Aria: In the Lion’s Den (part 2)
by Miss Mouse
Erazar the Mad paced about his lair, one paw holding his cane and the other gripping his gnarled bone pipe. The lion-headed Rakshasa puffed away, pleased with himself. Everything was coming together nicely: he had the half-elf girl in his possession and Beryl knew that. She would be along shortly, rushing headlong into his trap.
In the meantime, he had a little show to watch: the half-elf (what was her name? Arlen? Arbor? It didn’t matter, honestly) was suspended from the ceiling of the chamber, chains running from her wrists and ankles to the ceiling and walls.
She was completely naked, and not just for humiliation this time (though, that was a plus). The girl was pregnant, her small, thin body swollen greatly by the child in her womb. Erazar thought she looked just about to burst and as delicious as that thought was, he had something else in mind.
“Are you ready to give birth yet?” he called across the chamber, his voice echoing with a lustrous timbre. “I haven’t got all day, you know.”
Her response was to curse and writhe feebly in her bonds, which caused her to sway back and forth a little in the slack. She was bent a little forward, her huge stomach shifting her center of mass and drawing strange arcs and she moved.
“You’ll never win, Erazar!” she shouted, a little out of breath. “Beryl will come for me!”
“That’s the plan, child,” he said dryly, tapping the ash from his pipe. “It wouldn’t be much of a trap if she didn’t. Now, as I said, I would like you to give birth.”
The half-elf’s face twisted in disgust.
“You know, to pass the time.”
“I’ll never participate in your sick games, Erazar! My love will come and save me!”
The Rakshasa shrugged, bored.
“Big as you are, I thought you would jump at the chance to be freed of your burden. Perhaps,” he said slyly “it is that you enjoy your current state.”
His cat eyes moved slowly across her body, noting the curls of her copper hair, the toned muscles of her arms and legs, the roundness of her milk-laden breasts, the way her enormous belly stood out from abdomen. It was grotesque and beautiful, and he wanted to see it squirm.
“Well, if you won’t oblige me, perhaps I will have to start things myself.”
He raised one sinister paw into the air and snapped.
Aria Silversong immediately felt a pain in her belly, a cramp that reached from just where it began to encroach on her ribcage and extended into her, breaking against her spine and covering her lower back. Reflexively, she twisted, her body trying to curl up, a cry of shock escaping her lips.
This was wrong, this was all wrong! She had gone so long waiting for Beryl to return to her, if she gave birth now, it would all be for nothing! She wanted her love to be there for the birth of their daughter, had waited long months as their child grew larger and larger inside her womb, only to have it all undone here.
Aria was a skilled martial artist, a monk, and a master of her own body and mind. She was a serene and graceful young woman, a soft and gentle cloud that could become a terrible maelstrom at the moment’s notice. Each and every muscle of her body was known to her, obeyed her will as loyal as a faithful hound. No anxious thought could disturb the still waters of her mind.
The reins of discipline slipped through her fingers as the first contraction hit, her will barely catching them, holding tight to the last bit of control she had. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go at all! She had planned to give birth in the shrine pool, Beryl there to support her, her body opening and delivering the child at her behest.
Now the process was out of her control, the birth happening under the wild influences of instinct, completely opposed to the diligent powers she had cultivated. Yet, she had not fully let go of herself, and she clung to that scrap of hope.
Aria knew Kera, her child, by name, knew her face and the sound of her voice. They shared a bond that no two others might ever imagine, one that came from the mindfulness and meditation of the mother upon the child. They had walked together in their dreams, seen each other and embraced. Aria knew her emotions, understood the meaning of each kick and stretch within her massive womb.
The contraction had caused a stir in Kera, who now was shifting uneasily within her mother. She was uncertain, her home of many months becoming suddenly unwelcoming to her as its walls twitched and tightened around her, a sense of distress rising in her little mind.
Aria sensed this. Kera’s heart and mind stood out to her like a beacon in the fog of chaos that Erazar’s foul magic had cast her into, and she seized hold of that light amidst the storm.
She shut her eyes, blocked out the world around her. All that existed was her body and the child within it. Her heart beat in her chest, hammering away in panic. Her inner eye focused on this and it slowed, beat by beat, to a gentle and manageable pace.
