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"Care for some tea?" Joseph asked her. "Please" Faith replied as she sat down on the living room sofa. The sound of rain beating on the old roof was soothing to her. He handed her a glass of Georgia sweet tea. "So a goddess paid you a visit?" he asked. "Morrigan. She made it clear if I don't disband this new task force, I'm making she would kill everyone I ever cared about" she replied. "Task force?" he asked. "In the light of ZODIAC, I thought it was a good idea to have a force of mages to stop anyone else with ideas of conquering the world" she replied. "You told me last time you rewrote history. Saved millions of lives. I can see why you pissed her off. You flat out stole from her" he said. "Every God and goddess through time has taken currency in whatever aspect they had dominion over. In her case the souls of Britanninans. Your task force must've been the proverbial straw so to speak" he said. "So how do I kill her?" Faith asked. Joseph chuckled and sat down. "And what makes you so sure you can kill a goddess?" he asked. "She left when I threatened her with a magically charged arrow. If she was invulnerable, why would she flee?" she asked. Joseph silently nodded. 


"And since I'm old as fuck, you came to me thinking I'd know. Sorry but I don't" he said. "There has to be a way! There are stories thousands of years old of gods and goddesses being killed" Faith said. "Like Heracles?" he asked. She nodded. "Sorry but that story was told by an old drunk in Corinth for a few drachmas. Has it happened? Gods and goddesses being killed? Yes, but the stories that have survived are mostly fiction and those that aren't have one thing in common. They were killed by another god. And you are no deity Faith" he said. She hung her head. "However, long ago there was a group that did kill gods. A secret band of god killers that were human" he said

 "You couldn't start from there?" Faith asked annoyed. "Faith, I've not heard a word about them in a thousand years. Their sect could be extinct. I didn't want to raise your hopes" he said. "Anything will help" she said. "...very well. How much do you know about the early days of the Christian church?" he asked. "Not much. I was never religious" she replied. "I see. Listen carefully."


"Long ago, the Christian church was very divided about how things should be run, what books the bible should contain, and what was considered cannon and what wasn't. In 325 CE, they all gathered in what is now known as the Council of Nicaea. It was there the very beginnings of the Catholic Church began. But that wasn't all that was created. It was blatantly known that pagan gods and goddesses were worshipped as well but what was the real threat was evidence that they were very real. Story goes that a Roman god appeared before Emperor Constantine and shrank his favorite harem slave for turning Christian. Being presented a shrunken slave girl, none in the council could argue that the pagan gods and goddesses were just figments of sinners and infidels. To preserve Christendom, a sect was created to seek out these deities and kill them. And seeing how their sect and reputation stuck around for another 700 years, I'd say they had some degree of success" he said finishing the story. "Where do I begin looking for...do you feel that?" Faith asked feeling an odd rumble in the floorboards. Then the windows shook, and the roof creaked. Joseph stood up and looked out the window. "Come with me outside and watch your head" he growled. 


Faith followed him outside. "Oh my god!" she yelled staring right at a tornado racing towards them. Baseball sized hailstones fell around them. He protected her with a barrier. "ODD TIMING FOR A TORNADO ISN'T IT?! I mean of all the places...prepare your strongest ice spell Faith!" he yelled. "Wouldn't a wind spell..."


"JUST DO IT!" he yelled as he charged his own. The funnel would hit them within minutes for sure. Faith flinched as a mooing cow crashed to the ground behind her in a shower of blood and guts. "Ready?! Fire!" he yelled. Faith sighed internally as the torrent of icicles she castes were blown away in seconds. "Focus the chilled air into a tight line!" he yelled. Faith watched as extremely cold air pierced the winds hitting the tornado. Following suit, she copied him. A minute passed and the funnel cloud began to spin apart. Then, it was gone leaving just debris on the ground and a steady rain. "How...how did that work?" she asked him. "Tornados form from the difference in pressure and density of hot and cool air. It's cold air that ultimately destroys a tornado" he replied. "So, the ice spells were the perfect weapon against it" she said. He silently nodded.  "This happened because I came here. She tried to kill me" Faith said. "First of all, it wasn't her. She doesn't control weather. You got more to worry about than just her. And second, whomever it was knew you could just translocate away. This was a tap on the shoulder. Jesus Christ my Impala..." he said looking at his ruined classic car. "If this sect still exists, where should I look first?" she asked. "Iznik Turkey. The modern city where the council once resided" he replied quietly. Faith opened a portal. "Joseph I'm sorry" she said. He waved without looking at her. She left him. Joseph walked to his damaged car and shrank it. He carried it inside and sat down. "At least I have something to do with my time now" he muttered.


Three days later...


Faith sat there quietly reading another tome. The library was very quiet, and her seat secluded from others letting her concentrate. She found out quickly that any ancient documents from the time period of Nicaea would be contained in the national library located in Ankara not Iznik. She tried to be as unassuming as possible as she figured she was being watched somehow. Of course, an unaccompanied beautiful girl speaking American English would turn a few heads. One of the librarians, a younger man would peek in on her every other hour. Faith smiled at him sensing no ill intent. His thoughts a lusty variety did make her blush but nothing dangerous from him. "Coffee" he said putting a cup down on the table startling her. "Thank you" Faith said smiling at him. She gagged after sipping. "Should've warned you. Turkish coffee is stronger than the western kind. You have been here for three days. What is it you're searching for?" he asked. "Documents from the Council of Nicaea. You know of anything?" Faith asked. "Judging by this pile, you have most of our collection. Well, except for the protected archive" he replied. "Archive?" Faith asked. "Handwritten documents, letters, and recollections from that meeting. They're in the vault" he replied. "I need to see those" she said. "Sorry but without recommendation from the university of Ankara or the government, it is not permitted" he replied. Faith looked down and frowned. "She's even pretty when she's upset" he thought. Faith didn't wish to do what came next but with a death goddess gunning for you, morality was not the highest priority.


