The Sovereigncy Codices: Just Rori
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It was an absolutely gorgeous day at the fishing village. Clears skies and cool winds meant the vast majority of people were outside taking advantage of the perfect working conditions to get as much done as possible. The phenomenal weather also meant it was extremely quiet within the tavern with no one desperately in need of a break during the days work, as such Saroria was taking some time to transcribe a few of the older, more worn recipe books into fresher, cleaner copies. 

Compared to the work going on outside Saroria’s was relatively slow, the cooler air within the tavern not helping with her work, preventing the ink from drying quickly enough to stop from smudging. She had several books on the go, rotating through them as the ink dried enough to turn the page and continue the transcription of that particular tome. Thoroughly engrossed in her meticulous copying, Saroria did not notice Santi’s approaching until he had arrived at the table she had taken over. She looked up at him and the plate of so sort of food on it.

“I made you something.” He told her as he sat at the table beside her and put the plate in such a spot she could easily see.

“You did not have to do that.” Saroria said on reflex.

“I did not have to. But I wanted to.” Santi had learned to reply.

She put her quill down and gave him her attention and with a curious smile asked. “What is it?”

The kryt tavern owner lit up with his own anticipatory excitement. “They call it a ‘cake’. Apparently it is all the rage down in Skizor.” He said of the larger city down on the southern tip of the peninsula. “It has a similar consistency to bread, but is supposed to be sweeter and more pleasant to the tongue.”

Saroria smirked. “You haven’t tasted it have you?”

“I would not be able to accurately comprehend the flavours. My people’s physiology unfortunately lacks what is needed to appreciate treats like this.” Santi reminded her.

“So I’m your test subject?” She amusedly checked with him.

“Well it has been a year of taste testing my various experiments for me so I thought this was an appropriate celebration of this anniversary.” Santi explained.

Saroria head tilted back ever so slightly as she processed what he said. “Excuse me?”

“It has officially been a year since you walked through that door for the first time.” They both got lost in that memory and looked to the front door when he mentioned it. “I don’t know when your birthday is, I do not even know if succubi have a birthday, but I wanted to celebrate you so I chose this day.”

When Santi said what her race was, Saroria had frozen so fast and to such an extreme she could be mistaken for a statue.

After seeing her reaction it took the kryt a moment to realise what he had said. “Ah.” He folded his hands together in front of himself. “That was an unfortunate slip.”

Her eyes flicked to him. “How long have you known?”

“Long enough not to care.” Santi said with such heartfelt conviction Saroria physically felt the pure belief in his words. It was both parts fulfilling to her innate hunger, his soul glowing bright and revolting to her devilish nature with that shining faith. “I am not nearly old enough to consider you as a daughter but you have brought a light to my life, to the lives of all our fellow villagers that no one is taking for granted. I hope, you knowing that I know does not force you to flee. That this last year has shown we care for you.” He pointed at her core.

Saroria was silent for a moment, her mind racing. “What tipped you off?”

Santi looked at the waiting cake then back to her. “I have meet a nef’raza before.” He mentioned the similarly looking mortal race. “Your colouration, but more noticeably the ears.” Santi pointed at her’s, just hiding under her pulled back hair. “It was not until word came that Atil and his fellow thugs, the ones that showed up soon after your arrival, had all been found dead in their sleep in…compromising positions that the legends of succubi came to mind.”

Saroria snorted. “I just want a peaceful life.” She told him honestly.

“I believe you.” Santi assured. “As I said before, your presence here has been absolutely wonderful and I hope you decide to stay.”

“It is so nice here.” She breathed it all in. 

“And better because you are here.” He made sure she understood his sincerity.

Saroria looked over at him with more than just her regular gaze, staring far beyond just his physical being. Eventually she smirked. “Let’s let the cake decide.” She leaned over and took a chunk of it.

“Well…now…I really hope I did a good job.” Santi commented. “I do not want my cooking to be the thing that scares you off.”

“If that was the case I would have been long gone by now.” She teased right before taking a bite out of the bit of cake she had taken. Her expression changed to one of mild surprise as she continued to chew. “That’s actually quite good.” Saroria told him after swallowing that first bite.

“Really?” Santi asked, himself surprised.

She hummed an affirmative as she took another portion.

“Thank you, Saroria.” He told her genuinely.

The red skinned succubi regarded the lighter green kryt. “Rori.” She told him. Just call me Rori.”

He smiled and his head tendrils rippled with happiness. “Thank you, Rori.”