The Mist and the Lightning. Part 13

Ви Корс
The Mist and the Lightning. Part 13

“Ah-ah-ah, noble blacks who don’t know how to do anything themselves, I completely forgot,” Nikto said. He got up from the table and, going up to the bed, took the syringe from Verniy, looked at Kors:

“Better take off your jacket.”

Kors began to unfasten the buckles. His fingers didn’t obey him, and he so awkwardly tried to hang the jacket over the back of the chair that his gold cigarette case slipped out of his inner pocket, clinking loudly on the floor, only the blue stones gleamed. The cigarette case opened from the blow, it was still empty. Kors didn’t pick it up, but rolled up the sleeve of his shirt strongly. And Nikto just turned his head to Verniy, looked at him and nodded. Verniy silently wrapped the black cord around Kors’ forearm and tightened it tightly. This action scared Kors more than the syringe in the Demon’s hand. He involuntarily recoiled from the unclean one.

“Don't tremble, give me your hand,” said Nikto.

Kors swallowed hard.

“What will I feel? Hot pots and pans on which devils fry sinners, or whatever you have in Hell?”

“There will be no hallucinations,” Nikto smiled, “this is a good drug, relax.

“Good drug,” Kors whispered and shook his head.

He stretched out his hand, seeing that from the cord, on the inner side of the elbow, blue paths of the veins clearly manifested. Kors continued to have a nervous shiver. He didn’t understand what he was doing and what he allowed to do with himself. Kors looked at the concentrated face of Nikto: now he didn’t seem handsome to him at all – under sunken eyes there were dark circles, he was too pale, with too sunken cheeks and black inscriptions on the cheekbones further emphasized the unhealthy thinness. Living Dead.

“It will be good,” Nikto so inhumanly “smiled”, exposing the edges of the fangs, bent to Kors’ hand holding a filled syringe in his black fingers and slightly at an angle putting the needle to the white clean skin. He carefully punctured skin, piercing it with the sharp end of the needle and damaging the wall of the blood vessel. Bright scarlet blood swirled behind the glass, mixing with the substance. Nikto slowly pushed on the piston, injecting a foreign mixture into Kors’ blood. Verniy relaxed the cord. From the fact that the unclean one touched him with his furry paw, Kors involuntarily shrank. The demon and his dog touched him and performed unacceptable actions with his body. Kors felt defiled and already regretted letting them do it.

But suddenly everything passed, and he was released. This difference between the previous nervous state, full of tension and fatigue, and the current one, was so palpable, as if Nikto had not a syringe in his hands, but a magic wand and he waved it and – wow! Just a moment ago Kors felt so dreary and bad, but now he felt so good! Kors didn’t expect such a sharp transition, for some reason he thought that he had to wait and maybe after a while he would feel some slight relief. But not that it would be like this! Fast, magical, wonderful! And Nikto, seeing his face, laughed:

“Well? Does it hurt?”

“No. Only very slightly at the beginning when you pierced.”

Kors felt relieved, nervous exhaustion was gone, and interest in life reappeared. Yes, that was truly a “restorative”! Verniy walked away from them, he took the bloody sword of Nikto and went with him to the adjacent room.

“Is your sword the sword of the unclean?”

“Yes.”

“Where did you get it here? Have the unclean ones brought it?”

“Yes. When Wolf arrested me in Lower, they disarmed me and threw everything away. Arel handed over Power and my weapon to the unclean Borgan, and he then passed them on to Zaf.”

“It is beautiful, it is clear that it is expensive. Does your sword have a name?”

“No, no, I'm bad with coming up with names.”

“However, you named your horse and habir beautifully.”

“Really?” Nikto was surprised.

“Yes. A bit pompous, but in general beautiful.”

“But I have more than one sword, actually. I happen to call a weapon in conversation by the name of the one who made it. The sword of Lumin or Ridiger for example.”

“So many say.”

“I don’t invent separate names.”

“I was amazed today by how you managed to compensate for your disability.”

“What?”

“You got used to it. You fight very well. Sometimes you let the enemy get too close, but in general…”

Nikto just chuckled. Kors watched as he quickly wrapped a wide strip of black fabric around his wrist and put a high leather bracelet on top, how easily he worked with his left hand, tightening the lacing.

