Novel Rupegia

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

  1. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    We all stare in silence as the albino plummets into the infinite darkness below. The monsters all scream in panic and try to run away, but they're all so heavily wounded that none of them escape, so the Chimeras easily finish them all off.

    I feel the option to summon the albino gradually becoming clear inside my mind. It's certainly my most powerful summon now, but if the Grim Giant used that much of my HP, then I'm certain that summoning the albino would kill me if I tried it with my current amount of MP.

    "That was… a rather sad fight," I comment.

    "It wanted death," Alissa adds.

    "Was the blue Leviathan its mate?" I ask.

    Alissa responds with cold detachment, "Probably. It was likely a breeder-type, so it'd be trying to reproduce at every opportunity."

    I frown and feel a slight tightening in my heart. The life of a monster is harsh and merciless, I've known that for a while, but I still feel sadness and pity whenever I recognize that this is just the way things are. It's easy for me to sympathize, I just have to think about losing one of the girls and a whole load of horrible feelings washes over me.

    Alissa removes her scaled gloves, and her warm, gentle hand cups my cheek.

    I turn to face her, and her beautiful orange eyes stare at me lovingly as she whispers, "I'm happy that you still feel pain from our war with the monsters because I don't, not anymore. That heart of yours is why I fell in love with you, so I want you to keep it like this even after wiping out the heretics to protect us, or fighting the Monster King, or whatever else may be your purpose here. It's not just me, but the realm itself that needs people like you leading us."

    Bleeding hearts, leading minds.

    I smile warmly at her and say, "And you'll be here to heal me when I come back."

    She nods empathically. "Always." Her other hand cups my other cheek, then she pulls me closer and kisses my nose.

    I look down to the deck and see the girls all looking at me, except for Ciel, who seems concerned about the Chimeras, and Yunia, who's looking around, a little confused, but she seems able to read the mood.

    I look towards the horizon and say, "It's easy to forget that these monsters also have feelings, but I feel better now after remembering that. I'll never become a pacifist, but I won't let cruelty take me over, either."

    "And that's why the Gods were right in blessing you." She releases my cheeks, and we get back to piloting the ship.

    With the monsters gone, Wasps start to land, and the Horns return to the Carrier.

    "I'll go over to the Carrier and help the wounded," Ciel announces, then turns to me. Her eyes clearly show her strong determination.

    I nod, and she casts [Fly], then takes off.

    "Is Wolfy okay?" Yunia asks Lina, sounding slightly anxious.

    My little dwarf tells her of my first few days before Alissa, and then the promise she made to me. Yunia remains pensive for a short while, then returns to normal as we start to relax.

    Code red changes to yellow, then Ciel comes back.

    The fleet returns to the Looping Winds, and we stop once we reach the midpoint between Void's End and the mist.

    Now that we're free from the threat of the albino and the low visibility of the mist, we all start to feel much more comfortable.



    I grab small-Aoi and wash every single one of her blue scales. Alissa helps me out to make it go faster, and Aoi starts to complain.

    "Noo~… Mu~…" She moans lowly and starts to get annoyed. Lifting the scales to wash them is uncomfortable for her, no matter how high our [Washing] is.

    "Quiet, you. I won't breed with no stinky lizard," I say to her, and she stops squirming.

    "The effort to remain clean and beautiful is always rewarded," Alissa adds.

    Ciel smiles warmly at Aoi and says, "The ability to perfectly balance our orderly and chaotic natures is what differentiates humanoids from monsters. We're able to overcome our nature, but monsters don't."

    This gets Aoi thinking, and she stops complaining.

    "Don't monsters also have an instinct to clean themselves? Being dirty would only make them weak," I question.

    "I clean myself, but not like this," Aoi responds and glances at me as I wax her scales.

    "How does 'cleaning' relate to the Gods?" Ciel questions Aoi.

    She frowns and thinks for a moment, then answers, "Cleaning is worshiping the God of Change, 'not cleaning' is worshiping the God of Order."

    "We control our nature, so we can choose what's best for us, and not just worship the Old Gods blindly."

    Lina's Trivia: Old Gods is the colloquial way to call the Ancient Gods, the ones who existed before the Humanoid Gods.

    "Fiine, I won't complain," Aoi relents.

    "Even when I wax your scales?" I ask her with a smirk, and she nods shyly.

    "The more beautiful we are, the harder Wolfy fucks us," Hana adds.

    Aoi taps a claw on her snout in thought, then Alissa plunges a finger inside her small pussy and adds, "Better sex should be enough encouragement for you, right?"

    Aoi's wings quiver, and she nods emphatically.

    Alissa's finger fucks Aoi with one hand while deftly washing her with the other, and once we're done, the lewd dragon is left out of breath. Alissa licks her finger, then enters the bath and clings onto Ciel.

    I gently rinse my little dragon with warm water, then something penetrates my belly, and my cock slaps against Aoi as a wave of pleasure floods into me.

    I snort and grin evilly, then hold her head against the ground and use [Bind] to make her grow slightly bigger.

    I grab her tail and lift it, revealing her hindquarters to me. I see that her small slit is dripping with a sticky, clear fluid. It's begging to be filled and stretched.

    I lean over her, making her arch her back painfully, then I rub her slit along my cock.

    "Is this what you want?" I ask her.

    "Ye~s…" She grunts a high-pitched answer, but I already knew that from how her desire is flooding through [Bind].

    Roxanne lubes my cock for me, then I touch the tip against the entrance to my cock sleeve. I gradually increase the pressure and feel the intensity of her desire through the heat of her burning pussy.

    I push myself inside and lick my lips, savoring her reaction as her legs quiver while I slowly stretch her hidden lips apart. She simply enjoys being filled by me, never saying no to any of my desires. If she had horns, I'd be breaking them all the time.

    My lubed cock slides in comfortably, digging deeper into her slick pussy, and she pants like a dog from the pleasure. She immediately starts squeezing her vagina, trying to make me cum as fast as possible.

    I stop moving and ask, "Didn't you have enough already? You cum slut. Always so hungry for my seed."

    "Fuck me!" She demands, then wiggles, trying to bring me even deeper inside.

    I double the thickness of my cock and lengthen it until it touches her cervix, making her yelp.

    "What did you say?" I ask her softly.

    She growls angrily, then resumes trying to impale herself. "Fuck me!"

    A wave of delight washes over me. There's nothing like hearing a woman demanding to be fucked.

    I grow some ribbing on my cock and respond, "As you wish." Then I slam my hips against hers. I share our senses so that we both experience how it feels to fuck and get fucked. Our desires sync, and our minds work together to give each other as much pleasure as possible.

    I grow small barbs on the lower part of my shaft so that they scratch against her clit hidden inside her slit. A dragon's pussy is hot and slimy, but it isn't much different from a humanoid's.

    Her back is arched so deeply that I'm almost pounding her downwards. With each slam, my huge cock presses against her cervix, and her hind legs flail about helplessly as she's assaulted with too much stimulation to properly control herself.

    She groans and fire escapes her nostrils, and her burning insides increase in heat with each fire breath. She clenches her claws, and the fore ones scratch the floorboards of our ship, granting her a small amount of physical leverage that she immediately uses to move her hips. She tries as hard as she can to slam them against mine because her only desire right now is to impale herself upon my dragonator.

    Her vaginal muscles clench and ripple desperately, trying to wring out an orgasm from me. Her pussy squelches, and her lewd juices lubricating my dragonator squirt out noisily. The pungent smell of an aroused woman mixed with my precum is obscene, but also comforting and satisfying.

    She's so hungry for cum that I decide to finally give her what she wants. I release her neck and allow her hind claws to touch the ground again, then I get on my knees and stop moving my hips. She grows bigger and continues pounding herself against me while I guide her with my hands.

    I decide to grow a large dog knot at the base of my cock, and the moment she feels it, an intense desire to be bred washes over her.

    "Give it to me!" She demands, and I obey.

    She slams herself along my dragonator as hard as she can, and the knot slips in. Like pulling a tooth, a sharp pang of pain spices up the pleasure for a moment, then only satisfaction remains.

    I reduce the thickness of my cock and close my eyes, then I stop holding myself back and orgasm continuously like a hose. Her desire to be bred takes over me, forcing my balls to drain as much mana as they can, and since I have a knot plugging the exit, she gets filled so full that her vagina bulges out.

    My cock wriggles inside her as our bodies tremble and groan from the waves of pleasure wracking through us, feeding on each other until my head starts to feel light from the intensity of the orgasm. Aoi's desire forces me to cum uncontrollably until not even the knot is enough to hold back the deluge.

    A few elementals' worth of mana is turned into cum before I regain control of myself and force our minds to desync.

    We pant in exhaustion, then we start to chuckle. She uses her wings to pull me down until I'm on top of her while my cock is still locked inside. We cuddle for several long minutes and enjoy the skinship.

    Soft flesh against prickly scales actually feels good when it's with someone you love. Meanwhile, her vagina goes from overfilled to empty, and it wasn't Hana that drank it all, her body literally absorbed my mana-rich cum.

    She lets out a sigh of satisfaction, then turns her head to the side so that she can invade my mouth with her tongue.

    I gently wriggle my dick inside her, and we share one last orgasm before we're done.



    I store the tub and the partition away as the girls dry their hair and remake Yunia's drills, then I give a smile to Oritiki, who was standing guard for us all this time.

    She licks her fingers and sighs. "I'm not sure if I like this or not. Your group is too much of a tease for me," she comments with a wry smile.

    I scratch my head awkwardly and say, "Since the albino is dead, maybe we don't need such a strict watch anymore."

    She shakes her head and grins, then she replies in an overly dramatic tone, "No, no, no, no. I'll gladly make the sacrifice of hearing you all madly fucking while I masturbate. Your safety is more important than my sexual satisfaction."

    "Jokes aside, thank you," I say and give her a short bow. "You've cared for us very well and shown yourself to be a good friend to our family. We're all glad to have met you."

    The girls join me and give her a bow, too.

    "Your kindness will forever stay with us," Alissa adds.

    "There are few nobles who receive strangers so warmly like you did. You can consider us allies," Yunia finishes.

    Oritiki raises her non-existent eyebrows in surprise, then her face softens with a warm smile. Her voice becomes soft and slightly emotional as she says, "I don't claim to be a great judge of character, but I was never given a reason to doubt yours. I felt that your family was honorable and deserved to be treated well, so I resolved myself to help you all in any way I could."

    Except for that spying we did…

    I return the smile and nod respectfully.

    Hana crosses her arms and comments, "Everyone calls you Honorable One, but you've never asked for us to do the same."

    Oritiki seems to be caught off-guard and awkwardly rubs one of her horns. "I prefer it this way. Everyone keeps their distance from me and the other Horns, so I didn't want to do the same to the first people we've met after so long that only the Divines know."

    So, all she wanted was a friend?

    "Considering how you belong to the Celestial Horns, I didn't expect you to be so unconcerned with formalities," Roxanne adds.

    Oritiki chuckles and replies, "Once you live long enough, that sort of thing seems like a waste of time. Even the Divines only cared about formalities when talking to the public."

    "It's those who have little power that feel the need to always keep a wall between themselves and the commoners," Ciel says like a sage.

    "Those who have real power don't need to show it at every opportunity," Oritiki adds, and they nod towards each other.

    "Anyway, I'll land the ship on the Carrier. Hihiriwa has invited us for dinner again," I say and slowly float up towards the bridge.



    We enter the Carrier and hear the laughter of the crew echoing through the corridors. It seems that the partying has already started.

    We meet Kaatohe on the way. She isn't in a celebratory mood and even seems a little annoyed.

    I walk along beside her and ask as I look up and down her naked body, "Did something happen? You don't seem very content."

    She crosses her arms, bunching up her adorable breasts, and answers, "I lost my personal Wasp. It'll take me a while to modify the [Fly] gem of the new one to my liking."

    "Oh, you do alterations? I didn't know that," Oritiki comments.

    She smiles smugly and replies, "It's why I'm the best pilot we have. I know everything about my planes, though I don't do maintenance on them, that's just unnecessary."

    "Well, we maintain our own weapons and armor," Oritiki calmly comments.

    "That's because you're the only ones who know how," Kaatohe casually responds and flicks her wrist dismissively.

    "Yes, but still, we're the ones who know the most about them, so we're the best choice to maintain them."

    "Oh? That's interesting. I see that the Celestial Horns have their own way, but I just don't think I have anything to gain by maintaining my own planes."

    They're talking casually, but I'm uncertain whether they're bantering or if they really don't like each other.



    We enter the dining hall and see Hihiriwa already drinking with his wife, Kaiia, and Mahi.

    The gray dragon-headed man opens his arms as he sees us and grins. "Oritiki! Kaatohe! Ryders! What a great battle we had. Your infiltration of the fortress brought us a complete victory today. We wouldn't have been able to demoralize it so thoroughly otherwise!" He exclaims and laughs out loud.

    We take our seats and smile back, though mine is a bit forced.

    "Yes, we all fought well. It couldn't have gone better," Yunia responds.

    "Your Reo has improved," Kaatohe comments, and Yunia smiles subtly.

    I put her new points into [Reo Language] after she leveled up.

    "We didn't expect things to go so well," Kaiia says.

    "I suspected that the albino had a mate, but I didn't think that it'd lose the will to live after its death," Hihiriwa says.

    "Nohopu had been hunting Leviathans and the albino itself for a long time. After losing so many partners, even a monster would desire death."

    "Old monsters commit suicide all the time," Oritiki comments.

    "Let's not dwell on these depressing thoughts; we're here to celebrate our victory," Kaatohe comments, sounding a little more annoyed than before.

    "The Celestial Horns and Nohopu performed admirably as expected, but we're also all impressed by your versatility, Ryders. It's a pity that you'll be leaving us," Kaata says with a gentle smile. The gecko-headed woman seems to be warming up to us.

    Hihiriwa takes another sip from his drink and says, "We'd love to know more about that teleportation spell. If you ever come back to Whakamutu, we are willing to trade for your knowledge of it."

    "We'll definitely come back one day, so we'll take you up on your offer then," I lie with a business smile.

    The door opens, and we see Nohopu strutting inside, beaming with pride. Kurii calmly follows in behind him, and a cute human-headed blonde woman comes in after her.

    The squirrel-headed man is completely naked, except for all the gold hanging on his body, and his long, thin cock is completely erect. Alissa even smells precum leaking out of him, which disgusts her greatly.

    The cute woman behind them keeps her head down, and her shy body language tells me that she's a servant. The transparent lingerie she's wearing suggests what her job here is.

    "Hooray! The Divines have blessed us in our hunt!" Nohopu exclaims and grins.

    "They observe us with pride! We've asserted Chimeric superiority!" Hihiriwa cheers and laughs.

    "WITNESS OUR GLORY!" Kaiia bellows. The naked panda man rises from his seat, and his log of a dick slams down onto his empty plate.

    Mahi sighs, and Oritiki smiles wryly.

    Nohopu takes his seat, and the blonde woman kneels, then crawls in front of him under the table. She takes his dick into her mouth and starts to loudly suck him off.

    Kaiia sits down, then both he and Kaatohe start masturbating while watching them.

    Oh, wow.

    Hihiriwa snorts and asks Nohopu, "Couldn't wait for after dinner?"

    The squirrel man grins and grunts. "Definitely not. I almost skipped this because I wanted her so badly. I'm just way too excited right now to hold myself back."

    "Why didn't you bring your wife?" Kaata asks.

    "She doesn't do well cooped up inside the ship all day," Nohopu responds and closes his eyes.

    "You should find her a job on your ship."

    "The only thing she'd accept is replacing me as the captain." And they chuckle lightly at the joke.

    Oritiki gives us an apologetic smile, and we shrug. The atmosphere almost devolves into an orgy, but physical hunger wins, and we eat normally, or rather, as normally as we can.

    The blonde servant finishes off Nohopu, then he gives her a kiss, and she leaves, seemingly very content with herself.

    The weirdest part is when Kaiia cums into his cup, then mixes it with alcohol and drinks it, but nobody reacts to it except for Lina and Ciel, who raise their eyebrows in surprise.

    "It's only you who thinks that drinking your own semen is 'gay,'" Alissa says through [Bind].

    "Straight men drink pussy juice, non-straight men drink cum," I firmly reply.

    "Hey, it's your choice, but that just means there's more for us, then," Hana adds with a chuckle.



    Before they all become too drunk to talk, I wait for a lull in the conversation and ask, "So, what should we expect from the rest of the expedition?"

    "There's only Void's End ahead, and after that are the remains of Ozymandias, which is the territory of the Maw," Kaata answers.

    "We'll let the Floater and the Horns scout ahead to confirm the Maw's position and choose one of the islands, then we'll start the distraction once they get back," Hihiriwa adds.

    "We've never seen a Dark Void before, is there anything we should be particularly wary of?" Lina asks.

    "Stay on your ship, and don't try to fly. Your depth perception will be warped due to the lack of reflection from the Voids," Oritiki answers.

    "We'll move slowly and use the Trinity Cannons and [Beam]s to gauge distances, but if the Looping Winds has been set correctly, then there'll be no need for that," Kurii adds.

    Lina and I share a glance, then I force a smile while she looks down. "Of course we did," I respond wryly.

    "You've done well enough already. It's no easy task for an outsider to operate our Looping Winds," Kaata praises us, and Oritiki nods.

    A bit comforting, but her words still don't fully counter the anxiety coming from the fact that if we did fuck up setting the anchors, then everyone will know.



    The alcohol begins to fill our blood, and the singing starts.

    Kaiia, the rather quiet panda man, loudly sings a slurred shanty, his deep voice reverberating through the dining hall. Nohopu, the energetic squirrel man, breaks down and cries on Hihiriwa's shoulder, yelling about how grateful he is for being chosen for this expedition. Hihiriwa becomes passive like a doll, and his long, gray dragon head sways about as Nohopu shakes him about by the shoulder. Mahi, Kaata, Roxanne, and Hana all talk babble gibberish to each other and giggle, and from what I overhear, I'm pretty sure that Mahi is gay for Kaata. Kurii slams her face onto the table and goes to sleep. Kaatohe and Yunia start talking shit about the stupid commoners and reveal the snobbishness they've kept locked inside.

    "You don't drink much," Oritiki comments.

    "No, I prefer not to," I respond, and smile at the drunk girls. "Someone has to bring them back safely."

    She nods gently. "I understand that well."

    I turn to her and ask, "You also don't drink?"

    She gives me a pained smile. "No, I don't, but for a different reason."

    She doesn't tell me why, so I decide not to pry.



    Hihiriwa and Kaata start having sex while Mahi masturbates to them, so we decide that it's time for us to leave. Hana is already more than horny enough, so it's better to not excite her any further.

    Ciel casts [Purify Body] on the girls and me, then we say our goodbyes and return to our ship.

    We lift off and park beside the Carrier, then we retire to our tent and put our black dragon scale armor back on, except for Hana and I.

    We don't even care about the Horns standing watch outside, I just pound Hana's pussy like there's no tomorrow. She's totally gay for Mahi and gets Gify to replay the memory of her masturbating to Hihiriwa and Kaata.

    I hold back my cum to conserve my mana and just keep pounding her until she collapses backward, and my spiky dick slides out of her with a wet noise.

    Ciel [Heal]s my hips, then I sigh and stretch. The girls start to snuff out their lights to go to sleep, so Alissa helps me put on my armor, then we go up to the bridge to begin our watch.

    One of the Horns stuffs his dick back in his pants, then he lands back down on the deck and gives me a knowing nod.

    It's both weird and exciting how nonchalant the Chimeras are about doing sexual things in front of others.

    I cuddle with Alissa and sneak a tentacle down her pants. Tonight's background music: her soft moaning.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Braidborn.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord Yeeteris Dedmeem.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Badger.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Asakurà.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Yamibomb112.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  2. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Today is the 20th.

    I wake up to Roxanne's puppy dog eyes asking me for milk, so I give her what she wants and fill her mouth.



    I leveled up to 36. My [Mana Genitals] and [Piloting] increased by 1 (now 3 and 3).

    Alissa leveled up to 39. Her [Bow Use] increased by 2 (now 33).

    Roxanne leveled up to 39. Her [Fire Magic] increased by 1 (now 3+27).

    Ciel leveled up to 39. Her [Glaive Use] and [Light Magic] increased by 1 (now 21 and 27).

    Lina leveled up to 36. Her [Throw] increased by 1 (now 4).

    Our skills didn't increase much because we've been stuck on our ship most of the time. Once we leave this fake Broken Skies, I think we'll have enough time and space to train again.



    We exit our tent for breakfast and notice how the light blue sky makes a perfect contrast for the black holes ahead to stand out. Their pure blackness is chilling while the warped light bending around them is dizzying.

    I fear them just like I fear heights, or did, now that it's nearly impossible for me to die from a fall, thanks to [Telekinesis], but I digress. The fear of being so close to certain death is humbling. Even though these black holes operate differently from the ones in Earth's reality, they're no less dangerous, and in fact, the Dark Voids certainly have a higher kill count than Earth's black holes.

    Breakfast is rather quiet due to how we're all too mesmerized by the incredible sight to talk.

    I put some butter on my algae baguette, then I slap on a slice of ham and a slice cheese. I close the baguette and take a bite, loudly crunching into it. The crust is just as perfect as it was when we first bought it back in Goldport. [Item Box] is truly amazing.

    The Floater comes over to refill our mana, then we land on the Carrier for my Gull lessons.



    I approach the sexy white wolf with a grin. "Missed me?" I ask her.

    Hukarere shows me a toothy smile and answers, "Of course." Her dragon tail wags rapidly in excitement.

    I stand on the tips of my toes, then I pull her head down towards me and kiss her snout. Her long tongue enters my mouth, and we have a quick, messy kiss. Alissa sighs in satisfaction inside my mind.

    I wave to Aihopu as we board the Gull. He seems to be excited and fired up for today, panting exactly like an Earthling Border Collie. I tell them about our infiltration of the fortress, and he listens like a child being told a bedtime story. After that, we play fetch with him for a while until his excess energy is spent, though we don't make him go too far from the Looping Winds because of the danger posed by the Dark Voids.

    Hukarere is unreasonably horny. She seems to have really become addicted to my cum, so she didn't search for someone else to play with while I was gone, and she was definitely sexually active before meeting me, so her hunger just built up.

    I leave a gift inside her, then Aihopu uses my cum as lube to continue fucking her. I'm pretty sure that he's… not completely straight.

    After getting pounded until her hips give out, she lays her head on my lap so that I can play with her beautiful white fur. I especially love its blue tips, they're so adorable. While I play with her fur, her head bobs up and down, her slick tongue wrapped all around my shaft.

    What's the true boundary between like and love? The only difference between what I feel for Hukarere, Silvane, Nononya, Osaria, Klein, and the wives is the intensity of this feeling. I've never had sex with Silvane or Nononya, but I consider them my friends, and I'd definitely bang their brains out if I could. I'm obviously attracted to Hukarere, and I enjoy savoring her very much, but I feel a lot more affection for Silvane and Nono, not to mention the gulf between them and Osaria and Klein. The difference in intensity between what I feel for my wives and all the other women may be like the radiance of a sun compared to a faraway star, but both of them are still celestial bodies.

    Even my friendship with men. I still feel affection for them, I just don't want to also have sex with them. For me, distinguishing the different types of love isn't like making a Venn diagram, but rather, it's like a fuzzy set. Everything overlaps smoothly, making the boundaries blurry, but the extremes are still very clear.

    I think I can't stop myself from falling in love because of how blurry the line is, but I can at least keep my priorities straight: wives first, concubines second, flings third. Wives have an absolute veto and should always be satisfied first, no matter what; concubines have an allotted time, and I ask for exclusivity in exchange for a comfortable life; and flings will only happen when there's an "opportunity," though I'm sure that Alissa will help create them.

    Osaria is already a concubine, and I think we need to make it official with Klein, too, though she'll likely have a special clause about the exclusivity in exchange for servitude as a knight.

    But I'm not sure which category Hukarere falls in. Ignoring that she's technically dead, I kind of want her to be around, but not enough that she'd be considered a concubine, and she likely won't accept the exclusivity, so perhaps she can be a "regular" fling.

    It's "odd" to think of relationships in this way, but it's necessary. While a monogamous marriage can make do with only implicit ideas of what the relationship should be, a harem with this many women and different ranks requires a clear structure so that nobody feels neglected. "Happiness" depends a lot on expectations, so giving someone the wrong idea about what sort of relationship I'm looking for would just cause problems.

    "Hey… Hukarere," I call her attention.

    "Hm?" She asks and tilts her head to look at me, but her tongue keeps going.

    "You know that I have many wives, but I'm not looking to add any more. The relationship you and I have is amazing, but it'll never be allowed to progress, so we're never going to marry."

    Her tongue slows down, and she stares at me, deep in thought.

    She suddenly averts her eyes and strokes me, then she frowns and takes my dick out of her mouth. "You're a noble, aren't you?" She asks, her gentle voice just above a whisper.

    "Yes, I am. Well, we are. My wives may not all have a noble background, but we're all nobility."

    She sighs and gently licks my head with the tip of her tongue. "Nobles never change…" She whispers, then her sharp, angled eyes stare intensely at me.

    "I'm sorry…" I whisper to her smile apologetically.

    She closes her eyes and shakes her head, then deepthroats me once and says, "No, you shouldn't. You have seven wives. To think that I'd ever enter a harem like yours is just silly. It doesn't help that I like threesomes, so settling for just one man was going to be hard, anyway."

    I cringe. I don't want to say this, but I have to be honest with her. I can't request the same I did from my wives because it wouldn't be a fair trade. "I mean, since I can't make a commitment with you, I also can't ask you to be exclusive to me."

    She lifts her eyebrows in surprise. "Oh, so… no promises, but also no restraints?" She starts licking my head again with puppy eyes.

    "Exactly. I want you to be happy and not just chain yourself to me while I can't give you everything you want."

    She smiles wryly and starts stroking me vigorously to make me cum fast. "Well, after you got me addicted to your cum, you should at least take responsibility for it."

    "Wait, you're actually addicted?" Aihopu asks.

    We look outside and see him sitting on the edge of the Gull, casually inspecting his feathers. He suddenly turns to us and cringes. "Sorry, didn't mean to eavesdrop, but these ears are very sensitive."

    Hukarere snorts and answers, "Well, to answer your question, yes, his cum is very tasty, for some reason."

    He looks at her exposed pussy lips, still coated with a mixture of our cum, then rubs the chin of his snout in thought. "Can I taste it?" He asks, tentatively.

    "You're not sucking me off," I immediately answer.

    Hukarere rolls belly up and spreads her legs. "Come here, taste this," she orders with a grin.

    I roll my eyes and look away while he makes slurping sounds, and she moans.

    "Divines step on me!" He exclaims and chuckles. "It's bitter, but it's also pretty good. Incredible, I didn't know [Mana Genitals] was like this."

    "Yeah, well, that's just how he is," Hukarere replies with a shrug.

    He takes a look at me, then awkwardly turns away. "Well, I'll just let you two continue…" And he goes to check on the catapult.

    "Where were we?" She asks with a grin, then rolls back on her belly and resumes sucking me off.

    "Me taking responsibility for your addiction," I casually respond.

    She goes silent and loudly slurps on me until I give her some more milk.

    She swallows and licks her lips, then says, "Right… well, you're going to leave soon… so please come back one day and take me away."

    I smile sadly and feel a tightening in my heart. "Are you sure about that? We may be explorers, but we're land-dwellers at heart. Our home isn't in the Broken Skies or Sky Lands."

    She matches my smile and answers, "Yeah. I have friends in Whakamutu, but no family. I know that my hometown was petrified in the Calamity, so I have no real home to return to. I'd just like to travel around the realm and find a new home."

    I pat her head and caress her fur. "My condolences."

    She shakes her head and closes her eyes, enjoying my touch. "It's fine. It's been so long that I'm over it now."

    I swallow heavily and say, "I'll do what I can to come back to Whakamutu, but I make no promises."

    She licks my head twice, making me shiver, then she smiles mischievously "Don't break a girl's heart, eh?"

    I push her head down onto my shaft again. "Never."



    I return to our ship, and we take off. Alissa is very proud of my talk with Hukarere, and Hana gets a few ideas about how she'd deal with her own mini-harem she might build one day.

    The black holes start to surround us as we continue deeper into Void's End. We let the golems pilot while we just observe and drink tea. I let the cosmic horror fill my heart and observe each Dark Void as they slowly pass by.

    I summon a bird and tell it to commit suicide, for science. It obediently flies away, then stares innocently towards its final destination: the void of absolute darkness.

    The dark circle of death grows steadily in its sight, but the bird doesn't feel any sort of gravitational pull towards it. A slight resistance starts to push it to the side, and it feels a gentle breeze flowing past it.

    It corrects its course and fights against the resistance, flying deeper into the void, and it grows so large that it starts to surround the bird like an encroaching darkness. The force pushing the bird away increases further, slowing down its final approach.

    It reaches the midway point, and the resistance skyrockets. Suddenly, the resistance goes away entirely, and the beak of the bird simply disappears, as if it were cleanly cut off. Pain flares in its face, but the rest of the head soon follows, and it dies. Its body continues entering the Dark Void, and in the blink of an eye, there's nothing left of it.

    I end up sending a dozen lab birds to die just to study the Dark Voids some more.

    These black holes absorb mana and light, but they weakly repel matter. They consume their stored mana to annihilate any matter that crosses their event horizon, but that makes them smaller, which is why there's a physical barrier around it.

    Their event horizons vary in size, so it's possible to find a Dark Void where someone can get deep enough that all light around them gets absorbed, leaving them in a true dark void that no light can ever escape.

    "The mana around the Voids behaves similarly to the Floater's," Lina comments.

    "That's because the Floater uses controlled Dark Voids to absorb mana and light," Paraaone responds.

    "Oh…" She blinks blankly, then another realization sinks in. "This is how you store mana inside the gems! There's another Dark Void in there, right?"

    "I can't say for sure, but I think it's something like that."

    "No wonder the em-… the Domum kingdom is bad at mana storage. They don't have Dark Voids to study like you do." She suddenly turns around and scurries down to the hold to study the gems there some more.

    I change her points around how she wants them and give her enough [Sense Mana] to properly observe inside the gems.



    I go to the back of the ship and lean against the railing beside Ciel.

    "How you doin'?" I ask in a deep, husky voice.

    "Reference?" She questions, flatly.

    "Reference."

    "I'm doing fine. I couldn't be happier." She smiles warmly while staring down at the creepy Dark Void currently passing by.

    "You didn't drink much yesterday."

    I glance at her, and she smiles wryly. "I just didn't feel like it. I'd end up blurting something out and make the Chimeras suspicious of us if I got drunk."

    "That's how I feel every time I drink, though I just don't like getting drunk, to begin with."

    She pulls a strand of hair out of her hair bun and starts playing with it. "It's hard to imagine being like this all the time. Hiding secrets, I mean."

    "When we become Lords, we'll be forced to hide many more."

    "I'll deal with it. Or rather…" She turns to me and smirks. "You and all the other wives will help me deal with it."

    I stretch my soul and gently rub her cheek with it, making her twitch in surprise and wiping that smug smirk off her face. "We will," I whisper.

    She pouts and looks away. "If Yunia is your queen, then that makes us royalty, too."

    I breathe in and calm myself, I need a perfectly soft and gentle intonation for this. "For me, you're all goddesses."

    She lets out a high-pitched laugh once, then quickly controls herself and clears her throat.

    A small success, but a success nonetheless.

    Her hand lands on my head, and she runs her fingers through my hair, then we remain silent for a while, just enjoying being near each other while she plays with my hair and her own at the same time.

    She lets out a wistful sigh and asks, "Are you happy? In this realm, I mean. Have you found your happiness?"

    "I did, quite some time ago, in fact," I answer without hesitation.

    "And what about your past. What do you feel about those memories?"

    It takes me a few moments to put my thoughts in order, but my answer is clear, "It'll always be a wound, a 'what could've been.'"

    "A scar, like the others you carry with you."

    I shrug. "I guess so…"

    We go silent again, then I decide to just stare at her intensely with a smug smile. She glances at me repeatedly, getting increasingly disconcerted, then she starts chuckling by herself.

    "What, what is it?" She suddenly asks.

    "What about you, are you happy?" I ask with a smug smile.

    She gets her chuckling under control and answers, "Yes, very much so, but a little too much, perhaps."

    "Oh? And why is that?" I casually ask.

    "Yunia's advice would be better applied to me than to you. I've been enjoying this adventure far too much."

    I look back to see if Paraaone is within hearing range and ask, "Even when you don't trust the Chimeras?"

    "Even when I don't trust them. Oritiki has been so accommodating I'd even forgotten about my suspicions."

    "She could've been doing that just to get our guards down, and then 'RAWR,'" -I pinch her cheek with two soul-claws- "she'd eat us all."

    She bats the claw away and snorts at my silliness. "She'd be the best actor in the world if that were true."



    Our morning is quiet and uneventful. We invite Hukarere, Ririmu, and Paraaone again for lunch, then we help them experience the wonders of elven smoked meats.

    "So, this is basically wood-flavored meat?" Ririmu questions.

    "Not wrong, but I won't agree with you," Yunia replies and glances at him snobbishly.

    Hukarere rolls her eyes and says to Ririmu, "Don't be silly, this isn't the first time we've eaten smoked food."

    "But, isn't it true?" He insists.

    "No," Yunia answers as she glances at him again.

    He grins at her and continues, "Yes."

    "No."

    "Yes."

    "We do eat wood, so what's the problem?" Paraaone asks, slightly confused.

    "It's not wood, it's smoke," Yunia replies.

    "But it's smoke that comes from a piece of wood, so, technically, it's still wood," Ririmu continues.

    "Do you say that steamed veggies are 'water-flavored'?" I question him.

    "No, because, normally, water has no taste," he responds with a wry smile.

    "It's like saying that mushrooms are dirt-flavored vegetables. It's not the technicality that's important, but the 'unclean' connotation that 'wood' and 'dirt' have," Lina responds categorically.

    "It's a matter of whether you want the words to be as precise as possible or the image that they conjure to be pleasant," I add.

    "Oh~…" Hukarere coos and claps.

    Ririmu grins and bows. "My question has been answered, thank you," he says in a fake polite tone.



    Shortly after lunch, we have to stop because the Looping Winds has been disrupted by a Dark Void. The smokey highway spirals into it, thinning out until it hits the anti-matter barrier and dissipates completely. This black hole is powerful, having a very large area of influence on the mana and light particles around it, which allows it to steal the mana of the Looping Winds for itself.

    Off in the distance, the Looping Winds seems to reform, so at least our safe path forward wasn't destroyed by the Dark Void. The Looping Winds must always complete the loop, so, if it was completely blocked, then it'd just break down entirely and stop working.

    "These Dark Voids are too volatile. You'd need accurate information about their sizes to plan a proper path through this area," Paraaone consoles me.

    The Carrier starts firing its Trinity Cannons to range the black holes ahead.

    "Well, we did the best we could," Lina answers and shakes her head.

    "That Dark Void is stealing the Looping Winds' mana, so what happens if it grows until it's out of control?" I ask.

    "There's a way to steal the mana back, but we don't have time for that. If left alone, it'll either continue to absorb all the mana sources around it until it starves, or the winds around it will gather enough to pierce its anti-matter barrier, then it'll return to being small," Paraaone answers.

    "What even causes a Dark Void to form?" Lina questions.

    "I don't know. Some people say that it's related to Ender, the Nemesis, but they only appear near the edges of the realm."

    Lina and I would love to read some Chimeric books about this, but I guess we'll have to wait until we go to the Sky Lands to find them.



    It takes us an hour, but we carefully make our way between the Dark Voids and safely return to the Looping Winds. It definitely slowed our progress, but we still reach the edge of Void's End before the sun goes down.

    We see large islands off in the distance, hidden behind the colored clouds. Those are the remains of Ozymandias. The Maw resides somewhere in there, but it's most likely at the end of the Looping Winds and right next to the portal that should take us… somewhere.

    We stop just before we exit Void's End. The Dark Voids are the perfect protection for us because that aberrant monster is a heavily magical being, making it extremely vulnerable to these black holes.

    "The Floater and the Celestial Horns will scout ahead in search of the Gaping Maw while we wait here," Hihiriwa orders.

    "I'll stay here, just in case," Paraaone assures us.

    There are no monsters, animals, or even spirits here because of the black holes, but you never know what could happen.

    "Thank you. We really appreciate your and Oritiki's consideration for us," I respond and give him a respectful nod.

    "You could show your appreciation with more of that smoked meat," he comments with a grin, and I smile back.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  3. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Not much happened today, so we have some extra energy to play around in the bath. Also, Oritiki isn't here tonight because the Horns and the men on the Floater need to rest since they'll be scouting for the Maw and the islands tomorrow.

    I sit down on the floor, and Lina lowers her pussy onto my mouth while Alissa bounces on my dick, her wet tail wagging energetically.

    I suck on Lina's clit while I push my thumb inside her, then I poke her incredibly tight asshole with my pinky and cast [Clean]. Her legs quiver, and she holds my head to steady herself, then I feel her clit getting just a tiny bit larger as she becomes more excited.

    I stop eating her out for a second to ask, "Do you want to try anal? I'd start real small with you, so you'd never bleed or feel too much pain."

    She frowns and looks away, then moans weakly as I continue moving my thumb and pinky.

    "Very small," she mumbles.

    I smile at her and lick her clit. "I'll gauge your level of pain through [Bind] so that it never hurts too much."

    She bites her lip and nods, then I grin evilly and make a tentacle smaller than my pinky. I sneak it through her ultra-small asshole and use my spirit touch to drain the remaining strength from her legs.

    I slowly increase its girth until it becomes almost uncomfortable, keeping it just a bit smaller than my pinky, then I make it vibrate.

    "AHN~…!" She moans out loud, and her legs wrap around my head. She's so light that I can just hold her up like this until she creams my mouth.



    I've been learning how to multitask, so I can just play around with the girls and give them some attention when they aren't in the mood for hardcore, multi-cock, spirit-touch, vibrating, continuous-orgasm-inducing, cum-hosing stakes of love.

    Aoi and I work together to appease Hana while Ciel, Roxanne, and Yunia relax and enjoy my caresses. Even though we didn't fight today, stress still builds up, and we're starting to feel the need for some time away from the Chimeras.

    We have a cozy dinner under the stars, surrounded by black holes. Having this sort of view every time we eat will leave us spoiled. Even for Lords, we have quite an exciting lifestyle.

    After that, while the girls retire to our tent, Yunia and I carefully inspect the entire ship to repair any structural damage that might have come from being slapped away by the Leviathans. We remove the burn marks from the [Beam]s that hit our ship, then we join the girls in the tent.

    Everyone's still a bit energetic, so we'll do some work for a short while before going to sleep. Alissa and Hana practice [Mesmerizing Butterflies] together, but Alissa is mostly focused on helping Hana catch up with her; Roxanne excitetedly watches Lina as she adds safety enchantments to her worktable so that she can test the more dangerous and explosive materials; Ciel now has enough points for [Detect Evil], so she tests how the spell works, but since it has zero combat utility, she'll use the extra points somewhere else; Aoi continues stretching her mana organ, very happy with how fast she's progressing; Yunia sits down and practices [Electric Magic], continuing to try to learn how to instant ca-…

    Two [Lightning Bolt]s suddenly launch from her finger and fly out of our tent through the exit, shooting off into the sky.

    "I… did it…?" Yunia questions, surprised with herself. Lightning flashes and thunder crackles again. "I did it!" She exclaims and beams with a beautiful smile, completely wiping away the usual sharpness of her expression.

    "Congratulations," Ciel is the first to congratulate her, then we join in with a chorus of congratulations.

    Yunia struggles to contain her brimming excitement, but she does succeed in appearing stoic again, then she nods respectfully towards Ciel.

    "It took me a little longer than a month to learn that, so you're doing very well," Roxanne praises.

    "The switching around of skill points all the time helped a lot. I could feel and almost see the changes inside me, but I just couldn't 'touch' it. It's weird, I still can't explain it well," Yunia responds and smiles wryly.

    Roxanne nods emphatically and adjusts her glasses. "It's completely opposite to how magic is normally taught. We're used to being free to 'build' our spells the way we want, but this 'instant casting' is completely constrained."

    "You can learn how to modify the instant-cast spells, though," Alissa comments.

    Yunia knits her thin eyebrows in concern and replies, "Well, I have no idea how to instant cast the spells from [Weaverism]. They're all dependent on the target, so it's a puzzle that I don't even know how to begin tackling."

    "Well, one day you might learn how. We still have our entire lives to train and grow," I say.

    Yunia pouts for a moment, but it softens into a subtle smile.

    I sit down behind her and give her a hug. "You're a hard worker, so I'm certain that you'll do it one day, and if you don't, then it might just be impossible, after all," I whisper in her long ear.

    She snorts, then looks ahead and continues practicing her instant casting.

    I take the opportunity of Aoi diligently training to leech her progress with [Bind]. It's surprisingly easy to "sync" my mind with hers. She's the second easiest to sync, with the first being Alissa.

    I share some of my knowledge in [Soul Manipulation] with Aoi while she sends me her experience with mana organ stretching. Now that she can push her soul out, she might benefit from knowing Gify's and my custom [Materialize]. I think the first thing she'll try to create will probably be hands.

    Lina finishes adding [Reinforce] and [Wind Armor] to the insides of the worktable so that it doesn't break apart that easily if something inside it explodes. Roxanne claps the tip of her fingers together in excitement and immediately goes to work with it.

    It takes only a few minutes for her to make something explode, so it was definitely a good thing that we made her wait until now.

    There's still the need for [Telekinesis]-powered manipulators, but they're a lot less important since Roxanne can use that spell herself or recruit the golems to help her when she needs it.

    Lina sighs and shakes her head at the crazy alchemist, then continues reading her new book, "Legends of Times Past Series: Nojus, Lord of Fire and Brimstone."



    Shortly before it's time for the girls to sleep, I approach Ciel with a smile and say, "It's time."

    She hesitates for a moment, then starts to undo her scale armor.

    "No, not that," I add with a chuckle. "Why do you all think it's always sex?"

    "Because you're always horny," she responds and shrugs. "If it's not sex, then what do you mean by 'it's time'?"

    "[Bind]. I think I can add you to our [Bind]."

    "Ooh~…"

    I smile and sit down in front of her. "Ready?"

    She nods, and I cast [Bind]. It's pretty easy to pull her soul into me, which shows that my mind is ready to handle more.

    I've done this before with her, so it's pretty simple to dive into her mind and pull back her "internal monologue string."

    "H-HEWWO?! Is anybodwy hewre?"

    Ciel rolls her eyes and says, "Enough references, Wolfy."

    "Ack, my heart! So cold!" I exclaim and dramatically clutch at my chest.

    "I think it's cute," Lina comments.

    Ciel frowns and says, "It annoys me, for some reason."

    Alissa agrees, "Same, but when he says them through [Bind], it's easier to 'understand' them, or at least know when he's using one, so I can just ignore him if it's too obscure."

    "They make me smile," Roxanne says warmly.

    "I have no idea what they're about, so…" Hana shrugs.

    I chuckle at them and reply, "It's my way of celebrating my former home. I focus on the parts that brought me joy, not the… astronomical amount of bullshit that exists over there."

    Alissa's tail stops wagging, and her fox ears go flat. "Well, now I feel bad for ignoring you," she mumbles.

    "Ignoring me just makes it funnier," I calmly reply.

    Her ears perk up, and she gives me a slightly worried look. "If you say so…"

    "It's a form of teasing, of that I'm sure," Roxanne adds, and Alissa believes her because who knows more about teasing than Roxanne?

    I nudge Ciel through [Bind], and she starts patting Lina, then she suddenly jumps in surprise when she realizes what she's doing.

    "Tomorrow, we'll have time to practice our coordination," I say and wink at her.



    The girls go to bed while Alissa and I start our watch. There are no Horns here this time, so I focus on the bird sleeping between Osaria's breasts and relax, wishing that she and Klein were with us.

    When my pocket watch says that it's 2 AM, we switch with Hana and Roxanne.



    Today is the 21st.

    I wake up to a pair of predatory yellow eyes trying to gobble me up. I caress the dragon's lightly tanned cheeks, and her emerald scales make a soft clinking sound.

    I sit up, and she gives me a fearsome grin, then I kiss her forehead and get up out of the bed. The scary dragon only looks cute to me, now.



    My [Soul Manipulation] increased by 1 (now 7). We didn't do much yesterday, but today, we're all energetic, so we'll definitely train a lot.



    The Floater comes to recharge our ship before they head out, then Oritiki comes over to give us a short goodbye.

    The Maw must be a few hours away from us if it hasn't moved from the (assumed) portal, so she'll likely return either tonight or tomorrow.

    Paraaone stays with us and joins us in our sparring. Ciel and I pretend that we're sparring behind the bridge, but we're actually just testing the [Bind] to get used to working together through it. By reading the emotions and intentions of each other, it becomes easy to counter attacks, but since we aren't trying to win, and instead, we're just pretending to spar, we can adjust our attacks with extreme precision to be as realistic as possible. I even feel [Dancing] activating as we improve our coordination.

    We also get the golems to participate in the sparring practice with the girls, and they make for an interesting fight to watch. Ted and Suzy work better fighting together, one controlling a greatsword while the other controls a large kite shield. They can control two weapons each, but this way, their movements are more precise. The way they fight is, in itself, unique, so it's difficult to teach them how to achieve their maximum potential since they lack the creativity to explore their own limits. They can see my memories, but I wasn't a swordsman in my past life, so the help they can get from them is limited.

    "I've heard about magic swordsmen specialized in [Space Magic] who would use [Telekinesis] to control weapons, but they're extremely rare," Roxanne comments to Alissa beside her.

    I stop sparring with Ciel, then I blink blankly and look at my own sword. "I could fight like that, couldn't I?" I wonder out loud.

    "It would take a lot more points than what you currently have in [Space Magic] or [Mana Control] for you to reach the finesse necessary for that," Roxanne responds through [Bind].

    I shrug and continue sparring.

    Jarn's fighting style is a bit more grounded since she has limbs to limit her reach, but her joints bend in all directions, and her body is made of pure metal, so she has very different priorities in a fight when compared to a human. However, we come to the conclusion that copying Hana's style is the best option for her due to how durable she is. She can even wield a greatsword one-handed without tiring, but a longsword has the best reach-to-dexterity ratio, so she'll use one of those alongside a large kite shield.

    Aoi's style with a halberd is that of a brute. She lacks the dexterity to properly fight with anything that requires more finesse. To compensate, she seems to be able to use that water ball of hers to defend herself like it's a mobile [Water Wall], though she reminds me a bit more of the water benders from Avatar than the mages in this realm.

    "If she had a system, her 'Willpower' would certainly be higher than twenty," Paraaone comments.

    If only he knew the truth.

    I stop our spar again, which slightly annoys Ciel, and ask, "Why aren't there more people who use magic this way?"

    "With just 'Willpower'? That's even more difficult than becoming a magic swordsman," Ciel replies.

    "Only God-Rulers of the past could use magic like this because they lived long enough to learn how," Lina adds through [Bind].

    "She already has an affinity for it, so wouldn't that speed up her progress?" I question.

    "Perhaps, but I don't know much more than that," Lina responds with a shrug.

    "We are going to live far longer than the average commoner, so she'll have plenty of time to develop this ability," Ciel adds.

    "Learning how to cast [Water Spirit] would be much faster and have similar results," Roxanne objects through [Bind].

    "She can just practice with it in her spare time if she wants," I reply, and they all agree.



    After a while, Ciel and I stop, and we join the others in their sparring practice.

    "I've been meaning to ask, but that glaive of yours, it's from a Horn, isn't it?" Paraaone asks Ciel.

    She suddenly freezes, and her heart explodes with anxiety, but it quickly washes away, and she recomposes herself in mere seconds. "We found this in the Looping Winds station, but we didn't see its wielder near it."

    Paraaone sighs, and his face morphs into sadness. "Oh… that's unfortunate. I'd have liked to know if it was from someone I knew."

