Miko followed her new "Mistress", as she insisted on being called, through the streets. As they walked Miko could not help but wonder what she had done to deserve this.
"Have I offended the Twelve Gods so much they sought fit to allow this to happen to me? Have they abandoned me?" She shock her head to make the thought go away, this must only be a test from them.
Yes it was a test, a test to show her devotion be destroying the evil doers who now infested her fair city. They had allowed her to come back for one last chance to unleash righteous vengeance against the forces of evil. Miko swore a silent vow that she would not let them down, somehow she would kill the enemy and make the gods proud. As they walked a little further Miko decided to ask her "Mistress" exactly where they were going.
"Mistress, where are we going?" said Miko, scorn on word mistress.
"Oh, just to see my new boss. I want to ask him if we can borrow some slaves from you to fight. I'm sure he has plenty of them." said Tsukiko.
"That's deplorable!" said Miko, so wanting to kill the girl, but not able to due to the magic used on her.
"I had a feeling you would say that. But don't worry, once you get used to it killing the innocent should come easy." said Tsukiko.
"Never! Never will I spread the blood of the innocent!" Yelled Miko, clenching her fists and raising them to the sky.
"We'll see about that. Now come on, all the good slaves might be gone by now." said Tsukiko.
As they were walking along Redcloak could be seen walking down the street towards them.
"You! New girl, there you are. I've been trying to find you. Xykon says he wants everyone at the castle now, says he's got something to show us." Redcloak said to Tsukiko, then he noticed Miko behind her.
"And just who is that?" said Redcloak.
"Oh, this is just my new minion/bodyguard, made her myself." said Tsukiko, very proud.
Miko just rolled her eyes, wishing a piece of rubble would fall and crush the witch. But luck was not on her side as Tsukiko remained uncrushed and the conversation went on.
"Uh, what did you make it out of anyway, that outfit seems hauntingly familiar." said Redcloak.
"Oh, she's just the former number one Paladin in the Sapphire Guard, that's all." said Tsukiko, smirking evilly.
"O-oh really? That's great, really great for you." said Redcloak, slightly nervous as visions of his tribe being ripped apart by Paladins flashed through his mind, and now here was an undead one.
"Hmm, he seems to fear me a touch, that's good. Once I am free and able to smite them that moment of fear might give me an opportunity to vanquish him." Thought Miko to herself, meanwhile Tsukiko was thinking something slightly different.
"Yes! He's totally afraid of my new warrior. When the time comes to kill him that will make the job all the easier." Tsukiko thought, then Readcloak spoke up.
"A-anyway, we better get going, Xykon doesn't like to be…" said Redcloak, but then all of a sudden the ground began to shake.
"What is it, an earthquake?!" yelled Redcloak.
"No! look!" yelled Tsukiko, as she pointed towards the ruined castle.
They all looked to see a green tower wrenching itself up towards the sky. It grew and grew until it was even taller then the old Azure City Palace.
"By the Dark One, is that what Xykon was up too? Come on you two, lets find out what's going on." said Redcloak, running to the castle.
"Come on Miko, I want to see this up close!" Tsukiko said as she took off, with Miko right behind.
"Oh gods, what have these monsters done to my city now?" though Miko as she ran after Tsukiko.
They all ran as fast as they could through the streets, until finally they got to the square near the castle. They all stopped in their tracks as they got a good look at the tower, which was even bigger up close. Xykon was standing at the base of it, with a crowd of hobgoblins cheering him.
"Yes, yes, I know, I'm amazing. Now keep cheering or I'll fry you all." said Xykon as he took a bow like some cheap stage magician, it was then he noticed Redcloak and the two girls.
"Well there you losers are, you missed the whole show. Where were you anyway?" said Xykon, a hint of danger in his voice.
"I was looking for the new girl, that's what took so long." said Redcloak, expertly passing the buck.
"Uh, I was coming here, but he stopped me to have a chat." said Tsukiko, lying to save her skin.