Faith stood up and touched his cheek. "If you get them for me, I will make you very happy" she said channeling a mind control spell. A state of euphoria gripped his mind. "Happy...happy..." he muttered walking off. 15 minutes later, he returned with a small gathering of preserved scrolls. She bade him to kneel at her feet. With a wave of her hand, she shrank him where he knelt. Still under her spell, he didn't panic but looked in awe of the giant foot slipping out of its sandal. Faith positioned it right at him and watched contently as the shrunken man began to worship the underside of her toes. Faith read the first scroll carefully for an hour as he cleaned her foot and moved to the other. His hands pushing her toes aside to lick between them. Faith nodded and put the scroll down. What she gathered was a secret meeting between leaders of the churches to be held on the third day. She just had to find that scroll. Even though she liked being worshipped by a shrunken man, she felt slightly bad for using him. She bent down, plucked him up, and placed him on the table. Her fingers petted his head. Faith bent down and gently kissed him. She saw him smile. "If you keep quiet, you can fuck me" she said to him. He silently nodded. After taking off his clothing, Faith dropped him into the front of her panties. It took little time for him to begin fucking her giant snatch. Faith twitched now and then as she went from scroll to scroll. 


She felt him jerk and then sigh. Blowing his tiny load into the western giantess made him content enough to nearly pass out. Faith cleaned him up but saw he was dehydrated. Faith took a break and exposed her right breast. Cradling him with one hand, Faith pinched her nipple until a few drops of milk seeped out. The man happily fed from her. Watching him made her miss those back home. "Why are you crying?" he asked. Faith was shocked he asked. Somewhere, her spell had worn off. "You're not freaking out over all this?" she asked. "You don't seem to want to hurt me" he said. "But, shrinking and well..." she said. "Wonderous" he said. "...who are you?" she asked. "Nobody that wishes you harm" he said before growing back to normal size. "You even broke my shrinking spell" she said worried. "You are seeking information about a secret meeting 1,700 years ago. For what purpose?" he asked sitting on the table. "...I need to find out how to kill a deity. I've been told of a secret sect that did it long ago" she replied warily. He chuckled. "Well I can tell you that you won't find the answers here" he said. She narrowed her eyes. "I'm truthful. The Byzantines took that information with them a thousand years ago" he replied. She sensed truth from him as well as a power cloaked from her clairvoyance. "Who are you really?" she asked. "A descendant in a long line of hunters. My family has kept watch over these remaining documents for a very long time. And if the wrong person should come snooping around..." he said extending his palm.


A dance of ethereal symbols circling a spell circle appeared around his palm. He shrank the coffee cup till it was almost too small to see. She grew frightened. "Come. Sit with me for a moment. I can speak more and I you won't have to bribe me with pretty toes or pussy" he said. Faith blushed beet red and sat down next to him. He confirmed there was a secret sect and they were successful by killing gods and goddesses. He even confirmed that at one time, Christians and Muslims worked with one another as equals as members. "So where can I find them now?" she asked. "Not here I assure you. If I remember, the scrolls were taken back to the Holy Roman Empire. If there anything to be had, you'd find it in the Vatican" he replied. Faith stood up. "Thank you..." 


"Ahmed" he replied nodding. She took a few steps. "Sorry for controlling you" she said. "I was curious so I let you. You were...pleasurable" he said grinning. She blushed and smiled before making a portal. "I wouldn't do that. They could track you that way" he said. "...explains how they found me in Georgia. Thanks" she said closing it abruptly. Instead, Faith booked a flight to Rome.    


Halfway into the flight, she fell asleep. She dreamed she was in the mansion in Yorkshire. She was borrower size walking down the hallway following a sound. A woman's hum drew her to her father's room. She walked through the doorway to find her mother and father holding one another in bed. "Mommy? Daddy?" she asked floating onto the bed. She walked to Aspen's bare foot and tapped her big toe. "Mom?" she asked again. The giantess looked down and smiled seeing her. She plucked her from her foot and held her in her hand. Both of her parents smiled as they took turns petting her. "Where have you been honey? We were worried about you" Aspen asked. Faith broke into sobs clutching her finger. "Aww it's okay. Mommy's here" Aspen cooed nuzzling her. The giantess gently kissed her small body. Faith whimpered as her giantess mother kissed her delicate feet. "I've missed you so much" she said crying. Aspen and Keith smiled at her...until an invisible force grabbed them by their necks. Faith was dropped onto the bed and she watched helplessly as they were yanked up by their throats. "Stop! STOP IT!" Faith screamed trying to find the source of the attack. Then a pair of sickening cracks as their necks were broken. Aspen and Keith slumped bad onto the bed. Aspen's head landed inches from Faith. She could see hear a voice. "This is your doing" it said. Faith could see her reflection in her mother's dead eyes. Her face was that of Morrigan grinning.


