Silhouetted by the starlight, the daughter of the Sun Wolf began her tale. “My mother lived in a small hamlet near a subsidiary city within the Heavenly Wolf Mercenary territory. She was a commoner, never having awakened as a feral and stagnant at the level of a Tier 2 Shadow mage.
“She was a kind soul, who had never stepped a foot outside the settlement. Happily married to her friend from childhood who made enough from his carpentry to provide for them both, her only aspiration was to birth him a child and live the rest of her days managing her small family. She was a perfect woman living a perfect life.
“If she had a fault, it would be that she was beautiful. Too beautiful. And beauty without strength is the seed of tragedy.
“One day, while she was hanging up the laundry to dry in the courtyard, a man dressed in extremely expensive clothing accompanied by a retinue of four bodyguards drove up to the gate in a carriage.
“When he laid his eyes upon her, she was covered with gooseflesh at the naked lust in his gaze. sensing their evil intentions, her husband came out to meet them, only to be run through by the man’s sword.
“The following hours were a blur of pain and anguish in her mind but she recalled being raped repeatedly over the corpse of her husband.
“When the sun finally rose the next day, the man just got up and left without a second word, leaving her life in shambles.
“The last thing she remembered before she passed out was the baker’s good-for-nothing son’s lascivious vision as it roved over her naked and battered body before he turned back to the man, plying him with flattery, as they departed on his carriage.
“When she awoke at noon, she dragged her aching body up and began packing her bags as fast as she could. Only one thing remained in her mind: she had to leave before the baker’s son came back and tried to take advantage of her.
“She left the settlement that had been her world until then, one woman alone against the brutal world. But before she left, she took a knife to her face. For beauty without strength was a disaster in the making, she knew that now.”
Steven’s heart trembled as he imagined her state of mind. Widowed, raped, abandoned and targeted. What level of despair was required for a woman, specially a beautiful woman to mutilate her face? He didn’t know and couldn’t imagine.
She continued, “She travelled from village to village, sometimes on foot, sometimes hitching a ride on a carriage. She earned her keep, cooking, cleaning and laundering others’ clothes. All the while, travelling further and further away from the site of her trauma.
“Her scarred face, rough hands and unkempt hair kept the men away and time slowly began to heal her shattered heart. Until one morning she woke up nauseous.
“She was pregnant with me. She never told me how close I came to never being born, but I can guess. I was the living reminder of her tragedy. Salt on her wounds.
“The fact that she not only decided to bring me into the world, but also treated me as her most precious possession only makes me love her more.
“The only indication of her inner turmoil was my name: Hei Lian, meaning black lotus. Just like a lotus blooms on mud and filth, I was born of her darkest memory. I was her mental repose. A symbol for her that something positive had come of her suffering.
“She was filled with a morbid fear that I would somehow attract the attention of her tormentor. So, it came to be that for the most of my childhood, I grew up cosseted within the confines of our cottage at the outskirts of the villages where we stayed, moving from village to village every few months.”
She paused briefly and when she resumed her story, her voice was heavy with sorrow. “She was right in her fears for it was because of me that we were exposed.
“The curious child that I was, I detested the restrictions placed upon me and one day catching a loophole in her supervision I rushed to the village to play.
“I was merely twelve, yet, I had inherited my mother’s beauty and in a backwater village, where had the men ever laid eyes upon anything remotely close?”
Her gaze turned sharp. “It wasn’t long before the delinquents drew me to a secluded area. I had no idea what they wanted from me but their looks engendered an instinctive fear in me, so, I screamed at them to leave me alone.
“And they did. Their eyes turning vacant as they mindlessly walked away. Amused by their obedience and ignorant of what it meant, I treated them as my toys, ordering them about, enjoying my dominion over them.
“That was how my distraught mother found me, playing house with my thralls. When I excitedly invited her to join in, she walked up to me and slapped me across the face.
She caressed her cheek nostalgically. “I was shocked. It was the first time she had ever raised her hand against me.”
“Mother dragged me back to our house and that very night we packed our bags and fled the village before my actions could be discovered. Over the next five years, mother was even more discreet, bordering on paranoid, as we hopped from village to village.
