The first bite of the now-lukewarm jam biscuit filled her mouth. It was fresh, not crumbly like stale rations, and the jam exploded with flavor. Foliana chewed slowly, taking in each bite. Her head slowly rose. The taste of jam and bread turned in her mouth. She felt the faint pain in her left leg disappear. Her body felt different. Taller. Nimbler.
Female. Foliana’s eyes were closed as she chewed. Her body never changed, but in her mind, she was someone else. Graceful, sleek. Powerful. Her tail wasn’t her normal, bushy tail, but coiled. Muscular.
The Squirrel Beastwoman kept chewing. Her eyes opened and focused. She got up and prowled down the corridor. Nothing in the classroom. But that’s where the threat would come.
Focus. An artifact capable of detonating a chained [Siege Fireball]—five of them. Made by an expert. From Izril. There were only a few places where Niers would be that she, Foliana, would trust to place that artifact. Nowhere in his personal quarters or at the top of the citadel; the Selphids were all too able to detect even the best [Infiltrators]. But then where?
The jam-covered biscuit was turning to mush in her mouth, and her image fading. Foliana took another bite, swallowing the first. Taste turned to feeling. Coiled, yes. Younger.
“No pain in legs. Mm. Feels nice.”
And more. Foliana paused. Synesthesia. Taste became sound. Sight.
A street. Bright, sunlight. Slithering along—six foot three—smiling. Cobblestones, each one angular, fitted into—the gaze turned upwards. Looking at the citadel. She—Foliana—grinned, her tongue flicking her lips. She arched her back, smiling as a Lizardman stared, openly entranced. But there was no time for flirting. Then again—she looked around, finding a mark.
A [Servant] from the Titan’s Academy. Slowly, she approached, her voice low, whispering. The Dullahan man jumped, his head unsteady as he turned it and stared at her. He stammered an apology as his friends laughed. And she gave him a little card that smelled like perfume and bent to offer him an enticement—
Foliana blinked. She was crouched in the corridor, the last of the jam biscuit in her mouth. It was mushy now. She swallowed it. She stood up and hopped down the corridor. A passing servant jumped as Foliana made one of the tapestries move.
She ignored him, muttering to herself.
“Not in the citadel yet. Using [Servant]. Amateur. Strange.”
It wouldn’t be wise to wait for her. The [Rogue] thought, her bushy tail twitching as the [Servant] stared at the spot where she was crouched. Niers was safe. Probably. Nothing in the classroom, which is where she’d put the artifact. But a [Servant]? You could put a detonating artifact anywhere with one of them. So—she had to find the [Servant]. She reappeared and he backed up suddenly.
The Selphid was young, wearing the body of a male Human. Foliana looked at him.
“Brothels. Good, thank you. Brothels have Nagas.”
“Y-yes, they do. Lady Stalker?”
“Shh. Smells like strawberries. Important. Cobblestones look wobbly.”
She pushed a paw to his lips. Then she vanished. Bewildered, the Selphid stared at the place Foliana had been. Then he looked around.
“Three-Color Stalker likes Nagas…?”