The Scorpion’s Empress by Yoshiyuki Ly

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After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.

Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her empress.


Her stare trailed down to my neck. She kept her eyes there. I watched her pupils widen as she took in my shoulders from her periphery. She watched me breathe, watched my pulse through my skin. When she looked in my eyes again, she held her hand out.

“Will you dance with me first, Empress?” she asked. My breath hitched in surprise. No one dared to be this forward with me. I’d always hoped someone would. I didn’t know what her intentions were, and yet… “I know. I’m surprising myself by asking this. We’ve only just met. But I believe you when you say my sister’s all right. I want to thank you. This is the best I can come up with for right now.”

I stared at her in disbelief. This woman was too fucking perfect. Smart, resourceful, determined, influential up in her part of the city, and she had a pair? There was no way this was real.

“…is that a no?” she wondered, still holding her hand out to me.

“Just as a thank you?” I asked, brow raised.

Ser Videl smiled like in her picture. “For now,” she said. Her voice deepened just enough to make me hold back a reaction. She saw enough. She saw just enough to feel me and shed a little more light over her meaning: “I can make it more than that if you’d like. If you’d allow it.”

I laughed softly. “Ser Videl, you’re attractin’ attention,” I pointed out. It was true—people stared, whispering; trying to figure out what this was all about. “I’m the Empress of this place. You don’t just ask me to dance like this. Especially when you don’t know me. You ain’t from here. I’ll give you that much. But you’ve gotta know some kinda rules from guessin’.”

“I assumed you wouldn’t let me into your headquarters,” she reminded me. “Then you told me you would have. I guessed you wouldn’t dance with me if I asked. I’m asking you in the hopes that you’ll make another exception for me.” She stared down at my neck again, breathing harder. When she moved her eyes back to mine, hers darkened, sharpened in deep, lustful focus. “Or is that too much to ask?”

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About the Author:

Yoshiyuki Ly was born in San Diego, CA. She lived there until moving away to college. In high school, she began writing fanfiction as a serious hobby. Her pen name is representative of her multiracial heritage and a unique, diverse outlook that is reflective in her work. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in philosophy, she spent her free time reading the works of Virginia Woolf, Soren Kierkegaard and Simone de Beauvoir. She then spent the next years honing her craft to become a published author.

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