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DeRosa/Edea/Einheria, Non-con, hypnotism, bondage

Beneath the dazzling lakeside city of Florem, far removed from the gaudy lights and the outlandish, blossoming architecture of the water-borne haven, one man had founded a lonely kingdom below the earth to call his own.

It was not always so lonely, Fiore DeRosa reminded himself with a dirty little smile, as if sharing a lewd joke with himself. Feminine company had been far from scarce within this subterranean realm of late; after all, it was only fitting that even this dismal, sunless corner of Florem should play host to flowers of its own, even if the girls of the once-devout matriarchy were these days as loud and vapid and disgracefully garish as the clothes they wore and the tarnished city itself.

DeRosa much preferred the near-silence of his clandestine laboratory to the occasional entertainments of the capital. A man would not even have been permitted to take up permanent residence in the city itself, but down here in the murky bowels of the shopping district, surrounded by his constantly-bubbling machinery and the thick purple fog it exuded as it carried out its sinful work, everything was on his terms.

The women, especially.

The sweet-smelling fumes given off by the maze of pipes and valves and processing tanks packed into the laboratory might had no effect on DeRosa himself, but the red mage knew all too well what the chemicals being pumped into the air could do to the senses of any woman who ventured here in his company. The mild state of arousal that resulted from inhaling the fumes was minor enough that it did not raise suspicion in his many female guests... although most of those he did bring into his secret parlor had already fallen under his spell by other means.

It had taken close observation of his subordinates in the Bloodrose Legion, the only women to come down here other than his victims, to realize that even the wafting by-product of his experiments could tamper with the sexual urges of a woman’s body and mind.

With considerable fondness he allowed himself to recollect the moment he had made this discovery - that glorious moment when he had noticed the emerald-haired Mephilia Venus unconsciously pawing herself beneath her elaborate summoner’s costume. Giving nothing away, DeRosa had simply allowed the witch to entertain him as well as herself, taking in the flushed cheeks and uncomfortable demeanor of her elder sister, Einheria, as she gave her latest report. Even the ever-masked youngest sister, fierce little Artemia, had seemed to be in considerable discomfort while in the laboratory...

The memory of that day brought a smirk to DeRosa’s handsome face. Even the formidable Venus sisters of Eternia had fallen under the spell of the purple-tinged mist, a simple side-effect of the laboratory’s true purpose. What chance did the vacuous women of Florem have against the finished product?

The cologne he had concocted from the rare and precious ingredients the sisters had gathered for him made the mist cloaking the lab look like some street-corner charlatan’s aphrodisiac. One sniff was all it took for any woman he had tested it on to fall wildly in love with him, intoxicated by the venomous mixture of pheramore and nidaphyx, at least for a few days without receiving a second dose. With this potent perfume in hand, DeRosa intended to corrupt the matriarchy of Florem to its core and bring the entire city to its knees. One woman at a time.

Of course, what was the point of devising such a delightful fragrance if one did not enjoy its benefits in other ways? Why not pluck a few extra delicate petals along the way?

As the list of his conquests continued to mount, the names of the many Florem women he had seduced blurring together in his mind, DeRosa found himself bored with the ease of it all. The sex was always amusing, that the red mage could not deny, but they were all the same, these women of the Water Crystal’s domain. Vain, preening, foolish creatures with little concern beyond buying their next eye-searing dress or musing on their next outrageous hair-style.

Of course, that was partly DeRosa’s fault in the first place - he and the Venus sisters had ensured that plenty of lovely but mind-addling products were sold in the markets of Florem - but that hardly made a difference to his increasing boredom. He had even attempted to seduce one of the city’s peacock-like women without the aid of the cologne, but without it none of them had given him a second glance.

He might have been offended, had a single one of them been worth pursuing for more than sex and the Bloodrose Legion’s plan. Thirty-eight is not old, you shallow little harlots... but why bother seducing you the old-fashioned way when you’re more tolerable drugged out of your wits?

How boring.

~ ~ ~

So it went for tedious weeks on end, a ceaseless parade of rainbow narcissists... until a messenger from his homeland of Eternia arrived in Florem, a missive in his hand and a young girl in tow.

DeRosa’s eyes scanned the leaf of paper he had been given for a second time, re-reading each and every handwritten word to ensure that he had properly comprehended the message. Every neatly scrawled letter was just as it had been upon the first reading, right down to the imperious signature of Templar Braev Lee as the bottom. New orders from his master, the leader of the nation of Eternia.

A new subordinate had been assigned to his command. Not just any old subordinate, either; a newly minted officer, one of low rank but great significance nonetheless.

DeRosa’s gaze shifted from the page to the young woman standing before him on the Eternian airship’s deck. Resolute blue eyes stared back at him, steady and composed, without any sign of the nerves he would have expected of a soldier on her first assignment. Wavy, pale blonde hair, somehow neat yet disordered at the same time, veiled a slight but powerful form clad in common red-and-black armor. White trousers, a pair of gloves and knee-high leather boots completed the girl’s battle dress, her blade sheathed by her side.

Edea Lee, daughter of the Templar himself. Eighteen years old, dispatched to Florem on her very first mission. DeRosa had to admit that she was lovely, if a little young for him.

“Welcome to Florem, Edea,” he purred, folding the missive and tucking it into the opened breast of his dashing crimson dress shirt. She shifted in discomfort as he used her given name so freely, but did not dare address it, just as he had hoped. A quick lesson in who was in charge in the Florem detachment, high birth be damned. “I am Fiore DeRosa, Captain of the Bloodrose Legion. I believe you are acquainted with my second-in-command, Einheria Venus?”

