Failing Upwards
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Nyze was having an extremely bad day.

It should have been a GOOD day, and in fact it started out quite well. She was travelling in the company of the Hero, Diarn Alaeia, serving as a mage-knight in his party as they delved deep into the Demon Realm. Their ultimate goal was the Demon Lord, that monstrous figure who had menaced the human lands for centuries. They had just completed infiltrating the Demon Lord’s castle, handily defeating every demonic soldier and general that stood against them. Now they were in the unholy monarch’s throne room, ready for the final fight. Nyze was pumped, her heart beating rapidly in anticipation of the hard battle ahead.

But then Diarn pulled her aside with a grim look on his face. “Look, Nyze. I’d like you to hang back in this battle. Stay in the rear with the other casters.”

Nyze looked at the Hero in disbelief, her excitement shattered. Diarn was a conventionally attractive man, with spiked brown hair, intense grey eyes and a strong jaw. His mouth was full of sparkling white teeth and many women had felt their hearts flutter when he smiled at them, including all the women of the Hero’s party. Nyze herself had been charmed by his roguish grin. But now she looked at him with nothing but revulsion.

“You’re joking, right? This isn’t the time for this, Diarn.” She held back the venom in her words, ever so slightly, but they still came out sounding bitter.

“We’ve talked about this, Nyze. I’m not comfortable with you being on the front line, babe.” Diarn’s tone was soft but carried an undercurrent of condescension.

Nyze folded her arms over her leather breastplate and glared at Diarn. “What do you mean, we TALKED about this? You mean those little comments you’re always making? Shit like ‘women shouldn’t be melee fighters’ and ‘girls should stick to casting and healing?’”

Diarn scratched his head awkwardly. “I’m serious, Nyze. You’re good with a blade, but I’m way stronger than you. I know you’ve trained hard, but you’re still a woman. Leave the physical combat to me.”

“Unbelievable. You’re doing this now? In front of the DEMON LORD?” Nyze cast a glance over to the wicked monarch, who was standing in front of her throne and looking down on the Hero’s party. She was a statuesque woman, over six feet tall and resplendent in a set of full plate armor. Her ashen blue skin, red-on-black eyes, pointed ears and sharp horns lent her a commanding, intimidating air, and her long white hair was pulled up in a high ponytail. She wore a lopsided, amused smile as she watched the Hero’s party squabble among themselves.

Nyze tore her eyes away from the Demon Lord and looked at the other two members of the Hero’s party, the skittish young brown-haired spellcaster Rylmedy and the taciturn black-haired healer Frane. “Either of you have anything to say about this?” Nyze asked in an accusatory tone.

The two women averted their eyes and kept quiet.

“Babe, please. It’s for your own protection. I was happy to indulge your little knight fantasies when we were fighting weak enemies, but this battle is the real thing. It’s too dangerous for women! You and the other girls should just hang back and let me do the hard work!” Diarn said, flashing his trademark smile. Nyze suppressed the urge to knock his teeth out.

“You know what? Fine. Whatever. You go have your fight with the Demon Lord. I’ll stand back here and WATCH. And even if you cry and beg for help, I won’t lift a finger. Have fun, Diarn.” Nyze’s words were frigid. She turned on her heel and joined Rylmedy and Frane.

“Babe, please. Don’t be a bitch about this, okay?”

Nyze ground her teeth together. “I am one HUNDRED percent being a bitch about this, Diarn. Go have your fucking battle, you spineless little prick.”

A quick look of pain crossed Diarn’s face, but he recovered quickly and turned to face the Demon Lord. “Right, anyway. Your reign of terror ends today, Demon Lord! Prepare to journey to the depths of hell!” He pulled out his sword and bathed it in holy light.

The Demon Lord chuckled, her voice deep and sonorous. “Oh, my. NOW you’re serious. Aren’t you going to insult ME because I’m a woman too?” That comment drew a loud chuckle from Nyze.

