The Tower emits a morbid, domineering presence. It stands out in the valley.
Charles has first glimpsed its’ peak in the morning. Later, in the afternoon, he is finally close enough to take in and admire the massive structure rising up in the sky. A monument to glory and humanity’s victory in the Great Magic War.
The grey-stoned column is within the circular stone hedge, which is not much taller than Charles himself. It shows no signs of crumbling, despite being mapped by dark green moss and ivy.
It is strange that a narrow ribbon of trodden ground, he has taken here, stops at the stone hedge and angles towards the forest. It doesn’t go in. The arch is empty. No gates, no spikes to stop the intruders. Charles stops too. He tries to calm himself by reciting his purpose until he regains courage.
When Charles steps through the arch in the stone hedge, he feels a prickle of magic all over his skin. A cold gush of wind ruffles his hair and he thinks of the wards. He turns back to glance at the path, at the valley he crossed, and a heavy sensation settles over him. As if an invisible hand squeezes his fluttering heart.
There is no way back – Charles tells himself.
Later, he will be cursing his stubborn self, for that was the moment when he could have saved himself from unbelievable torture and despair.
An inner yard looks peaceful. Old and young trees seem to have planted themselves here and there. Grass is surprisingly soft and very green inside. Flowers are swaying in the breeze. Charles thinks that it looks like a sanctuary and smiles.
He strides to grand wooden doors, which could probably let a knight squad march with their spears raised and, with bated breath, knocks on the door plate.
Doors groan and open for him and as Charles is gaping at the outstanding beauty of hall, a tall man in dark red cloak is coming down the stairs from his left.
“Leave,” he orders harshly and Charles almost takes a step back.
“Excuse my untimely visit, please. My name’s Charles – “
“I see it is hungry,” hisses the Great Warlock, halting in front of Charles. “Fresh meat has arrived. A mage?”
“Yes, your – “
“Leave right now. If you don’t, you will be begging for a mercy of death,” he interrupts Charles.
Charles clasps the strands of his bag and thinks of his dream, his determination.
“I have a recommendation letter with me. You might see that my grades at the Academy were excellent,” Charles flushes up when he fails to tug the letter out of his bag after the first try.
“No one leaves the Academy right in the middle of training,” states the Warlock and Charles lowers his eyes down.
His hand, which is clasping the letter, is shaking like a leaf. How can he possibly know?
“You have been banished.”
Charles hears glee and a spark of interest in the Warlock’s voice, so he looks up and holds up the letter.
The Great Warlock is a handsome man, thinks Charles suddenly. The legends never mentioned that. He is force. He is magic itself. Charles knows very well what Academy magistrate looks like: those grey-haired men, wearing majestic beards; their powerful staffs adorned with polychromatic crystals; their eyes constantly glowing, as they have used magic for so long that it became indigenous. To Charles’s eyes, the Guardian looks human. He isn’t wearing a beard. His long, dark-blond hair is not sprinkled with white. His light blue-grey eyes are piercing and his skin is even slightly tanned. And he’s putting Charles’s letter aflame.
“Why are you,” Charles exclaims and drops it, then bites his tongue. “Your Worship, what was wrong with the letter?”
“You are not acceptable. You mustn’t be here. I repeat, last time – leave before it’s too late,” the Warlock turns around and adds. “And never call me like that again.”
Charles watches him go back upstairs and he follows, because he has nothing to lose.
Warlock disappears so fast, that Charles, weighted down by his bag and tiresome journey, barely draws level with the man when he pushes open a simple, dark door.
“I’m begging you, your Wor… sir, my intention is merely studying under you. I mean no disrespect. Yes, I was banished… but, please, believe me that all allegations are false… fabricated, for I’ve been unfortunate enough to anger a very malicious man.”
“Didn’t they tell you about this place? About the dangers?” the Warlock stands still in the doorway.
“I heard them all. But… The Tower is a temple of knowledge, for its’ library is,” Charles loses his breath. “They say it is amazing. That the very core designs of magic from all over the realm are collected here.”
