Novel Rupegia

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

  1. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Today is the 11th.

    I'm shriveled but Alissa massages me until I release it. This morning routine is sacred.

    Here's my progress:
    Info
    Name:Wolf RyderAge:16RaceHuman
    HP:100MP:560Magic Power:235
    Level:17Experience:386/3500
    Stats
    Strength:9Endurance:10Dexterity:9
    Speed:10Intelligence:20Wisdom:16
    Willpower:15Charisma:11Piety:12
    Perception:15Sanity:8+4
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:"Good Luck" Nickname
    Affiliations:Helios (Fellowship), Alissa (Blood Slave, Fiancee), Hanafuria (Blood Slave, Fiancee), Roxanne Succubus (Fiancee)
    Companions:Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel
    Crimes:NONE
    And my skills:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9+6Dodge4+5Parry4+5
    Block1+8Shield Bash0+1Muscle Explosion0+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana0+5Mana Control0+7Mana Recovery6+0
    Mana Efficiency1+4Reduced Mana Cost5+0Mana Overuse Resistance0+2
    Electric Magic0+5Light Magic6+4Space Magic19+12
    Summoning Magic12+8Blessing Magic2+8Nature Magic0+8
    Redirect Mana (creator)2
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language10+0Dismantling0+2Enhanced Semen Recharge0+3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    With this my trump card is [Gate]. This skill has an extra part that's called a "coordinate" that stores the location of wherever I'm standing. I can store up to "(skill level/5)+1" "coordinates". I then choose a coordinate and when I cast the spell one black circle appears on the ground in front of me and one appears on the "coordinate". Whatever touches the black circle gets teleported to the other cicle just like when you teleport between floors on a dungeon. If my mana is not enough then the object just doesn't get transported. Since my [Space Magic] is level 11 I can maintain 3 "coordinates" and not lose them when I remove all my points on it.

    I believe most mages must learn a weaker version of [Gate], the prices for a space mage teleport are quite high, it must cost them a lot of mana then. With 30 points on [Space Magic] it's not really expensive and I can use it a lot for all of us. Those tests were made hiding from Ciel, of course.

    Before we leave I put more points in [Nature Magic] so I can use the level 20 spell [Animal Tongue] and speak to the spirit griffin that was waiting for us on the back wall.

    -We will be gone for a few days, ok? I'll leave this last piece of meat here but we will give you more when we come back.

    The griffin turns his head sideways and then he looks down, he at me with sad puppy eyes.



    We move to the west gate. The dinghy is still comfortable enough for us, I hug Hana and Alissa on the back while Roxanne flies it besides Ciel. When we registered Ciel she got the town pass too so we just have to spend a few seconds at the gate. The meeting place is directly outside the town past the chest high wall, we are the first to arrive.

    I concentrate and chant [Wind Armor]. Repeating the chant a few times I get an inspiration and manage to find the way to cast it in an area, it ends up saving a lot of my mana. The way to cast it in area feels very similar to the way I expand my soul to use [Redirect Mana], I guess this is why this was easy to me.

    -Oh my, you truly are becoming quite the mage, Wolf- Ciel says.

    -Hmhm, everyday I fall for you even more- Roxanne says while she rubs her cheeks on my head.

    I don't feel that proud though, I'm kind of cheat, my Earth knowledge and point realocation is a huge advantage here.

    I cast [Sharp Blades] in an area and after about 30 minutes chanting I also manage to cast [Swift Foot] in an area, instantly my [Blessing Magic] increases by 2 (now it's 2+10). Unfortunately this cost me 1/4th of my mana and I start to hear a ringing in my ears signifying I overused my mana. Casting mana intensive spells really screws with your body, even my throat hurts.

    Ciel can cast [Inspire] that reduces physical, magic and mental damage slightly and give us a small stamina and mana regeneration boost. For Alissa, Ciel casts [Perfect Arrows], which reduces a lot of the drag on her arrows. You have to get used to it but Alissa has talent with the bow, she adapted quickly and now her arrows can penetrate deeper.



    I look around and nearly everyone is already here. Hilde was observing me, I see she brought 2 mercenary space mages.

    Unfortunately, Simon is here too. His fellowship, Swift Wind, is composed by 6 people. There's 2 gold haired elven male archers which look like they look like they are constantly smelling something bad. There's a large muscle head who carries a greatsword and his face reminds me of ogres. There's a small mage with a forgettable face who looks like he's always sleepy. And there's an average brown haired halfling who uses a sword and dagger.

    Alissa told me halflings are humans who are at maximum 1m tall. They have round faces and noses and are very adept at hunting and farming, with most of the (in)famous assassins in history being halflings. Don't ever confuse a dwarf with a halfling you don't want to anger a person who is in arms reach of your jewels.

    A man approaches us and speaks.

    -So you are the boy- He says. I don't like the way he talks.

    He's the leader of Escutcheon, a fellowship that has 4 shield users, one mage, and one archer. He's a big burly fat man with a tower shield, his skin is slightly darker than Ciel's, his black beard cover most of his round face and his small beady eyes look at me with a slight hint of wildness. In essence, he's a big black bear.

    I just raise an eyebrow and stare at him.

    -Tell the truth, how did you kill the Orc Headhunter?- He says and crosses his arms. Even Ciel glares at him.

    I point my finger to the side and expressionlessly cast [Lightning Bolt]. He jumps backwards in surprise.

    -What the fuck- He mutters.

    -I don't have to chant, you know what that means, right? I don't chant and I use the sword, you know what that means, right?

    -Hahah, so I guess there's no way for me to ask for a spar without magic?

    -Fuck no, that's asking a swordsman to fight with half a sword.

    -Fucking'ell, I guess you are fine then. And all your women can at least lift their weapons?

    -Logan, remember they killed the Symbol of Hate and subjugated the goblin village- Hilde says, approaching us.

    -You always get yourself the weird ones. The boy got his own harem- He says to Hilde with a crooked smile.

    -Yes yes, this fellowship is quite valuable and expensive, go back to your place and let them work- She says while waving her hand dismissively.

    -Tch, alright- He clicks his tongue and leaves.

    -… Fucking magic dick- I clearly hear him mutter.

    At 7:40AM we depart south.



    Alissa goes far in front in her fox form while Roxanne guides us with our map. After drinking one of Roxanne's high-grade MP potions I control 2 german shepherds on the flanks. Hilde and her party walk between Swift Wind and Escutcheon. At the back a 2-man scouting party makes sure nothing sneaks on us.

    By putting the 5 free skill points Alissa has in [Sense Presence] she can sense things from pretty far away, nothing will get past her.

    The goblin population is still down, we only met 4 of them.

    Suddenly my ring glows green. We bought another pair of Emergency Stones, this one is for Alissa. The green means she found something she can't deal alone, it's a Young Ogre.

    Alissa fires an arrow perfectly into an eye, again. The Ogre charges towards us.

    -UGOOOOO!- He yells.

    -URAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!- Hana yells harder. The ogre decides to charge her.

    Hana grips her sword with two hands, she dodges his charge and slashes, cutting one of his legs clean on the knee. He falls down heavily and skids on the mossy dirt. When he stops Ciel stabs him on the throat mercilessly, then she grimaces. She seems content to be on this trip, she's eager to fight but I know she's not really enjoying the killing part.

    I didn't even have to fight.

    After a while the ring goes green again. We carefully approach Alissa, it's a Grey Berserker.

    -Hm… I wanna try something. Hana will distract him, I will summon an elemental with a mace and if it gets stunned Alissa will fire an arrow on its eye, if it doesn't die you girls cast [Wind Hammer] and [Torrent] at his head in this order. If all fails we mob him and go for high-damage.

    -Why do it like this? Isn't it a bit risky?- Roxanne asks.

    -I wan to preserve the fur the most I can, it's very valuable and I also wanna test the blunt force of the elemental. So I will go right, Roxanne behind me, Ciel left and Alissa is free.

    We all agree to the plan and rush forward in formation. The Grey Berserker immediately turns and looks at us warily, it's deciding whether or not it's worthy to fight us, he's more clever than the average monster.

    -Come here you big fat ugly shithead!- Hana taunts.

    It roars and its eyes focus on Hana, then he charges. I summon a 3-armed metal earth elemental, the more my skills increase, the less human I can make it. This one has one arm sprouting from the top of its head with a mace for a hand.

