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The excellently talented :iconannria2002: offers commissions for the very reasonable price of 1200 deviant points. Were I to meet this goal, I would request a commission featuring a piece from one of my fics. I must confess, I don't really expect this to actually get filled up, but if it did, I would probably allow the donors most of the decision as to WHICH part of one of my stories would be depicted. Like I say, I don't really expect this to get filled up (I only discovered it was a thing while fiddling with widgets), but I would be very grateful indeed if youse guys were to donate even a small number of points!

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Hey all. Just to let you know I'll be away for a brief spell, so if I'm unresponsive to messages and notes, that's the reason. Peace!

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"Erika?!" Lyna was most surprised indeed to see the brunette geomancer in the Royal Court of Leádra. Lyna herself had been welcomed with great honour, as not only welcome in the nation by her status as a goddess, but also as a personal friend of the Royal House. She had not anticipated finding even one goddess, let alone three.

"Oh, Lyna!" Erika perked up, rising from her comfortable chair in the castle's drawing room. She had barely spoken to Lyna during the group's rescue of her and Sakura, but her gratitude to them made her full of warmth for any of the group's number. She hugged her and kissed her on the cheek.
"Uh, hi," Lyna said, embarrassed at Erika's affectionate nature. "It's good to see you," she said to them both - Sakura was still lazing on a chaise-longe, but she smiled cheerily at the redhead.

"My dear Lyna!" Lady Lucile had just entered, and at the sight of the redheaded blade maiden she gasped. "How have you come to be here? They told me you had come alone, but -" A horrible thought occurred to her. "Fasalina and the others - were they captured as well?"
"No," Lyna said quickly. "Well, yes, but we got out, and, uh..." Her surprise at seeing them here had thrown her off, and she almost forgot the most important news of all. "Gwethena and Melisande...we rescued them." The sentence gave her immense pleasure to say.


There are certain moments which - when we look back at them - seem to have started or finished epochs of our lives. For Lucile, one of those was the moment when she first held Erika's hand. Another was when she heard that she had been offered a position as a Guildmaster. The last six words Lyna had spoken had just marked the end of an epoch, and one that Lucile was glad indeed to see close.

The Bright Mage sat down, putting her hand on her chest as if to brace herself.
"They're free...oh...I've...I've never felt such relief!" Lucile half-whispered. At this, Sakura leapt from her seat and clapped Lyna on the back. She and Erika had been captives themselves for so long that they'd only just found out about Gwethena and Melisande's kidnapping, but they were almost as thrilled to hear it as Lucile.


Lyna must have answered dozens of questions, some more than once, within the next twenty minutes. Any readers of this chronicle will know her answers. Lyna did note well the sorts of questions they asked - Lucile seemed wholly concerned with Gwethena and Melisande's safety, Sakura with Archeia and Maharaja, and what had happened to them in the end (she was the least satisfied with Lyna's answers). Erika, to Lyna's surprise, seemed to ask more than her fair share of questions about Terrin.

But even Lucile and Erika had not been entirely satisfied with what Lyna had been able to say when one of the servants entered to inform them that dinner had been served for their pleasure.

'For their pleasure' was not a meaningless pleasantry. Since the last time goddesses had graced the court of Leádra, it had been brought to the attention of the palace chefs that their divine guests did not actually need to eat. That being realised, a menu was whipped up that focussed itself entirely on taste, and not on filling its guests.

As such, the plates laid out for the four goddesses were somewhat bizarre, consisting of odd combinations of shavings of exotic vegetables, with sprinkling of powdered meats. But then, they could have been served thin, tasteless broth and it would have mattered little to them.

Fitting protocol, the majestic Queen Kara was already there, flanked by guards with burning gold swords.
"Lady Lyna," she said, as the four entered, "it is a fine thing to see you again."
"Likewise, Your Majesty," Lyna said. She looked around nervously, but her eyes did not find any evidence of Kara's daughter. She stopped herself from asking after her - it would not have been becoming, somehow. Fortunately, Sakura spoke up for her.
"Where's Princess Ruhani?" she asked, innocent of how hard her question made Lyna's heart beat.

"The Princess won't be joining us," Kara explained. "She sends her apologies." That there was no further explanation made Lyna unaccountably anxious. Ruhani's absence could have been explained by any number of completely innocent things, yet Lyna thought only of the worst: that she simply didn't want to see her.

It was with this thought in mind that Lyna once again had to run through the gamut of questions from the Leádran monarch. When all was explained, Kara folded her hands together in thought.
"Then that explains it...the loss of the Stone..."
"Explains what, your majesty?" Lyna asked.
"Wuldang's retreat. Their new metal army was placed at our border, but then withdrew before they could make good on their threat. Without this Archeia person's stone, they had no power." Lyna knew what she meant by this: she herself had been a victim of Wuldang's Forgeries, had seen their vast number being assembled in the bowels of their capital. "We were relieved, to say the least. Even with Ruhani returned to us, we weren't sure we'd be able to repulse them."

At Lyna's quizzical expression, more explanation was prompted. By the end of it, the red-haired goddess wasn't quite sure which emotion she was feeling more strongly: indignation at Wuldang's villainy; gratitude to Lucile and the others for saving the princess; or guilt that it had not been she who had come to Ruhani's rescue. She settled on simple relief that she was safe.


The rest of the meal passed nicely enough. There were whisperings that Wuldang's venture had been too expensive, that they were seriously weakened without their metal army. There was talk of war with the nations from which it had been taking territory, a unison of the Northern Kingdoms against Wuldang. There was no question that Leádra would be involved - Wuldang's brazen abduction of Ruhani and Sirena had been an unquestionable act of war - the question rather was how far.

But though Lyna listened with interest as Kara debated with the other three goddesses the virtues of punitive rather than strictly tactical measures, she could not keep her mind on the conversation. When, after two hours, Kara indicated that matters were to be drawn to a close, Lyna was relieved.