Diarn frowned. “You’re a demon, so it’s different. Although I do hate to hurt a woman… look, if you surrender, I’ll go easy on you, okay? It would be such a shame to damage that pretty face!” He smiled once more, hoping his handsome charms might win over the Demon Lord as it had so many other women before.

The Demon Lord’s eyes narrowed, and she drew her greatsword from her back. The blade burst into unholy blue flames, and she pointed the tip directly at the Hero. “I hope you’re prepared for the kind of death you’ve earned, little man.”

Diarn was somewhat taken aback that his charm failed to work, but he quickly recovered. The two charged at each other, moving faster than any eye could see, and crossed blades. A resounding boom echoed throughout the throne room.

*****

The Hero and Demon Lord were fundamentally complete opposites. Heroes were born, whereas Demon Lords were made.

A Hero arose when the Gods caused an immaculate conception and blessed the miraculous child with heightened abilities from birth. Diarn was identified as a Hero while still an infant, during his baptism at the local branch of the Church, and consequently grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth. As the divinely chosen champion of humanity, Heroes were treated to lives of luxury and ease that rivaled the wealthiest nobles. Diarn had never wanted for a thing and was trained from youth by the finest swordmasters in all the human kingdoms.

Or, at least, that’s what was SUPPOSED to happen. In practice, because of his divinely blessed body, Diarn was stronger and faster than anyone else even as a child. He was easily capable of beating every opponent with brute strength, so he saw no need to learn technique from swordmasters he regarded as weaker than him. Because of this spoiled attitude, Diarn never developed his skills beyond the most basic of strikes and footwork. What need did the superhuman Hero have of such sophistry, after all? His approach to battle was simplistic and straightforward, but it worked every time. Such was the magnitude of the blessings the Gods bestowed on him.

The Demon Lord, by contrast, was born an ordinary demon in a rural village. Demon society respected strength in battle above all else, and she worked long and hard to train herself, build her techniques and claw her way to the top. Every ounce of her power was earned through blood and sweat and toil, and now she stood at the head of a cutthroat society, having proved herself against all challengers and EARNED the title of Demon Lord.

Now, hypothesizing that these hugely divergent life paths lead to two beings of equal physical strength and speed, who do you suppose had the advantage? The blessed Hero who had never struggled a day in his life, or the determined Demon Lord who fought thousands of desperate battles to attain her might?

Diarn opened with a simple downward swing, bringing his sword down over his head and aiming for the Demon Lord’s shoulder. To his shock, the Demon Lord effortlessly parried the blow, spinning around once and causing Diarn to stumble forwards as he missed his mark. The Demon Lord then delivered a sweeping leg kick, knocking Diarn’s feet from under him and sending him sprawling face-first into the ground.

“Well,” said the Demon Lord, smiling savagely, “that was anticlimactic.”

Diarn scrambled to his feet and turned around, holding his sword before him defensively. He gathered holy light in his blade, then pointed it at the Demon Lord and fired a beam of pure white radiance.

When the beam faded, the Demon Lord stood there, unharmed. Her arrogant smile seemed to say, “Such a pathetic attack isn’t even worth dodging.”

“I-Impossible…” Diarn muttered.

To Nyze’s left, Rylmedy began to cast a support spell but stopped when Nyze placed a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t interfere, Rylmedy. Didn’t you hear the HERO? He’s strong enough to handle this on his own. And this battle is too DANGEROUS for women.”

“B-But he’s going to…” Rylmedy protested.

Nyze shook her head. “This is for our own SAFETY, right? That’s what Diarn said.”

Rylmedy bit her lip but didn’t make any moves to start casting again.

The Demon Lord exchanged several more blows with Diarn, culminating in a strike to his knees. She had been kind enough to use the flat of her blade, but seeing as that blade was on fire, Diarn quickly turned into an inferno. He dropped to the ground and rolled around, but magical fire was not so easily extinguished.

