Novel Rupegia

Discussion in 'Community Fictions' started by Manasong, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Genre: Action, Fantasy, Psychological, Romance, Harem, LitRPG, Magic, Male Lead, Portal Fantasy / Isekai, Slice of Life
    Content Warning: gore, profanity, sexual content (male/female and female/female), traumatising content

    New chapters Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8PM US East. At least 3k words each.

    This novel can also be found on Royal Road, Scribble Hub, Wattpad, Hentai Foundry, Webnovel, and MoonQuill with the same name.

    Find more informationation at my blog or my Patreon.

    "You may now kiss the bride."

    But no kiss came, the warmth of her hand suddenly vanished. The feeling of standing on stable ground was switched to the stomach churning pain of free-falling. And then my consciousness was severed.

    I woke up on the cold hard dirt in the middle of a fantastical forest. I believe I'm not on Earth anymore. My clothes tell me I'm in a Renaissance Faire, but the sharpness of the sword in my waist tell me otherwise.

    An itch inside my brain leads me to open a "menu", a few squares float in the air like magic or an incredibly realistic VR, they are buttons. "Status", "Skills", "Magic", "Items", "Notes", and "Messages". There's an "!" on the corner of "Messages" so I immediately open it.


    Sender: God
    "I'm sorry for this, but there's no way for you to go back."



    I feel my "Sanity" stat decreasing.

    Ripped away from the happiest moment of my life, I got stuck in a completely different world of swords and magic, alone. Monsters, hunters, dungeons, adventurers, levels, EXP, nobles, royalty, magic, slaves, gods, religion, sex and love, barely anything of my common sense seems to apply in this world. I will have to learn to how to live here, apparently I have much, much to learn.

    ---------------------------------------------
    What to expect: Slow story focused on the day-to-day life of a transmigrated man rather than on the plot.

    The plot exists but it very slowly becomes relevant.

    Detailed environments and extensive world-building.

    Realistic and tactical combat instead of flashy.

    Protagonist with a cheat but far from overpowered.

    Lots of descriptive sex scenes, it is treated as just another part of life instead of merely fan-service.

    A harem where the members actually enjoy living with each other.

    Occasional weird wording and grammar, English isn't my first language.

     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 1:22 AM
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  2. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Many thanks to reader ZeroDays for switching the dashes (-...-) dialogue notation for the quotation ("...") dialogue notation.

    "You may now kiss the bride."

    But no kiss came, the warmth of her hand suddenly vanished. The feeling of standing in the stable ground was switched to the stomach churning pain of free-falling. And then my consciousness was severed.

    "Lily…" I murmur.

    My back hurts and my whole body feels like stone, nausea prevents me from trying to get up, my nose is filled with the musky smell of nature. I finally realize I'm laying down with my eyes closed and my belly up.

    Once the nausea subsides I decide to open my eyes. I see huge trees that almost covers the entire sky. Like cracks on a wall, the crown shyness of the canopies let small streaks of light pass through.

    Regaining control of my body I manage to sit and look at my surroundings. This is a forest with trees bigger and thicker than anything I have ever seen before. Bushes prevent me from seeing too far. The air is damp and hot.

    I get up and notice my body feels weird. I look down and see I'm not wearing my tuxedo but instead I have a leather jacket, a woolen white shirt, woolen black pants and some rather uncomfortable leather shoes. On my waist there's a belt where a sword and scabbard are hanging.

    I draw the sword and notice it's heavy. Oddly I don't find it difficult to handle and it's almost as my arm moves on its own as I swing it. Its blade is straight and double edged, with about 90cm, there's space for only one hand on the hilt which has a cross shaped guard. The edge is sharp and can easily cut the bushes I swing at. This is not a prop.

    "Am I in a renaissance fair?

    I can't remember getting here, did I hit my head? The last thing I remember is being in my wedding ceremony.

    "Lily…!? LILY, WHERE ARE YOU!?" I scream.

    My body still feels weird. At least I'm not nauseous anymore, but now I'm starting to feel scared. I don't know where to go, there's only trees as far as the eye can see. I don't remember how I got here and in which direction I can go to find someone. I'm truly lost in the woods with no idea of what to do.

    Besides, I've never seen a forest like this. I'm Canadian living in the cold north where it should be winter and the trees are much smaller. Did I travel to a far away place to the south or is it now summer and I simply forgot the passage of time?

    Time passes while I think on what to do and slowly I start to feel an itch inside my head. It's not on the outside, on my hair, but actually inside. Like when water gets on your ear and it gets uncomfortable. It feels like I can almost touch it but it's barely out of reach, so I keep trying and shaking my head, little by little it feels I'm getting closer. Then suddenly I reach it and scratch it, a menu opens.

    Like a light projection in front of me, I see various columns of black squares with white letters on them, similar to a touchscreen on a phone.

    Now I feel like I'm going insane. There's no source of light or medium where the light hits to explain this as a light projection. It's a floating object that passes through the bushes near me as if it's non-corporeal. It follows my torso but not my head. Curious and scared I use my finger to touch the square that says "Status".

    A new black square opens and writing can be seen.

    Info
    Name:PRESS HERE TO CHOOSEAge:16RaceHuman
    HP:100MP:100Magic Power:175
    Level:1Experience:0/100
    Stats
    Strength:7Endurance:8Dexterity:9
    Speed:10Intelligence:20Wisdom:15
    Willpower:11Charisma:10Piety:0
    Perception:15 Sanity:9
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:NONE
    Companions:NONE
    Crimes:NONE
    I can't believe this. Mom told me this would happen but I didn't listen. I have now officially gone insane, I'm seeing video game status in real life.



    I start panicking a little. This situation is not funny. Compounding on my loss of memory and waking up in an unknown place, now I'm seeing something impossible to explain and a ridiculous looking menu which makes me believe I'm into some ultra-realistic virtual reality game. I can feel the pain in my body, I can smell the forest, my vision is not blurred anymore, I can feel a little hunger in my stomach, I can feel how uncomfortable these ridiculous clothes are and I can taste the saliva. Just to make sure I lick my hand and taste the salt of my cold sweat. All my senses tell me this is real.

    Is this the future where I purposely erase part of my memory and enter this virtual reality just to feel like I have been transported into another world? This is the only logical explanation that does not involve a supernatural event. But if this is so, I see no "Quit" or "Logout" button, which only makes my panicking worse.



    Somehow I manage to calm myself, I need to focus on my only ally here, logic. Logic is my friend, logic is my ally and logic will help me get through the insanity and ridiculousness so I can make a proper decision and not break down and starve in this horrible world.

    First things first, I have to explore my options. There are more buttons to press on this menu, so let's just pull off the brakes on my skepticism of this fantasy.

    On the left of the menu there are buttons on a column, they are: "Status", "Items", "Skills", "Magic", "Notes" and "Messages".

    "Messages" has an exclamation point near it, I assume it signifies that there's an unread message. I open it and there is only one message.



    Sender: God.
    "I'm sorry for this, but there's no way for you to go back."



    Logic doesn't help when God fucks you over. I'm having another breakdown.

    My sanity went down another point.



    No no no no no no noooo. I can't get mad, this is a prank, someone is messing with me. A camera is hidden and soon someone will jump here and laugh at me. I have to keep calm so the entirety of the internet and then the world won't have a reason to point and laugh at my situation. It's okay, keep calm, it's all a prank.

    So since this is a prank, why not use magic? I wanna see what kind of special effects they are going to use. So I press the button and...

    A blank black box appears.

    So I guess I don't have any magic skills yet, let's see how "Items" works. I don't have a backpack so how are the items going to appear? Hah, it's gonna go *poof* and materialize or something?

    I press the button and a list appears.

    Items
    Item NameQuantityItem NameQuantityItem NameQuantity
    Empty backpack1Spare clothes bundle1Rock bread10
    Dried meat10Deer waterskin5Sleeping bag1
    Flint1Kitchen knife1Skinning knife1
    Cooking pot1Whetstone Q1002Wool cloak1
    Firewood10Rose coin1Gold coin10
    Silver coin50Copper coin100
    "At least you gave me money, you shit stain of a god."

    I press the "Sleeping Bag" button, the menu closes and above my finger a transparent sleeping bag hovers.

    Scared at the sudden apparition of a ghost sleeping bag I step back and pull my hand back, but the ghost follows my finger as if it's glued. Trying to unglue it I press my finger on my jacket, with a *poof* the sleeping bag suddenly materializes and it falls on my feet.

    I think I'm starting to get used to the insanity, a sleeping bag materializes from absolutely nothing and I don't really feel anything anymore, is this "shock"?

    Anyway. Now how do I put it back?

    I notice there's an icon on the corner of the item screen that's animated. It shows a hand grabbing a sword, bumping a button and then the sword disappears. This animation keeps looping.

    I grab the sleeping bag, press the button and *poof*, the sleeping bag disappears. On the item list appears an entry named "Sleeping bag".

    So is there an item limit? Weight limit? Is it limited to things I can carry on one hand? Maybe I should write these on my notes and test them later, it should be a priority to understand this world if I'm going to be stuck into this fantasy land.

    Now finally let's see the "Skills" menu. It has a column with the writing "Skill Points: 10". Below it is written "Acquired Skills" and below that there is [Sword Use 1], which has a minus and plus sign to its side. It seems I can increase or reduce the skill points at will. To the side there are the following tabs: "Physical", "Magical" and "Miscellaneous".

    "Physical" has things like [Sword Use], [Axe Use], [Shield Use], [Block], [Parry], [Bow Use]. Some of these look like they might be overlapping, perhaps the benefits stack, sounds troublesome to test. There are others where the name isn't very descriptive like [Antushi Style], probably related to martial arts schools. Then there are some like [Enhanced Reflexes], [Muscle Explosion], [Hawk Eyes] and [Battlefield Perception] that should give a variety of effects. There's also dozens of crafting skills like [General Blacksmithing], [Armor Smith], [Weapon Smith], [Jewel Crafting], [Woodwork] and [Bow Crafting]. And finally there are some ridiculous ones like [Enhanced Sexual Stamina], [Oral Technique], [Enhanced Genital Control] and [Enhanced Semen Recharge].

    Magic sounds extremely interesting to me. Starting with the standard elements like electricity, space, light, dark, fire, water, earth, wind, nature. Then there are the more exotic ones like, spirit, summoning, conjuring, blessing, cursing, [Undead Creation], [Bloodwork] and many more. There's magic enhancements like [Mana Control], [Mana Efficiency], [Mana Recovery], [Mana Absorption], [Mana Reflection] and [Reduced Mana Cost]. Mana seems to be the name of the source of magical power in this world and MP should be something like "Mana Points". There's resistances like [Poison Resistance], [Fire Resistance] and so on. Then crafting like [Armor Enchanting], [Weapon Enchanting], [Jewel Enchanting], [Alchemy], [Potion Brewing], [Magic Tool Carving], [Poison Brewing] and [Golemancy], the last seems extremely interesting for me since I have a degree in robotics. And there's ridiculous ones too like, [Slavery Magic], [Sexual Charm] and [Sexual Metamorphosis].

    Miscellaneous contains things like [Weapon Appraisal], [Jewel Appraisal], [Metal Appraisal], [Ore Appraisal], [Flute Playing], [Lute Playing], [Musical Improvisation], [Singing], [Oratory], [Acting], [Writing], [Housework], [Cleaning], [Washing] and even [Folding]. Then there's some interesting ones like [Sense Presence], [Hide Presence], [Quiet Steps], [Quiet Action], [Intimidation] and [Charm]. There's even a bunch that's related to language proficiency, but I don't know which one to choose so I will leave it for later. Some look like they belong into the "Physical" category but with things like [Charm] and [Sense Presence] maybe they revolve around some weak form of magic, so they are a mix of both physical and magical skill.

    Luckily at the top there's a search function, but typing on this menu is very awkward. Unlike a keyboard where you can feel the feedback of pressing a key, this keyboard passes through the finger so you don't feel anything when you press a button. The feedback is even worse than that of a smartphone.

    "Notes" operates like an office computer software where you create and organize documents and simply write things in them with an awkward, floating, non-corporeal keyboard.



    Now that I have seen it all I need to decide my next step. I have some food, although something like "Rock bread" doesn't sound appetizing, I don't think I will starve to death so soon. But still if there's no civilization nearby I need to secure a source of food and water. Perhaps conjuring will give me something to survive, but I'm not sure relying on magic to survive is a good idea. I have no idea what kind of nutrition magically created food has, I also have no idea of the mana cost of conjuring or how fast mana recovers. I will need to test it, but testing it now might cost me precious time.

    Since I have no idea where to go maybe it's best to find a vantage point where I can look over the surroundings and search for a river or a man-made structure.

    I had an idea, since I can add or remove skill points at will, I can see which magic gives which spell, maybe there's something useful in there. Once I put one point into a magic school it gives me at least one spell. Most magic schools require 10 points until the next spell is unlocked, some require 5. After level 11 I don't know since I don't have enough points.

    Although [Golemancy] seems interesting it doesn't look like it is useful for now. Conjuring gives me a source of water but I will have to test it later how much water it gives me. It might also be a good idea to have at least one offensive magic since I have good stats for magic, I believe. I wanted some healing magic but since my "Piety" is zero I'm uncertain if it's a good idea since normally in other games healing magic is tied to religion and piety. I'm starting to wish I wasn't an atheist. If this truly is a different world then I better start believing in the divine seeing how supernatural things are happening around me.

    When I look at [Summoning Magic] I get an excellent idea, the first spell for summoning is [Summon Small Bird], which might be my best way of finding my way on this land. So I put a point on it, go to the magic tab and press the magic button. I feel like my blood is being sucked from my body through multiple places, then a ball of light appears in front of the finger that pressed the button. Not knowing what to do I decide to touch the ball, gravity suddenly starts to apply on it, it falls on the ground and stops shining. Suddenly I'm looking at the sky again.



    When my head stops spinning I understand I fell on the ground. My vision is distorted and on one side I can see the sky and the other side I can see the sole of my own boots. My body feels weird and it's like I have grown more limbs. My hearing is noisy and much louder than before. I feel much more hungry and my insides are churning.

    After getting used a little bit with the situation I raise my upper body. On one side of my vision I see a small brown bird that looks like a fluffy ball, on the other side of my vision I see... Myself? I don't remember looking like this, I'm younger, much younger. This baby face that I didn't see for more than a decade is staring at… Me?

    I assume that this little bird in front of me is my summon and I'm sharing its senses. Things like sight, hearing, touch, taste, proprioception and heat. Maybe even more, there are so many that I'm getting a strong headache, my mind is not ready for so much information. I wish I wasn't sharing all of those senses. Then the sharing suddenly stops and I feel so sick I almost puke.



    A flush of information followed by a sudden cut was too much for me to handle, I had to spend a few minutes controlling my stomach so I don't puke. After a while I look back and the bird is still on the same spot, with its beady little eyes staring intently at me.

    If all I need is to wish to control the flow of information from the senses then I wish I could only share the sight. And now my vision is back to seeing two images.

    It's not like my vision decreased, it expanded and now I can see much more, which puts a strain on my brain and makes me a little queasy. But now I know that this little guy is the perfect thing to help me find civilization.

    I look at my status and see that my max MP was halved and my current MP is now on 15 points. It seems that summoning is an advanced form of magic, or I'm just bad at magic even though I have good stats. Also, I didn't put any points into things like [Mana Control], [Mana Efficiency] or [Reduced Mana Cost], so maybe that's why this magic is so expensive. That was a mistake, I wasted a lot of mana points.

    But it doesn't matter, now I need to know how to control it. First I try to wish for it to move, like I wished to stop the sense sharing, but nothing happened. I guess it only works with voice commands, which makes it impossible to use it as a puppet.

    "Sit on my hand," I say. I open my palm and it obeys.

    The sudden flight makes me nauseous again, but I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it. Now, with the bird closer to my face I can finally see myself properly.

    I'm truly much younger than before, I'm really 16 again. Round face, protruding jaw, full cheeks, traces of pimples, a few characteristic freckles, complete lack of my stubble that made me look manly, short black hair neatly combed into the side now slightly disheveled. That's me, the young baby-faced me. Considering how I'm seeing my younger self through the eyes of a little bird, I can feel my sanity dropping another point.



    I need to get a hold of myself, I'm not supposed to be affected by this anymore, my safety is the top priority right now. If this is really a video game then just by looking at the large amount of combat skills would make you believe that this is a dangerous world. And I'm alone in the woods, the most common place for enemies to appear. So I need to prepare myself and focus back on finding civilization.

    While calming myself I notice something odd on my head. Like an itch, I recognize it's the similar to the itch that I have to scratch to open and close the menu, maybe this is related to the [Summoning Magic]? I feel like I don't have to make an effort to scratch it, so I will leave it like this otherwise I could dismiss the summoned bird and lose the mana I already spent.

    Finally it is time to scout the area.

    "Fly high in a circle and come back after two minutes," I say.

    Hopefully it knows what two minutes are, I also said this since I'm afraid it won't come back unless I tell it to.

    The bird quickly flies upwards and crosses the canopies, which gives me a breathtaking view.

    A sea of trees, that is how this place looks from above. There are some trees which are much taller allowing you to see their trunks, they show huge vines hanging from the canopies. There are huge roots thicker than a house that twist around the ground and disappear among the trees. Blue, red, yellow, orange, white and black patches of leaves paint the sea as if they were drops of paint on a green canvas. The sky is completely clear and blue, at least this isn't an alien world. Based on the position of the Sun it looks like it's still a few hours before noon. The sunlight reflects on the leaves and creates beautiful twinkling lights.

    Far away on the horizon I can see a grassland. Just on the edge of my view I see something that makes my heart stop. I can see multiple black lines standing on top of another black line. Perhaps those are towers around a city wall? It's definitely man-made and not a mountain or another tree. Finally I have a direction to go. After the bird comes back I will make it go in the direction of that city to investigate more. But wait, that doesn't look like a modern town, it reminds me of drawings of medieval fantasy towns. Just another piece of evidence this situation is not normal.

    Suddenly the view gets shaky and blurry, a shadow blocks part of the bird's view. It got captured by the claws of a large scaled animal. I don't know what happens if it gets killed, I fear that a feedback of pain through the connection could happen like it does in some games when a familiar is killed. Immediately I scratch the itch on my brain, after that the vision of the bird gets blurry and slowly goes black. My field of view goes to normal and the discomfort of double view goes away. I lost my first familiar.



    This brings another bucket of cold water to my heart. It shows again this world is dangerous and I need to prepare. So far I only have 1 point into [Summoning Magic] and [Sword Use], I still have 9 unused points so I better prepare.

    First I want healing magic. I put 10 points into [Light Magic]. I have a suspicion it uses "Piety", since I have 0 it might be useless to me. I go to my "Magic" tab and press [Heal].

    And nothing happens... I guess I was right. If 0 "Piety" means I can't cast it then maybe it works like a multiplier, I might need 10 "Piety" before it becomes actually cost effective.

    Well then, at least there's another healing spell I can use. I put 5 points into [Nature Magic], it gives me two spells: [Constricting Vines] and [Regeneration]. Both seem very useful for someone like me that does not really want to fight. Then I put 2 into [Sense Presence], so I can detect enemies coming. I put 1 into [Electric Magic] so I have one offensive spell, [Lightning Bolt]. I don't wanna use [Fire Magic] in a forest since I'm not confident I won't start a forest fire. And the last point goes into [Sword Use] making it level 2.

    Now I have two more itches on my head, with a total of 4. As if it's some sort of subconscious understanding I can differentiate between the "itches". One is the menu, one is the [Summoning Magic], one is the [Sense Presence] skill and the last is the [Lightning Bolt] magic. With a little bit of familiarity it seems it will be very easy to use the one I want whenever I want.

    My mana is back to 20, I think I will wait more until it's back to full.



    It took me at least an hour but my mana is now back to full. While waiting I focused on calming my heart so I can do what I need to do. My "Sanity" went up 1 point so it's now at 8. I assume the average is 10 like in other games. Being at 8 is not necessarily bad, but I believe this means I have to work more on keeping calm.

    This is possibly a medieval fantasy world, with swords and magic, which means that it's different from my society. I need to be mindful of things such as respecting the nobility, avoid triggering the superstitions of locals, understanding local laws, adapting to the food and etiquette, understanding the economy, understanding the common sense and other things.

    If I fail on this first contact I don't know if I could live until I reach the next town or the next opportunity. I can't bring attention to myself, things like [Slavery Magic], [Bloodwork] and [Necromancy Magic] sound dangerous and potentially illegal. [Summoning Magic] seems advanced and also exotic, it's best people don't ask where I learned it. Also the skill system seems abusive, I could turn from a swordsman, into a mage, into an assassin, into a craftsman, into a negotiator, all in a small amount of time. It doesn't seem like normal for people to be able to do this. Even the menu and things like "Items" could be abnormal here.

    Now I'm starting to accept this might really be another world. "God" may have sent me a message that I can't go back, but there's no evidence of that, it's just the words of a suspicious being that I have never seen before. Perhaps I can go back, perhaps not, but first I need to search for knowledge about this world, knowledge about teleportation and knowledge about other worlds. Then I can truly decide if it's possible or not.

    Even if this is truly a game, I can still feel a lot of pain, I can feel the pleasure of the wind, I can feel the hunger. Now that I think about it I should eat a piece of meat.

    It's too salty for my taste, too hard to cut and too rubbery to chew, I really want normal food now. I didn't even get to taste the buffet that I ordered for my wedding, there were so many choices of chocolate candies that I never got to enjoy.

    Going back to the previous train of thought, I can feel the satisfaction of eating something. So I don't want to live a poor and hard life. If I can basically do anything with this skill system then maybe I can use it to my advantage and have a quiet but fulfilling life while I search for knowledge on how to get back.

    I sigh and lay back on the cold hard ground. I can see the sun on top of the canopies now, so I guess this is about noon.

    I just wanted to hug you one more time Lily…



    I try to eat a piece of "Rock bread", but it really was as hard as rock, I guess this is why it won't spoil easily. Then I try to wet it with saliva and it easily crumbles into a mush. Bland, wet, white bread, delicious.

    I gotta test [Lightning Bolt]. It's best to know your tools even if I'm going to waste the mana right now by firing into nothing. I scratch the "itch" of [Lightning Bolt], on the point of my left finger I feel something getting hot, I also feel again the sensation of blood leaving my body. I look at my finger and it's shining a little. I point it forward and after two seconds of holding it still a lightning bolt leaves my finger and flies toward the bush.

    After the flash and loud thunder I see the bush is completely carbonized and slightly burning. I have no idea how to measure damage but it feels dangerous, maybe it could kill a person in one hit? But there's the status values and HP values, maybe people can get resistance through endurance or something.

    I cast [Constricting Vines] on another bush. Where I'm pointing green vines burst through the ground and wrap themselves around the bush. It took a few seconds for them to wrap around, I don't think I can use this on an enemy that's moving.

    These spells cost me ¼ of my mana, I only have 3 more uses or so for [Lighting Bolt]. I will wait again until my mana is full. I also don't know what happens if you use all your mana. In some games you can feel sick, faint, lose health or even die so I'm unwilling to test my mana to the limit.

    Finally after resting again I get the motivation to move on. Now I need to walk into the direction of town and reach safety.



    I walk with [Sense Presence] activated, but I realize it makes me very tense, I certainly would tire of keeping it on all the time. Maybe I will get used to it if I level up or put more points on it or something like that.

    I'm really tense but I can still appreciate the environment. The trees are all 10 to 15 meters tall, with a girth that would require at least 5 people to surround it. The occasional huge root snaking around the trees, periodically going bellow the ground, make it seem like it's the roots of one huge tree.

    There's also plenty of different bushes and small trees with fruits. I tried to put the fruits into "Items" but they all give a "??? fruit" so I'm not sure what they are or if they are edible. The fruits look like multi colored berries and grapes.

    Then as I was walking through a small patch of blue leaved trees with a white trunk my [Sense Presence] picked up something different from the animals. Like a radar inside my mind I felt something "red" a few meters to my right.

    With [Sense Presence] it's like I have a small radar into my mind, there I can "feel" small "dots", small animals that come and go. But this "red" dot is something dangerous, I feel a pain in my heart that increases because that dot is coming directly to me. Did it notice me? Does it also have [Sense Presence]? I can't even see it because the bushes are on the way.

    I hide besides a bush and crouch, if possible I would like to avoid combat. In games killing monsters give experience, which will make me increase my "level". But I don't have confidence in my abilities and I also don't even know what kind of enemy is coming.

    The presence keeps coming. I notice the intercept route is a little off, maybe it was just a coincidence that our paths would cross, but it will still be very close. I can't afford to move and make a noise. I put my hand on the hilt of my sword.

    As I wait the enemy coming closer I can hear footsteps. It seems to be a quadruped, perhaps it's a dog? Then I notice the sound of someone breathing air quickly. It's smelling me, there's no escape now that it caught my scent and it's going to come to me.

    A bush in front starts to move and out of it a small wolf like animal comes out. It has a long snout that gets thinner at the nose, fangs coming out of the closed mouth, a round body with spines covered in moss. The parts of the body without spines are covered in a Grey fur. It's certainly not an animal that I know.

    I freeze for a moment, I'm still not used to the ridiculous things that happen to me. But this was a mistake, the monster noticed me. It immediately bares his fangs and lunges at me. It's coming, it's gonna bite me, it wants to kill me, I'm going to die.

    "AAAAAAAH," I scream.

    The fight or flight instinct kicked in and this time I decided to fight. When the monster got close enough it jumped, aiming at my face.

    While drawing my sword I aim the blade and hit the monster on the side of its mouth. Such an attack is not the standard way of using this sword, so the wound was merely a scratch but it held enough power to deflect the animal. It passed by me and fell down two meters away.

    Immediately I turned and the animal did a move that sent chills down my spine. It lifted the hind legs and lowered the lower legs, the spines then moved its pointy ends directly at me and started to shake. The next moment they flew at me.

    Through some incredible reflexes or luck I lunged to the side and behind the nearest tree. But even then it wasn't a perfect dodge, the side of my legs were assaulted by a wave of pain as the mossy spines entered my skin.

    I was already filled with adrenaline since a few seconds ago while anxiously waiting for the monster to come, so I managed to ignore the pain. But I'm still panicking and decide to use my trump card, I start casting [Lightning Bolt].

    I hear the footsteps of the monster rushing towards me. He has to go around the tree so he can't be that fast, but still he's faster than I can cast. I see him and he jumps again towards my face, then the bolt flies.

    The lightning roars and the animal screams. It tackles me but it does not bite, I protect my face and manage to grab him by the snout. He's not very heavy so I manage to not fall backwards. Then I throw him to the ground.

    Part of his fur is burned and smoke rises from his body, his eyes are cloudy and possibly fried. He starts to convulse, but he's not dead yet. Anger runs through my body and I pierce his head with my sword, then he stops moving. I killed something, the feeling of my sword piercing flesh is disgusting.

    "You are now level 2," says a female voice.

    "W-what? Who's there?" I ask.

    I look around but there's nobody around. After a while I assume this voice is inside my head, like a video game announcer.

    I stand still for a while thinking about what just happened but the adrenaline goes away and the pain of the spines in my skin comes. I quickly pull the spines out and it just makes my body to hurt more. Now my skin trickles with blood and stains my clothes. I noticed 4 spines got stopped by the leather jacket, I guess armor really is useful here.

    I cast [Regeneration] and a ball of light appears on my left palm. I touch myself and keep still for some time, it seems this is a continuous spell. It took ten minutes but slowly I can see the blood stop, the pain subsiding and the wound starts closing. I guess this magic is not something you use during battle, but it remains in effect for a bit after I stop channeling it.

    My mana fell down to 20, I seriously need that [Mana Efficiency] skill.



    While waiting for my mana to recharge I look at my new stats, but they didn't change. Perhaps like "Sanity", status values change based on training and other conditions instead of level.

    So now I look into my skills, I have 4 points to spend. I use 2 for the [Mana Efficiency] skill and 2 for [Sword Use]. Even though I barely used the sword it was because I made a mistake and kept it sheathed during the beginning. The monster was fast and magic takes time to cast so I need to defend myself if I get into melee.

    I know that there's a [Dismantling] skill so the corpse of monsters might be valuable. Because of that I put it into my "Items", it showed as "Hedge-wolf? monster corpse". I don't understand why there's a "?" there. Maybe it's like the fruits, the naming is based on my knowledge so it picked the most appropriate name I could think.

    I also changed my pants, the smell of blood could attract more monsters. The bloodied pants were put into "Items" and were named as "Bloody black woolen pants". The bundled spare clothes were tied by a small cord, maybe it needs to be like this so it can "stack" as one item instead of each piece of clothing being separate. The bundle also had some linen underwear, which is the same as the one I'm wearing, It's loose fitting and a little uncomfortable to me.

    Now I keep reflecting upon this world, it's clear that there are monsters different from animals and that they are hostile. Unfortunately this one found me by smell, I believe. Even if I was completely silent it wouldn't have helped. Maybe there's some magic that erases scent somewhere. I need to fight and I need to kill what I fight, there's no other way.



    After recharging my mana I start moving again. Now I feel a little more confident since I calmed my heart, but I'm still feeling a little stressed. The [Sense Presence] skill is taking its toll on me.

    After walking what seems like a half hour I got another hit on my radar. I know it's a different monster than the last time. This time it's not coming directly at me.

    I hide behind a bush with good vision ahead and wait until I can see it. After a minute or so a bush moves and the monster comes out of it.

    It's a skinny green little man with an ugly oversized bald head full of wrinkles and a large pointy ear and nose. It's a goblin, a standard enemy of fantasy worlds. It's completely naked and its disgusting genital is dangling around waving as he moves. He's also wounded, I can see bruises and cuts that bleed a little. On his left arm he is dragging a long thin dagger, probably used for piercing.

    This is a golden opportunity. A single Hedge-wolf gave me 110 experience points and let me level up, now I need 200 points, but every single point counts. Just a single point in [Electric Magic] was enough to be the difference between life and death, or at least life and a nasty bite on my face. If I want to survive I need to kill this goblin. The chance of success on this is high, unless if I'm mistaking the strength of this little green thing. He's not even a meter tall, he should be weak.

    Yes, that's it, I'm charging.

    I draw my sword and dash towards him. With the sword held high the goblin barely has a chance to react before I'm into range and I slash my sword downwards.

    The goblin has experience in fighting and tries to deflect my sword with his dagger, but it's not enough. He's not fast or strong to enough to parry but he still moves my sword sideways a bit. What was supposed to be a single hit kill by slashing on the head becomes a deadly wound as I slash his shoulder. The sword passes through flesh and bone and opens his chest with a deep nasty cut.

    "GYEEEEEH!" The goblin screams. A nasty scream so loud it hurts my ears.

    With this the color went out of my face, he could be calling for allies. I believe I'm in trouble now.

    With anger fueling my movements I bring back my sword and slash horizontally on the goblin that fell on the ground. The slash cuts his neck and his head rolls away, this is an awfully sharp sword.

    I don't have time to be stunned by the bloody scene. If a wounded goblin appeared, maybe there are others who just finished fighting. Even if they are wounded I have no confidence in fighting more than one enemy, specially if they can just throw things at me, like spears.

    I quickly add the goblin's body, head and knife into my "Items". Then I dash into a right angle from where the goblin came from to maximize my distance from where I killed this goblin.

    After a minute or so I slow down and catch my breath. I look at the sword in my hand and realize I forgot to clean it, this is bad because other monsters could follow the smell of blood. I pull the already bloodied pants from "Items" and use it to remove the blood. Then I start moving quickly towards my destination.

    This goblin gave me 180 experience points, now I only need 10 more for the next level. This is good, just two more points into [Sword Use] allowed me to properly swing the sword twice and get a kill. But still, it was a surprise attack against a small monster with a knife. I hope I don't find anything worse.



    But I did. I found what that goblin was fighting.

    After another hour I got another hit on my radar. This hit sent chills down my spine. It was large, I could estimate the body size and it was as big as me but its body was long and thick. I immediately crouched behind a bush and hid in fear.

    The monster is just going to pass nearby, there's no risk of it getting too close. It's slowly strolling around, it doesn't even have a fixed destination, it's not searching for me.

    After two minutes I can now hear the monster walking, it's another quadruped with a very heavy body. Then I hear a small growl, it was unmistakably a bear growl. I'm now sweating cold, even on my world a bear is not something you fight with just a sword and a party trick spell.

    Then the bear stops. Did it notice me? How? I can't hear it trying to smell the air. Then I hear it turn. I wait for a few seconds, my heart on my mouth. Then it growls again, this time, it looks to be angry. Yeah, it noticed me.

    I should have walked away. I should have taken [Quiet Steps] so I can walk way from any dangerous encounter but I didn't think this would happen, I didn't predict they could so easily detect my presence. I thought the hedge-wolf was an exception but I was naive.

    Now what do I do, flee? I'm getting tired, the bear is on the way of my destination, I'm not sure if I can outrun a bear. Maybe I should fight and test the waters and then flee if the situation gets bad. The problem is if I get hit once then maybe I'm dead, there's no room for a mistake here. I need to at least look at what kind of enemy this is, the hedge-wolf was bizarre, maybe this one will have a clue on how to defeat it.

    I get up and peek from behind the bush. The enemy is truly a bear, a frightening bear with 5 claws the size of my hand on each paw, fangs the size of my head protruding from its open, salivating mouth, grey fur covered its body. It is wounded, I can see multiple pieces of what seems to be spears protruding from its body, I can see blood dripping from its face, one eye is closed, on the grey fur multiple marks of blood can be seen. It's heavily wounded, it's probably what the previous goblins were fighting, there's a chance of victory.

    But I can't get hit, if I do, I'm dead. I have to use it all here, all my magic. I draw my sword and start casting [Lighting Bolt], the bear that was looking at me immediately starts charging. I don't want to use [Constricting Vines] because it's too slow, I also have a feeling that simple vines won't stop the charge of something that big.

    He's fast, but so is my casting, I manage to use my bolt twice before he gets into range. He seems to have slowed down and the smell of burnt flesh fills the air, he no longer can trample me.

    Then he gets on his hind legs and tries to use his huge paws to swipe at me. Too slow, I jump backwards and cast again. He roars.

    Now he's angry. With a sudden burst of speed he waddles a little closer and swipes with a speed that caught me by surprise. All I could do was defend myself with the sword, the claws hit the sword and the massive strength sends me flying. I hit a tree and air leaves my lungs, I feel immense pain on my back.

    With the vision blurry I manage to cast again. This time the bear stops and starts convulsing. An opportunity! I could run away, but now blood fills my head. Anger makes me move forward, the sweet deal of getting a large amount of experience fills my thoughts with greed. I charge forward.

    How long are his convulsions going to last? I don't know but if this is low level magic then it will be short, so I start casting again. My head hurts, I think this is the last spell I can do before getting drained.

    The bear stops convulsing, he looks at me and roars again. I finish my cast, nearly point blank range. The bear flinches, I thrust my sword and it goes through his eye and into the back of his skull. The bear twitches a little and his body gives up and falls down.

    "You are now level 5," says the female announcer again.

    I look at my stats, my MP is at -4. A massive headache attacks my head and my mind goes black.



    My back hurts a lot, I'm shivering and having difficulty breathing. My head hurts so much I don't think I can stand. While laying down I look into my stats and now my MP is at 10 but my HP is at 90. Even though I blocked the attack I got damaged, scary.

    My "Magic Power" grew by 5 and my maximum MP by 10. I now have 12 skill points, I put them all on [Mana Efficiency] and cast [Regeneration] on myself. It takes another 10 minutes and I heal until I only have 1 MP left. It helped with the pain but the headache got worse and I'm still feeling tired.

    I simply rest on the ground until my MP reaches 20. Using [Regeneration] again the pain subsided enough that I can stand.

    I look around and see that the bear is dead with my sword sticking out of its eye. I did it, I fucking killed a huge bear, a monstrously large bear. Fucking hell.

    I take the sword out and clean it on the bear's own fur. Then I grab a paw and store the bear on "Items". Now I need to properly distribute my points.

    I have 31 points total, so I put them like this:


    PRESS HERE TO CHOOSESkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use5Dodge3Quiet Steps5
    Sense Presence3
    Magical
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency3Mana Recovery2Electric Magic4
    Nature Magic5Summoning Magic1
    Miscellaneous
    Nothing


    I should at least be able to use 5 times [Lightning Bolt] without fainting, perhaps one more and then fainting. I don't know which is more efficient, [Mana Efficiency] or [Reduced Mana Cost] so I'm just gonna bet on efficiency. I don't have time to test, it's way past noon now and I need to keep moving. I also prefer to spread out my capabilities instead of focusing on only one thing, I need to be versatile and adaptive here.

    With unsteady steps I start moving again. I'm still hurting, my HP is at 98 and after another rest my MP is at 40.

    [Sense Presence] is slightly larger but makes me less tense. Which is good since I still have a headache. Slowly I can see my MP going up even while moving so [Mana Recovery] is a good investment. I heal myself again while walking and finally the headache and back pain stops, but I still feel very tired.



    After another hour I get another hit. This time I know it's another goblin. I don't want to fight anymore, I'm too tired. But I need to test [Quiet Steps], I need to know how far he's likely to notice me. I believe that in games goblins usually attack in numbers to compensate their lack of intelligence or equipment, so finding a single goblin is lucky. Maybe not so lucky since I found the reason the goblins are scattered but still, this situation is a lucky find.

    So I activate [Quiet Steps] and start moving. My footsteps are much more quiet now. It seems the skill gives me a very strong intuition on where and how to step so I don't make a sound.

    I notice the goblin is standing still. I manage to catch a glimpse of him and he's looking downwards. So I circle around to get behind him and continue approaching.

    From an opening in a bush I notice he's treating himself, he has a nasty cut on his shoulder and he's wiping it with a relatively clean cloth. How smart is he? Then I notice he's wearing a small leather jacket and he has a wooden spear with a shining metal tip next to him. He's not the same as the other goblin, this one is more experienced and much smarter. He also has better equipment, I need to kill him in one attack.

    Slowly I approach. I'm inching closer, little by little, I must have patience. I'm barely within reach of my sword.

    "Gah?" He leaks a sound and looks behind, but it's too late.

    I lunge forward and my sword stabs his throat. He grabs his own throat and writhes on the ground. All he can do is garble some words and gasp for air while slowly dying from drowning on his own blood. He stares at me, his beady little eyes don't contain anger, but surprise. Maybe he's surprised he got attacked, or just surprised he's going to die.

    I'm feeling nauseous at this scene, he's way too human for me to just watch this. Perhaps I made a mistake. Perhaps he's conscious and a person belonging to a community on this world. Perhaps I committed a crime. I never allowed those two goblins to attack first, I surprise attacked them both.

    I can't look at this anymore and I decapitate the goblin. Shit I feel even worse now. He gave more experience than the last goblin, but it's not enough to level up again. I look at my status and see that my "Crimes" section is still saying "NONE". This gives me a little comfort, but only a little.

    I put him and his spear in "Items" and turn back to keep going towards my objective again. Then I see something frightening.

    A human skull, multiple bones and a skeleton torso are laying around the foot of a tree. The bones are small but they are definitely human. Or at least I think they are, goblin heads are much larger than this skull. Then I see something besides the skeleton, a ruined backpack.



    When I looked at the goblin equipment I noticed the leather is ruined and dusty, the spear was clean but chipped. It seems the owner of this equipment was the skeleton remains, the goblin had just found the equipment by chance.

    When I look inside the backpack I see a small ruined notebook. I open it and while it's mushy and the words are blurred I can still discern some foreign characters every once in a while. So I remove one point from [Sword Use] and start adding it to each of the languages that I have on my skill window. Finally I found the language this notebook belongs to, it is Norvok.

    The notebook is a diary. A dwarven young man was traveling around to the other side of the continent. I had to use 5 points on the language for me to be able to make sense of what was written. It seems the maximum for language is 10. There's only tellings of what was eaten, killed and minor details. I couldn't absorb anything from the culture just by reading this, but it helped me get a pointer into the language used by the locals, it's named Andraste.

    There is no identification so I don't know the name of this dwarf. I feel like I should bury him but I don't have a shovel, the energy or the time to waste here. So I just put all his bones in a pile and move on towards my objective.

    After another hour walking, I finally see something glittering beyond the trees. It's grass, grass touched by the sun. I have finally reached the border of the forest.

    I start to run. I don't care if I find another monster, I just want to see the town. If it is within reach then the last stretch of my journey is close and with that comes safety.

    The view opens up and suddenly the trees disappear. I'm now in a grassland, the grass is tall and reaches my waist. It's a beautiful sight, the green and the gold of reflected sun makes me wish I could spend an afternoon here relaxing. But the most beautiful sight is beyond the grassland.

    I could see the wall, it must be a good 20 meters tall, with towers double the size. Very far away, to the left of where the wall ends I could see something resembling wagons. That must be where the entrance is located and travelers pass by. I see people so small they look like ants. Finally, civilization.

    I remove [Quiet Steps] and [Summoning Magic], reduce [Sense Presence], [Dodge] and [Electric Magic] and put all on [Andraste Language]. Now I start running towards the wagons.



    As I run I manage to take on the sights. There are other buildings beyond the wall, they have odd, crooked shapes, mix of dark and light wood and white, dark blue and cobble stone. Like someone partially demolished a cobble building and then used whatever wood it had to rebuild it. It wasn't hastily made, both the stone and wood parts are full of relief, details and decorations. Some buildings increase in diameter with every level and on the supporting pillars some have an assortment of statues and other decorations. Truly an odd town.

    On the edge of the grassland a small cobble chest high wall can be seen. Beyond that small buildings appear, even a water wheel can be seen. Those are farms.

    As I approach the wall I attract attention, some men with cloaks wait for me near the wall. With that my energy runs out. I realize I haven't thought of a story to tell them yet. Even if I can communicate it's best that I don't tell them I came from another world or that I'm a lost traveler who lost my memories. There's a probability that I will be taken advantage of, so I need to decide on a story.

    I take out my backpack from "Items". I fit a few things on it like the sleeping bag, cooking pot, change of clothes, pieces of food, knives and some coins. Now my backpack is full and heavy. I hope nobody noticed I didn't have it on me before. The waist high grass hid me while I was preparing my things. Then I continue walking.

    As I get closer I notice the men looking at me are wearing a hauberk with a grey tabard and a mail coif. On their waists are swords and a small kite shield on the arm. The tabards are black with a simple white kite with a golden sword and a rose crossed on the kite, this must be the heraldry of the town lord. This truly looks like a medieval world.



    When I get close enough I notice there are 4 men and 2 women watching me.

    "Ooi, are you okay?! Are you an adventurer?!" Shouts one of the men when I get close enough.

    Well, Adventurer? No, that sounds dangerous, I'm just a traveler.

    Their speech sounds really odd to me. I hear the foreign words he's saying but in my mind I can still understand what they mean. This may be the effect of the language skill.

    "N-no, I'm just a traveler. I got lost on the woods and got attacked!" I answer.

    The soldiers start murmuring between each other, they seem friendly, but surprised. Once I get close enough to properly see their faces one of them starts talking.

    "Wow, you look really young. You are also really lucky, just 2 days ago a culling was done on the forest so there's barely any monsters about. But still, you need some skill to survive on that forest. You gonna enter the town?"

    "Yes please. I'm tired, I really need some rest," I answer.

    Lucky? Pff, if that's being lucky please wake me up from this nightmare.

    "Alright, I'll process your entry, come with me. Now everybody, back to your stations!"

    Saying that the soldiers disperse. I notice that this man wears a golden armband on both arms, perhaps he's the leader of the watch.

    I could only look at them for a short time, but these men and women are all tall, burly and with fair faces. I'm surprised they are not uglier.

    I jump over the wall and fall on a raised cobblestone road. We pass by two stopped wagons, each had another soldier writing something with a... Pen? They used a scroll and they are talking to a civilian. Both the civilians had some fine embroidered woolen clothing that made my clothes look like rags, one even had a silk cloak. They must be merchants.

    And then we reach the huge portcullis. We cross a long wooden bridge lowered across a moat. I finally pass the wall and enter the town.

    A short row of boring and bland buildings were on the other side of the wall. After that the spectacle of crooked, bizarre and beautiful buildings starts. Perhaps these boring buildings are barracks.

    The man leads me to a small office stuck on the wall with a few chairs around a table.

    "Alright, sit. Do you have any identification?" He asks.

    I sweated a bit. I don't know what identification is so I need to lie here.

    "No, I lost it when I got attacked. I had another bag but it got torn," I say, doing my best to keep a poker face.

    "Right, we will just use the Inspection Crystal, is that alright with you?" He says, for some reason the last part had a very stern tone.

    I have no idea what this stone is so I'm just gonna go with the flow.

    "It's ok," I answer.

    "Then wait here. Let me grab it in the other room," he says and leaves.

    Perhaps this stone will see my status window. When I open my status, I notice I hadn't written my name yet. I hastily try to write down my own name on the awkward floating touch less keyboard. Wait no, my name sucks, it's time to choose a cool name my parents were too boring to pick for me.

    "Wolf Ryder".



    The man comes back with a box where a crystal ball and a crystal tablet are cushioned.

    "Alright. Put your hand on the ball and keep it there until I say otherwise," he says.

    I do as he says and when I touch the ball the transparent crystal tablet changes color to black and white letters start to appear. The letters are in Andraste. The man looks into the tablet, from the short time I could see it I noticed the first thing written was my new name. I'm glad I took the time to write it.

    "Hmm… there's nothing wrong here but you are awfully low level for someone of your age. What's up with those skills? No conjuring or fire? Also no farming or housework or any other life skill here. Pff, what kind of sheltered child are you?" The man laughs and asks me.

    "Well… Uh, I’ll..." I try answer and look away.

    He's not lying. My life on Earth might seem sheltered in comparison to the people of this world. I could come up with an excuse, but that would just give more rope to the conversation. Even if he looks down on me I shouldn't speak carelessly.

    "Hah! it's kind of a miracle you survived the Sea of Trees... Well anyway, go to the monster hunter guild or the dungeoneering guild if you want to survive here. You might have some skill in combat but it's useless if you die out there alone. Now, let me see what's in your backpack."

    The way he said Sea of Trees makes me think this is the true name of that forest.

    I open it and show all the things that I have inside.

    "Alright. The ball says you don't have an [Item Box] so the tax is just gonna be 1 silver coin for entry and 5 copper for using the status stone."

    [Item Box]? Perhaps it's different from my "Items" ability. There was something called [Space Magic], so perhaps [Item Box] could be found there?

    I pay him the amount.

    "Go look for a guild and make your identification there. You don't need to pay tax depending on which ID you show. Also, is this your first time here? I can sell you a map for 10 copper coins," he grins, his teeth are very white.

    "Alright I’ll take one."

    I pay him and he gives me a sealed roll of weird textured paper that was lying on the table.

    "Then that's all. Welcome to Rabanara, the great fortress on the shore of the Sea of Trees," he says with a rather fake smile and dismissive hand gesture.

    I ask for an inn recommendation on the middle range and he tells me to go to the Resting Spring's Inn.



    The map is quite crude and lacks beauty but it gives the location of all the important locations. The Bazaar, the Flea Market, the Farmer's Market, the Guild's Corridors, the Crafter's Corner, the Gambling Den, the Theater, the Carnival Field, the Colosseum, the slums, the commoners area, the nobility quarters, the multitudes of inns and the brothel district. After some searching I found the Resting Springs.

    As I walk through the streets I can see a large amount of weird looking people. People with animal ears, tails, claws, snouts, patches of fur, animal looking digitigrade feet and hands that almost look like paws, in any sort of combination imaginable. People with horns, tails and wings and plenty of other body parts that I can't really recognize, with skin colors of all the colors in the rainbow, most wearing very revealing clothing, plenty are floating around or flying slowly. Humans with different colors of skin wearing things like togas, kimonos and even animal pelts. A carnival of people with mismatching armor and weapons, from big, burly and tough to small, cute and scrawny.

    All those things in combination with the bizarre architecture makes me feel like I'm actually the normal and well dressed one. I saw a few small animals that look a bit human-like in their behavior. They run around like children and then they simply appear and disappear out of thin air.

    Surprisingly the town looks clean and doesn't smell. Behind nearly every wagon there is a floating yellow broom that sweeps on the floor by itself without even lifting dust, like it just disappears. Perhaps these are spells that keep the roads clean.



    The inn is close by. It's still a few hours until sunset but my body and mind are exhausted. All I want is to rest a little while.

    The inn is a large building. It isn't as crooked as the other buildings and it's made entirely out of cobblestone. It has three floors and gives off a rustic feeling. No spring though.

    Once I enter, a middle aged man with a small chin, brown hair and small circle glasses greets me from behind a desk while he writes on a book.

    "Welcome to the Resting Springs Inn. Would you like a room?" He says on a kind tone with a kind smile.

    "Yes please, what kind of rooms do you have?"

    "We have a few single bed rooms on the third floor. On the second floor there's still space on the communal room."

    The communal bed might be one cheap room where multiple people sleep together. No thank you.

    "Single bed please."

    "That's 1 silver a day, would you like to reserve the room for multiple days?"

    "10 days."

    "We also give breakfast and dinner, 5 copper for each meal. During dinner the public bathhouse is open, the bath is included in the meal. You can reserve a room for bathing for 10 copper. There's also a magician responsible for the bath that you can rent personally for 15 copper at any time."

    "I would like both meals for each day. Also what's the exchange rate for silver and copper coins?"

    "Avgi silver coins are equal to 90 copper coins," the man says while raising an eyebrow.

    Perhaps this is not something you ask the innkeeper. Maybe you should know this before entering the town. Also, now that he said "Avgi coins" I saw that there's something written in the coins. It's written in the [Andraste Language] but it's only a few letters and some numbers, perhaps it's some identification?

    I pay the innkeeper and he gives me a key with the number 304 on it and a smaller black key.

    "Here it is, room 4 on the 3rd floor. The smaller key opens a safe. Once you leave give me the room key but keep the safe key. Don't leave anything valuable outside of the safe. The safe can only be opened by us after your stay ends. Would you like to be called for breakfast and dinner?" He says with a smile.

    "Yes."

    "Please write your name here. Okay, thank you for your patronage," he bows lightly.

    I start to write my name, my hand just moves by itself, it's a very odd feeling, I don't really know what I'm writing until it is done and the translation skill tells me it's my name. The squished characters are a bit difficult to tell apart. Then I move towards the stairs.

    The inside of the inn is made entirely of light brown wood. It's simple and a little small, perhaps they are simply maximizing the space. I can see shining jewels on the ceiling giving out a bit of light.

    I enter my room, lock the door, take my sword belt, boots and jacket off. Then I drop on the bed and fall asleep.



    I dream of the unpleasant sensation of cutting flesh with my sword.



    I wake up with a knock on the door.

    "The dinner is ready, the bath is hot," says the voice of a young woman.

    I don't know what the bed is made of. It's not hard, but it's not really good for my back. I might need to search for a proper bed if I'm going to stay here for a while.

    I put my clothes back on and go downstairs.

    On the first floor there's a communal area with a few square tables and chairs. A small amount of commoners are sitting waiting for the food and more people are coming down the stairs.

    I sit and wait, soon a plate comes to me. Vegetable stew, a piece of roasted mutton with spice and herbs and a piece of fluffy white bread. It tastes okay, the stew lacks some spice though, but the mutton is well done. Perhaps due to the amount of woolen clothing sheep are the common staple.

    After eating I go through the back door and reach the baths. Contrary to every single fucking medieval novel, baths aren't that rare. The romans loved baths, you know, bathhouses were a thing throughout history, you know.

    I ask the attendant on the front how it works. For 4 pieces of copper she gives me a towel, a very small piece of soap and a sponge. The bath uses the heat of the kitchen coupled with the help of a mage to heat the water. The bath is divided into 3 parts, men, women and mixed. Using the men or women's costs another piece of copper. Curiosity got me and I entered the mixed, which was free for patrons.

    Let's say that some light prostitution was going on inside that bath. I immediately leave and pay for the men's bath. I'm not a puritan but seeing sex live is too stimulating for me right now.

    The etiquette is that you gather a bucket of water and first use it to wash away all the dirt with the sponge and soap, then you relax into the pool of hot water. So I did this but I started to feel conscious of my body, most men here are somewhat handsome. I'm not ugly, I have a cute baby face, but damn, are all the people in this world at least somewhat attractive?

    When I get out of the bath it's already night and people are either going to bed or to a tavern to drink. I don't really drink so I go to bed early today.

    Now I get some time to reflect on what happened today. I got sucked out of my wedding into a painful, dangerous, magical, insane and ridiculous world. I killed two humanoid beings in a very gory way, I killed a bizarre animal and I killed a huge bear that almost killed me. If not for [Regeneration] I think I would be dead now.

    What kind of god would throw me here at this precise timing? Fuck you God. Help me, help me because I wanna go home. I wanna see my wife, I wanna hug her, kiss her and have sex with her then have her fall asleep in my arms and wake up with her smile. Fuck this world, help me please, God, help me.

    I felt something change inside of me. I open my menu and saw my status. My "Piety" raised to 2.

    I break down and cry myself to sleep.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
  3. VesperNyan

    VesperNyan Well-Known Member

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    You got me at yuri.. say no more
     
    Manasong likes this.
  4. runsing

    runsing status : bleeding, health -10/s Novel Updates Staff

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    @Manasong

    while it is not resizeable, you CAN actually use table
    https://forum.novelupdates.com/posts/3400199/

    Item NameQuantity
    Spare clothes1
    Dried meat10
    Firewood10
    Silver coin50

    Code:
    [table][tr][th]Item Name[/th][th]Quantity[/th][/tr]
    [tr][th]Spare clothes[/th][th]1[/th][/tr]
    [tr][th]Dried meat[/th][th]10[/th][/tr]
    [tr][th]Firewood[/th][th]10[/th][/tr]
    [tr][th]Silver coin[/th][th]50[/th][/tr][/table]
    TR indicates the start of a new row. /TR ends it
    TH /TH is the content. each couple indicates a column
    don't put a space between Table and TR / TR and Table.
     
  5. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Thanks, I have added tables, look kind of ugly but I guess they serve for now.
     
  6. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    I wake up with a knock on the door.

    "The breakfast is ready," says a young male voice.

    The nightmare didn't end. I'm still here, stuck on this world. My back hurts, I didn't sleep that well, but since I went to bed soon after sunset I must have slept a long time. One of my dreams was simply me staring at the goblin drowning on his own blood. That scene was way too brutal for me, it still creeps me out.

    I look at my stats, my "Strength" increased by 1 (now 8). I guess yesterday's effort was rewarded.

    My mouth feels horrible. I gotta buy a toothbrush, a hairbrush, some proper sleeping clothes, a better blanket and pillow, more spare clothes and underwear. I also gotta clean the bloody pants. I saw that there's a well outside for cleaning. I can buy soap from the bath attendant and she can also instantly dry my clothes with magic. Sounds convenient, but also not.

    I put my clothes on and go downstairs to eat my breakfast. It's bean paste, which reminds me of home a little, roasted vegetables and a slightly sweet bread. I realize sugar might be expensive so this bread is actually high quality. As a sweet tooth and chocolate addict the only thing I can call this is "boring".

    While eating I think about what I should do. The guard said to get an ID at the guilds, depending on what ID I have I don't need to pay tax. But first what exactly I wanna do on this world? I wanna go home, but to do it I need knowledge. I saw that there's a magic university here, perhaps they have a library that I can use, but I don't think it's going to be free. I think that historically, religious buildings like churches could have people knowledgeable about the world. So perhaps I could go to them for advice. The map shows a temple on this town.

    Regardless, I'm going to need to find a job and acquire money for steady living. With my skill system I could start a crafting business, but factories in this age might not have good workers' rights laws. I'm also not good with manual labor, I'm more of a creative type. Perhaps I could bring technology from my world here, but that's risky and it's really going to call attention to me. If we are going to assume this is an adventure and role-playing game, the most straightforward method of acquiring money is killing monsters. The map shows that there's a dungeoneering and a monster hunter guild, so adventuring might be a risky but also valid way of work.

    I also need experience to increase my level and get more skill points. I don't know how to acquire experience besides killing monsters. Perhaps there's another way to acquire skills like training or taking an apprenticeship, but I need connections and a proper career path for that.

    So in the end, my first move should be to go to the monster hunter and dungeoneering guilds. But first let's buy a hair and tooth brush and brush my teeth.



    Now that I'm rested and calmer I noticed that this city is bizarre but also kind of inspiring. The different architectures are all very interesting and even the contrast between styles has its own charm. The people also have their own sense of style, it's like this town is a hub for travelers from around the world and they all bring their own piece of home here. Some alleys are dark and ugly, others are comfortable and calming, some have vines and unidentified plants growing all over, others have lights and moving metal parts that remind me of steampunk. The people are all energetic and positive interactions abound. Maybe it's just that I'm in the good part of town or maybe I'm just feeling lonely. Yeah, let's go with lonely.

    After some walking I get to the monster hunter guild. The building looks menacing. Fangs and bones decorate the protruding pillars, skins and scales of all kinds decorate the walls, an even bigger carnival of colors than the rest of town makes me question the sanity of the architect. A large skull with a long snout and huge teeth is hanging over the entrance. The teeth are stuck on the wall, as if the skull bit on the building itself.

    I enter the large double doors that are open and I'm greeted by a large amount of people talking over tables decorated with the same ridiculous style as the building walls. There's plenty that are drinking unknown liquids from tankards, no way it's not alcoholic. We are in the morning, some of these people must drink alcohol like water.

    The first floor of the building is one large hall filled with tables. Over one wall there's a large set of boards with pieces of paper stuck on them. If this follows the traditional game template, those are the bulletin boards and the papers are requests for extermination.

    On another side of the wall there's a row of booths filled with men and women wearing a dark blue velvet uniform, some simple yellow embroidery to make it pretty and a fang and sword crossed over the chest. That's the symbol of this guild, it's the same one on the double doors.

    I walk towards one of the booths.

    "Welcome, how may I help you?" Says a middle-aged female attendant. A beautiful short-haired brunette that shows an air of experience.

    "Hello, I'm a traveler and I just got into town. I came from a small village so I'm very ignorant of the things around here, can you explain this guild to me?" I answer.

    The attendant opened her eyes in surprise. I guess this is also something that's not usual to ask.

    "Well, this guild is very simple," her eyes gloss over and she begins speaking in a robotic voice, "This is a place for people that hunt monsters to gather, party up and trade or sell their spoils. The army does regular cullings to keep the monsters in check but they also employ hunters during the culling. Outside of the culling other parties can hire hunters to catch monsters for their ingredients that can be used to create valuable items, potions or food. Every once in a while a special and dangerous monsters appears and hunters specialized in tracking are then sent to hunt them down. In cases of emergency the hunters are also called and are forced to help defend either the city, or other people, or the buildings in the vicinity. Those are the main functions of hunters on this guild."

    She takes a breath.

    "On our side we buy any monster corpses or organs, intact or not, then we evaluate them and give out the proper rewards. The advantage of selling to us is that we have experts in dismantling and evaluation of monster parts. We do not haggle and only buy at a fixed and fair price. We also buy parts without the need for a buyer since we are able to stock parts. If you were to go to the merchant guilds you could sell for higher but you would need to wait for a proper buyer.

    "On the second floor you can use the meeting rooms to discuss things with your allies. We guarantee a [Silent Room] spell on each room. On the third floor there is the administration personnel that you can consult for more serious matters. Behind this building there's a training ground, for 10 copper you can use it and train with our instructors for a full period."

    I assume period means from morning till noon or from noon till dusk.

    "We are a sister guild to the dungeoneering guild. We hold the organization and management of hunters and we help assess risks and ability level of hunters to minimize death or harm. The dungeoneering guild holds all records of dungeons, monsters and they help acquire the tools used in expeditions.

    "People who register at the dungeoneering guild are called explorers, those that have registered at both guilds are called adventurers. Finally registering at either or both of the guilds allows you to enter or leave any town without paying tax as long as you don't hold any export good on you or in your [Item Box]. If you acquire the favor from the guildmaster you can pass the gate without having the contents of your [Item Box] read," the woman takes another breath.

    She looked surprised at my question but she was able to answer it perfectly. I guess they are prepared for ignorant people like me, it's just that I'm a rare find.

    "Hmm… So how do I register?"

    "Two silver coins, a drop of your blood and we give you your crystal ID tablet. Also, during registration and afterwards we periodically ask to inspect your tablet. This is to make sure no criminals and no person who learned forbidden skills is using our facilities."

    "Forbidden skills?"

    I knew there was something like this.

    "[Necromancy Magic], [Bloodwork] and [Undead Creation] are the only ones whose names we are allowed to mention. [Slavery Magic] and [Blood Magic] are also forbidden unless if you are registered."

    So slavery is also sanctioned in this world.

    "Alright, I would like to register."

    The guard already saw my ID when I entered so there's no problem here. But I need to be careful of which skill I choose or I might accidentally pick something forbidden. There's tons of skills with dangerous or suspicious names.

    I turn around and fiddle a bit with my skills. I put one point into [Space Magic] so my usage of "Items" is less suspicious.

    I pay the price then the attendant gets a transparent crystal tablet and a needle from below the table. She pinches my finger with dexterity and lets a drop of blood fall on the tablet. She picks it up, looks at it and then turns to me.

    "I will register this at our books. Please wait here for a while," she says and leaves.

    I turn around just in time to see a fight break out. Two drunk looking men start punching each other. Immediately two large attendants with swords at their waists jump in and forcefully break the fight. They hold the men in position while they scream abuse at each other. Then after a minute or two they tire and the attendants drop them in place. They both fall down on the floor like boards and the hall resounds with laughter.

    This is a very ruthless but surprisingly friendly atmosphere. I don't really feel comfortable here.

    Soon the attendant came back and gave me the tablet, it is small and fits well in the hand. I will just put it into a chest pocket for now and then later I will store it into my "Items".

    "How do I register at the dungeoneering guild?" I ask.

    "Just show your tablet and they will write your name for free."

    "What, if it's free then why do I also need to register there? Can't it be done automatically?"

    "Not every hunter and dungeoneering guild is integrated, it depends on the town."

    "Oh I see… Well then, now I wanna sell some monsters I killed."

    "Oh? You already killed something? Well then, please follow me to the disassembling room."

    I made a mistake, I forgot my "Items" is a special thing. I know that [Item Box] probably works similarly but I have never actually seen it in use. I quickly think about removing all my points and putting it into space magic to see if I get an [Item Box] so I can examine its behavior.

    When we go into the next room there are multiple cushioned chairs and a closed door with a sign "In use" is hung.

    "There's someone disassembling a monster. Wait here and when they are finished you will be called," he attendant says and immediately turns around.

    I just got a life jacket. I put all my points into [Space Magic]. The first point gives me [Telekinesis], at 10 points I get [Gravity Crush] and finally at 20 points I get [Item Box].

    I cast it. A little mana goes away and it opens the exact same menu as "Items", but now there's nothing inside of it.

    Well then, at least now I know the truth. So I put back all my points to how they were.



    After a good 30 minutes the door opens and a big, bald and burly man with a bloody apron and gloves greets me with a smile.

    "Good morning, young man. Are you here for dismantling?"

    "Yes, I am."

    "I'm Gordon, I'm the chief butcher. Now please come in, I'm all ready now. Sorry for the wait."

    The room I entered is cooled. There is a large amount of metal tables, a few are bloodied. There's another person with a bloody apron and gloves that is scrubbing the dirty ones.

    "Now pull out on the table anything you want to sell."

    I pull them out one by one. I notice that they are still warm and bleeding, so this means that whatever is in the [Item Box] or my "Items" gets frozen in time. When I pull out the bear the two men feeze with their mouths open.

    The assistant stops scrubbing and mutters, "Wow."

    "Yo, call Sonny. This one is valuable," says Gordon with a smile on his face.

    Ignoring the other monsters Gordon materializes a large knife on his hand and starts removing the pelt of the bear.

    "You killed this one alone?" He asks.

    "No, I found him weakened. I think he was fighting the goblins that I killed."

    "Hahahah, now that's a jackpot. You see, this one also has a bounty on him, so when we get Sonny here you will get a bonus. Also, did you kill him by stabbing through the eye? that's some really creative method you got there," he says with a bloody smile as some bear blood gushed on his cheek.

    Do they have poker here?

    "Creative? How are you supposed to kill him normally?"

    "Crushing the head. His skin is too hard normally to kill with a sword or spear, magic ruins too much of the pelt and meat. I see you used something like [Electric Magic], yeah? That's good to stun him without damaging the pelt very much but it still burns some of it."

    After that exchange Sonny came. He is a small man with yellow eyes, white hair, pasty white skin and white spiral horns on his head. When he saw the bear his eyes shined behind his oval glasses.

    "Ooooh, excellent," says Sonny.

    Thankfully, he ignores me and goes to the side of Gordon. He examines his work and keeps talking to him. The assistant butcher comes back and helps Gordon.

    After Gordon finished the bear, now named Grey Berserker, Sonny said the reward for killing him is 2 gold pieces while the body is worth another 7. If the hide was more well preserved it goes up to 10. Each goblin is worth 40 copper. The "hedge-wolf", now named Mossy Fangpine, is worth 1 silver coin. Since the money isn't excessive they give it to me immediately, otherwise it is necessary to wait for the money to be transferred to the guild.

    "So this is your first hunt, eh? Starting your tally with a surprise. But don't let other parties use you, now. They might be too easily impressed by a lucky kill on the Grey Berserker," says Sonny.

    "Well I don't plan on bragging about it so nobody will know."

    "Oh no. We publish hunt results, so people will know your name pretty soon."

    "Argh… Is that so?" I wince, even that I have to be careful about so I don't stand out.

    "Heheheh, you don't want fame? What kinda hunter are you?" Says Gordon.

    "It's kinda troublesome to be too famous too quick."

    "Hahah, the boy got the right head on his shoulders."

    "Alright then, I will be waiting for your next surprise," says Sonny and he gives a small bow.

    Sonny seems to be a delicate man. He moves with measured movements that give him an air of dignity.

    I said my goodbyes and left. Now I need to go to the dungeoneering guild, they might have some interesting information.



    The dungeoneering guild also boasts an extravagant facade. Black bricks that reflect little dots of light when the sun shines upon it, moving blades swing along the wall and exposed clockworks show a very familiar clock above the double door. The clock is exactly the same as the ones on Earth. Maybe I can buy a pocket watch somewhere and cosplay as a Victorian steampunk British noble.

    On the door there's a gear and an upside-down bardiche. The symbol represents the cliche of a trap of swinging blades on a corridor being activated by a mechanism. The color code of the uniforms is the same as the hunters guild except for the symbol.

    The door is on a corner of the building so when you enter you are faced with a rather small hall with a few cushioned chairs and tables. The rest of the building is separated with a chest-high wall. On the other side of the wall you can see rows and rows of bookcases and tables and chairs where a considerable number of people are studying. It seems you have to put a coin on a booth to enter the library. The architecture is much more refined than one of the hunters guild, there are only a few very small windows and you could hardly hear a sound. The atmosphere is of calmness and seriousness.

    I approach a booth and ask to register. The attendant takes my tablet away and comes back a few minutes later.

    "How do I enter the library?" I ask.

    "You have to put a deposit of one gold coin. If you damage a book your deposit is forfeit. A single use toll of 2 copper coins is also required,"the attendant answers in a low tone.

    "What kind of books are there here?"

    "Strictly magic, traps, dungeons, monsters and artifacts. Anything else you need to go to the temple or the university."

    "Artifacts?"

    "Rare magical items with dangerous uses."

    "I also heard you sell supplies for expeditions."

    "The item shop is through that door," and he points to a closed simple door.

    I'm not interested in buying items right now so I just leave. Next I plan to go to the temple.



    The temple is on the middle of the town, it takes quite a while to walk there. I better go there first because the university is on the opposite side of the town so I have to be efficient with the use of my time.

    It might be a few hours before noon but the temporary food stalls are opening around me and the smell of simple roasted or fried food fills my nose. I'm actually kinda hungry so I buy a cheap goblin meat stick. I'm too curious to pass by this chance so I had to buy it. A single copper coin for this amount of meat makes me anxious, it's probably pretty bad tasting meat that the poor eat.

    I bite into it. I'm not surprised, it's really bland. The only real flavor is the spices being used, a mix of garlic and oregano with salt. Still, I thought spices would be expensive for a middle-ages society, to see it wasted on this meat stick gives me a little hope for the future.



    I arrive at the temple. It's a gigantic half-sphere made of what seems to be white marble. Four thin towers rise out of the corners of the temple lot, I can see a clock on each tower, each clock is pointed outwards. There's four entrances, they divide the square lot in 4 sectors with the temple in the middle. 2 sectors have buildings on them, looks like living quarters. One of those sectors is full of children, perhaps it's an orphanage. The other 2 sectors are a grass garden with a dirt field and the last is a small plantation. The temple itself doesn't seem to have any sort of special decoration, it seems everything is very practical.

    Once I enter the building I see a huge hall, the entirety of the first floor seems to be a place for prayer. On the outer wall I can see 16 statues, each statue a different humanoid being is depicted and in the center of the hall a single statue depicting a sphere can be seen, this statue is the biggest of them all. The prayer space is divided in two rings. The outer ring there are benches spread all over that point towards the outer statues. The inner ring the benches are pointed towards the inner statue.

    All kinds of people can be seen praying in all kinds of manners to all statues. Some are on their knees, some have their hands up in the air, some are holding themselves, some are clasping their hands and have their eyes closed. I could even see a few people crying, those were accompanied by a person wearing a loose white robe with a colored vertical line on the side of the arms and legs, those seem to be the priests. In a clockwise manner besides each entrance there's a stair that runs along the circular wall and leads to the second floor.

    This scene stuns me for a few seconds. It seems this is a polytheistic world, it might be a good idea to learn about the gods and choose one to pray. Since "Piety" exists as a stat, might as well use it. I'm very pragmatic, there's no benefit in staying an atheist.

    I look around and reach for the closest priest that's not doing anything. It's a woman, tied black hair, tanned skin, full lips. On Earth she could be called a "Latina".

    "Excuse me."

    "Oh, hello."

    "I'm a traveler. I just came to this town from a small village where I could barely learn about the world. Could you spare a moment and teach me about these statues?"

    She looks at me with a mix of confusion and amusement

    "Ohoh, a curious person, that is good. Let's go to the second floor, there are plenty for rooms for private consultations. My name is Ciel, what is yours?" She says to me and smiles.

    "Wolf Ryder."

    "Pleasure to meet you Mr. Ryder. Follow me, then."

    Mr. Ryder? Feels weird to hear that.

    The second floor seems to have consultation rooms along the outer walls while administration rooms are on the center. Small holes in the ceiling and shining crystals keep the light on this building. On a corridor that leads to the center of this floor I can see a spiral stair to the third floor.

    We enter a room. Like everything on the inside of this temple, it is made of white marble slabs, between each slab a black cement holds them together. This room has a few chairs and a table. Ciel sits on the other side of the table and signals me to sit on a chair.

    "Now then what would you like to know?," She asks.

    "Well… Could you start from the beginning, like, the beginning of the world?"

    She looks at me with a surprised face.

    "I think what I know is full of holes so let's start from the beginning like this so I don't miss anything important."

    She chuckles and smiles at me, honestly her smile is quite charming.

    "Understood. Let's see… The Tale of Creation starts like this."

    "The Overseer is the most powerful god that has ever been. But even with all his power, he desired 'something'. He, with his immortality, did not know what it was to live and die, he always existed. To observe how it would be to not be immortal, he created 'something'. To govern that 'something' while he observed he created 2 gods, the God of Beginning, and the God of the End. And so that 'something' would be born, live and die.

    "But that wasn't enough. It was a waste to let it die and disappear, the Overseer thought. So he created 10 gods that would serve as a 'base'. That 'something' lived and died on one of the 'base' gods then move on to the next god and so on and so forth. Thus that "something" wasn't wasted and lived on a cycle.

    "But that wasn't enough. The cycle repeated and didn't change, the same thing would always happen, so the Overseer created the God of Change. This god would change that 'something' little by little, making it different every time, thus making sure the cycle wasn't always the same thing. But that was dangerous, the God of Change didn't know restraint, he could break the cycle with the way he was acting. So the Overseer created the God of Order, whose purpose was to restrain the God of Change and to prevent him from breaking the cycle.

    "But that wasn't enough. The cycle was changing and secured, but there was only one cycle, one "something", now even the God of Change wanted something new. So the God of Change created a new subordinate god, the God of Creation. This new god would create new cycles so the amount of things the God of Change could act upon would increase. Since the new god was a subordinate he didn't have the power to interfere with the original cycle, so the new god was allowed to do as he pleased.

    "But that wasn't allowed. The God of Order was displeased with the new creations, so he copied the God of Change and created a new subordinate god, the God of Destruction, whose only purpose was to stop the God of Creation. And so, the 4 gods kept battling for an incalculable amount of time. With this battle slowly the 'base' gods were changed by the God of Change into the elements we have today, the elements of light, darkness, earth, water, wind, fire, electricity, nature, space and spirit. During the battle, the gods used these elements on each other, creating our land, our sea, our skies, our plants, our sun and our night. The 'something' was slowly changed into 'power', we call it 'mana'. In essence, their battle created our world.

    "But that wasn't enough. The God of Creation wanted to copy his superior god, he wanted to create something that would create things and change the flow of battle. After much thought, he realized he couldn't create something powerful, like changing the "base" gods into elements. So instead he created something intelligent and self-conscious, with a potential to go far beyond its original purpose. He created humans and the God of Existence to watch over us.

    "But that wasn't allowed. The God of Destruction created humanity's worst enemy, the monsters. They are specialized in killing us, their only purpose is being to grow and kill. In response the God of Creation changed humans into different forms to act against the monsters. He created the halflings, elves, dwarves, gnomes, pixies, beastfolk, wereanimals, merfolk, dragonkin, chimeras and finally the demon race.

    "But that wasn't enough. The people he created were smart but they couldn't grow fast enough to counter the monsters. During this period, all intelligent life almost died out. This was called the Age of Oppression. To save our people the God of Creation gave us the power of improving our soul, by killing monsters and absorbing part of their soul. With those pieces we could eventually grow a bigger soul and with a bigger soul we could grow more and faster. The amount of extra pieces on our soul is called a 'level'.

    "But that wasn't allowed. The God of Destruction then cursed the land, he made it so that the mana on the land would be used to create monsters. Making so any sort of abandoned land would greatly increase the amount of monsters which lead to the monsters flooding the civilized world.

    "Seeing the power of the 'levels' the God of Creation gave us a way to share knowledge, a way to quickly grow our greatest gift, our intelligence. So he created 'skills', a way to quickly learn what others already learned if we trained our bodies in similar ways. This was the decisive move and the monsters were pushed back. With that the land was safe and the Age of Glory started."

    Share the knowledge? Then the skills aren't decided by the gods, but instead by society? Since they are decided by the gods the skills should allow to some growth and change for society. If the skills never changed then society could be too dependent on them and stop their progress.

    "But that wasn't allowed. The God of Destruction took his time, but he managed to create something that would rival the power of civilization. The immortal Monster King, a copy of a humanoid that has intelligence, the capacity of growth and the power to command monsters at his will. With this, civilization was pushed back again and the battle with the Monster King continues to this day. Currently the battle is in a stalemate, we keep the monsters in check while the Monster King pushes us back whenever we get some ground."

    In the stories I read this type of villain would be called Demon King, but since there's already a demon race it wouldn't be fair to them, right?

    "The creation of the Monster King started Age of Discord where the races fought each other all over the realm as they couldn't agree on a way to unite and fight the Monster King. Then came the first emperor of Avgi, Ajax Doxa, who united our continent, Gilios. After his death he ascended and became the first Humanoid God, the God of The Sun. Thus he started the Age of the Sun."

    "As a response to the creation of the Monster King, the God of Creation enabled the birth of dungeons, sky fortresses and monster ships. When the mana gets too thick in a single point a storm is born, its destructive power does nothing but help the God of Destruction. Thus to control that the God of Creation blessed the land so that whenever a mana storm would occur a dungeon would be created. If it happened below ground it would be called a dungeon, if in the sky, it would be called a sky fortress and if below the sea it's called a monster ship."

    And finally, the most standard element of any fantasy story, the dungeon, has finally shown its face coupled with the reason it exists. I suppress a smile.

    "These dungeons are manifestations of our culture coupled with the power of the nearby monsters. This would contain the power of the storm with the drawback of creating powerful monsters. But considering how dungeons are limited spaces, they in turn turned into perfect training grounds for civilization. With the creation of the monster hunter guild and the dungeoneering guild we can manage the monsters and the dungeons so we can acquire power and items in a way we never could before."

    "After that the God of Creation left this realm and created other realms and cycles. This realm is called Rupegia, our realm shares a cycle with other realms. Our cycle is called Reigurando."

    "Wait, what? Can you explain a bit more what realms and cycles are?" I interject.

    "Well… See it this way, a different realm is a place where laws of the world are different than ours. Perhaps it's a land where you don't have a ground to fall to, perhaps it's a land where you fall up instead of down, perhaps it's a land where monsters and people changed places. Do you understand this?"

    So in essence, it's a different "reality".

    "Yeah, I think so. And what about cycles?" I answer.

    "Cycles are the path of mana. When things are destroyed, like our spirit, the earth, the flame of a spell or anything else, the mana doesn't 'dissipate' like some would believe. The mana leaves our realm and is changed into something else on that new realm, this is what a cycle is."

    "You say there are different cycles, how do we know this? How do we know there are other realms? Can we move between realms?" I ask excitedly.

    "Woah, calm down, that is coming on the next part of the tale."

    "Ah, oh… Sorry. Please continue."

    "After the God of Creation left certain humanoids started to acquire immense power, they were called heroes during their lives, but their lives eventually ended like all things should. The God of Creation took notice of such souls passing through the cycle, he didn't want to waste such valuable souls that achieved so much. To solve this he turned those souls into subordinate gods, thus the gods worshiped on this temple can be seen. We know of 16 humanoid gods so far.

    "These gods give us blessings and messages to us when necessary. This is how we know about the other realms. The humanoid gods can see them and told us about it, but even they can't move between realms. We think there are other cycles because it fits the teachings of the God of Creation to always grow and expand. Also, the humanoid gods tell us the God of Creation is not currently in any realm of this cycle. Which fortunately means that the God of Destruction is also not here, bringing stability to our realm.

    "That's the total of the Tale of Creation," she says with a smile. She pours water from a jug into a cup of water and drinks.

    "Wow, that's a lot of information. Is this written on a book? Do you have other books with tales about this world that I could read?"

    "You know how to read? Well, we do have books but they require special permission. If you join the temple anyone can read them though."

    "What do you mean by joining the temple?"

    "Working as a priest. There's always the need for more people helping in the orphanage, or cooking the meals, or spreading the word on the streets."

    That doesn't sound like easy work, or work that pays a lot. I need to acquire money for research and to get some power so I can live an easier life. I don't think I will get either by working here.

    "Hmmm… I don't think I wanna become a priest. Is there any other library that I can access?"

    "If you help maybe you can catch the attention of the chief priest, he's the only one capable of giving special permission, but our books are rather limited. Besides that you can try the library of the magic university, it has a much wider variety but it costs a lot just to enter and the books available to non-members are also limited… You know, are a scholar or something? By your clothes you look just like another commoner or starting adventurer, but you are way too smart to be either. You can read and your curiosity is astonishing. I am a bit impressed."

    Well, I guess this was unavoidable. I needed information and there was no other way besides stumbling in the dark. Time to lie a little.

    "Well, I'm from a very far away land, I had to give up a lot just to come here. But I'm no scholar, I'm just a naturally curious person."

    Half-truths. It may sound mysterious but I don't have the knowledge required to craft a well-built lie where I give information such as birth-place, family names and etc.

    "Hm? Hahah…" She smiles awkwardly, "Well sorry for trying to pry into your business, but I can say one thing for certain, you are an interesting person."

    It seems she understood I don't want to talk about my origins in detail. A person who hides his past is suspicious and untrustworthy, but I think I acquired enough goodwill that she can just let this pass.

    This talk gives me a little more comfort, perhaps I can keep coming here and asking more questions. It seems the God of Creation really encourages the sharing of knowledge so I can ask questions more freely than I would imagine. Right now I have heard enough, I want to go back into the dungeoneering guild and look for info about the monsters here. I have decided I will carefully hunt as a primary way of making money until I'm more accustomed with crafting and the laws. I'm not a fighter but I also know very little about trade and economy so I will need much more knowledge to get into that area, fighting is easier in comparison.

    "Well then, I think I heard enough for now. Thank you for your time, I really enjoyed this talk. Can I come back another day and ask for more?"

    "It is part of our job to inform those who listen. I would enjoy talking to you again. If I'm not on the temple just ask for any other priest that's on standby."

    "Well if it's not too much can I continue talking to you specifically?"

    I would rather not talk to different people, and if it's a pretty woman then it's even better.

    "O-okay, that's not a problem. During the morning I either help the clinic or the orphanage and I prepare the lunch and dinner during most days. Every two days I'm resting on the afternoon so I'm not everyday on the temple."

    "Alright then. I don't know when I'm coming back but it's going to be soon. See you until then."

    "Goodbye, Mr. Ryder," she says and smiles again.

    "Goodbye, Miss Ciel."

    Since it's almost noon I look for some cheap food. It seems it's the bean season so most are selling some form of bean dishes. I enter a restaurant and eat green bean soup that reminds me of green peas. In this place all they had was goblin meat, I felt my inn was expensive, but after tasting this meat I feel like the price is justified.



    I will postpone going to the university for a while until I have a better grasp of magic and the life around here. I will go to the dungeoneering guild to gain more knowledge of the area. I still feel it's dangerous to say I'm from another world. There's knowledge of realms but no history of moving between them so I have little evidence I'm from another world.

    As I'm walking back to the dungeoneering guild I have some time to reflect on what I learned. Ciel said that the humanoid gods give blessings and messages, so there's really no question about the presence of gods here, being an atheist is just idiotic. I saw that there are 16 gods, maybe I should learn more about them and start praying to one. Since they also communicate and they were once people of this world maybe they are reasonable. It gives me a little comfort in knowing there's a being that could help me if I give a little faith.

    I notice something change in me. I open my stats and see that my "Piety" has increased by 1 (it's now 3).



    I enter the dungeoneering guild and ask for the section with information on monsters and dungeons around this area. The attendant guides me to the second floor and shows me a section with groups of repeated books. This seems to be a common inquiry around here so the guild prepared a large amount of copies of three books, they are "Monsters of Rabanara", "Dungeons of Rabanara" and "Advice for new Explorers". The creativity in naming is heartwarming.

    I learned I'm really one lucky motherfucker. Grey Berserker is the most powerful monster of the region. There's always a large bounty on them because they are smart enough to avoid the culling, so they are always a danger in the forest. The advised strategy to defeat it is a group of at least 3 fully armored people and one healer. By using blunt weapons the aim is to break the bear's bones since they are much more fragile than the hide, which makes most cutting or piercing weapons useless.

    Goblins are like in any other game. They grow like weeds and require constant care so they don't choke your plants, which means your life. They give little rewards but bringing a corpse could give some considerable money. The problem is most people don't have enough carrying capacity to carry a large amount of corpses. Goblin meat is tasteless and sinewy but it's the base meat for the poor so they always sell. Most hunters only bring a proof of extermination, in this case it's the right ear.

    Mossy Fangpine is another dangerous enemy. There's a chance the mossy spines will poison the person, another evidence I'm actually lucky. They hunt in packs of 3 or more, the one I fought was alone because of the culling. The strategy is to hide behind a shield and wear at least leather armor, then counter stab him in the face after he jumps to bite. Or just use magic, they are vulnerable to it. Arrows are okay to use but they are fast and the spines can deflect arrows if you are unlucky. They have an extraordinary sensing capability, they will likely appear after you start killing monsters on the Sea of Trees.

