Chapter 56:

Hysminai

The Children of Eris


The sun was low by the time David’s party had arrived at the Goddess’s Eye Lake.Bookmark here

David and the others stepped out and gazed at the crystal blue waters of the lake. On the other side of the lake, they could see the vast snowy mountain range in the distance, piercing through the clouds. Bookmark here

However, they had no idea where exactly the tomb was.Bookmark here

“Scylla, Charybdis, how large are your monster forms?” David asked.Bookmark here

“Master, it’s rude to ask a lady such a thing,” Scylla answered bashfully.Bookmark here

Charybdis, however, kept her normal sweet smile and answered. “We are about sixty metres long, Dark Lord.”Bookmark here

The more I learn, the more scared I become. Also, what was with Scylla’s response?!Bookmark here

“I see,” David mumbled. “Perhaps it might be best to explore other options then. If enough people saw you in your monster form, then that could complicate matters.”Bookmark here

Not unless there’s a story about a massive sea snake living in the lake.Bookmark here

“Jorōgumo, could we use your webs to construct a bridge and cross to the other side?” David asked.Bookmark here

“If the lake was smaller than this, I would be able to easily,” Jorōgumo replied. Bookmark here

“In that case, one of the twins will have to ferry us across. Which of you-?”Bookmark here

“I will!” Scylla eagerly volunteered, raising her hand.Bookmark here

Her sister giggled beside her. “While it would have been an honour to do it myself, I think it’s only fair that Scylla does it. Dark Lord, I would recommend that you throw Scylla as far as possible into the lake before she transforms?”Bookmark here

“So that she’s deep enough in the water to swim?” Bookmark here

“Yes, Dark Lord.”Bookmark here

“Very well. Scylla.”Bookmark here

“Yes!” Scylla skipped over to David with a dagger in hand. She crossed her arms over her chest. “Please throw me whenever you are ready, Master!”Bookmark here

How the hell am I meant to respond to that? David thought.Bookmark here

He picked her up with one arm and threw her with all of his might over the lake.Bookmark here

As she flew through the air, Scylla took a deep breath, then plunged the dagger deep into her heart. Bookmark here

Instantly, her face contorted in agony as the poison spread throughout her body. Bookmark here

It attacked her like a roaring fire.Bookmark here

She bit down hard on her lip, but couldn’t stop herself from screaming.Bookmark here

After a few more seconds, her body shook and a green pulse burst out from her body.Bookmark here

It spread for a mile through the water and scared thousands of fish away from her.Bookmark here

Back on the shore of the lake, David, Charybdis and Jorōgumo watched and waited.Bookmark here

“How shallow is the water near the shore?” David wondered, peeking into the water.Bookmark here

“It shouldn’t matter, Master. We should all have the physical strength to leap from the shore onto my sister’s back,” Charybdis said, albeit with a slightly sad tone in her voice.Bookmark here

“Is something wrong, Charybdis?”Bookmark here

“Forgive me for not telling you sooner, Dark Lord, but there is a terrible burden placed upon us whenever we transform.”Bookmark here

“A burden?”Bookmark here

Charybdis nodded solemnly. “The poison we use to transform is very potent and painful. It courses through our bodies and causes a pain greater than any other in this world. And.” She looked over the surface of the water as it began to stir. “It is a pain that lingers and grows inside us when we transform.”Bookmark here

Several long, emerald coloured snake heads burst through the surface of the lake, stretching ten metres high and groaning. They flashed their dagger like teeth and the beast began to slowly swim towards the shore, getting as close as it could.Bookmark here

Scylla was able to get within a hundred metres before it couldn’t get any closer. She then lowered her body back into the water in case she could be seen by someone nearby.Bookmark here

“…I see,” David said, a conflicted expression across his face.Bookmark here

She volunteered even though it’d hurt her that much? David thought. That’s an amazing level of dedication, but I wonder how long the twins would be able to endure that agony. I wonder if Eris gave them that drawback to make me feel more conflicted about using them. Bookmark here

“Master?” Jorōgumo asked.Bookmark here

David shook his head, then opened a portal behind him. “Raven, return to the Keep and tell them that we’re going across the lake. If anyone needs me, have them me through Jorōgumo’s brood.”Bookmark here

“At once, your majesty.”Bookmark here

The Raven took the carriage back to the Dread Keep and David closed the portal. Bookmark here

“Charybdis, Jorōgumo, let’s go.”Bookmark here

The three of them leapt from the shoreline and landed on Scylla’s back. Once they were on, Scylla turned around and swam towards the other side of the lake.Bookmark here

With Scylla’s size and swimming speed, it only took them two minutes to cross the forty-mile-wide lake.Bookmark here

Once at the shore line, David, Charybdis and Jorōgumo leapt off of Scylla’s back before she transformed in the water to her human form. Jorōgumo shot some threads towards Scylla’s, who grabbed onto them tightly, and pulled her out of the water.Bookmark here

“Excellent work, Scylla,” David said, patting her on the head. “How are you feeling?”Bookmark here

“I’m fine, master,” Scylla said with a big smile. “All that pain goes away once I transform back to this form.”Bookmark here