    The bear gets up on its hind legs and swipes at Hana, she dodges and then blocks the second attack, a scale flies from her shield. Holy shit these claws are sharp, this is the first time our scale shields got damaged.

    The elemental runs awkwardly towards the bear and bends its whole body down while swinging its head-arm. The attack hits the bear and brings him down but since he was standing up there wasn't enough momentum to kill him. The elemental hugs the bear who was stunned for a second, then bear starts thrashing about, he can't break the hug.

    -He's moving too much, I can't get a shot- Alissa says.

    -[Wind Hammer]!- Immediately Ciel lets out her spell.

    The spell hits the cheek of the bear like a boxer punch, the bear stops for a second and resumes thrashing but weaker.

    -[Torrent]!- Roxanne lets out a thick but short burst of water from the tip of her staff.

    The bear is hit on the other cheek and now he's groggy. Alissa fires her arrow and it hits his eye, the arrow goes so deep you can only see the feathers remaining. The bear twitches and his body goes limp.

    -Oh, I leveled up- Says Hana.

    -Look at this, the fur is perfect!- I cheer and rub my hands, I can feel the gold coins.

    -W-what's with you Wolf?- Asks Ciel, her eyebrows knit in worry.

    There's 4 women in our house, all I want is enough money to play dress up with all of you.

    -Well… Uh, I have certain things I want to buy.

    Roxanne and Alissa share a look, they know my expensive hobbies are either tea or clothes for them.

    I approach the corpse. The fur is perfect, we will get the full price for this body. I store it all.

    -Wow, your [Item Box] is pretty big, Wolf- Ciel says.

    I had to stop myself from saying a dirty joke.



    Hilde seems satisfied with our actions, since we have a good forward scout the others don't have to stop until we deal with the monsters. Even when a group of Mossy Fangpines appeared we engaged them before they threatened the expedition. Logan just scoffs and looks away, he won't admit we are skilled, what a tsundere.

    We take a stop for a quick lunch, Alissa and Ciel cooked a lot of food for us so we have proper meals and not the simple stuff from the food stalls. Corn is not as important to the local culinary so I taught a few recipes with corn meal to Alissa and now she's putting it in everything.

    After lunch orcs start to appear but they are all naked and unarmed, it's just target practice for Alissa.

    With such small amount of monsters appearing we had no hangups but we still barely made it to the camp site before it was sunset. It seems Hilde overestimated her own stamina as she slowed down a few hours after lunch. If she had asked for [Swift Foot] we would have been on time, maybe I should have offered first. With this there's no time for Alissa to scout the numbers of dragons on the nest so we just make camp.

    Our camp is at the edge of a mountain range, brown rock protrudes from the ground with white diagonal streaks, this is the Pavees Mountain Range, a delicious name that reminds me of a dessert. Inside the mountain range there's a cave system where the dragons made their nest. A warm, covered, and secluded place is the best nest for dragons, there are a few monsters who love to eat dragon eggs.

    My women and Hilde don't mingle with the other fellowships, considering they are all composed of men there's a real unbalance here and their gazes make me burn with jealousy.

    -Holy shit Ryder, are they all yours?- Simon says while we pull out our tents.

    -Hm, yes, they are all my women.

    -Last time I saw you you were just with the small lass there, the hell is your dick made off?

    I force a wry smile.

    -Last time I saw you you were looking for someone to track the Orc Lord, right? How did that go?- I ask, trying to change the topic.

    -That was focking rough mate. We got the "halfshit" assassin over there to track the orc for us and he actually did a good job, the orc had ran away from The Smirk and was marching back southeast to the Sea of Trees but we found him. The problem was getting near the fucker, his guards were good sniffers, we had to roll up in literal orc shit to be able to approach him. Hah, you should have seen the "halfshit" cut the dick of the Lord and then run away like headless chicken because he enraged the fucker.

    Orcs are proud of their genitals, cutting one off will make it go berserk until it dies. Since it has no other purpose in life besides reproducing and fighting, once reproducing is cut off it will fight to the death with whatever comes in his way.

    -He actually cut it off and survived? Is he lucky or stupid?- Hana interjects and saves me from the conversation.

    -How about both? The Orc Lord actually cut down his own guards, made things easier for us until the whole orc camp woke up from the noise.

    Hana keeps the gruesome conversation until I escape and call her to the bath. Ciel keeps watch, though it's unnecessary since I can now summon 4 dogs for guarding and a bird for spying. Now that nobody has the energy after yesterdays orgy we just fondle and kiss each other, I reward Hana with a good amount of attention and breast massages.

    After we get out Ciel is blushing. I'm pretty sure we didn't make any lewd noises so I'm not sure why she's blushing, maybe she's just imagining things? I'm pretty sure she knows we do it all the time during the bath.

    After Ciel takes her bath Roxanne uses her magic to dry her hair and brushes it. Ciel integrated with us so well that basically the only difference between her and the other is that we don't touch each other, yet.

    We gave the orc corpses to the other fellowships to eat. If one didn't know about this world they would see this scene as a bunch of cannibals roasting 2 ugly green men. Orc meat is slightly green and tastes like pork. The ribs, abdomen and arms are considered the best parts.

    I ate orc before but seeing things like this makes me a bit sick, the people here sincerely do not consider monsters to be any close to humanoids at all.

    I keep 2 Rottweilers as intimidating guards in front of my and Ciel's tent and the 2 other german shepherds keep making rounds around the camp. My bird is a small owl that I hid in a nearby tree with a good view of the camp, if anyone tries to sneak about I will know.

    Today is a slow day so I get the women to teach me her weak spots, my tongue got so tired I had trouble speaking.



    Today is the 12th.

    Hana wakes me up with her insides squeezing my member. She's getting rather addicted to me giving her pain but I don't want to make too much noise here by being rough with her so she's a little dissatisfied. We use [Clean] on the tent and Alissa makes sure there's no smell, then we call Ciel.

    Oh the horror, our table is too small and the tent doesn't have space for a bigger one so our charcuterie board that we are used to make in the morning is much smaller.

    Ciel enters and starts blushing. Really, again? I was wondering why she was like this when I noticed Alissa is moaning softly while I brush her tail, I guess I got too god at it.

    When we break camp only my group and Hilde and her assistant have bright expressions, everyone else suffered because of the guard, bad food, and bad beds.



    Alissa doesn't waste time and sneaks into the cave entrance. Yesterday she was supposed to observe number of dragons and how many are leaving the nest but because we were late she couldn't do it.

    Dragons are social creatures and live in nests with around 20 others until they are mature enough to live alone and reproduce. The strategy is to wait for most of the dragons to leave to hunt and kill the remaining few, then we wait until the rest comes back one by one and ambush them inside the cave where they can't fly away. With 2 space mages perhaps we can kill the entire nest.

    We break camp and move closer to the cave entrance. If you pay attention every once in a while you hear the flap of wings, it's the dragons moving about, this makes everybody tense up.

    At around 8AM Alissa sends me the signal, the gem on my Emergency Ring turns green.

    -Let's move- I tell Hilde.

    This time we will have very little to do. My party will stay at the back while everyone else helps kill the dragons remaining on the cave. It's not like we are useless, the noise and smell of blood could attract other monsters that we would have to deal with, we could even end up facing a dragon by ourselves if we are unlucky.

    Alissa joins with us and the party leaders.

    -I saw six dragons leave, they are all barely two meters tall. There's three at the cave, they are guarding eggs. There's two hatched and one weird signature.

    -Weird signature?- I ask.

    -Yeah, I don't know how to explain. I'm not sure if it's an animal or a monster but it's small like the other hatchlings.

    That's new.

    -I know a bit of [Nature Magic], perhaps I could use [Animal Tongue] on it.

    Hilde shrugs.

    -Suit yourself, but if it's another dragon per our contract you will have to buy it from me.

    It's not like I want it or anything, I'm just curious but whatever.

    -I will only pay the standard price for a dragon child, if it weren't for Alissa you would never know it was special.

    Hilde thinks for a moment and narrows her eyes. She knows it's fair and she has no way to scam me out of more money, [Sense Presence] is a fairly rare skill so the discovery was truly only possible because of Alissa. She sighs and resigns.

    -Fair enough.



    Escutcheon leads, followed by Swift Wind, then Hilde, and then us. The scouts will stay outside and try to warn us of anything dangerous coming, Alissa will stay at the entrance.