    She gives him a quick bow. "I'm sorry. We didn't find their armor or body, just the glaive."

    "Yeah. I should've asked about that first." He shows her a sad smile, then his expression toughens, and she becomes alert. "We won't ask you to return it. Just put it to good use and kill as many monsters as you can with it."

    Her tension washes away, and she gives him a bright smile. "I will, for sure."

    Alissa starts practicing a new spell from Nocturna's book: [Daydreaming]. It's another distraction spell that makes the target not pay attention to what they see or hear. Similar to [Ignorance], just single-target instead of a self-buff. It's not that powerful or impressive, but it's a prerequisite for [Sleep], so she'll need to learn this spell first.

    Roxanne continues her research on explosive materials, causing quite a few bangs and booms within her worktable.

    "I think I should review that [Reinforce], just in case," Lina mutters and looks at Roxanne worriedly.

    "This is so much fun!" Roxanne exclaims inside my mind.

    "If you hurt yourself, we won't touch you for a whole day," I reply, and Hana agrees internally.

    "Gah!"



    The Chimeras are starting to add [Conjure Bland Meal] to their rations, so we invite Hukarere, Ririmu, and Paraaone to eat with us. We barbecue some elven smoked meats again because they loved it so much the first time. The veggies are also elven, so they're all juicy and vibrantly colored, making the meal feel rather special.

    "My comrades are going to love this story. I'm over here, relaxing and fattening up, while they're flying alone, having to conjure their own meals," Paraaone says with a cheeky grin.

    "Enjoying fine elven cuisine. Many would be envious," Yunia says with pride.

    Hukarere and Ririmu share a look. The raccoon man is stuffing his face with a salad of bacon, shredded cheese, and endives, while the wolf woman is gnawing on the bone of a harpy Buffalo wing.

    "My [Item Box] is huge. I have a lot of food," I calmly say and nod at them before they decide to stop eating.

    Ririmu sniffs, and Hukarere's dragon tail wags, then they continue eating with renewed vigor.



    My dagger-wielding tentacles are becoming faster. Simultaneously fucking all of my women so often has certainly helped with increasing my control. It feels like I'm developing a sub-process for them, giving them almost a mind of their own, which is frightening, useful, and also awesome as fuck.

    I think that just focusing on daggers might also be stunting its potential. I should have them wield all kinds of weapons during combat while leaving the daggers for emergencies.

    I pull out a spear, a halberd, and a mace, then I grip them with my tentacles. I could potentially fight with six weapons, but the spear and halberd are polearms that require two tentacles to properly wield. I'll keep my last tentacle as a reserve in case I need an extra limb. My mind is already feeling taxed with three weapons anyway, so it's not like I can use my [Soul Manipulation] at the max all the time.

    "Now this is ridiculous," Paraaone comments as he watches me test this new fighting style.

    "It's a good thing that he's already creating his own style, because I've never seen one like that," Hana comments with a nod.

    Yunia parries my spear, then she attacks, and I block with my shield, but she pivots and still manages to touch my neck for a second. If her longsword was sharp, it would've left a nasty wound.

    "It's clear that your weapons aren't working together, so it's possible to exploit the side that's being neglected and get inside your guard," Yunia says.

    "You're going to need a lot of skill points in various weapons to make them effective," Hana asks.

    "It's still better than my usual fighting performance, right?" I ask.

    "Yeah, definitely," Hana responds.

    "Even a commoner with just a spear and a shield can keep away most enemies for at least a while," Yunia adds.

    "You've always had a reach disadvantage since you use a short sword. Now, at least that's… somewhat covered," Ciel continues and smiles wryly.

    Yunia does a sweeping slash down low, close to my shins, but doesn't hit anything. "See this? Your weapons are positioned rather high above you, so your legs are your most exposed area," she states.

    My halberd is being held above my right shoulder, my mace is above my left, and my spear is positioned above my head, so I don't have any tentacles that could easily reach downwards. Though my spear has enough reach to stab down low, it doesn't have enough leverage to parry as effectively as a shortsword or parrying dagger.

    "I can still add another weapon to my waist when I have more points in [Soul Manipulation]," I say and draw a dagger from my belt with a tentacle.

    "You're likely to get your limbs in the way of one another if you grow them in front of your body. Going for polearms is the better choice," Hana replies.

    "He still has a shield and a short sword, so it's not like he's lacking in close defensive options," Paraaone says.

    "Every warrior's weak point is their legs, but Wolfy's style is so oppressive that it encourages the opponent to attack the legs a lot more," Yunia responds.



    A few hours after lunch, one of the Horns returns to the Carrier. They've found the Gaping Maw sleeping near a tight curve of the Looping Winds, which is likely the location we set the last anchor at, right beside the portal. Though there's no word of it, maybe it's because the portal would be like an ant when placed next to the Maw, so they must've been too far away to see it.

    Hihiriwa turns to our bird on the bridge and says, "The Floater has found a few abandoned farming islands, so we're ready to move. We'll begin the distraction tomorrow morning, then you can do whatever you want near Ozymandias, Ryders."



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  4. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Well, I guess we'll have to say goodbye to the Chimeras tomorrow.

    The excitement and motivation to continue training drains out of us. Even though our time with them has been short and awkward due to all the nudity, we're all growing rather fond of these dead people. After we cross through the portal, I'm not sure if it's a good idea for us to come back to them, so once the distraction is successful, we'll be leaving for good.

    Just when we start talking about going over to the Carrier, a Wasp launches and stops beside our ship. The cockpit opens, then we see a naked Kaatohe smirking at me, and surprisingly, she's wearing a wig. Her hair is full and wavy, and its color is a dark, lustrous bronze with a length that reaches her chin. It makes her look much more attractive and feminine than her rather neutral Bengal cat face normally portrays.

    "Permission to land?" She asks with a smirk, and I simply nod as I mirror her expression.

    Her Wasp uses up most of the deck, but that's not a problem since we aren't going to need the extra space anymore today.

    "Would you like to join us in our tent for some tea?" I ask her with a slightly formal tone.

    She nods slowly and replies, "It would be my pleasure."

    I pull out a set of cushions for everyone, and we sit around the low table inside our tent. Alissa sits in a seiza position and starts serving some not-earl-grey tea. Kaatohe pulls out her personal blanket and covers her cushion with it before sitting down. Her orange landing strip adorably peeks out from within the depression of the soft cushion, and I lick my lips.

    Kaatohe takes a sip and seems pleased with the taste. "Hm? What's this tea? I've never tasted anything like it before," she asks.

    Alissa slides a platter of some buttery not-vanilla cookies towards her and answers, "It's Pahgamutto, a popular tea in all of Domum."

    "It really goes well with these cookies."

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Paraaone eats one and coos in wonder as he nods repeatedly.

    Yunia seems very interested in Kaatohe's new hair and asks, "Why are you wearing a wig? Are there Chimeras that can't grow hair?"

    Kaatohe grabs a lock of her hair and gives it a look. "Oh, this? Well, we aren't allowed to grow our hair out while serving in the Defense Force, so I keep a wig for when I want to look more feminine," she responds.

    "Is it real hair?"

    "No."

    Yunia leans back with a satisfied smile. "Hah. I knew it."

    Kaatohe shrugs. "Real hair is hard to maintain, while I can just pay an Alteration mage to grow the perfect wig for me, so the choice is obvious."

    The two finish their small talk, giving me an opening to ask, "So, are you taking a day of rest from piloting?"

    Kaatohe shakes her head gently, and her fluffy hair sways as she answers, "I still had two more days until I'd have a rest day, but I decided to take it in advance. Tomorrow morning you're beginning the distraction, and you'll continue on your journey after that, correct?"

    I nod. "Yes. After the Maw is gone, we'll leave the fleet and continue with our exploration."

    She stares at me calmly, then she starts playing with her dark nipple, gently rubbing it with her finger. "That's a shame. I'd love to duel you again."

    "Just once?" I ask with a smirk.

    She laughs softly and smiles, showing fangs similar to Alissa's. "Definitely more than once."

    The dragon starts to awaken inside me, and I smirk sadistically. "Are you a masochist who enjoys being cut open by my sword, or did you just enjoy having me on top of you, my hard cock pointing towards your mouth?"

    She narrows her eyes and purses her lips. "So, you're finally showing your true self, Wolf?"

    "He's been quite gentle with you. The savage pounding he gave Hana in Oritiki's estate is his usual self," Alissa casually remarks and sends me a warm look.

    "I counter by punishing his hips every day," Hana adds.

    Kaatohe scoffs and tries to contain her surprise, but she doesn't fully succeed. Her voice becomes slightly husky as she says, "Are you the type who must always be on top?"

    I gently shake my head, "As much as I'd like being stepped on by a sensual and dignified woman, my pride wouldn't let me do so. I gladly accept being an equal, but I'd never be under a woman's foot, though, I do like to suck on them."

    Now she seems legitimately surprised and amused. "Oh? You seem to be quite experienced with such matters."

    I let a fearsome smirk grace my face as the dragon spreads its wings. "Don't let this cute and young face mislead you. I know a woman's body better than most."

    She relaxes a little under my intense gaze and a purr escapes her mouth, but it's interrupted after a second as she says, "I knew you were the domineering type."

    "And you're the type to bend over if I order you with enough intensity."

    She raises her eyebrows and knits them, making a taunting expression. "Oh? You want to 'tame' me?"

    My hammer knocks on the door, trying to escape my pants. "I don't need to 'tame' you because you already want to please me. You 'tamed' yourself."

    She narrows her eyes and stops playing with her hard nipple, then leans forward, her large cat eyes staring at me in defiance. "How conceited of you, you peasant." The way she says "peasant" activates my submissive almonds.

    I let the dragon flap its wings and breathe heavily as I ask, "Then why are you here if not to get a taste of my cum?"

    Her posture freezes. "I'm here… to talk to Yulania."

    The tension we've been building up instantly fades away, and I grin. "You hesitated."

    She subtly raises her upper lip in anger, letting her fangs peek out from behind her lips. "No, I-… Yes, I did. That's because… I forgot her name."

    Yunia scoffs and laughs. "Liar," she responds in Reo, slowly enunciating the word with perfection.

    Kaatohe hisses at her, then starts chuckling and shakes her head.

    "Your nipples are hard," I comment, and Kaatohe sends me an intense side glance.

    Alissa sniffs the air and says, "You're ready to receive him."

    Kaatohe shifts on her seat, and I see a wet spot on her blanket. Thankfully (or perhaps unfortunately), her blanket is thick enough that her wetness won't stain the cushion.

    I start to unfasten my armor, then Alissa and Lina help me with it. Ciel sighs, then she shares a shrug with Paraaone.

    Kaatohe admires my body as I'm slowly undressed. "This is rather entertaining," she comments.

    "You Chimeras don't know the joys of stripping. Hiding your body and slowly revealing it is more enticing than just being naked all the time," Roxanne adds.

    "I understand exactly what you mean," Kaatohe responds, still staring intensely at my abs, and purrs sensually.

    My huge cock is freed from its prison and stands erect, pointing directly towards her face.

    "Come, suck on it," I order.

    "Don't think I'll submit so easily," she responds with a defiant smirk.

    "But you will obey. Now, suck on it," I whisper while adding a bit of [Godly Language] to my voice.

    Her body shivers, and she crawls forward sensually like a cat, then she raises her head and sniffs it. She laughs in a low, sultry tone, then opens her mouth and instantly swallows half of my cock.

    I grab her head and guide it back and forth. Her tongue rubs against the head, her saliva quickly coats the shaft completely, and her fangs dexterously avoid my skin. She's certainly an experienced cock sucker.

    Suddenly, she deepthroats me, her lips kissing the base, her tongue playing with my balls, and her intense cat eyes staring up into mine.

    "Do you mind if my women participate a little?" I ask.

    She shakes her head, still deepthroating me, and desire flares inside my heart, then I growl in anger and push her away.

    She falls on her back on the cushions, then I immediately grab her legs and force her knees backward to touch the floor, bending her in half. Her flexible body makes this uncomfortable position trivial for her, and it gives me a full view of her welcoming, dark brown flower.

    I lean over her and touch our foreheads together, then my cock slaps against her wet pussy, and she sucks in air in anticipation.

    "Do you want some small spikes on my shaft?" I ask, and she nods weakly.

    I grin, and begin the mating press.

    My spiky meat rod scratches against the insides of her vagina. My mushroom head serves as a scoop, digging out her juices with loud, lewd noises, then spilling them on the cushions below us.

    My hips hammer up and down, slamming against her soft and slick insides with a slap every time. Each impalement wrings out a faint and cute meow from her, something that I'm sure the proud noblewoman is letting out involuntarily.

    She tries to hide it by screaming, "AHN~…! YES, FUCK ME HARDER! DON'T STOO~P…!" But every time she gasps for breath, she meows like a squeaky toy.

    I use my tentacles to rub and lick her bronze skin, then I clamp the suckers onto her hard, black nipples. I also spread some of them down her legs, and start massaging the pads of her digitigrade feet.

    It's amazing to be finally fucking this haughty noblewoman. I would've cummed repeatedly already, but I'm saving myself up for an explosive finish.

    Alissa's finger sneaks into her asshole, and Kaatohe rolls her eyes in pleasure, then I stop Roxanne from sneaking a finger into my ass, too.

    To push Kaatohe to the limit, I add my soul touch to my dick, then I make it vibrate.

    She bites her lip, and her fangs draw blood. "HHNNNNGHHH~…!" She groans as her whole body tenses up, her pussy and asshole clenching around us, then she starts orgasming and creaming my shaft white.

    The time has come. I force myself to erupt. A hose of male dragon milk fills her insides, but I don't stop thrusting, and it gushes out of her pussy, making a mess of the area around us.

    "Holy shit," Paraaone mutters, and Hana snickers.

    The fire inside me dies out, and I lay my body against her, then we start kissing passionately. Kaatohe has a snout, but it's much smaller than Hukarere's, so it's not as messy as it could be.

    After enjoying a good minute with our tongues entwined, I break the kiss, then raise my hips and slide out of her. The cum drips from my shaft and makes even more of a mess around her vagina, then I stand up, and Alissa clamps her mouth over Kaatohe's pussy while Hana cleans my dick. Aoi grumbles, but she already had her fill yesterday, so she makes no official complaint.

    I spread my arms out to my sides and Lina wipes the sweat off my body with a towel, then Ciel casts [Clean] on me.

    I sit down beside Paraaone, my greatsword still drawn and pointing up, then I pour myself a cup of the cold tea that Alissa left out for me and gulp it down.

    "Don't you ever get tired?" Paraaone asks.

    I finish my cup, then I tilt my head in mild confusion and answer, "Of fucking? Nope."

    He chuckles softly. "Well, we'll miss your presence, Ryders. Your family certainly made things 'interesting' for a while."

    "You're all good people. We hope we can meet you again, one day," Ciel responds.

    He nods at her and continues, "There's still a lot for us to teach you about [Glaive Use]." -He turns to Hana and gives her a cheeky smirk- "And I could even teach you how to fly better."

    Hana's scales wave along with the anger sweeping through her as she responds, "Oi, listen here, you little shit…" She stops for a moment to think of an insult. "Your chicken wings don't work like mine. You don't even flap them, you fake!"

    Paraaone laughs out loud, but he doesn't reply. He already got the reaction he wanted.

    Kaatohe pulls Alissa off of her pussy and kisses her, getting a taste of my cum. She immediately breaks the kiss and looks at Alissa in surprise. "It's actually tasty…" She whispers, then I take direct control of Alissa and continue the kiss.

    "Is there an actual difference between your wings?" I ask.

    "Of course!" Hana exclaims, a little more emphatically than she wanted to, then quickly recomposes herself to not fall for more of Paraaone's trolling. "His wings are like attuned crystals, they just amplify their [Fly] spell, which is why they don't even need to flap them unless they want to."

    "Then... what do yours do?"

    She snorts and crosses her arms. "Mine and Aoi's actually bend the air to our will, and we need to force it to hit them so that we can take flight."

    Paraaone shrugs and adds with a dismissive tone, "In the end, it's the same thing. I can still bend the air to my will with [Fly], and I can even enhance my [Wind Magic] spells with my wings because of their attunement."

    Hana's pride was wounded by Paraaone's sneak attack, but she won't fall for the same trick twice. She gives him a fearsome glare and replies, "Your wings will always be a second-hand imitation of the real thing."

    Paraaone laughs again but doesn't bite back. Aoi heard it all, but she doesn't care. If Paraaone started getting haughty, then she'd put him back where he belongs.

    Alissa finishes giving Kaatohe my hallowed seed, and the cat/leopard woman finally calms down.

    Yunia scooches over beside Kaatohe, and the two of them start talking about the "refined" taste of my cum, but it quickly gets derailed into snobbish chatter once they start talking about "enhancing" jewelry with it.

    I ask Paraaone about his wings, and he shows Ciel and me how they work. It's quite informative, actually. His wings work just like staves, needing the mana of the spells to pass through them to benefit from the attunement. Also, the mana efficiency of their wings is so high that it barely wastes any mana, though we aren't sure if that's related to them being spirits.



    Kaatohe joins us for our bath and gets the Alissa special. Her washing isn't supposed to be sexually arousing, but she adds a subtle lewd touch to get Kaatohe in the mood again.

    Hana stands before Kaatohe and gives her a fearsome smile as she asks, "You wanna fuck?"

    Kaatohe raises an eyebrow, but nods gently and extends her hand to Hana.

    The barbarian takes it and holds Kaatohe by the waist, then lifts her up and flips her upside-down so that they can have a standing sixty-nine.

    While Hana releases her pent-up lesbian desires on her, I give the rest of the girls my attention.

    I play with Yunia while she talks with Roxanne, but the one chosen to receive the real hammer of love is Ciel. I also make sure to stretch Lina's virgin asshole a little to carefully prepare her for me.

    After that, it's time to cook dinner.



    "Have you ever held a knife?" Yunia asks with just a hint of smugness in her voice.

    "Of course I have," Kaatohe responds in kind.

    Roxanne approaches her with an innocent smile and hands her a utility knife. She assumes a kind and motherly tone as she says, "Would you mind helping us, then? Preparing a meal together is a great bonding activity. It can even be considered a sacred ritual for our family."

    Ciel comes over to them with a bright smile. "It's like hunting for your own food. The effort you put into the meal makes it taste better," she piles on.

    I pull out a few baskets with veggies and set them down on the table, then Paraaone approaches it and picks up a not-cauliflower. "So, how do you want this?" He asks, then glances at Kaatohe and gives me a smirk.

    "Cut them really small so that there's more surface area to absorb the sauce," I respond.

    The clawed hands of the cat/leopard woman twitch repeatedly, then she quietly grabs a not-tomato and asks, "Chopped, correct?"

    I give her an amused nod, then she quickly washes it and makes hesitant cuts, chopping it into awkwardly large chunks.

    Nobody comments on how she's doing, but we all know how hard she's trying to hide her inexperience.

    I'm thankful for Hihiriwa not inviting us to dinner today because making the proud Kaatohe behave this awkwardly is just precious.



    We invite Hukarere and Ririmu for dinner, which annoys Kaatohe because they didn't help prepare it.

    We serve imperial mead, and Kaatohe and Ririmu love it while Paraaone and Hukarere feel that it's not spicy enough.

    Hana agrees with an emphatic nod and says, "I know, right? Im-… Domum alcohol focuses on specific subtle tones in the taste, but it gets boring really quickly."

    "Haven't you tasted halfling rum? It's quite popular all over Domum," Lina asks.

    "It's just sugar," Hana responds with a shrug.

    Kaatohe laughs and purrs loudly. The drunker she gets, the more cat-like her demeanor becomes.

    Lina opens and closes her mouth, flabbergasted at Hana's audacity to diss rum. "I didn't think you'd be that dumb," She replies.

    Hana sends her an amused look and adds, "Rum has a strong taste, but they don't know how to spice it properly, so it also gets boring too quickly."

    "Ooh, she got you there," Roxanne comments with a smirk.

    Lina grumbles and admits defeat.



    Kaatohe takes her wig off, then I pat her head while applying a subtle soul touch, which makes her whole body shiver. She pushes against my head and closes her eyes, acting just like a cat would.

    I really want a werecat and a weredog, now.

    After our meal is done, I let Hukarere milk me a little while the girls play with Kaatohe. She's so deep into her cat persona that all her pride from before is gone.

    "Nyaah!" She meows loudly and swats at a spike of not-wheat.

    Ciel breathes heavily and adopts Kaatohe as a pet. Ririmu and Hukarere look horrified at this scene as their mental image of Kaatohe as a dignified noble crumbles before their eyes.

    Eventually, Ciel begins to succumb to the alcohol herself and starts to molest Kaatohe. After Hana joins in and gets her fill again, I decide that it's time to end this.

    I look them all in the eye with a stern expression and state, "I trust all of you to keep this secret. What happened here this night must not leave this ship, lest we all find our next drink to be poisoned by a noblewoman with a wounded pride."

    We swear an oath, then Ciel casts [Purify Body] on everyone.

    Before they leave, I give Hukarere a bittersweet hug. I stand on the tips of my toes to reach her head and pull her down so that I can whisper in her ear, "In case we don't have time for this tomorrow, this is goodbye."

    She stares silently into my eyes for a few seconds and nods weakly, then we share bitter smiles, and she licks my cheek. She, Ririmu, and Paraaone wave us goodbye, then cast [Fly] and return to the Carrier.

    Kaatohe is curled up on Ciel's lap, still recovering from her drunkenness. Since she's in no condition to pilot safely, I carry her into her Wasp and fly it back myself to the Carrier.

    When we land, she clutches her head and groans in pain. "Thank you, Wolf. I can get back to my room on my own, now," she says, then carefully gets down from the Wasp.

    I quickly leave with [Telekinesis] before she has time to process her memories, then the girls and I quickly clean things up and go to sleep.



    Today is the 22nd.

    Lina wakes me up with her small mouth stretched to the limit, gobbling up my meat rod. I cum down her throat, then she slides herself off of it and gasps for air, finally allowed to breathe again.



    My [Ekrano Style] increased by 1 (now 3), and I learned [Spear Use] with 1 point.

    Alissa learned [Wind Magic] and [Water Magic] with 1 point each.

    Roxanne increased her [Alchemy] by 1 (now 5).

    Ciel increased her [Imperial Hasterrum Style] and [Wind Magic] by 1 (now 3 and 10+20).

    Lina increased her [Hammer Use], [Axe Use], and [Dwarven Pride Style] by 1 (now 17, 9, and 3).

    Yesterday was a productive training day all around.



    The Floater had returned in the middle of the night, and it's now recharging the Carrier while we eat breakfast, then it comes over to fill our ship, too. Once it's done, Paraaone and Oritiki appear to check on us before I head out to begin the distraction.

    "Are you sure you can use your teleport to escape?" Oritiki asks, frowning in concern.

    "There are ways to block it, but no monster has ever shown itself to be able to do that," I reply.

    "The Maw is something that even we can't deal with, so, if you get caught by it, it'll be very difficult for us to help you."

    "We still have some cards up our sleeves." I wink at her.

    Both she and Paraaone look confused. "Sleeves…?" She questions.

    We chuckle, and Ciel explains, "Right, Chimeras rarely wear clothes. He meant that we still have a few secrets hidden."

    "Like that explosive spell?" Oritiki asks.

    "Might be even more powerful than that," I reply with a smirk.

    She scoffs and exhales loudly through her nose. "Alright, then. Keep your secrets."

    Hukarere taps the bird on the bridge of the Carrier, then tells me that the Gull is ready.

    They all wish me good luck, and I give each of the girls a kiss, then I fly over to the Carrier.



    Miihini, one of the Chimera engineers who installed the [Wind Shield]s on our ship, is waiting for me beside the Gull. I notice that the usual green gem in its catapult has been replaced with a pure white one. It looks rather conical, so I'd guess that it's aerodynamic enough to fly pretty far. I don't sense any mana coming from it, but I know that it just needs a small amount to trigger a runaway mana reaction.

    "Greetings, Wolf Ryder!" Miihini exclaims and grins as I approach.

    "Greetings," I respond and nod respectfully.

    "I assume that you already know how to pilot this?"

    "Very much so."

    He nods repeatedly, looking pleased, then he pats the metal frame of the Gull. "We made a small alteration to this girl yesterday. We added an emellanat encasing to the [Fly] gem. This way, there won't be any mana emissions until the emellanat overheats and melts, so there's no risk of setting off the gem while you fly, and it should help you sneak in closer to the Maw while remaining undetected."

    "Ooh~…" I coo in wonder as my inner nerd creams itself.

    So now the gull is a stealth ship!

    "There's enough emellanat to hide your emissions for about six hours, so you should be able to get in, launch the gem, and get out without being detected," he adds, then grunts with pride.

    "That sounds amazing, thank you," I graciously reply with a grin.

    He shakes his fist at me like a grumpy old man. "Oh, you better be thankful! Because we want both you and this girl to come back with all your feathers!" Then he smirks and opens the cockpit for me. "Now get in, my Lord. Marshall Hihiriwa will yell at me if he sees us chatting."



    I strap myself in, then I set Hukarere's bird down on the seat beside mine, which is her usual spot, aside from being on her knees in front of me.

    I reenter the Looping Winds, and Hihiriwa orders the fleet to follow behind me. We exit Void's End and fly past the anchor, entering the territory of what was once Ozymandias.

    After an hour of flying, the fleet stops, and I continue forward. There are Horns surrounding the Maw, but they're hidden very far away from it, leaving me effectively on my own.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  5. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    I observe the large urban islands passing by. They're just like those found near Whakamutu, but there's not a single Vengeful Spirit around. Presumably, they've all been eaten already.

    I see a mountain island that looks like it's had a chunk bitten off of it. A half-eaten meal of the Maw.

    I can't deny that I'm a bit nervous. This is a monster that not even all the Celestial Horns working together could defeat. Perhaps it's so powerful that only a fully-charged [Explosion] would be enough to hurt it.

    Suddenly, I feel a familiar and warm softness wrapping around the back of my head.

    "Ciel?" I reflexively ask and turn around, only to not see anything there, then Ciel's angelic giggles echo inside my mind.

    "This is fun," she titters through [Bind]. I focus on what she's doing and realize that her bare cow udders are squished against the back of Alissa's head. "Ah, how mean."

    "You asked for this," I say, then I assume direct control of Alissa and pounce on Ciel.



    After punishing Ciel twice, I stop Alissa's attack and turn my focus back on flying, then I see that a Celestial Horn is waiting right next to the Looping Winds. This must mean that the Maw is close.

    Ciel hurriedly dresses herself while blushing, ashamed about succumbing to lust while I'm off on a dangerous mission.

    "It was her idea," she protests, and I make Alissa poke her for reading my thoughts. Ciel pouts and adds, "You can't really stop us anymore. We're all too curious about what you're thinking to hold ourselves back."

    "You're as much my toy as I'm yours," Alissa says to me, and although Ciel doesn't approve of her words, she can't deny them, either.

    "Every time you lay with someone, who do you think is always watching?" Roxanne asks, and she smirks internally.

    "Everyone?" I reply.

    Roxanne chuckles. "Well, you're not completely wrong… but the correct answer is Hana."

    "Hey! Snitch!" Hana yells.

    "I'm always watching, too. I like how it feels inside a woman," Aoi comments.

    "I wish I had a tool like yours. It feels amazing to do a woman with one," Hana adds.

    "I'm not giving you one made of spirit again. I feel like that might cause things to easily spiral out of control," I nervously point out.

    "Bah!" Hana complains.

    "I'm fine. I prefer to spy on you while you're doing it," Aoi says.

    "Same," Roxanne adds.

    "I feel like there's something really wrong with how [Bind] actually works," I comment and smile internally.

    "Well, I think that you're using it completely wrong, though," Alissa replies.

    "It's a spell of domination, not to share senses while having fun," Roxanne adds.

    "As much as Wolfy likes to act domineering, he doesn't really want to dominate us," Lina says.

    My mind is immediately filled with "aww~'s," so I poke them all until they go quiet.



    Soon after, the Holly flying above the Gull spots the Gaping Maw. A gigantic light red cloud in the shape of a bundle of coiled rope.

    Fuck me, that's hu~ge. Will this small gem actually do anything to it…? Well, I guess it's supposed to give it a tummy ache, not kill it, so it might be enough.

    I keep my eyes locked ahead, and eventually, I manage to spot the red cloud in the distance. It stands out due to its size and its color contrasting against this morning's starry sky.

    A few minutes later, it grows enough in my sight that I can start to discern its rope-like shape.

    "I've spotted the Maw," I say to the bird.

    "Understood. Put me on your lap so that I can see it, too," Hukarere responds.

    Hihiriwa gives the order, and the fleet moves up and away from the Looping Winds and towards the island they've chosen. Our ship stays near the Looping Winds since there's no need for them to follow the rest of the fleet anymore.

    Over the course of the next half-hour, I stare at the Maw in silence as the small cloud grows larger and larger in my vision until it dwarfs me completely and gives me an intense feeling of megalophobia.

    We need to get within one kilometer of it, and to measure the distance, I use the small stadia rangefinder they gave me back when we started this expedition. It's calibrated to range the Carrier, but since they know the height of the Maw, and I only need to reach a specific distance, they just converted the distances manually for me.

    "Can this catapult really throw the gem that far?" I ask.

    "Now you're asking this? What if I answered 'no'?" Hukarere questions me with a sassy tone, then Kaata gives her a glare, and she bites her tongue.

    I shrug. "Bad question. Better one: is there something else besides the catapult that will aid the gem in its flight?"

    She holds back her smirk and responds in a formal tone, "Yes, there is. Once the reaction begins, the mana being ejected will propel the gem forward, and we estimate that it should hit the Maw right on the nose."

    "Good to know, but wouldn't a ballista be a better choice to launch the gem, then?"

    "'Ballista'?" She questions.

    "'Crossbow'? Like, a bow that you use horizontally with a mechanism that locks the bow in a drawn position."

    She frowns. "I assume it's a weapon you land-dwellers use? We rarely use bows, so I know very little about them."

    I guess the Chimeras are good enchanters, but bad engineers.

    I shrug and reply, "Whatever. Let's focus on the now. We'll be in range soon."



    We get close enough that I manage to see the portal through the Holly. It's as big as our ship, which is nothing but an ant beside the mountain that is the Maw.

    Beyond the portal, I can see a bright blue sky and a sparkly red ground, but I don't know what it's made of. I have to get through that portal, then teleport the girls to me.

    "Who goes there?" A deep, slow voice asks inside my mind in Reo.

    "What?" I question through [Bind].

    "What?" Alissa returns my question, and all the girls share their confusion, then they tense up in fear.

    "A humanoid? Oh… are you here to hurt me…?" The voice continues.

    I freeze, utterly stunned, then I realize that the voice isn't talking inside my soul space through [Bind], but rather, it's actually inside my ears.

    "Who are you?" I ask out loud, my inner finger hovering over the [Gate] button inside my mind.

    "Who're you talking to?" Hukarere asks.

    I recognize the pleasurable "tickling" inside my ear of someone with high "Charisma" as the deep voice gently replies, "I call myself Pua… but I think you humanoids call me 'Gaping Maw.'"

    "Holy shit," I mutter.

    "Holy shit," the girls echo in unison. Yunia looks at Lina in confusion, then Lina starts explaining what's going on.

    "Are you going to attack me?" I blurt out.

    Hukarere's confusion just increases.

    "No… are you going to attack me?" It replies meekly.

    "This is unexpected… what do I say?" I ask for help through [Bind].

    "That you won't attack, obviously. If we can get past it without angering it, then we must," Ciel immediately answers.

    "Right, right…"

    "No, but I need to get near you," I tell the Maw.

    "What for…?" It asks, a hint of childish curiosity in its tone.

    "I need to get to that portal beside you."

    "Okay… just don't throw that gem near me," it responds with a slightly annoyed tone.

    "Question it further. Aberrants that don't attack humans are rare," Yunia whispers to Lina.

    "You're a monster, so why don't you want to attack me?" I ask the Maw.

    I hear a snort, then it answers with an annoyed grumble, "Humanoids taste bad, even worse than the white gems. I like green gems."

    Oof, now that's a bit chilling…

    "Do you eat Chimeras?" I ask.

    "No… unless they prickle me." -Its voice becomes soft and sad- "I don't like being prickled…"

    Hihiriwa presses Hukarere, and she reports about what I'm talking about.

    It's like a child.

    "Do you hate them?" I ask.

    "They're annoying…" It grouses, and I can just feel the pout in its tone.

    I try to sound gentle and friendly, I ask, "Can you stay away for a little while? I don't want you to fight the Chimeras."

    "Okay…" It calmly agrees.

    Suddenly, I sense a burst of mana, then the Gull shakes for a moment. I look up and see the Light gem shooting forward like a comet. It starts to glow and releases a frightening amount of mana. I recognize the flavor of that mana being very similar to Ciel's [Judgment].

    Ah, fuck...

    "Oh… someone doesn't want you to cross through the portal…" The maw whispers casually.

    My view is quickly covered in darkness as the red cloud snaps towards me like a whip, but [Battlefield Perception] doesn't activate, so I hesitate, not casting [Gate] just yet.

    I'm pressed into my seat as the Gull suddenly accelerates to a ludicrous speed. I hear loud snapping as the framework of the Gull is crushed by the Maw's body, and I see the portal approaching rapidly.

    Suddenly, the pressure eases off, and the illumination changes completely. A sparkly red fills more and more of my view, then I realize that it's sand. The gull's anti-crash enchantment activates, and a cloud of dust shrouds the cockpit as the Gull tumbles across the sand.

    The Holly that was shadowing the Gull is still on the other side of the portal, too slow to follow me through. It gets blinded by the light being released by the gem, then it starts to receive damage.

    The gem cracks and explodes, burning the eye of the Holly and nearly killing it, then it hears a deep, angry roar mixed with a sharp hiss that makes its bones tremble.

    A light pierces through the dust cloud and blinds me, too. I cast [Heal] on my eyes and body, then I wait for the dust to clear away.

    I'm still strapped into my seat, and the anti-crash enchantment protected the cabin from getting crushed in the impact, but the rest of the Gull has become a wreck of cloth and metal. Hukarere's bird wasn't strapped down to a seat, so it's now a mangled mess, it's head bent in the wrong direction.

    Oritiki hears the roar and looks over at the deck of our ship, then she frowns and quietly murmurs something.

    The dust cloud clears, and I can only see a clear blue sky with a harsh sun beating down on me. The portal that I just crossed through isn't there anymore.

    "Wolf?! What happened! Wolf?! My bird is dead!" Hukarere yells desperately.

    "Check with the Horns, has he teleported back to his ship?" Hihiriwa asks.

    "H-he's not here…" Oritiki immediately responds, fear and anxiety seeping into her voice.

    "His summoned bird is still here, so he's not dead," Kaiia says.

    I cut through the straps of my seat with a dagger-tail and cast [Earth Bullet] at the cockpit window, breaking it open, then I get out and look around. There's just sparkly red sand as far as the eye can see, and the sun above is hurting my skin just like it did in the first level of this dungeon.

    Hana sneaks behind the tent, then jumps off the ship and flies underneath it. She pulls out a wide plank from her [Item Box], and I open a [Gate] on it.

    Ciel casts [Wind Hammer] on Paraaone's back, forcing him off the ship, then Hana slaps the plank against the ship's hull, teleporting it to me, and I summon her with [Bind].

    Paraaone turns around in surprise, then stares in confusion at where our ship was just a second ago. "Wha-…?" His question dies in his throat. He looks at Oritiki and she shrugs, completely flabbergasted.

    One of the comms officers reports, "His ship is… gone. It was teleported away."

    Oritiki starts yelling at Hihiriwa, asking what happened, and orders the Horns to assemble. Her reaction is enough to tell us that she wasn't involved in this betrayal.

    Hihiriwa's eyes are locked with my bird's, but he doesn't say anything, not even to Oritiki.

    "The Maw is seemingly wounded, and it's moving away from us," another comms officer reports.

    I float up to the deck of our ship and let Alissa inspect my body. She did well in keeping it together when shit hit the fan, so now we'll let her pamper me as much as she wants.

    While Lina explains to Yunia what just happened, I pull out a sheet of paper and a magic pen, then I start writing a note.



    "This is Wolf. We're safe, and we're fine. The Maw attacked the Gull and destroyed it, but I survived. I don't think it was actually trying to kill me, but instead, it simply pushed me away from the runaway mana reaction.

    I had managed to start a conversation with the Maw, and I don't think that it's hostile to humanoids like monsters normally are, so the next time you have to interact with it, try to talk to it before attacking. Unfortunately, my conversation with it was cut short by a malfunction with the catapult, which launched the gem without my command.

    I've teleported the ship already, and the "distraction" was successful, so we're not going back, and this is the last time we'll talk. We'll continue on our journey, but we'll always keep you in our hearts.

    Oritiki, it was a pleasure getting to know you and the Horns. Also, tell Hukarere and Ririmu that we're fine and we'll miss them, too.

    The Ryder family says goodbye. Until next time."



    "It's good enough," Yunia says.

    "Why aren't we accusing someone of activating the catapult?!" Hana angrily questions.

    "Can we prove it?" Yunia calmly asks.

    We take a look at the Gull. The catapult is a mangled mess, and even the [Fly] gem was cracked.

    "It's better to not cause undue friction unless it's advantageous to us," Yunia continues.

    "It's not like we're going to see them again," Hana replies with a shrug.

    I frown and say, "Actually, I think we might. Once we reach the dungeon's core, there may be a way to take them out of here."

    "Hm… do you want to recruit them, or something?" Hana asks.

    I shrug. "Perhaps. We'll see what they want when the time comes."

    "We'll have to be more careful with Hihiriwa when we negotiate with him. He certainly outplayed us this time," Yunia comments.

    "This is why I dislike dealing with spirits. They tend to gradually become increasingly irrational and violent after they die," Ciel says.

    "Gih," Gify chirps.

    "So, it's like they turn feral?" I question, and Gify nods.

    "We don't know if that's the case with Hihiriwa, though," Yunia adds.

    Hana purses her lips and lets it go.

    I summon a small wind elemental and give it the letter, then I open a [Gate] to the Carrier's infirmary, and the elemental crosses through. The shortstack doctor gets surprised by the sudden gust of wind, but she doesn't see anything.

    The elemental flies through the Carrier and gets outside through a Cannon Room, then it searches for Oritiki. It sees the Winch latching onto a huge island covered with overgrown grass. The ship unfurls all of its sails, then enchantments light up all over its deck and underside, and wind blows into them. It leaks so much stray mana that the wind elemental can easily feel it, and it's probably over 1 km away from the source.

    After a few minutes, the elemental finds Oritiki, and they stop in front of each other.

    She points her glaive at the elemental and glares at it suspiciously. "Wolf? Is this one of yours?" She asks.

    The elemental offers the letter and bows. Paraaone stops and hovers beside Oritiki, pointing his glaive at the elemental too.

    "I guess it is…" Oritiki mutters, then cautiously accepts the letter and reads it.

    Her expression shifts from concerned, to angry, to soft, and ends with sad. She gives it to Paraaone to read, then his posture immediately relaxes as he grins.

    She glides closer to the elemental and says, "I don't believe in this 'malfunction' even a little bit. I admit that I don't know why Hihiriwa wanted to enrage the Maw, but I'll find a way to talk and make peace with it."

    Nobody seems to know anything about the portal, so perhaps it was another "forbidden topic." Regardless, her interpretation is convenient for us, so we'll let things stay this way.

    I unsummon the wind elemental, and we wait for a short while until Oritiki enters the Carrier's bridge.

    She ignores Hihiriwa and simply hands the letter to the distraught Hukarere. There was no way for her to talk to us because the comms box doesn't work anymore, so she could only wait anxiously until something happened. She quickly calms down as she reads and smiles, then she starts petting the bird.

    Oritiki glares at Hihiriwa as she says, "The Ryders are safe. The Gull was destroyed, so he teleported their ship to save himself. Since the Maw has flown away, they'll continue their journey on their own."

    "Have you confirmed that it was destroyed?" Hihiriwa calmly asks.

    "No, but I trust them," she responds coldly.

    He nods. "Then I shall as well." He turns to the bird and gently says, "Goodbye, Ryders. It was a pleasure to have you with us."

    I wish that Hukarere could keep the bird, but I need to learn to let go, so I unsummon it and all the Hollys that I have there.

    I sigh and take a moment to work through my sadness. Hihiriwa made things difficult for us. If it weren't for him, we could still go back without a problem, but now, it'll be really awkward and a bit dangerous to try to patch up our relationship.

    I click my tongue and jump off our ship. I land on the hot, soft red sand and awkwardly walk over to Lina.

    "Anything salvageable?" I ask.

    "The gem and the emellanat, but the gem will need to be re-enchanted before it's usable again," Lina answers.

    "Can you study the gem and learn how to improve ours?"

    She shakes her head, and her bangs sway gently. "This one was designed for heavy lifting, and the empire's ships are already proficient at that, including ours. If we had a Wasp, though…"

    I purse my lips. "If I knew he was going to betray us like this, I'd have stolen one."

    She turns to me and tilts her head, then shields her eyes from the harsh sun. "Didn't Faium improve their [Fly] gems? They might be comparable to the Chimeras, now."

    "True… it might be easier to buy some and make our own Wasps than to steal some from them."

    "Can we even bring this Gull outside of the dungeon? We don't know what's real matter and what isn't."

    "The gem is the most important part, so let's remove it, and I can try to store the Gull in my 'Items.'"

    She nods emphatically and crawls into the wreck, then she uses [Manipulate Metal] to get open a path towards the gem and free it from the mangled metal frame. We pull the gem out with [Telekinesis], then I store a small piece of the Gull in my "Items."

    The entry "Metal beam" appears in my "Items," so this means that the Gull isn't a dungeon mana solidification. I store the rest of the wreck, then I take a look at the gem.

    It's unsafe to put a cracked gem inside an [Item Box], and I don't want to risk it with my "Items," so we take it to the hold and secure it with some rope.

    I was afraid of messing too much with our ship because it could "dissolve" if it was made of dungeon mana, but now that our feet are on solid ground again, I decide to test it.

    I take a splinter out of our ship and store it in my "Items," and the entry "Wood splinter" appears. I almost clap my fingers in excitement like Roxanne. The ship is real, though the [Fly] gem could still be a fake.

    I get out of the hold and look up at the sky. This dungeon has some pretty amazing views, but I have to set my [Breeze] enchantment to the max for this floor. This red desert may be beautiful, but I want to get us under some shade as soon as I can. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be any obvious clues regarding which direction we should search in.

    I summon nine Hollys and tell them to spread out in all directions, including up, then I walk to the bridge, and we lift off. Destination: wherever we can hide from this infernal sun.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  6. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I send an earth elemental down into the sand to explore. It eventually reaches a layer of sandstone, but its color is still exactly the same as the sand around us. It's just red everywhere.

    There's nothing above us, nothing below us, nor anything of note in any other direction, only the red, sparkly sand. Since we have no clue where to go, and not even a breeze to follow, we decide to wait here while the Hollys explore.

    The tents we have are too closed-off, so I shape an earth elemental into a framework covering the entire deck, then I use a nature elemental to cover it with leaves. Now that we have a nice canopy for us to hide from the sun, I add a wind elemental to create a gentle breeze that tickles our skin and gives us chills. Now that we aren't directly under the harsh sun anymore, we can stop pushing our [Breeze] enchantments to the max.

    I set down two sofas facing each other in the middle of the tent for all of us, then Yunia and I fuse them to the deck so that they won't fall off if the ship needs to take evasive maneuvers.

    I sit down and enter a trance as my hands just move on their own, drawing moans of pleasure from Alissa as they [Massage] her ears. I stare at the horizon as I work, observing where the light blue meets the vibrant red. The presence of only two colors makes for a rather beautiful view. It's in moments like these that I miss having a proper camera. [Instant Painting] just doesn't capture landscapes that well.

    After a good half hour, Alissa's back suddenly arches, and she pushes my hands away, reaching the limit that her ears can take.

    She suddenly sits up and plants her lips against mine. Her tongue invades my mouth and caresses my own, trying to return some of the pleasure I just gave her.

    Her fingers run through my hair as she desperately tries to swallow me up, then our armors touch and clink, reminding us of the inconvenience that they pose.

    Our kiss lasts for only a short while before she breaks it, then she immediately turns around and gives a deep kiss to the lonely dwarf staring at us.

    Lina looks surprised at first, then rolls her eyes and returns the kiss when she realizes that I'm the one in control of Alissa.

    While she enjoys the touch of my fox slut, Lina prefers my own manly tongue, so I stop teasing her and kiss her myself.

    It pains us to not give in, but we hold ourselves back from stripping down and starting an orgy, though that doesn't mean that I can't have some fun.

    I suddenly end our kiss and savor the last moment of it as Lina's little tongue begs for me to stay, but I break her heart and separate my lips from her.

    I look her in the eye and smile warmly, knowing what she truly desires. I gently wrap my hands around her delicate neck, and she gives me a look filled with apprehension.

    From my hands, I start spreading a thin film of black, veiny matter over her skin. It grows at an incredible rate, as if hundreds of tiny tentacles were spreading out and grabbing her skin. I'm sure it'd look like a sexy latex skinsuit if it weren't for her armor blocking our view of most of it.

    In under a minute, most of her body is covered. My smile morphs into a sadistic grin as I grow a dick-shaped tentacle in front of her face, aiming right at her mouth, then the hundreds of little tentacles spread her pussy lips and tight asshole, causing her to shudder.

    After a moment of hesitation to make sure that this is what she wants, I plunge the cock and the tentacles into all three of her holes and start pumping. She grabs my wrists and struggles to remain standing.

    Alissa gets up and stretches, then she leans on the railing and sighs. "Not even the Colored Sands are as desolate as this place," she comments.

    "Isn't this place like the Red Sands?" Hana questions as she happily observes Lina being toyed with.

    "Have you been there before?"

    "No, but I've heard a lot about it from the Faiumi."

    Lina's Trivia: The people from the Faium Principality.

    Roxanne clicks her tongue as she brushes Hana's hair, frustrated with the matting that's setting in again. We have to constantly use our most expensive elven products on her mane-like hair to keep it as fabulous as it deserves.

    "I've only seen it from a distance once," Alissa says, then she sits down beside Roxanne and helps her out. "It's a rather poor land, and the loss of Hiyoku Hara has made them even poorer now that there's no reason for caravans to cross through it anymore. Of course, that's just exacerbated the problem they have with illegal slavers operating from there, so most werefoxes hate their people because of that activity since that's all they ever hear about from there.

    "It's an unfair prejudice since it's not their fault that their land is so poor. They've just been neglected for being small and sparsely populated, but you can easily see the beauty of their land. Just take a look around." She motions to the sands all around us.

    Indeed, if it weren't for the heat, I'd be completely in love with this place.

    "Ohoh? A werefox speaking up for criminals?" Yunia questions her with a raised eyebrow.

    "We kill weeds without hesitation, but we do not hate them," Alissa replies and shoots a subtle glare at Yunia, who sports a smug smile in response.

    "But what does Arreira have in common with the Colored Sands?" I question before their banter derails the conversation any further.

    Lina twitches, and I unblock her airways. "He has… nothing… in common…" She mutters, then I force her to deepthroat my fake cock again.

    "There's no mention of the Colored Sands in all of elven history, so I find it hard to believe that this is a recreation of that place," Yunia says.

    "This is supposedly 'Ozymandias,' but even in Chimeric history, the name isn't that significant," Roxanne adds, then she looks at Lina, asking her for confirmation, and receives a short nod as an answer.

    I hum in thought and say, "Hm… remember how the roads in the Looping Winds Station had English names? Ozymandias is the name of a famous and ancient ruler on Earth, and it's also the name of a poem, which I think seems awfully fitting for this situation. There are way too many similarities with Earth for this to just be a coincidence."

    "Oh? Earthling poetry? I want to hear this," Yunia asks, sounding amused.

    I smile wryly and answer, "I don't remember the words precisely, only the image that they evoked, so I'll just describe what I remember."