Deeper within, she found Kera’s heart and she reached out, extending her mind to touch her daughter’s. They connected, the undercurrent of their thoughts washing together, joining into a single, flowing river between them.
Aria took her daughter in her arms and they embraced, their hearts slowly coming into sync with one another.
The contractions lessened as Aria regained control of herself, entering a state of transcendental meditation. They still came; every minute or so one would rise up, rippling across her body as a wave of tension, a reflexive tightening of the muscles, but they were impotent, unable to distract her, to open her, to press the child from her womb.
Aria was beyond their influence…for a time, at least.
Seconds stretched into minutes, minutes into hours, and time passed as Erazar watched his captive hang before him, still and silent but for now and then when a painful contraction spread over her.
As interested as he was in seeing the birth, this was something to behold.
This woman—barely five feet tall—had enough strength in her to maintain control over the natural actions of her body, despite his interruption. She was strong enough to stave off the inevitable, to prevent the birth of her daughter by will alone, though her body eager was ready and her legs spread wide by their chains.
How long had she maintained this state of prolonged gravidity? A month? Two?
How long could she hold out against the contractions which—now that they had begun—would not leave her until she was emptied of her charge? It was all so… titillating.
And as he watched her, he thought he sensed something; the briefest twitch of strain in her face as a contraction passed through her, a chink in the armor of her meditation.
The Rakshasa smiled to himself. However long it might take, she would be worn down.
Aria was unaware of time. She had no need to eat or drink any longer—such basic needs had been left far behind on her journey towards enlightenment—yet she did need sleep. Her mind, however sharp of a weapon it might be, must be honed by the relaxation of somnolence, or else grow dull and brittle.
Yet, within the bubble of stillness she had formed in her meditation, she might hold out longer than any other ever could. Within herself, the world shut out beyond the walls she had built, Aria maintained her stability, her mind bent entirely in the effort to sustain her current state against her body’s wishes. But at the very edge of her consciousness, she felt the waves that crashed against her barriers, slowly—as the sea tears down the mountain—eroding them.
She may be good—she may be the best—but she was not perfect.
There was pain. It was distant, but it grew closer with each measured breath, each beat of her heart. All good things must come to an end, and the child must be born.
In this bubble where time was stretched beyond meaning, each step of the process was drawn out to the extreme, slowed by the woman’s strenuous efforts. It was like trying to hold back a flood—however hard she might try, a trickle slipped past.
Inside her stretched-out womb, Kera began to turn, to position for birth. Aria’s belly shifted, the child within it pointing outward, drawing its shape into a long, egg-like protrusion before slipping down, her head against the thinned cervix that separated her from the outside world. The child did not understand what was happening, but her mother’s influence kept her docile, though this grew weaker as Aria’s will was slowly worn away by the effort.
Erazar watched this repositioning as it happened over the course of hours, the woman’s belly distending and rearranging painfully before his eyes. The contractions were slowly increasing in strength and frequency, the action of the strained muscles tightening her belly horrifically, the shape of the child within her overfilled body becoming visible through the thin and sensitive skin.
It was a fascinating process, one the Rakshasa intended to see again at a later point. Certainly he could replicate this through his own power; capture a mortal woman, impregnate her with something (if she was not pregnant already), and extend the pregnancy through the use of his magic.
How would the body react when this was not done by the voluntary efforts of the mother? If labor did begin, how long could he prolong it? What was extent to which the humanoid body could adapt in the process of extreme pregnancy?
The inquisitive mind found many paths to follow, and Erazar would soon have all the time in the world to follow them.
Fatigue weighed on Aria’s mind and body. How long had she been like this, her body convulsing, the weight of her enormous child pressing against her cervix? A day at least, she thought, and her thoughts were more and more on her struggle, the control she had on her body slipping. Sweat beaded on her skin, drawn out by the strain of her muscles. The joints of her arms screamed, the shackles digging into wrists as the weight of her belly pulled her down.
Kera was slipping away as Aria’s will faltered, the calming hold she had weakening. The child grew anxious, restless, beginning to kick and squirm against her mother after each contraction.