    This place is a cave system, it has one large tunnel that bends sneaks deeper in the mountain and multiple side branches the goes on for a kilometer or so. The ground is uneven and full of protrusions, but you can see the effects of dragons going in and out of it every day, there's plenty of spots that got flattened by their huge feet or scraped by their claws.

    I take one point out of [Sword Use] and put it on [Sense Presence]. Without Alissa everyone realizes how convenient her sensing is. As the main party goes forward cautiously we check plenty of the side branches.

    There's an annoying enemy in caves called Scritter due to the "scritt" noise they make. It's a 30 centimeter tall black crab-like monster that can stick to walls. It's attracted to light sources and if not dealt with they will eventually swarm you and nibble you to death so we regularly go around the side branches to exterminate them.

    We also found a few normal slimes, which are amoebas that spit acid and eat anything organic. For those Hana uses her bow and we kill them with ranged attacks. It deflates like a water balloon and leaves a rubbery outer layer that people use to make jelly.

    After Roxanne collects a few mushrooms we finally reach the cave guardians. I hear a roar and the ground shakes, the battle has started, we finish clearing the back and move forward. We reach a large open space filled with bones where the smell of animal and shit is noticeable to me, good thing Alissa isn't here.

    There's three 2-meters tall blue dragons fighting, one already has an arrow on its eye, another has a deep slash on his neck and is bleeding profusely and the last is being pushed back but is unharmed. The dragons are large quadruped lizards with long claws and thick bodies, their wings grow from their backs to over 5-meters in length, and they have long necks allowing it lots of dexterity during a bite. Their teeth have edges, allowing them to cut down whatever they bite and also carve those teeth into swords, like mine.

    Escutcheon have spread themselves and are taking care of two dragons while the muscle-head and the halfling from Swift Wind suppress the last dragon. One or two arrows bounce off the front scales of the dragons, which is the hardest place, but most arrows penetrate the wings, making it difficult for them to move it. Some arrows hit their mark which is the back and sides of the dragon, those are the soft spots.

    A few arrows hit the right spot and the front legs of the second dragon lose their power. It tries to swipe one last time but it's so slow that the man on the front manages to cut it off, the dragon roars in pain and retreats a bit. The first dragon gets angry and charges mana, he's trying to breathe fire.

    I notice that Simon is the only one who didn't try to hide behind a mage or a shield user, he aims his bow and remains perfectly still. Once the dragon opens his mouth Simon lets out his arrow and strikes to roof of the mouth of the dragon. It chokes and uncontrolled flames fly around but they get so weakened no one gets threatened with a burn.

    The dragon gets confused and desperate which gives an opening for the others to slash his neck. He gets completely decapitated once one of the mages uses a [Water Blade] directly on a deep cut. 1 down 2 to go.

    With new support for the halfling and the muscle-head, they go into the offensive and quickly the 3rd dragon is drenched in blood flowing from its neck. It starts to slow down and tumble when the muscle-head charges and does a savage downward slash with his greatsword. The head of the dragon flies as its cut off from its body.

    With one dragon remaining the halfling decides to be retarded and jumps into the back of the dragon. He stabs his knife and sword into the back of the dragon and use them to hold on while the dragon goes crazy trying to shrug him off, this is bad because no one wants to approach a rampaging dragon.

    -That's enough ya halfshit!- Yells Simon.

    With a maniacal laugh the halfling jumps off his back and the others finish killing the dragon. With only cuts and bruises the first fight was a complete success. Ciel, the Angel runs around and heals the fighters, pure and thankful gazes share room with a few lewd and evil ones.

    I take a clean look around the nest. There's a spring nearby, this is why the nest was so deep inside the cave, there's enough enough water here to sustain all the dragons. Making a nest on top of trees or mountains is not a good idea for dragons since they need a nearby source of water for their young, which are very weak and can't fly until a few years later.

    Hilde immediately starts moving and with a "poof" she pulls out a huge, scary looking knife. She starts cutting down the leather of the dragon, Lina receives the scales, cleans them and give them to the space mages. Hilde's guards bring out huge axes and start chopping the limbs and cutting the meat. Nobody else knows how to do this so we all just watch.

    I move towards the back of the nest and look at the eggs and hatchlings there. There are 4 black eggs with light blue spots on top of a bunch of dry leaves and sticks. Besides them there's 2 small dragons that are the size of small dogs, roaring to anyone who comes close, their scales move up and down like a wave, the borders of these scales are sharp like blades. The last dragon is curled and shaking at the furthest point of the cave, it's obvious which is the special one.

    -Hey, I wanna try something, don't kill the hatchlings yet!- I yell to the guys suppressing the aggressive hatchlings.

    -Eh? Why, these shits are dangerous- Says one of the men.

    -Just stay back, child monsters aren't aggressive, they have a strong sense of self-preservation.

    -This is such a bother, why sh-

    -Just fucking do it!

    Hana approaches and lets out a bit of [Intimidate]. Thanks honey, that helps. The guys back off with a frown and Hilde lifts an eyebrow.

    After the hunters leave and the angry hatchlings calm down, I approach the scared hatchling and put points into [Animal Tongue] and [Sense Presence]. Using these skills I observe how the soul of this little dragon works. It is truly different from the soul of a normal monster, it feels closer to an animal.

    -Ciel, stay near me, I will meditate to try to understand more of this dragon, I will try something that might tickle you a bit. Hana and Roxanne cover the entrance.

    -Oh? Sure.

    Ciel sits close by me. I didn't tell you to sit but ok. I can feel her warmth since she's basically touching my shoulder, quite pleasant.

    I extend my soul to all the hatchlings and Ciel. The dragons tastes salty and dirty, once I start to feel the delicious taste of Ciel's skin I suppress my sense of taste and focus on observing their souls. There's a clear similarity to the souls, its like there's a "layer" that's covering the souls of the monsters but it's covering only half of the scared dragon, it's like an orange half-peeled.

    Monster behave like animals until they meet a humanoid, when this happens their blood thirst prevails over all other senses, aside from children and the smarter ones it even topples self-preservation. So could that last layer be the override that makes monsters aggressive? If so this explains why this little dragon doesn't attack and is instead completely scared.

    Dragons are one of the smartest race of monsters, so it's self-aware enough that knows we are humanoids who killed its parents and are about to kill it and its siblings. The fact that it's scared instead of angry tells me it's special, it's like the ID we use to differentiate monsters from humanoids is part of the "code" that makes monsters behave the way they do.

    I look at my side and Ciel is hugging my arm. There's no softness because of her armor but there's a considerable squish on her bust, her face is red and she's breathing sensually. Oh boy, I knew it felt good but I forgot how much it felt good. I know Ciel looks favorably at me so I felt like teasing her more but I think this is borderline harassment, she's not as depraved as the others.

    She notices I'm looking at her with a smirk and she quickly gets up and moves away towards the girls. Fortunately nobody noticed her momentary lewdness.

    -Alright, kill the others, I will buy this one and keep it safe- I say.

    The guys shrug and with a frown they draw their swords and decapitated the hatchlings. The last dragon looks even more terrified at the swords and cowers again, I draw its attention by tapping on the ground.

    Well then, I have no idea what to do but let's try to improvise.

    -Hey, look at me, I will keep you safe ok? You are special, you are different, I won't hurt you, ok?

    The dragon locks its eyes on me and I feel it starts to reduce the shaking.

    -You understand me? I know you are not a monster but you aren't an animal or humanoid either. Can you nod if you understood this?

    The dragon stares at me for a few seconds and it gives me a shy nod.

    -Excellent! I'm sorry about your parents but this is how life is here, they were monsters and they were dangerous to us. I can protect you, do you want my protection?

    The dragon nods again with more confidence.

    -Here, you hungry?

    I pull a plate and put a piece of raw mutton on it then back away. The dragon shyly unrolls itself and moves around, observing the piece of meat.

    -You can eat, if I wanted to poison you it would be easier to just use magic or cut you.

    The dragon looks at me and narrows its eyes. What? I'm telling the truth. Then I swear I hear it sigh and it starts to eat. Once its done it stares at me with renewed courage.

    -Do you understand that you are special? These other dragons are not like you.

    The dragon looks at its parents being butchered for a while then looks at me, with a sadder look.

    -The world won't wait for you to mourn, you have to be strong and stay by my side if you want to live, ok?

    The dragon nods. Jesus, how smart is it? I feel I'm talking to a human child.

    -Can I touch you?