Befitting a guest of Lyna's status, the redhead was given a fine chamber, despite her protests that her needs were simple. Two guardsmen escorted her up, and courteously beckoned her inside. She shut the door, and leaned against it, breathing out hard. She lifted up her head, viewing the fine masonry of the hollowed-out mountain that was the Palace. Leádra, it seemed, was full of beautiful things.

And none, surely, was more beautiful than the caramel-skinned, panther-eyed princess who stood on the balcony of Lyna's chamber, a thin, white, satin dress clinging to her feminine body. Her bare arms and her hair were stroked by a warm breeze, and she was the picture of loveliness. But divine eyes did not set upon her - a thin curtain separated the two maidens from each other.

But the mortal woman did hear Lyna enter, and it set her heart fluttering. She turned, and pushed aside the curtain with her delicate fingers. The redhead did not see her, for the room was not lit, but the mortal certainly beheld Lyna. Her catlike eyes danced over Lyna's long, shapely legs, her slender figure, her sharp, intelligent face and burning red hair. She gazed at the goddess, whose hand rested lightly on the hilt of her blade, the way she held herself suggesting strength, agility and skill. She looked beautiful, and dashing.

The caramel-skinned maiden was suddenly struck by a story she'd been told in her girlhood. The story related the tale of Princess Rose, a Leádran from the days of Monarchs-by-inheritance. Famed for her beauty and charm, Rose had been kidnapped by a Sorcerer. She remembered the tale's vivid description of the Sorcerer's magic, how he had wrapped her body in chains and stolen her into the night as she whimpered, trembling helplessly in his power.

The story had stayed with her, and more than once, on hotter nights, she'd imagined herself in Rose's place, wondering what it might be like to be a captive, to be completely powerless. Of course, when she actually had been kidnapped, it had been humiliating and frightening - yet there had been one element of it which had been just as she'd imagined: a daring rescue. She'd always imagined a Prince - but how much more thrilling it had been to find a goddess as her valiant rescuer.

"Lyna," she said softly, and the Blade-Maiden saw Princess Ruhani standing half-lit by a crescent moon.
"Y-you're here..." Lyna whispered. She started to run forward, but embarrassment halted her steps. Ruhani approached her, and clasped her hands in her own.
"You're safe," Ruhani said, smiling, but not quite able to look into Lyna's eyes. "Were you successful? Your swordmaster, is she free?"
"Yes," Lyna said, "we did it."
"Oh, Lyna!" Ruhani embraced her, and Lyna could feel Ruhani's heartbeat against her. Tentatively, she put her own hands on Ruhani's shoulders, feeling the heat of her body. It would have been very easy indeed for her to give in to the desires she felt rising inside her, but she restrained herself.

"I heard about what happened, about Wuldang," she said. "I'm so glad you're alright, I just wish -" She'd been about to say that she wished that she had been the one to save Ruhani, but this seemed self-important. Had she only known that Ruhani had had the same thought.

The two both opened their mouths to speak, but both closed them again. It was difficult for them to know where to start. Memories of their last encounter, of the passion between them even as Lyna had been forced to capture Ruhani, still lingered. For Ruhani the whole experience had been like a dream - sometimes she could still hardly believe Lyna was real.

But real she was, and Ruhani could feel her nervousness, and wished to soothe it.
"Would you like to come onto the balcony with me?" she said. Lyna smiled slightly and nodded, and the two went out into the night. A soft wind cooled their skin - and in each other's company they had much need of being cooled.

Lyna sat on a finely made wicker chair, but Ruhani did not sit with her. Instead, she picked up something lying against the balcony's edge: a small, stringed instrument.
"I, ah," Ruhani said, stumbling over her speech, cheeks a little red, "this is an oak-lute...I thought you might -"
"I'd love to hear you play, Ruhani," Lyna said.

So she did. Her light fingers danced over the strings, as she played for the goddess an ancient Koultene ballad, though with a twist or two from Leádra's bards. The tune itself suggested levity, and Lyna thought that if Ruhani were playing it any faster, it would have been a pleasant, clever piece of music, but nothing more. Yet, there was something about the way she drew out the notes, allowing them to hang before falling into another chord, something that suggested a hidden sadness to Lyna. She was an utterly captive audience, enraptured by Ruhani's skill and charm.

An idea struck her. As Ruhani came to the end of her ballad, Lyna stood.
"Ruhani, that was wonderful," the redhead said. "I..." It was her turn to seem embarrassed. "I wonder if you might want me to play something."
"I'd like nothing more," Ruhani said. She was almost afraid of saying anything. She'd just played for Lyna, and not only had she liked it, she was returning the gesture. It was more delightful than she could possibly have hoped for, and she didn't want to chase the wonderful dream away.

"Uh...hang on..." Lyna said. She was about to do something she'd not done since she was fourteen. "Chanticus," she said, and a wispy apparition appeared, like a phantasmic bow. She laid her forefinger upon it, and closed her eyes. She breathed out, trying to remember the correct forms. She opened her mouth, but no words came out.

Indeed, it took Ruhani quite a while to realise that there was anything coming out of Lyna's mouth at all, for when she heard the goddess' voice it seemed to be coming from behind her. It was a breathtakingly high note, and it was difficult to believe that it was being produced by a human voice. But it seemed to mingle with the stone itself, which sang back to Lyna in a thunderous, smooth bass, as if in respect.

This was just the prelude. Soon, the wind itself started swirling round them, peppering the resonant exchange between Lyna and the mountain with a sprinkling of sound that fit itself perfectly into the spaces the other 'instruments' left. Lyna had a look of intense concentration on her face, conducting the three elements of the song: herself, the wind, and the mountain.

