Every week, I’ll be posting a chapter from my book series: Solen Masters. This is a Paid Exclusive for a month in certain places until it’s posted here, before I release it to a Selection of Fiction Sharing sites, such as Scribblehub and Royal Road. Most Chapters for each book will at some point be mostly removed from almost all places.

If you spot a typo, please let me know, so I can correct it before the final release.

Also, Chapter 10 will be delayed by at least a week.

Lily Iota-Latione couldn’t feel her legs. As a disembodied Sprit, Lily hadn’t felt her own legs since when her body died years ago. The numbness in legs she could feel belong to someone else: Tira Tatiana. The reason for the lack of feeling was down to the last few hours with Lily’s widowed husband, King Ayduin Latione III. It was enjoyable for all involved, given the smile on Ayduin’s sleepy face, as he lay next to Tira. Lily could have taken control on Tira’s body, but Lily didn’t need to. Tira certainly has improved in her methods to entertain her partner, especially since Lily wooed Tira to her bed, just over twenty year ago.

Tira played with her copper red hair, unsticking matted stands from her body, “Are we going to tell Her Highness about us?”

Her Highness in this case would be Lily’s and Ayduin’s Daughter, Acacia Latione.

Ayduin smiled, “You mean how I can make you wet yourself when I play with your breasts?”

Lily felt Tira’s Cheeks flush, “Sire? No, not that. I’m not exactly quiet in your bed.. I mean Vivian seems to know about us in the Palace. She usually has a herbal tea ready when I’m sneaking out of your room.”

“Vivian Daita? I’m surprised that Nun hasn’t cursed you to the rotten roots,” he laughed.

“I think she actually supports our little get togethers. She seems to think I should become part of the family,” Tira said.

“And become a mother to a twenty year old queen.”  Ayduin joked.

“Does someone not want a Spare?” Tira teased, stroking her tone stomach.

Ayduin mocked sadness, “Do you have to deny me little ones?”

“No, not yet,” Tira stared in to Ayduin face, “But if you put off my questions, I may. Or do I need to make it a Royal Petition?”

Ayduin sighed, “I can’t exactly ask you to ignore these issues. Heck, I’ve even given you the responsibility of keeping track of my son.”

“I know. He look like I did back when I was training helping my brother train. I don’t think Pa expected me to be a be an officer. He’d hope Tim would pass the bar, but not his little girl. But then I wasn’t expecting my little ruse to end up in your bed when I was discovered. But that boy is expecting some answers at some point, and Lady Nina of the Eston house had to guide him to the palace. I can only keep him from asking question that you rather not let public soon,” Tira sighed, “I don’t think that Her Highness has support to keep the Barons in line.”

Ayduin groaned, “Those Barons are going to make it bloody hard for her. Keep her lock up for her safety and then berate her for not having any Military experience. I think Acacia will be more stubborn than her mother.”

“Lady Lily? She was one the best at getting a what she wanted. She work out who Taithin was quite quickly. Mind you, she got me drunk that night, I can not remember much about that night in Lufas,” Tira said.

“So did you do?” Ayduin asked.

“I got her to agree to keep my secret quiet. But she said that she’d let you know about it,”

“Which secret was that?”

Tira sighed, “The one where I don’t have dick between my legs..”

Ayduin hugged Tira, “You seemed to like mine between your legs.”

“Yeah, I do. But this was when I was still pretending to be Tim,” Tira sighed.

A knock came from the Door, and a woman called, “Room Service.”

Tira stood up, despite her legs being like jelly, and opened the door. A White Vedran girl holding a pile of bedding in her arms, stepped in to the room. She had previously introduced herself as Lana.

Lana Smiled, “Hello, Miss Tira. I’m glad you’ve been enjoying your stay so far. I have some fresh bedding for you.”

Tira stepped back to let the Lana in the room, “Not the first time that you’ve seen someone answer the door naked then?”

