“Don’t blame yourself, Ryuu,” Erik is comforting me. “It would be out sooner or later.”
“But later would be so much better!” I oppose, devastated.
“What are the reactions?” Ingri asks.
“As expected—enthusiastic from Draconians, fearful from humans,” Fefnir says.
“But it’s just a rumour, right? A hear-say,” Erik is hopeful.
“I’m afraid not,” Fefnir shakes his head, pissed. “Someone recorded Aefener when he was demonstrating it.”
“Kurva,” Erik swears in Czech. “Another fucking leaker.”
“It just proves we have to establish some kind of inner circle that would consist of people we can really trust,” Deminas says.
“You basically mean high-levels only,” Twyla points out. “What about the majority of Draconians?”
“So we’re sticking to this name?” Ingri ponders. “Draconians?”
“We have to name ourselves somehow,” Fefnir shrugs. “It has a nice ring to it and people have already adopted it.”
“Wait a sec,” I realise. “Is every player of Draconia transforming? Even those who didn’t play much or started the game just a few days ago?”
“A good question,” Erik agrees. “People whose immersion level was very low should be weeks behind high-levels so we’ll have to wait to know the answer, right?”
“Anyway, we have to start organising ourselves immediately,” Deminas continues with the topic. “Unfortunately, I don’t know how else to avoid leakers unless we invite only high-levels we know personally and are in our leading guilds.”
“It seems so…,” I’m searching for the right word, “snobbish.”
“Just for the time being,” Twyla says diplomatically. “We can have proper elections later.”
I stay doubtful but my friends are eager to pull this plan through.
“Ryuuto, for Christ’s sake!” Erik shouts in horror.
“W-what?” I get startled.
“You’re spilling it!”
I look at my soup to find out that it’s spiralling wildly and leaking over the edge. I’ve been checking my phone during lunch and haven’t touched my meal for a minute or so. And in that minute I was distracted, the soup started doing weird shit.
“I… I wasn’t doing it on purpose,” I defend myself.
“Aefener, you have to start training right away,” Liana widens her eyes. “Your powers are getting out of control. Next time you might start heating the air and hurt someone.”
“Shouldn’t spells require some kind of preparation even here?” I feel overwhelmed. “Like chanting, transfiguration symbols… I don’t know.”
“It’s probably just a usage of your spontaneous telekinesis,” Erik says.
“Li, did you try magic?” I ask.
“Of course,” she nods. “Nothing happened. I mean… I feel my mana. At least I think I do. But I haven’t managed to actually move anything just with my mind yet.”
“What about now?” Fefnir throws a tray at her without any warning.
Liana shrieks, twitches and… the tray flies into a different direction.
“You can do it!” he grins victoriously.
“Du Trottel! You stupid prick!” Liana is furious. “Don’t go scaring me like that!”
“I knew it would work. It worked for Aefener before,” he shrugs.
“Yeah, with a soft pillow!” she berates him. “You threw a tray at me, dumbass.”
“Let’s train together,” I propose. “We’re the first Celestials to fully transform so we’re ahead and can teach others what we discover. That way we can hopefully prevent magical accidents.”
Liana agrees and, after an hour rest because she still needs to take is easy, we start our very first magic training session. Just to be safe, Hana took anything sharp away from the room and gave us a plastic table-cloth in case we spill something on the bed.
“I can document it now that the secret is out, right?” Dr Stein asks.
“Yes, but don’t film it,” Liana states a condition. “We’ll probably take a long time anyway and I want to make a nicely cut video later with proper explanation when we get the hang of it.”
Dr Stein nods and readies her laptop so that she can at least take notes. Erik, Fefnir and Ingri sit and watch us intently which only makes Liana nervous.
“Don’t stare like that!” she complains. “I can’t focus.”
Fefnir shrugs and takes out his tablet. Ingri goes to take care of my social media again and Erik helps her. They still look up from time to time to check our progress but it’s not unnerving anymore.
