Grey hard crystalline ground stretched in all directions. From horizon to horizon, just the flat grey unforgiving salt desert. No trees, shrubberies, grasses.

Winds gusted, whirling up clouds of dust, dust that consisted solely of salt, and traces of other materials. Hooded, wrapped in several layers of cloth, and a cloth in front of the face, a lone figure wandered through the saltpans, that once were the ocean floor.

Carefully placing steps, probing for unsafe ground wih taps of a staff the figure was not the fastest, but didn’t want to.break through the hard salty crust to get stuck in a puddle of salty sludge.

The sudden sound of a splash, accompanied by thunder as if huge waves broke above, the figure looked up, finding another figure in the air. The second figure had wings, but seemed to be unconscious, flying onward but in a steady decline. Might be some time until she comes down. If it truly is a Naga. After an hour the supposed Naga came down, landing unpleasantly on the salty ground. A cry of pain followed. That woke her.

Still taking care.not to cruah through he surface into sludge the hooded figure continued on. Guided by the Naga’s cries the hooded figure navigated through the salt pans.

 

“You were flying eastwards, you crash landed westward.” the voice of a woman reached Fathala, it seemed distant, all of her body was burning, in every scratch there was salt, her left wing was dislocated, her right wing broken, her right arm didn’t feel much better. “Mirror world?” only now, after crying in pain for a while, did she notice how raw her throat felt, how dry she was.

“Yes.” a hand white as snow appeared from underneath the cloaks. Fathala felt like crying but was too dried up to shed tears. The alabaster woman! She is going to kill me! Another figure appeared above her. Wings like fire, garbed only to hide his private parts. A male Naga, Eric’s ghostly Naga shape. “Do not be afraid of her.” he said in a calm voice. A cold, yet warming touch sent shivers through Fathala’s body, the burning vanished, and the pain in her extremities eased. A healing touch?

“I take it from your reaction to me, that you have heard of me.” the alabaster hand withdrew beneath the cloaks again. “Or rather, of her.” as she removed her hood more white skin was revealed to Fathala, framed by streams of fiery red hair. “The Sphinx had taken possession of me, used me. Not so long ago a young, handsome man had come here, to the sweetwater sea. She used my body to seduce him, to make him bend to her will.” she helped Fathala stand up. “I am Lilly.”

“Fathala. I suppose you don’t carry any water?” Lilly produced a skin and a cup, poured some water into the cup. “We need to ration it.”

Eagerly Fathala gulped down the water.

Upon defeating the sphinxes the last time, one had been left stranded in the mirror world, with her counterparts. Life giving benevolent creatures, who saw no danger in the new arrival. One by one the malevolent sphinx killed her benevolent counterparts, met with no oposition by the people of the mirror world she wreaked havoc on them, murdered them, tore holes in the rim and let the oceans drain into the depths. When she had nothing left to destroy, she turned on Lilly, occupying the immortal anti Succubus, biding her time until she could slip back into the world she belonged to.

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