    "That's good enough," Yunia responds with a shrug.

    I clear my throat and gather my thoughts. "In the middle of a vast desert, a traveler finds a pair of colossal stone feet and a shattered head with a cold and commanding expression. On the pedestal was written: 'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings! Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!' But nothing besides that wreck remains. There's only desert for as far as the eye can see."

    "How depressing," Yunia says and chuckles softly.

    I smile bitterly and add, "There are no Humanoid Gods on Earth, no magic, no way to increase your lifespan, no way to control the elements with your mind. We're all born 'equal,' and even our heroes aren't really as heroic as the stories we tell claim them to be. It's a depressing world."

    "Oh? Changing your tune? I remember you being quite enamored with Earth when I first met you," Roxanne comments teasingly. I'm not sure if she's copying Yunia's demeanor, or if it's the inverse, or even if they're just amplifying each other.

    I take one hand off Lina's throat and awkwardly scratch my head. "My quiet little corner of the world was my piece of paradise. It's hard to not miss the simpler times, not that I'd ever actually go back if given the chance… anyway, we're getting sidetracked." I shake my head and grab Lina's neck again.

    "Well, I agree that the poem is rather fitting, but how would Arreira know anything about Earth?" Alissa questions.

    "Perhaps Wolfy isn't the first to come from there," Yunia suggests, and her words send a chill down my spine.

    "I've never heard of a realm traveler before, though I wasn't a high-ranking priest, so I don't know if the temple is keeping any secrets about them," Ciel responds.

    "Isn't the existence of Gifts kind of hushed by the temple? They're probably hiding even bigger secrets," Alissa suggests.

    Ciel frowns and replies, "Well, there's quite a lot written about heroes throughout history. The temple just wants to protect them from being used by the nobility or other interested parties, so they keep it 'secret.'"

    "Still, it's possible that one of them was someone like Wolfy," Yunia insists.

    Ciel shrugs. "I guess…"

    Lina orgasms, and I let her relax, then I take my fake cock out of her mouth, and she says, "Arreira manipulates memories… so what if he could see Wolfy's?"

    Lina sits on my lap, and we go silent as we think about it.

    Alissa recovers first and says, "That's quite possible. The names that you said sound like they're English could've been just from Maplethorne, but 'Ozymandias' also being related to Earth really is too much of a coincidence."

    "The memories of the Chimeras are even manipulated in real-time. The moment a 'forbidden topic' is mentioned, it's deleted," I say, and we all frown.

    "So, are our memories being manipulated, too?" Ciel questions.

    Yunia shakes her head and calmly states, "Very unlikely. To use [Alteration Magic] on a living person's brain requires the victim to be in a deep sleep, otherwise, it causes a conflict with the physical body, quickly causing death."

    "But if he has something like [Sense Soul], then he can 'see' someone's memories, just like I do," I reply.

    As if the dungeon was waiting for us to realize that, a Holly spots something that's not red sand. Its orders are to inspect anything it finds, so it starts flying in the direction of the three dots it spotted, still too far away to identify them properly.

    We all swallow heavily and observe the Holly's approach with bated breath.

    We identify the dots as gray pillars, and we realize that they're broken pieces of something. Two of them are on top of a gray pedestal, while the third is beside it, half sunken in the sand.

    We gradually identify more of their details, but it takes a while until our brains truly begin to process what we're seeing.

    At the pedestal, there are two broken stone feet, and beside them, there's a cracked and half-sunken head of a stern-looking statue. This scene is just like how I imagined the poem.

    After the shock wears off, Ciel tells Yunia what we're seeing, and she frowns. "I must say, Arreira is rather 'obvious' with his references," she comments.

    "It doesn't feel much like a puzzle or a challenge anymore," Lina adds.

    "It's almost like Wolfy and his 'memes,'" Alissa adds with a wry smile.

    "I feel rather uncomfortable knowing that someone is reading our memories," I say and hug my lap-loli tighter.

    "Is it because they've seen all the sex we have?" Alissa asks, and I answer with a nod.

    "We just have to kill the person who's behind all this," Hana casually says with a shrug.

    "Dungeon Master, if you're listening, we're not serious about that!" Ciel exclaims, then glares at Hana.

    Yunia chuckles like a lady and says, "It's likely that the Dungeon Master is bound to the core, otherwise, they wouldn't have survived for this long without a whole family maintaining the dungeon for generations, so we have to destroy the core, anyway."

    "Still, they could be a prideful being, so we need to be careful," Ciel insists.

    "What if it's also a spirit bound to the core by [Trap Soul]?" I question.

    "One of Arreira's close servants. Someone noble that we shouldn't offend," Ciel continues and purses her lips.

    Hana raises her hands in defeat and says, "Alright, alright. Sorry, sorry."

    "Anyway, it seems like we have our destination?" Yunia questions and looks at me.

    "None of the other Hollys have found anything, so I think that's a 'yes,'" I respond with a shrug.



    We start flying towards the ruins, and we let the golems pilot since there's nothing that could threaten us here.

    I notice that the ship is actually releasing more mana than there is in the air. This means that if our ship runs out, it might be a bit complicated to refill it with just [Redirect Mana]. We'll need to bring in more from the outside or use our own.

    "Lina, can the gem of the Gull still hold mana?" I ask her.

    She turns around and looks at me with her gloomy eyes. "It can, but I don't recommend activating it. The crack is right at a converter, so it'll leak mana like a [Torrent]."

    "I only plan to use it as a portable mana storage to refill our ship."

    She opens her eyes wide and blinks. "Oh, that's a good idea. The gem can hold a lot of mana, so it can also be used to refill our ship."

    I pat her head, and she turns to face forward again.



    It doesn't take us long to fly to the ruins because the Hollys didn't actually scout that far away.

    We reach the pedestal and stop in front of it. The statue's feet are rather delicate and feminine for a human, and the half-sunk head looks decidedly elven, but we can't confirm that completely since its ears have broken off.

    We dig out both the pedestal and the head, then inspect every inch of them, but we don't find anything strange. The stone is also completely smooth, making it feel nice to rub our hands on it, especially the angry bald head.

    I re-summon the scout Hollys and send them out again. This time, it takes them only a short while to find another ruin: a broken Greek column.

    Then we start to find a trail of these ruins. A Japanese torii; a Gothic arch; a Mosque cupola; a chunk of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, which I'm sure isn't Chimeric; the tip of the Eiffel Tower; the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

    Then the entire Roman Colosseum, half-sunken in the sand.

    "Arreira is quite dramatic, isn't he?" Yunia asks rhetorically after I tell them about the Roman Empire.

    "Isn't he taunting us?" Alissa questions.

    "How so?" I ask.

    "He's showing us the symbols of Earth's history all ruined and broken. It's just like his own history: these symbols are all that remains."

    I frown and disagree. "But these buildings are still standing on Earth; they've been preserved due to their significance. They represent how far Earth's history has progressed, so they have nothing in common with the forgotten legacy of a nihilistic king."

    She tilts her head cutely and asks, "'Nihilistic'?"

    "Erm…"

    Before I can gather my thoughts to explain, Ted floats down to the deck and answers, "Master Wolf is referring to the belief that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value. That's 'nihilism.'"

    "But life does have an objective purpose," Ciel says with pursed lips.

    I smile bitterly and reply, "Not on Earth, it doesn't. But I wasn't implying that when I said 'nihilistic.'" -I turn to the know-it-all and smile smugly- "Do you know what I was implying?"

    Ted stays quiet for a few seconds, then she answers, "I understand you're implying something more nuanced than my definition, but I can't explain what it is."

    I exhale loudly and say, "Well, at least you know your limits… Anyway, I'm implying that Arreira has become disheartened from his own life and is trying to fill us with existential nihilism. He's saying that it's quite likely that we'll never be able to accomplish enough to be remembered forever. That we'll just become broken symbols of faded glory."

    "Or he's just taunting us by showing that he's seen your memories," Alissa responds, her eyebrows knit in skepticism.

    Ted returns to the bridge silently.

    "I'm with Alissa, you may be overthinking this," Ciel says.

    "Arreira is a… weird elf. I think he's being pretentious," Lina says.

    "I think that him being 'nihilistic' fits with what we've seen so far," Yunia says.

    "The Chimeras are hopeful and happy even after we told them that their entire nation is gone. That's the opposite of this 'nihilism,'" Ciel points out.

    "On the contrary. Even after everything was gone, the Chimeras wanted to rebuild their nation, not create something new, like the Sky Lands," Yunia replies.

    I groan and facepalm. "Too much speculation, not enough evidence," I say.

    "I don't think he's taunting us. It feels like he's playing with us, just to see how we react," Roxanne adds.

    I stop for a moment, then I chuckle when I realize that she might be right. "Giving us small pieces of information, just so that he can keep us going round and round with our assumptions."

    "Exactly. Just giving us new information, but never a concrete answer," she adds with a smug smile.

    The other girls don't accept that conclusion and argue a bit more, but it doesn't go anywhere, so we end up dropping it for now.



    We fly over the Colosseum and discover that there's a large hole right in the center, wide enough to fit our ship with room to spare.

    We approach it, and I send two Hollys down into it. The tunnel is made of the same red sand as everything else, and it's angled at about 45º downwards. It seems like the perfect angle to slide down while riding on a board, but then I see something that makes me pause. The sand is also on the ceiling. It's not sandstone or anything like that, there's loose sand stuck on the ceiling, somehow.

    I guess we should be careful to not update these chunks.

    We land beside the hole and wait for the Hollys to scout the tunnel. It's time to prepare our lunch, so we have something to do while we wait.

    "Can we… not prepare lunch? I'd like to go back to Goloria and eat something over there," Yunia suggests, a bit anxious. It was very unlikely that she'd so easily adapt to this way of life after only knowing a life of privilege.

    "Uh… sure. I can send you back so that you can tell them what you want for lunch," I reply with a nod.

    "Thank you…" Yunia whispers, trying to hide her awkwardness.

    "Before we plunge into that hole, can we take a break?" Roxanne asks, and the girls agree.

    I hold my chin in thought and agree, "That might be a good idea. I'd like to meet Yunia's brothers before we get involved with something that forces us to stay inside the dungeon again."

    Yunia seems pleased with my suggestion, and crosses through [Gate] with a subtle smile on her luscious lips.



    The tunnel in the center of the Colosseum leads deep into the earth, far beneath the sandstone layer, yet the ceiling doesn't change from its gravity-defying sand.

    After a good while going down, the Hollys find a faint light shining far ahead. It slowly pulses and changes color, from white to a washed-out yellow, then to a deep blue, and back to white again.

    They reach the end of the tunnel, which opens up into a wide room with gray, smooth stone peeking out from behind the gravity-defying red sand that covers almost every surface. There's over a hundred meters of nothing but stone and sand in front of them. The room ends in a huge double door of the same smooth gray stone, and it seems to be at least three times as tall and wide as our ship. Stray small [Spirit Light]s float about, providing the fluctuating source of light. They move aimlessly around the room, slowly looping throughout it in a sort of melancholic dance.

    Creepy.

    Without a way to proceed forward, the Hollys simply land in the center of the room and wait.

    We haven't met a single monster so far, nor even a taste of any flavor of mana besides the environment. It seems like things around here are safe enough that we might be allowed a small breather.



    I teleport everyone to our mansion in Goloria, then I pull out the golems. We left the ship in the dungeon with only two elementals and a Holly, while another Holly observes the double doors. I don't think any of them will actually be attacked, so I'm fairly comfortable with this setup.

    Yunia had the servants prepare an elven banquet for us, but she also asked for a whole smoked leg of a Giant Boar for Aoi, so nobody has anything to complain about.

    Since it all tastes so good, we end up overeating, so we take a whole hour after lunch to wait for our stomachs to settle, and that gives enough time for Yunia's brothers to get ready for us. Apparently, they were out in the wild hunting for monsters this morning, so they needed some time to rest and clean up before we meet.

    We cross through an [Eternal Gate] and exit into a grassland atop a hill. Almost fully surrounding us is a beautiful and ornate two-story tree-mansion. Down the hill, we can see a small elven town with many colorful farms spread around it, and beyond the few rings of farms, there's only green grassland for as far as the eye can see.

    I try to triangulate our position using Klein's and Osaria's summons as a reference, and I think we're somewhere near the east coast of Glorampina.

    We turn around towards the mansion itself and see two young blonde boys staring at us. They're standing with their backs perfectly straight, their chests puffed out proudly, and their hands behind their backs. They're wearing tight-fitting silver shirts and pants with sandals, and I can tell that they're slightly more muscular than the average elf.

    Soul Info​
    Name:Arturus EsteRace:Golden Elf Level:28
    HP100MP200Magic Power90
    Strength12Endurance14

    Soul Info​
    Name:Antares EsteRace:Silver Elf Level:28
    HP100MP300Magic Power160
    Strength12Endurance12

    Their stats have grown a little since the first time I saw them, but their "Strength" is only one point lower than mine… Fucking hell, I guess I just really wasn't born to be ripped, then…


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2020
  7. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    The twin boys have a completely different air from before. The scared and needy children are gone, and now there are only two young warriors in front of us, trying to look imposing. Though, considering that their elven looks make them seem rather cute, they aren't really accomplishing that very well.

    I pull out the golems, and the twins observe them with curiosity but don't actually ask anything. I believe that Yunia might've already talked to the twins about them, so they know what to expect. Though, once they notice that Jarn's face resembles Yunia's, they frown and whisper between each other.

    Yunia comes to my side and hugs my arm, then interlaces her fingers with mine. Her sudden action makes my heart flutter, then I smirk alongside her as we see the twins' faces cramp.

    "Arturus, Antares, it's good to see you," Yunia gently says.

    "It's kind of Mr. Ryder to allow our sister to visit us," Antares responds with a perfectly calm tone.

    "I've heard that you have [Gate]. You must've been quite busy inside the dungeon that you weren't able to come to visit us sooner," Arturus says, a hint of flippancy in his voice.

    "Can I spank their asses for being little shits?" Hana casually asks.

    Yunia purses her lips in displeasure, then closes her eyes in tiredness and responds, "If it's you, they might enjoy it. Let Wolfy do it."

    "I'm not going to touch a man's ass, no matter how cute they are," I protest and give them an annoyed look.

    "You don't even drink your own cum. I'm starting to think that you have some real problems with 'gayness,'" Hana comments.

    I roll my eyes and respond, "I have principles and a very well-defined set of rules that defines my sexuality."

    Ciel sighs and takes a few steps forward, then she smiles diplomatically at the horrified twins, claps her hands, and says, "I apologize for my husband's and sister-wives' lack of consideration. The dungeon Legado is not an average dungeon, and it gave us a challenge that impeded us from leaving it to come to visit."

    "Why are you apologizing? They're being bratty; they need a spanking," Yunia sternly states.

    "Sister! We just want them to treat you better!" Arturus suddenly yells.

    "And I don't need your childish consideration! I've been treated as well as I deserve!" Yunia shoots back.

    "You couldn't even visit once when you have [Gate] at your disposal?" Antares asks incredulously as he glares at me.

    "If you want to shock them, mention Wolfy's sexual prowess," Alissa whispers to Yunia.

    "No! We couldn't!" Yunia suddenly shouts, then walks forward, taking me with her. She stops in front of the brothers, who are slightly taller than me, and glares down at them for a moment, then she purses her lips, and her voice trembles with embarrassment as she says, "I'm the happiest I've ever been. I have an insatiable Sex God that makes me orgasm multiple times every night, and six ravenous, bisexual women whose greatest desire seems to be to make love to me. I'm being treated even better than if I'd had an army of servants to fulfill my every need and hole."

    The faces of both twins warp in disgust, and Arturus makes a gagging noise, then Antares realizes something and asks, "Wait, 'six'?"

    Yunia points her chin up snobbishly and walks past the dry heaving twins, ignoring Antares' question.

    "I can't believe you've done this," I whisper.

    Her [Mask] breaks, and her face flushes. "W-what? Alissa's advice worked," she whispers back.

    "You didn't need to listen to her. Alissa is a deviant, so her advice is… 'biased.'"

    Her fingers twitch in annoyance. "So are you."

    "Yes, but I don't find delight in embarrassing you," I reply and kiss her hand, calming her down a little.

    The mansion ahead of us appears as if it had been abandoned and reclaimed by nature, but knowing the elves, the design is definitely intentional. The beams that make up its frame have been fused with vines, flowers, and grass; the stone of the walls has darkened and become covered in moss; the roof has been removed and replaced by heart-shaped leaves with a washed-out green color. It even has the adorable crookedness that makes it seem as if it came straight out of a children's fantasy tale, strikingly similar to Rabanara's houses.

    "This place is rather adorable," I comment.

    "I know, right?" Yunia chirps happily and squeezes my hand. "The Overgrown style makes for the most comfortable houses in Glorampina."

    I guess that's what this architectural style is called.

    We cross through a curtain of purple, fragrant flowers, and enter the mansion itself. The air is much, much cooler in here, making me shiver slightly because these elven clothes I'm wearing expose a lot of my skin. The floor is carpeted and fluffy, massaging my feet and awakening the foot fetishist inside me. We've only been walking in our boots and always sleeping in our armor lately, so we'd forgotten how it is to be truly comfortable.

    A silver elven maid and a butler, both wearing skimpy clothing, bow to us, and the butler says, "Welcome, Dame Yunia, Sir Ryder. It's been a while since we'd last met."

    "Indeed. We're tired from our journey through the dungeon, prepare the massage tub for us," Yunia responds with a sweet tone.

    They both straighten their postures, and the maid walks away into the mansion.

    The golems come in behind us, and the butler freezes since his training didn't prepare him to deal with a decidedly female Living Armor and two floating dolls.

    "They're our golems, just ignore them," Yunia states, and the butler lowers his head respectfully.

    The girls come in behind us, and the butler greets them too, which surprises them since he knows all their names despite them never having met him before. He even greets Aoi, who's the last to enter, and she waves her tail about in happiness, which scares the twins behind her.

    "Anything to eat, drink, or 'special needs'?" The butler asks.

    "No, thank you. We'll be waiting in the relaxation room," Yunia responds.

    He bows again and leaves the room, then Yunia guides me to the right wing of the mansion.

    We enter a room where the floor is covered with a fluffy, cotton-like grass. There are a few sofas made of the same material surrounding a low tea table, and actual springs at the four corners of the room, giving it a relaxing ambiance of running water.

    We take off our shoes at the entrance, then step on the cottony carpet, and a moan slips out of Ciel's mouth. The twins frown and give her an odd look as she blushes heavily.

    I feel like my feet are getting gently tickled by the hundreds of little grass-hairs. It's not intense enough to itch, but it still manages to stimulate my skin as if it were being massaged.

    We sit down on the sofas with a sigh of satisfaction, then Yunia activates an enchantment on them, and they start rumbling. Large spheres protrude through the upholstery, pressing against our backs, then they move in circular motions, kneading our tense muscles.

    I enjoy giving massages more than receiving them, so I'm finding this sofa to be interesting, but not anything special; Alissa loves getting massages, so she's greatly enjoying it, though she keeps repeating inside her mind that my hands are better; Roxanne wants to strip and get lewd against this sofa; surprisingly, Hana has the least intense reaction since this stimulation is far too tame for her; Ciel's trying to contain her voice because she's loving it; Lina is wishing very hard that she could fall asleep right now; Aoi's scales tinkle as the spheres massage her, and she seems to be enjoying it the most; Gify is a bit too small to properly enjoy the massage, so she just stays on my shoulder, enjoying it through me.

    The twins sit on the last free sofa, but they don't activate it. Arturus leans forward and casts [Fireball], then holds the ping-pong-sized ball at the tip of an incense stick until it starts to burn, and the room quickly gets filled with a faint, flowery smell.

    "Dame Alissa, your senses are much more sensitive than ours, correct?" He asks.

    Alissa comes back from her zoning out and nods, hiding her confusion.

    He smiles faintly and continues, "This incense was mixed much weaker than the usual blend specifically for people like you."

    "Oh, thank you," Alissa replies and smiles warmly.

    Even with [Sense Soul], I'm having difficulty differentiating between them because of how their names are so similar to each other.

    "Where was that consideration just a minute ago?" Yunia asks sternly.

    Arturus goes red with embarrassment, but Antares calmly answers, "We were just too worried about you, Yu. You could've at least sent a message through [Gate] to tell us that you were okay."

    Yunia narrows her eyes and holds back a smile. "Hm… yes, we could've, and for that, I apologize, but that doesn't justify you greeting us so coldly."

    "I'm sorry, sister," Antares apologizes and lowers his head, then Arturus copies him a second later.

    Yunia clears her throat loudly and gives them a stern look. They both lift their heads just enough to look at her expression, then they grimace and look down again.

    "Tutu, tata," Yunia whispers, menacingly.

    They both sigh together, then they raise their heads and look at us. "We apologize for our rudeness to each of you, Ryders," they say in unison, which seems a bit creepy.

    Ciel giggles softly and replies, "Apologies accepted. We also apologize for not informing you of our progress inside the dungeon."

    "Things were rather intense, and we were solely focused on surviving the dangers, so we ended up forgetting about everything going on outside," I say.

    Antares frowns and turns to Yunia. "Sister, you told us to be careful, but are you being careful?"

    Yunia smiles smugly and replies, "Of course. You just have no idea how 'peculiar' this dungeon is."



    We start telling them about the dungeon, and they become increasingly bewildered with our adventures.

    "S-spirits of Chimeras?" Arturus asks, his striking blue eyes open wide.

    Yunia gently nods. "Yes. And it's rather frightening how their memories are being manipulated so that they believe they're still alive," she comments, and her stern expression softens as she enjoys the look of horror in her brothers' eyes.

    "Here's food for thought, wh-…"

    "'Food for thought'?" Alissa interrupts me.

    I wring my wrists around until I come up with another expression, "Here's something to keep you awake at night: the Chimeras believe that they're still alive, and their town hasn't completely collapsed so far, so what if we're all the same, just on a larger scale?"

    "You mean, as if our lives were a lie?" Antares asks, slightly disconcerted.

    I nod and continue, "Everything around you is a fake, a mana solidification, and there's someone controlling everything so that you can't escape this fake life."

    "Is there a way to know the truth?" Arturus asks with a stern stare, looking strikingly similar to Yunia.

    I shrug. "Maybe, but it's highly unlikely that you'd ever be able to confirm it."

    He snorts snobbishly. "Then why should we care? If life is good, then there's no need to change it, so you should live on in ignorance."

    "That 'fake life' you described is also very similar to what 'real life' already is," Ciel comments with a slight smirk.

    "What do you mean?" Hana asks.

    "People forget that everything comes from mana. What you call 'matter,' is just 'ultra-stable' mana," Ciel points out.

    "And our Gods are the equivalent of the Dungeon Master for the Chimeras," Lina adds.

    Roxanne giggles and finishes, "We pity the Chimeras and fear receiving the same fate, but we're already like them, just with different labels."

    Aoi and Antares seem to be going through a mindfuck, while Alissa is almost dozing off on the sofa.

    Arturus shrugs and persists with, "Again, why should we care if it's true? As long as we aren't suffering, then there's no reason to worry about it."

    I calmly respond, "You're ignoring the nature of the humanoids. We'd never accept living in gilded cages. If there's something out there to explore, we'll find a way to get to it."

    Ciel happily adds, "Remember, the God of Creation specifically made us with the potential to go beyond the Gods. It's predicted that one day, the Old Gods and even the Humanoid Gods will become obsolete, and at that point, the Age of Apotheosis will be brought forth by the Overseer."

    "So, humanoids are never satisfied?" Aoi innocently asks, her deep dual voice slightly unnerving the twins.

    "Are monsters ever satisfied?" Ciel returns the question.

    "I don't know. I'm not like normal monsters," Aoi responds and tilts her head.

    Ciel turns to me and asks wryly, "What would you say? Uh… 'touche'?"

    "Touche," I reply with a nod, then I turn to Aoi. "I think that as long as there's a hill to climb, humanoids will never be satisfied."

    "Therefore, it's better to not push the boundaries so that we may live happily in ignorance," Arturus adds smugly.

    "That's easy to say, but our curiosity will inevitably lead us to find a new horizon to pursue," I respond.

    "And it's possible that the Overseer won't let us simply wallow in ignorance," Ciel adds.

    "So, humanoids will never rest…" Aoi states and taps a claw against her chin in thought.

    "Rupegia isn't Paradise, so yes, we'll never rest, only while we're alive," Ciel replies.

    Aoi tilts her head to the other side and mumbles, "Endless suffering…"

    Ciel chuckles and says, "I wouldn't say that we're always in pain or feeling something negative, but rather, that we're in a constant struggle."

    "We've strayed pretty far from the original topic," Hana comments a little annoyedly.

    She wants to keep boasting, so she'd rather not continue with a philosophical discussion.



    Before we're finished with our story about the Chimeras, the maid appears, and tells us that the massage tub is ready for us.

    I pick up Alissa and carry her, then she gradually wakes up while we make our way to the baths. Once we reach the dressing rooms, I let her stand on her own again, then the twins enter the male's dressing room while I go with the girls into the female one and watch as they all put on bikinis. They put on a cute and sexy show for me and for the thirsty ones in our group. It regretfully only lasts for a short while, then I put on my swimming trunks.

    A squad of Goddesses in bikinis emerges from the dressing room, which makes for an imposing sight, but the twins don't see any of it since Yunia's stern look diverts their gazes away.

    The massage tub is a very large Jacuzzi, which also has magical skincare products added in, making it the superior version when compared to Earth's. Since the twins changed first, they're already waiting for us in the water.

    This time, when Ciel enters the tub, I hold back her moan with [Bind] because she, Yunia, and I aren't interested in behaving like degenerates in front of the twins. Though, I can't stop myself from squeezing her ass and thighs when she sits down beside me.

    Now, this massage feels really good. I can even feel the magical skincare products being absorbed by my body and affecting my inner organs. I have no idea what exactly it's doing to us, but it makes me feel good, so hooray hedonism. As long as it's pleasant, I don't care.

    The seats are adjustable, so all the breasts sink beneath the bubbling water, making our conversation much less awkward than it would otherwise be.

    Gify jumps onto the surface of the water and simply goes to sleep. The turbulence takes her to the middle of the tub, then it makes her spin in place adorably.

    The golems stand behind us, unmoving and always vigilant. The twins seem more concerned about Jarn than the dolls, but they quickly learn to ignore them since they don't even twitch.

    Hana and Ciel continue talking about the Chimeras, and we get to the part about "Pua," the Gaping Maw, and how it threw me into the portal.

    "A monster… helped you?" Arturus asks, skeptical.

    "I'm a monster," Aoi responds innocently.

    "Well, you're a 'tamable' monster. Aberrants are just 'different,' so it's unusual to find one that's so friendly," Antares responds.

    The twins seem to be relaxing a bit more and becoming friendlier, especially to Hana and Ciel. It's hard for them not to when the barbarian and the angel have such receptive and sympathetic personalities.

    "It's rather impressive that… 'Pua' immediately decided to help you when it saw the crystal fly," Yunia comments.

    "It knew that the portal was vulnerable to that type of mana, but it also hates that Chimeric mana and would never use it on its own, which means that it must have seen the Chimeras test it on the portal before," I conclude.

    "The Chimeras betrayed us, well, some of them did," Ciel adds.

    "Why didn't you inspect the Gull while you were flying it?" Antares asks me.

    "We got complacent, again," Yunia answers and purses her lips.

    "They didn't stop their Spirit mana pulses, so we couldn't spy, and we thought that after the Albino, Hihiriwa was warming up to us… but he clearly had other plans," I add with a wry smile.

    "I don't think he wanted to hurt us. Maybe he just wanted to stop us from leaving," Roxanne suggests.

    "Perhaps… the catapult was only activated after that whole 'distraction' became unnecessary, after all," I reluctantly agree.

    "Could it have been a malfunction?" Arturus asks.

    "An extremely convenient malfunction," Alissa points out, and Arturus shrugs.

    "Assuming they were betrayed fits the best with all the information they have," Antares says.

    "Dead or alive, noble or aristocrat, they never change," Yunia comments with a sigh.

    We don't tell them about Ozymandias and how the Dungeon Master is playing with my memories, so our story ends there.

    "So, what have you two been doing while we were in the dungeon?" Yunia asks.

    Antares smiles proudly and answers, "Riding Rontis and hunting down goblin nests. Their burrows started appearing around Glorampina, so Crown Lord Varze assigned us and a few of his knights to deal with them."

    "Oh? Confiel is working with Varze?" Yunia asks.

    "Not exactly. The Elder Council told him that we couldn't work for him directly, but he could provide us with shelter. Varze volunteered to give us work, and Confiel gave us this retreat, temporarily."

    "They're paying you, correct?" She asks sternly.

    "More than we deserve," Arturus answers bitterly.

    "It's not charity, Tutu," Antares chides.

    Arturus purses his lip, both in annoyance from being addressed by his nickname, and because he disagrees with his brother. "They want us complacent and feeling indebted to them so that they can manipulate us, and then perhaps manipulate sister through us, too," he replies.

    "That's not really a good plan since there's little chance that you two would ever go against me," Yunia smugly states.

    "It would've been easier to just let her die as the Chosen Descendant instead of doing all of this just to manipulate her," Antares says, and his brother clearly disagrees, but he doesn't have a good enough argument to keep the discussion going.



    The conversations die off, and the twins leave the bath since they aren't as tired as we are. Because of the magical cleaning products mixed into the water, we don't need to wash ourselves, which leaves us with plenty of time to enjoy each others' bodies.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  8. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I swim towards Yunia with a suggestive smile on my face. She raises an eyebrow questioningly and struggles to hold back her smile.

    "You become quite gentle when you're with your brothers," I comment, then I sit on her right and raise my seat so that my head can stay above the water.

    "Of course. They're family, and they deserve it," she calmly replies, then she pulls her bikini off underwater and throws it away from the Jacuzzi.

    I pout jokingly. "I wish you'd treat us like you do them. We're family, too."

    She stands up and steps on her seat, then throws her bottoms to the side, too. Droplets of water trickle down her straight golden hair, caress her juicy bosom, highlight the contour of her taut abs, run along her golden landing strip, and then drip from her pink slit.

    She turns to me and raises her left leg, then rests her delicious foot on the edge of the tub and leans forward on her knee. Her breasts bunch up, her slip opens to me, and her stern face stares at me with cold eyes.

    I lick my lips, getting hungry to suck on some toes.

    "I don't let my family fuck me, though, so of course you get a different treatment," she says, matter-of-factly.

    I tap my lip like Aoi does and pucker my lips as I ask, "What did you call me earlier today? A 'Sex God who makes you orgasm multiple times every night'? Is this how you treat your God?"

    "Oh, not the God-roleplay again…" Ciel grumbles and rolls her eyes.

    "This is how I treat my King," Yunia answers confidently. Then, she hurriedly whispers, "I loved that King-Queen roleplay you did with Roxanne."

    I get up from my seat, grab her face, and touch our foreheads together. "Does my Queen wish to be defiled by my Unholy Cock?" I gently ask.

    She pouts, and her face reddens as she whispers back, "You know what? Let's not do this."

    "It seems that my Queen is hiding her desires. Worry not, I'll wring them out of you, forcefully."

    She suddenly straightens her back, and her delicate, delicious foot pushes my shoulder down.

    "How uncouth, profane, and vulgar of you, you… peasant! Know your place!" She exclaims in a haughty tone and wrinkles her nose in disgust.

    She must have realized that I love being called "peasant" like that.

    I grab her foot and create a very long fake tongue that I use to wrap around each of her toes, then I make it vibrate. Her face cramps, and I feel like she almost tried to use [Mask], but decided to surrender her pride to me instead. I don't need [Bind] to understand her feelings since I know how much of a degenerate she really is behind that noble mask.

    I savor every little cute toe she has with a smirk, then I create suckers along the tongue and latch them onto each one. They squirm under my loving touch, which is evidence of Yunia's delight, even though she's playing hard to please.

    I let go of her foot and stand up. Suddenly, I'm towering over her, and my body swells with muscles. My thunder cock slaps at her entrance, and it makes a lewd sound against her love juices.

    I grab her shoulders and make her turn around, then I hold the back of her neck and waist and force her to bend forward.

    "You should be grateful to your King, for he's about to fuck you," I whisper in her ear with a husky tone.

    "Thank you, my Kinnn~gh…!" She moans as my throbbing royal rod spreads her flower wide as it enters her.

    Her legs quiver, and her insides tighten.

    "Yes, yes, yes! Fuck this royal pussy!" She yells.

    The flowery smell of her pussy gets replaced by the thick scent of her lewdness.

    "Harder! Bigger! Stretch me more!" She begs.

    The formerly regal and majestic woman is now replaced by a cock slave begging for fucking.

    "Fuck me! Fuck me! Cum inside of me! Cum on my body! Cum on my hair!"

    "Hair? That'd be annoying to clean," Roxanne whispers.

    Her composed and stern expression melts away, allowing her slutty and sex-crazed persona to take hold.

    She starts yelling obscenities in Andraste, Ingua, and Reo that make Ciel blush.

    I slow down and turn her around, then I make her sit on the edge of the tub and lift her legs, spreading her flower open to me. Her golden hair is wet and disheveled, and her straight posture is twisted as her muscles tremble, giving her the air of a wretch left in the rain.

    She parts the hair covering her face, and looks down at the royal cock buried inside her.

    "NOOOOooo~…" She yells out in disgust, but her insides tighten as she orgasms again.

    She sees a warped, blotched, crooked, bulbous, ugly, pulsating… cock. An utter obscenity is thrusting into her regal and royal pussy.

    Every time the royal cock penetrates her, a vulgar sound echoes out. Her lewd juices are the source of it, but the deformed shape of the cock amplifies the volume and messiness, making it truly perverse.

    I don't get why she and Roxanne like this, but they do…

    "CUM! CUM! CUM! CUM FOR ME!" The cock slave begs. The Queen has fully regressed inside her mind, shocked by the corruption she has fallen to.

    "THEN TAKE… THIS!" I scream in triumph.

    The royal rod bulges for a second, then it hoses her insides with the pure seed of the One True King. The only exit is plugged by a knot so that it may taint the inside of the royal pussy as deeply as it can.

    The fire in our loins dies down, and we pant heavily as we catch our breaths. I wiggle it a bit inside her, and she lets out a sigh of satisfaction. I know that wiggling is a favorite of Roxanne's, so it fills me with happiness, knowing that she's envious of Yunia's current situation.

    I hold her face and pull it up to mine so that I can take a good look at her. She's panting, and her posture is sloppy from tiredness, but her striking blue eyes are still full of life and perhaps a certain emotion that I wouldn't dare assume about just yet.

    I caress her cheek, then I push away the strands of hair covering her face, tucking them behind her long elven ear.

    I'm completely charmed by her beauty, but there's another feeling that's welling up inside my chest.

    I smile warmly at her, and she returns it, her face softening completely. I suddenly kiss her nose, and she chuckles girlishly, then she wraps her arms around my neck and pulls me closer.

    "Kaatohe was wrong. You like to play the king, but this is your true nature, isn't it? The real 'you' is kind, warm, and affectionate," she questions with a faint smirk.

    Oof.

    "I just want to make you happy, so I've been making lots of room for you inside my heart with the hope that it's to your liking," I whisper a gentle response.

    She narrows her eyes suspiciously. "Is this a confession of love?"

    I look away and smile in embarrassment, then Alissa's will jolts me awake, and I look back at her again with a seductive stare. "No, this is a confession: I've fallen in love with you, Yulania."

    She sucks in air loudly and freezes for a split second, then she tries to look haughty but fails, and her face reddens as a smile blooms on her luscious red lips.

    "Awn…" Roxanne moans and falsely dries a tear.

    "Quiet, wench," Yunia barks and glares at her, then her face softens again, and she chuckles. "What a perfectly 'romantic' situation to confess, isn't it?" She asks, then she pats her bulging belly. I wiggle it inside her as I stimulate both her clit and g-spot, causing a sudden lewd moan to escape her defiled lips.

    I smirk and reply, "Isn't sex the most powerful way to show love? I know that you've never experienced anything as intense as this." Then I turn up the intensity by vibrating everything while using my spirit-touch.

    Her heavenly elven voice caresses my ears, and she clings tightly to my neck. The vibration still isn't as good as the Delicious Horrors', but it's enough to quickly give her another orgasm.

    She glares at me with narrowed eyes as she pants. "You haven't broken my pride yet, peasant," she growls, and I feel a shiver run down my spine.

    I hug her tight and press her breasts against my chest. "I don't need to 'break' you since I've completely charmed you already," I reply with a cheeky smile.

    She licks her lips seductively and struggles to find a comeback.

    "Your banter is just an attempt to hide how thoroughly I've tamed you. Admit it, you love me," I continue.

    She hesitates for a second, then she shyly answers, "I do."

    I immediately kiss her and penetrate her mouth with my tongue, then I undo the knot and move my hips again.



    I finally slide out of her and end the kiss. She gives me a few loving pecks, then pushes me away and covers her pussy with her hand. She waddles towards Roxanne, then stops before her and gives her a cold glare.

    "Open wide, cum slut, I need you to clean me," Yunia orders, and Roxanne obeys with a smirk.

    Yunia spreads her abused pink lips apart, and Roxanne clamps her mouth on them, then she penetrates her Queen with her tongue.

    Yunia's legs quiver, but she holds on to Roxanne's horns like handles while she's vigorously eaten out.

    Hana's lightly tanned balloons fill my sight as she buries my face in them, then she grabs my cock and sits onto it.

    While the other girls play, she milks me while I milk her tits in return.



    We finally climb out of the tub feeling a bit tired, but also completely refreshed. The healing waters also increased by MP regen, so I plowed the fields a little more than usual since I had some extra seed to plant.

    This bath time started earlier than usual, so we have some free time to lounge around while we wait for dinner.

    The twins want to show Yunia the results of their level-ups, so she and Hana go to the backyard to spar with them. They're learning to be imperial Ronti riders, so they've been learning the sword, the spear, and riding. Ronti riders are more versatile than Gatun riders or any other elven soldier, so they've probably chosen this path because they're not really sure where exactly they'll fight when they're older.

    Their melee skills have already become higher than Yunia's, but her [Precognition] gives her a massive advantage, so it doesn't matter, and they still lose soundly to her. They have quite a bit of MP for someone of their age and level, so they could use enchanted equipment, but they weren't given any yet since it's expensive.

    Antares has enough magical talent that he could become a hybrid mage like Ciel, but not enough that he should dedicate himself solely to magic like Roxanne. He hasn't yet found out which magic school he has the most affinity with, so he's focusing on learning melee skills for now. Arturus will definitely become a spellsword since that's just the standard for nobility without any significant talent in magic.

    They spar with Hana, and she completely destroys them. Their skill with weapons is comparable to hers, but that's just one part of the equation. They lack the stats and the combat experience she has from fighting real battles. Even a handicap, such as using a weapon she's not experienced with, isn't enough for them to win since she has boosting skills like [Enhanced Reflexes], [Enhanced Stamina], [Enhanced Strength], and [Enhanced Endurance]. These skills give temporary boosts, so they could try to get her to mentally tire herself out by forcing her to use them repeatedly, but she has the "Endurance" and "Willpower" of a dragonkin, so good luck with that.

    Even Lina could win in a pure melee fight against them since she had a massive positive soul potential to boost her skill gain. Her strong defense also makes it hard for them to outlast her, so they have no clear advantage over her.

    Yunia had been deftly steering the conversation away from my accomplishments, but if they challenge me to a duel, it'll just make them feel inadequate, so we return to our imperial mansion to keep our distance from them. Even I don't think that they should be comparing themselves to me. I'm just a filthy cheater, after all.

    Alissa gets the doll golems to dance as she hums a song and plays with her [Mesmerizing Butterflies]. Ciel and Roxanne have a dat-… go shopping in Goloria for ingredients; Lina takes the chance to cuddle with me and continues reading her book; Aoi and I practice our mana organ shaping with the help of Gify, who keeps replaying in our minds the memories of Alissa changing her form.

    Lina's only wearing black panties and one of Hana's shirts, making her look as cute as a button. I gently brush her hair while I train with Aoi, and I apply some hair cream to make it become more lustrous. It looks so good that I'm sure we'll have to apply it to all the other girls tonight, lest they get jealous.

    My lewd dwarf deliberately teases me by sensually moving her little ass. It's just second nature for her to play with my shaft. I decide not to ravage her body today and just enjoy it while keeping a hard-on.

    After a while, Aoi and I tire of training, so she pulls out her golden ball punching game. The ball floats above a platform, and its temperature gradually increases, but the rate depends on how close it is to the platform, so the point of the game is to push it away for as long as possible until it gets too hot.

    We disable the heat gain, so we can now play a different kind of game. I use a small earth elemental to make a table about half the size of one that could be used for ping-pong, and raise two goals at each end. Lina quickly molds two small metal rackets for us with [Manipulate Metal], and we wield them with [Telekinesis].

    Magic air hockey has been created.

    We flip one of Aoi's bitten and scratched coins, and it lands on the bitten side. I start.

    I slam the racket against the ball, sending it flying directly towards her goal. She defends and deflects it upwards, then the ball flies out of range of the platform and falls heavily onto the floor.

    "Well… I guess there are some improvements we could make…" I say wryly.

    "Few people would know how to use [Telekinesis] to play this the way you intend," Alissa comments.

    Lina closes her book and takes a look at our game. "Well… the enchantment is way too small for what you're planning," she adds.

    I look at the small platform and pucker my lips. "Maybe I should learn how to enchant," I say.

    "There's an enchantment in that small wooden platform, too, so it might be easier to just start from scratch."

    "Why?"

    "Wood is just too rough to use as a medium for enchanting. The dryads might be able to enchant using wood, but not even the elves can do that, so you'd have better results enchanting a lump of iron, instead."

    I sigh as my motivation slips away. To learn how to enchant this from scratch would take way too much effort.

    "Let's just scale this down," I relent.

    Lina pats my head lovingly, and I smile as my energies are recharged.

    I shrink the play area down to about the size of an A4 sheet, cut down each racket to just a palm-sized coin, and add a thick glass dome to prevent the ball from flying away.

    Mini magic air hockey has been created.

    We flip the coin again, and this time it lands on the scratched side. Aoi starts.

    She hits the golden ball with her racket, sending it straight to my goal. I deflect, and it starts to bounce between the stone walls at the sides.

    Aoi defends, and we engage in a back and forth frenzy as the ball violently bounces around. We flick the coins and slap the ball away, causing a loud metallic clang to echo through the room.

    The glass cracks as the force of our strikes is too great, but the elemental quickly repairs it before it shatters.

    The game starts to get out of control as the ball's speed quickly increases, then Aoi's defense slips, and the ball hits the cushioned padding of her goal.

    As we let the ball return to the center on its own, we notice how it's been deformed, and it now floats with a limp.

    "Yeah, so… this game won't work," I admit with a laugh. A few more rounds like this, and the ball would get damaged enough that the enchantment would stop working.

    "Awn…" Aoi grumbles in sadness. "It was pretty fun."

    "How sad…" Alissa comments with a flat tone.

    We look to the side and see both Alissa and Lina silently staring at us.

    I smile wryly and apologize, "Sorry. Next version, we'll make it silent."

    Alissa snorts, and Lina continues reading.

    I pat Aoi's head, and she regains her motivation.



    After that, we just play cards until it's time for dinner. Hana and Yunia have a quick bath, then the twins join us in our imperial house for the meal.

    Hana has beaten them into submission, so we actually have a pleasant meal since they don't have the energy or the courage to be bratty again. In truth, they aren't as snobbish as Yunia, so they're actually more amiable than her.

    For dessert, the servants bake us a fruit cake with meringue, so we end up overeating again.

    "We're going to get fa~t," Roxanne teases. Ciel and Yunia get concerned, but everyone else's reactions are so calm that they don't stop eating.

    "Oof, you're losing your touch," I comment and flash a grin at her.

    She just sticks out her tongue at me, and I blow her a kiss.

    The twins squirm when they see us flirt, so Roxanne finds a new target to torment, and she starts to heavily flirt with Yunia since that's two goblins with one arrow. Even better, Yunia can't put Roxanne down with verbal abuse since that would just make things worse.

    "Anyway, how was your 'date' with Ciel?" Yunia asks, trying to deflect the teasing away from herself.

    "It wasn't a 'date,'" Ciel points out before Roxanne can say anything.

    "What's a 'date'?" Arturus asks.

    "Two people getting together for an activity when there's a romantic undertone to it," I answer and smile diplomatically.

    "So…" Arturus' eyes switch between me, Ciel, and Roxanne. "Are they-…?"

    "Lovers? Yes. They're deeply in love with each other," Yunia fills in immediately.

    The twins raise their eyebrows in surprise.

    Roxanne smiles gently, then grabs Yunia's hand and gives it a kiss. "She did say that there are six ravenous women wanting her body every night," she says, teasingly.

    "But who's the si-… forget that I asked," Antares starts asking a question, but regrets even thinking about it.

    Yunia facepalms while Roxanne happily giggles away, clearly delighted with the pain that the twins are going through.



    They leave after the meal since they still have to work tomorrow. Those goblin nests won't wipe themselves out. We won't be able to meet with them tomorrow since they're going pretty far away, so we'll rest for the whole day, then we'll return to the dungeon in the morning after that.

    Yunia gives each of them a big hug, then they return to their estate looking like children who'd been denied ice cream.

    Curiously, the sun in the dungeon has set too, so it's not the same as the unmoving sun of the earlier floors.

    As much as I want to take a break, I feel restless. I don't have any of my hobbies that I enjoyed on Earth to keep my mind busy here, so sometimes, my heart aches for things that I can't have. I don't get tired of sex, but I also occasionally crave for something else, like video games.

    I really wish that the magic air hockey game would've worked, but I don't want it enough to go through the bother of learning enchanting just to make the equipment for it, and I don't want to ask Lina to work on something so unimportant.

    I decide to go out into our backyard and sit among the flowers to meditate. Alissa feels my restlessness and lets me go without asking me why. Gify tags along because she feels like seeing some nature today, and she may also be affected by my mood more than any of the other girls.

    I put a large number of points in [Sense Mana]. Not too many that makes it feel like a strain, but enough that I can clearly feel the "flavor" of the ambient mana. Nature mana "tastes" kind of pleasant, so it helps with calming my heart.

    Elven grass is a bit different than usual grass. For some reason, it's less prickly, and the flowers here also have a more noticeable fragrance to them, so this place is ideal for meditation.

    I sigh and lay down, then I stare up at the starry sky and the colorful satellite moons rapidly spinning around their psychedelic mother. I kind of missed this sight when we traveled through the fake Broken Skies. The "moon" there is just an overly large star that glows the same color as their clouds.

    Yunia appears in the backyard, then she looks around for a few seconds before she finds me. She walks towards me with leisurely steps, letting her shapely legs peek out through the side slits of her long skirt.

    She stops in front of me, then she takes off her heels and lays down on the grass at my side. I hold her hand and pull it closer so that I can caress her.

    We lay there quietly for a while, just gazing up at the stars.

    "What will you do after you become a Lord?" She suddenly asks.

    I slowly break out of my trance and consider how to answer.

    After a full minute of thought, I decide to be as straightforward as possible. "Kill everyone that threatens us," I answer calmly.

    She turns to me and frowns. "That's not the elven way," she warns me worriedly.

    "I'm not an elf."

    "You'd end up making too many enemies for us."

    "Then you can help me decide who lives and who dies, but enemies like Katasko and Dawn of Fire need to be eliminated, no matter what."

    She stays silent for a while, just staring at my face, analyzing me.

    "And when will you stop?" She finally asks.

    "When all the heretics are dead; when there's no one that dares to defy us; when the monsters are gone; when we can peacefully retire to our private little corner, and our children take our place."

    She pouts while I smirk. "Answer more seriously."

    I shrug. "Truth is: I don't know. We should gather as much power as we can, but we won't know if we have enough until we really need it." I turn to look at her in the eyes. "And so, we need to gain as much power as we can. Do you agree with this plan?"