“Magic requires focus but in case of our spontaneous telekinesis, the key is not to overthink it,” I try to explain because Liana seems lost. “You’re already able to do it in your defence so just trust yourself that you can do it whenever.”
I let a few objects levitate around us. Liana stares at them in envy.
“Do I need to activate my mana somehow?” she asks.
“I guess,” I shrug. “But I don’t feel my mana being depleted by simple telekinesis so it’s probably just a tiny fragment of it. Just as you’d lift your arm and it takes some calories.”
“Telekinesis… simple,” Dr Stein mumbles and shakes her head in disbelief.
Liana ignores her and focuses on a book in front of her.
“Just wish it move,” I give hints. “Imagine in your mind that it floats up.”
The books twitches and flops over. It doesn’t exactly fly up but it’s something.
“I made it move!” Liana is overjoyed.
“Just like that,” I smile.
We spent an hour practicing until Liana gets exhausted. She was able to make the book float for a while in the end but it wasn’t as smooth as I expected. Still, Dr Stein is more than happy and shows Liana her notes for confirmation she can publish it.
“It’s so damn hard!” Liana is furious. “How come you seem to do it so effortlessly?”
“I’m a few days ahead of you,” I remind her.
“Nah, you could do it almost immediately after your transformation and you had no teacher,” she sighs. “Once the best caster, always the best caster.”
“I doubt our original levels will mean anything here,” I shrug.
“What if they will?” Fefnir, who was silent until now, speaks up. “The top player of each race automatically became its ruler.”
“Ingame, not here,” I say.
“It makes even more sense here,” Fefnir insists. “Especially if our mentality is changing as well. We respect only skill when it comes to our leaders. In case of Celestials, magic ability.”
“Plus, Aefener looks like the Emperor,” Ingri agrees.
“Ridiculous,” I roll my eyes and look at Erik for support.
“I don’t know how it worked in your game,” he scratches his chin. “But considering how good you obviously are with magic, your appearance and popularity… well… Ryuu, I’m afraid you should start preparing for that eventuality.”
“Me?” I point to my nose. “Becoming the Celestial Emperor in the real world? You nuts? Everyone can see Liana would be much better choice. I’m just a student. Apart from being a streamer, nobody really. I can maybe represent us as a kind of spokesperson but that’s it.”
“And that’s where you’re wrong, Aefener,” Liana yawns tiredly. “You’re far better suited to lead our race than me.”
“B-but… you’re the Laura Richter,” I shake my head violently. “You have the influence, the riches, you know politics and business.”
“Which makes me perfect as your viceroy,” she says. “In the Emperor, we look for something entirely else. We need the best magic caster and flier among us and an idealist. You fit those criteria perfectly, Aefener.”
“It’s still quite far in the future,” Erik holds my hand because he can tell I’m starting to feel anxious about the whole thing. “Calm down, Ryuu, you’re doing stuff again.”
“Right, mind stopping that?” Fefnir points towards two pillows that keep bouncing against the wall.
I take a deep breath and levitate them back onto Liana’s bed.
“It seems emotion management will be crucial for Celestials,” Ingri comments.
“For the Dragonkin as well. Don’t forget about that broken chair,” Liana says.
“I assure you I’m in control of my… oh shit,” Fefnir doesn’t finish his sentence and whines instead.
“W-what?” we get startled. Especially me because I can feel he’s hurting.
“S-suppressing p-pain… not always s-smart,” he starts panting and collapses on his knees.
We notice Fefnir’s pants are getting bloody. Erik and Dr Stein jump in, drag him on Liana’s bed and the doctor pulls his trousers down without any hesitation.
“His tail is coming out,” she states the obvious and gulps.
We call Hana and she hurries with water, clean bandages and disinfectant. Fefnir is panting and swearing but he doesn’t seem to be in total agony like Liana or me. I want to blunt his pain but I can’t connect to Fefnir without him finding out, his mind is too awake.