“If not for the strict border patrols and discrimination against those with the wolf bloodlines in the neighbouring areas, she would have tried to leave the jurisdiction of the Heavenly Wolf Mercenaries.
“The rebellious teenager that I was, one day as she was packing her bags, I put my foot down and refused to move until she explained why.
“And she did.
“She told me of my heritage. Over the years, the most explosive news that had spread among the masses was the rise of the new Alpha. Father’s portrait had been disseminated among the masses and from it, mother had learnt of his identity.
“She told me what I was. A female Alpha. In a society dominated by men, I was an aberration. With the inborn ability to command those with the bloodline of the wolf, my kind were slated to be killed on discovery. Or preferably, burnt on the stake as witches.
“As an Alpha, those with wolfen bloodlines would find it very hard to ignore my words unless they were at the fourth realm of cultivation or higher. The stronger I was, the stronger the suppression on their minds.
“My display back in the village would have made it clear for any experienced eye that I was an Alpha and a report would have been sent to my father. A stray Alpha in his territory would be a clear challenge to his authority and he would respond swiftly and violently.
“Over the years whenever I had asked about my father, mother had always indoctrinated me on how horrible he was and I didn’t find it hard to believe that he would have me burnt at the stake without hesitation.
“Thus, I too grew paranoid of being discovered and followed mother’s lead in leaving as few traces as possible as we moved our abode frequently.
“Yet, soon, we were faced with another problem. My imminent awakening. My magical talent was extremely strong, what with my affinity to hellfire, a combination of shadow and fire affinities. It was a given that I would turn Feral. Thus, if I wanted to preserve my sanity, I would need to get married.
“But, who would marry a female Alpha and risk getting burned at the stake alongside them? Thus, we decided that I would enthral a man of my choosing and order him into marrying me.
Her eyes hardened, “Thus, it came to be that we mother and daughter fell into the invisible snare laid out by the Heavenly Wolf Mercenaries to detect the presence of young female Alphas in their territory.
“The Tamer who mother contacted, betrayed our whereabouts to the sect headquarters and one day when I came back from collecting herbs in the nearby woods, I saw a train of carriages at our door.
“I sneaked around the back and peered through the window. A regal woman was standing over the lifeless form of my mother.”
Hei Lian closed her eyes and took a deep breath to stabilize herself as a tear slid down her cheek, glistening in the starlight.
Steven felt his heart clench in sympathy. When she opened her eyes, they were apathetic and she continued in a hoarse voice, “My affinity to Hellfire means emotional suffering empowers me. In that moment, I turned Feral and broke into Tier 2.
“I don’t remember much of what happened then because it was a blur of rage and blood, but I remember someone in the woman’s guard taking me down.
“When I awoke, I was shackled hand and foot inside a cell, naked as the day I was born. Rather than a cage, it was a solid metallic room with only a door and no windows.
“At regular intervals, a plate of food connected to a rope would be passed into the cell through the flap on the door and after an hour, it would be withdrawn. Similarly, for the chamber pot. Baths involved hosing down with a jet of water followed by a stream of warm air. And when I turned Feral, my shackles would shock me into unconsciousness.
“Oh, I tried escaping. The shackles and the floor were covered with heterogenous mana that made it impossible to shadow walk through them. Thus, I languished there without even a window to judge the diurnal cycle. I knew not how long I stayed in that cell but after a time, a voice began to ask me whether I was willing to submit.
“I didn’t know who it was that spoke but I knew they were the ones responsible for my mother’s death and I would rather die than surrender to their whims. And something fundamental inside me baulked at the concept of submission… it claimed that I should be the one in charge.
“So, my frozen life continued. I ate because I was too stubborn to die, I slept because my body demanded it and I screamed insults at my captors for it was my only entertainment.
“Every so often, the mechanical male voice would ask me whether I wished to surrender. It was the only break in the monotony of my life. And I began to enjoy inventing new invective filled replies to its invariable question.
“I began counting my days by it.”
Steven stared at her wide eyed in surprise. He would never have guessed that she had such a storied past. She turned her gaze outside the window where the starlight was slowly desalinating as the sky grew lighter.