    Another enemy is the Rabid Rabbit. This one is like the Fangpine that only charges and bites. The bunny acts alone and is extremely vicious, the bites are poisonous and can make a person go berserk. The meat tastes good and the saliva glands are used in potions so this monster is always hunted, making it hard to find.

    In the sky there's the Dragolite, a small dragon that cannot use fire breath. Their meat is somewhat hard to cook and has a strong taste but it's still valuable. The farmers hate them since they like to kidnap the sheep around here. They don't kidnap the children but just try to kill them, so children around here are trained in archery since they are little. This fact shocked me a little, this really is a brutal world. Also, this is the enemy that captured my summoned bird.

    There's also the Giant Dragonfly. It uses its legs as spears and attacks with high speed. The easiest strategy is to just use a spear longer than their legs. They are weak but annoying to deal with because they are agile, it's difficult to dodge or escape them. So it's always advised for hunters to always carry a simple long spear in their [Item Box]. Due to their nature they appear mostly along rivers or lakes, they don't fly too well among the trees so that's why I haven't met one. Their wings and eyes are valuable crafting items so they sell quite well.

    The occasional migrating flock of wyverns is a threat. Wyverns have wings on their arms while dragons have separate wings on their back. Wyverns also look more like velociraptors with wings, while dragons are lizards with wings. Wyverns attacks are the most common threat on this settlement, sooner or later I will be called to defend the town against wyverns. They only fly as a way of long distance movement, their huge bodies and low magical capability makes flying awkward for them. Unlike dragons that manipulate the wind with ease, wyverns tire easily if they have to be agile during flight. So fighting against a wyvern is done on the ground, making the best way to fight them being with shield walls, pikes and ranged attacks. Finding and destroying wyvern nests is heavily rewarded since this means the attacks on the town reduce in frequency.

    These are the common monsters that are born here. The thing is that migrating monsters are extremely common, so the chance of meeting a random monster is quite high. You really need to read a lot about monsters to be prepared for anything, this discouraged me a little about hunting monsters in the forest for money. I also have little experience in tracking, so I think that looking at the nearby dungeons might be a better choice for now.



    Dungeons have quite some variety. There are some that are maze-like who expand to many times the size of a town on a single floor. Others are large underground fields where monsters roam around ruins or forests, they even have artificial lights and could sustain some form of plant-life. Others are mere dimensional doors to some unknown space, they can change their form or throw parties at random places upon entry. The most popular are the small labyrinths, specially the ones that create a floor exclusively for a single party, which guarantees that no other party will influence your progress, unfortunately they are much rarer. Nearly half have an "elevator", which allows you to move to any floor you previously explored.

    Dungeons increase in depth the more they are allowed to remain undisturbed. Damaging the core forces the dungeon to reduce in depth to repair itself, while destroying the core makes it fall apart. The nobility is the one responsible for culling the forests and managing the dungeon depth. In the book it is implied that a noble that does not fight does not deserve his title. Sounds interesting, I need to ask more about this later.

    It's quite tiring and time consuming to keep reading all this information, so I don't really have time to go out of town today. I decided to go to a nearby dungeon tomorrow, Royd's Kerfuffle. The adventurer that discovers a dungeon gets the right to name it, so quite a lot have some ridiculous names. This dungeon is not that popular since the monsters there do not reward much but it could be a perfect training ground for me. It's a labyrinthine dimensional door dungeon that does not throw you randomly, it also has an "elevator". At the lower levels I just need to look for floor traps, they teleport you into a random place on the same floor, things only start to become problematic after the 10th floor. The floor traps are always at the same place so it's easy to avoid them.

    Right now I still have some free time until sunset so I decide to go look for the hunters training grounds.



    The training grounds is a large dirt field. There's a large area for sparring, an archery range, a big long and secluded place where I can see some magicians throwing some flashy magic, a place where a few freakish pieces of armor float and fight some people, a small building with barred windows and a small fountain. Is that fountain magical or is there plumbing on this town?

    I pay the toll to enter and approach one of the idle men wearing a piece of leather armor with the hunters guild symbol engraved on the chest.

    "H-hello, I'm new around here. Could you tell me how I can use this place?" I ask the man.

    He is not big or burly but he has a menacing gaze. He sports a buzz cut, his skin and face is full of small scars and his posture is intimidating. How does one get scars on a world with magical healing?

    "Hm? Well the archery range is free, we can lend you a bow and arrow, but you will pay if you break it. The magic range is free too but you have to work with the manager so you don't hurt other people. The living armors are rented, the manager also deals with that. I'm an instructor and I can give you training, but you can't monopolize me. So most of the time we have the students spar with one another once you are at a proper level."

    His gaze is unwavering, it makes me want to spontaneously look away, but I resist it for now.

    "Then, could you teach me the sword?"

    "Alright, let's spar so I can measure your skill. Put away your sword and I will give you a wooden one." He goes into the single building on this place while I put my sword on "Items".

    He comes back with two wooden swords, it seems that building is a warehouse. He throws a sword at me.

    "What's your name?" He asks.

    "Wolf Ryder."

    Now that I have said again, I think I made a mistake. This name certainly does not suit me, my parents were right, my original name was better.

    "I'm Toga. You make the first move, I will start attacking after a while."

    So I start my session. I rush and attack, I have no idea what I'm doing but due to the skill system I'm at least confident that I know how to slash and thrust. Toga effortlessly blocks, parries and dodges my attacks. It feels like I'm a child throwing a tantrum while he holds back my head.

    Then he starts attacking and in 3 strikes my sword falls out of my hand.

    "Well your technique is a mess, who taught you the sword?"

    "Self-taught," I answer meekly.

    "Mystery solved," he says and laughs.

    "You know how to attack but you are lacking in the flow, it's easy to find openings to counterattack. The first thing you should learn is how to defend yourself. Now, do you want to train the proper way or the easy way?"

    I get a chill when I hear that, I know what's coming. It's gonna be painful but this is the opportunity to see what true sword fighting is like, what kind of man or boy would say no to that?

    "The... proper way," I answer.

    "Then defend yourself like your life depends on it, because it does," he grins evilly.

    He beat me up.



    My body is bruised and bloody. I didn't imagine that a wooden sword could make such a cut. Toga crushed me and he's barely out of breath. He's certainly a scary man, did I choose the worst instructor by any chance?

    While I'm sprawled on the ground Toga calls someone, another instructor comes by and touches my arm. He starts singing something like a prayer, then my body stops hurting little by little. I see the bruises return to normal color and the cuts stop bleeding and close, all this in a few seconds. This must be healing magic, much faster than my [Regeneration] spell.

    Oh wait, was that a chant? Do you need to normally sing something so the spell activates? I don't know anything about that but it's a common trope in video games to balance magic, powerful magic takes a long time to chant.

    I get up and notice there's a small amount of people watching me, quite a few of them are grinning. Sudden shame fills my body and I blush. What's so funny?

    "Good job surviving, boy," says one of the grinning men.

    I try to stop my smile. They are making of fun me getting beaten up, but I just can't deny it must have been a spectacle.

    "Your body is weak and your technique is poor, but you got the willpower. Keep coming and you will be a proper swordsman in due time," says Toga, I notice a hint of kindness on his words.

    "Thank you for the session, teacher. I'm way too tired for now, so I'm going to retire."

    I'm not sure what's the etiquette on dealing with the instructors here so I just called him "teacher" instead of saying his name.

    "Goodbye," he says.

    I had noticed people greet each other with a clear nod so I mimicked that and turned around. Then I washed my face in the fountain and drunk a little then left. Now I'm just gonna pass by the hunters guild for a quick look.



    Near the entrance I notice something I ignored on the first time due to nervousness, on a wall there are two large black boards where you can see something written. On the top of the first one is written "Notable Hunts", below it there's a scrolling list of hunter names and monster names on the side. I get a chill when I see my name there while on the side "Grey Berserker" is written. The second board says "Confirmed Kills" on top. It scrolls much faster and has a list of the hunter name coupled with the number of monsters killed. I guess the second one is made by counting the proofs of extermination you sell to them.

    Then I walk towards the notice board. Most are prices for the bounties and corpses of the common kills around here, like the goblins or Dragolites or monsters from the dungeons. The rest are bounties on specific monsters sighted. Some contain a rough drawing, but they all contain the name, the last seen location, a short description and a threat level.

    From what I understood by reading monster books the threat level goes from 0 to 10, the numbers have the following meaning: 0 = harmless, 1 = capable of killing a child, 2 = capable of killing an untrained adult, 3 = capable of killing the common soldier, 4 = capable of killing a soldier squad, 5 = capable of killing a knight squad, 6 = capable of killing veteran hunters, 7 = capable of killing a soldiers company (100 men), 8 = capable of killing a division (10,000 men), 9 = capable of destroying a fortress, 10 = unkillable.

    Why are knights ranked lower than veteran hunters? Is it a matter of specialization? I see that there's a permanent bounty on the Grey Berserker, his threat level is 4. Dragolites are threat level 1 and Mossy Fangpines are threat level 2.

    When I decide to leave I notice there are a few people looking at me. I recognize that at least two people were here during the morning when I sold the bear. Do these people do nothing besides sit here and drink?

    It's probably what Sonny said, other parties will be interested in me since I killed a Grey Berserker by myself. It doesn't matter that it was half-dead, they don't know that. So I decide to quickly leave and go back to the inn for rest.



    Dinner is red bean paste with minced meat and spices that you put on bread. Feels like it's spiced with paprika and cumin, now it just needs some spicy pepper for it to be like chilli.

    After dinner and a bath I go back to my room and reflect upon today. I look at my skills and see that they all have a "plus" sign on their level, [Sword Use], [Dodge], [Parry], [Block] have a 1 on the right side of the plus. Does this mean trained skills are different than the ones assigned with the system? I try to remove [Parry] but it doesn't allow me, I guess this means that I can't learn [Parry] then remove the skill then learn it again and repeat as a way to accumulate skill points, no exploits on this game eh?

    This is how my skills are right now.

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use5+1Dodge3+1Parry0+1
    Block0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency3+0Mana Recovery1+0Electric Magic4+0
    Nature Magic5+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0
    After that I almost dozed off thinking about the Tale of Creation. The name "Reigurando" reminds me of something familiar. Then something hit me. The japanese language lacks some things required for them to pronounce foreign words properly, the way around it creates an accent that some even find funny. After a while you notice the patterns in their speech and manage to understand what word they are trying to say.

    The japanese way of pronouncing the english word "Playground" is "Pureigurando". RPG, Role-Playing-Game is pronounced "Arupegi", incrediblly similar to Rupegia. I'm truly stuck into a fantasy video game, and it's made by the japanese. "Demon King" is also a common trope for japanese stories.

    I'm an "Isekai" protagonist...
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  7. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Many thanks to reader q00u for switching the dashes (-...-) dialogue notation for the quotation ("...") dialogue notation.

    I'm not really shocked, you know? My "Sanity" didn't go down so I guess this is proof I'm adapting to the situation. It also didn't go up so I guess this is my limit, I'm just fated to remain half-sane on this shitty world. The biggest shock I had so far was the message from God, it's incredibly cryptic and suspicious but there's nothing I can do but deal with it and move on.

    Oh wait, it's morning already? Did I sleep? I don't remember sleeping, maybe I just fainted and woke up. Anyway, my mind is swimming with the possibilities. There's way too many tropes being thrown at me, I can just predict what's going to ha-...

    "Breakfast is ready!" Says a female voice with a knock. That must have been the innkeeper's daughter. She's a really cute girl, blonde hair in a ponytail and a small face, really feminine, she's always so bright. She must be my age, by that I mean this-world-age not original-world-age. She has a brother, they kinda look like twins. Me and a few of the customers really can't stop glancing at her once in a while, does she notice this? She always comes to me with a warm smile, ma-

    No, wait, I can't run from this, I need to finish that train of thought. I can possibly predict some developments about my reason for being here and what could happen next. Ciel said that the God of Creation is not on this cycle so the God of Destruction must have followed him. Because of that this realm is more or less stable. So if in the future The God of Creation comes back or maybe if something calls his or the God of Destruction's attention then shit will happen.

    So I think I need to prepare and get stronger while not messing with the balance of this world. But am I really supposed to be a hero? The message that God sent me is suspicious, why not tell the reason I'm sent here? Why apologize? Did something go wrong? Was I not supposed to come here? I guess that doesn't really matter in the end. In the isekai stories a hero is sent for whatever bullshit reason just to create a story or an impetus to return to the previous world or save the current world. In the end the "why" doesn't matter, what matters is what I do next.

    There's too many possibilities and zero answers or evidence. The best I can do is simply prepare and keep the balance of the world. There's a possibility that I might have to fight the Monster King, so information on him is essential. The possibility of realm transfer is another thing I need more information on. Maybe my original world is part of this cycle, with this it might be best for me to raise my piety and communicate with a humanoid god. Lastly, this might be simply an ultra-realistic VR game. If I die, will I return back to the world? This is just wishful thinking but if I get any evidence that this is just a game then my last question might return a positive.

    Now let's get back to the present. I need to train on Royd's Kerfuffle, so I'm going to buy some equipment, supplies, and look at the dungeoneering guild for tools.



    Today breakfast is a simple vegetable soup with a small piece of mutton and sweet bread. Honestly it was kinda nice.

    After that I go to the Crafter's Corner section of the town. Walking around is tiring, I wasn't sedentary, but I'm not used to this amount of exercise. Yesterday I fought until I collapsed, my muscles are still a little bit sore. Maybe I should rest, but I'm anxious since I'm not confident yet I have a stable source of income.

    I saw that there are a few pieces of Grey Berserker leather armor on the market. They are, unsurprisingly, grey. They are 3 gold pieces each, seems expensive but considering how that bear is known for being tough I parted with my money, I got a jacket and pants. There are more expensive pieces like Hell Wyvern, Kite Dragon, troll, ogre and Dragon Lord but I feel like this one should do for a small dungeon. I also learned that the leather jacket that I had was from a hobgoblin. After I saw the merchant appraised my armor I switched my skills to Armor and [Weapon Appraisal].

    There are two forms of appraisal, spell or [Appraisal Eyes]. Spell is the more common but it is flashy and I don't want people to know I'm using it. [Appraisal Eyes] lets me look at a piece and the information appears on a black screen in front of me after I stare at the equipment for a few seconds. The eyes version costs continuous mana, so I'm going to look at the equipment quickly.

    With 10 points in appraisal it seems it only gives me "Material" and "Quality" info of the equipment. There's still a few instances of "???" on each equipment.

    I choose a "high" quality steel one handed sword following the same design as my current one, which was made of iron. I also choose a small round iron black shield, it too has a "high" quality. Finally I pick a hobgoblin leather mittens and cap and the cheapest bow, quiver and 20 arrows. Even if I don't know how to use a bow yet I can put points into archery once I level up. All of it cost me 3 gold. None of my equipment has any decorations on it, there are more "fashionable" versions of it but they are more expensive, of course.

    I notice that cotton padding is quite expensive. Most of the padding available is from monster fur and is even more expensive than cotton. I will go without it for now. Hopefully it won't hurt much.

    Then I go look for supplies, blankets, cloth, cutlery, plates, bowls, rope, lantern, food that's easy to eat, spare clothes, whetstone and finally oil for equipment maintenance. There is straw pail for use as toilet paper, but even children are trained into [Conjuring Magic] and [Light Magic] level 1. With that you can use the [Conjure Water] and [Clean] as a way to clean yourself after heeding the call of nature. I guess this is what the entrance guard meant when he said I had no life skills.

    Then I buy a few lowest-grade health, mana and antidote potions. They are not for use during combat, they act after 5 minutes and work up to 30 minutes. The potions have a small shine to them. I guess the standard way of knowing something is magical on this world is to see if it shines or not.

    Then I go to the dungeoneering guild for tools for expedition. Especially if you are alone you need items that keeps you safe from monsters while you sleep, eat or answer the call of nature. The most common is scented candles, but there's the danger of the wind putting it out while you sleep and you being attacked while sleeping, so at least a monster repellent stone is necessary. This stone uses mana to reproduce the effect of the scented candle but it doesn't run out, the downside is that it is more expensive and requires mana to recharge. After I put 1 point into [Mana Control] I can manage to turn it on or off or recharge it.

    Another important tool is the escape bomb. It's a more concentrated version of the scented candle and it's used to run away from monsters. The seller tells me it stinks horribly so I should throw it on the monster or the ground and not on myself if I don't want to pass out from the smell.

    Then there's the proximity crystals. Monsters aren't the only danger on a dungeon, thieves occasionally prey on adventurers. So if you are going to sleep inside the dungeon you need something to warn you if there's something or someone getting close.

    And finally I bought the map with the 10 first floors of the dungeon.

    The stone and crystals were expensive, 5 gold total but it's something I will never have to buy again.

    A huge hole opened in my funds, more than half my gold coins gone. I still have the rose coin but I have no idea what the exchange rate on it is. I'm also afraid to exchange it because I still haven't seen anyone use it, so I might get scammed. Another day I should go to the merchants guilds or bankers and see if there's a place for money exchange.

    The dungeoneering books mentioned that space magicians normally ferry people between the dungeons entrances and the town. I even noticed there are a few spots, like besides the temple, where you can have a magician transport you. It's a simple hut where a guy with one of those crystal balls awaits for someone to request transport.

    But teleportation gets more expensive depending on the contents of your [Item Box], so I don't wanna expose that I have nothing in my [Item Box] yet to random people. It's suspicious to walk around without a backpack and having no [Item Box] because this spell seems to be another magic that everyone learns when they are a child so everybody can at least carry coins in it.

    I don't think everybody has level 20 [Space Magic], so it must be possible to learn spells before you have the required level. Must be why the [Item Box] starts small and why magicians are normally the ones that carry the most supplies. Even if the magician isn't an offensive one the dungeoneering book always recommends having one just for the [Item Box]. They are glorified pack mules.

    I don't wanna hire a magician yet so I will go there on foot with the crude map that I got from the dungeoneering guild. It seems the Sea of Trees is to the south of the town, to the north there are the farms and to the northwest is the entrance to the dungeon. It takes one hour on foot, so I'm going to arrive there around two hours before noon.



    I leave through the west gate and start following the road. This town really seems busy, there's a line of multiple wagons waiting to enter and groups of people in between, most look like adventurers. While leaving I take the bother to put my silver and copper coins and some things like sleeping bad and food into the [Item Box] spell, the guard at the gate uses a crystal ball to read the contents of my [Item Box] spell. I can also see the list he's seeing so I know they at least can't count how many coins there are, only that I carry coins. Looks like it is an anti-smuggling measure. Since trade goods are taxed you can't just put anything into your [Item Box] and travel to wherever you want.

    After I'm a little away I put everything back into my "Items" and spec my skills for fast movement and stamina. I have 31 points, so I put them like this:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use5+1Dodge0+1Parry2+1
    Block0+1Sense Presence3+1Enhanced Stamina5+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Electric Magic1+0Nature Magic5+0Blessing Magic10+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0
    With 10 into [Blessing Magic] I can use [Swift Foot] on myself. Adding that to [Enhanced Stamina] I can walk much faster without tiring.

    At one side of the road there's the farms, at the other there's the Sea of Trees. I recognize that most plantations are of beans, the plant is a short sprout and if you look carefully you can see the bean pods. More on the distance you can see water wheels so there's a river that runs close to the town. I can't see any sheep, maybe they are deeper in so it's harder for mosnters to find them.

    Soon the cobble road turns north, which means I'm close to the dungeon.

    Beyond the plantations, very, very far I can see it turns abruptly into mountains. Before the mountains there's a valley where there are quite a few dungeons, so one day I will go there. On the side of the Sea of Trees, the trees are so tall I can't even see what's beyond. The area around the town is a plateau surrounded by mountains, but nobody fully mapped the Sea of Trees so it's unknown what's beyond there.

    At the horizon a small forest can be seen appearing amidst the farms, this is the evidence I'm close to the dungeon. The trees surrounding the dungeon grow fast so they are never completely destroyed. A small wall surrounds this forest and a single squad of guards protects the entrance in the rare chance a monster comes out of this dungeon.

    When I get close they just nod at me, uninterested in the common adventurer passing by.

    And then I reach the entrance to this dungeon. It's a dimensional door, which means it is an ominous black vertical rectangle that glows slightly. I remove [Swift Foot] and [Enhanced Stamina] and make my skills as follows:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use5+1Dodge3+1Parry3+1
    Block3+1Sense Presence5+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency4+0Mana Recovery4+0Electric Magic1+0
    Nature Magic5+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Nothing
    This way my main attack is the sword, [Lightning Bolt] is a backup, [Entangling Vines] for utility and there's always room for [Regeneration]. With that there's only one choice here, I step inside the black door.



    Crossing it is like entering a dark room. I can see myself but I can't see anything else, there's not even an exit behind me. As if I opened my menu, a small black window appears in front of me. It has only two lines written on it: "1st floor" and "Exit". I choose "1st floor".

    A familiar feeling strikes me. Like when I first got transported to this world I feel the ground vanish from my feet and I feel like free-falling, but this time I remain conscious. After a second the ground reappears under my feet and slowly the darkness around me is lifted.

    I'm in an empty room, grey square tiles are the only decoration, black seams keep the tiles together. There's only one exit out of this room and behind me the same ominous black door is present. Every few tiles there's a small gem that glows faintly, this is how the dungeon is illuminated. There are spots and even levels without light higher up so it's another reason to keep on the low levels for now.

    Now I start exploring.

    There are 3 types of enemies found here. The first are goblins, which carry a variety of conjured weapons. These weapons disappear when the caster dies, most equipment is like that on dungeons. The goblins are so weak that even a greenhorn like me can take them down in a duel.

    The second enemy is the Mandrake, a small walking root that looks like a baby. It will scream while attacking to disturb the enemy. It's weak and only its feet have some value, the rest of the root is inedible. The more mature ones have leaves growing out of their heads that have some value for potions.

    The third enemy is the Bush Baby. It's not the animal Bush Baby but an actual baby-looking monster that has a bush on its head. It's a relative to the Mandrake that doesn't scream, and attacks with piercing vines, there's a chance to be poisoned by the vines if the wound is deep enough. It's even less valuable than the Mandrake but it's more dangerous.

    These are the enemies on the first 10 floors, I'm not here to make money but to acquire experience.

    I start walking around the labyrinth, I keep the floor map near my hand because I can't get lost here. I don't wanna stumble upon one of the stairs to the next level so I keep near the border of the maze. Its size is actually surprising, this floor is half the size of Rabanara.



    I meet my first goblin, around 1 meter tall. He's wielding a single spear and his genital is dangling about. I feel sick just looking at him. I detected him from far away but there's no way for me to sneak behind in these corridors and rooms so I have to face him from the front. Once we see each other he charges with his spear, there's no room for hesitation, I have to fight him. My sword is shorter than his spear so I just wait for him to come.

    He thrusts, I deflect with my shield and counter thrust. My sword goes directly into his chest with little resistance. He drops his spear and tries to grab my sword. I kick him and he slips out of the sword. He tries to grab his spear again but it's too late, I slash downwards and my sword gets stuck midway through his skull, he's dead.

    I dislodge my sword, brain matter drips out of his wound, fucking hell. There's blood on my boots but I have to deal with it for now.

    That was easy. The sword cuts cleaner than the previous one so it's like a hot knife through butter. I'm also not so afraid of taking a hit after Toga taught me how to defend myself by beating me up, the wonders of healing magic may be affecting how I think about wounds. I'm feeling a little kind of hot now that I put on the mittens, cap and leather pants but considering how safe I feel on this armor I can't complain.

    I cut the ear as proof of extermination and wipe my blade on a piece of cloth. The reward is only 5 copper if there's no corpse but I can't really appear with dozens of goblin corpses on my [Item Box]. Appearing with the Grey Berserker might have been a mistake in the first place but Sonny and Gordon where so happy they ignored my strangeness. I won't repeat that again so soon.

    In a few minutes the dungeon will completely reabsorb the goblin corpse, so now I move forward.

    Two other naked goblins appear in sequence, both using daggers so I kill them before they reach me with a single blow to the head. The second one was a female and had small breasts. The gore coupled with the free nudity is making me really sick.

    The fourth goblin has a spear and a loincloth. Finally, some decency. But does this mean he is more experienced?

    He charges at me and his spear hits my shield, it stings a bit but he keeps his distance this time. Question answered, he really is smarter.

    It takes a few hits but I manage to deflect his spear with my shield in a way he opens up his guard. I lunge forward and slash his face. He falls down and tries to bring his spear back but I put my foot on his arm and then I pierce his heart. With his free hand he grabs the blade of my sword and his face distorts in pain.

    "Grah…" He lets a small moan and dies.

    That was odd, the first 3 didn't show any emotion and this one did. I'm getting creeped out by the flashbacks of the goblin drowning in his own blood. I quickly cut his ear and move forward.

    I meet another naked goblin, this one with a sword. I try something out and let him hit my shield with his sword, then I riposte and kill him. The hit really hurt, the spear doesn't have much weight behind it but the sword does, this means I can't really get hit by attacks or soon my arm will get hurt or worse. Just because I can block doesn't mean I know the best way to block to minimize the damage.

    After a while I finally meet a Mandrake, it's about half a meter tall. Immediately after seeing it I get dizzy and almost fall down, I can't hear anything else beside an extremely high pitched buzzing. This is fucking terrible I don't want to meet this little shit again.

    The monster immediately charges, I can see it pointing two sharp looking arms at me. I barely regain my footing and manage to desperately slash at it at the last moment. I can feel the weight of the monster this time, its skin is much tougher than the goblin.

    With the slash it falls back down. I gave it a nasty diagonal slash on its chest and greenish transparent fluid start pouring. The little fucker is tenacious, it immediately gets up again but in my rage I savagely slash at it. My sword gets embedded into its head and it goes limp.

    "You are now level 6," says the familiar female announcer.



    Hahah, what the fuck, I have an ugly baby head in my hand, dripping with green blood. A sigh escapes my lips.

    Fuck this world.

    I suck it up and cut its two ugly distorted yellow feet because they are valuable as ingredients. I open my skill window and I put the 4 points into [Mental Resistance], this way the next Mandrake will be more bearable.

    I could put them into [Sword Use] but the benefits seem to be decreasing drastically. Just knowing "how" to swing a sword won't help me if I can't physically swing it the way I want. I gotta increase my stats more.

    I continue forward and meet another goblin with a dagger. This time I try my [Lightning Bolt] on it, it takes 4 hits for him to die. Took too long, too many spells and too much mana used. I really need to put more points into magic.

    All of this has taken a few hours and now I'm hungry, so I sit down and bring out some meat and vegetable sticks and start eating. Afterwards nature calls, the dungeon absorbs anything you leave around so it's gonna be okay. It's really embarrassing to be so vulnerable in the open like this but with [Sense Presence] I know when someone is coming.

    I temporarily put a point into [Conjuring Magic] and [Light Magic] and use it to clean myself, the mana cost is kinda high. I had a little less than half the total of mana but it took ¼ of my mana to clean myself.

    After moving a good distance away, I decide to sit down and wait a little until my mana is back to full.



    While resting another goblin appears. Another one with a loincloth, he has a sword. He screams while charging, but his skill can't compare to mine, I decapitate him. I wasn't fully rested so I change resting places again.

    I notice that the enemies are giving less experience than before, I guess I'll have to go to the next level once I level up.

    This time a Bush Baby appears. Its vines are long, three times the length of a spear, so the strategy is to cut the vines multiple times so you can approach it safely. If you rush the vines will bend and pierce you from the back.

    This is annoying to deal with. The attacks are fast and hurt, my blocking isn't good enough and my arm is exploding in pain. It's taking me too long to cut the vines. So I cast lightning 3 times, on the third he gets stunned.

    An opportunity! I slash the first vine and the second barely escapes. But now I just have to deal with one vine until his body is in range of my sword. One block, two blocks, there! I slash again and the second vine gets cut in half. Now I dash towards him.

    The tip of my sword slashes his head, a long cut appears and it loses its balance. That's enough of an opening and I slash again, my sword gets stuck midway into its head.

    A little bit of a shame that the leaves got damaged but I have no time to care for it. I cut its head and apply [Regeneration] to myself, my shield arm was hurting so much. I look into my stats and see that the monster did 5 points of damage to my health, that's a considerable amount because it didn't even draw blood. Should have bought some padding.

    After a few minutes the pain stops and I move forward.



    I go near the stairs to the next floor, the monsters near the stairs are stronger.

    I think I got a little too confident, two Mandrakes appear side-by-side. Fuck.

    Even with the resistance I'm just barely standing up, this is a problematic situation. I instinctively cast [Lightning Bolt], one of monsters gets hit and his charge slows down. The other jumps and aims for my heart with its pointy arms.

    Good thing they are dumb. I just weakly slash at the first one, the second comes right behind it and I manage to defend with my shield. The attack packs more punch than the Bush Baby, I grit my teeth and hold my ground.

    The first one had fallen backwards due to the push from the slash, the second one fell on my feet. Feeling the danger I kick it and it flies a few meters. It was surprisingly light, but hard, my toes are hurting.

    The first one gets up and jumps again. I bash its head with my shield. It falls backwards on the ground then I pierce its face with my sword. It wriggles and stops moving.

    I look forward and the other Mandrake is mid jump, all I could do was block with my shield. The impact made me step backwards and I lose the grip of my sword that was stuck on the body of the Mandrake.

    This is bad. I kick it again and feel immense pain on my toes, this time it fell backwards but not as far. I cast lightning twice, on the second time it gets stunned. That's enough of an opening that I can get my sword back.

    Once it stops convulsing it starts to move again. Too slow, I'm already mid slash and my sword gets stuck in the middle of its face.

    I dislodge my sword and sit on the ground. My head is spinning, my arm hurts. I start casting [Regeneration] again.

    That was brutal, my heart is racing and fear runs through my body. It's a weak enemy but 2 at the same time is no joke. I need to go back near the entrance and keep killing goblins, if it weren't for my equipment I would be dead by now.

    I harvest the enemies and notice something change in me. I open my skill menu and see I got [Dismantling] to 1. That was easy, shouldn't I need to practice more? Or was it because I had already acquired some knowledge through books?

    I hurry back to the entrance and keep killing goblins, on the 6th goblin I hear.

    "You are now level 7.

    I put all my points into [Sword Use] (now 9+1).

    I decide to take a break and rest. A few minutes later I get 3 large hits on my [Sense Presence], these aren't monsters. Soon enough I start to hear footsteps and after that I see 3 adventurers coming towards me. I quickly put points in [Andraste Language].

    "Oh? Greetings," says the one in the front. It's a young man, about my age, neatly combed brown short hair. He's wearing some black leather armor, below it I see his shirt has some embroidery on it. He carries a short sword and a pristine kite shield. He's clearly wealthy.

    Beside him there is a rough looking man wearing chainmail and a bastard sword, he looks a few years older than us. He has short light brown hair peeking from below his coif.

    Behind them there is a woman with a robe and a simple wooden staff with a blue gem on top. She's a fully grown woman with straight brown hair that reaches her shoulders. She has a cute and calm face with a button nose and a small chin.

    "Hello," I answer. I get up and do a full nod.

    "You here for training?" The man asks.

    "Yes, I'm practicing my sword."

    The man smiles.

    "Well then, be careful when you meet more than one monster. It's easier to just run away because it's really hard to fight while alone. Be well," the man says and after a wave he starts to move forward.

    "T-thank you. Goodbye," I answer meekly.

    What an odd exchange, but I also wish had I met you about an hour ago.

    Are they planning on staying here for the night? It's gonna be dusk soon so starting to explore now is a waste. I shrug and continue hunting goblins.

    I meet another Mandrake, it's alone this time. The [Mental Resistance] helped, I'm no longer dizzy but it still hurts a lot. I learned how to slit its throat in a single slice. This takes some aim but with this attack I can kill it and not get my sword stuck on its body like what happened last time.

    I then meet another Bush Baby. I can make steady progress now and shave away its vines until I can bury my sword on its head. My arm still hurts but at least I don't need to use magic. This is considerable progress for just a day. It's very motivating but I feel like this is not how things are supposed to be done.

    I kill two goblins and rest again. Their experience is very low now, I need 40 goblins just to level up. My best chance to level up is to find Mandrakes or Bush Babies. But it should be late, I'm way too tired now.

    I go back towards the entrance and exit the dungeon, I'm teleported right beside the entrance. It's already night. At least my sense of time wasn't completely screwed.



    The guard squad here changed. There are 5 of them and they mostly stay inside a small hut while a single guard stays outside near the entrance to the dungeon.

    I nod to him and move to find a secluded corner in the small woods. I found a pair of adventurers making a tent. I move away from them and set up my camp.

    I bring a ready-made meal out of my "Items". Near the Crafter's Corner there are plenty of stalls that sell small boxes with food that's easy to eat. This time I bought a few that were composed of bean paste on bread, a few pieces of a vegetable that reminds me of broccoli and a few pieces of Rabid Rabbit meat. I feel a little uncomfortable with eating anything with "Rabid" on the name, but it actually tastes good. It's slightly marbled which makes me surprised it's so cheap.

    I brush my teeth, put a lot of points into conjuring so I can fill a bucket of water to wash myself, turn on my monster repellent stone, put out my motion crystals around me, bring out my sleeping bag, and try to sleep. Let's put emphasis on try, because this bag is really uncomfortable. I should have bought a tent and a better sleeping bag. The dungeoneering guide says to sleep with your armor on or at least have leather armor if you can't sleep in your plate. So I guess this can't be helped, adventurers are fated to sleep badly.

    The sky is cloudy, I can't see any stars.



    I dream again of the goblin drowning in his own blood.

    Fuck, is this gonna be a trauma? I'm already uncomfortable sleeping in the open like this I don't need recurring nightmares screwing with me.



    The sun wakes me. My body is sore and stiff, this was a terrible night. I break fast with a goblin meat stick. I need to buy something to drink. I miss coffee, I miss chocolate milk, I miss tea, I miss soft drinks (diet only).

    I look into my stats and notice my "Magic Power" has risen by 5 and my MP by 5. It seems using it slowly builds up your mana and power. Unfortunately no other stat has risen, I guess I need to nearly kill myself everyday to raise my strength or endurance.

    I stretch a little, recover my crystals, store my tent, turn off my repellent stone, and get ready to go back inside the dungeon.

    I decide to move again towards the stairs. Mandrakes or Bush Babies are too rare, it's taking too long to level up and I'm getting greedy.

    I meet two Mandrakes in sequence, I'm really getting used to handling them. My strategy to deal with more than one is also ready. I'm still a little dubious on how to deal with two Bush Babies. But my train of thought is cut because I meet an armored goblin.

    It's wearing full leather armor and pants, mittens, and cap. It has a small round metal shield and a sword. I need to aim for the neck or face, slashing the body won't be very effective.

    "GYEEEH!" It screams and charges forward.

    I deflect the first blow and attack with my sword, he dodges backwards and evades. I try to follow up with an upwards slash but he blocks with the edge of his shield. He then tries to slash sideways at my face.

    This time I evade by jerking my body backwards. He's short so his sword barely reaches me, but still it was close and dangerous. He swung wide and created an opening for me. I bash his shield and he loses his balance, I follow up and thrust at his neck. He jerks his body and avoids a fatal wound but I still manage to inflict a nasty cut on his neck. Lots of blood pours over his shoulder.

    He jumps backwards and tries to regain his balance. I cast [Lightning Bolt] and immediately slash at his face. The bolt hit and he twitches. He's not stunned but his reaction is dulled enough that my slash cuts at his cheek deeply.

    "GAAAAH!" He screams and loses his balance again.

    This time he's fully open so I slash downwards and cleave my sword into his head. I manage to cut through his cap with sheer strength. He sways and goes limp, he's dead.

    "You are now level 8."



    Now what do I need exactly? I clean my sword and sit down to think. Perhaps more [Mental Resistance]? The 2 Mandrakes were rough but maybe there's another way to deal with them that doesn't involve resistance. Mandrakes are vulnerable to fire, so maybe 1 point in fire and then the rest on [Mental Resistance]? Also the [Blessing Magic] level 1 sounds good, I'm not having to use a lot of mana so maybe I could spare some mana for a self buff.

    The blessing will come for later. I will put 1 on [Fire Magic] and the other 3 on [Mental Resistance] (now 7), the biggest threat is reduced mental capacity leading me to making a bad decision. It's just like the wealthy adventurer said, I can just run if I meet 2 dangerous enemies, but I have to be able to make this decision. In the lower levels monsters don't generally work together, it's mostly coincidences they are walking together.

    So now I need a target to test my [Fireball].

    The first guinea pig to volunteer is a naked goblin with a dagger. I cast [Fireball] and it hits right in the face. He falls backwards and screams, weren't the naked ones supposed to be emotionless? I need to revise this theory.

    Oh, exposed flesh is more vulnerable to fire than lighting, so the [Fire Magic] is more useful here than lightning. If the stunning effect of fire on the Mandrakes and Bush Babies is bigger or equal than the electricity then I will take out [Electric Magic] and put on [Blessing Magic]. I thought that fire damage only did more damage to enemies in comparison to [Electric Magic]. I didn't think the stunning potential was greater because the book spent more time talking about harvesting and just said with a passing notion that it was vulnerable to [Fire Magic].

    Perhaps it's because it's an easy enemy. Magic seems pretty powerful here, so I find it difficult to believe mages would spend their precious mana killing such small fry when the front line could effortlessly hack their way through. I think this info could be found on magic books, but I didn't look too deep into the ones at the guild because they were too esoteric. I wanna go to the university's library.

    I keep walking and after a few dead goblins I finally find a Mandrake. The scream went from really painful to bearable, I think now I'm ready to fight two Mandrakes without much risk. I immediately cast [Fireball].

    The ball hits and the screaming reduces, it's super effective! The Mandrake slows down and almost stops. It pats its head with its pointy hands in a desperate attempt to stop the small fire that started on its chest.

    Perfect opportunity. I charge and decapitate it.

    Testing it on a Bush Baby might be prudent but I'm feeling confident it's going to be even more effective. The Bush Baby leaves seemed very dry, it seems to be a weak point against [Fire Magic].

    Now I remove [Electric Magic], put a point into [Blessing Magic] and cast [Wind Armor] on myself. The magic creates a ball of light on my palm, then I touch myself and the spell is cast on me. This magic creates a sort of wind "shield" that protects my entire body. It slows down physical attacks by using air resistance. Every few seconds you could see small distortions around my body, I also feel a slight breeze whenever that happens.

    Unfortunately the spell had a huge cost, half my MP is gone. Coupled with the two [Fireballs] I used I have to spend some time resting. I noticed that meditating really does increase the rate that my mana recovers, I just need to make sure I don't fall asleep since I have to keep my eyes closed.



    I get up and move forward. I think I'm ready for the next level. I move steadily towards the closest stairs and kill a few goblins on the way.

    The stairs is just a simple straight downwards stair with the same black ominous rectangle on the end. I cross it and the same floor select menu appears, just now it has a "2nd floor" option. I press it and I'm teleported to the new floor.

    The floor looks the same as the previous one, drab and boring. The goblins aren't naked anymore but the Mandrakes and Bush Babies are still the same.

    Now even the Mandrakes and the Bush Babies are giving little experience. So it seems the enemies ramp up in power little by little. I'm thinking now that I have [Fire Magic] I would be okay on the 3rd floor. Then I find another armored goblin.

    He's wearing the same leather armor but the shield is bigger and he's taller, now he's just a little bit shorter than me. I'm 165cm by the way. This one I have to be cautious, he has much more skill and intelligence than the others. Just to confirm my theory he smiles and charges towards me.

    We trade even blows. His blows are stronger than the Bush Baby vines, so I have to focus on deflecting more so it hurts less. But this leaves me with little openings to cut him. I'm getting pushed back, I have to do something.

    I notice his attacks follow a timing, so I prepare and bash his shield when he is attacking. He wasn't expecting me to counter with such precision so I break his posture. I bash again and put all my body into it, he loses his balance and falls on his ass.

    I swing repeatedly while he tries to crawl away backwards, his sword hand is busy supporting his body and he can't get up. His smile turned into an angry frown. I swing my sword and hit the side of his shield, he's not strong enough to resist and his shield arm opens up.

    I step on his sword hand and he drops the sword, he moves the shield back to defend himself but now he's vulnerable. I grab his shield and move it out of the way, then I stab my sword in his face.

    This one was tiring. I need time to catch my breath and apply [Regeneration] to my arm. Curiously, his shield didn't disappear. I put some points into appraisal and it tells me it's an iron medium-sized round shield. It has no painting or decorations on it and it's of "medium" quality. Average at everything, I guess it might be worthy of something so I put it into "Items".

    I have to kill at least another 10 of these goblins to level up. The experience gained seems to be dropping really fast, or is it actually my growth that is too fast? Perhaps killing the same monster over and over again brings less experience each time.



    I eat my lunch away from the goblin corpse, then move on and reach the entrance to the 3rd floor. I'm getting a little nervous but I decide it's worth the risk.

    At the 3rd floor the first Mandrake with leaves on its head appears. It's a mature Mandrake, nearly a meter tall. The pain from the scream is slightly higher, but only slightly so it's still bearable. Good thing their power seems to increase slowly, or else I would have to put all my points into [Mental Resistance].

    It charges forward like the other Mandrakes, but it's faster than the younger ones. I steel myself, grit my teeth and ready my shield. Like always, it jumps into my chest with its pointy arms aimed at me. Once it's in the air, at the perfect moment I bash my shield.

    "Dooon"! The sound of metal resonating can be heard even while under the effects of its scream. But slowly the scream dies out. My arm hurts like hell but it was effective, the Mandrake flies far away and one of its arms is broken.

    Considering how the scream stopped, I guess I succeeded in stunning it. I give chase and slash at the downed Mandrake. Its head falls out and a fluid greener than the one from the younger Mandrakes spews out.

    I look at my shield and notice there's a small broken piece of the Mandrake's pointy arms stuck on it. Wow, I guess I need a better shield now, there's also a small dent on it from the other arm. That bash sure packed a good punch but I don't think it's the best choice. If they charge and jump the best options still seems to be to just slash.

    Maybe a spear is the most effective tool here against these charging enemies, but if you meet more than one you need a backup weapon in case it gets stuck in an enemy. Thinking about this I pull out a dagger I had and put it into my belt behind my back. Even with a sword it's useful to have a backup weapon.

    I feel something changed within me so I open my status screen, I gained the skill [Shield Bash] with 1 skill point. Hm, shield bashes seem effective at stunning enemies, this is another skill that's important to have.



    I keep moving on. The goblins are stronger and require more effort on this level. They all graduated from loincloths and are using basic woolen clothes, a few have one or two pieces of leather armor. So those fully armored that I met are rare occurrences? The dungeoneering book didn't tell me much about those abnormalities, the only thing that I can remember is that monsters can go up a level on rare instances. Maybe they are from a lower level then? "Lower" as in a level deeper "down" that has stronger monsters.

    The mature Mandrake is still not a common sight. The Bush Babies didn't increase in power also. It seems the experience gain is still low. This is leaving me frustrated, the speed of my level progress dropped sharply. It's annoying not having an idea on what's the proper rate of progress in this world. There's a skill called [Increased Growth] and another called [Inspire Growth]. I assume they help with experience gain, but I don't really have the room to increase those skills yet.

    I can't remove my mana enhancements because I'm starting to use [Fireball] more often to make fighting Bush Babies or Mandrakes less tiring. I can't remove my physical combat skills or otherwise I feel I will lose the advantage against the goblins. Is my best choice to find a partner? I saw a duo of adventurers passing by and avoided another duo another time, so it really seems like people only come here in pairs. But I can't trust anybody yet, my adaptability and rapid growth will be extremely suspicious, I can't just partner with anybody.

    As my body gets tired I decide it's time to get out of the dungeon. At this rate tomorrow before noon I might get another level. But I'm way too tired for today, my legs are aching.

    When I get out I see the sun and understand that it's gonna take a few hours until dusk. Today has really been tiring. Now what do I do while I wait? I don't really wanna talk to the guards and other adventurers also keep their distance. I should have bought a book, there's no internet or computers here so my 2 main sources of entertainment are gone. Can I maintain my sanity without my games? This might be the true trial of the hero in this world.



    I pass the time by maintaining my weapon and updating my notes with the magic spells of other magic types. "Notes" is a rather terrible interface to use so I think I will keep most notes on actual paper.

    On most magic schools I can see magic only up to 15 points, but after that I can only see "???" and it doesn't allow me to cast it. The only level 20 spells I can see are [Item Box] froms [Space Magic] and [Purify Body] from [Light Magic]. So I guess I'm missing something else, is it mana pool? Is it the "Intelligence" or "Wisdom" stats?

    Finally as dusk falls my [Wind Armor] runs out. I could see on my "Status Effects" the entry "Wind Armor", then it disappeared. As it ran out I felt a small breeze on my whole body.

    I have decided that on my next level I will put 4 points into [Blessing Magic]. I can get the [Sharp Blades] spell with it and it might help me with cutting the armor of the goblins or ensuring a one hit kill on the Mandrakes and Bush Babies. There's no other immediately useful spells and I'm scared to put points into certain dangerous sounding magic schools like [Cursing Magic], so I will make it do with only those I know are safe.



    Just as the night falls I finally fall asleep. This is the last day I sleep here, I'm going back to town tomorrow. At least this night I didn't dream of the Gargling Goblin but I dreamt of slicing flesh, very unpleasant.



    I wake up and do my morning routine. Stretch, eat breakfast, recover my things, brush my teeth and put on some deodorant powder. The lack of this powder is what made the Mossy Fangpine track me easily during my first day. There was a magical deodorant powder that had a faint perfume on it, but I didn't want to spend money on that yet, I can still endure the smell of leather for longer.

    This morning I tried to wash my dirty clothes, but I wasn't as successful as I wanted. It seems I damaged my underwear a little. With the [Mana Control] skill I can hold a [Fireball] in my hand and slightly change its size, I used it for speed drying but I fear that's what damaged the clothes.

    After that I get ready to go back into the dungeon. I enter the dungeon at the same time as another adventuring duo. They kind of looked like a couple, I got kinda jealous. Fortunately they didn't go to the same floor as me.

    Progress goes smooth but slow. No more armored goblins or mature Mandrakes for bursts of experience.

    "You are now level 9," finally says the voice after half my morning is used.



    I put it all on [Blessing Magic] (now 5) and cast [Sharp Blades], I have to touch my sword for it to work. The blade looks much more polished now, at least it doesn't shine ridiculously. But now I gotta rest, half my MP goes away again.

    After that I move on again and butcher my way through the enemies. I'm really happy now, I can kill anything with one good hit, my sword just slides through them. I even managed to cut a goblin in half while he was wearing leather armor!

    Ok, the sight was gruesome and traumatizing to see his guts spill on the floor and blood fly everywhere, but holy shit, I cut a goblin in half. Fuck, am I enjoying this? I either have a mental problem or a natural talent, depends on which world you are from.

    But the experience dropped again. I can't fight on this level anymore, so I decide to go to the 4th floor.

    The mature Mandrakes are more common now. Not all of them have leaves that can be harvested, which is a shame since it's the most valuable part of it. Unfortunately the goblins and Bush Babies didn't get stronger, so I decide to keep going down until at least the goblins improve.

    After my lunch I get to the 5th level, but it wasn't much better. The Bush Babies are now also 1 meter tall and hit harder but my strategy is polished and I cut their vines easily. I decide to risk it and go to the 6th floor.

    Finally the goblins are also giving good experience. Since goblins are still the most common enemy by far they need to give considerable experience or else it's a waste of my time. Now they are mostly armored with at least two pieces of armor.

    I can already predict the evolution of power of the monsters on this dungeon.

    The maze is made of multiple corridors and small rooms, most of them end in dead ends but there's still plenty of paths that you can take to navigate the floor. At the end of a dead end is normally a monster waiting. Occasionally there's a monster roaming the paths but they generally don't enter a path that leads to a dead end. So the dead ends are the most common safe spot for resting after you kill the monster at the dead end.

    The speed of experience gain is steady but I'm getting tired much more often now, I have to take multiple breaks. While I was waiting at a dead end I get 3 familiar hits on my [Sense Presence]. I immediately remove [Mental Resistance] and trade it for [Andraste Language], I need to research the difference between each level of language proficiency, I always go for 10 but now I keep it at 7.

    "Hohoh, greetings again. You progressed a lot haven't you?" Says the wealthy adventurer.

    His party is the same, but I can see dirt, blood and tired eyes on him and the other two members. Though the woman is the only one without a drop of blood on her clothes.

    "Yeah, I got the hang of dealing with these monsters. They are quite dumb so I had to come down to keep the challenge."

    "Indeed, my teacher instructed me to come to this level because anything else is too weak. Though I dove further, after this level the goblins get stronger much faster. So we came back here for an easier time. I'm called Nour, What's your name?"

    "Wolf Ryder."

    "Then, Mr. Ryder, would you mind if we rest with you? Is this area safe?"

    Again with the "Mister". Also, he didn't say a last name, was it a blunder to say mine? Do normal people not have a second name?

    "Y-yeah, no problem. The monster at the dead end is dead."

    The three of them sit down. The woman and the other man at the corner, they bring out canteens and start to drink. Nour sits on a wall facing me.

    "The woman is my sister, Rania. The man is my slave guard, Liam."

    "Hello," Rania says on a monotone.

    "Greetings Grand Ryder," says the main with a nod.

    "Grand" Ryder? That feels even weirder, but I guess it's a way for slave to respectfully address other people. The words that I hear are foreign but because of the language skill it is translating into the closest thing I know. The words they speak also sound slightly garbled, I need to focus to understand what they are saying. This must be the effect of not having 10 points in language.

    I wave my hand to them and smile.

    "You know [Blessing Magic]? I didn't see you using [Wind Armor] the first time we met."

    Oh shit. Quick, time to lie.

    "I didn't want to… Train with enhancements on. I wanted to train my sword without magic first and then use it when I'm comfortable I'm skilled enough."

    "Bahahah! That's the same advice teacher gave!" Roared Nour.

    "Told ya it's good advice," says Rania while smiling wryly.

    "Agreed, master. The path to glory is a long journey," says Liam, in a serious tone.

    "Alright, alright. I'm not going to rush out to the world or anything like that, I learned my lesson," says Nour while holding his hands up and lowering his head.

    "But anyway..." He continued, "Exploring dungeons alone is uncommon, why don't you partner with somebody? [Blessing Magic] is valuable in a team."

    "Don't pry into another's business," Warned Rania.

    "Geh... I'm sorry. Mr. Ryder just piqued my interest."

    "Forgive my brother, Mr. Ryder. He's far too curious and carefree," says Rania with another wry smile.

    "T-That's not a problem… " I answer with fluster, "I don't mind. I'm traveling alone because I'm new around here, I… Pick my partners carefully."

    "Hey Rania, we found teacher's son," says Nour while chuckling.

    "That just means that teacher's mentality leads to a longer life," She replied.

    There's nothing I can do but smile at this exchange. Nour might be a little nosy for me, who's trying to hide secrets, but it's hard to be mad at him. He seems good-natured.

    "Well, okay… But Mr. Ryder, have you thought about buying a slave as a companion? If you buy a Blood Slave there's no chance they will betray you."

    "Blood Slave?"

    Is this related to [Blood Magic]? I remember that there was some forbidden magic like that.

    "With [Slavery Magic] you can forbid the slave from doing or saying certain things so they will never hurt you or spill secrets. Just like my companion, Liam."

    "Hmmm…"

    So it's [Slavery Magic] then? Why call it "Blood Slave" then?

    "Can you ex-..."

    My question gets cut short. I get 2 hits on my [Sense Presence], one small and one huge, both monsters. Just what the hell is this. I instinctively get up and draw my sword.

    "Monsters are coming," I say.

    All 3 of them look confused but they stand up and draw their weapons. Liam looks at me suspiciously.

    "I didn't hear anything," Liam says.

    Oh no... This enemy is dangerous, extremely dangerous. The enemies that were walking suddenly start sprinting, they detected us.

    "Chain mail?" Questions Liam in confusion, he can hear the enemy now that they are sprinting and making much more noise.

    "Run!" I say and dart towards the corridor, they all follow me.

    But it's too late, the enemy is fast. When we get near the entrance to the corridor, the enemies are already at the doorway, we are trapped. These monsters are the reason I don't wanna go to the 11th floor, it's the Orc Headhunter and Swamp Goblin.

    On the 11th floor there's a trap, it's a roaming duo of monsters much more powerful than the ones normally on the floor. They hunt weaker adventurers and prey on them, this is why nobody spends any time on that floor. The worst thing is that the Escape Bomb doesn't work on the orc, his resistance is too high.

    The duo is a terrifying combo. The Swamp Goblin is a brown, filthy goblin that wears simple rags. He uses a blowgun that shoots poisoned darts that weaken the physical capabilities of adventurers. If you are to fight them the first priority is the goblin. The orc is a green ugly monstrosity of 2 meters. He has a pig snout, large eyes and huge tusks coming out of his mouth. He has superhuman strength, a claymore he uses with a single hand, a large kite shield, a hauberk with a metal cuirass, vambraces, schynbalds and cuisses. You will be lucky if you survive a single strike from him.

    "MASTER! RUN!" Screams Liam while he charges the orc.

    That was the wrong move. Me and Nour have shields, we can defend against the goblin and dodge the orc while Rania snipes the goblin. But we never agreed on cooperating, so Liam must be thinking on sacrificing himself instead on betting on defeating him.

    I just can't let him suicide charge, so I charge behind him. I cast a small [Entangling Vines] towards the goblin and hide behind my shield. Perfect timing, while the orc is occupied with Liam his reaction was slow and I duck under his slash, I slip past him. I feel the orc gaze at me, I think he understood what I'm doing.

    I hide behind my shield without being able to look ahead.

    *Ptoon*, a dart hits my shield and bounces off. Good, now that goblin is dead. The vines grab both his legs and hold him in place. He tried to fire his blowgun and didn't dodge, now he's gonna pay for it. He screams and nearly loses his balance.

    I reach him. I savagely slash down diagonally my sword and lop off a part of his head. Brain matter is visible, he's dead. I immediately turn around to see Liam getting blown away several meters while defending with his sword.

    "NOOO!" Screams Nour. He was striking the orc at the same time as Liam but the orc had defended with its shield effortlessly.

    The orc has one big vulnerability, it's metal armor, it's vulnerable to electricity. I frantically remove a point from [Sword Use] and put it into [Electric Magic] while praying that Nour won't die on the next hit.

    Now with a hand free the orc savagely slashes sideways. Nour defends with his shield and gets splattered on the wall, all the air from his lungs gets expelled.

    The orc doesn't finish him and instead jumps towards Rania. I finish my casting and a bolt flies towards the orc. He freezes and starts convulsing, he's stunned, but for how long.

    I rush and jump towards his back. I try to slash his neck but he turns at the same time and I only wound him. While turning his shield comes towards my face. All I could do was meet it with my own shield and a loud noise of metal hitting metal fills the dungeon.

    My shield arm hurts the most it ever did, it might be broken. I don't know, I don't have time to check. I cast [Lightning Bolt] and the orc gets stunned again.

    "[ICE LANCE]!" Screams Rania with a cracking voice.

    I see the orc jerk away in a speed I didn't think was possible and suddenly, a spear of ice appears on the orc's shield shoulder. It's a complete penetration right on the bone joint, the spear is a good 10cm wide, that arm is useless.

    From behind the orc I see Rania fall on her knees, was that an advanced spell? It certainly did a lot of damage to the orc. Maybe she's inexperienced and is now suffering from mana drain like I did once. This means I can't rely on her anymore, I need to kill the orc myself.

    The orc roars in rage and pain, he grabs the lance and pulls it out without hesitation. I get up and cast [Lightning Bolt] again. The orc twitches, he doesn't get stunned but that's enough of an opening. I stab the orc in the groin, it seems it's a vulnerable area where the chain mail and plate mail don't have a proper coverage.

    The orc screams again and gives me a weak blow with his sword that I defend with my shield. I scream in pain and I get pushed backwards. My sword gets jerked around but I don't lose the grip on it, it must have done a lot of damage to the orc.

    "RAAAAAAH!" Liam screams.

    A dagger flies towards the orc's face, he deflects it with his own sword. Immediately after Liam comes and slashes towards the orc. The orc defends against the slash, but that means it's another opening. I jump and slash again towards his throat but again he dodges and only a wound is done.

    The orc is bloody. His chest is full of blood dripping from his two wounds on his neck, his legs are bloody with a large amount of blood coming from his groin, his shoulder has a large gaping hole. But he still keeps fighting. He kicks Liam again, who seems to be too slow to react and he gets blown away many meters. Then he tries to counter me with his own sword, I managed to parry it! Is he losing strength? He did counter from an awkward angle though.

    "[SHOCKING TOUCH]!" Screams Rania again in an even more cracked voice.

    That's a level 10 [Electric Magic] spell. Suddenly the orc starts to convulse and I see Rania fall down behind him, she must have run out of mana. The distance is not enough for me to slash at his neck again, but it's enough for me to pierce his groin again.

    This time my sword pierces deeply, I quickly try to pull it out but it's stuck. The orc screams while still mid convulsion. I give up on the sword and grab my dagger and jump on his neck.

    He's stinky and filthy, his smelly breath is on my face and my right hand that grabbed onto the back of his huge head feels something sticky. I ignore this and savagely stab his neck. It's tough, the dagger's blade is not sharp enough, but I keep stabbing into the previous wound and it grows larger.

    Then the orc stops convulsing. Oh no, he's going to hit me. Is it gonna be a punch? Or a stab? Or a slash? Or is he going to just grab my head and crush it? I have no time to get away I can just bet I can open his neck enough he loses consciousness.

    "STOOOP!" Nour screams and with the corner of my eye I can see he threw himself and grabbed the sword arm of the orc.

    This means he can't react anymore. Thank you Nour, I will use your opening. I stab the orc neck even more savagely, blood spurts all over my face and chest. In the next few seconds the orc's roar dies down. He falls on his knees, his angry expression goes blank and he starts to fall backwards.

    Oh no! Not that way you will crush Rania. Both me and Nour pull him and he falls face down on his own pool of blood.

    "You are now level 10."

    Me and Nour stare at him for a few seconds. Then reality comes back to me and I rush towards Liam to our back and apply [Regeneration] on him. He's alive but unconscious. I have no idea how he feels so I'm going to heal him until he wakes up and decide if I should heal Rania next. It's best that everyone is awake, even if in pain.

    When Liam wakes up I see that Nour did something to Rania. She's laying down and he's holding her head, she's shaking but conscious.

    "Poison…" Liam mutters.

    I think he got hit by the Swamp Goblin, this is why he's killed first and everyone hides behind the shields. Liam got poisoned and lost nearly all his power during the fight.

    From one of my breast pockets I bring out a metal flask. Those metal flasks are for battle-potions, they won't break during normal battle unless directly hit. This one contains an antidote, I have 3 of them. I got a little scared of the Mossy Fangpine and the Bush Babies also have a chance to poison you if you get hit so I got a few. It's going to take around 10 minutes for it to work though, so I'm gonna keep healing Liam until then.

    I drink a mana potion and continue the healing. My arm hurts a lot and Nour could be hurt too but Liam could have a few broken bones so he gets priority.

    Rania seems to have stopped shaking, she's still sitting on the same spot. Nour then comes over to me.

    "Is that [Regeneration]?" He asks.

    "Yeah. I don't have a lot of mana and I'm not very experienced so this is going to take some time.

    "Oh no, you already did a lot. Here, let me give Liam one of my potions" He passes a red potion to Liam, the glow is stronger than the ones I have.

    Liam takes it and after a few minutes he gets strong enough to sit down.

    "Thank you kind Sir, but it's enough for now. Please heal yourself," says Liam.

    I don't wanna argue since my arms is still hurting a lot, so I just do as he says.

    It takes 5 minutes but the pain lowers a lot and my mana runs out. The potion is still acting so my mana is recovering faster than normal. Once I stop healing myself Nour turns to me.

    "Thank you, Mr. Ryder," Nour says, his voice is shaky and his face is pale. "You could have run after killing the goblin but you didn't. You certainly saved us, 'specially Liam who was going to sacrifice himself for us."

    I don't know if he drank a health potion but he could still be hurting all over his body.

    "I just… I didn't think I should run away."

    "You have a noble soul," Nour says.

    "Thank you..." Says Rania, her voice barely comes out.

    "Indeed, I owe you my life," says Liam.

    I'm getting a little overwhelmed. I don't know how to react, so I just smile weakly and nod.

    "We need to leave this place fast. These two monsters shouldn't be here, there's something wrong in this dungeon," I say.

    The adrenaline is running out and the reality is sinking in. I don't know why the orc came here, he should be on the 11th floor. I'm scared I will meet another one, I just wanna go home.

    "He must have entered the exit… Multiple times," Rania says.

    "For multiple floors!? That's insane, how could such a rare thing happen repeatedly?" I say.

    It's true that a monster could enter the exit door on a dimensional dungeon like this and appear on a floor above. But that's something rare to happen even once, for it to happen multiple times is a miracle. We won the lottery of bad luck to find him.

    "Perhaps the lord has been skimping on his duties," says Liam.

    The Lord manages the dungeons. If the monsters are not culled often then dangerous monsters can appear, or like in this case, an extremely dangerous monster goes to a floor he's not supposed to be on.

    "We need to report this," says Nour. "Mr. Ryder, do you have space on your [Item Box]? We need to bring these corpses to the guilds. Since you did the most, the least I can do is to have you take all the rewards for these kills."

    "Is that really okay? I didn't kill them alone."

    "Yes, it's the least we could do for now," Nour insists.

    I don't wanna argue, so I just collect both corpses. Liam and Rania stand up and start walking.

    The exit is somewhat near, we walk together towards it. Since I'm the one in the best condition I go in front with Nour on my side. Liam and Rania are still weakened, the poison is still running through Liam's body and Rania has no mana.

    We kill two goblins effortlessly. Having two people in the front means that one takes the attack and the other counters. Mine and Nour's swords are sharp enough they die in a single hit.

    Then we get to the exit. The guard near the entrance jumps when two completely bloodied adventures and two exhausted looking ones appear out of the exit.

    Nour does the talking, he mentions to the guards what happened and blood runs out of their faces. Meeting the Orc Headhunter is a nightmare for the people around here.



    Two guards escort us back to town. Luckily they don't ask to look into my [Item Box], I made a blunder and put the corpses into the "Items" storage.

    When we get into the hunters guild the guards run towards the closest attendant and murmur something, then both hurry up the stairs. The presence of the guards and the bloodied adventurers attracts quite a bit of attention. We wiped ourselves while walking but there's still quite a lot of blood that seeped through our clothes that even the simple [Clean] can't remove so we look quite ghastly. Liam and Riana are looking better now but they still look tired.

    A few minutes later, an old man and Sonny come down. The old man is short and skinny, he lacks hair on the top of his head but the hair on the side is well maintained. His hair and beard are pure white. His beard makes men envious with its magnificence protruding from his jaw. He wears simple velvet clothing the same color as the uniform with only the guild symbol embroidered on his chest as decoration. The guards signal us and we all go towards the dismantling area.

    Inside Gordon and his assistant are processing some meat and look our way when we enter.

    "Well then, could you show us the corpses?" Says the old man, he points towards the large empty tables.

    I pull out the bodies and surprised gazes abound. The orc and goblin lost their equipment, but they are still recognizable as the dangerous duo due to their physique.

    I wish I hadn't looked at it but curiosity got the best of me. The orcs genitals are completely shredded, I felt pain in between my legs just by looking at it.

    "So it's true. We really need to send a complaint to the Lord," says the old man.

    "Now then. My name is Silas, I'm the guildmaster, could you all sit and tell us the story in detail?" says the old man. He motions us towards the benches on the wall.

    We sit and retell our fight.



    "Quite the predicament Sir Nour," says Silas.

    He called him "Sir"? So it really is true Nour is an important person, I just wonder why he didn't use his last name.

    "And we all benefit from having someone like Mr. Ryder among us," Silas smiles at me.

    I'm bad at being praised, should I say something in response?

    "A Grey Berserker and now an Orc Headhunter, you really are giving us a surprise. Though I wish it was of a different kind when talking about the orc," says Sonny with a wry smile.

    "I truly think I have bad luck," I say while chuckling.

    "Depends on the perspective. Those two monsters are really valuable and the prestige that comes from killing them is not small," Responds Sonny.

    "I just want a calm life," I say.

    Gordon laughs while butchering the orc. Sonny murmurs something and casts a spell. I don't know what magic it is but he seems to be talking towards nobody while looking at the orc.

    "The spirit confirms it, he was killed at the 6th floor," says Sonny.

    So you can talk to monster spirits too? I know you need only a few points in [Spirit Magic] to be able to weakly communicate with spirits, but a monster spirit being able to talk is new to me. Talking to spirits could be useful for information gathering.

    "Have you decided how the bounty is to be shared?" Asks Sonny.

    "Oh we aren't taking money, Mr. Ryder saved us so all the reward goes to him. If the talk is over we will take our leave now if possible, we are all extremely tired," Nour replies immediately.

    "Oh it's done, the rest is with us," says Silas.

    They didn't even let me reply.

    "Then we will be off. Mr. Ryder, one last thing, could you come here to the guild tomorrow before noon? I would like to properly give you my thanks and reward you," Nour continues.

    "I-Is that right? Sh-shouldn't the bounty reward be enough?"

    "That's just some money, you saved our lives so I should at least reward you a bit more. Please, just come tomorrow."

    "Alright then. I will come."

    "Thank you, then see you tomorrow. Goodbye Mr. Silas."

    And then Nour and his companions leave after light bows.

    "Now then, the reward for a runaway monster of threat level 5 is 5 gold. His corpse is going to sell for 3 gold and the goblin for 1 gold," says Sonny.

    That's a huge amount, runaway monsters are a serious threat to everybody. The orc skin sells for a lot, this one specifically is way tougher than normal.

    I also take this opportunity and bring out all my remaining proofs of extermination. They summed up to 4 silver and a bunch of copper coins, a pittance. But at least I recouped the cost of the days I wasted because I reserved the inn for 10 days but didn't sleep there for the last 2.

    I give my goodbyes and leave. Silas was there the whole time and spent it observing me. It seems I already caught the eye of the guildmaster. But I will be laying low for the week, no grand feat will come while I stay relaxing and training safe inside these walls. I also don't believe in jinxing, so I say this with confidence.

    It's almost night so I go towards the inn bath and get a few glances when I enter it with bloodied clothes. I will just take out a fresh set of spare clothes when I finish so there's no problem there.

    Today I order a drink while eating, they only have something similar to apple cider for now, the juice ran out and there's not much wine in the town. I eat my meal with happiness, not necessarily because it's good but because I'm happy to be alive. Once I left the guild I felt like a huge weight fell off my shoulders. All I want is some comfort and love, away from being in situations where I have to frantically stab a disgusting orc in the neck.

    The innkeeper daughter seems extra lovely to me this dinner. I learned her name is Selina, she wanted to start small talk but she was busy today. Instead I enjoyed my meal, a vegetable salad with a lot of cooked beans with some sauce. The vegetables of this season seems to be slightly sweet, similar to carrots and pumpkins. They go well with the beans and go extra well with mutton. But today I don't have mutton, instead I have marbled Rabid Rabbit meat, it's of a much higher quality cut than the one sold at a stall.

    After eating I drop on my bed and go to sleep immediately.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2020
  8. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    I wake up with a knock.

    "Breakfast is ready!" Says a familiar voice.

    My body is light, my soul is heavy. I don't wanna get up. The smell of orc blood doesn't leave my nostrils, it imprinted upon my heart. I didn't dream of the Gargling Goblin, but now I think I might have acquired a bigger trauma. The scene of stabbing the orc in the neck keeps replaying.

    If it weren't for Nour, the orc would have grabbed my head and crushed it. The fear of something coming to attack me from my back keeps assaulting me.

    Eventually, hunger wins over fear and I go down to eat.

    A simple vegetable soup with Rabid Rabbit meat and toasted bread. The vegetables aren't the sweet ones this time so it goes well with the meat.

    "Say, what was all that blood you had on you yesterday?" Asked Selina.

    "Orc Headhunter's. I had a very unfortunate encounter with him yesterday."

    "The one on the Royd's Kerfuffle? Why did you fight him? I only heard stories of people running away from him," she asks with a surprised face.

    "It was a runaway, I met him on the 6th floor."

    She gasps and puts her hands on her mouth. How cute.

    "Did you fight him alone!?" I see a few customers are listening now. Please lower your voice Selina.

    "Heavens no. I fought him with 3 other people. We were cornered so we couldn't run away safely. I ended up being the luckiest one and got hit the least. One guy got poisoned and I'm sure he broke a few ribs since he got kicked twice."

    "Wow. But to come back that bloody, did you have a knife fight with him or something?" She giggles a little. Please stop being cute.

    "Actually I did. My sword got stuck on him and I had to use my knife to stab him in the neck."

    I won't say it got stuck on his groin, that's a sight I wanna forget.

    Her mouth hangs open and she stares at me with a blank expression.

    Why are you staring so much?

    "Well the most important person was the magician woman. She cast [Ice Lance] and pierced his shoulder so he couldn't use his shield arm anymore. Then she used [Shocking Touch] and fainted, with that I had good opening to stab him until he died. There was also another guy who helped by throwing himself into the arm of the orc and holding him so I could finish him. Adding the poisoned guy who still fought and got kicked twice, this really was a desperate fight."

    She closes her mouth and her eyes shine while she smiles.

    "Wow. That sounds amazing."

    "Really? Is fighting so interesting?"

    "Yes! I know I'm not strong and I don't want to fight. But to think that there are people who work so hard, who can achieve so much to protect us. This makes me happy."

    Oh boy, stop, my heart is melting. Even the eavesdroppers are smiling.

    "I-Is that so… well… your enthusiasm makes me a little happy."

    She giggles.

    "Thank you for your story, I gotta keep serving the customers now. Come back later," she says and leaves.

    I finish my meal and go back to my room. Honestly that healed my heart, a little, but still healed. I guess this is why some people fight, if it weren't for us to eliminate that runaway, other people would have to suffer.



    I have some time to kill so I'm thinking what I should do with my new skill points. Once I open my status I notice my "Willpower" increased by 1 (now 12). My [Sword Use] also increased by 1 (now 9+2). My MP increased by 20 (now 135) and my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 190), is the increase a percentage? If it is so my MP will increase exponentially, that would be a little ridiculous.

    I put all my points in [Reduced Mana Cost], I need to be able to cast magic more often. Perhaps the next level I will get more [Mana Efficiency] and then later I will improve my melee skills again.

    I think I will waste another hour here; Nour said to be at the hunters guild before noon and there's still many hours until them.

    I really gotta steel my heart, this won't be the last time I have to fight so desperately. This is the life of a warrior and my weak and soft Earth-created heart won't be enough. This is a brutal world and thinking about Selina's words I understand that there's a need for people who protect the others.

    I have the potential to grow very strong, this skill system allows me to do so. It's incredibly powerful and I think that whatever god threw me here probably won't let me lead a peaceful life. Besides, to abandon the sword would make me feel guilty about those who die. I'm not responsible for their deaths but I could have at least helped.

    My motto has always been to "do the thing you won't regret in the future". If I don't at least try to defend these people as long as I can, then I will regret it. I don't need to die and sacrifice myself, I need to at least try.

    Well, saying is different than doing. Even after this period of reflection I still feel pain and fear. Perhaps I need some time to let it subside. I already decided I will take a week off anyway, no need to keep thinking too much about this.

    I spend some time massaging my sore muscles. It actually feels good, is there a massage parlor around here? I will definitely go there if there is one.

    After relaxing a while I decide to go meet Nour.



    The hunters guild is as usual. But the number of people around the hunt report boards is larger than usual. As I enter I look at the tables and Nour is there sitting with his companions. Liam and Rania are drinking something while Nour is chatting away with them.

    I approach and they notice me; Nour calls me while the other two wave and smile.

    "Good day Mr. Ryder," says Nour casually.

    "Good day Sir," says Liam, serious as usual.

    "Morning Mr. Ryder," says Rania, more energetic than the last time we talked.

    "Good day everybody. I hope you all slept well," I answer and smile.

    "I barely remember sleeping. We drank too much, even Liam participated," said Nour while grinning.

    "Gotta let it out once in a while, it's not everyday we fight so hard," Liam defends himself.

    "Well, little brother, it seems your next lesson is on how to hold your own liquor," Rania says and she shows her tongue.

    "T-That's… not true I can hold it just fine," Nour says and pouts.

    "You just admitted the contrary," I say.

    "Even you! Argh… then I will drink everyday until I learn my lesson!" Declares Nour.

    "Master! Please don't!" Pleads Liam.

    "I retract my previous statement," says Rania amid chuckles.

    I laugh heartily. Seeing them like this makes me feel a little silly I got so scared.

    "But anyway… let's get down to business. I wanted to reward you and I knew you were going solo, so I prepared this." -Nour pushes a sealed letter to me- "You see, I'm a stupid son of a wealthy merchant. I decided to take on adventuring but I still got my own connections. Since I know you are going solo, I think this will help a lot in your future. It's a letter of reference, it will open the doors to you to the most expensive Blood Slave trader of the town. I even managed to guarantee a heavy discount, so you might be able to choose among the best there."

    "Oh, wow… but, I don't really know anything about Blood Slaves. Can you tell me what it's like?"

    I didn't even put a point into [Slavery Magic], the fact it's regulated magic made me afraid of committing a crime just by having it.

    "I see…" He relaxes back on the chair with a thoughtful expression, "A Blood Slave is created by having someone ingest your blood, with that there's plenty of magic that can be done. A Blood Slave follows a contract of servitude, it can be years, decades, an entire lifetime or until certain conditions are fulfilled. I know some people have reservations about slavery but it could be seen the same as a servant who is bound by a contract. If you kill the slave you are still committing a crime. Torture is also frowned upon and will lead to the contract being broken by itself or even the gods might intervene and punish you, it's rare but it happened."

    The gods? So it's god-sanctioned slavery, that's… a little concerning.

    "The main advantage of a slave is control. You can use magic that will guarantee the slave will never hurt you, or even talk about certain things about you. It's so reliable all close aids of any powerful noble will all be Blood Slaves.

    "Of course, there are loopholes, but they are so roundabout and require so much effort you need a slave who really hates you for them to do that. It's easier for them to concentrate the effort in breaking the contract than for them to go around those limitations. Any contract can be broken by a slave that hates its master enough, by the way.

    "There are some other magics like full body control, that allow you to order it to move its body independently from his will. You can even stop the slave's heart with a word, but that's illegal of course."

    Full body control seems worse than normal slavery. But my curiosity keeps asking me questions like "Can I control his intestines? Can I control his eyes? Can I stop the blood flow of certain veins?" Maybe I can perform surgery without the need for anesthesia or blood loss if I can cut blood flow or nerve response at will.

    "There are quite a lot of Blood Slaves that were adventurers that need to pay debts or would rather serve for some time instead of roam in look of employment, so you can easily find a companion that will fit your style. I know you are versatile, you can heal and attack with magic without even chanting."

    Oh, shit, I guess people normally chant magic, this is why Rania took time to cast spells and them even screamed their name.

    "You have [Blessing Magic], detection and even good sword skills, but finding someone like a tracker will help in finding bounties. Or if you find a mage then you will have much more ease in killing powerful monsters in dungeons."

    I can't deny that, even just having someone like Nour already makes dealing with goblins a breeze.

    "If you are that kind of person then female slaves who will service men are also plentiful. They are more expensive, of course."

    I glance at Rania to see her reaction and she's just calmly listening to Nour while drinking, not even a reaction from her. I guess this is really common.

    "Hmm.. So Liam, I'm not sure if it's impolite to ask this, but if it is forgive me you don't have to answer. So, why did you become a Blood Slave?" I ask.

    "Oh...? I was having trouble making money by adventuring, so I decided to sell myself for 10 years. By the end of my contract I will have a small fortune, so I will go back to my hometown and inherit my father's smith. If the smith fails I will still have enough money to open my own shop," he tells his story with pride.

    "Liam has a real talent for the sword and protecting others. He cost a lot but he was worth every coin," Rania says and pats his shoulder.

    Liam blushes and looks away. This scene is suspicious.

    So leaving the moral question aside, this is a really thoughtful gift from Nour. He put some thought into what I needed and delivered something that's really valuable.

    "I know that you got some good money from yesterday's rewards, so with the discount you can get a pretty good fighter. Far from the best, I'm sorry but they are really expensive. But still, there's a lot of talent on that price range."

    Well I got a trump card, my rose coin. It should be really valuable, well at least I hope it is.

    "Thank you Nour, I really appreciate this. I will accept this letter, I think it will really help," I answer.

    Nour gives me a big smile, even Rania is showing a small smile.

    "Now then. With the business done I have a personal request for you" -his face turns serious- "how about you join us? A man with such skills like yours is a rarity."

    I smile bitterly, I knew this was coming. I honestly would like to join them, they are good people. Even if I don't know what their goals are I would like to spend more time with them. But no, I can't. They already saw a lot of my skills, I can't really show them more.

    "I'm sorry, but… I would like to walk my own path."

    "Told you," says Rania, she's also smiling bitterly.

    "Well, I had to try. It's a shame we can't walk together, but I don't want this to be the end. I'm going back to my hometown for a short trip but I will come back here later and continue my adventuring. Then I would like to meet you again if you would like," his words have a hint of sadness on them.

    "Oh yes. Please, let us meet again," I answer.

    "I live in the Faium Principality, at the capital. If we don't cross paths come visit me. My family runs a magic tool shop, we produce a lot of the wind stones used in the country. My last name is Asaf so you can search for my family with this. You... shouldn't have much problem finding the family shop there."

    Faium Principality is a country subordinate to the empire, like this town. It's to the southwest quite a distance away. Also his last name is Asaf, it sounds arabic, but he's as caucasian as they come.

    "Understood. If we don't meet on this town then I will visit you. I don't really have plans to leave this place for some time, though."

    "Then it's decided! I look forward to meeting you again. For now I have business to do, we have to prepare for our trip. See you again sometime Mr. Ryder," Nour says and bows.

    "One last thing, Mr. Ryder. Good luck in the future, you seem to be making waves already." He points towards the small crowd at the hunt reports.

    I wish I wasn't Nour, I wish I wasn't.

    Rania and Liam also bow and say their goodbyes. I'm just left with a few curious gazes, a letter and a head full of thoughts.



    I leave the guild and start walking the streets looking for books while thinking about things. A companion certainly would be helpful, if I had someone to watch my back there would be no need to fear the orc crushing my head. If I had someone like Nour help me then for sure I would feel safer, it's not about his skill but his actions. I might be considered the one who saved them, but that moment that Nour threw himself at the orc's arm was the moment he saved me.

    And it's not like Blood Slaves are completely miserable people, it depends on the master. Liam for example seems pretty proud and content with his job, he seems no different than a knight or a retainer with the task of protecting his lord. If I hire someone for a few years it might be the same as hiring a guard or something.

    The concept of depriving someone of his freedom might put people off, but I'm a bitter realist, Blood Slaves are merely mercenaries that come with a magical contract. Hell, even the Gods are observing so it's not abused.

    Oh! I found a small book telling the Tale of Creation, it even has a lot of cute drawings in it. I'm buying it! 2 silver.

    Now that I think about it I should ask Ciel about what the gods think of slavery. It seems odd to me they are getting involved in issues of morality. If the gods themselves say it's okay, who am I to go against them?

    But this also means that society won't really progress. The world might be safer by having the gods watch over us but it's like an overprotective mother, we won't suffer but we won't learn. Adding that to the skill system and I think the progress of this world might be slow. I wanna look at a chronology of this world, I bet things don't really change. It's called a "Playground" after all. If things change too much and too fast the genre of the game changes to sci-fi while you are not looking.

    I think the best thing is that I can prohibit the slave from talking about me, this way I don't have to worry too much about my abilities showing. I could even tell the truth that I'm not from this wor-...

    What the hell? there's a man on a carpet flying around. He's darting along the street and making quick turns and barrel rolls.

    What's the matter Aladdin, looking for Jasmine?

    Once the entire street stop to stare at him the man lowers near the ground and stands up on the carpet.

    "Good day gentlemen and gentlewomen!" He says in a loud voice that has the characteristic buzzing of someone talking on a microphone, "I have showed you all just a small glimpse of the newest magical stone developed! The true flying stone! Incomparable to that common fake jewel that allowed only for you to ridiculously float around, this one allows you to fly fast like a bird, turn so fast a dragon would be envious and make tricks that impress even the Emperor! This stone is the bleeding edge of technology. Even the army is buying them in hopes of constructing the dream of every adventurer, the airships!"

    Ooooh, airships, my nerd heart is pounding.

    "Come to the Quizzical Emporium at the Bazaar for the latest stones. We have stones so big you can build airships that can hold as much as 6 people! I hope to see you there, honorable citizens!" And he darts away, this time for good.

    The street starts buzzing with people talking. I feel like clapping my hands in excitement. I add this flying stone to my notes as research options. This along with the [Golemancy] skill makes me excited.

    Wait what was I thinking about? Uh… oh yeah, I think that I could even tell the truth about my origin to the Blood Slave. It's risky but if I make a contract of at least 20 years it might be enough to get the trust or goodwill for him to keep quiet about it. In that time I might even find a way to deal with it if the word gets out. If I acquire enough power I might be able to squash the rumors too.

    So I see little reason not to buy one. I don't really have any idea what the price might be, so I should go look for the value of the rose coin. The banker is near the nobles quarters, so I need to cross town. I will first go to the temple, eat something nearby, talk to Ciel about the gods and slavery and then go to the banker and see the value of the rose coin. I think I might visit the slave trader tomorrow morning. It's near the castle at the north of town, so it's another long trip there. Maybe I should look for the price of that magic carpet, I don't feel like paying for a space mage transport, I always hated taxis.



    I look for a better restaurant this time and I found one serving Great Boar meat. They are not commonly found here but a hunter expedition deep into the Sea of Trees found a pack there so the city has a lot of boar meat for the next few days.

    The beans are good but I miss rice too. I'm a brazilian who immigrated to Canada so I miss my homeland staple food once in a while. Rice, beans and brazilian-style barbecued meat.

    I wait a little in a tea shop. They serve something similar to black tea with an unidentified citric fruit. Is this earl grey? Tastes similar but closer to oranges. A few simple butter cookies went well with it.

    Then I go into the temple and search for Ciel. I took a walk around the statues, the temple is too big so I need to circle to find her. She's not down here. I ask a standby priest and he tells me she's at the orphanage. Luckily she isn't on a free day.

    The orphanage looks exactly the same as the priest living quarters, the only difference is that instead of priests there are children entering and leaving all the time.

    The orphanage is a large, white, and rectangular box-shaped building. The orphanage and the quarters seems to be the only buildings where some decoration is allowed. They have a brown tiled roof, which looks a little expensive for a religious institution. There's flowery carvings all around the building, which are filled with a gradient of colors.

    It's quite pretty, makes me feel like I'm looking into an open air art installation of some kind. There's a brown picket fence surrounding both buildings, is it really okay for me to enter uninvited?

    The building is in the middle of the plot. I can see some sort of small flower garden behind it, while the front is a simple grass garden with a cobble path towards the entrance. There's a metal swing, a merry-go-round and a raised goal where some kinds are playing some sort of ball game where they carry a small ball on their hands. Doesn't look like rugby.

    I gather some courage and enter the area. A few boys look interested in my sword, the rest ignore me. I enter the building and meet an old male priest.

    "Oh hello, can I help you?" Says the man on a gentle voice that tickles my ears. His eyes look at me warmly.

    "I'm… looking for Miss Ciel."

    "Oh! The sister is on the kitchen, I will call her over. What's your name?"

    "Wolf Ryder. Uh, if she's busy I will just come another time, it's not urgent business."