“I remember now your steel bracelets,” said Kors.

“Yes. You didn't return them to me. And the rings. And hairpins. All my jewelry has been fucked up by you, Kors.”

“I took off your rings because I wanted you to see the tattoos on your fingers.”

“Do you think I didn't understand it?”

“I have everything, all your things. Also the chain with the ring.”

“Well, this is the ring of your Iness, keep it to yourself.”

“Thank you. I will leave the ring, and I will give the rest to you when we return to the Black City.”

“Your guards took off my earrings,” Nikto said a little upset, “now you won't find them.”

“Earrings?”

“My earrings, Enriki called them rat tails.”

Kors remembered the silver earrings of Nikto, which hung down to his shoulders and really resembled rat tails in shape and length:

“Exactly! I remembered! I didn’t take them off you, you were in the throne room with them.”

“In the throne room,” Nikto shook his head slightly, “I was in a cage, and not in the throne room, your Nolan or how is his name took them off after, apparently he liked them, and others as well.”

“But you found a replacement and decorated your ears even uglier.”

Kors pushed his hair a little to the side, examining the lobe stretched out by the iron tunnels:

“Two fingers come in.”

Nikto shook his head slightly, dodging Kors, forcing him to pull his fingers out of the tunnel:

“Enough of fiddling with me like with a toy, really! Why are you looking at me like that again?”

“Strange movements, how strange you are moving, I cannot get used to it. When you want to turn your head, you turn your whole body. Where you can just turn your head, you turn your shoulders.”

“This is a habit from the collar, it restricted me.”

Kors ran his fingers over the obvious calluses, the hard, hardened skin on the neck of Nikto:

“I’m guilty, because of me they put it on you. Everything that has happened to you since birth is all because of me. Your appearance, your paralysis, your scars.”

Nikto was silent.

“Where is it now?”

“What?!”

“Your collar.”

“It stayed at the blacksmith’s, in Arel’s Estate.”

“Why didn't you take it off earlier?”

“Everyone liked it. The prince liked it.”

“Did you really obey Prince Arel?”

“In the beginning, yes.”

“Did he humiliate you?”

“Yes.”

“Same as I did?”

Nikto thought for a minute:

“No, stronger, and at the same time no… less. He exhausted me more physically, and you press hard with words.”

“Exhausted physically, that sounds great!”

“He beat hard, broke my nose, knocked out my front teeth, almost broke my jaw, ah-ah, also the knee…”

“Enough! Why did you let him?!”

“I knocked out his eye.”

“Are you crazy?!”

“I liked it myself. I liked his games.”

Kors looked at Prince Arel, who was still sitting on the bed without changing his posture and listening to their conversation with a slightly condescending expression on his face. Arel noticed Kors' gaze, and a slight haughty smile touched his beautiful lips.

“No matter how you humiliate him, he remains a master,” Kors was amazed, “he still feels his superiority over mere mortals, I “hear” him! Tell me, did he tell you the same as I did, about his superiority? That he is true black?”

“Well, of course! “I am a prince, no one is equal to me, only Demons”, Nikto grinned, “well and all that. He is the same as you, noble blacks, in fact, well, maybe just now just a little less freaking out.”

“You slept with Lis. And you were with other people of the prince too?”

“Yes. Arel let me be gang raped.”

“I cannot believe it! And Enriki Galas? I had not noticed anything about him like this before.”

“No, I just sucked Enriki.”

“Fuck! Is there anyone you haven't fucked with?!”

Nikto laughed:

“Of course there is! There are many of your black mercenaries.”

“That is, with your unclean ones, have you already rested with every one of them?”

“Are you excited by such conversations?”

“Simply, simply, such, uh … free morals reign in your midst … and … and … I worry about my daughter. For Karina, – got out Kors. – Did you rape her? Also let in a circle? And don't say it isn't! Everybody fucked her here.

“No, not like this. Kors, I swear to you, it was all voluntary.”

“Well, you may not, but Prince Arel for sure! I know him very well!”