    It coils a bit but nods then I pass my hand over its scales. It's the same as Hana's, rough and round with a pointy tip, would be a perfect blade when raised and makes a clacking sound when you pass your hand over it. There are spots that has much smaller scales like the back of the head, back of the neck, and spine, these spots I felt like it enjoyed more when I passed my hand.

    [Animal Tongue] creates a mental connection between caster and animal so it understands when I speak and we can share some very simple emotions when close together. Right now I feel that the little dragon is getting calmer, though I know its heart is hurting.

    -I can't stay here long, I'll have to carry you, if we get into battle you will have to move by yourself and stay close to my group, ok?

    It nods.

    -I also can't keep [Animal Tongue] all the time. It's a spell that lets me speak to you so sooner or later you won't understand what I say anymore, ok?

    It thinks for a moment and then nods. Honestly I have no idea what I'm doing, it's just luck I didn't traumatize it or something like that.

    -Come here.

    I grab it and carry it in my arms as if it's a baby. It's still shaking lightly.

    -Miss Hildegard, this dragon is more of an animal than a monster, it can understand me so I'm taking it as a pet.

    -We will negotiate the price at town, but a live dragon child is going to be at least 3 gold coins.

    -Alright, you can deduct it from our pay later.

    I know blue scales aren't special so this one is average and 3 gold coins is a good price. I go back to the entrance to reunite with Alissa and I introduce it to the girls, Hana seems to be the one most happy to touch it.

    -Now, we need to give you a name, ah, do you have a name?- I ask.

    It shakes its head.

    -Hmm… Are you a boy or a girl?- I ask.

    I frown.

    -What?- Roxanne asks me.

    -It's a girl...

    The women share a smirk. Alissa snorts.

    -Alright, how about Aoi as a name? It means blue or azure in one of the languages of my homeland.

    Aoi is a japanese word and the names the dragonkin use are clearly japanese.

    -Sounds cute- Says Roxanne. The others nod and Aoi seems happy.

    -Ah... Oh... Ih!- Aoi tries to speak.

    -Wow, those vocal cords seem good, maybe one day she will talk to us?- I ask.

    -Sounds plausible. We know that ancient dragons can speak with us- Says Alissa. It's quite common to find talking dragons in her hero stories.

    Because of how we fight, Aoi will normally follow me or she will stay near Roxanne. After a few minutes talking Alissa makes a serious face.

    -A dragon is coming.

    We run back inside and tell the others so they can prepare an ambush. We hide in a branch tunnel ahead of the ambush so Alissa can sense if something else is coming behind.

    The ambush ends quickly since the dragon was completely unguarded, it was simply surrounded and decapitated. I don't let Aoi look at the corpse, I feel she has the same mindset as me.

    We take another pass clearing the branch tunnels. Aoi can hurl small fireballs capable of killing slimes, but the Scritters are too fast for her. Her body is quite long so she curls into our necks like a scarf, she had been licking Hana's scales and when she felt my jealousy she came lick my cheeks too, so fucking adorable. Then the others also wanted a lick, her tongue is extremely slippery.

    Alissa comes back and warns us of another dragon, when it passes by our tunnel Aoi cowers in fear.

    -What's wrong?- I ask.

    I feel a coldness in my heart, a pain as if it's being repeatedly stabbed, a distance from light. It's Aoi's feelings, I believe she was being abandoned for being different. Even though we are killing her parents she didn't feel attachment to them, she felt fear of being killed along with her siblings. Sounds a bit fucked up to me but this is one of the least brutal ways of life among monsters, orcs and goblins are way way worse.



    We stop for a quick lunch and Hilde comes to me.

    -So you want that dragon as a pet?- She asks.

    I remove [Animal Tongue].

    -Well yeah, she's different from the others, she's like a small child abandoned from her parents- I say.

    -You can talk to her?- She looks surprised.

    -Kinda, I can make questions and she understands a lot but she can't speak and I only feel vague emotions from her.

    -Hm, she looked like she was shaking with fear when we entered the cave, I have never seen something like that.

    -Monsters feel fear and have a self-preservation instinct but when they see humans most of them go berserk and sacrifice their lives to kill us. It seems this one doesn't have any bloodthirst for humans.

    -Oh, isn't this how Dragolites were tamed?- Asks Roxanne.

    -Precisely, which is why I'm keeping her, I can study her soul and understand the differences between monsters and humanoids. Also, she's a nice pet.

    Hilde looks amused, her sharp gaze and business personality is melting a little, I guess everyone loves puppies. I know the empire has a dragon knight squad so they already breed dragons somehow, which menas Aoi is not unique but she's still valuable. I think the royalty and plenty of the nobles like to have a dragon mount for fast travel. But to think that Hilde is not trying to haggle the price of Aoi is making me nervous.



    Considering the color of Hilde's armor and the dexterity her subordinates have when dismantling the dragons, this is clearly not the first or even second time she does this. Rabanara is a good source for wyvern and dragon parts so she must be making a career on this.

    We continue our work and successfully ambush 3 more dragons, 8 in total. When it starts to get late we wrap it up and return to the camp. The remaining dragons that come back are unlikely to come during the night, they must be on a very long trip and even if they do they will only enrage for a while but go back to hunting again as usual, they aren't going to abandon a good nest like this so easily.

    Aoi loves the bath and looks curiously at my foreplay with Roxanne. Wait, this is kinda bad, she's like a child, but nobody seems to think the same as me, for the others she's just like an annoying pet who keeps staring while you have sex. After a while she seems to lose interest so I finally concentrate on pleasing Roxanne.

    I actually started to understand Alissa's book since I'm always cuddling her while she reads, it's not an interesting story since it's too poetic and heavy to read but I can understand the outline. I feel like I will shed my bias soon about the literature of this world and get me a book to read.

    Alissa suddenly closes her book, pushes me down and undresses me.

    -I have been imagining you all day, you know- Alissa whispers into my ears.

    -Oh? Why is that?

    -The way Hilde is looking at you is turning to be just like Ciel's- She says while rubbing her hips on me, a mischievous smile appears on her face.

    -And… How does Ciel looks at me?

    -Anxiety, curiosity… Desire- She chuckles.

    -How can you know?

    -Who wouldn't? The town hero that killed the Symbol… Ahn, pleases three women and roped up another, a reliable presence even though he looks so young and small, recognized by the lord for his bravery and yet has a shy personality… Ahn. Any woman would have her eyes on you- She says while moaning, I can feel my leg getting wet.

    -And seeing how they look at me makes you excited?

    -Hmm, yes… I wanna see them try to steal you from me. I know it's useless because I know how your heart belongs… To… Me- She kisses me and chuckles again.

    And she puts it in, she's drenched and squeezes me tight.

    What have you done Goddess of Love? The innocent Alissa is becoming warped. She unleashed her feelings now that she has the approval of everyone and even the gods. What is she gonna become? But the most fucked up thing of all is that I'm enjoying it. I stuff Alissa's mouth with her own panties and thrust inside her with all my might.

    Ciel definitely hears her moan, her tent is right next to ours and I want her to hear. I want Ciel to masturbate to me, I want Hilde to have fantasies of the things I do to my women, I want them to believe I have a magic dick that bounds these girls to me as slaves. They need to get weak in the legs when they hear my name, they need to wet themselves in anticipation for my cock, they need to know who's the man that owns them.

    Alissa doesn't last long and orgasms on me. She falls over and I pull Hana and thrust from behind, she was already wet just from watching my savagery. I'm not holding back, I just wanna fuck something. Soon enough I find release.

    I'm not done yet, I feel it rising again. I pull Roxanne and fuck her until she begs me to stop, I throw her on the bed and she falls down, breathing roughly and with a stupid smile. I drag Alissa and fuck her some more until I finish inside her. Alissa's words had awakened a small fire in me making me cum so much it spilled on the sheets.

    My back hurts, I have to cast [Heal] to be able to move again. Then Hana gets fired up and rides me like I'm a bull. The tent reeked of cum so we had to put a lot of mana into [Clean] to make it go away.



    Today is the 13th.

    A scene of heaven on hell, 3 goddess satisfied by me in the middle of a deadly forest and near a dragon's nest, this is far from my idea of what an "adventure" would be. Alissa makes me cum hard before I'm fully awake, she's still frisky from yesterday. I think we went overboard, my back still hurts, I use [Heal] on it again.

    My [Nature Magic] increased by 1 (now 0+9) and incredibly I learned [Sense Soul (creator)]. Aoi must have pushed my knowledge about souls to a new level. Alissa also finally increased her [Fox Transformation (innate)] to 5, she's a bit bigger and can fit her weapons inside her transformation.