Edea nodded stiffly, all formality. “We trained under the same master, sir. Is she here?”

“Unfortunately, no. She and her sisters are on various assignments of their own around the country, though she is expected to return to Florem city in a day or two.” DeRosa smiled at Edea, an unsettlingly insincere gesture. “I may send you to accompany her on her next mission, but until then, you will come back to Florem with me. It is a few hours walk from here; I am sure you can understand why the Duchy cannot land a military airship closer to the capital at such a time.”

He could read the disappointment in her clear blue eyes, and savored it. Would this brat try to interfere with his plans for Florem? The exact details of the Bloodrose Legion’s endeavors in the land of the Water Crystal were unknown to the Templar and the rest of the Council, cloistered away back in the icy mountains of their Eternian home. That uncompromising fool of a Templar would surely disapprove of the means by which DeRosa and the Venus sisters had set about destabilizing Florem, even if he would not argue with the result.

As he turned away from Edea, DeRosa began to mull. The Templar’s daughter was a wild card he hadn’t planned on having to shuffle into his deck. Yes, sending her across the country with Einheria was his best bet, whenever the damnable valkyrie returned from skewering Crystalists.

In the meantime, he would simply have to keep Edea busy, and away from his secret laboratory.

~ ~ ~

That plan lasted barely a few hours after their return to Florem.

DeRosa, intent on keeping Edea out of his way while he tended to business in his laboratory, had ordered the pretty young knight to go out into the city to familiarize herself with the location she had been assigned to destabilize. Already the girl was starting to get on his nerves; he could sense her distaste for him and for the subterfuge necessary in the Bloodrose Legion’s plot. A straight arrow, just like her Templar father. Yes, she was best kept well away from the darker detail of DeRosa’s plots.

Of course, it had not been that simple. Of course, Edea had happened to catch sight of him as he made his way through the city on his own, and of course the nosy little cow had decided to follow him to his lair. The secret tunnel. The elevator leading to his lab. The mist-shrouded lab itself. She had found it all within hours of her arrival.

The large cage filled with DeRosa’s unconscious victims had done little to brighten her view of him.

“I wouldn’t expect you to understand,” the red mage sighed, and indeed, the thorough explanation of his master plan - some details omitted, naturally - had felt more and more like wasted breath with every word he spoke. Edea’s lovely face had only become all the more twisted with fury as he told her of what he and his concoctions had done to the women of Florem, her hand unconsciously straying closer to the hilt of her sword. Why had he even bothered? The girl might resemble her mother, but she was every bit her father’s daughter.

Insufferable.

“Oh, don’t make that face. Your father has given his full approval.” DeRosa gave Edea his most condescending smile to accompany the lie. If he possessed one talent other than his knack for chemistry, it was his ability to make even the most disgraceful falsehoods seems utterly reasonable by sheer force of personality. Before his cologne had come along, it had been more than enough to bring women to his bed.

This time, however, even his silver tongue was less than convincing.

“My father would never approve of such a plot!” Edea’s voice rang with self-righteousness, soaring above the chugging and bubbling of the mist-spewing machinery at her back. “You mean to deceive me. You’ve been deceiving Father and the Council of Six all along. I can’t permit you to-”

“To do what?” Scorn replaced sugar in DeRosa’s hardening tone, the mask of the charming philanderer falling away. “To carry out my orders as given? Do you mean to turn your back on your father’s wishes the moment you find out that war isn’t always the fairytale you had thought? Perhaps he pushed you out of the nest a little too soon.”

“This isn’t war!” Edea did not back down, her gloved hand now visibly curling around the hilt of the katana sheathed at her waist. For security, DeRosa surmised with a derisive curl of his lip; surely even such a headstrong brat wouldn’t actually dare to defy him outright. “This is kidnapping innocent people! Destroying their minds... and for what?! Florem hasn’t so much as raised a sword against us!”

Her cheeks were ever-so-faintly flushed, DeRosa noted, though that might have been from anger more than the effects of the fumes. He snorted. “Taking control of Florem is necessary if we are to realize your father’s dream. Better this than, as you suggest, raising a sword against them. Now, enough banter. Are you going to be a good girl and fall into line, or are you going to cause trouble?”

“Ngh...” Edea was wavering; he could sense her uncertainty. Had he pushed the right buttons? Did dear old Daddy’s approval mean more to her than her inconvenient sense of justice? So easily manipulated, just like the rest of her gender...

“...Prove it to me.”

DeRosa’s eyebrow rose, a simple motion that belied the true depths of his surprise. “I beg your pardon?”

“You heard me.” Though her hand had slipped away from her blade, Edea seemed invigorated by DeRosa’s hesitation, taking a defiant step towards him, her eyes locked on his. So the little minx would challenge him after all. “If my father has approved this sordid endeavor, you’ll have some kind of evidence. Something signed by his hand that proves without a doubt that he condones this depravity. Show me!”

Damn it. Of course, there was no such evidence... and if DeRosa could not produce it, the brat would surely expose his scheme to her father at the earliest opportunity. That would not do at all. Curse it all, if he had only known in advance that the Templar would assign his damned daughter to the Bloodrose Legion, he might have had time to forge something to convince her that all was in order!

His first instinct, to lie, had failed. His second instinct, to kill, was not an option when dealing with the Templar’s own spawn.

But perhaps...

“Oh, I have evidence.” Another lie left DeRosa’s lips, though merely a prelude to a more potent solution. “Allow me to find it for you, if you would be so kind as to wait there.”