And Kors “heard” suddenly how Arel thought a little contemptuously: “It is very necessary, she wanted me herself and came to my Castle, she was wet from me.” Kors caught the echo of Arel’s emotions when he thought of Karin. He seemed to have become a prince himself and felt his sex with Karina in the Castle. Her moans under him, her such passionate embrace, sheer desire and excitement. Karina really was wet from the prince, Kors didn’t expect such love of her daughter for the utter pervert Arel.

“Oh no! Cash me out! I don't want to catch it!” He shouted.

“I do nothing, you catch them yourself,” said Nikto, “you are very perceptive.”

“Yes, the specifics of my work taught me to see through people, to see even what they want to hide,” agreed Kors. “But I didn't see you.”

 

“I'm not quite a human, and, probably, my, as you put it, “shameful appearance” confused you. You looked at my tattoos and jewelry and didn’t see me behind them.”

“You are right as always. And why didn’t I send you your other things along with the mask! I should have sent you everything, not just the mask and the family ring. Somehow it turned out ugly.”

“You probably haven't thought about it.”

“I haven’t, honestly, I even forgot about them.”

“You simply didn’t perceive me as a person yet.”

“But I sent a mask as a sign of reconciliation! And… my own ring.”

“Yes, a mask, on the one hand, as a sign of reconciliation, but on the other, knowing now how you feel about those who wear a mask… For you, this is a sign of a slave, being in a mask is shameful and humiliating. You wanted to make up, but you humiliated me again: you sent neither my ring, nor jewelry, but a mask. My shameful mask, so that I could cover my shameful face with it.”

“Forgive me, please.”

“Come on, I’m kidding! In fact, I was very happy when you sent it to me. It was really difficult for me without it. This muzzle posed a terrible rub on the bridge of the nose.”

“Your mask is not lighter. I held it in my hands, it seemed very heavy to me, it surprised me. There are some metal inserts inside to protect the face, if I understand correctly.”

“Yes.”

Kors involuntarily glanced at the mask of Nikto, which was lying on the floor by the bed:

“How is it normal to breathe in it, and even during the battle?”

Nikto followed his gaze and also looked at his discarded mask, to where the outlines of the nose were slightly indicated on it with the more convex part.

“There are holes under the nose down there.”

“But they are very small, and often, during the battle, you want to catch your breath.”

“You can slightly raise the lower part.”

“But it's inconvenient.”

“No, it’s normal. I got used to it. You might think that noble sirs never put on a mask, that you never put on a mask.”

“They put it on,” agreed Kors, “but only when it becomes necessary to go down to the Lower City. They put on a mask to protect their identity.”

“And to come off in brothels and pubs,” added Nikto.

Kors pursed his lips, clearly not wanting to develop this theme further, and tried to change it:

“Why have you thrown it on the floor?” He looked again at the lying mask. “Nik, and then you put it on your face.”

“So what?” Nikto answered indifferently. “After all, my face is not cleaner than the floor.”

“Enough! Enough, Nik! How can I make amends for all the troubles that I have caused you? Do you want me to give you some jewelry? You love jewelry,” Kors touched his ear, “do you want me to give you my earrings? They are very expensive. This is a sign of belonging to the elite.”

“Kors, I am forbidden to wear gold, only black ones wear gold. My sign of belonging are half-blood rings.”

“Lis doesn't wear them. And he has gold earrings and rings, and such an expensive signet on his finger.”

“Yes, Lis doesn’t give a shit about anything, all the restrictions and rules, he does not set walls.”

“Frames,” corrected Kors, “Nik, I want more, inject me more.”

“Too little time has passed. It’s too early.”

“No, I want it,” Kors leaned back, he felt very good, as if he was basking in a warm gentle bath. Bliss enveloped his body, and it seemed that if he didn’t add the drug, everything would end. It was necessary to urgently add so as not to lose these magical sensations.

Responding to the mental order of Nikto, Verniy entered the room again.

Kors got up from the bed in the room of Nikto and Arel.

He suddenly decided that he had to go and find out how Karina was there, because he was worried about his daughter.