    "She's also not really busy. Don't worry, I will call her over. Come sit here at the sofa."

    He takes me to a room with a few simple sofas around a table, I guess this is the guest room. Then he leaves.

    The inside is made of grey square stone and the floor is made of wood, the only decoration is some wooden pillars around. The guest room has a small fireplace and a painting of the multiple humanoid gods hanging above. Kinda cozy.

    After a few minutes Ciel comes carrying a tray with a tea set and cookies. Oh no I just drank tea. I don't wanna deny her hospitality so I'll just pretend I'm not full.

    "Good afternoon Mr. Ryder. I was wondering when you would come back," she says while pouring tea to me.

    "I was training in a dungeon, I came back last night."

    "I'm glad you are okay. Every day-cycle we have news of someone disappearing in the dungeon, so please be careful."

    "My motto is 'don't die'. So I have no plans of dying soon."

    She chuckles.

    "Ah, one thing, what is a day-cycle?" I ask.

    "Oh? Well, a day-cycle is a period of 10 days, a half-cycle is 5. Every day-cycle you are advised to deeply bathe once, every day-cycle you are advised to pray once, every day-cycle you should make merry at least once, every half-cycle the town watch goes out to cull monsters, every half-cycle you should make love to your partner at least once, every half-cycle the meals should change."

    "How about months and years?"

    "Months have 30 days and there's 10 months, so 300 days a year."

    So a day-cycle is a standard unit of time here, like Earth's week. Perhaps 10 days is chosen because on the Tale of Creation the "base" elements are 10. Dunno why 30 and 300 are chosen, maybe it was made this way just so it was somewhat similar to Earth. I don't think the japanese think anything special about the number 3 or 10.

    Ciel is both amused and confused by these questions.

    "Ah, I see. In my homeland we say weeks, instead of day-cycle and it was 7 days, not 10."

    "How curious… so, what do you wanna talk about today?"

    "I heard about Blood Slaves and I got curious why the Gods get involved into it."

    "Hah, what a curious question… the humanoid Gods are chosen to be our guides. They keep us on a straight path so we don't make a mistake and destroy ourselves. We need to keep united and strong so we can always put a front against the Monster King. It's their reason of existence to get involved into every aspect of our lives."

    "But what if we want to abolish slavery? Shouldn't every person be able to live their lives in freedom?" I say, I'm just playing devil's advocate for now.

    Ciel looks troubled, she thinks a bit before saying.

    "What do you think freedom means?"

    "Shouldn't every person be able to live the way they wish to be? Isn't it cruel to deprive innocent people from the years of their lives regardless of reason? Isn't it too much to have absolute control over someone's life? To be able to toy with someone's body, to make them do everything you want against their wishes even if it's not immediately harmful. Don't we deserve absolute control over our bodies?"

    Ciel looks surprised at first, then she smiles.

    "Is that your opinion on slavery, Mr. Ryder?"

    "No, I'm just curious what is the opinion of a priest on these matters."

    "Are you sure you shouldn't call yourself a scholar? I have passed through these same arguments when being taught about philosophy and morals."

    I shrug.

    "Like I said, I'm just a curious person."

    She looks at me with a kind smile for a few seconds, she seems to be really amused. Then she talks, "Alright. To answer your questions let me tell you this. We are all creations from the God of Creation, regardless of where you are born, our mission is to survive and keep the cycle going. Even if you are born ignorant of the gods they still watch and protects us, knowing of their existence only makes it easier for them to help us. Just like the God of Creation is a subordinate of the God of Change, we are subordinates of the God of Creation and the slaves are subordinates to us. We were never given freedom, it was never the reason of our existence. You can run and hide from your objective but the gods will find a way to guide you back to the path or simply kill you. We do not have freedom."

    "What do you mean by 'kill you'?"

    "Exactly that. The Genderless God of Existence is a subordinate from the God of Creation that watch over us and kills those who stand in the way of our objective."

    "Directly?"

    "Yes, directly."

    "If he can do that, why doesn't he govern us like a king does?"

    "Because that goes against the principle of the God of Change, to keep things moving forward. If a god, who exists for a single purpose, is given power to govern us, then we will be forever stuck on that god's mentality."

    "But isn't having a god control our fate different than having us control the fate of another being who is on the same level as us?"

    "We are not all on the same level. Those who can protect others lord over those who can't. This is the reason of existence of nobility, they are the ones responsible for commanding us and protecting us. Slavery is just another level on the hierarchy. It goes from the Overseer, to the God of Change, to the God of Creation, to the Genderless God of Existence, to the Humanoid Gods, to the royalty, to the nobility, to the commoner, to the Blood Slave, to the normal slave and finally to the criminal slave."

    So might makes right, in a certain way. At least the gods seem to protect against sadism and cruelty, but I don't know how much.

    The society's structure is ruled by gods and if you wanna change it you basically have to destroy half the gods in this world. It's truly a world with a stagnating social progress.

    "But what if we want to overthrow the nobility and implement democracy, wouldn't that be considered progress? Abolition of slavery would be the same, we would require to bring a new system and improve our society so there's no need for slavery."

    "Just because we are fighting the God of Destruction and we worship the God of Change doesn't mean that the God of Order is wrong. We can't just keep changing everything, we need certain things to remain as it is, it's a balance."

    "You don't view the God of Destruction as an evil force since he's trying to kill us all?"

    "Gods are different beings than us, they exist for a sole purpose. Do you feel guilty if you step on an ant while casually walking? Neither us or the ants are in the wrong, we are just two beings who entered temporary conflict and one existence was ended."

    It seems this world doesn't view the God of Order or the God of Destruction as "evil", just as an "enemy".

    I stop and reflect on her words a little.

    "Going back a little, do the gods specify when they intervene?"

    "To prevent people from abusing the line if the criteria is known we are never told why exactly someone receives godly punishment."

    "So the only alternative is to keep being as good as you can to avoid punishment?"

    "Exactly."

    "But what does it mean to be a 'good person'?"

    "Well, you basically follow the teachings of the Humanoid Gods. Things like not wasting food, not relishing in hurting others, not committing crimes, not stealing from others, not extorting from others, helping if you can, things like that. It depends on the god and there are many, many teachings. You are not required to follow them all perfectly, you won't be punished because you wasted a piece of food. If you keep doing it the gods will send messages and warnings, if you keep defying them then you get punished."

    It is reasonable, but still inflexible. Morality really is defined by the gods, but since the gods are chosen among those of us, then in a way morality is actually defined by us. It just depends on the criteria of how the gods are chosen.

    "Is there any known criteria for the Humanoid Gods being chosen?"

    "That's not known to prevent it from being exploited, but we know that all gods were once people who achieved something great."

    Then maybe it's not so bad.

    "Well, I think that's enough about slavery for me today. But just one last question, I want to choose a god to worship, can you tell me a quick resume of the Humanoid Gods?"

    "Oh! that's a good thing, it's always a good idea to worship a god, most people choose around 3 that might help their lives the most. Their names are quite self explanatory, they are: Genderless God of Existence; God of the Sun and Sister Goddess of the Moons; Goddess of Fertility; Goddess of Piety; Goddess of Will; Goddess of Love; Goddess of Growth; God of War; God of Law; God of Festivity; God of Endurance; God of Luck; Goddess of Knowledge and Brother God of Intelligence; Goddess of the Plants and Twin Brother God of the Animals."

    Moons as in there's more than one moon? To be honest I haven't looked at the moon during my days here. I had no reason to since I went immediately to sleep after getting dark. I gotta remember to check the sky tonight.

    "What does the Goddess of the Moons and the God of the Sun do?"

    "They were the first gods. They worked in a more general sense, bringing happiness from those who work below the Sun or the Moons. Today they are not worshiped as much but they are the ones who talk the most to their worshipers."

    Oh so I really gotta worship one of them if I want to talk to a god.

    "I will think about choosing one for now. Thank you for your time Miss Ciel, this is really enlightening."

    "Thank you for choosing me to talk to, you really made me remember the basis of my faith and stimulated my thoughts. I enjoyed a lot talking to you."

    "Then I will be off. I will see you another day."

    "I will be waiting," he waves goodbye.

    When I leave, I see that the priest I talked to when I entered was standing on a neighboring room. Perhaps he was eavesdropping? It doesn't matter much to me.

    Now I gotta go to the banker and see the conversion rate for the rose coin. The bankers are all over the noble quarters as a safety measure. Since it doesn't matter which one I go I'm just gonna go to the closest one.



    The walk to the banker was quite long. I gradually saw the adventurer's carnival turn into the more refined wealthy person who has a proper fashion sense. Clothing with decorations on the side of the arms, flanks, and legs with velvet sleeveless jackets and cloaks seems to be the fashion.

    I thought about passing by the university's library but looking at my clothes I think it might be a very uncomfortable experience. From what I understood the university is either for the gifted or the wealthy or noble. I need at least a set of better looking clothing to enter there.

    That thought gets reinforced when I enter the bank. This is a fancy, fancy place. Spiral supporting pillars with details in gold and purple, black floor tiles with a perfect shine, couches that make my ass tingle when I see them, uniforms that make the attendants look as fashionable as nobles and a large line of decorated booths where attendants wait with a smile. I wanna finish my business here quickly and then leave.

    I find the nearest attendant and shyly ask for the conversion rates of the coins. I feel he looks at me coldly but responds in a perfect tone without any hint of rudeness. He points me to a wall where familiar black boards are hanging.

    It seems these are boards are made of some sort of magical material or something. The boards hold conversion rates for a variety of coins. Most are for foreign coins where the board in the center with the decorated borders is the one for the local coins.

    The coins are alloys and their value depends on the alloy composition and weight. Governments might change the alloys and weight of the coin as economic measures. As an example, they could reduce weight to save costs, introduce cheaper metals or change the alloy when new mines are found or old ones are exhausted.

    To my extreme happiness, rose coins are very valuable.

    The normal exchange rate the empire aims to is that copper, silver, gold and rose coins have a 1:100 exchange rate. Which means that 1 silver equals 100 copper, 1 gold equals 100 silver and so on.

    The attendant explained that a few months ago a mine was discovered that held a massive amount of a platinum, which is used for rose gold. The rose coin is just an alloy of gold and copper and a small amount of platinum is added to give it value. The gold and copper is just for color coding the coin because the amount of platinum is too small to make it into a normal coin. The coin is also never used without someone who can appraise the metal. The [Metal Appraisal] skill gives a percentage of alloys in the coins when I used it, so that's how they do it.

    The current version of the rose coin is worth 70 gold. The empire will soon mint a new coin with a higher platinum content to adjust the price. The attendant says the value is going to drop 1 or 2 more gold before it stabilizes so there's little reason to hold this coin. The attendant looks visibly surprised when I tell him I want to exchange my coin. I just hope I don't get accused of stealing from somebody. But considering the price of some of the adventuring equipment I wouldn't be surprised if an adventurer finds something worth a rose coin or two.

    The attendant points me to the corner of the wall where a few attendants deal with money exchange. There's no line, so I go there, present my coin, get the gold counted in front of me. I take it and leave immediately. That place was making me feel stressed.

    There's still some time until dusk so I kill some time and buy 3 books with random hero tales and 1 romance book. I'm not a romance type but I wanna understand what is love in this world. I also found a very fluffy pillow, so I'm gonna use this one now.

    I also decide to quickly buy a middle-range set of clothes and a cloak. It's a dark-blue woolen shirt with golden lines passing on the sides of the arm, black pants following the same design, black leather shoes and a fashionable dark-blue velvet cloak. The cloak doesn't cover my left side, it goes down to my waist on my right side and there's a small piece that is fastened to my left arm. I saw a few people using it already so I don't think it's too out of the norm even if it looks ridiculous to me.

    After that I find a stall selling Dragolite meat on a stick. It tastes like chicken but there's a strong lingering taste of something that reminds me of herbs. I dunno if it was the seasoning or if that's the usual taste.

    Back at the inn Selina seems cheerful as usual. The innkeeper seems to be observing me, shit I'm not trying to steal your daughter. He doesn't seem to be cold to me though.

    I go to sleep very relaxed and content with my choice of pillow.

    I have a short dream with the Gargling Goblin. After frustratingly waking from the nightmare I dream of killing goblins but it wasn't another nightmare, it was a memory of the adrenaline rush of a fight.



    Today the breakfast had vinegar on the salad, seems like it's apple vinegar. I'm starting to want to look at the Farmer's Market and look for some fruit or something to make juice. I can ask the inn kitchen to prepare it for me.

    After breakfast I put on my new, more fashionable clothes and start moving towards the castle.

    Today I see a few pamphlets advertising the Quizzical Emporium, a drawing of an airship is visible. They are going all out on the advertising.

    The airship design is that of a horizontal egg, the top half of the egg is smaller, which gives a deck for people to walk on. Plenty of propellers can be seen behind it, it's apparently the means of propulsion. So does this mean that this world has a concept of aerodynamics?

    As I move on I see the castle in its full glory for the first time. It's made of blue-grey bricks and plenty of decorated windows can be seen from it. It looks like a square tower that reduces in diameter every 10 or so meters. It starts massively thick and gets smaller the higher it is until it becomes really thin and goes up a few dozen meters before a huge flag is hung from a pole on its top. Even at this distance it's possible to discern the details on the flag.

    At first I didn't pay attention because the streets are pretty crowded in crooked multi-storey buildings. So you can't really see much of the details until you get into the main brick road that goes to the castle.

    The stores around the main road are all of the highest quality and with a lot of variety. Restaurants, tea shops, bakeries, bookstores, magic shops, magic crafters, smiths, magical smiths, potion sellers, high class inns, taverns that remind me of modern rustic restaurants, furniture shops, real estate and the closer you get to the castle the more perfume shops there is. I don't resist and buy the cheapest men's perfume I can find. 1 gold coin, it's just so damn expensive.

    Finally I find the slave trader that the Nour's letter names on the envelope, it's called Golden Necklace.

    I think I should have bought even better clothes, the slave trader is as lavish as the bank. It has an incredibly glossy dark floor and golden seams connecting the tiles, the walls are adorned with plenty of crystal statues of humanoids. The building is large but the lobby is small and filled with doors to other rooms.

    Once I enter an old man with some clothes that are strikingly similar to a suit and tie comes to me.

    "Welcome, Grand Sir. How may I help you?" The man bows and talks to me.

    "Good day. I have a letter of recommendation here."

    And I deliver it. The man takes the letter, looks at the seal and turns to me.

    "Could you follow me? I will take you to a private room and then take the letter to the head so he can verify its contents."

    "Understood," I say and nod.

    He opens one of the nearby door and leads me inside. I guess all those doors were rooms like these. Two lavish couches and a glass table are present in the room, there's no windows and the lighting is magical, shining jewels on the ceiling bring light into the room. I see a small vent on the corner of the ceiling, they even have ventilation technology here.

    The man motions me to one of the sofas and then leaves.

    There's another door on the other side of the room. After a few minutes, a middle-aged man with a lavish a purple silk robe and plenty of jeweled rings comes from it. The old man comes after him while carrying a tray with a tea set and cookies. I eagerly look at the brown cookies, is that chocolate!?

    The man sits and bows to me.

    "Welcome to the Golden Necklace. Your name is Mr. Ryder as the letter says, correct?"

    "Correct."

    "My name is Ghulam Bhatt, I am the head of this establishment. I am surprised at the contents of the letter given to me, you have made a powerful ally."

    "H-hello, Mr. Bhatt. I-I just did what I thought was right."

    I'm blushing, this man has a perfect tone, perfect face and perfect movements. If I were a woman I would be falling in love with him.

    "And a reward was given... now, the letter says you are looking for an adventuring companion, is that right?"

    "Yes, I have no real requirements. I only want someone who can help me fight, show me your best."

    "Any preference on gender?"

    "No…."

    That's a dangerous question.

    "Then excuse me. I will collect the best and bring them here, we will start with the women."

    I'm getting a little uncomfortable. He leaves and comes back in a few minutes with 5 women. They are all wearing a loose fitting small silk white dress, it keeps the legs bare, shows half the thighs and is open on the sides. Two of the women are so well endowed the breasts spill to the sides. I can even see the form of the nipple. This is way too dangerous and stimulating, what am I doing here?

    Oh no, the last one entered, this is too much for me. Slender body that shows a hint of muscle, light brown skin, slightly wavy black hair that goes a bit below the shoulder, a small feminine face.

    That's Lily.



    No it's not, it looks like her but it's not. I wanna jump and hug her, I wanna kiss and make love to her. I miss Lily so much, I wanna go home.

    The seller follows my gaze and turns to me.

    "That one is a mage with knowledge of blessing and dark magic with an inkling of knowledge in the rare [Summoning Magic]. If you wish to study exotic magic she's the one you need. She was also trained in simple [Potion Brewing]. She's not a front line fighter but she will be a perfect support for you. Even in bed."

    I start shaking.

    "Please remove her," I say, holding back my emotions.

    The seller gets taken aback but he obeys and the old man guides her away.

    "Was she not satisfactory?"

    "It's not… she reminds me too much of someone."

    "I see…"

    Then the seller describes each woman.

    A demon-race woman. She's tall and well-endowed. She has pure black skin , straight white hair that touches the shoulders, pure red eyes, and she can materialize a huge blade that comes out of the back of her hand. She can even fly by summoning bird wings. She specializes in spear fighting and has [Wind Magic] that supports her flight. She allows to be used as a sex slave. Oof, scary. Just gonna ignore her for now.

    A dwarf woman. She looks like a short teenager. She has a bowl cut, black hair and a round funny nose. She uses the traditional dwarven shield and hammer combo. She has [Earth Magic] and [Light Magic] for healing, she's self sufficient and lasts long.

    A human woman. She's well-endowed but she has a mean but sexy face and short black boyish hair. She's tall and strong and can hold her own against other knights. She used to be an adventurer. Her body shows plenty of scars.

    A human girl. She's average looking but has pretty brown hair. She excels in water, fire and [Wind Magic], she's basically the glass cannon. I was a bit interested in her since she had a large magic repertoire.

    Then the women go away and he brings 3 men.

    A large dragonkin. A tall and ugly man with short brown hair. He has dragon wings that he can use to fly for a short burst, small patches of sharp protruding scales from the side of his arms and legs that act as armor and can even be used as blades. He can breathe a sand storm. His experience is on all sorts of melee weapons. Truly the greatest warrior of this establishment.

    A dwarf man. He looks the same age as me despite having double my age. Similar to the dwarf woman but he can't use [Light Magic]. On the other hand he's already an experienced adventurer.

    A human man. He has a boring face and no hair. He specializes in [Blessing Magic] and [Light Magic], knows a little bit of [Wind Magic] and has some training in sword and shield. He allows to be used as a sex slave, even for other men.

    I was thinking, who is the best, the girl mage or the dragonkin? The dwarf woman was also attractive because of the healing magic. With the amount of money I have I can buy more than one but can I really take care of more than one person for now? The contracts are also only for 1 or 2 decades, acceptable.

    Seeing my indecisiveness the seller asks.

    "Mr. Ryder, can I suggest you wait 2 days until you make a decision? I have a new shipment coming and there's two great jewels there, even better than the ones here."

    I'm surprised, what's better than the dragonkin and the genius magician?

    "What about these ones, aren't they going to sell in the meantime?"

    "I can hold them until the shipment arrives, you have priority because of your recommendation. Also, these are my jewels, slaves of this quality normally take a few months to sell. It's unlikely anyone capable of buying them is going to come so soon."

    I see no reason not to, I'm going to relax for a few days anyway.

    "Alright, I'll wait."

    I wanna come back and eat those cookies again. The black one wasn't chocolate but it was a delicious mix of vanilla with a fragrant fruit, it goes perfectly with the tea. The tea seems to be something like a mix of ginger and cloves, tasted really good.



    I waste time until noon and then change back to my normal clothes and go to the hunters guild for training.

    "So you are still alive?" Says Toga.

    Not even a greeting, just a mean gaze and straight words.

    "Uh, were you expecting the contrary?"

    "You didn't come back for more training. That usually means you recklessly went into a dungeon and got yourself killed."

    "Wow, that's not far from the truth. But I played it safe and fought on Royd's Kerfuffle."

    "Even that would be dangerous, did you hear an Orc Headhunter was found on the 6th level? That could have been you."

    So, this means you care about me, Toga? Awn, I'm touched.

    "Well… t-that was me, I fought the Orc Headhunter with 3 other people."

    Toga doesn't even twitch, he just stares at me as if analyzing me. Then he looks at one of the guys at the bench, the same on that healed me the last beating I got.

    "Harper! Who was the guy that killed the Orc Headhunter!?"

    "I think it was some Wolf Ryder!" He screams back.

    Toga slowly turns at me. He stares me even deeper, as if his eyes could pierce my soul. Then I see a small smile on his mouth.

    "So, Mr. Slayer, are you here for more training?" He says, his voice is even more threatening than before.

    "Y-yes… I would like… to spar again," I say meekly while avoiding his gaze.

    He throws me a wooden sword he was carrying.

    "Pull up your guard!"

    And then he beat me again, even harder this time. There were people cheering me, encouraging me to not give up, crying in joy every time I managed to block, flinching every hit I got. I think some were betting. I couldn't pay attention to that, my life and dignity were on the line.

    This time Toga didn't just beat me, he made it into a marathon of beating. We took almost the whole afternoon fighting until I could barely stand anymore.

    "That's enough. Today was a productive day, I'm pleased with the results."

    More like pleased in seeing me suffer.

    "Thank you… for the session." That's all the words I can say until I'm fully healed.

    It took two instructors to heal me to full, my shirt was bloodied.



    I get back to the inn and Selina greets me.

    "Welcome back Mr. Ryder, did you fight something fearsome again today?"

    "Just a bloodthirsty instructor," I answer with a wry smile.

    "I-I'm sorry…" She understands the joke and hides her mouth with her hand while giggling.

    "Don't be, it's training… it's a life I chose."

    "Thank you for your effort," she bows and leaves while smiling.

    When I get back to bed I see my stats. "Endurance" and "Willpower" increased by 1, [Block], [Parry] and [Dodge] increased by 3. I guess I didn't have enough chance to use my sword for attack during this beating.

    Then I remembered there's a skill called [Shield Use], why is it not increasing? Is this an offensive skill like [Sword Use]? Do I need to attach a blade and kill something with it so it doesn't count just as [Shield Bash]?

    This is my progress so far.
    Info
    Name:Wolf RyderAge:16RaceHuman
    HP:100MP:135Magic Power:190
    Level:10Experience:189/1500
    Stats
    Strength:8Endurance:9Dexterity:9
    Speed:10Intelligence:20Wisdom:15
    Willpower:13Charisma:10Piety:3
    Perception:15 Sanity:8
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:NONE
    Companions:NONE
    Crimes:NONE
    [/table]



    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9+2Dodge3+4Parry3+4
    Block3+4Sense Presence0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency4+0Mana Recovery4+0Reduced Mana Cost4+0
    Fire Magic1+0Nature Magic5+0Blessing Magic5+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    I have a few confusing dreams about fighting, I didn't sleep very well.



    Today my body is way too sore for training, it hurts even to walk around. I wanted to talk to Selina but she's way too busy this time. It's awkward, it's not like we are friends and I can just call her anytime. We only talked during meal time, I don't know where she goes outside of that.

    I spend the morning in bed and then doze off again until it's almost time for lunch, then I get the courage to walk around and search for some exotic food.

    I found a place with a super spicy Dragolite soup, it had a hint of curry in it. Took some effort but I ate it. I'm not weak to spicy food though so I wonder what the hell was the cook thinking when he made this.

    Then I decide to go to the hunters guild to train magic. People should already know I have fire and [Electric Magic], so I'm just gonna train my mana pool. I saw in the dungeoneering tips book that mages should exhaust their mana everyday until they develop resistance to overusing mana. Doesn't seem like a lot of people follow this advice though.

    There's a skill called [Mana Overuse Resistance]. Powerful mages that get their mana too low or use mana too fast can suffer from loss of senses, painful headaches, and sore muscles, this skill reduces the symptoms of that. The advice book tells it happens because of the large amount of mana leaving your body hurts the soul or something, so it happens more often to people with large mana pools.

    There's another skill called [Blackout Resistance]. It allows you to remain conscious even after having your mana in the negatives. These 2 skills are really hard to get but they are super useful in a situation of life and death. Having your mana in the negatives means you used part of your soul as a source of power. This damages your HP and normally leads to unconsciousness. But for a back line caster that should always have full health being able to trade your health for magic is huge. It's just not recommended to use as a normal part of the strategy because it shaves years off your life. You also have to deal with the feedback from overuse before blackout becomes relevant.

    I tell the manager that I'm just gonna do mana pool training with [Fireball] and he gives me the ok. I put my normal battle stats and start casting [Fireball].

    I can only do 12 until I'm tired then I wait meditate until it recharges and repeat. I tried casting 13 once but I nearly fainted from overuse and due to embarrassment decided to not do it again.

    I kept to the furthest corner so people wouldn't notice I don't chant and also so I can stay far away from the sadistic gaze of Toga. I have seen others use [Fireball] and a small one is chanted nearly instantly. I thought about putting points in [Mana Control] so I can change the size of the [Fireball] but I didn't think it would be necessary to go to this level of deceit.

    This is really taxing mentally. My head starts hurting when I'm low on mana and it takes quite some effort for me to concentrate on meditating. I manage to do it until it's almost dusk, then I go back to the inn.

    I'm starving, it seems using mana makes you more hungry than normal. I had to ask for a second serving of the already generous meals the inn gives.

    "What's gotten you so hungry?" Asks Selina.

    "It seems training magic makes you super hungry," I manage to answer between my desperate eating.

    "You can use magic too!? That's amazing, what spells can you use?"

    "Oh… i-it's nothing. Just a small [Fireball] and support spells for myself, like [Regeneration] and [Wind Armor]," I desperately talk back.

    "'Nothing'? You are quite humble. A magician who knows the sword is such a romantic way of fighting."

    "Uh… what do you mean 'romantic'?"

    "Most stories of heroes are people like you, melee fighters with a trump card in magic. Their experience lends them the wisdom to make the most of their powers. Like that one whose entire strategy relied on finding the chance to cast a single [Shocking Touch] into the eye of a dragon, it was all or nothing. A huge, dangerous and feared monster can be brought down with a single, simple spell. Oh the wit required to fool the dragon into getting close enough even though it knew what the adventurer was capable of. I got chills when I read that tale."

    Is this what a normal girl thinks about or are you just special?

    "Indeed, sounds like a poetic fight," I laugh and answer.

    Oh boy, this girl melts my heart. But… Lily… I couldn't admit this at the beginning but it seems I will spend a long time here. Does the time on earth stop or are you still looking for me? If I were to take decades to come back she knows I would tell her not to wait. I'm far too pragmatic, I don't want her to spend who knows how long waiting for me. I want her to find someone and be happy, even if that someone isn't me.

    Is it cheating if I do it inside a game? Will it be cheating if when I die here I get transported back to my wedding? I just don't know, there's no way I can know and no way that I can find how to know. I just don't want to be alone, I just want to be happy and I miss sleeping and waking up beside my wife.

    It's not even a month and I'm like this, but in the first few days I already got plenty of life and death situations that would last me an entire lifetime on Earth. I just want some happiness before I die horribly in this world… can someone tell me how long I should wait before it's okay for me to pursue someone else? Is that a question that is even possible to be answered fairly?

    When I get on my bed I cry a little and fall asleep.



    I had a nightmare of the Headhunter staring at me with his beady little eyes.



    This second day my body feels better but I'm still not good enough to be beaten again into a pulp. I also didn't increase my strength yet so I think I should start a muscle training regimen. I will exercise myself quickly before bath like I did on Earth, I just need something to replace dumbbells.

    I look at my MP and see it increased by 30 now (165), that's a nice amount. I can certainly cast [Fireball] one more time now. No "Magic Power" increase though, I wonder what is needed for that.

    Today the breakfast is bean salad with not-corn crumbs and a leg of Rabid Rabbit. Honestly the cuisine around here is not bad, I just really miss rice.

    Now what do I do today? I'm not really in the mood for exploring, my head is still heavy with last night's thoughts. It's like I mentally cornered myself, I don't think I will get out of it unless I make a decision to ignore part of my mentality. Any decision I make will end up hurting a part of me, so obviously I should choose the one which hurts less. But it's not that easy to be logical on the matter of love, this is a thing that's purely emotional.

    I try to pick up the romance book to read but I can't concentrate so I just absentmindedly turn around the pages without absorbing anything.



    After wasting my morning I decide to hurt myself and go to the training ground to increase my MP again. I just pick a random stall and eat lunch on the street. Tastes bland, I barely even remember what I ate.

    This time Toga wasn't staring so much at me, he seemed satisfied at the amount of pain I was giving to myself.

    Besides forgoing shame and losing my senses 5 times from overuse, nothing happens and I just robotically repeat my training sequence with [Fireball] followed by meditation. I got a bit of a headache, though.

    I come back and absentmindedly eat my dinner. Selina wasn't serving today, I don't know why. In the end my mood just got worse.



    I dreamt of the Gargling Goblin again. This time I told him to fuck off but it didn't help and I woke up in the middle of the night sweating cold.



    In the morning I look at my MP and see it increased by 50 (now 215) this time. It's a large amount, I certainly did well in the training.

    Now it's finally the day to buy a slave. I anxiously eat my breakfast and go to the slaver. I don't even know what I want from it anymore.

    "Welcome again, Grand Sir. Would you like to go to the room immediately? I will call the head, the new shipment is ready for inspection."

    "Sure, please do."

    I enter the room and remember the heavenly cookies and tea. This thought takes some of the edge off.

    This time the old man comes first and leaves me to devour the cookies, did he notice I liked them? There's double the amount than the other day.

    "Welcome again to the Golden Necklace, Mr. Ryder. I'm glad you waited, the new shipment was astounding, I'm sure you will be happy," Ghulam says after bowing.

    He sits and claps his hand, then the door is opened by the old man.

    Astounding indeed, I froze when they entered. Two women, two beautiful women.

    A fox girl. Light brown hair, nearly orange with a bob cut. Diamond jaw, small lips and nose, round orange eyes, pointy orange fox ears on top of the head, such an incredibly cute face. When she walks sideways I can see an orange fox tail dangling about, it even has a white tip. Looks so soft I wanna hug it.

    An elven girl. Silver straight hair, it almost shines. Short, skin as white as snow. Oval face, upturned blue eyes, nearly asian, small pointy nose, red lips and the unmistakable long pointy ears of the elves protruding at a right angle from her head.

    That's honestly not what I thought when he said the new slaves would be even better than the previous ones. I thought a bigger monster than the dragonkin would appear or something. And judging my current state I don't think I should be in this room with these two girls.

    "These are my two new prizes. The fox girl is Alissa. She's an offering from an exclusive deal Rabanara has with her fox clan, they train and give a slave every 3 years to this town. It took me a lot of luck but I managed to acquire her. She has been taught since her birth her destiny is to be a combat slave. Due to her beauty she has also been trained on how to serve a man, but don't worry, she's guaranteed to be a virgin.

    "Her skills in tracking are amongst the 5 best of her clan, her nose and ears are her best tools but she still learned how to hunt with ease. She has a real talent with the bow and the short sword. Her dexterity and speed means she has pinpoint accuracy. She has the rare skill of [Sense Presence] so she's perfect for hunting. She was also trained in the traditional lifestyle magic so she's ready to live even amongst the nobility.

    "The other one is called Silvane. She's the daughter of a fallen noble from the elven lands of Elaria, so she has no relation to the elves on this side of the continent. Her father, mother and brother were executed as punishment for failing to fulfill their duties as nobility so she has no supporters which will save her. Like normal her only hope of regaining nobility is by following an adventurer who achieves heroic feats. Like all nobility she was trained in serving men and how to care and manage a house and a business.

    "Her skills are in [Light Magic], [Blessing Magic], [Wind Magic], [Nature Magic], [Earth Magic] and [Fire Magic]. She has an amazing mana pool as she was training to help her family in managing the dungeons in their territory. She's guaranteed to become an amazing magician in the future if you train her right. She's also a virgin.

    "Both have contracts for life," he adds.

    Oh boy.

    I need to leave this place. I'm not in the right mindset to make a rational decision on who to choose. Only one of the women talked about "servicing men" so I didn't even think of them in this way. But now, seeing these girls who are ready (and willing?) my body aches for comfort. That need for comfort fights my fragmented will and guilt from my love for Lily. What am I supposed to do? Wait, there's a way out! They must cost an exorbitant amount, there's no way I can buy them, right?

    "W-What's t-the cost? T-they must be t-too expensive for me."

    "With the discount from your recommendation, 60 gold for the elf girl, 70 for the fox girl."

    NO!

    "There's no rush. If you want to talk or observe them closer it's allowed, such an investment shouldn't be done hastily," the man says with a grin.

    He noticed my situation, I'm desperately holding myself. He trapped me here, there's no way I'm going away without buying one of them now.



    I'm weak… I'm sorry Lily… but I'm far too weak. This world hurts far too much and I'm far too scared that I will die to pass on the chance of some happiness. There's a devil disguising as a man who's tempting me, he threw two wonderful women in front of me and said: "Here! Pick one, grab her, fuck her, make her yours. She will be your thing, your toy, forever, no strings attached, no messy relationships, no love dynamics, no anxiety from rejection, she's your perfect woman. Even the fucking gods tell you it's okay to do it, now fucking choose!"

    I'm sorry Lily… I'm a bad man, I'm sorry you fell in love with me, it's okay to not wait for me. I will do what I want in this fucking world because there's no one fucking else that will help me. I was abandoned here without care so I will abandon whatever is holding me back from my previous world. This world will be mine… wait no, too far.



    "I will take Alissa."
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  9. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    "Now, cut your hand with this knife and fill this with your blood," Ghulam says. He gives me an adorned dagger and small bowl. "If you can't do it it's no problem, Sebastian will do it for you and immediately heal you."

    I cut my hand.

    FUCK! IT HURTS! But I manage to retain my dignity and didn't cry out.

    I fill the small bowl with my blood and then Sebastian immediately heals my hand. Is this a thing that all butlers must be called Sebastian or something similar?

    The old man Sebastian then gives the bowl to Alissa. She immediately puts the bowl on her lips and drinks my blood. Meanwhile Ghulam is chanting something.

    "[Contract of Servitude]," he calmly says and touches Alissa's head, "Now, point the place where you want the symbol of slavery to appear. It will be a small circle with your name on it. If you don't want your name to show you can tell me and I will hide it."

    "It's okay to show my name. Put it on her left wrist."

    She's right handed so it shouldn't show too much.

    Ghulam grabs her wrist.

    "[Mark of the Master]," he says and a small light appears from the middle of his fingers.

    A small black circle appears on her wrist. In small letters I can see it written "Wolf Ryder" in Andraste. Around the black circle there's a few letters from an alphabet I don't recognize.

    "Now, do you want any additional spell? For you it's for free."

    "Only the speech limitation."

    He touches her throat and starts chanting again.

    "[Tongue of Obedience]," he says. A small light appears from the tip of his finger and enters Alissa's throat.

    "There, now anything you consider a secret she won't be able to tell others about. Anything else?"

    "No. Thank you."

    "Then it's done. I really appreciate doing business with you. Please come back again, the letter only allowed for the discount one time but I will gladly do business with you again," Ghulam says, his charming smile now seems like the devil's.

    "I will certainly come back," I say.

    I think I crossed the point of no return, there's no need to hide my intentions.

    "Here's the gift we give to anyone who buys one of our women," he hands me a ring he fished out of his pocket" It's a Ring of Fertility. Put some magic into it and the man or woman that wears it will not be able to impregnate or get pregnant.

    I get shivers down my spine.

    Ghulam picks the documents I signed and the gold. The man he called to appraise the gold already left. Then he leaves me alone with Alissa.

    "Master, may I change to my other clothes now?" Alissa says. Those are the first words she said to me. Her voice is on the perfect pitch, not too high, not too low. She looks at me with a neutral expression.

    "Y"yes, please do."

    She immediately pulls up her one piece, she was not wearing anything below.

    GAH! Too much stimulation. Even though I wanna see I'm not in the right state of mind to stare at her.

    She changes into the normal clothes Ghulam gave to her. A white slightly loose shirt, black pants and some cute looking black shoes. I could only stare at her feet and God, even those are cute.

    "I am ready now," she says.

    "T-then let's go."


    We silently walk towards the inn. She walks slightly behind me, but still close. She still keeps her neutral expression. At least she doesn't look sad.

    I don't know what to say, am I supposed to make conversation? I guess not since I'm her master now I don't need to be her friend, but it will be lonely if I'm not friendly. I guess there's no need to rush or force anything, we will get used to each other.

    We get to the inn and I talk to the innkeeper.

    "I would like to change rooms, I need one for two people now."

    "Single bed or double bed?" He asks. He glances at Alissa and doesn't manage to contain a smile.

    Please stop, I'm already embarrassed enough.

    "Double," I barely manage to say it.

    "Then here's the key. Second room, second floor. Take out all your things from the safe and return the key to me please."

    "I don't have anything on it, here's the key."

    We exchange keys.

    I walk towards my new room. It's going to be noon soon and I'm starting to feel hungry but I want to talk to Alissa in private first.

    We enter the room and I immediately fall face first on the bed, my nerves are killing me.

    What did I just do? I bought someone. Hahah, point of no return.

    I look at her and she's just standing there looking at me. So I guess she's not gonna do anything unless ordered.

    "You will be living with me here now, we will be sharing the same bed. You can come and sit, lay down if you want. I don't want you to keep tiring yourself by standing."

    "Yes, thank you master," she says, I notice her tail is standing still.

    "Then come and sit beside me."

    "Y"yes."

    What was that? She was calm and collected, her expression is neutral so far but that voice just now wasn't congruent to her expression. Is she a master of poker face?

    She comes and sits beside me. This time she doesn't stare at me and now observes the room.

    I grab her hand, she twitches a little and looks at me. I knew it, she's also tense and scared. She looks so cute I feel like teasing her. Oh god, my shyness already went away, the sadist is coming out.

    "Well then, what have you heard about me?" I ask. I merely enjoy the softness and warmth of her hand.

    "The head says you are a powerful and upcoming adventurer and that you need a companion for fighting. I'm sorry, he couldn't specify anymore than this though."

    Powerful? Nour please, that's too much.

    "There's… No need to be sorry. Well then, first thing is is that I have a lot of secrets. That's why I bought a Blood Slave, I need a companion that can keep a secret."

    "Then there's no need to worry about it, master. Please use the [Tongue of Obedience] as you wish, your secrets will be safe even during torture."

    "No, no, no, no" "I cringe slightly" "There's no need to go that far. My secrets are just things that will attract attention and I don't want attention, at least for now.

    Those were dangerous words Alissa, nobody is going to get hurt because of me.

    "I see… I think I understand," she looks away and puts a finger on her chin, cute. "Master is powerful so other people might get in the way and try to use you. So you want to hide this power, is that right master?"

    "That's right, it's like that," I smile at her cute expression, "Now, today and tomorrow we are not leaving town. Today I want to buy your equipment and tomorrow I want you to train at the hunters guild to get used to it. If I'm lazy we will rest a third day and then on the fourth we will work again."

    "I'm alright with whatever you wish, master," she smiles back. Oh god that's even cuter, please stop.

    "Then there's something I'm dying to do… Can I touch your ears and tail?"

    "Y"you don't have to ask… But please be gentle, they are sensitive," she blushes and lowers her head for me.

    Her ears are on the top of her head, she doesn't have human ears. It looks weird if you pull back the hair so I guess a hairstyle shorter than hers is not a thing for wereanimals. I rub her ears and I get filled with bliss, they are made of a very soft cartilage. Along with its furry parts they make for something very comfy to touch.

    Her hair makes even me envious, it's so soft to the touch and glossy. It flows perfectly when she tilts her head just slightly.

    The fox tail is a muscle that has hair even more fluffier than her head. I wanna squeeze it! Animal ears, animal tail, kemonomimi! This is really a japanese game.

    "A"ah… Master, gentler please."

    "Sorry, does it hurt?"

    "No, it's just sensitive. It tickles a lot," she says while squirming.

    Thank god it's not an erogenous zone… Wait… Some people also do erotic things with places like the armpits or earlobes. Just because it's not immediately erotic doesn't mean it can't become erotic.

    "I will get you a very good brush, we need to keep this tail and your hair as beautiful as possible."

    "Thank you master, I will take good care of it."

    I hug her from behind and pat her head. She freezes for a few seconds and then relaxes.

    "I would also like to take care of it, it feels good to touch," I whisper in her ear.

    I used to brush Lily's hair once in a while, I liked to help keep her pretty for me.

    I keep patting her head and ears for some time. I need to do this to calm her nerves. It also feels really good to hug a girl like this, she has a very faint scent of a fruity perfume. I have to buy her more perfume.

    After some long minutes I stop and release her, she almost falls down. She must have gotten sleepy.

    "Nah?" She lets out a small sound in surprise. Stop with the cuteness.

    "Let's go out and eat lunch," I say.


    I find a nearby restaurant and ask a table for two. When I sit she remains standing by my side.

    "Please sit, we will eat meals together from now on."

    This is standard slave behavior that I need to nip in the bud.

    "Is it alright master? I'm a slave I don't need to be treated equally."

    "Well, I want a companion that I can trust not just a slave so I will treat you equally."

    "… Thank you master, you are very kind." And so she sits, her tail sways a little.

    Being called "master" is making me feel uncomfortable. But also it tickles a part of me that I didn't acknowledge before, is it alright to let it come out of the dark? Bah, screw it, I said I will abandon things that were holding me back.

    I don't want to deal with her choosing a simple meal because she's a slave so I order the same for both of us. When the meal comes she hesitates.

    "You also don't have to wait for me to start eating."

    And so we dig in.


    "First lets buy you a pillow, some proper blankets, spare change of clothes, hair brush, toothbrush, and spare shoes. We will go to the first"hand store, I don't wanna see you use hand"me"downs."

    We talk as we walk.

    "Is it really alright to treat me like this, master? I'm a slave, I'm trained to have strong endurance… Treating me softly might… negate this training."

    I couldn't resist and entwined my arm with hers, I'm starving for skinship.

    "Yes. I'm sorry if your training ends up wasted or dulled but we will lead similar lifestyles for now so I don't need you to retain your endurance… Think like this. Giving you hardships makes you tire more easily, which means you might die more easily in battle. If you die I will be wasting the money, the huge favor I used to buy you, my feelings will be hurt by losing you, and my time will be wasted since I will lose a strong companion.

    "So this is why we need to keep you happy and well rested. You need to always be at your best performance so you don't die or disappoint me. I will give you two rules, the first one is 'don't die', I don't want you sacrificing yourself for me; the second one is 'let's never get into a situation where someone needs to die', you won't have to think of sacrificing yourself for me if we don't even get in a situation that needs it. Now, do you understand your value to me?"

    She turns her face away and takes some time to talk.

    "Yes, master… Thank you, master."

    Did that make you emotional? I don't really feel good about this or think that I'm a good person because I still bought you, and I'm going to abuse you tonight. Might be even earlier if you don't stop acting cute.

    After getting the essentials I decided to buy her a simple but cute white frilly dress. I would like to buy her more but money is short and I need to buy her equipment.

    I thank the God of Luck because I found a cheap perfume that I can give to her. Later I will definitely get her an expensive one like mine. Damn, I feel like I wanna dress her up like a doll.

    This time I grit my teeth and don't buy a high"quality sleeping bag but we buy a double one. We decide that she will use a bow and an iron short sword. I get her Young Ogre leather armor, it's a red"brown color, better than hobgoblin; it's also very flexible which is good for an archer. We also buy a good composite bow, it's compact and deadly, on this we can't hold back because it's important that she deals damage.

    Warbows are a bit difficult for her, sure the penetration is unparalleled but she has problems fully drawing the bow. She's a hunter, which means she needs to draw fast and be accurate. She's not like standard army archers that fight on very long distances and just have to cover an area with arrows.

    I sold my old equipment but it was pretty shitty, not much money. I did buy an upgrade to my shield, it's a heater metal shield, still iron and black but bigger than before. It was also higher quality iron than the previous one. My previous shield had three dents and a nasty scratch that made the smith curious, that was from the attack of the Orc Headhunter.

    Alissa's [Item Box] is not too big so she only keeps her arrows there and some small personal items, like the toothbrush and hairbrush.

    Now that we got what we need we go back to the inn. I'll reserve one room for us to take a bath, together.


    We enter the room and I lock the door behind me. The reserved bath is a small room with a small wooden bathtub for a maximum of 3 people.

    "I will wash you, master," she says, her tail is stiff.

    She quickly takes her clothes off and comes to me. I just stand still and stare at her, no man should ever look away when a woman undresses.

    Her nakedness is instantly arousing. Her breasts are small, I don't know the size, is it C? I just know it's perky and cute and will fit nicely in my hand. Her bush is well kept and I can see it's actually orange. As she notices my stare her steps become awkward.

    She grabs my shirt and pulls it up. Then she unfastens both my belts and pulls down my pants. She hesitates for a moment then leaves my sword on the ground and undoes my shoes.

    "You don't really have to do it like this, I can undress myself."

    "I want to do it, master."

    Oh boy, don't say things like that. I'm already excited.

    Then she pulls down my underwear. She's crouching, it's right in front of her face in full glory. She stares for a second then gets up.

    She leads me near the water and grabs a bucket of water. She makes me sit on a stool and starts to wash my body with the soap and sponge we got today.

    Her hands are delicate and she moves with certainty. She certainly knows how to wash me. She washes my face with such delicacy it's almost like she's just patting my face but I can still feel it's effective. This is heavenly.

    Then she washes my front. There's no way around it, she has to come in front of me. Then she touches my dick.

    "E"excuse me, p"please tell me if it hurts."

    She pulls back the skin and passes the sponge on it with even more delicacy than my face. It is so stimulating I have to control myself. Then it finishes and now she's done washing me.

    "Now it's my turn."

    "Y"you don't have to bother," she says, still crouched.

    "It's not a bother, I will enjoy it." I smile mischievously.

    She resigns and we switch places.

    "Sorry if I'm rougher than you, I'm not trained in washing others," I say.

    "No need to apologize for it, master. You are allowed to enjoy yourself."

    Ohoh! Then don't mind if I do!

    Her skin is soft and there's absolutely no hair on her arms and legs, my hand just glides on her perfect skin. I can feel the hints of her muscles on her athletic body, a mix of toughness and softness.

    Seriously what is going on in this world, her skin is so perfect it makes me worried. Where are her veins? Does she even have veins? It's like she's artificial, it's unsettling me.

    "Something wrong, master?"

    "Nothing… it's just that your skin is way too perfect."

    "Don't exaggerate like this, master…" She says, a little sad. Her tail twitches.

    "I'm not exaggerating but whatever…."

    As I slowly caress her skin, I leave her tail and ears alone. I don't know how to wash them, I'm sorry Alissa. But I take special care of her hands and feet, they are so small and cute.

    Then I start working on the best that I left for last. He breasts are soft and bouncy. Lily had small breasts so I don't know what bigger breasts are supposed to feel like. I guess this is like jelly? I can't describe perfectly but I sure can enjoy them. Anyway, flat is justice.

    I work on her nipples. They are pointy, she's aroused. She starts to breathe heavier, good. I don't pinch them, I just pass my fingers by them.

    I hug her closer from behind. She feels so warm, I missed this feeling. I want her to hug me, to make me feel safe. But that will come later, for now I need to show her my love.

    So my hand glides downwards. Her neat little bush feels good on my hand, the hair is a little thicker here. I don't want to waste more time so I pass my hand over her entrance. Her breath becomes even heavier. I take my time slowly passing my hand over there until it starts to feel warmer, then I penetrate with my finger. She flinches backwards and I pinch her nipple at the same time.

    She moans, cute little moans. I don't want to ever forget this sound, it's a holy sound that men hear when the gates of heaven open.

    I start moving my hand and she starts twitching a little. One of her hands grabs my hand on her breast and squeezes it. The other hand grabs the side of my head while I breathe down her neck.

    I move my hand slowly and steadily. I increase the speed little by little. The typical sounds and smells of sex come out. She closes her eyes and lets out her voice. It's high pitched and beautiful.

    I bite her neck, I lick it, I kiss it. I keep going for a few minutes until she arches her back and her body tenses. Then she relaxes and nearly collapses in my arms.

    "What… Was… That…?" She asks, out of breath.

    "You don't know? That's a... Climax."

    "Oh… That was much… Stronger than I imagined."

    "There's still more, but I will let you rest until later."

    "T-thank you… Master… But, I haven't done anything for you."

    "Then use your mouth. You know how?"

    "Yes… I was taught that."

    I wonder how.

    I release her from my hug and she leaves the stool. I sit down and she gets on her knees. She stares at it again and blushes, then resolves herself and grabs it. Slowly she puts it into her mouth.

    It's warm and soft, she has a wide jaw opening and I don't feel any teeth. To be honest the feeling isn't special, it's the view. A cute woman who has your dick in her mouth is one of the most erotic sights you could imagine. You shouldn't watch too much porn, it will rot your brain and make you fantasize too much about sex only to be disappointed at reality.

    She slowly moves her head. I can feel her tongue moving around, now that feels good.

    "Rougher," I say.

    And she moves her tongue with more vigor, what a good girl. She keeps moving her hand with her head, which just adds to the eroticism. The pleasure, her face, the tensions of these days fading away, my fears and guilts, my dark desires, my desire for comfort and skinship, all these things contribute to me just wanting to let it out. I don't last long, barely two minutes. This is the fastest I have ever came.

    "I'm coming," I warn her.

    She doesn't pay attention and chokes on it. She only partially swallows, the rest is wasted on the floor.

    "Sorry, master."

    I laugh.

    "There's no problem, you were perfect."

    Oh shit, I still haven't kissed her yet. What kind of gentleman am I if I got the order of things wrong? There's no way I'm kissing her like this.

    "Sorry, can you brush your teeth? I wanna kiss you but I don't want to do it like this."

    She widens her eyes for a second then brings out her toothbrush with a "poof" and starts washing. The white trickle from the corner of her mouth is just so erotic. Then she murmurs something and casts [Clean] on her mouth.

    After she washes her teeth we finally get into the bath together. I hug her close and she relaxes her body on me. I finally kiss her.

    She doesn't move her tongue much so I do that job. I explore her mouth and cautiously avoid her sharper than normal canines. I'm really glad she's trained, those 4 things could leave a nasty cut and give me a new trauma that I don't need. We just spend a long time like this, kissing inside a hot bath is truly therapeutic.

    I break the kiss, she hugs me and leans her head on my neck. It feels so good it warms my heart, this is honestly the thing I needed the most. I almost cried, I just wanted to fall asleep like this.

    I'm not alone anymore.


    My eyes start closing when I hear a knock on the door. Our time is up, we have to leave.

    While feeling like I'm lifting a ton of concrete I break our hug. I see she fell asleep. Oh fucking hell how are you so cute?

    "S"sorry, I fell asleep."

    Is she blushing or is it the hot bath?

    "No need to apologize for that."

    We quietly dress ourselves and go have dinner. She hugs my arm while we walk and sits close to me. I missed things like this.

    Then Selina comes. She looks at me and at Alissa, I instinctively freeze. I could clearly see her mouth move into an "ohoho~". She smiles and goes back to work.

    What was that? I don't have the mind to think about it right now, I don't even know what I want my relationship with Selina to be.

    We eat our meal in silence.

    At the bed, it's time for round two.

    I lay down on the bed first, then she comes and kisses me. We spend a good amount of time just kissing and me just exploring her body until I finally reach between her legs and start moving the same way as before. She stops the kiss and motions to take my clothes off. I help her and in a flash we are both naked again.

    I grab her and switch positions. I'm the one in charge for our first time, sorry. I feel her and she's wet.

    I grab my Ring of Fertility and turn it on, I like the name. I also put a towel below her, you never know.

    "I'm putting it in, okay?"

    "Okay…" She says shyly. She's blushing a lot, her tail is swaying.

    I like how she's straightforward and not hesitating. I guess this is the result of training, makes things much easier.

    "If it hurts tell me please. We will do it slowly."

    She nods. I push forward and I slide in, tight. Some resistance but a quick push and it's gone. She makes a pained face and I stop. I apply [Regeneration] on her.

    "W"what? Magic?" She makes a surprised face.

    "Yes, I don't like seeing you feeling pain."

    "Thank you. It's alright now."

    "Tell me if it hurts again I can apply [Regeneration] for a long time."

    "Regen... T-that's okay," she nods and smiles.

    I start moving again. I don't try to hold it in to last longer, it's her first time, I'm tired, and I just want to enjoy myself. Her moans are now voiceless, she writhes a lot more and her nails dig on my skin. I cast [Regeneration] again on her just to be sure.

    I want to burn in my memory her cute moaning face, I want a painting of it.

    She closes her eyes and bites her lip. Then she turns her head away and opens her mouth. Her pretty little lips are so captivating and red.

    She opens her eyes, those two pretty orange circles stare deeply into me. She grabs my head and we kiss deeply again.

    You are my precious treasure.

    I don't last long and I finish inside her. I spend a long minute staring into her eyes while we breathe in each other's faces. Then we kiss one more time.


    She cleans herself with some water she conjured. The trickle of water is substantial, almost like a faucet. I guess this is what Ghulam meant when they said she's trained in lifestyle magic.

    The towel had to be washed, a small drop of blood stained it.

    We hug and sleep together naked.


    This time I didn't have a nightmare. I dreamed I was still on the bath, hugging her.


    "The breakfast is ready," says Selina.

    I open my eyes and see her face. Her ears twitch and her pretty orange eyes look at me. She smiles, cuteness first thing in the morning.

    "Good morning, master," I see her tail swaying from behind her.

    "Good morning... Were you awake for long? You don't have to keep hugging me if you were uncomfortable."

    "I wasn't uncomfortable. I have never slept like this before, I enjoyed it a lot."

    "We will always sleep like this from now on. I don't want to sleep alone ever again."

    She smiles again and nuzzles her face on my chest. I want to close my eyes again and go to sleep like this but hunger wins.

    We get up and get dressed. This night was amazing. My back didn't hurt, I didn't wake up and turn around on my sleep, I slept like a baby. The best medicine for sleep is Alissa.

    When I turn around she gasps.

    "Master, I'm sorry about this."

    "What's that?" I ask, confused.

    "Your back is scratched," she says and looks down and her posture shrinks.

    I laugh. At least the order against harming me isn't so sensitive.

    "That's the proof a man did his job, don't worry about it."


    We go downstairs and eat breakfast. Did they put extra spice? The soup tastes better today. I just wanna stare at Alissa eating, though.

    "If you are hungry it's okay to ask for more. If you get malnourished your performance will fall."

    "Understood, master," she says with a nod. Good girl.

    "Also, are you okay? Thinking of last night, are you feeling hurt or uncomfortable somewhere?"

    "I'm fine, your spells yesterday took all my pain. Thank you, master." And she nods again.

    After breakfast we go back to the room. I'm starting to feel like doing it again but I need to take it easy with her, she was still a virgin just yesterday. We also have to talk about something.

    We sit on the bed facing each other.

    "Now then. Can you open your own status window?"

    "Yes, master."

    "Then tell me every"…" I stop mid sentence.

    Ho"ho"ho, Christmas came early. I opened my own window and saw something interesting. There's a new button on the left column of the menu, it's "Followers".

    I click it.
    Info
    Name:AlissaAge:16RaceFox-Type Wereanimal
    HP:100MP:125Magic Power:24
    Level:24Experience:245/6500
    Stats
    Strength:11Endurance:18Dexterity:22
    Speed:20Intelligence:11Wisdom:12
    Willpower:16Charisma:10Piety:15
    Perception:17Sanity:15
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Blood Slave (Owner: Wolf Ryder)
    Companions:NONE
    Crimes:NONE
    Damn, those are some high stats, I'm jealous. On my status menu under "Affiliations" there's the entry "Alissa (Blood Slave)". Then I have the option to look at her skills and magic.
    AlissaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9Bow Use20Parry4
    Dodge2Sense Presence5Hide Presence3
    Enhanced Olfact5Enhanced Hearing3Pain Resistance2
    Hawk Eyes1Muscle Explosion1Quiet Steps3
    Quiet Action2Tracking 2
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control1Fire magic1
    Light Magic1Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Housework3Cooking2Cleaning2
    Washing 5Riding 2Oral Technique4
    Hand Technique2Fox Transformation (innate)4
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    Holy shit girl, you are strong. What the hell is [Muscle Explosion]? [Tracking] is a skill that goes up to 5, so I guess it's not a bad thing she's at 2. Miscellaneous skills like [Cooking], [Cleaning] and [Housework] go up to 10, so she's not inexperienced on it. Now I know why you she's so good at washing. Also Oral and [Hand Technique] are clearly sexual. And what's that (innate) skill? I never saw it on my skill list. Finally, I'm really worried about how you got that [Pain Resistance].

    Her magic is:
    Spells
    CleanSpirit Light (weak)Conjure WaterConjure Bland Meal (weak)FireballTelekinesis
    tem Box (weak)
    So that (weak) means she learned [Item Box], [Conjure Bland Meal] and [Spirit Light] even though she didn't have enough skill points for it.

    She has 4 skill points unassigned. I can't remove points but I can add points to any skill I want, except the (innate) one. I immediately add a point to [Bow Use], that point I can remove. So it's like me, she learned those skills through training so you can't remove them. But why does she have way less skill points?

    "Master, what is it?" She asks and tilts her head, heart damage.

    "Hmm… Is it possible for someone to see someone else's status screen?"

    "You mean like the Inspection Crystal?"

    "More like seeing someone else's screen like you see your own."

    "Hm… Never heard of it. Only the Crystal should be able to look into someone's soul."

    "Well. Here's a secret you have to keep. I can see your status screen like it's my own."

    "Wha"wha"what!?" She looks at me with an incredulous expression.

    "That's how it is. To prove it, let me tell you something personal, you have 4 points in [Oral Technique]," I say with a smile.

    Her eyes widen and she blushes.

    "Tell me, how did you learn that skill," I say.

    "I"I didn't!" She flails her arms about, her voice cracks and she seems about to cry, her tail is straight and upright. "I mean, it wasn't real... I swear! I"It's wood...! Please!"

    "Calm down! That's not what I meant!" I grab her shoulder and look straight into her eyes.

    "Y"yes… That's right… I'm sorry, I lost my temper, master. I"I deserve punishment for this," she calms down and bows.

    "You don't deserve punishment," I say immediately.

    I grab her shoulder and pull her straight.

    "... Thank you, master," She says while still keeping her head down.

    "Now, you said wood?"

    She raises her head and looks at me nervously.

    "Y"yes…" Her eyes shift about, "The Chieftress would bring it and teach me the techniques. I had to imitate her on the other one she had. It was so embarrassing…"

    I wonder how would she feel if she had to show her skills during customs. Well anyways, I gotta thank the "Chieftress" for her thoughtfulness.

    "But master, how are you doing it? I never heard of such a skill."

    "It's only with you possibly because you are my slave. But it's like I said, it's a secret so don't tell anyone. I can't really tell you how I do it."

    "Understood," she nods. Even her nods have its own charm.

    Fuck, I'm way too crazy about her right now.

    Maybe telling her the truth on this one was unnecessary. But she's my slave now and she's gonna be for life. At least this one is a secret I don't really need to keep.

    "Now, how did you learn [Item Box]?"

    "Just like every other child. I hugged the Chieftress while she practiced magic until I learned [Sense Mana]. Then I copied the feeling I had when hugging her until I learned [Mana Control]. Then when I had enough mana I hugged her when she used [Item Box] and copied her mana manipulation until I was able to cast it. Same way I learned [Conjure Bland Meal] and [Spirit Light], it's essential for a hunter to have those spells too."

    Then I will do the same thing with her until I learn those skills and spells. Possibly at night before I abuse her body.

    "I see… Now what is [Muscle Explosion]?"

    "It's a skill that lets me do a really strong or really fast movement for a split second. It's useful in avoiding a fatal strike that you can't avoid entirely."

    Oh? So that's how the Orc Headhunter might have been able to dodge the [Ice Lance] from Rania.

    "How did you get [Pain Resistance]?"

    "That's… Please understand I'm the one who insisted on it."

    "What? What does it mean?"

    "I asked for the Chieftress to torture me."

    Wow.

    "Uh… Why would you do that?"

    "I'm supposed to be a tool. I'm to be used in combat or as a sex slave as you see fit, I can't afford to fail because of pain. It would bring great shame to my clan if the soldiers they train can't stand the pain. Chieftress was too soft, she didn't want to do it but I insisted until she gave in. Please don't think she's a bad person, it's just my duty to be strong."

    That's excessive. I'm starting to feel bad about her, she really takes her duty seriously. That chieftress also sounds like a mother but I don't think I should ask her that right now.

    "Well. I'm sorry again but I don't plan on putting you in any sort of situation that will require you to have that skill."

    She stays still for a few seconds. Then she bites her lip, clenches her fist, and puts her head on my shoulder.

    "Thank you, for being so kind. I… Am glad you bought me. I know it's my duty to be a tool but I'm still glad it's you who bought me," she says.

    Even if she's brainwashed into being treated as a tool it doesn't change that she will feel better if she isn't treated like that.

    I hug her and pat her head. We keep like this for a while, then I turn her around and hug her from behind. My cheek rubs on hers and I can clearly smell her perfume I bought.

    "What is [Fox Transformation]?" I continue.

    "You don't know?" She turns and looks at me confused. Hear breath tickles my neck. "It's the racial skill of all wereanimals. My type is fox so I can turn into a large fox. I'm really proud of it, since you are small you can even ride on me."

    Argh, emotional damage. I'm conscious of being small and thin. But still, that's cool as fuck, I'm excited.

    "That's amazing, I really wanna see that."

    She smiles when I say that and then she goes back into the previous hugging position.

    I still don't want to explain everything to her, I don't feel like talking about home. Explaining my background might be really hard and not that important in the end. Creating a rather believable lie would also work in the future if I have to explain myself to others, I can determine the believability by her reactions.

    "Let's say it like this. I'm a foreigner from a really, really far away. The common sense here is way too different from the one on my homeland. So let's assume I'm ignorant about everything and just explain it all from the beginning, okay?"

    "Oh! So that's why you don't know those things. Now I understand, master. But how far is it that you never met another wereanimal?"

    "Just… It's difficult to give you a sense of distance since even I don't know. I teleported here. Well my origin is another secret. Just say that I come from a far away land when asked. It's okay to say I never told you the name."

    "I see…" I feel a hint of disappointment in her voice.

    "Next topic. Do you pray?"

    "Yes I do. I pray to the God of War for glory in battle and the God of Endurance to allow me to fulfill my duty." I'm not really surprised with this answer. "Do the people of your homeland not know about the Humanoid Gods, master?"

    "Correct. Which is why I think I should pray to the gods. But how should I do it?"

    "Hm… Just ask for help? The gods may have lost their mortality and bonds with the land but they still have their own personalities, their likes, and their dislikes. The God of War and the God of Endurance were simple men during their lives so I just ask for glory in battle and the power to keep standing after."

    "Do you like, hold your hands to pray or do some sort of ceremony, like get on your knees? Do you give them offerings or something like that?"

    "There's no need. They are gods who like results so they will help you when you need and be happy when you succeed. Praying is the way you tell them how you wish to be helped."

    How practical, I like these gods.

    "Hm… I'm thinking about praying for the God of the Sun, the Goddess of Growth and the Goddess of Knowledge. What do you think?"

    "God of the Sun? I don't know why people would pray for him unless you are royalty."

    "Yeah well, I have my reasons."

    "Okay… Then the Goddess of Growth is a good one to pray to if you are training hard. She's also known to help the Goddess of Fertility and the Goddess of Plants."

    I guess the interpretation of "growth" is really liberal then.

    "But why the Goddess of Knowledge? Wouldn't the God of War be better for an adventurer?" She asks.

    "I'm actually more of a mage so I want to improve my magic. And I also think knowledge should be helpful in understanding this place since I'm a foreigner."

    "Oh! You are a mage who can use the sword? Oh yes, you did use [Regeneration] on me last night. That's amazing, master!" She looks at me with wide eyes. That's enough praise, please. "Then I think the Goddess of Knowledge is a good choice. If we please the God of War enough then he could bless you even if you don't pray to him."

    What a nice guy.

    "Then how should I pray for them?"

    "I don't know about the God of the Sun, maybe you should ask for a hard day's work? For the Goddess of Growth you have to wish to improve with all your willpower, that's how the priest taught me. The Goddess of Knowledge is very fickle, you should ask a scholar about it. But from what I understood you need to wish to understand without 'cloudy eyes' and to always write a book about what you know."

    "Cloudy eyes"? Is that bias? I guess I should talk to Ciel about it.

    "That's all I had to ask. Do you have any questions about me?"

    "Not right now, master."

    "Then let's form a fellowship."

    A fellowship of the rin-... Nah. Anyway, it's like a game "party". It allows us to share experience and always know the position of each other. The dungeoneering advice book said it's the first thing a group of people working together should do. I feel like I don't want to ever break a fellowship with her.

    We interlace each other's right hand and say the words at the same time.

    "We swear to share our war and our soul and to always keep each other's company."

    On my menu screen under "Companions" now there's the entry "Alissa". If I concentrate and think about her I should be able to sense the direction and have some idea of distance. But since she's too close right now it doesn't work properly.

    "Let's go to the hunters guild after lunch. Right now I want to savor you." I hug her tightly and throw us into the bed.

    "YAH!?" She screams at the sudden move.

    I keep hugging her and start to kiss her.

    I consider myself "clingy", I would touch and hug Lily whenever possible. Shit, thinking about Lily makes me feel guilty. But I told myself I will enjoy this world, dammit, I will do whatever I want!

    The kissing escalates and soon we are naked again and I'm licking her nipples. This time I take my time and I make her wet without even touching her down there. I stop and stare at her, she's squirming and out of breath already.

    "You want it?" I ask.

    "..."

    "Tell me what you want."

    "... P-please put it in, master."

    If a phrase could be considered art, that one would be it.

    This time it's not so tight and she doesn't make a pained face. She manages to keep her eyes open and we enter a trance where our bodies move while staring into each other. I don't try to hold myself and soon finish all over her belly. I will slowly increase the time I last to match her, doing too much too hard might hurt her for now.

    After a quick wash I hug her and doze off.


    I wake up feeling hungry. By the sun, it's not noon yet. I get up and Alissa also gets up immediately after, she must have been sleeping lightly.

    This time I have her teach me how to brush her hair and tail. I'm a little bit afraid of hurting her tail so she has to finish the job. We get up and she cringes again at the new set of love marks she left on my back.

    We go downstairs and I see something that melts my heart.

    "What is that… Animal?" I point to the cute little creature.

    It's a 40 centimeters tall cute little squirrel. It has a cute little apron and a cute miniature broom. It's sweeping the floor of the inn while humming in a cute little voice and smiling. It has a slightly oversized hand with fingers long enough to compare to a child.

    "That's a nature spirit. They are souls of people who didn't want to leave the land so they fused with the souls of nature and materialize like this. If you give it something it likes it will help you. It's a good omen to see an inn being able to make one happy. But master, they are everywhere, how come you never saw one?"

    "Erm… Perhaps the souls in my homeland never linger long, our priests are good," I lie.

    "I see, so it must be a place full of good spiritualists then," Alissa looks at me with wonder.

    "Can I pet it?"

    "It will just dematerialize if you try, you have to win its trust first."

    Awn… Let's just move on and have lunch.


    Every so often we find a minstrel about singing about something random. This seems to be a profitable job since most of them have quite a bit of coin in their tipping buckets. Though for me they sound kinda bad. The instant translation inside my brain prevents me from enjoying the poetry and the instruments they use, mostly lutes or harps, are rather crude.

    "Curious about the minstrels, master?"

    "Uh, yes. Seems profitable to sing on the streets."

    "Only because it's the month of Song. Because of the Festivals of Seasons the temple encourages us to tip the singers."

    "Huh, curious…"

    Alissa smiles at my innocence.

    Money is short so it's a cheap meal with some cheap Rabid Rabbit meat. Then we reach the hunters guild.

    I will register Alissa because that gives the guild a paper trail that she's with me. This also marks that she's reliable so she can do business in my stead in the future.

    The attendant raises an eyebrow when she looks at Alissa's new card. It's the sexual skills, right?

    I also register the fellowship. It's just a courtesy but the guild likes it because they can better organize the hunters in times of crisis. For some reason you have to name your fellowship. I think about naming it "Fellowship of the Ring" but I worry about copyright laws in this game, erm, world, so I try to think of something more appropriate.

    "Master… Why are you looking so serious? It's just a name isn't it?"

    No, little one, this is my banner, my heraldry, my legacy, my legend. I can't screw up and end up like I did with my new name where I feel uncomfortable when people call me Wolf Ryder. I need something strong that I will feel proud about.

    "You wouldn't understand," I answer.

    Alissa gives me troubled look while the female attendant shrugs, she has seen this scene more than once.

    Honestly nothing feels appropriate, but it's not like I'm going to find someone who's going to laugh at my choices so I will just pick a reference to something I like. I kinda like astronomy even though it's not my area so I will pick something in reference to that.

    "Helios" I write down the name. Maybe the God of the Sun will get the reference. Under mine and Alissa's "Affiliations" entry on the status screen there's now "Helios (fellowship)".

    With that, we move towards the training grounds.

    "Do you need me to accompany you for a bit? I want you to first train the sword and then the bow. We will spend the whole afternoon here and I will be training magic in the furthest corner."

    "It's not necessary, I will talk to the instructor and train by myself."

    We enter and Toga's gaze finds me. Nope, not today, I will be training magic on my corner veeery far away.

    But first I watch Alissa spar with an instructor. Thankfully it isn't Toga, it's a much gentler man but he's not less skilled.

    Alissa flows with the sword, she's truly fast. I'm actually curious why she's so good at dodging and parrying, her skill points are less than mine. Perhaps it's the "Speed" and "Dexterity", maybe the stat and the skill combine so she doesn't need a high skill to be effective.

    A few men are staring at Alissa. Shoo, go away, that one is mine. There are other women here that are also training so go bother them.

    After a few minutes I go to my corner. I ask the Goddess of Growth to help me increase my MP so I can always have mana to heal and support Alissa. Then I start my [Fireball] routine.


    After a few hours I look at Alissa and see her drawing a crowd with her archery skills. She's way too accurate and fast, she's my own female Legolas. She looks ferocious, complete reverse of her in bed.

    Alissa keeps taking my concentration away so my training routine is weaker than before but it's okay.

    When dusk starts to come we go back to the inn and reserve another bath. I'm way too tired for anything so we just cuddle and kiss.

    After dinner I tell her to use her mouth. She's certainly skilled, it feels really good. It's constant and smooth pleasure. I close my eyes and enjoy to the fullest. This time she understands my warning and doesn't choke.

    Then we sleep together while hugging again.


    I dream of Alissa shooting goblins while I laugh and drink tea.


    I wake up like usual and get a deep kiss from her. I think this should be a morning routine.

    My MP increased by 40 (now 255). That's kinda high since I didn't train so well yesterday, could it be the result of prayer?

    Then I decide to look at the extermination requests at the hunters guild. With Alissa's tracking we can take on some of those juicy kills.

    We walk with our arms entwined again. She's a few centimeters taller than me so it's a bit awkward at first until we get used to each other's rhythm.

    We are looking at the requests when I hear footsteps approach.

    "Hello! Are you Wolf Ryder? I am Targua from Honest Shield."

    "Uh… Hi, hello, yes, I'm Ryder," I answer.

    In front of me is a short and wide man in full chain mail. He has black hair and droopy eyes that makes him look like he's always thinking.

    "Oi! don't listen to him, join my fellowship instead!" A blonde and lanky man comes running and interjects. His face looks mischievous, he sports a considerable nose, and he has a bow slung over his body.

    "What?" I ask, dumbfounded.

    Stop, rewind and start from the beginning this time.

    "Bug off, mate. I didn't even ask yet and you jump in the middle," says Targua while facepalming.

    "I'm Simon, from Swift Wind. Pleasure to meetcha, yeah? How about you join my fellowship?" Quickly says the lanky man, while pushing for a handshake.

    Where did you two crawl from?

    "Uh… Sorry, but yeah, how about you join my fellowship instead?" Says Targua with a strained smile.

    "Why are you guys asking me to join?" I ask sincerely.

    "No shit we're looking for you, mate. A magic swordsman who can kill and carry the Grey Berserker and the Orc Headhunter is no joke. And then yesterday the training grounds were raving about his new companion who's crazy pretty and a good lass with the bow," says Simon.

    His speech is really weird. Is this the effect of the [Andraste Language] skill trying to translate casual slang?

    I look at Targua and he shrugs. The thing that annoys me is how they want me to join, their fellowship. No thanks.

    "Sorry but I would prefer to keep walking my own path for now."

    "Ehh. Really? That's a shame, mate. We could make a killing with you and the girl," Simon says.

    I feel Alissa's grip tighten.

    "Is that so? There's no room for negotiations? We could always search for a good deal in the fellowship," says Targua while taking a step closer.

    I kinda like your attitude but back off, you are too close to Alissa.

    "No, sorry. It's not a question about money, it's personal."

    Simon shrugs and makes a sour face.

    "Well I tried." And he walks away.

    "Sorry to bother you then. Be well Mr. Ryder," Targua nods and leaves.

    "I fully agree with your decision, master," Alissa says while sending a mean gaze to the two who are leaving. "Those men would exploit you, it's always like this when getting scouted by veterans. Fellowships are bonds made of trust, those which are made of money are weak"

    How romantic.

    We turn back and continue searching for a request.

    There's a good one. It's about an Oodogloo who has been found nearby yesterday, threat level 3. It's a large, transparent slime with a human skeleton inside. Because it can walk it's faster than normal crawling slimes that move like caterpillars or worms. It should have a distinctive ammonia smell so it's easy to track with Alissa's nose. It's a very annoying enemy to catch because it runs away from everything and preys on livestock. It was last found half a day away northwest from here, past Royd's Kerfuffle.

    "I can take you there on my fox form. We will need to rest for about an hour after that but it will be okay."

    "Wanna go there right now?"

    "Yes! I wanna test my bow. The Oodogloo is good target practice because it's nimble."

    Her tail is swaying.

    "Then let's go."

    I wanna go not because I'm excited to fight but because I want a reason to ride Alissa. We already have all the requirements for sleeping outside plus I got a small tent.

    We pass the gate with ease since we are both adventurers. A few meters away from the crowd trying to enter town Alissa turns to me.

    "I'm skilled enough to absorb my clothes after transforming but you will have to hold my weapons, master," she says excitedly.

    I grab them and she turns around. Here comes the trademark of magic in this world, she starts to shine lightly. Her skin turns black and her armor disappears inside her body. Then her fur starts to grow everywhere and her limbs distort. In 5 seconds she turns into a 1 meter tall orange fox.

    Her big orange eyes look at me. Then she opens her mouth and a strange sound comes out.

    "Master, get on me, please," her mouth doesn't move but she still speaks. It's a little bit frightening.

    "Uhh… shouldn't we get a saddle?"

    "There's no need, just grab my fur. This form is made of mana so I don't feel pain."

    "If you say so."

    So I get on her. She's incredibly soft and warm. I can see how a big part of her body is pure fluffy fur so her body isn't that muscular. I nuzzle up to her neck and grab her fur.

    "Then I will be off. I will increase speed slowly so tell me if it shakes too much," she says.

    "Okay, let's go."

    Then she starts running. It's an odd feeling, I have never ridden a horse so I don't know how to deal with this. It's a rhythmic swaying that needs time to get used to.

    She's fast. It's really advantageous for us to move this way so I will just deal with the discomfort until I'm used to it.

    During the trip I keep thinking about what to do with her skill points, 6 points is kind of a lot. It's going to be hard to explain. I can just use the "it's a secret" excuse but this is kinda of a big and weird one because it kinda violates the laws of the skill system. She could even think I'm a demi-god or something.

    I think I will lie to her for now, I will look into the thing she wants to improve the most and slowly put those points there. It's just the less messy way, I believe. In the end I could even just do whatever and shrug if she notices something wrong, not like she's going to assume I'm the one doing it. So I secretly put 1 point into [Enhanced Stamina].

    It took us less than half the normal time to get here, there's still some time until noon. Once we reach the described area she slows down and stops near a tree. I drop down and she reverses the transformation. Graciously she gets up from being on her fours and looks at me. Her posture seems a little droopy, she's tired.

    I sit down on the tree roots and put the old sleeping bag near me. I give her her weapons. She ties the sword and quiver to her waist and keeps her bow on her chest.

    "Lay down here, please."

    "Thank you, master."

    She's so polite. She's always thanking me but it does make me a bit uncomfortable though.

    "But this is odd, I'm not as tired as I thought I would be," she lays down and talks.

    So she noticed. I immediately pat her head and she closes her eyes, her tail twitches below her.

    "Is that so? didn't you miscalculate the distance? Or perhaps just by sleeping with me you got stronger?" I say and grin.

    She opens her eyes and stares at me.

    "That was a joke, my body is no miracle drug."

    "Y-yes. That's not what I was thinking though."

    "Then what were you thinking?"

    "It's what you said about being happy increases performance. Could be the truth."

    So she's actually happy now? I'm glad.

    "Well I wasn't lying."

    "No! I'm sorry! That wasn't what I meant, I meant that I noticed it for the first time."

    "It's okay, I understand." And I pat her head faster.

    She calms down and closes her eyes again.


    After a good half-hour she gets up.

    "Oh? I got a new skill, [Enhanced Stamina]."

    "That's great. It means you can stay longer on your fox form right?"

    "Yes, precisely," she says with a puzzled face.

    "Something wrong?"

    "It's just that it was too easy. Like 'Endurance' these sort of skills are hard to come by."

    "Maybe you put more effort than you thought. I think you are a serious and hard worker."

    She shrinks her posture. She's feeling shy, her tail wags a bit.

    "Perhaps…" And her voice trails off while she looks into the distance.

    Now that she has a better [Sense Presence] than me, I decide to remove it along with [Mental Resistance] since there's no need for it here. I level [Blessing Magic] to 10 so I can use [Swift Foot] that gives us a boost in speed. I level [Electric Magic] to 5 and [Mana Control] to 1 so I can use [Lightning Bolt] more effectively to stun the Oodogloo that's likely to run away.

    My skills look like this:


    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use6+2Dodge2+4Parry1+4
    Block2+4Shield Bash0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency3+0Mana Recovery3+0Reduced Mana Cost3+0
    Mana Control1+0Electric Magic5+0Nature Magic5+0
    Blessing Magic10+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    Now I need to explain my skills to Alissa, time to lie.

    "Alissa, strategy meeting. Time to tell you another secret," I tell her and she sits down again obediently.

    "My power is that I can basically use all kinds of magic. But it takes time to switch between magic types and I'm not very proficient in them."

    "Wow, that's amazing, master. So you are actually a genius magician."

    Not true but it's convenient you think like this so I will keep it like this.

    "Well, err… Perhaps it is so. I just know it is something I'm capable of. But like I said I'm not very proficient in magic, I'm a jack-of-all-trades, master of none."

    "'Jack-of-all-trades'?" She tilts her head, her confused face is adorable.

    "An expression from my homeland, it means 'a person who can do anything', but I'm not particularly good at any of them."

    "I see."

    "Then for this hunt I'm going to use [Blessing Magic] and [Electric Magic]. I will give us [Swift Foot] and when we meet the monster I will use [Lightning Bolt] to try to stun it. You just turn him into a pincushion."

    "Pin… Cushion. Ah, with the arrows. Another reference, I think," she says and smiles.

    The pincushion isn't a thing yet?

    "Then I understand, let's start looking for the monster," she says and gets up.

    This strategy basically means that Alissa does everything while I do nothing until the battle. But there's no way around it, that's how trackers work.

    Still, we are going to search the Sea of Trees during the day so we are probably going to meet enemies on the way. That's when I will protect Alissa from getting into melee, if she doesn't kill everything with one arrow…

    I cast [Swift Foot] on both of us and 2/3rds of my mana go away.


    The landscape was the same since when we left the town. Long plantations on one side of the road and a small wall and the Sea of Trees on the other. The spot we are in is less well preserved but it's still a well-maintained road.

    The spot we stopped at was in front of the farm that was attacked, Woodwick Ranch. We will search the Sea of Trees during the day while the monster sleeps and enter the farm to protect the livestock during the night. The monster is not really smart, just cowardly. He's the annoying kind that preys on large animals so he might randomly attack another farm again.

    I think I will put 10 points into [Summoning Magic] so I can summon a dog and protect at least another farm. [Summoning Magic] gives me a light ball that I can pick and throw to summon the being wherever it falls. Kinda feels like I'm summoning a pocket monster. If I put a little more "effort" in summoning when I press the "cast" button inside my mind I can instantly call a summon in a small radius around me.

    Then we start moving towards the Sea of Trees. I bought a small compass, which will help navigation but we are basically going to wander around until Alissa catches his trail. If a farm gets attacked this night then it will be easier to follow his trail but the reward will drop a bit if he kills anything so we are wandering around for today.

    The familiar scenery appears before me. Huge trees, damp and almost dark atmosphere, plenty of unfamiliar fruits, gigantic entwining roots, large amount of hanging vines, and random patches of uncommonly colored trees. I'm surprised there's not more insects here considering how warm and damp this place is. Thank god for the japanese designers who must hate insects.

    I lead the way with the compass. We are going directly west, deep into the forest. Then after half an hour Alissa stops me.

    "Something is coming, two small enemies," she whispers to me.

    We hide and wait for them to get into visual range. It's two lightly armored goblins. Leather jackets, loincloths, a stone spear and a crude wooden shield.

    "Fire at will. I will block the second one if he reaches us."

    "Understood."

    Then she gets up and fires two quick arrows.

    Both goblins die with an arrow between their eyes.

    "Welp," I shrug.

    I go and collect their ears.

    "Likely scouts. There could be a small group camping nearby," says Alissa.

    "Let's not get close to their camp."

    "Understood," she says. Her atmosphere is much more serious now, I guess this is because she is fulfilling her duty.

    We move again and not even 10 minutes pass and this time 3 enemies are coming, fast. They did not detect us but our paths are going to cross, it's too close to just avoid. I decide to ambush them, I will get the one on the right and Alissa will try to quickly kill the two on the left.

    Once they get close enough we jump out of hiding. It's 3 Mossy Fangpines.

    I immediately cast [Lightning Bolt] on one and another receives an arrow on its head. The second arrow flies perfectly but the Fangpine is way too agile and it misses. The last one charges us.

    The one who got hit by magic is stunned, an arrow flies and he dies. I prepare myself to receive the charging one. With my sword high I wait until the last moment to swing down with all my might. The Fangpine is stupid and jumps into my sword, his head is split into two. His bloody body crashes on the border of my shield and plops down on the floor already dead.

    "A clean hit. It's the first time I saw you fight," she says while I collect the bodies.

    "Yeah well, I got some experience dealing with enemies who charge like this."

    "Most people prefer to receive the charge first then counterattack."

    "It hurts too much to do that, my endurance is not high enough."

    "I see..." And she looks away.

    Don't pity me, I'm working on it.

    The Fangpines are valuable but their price varies depending on the current price of the meat and the alchemists stocks. So far I haven't seen their meat being sold, maybe the stocks are low.

    "They must have sensed the goblins deaths," she says.

    "Then let's change our direction a bit. Let's move a little north."


    There are no encounters for another hour so we decide to have lunch early. I spread a large cloth on the ground and we sit down. Bean Paste and Rabid Rabbit meat sandwich on a not-baguette. Unfortunately the crust is not as crunchy as I like, but at least it doesn't make a big mess. I forgot to buy fruit for juice or to even bring tea, kinda boring this way.

    "Next time we should buy tea," I mutter.

    "Oh? You like tea? You didn't tell me."