Not bothering to wait for an answer from the irritating girl, the red mage took his leave, ascending the staircase at the far side of the laboratory and coming to a halt at his desk on the upper level. Page after page of his research documents had been piled here, along with the many missives he had received from the Venus sisters and the Duchy, but most importantly it was where he kept several vials of the cologne that he had worked so hard to concoct.

Just a little should do the trick. You really aren’t my type, but you have forced my hand, little bird.

Snatching up a sheaf of completely irrelevant papers - documents relating to a new unit of Bloodrose troops, he believed - DeRosa climbed back down the staircase, reeking of the sweet scent of his mind-addling cologne. It was impossible to keep the smug smile from his lips as he returned to where Edea had been waiting for him, though he would allow her to think that it was the ‘evidence’ in his hand that had coaxed it from him for the moment. “You wanted proof? Here.”

He could sense Edea’s uncertainty as she snatched the papers from his hands. His feigned confidence had begun to worry her, and by the time she realized that the ‘evidence’ of her father’s complicity was no such thing...

“Nnhh...”

Hardened leather heels scuffed against the floor tiles as Edea staggered back, a hand rising to her temple, her eyelids fluttering in distress. The rosy flush in her cheeks deepened and darkened as the chemical mist that had seeped into her system was overwhelmed by the more potent cologne, infusing her body with tingling, throbbing heat.

The papers drifted to the floor, no longer of any import to either of them. The drug was taking effect with devastating swiftness, as if the purple fog Edea had already inhaled had weakened her mental defenses. Those clear blue eyes, once determined and outraged, now squinted at DeRosa’s face as if trying to discern from his amused visage just what was happening to her. Her forehead glistened with sweat, matting strands of pale blonde hair against her face and tricking down her nose, there to caress flesh that burned with unnatural warmth. She swayed, listless, confused...

You’re mine.

It was as if a shield had broken, Edea’s mental guard dissolving, exposing her vulnerable self within. “Ugh... s-sir...?”

DeRosa could see naught but love in her once-hostile gaze. Her formerly stoic bearing had loosened, her brazen stance - legs spread, hand on hip, chest thrust forward - more befitting of a back-street harlot than an officer of Luxendarc’s finest military. Whatever had his concoction awakened? “Are you displeased by how I conduct the Duchy’s affairs in Florem, Edea?”

Her forehead wrinkled, still sparkling with beads of sweat in the unearthly light, as if she were on the verge of remembering something. However, all that emerged was a crooked, cheeky little smile. “No, sir... but I... um...”

DeRosa allowed a thin charcoal eyebrow to soar, as if he had no idea what she might say. “Yes, Edea?”

“I... you and I...” The wavering words slipped from Edea’s careless lips without consideration or regret. Every safeguard in her proud little head had been shut down by the insidious drug, every sober thought blotted out by ardent lust. Swaying hips carried her towards DeRosa, her sword belt forgotten as she near fell into him, her gloved palms pressing firm against his chest. Her entire body simmered against him as she pushed herself up onto her tiptoes, her flesh heating his own even through her light armour, her lips rising in search of his. “Should get better acquainted.”

Still not my type, but this is a rare opportunity. Gazing down into Edea’s hazily loving eyes, DeRosa allowed himself to smile a genuine smile. The Templar’s own daughter, mind addled by lust, here at his mercy. What better way to mock the mighty father than to despoil the daughter, even if she would not remember it when the drug had run its course? Oh, the things he could make her do...

His lips melded with Edea’s as he leaned into her, his tongue ravaging her hot, wet little mouth to the tune of her lustful moans. She rubbed against him all the more as he stole her breath away, her hips grinding against his, stirring his manhood into life beneath his emerald breeches. She was almost feverish with desire, her sweaty face aflame as her eager little hands darted against the sash cinched around his waist, seeking to unfasten the knot behind the ornamental rose. This fervid little display exceeded the ardour shown by the Florem women he had drugged, even those that had practically leapt into his bed. Was it her earlier exposure to the labratory’s fumes... or had this girl hidden a wild side beneath the guise of the dutiful knight?

Templar, if only you could see your precious daughter now.

“Undress,” he bade her as he withdrew, turning to ascend the stairs back to the upper level of the laboratory before his lustful little bird could protest.

Edea pouted in his absence, the heat nesting within her body denied for the moment, but did not hesitate to obey him. Her long gloves slipped from her wrists and fingertips, forgotten by the time they hit the floor, joined in moments by knee-high boots wrenched free and stepped from. She busied herself with buckles and fastenings, stripping herself of her trousers and armor as readily as if she had been in her company alone, and not baring herself before the red-haired man who had seemed so wrong from the moment they had met. Her sword belt clanked against tile, her only defense discarded without a thought.

From his position on the upper tier of the laboratory, DeRosa smirked and continued to gather his tools.

Her whole body was as beautifully flushed as her cheeks, the drug coursing by now through the entirety of her system, a fact most evident now that the Templar’s daughter now stood dressed only in a pittance of soft white fabric. A common soldier might have favored something cheaper and simpler than this, but Edea had fancifully clothed her intimate areas with bra and panties adorned with lacy, snow-white little frills, something that a newly-wed girl might think to wear on her wedding night. Her childish innocence amused DeRosa, but it was Edea’s next words that truly grabbed his attention, spoken in a sultry tone that belonged as much to the marital bed as her choice of undergarments.

“Should I stop here?”