Kors walked to the door past a large painting of a winter forest. The bear on it, slightly turning its head, followed him with a gaze of burning hungry eyes and, seeing this, Kors froze, realizing that this was a hallucination and he caught glitches. He turned away from the picture with a hungry bear and quickly left, literally floated out into the corridor, and just as easily hovering above the floor, reached the room of Lis and Karina. He opened the door. They turned to him. Both Karina and Lis were completely naked.

But Lis didn’t resemble a man much, rather he looked like habir Verniy: he covered with fur and had clawed paws, and a dark red withers on a slightly stooped back. On the head were erect fox ears. The difference from the unclean servant of Nikto was only that Lis had a very beautiful huge and fluffy red tail, floor-length with white fur at the tip, the skin was reddish, and the facial features of the muzzle were slightly more human than the ones of the unclean. From the head of Lis grew strange bony shoots, sharp and resembling horns, they circled his head like a crown. Some of the teeth cut through more and grew larger, others were a little smaller, and on them lumps of gradually peeling flesh still dangled. Kors looked with disgust at the “crown” of Lis, then turned his gaze down to Karina, who was kneeling at the feet of her master. On her head, like a strange hat or helmet, sat some disgusting creature like a huge tick. Dirty-flesh-colored with gray-pink bald patches, pulsating with its soft inflated body, with numerous tentacles, it stuck into her head and the cranium apparently was not an obstacle for this demonic entity. The tick completely covered Karina’s head and upper part of her face, digging deep into the bridge of her nose with its proboscis and obscuring her eyes with its disgusting swollen body. Thin bloody trickles streamed down Karina’s cheeks as she turned to her father. Both she and Lis wore wide iron collars, and a chain from one to the other connected them. The same chain was attached to Lis’ cock and went into Karina’s crotch.

“Karina!” Kors shouted, not recognizing his voice, and his daughter hissed back, her mouth full of small but sharp teeth curved like hooks.

“What happened to you?! Daughter! What's with your eyes?”

“Love is blind,” Karina hissed, turning away and bending to the furry legs-paws of Lis, began to lick them with a long and thin tongue. And Lis barked hoarsely:

“I am the king, you see, Kors?” And he laughed terribly, his head shook, and another piece of bloody flesh fell off his “crown”, revealing a black horn.

Kors gasped with disgust and nausea, backed away and woke up, he opened his eyes, he was really sick.

He didn’t remember how he fell asleep the day before, where he was this time, in his room, or… He looked around in confusion and saw that he was still in the bedroom of Nikto and Arel, in his clothes, only the sleeve of his shirt was rolled up strongly and his jacket was lying on the floor. With surprise, Kors realized that Nikto was lying next to him. Nikto was lying on his side, on the still unmade bed, uncovered, fully clothed, he was sleeping peacefully, his eyelids with traces of almost worn-out arrows twitched slightly. Such thick and long dark eyelashes lay on pale skin, he breathed measuredly and calmly in his sleep, and Kors saw now that thick rings inserted into his nose closed his nostrils no worse than Arel’s ring. Only it seemed that it didn’t interfere with Nikto, unlike with the prince. Arel was lying right behind Nikto on the edge of the bed, hugging him. Arel put his hand on Nikto, and Kors noticed that on his long and thin hand, there were already three phalanges blackened with “rings”, on three fingers. And Kors couldn’t understand when Nikto had time to make them to him. He didn’t remember how he passed out, what happened later. Kors got up heavily, he was shaking, he literally crawled to the bathroom, he felt nauseous, and nausea came to his throat. Fortunately, Verniy was not there, the household dog had apparently already fled somewhere on business. Only in the corner, wrapped in a torn blanket, sat, huddled in a ball, the slave of Prince, Valentine. Hearing Kors’ footsteps, he stirred awkwardly as he crawled out of his cocoon. Naked and covered with whip scars, the boy turned his face towards the front door. One of his eyes was swollen, closed, with a purple hematoma on it. The second, covered with a white albugo, stared blankly at Kors. So Arel beat his boy again, and when he managed to do it, Kors couldn’t understand either. He suddenly thought that he had never seen Valentine’s face and didn’t know what he looked like without an iron muzzle that completely covered his nose and lower part of his face. Kors bent over the bathroom, nauseated, and involuntarily made several convulsive movements, but he never vomited. He tried to put two fingers in his mouth to finally free himself from this debilitating nausea. If the assault began, he would not be able to raise his sword and fight. “The gods will kill me today, I cannot fight,” thought Kors, “why did I take this drug, Gods, why? But it was so good!”