This went on for some time, and Ruhani could feel that there was more happening than what she could perceive, something...higher. There was an abstract element to the proceedings which Ruhani couldn't quite understand, but it touched the edges of her senses. She wondered if she was getting a glimpse of what it was like to be a goddess. She felt a connection with all things natural, with the land and sky themselves. 

When Lyna's piece ended, she seemed tired, but Ruhani was full of an energy she had never felt. She almost felt that if she had spoken one of Lyna's spell-words, she too would have found magic within her. She applauded, full of joy.
"I'm a little rusty," Lyna said sheepishly.
"You're too modest," Ruhani replied. "It was amazing. Though, it seemed half like music, and half like -" She thought for a moment. "Diplomacy?" Lyna laughed.
"That's not a bad way of describing it!" Lyna said. "We're told that, at the very beginning of our time, the first goddesses had to sing to the trees and to the stones to make magic, to persuade them to lend their aid."

For some time the two spoke about their different nations' accounts of the early history of the world. Leádra was one of the few nations that actually predated the Paradise, but they had no account of its origin, only records of their first encounters with them, and there the country's records were the same.

They talked about music, Ruhani intrigued by the formal abstraction of Lyna's music, and Lyna eager to learn all she could of mortal styles. They spoke about art, about a new form of writing emerging in Westron called 'the novel' and the possibilities such things could bring. They spoke for hours and hours, but both seemed wary of touching each other.

"I wonder," Ruhani said, at a lull in their conversation. "Your music...perhaps diplomacy was the wrong word."
"How d'you mean?" Lyna asked. She sat next to Ruhani.
"I think a better word might be..." She looked up, her eyes meeting Lyna's directly. "Courtship. Perhaps your forebears did not negotiate." She put her hand on Lyna's. "Perhaps...they seduced."

Lyna swallowed. She stared into Ruhani's eyes, unable to look away. She felt her fingers entwined with the princess', and her chest rose and fell deeply and quickly.
"Why did you not go home with your friends?" Ruhani asked. It was a simple enough question, but Lyna hesitated before answering.
"There...there were two reasons. The first was my own people," she said. "I found out something...the Eldest Council - the first of the goddesses - committed a terrible crime. The reason that the Obsidian Tower exists is because they banished a huge number of our people in our earliest times, and stripped them of their powers. I don't know how I can face them knowing that."
"Lyna!" Ruhani was shocked. "I don't know what to say."
"You don't have to say anything," Lyna replied. Her thoughts wandered. "Their Queen...Archeia...I thought she was evil at first. But really she was full of sorrow...I wish I could have helped her, somehow." Ruhani touched her lightly on the cheek.
"You're a very kind person, Lyna," she said. "Do not forget, Lyna, you and she are immortal. For a goddess, I wager, it is never too late for redemption."
"Ruhani," Lyna said softly, "you're so gentle..."

Lyna took Ruhani's hand in hers, clasping it tightly. Ruhani saw something that was not quite pain on her face.
"I..." She swallowed. "I didn't tell you the second reason that I didn't go back straight away."
"What is it?" Ruhani said, her voice tremulous.
"The last time we met," Lyna said, "it was so overwhelming...so fast. We haven't even known each other for very long. I knew what I...I thought I felt, but I've never felt...like this before." She looked down. "I was afraid, afraid that -"
"That it might not be real," Ruhani said. "That you were just confused, that it was so sudden and exciting that you didn't know if you could trust the feelings you had."
"Yes," Lyna said, relieved that Ruhani shared her concerns. "You deserve something real...so I needed to be sure. I had to talk to you...be with you. I needed to be sure that my heart wasn't being lied to...that what I've held on to has been real."
"And...are you sure now?" Ruhani felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up, more so when Lyna leant close to her, so close that their noses almost brushed together.

"Yes," Lyna said. "I am sure." Saying this, she leaned in, and pressed her lips against Ruhani's.
"Mmmhhh..." Ruhani moaned, a dammed-up river within her suddenly bursting forth. No spell in even Melisande's arsenal could have had so potent an effect on the princess as Lyna's soft lips on hers. Ruhani allowed Lyna's tongue to pass her lips, and caress her own tongue. Lyna's mouth was hot, and the rest of her was becoming more so. She held Ruhani with exquisite tenderness, holding Ruhani by her upper arms, as the princess stroked the goddess' neck and cheeks, the two apotheoses of feminine beauty locked in amorous embraces.

When Ruhani and Lyna's lips finally parted, the two were practically panting. They still held hands, and their was a palpable electricity wherever their skin met.
"I...I love you, Ruhani," Lyna said.
"And I -" Ruhani was almost too happy to speak. "I love you, Lyna..."

If there was one great fault in Lyna's character, it was doubt. She doubted her abilities, doubted her place in the world. She doubted her own plans, doubted others' feelings towards her. But this she did not doubt. That moment was certain. Her love was certain. Her being loved was certain. For how could her Ruhani ever be false?

The wind took a chill turn, and Ruhani held Lyna close for warmth, softly nuzzling her neck.
"Are you cold?" Lyna asked, her voice very quiet.
"A little."
"Hold on," the goddess said. "Temperamentissima," she pronounced, hesitantly. For a moment, it seemed as if the spell had worked, as the wind began to die down. But there was a crack, and the two young women found themselves suddenly in the centre of a very localised rainstorm.

"Oh!" Ruhani cried out, leaping to her feet, instantly drenched.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" Lyna spluttered. "I - I've never been very good at weather magic. I can stop it, just -"
"No, don't," Ruhani said.

If Lyna had been unable to take her eyes off her before, the effect grew much stronger now. Ruhani's dress was no match for the heavy, hot rain, and it had gone almost entirely transparent. Lyna could see Ruhani's long, flawless legs, her hips, the swell of her breasts. Ruhani looked back, watching water trickle slowly down Lyna's creamy, naked thighs.
"Oh my," Ruhani said, as she glanced down at herself, "my dress..."
"It's hardly covering you at all," Lyna said, coming closer.
"No, I suppose not," Ruhani said.
"It...it might as well not even be there..." She slowly shifted one of the straps off Ruhani's shoulder. She kissed the skin she'd bared.
"Don't...don't stop," Ruhani said. Lyna had no intention of stopping. She took the other strap off as well, and watched as the dress slid down the Leádran beauty's body, until it was nothing but a crumpled heap at her feet. Silken underwear was all that covered her now.