Faith awoke soaked in sweat. She asked the stewardess for the strongest liquor they had and downed in in a second. She didn't take another nap after that. An hour after her plane touched down, she checked into a tourist hotel and took a hot shower. She took out her phone and called home. "WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?!" Alicia screamed into the phone. "In Europe" Faith sighed sitting down on the bed. "Where in Europe?!" she yelled. "I can't say. She could be listening in on you" Faith replied. "Isn't that a bit paranoid?" Alicia asked. "Someone tried to kill me with a tornado a few days ago so no, not paranoid" Faith replied. There was silence on the phone. "I miss you" Faith said. She could hear sniffling. "Come on. Let me hear your voice. I had a rough day" Faith said. Alicia began with simple small talk with her until she simply stopped. "You there?" Faith asked. "Why does God hate me so much?" Alicia asked softly. It was a heartbreaking question to hear from her. "Who says he does?" Faith replied putting the phone down and placing it on speaker. By shrinking down, Faith was able to relax a bit better. "Alicia. FaceTime me" she said. The call ended and then began again but this time they could see one another. Faith looked at the giant phone propped against her pillow seeing her wife. She looked terrible. "You need to rest. Eat more. Go outside" Faith said. 


"If you're not here then what's the point?" Alicia asked. "You make me very scared when you say things like that" Faith told her. Alicia could see she was shivering. "I don't mean it that way" Alicia told her. "I'm trying as hard as I can to find a way to keep us all safe. You have to do your part too by staying healthy" Faith told her. Alicia nodded. "Just call so I know you're okay" Alicia asked. Faith nodded. She ended the call and turned off the lights. She sat in the darkness using her hand to swipe through photo after photo of Alicia, her kids, Lucy, and Theo. She didn't realize she'd miss them so soon. All she wanted was to go home right then and worship the giant feet of her wife, even sleep in her womb. So lonely she would even take Lucy's pussy by this point. She never thought turning her phone off would be difficult, but she had to. Tomorrow would be a long day.


She left early. Dressed in a pretty white dress with expensive sandals on her feet. Sunglasses and a cheap digital camera finished off the disguise of an American tourist. She joined a tour group heading into St. Peter's Basilica, one of two ways to actually enter the Vatican City. She did take time to admire the history and architecture of the place. She even snapped a few pics using the camera and not her iPhone. She didn't want a digital record of her exact location being uploaded to the cloud. Some might call this being paranoid, but others would say it's not paranoia if you're right. Eventually it came time for her to enter the Vatican and she saw there was a checkpoint manned by Vatican guards with facial recognition cameras. She didn't need that either, so she slipped off and shrunk down to barely an inch tall. Faith made her way to it sticking to the sides. Her eyes on the giants and giantesses towering over her. There was a change in the guard which made her pause for a few minutes. She kept her eyes on the giant feet around her just to be sure. "Hmm" she said taking note of something interesting.


The teenage girls and women in general showed a pattern in what footwear they wore. Americans tended to wear sneakers and yet European women tended to wear sandals. Faith figured it was because American women tended not to walk as much distances then European women did and needed a more comfortable shoe. Her mind tended to wander under stress. A habit she inherited from her father. A sandal crashed barely a foot from her snapping her focus back on what was going on. Large toes shifting in it. Toes painted with pink sparkly polish. Faith looked up to see a young Sicilian girl no older than 7 holding her mother's hand. She looked down and saw Faith. "Shhh!" Faith said. The girl giggled at the very small young woman near her feet. She waved at Faith. Faith nervously waved back. Faith watched the young giantess walk away with her family. Faith took a deep breath and sighed. In another time, the girl would've been just one in billions subjugated by Markus and ZODIAC...by her. It was a stroke of fate she was not born in the human settlement back home. Born into a life of servitude. Living and dying by their whims. Faith closed her eyes for a moment and turned her head to hide her shame. 


She was able to sneak through with no further troubles that she could see but that didn't mean she was safe. After growing back to human size, she headed for the archives. Every step she took she felt something odd. A tingle like goosebumps on her skin. The only other time she felt that was back in Yorkshire when she passed through the protective magic barriers surrounding the estate. As she walked, she sensed someone behind her. She topped and looked back. Nobody. Nobody at all. No tourists. Nothing. That should've given her pause but she was too focused on finding information in the archives. Then, a figure dressed in black robes came into her sight. Nothing unusual. Vatican cardinals dressed in such a fashion after all but as he got close, she felt something again. Felt something and then a weird shallow hissing sound. She tried turning around again but found her legs bound to the street. She looked down to see her own shadow coiled around her ankles. Tightly enough she couldn't even wriggle her toes. Faith twisted her body slightly and saw something of horror. A man in ancient roman armor. Skin like ashes, eyes like burning coals. Her borrower nose smelled his breath. Blood, decay, death. "BEND FORWARD!" a voice yelled. She turned forward to see the man she thought a cardinal pulling out a gun and aiming at her. She bent forward and heard a puff of a silenced shot.


The sound of bullet hitting metal and annoyed hiss she could hear behind her. She was free and ran toward almost running into the man. He glanced at her before dropping his mag. He exchanged it and loaded a new one. Shot after shot hit the foul man stalking Faith until it seemed to melt into a shadow and dash after her. "Move!" the man yelled as an arm holding a Roman pilum (javelin) came out of the shadow. Faith went to dodge but took it right through the shoulder. In shock, she mustered her strength to blast the thing with a bolt of lightning. It shrieked and recoiled. Faith staggered as she healed herself. The shadow reformed this time holding a gladius (Roman short sword) and charged her. Faith felt dizzy. Her healing spell wasn't sealing the wound properly. She fired off bursts of lightning but due to her dizziness missed. The shadow soldier swung to cleave her skull in two only to be blocked by a barrier of light. Faith looked at the cardinal as she knew that wasn't her doing and saw him holding a rosary chanting. The soldier stepped back looking at the man. "Maladicti sunti Campioné!" it hissed before disappearing. 