    "I forgot…"

    My mind was too busy with abusing Alissa.

    I cast [Wind Armor] on both of us and [Sharp Blades] on myself. After the next break I will cast [Sharp Blades] on her. It's kinda annoying having to cast my [Blessing Magic] multiple times but I don't have enough mana to do it in one go. I also don't want to show too much of my magic yet to her until I have prepared the last lie.

    We get up and move southwest this time, not much sense in going north too far. The Oodogloo nests deep in the forest during the day but he's not smart enough to move diagonally to purposely avoid those chasing him.

    We keep walking for another half hour until Alissa detects another enemy.

    "This one is large. I don't think it's a Grey Berserker, but I don't know what it is."

    "Then let's observe."

    This time Alissa leads 10 meters in front because I don't have [Quiet Steps]. She sights the enemy, it's behind a huge root, then comes back to me to report.

    "It's a Young Ogre."

    Oh, they are a common sight after the culling it seems, the new monster is moving into the empty territory. Must be why their leather was cheap. He's threat level 4, we should be able to deal with him if we follow proper tactics.

    I store my shield inside "Items", no need for it on this fight.

    "Standard formation then. First arrow aim for the eye," I say.

    We agreed that the standard is she will fire the first arrow and I will cast [Lightning Bolt] repeatedly until it reaches melee. Then I will keep it busy while she tries to hit the vitals.

    We get in position. She will circle around until she can see the ogre then she will lure it to me.

    "UGOOOOH!" The ogre's scream makes the trees tremble. If this is a young one then the adult will cause an earthquake.

    He rushes from behind the root with an arrow sticking out of its right eye. The ogre is a 2 meter tall humanoid with ridiculously thick arms, legs, and a six pack that makes bodybuilders jealous. His skin is red-brown and thick, he is bald and his face is round, flat, and deformed. It's like he's a cartoon character that hit a wall. He's especially resistant against blunt force but his vulnerability is slashing and bleeding to death. His body is too thick so he's not fast or dexterous. For me the best strategy is to avoid him and counterattack by slashing whenever an opening appears.

    Alissa gets in position a dozen meters behind me and carefully aims her arrows. Even for proto-Legolas she can't hit the eyes of a moving target so she's aiming for the neck. The other vulnerable spot would be the groin but I'm on the way, so the neck it is.

    I tried to ignore it but it's impossible, he's way too tall. The worst thing about these monsters is when they are naked. A long dangling disgusting thing is coming charging towards me. Fuck this world.

    With [Mana Control] I can put a little more or less mana into the spell and control the discharge for a second or two. So when he appears I discharge the stronger version of my spell. It's subtle but I noticed the bolt is stronger. The ogre decreased his speed a little. I cast it again and he reduces even more. Now his speed is more manageable.

    Because of the spells he ignores Alissa and changes target to me. He tries to kick but I jump sideways and slash his leg. Blood pours and he growls.

    Then he tries to do a sweep with his arm. I duck and an arrow appears in his neck. Another kick with the other leg, another dodge and slash.

    He tries to smash downwards with both hands held together. This time I dodge further away and get out of counterattack range. Once he hits the ground a second arrow appears next to the first.

    I dash towards his blind eye and he loses sight of me for a second. That's enough time to charge forward and slash his flank. Then I get some distance and he turns towards me. I realize this is not a good position for Alissa, shooting the back of his neck or head is not efficient, his skull is too thick for arrows.

    He tries to do an arm sweep again. Since I'm further this time I manage to dodge easier and counter sweep with my sword. My sword arm hurts and it might be too much stress on the sword but I cut a huge gash on his left forearm. He growls even harder. Now things might amp up in difficulty, like the Grey Berserker he gets faster the angrier he gets.

    I keep circling him to give Alissa a good angle again. He stands still while turning and a third arrow appears on his neck. Plenty of blood is trickling from there.

    I cast bolt again and he twitches. Enough of an opening for a fourth arrow.

    "UGOO-BLEH!" He tries to shout while punching but he coughs.

    His punch slows and he gets another deep cut on his other arm. This one the blood pours fast, perhaps I cut a large vein or something? I need lessons in anatomy.

    He protects his neck with his right arm. It's kinda late now you dumbass.

    Alissa can't act but now his actions are more limited. He sweeps his arm with the back of his hand and it creates a huge opening. I jump forward and cut near his armpit, more blood comes out. He kicks me but the angle is awkward for him, I twist my body and deflect the impact with my sword. I jump backwards to avoid breaking by posture.

    He's cautious now and stops attacking. I cut his leg once and start to circle him. He seems to be becoming dizzy, I must have cut something important so I'll just wait for now.

    After a minute or so his skin is now mostly blood red, his arm is slow and he can't aim his kick correctly. His body starts to sway, he looks out of breath. Then he falls on his ass. Even near death his eyes spell anger instead of fear.

    Then another arrow appears on his last eye.

    "Ugooo~!" He lets out a weak scream.

    I jump and slash his neck. A large amount of blood flows and he falls on his back. We wait another minute.

    "He's dead," Alissa says.

    That was fucking brutal. As the adrenaline runs out I start to get very anguished at this sight. I clean my blade and quickly put his body on my "Items". Then I look away from the large pool of blood.

    "Quickly, let's move," I say and we jog away from here.


    "Master, I think this distance is fine. Can I speak to you?" Alissa talks on a serious tone.

    "Y-yes, what is it?"

    "Are you okay? Your expression changed, your face is much darker now."

    I look away from her and keep silent.

    "Are you tired? let's rest."

    "It's… Not it…"

    "Then what is it?"

    "I just..." I sigh. "I feel bad about the ogre."

    "What?"

    "He looks too human. I don't want to make him suffer."

    "But he's a monster."

    "Still…" I sigh again.

    I didn't want to say it like this but I have to now.

    "My homeland was too peaceful, I didn't have to fight there. I'm not used to seeing so much blood, to hear the death cries of things… Of living beings that look so human. It makes me feel sick and guilty," I confess.

    She stays silent, she seems to be in deep thought.

    "That is okay, master. People like you are necessary in this world. Forgive me but I will selfishly ask for you to continue like this. Even if it makes you suffer because I think that it will be best for this world if someone like you exists. I will support you, I will help you and heal you, I will give you my all just so you can continue being like this," she says, then she comes and hugs me from behind.

    That was unexpected. I don't know how to answer so I just keep still.

    Isn't this naive? How long have you known me? It's just a few days, no matter how close we are or if we had sex or not, it's just not enough for you to say things like that. But still… I want to believe in this. I tried to throw away what held me back but some things are harder than the others. I wanted someone to love so I changed, I don't want to change and throw away this part of my humanity. I want to believe in her.

    I turn and hug her back. I must not cry.


    After a few minutes I start to feel better and break the hug. She lets me go with kind eyes and an adorable smile.

    "Let's go back. We will take another less direct route so we will take more time," I say.

    "Understood. Please rely on me more, master," she says and clenches her fist on her chest.

    I nod and smile.


    [Swift Foot] is a really nice spell. It lets us walk effortlessly so our speed is almost a constant jog. Even in this forest full of roots and bushes we travel through it without any problems.

    We were moving southeast this time and Alissa gets another hit.

    "Four enemies. Likely goblins."

    "Hmm… They are increasing in number."

    "Perhaps there's a nest nearby?"

    "Let's observe them."

    We get closer so we reach visual range. They are 4 fully armored goblins. Two use sword and shield and two use spears.

    "They look awfully intelligent."

    They move more aware of their surroundings but since we are hidden in the bushes they can't detect us. They are moving on an extremely slow pace. Are they searching for something?

    "You think you can kill two if we ambush?" I ask.

    "Unlikely, they are alert for something. One is guaranteed, the other I'm not sure."

    "We will sync our attacks. You kill the one on the right and I use the bolt on the shield user on his left. It might stun him for long enough for you to fire another arrow."

    "I will use [Muscle Explosion], I can't use it repeatedly though."

    "It's alright. I'll be bait, once the first strike goes you sneak backwards and circle around until you have a shot. When I remove my hand from your shoulder we attack."

    "Understood."

    I charge the spell. Then I get up and take my hand off Alissa's shoulder the moment I let my spell loose.

    The forest fills with the roar of the lightning. The goblin with a shield can't even react, he gets hit by lightning and his body locks in place for a moment. Then the first goblin falls with an arrow on his temple, he didn't even have time to notice his buddy got hit.

    When the shield goblin raises his shield to defend himself the tip of his shield touches the shaft of the arrow stuck on his face. It's too late, he's already dead.

    Then the goblins turn towards us. The last spear user hides behind the last shield user. His shield is teardrop shaped, a kite shield, it's longer than mine.

    I get in the open and wait for the goblins to come. Alissa is sneaking behind me, she's moving away and soon she will move to the side.

    As they are not charging forward I have time to cast [Lightning Bolt] again. The shield user twitches and groans. He stops but his shield doesn't move, it likely reduced the damage to his body.

    Then the spear goblin falls with an arrow on his forehead. The shield goblin notices and turns. That's enough distraction, I charge forward.

    I slash towards him but his shield is large and it's easy to defend. I keep striking so he can't counterattack, he's suppressed.

    Then I kick him and he staggers backwards. His eyes lock into mine and an arrow appears on his temple. He goes limp and falls down.

    They may be armored but their equipment is shitty, old, and tattered. The shields must have been pillaged from some adventurers and look relatively new, they might be worth something. I grab the weapons and shields, then I cut the ears from the goblins and move towards Alissa.

    "We honestly make a good team," I say.

    "I would prefer if you weren't used as bait. We need another companion to act as the front line, master." Alissa frowns slightly.

    "Yeah, well…" I shrug.

    She's not wrong. I don't really have the stats to be front line, it's just that I don't have the money. I used it all on her and her equipment. I don't regret it though.


    We keep moving forward and meet 2 other duos of goblins. The first one wasn't alert so Alissa killed them both, the second one was and took more work. By that I mean I shot lightning and he froze long enough for Alissa to kill him. If you don't have a shield you are fucked against Alissa.

    Then we met a group of 4 Mossy Fangpines. The anti"odor powder is working, they aren't coming directly towards us. But are they searching for our trail of blood?

    It seems there might really be a goblin nest nearby. Which is why we met so many goblins and now it's attracting the Fangpines.

    I'm debating whether to fight them when Alissa gets another hit. Two meters tall, likely another Young Ogre.

    "Now we wait. They aren't going to get too close to us, right?"

    "Yes. No need to endanger ourselves, we can wait here," Alissa says and nods.

    Then something interesting happens, the Fangpines attack the ogre.

    We move a bit closer so we can see. Among the trees there is a red-brown ogre swinging his arm around while fast and small monsters jump all around him.

    "Wow, can they really kill him?" I ask.

    "If they avoid getting crushed they can poison him and he will slowly die."

    "Hm…" Feels dirty but I have an idea. "Let's third party this fight."

    "Third party?"

    "Er. Let's wait until the ogre is near dead, then we jump in and kill the Fangpines."

    "Oh, I see. Yes, sounds interesting," Alissa seems content.

    "I want the experience more than anything so we can't let that ogre die by the hand of the Fangpines."

    "I see. Once he starts to move slower we should get closer and prepare for the ambush. I will warn you once his movement pattern changes."

    "Alright," I agree and nod. Alissa has the better eyesight so she will be able to see this detail.

    The fight takes a while. The ogre gets bitten multiple times, he just can't catch the Fangpines, they are smart enough to let go before they are crushed. I see the ogre grew hair in multiple parts of his body, especially his legs. It's stiff, slightly green hair.

    It's a bit entertaining if you are into blood sports. The Fangpines get plenty of close calls. Then the ogre stops trying to punch and kick them and tries to grab or crush their heads when they try to bite. He's surrounded and the Fangpines keep attacking from his blind spots.

    "The Fangpines are salivating, I think they are starving," says Alissa.

    Makes sense. The culling removed food sources and the ogres are the ones who are moving in.

    "Oh!" She lets a sound in surprise.

    The ogre predicted an attack and managed to squash the head of a Fangpine when he came to bite.

    "The corpse is still valuable so good thing it was only the head," I say.

    It takes around 10 minutes but the ogre's movements start to slow down.

    "It's time," Alissa says.

    We sneak forward and I manage to catch a better view of the battle. I can finally see the Fangpines and they are all out of breath and salivating. Just how much saliva can you produce?

    "You take the one on the right and I will zap the one on the left. Same thing, hand on shoulder," I say.

    Then the ogre falls on one knee. I charge my spell, get up, and release my hand from Alissa's shoulder.

    Immediately one Fangpine dies with an arrow on its eye. The second has smoke coming out of his body and he's twitching about. The third turns around and charges towards me without hesitation. Really vicious these pieces of shit.

    This time I and shield bash him when he comes. Fucking hurts to counter a charge with a bash, but it's super effective. The Fangpine loses one of his fangs and falls belly up a few meters ahead. While he tries to get up an arrow appears on his flank.

    He screams like wounded dog and writhes. I move forward and finish him. The zapped Fangpine already has an arrow in his head.

    The ogre is on his knees, his eyes can barely maintain focus.

    "Ugoo~..." He lets out a faint moan.

    I dash and slash his neck. The wound is deep, he didn't even resist. He falls backwards and in another minute he's dead.

    "You are now level 11."

    I collect the ogre and Fangpines.

    "I leveled up," I say.

    "That's good. Our plan was perfect."

    "Indeed," I smile trying to remove the image of the dying ogre from my mind.

    "Let's move. I gotta think about something so I will just follow you."

    "Understood, master."

    My skills are like this now:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use6+2Dodge2+4Parry1+4
    Block2+4Shield Bash0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Mana Efficiency4+0Mana Recovery3+0Reduced Mana Cost3+0
    Mana Control4+0Electric Magic5+0Nature Magic5+0
    Blessing Magic10+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    The next level I'm increasing my melee skills, possibly blocking and sword.

    We are past halfway back so I start moving north-east. We are likely to exit the forest near our point of entry.

    The trees slowly thin out and no more encounters are found. We exit the forest.

    "We are a little south of our destination, right?" Asks Alissa.

    "Yeah, let's just go north along the road."

    "Wanna ride me again?" Asks Alissa with an innocent smile.

    "No man will ever say no to that," I say and smirk mischievously.

    "What…? Ah, m-master!"

    "You set yourself up, don't blame me for easy pickings."

    Alissa groans a bit and pouts.

    "Let's go," she says and transforms into the fox.


    We ended up just two farms down from the target. The farms are surprisingly orderly, there's always a sign telling the name of the farm and a road leading to the manor.

    We enter the Woodwick Ranch road.

    It's a dirt road, so Alissa kicks up some dust while running. The large golden plantations of something similar to wheat pass by our sides in a blur.

    After a few minutes we reach the manor. The plantation open up and you can see a beautiful blue and purple 3 storey house. It's a timber framed house with purple beams and blue stone. It's rather odd looking, the stones and the logs are not painted, perhaps they are found in the valley.

    A large empty grassland surrounds the house. A not-apple tree with a swing and a clotheslines are the two things visible from the front. Behind the house far away there's an enclosure where the livestock graze. Surrounding all sides of this open field are the golden plantations.

    We get near the porch and a pale old man in simple clothes is dozing off. He seems to notice us after we get close enough for him to hear our footsteps. He jumps at the sight of a large fox being ridden by a young boy approach him at frightening speed.

    "Oooh! Oh…? OH!" The man lets out multiple sounds. "You be the hired hunters!?" He gets up from his cushioned chair and yells.

    Why yell? We are coming, wait for us to get near.

    Alissa slows down near the porch and I dismount.

    "Yes, we are the Helios fellowship," I say.

    The guild has ways of contacting people when someone accepts a request. Magic stones for instant communication, spirit messaging, telepathy, depends on the price you pay. This one was a homing carrier"pigeon. We could have reached this place faster than the pigeon if we came directly without searching the forest.

    Alissa transforms back and I give her her weapons.

    "Ohohoh. How nice, a wereanimal, impressive… Erm, anyway, you are here to spend the night, right?"

    "Yeah, we roamed the Sea of Trees but didn't find the Oodogloo," I answer.

    "That would be some damn luck if you found him like that. But did you find anything interesting?"

    "Two Young Ogres and a bunch of goblins. There might be a nest, we found a squad of 4 that were well armed and intelligent."

    "AH! The little shits made another nest. You are going to report this to the guild right?"

    "Yeah, but only tomorrow."

    "Eh, that's fine. We can find a passing traveler to send word or something." The man goes inside the house. "OI, BELTA! THE WHACKERS ARE HERE!" His scream penetrates the entire house.

    "I HEAR YE!" A female voice answers.

    "Whackers?" I whisper to Alissa.

    "Slang. Because farmers always have to hire hunters to kill pests that come back all the time they just call it 'whacking' monsters instead of 'exterminating' them," she shrugs.

    A chubby, round faced, and well-tanned woman appears. A girl which is a mini version of the woman and a pale faced boy coyly hide behind the stairs.

    "Ah, welcome. You must be the Helios duo, am I right?" The woman says with a smile.

    "Yes that's us," I answer.

    "Enter please, I will make you some tea until my husband comes. He's at the nearby farms sending word you came."

    The Oodogloo might attack another random farm again so the man must be warning the other farms to come here if the monster appears tonight. They will likely stand guard all night waiting for it.

    A simple nice tea and some simple nice cookies were laid out for us. Alissa shows more class than I do, I just feel like a smelly filthy adventurer. But the tea and cookies keep from souring my mood.

    We were telling the woman our small survey of the forest when a small and wide pale man came inside. He seems to be a man of excess. Excess black hair on his head, excess hair on his chin, excess fat on his belly and excess muscles on his arms. He has a shortsword at his waist, enough to keep the usual naked goblin away but not much else.

    He didn't want to make small talk so we immediately discussed the simple plan for the night. We would stand guard near the livestock and sleep in turns. The other farms have a bell alarm system, when the monster is sighted they will sound the alarm. The monster will run from the alarm but since we have a tracker we can follow his trail. Secretly I told Alissa that I will switch [Blessing Magic] for [Summoning Magic] and have a dog patrol the further farms.

    Then we continued our tale of the expedition and dusk came. The woman lent her bath to us. She gave us a tasty but simple dinner with plenty of bread and with our bellies full we left to stand guard.


    I look up into the night sky and get stunned at the sight. There's a giant moon where a storm of color rages on its surface. The light is faint but I can see the colors moving and changing as if it were waves crossing and disrupting each other. Orbiting it with speed there are 7 smaller moons, one each color of the rainbow. They seem to make a full turn every minute.

    "Hm? What is it master?" Asks Alissa.

    We were in the middle of the way to our guard spot when I looked up into the night sky of this world for the first time.

    Just what the fuck is this. Why a rainbow? Why is the night so different from the day? I slept two days under the night sky and didn't notice this? Oh yeah it was cloudy.

    "I'm just wondering why is the sun so simple and the moons so colorful," I lie.

    "Hahahah, what kind of thoughts are you having? The sun is the same as the moons but he gives us light instead of life.

    "Wait what. Remember, I'm very ignorant about things," I look at her surprised.

    "Oh, I'm sorry, master. Well, scholars have found that the sun looks the same as the moons. The God of the Sun gives us light to work during the day but with that we can't see him properly. The Goddess of the Moon gives us a blessing that replenishes our life. Our mana and health recovery increases during the night. This is why we sleep at night, it's so our recovery is even greater."

    "But why is the moon a rainbow storm with these 7 moons?"

    "That is the avatar of the god on our realm. We don't know exactly why it looks like this, it's said that we can't really understand something that is above us. I think I heard that the smaller moons and colors are said to represent 'aspects' of the god. What 'aspects' are I don't know, you should ask a priest."

    I'll need some time to process this. I motion for us to keep moving.

    The livestock grazing area is a large rectangle. We chose the farthest spot from their sleeping area to set up camp so Alissa didn't have to smell them.

    I summon a german shepherd. With that my max MP reduced by 1/4th and half of my MP was taken. This is quite an improvement in comparison to the bird I summoned for the first time.

    I keep the dog's hearing sense and send it on patrol. I told him to find the smell of the monster, which is ammonia. If he does then he should bark for a while and come back to me.

    I take the first watch and put down an hourglass. It will last 3 hours and once it's done I will switch with Alissa. It's kinda sad to see her sleep alone, then when we switch it will be me sleeping alone.

    My watch goes without problem, I keep practicing my [Mana Control] while staring at the moons. Then I wake up Alissa and switch with her. This tent is cold, not physically but it makes my heart cold. I wanna hug Alissa.


    I wake up to the sound of barking. Through my dog's eyes, I can see the dog barking to some black humanoid shape.

    "Alissa! The dog!"

    She was sitting in front of the opening of the tent maintaining my sword. She immediately stores in her [Item Box] the oil she was passing on it. She hands the weapons to me and turns into a fox.

    I sheath my sword, strap on my shield, store the tent and sleeping bag on my "Items", grab her equipment, and mount her.

    "To the Jolly Ranch!" I order and she darts forward.

    Good thing she can see in the dark during fox form because I can't see shit even with the faint moonlight.

    The dog has stopped barking and I can hear the bells on his side. I cut the hearing sense and I turn on smell, I can definitely smell the ammonia. The sight is black and white and poor but I can still make out the weird, black human shape frozen in fear. Suddenly the shape runs away into the plantation.

    It takes us 5 minutes but we reach the farm. The bells all around the neighboring farms are in full blast.

    I point Alissa to where the dog is and she darts forward.

    "I got his scent!" She says.

    I dismiss the dog and I see in the edge of my sight a cloud of smoke appear where the dog was supposed to be.

    While holding Alissa I switch [Summoning Magic] to [Blessing Magic] and cast [Swift Foot] on her. She speeds up.

    Our agreement was to chase him until an opening and not fight in the middle of the plantation since visibility is poor. With all this speed she can certainly pounce on the monster while he's in the field but I have no idea how the fight will progress after it in the middle of all these tall plants.

    After a few minutes of painfully running in the middle of the plantation we enter an opening. It's the grass field of a farm. We can see another manor to the side and a dark humanoid figure awkwardly running away.

    I cast [Lightning Bolt] and hit it directly. The figure falls. Alissa slows down and keeps her distance.

    Not yet. The figure gets up and starts to run away. I cast [Lightning Bolt] again, now with full power of [Mana Control] 3. The figure stops and he starts to melt.

    "Now!" I say.

    Alissa stops. I put her equipment on the ground. She casts [Spirit Light] in a second and grabs her things. I unsheathe my sword and move towards the enemy and cast my own [Spirit Light]. I had removed [Mana Recovery] and put [Light Magic] so we could fight during the night.

    A large ball of light-blue light appears above my head and lights the whole field. I hear commotion near the manor but ignore it. They won't help us because they could get in the way, they just leave it to the "pros". The farm hands can deal with the occasional naked goblin that appears but this monster is way above their level.

    I cast [Lightning Bolt] and a second later the now unidentified black mass comes in our direction.

    "OOOOO...Duh… GLOOOOO!" It lets out a long scream.

    This is why this name is like this. This ridiculous slime who wishes to be human tries to imitate our vocal cords but can only let out this sound. It runs away whenever it sees an enemy but can be enraged if attacked, then it loses its human form and attacks with the bones inside of it.

    The slime reaches our lights and we can see its transparent gooey mass slide forward at a frightening speed. Floating inside of it is a large amount of human bones. As I see the first bone an arrow enters the slime with a watery "thunk" sound.

    I managed to cast another full power [Lightning Bolt] before it reaches melee. It convulses wildly and stops for a second. Another two arrows enter it, the slime is losing liquid like a leaky water balloon.

    One large tentacle protrudes from its body at bullet speeds and I block it with my shield, it's tough like a hammer. My shield resonates and my arm hurts badly.

    I can't counterattack, it's too fast. I dodge smaller and slower tentacles while a third and fourth arrow create more places for it to leak. Then I see a thick tentacle is formed, I grit my teeth and charge [Lightning Bolt].

    In the next moment the tentacle flies towards me and I let out my bolt. The shield resonates again and the pain explodes on my arm. Without even looking I lower my shield and swing my sword.

    A large tentacle was wriggling in front of me. My sword splits it into two, a large amount of liquid and human bones drop from the tentacle and fall down on the floor. It was using the mass of bones as a blunt weapon while the small, pointy ones are used as piercing weapons. Fortunately the small tentacles aren't as powerful or as fast as the large one.

    The slime tries to run. It's leaking from everywhere and Alissa keeps free firing, increasing the amount of holes. I cast a short [Lightning Bolt] then I take the opportunity that it got stunned for a moment and slash at its whole body.

    The wound was even bigger than the last slash. The whole body wriggles desperately and a huge amount of little tentacles appear on the surface of the slime. I throw my whole body backwards and the tentacles fill the area I was at.

    I keep increasing my distance. The slime tries to chase me but it lost too much water, its surface is wrinkly and its speed is reduced.

    For the next half minute it tries a desperate last effort to hurt me but it had trouble moving with the amount of arrows poking around its entire body. Then finally the tentacles stop appearing and the slime stops moving.

    The surroundings are completely silent, the bells had already stopped ringing. I see 7 heads coming out of the windows of the manor.

    "Fuck yeah! It's dead!" I scream and throw my arms up.

    Alissa laughs and I could hear cheering from the manor.


    We collect the bones and remaining slime skin. Then we give a short greeting to the family inside the manor. The man of the house gave me a bottle of wine. I don't drink but Alissa whispered for me to accept it so I tried to do it graciously.

    Then we left and returned to the manor of our contractor. Belta was ecstatic, her husband gave me a painful pat on the back and laughed with a booming voice. Alissa squirmed after seeing my pain.

    They let us stay the night in the guest room. We couldn't stand sleeping in separate beds so we managed to sleep in a single one. It was hot and a little uncomfortable but we managed to fit in.

    "Honestly, I don't see any problem with our teamwork. We are really good with each other," I say.

    "Aside from you being in the front. I can see your pained face every time you get hit, no proper shield bearer suffers so much."

    "Well… I already decided I will train my shield more next. With this reward we can spend a good time training. After I get another level I think it will help a lot."

    Alissa pouts.

    "Still, I don't think I will ever be comfortable with you in the front line. Your talent is magic, you shouldn't need to spend so much time training melee," she traces her finger on my chest.

    "Your concern makes me happy. But my real advantage is versatility, we just have to hold on and be careful a while longer," I say and kiss her nose.

    "… A while longer," she repeats, then she kisses my lips lightly.

    After some kissing she breaks the kiss and turns her face away.

    "What is it?"

    "Hm…" She pouts again, her tail is swaying.

    She stays silent for a few seconds. Then she moves downwards below the covers. I feel my pants going down and something warm and wet covers my dick.

    She is really good at this, I don't last long again.


    Intermission 1


    Now I'm sure master is someone special. A kind and shy man but a completely different person in bed, a talent for both magic and the sword, the knowledge and curiosity of a child but the wisdom of someone much older, calm and dependable, the capability for compassion with monsters but the resolve to keep fighting. Those are not things you find among the common man, those are things that must be protected.

    Master is alone, that much I'm sure. He keeps a calm demeanor but I see he's anxious about something. He's always wanting to do something, something to increase his strength, to increase his level, to increase power. Even though he says he wants to relax he doesn't stop.

    I'm truly happy he depends on me in battle and in bed. Even though I know he's letting out his lust on me I'm happy I'm able to help on this.

    I thought my endurance training would be wasted living such a lavish lifestyle but now I know it's merely going to be used in a different way than what I imagined. I need the endurance and strength to support the well-being of master. His mind is fragile and precious, his will is so strong he's bound to hurt himself, and his code of honor will soon have him face the wicked that will likely leave a wound on his soul. All I wish for is the ability to support master.
    .
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  10. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    The body of the slime is 5 silver, the Young Ogres were 4 silver each, the Fangpines were 1 silver.

    The reward for the extermination is 40 silver. That's a lot because the Oodogloo is an incredibly annoying enemy to find, the strategy is to generally have one person at each farm waiting for it and when the monster is found a signal flare is used. This is a dangerous strategy because a single person will fight the monster for a while until more people arrive. To defeat it in a single night with just 2 people is a commendable feat and with that my fame gets annoyingly higher.

    "Yoo! Ryder! Join meee, mate. There's an Orc Lord request 5 days away. With your girl we can find him in a day or two, it will be eeeasy," says Simon from the creatively named fellowship.

    This time Targua isn't here but there's another person who is following me.

    "Do you want to kill him, Mr. Simon? Orc Lord is a monster of threat level 6!" Says Dennis, a wealthy looking black robed mage from the fellowship Thunder Storm. His normally disheveled black hair and beard looks even more disheveled when he talks to Simon. He seems unhinged to me.

    "We got enough firepower to deal with even a dragon around here, we just lack a tracker like the fox lass. You don't even have to do anything mate, just order her around and we can even carry your ass!" Simon laughs out loud.

    "Mr. Ryder isn't a greedy person like you, he has potential and I can give him the support he needs. Mr. Ryder join me and we can grow far together!" He claims with a far away look.

    Dennis came to me when he heard the tale spreading around of how I used [Electric Magic] to stun the slime and counter it immediately after its hammer attack. He has a thing for electricity.

    He wants to work close to me as a duo of sword and magic, but he has an annoying sense of duty and justice. He also wants to control the party like he controls his other two tired looking companions.

    "Sorry guys, I wanna work slowly on my own with Alissa. I still have my own personal reasons to not join a bigger party. One of the reasons is I wanna take it safe and slow."

    "What a shame, mate," Simon frowns and shakes his head.

    "Be sure, Mr. Ryder keep following the right path and we will surely meet in the future of glory," Dennis says and bows.

    I think he's slightly insane. I have no idea what the hell he means by that. Alissa was looking at the request board but I could see she was just discreetly facepalming.

    "Persistent…" She mutters with a hint of anger, her tail is stiff.

    I let out a wry smile.


    For the last 2 days I did nothing but abuse Alissa after waking up and during the bath, train [Sense Mana] and [Mana Control] in the morning and spar with someone who is not Toga in the afternoon. Due to this I learned [Sense Mana] with 2 points and [Mana Control] with 3 points.

    I think I learned fast because I already had a lot of contact with magic, this was just a solidification of my foundation in magic.

    Spending an entire morning hugging Alissa while she practices her [Mana Control] was heavenly. I think even she was a little disappointed we didn't do this today.

    I also earned points during my sparring, 2 points in [Block] (now 2+6) and 1 in [Parry] (now 1+5). But the sparring was exhausting. I think I will take a day off and maybe tomorrow look again more seriously for work.

    Today we went into the guild to look at the requests just for curiosity and "coincidentally" met the annoying duo. Something tells me people like them have a second house inside the guild.

    I bought a tea set and taught Alissa how to make tea. I found the not"earl grey I drunk once on a tea shop near the temple and got some cheap cookies with it so my mood has improved a lot.

    "Alissa, you know about the Moon Turtles?" I ask.

    "I don't know where they are found around here but I know they are easy to find inside a dungeon. They are also slow moving so I think I can blind them easily."

    "What about this request, think it's doable?"

    "That's gonna depend on luck. Not every turtle has the Moonlight Moss."

    The request I'm interested at pays 2 gold coins. It's a gathering request where the requester is wanting an escort to a cave where these turtles can be found.

    Supposedly Moonlight Moss grows on the backs of the Moon Turtles so we need to kill a considerable amount for the requester to be able to safely gather the moss. The requester is a mage so he wants to go and help kill the turtles.

    The kill rewards will be spread among all members so it seems attractive to us. The pay is kinda high but I guess it's gonna depend on how long it's going to take to collect all this moss.

    "I think it will be okay. As long as we avoid being surrounded no enemy inside the caves can catch us if we run. It's rare to find a monster that resists the Escape Bomb," says Alissa.

    Her words are a little bit reassuring but just to be thorough I will research the cave monsters around this area. I didn't look into them because I didn't think I would enter a cave on the Sea of Trees.

    It's the dungeoneering library that saved my life so far. The Orc Headhunter, the goblin squad intelligence pattern, the Mandrakes, the Bush Babies, the Young Ogres, the Mossy Fangpines, and the Oodogloo. All these enemies I knew their attack patterns and their weaknesses which allowed to me create strategies that maximized my safety and guaranteed a kill.

    The hunt for the Oodogloo was the prime example of that. My instant counter was possible because I knew it had a predictable heavy attack and that it was extremely vulnerable to slashing weapons. Once I got hit by the hammer attack once I knew how to counter it. Even the dance around the Young Ogre was only possible because I researched first.

    "Excuse me, in this request what's the time for the scheduled negotiation?" I ask the usual older brunette attendant.

    On requests like these there's a "negotiation" that will happen at a predefined time and place once the requester is informed that a hunter is interested in fulfilling the request.

    "Tomorrow morning. The meeting will be here at one of our rooms," she answers with a kind smile.

    So it's soon, I only have one day to prepare. It's likely that the requester will ask to depart immediately.

    "Alright, send the message that we are interested in this request," I say.

    Then I turn to Alissa.

    "I will go to the dungeoneering guild and research the monster and caves around here. What about you, you wanna do something by yourself?"

    "Hm…" She murmurs and looks troubled.

    Every day since I bought her she was glued at my side. Not that I dislike it since I'm the super clingy one but maybe it would be best if she could do what she wants once in a while, I learned how important this was from Lily. I may have abandonment issues…

    She looks at me like an abandoned puppy.

    "It's okay to work separately from me from time to time. If you don't ask for it by yourself you will never ever leave my side ever again because I'm very clingy. It's okay to stay away from me once in a while, it's good for your mental health. Believe me I have experience on this matter."

    "Experience…?"

    "Well it's… A matter I can't tell in detail. Sorry you will have to believe me."

    I really don't wanna talk about Lily.

    "Okay… But I don't know what I could do by myself," she answers shyly, then she tilts her head and like always it melts my heart.

    "There's the juice that I always forget to buy, there's more tea and cookies that you could search for, there's the dress I wanted to buy for you that might be better if you just choose something for yourself, there's the bookstores where you could find a book you are interested in, there's just sightseeing or looking into the Flea Market or those crazy magic tool shops. Oh, there's the theater, I have no idea what goes there I might want to know more about it. Well two things are my requests but there's plenty that you can do."

    "How about spending time in the training grounds?" She asks with an innocent smile.

    "That's… Not relaxing though, find something to relax that isn't just training," I plead.

    You will make me feel guilty from taking it easy if you are always training.

    "But you are going to read books to prepare, isn't that considered work?"

    "Just barely, I kinda enjoy the books. There's combat reports that are interesting and plenty of beautiful drawings and anatomy lessons."

    "Ooh, is that so? Maybe I should also read them and help with the research!" She smiles and claps her hands, her tail is wagging.

    Heh, this girl…

    "Then I will at least ask you to buy cheap juice, tea, and look a bit for clothing before joining me, ok?"

    "Understood, master," she smiles and nods.

    The juice and tea is for me, the clothing is also for me but also for her. Which middle-ages girl dislikes shopping for clothes?

    I actually wanted to go to Ciel and ask about the moon…


    So I kinda don't want to go inside a those caves. It's not like I have a phobia or something I just fucking hate spiders…

    The most common enemy you will find is the Giant Tarantula. Things start just peachy. It's extremely territorial, there's no way you won't fight one inside these caves.

    They block the entrances with transparent webs and once you get caught the more you move, the more it wraps. You basically have to put fire on them and slightly burn yourself to escape.

    The webs are very elastic and sticky, swinging a sword is useless. Though some people acquired success by swinging branches or disposable spears. The progress is slow but it's better than nothing. The most common strategy is just have the full plate guy walk inside with a torch in his hand. Things will get hot for sure but he won't be burned if he waits for things to cool down.

    That's just to get near. The Tarantula is a heavy monster that jumps and pierces you with a fast acting venom that's difficult to dispel. The tarantula doesn't normally prey on people so the venom isn't as effective as it could be but it still paralyzes you for 5 minutes. The Tarantula preys mostly on goblins who try to settle inside caves. Caves are the most common environment for goblins and the Tarantula is their natural predator.

    Once the Giant Tarantula eats enough goblins it evolves into the arachne race of monsters, a half-human woman, half-spider monster. There is a report of a demon race who looks like the arachne monster but it's only a rumor. The only reason it's mentioned in the book is so that other adventurers don't go into the demon race continent and kill those people if they ever meet them.

    The arachne is highly intelligent and cunning but it's like a deranged human who can only torture, kill, and eat. It's even more frightening than the tarantula because they toy with you. They are adept at sneaking and illusion magic. They like to slowly poison the enemy from afar with things like small traps and thrown weapons and then attack when you are weakened. I will need [Mental Resistance] for this. I think I should just tell Alissa of my skill system manipulation and also give her [Mental Resistance].

    Another enemy is the Sludge. A parent of the slime"type monsters. It's a mass of living feces, mud, and blood, it's basically the janitor of the caves. It's vulnerable to fire, it will harden when heated but slow down. This makes them vulnerable to attacks, otherwise they move too fast and overwhelm you by absorbing you inside their disgusting bodies. They are much bigger than normal slimes and others like the Ooodogloo so it's difficult to kill them or escape their embrace.

    Another enemy is the Giant Mole. They are the ones who kept creating and destroying the cave systems. Once they broke into a dungeon they stopped digging, it's unknown exactly why but at least the caves are mostly mapped now. They are aggressive and move by sound. It's easy to deal with one but they call more when the fight starts so the strategy is to kill one and then retreat otherwise a line of moles starts to appear. Unless if your objective is to wipe out the moles.

    Through the fellowship I feel Alissa is on the building. I go downstairs and see she's at the lobby carrying an earthenware jar and a spare bag she had on her [Item Box] to carry things she couldn't put at the [Item Box]. She looks at me and lets a sweet smile.

    "Oooh. Is that the juice? What is it from?" I ask and store it in my "Items".

    "Gorgon fruit, I didn't know what fruit you liked so I got something that tastes mild."

    Gorgon fruit is a small blue berry that looks like an eye.

    "Ah yes, I actually forgot about it, my bad."

    "Then… I also bought some clothes…" She says bashfully, her tail sways.

    She pulls me closer.

    "There's something for the night," she whispers into my ear.

    My heart tingles. I did give her too much for a single dress so I was wondering if she was going to be bring an expensive dress or not. This option is the best one in the end.

    I put the bag into my "Items" and bring her to my research station. I'm looking through multiple books like the dungeoneering advice book, the local monsters book, the local caves book, the local dungeons book, and two other monster books. One that give more in depth battle reports about the monsters and their anatomies and the second gives dismantling tips.

    Then I continue my research.

    The Moon Turtles live inside a dungeon that the moles dug into. They are slow but sturdy, they breathe fire and water jets as offensive means, and grow spikes on their flanks if attacked. The best way to kill them is to fire inside their mouth once they start breathing or to slowly chip away at their sturdy necks while being careful of the spikes. But now with Alissa it's gonna be eye-popping galore.

    The path to get to the Moon Turtles is a pain. We will definitely have to pass a wall of tarantulas. Then there's the hunting grounds where the arachnes like to prey, which are large open spaces where they can freely move above intruders and away from danger. Then there's the maze of mole tunnels, where even if we pass through the shortest path we will certainly have to backtrack and choose another route once we encounter and kill a mole. Then the dungeon of the Moon Turtles is a downwards spiral full of Spriggans.

    The last enemy is the Spriggans. Devilish imps who like to sneak about, play pranks, and set traps. They are one and a half meter tall men-only humanoids who have green skin, thin arms, and bark that grows from a variety of spots that they use for armor. The bark that grows on the head is even cut and fashioned as if it's a hairstyle. An elven tale tells of the Spriggan haircut contest where the elves would hunt Spriggans to find the one with the most ridiculous "haircut".

    They are not the kind that goes for the kill but they practice hit and run tactics with increasing frequency the deeper we go until we reach the floor of the turtles. They will first try to steal, then to distract and torment, then they start to hurt, and finally they fight to kill once you are tired. To deal with Spriggans you have to be always at the ready and immediately respond with deadly force. The more Spriggans you kill, the slower they increase their attacks and the less they try to torment you. With Alissa I can just increase her [Sense Presence] skill if she's having trouble detecting them.

    So the expedition will likely take 3 or 4 days. Starting from the entrance it will take one day for us to cross the caves and to reach the entrance of the dungeon. After spending the night at the entrance it will take half a day to go down to the floor of the turtle and another half to do our business there, we hope. The turtles themselves will be simple we just don't know how long it will take to collect all the moss. Then on the third day we will come back all the way easily since we will have a path open. The shitty part is the moles, it might be safer if we just leg it when passing their territory otherwise we could be backed into a corner with the Spriggans on one side and the enraged moles at the other.

    I traced a route for us to take and copied the maps. There are multiple routes to the dungeon and multiple routes from there to the turtle floor but in the end it's just luck if the route is good or not.

    "Wooah. All these anatomy drawings are so cool. Now I'm sure I can kill any tarantula and arachne that find. I'm glad I came," she smiles and sways her head sideways.

    What kind of girl gets so excited when talking about killing giant spiders and a giant half-spider, half-humans? No, not even the average adventurer likes spiders.

    "Well I was going to share the info with you anyway but I guess this is fine since I don't have to explain things to you," I shrug.


    When we eat dinner at the inn Selina comes to talk to me.

    "Hello, Mr. Ryder. Father said you are going to leave on an expedition again, is that true?" She asks as she sits down on the free chair at our table.

    I saw Alissa and Selina share a few words often so they seem to be friendly.

    "I will meet with the employer tomorrow to negotiate the terms but we are likely to depart immediately."

    "Miss Selina, we are going to the Spiral Springs at the Ant Hill. We are going to meet arachnes and Spriggans!" Says Alissa excitedly, her fox ears twitch and her tail wags a bit.

    "Oh! Bring me a Spriggan head with a nice haircut, I want one for my room," And she lets out the sweetest innocent smile.

    Girl, just...What in the fuck.

    Alissa looks at me with expectant eyes.

    "Uh… Sure, you pick the one we bring back. I will just store it on my [Item Box]."

    I don't really want to be the one to gift a girl the head of a humanoid monster.

    "Thank you, master. I will surely bring you a great one Selina. I heard arachne eyes are also red and shiny, I will bring one for you too if we find a nice pair," Alissa smiles and nods.

    What is this conversation, I'm glad I already finished eating.

    Selina giggles and hides her mouth with her hand.

    "Thank you Miss Alissa. I will be waiting eagerly, I will prepare something sweet for you two once you come back," she says.

    Alissa is uncomfortable when Selina calls her "Miss" but I told her it's okay to be treated as an equal if her master is also doing it.

    Alissa tells Selina of the preparations we are doing. They are like two friends talking about toys or action movies. I just watch with a warm smile at the gruesome conversation.

    Then we retire and go to our bed.


    "You have a good relationship with Selina," I say to Alissa, who's in my arms.

    "She's always so eager to hear our stories, she's a good girl. It's for people like her that people like me are trained to fight," her tail sways.

    I guess they just have the perfectly compatible personalities. The girl who's eager to fight and protect and the girl who's eager to hear and cherish those who do.

    I bring out the bag with the clothes she bought. There's a frilly, flowing yellow dress that goes to her knees. It fits her perfectly, I just need to buy her some cute boots and she's perfect. Then the other cloth she hides and tells me to look away while she changes.

    When she turns around she's wearing the one piece from the slave trader shop; on her legs she's wearing a semi-transparent pair of white thigh highs; on her arms she's wearing long sleeved white gloves of the same material.

    I just freeze at the sight, it's just too sexy. The gloves and thigh highs are simple, they have no frills or special design, but they mix well with the simple silk one piece. It's the beauty of simplicity, it makes her look angelical. The ears and the slowly swinging tail are just the cherry on top of this cake.

    I'm a starving wolf staring at a piece of roasted meat. I grab her and throw her on the bed. Tonight I'm not gentle. I kiss her and grope her, but that's not enough for tonight and I go down and put my head between her legs. She lets surprised moans that turn into even louder pleasure moans. She needs to be rewarded for bringing back such a precious gift.

    With my finger I found the spot, my favorite spot on the whole body of a woman. I rub it and Alissa squirms in a way she's never squirmed before. I have to force her to stop so she doesn't run away. Thankfully our room is sound padded, I would pity the neighbors if it weren't, there's no amount of complaining that would make me stop. Her high pitched moans reached the highest level tonight.

    I play with her until she's spent. She doesn't even have the voice to ask me what I did, she just looks at me with surprised eyes. Perhaps a bit of fear.

    I stop the stimulation and go back to kissing her slowly until she catches her breath again. But I'm not done yet.

    "It's not over yet," I whisper, she twitches and looks at me with slightly scared eyes.

    I turn her around, grab the back of her neck and press it down on the bed. Then I do her with fast, but low frequency pounds. She moans with every thrust. I pound and pound and pound and pound.

    Then I change the rhythm. I pull her hair, I pull her arm, I put her on a choke hold, I put all my power, all my anger on her. When I'm near I turn her around look into her eyes, then I raise her dress and finish all over her body. This is your punishment for overly stimulating me.


    Today the wake up kiss is twice as long and she wakes up with a large smile. I wonder where she found those clothes but I will have her go there many more times. That cloth texture is just too amazing, it feels almost like the synthetic cloth of Earth but it seems like it's way weaker and it might only last a few more nights considering how aggressive it made me.

    "Did you like it?" I ask with a grin.

    "… Yes… But my back hurts a little."

    "Oh sorry, you should tell me if it hurts," I look worriedly at her.

    "I know, it's just that I wasn't paying attention to the pain at the time," she blushes.

    How can you still blush after what we did?

    I cast [Regeneration] on her.

    "Oh, that feels better. Thank you, master. Ah… Now that I think about it, you never chant for magic, do you?"

    Ah shit… Time for another lie.

    "The way I learned magic I never chant. But it's like I said, my magic is weak because of it. Why do people chant?"

    "It's to help with the mana flow, the words and the voice resonate with mana and improves magic. Casting without chanting requires a lot of familiarity with the spell and it might still be less mana-efficient."

    Now that I think about it chanting sounds like singing. Perhaps the sound harmonizes with mana or something, I'm not too knowledgeable about sound physics.

    Reluctantly we leave for breakfast. The Clothes of the Berserker are safely stored in my "Items". They will be forever with me so I can always pull them when Alissa requires a savage punishment.

    Selina gives us her blessing in the expedition and Alissa looks even happier. Then we set off for the hunters guild. The attendant guides us to the meeting room, the requester isn't here yet so we wait.

    The room has a large round table with multiple cushioned chairs. A tea set with a magical heating stone and a bunch of cookies is left to us. On one wall is a blackboard with plenty of chalk, on the opposite wall is a large comfy sofa.

    I lay down on the sofa and put my head on Alissa's lap. She runs her fingers through my hair and I almost fall asleep.


    The door opens and a woman walks in, I sit up.

    Black hair on a ponytail with two side bangs. Small oval glasses. Diamond jaw, small lips and nose, upturned eyes, pale white face. Spiral black horns on temples protruding forward, long black tail swings about, it looks like there's a dagger blade at the tip. She's a demon race woman.

    She wears a long black robe and silk black gloves, the robe shows a bit of her curves, it has shining purple flowers embroidered all around it. I can see high heel black boots below her robe, those boots would be perfect for Alissa's yellow dress. This woman is the definition of cool and sexy. Until she opens her mouth.

    "Goood morning! I am Roxanne! I am your client for today!" She claps her hands in front of her chin and grins then she tilts her head and giggles.

    Me and Alissa look at each other, it seems we both had a similar impression of this woman.

    Then Roxanne starts walking towards me. Confident steps, a swaying body that tickles my heart, a confident smile, the cool and sexy is back. This removes my dumbfounded state and I get up and shake hands with Roxanne.

    "I am Wolf Ryder and this is my companion Alissa. Our fellowship is named Helios."

    "Yes! I saw your record. Grey Berserker, Orc Headhunter, and the Oodogloo caught in a single day. That's impressive! I'm so happy you came here!" Says Roxanne with happiness brimming from every word.

    Whenever she speaks a cool and sexy voice comes out but quickly that impression is ruined as her tone gets increasingly high pitched. Her hands move constantly and her body squirms whenever she speaks.

    "Uh… Well, thank you… Should we sit and talk about the request?"

    "Yes, pleease!"

    We move towards the table and she sits right next to me, I can smell the perfume. It's kinda awkward to talk to her like this, she's beautiful up close but her atmosphere burns my eyes with her happiness.

    I tell her the route I had planned and she seems satisfied, there's not really much to complain about this since the route is based on luck anyway. She shows me the jar she wants to fill with the moss, it's basically a small 200ml bowl. Looks small but it's moss, it's something that doesn't have a lot of volume to begin with.

    She assures me it's doable with a dozen or so turtles. She told me that the last report a few days ago an adventurer saw that the turtles had a large amount of moss growing on their backs. You need special care to extract it so only a few people have the knowledge to take it. Since there's no Moonlight Moss on the market yet then that means the report is still accurate.

    "Then tell me about your abilities," I ask.

    "I'm a fire and water mage! I have two Unique Spells that I so dearly love. The first one is [Explosion]! If you hold and enemy in place for 3 or so seconds I can blow it to pieces! Ah… But if you are going to be on the front line I'm going to have to say I'm sorry, but you will be drenched in guts and blood…

    Hahahahaha, I can already feel my "Sanity" stat going down.

    "Then the other one is [Melt Skin]! I can throw a ball of water so hot that their skin will melt! This spell doesn't do a lot of direct damage but I haven't seen an enemy that doesn't writhe in pain when it hits, so it's perfect for support," she says with a satisfied faced and nods repeatedly. Alissa seems impressed.

    Aside from the gruesome image these are two interesting spells. Since she's a fire and water mage, is she using these two elements combined to create a steam explosion? That's actually impressive, I haven't tried manipulating two spells at the same time but it seems taxing. I understand that with high [Mana Control] you can do plenty of crazy things but to do it with two different magic schools at the same time seems a level above the rest.

    "But anyway, my second ability is [Alchemy] and [Potion Making]. Since the caves are filled with enemies that use poison or venom I can easily supply us with antidotes and anti-venom. I can even make it on-site with the body of those tarantulas."

    Yeah she's special, aside from the obnoxiously high level of happiness she seems useful. It's not gonna be an escort job, it's gonna be a temporary fellowship kind of job. We discuss battle tactics for a bit, she seems experienced in fighting with others.

    "Then do you wanna leave right now?"

    "Ah, yes! Just let me gather a few last things and close down my house and I will meet you at the east gate. Is that all?"

    "Yes, that's all," I say.

    The money was already agreed to beforehand. I don't think I can improve the situation since I think the reward is already high and the spoils will be split fairly since she's gonna be an active fighter. I'm also a terrible negotiator, I have no heart for making a deal that isn't fair or that gives me the most benefits.

    Roxanne bows and leaves. Then I turn to Alissa.

    "Alissa, there's something I have to tell you. It's gonna be another secret," I say. It's actually gonna be another lie.

    Let's see how this lie goes, I will gauge her reactions from this.

    "Oh, what is it, master?" She asks with a curious face.

    "Well, on my homeland there's a tale. It says that there's a person who's born every few generations or so. This person has the ability to read the souls of people and guide them to fulfill their desires in society."

    "Hmm..." Alissa looks at me and narrows her eyes.

    Did she get where I'm going?

    "You see… I think I'm one of those people, I think I'm what's called a 'Guider'."

    "But what do you mean by 'guide them to fulfill their desires'?"

    "Well, you know that skill you got, the [Enhanced Stamina]? I gave it to you, I can see you have potential to learn skills and I can give or take skills based on that potential."

    Alissa opens her eyes wide and her mouth hangs. That's a little bit off from the reaction that I wanted, maybe I should have left it more vague.

    "I can't give or take all skills. Because of your level you can learn a few more skills, I can only give skills based on that unused potential. I can also only take away skills that I gave," I add hurriedly.

    "Th-th-that's amazing, master! Imagine the things we can do with this!" She grabs my hand and gazes into my eyes with wonder, her tail is wagging.

    It's okay that you accepted it so easily but you are a little too excited about it.

    "I-I can only do it to you though, so I think it only works with people close to me."

    She stops and think for a second then resumes her smile.

    "Still, that's a powerful ability. You really are blessed!"

    "Perhaps…"

    I don't feel that blessed though, more like cursed and then sent a consolation prize.

    "My magic works the same way, I can move my own potential into different magic types," I continue.

    "Ooh, I understand," she nods.

    "So, you have 6 unused points that I can assign to skills. If I'm riding you I will put them into [Enhanced Stamina], if we are in combat you need to tell me where I should put them. But for this expedition I will put them in [Mental Resistance] so we can resist the illusions of the arachne."

    "Yes yes, I concur. Then for battle I think you can put it all on [Bow Use]. There's no real skill that will benefit me as much, I need to focus on my strong points. Ah, can you put them into [Fox Transformation]?"

    "No, I don't know why. Maybe because it's specific to your race."

    "Hmm… That's a shame, with the transformation at a higher level I could use it to fight in melee or to easily run away. If I increase it I can absorb my weapons inside myself too so it would be even more helpful."

    I feel a little uncomfortable putting you into melee range. Wait, is this the same feeling you get when I'm fighting in melee? I think I understand you a little better now.

    "Well then, I think this way things are going to be fine. Keep in mind your extra points, they are a trump card for you."

    "Understood, master."

    "Then let us be off."

    I'm glad she accepted and understood things so easily. I guess this is a matter of trust since this world is full of unknown and crazy things, me being just another unknown is okay.


    We cross town and reach the east gate. It's closer to the noble's quarters so the landscape is much more beautiful and the buildings are way less crooked. It kinda loses the charm of the city though. The clashing architectures was growing on me and I miss the small, cozy, and rustic atmosphere of the inn.

    I'm in line waiting for my turn at customs when the characteristic sound of heels hitting the floor approaches. It's the cool and sexy Roxanne. She has a simple black metal staff with a flat ring on the top and a perfectly spherical pulsing gem in the middle, it changes from blue to red in color. She's carrying a small backpack with her and I can see multiple unknown plants and monster parts dangling from it. She waves vigorously by swinging her arm high in the sky.

    "OOI! RYDER!"

    Wh-what are you doing. I already saw you, just come here quietly.

    She jogs a little and comes to me.

    "Alright then! Here are 6 antidotes and 4 anti-venom. Keep the anti-venom on a chest pocket because you will not have time to use it if you store it in [Item Box]. The anti-venom is magically enhanced so it works instantly. Also here are 2 of my own recipe HP and MP potions, very valuable, only for emergencies."

    She gives me and Alissa a variety of flasks. The anti-venom are the standard flat metal flasks for combat use.

    We pass by customs. When the guard saw I had nothing on my [Item Box] he only glanced at me, then at Roxanne and moved on. Alissa has things on her [Item Box] so even if it's just me and her we only look like a duo of adventurers less prepared than usual. Now with Roxanne carrying a backpack he might have thought she's the servant carrying my things or something like that.

    Once we get out of town the landscape turns into the exact same as the west side. Farms in one side, the gigantic trees of the Sea on the other side of the road. Except now on the horizon the road doesn't bend and I can see a brown mountain protruding from a small forest far away. It's the Ant Hill mountain.

    The Ant Hill is a failed [Meteor] spell. This spell is huge flaming rock falling from the sky that is supposed to blow when it hits the ground, but this one didn't and a large brown ball of stone got stuck on the ground. Eventually nature grew around it and the Giant Moles started making a cave system on it because the environmental mana is high.

    It's called "Ant Hill" because when attacked the moles would rush out like hundreds of ants. Then the lord of Rabanara at the time got tired of it and properly subjugated it so now he controls the hill as if it's a dungeon. So there's still a lot of moles inside but it's not an infestation that endangers passersby.

    When we get a good distance away from the wagons trying to enter town Roxanne turns to us.

    "Alright! So it's time to test this!"

    With a *poof* she pulls a large carpet out of her [Item Box]. It's dark red with lots of yellow geometric patterns, it has a large round white stone near the border with what seems to be a bike handle protruding out of it.

    "A flying carpet?" I let out a question reflexively.

    "Well, yes. It's made with the new super fast flying stone! I wanna test it out, it's gonna be slower than the max speed but it can certainly carry 3 people."

    How rich are you? This request already pays a lot and now you pull out the new and expensive hot thing everyone is talking about so casually. But I'm really concerned about the safety of this thing. Where are the seat belts? I realize Aladdin was an incredibly irresponsible guy.

    "Erm… How about this, I can ride Alissa since she can transform on a large fox. How about we do it that way, it will be faster right?"

    "Yes, master. My transformation is really fast and it will be secure for all of us," Alissa says while eyeing the carpet."

    Is she concerned for my safety or did this carpet hurt her pride as a runner?

    "Oh, you can ride her? Well that's fine by me, we will get faster there this way," Roxanne shrugs and jumps on the floating carpet. It looked as if it was as stiff as a stone floor.

    "Then let's goo! Let's race!" Roxanne jumps with joy

    "Whooa, hold on, it might be dangerous."

    "No master, it's perfectly safe. It will be fine," Alissa says and pats my shoulder.

    I can feel a little bit of aggressiveness on her voice. So it really is a matter of pride.

    I grab Alissa's equipment and mount her. Then I breath in.

    "Go."

    And we go. We go fast.


    "I'm sorry, master. I got carried away," Alissa says in a sad tone while looking down at me.

    Indeed, but I'm not really mad since you won. Well, I can't say anything right now, I need to hold in my breakfast.

    "It's… fine…" I manage to let out a weak voice.

    It takes me a few minutes but I regain my senses. I get up from the grass and see Roxanne trying to stifle a laugh. I try to be mad at her but she's such a happy-go-lucky woman I just can't.

    "I'm fine now, let's keep moving."

    The trip that should have taken one or two hours was done in less than half an hour. The cost was my dignity as I had to spend a few minutes sprawled on the floor so I don't puke.

    When Alissa goes all out the vibration of her body rises to unbearable levels, I'm really thankful that normally she is considerate of my well-being.

    The scenery changed a little, we are on a slope on the border of a normal forest, not the Sea of Trees. The road we were on deviates south a bit to go around the Ant Hill. The normal sized trees, with a normal sized canopy, with a normal atmosphere and humidity, reminds me of the parks I went to on Earth, it's really pleasant.

    The Sea of Trees is a fantastical and often beautiful forest, but it's very oppressive and filled with memories of battle. I think soon this forest will also have bad memories but at least I will enjoy it while it lasts.

    I put my skills like this:



    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use6+2Dodge2+4Parry1+5
    Block2+6Shield Bash0+1Mental Resistance8+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Manay0+2Mana Control0+3Mana Recovery3+0
    Mana Efficiency1+0Reduced Mana Cost2+0FireMagic4+0
    Light Magic5+0Nature Magic5+0Nature Magic5+0
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    I cast [Wind Armor] on us all and [Sharp Blades] on myself, then I meditate to refill my mana.

    "Ooh, [Blessing Magic]. I knew you were a magic swordsman but this is good," Roxanne says while lightly clapping her hands.

    "Ah, Miss Roxanne, can we make a temporary fellowship? It will be good for us to share experience," I ask.

    "Sure thing!" She says and nods.

    Her hand is soft, but Alissa's feels better.

    Then we start moving. The trees grow up in any direction they see fit, their trunks are thin and long and multiple trees can huddle together. A large amount of bushes and tall grass makes traversion annoying. I bring out a spare short sword and use it to cut a path forward. It's fortunate my sword skill helps in cutting grass.

    The cave entrance is not far away, in a few dozen minutes we are already touching brown rock of the failed meteor. But just before we find the entrance goblins get in our way. A group of 3 barely dressed goblins with crude wooden spears appear.

    "Target practice," I say.

    Alissa lets arrows fly and 2 are already dead when the 3rd notices. He actually gets scared and freezes. Alissa fires a perfect arrow on his forehead.

    "I can feel the difference," whispers Alissa.

    I put the 6 extra points she had on [Bow Use] just to test, I will put them back on [Mental Resistance] when we reach the cave.

    "Impressive," praises Roxanne.

    Alissa looks away so I can't see her reaction but heir tail sways for a second.

    Just a few more minutes and we reach the cave entrance. A large 10-meters wide hole. Its size is rather impressive considering the moles are normally only 1 meter tall. Perhaps it is like this so they could flood out of their caves more easily.

    I bring out the spear with a torch on the point, something we prepared beforehand. Alissa lights the torch and we start moving forward while I swing the spear around.

    Not even 5 meters inside the cave and fire spreads through multiple lines in the air. We hit the first transparent web. It burns for a few seconds before fizzling out, then we keep moving.

    We all cast [Spirit Light], I focus on a white light and this time it comes out as I wished instead of the ghostly light blue of last time.

    The progress is slow. Once in a while I or Roxanne cast a [Fireball] but the webs have quite a lot of space between them so it doesn't hit every time. It can barely be called a "net" or "web", it's made to slowly catch and cling to the body and when you notice the web you are already deep inside the cave and partially wrapped.

    The cave is an unending boring brown maze. Twisting and turning tunnels, up and down and over. The map is rather nightmarish to understand without 3D visualization. The tunnels end up in rooms that are either square or round, there's no logic for their shape or location. The cave was just randomly dug in in random directions and rooms were randomly added in, maybe someone could make a random number generator by analyzing this cave system.

    We progress for half an hour when Alissa stops me.

    "Something is coming."

    That must be a tarantula.

    I drop the spear and draw my sword. I can feel Roxanne gathering mana behind me, the [Sense Mana] skill is quite interesting.

    I start to hear the sound of something scurrying about, the sound of many quick feet is coming towards us. An arrow and a fireball flies.

    "HISHAAAA!" Hard to believe a spider can make a sound like that.

    I see on the border of our light a many legged thing comes flying towards me. I steel myself and put my shield up. I feel Roxanne let out her spell.

    Two things hit the shield and my view is covered by 8 furry legs wiggling about. I push back and immediately slash as a counter. My sword breaks something and then cuts through something fleshy like butter. I feel something wet and hot hit me.

    The Giant Tarantula is split into two and I'm bathed in it's inner fluids. Something transparent and sticky and red blood splashes into me. It's fucking disgusting, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting, disgusting, disgus-...

    "[Clean]."

    Oh this feels nice… The sticky fluid is gone, the blood didn't soak into my clothes so it's all going away. I'm better now.

    "Thanks Alissa…" I say.

    She pats my shoulder.

    "Are you okay now, master?"

    "Yeah… I just fucking hate spiders…"

    "Sorry Mr. Ryder, I understand your situation," says Roxanne with a frown.

    You don't really need to apologize but it made me feel a little better so it's okay.

    This one was half a meter tall, looks to be younger, which means it's dumber. That's why it didn't even stop the charge even after receiving an arrow and a [Fireball] on its face.

    I cut a fang as proof of extermination, pick up the flaming spear and we continue.


    "There's two waiting on the fork," says Alissa.

    Not a good idea to continue. They are very nimble, we have to deal with one at a time.

    "We will lure them out. Miss Roxanne, use [Torrent] on the one on the right and don't miss, I won't be able to keep both away if you do."

    "Yessir! Don't worry, I have perfect aim with my magic," she says and puts a closed fist on over her heart.

    We move a little forward and we can see the fork ahead. The tunnel opens into a square room with 2 other tunnels at the end of the room. The spiders must be just around the corner.

    Do they sleep? Do they hibernate or something? The book didn't talk about this. I will have to make noise so they understand we know they are hiding, then they will either retreat or charge depending on how smart they are.

    I throw a [Fireball] to clear any remaining web nearby and move to around 20 meters from the fork. Then I ask Alissa to get into the corner and throw a few arrows the furthest she can into that corner. 3 arrows hit the stone ground and break near where one spider should be.

    "Nothing?"

    "Nothing," Alissa answers.

    I throw a [Fireball] where the arrows hit… We wait. Nothing again.

    "Well… FUCKING STUPID SPIDERS COME OUT YOU LITTLE SHITS!" I scream.

    "Oh... That did it."

    Seriously? Whatever, I pull my shield up and prepare.

    At the same time two 1-meter tall spiders appear in the tunnel and come towards us with frightening speed. One charges towards me, the other towards Roxanne. Once they are a few meters away Roxanne fires her magic.

    The spider is hit in the face with a thick jet of water and falls into the wall of the fork ahead. That was actually really strong, more power and it's an instant kill. I'll be surprised if it's unscathed.

    The other spider jumps towards me and I remain immobile. On my right ear I hear an arrow flying passing by. In front of me the spider opens its fangs and an arrow hits its mouth.

    Its mid flight and can't stop, it writhes in mid-air and it's fangs don't even touch my shield. The back of the arrow hits my shield and goes deeper in the spider but doesn't kill it. I try to counter slash but it jumps away. That's okay, it's part of the plan.

    I cast [Constricting Vines], it's honestly the first time I have the real opportunity to use it because it's kinda hard to time it. I cast it on the spider far away who's writhing about on the floor. Green vines burst from the ground and hold every limb of the spider.

    The spell is strong but it takes time to get a grip on the target. So most intelligent monsters are either strong enough to ignore the vines like the Headhunter Orc or the Young Ogres or it's smart enough to dodge it and not worthy of trying to combo a stun with this spell.

    Now the remaining spider realizes I'm too hard to kill and tries to circle around me to jump on Alissa. Like hell I'm going to let you do that, I jump forward and slash towards it, forcing it to retreat. Then another arrow pierces it's face, it took out one of its many eyes.

    "HIIIIII," it lets out a scream in frustration.

    I retreat back to the middle of the tunnel. Now I wait.

    A [Fireball] flies towards it but the spell is too slow, the spider jumps backwards and dodges it. When it falls it meets another arrow who pierces its mouth again. Shit Alissa, that was good. I didn't even tell you to combo with the [Fireball].

    I let out my own [Fireball] along with Roxanne's. The spider dodges one but it's leg gets burnt by another. Then another arrow hits it, this time it hit the hard body so it only penetrated shallowly.

    "SHAAA!" It screams and charges forward. Now it's angry and suicide charging. I charge a [Fireball].

    I take the charge, I feel two fangs hit the shield with power. It hurts my arm and I have to move back a little. Then I open my shield and point the [Fireball] towards its body, it has no time to escape and takes the spell on the face. It lets out a disgusting high pitched scream.

    I feel the vines are dissipating, we have to finish this.

    The face of the spider is burned, it must be blind now. Another arrow hits the mouth, it gets dizzy and start to lose balance. I jump forward and thrust, I hit the head. I crush the exoskeleton and cut the head. It goes limp, it's dead.

    On the distance the other spider comes charging. It broke two legs on the right, it's lacking in balance and the charge is slow. Alissa immediately fires two fast arrows towards it, it isn't capable of dodging and one penetrates an eye and the other the mouth. Roxanne is charging another strong spell.

    The spider jumps and I receive the attack, it was weak. I push it back and Roxanne lets out her spell. A fire whip touches and curls around the body of the spider, it desperately tries to run as the whip burns it.

    I take the opportunity and slash at its body. I miss the head but I sever 3 legs. It can barely muster strength to resist anymore.

    I slash again and the last leg on the right side is gone, it turns upside"down and can't turn back. I pierce the soft head from below, it goes limp and dies.

    "That was interesting. [Fire Whip] could be useful but it's like your [Constricting Vines], it needs to combo with something otherwise they will just dodge it. They are not so strong that I can't hold them by myself, too," says Roxanne.

    "I prefer if you save your mana for a strong [Torrent]. Let's try [Fire Wall] next. I really wanna see it suicide jump into that spell," I say.

    [Constricting Vines] is enough as a follow up for a stunned spider but we lack strong openers. [Fireball] is too slow and [Fire Arrow] doesn't do that much damage, you need Alissa"level accuracy to be effective with it.

    "Perhaps [Water Blade] could work?" Asks Roxanne.

    "Let's try it after [Fire Wall]," I answer.

    I get near the fork and notice the symbol on top. It's the system explorers developed so you can navigate these tunnels who all look similar to one another. Each fork has a unique symbol, so if you get lost you just move to the next fork and then search for the symbol on your map.


    After a while we reach a circular room, in total there's 6 tunnels.

    "Wait, master," Alissa stops me.

    "What is it?"

    "There's a strong smell of spiders around here but they are too far for my [Sense Presence], let me investigate a little.

    "Sure."

    Alissa moves towards each tunnel at sniffs at the air a little. Then she comes back to us.

    "The smell is stronger on these tunnels and lower on these others," she points at the tunnels.

    "Let's take a detour and go through that one then, less spiders on the way."

    As we walk towards the tunnel I notice something odd on the entrance. The tunnels are all half-circles and the floor is normally rough and slightly curved. But this tunnel the ground is completely level for about 10 meters then it becomes round again. My spidey senses are tingling.

    "What's wrong?" Asks Roxanne.

    "The ground is suspicious," says Alissa, reliable as ever.

    "Indeed."

    I crouch near it and hit it with my hand. It's hollow. I bring a small broom I had on my "Items" and remove the dust from the ground. Right in the middle there's a small channel, it seems to be the place where the ground connects. It was almost perfect.

    "Oh, wait, the ground changed," says Roxanne.

    "What you mean? All I did was dust it a little."

    "Perhaps it was an illusion?" Asks Alissa.

    "Oh! An arachne trap," I say.

    "But it isn't their territory yet," says Roxanne.

    I shrug.

    "They are known to be cunning," I say.

    Roxanne crosses her arms and thinks.

    "This is the one with the faintest spider smell? Perhaps the smell itself is a trap," she says.

    "We have a few options here. Trigger the trap and cross after, but that could alert monsters we are here. Try not to trigger the trap and cross, but I don't really know how. Go towards the next tunnel with the faintest smell, but the smell might be a trap. Go to our original tunnel with a strong spider smell. Any opinions?" I say.

    "Well, aren't you the leader? Do you really need our opinion?" Asks Roxanne.

    "I take it upon myself to make the decision but I want to hear the opinions of both of you and then make the decision."

    "Ohh, I like that," Roxanne smiles.

    "Well then. Master, I prefer to risk fighting the spiders on our original path, that's where our strength lies."

    "I also prefer that, I don't really like arachnes. I don't wanna play their game, I like when my enemy charges into my spells," Roxanne says.

    "Then it's unanimous, let's go," I say.

    We enter our original tunnel and walk for 10 minutes.

    "There's something ahead, only one," says Alissa.

    "Okay, I will try to attract it," I say and lower the flaming spear.

    I fire a [Fireball] forward. Nothing...

    "COME HERE YA DICKHEAD!"

    "It's coming," says Alissa.

    Do they really understand our language?

    A single Giant Tarantula appears. Alone it's gonna be easy.

    The tarantula charges madly. It receives an arrow on one of its eyes and a [Fireball] on one of its fangs before it even reaches me. The charge isn't as good and only a single fang is thrown at me. The hit is strong but bearable. I manage to cut a leg during the counter.

    "SHAAA."

    It's already angry.

    Another arrow pokes another eye. It decides Alissa is the bigger threat and tries to pass by me, but I cut another leg and it backs away. Then when it tries to charge again Roxanne comes closer to me.

    "[Fire Wall]!"

    And the spider jumps through the wall without hesitation.

    "Oh shit," I mutter.

    Somehow the spider turned into a bonfire and starts thrashing about. That's dangerous.

    "Back off!" I yell to Roxanne.

    The spider is completely aimless and almost tramples me, I have to shield bash it to keep it away. Roxanne fires a [Torrent] and it flies away, partially extinguished.

    The spell was hasted so it wasn't too strong, add that to the monster's tenacity and the spider gets up and charges again even while half its body is still burning.

    "Try the blade," I tell Roxanne and immediately I feel mana gathering behind me.

    The anger of the spider makes it fast. It loses another eye to Alissa but still manages to charge at me again. I just defend and it does two consecutive charges, then I bash and slash, and it jumps away.

    "[Water Blade]!"

    An incredibly thin blade of water dashes towards the face of the spider. In it's rage it didn't even notice and takes the full hit. It freezes and goes limp, it's dead.

    Through an imperceptible small slit, blood pours out of its exoskeleton. A few twinkles of moisture in the air can be seen where the blade passed through.

    "Wow, it didn't even notice," I say.

    "I think it was luck because it was completely enraged," says Roxanne, with a face full of doubt.

    "Hmm… Then let's try one more time. At least we know it pierces without problem."

    "Master, one thing. Are my arrows helpful? I keep hitting their eyes but I'm not noticing too much change," Alissa asks.

    "Yeah they are. The ones on the mouth makes them hesitate when they charge. The ones on the eyes makes them slower to react, it's subtle but I can notice the difference.

    "Oh, I see…" Alissa seems a little content, I can't see her tail right now.

    "But now I wanna know why it burned so much like this. Was its hair so flammable?"

    "Flammable?" Asks Alissa.

    "Yeah, it means something that catches fire easily," I answer.

    "We will have to examine the corpse," says Roxanne.

    I shudder, I don't wanna touch the spider.

    "Any volunteers?" I ask.

    "I'll do it," says Alissa.

    No, you are too pure. I have to do it myself…

    "But this corpse is all charred let's find another one," says Roxanne.

    We walk a little and find another corpse, 5 corpses actually.

    "What is this?" I ask.

    The Giant Tarantula corpses are brutalized. Their legs are bent and broken, their sternum is open and dripping, their abdomen is crushed, and their fangs have been ripped and are scattered about. They are all floating in the air being hanged by a white web.

    "Ugh… Who would do something like this?" Asks Roxanne.

    "Arachnes?" Questions Alissa.

    "Yes! That's it, it's the trap to make us not come here. Arachnes are very violent and prey upon tarantulas occasionally. So maybe this is their handiwork," I say.

    "Can we never fight an arachne please? This is way too brutal for me," says Roxanne, she looks sick.

    I agree.

    "Let's cross this quickly and rest a little," I say.


    We find a nice large room a good distance away from the massacre and sit down for some tea. I bring out the small broom from before and clean the dust in an area, then I bring out a large picnic blanket. With multiple *poofs* I pull out sandwiches and a few berries Alissa brought along with the juice. Alissa pulls out a tea seat, the cheap cookies and starts warming the teapot with a small [Fireball] on the tip of her finger.

    "This is adorable," says Roxanne with a smile.

    "Master gets grumpy when there's no tea," says Alissa.

    It's kinda true, Alissa loved the idea of making me tea and she took upon herself to always carry the tea set with her. I like coffee with chocolate more but I'll take what I can get.

    "If you tell me you are a noble I won't be surprised," says Roxanne with a wry smile.

    I shrug.

    "Here, use this magic stone," Roxanne pulls out a small red crystal and hands it to Alissa.

    "Oh, thank you Miss Roxanne, this is more efficient."

    I share our food with Roxanne.

    "This is nice," she says while drinking the tea and eating the cookies.

    "It can get even better if I find something high-quality though."

    "Oh? Now I'm interested."

    "Well, it's gonna take some time. I don't know where the good tea around here is but I know it exists. I tasted it once and I will keep looking until I find it again."

    I still remember the tea and cookies at the Golden Necklace, those were as good as the ones on Earth.

    "Please share with me when you find it then," and Roxanne laughs.

    The sandwiches were our lunch, we don't know the time here but we can still follow our stomachs.


    We move on and meet another single spider.

    "[Water Blade] this time," I say.

    We keep walking until Alissa tells us it's moving. It comes straight at me like always and loses an eye to Alissa. Roxanne concentrates magic behind me.

    I receive the charge and it hurts my arm, I counter and cut the tip of a leg. No [Fireball] so the spider is less cautious. The spider starts another charge and Roxanne releases her spell.

    It immediately stops and nearly falls over trying to dodge. The blade pierces its thorax and blood splashes all over, not dead yet. I'm getting frustrated with this, just fucking die!

    The spider struggles a bit to maintain itself upright and Alissa takes the chance to pop two other eyes. After seeing the spider get cautious I charge forward and slash. It barely reacted in time and a fang was sliced off.

    I feel Roxanne charge mana again so I just threaten the spider and then back off. Roxanne releases another [Water Blade], its reduced vision causes it to fail to dodge in time. It pierces the head of the spider and it goes limp, it's dead.

    "Well I guess blade is the most effective way."

    "[Fireball] is good at slowing their attacks but the blade does the most damage," says Roxanne.

    Without hesitation Alissa goes to the spider's body and touches.

    "Ah! You don't have to do this," I say hurriedly.

    "I don't mind, master. I told you before to depend on me."

    Does she mean what she told me after the Young Ogre? Is this her way of taking care of my mental well being? Well I don't think this was necessary, I was just being a pussy this time but I don't have the willpower to stop her now.

    "Hmm… The hair is stiff and rough, seems oily and damp, not really something easy to catch fire… What's this, it's sticky…? Is this the transparent web?"

    I get closer to Alisa and grab her cute hand. I grab the floating [Spirit Light] on the top of my head and bring it closer to her hand. Looking very close there's a slight shine, it's the ultra thin and nearly transparent web that we have been burning up until now.

    "Hmm… Why is there web on its body?" I ask.

    "It's not everywhere, only some parts of it are sticky like this."

    "Why would nobody know about this? Kinda hard to believe no spider caught fire like that, did nobody ever think to use the [Fire Wall] to stop a charge?" Questions Roxanne.

    "Unlikely," I answer.

    We seem to have reached an impasse in our reasoning.

    "Let's just go, we could keep looking at more spider bodies and see if there's anything else different," I say.

    "Let me burn this web on my hand first," says Alissa.

    "Hold on."

    I forgot the web is super sticky. With subtle movements I quickly remove her [Mental Resistance] and put it all on [Pain Resistance].

    "It's good."

    Alissa twitches, then she looks at me and smiles, she noticed. Roxanne watches us with a confused face. Alissa casts [Fireball] on one of her fingers and touches her sticky hand, it burns for a few seconds. I approach her and cast [Regeneration] then I return her [Mental Resistance].

    We meet 5 other spiders, 2 had web on the body. This time I make Alissa check for the web with a small piece of cloth.

    "Could it be it's a difference between sexes?" I ask.

    "I don't understand, master."

    "The male spider coats his body in the web because it's sticky and then uses the stickiness to help hold down the female and impregnate her or something. I know there's quite a lot of animal species that basically rape their partner during mating and use things to help keep them tied down."

    "Wow, that's interesting but I don't know much about animals. Are you a scholar?" Asks Roxanne.

    "I also don't know much about this, master. Though it is known the spiders reproduce, adventurer knowledge doesn't go much further than that since I think it doesn't help in killing them faster," says Alissa with a wry smile.

    "I'm not a scholar, just a curious person who read a lot of books," I say.

    "To me that's a scholar," Roxanne says and grins.

    I shrug. We move again.


    "This one is bigger than normal," says Alissa.

    "Arachne?" I ask.

    "I don't know, I don't recognize the signature."

    The [Sense Presence] skill is like a radar, you know the distance, size and direction with a certain amount of precision. Each type of living being has a "signature" so it's possible to differentiate two different types of monsters by their signature but if you haven't ever met that signature before you don't know what it is.

    "Okay, standard formation. No need to worry too much, it's either a bigger spider or an arachne. It's not a Sludge because there's no disgusting smell," I say. They both nod.

    We carefully move forward, we don't wanna waste attacks or enrage it before knowing what it is. Most monsters are more cautious during the first meeting, even the ones who just suicide charge can get enraged if you hurt them. It's just that they are stupid and only know how to charge so you can easily kill them in one strike.

    We keep moving while still using the flaming spear. Slowly we inch closer until we see it at the border of our light.

    It's a two meters tall spider, it's eating the corpse of another spider. There's a red bulge growing out of its head, it's pulsating and twitching a little.

    It didn't care about us yet so I start to charge a [Fireball], at the same time Roxanne charges something too. Then the spider turns to us, it likely senses mana. When it turns an arrow hits its eye.

    "SHIA!"

    It seems surprised and it thrashes about for a second but manages to dodge all other arrows, they hit its armored body and don't penetrate. This one is smarter and tougher. Then it charges.

    I let out my [Fireball] before it reaches me, the spell hits the side of the face and burns one eye. Roxanne is charging a stronger spell than normal, this is good since this enemy is also stronger than normal. Then the huge spider hits me and I'm pushed back a little. I can't counter like this and it's too fast for Alissa to hit it.

    I get an idea. I brace myself and wait for the second charge, I charge my mana and point towards the spider as if I'm going to cast [Fireball]. The spider falls for the bluff and dodges to the side, the charge slows and the hit is lighter. But I still cast something.

    When it hit I jumped backwards, on the spot where I was I cast [Constricting Vines]. The spider falls on it and its multiple legs start to be grabbed. It's enough of an opening for Alissa to put an arrow on its mouth but the one who had the most profit was Roxanne.

    "[Water Blade]!"

    A long and thick water blade flies and cuts in diagonal, the spider tries to dodge but its too slow due to the vines. The red bulge and all its right legs are severed. The spider writhes in pain and desperation but it's over, I pierce the head and it goes limp.

    The red bulge was holding something. Transparent liquid flows out of it and a small and skinless top body of a woman can be seen. It was cut in diagonal all along its chest. I'm starting to feel sick.

    Alissa grabs the flaming spear with one hand and my shield hand with the other and silently pushes me forward.

    "That was an arachne being born," I say after a few minutes walking.

    "Yes," Alissa answers.

    That's all we said about it.


    We walk for another 1 hour without any other encounters, it seems the previous almost"arachne cleared the area for us. Then we reach a fork.

    "Master, there's a disgusting stench coming from that way," says Alissa.

    "That's probably the sludge, let's not go there."

    This is one enemy I will avoid with all my power. After reading the battle reports of this monster I think it will be a miracle if I don't puke when I meet it.


    We only meet one lone spider. We must be deep in arachne territory now. We start seeing suspicious mists and Alissa catches unknown smells. The webs are almost non"existent so progress is much faster.

    We found 2 bear traps and 2 other suspicious looking floor designs. We just avoid anything out of the ordinary, it's obvious it's an arachne, there's nothing worthy in there to make us explore those dangerous tunnels. There's also no need to rush, we can just take another route.

    "It's the third time you sighed," Alissa says to me.

    "Uh? Why are you counting?"

    "To understand your mood."

    "Well… Is that really necessary?" I sigh again.

    "Yes, master," -she grabs my hand- "I will protect your mind and body," she whispers to me, her tail sways a bit.

    Girl, you are too good to me. I don't deserve this, I'm feeling really guilty now. I feel like sighing again.

    No, wait, even for me this is too much.

    "I'm starting to feel like this is not normal. The sighing, I mean."

    "That's what I thought," says Alissa with a small smile.

    "Let's just take a break, I'm also feeling really tired," says Roxanne with drooped shoulders.

    This is suspicious, even Roxanne is downcast. We all sit down on the dirty floor.

    I put 20 points on a skill called [Diagnosis]. I put a little mana on it and cast it on myself, Roxanne looks at me with curiosity.

    Through the standard floating black screen the skill tells me that I'm feeling [Lethargy (small)]. I turn my points back to normal.

    "Miss Roxanne, do you know of a pacifying poison or something that removes energy or stamina?" I ask Roxanne.

    "Uhh..." She mutters, she looks sleepy.

    After a few seconds her eyes widen.

    "Yes! There's a pacifying poison, it lowers the use of stamina and makes the person not want to fight. I think we are poisoned with it."

    "Is it a 'want' or a simply 'can't' fight because the person is exhausted?"

    "'Want', it's a mental poison."

    "Now that I think about it, did you bring something for [Mental Resistance], Miss Roxanne?" I ask.

    This was an oversight. I should have asked her countermeasures for the arachne, but I couldn't tell her my countermeasure was "I will just learn a rare skill whenever I want".

    "Yes. It's just a small blessed amulet, it was blessed by the God of Endurance."

    That's interesting. So the Gods can also enchant objects, I wonder if he will be mad if Roxanne ever sells it.

    "I got an idea, there's something I want to test. I will need your help Alissa," I say. I smirk and stand up.

    "Anything, master," she obediently comes to me.