“It took me ten years by my count to finally submit. One day, I just ran out of invectives and after remaining frozen for a long time with my mouth open, I finally broke down, begging for them to release me, promising them whatever they wanted.
“The door opened and two men came in, one was a thoroughly average looking man with an extremely unusual pair of eyes, while the other was the Tamer that had betrayed us.
“The man had the Tamer join us via his contract magic and thus we were bonded together. Over the duration of the next six months, he kept visiting my cell regularly, training my obedience and strengthening our bond.
“He promised me that when the bond turned a dark red, he would let me leave the cell. At that time, I would have licked his feet if he had asked for it. He was my only pillar in the stilled time of the cell and I was at the brink of collapse.”
Pausing for a moment, she turned around to fix him with her gaze. “I entered the cells at the age of seventeen, I came out at the age of twenty.”
Steven’s brows furrowed in confusion. Noticing it, she smiled mirthlessly.
“It was all a clever trick. By adjusting the frequency of my meals with appetite enhancing drugs and varying the intervals between the questions, they gave me a false impression that ten years had passed when only two and a half had in reality.
“The following six months were to build the strength of our bond and readjust my body and mind back to normal speeds.”
Her eyes were like the abyss. “Time is a fearful strength. It can corrode all. Even the firmest of wills.
“It was only later that I learnt that my contractor was my father.”
“What!?” Steven exclaimed incredulously.
She shook her head, smirking self-depreciatingly, “Really, you live in paradise. For cultivators, strength is paramount. No method is considered too despicable for us. Really, a father marrying his daughter is nothing, specially since he had me sterilized on the day of our marriage. At least he doesn’t want me to bear his children.”
Steven sputtered, “B-but what about Young Master Lupin’s mother? What about his actual wife.”
Her smile widened into a feral grin. “Why? Dead, of course. She became a heart’s demon, so she was excepted. You don’t understand. In Huaxia, there are forever more women than men at the high levels of cultivation as the men are continuously fighting over resources, while the women are kept at home.
“What would happen if you found a woman whose elemental affinity complemented your own perfectly? Would you let your current bond to your wife get in the way of greater strength? As a cultivator, you wouldn’t. Your wife would be labelled a heart’s demon and severing your emotions to her and killing her would be part of your cultivation.”
She got down from the window sill and began pacing in the room.
“Do you know why my father is called the Sun Wolf? It is because he was born of the union of a red wolf and a moon wolf bloodline holder. Their disparate gifts of light and fire merged into the solar wolf bloodline that runs through his veins. You have no idea how rare this is, do you? One in ten-thousand would be close to the actual statistics.
“And for me to be born of his single union with my mother… a female hellfire wielder with the bloodline trait of an Alpha. It was like I was born to be his boost.”
She grew more excited as she spoke, her voice rising in pitch and volume until at the end, it was a shrill shriek. Steven recoiled from the madness that had bubbled up from the depths of her eyes.
Suddenly, she grew calm, “But he underestimated the resilience of the Alpha trait.” She turned her gaze to him.
Her eyes were emotionless. The first rays of dawn shone behind her, giving her a sanguine corona.
Slowly, in a titillating manner, she shrugged off her dress until she was fully exposed to him, her alabaster skin dyed red under the light of the rising sun.
Snapping her fingers, chains of shadow sprang up from the bed and bound Steven, spreading his arms and legs apart, tying down his neck.
Exhausted as he was from his injury and a night without sleep, his struggles were futile as he helplessly watched her approach him.
Her eyes were like portals to the netherworld as she muttered under her breath, “It’s time I excepted my heart’s demon too.”
Steven protested feebly, “Hey! Wait! No need for the chains… I-I can coordinate.”
Her gaze turned cruel. Stepping forward in a long stride that did interesting things to her chest, she slapped him right across his face before pinching his chin and tilting his head back until his eyes met hers. “Oh? You would like that, wouldn’t you? You disgusting pervert! You talk to me and yet your eyes are forever fixed on my chest. You know who you remind me of in my story? Hmm?”
“Wu wu wu!”
She tilted her head till her ear was close to his lips. “What was that? Your puny brain can’t figure it out? It’s the baker’s good-for-nothing son who sold off my mother to father due to jealousy and so he could partake of his leftovers. Doesn’t it just sound so familiar? Isn’t that what you did to your clan mate? Directing my foolish little half-brother towards her!?”
