Yumi stopped painting red on the canvas. She’d gotten stuck in this moment with her previous attempts. She’d had to relieve herself of the pent up need and desire. Vivid images of naked and sweaty bodies intertwined together were spectacular, but they didn’t bring her any closer to finishing her task.
She could get lost in that night with Mirai. It was some of the best sex she’d had in her entire life. It reminded her of dancing in the rain of blood.
She honoured their deal because Mirai had given her something precious. She’d thought that if she killed everyone the conqueror wished death upon she would treasure her.
It had been easy to do.
Compelled by the idea that they would roll around in her bed again, she wasted no time. Yumi was powerful, so she could sway lesser creatures of her species to do her bidding. They descended upon the camps and the cities with her.
Rumours about how the empire had angered one of their gods spread like wildfire.
She took great pleasure in slaying the bastard. Mirai lured him and his guards away from the camp to a location where Yumi could strike unhindered. She prolonged his suffering for days. He had almost stolen what was hers. It didn’t matter that she’d won. He had had the guts to stand in her path. There was no forgiveness or mercy in store for him.
It became difficult to hide after she carried out her part of the agreement.
Hunters heard about what had happened, and they came searching for her in droves. They knew enough about her kind to realize that someone had been orchestrating the mayhem.
But Mirai treasured her as a secret weapon, and Yumi did as much as she dared to do to keep her happy. The former virgin seemed to have become addicted to sex, like she was addicted to killing.
Two more years passed. There was unrest and rebellions in the empire that Mirai conquered. The church wanted her to take the throne, but she kept stalling the ceremony. Mirai swore she’d received sign from her god that it would end with someone’s death. She never explained whose death, but Yumi suspected she knew.
Still, she couldn’t delay it forever, and the ceremony was held in the middle of summer. A period of peace followed, but it was short-lived.
Yumi dipped her brush into the colour blue. She hated blue, but she couldn’t finish any painting of Mirai without it. Everyone complimented her ice-blue eyes. Yumi thought they were the only mediocre aspect about the conqueror. She was larger than life itself. Her eyes were stupid. Despite Yumi’s superior nature, she couldn’t poke them out and replace them with red. She’d tried, too hard.
As she dabbed blue onto the canvas, she was damned with her worst memory.
“Guess I showed them,” Mirai whispered, coughed, and sputtered blood onto the marble floor. “Meraini still loves me… Even after everything we did… Or he wouldn’t have given me that warning.”
Yumi cradled her in her arms. She’d roared at the nearby servants to get a healer rather than stare like they were brain dead. Two men lay dead a few metres from Mirai. They had been priests of her own church. Maybe they had lied about their identities. Yumi didn’t know. She knew their heads were no longer attached to their bodies. She’d cut them off in one swift motion. An act born out of rage when she saw them stabbing daggers into Mirai.
Yumi was touched though. In what could have been her final moments, Mirai called out for her, not someone else. The servants had watched her kill the priests with a beastial lethality.
Who knew if they would bring back a healer or a hunter?
Yumi and Mirai were alone in the corridor for now, but she knew only one solution to this dilemma. She couldn’t move Mirai with her current wounds. It would kill her.
“You don’t need to die like this,” Yumi said, holding her close to her body. “I can save you.”
“No, don’t. He has chosen this path for me, so I will go to meet my maker.” Mirai caressed her cheek, smearing blood on it. Yumi would have found it to be an aphrodisiac under different circumstances, but not now, not like this. “Don’t bite me. Let me sleep.”
God, how she wished that she could obey. Yumi was not that strong. She may have powers that few possessed, and she may have lived for centuries, but Mirai’s imminent death was unacceptable. She had the cure.
“I apologize once more,” Yumi said, as she brought Mirai’s neck to her lips.
The conqueror shrieked before she bit her. She didn’t let that stop her. She sank her fangs deep into her neck, and she transferred a trace of her own power to transform Mirai into a lesser being of her kind. Yumi was a firstborn. There was no method, known to her, which would give Mirai the same status and immortality. Mirai kept screaming the entire time, like she was trying to kill herself by exerting her last energy before Yumi could transform her.
Yumi won. Mirai lost.
It wasn’t a victory she would wish upon her worst enemy.
Yumi refused to paint any more with blue. She was finished with the eyes. They should have been red like the colour of blood. Mirai had killed herself as soon as she got the chance, driven a wooden stake through her own heart.
Yumi would have protected her from the hunters, but she failed to protect her from herself. She’d declined the gift of eternal life. She’d gotten closer to Yumi than anyone else, liked what she’d seen, but her mind had always been poisoned.
After her death, Yumi had tried to follow her — not once, but thrice. She’d eventually given up. There was no way for her to meet Mirai in the flesh again. There may be an afterlife, for sinners or saints, but she was not welcomed into either. She was stuck on this plane of existence with the mortals.
Yumi caused the rift within the church. She revealed the truth about Mirai to its followers to redeem her. At first, the hunters blamed the supernatural massacre in the empire on the conqueror, but Yumi had too much evidence for everyone to dismiss her version of the truth, and she took credit for the massacre.
The conqueror had not been an unnatural beast, but she had fucked one to win her war in the name of her god. Yumi hoped they would choke on that reality, and some of them did.
She spent a lot of years searching for a reason to continue, or a method to restore what she’d lost. Yumi heard about a witch, across the sea, who put powerful curses on kings and queens.
She went to her in the hopes she would find another impressive woman, but she found a mother living in a swamp with her two daughters. Impressive as that may be, it wasn’t quite what Yumi was searching for.
She was invited to stay with them for a while as a guest since she’d travelled so far. Yumi told her story about Mirai one day. The witch offered to curse her so she could relive the memories. She insisted it would be a curse when Yumi smiled with tears in her eyes and thanked her.
The witch wanted ten vials of her blood in return for her curse. People usually cursed their enemies, but they did pay.
The price weakened her for months.
Yumi sighed where she sat among the paintings. It was a curse, but she was lost since the death of her conqueror. At least she could relive what she’d once had as long as she had the brush.
“Another day…” She said, rose from the stool.
This painting was a failure as well.
Maybe she’d do better tomorrow. Maybe she’d get a necromancer to raise Mirai from the dead, but even if that was successful, she knew the woman would not appreciate it. She could submit to the hunters, but what was the point? They’d keep her in a cell for as long as possible.
She should snap the brush in half and be done with this futile task. The past was the past!
Yumi didn’t leave the room. She sat back down on her stool, dipped her brush in red.
God, she wished someone would save her from Mirai.