The last time the demon tempted Aksinya, he used physical discomfort and threats to "win" her over. If that works, why not use it again. As I mentioned, the "puppy" method is very effective. One of my readers noted that the demon and Aksinya have a classical abusive relationship going. Ah, yes, so it is. Is temptation any different than such a relationship. If you think about the similarities, you will see amazing parallels. There is much more in the writing that I have not revealed to you. That wasn't intentional or unintentional. It's just that I am really busy and sometimes I have more and less time to spare on "revelations." Plus, some of the revelations of the multilevels of the writing should be obvious.
They only had to walk about a block before the railway station came into sight. It was brightly lit and filled with activity. They approached the station from the rail side. At the sides of a set of tracks, the demon stopped suddenly. He laid down the chest and turned, “The trains are especially dangerous for you, countess. They will be equally dangerous for your lady-in-waiting.”
“Then why did you bring us this way, you fool?”
“I brought you this way to give you yet another opportunity.”
Aksinya’s head dropped, “What do you want me to do this time?”
“My request is simple. I wish you to make an enchantment that changes both of your external appearances. This way you may travel in safety and comfort.”
Aksinya put her hand over her eyes, “If I won’t do it?”
“If you don’t make this magic, you could walk all the way to Austria. Or, I could strip you like I did before.” The demon grinned around his fangs, “I could strip your lady in waiting. Perhaps I could tempt you to whip her. That would be something she is very used to.” Asmodeus leaned against the chest, “In any case, if you don’t make an enchantment, a group of young Bolsheviks will soon come along these tracks. They have been drinking since noon. They will rape your lady-in-waiting and attempt to rape you. I will have to step in to protect you and do your bidding. I suspect you will be so mortified you will ask me to kill them. For rape, I can even torture them in front of you before I kill them.”
“You are cruel, demon.”
“I have been called that many, many times, so it must be true. Quickly, what is your decision?”
Aksinya whispered, “I will do as you ask.” She spoke more loudly, “What of Lady Natalya? Didn’t she hear what you said to me? How you threatened me?”
“Only what I allowed her to hear. She will be very pleased to see you make such a great enchantment. And it must be great. You must make it strong enough to last seven days.”
Aksinya spat at the ground, “Get my things and my book. The great brown one.”
Asmodeus obliged. Natalya stared as Aksinya drew a magic circle large enough to encompass them both. Aksinya placed candles at the five corners of the pentagram. She gathered wax and clay then bits of cloth from a box. She shaped them a little with heads and arms and legs then stuck sprigs of an odd herb in them. She lit the candles and a brazier of incense. When she was done with her preparations, she sat in the center of the circle with Natalya beside her and the book on the stolen stand before her. She closed her eyes, “Listen, Lady Natalya, you must not say anything. No matter what you hear or what happens, don’t make a sound from your mouth, from your vocal cords. This is very important. I will be speaking in Latin. The forms and the words are very important. It is like a word and sacrament in the church. The words are those I must say for the enchantment to work and the implements are sacraments. They are the corporal things that will cause the world to change. Remember don’t say a word.”
Aksinya began to speak. The great book was opened to the correct page, but she didn’t need to look at it. She knew the words to say, knew them by heart. This was one of her favorite enchantments. She could make herself look any way she wished for a long time. The enchantment could easily last at least a week if she desired. She had done that before—tweaked her clothing and her face. She once changed the color of her hair for over a month.
Aksinya moved her hands and touched the clay and wax models she had formed. The words she spoke endued them with the clothing and characteristics she wished to place on herself and Natalya. She picked up her dagger and nicked her finger. She let a heavy drop of blood fall onto one of the wax models. Aksinya grabbed Natalya’s hand. Natalya had been holding it out to her, ready. Aksinya cleanly sliced the lady’s index finger and gently milked a drop of blood from it. It fell on the other piece of wax, clay, and cloth. When Aksinya released her hand, Natalya stared in amazement at the newly healed cut.
Aksinya lifted both wax models and placed them in the brazier. Immediately it began to pour out heavy smoke. She censed Natalya then herself. The scent of the incense was thick and cloying. It smelled of cheap perfume and age. It was heavy like the scent of an old woman. Under that was the smell was sweat and dirt. Aksinya repeated the censing and impressed the words on them both. The brazier suddenly stopped and slowly the thick smoke rolled away.
The demon uses threats this time. He doesn't even have to force her. Aksinya acquiesces on her own. This is the primary teaching of resistance training: don't let your antagonizer, your torturer have easy victories. Aksinya has given the demon an easy victory. We will see that this a prelude to some of her resistance. Don't forget the sewing case.
I also hope you like the revelation of the way sorcery works. This is designed in the classical understanding: words of power and items of sacrament. In this we have a reference to the Church. Obviously, what propels the demon and Aksinya is the world with God. How would the sorcery work, if it was not a rejection and sin against God. How can there be demons if there isn't God. This is the obvious logical conclusion--Aksinya even said it once before. We will continue to see this theme--it is the point after all.