    She thinks about it for a moment, then she grabs my hand and gives it an assuring squeeze. "For the wives," she whispers.

    I nod. "For the wives. All for one, and one for all."



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  9. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Announcement: I'll stopping publishing the chapters for a week to increase the numbers of chapters the patrons have. Once the dungeon arc is over, I might do 1-2 weeks stop again to focus on a few things that need attention, like reviewing the early chapters of the story.


    Yunia and I stay like this for a while, switching between stargazing and observing Gify frolicing in the grass, then a drunk Roxanne comes outside and clumsily molests us until she falls asleep. I carry her to bed, and we all call it a day.



    Today is the 23rd.

    Alissa wakes me up by just lightly licking the head, and once she sees that I'm fully awake, she deepthroats me, tipping me over the edge. Yet another wonderful morning, snuggling with my women.

    Waking up in this mess of women's limbs and breasts while smelling the gentle perfume of their skincare products is simply the best thing that a man could ever ask for.



    My [Summoning Magic] increased by 1 (now 14+27). Yesterday's canopy creation with the elementals was a really good idea, after all.



    After a cozy and calm breakfast, I decide that it's time to get to work.

    I go out into our backyard and pull a table and the crate of cocoa fruit out of my "Items" with a *poof*, then I start inspecting the fruit. The girls crowd around me, curious about what I intend to do.

    "Oh, this is the fruit that you said chocolate is made from, right?" Alissa asks.

    "Yep," I happily reply.

    "Considering how much you loved eating chocolate, I thought you'd forgotten about this since you never mentioned it again."

    I smile wryly as I admit, "Truth is, I have no idea how chocolate is actually made, so I thought that I should wait until I knew more about it. Then I thought that I might as well do it now since once we're Lords, we'll be able to get our hands on more cacao if we want."

    "I haven't tasted chocolate yet, but I heard that it's suddenly become extremely popular in both Faium and the capital," Yunia comments.

    I nod in agreement and explain, "Chocolate is edible happiness, so it's no surprise that it's become so popular. What we have here is raw gold, we just need to refine it, somehow."

    "If you say so," Yunia says with a wry smile and shrugs.

    I pick up a cacao fruit and look it over. It's a rather soft ovate fruit, and it doesn't smell like chocolate, just an earthy scent of a forest.

    I cut it open to reveal five lines of gooey white seeds, somewhat like a corn cob. Each seed is like an unpeeled lychee, but much less watery. Their smell is fruity, and it doesn't resemble chocolate at all. It tastes horribly bitter and acidic, so it obviously needs a lot of processing before it'd even come close to actual chocolate.

    I see a large, hard seed buried under the goo, so I wash it off and open it up, revealing a dark interior that tastes nutty and very bitter. The husk of the seed has no particular flavor, so it must be this bitter inner part that chocolate is made from.

    "Hm… I think coffee and chocolate are made in similar ways, so this seed should be the secret, but I don't know what to do with this goo."

    "Why not just wipe it off?" Alissa suggests.

    "You could ferment it. Plenty of fruits are first fermented to add flavor, then squeezed for their juices," Yunia comments.

    I turn to her and raise my eyebrows in surprise.

    "I've inspected a few breweries in the past," she adds with a wry smile.

    "I think coffee is left to dry and ferment in the sun, so perhaps you're right, but that would take days…" I respond with a frown.

    Yunia smiles smugly and asks, "Why don't you add an 'aging' abstract concept to your [Grow]?"

    I slap my forehead. "Oh, right, magic. I'd forgotten we could do that…"

    She gently nods with a subtle smug smile. "Plenty of our aged food is made magically. Nobody has the time to wait a decade for a piece of wood to absorb some perfume or smoke."

    "But magical aging is different from natural aging," Lina remarks.

    Yunia nods again, still smug. "It is, but you can control the aging a lot better when it's magical."

    "Use a nature elemental for that," Alissa suggests.

    "Right, easier that way," I respond. I'm not that good at dealing with abstract concepts yet.

    I summon the elemental, and an elven looking woman wearing a traditional elven bikini appears in front of us.

    "Oh…" Yunia mutters as she realizes who the elemental resembles: her.

    "Well, well, well. Welcome to the club," Hana teases her and elbows her ribs.

    "Hmph, I'm still prettier than this mossy imitation," Yunia hisses and snobbishly turns her head away.

    "You weren't like this when Jarn said that she was copying your face," I say, a bit confused at her reaction.

    She refuses to look at me or the elemental as she explains, "It's because she was copying me, not just mixing it with a random face and ruining my beauty."

    "Alright…" I say with a shrug and continue my work.

    I remove the pith-like thing keeping the cacao seeds together, then I place them in a covered bowl, and order the elemental to slowly ferment it.

    Something that should take a few days is done in just two hours by spending a shit ton of both my and Roxanne's mana. Since we aren't exactly sure about what we're doing, the mana cost of the fermentation rises quite drastically.

    The seeds gain a strong coconut-vinegar-like smell, and a juice gathers at the bottom. Roxanne inspects it with her enchanted monocle for noxious mana signatures and clears it for drinking. Its flavor reminds me of lychee and apple, but with a lot more sourness to it.

    "I think the seeds smell strongly enough now; any more than this and they'll rot. The fermentation should have added some flavor to it," Yunia comments.

    "Okay… now what?" Roxanne asks.

    "If this were coffee, we'd dry it, then open it, grind it, and roast it," I answer.

    "Drying will stop the fermentation, so I think that's the correct way to do this," Yunia agrees.

    I summon a fire, a wind, and a water elemental, then I empty the fermented seeds into a metal pot so that they can quickly dry them out.

    "Keep the heat low so that they don't cook," Yunia adds.

    The four elementals work together, and now everyone contributes a bit of mana to power them. The nature elemental ages, the fire elemental controls the temperature, the water elemental removes the humidity, and the wind elemental creates a bubble of dry air around the seeds.

    After another hour, they seem to have dried out as much as possible.

    The husk of each seed has become crunchy, making it easier to separate it from the crumbly inner part.

    "How do we do this? Summon a bunch of goblins to husk it all manually?" I question.

    Yunia shrugs and answers, "I guess. There are ways to use [Weaverism] for this task, but I don't know how."

    Ciel plays with the crunched seed and notices how the husk flies away with just a breeze while the inner part is too heavy. She lightly hits a closed fist against her palm and says, "Ooh… we could use the wind elemental for this."

    "Fuck yes, that's genius," I emphatically approve.

    We sift the husks by blowing air past the crushed seeds while we pour them into a bowl. The husks are blown away while the important bits aren't affected.

    "Now, roasting," I say with a smirk.

    We spread the inner bits on a metal baking sheet, and the fire elemental roasts them, controlling the heat so that they all roast evenly. The smell of cocoa starts to waft from the bits, and it causes me to shudder with delight.

    "Oh, wow, this smells quite nice," Yunia comments.

    Alissa sniffs the air repeatedly and her fox tail lazily wags. "It really does remind me of the chocolate we ate," she adds.

    I dry a small tear that was forming at the corner of my eye and say, "We've done it. This is chocolate. Well, not finished chocolate, but it still has that wonderful smell that I missed so much."

    Hana eats a cooled bit, and her face scrunches up. "So bitter!" She exclaims.

    "Yeah, it needs a lot of sugar before it's ready to eat," I respond with a smirk.

    "Oh…" She mutters and looks away in embarrassment.

    Yunia snorts, but she doesn't tease her further because she knows how Hana "punishes" the wives when they tease her too much.

    "Anyway, now we need to grind this down into a powder," I say.

    "Earth elementals," Alissa suggests.

    "Yeah, no way we're doing this manually," I agree with a smile.

    I summon one with a mortar and pestle as its hands, and it starts grinding, and grinding, and grinding, and grinding.

    "Well, shit, this is going to take a while," I comment.

    We each find something to do while we wait. Alissa starts cooking up lunch with the help of two Hobgoblins; Hana, Aoi, the golems, and I all play around with sparring and Aoi's water balls, which are refreshing in today's hot weather; Roxanne continues exploding things inside her workbench; Ciel and Lina resume sewing the costumes I sketched sometime ago, which they hadn't worked on for a while; Yunia takes up one of Lina's books, but falls asleep while reading it.

    Just before lunch, I stop the grinding to take a look. The chocolate has become an oily paste, though it's still far from smooth and silky.

    I separate out a small amount of it and summon another, smaller earth elemental, then I add a lot of elven sugar to the mix, and give it a taste.

    "It's really greasy. We're still missing something," I comment.

    "For me, it's pretty good," Ciel says with a smile and licks her lips.

    "Meh," Aoi says and shrugs.

    "Gih!" Gify chastises Aoi for having terrible taste in sweets, and I nod along in agreement.

    The other girls enjoy it quite a lot, and we have to hold ourselves back from eating it all. We also wake up Yunia and give her a sample of it, which she approves of with barely contained excitement.

    Then I add some precious cow milk to the sweetened paste, and it quickly becomes watery. I stop the grinding and use the fire elemental to cool it down, but it doesn't harden, so my attempt at milk chocolate has failed, though it's now rather close to chocolate milk, instead. This milk is more sour than what I could get on Earth, so it's not as delicious as what I had in mind, but we're making progress, at least.

    "The problem is the grease," I repeat.

    "I could try to separate it with [Alchemy], but it wouldn't be cheap, mana-wise," Roxanne comments.

    "Back on Earth, we did it without magic, so there must be an easier way."

    "Couldn't you use an oil press?" Lina questions.

    "Oh… right," I mutter. But of course, oil from nuts is extracted that way. "This sort of thing isn't common knowledge back on Earth, so I have no idea of how to even make one," I respond with a shrug.

    "We had one back in my hometown, so I know how it works."

    I grin in excitement. "Draw some schematics and I'll make an elemental take its shape."

    She nods, making her bangs sway, and smiles, wiping away her usual gloomy expression.



    Lunch is a rather strong-tasting werefox fish stew with Tonique, a not-potato elven pie, Sommerlande fruit salad, and fried mushrooms. A wild combination, but it has at least one thing that we all like.

    "Gih!" Gify approves. The wider the variety, the better.

    After fattening up again, Lina draws some quick schematics for the oil press, then she leaves with Ciel and Yunia for the knight's academy library.

    Since the cacao processing seems to have gone well enough, I decide to use all the cacao fruit I have left to make cocoa. It's a pretty large crate, so we should be able to make a few dozen kgs of chocolate.



    "Ugh… I want Ciel's MP…" I groan as I start to get hit by overuse.

    "You don't have to make it all at once. You could just continue another day," Alissa suggests.

    I shake my head and click my tongue repeatedly. "Tch, tch, tch, tch, tch. The quest for chocolate cannot be postponed. I must get diabetes today," I insist with an overly dramatic tone.

    Alissa's eyes die a little inside. "'Diabetes'…"?

    "A disease from eating too much sugar."

    Hana slowly turns towards Roxanne, and the lazy succubus sweats cold.

    "If you don't spend MP on the elementals, you won't get to eat any chocolate," I state sternly.

    "What about the others at the academy?" Roxanne asks, immediately betraying her sister-wives.

    "They'll give their mana when they come back," I answer and make sure that they receive the message through [Bind].

    Roxanne's horns go so limp that they sway about like noodles.



    A few hours past noon, everyone in the mansion is dozing off in the lounging chairs, suffering from mana overuse and from using [Redirect Mana] too much.

    "We're waiting," I slowly say through [Bind], and the other girls decide to return from the library.

    They pay for a [Gate] transport and arrive back after just a few minutes.

    "I heard you have [Mana Overuse Resistance]?" Yunia asks, and I nod with a smug smile. She swallows heavily and feeds the elementals all her mana so that they can continue working.

    If a small batch has tired us out this much, doing the whole crate in one go will completely exhaust us.

    "Anyway, I've done some research on the red desert," Yunia says as Hana massages her head.

    "Oh, what did you find?" I ask, excitedly.

    "It's likely that the dungeon's desert is actually Heretic's Rest. The inner desert of that region is completely inhospitable, and it's known to have colored sands… like the Colored Sands region."

    "And since the Dungeon Master has probably seen ours or any of the adventurer's memories, they should know about Heretic's Rest," Roxanne's muffled voice comes through the pillow covering her face.

    "Oh, right. That makes a lot of sense," I reply and nod along.

    Lina frowns, making her look gloomier than usual as she says, "The books hardly ever mention Heretic's Rest, but it's such an obvious connection that I should've made it a long time ago."

    "But you just said that it's hard to find information on Heretic's Rest," Ciel replies, puzzled.

    "It's understandable since we aren't exactly proud of having that stain in our territory," Yunia admits with a bitter smile.

    Lina just becomes even gloomier. "But it was my first task, to learn everything I could about the elves…"

    "Just remember to never overwork yourself unless strictly necessary," I remind her and give her a kind look.

    She hardens her expression and nods. "Understood…"



    The oil press works wonderfully, producing almost crystal clear cocoa butter. There are still some solid cocoa particles in it, but it's just something that Lina came up with from memory, so there's plenty of room for improvement.

    We all have a taste of it, then I cool a coin-sized sample until it hardens.

    "This tastes good," Ciel comments.

    "So many sweets could be improved with this butter," Alissa adds, her voice filled with wonder.

    I rub the cooled butter on my lips, then I grab Alissa's face and give her a deep kiss, then she giggles like a girl once I release her. "I'm sure the elves would find a way to make this into an amazing lip balm," I say, then I walk over to Roxanne to give her a kiss too, but she grabs my face and steals one from me, first.

    Then I give a buttery kiss to each of them, and when it gets to Aoi, she just licks my entire face.

    Yunia is the last to get her kiss. She savors my lips a little more than the others, then she evaluates it, "Hm… yes, this is quite novel. It has an 'earthy' flavor that's different from the usual flowery or fruity blends that are common around here."

    "It's the roasting. You know it's nothing like this when it's raw," I respond.

    She walks up to the oil press and dips her finger in the cocoa butter, then tastes it again and says, "Indeed… I think we don't tend to roast seeds because of how much effort it takes to process them. Since we can just spend mana to make more fruit grow, we've neglected seeds in our diet."

    "This sort of thing is common in Ryutake, though," Hana comments.

    "We ought to recruit a dragonkin cook if we want to improve our chocolate," I suggest.

    "You want to start producing chocolate?" Yunia asks.

    I shrug. "If we can secure a deal to supply us with cacao, then perhaps we could. We already have all the other ingredients necessary, like the sugar, spices from Maoka, mages who are experts in magical fermentation and aging, and my technical knowledge on how to turn this into an industry."

    Yunia smiles gently and muses, "If Confiel hasn't ruined things, we should still have control over a good chunk of the Eia sold in Escanso. Transferring the mages for processing cacao will be simple."

    "If you can make golems similar to these elementals, then we'd have a huge advantage over Faium producers," Lina adds.

    I nod and agree, "I really am afraid of the consequences of introducing automation to this world, but since I've already spread the knowledge of [Golemancy], it's only a matter of time until the industrial revolution happens, so we'd better get a head start on it."

    "I haven't heard about that one, yet," Yunia comments.

    I give her a fake smile and say, "Let me tell you all about human greed and the horrors of the industrial and robotic revolutions."



    Just before sunset, the processing of cacao into cocoa is done, so I unsummon all the elementals and start summoning a production line with ten earth elementals.

    I've come up with a few designs for grinders, so each of the ten elementals that I summoned is using a different prototype. I start comparing their output, then I end up culling half of them, replacing them with oil presses.

    Over bath time, I make sure to spread Lina's little asshole again with a tentacle. She seems to have a slight weakness to wriggling, so I sneak a dozen little tentacles into both of her holes and let them go wild.

    Ciel's inner sex demon awakens at the sight of that, so I let her have control of the tentacles herself.

    She leans on top of Lina and pinches her clit while invading her mouth with a tongue that wishes to become a tentacle itself.

    The wriggling is a different sensation from penetration, or sucking, or vibrating, causing Lina to quickly orgasm due to its novelty.

    I see a large ass enticingly jiggling in front of me, and I salivate like a hungry animal as I stare at it.

    Ciel freezes, noticing my lust seeping through [Bind]. "Ahn~…!" She moans sensually as I suddenly slide into her, then Lina moans, too.

    It's time for a session of triple-cock pounding.



    For dinner, I just pull out some leftovers. We don't need an elven banquet every day, and even Yunia (reluctantly) agrees with me.

    After that, I focus on fixing my milk chocolate production. The oil press separates the greasy cocoa paste into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. I discover that adding a small amount of butter back into the powder gives it a consistency similar to chocolate if I get the percentage right.

    I try to slowly add milk to the chocolate, but it quickly becomes chocolate milk instead, and when I add thickeners like flour, it just doesn't work well and makes it taste "wrong."

    I'm certain that milk chocolate is a thing, so I'm pretty sure it's the moisture that's making it turn out so badly.

    I remove two of the earth elementals from the lines and exchange them for a fire and a water elemental, then I get Roxanne to help with removing all the moisture from the milk. We manage to create powdered milk without too much trouble, which I promptly add to the mixer.

    We all watch with interest as the molten chocolate pours into a small bowl and slowly solidifies.

    Once there's enough of it for each of us to have a bite, I order the elementals to remove the heat from it to help it solidify faster, then I break it up into chunks and distribute the pieces.

    The overly-sweet chocolate melts in my mouth, and I shudder as my tongue orgasms from the pleasure.

    My mind goes blank, and a bright light blinds my eyes, then my consciousness is cut off.



    "Quest complete: milk chocolate created. I'm returning you back to Earth," God says.



    Lina giggles, and the girls smile while Alissa gives me "really?" look.

    I give them a cheeky smirk, then I immediately start making some adjustments. We have hazelnut and raisins, so I just have to create new flavors.

    The quest for chocolate comes to an end just before we head off to bed. Not all of the cocoa powder has been processed, but enough of it to last us a short while has been turned into bars of Wolf's Milk Choco, Hazel Choco, and Raisin Choco, and I also made about five liters of Wolf's Choco Milk. As a side-product, there's even a whole bar of cocoa butter that we can use to enhance desserts.

    I have actual chocolate now. Life's good.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Oracle Maximillian Hübner.
    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Enrique Peña Gomez.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Markus.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Belkoth.
    Lord Cidant.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
     
  10. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Today is the 24th.

    I wake up to an embarrassed Ciel and Yunia sharing my dick. I immediately recognize the smell of molten chocolate and smirk, then I see Alissa's expression mirroring mine.



    No skill up today since we didn't really focus on training. Even my mini chocolate factory wasn't enough to level up Summoning since I'd already leveled it the same day.



    Today, I spread some not-Nutella on my slice of white bread and have a tongue-gasm. Unfortunately, Aoi seems to be warming up a bit to chocolate, especially the kind with raisins, so our share of the Godly Nectar is decreasing.

    We armor ourselves up and prepare to return to the dungeon. Lina and Yunia made sure that everything was cleaned and well-maintained, so it actually feels refreshing to wear it today. Even though it's enchanted with [Breeze], our armor gets smelly pretty quickly if we wear it every day and every night.

    I wish we could've met up with Osaria and Klein again before returning to the dungeon, but they're in the middle of nowhere right now, which is just bad luck, unfortunately.

    The girls start crossing through the [Gate], and I psych myself up for battle.

    What challenge will we face today? What pretentious "test" will the Dungeon Master make us go through? I'm starting to get tired of this, and I'm beginning to wish that we'd chosen a "normal" dungeon, instead. Though it's likely that a normal one would have a lot more monsters, so whatever.

    Alissa is the last one to cross through, and I'm temporarily left alone. Not only is the reduced "Sanity" depressing, but the sudden complete silence is deafening.

    I still hate fighting and killing, but if I want to establish a women's sanctuary, then I need to fucking do this. The sanctuary may be a silly dream, but at least it's achievable. I'll never get the quiet life that I want until I fucking do this.

    I slap my cheeks and stand up straight, then I cross through the [Gate] and my delicate, fair skin is immediately assaulted by the unforgiving fake sun of this level.

    I dismiss the summons standing guard, and we start going through our warm-ups as I activate the ship's [Fly] gem. We all feed mana to the ship to top it off, then we drink one of Roxanne's MP potions.

    There aren't any monsters in this red desert, with not even traces of Life that Yunia can detect, so we take-off and enter the sand tunnel in the middle of the Colosseum.

    Without much to do, I put my points in [Sense Mana] to observe the gravity-defying sand. I manage to detect extremely faint traces of [Telekinesis] keeping the loose sand stuck to the ceiling and walls.

    Hana decides to float towards the wall and scoop out some of the sand like a curious nature spirit.

    "Gih," Gify complains.

    I pat her head gently and reply, "You can't deny it. You yourself said that you became attached to me because you wanted to watch us."

    Gify concedes while grumbling.

    Once Hana touches the wall, the grains simply fall down, as if their floating power had suddenly disappeared.

    The anxiety of the other girls, and especially Lina, suddenly skyrockets, so Hana stops after just a few seconds of playing with it. It seems that they learned to not play with sand that's floating above their heads from somewhere.

    A chain reaction wasn't set off from Hana's touch, but we can easily imagine what would've happened if she overdid it.



    Nothing happens as we continue going down, so the tension gradually fades away.

    Ciel forces herself to stay serious, but the loli silently demanding headpats is hard to ignore, so she compromises and pats her casually while keeping a keen eye focused ahead.

    We eventually reach the end of the tunnel and enter the wide room with the double gray doors where the Holly is waiting for us.

    Small, floating, stray [Spirit Light]s provide a fluctuating source of light that changes color from white, to a washed-out yellow, to a deep blue, and repeats. They slowly circle around the room, giving it an eerie atmosphere.

    "What are these lights?" I ask the girls.

    "Not monsters or living beings," Alissa replies.

    Yunia focuses on one of them that's passing close to us and adds, "They're just spells controlled by the dungeon. Not exactly [Spirit Lights], but something similar."

    "I don't feel any sort of dangerous Light signature coming from them," Ciel continues.

    "Just another weird detail that'll make itself relevant soon, I bet," I say with a tired tone.

    When their color changes to a deep blue, it becomes hard to see, so we cast our own [Spirit Light]s.

    We stop the ship in the middle of the room and disembark, leaving the golems to defend it.

    We walk up to the double doors and stop in front of them. They don't seem to have any details on them, so we have no clue what to do.

    "Should we just knock?" Hana asks.

    I shrug, and the girls send back similar feelings to my own through [Bind].

    Hana knocks, which makes a low and dull thumping sound. We wait for a few seconds, but nothing happens, so we start touching the doors a bit more.

    Alissa puts her ear against the stone and hears absolutely nothing coming through it.

    I walk over to the middle and push on them. The doors rumble and start to open, and I immediately jump back in surprise, then we all draw our weapons.

    We see… more of the same red sand, smooth gray stone slabs, and the floating lights. The room is actually a corridor, and it even continues on beyond what Alissa can see.

    Far ahead, Alissa spots an abnormal floating light. It's larger than the others, but not brighter, just different.

    Her ears flick as she hears something, and she turns her head towards the source of the sound.

    The tunnel we came from is collapsing.

    "No way back, huh?" I question sarcastically, then I take a step forward and freeze.

    My [Gate] has been blocked.

    "Uh-oh…" I mutter.

    The girls tense up, and I relay to Yunia what just happened.

    The tunnel quickly closes off, completely blocking our exit, but the collapsing stops there. Nothing else happens, so the tension releases a bit.

    "I was expecting this to happen at some point," I comment wryly.

    "Things will become much more dangerous from now on," Ciel says solemnly.

    "We haven't seen an exit door since the first few levels. We might not be able to leave if we continue," Alissa says.

    "I'd like to write to my brothers and warn them about this," Yunia says.

    "I'll write something for Klein and Osaria, too," I add.

    "Aoi should go back to wearing her armor. We have ground under our feet again," Ciel suggests, and I agree.

    We send Lina back, and she gives the letters to a servant. We also write one to Confiel to let him know that things are getting serious.

    We also decide to leave a [Gate] coordinate here since it seems to be a safe spot. Sand is a terrible material to put a coordinate on since the coordinate could move over time or even get "torn apart" and become unusable, so I put a [Gate] coordinate on a set of planks and summon an earth elemental to protect them.

    We look around and notice that all the floating lights have started to move down this corridor. Since there's nothing else to do but to continue forward, we get back on the ship again and cautiously move on.

    We see the floating lights gradually increase as we go deeper. They grow until they're as big as a head, then they start to become oval until their height matches ours. Limbs start to appear, and they shift into a humanoid shape. Their heads morph, and the characteristic long ears of the elves quickly appear.

    Naked, glowing male and female elves float around us, all drifting in the same direction: down the corridor. Their faces are neutral, and their eyes are unmoving. Yunia reminds us that they aren't spirits, they're either Light or [Illusion Magical] spells.

    Thankfully, they start to gain some clothes, and we recognize all sorts of civilians. Artisans, farmers, servants, soldiers, mages, and even nobility.



    After half an hour of continuing down this corridor, the scouting Holly finally sees an end to it. The same gray double doors are at the end of the corridor, and a line of glowing elves is waiting for us.

    "Yunia, you're not to leave my side since I can't summon you through [Bind], understood?" I instruct her sternly.

    She puts on her helmet, then nods vigorously.

    The glowing elves are formed into lines on each side of the corridor, giving us an open path towards its end, and clear line of sight to the elves staring at us, which seem to be Lords since they're all wearing a complete set of ornate wooden armor. Branches, leaves, flowers, and roots are used as decoration, giving them an air of fantasy ents, though they're still glowing.

    "The title of Lord isn't common outside of Domum or the empire. They're most likely Generals," Lina says, and Yunia agrees.

    We stop a dozen meters from the Generals, but they don't even twitch. They're as still as statues.

    Alissa clings to me, then I glide off the bridge and down towards the deck.

    "Let me just say that Arreira really knows how to set an atmosphere," I say as I land.

    She lets me go and asks, "'Atmosphere'? The air?" Then she tilts her head in confusion.

    I roll my eyes because the skill translated it literally. "Mood. He's good at setting the mood," I respond.

    The fake elves are currently glowing with a deep blue light, making for a rather dark and oppressive atmosphere.

    "There's no theater like elven theater," Yunia comments.

    "Oh, we should really go to the theater in Goloria or Escanso sometime," Roxanne adds.

    "We'll have all the time in the world for that," I reply, and we make a circle to talk more easily. "Anyway… Hana, Yunia, I want both of you with me. Hana, you'll be in charge of bringing Yunia back in case shit hits the… uh, things go badly."

    We land the ship, and Yunia clings to me while I jump down, then the three of us walk towards the glowing elven Generals.

    We approach them carefully, paying close attention to their sheathed weapons.

    Once we get within ten meters, the elven Generals snap their heads towards me. We freeze both in fear and from the creepiness, but nothing else happens, so we continue walking forward again, just slower.

    "Saúdo, paretense," The elven General in the middle greets us with a neutral male voice.

    Oh, fuck, they're talking in Ingua.

    While I fumble with my points, Yunia returns their greeting.

    Their eyes don't even twitch to glance at her, they just ignore her.

    "They called us 'kin,'" Yunia whispers.

    Our armor is elven and our helmets are obscuring our faces, so they might be mistaking us for elves.

    I clear my throat and say, "Greetings, kin."

    "Do you wish to pass?" The same General asks.

    I glance at Yunia, and she nods. "Yes, we do," I answer.

    "May we follow?" Another General asks. A woman's voice, this time. I can't tell their genders because of their armor.

    "Why would you wish to follow us?" I ask, curious.

    "One leads, others follow, and all judge," a third General replies.

    "'Judge'?" I question.

    "Worth," a fourth states.

    So, they're all going to judge our worth?

    "This is one of the principles of nobility that has existed since the dawn of civilization," Ciel says through [Bind].

    "What's beyond that door?" I ask.

    "Struggle," the first answers.

    "War," the second continues.

    "Death," the third adds.

    "End," the fourth finishes.

    Not ominous at all, but why is death different from "end"?

    "If we look at Arreira's life, I guess that… death's not the end…?" Lina questions inside my soul space.

    My mouth twitches because I don't know if I should smile or get angry at this annoyingly pretentious Dungeon Master.

    I recompose myself and answer, "Then you may follow us."

    The Generals all nod, and clear away from the door.

    I walk up to it and push it open, revealing nothing but more red sand and darkness ahead.

    "Wolfy, Living Armor approaching," Alissa reports.

    A single gray suit of armor walks into our light, revealing itself. It carries a simple sword and a kite shield. Imperial style.

    "Get Jarn here. I want to see how she does against this," I say through [Bind].

    Jarn floats down and walks towards the Living Armor in a combat stance. The Armor draws its sword and mirrors her.

    Jarn's limbs extend forward a few centimeters, and she starts her attack, immediately forcing the Armor to step back. Jarn flails her hammer with her loosely connected limbs, and the Armor can only try to defend against the assault.

    Even if the Armor could fight evenly, its sword won't do anything against Jarn, whose body is made entirely out of hardened steel. Also, Living Armors have that weird condition where they believe that they're "alive," so any damage that would kill a person would cause them to "die," making them much easier to deal with than most monsters.

    Jarn beats the Armor down without any difficulty until it "dies." The Armor's remains quickly age, leaving a pile of crumbling, rusted metal, and we continue forward.



    The glowing elves follow our ship, either floating through the air or just walking along on the sand.

    We use the three golems to deal with the Living Armors while we wait on the ship and absorb the trickle of Experience.

    After a dozen Armors are turned into piles of rusted metal, pairs of Armors start to appear, then trios, and so on. When the group of Armors grows to six, the golems start to have difficulty dealing with them all at the same time, so I summon a few earth elementals to help them keep up.

    The numbers keep increasing, and the Armors start cooperating together, building a wall of shields and spears pointed at us. Every other shield is upside down so that they can form a solid wall without leaving large gaps at their feet, which is caused by their shields' teardrop shape.

    This forces us to fight, too, and we cast some spells to break the walls, or we simply flank them ourselves with our superior maneuverability.

    The fighting continues on, and we stop to have a quick lunch, but the Armors keep walking towards us like zombies.

    "I guess this is what they meant by 'struggle,'" I comment as I look ahead into the darkness. The scouting Holly watches the groups of Armors slowly making their way forward.

    "What if we just fly over them with the ship?" Hana asks.

    "Then we'll have waves of Armors coming from the front and the back," Ciel responds.

    "There's no need to hurry," I add.



    I practice my control of the tentacle weapons with the Armors; Alissa tries out reinforcing her [Mana Arrow]s to better penetrate their plate; Roxanne tests her explosives and how well they spread the Decay gas; Hana practices using flying charges to break their shield wall; Ciel learns how to cast invisible [Wind Hammer]s; Lina completely breaks their lines with [Earth Wall]; Aoi picks them off one-by-one with [Torrent] or her floating ball of water; Yunia pushes [Precognition] to the limit and faces the wall head-on. So far, so good.

    A Hobgoblin appears among the Armors, and as soon as it dies, its equipment vanishes completely.

    A wave of shorter than usual Armors appear, and there's a goblin among them.

    In the next wave, an orc appears, and it takes a bit more effort for us to kill it than the usual Armor would.

    Random numbers of human-like monsters start to appear among the Armors, like Ogres, Spriggans, Dragonoids, and Kappattos. They disrupt our strategies to deal with the Armors, so we start discussing how to kill them with the least amount of effort.

    Even the golems and elementals need time to rest and recover their MP, so we all take turns fighting.

    Now that we have to push our skills and tactics to the limit, our armor gradually becomes more and more damaged, and small wounds start to gradually appear on us, but only bruises so far.



    The orc thrusts his spear at me, and I step back, just out of its reach. I counter with my spear held by a tentacle above me, but he hides behind his shield and defends against my attack.

    Other spears quickly follow and try to stab at me, but I keep my distance.

    I wind up the halberd, then I slam it against a shield and immediately rip it out, causing splinters to go flying.

    The orc and Armors push forward, but they never manage to reach me or the earth elementals, who keep them from simply rushing and overwhelming me.

    I continue striking with the halberd, and after I completely destroy the second shield, the orcs break out of their line and try to rush me, but they get skewered by the earth elementals, and Alissa finishes them off from up on the ship.

    Now that there are only a few Armors left, we surround them and wipe them out.



    We carefully observe our enemies and learn their combat tendencies. The Armors are too sluggish to react quickly to changes in the battlefield; goblins are terrible at reforming once their wall is broken; hobgoblins tire easily; orcs are quick to anger; ogres are slow. Their mismatched formation allows us to exploit their weaknesses, but their gradually increasing numbers steadily deplete our resources.

    The scouting Holly continues on, and it sees that the mobs coming at us are gradually growing into an army.

    "Things aren't looking good," I comment, and Alissa nods.

    Even if we used the ship's massive [Wind Shield] to disrupt their lines and pick them off one-by-one, there's just too many for us to handle.

    Ciel stares at the Generals intensely, thinking the same thing that I am. "Give me some points in Ingua," she asks though [Bind], and I obey. "Aren't you going to help?" She asks them.

    One of them turns their head towards her and responds in its usual flat tone, "You lead, we follow."

    She frowns angrily and asks, "Do you want to continue forward?"

    "Yes."

    Her tone becomes intense as she states, "We lead, you help."

    The General nods. "You lead, we help. You fail, we leave."

    "I couldn't ask for more!" She exclaims, flippant.

    "Not one step back," the General responds.

    "Not one step back," all of the elves repeat in sync, creating a painfully loud chorus.

    So creepy.

    All of the soldier-like elves fly past our ship and land in front of it, behind the line of earth elementals. They all walk forward in lockstep, and when the next wave approaches, they just carelessly throw themselves at the enemy line.

    They may be constructs of light, but they're still solid, somehow, and they can be killed, just like a real person.

    "This isn't an army, it's a mob," Hana comments.

    "We need to get them organized," Ciel states, and we agree.

    I look towards Yunia, but she seems distracted, just staring at the mob of elves fighting.

    Alissa joins her at the railing and asks, "Arreira isn't very subtle, is he?"

    Yunia remains quiet for a moment, then she mutters, "This is so… depressing…"

    The elves finish off their enemies and spread out, revealing the glowing remains of their "dead" comrades. They don't bleed, and their glow isn't snuffed out, so they just look like broken statues.

    When the civilian elves pass by the remains, they scoop them up and carry them along.

    "Really depressing…" Yunia comments.

    We need Yunia to organize the troops, but she's in her own little world inside her head now, so I go up to her and ask. "What are you thinking about?"

    "Reading about history is very different from seeing it yourself," she answers in a low tone.

    Lina frowns, and her mood quickly darkens, becoming even worse than Yunia's.

    The little dwarf stomps towards the railing and stops beside us, then she stares intensely up at Yunia, catching her attention.

    "Our lives are more important than theirs," Lina says with a gentle tone, which is actually the opposite of her real feelings.

    Yunia has known this fact for her entire life, but she never saw how her decisions affected those she had vowed to protect… and neither did I.

    Yunia looks stunned for a second, then she frowns and nods subtly. She looks down at the soldier elves again, and slowly builds her resolve.

    Alissa sighs and lays her hand on my shoulder. "This isn't a test, it's training," she says.

    I snort. "The Dungeon Master is still a pretentious snob," I mutter.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
     
  11. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    Yunia is the only one of us that trained in how to manage an army, Alissa is the one who has the most experience with commanding troops, and Hana is the one who's the most used to being a grunt. Yunia has no confidence in herself, asking to be only an advisor and giving me command; Alissa absolutely hates being a commander, so she also wants a position like Yunia's; Hana accepts leading a small squad, but she'd be out of her depth with anything larger than that; Ciel's job is to keep the harem safe, so I don't want to add any more to her workload; Lina, Roxanne, and Aoi are complete newbies at this, so they wouldn't be reliable leaders.

    "I could try to lead. They aren't alive, so it's no problem if they die, hm?" Aoi volunteers.

    "The numbers of our troops are limited; I don't want to risk losing them unless necessary," I reply.

    "Okay," she casually agrees with a nod. She wants to protect others, but she's still a bit too young for that responsibility.

    "There are some elves here that seem like nobility, so they might be our best choice for leaders," Yunia suggests.

    "We'll have to test their intelligence and their skills if we intend to give them positions of power," Alissa says.

    Yunia nods and continues, "We'll have to understand if and what they eat, if they need rest, the limits of their stamina, their individual needs and wants, and anything else that might be relevant."

    I turn towards Hana and say, "You'll need to spar with them."

    Her eyebrows knit in concern. Even she is starting to become tired. "Every single one?" She asks, worriedly.

    "Just a few, then we'll have them spar with the others to see how they do," I answer.

    "Ah, exponential growth," Lina says and nods in understanding.

    I smile at her, but I don't pat her head since she's wearing her helmet. "Exactly. We'll need to organize them, though."

    She nods energetically, "Alright, I'll do it."




    We begin inspecting the troops while Hana starts the sparring with them.

    Ciel walks up to one of the commoners carrying the head of a dead soldier and asks, "Why are you carrying that?"

    She snaps her head towards Ciel and answers in a monotone, "Failure."

    Hana snorts loudly. Arreira is not subtle.

    Ciel frowns and asks softly, "Where are you taking it?"

    "Everywhere."

    "Why?"

    "This is a part of me."

    "So… you won't drop it?"

    "No."

    "Never?"

    "Never."

    Ciel goes quiet, and the elven woman immediately snaps her head forward again.

    It's like the glowing elves are in some low CPU-usage mode where their speech capabilities were limited to allow the dungeon to run all of them in parallel.

    We question them some more and learn that they behave exactly like the elementals or the golems. They're completely obedient, except when we ask them to drop the pieces of their dead kin or to retreat. They can walk back a certain distance, but they have a limit of about one hundred meters.




    As we make a tally of our army, I curiously watch a glowing elf carrying a long pike and an oval shield getting pummeled by Hana. I notice that he isn't carrying a sword comparable to ours, only a short, gladius-like one made for stabbing. Although he knows how to hide behind a shield and stab better than a commoner, he sucks at using his sword.

    Yunia stands beside me and observes the sparring match. "Hm… elves excel at teamwork and coordination. I think that sparring with them individually isn't going to tell us much," she remarks.

    "It's still a good idea to learn who are the veterans and who are the new guys," Hana points out through me.

    She quickly realizes that aside from the Generals and some nobles trained in the sword, all of the elves here suck at individual combat. They weren't trained for it because they're all low level, so they barely have – or had, I don't know if they're "dead" – any melee skills.

    They're all from the age when the God-Rulers existed, who enforced a near monopoly of Experience through Rings of the Servant. That allowed those Rulers to gain hundreds upon hundreds of levels and become demigods, but it also lowered the average level of everyone else.

    Once the elves were incorporated into the empire, their army was reformed, so neither Yunia nor Lina knows all the details about their organization. We continue questioning them and learn that they have some technical knowledge, but no actual memories. Fortunately, this means that it's simple to reform their hierarchy because we just have to ask them about how they were trained to fight, then we assign them according to their respective roles.

    The two main units of the elves are the pike and archer companies, composed of around eighty men in each company. As auxiliary units, there are the Skirmishers, who are harassment troops that use [Vine Weapon] to conjure either arrows or javelins, and the Gatun riders, but there aren't any riders or Gatuns in this army. The elven mages don't have imperial [Ritualism] to link their mana pools together, which would've allowed them to cast huge spells, so they're spread out across the army, filling a variety of support roles. The only dedicated mage squadrons are the Engineers, who specialize in manipulating terrain, and the Elementalists, who cast low-level system magic spells from range, but they aren't reliable damage dealers.

    The pikemen carry large oval shields which are almost as tall as themselves, and they fight in a phalanx-like formation. They're almost exclusively a defensive unit, forming a porcupine-like barrier reinforced by [Nature Magic] and nearly impossible to break through. They also use [Weaverism] to connect the minds of the soldiers together and allow them all to fight in perfect sync with each other.

    The archers are the main damage dealers, wielding a variety of enchanted bows with different uses which they switch between depending on the situation. There aren't enough enchanted bows for every soldier to have one, so they rotate them among the archers to keep a steady stream of magic arrows falling on the enemy.

    We have four companies of Lonlanzas, the pikemen; three of Arquirandos, the archers wielding enchanted bows; two hundred Skirmishers; twenty Engineers; fifty Elementalists; twenty healers; twenty archer nobles; forty pike-and-sword nobles; and thirty Generals who can use [Precognition] and wield greatswords.

    There's still the option of using the hundreds of civilians as a levy, but they'd only be cannon-fodder since the enemies we're facing are actually organized and trained.

    The nobles serve as elite troops, so we'll spread them among the companies and assign them the leadership of their squads. These nobles are all magic warriors like us, but they don't have any sort of enchanted equipment. Before Aremut started producing enough enchanting gems for the entirety of the empire, enchanted equipment was rare, so the archetype more commonly chosen by nobility was magic warriors instead of spellswords.

    The Generals all have enchanted equipment along with being partial magic swordsmen. Their armor may have hundreds of little decorations, creating plenty of nooks and crannies for a spear to get caught on, but they all break apart when even just a little bit of force is applied, so they don't get in the way, and they also regrow after being removed. Quite nifty.

    The troops don't need to eat, but they do need rest and sleep. Their stamina is also limited, so we set up a rotation of the active troops to conserve their energy. There are non-soldier nobles among the civilians, so we use them to form an administration hierarchy because they seem to be a bit smarter than the others.

    Setting all of this up is tiring and boring work, requiring a lot of discussion among ourselves, but we mostly just follow Yunia's advice. At least there's no need for a complex line of communication since our army is small enough that we can personally respond to any problems.




    We just watch as the enemy line approaches ours. The monsters don't have mages to interrupt our mages, so the Engineers disrupt the ground under the monsters, and their line instantly collapses.

    The Arquirandos let loose their flaming arrows, and the Elementalists cast their own [Fire Arrow]s, together lighting a large number of the enemies on fire while they're so exposed.

    The ogres enrage and charge forward, quickly getting stopped by the Lonlanzas. Their long pikes are anchored against the ground, and their shafts are reinforced with magic. Yunia says that there's a lot of debate about whether or not Ronti riders would win against the Lonlanzas, but now we have evidence that heavily-armored Ogres don't, so we can extrapolate on that.

    The Skirmishers pour out from the flanks of the Lonlanzas and surround the collapsed line, then they quickly finish them off.

    "Oh, level up," Hana comments.




    The numbers of enemies are too small to pose a threat to us, so we end the day without any problems.

    Hana's tired, but she also demands to be fucked, so we tie up her arms and legs, then I go ham on both of her holes. After I'm done, we let her hang over the edge of the bath, like a filthy, used rag.

    With the dragon satisfied, I have all the time in the world to savor my cute fox slave.

    The sudden death cries of goblins grate on my ears, tainting the experience of making love to my woman. I fuck her harder to make her moans even louder to drown out the wails of the dying monsters.

    The other girls use [Bind] to open the floodgates of pleasure, savoring the Fucking of the Fox to escape the depressing atmosphere outside of our ship.

    Yunia can't join in with that, so after Alissa and I recharge from our obsession with each other, Roxanne and I give Yunia some attention to cheer her up. She seems to have become more introspective today and isn't smiling as much, so she might really need some love right now.

    Lina quickly recovered from her dark mood after talking with Yunia, so getting molested by Ciel is all she needs for tonight.

    "Remember to talk to us; we'll always be here to support you," Roxanne says as she pulls Yunia's head towards her modest chest.

    "Is that you or Wolfy talking?" Yunia casually asks.

    "That's all of us," she answers, then kisses her forehead.

    Yunia blinks blankly, then looks down in embarrassment.

    "Actually, it was mostly Ciel, but we all contributed… a bit," Roxanne adds with a wry smile, making Yunia snort.




    Due to our tiredness, dinner is simple but hearty. We eat a lot of meat and fat to give us plenty of energy for tomorrow.

    We take off our armor and try to get the comfiest sleep we can. At least tonight, the troops will manage without us. What's coming likely won't let us sleep so calmly again for quite a while.




    Today is the 25th.

    Aoi wakes me up since she feels like having an extra breakfast today.

    "I need the mana," she says, then returns to pumping me.

    "Sure…" I reply with a wry smile and pat her head.




    I learned [Polearm Use] with 1 point. My MP increased by 25, and my "Magic Power" increased by 15 (now 1,735 and 725). Roxanne says that the ratio of MP to "Magic Power" should stay between 2:1 to 3:1, if it isn't, then the mage's training is unbalanced.

    If the ratio is higher, then the mage isn't truly learning their magic skills, reducing the performance of their higher-level spells. If the ratio is lower, then their low-level spells will be more unstable and inefficient mana-wise. This problem can be compensated for with skills like [Mana Efficiency] or [Mana Control]. These concerns don't fully apply to spellswords since they use enchantments to make up for their lack of magical training and naturally achieve higher ratios of MP to "Magic Power."

    Alissa's MP increased by 35, and her "Magic Power" increased by 20 (now 1060 and 520). She's doing well with balancing them, but she's not the most magically talented person, so her growth is slow.

    Roxanne's MP increased by 60, and her "Magic Power" increased by 30 (now 2,770 and 1,160). She has a higher ratio due to focusing on [Alchemy] for a while, which increased her MP without truly learning more about magic in general.

    Hana has leveled up to 42. Her [Sword Use] and [Block] increased by 1 (now 24 and 10). Her new two extra points will be put in [Reduced Mana Cost] so that she can use magic to support herself more often. Her MP increased by 50, and her "Magic Power" increased by 25 (now 910 and 430). Hana's the same as Alissa regarding magic, though she has even less magical talent, so our secret mana training was incredibly useful for her.

    Ciel's MP increased by 40, and her "Magic Power" increased by 30 (now 1,280 and 780). Ciel's high "Piety" allows more godly power to pass through her when she uses [Light Magic], giving her a boost in "Magic Power."

    Lina's MP increased by 45, and her "Magic Power" increased by 15 (now 1,205 and 530). Lina's focus on enchanting gives her more MP than "Magic Power," just like Roxanne.

    Yunia's MP increased by 20, and her "Magic Power" increased by 10 (now 1,050 and 520). Yunia is a well-trained hybrid, and even though she also uses a lot of enchantments, she has a lot of magical talent to compensate.

    Aoi's MP increased by 20, and her "Magic Power" increased by 5 (now 1,165 and 205). Aoi may have good magical talent, but she's young, so her "Magic Power" will lag behind for a while.