He’ll be fine just as Deminas was, Erik assures me.
B-but… I want to help him.
He doesn’t need it. Besides, other Draconians won’t have a telepathic friend.
Everything is going too fast. One second Dr Stein is disinfecting her hands, the other Fefnir’s tail is already cutting through the skin. Inhuman… it’s totally inhuman. Strangely, it doesn’t feel that alien, though. For some reason I feel that it’s okay—how it should be. Did my perception of things change without me noticing?
Fefnir is cursing and I find out that I had no idea how many swear words exist in Czech. Fortunately, it takes Dr Stein only a few seconds to pull his tail out. It’s so much quicker and safer than a Celestial transformation.
Plus, Fefnir doesn’t faint afterwards. He half-closes his eyes and is whining while the doctor is stopping his bleeding but he’s managing surprisingly fine. I can feel his pain and it is excruciating but the way his body and brain handle it… that’s Dragonkin resilience.
Fefnir didn’t faint but he fell into deep sleep right after that. Liana’s bodyguards had to carry him into his bed because his body is too heavy for us. And he’ll get even sturdier—the Dragonkin are all scales and muscles.
Are you okay? Erik asks. No headache?
No, I wasn’t connecting to him so I didn’t feel it that intensely. And it seems I got used to my friends’ minds by now so there shouldn’t be any problems in the future. I really like them so it’s only Dr Stein I’m not comfortable with. But one person is nothing.
“Li? What is it?” I look towards her because she’s frowning over her laptop.
“Going through all the work that cumulated while I was indisposed,” she sighs. “Hana and my assistants did their best but lots of things require my authorisation. Also,” she chews her lip, “the government keeps pushing me again since your telekinesis is out.”
“Is it bad?” I shiver.
“Well,” she clicks her tongue, “the only thing that prevents them from claiming you is the fact that you’re under my protection. If you stayed home…”
“He’d be locked up somewhere and experimented on,” Erik finishes the sentence, his expression grim.
“But lots of high-levels will go through their transformation in a few days,” I oppose. “Why are they so interested in me specifically?”
“You’re still the patient zero,” she reminds me. “And I think they suspect your miraculous ingame magic ability might transfer here. Which is something we need to confirm for ourselves as well so keep training, Aefener.”
“Do you think our spellcasting will actually work?” I say. “I doubt saying some made-up fantasy words will actually produce a spell. As if I would say ‘Ignis Minor’ and that casts a small flame.”
To demonstrate it’s a nonsense, I put up my palm, focus just as I would in the game and try channelling that vibrating energy I feel inside me. And, contrary to my belief, my palm lights up!
“Ah, dammit. O-ouch!” I scream and in panic try to shake the flame off because it’s burning my skin.
“Oh my God!” Liana shrieks but for a different reason. The little flame got on the bedsheet and is spreading.
The only person who keeps their cool is Erik which isn’t that surprising considering his occupation. He quickly takes a pillow and extinguishes the fire in time. Then we stare at the black hole in the bedsheet and my burnt palm for a while.
“Ryuu, are you okay?” Erik speaks first and takes a look at my palm.
“N-no,” my eyes water. “It fucking hurts. It didn’t ingame.”
“Well, this is the real world and you did materialise a flame on your skin, dummy,” Erik says lightly to calm me down.
Liana gains her composure and calls Dr Stein. The doctor glares at my burn with her mouth open wide so Liana has to nudge her to do the job.
“We need a safe environment to practice,” Liana summarises while Dr Stein is tending my injury. “It’s confirmed that magic can get easily out of control and that was only a level 1 spell.”
“We have to announce it immediately,” Erik says and is hugging me because I’m still in a shock. “Someone could seriously burn their house or hurt themselves when experimenting.”
“Announce what?” Ingri enters the room. “Sorry, I had a call with my parents.”