Faith fell to her knees. "Please..." she whispered as the cardinal walked to her. She extended her hand and he did the same. She smiled weakly still trying to close the wound. He hit the base of her skull with the flat of his hand knocking her out. Her body traumatized and weak from blood loss shrank to her borrower size instantly surprising him. He picked her up in his hand studying her small body. He used a bit of handkerchief to bind her wounds and prayed briefly. The bleeding had stopped for the moment. He looked around signing in relief that nobody had witnessed the fight and walked briskly from the area slipping the 3-inch unconscious woman into his pocket. 


Faith awoke with searing pain in her shoulder. As her eyes focused, she saw a young giantess hovering over her. Faith went to get up and found herself bound by oddly strong string tired around her wrists and ankles. Worse yet she was stark naked. "She's awake!" the girl said. "A moment" a male voice said. Faith recognized that one as the cardinal from before. "Don't...don't hurt me" Faith begged as the giantess dipped a large cotton swab in a glass and guided it to her. The giantess touched her shoulder with it and the searing pain returned. "FUCK! Get that rubbing alcohol away from me!" Faith yelled at her. "It's not alcohol. It's holy water. Be still" the girl said. She swabbed it a few more times with Faith gritting her teeth, clenching her tiny toes, and making little fists as the pain continued. "All done" she said as she untied Faith. "Thank you Cordelia" the giant said entering the room. The girl nodded and left. "Where...where am I?" Faith said sitting up and checking her shoulder. Red and sore but healing perfectly now. "My villa on the outskirts of Latina, Italy" he replied. Faith flexed her shoulder and hissed feeling soreness. "As you didn't burst into flames after being doused with holy water, I can conclude you're no demon, unholy goddess, or shade" he said. "Of course I'm no demon or...what's a shade?" she asked.


"That which attacked you. A very powerful shade if he made it through our holy barriers. By the way, it's how I found you. What are you? What kind of creature can shrink and grow?" he asked. "I'm not a creature. I'm a woman trying not to get killed by a pissed off goddess of death" she replied annoyed. "And you came to the Vatican to hide?" he asked. "No. To find an ancient secret sect of God killers. Hmmm...that thing. He said something to you. Maladicti sunti..."


"Campioné" he finished. "What's that mean?" she asked. "The first part means "accursed" the other part…is what a god killer is called by the Vatican" he replied softly. "YOU'RE A GOD KILLER?!" Faith asked. "I was...once. I'm just an exorcist now. I'm afraid your clothes are totally ruined. Cordelia can lend some of her own but..." he said placing his thumb near her. "I can shrink it to fit" she said. "Then one moment" he said. "Wait. What's your name?" she asked. "Marco...Marco Alighieri" he replied. Cordelia came back with some clothed for her. "Thanks Cordelia" Faith said politely. The girl nodded and left. She peeked into the room to watch the strange small woman shrink her clothes. "Give our guest some privacy" Marco told her. "Yes master" she said softly leaving. Faith got dressed and stood up. She was starving. Thankfully, the smell of cooking filled her nose very soon after that.


Marco and Cordelia were amazed at how easily she got around at that size. "Fettuccini with rosa tomatoes" he said making a small plate for her. "Looks great. I can't stay long. I don't want to put you two in danger" she said. "You leave this place and you'll be dead within a week" Cordelia said flatly. "Manners. She is right though. Without the barrier keeping you hidden here, you’ll be marked. It's not every day some pagan God decides to kill a mortal in such an aggressive way. What have you done?" Marco asked. Faith was reluctant to answer as she held a good sauced noodle. She did decide to answer seeing how he saved her life. "I did something that prevented the deaths of millions" she replied. "You did more than that. Now if you want my help, you'd better stop tip toeing around the truth" Marco said gruffly holding his fork. "A goddess, Morrigan wants me to give up tiring to use magic to protect the world. I pissed her off when I made it that 50 million people that died...didn't die. I went back in time and changed stuff so it wouldn't happen" Faith replied. Marco and Cordelia dropped their forks.


"I asked before..." he said. "I am... I was what is called an Etherion user. A being that can tap directly into the source of all magic" she replied. "And you're not anymore?" Cordelia asked. "I gave it up to travel back and fix what went horribly wrong. My sin, my punishment, my duty" Faith replied. "What did you do?" Marco asked. "Faith reluctantly told him everything. By the time she was done, nobody was eating the now cold food. "Morrigan has every right to hunt you. I should turn you away from this place immediately. But I am a Christian and therefore into charity cases" he said. "So you'll help me kill her?" Faith asked. "No. I'm too weak to kill something like her. I can give you sanctuary. Cordelia will draw you a bath. We can speak tomorrow" he said before abruptly leaving the table. "He doesn't like me" Faith muttered. "He doesn't like anyone but yes...he doesn't like you" Cordelia said leaving. After bathing, Faith sat on the edge of the sink squeezing her breasts. "Making sure you have a... sorry" Cordelia said seeing her. "It's okay. Nothing to be ashamed of" Faith said squeezing. She sighed as her milk squirted out. "You're a mother?" Cordelia asked stepping into the bathroom. "Twins. I miss them very badly" Faith replied softly.


"My kids, my wife. You think that thing will come for them?" Faith asked worried. "Unlikely, gods and goddesses are single track minded. It would do no good to kill them without you watching" she replied flatly. Faith cried softly. "Forgive me. Human tact eludes me from time to time" she said placing a dry washcloth next to her. "You talk as if you're not human" Faith said. "I am not. Marco is my master not my family. Sleep well Faith" she said leaving her.