    This is how our skills are:



    'Wolf Ryder Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sword Use16+11Spear Use0+1Polearm Use0+1
    Dodge8+7Parry5+5Block2+8
    Shield Bash0+1Battlefield Perception5+2Muscle Explosion4+1
    Acrobatics8+2Ekrano Style (creator)3

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana0+6Mana Control3+17Mana Recovery10+0
    Mana Efficiency3+7Reduced Mana Cost3+7Mana Overuse Resistance0+4
    Blackout Resistance0+1Fire Magic1+4Earth Magic2+3
    Water Magic4+1Wind Magic1+4Electric Magic6+14
    Light Magic2+13Space Magic3+23Summoning Magic13+27
    Blessing Magic8+22Nature Magic3+18Conjuring Magic0+1
    Spirit Magic0+3Illusion Magic0+2Golemancy0+10
    Redirect Mana (creator)6Sense Soul (creator)6Soul Manipulation (creator)7
    Godly Language30+2

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Dancing0+1Cooking0+4Andraste Language4+6
    Dismantling0+4Piloting0+3Massage0+1
    Oral Technique0+1Mana Genitals (innate)3


    'Info'​
    NameWolf RyderAge16RaceHuman
    HP100MP1735Magic Power725
    Level36

    'Stats'​
    Strength13Endurance16Dexterity12
    Speed14Intelligence21Wisdom16
    Willpower18Charisma13Piety16
    Perception16Sanity12+4

    'Other'​
    Status EffectsNONE
    Titles'Nickname "Good Luck", Blessed by the Goddess of Knowledge, Golemancer, Scholar of Rabanara'
    AffiliationsHelios (Fellowship), Alissa (Blood Slave, Fiancée), Hanafuria (Blood Slave, Fiancée), Roxanne Succubus (Fiancée), Lina (Slave, Fiancée), Ciel (Fiancée), Yulania (Blood Slave)
    Companions'Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Lina, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'



    'Alissa Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sword Use9Bow Use33Parry4
    Dodge3Sense Presence8Hide Presence4
    Enhanced Olfact5Enhanced Hearing3Hawk Eyes5
    Muscle Explosion2Quiet Steps4Quiet Action2
    Enhanced Stamina1Enhanced Reflexes3+4Tracking2

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control7Reduced Mana Cost5+0
    Fire Magic1Earth Magic5+0Water Magic1
    Wind Magic1Light Magic1Space Magic1
    Conjuring Magic1Illusion Magic2+9Fox Transformation (innate)5

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Housework3Cooking4Cleaning2
    Washing5Riding2Oral Technique4
    Pain Resistance2Hand Technique2


    'Info'​

    Name​
    HP100MP1060Magic Power520
    Level39

    'Stats'​
    Strength12Endurance18Dexterity23
    Speed20Intelligence13Wisdom14
    Willpower17Charisma14Piety15
    Perception17Sanity15

    'Other'​
    Status EffectsNONE
    Titles'Blessed by the Goddess of Love'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Master, Fiance), Helios (Fellowship)'
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Lina, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'




    'Roxanne Succubus Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevel
    Dagger Use2

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana3Mana Control30Reduced Mana Cost7+4
    Mana Efficiency9Mana Overuse Resistance1Fire Magic3+27
    Water Magic30Light Magic1Space Magic2+8
    Conjuring Magic5Alchemy5Potion Brewing11
    Poison Brewing2Redirect Mana1

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Housework1Cooking1Cleaning1
    Washing1Riding1


    'Info'​
    NameRoxanne SuccubusAge21RaceSuccubus-Type Demon Race
    HP100MP2770Magic Power1160
    Level39

    'Stats'​
    Strength9Endurance11Dexterity12
    Speed9Intelligence18Wisdom18
    Willpower15Charisma15Piety10
    Perception11Sanity12

    'Other'​
    Status EffectsNONE
    Titles'NONE'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Fiance), Helios (Fellowship)'
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Ciel, Lina, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'




    'Hanafuria Skill
    Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sword Use24Spear Use14Bow Use9
    Two-Handed Sword Use9 Polearm Use6 Dagger Use4
    Shield Bash7 Block10 Parry8
    Dodge5 Tatesomu Style6 Muscle Explosion4
    Battlefield Perception2 Taunt3 Intimidate2
    Enhanced Reflexes2 Enhanced Stamina4 Enhanced Strength2
    Enhanced Endurance4

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1 Mana Control2 Reduced Mana Cost 4+0
    Fire Magic1 Earth Magic1 Water Magic 1+0
    Wind Magic 1+0 Light Magic1 Space Magic1
    Conjuring Magic1 Illusion Magic5

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Housework2 Cooking1 Cleaning1
    Washing1 Riding3 Massage1
    Pain Conversion1 Dismantling4 Oral Technique1
    Fire Breath (innate)5 Summon Wings (innate)4


    'Info'​
    NameHanafuriaAge24RaceFire-Type Dragonkin
    HP100 MP910 Magic Power430
    Level42

    'Stats'​
    Strength19Endurance24Dexterity11
    Speed13 Intelligence12 Wisdom14
    Willpower 19 Charisma 16 Piety 11
    Perception10 Sanity17

    'Other'​
    Status Effects'NONE'
    Titles'One Thousand Strikes'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Master, Fiance), 'Helios (Fellowship)''
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Lina, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'



    'Ciel Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Glaive Use21Sword Use5Parry8
    Dodge7Block6Imperial Hasterrum Style3
    Muscle Explosion2Battlefield Perception1

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana2Mana Control6Reduced Mana Cost5+2
    Mana Efficiency2+4Wind Magic10+20Fire Magic1
    Light Magic27Space Magic3Conjuring Magic1
    Diagnosis7Redirect Mana1

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    First-Aid3Housework3Cooking2
    Cleaning2Washing1Riding1


    'Info'​
    NameCielAge22RaceHuman
    HP100MP1280Magic Power780
    Level39

    'Stats'​
    Strength14Endurance14Dexterity17
    Speed18Intelligence15Wisdom20
    Willpower14CharismaPiety2222
    Perception13Sanity19

    'Other'​
    Status Effects'NONE'
    Titles'NONE'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Fiance), Helios (Fellowship), Templar Knights (Honorary Member), Temple Priestess (Former Member)'
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Lina, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'



    'Lina Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Hammer Use17Axe Use1+9Throw5
    Parry1+9Dodge2+6Block10
    Muscle Explosion2Shield Bash1Battlefield Perception2
    Dwarven Pride Style3Enhanced Speed4+1

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control7Mana Efficiency1
    Fire Magic1Earth Magic1+9Water Magic1
    Wind Magic1+0Light Magic1Cursing Magic8+7
    Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1General Enchanting9
    Magic Tool Carving1

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    General Blacksmithing4Sewing4Housework1
    Cleaning2Washing1Math4
    Riding1Stonebody (innate)5


    'Info'​
    NameLinaAge15RaceDwarf
    HP100MP1205Magic Power530
    Level36

    'Stats'​
    Strength8Endurance8Dexterity13
    Speed12Intelligence16Wisdom13
    Willpower17Charisma11Piety12
    Perception14Sanity14

    'Other'​
    Status Effects'NONE'
    Titles'NONE'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Master, Fiance), 'Helios (Fellowship)'
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Yulania'
    Crimes'NONE'



    'Yulania Skill Report'​

    'Physical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sword
    Use
    8Two-Handed Sword Use10Parry8
    Dodge9Silent Shadow Style4Battlefield Perception5
    Enhanced Reflexes5Sense Presence1Hide Presence4
    Muscle Explosion2Quiet Steps2Quiet Action6

    'Magical'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Sense Mana5Mana Control4Mana Recovery2
    Mana Efficiency8Reduced Mana Cost4Fire Magic1
    Earth Magic1Light Magic5Spirit Magic16
    Illusion Magic10Space Magic6Nature Magic10
    Conjuring Magic1Weaverism24Redirect Mana1+0

    'Miscellaneous'​
    Skill NameLevelSkill NameLevelSkill NameLevel
    Riding5Acting3Dancing2


    'Info'​
    NameYulaniaAge18RaceGolden Elf
    HP100MP1250Magic Power520
    Level44

    'Stats'​
    Strength12Endurance14Dexterity19
    Speed16Intelligence16Wisdom16
    Willpower15Charisma20Piety12
    Perception20Sanity16

    'Other'​
    Status Effects'NONE'
    Titles'NONE'
    Affiliations'Wolf Ryder (Master), 'Helios (Fellowship)'
    Companions'Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Lina'
    Crimes'NONE'


    Soul Info​
    Name:AoiHP:200
    MP1,165MP205
    Strength17Endurance20


    We observe the soldiers while we eat breakfast. The phalanx of Lonlanzas that fought during the night switches with a fresh phalanx. They all move in perfect order like robots, but we notice that the tired personnel seem to have a sway to their gait, giving off a faint impression of a zombie walk.

    A single company of Lonlanzas is enough to cover the entire width of the corridor, but the Holly scouting far ahead has noticed that the tunnel is getting wider, so our advantage will fade as we progress. The Lonlanzas have terrible turning capabilities, so getting flanked is a great concern of ours.

    A General comes to give us the night's report. Three Skirmishers died by being too slow to react, and one unlucky Lonlanza died from a javelin that passed through a small hole in their phalanx. These are simply the expected casualties from attrition.

    Then the General goes down to our hold to refill the mana of our ship. It feels weird to use them like this, but they have huge mana pools, so they'll save us a lot of effort this way.

    Yunia's mood is much better today, but once we finish our meal, she becomes more serious than I've ever seen her.

    "I don't want to treat them like they're just pieces on a board," she firmly states.

    Alissa's tail sways lazily as she says, "I agree. A test of our leadership capabilities should involve our 'Charisma,' and treating the soldiers like disposable tools would give us negative 'Charisma.'"

    "So, should I give a speech, or something?" I ask.

    Yunia smiles subtly and answers, "No, no need for that, but you need to show yourself more to the army. They need to see you lead and fight. Being present along the defensive line will give them a boost in morale, and hearing your voice will set them at ease."

    Alissa reluctantly adds, "Each of us is more powerful than ten of these soldiers combined. We didn't gain all these skills and levels to just sit back and watch them fight, that's the job of the generals, the imperial generals, I mean."

    Lina's Trivia: imperial generals are employed by Lords, and they're trained exclusively in [Battlefield Perception] to become strategists.

    "The Lord is the most powerful unit in the Civil War game, but if you lose it, you lose the game," Lina remarks.

    "He needs a mount, though. Little Wolfy won't stand out among the tall, glowing elves by himself," Hana says with a teasing smile.

    "Maybe I should make you my mount. Tie a seat to your back and ride you naked," I reply.

    "I'd love that," she immediately agrees and laughs out loud.

    "You can ride me, but I need your seed to give me strength," Aoi volunteers with a toothy grin.

    "Don't think that you'll be able to monopolize him," Alissa warns the greedy dragon, and the girls send her their own warnings, too, though some of them weren't sent deliberately.




    I draw my sword as Aoi rears up and point it high into the air along with my three tentacle-wielded weapons. "ANOTHER DAY STARTS, AND THE BATTLE CONTINUES! I STAND WITH YOU, MEN!" I bellow while I add just a hint of [Godly Language] to my words.

    The elves all creepily turn their heads towards me, then they silently raise their weapons in a cheer and then immediately face forward again. Their reaction was mild, but at least they reacted at all, which is evidence that they have some sort of morale, too.

    Aoi spreads her wings and flaps them strongly, gaining a bit of height, then she glides past the company of Lonlanzas, flying low enough to almost touch their pikes, and lands in the middle of the Skirmishers.

    The line of enemies approaches, and they have mages this time, who interrupt our Engineers from collapsing the ground under them.

    "SPLIT!" I yell out an order, and the Skirmishers obey.

    Aoi charges to the left side of their line while fox-Alissa dashes to the right.

    The Skirmishers and Alissa fire their projectiles, making the shields of the enemy become unwieldy to actually use them anymore. We run past the forward enemy line and get behind them, and five orcs break off from it to face me.

    "We've been underestimated, so let's not waste this chance," I comment.

    "Can I eat the mages?" Aoi casually asks. Her mature and deep double voice mismatches with her childish tone.

    "Only after they're all dead."

    "Okay."

    She charges forward, causing the ground to tremble. With her full armor set, she must weigh nearly one tonne, making her comparable to the heaviest cavalry units in the empire. Not only is she heavy, but she can fly, and these monsters didn't anticipate that.

    She flaps her wings, and the gust of sand blinds the orcs temporarily, making it easy to fly over them and land in the middle of the Hobgoblin mages.

    Three of them are immediately squashed by Aoi; one is decapitated by my halberd; another is skewered by my spear; a third gets its head caved in by my mace; and the last one we kill gets its chest caved in by Aoi's ball of water slamming into it.

    I cast [Discharge] at the backs of the orcs in the front line, then Aoi tramples through them, and the Arquirandos let loose.

    An Orc Striker bursts out of the collapsed line, charging at a sluggish Skirmisher like an Olympic sprinter. I reflexively cast [Thunder Bolt] at the monster, causing it to collapse and eat red sand.

    Alissa finishes it off before it can get up, and I nod towards the Skirmisher, who nods back at me.

    I see. They're actually somewhat intelligent.

    We let the Lonlanzas break out of their formation to surround the broken enemies, and they slaughter them to the last monster.

    I raise my bloodied weapons in triumph, and the soldiers mirror my gesture.




    We discover that we can wield the glowing weapons of the elves, and Hana has enough skill to enter the Phalanx, so she acts like one of the nobles and gets a squad for herself. There are a few female elves in the Lonlanzas, so she makes her own women-only squad because why not.

    Hana doesn't know [Grow], so she can't reinforce these weapons or the phalanx with her spells, but she's a fair bit stronger than most of the elves around her, allowing her to compensate with pure "Strength" and "Endurance."

    An elven mage approaches her and holds out a bowl while lowering his head in subservience. She draws a dagger and opens a wound on her wrist, then lets a few drops of her blood fall into the bowl.

    The other elves do the same, and glowing blood mixes with her own. Once the entire company has added their share to it, the elven mage starts whispering a spell. A completely new "flavor" of mana leaves the mage, and it reminds me of Eia. The mage finishes the spell and throws the glowing mixture up into the air, then a sparkly rain of blood falls upon the entire company.

    Hana immediately feels the effect of the spell as the emotions of the soldiers around her start affecting her. She feels their will to fight in her very skin as if she were exposed to the heat of a large bonfire. Her nearly uncontrollable dragon rage is chained to her heart as the spell helps her control herself. This spell is surprisingly similar to [Mask].

    "GROUP!" The company commander gives the order, and Hana's women surround her instinctively.

    "LINE!" Another order comes, and the squads orderly form up into a line without even bumping against each other.

    Even before the commander yells, the squads instinctively huddle up together. "BRACE!" The order comes a second later.

    "PIKE!" They lower their weapons, anchoring them against the floor and the sides of their feet.

    "LOCK!" The large oval shields are turned horizontal, overlapping their tops and bottoms together to make up a solid line of shields. Two lines of shields like this are positioned on top of it, forming a curved shield wall. Vines burst out of the ground and wrap around both the shields and the pikes, locking them in place.

    The orcs charge forward, only to impale themselves on the pikes. Some of the monsters manage to break a few of the needles of the porcupine formation, but Hana yells an order, and new pikes are brought up from the rear, which are promptly used to skewer the surviving monsters.

    "ATTENTION!" Another order comes. The men breathe in and brace themselves. Hana receives her enchanted elven spear from an elf behind her.

    "RELEASE!" The oval shields are turned vertical again.

    "BREEEEAK!"

    The elves roar in a monotone chorus, but Hana's roar drowns them all out, "RAAAAAAAAAGH!" She dashes through her women, then the oval shields are turned sideways, and she bursts out of the line.

    As Aoi retreats from the broken enemy line, Hana and other elves descend upon them, starting a massacre.

    "BACK!" The order comes just as the orcs start to recover, so Hana retreats into the phalanx.

    An orc dashes after her, but a vine wraps around its ankle, making it trip, then multiple pikes stab into its exposed back.

    "URAAAAAAA!" She yells to her women, and they brace around her again.

    "URAAAAA!" They copy her in a monotone yell.

    "Alright, they're learning," Hana comments through [Bind].

    Things are going well, but I know that'll end soon… the enemy has Grim Giants.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

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    Prince PreownedFIN.
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    Noble Kale Daley.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  12. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    The elven Lonlanzas never had a chance to truly test their tactics against the imperial army, but they fought the Grim Giants, and the elves lost, repeatedly.

    Before the Shore of Leaves was established, the elves had to deal with the Grim Giants that came from the Sea of Trees and invaded their High Forest. Hidden inside their ginormous trees, the elves won against the invaders, but once they decided to conquer the wetlands to the south, they had to adapt.

    Grim Giants can't jump because their bones simply can't withstand the impact of their massive forms against the ground, and the elves exploited that. Antano, the elven wetlands, is full of wet, muddy marshes and loose ground, making it easy to trip the giants with the deep mud, then kill them while they're down.

    "That's all well and good, but we don't have the tools to deal with them that way, do we?" I question Lina, and she lowers her head in sadness.

    "No, we don't…" She admits.

    I shake my head with a wry smile and mutter, "That was clearly intentional." And I pat her head. The way she offers her head to me is like a dog presenting its belly, you just can't not pat it when you see it.

    Ciel clears her throat and sends us a jealous look, though I don't know which of us she's actually envious of. And yes, Ciel, I know you're jealous, and no, Ciel, I don't need [Bind] to know that.

    Ciel turns away so that we don't see her blushing and says, "Anyway, we can't recreate the advantageous environment of Antano, but we can still exploit the weakness of the Grim Giants: tripping."

    I intensify the patting as I think about it for a few seconds and say, "We won't be able to use the Engineers because there are even more mages coming along with them."

    "We could make traps that we activate ourselves, like a covered pitfall," Yunia suggests, but then she frowns as she thinks it through. "Ah, no, that kind of trap would be very difficult to place where they can actually be used because we're constantly advancing, not just defending an area."

    "I could explode their brains, but that would leave me completely exhausted very quickly," Roxanne nervously comments, preparing herself for the oncoming teasing.

    "[Explosion] only as a last resort," I calmly tell her, and she nods, a little too emphatically.

    Lazy demon.

    The girls mentally tease her for a second before Hana suggests, "We could always aim for their knees. They aren't wearing armor, right?"

    "Nope. Unfortunately, they're naked," I respond with a wry smile.

    If they at least looked sexy, but no, even the female Grim Giants are ugly.

    "Then we can use the burning oil," Roxanne suggests and adjusts her glasses as she grins evilly.

    "Only if we can hit them before they reach our lines. We do not want a rampaging Grim Giant throwing itself at our soldiers," Yunia replies sternly.

    Suddenly, a silly thought comes to mind, and I immediately suggest it, "Ah! An idea just occurred to me. It's something I've only seen in a movie, though, so I'm not sure how it'll work out in reality."

    "'Movie'? Is that the 'moving picture' thing you mentioned?" Yunia asks.

    I nod and snap my fingers. "Gify, you know what I'm talking about. Play the video."

    "Gih!" She chirps happily, and the eyes of all of the girls lose focus as they see my memories.

    "Is that… a giant turtle?" Yunia questions in disbelief.

    "A monster of metal. Interesting," Lina says with wonder in her tone.

    "Those things look like a Wasps," Alissa comments.

    "They seem stronger than a Wasp, though," Roxanne replies.

    Then they both flinch.

    "I guess not…" Roxanne adds with a wry smile.

    Ciel is as confused and awed as Yunia, then something catches her attention, and she asks, "Are those [Beam]s? Didn't you say that there wasn't magic in your world, Wolfy?"

    "This movie isn't real. It's fiction," I reply, and she hums in understanding.

    The girls all coo in sync when they see what I have in mind.

    "Do we even have a rope strong enough for that?" Yunia asks with a frown of concern.

    "We could ask the elven mages to create one through [Entangling Vines]," I answer.

    "Most of the mages are full on mana right now, so it wouldn't be a waste to have them start working on the rope," Lina adds.

    "[Ritualism] makes things so much easier…" Ciel comments with a sigh.

    "Isn't [Weaverism] similar to that skill? Don't you have a way to link your mana like you did your emotions?" Alissa innocently asks Yunia.

    "[Ritualism] has more in common with [Bind] than [Weaverism]," Yunia replies with a bit of stiffness in her voice, trying to not look offended by the girls' ignorance.

    While they start discussing the differences between both types of magic schools, I observe the new wave approaching the Holly. I see Goblin Skirmishers, Orc Spearmen, Troll Clubbers, and a few Ogre Berserkers.

    Trolls are rapidly regenerating furry monsters that are larger than orcs, but smaller than ogres. They have superhuman strength like ogres and orcs, but they can only use it in short bursts, giving them the ability to do something similar to a cavalry charge.

    All of their melee fighters seem to be wearing pristine metal armor, even the Ogres, making them a force that will definitely last for a while against our Lonlanza phalanx.

    Behind the front line, the Holly spots a large number of Hobgoblin mages wielding large staves with gems on top. These are real mages who must have comparable power to ours, so we might have to endure ranged attacks if we can't deal with them fast enough.

    I see a huge orc wearing gilded armor being conveyed on a palanquin by a group of muscular goblins, and he's surrounded by other orcs wearing armor painted red. This must be an Orc Lord with his Bloodkin.

    A familiar coldness suddenly attacks the Holly, and its wings start to freeze, making it plummet towards the ground.

    Fuck.

    I immediately unsummon it and grit my teeth in anger. "We won't be able to scout as effectively anymore. There are Ice Wraiths protecting one of the waves ahead," I say to the girls.

    "Your plan might be a bit risky if we don't know what they'll be throwing at us," Yunia says.

    We turn to look at Ciel. She's the only one of us who can fly fast enough to safely carry out this plan.

    "I'll do it, just be ready to summon me back if necessary," she agrees and smiles positively.

    "Is there any kind of spell that blocks [Summoning Magic]?" I ask the girls.

    Yunia shakes her head, making her long elven ears bounce, and answers assuredly, "The magic school, specifically? No. Only complete blocks like my [Disruption Field]."

    "It's actually amazing that it even works while you have your [Gate] blocked," Roxanne remarks.

    "I wonder if we could develop a countermeasure to the scrubber by studying [Bind]," I comment.

    Yunia smiles smugly and points out, "The Scrubber has existed for thousands of years; even Emperors have failed at trying to overcome it."

    "Remember that Kabar shopkeeper, the one who sold my magic book?" Alissa asks, and I hum in understanding. "She saw 'something' between us when we communicated through [Bind]. It's much more likely that someone will find a way to block [Bind] than us getting past a scrubber."

    I frown and swallow heavily. "That's actually terrifying to me," I say.

    "Same," Alissa agrees soberly.



    The battles continue with total victories for us for the entire morning. Our Experience steadily increases since the soldiers don't have souls to share it, but there are diminishing returns, meaning that we get less and less from killing the same types of monsters again and again.

    Lina and I leveled up to 37, though, so it's all good. I put all my new points in [Polearm Use] (now 4+1), and I put Lina's in [Axe Use] (now 5+9). When there's no need for actual combat, I'll put everyone's non-essential points in [Mana Recovery]. When I'm not in combat, but the girls are, I'll put my melee points in [Reduced Mana Cost] to improve [Bind]'s summoning efficiency.

    We lose another Skirmisher that we couldn't save from a stray javelin and an Arquirando from a stray spell. The monsters are getting better at protecting their backline, so their mages are staying alive longer, allowing them to start peppering us with spells.

    We manage to have a quiet lunch without getting interrupted, and our mental health improves a bit from a short cuddling session. Aoi uses that time to claim her reward for a good job, so I actually feel refreshed for what comes next: the first Grim Giant.

    Aoi's rumbling doesn't even compare to that of the Giant making its way towards us. The sixteen-meter tall naked woman chuckles softly with a maniacal smile as she stares down at her prey. Unfortunately for her, we aren't porcupines; we're the hunters today.

    The wind elemental carries a large bucket of burning oil up near the ceiling, completely undetected by the monsters. Once the Grim Giant is right under the elemental, it drops down towards her, then throws the bucket before any of the monsters even notice that something is happening.

    The oil hits the Giant right on its head, completely covering her upper body in it.

    "Fire," I calmly order, and the Arquirandos launch their flaming arrows. Grim Giants normally don't care about small arrows, but this time, I swear I can see fear in her eyes as she observes the flaming dots coming towards her with a blank expression on her face. A sixteen-meter tall pyre is lit

    The Giant immediately starts thrashing and roaring, "UUOOOOOO! UAAAAAH!" Her roars of rage quickly turn to agony as the pain starts to register in her slow brain.

    Monsters are crushed and squashed by the Giant's panicked flailing, becoming nothing more than mounds of bloody flesh and warped metal.

    Their mages start to cast [Torrent] and [Water Wall] to put out the fire, but we won't let them succeed.

    Without any organized ranged attacks to oppose them, Ciel, Hana, and Lina riding Aoi land unscathed in the middle of the mages, then they start butchering the distracted monsters.

    The edges of the enemy line survive, and instead of trying to save their mages, they decide to continue on in formation towards our company of Lonlanzas as a Hail Mary.

    "Fire is perfect for this situation if we can neutralize their mages," Yunia comments and squeezes my hand encouragingly.

    "Indeed," I agree, then I finish the chocolate bar I was eating, and we get up.

    I stand at the bow of our ship with Roxanne, and I give the signal, then the Elementalists on our deck start charging their spells along with us.

    Alissa raises the ship, then charges us at the female Grim Giant and activates [Wind Shield] just as we bump into her.

    The Giant falls backward and hits her head against the stone floor underneath the sand, cracking both it and her own skull.

    Alissa turns the ship sideways, and we release our spells. The Elementalists, Yunia, and I each fire off the biggest [Earth Bullet] we can, and Roxanne launches a battering-ram-sized [Ice Lance].

    We hear a loud crunching noise when this salvo of spells hits the Giant's forehead, then her limbs tense up in a weird posture due to the fencing response.

    Alissa turns the ship around, and we hide back behind the troops again before a stray spell can hit us.

    "That was a bit lucky," I say.

    "Indeed. The next one might not die so quickly," Yunia comments.

    The Giant doesn't get up again, burning to death in less than a minute, likely suffocated by the fumes. Its brain controls its regeneration unconsciously, like a heartbeat, but the regeneration starts around the heart, so it dies if either organ is damaged too much.

    The worst part is that the smell of burning Giant makes me feel hungry and disgusted at the same time.



    The next Grim Giant takes a bit more of a pounding, but it dies the same way as its predecessor.

    I notice that an Ice Wraith is coming closer as the next Holly I send out to scout gets attacked before it can even see the Orc Lord's army approaching.

    The next waves don't have Grim Giants, so we take care of them as usual. Their Troll Clubbers annoy us a little by focusing on destroying our pikes, but an accurate salvo of fire arrows puts them to rest.

    Another two Grim Giants come one after the other, and they're taken care of in the same way as the last two, though fighting them is quickly draining away our reserves of mana.

    I have four whole Grim Giant corpses in my "Items" along with a small army of assorted monsters. We can't even exchange this huge number of corpses for money since they'd want explanations about how I got them and how the hell would I be able to carry so many. At least our supply of orc bacon is skyrocketing, though butchering orcs is a rather disturbing experience.

    The Giants don't appear again, and time for our bath arrives. We don't have a lot of time until the next wave, so we have to hurry. Though, it's a bit annoying to take a bath only to get in our armor again right after and fight.

    Ciel has been working hard today, so I think she deserves to get her ass cheeks clapped.

    After Alissa pours water over Ciel's head to wash away the soap, she stands up, and I grab a handful of that ass, then I soften my grip because she needs pampering, not snu snu.

    I kiss her cheeks and she smiles adorably. I hug her from behind and grope her front, burying my cock in between her cheeks and my hands on her tits.

    She moans softly but doesn't say anything. I don't even need to ask, I just need to delve a bit into our [Bind] to get a feel for what she wants.

    Alissa pulls Ciel's silky black hair to the side so that I don't get a mouthful of it, and I start nibbling on the chocolate snack in front of me.

    I start with her earlobes, sucking on the soft flesh like Alissa sucks on my balls. Ciel giggles gently and clenches her ass cheeks, grabbing my shaft. She really wants anal today.

    I produce suckers on my palm to suck on her large, dark nipples, and she whispers a gentle moan. She reaches for my head and runs her fingers through my hair, massaging my scalp like a cat kneading a breast.

    I elongate and bend my dick so that it touches both her asshole and pussy lips at the same time, then I start moving my hips. Alissa drizzles scented oil across Ciel's lower back, and it runs down between her cheeks, lubricating my entire shaft as I move.

    I release her earlobe and start kissing her neck repeatedly. She releases my head and grabs my hands, making them sink deeper into her Celestial Tits.

    I continue down to her back, but I extend my cock to keep it rubbing against her. She doesn't know what I'm doing with it and doesn't want to know, she just knows that she's enjoying it.

    I release her breasts, and she lets my hands go, but I keep a sucker on her nipples. Then she grabs the suckers and starts massaging her breasts herself. I lower myself down to her ass and remove my cock to begin the second phase.

    I spread her cheeks apart, exposing her black flower to me. She bends over for me, then I lick my tight cock-sleeve, and I feel it tremble with pleasure.

    I try to force my tongue in, but her ass muscles are strong, and they prevent me from penetrating her. I've been loosening them with my dragonator for a while, but I guess that also made them stronger.

    I reach over to her front and pinch her clit while I force my tongue in, and the momentary loosening from the stimulation is enough to let me slip it inside her.

    "Ahn~…" She moans delightfully, making my cock twitch with excitement.

    Alissa's [Oral Technique] floods through [Bind], turning me into an expert ass eater. The scented oil tastes slightly sweet, making it even more pleasant to eat her out.

    I release her clit and gently rub her pussy lips with my finger, knocking on the door to get her ready to play.

    Her warm and tight asshole quivers, tightening around my tongue and causing a wonderful feeling of pressure. If only that were my dick inside it instead.

    Her messy kiss with Lina makes lewd sounds as she starts to lose herself in the pleasure to kiss her properly. Both of them imagine my cock in their mouths as they kiss, and they play with each others' tongues as if they were asking for my cum.

    Precum drips out of my cock like drool from a hungry wolf, so I stop eating her out and stand up, then I brush her asshole with the tip of my cock.

    I prepare my soul to rub against her insides, and Alissa drizzles a little more of the scented oil on us, then she spreads it sensually over our bodies, making us moan as she teases us. She gets a bit excited from touching my soul, so she immediately starts touching herself as she watches us.

    I hug Ciel's body and whisper with a husky tone in her ear, "I'm coming in." Then I suck on her earlobe again and thrust in, interrupting their kiss.

    "Hngh…! Ahn…" She grunts, then moans in pleasure. Her insides tingle softly with pain, but the satisfaction of being penetrated and stretched overpowers that.

    Heavenly Sounds fill the deck as I slide in and out with ease even though she's as tight as Lina's pussy. Elven sex products are unmatched.

    I hug her body, pinning her arms to her sides, then I plant my hands where they belong, squishing those damn huge tits!

    "Ah…! Ah…! Ah…!" She squeaks with each thrust as I slap my hips against her ass. It's almost like I'm spanking her with my body.

    There's just something about Ciel that makes me want to squeeze her with a hug, and it's not because of her "assets." I just want to show her my love, roughly and violently.

    I contain the stirring dragon inside me and slow down my pounding, allowing Lina to cup my balls and massage them, just like Alissa taught her to.

    A moan escapes my mouth, and I instantly nut inside Ciel.

    Oops… well, we have more lube, now.

    Lina's delicate little fingers are a true delight. Her diligence and attention to Alissa's teachings make her very good at massaging something so sensitive as my family jewels. More impressively, she's multitasking, massaging my balls with one hand, and fingerbanging Ciel with the other. She expertly moves her thumb within Ciel's pussy and uses it to pinch her clit against her index finger.

    Ciel's legs buckle, and I hold her up with my own strength, then my cum trickles down her leg, and Aoi sneakily laps it up.

    I enter a trance as I clap against her cheeks repeatedly, and the slapping echoes through the entire corridor. The glowing elves don't give a single fuck about this, just silently continuing on with their unending march forward.

    I let loose and cum inside her again, and again, and again. Her juices mix with the cum dripping from her ass, enhancing the flavor of Aoi's meal.

    Lina suddenly bites the sucker, and Ciel feels it through her nipple. We both groan as she shares her feelings with me, making me cum yet again.

    Ah… sweet, sweet release.

    I stop moving, but I remain buried deep inside her, and Alissa starts sucking on my balls. This time, I'm the one who cums first, which then makes Ciel orgasm again through [Bind].

    The fire burning inside my heart quickly dies down, and I pull my cock from her ass. My dragonator is dripping with a mixture of our juices, so I let Aoi clean things up, and she wrings one last orgasm out of us.

    I sink into the water and pull Roxanne onto my lap. The tension from the constant combat is getting to me, too, so the dragon in me just lazily plays about with his toys for the rest of our bath.



    We don't have enough time to prepare a full-course meal, so we just fry strips of orc bacon to put in a sandwich and pull out the leftovers again. After eating so much Dragolite with the Chimeras, orc meat is very refreshing.

    Then we hurriedly clean up and armor ourselves again. There are two Grim Giants coming at the same time, so we'll have to change our strategy a little.

    Once they get within firing range, we open up with multiple volleys of arrows to little effect. The Giants ignore the arrows, the warriors hide behind their shields, the Goblin Skirmishers hide behind the warriors, and the mages have elemental Spirits, like Roxanne's [Water Spirit], that can use [Water Wall] or other wall-type spells that protect them from projectiles.

    Our Skirmishers continue the attack, but the enemy mages and Goblin Skirmishers return fire, killing ten of ours, so I order them to retreat.

    The ceiling is high enough now that we can lob arrows at them, so we do just that.

    "One full volley of [Charge]d arrows," I order, which the commander relays to the Arquirandos through yelling, then I tell Alissa through [Bind], "Coordinate another attack with the Skirmishers."

    The first line of Arquirandos fire their arrows, then pass the enchanted bows to the next line. They immediately draw and fire, too, then they pass it on to the next line behind them, and these steps repeat until the bows reach the final line of soldiers.

    The arrows pierce into the enemy shields, getting stuck in them, and a second later, they release [Discharge], disrupting the enemy line.

    The Skirmishers get within firing range at the same time.

    "LOOSE" Alissa yells, which the other commanders repeat. Nearly two hundred men launch projectiles at the monsters, and a wave of grunts of pain resounds through the corridor.

    Nearly the entire front line of orcs and Living Armors is injured by the attack, but their comrades don't stop and simply trample over them, continuing their advance.

    The wind elemental carrying the oil is spotted by a tough-looking goblin Skirmisher, then they start firing arrows at it. The elemental immediately returns to not risk wasting the oil.

    We kill another line of warriors with enchanted arrows, and the enemy mages start casting wall-type spells to protect them.

    "Continuous volley, staggered [Charge]," I order.

    They fire a few lines of normal arrows, then suddenly switch to [Charge]d arrows. The enemy mages dismiss the defensive spells once they see the normal arrows flying at them, but then they scramble to recast them when a surprise volley of enchanted arrows is unleashed.

    "Ciel," I call for her attention. She turns towards me and nods stoically.

    She readies her shield and casts [Fly], then she darts towards the first Grim Giant with a wind elemental following behind her. The enemy mages are too preoccupied with the arrows to stop her, so this is the perfect opportunity to carry out our plan.

    She activates her [Wind Shield], which deflects a few stray arrows and spells. The Giant notices her and tries to bat her away like one would to a flea.

    She casts [Beam] at his hand and he winces, stopping his attack, then she flies past him, and the wind elemental throws the bucket of oil at his face.

    Ciel turns around and throws an instant [Fireball] at the Giant, lighting him on fire.

    "NOOOOOOOOOO…!" The Giant lets out a deafening roar and thrashes with frightening speed, loudly stomping the ground and making the entire battlefield tremble.

    Ciel grits her teeth in pain, then [Battlefield Perception] triggers. Her [Fly] isn't fast enough, and the Giant's hand strikes her at the same time that I summon her back to me.

    She appears on the deck feeling a little dizzy, then the pain hits her, and she falls to her knees. I immediately kneel beside her and cast the strongest [Heal] I can without charging. She gasps and groans, even dizzier than before, but her HP goes back up to 100, so she'll be fine.

    I sigh and carefully help her sit down. I notice that her helmet and chest piece both have long cracks from the impact.

    That was close. A broken neck could've meant instant death.

    "Wolf…" Yunia calls my attention sternly.

    I grit my teeth and look up towards the bridge. "Ram the burning Giant! PREPARE TO ATTACK!" I order the golems.

    The Elementalists charge their spells, and all three companies of Arquirandos fire their salvos to give us cover.

    The second Giant protects its face from the arrows, and the enemy advance stops.

    The thrashing Giant blindly dashes towards us, driven insane from the pain. Our ship collides with his face, then he crashes onto the ground, creating a small cloud of dust that blinds the mages around it.

    The General on our deck clears away the dust for us, allowing the Elementalists to let loose.

    "MAAAAAA!" The second Giant bellows as it rushes towards us. He has decided to ignore the enchanted arrows to save his friend.

    "F-fu… LINA!" I scream, nearly losing my composure at the frightening sight of the angry Grim Giant charging at us. "Calm down," I tell myself with [Godly Language].

    We prepared for this, we'll be fine.

    Lina throws a few large glass flasks, and Roxanne blows them up, creating a cloud of Rox's Sneeze-'n-Wheeze a second before the Giant reaches us.

    Two gigantic hands try to crush our ship, but they're blocked by the [Wind Shield]s. After a moment of fear, the Giant suddenly sneezes, creating a spray of spit and snot that fortunately also gets blocked by the ship's enchantment.

    The hands stop trying to crush us, and our ship is allowed to safely fly away. Lina throws a few more flasks, these ones with oil inside them, and we light the second Giant on fire.

    Aoi and Hana break through the broken line of warriors and fly straight at the mages before they can extinguish the flames. Fox-Alissa flanks the line with the Generals, and they strike the monsters from rear, easily cutting their way through the thin line of enemy warriors protecting their backs. Ciel recovers and casts [Beam], picking off the more dangerous enemies from above alongside Roxanne. The Lonlanza nobles burst out of the phalanx and quickly butcher the survivors.

    The cleanup has begun.



    After another overwhelming victory, I lower the ship in front of the Lonlanzas and make my way up onto the prow.

    "VICTORY!" I yell, infusing my voice with just a bit of [Godly Language].

    "VICTORY!" The men repeat, making me grin. The booming cheer of hundreds of men and women is a beautiful thing, and it makes the dragon inside me sway its tail in satisfaction.

    The euphoria quickly fades as the Holly fails to find the next wave.

    Something's wrong.

    There's nothing for us to do but wait on our ship and continue moving forward. This gives us some time to rest, but it also makes us feel tense since we don't know what's coming.

    Then the Holly is attacked by an Ice Wraith well before it can find anything.

    I send it out to scout again and again along with other summons, but they all get found out and eliminated. This continues well into the night, though it's always dark here, so we wouldn't know that if I didn't have a watch.

    Getting impatient and paranoid, I decide to send Hana and Ciel to scout ahead with two Ice Wraiths, a Holly, and an assortment of elementals to assist them. They quickly encounter over a dozen enemy Wraiths, so their scouting gets delayed, but they eventually pierce through the scout killers and find the Orc Lord.

    Their army has increased, by a lot, and the Grim Giants are now wearing armor.

    They launch spells towards the girls, so I summon them back, and we prepare for the next battle.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2020
  13. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    "Wolfy, we have a problem," Yunia affirms sternly.

    I eat another piece of chocolate. It's hazelnut with raisins, my favorite combination. It's just above peanut chocolate, but we don't have peanuts, so that's something we'll have to watch out for while buying food.

    I sigh and sink into my seat. "Just one?" I ask, almost whimpering.

    "Well… no, we have more than just one problem…" She says, her voice losing strength with each word.

    "So… how fucked are we?" Hana asks with a grin, trying to brighten the mood just a bit.

    "Very fucked," Yunia answers with a flat tone and sighs, then she hardens her expression again and continues, "Our first problem is that the Giants seem to be wearing some sort of stone armor, making fire much less effective against them."

    "I saw holes for the nose and eyes, so Rox's Sneeze-'n-Wheeze should still work," I comment.

    "And the oil could still reach their skin if we manage to hit those holes," Alissa adds.

    "It would just be easier to use my Sneeze gas, instead. We'll have to use Wolfy's second plan," Roxanne argues back.

    Alissa thinks for a moment, then nods in agreement, and at least one of our problems is addressed.

    We turn to Yunia again, and she continues, "Our second problem is that their army seems to be larger than ours, so they must be collecting monsters from the other waves, which brings us to our third problem: their numbers are constantly increasing.

    "Then there's our fourth problem: they're not advancing, so we have to meet them in the field before their numbers grow too large, which puts us at a disadvantage since the Lonlanzas need time to set up their lines, making them terrible on the offensive. Our fifth problem is that the corridor is so wide where they are now that we might not be able to block it off with all of our companies combined, allowing them to wrap around our flanks with their superior numbers."

    "Can't we build walls at our flanks to protect ourselves?" I ask.

    She gently shakes her head. "We don't have a lot of Engineers, and they have a lot more mages than we do, making it possible for them to dispel whatever we build. To make more permanent fortifications, we'd have to conjure them, which would take a lot of time that we simply don't have."

    "What about forming a levy with the commoners?" Ciel asks.

    Yunia shrugs. "We could try, but I have no idea if they'd accept it."

    "They'd die in droves if they met an elite enemy unit, so we'll have to be very careful with how we use them," I state, and Yunia agrees wholeheartedly.

    "Our sixth problem is that the Orc Lord is intelligent, so we can expect a tough battle," Alissa adds.

    "And our seventh problem is that we can't starve them out because their mages should be able to conjure food, or even just cannibalize their coming waves," Roxanne contributes.

    We all go silent for a moment, trying to think of a safe way out of this pickle we find ourselves in.

    Ciel fought for her entire life behind the walls of a town, so her first thought relates to that. "Couldn't we just wait back here and build up our defenses?" She asks.

    "If they gather enough Grim Giants, then no matter what we build, it just won't be enough," Yunia replies, and Ciel frowns.

    The elves didn't conquer the marshes of Antano for a long while specifically because the Giants can easily destroy any defense besides the ginormous trees of the High Forest.

    I cross my arms and lean back in my chair with a wry smile as I say, "So, we're being forced to fight in a disadvantageous position… I once heard that that's exactly how you lose a battle."

    "Precisely," Yunia agrees without a hint of mirth in her tone.

    The tiredness from fighting all day suddenly hits me, and I feel my eyes get heavier. It's well past bed-time, and I didn't even have that much fun today. The dragon, the kid, and even the pervert inside me are all complaining at once.

    I stare up at the dark ceiling, and a faint glimmer reflects off the red sand from the slowly pulsating light of the glowing elves. An idea begins to form inside my mind, and all the girls slowly look up with me as realization seeps through [Bind].

    Yunia follows our gaze, then she smiles in satisfaction. "It's dangerous, but I'm certain it'll work."



    We go to sleep with our armor off so that we'll be completely rested for tomorrow's big battle.



    Today is the 26th.

    Alissa wakes me up lovingly, and I release all the tension from yesterday down her throat, repeatedly.

    We [Clean] our mouths, then I put a small piece of chocolate on my tongue and pull her in for a morning kiss. We wrestle for control of the candy as it quickly melts in our mouths, giving our kiss the flavor of Heavenly Chocolate.

    The idea of dripping molten chocolate onto her pussy and eating her out reinvigorates me and awakens the dragon between my legs.

    I savor her lips and push her away, then I look around me at all the delicious bodies slowly stirring awake. "Just a quickie with everyone wouldn't hurt, right?" I ask, and Alissa's tail starts wagging.

    The tentacle-dick monster makes a brief reappearance.



    Alissa leveled up to 40. Her [Bow Use], [Dodge], and [Fox Transformation] increased by 1 (now 34, 4, and 6). I'll put her extra point and two more from [Reduced Mana Cost] into [Mana Efficiency] to balance her magic a bit more.

    Roxanne leveled up to 40. Her [Mana Control], [Fire Magic], [Space Magic], and [Alchemy] increased by 1 (now 31, 3+28, 2+9, and 6). I remove an unnecessary point from both [Fire Magic] and [Alchemy] and put them in [Reduced Mana Cost] (now 9+4) for a more mana-efficient [Explosion].

    Ciel leveled up to 40. Her [Glaive Use] and [Wind Magic] increased by 2 (now 23 and 10+22), and her [Parry] increased by 1 (now 9). Her last extra point will be put in [Mana Efficiency] (now 3+4) for a more mana-efficient [Fly].



    I apply not-Nutella to my bread and moan as I take a bite. The chocolate Nour brought wasn't as delicious as this, so I'm certain that we'll be able to make a profit out of commercializing my creations.

    Ciel hesitantly puts the not-Nutella on her second slice of bread and takes a bite. She squeaks in a low tone and sighs in satisfaction.

    "Are both of you chocolate-sexual?" Alissa asks with a raised eyebrow.

    "That… doesn't even make sense," Ciel shyly states while avoiding looking her in the eye.

    Alissa smiles smugly, mimicking Yunia's smugness. "Just take a look in Wolfy's mind, I'm sure you'll find your answer there."

    "Considering that I was just thinking about drizzling hot chocolate onto Alissa's pussy, perhaps you're right," I say to Alissa with a wry smile.

    Alissa glances at Ciel, radiating smugness, and my chocolate angel blocks out our voices from her mind so that our teasing won't ruin the pleasure she gets from her meal.



    The elves don't need sleep, so we did make some progress over the "night," but there are still a few hours until we reach the Orc Lord's army.

    Just as we begin cleaning up after breakfast, Yunia calls our attention, so we don't even get up out of our seats and simply wait for her to start.

    She sternly looks at each of us, wiping away the levity of our breakfast, then she clears her throat and starts, "I'm not a general, but we still need to fulfill the job of one, so we need to start discussing strategies. We also need to have plans ready for all kinds of scenarios so that we can react immediately" -she turns to look at Lina- "and it's best that we write it all down so that we can study them later."

    Lina nods, making her cute bangs sway, and wordlessly pulls out a few sheets of paper and a magic pen.



    Just when I think that we're finally finishing up, Yunia turns to me and throws me a bomb, "Wolfy, there's something you must do. We need to get the levy ready to defend themselves."

    I groan internally.

    "So, now I give them a speech?" I ask wryly, holding back my reluctance because this is important.

    Her long elven ears twitch as she subtly cringes. "I… I guess so. I was going to suggest just talking to them, but you can appeal to their emotions more effectively with a well-written speech."

    I laugh nervously. While letting out adrenaline-fueled cheers and cries during battle is one thing, giving an actual speech to an audience is something else entirely.

    "I'd better put my points in [Acting], then," I say and use [Godly Language] to calm myself down.



    Before talking to the commoners, we assemble the Generals to have a talk with them. They ignore the girls when they speak of anything not related to battle, greatly irking Yunia, so it seems that I'm the only one who can actually talk to them. Their presence is rather imposing, so I keep the girls behind me for emotional support.

    It's a bit hard to hide the fact that Alissa, Roxanne, Hana, and Lina aren't elves, so I think they have some sort of mental block that makes them think we're all "kin." Either that or they're just using that word to refer to any humanoid.

    Since they don't care about our race, I take off my helmet and look them in the eye. They take off their helmets, too, revealing a line of supermodels.

    Stupid sexy elves.

    I clear my throat and mutter another calming order to myself with [Godly Language], then I activate the dragon within me and make a stern expression.

    "Have you all determined my worth and that of my harem?" I ask them in Ingua.

    "No," the First General answers in his usual flat tone.

    "Why?"

    "You haven't struggled enough."

    "Defeat the Orc Lord and we'll consider you worthy," the Second declares.

    I was expecting this, so I continue without flinching. "And what will happen once you deem us worthy?" I ask, still stern and calm.

    "You'll have our loyalty," the Third responds.

    "I see…" I mutter and narrow my eyes.

    That isn't exactly reassuring since we know even less about them than we did about the Chimeras, and we were still betrayed in the end.

    "Why do you want to go forward?" I ask the one million dollar question.

    "Because we must," the Fourth immediately answers.

    Okay… that didn't go how we thought it would.

    "And why must you?" I press further.

    "It's our purpose," the Second answers.

    "And so it is yours," the First adds. I feel a hint of emotion in his voice that reminds me of Yunia's smugness. I guess that's just the elven standard.

    "I guess 'moving forward' is a not so subtle reference to the purpose of all humanoids that was given to us by the God of Creation," Ciel wryly says.

    "And 'not one step back' is a reference to elven stubbornness," Yunia dryly adds.

    Oh, right, there's something else we have to ask them about.

    "Why can't you take even 'one step back'?" I continue my questioning.

    "We accept no less from you," the First responds, emotionless.

    I frown and look back at the girls. "So it's a restriction for us instead of being a specific limitation they have," I remark in Andraste.

    Roxanne anxiously adjusts her glasses as an idea comes to her. "Can we convince them that retreating wouldn't be taking 'a step back'?" She asks.

    "Maybe…" Yunia mutters in pondering.

    I try to question them using hypothetical scenarios, but they never give me a concrete answer, only a "maybe," so I drop that matter for now.

    "We'll just have to wait until we actually need it," I say to the girls and shake my head, then I switch to Ingua again and turn back to the Generals. "We wish to ask the commoners to join the battle to come. What's your opinion on this matter?"

    "They're not soldiers," Number Two answers. They don't have names, so I'll just refer to them with whatever I feel like.