“That,” Liana points to the blackened sheet. “Aefener tried Ignis Minor and it actually worked.”
“I still don’t understand how some made-up spell can work in the first place,” I say and my voice is trembling. “I can somehow digest telekinesis but this?”
“Celestial spells have their origin in Latin,” Ingri explains. “And Draconian lore in general is based on real-world things like mysticism, kabala and hermeticism.”
“And how do you know that?” Liana raises her eyebrows.
“I got an encyclopaedia for Christmas called Draconia Online: A Complete Guide to the Lore,” she grins. “Don’t tell me you don’t know it exists?”
“Oh, I got it from the developers as a gift,” I remember now. “But I haven’t found time to read it yet.”
“So you suggest Celestial magic might work because it’s based on some ancient mystic principles?” Erik is sceptical.
“Still better explanation than ‘it just works,’” Ingri shrugs. “Maybe the principle is universal but it needed mana to fuel so it never worked for humans.”
“Do you have healing spells as well?” Dr Stein asks curiously after she finishes bandaging my poor hand.
“Sure, but at higher levels,” I say. “Besides, it’s the Earthborn who are master healers.”
“Don’t look at me, I’m still developing,” Ingri shakes her head.
“I know, I know,” I wave my injured hand. “Let’s make that video right away, I don’t want anyone to get hurt unnecessarily.”
“Miss Richter should stay in bed, though,” Dr Stein purses her lips because it’s evident Liana wanted to call her bodyguards to carry her into the study.
“We can do it, Li, don’t worry,” I assure her. “Rest, okay?”
Liana sighs. She’s not the type who enjoys resting when there’s work to be done. But it seems she trusts me so she leaves it to us.
“I just hope our warning works,” I say when we finish the newest video in which I presented my injured hand with a brief summary of how it happened.
“It will,” Erik gives me words of encouragement. “At the very least, Draconians won’t try spellcasting inside.”
“Done, uploaded, people clicking,” Ingri announces and sounds nervous. “I need sun and fresh air, guys. Can I leave you to your own devices?”
“Sure you can,” Erik rolls his eyes.
“Already regretting I’ll miss all that BL action while I’m gone,” she smirks at us and leaves in a hurry.
The Earthborn have more ways how to sustain their bodies than just food. Compared to me, Liana and Fefnir, Ingri’s vegan diet is pretty light in calories so I guess she needs to energise somewhere else as well.
“But seriously, what does she think we’re doing when nobody’s around?” I shake my head and look at Erik.
“I hate to admit it but, in this case, she’s spot on,” Erik almost jumps at me and showers me with kisses.
I realise that we’re finally alone. We haven’t had many private moments since coming here and I’m too exhausted in the evening so it’s no wonder Erik wants to use this rare opportunity that presented to us. His desire is overwhelming and I get lost in his mind. Then he suddenly stops, disturbed by something. Oh, not something—someone. Hana is standing in the door.
“Would you mind moving into your room, please?” she asks nicely, totally indifferent towards the position she caught us in. “The maids finished cleaning it and I’d like to send them here.”
“No problem,” Erik doesn’t feel ashamed at all and quickly takes me into his arms.
“Hey, I can walk on my own now!”
“I know but you’d take too long,” he grins mischievously. “Let’s continue in our bed, shall we?”
We pass the maids in the hall and they blush when spotting us. Normally, I’d probably feel embarrassed but then I realise I’m not catching that much fear from them this time.
You really have a good effect on people, I tell him.
Well, sure. You don’t seem nearly as intimidating when I’m holding you or rather when a human is holding you.
So Liana was right, you can help us… in so many ways.
Yup, just by staying by your side.
We arrive in our room and decide to take a shower first. Fortunately, there’re several bathrooms nearby and one just two doors from the salon.
“Celestials don’t sweat much, do they?” Erik ponders when we’re undressing. “I took four more showers than you since coming here but you miraculously don’t stink or anything.”