Lana laughed, “Yes ma’am. After the tenth overweight person wanting me to make a three some, it’s end up being not much of a shock. At least, you two are good looking pair of elves. Work in Personal Protection?”

Tira smiled, “Yeah, you could say that. It’s not like armor hanging up in the corner wasn’t a clue.”

Lana looked around the room a few times, then spotted the armor hanging in the corner, “Oh you’re right. Those look well made. But those are nothing compared to those abs…”

“Yes, I know,” Tira said, as Lana pushed the bedding in to her arms.

“… and his aren’t that bad either,” Lana continued. Lily could feel Tira’s embarrassment, as her cheeks felt on fire.

“Did ma’am loose some jewellery?” Lana asked, as she pulled out a dark green gem stone. Lily knew what it was, A Soul Cell, the one that Lily was tied to. This let her survive outside a living body. Lana must think that Tira could be in trouble, and soon. If the body that Lily was inhabiting died Lily would also die. The Soul Cell would extend Lily’s “life” by  a few hours without a living body.

Lily encouraged Tira to pick up the green gem stone. Lily had not let Tira known that Lily was along for the ride. As Tira knew Lily had been murdered almost 15 years ago. Forcing Tira to pick up the stone would cause her to start questioning herself, which could easily and quickly lead to panic. Tira panicking would make harder Lily to keep control, at worst Lily would be forced in to the next person Tira touched. Being forced out would drain Lily of what little power she had, and could cause her to experience her “final” death.

Thankfully, Tira did pick up the Soul Cell. “Pretty, It’s an Emerald, right?” Tira turned the stone in her fingers.

“I think so,” Lana said, rubbing the back of her neck. Lily noticed something wrong, Lana usually wore a leather necklace, but it was missing. She was wearing the necklace before she visited a few hours ago.  Her necklace was part of a Vedran traditional fashion. Lana wouldn’t take it off unless she had to.

Lana’s ears raised, as she was trying to listening out for someone in the distance. “Sorry, I need to get to the Kitchen, we are short handed tonight.” She said before leaving the room.

Lana ears, like all Vedrans moved their relatively large ears, most of the time it was unconscious control, and was more often than not controlled by their emotions, but could control them in way that allowed them to hear their targets.

Another body part that Vedran emotions controlled was their tails, Lana’s tail fur was all bristled. She was scared, and trying to hide it. Half the reason Lily didn’t notice it was that Lana had her tail wrapped in a blue ribbon. The tail ribbon was not the only blue thing she was wearing, her lipstick was a dark blue instead of black, her nails where painted blue. Lana wouldn’t just randomly spend time when she should be working to colour match accessorise her body. However Lana being a Solen Master, she has access to a technique that created a body double.

These Body Doubles couldn’t perform Solen technique, but could perform some physical tasks, especially when many hands are needed. Most of the time, the expenditure of Soul energy would be to expensive to use on a regular basis. The big advantage would be that it allowed Lana to be in multiple places at the same time, but unable to use any Solen Techniques. When Lana kinda summon her clones, she had the option to dress them in what she was wearing or be naked.  She often added accessories and changed makeup while summoning her clones.  She usually made her clones wear red, but when she had more than one at once she made the second wear blue.

Lana must have found something that she would risk the using of the Clone technique, twice. Bringing the Soul Cell really brings it home. Something is about it happen.

Ayduin whispered in to Tira’s ear, “Want to finish with the old stuff before we change the bedding?”

Before Tira could respond, the window behind them smashed.

Tira dropped the bedding, and jumped between Ayduin and the smashed Window. Beside the window was a man holding a dagger, his smile worried both Lily and Tira. How could he get to the upstairs window, there’s real hand holds to climb up there.

The Man’s smugly smiled, “Little girl, move aside. Or I will cut you into Ribbons, along with your Elf king master.”

That was enough for Tira, before She darted across the room. The Man’s posture was not one ready for a fight. She had an opening, with Lily along for the ride, she could help Tira win a fight, despite the obvious difference in weaponry, and clothing.