    "They don't owe you their lives," Number Three adds.

    "Yes, but if we want to continue moving forward, we need every able-bodied person to fight," I insist.

    "You're allowed to ask," Number Two says.

    "But not to demand," Number Three finishes.

    They sound eerily similar to the doll golems with their split phrases.

    I glance back at the girls, but they don't have anything else to add, so I finish the conversation. "Very well… that's all we had to ask."

    "Bring us victory," Number One states, and I stiffly nod.

    "Not one step back!" The Generals suddenly yell in unison, nearly making me flinch.



    While we prepare my speech, I test using a small amount of [Godly Language] on Alissa, and it really does have an effect on her. Instead of it compelling her to follow whatever I say, it has a more subtle effect, either making me more believable or making her more agreeable to my suggestions. A "sniffer" might notice something wrong with my voice, but it's unlikely that they'll be able to understand what exactly I'm doing unless I use it at full power.

    Yunia seems very interested in my tests. Her beautiful face gets really close to my neck to inspect my mana, and she says, "We knew that imperials used [Godly Language] to inspire their troops, but we never imagined that it'd be so simple."

    I kiss the top of her head, making her smile wryly, and ask, "How much do you know about this skill?"

    She rests her head against my chest, making Test Subject 01 a bit jealous. "Very little. I was taught how to resist it, though."

    I wish that I could play with her drills, but her hair is tightly tied up into a bun, so I play with her flexible ears, instead. "How does that work? It's extremely easy to understand the principles of [Godly Language] if you can sense the mana vortexes that I create."

    "Not from a distance. Shout with [Godly Language] from far enough away, and not even a sniffer would be able to detect the vortex."

    "Ooh… so I guess using it for speeches is pretty safe, then."

    "Indeed."



    We bring all the commoners and soldiers in front of the ship, and we stop our march for a short while.

    I climb up onto the prow and look down on at least a thousand stupid sexy elves who are staring up at me intensely, patiently waiting for what I have to say. No pressure.

    I calm my heart once again and force my face to adopt a stern and confident expression like a mask, concealing my real feelings.

    Lina hands me a small smoky gem, then I press it against my neck, feed it some mana, and start, "Fellow kin!" -[Project Voice] makes my voice boom through the crowd, but it doesn't deafen the people close to the front, maintaining a steady and loud volume over the entire area it fills- "I have stopped our constant advance and gathered you all here to report what awaits us ahead: monsters, hundreds upon hundreds of monsters! They number more than us, and they even have six armored Giants ready to break our lines…!"

    I make a dramatic pause to give the crowd time to process what I'm saying. A few eyebrows knit in worry, so I guess I'm on the right path.

    I use a brighter tone to lift their "spirits," heh. "But our strength isn't in our numbers. My harem and I are immensely powerful, the Generals can kill any of the monsters in single combat, and the soldiers are extremely competent, as we've repeatedly shown with our overwhelming victories thus far. None of the enemies that we've faced have even made our army break a sweat!"

    The girls cheer, and the soldiers follow, with some of the commoners joining in by raising their fists into the air.

    I let my tone go serious and dark. "Unfortunately, that won't be enough against the massive army ahead of us. Even if we defeat them, the losses that we might suffer would certainly spell the end of our march forward…"

    The excitement immediately dies, and the faces of the soldiers become grim and deeply concerned. I basically just said that most of them are going to die.

    I go back to being energetic again. "But this isn't the end! We still have a choice, a chance, an opportunity to seize an overwhelming victory. That is, we must all fight together! Every single person who can hold a spear and a shield should fight! Every person who can carry a burden should aid the soldiers! Every person who can move should participate in the battle and share in the struggle."

    The soldiers seem to gain stern expressions in approval of my words while the commoners show concern. It's time to give them a bit of motivation.

    I gesticulate wildly with my hands, putting all the energy that I can into my tone, but I don't shout, yet. "If humanoids wish to live, then they're forced to kill. As long as there are monsters roaming this realm, civilization will be forced to fight to protect their existence in the same way that the individual is forced to protect their life."

    The crowd starts to become agitated, as if every sentence I impart to them is breathing new life into their bodies.

    "One is either the hammer or the anvil, the vine or the tree, the bark or the weapon. What you are will be for you to decide, for you have given me no vow, and I cannot force you to make a choice. I only ask that you take my words into your heart and think deeply about what role you should take."

    Their faces go from emotionless to hopeful and proud as they start to yell and cheer in response to my words.

    "The survivors of this battle should be able to look back with pride upon this day, the day on which a great army affirmed the elven unity. May every elf realize the importance of the coming battle, assess it, and then bow their heads in reverence before the will of the Gods who have brought us here for a reason: to show our worth!"

    The soldiers cheer and roar along with Hana, showing their pride as warriors and in the vows they gave to sacrifice their lives to further the goals of their Generals. They may not be able to fully understand my words, but they understood my intentions and the emotions I wanted to convey.

    The commoners seem to have finally awoken from zombies into actual living beings. They murmur and discuss among themselves while the younger ones act more energetically, sounding eager to fight.

    I let them talk for half a minute, then Yunia says that it's time to really turn up the hype.

    "So tell me, what role will you take?" I ask and wait a few seconds to catch their attention again. The young men start to cheer, and I gradually increase the volume of my voice as I yell, "What are you?! The hammer, the anvil, the vine, the tree, the bark, or the weapon?! WHAT ROLE WILL YOU TAKE?! ARE YOU GOING TO FIGHT?!"

    "Yes!" The men cheer, drowning out even Hana.

    I draw my sword and raise it high into the air. "I DIDN'T HEAR YOU, ARE YOU GOING TO FIGHT?!"

    "YEEEEES!"

    "URAAA!" Hana lets out a war cry.

    "URAAAAAA!" The crowd cheers, and their war cry resounds through the tunnel.

    I catch my breath and smile in triumph, then I look towards Number One, and he silently nods at me.



    We start organizing the hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers. Those with magical prowess aid the Elementalists in producing spears and shields nonstop or get taught first-aid by the healers; the young and strong are equipped with these new weapons to fight, and they're taught by Hana how to make a crude shield wall; the old will hold the pikes at the back of the Lonlanza formation; and the ones who can't move help sew thick padded armor to protect the militia.

    We can't really help them build anything since they can only conjure that same glowing matter that their bodies are made of. They're doing well on their own, though, and we wouldn't be able to help much, anyway.

    We train the non-warrior nobles to help with organization, speeding things up, then we continue our march, killing a few Ice Wraiths along the way.

    At 11 AM, we stop our advance so that the army can rest, and we have an early lunch. After that, we finally reach the Orc Lord's army, apparently interrupting their meal. Forcing them to fight while they're hungry is just one small advantage that we need to take to shift the odds in our favor.

    The first thing we see are hundreds upon hundreds of small dots of light from their torches and an assortment of crude light spells. Monsters don't know [Spirit Light], and they hate [Light Magic], but they've easily developed their own version of that spell that doesn't include any Holy/Godly influence.

    Then we see six hulking masses rapidly grow within the army as the Grim Giants rise to their feet, each reaching a height of up to twenty meters. Their bodies are thicker than the usual Grim Giant due to the stone armor they're wearing.

    I use a Holly to take a closer look and notice that their armor seems rather odd. It's mostly orange and black with hints of green and yellow here and there, and its surface is very rough, giving it a crude appearance.

    "They tried to conjure bronze, but their mages are so bad that they only managed to conjure it in mineral form," Lina says as she observes them through my Holly.

    Yunia blinks repeatedly in confusion. "Why not just conjure iron, then?" She asks.

    Lina shrugs. "Monsters are weird. The ones near Mountainhome like bronze, for some reason."

    "WOOOOO…!" The Giants suddenly roar in anger, slightly hurting Alissa's ears, then the monsters all start to yell and taunt at us.

    I climb up onto the prow and apply a fair amount of [Godly Language] to my voice as I yell, "STEADY, MEN! HAVE FAITH IN THE GODS, AND WE'LL CRUSH THEM!"

    "URAA! URAA! URAA!" Our army starts to chant in response.

    We're so far from each other that the taunting dies down on both sides long before we can even see each other.



    The monsters might try to harass us before we can get in position, so the girls and I get ready to fight, and we make sure that the army marches in formation.

    I split a large chocolate bar between us as emergency rations. The battle might last a while, and chocolate will be the perfect energizer for us.

    Our army slowly approaches the lights shining ahead, and the small dots gradually become larger, allowing us to discern more details and identify their units.

    Goblins, Living Armors, Spriggans, Orcs, Hobgoblins, Trolls, Ogres, and Grim Giants. Those are the enemies that we'll have to fight, and they certainly outnumber us, even with the militia.

    But fuck them. We'll show you what we can do, Arreira.

    A commotion stirs among the monsters, and both Trolls and Goblins break out of their line.

    They're coming to harass us, initiating the first phase of this battle.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  14. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    The constant beat of the drums echoes through the corridor along with the footsteps of more than a thousand soldiers. The march of the Lonlanzas is locked in step with the beat, creating a low rumbling sound, but the militia just ignores the drums, adding a rustling distortion to the mix as their steps fall at random times.

    Gradually, the taunting of the monsters rises in volume as they begin to notice our approach. Our own soldiers psych themselves up and taunt right back at them, though the war cries of the elves sound rather soft and pleasant instead of threatening. I don't let them roar too much just yet; they won't be part of the second phase, so they should conserve their energy for just a little longer.

    The four companies of Lonlanzas march in a perfect line at the front of our army; the militia is split between each flank of the Lonlanzas in a disorganized column, blocking both sides of the corridor; our ship follows close behind the center of the Lonlanzas for moral support; the Engineers wait on our ship for when they'll be needed; the three companies of Arquirandos follow behind us; the Elementalists are behind them, too low on mana to contribute to the opening moves of the battle; and the commoners not fit for battle stay far behind, safe from any stray ranged attacks.

    The middle of the Lonlanzas orderly opens up, and our Skirmishers pour out, led by Alissa mounted on Aoi. She strongly dislikes her current role, but it's inevitable since she's the perfect choice for leading our Skirmishers. I took her extra points in magic out and put all eleven points in [Mounted Archery] instead so that she can maintain her deadliness while mounted.

    Hana follows her on foot with a longbow in hand. She has enough "Endurance" to fight all day long, and she doesn't really fit with the Arquirandos, so this is a rare opportunity for her to shake the dust off of her nine points in [Bow Use].

    The Skirmishers start running forward, charging in a collision course with the Goblin Skirmishers. The Troll Clubbers run to our left flank, towards the militia, then I get the ship to rise higher so that the spotter for the Arquirandos can see the Clubbers perfectly.

    I notice that the Trolls are mounted by Spriggans carrying javelins and a few Hobgoblins mages. The Spriggans are sure to harass us with projectiles while the mages will try to stop us from reinforcing our flanks with cheap spells like [Earth Wall].

    The skirmishers of both sides meet on the field, launching their projectiles at each other at the same time.

    "DOWN!" Alissa yells, and her troops crouch, then they hide behind their thin, small shields.

    Aoi folds her wings to her body and turns her head away to protect her eyes, her only true vulnerabile spots, while Alissa just activates her [Wind Shied] for a moment. The small arrows rain onto Aoi's wooden armor, making plinking sounds, but none of them find a nook or seam to pierce through. If they were using orc longbows, then I wouldn't let her just tank these arrows like that.

    The Goblins are definitely the loser in this exchange, and their numbers start to decrease rapidly under the barrage of deadly accurate arrows and javelins from the elves.

    The Clubbers suddenly turn, now aiming at our Skirmishers, and the Goblins start to retreat.

    "Destroy them," I order.

    The commander of the Arquirandos nods and promptly walks to the port side, then he starts yelling orders.

    The whispers of bows launching their arrows reaches my ears, and the small black projectiles shoot forward with deadly accuracy. They whisper again and again until over two hundred arrows have been sent into the air, then they all land with perfect accuracy exactly where they're needed.

    The first salvo arrives in front of the Clubbers, then the arrows release a very crude [Earth Wall], making the floor become spiky and uneven.

    The Clubbers jump across the wall of spikes, only to fall onto lava that sticks to their feet. The [Lava Jet] arrows continue to spray it everywhere, even getting some on the Trolls' furred coats. They have fast regeneration, but it's very slow for burn wounds, so heat and fire are their weaknesses.

    Their charge is completely disrupted as they all start to panic, then a rain of normal arrows falls into their backs, killing both riders and Trolls in droves.

    Alissa's Skirmishers don't chase after the Goblins, immediately changing targets and dashing towards the Clubbers instead. They reach them when the Clubbers are just getting ready to charge again, then Aoi and Hana crash into their formation.

    Over one hundred Trolls versus the three girls and the Skirmishers. They would've been instantly crushed, but Alissa's [Mesmerizing Butterflies] are making the monsters hesitate.

    Then a few small pots of burning oil crash over some of them, breaking them out of their trance.

    *FOOOOOOM* Hana and Aoi breathe fire as they run through the enemy formation, and chaos breaks out again, then the girls fly away while the Skirmishers pelt the enemy with accurate arrows at their foreheads.

    A dozen Clubbers retreat while a dozen more run in all directions in a panic, with the rest of them falling to their deaths. There's still another division of Trolls that were held back in reserve, but nearly half of all the enemy Trolls are now gone.

    The Goblins double back and try to hit the Skirmishers from behind, but Aoi and Hana land in the middle of them. Fully armored and with perfect sight of every monster aiming their way, they easily keep them busy until our Skirmishers return and counter-attack.

    The girls fly away once more, and Aoi eats a Goblin's head while retreating, earning herself a brief scolding from Alissa.

    Twenty elven Skirmishers in exchange for nearly a hundred Trolls and even more Goblin Skirmishers. Not a fair trade; my Skirmishers are worth much more than them.

    The Goblins soon break into a rout, and our Skirmishers give chase. The enemy line raises their square shields, letting the Goblins through, then they close their crude shield wall again.

    I see tusks protruding out of the helmets of the orcs at the center, those are Tusk Warriors. They're a sort of elite orc unit, and they're positioned exactly where I wanted them.

    Excellent.

    I can't hold back my smile.

    Twenty Arquirandos mixed in with our Skirmishers fire their powerful longbows, and the arrows pierce through the enemy shields, but they don't wound the enemy warriors since their shields aren't strapped to their arms.

    Then the arrows unleash [Discharge], and their first line of shields collapses. Our Skirmishers fire all their arrows as fast as they can, then they move away before the enemy can counter attack.

    The Hobgoblin mages try to block the [Charge]d arrows with elemental walls, but our Skirmishers just move down their line and fire on the unprotected shield wall again. Their Orc Longbowmen then start lobbing their arrows at our Skirmishers, so it's time to retreat.

    The monsters taunt our soldiers as they run away in an orderly retreat, but that's just an effort to keep their morale up. We were clearly the true winner in this exchange.

    The Lonlanzas are far enough from the enemy lines that we can take a short break before the next phase begins.



    I get up from my seat and stand beside Yunia at the bow. I grab her gauntlet, and she turns to face me.

    I frown in worry and say, "Yunia, I want to try maintaining [Bind] with you. I won't be comfortable with you entering the fray without it."

    She narrows her eyes subtly. "Now?" She asks, confused.

    I nod sternly. "We have a few minutes until we'll depart, so it's better to do it now than never."

    She seems a bit troubled and looks away, embarrassed.

    Ciel appears on her other side and smiles softly at her. "From what I understand, you're ashamed of certain parts of yourself, but so are we," she advises.

    "You can bet on that last part!" Roxanne exclaims and smiles wryly.

    "It's true…" Yunia whispers with a faint smirk, then she closes her eyes and breathes in deeply.

    "You'll be opening your heart to us, but that doesn't mean that we'll abuse your weaknesses," Ciel tries to comfort her.

    She narrows her eyes at me and glances at Roxanne, who immediately looks away, trying to appear innocent. "I highly doubt that," Yunia responds in a dangerous tone.

    I smirk and blush a little, then I rub my neck awkwardly and clear my throat. "If you really dislike our teasing, we'll respect your wishes and stop when you ask," I reassure her.

    She goes quiet and looks ahead in thought. "I don't dislike it, though…" She whispers.

    I pat her gauntlet reassuringly and follow her gaze. She's looking at the slowly approaching shield line. She'll be fighting them on the front line in just a short while.

    "In truth, I'm scared of this battle…" She mutters and swallows heavily. "Do it, Wolfy. I'll deal with the shame later, and we'll both feel better with me under [Bind]."

    I nod emphatically, then I cast it on her.

    I grab her soul with my ethereal hand and drop it into mine. My mind immediately becomes crowded as the jumbled mess of her feelings and thoughts escapes through her [Bind], but I've become quite adept at controlling it, so it's not so bad.

    Yunia starts focusing on the feeling of safety and comfort that [Bind] provides. We'll always be watching her from now on, supporting and protecting her. She imagines not only my arms wrapped around her but all of ours. She remembers our cuddle puddles and the group hugs we've shared, and that brings her a feeling of true comfort, calming her heart.

    She sighs and holds her burning cheeks. She feels silly and ashamed for a wide variety of reasons, but now's not the time to unpack and deal with them, so she clenches her fist and steels her heart. The time to fight has arrived, and the confidence coming from each of our hearts is resonating together, amplifying our ferocity and determination.

    Yunia jumps off the ship, and I ease her to the ground with [Telekinesis].

    The Arquirandos are almost in range of the enemy, and there's not much time before the two sides meet, so we have to deal with the Grim Giants before they crash through our lines.

    The second phase is starting.



    Aoi lands on the deck, and Alissa hops off and makes her way up to the bridge. The three golems relinquish control of the ship to her and come down to me.

    I look over the cracked [Fly] gem we salvaged from the Gull and strapped down to our deck. It's completely filled with mana and ready to use, and the Engineers have recovered their MP, so it's time to depart.

    Alissa raises the ship higher into the air, reaching eye-level with the Giants, then the enemy mages and archers organize themselves, waiting for our next move.

    I cast [Spirit Eyes] on myself and scan over the battlefield. I can only see two Ice Wraiths, both of them at the flanks of the enemy army.

    They won't expect this.

    I give a large flask to each of the four Hollys at the railing, then they dart forward, each one shooting towards their own Giant.

    "In range!" The commander on the ground announces.

    "Continuous volley, heavily staggered enchantments," Yunia calmly orders.

    We'll drain their mages of mana.

    Sixty arrows are fired every four seconds onto the entire breadth of the enemy line. Their shields can't protect them against enchanted arrows, and their mages can't cover all of their troops at once, so they'll either waste their mana, or their numbers will slowly thin out. This situation also provides us with cover to execute our plan.

    The four Hollys reach their target Grim Giants undetected, then they hurl their flasks at their faces and commit suicide by throwing themselves at their eyes. The Sneeze-'n-Wheeze gets into their eyes, mouths, and noses, then an allergic reaction immediately sets in.

    "Charge!" I yell, then Alissa accelerates the ship and flaps its wings while six wind elementals force air into our sail. Gify pops out of existence and hides in the back of my mind.

    The four Giants start stomping on the ground, which disrupts their allies near their feet, but they manage to avoid crushing any of the monsters. They try to rub their eyes, but their stone helmets are in the way, so their gauntlets merely grind against their eye slits, and the first Giant doesn't notice our approach.

    The other two Giants merely watch us, dumbfounded and simply too stupid to react. Alissa activates the forward [Wind Shield], and we collide with the first Giant's head, pushing him backward.

    The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and that applies to weight, too. The heavy stone armor makes it easy to tip the Giant over, and he slowly tilts back as his arms reach forward, trying to grab us.

    "STOP!" I yell, and the elementals obey, then I turn around and pull a big, glowing stake of stone out of my "Items." Temporary matter breaks down when I store it in there but not this pseudo-conjured material.

    The Giant finally loses his footing and falls as if in slow motion. His stone armor crashes against the ground with a loud boom, crushing a small group of Hobgoblin mages under his massive form.

    His helmet cracks, giving us the opportunity we needed.

    "STAKE, UP!" I order.

    The golems and the Engineers all cast [Telekinesis] on the stake, lifting it up, and it immediately starts to wobble in the air. There's no time for finesse; this situation calls for a brute-force solution.

    "LAUNCH!" I yell and point forward. Alissa deactivates [Wind Shield] just long enough for the stake to fly off, and the bottom of our hull is pelted with a few arrows and spells, lightly damaging it.

    The stake arcs through the air and points down.

    "PUUUUUUSH!" I bellow, and the stake accelerates.

    The tip strikes the Giant's forehead and sinks through the cracked helmet, splitting it apart. The stake continues down and enters his skull, turning his brain into mush.

    One down, five to go.

    Ciel suddenly launches towards an uninjured female Giant approaching on our left. The other uninjured one to our right simply glares at us menacingly but doesn't budge from its position. Behind that unmoving Giant is the Orc Lord and his retinue, so he won't attack unless he wants his Lord to be assassinated by us.

    Ciel throws a javelin with a roll of vine secured to it, hitting the joint of her approaching Giant's knee, and the javelin sinks into the padding. Her new points in [Throw] are already putting in work.

    "BACK!" I yell, and the wind elementals force a strong gust backward into the sail of our ship.

    While we retreat, Ciel flies in circles around the distracted female Giant rushing at us, wrapping the specially made glowing vine around her legs. The monsters on the ground try to get out of the way of the Giant, but they're too slow, so a few dozen of them are crushed by her charge.

    We don't try to fly away at full speed, so she quickly reaches us and slaps at the back of our ship to push us forward, sending us deeper above the enemy lines.

    We charge against her to keep her in place, allowing Ciel to tighten the bindings.

    "NOW!" Ciel yells.

    "ROXANNE!" I order.

    "[EXPLOSION]!" She casts.

    The forehead of the Giant's helmet explodes, pushing it back and stunning it for a moment, which allows us to escape her reach.

    The Giant tries to take a step forward, but its legs are tightly tied together, so it trips, falling face-first onto a small group of Hobgoblin mages.

    I immediately pull out another stake, and we repeat the process.

    Two down, four to go.

    I summon three more Hollys and send them out with flasks of Sneeze-'n-Wheeze again towards the already affected Giants.

    The enemy mages and archers all switch to target us, draining our [Wind Shield]s continuously, so we have no time to waste. Ciel rushes towards a blinded Giant while we slam against another.

    I pull out another stake, and we finish ours off even faster than the previous two.

    Three down, three to go.

    I use the ambient mana to refill my MP through [Redirect Mana], then we fly towards the two blinded Giants. The last one still remains unmoving while we kill his brethren.

    This time, the Sneeze-'n-Wheeze wasn't as effective, so the blinded Giants both quickly recover from it, and their bloodshot eyes stare at us angrily.

    One of the two Giants tries to walk forward and trips because it was bound by Ciel's rope, but the other one reaches us before we can form a cloud of Sneeze-'n-Wheeze in front of him. He grabs our ship, trying to crush it, and while the [Wind Shield]s do hold, it's draining so much mana that it's frightening Alissa.

    Lina tries to throw some flasks at him, but our Shield messes with her aim, so the Giant simply turns his head away to protect himself, wary of anything that we might throw at him.

    Time for plan B.

    I reach for the cracked [Fly] gem on our deck and draw out all of its stored mana with Redirect.

    "DON'T MOVE, GET DOWN ON THE DECK!" I order, and everyone obeys.

    A fuckload of Wind-attuned mana immediately rushes towards me, and I try to control it, but it refuses to stop. It's nowhere near the amount we used when we killed The Lady, but it's still enough to make even the Giant hesitate.

    His huge, covered face turns towards us to see what we're doing, making me smirk, because that's exactly what I wanted.

    I can't compress the Wind mana efficiently, but I quickly learn that it's easy to keep it spinning around me like a tornado.

    I get another idea and slightly change my plan. I compress the spinning Wind mana into a wide disk, then I raise it above me.

    Ciel sends me her knowledge of the spell [Wind Storm], and I try to build its "structure" using the mana I'm controlling.

    Deep scratches start to appear all over the ship and our armor, and I realize that this is about to kill us all.

    The giant pulls back his head away from us, afraid of all the mana, which exposes his neck to us.

    I'm so thankful that you're all fucking idiots.

    Alissa deactivates our [Wind Shield], and I launch the mass of mana.

    We only hear the whistling of the wind as the malformed spell inflicts deep scratches into the Giant's helmet. Then it absolutely shreds through the padding at his neck before digging into the flesh underneath.

    Blood sprays everywhere as the Giant is decapitated in the most gruesome way I've ever seen. The enemy mages on the ground take hold of my spell and immediately interrupt it, but they're too late to save the Giant. His ginormous corpse falls down and crushes even more of our enemies.

    Four down, two to go.

    I immediately pull out another stake, and we prepare to launch it.

    "[Wind Shield] is about to run out!" Alissa warns me through [Bind].

    Well, fuck.

    We hurriedly throw the stake out, but Ciel's bound Giant stirs and moves slightly, making the stake hit the side of his ruined stone helmet, which merely wounds him.

    Tch.

    "Roxanne…!" I order.

    She leans on the railing and aims with her staff towards the center of the Giant's head. She can't chant to gather her mana for a single large spell since it would just get interrupted by the enemy, so that leaves her with only one option.

    "[EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]!" -The [Wind Shield] runs out, and the ship starts getting pelted by spells. -"[EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]! [EXPLOSION]!"

    "DEAD!" Alissa reports and accelerates the ship forward as fast as possible.

    "TO THE HOLD! RECHARGE THE GEM!" I order, and everyone obeys. We jog inside in a practiced, orderly fashion, and the hold quickly fills with glowing elves.

    I hold Roxanne steady and guide her since she's temporarily blind from overuse, and everyone, except for Alissa and I, uses up nearly all of their MP to give the [Wind Shield] enough juice for one last job.

    We fly past the enemy army, then we turn towards the left wall.

    Alissa activates [Wind Shield] at full power, and the ship pushes against the ceiling where it meets the wall. The gravity-defying sand loses its magic and starts falling all around us.

    We slowly move the ship towards the right side of the corridor, leaving a long wall of sand in our wake, making it now very difficult for the enemy army to retreat.

    The anvil has been set; now it's time to strike while it's hot.

    The Lonlanzas reach the enemy lines, and the third phase begins.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  15. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    The Ice Wraiths converge on the remaining Giant, countering our strategy of using Hollys.

    The damage to our ship pains my heart. The lower half of its hull is badly damaged, almost exposing the gems within, but it'll hold. The wings, though, are faring much worse, barely enduring the attacks.

    Now that our [Wind Shield] is working again, we limp back over the enemy line without a problem, then we descend behind the Lonlanzas, and the girls disperse into their previous positions.

    "URAAAA!" The elven high-pitched roar echoes through the corridor, cheering at our victory.

    I climb up onto the prow again, then breathe in and prepare myself. Giving speeches is rather exhausting.

    I add [Godly Language] to my voice as I bellow with all my strength, "THEY'RE TRAPPED BETWEEN THE ANVIL AND THE HAMMER! STRIKE WHILE IT'S HOT, AND PUSH THEM BAAACK!"

    "URAAAAA!" The entire elven line lets out a fearsome roar, and I notice many of the orcs shifting uncomfortably on their feet. Their morale is shaken. Even their remaining Giant isn’t enough to keep it up, not after we blitzed through five Giants by ourselves in just a few minutes.

    The elves hit their shields with their gladius-like swords, then the marching drums slow their cadence, and the Lonlanzas lower their pikes.

    "URA!" They roar with every step, thrusting their pikes threateningly, making the enemy line nervously shift backward.

    The monsters scramble to reorganize themselves, but the Arquirandos don't let up their continuous volley, encouraging the chaos. The enemy's backline is still in complete disarray due to the Giants running amok and then crashing on top of them, so they can't stop the rain of death even if they wanted to.

    "URA!" The pikes meet the enemy shields. Every hole or opening in their shield wall is exploited; broken shields are shattered by the force of the magically reinforced pikes; and any bit of exposed flesh is mercilessly pierced through.

    The glowing pikes draw back painted red with blood, and monsters fall to their deaths, joining those slain by the Arquirandos.

    "URA!" The Lonlanzas thrust and take another step forward, then even more enemies fall down on the sand.

    "UGOOOOOO!" A deep war cry roars from behind the enemy lines, then the monsters start to bunch up properly, recovering from their shaken state.

    "URA!" The Lonlanzas thrust again and take another step forward. The blood of the enemy taints the red sand, making it become both sticky and muddy.

    "UGOO!" Another war cry echoes out, and the enemies react to it a moment later.

    "URA!" Another thrust is delivered, but this time, they don't advance. The enemy shield wall is just too solid now.

    Hana thumps her shield and starts chanting along with the drums, hyping up the unsteady militia around her.

    The Tusk Warriors appear in the center of the enemy line and roar louder than anyone else, providing the final morale boost the monsters needed to mount a proper defense against us.

    "WALL!" The militia commander yells, and the untrained soldiers at both of our flanks reluctantly obey. Shoulder to shoulder, man to man, the militia forms a wall and points their spears forward.

    "FORWARD!" And they start marching. They proceed past the line of Lonlanzas to fully cover their exposed flanks.

    "STOP!" The commander yells, and both sides angrily stare at each other, standing only two meters apart.

    The monsters snarl and growl while the elves throw out taunts at them. The morale of the militia fluctuates, but it gradually grows stronger from their blood lust.

    "COME AT ME! FACE ME, YOU PITIFUL BEINGS, AND I'LL GIVE YOU THE MERCY OF DEATH! LET ME PUT YOU OUT OF YOUR MISERY!" Hana taunts, causing a commotion to stir within the enemy line.

    A few spells and arrows fall onto the militia, but they cause only minimal damage.

    The remaining Troll Clubbers appear within both flanks of the enemy line, and the militia recognizes the furry monstrosities towering above the orcs and Living Armors. The untrained elves shake in fear as their morale immediately falters.

    "STEADY!" The militia officers try to calm their men.

    "RAAAAAH!" Hana screams, and her rage causes the fire in the men around her to flare up since their emotions are all connected through [Weaverism].

    "URA!" The Lonlanzas thrust again, but they don't advance just yet.

    "UGOO!" The Tusk Warriors push against the wall of pikes, and a few of them try to slip through only to be quickly skewered for their efforts.

    Ogres appear all across the enemy line, and the militia starts to cry and pray once they spot them.

    "THE GODS ARE WATCHING! SHOW US YOUR WORTH!" Ciel's angelic voice echoes through the battlefield, easing the hearts of the men.

    "STEADY!"

    "URA!"

    "UGO!"

    "MEN! THE MOMENT IS NOW! SEIZE IT!" I use [Project Voice] to give them one last push.

    The Grim Giant kneels behind the orcs so that his hands can reach the Lonlanzas.

    "STEADY!"

    A deep, low horn is sounded behind the enemy line, and the monsters charge the militia.

    "MEET YOUR DEATH!" Hana taunts, fire leaking from her mouth in rage.

    The Skirmishers loose one last volley at the Trolls; the forty Lonlanza nobles raise their pikes that were hidden in between the militia, and aim them at the Ogres; the thirty Generals and Yunia stop hiding at both flanks and make their way towards the front of their sections; Ciel, Alissa and Lina both mounted Aoi, and a Nalusa appear over the left flank, easily flying past the enemy line unscathed thanks to [Ignorance].

    The Giant tries to crush the Lonlanzas with its massive stone gauntlet, but a huge metal elemental in the shape of a stake bursts out of the sand. The Giant is too slow to react, so his hand is completely pierced through by the elemental.

    The Trolls and Ogres crash against the militia, trampling the front line, but most of them are immediately stopped by the lone noble pikemen. A moment later, the Generals crash through the enemies and start butchering their way forward.

    The Giant falls on its ass, clutching its wrist in pain, then the elemental reduces its girth and pushes itself out of the Giant.

    I cast [Telekinesis] and guide it back to us, then I land it behind the Lonlanzas, and it gets ready to stop the Giant again.

    "EASE!" I yell, and the Lonlanzas at the center take a step back, but even so, some of the Tusk Warriors manage to reach our shield wall, forcing the elves holding it in place to use their swords to fight.

    The Nalusa rakes its large claws down the back of a Hobgoblin mage, drawing blood that immediately gathers in a ball floating beside it.

    The spindly and tall monster focuses each of its four eyes on an enemy, then the floating blood morphs into small blades that fly towards their targets.

    The monsters finally notice the Nalusa, and its horrific figure scares even them. The flesh of its human-like body seems to be horrifically charred, and white bones protrude out of its back like spikes. It's a creature of nightmares that's been set loose upon the vulnerable enemy backline.

    Ciel flies around with impunity; Lina's axe decapitates a monster with each strike; Alissa's arrows stay true to her Title; they're both protected from most attacks by Lina's shield that's been enchanted with both [Dead Zone] and [Wind Shield]; and no enemy around them can stop Aoi from trampling her way through their ranks.

    Yunia, Hana, the noble pikemen, and the Generals all stop the Trolls and Ogres from freely plowing through the militia, nullifying their greatest advantage: their charge.

    The smell of blood fills the air, and I wrinkle my nose in disgust. The roaring of taunts is replaced with the cacophony of warfare and the death cries of the monsters.

    "EASE!" I order again, then I delegate that task to the commander.

    The monsters sense our retreat and push harder against the center of our thin line, gaining themselves a boost in morale.

    The Arquirandos switch targets, intensifying their attacks on the enemy's flanks and ignoring the center.

    The Giant leans forward to slam his hand down again, but the elemental threatens him, making him hesitate.

    I jump down from the ship and make my way to the back of the Lonlanzas. I cast [Discharge] at the enemy line, easing the pressure on our troops a bit.

    "Strength, men. Have strength!" I exclaim, pushing [Godly Language] to its limit, and the muscles of the elves bulge.

    They grunt from the exertion required to keep the swarm of Tusks at bay, and they even take a step forward, but the commander orders them to retreat again.

    Our long and thin line of Lonlanzas bends, shifting into a concave curve.

    A few of our Generals fall, but the enemy swarm at the flank is pushed back in exchange.

    The girls wreak havoc across the enemy backline, causing their mages to completely lose all cohesion, which gives free rein to the Arquirandos.

    "RAISE!" I yell towards the back, and the commander of the Engineers relays my order.

    They cast [Earth Wall] to raise the ground the Arquirandos are standing on, giving them a vantage point that allows them to directly fire at the monster army.

    The Nalusa goes into a frenzy as it gathers all the blood it could ever wish for, creating a storm of blades of blood that kills anything around it.

    Hana breathes fire, setting another Troll alight, and a noble Lonlanza pikeman pierces its exposed throat while it panics.

    Rage and bloodlust burn within my dragonkin, and her emotions fuel the militia around her, turning helpless farmers and craftsmen into berserkers. Yunia voluntarily receives these emotions, then she channels it out, fueling the militia of our other flank.

    Their bodies are bathed in the blood of the large monsters, and no matter how many men die around her, they don't give even an inch back, they only advance.

    "NOT ONE STEP BACK!" The two roar in unison.

    I see a commotion stir among the enemy in front of me, and the fresh orcs replacing their dead comrades now have red armor. They're the Bloodkin, the Orc Lord's retinue.

    It seems that he's trying to break through our line.

    All according to Keikaku.

    "REINFORCE!" I order, and our last few reserves join us, fresh for battle. "PREPARE!"

    The Generals and the militia push the enemy line back, advancing together with the Lonlanzas at the flanks. They make their way through the mess of countless enemy bodies littering the floor, then they cross the muddy and bloody sand to reach the survivors.

    The monsters gradually become surrounded, and some start to break off in a rout, trying to pass through the large dunes of soft sand behind them.

    "PUSH!" I order.

    "URA!" The elves roar and push the orcs back, forcing them to even stumble for a moment.

    I cast [Discharge], and the elves thrust, together killing an entire line.

    They immediately fill the opening with pikes, pushing the orcs away from our shield wall.

    "PUSH!" I cast [Discharge] again.

    "URA!" The elves thrust and take a step forward as they kill another line of stunned orcs.

    The Giant's hand comes down on us again, and the earth elemental launches itself at him but gets grabbed mid-air instead.

    I can see the Giant's grin in his eyes as he crushes the elemental, then oil seeps between his fingers. I cast [Lightning Bolt] at his hand, and it catches on fire.

    I pull out a length of rope that we tied to dozens of flasks of Decay, Sneeze-'n-Wheeze, and burning oil, then I throw it all forward and guide it with [Telekinesis]. An enemy mage interrupts my spell, but it's fine because it's already above the enemy Bloodkin.

    "MAAAAA!" The Giant yells in pain and waves its burning hand around.

    "GURAAAAAAAA!" A rage-filled war cry comes from behind the enemy lines, and all the orcs enter a frenzy.

    Tusk Warriors and Bloodkin throw themselves at our pikes, letting themselves get pierced so that our weapons stay still for a moment, then they break their tips with their superhuman strength.

    We're running out of pikes, so there's more room for the monsters to push through, and before long, they reach our shield wall again. The center of our Lonlanzas is about to fall apart from exhaustion and attrition, so the final act of this battle now begins.

    I grab my spear, mace, and halberd with my tentacles, then I make my way towards the front line with the golems following close behind me.

    "ATTENTION!" I yell to the men around me.

    Our troops continue the maneuver of wrapping around the enemy army, encircling them and wiping out their backline. The Giant starts to cough as it inhales part of the noxious cloud of fumes from the flasks I threw. Then a flaming arrow lands in the enemy line, and a fire breaks out.

    Hannibal would be proud of me.

    "RELEASE!" I yell, then I prepare to strike as the oval shields are turned vertical.

    I'm going to fuck them all up!

    "BREAK!" -The shields turn sideways to open the lines for those behind them- "FRENZYY!" I yell with [Godly Language] and charge through our line along with the final few fresh soldiers. Gify sends the vision of dragons fucking into my mind, and I get a boner along with a burst of energy.

    The Giant's burning hand crashes against the Lonlanzas behind me, smashing their formation completely apart, and a melee breaks out. The golems can be quite nimble when the situation asks for it, so they easily dodge its attack.

    The girls make a beeline towards my position to end this once and for all.

    My halberd splits open an orc's neck, then my mace flattens the head of a Bloodkin.

    "You are now level 38."

    I stun the orc in front of me with [Lightning Bolt], then my sword pierces his crotch, and I twist it to maximize the damage.

    I stop an orc with my spear stabbed through his eye, and push another away with my [Wind Shield], then my mace crushes the head of the orc in front of me, and I advance further.

    My MP runs low, and I immediately use [Redirect Mana] to fill it up again, then I summon another Nalusa. The monster immediately flies into a frenzy and dives into the center of a group of orcs.

    An elven slash sends orc blood spraying at my face, and it enters my mouth. I crush a Living Armor's head with my halberd and roar.

    "YOU'RE WEAK!" I scream with [Godly Language] as I move towards the next target. The large orc ahead looks more like a frightened child to me.

    [Battlefield Perception] triggers, and I use [Muscle Explosion] to dodge to the side, and a greatsword cuts through the air where I just was.

    I look to where the attack came from and see a huge, muscular orc in gilded armor. The Orc Lord.

    Wait… that armor seems familiar…

    Rage fuels me again, and I dash forward.

    "I'VE SEEN BIGGER!" I taunt with a laugh as I attack him.

    I only see his hateful eyes glare at me from behind his closed helmet; he's even more consumed by bloodlust than I am.

    I cast [Lightning Bolt] at him just as I strike with my halberd and spear at the same time, and I see his armor glow with a rainbow shimmer that's characteristic of [Rainbow Shield]. He must've barely felt my spell.

    The motherfucker's got Celestial armor!

    He slices through the tentacle that's holding my halberd with his greatsword, and I immediately make another to grab the weapon before it can even fall onto the floor. My spear strikes into an opening at his armpit, piercing through the chain, but not the padding.

    I cast [Rush] and charge at him.

    I stab towards the side of his left knee, but my sword is stopped by his chain mail. My mace strikes the side of his chest, bending the armor slightly.

    I glide backward with [Telekinesis], and his greatsword chops at nothing, only hitting the bloodied red sand.

    [Battlefield Perception] triggers again, and I jump backward with all of my strength, then the Giant's hand lands where I just was, crushing both enemy and ally alike.

    I cast [Telekinesis] on my sword and chop downwards, letting the increased gravity do the trick.

    The Orc Lord defends against it, and his posture bends backward under the strain. I even get so close to him that I can smell his horrible breath, which is the usual for an orc.

    My halberd lands on his flank, right where it was already bent inwards, but it doesn't manage to punch through; my mace lands on his shoulder, but he doesn't even flinch from it; my spear slides around his bevor and leaves nothing but a scratch on his armor.

    He releases one of his hands from his greatsword, and the blade smacks against his shoulder, but it doesn't do any damage, then his gauntlet grabs the wrist of my sword arm.

    Oof.

    I panic and cast [Shocking Touch] on his hand, but it only helps his muscles flex, so he simply crushes my armor, then my wrist.

    Pain and rage cloud my mind, then I order with [Godly Language], "UNHAND ME!"

    He grunts and obeys, though perhaps it might be voluntary, then he immediately chops down with his greatsword.

    I block it with [Wind Shield], but the spell still pushes me away due to his superhuman strength.

    Yunia gets left behind by the militia, too tired to continue fighting.

    A short span opens up between me and the Orc Lord, then I summon a Shad and a dark elemental.

    "FUCK HIM!" I order, and both of my summons envelop him.

    I cast [Heal] on my wrist and watch on as Pinhead, the fantasy version, powers through the pain and attacks me.

    FUCKING MASOCHISTIC ORCS!

    A frightening amount of mana starts to gather behind me while I defend myself against the Orc Lord.

    I jump backward again, dodging another palm strike by the Giant, and summon Hana, who immediately retreats while limping, too tired to fight anymore. The golems surround her and make sure that she reaches safety.

    The summons don't seem to be accomplishing anything, so I dismiss them and cast [Rush], allowing me to swing the momentum back in my favor, forcing him onto the defensive.

    I continue bending his armor, but I barely manage to punch through it, and there's still the padding underneath to deal with.

    The Giant leans forward, slamming a flaming hand behind me to block off my exit.

    Ciel stops flying and continues on foot, now tired and low on mana.

    I focus on his left knee and manage to wound it, slowing him down. The Lord cuts through my tentacles in retaliation, but he's too slow to catch me or overpower my [Wind Shield].

    I'M FUCKING INVINCIBLE.

    The Giant's hand tries to press me towards him, but I just jump up and away, towards safety.

    There are no enemy mages left to interrupt Roxanne.

    In a final display of intelligence, the Giant uses its other hand to slap at me, and I don't have enough speed to dodge.

    But that was all according to Keikaku.

    "[EXPLOSION]!"

    The Giant's brain becomes mush, and I'm sent to the ground.

    I grunt in pain, but nothing's broken, so I quickly get up again just in time to watch the Giant's body falling on top of the Orc Lord, trapping him underneath it.

    I glide towards Hana and quickly check on her. She's exhausted, covered with bruises, and her armor has multiple cracks, but she's fine otherwise.

    I cast a [Heal] on her worst wounds, then I look towards the enemy's last bastion of resistance. The Bloodkin and Tusk Warriors desperately resist our forces, trying to push the elves back while a few unsuccessfully attempt to pull the Lord out from under the dead Giant.

    Aoi tramples through their ranks, breaking their formation apart, then our troops seize the opening and immediately mob them.

    I let the bloodlust fade, and the mana overuse gives me a headache. I also start to feel my mana organ complain, telling me to refrain from using magic for a while.

    The Generals finish off the last of the orcs, and the Arquirandos switch targets to the few dozen that managed to run past the dune wall.

    The sounds of combat die down, and the end of our battle finally arrives.

    I summon the last of my draconic energy to let out a victory cry, "URA, URA, URAAAAA!"

    The men drop their weapons and cheer. Alissa drops down from Aoi's back and adjusts her helmet to cover her ears. She definitely dislikes all this cheering.

    I unsummon the Nalusas, and more than a few liters of blood suddenly splash down onto the corpse-covered ground.

    I unsteadily walk up to the dead Giant. The countless monster bodies and broken remnants of glowing elves cover every centimeter of the red sand. The smell of blood is so thick in the air that I can even taste it in my mouth…

    Ah, no, that's just the blood that I drank by accident. Ew…

    Most of my armor is spattered with droplets of blood; even the elves are glowing red because of it.

    Weepers' dream, that's a literal river of blood…

    The macabre sight gives me shivers, but there's one last corpse we still have to add to it.



    I finally reach the Orc Lord and sigh, my ears hurting from all the cheering.

    I unceremoniously store the Giant's body in my "Items," then the girls, the Generals, and I all glare at the hateful, broken thing currently wriggling pitifully at our feet.

    As a testament to the Celestial Horns' armor, the Orc Lord wasn't completely crushed, but his limbs are all bent and broken.

    I find an opening in his armor at the back of his neck, and I sink my blade into it.

    "Level up," Yunia whispers wryly in my soul space, and I can feel her tired smile in my mind. She breathes in and rises to her feet, her legs unsteady from exhaustion.

    The ground suddenly trembles, and my scouting Holly sees the sand down the corridor suddenly shifting, then a wall of smooth gray stone rises up at a frightening speed.

    What the…

    The wall goes up so quickly that even the monsters standing on top of it don't have enough time to get out of its way before they're flattened against the ceiling.

    All the cheering stops, and everyone stares at it in awe and confusion.

    We notice a vertical slit at the center of the wall, then it starts to widen, which tells us that it's actually a door.

    I quickly store the corpses around me into my "Items," then I hurry to gather the girls together. Roxanne is blind, deaf, and in a lot of pain from using her HP to fuel her spell, so she'll continue resting on the ship while her potions do their work.

    I grab the attention of the commanders and tell them to rebuild the lines. The tired elves obey begrudgingly, and a sloppy line of Lonlanzas starts to form.

    The doors make the ground rumble as they slowly open towards us, revealing a glowing army.

    Ahead of us, we can see hundreds of horsemen, a few companies of longbowmen, a shit ton of mages, and a rather small group of infantry. They're all wearing red or yellow full metal armor, and they're glowing just like the elves.

    Imperials…

    "Not one step back…" The elves all whisper in unison.

    I look around in fear and mumble, "Wait, what? No…"

    "Not one step back," their tired voices gain volume but lose emotion.

    The imperials start marching forward, and the battered elven army marches to meet them. They climb the dunes like robots, and their formation quickly breaks apart.

    "COME BACK! I ORDER YOU TO COME BACK! STOP! STOP!" I scream at the men, adding the [Project Voice] gem and even [Godly Language], but none of them listen to me.

    "W-we can't win this… this is madness," Ciel whispers, then she looks towards me, her eyes asking me for guidance.

    I catch a General and force him to face me. "Where's your loyalty?! Obey me! Stop at once!" I yell in his face.

    "Not one step back," he responds like a zombie, then he gently pushes me away and continues marching forward.

    Arreira, you fucking piece of shit. You pretentious fucker! You know what, I won't accept this!

    "Not one step back," the imperials join in, and the zombie-like chant reverberates through the corridor.

    "BACK TO THE SHIP!" I scream, then break into a dash, and the girls quickly follow. Aoi collects Yunia, then Hana, and carries them both up to the deck.

    My muscles scream with exhaustion, but it's time for one last push.

    Everyone gathers on the deck, then they secure themselves to the ship with ropes. Alissa climbs up the ladder to the bridge and gets ready at the controls beside me.

    I summon two wind elementals on the deck and wince from the mana strain, then I order them to blow wind into our sails. Ciel joins them, but she's on her last legs, too.

    We fly up towards the ceiling, then I slam the ship against the gravity-defying sand. The doorway between us and the imperials may be huge, but I bet there's enough sand above us to block it, at least partially.

    Our [Wind Shield] doesn't even need to use that much mana to push the sand away because it's just sand, not a twenty-meter tall Giant trying to crush us with its huge hands.

    The ground starts to rumble again, and this time, it's coming from far behind us. Alissa turns her eyes towards the source worriedly, and her heart sinks.

    It's sand. All of it, actually. The corridor is collapsing behind us. Whatever held up the gravity-defying sand is fading away, allowing a solid red curtain to close in towards us.