"You're so beautiful," Lyna said, her voice trembling. "Gods, you're so beautiful..." She seized Ruhani, overcome with passion, kissing the rain from her face, her neck, her breasts.
"Oh..." Ruhani whimpered, pleasure surging through her. Lyna knelt and began kissing her stomach, her hips, and the tops of her thighs. "My love...you don't know what you've given me..." the princess whispered into the rain.

Lyna stood up, slipping her arm around the middle of Ruhani's back, and under her thighs, before lifting the caramel-skinned maiden into her arms. It was not lost on either of them that Ruhani looked, at that moment, very much like a bride.
"My goddess..." Ruhani sighed.
"My princess..."

Lyna carried her rain-soaked lover into her bedchamber, laying her down on the fine sheets. Ruhani beckoned the redhead with her eyes, and she lay down next to her. Lyna kissed her mouth again, running her fingers through her dark hair.
"I had a dream," Ruhani said, when her lips were free again. "Two nights past, I dreamt that I was lying in my own chamber, unable to sleep, yearning for something that I couldn't remember.

I turned over and over in the bed, wanting to hold something of which I could no longer recall the shape, to hear something of which I could no longer remember the sound. The memory was almost to hand, when I felt something.

I looked down at my feet, and there was something on me...a liquid. It started spreading all over me, over my calves...my thighs..." As she spoke, she began stroking herself to further narrate her dream, her eyes never straying from Lyna's. "It started pressing my legs together...it ran further up my body, getting stronger. It held my arms by my sides, covering my stomach, my...my chest...I was helpless. I couldn't move at all. It stuck to my skin, getting thicker and thicker, a sheath that held me so tightly...it covered my mouth, and I couldn't even scream..."

Ruhani wiggled her shoulders slightly, miming the bound state she'd found herself in. Lyna was captivated. Ruhani's description was arousing something in her, and she remembered how it had felt to have her tied up and gagged in her arms. Something in her pulsed.

"Then," Ruhani continued, "there was a light...a hot, scarlet light which burned my bonds away like fire...but it wasn't fire on my skin...it was like Spring sunlight..." She put one of her hands on Lyna's cheek. "Then there was a figure standing at the foot of my bed, shining...divine. She took me, and I was as light as a feather to her. She threw me over her shoulder, and I realised that I was naked, and limp..." Lyna swallowed, her breasts heaving against her tunic. "She'd not just burned away my bonds...she'd burned away my title, my status...but it..." She struggled for the words. "It was freeing...it was freeing to be so helpless before her...I felt feminine, and desired and..." She smiled, a little embarrassed as she said it. "I felt possessed. I was nothing except myself, a woman: her woman." She brought her face closer. "Your woman, Lyna."

The lovers embraced, and kissed, their hands slowly and gently exploring each other's bodies, each instant precious, and heavy with sensuality.
"I've...never...felt this...real," Lyna said, between kisses. "Ruhani...you're like colour...you're like seeing colour for the first time..." She held Ruhani against her, overcome with emotion. She was happy, happier than she'd ever been. It made her feel fragile, like taking the feeling away would make her shatter.

When her eyes closed, as she and Ruhani melted into a passionate kiss, she feared that it would all be gone when she opened them again. But as the green jewels of her eyes opened, her lover was still there.
"I would be yours," the goddess said, "I would be yours until the fading of the world..."
"I...I know..." Ruhani said, touched beyond words by Lyna's noble heart. Lyna laughed suddenly, and the sound, sweet as it was to Ruhani's ears, was surprising.
"What is it?"
"This," Lyna said. "This, my love...my heart's flower..." She was clumsy with the words. She'd never had cause to speak so intimately with anyone before. "This...is my Paradise."
Trouble in Paradise: Epilogue
This, ladies and gentleman, is the last of the last, a coda to this project of mine, that has evolved so much over the years. Originally, this would have been a one-shot story, ending with the kidnapping of the apprentice goddesses. But it just took on a life of it's own, particularly in the case of its chief heroine, Lyna, whose story this in particular is.

My thanks to :iconjjavangard: for our long chats, and the many ideas he and I came up with over the years for this story, not to mention his awesome illustrations. Thanks also to :iconpoorusername: :iconmad-man-with-a-pen: and :iconcamiocorvus: for their invaluable assistance. I hope you enjoy this one, guys. Peace out!
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"Mmmmhhnnn..." Ruhani whimpered, the caramel-skinned princess still bound and stripped down to her scanties, her legs at that moment being massaged by Liu. It was an insidiously relaxing feeling: cruel and domineering she might have been, but the LC was quite the masseuse.
"Such yielding skin..." Liu said, moving up to her thighs. "It makes this so easy...much like capturing you in the first place."
"Mmmnnmmm..." the princess with the catlike eyes mewed. She prayed for rescue, for she had no hope of escaping herself: she was too weak, she'd realised. But this wasn't like when she was kidnapped before. That had been a private enterprise, if an influential one. Ruhani was a prisoner now at the behest of a nation, and a mighty one at that. It would take a King's Ransom - probably quite literally - to get her out, if anything. A daring rescuer, like her sweet, red-haired champion-ess would not, could not come now.

"Lord Commander!!" A panicked voice sounded from outside the door.
"I told you not to interrupt me under any circumstances!" Liu bellowed.
"Begging your pardon, but you told us not to interrupt under any circumstances except if the Generalissimo personally visits, or if we're under attack and...we're under attack."