"Whatever, don't bore me with your little problems, just do what I say when I say it, got that?" Said Xykon, a threat clearly in his voice.
"Y-yes sir!" said Tsukiko.
It was then that Xykon noticed Miko standing next to Tsukiko.
"And just what is that standing next to you?" said Xykon.
"Oh, this is just my new undead warrior, I made it myself." said Tsukiko.
"Undead warrior huh? Well lets take a look at her." said Xykon, he then walked over to examine Miko.
Miko then experienced the most humiliating moment of her life. Xykon began to poke and prod her body in the ribs and other places. He even looked at her teeth like she was a common horse. The righteous fury and anger welled up in Miko, but she could not attack the Lich like she so wanted to do.
"Curse that witch! She must have made it so I could not attack her master. She will suffer even more for this indignity." Thought Miko, as she glared at Xykon.
"Hmm, what's it made out of anyway?" said Xykon.
"Oh nothing, just some grade A Paladin and a little Create Greater Undead." said Tsukiko.
"A Paladin huh? That and the Create Greater Undead would explain why she's been glaring at me for the last two minutes. I like it, both cruel and functional. Good job kid, I really think you've got a great future with us." said Xykon.
"But not as great as you are sir." said Tsukiko, kissing up.
"I know, I know. Now then time to get the stuff into the tower. Ok minions, bring it in!" said Xykon.
With that the hobgoblins began to bring in chest after chest of gold, jewels and other miscellaneous items.
"By the Dark One! Where did all this come from?" said Redcloak.
"You'd be surprised what you find when you loot the homes, businesses and recently made corpses of an entire city." said Xykon.
"Very impressive sir." said Redcloak.
"Isn't it though, by the way, has anyone seen that stupid monster of ours? I haven't seen him since the battle began." said Xykon, to which Redcloak and Tsukiko could only shrug.
But just at that moment, as if called, the MitD suddenly appeared in the square, dragging along the second most unlucky Paladin in the world (the first being poor Miko), O-Chul.
"Hey, there you guys are I've been looking all over for you! Look what I found, a new friend! His name is Mr. Stiffly." said the MitD, lifting up the still immobile O-Chul.
"Well well, when it rains it pours. Guess we have another Paladin to turn into an undead." said Xykon.
"Oh no! Not this one too, we need someone to interrogate about the other Gates and their secrets! Besides she already has one, it's my turn to torment one of these bastards!" said Redcloak.
"Fine, let the baby have his bottle. Anyway I'm bored, I think I'll go use some of the slaves as target practice." said Xykon.
"Uh sir, speaking of target practice, I was wondering if I could have some slaves to test my new undead out on?" said Tsukiko.
"What? Oh sure, go ahead. Just tell the slave master to give you some, tell him I sent you. Now if you excuse me, some unlucky humans have a date with a fireball." said Xykon as he walked off.
"Come Miko, we have some slaves to procure." said Tsukiko as they walked towards the slave masters temporary office.
A little while later Tsukiko had gotten five slaves, who huddled chained together against a wall. Tsukiko handed Miko a sword and placed her in front of the frightened slaves.
"Ok Miko, I want to see how you handle a sword and fight, so cut down these slaves." She said.
"B-but, I can't do that, they are innocent people. It would be totally unthinkable." said Miko.
"Well I'm telling you to do it, and you know by now you can't disobey me, so do it." said Tsukiko.
"But…" began Miko before Tsukiko cut her off.
"I said do!" said Tsukiko, more forcefully.
Miko sighed and raised the sword, realizing that she could not disobey. The slaves moved closer together in a futile attempt to protect themsleves. Miko eyed them for a second and then brought her sword down on them. She slashed and cut as the screams of the poor souls filled the air. Time seemed to blur until Miko was down to the last one, an angry looking young man.
"I am sorry I have to do this, I will pray for you." said Miko.
"Like heck you will! How could you do this to us?! May the Twelve Gods curse you forever you fat cow!" yelled the man.