    "What the fuck?!" Everyone exclaims in unison.

    We wait, but the wall of sand doesn't stop. Tons and tons of red sand are falling from the ceiling, and we only have a few seconds before it reaches us.

    "What can we even do against that?!" Hana exclaims, dumbfounded.

    "We can run…" Lina mumbles, her body frozen in fear.

    Both the imperials and the elves simply stop their march and turn to stare at the oncoming sand.

    Yunia's face warps in horror as she says, "The non-combatants… they're gone."

    Panic suddenly thrums in my heart.

    What the fuck is going on?!

    "We have to run," Alissa states, and I agree.

    I lower the ship, then I fly forward at full speed, shooting past the imperial army.

    A few seconds later, the falling sand simply buries everyone, just like that.

    There's no cloud of dust forming, allowing us to see the wall of death behind us perfectly, and it's rapidly approaching.

    I summon five more wind elementals, and my vision starts to darken, so Alissa takes over for my eyes.

    "It's still getting closer!" Hana yells, getting increasingly worried.

    "Then go help the elementals!" I panickedly yell back.

    The golems and all the girls, except for Roxanne, move closer to the sail and push it to the limit, but the wall of sand is still gaining on us.

    We have no idea why this is happening, and we have no way out, no mana, no resources, and no plan.

    Is he trying to kill us?!

    Hana laughs out loud at the absurdity of this development, or perhaps it's just a way to relieve some stress.

    The floor underneath us suddenly vanishes, and the walls start to glow red. Like a microwave, mana is violently jumbled all around us in a chaotic storm, interrupting all spells.

    This is [Disruption Field].

    The [Spirit Light]s snuff out, the elementals get dispelled, the golems fall limp, Gify's presence disappears from the back of my mind, then the ship's [Fly] gem deactivates, and we start to fall.

    Roxanne, Hana, Ciel, Aoi, and I. None of us can fly anymore.

    The ship starts to plummet like a rock. Not even the wings can help us now.

    "Ah… ah…! AAAAAH!" Lina screams in terror, and Ciel hugs her tight.

    Hana runs towards Roxanne and firmly hugs her before she flies off the ship.

    I grab Alissa and cling to the bridge, then I open my "Items" and desperately flick through it.

    A parachute, I need a parachute!

    Aoi jumps up onto the bridge, and her claws grab our arms, then her wings protectively wrap around us.

    FUCK… I JUST… NEED... A BLANKET!

    I click the immaterial button to pull it out, then the ship violently crashes into the ground.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  16. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I wake up with a gasp, but then I cry from the pain as my entire body protests against the sudden movement. My vision is blurry, my body is cold, I'm completely soaked, my head hurts, and I'm starting to get dizzy.

    A horrible feeling wells up in my stomach, then it rises through my esophagus, and I puke.

    I groan again as I fall on my side, trying to avoid the stinking puddle I just created.

    I open my [Item Box], then I weakly move my finger towards the [Regeneration] magic tool and pull it out.

    I press the small green gem against my forehead and feed it some mana. A mildly pleasant feeling starts to spread over my face, then it smoothly enters my skull and eases my headache.

    I move my other hand and pull out one of Roxanne's Fast-Acting HP potions. Slight toxicity is worth stopping all this pain, and if even with [Pain Resistance], I can't endure this, then things must be pretty bad.

    I uncork the flask and throw half of the glowing red liquid on my face while I eagerly drink the rest.

    Ah, elderflower, tasty.

    I sigh and focus inside my soul space.

    "Wolfy, help-…" I stop my plea with a start as my whole body shivers in fear.

    I can't reach Wolfy. I can't see the other wives through him. [Bind] is just not working.

    The little "tunnel" I could use to enter the warm and cozy lake that's Wolfy's mind is gone.

    No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…



    A deep seething hatred starts to well up inside me. It grows and grows and grows until it reaches a level that I've never felt before. I feel Wolfy's and Hana's draconic rage within me, filling my mind with red fury and driving a burst of strength into my muscles.

    I growl, then I grab a handful of sand and violently throw it away. "KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaah…" I shriek until my throat hurts, then I collapse on my back and start sobbing.

    I'll murder you, Arreira. I'll desecrate your rotten body, you… you… pretentious FUCK!

    I curl up and cry while the potion and [Regeneration] raise my HP back to 100.



    I slowly open my eyes again and see a trail of faint crystal lights illuminating a path forward in the green sand. I finally notice that the whispering in my ears is actually the sound of waves running over the sand.

    I sit up and turn around, and I see a dark river with a visibly strong current pushing broken planks down its length.

    I recognize the color of the planks: they're from our ship.

    Oh no… Wolfy's going to be so sad…

    Blurry memories surface in my mind, and I sift through them. I understand that after the crash, we fell into the underground rapids and got separated, then I hit my head hard, and it gave me a concussion.

    I cast [Spirit Light] to illuminate the area and look around. I'm in a dark green cave with nothing other than green sand and the river behind me. My blurry memories lead me to believe that I came through a tight tunnel with a strong current, so it's impossible for me to go back the way I came.

    I have two options: follow the river down or the path of crystal lights. Considering that I won't escape this cave by going down, I decide to bet on the path left for me by the goblin dick Dungeon Master.

    "Gify, you there?" I ask, but my question just echoes through the cave without a response.

    She may be with Wolfy, then. At least, I hope so…

    My [Sense Presence] gives me absolutely no hits, so there isn't a single living being nearby, not even a bug.

    I groan as I get up, the padding of my armor loudly squishes and squirts from all the water it absorbed.

    We fell in the water while fully armored… Lina and Ciel could've…

    NO! THEY DIDN'T!

    I take off my helmet and slap my cheeks to keep those dark thoughts away.

    I need to find Wolfy as fast as I can.

    He can't be dead. If he were, the feedback from [Bind] breaking would've made me go insane with grief.

    I look into my "Status" and notice that the "Companions" entry still has everyones' names, though I can't find their positions through the fellowship bond either.

    This means that nobody is dead, nobody is dead, nobody is dead, nobody is dead…

    I pray to all of the Gods and beg for them to keep everyone safe. We can't lose anyone, not like this, and not after going through so much together.

    But I need to survive, too…

    I get up and activate [Breeze] to dry my armor. There are a few cracks in it, but the fibers are keeping the pieces together. It should last for at least a few more melee battles, even if I'm careless.

    I spot my bow near me, by the river, but my quiver is gone, so I can only use [Mana Arrow]s now. I pick it up and inspect it. It's impressive that it survived the rapids.

    I dry it until it's usable again, then I pull out the lithograph and emergency rings from my [Item Box]. I try to send all kinds of signals through them, but, predictably, I don't get a response. If something is blocking [Bind] and the fellowship bond, then a lithograph would most likely get blocked, too.

    I'd only heard rumors that a dungeon could block the fellowship bond, but now I have actual evidence that it's possible. The dungeoneer that worked on this place must've been a genius, or perhaps it was just Arreira himself.

    With a lonely sigh, I take my sword out of its scabbard, clean it, and reapply its oil. After that, I take off my armor and dry it properly.

    I apply some anti-scent powder to myself and check my equipment one more time to make sure that everything's fine, then I follow the illuminated path while trying to keep my sanity from collapsing.



    I start shivering, but not from the cold or the breeze. I feel lonely and vulnerable. Wolfy's presence was always there in my mind, a constant reassurance that we'd never be alone, that he'd be there to save us when danger appeared, that we were inseparable. But now, there's nothing but darkness in my soul space.

    I hug myself, then I fall to my knees and cry. I've never felt so empty before.

    After crying enough, anger flares up inside me again. I'm acting so pitifully, but Wolfy won't even be able to sleep without me. I need to find him before his curse fills his mind with darkness.

    I get up and dry my cheeks, then I continue on with renewed determination.

    Before long, a faint mist appears, and it only thickens as I continue walking forward. The ceiling of the cave creeps higher, and I gradually enter a nearly pure white realm reminiscent of the Misty Forest.

    "I'm sure this isn't a coincidence," I bitterly talk to myself.



    The sounds of the river fade away, replaced with the nothingness. I exert my [Quiet Steps] and [Quiet Action] to the max so that only the faintest of sounds are produced when I take a step. The elven armor is so well-padded that the scales don't jingle at all and the rubbing of the wooden plates is nearly imperceptible.

    I breathe in deeply, trying to discern any odd smells, but I don't find any except my own and that of the green sand.

    I sense something disturbing the mist. There's a "void" in it, slowly making its way towards me.

    I get my bow ready and prepare a [Mana Arrow], then I abandon the illuminated path and wait in the darkness to ambush it.

    I slow my breathing and clear my mind. I completely freeze every single muscle, becoming perfectly still, like a trap ready to be sprung. My body is still tired from the battle and the rapids, but this small amount of effort is nothing.

    The presence comes closer and closer, but I still have no idea what it is. Only Yunia knows [Hide Presence], but I'm sure she isn't as skilled with it as the being coming this way. It must be a monster.

    It eventually reaches the illuminated path, but the mist makes it impossible for me to see its outline.

    Suddenly, it stops, then I hear a faint noise twice.

    It takes me a second, but then I recognize what it was: sniffing.

    I draw my bow and release the arrow. It whistles through the air, then I hear a high-pitched grunt followed by something falling on the sand.

    I create another arrow and dash forward.

    I quickly find the being, and discover that it's a humanoid-looking monster. It has an arrow sticking out of its chest, and it's wheezing as it gasps for air.

    I sigh in relief, happy that I didn't hurt a humanoid, then I draw my bow and shoot an arrow through the monster's eye.

    It twitches and dies, then I walk closer to inspect it.

    What is this Godsdamned creature?

    It's a naked, pale human-like creature without any features or a single strand of hair. There are only three completely black eyes, a mouth without lips and full of humanoid teeth, and two slits for nostrils. It doesn't even have nipples or genitals. Its body is thin, it doesn't have any kind of claws, and its limbs are long and bowed. It wields a nicely made hunting bow made of bone with a pouch full of small wooden arrows.

    I grab one and pull it out of the pouch, then I immediately recognize the smell of poison.

    I prick the skin of my wrist with the arrow and feel it starting to get numb. It's a paralyzing poison.

    I take the pouch and secure it to my waist. The arrows are rather small for my weapon, but I can still fire them.

    I realize that this creature would look rather ridiculous pulling on such a small bow. I pick it up, then I pull the string and immediately realize that it's as stiff as Wolfy's cock. Its draw weight must be massive… like Wolfy's cock.

    I snort and immediately hold it in.

    Ugh… I have a problem: Hana is rubbing off on me…

    The smell of blood might attract other things, so I sprinkle some anti-scent on the body and hide it under the sand. Now, it'll take a long time for any odors to escape.

    I put my war face back on and continue following the illuminated path. The glowing gems look like they were just casually thrown about like one would to lay a trail towards a trap. A dungeon is already a trap by itself, though, so I guess willingly falling into this trap is just another monster for the Lord.



    I continue for a while, then I stop for a quick meal. I still have a thick bar of chocolate, but I'll save it for emergency rations since Wolfy said that it's high energy.

    I pull out the [Conjure Bland Meal] magic tool and produce a bar of very nutritious sawdust, not that I know what sawdust actually tastes like, it's just what I assume since it's so incredibly flavourless and uninteresting.

    I have hot tea ready to drink, but its scent is too strong, so instead, I just conjure some water in my mouth to wash it down, then I resume my journey.



    I ambush another one of the creepy monsters. This time I hit its throat, making it bleed profusely.

    In desperation, the Faceless Man rips the arrow out of its throat, and now it really starts to bleed.

    Dammit. He's taller than I expected.

    It wheezes and gurgles, then it tries to draw its bow and fire at me, but due to its agony, it drops its monster version of [Hide Presence], allowing me to perfectly pinpoint its location.

    I fire another arrow, and this time, I pierce its forehead.

    I quickly bury it under the sand, too, but that clearly doesn't work because I soon meet another two coming from downwind.

    I get in position again to fire and nearly groan from how the tension is hurting my muscles. I'm getting too tired for this.

    I breathe in deeply and calm myself, ignoring the pain and fatigue as well I can.

    Wolfy's love -and his huge cock…- really made me lazy, but I trained for this; I just need to shake the dust off my survival skills.

    I remain closer to the glowing gems this time so that I can actually make out their outlines before I attack.

    They quickly, yet silently, walk along the illuminated path. I can guess their posture through the "void" they create, and I believe their hands are hovering over their quivers, so they must be alert and ready to fight.

    My heart beats rapidly, and a cold fear starts to grow inside me. I don't have [Gate] or [Bind] to pull me out if I need it. I either win, or I die. I can't afford to make a single mistake.

    I nock an arrow and wait.

    They get within range of my arrows, so I raise my bow and tense up, then I see the extremely faint shape of an outline taking form.

    I cast [Mesmerizing Butterflies] at the same moment that I draw and release. Before I can fire a second arrow, [Battlefield Perception] triggers, and I use [Muscle Explosion] to dodge out of the way.

    My muscles protest against the sudden movement, but then I hear the whistle of an arrow flying past me exactly where my head was just a split second ago.

    I fire another arrow, then a third, and one last enemy arrow shoots towards me. [Muscle Explosion] hasn't recharged yet, and my "Speed" doesn't boost my [Dodge] enough, so I fail to fully evade it.

    The thin arrow slams against me like a sledgehammer, then it sinks into my collarbone, cleaning stabbing through all of my armor.

    I drop my bow and immediately use [Fox Transformation], then I make a mad dash towards the survivor.

    [Mesmerizing Butterflies] finally does its job, and the surviving Faceless Man gets distracted. It only remembers that I exist when my claws sink deeply into its shoulders and my jaw crushes its head.

    As soon as I feel it die, I release its body and carefully bite the arrow on my shoulder, then I pull it out and return to my humanoid form.

    I drink an HP potion and an antidote, then I apply an anti-scent on my wound and run away as fast as I can.



    My exhaustion stops my legs from working any longer, and I collapse on the sand.

    I pull out the [Proximity Warning] crystals, activate them, and throw them in all four directions around me, then I close my eyes and immediately fall asleep.



    I don't know how many days have passed while I've been following this path, but I'm starting to get the impression that this is truly a trap. It might be that I've just been walking around in circles, but I have no way to confirm it.

    I wake up, conjure my sawdust, and eat it with a piece of chocolate, then I drink some conjured water and continue moving along the path. I avoid most of the Faceless Men and only kill the ones I can perfectly ambush. I keep going until I become too tired to walk, then I get some sleep and repeat it all again.

    I don't have Wolfy's [Blessing Magic] or an enchanted shield to defend against them, and their arrows have such a strong penetrative power that even my armor isn't enough protection. It just isn't worth fighting them, so I won't make the same mistake twice.

    Sometimes, they come when I sleep, but I'm so wary of them that I wake up even before the [Proximity Warning] triggers.

    I can't tell when it's day or when it's night. I only know when it's time to walk and when it's time to rest, and there's nothing else for me to do here besides walking and fighting.

    The Dungeon Master is trying to wear me down, to catch me off-guard, but I've trained for my whole life for this.

    I crouch and wait for the small Faceless Man to come closer.

    When Wolfy needs me the most, I won't disappoint him.

    The Man seems to be moving rather aimlessly, almost stumbling around as he follows the illuminated path.

    I'll fight until my body falls apart. I'll press on until I grind the stone into dust. I'll reunite with Wolfy one day.

    I draw and release the arrow.

    His cock will slam against m-…

    "Hngh~…" The Faceless Man lets out a weird grunt, and I nearly gasp in surprise.

    With a sinking feeling in my heart, I dash towards the collapsing figure.

    The outline appears in my sight and gains a shape, and it's different from that of a Faceless Man.

    The shape gains color, and I see dark brown with a pattern of lots of thin and parallel black circles all over it. That's our elven wooden armor.

    They take their helmet off, and Wolfy looks at me with a pained face while clutching the arrow that's sticking out of his chest.

    "NOOOOOO!" I shriek in horror and rush up to him.

    I rush to his side and fall to my knees, then I start to madly apologize while tears stream freely down my face, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" I take off my helmet and desperately search for the [Regeneration] magic tool inside my [Item Box].

    "Alissa…?" He whispers weakly, then he gives me a gentle smile that stabs at my heart.

    "Y-yes, it's me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry…" I pull out the gem and press it against his chest while I search for the Fast Acting HP potions.

    "The arrow…" He begs, his voice strained because of the pain.

    I pull out the potion, then I grab the arrow and yank it out in one go. I immediately douse the wound with half of the potion and force him to drink the rest, then I activate [Regeneration].

    I sniffle and dry my tears, then I question him, "Why are you using [Hide Presence]?"

    "To hide… from the monsters," he grunts with less stress in his voice than before as the healing starts to take effect.

    I frown in confusion. "And what about your [Heal]?"

    "My mana organ… hasn't healed yet."

    Right, he strained it during the battle.

    I lean in closer to his face and give him a pained smile as I whisper, "You can stop using [Hide Presence] for now. There are no monsters around us."

    He smells weird.

    He nods weakly and grabs something, then [Battlefield Presence] activates, and I look down at his hand.

    A long and thin dagger stabs me in the belly, right where a crack in the plate had opened up into a slit. The blade sinks through the padding, breaks through the dark dragon scale underneath, passes through even more padding, and pierces into my gut, then he twists the blade.

    "Hghr…" I groan as I feel lightheaded from the pain.

    Then he takes the blade out and tries to stab me in the shoulder.

    [Pain Resistance] prevents me from passing out, then I use [Muscle Explosion] to grab his wrist.

    He sits up and easily overpowers me, then he uses his leverage to push the blade down into my shoulder.

    "Wolfy…?" I whisper and cast [Blinding Lights] on him.

    Suddenly, he pulls the blade away and stands up, then he takes a step back.

    "Alissa…?!" He gasps as if he just noticed that I'm wounded.

    "Why…" I groan weakly and apply pressure to my belly while I use the [Regeneration] tool on myself.

    [Battlefield Perception] activates again as he lunges forward at me. I cast [Mesmerizing Butterflies], and he stabs it with his dagger, breaking the spell.

    I jump backward and grab my bow, then I draw a [Mana Arrow] and release. It hits him square in the chest, and he falls on his back, then grunts in pain.

    "Alissa… I love you…" He coughs.

    "No, no, no, no. Why… is this happening…?!" I shriek, then groan in pain.

    He still hasn't stopped using [Hide Presence].

    "Wolfy… stop using [Hide Presence]!" I angrily yell at him.

    He looks around as if he's confused. "What…? I don't understand…?"

    "Let me see your soul!"

    He looks at me as his head trembles. "Soul…? My vision is blurry…"

    I fall on my knees in pain, and I notice that my glove is now completely red with my own blood.

    [Battlefield Perception] triggers again, and I instant cast [Earth Bullet] in front of me.

    The spell hits Wolfy's beautiful face, making his head snap back violently. He collapses on the floor, and I can finally sense his presence.

    This isn't Wolfy, this is a monster.

    I draw another arrow and shoot it through its head, then it dies after a few more seconds. Wolfy's armor dissolves, revealing another Faceless Man.

    FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK-…

    I groan in pain, and my legs shake. I immediately drink another HP potion and continue using the [Regeneration] tool, but I'm bleeding so much that my head is starting to feel really light.

    I walk onward with unsteady steps, trying to get as far as I can from the bleeding monster corpse.

    I desperately [Clean] my hands and apply all the anti-scent I can on my armor and my wound. I won't let them catch me now after getting so far.

    Before long, I discover that the illuminated path leads to a circular gray platform.

    Is this… the end…?

    Hope spurs me into one last burst of speed, but just as I step onto it, my knees fail me, and I collapse.

    As my vision darkens, the platform starts to glow with a white light, then I pass out.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  17. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I wake up coughing horribly and with my chest hurting like rough anal. I roll over onto my side, and I puke out the water from my lungs.

    I search for Wolfy's and Hana's warm presences inside my soul space, but I don't find anything in there except the dark and cold void.

    Wha-…?

    I cough and shiver in the cold, then realization slowly sinks in, and I start crying in panic.

    No…

    I'm alone, again.

    I curl up into a ball and cry.

    The cold seeps into my bones, and I start to shiver uncontrollably, so I turn around and slowly crawl away from the shore.

    I grab one of the glowing crystals that's lighting up the green sand, but it's as cold as I am. It's just giving off pure light without any warmth.

    With a groan of exhaustion, I cast a very small [Fire Wall] in front of me and curl back up into a ball as the spell warms me up.



    The padding under my armor doesn't dry so easily, and after spending a long time wallowing in discomfort, I finally get the motivation to get up and take it all off.

    I pull out a sleeping bag and wait inside it while everything dries.

    I'm in a green, sandy cave, and I'm pretty sure it's impossible to go back through the rapids that brought me here.

    "Hana…" I let her name escape my lips wistfully.

    If only I was able to move my body back then, perhaps I could've held onto her.

    Nah… who am I kidding? The Dungeon Master did this deliberately. He wanted us to be separated, and that means… that something bad is going to happen to each of us.

    "Wolfy…" I cry his name and beg for the Gods to allow him to summon me away from this place.



    I wake up feeling a little better, and quite hungry.

    I cast [Conjure Bland Meal] and groan.

    "Hello, my old friend…" I whisper bitterly and take a bite out of the bar of dirt. "Ugh…"

    I pull out some edible anal lube and dip the bar in it. Now it tastes at least slightly better, but anal lube wasn't a gourmet ingredient to begin with, so it isn't much help.

    Awn, I wanted Wolfy to use this on Hana and me.

    I jerk my head to face the illuminated path in the sand and observe it while I eat. I can't see shit, so I take out my glasses and put them on. Now I can actually see further than Wolfy's cumshot range.

    Ah, [Mana Genitals] is a bit silly, so he might be able to shoot it farther than a few meters, now.

    I see a trail of white light in the green sand snaking its way through the small dunes until it becomes small glowing dots, then it suddenly disappears. Perhaps it goes down a hole or something like that.

    I also notice that the ceiling becomes higher and higher further in, which is kind of nice because I don't really like small and enclosed places.

    There isn't any other path but to continue forward… and I bet Arreira will fuck me-… I mean, fuck with me over there. I swear I didn't think that on purpose, Alissa.

    I miss her stern presence inside my mind keeping us in line more than I'd like to admit. I miss them all more than I'd like to admit.

    I curl up again and hold back my tears.

    Would you look at that, Wolfy? Just a short time apart from everyone, and I'm already a broken, crying mess.

    I pull out the Lithograph and the Emergency Rings, then I try to send a signal with them.

    Well, I've always been like that, though…

    They all seem to have been unlinked because none of the tools manage to send out even a single particle of mana.

    Or perhaps they were destroyed.

    I facepalm with both hands and groan.

    Wolfy…

    I jerk my head back to face the illuminated path again.

    I'm not alone. Everyone should be moving forward already, and I should do the same.

    I pinch my cheeks to psych myself up, then I finish my meal.

    Keep moving forward, Roxanne, you crazy bitch.

    I give my body a quick wash, then I put my armor back on and look ahead. I pull out my staff, cast [Spirit Light] and [Water Spirit], then I start following the crystal lights.



    I use my staff to help me walk on the soft sand. My body still hurts a bit from using my HP to fuel my spells, so I drink a red potion to help dull the pain.

    The sounds of my footsteps echoes through the cave, making me nervous that something might be listening. The whooshing of the river behind me gradually fades away, and the silence only grows more deafening.

    Before long, the illuminated path comes to an end, leading to a circular hole. I see yellowish stone bricks that make up the wall holding the sand away, and some small stone steps have created a stair without railing going down.

    That does not look safe.

    "Down…"

    I blink and sigh, then I increase the brightness of my [Spirit Light] and look around. I can't see anything but green stone walls all around me.

    Keep moving forward. Or, in this case, down.

    I carefully make my way down the steps while leaning against the wall. I can float, but after our ship crashed from the dungeon's [Disruption Field], I've become a bit wary of falling.

    The clacking of my heeled boots against the stone steps echoes even further than the shuffling of the sand did. I've never wished so hard before to know [Quiet Steps], or at least for Wolfy to have given it to me before all this happened.

    The little blue mermaid nestles on my shoulder and keeps an eye out towards the darkness. I must really be out of it if my Spirit has taken up a defensive stance before I have.

    I really appreciate your job now, Wolfy… and Hana, too. Being the one to head into the darkness first is just terrifying.



    The yellowish bricks become rougher and mossier as the air becomes more damp and hot than before.

    I put more care into my step because I don't want to spend a single point of MP right now. There's just so little ambient mana here that a sniffer monster would be able to easily follow my mana trail if I were to cast anything again. Thankfully, the [Water Spirit] and my [Spirit Light] don't leak any mana after being cast.

    My light shines on the bottom of this hole, and I let out a sigh of relief.

    I get off the small steps and reach the solid ground, then I continue forward through an unnervingly low and narrow tunnel.

    "Continue on…"

    I'd like to send the Spirit to scout up ahead, but I really don't want to be alone right now. I don't do well with being left alone.

    When was the last time that any of us were truly alone?

    The air temperature rises, making it a bit difficult to breathe.

    What is this ambient mana…?

    "Forward."



    My legs start to hurt from walking for Gods know how long. I wish I had Wolfy's pocket watch right now. I wish I had a lot of different things, actually. The rest of the harem, to begin with.

    I sit down and take a large bite out of my bar of chocolate.

    "Haaaaah~…" I let out a long sigh of satisfaction. This is really edible happiness.

    I sound like a low-level old hag.

    "Don't stop…"

    Alright, alright.

    After finishing my snack, I use my staff to get back up and continue my long walk down the creepy tunnel.



    My light reflects off of something different, and I freeze up in fear. It takes me a few seconds to understand what I'm seeing, and I realize that it's just a circular platform of gray, smooth stone.

    The tunnel suddenly opens up into a large room with the platform in the center, and I can see two exits out of here. One seems to just be more of the yellowy and rough stone, and the other seems to have some sort of blue moss growing from the seams.

    Suddenly, the gray platform starts to glow, and I jump back while the Spirit gets in front of me, ready for battle.

    The white light flashes, and I wince. The Spirit doesn't even react, so it means that nothing hostile has appeared.

    I open my eyes again, and someone wearing our wooden armor is curled up on top of the platform.

    I immediately rush forward and recognize Alissa's face under the helmet.

    "ALISSA…!" I shriek and let go of my staff.

    The smell of blood enters my nostrils, then I see her hand clutching her belly, and I notice that it's completely covered in her own blood.

    Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah…! FUCK!

    My hands start shaking as I panic, then I push Alissa onto her back so that I can see her wound properly, and a [Regeneration] magic tool falls out of her bloodied hand.

    I immediately grab it and activate it, then I press it against her wound. With my other hand, I pull off her helmet and inspect her face.

    She's passed out, and her skin is nearly as pale as mine.

    "Diagnosis: blood loss. Treatment: pressure on the wound and [Regeneration]," I imagine Ciel's voice in my mind.

    I start to shake her shoulder, trying to wake her up.

    "Alissa, Alissa…! Did you drink an HP potion yet?" I try to interrogate her.

    She groans, and her eyelids flutter, but she doesn't respond.

    Fuck, fuck, fucking goblin dick on a spike. Fuck me in the ass!

    For her to have bled this much, the wound must've been massive. I check it and find that it's still bleeding, and I can't even check if there's internal damage.

    I click my tongue and decide to risk it. Some toxicity is nothing when compared to the risk of her dying from blood loss.

    I take out two Fast-Acting HP potions and empty one of them onto her wound.

    I've never done this before… but here it goes.

    I pull her up and make her sit, then I hug her and rest her body against mine. I open her mouth with my finger and push her tongue down, then I pour a small amount of the potion into her mouth.

    She swallows it reflexively, then I pour some more and repeat that until it's all gone.

    She coughs and nearly spills it, but even if it gets into her lungs, the healing will still work, so it wouldn't be that bad.

    "Forward."

    I can't stop here.

    I look at the floating mermaid sternly scanning the room for enemies and get an idea.

    I wrap the [Regeneration] gem in a large amount of cloth and press it against her wound to staunch the bleeding. I take control of the Spirit, then I have it apply pressure on the gem while also feeding it mana.

    The cute Spirit obeys and frees me from having to constantly hold her, so I store my staff away and pull out my sleeping bag and tent, then I start to assemble a travois stretcher.

    I need to get her to safety.



    I set her on the sleeping bag and feed the Spirit some more mana, then I grab the handles of the travois and lift it. This way, even someone as weak as me can carry her onward.

    I'm sorry, Alissa. I wish I took Hana's training more seriously.

    I enter the mossy tunnel, dragging the travois behind me.

    A weird smell starts irritating my nose, but I ignore it and keep moving forward.

    The air becomes a bit more damp, and the blue moss gradually becomes more prominent, taking over the yellowy stone.

    The clacking of my heeled boots become muffled as the blue carpet covers the floor, then the weird smell intensifies, and I cough. Damn moss must be shedding spores.

    Alissa's wound finally closes up, and the [Regeneration] effect starts working on her marrow, speeding up the replacement of her blood.

    I glance back at her and try to be comforting, "You'll be fine, Alissa. Just a few more hours, and you'll wake up, okay? Now… forward."



    Even with the travois, I eventually tire out and require some rest. I check on Alissa in the meanwhile and play with her ears a bit, but I frown in worry.

    "What happened to you?" I ask without really expecting an answer.

    Her fur is matted, and her hair has lost some of its luster. Her armor also seems to be pretty damaged and dusty. I have no idea what happened to her, but it's like she was in the wild for a day-cycle.

    I apply some [Clean] to her face and her body, and she moans happily.

    If I remember right, Wolfy liked to massage her ears like this.

    She immediately lets out another pleased moan, and I choke back my tears.

    I'm so pathetic.

    I pat her head and whisper reassuringly, "I'm sorry. I need to keep moving forward to bring you to safety."

    I get up and raise the travois again.

    "Letting her rest a bit would be better," I recommend.

    I glance back at her.

    I shake my head and reject my own counsel, "No. I need to move forward and bring her to safety."



    The tunnel gradually rounds off into a more circular shape, then the floor becomes rough and bumpy. The ends of the two shafts dragging behind me start to rip up the moss from the floor, releasing a visible cloud of spores, and I have to give both of us some antiallergenic medicine so that we can stop coughing.

    Alissa starts to stir, clearly uncomfortable because of something, but I can't stop yet. Her internal wounds must finally be closing up, so there's nothing else I can do but continue forward.

    The tunnel weaves up and down, left and right, and it even opens up a little, but it still retains its circular shape.

    I start to hear a faint, pulsating beat. Its deep tone and slow cadence feel hypnotizing to me, and when I finally realize it, I notice that my stomach is suddenly rumbling again, nagging at me for another meal.

    I stop and cast [Conjure Bland Meal], then eat the dirt bar with another flavor of anal lube. This time, it's Ranja. For some reason, the elves love to have sex while smelling that fruit.

    The pulsing sound grows louder, and I realize that there are two distinct beats to it, like a heartbeat.

    "We're almost there, Alissa," I mumble

    "The moss is irritating her. It'll be better if we go back," I disagree.

    My head jerks from side to side, also disagreeing. "I can't go back, it's dangerous."

    "It'll be safer to continue when she wakes up because she can detect monsters," I advise myself.

    My head jerks from side to side again. "We have to get to safety before she wakes up. We're almost there, just hold on for a little longer."

    I get back up and continue pulling the travois.



    The pulsing increases in intensity, and the moss vibrates along with it.

    The walls gain long, vertical, white protrusions that stretch for meters, like ribs poking from underneath the skin. The moss darkens and hardens, then it starts to hold some kind of liquid, becoming fleshy and a bit rubbery.

    The heartbeat becomes perfectly recognizable, and syncs up with my own, then the flesh of the walls pulses along with it, as if it were all part of a heart. The environmental mana gains an even weirder flavor, as if this place wasn't weird enough already.

    "It's fine. Just a little more," I murmur.

    My legs burn from the strain, but I must not stop. I have to protect Alissa. I have to. I have to!

    I grunt and continue pushing on.



    The tunnel suddenly opens up into a wide room with a large, pulsating mass of dark blue flesh at the other end.

    The tunnel ends here, and so does our journey.

    "We're safe," I whisper in relief.

    I lower the travois and stare at the mass of flesh.

    "I shouldn't turn around," I casually tell myself.

    "I need to check on Alissa," I retort.

    "I can use the Spirit to do that," I suggest.

    I frown in annoyance. "I need to check on Alissa!"

    "I shouldn't turn around," I worriedly warn myself.

    I pout and relent. "Okay…"

    "Alissa will be fine, so leave it to me. I'll take care of her," I comfort myself and pat my own shoulder.

    I roll my eyes. "Okay…"

    I reassure myself, "I'll take care of her."

    I sigh and nod. "Okay. I'll believe me."

    I pat my head like Wolfy does for Lina as I gently whisper, "You don't need to worry about her."

    I nod obediently and hum in agreement.

    Alissa will be fine. I should have faith.

    Or should I…?

    Hah…

    Hah.

    "Hah."

    "I need to check on her," I insist and frown.

    I complain tiredly, "Didn't we already go through this…? Can't you just leave her alone for a second?"

    I grin mischievously. "I'm a clingy bitch, I know."

    I raise an eyebrow. "Weren't we a slut? Are we calling ourselves 'bitch,' now?"

    "I'm both," I proudly admit.

    "'Dumb' bitch, more like it," I growl.

    "Shut up. I'm not dumb," I protest.

    I sigh. "And yet… You know what? Just fucking stay still, alright?"

    "I still need to check on Alissa," I insist sternly.

    "Why…?" I tiredly ask myself.

    I shrug. "Because I need to. I can't let anything happen to her."

    I growl in annoyance and repeat, "She'll be fine, so leave her to me, you annoying slut."

    I shake my head and assert serenely, "I just can't. My heart won't settle down until I see her safe and sound."

    I grumble, "She's already safe and sound."

    "She hasn't woken up yet," I counter.

    I facepalm. "She will, soon."

    I cross my arms and smile smugly. "And I won't rest until she does."

    I roll my eyes and groan, "Godsdamnit, you annoying slut."

    "'Bitch,' please."

    I scowl angrily. "Alright, you annoying bitch. Let me do my job, and she'll be fine."

    I dial up my bratty smugness even higher. "No."

    I facepalm again. "Do I even want to ask why…?"

    I knit my eyebrows in confusion. "Uh… No…? Yes…? I don't know."

    "Will you stop if I ask why…?" I bargain with myself.

    "Nuh-uh," I continue being bratty.

    I massage my temples and release a long yawn. "If you're not going to stay still, we're going to have to wait here for a long time."

    "Right…"

    A silence settles in.

    I cough. "But would you hate it if I told you why?"

    I snort and shrug. "Well, just go on, then… it'll at least be better than the silence, and there's nobody else here to talk to, anyway."

    I awkwardly scratch a floppy horn. "I can't leave her… because she's important."

    I casually play with my tail. "Well, duh."

    I smile a bit bitterly. "Nobody can replace her… Aside from Wolfy, she's the only one that's irreplaceable in the harem. If she's gone, everything will just fall apart."

    I raise my eyebrows in surprise. "Wow, you value yourself and your sisters quite a lot, huh?"

    My smile turns wry. "I can't lie to myself. We can't lie to ourselves. If we want Wolfy to fulfill his destiny, then we can't be selfish."

    "So, you'd sacrifice yourself for him?"

    "I'd sacrifice myself for myself. I said that I'd become a better person, and I can't do that if I'm not ready to give up something for what really matters."

    I take my gauntlet off to check on my nails. They're cracked…

    "And you're ready to give up your life for your righteousness?"

    I nod energetically. "Always."

    I grin wryly. "Well… It's certainly true that we're crazy bitches."

    I also grin wryly. "Everyone is a bit crazy in the harem, and that's what makes it special."

    "Every marriage should be special," I calmly educate myself.

    "Yes, but ours is… 'specialer.'" I hold back a chuckle.

    I smile warmly and gently shake my head. "That's… a play on English words, right? I always loved it when the peasants played with language like that."

    What…?

    An awkward silence settles over us again.

    "So… why don't you want me to turn around?" I ask… me…?

    But the silence remains

    "Hello? Other me?"

    Silence.

    I pull out my staff and turn around, then I point it forward threateningly.

    "Who are you?!" I demand.

    There's nothing there.

    There's nothing here.

    "There's nothing everywhere."

    What are you looking at?

    Nothing.

    Nothing.

    Nothing.

    "Nothing."

    Nothing.

    "There's nothing in this room. NOTHING!"

    "Roxanne…?" Alissa moans.

    I'M HERE! I'LL KEEP YOU SAFE!

    "[EXPLOSION]!"

    "SKREEEEE!" A horrible shriek brings me back to reality.

    "[LAVA JET]! [LAVA JET]! [LAVA JET]! [LAVA JET]! [LAVA JET]!" I fill the entire area around me with lava, and the dark-blue flesh burns while horribly shrieking.

    Smoke rises up from below, and the smell of burnt flesh makes me feel hungry.

    The [Water Spirit] spews water at the floor and controls the smoke and steam, opening a path towards the exit, then I cast [Telekinesis] on the travois and make a run for it.

    "Good talking with you! Though you could leave Alissa behind as a courtesy for our therapy session!" The voice inside my mind exclaims.

    I let Alissa's travois fall to the ground for a moment, then I aim towards the mass of flesh at the end of the room. "FUCK YOU! [EXPLOSION]!" I blow it up and raise the travois back up again with [Telekinesis].

    "Ouch. That was rude…"

    The ground starts to rumble, and the burnt flesh suddenly bulges behind us at a frightening rate, swelling so much that it closes off the tunnel.

    AAAAAAAH! FUUUUUCK!

    I run as fast as I can, and all the shaking wakes up Alissa.

    "Roxanne…? What's going on…?" I manage to hear her sleepy voice while frantically trying to escape the flesh chasing after us.

    "FUCK IF I KNOW! BUT WE NEED TO RUN!" I yell and laugh maniacally.

    She tries to get up, but the Spirit presses her down onto the travois again, keeping her from falling off.

    "W-w-what is that…! Roxaaanne…!" She suddenly exclaims, panic clear in her voice.

    I don't even want to look back at that horrific thing. Seeing it once was more than enough for me.

    "Something bad! And it wants to eat us…! Or maybe just you!"

    "[FIREBALL]!" She starts casting random spells to keep it away, and the Spirit tries to help.

    The horror starts falling behind, and the flesh walls gradually transition back into moss, then the ground starts to rumble again.

    "T-the sand! It's falling!" Alissa desperately warns me.

    "Not again!" I groan.

    I almost lose my footing as the blocks under the moss start to break apart.

    "Almost there!" I exclaim when I see the yellowy stone peeking out from underneath the blue moss.

    Small rocks fall onto me, and I'm thankful that I'm wearing a helmet. Alissa isn't, so she has to protect herself from them.

    A large rock impacts my shoulder, causing me to trip, then I fall face-first and skid along the stone floor.

    "Roxanne!" Alissa desperately exclaims.

    Can't stop, won't stop!

    "RAAAAA!" I jump to my feet and continue running.

    More rocks fall onto me, but I shrug them off and soldier on.

    "LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT OF HEERE!" I scream, then I trip onto a platform of gray stone.

    Just as I rise to my feet again, I see a huge slab of rock falling towards me.

    I don't have [Muscle Explosion] or [Dodge], so it hits me right in the face.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  18. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I fail for a third time, trying to overcome the waterfall as I lose my grip on the rock, then I'm forced back down into the river.

    I splash into the water and sink, then I just wait until I'm brought up to the surface again and gasp for air.

    Fuck… me… in… the… ASS!

    I turn around and swim back to the shore, then I stare at my clothes and the pile of armor I left on the sand.

    I clench my fist, and my breath gradually speeds up as a wave of seething anger wells up inside of me.

    My fist flies towards my face, and I almost knock myself out.

    WEAK, WEAK, WEAK, WEAK! I'M SO FUCKING WEAK!

    I kneel down on the sand and pull on my hair.

    I had her in my arms, in my arms!

    I glare at the crack in the back of my helmet.

    FUCKING USELESS PADDING!

    I writhe in anger and agony until the fire within me slowly fades away, then panic sets in. I look back at the hole I fell through and freeze in despair.

    I need to go back…

    But my muscles don't obey. I'm so tired that I can barely move anymore. I can't go back.

    "Wolfy… what should I do?" I ask in my soul space, but there's nothing there anymore.

    I blow fire into my cupped hands and warm myself up in silence. After I stop shivering, I throw the [Proximity Warning] crystals around me and stare hatefully up at the hole until the exhaustion finally takes over, letting me fall asleep.



    I open my eyes and see the path of glowing crystals on the green sand. It's the only light source in this entire fucking wet cave, and it's an obvious path for me to follow.

    "Fuck you," I mutter to the Dungeon Master.

    I have no energy to move even a single muscle right now, so I just stare at it, trying to get angry enough to stand up again, but my heart now only holds emptiness with everything important ripped away.



    My stomach rumbles, and I weakly sit myself up, then I pull out my [Conjure Bland Meal] magic tool and force-feed myself.

    You want to challenge me? Bring it on!

    I glare at the glowing path with hate. Even a small flame can ignite into an inferno, so blow air into it to make it grow.

    But you'd better have saved Roxanne, or else we'll get Wolfy to use [Necromancy Magic] to rape your spirit.

    I use the [Conjure Water] gem on my mouth to wash it all down, then I put on my clothes and armor again.

    I don't give a shit about what the Gods would say. You don't fuck with a dragonkin like this.

    I stretch, then I give one last look up at the hole.

    Everyone will be going through their own challenges, so I can't just stay here wasting my time.

    I walk towards the glowing path while grumbling out whatever insults I can come up with.



    The green dunes start to get larger, and the path tilts upwards. They even get so tall that they almost block the way forward, forcing my head to brush against the low ceiling.

    I can't see that far ahead, so I cautiously advance, wary of any monsters that might try to sneak up on me.

    I cross over a dune, and the cave suddenly opens up, making me raise an eyebrow at the sight.

    The glowing path leads to a green stone wall, then goes vertical, continuing up through a hole in the ceiling for hundreds and hundreds of metri.

    I notice the glow of uncountable elementals randomly spread out on small platforms all along the climb. They're completely unmoving, except for the flames and sparks that have a mind of their own.

    "What the fuck…" I mutter as I look around.

    I can't see as far as Alissa, but I can still make out the details of the closest elementals, and they all seem to be staring straight at me.

    Creepy fuckers…

    I feel a small breeze leading up, which tells me which direction is my way out of this cave.

    I look forward and find that the glowing path passes by a gray platform of smooth stone, then I notice the glint of a white gem in the center of it.

    I cautiously take a few steps forward while I watch the elementals, and I notice their inexpressive faces following me as I do.

    I decide to ignore these fuckers for a moment and just walk up to the platform to inspect it.

    The moment I step onto it, the gem flashes, and a spell is cast on me, then I shiver from the gentle pleasure of having [Heal] coursing through every centumetri of my body.

    I freeze mid-step for a moment, then I get back off the platform and sigh.

    Well… that's nice, I guess.

    I look up again and frown.

    Oh… I can guess what this is for…

    I lost my enchanted sword and shield in the rapids, and I have no other weapons on me besides the two daggers hidden within my armor. Wolfy carried every other weapon I had because my [Item Box] is smaller than Lina's asshole. Not literally.

    I doubt I can kill them with just magic or my fists. It'd take months to even try.

    I believe I can see the exit of the hole, but It's so far up that it just looks like a bright blue dot to me.

    There's no way I can fly all the way in one go with my level of [Summon Wings]. I'll need to rest on those platforms a few times on the way up.

    Just to make sure, I look around at the dunes for another path, but there's none I can see. It's either this or somehow going up the waterfall I fell through.

    Why do I have the feeling that going this way will be easier than the waterfall…?

    I grumble out a few more insults.

    Well, duh. Of course the Dungeon Master won't let me go back.

    I summon my wings, then I spread them wide to stretch them out.

    My armor is going to make this a bit more difficult… but Wolfy would try to test things out first, wouldn't he? I mean, what's the worst that could happen…? Well, death, but I won't die so easily.

    The platform nearby gives me a degree of assurance about that.

    "Alright, fuck it," I growl, then I flap my winds and kick up a cloud of dust as I dart upwards.

    [Battlefield Perception] triggers, and my cockiness gets chopped off between my legs as a storm of spells starts to smash into me.

    My armor holds up against most of the hits, but my wings aren't protected, and the blunt attacks also slow me down on impact.

    I fly towards a platform, then I grab the earth elemental that was on it and throw it off.

    I stop there to catch my breath, yet the attacks continue, and I can't do anything here but try to defend myself.

    I try to cast Illusion spells, but there are so many enemies that my magic has almost no effect. My [Rainbow Shield] has run out of time, and I don't even have enough points for a Wall-type spell, so I have no way to stop the punishment of my armor.

    I activate [Enhanced Endurance] and launch myself up into the air again.

    My wings get cut, burned, shocked, and broken the longer I fly upwards, decreasing my speed. "Endurance" won't do anything for me if I don't even have wings to make me fly.

    This won't work.

    I grit my teeth in anger and dive back down. "FUCK YOOOOOU!" I scream as I retreat.

    I have trouble slowing down, so I nearly splat myself on the gray platform, but then it flashes, and all of my wounds are gone, except for the one on my pride.

    I start grumbling, then I bark out, "Your mother was an orc and your father smelled of rotten goblin cum! Go die by a Breeder-type you…" The anger quickly dies down as my energy runs out, and I sigh in defeat, ashamed about my own failure.

    I watch as the earth elemental I pushed off suddenly disappears, then it instantly reappears on its platform again. Destroying them all doesn't seem to be an option.

    I raise my arm and inspect the cracks on my vambrace. I have a [Growth] magic tool to help mend it, but I don't have any special dirt to fully repair it.

    A stupid idea enters my small lizard brain.

    Can I use [Conjure Bland Meal] to repair?

    I chuckle at my dumb idea, but then I decide to test it out.

    I mix conjured water and the meal bar together in my hands, turning it into a disgusting mush, which I spread over the crack on my vambrace, then I activate the [Growth] gem.

    After just a few seconds, a weird smell starts to come from the vambrace, and a dark moss quickly grows all over the crack, then some weird, tiny mushrooms appear, so I stop feeding the gem.

    I touch the vambrace and notice that it feels softer than it was before, then it releases a cloud of moss and spores.

    Well, fuck.

    I clean the vambrace and realise that I've only made it weaker overall.

    "Fucking piece of fucking…" I start to grumble, but tiredness washes over me, so I lay down on my back.

    I stare up at the exit for a long time while my lizard brain thinks about absolutely nothing interesting.

    "Is this what you wanted?" I whisper, then I throw my vambrace to the side and glare at the elementals. "To show me how useless and weak I am when I'm alone? Well, I ALREADY KNEW THAT, YOU ROTTING CORPSE!"

    I grab a fistful of sand and pathetically throw it away, only to have it scatter back onto my face.

    I spit out the sand, then I glare at the exit.

    "But I get what you're doing… You want me to push past my limits, right?" I sit up, then I start to take off my armor. "You're challenging me? Me?! You're challenging a dragonkin to push further than ever before?"

    I throw the wooden plate and the scale mail down onto the sand. I don't have any room for them in my [Item Box].

    "You're challenging Hanafuria Ry-… Hanafuria soon-to-be Ryder?!" I take off my clothes, then I stare up towards the exit and summon my now-healed dragon wings. "ARE YOU SURE ABOUT THAT?!" I roar and laugh.

    You'd better not be watching, though.

    "I WON'T STOP TRYING, NO MATTER WHAT IT COSTS, NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES! I WON'T LET ANYTHING STAND BETWEEN ME AND WOLFY'S COCK!"

    I clench my fists and begin to breathe faster as anger courses through my veins.

    "DON'T YOU FUCK WITH MEEEEE!" I flap my wings and roar as I shoot upwards.