    It's like things finally clicked and they started making sense. A soul is divided in "layers", this is why we require more experience, or rather, more "soul parts" to increase level. The "circumference" of the soul gets bigger and bigger, requiring more and more parts until another "layer" is completed. Aoi's half-baked layer gave me such clarity.

    [Sense Soul] is an extremely interesting skill, it concentrates a small amount of mana on my eyes and it allows to see the level of people up to 10 meters, it opens a square black screen like my menu when it activates. If I level this skill perhaps in the future I can see more information. It would be incredible if I could read other people's skills, it would give me a good idea of combat experience others have and allow me to make better decisions on engagements.

    I look at Ciel and see that she is level 29. I tell the girls about my skill and they share the same thoughts as me, this skill is incredible. Aoi is confused when I thank her but she's happy to help, somehow.

    Ciel looks a bit absent minded so I take this opportunity to sit close to her and nudge her shoulder, this gives her a jolt.

    -What's the matter? Did yesterday's experiment awaken something in you?- I tease her.

    -Wha-wha-wha-what? N-no, it wasn't that… Wait no, it was nothing, nothing happened, I'm not thinking anything, a-a-actually I was thinking something it's just that it's nothing important…- She's completely flustered, her face twitches as she can't settle on a single expression- A-anyway you never explained what that thing you did was!

    -Oh right, I can expand my soul, it allows me to collect information about body and soul. Something like touch, taste, composition, and a ton of information about the soul that a simple [Sense Presence] can't do.

    -T-t-taste!?

    At least she didn't care about touch, she's hiding something massive beneath her clothes.

    -Hahah, I'm just messing with you. I could do that but I just used the soul analysis properties. I used it on Roxanne once by mistake, she told me it felt good so I didn't think too much about it later, sorry about that. I have to try it on the girls though, the sexual potential of that is interesting.

    Alissa's ears and tail twitch, Hana smirks, and Roxanne smiles and blushes. Ciel seems to be at a loss for words and simply blushes while her jaw swings without a sound.



    With Alissa's words I'm conscious of Hilde's gaze, she doesn't show shyness but I feel she's staring, I'm likely biased now. But then again everyone seem to be looking at us, you can smell the envy in the air.

    Alissa goes into the cave and returns soon, it's empty so we will only wait in ambush. I take the time to walk around with Aoi and practice some combat maneuvering with her, she runs pretty fast but she tires easily. I believe she can stay safe during battle but during all other moments it might be best if she's being carried by someone. Aoi also seems starved for attention, she won't run away willingly.

    At 9AM a duo of dragons appear, this will be risky. The hunters are splitting in two, there will be less support for each side if the dragons decide to trample, but I'm not payed to help them so we stay with Hilde at a branch tunnel. Perhaps I could help if someone gets injured but my reaction time is going to be slow, jumping into the middle of a fight is dangerous.

    As soon as the dragons pass us their rhythmic ground pound slows down, they noticed something. I look at Alissa and she shrugs, she doesn't know what happened. They walk for a few seconds more and stop, I hear a whistle mixed with grunts, that's not a human whistle, must be the dragons.

    Silence…

    -ROOOOO~!

    -CHARGE!

    What the fuck is going on?

    I hear loud footsteps, a dragon passes us and 3 men run after it but you can't outrun a dragon, he's already escaped. We move out and in a minute the ambushed dragon is dead.

    -What the fuck happened?- Hilde asks the group, she's pissed.

    Shrugs abound.

    -I honestly have no idea, we didn't make a fucking sound, not even a pebble moved- Simon says, he's dumbfounded.

    -I heard nothing too and I have excellent hearing- Alissa chimes in.

    -What about smell?- Hilde continues.

    -Nothing- Chimes in a fox wereanimal from Escutcheon, he's grey haired with black spots.

    Hilde grumbles and facepalms.

    -Perhaps it was too quiet?- Says Alissa.

    -What do you mean?- I ask.

    -There's not even the noise of Scritters around, the entire cave is deadly quiet, there should be a few dragons guarding the hatchlings and they should be making at least some noise.

    -Shit, you are right. Hell, 2 years hunting dragons and I never had such a situation- Hilde says with a wry smile.

    -Considering how smart Aoi is, perhaps these dragons are of a higher intelligence, which means they are more perceptive- I say.

    Hilde sighs.

    -We have to remake our ambush then, lets go closer to the entrance and perhaps we can capture a Scritter or two- She says.

    -I advise we leave, they could be bringing a swarm here- I say.

    -Fucking not, I paid you for 2 days here and you are all staying- Hilde responds with anger- There's another exit on this cave system, that one the dragons don't know about so we can escape that way if they really do come.

    -There's a lot that could happen between the swarm coming and us escaping, there's still a lot of danger if we stay. But in the end I'm paid to protect you, it's the others who are going to have to fight the swarm.

    -Yer right, if we stay I'm going to ask for a raise, I'm here to ambush dragons not fight against a swarm- Simon pitches in.

    Hilde negotiates with the other hunters, in the end my suggestion fails and she strikes a deal with them. I wanted to leave and tried to use the hunters to convince her but they are too greedy. It's difficult to abandon her because even if the other hunters disagree with her her guards and the space mages might help her enough that she can return alive, which means I can't use her life as a bargain ship. She didn't entrust her life to me she just hired me as insurance against harm.

    We go around and collect 4 Scritters, tie them up, and throw them near the entrance. This way there's some noise at least. Hopefully the dragons don't recognize that the Scritters are making noise because they are distressed.

    The dragon that ran away had a few arrows on its back so he dripped some blood around, because of that 4 Mossy Fangpines wandered into the cave to look for the source. They are dumb enough that they think that something capable of wounding a dragon is a potential food source. Hana and Ciel took care of them on a tight corner. They just charge and get skewered, Hana skewered two in her spear and waved it about, bragging to the other hunters.

    Before lunch a single dragon appeared and got ambushed, with this there must be less than 5 dragons remaining on this nest.



    Alissa gives me a green signal, something is coming. I feel she is running here in her fox form in full speed, something is wrong. She comes around the corner and her fox mouth opens.

    -IT'S HUGE, A HUGE DRAGON IS COMING!- She screams.

    "TONNNNN~!". Something unimaginably heavy falls down on the ground and the ground shakes.

    -RROOOOOOOOOOOAAA~~!- I feel my bones shake with this roar, it's a huge fucking dragon and it's angry.

    Hilde fell on her knees and even her guards are shaking, the other hunters are already running. Aoi crawls up to me and cowers in my arms, shaking. I hear lots of heavy footsteps.

    -A SWARM!- Alissa screams again, she's desperate.

    I pull Hilde on her feet and push her forward.

    -Get the fuck back on your feet and start running! I'll cover your back but I won't die for you!- I yell.

    Hilde gets a shock and starts moving after the hunters.

    -Roxanne! Map!- I yell.

    Roxanne takes her map out and makes sure we don't take a wrong turn. With a swarm on our backs a dead end is a death sentence.

    We start running. The ground immediately turns from the beaten path into jagged and uneven rocks, making it hard to move. The paths twist and turn and become smaller. The footsteps that were getting closer start to get lower and lower until we can't hear it anymore. The tunnel reduces in size so much we have to squeeze around it to pass, thank god Hana and Ciel can pass by with their mountains.

    We are safe for now but we still have an angry huge fucking dragon after us so nobody stopped for a rest until we reached the exit and a small light could be seen. We all stop on a small room to take a breath, we have to squeeze a little.

    -Holy fucking shit boy you were right, I regret everything, hahahah!- Simon says and laughs.

    How can you laugh...

    -Fuck me, that shit must have hundreds of years of age, why did it never leave its nest until now?- Logan says.

    -A few dragons live their entire lives in their nests until they are so old they are near death, then they go die in battle- I answer.

    -What, so it's old and weak?- Asks Simon.

    -Hell no, that thing is gonna berserk on us until it dies, Rabanara is in danger, these ancient dragons can command wyverns.

    -Fuck, so did we bring that monster to Rabanara?- Asks Logan.

    -No, it was gonna rampage sooner or later, we just have the good luck to be in its path- Says Hilde with a wry smile.

    "Good Luck" indeed.

    -Normal formation, we will be jogging all day until dusk. Here, [Swift Foot]- I cast the spell on Hilde and her assistant. That little girl is quite strong, her face is stern.