Her nails dug into his cheeks, drawing blood.
“But, I must thank you. If not for your meddling, I would never get this opportunity. Father had already noticed the weakening bond and if not for the sudden Duel with your clan head, I was scheduled for another round of ‘training’.”
She released his face with a painful jerk as her nails morphed into claws and she slashed through his flimsy hospital gown leaving him naked.
“W-why? Why!? Why are you suddenly behaving like this? Like you’re completely different! If you were so disgusted by me, then why the daily conversations? Why the magical advice? Why tell me the story of your life? Why were you so nice to me when you hated me all along? I-I fell mph!”
She slammed her palm onto his mouth stifling his voice.
“You fell in love with me, right?”
His eyes widened and he struggled to speak with renewed vigour, “Wu wu wu!”
Rolling her eyes, she slammed her knee into his crotch, causing him to go cross-eyed and convulse. With a scrunched face she removed her palm which had traces of his saliva. Wiping it off on the bed with disgust, she snapped her fingers again and further shadow chains sprang out of the bed, gagging him.
“Well, basically, it was fun.” She shrugged, “I told you, my trait makes me enjoy dominating others. While I can use it on those with wolf bloodlines with but a word, even without it, if I can control the actions of others, the trait not only feeds back an intense satisfaction, it also grows stronger.
“With you it was so easy. A few words here, a few attentive nods there, a flash of cleavage and you were panting like a dog in heat. Oh, let’s not forget… ‘Elder sister is so impressed.’ Ugh! I wanted to throw up.”
She slowly began to move her knee up and down, grinning cruelly as she felt him grow erect.
“I was right about you. You are a pervert through and through. I mean, who enjoys a knee to the balls enough to get erect?”
Pinching his nipple, she twisted it hard, making him groan through his gag.
“As for the story of my life… well, it was for me as much as it was for you… speaking of it to someone helped me work through some of the layers of his mental conditioning. It didn’t hurt that it made you sympathise with me even more.
“It made your betrayed expression even sweeter.”
Suddenly, she clutched the marking on the side of her neck and hugged herself as she shivered.
When she looked up, there was a maniacal glint in her eyes.
“He’s using it.” She whispered.
“He’s using it!” she shouted.
Straddling him, she plunged his erect penis into her wet depths. Unable to withstand the sudden shift from pain to pleasure, Steven groaned as he reached his orgasm, shooting his lust deep into her womb.
Felling the sudden influx of warmth, she snapped out of her frenzy with an incredulous “Already?”
Steven felt his ego shrink while contrarily his penis grew harder.
Her look turned into one of pure despising before she shook her head and began to move her hips in a complicated pattern, treating his member as a masturbatory tool, only looking out for her own pleasure.
Yet, her tight, warm, wet elastic folds, her energetic movements and her bouncing breasts easily brought Steven to the brink of another climax.
This time though, he clenched his teeth, squeezed his ass and tried to endure desperately for his fragile ego could not take another blow.
Hei Lian knew her body and she was clear about what she wanted. Using his engorged member to scratch her pleasure points, she rapidly worked herself further and further towards climax.
With feral growl, her insides convulsed as she collapsed in a sweaty heap on top of his body. Her orgasm pushed him over the edge and with a stifled grunt, he too shot his second load into her depths.
The contract marking flashed a bright red before it dissipated leaving clean unblemished skin behind.
Laughter bubbled up from within her, and she started chuckling at first before it escalated into full blown laughter before she was forced to stop by a hard case of hiccups.
She sat up, supporting herself up with her hands on his chest.
Her eyes were brilliant as she savoured the feeling of freedom and the taste of vengeance.
Her father was dead.
The Heavenly Wolf Mercenaries had no Alpha.
Maybe, it was time for a female Alpha to rule them all.
Looking down at the boy who had made it all possible, she suddenly felt that he was quite cute.
Now that her contractor was dead, she would need a replacement if she didn’t want to turn Feral.
Maybe, she should take him with her when she went to conquer her homeland.
She smiled cruelly.
He seemed to be worth training.
End of Volume 3.