Even Liu had to accept the man's logic.
"Stay right where you are," she told her captive. She turned to leave, but turned back again. Ruhani still lay on her back.
"MMMPHH!!" Ruhani cried out, as Liu's hand smacked down on her feminine rump once again.
"Something to remember me by, slave." With that, she turned and left, her beauteous captive shackled in mind as well as body.

"Who is attacking us?"
"We don't know, madam."
"What do you mean?"
"The attacks..." The soldier struggled to explain. "They come from nowhere."

It seemed that spears and swords spontaneously betrayed their owners. Cannons went off in storage, destroying armaments and fortifications.
"Saboteurs."
"Ma'am, can saboteurs do that?" He pointed at a group of soldiers fleeing from flying kitchenware. As ridiculous as it might have seemed, the knives whizzed around them with fearful speed and they were quite sensible in fleeing.
"You fool!" Liu growled. "That is magic! Those goddesses must have come back, the ones with that pretty blue-haired girl."
"Begging ma'am's pardon, again," he said, "but it cannot be magic either." Liu was just confused by this.
"Why not?"
"Because the Forgeries cannot be harmed by magic, can they, ma'am?"
"No, what of it."
"Ma'am...they are imploding."

A great, hulking machine staggered limply from side to side. It looked well enough from outside, but something within was terribly wrong. It swayed and sputtered, before its square-shaped body finally gave out, collapsing in on itself.
"This...this isn't possible!" Liu spluttered. "Summon the rest of the guard. Leave the minimum possible with the prisoners. We'll have to defend without the Forgeries."
"Aye, ma'am."
"Terrible news ma'am!" another man shouted as he entered Liu's presence. "The prisoners!"


"Mmmhhhnnn..." Sirena moaned, shifting pointlessly in her tight bonds, bare legs rubbing against each other. She had not been given such careful attention as Ruhani, merely being left with the other captive guardswomen. She could not break herself free. She could not fight back. She was helpless.
"A captive again..."

She looked around. Some of the other guardswomen were still angrily struggling, some where passively lying where they'd been lain, and more than one shed tears. She looked around again the dingy cell they'd all been dumped in, but nothing could help them. Not the stone, not the broken pottery - far too brittle, it had turned out, to cut their ropes - not the plants that were constantly growing in size.
"Whhmmph?"

The small green plants growing in cracks were expanding, growing large and strong, as thick as tree trunks in some cases. The guardswomen all watched, mystified. It seemed that they were approaching the captive women, though, deliberately seeking them out.
"Mmmmphhh!!" some cried out, fearing another layer of bindings. But when those who could not wriggle away were reached, they found that the plants were not interested in them at all - but the ropes which bound them.

"What?" a young recruit said, finding her gag pulled off. Her arms were freed next, then her legs. Soon she had been completely untied. She stood up, and immediately began helping her fellows.

Within minutes, Leádran and plant had worked together to free all of them.
"Commander, what's happening?" one of them asked Sirena.
"I've no idea," she said simply. But the truth became apparent readily enough. A white haired beauty in a long gown with high, revealing slits, came into view like a mist. But she was solid, for she put her hand on the prison bars.
"Please, stand back,"  said. "Fortis!" A bang, and the cell door flew open. "Please, come this way."
"Who are you?"
"I am Lady Lucile of the Paradise. Please come with me."
"Do as she says," Sirena said immediately.

Swords were found, and shields, and soon the contingent was armed. Battle was joined, and without the majority of the forgeries, the Wuldangese found they had lost their advantage. Sirena saw a lovely brunette in a loose pink dress, fighting in the centre of the fray, the very earth itself seeming to obey every gesture of her hand, sending soldiers flying this way and that.
"Erika!" Lucile called out. "I've found the others!"
"Excellent!" It was not Erika who replied, but Countess Ilyana. "We'll smash these dogs yet!" A rapier in hand, the eccentric noblewoman surprised Sirena by her bravery.

"Lady...Lucile, is it?" Sirena said.
"Yes, my dear?"
"I must find the Princess Ruhani. She's being used as a hostage to extort the Leádran government. We have to rescue her and send word that Wuldang's threats are empty, and that Leádra should oppose the army crossing their borders."
"Of course. We will secure the castle. Go!" Sirena nodded with respect, and dashed up the nearest flight of stairs to begin her search.

"Men!" a Wuldangese Sub-Commander roared. "Do not surrender! We are the mightiest Empire on this Earth! We will not fall to these maggots!"
"Yes, sir!" his men replied, rallied somewhat. But a blast of icy wind from Lucile chilled their spirits.
"You must surrender," Lucile said to her enemies. "You cannot stand against three goddesses."
"First off," the Sub-Commander yelled back, "I only see two goddesses. Second, you shouldn't be so sure..."

Lucile saw a large shadow with a hoop shaped head loom over her. She leapt out of its way just in time to avoid being captured, but it pressed its attack.
"Frigidus!" Lucile called out, sending another blast of wind at the metal man, hoping to cool its joints into uselessness. But it was the spell which was useless.
"Hahaha!" the SC laughed. "What did I tell you? Magic won't get you anywhere against the Forgeries."

It seemed as if the man was right. For Lucile tried virtually every spell she knew - nothing seemed to affect it.
"Aaah!" A mistimed dodge meant that Lucile slipped backwards on a discarded shield. She would have fallen, but the Forgery caught her. Unfortunately, it caught her by grabbing her with one of its claws around her mouth, gagging Lucile.
"Nnnnmmmpphhh!" she cried out, beating impotently on its arm. It ignored this, and reached for her with its other arm, ready to tie the white-haired goddess up.

But its arm did not reach Lucile. Its arm seized up, and buckled. Its claw then released Lucile, and dropped her back onto her feet. Then, like the others, the Forgery collapsed in upon itself. When it fell, it revealed a black-haired young woman behind it, her hand outstretched.
"Sakura!" Lucile cried with delight.

