled around the floor near Astaroth and reached out to her. She had shadowy black hair and clear emerald eyes, reminiscent of a certain necromancer. To the left side of her head was a small horn that much resembled Astaroth’s own.
“Yes, yes. What is it this time Lilin?”
The infant; named [Lilin] pulled out her hand to reveal a white mask, specifically a white mask that belonged to a certain vampire lord.
Both Astaroth and Lilith made an ‘oh…’ face and quickly turned to check up on Kyrios only to be disappointed to see that he had another mask on his face.
“Fortunately I carry multiple masks for such occasions.”
The two succubi sighed in disappointment and turned back to the original situation.
Lilin crawled up the sacred chair that belonged only to the demon lord and into Astaroth’s small laps. A rather humorous sight since Astaroth herself had a small stature.
Lilith bemused that idea before snapping back to reality and addressing the elephant in the room.
“Wait, what did she just call you?! ‘Mama’?!”
“Hmm? Ah, yeah, meet your new younger sister, Lilin.”
“My new younger sister?! Who?! Who is the father?!”
Astaroth tried to plug her ears at her daughter’s loud shrieking; Lilian also imitated her and covered her ears. Despite her diffident personality her voice could reach impressive decibels.
“You’re too loud, remember where you are.”
“Ah, sorry… no, that’s not the problem! When did? I mean, who?”
Lilith’s imagination began to overclock her brain almost to the point steam was visibly leaking from her ears and a bright red blush covered her face. A devious smile stretched across Astaroth’s face as she answered.
“Who else but your master? Can’t you see the resemblance? The black hair, green eyes, oh but she has my horns. Ah, how cute.”
Astaroth started playing with her new daughter in her laps.
“Yeah, I can definitely see the resemblance… is not what I mean! When?! When did you two-”
Too embarrassed Lilith could not even finish that sentence.
“When did I what?”
Astaroth asked with a vexing laugh.
“Um… that is… you know… that… but master is… how? What?”
Lilith began to hunch over from the embarrassment.
“That’s a secret. I don’t think Papa will too fond of me talking about such things, right Lilin?”
Lilin stared up at her mother with her large green eyes and gave a hearty smile. Not understanding what was going on or being said she reached out for her.
Astaroth went along and entertained her daughter meanwhile Lilith was still in a daze with a red face but snapped back when she noticed something.
“Wait, but how come she isn’t like me? Her hair and eye color are different to us.”
Astaroth tilted her head in confusion, unable to answer that question properly.
“Mmm, I don’t really get it myself but this child is a little special. She isn’t a full [Succubus] but a half, as in half succubus, half human. That’s most likely the reason for the odd coloration of her hair and eyes.”
“What? Is that even possible? I thought all off springs of Succubi were succubus.”
“Mmm, that’s what I thought too, but rather than an anomaly on Lilin’s part it’s more likely that it’s papa who is special, right Lilin?”
As though she had understood her mother’s words Lilin innocently shouts out for her father. Astaroth gently strokes Lilin’s hair as she smiles heartily.
“Looking at you now you’ve really grown up. I can still remember when you were just as small and would cling onto me all day calling me ‘mama~’ as well. Ah, back then you were so cute too. Well you’ve certainly grown to be quite ‘impressive’ in other ways too.”
“Mother! I don’t think it’s quite appropriate to be saying that now.”
Lilith retorts while hiding away her breasts from her mother’s line of sight. She takes a quick glance at Kyrios and sighs in relief to see that he’s unresponsive to Astaroth’s earlier comment.
“Well, you’re at that age now too I guess. You should hurry up and find a partner for yourself as well.”
“I… I know that already, you don’t have to remind me. I was just… a little busy recently.”
Astaroth returns with a solemn smile remembering back to Lilith’s childhood. Despite her failings, in the end Lilith is her daughter after all and Astaroth could never come to chide her daughter for running away, but seeing her return of her own volition relieved Astaroth greatly.
Astaroth motions Lilith to come closer.
Lilith tilts her head in confusion but does as she is told and walks up the small amount of stairs to the large demon lord’s throne. Immediately she is pulled down and embraced by her mother along with her new younger sister.
“It’s fine, just let me do this for a bit.”
Lilin shouts out after her.
“Welcome back, Lilith.”
“Mmm… I’m home. Mother.”
Interrupting the heartfelt moment was a knock at the chamber’s doors. Though it slightly annoyed Astaroth she was not the kind of person that would send away someone who had come to see her.