“AAAAAAHHHH! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!” he screamed in pain. The Demon Lord looked down on him piteously before extinguishing the flames with a flick of her hand. Then she drove the heel of her boot into the Hero’s face, breaking his nose and sending several of his perfect white teeth scattering across the floor.

“Pathetic.” she said, her smile never wavering. “Too pathetic to even bother killing.” She motioned to her guards, who gathered up the Hero and bound him in metal shackles.

The Demon Lord then turned to the three girls who had been watching the battle. “Any of you care to try your luck?” She twirled her flaming blade around a few times, then pointed it at them.

Nyze, Rylmedy and Frane instantly dropped their weapons and held their hands up high in the air in surrender. “NOPE!” they cried out in unison.

The Demon Lord laughed, then motioned once more to her guards. “Confine them. And throw the so-called Hero in the dungeon. Heal him only enough to keep him alive.”

*****

After her sword was confiscated, Nyze was shown to a small room with guards outside her door. It was rather like an inn room, featuring a bed, bathroom and even a small kitchenette. She was somewhat astounded by this, having expected to be thrown in the dungeon alongside Diarn.

Nyze dove face-first into the bed, burying her head in the pillow and letting out a long scream.

“UGH, UNBELIEVABLE! I can’t believe Diarn was SUCH A FUCKING DICK, IN FRONT OF EVERYONE! UGH! I can’t believe I willingly FUCKED that TWAT!”

“You fucked him?”

Nyze turned her head and saw the Demon Lord in the doorway, leaning against the doorpost.

“Oh… hello?” Nyze was somewhat taken aback. The Demon Lord was dressed more casually than earlier, in a simple lacy black blouse and shorts that showed off her long legs. Clearly she wasn’t here to do battle.

“Hello, human. Nyze, was it?” the Demon Lord said in her deep, sultry voice.

“Yes, that’s… I’m… my name is Nyze. Uh… can I help you?” Nyze wasn’t quite intimidated by her presence, but still remained cautious.

The Demon Lord walked over to her bed and sat down, looking down at her. “I just wanted to check up on you.”

“Huh?”

“You seemed rather distraught earlier. Angry, even. And a second ago, you were screaming into your pillow.” The Demon Lord twirled her long white hair as she spoke. The gesture was strangely cute.

Nyze’s face flushed. “Uh… I’m… I’m fine? Just frustrated, I guess?”

“I can imagine.”

Nyze sat up, dangling her legs off the edge of the bed. “I’m sorry, I’m not sure what to make of this? Like, you’re the Demon Lord, right? The ‘conquer the world’ evil mastermind Demon Lord?”

“Yup, that’s me.”

“So… why are you here, now, making light conversation with a mere human like me?”

The Demon Lord sighed. “I don’t know what kind of stories you humans tell about me. I don’t really WANT to know. But I’m not a horrifying monster. I saw a girl in distress and wanted to help if I could. That’s all.”

Nyze didn’t know what to say. She stared at the Demon Lord, studying her face, her ashen skin, her intense red-on-black eyes. Despite her inherent evilness, the Demon Lord was undeniably ATTRACTIVE… in an evil mastermind kind of way.

Nyze bit her lip as she looked at the Demon Lord’s toned arms and legs, which were on full display and inches from her face. Then she clenched her hands tightly and suppressed those emotions, those FEELINGS that bubbled up inside. She had felt this way many times before but expressing or indulging it was a sin. The Church made that much abundantly clear.

Besides, she was already in a relationship with Diarn. It was a completely loveless one, at least on her part, but she went through the motions anyway. It was expected of her.

After reminding herself of that fact, Nyze took a deep breath and looked up at the Demon Lord, who was still studying her with curious eyes. “Uh, you have me at a disadvantage.”

“Hmm? How so?”

“You know my name, but I don’t know yours. It’s weird if I just keep calling you Demon Lord, right?”

The Demon Lord giggled, her sonorous voice tickling Nyze’s ears. “True. My name is Psytalla. If that’s too long for you, please call me Psy.”