Quite the little minx the Templar has raised, DeRosa noted, his own skin flushing with warmth, and not from the cologne or the mist. Clothed in battle gear and armed with her blade, Edea had been an irritation and a potential enemy to be dealt with, but half-naked and wearing that lustful little look, her clear blue eyes filled with drug-stirred mischief... he had underestimated her allure. His heart beat faster, his loins stirred more by this sight than the feel of her body pressing against his ever had. “N-no,” he commanded, annoyed at himself for stammering like a schoolboy. “Continue. The bow in your hair, too.”

A cheeky grin curved Edea’s lips as she untied the black-and-red bow from her pale blonde hair, her dainty hands carrying it behind her back as she sought the clasp of her bra. DeRosa’s eyebrows lifted along with his heart rate as the snowy garment fell away, revealing small but proud breasts, nipples perked from the cologne’s stimulation alone. She was watching him, thrusting her chest forward, showing herself off in a way that a rational Edea would never have dreamed.

DeRosa’s hands slipped and shook as they gathered the necessary items, excitement overcoming him in a way it rarely did.

By the time the red mage had returned to the lower level of the lab, Edea was already working her panties down her thighs with a seductive slowness that could surely be no accident. The frivolous little garment dropped uselessly to her ankles, but rather than kick it free of her legs, the blonde-haired vixen turned away from DeRosa and bent low to retrieve it with her hands, taking her time in stepping out of the lace-trimmed holes and displaying her most private places to his eyes.

The delighted grin that spread across DeRosa’s lips was fueled by lust only in part. What made this sight so delicious to the red mage was the knowledge that the Templar’s little girl would never have acted this way of her own volition. He had complete control over her, despite her prior fury and suspicion. Even her strong will had been effortlessly bent to his whims, the proud little knight transformed into a smiling harlot in a matter of moments from one little sniff of his wonderful cologne.

“Come here,” he commanded, and a thrill ran down his spine as Edea straightened and obeyed. It took all of the willpower he possessed not to throw her to the floor and mount her.

Instead, he set his burden down on a nearby table and turned back to her with but a single item remaining in his hand. The large rubber ball dangled in front of Edea’s face from the thick leather strap piercing the center, its bright red surface shining faintly in the dim basement light.

The corners of her lips quirked. “Is that for me?”

“The first of many gifts,” DeRosa assured her, forcing a pleasant tone into his voice as he stepped towards her, ball gag in hand. Edea was proving far more receptive to his demands than he had expected, even under the influence of the cologne, her behavior completely altered rather than merely influenced in his direction. How much of this change could be ascribed to the drug, and how much to Edea herself, beneath the uptight shell she had constructed for herself? How much of her wanted this, even if she did not also want him?

She accepted the large red sphere into her mouth with a flirty little wink, allowing him to wedge it behind her teeth and fill her mouth with its rubbery girth. Even as her jaw stretched to accommodate the intruder, her teasing words of appreciation stifled into murmurs by the oversized gag, she offered not even a hint of resistance to his buckling of the straps behind her head. Such a pliable girl, DeRosa marveled as he guided her towards the table and the restraints that he had laid out in wait for her. Surely, were she in her right mind, her compliance with such lewd commands would shame the lovely young knight.

It was almost a pity that these events would be wiped from Edea’s memory when the cologne’s effects faded. Her knowledge of the laboratory and their confrontation before her drugging would also be swept clean from her mind, but there was no reason he should not enjoy her in the meantime...

Unfortunately for the red mage, no sooner did he fit a pair of leather cuffs around Edea’s willingly offered wrists than did the mechanisms of the basement elevator begin to clank and whirr and grind.

Someone was coming.

DeRosa spat a curse, the cogs of his mind turning in tandem with those of the elevator. Very few people knew of the existence of this clandestine laboratory, and it was too well-hidden to be found by accident. He was here, and Edea was here, and that left only three possible visitors, none of them particularly welcome ones. Einheria, Mephilia or Artemia Venus, or even more than one of them. The warrior sisters were supposed to be busy with their own tasks; even Einheria was not scheduled to return for at least a day. Damn it...!

But a schemer like DeRosa was not one to be undone so easily. As the elevator rose to the mouth of the secret passage to meet the arriving intruder, the crimson-haired mage worked quickly. He guided Edea into the cage built into the laboratory wall, concealing her within the dark space beyond the warped golden bars, commanding her to be quiet as he hastened to collect the clothing she had left behind. He tossed each item into the confines of the dingy little cell - armour, gloves, boots, trousers, bow, sword belt, undergarments - heaping them on top of her to conceal the identity of the imprisoned girl. If he was lucky, perhaps his visitor might not notice anyone in there at all, but if he was unlucky enough for one of the Venus sisters to recognize their comrade...

The podlike elevator let out a rattling clunk as it returned to the lower floor, the iron doorway swinging open.

His hands working to latch the cage door closed on Edea, DeRosa turned to meet the new arrival with expertly feigned nonchalance. “Einheria. You’re early.”

“Is that a problem?” The eyebrow of the Valkyrie, Einheria Venus rose, threatening to soar above her forehead and be lost in her orderly blonde tresses. A vision of white and azure and gold, her athletic body garbed from neck to toe in the color of snow, Einheria was fortunate enough to look more natural than most in the frivolous but deadly garb bequeathed upon her by the Valkyrie’s asterisk, the source of her tremendous power in martial combat. Far more ostentatious than the Red Mage asterisk, DeRosa was prone to thinking with a mental sneer at the blonde warrior, with its angelic winged hairband, vivid blue ribbon upon its wearer’s breast, and the absurd but deadly skirt of spears that rose from her stiff white boots... but in battle it served her well, protecting her from assault and making her all the more dangerous as she bounded through the air with her lance in hand.