Getting the dagger was the first thing she needed to do. Tira went to grab the arm that held the knife, But her hand grabbed nothing, it was like his arm was not there. Tira looked and could see the man’s arm sticking out of Tira arm.

“That would have work, if I was here.. But I’m not..” the man said, as he moved his arm, “my dagger, however, is the only thing I have here.”

The dagger was between Tira’s arm and her chest. The point was between her bare breasts.

“Shit!” Tira cursed, as she started to step back..  The next thing was pain in her chest..

* * *

Lily snapped her finger, her world changed. Instead of feeling Tira, and seeing everything that Tira saw, Lily was now standing in a clearing outside a home with a forest. Lily recognised the area, as had stood in the real clearing, it was she met AyduinX Tatitaina, Tira’s father. This was Tira’s childhood home. Unlike Lily’s previous visit, everything was keep in good condition, and hadn’t seen a few years of neglect due to the Elven war.

The Snap was the action to trigger a “Soul Dive.” Most of the time when she used it, the place she ended usually was somewhat of a empty room, with very little to describe it. On the rare occasions that it wasn’t the empty room, it was a place that the person she was diving in to felt at home at, and usually a childhood home. Lily’s own place was the wing in the palace she grew up in. Most of the time, it was completely accurate, but it was more down to how a person remember it.

One thing that was common for most people was that the place was devoid of people, baring the owner of the soul dive space. In this case, there was a naked girl with copper red hair, Tira. She was staring at the house, with her back towards Lily.

“Tira?” Lily tapped Tira’s shoulder.

Tira jumped, “What? Who?”

Lily was expecting some confusion. She had just pulled someone unwilling into their own “Soul world.” She also had an excellent excuse for doing this.

“It’s me, Lily Iota-Latione,” Lily said.

Confusion raced across Tira’s face,  “But, but, but you died 15 years ago. “

“Yes, Tira.  I am dead. But then you may need a guide for the next journey.”

“Journey to where?”

“The Great Tree, ” Lily said, “That dagger was straight in to your heart. Unlike me, you saw your attacker before it was too late,”

“You didn’t see who killed you?” Tira asked.

“I did, but only after the knife went in. He actually died before I did, Dame Kieya aim was perfect. Sadly, this didn’t prevent his friends from turning my body in to ribbons in the Palace floor.”

“I’m sorry, your highness,” Tira bowed.

“Get up, Tira. I am no longer Queen…”

“But. But.. I was dating your husband..”

Lily sighed, “and? I knew about it, and I didn’t stop it.”

“Really?” Tira asked.

“Yes. I was alive, I’d be trying to date you,” Lily smiled.

Lily noticed the stream nearby seem to dry up. It appears I’m running out of time, Lily thought, and so is Tira.

Lily smiled, “I’ve got a few things to do before you can head to the Great Tree.”

Tira signed, “I hope it doesn’t take long..”

“You’ll be done very soon, Tira,” Lily said, “I really want to know if you recognize the man who attacked you?”

Tira looked puzzled, “No, other than he appears to be a Human male, I have no idea.”

Lily sighed, “It’s as I thought. No matter, I wasn’t expecting you to know who he is. One final thing, you know that green stone you picked up?”

Tira nodded.

“Throw it under the bed,” Lily said.

Tira was taken aback, “Is that it?”

“Yes, it is. But I will be taking another route to The Tree,” Lily turned away. Her hands where beginning to fade.

Lily felt a pair of arms wrap around her, Tira whispered, “I know you enough that I can tell that you’re planning to something crazy and risky. Please make it back to us. I know a red head that would like to see if that night wasn’t a fluke.”

“What was a fluke?”

Tira licked her lips, “That bar in Lufas City, a cake going down my blouse, and my Queen licking cream from my tits… That night.”

Before Lily could come up with a response, Tira flicked Lily’s ear..

Then Tira and her world was gone.