Nyze frowned. “Psytalla. Well, to answer your question, I’m not exactly ‘in distress.’ I’ve just been having a very bad day, thanks to a CERTAIN arrogant Hero prick.”

“Does he often belittle you like that?” asked Psytalla, disapproval apparent in her tone.

“Oh, CONSTANTLY. Me and the other women in the Hero’s party always have to put up with his little misogynistic comments. Hero’s party… hah! They should call it the Hero’s harem, since he’s fucking all of us on the side.”

Psytalla’s eyes widened. “You mean he keeps all you girls around for sex, but refuses to trust your abilities in battle?”

“EXACTLY,” Nyze spat. “Although today is the first time he actually stopped me from fighting.”

“How despicable. Maybe I should have him executed after all,” said Psytalla, tapping her chin thoughtfully.

“Oh, that’s a bit…” Nyze said hurriedly, unsure if Psytalla was joking. “I mean… he’s arrogant and privileged, but he’s still the Hero, you know? Plus he’s my boyfriend.”

Now it was the Demon Lord’s turn to frown. “Why, though? If he treats you so poorly, why stay in a relationship with him? He apparently has no shortage of women to cater to his desires.”

“Oh, uh, that’s…” Nyze was completely unwilling to answer that question honestly. Her relationship with the Hero was quite convenient for her, simply because it kept others from asking awkward questions or making uncomfortable accusations. Whenever her eyes lingered too long on an attractive woman and someone looked at her askance, she could easily say “It’s not like that. I have a boyfriend!”

In other words, Nyze was living a life of intentional denial. And if she had to let Diarn fuck her to maintain that illusion, well. That was a small price to pay, right?

 Sensing Nyze’s recalcitrance, Psytalla changed the topic. “Well, I won’t execute him in that case. But I also won’t heal his cosmetic damage. Frankly, I think the smashed nose and missing teeth are an improvement.”

Nyze let out a loud guffaw before catching herself. Diarn had certainly received his just desserts, she couldn’t deny that. A good enough healer could put him back in order, but maybe it would do his personality some good to go around with a smashed face for a while.

*****

Nyze and Psytalla talked for some time after that. To her complete shock, Nyze found the Demon Lord to be a charming, personable and intelligent woman who made conversation with ease. Soon enough, Nyze started relating humorous tales from her travels with the Hero, and Psytalla doubled over laughing when she got to the good parts.

“So then he says to the baphomet, ‘I’d run away if I were in your shoes!’”

“BWAHAHAHAHAHA! He REALLY said that?!” Psytalla was laughing so hard, tears formed in the corners of her eyes.

“YEAH!” Nyze responded excitedly. “And the baphomet looks down at her completely bare cloven hooves and responds… ‘I don’t think that will be an issue anytime soon.’”

“HAHAHA! That’s classic Metokai. She’s such a deadpan snarker.”

“Oh,” Nyze said suddenly, her face dropping. “I didn’t know you two were… acquainted…”

“I have a good working relationship with all my generals. Why the long face, though?”

Nyze’s voice shrank to a whisper. “It’s just… you know… we killed her… I’m sorry…”

Psytalla waved her hand dismissively. “Oh, don’t worry about that. My healing mages have already resurrected everyone you killed.”

“Huh? SERIOUSLY?” Nyze wasn’t even aware healing mages could DO that.

“Of course,” nodded Psytalla. “Demon magic is quite a bit stronger than human magic, so resurrection is no big deal for us. And all the generals you killed are quite embarrassed they lost so handily to the Hero’s party. Some of them are already asking for a rematch.” She grinned mischievously.

Nyze looked at the ceiling while she thought about that. “I… honestly wouldn’t mind a few rematch battles, as long as they’re friendly. I’m still disappointed I didn’t get to fight YOU.”

Psytalla’s grin widened. “So you’re a battle maniac, huh? I wouldn’t mind sparring with you either. Right now, if you like.”