Aria could feel it, how with each movement the weight within her slipped lower, pressed harder, how her body was slowly, painfully opening as the massive head entered her cervix. The pain increased with each round of contractions, made all the worse by her efforts to stop the progression. She couldn’t fight back against the contractions anymore, but she could try to withstand them, to shut herself up.
Centering herself as best she could, Aria poured the last of her will into forming a barrier, tightening the muscles of her pelvis to keep the baby inside of her. But another contraction hit her at full force and the birth continued despite her best efforts. She tensed, pulling herself up a little to try and press her legs together, trying to stop it, but it was too much. Gravity and nature were conspiring against her, and she was too tired to stop it. Broken, she went limp, panting for breath.
Erazar smiled to himself. She had held out for quite a while, put on quite a show, caused herself undue stress… and for what? To simply prolong the birth of her overdue child. It was all for naught, though. At first he had been eager for the birth itself, but after the excitement of watching her struggle, it seemed like something of an anticlimax. But all good things must come to an end, he supposed.
“You’ve done very well,” he said. “But I can see you’re at your limit.” He took a moment to admire a particularly strong contraction, savoring her groan of pain. By the Hells, he thought he could see the child’s head forming a bulge in her pelvis as her bones shifted to accommodate the huge load.
“For your bravery and resilience, I will offer you this boon.” Already there was a thread of magic being woven into his words, the beginning of a Suggestion he would implant. He could force this if he wanted to, she was weak enough that her will could have been overcome with a simple word of magic, but he wanted her to suffer more. He wanted her to feel the guilt of her actions.
With a wave of his hand, he conjured a great cauldron of liquid beneath the laboring woman.
“You should just give in to it. There’s nothing left to gain by fighting the needs of your body, and you wouldn’t want to harm yourself or your child in your struggle. Here’s a nice pool of water to catch the baby. Just let go, and everything will be alright.” His voice was smooth and soft and terrible.
It was all he could do to not burst into laughter as he spoke.
Aria hung limp and defeated, her mind fogged by exhaustion. She’d used everything she had in that last attempt to halt the baby’s progress, and now she could only weakly gasp for breath between contractions.
And then there were the words.
They were so caring, so reasonable. She was tired of fighting, tired of waiting. Just below her, the cauldron of clear and clean water was waiting to accept her child. If she let go, everything would be alright.
Everything would be alright.
With a long exhalation, Aria surrendered completely, letting go of what was happening.
Her belly contracted, her body reflexively drawing up to push. She wasn’t even conscious of what was going on, just letting the labor control her as her mind drifted through clouds of pain and pressure.
Her hips popped, the bones separating as the huge baby entered her birth canal. The head was like a boulder, completely filling her pelvis and slowly working its way through her. With each contraction, the broken woman opened wider and wider, her body reaching its natural limits as it tried to expel the child.
The progress was slow, excruciating, but steady, her body expanding as the baby move lower and lower. Her vagina stretched around the oversized child’s head, her labia slowly stretching thinner and thinner as the huge mass began to press against them.
Aria felt it all in her mindless haze, wondering distantly if she might not just split open at the pressure…yet she was helpless to aid herself in her current state. There was an unbearable sense of swelling as her opening bulged outward, her labia parting with an excruciating slowness. It was as if she were birthing one massive, glowing coal, her nethers burning with the strain of expansion.
From his position a little way away, Erazar could clearly see the enormous head beginning to crown from the small woman, the huge mass slowly emerging from her stressed loins. He smoked his pipe and stepped forward to the edge of the cauldron, leaning forward to get a better look at the extremeness of this horrific, sensual scene.
Any lesser woman would be dead from this, he thought, tapping his pipe out into the cauldron. There was a long hiss as the ashes dissolved within it. Perhaps I should test that theory some time.
He watched as—over the course of agonizing minutes—the half-elf’s strained lips opened, revealing more and more of the child’s head. It had red hair so dark that it was nearly black, and a lot of it.
That is the result of carrying a child so long, I suppose.
An urge came over him to touch it, perhaps to push it back inside, but he withheld; he had thus far not interfered at all and was interested to see how this would progress naturally. And he did want to see her reach the end of this without his help or hindrance.
