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Balina rises and shines by Balina

Balina rises and shines


As much as she might have hoped that the world would show a little common sense, it was inevitable that someone would mistakenly assume that "new and obscenely, mind-bogglingly wealthy" meant "easy target" and try something stupid. It was actually quite impressive just how many people seemed to be making the attempts.

Would-be assassins were cute. What were they going to do, poison her? Stab her in the back? The ones that came with magic were slightly more dangerous, but tasted better going down. Steel made with their ashes sung so beautifully as it cut through the air.

The more ingenious thieves were a treat; it's nice to feel wanted, after all. Their endless creativity in how to bypass what they believed to be her security was a delight to watch; she'd been considering letting some of them go, and maybe giving them consolation prizes to encourage more of them.

She shelved that plan the first time anyone actually pulled it off.

The concept of an entire team working together took her by surprise. No fewer than thirty-two people, it turned out, were running a series of interlocking schemes that she would be puzzling over and untangling for months. She'd have still been thrilled at the ingenuity if they hadn't made off with such an absurd amount of her diamonds. Back in her day, one or two would have been enough to live comfortably for the rest of one's natural life; these fools had made off with practically a cartload. You only got to make that kind of money if you actually killed the angry god you were stealing them from.

Fun is fun, but they had to go and make her take it personally. Her entire empire was her hoard now, and when something precious was taken she had no choice but to demonstrate what it meant to bring the weight of an empire onto the heads of a paltry few. For the first time since its founding, she massed together what felt like enough of herself to make an impression, and strode out of her lands to recover her stolen goods.

Her own people were used to this by now, but wisely knew better than to tell outsiders and spoil the surprise. After all, how else could a new nation be built so fast, or land cleared for farms, or new roads carved out of what was, a few years prior, untouched wilderness? There were many reasons why her people practically believed her to be divine, and she would have much preferred the outside world think it was due to her generosity or some other harmless nonsense.

Well, nothing but gold lasts forever. The world had somehow forgotten about the horrible monster that had rampaged through the countryside, tearing entire cities apart in search of more; perhaps they'd forget this in time, too.

Tracking down the thieves was a trivial matter. Treasure doesn't soon forget her touch, and it longed to rejoin her. She simply followed its plaintive cries across the land at a gentle, leisurely pace. Any faster would have caused the air itself to start erupting like thunder, and she really didn't want to waste time fixing windows when she got back. Besides, she wanted to savor this, and it was only a few minutes away even at this restrained speed.

She wasn't really sure how she expected her arrival to be met, though it was still hard to feel anything but disappointment at the sounds of arrows and rocks clattering harmlessly against the obsidian of her toes. Bending down, down, down, down, she forced a smile, not even so much as blinking while the same assault suddenly started clattering precisely as harmlessly against her face. What precisely the local authorities hoped to achieve with anything smaller than a mountain range was an open question. Bows and arrows against the lightning; if this was what the outside world was still like, it was little wonder that some people thought "steal gems from the empress made of wealth" was a wise use of their brief lives.

Old instincts were flaring up, and she had to remind herself that maintaining appearances was the entire point of this little trip. It would be fun to sweep her foot across the wall, smelting everything and everyone in the way, but if she made herself out to be a villain now, the world would start treating her like one. You may catch more flies with vinegar than honey, but that's also a great way to get hornets. Keep your calm, don't give them excuses, set a wonderful precedent for the future.

"Don't mind me," she suggested, "A troupe of thieves came through here, and I'm going to take back what is mine. Please watch my step~" Striking the right balance between force and sweetness can be difficult, but when the only thing stopping you laying down and making city angels was your pleasant mood, people have a tendency to assume that threats are implied in every word you say. A reassuring smile wider than the streets usually doesn't put anyone at ease.

Daintily picking up the trane of her gown, and carefully stepping over the walls, she gave little more than a soft, "Excuse me, I'll just be a moment," before picking her way gracefully and gently through the streets. She had to move almost painfully slowly to let people get out of the way, but never it let it be said she wasn't accommodating. Where collateral damage was unavoidable, she'd leave behind what she felt was a generous stipend for the rebuilding efforts, along with dire warnings that thieves would be punished in kind, and she would know how her gold was spent.

Fortunately for her, her wayward diamonds were all in one place; the thieves hadn't even had time to fence any of their ridiculous haul, and were all too busy celebrating their victory to leave the manor as she approached. The grounds were barely large enough that they apparently didn't hear the sounds of chaos on the streets, though she had no clue how they missed the rumblings of her footsteps. Well, at least they weren't making her hunt all over town.

Kneeling down, she made a show of wrapping two hands around the entire building, gold spreading from her grasp to coat the entire structure. As it covered the doors, the windows, and began to spread underneath, she found several people hiding underground. "Silly things, that's a wine cellar, not a catacomb. Come out of there and join your friends before I make it one~" she teased; they only hesitated until she started playfully coating the floor with molten metal. Nothing serious, just filling it enough for them to panic and start scrambling up the stairs. "Remember to snag some bottles on your way out; you probably won't want to make the trip sober!"

Satisfied, she picked up the entire enclosed manse, smiling as she turned it around in her hands, taking mental count of her diamonds within, reassuring each one in turn until she was satisfied they were all present and safe. She had been terrified one of those monsters would have tried cutting some of them up for resale; had any of them been blemished, she probably would have crushed the building then and there.

She rose back to her feet, looking back to the path she'd cut to get here. "I would recommend you leave the way clear," she warned the city at large, "I will depart the same way I came in, and would hate for any of you to be hurt. The thieves will be dealt with. Please widen the streets before you let any more of their ilk inside your walls."

As she gingerly made her way back home, she turned her attention back towards her prize. It would be a much longer walk now that she had fleshy creatures on her person, but that gave her more time to think. Pity it had been just another bunch of self-satisfied nobles and some cunning sellswords; she'd really hoped that she was going to make an example out of a palace or a temple, rather than one piddly little mansion. Well, nobody who mattered got hurt, and she already had some lovely ideas about where she'd put it when she got back. The only hard part was deciding what to do with her newest toys. A chess set, perhaps?

Art: Commoddity (original)

Submission Information

Visual / Digital


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    This is wonderfully adorable. I loved reading about how careful this lovely giantess is, and how she leaves behind riches to pay for any repairs that need to happen if she accidentally destroys something. xD

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