Nyze’s gaze snapped to Psytalla’s face, probing her sincerity. “Wait, really?”

“Really.”

The corners of Nyze’s mouth twisted up, until her grin matched Psytalla’s. Her eyes grew hungry.

“Let’s do it.”

*****

Nyze’s combat specialty was magic knight, an advanced form of the spellblade discipline. She fought with a longsword, augmented her body with magic and pelted her opponent with elemental attacks. It was remarkably similar to Psytalla’s fighting style, and the two found themselves a good match for each other.

Nyze didn’t have the Hero’s superhuman blessings, but she did have real training and years of experience. As a result, she lasted longer in each round against Psytalla than Diarn had. In the fourth round, she held her own for nearly a full minute before being knocked off her feet; as she stood back up, she noticed triumphantly that the Demon Lord was sweating, just a bit.

“You are QUITE skilled for a mortal,” Psytalla said, sheathing her greatsword on her back and walking over to Nyze. “A few hundred years of training and you’ll be a peerless swordswoman.”

Nyze and Psytalla were dressed extremely light exercise gear since they were working up a sweat. They each wore a simple black sports bra and spats. Nyze found herself distracted by a bead of sweat running down Psytalla’s thigh, its course following the outline of her muscles. Realizing she was gawking, she pulled her eyes up… only for them to land on Psytalla’s abs instead. Her mouth opened and closed, but no words came out.

“Hello? Nyze? Knock knock, you in there?”

Summoning her latent strength, Nyze yanked her gaze away from Psytalla’s abs. “S-Sorry… sweaty…”

“Oh, good point. We should shower to wash off this sweat. Join me?”

“YES!” Nyze responded far too loudly and quickly.

If seeing the Demon Lord dressed in workout gear and sweaty short-circuited Nyze’s brain, seeing her completely naked caused it to enter a total meltdown. As Psytalla gathered up her hair in a net and prepared to step in the shower, she turned to the insensate Nyze and tilted her head. “Nyze? Are you alright?”

“PRETTY!” Nyze screeched.

“Huh?”

“Y-YOU’RE VERY PRETTY!” Suddenly, Nyze gasped and clamped her jaw shut. “Oh shit, I didn’t meant to say that out loud…” she mumbled.

Psytalla didn’t miss a beat. She stepped up Nyze and ran her fingers through the smaller girl’s red hair. “Thank you. You’re very pretty as well, Nyze.”

Nyze’s only response was a high-pitched peep. The redness of her face, which extended all the way to the tips of her ears, spoke volumes.

As the two showered together, Nyze finally recovered enough cogency to ask a question that had been burning up her mind for a while now.

“Psytalla?”

“Yes?”

“In the Demon Realm… is it considered okay for… two girls to… you know…” Nyze spoke in an almost inaudible voice. In the human lands, the Church very explicitly forbid same-sex relations, and disobeying this restriction was a surefire way to be excommunicated, exiled or worse. But the Demon Realm had different values, so maybe, just maybe…

Psytalla responded by running her finger along the underside of Nyze’s chin, before pulling her forward and planting a long, passionate kiss on her lips.

The sensation of another girl’s lips on hers, that soft press and warmth, filled Nyze with explosions of pleasure. She had never felt this way before, certainly not when she was intimate with Diarn. Everything in this moment felt so RIGHT. She knew she was sinning, but she didn’t care. She wanted more.

When Psytalla pulled back from the kiss, Nyze felt a pang of disappointment. She had hoped the kiss would last forever.

“The answer to your question is, yes. It’s quite acceptable for two girls to ‘you know’ in the Demon Realm.” said Psytalla with a sly smile.

Blushing furiously, Nyze stood on her tiptoes and brought her lips together with Psytalla’s once more.

Their shower lasted for quite a long time after that.

*****

Psytalla and Nyze sat together on the bed in her room, two towels discarded on the floor. Nyze’s head was in Psytalla’s lap and was presently the recipient of very gentle headpats.