This was a grave mistake, for at that last sentence something in Miko snapped. Miko raised the sword and with a crazy grimace on her face she brought it down. She slashed the young man again and again and again, and the strange, almost frighting thing was… she was enjoying it. Soon the young man was cut up into at least ten pieces before Miko finally stopped. Miko looked at the remains, then she looked at the sword in her hands with shocked eyes.
"W-what have I done?" said Miko, dropping the sword and falling to her knees.
"You did good, don't worry about it. These slaves would have died anyway at some point. Think of it as doing them a favor." said Tsukiko as she walked over and put her hands on Miko's shoulders.
"But…but…" said Miko, but Tsukiko shushed her.
"No buts, now I see you are a little shaken up after taking those innocent lives. So why don't you go for a walk? I have a special surprise I need to work on for you. I'll send someone to get you when it is done, do you understand?" said Tsukiko.
"Uh huh." said Miko, unable to say anything more.
"Good, now take your sword and go for a walk, that's an order." said Tsukiko.
"Yes Mistress." said Miko in a dull voice, she then picked up the sword and walked away.
Miko walked down the street, dragging her sword behind her. The sword made a scraping sound as she walked down the ruined streets of the city. In Miko's mind there was much conflict about what had just transpired.
"How could I have done that? How could I have cut down that young man without so much as a bit of remorse? By the gods I even enjoyed it! What in the name of Soon Kim is happening to me?" Miko thought to herself.
As the thoughts of the event raced around her mind, there came from behind her a noise. Miko whipped around but saw that there was nothing there.
"Hmm, must have been a piece of debris." said Miko, she then turned and continued walking.
Behind the wall of a ruined shop, two faces rose up to watch the retreating ex-paladin.
"By the gods! Is that Miko?" said Haley
"I think it is, this is my lucky day. I finally get to cut out her liver!" said Belkar as he tried to chase after Miko, but Haley grabbed his arm.
"No! Didn't you see the tattered cloths, the gray skin, the huge ass scar across her mid-section. She's been turned into an undead!" said Haley.
"I know, why do you think I'm going to do it now. She's not alive which means I can cut her up without this stupid mark going off." said Belkar.
No, we don't have time for this. We need to find some food and a place to hide. Then we need to figure out what to do next." said Haley.
"Awwwww." said Belkar, sad he couldn't murder.
"Look, the next time we see her you can kill her. But right now is food and hiding time." said Haley.
"Ok, I suppose my revenge and blood lust can wait for the moment. Besides I'm hungry, lets get some grub." said Belkar, and then they left.
After an hour or so of walking Miko was still feeling conflicted about life, or un-life as it may be. As she walked a hobgoblin walked towards her.
"Hey, are you the chick named Miko?" said the Hobgoblin.
"Unfortuantely." said Miko.
"Well that other chick, "Mistress Tsukiko" wants to see you, says she has something for you. She's in the tower, third level, second door on the right." He said.
"Fine then, I will go see her." said Miko.
Miko walked to the tower and paused, staring at the edifice. It seemed to blight the very sky of the city with evil. She sighed and then walked through the entrance. Miko climbed the stairs until she was at her destination, a door that said "Mistress Tsukiko: Super Awesome Raiser of the Dead." Rolling her eyes Miko opened the door and found a most shocking site.
The room was decorated with hanging sheets of silk, colored red and black. candles were softly glowing on several tables, and the smell of sweet incense filled the air. On the back wall was a round bed with many pillows, and laying on that bed was Tsukiko, in the skimpiest (and only) piece of lingerie Miko had ever seen.
"W-what is this? What is going on?" said Miko, really hoping not to get the answer she was thinking of.
"Oh, this is part of the surprise I mentioned earlier. Do you like it?" said Tsukiko.
"Well…I…" said Miko, not able to think of anything.
"Enough talk, how about you come and sit with me?" said Tsukiko, motioning for Miko to come over.
"May the Twelve Gods give me the strength to endure this." Thought Miko as she reluctantly walked over.