"How...how did you do that?" the SC said, gaping. "Magic...magic doesn't..."
"What," Sakura spat, "you think invention is only for mortals? Well you're dead wrong. What you're looking at, jackass, is the world's first - and only - Magnetomage!"


"Damn, damn!" Liu hissed to herself, retreating quickly. They were losing with extreme rapidity, and nothing she could do now could stop that. She would retrieve her captive - this was not personal indulgence, for Wuldang's whole plan relied on having Ruhani in their clutches - throw her onto the back of a horse, and ride off into the sunset, so to speak.

She reached Ruhani's cell without too much trouble, quickly locating the key. But she did not turn it. She saw someone standing nearby, a look of cold fury on her lovely face.
"You," Sirena said, "will give Princess Ruhani back to us."
"Your Princess," Liu said, "is now the property of the Wuldangese Empire. The likes of you certainly aren't going to stop that." Sirena dropped into a fighting stance. "Oh? Is that how you like it?" Liu drew her sword. Sirena did not. "I'm going to show you, you backwater hick, the reason why we are the superior -"

Sirena did not let her finish. Indeed, Sirena did not let her do anything. She ran forward with incredible speed, and before Liu could so much as lift her arm, Sirena struck her three times in the back with her foot.
"Wh...what?" Liu moaned, before collapsing onto the ground. She was completely paralysed.
"Inferior," Sirena spat.

"Mmmphhh..." Ruhani whimpered, as the key turned in her cell's lock, and she heard someone enter. She expected hands fondling and caressing her within moments. She indeed felt two hands on her shoulders, turning her around. But when she saw to whom they belonged, she began openly weeping with joy.
"Princess!" Sirena too was struck with emotion. She pulled out Ruhani's gag.
"Oh, Sirena...Sirena...I was so frightened...I thought I'd lost you again..."
"Don't worry," Sirena said, embracing the bound princess. "It's over. It's over."


The same could not be said at the Obsidian Tower. Archeia had felt a disturbance, had felt part of the Destiny Stone not obeying her, going where it should not have been going. She stood up, looking over her head to where the stone had been moved, returned to its proper place.
"We are about to be attacked," she said to Maharaja. "Prepare for battle."
"With whom?" Maharaja asked. Archeia smiled.
"With someone who has greater Destiny than I realised."


"I don't understand," Lyna said. "How? How did your power come back, Fasalina?"
"The stone, the Dalut...was never a stone," Fasalina said. "It was raw magic, and it chose to be with me. Its bond with me can never been broken, unless either of us want it to be." She held no stone. She was simply aglow, now.

"Right, so we surprise them," Naviri said. "We bust into the throne room, unleash our strongest spells, and grab Gwethena and Melisande before the dust clears."
"That's the plan, such as it is," Terrin admitted. "I didn't come up with it, so if it fails, it's everyone else's fault, okay?" They rushed past the room where they had been massaged with oil. Terrin stopped suddenly. "Hang on one second," she said. "I think I left something in there..."

A glittering barrier had appeared in front of the doorway leading into the throne room.
"The one with the stone," Maharaja said. "She's strong. Couldn't she break that?"
"I'm sure she will," Archeia said, "but it will make them lose momentum, and initiative." Except that even Archeia, who had foreseen that the group of young goddesses would enter, had not quite seen how. It was Castagire who noticed first, that one of the large, plate glass windows seemed to have an extra figure in its artwork.
"Wait a minute!" To Castagire's astonishment, the figure turned out to be Naviri, floating in the air. Flight was an extremely difficult skill, known only to scarce few masters, so Castagire could not make sense of what she saw.

Until she remembered that Lyna was telekinetic.
"A Great Shattering!" Fasalina's voice thundered through the throne room, turning every head towards it. A blistering, spectacular blast of white lightning cascaded through the room. Archeia defended herself, as did Maharaja. Castagire just barely dodged, but the other five Tower goddesses were all struck, collapsing onto their knees, or blasted full across the room.

"Whhhggmmphh?" Melisande and Gwethena stared in amazement the goddesses who crashed into the scene.
"They're...they're still trying to rescue us..." Gwethena thought.

"Those tricky -" Maharaja growled, but she had no time for insults. A bolt of lightning, far weaker than Fasalina's but still astonishingly formidable for such a recent guild graduate, flowed from Naviri's hands right at her. She blocked it, and her shield held comfortably. She countered with a lightning blast of her own, and Naviri's defence was far less potent. Her shield was entirely exhausted, and another blast would have collided straight with her, but Maharaja was surprised by the appearance of a lightning fast, dagger wielding Rose.

"Astra Maxima!" the blast missed. Maharaja took to her whip instead, and struck out. But though it snagged one of Terrin's daggers, she instantly released it, so her momentum was not affected at all.
"Ensem Glacius!" she said, and a small sword of ice appeared in her hand. Maharaja drew her sword as well to block this blow, and as Terrin struck her little ice sword shattered instantly on Maharaja's cold steel. It was almost amusing, until Maharaja found her vision obscured by the ice particles flying towards her. Distracted, she did not see that Naviri had recovered.
"Fragor!" Naviri full-on punched the ground, and it split open, straight underneath Maharaja.
"Shit!" she exclaimed in genuine surprise, before she plummeted into the chasm.

Meanwhile, Castagire's spear met Lyna's sword once again.
"Blade Maiden," Castagire replied. "I want to ask your forgiveness."
"What?" Lyna didn't let her surprise affect her deft parry.
"I - unhh - insulted your skills, belittled your abilities. I - urrghh - did not respect you as I should have done. You are a foolish girl, but a fine warrior." She smiled as Lyna telekinetically pushed aside a lance strike. "I am gratified to see that you have your full strength against me."
"If you're so honourable," Lyna retorted, "how can you serve this madwoman?"
"You do not understand the pain we felt. You do not -"
"Maybe not. Why - Fortis! - does that - Terra Glacius - matter? You claim to hate us, but you're stuck in the past of an ancient sin - a terrible one, but an ancient one, that you know most of the Paradise doesn't even know about! Twenty people are responsible for what happened to you. Twenty. How dare you punish people who happen to live in the same place as them?!" Castagire did not answer.