“Before we go any further,” Psytalla said, “there’s something you should know.”

Nyze felt her stomach sink. Was this going to be bad news?

“When demons become intimate, it’s different than human sex. In addition to the physical component, our life energies also mingle with those of our partner.”

Nyze nodded her understanding. She wasn’t intimidated by that fact at all and was curious what that felt like.

“However. Demon life energy is stronger than human life energy. When the two mingle, the human energy is subsumed… corrupted or transformed, depending on your point of view.”

Nyze sat up and looked into Psytalla’s eyes. “Huh? Transformed how?”

“Succinctly stated, if we become intimate, you will transform into a demon. Not necessarily the same species as me, but you will lose your humanity.”

Nyze was taken aback, and her thoughts raced. She wanted to do this with Psytalla more than anything she had ever wanted before. But was she really willing to betray humanity in order to do that? On the one hand, she had probably sealed her fate as a traitor when she failed to help Diarn battle the Demon Lord; no Church official would look kindly on that. And now she had befriended Psytalla, KISSED her. That was a double sin, consorting with a demon and indulging in sexual deviancy. If she was found out, she would be lucky to suffer mere exile. Execution was more likely.

But to give up her humanity? That was a big leap to make, even if it was merely formalizing her betrayal. She thought back to her life in the human lands, grasping for some attachment. She remembered growing up hungry and destitute, being laughed at for her tomboy affectations, the constant struggle to be recognized as a legitimate knight because of her gender, the endless barrage of misogynistic comments she endured in a male-dominated society, her painful quest to repress her true sexuality and pursue hetero relationships just to divert suspicions from prying Church officials…

“Fuck it.” Nyze said definitively. “Let’s do it. I want to fuck you, and I’d like to become a demon as well.”

Psytalla nodded, and a moment later her fingers were running up and down Nyze’s spine. Nyze shivered at the touch, giving herself over completely to the Demon Lord.

At the beginning, Psytalla used her fingers alone. Nyze’s mind was blown by how GOOD it felt. Whenever she had sex with Diarn, he lasted about three minutes and she just kind of lay there like a dead fish. Psytalla, on the other hand, paid very careful attention to her, expertly building up the mood with foreplay, and delivered her to orgasm three times in a row. Her body was wracked by waves of pleasure the likes of which she had never felt before.

Then, the fourth time, Psytalla used her tongue. It turned out she had a VERY long tongue, and she was VERY dexterous with it.

Now THAT experience was rapturous.

After the fourth orgasm, Nyze began to feel hot. Scratch that, she felt like she was burning up, on fire inside. Strangely, it wasn’t painful.

“What’s… what’s…” she panted. Psytalla gently stroked her cheek.

“It’s beginning. Your transformation.”

Nyze looked down at her legs. Earlier, it had felt like they turned to jelly, and now they were LITERALLY turning to jelly and gooping together, as if all her bones had vanished. Her newly liquid lower limbs rippled, fused together and reformed into a long, conical shape covered with reptilian scales… a huge snakelike tail replaced everything below her belly button. Her ears started to tingle, and she reached up with her hands to feel they had grown long and pointy, the universal trait of all demon races. She opened her mouth to speak, and a foot-long forked tongue lolled out.

Psytalla watched the transformation with a huge smile.

*****

Three days later, the Hero’s party stood before the Demon Lord, who sat upon her throne. Their positions were drastically different from when they first entered her chambers.

Diarn looked the worse for wear. His face hadn’t been ruined TOO badly by the broken nose, and it even enhanced his roguish looks ever so slightly. He was missing several teeth though, which became apparent every time he spoke. More than that, he looked haggard and gaunt, with huge bags under his eyes. The dungeon had apparently not been kind to him, not because he had been tortured or anything so barbaric, but simply because he was completely unused to the slightest discomfort.