    -Everybody ready? Let's go!

    Alissa rushes out first and everybody follows.



    We are reaching the first trees when Alissa yells in desperation.

    "TONNNNN~!" Again something unimaginably heavy falls down on the ground and the ground shakes. We are outside the cave at the entrance of the forest, behind us is a monstrosity. Shiny dark blue scales the size of my head, fangs the size of my body, a head the height of a truck, a body the size of blue whale, two huge horns protruding out of its head, innumerous scars on its body, one huge eye is cloudy white and the other one makes you wonder if there's a universe inside them.

    It looks at me and fear fills my mind, it hates me, it knows I'm using the bodies of its kin as armor and weapons but its gaze turns somewhere else. Hilde, she's wearing the same scales as the dragons family, she's a known dragon hunter who's been killing dragons for 2 years, the dragon knows her and it feels immense hatred for her. It didn't even glance at Aoi.

    Hilde falls down on the ground and pisses herself.

    I feel mana gathering, an amount I never felt before, an amount that gave me the chills of what's about to happen.

    Hahah, I fucking hate this world.

    -FIRE BREATH HIDE BEHIND A TREE!- I scream, other voices yell the same.

    I have no time to rescue Hilde, I only hope she finds a tree. Unfortunately she chose the one besides her while I chose the one away from the dragon. Alissa jumps besides me. I summon 2 titanium elementals and tell them to run in front of Hilde's tree.

    "FOOOOMMM!", the fire ravages the fire-resistant Sea of Trees, our tree goes in flame and we nearly get burned by the heat intensity. My elementals slowly lose power and melt, Roxanne is panting trying to keep a [Water Wall] up.

    The fire stops and I look outside, a hellish landscape of fire that only lasts a few seconds, the magic fire burns out quickly and the forest's resistance makes it burn out quicker. The ground is red hot and the trees are almost entirely burnt, only a small spot behind them is still intact.

    -Roxanne, water!

    I point towards where Hilde could be and Roxanne sprays a [Torrent] in that direction, white smoke rises and mixes with the black but the way there is passable. Ciel uses [Air Hammer] and the smoke clears, Hilde is there, hugging Lina and her guards are curling on the ground.

    The dragon notices us and Hilde, I feel its anger coming back, it starts to move forward. I open [Gate] to the camp site.

    -GET IN NOW! I WILL BRING HILDE BACK!- I scream.

    -Wol-...

    -NOW!- I scream again and push Alissa into the black circle along with Aoi, they disappear. I store the coordinates for my current position.

    -FOR THE MISTRESS!- Charges one guard.

    -FOR HOUSE ROTH!- Charges the other.

    WHAT IN THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING. I rush towards Hilde.

    The dragon doesn't even slow down and swats the guards who fly away into the distance. The space mages make a distorted face of fear and disappear. The dragon looks at me and lunges towards Hilde. Lina and Hilde aren't hugging anymore but they are close, I can get them both with each hand, as long as I can grab them.

    I jump, I cast [Gate], the dragon bites.

    -Wolf!- Alissa yells.

    I take my face out of the dirt, on my right hand I'm holding Lina, on my left hand I'm holding the upper body of Hilde.

    Hilde looks at me, her mouth is half open, her eyes stop moving. From below her armpits her body is missing.



    -ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAA...!- The dragon roars again in the distance and I lose my footing, I look away from Hilde and puke.

    I failed, I failed, I failed. If I was one second faster, one breath faster, one millisecond faster, one fucking moment faster, I could have saved her.

    -AAAAAAA...- Lina screams but Hana covers her mouth.

    -The dragon is still there! Quiet!

    The little girl lets out muffled screams and squirms on Hana's body but she doesn't try to break free from her.

    Alissa casts [Clean] and hugs me.

    -The guards!- It dawns on me- They might still be alive.

    I wobble a bit but I manage to stand.

    -What!? You wanna go back!?- Alissa chastises, her voice nearly cracks.

    -I have a [Gate] coordinate there, we can jump and search for them safely if the dragon is not there anymore.

    -They must be dead, they are the only ones still there, the dragon would have killed them.

    -The dragon didn't care about them he only cared about Hilde and me.

    -That's even worse! You are not going back there!- Alissa hugs me with all her strength.

    -Alissa...- Ciel touches her shoulder- I didn't know about [Gate] but if me and you go there we could save them. How much mana do you have Wolf?

    -Nearly half, the [Gate] is so close we barely used mana, leave your armor and weapons here and for certain we can rescue them.

    -P-please…Hic, t-they are go-good, hic, p-people- Lina mutters between sobs, she broke free from Hana and is moving towards Alissa.

    -Nnngh~… FINE! But we do it quick and you obey me, when I say we are leaving, WE ARE LEAVING!- Alissa yells at me while she grabs my shoulders. I think she's traumatized after the Symbol.

    I nod and cast [Gate]. After we remove our heavy gear we walk into the circle. The hellish scene is more subdued, the fires have almost all stopped and the ground is a little less red hot, but the most important is that the huge dragon is not here.

    -This way- Alissa leads us.

    Away from the destruction about 100 meters from where we were is the white fur woman, she's unconscious and one of her arm is bent in the wrong way. Ciel touches her and closes her eyes.

    -She will be fine, she's got a concussion, a few broken ribs, and a broken arm.

    She straightens the arm of the woman and chants something, a few seconds later she casts a spell.

    -Done.

    I open a [Gate] below the woman and she disappears. Alissa makes us cross the destruction and 200 meters is away is the doberman woman, both her legs are broken, her head hit a stone. and she's bleeding profusely.

    -The swarm is here!- Alissa warns me.

    I immediately cast [Gate] below all of us and we return. Lina gasps.

    -She's almost dead, Wolf, help me!

    With a shudder we straighten her legs and I put a nearly all my mana on my [Heal]. I immediately drink a mana potion and sit down to meditate, if we are found while I don't have mana for [Gate] we are dead.



    When I open my eyes my mana is on half, Lina is crying with Ciel and Roxanne besides her, the white fur woman is awake but still laying down, the doberman woman is sleeping, Alissa is besides me, Hana is on the lookout and the corpse of Hilde is covered with a bloody cloth.

    I store Hilde's corpse in my "Items" and get a chill when I see the entry "Hildegard Roth upper body". The girls put her belongings inside a bag, when you die the contents of your [Item Box] slowly appear around you. She had her ID tablet, coins, cloth, underwear, some unknown magic stones, cutlery, cups, and emergency food.

    -How are they?- I ask Ciel.

    -The white woman will be fine, if we heal her a bit more she should be able to walk by herself, the other woman is unconscious and will take a lot more mana.

    -Use the rest of your mana on the white woman, I need to save mana for an emergency [Gate]. Alissa let's go, we are not exactly at the campsite and there could be other people there at the site.

    We walk for two minutes and we reach the campsite, the space mages and the scouts are there huddling behind bushes.

    -You came back! Thank you!- Says the first space mage. He's a man with black skin and white wool coming out of his arms and neck, he has a pair of ram horns. He's a demon-race, ram type.

    -My life is in your hands, please help us go back!- Says the second space mage. He's a lanky man with greenish skin and a pair of green arms coming out of his back with scythes on the place of his hands. Another demon-race, praying mantis type.

    -I don't think the other fellowships are coming back, they will survive the forest easily but they have no reason to come back now- Says one of the scouts. They are both twins, they have blue skin, and a spiky bony webbed mohawk coming out of their heads. They are not merfolk, they are demon-race, seahorse type.

    -Miss Hildegard is dead, I couldn't save her, we rescued the guards and the assistant girl so we might have to carry one of the guards- I say.

    Everyone makes somber faces.

    -I'm sorry, I'm sorry I didn't have enough mana! We are carrying so many scales and meat that I could only barely get myself out!- Pleads the mantis man.

    -It's okay, what's done is done, we just need to get out alive.

    I have no energy to talk to them or encourage them more, they just need to follow orders and stay with us for them to live.



    It's 3PM. We are gonna carry the doberman woman on a makeshift stretcher. The white dog woman is good enough to walk and jog for a little while but she's in pain, I heal her on specific spots to ease her pain and she looks at me with puppy eyes.

    -I can't believe I'm still alive, I don't know how you did it but thank you for saving us, my name is Tadita, my comrade is Andrea- The woman bows to me and Ciel- Thank you for your magic. I will definitely endure so I don't slow you down but please don't hesitate to leave us behind in case of danger, we already lost our master so we failed in the most important mission of our lives.