Fasalina, meanwhile, ran for the chains binding the two captives.
"Unbind!" she commanded, and Gwethena and Melisande's chains and ropes unwound. Weak and exhausted, they fell to their knees, but Fasalina was ready to help. "Be healed," she said, "be restored and strong." A light surrounded the two goddesses, and when they stood, they felt that vacuum in them filled. Their powers were returned to them.

At which point, Gwethena, Melisande and Fasalina were seized by shimmering chains of energy.
"No! No, no - MMPHHH!!" Gwethena cried out, as her beautiful body was bound once more, the shimmering chains wrapping round her mouth, her arms and honey-coloured legs, her breasts, squeezing her and capturing the beautiful blonde.
"Mmmmpphhhhh!!" Melisande tried to run, but she was hauled back and twined up in golden chains, mummifying her gorgeous, voluptuous figure from her ankles to her mouth, squeezing her round breasts against her. "No! Not now! I can't be captured again!"

Fasalina tried to break her bonds. She certainly had the power, but she still had to speak the words of her spell, and she was gagged too quickly.
"Mmmmmmphhh..." she mewed, her willowy body no stronger than it had been before. She'd been rendered helpless again.

Archeia approached them. It was she who'd caught them, who like Fasalina had an intrinsic connection to part of the Destiny Stone - only hers was far larger a part.
"You are testing my patience. You will not escape. You will not disrupt my plan, my Destiny."
"Mmmmhhh..." the chained up damsels moaned.
"Stop it!" Naviri barked, with such hot fury that Archeia turned to face her in surprise. She seemed to be challenging her.
"Don't be a fool," the Queen said. "I am -"
"A selfish tyrant with delusions of grandeur. You're no different from the mortals you conspire with, or with your traitor lieutenant! And I will stop you!" Even Castagire and Lyna's duel stopped to watch the show.
"Don't be ridiculous. I could turn you to dust with a word."
"Oh, very impressive. That's half the amount of words I need to do the same to you!" She gripped her staff, pointing it at the Queen. "Proffere -"
"Naviri, don't!" Lyna screamed.
"Ruinam!

There was a hideous shriek, as if nature itself did not comprehend the spell Naviri used. The very air contorted around her, and a black bolt of energy shot out towards the Queen. Lyna was surprised even at this. The last time Naviri had attempted this, the greatest and most destructive of all dark magic spells, she'd used its worst form. This was an improvement - but it was not perfect."
"Harmless." The Queen said, and when the beam collided with her it didn't affect her in the least. But Naviri didn't give up. She kept up the blast, even as the Queen began striding towards her. The energy seemed to fade before it even touched the Queen's skin, but still Naviri kept it up. The Queen came closer and closer but still Naviri kept going. It was only when the Queen reached out, put her hand over Naviri's mouth, and spoke the word "limp" that Naviri stopped. The energy faded in an instant.

"Mmmhhh...mhhh...?" Naviri moaned through Archeia's hand, as her body instantly lost all strength, and the green-haired witch started sinking to her knees. "Unnhh...nhhh..." she whimpered as Archeia took her hand away. "No...p...paralysed..."
"You simple creature," Archeia said. "Did you really -" She did not say another word. It was not because something had distracted her. It was because she was simply unable. Her mouth moved, but no sounds came out. Completely uncomprehending, she looked around, but saw no-one who could have done this to her. That was, until she looked down, and saw a small, black rectangle in Naviri's hand. It was a little device of Wuldangese design, that had been used against Naviri once before by Lady Beatrice in Koulton. Terrin had found one in Beatrice's mansion later, and hidden it away. Finding it in her discarded leotard in the massage room, she'd given it to Naviri at Lyna's instruction. The device's name was officially the 'Vocal Nullifier.' Beatrice had called it the Mute Button.

Despite all her power, and her thousands of years of experience in magical combat, even Archeia still needed to speak to cast her spells. Terrin immediately pounced, and Archeia could not think of a non-magical response. Her youthful  frame was not much taller than Terrin, and the Dagger Rose began to wrestle with her. But she had parity, not superiority. They had mere seconds to gag her before the device's effects wore off.
"Kk...hhh..." A syllable started to sound in Archeia's paralysed vocal chords. Terrin had run out of time.

It was fortunate, then, that Lyna dove in, grabbed Archeia from behind, and pulled a thick cloth between her lips.
"NNHHHPHHH!!" Archeia moaned, as the device wore off, just after Lyna gagged her. "NNNHHHPPHHH!!" Lyna and Terrin seized her wriggling limbs, and began to bind her supple, green tinged legs. "NNNHHPPPHHHHH!!" Archeia screamed, a captive for the first time in five hundred years.
"Terrin, free Fasalina, quickly!" Terrin obeyed her leader - for that was certainly what Lyna was at that moment, and quickly wrested the glowing chains from Fasalina's mouth.
"Be free!" she said, immediately her mouth was freed. But she didn't unbind herself with the spell, nor even Gwethena and Melisande. She spoke to the Destiny Stone.

For over long years of attachment to the sorrowful, vengeful Archeia - who had once, the stories said later, had been as gentle and good as Fasalina herself - that Dalut's loyalty to its master caused it to take on her hatred and resentment. It too became a tool of malice. But the introduction of the two great shards that Castagire had given it, one from Fasalina, and one from the gentle soul of Princess Ruhani, had weakened its resolve. When the Dalut rejoined with her, Fasalina had sensed this. When she told it to be free, she allowed it to see with its own eyes, instead The Destiny stone took on a different colour, a lovely verdant green, before it vanished entirely.