The next morning...


"Did you rest well?" Cordelia asked. "Not really. Is that coffee?" Faith asked. "Espresso. As you're so small I wouldn't...oh" she said watching Faith grow to human size. Smiling, Cordelia gave her a small cup. "Jesus it's like Red Bull fucked a coffee bean tree. Excuse me..." Faith said. "Excused. Italian espresso is considerably stronger than that you Americans call coffee" Marco said making a cup of his own. He wore plan clothes, a jogging suit in fact. "After breakfast, we can talk more" he said. "Coming right up!" Cordelia said pulling out a frying pan. Faith was quiet as she ate breakfast with them. With her strength returned, she could sense power from the both of them. Power weird to her. From Marco, it was like arcane and something else she couldn't identify. And from Cordelia, something totally foreign. Something seemingly old. "If you are done, come step outside with me" he said. Faith followed him out onto the patio. "It's beautiful" she said looking at the lush green slopes and olive trees. "The Campioné have existed for nearly 1,700 years. Our task was to seek out and eliminate pagan gods and goddess that threatened Christendom" he said.


"I know but how?" Faith asked. He motioned for her to follow him again. Minutes later, she found herself with him in a stone circle. Statues of saints sat at the four main cardinal points. "Can you fight?" he asked. "Yeah. I'm not defenseless" she replied. "Then defend yourself" he said. "No. I don't wish to harm you" she said. Marco raised his right hand into the air and chanted. Strange writing formed in the air. He grasped the ethereal writing and his body glowed. "Don't worry. You won't" he said smiling. Faith started out with kicks and punches holding back her natural borrower strength. He deflected each attack. "Stop trying and do it!" he said. Faith pressed her attack. Her punches and kicks while being deflected had enough energy to stagger him. "Good! Getting somewhere! But now I know what you are!" he yelled. He chanted again and Faith faltered seeing a white light flow around him. He let loose a force blowing Faith right off her feet and landing 20 feet away. "My barrier. It went right through..." she muttered. The light focused in his fingertips as he snapped. Faith found her growth spell utterly broken. She shrank before him but more impressively she couldn't regrow. The giant bent down. "Good job for a first try" he said picking her up. Marco placed her on his shoulder and walked a short distance. He sat down at a water fountain.


"How did you do that?!" she asked. "There are all kinds of magics in the world. Eastern, western, new, ancient. Their understanding is one of the three precepts to being a Campioné. "What are the other two?" she asked. "Knowledge of gods and goddesses and faith" he replied. "I don't understand" she said. "I broke your defenses because I realized the basis of your magics. First time I ever encountered a fae" he replied. "I'm not a fae. I'm a borrower" she said. "Explains the enhanced speed and strength without magical boosting. Be as it may, your magic has its roots in fae sorcery. There is a raw, wildness to it but deep down it has a fae structure" he replied. "I never gave it any thought. When I had Etherion, just thinking about a spell could make it happen. Now I'm kind of pushing through it. Mimicking what I've seen" she said. "I know. Your spell work was clumsy. Don't be insulted. You're trying" he said sitting next to her. "So you broke through my barrier because you knew what kind of magic it was?" she asked. "When a Campioné learns the basics of magic, they also learn the counter forces as well. The best of us could dismantle an attack spell before it's even launched" he said. "So what kind of magic is yours then?" she asked.


"It isn't magic. It's Symbology" he said. "What's the difference?" Faith asked. "As I said, magic has a counterforce. An opposite. A mean of dispelling. But if you mix symbols within it..." he said as he chanted. A small fiery crucifix appeared above his palm. "When you see this, what do you think of?" he asked. "Christ? The crucifixion? Faith?" she replied confused. "Exactly. All these things without saying a word. Symbols have power Faith. Symbols, glyphs, arcanes, it all comes down to thought, emotion, and belief. Which leads to the third precept. Belief. This last one is why not everyone can be a Campioné. A rock-solid belief is essential. Unwavering piercing faith because without it, your spell work is as flimsy as wet toilet paper" he said distantly. "Can you teach me?" she asked. Marco laughed at her. "And what do you believe in tiny one? Or did the people licking your feet delude you into thinking you were a goddess yourself?" he said mocking her. Faith didn't answer. Marco abruptly left her there. 


"She's still not back yet. What if a bird or something got her?" Cordelia asked looking out the window into the night. "She's fine" he said quietly as he read a copy of Dante's Inferno. "Maybe you were too hard on her" she said. "She asked to be trained as a Campioné as one would ask to learn karate after school. She doesn't have what it takes" he said. "Then you have no problems having her try and fail then? You love to be proven right" Cordelia said to him. A few minutes passed. "I sense a storm brewing. Tiny and all alone in a foreign land. The wind and rain pelting you as you seek shelter" she whispered. "Enough" he said slapping his book closed. She smiled slightly as he went outside. Marco found her still sitting at the fountain. "If you can make me bleed, I will teach you" he told her. He took her back to the stone circle in the middle of the field. The rumbling of distant thunder could be heard. "One moment while I..."


"Not necessary" she said grimacing as she broke his sealing spell on her height. He raised an eyebrow to that. Once she was his height, he took his stance. "Begin" he said. He used the same defense technique as before and Faith attacked him. She didn’t feign any mercy. Each strike meant to hurt him. Marco found her attacks more precise but still easily deflected. Then she fortified herself. Double, triple, quadruple. She threw a kick so fierce her sandals tore off her feet. The wind rushed past his face as she punched. He chanted as symbols, words in foreign dead tongues formed in the air around his hands. He caught a kick which pushed him back and then she felt her spell work undone. Stupefied, she didn't see his own counterattack land a blow paralyzingly her. "Soul lock" he muttered to her. He grabbed her by her throat. "And with this, the match is..."