“Not at all. I was merely surprised.” DeRosa hid his annoyance and unease beneath a curtain of dismissiveness. “Your report, then? I trust you bring me good news.”

~ ~ ~

Einheria did indeed bring glad tidings, her operations against the cloistered Crystalists of Florem a stunning, if violent, success. As pleased as DeRosa was by the results the valkyrie had achieved, this woman had always annoyed him, and it dismayed him more than he cared to admit to see her prevail so dramatically. She was his subordinate, and her achievements reflected well upon him and the Bloodrose Legion in front of the Council of Six, but she had already been in danger of outshining him...

Still, the longer her report went on, the more apprehensive DeRosa became. What if her sapphire eyes wandered to the cage in the wall, and noticed someone there beneath the pile of clothing? What if she discovered Edea, her fellow pupil of Master Kamiizumi, nude and bound and drugged out of her wits? There would be no talking his way out of that.

“That concludes my report.”

“Mm.” DeRosa nodded, forcing himself to pay attention to what was happening right before him. There was no point worrying now; he had played his cards, and would simply need to hope that the rest fell in his favor. “Well done, Einheria. I have not yet heard from your sisters; may I assume that they have been working to such an exemplary standard?” Damn it all, that hurt to say.

Einheria’s features showed no reaction to DeRosa’s reluctant praise. “I have been in contact with their troops. Mephilia reports that she will be able to bring at least seventy-six Florie wings for processing when she returns to the city. In terms of orochi slain, Artemia reports-”

Metal clanked against the tiled floor, the sound ringing throughout the laboratory.

Einheria’s eyes darted to the cage, and DeRosa’s heart seized. He had told the fool girl to lie still, damn her! There was no further sign of movement beyond the twisted golden bars of the cage, but it seemed that the damage had been done. The valkyrie was already approaching the cell, curiosity and suspicion driving her on.

“There’s no need to worry about that,” the red mage insisted, taking a step after the white-clad warrior. “I had just finished locking up a shipment of supplies when you arrived. Perhaps I stacked them improperly.”

The lies came easily to his lips, as they always did, and they might even have been enough to dull Einheria’s suspicion had fate not had other ideas. Even the dull, purple-tinged light of the subterranean laboratory was enough for the keen-eyed valkyrie to spot the item that had fallen from the pile of clothing and gear; Edea’s sword belt, and the blade that had partially slipped loose from the scabbard.

“...Ise-no-Kami?” Einheria murmured, her voice sharp with shock.

Though unsure just what she was speaking of, DeRosa felt his blood run as cold as ice water. “I beg your pardon?”

“Ise-no-Kami. My master’s blade.” Einheria turned to face DeRosa, her finger pointing accusingly at the half-unsheathed katana, which had naturally fallen far too close to the bars of the cell to be missed. “What is it doing here? Why do you have it?”

No, of course it couldn’t be some run-of-the-mill infantry sword. Cursing his luck once again, DeRosa’s mind struggled to come up with a convincing falsehood that could make this entire problem vanish. Master Kamiizumi’s own sword. Perhaps he could claim that Kamiizumi himself had come to Florem to join them, but even if Einheria believed him, he would surely have to produce the man himself before long. A gift? No, that was outrageous. Laughable. A replica? Possible, but ludicrously thin...

“What is going on here, DeRosa?” Einheria had waited long enough for an answer, her suspicions ignited by his lengthy silence. The valkyrie’s white-gloved hand was already on the latch of the cage door, working it loose, and once she was inside there would be no hiding Edea from her.

Damn it, he was slipping. Again, just as with Edea, his lies had failed him. The cologne... he had to use the cologne! He took another step towards her, then another...

“Keep your distance!” Einheria snapped, glaring violently at him as she stepped inside the cell and picked up her master’s sword. The valkyrie might not have known the details of the perfume he had concocted - as far as he had told her, the toxic ingredients her feral sisters had gathered were for direct use on Florem’s population as hairpins and dye - but even she could see the wisdom in keeping him away from the cell door while she was within its confines. Einheria was rarely relaxed around DeRosa, but he could tell the difference between her grudging tolerance of him and the beginnings of genuine hostility.

If he could not lie to her, and could not get close enough to utilize his cologne or even to close the cell door on the tiresome woman, he was left with precious few options. If he was unable to stop Einheria before she discovered the truth, she would surely turn her spear on him. Skilled though he was, DeRosa knew that he was a poor match for the valkyrie’s agility and might.

...Of course! Einheria might have her asterisk’s abilities at her beck and call, but he still possessed his own. The red mage asterisk provided DeRosa with physical strength, a smattering of white magic... and black magic, as well. He had been a fool not to think of it sooner. Magic surged within his body, focusing into a very specific spell.

Many black magic spells were purely destructive, summoning flame or ice or lightning to tear apart one’s enemies. Some, however, were rather more subtle... and it was subtlety that he would need to employ if he were to have any hope of salvaging this situation.

“Sleep.”

The magical compulsion descended upon Einheria just as the valkyrie began to uncover the secret beneath the pile of clothing. The rigid shock on her noble features slackened as she was overwhelmed by the soporific spell, her mind shut down by encroaching lethargy. Even she, proud and powerful as she might be, could not resist such potent black magic. She collapsed to the floor, bereft of her senses, silent and still.