    "Also, sorry if this looks inappropriate to you Roxanne but this is in the name of science… Or rather, in the name of the Goddess of Knowledge," I say and grab Alissa by the waist. Roxanne looks confused.

    I put my hand in Alissa's cheek and kiss her. Slowly, at first. Alissa stiffens in surprise but then receives me and our tongues entwine. I increase the intensity, I pull her very close to me, I can feel her warmth. She hugs me back.

    My heart starts to fill up. I get anxious, I want more, I want to be warmer, I want to hug Alissa harder, I want to undress her here and take her. I remember her wearing the Clothes of the Berserker, her body being caressed by that silk one piece. This fills my body with energy, it warms my muscles and I feel excited again. I slow down the kissing and then slowly break away.

    Alissa is blushing and her breath is quick, her tail sways a lot, she's also in the mood. She just stares into my eyes with expectancy. What have I done, this is torture.

    "I feel like this confirms it, we can break a mind poison by stimulating each other," I say and smile.

    "Eh? Oh, ah, yes, I feel much better now, I was definitely poisoned before," says Alissa, she looks away embarrassed.

    "Hm…" Roxanne lets out a mindless sound, she seems stunned with a blank face.

    "Miss Roxanne, you should slap your face. You are still under the mind poison," I say.

    "Not fair…" She mutters, dejected.

    Then she repeatedly slaps her own face. This is the standard way of breaking spells that affect the mind.

    I feel a little bad for her.


    Here's a quick complaint. No hero story ever tells you how stressful and embarrassing it is to answer the call of nature in a dangerous place while in a group. You can't go too far so you don't endanger yourself but you can't do it too close otherwise it's embarrassing if you comrades can smell or hear you. Even if we have incredible conveniences like [Clean] and a portable bidet with [Conjure Water] it's still a horrible experience.


    We avoid another Sludge and a few more traps then we finally reach the Giant Moles territory. I know this because the traps and mists stop then we meet our first Giant Mole.

    We managed to avoid all adult arachnes. It's quite a feat, all thanks to Alissa's nose.

    "If I use [Quiet Steps] and [Quiet Action] then it's possible for me to assassinate it," says Alissa.

    I thought about the possibility of her becoming an assassin with her skills. But I'm just uneasy about putting her in direct danger, she's my only companion and I admit I'm rather possessive.

    I cross my arms and think.

    "Be happy that at least he cares about you," says Roxanne seeing my hesitation.

    "I know master is very reasonable, he only needs time to accept this."

    I'm uncomfortable with how easy I'm being seen through. It's also true I'm just stalling, I don't want to let Alissa go and have to wait here and twiddle my thumbs in the dark but it will be so convenient if she kills it.

    The mole is a burly enemy with a weak skull. The best way to kill it is a single precise strike but if we attract it and fight it head on I will certainly have to take a few hits with my shield which will hurt a lot. Finally, if we kill it without noise no other moles will come, that's the biggest advantage, it will save us a lot of time.

    I sigh.

    "I surrender, go kill it, Alissa."

    They smile at each other and Alissa leaves silently.

    "You two are very close," Roxanne says a minute after Alissa leaves.

    "We don't know each other very long, I'm just clingy."

    Roxanne shrugs.

    "Still, your relationship is enviable."

    "Even though she's a slave?"

    "Does it matter if she's happy?"

    "You can tell she's happy even though you met today?"

    "She's been smiling during most of the time we have been walking except when you are under attack. You are always in front so you don't see it much."

    "... What does she even see in me to be so happy?"

    "You should ask her that yourself," Roxanne looks at me troubled.

    "She's young and naive, she might be in love with me but…"

    "But?"

    How do I say to her that in my world I would be called a pedophile in certain countries, a creep in others, arrested for slavery in most of the world or be considered two idiot teenagers in heat if we consider this-world-age as my real age?

    "I don't know what is on your mind but you should at least accept her feelings," Roxanne continues.

    "It's that... I'm from a far away place. In my homeland we would be called idiot teenagers who don't know what love is. Slavery is not even legal so our relationship is even more absurd, what kind of thing is love between a master and slave?"

    "Slavery is not legal? I would like to visit that place one day. But still, I say it again, at least accept her feelings. It's not like I saw anything wrong with the way you both act. You don't need to be so harsh on yourself, just enjoy what you have."

    I'm being harsh on myself? Heh, I said I was going to abandon what held me down but it's harder to do it when you are not thinking with your dick.

    "Perhaps…" I say.

    During this talk Roxanne had a cool atmosphere around her. Why can't you be like this normally?

    I think I understand what makes me worry. If I don't change then I will suffer and keep my humanity like Alissa asked but I might hurt her feelings. If I do change then I won't suffer but Alissa might lose her hope in me, it might hurt her anyway. Now that's a great situation.

    Alissa comes back silently like a ghost and scares us both.

    "I'm sorry, master and Miss Roxanne, I forgot to stop [Quiet Steps]. The mole is dead."

    "Took you some time."

    "It was wary, I had to move very slowly or else it would hear me."

    Even though these are weak monsters they are still blind moles that rely on hearing, it takes quite some skill to sneak up on one.

    "I know skills like these make you stressed so please tell me if you get tired. We have no rush, we will rests as much as we need."

    "Thank you for your consideration, master," and she lets out a small smile.


    Alissa kills 5 more moles without a hitch. My own little assassin.

    "You are now level 12," says that soothing female voice.

    Finally, it took some time. Those spiders and moles are annoying but they don't give much experience. The last burst of experience was the almost-arachne. I put all my points in [Sword Use] (now 16+2).


    Two more moles and we finally reach an entrance to the dungeon, the Spiral Springs.

    The dungeon is a completely different atmosphere than the boring and unending dark tunnels of the Ant Hill. The walls and ceiling are made of cobble with patches of raw stone or exposed mineral veins. The shape of the walls is irregular, full of curves. The ground is made of soft moss over raw stone and would be nice to lay down on if it wasn't damp, you will end up with wet clothes after sitting on it for a while.

    There's a weak blue-green light coming from mana crystals, they are cheap crystals that shine when they are near mana. Since the dungeon is a solidification of a mana storm the mana crystals shine faintly forever. It's against the etiquette to take or sell these crystals.

    The top floor is where we are. Like the other dungeons the top floor is massive in length, possibly to the size of a town. It's made of multiple large rooms with shallow water pools on all of them. The top floor is safe so we are going to sleep here.

    The stairs are what give it the name. They are merely slopes with faded steps where a channel runs and water trickles through, it has a nice and constant sound of falling water. The slopes are in a spiral and there's no railing so the middle of it is open, that's where Spriggans like to put traps there so you lose your footing and fall through the hole in the middle. Each stair goes down around 20 meters so each drop could be fatal. We have 15 sets of stairs to go down through.

    I point to a corner and Roxanne burns a large patch of moss. We sweep the ashes and finally we have a proper stone floor to sleep on. I bring out my tent and Roxanne pulls hers.

    Behind the tents she conjures water, heats it with a spell and takes a bath by herself. Once she's done we stop our guard, then Alissa conjures the water and I heat it. A nice way to heat water perfectly is to cast a [Fireball], hold it into your hand and put that hand into the water. It wastes mana but it lets you heat it to perfection since you feel it as it heats.

    Then I get to wash Alissa and she washes me, unfortunately we can't make too much noise so she uses her mouth and I put some cloth on her mouth and use my fingers. There's no way I'm going to spend a night without touching her so we have to do it this way.

    Then we bring out dinner. Fried chicken! I mean, fried Dragolite. I finally remembered that Dragolite reminds me of chicken with rosemary. Then we eat our hot vegetable soup with toasted bread. Thank you "Items".

    Finally I have my first taste of juice in this world, Gorgon fruit tastes and looks a bit like blueberries.

    "Ah juice, thank you. No alcohol though?" Asks Roxanne.

    "I don't drink. Besides, we shouldn't drink in an expedition like this.

    "Alright, alright..." Roxanne lets out a wry smile, "Honestly I'm envious of how big your [Item Box] is, Mr. Ryder."

    Well here we go, insert dick joke here. I can't really spend points on an actual [Item Box] and training with Alissa to get this spell is hard.

    "It's a natural gift, I learned it super fast," I lie.

    "It's like you were born to be an adventurer."

    "That's true," says Alissa.

    I give a painful wry smile.

    "Well I'm envious of your [Mana Control] Miss Roxanne. Explosion magic is the mix of water and [Fire Magic] at the same time, right?"

    Roxanne opens her eyes wide.

    "My secret! How could you…"

    "Knowledge from my homeland."

    "Unfair!" She pouts.

    "But I can't use two magic schools at the same time so you still have one secret, right?"

    "It's not like explosion magic, it's something every expert magician would one day learn."

    That's interesting. Maybe one day I will control all elements at will and become a demi-god? Well anyway, gotta change topic, I'm also curious about Roxanne.

    "Say, Miss Roxanne, can you tell me about your race or your continent?"

    "Gladly! I like to talk my race but first I wanna talk about the misconceptions a lot of people have about us."

    "Oh? What are these?"

    "Well the first is that since I'm from the succubus type people think we are promiscuous. That's not true, we choose our partners carefully we just have a higher libido than other races. Also we are more carefree and open minded than the other races, that doesn't mean we are dumb and unreliable."

    Just by looking at her I can certainly see how the last one happens. Curiously the demon race seems to be the most common adventurer race on Rabanara aside from humans.

    "The second is that our horns and tails are sexual organs. Some have feelings when you touch those parts, but it varies from person to person and type from type."

    I can see that causing some misunderstandings.

    "The third is more general but some people think we are descendants from monsters. It's not true. The God of Creation made us this way, he used the monsters as basis but we do not have a single drop of monster blood."

    Being lumped together with your biggest enemy might hurt their pride.

    "These are the 3 things I always tell other people. Now, you wanna hear something specific?"

    "What about your birth place?"

    "Ohh. That's far away from here, I was born at the Maoka continent, the west coast, on a small village inside our sacred territory near the Death Valley."

    "Sacred territory? Death Valley?"

    "Well, the sacred territory is land that no outsider can enter. It's not a large piece of land but it's the place that our first ancestors were given after being created by the God of Creation so it's a sacred land for us. The Death Valley is a large piece of desert that's named like this because it's so hot and dry no one ever managed to cross it."

    I think there's a place like that on Earth too.

    "So do you have kingdoms too?"

    "No, it's just a council of elders. We do it the same as the elves so we always had a good relationship with them. Human and dwarven nobility drama books are famously complex, nobody wants any of that for our race."

    I laugh with her. I watched Game of Thrones and House of Cards, I don't want any of that drama either. I'm way too straightforward to survive on that backstabbing nightmare.

    "What about the wereanimals? How do you govern yourselves Alissa?"

    "Depends on the type. We have a council of elders too but they pick a leader that everyone obeys. The council is supposed to be composed of the wisest among us while the leader should be the strongest man or woman of the tribe. Though it could vary among different clans."

    "The chieftress you mentioned was that leader?" I ask.

    "Yes and no. She and the chief were the two candidates for this generation, they decided to marry and share the title."

    "Hohoh, how romantic," said Roxanne while clapping the tip of her hands.

    "Well, yes. I wasn't born when they married but the council of elders was very amused. They even made their story into a play among the clan to the embarrassment of the chiefs.

    "You think it will come to Rabanara? I wanna see that," Roxanne let out a wide smile.

    "I don't know about that, you might have more luck if you just go towards my clan."

    "Oh, they accept foreigners?"

    "Only adventurers and merchants. They do not allow those who are not fox wereanimals to settle on the land."

    "Ah, then it will be okay, I will visit one day. Where is it?"

    "West, beyond the mountain range, it's called the Misty Low Forest."

    "I saw it on a map once. It's not far so I will definitely go."

    I think for a moment. Her homeland is actually really close. I think it would take only a few days to cross the mountain range in her fox form. Would it be too cruel to make this question?

    "Alissa… Would you like to go visit your homeland one day?"

    She thinks for a while.

    "Not yet. I'm not worthy of returning, I need to work more. But… I'm really grateful you offered, master."

    I guess that wasn't a bad choice.

    "Ah, Mr. Ryder. I see you are reserved, but do you mind to tell us more about your homeland?"

    Ah shit, now that I asked about her homeland she might ask about mine. There's no way I'm telling. I haven't prepared a proper lie for it yet so I'm just gonna avoid this. Even Alissa seems interested in this.

    "I'm sorry but I don't like talking about that place. It's not that I'm a runaway or a criminal, I just don't like talking about it."

    Alissa shrugs, she understands. Roxanne raises an eyebrow.

    "Well then, if you don't wanna talk about your homeland let's talk about mine!" She claims with pride.

    Well okay, her personality might not be that bad.

    Her stories are mainly comedies about the stupid things the people of her village do. They seem to share her carefree and positive mentality, they also like to party a lot.

    I'm getting tired so we go to sleep and start the watch cycle. We will do 3 hour cycles, starting by me, Roxanne and then Alissa. Roxanne drew the worse one, she will have to sleep, wake, and then sleep again, this is bad for your body. I could put out a summoned guard dog but I don't want to show that magic to Roxanne.

    Now that I'm alone outside the tent I feel a little bit lonely.

    Hello, Goddess of Knowledge. How do you feel about today? I think it was pretty interesting, we found how a Giant Tarantula turns into a arachne even though I want to forget that image. We found that the tarantulas are likely using the web as a way of mating, though I will need to make some sort of autopsy if I want to be able to find what's the difference between the spider sexes. We also found that love or perhaps just plain sexual thoughts are enough to break a mind poison and you don't need to slap yourself until you nearly bleed, maybe even just masturbate or something might be enough to clear your head.

    I feel like this world is somewhat interesting. I still keep thinking about the [Golemancy] skill, I feel that with a few levels I could put some points into it. Maybe I could start an industrial revolution in this world? I'm still trying to keep the balance so I don't attract too much attention from others and from the God of Destruction but maybe I can leave my knowledge behind after I die or something. I do have a degree in robotics so it's likely to be my biggest contribution to this world.

    What do you think about this? Isn't this your reason of existence?

    I feel something change within me. I open my stats and see that my piety increased by 3 (now 6). The most interesting thing is that under "Status Effects" there's a new entry, "Blessing of the Goddess of Knowledge".
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2019
  11. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    "That's amazing, master," Alissa tails is wagging.

    "Not unexpected," Roxanne says.

    They both look excitedly at me.

    "But what does this blessing do?" I ask.

    "It means the Goddess has her eye on you and will influence the world to help you. If you keep it like this then you will certainly become a famous scholar one day," says Roxanne while slightly clapping her hands, Alissa nods along.

    Well then, that's fortunate for me. I guess this might be the time to go to the magic university and see if I can join. After this we will have some money saved so I can probably spend some time studying.

    We break our camp after breakfast and start moving. In just a few minutes we reach the first stairs. The sound of falling water tickles my ears but the vertigo from looking down the hole in the middle of the spiral stairs makes me much more anxious.

    Like planned, I pull a metal spike, rope, and hammer. I hammer the spike on the ground and tie the rope, the dungeoneering advice book taught me the bowline knot to tie the rope on the spike.

    This rope will stay here for at least 2 days if the Spriggans don't mess with it. If they do there's the alternative of using Roxanne, she can materialize two small bat wings on her back that allows her to magically float around. This way she can go up and put the spike and rope for us.

    The descent is slow because the steps are damp and worn out. We tie the rope to our bodies by using a belt and go down. Roxanne also uses the rope because the wings would waste mana.

    "What's that thing?" Alissa says.

    I get closer and notice there's a vine loop on the floor. The rest of the vine disappears over the edge of the stairs.

    I pull a small wooden bowl we use to eat soup and throw it into the vine. The vine immediately moves and pulls the bowl towards the edge.

    "Well, first trap successfully dodged," I say.

    We finally reach the floor and remove the rope from our waists. This time the rooms have no identification so I have to pay more attention to the map and Alissa goes in front.

    We move a few rooms and Alissa stops.

    "There's an enemy observing us," she says.

    "Can you take the shot?"

    "Yes, but he will certainly dodge it."

    "I will leave the decision to you now. We have to be aggressive with them, killing them is the best option but scaring them is also an alternative. Can't waste too many arrows though.

    "Understood, I will wait until I have better chances to hit."

    "That's fine."

    We keep moving for a few more minutes when Alissa sudden stops and lets an arrow fly.

    "I smell blood but it must have done little damage, it escaped fast," she says.

    "That's okay, good work."

    Her tail sways quickly and then stops. I should praise her more often.

    If we ignored the Spriggan he would have likely tried to sneak near us and steal something.

    That was the only enemy on this floor. We also found a bear trap, I wonder where they find these things.

    Another stair another vine trap. 14 more levels to go.


    "Now there's two," Alissa says.

    "The same one from last time?"

    "Yes, I smell blood."

    "Let's wait until we can see them and Roxanne will fire a [Fire Arrow] at them."

    From what I understood the Spriggans keep one or two rooms away from us. They can see in the dark so only with [Sense Presence] can Alissa notice them. It's actually impressive she managed to fire an arrow accurate enough to harm a Spriggan while only using [Sense Presence] to get their location.

    We move 3 more rooms and I see a small shadow peeking from the entrance of the room.

    "Miss Roxanne, can you see there? On the right side of the corridor there's a small head peeking."

    "I don't think so, can you point my finger where I need to fire? I think it's going to be easier," she says.

    I get closer to her and line my cheek with hers, then I grab her hand and point it towards the shadow. I can feel the slight smell of sweat and something sweet coming form her hair. Her hand is so soft. Call me whatever you want but I enjoy moments like this.

    "Hopefully they don't sense mana. Alissa, fire when Roxanne says the spell."

    Then she charges mana and chants quietly.

    "[Fire Arrow]," she says.

    A flame shaped like an arrow lights the tunnel and flies alongside a normal one. The fire one continues until far away and disappears, a miss.

    "Got one," Alissa says.

    "Nice."

    "Impressive as always, Miss Alissa."

    She squirms a little. Ah the cuteness.

    We move towards the body and see a thin green man laying down on the floor with an arrow on his forehead. His eyes are pure white with a green web pattern on it. His chest is full of pieces of mossy dark bark, his genitals are thankfully covered by a large curved piece of bark and there's 1 large piece of bark protecting each forearm. His hair is a bunch of small pieces of bark protruding upwards. His feet soles look disgusting.

    "Let's take his head," Alissa says.

    She draws her sword and beheads the body. The head is the proof of extermination but I didn't really wanna get it. I quickly store it on my "Items".

    We walk again and reach another stair. No bear traps on this floor though. I pull another rope and we do the same thing again.

    "Master, this moss is suspicious," Alissa says.

    "What do you mean?"

    "I can see some cracks under it."

    "Oh, lets hit it with the hammer and see how it goes."

    With a *poof* I pull the hammer out and Alissa who's in front smacks the patch of moss with it. A large spot of the stairs crumbles.

    "That one wouldn't be so dangerous thanks to these ropes but it would certainly be scary. Thanks Alissa," I say.

    We finish the stairs and reach another floor. 13 to go. I wonder what's below the ground in this world. Is it like Earth where there's the mantle and things get hotter the deeper we go? Or is there impassable purple bedrock? Maybe it just ends and an infinite hole appears.


    In this floor the shallow pools are much bigger and the paths to avoid them are much smaller, they are barely wide enough for one person.

    "I smell something funny on the water," Alissa says.

    "Let's not touch it."

    "Could be corrosive, there's hardly any poison that can be diluted into a small pool like this and still work," says Roxanne.

    Corrosion is even worse than poison. I just can't imagine something hurting Alissa's cute little feet.

    "There's another vine here," Alissa says.

    I throw the same bowl that I recovered from last time, the vine moves and pulls the bowl into the water. I hear sizzling.

    "Corrosive. Wouldn't kill us but it would hurt," says Roxanne with a nod.

    No Spriggan on this level, maybe the corrosive pools are dangerous for them too.

    Another stair another vine trap. 12 floors to go.


    The pools are back to normal size.

    "There's a small mound on the moss here," says Alissa.

    "I don't even wanna trigger this trap let's just go around."

    We take a small detour around the room and circle the pool.

    "There's another mound here."

    "Well shit."

    I pick a spare iron spike because it's heavier than the bowl and throw into the mound. A white flash blinds us for a few seconds. I pull Alissa backwards while still blind and pull my shield in front of us.

    Time passes, our vision returns and nothing happens.

    "They are just messing with us," I say.

    "Just like the book said," says Alissa, a little tense.

    A few more mounds on the way, a few more flashes. We don't get blinded a second time. I wish I could dig the mound up but I'm scared it might turn into an actual mine at some point.

    Another stair another vi-...

    "It's moving!" Warns Alissa.

    Like a snake the vine comes towards us. Alissa draws her sword and we both awkwardly slash at the ground a few times. This is not good for the blade. The vine stops moving after a dozen cuts.

    "The Spriggans can control vines, the first real attack is coming soon," I say.

    We reach the floor, 11 floors to go.


    No traps. We grow a bit restless.

    "Three hits, it's the Spriggans," says Alissa.

    Finally.

    "One for each, I take the middle, Alissa the left, Roxanne the last."

    We move forward. When we turn the corner of the room and enter the corridor we see something blocking our way. It's a wooden chest high wall. We brace for battle.

    "They are behind that."

    "Uh… Miss Roxanne, [Fireball] please."

    "Yessir!" She was rather quiet all this time. Now with an enemy in front instead of traps she seems happier.

    I feel a lot of mana gathering.

    "[Fireball]!"

    A large fire ball flies and hits the wooden wall, it explodes and a large hole opens in the middle.

    "Erm… They are moving… downwards?" Asks Alissa, looking confused.

    "What?" I ask.

    "Yeah, they ran away... downwards. There must be a stair or something there."

    "So another feint," I drop my shoulders.

    "Ugh..." Roxanne groans.

    The numbers are increasing but they are not attacking. Scaring is working but not for long.

    We move forward and behind the flaming wooden wall we see a dark hole in the ground with vines hanging from it. It goes down a few meters then opens into a dark room.

    "This must be a way they sneak about," I say.

    We keep moving and reach the stairs. Another stair another vine trap.

    "Master, the stairs are slippery," says Alissa.

    We take extra care and reach the floor. 10 to go.


    We are crossing a corridor when Alissa stops.

    "Something… oh, it's a wire."

    Now, wire traps are a mind trap too. There could be other wire traps just after the first one, it could be a simple feint, it could be something that blows up the entire corridor if you trigger so let's not trigger just to see what happens. It could also be a feint with a pressure trap after it. It's a mind game to predict where the next trap could be.

    I look at the walls.

    "Are those slits?"

    "Yes, master. Arrow trap on the wall."

    If you trigger this multiple arrows will come flying out of the walls. Don't ask how it works, it's just "magic".

    "Alissa, pay close attention, is there any other trap right in front of the wire? Like a pressure trap, a mound or another wire?"

    "Let's see… There's a suspicious square tile over there," she says.

    Heh, I knew it.

    "Then let's slowly move across this corridor. If you trigger something immediately drop on the floor."

    We move slowly through the traps, there was a second suspicious square tile.

    Alissa stops.

    "There's one watching us."

    Just one?

    This corridor is rather long… This is suspicious.

    "Alissa, fire at it. Let's move quicker."

    An arrow flies. I hurry us forward, then we feel a small tremor.

    "Run!" I yell. I don't even care whatever it is just fucking run.

    I glance behind us and see the floor starts to split and a deep dark hole appears below.

    "FASTER!" I scream. I can't see Roxanne, I just hope she exercises regularly.

    Me and Alissa reach the end. I look back and Roxanne is still some distance away, dammit girl. I desperately open my "Items" and pull out spare rope. Her footing ends and she jumps.


    Bat wings appear out of Roxanne's back and flap slowly, she crosses her arms and legs as if she was sitting in the air. She slowly floats in the air towards us. I forgot about that, thanks for the heart attack.

    "So… I'm really thankful I can float," she says while letting out an embarrassed smile.

    "I would have thrown you a rope if you couldn't," I say.

    "That's a little reassuring. But I'm still pretty pissed at the Spriggans, that was a major trap! We evade multiple traps and then the little shit even comes here and triggers the last one himself.

    "That's why we need to brutalize them. If they attack we leave no survivors, that puts some fear into them," I say.

    "I see, well I'll use [Melt Skin] on them then!"

    I shudder at the thought. Help me Alissa, she's threatening my mental health.

    "Let's not deviate from the plan, effective ways of killing comes first," says Alissa.

    Thank you for being so reliable.

    "Hmph, alright," says Roxanne, she crosses her arms and pouts.

    We reach the stairs. Another stair another… Moving vine.

    We reach the floor. 9 to go.


    "There's one on the left corridor and two on the right," says Alissa.

    "Hm… If we chase they will run, if we ignore they will come from behind and ambush. But I want to force a fight..." I ponder.

    But there's no time to ponder.

    "Master! Three coming from the front! Ambush!" Yells Alissa.

    "Shit. Alissa right! Roxanne left! Kill sides then support me!"

    I draw my sword and ready my shield. I charge a heavy [Fireball].

    Something is thrown, it's a crude wooden spear. I easily block it with my shield.

    "Projectiles! Watch out!"

    Roxanne is bad at dodging, she's the one in most danger. I need to kill that spear thrower, there's no cover here.

    Shadows come into range of our light and 3 skinny green men appear. Two are wielding crude metal swords and crude wooden shields, the third has a spear on its hand and 12 more on his back. The shield users have a large amount of bark on their arms and legs, their chest is the most vulnerable.

    I charge forward. The spear thrower must die. The shield users stop and brace themselves.

    I bash the one on the left, my arm hurts, he staggers backwards. A spear flies and hits my shield, but that's enough of an opening. I let out the [Fireball] towards the spear user and parry the incoming blow from the one on the right.

    I hear a scream, the spear thrower got hit on his throwing arm and part of his chest. Part of his arm caught fire and he's running around, too stupid to put out a fire in the middle of a damp room full of pools of water.

    I immediately back away and glance at the girls.

    Alissa is on the ground being pulled by a vine towards the pool, there's a Spriggan on fire near her and Roxanne is sprinting towards her. Fucking no no and no.

    I dash towards the one on fire, he drops his flaming shield and moves towards the defenseless Alissa. Her sword is on the ground out of her reach. I don't have time to stop, I throw myself into the Spriggan and my sword pierces his back while we both fall on the ground in a messy way.

    He thrashes about trying to hit me with punches or kicks. My sword is stuck, I draw my dagger from my back and stab his chest multiple times. He slowly stops resisting and goes limp.

    "[Melt Skin]!"

    A terrifying scream fills the room. It's a voice similar to a human's but it feels like it's two voices overlapping each other. I look at the source, one Spriggan is rolling in the ground while white steam comes from his body, luckily I can't see much more than that. Roxanne stands near him with a dagger in her hand.

    Alissa is besides her clashing swords with a shield user Spriggan. His attacks slows and he starts to retreat. I dash to him. Like hell I'm gonna let you go now you shit stain.

    We surround him. Roxanne looks angry and threatening with a dagger in her hand, her hair is disheveled; Alissa in front with a serious look. I come from the side and slash at his flank. He can't defend properly, blue blood flows down. He gets on his knee and Alissa beheads him.

    I look around, the spear thrower is already gone. There's a Spriggan with an arrow on his forehead, a carbonized body and the one with the melted skin passed out or something, I don't want to look at him right now. Roxanne moves towards him and I hear a sound of flesh being cut. Jesus.

    Alissa starts collecting heads. She stares at one with a mohawk made of bark, then laughs and stores the head. I just spend the time staring down, cleaning my sword and shield while Roxanne pats her robes and brushes her hair.

    "I'm sorry, master. I got caught in a vine trap and dropped my sword and bow," Alissa says while bowing."

    "Don't apologize for this, mistakes happens and we deal with it as a team. It was good acting by Roxanne to come and free you. I was also a bit far so it was partially my fault you were so close to danger."

    "T-that's not-..."

    "Don't argue. We are companions," I say decisively, I don't want her to apologize like this for every mistake.

    She bites her lip and nods.

    "… Understood, master."

    "Now let's go, I don't like this smell."

    It's the smell of barbecue.

    We reach the stair and take a small break.

    We eat an early lunch, at least it seems so since we have no idea of the time. I take my tea with my lunch, I like to drink tea in an afternoon snack but there's no time to take another break after this so it has to be like this.

    Alissa is content while making tea and Roxanne's blood"thirst is quenched. This is kind of a nice place to have a picnic. The atmosphere is nice and the girls are happy, almost makes me forget the imps planning our deaths are nearby.

    Another stair, another vine trap.

    8 to go.


    This floor had a few wooden walls around, but no enemies. It seems we scared them with the last fight. Perhaps it was a test to see how we react, doesn't seem unlike of monsters to sacrifice a few.

    Another stair another two moving vine traps.

    7 floors left.


    Mounds and bear traps appear again. I have a bad feeling about this so we throw a spike from far away, this time it blows. Finally the mines appear. We move extra carefully on this floor.

    We reach the stairs. Another stair another… empty stair? No traps, suspicious.

    6 floors left.


    Pitfalls, pitfalls galore. We have to keep looking for cracks in the ground and hammering anything remotely suspicious. I tie a rope around me and Alissa, Roxanne holds it from a bit far behind.

    Another stair another no trap descent.

    5 floors to go.


    "A Spriggan is watching us."

    "Hmm… I wanna chase him and scare him."

    "There has been quite a lot of traps these floors, better not run," says Alissa.

    "Let me try a small explosion near him," Roxanne suggests

    "Ain't that a waste of mana?" I ask.

    Roxanne's explosions mana efficiency is kinda bad.

    "If it's small it will only startle him, won't waste too much mana."

    "Fine then."

    "Point me in the direction, Miss Alissa."

    This time is a cute girl and a hot woman rubbing cheeks and holding hands. I want a picture of this scene.

    "[Explosion]!" And a boom.

    I feel a slight breeze.

    "He actually got pushed away a bit, I think the explosion could have even damaged him," says Alissa.

    "Oh wow, we should use this more often then, it seems they have absolutely no sense of magic," I say.

    Alissa finds another one but he runs away immediately when we stop to aim. Heheh, they are scared now.

    A mix of traps appear on this floor, quite annoying.

    We reach the stairs, another stair another no vine trap descent.

    4 floors to go.


    Vines, vines everywhere. We walk forward slashing at the ground repeatedly, my poor sword will get ruined like this. Vines try to grab us from multiple angles but they are ineffective like this. It's not like the Bush Babies that can strike hard with their vines, these can only move and entangle us then push us towards the pools. If it catches us and we fall as long as we have a sword or dagger on hand there's nothing else it can do.

    Honestly the most annoying room so far, I almost feel like just running to try pass through all these vines.

    We reach the stairs. I look at Alissa, she looks at me.

    "Something is odd."

    "Even I think so," Roxanne says.

    The stairs look… Too well done. All the other stairs looked worn out and uneven, this one is a perfect stair.

    "Hm… If something happens we always have the rope. Let's go," I say.

    We start descending, there's also no vine trap here. We are midway when we hear a *clunk* sound.

    Here we go.

    The stair changes into a slope and from the walls near the stairs a large amount of water gushes out in jets.

    There's no time to react, we are getting pushed towards the edge and start losing our balance. I slip and soon after Roxanne and Alissa also slip. I can't get up and we get pushed over the edge.

    The rope holds and we dangle above the pit a good 10 meters above the ground. On the ground I see multiple pointy shadows at the edge of my light.

    "These fuckers…"

    "My robe…"

    "Annoying…"

    We slowly crawl down the rope and land on a place safely from the spikes on the ground. Then we use [Fire Magic] to dry ourselves.

    3 floors to go.


    Another floor full of wood walls. Seems empty.

    "One monster hiding ahead," says Alissa.

    "Hm? Have they all not ran away? Well, whatever, he's behind that wooden wall?"

    "Yes, master."

    At the end of the corridor I see the outline of a chest high wall.

    "Miss Roxanne, you can see that too right? Think you can cause an explosion right where his head would be?"

    "Ohoh! I like that!"

    Then Alissa helps Roxanne point her finger again. Oof, my heart.

    "[Explosion]!"

    I hear a boom with a fleshy sound. I giggle.

    We walk forward and see a headless Spriggan laying on the ground with his back on the wall. The surroundings are completely covered in blue blood and small bits of meat.

    "Hoh, it seems he was sleeping on the wall. I'm quite satisfied with this but it's a shame I destroyed the proof of extermination."

    "Master, What's so funny?"

    I can't control my laughter.

    "I'm not going insane… It's just that… It's just so ridiculous."

    I can't contain my laughter, the girls look worried.

    My stomach hurts.

    "L-let's go, master."

    We reach the stairs. Oh look it's back, another stair another vine trap.

    2 floors to go.


    We are thankful this one was short. It was filled with even more traps, but the short distance meant we barely had to deal with them.

    Another stair, another vine trap.

    Last floor.


    "The smell of Spriggan is really strong here," says Alissa.

    "Perhaps they actually live here?" Asks Roxanne.

    "This floor has actual food. It's not known if they really do live here but they come here often."

    There are 40 more floors after the one of the Moon Turtles. It's possible they are hunter"gatherers and don't really live anywhere for long. This floor has small bushes with bitter fruits so a small group can survive here.

    "I smell burnt wood," says Alissa after a few rooms.

    "Oh? So they do use fire," I say.

    "This means they are close by," says Roxanne.

    She seems eager to blow some heads.

    "Let's not fight them," I stop her immediately.

    "Awn…"

    "You can only blow their heads if they are standing still, you know."

    "I can still use [Melt Skin]."

    I'm surrounded by sadistic women.

    "Miss Roxanne, that spell is only for emergencies, it's too dangerous to use carelessly," warns Alissa.

    "Hmmmmmm..." Roxanne seems vexed.

    Alissa is not wrong. That spell is short range, I'm not letting Roxanne get close to another Spriggan again.

    "Oh! Master, nine of them ahead!" Alissa warns.

    The room ahead is quite small.

    "Hihihihih… miss Roxanne, [Firestorm] please..." I get giddy.

    "Yes… yes!" Blood fills Roxanne's eyes.

    They thought they could ambush us like this, they thought they could outnumber us. They underestimate us. You don't fuck with a fire mage.

    "They are not coming, they are waiting in ambush," says Alissa.

    Even I am pissed at these imps, if we can crush them from afar without even being able to see them then my heart is safe. It's just more numbers on my experience bar.

    I hug Alissa from her waist and she drops her head on my shoulder.

    On the distance a room gets light up. Flames appear from nothing, they create lines in the air and move on a spiral. In a second hundreds of these lines of fire fill the room and a tornado of fire is made.

    *FOOOOM* A strong hot wind blows on us. The smell of burnt wood fills our noses.

    "GET FUCKED!" Screams Roxanne. She's panting and leaning on her staff.

    "They are all dead. Good job, Miss Roxanne," Alissa says in a kind voice.

    The last stair is a few rooms ahead, this was the last resistance the Spriggans will put up. After this the journey back will be simple.

    Inside the room there are no corpses left behind, the entire room is black and burned.

    We reach the stairs. Another stair, another vine trap.

    We finally reached the floor of the Moon Turtles.


    "MOONLIGHT MOOOOOSS," Roxanne lets out a long scream and falls on her knees, her eyes watery, her hands on her cheeks.

    This floor is damper than the others, the pools of water are much deeper but not larger. On most rooms there's at least 1 or 2 Moon Turtle, a few have even more. And then our prize is visible. Shining in the nearly completely dark cave a completely white patch of moss is hanging on the back of a turtle, it lights the surroundings and the figure of the target turtle is completely visible.

    The Moon Turtles turtles are just literally giant turtles who have a shell completely covered in blue or green moss. They have small little spikes growing out of their shells, like a certain famous kidnapping turtle. When angered these spikes thrust out at anything dangerous, somewhat like a porcupine, I guess. Fortunately they are not aggressive and will only attack on their own if you stand in front of them.

    We take a break to let Roxanne fully recover the mana she used during [Firestorm]. Then when she's ready, the massacre begins.

    We move fast and ignore most turtles. Once we spot a target turtle. Alissa uses [Muscle Explosion] and fires two arrows at the eyes of the turtle. It goes blind and tries to rage, a few randomly breathe fire.

    I approach carefully and slash the throat of the turtle. It bleeds profusely, passes out, and dies after a few minutes. This is kinda bad for me, it's making me uneasy. I guess the stress of the trip and the danger of this dungeon keeps me sane but I still feel sick seeing the slow death of these turtles.

    Once I slash and see the bleeding is satisfactory I go away and stay near Alissa. Roxanne waits until it dies then she prances towards it and starts working.

    She has to first spread a drying powder on it, then she checks if it's not too much powder or too little. Then finally she brings out a silver scraping tool, it has a long flat horizontal blade. The moss is corrosive and absorbs a fine layer of silver when cut, this layer of silver makes it capable of keeping much of its power during transportation. Once scraped Roxanne carefully puts the moss sheet in her jar, she has to wear thick gloves to touch it.

    The process takes a few minutes. By running from room to room we manage to kill 9 turtles an hour. We do 3 hours then rest then another last 3 hours and Roxanne's jar is filled.

    "Contract complete!" She says and jumps while holding her jar.

    "Uh… we still have to escort you back," I say.

    "Oh yes, that's right, eheheh."

    Why are you so carefree?

    Exhausted, we camp on a room without any turtle or corpse.


    Roxanne hums while she bathes behind the tents.

    "It feels like we have been so long down here," Alissa says.

    "It's because we can't see the sun, our notion of time is messed up. Now that I think about it, is there a shop where we could buy a clock?" I ask.

    "I have seen a few at the Flea Market once. The Crafter's Corner must have one, at least on the magic tool shops."

    "You think it's expensive?"

    "Yes, that's why not many people have it. Looking at the sun or the sun dials is enough already for most people."

    "We should have some good money after this, I'll buy one and we should rest for some days."

    "That would be nice. I want to learn more about tea and I want to practice cooking again," Alissa says and smiles slightly.

    "Oh yeah, you have cooking skill but never cooked for me yet, I would like that. I used to cook too."

    "Oh? Then let's cook together, you haven't told me what dishes you ate at your homeland yet."

    That's right, let's cook together, like I used to cook with Lily...

    Bath goes the same. Alissa holds her voice better this time so I tease her and increase my speed until she tells me to slow down.

    Then we eat the same dinner as yesterday and go to sleep again in turns. I get to sleep 3 hours while hugging Alissa but we can't do it while naked, we all sleep while armored. Well, Roxanne's robe can barely be considered armor though. Well I'm not sure but I think Roxanne might be hiding some leather armor bellow the robes.


    We wake up, eat and prepare to leave. Roxanne looks longingly at the nearby room where the turtles might be. If she wants to go she will do it alone, I wanna go home.

    We get to the stair and the rope is still there. Makes it worth it to have spent so much money on rope.

    Then we move through the rooms with a hurried pace. We know where the traps are, the Spriggans take a few days to change the trap layout and they are far too scared of us now to attack again. We blaze through the floors and leave the dungeon before it's even noon, I think.

    After a light snack we wait a little for digestion and start to stretch. We are going to run, fuck sneaking about again. The moles won't chase us into the arachne territory so we can just run past them because they are way too dumb and slow to react fast enough to block us. I keep Roxanne in front of me this time, can't let her sexy slow ass fall behind now.

    I tell to Alissa the order of markings for the correct tunnels we should take. Then I have her memorize them, now we are ready. RUN!


    We ran past by 4 moles, literally. Alissa threw arrows, me and Roxanne both used small [Fireballs] and they all scampered away, intimidated by us.

    "5 more markings," Alissa says. That means about 10 more minutes of running. "Wait, something is coming."

    "What is it?" I ask.

    I get in front and pull my shield.

    "Three are coming. It's not monsters that's for sure, it might be adventurers but… They are running?"

    "Running from what? Actually it's pretty obvious, get ready to fight an arachne," I say.

    Just my luck, the trip didn't have any real incident so far so it was about time.

    We wait a few seconds and we start to hear footsteps. I get anxious thinking that the moles are gonna come running from behind now that we stopped and warn Alissa, sorry you have to work so much.

    A line of adventurers come from the tunnel ahead. A black man in a hauberk and chausses with a large kite shield and a sword sheathed on his waist. A blonde bearded archer with black leather armor and a red feather cap, it's kinda tacky, I see a white thin furry tail coming out of his back. A short haired redhead woman with a black robe, a wand in one hand and a small round iron shield on another.

    They all look pale and are sweating profusely.

    "SYMBOL OF HATE!" Screams the chain mail man and we all shudder.

    We are fucked, it's a threat level 7 monster.


    The Symbol of Hate is an aberrant legendary monster that appeared about 200 years ago. It's a 5 meters tall arachne. It has 12 hairy legs that can break the skin with their sharpness, a hard as steel spider body, a hard as ogre human body, a frightening large mouth with hundreds of sharp teeth that shred anything it eats, and nails as large and sharp as a dagger. Her human body is black with black straight hair and pure black eyes. And finally, she has an incessant thirst for inflicting pain and misery.

    It literally feeds on pain. It captures any living being, brutalizes it, nurses it back to health and brutalizes it again until it's mind breaks apart, then it eats its prey alive. There's only one report of it's nest and the only words to describe it is "a hell where the only sound is the cry of pain of tortured souls". It's the embodiment of misery, it's a berserking, cunning monster that eludes extermination task forces as long as it lived. It's aberrant nature means not even the Monster King controls it, it's grown too powerful and too twisted to be considered the same as a normal monster. That fucking nightmare is coming to us.

    We are going to be sandwiched. We are still inside mole territory, if they come they might attack us without hesitation until the Symbol of Hate catches up to us and if it reaches us it will attack from behind, then we are doubly fucked. The Symbol has no mercy and will not hesitate to attack anything that moves. We have only one choice, we have to fight it.

    "YOU 3 STOP NOW, THE MOLES ARE COMING BEHIND US!" I scream.

    They stagger, stop, and almost fall. The woman and the chain guy freeze, the archer grabs his own head and falls on his knees.

    "WE HAVE TO FIGHT! You, mage! What are your spells!?"

    "Hiiii..." She shivers and lets out a small scream, "F-f-fire, b-ball, arrow, w-wall. W-wind bla-d-de, ha-hammer, a-armor," she stutters.

    "Ignore wind! Focus only on fireball and arrow. Don't miss, take your time, don't waste mana!"

    "You, archer! Focus only on hitting the eyes, the skin is too thick for anything else!"

    "Y-yes!" He responds. Good, he's not completely done.

    "You, shield! We stand in front. Block and protect, cut legs only if we have a chance!"

    "YES!" He screams, a little too eager.

    "Roxanne! Same as the mage, save half your mana for an explosion!"

    "Understood!" She trusts me, that's good.

    "Alissa, same as the archer, we need those eyes popped!"

    "Count on me!" She says and clenches her fist near her chest. Reliable as always, marry me please.

    I'm fucking lucky. I saw the entry for Symbol of Hate and it spiked my curiosity, I spent a long time searching for tales of it and now I know the best way to deal with it. It's skin is tough but it's still skin, fire is effective and if we burn it enough it will run away, that's our only chance.

    We get in formation, the chain mail guy is shaking.

    "Yo, it's okay, we will survive," I lie. I give him an exaggerated smile and a thumbs up, hopefully thumbs up means the same thing here.

    He lets out a nervous laugh, his shaking reduces a little.

    A few seconds later we hear a stampede coming. A maniacal laugh fills the tunnels.

    I grit my teeth. I feel mana charging from the mages.

    We are in a large room, it's tall and long but not very wide. It's our battlefield.

    On the entrance to the tunnel ahead a large shadow appears.

    Its 12 legs are as sharp as a spear, it leaves small holes wherever it steps on. The Symbol of Hate charges towards us with frightening grin. Normal arachne have the body growing out of its face, this one the naked woman body is stuck on top of the thorax of the spider. It has eyes on it's human head and on the spider's face. Quite a lot of eyes to pop.

    Immediately when it appears two [Fireballs] fly towards its body. It blocks one with its dagger fingers and another grazes the right arm and burns it a little. The other arm deflects an arrow aimed at the face and the spider body loses one of its 6 eyes.

    It tries to trample both of us at the same time but we hold our shields and properly hold back the attack. My arm explodes in pain and my feet are dragged a few centimeters backwards. I see a small bump appear on my shield. The charge is stopped.

    It raises 2 of its forwards legs at the same time and tries to fight us as if it were spears. It's arms block more fireballs and a little bit more of skin is burned. Another spider eye is lost.

    I dodge, parry, and block. Even my sword arm hurts with the force of this monster. I can't counter properly, its too fast. The shield guy is doing better than me, I don't have enough "Strength" for this fight.

    Arrows miss and both [Fireballs] are blocked. The shield guy gets lucky and one leg loses its pointy tip but it can still be used as a blunt tool.

    My breath is fast and my arms are heavy, I will be the one to lose first on this battle. The fire damage is too little, the monster is too heavy.

    Another spider eye goes away, 3 more to go. The eyes lost are all on my side. Its attacks slow down and I can get a small breathing room. But I have no room to breathe, I counter and cut the tip of another leg.

    "URAAAAAAA!" The shield guy screams. He cut another tip. A [Fireball] hits the chest and one of its saggy ugly breasts is carbonized.

    "AAAAAAH!" This time the spider is the one who screams, she's enraged.

    The attacks gets wilder and heavier.Another spider eye goes away, 2 more. Then she jumps sideways away from me, she falls down nearly on top of the shield guy. With 3 legs she does a sideways sweep and he flies away towards the wall.

    This is bad, she turned around the situation, I can't hold her on my own.

    I take the chance. I dash towards her and slash one leg of completely. Heh, easy, only 11 more to go.

    She turns to me and does the same sweep. I can't dodge, I fly away backwards but I land on my knee. She turns towards Roxanne.

    Oh fuck, no no no and no. NO YOU WON'T.

    I dash with all my all. My tired legs don't exist anymore, my arm doesn't hurt anymore, the only thing I feel is the pain in my heart while looking at Roxanne.

    A shadow appears in front of Roxanne. She's standing still, muttering and defenseless. A spider leg pierces her stomach, I can see the point coming out of her back. Then the leg stops, I jump and sever the leg.

    "WAAAAAAAAAAH!" The spider screams, I look up and see an arrow coming out of its right eye. GOOD, ALISSA!

    The spider thrashes about, it screams in pain.

    Its legs are open, this is an opportunity. I dash under it, raise my sword and open a wound below the thorax of the spider. Blood flows down from it and a piece of intestine dangles about.

    My head hurts and I lose my hearing, the spider screams so loud it makes my body shake. It looks at me and fear fills my spine. A huge amount of mana is gathering behind the spider. Roxanne is still standing leaning on her staff, she's still muttering something, she's going to use her last card.

    I have to do something, I have to keep it still. I only know one way.

    I run away. I change my skills in desperation, I hear the spider start moving.

    "STOOOOOP!" The shield guy screams. He dashes, cuts a leg, and gets blown away again by another leg.

    A [Fireball] hits the spider's back and now she turns away from towards the mage girl.

    Like I'm gonna let you do that! I turn and dash, charging my spell. I have to put all the mana I can on it.

    I'm ready. There's no other way, no second chances, this is my best bet and I'm gonna see it through the end!

    The spider isn't too fast to notice me. I jump on it, I use a leg as a stepping stone and lunge towards the head.

    The spider turns and swings its arms. The right arm hits my shield and I deflect it. Then mid flight I stop in the air and an extremely uncomfortable sensation penetrates my left flank. I drop my sword and shield, I can't move my left side.

    The spider looks at me. Instead of throwing me away it brings me closer. It smiles and opens its disgusting mouth, the smell of rot makes me want to puke.

    Thank you, you dumbass, get fucked.

    I grab the top of her head with my free hand and release [Shocking Touch].

    She freezes and twitches, lighting sparks run through her body. Her dumbfounded face is the last thing I see of her. I kick her body, fall down on the ground, and her upper body explodes.

    "You are now level 15," says the comforting female voice.

    I feel something warm and hot rain on my body followed by a blast of hot wind.


    I cough blood. I can't move anymore, it hurts too much. I hit my head when I fell. My ears are ringing and I can't hear again.

    Something soft touches me. My vision is blurry. Something cold touches my lips, my mouth is opened. Something warm and tasty enters my mouth. I almost choke but try to I drink it, my throat is dry anyway.

    Something is happening on my body, its uncomfortable. I hear a buzzing high pitched noise and my hearing returns.

    "Master! Can you hear me!?"

    "Ye..." I let out a rough sound.

    I focus my eyes and a crying Alissa is looking at me. The pain pulsates but it reduces a little. I can move my right arm now.

    I raise my hand and cast [Regeneration] on myself.

    I start to notice what happened to my body. My leather jacket is opened, my shirt is ripped and the archer guy is holding down cloth on my flank. Red glowing liquid is being poured on my wounds. I'm bleeding a lot, this looks bad.

    "Rox… an?" I ask.

    "She's unconscious but stable… We have done all we could right now."

    Well shit, Roxanne might be dying. I can't waste time with [Regeneration]. I put my new 12 points into [Light Magic], let's see if that piety gains were worth something.

    I cast [Heal] on myself.

    I see a flash of light, my vision goes dark and pain explodes in my head. I can't move again.

    I hear a lot of muffled sounds, I'm barely conscious from the pain.

    I feel something cold touch my lips and my mouth is opened again. A different warm and tasty liquid enters my mouth. I drink it eagerly.

    My headache subsides and I can hear what's going on again.

    I hear sobs.

    "Alis…?" My voice comes out a little better.

    "M-master?! You are awake!?" Says a female voice.

    "Yes… what, happen… can't… see," I mutter.

    "You overused your mana! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!"

    "Sorry…"

    "AAAH! ," she screams in anger.

    I wanna laugh but it hurts too much. Oh shit, I can't laugh, I gotta heal myself and then heal Roxanne before something bad happens!

    "Will… meditate…"

    "You wanna meditate? Yes, please do that you gotta rest!" She says.

    I need mana. Roxanne is in danger, no potion is gonna close a wound like that fast enough. I can't let Roxanne die, not after she killed that insanity, not after we went through so much trouble to get that moss, not after I actually started to like her obnoxiously happy personality.

    I can't see, I can't move, now I will block my ears. Meditation helps to gather mana? Well, I will steal mana from this fucking place just like the dwarves do, just like the monsters do, if someone can do it I can too!

    Well, saying is easier than doing. I can sense mana around me, I need to get it! I will engulf it and grab it and eat it. I can feel the mana stronger if I concentrate hard enough. I concentrate harder and it feels like I'm "pushing" myself out towards the mana. It feels weird but it seems it's doing something, I gotta keep doing it more!

    I feel like the air in this room is my body and I feel the movement of mana within me as if it's currents of hot air. I concentrate on one stream, its moving fast and strong. I can't touch it but I need to grab it, I need to divert that stream towards me. Come to me.

    I focus on that. "Willpower" lets you brute force spells, I need to use that to my advantage even if its just a little twitch I have to notice it change. Come to me!

    My body hurts again, I'm doing something I'm not supposed to but I know its the right way, I know there's a way. Just a little… COME TO ME!

    I feel a breeze, a change, a piece of hope, a stream of mana is coming to me!

    I let it come, it's not stopping now, there's no other outside influence. It's mine and it fills me up! COME FASTER!

    The stream stops and I open my eyes.

    "Roxanne...?" I ask, my voice is still hoarse.

    "She's here, we brought her. What do you need master?" Says a female voice.

    "Let me… touch her…"

    "What?! Master you need to meditate to gather your mana!"

    "I got it… let me touch her…"

    "That's not possible, please rest, master."

    "Alissa… that's an order…"

    I can't see her because my view is blurred but I can hear her squirm in desperation.

    "Wound…"

    She grabs my hand and moves it sideways. I feel something warm, hot ,and slightly sticky. I also touch something cold, hard and prickly near my hand.

    "Remove… spike…"

    A few seconds go and I hear something fleshy going on and something drip.

    "Done…"

    I focus hard and cast [Heal] with all my power. This time I pass out for good.


    I feel something soft on my back.

    I open my eyes and see a [Spirit Light] floating above.

    "Hey..." I let out a small voice.

    "He's awake," a man says.

    My view focus again, it's the shield guy.

    I feel something warm and soft touch my cheek, it's a disheveled and red eyed Alissa.

    "How are you feeling?" She says on a hoarse voice.

    "Better… Heavy, but better."

    "Stay still, the bleeding just barely stopped."

    I cast [Regeneration] on myself. Alissa looks at me with exasperation but she doesn't say anything, she knows I have to do this.

    Minutes pass and the feeling on the rest of my body returns. I smell a strong scent of blood. I look besides me and Roxanne is unconscious in a bed. Her robe is completely bloodied below the waist, I can see a bloody bandage on her belly. She seems to be breathing though.

    "She's bleeding?" I ask.

    "The wound is almost closed but she's still bleeding."

    I wait more time until I can sit. Then I cast [Regeneration] on her until my mana runs out. Her bleeding stopped, let's hope she doesn't have any internal bleeding. I drink another mana potion.

    "Can you bring me to the spider's body?" I ask.

    The shield guy looks at me dumbfounded. Alissa nods and asks for help. They carry me on the sleeping bag, they let me down near the Symbol. I grab one leg, open my "Items" and store it. The body is gone and only a huge pool of blood remains.

    "Carry us back," I say. Then I go to sleep.


    I wake up and I'm shaking slightly. I open my eyes and see Alissa in front of me. I'm in a makeshift stretcher while she and someone else carry me. We are moving through the brown tunnels.

    Alissa looks at me and smiles. I try to smile back.

    "Roxanne?" I ask.

    "Stable and sleeping. She woke up once but now she's asleep again," she says.

    I cast [Regeneration] on myself again.

    "What's that cloth?" I ask. Alissa is wearing a red cloth armband.

    "The spider's blood, it scares away the monsters. I knew it had a characteristic smell so I put it on an armband for all of us."

    "Smart."

    I asked to be carried because I was afraid of the moles. We might have a better chance against arachnes than a mole rush. If the blood scares monsters away we might just go all the way to the entrance then.

    Alissa smiles. Her blood-eyed and disheveled appearance was heartbreaking.

    We move like this for a long time. I cast [Regeneration] and meditate twice until I can walk slowly again but Alissa doesn't let me walk so I just meditate again and cast [Regeneration] on Roxanne one last time.

    The health and mana potions are still working but they are slow, basically the same speed as [Regeneration]. My head is hurting too much and I'm losing the energy of my body, I must be using too much mana again. I will need to rest a long time until I can cast again.

    We stop for a break and Alissa gives me bread. I look at the others and they are ghastly, I wonder how I look then. Roxanne is pale but she's sleeping peacefully.

    After a break then I convince Alissa to let me walk so the others can rest their arms.

    We move forward slowly and I regret my decision, my legs are lacking energy but I endure and move on.

    It feels like an unending tunnel. Alissa is guiding us through our way in so there's no webs or traps. I start to lose consciousness and become a walking zombie.


    After an eternity I see the light of the sky.

    "AAAAAAH!" Cries the mage girl and the archer guy. The shield guy hugs the archer and Alissa pats the back of the mage. Roxanne wakes up and Alissa scolds everyone.

    We wait here until I have enough energy to walk again.

    We meet a goblin duo but Alissa kills them before they react. I heal Roxanne while walking and she wakes up, she barely has force to mutter. Then we reach the road.

    We stay there until a wagon appears. It's a local farmer carrying a small amount of alcohol barrels. He turns pale when he sees us but agrees to help. Alissa gives him a few coins for his trouble. Now the worst is over and I doze off on the rocking wagon.


    When I wake up there's people carrying me on a proper stretcher. I look around and recognize the temple priest's robes.

    I'm put into a comfy bed in a room with Roxanne besides me. Then Ciel rushes inside.

    "S-sister!? What's wrong?" Asks one priest.

    "I know him. Please let treat him."

    "If you wish so," the priest says and goes towards Roxanne.

    "Just what happened to you!?" She rushes besides me.

    She touches my wounded flank and starts muttering something.

    "We met the Symbol of Hate," says Alissa from my other side.

    Ciel stops chanting and stares at Alissa.

    "S-sister… please continue healing him," asks Alissa.

    "Y-yes! But can you say that again? Explain it to me, please," pleads Ciel.

    While she chants Alissa retells our encounter starting from us deciding to run through the mole territory.

    Ciel casts [Heal] twice on me. I don't feel anymore pain, just tiredness. Then she just stares at Alissa dumbfounded.

    "Why was the Symbol there? That's way too far from its territory!"

    "Gunther and the others don't know, they were hunting a White Arachne when they met the Symbol. They ran towards the moles because they wanted to hide inside the small rooms of the Spiral Springs," explains Alissa.

    The White Arachne is a twisted version of the arachne, it can create undead so the extermination of it is very important. The idea to hide in the Spiral Springs was sound until we came. If they ran towards the entrance they would get tangled in the tarantula's webs.

    "Of all things… Mr. Ryder, please pray to the God of Luck, your life is too eventful."

    "Hah… I have a feeling praying won't really help though," I say.

    "Why would that be so?" Ciel asks.

    "I'm still alive right? For an adventurer you could say it was only bad luck if I die."

    Ciel express a mix of laughter, anger, and defeat. Alissa sighs, I think she agrees with me. I hear a chuckle from the side and I see Roxanne looking at us with a tired face. The priest casts [Heal] one more time on Roxanne and then leaves.

    I see it's dusk now. I feel my stomach is empty and it growls, before dinner Alissa takes me to the bath nearby and Ciel takes Roxanne. Even while using healing magic it doesn't replenish the lost energy, it also takes some time for the body to get past the stress of the wound and then it has to adapt to the new flesh. There's the spell [Refresh] but it works as if you only took a short rest.

    The temple gives us a simple vegetable soup with some tasteless goblin meat. Then we are taken to another room, this one has two beds. Thankfully they let Alissa sleep on the same room as me but they don't have a double bed for patients. Roxanne is taken to another room.

    We huddle together and I finally get a good night sleep with Alissa in my arms.


    Intermission 2


    How am I still alive? I still don't know how to deal with this situation. In a split second he made the decision to trust me, even though I was wounded and half"dead, even though we barely know each other he has the bravery to jump into the claws of the enemy just to give me the opportunity to finish this battle. The old and experienced me tells me he's insane, the young and impressionable tells me he's a hero. All I know is that he's dependable, he's not someone you let run away, even though he's young he's not a boy, he's a man.

    What I truly feel is difficult to say. He acts like a newly"wed with her and yet does not admit his love. What kind of relationship is that? Such trust and dependability on each other actually made me jealous. If even after all this he's unsure of his own feelings towards her how am I going to be sure of mine? All I really know is that I want to stay close to him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  12. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    I wake up and look into my stats.

    My "Endurance" raised by 1 (now 10), my "Willpower" raised by 2 (now 15), my MP raised by a whooping 100 (now 355), my "Magic Power" raised by 10 (200). My [Sword Use] raised by 2 (now 10+4), my [Block] raised by 1 (now 1+7), my [Dodge] raised by 1 (now 1+5), my [Sense Mana] raised by 1 (now 0+3), and my [Mana Control] raised by 1 (now 0+4). I learned [Light Magic] and [Mana Overuse Resistance] with 1 point. The most interesting of all is that I learned [Redirect Mana (creator)] with 1 point, I can't raise that skill.


    My muscle aches but I hug Alissa tight and bite her twitching ear.

    "KYAH!" She lets out the cutest scream I ever heard.

    "Oh? What was that?"

    "M-master! I told you my ears are sensitive!" She turns around and says to me with an angry face.

    "But you didn't hate it right?" I ask and grin.

    "N-no… be gentler," she says bashfully.

    Ah, it's good to be alive. I massage her ears gently and she closes her eyes in happiness.

    "No-no good. I should be the one massaging you!" She opens her eyes.

    "Then by all means," I open my arms wide.

    She comes closer and kisses me. Then she mounts me and unfortunately it doesn't becomes sexual but she does uses her hands to massage my muscles. It feels good, my muscles are all sore and the pressure is nice and stimulating. There's a [Massage] skill, so I wonder how good it must make you feel.

    While I'm enjoying a good massage someone knocks and tells breakfast is ready.

    We get dressed and Alissa guides me towards the mess hall. A large room with a dozen wooden tables and benches. A few priests are about, coming and going with trays of food. The priest who started to treat me yesterday comes to me.

    "How are you today?" He asks.

    "Sore all over but I'm fine. Seems everything got healed already."

    "Yes, that's expected, no actually that's a miracle considering the description of your wounds and your battle," he looks at me with a worried face.

    Well shit. I used [Light Magic] and I healed myself and Roxanne a good deal before coming here, impossible to not notice.

    "Well I fainted multiple times, it really was by a thread," I try to make an excuse.

    "Certainly seems so, you are a lucky man," he says.

    Could I spend a day without hearing something like this? I'm not lucky, now I truly believe so. Even if the universe is conspiring for me to be rewarded I don't consider that "lucky".

    "Hahah, that is something I doubt a little."

    "Oh yes, I know some would agree with you," he lets out a wry smile. "But now rest at least for a day-cycle. Make sure your body is ready before even training. Internal wounds like yours are difficult to see and will do much damage in the future if you are not careful."

    "Thank you for your advice," I bow lightly "There's certainly nothing I want to do more than just rest."

    The priest leaves and we go and get some breakfast. After a little while Roxanne appears while being guided by Ciel, she seems unsteady.

    "Good morning, Mr. Ryder. I feel like the sunlight has never been so refreshing," Roxanne takes a deep breath and smiles.

    "Your positivity is unbreakable," I say.

    "That's the only thing keeping me moving. The chance of finally being able to use Moonlight Moss on my potions and grow rich and famous!" She tries to raise her arm in a fist and then makes a pained face.

    "Miss Roxanne, please don't do that, your body is extremely weakened now," Ciel reprimands.

    "You will have difficulty keeping Miss Roxanne quiet, Grand Ciel," says Alissa.

    Grand Ciel? There's that weird honorific again.

    "Please, Miss is fine," Ciel says with a bow.

    "As you wish."

    "Now, Mr. Ryder. You too should be resting, your wound wasn't any less worse than hers."

    "Well I lost way less blood because I could heal myself up to a point. So I'm mostly just sore. But don't worry, I will take at least one day-cycle of rest. I have a lot of things I want to do in town, I also would like to talk to you again Miss Ciel."

    "Certainly, I would be glad to," Ciel smiles.

    "Mr. Ryder, are you leaving today? If so, can you come to my house in a few days? I would also like to talk to you and properly thank you, do you have a pen? I will tell you my address," Roxanne asks.

    I pull out a cheap magical fountain pen, it generates ink if you put some mana into it. I ask Alissa to write since my calligraphy with these pens is horrendous and my hand hurts too much.

    "Ah, I have the body of the Symbol with me, I will give it to the guild today. I will share the bounty with you," I say.

    "Wha-well, that's unnecessary I owe you far more," she weakly smiles.

    "Say that again and I will pinch you. You are the one who actually finished it, I just gave you the chance. So I will follow our previous agreement, I will negotiate our share and you take 1/3rd of the bounty."

    Roxanne sighs.

    "If you say so…"

    "Then I will meet you again in a few days. Rest well, Roxanne."

    "You too, Mr. Ryder and Miss Alissa," says Roxanne on a tired voice.

    "Goodbye Mr. Ryder, goodbye Miss Alissa," says Ciel.

    We wave and leave.


    We walk back to the in. I will sleep during the morning and go to the guild during the afternoon. Silas sent word to Alissa when I was sleeping that he would like to talk me as soon as I was able, I can just guess what it is.

    When I enter the inn the innkeeper opens his eyes wide and stares for a few seconds. What's that about?

    "Mr. Ryder! You are back already?"

    "Uh… Yes, I finished my expedition."

    "I think he means you were supposed to stay at the temple longer," says Alissa.

    "Ah, that? Well, I can heal myself somewhat so it wasn't that bad for me. But no matter that, why do you know I was wounded?"

    "You are the talk of the town, Mr. Ryder, you are the man who killed the Symbol of Hate. I couldn't believe my ears when I heard the story."

    Oh fuck, the entire town? Already?

    "Master is very tired now, let us talk later, he needs rest," Alissa saves me.

    "Ah! Yes, certainly, please forgive me," he bows.

    You don't need to bow, though.

    We enter our comfy little room and I drop on the bed. Alissa lays down next to me and hugs me, my face feels the softness and warmth of her breasts.

    "You don't have to stay all day by my side though, I'm gonna sleep for a while so you should do whatever you want," I say.

    "I want to stay here," she claims with confidence.

    Then I won't discuss it further. I fall asleep in her arms.


    I wake up some time later and she's playing with my hair. Her orange eyes stare into mine.

    "I don't want you to do that again," she says.

    "Do what?"

    "To jump… To throw yourself into the enemy like that, to use your body and harm yourself," her eyes show some sadness and pain.

    "You know that was our best shot at surviving."

    "I know! I just don't want to you to do that again," she says with a weak voice.

    "I won't promise I won't do that again… I will promise I will do all I can so we won't be in that situation again. Remember my two rules?" I smile weakly at her.

    "'Don't die' and let's never get into a situation where someone needs to die'."

    "Good girl." Now my smile grows wide.

    Her eyes water and she bites her lips. I kiss her hand. She cries, I cry a little. I have no intention of dying before we grow old together.

    We stay like this until my stomach growls.


    We get up and I find the innkeeper again.

    "Excuse me, is Miss Selina around?" I ask him.

    He opens his eyes wide and averts his eyes. What is going on?

    "She… is not here today, she's coming back tomorrow."

    Coming back? Suspicious.

    "Oh, I see. I will meet her tomorrow then."

    I say goodbye and leave.

    We go and eat some tasty fried Dragolite again with noodles! Noodles are not as popular so only a few restaurants seems to be serving them, what a shame.

    Then I go to the hunters guild.


    We enter and I immediately recognize Targua is drinking with some people. He sees me and mutters something to the people around him. Slowly the gazes of the guild all turn to us. I recognize the trio that we fought the Symbol with, they get up and come to me.

    "Hello, Mr. Ryder. I don't think we were properly introduced, I'm Gunther from Hauberk," says the shield man.

    He's not wearing his mail so I can see his dark hair and buzz cut. He's sporting a stubble today. His body is large and his face is oval, quite the odd combination.

    "I'm Minerva," says the mage girl.

    She's wearing an average green dress today, it goes well with her hair. She has boyish short hair and an average face and broad nose with a few freckles.

    "I'm Lorthar, well met," says the archer.

    He's wearing his red feather hat again, his tail is upright and sways about. His clothes are black with white embroidery, his beard is more neatly cut today. His clothing is a bit eccentric.

    "Well met. Thank you for your help yesterday, we would all have died if a single person wasn't there."

    They nod, except Lorthar, he looks away. I think he was literally useless during the fight, but I can't say that since he carried me and Roxanne for some time.

    "Let's meet the guildmaster, everyone is staring at us," I add, then we go towards the nearest attendant.

    She leads us towards a meeting room and in a minute Silas appears.

    "We meet again, Mr. Ryder. Mr. Sonny is happy with the surprise you prepared for him," Silas says with a wry smile.

    "Ugh… I just want a quiet life..." I moan.

    "Fate says otherwise."

    "Maybe I need to change jobs."

    "I don't think that will make a difference," and Silas smiles again. "Now let's talk business. First I would like to hear a retelling of the fight, I heard what happened but I want all the details."

    We retell the fight. We all agreed that the most likely reason the Symbol of Hate was there was that it was looking for the White Arachne too. The Symbol likes to hunt and fight and it goes to meet weaker adventurers that dare get too close. It runs from subjugation forces so it's quite cunning and capable of analyzing its enemies. It's a weak monster if compared to other monsters of the same threat level, it's just very cunning and brutal, which makes everyone afraid to deal with it.

    Considering how it was maniacally laughing while chasing Hauberk it was just playing around until we faced it head on. Just the thought that we met such sadistic being makes me shiver a bit.

    "Then we all agree that all that has been said here is completely factual?" Says Silas.

    We all nod.

    "Then let's discuss the reward. The bounty on Symbol of Hate is 2 rose coins. The body sale price is undetermined as there's no previous record to go by, we will need to bring all the interested parties here and auction the body parts.

    Holy shit. The other guys are speechless, their eyes go blank.

    "We don't really deserve the reward, we barely helped," says Gunther, meekly.

    "That's… Dumb. You will get your part too," I say.

    It's honestly a good idea we met so soon after the battle. If we wait greed might come upon their heads and they might demand more. I want my deserved share but I don't want them to go away with nothing, they risked their lives for us too.

    "How about 10 gold for each of you?" I propose. That leaves us with 110 gold coins, 73 gold coins after Roxanne's share.

    Lorthar opens his eyes wide and nods. Gunther and Minerva take some time but nod too.

    "What about the body auction?" Silas asks.

    "20% goes to them?"

    They nod in agreement.

    "What about Miss Roxanne?"

    "We follow our previous agreement, 1/3rd of all we earn is hers. She did kill it, without her magic we would be dead."

    "Do you want the Guild's opinion on this matter?" Asks Silas.

    The guild doesn't force the agreements but it acts as the mediator since it's the one paying the hunters. They also prefer that hunters work together and build bonds so in times of need like in town defenses there's less drama. The guild offers their opinion and it's generally a good idea to take it. The way profits are divided are generally public so if you negotiate a bad deal you will get bad reputation among the hunters. The world isn't perfect, unpopular hunters die in "accidents" much more often than the popular ones.

    "Yes please," I say.

    "It's a fair deal," Silas claims.

    We shake hands. Then we go to the dismantling room and I present the body. Alissa collected the arms and head that survived, she had presented the head yesterday as proof of extermination so that's why they all already believe me.

    When we enter the room Gordon loses all expression on his face, he swallows hard and nods to me. Why are you serious now? I prefer teasing than silence.

    I pull the body out of my "Items" and everyone stares in silence.

    The silence is broken by Sonny who comes running and stares wide-eyed after almost breaking the door.

    "Mr. Ryder… I'm speechless..." Sonny says.

    Even you!

    "This is a bit much for a surprise, eh? But I gotta say, you got guts boy," Gordon finally talks.

    A 200 years old murder machine that fills the nightmares of the town is finally dead and killed by a random young boy who just a few days ago was suffering while killing goblins by himself. Yeah, I agree, now I have done it.

    "Boss, I won't touch this, who knows what's inside. I don't wanna lose my ears hearing the complaints of some old quack who says I did my job wrong.

    "Agreed, we will auction it off intact if no one has the knowledge or courage to do it," says Silas, then he turns to me, "Mr. Ryder, would like to keep it with you or would you like to let us store it? For this monster we will store it in a way that it will remain intact until the auction."

    "Please store it, I don't wanna touch this anymore."

    "Understandable," he nods.

    I look behind and a small crowd of attendants and adventurers gathered at the entrance. Well, shit.

    "Let me say this Mr. Ryder, you are unbelievably lucky," says Sonny.

    "Hahah, that's true. What's up with that boy? You got a good luck amulet or something? Grey Berserker, Orc Headhunter and now Symbol of Hate, that's no mere luck you have," says Gordon.

    "He's a walking good luck charm."

    "The 'good' part is debatable," I say.

    "That should be his nickname then, 'Good Luck'," Gordon looks at me and grins.

    "No, no no no. I don't accept this," I interject.

    "Too late, boy. That's your new name."

    I feel something change within me. I open my status and on my name entry it says: "Wolf 'Good Luck' Ryder". Under my "Titles" there's the entry "'Good Luck' nickname".

    "Nooo… that's it, I'm going home."

    Sonny and Gordon say their goodbyes with a smirk while Silas keeps a neutral expression.

    We leave among silent gazes of fear from the spectators. Silas had already procured the bounty reward so we already have our money. Roxanne's share will be stored until she comes to collect it.

    I'm already tired again so we return to the inn. It's gonna take a few hours until dusk so I just play around with Alissa's body until then.

    She strips in front of me and lays down to my side. I wet her nipples and start playing with them to my hearts content.

    Slowly tracing my finger on it, licking occasionally and sucking on it, pinching and pulling. I close my eyes and enjoy the music of her light moans that grow louder. The pink buds of heaven.

    "Master... please…"

    "What?"

    "Please…"

    She repeats it again and again.

    "Master!" Now there's annoyance on her voice, "Please give it to me!"

    I smile sadistically and get on top of her. I use my hand to help and slowly I piston her, her moans are pure music.

    I'm still rather tired so eventually I have to stop. She decides to mount me then, I just stare at her with her legs spread and reach heaven.

    I thought about giving her the Clothes of the Berserker again but I might hurt myself if she wears it. Later I will tell her to go back to that store and bring more, we are rich now.

    When we bathe I see that my wounds left scars, 5 horizontal scars along my left flank. Normally healing should be perfect but since I mixed it with potions, different spells, and intermittent healing coupled with the long walk I did it left imperfections, scars. I look a bit badass now though.

    Then we have dinner and go to sleep.


    I wake up feeling almost perfectly cured and fool around then go have breakfast.

    I decide to train my [Spirit Light] with Alissa this morning. Ah, the good feeling of hugging her and feeling her mana swirl around. I feel like I can do it if I practice for a few more sessions, my 1 point in [Light Magic] is helping me a lot in understand this spell.

    Then I hear a knock in the door. Alissa answers and it's Selina, she looks very anxious.

    "Would you like to come in?" I say and motion her to the chair in front of the only desk in the room.

    "Y-yes please, excuse me," she enters.

    She hugs Alissa.

    "I'm glad you are safe!" She says with a cracking voice.

    "A-ah, yes. I'm happy you were concerned with me. But I wasn't in much danger since I was always at the back," Alissa is flustered, I smile at her adorableness.

    "T-that's not true. Just by facing that monster, what horrible luck... I can't believe the things you two went through!"

    "Luck is a funny thing. Some say I'm lucky I survived, some say I'm unlucky I met that monster," I say with a bitter smile.

    "Hahah… what are you even saying, Mr. Ryder" Selina lets out a nervous laugh.

    "That's the life of an adventurer we have to look back and laugh to keep moving on," Alissa says.

    Selina stays quiet, she looks a bit sad but now she's calmer. She understood we are past the point of being sad and worrying about what happened.

    After a few awkward seconds she talks again.

    "Then… Mr. Ryder, I have to tell you something… I was proposed to and now I'm going to get married," she says while looking down.

    Alissa raises her eyebrows and a hole opens in my stomach.


    What do I even think about this girl? I just… Don't know. She's cute and funny and it makes me happy to talk to her, but what would our relationship be? This world is very different, people are marrying at 15 while I was marrying at 30. I can't just keep standing around talking and being friendly and slowly build a relationship like on Earth. That's not how things work here, that's why Selina was stolen away and I'm feeling kinda shit.

    But then again, what kind of relationship I would have with her. An inn girl that doesn't fight and will likely never leave Rabanara? Certainly wouldn't be a good match.

    Anyway, I gotta focus on the now. A girl tells me she's going to get married with a sad face, I'm kind of a disappointment right now. Alissa is looking at me concerned, she's not even jealous or angry she just completely accepts she's my property and feels sad my feelings towards Selina are not going to be fulfilled. Selina also probably understands Alissa is my plaything and just accepts it, she was totally thinking in having a relationship with me even though I have Alissa as a slave. Just what kind of bizarre scene is this? What should I even be feeling right now?

    I sigh deeply, I can't lose my pride as a man right now. I can't make Selina unhappy, she's also Alissa's friend.

    "Selina I give you my congratulations and my blessings. I just want you to be happy," I say with a pained smile.

    She looks at me like she's about to cry, then she looks at Alissa who nods at her.

    "Thank you Mr. Ryder, I definitely will."

    "Please be happy, Miss Selina," Alissa says and now she's the one who hugs.

    Selina lets out a laugh.

    "Thank you, thank you… That was all I had to say, now excuse me I have to go back to work."

    She bows, we wave and she leaves. I plop down on the bed.

    "How are you feeling, master?"

    "A little bit confused…"

    That scene of sadness is something I won't forget, I have to ask her.

    "Alissa. Don't you feel a little odd about my relationship with Selina? Even though I have you I was thinking about Selina too."

    "Master? D-do you see me like this? I-It would make me very happy, if you w-would l-l-love m-m-me..." She's frozen in place, her cheeks are a deep red.

    Ok, things are getting messier.

    "I find it kinda difficult to separate sex from love. It's not the same as a true deep love but I do feel something very strong towards you," I say.

    "I-I-I-I also f-feel something v-very strong, ma-master," her gaze loses focus, she's completely flustered and her tail is wagging.

    I sigh and hug Alissa. What do I even feel? Is this love, possessiveness or lust? Does it... Matter? Do I need to truly love this girl to make her happy?

    "What do you think if I were to bring more women to me? I ask."

    "The strong s-should protect the we-weak. Y-you are very strong, master."

    "I think you could easily kill me if you wished."

    "Not that! Your heart, is stronger than any other."

    "What does that even mean," I mutter.

    She chuckles.

    "You don't have to reason everything, just accept it," she smiles and looks at me.

    I feel like I heard something like that before.


    I'm not feeling like continuing training so we go outside. I need to repair my armor and shield, upgrade mine and Alissa's equipment, upgrade all my tools for ultimate comfort, buy better tea and cookies, and then visit Ciel. I wished to send Alissa to the night clothing merchant while I talked to Ciel but she seems to like Ciel so maybe I should have her make a new friend.

    We end up spending 50 gold coins but at least now Alissa has Grey Berserker armor like me.

    The armor and [Wind Armor] is what saved me. The finger daggers didn't even fully penetrate my body, they got stuck midway, they would have sliced me in half if I was naked. Still, I had 5 punctures along my body so it really was pretty serious. It was 1 on my shoulder, 2 on my lungs and 2 on my stomach.

    Alissa now has a pretty white enchanted small composite bow with wavy golden carvings. She thought it was excessive but it really is a good bow, it has a small enchantment that lets you draw the bow easier so it wasn't super expensive. I think I should reward her good work and amazing accuracy, like when she hit one of the Symbol's eyes and saved Roxanne from being fully skewered. Alissa blushes so easily when I praise her it just encourages me to praise her even more.

    Now we have a comfy large tent, a comfy large sleeping bag, comfy clothes, comfy shoes, good quality brush for her hair and tail, magic stones for warming tea, cooking and roasting, and good knifes for cutting. Even though we can just bring food on my "Items" Alissa wants to cook. And we also got perfumed anti-scent for her. Finally, I found a pocket watch, 1 gold coin, ridiculous, even Alissa was concerned but I miss having a clock on me at all times.

    For me I got a new steel kite shield covered in young Emerald Dragon scales; a white Young Emerald Dragon fang sword, it's one sided and has a bit of a curved bulge on the blade. I thought about getting a magical sword but those things are the cutting edge of technology, pun intended, which means they cost a few rose coins each. It's kinda ridiculous the level of equipment here, it goes to show this is a proper "adventurer town".

    I noticed there's a bit of a lack of metal equipment in comparison to monster-based equipment. I guess monsters sprouting from the ground must make mining more dangerous than normal and the abundance of monsters makes using their parts much more common.

    We have 23 coins left from the bounty plus a few remaining that I saved, the reward from Roxanne's request, and there's still an unknown amount coming from the auction. We could live a quite long time comfortably.

    At 3 o'clock we go to the temple.


    Inside the temple we find Ciel on a bench talking to a commoner. She notices us and smiles, then she finishes her talk quickly and comes to us. Oh no, don't need to abandon that person so hastily.

    "Good day Mr. Ryder, Miss Alissa."

    "Good day Miss Ciel."

    "Good day Miss Ciel. How's Miss Roxanne?" Asks Alissa.

    "Prancing about, trying to turn her room into a lab. She doesn't know what 'resting' means," says Ciel in a defeated tone.

    That sounds like her. I share a smirk with Alissa.

    "Tomorrow morning we are freeing her."

    Not releasing or discharging, "freeing" her.

    "Then I will visit her on the afternoon. But anyway, I wanted another talking session with you, is that alright?"

    "Oh yes, it's fine. Let us go to a consultation room."

    When we enter the room Alissa pulls out the new tea set and the cookies.

    "Oh my," says Ciel, pleasantly surprised, "So… is she…?"

    I know you are trying to be cautious since I'm a reserved person but just ask it already.

    "Yes? What is it?"

    "Well, is she the slave you were considering buying?"

    "Ah. Well I was only considering the merits and ethics of buying a Blood Slave, I only met her a few days later."

    "I see. It seems it was the correct choice then."

    "Yes, she's extremely helpful."

    Alissa blushes but maintains her poker face. Cute.

    "Now. I want to talk about the gods again, well first I have to say I got a blessing from the Goddess of Knowledge."

    "Oh! that's surprising, well, not really considering it's you, but it's still amazing," she says.

    "Hm, yes, well. What can you tell me about it? I know nothing about the blessings."

    "A blessing means that you pleased a god, whatever you did that pleased her keep doing and she will help you fulfill your wishes. The Humanoid Gods have subtle powers to alter the fate, there has been no hero in history who got there without a blessing. Be it a simple arrow that misses its mark to a lucky encounter that completely changes fate, blessings are extremely powerful."

    I have a small suspicion that the Symbol of Hate meeting was her doing, or at least a small push into the correct tunnel. Isekai protagonist rotten luck strikes again.

    "Also a blessing is a symbol of trust in society. You will quickly lose a blessing if you do something wicked so you can trust the honor of those who carry blessings. Since yours is a blessing from the Goddess of Knowledge you will certainly find much easier to enter the magic university now. I don't know how they treat those who have blessings but that blessing is not uncommon among scholars."

    High school slice of life arc, other world version.

    "How would they know I have a blessing?"

    "There's a crystal that can show it like the Inspection Crystal. It's also how we verify titles and those who received message from the gods."

    How convenient but it seems I can't hide my new nickname.

    "Seems like I have my next objective in sight. Well, there's something else I want to ask, what are the personalities of the Humanoid Gods? Alissa says it's a good idea to find out their likes and dislikes to better please them."

    "I see, that's a correct idea. Well…" She clears her throat, another memorized flush of information is coming, "Let's start with the Genderless God of Existence. He's the only one who wasn't a humanoid and has barely any personality. He likes those who cherish life and dislikes those who kill carelessly. It's rare but adoptive parents are known to receive his blessing.

    "The Goddess of Fertility is similar to the God of Existence but her power is more broad. She works to help pregnant women, pregnant animals, to increase the bounty of the lands, and even help those who manage the monsters and dungeons so humanoid life could prosper. People commonly pray to her to ask for the sex and race of their children to be what they want. She works closely with the Goddess of Love and the Goddess of Growth. She was a human, her personality was of a carefree and happy person. She spread knowledge in farming, water wheels and windmills.

    "The Goddess of Piety sees all prayers. She helps those who seek guidance from the gods, even those who are ignorant of the gods. Perhaps she's the one who guided you here. Her blessings are for priests or others who guide people. She was a human, her personality was of a kind but strict person. She created the temple organization.

    "The Goddess of Will is a goddess that keeps the mind of humanoids intact. There are many horrors brought by the monsters, so to keep the people united and strong she blesses the nobles and heroes so they can inspire others. She was a dragonkin, her personality was of an always neutral and composed person. She's credited with creating the skill of [Mental Resistance] and [Poison Resistance]."

    Thank you, Goddess of Will, you helped a lot on the Ant Hill and Royd's Kerfuffle. Maybe I should pray to you too.

    "The Goddess of Love rewards those who make others happy, not just in a sexual way, she helps us create bonds with each other. Her blessings are very rare but it happened to emperors or kings who have harems, orphanage caretakers and rarely to lovers. She was a Pixie, her personality was of a very touchy and amiable person. She wrote the 'Treatise on Acting' and created the imperial orphanage along with the Goddess of Piety.

    "The Goddess of Growth helps not only the plants and animals to grow she also helps humanoids who want to grow in any way. Be it physical growth, martial growth, magical growth, artistic skill growth, intelligence growth, or society's growth. Her blessings vary a lot. She was a dog-type wereanimal, her personality was of a strict and serious person. She created the Nemesis, a group of 100 elite soldiers that serve the emperor, they are the best monster killers of the world.