"Sucker" she grinned looking up. Above his head was the start of falling rain but as it had gotten closer, Faith froze it using it to create very small razor like hail. Not much but just enough to slip through his defenses. Marco let go as soon as the first pieces hit him in the face. Distracted, Faith fired off a bolt of lightning hitting him so hard he crashed through one of his Saint statues. The rain was coming down hard now as she walked over to him. He coughed out blood. "I win right?" she asked. He silently nodded. "Don't move" he said healing his cracked ribs. She paused as he gave her the softest look she'd seen from him yet. "I'm no Christian. Hell, I don't have any spiritual side, but I do believe there's something better for us when we die. I have to" she told him. "It's a start" he said to her.


Faith sat in the hot water of the sink nursing her bruises. Healing magic had taken care of the worst of it, but it left some lingering effects that would clear up by morning. Just another reminder of how easy she had it with Etherion. "May I come in?" Cordelia asked. "Please" Faith replied. Cordelia entered the bathroom. "Marco was worried about you so I came to check" she said. "Just a few dings and scratches" Faith chuckled. "Water good? Soap?" she asked. "Right temp but I do miss my rose oil shampoo" she replied. Faith watched Cordelia touch the bottle of shampoo with a glowing green hand. She tapped the depressor and handed a smidge to Faith. "Thanks...ow..." she muttered raising her shoulder. "Just relax" Cordelia said rubbing her fingers to get suds and gently stroking Faith's long little hair. "That was quite a feat knocking him on his ass" she said. "The trick wasn't knocking him down. It was not killing him" she replied.


"You're that powerful still?" Cordelia asked. "I've never had someone tear through my defenses like that. Instinctively I'd dial up my attack spells. That's what I did in the past. Marco is fantastic but he's no Markus" she replied. "Yes. I remember you speaking about him. If you do choose to be a Campioné, what about your loved ones?" she asked. Faith turned to look at the giantess with concern. "It's not a weekend course girl. This Morrigan is biding her time waiting for you to emerge but she won't as long as it will take for you to train. She might grow impatient enough to attack them" she explained. She watched the small woman grow terrified. "It's okay. I'll speak to the master about boarding your wife and kids. He should agree on that much" she said. Cordelia was surprised the see her hug her finger tightly. "Thank you" she said. Cordelia nodded. "Don't stay in too long. You'll prune" she said before leaving. 


The next morning...


"If you're done with breakfast, come with me" Marco said putting his cup of espresso down. Faith thought he was leading her back to the back of the villa again, but he led her to his locked study. "Have a seat please" he said sitting. She sat down. "Normally, it takes a year to learn the basic spells. Strength, speed, healing, sight. Months spent on learning what you call arcane, learning to weave the spell as taught by my ancestors. Then two years on the advanced spells. Then after that about a year on studying all the reported gods and goddesses that humanity has ever recorded. Once all that is done...then the Crucible" he said. "But I know magic already" Faith said. "Which is why it will only take about a year for you instead of the usual four" he said. "Whys it so important to know so much about them? Wouldn't well placed spells do the job?" she asked. "Do you know where a god or goddess comes from? They aren't born like you and me. They come from here" he said leaning forward and tapping her head.


"Very long ago, humans didn't understand the forces around us. Where storms come from, the moon, the sun, death, war, birth, and so on. So, they invented all powerful beings that controlled those things. Stories grew, they were shared, the masses believed, and poof you got a religion. All of this belief, this faith, this mental and spiritual energy converges until one day...a god or goddess is created" he said. "You're telling me that gods and goddess are made by mortals?" Faith said. "In the simplest terms yes. And the way to kill one is to first strip them of what is called their Authority. And to do that is speaking their true name. But I'm getting ahead of myself..." he said. He stood up and walked to one of his bookshelves. "To know their true name makes them vulnerable. As they like to hide that, learning their quirks, abilities, lineage, and motives will aid you in that" he said. "Well that's easy. I know Morrigan is her name" Faith said. "That is NOT her name. Campioné have had dealings with her before. A team of Campioné tried to kill her way back in 408 CE. They failed leaving only one survivor" he said. "Seriously?" Faith asked. "Some of these books contain the chronicles of the Campioné. Their successes....and defeats. They serve as a teaching tool. Here, you can start with the excerpts of the Campioné Augustus Servus and his writings about the Sumerian deities. With any luck you can finish it all within the year" he said extending his hand showing off the massive collection of old books, scrolls, and tomes. "A month. I'll have it all done within a month" she muttered. "Don't be a fool. Nobody..."


"I am not like you human. One month" Faith said looking at him with glowing eyes. "I see. Cordelia mentioned it would be best to bring your spouse and children here and I agree. I'll have her prep another spare bed" he said. "Thanks Marco" she said. The man nodded and left her. 


That evening...


