12 By My Side
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Layla's eyelids quivered gently, attracting both Lucifer's and Perenna's gaze as they anticipated her reaction when she gazes into her new form.
Layla grunted and tried sitting up but a warm hand was placed above her head followed by a magnetic voice.
"Don't force yourself. Lie down."
Though charming, the voice held undeniable command in its tone while Layla's body felt obliged to lie on Perenna's thighs once again.
"L-Lucifer? What happened? Where are we?"
Though tired, Layla is still a Cultivator and she could easily understand her situation. Even though she felt that Lucifer wouldn't hurt him after the connection they shared, a part of her heart... the vigilant part that was trained in the army still kept its guards up.
"We are not in the Rising Sun Empire. This is some village in the Dusk Empire."
Pain and tiredness didn't hold her body anymore and she immediately sat up while her head buzzed because of moving too suddenly.
Taking deep breaths, she looked around the tent and its contents and only calmed down after finding no weapons.
"Why are we here?"
With a gentle frown, she looked at Lucifer once again, who sat cross-legged covered in his inner robes.
"Because I brought you here."
Lucifer still held a calm smile which finally managed to creep a small part of Layla's being and yet, her body started to feel slightly comfortable, as if she is covered in a warm hot spring.
But his answer still left her with a lot of questions.
"Please explain it more clearly. Lucifer, don't betray my trust... please."
Even though she felt something was wrong, she still wanted to give Lucifer a chance. Seeing this Perenna couldn't help but frown. Her reactions didn't match her expectations.
Perenna thought that a military Cultivator would still have her pride and would immediately try to duke it out when she understands her situation. But reality smacked her thoughts apart.
Layla's emotions towards Lucifer were known by everybody including Layla herself. Lucifer wasn't a 'fling' for her and she was clearly obsessed with her emotions.
If not, she would show a more rational emotion, like anger.
Even though it was unexpected by Perenna, the same thing couldn't be said for Lucifer.
Sighing lightly, he looked around the tent and quickly picked a mirror placed near him.
But the method of grabbing the mirror shocked Layla to the core.
A pitch black tail flicked out and coiled around the mirror, bringing it in front of Lucifer, allowing Layla to see her own reflection.
Since the mirror was small, she couldn't see her full body but the sight of her face shocked her once again.
Beautiful and healthy tanned skin with a bouncy texture, a dark brown dot on the middle of her forehead akin to a beauty mark and an incomparable charming face. Even though her facial structure didn't change much and only slight tweaks were made by Lucifer's transformation, it was still the simple side-effect.
Layla understood that the face reflected by the mirror was her's but even she was allured by the raw exotic charm her face exuded.
"Lucifer, what's going on?"
She touched her cheeks and asked out. Her hair remained pitch black and her eyes didn't show any change in colour.
"Let me fill you in."
Lucifer spoke lightly. He wasn't the least bit worried by her reactions and openly spoke the whole truth.
"We both were at the border because we wanted to enter the Dusk Empire. Meeting you was a fortunate incident and I decided to bring you here, too.
The reason your face is more defined is that I transformed you into a Sorceress... well, to be specific, you are now a Flame Sorceress."
"You did what?!"
Seeing his pitch black tail and hearing his words, it was easy to identify Lucifer's identity.
An Infernal Creature!
She immediately stood up while light red energy erupted out of her body, ready to strike at a moment's notice.
"Please tell me that you are a Demon!"
Layla's eyes were red as she extended her arm and waited for Lucifer's confirmation while her the feeling of betrayal broke her heart.
Even though they still hadn't spent more than a day's time, Lucifer had managed to become her 'someone special'. He was charming, considerate and most of all, he was 'her's' Lucifer.
But even after seeing the conclusive pieces of evidence, she couldn't bear to not give him a chance of explanation.
Seeing her, Lucifer smiled and waved at Perenna, who almost jumped up in anger.
"Demon? Devil? I am but a simple accuser."
He spoke seriously.
Layla narrowed her eyes at his words and spoke out.
Smiling softly, Lucifer continued.
"I accused the God of creating flawed beings. That is my crime... my sin. For that plain accusation, he caged me and deprived me of his love.
And from then onwards, any and every being capable of accusing and rebelling the ways of God were caged together with me.
Dear, I may be many things, but don't you call me with the title he imposed on me in my absence. Demon? That's just the word to scare off the weak! That word is the filter of the society.
You want to live a free life, you MUST be a demon. You must fight for your own good. Tell me, Layla, aren't you a rebellious human yourself? After all, you must have gone through some unfairness in your Noble family that caused you to rebel against them in your own manner and applying to Military, right?"
If the first section of Lucifer's speech made her understand his true and shocking identity then the next part shocked her as her secrets laid uncovered in front of him, making her feel vulnerable.
Her Cultivation pressure slowly subsided and she couldn't help but stutter.
"D-did you read my memories, too?"
Barely containing her tears, she asked out once again.
Seeing a drop of tear grazing down her cheek, Lucifer's expression softened visibly. Getting closer, he placed her hand on her cheek and wiped her tear from his thumb. Meanwhile, Layla couldn't help but close her eyes and slowly pressed her face against his palm.
Even at this point in time, she let the obsession of her heart take control of her actions.
"I wouldn't read your memories. Not that I can't, but it's not worth jeopardizing what we have here."
His soft whispers soothed her ears and heart while her expression became slightly more comfortable.
"Layla, you present a graceful bearing. Unlike other soldiers and female soldiers we encountered, you carry yourself with dignity, akin to a Beautiful Glass-Petaled Lotus surrounded by mud. Such a bearing only belongs to a noble lineage.
You can bloom anywhere. After all, you were blooming beautifully when my eyes fell on you."
Layla still countered.
"Because I have things to do. And I can't leave you behind... I didn't want to leave you behind.
You want to rebel against the system of nobles, right? Then Rebel alongside me. Stay with me, by my side."
Hearing his obsessive words, her own obsessive heart grew fonder of him. Lucifer was right, she really was from a noble lineage. Even though she hated the system of nobles, she inherited their obsessiveness. Hearing his enticing words, Layla couldn't help but imagine a day when she burns down her own family while her beloved stood by her side.
Opening her eyes, she witnessed his smiling face and she couldn't help but smile herself.
"I'd like that."
Unknown to her, an intricate crimson-winged pattern right above her crotch shone lightly.
With their lips locked, Lucifer gained his second familiar.
The Phoenix Sorceress.