DeRosa allowed himself a satisfied smile. That would be the end of it, provided no more uninvited guests showed up. He could simply dose Einheria with the cologne as he had with Edea, and when it eventually wore off, her memories of these unpleasant few minutes would seep away with it, along with her recollection of what happened while it was in her system. All would be as it was before annoying little Edea had found his lab.

But... just what should he do until then?

DeRosa was hardly blind to the opportunity that had dropped into his lap. Two beautiful women, very nearly his enemies, were helpless and completely at his mercy. Their memories of what had and would occur within these walls would soon fade away, and while he doubted that he could manipulate these two long-term, as he had chosen to do with the women of Florem, the short term was tantalizing enough to consider.

Einheria Venus, his uptight, too-talented subordinate officer. Edea Lee, the Templar’s spawn and a nasty thorn in his side. Both women had caused him headaches. Perhaps they owed him pleasure, in repayment.

~ ~ ~

Once liberated from the pile of her own discarded clothing, then freed from her cuffs and her gag, the amorous Edea became a very willing accomplice.

DeRosa gave her careful orders and the equipment to carry them out, the pile of restraints he had brought out of storage for the Templar’s daughter now to be turned against Einheria instead. It would have been much simpler to bind the valkyrie himself, of course, particularly with the knowledge that the sleep spell he had cast upon her would not last for long, but a cruel idea had occurred to him as he considered how to proceed, and for it to work, he would need to keep several steps away from Einheria, letting Edea be his hands for the moment.

There was no need for Einheria to inhale the cologne just yet. For now he would ensure that she remained in her right mind, free of the desires he had forced upon Edea. Completely lucid.

It would be much more fun that way.

Completely enamored with DeRosa thanks to the cologne, Edea proved very eager to please him, following his orders to the letter no matter how fiercely she would have rebelled were she thinking straight. Her busy little hands divested the sleeping Einheria of the more unnecessary elements of her clothing - her skirt of spears, her gloves and boots, her angel-wing headband - casting each of them away without a second thought, stripping her down to the elaborate white dress that formed the centerpiece of her outfit. What remained would be enough to cover Einheria’s modesty, though it left her arms entirely bare and her legs exposed to her knees, but humiliating the valkyrie had not been DeRosa’s objective.

That could wait for when she was awake.

The red mage merely observed as Edea rolled her slumbering friend onto her stomach, pulling the valkyrie’s limp arms behind her back and buckling the leather cuffs around her wrists. Her bare legs were bent in two, ankles mashed against buttocks, thin straps biting into skin as they were wound about her folded thighs to keep them painfully in place. Ankles were drawn together, crossed over one another to force apart her knees, lashed in position with tight coils of rope and secured in turn to the cuffs binding her wrists. It was a tight, secure arrangement sure to keep her kneeling and powerless when the Sleep spell finally wore off.

Edea’s fingers slipped around the ball gag next, its rubber surface still slick with her own saliva, but DeRosa denied her with a shake of his head. “Not yet.”

As red mage and knight looked on, Einheria began to stir, a lethargic groan slipping from her mouth, consciousness slowly returning to her tightly bound form. Sapphire eyes slid open, focused, widened.

“Welcome back, Einheria.” There was no keeping the sneering self-satisfaction from DeRosa’s voice, but the time for masks had now passed. “Pleasant dreams, I trust?”

“Hmm...?” Perception gradually came back to the valkyrie, bringing with it a range of rather unpleasant and disquieting sensations. Her wits were sharp enough that it took only moments for her to realize that she was tightly bound, and little longer for her cheeks to flush at the discovery that she was wearing rather less than when she had abruptly lost consciousness. From there, the pieces of what had happened fell together rather easily, helped along by the sight of DeRosa’s leering face.

But... why was Edea here? More, why was she not making any move to help her? And what was that strange, spacey look on her face?

And where were her clothes!?

...Surely he hadn’t.

Had DeRosa interfered with her mind somehow? That was the only explanation that her own reeling mind could begin to accept, but Edea didn’t seem to be wearing one of those accursed hairpins, nor was her hair dyed in some garish shade. He must have done something else to her. Who knew what else he had concocted in this lair of his?

“Edea?” she ventured, testing the waters, completely ignoring DeRosa entirely for the moment. She knew the red mage well enough to know that it would irk him. “What is this?”

The young knight giggled and cast fawning eyes towards DeRosa, as if she were waiting for him to speak in her place. Einheria’s heart sank.

“This? Why, this is nothing to be concerned about.” The red mage’s lips slipped into a crooked smirk, his arm extending to slip around Edea’s shoulder. The little blonde was pulled close against DeRosa’s chest, an action that she did not resist in the slightest. Whatever he had done to her, it had definitely robbed her of her right mind. “We’re all friends here. Better than friends, in truth.”

Before Einheria’s horrified eyes, the rogue officer dipped his head to meet Edea’s, his lips touching hers in a heated kiss.

The valkyrie lurched against her bindings, cringing as the ropes and straps circling her limbs seemed to constrict against her skin. It was instinctive, her protective nature surging in response to an act she knew was unwilling, no matter how it looked. There was no way the straight-laced little blonde would do this of her own free will. “Edea! Stop it! Let go of her!”

“If you insist.” DeRosa terminated the kiss, licking his lips clean of Edea’s taste, his predatory gaze victorious as it found Einheria’s. The outrage written upon the valkyrie’s face was as delicious as the lingering flavor of the younger girl’s wet mouth. “Edea?”