    "The God of War is a straightforward god. Kill monsters and he will bring you glory, give it your all and challenge yourself and he will reward you, he will give you the tools to kill and protect. Obviously, his blessings are the most common among adventurers and soldiers." -Alissa nods- "He was a dwarf, his personality was boisterous and willful. He defended a fort with 500 men against a whole army of monsters for a whole month.

    "The God of Law is the god that keeps the order in our society. He seeks the wicked among us and strips them of their power. He doesn't do justice with his own hands, the law is also for us so we are also being judged by him while we do justice. His blessings are the most common among guards and lords. He was an elf, his personality was of a stoic and calm person. He instituted our law system, becoming the first Judge.

    "The God of Festivity works close with the Goddess of Love. Together they spread the happiness that keeps us moving, he gives us the glory that the God of War promises and makes sure all heroes have their own happy beginning, middle, and end. His blessings are rare and only appear among artists or cooks. He was a krampus demon race, his personality was of a loud and happy person. He created the coliseum and spread the 10 Festivals of Seasons.

    "The God of Endurance is the god that helps the servants, so they have the power to keep serving their lord. It's a god that helps those who do not have the power to reach glory but can help those who can. His blessings are the most commonly found on this world and it's generally found among hard workers.

    "Then Alissa will surely get her blessing soon," I say. Alissa blushes a little again.

    Ciel smiles and continues.

    "He was a gnome, his personality was solemn and thoughtful. He created darksteel, an alloy which can resist even dragon fire.

    "The God of Luck is a very misunderstood god, he doesn't like gamblers or those who abuse luck, he gives luck to those who deserve it. Not much else is known about him, his blessing have never been recorded."

    Maybe I should actually pray to him? He sounds… Reasonable? Though he's a little too mysterious.

    "I have a small suspicion he's the one helping you Mr. Ryder. He was a halfling, his personality is unknown. He's known for killing a dragon by using [Shocking Touch] on its eye."

    Oh, now I see. He must be the one who sent me the Symbol of Hate so now I'm conflicted. Also, I heard that story somewhere before.

    "The Goddess of Knowledge is a goddess who likes to spread knowledge, she helps those who write down any sort of knowledge and shares it with others. The commoners also call her the Goddess of Books, though plenty of priests will be displeased if you say that," she smiles wryly, "Her blessings are commonly found among scholars. She was an elf, her personality was of a stoic and curious person. She created the magical university and became the first Head of Magic

    "Her brother is the God of Intelligence. His work is to help those understand the world, be it understanding the monsters, the land, the plants, or magic, he's the one who seeks answers to everything. His blessings are found among inventors and researchers, he works close to the Goddess of Growth. He was also an elf, his personality was of an inquisitive and innocent person. You personality seems similar to his Mr. Ryder, you should pray to him."

    Huh? Innocent? Do I give that aura?

    "He worked on the magical university and he is the first known magic researcher. He created the first courses in Earth, Fire, Water and [Wind Magic].

    "The Goddess of the Plants and her twin brother the God of the Animals are very obscure gods. They work with the Goddess of Growth and the Goddess of Fertility but they rarely give their blessings, who are commonly found on botanists and animal caretakers. There was a legend of a monster tamer who received a blessing but he died before achieving full potential so our knowledge on monster taming is lacking. The gods were lizard beastfolk, the only thing known about their personality is that they were hermits. They are credited with creating the first health potion and introducing the world to animal husbandry.

    "The God of the Sun is the one who gives us light so we can work, though not much else is known about his blessings. He's the one who sends messages to us more often than all the others combined, maybe it's because he's always watching and in contact with us since the Sun is his avatar. He was a human, his personality was of a jovial and hard working person. He was the first emperor and conquered our entire continent."

    "How did the world look like before he ascended?" I ask.

    "The days and nights were not stabilized like now, they were dependent on the forces of Light and [Dark Magic]. The more wars and death were happening the longer the nights were. It was a much more chaotic but because of such influence, the magic power of everyone was greatly increased. After the God of The Sun ascended he took control of the multiple suns and stabilized our cycle of day and night. His sister ascended later and created an avatar to help stabilize the spread of mana."

    "Isn't the sun necessary for plants to survive? I know that if animals and humanoids live in caves away from the sun we can get sick."

    Vitamin deficiency happens without sunlight.

    Ciel blinks blankly for a few seconds in thought then speaks.

    "Well not all plants need the sun, plenty will lose its color and go weaker and only a some of them dies without the sun. On the matter of animals and humanoids I don't know anything about that, is that common knowledge in your homeland?"

    "Somewhat. There were plenty of people who lived indoors and worked only from their homes and they would often get sick."

    Talking from experience.

    "Hmm… curious but it's something we are not allowed to test and find proof of…"

    "Well it's nothing important, let's continue."

    "The Goddess of the Moons is the sister to the God of the Sun. She's the one who helps us heal and gives us mana, her blessings are common among healers and magicians. The knowledge about her 'aspects' is only conjecture. She was also human, her personality was that of a selfless and introspective person. She was the first lord of the capital and brought the golden age of the empire."

    Oh, now I know why meditation helps with mana recovery.

    "But what exactly is known about her 'aspects'?" I ask.

    Ciel smiles faintly at my question.

    "The leading theory is that since the moons are the avatar of god it should be her personality exposed in a visual form since she doesn't have a body anymore to expose. So the 7 moons are the parts that make up the basis of her personality and the rainbow moon is the combined result. Each color represents an aspect of a humanoid's personality. Red is irritability, orange is sociability, yellow is presence of mind, green is friendliness, blue is openness, indigo is otherwordlyness and purple is wickedness."

    "Otherwordlyness?" I ask.

    "It's the unknown, the deeper parts of our mind that makes us move. Some say it's the creativity but since it's so close to purple which is wickedness the true nature is somewhat darker."

    "Even art can draw upon our wickedness."

    "Perhaps, but I don't participate on these discussions so I can't argue on that matter. If you want to know more about it I can guide you to one of the priests who debates on this."

    "No, thank you. That's enough for me," I wave my hand with a smile, "That's all I had to ask for today too."

    "Master, may I speak with Miss Ciel for a bit?" Alissa whispers to me.

    "Alissa, you can always speak whenever you wish. Do you want to speak with her in private?"

    "Y-yes, it's only matters about the gods but I feel a little embarrassed in sharing that."

    "It's fine, I will leave you two alone."

    "Fine by me," says Ciel with a smile.

    I go out and wander downstairs. I take a look and find the statue of the Goddess of Knowledge. It's a bust of a woman who has a really sexy look, reminds me a bit of Roxanne when she's serious. She has the unmistakable long elven ears very visible.

    I feel a bit uncomfortable around all these people praying so I go outside. I still haven't broken the fellowship with Roxanne so I know she's nearby at the clinic. I think about visiting but she should be tired and needs to rest, even if she doesn't want to. I decide to walk around the building of the priest living quarters.

    Behind the building I see a small flower garden with a few wooden chairs and a table below a glass porch. How lovely. I sit on a chair and stare at the garden while my conscience slips away.


    "Master..." A voice tickles my ears.

    "Hmm..." Do that again.

    "Master, I'm back," I open up my eyes and Alissa is besides me smiling.

    "I'm still a little tired," I yawn.

    "You are a bit like Roxanne, master, you don't rest too much, right?"

    "I guess…"

    When I got Alissa I thought about just training for some time but the Oodogloo request was too tempting. Then after that Roxanne's request was also so good.

    "Let's go back," she says and I nod.

    It's 5 o'clock now, they talked for a long time it's almost dusk.

    "Sorry we took a long time, we started talking about our adventures too and I got carried away."

    "It's no problem I had a pretty good nap here. But is Ciel interested in adventuring?"

    "Somewhat, she seems worried about what you are doing after she learned you killed the Orc Headhunter."

    "Oh, she told you about that one?"

    "Yes, master's growth is amazing, from training with goblins to killing the Symbol in such a short time."

    "That was mostly Roxanne's explosion, I just used myself as bait," I say.

    "Still."

    Ah, whatever.

    "Ah, Ciel said her thanks for sharing the tea and cookies. She would like to know where you bought them," Alissa says.

    "Considering the price, maybe it's better she doesn't know."

    We go back to the inn and reserve a bath. This time Alissa teaches me how to properly brush her tail and her hair.

    This new brush is really good, Alissa almost melts on the chair. Then I fall asleep while training [Spirit Light] with Alissa.


    I wake at 7 AM without remembering how I got naked. After our morning deep kiss we go downstairs.

    "Ah, Mr. Ryder. Two messengers just came by, here are the letters," says the innkeeper. I want to learn his name but I'm embarrassed to ask.

    "Oh?"

    I open them up. The first is from Silas, he tells me the auction will happen in the next half-cycle at the theater. The second one gives me chills, Ghulam, the slave trader asks me to come to his shop, he has a "business proposal" for me.

    "Oh, what a great thing, master, Mr. Bhatt has chosen you."

    "Chosen for what?"

    "For business, he must have found a really special slave for you."

    "Why would he do that?" I frown slightly.

    "It's part of the job, finding the slaves and the clients. Bloods Slave traders only work by reference or when they notice someone special, like how Mr. Bhatt noticed you."

    I'm scared, but interested. That man is a devil in disguise, he sees the darkest parts of my soul and abuses my weaknesses.

    "Would it be okay if I saw him tomorrow? I wanna train in the morning and visit Roxanne after lunch."

    "Yes, it's not urgent, just don't take a half-cycle to go."


    I try to ignore the looming darkness on my heart and go have breakfast. Selina is also busy today but she sends a warming smile to us. Thankfully things aren't awkward.

    We go back to our room and I focus hard on [Spirit Light].

    "OOOH!"

    It appears, a weak light blue ball of light floats above my head. I look into my stats and see [Spirit Light (weak)] in my "Magic" window.

    "Congratulations, master," Alissa lets out a warm smile.

    "Finally! Next is [Item Box]!"

    "What? Don't you already know [Item Box]?"

    Gah! My tongue slipped!

    "Actually… it's… not [Item Box], it's a different spell, it's from my homeland. I want to learn [Item Box] because of customs, it will attract a lot of attention if people know I can hide anything inside my different [Item Box]. This is another secret you have to keep."

    "Ooh… now things make sense. In any case master, I have to warn you that one was very difficult, it took me three months to learn it. Your progress with [Spirit Light] was abnormal."

    Crisis averted, it seems I'm good at lying. I'm not sure if I should be proud of this.

    "Eh, it's okay I'm gonna reach it eventually."

    I thought about learning [Conjure Water] but it's not as inconvenient as having to waste 5 points into [Light Magic] like [Spirit Light] is. I can just mess with my skills real quick whenever I need water.

    We fool around and after that Alissa starts to read one of the hero books I got. I'll make a small library one day, Alissa, you just wait.

    I lay down on the bed. I take out my points in [Light Magic] and put them into [Golemancy]. I was so busy these days I never even put a point on it once, I also have to investigate [Redirect Mana] later. With 1 point in [Golemancy] I get a spell called [Infuse], at 15 I get a spell called [Mold].

    Crafting magic seems to be a completely different experience. As I cast [Infuse] my hand fully glows and my mind gets hazy. I'm tripping balls.

    I see geometric forms that spin and change in ways I can't even understand, colors that change into things I have never seen before and hurt my brain. A kaleidoscope of shapes, colors and feelings.

    I see a square and I grab it. I turn it and it turns into a cube, then into a circle, then into something that I can't even explain anymore, then back into square.

    I can touch and manipulate and feel but I can't discern what's happening and why. It's like there's multiple overlapping songs and I'm trying to discern one from another but I don't even know what the song is supposed to be like. It's noise, but I know, I feel there's something below that noise, I just can't grasp it.

    Now my head is hurting too much, I wanna go back. The cacophony slows and stops, then I feel like I'm returning to my body.

    My vision focus and a pale Alissa looks at me.

    "Wow," I mutter.

    "Master!? What happened?"

    "I, uh… I cast a spell from the [Golemancy] skill, then I saw something really weird."

    "[Golemancy]? What's that?" She tilts her head.

    "I dunno, but it's one of the magic that I can change to."

    "Ah, with your guide ability? I see, but tell me that first, you scared me!" She frowns and huffs.

    "Sorry, I had no idea it was going to be like this. By the way, did I do something while I was unconscious?"

    "Well you lifted your hand and it started glowing like a rainbow, then you froze and stopped moving your eyes as if you were a statue. I tried to touch you but you were hard as stone too."

    "Wow, well… I wanna explore more this spell so I'm gonna do this more in private. But unfortunately it seems it used up all my mana in just a minute."

    "Hmm… it could be dangerous master, I never heard of something like [Golemancy]. What if it is forbidden magic?"

    "Oh, that could be a problem. Alright, I will look into the magic university before I use that spell again."

    The name looked innocent to me, though.

    "Thank you, master."

    "Why are you thanking me?"

    "For listening, forgive my insolence but I don't want you doing dangerous things. I can deal with monsters but I can't help you if you hurt yourself with magic."

    "Oh… Well, don't worry. I'll be as careful with magic as I am with our expeditions."

    "After the Symbol your words give me doubt," she lowers her head.

    "Geh!"

    That's kinda true.


    I meditate and practice [Telekinesis] until 2 PM then we get ready to visit Roxanne. I use my formal clothes and Alissa her yellow dress with heeled boots. I could feel Roxanne moved away from the Temple and went somewhere near the noble's quarters. She seems to live in a relatively wealthy area.

    When we reach her house it's quite a bit excessive. It's a gated house with a tall metal fence, it has a large grass garden with a flower patch under the windows and a tree with a swing. It's made of dark brown boards and cobble for the pillars. Transparent glass covers the windows. It looks very rustic, but it's also very large. It has 2 floors and a small veranda on the second floor with two cushioned chairs and a decorated mono table.

    We enter the gate and knock on the door. I feel Roxanne coming down from the second floor, did she not notice we were coming?

    "Welcome!" She opens the double doors with a bang and yells with her arms above her head.

    She's wearing a body conforming black straight dress and open and simple high heels.. She looks so much better this way than with her robes.

    "U-uh, yeah. How are you doing Roxanne?" I ask and force a smile.

    "Perfect! I'm back to full health and fully working, I just couldn't stop thinking about the Moonlight Moss, I worked so hard Ciel got angry at me!"

    Why are you so proud of angering Ciel?

    "Oh! Please, come in," she moves out of the way for us.

    The inside is a very comfortable looking house. At the sides of the entrance are stairs for the second floor. In front of us is a carpeted dining hall with a large table that easily houses 8. The boards are even darker inside and the simple lights gives a very comfy feeling.

    There's a large painting of the town castle on the opposite wall. On the right of that there's a door to another room and on the left you can see the kitchen behind a chest high counter. Aren't those counters kind of a modern design?

    "Sit, sit, please," she motions to the table.

    We sit and she goes to the kitchen. She opens a large black metal box and I can see a bit of fog coming out. Then she pulls a metal tray with a black cake on it. Oh boy.

    "Ta-da! I had this arranged to be made by the baker when I came back, so it got finished just yesterday. Since I kept it cold it's still perfectly good," Roxanne says.

    She cuts the cake. The frosting is actually white with the outer layer black but the insides are black with a layer of black creamy filling. She pulls a few plates and cutlery from her [Item Box] and gives the first slice to me.

    "This is a thank you for a job well done. I wish I could do much more for you since you saved me but this will do for now!"

    I cut a piece and put it into my mouth. OOOOH~… it's… it's…

    "CHOCOLATE!" I yell.

    "Yaa, what?" Roxanne looks at me scared.

    "I… missed this taste so much… I couldn't find it anywhere… chocolate..." I hold back tears.

    "Ohohohoh. I wanted to surprise you with something new but this reaction is just as good," Roxanne grins.

    "It's delicious, is this something from your homeland, master?" Alissa's tail is swaying rapidly.

    "Yes, it's the most delicious sweet ever made, 'The Chocolate'. Well it was not created there, I don't know where it comes from but it's my favorite food I ate there."

    "Unfortunately it's not imported here yet," Roxanne says with a half-frown, "A peddler caravan from the Faium Principality brought it here and it sold in an instant. It seems to be the new craze over there."

    Nour… I'm coming Nour…

    "Since they are still learning how to use it only cakes like these are available but they will run out soon," she adds.

    "The fruit merchants commented how the elves sugarcane first harvest is coming. If chocolate and sugar gather here..." Alissa wonders.

    "Ooh… all the sweets that will come… this is too much teasing!" I say.

    "Hahah, I didn't know you were such a sweet tooth, Mr. Ryder."

    "I can see why master gets grumpier when he doesn't have tea and cookies."

    I shrug. They are not lies, I know my weaknesses and chocolate is one.

    Alissa brings out a very mild tea that goes well with the cake. She's starting to understand the subtleties of tea.

    "Now there's something really important I wanna ask you, Mr. Ryder," Roxanne turns to me with a serious expression.

    "Oh?"

    "Please let me join your fellowship!" She bows and claps her hands.

    I'm a bit more confident in working with other people, at least I know I won't be burned at the stake if some of my powers are known. Roxanne is a bit of an airhead, she won't look too deep into my lies and she kinda already owes me her life. She won't blabber about my powers.

    "Oh, well. Okay."

    "Wha… That easy?" She blinks blankly.

    "Well, you are trustworthy and reliable. People are praising me too much, you are the one who actually blew up a the Symbol of Hate with a single spell. You are a really powerful mage."

    Roxanne blushes, that's a first.

    "T-t-thank you! I have been looking for a fellowship for such a long time but I never managed to find someone trustworthy, those who were never let me join. I have been lonely for such a long time!" Her posture shrinks.

    Well I can kinda guess why. Her carefree personality would put off the more serious types.

    "Well but what do you mean by trustworthy?" I ask.

    "Greedy, backstabbing, abusing, harassing, ignorant, and arrogant ugly little men and women. If you are an unknown hunter it's really difficult finding someone good," her eyes shine in anger.

    "Even with your powers?" I ask.

    "Master, remember Dennis and Simon? Even if you are powerful it takes a while to build trust. The first ones to come are most likely trying to use you instead of building a bond."

    "You thought Targua was trustworthy?"

    "Perhaps," she shrugs.

    "I guess I understand your situation now, Roxanne. But, what are your objectives? I plan on continuing adventuring and even traveling around the world. I wanna learn more and grow stronger. Would you be ready to come with us and leave this house?"

    "Why yes! This house is a rental, I already crossed an ocean to come here, I'm not too attached. I..." She looks away and cringes, "Don't really have a real goal yet, I just want to keep creating more potions, I just love all the incredibly things you can do with this magic. I can heal and change and improve and purify the body without even touching a person, I can leave my mark in the world without even seeing the places I help."

    She smiles as she talks, she looks silly and innocent.

    "Wait, go back. This is a rental? Isn't it… Super expensive?" I ask, dumbfounded.

    This is a large house with what looks like many bedrooms and a large kitchen. She was living alone here? How does she clean all this? I didn't rent a house yet because it's much more economic to just stay at the inn. Why is this a rental!?

    "Well… Uh… I w-wanted to use this as a benefit to-to recruiting me. But I never joined anywhere so I… I didn't want it to go to waste, so I kept the house," Roxanne shrinks again.

    That's a bit irresponsible, I think this would be a point against instead of in favor when you asked to join a fellowship.

    "Well then I guess we can use it, right? Since we are kinda rich now we can live here for a while," I say.

    Perhaps I will have to go back and find work again sooner than I thought. But this is a really comfy house, I wanna spend some time here.

    "OH! Yes, I will give you the master bedroom, I feel a bit lonely on that huge bed. Also, all rooms are soundproof so there's no worry," Roxanne grins and winks at Alissa.

    Alissa blushes. There's no need to be embarrassed now after all we did.

    "There's a bath upstairs that fits 6 people. Whenever you need I can fill it up and heat it easily. There's also no problem with cleaning every half-cycle, I hired a maid to come here and clean. I can also cook my own meals so I can cook for you too."

    "No, I will cook and clean," interjects Alissa.

    "I will allow you to cook but to clean too might be too much. We will keep the maid for now, this is a big house," I say.

    Alissa pouts. Those cute pursed lips make me want to kiss her.

    "I wanna spoil you to death not overwork you to death," I say.

    Alissa blushes again, her tail wags for a second. So easy.

    "I will just move my things and in an hour the room would be ready for you two," Roxanne says.

    "Then I will go back to the inn and end my reservation. Alissa you should help here and prepare things."

    "Understood, master."

    "The hunters guild might be a bit far to walk now so I can lend you my flying carpet if you wanna go," Roxanne says.

    Eh, please no, I feel that thing is really unsafe.

    "I…think I would rather start riding Alissa around town. It might attract a bit of attention but I don't mind anymore."

    "Please do, master. There's no need to walk around so much," she smiles smugly.

    "Actually, I'm already starting to feel lazy, let's go to the inn together, Alissa. You should also say goodbye to Selina for now, you should visit her but now you will see her way less often."

    "Yes! Thank you master."


    I can see a few gazes while Alissa flies through the streets. Wereanimals are not rare since the fox clan lives rather close but to have a person riding a large fox is still an interesting sight.

    "Hello, I'm here to say I will be ending my reservation," I tell the innkeeper, I really wanted to say his name right now but I don't remember.

    "Oh! Y-yes… perhaps would Selina be…"

    "Ah, no don't worry. I wish Selina happiness but I recruited another member to my fellowship who's renting a house so I will be moving there."

    "Ah, I see. Sorry to insinuate such things."

    "It's no problem. Is Selina here? I would like to say goodbye for now."

    "She's at the kitchen, let me call her for you."

    The innkeeper hurries away and comes back with Selina, who's wearing a lovely apron and removing a toque.

    Alissa explains the situation and they hug. Selina turns to me and respectfully bows, I will surely miss her beautiful face. She says she will be going to marry in a day-cycle and gives us the date of the ceremony. After that she will live with her husband near the Bazaar and help her husband's shop, he owns a simple cloth store.

    I keep quiet while they talk because I'm hurting a little. I really did start to like her.

    We leave soon after and go to the guild to register Roxanne since we are nearby, we also update our house address to Roxanne's.

    It's not even 5 and the drinking is already heavy. There's a minstrel playing some songs on a lute. I miss music from Earth, this minstrel is kinda crude and the guild is too loud for me to appreciate this. Perhaps the theater will have shows with better music.

    I feel a few gazes on me so we quickly leave and go back to our new home.

    The house has 6 bedrooms on the second floor and a study with a large, but mostly empty book stand. I put my few books there. Roxanne works on her own bedroom so this study was mostly unused. I put my research notes on the desk.

    There's a basement but it's completely empty. There's a back garden where we could make a small plantation but no one knows how to do it.

    I take away all mine and Alissa's clothes from the "Items" and put it into the large wardrobe. I feel a chill. This reminds me when I started to live together with Lily, the nostalgia makes me a bit emotional.

    No time for that, I don't want to keep wallowing in the "what could have been".

    The house lacks in decorations, aside from the painting and some horizontal relief lines around the interior walls there's no other decoration. The house is comfy, but boring.

    The lower floor has a kitchen with a large table, lots of cutlery, a large magical stone oven, a magical stone sink, and a magical stone fridge. Looks so modern and archaic at the same time. We have to refill the mana of the fridge every day-cycle, it's quite the heavy mana cost but Roxanne does it by herself easily. The bath and sink water goes to the sewer below the town, only the poorest parts of town do not have a sewer exit. There's no plumbed water though.

    The other room on the lower floor is the living room, it's quite large. It has a small, empty book stand, 3 really comfy sofas around a small table, and a magic tool fireplace but there's still a chimney for real firewood.

    The back window gives a nice view to the garden too. A small wall separates the end of our garden with the start of the garden of the back neighbor, which is another house very similar to this one. It seems this block is all rentals, must be why I saw both nobles and wealthy-looking adventurers around.

    The bath is huge, it has a magical stone but it takes a while to fill by using that. Roxanne can just use [Water Wall] and a [Fireball] and it's ready in 10 seconds, it seems she practiced that a lot. The toilet is besides the bathroom.

    Alissa will start cooking tomorrow so today is still "Items"-ready meal. After that I cuddle with Alissa while she reads a book, it's hot so we don't need to light the fireplace. Roxanne retires to work on her room and once in a while I hear a twinkling of glass, metal hitting each other, and some mutters.

    I'm honestly somewhat bored in this world. The lack of games and internet makes me quite the pervert since it's the last big source of dopamine to me. I guess this is why people drank so much in the past.

    The book Alissa is reading is a bit boring, an epic. I could find more interesting light novels on the internet in a few minutes.

    I guess I should keep practicing magic. I practice some [Mana Control] and think about [Golemancy], that was such a mindfuck I'm still processing that experience.

    The bed is actually enormous, I think 3 people would fit there, it's ridiculous. We test the cushioning of the bed and the soundproofing of the wall with the Clothes of the Berserker.


    Today I'm going to meet Ghulam. I wake up feeling nervous. Alissa goes down to make breakfast. I can hear Roxanne working again.

    I help make ground meat dumplings while Alissa fries them and makes a salad with cider vinegar that was stored here.

    Roxanne comes down looking disheveled and sleepy and we eat the meal with some Dragolite meat.

    "Roxanne, did you cook alone?" I ask.

    "Erm, hardly. There was no time so I made a lot of steamed or roasted vegetables and stored them for the day-cycle, then I would buy meat from nearby and eat with bread."

    I kinda pity her a bit.

    "I'll be going to the Golden Necklace today with Alissa. You will stay home?" I ask.

    "Yep, I still gotta finish my new work with the Moonlight Moss."

    "What are you trying to make with it?"

    "Secret!"

    I shrug.

    "Ah, Mr. Ryder, are you going to buy another slave there?"

    "I don't know, Mr. Bhatt called be there to 'conduct business' but I have no idea what to expect."

    "It's a woman," she says with confidence.

    "W-why do you say this?"

    "What else would it be? You are the town hero for now you would certainly be worthy of a powerful Blood Slave. So if he called you means he found someone really good. And after Alissa it would be difficult to sell a man to you."

    That's…True. I don't want a man near Alissa, slave or not. I'm certainly overprotective, but I'm happy! That's what counts.


    We arrive at the slaver at 8 AM. I enter and Sebastian greets us with a wide smile.

    "Welcome, Grand Ryder. Would you like to meet the head now?" He didn't even look at Alissa, this annoys me a little.

    I nod and he leads us to the room. Alissa wants to stay standing but I make her sit besides me. After a while Ghulam comes out and enters with a wide smile. Behind him Sebastian comes with the heavenly cookies and tea again.

    "Welcome again to the Golden Necklace, Mr. Ryder. I am glad you came so soon. I thought you would be very busy right now, but alas, the hero is rather reclusive," he puts so much expression on each word it's almost like watching a play. How much "Charisma" does he have!?

    "Uh… Hero?"

    "Yes, you should know by now you are the talk of the town. There's even some voices asking for you to appear before the lord and get a commendation for your service. It is rather refreshing seeing how you are not that concerned about such matters," he says with an amused tone.

    "I try to live quietly, I don't want to get involved with nobility and bask in the glory. I'll only embarrass myself greatly."

    "You have the guts to face the Symbol of Hate without hesitation but not to face the crowd that's giving you glory?" He asks.

    Well how am I supposed to answer that? I just stay quiet while Alissa twitches for a second.

    "Ah, forgive me, that was rude of me," he bowsm "It's not guts you lack, but self-importance. It is good to live a quiet life but unless you are a priest it will be helpful to be mindful of such matters."

    "Well… What you say is not wrong. It's just difficult for me, I'm actually really shy."

    "No shame in that, just make sure you life without regrets Mr. Ryder," he smiles.

    That's kind of my motto already. I chuckle.

    "I try, I try…"

    "Now Mr. Ryder, you may not be basking in the glory others want to give you but accept a little bit of mine. I know how your party is rather lacking in front line power so I have the perfect addition to your party," he claps his hands twice.

    Oh boy, I knew it.

    Out of the door comes a nearly 2 meters tall dragonkin, a woman. She has red wavy hair with such volume it's almost a mane, yellow lizard eyes, slender and sculpted body, large and perfectly round breasts, a fearsome face and narrow eyes that makes her look like a model. The worst thing is that she has one of my weakness, slightly brown skin.

    I shudder when I see her white silk one-piece that barely covers her body. She also has small patches of shining emerald scales on the back of her hand, side of her cheeks, top of her bare feet, and at the side of her arms and legs.

    The slaves shown so far, even Alissa, all had their eyes lowered and their posture as slightly lowered to show their submission, but this woman is different. Her eyes pierce me, her gaze made me feel small, as if I was a prey and she was merely toying with me. A small grin appears on the corner of her mouth. She's not a slave, she's a man-hunting woman and I feel like prey. Is this how women feel when men leer at them?

    "This is Hanafuria. She's a dragonkin with affinity for fire. She is 23 years old and an experienced adventurer. Don't worry, she's still a virgin, dragonkin normally wait until they are past their physical prime to marry and have children.

    "Her skills are in martial arts, she's extremely sturdy even for normal dragonkin. She can use the spear, sword, bow, and pole arms with ease. If she doesn't know a weapon, she can learn it, she has a talent for learning new weapons. She can use full plate armor and last longer than the light armored soldier though she won't be able to fly with it.

    "Her magic skills are ordinary and forgettable so her specialty is being the front line of any sort of attack. As she is a dragonkin she can fly for short bursts, this means she can be used as a swift shield and can protect anyone anywhere as long as it is within flight distance. She can also use this power to charge towards enemies and empower her attacks."

    "Master… she's perfect..." Alissa whispers.

    You are not supposed to say things like this, how is a man supposed to think rationally when there's such a meal in front of me? I agree with you, she's perfect, now come to me and strip on the bed!

    "W-why are you offering s-such a woman to me?" I ask, sweating cold.

    "Your party is extremely unbalanced right now, Miss Roxanne is weak in close combat, as the reports of your battle say. If you don't bring a proper front line she will be in danger. I'm sorry Mr. Ryder but you are not enough to protect her and Miss Alissa at the same time.

    "How did you know that?"

    I only registered Roxanne yesterday.

    He smiles faintly.

    "Fellowship records are public, it's also extremely easy to learn about hunters if you just ask a little. Since my job is to find the right clients it would be shameful if I did any less."

    "And you are offering her to me just because you think my party is unbalanced?"

    "It's only one of the reasons. Your subjugation of the Symbol of Hate demonstrates you have enormous potential, your behavior shows you have strong character, and Hanafuria herself is interested in serving you."

    "She can choose?" My eyes widen in surprise.

    "It's part of her contract, she's too powerful to just be left to anybody. Only those who have the potential should possess her."

    I get a chill when I hear "possess", she's not a companion to join a fellowship, she's considered another object that will serve me just like Alissa.

    "And if I give her to just any noble or wealthy adventurer the gods will punish me," Ghulam continues with a smile.

    The gods are indirectly telling me to create a slave harem.

    "What's her price?"

    "One rose coin."

    Oof.

    "I don't have that money."

    "It's no matter. The auction is coming soon and the lowest predictions say you will earn at least two rose coins, we can defer payment until then."

    I don't have a way out. I'm cornered and I will be left alone with the man"eater, not even Alissa can save me now.

    A point of no return.

    "Then I will take Hanafuria."
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  13. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    "Then it is done. I am certainly glad Nour sent you my way. I am honored to do business with you," Ghulam bows.

    "Thank you for choosing me, I'll be forever grateful to Nour for sending me here. Just one last thing, that silk one-piece, does it come in black?" I grin, he grins. I knew it, he's the devil.

    "Sebastian, please."

    The old man goes outside and in a few seconds he's back with a beautiful black silk one-piece. He gives it to Alissa who folds it in her arm.

    "That will be a gift. Then I will be off, until our next business, Mr. Ryder," and he leaves graciously.

    "You can change into those clothes." I point to the bundle of clothes on the table, they are the same design that Alissa got when she left.

    Hanafuria does not even hesitates, she strips her one piece and slowly puts her new clothes in front of me, this time I stare to my heart's content. She has no hair down there, her breasts bounce slightly but they seem very firm, her ass is round and plenty.

    "I am Wolf Ryder, this is Alissa, my first Blood Slave. I will call you Hana for short."

    "Understood, master." Her voice is strong, it does not betray her face.

    "I will walk with Hana home, Alissa, can you buy the basic necessities for her on your own?"

    "As you wish master," Alissa bows lightly.

    We leave the building and we split with Alissa.

    "I'm very clingy and I love touching, if it's not inconvenient we should always walk holding hands or with an arm over the body."

    I'll be strict and decisive with her, if not I feel I will be crushed by her aura.

    "Understood. My scales may look hard but I can control the hardness, so please do not be afraid to touch them, master."

    I grab her hand and feel her scales, they are soft and warm. I ask her to show how hard they can be, she flexes her arm and the scales raise a bit, they become tough and rough. If I pass my hand on the border it will cut as easily as a blade.

    "Do you sharpen your scales?" I ask.

    "Yes, though they stay sharp naturally they can become a secondary weapon during battle if sharpened enough."

    "That's impressive."

    "Hahah! Thank you, master," she laughs loudly.

    Her arm is long enough we can hold hands easily. Her hand is big but soft, her fingers are very feminine and her nails are well done. I can smell the faint perfume the slaver uses on them.

    "Why is your hand so soft? Wouldn't it go rough from training so much?" I ask.

    "Dragonkin can harden skin at will, not just scales, our hands will never grow rough and our nails will never change unless we wish so."

    "I feel envious."

    She laughs again.

    "You and every other woman on the world!"

    "Your wings, they are summoned like those of the demon race?"

    "Somewhat, ours grow, while the demon race's is entirely mana. Ours use physical power to move, theirs use magical power."

    "I see. Can any dragonkin fly for a long time?"

    "There are those who can, but they are extremely rare and are considered to be special. Real dragon wings control the air around it, dragonkin wings have only a faint control over the air. Our bodies just aren't made for flying like a true dragon is."

    A dragon's body is not really made for flight but whatever.

    We stop by a clothing shop and buy her some pretty casual clothing. She looks stunning in straight dresses, not so much on frilly dresses like Alissa does. I splurge a bit and buy her two dresses and a couple spare casual clothes. There's no sexy underwear here, it seems it's not part of the culture yet.

    "You enjoy what you see," she says with grin.

    "Very. What do you think of me? I will dress you up and play with your body everyday from now on," I smirk.

    "I'm eager," she responds immediately with narrowed eyes.

    "W-what?" I nearly choke on my spit.

    "Hahahah! Was that unexpected?" Her grin grows wider.

    "Yes, don't you just barely know me?"

    "Don't you also just barely know me and yet you tell me these things?"

    "Touché."

    I was getting a bit carried on.

    "What?" She blinks blankly.

    "Sorry, it's an expression of my homeland. It means 'you got me' or 'you scored a hit on me'."

    She laughs again. She laughs a lot it seems.

    "There's plenty of women, specially among the dragonkin, who enjoy small men like you," she says and licks her lips.

    I feel a chill. I'm not even gonna comment on "small men".

    "If so, why were you a virgin until now?"

    "For the same reason nobody bought me until now. I didn't find anyone worthy of it. Haughty nobles or crude and stupid mercenaries. Bah!" She scowls.

    "And you seriously think I'm worthy?"

    "I think you are worthy of testing."

    "Oh? What if I fail the test?"

    "I have enough willpower to break the slavery and run away," her tone is completely casual.

    "Wow. That's impressive."

    I don't really feel like I should fear that she will run away. Besides, breaking the contract is not instant, there's a lot of wiggle room between her deciding to run away and her actually managing to run away.

    "Hah! I know! That's why I sold myself so easily."

    Should I ask the actual reason she sold herself? I feel like it's too soon but her personality tells me she wouldn't mind. Screw it, I will be tactful about it at least.

    "Would you tell me the reason you sold yourself? This is not an order, you don't have to tell me."

    "Oh? Well, it's no matter. My family were merchants, they fell to a conspiracy and I was forced to either marry someone or be sold into slavery so I could abandon my family name," she says in a bored tone.

    Were merchants.

    "I'm sorry to hear that."

    "Don't be, my father was a fool," a hint of anger seeps on her voice. "He fell for the trap and turned to crime to pay off the debt he accumulated, because of that the entire family suffered. I suffered the least though, I sold myself cheaply and just had to stop adventuring until I found you," and she smiles.

    Cheaply? If that's cheap I don't wanna know the actual price of Alissa. What kind of discount did Nour prepare for me, really?

    "I will be taking a break for around a day-cycle and focus on studying magic. Is that alright with you?"

    "I'm yours for life now, master." Oof, I feel giddy. "I will be fine with whatever you wish. Now that I'm here it might actually be best for you to focus on magic, I heard you made a small miracle when healing your companion."

    "Did everybody hear in detail my fight?" I ask exasperated.

    "Hahahah! This is an adventuring town, master. People here live for these kind of stories! The minstrels might garble the details to add some flavor but the real story should be out there."

    The conversation dies down and we just enjoy our walk back home. My mind wanders into the image of her naked body and I get anxious. I'm actually glad I got her, she seems to be an amazing person.


    It's 9:30 and we reach home. We open the door and Roxanne comes from her room, Alissa is in the kitchen preparing something.

    "Oooh. Told ya it was a woman," Roxanne says, examining Hana.

    "Well, this is Hanafuria, Hana for short. Hanafuria, this is Miss Roxanne, a companion."

    Hana looks at Roxanne, then at me, then at Roxanne again and smiles. What?

    "Well met, Miss Roxanne. It seems from now on I will be your shield," she grabs Roxanne's hand and kisses it.

    "Hohoh, I already feel safer. I'm happy to meet you Miss Hana."

    "There's no need for honorifics for me, I'm just a slave of Grand Ryder."

    "Nonsense, Mr. Ryder barely treats Miss Alissa as a slave, there's no need to treat you worse."

    "Then I gladly accept it," she bows.

    Holy shit, this woman looks majestic.

    "Excuse me, I gotta go back to work," and Roxanne walks back to her room.

    Alissa comes to me.

    "Master, I bought more of that cloth that might fit Hana," she whispers.

    Now you've done it.

    "Gimme to me. We will be staying upstairs until lunch."

    "As you wish master," I could see a mischievous smile on Alissa's face.

    "Hana, do you want to wait for tonight?" I smirk.

    "There's no need, is there?" She says.

    I grab her hand and lead her to our room.

    I lock the door behind and she sits on the bed. I approach her, grab her chin and kiss her deeply. She receives and stays still for a few seconds, then she moves and her long tongue explores my mouth eagerly.

    We hug each other while kissing. When I get closer to her I feel her breasts on my chest, it feels firmer and much more elastic than Alissa's. Is this due to dragonkin special skin?

    As my hand explores her back I move it to the front and grab her breast. A small moan comes out.

    I stop the kiss and lift her shirt, don't tell the US but I found two weapons of mass destruction.

    The nipples are already erect, I pinch one and lick the other. She moans loudly. She grabs my hair and pulls me into her breasts, I give a small bite and she yells a bit in surprise.

    "That's so good," she says with a heavy breath.

    "Did you ever touch yourself like this?"

    "Hahah, I'm completely inexperienced on that."

    I bite her other nipple, she moans.

    "Then I will teach you a lot of things today."

    I push her down and pull down her pants. She's already wet, Jesus how eager are you? I spread her legs and put my mouth all over her mound. I use my tongue along with my finger.

    She squirms and moans and grabs my hair and pushes my head in with a lot of strength. Her moans are lower pitched than Alissa's but no more or no less sexier, every moan of a woman is perfect.

    I take my time with increasing the speed, it's already quite the stimulus for her. Then after a few minutes doing it I put my finger up and find that sacred spot. She stops moaning and releases my hair, she trembles and grabs the sheets, then she starts moaning again but much louder.

    I keep doing it with each finger that can reach until I tire of it, then I go back to using my tongue.

    She's gasping for air, she has trouble breathing. As she slowly starts to fidget more I increase the roughness of my tongue, then she flinches and I feel her insides clench, she finally orgasmed. Then I stop and rest a little.

    "What… was… that..." Two kicks, two goals.

    "Well, the first was the G spot, it's a very sensitive spot, the second thing is an orgasm."

    "That's..." She's lost for words.

    I crawl up to her face.

    "Now then," I kiss her scaly cheek, "It's time for the main meal."

    I pull a cloth from my "Items" and put it below her. I pull down my pants and she looks at it, she stares with anticipation.

    I rub it on the entrance, she twitches a little, then I tease some more. I push a little then pull out then rub it again and repeat. Little by little I enter her.

    She makes an angry face, grabs my hips and pushes me in. I slip in easily.

    "You tease too much!"

    I laugh. I feel her warmth and she moans again. Some resistance but her strength clears it away. I cast [Regeneration] on her.

    "What? You are healing me?"

    "No need to feel pain, I can keep this on all the time."

    "I like the pain," she says while staring into my eyes.

    Oooooh? Then don't mind if I do!

    I pull out and thrust with all my strength. Her hand on my hips tightens her grip, she closes her eyes and grits her teeth. I repeat, again and again the smacking noise is loud. She squirms at every thrust.

    I move a little so I'm standing on the border of the bed and she looks at me confused. Now I have the proper support.

    I resume my thrusting with even more strength and speed. Her mouth opens and she can't moan anymore. She drops her head and tries to regain her composure. The strong and proud unbreakable shield is squirming and nearly crumbling by my hands. The man"eating gaze and her hunting aura are now nothing more than a joke. She knows who's the real man here, she knows who's the real master.

    "Harder..." She says.

    Are you serious?

    "Harder!" She yells.

    "You know what, once sec…"

    "What?"

    She looks at me confused. I open my stats and move my points around. 10 at [Enhanced Stamina], 10 at [Enhanced Strength], 10 at [Enhanced Sexual Stamina] and it only allows me to put 1 in [Enhanced Genital Control].

    "You fucking asked for this," I say.

    Then I thrust with all my might.

    She screams. She grabs my back and her nails dig on my skin. I'm actually taking HP damage, she must be making me bleed.

    I turn her sideways and thrust, I turn her around and thrust, I grab her legs and bend them and hold her in the air. I wish I had a mirror. Then I throw her back into bed and mount her again and choke her. I pull her hair, I press down her neck and spine. I do it with all my might the things I couldn't do with Alissa at full power. I slap her ass until it's as red as her hair. I dig my nails on her skin and thrust with all my power.

    Then my stamina decreases, I'm finally getting tired. I pull of [Enhanced Sexual Stamina] and feel it coming. With a few last thrusts I finish inside her. Then I push her back into the bed and she collapses. The dragon has been tamed.


    She's laying face down and sprawled like a used doll. I turn her around and her eyes lack focus, she's gasping for air. Then she slowly notices me and smiles. I conjure some water, put it on a cup and give it to her. She sits down and drink.

    "I may… be inexperienced… but that… wasn't normal..." She says between gasps.

    "Yeah, you could say I'm a bit special."

    "If you do that… every day… I will die."

    "Hahahah, no I can't do that everyday, it's just that you asked for it."

    "I certainly did," and she laughs loudly again.

    Our bodies are sweaty, the sheets need washing, the cloth I put down has a rather considerable blood spot. Thankfully her insides are resistant and my dick doesn't look like a murder weapon.

    I lay down next to her and use her breasts as a pillow. She caresses my hair.

    "Your breasts are quite firm and elastic, is this because of your dragonkin skin? Alissa's are much more soft and squishy."

    "I don't know about that. I will need to feel her breasts to compare."

    An idea appears.

    "Would you like to fondle a woman?" I ask.

    "Hm? I feel nothing in particular."

    "But do you feel disgusted?"

    "Hm... no."

    "Would you kiss Alissa if I asked?"

    "I could try."

    Ho-ho-ho, Christmas came twice this year. This response almost makes me feel like doing it again, but my muscles are way too tired for that.

    "Don't you feel shame?" I ask.

    "Of course, but I don't allow shame to get in the way of what I want."

    "Your straightforwardness is rather charming."

    "Hah! Thank you, but I know I have two other things more charming than that," she grabs my head and rubs it into her breasts.

    I play around with those two monsters for a while and when we are both properly rested I tell her we need to take a bath. We walk out and Alissa comes to us.

    "The bath is ready, master," says Alissa.

    "How thoughtful, thank you, Alissa," I say. She smiles and bows.

    The bow wasn't necessary though.

    "Oh, what a nice bath, we could all get in together," Hana says.

    "I will definitely bathe with you and Alissa whenever I can."

    "What a luxury."

    "Thank Roxanne, her magic makes starting a bath something trivial."

    "I certainly will."

    We wash each other. She's very rough and I keep her away from my sensitive parts. I wash her scales delicately, they need to be hardened during washing so I have to be careful not to cut myself. Hana seems amused at my care, she does not try to stop me from washing her. It seems she behaves just barely like a slave should, I don't really mind.

    Once the bath is done we help Alissa cook. She was testing a few recipes during the morning and now she's doing the real deal.

    The half-cycle has changed today so the food should too. It's an orc meat pie with not-palm heart and not-corn. Plenty of salad and bean paste on toasted bread. Felt refreshing eating something so elaborate, now that we have a kitchen we can prepare meals like that often.

    Hana sits on the chair and grunts.

    "Oof."

    "Are you hurting? You should tell me that, there's no need to keep in pain I can heal you immediately," I touch her arm and cast [Regeneration].

    "It shouldn't be a bother, but I'm not used to pain in that place," she flashes a smile at me.

    Roxanne smirks and Alissa looks at me worried. I sigh.

    "Even if it's bearable you should tell me. Here let me tell you the same thing I told Alissa. Being in pain makes you tire more easily, which means you might die more easily in battle. If you die I will be wasting the money I used for you, my feelings will be hurt by losing you, and my time will be wasted since I will lose a strong companion.

    "So this is why we need to keep you happy and well rested, you need to always be at your best performance so you don't die or disappoint me. I will give you two rules, the first one is 'don't die'; the second one is 'let's never get into a situation where someone needs to die'. Now, do you understand your value to me?

    Roxanne and Hana are surprised. Alissa nods repeatedly in agreement.

    "Hooh, now that's a good mentality," says Roxanne.

    Hana's yellow lizard eyes stare at me wide-eyed.

    "I-I understand, master," she bows to me, "I will always remain on my best performance for you!"

    We start eating.

    "Master, forgive my improper behavior but do you have alcohol?" Hana asks. Alissa seems irked.

    "A slave shouldn't ask for such things!" Alissa scolds Hana.

    "I don't mind, Alissa. I don't drink so I don't have any alcohol. But I can buy some for you if you want. Just don't drink too much, I don't like to deal with drunk people."

    "Ah, there's some wine in the ice box. I was so busy working I didn't drink anything in a while," Roxanne runs and grabs the bottle.

    "Ice box" is the name of the fridge on this world, creative.

    "For me it's difficult to become drunk due to my 'Endurance' but I still enjoy the drink once in a while."

    "Well I don't mind then," I say.

    Roxanne pours for Hana and they share a smile. They clink their cups and drink.

    "Seven months of boredom. Seven months waiting for someone worthy. I feel reborn!" Hana pushes her empty cup in the air and smiles.

    "Considering Mr. Ryder's record, we won't be bored for long," says Roxanne.

    "But what can we kill that topples the Symbol of Hate?" Her eyes glint dangerously.

    "There's always the ancient or immortal dragons."

    "Ohh, now that's every dragonkin dream," Hana nods and relaxes her posture.

    "Ah, I heard the last expedition over the City of the Damned failed again," Roxanne claps the tip of her fingers in misguided excitement.

    "Hmm… the undead are an interesting foe. I never fought one, how do you kill something that will never die?"

    "Don't know, you could use them for an endurance battle, though."

    "Seems so, the perfect place to challenge myself."

    "Ah, we could just gather them all in the same place and I blow them up! Hohohoh," her smile is pure evil, "There's no way they will revive if there's nothing to revive."

    Hana chuckles loudly. Alissa is a bit impressed and amused at this exchange and I'm rather uncomfortable at these outrageous ideas and dangerous words.

    Meals together are going to be very lively.


    "Hana come to the room. Now I gotta explain a few things about our teamwork."

    "Understood, master."

    Alissa is cleaning the table and Roxanne goes back to her room.

    We sit at the bed. I open her stats window.
    Info
    Name:HanafuriaAge:23RaceFire-Type Dragonkin
    HP:150MP:28Magic Power:10
    Level:35Experience:1443/10900
    Stats
    Strength:19Endurance:24Dexterity:12
    Speed:13Intelligence:8Wisdom:9
    Willpower:19Charisma:16Piety:11
    Perception:9Sanity:17
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Blood Slave (Owner: Wolf Ryder)
    Companions:NONE
    Crimes:NONE
    HanafuriaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use19Spear Use14Bow Use9
    Two-Handed Sword Use9Pole Arm Use6Dagger Use4
    Shield Bash6Block7Parry6
    Dodge4Tatesomu Style3Intimidate 2
    Battlefield Perception2Taunt3Parry6
    Enhanced Reflexes2Enhanced Stamina4Enhanced Strength2
    Enhanced Endurance4
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control1Fire magic1
    Light Magic1Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Housework 2Cooking 1Cleaning1
    Washing1Riding3Pain Conversion4
    Dismantling4Fire Breath (innate)5Summon Wings (innate)2
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    Spells
    CleanSpirit Light (weak)Conjure WaterConjure Bland Meal (weak)FireballTelekinesis
    Item Box (weak)Fire BreathSummon Wings

    Now those are some stats. Could her "Charisma" be affecting me?

    I tell her of my "Guider" lie.

    She grins.

    "Seems like there's no way I'm leaving you now. I will marry you and have your children, master, whatever you wish I will give it to you. That is too good of a gift to let it slip."

    No need to be so eager.

    "There's no way I'm letting you go, too. Now, what is [Pain Conversion]."

    "Well..." She cringes, "[Pain Conversion] is something I acquired one day after a long… long day of fighting. I can convert pain into pleasure, I still feel the pain though."

    "… What."

    Hana shrugs.

    "I guess… that explains some things..." I massage my forehead.

    "Hahah, I guess so," she says awkwardly.

    An idea pops in my head.

    "Wait, no actually this is good, I can abuse you in any way I want and you will enjoy it."

    Hana licks her lips. Oh boy, my heart.

    "Hold on, we have to stop here we are getting sidetracked, business first. Anyways, why do you have 150 HP and I have only 100?"

    "Hm, from what I understand HP is only a representation of health. Dragonkin have much tougher organs and can still fight with wounds that would make any other race faint."

    "Wow, seems like your race is really strong."

    "Fuck yeah! Dragonkin are the toughest race and the best warriors," she puffs her chest and hits it with her fist, "After us only the dwarves compete in toughness and the dog wereanimals compete as best soldiers."

    I smile at her, her confidence is infectious.

    "But we are kinda terrible at anything else," she scratches her head and laughs, I chuckle along.

    "Well uhm. What's [Tatesomu Style]?"

    "[Tatesomu Style] is my fighting style. It revolves around bashing and countering."

    "Hm. What is [Taunt]?"

    "I can yell curses at the enemy and they will get angry and charge at me. If the enemy is attacking someone weak I can use it to divert their attention to me."

    Wow, there's aggro management in here too. Also, this is why swearing at the spiders worked.

    "What about [Intimidate]?"

    "It's a skill I can't really control, it just makes people afraid of coming to me if I get annoyed. Because of these two balloons too many men fell for me," she fondles her breasts, "So I guess I developed this skill after crushing enough balls."

    I don't wanna hear that story.

    "Ok, next, [Battlefield Perception]?"

    "It makes me easy to understand what other people are doing even when I have my backs to them. I used to run escort jobs, so I'm extra sensitive to when other people are in danger."

    Sounds interesting, I should add it to my skills later when I have room.

    "You say your wings are physical but [Summon Wings] is a spell?"

    "Well it costs a little bit of mana to grow the wings, then it's all physical power to move them."

    "So, what skills do you want to improve with your spare points?"

    Hana thinks for a bit.

    "Divide them in [Sword Use] and [Block]. Those are my most useful skills to help you," she answers.

    "Alright, this is all for now. Again, this is all a secret. Even Roxanne doesn't know, though at some point I think I will tell her."

    "No problem, master. I will take this to the grave."

    "Ah, I guess you don't know yet but I got a blessing from the Goddess of Knowledge a few days ago. This is why I'm deciding to enter the university now."

    "Oh! Just another reason why choosing you was a good idea," she hugs me.

    I shrug and bury my head on her. I'm not gonna say no to a god-sanctioned harem.


    It's 1PM. I put on my expensive clothes, I'm going to the magic university. We will buy Hana's equipment and register her tomorrow, I'm too eager to look for info on [Golemancy]. Hana will stay, clean the house and train a bit.

    We give the last piece of chocolate cake to Hana, for a moment the man"eating woman disappeared and a little girl with a red mane was smiling. Adorable.

    I leave and ride Alissa, with her it will take only a few minutes.


    We arrive. At the end of the street I see a large grey brick wall and black metal gate is open. A glowing golden symbol is visible on each side of the gate, a vine staff with a trillion shaped gem at the top. Atop of the gate there's a metal arch with the glowing golden words "Rabanara's Magic University".

    The first thing inside is a majestic rectangular fountain with water gushing around in rhythmical fashion, the jets slowly float from one tube to another. Small musical sounds can be heard every time a jet of water gushes out and passes a floating metal ring. Besides the brick path that passes around the fountain there's flower patches where all flowers move rhythmically.

    Occasionally you see someone flying with a magical carpet, magical chair, magical broom, magical bathtub, or just simply flying or floating. There's an assortment of staves and wands of all shapes and sizes, shining, glowing, or non-corporeal.

    There's a building behind the fountain with glowing yellow words "Reception". It's a white brick rectangular building with two floors and an ornate black tiled roof. Behind the reception multiple other buildings following the same design can be seen, far in the distance a thick black tower rises on top of grid of buildings.

    We shyly pass the black velvet uniformed guards who all have wands and swords.

    We enter the reception. It's a large hall made of glossy wood with a glossy counter, in the middle multiple attendants await. We approach and talk to one of the attendants, she wears a grey velvet uniform with the university's symbol in gold over the chest and a grey beret.

    I'm feeling a little overwhelmed at the wealth here.

    "Good afternoon. I'm a traveler who's researching magic. I would like to know the ways I can join the university, just recently I acquired the Goddess of Knowledge blessing."

    The attendant lets out a perfect smile.

    "Please put your hand over this crystal while I analyze your condition."

    She pulls out a transparent crystal ball and a transparent crystal tablet.

    I put my hand on the crystal and words appear on the tablet. The attendant gasps. I made sure I didn't have any suspicious skill on like those I used on Hana.

    "Everything is good. I will check if there's an advisor free, if there's not we will schedule an appointment. Please wait here," she motions to a cushioned sofa at the wall and scurries away, almost running.

    A few potted plants give this place a hint of a modern feeling.

    After a few minutes a robed middle-aged balding man with a belly and a round, hairless face appears. He's holding the crystal tablet with my information.

    "Good afternoon, Mr. Ryder. I am Mathias, an advisor here for potential applicants. Would you come with me to a meeting room?" He bows slightly.

    "Good afternoon. This is Alissa, my Blood Slave. Let us go then."

    He nods to Alissa and she bows.

    This building is all offices besides the large entrance hall. We enter an office with a few chairs, a tea set, a potted plant and a tall document drawer. I feel nostalgic entering this office, modern cubicle culture still haven't reached here but it's close.

    "Now, Mr. Ryder. The process to join is dependent on what the entree wants. You mentioned research, what magic you intend to research here?"

    "Well, I just heard an obscure mention of it but I want to look into [Golemancy]. I'm not even sure the details of it so I will first look into any information that exists here, if this is not forbidden magic."

    "[Golemancy]…? Hmm… I think there might be some records about such magic here but it's really obscure. I will have to request a query to the archivist. From what I remember it's not forbidden, so do not worry, since you don't have the skill even if it's forbidden it's not unlawful to be curious about it."

    That's very reassuring.

    "Now. We know that you have a blessing, we give a large discount in the tuition to those who have it. What other facilities do you intend to use besides the one for research?" He lets out a business smile.

    "Can you tell me my options? I don't know much about the university after all."

    "Let's see," he blinks repeatedly while thinking, "We offer courses in plenty of magic schools. Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Electricity, Nature, Light, Dark, Space, Spirit, Conjuring and [Blessing Magic]. We offer beginner, intermediate and advanced courses for all of these. There's also three levels inside each class difficulty but it's unnecessary to complete all three, they serve to help the slower learners.

    "We offer theoretical studies like astronomy, farming enhancements, monster anatomy, ancient languages, ancient history, lost knowledge, and many others more specific classes. These theoretical classes are too many to count, you better read this booklet. There's also crafting oriented courses."

    He pushes forward a booklet with about 10 pages.

    "I'm only interested in the magic schools for now. Do you offer classes on Illusion and [Summoning Magic]?"

    There are a few magic schools that he didn't mention, like cursing, so I will keep quiet about them for a while.

    "Those are fields under research, there's not enough teachers or a standard plan done to turn it into a full course. If you enter as a researcher you can look for those who research into that area."

    I definitely will.

    "We also offer training courses in practical magic skills like [Reduced Mana Cost], [Mana Control], [Sense Mana], [Mana Efficiency] and [Mana Recovery]," he continues.

    "What about [Redirect Mana]?"

    "We know nothing about such skill, the crystal says you are the creator of it. If you would like to share how you acquired that skill would also be another point towards accepting you."

    "I could definitely share that. What about [Mana Overuse Resistance] and [Blackout Resistance]?"

    "Those skills require inhuman effort to acquire, no one has the courage to do it. It's very impressive you acquired that one," his voice shows a little admiration.

    Yeah I did acquire it after a near-death experience.

    "I can tell you what I did to acquire [Redirect Mana] but it's similar to [Mana Overuse Resistance], I had to work so hard I think I nearly killed myself."

    Alissa looks worried. I never told her about this skill, I kind of forgot with all that was happening.

    "Is that so?" Admiration turns into disappointment, "Well, that's regrettable, but still would be a nice addition to know what it does and how to get it."

    "I still haven't properly used it, so I will test it for a day-cycle and then I will tell you the results."

    "That is acceptable."

    "Then I want to enter a beginners course in [Reduced Mana Cost], Space, Blessing, Electricity, Light and Nature."

    "Beginners?" He lifts his eyebrows in surprise.

    "Most of my magic is self-taught, I wanna learn from the basics and solidify my foundation."

    "Oh, I see. Well, that's commendable. Let me tell you that you can only learn the [Gate] spell from the [Space Magic] school if you want to become a certified 'Portal Master'. On the empire the [Gate] spell is heavily regulated."

    "I see… I will keep that in mind."

    I still wanna learn that magic school, I guess I will just remove points in [Space Magic] to hide I could use [Gate].

    "Also it's quite a lot of classes, we recommend a maximum of 5 classes since we work with half-cycle teaching," he continues.

    "What do you mean by 'half-cycle teaching'?

    "You have a different class each day and after a half-cycle you repeat your classes. After a day-cycle you get a half-cycle without classes where you are supposed to deepen the knowledge of what was taught or to simply rest. The professors are all available for consultation during the rest days."

    "Then I will take off [Light Magic] for now. How long do these courses last?"

    "3 months. The next course is to start in 2 day-cycles. But you could get some pointers and start pre-studying until then."

    "That's fine by me, what will be the price?"

    "With your blessing a full half-cycle of studying will cost 2 gold per 3 day-cycle, or rather, 2 gold per month. If you can show us the [Redirect Mana] we will lower it to 2 gold per 4 day-cycles. If you join right now then in 2 days we will have a small office ready for you so you can research, the office is for free for those with the blessing. The gold cost will only start counting once you start your lessons."

    "Then I accept these terms."

    Mathias takes me to the treasury where I make the payment for the full course, if I get the discount the money will be returned. When the office is ready the archivist should have found my query, then I will really start working on [Golemancy].

    Today is the 10th of the 6th month of the year. On the 7th month my classes will start.


    It's 4PM, Alissa takes me home. Hana has been diligently sweeping the entire house, I let them both talk and share the work. I will start working on [Redirect Mana] now.

    I go to the bedroom, lay down and meditate. I have to recreate the conditions from last time. I couldn't see, I couldn't feel my body and I decided to shut down my hearing. This is gonna be difficult to do. It was also a life and death situation, you really need high "Willpower" to do something like this.

    The feeling I had was completely bonkers too, I felt as if the air was my body. It's somewhat like [Sense Mana] but isn't, it was way, way more defined. I can put up to 20 points into [Sense Mana] but it doesn't reproduce my feeling from [Redirect Mana], it just makes the sensing more accurate.

    So I guess it's something about my spirit? Perhaps I manipulated my spirit? It certainly felt like I was "reaching" for something. I know that with [Sense Presence] you can somewhat see the form of the spirit, so perhaps the spirit can be "deformed" or in my case "expanded". Now how do I let my soul "expand"? When I think about doing it I end up inadvertently moving my muscles trying to "touch" the mana in the air. I'm trying to move my soul but it's a different kind of movement, like moving a muscle you never had or scratching an itch somewhere you can't touch.

    The feeling of casting magic by "scratching the itch" is an odd one. I feel like I'm controlling a "hand" that presses a button. I heard that the skills and magic knowledge is stored inside your soul so perhaps that "hand" is moving inside my soul?

    If I can move inside my soul then can I "push" this hand out? I can somewhat feel the hand moving, but it's tiring, it's a muscle I never used before. After a while I can barely move it anymore. It's too painful, I gotta rest.

    I open my eyes and notice an hour has already passed. That didn't really feel like an hour, I guess I succeeded in shutting down some of my senses, like the sense of time. I will try to focus on killing my senses for now.

    "Master, the bath is ready," says Hana.

    "Wh-what…? Oh, nevermind I lost track of time again."

    "What were you doing, master?"

    "Meditating and trying to kill my senses, there's a skill I wanna train."

    "Ooh, sounds interesting."

    I chuckle and we leave.

    Alissa is waiting for us inside the bath room. It was kinda fun taking a bath together, Hana makes things more lively, but I was way too tired for anything sexual. Hana fondled Alissa's breasts while washing her, Alissa was a little scared of her but she was mostly embarrassed and not disgusted, maybe there's a chance.

    "I totally understand, master, her breasts are much softer than mine. Mine are firm and elastic, hers are soft and conform better to the shape of the hand," says Hana.

    She is currently massaging Alissa's breasts, I just imagine her palm slowly rubbing on Alissa's nipples.

    "I-i-is t-tha-that so?" Stutters Alissa.

    "Alissa, if you don't like it, you can say it, okay?" I say.

    "I-i-it's o-ok-okay, m-master, i-it f-feels good."

    Oh boy. This view is so erotic, the mind is willing but the body is tired and bruised.

    "In any case, if you want I think Hana would be able to comfort you," I say.

    "W-wha-tha-n-w-u-as…"

    It seems Alissa broke.

    "Alright Hana, let's not push Alissa too much, she's way too embarrassed now."

    "Awn… her breasts actually feel nice," Hana pouts.

    Please, my body hurts too much. Stop with the teasing.

    I grab Alissa and carry her inside the bath. After a warm hug she seems to calm down a little. Then Hana comes and hugs me from behind. Her breasts truly are comfortable pillows.

    Double spoon on a warm bath. Heaven.

    We get out and prepare dinner. Hana is a master of the knife, she chops faster than a master chef, I'm scared. She doesn't know recipes, or seasoning, or the technique to cook but she's a pretty good helper.

    We eat orc meat dumplings with a root that's slightly sweet, it's not-ginger. Feels oriental.

    "Master, may I ask you a question?" Asks Hana.

    "Sure, you can ask anything and I will judge if it's possible for me to answer."

    "Understood. Well, I was wondering, are you a noble?"

    "Why do you ask that?"

    Roxanne and Alissa are curious.

    "Well… you are smarter than the average adventurer, you have quite a bit of knowledge no commoner has, you have skills no commoner or adventurer normally have, you lack skills the commoner or adventurer normally have, you speak too perfectly, and finally everyone calls you by your last name."

    "Well… no, I'm not a noble. I'm just special, I guess. But only nobles have last names?"

    "Everyone has a last name but only nobles or rich families care about last names."

    "Oh, well, since I didn't knew the tradition I always gave my full name, then everyone started calling me by my last name and I forgot about it. Do you all have last names?"

    "Well, technically my last name is Succubus, but normally no one cares about last names in the demon race," says Roxanne.

    "I was born a slave, I never had a last name," says Alissa.

    I will give you mine, then.

    "I had mine but abandoned it when I turned into a slave," says Hana.

    "So wait, how do the other races deal with last names?" I ask.

    "Mostly humans, dwarves and elves commoners that give their children last names. Some wereanimals and dragonkin also do it, but it's mostly nobles or rich merchant families that do. I don't know what the beastfolk do. That's why I thought you were a noble," Hana says.

    "Then maybe I should ask people to call me by my first name, I don't want to be confused with a noble."

    "I think things are fine the way they are now," Roxanne says, "You are already famous and now you have a blessing, people will definitely respect you much more if people call you by your last name."

    "Well, at least you could call me by first name since I do the same to you," I tell Roxanne.

    "Is that fine?"

    "We are companions now, it's fine."

    "Well then, Mr. Wolf. Pleasure to meet you!" She smiles and gives me her hand for a shake.

    "No need for 'Mr.' too."

    "Alriiight," she coughs, "Well then, Wolf. Pleasure to meet you!"

    "Uh… yes, pleasure to meet you too Roxanne," I shake her hand and she grins.

    "Oh, you two just call me Roxanne then, no need for 'Miss' anymore," Roxanne says to the other girls.

    "T-that's a bit much," says Alissa, she looks down but her tail sways.

    "If that's a request that comes from her then..." Hana shrugs.

    "Fine..." Says Alissa.

    I like this. I think Alissa is far too submissive, I want her to be a bit more selfish.

    After dinner Alissa reads her book while I cuddle with Hana and practice my [Mana Control]. Hana pets me and brings me bliss. Then we all 3 go to sleep at the same bed. Good thing it's ridiculously large otherwise Hana wouldn't fit well.


    Today is the 11th.

    I wake up in heaven with breasts at my back and breasts at my front, we all sleep naked. It's warm but it's worth the slight inconvenience. A warm and kind kiss from Alissa and a stimulating storm from Hana. I abuse Alissa since I didn't do her yesterday and Hana leaves to prepare breakfast.

    Hana leaves everything done and when I finish Alissa she just has to fry the dumplings and season the salad. Orc minced meat dumplings with a beans, vegetables and not"corn crumbs. Weird combination, we need more ingredients.

    Alissa will buy food while I go with Hana to the hunters guild to register her and buy her some equipment. Roxanne lends Hana her flying carpet while Alissa will take me to the guild. Roxanne tells me there are actually safer versions of personal flying vehicles but she got the smallest one so it can fit in her [Item Box], I guess I will buy one for all of us after the auction then.


    Outside of adventuring I want my women to wear their best clothing. So this time Hana was wearing one of her straight black dresses and simple sandals. When we entered the guild I kind of regretted that, at least the eyes weren't on me this time. Ah fuck it, Hana is too majestic to not show off so I will walk with her proudly.

    We quickly register her and I get an idea, Hana gives me a menacing smile when she hears. We go to the training grounds, inside the warehouse there's a small place for changing clothes and taking a bath so I have Hana put normal clothes.

    "Hello teacher," I greet Toga.

    "Hello, Mr. Slayer," his gaze is stern with just a hint of a smile.

    "This is Hana, my new Blood Slave. Would you like to spar with her? I would like to see her fight."

    His gaze turns to Hana and his minimal smile grows to a visible size. Hana takes his gaze on and grins fearsomely.

    "Sure," he says, "You warm yourself first and we will have our 'spar'."

    A small crowd forms while they prepare. Toga is an average height man and looks small near Hana, almost feels it's a David versus Goliath scenario. Toga uses a normal wooden sword while Hana uses a long wooden sword and kite wooden shield. Their menacing gazes towards each other makes me sweat cold even though I'm just watching, do they both have [Intimidate]? Is this the result of the skill?

    Toga strikes first. He gives such strong blows it feels like he's Hercules, the sounds fill the entire training grounds and even more people get curious. Hana is a defensive fighter so for her it's just another day's work, she blocks repeatedly and when she gets the perfect deflect she counters and pushes Toga back.

    Toga quickly switches gears and it's as if he's not even feeling the pressure from Hana, he keeps parrying and dodging until he gets his chance and counters. This time Hana has to work to not get hit.

    A rhythm between attacking and defending feels like it's establishing when Toga changes the song. He pushes Hana back and locks swords. She takes the challenger and they have a small strength contest.

    They grit their teeth and have a staring contest at the same time. Hana's ferocious gaze makes me anxious. This not cheating, right? This doesn't count as cheating, right!? I want her to look at me like this…

    They break the lock and go back to the standard fight. Toga sweeps her leg and she almost loses her balance. As a first, Hana is required to dodge to not get hit and then she starts to feel the pressure. She starts to get pushed back by a combination of quick, strong strikes, leg sweeps, and shield bashing. Toga is using all his tools, he even tries to grab her shield.

    Hana gets angry and starts bashing too. The sounds of battle get even higher as her shield clashes with his sword. A bash hits his arm and Toga is pushed back, his posture is broken. This is it!

    With a movement that defies human speed Toga dodges the strike and counters. With an inhuman movement he jumps, no, flies upwards and his sword goes down on Hana's shoulder and explodes. The observers break from their frozen state, they scream and cheer while I regret my idea and rush over Hana.

    "What are you made of? This would have broken a bone and you are just bruised!?" I say stupefied.

    "I'm a dragonkin… master… I hardened my skin… but if the sword was sharp… I would be dead… ," she says between breaths.

    I put points into [Light Magic] and use [Heal] on her, still very mana inefficient for me.

    "Thanks… it doesn't hurt anymore, master."

    "You got a proper shield this time, Mr. Ryder..." Says Toga, he's sweating but he's not out of breath, "Now you won't die if you meet something worse than that Symbol."

    "Heh… I guess so," I say.

    Makes me a proud to see her praised by Toga but I'm still a bit jealous of her gaze.

    A bunch of the students come to try to spar with Hana but we have other business now. I go with her to the warehouse and wash her body. I use [Sense Presence] and feel 2 men sneaking close the warehouse so I throw some scalding water over the high window.

    "FUCK!" I hear and they run away.

    Now back on her glorious dress we go buy her some equipment.


    There are a few things we have to be mindful of when buying heavy armor for an adventurer. Those things are defense, mobility, price, maintenance and convenience in more or less that order of importance.

    Plate armor would offer the best protection, specially against attacks like fire breath. But it reduces mobility, specially for Hana who wants to use her dragon wings for quick mobility, it's too heavy. It has an exorbitant cost. It requires specialized maintenance, some adventurer groups have to employ a personal armorer for things like this. And finally it's very inconvenient to use.

    Leather armor offers weak protection but it's enough to reduce damage of most attacks, like how my Grey Berserker armor was probably the difference between life and death for me, though it doesn't protect against blunt. Mobility is among the best. Price is affordable since it's the most common armor. Maintenance is cheap but the armor gets irreparable after a while. It's also very convenient and those who can't sleep with plate, sleep with leather. I will buy a Young Ogre set of armor for Hana to sleep in.

    Chain armor offers very good protection against slash but not against a few, specific pierce attacks and zero against blunt. Mobility is similar to leather. It's more expensive than leather. It requires some specialized maintenance but it could be done with a little help from [Earth Magic's] [Manipulate Metal]. It's very convenient to sleep and you can use it over clothing, though it's rather noisy, so no sneaking.

    Scale armor offers better protection than chain but a little less than plate but still not much against blunt, its advantage is in repelling magic like a fire breath. The mobility is much better than plate but still less than chain. It's expensive, but very popular among adventurers. The maintenance is also expensive since you need specific monster parts, you can substitute but it won't have the same effect. It's very convenient to use, some you can also sleep on.

    Brigandine offers protection better than chain but less than plate, it offers some of protection against blunt. The mobility is more than plate but less than chain. The price is more than chain but less than plate. The maintenance is also similar to chain. It's a bit harder to use than chain but you can still sleep on it.

    It seems that metal armor is more expensive than the other kinds. Cloth armor also seems very limited. On the other hand armor made from monsters is overflowing.

    For now we will reserve a steel lined brigandine with tassets, a hauberk for the arms and thighs that will be used below the brigandine, schynbalds, metal vambraces, and a padded chain coif. She doesn't like to use helmets since it reduces her vision and the coif will ruin her hair so we got a padded one that she will keep for when necessary. Perfect protection against slash, protection against blunt is limited so she will have to rely on the shield.

    We will buy only after the auction. I wanted to get scale armor but I think that even with the auction money it will be expensive, perhaps in the future I will get it as an upgrade. I wanted the best armor for her since she's certainly gonna use her body as a shield if necessary but I will have to hold it in for now.

    Finally we got her a simple spare iron bastard sword, a large kite shield and a simple wood spear with a metal tip. Later when we have the auction money we will get her a long sword and shield like mine, the emerald will go well with her scales. I wanna get her a longbow too, she has some skill with the bow and the brigandine offers enough mobility to use the bow.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
  14. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    We meet with Alissa and go back home for lunch. A proper meal, orc meat ball pasta with a oniony white creamy sauce. Alissa got a bit of fruits too so we have not-strawberry juice to go and some wine that Roxanne asked for.

    I hang on the wall a small clock I found, now everyone can look at the time. I still want to give a pocket watch to everyone one day. Then afterwards I go back to practicing [Redirect Mana]. Alissa installs an archery target on the backyard for practice and Hana does physical training. I'm worried that Roxanne only leaves her room to eat and take a bath.

    I go back to bed and start moving my "inner mind hand". It's a weird feeling to understand but there's clear gestures that I can do. It's not just "move" and "push", there's more movement that I can do but I don't know what it does since I have nothing to test it on.

    I'm trying to test the borders of this "inner mind" space but it feels like it's infinite, perhaps I have to do something else to reach the border. When I was half-dead I had that weird feeling that I was the room, before that I had a very strong wish to grab all the mana, to engulf it, to eat it.

    I feel like the secret is on hunger. I was out of mana so I will waste it by casting [Wind Armor] on myself repeatedly. When I finish and go back to meditating there's a clear change, my "hand" feels like a "mouth", I can feel the mana and taste it. I want it, I need it, but I can't reach it.

    I need it… I need it. I need it! I NEED IT!

    I feel the change. That same familiar feeling of expanding my soul, the mana flowing around is part of me now, even if it's weak I can feel it. I feel a stream coming from the wall, is that because of Roxanne? I wanna follow it. I touch the wall, it blocks me.

    The air is now a part of me, the wall isn't, I can't cross. But air is just atoms and the wall is a bunch of solidified atoms. I will just turn the wall a part of me so I can cross.

    It's too hard. It's resisting me, how is it doing that? The air doesn't resist.

    "Master?" Asks Alissa.

    "Oh? What is it?" I open my eyes.

    "The sun is setting, Roxanne got the bath ready for us."

    Wow, again I completely lose the track of time.

    This time bath has no groping of Alissa. I'm also saving myself for tonight, we didn't use the special clothes Alissa got for Hana yet.

    Dinner is orc meat pie and roasted vegetables.

    A bit of cuddling after dinner, I use Hana's breasts as pillows and Alissa laying down on my lap and reading. The smell of their perfume fills my nose.


    Finally, I lay down on bed and cover my eyes while they change.

    A succubus and an angel. Both of them look at me with hunger.

    Black gloves that caress my chest, white gloves that pull down my pants, two mounds covered in thin silk that bounce in front of me, the fearsome smile that makes me feel like prey, a delicate hand that touches my dick. These women are gonna use me. I change my skills into what I call "Sex Maniac" build.

    Something warm and wet wraps my dick and moves in incredible smoothness. Two thick thighs wrap around me and push a woman's lower lips in my mouth, I open my mouth and thank for the meal, those lips will feel all the power of my tongue. I put small bites every now and then for a change of pace. The feeling on my dick changed and now something tight and much warmer envelops it, I instinctively move my hips to match hers. I use my hands to pinch and rub Alissa's nipples.

    Even with [Enhanced Sexual Stamina] I still feel it coming I tell Alissa and she unmounts me and drinks it all up. One done another to go.

    "Time to switch," I say.

    "You still want more?" Hana says.

    "No way I'm not fucking you tonight."

    Now I gotta use all my remaining tongue strength to make Alissa cum. She's not the kind that specifically likes being rough and energetic so I can take my time, meanwhile Hana is breaking my hips.

    Hana leg power is astounding, the bed creaks and Alissa looks back in surprise. Those thick thighs being caressed by that black cloth makes her look like she's sculpted as the image of a goddess, her body is too perfect. Her mane hair waves as she vigorously sucks the soul out of my body, this is the power of the dragon woman. She squeezes her insides and tries to wring out my cum.

    She grabs my waist and increases even more in power and speed.

    "Y-you will hurt master," says Alissa, amazed and worried.

    "I can… handle it..." I say.

    It hurts a bit but there's no way my pride will let it say that, that dragon woman was tamed by me and a little bit of pain is on par with the duty to satisfy that monster. No, monster is too rude, she's a goddess, my goddess.

    Alissa might be awakening something in her, she starts rubbing herself while looking at Hana and pushes my head further into her lips. She squirms and in a few minutes she cums. Then she dismounts my mouth and the angelic white athletic thighs move to the side, she doesn't stop rubbing herself though. Now I can focus entirely on Hana.

    My hands that were pinching her nipples with all my strength now move to her thighs. I put my nails into them and match Hana's rhythm, the smacking sound grows even louder. I start to get angry, you won't finish me, woman, you are mine, I will finish you.

    I pull her from the top of me, turn her around and do her from behind. I use all my strength, all my speed, all my stamina and destroy her. I put her on a choke hold and her back bends. I feel her insides squeezing me but I don't even know if she came or not, I don't care, I'm just focused on destroying her insides. I. Will. Fucking. Destroy. You.

    The white angel and the black succubus, I will have them painted while we fuck and then I will kill the painter. Those two are mine and now the succubus needs to learn her lesson. I feel the strength leaving my body, I pull out the skills and feel it coming stronger than I ever came before.

    The speechless Alissa, the white angel, furiously rubbing herself to this sight. The tamed dragon succubus who stopped begging for more and can barely hold her breath. What is more erotic than this sight?

    I pull it out and cum all over her back, I cum so far it even hits Alissa.

    "Clean this," I order Alissa.

    Still expressionless, she obeys me and licks Hana's sweaty back. Then I get hard again at the sight, I use Alissa's head as my cock sleeve and end up cumming one last time inside her mouth. My balls and dick hurt, I overdid it.

    "I'm surprised I can still maintain this blessing while doing things like that to both of you," I say.

    "What do you mean, master? You are more likely to earn a blessing from the Goddess of Love like this," Alissa says.

    This fucking world… Or rather, this world is about fucking.

    "M-master, can you heal me a bit? My back hurts a lot," Hana says.

    "Sure. Ah, Alissa, Hana has a skill that allows her to turn pain into pleasure, that's why I'm rougher with her," I say that because Alissa was looking at me worried again.

    "Rougher…?" Says Alissa with a surprised look, "Master, I thought you were giving it your all when I brought these clothes for the first time."

    "Well… uh… I kinda like things rough but I go easier on you since I know you are more sensitive."

    "Oh..." Alissa looks a bit dejected.

    "P-please don't look like this, I can't be like this all the time, you pleased me perfectly."

    "Even I will die if he does it like this everyday. Tomorrow I'm gonna have some sore muscles," says Hana while tapping Alissa's shoulder.

    "I-I see… I'm happy to hear this," Alissa says with a small smile, her tail sways once.

    Seems like we recovered her pride.

    "Now, the Clothes of the Berserker are a bit too stimulating, let's leave them for special days," I say, "Tomorrow I will also be very sore, I will have to take it easy."

    "The wha-... nevermind," Alissa shakes her head with a wry smile, "Master, didn't the priest tell you to rest from physical activity for a day-cycle?"

    "Hahahah, I will apologize or whatever but no way I'm abstaining from sex. You two are far too delicious to wait."

    Hana shrugs and talks.

    "Something tells me he would go insane if he abstained for a cycle."

    That's a bit much, I'm not addicted… I'm not.

    "T-that seems true..." Alissa agrees while looking defeated.

    Ah, whatever. I wasn't such a pervert on Earth, it's this world fault that I'm like this because it completely screwed with my life. I'll be damned if I won't enjoy it to the fullest until I die.

    "Think it like this, I could die tomorrow so I should just do what I want, this one of the rules I live by," I say.

    "Isn't the first rule 'don't die'?" Alissa asks.

    I shrug.

    "Those rules concern decision making, living without regrets is a general life lesson. One is for future planning, the other is for present enjoyment."

    "I… Kind of understand," says Alissa.

    Hana shrugs again.

    We wash ourselves and I have another perfect nights sleep among naked goddesses.


    Today is the 12th.

    We wake up and have sandwiches with dried orc meat, Rabid Rabbit meat and pickled vegetables with some tea.

    I have to learn how to shave with a straight-edge razor. Alissa and Hana try to help but I have to let them do it for me for now because I had to use [Regeneration] to heal myself from the cuts. Luckily my beard grows very slowly at this age.

    I'm too tired to train so I help clean the house, ignoring Alissa's protests. We also dismissed the maid now that Hana is going to help. Cleaning is much harder without all the chemicals we have from Earth.

    We send the casual clothing and heavy sheets to the nearby washer, we seem to be going through a lot of sheets. The washers have magic tools and a good variety of strong chemicals that help washing. But the sensitive clothing, like some of the more expensive underwear and dresses we bought, are washed by hand because even with [Clean] it won't get the dirt that's deep into the clothes.

    Hana is the one who volunteers for doing the most of the washing since her skin is tougher, it won't be damaged as easily due to the chemicals but I still cast [Regeneration] on her. Washing by hand, sweeping the floor, cutting and preparing the food, carrying loads and etc., she really is the best for hard labor. Alissa has much more softer hands, she does everything else Hana isn't as apt, she's the manager of the house and deals with the delicate things that it's better that Hana doesn't touch.

    I help, but just a bit, my modern knowledge of cleaning isn't as useful in this world where things are either old school or solved by magic. But I still wanna learn how things are done.

    For lunch Alissa blanches Dragolite meat. It removes a lot of the rosemary flavor so it tastes much closer to chicken. We shred it and fry these not"chicken dumplings, all that's needed is some catupiry.

    Alissa and Hana leave to retrieve my armor and scour the shops for a few more ingredients and tea. It warms my heart seeing them work together, I only hope they will kiss one day. I have no idea how to categorize my feelings for both of them.


    I got back to training [Redirect Mana]. This time I keep focusing on penetrating the wall, it's extremely tiring. In the end I can't do it, I think I need a change of perspective.

    Air is just atoms floating around and colliding with one another, solid matter is atoms bonded together, so this means that it's probably the bonds that impede me from "possessing" them. But how to "possess" an atom of air in the first place? I try to focus on moving my "soul" as little as I can so I can see how exactly the "possession" occurs.

    I can't really feel the individual atoms change but I can feel the "wave", like a pixelated picture that changes color. I can see a "wave tip" where a single pixel turns color, then the next pixel in front changes color and the 2 pixels besides the first also change color. This continues, forming a cone with the "possessed" atoms. The way I "move" is actually hundreds of these cones together, forming a wall.

    I try to use a single cone to enter the solid wall. I can focus much better and the resistance is less but there's still resistance. I have to reduce the size, reduce until it's the size of an atom. Reduce, reduce, reduce, reduce!

    I push through, I don't think it was the size of an atom, it was just really, really, really small. I can now see into the empty room nearby, well it's not "seeing" but "feeling". I extend my body again and pierce the next 2 rooms following the mana trail and finally reach Roxanne's.

