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The Noble Queen-A Shadow Slave Fanfic

Volume I is complete! Volume 2 is in progress. Queen Bee may have lost to Mongrel in the Dreamscape, but that is not where her story ends. Nor is it where her journey began. Get a deeper glimpse into the waking world of Shadow Slave through the eyes of one of the Dreamscape's top duelists. Special thanks to Guiltythree for all his help with the lore. I appreciate your time very much! Also thanks to Nonsensefree, the story's content editor. You made my life much easier. Thank you!

NobleQueenBee · Book&Literature
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226 Chs

Glory to the Victor

One strike after another, Mongrel blocked every hit as if it were nothing. He seemed to feel no pain and had no problem countering her moves.

Each time Queen Bee changed tactics, the demon she was fighting did the same. She had years of training, and yet this newcomer was giving her a run for her life.

 

Queen Bee had never experienced a problem like this before. Most people were easy to read, but the mask of her opponent made discerning his next move exceptionally difficult. 

'Is he even human?!'

 

The battle raged on. Suddenly, Mongrel left his guard open. Unwilling to let the opportunity pass, Queen Bee surged forward. Her estoc met its mark. 

Blood flowed. The crowd gasped, feeling the tide of the battle turning.

 

Queen Bee felt it too but in the reverse of those who were watching the battle unfold. She knew the instant Mongrel had allowed himself to be hit that it had been a trap. 

Her instincts told her to put as much distance between herself and the monster as she could, but without revealing both her flaw and her Aspect, the move was not possible.

 

Instead, she would have to let the demon end her. The petal-laced arena faded from view.

 

Gasping, Noble exited the Dreamscape. She hissed, grabbing her abdomen. While the duelist was not physically hurt, she could still feel the phantom pain of Mongrel's fatal slash. She had never been injured like that before. 

The discomfort quickly subsided. Relaxing, Noble took stock of her situation. 

 

"It is the end of an era, but it was better to lose than to risk exposing myself." She sighed heavily, opened the pod, and exited into her modest dojo. 

It was very modest indeed. Few knew it existed at all. It was the place she had kept her identity a secret even from those she held dear.

Those who had been to her home knew she had a safe room for while she was in the Dream Realm, but none of them were so foolish as to take a peek. 

Most Awakened were pretty particular about their sleep space, and Noble was no exception. The Dreamscape pod, sleeping pod, and a few tools were the only witnesses to her small practice space.

 

Noble cast a glance at her pod. "I should go back for the final ceremony."

 

There were many prizes for her to claim, and she should honor the victor by at least showing there were no hard feelings. Not that she would do anything with the prizes. She had almost not joined, suspecting it was just a way for Valor to try to track her and the other powerful Awakened.

 

And as for Mongrel. He had bowed respectfully, but Noble doubted very much if he would care one bit if she returned or not. 

To her, his drive seemed to be something beyond the battle. She was just a stepping stone in some other quest. Whatever that quest was, he was very driven to complete it.

 

Dismissing her armor, Noble donned the shirt and pants hanging on the wall. Leaving behind the pod, she ran her delicate fingers across her stomach and wandered out of the dojo and into the main part of the house.

 

She was immediately assaulted by the din of a crowd from her living room. 'What in the world…'

 

In the living room, Noble's teenage daughter and nine-year-old twin sons were glued to the projection on the wall. 

The oldest heard the door shut and pulled her eyes away from the scene. "Mom, you're awake! Look!"

 

Noble looked at the screen, and her eyes grew wide. The Dreamscape tournament was being shown in its full glory. 

"This is far too violent." The woman glanced past her three children on the couch towards her husband, who was in the kitchen making dinner.

"Dad said we could watch it. That's why he's the cool one. You should have seen Queen Bee, Mom! It was so cool. You just missed it…" The teen girl looked back at the screen, ignoring the significant looks between the husband and wife. Noble strolled over to her husband.

 

"Yeah, you just missed it," Fort winked and kissed her on the mouth as she glared at him.

 

Noble's anger faded as she kissed him back. Looking down at the meal he was making, her heart clenched.

 

"You should have come and gotten me. I did not realize it was as late as it was." The woman's eyes swirled with emotion.

 "And let you miss your big moment? Never!" her husband whispered with a small smile. He left the food sizzling on the stove to wrap his arms around the woman he loved.

 

Together they faced the projection. Noble sighed, a frown forming as she leaned her head back on her husband's chest. "Some big moment…"

 

"First place or last, I would be proud of you. But going up against that devil right there…" the man looked up from kissing the woman's neck to stare at the projection of the Awakened in the mask, "that was truly impressive."

 

The two watched in silence as the Mongrel challenged Lady Morgan to a battle.