“You aren’t lying to me so that I don’t worry about you, are you?”Bookmark here

A deadly serious expression overcame her face and she dropped onto one knee. “I wouldn’t dare lie to you, Master. My sister and I will not make the same mistakes as our predecessors and will tell you the truth whenever you desire us to.”Bookmark here

“It is as my sister says, Master.” Charybdis knelt beside her sister. “It is true that we experience great pain when transformed and when we transform, but that pain evaporates the moment we change back into this form.”Bookmark here

David smiled a little beneath his helmet. That’s a relief.Bookmark here

“Then, why did you not tell me about the pain before Scylla volunteered?” He askedBookmark here

“It is because we didn’t want to worry you, Dark Lord,” Charybdis responded. “No matter what you ask of us, as your chosen generals, we should endeavour to perform your orders to the best of our abilities, regardless of whatever suffering we must endure.”Bookmark here

“Even then, Charybdis, Scylla, I want you to tell me everything upfront from now on. Is that understood?”Bookmark here

“Yes, my liege!” The twins answered.Bookmark here

David turned back to the mountains and scanned for any signs or indications where Karak-Harth’s tomb was but, unfortunately, it looked like it wasn’t going to be as simple as he’d hoped.Bookmark here

“The stories say that Karak-Harth was buried in a tomb, right?” David asked. Bookmark here

“That is what Mímir said, Master,” she replied.Bookmark here

I thought that a guy as infamous as Karak-Harth would’ve been buried in a big, scary tomb or castle like the Shadow Tombs, David thought. He crossed his arms in contemplation and sighed. We’ll be here all day if they just picked a random plot of land to bury the guy in.Bookmark here

“I guess they wouldn’t give the man who betrayed Themis a big, extravagant tomb, would they?” David muttered. “Scylla, Charybdis; follow the base of the mountains and head to the left. Jorōgumo and I will do the same and go right.”Bookmark here

“Master, if one of us does find the tomb, how are we meant to let the other group know?” Jorōgumo asked. Bookmark here

“I and all of my generals are capable of teleporting to places we have already visited, aren’t we?”Bookmark here

“Yes, master,” Charybdis replied. “Master, to make the search easier, should we summon our Hysminai now?”Bookmark here

On their journey to the Goddess’s Eye, Charybdis had informed David that she and her sister were capable of summoning demons from portals like Abaddon was. However, where Abaddon could summon Machai from his, the twins could summon demons called Hysminai from theirs.Bookmark here

There’s no reason not to summon them, and it gives me a chance to see what these new soldiers are capable of, David thought.Bookmark here

“Summon them.”Bookmark here

“At once, my liege,” the twins answered.Bookmark here

The two girls stood opposite each other and conjured bright yellow portals behind them. Bookmark here

Then, from each portal, stepped out a tall, fully armoured female warrior. Bookmark here

The demons stepped to one side and ten more of their kind stepped through each portal. Once they were all through, they moved in sync with one another into formation, and stood at attention.Bookmark here

“Master, allow me to introduce the Hysminai!” Scylla proudly declared.Bookmark here

The Hysminai stood two metres tall, they all wore plate armour that looked like a twisted, black tree, and their eyes glowed a soft yellow like a cat’s at night. Each of them was quite muscular, but not as much as the Machai were.Bookmark here

Each Hysmine carried a spear and shield in its hands, and had a long sword strapped to their side. Just like their armour, parts of their weapons looked like they were made of a twisted, tree looking metal. Bookmark here

Their sword’s hilts and the twisted metal shields that they were holding reminded David of a tree branch. The shafts of their spears looked like they had been made from a blackened tree.Bookmark here

“What do you think of them, Master?” Scylla asked, puffing out her chest a little.Bookmark here

“Are they to your satisfaction, Dark Lord?” Charybdis inquired. Bookmark here

Satisfaction? They look strong as hell! David cheered in his mind. Bookmark here

“I guarantee their strength, Dark Lord,” Charybdis replied. Bookmark here

David let out a low chuckle. “They do look the part. I hope to see that strength in person soon enough. How many of them would you be able to summon in a month?”Bookmark here

“Between the pair of us, maybe five hundred, Charybdis replied.Bookmark here

So, roughly the same number of Machai that Abaddon can summon? David held in his frustrations and shut his eyes. I know it’s probably Eris’s fault that they can only summon so many a month, but it’s still annoying nonetheless. At the very least, I’m now certain that Eris isn’t going to let me rely on a summoned army to forge my empire.Bookmark here

However. David frowned. Even if I know that, I don’t have any other leads on potential allies I could make. Sylvan’s network is all but gone, Jorōgumo’s spiders are numerous and we have the giants on our side, but that’s not enough. We don’t have the numbers and our strength might be very lacking, for all I know.Bookmark here

It might be worth having Hilda or Jessica’s team fight the spiders and the giants to gage their strength. Bookmark here

“…Master?” Scylla asked softly with a hint of fear in her voice. “Is everything okay?”Bookmark here

David turned to face her again and nodded. “Yes. Sorry, I was just thinking about something else. Five hundred extra soldiers a month is a great boon.”Bookmark here

The twins smiled happily in relief.Bookmark here

Let’s not think about that right now. Bookmark here

“Servants, go forth and find the Tomb of Karak-Harth!”Bookmark here

Bookmarked
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