“I don’t know if you mean it as a compliment or try to suggest I should wash more,” I say but I’m not really offended.
“The first option,” he grins and helps me out of my t-shirt because I’m struggling with my wings. Then he carefully takes off my bandages except for the newest one on my hand.
“Healing really nicely,” he comments happily on my back. “Oh, Ryuu, but that one,” he gently takes my injured hand which is bruised from Liana’s transformation in addition to the burn. “Don’t wet it, okay? I’ll wash you.”
I’ve always liked showering with my lovers as an erotic foreplay. I’m a bit disappointed that I can’t soap his muscular body but he’s giving me such gentle care that I get excited nonetheless.
“Damn, Ryuu, can you stop being so cute?” he moans because he gets hard. “We can’t do it in the shower until you fully heal.”
He quickly finishes washing and drying me. He got a few feathers around my back a bit wet but nothing unpleasant.
“When your back heals, I can use a hairdryer on your wings,” he says and the idea amuses him. “Would you like that?”
“Blowing hot air into my feathers? I’ll probably love it,” I smile. “But how am I going to take care of my wings when they’re fully grown? Can you even imagine how huge they must become if I’m to become airborne?”
“That’s a bit worrisome,” he agrees. “You probably won’t fit into things like regular chairs either.”
“I don’t want to think about that right now,” I shake my head violently and kiss him instead.
We keep kissing, lost in each other’s minds, until Erik realises we’re still in the bathroom. He wraps me in a huge towel, covers himself as well and runs with me in his arms into our room. We continue in bed.
I love you, I love you, I love you, I keep repeating in my thoughts and get rid of the towel.
I know, dummy, he laughs both in his mind and aloud. You’re projecting your love into me all the time. Hard not to notice.
“Must it be always you dominating?” I say aloud and I push him onto his shoulders. “I can’t lie on my back anymore. At least not for a while.”
“Well, I don’t have to be,” he bursts laughing. “Except you like me on top, admit it.”
“Fuck you,” I lower my head for a deep kiss.
“Literally in this case,” he comments jokingly a second before I close his mouth with mine.
Inexplicably, I suddenly feel a light breeze but I’m not bothered. I’m too lost in him and the breeze is pleasantly pushing into my feathers. I stretch my wings to their full span and enjoy the moment. Erik isn’t so relaxed about the thing, though.
“W-what is it?” he gasps. “Are you doing it?”
“Definitely,” I go hungrily for his cock. “I don’t know how and I don’t care.”
“R-Ryuu, it’s dangerous. What if it gets out of control?” he starts panicking because the breeze gets stronger.
But I don’t care about anything at this point. I care only about connecting to him. I crave him, I desire him, I want him whole. I need both his body and mind. I feel the insides of my body pulsating with mana, channelling it into the air with my wings. I deepen our telepathic link.
“R-Ryuu,” Erik moans and loses the last shred of logical thinking.
“Do it,” I give in and finally let him dominate.
And he does.
I wake up in his comforting hug. He’s playing with my wings, tenderly caressing the feathers. They have grown again; they always grow quickest overnight.
“Do you feel okay?” he asks when he notices I’m up.
“I feel amazing,” I smile, totally content.
“That was…,” he’s looking for the right word, “Celestial sex, right?”
“Hmm,” I murmur, not sure how to reply. “Draconia Online was a hardcore role-playing game but erotic things were forbidden by the system actually. There’re other games and services for that kind of thing.”
“So we have to find out ourselves,” he is thinking. “I’m fucking an angel… gosh. Who would have thought? It’s so different. So… out of this world.”
“But you do like it?” I ask but I don’t worry because I know he enjoyed it thoroughly.
“No problem in the pleasure area but the technique will be a bit challenging when your wings grow to their full size,” he considers. “Does your lore say anything about it at all?”
“There are mentions of Celestials mating in the air,” I recall.
“You’re kidding, right?” his jaw drops.
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