To Diarn’s left stood Rylmedy, looking like a scared mouse. To his right stood Frane, her expression emotionless as usual. As for Nyze, she stood next to the Demon Lord’s throne, at Psytalla’s right hand. This earned her curious glances from the others in the party, but she returned a simple smile.

Nyze, by the way, looked completely human. She was presently enchanted with a bit of glamour magic to hide her new demonic traits.

Psytalla spoke in an official-sounding voice. “Diarn Alaeia, you are guilty of infiltrating my Realm with intent to wage war. You are directly responsible for the deaths of 439 demon citizens, and you furthermore attempted to assassinate me. To ensure you will never repeat these crimes, I have branded you with a sealing glyph.”

Diarn looked down at the magical tattoo that was applied just above his left shoulder blade and scowled. The glyph, a magical symbol from the High Demonic language, glowed with a faint red light.

“The glyph seals away your divine blessing. You are the Hero no longer, merely an ordinary human and a rather pathetic one at that. Furthermore…” Psytalla waved her hand, and the glyph flashed bright red. Diarn collapsed to the ground like a puppet whose strings had been cut.

“Should you ever disobey one of my commands, or attempt to harm myself or another demon, the glyph will shut off your nervous system for ten minutes. You will be conscious, but unable to move or act.” She waved her hand again, and the glyph darkened. Diarn slowly, gingerly stood up. “The sealing glyph cannot be removed by anyone except me. It is certainly far beyond the ken of your human mages to do so.”

Diarn glared, clearly furious, but thought better of saying anything.

“You are henceforth banished from the Demon Realm. Never return here. Now, as for your companions…”

Rylmedy shrank back in terror, and Frane stood stock-still. Nyze looked down on them, and her smile widened.

“Rylmedy and Frane. I have good cause to believe you were lead astray on this foolish quest by the malfeasance of the Hero. What’s more, you did not partake in the attack upon my person and surrendered without objection when I demanded it. So long as you leave my Realm peacefully, I will take no further action against you.”

In truth, Psytalla had been planning to seal the two girls as well before banishing them, but Nyze talked her out of it. In her mind, the two were just as much victims of Diarn’s foolishness as her. As she saw the look of relief wash across Rylmedy’s face and Frane’s left eye twitch every so slightly, Nyze felt a wave of satisfaction.

Ever the courageous one, Frane spoke up. “What about Nyze?”

“Nyze has requested sanctuary within the Demon Realm, and I have granted it. She will not be returning to the human lands with you.”

Even Frane’s eyes widened at that proclamation. Diarn practically exploded in anger.

“What are you TALKING ABOUT! Nyze is a HUMAN, not some DAMN DEMON! And she’s my GIRLFRIEND too! Release her at ONCE!”

Psytalla narrowed her eyes, and her tone carried a warning. “I am not keeping her against her will. Nyze made this decision herself.”

Diarn kept yelling. “That’s IMPOSSIBLE! You’re lying! You BRAINWASHED her or something!”

Nyze couldn’t keep herself from grinning. “Maybe this will clear things up, Diarn.” She turned to Psytalla and planted an affectionate kiss on her cheek.

Diarn’s gums flapped. Both Rylmedy and Frane’s jaws hit the floor and their faces flushed red. Nyze stepped forwards, until she was face-to-face with Diarn.

“Are you getting the picture now, Diarn?” Nyze said, her voice dripping with both joy and derision.

“You two… you two are… but… that’s… that’s a SIN! That’s not NATURAL!” Diarn managed to say.

“A sin, you say?” Nyze dispelled the glamour, and her human self vanished. Diarn stumbled backwards, falling on his butt as Nyze uncoiled herself and rose to her full height and glory. She was now a lamia, with the lower body of a snake covered in red scales that matched her hair, pointed ears and a long, forked tongue darting around behind her teeth. “Good thing I’m not human anymore, then! No need to worry about being sinful if I’ve already turned my back on the Gods, eh?”

“That’s… you… how could you…” Diarn mumbled.