“Kors?” Nikto was standing on the threshold of the bathroom, Kors turned around and suddenly jerked convulsively, vomited water and gastric juice on the floor next to the bathroom, and the help of two fingers was not needed.

Nikto, without changing his face, said calmly and even somehow kindly:

“Come on, I'll cure you.”

After vomiting, Kors felt a little better, but his head was still dizzy with weakness. They returned to the room, he sat down on the bed. Before his eyes, everything was floating:

“Reds… assault…”

“Not yet. But they will start soon,” Nikto answered and gave him an injection.

And Kors felt released, as if Nikto poured life into him. He felt good, strange where the strength came from.

“Look,” Nikto raised a syringe in front of his face, showing him, “see? It will be yours now. Ver marked it with blue paint. Do you see the blue stripe?”

“I see. Why blue?”

“Well… like your stones,” Nikto looked at Kors’ gold cigarette case lying on the floor. “Isn't your colors blue and gold? Is your banner not blue and gold?”

“Yes. How do you know? You can't distinguish colors.”

“I see your bright blue color,” Nikto smiled and gently stroked Kors on the head, on the gray strand.

“This is the color of our family,” whispered Kors, “sapphire…”

“Yes…”

Nikto approached him, kissing him on the lips, very gently and carefully, but at the same time with pressure, taking his lower lip into his mouth, sticking his tongue into his mouth. And Kors felt the half-blood marks scraping his parched lips. He responded with a kiss, suddenly thinking that Nikto saw how he just vomited in the bathroom, that he didn’t brush his teeth, but it seemed that Nikto wasn’t embarrassed. And Kors wondered if Nik himself often cleaned himself up. “What am I doing?” Kors thought again. “I didn't wash, I slept in my clothes, I just lay on the dirty bed with them, without even taking off my boots. And they, too, obviously did not wash or change their clothes, and they are not even going to do this, and there will be no time. They only take the time to get the shot, not brush their teeth or comb their hair, and I do the same. I'm as dirty as they are, mentally and physically now too. He marked me with his filth, his absolute depravity, his body and mouth odor. I smell like him.” And disgust from himself and from Nikto’s lifestyle was replaced in Kors with a strange courage and delight that he was now the same, in an insane unity with them, devoid of concepts of human rules and laws that threw them away, as if they had already died and everything did not matter, for some reason gave Kors an incomprehensible pleasure and a feeling of freedom. He felt their desperate doom. World with other people was out there somewhere, and were are there. And there was no turning back for them. “There is still for me,” thought Kors, “they accepted me into their flock, and now I am one of them, I am at the bottom, I am an animal, but I will not completely lose touch with the world of people, as they did,” so thought Kors while still kissing her filthy Demon and enjoying it.

Loud alarm sounds forced them to break the kiss. The illusory peace of their little world, limited by this room, was over, and it was necessary to return to the world of war. But Kors was now ready to fight.

4

Power

Take care of your own strength and inner stability. Fortitude will help you overcome problems.

“How long will this continue?! For two days we have been fighting off a five-thousandth army, look, here are the lists, many have died, there are fewer and fewer of us!” Lis nervously walked around the room from corner to corner, and the weapon with which he was hung tinkled on him.

 

“And of them too,” Nikto answered him calmly.

“You said we had won!”

“Have we lost? Have we surrendered? Is the fort captured?! Lis?” Nikto raised his voice too.

“Do you perfectly understand what I mean, how long will we last?”

“We have enough reserves.”

“And the soldiers? Do we have enough warriors? The siege will drag on, who will remain? Who are we going to Ore town with?”

“I’ll go along the mouse hole, I’ll come to a high mountain,” Nikto said thoughtfully and as if to himself.