“Mm?” The look of cheerful adoration on the blonde knight’s face could not be more at odds with the stricken visage of Einheria, the older woman’s teeth set in a grimace as her hands worked uselessly against the cuffs binding them behind her back. Edea’s relaxed, swaying posture, her complete lack of care for her brazen nudity, the hazy look in the girl’s normally sharp eyes... everything about her indicated that she was not in her right mind, and her foul superior officer had not just done this to her - he was taking full advantage. Had he already raped her?

Would Edea even know if he had?

DeRosa’s fingers brushed affectionately at the disordered, faintly sweaty blonde locks trailing against the knight’s porcelain cheek. She was smiling at the contact, her little pink lips sweetly turned up at the corners, as if they were some loving couple rather than a manipulative pervert and his prey. “Go and join your friend over there, dear,” the red mage murmured, just loud enough for Einheria to hear. “I think she’s feeling a little shy, but you and I can fix that.”

Edea didn’t hesitate to obey, very nearly skipping her way over to her helpless friend, her mind so fogged by DeRosa’s drug that the gravity of the situation was beyond her grasp. She dropped to her knees in front of Einheria, her breathing heavy and her cheeks flushed pink, her skin oddly slick with sweat and her small breasts hanging bare as if her nakedness meant nothing, her legs ever-so-slightly spread and granting a view of a small patch of pale blonde hair and delicate pink nether lips.

Einheria’s stomach turned at Edea’s soft smile. The bastard had made her want this. Given the choice, her friend would never have...

DeRosa cleared his throat. “You may begin.”

The valkyrie was given no time to wonder what he meant; it took only an instant for the pliant warmth of Edea’s lips to seize her own.

Her eyes shot wide open as Edea’s fluttered closed. Her cry of indignation was swallowed whole by the younger girl, the outside of her mouth painted in warm saliva as her molester’s tongue sought entry, but Einheria struggled to rein in her more violent instincts, forcing herself not to bite down on the drug-addled maiden.

It wasn’t her fault, she told herself over and over as Edea’s tongue pushed its way inside, the younger girl’s arms wrapping around her senior’s body to hold her still. This wasn’t Edea’s doing. It was DeRosa and his chemicals. They were making her do this, they were forcing her...

No matter how hard Einheria tried to pull away, Edea’s slender but strong arms kept her close, denying her the space to mount any real struggle. The young knight’s mouth pursued hers no matter which way she tried to turn, their lips somehow always touching, melding against each other in a torrid mix of saliva and sweat and some other taste Einheria couldn’t name. Some scent that didn’t belong in Edea’s breath.

“This is very nice, don’t get me wrong...” These patronizing words slithered from between DeRosa’s smirking lips as he joined them, stooping beside the two blonde girls at a distance of several feet to claim a closer look, “but I think there’s more to a good time than just kissing. You’ll drown the poor woman.”

Edea was still smiling that soft little smile as she broke away, a trail of drool swinging from her shining lips. She exchanged a glance with DeRosa as Einheria caught her breath, waiting for his next command.

“Oh, come now.” The red mage’s eyebrow lifted. “Don’t tell me you haven’t touched yourself before?”

Instantly, Edea’s hand dipped between her thighs, beginning to move back and forth in a gentle rhythm, only for DeRosa to call her to a halt with a cough.

“Well, I see that you don’t need any instruction there, but we shall save that for our private time later.” He chuckled, peering at Einheria as if he expected her to appreciate the joke. “I was hoping that you could use those talents on your friend here. Make sure that she feels good, understand?”

“Don’t you dare!” Already mortified at the sight of her friend with her fingers between her legs, a notion that she knew would have driven Edea to deliver a slap to DeRosa’s face were she in her right mind, Einheria attempted to shrink away from the advancing girl, struggling in vain to close her own thighs. With her ankles crossed and bound beneath her, however, it proved beyond her strength. “Edea, it’s Einheria! Stop this at once! You don’t want to do this!”

No hesitation, no response. Edea was upon her once again, the hand that she had begun to pleasure herself with rising to press against Einheria’s lips. The scent of Edea’s crotch invaded the valkyrie’s nostrils as a faintly wet knuckle rubbed against the base of her nose, others trying to fight their way through Einheria’s tightly pursed lips.

At the same time, though Einheria’s view was blocked by Edea’s hand and arm, she felt the younger girl’s other hand slip beneath her dress, sliding inside of her underwear in search of her own opening. Disgust flashed through Einheria’s mind, anger swirling within her at the violation, mixing with her blossoming fear in a cocktail of emotion to make her head spin. This couldn’t be happening.

As much as the valkyrie tried to brace herself for what was coming, the first touch of Edea’s warm little fingers against her lower lips was enough to make her cry out in distress. “Sto-mmmgh?!”

Her words of protest were instantly stifled. Taking the opportunity, the young knight’s dampened fingers on her free hand plunged deep inside of Einheria’s opened mouth, spreading the taste of herself throughout. Her digits chased the valkyrie’s tongue, rubbing against the insides of her cheeks, squirming here and there and...

Her face twisting in revulsion and panic, Einheria lost control. She bit down. Hard.

Edea recoiled, wailing in pain, scooting back from the woman who had hurt her, her hands withdrawing from mouth and panties. She sucked feverishly on the fingers Einheria had bitten, heedless of where they had been, her hazy blue eyes staring back at the older girl with hate. Anger.

...Confusion.

The little blonde blinked. Furrowed her forehead. Blinked again. Rubbed at her eyes with her injured hand.

When that hand fell away, she looked back at the valkyrie again, her eyes as clear and sharp as she had always remembered. “Einheria...?”

