Chapter 88: End of the illusion

The vision of Cleamon fades in front of Dina’s eyes, leaving just Metztli behind.

At the moment Dina had lost her composure, he’d put an image of him into her mind using a Mental spell. Leaving her to believe he was still next to Metztli. Metztli herself could still see Cleamon as normal dashing towards the orb and played a long with his plan.

Dina’s quickly turns her head to where Cleamon pointed at.

“No leave that orb alone!” she screams while nearly instantly appearing next to Cleamon.

She’s too late, Cleamon has grabbed the orb that was on the pedestal.

“Now obey me!” Cleamon yells.

Dina instantly kneels down to the ground as if struck by lightning.

“Y-you how dare you command me, let go of that orb or else you’ll regret it”

“I don’t think so, you’ve caused us enough trouble already. First I want you to undo your disguise, pretending to be an angel is disgusting” Cleamon sneers at her.

Dina’s face shows a painful expression, but she can’t refuse “Yes… master”.

Her whole demeanor changes, her wings disappear, instead bright white tails sprout from her behind. Similar white haired ears pop up on the side of her head. Her eyes change to bright yellow with an oval pupil in the center.

“Just like I though, you’re a Yogitsune, an evil fox. By the magic used in your illusions, you’re a Void and Time type. It was a mistake to use my own memories in your illusions, I have much darker secrets than you have” Cleamon says.

“How could you possibly know about me? My kind is just referred to in legends and folklore, unless you’ve read those books and remembered them…” she snarls.

“If you’d have dug deeper into my memories you would’ve seen why I know”

“I think it’s time for you to undo your illusion, this facade has gone on long enough. From now on you’ll be my servant and unlike what you’ve done to us, I’ll make sure to treat you well”

“But before you undo it, I need your real name. Dina is just a fake you borrowed from books you’ve read or the person you’ve imitated”

The request pains her, she’s trying to resist with everything in her being.

“M-my name is Yako m-m-master” she says biting her lip in the process.

“Yako, I hereby swear to treat you as one of my own, however if you hurt any of my friends, you will never see your freedom again” Cleamon says in a commanding voice.

Yako looks slightly surprised.

“T-thank you master” she says as if it’s a forced response.

“Now it’s time, undo your illusion”

The environment changes, the bright sky and grass fields are replaced by rocks, bones and dirt. The light dims into darkness.

Cleamon uses his Intent to create a Light spell.

After seeing that they are in a cave, he quickly makes enough to light all of it. The cave is humongous in size, the castle would fit easily.

Next to the pedestal where the fox-ball was stored there are remains of a magician, a hole punched through his ribs.

‘This was her previous master, she ripped out his heart by the looks of it. He managed to curse her at the last moment locking her inside’.

“Hello!? Is anyone there?” Andrea’s voice echoes through the cave.

“Andrea is that you?” Narae responds.

“Yes, where are you? What happened?”

Cleamon sends a Mental message to them to come to his aura and they immediately move towards him.

“Cleamon where are we?” Narae asks.

“We’ve always been here, this is the place where we were stuck the last days. Everything we saw was an illusion made by this creature here” Cleamon says pointing at Yako who’s on her knees.

“Who’s that?” they ask in a choir.

“This is Dina, or well, what she actually is. The place where we were was a lie, an illusion created to take our mana and eventually our lives. We tracked down her mana inside the castle and I ended up getting control over her. I haven’t thought of a real name for her yet, but for now that’s not important”.

Andrea steps closer and readies her fist to punch Yako, her face filled with anger.

“Don’t, it makes no difference. I’ll let her explain her story and if you still want to hit her after it, be my guest” Cleamon says motioning Yako to explain.

She nods and stands up.

“More than 700 years ago I was born as an Inari, a local fox deity. I lived my life pretty normally as you would expect from a fox. When I grew up I fell in love with a man, someone I wanted to share my whole life with. In order to be able to get him to love me I took on the appearance of a woman he would love. However he already had someone in his heart” she says with a sigh.

“The following years I tried my best at seducing him, bit it didn’t work. Seven years later the woman he loved was killed by magical beasts. When he was down I took advantage of his grief to direct his love towards me. A year later we ended up as a couple and started to live together”

“He never had any idea that I was an Inari and continued to believe I was just a woman. When magical beasts invaded I was forced to show my true identity and he was never the same after. He started to research my kind and eventually learned that we, as deities, have the power to converse with spirits of the dead”

“As soon as he learned that, he started to try and persuade me to have his previous love talk to him. I told him that would not be a good idea as he needs to let go of the past and move on in life. This went on for a year before he learned that he could control me by taking the one thing most precious to an Inari, it’s Star Orb. He found mine, I hid it well, but in a weak moment told him where it was”

“He forced me to contact his previous love’s spirit and had me let her talk to him every day for years. That however was just the start of it, he started to use me to commit more and more evil deeds. At first it was just stealing food or money, but it got to killing and worse. Grief made him go insane, we traveled through different realms taking on dirty jobs and ended up killing many innocent people just for money or fun”

“All this time I couldn’t refuse, he had tightly secured my Star Orb on his body and actually adhered it to his heart. He used my powers to keep his own life young, this continued for 200 years. Constantly tricking people and taking their life force and adding it to his own”

“My grudge against him grew so much that I changed from an Inari to a Yogitsune, I started to have pleasure in seeing anguish and tricking people. At one point, I lost control of myself and was able to escape my constraints for a short period. I placed a strong illusion on him thinking that his love had come back to life. I still couldn’t hurt him physically”.

“Through her I made him let go of my Star Orb and as soon as he did, I removed his heart in one attack. With his dying breath he cursed my existence, binding me to this cave where I had tricked him”

“This was almost 400 years ago, during that time I used the tricks I learned to keep myself alive and gather information on how to escape. I made Illusions based on the people’s memories and thoughts, so it would instantly appease them and make them curious. This happened to you all as well, I tricked you into believing you entered a portal as soon as you entered the cave. But none of you had the information I needed, I was slightly hopeful that Cleamon would have some sort of knowledge I could steal. However my plan didn’t go as planned”

“Why didn’t you just ask someone to take the orb for you!?” Andrea says aggravated.

“Would you be able to trust anyone after would happened to me? I would be trusting my life to someone unknown again, people are greedy and bastards. All the one’s I encountered were just after my treasures, you all included”

They all look guilty without a word to say.

“I’m sorry” Cleamon says, followed by all of the others.

“What you did is not simply forgivable, but I can better understand your thoughts behind it. I will do as promised and make sure you aren’t mistreated. Once you’ve returned to being an Inari, you will get your freedom back” Cleamon says.

“You realize it will be difficult for me to forgive the sin of taking my life in your hands without asking me first” Yako says.

“Then let’s do it like this” he says.

“Do you want to get out of here and try to get your life back together?”

“Do you want me to bring you outside, take care of you until you clean your soul?”

“And lastly, will you let me try to get you to trust others again?”

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