“I recall it was a she. She was here this spring or… in summer, a decade ago,” says the Warlock suddenly. “She swore she was pursuing knowledge. She thought her intention was her true purpose… until I found her in the yard. She has stuffed her mouth with grass and soil. Warms and birds were feasting on her eyes. They used to be brown. Unlike yours.”
Charles presses his hand to his mouth and takes a step back. His stomach twists in a vile knot.
“I didn’t do anything, you silly child. I didn’t have to.”
He shuts the door and Charles hangs his head. He slowly returns downstairs. He will try again tomorrow, he decides.
The expanse of Hall takes up almost entire level, yet it’s smaller than it has to be. Charles is curious. He wanders closer to the walls and studies the patters carved in stone. Until he sees a hidden alcove. There is a door, which, when he opens it, leads to a kitchen. There’s a stove, a large table with a bench and an open fireplace. Other than that, it’s empty. Charles comes inside, seduced by the casual domesticity. He puts his bag down and unrolls his worn cot. Nights of dawning summertime are cold and the Tower is at least comfortably dry inside. He decides that he can overlook the etiquette this time, because the Warlock won’t speak to him today.
A merry purr draws him to the far corner where he finds a little water fountain. A round stone basin is on the pedestal. In the center, a burbling stream is shooting up and falling down. The basin has five triangular gaps in the bottom, so all water disappears elsewhere. Charles washes his hands and face and then carefully collects some water in his cupped palms. He whispers a few words and the water in his hands gleams bright blue. It means that water spirits are strong here and he can drink it safely.
When he stretches on his cot and his light sphere goes out, he starts tossing and turning. He is not afraid because he has nothing to lose, recites Charles.
He feels warm at night. So warm, that somehow he loses all his clothes. Charles squirms when he senses something hot and slick rub against his exposed bellybutton. He tries to cover himself instinctively, but the same slick presence winds round his wrists and keeps them pressed to the swirling, heated ground.
That is what forces him to jolt and open his eyes.
His neck twists and he stares at the mass of meaty, slick tentacles around and under him. He nearly loses his mind when two tentacles quickly take firm hold of his ankles.
Charles cries out when the tentacle at his belly button slides up his chest. He strains his neck and turns it to the side. He tries to curl out of slick grip, to writhe, but the slick thing is relentless when it reaches his neck and circles it. It pulses, squeezing Charles’s throat until he has to open his mouth to breath.
As if on cue, another tentacle slides up his neck and its tip forces its way into his mouth with clear primordial intentions. Charles stupidly doesn’t bite on it, so it pushes inside. Because his jaw is wide open now he can’t stop it. He can’t thrash as his neck is leashed by the monster. He is terrified, but at the same time he feels warm stirring in his very bowels. As his arms are drawn over his head and his legs are slowly lifted up to be spread in the air, one tentacle rubs along his rising cock.
Charles groans deep inside, as two more tentacles flicker his nipples, which have never been so erect and sensitive before. The intrusion in his mouth vibrates in place, pressing heavily on his tongue. The slick it produces tastes like brine and ashes. He refocuses his teary eyes on a weird sight: tentacles, previously toying with his nipples, retreat. Their red flesh pulses strongly until the heads become engorged and then the meaty top unfurls and discharges more slick. Charles’s face burns from humiliation when spunk lands on his chin and cheeks.
He is absurdly aroused when the tentacles circle his knees, his calves, and bend him in half so his head is now positioned in between his well-spread thighs. They bend him more, as much as possible, until he tears up some more. Charles can see his hard cock now. He can also see a single tentacle rise to trace his hole, which is now open to touch. Charles moans, with his mouth otherwise occupied, as the tentacle playing with his sensitive pucker drives into his anus. Inch by inch. Gradual, but moist with slick and determined to trump his ass.
With his mouth full, Charles is observing a carnal sight of his ass getting filled. He feels the press of hot protuberance inside him and comes just from that.