The labia stretched to their limit around the sides of the huge head and then it began to come more quickly, the rest of the head emerging with shocking speed compared to the earlier stages of the birth.
Above, the woman’s skin bulged as the half-born child kicked its legs against the every-tightening walls of the womb. Erazar reached up, touched the stretched-out skin, felt it harden and struggle to contract beneath his paw. It was a thrilling sensation—one he intended to experience at length on many more occasions.
If the head had been a difficult task, the shoulders were a monumental obstacle. Aria’s muscles and ligaments stretched to their breaking point as the ruthless contractions forced her child further and further into her birth canal. The progress all but halted as the shoulders began to enter the tightness of her pelvis.
Aria’s moans and panting breaths became shuddering gasps punctuated by exhausted screams, an unconscious, primal reaction to the pain and trauma of birth. Sweat ran down her body, dripping into the cauldron below with a hiss of steam.
Her mind was gone, her will broken by exhaustion. Whatever her body desired to do, she let it, heedless of strain and injury. The Suggestion still held strong in her mind: it would be best to just give birth; she should just let go. She just wanted it to be over with.
The shoulders stuck fast at the narrowness of her vagina, the weight and pressure bearing down against the muscles of her pelvic floor. Slowly, her pubic joint began to separate further, the ligaments stretching to accommodate the impossibly large child.
Her hips started moving on their own, rocking forward rhythmically, the motion aiding in the child’s descent. Centimeter by centimeter, accompanied by the pained cries of the mother, the birth continued, the shoulders slowly entering the birth canal, rubbing tight up against the pelvis on either side.
Aria was stretched to her widest as they emerged—a hair more and it might have been beyond her in this state, but she managed, her body at its absolute limit. Her screams diminished, her exhalations returning to ragged pants as the hardest part of the labor ended.
The rest would be relatively easy with gravity doing the work.
“ARIA!” A cry echoed down the hall and into the chamber, cutting through the fog that filled the poor woman’s mind. What was this? Could it really be? Was she really here?
Aria opened one eye just enough to see a little, and there she was, rushing into the room, her crescent greatsword flashing like the moon, blood already streaming from it. Beryl Walhardt had arrive, and her face was a twisted mask of unbridled fury.
“Beryl!” Aria tried to yell, but it came out like a hoarse croak.
There was a series of bangs and flashes as Erazar unleashed an assault against the paladin, but she emerged from the rising smoke undaunted, her black hair streaming behind her, her ferocious swings forcing the Rakshasa backwards towards the cauldron.
“Bery! I love you!” It was all she could think to say, all she could say.
“Aria! Stay strong!” her eyes were on her opponent, but Aria could feel the love radiating from her.
The sight of her lover invigorated Aria, her heart lifting and a surge of strength filling her. She was aware of what was happening, what was going on around her for the first time in a long time. There was more than pain and labor in her mind, and a sense of sudden alarm washed over her.
She looked down at herself, her eyes glancing over the straining mass of her still-huge belly to the cauldron below. A drop of sweat fell in with a hiss and her blood ran cold. There was a yellow-green tinge to the liquid; a sharp, acrid smell rising from it, filling her head like a cloud. It wasn’t water, it was acid!
She was about to birth her child into a pool of acid!
For one, full, blinding second, she was overcome with fear, an icicle of terror stabbing in her heart.
“Aria!” another cry from Beryl recalled her to the present. “Just hold on!”
Aria looked down as her lover battled the monster that had imprisoned her. She was so brave, so strong! Aria had to hold out, had to be strong. Beryl was fighting, and she had to fight too!
She took a deep breath, her mind piercing through the smell of acid to focus, to find its center. In a burst of willpower, Aria seized control of herself, cutting off the process of labor that was so close to completion.
Her womb tensed a little, then relaxed as the contractions stopped.
As she hung there, her breath steady, she swayed in her chains and felt Kera slip out a little more.
No, it wasn’t enough to stop the contractions, as far along as she was, gravity would finish the job! She shoved aside the bubble of panic that rose inside of her, forcing her mind towards a solution. In the depth of her focus, she shut out the sounds of combat, her consciousness fully saturating her body.