    If you hadn't charged I could have saved you 2 without wounds, though. I'm not really blaming them, they were very brave and loyal to that woman.

    -Ehrm… I won't sacrifice you two so easily, you should put more value on your life.

    -My life is already worthless since I lost the master I swore to protect- She frowns.

    -Then you should find something new that will give it value, the gods won't be happy with life wasted as a sacrifice- I pat her shoulder.

    She frowns a little harder but I feel a bit of motivation gathering on her eyes, honorable sacrifice isn't really popular among the gods here.



    We move forward with Alissa far in front scouting, 2 dogs protecting our flanks and the scout duo behind. We rotate the carrying of Andrea but the space mages offer to carry her the longest. After an hour walking Ciel healed her enough that she could wake up, but because she still has broken bones we use a sleeping potion that Roxanne has to keep her knocked out.

    We find no other monsters until nightfall, not even the Mossy Fangpines are dumb enough to be around after hearing such a dragon roar. All tents now are near ours, they are way too scared to be away from us since we are basically their lifelines.

    We healed up most of the wounds from Andrea so she got strong enough to wobble around. The girls wake her up and help her take a towel bath. Tadita never left her side. The space mages have the tents for themselves and for the women so it's really a good thing to have them around. Alissa is organizing the dinner and cooking the provisions the space mages brought. Lina was sullen the entire time.

    -How are you feeling?- Ciel asks me while I watch Alissa cook. She sits besides me on the table on our tent.

    I suppress a sigh.

    -Depressed, disappointed…

    -Do you blame yourself?

    Well I guess Ciel is now my therapist.

    -Not really, I know telling people about [Gate] would be a problem, but I still feel sad about it. Because I couldn't show my power someone died. I hate feeling like this.

    -Such is the life of an adventurer. Because you made a certain decision someone died in a split second, that doesn't mean you are responsible for their deaths, it just means you were unable to save them.

    -Such is the life of an adventurer...- I smile bitterly, I chose this life- Thanks for coming talk to me.

    -It doesn't seem like it was really needed- She smiles wryly.

    -No, really, thanks.

    She smiles, a pure smile that squeezes my heart but I feel a hint of sadness on that smile.

    -Did something like this happen to you?- I ask.

    She keeps still and her eyes look away.

    Bingo. Then I will be your therapist too.

    -I'm sorry if it's personal, but I really wanna know more about you- I insist.

    She makes a pained face. It's just like removing baby teeth, gotta do it all at once or it will hurt more.

    -It's nothing special. I just… Failed…

    -How do you feel about this?

    She looks at me and narrows her eyes, I just smile innocently. She sighs and gets serious.

    -When I was a warrior priestess I once escorted a caravan up to Sommerland. During the trip our scouts failed and we got ambushed by a group of Dream Eaters, before we could draw our weapons there were already dead people. There was no way we could win, our captain gave us the order to hold off the enemies long enough for the merchants to run for their lives then we would escape, if we could. In the end, I survived… So I know how you are feeling.

    Something is missing. I stare at her and frown.

    -Ciel, isn't there more details on this story?

    -W-what do you mean?- Her eyes dart about.

    -You aren't telling me everything, there's something else that's hurting you.

    She looks at me angryly.

    -You are running away from something- I say.

    She stiffens. This is cheating, I know Arantos told me she was running from her fears so I wanna press her on that.

    -I left him…

    I pat her back.

    -Let it out, you know that talking about it helps- I say.

    She remains still.

    -Come on, it's your turn.

    She grimaces.

    -I left him to die… I could have saved him, I had mana but I got scared and ran… I survived, he could have survived, but I left him...

    -It's okay.

    -It' not.

    -Yes it is- I rub her back, I feel like hugging her.

    She goes quiet again.

    -Do you blame yourself?

    She smiles bitterly.

    -Yes, I abandoned him.

    -Did you forgive yourself?

    At one point you have to forgive yourself for your mistakes otherwise you will never move on. It seems this is the case with her.

    Quiet again. I have to keep pushing.

    -How long do you deserve to be punished for it?

    -How should I know!? It's not like I'm doing it willingly…- She looks at me teary-eyed.

    -Then do you at least recognize that you shouldn't be suffering for it anymore?

    -I… Yes, I don't wanna feel that pain anymore- She looks away.

    -Tell me, why did you join this fellowship? Truthfully.

    -The reasons I told you before weren't lies.

    -But there should be something more, right?- I smile innocently.

    She groans in frustration.

    -I thought… That you wouldn't run, that I could trust that you would never make me feel like I abandoned someone again- She glances at me.

    -Hm… Well, I don't want you to throw all the responsibility at me, I want you to share it with me, so we can all agree on something and be capable to make our own decisions.

    -I know… I was just… Running- Her voice trails off.

    I grab her hand. She didn't even flinch.

    -Then it's time to take a breath and look around, you have another path you can take.

    I squeeze her hand and let it go. She bites her lips.

    -How old are you, Mr. Therapist?- She asks in a playful tone.

    -Sixteen.

    -Bullshit.

    True. I smile wryly.

    The girls notice our conversation is done and awkwardly come have dinner.

    At the bath even the cheerful Roxanne was depressed but my mood has been getting better so we have a productive cuddling session. We don't do anything more than that, nobody is in the mood. Before going to sleep me and Ciel use most of our Mana to heal the guard duo.



    Today is the 14th.

    I wake up to a pouting Alissa who's tracing her fingers over my chest. I smile and nod at her, she smiles back and goes under the covers, I just close my eyes and enjoy.

    During breakfast a disheveled Ciel gives me a pure smile and I return it. My relationship with her feels odd, unlike the others I developed affection for her before having sex with her so I'm unusually aroused and anxious right now. Hana sees my tent and smiles mischievously, when we get home I will let it all out on her.

    Ciel finishes the healing of Andrea so now she can walk and even fight, although it's unadvised since her body is still adapting to the healed bones. If I were to cast [Regenetation] for half a day on both I could get them back into normal shape but we don't want to spend any longer here, the swarm could be nearby hunting for us.

    I manage to cast [Swift Foot] in an area after 10 minutes of chanting, I still need practice but it's getting better.



    Most monsters are still far from this area so we only meet 2 naked goblins who likely just birthed on this part of the forest yesterday and then 3 Fangpines who are idiotic enough to think the area is safe.

    Because we jogged we reach Rabanara by noon, we ignore our hungry stomachs and rush towards the town.

    -Ah! Grand Ryder, p-please a moment- I hear Lina call for me.

    -Oh? What is it?

    -P-p-p-please, bu-buy me!- She bows to me in a right angle.

    I'm dumbfounded, the women gather around me and the guard duo put their hands on Lina's shoulders in solidarity.

    -Uh, why ask me?

    -Hm, Mr. Ryder, I'm sorry to say this about the family of my late master but… The Roth family is in a tight spot...- Says Andrea while cringing.

    -Yeah…- Tadita cringes along- Miss Hildegard was a good merchant and a hard worker but the rest of her family isn't anywhere as good as her. If I were to guess they are going to be driven out of the market in a few years without her.

    -Wow, that bad? Why is that?- I ask.

    -They are… Lazy, dumb, and wasteful. I'm sorry Miss Hildegard but it's the truth!- Andrea claps her hands in prayer and bows.

    -So you think I will be a better master?- I ask.

    -Y-yes!- Lina looks at me with teary eyes- Considering your personality, the way you treat other women, and your feats it's my dream to serve under you!

    -Hm… What can you do?- I ask. I'm a little concerned over the "dream" part.

    -I can manage a business, help with administrative tasks, enchant equipment, perform maintenance on equipment, craft basic items, and I can fight, a bit… I-I a-also c-ca-can g-give you m-my b-body!- She stutters as her pale face gets red as a lobster.

    Adorable. She looks young, younger than me, is she even of legal age in this world? Is there a legal age?

    The space mages and the scout duo who were desperate to enter the town stopped and came back to us, even though we are in front of the town they still respect me.

    -Let me consult with my fellowship- I say.

    I gather everyone in a circle far away from everybody.

    -Alright, opinions.

    -I think this is fine, she will be useful- Alissa says, then she comes closer and whispers in my ear- I wanna see you break that tight pussy.

    I will just consider her opinion as "biased".