* * *

Lily gasped. It felt like her head was just broke the surface of water after she was forced down. It was always the case when she was forced to survive in a her soul cell. If Lily had other options she would have taken them. She preferred another method that was more intimate, but that wasn’t used when Lana placed Lily inside Tira. Lana had to somewhat intentionally walked in to Tira, and make it appear that it was by accident.

“Welcome back, Lily,” Lana said. Her face had a scowl. Lana usually hid her emotions, but someone had really messed up her plans, and then proceeded to spread excrement all over her plans.

“Lana,” Lily was in no mood for pleasantries,  “I take it more than two murders happened tonight.”

“How did you know?” Lana asked. Lily suspected Lana already worked it out.

“I’ve spent the last 15 years living inside one of the ++ best Solen Users, I’ve picked up a few things. But I assume that no-one can find the Kings’s Assailant, given how he appeared.”

Lily waved her hand, and the man that attacked Tira appeared.

Lana stayed silent for a few seconds, before stammering, “Yes. It appears that this person was using a multi-part technique that temporarily tied that man soul to the knife.. That knife has even gone missing, but I’ll explain why I think that later. Given their wounds, they tried to defend themselves, before realising something was wrong.”

Lily nodded, “Yeah, Both Tira and I are good at hand to hand, as I stepped in to help. He moved like an amateur, But Tira’s hand passed though his knife arm. It was just like it wasn’t there. We effectively gave free access to Tira’s chest.”

“Sounds just like him: let you try out maneuver him, then he positions himself to be there to stick the knife in.” Lana said.

“Sounds like who?”  Lily asked.

“Shilan Toshiro, or more likely a fragment of his soul. I thought that they were all inert. I rarely forget a face, but this one stands out. He was one of the Founders of the Solen School, along with my parents, The four Solen Mistresses. There’s very few images of him at the school. My birth mother pulled down almost every painting, then burned them in bonfire. Then she danced around the bonfire naked, after drinking a whole barrel of cider.” Lana explained.

Lily held back a chuckle, “That sounds like Nakato, also it explains why I don’t recognise him. While the history books don’t mention it, wasn’t he responsible for The Fall of Lanta?”

“Yes, he stole several peoples Solen techniques and have it effectively blow up in his face. I think some of it was people he didn’t know about stopping his plans. I never told you that, nor I let anyone you’d be with know.. So how did you know about that?”

“I read Queen Ianthe’s Diary, it’s kinda hard not to find out given some of the anger she had for her kingdom being cut in half due to The Fall of Lanta. I was a bored Princess who occasionally hid herself within the Palace Archives. It’s pretty hard to say no to one of the heirs to the Thone when you’re not causing trouble. Besides, the Palace was mine for some time,” Lily said, “So how do you beat someone like that?”

Lana thought for a few moments, “Hard to say. That dagger drains the Solen around it to power it’s other half up. It’s not too far from our Solen Blades that we carry. Unlike our Solen Blades, this powers the Soul Projection technique, and drains the poor soul that got stabbed. I don’t think your Soul Cell could have lasted the night, after how much Tira and you lost to him. Just placing your hands on that starts draining your Solen. I don’t think there is a way to beat him with traditional weapons and skills.”

“Shit,” Lily swore, “He’s going to pay for taking two of my lovers…”

“Lily! Clam down,” Lana said forcefully, “He’s going to pay, but I have reason to think that he was also behind your own death. But I think we have alternative options to beat him, the issue is where and when he is going to appear. We have a few ways to effect the Solen side of things. The “Astral Projection” technique pretty much puts us on the level playing field, but it leaves who ever using it is leaving their body wide open. That’s not counting the other limitations. In other words, it’s tricky at best. However, if we have one of our Solen blades around the blade would be able to hurt them. It’s still tricky as it’s only the blade that can touch him.”

“That’s not great, I think we have got all the Solen Blades on your people at this time. I think we emptied the Armory month ago. Does your Soul Dagger Technique work?”