Aria could feel everything—every muscle, every nerve—in a distant, clinical way. The muscles of her vagina were stretched to uselessness by the child they contained, unable to tense or contract. All that was there was pain.
She reached out with her mind, touching that life that filled her, delivering one last empathic message before turning completely to the task at hand.
“Kera, I love you, hold on for me.”
Aria focused her will, forcing the muscles of her vagina to contract against her child, holding her as tightly as she could. She had to remain as still as possible—any unnecessary motion could cause Kera to slip further out.
It hurt more than Aria thought possible, the torn and strained muscles screaming as they were forced to work against nature and reason. They became a tight band of burning iron, keeping Kera safe from the danger below.
But that wasn’t enough—it wasn’t sustainable, she couldn’t hold on like this! Aria had to secure her tighter, or risk losing her altogether.
Her mind floated in the void, her body just below, a machine pushed beyond its limits. But if she could just force it a little further, fight a little harder, it might be enough. And she would give anything to save her daughter.
Aria took control, feeling the muscles of her vagina, her uterus, touching them through the pain, pulling, drawing them upwards. She contracted, her muscles spasming as they were forced back into operation, now struggling to reverse the work that they had done. They burned and ached, but obeyed…
And by the smallest degree, Kera retreated into her mother.
It was a monumental act of willpower, driven by the hard and focused breaths of the mother, but Aria could do it. She could do anything for her daughter.
Kera remained still, soothed by the calming aura her mother exuded.
With each long, steady breath, Aria willed her muscles to draw upwards, pulling her daughter back into her. It was slow and difficult, her body still demanding that the oversized child be born, but she smothered the urge to push, and bit by bit, Kera withdrew into her.
There was a strange sense of relaxation as the shoulders entered the spaciousness of her womb, the overtaxed muscles of her pelvis contracting to a more normal shape around the baby’s neck. Her labia pressed inward as the head was drawn up against them, before slowly spreading again to allow re-entry.
Aria suppressed the feelings of joy that rose in her heart, fighting against all emotion to focus on the task at hand. There would be time for celebration later, for now, there was work. She squeezed and pulled, her muscles screaming in effort as she neared the finish, the head fully entering her, stretching her once more.
With one last shuddering breath, her limbs flexing and extending in effort, her whole body working as one until—at last—Kera’s head re-entered the womb, the cervix closing fast behind. The child gave a little kick against her tight confines to express her contentment, then went still, resting after the ordeal.
Aria collapsed against her restraints, gasping for air after the efforts of last stretch of the labor. She was done. There was no more fight left in her, but there was nothing left to fight against. All that remained was for Beryl to win her battle.
Beryl fought with all her might against the devil that had dared to target the innocent, her sense of guilt at Aria’s predicament fueling her anger. Her greatsword sang, whistling through the air as she forced Erazar back, keeping him off balance, overcoming his magic.
Blood matted his golden fur, one eye destroyed by a deadly gash. His breath came in wet gasps. He stumbled and she dove on him, driving her blade through his black heart.
Erazar coughed once, blood spilling from his mouth, before collapsing limply against the ground.
In one last, passionate act of butchery, Beryl swung downwards, cutting off his head. The body turned to ash as the evil spirit that drove it screamed, returning to the Hells in a rush of fire.
She panted hard, her heart and eyes turning to see her love as she hung limply from the ceiling. Aria had done it, but at what cost? What toll her labor and imprisonment taken on her? Her eyes were shut, her breaths coming in exhausted pants.
Beryl threw herself against the cauldron, shoving it over with a clatter, the acid spilling out against the stones of the floor. She sheathed her sword and with a wave of her hand, the chains holding Aria opened, dropping her into her waiting arms.
“Aria,” she said quietly, urgently. “Aria, are you okay?”
Weakly, the half-elf’s fluttered open, her eyes staring out from behind long lashes.
“I’m alright…” she said faintly. “Just tired.”
“And Kera? Are you both safe?”
Aria’s hands went to her belly, feeling a flutter of movement beneath her skin, her daughter alive and well inside of her.
“We are now.”