153 Chapter 150 Trying Too Hard
"This food is delicious, thank you," said Stella's mom as she set her plate down on the table next to her bed.
"Is there anything else you need?" asked Stella, not willing to let just anyone deal with her mom.
Joseph knew that she had hated her mom for all the shavist she put her through, but he also knew that Stella was starved for some parental praise.
"No, I'm good, thanks. I am curious to know where I am, though," she said, looking around the room.
"This is my room," said Stella, "You were so sick we I brought you here, I was worried to leave you alone. A room is being prepared for you, and I can take you there, whenever you are ready?"
"Oh! I'm so sorry that I've put you out of your own bed!"
Stella's mom immediately threw the covers back and started to climb out of the bed.
"Mom! No, you don't have to jump up so fast! It's ok," said Stella, jumping forward to stop her from standing up.
"Mom?" asked the woman, looking up at her confused.
"Do you not remember your own daughter?" asked Joseph carefully.
"I have a daughter?" she murmured to herself, looking down as she thought about the question.
Stella swallowed, visibly, then gently took the woman's arm.
"At least allow me to escort you to your room?" she asked softly.
Her mom nodded. "That would be so nice of you. Are you really my daughter? You're so grown up! Am I really that old?"
Joseph's heart broke as he watched Stella guide the woman out of the room. All memory of Stella was gone. He had been worried what would happen when she woke, but he never imagined she wouldn't even remember her.
"Stella, I have a spell…"
"No, Joseph. I know you have a spell, but this may not be a bad thing…"
He nodded and let them go. He could restore her memory, and bring back the memory of Stella, but maybe she didn't need to also remember being a whore.
He waited while she was gone, wondering if there was anything more that he could do, then finally decided it was out of his hands. There were just some things that could not be fixed immediately with magic.
When she returned, it was quickly decided that they should go. Stella did not want to stick around now that she knew her mother didn't remember her. Besides, she needed to think about what to do next. Neither one of them really wanted to deal with the drama at the moment and since the gnome god asked, they should probably get going.
The last time they had stood on this hill, overlooking the valley, a magical storm had just swept through. It looked lush and wild now. Joseph really hoped they didn't have any encounters with demons torturing magical beasts this time, or time out bubbles.
Stella just laughed at his unease.
"Either we have something we need to kill, or we don't. I don't see how worrying at this point is going to help. We spent nine years preparing ourselves. I have my golems handy just in case, anyway. Relax, Joseph."
"I know what you're saying, Stella, but you're just as wound up as I am. I can feel it."
"Being ready to stab something that pops up, isn't the same as constantly worrying about something popping up."
"A lot of people are depending on me, Stella. The more problems I can prevent, the better it is for my people."
"But you wear yourself out, Joseph."
"It's the duty of the king to ensure the welfare of his people. The lazy who don't want to work can starve but the good people should be able to feed themselves and their children without resulting to the stuff all those families who had to sell babies to my father did. Or your mother."
She was quiet, and Joseph worried for a moment that he had gone too far.
"I need to make sure all this is dealt with before our children are born," he added softly.
"Joseph!" she cried, giving him a look, but they both knew she wasn't really mad. Neither of them had any idea how to move forward.
Giving her a sly look, that she immediately recognized, Joseph said, 'So, I finished inventing REMOVE FETUS the other day. It should let me deliver a baby without harming the mother, or the baby, in case there are complications during birth. I'm thinking of creating chimeras and transferring pregnancies next."
"Why would you do that?" she asked, uncomfortably. "That sounds…horrifying."
"Ah, well, I want to experiment with the animals I made the other day. If I can find some excellent mothers, but the traits of another are more desirable, then I could move the baby with the good traits to the good mother. The chimera thing is because I want to make flying pigs."
Rolling her eyes, she said, "Change the subject, please."
"There isn't a spell in ANIMAL as convenient as CREATE PLANTS. I'm hoping the elves' library has some books on the old plants so I can create them directly."
"That's weird, to think about. But let's change the subject again. You know I don't understand magic that well."
"You look very cute today."
"That is completely not fair! Especially when I can feel that you mean it. Change."
"I'm sorry I didn't get you new enchanted underwe…"
Joseph laughed. He knew how far he could push her, and he had reached his limit of teasing, but the pink cheeks were worth it. He would never have gone this far if anyone else was there.
It was the 417th teleport and they still hadn't felt anything. Where could that city be?
"Isn't there a better way that just going through the grid pattern?"
"Maybe, but I'm doing the …Stella do you feel that?"
Of course, she did. She already had the golems growing and her daggers out.
"Shavist! Stella, it's a portal between realms. Someone is summoning something through it!"
In front of them, a wrinkle appeared in the air. As they braced for whatever was going to pop out, it suddenly inverted. Joseph had just enough time to protect Stella from being cut in half as he was being sucked in. It wasn't summoning something to them, it was summing him somewhere else.
After the light faded, Joseph found himself standing on a large stone magic circle.
He turned to see a beautiful woman in a sexy priestess dress. If Sylva was a 10, this woman would be about an 8, but her charm magic was pitiful. She was really trying to sell it far too hard.
(OH, FOR THE LOVE OF..! LISTEN, JOSEPH, YOU CAN'T JUDGE ME FOR THINGS IN MY PAST. I WAS YOUNG. I DIDN'T KNOW ANY BETTER.)
"Hero, god has sent you to us, to aid us in our hour of most desperate need."
He cast it on the rune inside of him, to keep the group of guards and other priests, in the room from realizing he was casting a spell.
It magnificently, didn't work.
(JOSEPH, EVERY REALM OPERATES MANA DIFFERENTLY TO CAST SPELLS. YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO USE YOUR MAGIC HERE.)
'Screw that, system. I learned spells directly from the runes. They should work anywhere. You might change the amount of gravity in a new realm but you can't go to an even vaguely similar realm and not have gravity.'
ANALYZE CREATURE. ANALYZE CREATURE. ANALYZE CREATURE.
(I'M TELLING YOU IT'S NOT THAT EASY.)
'Oh, I need to add 1/10 of pi to everything.'
'Finally, it works. System, what kind of shavist are you trying to pull?'
(WOW, THAT WORKED?! UM… I TOLD YOU NOT TO JUDGE ME BASED ON A FAILED BETA VERSION. EVEN I'M NOT SURE HOW THIS GOT RELEASED.)
"Oh, great hero, sent by the gods, please tell us your name."
Joseph stared at the information from the priestess.
Name: Lilianna Roshark
Status: 2nd princess
Then he looked at his own.
Name: Joseph Aurum
Status: ***** **** (Rogue King)
Job: **** ****** (Rune Master)
This didn't bode well…