“What?”

“There are many mines and underground passages in Ore town, all the land under Ore has been dug up.”

Lis stopped for a second, as if pondering the words of Nikto:

“Nik, if the siege drags on, there will be two or three hundred of us left. And the red ones will call for help. You understand?!” Unable to bear it, he screamed again. “Or will you lead the unclean ones through the Port?”

“I cannot lead an army through the Port and you know it.”

“How then to act?!”

“Hold the defense, Lis, motherfucker!” Nikto also shouted. He swore in unclean language, insulting Lis, very rudely indicating who he thought he was and what Nikto thought of him. Lis paid with his own coin and swore at Nikto in red and black at the same time, remembering all the Demons in general and him in particular. Lis didn’t pay any attention to Kors, and he sat down, realizing that they were really deep in shit.

“Lis! You are a rotten commander! What the panic, damn it, how are you fucking me up with your tantrums!” Nikto hit his forehead with his palm, closing his eyes, and obviously trying to calm down, but he could not succeed. “Fuck, not only are you a noise-head, you have regular tantrums, like girls have their periods! Stable! No wonder you fucked everything up in the past, with your eternal fucking attitude! Do we have people now?!”

“Yes!” Lis snapped.

“We’re inside, reds are outside, right?!”

“Yes,” Lis replied grimly.

“Then what? What the fuck is the problem now?! We must hold the defense further! I am not omnipotent! Keep up the defense! Keep up defense, fuck you, motherfucker! What are you as a commander to do now?!”

“Hold the defense!”

“So hold it! Don't fucking give up like an asshole!”

“I don’t give up!”

“Well done! Do what you must and don't panic! Do you understand me, you red-haired bitch?!”

“Well, okay,” said Lis, seeing that Nikto was wounded, and deciding, out of harm's way, to slow down, “I will do everything in my power, and you are responsible for your words.”

“I am responsible! You want to show me now that I am not responsible for my words?!”

“Not now.”

“Then fuck you!”

“Here are the lists for you, I put them on the oak stump!” Lis threw the lists of the dead onto the table. And he left, slamming the door loudly.

Kors shook his head.

“As you speak, it is unacceptable. For Alis it is okay, but don't answer him like that, don't stoop to his level, Demon.”

Nikto just looked at him gloomily.

“Alis is furious, he's going to cripple Karina!” Kors worried.

“He won’t. He will get stones and that's it.”

“She will fall under his hot hand, he will take out all his anger on her.”

“No, she won’t fall under his hand, she perfectly knows how not to shine at such moments. Don’t be afraid for her.”

“And you don't be fooled by his provocations, answer him coldly, politely and with contempt.”

“I can't do that. He turns me on.”

“Yes, damn it, you are mirroring what they put into you,” Kors thought, “we need to somehow untie you from him emotionally. Have you and Lis been lovers for a long time?”

“We are together now,” Nikto answered gloomily.

“When do you have time?!”

Nikto was silent.

“You're upset. You let him yell at you, now you sit sad. Maybe I don't understand something? After all, he is also your slave, you just have to order, and your Lis will bend down in front of you.”

“Yes.”

“Why didn't you bend him over now? Didn't show him who is in charge? I don’t understand!”

Nikto didn’t answer anything.

“Do you, perhaps, love him?!”

“Yes.”

Kors shook his head in disappointment.

“Oh! This redhead drove everyone crazy. Karina, you… He does what he wants, considers himself the coolest, how does he do it?”

“No way. He's really cool.”

“Bullshit! And don't love him, he doesn't deserve it! He doesn't care about you, he uses you, he also demands: “Where is my victory?” He is completely insolent! He doesn't love you, Demon!”

Nikto was sitting sad and silent, and Kors physically felt how he yearned for Lis, regretting that he was gone. He wanted his love and recognition.

Kors was stunned by it:

“No-no, I won't leave it like that! I promised to help you, and I will put something else in you, the right thing. I'll squeeze out all the shit that Lis put into you. Firstly, it is unacceptable to talk and communicate like that, and I will take care of your upbringing, your culture of speech. And secondly, I will explain to you that you should not love those who don’t reciprocate and just use you. This is not the case! Do you agree with that?”