    The elementals fire their projectiles, and [Battlefield Perception] triggers, so I start taking evasive maneuvers while continuing to rapidly climb upwards.

    Without my armor weighing me down, I'm much faster and more nimble, but every single spell that hits me hurts like a bitch.

    I climb and climb, my eyes glued to the finish line, desperate to cross it, but it swells in my vision far too slowly.

    My skin is burned, slashed, and pounded. My blood starts to drip from multiple wounds, but I soldier on. My anger numbs the pain, so I don't even need [Pain Conversion] to endure it, and I refuse to use that Skill with anyone outside the harem.

    A stone boulder collides with my head, and my vision goes dark.



    I open my eyes and notice that I'm falling. I try to steady myself, but my wings are almost completely torn apart.

    The elementals stop firing and just watch me as I glide back down again, then I crash onto the gray platform, and my whole body is immediately healed.

    My pride is wounded even deeper, but I'm a masochist. The pain only makes me want to try harder.

    I get up and try again.

    And again.

    And again.

    And again.

    And again…

    As long as I can fly, I try to shoot even higher than before. As long as I can stand, I train my body for the next day. Every second that I'm awake, I prepare my mind for the battle ahead.

    I'm not a very pious person since I don't fully understand the Gods, but I still ask them for help anyway because the God of War said that pride is a deadly disease.

    I pray to the God of Sun to let me stand back up every morning. I pray to the God of Endurance to give me the strength to continue training each day. I pray to the Goddess of Will to give the clarity to focus on each attempt. I pray to the Goddess of Growth to help me get closer to my goal.

    My [Summon Wings] levels up once, then again, then my [Enhanced Endurance], then my [Enhanced Stamina]. Every level up allows me to fly higher, so little by little, the exit grows closer.

    My soul potential quickly goes into the negatives, and it slows down my growth, but I don't give up. There's no other way except to continue trying, day after day.



    The exit is now so close that I can see the crystal lights surrounding it. The next day, I fly a little higher, and I manage to count them.

    Victory is right at my fingertips, I just need to grasp it.

    Suddenly, a burst of mana comes from the top of the passage, and a flame flares up far ahead of me.

    It rapidly grows into a huge ball of fire until it fills the entire tunnel, then it darkens as it's filled with molten metal.

    I stop in fear and stare at it. That's [Meteor].

    It launches towards me, then I turn tail and retreat.



    I land on the platform and collapse.

    "And I thought Wolfy was sadistic…" I mutter, then I roll over onto my back and glare up at the [Meteor]. Without warning, it disintegrates into nothing well before it can even warm me up. "I wasn't serious, though. How the fuck do you expect me to punch a [Meteor]?"

    There's no response because this fucking shitty Dungeon Master likes to taunt but doesn't let anyone fuck with him in return.

    "Well, fuck you!" I exclaim, and my echoes tell me to fuck myself. I used to enjoy doing exactly that, but after having a taste of my own personal shape-shifting dildo, I think masturbation is beneath me.

    I sigh and stare at my hand. My emerald scales are far too few to protect me against that spell, let alone punch it.

    Wolfy managed to form scales on his skin, though they were weaker than mine.

    I close my eyes and go over every memory I can about Wolfy's [Soul Manipulation].



    I remember talking about it with Alissa.

    "Being part animal and part something else is just what you are, so you shouldn't be trying to hide it. You should push it out and allow it to help you become stronger," I tried to advise her.

    "Being animal or human is what we are. Wereanimals need to learn how to have two sides before they can properly change forms," she calmly replied.

    "Then you also need to learn how to be both so that you can pick the best of the two sides."



    I meditate while I practice [Soul Manipulation], steadily covering my fist with my soul.

    I have a dragon inside me, so I just need to bring it out.

    An old memory of a rather similar situation drifts to the surface.

    "How's your heart?" Mom's stern voice echoes inside my mind.

    "Stable, I don't feel any anxiety," the young me answered.

    "Desire?"

    I remember that Wolfy's monstrous multi-cock will never fuck me again if I don't get out of here.

    "Strong," I growled, though at the time I was thinking about another cock instead of Wolfy's.

    "Anger?"

    "In control."

    "Energy?"

    "Full."

    "Confidence?"

    I open my eyes and look at my own hand. No matter how much I want to punch that [Meteor], there's a limit to everything.

    "It won't get any better than this," I whisper.

    Mom's reproachful tone makes me wince even now, "You're a dragon, Hanafuria. You won't fly if you don't believe that you can fly; you won't ravage if you don't believe that they'll die; you won't burn anything if you don't believe that you can destroy it. Either you can, or you can't. Now, confidence?"

    This isn't just a question of "can" or "can't" because, if I fail, then I'm not worthy of being Wolfy's wife. It's "do" or "die."

    "I'll burn, I'll rape, I'll kill. Not literally because the Gods don't like it, but yeah, I'll do what I want. I will do what I want!" Young me thought to herself, trying to ignite the fires of savagery within her heart.

    I was so angry and ferocious before I met Wolfy, but where did that anger go?

    As a sex beast, celibacy gave me strength, but I refuse to go back to those times. It worked, sure, but I don't need something that "just works," I need something better.

    I am part dragon, so why can't I use that strength whenever I want?

    "I got this, I know it," I whisper the same words that I said that day, but I lack the confidence I had back then.

    "Yes, you do, now focus. Gather your anger, your power. Gather the savage blood inside you, the proud being that dominates the realm," Mom encouraged me.

    I love you, Wolfy. I love you more than I ever thought possible, but not only you. I love everyone. Alissa, Roxanne, Ciel, Lina, Aoi, Yunia, Klein, Osaria, and even Gify a bit. Of course, you get a special place, too, Roxanne. I love everyone so much that I'd…

    Hm… how far would I go for them?

    I smirk.

    How far is infinite…?

    I growl and focus on my hand.

    I'd do something really stupid to get back to them. I'd cross the Everlasting Storm! I'd hunt down an ancient dragon by myself! I'd even fight the fucking Emperor!

    And I'll show you all the true depth of my feelings by punching that fucking [Meteor]…! But I can't do that if I remain just a small, weak dragonkin.

    I glare at my hand and grunt with exertion.

    I'll be the biggest, most powerful, most badass, most fucking mean dragon this realm has ever seen! I'll make Wolfy and Mom proud, then I'll make them both suck on my tits! I'll fuck Wolfy and the rest of the wives until there's nobody left to challenge me! I will have my harem of women one day!

    I want to bite into an orc and feel his blood dripping down my throat! I want Roxanne's fist inside of my pussy! I want to roast an orc alive and eat it while it screams! I want to fuck Wolfy in front of the entire realm! I want to… I want to…

    I glare with even more intensity, and my MP starts to slowly drain.

    Love, anger, disgust, arousal, degeneracy, and passion. All of these emotions boil within my heart and fill me with energy.

    I want to rip and tear; to rape, fuck, and breed; to fight, conquer, and drown in pleasure atop my throne. This world is mine for the taking because I'm the strongest, the biggest, the apex predator. I'll do what I want and you'll just have to suck it up, bitch.

    "I'm not a sex beast anymore, Mom. I'm a love beast! I'll let my love for the harem give me strength! Then I'LL PUNCH THIS [METEOR] WITH THE POWER OF LOVE!"

    Glowing emerald wisps twinkle around my hand for a second, then they fade away.



    Mages say that direct mana manipulation is dangerous. I say fuck 'em.



    I've lost count of how many days have passed while I've been stuck down here. Not that I'd know it for sure even if I had counted since I haven't seen the sun in only-the-fucking-Gods-know-how-many days.

    All I know is that today's the day, or night, or whatever…

    I pull out the last of my chocolate and devour it all. I need all the energy I can get today. Then I flex and stretch, the same as I always do.

    I plunge a finger into my pussy and pinch my clit, then I stop. It just takes a little teasing to awaken the dormant celibate beast.

    Today's the day you fuck me, Wolfy.

    I summon my huge wings and stretch them out, too, then I stare up at the goal.

    I patiently wait in silence as the fire within my heart grows more fierce and the chocolate begins to take effect.

    My emotions are boiling within me, but my heart is keeping them fully contained. The dragon inside me was tamed by Wolfy, but now, it's also been tamed by me.

    My heart reaches its limit, and the fire within starts spreading through every limb, then I shoot up into the air.

    "WOLFYYY! I'M COMIIIIIING!"

    I dodge and weave around the projectiles like it's nothing. At this point, they're just an annoyance.

    I clench my right fist and focus my power on it.

    The exit gradually grows larger in my view, then it's suddenly hidden behind a massive ball of fire.

    "DRAGOOOON…" I breathe in deeply and prepare my lungs.

    The [Meteor] shoots towards me.

    "PUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNCH!"

    Shining emerald scales cover my fist as I activate [Draconic Body].

    The [Meteor] suddenly shrinks down to less than half its size.

    What?!

    Then my glowing fist collides with it.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Lord The_Cultural_Weeb_Otaku.
    Lord Sean Drake.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  19. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I stare at the glowing crystal path on the green sand. My heart feels cold and empty, as if the light within had been ripped out.

    I'd only been connected through [Bind] for a short while, but it was such a wonderful feeling that I must've become addicted to it, and now I miss it so much that it hurts. It felt like Wolfy was always warmly holding me with his arms, and I could be in his presence with just a thought. Now, I just feel a dark void inside me.

    I fall to my knees and hold my face with my hands.

    What even happened to us? The ship crashed, then… a river? Rapids? How didn't I drown? And where's Lina…?

    I open my "Status" and confirm that everyone's names are still in my "Companions," though I can't seem to feel the fellowship bond that would let me know where they are.

    Somehow, only part of the bond has been severed, but at least everyone is still alive.

    I sigh and run my fingers through my wet hair, then I stare at the glowing path again.

    Is this a challenge?

    Suddenly, I feel dizzy and lose my balance, then [Diagnosis] triggers.

    Dizziness, headache, memory loss. Symptoms of a concussion, likely acquired in the rapids. Low risk of death unless treated.

    I steady myself on the sand and hold my head.

    How did that happen when I was wearing a padded helmet, though?

    I immediately start focusing my mana while I prepare [Heal].

    Healing focus: divine-powered realignment of the soul and body. I can't risk using physical treatment to heal the brain because it's either too imprecise or too dangerous.

    "[Heal]," I cast on myself and use a good amount of mana to ensure that my concussion goes away.

    My mind immediately clears, but the emptiness within my heart remains.

    I sigh and start taking off my armor to properly dry myself off.



    After I'm done, I take my glaive out of my [Item Box], then I cast [Holy Spirit]. A blue [Spirit Light] surrounded by a heatless fire materializes in front of me. Then, two small lights solidify into long transparent crystals to act as its feet, and a third solidifies into a small oval metal mask with two holes that acts as its face.

    The little Spirit lands on the sand and starts scurrying around me excitedly, then I take out my large, delicious bar of hazelnut chocolate and sit down.

    I stare at the glowing path while I eat. The crystal lights continue on for about a hundred metri, then they suddenly disappear into the darkness, making it seem awfully eerie to me.

    What's waiting for me over there…? The Dungeon Master hasn't seemed particularly sadistic or murderous so far, but they're from the time of God-Rulers, who are known to be very overbearing. If I fail this test, would they kill me for not being worthy of following Wolfy?

    Perhaps I shouldn't be worrying about them killing me, but rather that not being allowed to be Wolfy's wife anymore would be as severe a punishment as death… It'd certainly be like that for Alissa…

    I grumble and force myself to set aside these stupid thoughts. I can't start overanalyzing things now, or I'll just fall for my own stupidity.

    What am I even thinking? This is a trial that I must complete… no matter what.

    Everything gets properly dried off and is ready to use again, so I put my armor back on, then I pull out the Lithograph and Emergency Rings and fiddle with them for a bit. Predictably, they don't work, so I store them away again as I let out a tired sigh.

    I stand up feebly like a low-level grandma and frown at my own lack of motivation.

    Alissa wouldn't think twice about facing this head on; Roxanne would just do it without even thinking too deeply about it; Hana would face it while laughing; Lina would do whatever she could to reunite with us again; Aoi would have fun while doing it; Yunia wouldn't let stupid thoughts get in the way.

    I breathe in deeply and close my eyes, then I start gently whispering a chant, "A candle in the Long Night, a flame in the snowstorm, a pyre to warm our hearts. I beg not for strength but instead just for the ability to prevent the light from being snuffed out. The cold will be expunged, the storm will pass, and dawn will come."

    I look forward and straighten out my posture, then I fearlessly let my voice echo throughout the green cave, "I shall stand tall and proud; and with a spear in hand, I'll cry out loud: as long as I live, I'll fearlessly brave the night, for I know that another day will come! [Inspire]!"

    The spell forms inside of me, then it sends out a pulse in all directions, blessing everything it touches with its effects. There's only the Spirit and myself around, so this spell didn't cost me that much mana.

    My darker thoughts start to clear from my mind, and a faint [Regeneration] affects my body, helping it recover from the exhaustion of today's fighting. Both of these effects compound on each other, giving me a second wind and allowing me to reach full combat readiness again.

    Alright. It's time to move.

    I finish eating the last of my chocolate, then I get up onto my feet and start following the glowing crystal path.



    As I carefully approach the end of the path, my anxiety increases with its proximity. It's not just the crystals that stop after a certain point, I also don't see any more of the sand's glimmer that should be caused by my [Spirit Light]. It's as if there's an impenetrable darkness ahead.

    I look around cautiously, but I don't see anything except green sand and stone walls, so I decide to send the Spirit ahead to inspect the end of the path.

    It scurries forward and stops right before the end, and its glow makes it quite obvious that there's no reflection of any kind coming from anything ahead. It's like everything just ends past a certain point, as if there's a Dark Void-like screen covering the way forward.

    I notice a few grains of sand getting kicked up by the Spirit's small crystal feet, and they simply disappear into the darkness.

    Soon, I reach the wall of darkness myself, then I stop in front of it and stare into the abyss.



    My heart starts pounding harder. Two voices call to me. I'm needed inside.

    "We need to go," I whisper, then I look down at the masked [Holy Spirit].

    It energetically nods back at me, then it steps into the abyss on its own, and I follow it a moment later.

    Everything disappears except for my body and the Spirit. We stand on a cold, solid floor with nothing but darkness around us. There isn't a single reflection I can see, so it's like we're standing in mid-air even though I can feel the floor under my boots.

    What did I get myself into?

    The voices call to me again, and I start moving "forward," even though I don't know what direction that really is.

    Our footsteps don't produce any sound, but all our other movements do, so it's just the soft, muffled clinking of my padded armor that echoes through the empty void.

    Something catches my eye, but when I try to look at it, it's already gone. It happens again a few minutes later, then I notice a wisp of something smoky on the third try.

    The wisps grow larger and start to become more noticeable, as if candles were being snuffed out all around me, releasing small streams of white smoke.

    I stop when I suddenly notice a semi-transparent blue ghost of a person materializing in front of us. They don't have any details, making them seem like a mere doll on its knees, praying for something.

    I cautiously approach them, but they don't react. Then I touch them with the butt of my glaive, and it sinks through their form without any resistance, which tells me that this spirit is completely immaterial.

    They suddenly crumble like a mound of ash falling apart, and its glowing "particles" fly towards my [Spirit Light]. They start flying around the spell, and I feel trace amounts of Light mana leaking out of them.

    This is… just odd…

    I blink repeatedly and shake my head. There's something oddly "mesmerizing" about these particles, and I'm not sure if I want to know exactly why it is.

    Should I dispel my [Spirit Light]…? But the symbolism here makes me think that I shouldn't.

    The voices call to me again, and my heart pounds harder once more, then I realize that this "desire" to move forward is very similar to what I felt when we met the dungeon core's orb.

    So the dungeon is calling for me…?

    I look down at the Spirit and its glowing mask simply stares back at me emotionlessly.

    I kind of wish that you could talk. I really need a second opinion here, like Wolfy's.

    I breathe in and softly chant [Inspire] again, but I don't actually cast it. The chant and the mana released from this spell is rather calming, so I use it to clear my head again.

    "Not one step back, I guess," I mutter to myself and continue forward.



    I hear a faint whispering coming from far ahead, then it gradually increases in volume until I recognize it as weeping.

    A cold chill runs down my spine as I remember the Weepers, then I start to softly chant [Inspire] again to keep my nerves steady.

    More doll-like spirits appear along my path. They crumble whenever I get near enough, then their glowing particles add to my [Spirit Light], and it becomes slightly brighter.

    Oh, I see what's going on.

    I continue "collecting" more praying souls, and the weeping gradually grows louder. It unnerves me and makes me want to stop, but the voices in my head give me the motivation to continue anyway. Two opposing forces start fighting each other inside my heart, but the louder the weeping gets, the weaker they become.

    I stare straight ahead into the impenetrable darkness, steeling my heart for what's to come. I must continue forward, I need to get through this dark realm, and I will reunite with the harem.

    Suddenly, I feel something stare at me, and I freeze on the spot.

    I blink and rub my eyes, but the feeling doesn't go away. "Something" is still staring at me.

    I grip my glaive tighter and point it forward. The Spirit starts floating in front of me, prepared to attack anything that could materialize out of the darkness, but nothing comes.

    The abyss hatefully glares back at me, but it doesn't make a move. Its ever-present stare weighs down my mind and slows my steps, but I continue on.



    The next spirit appears bowing on the floor, looking towards the abyss ahead of us, but their body doesn't collapse when I get near.

    "Lord… I don't want to go," the spirit whispers with barely any strength, begging to me about something.

    What…?

    "Lord… I don't want to go," they repeat.

    "Go… where?" I ask, unsure about what's going on.

    "Forward," they submissively answer me, and I’m reminded about the glare of the abyss again, making me frown.

    I can kind of understand why they wouldn't.

    "Why not?" I sternly continue the questioning.

    The spirit curls up into the fetal position, terrified. "I'm afraid," their weak voice comes out, almost breaking into tears.

    I ignore its obvious fear and press on. "Of what?"

    They whisper their reply almost inaudibly, "Of the abyss."

    I kneel down beside them and ask them more gently this time, "What is 'the abyss'?"

    "Death," comes their flat response.

    I frown and state, "There's still Paradise after death."

    They shake their head gently. "Death is death."

    What are they talking about? Is this related to heretics destroying their own souls?

    "Paradise comes after death," I insist, being stern with them again.

    Their voice becomes tired. "Paradise is not life."

    "But it also isn't the abyss."

    "The abyss is death," it states, then they start weeping.

    I don't understand.

    I shake my head and retort, "Death isn't empty like 'the abyss.' There's Paradise, and then reincarnation into the next cycle. Death frees us from our mortal chains and allows us to receive our just rewards."

    "The chains are all I have," their pained words give me pause.

    Oh…

    I look away, then I stare down at my own hand.

    A commoner isn't awarded the same glory in Paradise as a hero, and they also don't leave much of a change in the realm after their death, so for them, their life, their "chains," is everything they have.

    I look at my [Spirit Light].

    Do I really need their power?

    The glare of the abyss is unrelenting, always pressing down on me, telling me to turn around and run away with my tail between my legs.

    I sigh gently as I gather my determination, then my priestess training comes back to me, blocking the abyss from my heart for a moment, which grants me a brief feeling of peace. I lean closer to the spirit and whisper, "We're all afraid of the abyss. Of failing, of falling, of disappearing, but there's nothing we can do besides moving forward."

    The spirit's round, smooth face suddenly turns to look at me. "Forward, where?"

    I look around and ask myself the same question. I don't even know where I was going anymore.

    My heart pounds again, then my head suddenly turns towards the voices calling to me.

    When in doubt, follow your heart. That's something that I think Wolfy would say as a reference to something.

    I smile wryly for a moment, then I look at the spirit again. "I'll… I'll guide you forward, so will you follow me?" I gently ask them.

    They bury their face in their hands. "But I'm afraid of the abyss," they whimper.

    I smile warmly at them. "So am I, but together, we can keep it at bay."

    Their body starts to crumble apart, and they give me a parting whisper, "Together…"

    My [Spirit Light] becomes noticeably brighter, but it doesn't hurt my eyes anymore when I look right at it. It's really weird.



    I move on and ask a few more spirits to join me, but while they make my [Spirit Light] brighter, they don't seem to help against the abyss's glare or the weeping, both of which are still getting stronger.

    Okay, I learned this from Wolfy.

    I will my [Spirit Light] to come down in front of me so that I can see it properly, then I gather my courage and announce, "I'm guiding you, but if we are to continue on, I'll need your support."

    Wisps of ethereal smoke leave the glowing orb and start to orbit chaotically around me, then I start to feel their "presence," as if I knew where they were through a fellowship bond at all times.

    I start to hear a crowd of different voices inside my head. Cheering, chatting, laughing, singing. The spirits all seem excited to be going on an adventure, and their collective noise starts to drown out the weeping.

    I cast [Inspire], and every single wisp receives the spell's effect, boosting their continuous chatter. The intensity of the glare doesn't change, but it's easier for me to deal with it now because I know that I'm not alone.



    I collect more and more spirits, but one of them asks me a question that gives me pause, "Will you save me from the abyss?"

    I don't even know if I can save myself from this place.

    "I can only give you the opportunity to save yourself," I sternly answer, and the spirit lowers its head in disappointment.

    The other wisps slow down, and their chatter diminishes, allowing the weeping to press down on my mind again.

    I start to get stressed out and very annoyed with these spirits, so I look around and berate them, "Aren't we already in the abyss? If we stay here, it would be the same as death. Only through struggle and effort can we save ourselves from this place, but I'm the only one here that's actually moving forward! I can't force any of you to help me, or rather, help us, so you need to find your own courage, your own fire, and then you can help us fight… or you can just stay inside my [Spirit Light] and merely hope that I succeed."

    "I don't wish to fight," the spirit moans, then it starts weeping.

    I look down on it and state imperiously, "You can come, but if you don't help, you have little reason to complain. You're surrendering your Thread of Fate to me, but you aren't giving me anything that will help us reach your goal. Do something! If you believe in me, then support me!"

    The groveling spirit hugs itself, and they crumble apart, then their particles add to my [Spirit Light], and a vibrant flame appears around it. Unlike the [Holy Spirit], this flame actually gives off heat, and although it doesn't exactly counteract the abyss' stare, the warmth it provides me makes it easier to hold strong.

    "Forward!" I yell and raise my glaive in cheer, then the chatter increases in volume once more.



    More and more spirits add to the chatter and warmth, but it isn't enough. The abyss's strength is still growing faster than theirs, and I'm sure that it'll eventually overwhelm me.

    The pressure intensifies, and it becomes hard to breathe. My heart guides my way every once in a while, but it happens less and less frequently.

    I start to sweat cold and lean on my glaive to keep walking. The weeping unnerves me, and the glare instills me with fear, but I stubbornly continue forward anyway.

    "Not… one… step… back…" I mutter under my breath, but the spirits all seem to be oblivious to what I'm going through. They react when I cheer and when I order them, but they ignore me in my suffering. "FORWARD!" I suddenly bellow, and they increase their support for a short while.

    I have to act like a drillmaster.

    "FORWARD!" I encourage them again, but I don't even know where I'm going anymore.

    "Not one step back!" I cheer, but it's more for myself than for them.

    "The abyss shall not take us…!" I yell, but I feel like I'm about to fall.

    "We'll get… through… this…" I mumble, but they're just empty words.

    The heat of the flame increases even though I was mumbling, so I do it again.

    "We'll get through this…!" I yell with a little more confidence, and the spirits gain another small boost in power.

    "We can all survive the abyss!" I lie, but nobody seems to notice that since the spirits gain even more power than before.

    Lies: they work, until they don't.

    I grit my teeth and decide to not lie anymore, but I immediately start to regret that when a cold begins to steadily seep into my bones. Even the spirits' fire isn't enough to completely prevent the abyss from taking over my mind.

    No…!

    I resist and soldier on.



    I don't know where I'm going, the cold is making me shiver uncontrollably, my voice has gone hoarse, and my legs are starting to refuse to obey me.

    I slow down until I fall to my knees, then I take a long rest right there, but my fatigue doesn't go away at all.

    Is this it? Is this as far as I can go?

    "Will you take us further?" A spirit childishly asks.

    "Will you succumb to the abyss?" A displeased spirit grumbles.

    I don't have the energy to answer them.

    I don't know where I am, how far I've walked, or how much further I still have to go. I'm surrounded by people I don't know or understand, but they've all given me their loyalty regardless. It's all so poetic, so… so like this dungeon.

    I don't even feel sad that I'm about to fail, I'm just sad that I won't be able to help these spirits.

    I laugh self-deprecatingly, then I roll onto my belly and start crawling forward.

    But I'll only accept failure when the Dungeon Master themself tells me that I've failed.

    "I'll… continue… forward…!" I yell at the spirits while groaning with exertion.



    The cheering, the weeping, the warmth, and the cold all fade away from my mind, as if they were just background noise. The only thing that remains now is the glare of the abyss telling me to go away.

    I crawl forward and glare back at it.

    What is it that you want from me? Why are you in my way?!

    The glare intensifies, and my chest stops moving entirely. I can't breathe.

    I can't stop!

    But am I even going in the right direction?

    I can't stop!

    But how will I move forward?

    I can't stop!

    But wishes alone won't take me anywhere.

    The abyss manifests before me, its hateful eyes looking down on me, and I weakly raise my head to look right back at it, face-to-face.

    I'm weak; I'm afraid; I'm cowardly; I'm willfully walking towards death.

    I slowly push my glaive forward, then I point it right at the abyss and cast [Beam]. I hit something.

    I'm willfully walking towards death.

    I strain myself and forcefully pull air into my lungs so that I can breathe.

    I'm willfully walking towards death!

    I unsteadily get onto my knees, then I manage to stand up while wobbling slightly.

    I won't run from death! Not again!

    I feed more mana into [Beam], and I can feel the abyss weakening.

    THIS IS MY PENANCE! FOR MACHT AND FOR WOLFY, I'll NEVER RUN AWAY AGAIN!

    My mana runs out and the [Beam] wanes.

    I WILLFULLY WALK TOWARDS DEATH!

    The abyss hits me, and I fly backward. I tumble across the hard, black floor, and all the air is forced out of my lungs.

    The [Holy Spirit] finally reacts and lunges at the abyss, but it can only hold it back temporarily.

    I look up and see the wisps all indifferently flying around my flaming [Spirit Light], which is now glowing as brightly as a small sun. I notice the chatter and the warmth again, but the weeping and the cold of the abyss is still overpowering it all.

    I'm sorry…

    I raise my hand, then I use [Redirect Mana] to gather all the mana I can onto my palm. A deluge of Light particles rush out of my [Spirit Light], and I struggle to control it all.

    The wisps fade away, the chatter dies down, the warmth recedes, and I'm left alone with an inconceivably large amount of mana in my hand.

    Wolfy's right, the Dungeon Master is a pretentious Plom.

    The [Holy Spirit] is torn apart, then the abyss attacks me again, and I groan in pain.

    FOR WOLFY, FOR THE WIVES!

    I feed all of the immense Light mana into my glaive.

    I WILLFULLY WALK TOWARDS DEATH!

    My glaive melts and explodes from the surge, then a searing heat washes over me for just a second, and the pressure of the abyss simply disappears.

    I wait for a few more seconds until my vision recovers, then I look around. I'm now in a corridor made of square blue slabs. In front of me, there's a circular gray platform made of smooth stone, and beyond that is a large, green hole in the floor.

    The platform glows, and Alissa and Roxanne suddenly appear on it, both of them passed out, then I hear an explosion from the hole.



    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
    Lord Novgarod.
    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Lord The_Cultural_Weeb_Otaku.
    Lord Sean Drake.
    Noble Salty Panda.
    Noble Mild Fracas.
    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
    Noble Tyler Mills.
    Noble Shawn Plumley.
    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.
     
  20. Manasong

    Manasong Well-Known Member

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    I wake up trembling in fear and hyperventilating as if I was just having a nightmare, but it was all real, or at least, the nightmare isn't over yet.

    "Wolfy…? Ciel…? Alissa…?" I ask for help inside my soul space, but my only answer is more silence.

    The waves hit my face, and I groan, so I crawl off the shore, then I lethargically take my armor off. Somehow, I kept my enchanted hammer and shield with me even after passing out.

    Did I really pass out?

    I ignore those thoughts for now and look around. I'm in a damp, stuffy, and badly lit green cave. The ambient mana here isn't so bad, but it's still barely enough for my level five [Stonebody] to function.

    My head starts to pound with a headache, so I take out an HP potion and drink it all down, then I open my "Status." My "Companions" entry tells me that everyone's seemingly alive, but we're also completely separated from each other.

    I've never heard of something that can block the fellowship bond without removing them from the "Companions" entry.

    There's no reason to think about this any further, so I warm myself up with a [Fireball] and simply stare at the dancing flames while my mind wanders.



    I look towards the glowing crystal path in the green sand.

    That seems like an invitation… a trial, perhaps?

    I frown and hug myself in anger.

    Why would you want to separate us? We're stronger together, and we can cover each others' weaknesses, so we don't need to be tested separately because we already know our failings.

    God-Rulers have always been egotistical, high-handed, and imperious assholes. Of course, Arreira would come up with a stupid, pretentious test to judge our "worth." Our entire delve through this dungeon has been stupid test after stupid test, hasn't it?

    The first three levels were about history and our knowledge of him; then some sort of teamwork or combat test with the lighthouse; then a piloting test with the tornadoes; then whatever he wanted to test with the Looping Winds Station; then another piloting test; then the test of nobility with the Chimeras; then the warfare test.

    Now what? A test of courage? A test of competence? A test of loneliness? Or just plain torture?

    That's right. This is TORTURE!

    After being connected to Wolfy and the other wives for long, you just had to abruptly tear us apart? You don't even do that with a child! It took months for my parents to decide to sell me once things started to go really bad! MONTHS!

    I clutch my chest and grit my teeth.

    I'd forgotten how lonely it was to be so far away from the others. I'd forgotten how cold it felt to be without someone always watching over me. How empty everything seems without someone to share my feelings with…

    Is THIS what you wanted to test? Our capability of staying away from each other without [Bind]? No, of course, it isn't, you're just testing our mental resistance for TORTURE!

    I don't NEED to stay away from Wolfy and the wives, I don't WANT to stay away, and I'll NEVER need this sort of "resistance" that you might want to force on us! Together, we're INVINCIBLE, so there's no reason for us to EVER separate from each other!

    WE DON'T NEED YOUR HELP, SO FUCK YOUR TEST AND FUCK YOU! I WISH THAT YOU'D GET RAPED BY BREEDER-TYPES FOR WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO US!

    GIVE ME BACK WOLFY! GIVE ME BACK CIEL! GIVE ME BACK EVERYONE!

    My jaw trembles, and my vision blurs from the tears, then I lay down on the sand and cover myself with my now dry clothes. Fuming with anger, I cry until my exhaustion pulls me into an uneasy slumber.



    I wake up and gasp in fright. I forgot to set up a perimeter of [Proximity Warning] crystals.

    I clutch my axe and jump up to my feet, then I shiver in fear when I notice that I haven't dressed myself yet.

    I look around, but I don't find anything. I was just being paranoid.

    But that was a big blunder… I don't even know if there are monsters nearby.

    I grumble at myself and armor up, then I sit down and eat a conjured meal with my chocolate.

    Ah… edible happiness.

    The chocolate disappears so quickly from my hands that I almost ask myself if something didn't just steal it from me.

    With a tired sigh, I get up and stretch. It's time to begin this trial.

    Stupid pretentious idiot…



    I cautiously follow the glowing path, wary of any sounds, but there's none I can hear besides my own.

    The path abruptly ends in a green square corridor made of stone. There isn't any illumination, which forces me to cast my own [Spirit Light]. I didn't want to create a beacon of light that would reveal my position, but I don't have [Sense Presence], so whatever is out there will likely notice me before I notice them, anyway.

    I take a look around the cave, but there's nowhere else to go, so I cautiously enter the corridor and follow it to wherever it'll take me.

    The trial is starting.

    I continue walking for a long time through the tall, wide corridor. It curves, bends, and weaves up and down, but I don't see anything except the smooth green stone. Not a light, not a sound, nothing.

    My anxiety gradually deepens, and I feel my heart pounding inside my chest with every step. The clacking of my boots unnerves me as it echoes out, alerting whatever is listening that I'm coming, while I have no idea about what I might have to face in the trial.

    Is there even anything here? This thought repeats inside my mind the longer I walk.

    The tension lasts for so long that my muscles start to ache, so I massage my shoulders and try to think about other things to relax myself a little.

    Is this an endurance test? Will you send monsters after me when I have my guard down? When I'm sleeping? When I'm relieving myself? Or is this just a way for you to play with my paranoia?

    How much does the Dungeon Master know about me, anyway? Does he know about my anxiety? Does he know what I fear? Does he know my insecurities? He's only shown fragments of Earth knowledge, so it's not like he can literally read my thoughts, can he?

    I nervously clench my fists.

    I'm going to think myself to death if I continue like this. There's too little information to make any sort of assumptions. I'll just have to wait and see…

    But I hate waiting…

    I sigh tiredly.

    I really want a plan I could use right now…

    I hear something odd mixed in with the sound of my footsteps, so I stop to check my boots.

    Or at least something to help me sco-…

    I hear a single fleshy footstep after I stop. It came from right behind me.

    I swing my axe as I turn, and I see a figure jump backward to dodge.

    I immediately recognize it as a dark goblin-like monster. Its naked body is very thin and delicate, making it seem rather weak.

    It's wielding a thin stabbing dagger that it promptly uses to silently attack me.

    Fuck!

    My axe has [Extend], so my reach allows me to safely sink the blade into its throat while its thin arms desperately try to stab me.

    I dislodge the axe with a jerk, then I jump backward so that the bloodied Goblin Stalker can't stain me with its blood as it flops onto the floor.

    It gurgles and chokes as it tries to crawl forward, but I finish it off with a chop into the back of its neck, paralyzing it.

    It'll take a few more seconds for it to die from either blood loss or suffocation, but I don't want to wait here for that. I [Clean] my axe and quickly move on. This time, I keep looking behind me every few seconds.



    I look back just in time to spot a Goblin Stalker jumping out of a hole in the floor. As soon as the monster lands, the hole shrinks down until it disappears in mere seconds.

    I sink my axe into the goblin's head before it can even react, then I quickly finish it off and walk away.

    This is terrible! Can they come up anywhere? If they can, then [Proximity Warning] won't work!

    But why aren't they using these holes to make me trip? I'm pretty sure that I'd just walked over the spot where the previous hole appeared. They could've attempted hundreds of different ambushes with such abilities, so why haven't they?

    Perhaps this is part of the trial. It's not to get the monsters to ambush and kill me, but just to wear me down with the constant threat o-…

    I kill another Goblin Stalker coming out of a hole right beside me and hurriedly move on.



    I stop to eat, and right when I conjure my meal, a Goblin comes out of a hole in the wall.

    I grit my teeth in anger and crush its head with my hammer. Using an axe will spill too much blood, so it might be a better idea to use this form for now.

    I won't get any sleep if this continues.

    After eating, I hurry forward and rack my brains about how I can stay safe.

    Perhaps I could use [Earth Wall] to build a closed room for me to sleep in, but if they can open holes wherever they want, then they might be able to get through my Wall. They could also try to suffocate me by closing all the breathing holes, or even just wait outside in massive numbers.

    I'm in deep Skritter shit.

    I turn a corner and immediately stop. I can see a small light far ahead floating in the air, and there seems to be someone under it.

    "Who goes there?!" A female voice shouts, and I suddenly gasp.

    "CIEL!" I scream her name and start running towards her.

    "Lina?!"

    I start crying as I'm overwhelmed with emotions.

    That was cruel, Dungeon Master! Why did you separate us?! Why?! Why?! Why?! Wh-…

    A hole opens up in front of me, and I almost fall into it. I have to activate [Wind Shield] to defend myself from the Goblin that leaps out of it, ready to stab me in the face.

    I stop it in place with the enchantment, then I turn it off and bash the Goblin. I immediately follow up with a strike at its ribs, sending it flying off to the side due to how little it weighs.

    I dash after it, then I nail the spike of my hammer into its head. I jerk it back out with a yank, then I continue running towards Ciel.

    Behind her, I can see a small gray platform with Alissa, Roxanne, and Hana laying on it. They're all "sleeping."

    "W-what happened?!" I yell as I get closer, my happiness of meeting Ciel again is snuffed out like a [Spirit Light].

    "They're alive…" She reassures me, her face stern and slightly anxious.

    I run past her and stop just before the platform. Alissa's armor is bloodied, Hana's body is naked and covered with nasty burns, but Roxanne looks like she's completely fine.

    "But…?" I ask worriedly as I stop close to them.

    She hesitates for an uncomfortably long second before nervously answering, "I don't know what's wrong with them… and I can't cast [Heal] because I'm completely out of mana."

    I bite my lip and turn to her. "Do you need HP or MP potions? I still have nearly all of mine."

    She shakes her head and immediately looks away. "I don't need it. I've already given them enough, so any more will just be toxic to them."

    "Okay…" I lower my head sadly and fidget, but Ciel doesn't let me rest.

    Her stern voice suddenly wakes me right up, "Lina! Keep your head up! There ar-… GOBLIN!"

    I breathe in deeply and look towards where she's pointing. Past the platform, a Goblin Stalker is rapidly approaching.

    "Protect them!" Ciel orders, and I immediately obey, making quick work of the weak monster.

    I look at her and notice that she doesn't have a weapon.

    "You'll have to protect me," she states, sounding very irritable, then she touches the platform, and it starts to float. "Let's move!"

    I keep an eye out in every direction while she pushes the platform forward. The number of Goblin Stalkers coming out of holes increases, so I can't even spare a moment to relax and talk about what happened.

    It's not like Ciel would know, anyway. She says that she found them all already like this.

    What kind of trial is this…?



    "Another! Get it!" Ciel shouts and points at a Goblin.

    "Lina! Kill it!" She shrieks when another one comes too close.

    "Another one! Get it!" She orders me to chase after one that's far away.

    "What are you doing?! There's another one coming!" She jerks me out of my short rest.

    "LINA! Over there!" She startles my tired body awake.

    "LINA! Are you even paying attention?! Don't let them get close to us!" She chastises me for slacking.

    "Y-yes!" I exclaim and shoot up immediately.

    I finish the Goblin off and look at her, expecting to see her reassuring eyes, but they hold nothing but irritability and anxiety.

    I lower my head and silently walk back to the platform. None of the sister-wives seem to have changed in the least, but at least their chests are still moving up and down.

    I see that Hana's wounds haven't changed at all, so I frown and turn to Ciel. "W-why haven't Hana's wounds healed even slightly yet?" I shyly ask.

    She huffs angrily and berates me, "I'm the healer here, Lina. Do you want to do my job?"

    I look down in shame. "I'm just… asking…"

    "I don't need you second-guessing me," she growls.

    Her anger-filled words make my heart tighten with pain, and I become belligerent. "I'm not second-guessing! I just want to help."

    "But you aren't!" She shouts, then she grits her teeth and pushes the platform harder. "We just need to get out of here before the Goblins can overwhelm us!"

    Why is she acting like this? She hasn't smiled even once.

    I grab the platform and easily push it against her, nearly making her tumble backward, then I confront her, "Hasn't your mana recovered even a little? You should try to at least heal Hana's smaller wounds. Look how wounded she is!"

    It's light… the platform is so light…

    "Get your hands off the platform! We have to keep moving!" She ignores me and shoves the platform forward.

    I don't even need to use [Spirit of Gaia] to hold it back against her, but I still get out of the way and let her continue pushing it forward.

    "Why aren't you trying to [Heal] them?" I insist.

    She suddenly stops and turns to glare at me. "Because it doesn't work!" She shouts angrily, then she buries her face in her hands in frustration and groans. "Nothing works! I tried it until my mana ran out, but nothing works!"

    "How…? I drank an HP potion for my headache, and it worked…" I frown and hold my chin in thought. "Can you test it on me, too?"

    She shakes her head and resumes pushing the platform. "I'm not wasting any mana on you."

    Why are you acting like this…?!

    I steel my heart and interrogate her, "Ciel, it's been hours. Even I've recovered a lot of my MP during this time. What's wrong with you?"

    She snorts and growls, "There's nothing wrong with me."

    I press on, "Yes, there is. You're angrier than I've ever seen you before."

    "That's because three of the wives are passed out, I can't heal anyone, I don't have a weapon, the Goblins won't stop coming, and you just keep pestering me all the time!" She throws her hands up in frustration, then she rests her head on the platform and goes quiet.

    The fire in my heart is snuffed out by guilt and sadness, so I lower my head. "I'm sorry…" I whisper.

    "Let's just continue moving forward," she gently responds with a sigh, but I can still sense that she's holding back her irritability.

    I look at Hana's burned body and frown. Alissa is also wounded, but all the blood on her armor has dried, so at least there aren't any external wounds.

    I get close to the platform and focus my single point in [Sense Mana] on Hana.

    "What are you doing…?" Ciel asks with a dangerous tone.

    I feel nothing coming from her. When someone's being healed by an HP potion, some particles of mana are emitted, and it's really noticeable with external wounds because half of the potion should always be poured on the wound.

    Hana's wounds are completely dry, and there's no indication that a potion was ever used on her.

    I turn to Ciel, and she just stares back at me in silence, her eyes slowly returning to their seriousness and anger from before.

    There's something really wrong with you.

    I open my [Item Box] and pull out a Fast-Acting HP potion.

    "Lina…" Ciel threatens me.

    I uncork it and bring the potion towards Hana.

    Ciel grabs my wrist and pulls my hand away. "Do you want her to suffer from the toxicity?! I already told you: I gave them all HP potions!" She growls at me, her eyes trying to stab into me with their fury.

    She's never been angry like this before. Not even when people blasphemed against the empire or the Gods.

    I push against her hold on me and effortlessly pour part of the potion onto Hana. Ciel tries to stop me, but she's so weak that I can barely feel her trying to pull me back.

    "You stupid…!" She scowls at me, barely containing her anger. "Why did you do that?! I told you that they're going to suffer from toxicity!"

    I pull my hand away from her, and she immediately releases me, then I glare back at her and frown worriedly. "What happened to you? You're so weak, and you haven't fought the Goblins even once!"

    "You expect me to fight without a weapon?! Without MP?!" She questions flippantly and snorts.

    "What's wrong with your mana organ? Even I've recovered some of my MP."

    "There's nothing wrong with my mana organ," she immediately replies.

    "THEN HEAL THEM!" I angrily shout at her.

    She raises her hand and slaps me. My helmet absorbs it entirely, so I barely even feel it.

    I adjust my helmet and glare daggers at her, facing off with her scowl like a brat before a Lord. "There's something really wrong with you. You're unfit to lead," I firmly state.

    She's taken aback for a moment, but then she starts chuckling, then laughing, and she keeps increasing in volume. It becomes a deep-bellied laugh, as if I'd just told her the funniest joke she'd ever heard.

    She suddenly slams her gauntlets down on the platform in rage and scowls at me like an angry goblin. "And what will you do if I say 'no'…?" She hisses at me.

    Her helmet is hiding most of her face, but it's clearly visible to me that she's as angry as a berserking dragonkin. I didn't even think it was possible for her to ever get this angry… especially at me…

    But I won't let her trample over me, not when the safety of the harem is at risk. I straighten my posture, becoming steadfast, and face her as I return the glare, defiant against her insanity. "I'll force you to obey."

    "You wouldn't dare…" She enunciates threateningly.

    I grab my hammer and turn it into an axe, then I pull my gauntlet mostly off and slit my palm. I show her the wound that immediately starts to bleed, then I pour some of the HP potion onto my hand.

    A characteristically-flavored mana immediately starts to be emitted from the wound as it slowly heals and closes up.

    "There is something wrong with you! Admit it!" I yell, my voice almost breaking up from the pain I feel in my heart.

    Her anger seems to cool off, leaving only a grim dread behind. "You'll get us all killed like this. You're going insane."

    My mouth trembles in disbelief as my voice fully cracks. "Me? Me…? Insane…?"

    She smiles triumphantly and crosses her arms. "That's right, you. You've been defying me all this time, you've ignored my orders, and you're compromising their health by carelessly throwing potions at them!" She gesticulates wildly and points to the wives.

    I stare at Hana's skin, paying attention to her wounds. They're not healing, and neither is the potion taking effect.

    I suddenly climb onto the platform, then I give Hana's leg a small cut. Ciel grabs me and throws me away from the platform.

    "WHAT ARE YOU DOING? HAVE YOU GONE COMPLETELY INSANE?" She bellows, and I even feel her spittle flying at me.

    I quickly get back up and ignore her, then I look at the wound I made. It bleeds for a moment, then it starts to visibly heal and emit the same mana as my palm did when I cut myself.

    I glare in distrust at Ciel and growl, "Are they really our sister-wives? Are you really Ciel?"

    Her anger vanishes within a mere second again, returning to the cold and grim dread. "What kind of question is that?" She asks in a low, stern tone.

    I brighten my [Spirit Light], and Ciel reflexively takes a step backward.

    I grab the ball of light and fill it mana, then I throw it towards her and release the spell.

    Ciel yelps and covers her face, then she falls back onto her ass and yells, "LINA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"

    I cast another [Spirit Light] and throw at her, making her scream in pain again.

    "STOP!" She pleads, but I cast it once more and throw it at her, making her scream even louder.

    "Monsters are weak to [Spirit Light]…" I mutter, then I see a single, hateful eye stare back at me from behind her hands.

    I cast the spell one more time and throw it at the wives. They all suddenly scream in pain and jump off the platform.

    I raise my axe and bury it into Hana's head, then I immediately cast multiple [Earth Bullet]s at each of the Sinne Ompia. They're a rare monster in Mountainhome that can copy someone's body and demeanor after drinking some of their blood.

    I raise my axe and chop down repeatedly, the steel blade quickly stained red with monster blood.

    YOU DARE TAINT THEIR IMAGE WITH YOUR ABHORRENT ACTING?!

    YOU DARE TASTE THEIR NOBLE BLOOD WITH YOUR FILTHY, UNHOLY TONGUES?!

    YOU FUCKING DARE USE THEM AGAINST ME?!

    I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU! FUCK YOU…!



    My rage gradually fades away, and with it goes my drive to ravage their bodies.

    I [Clean] the blood off of my face, then I lean on my axe as I catch my breath.

    I'm lucky that these faceless monsters weren't the Hunter sub-type. The one impersonating Ciel would have killed me the moment I turned my back to it.

    I look around and wait, but no Goblin Stalker comes to take a bite out of the hellish landscape of carnage I just hacked together.

    So… is the trial over? Did I pass?

    Nothing seems to happen, so I turn my gaze to the floating platform.

    What was the point of this? I doubt it's just a convenient tool to transport the Sinne that were pretending to be passed out.

    I walk up to it, my boots making wet sounds on the way as they step in the partially-dried monster blood, but I don't care anymore. Whatever is still out there would've easily heard the horrific cries of agony from the Sinne. A "little" more blood on me doesn't change anything.

    I touch the platform, then it glows, and I'm teleported away.


    Hall of Fame of Patrons

    The patrons who support Rupegia shall have their names sung by the bards for they deserve the glory and honor. Their names are:

    Prince PreownedFIN.
    Lord Andrew Meyers.
    Lord Samuel Lim.
    Lord Bill.
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    Lord DJ.
    Lord Ashadun.
    Lord Michale Erwin.
    Lord Bakerdea.
    Lord D4rk Sheep.
    Lord Nathan Vanbrunt.
    Lord Maurice.
    Lord Krawn.
    Lord Empyrean.
    Lord Mattirro Draca.
    Lord Joshua Tal.
    Lord Colorblind.
    Lord RottenTangerine.
    Lord Cidant.
    Lord Fullmoon.
    Lord Joxsan Herrera.
    Lord The_Cultural_Weeb_Otaku.
    Lord Sean Drake.
    Noble Salty Panda.
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    Noble EESDESESESRDT.
    Noble Aclys.
    Noble Jordon Gotthold.
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    Noble Kale Daley.
    Noble Stellerbattle.