"This is insane" Alicia muttered. "A lot of that going around lately. As it stands though, it's safer here" Faith said speaking to her on FaceTime. "And how is this shabby monk...excuse me cardinal have better barriers than we do here?" she asked. "Marco uses a type of spell casting that can rip a spell apart if he knows how it works. Since I haven't been attacked here yet, it must be working. So you get the kids, Lucy and Theo ready to come" Faith said. "And what about me? I'm...I guess I'm not that important" Juli muttered. "Not true at all. I need someone to watch over things there. I wish I could hold you all in my hands right now" she said. Alicia and Juli backed off seeing her trembling hands. "You sure this guy is on the level?" Alicia asked. "If it’s just a story, then it's a hell of a story" Faith replied showing her a book. "What's that?" Alicia asked. "A story about a Campioné hunting down a Canaanite goddess. It's crazy" she replied. "And those others?" Juli asked. "Similar stuff" she replied. "Wait. There's like...8 books Faith. You read all that in three days?" Alicia asked. "No just since this morning. I'm using the same spell I used once before to speed up the learning process. With that and my natural born memory, I can get much more done than a human could" Faith said. "Don't push yourself too hard" Alicia muttered. "I won't. I'll call you tomorrow for flight times. Night night. I... I love you guys" Faith said. Faith ended the call before she started crying.


The next evening, Faith was deep within another book, but her thoughts were on Alicia and the kids. Marco was nice enough to go and pick them up at the airport. She idly tapped her foot waiting for their arrival. "Rose tea" Cordelia said placing a cup before her. "Thanks" Faith said. "Impressive. You actually read all this already?" she asked looking at the pile of books. "...yeah" Faith replied quietly. "What is this Alicia like?" Cordelia asked. "She was a slave for some years. Like me, she's plagued with what she did under Markus. Kind, caring, thinks of others before herself" she replied. "Sounds like a good match. Good for you" Cordelia said. "Thought you Catholics frown on same sex marriages" Faith said. "I'm not catholic" Cordelia said softly. "Oh. I thought you were because you live with Marco" she said. "No" Cordelia told her. "Did I offend you?" Faith asked seeing an odd expression on her face. "Not at all. Hmm. I do believe he's returned" Cordelia replied cocking her head to the side. "Really? I don't...oh you're right" Faith said hearing the crunch of rock under tires. She watched Cordelia leave but was curious as to how she could hear something before she could. 


"FAITH!" Alicia yelled running to hug her. "That tickles!" Faith grinned as her wife hugged her tight. "Nice to see you doing well" Theo said to her holding his own child while he sat in Marco's left hand. In his right was Lucy and the twins. "Right this way" Marco said taking them to a guest room. "You okay? You seem...distracted" Alicia asked her. "Just tired" Faith replied. Alicia was worried as Faith walked right past her to gather the luggage. "Nice to meet you. I'm Cordelia" she said extending her hand. "Alicia. Is she okay?" she asked. "As she said she's tired. Not to worry, she's very excited you all came" Cordelia replied. After a late dinner, everyone retired to their rooms. 


"It's nice to hear so many voices again in this house" Cordelia said to Marco as he laid down in bed. "It is...different" he said. "You don't have to be so cold to them Marco. Even after all this time, I'm sure your parents..." she was saying until he glared at her. "Let me guess. I forgot my place. Forgive me. I am just a servant. Goodnight" she said turning away. Marco grabbed her. "I don't mean to be so cold. And you are far more than a servant" he said with a soft voice. He pushed her hair out of her eyes. "You're as beautiful as the first day I can remember" he told her. She squeezed his hand and looked into his eyes. As he gaze met hers, he turned away. "It is forbidden" he said pulling his hand away. She quietly nodded and left his room. In another room, Faith was putting her nightgown on. 


She had barely said three words to Alicia since the babies had fell asleep. "Faith?" she asked. Faith stopped dressing and tossed her nightgown on the floor furiously. "Is something..." she was saying until Faith turned to look at her. She shoved Alicia onto her back and with her hand firmly pressed onto her chest, shrank her where she lay. The gaze of a woman drunk with lust filled her eyes and Alicia stared at the giantess with worry and anxiety. Faith bent her head down. "Faith...eeep!" Alicia squeaked as the giantess stuffed her nose between her little legs and sniffed deeply. Faith closed her eyes and moved her head down until her nose lined up with Alicia's little feet. Faith's cheeks flushed and she opened her eyes. She used her fingers to pin her arms down and she dipped her face back between her legs again. The eyes of the giantess rolled into the back of her head as she licked her little pussy. "Oh fuck..." Faith moaned. Alicia could feel her hot, humid, breath as she leaned close to her face. "Easy girl" Alicia said. Faith didn't say anything. She smiled slightly and licked her lips. 


Her giant finger released her right arm and traced the side of her body. Making a swirl with her fingertip n her belly, it went up to rub her breasts for a few seconds. Alicia shuddered at how her fingerprints tickled her nipples. And then her fingertip stopped right above her heart. A heart the size of a pinhead beating rapidly, and the giantess could feel it. Faith's left eye twitched before releasing a tear. She scooped her shrunken body into her hands and laid onto her side. Faith laid there trembling with eyes wide open. Alicia had seen this in other people (namely her victims) before. Faith was so wracked with fear and stress she was on the verge on a nervous breakdown. "Look at me. It's okay. We're all here now" Alicia told her. Alicia touched her giant lips and Faith almost immediately fell asleep. Alicia had used a sleeping spell to knock her out. What troubled her was how easily she succumbed to it. Borrowers have a natural inborn ability to resist magic. Not much to speak of but it existed. And due to Faith being powerful in her own right, her magic defenses were some of the best in the world. To put her to sleep so easily, her body was close to exhaustion. 


