When Rex had talked about Michells place in the underbelly, Aurora had anticipated it being a much more sophisticated place than the hellhole she found herself in front of. The other female liked to hoard and spend money as she liked.
By the time Aurora had met her in her past life, the other had an empire build-up of wealth and a workforce willing to do her bidding. She had also been a background helper for the resistance, willing to trade them favors in exchange for rare goods.
Michell had also been a feared name since she had been one of the people who had seen the deeper abyss and knew how to navigate the first few floors safely.
“Wow, this place sure is run down. Couldnt the witch fix it all with magic?” Rita asked from Auroras side.
Aurora had not wanted to bring Rita with her initially but she had no choice. Leaving her alone in the pleasure district was not an option and neither was Rex.
Aurora was 80% sure her brother would have tried to rope Rita into unspeakable situations if Aurora had left her behind.
“Just because her title iswitch doesnt mean shes a magic user. But dont let your guard down in any case. Michell can be incredibly dangerous, even more so than most magic users you have met” Aurora cautioned.
As much as she hated to admit it, even she was not sure if her current self would be able to get Rita out of here safely if a fight did break out.
Aurora had magic coursing through her but it was unpredictable and as good as Rita was, she still did not have access to her best summons.
Michell on the other hand was a well-trained killer. She was also ruthless and it was only her greed that could stop her from going on a rampage.
“Oh. Then why do they use the title ofwitch for her when she cant even use magic?” Rita asked as she followed Aurora into the abandoned building.
It was almost falling apart around them, even the columns were deformed and had their inner surface exposed. The place was not somewhere anyone would want to live unless they had no other choice.
“Its because I can make your wish come true. That is if you pay me the right amount for it. But you already knew that, did you not?” The voice sounded lighter and younger than how Aurora remembered it being but the figure standing on top of the beam looked the same.
Michell jumped down, her metallic half making noise as she reached the ground. Rita looked taken aback at seeing a half-humanoid and half-mechanical being in front of her but it was not such an uncommon site for Aurora.
Once you went through the abyss once there was not much that could surprise you. And some things were just impossible to get back once they were stolen from you.
“Its an honor to meet you, Michell, or rather,Witch Shelly. We would like your help” Aurora gave a half-bow of greeting. It was a customary way to tell someone that they were on the resistance side.
If the time was still on the right track then Michell should have a temporary unspoken alliance with the resistance. As such, she would likely hear them out if Aurora showed her goodwill.
And it did seem to work.
“Let me guess, you want to go to the upper surface? Easy enough task but the speed would depend on what you can exchange for it. I am quite a busy person after all” Michell neared them and Aurora held her ground.
The other was seizing them up, seeing what they were worth. If Aurora backed down now, then she would be marked as easy prey and lose any ground she had.
She knew how Michell worked and she also knew how to handle her.
“Im sure I have a lot of things you would be much more interested in than money. For example, the location of your lost specter” Aurora replied in the same tone of voice Michell had used.
She knew the moment the other realized what Aurora was talking about. Not that she felt guilty for using their weaknesses against them.
“You do? Well then, come inside and we shall talk” Michell stomped her feet at the ground once and it caused a trap door to appear.
Michell did not waste time in jumping down and Aurora took it as a gesture offollow me.
“Are we jumping down as well? Cant I stay here?” Rita asked, not liking the thought of jumping down a hole again. The last time she had been forced to do that, she had ended up in the underbelly with Aurora.
And Aurora understood that train of thought. She was not going to force Rita to follow her. If Rita decided to follow her, it had to be her own choice.
“Do what you want” Auroras answer caused Rita a bolt of surprise but Aurora did not stick around to see her reaction. The hole swallowed Aurora when she jumped down but she did feel someone reach out for her arm at the last second.
She turned around, only to meet red eyes glaring back at her fearfully. Rita had taken the chance to latch on to her wrist.
“Dont you dare leave me behind” Rita hissed as she was dragged down as well. Aurora decided to humor her but she could see the floor coming closer.
And that made Aurora react. She twisted her body and caught Rita in her arms before they could be flatted. Aurora was sure she could only see in the darkness due to her goddess powers.
This darkness was not natural and she could feel magic lace the air around her. It made her stand on the edge and also question Michells motives.
As far as she was concerned, Michells main motive had been money. The female usually did not play these kinds of games with someone willing to pay her.
The air shifted and Aurora had a split second to take out a knife and defend herself with the sword while still holding on to Rita with her other hand. She shifted Rita to rest on her shoulder so that she could have a better range of moments.
The sword changed directions and Aurora saw the glint heading for Rita. Aurora swirled out of the way and twisted to position her right side against the attack.
Her eyes met a flash of Amber before she retreated with her baggage.
“WAAAA. WHO IS ATTACKING US?” Rita questioned as she tried to calm down. Poor girl had no idea what was happening and even Aurora was stunned to see this development.
She had not thought she would find herself in this situation so soon.
“Stop attacking us. I told you we were willing to pay, right?” Aurora asked her voice tense. She could not comprehend why she was being attacked by Michell in such a way. Her distress caused her to drop her shields as well.
Her glamour and Goddess allure must be shining through her skin since the attack did stop and Michell stepped ahead.
“That man was right, there is something different about you. You dont feel human but not in a bad way. Im willing to believe you now” Michell explained and Aurora finally put Rita down.
It took her some time to realize that this all had been a test to know if she was trustworthy or not. And there was only one reason for this to happen in the first place.
“Rex sold me out to you” Aurora was not angry but she was pissed. She did not feel betrayed by Rex since she had expected him to let the news about her out. It was a good way for her to gain recognition in the circle.
But at the same time, could he not have told her about this? It would have made things easier for her.
“Not sold but he did make an exchange. And now I want to make one with you as well” Michell explained, much to Auroras shock.
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