 

"Is he crazy?!" a high-pitched voice from the couch squealed. One of the nine-year-old twins was covering the other's eyes.

 

"No, Brock, he is Mongrel," Fort chuckled. 

In true teenage fashion, Honey rolled her eyes at her father over her shoulder and quickly returned to the incoming battle.

 

Not that it was a long one.

 

"I would say poor Mongrel, but he kind of asked for it…" Noble said with a wince.

 

"He just felt bad about ruining your undefeated record and decided to make it up to you." Noble's husband smirked.

 

"I doubt it. There is some mystery there, but I've no time to figure out what it is. I have more important matters to attend to." Noble turned around and picked up where her husband had left off a moment before. He was very quick to respond to her embrace.

 

As the broadcast moved back to the announcers, a series of groans emanated from the couch. "Ugh, now comes all the boring stuff. Not even Old Uncle Dimi can make that interesting. What are you two talking about—ew!" The teenager wrinkled her nose. "Do you have to do that where I eat?!"

 

Noble's eyes settled into their more steady blue. Even around her children, she was careful not to let them shift too much. It seemed to unnerve people, and ever since awakening, she had control over what color they turned. So only in the Dreamscape or when she was alone with her husband did she relax enough for them to fall into their natural polychromatic state.

 

"Do what? This?" Noble gave her husband one last peck. "If it bothers you so much, I guess you don't want any of your father's famous bibimbap."

 

"You wish!" The ravenous girl leapt over the couch and rushed to the counter. "I've been waiting all day for this!"

 

Brock and Blaze followed their older sister's poor example, flying through the air with heroic sounds of valor.

 

"I'm hungry." "Me too." They chirped on top of one another.

 

"Glad to know all the battles were just a prelude to the main event: time with mom and dad!" Fort laughed at his own joke as he kissed the top of his daughter's head. Few teens craved time with the older generation including his own beloved girl.

 

Noble chuckled as she glided over to her chair, her feet dangerously close to touching the ground but never quite managing the feat. Then she sat in her chair, or rather hovered over the top, and waited for the others to join her.

 

She could have chanced sitting down all the way. A solid surface under her rear would have been a welcome change. 

But the Spell was very particular about what was considered 'ground,' and she didn't want to risk activating her flaw right before a lovely meal with the people she loved.

 

For her flaw was very unforgiving. Noble remembered the first time she had read the runes.

 

[Flaw: Head in the Clouds]

[Your body is constantly threatening to float into the great beyond. You will never be grounded again. Touching the earth brings immeasurable pain, yet fully leaving it behind was never an option.]

 

She had hoped she was reading it wrong, but the new Awakened found out all too quickly how truly vicious the pain could be when she stepped out of her sleeping pod for the first time. She had fought against the floating sensation which threatened to send her flying into the sky. 

Instead, Noble had sent herself crashing into the ground. The sharp pangs which had racked her soul nearly killed her until she allowed herself to be lifted from the familiar earth.

 

Since then, the brunette had learned to hover within a millimeter or less of the ground and move just like everyone else. Only on rare occasions where she needed to pick something up and touch the floor did Noble allow herself the briefest moment of excruciating pain to retrieve what was lost.

 

It was how she kept her secret. No one except her husband and parents even knew her flaw at all.

 

Noble had debated if she should tell her children but had decided against it.

 After the loss of Noble's eldest son, Seb, during his first nightmare, Honey and the boys had come into their family as a most precious gift. The burden of letting any of her children know that their mother might randomly float away if she fell asleep or was knocked unconscious in the wrong spot was more stress than any child should have to bear.

 

So Noble faked normalcy for the sake of familial harmony. It was the least she could do.

 

The others quickly joined her at the table with their food. Carrying two bowls Fort placed one down before his wife. "Here you go, my love. A meal fit for a queen!" he winked.

 

Noble looked down at the colorful dish of rice, vegetables, and beef. She smiled. "It truly is. Thank you."

 

"I forgot the Gochujang Sauce!" Honey lamented when she had already plopped down in her chair.

 

"Don't worry, sweetheart. Allow me." Even as Noble spoke, the five small ramekins floated from the low counter through the air and made their way next to each bowl.

 

"Thanks, Mom," the kids said happily, digging into their meals.

 

Fort wore a ridiculous grin. "I love it when you do that."

 

"Not as cool as a combat aspect, but still very handy," Honey agreed between bites.

Noble laughed, "Ha! Imagine me being able to fight. Wouldn't that Bee something…"

I have been made aware of a spacing issue on the computer for the first 6 chapters. I am sorry for the inconvenience! It is fixed from chapter 7 onward, but I cannot change what was published without losing comments. Thank you for understanding!

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