The person who was waiting at the door was Deborah and in her hand was a letter.
“Pardon my intrusion, Lord Astaroth. A letter has arrived for you from the Northern Capital of Ariadyne. It is from Master Kyrios’ emissary, Enrich.”
“I see, then I shall read it.”
Deborah walked up to the large throne and in the process took a glance at Lilith was still in such an uncompromising position. Noticing her gaze Lilith immediately leapt out from her mother’s embrace and took a spot next to Deborah.
“I see everything went well.”
Deborah whispered into her ear.
“No thanks to you.”
The two friends exchanged banter for a while.
However a different expression was on Astaroth’s face. Not entirely shocked at the contents of the letter but not happy either.
“I see, so it’s finally starting huh?”
“Is something the matter, Lord Astaroth?”
Unable to contain his curiosity, Kyrios asked from the background.
“Mmm, war is upon us. Not against [Nodens] or the [Red Knights] but a different foe, one that comes to us from across the stars. I had seen it with my [future sight] but it was hazy at best and I could not understand its contents too well, but with this letter I was finally able to understand.”
There was a deafening silence in the room following her speech.
Lilin looked up at her mother’s worried expression to which Astaroth continued to stroke her hair.
“Shall I gather the troops?”
“Not yet, the war will not be starting until a few years down the line. Morgant has started his search for more powerful allies and it’s our duty to prepare as well. I want you to come up with a list of capable people and try to recruit them to our side.”
“I understand, I will get started on it right away.”
Following his answer Kyrios disappears in a shadowy effect.
“Um, mother? Is there any way I can help?”
Lilith asks with a worried expression.
“Not at the moment, we lack too much detail on the enemy, so for now the best we can do is try to get stronger.”
“I… see. What about master? Does the letter say anything about master’s agenda from now on?”
Astaroth rereads the letter.
“Nothing solid other than the fact that he’s trying to gather powerful allies for the upcoming war. Well I guess I could try to see into his future a bit, that may help us plan ahead as well.”
Astaroth closes her eyes and as it does a small holographic third eye appears on her forehead. This eye is what allows her to have a glimpse towards the future.
It takes a few moments but Astaroth was finally able to take a gander at the future, but her expression fades and turns morbidly serious. She bolts up from her seat with Lilin looking back up at her in surprise.
“This… can’t be.”
“Mother?! What’s wrong. What did you see?”
“I… saw it. The future. No… but, how?”
“I saw it… but not just a single future, but two, they were both vivid. But that can’t be, that means both futures will happen… at the same time… but how?”
The [future sight] ability allows her to see the future, and the more vivid the image was the more likely that it was to happen. However this time, what Astaroth saw were two extremely vivid adjacent images of the future.
“Two futures? What kind of futures were they, mother?”
“The first future is filled with nothing but death and failure. Morgant, he fails… no, we all fail.”
The chamber fills up with silence once more.
An audible gulp passes through Lilith’s throat as she asks.
“Then… what of the second future?”
“The second future is successful… but Morgant is alone. A life of solitude awaits him in the second future.”
“But that means… there’s no happy ending for master? That can’t be…”
The chamber is once again met with a morbid silence.
Astaroth suddenly says.
“I have to see him.”
Lilin calls out to her mother with an equally worried expression. Astaroth turns around to look.
“Lilin? Perhaps she’s saying that she wants to come along?”
“Is that it? Do you want to come along Lilin?”
Lilith asks in Astaroth’s sake.
Though it wasn’t completely sure if Lilin understood their words but she nods her head readily.
“I see… You’re right, then shall we go see papa together?”
Astaroth asks as she offers her hand to Lilin, which is immediately accepted.
“I want to go too… is what I would say but master has given me an important mission so I must stay here. But please give him my regards, mother.”
“Of course. Then I’ll be off.”
Astaroth takes a few steps outside her chamber before she is stopped by a certain armored warrior.
“My apologies, Lord Astaroth. I couldn’t help overhearing your conversations. I cannot stop you but I have to advise you that it is unwise to go alone, so please allow me to accompany you.”
A certain slime king in shiny white and blue armor comes to ask. His voice dictates that he is ready.
“Can’t go a step without you meddlers huh? Very well, follow. Cedric.”
“Then once again. We’ll be off.”
Astaroth waves as she leaves the Sanctuary.