Alicia slipped out of her grasp just as Faith rolled onto her back. The tears that were in her eyes rolled down her cheeks. Her giant body slumbered as Alicia stood up on the expansive bedspread. Her fingertips were worn smooth in places from turning thousands of pages. Her knuckles slightly swollen. Alicia healed her. She walked down the length of her body to her bare feet. The balls of her feet showed signs of soreness. Alicia knew she had a habit of tapping her foot on the ball when she was anxious. The dutiful wife she was, Alicia climbed onto her right foot, perched herself between her big and second toes, and rubbed the ball of her foot. A gentle healing spell mixed with massage did away with the redness. Alicia switched to her left foot and did the same for her beloved giantess. Faith moaned slightly in her sleep. Her toes flexed almost trapping her shrunken wife. Once she was done, she walked back up to her crotch. She could smell her musky sex, glean the wetness. Alicia chuckled. Rubbing her sensitive feet had aroused her in her sleep. There would be time to slip into her pussy another night. For now, she wanted to help her. Three hours it took to use pinpoint healing spells to ease muscle tension and soreness. She would pause for a moment for Faith to shift in her sleep. She was a restless sleeper if the day was a hard one. Her tiny hands felt the muscles and ligaments around her vertebrae. Tight as piano wires. And when she was finally done, she collapsed right between her breasts. 


She prayed she wouldn't roll over until she found her breath and got off. It was 4:13 in the morning. Alicia was thirsty and coaxed Faith's giant left nipple to give her some milk. Warm, sweet, her lover's. Her heartbeat was steady, for her kind anyway. Borrower pulse rates were on average 25% faster than a human's. Alicia understood why Faith felt her own heartbeat. To confirm someone we cherish was really there in front of them. Exhausted, Alicia slipped off her chest and found a nice safe place next to her to sleep.


Day in and day out, Faith read every book on each shelf he had. However, the strain of cramming so much knowledge hadn't gone unnoticed. Marco had found Faith slumped over a book fast asleep. He was astounded at how much she had read in just a week. From sunrise to midnight, she had stayed in there reading. He would not admit it, but he found her and her family's company a nice change in an otherwise quiet and lonely villa. He would quiz her on things and found her total recall baffling. But he could see certain changes in her the last two days. Obsessive to the point she would have to be reminded to breastfeed her babies. Moody as Lucy encouraged her to get outside just for some fresh air and Faith snapped at her. Marco knew the stress she was under but ruining her health and state of mind wasn't going to help her either. So finding her asleep, he carefully pulled her off the book in order to carry her to her room. But as soon as he touched her, a magic force lashed out shrinking him where he stood. Faith cracked her eyes open and looked forward. Marco was too stunned to berate her and found breaking her spell to be far more challenging than before. Her magic was evolving...


"FAITH! FAITH DOWN HERE!" he yelled up at the giantess still seated. Nothing. He walked over to her big toe tapping it. Faith shifted her foot abruptly trapping him under her toes. She scrunched them threatening to crush his skull. Marco lashed out instinctively with a blast of magic strong enough to slightly injure her foot. Being a borrower with sensitive feet, Faith reacted by moving her foot off him. Faith stood up. "Faith!" he yelled again. Faith turned her head but strangely her eyes were still not fully open. She sniffed the air and then looked down right at him. "Finally! You have to cancel...wait!" he yelled as she got on all fours with a slight grin and pounced on him. Marco took a deep breath after holding it thinking she would flatten him under her weight. No, she stopped inches short of that. Marco backed up as she sniffed again. "Oh my god. She's sleepwalking" he muttered. Marco stood very still. Her nose brushed his shrunken body. "MARCO!" Cordelia yelled entering the room. She waved her hand at a vase of roses and thorny vines erupted from it. They trapped Faith where she knelt. "Don't hurt her! She's not even conscious!" he yelled. Faith turned her head at Cordelia. "Uh...Marco?" she asked as Faith began glowing as she stood up pulling at the vines. Marco focused all his strength and broke the shrinking spell.


"FAITH STOP!" he yelled in her face. Faith opened her eyes gasping. Cordelia let go of her. "What...what happened?" Faith asked looking at scratches on her skin. "You were sleepwalking" he said. "I don't do that" Faith said groggy. "You did" he said grabbing her shoulder. Marco guided her to her room. Faith laid down and within seconds feel asleep again. "What the hell?" Alicia asked. "She was sleepwalking. Make sure you don't let her leave the room until morning" he said sternly. He closed the door before Alicia could ask why she was scratched up. Marco went outside for fresh air still rattled about what happened. "That want just sleepwalking. She attacked you" Cordelia said. "It's obvious her fear and anxiety is manifesting in her subconscious. The stress of studying like this must've weakened whatever mental energy she uses to keep it in check" he said. "She could've killed you. If I hadn't used my Authority..."


"I doubt she would've killed me. Her panties were wet" he muttered. "So maybe she would've fucked you to death" she huffed. "So, you want to kick her out?" he asked. "NO!" Cordelia replied. He looked at her. "All this talk of the old ways brings back memories. Memories of people I cared for that are gone. If you died..."


"Then you'd be free" he finished. "No. I'd just trade one master for another. Only this one would be grief, pain, and loneliness" she said before leaving him. Marco caressed the delicate petals of a rose that grew before him. He thought back to earlier times in his life especially the first time he met Cordelia. He was only five years old back then but even then, he knew she was special. He loved her very much and when told he couldn’t love her back it broke his young heart. Even so, he made sure he wasn't cruel or dismissive of the young woman in his care like his parents or grandmother. Cordelia did nothing to deserve that in his eyes. Be as it may, the Vatican kept tabs on them both making sure the taboo was never broken. The birth of a child between them.

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