    This is the first time I see her room. I can feel the clothes spread on the floor, the multitude of glass flasks spread around the shelf, the smell of multiple unknown ingredients, the smoke that fills the room. Finally, working on a desk there she is, mixing on a small glass, holding a spoon in one hand and a small piece of round glass near her eye with the other. She's working, in her underwear.

    I didn't "see" her, I "felt" her. I felt her cute feet, her sexy soft thighs, her lacy sexy panties, her lower lips, her soft belly, her cute small breasts, her ghost nipples, her luscious lips, her delicious tongue, her cute nose, her mischievous eyes, her silky hair. I never used this on a person so I never thought I would receive this much information about her body, I covered her room instantly when I got through but only after a few seconds I could process what was happening. I could even taste her, this is the amount of information this skill gave me.

    I stop everything and return my soul to normal. I sit down and hold my head thinking about what I have done. Then I hear a knock.

    "Hey Wolf, did you do something? I felt some weird mana enter the room," Roxanne asks.

    FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, now what do I say!?

    "Ye-ye-yeah, I… Am testing [Redirect Mana]. I saw… A lot of mana coming from your room… So I tried to redirect it, didn't think you would be able to feel it."

    "Oh? It's that skill you used to get mana to heal me, right?

    "Yeah, that's the one."

    "Hah, that's an interesting skill, you gotta tell me how it works. It tickled me all over my body."

    No, no, no, no and no, I will never tell you that.

    "A-a-anyway, I don't know how it works fully yet. I won't use it again on you."

    "Oh no, please do, it felt really good."

    Please stop.

    "I-i-is that so? D-don't you think it's weird I can make you feel like that?"

    "Hm… if it's you I don't care. Anyway, I'm going back to work."

    "O-okay, work hard."

    There's no way I can deal with this, I'll just forget this happened and move on. In the future I could use it on Hana or Alissa though…Well I'm playing with fire here.

    I go back to meditating and focus on touching the mana stream. No more exploring for me.


    I feel something warm. I open my eyes and Alissa is snuggled on my side. I turn around and pat her head, her tail starts swaying a little.

    "How did it go?" I ask.

    "We found a good charcuterie, lots of good meat, we filled half the ice box," Answers Alissa with her eyes closed.

    I massage her ears and she shivers a bit.

    "Tomorrow I will go to the university, can you come and pick me up for dinner?"

    "Can I stay with you there?"

    That hurts my heart, I want you there but you will be bored most likely. You also have other things you should do, like trying to be more selfish.

    "No. I would want it, but no. Me and you need to learn how to be far from each other once in a while."

    "I don't want to learn that," she looks at me with puppy eyes.

    Okay, you are being more selfish but that's not the way I wanted.

    "Neither do I… but we have to, maybe if we had a way to communicate from long distances."

    "There is, there are Emergency Stones and Bound Lithographs."

    "What are these?"

    "Emergency Stones are pair of rings with a small stone in them, if there's an emergency one side can send a signal to another but their range isn't that great. Bound Lithographs allows you to send a small drawing to the receiver but they are quite expensive."

    "Can you buy an Emergency Stone for me? If we can have at least 2 different signals then it will be quite good. Lithographs will be for real emergencies and when we have more money."

    "Ok..." She answers in a faint voice.

    What's up with you today?

    "Did something happen?"

    "Nothing happened, master."

    "You are more… in low-spirits right now."

    She stays quiet and her beautiful eyes show a hint of tiredness.

    "Say it."

    "I had a thought. I didn't want to fight again," she looks at me with sad eyes.

    "That's normal, I think about this every day."

    "But I'm not supposed to think like this, I trained my entire life to fight."

    I sigh.

    "Even if you try as hard as you can to be act as a tool you will never be perfect, you are still just a huma-… I mean, just a normal person in the end."

    She looks down and remains in silence.

    "Don't believe in yourself. Believe in the me who believes in you."

    "What?" She looks at me again, confused.

    "Hahahah, just another reference to my homeland."

    "I… think I get it."

    "How about this, you don't have to reason everything, just accept it."

    "Ah..." She lets out a weak smile and hides her head on my chest, her tail sways.

    This fucking world… You are still just a teenager and you are forced to think things like this. Our relationship isn't helping her state, it is totally unhealthy but I don't think I want to correct it. You cling on me and I cling on you.

    We stay like this for about an hour.


    Today Alissa washes Hana, she seems to be back to her usual mood. Alissa touches Hana all over her body and my heart tingles but there's no real sexual tension, Alissa doesn't seem to really swing that way.

    We have dinner and Roxanne brings out another bottle of wine. She has been drinking increasingly more, she also looks worse each day.

    "Roxanne, is everything okay? You look tired today, again," Asks Alissa, Hana also looks at her with worry.

    "I'm so close… I can feel it, I can smell it, I just can't touch it."

    "What?" I ask.

    "The Moonlight Moss, it's so close… I can almost finish the elixir," Roxanne eyes are vacant.

    "Don't you think you need a bit of rest?"

    "No!" Her bloodshot eyes stare into mine, "Not now, I'm so close, just a final sprint and it's done. If I stop now I will lose my train of thought."

    "Hmm… I think you might be a bit too eager. Just be careful Roxanne, you don't need to isolate yourself too much, it's okay to come to us and enjoy yourself a little."

    She sends me a sharp gaze for a second. What was that? Then she sighs.

    "Perhaps… I will keep that in mind, thank you all for your concern."

    Hana pats Roxanne's back.

    After dinner we have our normal cuddling session. Me being hugged from behind by Hana, and Alissa being hugged from behind by me. I try to practice some [Mana Control] but Hana improved her hair stroking technique and I fell asleep.

    I woke up being carried in Hana's arms and felt all giddy. She put me in bed and undressed me, put me in the amazon position and for the first time we did it slowly and with love.

    Once she finished using me I saw Alissa masturbating on the side of the bed, she totally awakened something. Then I took her while Hana was stroking Alissa's hair and finished for the second time. I'm still feeling drained from yesterday.


    Today is the 13th.

    I want these days to continue forever. This is heaven, no more, no less.

    Sandwiches for breakfast with plenty of ingredients to choose from, this time I give Alissa a good kiss for she gave me another present.

    "Cheese! I love cheese. What is this one from?" It tastes buttery and nutty.

    "Well, sheep," says Alissa.

    "I used to eat a lot of cow cheese on my homeland. Now that I think about it, why are there no cows here?"

    "The town lost all cows at the last wyvern attack a year ago, I heard. The cow ranchers didn't feel like coming back until someone found and destroyed the nests," says Roxanne.

    "Oh, I heard that wyverns attack often."

    "Yeah, they migrate from the Sea of Trees and create nests year after year. One day they try to migrate past the town and attack."

    A small urge to kill wyverns appears on my heart.


    After breakfast Alissa comes to me.

    "Master, you should buy at least 2 more sets of good quality clothes so you can go to the university with pride," she says.

    "Hm..." I'm actually too lazy to go buy more clothes to myself.

    "You look well in good clothes, Wolf," says Roxanne over sleepy eyes.

    Oof.

    "Agreed, you look very handsome in good quality clothes, master," says Alissa with a nod.

    Double oof, but still, laziness.

    "Thinking about dressing you up makes me very excited," Hana says with her man-eating gaze.

    Oooooof.

    "Alright..." I concede.

    We go out to buy some clothes and an Emergency Stone. The stone is a pair of rings with a white stone on top, 1 gold. If I rotate the stone clockwise a green signal appears on the other ring, if I rotate it counterclockwise a red signal appears. Green will be for Alissa to come to me, red will be for emergencies or danger.

    I put Alissa's ring on her left ring finger, she gives no reaction. I'm slightly disappointed, I have to ask Ciel about how marriages work in this world.

    We buy black velvet clothes with a purple rose embroidered in the chest. It seems velvet is the fashion and the girls both liked the style of Roxanne's clothes so now we have matching outfits, makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

    They also chose a weird cloak. It has a very wide hem, it doesn't touch the ground and the cloak stays straight but the corners of the hem have bracelets that go to my wrists. It's black with small grey pigments.

    The second set is made of wool and it's a light white frilly shirt and black straight silk pants. I look kinda pompous. Finally I have two sets of black cloth shoes.

    We spend the rest of the morning looking around. We end up passing by magic tool shops and it makes me think that some modern inventor must be stuck on this world like me. But I lose hope in that because all these tools are still incredibly inconvenient to use and have none of the modern simplicity.

    A simple bedside lamp could come with the ability to change the color of the light, some come with annoying sounds that play while turned on, others play random animations, there are even those that you can write reminders in the light. The problem is how incredibly complicated, obnoxious and abstract is the process to use these options. To change the color you have to spin the stone with your whole arm and stop when you reach the color you want, to play a sound you have to scream it to the stone for a minute and hope it gets the sound right, to change the animation you have to literally pray with the stone in your hand and hope a new animation appears. It's just quacks trying to appeal to the commoner to sell junk.

    We go back home at 11 and prepare lunch. Roasted orc meat with fungi sauce and a creamy soup of sweet vegetables to eat with soft bread.

    After lunch Alissa takes me to the university and then she will go look for an Emergency Stone. Hana went to spar on the training grounds and I feel jealousy appear again. I know it's completely irrational and I need to stop being so possessive, but still.


    I talk to an attendant at the university's reception and the chubby Mathias comes to greet me. He takes me a few buildings deep into the university.

    The university seems to like small pools with squirting jets of water that produce small musical sounds, there's a few between the orderly buildings. I see a few beautiful trees that are giving some fruit, then I see a fruit fall on the ground and shrink until it disappears. Is that safe to eat?

    The archivist building is bigger than normal and it only has a few very small windows. Once inside the smell of old books fills my nose, it's very nostalgic, I already read my fair share of old books.

    The archivist is a man who's so old and thin you would think he's using magic to stay alive. He has one assistant, a young man who's probably going to be succeeding him soon.

    The archivist talks in such a slow tone his voice almost makes me fall asleep.

    "There's only one surviving record about [Golemancy], it's from a diary of a mage who was also a philosopher. He gave us some good insights into summoning magic and the principles of the soul. He had succeeded in one test of this skill but he died soon after of old age and the proof of that experiment ended up being lost before his body was found," he says.

    "Here are the transcript of his notes. If you need the original text you will need a special permission from a head of department or higher," says the assistant.

    "That is fine by me, thank you," I take a bundle of papers.

    Then Mathias takes me to my new office. This one is pretty small, enough space for a desk that 2 people could have dinner in, a potted plant on the corner and a tall document drawer on one wall. They provide all paper that I could need and a better magical tool pen than the one that I have. On the door a small wooden plaque with my name engraved in it is hanged. Below my name it's written "Junior Researcher", I almost feel like clapping the tip of my hands in excitement just like Roxanne.

    "Mr. Ryder, one thing you should know is that these offices are protected from burglary by [Space Magic]. If you want to practice [Space Magic] inside please warn the building manager first so your office's protection can be maintained," Mathias says.

    "Understood."

    "That is all that I have for you. By the way, Mr. Ryder, is there any progress in [Redirect Mana]?" He asks.

    "Quite a bit, actually. I have a better understanding of the skill now but the thing I'm sure of is that it requires a tremendous amount of 'Willpower' to use it."

    "That's quite interesting, there's a few people who are eager to see the results of your skill, Mr. Ryder. Well then, I will be off, until next time," he bows and leaves.

    Is that so? I barely entered the university and I'm already attracting attention again.

    I sit on my desk and start to read the query results.


    The mage who wrote this journal was a summoning specialist. He was studying the essence of summoning magic.

    "Where does this conscience come from? The summoned beings clearly have a soul since they can be detected by [Sense Presence], if that is not true then a few hundred years of our knowledge was misguided. So I would rather assume that summoning magic truly creates a soul, a very peculiar soul.

    "I have been training my [Sense Presence] for years just to understand more about this summoned soul. I have a little pride in saying no one else on this world has a ‘Sense Presence' as high as me and I have looked quite far for someone better than me. So believe me when I say that what I see inside the soul is something that does and does not make sense.

    "The skill [Sense Presence] gives size, direction, distance and the possibility of identification of soul type. We unconsciously ignore the identification information and immediately associate that information with a type of living form. But by having a skill as high as mine and a very careful analysis I can say that the identification information is actually a ‘shape'.

    "This ‘shape' is often something incomprehensible, something that hurts me just by trying to look deeper into it, perhaps this is why our brain ignores the information immediately. I can say that the 'Willpower' required to understand the shape of the soul was inhuman and you can look into my status crystal, I actually do have a pretty high 'Willpower'. The fortunate thing is that not all souls are incomprehensible and most have parts that are comprehensible, leading me to identify patterns.

    "The most common pattern is cubes, those patterns are found in all summoned creatures, in fact I think this is the reason why summoned creatures are so obedient. They have the simplest soul form of all while humanoids have the most complex. I tried to identify soul patterns inside hundreds of different kind of humanoids and I could only identify a few patterns during my whole life. But from those patterns I found something interesting, the ones who had understandable patterns where all summoners like me or people who used frequently the elemental spirits of their magic schools.

    "As every mage should know every elemental magic school has a spirit that you can summon, except for [Space Magic]. These spirits are commonly used as assistants to the mages, which means they have a lot of contact and have to think in similar ways. If we believe that the soul contains the personality or intelligence of a person, what can we infer from the fact that summoned souls and the summoner's souls share a few patterns?

    "It means that either the summoned souls are a copy of a part of the summoner's soul or the summoner changes his own soul so that a part of it can connect to the soul of the summoned creature. But even the summoned creatures have souls similar to one another. So if we assume that their soul is part of their personality we can infer that their souls is merely a small piece of what makes a humanoid conscious and capable of following orders.

    "If summoning creates a body from mana and molds a simple soul inside this body, can we simply create a soul and infuse that soul on a new body? If it works I will call this [Golemancy]."

    The notes detail a bunch of experiments and other conjectures about summoning magic, not sure if I can use them to help train summoning. At least I have solved the mystery of my acid trip.

    But now I have another mystery to solve, how do I understand what each soul is going to do? Perhaps I could start by copying the soul of a summoned creature but that will require me to observe the soul with a high [Sense Presence], seems doable but also very complex. I was thinking about my soul manipulation that I did with [Redirect Mana], I wonder if I can use it to feel someone's soul.

    I summon a bird and concentrate again. I move my soul towards the bird on the desk and envelop it. I can feel it, taste it, it's a particularly disgusting feeling. It only felt good with Roxanne because she is a beautiful woman and it went only skin deep.

    I share my touch feelings with the bird and oh boy, this could be sexual quite easily. It does feel really good to be touched by a soul.

    Ok, bad thoughts, I gotta concentrate.

    I can certainly feel the bird but I can't penetrate it, I guess I will do the same as with the wall. I'm still sharing the touch feeling and I start feeling a tickling sensation when I try to penetrate the chest. It's getting stronger and starting to interfere with my concentration but I soldier on and continue.

    I do it, I penetrate the body of the bird. It's even more disgusting, I can taste the raw meat. But the bird itself is not feeling much different, only tickles a little more inside. I envelop the outside and spread through the entire inside of the bird, this could be a good diagnosis tool, I can feel every vein and bone and organ of the bird. This soul touch is starting to frighten me.

    Now where's the soul? I'm using my soul to touch it physically but there's no soul there. Hm… I need to concentrate more, I can still absorb more information about the bird but I'm getting tired, I'm near my limit.

    Just, a bit more. There's something… Odd, with this bird. I can feel everything on it but there's something hiding, some information that's evading me. Is this the soul? The mage did write that our mind tries to avoid looking at the shape of the soul. I just need to force a bit more. A bit… More… More!

    Something starts to assemble on my mind. I feel that I can now see something that was trying to hide, like a magnet that wants to escape and gets hotter the more you press. It's as if I'm putting the pieces together, I know that the pieces fit, I can see how they fit. I just need to put them together so I can see the bigger picture, I need them together so I can see the shape they make… A bit more… MORE! Oh, well shit, it's just a fucking cube.

    I let the pieces go and my mind starts to hurt, that was super tiring even if I didn't move a muscle. My muscles are okay but my mind is tired, I don't want to think anymore, Alissa come save me. I send the green signal to Alissa.


    "Master, are you okay?" Alissa asks.

    "Hm?"

    "You are very absent-minded."

    "Oh… I'm very tired. Working on [Redirect Mana]."

    Roxanne chuckles and sends a thumbs up. I guess I look just like her right now. Alissa sighs.

    Oh shit I barely paid attention to them during bath, that was shameful of me.

    Tonight I need comfort, I don't let Alissa read and I keep kissing her deeply while Hana strokes both our heads. Then when Hana has enough she takes me upstairs and abuses my body. Then it's Alissa's, the awakened peeping pervert, turn. I'm actually super drained today but I endure, even if my balls and dick hurt I will please my women, I did not receive such a gift from the gods to let them stay unsatisfied.


    Today is the 14th.

    I wake up in heaven and think about yesterday. The bird's soul was just a cube but there's more info below that, there's more intricacies that I can look for. I summon the bird again and do the same, I hold the pieces of the soul in place and try to observe them further.

    The cube has an intricate geometric engraving, it starts as a circle and slowly turns into a web and then into a grainy pattern to form another circle. This pattern repeats as I get closer, it's like the engravings change the closer I get until they stop. It hurts my eyes, something's resisting my approach with great force. There's something below the geometric patterns, something like a language. I don't understand, I can't look at it for long but it's there. I have to look, I have to look harder.

    "Master?!" Alissa says with a desperate voice while shaking me.

    "What?" I ask completely confused.

    "Yo-you were moaning and writhing about."

    "What?" I'm even more confused.

    "What were you doing?" She seems even more worried.

    "Trying something out, there's some hidden knowledge that's hard to get to."

    "You are hurting yourself."

    "I… honestly I wasn't squirming and moaning. I don't know why I my body did that, it moved on it's own."

    "Master… please be careful, this looks dangerous."

    Yeah, it does. My heart is burning right now, my body is lethargic and my mind is spinning. But this is exciting, I'm looking at something no one did yet, or at least I think that mage did but the proof got lost.

    "I know, I will stop now," I say.

    Hana is at the doorway and the worried face of both of them breaks my heart. I have a feeling that even the Goddess of Knowledge won't approve of me hurting myself.

    I go downstairs and reflect on what I saw while sweeping the floor.


    That was feedback. The way I'm seeing inside the soul requires some sort of contact, "feeling" the soul is not like seeing, it's not something passive, it's an active sensing. The soul is not something we should be looking at it seems, or at least I shouldn't be using my naked soul to look inside another soul. I need to put "gloves" on my soul to interact with another soul this directly.

    [Sense Mana] and [Sense Presence] aren't passive sensors. With [Sense Mana] I can see with precision the shape and distance of the mana. Mana is flying to the air and not passing through me, how could I sense them without active sensing? There's no light that hits mana, gets changed into a different color and hits our eyes so we can see it.

    To sense mana or a presence we have to modify our souls in a similar way to the way I was changing my soul with [Redirect Mana]. I wasn't manipulating my soul directly, I was manipulating the mana inside my soul and using that mana to stretch my soul to touch other things. That's how I absorbed mana from the world, I stretched my soul on mana stream and redirected the mana that was now inside my soul so I could absorb it. To successfully look into the soul of somebody I have to invent a skill like [Sense Soul] or something like that.

    But why am I so good at this? Why nobody managed to come to these conclusions? There's spirit magic and other people could use [Sense Presence] or [Sense Mana], they could have put some willpower into it and noticed the small details. Is my analytical mind so rare here? Perhaps it's skill system instant-casting and [Redirect Mana] that gave me a new perspective on my research.


    "Your grin is a little creepy," says Roxanne.

    "Oh? I didn't even notice, I made some breakthrough and now I'm digesting things. But your face is even creepier, you look like a ghost."

    "Hahahah," Roxanne's ghost-like face lightens up, "I also made a breakthrough, but I learned this means I have more work to do so I'm rather tired right now."

    "You really should rest, I'm worried about you."

    "Awn. Thank you, but I have done worse, I'm fine."

    "Yeah, done worse but that still shaves years of your life."

    "Guh..." She flinches, "I… will take a break…"

    "Yes, do it please."

    Roxanne goes to the sofa and lays down, I tell Alissa to bring some good tea and cookies to her and tell Hana to keep her company.

    Shit, I told her to take a break but now I'm the one who wants to touch a soul "bare-souled" again. I guess I will laze around the sofa with them and think about what I saw.

    Hana uses her stroking skills on Roxanne and she collapses on her lap, I use my ear massage skills and make Alissa collapse on my lap. We spend the rest of the morning lazing about.


    We have sweet bread to go with sweet vegetable soup and more orc meat with fungi sauce.

    After lunch a messenger appears. Silas invited us to a subjugation force for a large goblin camp found a day from the town.

    "This must be the one we reported some time ago, isn't that right, master?" Asks Alissa.

    "I think so too... oh, so this letter is a request we can't turn down?" I ask

    "Please, master, we have to go," says Hana.

    "It's just a question."

    "Oh, sorry. Well yes, we can't turn it down," answers Hana.

    "Technically we can but we can be kicked out of the guild if we do that," says Roxanne.

    "I see. Well, what does 'shock squad' means?"

    "It means we will be the ones doing the slaughter," says Alissa.

    "Blessed with good luck," says Hana with a grin.

    I frown. Alissa grabs my hand and I sigh.

    "That's actually quite a good position, we will be watched by everybody," says Hana.

    That makes things even worse.

    "I'm actually pretty shy among strangers, I don't feel blessed," I say.

    "That's no problem, master. Keep near me and I will brush away anyone who comes to bother you," says Hana with a smile.

    A bit comforting.

    "Master is kind and wise, those are your strengths. If you don't want to deal with problematic people leave it to us, we will keep you safe," Alissa adds.

    A bit more comforting.

    "Even I know that. Wolf is a precious gem that breaks easily," says Roxanne with smirk.

    Eh, please, that had the opposite effect.

    "Miss Roxanne! That wasn't something good to say," scolds Alissa.

    Roxanne runs away to her room and Hana laughs.

    To be honest I actually do feel blessed, blessed to have these girls.

    The departure will be on the 16th at 1PM. We have enough time to collect our money from the auction and get our reserved equipment.

    Since we are going to fight all of us, except Roxanne who we locked out of her room for her to rest, went to the training grounds to brush up on our skills.


    Alissa draws a crowd with her archery skills and Hana has a line of students challenging her for a spar, some people are betting heavily in favor of Hana. I go to my corner and practice my fireballs again.

    After training I feel something change heavily in me, I look and I gained 4 points in [Mana Efficiency], my [Sense Mana] increased by 2, my MP increased by 100 (now 455) and my "Magic Power" increased by 10 (now 210).

    Wow, I guess my knowledge about mana increased a lot during this time but I never practiced it properly so it must have accumulated somehow until now. Or maybe this is the Goddess of Growth helping me prepare, regardless I guess I should thank her.

    Thank you Goddess of Growth.


    We take a bath together and Hana tries to brush Alissa's tail, it ends badly and I have to do it to compensate for her. Hana is gets sad but I guess her talent lies in stroking hair.

    Dinner is sandwich of fried minced meat, a proto-hamburger. I used lots of leaves and squishy vegetables to make it as close to Earth's burger than I could, the girls loved it. "Refreshing" they said, they were going to put some heavy sauce on it which would make it soggy and impossible to eat with your hands.

    I tried to carry Hana who fell asleep in the sofa but I fail, to my utter shame.

    "Awn, that was cute. Don't feel bad, I'll play with you more today, okay?" She asks and strokes my hair again.

    Tonight Alissa teaches Hana how to use her mouth, she doesn't have fangs so it goes well. She's more of a storm while Alissa is much more delicate. I finish inside her mouth and she tells me she loves the taste, I just don't know how to answer to that.

    After that Alissa rides me while Hana uses my face. I feel my balls shriveling.


    Today is the 15th.

    I wake up and Hana is trying to suck my soul through my dick. I endure the pain in my balls and dick and cum again, then I feel something change within me.

    I gained the skill [Enhanced Semen Recharge]. What the fuck.


    Hana laughs her way out of the room. Alissa assumes a poker face and freezes on the bed, staring at the distance. I go out and Roxanne runs to her room laughing, Hana told her.

    You know what, fuck this. I will wear it with pride, what kind of man has his balls drained every day for so long he develops a fucking skill? I'm a pervert and I can become a sex god in a few seconds, this is my talent and my biggest source of dopamine. Bow to me, unworthy men who cannot even please your own women.

    "Rejoice, Alissa, this means you can do hold back less if you wish to do me," I say.

    She looks at me, looks at the distance, looks at me again, opens her mouth as if to say something, then closes it and blushes. How can you still blush like this?


    We eat toast with pâté, butter and tea after everyone calmed down. Roxanne sends me a few gazes, Hana seems to be in a good mood and Alissa keeps her poker face.

    The auction will start accepting bids at 3PM, we are not required to be there at the start but I want to see it. It will take at most an hour, then we will have to linger a while to receive our money.

    I'm getting anxious so I try to spend time sparring with Hana.

    "Roxanne, did you ever get your share of the bounty from the Symbol?" I ask.

    "Oh shit, I forgot! Eheheheh, can we pass by the guild before we go to the auction?"

    I shrug.

    Roxanne is locked out of her room so she's just watching us from the window on the living room.

    "You work too much Roxanne, you have to clear your mind once in a while or you will block yourself and stop progressing," Warns Hana.

    "Hm? What do you mean?" Asks Roxanne.

    "Mental progress, skill training, and muscle training are all similar. Sometimes your mind won't learn if you don't stop to rest. This goes for martial training and muscular growth, if you overdo it you stop or even lose progress," she answers.

    "Hmmm, perhaps there's some truth to that."

    "Hmph," Hana grunts while casually parrying my attack and countering me.

    "We all care about you, so don't overdo it, ok?" Says Alissa, while practicing her bow.

    That got her. She lower her eyes and looks a little guilty.

    "Thank you… I don't know how to work as a team properly, so thank you..." Roxanne says.

    "Awn..." Hana stops the spar and gives Roxanne a sweaty hug.

    "Eck!"

    In the end Roxanne practices her water and fire a bit. She shows impressive control by making very small spells, she did not go rusty while working non"stop. I think this is how she uses her [Explosion], an extremely small and concentrated ball of fire and water conjured inside the target. Direct manipulation of other living beings is extremely difficult, I guess her spell is so small and concentrated she can basically bypass that.


    For lunch Alissa shows a meaty pasta sauce that reminds me of Madeira sauce.

    Then we all get ready to go and holy shit the women look hot. Alissa melts my heart with her cute white frilly dress and small white shoes, Hana looks majestic with a risque red silk straight dress open on the back and Roxanne makes me uncomfortable with a black slightly gothic dress with a huge cleavage and black knee socks.

    Roxanne and Hana go by magic carpet while I ride Alissa. We pass by the monster hunters guild and the hall nearly stops for them. This is a bit too much attention, I'm sweating cold. Thankfully Roxanne doesn't waste time, her reward was already ready. Then we are finally off to the theater.

    The theater is an amazing place, it has beautiful Gothic architecture and a blood red color from it's bricks. It's a half circle where the entrance is on the circular side. The walls are full of details and arches in relief and statues of all kinds of humanoids in different postures. With a sword in hand, reading a book, shaking a flask, holding an orc head, putting on a crown, tilling the land, and many others. All the statues are supposed to represent a great work of art that became known around the world.

    Inside, the bricks turn yellow and give a majestic feeling to the architecture. There are large sets of stairs that take to the 3 levels of stands that there are. On the walls are paintings on huge canvas depicting the plays being shown. I really need to come here one day and watch one of these plays but the luxury puts me off.

    The guards at the entrance knows who we are and they direct us to a specific stand where Silas is. It's a balcony on the 3rd floor where we have central view of the stage. Silas is sitting there talking to a majestic man with a huge red fur cloak and black and gold clothes with a few jewels embedded.

    "That is the lord of Rabanara, Alaraste Anara," whispers Alissa.

    Oh fuck, oh fuck. Silas sees us entering and points to chairs besides him.

    "Good afternoon, Mr. Ryder. It's good to see you here," says Silas.

    "G-good afternoon, guildmaster. I was curious to see how it would go," I answer and sit down to his left.

    "It's just a small event, nothing special."

    Alissa sat on my other side and Hana and Roxanne sat down on the row behind us.

    "Good afternoon, Miss Alissa, Miss Roxanne and Miss Hanafuria," he looks at each girl and nods. They give a greeting and nod back.

    "This is the lord of Rabanara, Alaraste Anara. My lord, this is one of the fellowships who fought the Symbol, the fellowship Helios. Miss Hanafuria wasn't present at the battle.

    The lord turns and looks at us. He's a dark haired man with square jaw and a well kept stubble. He has a deep, stoic gaze, his black eyes pierce me and then pierce the girls. He has an aura of authority, I wonder if it's a skill.

    "Greetings to you all," he says. I mimic Alissa and give a small bow, "I see it now, the man, the mage, the archer and now a strong shield. You will do well tomorrow, look for my elite squad, you should work together with them."

    "Elite squad?" Whispers Alissa.

    "Elite squad?" I repeat reflexively. I'm sweating.

    "Yes. They will be the main power on the subjugation tomorrow, your mage and your archer are very powerful killing forces, have them work with my elite squad."

    "Say 'as you wish, my lord'," Alissa whispers.

    "Y-yes, as you wish, my lord," I obey, Alissa pushes my back and I give a small bow.

    For a split second I notice a small smile on the Lord's face.

    "A large amount of goblins are amassing on that camp, we couldn't find it's exact location so we are calling every reliable fellowship that has a tracker," Silas says, "Also we will require quite a lot of firepower so we calling for the Lord's help this time, he will lend us a subjugation squad with a genius magician. The elite squad, yours and 2 others will be the main killers of this operation. But let's leave the details for tomorrow."

    He smiles faintly and we turn forward again.

    In a few minutes it starts. On the stage a man appears in a proto-suit.

    "Gentlemen and gentlewomen. Good afternoon to all of you and to our Lord Anara who's watching over us today," and he motions to our balcony.

    Alaraste gets up and waves once, then he sits down. The lower floor can't see me sitting but all the other balconies can, the amount of gazes in this direction makes me freeze.

    "Tonight we are all here gathered for an auction of the body of a legendary creature, the Symbol of Hate. This creature is an aberrant monster that lived for 203 years, we know that it's soul is so deformed it doesn't even obey the Monster King. It reached 5 meters and 12 centimeters under normal posture. It has 12 spider legs with a hair so sharp that can draw blood if you carelessly touch it. The body of the spider is as tough as a plated knight while the body of the human has a skin as tough as an ogre. It's mouth is composed by hundreds of small teeth that painfully tear and shred anything it eats, don't smell them, you will puke. Its hands sports such long, sharp and tough nails that it used it in combat as a weapon similar to a dagger. The hero who was stabbed by these nails barely survived."

    Oh, that's me… don't call me "hero" though.

    "It is a being that literally fed on pain. It captured its prey, tortured it, harmed it and then like a caring mother brought it back to full health, only to start the cycle of pain again. Only when someone's mind is truly broken is that mercy is given and the prey is finally eaten alive. It's the embodiment of misery, it's cunning allowed it to avoid all who were sent to exterminate it until it underestimated the destructive power and cunning of two humble fellowships. I present you the corpse of the Symbol of Hate!"

    A large square glass cube floats towards the middle of the stage and the theater explodes in murmurs.

    "Impressive, what a fierce battle," says Alaraste, his eyes widen.

    The body is floating inside the glass cube. You can see floating besides it the two missing spider legs, the missing spider leg tips, and the bloodied and partly burned arms and head. The finger daggers on one arm are still bloodied with my blood. The head has its eyes and mouth open. The arrows are still stuck on its eyes, the artwork of Alissa. A piece of intestine dangles from below the Symbol, now that is my artwork.

    I feel a slight shifting behind me. Roxanne is looking away and Hana is squeezing her hand. The auctioneer continues.

    "You can all see the damage required to stop such monstrosity. Incredible accuracy with arrows to hit the eyes. Fearsome swordsmanship to be able to cut legs and the tips. The unbelievable cut below the entire thorax of the spider. The courage to throw oneself into these frightening daggers on its fingers. And finally, the most impressive is how destroyed the main body is, the genius of the mage who blew up the entire torso of the Symbol with one attack. Fortunately for us the arms and head survived such gruesome fate."

    Roxanne is being praised but she looks paler than she normally is and looks down. Now Alissa turns around to give her hand a squeeze.

    "Fortunately for all of us the most interesting parts survived, the human head and the spider body. Even with most of its eyes destroyed the nervous system of the spider is still intact, the legs and the innards still hold most of its contents and there's still a lot of blood inside the body. A treasure trove for those who are looking for 203 year old monster parts that have been soaking in mana and pain for all this time."

    "Let us start the bidding! The body will be sold in its entirety along with all the severed parts. The initial bid is 1 rose coin!"

    "1 and 10!"

    "1 and 20!"

    ," 1 and 50!"

    ," 2 coins!"

    Starting good.

    "2 and 30!"

    "2 and 40!"

    "3 coins!"

    Oh boy.

    "3 and 50!"

    "4 coins!"

    Keep it going!

    "4 and 20!"

    "4 and 30!"

    I'm at the edge of my seat. I can taste the money.

    "4 and 40!"

    "..."

    "4 and 45!"

    It's slowing down. Oh no.

    "4 and 50!"

    "..."

    "5 coins!"

    "…"

    "..."

    Oh.

    "…"

    "Is that all?" Asks the auctioneer.

    "It's a 1."

    "It's a 2."

    "It's a 3!"

    "SOLD!"

    177 gold coins for us. 107 after paying for Hana. I'm rich, bitches!

    I look back and find that ‘Hauberk' is a few rows to the side, I didn't notice them coming.

    Gunther is with his eyes closed, he holds an expressionless face. Lorthar has his hands clasped and he's praying. Minerva is crying with an ugly face and snot dripping from her nose. It's kinda heartwarming, 22 gold coins for each is still a lot, they could even retire and buy a farm somewhere.

    The lord quietly leaves. Silas motions us and Hauberk to come with him. We are taken to a room, in there we sit on one of the luxurious sofas and wait. There's a man with a thick magnifying glass with inscriptions on the lens, he must be the metal appraiser.

    An old man with a large black and purple robe and pointy hat appears. He carries a jeweled metal staff with a giant shining yellow jewel at the top. He walks slowly and a bit wobbly but I can feel a strong savagery in his eyes. Another man with a proto-suit holds the arm of the old man and they walk together.

    "Grand Rizek. Pleasure to have you here," says Silas.

    "Hoh, pleasure to be here, even more pleasured that I lived long enough to see such a legend be killed," the old man responds in a raspy but very strong voice.

    Silas simply smiles and the man is brought to a chair. He turns around to us.

    "Hah, wouldn't have imagined such squirts would bring that thing down. The tortured souls that were victims of that evil thing thank you."

    We simply nod, slightly overwhelmed at his vigor.

    "Now, Sebastian."

    Another butler, another Sebastian. With a *poof* he materializes 5 rose coins and puts them on the table. The appraiser inspects each coin and then nods to Silas.

    "Then it's done," Silas snaps a finger and another man with a proto-suit appears, "Please take Grand Rizek to the storage area."

    Rizek leaves slowly.

    "Who was that man?" I ask.

    "A mage that belongs to the lords court. He's a genius of [Electric Magic]," says Roxanne.

    Electric, eh…?

    Silas stores the coins in his [Item Box] and brings out a huge sack of gold coins, another with silver coins, and a last one with copper coins. Then one of his helpers count the coins and separate the parts for each of us. The guild takes 5%.

    "Glad to do business with you. We will see each other again tomorrow," Silas says with a smile.

    "I'm glad I met you, even under those circumstances I'm glad I met you," Gunther says, he and the other 2 companions come and shake our hands.

    "What are you going to do now?" I ask.

    "Move to a calmer area, we can take it easy now and possibly find a nice place to retire," Answers Gunther, he lets out a large smile and his eyes look far away.

    "Be well," I say.

    And finally we leave. Tomorrow we will pay Ghulam and retrieve the equipment we reserved for Hana. Tomorrow a new adventure begins. I'm only a bit excited, a tiny little bit.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019
  15. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Tonight Roxanne joined us on the sofas, she stole my breast pillow and cuddled with Hana, they seem quite friendly with each other. I played with Alissa's tail until she fell asleep, then I succeeded in carrying her to the bed and gave my all to both of them. With the expedition things might be harder for a few days so I have to enjoy it while I can. My new skill also helped a lot, I felt much more invigorated.



    Today is the 16th.

    This morning we only had a quick breakfast and we all left to buy the remaining supplies, we spent most of the morning looking for the last few things. Didn't even use my new sleeping bag and instead we bought a bed that fits us 3. We also bought an even bigger tent that you can stand on, a small table for us to eat inside the tent, a lot of different "Items"-ready meals, and a new flying vehicle for all of us.

    The vehicle was quite expensive, 30 gold, but it fits 6. It's a polished wood dinghy with wheels and a windshield. Looks a bit weak but the price was because the magic tool was quite big, almost the size of a basketball.

    The tool is a slightly green tinted polyhedron crystal. There's a handle that's stuck to it, it doesn't move but it responds to pressure, it controls yaw and pitch. To apply propulsion you have to manipulate your mana around the crystal, this means that you can fly in any direction, even backwards, but it's not advised. At most you should only switch between applying force upwards to float or forward to speed up. Roxanne and Hana have a little experience with it so they will fly if necessary, I will learn it in the future.

    I sent Alissa to pay Ghulam and after that we moved to the west gate where a row of wagons and a crowd of people are already waiting. It's 11 AM so we take an early lunch on a nearby stall. Then we see Silas coming with 5 knights and 2 robed figures.

    The knights wear black scale armor and on top a surcoat with the heraldry of the Lord. In the middle of the knights a familiar face appears, black hair, square jaw, the hint of a stubble and a piercing, stoic gaze. He's the Lord, or rather, a younger version of him.

    Behind him another familiar face, an elven girl. Silver straight hair, it almost shines. Short, skin as white as snow. Oval face, upturned blue eyes, nearly asian, small pointy nose, red lips and the unmistakable long pointy ears of the elves protruding on a right angle from her head.

    Silvane notices us and smiles at Alissa who returns it.

    Silas stops near the crowd and speaks.

    "Gather here hunters! We will begin role call! Bring your leaders and we will start the strategy meeting!" He yells, his voice has the characteristic distortion of someone speaking on a microphone.

    When the roll call begins we enter a nearby building and sit around a table. Burly men, scarred faces, wicked eyes, stoic gazes, threatening auras. Those are the adventurers leaders sitting on the table, and then there's me. Aside from Silas I'm the smallest and also the youngest here. I wanna run away, help me Alissa!

    Thankfully the strategy has been defined already, there's no need for me to speak. The Lord's son, Haaran, is the one explaining things. He's the leader of the expedition and the leader of the elite troops of the Lord. His voice is lighter than the Lord's but it's like he's a clone of him, I just wonder what kind of genetics is going on here.

    There will be one fellowship responsible for the vanguard, one for the rearguard, and 4 duo's responsible for scouting. Those are the ones who will protect the main forces during the trip. After we reach the place chosen as our base of operations all fellowships will contribute with tracking the base of the goblins.

    When found, our strike will begin. There are 2 artillery fellowships that will rain magic as the first strike. My fellowship, the Lord's elite troops and 2 other fellowships are the shock troops and will fight any enemy inside their base. The scouting troops will make sure as few as possible goblins escape, the vanguard will protect our backs during the attack and the rearguard will guard our base of operations.

    The plan is simple, swift and decisive. We will take half a day to get to the entrance to the Sea of Trees, camp there, half a day to move to our base, most likely half a day to scout, half a day to fight, and another day to get back. We will be back before Selina's wedding. The meeting ends and we are ordered to get up on the wagons.

    "Greetings, Mr. Ryder, I hope you remember me," Silvane approaches us and speaks to me, her voice is delicate and feminine.

    I actually do remember your curves, or the lack of them, when I saw you wearing that one piece.

    "Greetings, Miss Silvane, it would be difficult to forget a face like yours," I say. Damn I nailed that line.

    "Oh my," she smiles, oh my heart, "It is good to see you well Miss Alissa."

    "You too, Miss Silvane," she smiles warmly, "What happened to you? You are part of the lord's elite squad now?"

    "Oh yes. Lord Haaran bought me, I'm to marry him at the end of the year," she brims with happiness.

    "That's amazing! It means he will look to conquer a dungeon soon, right?" Alissa seems very happy.

    "Yes, I'm also under apprenticeship with the court magicians, I will enter the university the next month."

    Oh?

    "You might study with master then, he's also joining next month."

    "Ah, so he's the one with the blessing then?" She turns to me, "The skill you created, [Redirect Mana], caught the attention of many people."

    Ugh, I didn't really want to though. I smile wryly.

    "How's the research on that skill? ," she continues.

    "It's going very well but because of the subjugation I had to stop it for a while, it will delay me a little now."

    "That's unfortunate, but this is our duty," she nod with a serious look and Alissa follows, "We can't let that goblin camp get any larger, for the sake of our people."

    Then she's back to smiling faintly.

    "It seems you found your happiness," says Alissa.

    "And you did yours," answers Silvane.

    Alissa blushes a bit.

    "Let us go, we can speak more when we reach camp," Silvane says.

    "Certainly!"

    From what I understood Alissa and Silvane met in the Misty Low Forest when both of them were to be brought to Rabanara. They spent a day-cycle together and became friends. Their dreams and goals were similar, to find someone strong for them to serve so they could honor their families or restore the family's honor in the case of Silvane. They didn't say it but I noticed they didn't have any hope of finding love, they only talked about duty.



    The wagons use double horses and run on the road. It's a rather well built road, less well maintained than the one inside the town but it's still impressive engineering. It is made of large square blocks, there's some sort of cement holding them together; it is slightly curved and a small channel on the sides holds the rainwater that slowly drains away from the road. The wagons don't shake much but they make noise.

    We share our wagon with Akros, one of the shock troop fellowships. They have 4 members. A red skinned demon race man, he has a single horn coming out of his forehead, truly a japanese creation, he uses a tower shield. A large, tanned, and bearded man, he uses a two-handed sword the size of his body. A lanky white man with an ugly black bowl cut, he uses a longbow. A scrawny and cute dwarf girl with boyish black short hair, she uses a small composite bow.

    Honestly they aren't very pleasant. They are too crude, they keep talking about the ways they will disembowel the goblins and the dwarf girl wants to make a competition with Alissa on how many eyes they will pop.

    Hana saves me, she cuts in the conversation and they eventually ignore me. I just zone out and practice my meditation for [Redirect Mana]. It's quite hard to cut your senses with so much stimulation going on. It serves to shorten the trip though, before I notice it Alissa tells me it's time to leave the wagons.



    I stretch and feel how sore my muscles have become. We spent half a day inside that wagon and I spent all of it meditating, it's kind of amazing. I wish I had this sort of skill back on Earth, boring trips done in a second.

    It's 5PM. We left early and reached the border even earlier. Haaran tells us to start marching, the scouts run ahead first, then the vanguard goes, and we follow behind it. Behind us are 10 space mages, they have large [Item Boxes] and are basically humanoid pack mules, the rearguard is tasked with protecting them. I saw Targua leading the rearguard, he waved at us and kept to his business, what a nice fellow.

    The atmosphere of the Sea of Trees is always a bit fantastical to me, even charming. Now I know a few plants and fruits and we discreetly collect them. My "Items" is bottomless so I'm the only one who can afford to increase my load.

    I decide to lie and tell Roxanne I have managed to acquire [Summoning Magic] on the university, this way I can use my bird for scouting and my dog for guarding us.

    "So, Roxanne, my research of [Golemancy] is pretty close to [Summoning Magic]. So close that I have acquire a few spells on it already."

    "Hm?" Her eyes slowly regain focus as she looks at me, "Ah! Oh yes, There's a spell called [Summon Small Golem], right? Kinda obvious the two schools intersect somewhere."

    Not the angle I was thinking about but okay.

    "Y-yeah, well so far I have only managed to summon a small bird and dog. Also, I wanna tell Lord Haaran but I'm feeling a bit intimidate by him."

    "It's okay to not tell, master," Alissa says, "Not many hunters tell all their secrets. You can just use it whenever you wish and most people won't bother. Unless if you summon something really inconspicuous, like the elementals."

    Elementals sound interesting. I haven't updated my magic list yet, perhaps I can get more spells now. I don't know what level I need for elementals though.

    "But isn't it a rare magic? I don't want to keep calling so much attention to me."

    "You are already the town hero," says Hana.

    I look at Alissa and Roxanne and they both shrug.

    "Besides, the news of you having the blessing of the Goddess of Knowledge should be spreading too. You can't stop your fame anymore, master," Alissa smiles wryly with a hint of pity.

    This is bad, but also good, it means I can more easily say "fuck it" and do what I want. The problem is the ID checks, I need consistency, if I keep adding or removing skills it will be problematic if they are recording my skill progress.

    "Alright, I'm thinking about summoning 1 or 2 dogs and using them as guards, that way maybe we won't need to participate in the watch."

    "Oh-oh, that's a good idea, Wolf! Please do," Roxanne excitedly grabs my hand and squirms, "Mages need a good night sleep for full performance on magic, standing guard will only make me weaker."

    "Hm, yes, we will all be able to sleep together this way," Hana looks up for a second absentmindedly.

    Alissa says nothing but her tail sways. Nobody likes to stand guard in the cold, alone.



    During our walk suddenly a grey fox appeared, it ran towards the leader of the vanguard and turned into a grey haired man. He has claws, fox ears and a small snout in place of a noise but no tail. I felt like bragging that Alissa becomes a much bigger fox. It seems he's not part of Alissa's clan though, most of her clan is orange or black colored.

    The fox man talks to the leader and they rush forward, a minute later I hear the scream of a dying ogre. Then the leader, a short and wide man with a poleaxe, comes back bloodied and dripping.

    The sun sets at the sound of a dying goblin and the scouts come back. Haaran tells us to set camp. I sweat a little when people start bringing out tools and building their own tents. I breath in and pull out my large, square tent who was stored completely built. Then I hurry inside to hide.

    "This is actually nice, I should have bought one as big as yours," says Roxanne.

    The tent is roughly 5x10m, our bed fits in perfectly and near the entrance is the small table with 4 chairs. I won't let anyone see the inside of this tent though, this is rather excessive.

    "But you wouldn't be able to carry it yourself, right?" I say.

    "With your stupid [Item Box] it would be pretty easy. Now I don't even want a bigger tent, I wanna sleep on your bed too, the bag is pretty bad," she says while pouting.

    "Sorry, my bed is only for my lovers."

    I will not sacrifice my privacy even if you are a companion.

    Hana smirks at Roxanne who looks away and Alissa keeps her poker face but I saw that tail twitch, I saw it!

    "Now it should be okay to leave, master. Let's take a bath," says Alissa.

    Discreetly I leave and I pull out a foldable partition and put a simple wooden bathtub in the middle. Then Roxanne comes, fills it up, and heats it. Roxanne goes first, she can make the water disappear with magic and conjure it again pretty fast. With that I get to wash the girls and enjoy myself, I got a proper gag now and it muffles their moans almost entirely. The partition isn't excessive, it's something any fellowship with two different sexes brings, it's the bathtub that's the problem.

    Once we finish there's multiple tents already pitched, a bonfire crackling, a large wooden table with wood benches where people are eating on, and a large pot on the fire where one of the space mages is cooking something.

    Silvane sees us and waves for us to come sit besides her. She's not wearing her robe but a thick woolen red dress, it's not something that's meant to be fashionable but she still looks cute on it. We sit and I bring out our "Items"-ready meals, Silvane also seems to be eating something prepared beforehand and not the soup from the space mages.

    "Say Mr. Ryder. Were you the one who gave the info that the Giant Tarantulas were using the web on their bodies?" Silvane asks.

    I blink blankly a few times.

    "How did you know that?"

    "Only you and Hauberk were the only ones hunting there for the last half-cycle. Since I heard you have a blessing you are the most obvious candidate."

    "Hah, that makes sense. So, was it useful?"

    "Yes. We explored the Ant Hill after your battle to investigate the battle site and then we hunted the White Arachne. On the way we tested your info and burned to death half the spiders, it was quite the help. Though the smell is quite terrible," she lets out a wry smile.

    "Amazing, I'm glad that helped," I smile warmly.

    "Though I got a little interested on the second part. The info said that it might be only one of the spider genders that were doing this, with that we did a few autopsies and discovered that was true. We also found you can identify the sex of the spider by the pedipalps, the little legs that float in front of the spider. One sex has rounder pedipalps while the other has pointy pedipalps, the round pedipalps are the ones who burn."

    Silvane seems very content in telling us this. I'm a little impressed at her knowledge.

    "You seem very happy in telling us this, you planning on becoming a scholar?"

    "Perhaps one day. I like to think about the details, there are many small details that we overlook, this one detail you found helped us kill these spiders twice as fast."

    "But why didn't anybody discover this first?"

    "Perhaps it's mating season, the Lord is going to send a squad to investigate every half-cycle to see if that is true."

    "That's good news," says Alissa.

    "You telling them about the spiders, Silf?" Haaran comes and sits besides her.

    Silf? Is that kindness I hear in his voice? Kind of hard to imagine the stoic man with a piercing gaze being like this.

    "Yes, it was Mr. Ryder who gave us the info on the spiders," she gushes at him.

    "Hm. You have my gratitude Mr. Ryder," he gives a small nod, "It was quite the odd info but it turned out to be true"

    Silvane giggles and then she blushes.

    "Oh, the info about on how to break mind poison was also useful, we… confirmed it works," Silvane says and turns her eyes away. Haaran freezes for a second.

    I smirk. I also told the guild that the arachnes mind poison can be broken by "passionately kissing a loved one".

    Silvane coughs and changes the topic. She asks about my adventures with Alissa and then tells tales of her own adventures, me and Haaran just silently stare at them while we eat. Hana is talking to another fellowship nearby, she already got a beer tankard. Roxanne is by the fire listening to some story and she brought her own wine. I'm okay not talking to strangers but I still prefer to be able to talk to my women while eating.

    I gather some courage and talk to Haaran.

    "Ah, Mi-l-lord Haaran, about the watch. I can summon dogs to keep watch, I could summon two dogs and a bird. Do you think I can, uh, skip participating on the watch if I make them keep guard?"

    "One of my own knights uses a dog as a substitute for the watch, so I can't deny you. Just make sure it's one with a good hearing and smell."

    His gaze gives me chills but he's not ill-intended. I just bow a little and excuse myself to my tent.

    I saw him grab the hand of Silvane, then she said her goodbyes to Alissa and both entered his tent.

    I summon 2 dobermans and a small bird making all my mana go away, it's a bit risky to do this but the camp is safe so I have time to recover it. One dog stays at the entrance of our tent, Roxanne's tent is right besides ours so the dog protects her tent too, I share my hearing with this dog. The other dog patrols the camp and will bark and come to me if a monster is found and the bird does the same, I don't share my senses with these two.

    I spend some time kissing and stroking Alissa and then Hana comes back. When Hana drinks she doesn't get drunk, she gets horny. She pulls my pants and tells Alissa to continue her oral lessons. The feeling isn't the best but having two women lick your shaft is a perfectly erotic scene, their tongues touch once in a while and I feel tingling in my heart.

    They take their turns until I finish inside Alissa's mouth.

    "Don't swallow everything, give me a bit," says Hana.

    Alissa freezes and stares at Hana.

    "Come on, spit a bit on my mouth," she insists and smiles.

    I nod to Alissa and she moves over Hana. She opens her mouth and lets a white dribble out of her lips, Hana opens her mouth and lets it fall on her tongue, she comes so close to Alissa they almost kiss.

    "Holy shit, and I thought I was the depraved one," I say.

    Hana just smiles and cleans the tip of my dick.

    We all sleep with leather armor so no naked touching or breast pillow for me, but it's still a wonderful nights sleep.



    Today is the 17th.

    As soon as the sun comes out Haaran's knights wake everyone and hurry us to break camp and start marching.

    Since our tent is just a simple button press we take our time and again Hana starts her morning by sucking my soul through my dick.

    "Sorry, master. But this is my first battle in 7 months, I'm really excited," Hana says while playing around with my dick.

    "You really don't need to be sorry for this. The maximum you can do is give me another level on [Enhanced Semen Recharge]."

    Hana smirks and I spend a few more minutes kissing Alissa. Even Alissa seems to be in a good mood, is she eager for battle too?

    "I heard that men sh-… men or women should sleep with their loved ones before battle, no need for thoughts of regret or unspent desires on the battlefield," I say.

    "I agree with that. Unfortunately I never had someone to use my desires on," says Hana.

    "You are free to make up for lost time," I say.

    "Master, be careful, one day Hana will break you," says Alissa with a wry smile.

    If Alissa is saying sex jokes then the world is one step closer towards world peace.

    We get up and recover our tent. Roxanne is bored watching the others dismantle the camp while she sits in one of her stools. I see Silvane helping by storing a few things, she seems to be brimming with happiness. I guess in private Haaran is a fellow vigorous man.



    We keep our march and it goes the same as yesterday but the screams of dying goblins get more frequent, even two ogres are found. One time a group of 4 dumb Mossy Fangpines appears just to be zapped, burned, crushed, and shot by all the hunters around.

    Haaran makes us march fast but I cast [Swift Foot] on my party and I put [Stamina Enhancement] on the two girls so we have a pretty sweet time. I just wished I could help Roxanne a bit more, if she gets tired I will have Hana carry her.

    The landscape changes a little and it gets more inclined, we are passing by a hill slope. From between the cracks in the canopy you can see the mountain to our left. I decide to summon a bird and have it scout above the trees, I will try to avoid Dragolites this time.

    The breathtaking view above the canopies makes me wish I could share my senses with the girls. Flying fast and low over the trees gives me a sense of freedom I never felt before, I almost forgot I had to keep walking. The sea of green of the leaves, gold of the reflected sun and the random patches of colors all serve to lift my spirits.

    I can see a crack in the tree lines, there's a river nearby. We are going west so to my left is south, over there there is a hill covered in green with an eye catching tree at the top, its darker than the rest and a huge amount of vines hang from it the south. Behind the huge tree the Sea of Trees extends indefinitely and it's almost like it's calling, waiting to be explored, like an empty stage waiting for the first actor to enter the play. Far in the front the mountain range appears on the horizon, on the other side is Alissa's homeland.

    When I get back from my trance Alissa is smiling besides me. Was I showing a stupid face?

    "I saw a huge tree through my bird summon," I say to Alissa, "Makes me curious to investigate."

    She smiles wryly and speaks, "Not the best idea, could the the home of the forest's guardian."

    "Guardian?"

    "In some forests magical beings appear and fight to protect its home. It's hard to imagine the Sea of Trees doesn't have a guardian."

    Interesting, but now I'm a little more frightened of coming out here.

    We keep our pace, eventually we pass the hill and get near the river. We divert a little south because a scout reported Giant Dragonflies are over there. There's no need to fight them, to the disappointment of Hana.



    We climb another hill, steeper than the other one and some hunters start complaining. But the effort is paid and we reach the summit at 9AM. It's a plateau with a pretty good view of the surroundings, very difficult to be attacked by surprise here.

    We make camp, have an early lunch, and then the trackers are called for the meeting. Haaran brings a map of the surroundings and show the locations of goblin sightings, along with the 3 possible locations for their camp. Alissa is the fastest of them all so she will go the second location, which is the furthest, she will go alone since she can conceal herself. We will tie her bow, quiver, and sword with a belt and she will carry them in her mouth, she can control saliva so it won't get dirty.

    Alissa got 1 level from the Symbol and she increased her [Bow Use] by 2 (now 22), her [Quiet Steps] by 1(now 4) and her [Hide Presence] by 1 (now 4) so she still has 4 points left. I put 2 in [Quiet Steps] and 2 in [Hide Presence], she's quite the assassin like this.
    AlissaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9Bow Use22Parry4
    Dodge2Sense Presence5Hide Presence2+4
    Enhanced Olfact5Enhanced Hearing3Hawk Eyes1
    Muscle Explosion1Quiet Steps2+4Quiet Action2
    Tracking 2
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control1Fire magic1
    Light Magic1Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Housework3Cooking2Cleaning2
    Washing 5Riding 2Oral Technique4
    Hand Technique2Pain Resistance2Fox Transformation (innate)4
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    The other hunters can only rest so I decide to train my dogs in sparring with Hana, while I don't make them bite her enough to hurt they can still hinder her. It takes a bit of effort since I can only communicate with voice commands but it's doable, specially if I bring 2 dogs versus a single opponent. I can't call wolves but a huge Kangal is still dangerous. I attracted some of attention with my sparring so I started to feel a little uncomfortable.

    I wished these dogs had personalities. I miss my dogs, I had two. One reminds me of a taller corgi while the other a bigger and stronger orange beagle. One liked belly rubs and the other like being scratched near the tail, one was lazier and fatter, the other was energetic and thinner. They would play with each other once in a while and it was the cutest thing ever.

    At 3PM, while reminiscing during a break Alissa comes back. She turns back into a humanoid and she looks a bit pale. She immediately comes to me.

    "Master, this is bad. The camp is a full blown village."



    Monsters generally work in small groups or alone, once in a while a leader-type is born and manages to command large groups of monsters, like the Orc Lord. A leader can then evolve and become a breeder-type, these breeders are the worst nightmare of hunters, they capture men or women and use them to birth more monsters. Men are used as sperm donors, women are raped and forced to give birth to children. The children from both men or women humanoids are born with intelligence similar to their parents. The children from men are weaker but are born faster, the children from women are much more developed and dangerous.

    If a breeder-type captures humanoids, in a year or two depending on the monster race he might have an army. An army that could topple a town. These monsters are emergencies and all measures are used to kill them and make sure not a single monster should escape.

    The difficulty of this request just increased a few levels. That's just my luck, isekai protagonist rotten luck strikes again.

    A "monster village" is a very large gated camp where life is not so different from a humanoid village. The villagers have their own small farms and livestock, they build their houses, weave their cloth, smith their tools, hug their children, and make love at night. They train their guards and soldiers to stand watch and protect their fellows from attack. They sing and dance when they are at peace and curse and fight when attacked. But they still can't change that they are monsters, they will always one day grow enough that their leader will order an attack. There's no negotiation, no diplomacy, their reason of existence is to kill humanoids and ours is to survive and kill monsters. Such is life here.

    Alissa tells Haaran and he gathers the leaders for a strategy meeting. The village is small enough that they can pick their things and move if they discover we found where they live. They will disappear and they will know we are hunting them so they might only be found again when they are marching an army. This is a risky situation no matter what you do, if we leave we risk losing their location, if we attack we risk dying since the difficulty is much higher now.

    It's impossible for us to fail, but at what cost will we succeed. The hunters follow the guild but they are not sworn to the land like the knights are, we can still retreat and retain our honor. But Haaran doesn't want to retreat, neither does Silvane.

    "You ain't paying us enough to die," says one of the hunters.

    "So it's all about money? I'm the son of the Lord, I can bring you much more money, the town is rich. It's not about money, you know that. You are afraid."

    "Shit, of course I'm afraid."

    "Then say it from the beginning."

    The man cringes and does not talk back.

    "We are all afraid, all of the time. Just like how the population is afraid too," his stern gaze passes through every hunter, making them shudder.

    "If we don't fight here and we go back, how can we look at the people and tell them we did our best to protect them," adds Silvane.

    "We are not going to die here, this is not a suicide attack," continues Haaran.

    "For the first time we are actually in danger now. That's our situation, but it's also the situation of the town," helps Silvane.

    "They are far too advanced to be left alone, they need to be stopped. It's our duty as sworn knights of the town but so is the duty of the hunters who protect us. Even if you aren't sworn to die, you are sworn to fight," finishes Haaran.

    The posture of the hunters hunch over as they get intimidate.

    The hunters are at an impasse, they do not want to budge but they can't find the words. It's incredible how Haaran straight truths and Silvane's warmth backed us all into the corner, aside from admitting to being chickens, nobody can run away now. They need just a little push.

    Didn't I tell myself I would at least try? I'm not gonna throw my life away for these people but it's true I have a lot of power right now. I don't want to fight, but I feel like I have to. I can't see this world as a game, I can't see these people as NPC's, I can't see Alissa and Hana as just toys, even if I do occasionally treat them like that I still feel some sort of love for them. They are part of this world and so am I, at least for now. Nothing tells me they don't want to fight, even Roxanne wants to blow some shit up, but I'm the leader I'm here to make the rational sensible decision for the best of all of us. But there's no simple answer here.

    I look at Targua, I nod. He stays still for a moment, then he nods. We start looking for the other hunters, we stare at each other, gauging reactions, then we nod. A silent agreement is emerging.

    "We should fight, even if we are scared, even if we are forced into risking the lives of our friends. This is one of the times we should fight," one of the hunters says.

    Sighs are released and heads drop.

    "We should fight," I gather the courage to say.

    "We should fight".



    Alissa managed to get into sight of the village so she described the best she could the surrounding area. It's gonna be difficult to enter, but they don't have a place to escape to. The place is on the other side of a river, which means there's an open field you have to cross. It's on a raised plateau with a single entrance, the ground troops like us are fucked. The only good thing is that the hill on the other side of the river is higher than the plateau, giving us the opportunity to use artillery on most of the village.

    "Silvane, you can use [Earth Wall], right?" I ask.

    "Yes, I'm very proficient in [Earth Magic]."

    "I can also use [Earth Wall], what if we make a ramp?"

    I get a few confused eyes since nobody knows I have this magic, which I don't, technically.

    "You can use it too? Then it's a valid plan, with us both together we might reach the top of the cliff. But we might need to use all our mana…"

    "This is not so good of an idea, Silf is a healer, isn't Mr. Ryder also a healer?" Asks Haaran.

    It's true, if I use my mana I can't heal anybody, even if my [Heal] is inefficient it can still save lives. Silvane even more so since she's more experienced, but the alternative is storming that death corridor... Maybe if I use [Redirect Mana]…

    "I'm developing a skill called [Redirect Mana], I used it once to quickly recover mana, it was just once but I could do it again. If I get a guard I can meditate and forcibly recover the mana on the spot.

    "'Forcibly'?" Haaran asks.

    "That's how it is, I forcefully absorb the mana dispersed in the environment. It takes a lot of willpower, but it's doable."

    "Then will you have your companions wait for you?"

    I didn't think of that, they will be fighting without me, I feel really bad about this.

    "It can't be helped. I will keep everybody alive until then, don't worry about it, master," Hana says.

    I know it's the best decision but I just don't want to accept it. Fucking hell.

    I hesitate for a second but I make my decision.

    "I will only need one person, it doesn't matter who. I cut my senses when I meditate so you will need to shake me to bring me back if we are attacked," I say.

    "We will have one of scouts stay with you then," says Haaran.

    "Understood."

    "Then we will have to divide the squads. One shock squad needs to hold the real entrance so no one escapes. The scouts need to clear the area of any guards or returners and keep the watch. The vanguard will support the detached shock squad."

    "We also need a clear line of communication, this will be a bloody and long battle. We have to kill all of them, no one must be left alive, " his gaze sends shills to our spines again, those fucking eyes of his, "So the scouts need to be able to reinforce if necessary and even the artillery needs to rest and recharge so they can rejoin the battle."

    Haaran keeps going on about the plan, I'm not required to hear too much of it though. It seems he really is trained in warfare, he knows exactly what he's doing and he does it with confidence. He has a different atmosphere from the hunters and specially from me, the quiet, small and rather cowardly man.



    Tonight the atmosphere was tense, no alcohol also helped with that, but you could see much more constant talking. People getting to know each other, to know how they fight, what they like and what their history was, to know who they are so if someone dies by their side they will at least feel something.

    I sit by the fire to think. Hana is talking and laughing, Alissa is with Silvane, Haaran is with his knights. Roxanne is by me now but she's quiet, she seems to be practicing [Mana Control].

    Targua comes and sits by me.

    "You are pretty reclusive, it's quite hard to get close to you," he says.

    "I'm not very talkative."

    "So it seems. But still you can't stop bringing attention to yourself, it's quite a predicament. But I want to know, why do you fight?"

    "That I can't say…"

    I fight to go home, but I also fight for the people, I think. I'm not sure anymore.

    Targua gauges me with his eyes and then speaks.

    "Well, I fight for myself, because I enjoy it, because it's my talent."

    "You enjoy it?"

    "Some are meant to burn like a candle, some are meant to burn like a [Firestorm]."

    I can hear this conversation being repeated around me. Knowing why a warrior fights is knowing the heart of that person.

    "I fight for my women... because I love them, and they can't live without fighting," I confess.

    "Oh, I see…"

    Saying "love" makes me cringe, but there's no real reason to be picky with words.

    "I just want to keep the town safe so we can go back to our quiet days…"

    I was eager for this expedition, but now I'm regretting it. But if it weren't me someone else would be here, someone else would be fighting. I can't run from this world forever.



    Tonight I take them with all my heart, and they took me with all of theirs. It's different from just lust, we are risking our lives tomorrow, we have to live like it's the last. You have to show your love and your heart.

    Alissa was the first, she was eager, she wanted me, she needed me, she depends on me and I depend on her.

    Hana comforts me, she keeps me safe, she keeps me happy, the least I can do is to give my all to keep her happy too.



    Today is the 18th.

    We wake up at before dawn. The chilly air, the faint mist, and the darkness create a gloomy atmosphere. Everyone is quiet and serious, there's no time to waste, we move as the first sun ray hits our faces. Targua waves as we march.

    Hey, God of War, I guess this is the first time I talked to you but I really need your help. I don't want to fight, I don't want glory or spoils but I have some women that I deeply care about. I have a duty to this people with the power I'm given, even if I don't want this duty, even if I hate whoever brought me here, I will accept this power and ask for more. I want to protect, I want to fight, I want to kill, and I want to live after to enjoy my life. I know you are listening so that's why I know you can help me. I know what I want and if you know what you want you know you should give power to me. You should give me what I need to protect others, because I will, I will succeed.

    I feel something change within me, I look at my stats and see my "Piety" has risen by 4, it's now 10. Thank you, I will keep everyone alive.

    I feel like there's something more that changed. I check my magic schools again and now I can see up to level 20 and 25 on all magic schools. There's one spell that puts a smile on my face, [Summon Elemental].

    Ten choices of elementals, one for each of the base elements. I have a good hunch of how they might be useful, specially the earth one.

    I catch up to Haaran and he looks towards me.

    "Excuse me, Lord Haaran," I say, my excitement overriding my meekness.

    "Yes?"

    "For this battle I will be calling earth elementals if my mana allows. Is that alright?"

    A smile flickers through his face then he turns stoic again.

    "It will be a great help. Use them well," and he nods.

    I bow lightly and go back to the girls to tell the news.



    Along the way I cast [Wind Armor] and [Swift Foot] on all of us and [Sharp Blades] on me and Hana. My mana is not sufficient for casting everything all at once but my recovery is quite good so I can do it before reaching our objective.

    It takes us an hour of forced march but we need to use the morning laziness to our advantage, if they have personalities like ours they will also be weaker just after waking up.

    The scouts take out multiple sentries and we reach our target without being discovered. But now we are inside their territory, it might be only a matter of time until the enemy gets alerted.

    We see a small hill and when we get closer we hear the sounds of water. We reach the summit and see the village.

    A small river and a large sandbank. A large wooden palisade covers part of the village, it's there to make the only entrance corridor into a death trap. The cliff wall is unprotected, it's 8 meters tall, we will have to make a considerable ramp for us to be able to cross. The village itself is a collection of ugly, filthy, hastily-made wood huts, they lack any sort of fashion, but they are all neatly organized in a grid. Behind the village there's another huge cliff, this one is impassable even for us. There's only one way in and one way out.

    "Artillery, stay here. Wait for the signal," Haaran says.

    We run down the hill and reach for the point of the cliff that's furthest from the village. Everyone is fully armored, the Knights pulled their full plate armor from the space mages [Item Boxes] and helped each other put it on. Hana's armored figure is imposing, the red brigandine covers her breasts, unfortunately, but the armor makes her look even more majestic, even frightening. The hunters and their mismatched armors also look imposing, they fit well with their armor so they walk fearlessly.

    I have 71 skill points, I put 21 in [Earth Magic], 20 in [Mana Control] and 20 in [Mana Efficiency] and 10 in [Blessing Magic] so my blessings keep active. Engage maximum power.

    Me and Silvane stand near the river, I wait for her to gather her mana and start my spell the same time as her. A 10 meters wide ramp starts to form in front of us, it slowly inches forward. Little by little, centimeter by centimeter, it aims towards the cliff edge.

    My mana is going fast, I don't have a large mana pool because I didn't practice magic since I was a child. Even with this specific spec, creating a large and sturdy wall isn't easy or efficient. Silvane suffers but soldiers on, she's also young and inexperienced but we are the only 2 with earth magic, it's us or nothing.

    We hear a commotion, clinking of metal, footsteps, and weird throaty screaming. The watch noticed us. A knight ignites a wick, there's a small pouch stuck on the tip of an arrow. He fires the arrow and it explodes in the sky with a thundering noise. Immediately I feel mana gathering far from here.

    A few seconds later the wall finishes and a large group of armed and heavily armored men runs pasts us. Hana turns her head and sends me a kiss as she runs past me.

    Now it's their turn.



    My heart hurts but I hide behind a tree and sit down on the ground, a bowman stays nearby and keeps watch. Silvane went back to the Artillery position to meditate, she will take a long time to recharge, even if she didn't use all her mana like me she still lacks a lot of mana.

    I close my eyes just before a firestorm starts razing the village.

    Now I concentrate, those who are important to me need me. No matter how much I hurt I need to concentrate.

    I start the same process from before. I see a large amount of mana in the sky above the village, I go there, my soul moves with ease this time. I can feel the heat of the current, I can feel that delicious taste of mana that is just waiting for me. Come to me. I feel it twitch, good, obey, you will serve me well, I will keep everyone safe. Come to me. I will make you turn into all sorts of magic, from healing to killing I will reunite with my lovers. Come to me! I will keep living on happy after this, safe and surrounded by those who I care about, I will live in this world and be part of it, I will fulfill my wishes. COME TO ME!

    I feel like laughing, the mana is coming, it is obeying me and it's filling me up!

    I open my eyes, it's time to move.

    At level 15 I have 60 Skill Points to use plus 11 I got for free. I put my skills like this:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9+4Dodge2+5Parry1+5
    Block2+7Shield Bash0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana0+5Mana Control0+4Mana Recovery3+0
    Mana Efficiency2+4Reduced Mana Cost3+0Mana Overuse Resistance0+1
    Blessing Magic10+0Light Magic9+1Summoning Magic20+0
    Redirect Mana (creator1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+1Enhanced Semen Recharge0+1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    I always wanted to try summoning more, but I didn't have the courage, the knowledge, or the opportunity. I can summon 2 elementals without sacrificing that much of my maximum MP. The best part is that if they don't get hurt then a lot of the MP used is refunded when I dismiss them.

    I rush over the wall and feel like I entered hell. The air is hot, the wood huts are all on fire, there's unbelievable amounts of blood on the ground, and goblin corpses are everywhere. My courage vanishes for a second, but only a second. Then I rush into the village.

    A large, 3 meters tall bronze skinned orc and 10 other smaller green orcs are in combat with the knights. It's an Orc Chief, he's wearing dirty full plate armor with only a few vulnerable spots. What the fuck is he doing in this village?!

    I look for Hana and she's fighting two orcs at the same time. One of her legs is slightly lowered, obviously hurting; her sword swings lack power, the arm must be very bruised. She doesn't have any cuts thanks to the armor but she's clearly being pushed back.

    Alissa is on close combat with a goblin, there are more goblins nearby rushing towards her. She has a cut on her flank, I don't know the seriousness but it's bleeding. Fucking hell.

    Roxanne is behind, safely charging her mana.

    I call an earth elemental. A storm of sand appears and from it appears a two meters tall man made of floating rock and sand, his hands are giant balls of stone. I tell him to charge towards the goblin and protect Alissa.

    Then I charge towards the orcs. These orcs are wearing leather armor and have a significant amount of cuts, but they are still too strong to take 2-on-1 even for Hana. One has a sword and shield the other a 2-handed sword. I slash towards the shield user and they both step back and observe the new opponents.

    "Hah! Things got interesting, master," Hana says on the small breather I got her.

    "Orcs? What the fuck?!"

    "I know, right?!"

    The orcs attack again, then we counter and slash towards them. Orcs are aggressive and anger quickly, they have stupid strength but not that much experience and speed. Their counter, is to counter them.

    I cut the side of the sword arm of the orc, he pushes his shield forward to bash me but I take it and use the push to dodge backwards. I slash at his forward feet he used to push me and cut his shin, I feel the bone being scratched. The orc roars.

    He savagely slashes downwards, I use my shield to deflect and jump sideways to the left, then I slash again at his exposed arm. He tries to swing again upwards but his angle is awkward and I deflect it again.

    "Eat shit you scum of the earth!" Hana yells.

    Hana pushes the left orc and gets closer to him so he can't use his sword's reach to his advantage, he has to contort himself to parry her attacks with his sword. Then he kicks her shield and pushes her back, Hana doesn't have enough leg power to withstand that kick.

    I feel a surge of mana coming, I jump backwards and a fireball flies towards the orc. He raised his shield and the ball was blocked but it was still an opening and I slashed at his flank. His shield was in the way so the wound was shallow.

    Hana steels herself. The orc charges and slashes, he tries to shoulder check Hana immediately after but she parries and takes the charge head on. Through the top of the shield shield she stabs at him and cuts at the shoulder, it was a clean hit. The orc retreats.

    I block a slash and now my arm starts hurting. The orc is going berserk, he's using his shield to bash instead of defending. I'm being pushed back.

    "MASTER!"

    I jump backwards and an arrow penetrates the upper left arm of the orc, his shield loses power. This gives me a breather and I distance myself from the orc.

    "Prepared to be fucked!" Yells Hana.

    Is she using [Taunt]?

    Hana summons her wings, beautiful emerald fleshy wings, the part where the bone is supposed to be there are emerald scales shining in the sun. With instant speed she flies at the orc, this time he's not strong enough to take it and he's blown away a few meters. In an acrobatic move Hana turns to me in the air and lands on the ground, then she charges the orc fighting me. She cuts his sword arm off and at the same time bashes him with her shield.

    The orc falls on the ground and I slash his throat. He rolls on the ground unable to breathe anymore, in a minute he will be dead.

    The remaining orc is charging towards Hana, he receives an arrow on the chest and slows down. Then a [Fire Arrow] on the shoulder and falls on his knee. Hana jumps and slashes downwards, his head is split open, his brain pours out.

    I look back and the earth elemental is a few meters from Alissa, crushing some small goblins. Her wound is not bleeding anymore, she must have drank a potion. Roxanne is coming closer and charging another spell. There are still enemies nearby.

    Haaran and his knights are holding back the other orcs, the other shock troop squad is farther away dealing with a swarm of goblins. There are still random goblins appearing near Alissa so that elemental stays there.

    I rush to Hana and cast two small [Heals], one focused on the sword arm and the other on the lame leg.

    "Better?"

    "Better."

    I summon another earth elemental and tell him to help the other shock squad. Then I point toward the remaining orcs.

    "CHARGE!"

    A normal and a [Fire Arrow] fly past me.

    The situation changed. It was 5 knights and 1 mage versus 8 orcs and 1 Orc Chief. Now there's a new killing force charging towards the orcs. The Orc Chief that was facing Haaran understands this and now he gets enraged.

    "KILL!" Screams the Orc Chief, the other orcs repeat.

    Wait what?

    "URAAA!" Screams back Haaran, his knights scream too and a new vigor also reaches them.

    An orc gets grazed by an arrow on his thigh, another orc blocks a [Fire Arrow] but loses his momentum and is forced on the defensive.

    The knights can hold on for longer, me and Hana charge at a single orc. She strikes him head on and I slide and slash his flank. He tries to move back towards his closest friend but Roxanne uses [Fire Whip] and holds his leg in place. The orc roars in pain, he pushes Roxanne and she falls on the ground. She releases the whip but that was enough.

    "Meet your death!" Hana yells.

    Hana strikes again and the orc is forced to kneel. I get enough time to move behind him and slash at his neck. He uses his sword arm to block the strike and it gets severed. His friend comes back to help and pushes Hana back but he receives an arrow on the shoulder when he lowers his shield.

    The knight he was fighting regains his footing and attacks but his sword gets parried. Hana lunges forward and the orc is forced to fall back further.

    The one-armed orc drops his shield and picks up a nearby sword. He receives an arrow on the chest for it but he still manages to attack. I receive the one armed orc and deflect it easily, he's weakened. I counter but I don't have a good reach and only cut his belly shallowly.

    Hana turns to the one armed orc and slashes, he parries but now he's exposed. In his anger he went towards me and left the safety of his nearby colleague, now he's occupied with Hana and I thrust into his chest. I feel his disgusting breath on top of my head, I missed the heart.

    Thanks to my blade being sharp I can pull it back. Hana kicks his foot and he loses his balance. Then she bashes him and he falls down. I jump forward and push my sword through the bottom of his jaw, the blade peeks out from the top of his head. 7 to go.

    The nearest orc is being kept back by Roxanne's spells and Alissa is firing at the Orc Chief, giving Haaran a breather.

    A knight is pushed down and loses his shield, he desperately defends against the slashes. One orc grabs his leg and pulls him in, the orc gets an arrow on the shoulder but shrugs it off. Another orc bashes his helmet with a sword. Then another arrow hits the arm of the orc and they both get pushed back by a helping knight. The bashed knight doesn't get up.

    The Orc Chief loses his pressure and starts attacking Haaran again. Haaran's white helmet is dirtied and bloodied but he stands tall and keeps on fighting.

    We charge towards the nearest orc, now it's 3 on 1, the nearby knight is holding the orc back. The knights energy runs out and Hana takes his place. The knight moves on to help his other friend. Currently there's 2 knights on a 2-on-1, 2 on a 1-on-1 and one incapacitated knight with Haaran fighting the Chief while we gang up on the last orc. Alissa and Roxanne are moving to help the knights that are disadvantaged as the mage seems to be running out of mana.

    "I fought goblins with a bigger dick than you!" Hana yells.

    The orc starts to berserk on Hana who takes it on without much problem, leaving me to slash at him. I slash his belly, his sword arm and then finally his leg and he slows down. Then Hana counters with a deep cut on his sword arm. His attacks lose power and he's forced to defend, his sword arm is weak so I hit his shield while Hana overpowers his sword until his sword slips and his arm is severed.

    He tries to fall back but his friend is also occupied and he can't help. He's being pushed shoulder to shoulder with the other orc until he falls and one of his legs is cut off. He starts crawling back towards the nearest sword, his friend stands in the way and receives attacks from the 3 of us.

    Hana and the knight overpower him, they push him until he gets out of balance and falls. For trying to protect his dying ally he gets a sword in neck. 6 to go. I jump forward and stab the crawling orc in the back of the neck, 5 to go.

    "UROOOOO...!" The Orc Chief roars and the ground shakes.

    He ignores a slash from Haaran on his flank and jumps towards the nearest knight. The chief strikes once and the knight is forced on his knees, the orc he was fighting stabs the knight on a vulnerable spot under his armpit, the knight loses the grip of his sword. With a second strike the Orc Chief's sword splits his helmet and his head in two down to his neck, the orc gets dirtied by blood and brain matter. 3 Knights fighting.

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck, he's dead! That stupid strength is not something you can defend from, if you get hit once you are fucked, we gotta evade all attacks.

    We try to help but the orc who stabbed the armpit stands in front of us. He receives the attacks and falls back near the Orc Chief. Haaran stabs the Orc Chief in the kidney but he ignores the attack. The Chief forces his way back and gets back in line with his other orcs. The knight near us goes to help one of his friends who's being pushed back.

    Now it's me, Hana and Haaran versus an orc and the Chief. The Chief is still enraged, he's ignoring attacks and using crushing attacks to kill, you don't want to get near him.

    "Alissa! Suppress the Orc Chief!" I order her. She can hit the chinks in his armor, if she holds him for long enough we can kill the orc near him.

    "Hana! Rush this one!" I order her. She throws herself into the orc.

    I try to slash while he's busy with Hana but he's good at defending. He starts to retreat and the Orc Chief comes in front of us.

    Hana is wary and moves back, she receives a strike with the tip of his sword but that's enough to almost make her lose her posture. The orc circled around the Chief and is fighting Haaran now. This is not optimal, we can't kill the Orc Chief just the 2 us.

    I circle Hana and move besides Haaran. The Orc Chief pushes Hana back further and on the opening he jumps towards me.

    Oh no.

    He slashes downwards and he pushes me down on the ground. I slip and roll on the ground, I pull up my shield and hold it with both hands.

    "Don't ignore me you worthless cum stain!" Yells Hana.

    A massive strike hits my shield and nearly crushes my chest. My shield arm is broken.

    "AAAAAH!" I scream.

    I roll to the side and crawl away. I look back and there's an arrow on his armpit and Hana stabbed him on his kidney. Hana has to jump back with the power of her wings so she doesn't get skewered by the counter. Multiple arrows hit the armor of the Chief and only leave a few dents, we don't have bodkin arrows and Alissa's bow does not have a strong draw.

    I crawl back and cast a strong [Heal]. Most of my mana is gone, I can cast only 2 or 3 weak heals now. My arm cracks once in a very unpleasant way and goes back to being straight, but it's sensitive and it's still hurting, it won't hold.

    I feel mana gathering behind me and a volley of [Fireballs] flies towards the orcs. The orcs are forced to defend and for a few seconds the battlefield stands still. The artillery team is back, they are not fully rested but they have some mana left.

    I feel a large amount of mana gathering, it's Silvane, she's casting something. The Orc Chief jumps with all his power backwards far from his line of soldiers. The next moment a large patch of the ground turns dark-brown and hands emerge from the earth, they grab the orc near us and holds him in place. It's the [Earth Magic] spell [Soul Sand].

    Hana doesn't hesitate and uses her wings to charge the orc stuck on the ground. He doesn't have the posture to receive her and bends backwards on his knees, his feet are being held in place by the spell. Hana flies high and drops down on top of him, her sword craves on his face and he dies. 5 to go.

    The 2 artillery squads have 2 melee hunters that were guarding them so now it's the orcs that are outnumbered and being pushed back. The earth elemental that is guarding Alissa is receiving a lot of damage but the new mages burn the goblins amassing nearby. The other earth elemental stabilized the situation and the hunters gather around him, they are crushing the goblins.

    Silvane runs to the unconscious knight and starts to heal him. Haaran gathers his breath and starts to move towards the Orc Chief. The ugly little eyes of the Chief scan the battleground and he gets a horrible idea. The purpose of monsters is to kill humanoids, whatever way it may be, so the Chief decided to kill, no matter what. He's gazing at Silvane.

    Feeling his gaze Haaran charges forward but the orc has one goal in his mind. Haaran's sword can't hit an opening in the armor so he puts his body on the way. He gets his foot stepped on and receives a shield to the face and he falls backwards, the Chief slows a bit. Hana charges one more time but her wings are losing power and she only makes the orc lose balance for a second.

    I recall the earth elemental protecting Alissa and call an electric elemental, my head explodes and I lose my hearing, my vision blurs. A floating globe of plasma and sparks appears, I tell it to stop the orc and it flies towards it, I charge behind. The orc can't stop the elemental and it's hand absorbs the attack, the elemental enters the armored hand and runs through the entire armor of the orc, shocking him. The out of balance Chief cramps his muscles and falls down on the ground.

    My vision is going dark, I can barely see anymore. I can't strike, but I can see the head of the orc. I drop my sword and shield and jump towards the head of the orc. I feel something hard, I pull it and after a small resistance it comes with me. I run back a bit and feel the round shape, yep, it's a barbute.