“Yes,” answered Nikto indifferently.

“Do you understand that Alis doesn't love you? He probably doesn't love anyone at all!”

“I understand everything,” Nikto quickly touched his face with his right hand several times in a row.

“Maybe he only loves himself,” Kors continued, “and even then, I doubt it very much, looking at how he fights, this is not even courage, it’s some kind of suicide, he doesn’t think where he is going.”

“He thinks,” Nikto tightly grasped his left wrist with his right, trying not to make uncontrolled movements.

And Kors saw it, the way he tried to calm his hand:

“I will help you, Nik, to get rid of this splinter, human weakness.”

Nikto didn’t object, and Kors was inspired:

“You will forget about him, and when we return to the Black City, by this time I will teach you, you will speak normally, because we need this to fulfill my Mission, do I understand correctly? After all, my Mission will clearly be associated with the Upper City, and not with the Lower, of course. What should I do in Lower? This means that you will need to learn to speak the way we, the Supreme Sirs, talk among ourselves, and not the way you, illiterate commoners, talk. I'll teach you, okay?”

“Okay,” Nikto answered.

Kors nodded in satisfaction and took the lists of the dead from the table.

“Oak stump…” He shook his head. “Expressions of the poor, who don’t even have a table, but instead of a table there is a wooden stump!”

Nikto was silent. Kors began reading the lists, bitterly recognizing the names of his warriors.

Nikto pulled his mute Arel to him and hugged him to his chest the way an upset child hugs his favorite toy to be comforted. Kors lifted his eyes from the lists and looked at them, it touched him. And he also really liked the fact that Nikto argued with him, and it seemed he didn’t mind reaching out for knowledge. Kors thought that the devilish cunning was simultaneously combined in Nikto with some childish naivety and a lack of understanding of what was bad and what was good. This clarity of Nikto in the seemingly most ordinary questions and concepts surprised Kors: “No, he is still a little mentally retarded,” thought Kors, looking at such a sincerely upset Nikto. “That's really, really, hellishly wrong, wrong combination of Demon and man. Such a crooked, flawed symbiosis, but by the way, it's even cute!” Kors remembered how Nikto talked in a rather primitive way, although he said the right things: “Okay, I'll teach him, he doesn't seem to mind, he probably understands that he needs it.”

Nikto pressed Arel closer to him and kissed him. Arel immediately responded to the kiss, they were sucked in front of Kors that he felt uneasy. He thought that he probably needed to leave and didn’t leave, didn’t want to leave, continuing to watch Nikto and Arel kissing, how Nikto stroked Arel’s face with slightly crooked fingers of his right hand, very tenderly, and Arel hugged him. Kors realized that now their kiss would turn into something more, and jealousy stirred in him, gnawing at him, but he threw those thoughts away. “Nikto is alien to human notions of morality,” thought Kors, thus reassuring himself. “He's not doing this to make me jealous, offend or spite me, no. Nik also loves me, he is kind and affectionate with me. He just wants to be with Arel now, they have been together for a long time, but this doesn’t mean anything. Nik listens to me, and reaches out to me, he just doesn’t understand now that offends my feelings, and it is indecent to squeeze Arel in front of my eyes. The demon knows no shame, and doesn’t understand human concepts. This is the reason for his behavior. And he didn't tell me to leave. I should not be jealous and offended, Arel is his lover and we are one.” And Kors, explaining to himself everything that was happening, continued to watch how Nikto undressed Arel, began to breathe heavily, pressing against him with groans, and Kors felt that he too was getting up, despite jealousy and resentment. Arel bent over to meet him and clung to his beloved so much, their movements were so complementary to each other, just like in battle, they were one. The action of one smoothly flowed into the movement of the other. Kors now felt not jealousy, but rather envy, realizing how awkward and mediocre his sex with Nikto was. He looked with all his eyes, trying to understand how Arel did this, how such harmony is formed between them. This was beautiful. And one could look at it endlessly, like at fire or flowing water. Nikto fucked Arel for a long time, he moaned, and Kors seemed to be there with them.

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