“I think it might, but I doubt I could win in a duel. My body would be too far exposed. It’s more about getting to his body without letting him cut your arms up before you can get in close. I can’t hold the Soul Dagger once I get stabbed in the arm. Of course, if I could get behind him without him noticing that would be another story. ” Lana said.

“Sounds like a pain,” Lily sighed, “you said something about a third murder tonight…”

“Yes, I hinted to it,” Lana waves her hand. A girl replaced Siilan Toshiro, her dress appeared to have red stain covering most her waist. “Let’s see what Red saw during that fight.”

“You were behind the bar and Blue was with me.”

“Yeah. This girl was the cooks assistant. As you can see she was stabbed, by the same dagger that took Tira and the Kings life.  Unlike the King, the dagger left a splinter.”

Lana clicked her fingers, a rope of transparent threads appeared. The rope was frayed around the girls hip, but quickly turned into strong rope that seems to pulled up to somewhere in the roof.

“Was this girl powering that dagger?” Lily asked, hoping she was wrong.

Lana nodded, “Sadly yes, that was the case. I don’t have to tell you what happened when someone forcefully drains your Solen.”

“I’d get woozy, and faint, right?” Lily said.

“Yeah, that’s usually the case. But when I must do it, fainting is the stopping point. But I could go further on, but their body resists me and prevents me from draining more. It’s like a self-preservation thing with their Solen. But there are ways to drain that last little bit, and that dagger is one of them,” Lana explained.

“You make it sound like that it can be deadly,” Lily commented.

“It is, I really have to pull to get anymore Solen after they faint. But pulling the last few dregs is fatal for the person I’m draining from. But that dagger was infused with material that effectively allows Solen to flow faster, and removes that self-preservation protection. To make to make worse, if Red or I pulled that dagger splinter out, well, I’d doubt, we could,” Lily said.

“I’d take it Solen is out of the question,” Lily asked.

“If I used Solen, I’d end up powering the splinter. It would actually dig itself in deeper in to the body, if I used Solen. Given the position, it doubt I could extract that splinter before it pierced the heart. Also, Siilan would have actually felt my actions on her. It doesn’t help I’ve got a similar Solen feel to Natako, so he’d be somewhat clued in to who was trying to save the girl,” Lana sighed, “Trying to cut it out without Solen, well, that was also fatal.”

Lily was taking closer look at the girl, “She’s not human is she?”

“Yeah, one of her grand parents would have been an elf, so a quarter elf, three quarters human,” Lana explained, “She hid her ears well, and seem quite happy working in the kitchen, away from the front desk and bar. I think she may have been interested in white Vedran girls, but I don’t think she would have asked me.”

“So why her? I could see that some people dislike the Half-breeds. But I doubt many would murder one. I had alot of trouble with David Eston becoming one my hand picked guards. I didn’t really have time to tell anyone else about Keiya, when I made her a knight. But it seems like just wrong place, wrong time thing to me,” Lily said.

“I’d agree, if I had not found that Lord Reginald Gast and Lady Annalies Santana had also booked in a few hours ago, under a false name,” Lana’s face soured, “I really don’t like Lord Gast. He doesn’t really like anyone whose not human.. Not really good for House Weiss, we have to get the Orc out for our trade deals.”

Lily chuckled, “Shadbak really is a powerhouse in those deals. I had the misfortune of thinking that she was a muscle bound meat head, until she started talking about tax costs in more detail than my scribe could do… But isn’t Annalies one of yours?”

“Yes, she is. Actually, we at House Weiss made up her history and got a few of our people in the family home. She’s not actually the daughter of the Late Baron Santana.. well, not directly. She’s our little spy trying to gain some of Gast’s trust.. but she didn’t even know that Gast was planning to visit this in tonight..” Lana sighed.

“Shit.. I think we need to get in contact with Annalies,” Lily sighed.

Lana smiled, “Already on it, I’ve got the Head Santana Maid ensemble hidden away for me to wear tomorrow. I’m going in person with you tagging along, I’ll speak for you, if you need to. I know she’ll have news that you’d be invested in.”

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