    I run back to where Silvane should be and drop on the ground. I can't see anymore, I can't hear anymore. I gotta concentrate again and regather my mana but I'm lacking in power. I can't pull the mana again, all I can do now is wait and rest. I trust the girls will keep me safe.

    I feel something cold touch my lips and a warm liquid drops in, it's a potion, MP potion. At least this time I can swallow without problem.

    I feel a warm hand hold my hand. I'm an expert in the bodies of my women, this isn't Alissa's or Hana's, it's Roxanne's. After a squeeze I feel something touch my cheek and then the hand releases mine.



    I stay in darkness for a while and my hearing slowly comes back. First a buzzing, then a murmuring, then a few words here and there and then finally a proper phrase.

    "How's his condition?" A male voice says.

    "Unconscious, his skull was cracked but he will survive," says Silvane.

    "Good, how much mana do you have?"

    "Enough for a single deep wound."

    "Understood, start meditating, I will guard you."

    "Thank you."

    I think things are fine for now so I will focus too on meditating. I dismiss the electric elemental.



    "You are now level 16."

    I put all my points into [Mana Recovery]. Even with my eyes closed I can still see the menu.

    The sounds of clashing die down a little and I open my eyes. Things are still blurry but I can see the outlines of people. There's a few people around me sitting down and two standing. I meditate for a few more minutes and I can see things properly right now.

    The artillery teams and Silvane are by my side meditating, the unconscious knight is besides Silvane, there's the two guards of the artillery team standing guard, and the surrounding orcs are all dead. The Orc Chief lost both his eyes to arrows and his head is a meter away from his body. The dead knight is a few meters away, there's a piece of cloth over his body.

    I stand up.

    "What's the situation?" I ask.

    "Wow, uhm..." One of the guards nearly jumps in surprise, "There's still goblins around so the shock troops are still fighting but the orcs are all dead, now it's just slaughter."

    I feel my earth elemental is still alive and killing. I share my vision with him and it's all red blood and pieces of goblin meat, I cut the vision. I feel the girls are ahead near the cliff wall at the back of the village.

    I'm a little unsteady on my feet so I sit down again.

    Another half hour passes and the sounds of dying goblins reduce a bit more. Silvane opens her eyes and looks at me surprised.

    "You can see again?" She asks.

    "Yeah, I have some resistance to overuse."

    "Let me just say it now, thank you. You saved me from the Orc Chief," she gives a tired smile. Still beautiful.

    "You are welcome," I nod back at her.

    Enough mana gathered so I summon another earth elemental and tell it to crush some goblins. My head starts to hurt, oops, I overdid it again.

    "You really should rest, the battle is won," Silvane says.

    "I can't just stand still while my women are fighting."

    Silvane shrugs. She uses her staff to stand up and starts to leave.

    "I will join Lord Haaran," she says and she goes off.

    I take a quick look around. The wood huts of the goblins were extremely simple buildings, they were also very weak. The initial attack blew off most of the buildings but there's some wood left which is still burning. The smoke isn't so bad here but it makes the air uncomfortably hot and hard to breath due to the ashes.

    I take a quick look at one of the elemental's vision. He's crushing goblins side by side with Hana and a knight. The girls must be behind Hana and I see an arrow flying towards a goblin's head. The goblins are making a shield wall but they are cornered and they look afraid. There's goblin women in simple clothing crying while hugging their children, there's old looking goblins clutching a spear and shaking.

    I feel sick, I cut the vision, there's no way I can join them now. I close my eyes and meditate to calm my heart.



    My head slowly stops hurting and the sounds of battle die down. Eventually there's silence and only the cracking of wood burning can be heard.

    A few minutes later I hear footsteps and I open my eyes. Extremely bloodied knights and Hana appear. A tired looking Alissa runs to me and hugs me.

    "You overdid it again," she says.

    "Yeah… couldn't be helped…"

    "I know," she sighs, "But it's over now."

    I smell blood, sweat, and ashes on her but I don't care. We are safe now, we did it.

    One of the hunters comes carrying a body covered in cloth. It's the guy from Akros, the red skinned oni. Akros was the shock squad holding down the death trap. There's another hunter being carried, he lost his right arm but a red skin covers the wound, I see a hand peeking out of a cloth bundle, [Heal] can still be used to reattach that arm. There's a mix of solemn and happy faces all around.

    Haaran comes, he's also bloodied. He removes his helmet and a bruised face appears. He takes off his gauntlets and holds Silvane's hand.

    "Let us move, there's nothing for us to gain by staying here," says Haaran.

    "I will use my elementals to carry the bodies," I say.

    A painful smile flashes over Haaran's face.

    "Thank you..." He says.

    I tell the elementals to carry the bodies and to follow me. They look a bit beaten and there's plenty of missing pieces of their original bodies but they could still easily carry a body. A single [Clean] was enough to remove all the blood from their bodies.

    I heal Hana and the unconscious knight until he awakes and Silvane heals all other wounds. The armless guy gets it reattached but he has little movement on it for now. My mana is spent again, my head hurts and I feel my energy go low.

    As we slowly move everyone brings out simple food like skewered meat and eat as we walk. It's 10 AM but we are all already hungry from fighting so much. The simple meals feels like a banquet and gives some energy to our bodies.

    The woods are clear, the scouts killed everyone, even some monsters who wandered about. Our journey back is uneventful.



    It's 11:30AM when a scout comes running towards Haaran.

    "The camp is under attack! Orcs!" He yells.

    Time freezes for a second. That's why the Orc Chief was there, he was commanding a group of orcs and visited the village, different monster types don't mix so easily so they negotiate. He could have even been a breeder-type too, we forgot to think deeper into this.

    "Ryder! Drop the bodies. Artillery, you will take them along with the wounded! Artillery will join the battle but will be responsible for the safety of the wounded! Everyone else, run!" Haaran barks orders.

    I obey.

    "I will go ahead on Alissa!" I yell.

    I grab her equipment and mount her. We dash towards forwards and the earth elementals run besides us with frightening speed while shaking the earth.

    In a few minutes we reach the camp. A few tents are burning and there's benches, tables, cooking wares, clothes, and food everywhere.

    Honest Shield is a group of 5 hunters, 3 shield users, including Targua, 1 archer and another archer who knows a bit of magic. They are fighting against 9 orcs, there's 3 orcs dead. The space mages are also fighting but they only have swords and leather armor, they are on the defensive and 2 space mages are already dead.

    I tell my earth elementals to protect the space mages and Alissa leads us behind the orcs. She transforms back then immediately draws an arrow and shoots the back of the head of an orc, 8 to go.

    I ready myself and raise my shield. 2 orcs come towards us, I'm tired, my body hurts, I can't counter them I can only defend. One block, two blocks, a parry and a deflect. I bash to push him back and thrust, he steps back and waits while the orc on the left takes the offensive. They want to surround me but an arrow on the flank of the right orc tells him to stop.

    One earth elemental crumbles, he was too weakened. The space mages form a line near the last elemental, he's their only hope, Honest Shield is too busy dealing with the remaining 4 orcs. I see Targua is barely holding himself, his posture is crumbling.

    I hit the arrow on the flank of the orc with the flat side of my sword. He squirms and roars then steps back, holding his flank. The left orc enrages and savagely slashes at me. My shield arm explodes in pain, it's gonna break again, I can't hold it. One arrow, two arrows, on the third arrow on his chest the orc calms down and protects himself with his shield.

    The other orcs quickly changed their line and are now partially facing us so no more chances for a quick kill with Alissa but at least they are split. There's 4 with Targua's group, 2 with the space mages and 2 with us. We only have to hold, no more deaths.

    I cast [Heal] on my arm, my head hurts again, my vision worsens a bit. No! I have to hold it in! I can defend again, I can't lose my sight now!

    In anger I slash at the left orc and he retreats, the right orc charges and tries to help. I meet his sword with mine and nearly crumble at his strength but I manage to deflect it and counter. I connect an upwards slash at his armpit then I dodge back and a sword slashes my left cheek, I feel it hit my armor but it's too tough and doesn't cut. Too close, but now the right orc is even slower and his attacks are more bearable. I feel blood run down my neck.

    The left orc is having trouble breathing, one arrow must have pierced the lung. I need to harm him a bit too, I switch to him. I deflect an attack from the right orc with my shield and lunge towards the left orc, I feel a slash at my left shoulder but it lacks power, I'm too close to him. I bash and thrust at the same time, I managed to enter his guard and thrust my sword at his chest, it enters a little then leaves. I should have pierced the lung, could have been more but his leather armor reduced the damage.

    The right orc slashes at me and makes a deep cut in my sword arm. If not for my armor and [Wind Armor] it would have neutralized my arm, possibly cut it off. I wince and jump back, another arrow appears on the flank of the right orc. He retreats too.

    We spend a few minutes staring at each other, weakly slashing and countering. Now we are all too weak to fight properly and Alissa keeps me covered from being trampled. I saw Targua on the ground, shit.

    "URAAAAAAAAH!" The scream that brings me relief.

    Haaran and his men charge from the trees. He and the knights are not wearing plate anymore, only the scale armor. The hunters come alongside him.

    Hana lands in front of me and I drop my shield. It's done, I'm safe now. I retreat and fall down near a tree, I drink a potion and just watch.

    "I'll butcher your shriveled dick for daring to hurt master!" She yells, the orcs twitch in anger.

    A [Fire Whip] holds the right orc, his posture crumbles for a second and Hana decapitates him in an instant. The other tries to attack but Hana blocks it effortlessly, then she thrusts and jabs the belly of the orc. He doesn't slow down and bashes Hana's shield but he's way too weak now, he's the one who loses his posture. Hana slashes and his sword arm flies, he retreats a few steps.

    He throws his shield at her and draws his knife from his waist. He jumps at Hana and she bends backwards with the orc on top of her shield. With herculean strength she recovers and pushes him away. The orc falls down on the ground and an arrow pierces his face. He still tries to move and a [Fire Arrow] pierces his eye, now he drops dead.

    The other knights and hunters make quick work of the remaining orcs, they were heavily outnumbered now. I recall my last elemental and cast a weak [Heal] on my right arm. I see Silvane rushing to Targua, then I close my eyes and let myself lose consciousness for a while.



    I open my eyes, it's a bit past midday now. Hana and Alissa are sleeping besides me. A few are also dropped down randomly around the camp, we are all exhausted. The ones still standing are cleaning the camp and making food. There's a row of 5 people sleeping down on sleeping bags, they have bandages all over, Targua is among them. There's not enough mana to fully heal all the wounded.

    My head hurts a lot and my muscles are all sore, I think I can barely cast a [Heal]. I close my eyes again and properly fall asleep.



    I wake up all stiff but feeling a little better. Alissa is awake by my side and Hana is eating on the half destroyed table. Roxanne is inside her tent.

    "Okay, now it should be over," I say to Alissa.

    I lay down on her lap and she strokes my hair.

    "I hope so. There should be no more loose ends unless if the orcs were even dumber and divided their last remaining forces for some reason," Alissa says with a tired voice.

    Her fingers are rough and her hand is weak. I cast a small [Heal] on her hands. Oh, my heart is tingling, overuse is stacking, I feel I shouldn't cast anymore magic for a while.

    "You should have saved that mana for the wounded."

    "Sorry, not sorry, I'm selfish. Also it was only a small [Heal]."

    She sighs.

    "Thank you, master."

    My stomach growls.

    "Oh… well, I guess I should crawl to our tent."

    Alissa has to help me walk, I'm unsteady on my feet. Luckily our tent was the furthest away and is undamaged, only Haaran's tent and another got destroyed. I weakly eat my meal, roasted veggies, mutton, and bread filled with bean paste. I take out my armor, drop down on the bed and sleep.



    Intermission 3



    I'm really glad I chose him. The story I heard of the Symbol was neither a lie, an exaggeration or a fluke, he's actually someone dependable. He gave his all to protect someone he barely knows, someone he has no duty to help, yet he goes to battle until the end, then he put his trust in me to protect him when he's vulnerable. If I don't follow him into the depths of hell and bring him back safe and sound then my life has no value, I wouldn't be appropriate as a slave to him, I wouldn't be worthy of serving him.

    Even though he's shy he needs me to save him from a conversation with a stranger. I don't find it to be a bad trait, it's actually really adorable that the hero brave enough to save strangers is such a small man with a weak impression on others. But it's all a lie, he's a scholar, a warrior, a mage, a kind man, and a hero. He's someone I want to protect with all my power, may the gods help me do as much.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  16. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    It's 3PM. I wake up and Alissa is besides me while Hana is stroking her hair.

    I still can't properly cast magic.

    "Is Roxanne okay? I wanna take a bath," I ask.

    "She was helping wash the wounded so I know she's at least way better than you, master," Hana says.

    "I'll go get her," Alissa says and gets up.

    I slowly move outside and pull out the bath items. I sit down next to the bath and wait. Roxanne comes over, she's disheveled, her robes are dirty and one of the glass lenses is cracked. I want a mirror, what do I look like if I'm worse than her?

    "Well, you look like shit, Wolf," she says.

    "Thanks… I way overdid it, I can't cast magic."

    "That's… just like you, right?" She gives me a wry smile.

    She casts [Water Wall] and then throws a single [Fireball] in the tub and the water is steaming.

    She leaves and Hana and Alissa help me take a bath. It feels immensely refreshing, much of the soreness goes away. Alissa shows me her hand technique while Hana kisses me. Honestly Alissa's hand is as good as mine but her hands are softer and more delicate, I feel like I will melt and pass out on the bath.

    We get out and Roxanne has her turn. After a while she finishes and I recover the equipment. Then I go back to bed and rest, I don't feel sleepy now, though.

    "That will leave a scar," Alissa says, she traces her fingers on my cheek.

    "Don't use [Regeneration] on it, it will make you more handsome," says Hana.

    At 5PM I crawl out of bed, I'm strong enough to use magic again.

    "Who's the worst?" I ask.

    "Targua," says Silvane. She's sprawled on a chair, she looks exhausted.

    "You should go rest and sleep. I can heal them until the wounds aren't threatening anymore," I say.

    "I won't say no to that..." Silvane gets up and leaves.

    There's still a knight here watching the wounded. Silvane goes to her spare tent, which is much smaller than the other they had.

    Targua is unconscious, he has a deep cut on his belly that's still bleeding a little, I think he got skewered. He has a few cuts on his arms and a nasty bruise on his ribs. I go for the cut and the bruise. I cast two heavy [Heals] and my head is back to hurting again. My mana is full, it's just that I have been overusing my magic.

    I look at the others, I heal the space mage with a lung puncture, I heal the head of the knight who got a concussion, I heal the space mage who had a diagonal cut through his entire front and I heal the broken ribs of the hunter who got stepped on.

    Done, they are all saved for now. My head is splitting and I need to rest again. I go back to bed and ask Hana for a head massage, it actually helps a bit.

    I eat dinner and go to sleep. I don't let Alissa participate on the watch, I'm afraid of nightmares, but Hana has to because I can't summon my dogs tonight.



    Today is the 19th.

    My charisma increased by 1 (now 11), was that because of the scar?

    We wake up and break camp. Targua and a hunter with a broken leg still need to be carried so we use a makeshift stretcher. Me and Silvane heal them more but we are still tired and our bodies overused mana. I have to cast [Swift Foot] on myself to keep up with the walking speed.

    Alissa participates on the scouting to help the tired scouts. There weren't that many monsters since we came through the path we cleared. A few naked goblins, a single Young Ogre and two packs of Mossy Fangpines. I have no energy to focus on fighting so I just make sure to keep straight and walking. Soon enough noon comes but Haaran doesn't tell us to stop, we are close to the border, we will rest once we are out.

    The trees open up and finally we see the short grassland. On the other side of the grassland is the road, beyond the roads are our wagons and a small group of city guards. They come running to us when we appear.

    Haaran explains the situation to them and their expressions go somber. We eat a quick lunch and I don't waste anytime and get on my wagon. The rest of Akros enter but they remain mostly quiet this time, it seems Alissa won the competition with the dwarf girl.

    "What happened to the bodies?" I whisper to Alissa.

    "A space mage must be carrying it, the bodies don't rot on the [Item Box] and it's also a more dignified way of carrying it," she answers.

    Well, that's interesting, but it makes me uncomfortable to think of a human body inside of my "Items".

    I rest my eyes and take a nap while the wagon rocks on.



    We reach the town by dusk. Silas, the Lord, and a group of priests wait for us at the city gates. They likely thought the worst since we are late in our schedule.

    Haaran, still with a bruised face comes forward and shakes the hand of his father. They gaze at each other so powerfully it even affects me who's just observing from far away, it's like seeing a Renaissance painting in real life. I see a faint smile form at the face of the Lord.

    Silas takes us to the barracks and an army of scribes wait for us. We sit in front of the scribes and they collect our reports. I'm so tired I absentmindedly answer their questions and retell our story. The scribe loses some of his composure when he hears about the Orc Chief and he frowns when we reach the part of the attack on the camp.

    When it's over it's already 10PM. I just pull out the flying dinghy and Roxanne pilots us home. We take a quick bath, then dinner and direct to bed. Today was blur.



    Today is the 20th.

    It's over. Another crisis, another nightmare, another fight. It's over and now we are safe. The scene of Hana being suppressed keeps in my mind, I don't want to see that repeat but I know I'll have to fight again. If it's not because of me it's because of them, I can't change that these women are warriors. I'll just have to enjoy the moments we have and make sure they never suffer, make sure they never die.

    I'm the one who wakes up first, I slowly wake up Alissa by caressing her ears. At the same time I caress Hana's arm scales with the tip of my fingers. Then Alissa turns and I kiss her deeply. I want you so much Alissa.

    Hana wakes and moves her hand over my body. I turn around and it's her turn for the kiss. I get on top of Hana and fondle both hers and Alissa's breasts.

    "You look energetic today, master," Alissa says while she grabs my erect dick and strokes it.

    "I'm just happy we are all here, together," I say, breaking the kiss, "I'm glad I have you two… I really am. I love you, both of you, a lot."

    I always believed love is something that grows on you with time, that it should be a deep feeling that you shouldn't rush. But the thing that I feel about these two women is not just lust or obsession, I trust them, I know I can risk my life together with them. I want to make them happy from the bottom of my heart and I know they are doing the same for me.

    Is this the "Suspension Bridge Effect"? I don't know, I don't care anymore all I know is that I'm happy and safe with them and I want to keep it this way.

    Hana grins and looks at Alissa, then back at me. Alissa is frozen and her eyes are wide open.

    "I love you too, master," Hana says without a hint of shame.

    "I-I l-lo-ve-ve y-you t-too, m-master!" Alissa stutters and shakes.

    "Then show it to me," I say.

    I push my hand between Alissa's legs, she pulls my head and kisses me. This time it's she who's eager and pushes her tongue inside my mouth. I move my body a little and push my hand on Hana's pussy too, she squirms and lets out a moan.

    Soon enough Alissa is wet and I waste no more time, I move her hips and start fucking her. I break my kiss with her and kiss Hana, my left hand moves with all my strength on her pussy.

    With my free hand I close Alissa's legs and apply pressure. It's the tightest I have ever felt, Alissa arches her back and moans loudly.

    After a while I stop my kiss, my hand is tired. I turn Alissa around and fuck her from behind, I bend her back and reach her ears and bite them.

    "HMNYA!" She screams amid moans. Hana laughs.

    I hug Alissa from behind and put my head besides her ear.

    "I love you, Alissa," I whisper.

    She squirms, her insides tighten and her tail freezes.

    "I love you, deeply within my heart, I trust you with my life," I whisper again.

    Her breath is erratic, she's trying to mutter something.

    "You don't have to say anything right now, tell me when you can," I whisper again and she stops talking, but I feel her insides tighten again.

    I enjoy her body warmth and I let it out, I finish inside her.

    I take a minute of rest and force myself to get erect again. Then I fuck Hana who's waiting for me, legs spread.

    She grabs my hips and helps me thrust. We touch foreheads and just stare at each other, those yellow lizard eyes stare into my soul.

    "I love you too Hana. You are mine, forever. I will make you happy and I will entrust you my life," I say.

    "There's nothing else for me to... say, master. I already said I would give... you my everything. I love you, master," she smirks amid moans.

    I pick up speed and violently smack her hips, I give all my strength. I grab her breasts and squeeze them, then I bite her nipples.

    My strength is going away and I feel it coming, I don't try to hold it in. I lose speed and kiss her. Finally I finish inside her too. I'm spent, my body strength isn't fully recovered yet. I flop down between Hana and Alissa.

    Alissa hugs me tight from behind.

    "I love you, master. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you..." Alissa repeats and her voice dies down, she's almost crying. I hear hear tail hitting the sheets rapidly.

    Hana brings my face face to her breasts and kisses the top of my head.

    I let some silent tears, I wanna stay like this forever.



    After a long time Alissa breaks the hug, she and Hana have to go clean themselves and make breakfast, also another sheet needs to be washed. I stay to look at my stats.

    [Mana Overuse Resistance] increased by 1 (now 2), incredibly [Summoning Magic] increased by 5, is this because I have a lot of knowledge on [Summoning Magic] now? [Light Magic] increased by 1 (now 9+2), [Sword Use] increased by 1 (now 9+5), [Redirect Mana] increased by 1 (now 2) and [Mana Control] increased by 1 (now 0+5). My "Magic Power" increased by 5 (now 225) and MP by 35 (now 490).

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9+5Dodge2+5Parry1+5
    Block2+7Shield Bash0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana0+5Mana Control0+5Mana Recovery7+0
    Mana Efficiency2+4Reduced Mana Cost3+0Mana Overuse Resistance0+2
    Blessing Magic10+0Light Magic9+2Summoning Magic20+5
    Redirect Mana (creator2
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+1Enhanced Semen Recharge0+1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    Now that I think about it, were there any humanoids at the goblin village? If it truly was a breeder village then it must have, but I didn't see anybody… oh… I don't want to think about this anymore. The hunter advice book says that people are considered dead the moment they are captured because they never come back, neither in body or in mind. There were no humanoids in that village.

    I get up and go help with breakfast, thinking about this will ruin my mood.

    We have a nice selection of cold meat cuts, bread, sheep cheese, and butter. With a few leaves and a mild herb sauce similar to ranch the sandwiches we can make are pretty good. Alissa also prepared a strong black tea, we have sugar now and we use it sparingly on tea.

    Roxanne seem very content this morning, she will go back to work on Moonlight Moss now.

    "Actually, I have an idea. I thought about an interesting way to process the moss," Roxanne says.

    "The brain needs time to rest so it can process information and develop. Regular breaks should always be part of your routine. Did you ever get an interesting idea during the bath or before sleep?" I ask.

    "Well… yeah, it happened a few times..." She says.

    "Same principle, take your mind off things for a while and your brain will have the time to grow."

    "Huh… No wonder you have a blessing. Alright! I will work hard and rest even harder!" Roxanne says jokingly.

    "Something like this would be on par with your personality," says Alissa.

    "Ah, Alissa. The wedding is gonna be at 5PM, how's it gonna be? I know nothing about marriages here," I ask.

    "There's a small ceremony where they say their vows towards each other in front of the priest and write their names on the registry. Then it's a party," she answers.

    I get a shiver.

    "I… don't like parties… ," I say.

    Hana snorts, Roxanne shrugs.

    "Well we don't have to stay long. Just enough for dinner and some talk."

    "I should leave early, you should stay longer."

    Alissa turns her head away and thinks.

    "Do we have to take some gifts?" I ask.

    "If you wish, but since we don't know how are the needs of the house we have to think of something special."

    "Perhaps a decoration? Or maybe some expensive tea that you like," Roxanne suggests.

    "Tea? Does she even like tea? Shouldn't it be something that's useful for her or something she likes?" I ask.

    "I don't know. But it's not about whether she likes it or not, a present should be something that you enjoy and wants to share," Alissa answers.

    I guess I'm too practical with gifts.

    "Then I guess tea might be okay. I would prefer if it was coffee or chocolate, though."

    "Coffee?" Asks Roxanne.

    "A bean that you brew and make coffee, somewhat like tea."

    "Never heard of it," she continues.

    "Anyway, let's go in the afternoon and get the tea," I say.

    "Ah, master. You should visit Ciel now then," says Alissa.

    "Really?"

    "Yes, she was interested in your adventures. If she hears you participated in the extermination and didn't even show up after she might get sad."

    Well, she's a good person, I guess.

    "Then, do you want to come?" I ask.

    Alissa thinks for a bit, she looks a bit worried. What is going on?

    "Alright, let's go together then," she answers.



    I ride Alissa to the temple, we ask for Ciel and she's healing at the clinic, it's a in front of the temple. We wait at the lobby for half an hour until she starts her break. Then she invites us into an empty room.

    "Sorry to bother you during your break," I say.

    "No bother, a break is to be used relaxing or talking to others," Ciel says with a smile.

    "Well, anyway. We just came back yesterday, we were on the goblin extermination request the guildmaster organized.

    Ciel opens her eyes wide and then sighs. She could have healed someone from the expedition yesterday and seen the damage.

    "Surprising, but not unexpected," she chuckles.

    I shrug.

    "Yep. I might have to really accept my nickname."

    "Nickname?"

    Alissa tries to contain a smile.

    "After the Symbol I gained the nickname 'Good Luck'. Nobody is using it but it's just a matter of time before it's known."

    Nicknames appear on the guild "Notable Hunts" and "Confirmed Kills" boards.

    "All heroes had nicknames, there's no option but for master to accept it."

    I cringe at these words.

    "I don't wanna be a hero."

    "Well, a hero is title given to others, there's no way you will have a choice in this matter," Ciel says.

    "Se-seriously, let's stop talking about this it's giving me chills," I ask.

    "Okay, okay. Tell me how it went, I only heard how the wounded got hurt, I don't know much else," Ciel relents.

    "Ok, but. Why are you interested in my stories?" I ask.

    "Well..." She looks away for a second, "I did say you were an interesting person, right?"

    I don't feel like probing her further. We retell the story of the expedition, Alissa seems excited and proud. We end up also telling her about how the research on [Golemancy] and my small talent with [Summoning Magic] is going.

    "Hohoh, you will get your 'Scholar' title soon enough," says Ciel.

    "What you mean? Does 'Scholar' appear on my status like my nickname?

    "Yes, there's a few titles like 'Scholar', 'Knight', 'Great Merchant' or 'Great Adventurer' and many other unique ones that appear once you accomplish something."

    "What does a title do?"

    "It's just recognition."

    I'm rather ambivalent about it then.

    "The story of your expedition gave me a bit of nostalgia," Ciel says.

    "Hm? Were you an adventurer, Miss Ciel?" Asks Alissa.

    "No, but I was warrior priestess. Once in a while we join the guard and explore the Sea of Trees. I also traveled for a little while with the Templar Knights."

    "Oh, now that's interesting. What weapon did you use?" I ask.

    "A glaive."

    Me and Alissa lift our eyebrows in surprise.

    "What's with the surprised faces? This robe doesn't show my figure, I'm pretty strong," and she lifts an arm and flexes, nothing can be seen behind the loose robes.

    "They certainly don't," I say.

    Ciel looks dejected.

    "I'm sorry. That was rude, it's obvious you are beautiful," I correct myself.

    "T-that's not e-exactly what I was talking about, but thank you."

    Damn, I'm smooth.

    Alissa smirks at me. What's with you today?

    "Do you miss those days, Miss Ciel?" Alissa asks.

    "W-well, no, I'm fine with healing people here," Ciel says while averting her eyes.

    "That wasn't a very confident answer," I say.

    Ciel shrugs.

    "Those weren't bad days, it was just a choice I made… well anyway, my break time is over. Thank you for visiting, please come again Mr. Ryder and Miss Alissa," she says with a smile.

    We say our goodbyes and leave.



    "Master, I know this is presumptuous of me but would you invite Miss Ciel to the fellowship?" Alissa asks.

    "Wha-what?"

    "You have seen it too, she misses the fight. She only needs a good reason to go back."

    "Ok, but what reason would she have to join us, specifically?"

    "Well. First, you are basically the town's hero, after this expedition the Lord should have his eyes on you and he will likely try to reward you with something special, which means you are a competent adventurer. Second, she's already very interested in your personality, you two have a good relationship with your religious talks so I'm she believes you are a good person. Third, you already have plenty of women in the fellowship, this means you are trustworthy around women. Fourth, she's unmarried."

    "W-wha n-no w-we, ah, oh, uh…"

    Alissa looks at me confused.

    "What made you confused?" She asks, tilting her head.

    "Why did you mention marriage?!"

    "Ciel is getting past normal marriage age, you could easily pursue her. I'm a bit surprised you didn't, even Roxanne would accept you."



    "Master?"

    "Yes?"

    "Are you okay?"

    "Yes."

    "You don't look okay."

    "Is that so?"

    "Can you pull a chair and sit down?"

    "Ok."

    I pull a chair from my "Items" and sit, it's quite comfortable.



    "Master…"

    "Yes?"

    "We really need to talk about this."

    "Oh, what is it?"

    "You should pursue Ciel and Roxanne."

    Hm.

    "I don't understand why you are so confident with me and Hana while you act like this with Ciel and Roxanne."

    Huh.

    "Perhaps it's because we are slaves? Now you are scared of the real thing?"

    "AH! NO!"

    "C-calm down…"

    "I'm not… a bad person… I'm not… using you…"

    "What are you saying? You are not a bad person, what are you talking about 'using you'?"

    "I…"

    Alissa won't let me escape, Alissa won't let me run. It's true, because Alissa and Hana were slaves I took their feelings lightly. It's why it was difficult for me to accept that their love is real, it's why I was feeling guilty of abusing their bodies, it's why I'm so scared right now, it's why I think I'm a bad person.

    I used Alissa and Hana as a way to find comfort and safety on this fucking scary world, then I fell in love with them, it doesn't change the fact that I used them before that. But now that we are talking about marriage, how a real relationship might start, I get reminded of what I did, of what love should really be. Alissa and even Hana do not see themselves as my lovers, even if they say they love me they are still my slaves and now we are casually talking about marrying and bringing more women to my bed while they stay as my slaves, below my wife.

    That still doesn't even touch how I already had a wife on Earth and I cheated on her with these two. That was just a problem I decided to forget, to push it away so I could remain sane and happy. Can I do the same to Roxanne and Ciel that I did to Lily? Could I abandon them if I found a way back to my world? Marriage means creating permanent roots here. Now even worse, I didn't even consider Alissa's and Hana's feelings, I still wished for a way back even while I was with them, even I didn't consider them to be my real lovers.

    "If I were one day to return to my homeland there might be a chance I can't take back you, or Hana, or any woman I marry."

    Alissa freezes.

    I feel like crying.

    "I just ignored it because I wanted company, I wanted comfort because I was scared and lonely. I bought you and Hana but I didn't consider your feelings if I were to ever abandon you. I'm sorry… I don't know what I should do," I lower my head and let the tears run.

    Silently Alissa hugs my head.



    I have a responsibility, I have a decision to make. Whoever I abandon will be hurt.



    God might have fucked me over but it's still my decision to make.



    I'm the weak one who cried for help, who then got saved and protected.



    I have to take responsibility over my actions.



    Neither choice is perfect, neither world is simple, neither outcome is desirable.



    There's no logical choice.



    I just have to follow my heart.



    And my heart tells me one thing.



    "I will stay with you. I won't go back, I will stay with you forever," I say.

    Alissa hugs me tighter.



    I don't know how long we stood there. I don't care how many eyes looked at us, all they saw was a young couple crying and hugging. All I know is that on this day, I become a different person, I cast out my old name. From this day on, I'm Wolf "Good Luck" Ryder.

    I don't really know why I never told Alissa the truth. I guess I was just running from it, trying to forget Earth, trying to forget what I did to Lily...

    "I will tell you the truth of my homeland."

    "W-what?" Alissa says in a hoarse voice.

    "Why I left, why I don't talk about it, why I don't know anything about this world, why I'm so different, and why I won't go back. I think Roxanne should hear it too and if we want to invite Ciel she will also need to hear it. Let's go back home."



    We reach home at 10PM and call Hana and Roxanne to the dining table.

    "Master, your eyes are red. What's going on?" Hana asks, worried. Roxanne looks the same.

    "I wanna tell the truth."

    They stay quiet and sit down.

    "First of all, the thing that explains me the most is that I might come from another realm."

    "What do you mean by that?" Asks Roxanne.

    "Exactly that, the gods can see other realms, right? Well, my realm is different. There's no magic, humanoid gods, other races or monsters, there's only humans there. My realm is called Earth."

    I tell them my life story. I was born in 2019 in Brazil, I grew up playing games and reading stories, I entered the university and graduated with a robotics degree, then I immigrated to Canada and married Lily at 30. During the ceremony I was transported here. I explained games as board games but much more advanced, they kind of understood it, there's magical board games that are similar to table-top Warhammer 40k. I explained robotics as similar to [Summoning Magic] and possibly very similar to [Golemancy].

    It was very hurtful to talk to them about Earth, my past life. Remembering my few friends, my family, my Lily. All those people that I have decided to abandon, everything I built on Earth will remain unfinished. I will never be able to feel the happiness of those whom I loved, or the things I loved to do. I'm sorry Mom, Dad, Sis and Bro, Tito and Lala. Goodbye.

    Then I told them how I appeared on this world and survived, my strange abilities to manipulate skill points and how I can change Alissa's and Hana's skill points. How my world has an entirely different common sense and how I was as careful as I could to keep a low profile. How I might be cursed/blessed to be a hero or to live an "interesting life", even though I want none of that I can still see and predict the "isekai hero" tropes. How I had nightmares about the monsters I killed until I slept with Alissa, this also explained why I'm so attached to her. And now that the talk of marriage appeared my emotions that I kept locked reappeared. I didn't tell them that Alissa suggested pursuing Roxanne and Ciel, I have no idea how to deal with that yet.

    "A hero from another realm..." Says Hana.

    "A hero indeed..." Says Alissa.

    "OHOHOH! How exciting!" Says Roxanne, clapping the tips of her fingers.

    "NO! I'm no hero, please… I don't want this kind of life..." I plead.

    "It's not for you to decide, you are already being guided by the gods," says Alissa.

    "And we will support you," says Hana.

    "Certainly!" Roxanne agrees.

    I feel like crying again but I don't want this kind of support, be indignant with me and help me escape this fate! But that's what I get, I surrounded myself with warrior women.

    "I don't want to be a hero…"

    "You kinda already are, I'm almost sure you meeting us might be part of your hero's 'reward'," says Alissa.

    "I agree, it's difficult to think we would find a master so perfect for both of us and even as a companion for Roxanne," says Hana.

    "Ugh… I can't really deny that."

    I also agree they are perfect to me.

    "But you are a total cheat. Infinite inventory? I will make you carry all my stuff now! Any skill at any time? That's insane, you will be a demi-god if you keep increasing your level!" Says Roxanne excitedly.

    "But I don't wanna be that powerful… also, I won't carry everything, it will be a bother to have to keep all the stuff of everyone."

    "That's fine, but you will carry most of my clothes now. Anyway, this also means you really are a scholar! A scholar from another realm, at least."

    "Yeah, well, I can't really deny that also."

    Alissa coughs.

    "Hm… I'm sorry about your wife, master," she says.

    "Yeah, it's quite an experience, we understand your pain. That also explains a few things..." Hana says and looks at Roxanne who nods.

    I accepted my place in this world now.

    "But you said you will remain?" Asks Alissa with expectancy in her eyes.

    "Yes, I will live my life here to the fullest, I can't abandon you both now."

    "What if there's a way to take us with you?" Asks Alissa.

    "That will be difficult, it's a different world, or rather, a different realm. You and Hana will call attention with your bodies and there's no magic, you will have a hard time adapting."

    "Perhaps, but it's not like it's impossible. For you we would do anything."

    "Even give up fighting? There's no monsters to fight in my realm."

    "Well, first, I'm quite sure the gods won't allow you to return to your realm until we save this one, so we'll be fine as long as we are with you," Alissa says with a confident smile.

    That's comforting, but not the part about "save the realm".

    "There's also no polygamy in there, we would have to hide our relationship somehow."

    "That's not a problem," Alissa shakes her head.

    "Agreed," Hana nods.

    "Yeah, also, now that we know this you definitely should invite Ciel to the fellowship," says Alissa.

    I shudder, it's coming.

    "You should also pursue her for marriage," Hana says.

    Oof.

    "What, even you...? Marriage is something different in my world, it's a pledge for life and we take years to choose someone as we can only choose one. I don't know how to deal with it in this world. Everything here happens too fast, I'm still adapting, I know that I lost Selina because I'm slow, it's just... everything is a bit confusing."

    Roxanne props forward.

    "Hmm… Marriage here is a partnership, in a sense it's a fellowship between lovers where they form a team to work together. A team isn't forced to have only 2 people, neither it is required for love to already be there before it starts. There can be more people on the team as long as everyone agrees with it. In the end, teams can be broken too if it's not working out. The Humanoid Gods ask only that the married ones do their best to work together to keep each other happy and raise their children properly," says Roxanne.

    There's even divorce here, how progressive.

    "So in a way, it's like I'm already married to Alissa and Hana then..." I say.

    Alissa freezes, her gaze goes to the distance.

    "Hah! That is certainly true," Hana grins, "A Blood Slave for life is too similar to a marriage if there's love."

    "Well, it's not like you are going to ask Ciel to marry you immediately, you know. You would have to invite her first," says Roxanne.

    Marriage is talked so lightly here it makes me uncomfortable, it's difficult to accept it since it's conflicting with my values from Earth. But still, I keep remembering Selina, even though we weren't a good match, if I lose because I was slow...

    "Talking about that..." Hana mutters and stares at Roxanne.

    Roxanne shudders, she turns her head away. Hana sighs.

    Oh boy.

    "H-Hana, d-don't s-..."

    "I'm sorry, Roxanne but I think this shouldn't wait any longer, now's the best time. Master… do you wish to marry Roxanne?"

    "Hana?! As a slave you shouldn't say such things!" Alissa strikes the table in anger.

    Oh... boy…

    "She's not a virgin but I don't think you are the kind that will not marry her just for that. Also, there's one last thing…"

    "HA-HANA!" Roxanne is desperate.

    "I have to ask, it's master! It would come up eventually!"

    Roxanne's mouth moves up and down without making a sound.

    "Master, I ask that you share me with Roxanne."

    OOOOH BOOY...



    Oh, the image, those two, together. NO! Now is not the time, gimme back my blood, other me, my brain needs to think.

    Okay, breathe in, breathe out. Calmness, it's time for logic.

    Marriage is definitely something more casual here, more practical, the high death rate of people must have some influence of that. Roxanne also is not denying Hana's words, she's only shaking in fear, she was unprepared for this.

    "Is this normal?" I ask after a minute in silence.

    "What do you mean?" Hana looks at me worried.

    "Well, on Earth marriage would only happen after a few years of dating, I know things are different here but is it normal to ask for marriage like this?"

    "A slave would never ask for such thing, at least not in the way Hana did, without any tact..." Alissa says and glares at Hana who grins back, "But if you are talking about time then some would say you are slow, that you took quite some time to look at Roxanne in this way."

    "Still, isn't marriage a big decision, what if we end up hating each other?"

    Alissa smiles, then she corrects her posture and cleans her throat.

    "'It's best that you show your love and try and fail to make something instead of wallowing in the what could have been'. That's one of the teachings of the Goddess of Love," Alissa says.

    "'It's best that you leave your mark in the world, even if for a little bit, even if only on a single person instead of being forgotten the moment you die'. That's one of the teachings of the Goddess of Fertility," she finishes.

    I chuckle, no, of course it's not fast, I'm actually slow. People have to live without regrets here, of course they would end up being somewhat immediatist. Anyway, me and Roxanne? I could have a chance with Alissa since I managed to snatch Lily on Earth, Hana is just winning a lottery since she's a freak in bed and has a fetish for small men. But Roxanne? Holy shit.

    "Why me?" I say after another minute in silence, "Aren't you too beautiful for someone like me? Couldn't you find a tall, strong, handsome man for you?"

    "Master… you need a bit more confidence on yourself," Alissa says with disappointed face.

    "I know small men are very self-conscious, that's why I told Roxanne to be aggressive. It worked for me, but she was too reserved," says Hana.

    "W-wha-what? Since when have you two talked about this?" I ask.

    "Since the first day. She has no courage, this woman!" She looks indignated at Roxanne, "It frustrated me that she didn't do a move yet!"

    Roxanne hunches over a little more.

    "I… think I'm somewhat perceptive of these things and didn't notice a single signal from her, only very ambiguous reactions," I say.

    "I was… a bit scared to move," Roxanne says, hugging her arm, "Your relationship with Alissa intimidated me a little… if even her you wouldn't admit you loved, would you have accepted me then?"

    Alissa looks concerned.

    I told them I didn't know what I considered my relationship with Alissa and Hana to be, but now I know I love them.

    "That's true... I think I would have denied you if you asked me then…"

    "And now you changed?" Says Hana, leaning forward with expectancy.

    "Yes… I would have hurt someone no matter what I did, so I chose to be happy here and not hold a far away hope to return to Lily. I think Lily knows I would come to this if she knew I was here."

    I look at Roxanne, her beautiful face looks worried. That charming smile and her bright personality, it's growing on me. She's someone reliable, someone you can trust your back to even though she's a bit of an airhead. She's someone I desire. There's no reason anymore to say no.

    "I would like to marry you, Roxanne. Would you accept me?"

    A rare sight, Roxanne is blushing.

    "Y-yes! Yes!" Her face brightens and she claps the tip of her hands.

    Dear god, I'm greedy. I have 3 women now.

    "S-should I say something like vows right now? I-I'm not sure how to ask someone in marriage on this world."

    "If you wish," Alissa says with a smile.

    I get up from the chair and move towards Roxanne, she's sitting still, frozen for a moment. I grab her hand and kiss it. I can smell her sweet perfume. I spend a moment to think on my words, can't disappoint now.

    "I will protect you, I will keep you happy, I will fight with you and defend with you, together we will adventure far. I will entrust you with my life. Do you wish to do the same for me?" I ask.

    She smiles and gets up.

    "I will protect you, I will keep you happy, I will fight with you and defend with you, together we will venture far. I will entrust you with my life," she repeats.

    Should there be a ring here? I don't know.

    I put my hand on her chin and pull her downwards. She's 170cm, I'm 165cm, she's even higher since she wears heels all the time.

    I kiss her. A sweet taste on her lips. I kiss her again but harder, I push my tongue and her mouth opens, I hug her and she hugs me. We explore each others mouths and the tingling feeling of her tongue makes me excited. I still remember the taste of her body, it's even better when it's the real me.

    We break the kiss and look at each other. She's blushing again, she looks incredibly sexy. This face is mine now.

    "Ah, Master. So… how about… ,e?" Hana asks bashfully, now that's another first.

    I nod.

    "It's okay, I'll accept the relationship of you two. I admit I'm a pervert, I, uh... I wanna watch…"

    Hana smiles, Roxanne squirms a bit in my arms. Then Hana slaps the table.

    "We have to celebrate! Bring the alcohol!" Hana yells and laughs heartily.

    "Oh, I still have that wine I got from killing the Oodogloo."

    I pull it out with a *poof*.

    "Yes! That's a good wine! Let's open it!"

    "Wait, we still have Selina's marriage to go to. It's 1PM, we have to eat and then leave soon," Alissa says.

    Ah, that's right.

    "Anyway, let's celebrate another day then. The day after the ceremony is good, let's buy a cake too," I say.

    Hana sits down a little disappointed. Roxanne hugs me tighter and rubs her cheeks on the top of my head.

    "Yes! Cake for the celebration! Finally! Also, I'm gonna get married!"

    Your priorities in celebration are a bit off.

    "I admit, this household is interesting..." Says Alissa, she's chuckling and her tail is swaying slowly.

    "Is that a bad thing?" I ask.

    "No, it's like I said, master. You are likely to gain a blessing from the Goddess of Love like this."

    I shrug. I won't complain.

    "What should I do now? On Earth we use rings to signify someone is married, there's also the ceremony, how should we arrange that?"

    "We use matching rings, pendants or bracelets. A few use piercings but that's somewhat unfashionable," says Alissa.

    "The ceremony could wait for Ciel," says Roxanne.

    "I-I'm sorry, w-what? Already talking about adding another?" I say, stupefied.

    Roxanne shrugs.

    "Hana told me a lot of things, I may have a higher libido than the average human but we might need another woman for you."

    "Wha-what, Hana?!" I look at her and she shrugs, "I'm not a monster, I don't need sacrifices or something, I can control myself. I-I wasn't like this on Earth you know, this world messes up with my libido."

    "Yes, yes. But still, what reason is there to wait?"

    "I'm the kind that thinks calmly and slowly."

    "But you are just gonna accept this in the end, right?"

    I desperately search for a counter argument. There's none. It's true, I like Ciel. If I'm gonna be like this and accept the speed people marry here then there's no reason for me to not go for Ciel too…

    I sigh.

    "Let's just ask her to join first, then... I will deal with it if she actually likes me."

    "That's reasonable, master."

    "No problem, master."

    "Sounds good… husband."

    I shiver. What am I doing...? I feel guilty since not even Lily called me "husband".

    No! It's too late to go back, I already know these women are my life and I can count on them, I will make them happy!

    I hug Roxanne harder. All this time I didn't release her, she feels too good, her body is actually softer than Alissa's, who has an athletic body. Hana's body is the sculpture of a goddess, but aside from her breasts she's not very soft.

    "Let's eat something quick, we have to go soon," I say.



    We go out and buy the tea and cookies I ate at the Golden Necklace, these are heavenly, I hope Selina will like it.

    This time the dresses are cute but contained, no reason to steal the show with the 3 goddesses. We reach the house just before 5PM, we used the flying dinghy so we didn't get sweaty from walking around.

    Selina's husband-to-be is a cloth shop owner, it looks simple but it's still quite a good house. It's a 2-storey timber framed house with blue bricks and dark wood. The second floor is jettied and a small veranda on the corner of the second floor can be seen.

    We enter the building. The shop is cleared, there are plenty of benches and chairs on the walls and a group of 20 or so people are around. There's a clear division in types of people found, the first type are light-blond smaller framed people while the other is tall black-haired people. I recognize one brown-haired man, it's the innkeeper.

    We approach and introduce ourselves, I stutter a little but introduce Roxanne as my fiancee. The innkeeper and his family are surprised with us, they recognize we are the ones who killed the Symbol. One of Selina's uncles, an athletic looking but short blond man, is a hunter who knows we participated in the latest goblin extermination request. I'm uncomfortable here, as the questions start being asked about us Hana and Roxanne save me and I slip from the conversation.

    I'm still a bit shocked I introduced Roxanne as my fiancee, I decided to live my life with the Goddess of Cuteness, the Goddess of Sexiness and the Goddess of Sexuality. It's all happening so fast.

    As I day-dream for a while a priest appears on the hall along with the betrothed couple. Selina is wearing a yellow silk cloak and a gold and white frilly dress embroidered with symbols of wine, grapes, wheat, and bread. Her hair is braided and decorated with a crown of leaves and wheat.

    The groom is a tall, black haired man with a square and handsome face, I'm jealous. He looks to be between 17 to 20 years old. He wears a black velvet jacket and straight velvet pants. His cloak is like it's made of feathers, each feather made of a different cloth.

    "Is there some symbology going on?" I whisper to Alissa.

    "Sometimes people make their clothes represent their occupation," Alissa whispers back.

    So bread and wine represents the inn?

    The priest stands in the middle of the hall while the couple face each other. Everyone gets up and surrounds them.

    "Today, this couple, Selina Ludor and Thomas Hymel are to be married. From this day forth they will work together for the sake of each other's happiness and safety. They will work together to further prolong the gift of life given to us by the God of Creation, they will work together to fulfill their duties as members of the humanoids and create a family, be it of blood or not. They decided their lives together hold more value and so, we will listen to their vows."

    "I, Thomas Hymel, swear loyalty to you Selina Ludor," his voice is confident and unwavering, "I swear to give my all to keep you happy, safe and secure. I swear that I will give my all to provide for us a life worthy of you, that I will give my all to provide the place for our children to grow and gain their place in this world. I swear I will fulfill my duties as a member of the humanoids."

    "I, Selina Ludor, swear loyalty to you Thomas Hymel," her voice is as soft as always and her smile is endearing, "I swear to give my all to serve your needs, to help you achieve your goals. I swear that I will give my all to keep a safe haven for you to come back to after your daily labor or any hardship that appears, I will give my all to ensure our children grow and gain their place in this world. I swear I will fulfill my duties as a member of the humanoids."

    With a *poof* the priest pulls a large book, a table, and a white pen from his [Item Box]. Thomas writes on the book followed by Selina. The priest chants and casts a spell while touching their foreheads.

    "No evil is present on this ceremony, no lie was spoken between these two. Those present accept this wedding as valid and now the gods will watch and judge as you progress. May happiness and success befall the two. You are now husband and wife."

    Selina and Thomas stares at each other while the priest speaks. Once he's done Thomas grabs Selina in a princess carry and they kiss, then everyone claps. I'm jealous again.

    But I realized Selina really wasn't the best choice for me, she is a traditional housewife, she will work and serve her husband from home. Her vows are completely different from mine, I swore my life to Roxanne and she swore hers to me. I wouldn't be able to bring Selina with me on my adventures if I had chosen her, it would be a painful marriage. This eases the pain in my heart.

    Alissa was staring at them intently. I grab her hand and she quickly wipes a tear forming on the corner of her eye. She's still a girl behind all the bravery and servitude she shows to me, I need to acknowledge her feelings.

    A few tables are pulled out of [Item Boxes] while a group of people go into the second floor and bring out a banquet. A roasted Dragolite the size of a medium dog, 4 different meat pies, 2 are sweet fruit pies, a large pot of bean paste that reminds be of chili, a selection of breads and toasts, roasted and cooked veggie salads, croquettes and dumplings, a variety of fruits and berries, lots of wine and cider, and Selina's own vegetable stew that I ate a few times on the inn.

    After eating Alissa manages to bring us to Selina.

    "Hello Mr. Ryder. I'm glad you came," she says with a smile and a small bow.

    "T-there's no way I wouldn't come."

    "Master is shy but he still makes the effort to please his friends," Alissa says.

    I smile wryly.

    "You have to tell me of your newest adventures you two, I heard you fought in the goblin extermination!" Her eyes gleam.

    "Certainly, I know Alissa is eager to talk to you. Anyways, this is Roxanne, my fiancee. She's a mage."

    "Ohoho~."

    "Hohohoh."

    The two greet each other with a smile and a weird laugh. Just what?

    "This is Hana, another Blood Slave, she's the main front line of our group."

    Selina is dazzled by Hana, I don't even have to try to slip away from the conversation, Selina only has eyes for Hana now.

    I greet Thomas, he seems a cheery person but when he greets me I sense a sharp gaze. I know, I know, I would do the same but I have no intention of stealing her now. Though after the greeting Thomas seems interested in hearing about us, I'm not the best at conversations like this but I force myself to answer his curiosity for the sake of Selina.

    Alissa brings our gift to Selina and she loves it. Thomas is another tea drinker, we nod to each other from a distance. After that I recuse myself to a corner and soon Roxanne sits by me to keep me company.

    "Their vows are completely different than ours," I say.

    "Each marriage is a different deal, each team works on different conditions," she says.

    "Why do you know so much about marriage?" I ask.

    Roxanne looks away.

    "Sorry, I shouldn't have asked."

    "I would have to tell you one day… I had a fiancee once," she says in quiet voice.

    "Fiancee", not "fiance", since it's in Andraste there's a difference in pronunciation.

    "She… was a hunter. She died of venom from a monster of the Death Valley."

    I wait for her to gain confidence to continue, there's no need for me to interrupt.

    "It's a venom too powerful, nobody could have done anything. I decided to leave the continent after that, I looked for a cure for that venom."

    "Is the Moonlight Moss that cure?"

    "Hah… no, I never found the cure. The Moonlight Moss has incredible properties, but even that would not work," she looks at me and lets out a half-smile.

    "I'm sorry for your loss."

    "Thank you… but I'm over it now, she wouldn't want to see me wallow in a pointless quest for too long," she hugs her arm.

    "Searching for a cure is not pointless."

    "It is when I let the search have a bigger priority than my life. Moonlight Moss was the first thing that I got interested on after abandoning the search. If I hadn't abandoned it I wouldn't be here, I gotta thank the gods for that..." She lets out a pained smile and grabs my waist.

    "Since when… did you start to like me?"

    "Well," she scratches her cheek in shyness, "Kinda after the Symbol, I thought you would propose to me after all you had done to save me."

    "I… was just following my code of honor, I couldn't let you die."

    "I understood that after a while, it actually… made me like you even more, you are someone I can truly depend on. While on my search for the cure I had my fair share of bad encounters, you are a rare find. Then I saw how you treated Alissa and Hana and, well I got envious. What about you? When did you come to like me?"

    "Well. At first your personality was obnoxious," -she makes a pained face- "but it grew on me. There's no way to not see you as a woman, you are the embodiment of sexiness and coolness, even though you don't act like it most of the time…"

    "Wow, 'coolness'? Hmm… you are warming my heart like this!" She rubs her cheek on the top of my head.

    Just going to ignore the last part, eh?

    "Then I saw you were reliable and a good companion, life with you around would be fun. I didn't want to separate from you, I knew we could work together and keep each other safe. But at first I didn't think you would like someone like me, I thought you were way out of my league."

    "'Out of my league'?"

    "Ah. It's an expression of my world, it means that you are too beautiful for me. On Earth people try to find partners with a similar level of beauty. It may sound vain but that's how it is."

    "Yeah, it's vain, there's much more that you have to look at for a partner than just beauty. It's nice to have a beautiful partner but your value is much more than just your cuteness."

    I can't avoid blushing at this.

    "It seems this world needs reliable and powerful people, compatibility of lifestyle also seems much more important than beauty. On Earth life is pretty simple and there's not that many hardships, so beauty becomes much more important."

    "Oh, I see. It's like a realm made of vain nobles."

    "Hahahah, sounds like it."

    Even though on this world the nobles have the duty to control the monsters and dungeons they still have the tendency to grow lazy and hedonistic.

    "To be honest, I think I was forcing myself to be happy," she sighs and leans on me, "I just thought I was losing out so I had to 'catch up' on all the time I lost brooding. But now I'm calm, I'm happy with this and I don't feel like I need to force myself anymore."

    I just smile and hug her more.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  17. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    We stay until 8PM and then we fly back home. Hana became the soul of the party and Selina got a new friend.

    Now we can all take a bath together. I eagerly wait for Roxanne to undress, most of her underwear is lacy and cute, she's the one who uses the most delicate clothing, I will ask her to buy the casual clothes for the other two. She looks a little nervous but at this point I completely switched my attitude, the meal is ready.

    Roxanne is thin, she could be a model on Earth with that body, she shows no muscles and a bit of bone even but that's her charm, her neat patch between her legs is just as well kept as Alissa's. Even Roxanne's collarbones look sexy, with her small breasts, smaller than Alissa's, and her pale skin she looks so frail. Her tail is something mostly ignored, it doesn't sway like Alissa's and Roxanne makes the crime of keeping it below her robes most of the time. The tail tip stands still in the air while she walks, giving it a rather mesmerizing feel to it. The only imperfection is the circular scar on her belly...No! That was a sin, the scar is not an imperfection, she's perfect as she is.

    "Why do you hide your tail so much?" I ask.

    "It's bothersome, it serves no purpose, and only calls more attention to me."

    "And your horns don't?"

    She shrugs.

    "It reduces the attention."

    "But I find it very sexy."

    She looks down and fails to hide her smile.

    "Please put it out more, also let me touch it."

    "F-fine… b-be gentle, it's sensitive."

    It's thinner than her little finger, its texture is of rubber and the consistency is that of jelly, the tip is a sharp dagger the length of her hand and could be used for cutting. It's a mana solidification, it will grow back if cut.

    I run my fingers through it. I cover my hand with a bit of soap, grab the tail and run my hand through the entire length.

    "AAHN~!" Roxanne lets out a loud moan.

    "What…?"

    Alissa and Hana were washing each other but they stop.

    "It's… sensitive..." Roxanne mutters.

    "Roxanne… this is an erogenous zone, right?"

    She does not answer, her expression is frozen.

    "Are your horns like that?"

    She squirms and looks to the side.

    "Hana… you work on her tail."

    "Yes."

    "N-no, w-wait!"

    "Why wait? This is the perfect situation," I smirk at her.

    Roxanne seems scared but she doesn't move. I move in front of her and grab her horns and push her face towards mine, I caress her horns just as I did her tail. She kisses while moaning, I wonder if I can make her orgasm just like this. Hana works her tail but Alissa comes and teaches Hana how to use her hands better.

    Roxanne hugs me and kisses me harder. Suddenly she grabs my dick and pulls it forward. I break the kiss and bring her to the edge of the bathtub and fuck her. I hold her horns as support while thrusting on her. Her face is amazing, the cool and sexy is back and her moans are the perfect pitch and loudness, it's like she's made for sex. I guess it's somewhat expected of a succubus.

    She grabs my hips and pushes it harder. She twitches and I can see the white of her eyes. Is this okay? Is she okay?

    "R-Roxanne, are you okay?"

    "Don't stop!"

    I guess she's okay.

    I let out her horns and Hana takes it over. Alissa got excited and rubs Roxanne's tail with vigor. I pinch and lick her nipples, they are barely visible since they have the same color as her skin.

    Her back arches and she convulses, her insides tighten so hard I flinch. I can barely hold it in and cum just as she gets out of her orgasm.

    "W-wow, what was that tightness?" I say.

    "Hohohoh…"

    Roxanne waits a few moments for her breath to normalize.

    "That's the succubus secret," she says, she gives a wicked and sexy smile.

    "I'm a bit spent now. Hana, she's all yours."

    Hana turns Roxanne around and eats out her cum-filled pussy. Alissa and I just relax at the bath, she was masturbating so I use my fingers on her until she cums, then I have her ride me slowly while she watches the two. The other two girls put out a show, they kiss, they finger, they eat each other, two goddesses having sex. The spirit is willing but the meat is in near coma. This is so much depravity I'm speechless, I just want to put my dick in something until I pass out.

    After finishing Alissa and getting hard again I go for Hana and fuck her from behind while she eats out Roxanne. I quickly release another shot and fall back on the water. Alissa keeps my mouth occupied with hers, eventually I get hard again. Hana looks at my new erection and decides to mount me. She contorts and kisses Roxanne while slapping my waist and making the water spill all over the floor.

    When I'm about to cum Hana sucks it out of me with her mouth and she shares another cum-filled kiss with Roxanne. They don't stop, these two are drunk with depravity. Just by watching them I get up again and have Alissa suck me, she's too tired and doesn't want anymore fingering.

    I grab Roxanne's tail and rub it while they fuck each other. Then Roxanne pushes Alissa and mounts me again. My dick hurts, my balls are shriveled but this woman is gonna suck the soul out of me. I have to put [Enhanced Stamina] and [Enhanced Strength] to keep up with her, Hana helps me move my hips while Alissa kisses me. I just close my eyes and cum for a 4th time, I feel like my soul is shrinking.

    Roxanne digs out my cum from inside her and shares one last cum-filled kiss with Hana. Then she drops back into the water and relaxes on Hana's arms.

    "Ro-Roxanne… that wasn't normal… right?" I ask.

    "The tail… you rubbed the tail too much. It's… my weak point, it makes me unleash the succubus nature," she says bashfully.

    "If I ever want to die from sex I will just ask Alissa to rub your tail again then."

    Hana laughs and even Alissa is smiling.

    I feel something change in me. I gained another point in [Enhanced Semen Recharge]. Succubus indeed.


    We crawl to bed. I kind of feel sad but we have to rotate the women on the bed, tonight is Hana and Roxanne. Maybe if we get an even bigger bed we can all fit together, the room will be a little cramped but the benefits make up for that.

    I close my eyes and sleep as a man who's completely satisfied with life, at least for today.


    I see an ugly goblin woman, she's wearing a simple and dirty woolen dress. She's laying down while holding her throat, it's bleeding profusely, she's gurgling and choking on her own blood. She stares at me with fear in her eyes. A child cries, it's an ugly goblin child, it's holding the woman's dress.

    "MAMA…! MAMA…!"

    The goblin repeats, cries and sobs.

    A sword decapitates the child.


    I wake up sweating and out of breath.

    "Wolf? Wha-what's wrong?" Roxanne asks.

    "Master?" Hana grabs my arm.

    "A nightmare…"

    "Didn't those stop?" Says Roxanne.

    "They had."

    She shares a look with Hana.

    "Could it be…"

    "That's ridiculous," I say, "Why would it be like this?"

    But it makes sense, this is the first time I'm spending an entire night without Alissa. What kind of trauma is this that I need her, specifically, so I don't have a nightmare?

    "We will have to test it for at least another night," I say, "I'm just gonna go back to sleep."

    And I slept, badly.


    Today is the 21st.

    I wake up stiff, my shoulders hurt, my muscles are sore, my head hurts, and it's not just because of the yesterday's orgy.

    I crawl to the tabel to have our breakfast.

    "Master, are you okay?" Alissa says. She's already awake preparing breakfast.

    "I had a nightmare…"

    She keeps quiet and looks at me with eyes filled with worry.

    "After this, can you lay with me for a while? I didn't sleep well…"

    "Okay, master..." She answers me in a soft voice.

    We eat and then I take a nap, a warm and comfortable nap. This isn't good.

    Is this trauma? Is this a curse for not taking her feelings seriously until now? How ridiculous it is that I can't sleep without Alissa. What are we gonna do if Alissa has to stay away from me for a few days? This is too much…


    I wake up at 9AM, Alissa was stroking my hair. She smiles when I wake up.

    "I slept well this time…"

    "I will always be by your side."

    I cringe a little.

    "But I wish you didn't have to. Also, it's not confirmed, let's sleep apart again tomorrow."

    "Okay..." She says on a sad tone.

    "Master, a message came to you," Hana comes inside and says.

    We go downstairs and sit on the table.

    "I, Alaraste Anara, True Noble, Enemy of Wyverns, Lord of Rabanara, ruler of the Shore of Leaves, invite you, Wolf ‘Good Luck' Ryder, leader of Helios, and your companions to a rewards ceremony where your deeds of bravery and skill will be recognized and rewarded."

    "Enemy of Wyverns" must be because the wyverns attack regularly but he must really have butchered them to get a title like this. Shore of Leaves is the name of this piece of land that borders the Sea of Trees. And finally, since the lord himself used my nickname it's probably going to spread.

    "Now it's time for some recognition, Wolfy," says Roxanne while hugging me from behind.

    "Indeed, about time, master," says Hana.

    "Agreed," says Alissa.

    "Wait, what's up with 'Wolfy'?" I ask.

    "Well, 'husband' is too boring, 'love' is a bit embarrassing, and to keep calling you as usual wasn't right, so I think 'Wolfy' is much cuter," Roxanne chuckles, she rubs her cheek on the top of my head.

    I shrug. I actually like it.

    "Actually, I think you 2 don't need to call me 'master' anymore. It doesn't feel right, just call me 'Wolf'... or 'Wolfy'," I say.

    "N-no, that's n-not right, we are your slaves," Alissa stutters.

    "We are kind of a bit more than that now," Hana says.

    "Just marry everyone already!" Roxanne says and throws her hands in the air.

    You know what? Fuck it, I don't care anymore, I want these women and they want me, I feel it, I know it, that's all the motivation that I need. Let's do it.

    "Well..." I get up and cough, "Alissa, Hana... would you like to marry me?"

    Noo, that sounded lame, I screwed up! REDO.

    "No! Not yet!"

    "W-what…"

    Everyone looks at Alissa dumbfounded.

    "I… still have to complete my duty," Alissa says, she looks down and her voice tells me she's about to cry.

    I steel my nerves, I have to get to the bottom of this.

    "What is that duty?" I ask.

    "To be used as a tool, to serve my master for life, to fight until I'm dead, to bring honor to my clan, to help my master achieve great deeds," she forces herself to not cry.

    "Does that means you are not allowed to marry?"

    Her face remains unmoving.

    "Does that means you are not allowed to be happy!?"

    Her mouth twitches and her eyes narrow in a sad expression.

    I'm angry at Alissa, her submissive behavior, her denial of her wishes, I don't want it. I know what you want, even if you don't want to admit it. Even if I'm scared of this future, scared of commitment, I won't let you run away from your happiness, not you. You have been brainwashed into being a tool, I won't let you keep like this!

    "Alissa, tell me what you want."

    "To serve as a tool-..."

    "Tell me what you really want, don't make me order you," I interrupt.

    Her face turns into stone again.

    "Alissa, please… you know I love you…"

    "I… want to… marry you..." She starts to tear up and sob.

    I get up and hug her.

    "I am yours and you are mine," I say.

    She sniffles and her expression breaks into tears.

    "Repeat after me, I am yours and you are mine."

    "I am… Y-yours and yo-you a-are mine…"

    "There, those are our vows, there's nothing else needed."

    Alissa lets out all her remaining tears.

    I will take care of you, Alissa.


    Hana and Roxanne hug us both. We stay like this for a while until Alissa's tears dry. I play with her ears and she almost falls asleep.

    "We will be together, forever," I say.

    "And ever..." Hana finishes.

    "You don't have to worry, you will fulfill your duty. Just because you marry, doesn't mean you are abandoning it," Roxanne says, she grabs Alissa's head and kisses her forehead.

    "Thank you, everyone. Thank you..." She finally says.

    We break the group hug. I sit down next to Alissa and hold her hand.

    "Wolf..." Hana says.

    "Yes?"

    Hana is standing besides me with a serious face. She grabs my hand.

    "I swear to you my body and soul, my sword and shield. I swear to protect you and keep you happy forever."

    Quick and direct.

    "I swear to you my body and soul, my sword and magic. I swear to protect you and keep you happy forever."

    She kisses me lightly. There's no need for a deep and passionate kiss, we already confirmed our passion to each other.

    After this, there's no mood to work. We just cuddle in bed, the sofa is not big enough.


    Three proposals in two days. And there's the possibility of more coming. This is crazy, what the fuck is going on.

    "We should all have one ceremony together," Roxanne says.

    "Yes. Perhaps we can wait until Alissa is satisfied with her duty, then we can all break the contract together," Hana says.

    "Hana! We shouldn't ask these things, we are slaves," Alissa rebukes.

    "There's no need for my wives to be also slaves, it is mutually exclusive," I say.

    "Is that so..." Alissa resigns.

    "Would becoming a noble be enough for you, Alissa?" Roxanne asks.

    "Eh?" I'm confused.

    "Destroying a dungeon gives you the title of 'True Noble', it allows you become a lord.

    "That… would be acceptable but it's not required, if mast-… Wolf, doesn't want it then we could do something else," Alissa says.

    "Hmm… I was thinking of regularly going into a dungeon to gain power anyway. If we reach the end then perhaps we could… but I have no intention of becoming a lord."

    "The dungeons that are allowed to be destroyed aren't many, they don't last too long too since the current lord would deal with it," Roxanne says.

    "I heard there was trouble at the High Forest. Seems the nobles are slacking over there, there should be plenty of dungeons to explore there," Alissa says.

    "That would be a bit far for us," I say.

    The High Forest is a land of the elves north of here, it's a few days away. I want to go to the dungeon in my spare time from the university.

    "Actually… if I learn [Gate]… I can't see [Gate] in the [Space Magic] school yet but it should be soon. I don't know what allows me to see more advanced magic but it should increase with my power, I believe. If I use skill points to learn [Gate] then I can hide it when necessary."

    "Hmm… I could make some strong MP potions and with your power you could change your skills to pure mana enhancements," Roxanne says, "Then you should be able to transport us by [Gate], we can even put all our equipment on your 'Items' just for a moment"

    "I haven't tested that [Gate] does not considerate my 'Items' as extra weight, I just assumed it would because 'Items' is not influenced by any skill on this world."

    [Gate] costs more mana the more weight you have, that includes the items inside [Item Box] spell.

    "Well, it sounds we have our next goal then," Roxanne says with a smile, "Ah, the Moonlight Moss has some MP recovery properties, if I finish working on it we could use the potions I make from it. But they would also sell for a good price…"

    "We aren't really in need of much money right now. We are going to get bounties from the dungeons and we could always look for a subjugation since Alissa is good at tracking," I say.

    "Hm, sounds like a plan!" Roxanne hugs me harder.

    "Agreed."

    "Yep."

    I feel like I have my small piece of heaven when I'm with these women.


    We cuddle until lunch and I take another nap since I need it. We have plenty of perishable food now but with my "Items" we just put there anything close to going bad.

    Alissa found a good amount of Dragolite eggs, they are twice the size of a chicken's egg but they taste the same. With that and flour we make some good Dragolite Milanese that goes well with simple pasta and a sweet veggie salad. Most of the time I don't let Alissa make lunch or dinner without at least a salad, it's not healthy.

    After lunch we clean the house.

    "Ma-... Wolf, we should visit Ciel as soon as possible. There's no point in waiting," Alissa says.

    Inviting Ciel with second intentions makes me a little uneasy, but… I'm getting greedy.

    Me and Alissa go to the temple together. We enter the priests quarters and find an old man.

    "Ah, it's you," says a priest with gentle voice that tickles my ears. His face is familiar, his eyes look at me warmly.

    "Ah, sorry, I don't remember your name," I say.

    "We weren't introduced. I'm the head priest, Arantos," The priest says with a bow.

    He's old and chubby with folds on his neck. He has barely any hair, black or graying, on his balding head. He has a ball for a face and a round nose. His face, his half-circle glasses, his small eyes and his voice overflows with kindness, I feel like he's releasing an aura.

    "P-pleasure to meet you, I'm Wolf Ryder and this is my fiancee Alissa," I bow back and Alissa twitches but also bows.

    "Hoh?" He looks at Alissa and coughs, "I only saw you in passing but Sister Ciel told me you are an interesting fellow and you two have been having enlightening conversations. Ah, wait, you are the fellow who killed the Symbol, right?"

    "Ah, yes, that's me."

    "Now that's even more interesting," he lets out a chuckle, "You are looking for Sister Ciel?"

    "Yes, if it's not a bother I would like to talk to her again."

    "Today is her free day, she could be on her room, otherwise I don't know where she would be. Let me look for her."

    He takes us to the same guest room I was on the last time.

    After a minute or so Ciel appears wearing a blue flowery dress that reaches her knees. This is the first time I saw her without the priest robes, she has quite a voluptuous body, I see no large muscles but also no hanging fat. Wide hips, thick legs, a protruding ass and large breasts that get accentuated by the belt tying the dress to her ribs. Her face was always pleasant, round and cute with fleshy lips, quite baby-faced. Also, it's the first time I see hair loose, it's straight and well kept. I'm much more conscious about her right now, she looks beautiful and cute on these clothes.

    "H-hello, Mr. Ryder, Miss Alissa," Ciel says with some embarrassment on her voice.

    Shit, I stared too much.

    "H-hello, Miss Ciel."

    "Good day, Miss Ciel."

    With a *poof* Alissa pulls tea and cookies."

    "Thank you Miss Alissa."

    "Ah, so," I cough, "I have a proposal for you, Miss Ciel."

    "Oh? What is it?"

    "Would you like to join our fellowship."

    Ciel finishes her sip, she looks at me, then at Alissa, and then her gaze wanders. After almost a minute frozen she says.

    "Why… me?"

    "First, you are quite the skilled healer, second you have good support skills with the glaive and [Wind Magic], third you are a person with quite the knowledge about gods and m-… Wolf is looking to get closer to the gods, and finally, we know you miss adventuring," Alissa says with confidence, she practiced those lines.

    "W-wow. This is…"

    And she falls silent again.

    "You don't have to answer now, we will be staying here a long time since I'm entering the university," I say.

    "I see… I understand."

    "In any case you should know that… me, Hana and Roxanne are… going to marry Wolf," Alissa says while blushing. Refreshing cuteness.

    Ciel looks at me with wide eyes, I can almost hear her saying a sassy "really?". Then she twitches and averts her gaze. Is she blushing? I can't tell due to skin color. Perhaps she understood there could be second intentions on the invite.

    "But really, t-three women, Mr. Ryder, you are quite the man to manage to snatch those three so quickly," Ciel looks at me with a mix of reproachful and amused eyes.

    "Roxanne says he was a slow..." Mutters Alissa.

    I just shrug and let a wry smile.

    "Can't control the heart, if it's love then I will accept it," I say.

    "Still, three women, and now… anyway, I guess it's actually an interesting proposal but I won't be able to answer you now, it's another big change in my life."

    "I understand, if you have any questions about our fellowship and our objectives I will answer you."

    "Hm..." Her gaze wanders again, "What do you plan to do to make money?"

    "Dungeon exploration, we are also going to look for extermination requests since Alissa is a good tracker. But we do have quite some funds already stored, Roxanne is also a potion maker who can make money by herself."

    "Do you have plans to leave town?"

    "Yes, I have a plan to become a noble one day so I will search for a dungeon to conquer. After that I also want to explore the world a bit so I will look for interesting places to enjoy and to also grow stronger."

    "What role do you want me to take?"

    "Support for Hana, you have a good reach with [Wind Magic] and the glaive. We will both support Hana and protect Alissa or Roxanne."

    "Where will we live?"

    "We have a luxurious rental near the nobles quarters," I try not look embarrassed since our house is a little excessive, "Alissa and Hana clean and cook and I help with cooking. Roxanne helps with steady income with her potions."

    That is, once Roxanne finishes the Moonlight Moss she will have enough time to make standard potions to sell.

    "Division of spoils?"

    "All equal, no questions asked."

    "What if we find a useful item?"

    "We will likely not sell then, we are not strapped for money. You should know by now that I'm also a very reasonable person too, if we discuss things we will reach a proper solution."

    The biggest danger to dissolve a fellowship is deciding who gets what item and what gets sold. Since we are unlikely to sell useful items we will just discuss who gets it.

    "I have very little money saved, I don't have equipment to compete with your emerald fang sword."

    "We can give you, no strings attached. We want you alive to help us, after all."

    "Wow, that's quite generous."

    I shrug.

    "That would be least we should do since it would take quite some time for you to earn enough money for good equipment."

    She crosses her arms and chuckles.

    "So I guess in the end it's a question of whether I feel like changing my life again or not."

    "Seems so."

    "Let me just add this," Alissa interjects and smiles at Ciel, "You know Wolf's life is bound to be interesting, he already has a blessing and I would wager he will get another one at some point."

    I cringe a bit, I wouldn't consider this a plus. Ciel laughs.

    "Interesting indeed."

    The conversation dies down.

    "Well, anyway that's all we have to say. We will leave you to your rest then."

    "Thanks for visiting again, Mr. Ryder, Miss Alissa. Congratulations on your engagement."

    Alissa blushes again. I think I don't want you to ever not blush at things like this.

    "Thank you," I say.

    We say our goodbyes and leave, that was quick which is good since it was rather nerve wracking for me. Then we go back home.


    I drop on the sofa. What a day. Today is the 31st day I'm in this world and I already have 3 fiancees, a fortune and I'm considered a town hero. Please slow down, world.

    My research on [Redirect Mana] got interrupted, I gotta catch up. This was supposed to be the day I presented my results to the university. I leveled it once so it should be easier to use again.

    I close my eyes and focus on expanding my soul again, it's getting easier. I see a small mana stream passing by, it's not Roxanne's. I keep flying my soul around it, it's a rather pleasant feeling, this free-flowing mana.

    I stop and repeatedly cast [Wind Armor] on myself to use some mana. I meditate again and go back to play around the mana stream. I notice it changed a little, like slowly stirring a soup it starts to follow my soul. This mana has some attraction to my soul but why is it so difficult to command it to enter me?

    This mana has a different feeling to the Symbol's, Roxanne's stream, and also the stream above the goblin village. It's subtle but now I can feel it, the symbol's felt "spicy", Roxanne's felt "sweet", the goblin's felt like "dirt" and this one feels "tasteless". Is this some sort of identification? The mana from someone holds a bit of the previous owner's "essence" on it? It's plausible since this mana is the "spill" from bad [Mana Efficiency], perfect efficiency makes the spell invocation imperceptible.

    This mana stream is actually not resisting me, I don't think it's the skill level. Perhaps it's mana generated by the environment so it doesn't have a previous "owner"? Then how do I "break" the owner barrier more efficiently?

    I move my soul upstairs and find a stream of mana from Roxanne. I wanna "taste" her and the others with this. Ok, back to work. Her stream is resisting me now, I can feel her "sweetness", it's hers alright. I have an idea, I know that moving my soul is not everything I can do with it, my soul can change in various ways that I can't really explain, it's like trying to raise only one eyebrow, it's a muscle that's there and you know it exists but you don't have proper control of it.

    I keep trying to change my soul and notice a small change in the stream. Ahah! So I can do it, I have to keep trying. Move it, this… way… just a little bit… Closer. It twitched again. I gotta… bend it, like this. Open up… like this? Oh, another twitch, it's bigger. Yes, like… this.

    Oh! The stream is not resisting, I have to hold it like this. I feel pain, it's pulsing. It's like a cramp, my soul isn't supposed to be like this. But the mana keeps coming. I could only last a little while but it came, without forcing myself it came to me spontaneously. This could be a powerful skill if I can develop it, it's somewhat scary. Like holding a gun without the safety and without knowing how to fire.

    I try to relax. I also need to create [Sense Soul] to properly copy a soul and create a golem. [Infuse] is basically infusing an object with a soul that I create during the acid trip, but I don't know what any of that does so it's very dangerous to go with trial and error. I'll keep [Sense Presence] and [Sense Mana] on all the time, maybe I can come up with an idea if I combine them both, they work in similar ways to what [Sense Soul] should be like.

    I feel a kiss on my lips.

    "Wolf, Roxanne wants to take a bath. Let's enter together," Alissa says.

    I kiss her back.

    Roxanne washed Hana and then both of them put on a show for us. Hana will be sleeping alone tonight so we gotta compensate her. I will buy a bigger bed after the award ceremony, hopefully we can all sleep together then. Nobody dared to touch Roxanne's tail.

    At night we were all tired and uninspired, emotions flew too much these last days. I did Alissa slowly and lovingly in missionary, we spent all the time just kissing and caressing until I came. Then I did Roxanne the same way, she spices things up a bit with unexpected bites, kisses and pinches. She's not the raw power fucker that Hana is but she likes to use her charm. I got excited and asked for a double blowjob. Roxanne needs teaching, she never had a dick in her mouth before.


    Today is the 22nd.

    I slept like a baby. I wake up with Alissa nibbling and licking the tip of my dick. She wants to copy Hana's wake up blowjob. Nothing makes me happier than to wake up to those orange eyes looking up on me while her cute face bobs up and down. Roxanne was hugging me from behind but she's a heavy sleeper, only when I got up she woke. I make sure to give them all a deep kiss when waking up, it lifted Hana's mood from sleeping alone.

    We will probably spend the whole day in negotiations. All the hunters are healed and ready so we will discuss payment and who takes what spoils. I'm not that interested in it so I selfishly asked Alissa to keep me company, she actually volunteered first but it's still selfish to accept it.

    I decide to summon a bird and keep it always at home. I will share sight and touch so if someone wants to say something to me it's very convenient, it also serves as training so I don't get dizzy when my view increases.If I'm to be a summoner then being capable of sharing the senses with multiple summons is very advantageous.

    We get to the guild meeting room and there's already an argument. The artillery team is having trouble discerning who killed what since there's only carbonized bodies and some even got carried away by the [Wind Storm].

    The guild attendees had to recount the number of dead bodies, estimate the number of houses, then estimate the number of total goblins, and finally deduct from the dead bodies the number of kills attributed to the artillery team. Then they compromised and split the rewards evenly.

    The counting of the other kills was easier since the bodies are present and we already gave a detailed report. I didn't bother to argue the number of kills of the girls and neither of my elementals, the orcs were the most valuable ones and the Orc Chief kill was attributed to me while Hana was the one who decapitated it. From the shock troops Alissa was 4th in number of kills, Hana was 7th and Roxanne was very low on rank since she was mostly supporting us.

    I spent the entire time discreetly stroking Alissa's tail until she fell asleep in my arms. I also kept playing around with her soft hands. I'm completely intoxicated by her, this level of attachment isn't healthy for both of us but I don't care.

    We had to stop the meeting and have a fast lunch nearby because the meeting took us until 3PM. Then we finally went back home.

    At some point both Roxanne and Hana were petting the bird so I managed to keep awake during the entire meeting and felt way better than I thought I would.

    I have my afternoon tea and go back to working on [Sense Soul]. I will keep [Redirect Mana] like this for now, I explored much of the mysteries and I think it's enough to give a good outline of how this skill works.

    Keeping both [Sense Mana] and [Sense Presence] on is tiring, [Sense Mana] works passively but using it actively gives it much more sensitivity. I truly think now that the combination of both these skills is the key to [Sense Soul]. I bring the bird to the living room and focus all my efforts on sensing it.

    Little by little I gain more control over the abilities. They are like a focal lens where you keep changing the field of view and it gets you a better image. I'm starting to be able to see the details that I could only see by using my soul, but unfortunately the focal point is very, very small.

    I can see how the soul "patterns" repeat, then they lose its form and it becomes an abstract mess. I try to look inside but it starts to shift as I look, is this the "brain"? The constant learning and changing and synapses being created and broken? It's useless to look deeper I have to focus on the outside patterns.

    "Wolf? I'm sorry to interrupt but it's getting late, let's take a bath together," Alissa says.

    "It's no problem, my wives take priority over work."

    Alissa blushes.

    She did interrupt but there's no hurry, I want to enjoy these days until we are dragged by the gods into the next conflict.

    Today I did Alissa in the bath until she came. I didn't cum too because I will destroy Hana tonight, I used a combination of dick, tongue, fingers and g-spot to make Alissa scream.

    The meals keep getting better, Alissa controls the menu and I just happily help, it's therapeutic. Tonight we have a large roasted Dragolite that Alissa wanted to copy after Selina's wedding.

    "Is this… basil? Ohh…"

    "What is it Wolfy?" Asks Roxanne.

    "One of these herbs is basil, I need to know which, I love basil."

    We can make pesto and if we find tomatoes we can make caprese and so much more. Italian cuisine revolution incoming!

    Alissa smiles, she loves when we find something that reminds me of Earth.

    Then we go to bed and I do Hana, then Roxanne, then Hana again. This woman is a complete freak, she might be even more degenerate than me. I won't suggest anal to her because I don't really like it but I think it might be just a matter of time with the way her masochism is progressing, she's having me choke her and spank her.

    Hana doesn't want to let me finish inside her, she likes to take it in her mouth and share it with Roxanne. Roxanne is actually embarrassed with it when she's not on her "sex demon" mode but she obeys, Roxanne is Hana's plaything. I just don't wanna imagine what she would do to me if she were my master instead.

    I have to put points into strength and stamina to keep up with Hana, I slap her face as she sucks the soul through my dick. It's just a matter of time for her to get the oral skill like this.

    Exhausted, I go to sleep.


    "YOU FUCKING MONSTER!" The goblin woman screams.

    Her spear stabs my belly. She pulls it out and thrusts again, I try to hold it and my hand is cut. I don't have the power to stop and my belly is stabbed again.

    "AAAAH!" The goblin kid screams and stabs my chest with a knife.

    I try to grab the knife but the spear stabs me again and I lose power.

    It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. Stop, I don't wanna die.


    Today is the 23nd

    I wake up stiff again.

    "I don't want another nightmare again," I say.

    I feel sick and afraid. These nightmares are too real, this is not a trauma, this is a curse.

    "It's okay, we will find a way to deal with this," Roxanne says and hugs me, she looks worried and Hana looks even worse.

    "I'm sorry, Wolf, I don't know how to deal with the matters of the soul," Hana says and looks down.

    "You already protect me enough. It's like Roxanne said, we will find a way to deal with this, it's not that serious," I console her.

    Feeling sad we go have breakfast,