"Whhdd?!" Arhcheia moaned through her gag. "My stone! My Destiny! It...it cannot be!" As Fasalina had said, the bond between Dalut and Master could not be broken by any means - except the will of one of the pair.
"It didn't want to be a tool of hatred anymore," Fasalina said. "It wants to spread joy and creation, and life. Is that not what magic is?"

As Lyna helped to unbind Melisande and Gwethena, she turned to where Castagire had been. At the critical moment, when Lyna had run forward to gag Archeia, Castagire could have stopped her, certainly delayed her for long enough. But she didn't. She'd let her pass. Lyna looked back - but Castagire was gone.


When Maharaja finally got back to the level of the throne room - having fallen from the very top of the Obsidian Tower to its very bottom - she found her world changed. Archeia lay bound and gagged, humbled and stripped of all but her native power, which was not very much greater than Seral's. Most of the goddesses had fled when they sensed the Destiny Stone leave, and their army was in disarray. Without the Destiny Stone, Wuldang's machine army had completely failed to start at all. Their plans had been shattered.

"Mmmphhh..." the beautiful, defeated Queen mewed, lying powerless on her front, wriggling in tight ropes. "Hhlllp...hhhllp..." she said. Maharaja did not help her. She walked past the tormented soul, and strode over the chasm that had taken her out of the fight, over the fragments of the chains which had bound Gwethena and Melisande. She went straight to the throne, and sat upon it.
"Very well," she said. "If that is my Destiny."


Two days later, a small campfire glittered in an otherwise lightless, moonless night. But warmed by laughter as much as by the fire, six lovely maidens sat round.
"Spiders?" Melisande spluttered. "Giant spiders?!"
"Hundreds of them," Terrin explained. "Not the most fun part of our journey."
"You lot are inexplicable. Rescue or no rescue, if I'd seen a giant spider, you'd have had to free yourselves," the dark mage said. "There are certain things it is not reasonable to expect people to deal with." They all laughed, but one a little less fully than the others.

Many things weighed on Lyna's mind as she sat with the others.
"Something gotcha down?" Terrin asked.
"No," Lyna said quickly. "Excuse me, I'm getting a bit hot." The redhead walked away from the fire, leaving the others confused.

Leaning against a tree, the redhead breathed in and out, hoping that the burden of her mission would fall away from her shoulders now. But it stubbornly refused to leave her.
"Lyna?" The redhead turned. It was her master.
"Lady Gwethena -"
"Please...please stop calling me that." She said it with a smile. She took Lyna's hands in hers, and slowly embraced her. "I can never, ever thank you four enough for what you did. My dear, dear apprentice...they'll sing songs of you, you know?"
"Will they? Maharaja and Archeia live. Wuldang has lost its Forgeries, but is still an aggressive power. And us...there's a terrible sin at the very heart of our society, Gwethena! How can things be the same now?"
"Why should they be the same?" Gwethena said. "Things should be different." She smiled warmly. "You're the hero of a great tale, Lyna. The world is always different after a great tale."
"I - I'm different as well." Lyna thought.
"But don't think that you must heal the whole world alone, Lyna. You've succeeded. Through bravery and cleverness, and compassion, you've done it. You can come home."
"I don't want to come home," Lyna replied.
"What?"
"I don't mean -" She breathed in. "I mean not yet. There's something I must do first. Someone..."
"Someone?" Lyna hadn't meant to say that. She blushed brightly.
"Someone...special. Something I have to know." Gwethena put her hand on Lyna's shoulder.
"Lyna," she said. "Go. I think you've earned that much."
"Yes," the redhead said. "That much, at least." She embraced Gwethena now, rejoicing in the presence of her master. For now, at least, she had a victory to hold onto, as well as a friend.
Trouble in Paradise: Finale-4
Okay...after three years...after hours and hours of furious tapping at my piece of crap computer...it's finally done. This is it. The end. Trouble in Paradise is complete.


Aaaaaand get ready for the longest, most action and DID packed chapter yet! Opposing the will of a godlike Empress as well as Maharaja, our heroines head into the heart of the lion's den, the Obdsidian Tower! They'll get in...but will they get out?

Meanwhile, Princess Ruhani travels to the delegation with the Wuldangese, but all is not as it should be for the beautiful Princess.

This is it, everyone. It's been one hell of a ride. Please leave your comments, on this chapter and the entire series, in this section. I've poured more into this than any other story I've ever written. Enjoy, everybody.

This is it. The Final Part of the Final Chapter. Phew. I need to sleep...
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:iconburnup19:
burnup19 Featured By Owner 2 days ago
Thanks for the fav.
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:iconthesnakewhisperer:
TheSnakeWhisperer Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015  Student Writer
Impressive gallery you've got here…I'll simply have to dive in. 
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:icondamselbinder:
Damselbinder Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2015
Please do! And thanks for the watch!
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:iconronin-gh0st:
ronin-gh0st Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer

Thanks for the :+fav: on my commission! You know whose gallery to check out for more awesome stuff like that! :D 


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:iconcamiocorvus:
CamioCorvus Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015
Regarding our conversation today... www.deviantart.com/art/Venom-c…
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:icondragon-cana-love:
Dragon-Cana-Love Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This has been on my mind haha, I know your Icon is supposed to probably look intimidating but ever since I've read Raising Project it makes me laugh =P. That's all and keep up the good work of course =D
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:icongustorak:
gustorak Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thanks for the fav
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:icondamselbinder:
Damselbinder Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015
Not at all! As I said, that picture was awesome, and represented an exceptionally sexy little piece of animation.
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:icongustorak:
gustorak Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i may not express myself correctily, sorry, i agree with you we don't more drawing or picture associated to thas  piece of animation.  thas why i draw it and have the intention to made more when i hae the time.
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:icondatfriendlyponi:
DatFriendlyPoni Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I love your stuff!
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