“Edea!” Joy broke through the wall of negative emotion that had enclosed Einheria, the fear and hopelessness that had overcome her now retreating like shadows exposed to the light. “Edea, it is I! Einheria! Y-you must...!”

Before she could complete her sentence, DeRosa swept in, capturing Edea’s wrist in his grip and pulling the naked girl close to him. It took only moments for the newfound clarity in the blonde knight’s eyes to fade away as she fell under the spell of his cologne once again, the uncertainty in her pretty face giving way to flushed cheeks and a sultry little smile.

No...!

“As you can see, my dear Einheria, pain can snap a girl out of her daze if given the chance.” DeRosa’s smile might have been called charming had Einheria not known the malice that lay beyond it, the monster behind the charismatic facade now laid bare. “One doesn’t take as many lovers to bed as I without discovering that little quirk. Fortunate that I am given to tying my girls down before the festivities begin.”

Einheria said nothing, her teeth clenched in anger. She had to focus on her fury, her hate for this degenerate, or be crushed by the sudden loss of her sole ray of hope. Her hands closed into fists in their leather cuffs, her whole body tensing within its bonds as if she were readying to strike her spear into his heart. If only.

“Feel free to keep hurting your friend if you wish. I can simply dose her again, after all... and again, and again...” The red mage was enjoying stamping her hope underfoot, relishing in closing off her only hope of escape. “When I finally tire of her, I will let the drug run its course, and her memories of what happened to her will flow out of her beautiful little body along with the toxins. Then... it will be your turn.”

The stare of pure, outraged hatred from the valkyrie inspired a callous grin from her adversary. “Oh, you may give me that look now, but one sniff of my cologne and you won’t be able to resist me. You will do absolutely anything I say... like this. Edea, take this and gag her. Oh, and don’t let her bite you again.”

From his pocket, DeRosa drew the same ball gag he had given to Edea earlier, its bright red surface still faintly slick with the lovely knight’s saliva. The templar’s daughter accepted it with a sweet little smile, letting it dangle from her hand as she brought it over to Einheria. “Open up,” she cooed, settling down in front of the captive woman once again, offering the damp sphere to her friend’s pursed lips.

Einheria tried to fight it, just the sight of the ridiculous gag making her bristle from wounded pride, but her means of resistance were lost to her. She couldn’t move, bound and cuffed in this uncomfortable position, and to open her mouth to plead with her drug-addled friend would be to invite the oversized ball into her mouth, silencing her before she could form a coherent plea. Only her eyes remained free, wide and frantic, silently begging Edea to break free of the cologne’s hold before it was too late.

Edea didn’t waver in the slightest, completely under DeRosa’s spell once more. Her fingers daintily seized Einheria’s nose, her knuckles splaying to either side and pressing the older girl’s nostrils flat.

The end result was inevitable, but Einheria’s pride would not allow her to give in until the very last of her oxygen had been expended. She squirmed, shook her head, trying furiously to dislodge the girl’s fingers - were these the ones that had been between Edea’s legs, or between her own? She had lost track - but nothing worked. There was no escaping this, and as her air began to dwindle, her resolve sapped away with it.

The moment her mouth slipped open to claim what her body required, Edea’s hands forced the oversized ball behind Einheria’s teeth. Her mouth wedged open uncomfortably wide, the warrior woman fought to expel it with her tongue, pressing against the smooth girth of the thing and straining to budge it from her jaw. Before she could make any progress - difficult though it was - she felt the leather straps tighten around her head as Edea buckled them shut, trapping the ball in place between her lips.

“It looks good on her... don’t you agree?” DeRosa’s face was etched with vindictive victory, a superior smugness that proud Einheria couldn’t bear to look upon. She could feel the wet warmth of her saliva welling up around the ball gag, slipping free of her tightened lips and trickling down her chin, her body’s confession of weakness. She had lost, and both she and DeRosa knew it. “No more biting for you, my little pet. I suppose you could still headbutt your lovely little friend if you want to snap her out of it that badly, but I do have a virtually infinite supply of cologne to get her back under the influence, so to speak. I confess that I don’t know what permanent effects might result from too much exposure, however... so perhaps it is best to simply let her play with you, correct?”

Einheria fumed, her cheeks burning even hotter than Edea’s, stained by humiliation rather than drug-fueled lust. He was right, and she hated him for it. She hadn’t wanted to hurt Edea, even now that she was under DeRosa’s control, and doing so would accomplish nothing. She had to remember that this wasn’t Edea’s fault. Her friend was an unwilling puppet.

“If it makes you feel better, you won’t remember any of this when we are done.” DeRosa’s eyebrow arched, and he chuckled. “Neither you nor Edea will have the faintest idea of what you have done when you awaken. Until then, I intend to take full advantage of both of you. Edea?”

A soft little giggle left Edea’s parted lips as she settled back in front of Einheria, the knight’s scent mingled with the smell of sweat and the wafting fumes of DeRosa’s foul machinery. Despite the displeasure in Einheria’s tearful sapphire eyes, Edea pressed her lips against the valkyrie’s once again, kissing her over the gag with an ardency that took her by surprise. She had always known that Edea could be extremely passionate, but she had never dreamed that it would be demonstrated like this...

“Warm her up for us, my dear,” DeRosa instructed, his predatory eyes watching closely as Edea’s hand slipped beneath Einheria’s dress for the second time. Neither girl could see anything but each other, but the red mage’s hands were already at his waist, his fingers curling into the waistband of his trousers. “I think we shall all enjoy this very much.”