“It’s over between us, Diarn. I’ve fallen in love with the Demon Lord, and she gave me the pleasure you NEVER could. Scurry on back to the human lands; I’ll be staying here.”

Diarn sat there, dumbfounded and staring into nothingness. His anger from earlier was nowhere to be seen.

“E-Excuse me…” Rylmedy peeped up, raising her hand like a schoolkid in class.

Everyone except Diarn turned to look at her, and she shrank back a bit more before continuing. “Your, uh, your Demoness? Evil Highness?”

The Demon Lord smiled gently. “Just ‘Psytalla’ is fine. Is there something you’re not satisfied with?”

Rylmedy wrung her hands nervously. “P-Psytalla… uh… i-in the Demon Realm… is it okay f-f-for girls to love other girls?”

Hearing the same question she asked a few days prior, something clicked in Nyze’s brain. She studied Rylmedy carefully, trying to analyze her expression.

“We do not restrict love or sex on the basis of gender here, Rylmedy.” responded Psytalla. “Every demon is free to love whoever they choose, and this is a celebrated part of our society.”

Rylmedy looked over to Frane, and the two nodded. Then they entwined their hands together and Frane said, “We would like to formally request sanctuary in the Demon Realm, just as Nyze did.”

Even the usually unflappable Demon Lord was taken aback by this. Nyze, on the other hand, understood perfectly. A thousand little hints, indications she had previously ignored, suddenly made sense.

“You two as well?” Nyze said, grinning like a maniac.

The two girls nodded, their hands pressed together tightly.

Nyze turned to Psytalla. “They’re like us, dear.”

“OOOOOH,” Psytalla said, finally realizing. “Very well. Your request is granted. I welcome you into my Realm.”

Rylmedy and Frane looked happier than Nyze had ever seen them before. Just as they were about to embrace, Diarn rose to his feet and began shouting.

“SINNERS! You’re all SINNERS and PERVERTS and TRAITORS! THE GODS WILL JUDGE YOU! YOU WILL SUFFER ETERNAL TORMENT, YOU GOD DAMN DEMON WHORES!”

Psytalla waved her hand, activating the sealing rune, and Diarn helplessly fell to the ground again. She ordered her guards to take him away. “Transport him to the border. Give him three day’s provisions, and if he tries to cross back over, kill him.”

A few moments later, Diarn was gone for good. Nyze turned her attention to Rylmedy and Frane, who were holding each other tightly and smiling brightly. Nyze slithered over to them and held out her hand.

“Allow me to officially welcome you two to the Demon Realm. I think you’re going to like it here.” Nyze said. Psytalla rose from her throne and joined Nyze, wrapping herself around the lamia's arm.

“D-Do I have to become a demon like you?” Rylmedy asked nervously, her eyes betraying a hint of curiosity.

“Only if you want to.” Psytalla responded.

“I want to be a vampire.” Frane said matter-of-factly. “Can someone turn me into a vampire?”

“Yes, that can be arranged.” responded Psytalla without a moment’s hesitation. Her eyes sparkled with mirth at Frane’s bold request.

Rylmedy looked at Frane in mock disbelief. “I knew you were going to ask that. You damn vampire fangirl!”

“This is the chance of a LIFETIME!” Frane responded petulantly. “I’m not going to pass it up!” Nyze had never heard her speak with such emotion before; she was surprised the taciturn girl could be so expressive.

As the two bickered, Psytalla and Nyze both laughed. Rylmedy and Frane pouted at first, but soon joined in the laughter as well.

Today was going to be an extremely good day.

Hello, everyone! I'm Lyric, the author of Giant Robot Reincarnation?!. I originally wrote this chapter as a one-off when TypeAxiom brought up the intriguing concept of 'Yuri NTR,' but the characters have grown on me so I think I'll make a proper story out of it!

I'm going to broaden my horizons a bit and feature trans characters in this story who go through gender-affirming magical transformations. It will be a while before this shows up, but just a heads up for y'all. Please look forward to it!

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