    -She will be perfect to maintain my armor, the metal plates of the brigandine are a bitch the fix once I get hit, besides our shields are taking damage, she's experienced in manipulating dragon scales, perhaps she could help. She could even be trained in combat, dwarves have good strength because of their [Stonebody]- Says Hana.

    -Another helper would be nice, she seems to know something about the market so she could help me sell potions- Says Roxanne.

    -I… Feel a little guilty leaving her alone, if she gets back to the Roth family she will likely be sold to a pervert somewhere. She seems smart and dedicated, surely there's plenty of jobs we can give her- Says Ciel.

    Well… I'm the biggest fucking pervert around, so I don't know what you are thinking. Though I have no plans on touching her.

    -So, there's no good reason to deny her...- I mutter.

    -What, why are you hesitating? Wouldn't having another woman be good for you?- Ciel says in a joking tone.

    That hurts a bit.

    -I'm not like that, Alissa and Hana are exceptions because I was incredibly lonely. I won't take her just because she's offering her body to me- I say a bit sad.

    -Oh, uh… Sorry- Ciel apologizes awkwardly.

    -Anyway, I agree that there's no reason to deny her, if she was the private helper of Miss Hildegard then she must be competent enough- Alissa intervenes.

    -But can I really buy her? Isn't she property of the Roth family now?- I ask.

    -Not really, slaves aren't something you can inherit so easily. By law they have a chance for freedom or to be bought by others when their master dies, but you will still have to negotiate with the Roth family. It's only a chance, not a guarantee- Alissa says.

    -But since you brought her corpse and her belongings you actually have some leverage over the Roths. You risked your life to save her, even if it wasn't successful...- Hana says.

    -You are also someone with a blessing, that's even more pressure on them to give you a fair deal- Roxanne adds.

    I sigh. Is this part of the god-sanctioned harem? I'm not lonely or scared anymore so I don't need another slave, it just gives me a bad taste in my mouth to think about using her like this. I know she will be useful but I don't really like the prospect of slavery, it's somewhat different from a Blood Slave where there's personal responsibility and a close watch from the gods. I feel like a hypocrite but I don't have the energy to put my thoughts in order.

    -You don't have to accept her if you don't really want to- Alissa says.

    -No I… Actually want to protect her, let's accept her- I answer. I feel like she's a puppy that needs an owner, I can't leave her alone.

    We go back to the group waiting for us.

    -Lina, do you want me to buy you and release you?

    She straightens up and slowly her eyes open wide in fear.

    -P-please d-don't.

    -What? You don't want to be freed?- I raise an eyebrow.

    -I...- She can't really find a way to explain herself.

    -Perhaps she's afraid you will abandon her- Whispers Alissa.

    -Why would she think that?- I whisper back.

    -If she's your slave you have to treat her responsibly, if she's not then her position might actually worsen.

    I kinda understand but it's still a bit ridiculous.

    -Slaves who find a good master don't really adapt well to being freed- Ciel whispers.

    Fine then. I sigh.

    -I won't release you. I'll buy you- I tell her.

    -T-thank you!- She clasps her hands and jumps in joy, she was expressionless most of the time but now her cute smile melts my heart.



    We enter the town and walk to the guild. Once inside our weird group causes a bit of a commotion, I'm not sure why. I go to the nearest attendant and request a meeting with the guildmaster. After a minute he comes downstairs.

    -Oh, a pleasure to see you again, Mr. Ryder. Actually, no, every time I meet you a lot of work falls on my shoulders, you are shaving off years of my life this way- Silas smiles wryly.

    -I have come to accept my nickname is the truth, but I'm sorry for giving you too much work. And it's a pleasure to see you too, guildmaster.

    -Well then, let us go to a private room. Swift Wind and Escutcheon already gave us an idea of what happened but your report is the most important one.

    Silas led us to the biggest meeting room, after a while 7 scribes appeared and started collecting the reports. Only Lina knows about [Gate] so we coordinated with her a plausible lie to how we escaped.

    -Poison cocktail? Never heard of such a thing before.

    I shrug.

    -Desperation births creativity, I think we caused an allergic reaction to that dragon.

    Silas laughs heartily, it's the first time I see his calm demeanor crumble.

    -What in the… Hell… A dragon with... Allergic reaction...! The bards will love this!- Silas says while catching his breath.

    Silas coughs and recovers his composure.

    -So the only casualty is Miss Hildegard, this is quite a miracle seeing how intelligent that dragon was. Also, his vengeful attack towards Miss Hildegard means he will likely command the wyverns to attack us, send word to the lord immediately- Silas motions to an attendant nearby, he hurriedly leaves the room.

    -There's no contradiction in any of the reports, I see no unclear matter over it too, I consider the reporting as finished. Now I must tell you a representative of the Armorer's Guild is here, he wants to speak with you.

    He likely wants to abuse my mental state to drive down the rewards since my protection target died but they don't really have an advantage here.

    -Ah, can you contact the Roth family? I wish to buy Miss Hildegard's slave, Lina.

    -Hm, yes I can, you have her possessions and her corpse right? No need to give it to us, you can return it in person then. This concludes our business, do you wish to talk to the Armorer's Guild representative?

    -Yes, please.

    Silas and the guild personnel leave the room.

    -Thank you for not abandoning us, if you ever need the services of space mages we will give you a discount. This is the least we can do to you- Says the ram space mage.

    -Thank you- Says the mantis space mage.

    We say our goodbyes and they leave. They leave a leather trunk with Lina's belongings.

    -You look young but you clearly knows what you are doing, it was a good opportunity to work with you- Says one of the scouts.

    -You have a good heart, it's not wonder people say you are the town hero. To face the dragon with just poison bottles requires some massive pair of balls, I'm glad I met you and your fellowship- says the other.

    This makes me a little embarrassed. We say our goodbyes.

    -Well then, I guess this is goodbye- Says Tadita.

    -Indeed, I don't think we will meet again so soon. But once again, thank you. I don't have much to repay you but let me serve you in exchange for saving my life- Says Andrea while bowing.

    -A-ah, there's no need for that, it was part of our job to keep you two safe- I answer hurriedly, Ciel nods along.

    -You are troubling him Andrea, if you really want to be with him then just ask for marriage- Says Tadita.

    -N-n-no, t-that's no-not what I-I meant!- Stutters Andrea while blushing. Tadita taps her back and grins.

    -Anyway, we will be in your debt. We will go back to the capital and join the guard or a mercenary group, we aren't hunters so staying here is not the best choice. If you visit the capital come look for us- Says Tadita.

    Everyone gives them a goodbye and they leave, only Lina stays with us.

    -I thought she really was going to ask for marriage- Alissa says, disappointed.

    What's with you, how many women do you want to add to this harem?

    -She likely thought she wasn't strong enough, we are not really lacking in firepower- Hana says.

    -A-anyway, Lina, are you going to leave now or do you prefer to stay with us?- Asks Ciel.

    -C-can I stay? I would rather not meet any other Roth for now- She answers shyly.

    -Sure, no problem- I say.

    I put 10 points into [Acting] and [Mental Resistance], we are going to need this for this part. After about 10 minutes we hear footsteps. An old man with graying black hair and two large guards enters the room. The man has a long nose and a wrinkly face that gets even wrinklier due to his frowning. He's carrying a few papers, likely the report.

    -Greetings, I am Tanquara, senior representative for the Armorer's Guild- The man says and sits down.

    -I am Wolf Ryder, leader of Helios.

    -Well then, Mr. Ryder, let's talk business. You have failed your job, Miss Hildegard is dead, al-...

    -Hold it, my job was not simply protecting her, I was to protect her and her subordinates and secure the return of the collected materials.

    Tanquara grinds his teeth. Interrupting him was impolite but I can't let him declare the job as a failure like that.

    -Yet the most important person there was not returned- He says while narrowing his eyes.

    -She went against my advice, I even tried to use the other hunters to persuade her but greed clouded her judgment. It's unfortunate we met such a rare dragon but it still ends up being her fault.

    -But you could still have saved her, if you were faster and didn't hesitate you could have pulled her away from the dragon in time!

    -What do you think I am!? A miracle worker!? Did you even read about the size of that monstrosity? Every other fellowship ran away the moment they could, the guards were swatted as if they were flies! It's not my onus that she died, it's my luck that I even survived! The poison cocktail was a stroke of luck, even if I had pulled her away the dragon would chase us to the end of the world if we didn't get such a reaction from him. Do you understand, it was not skill that we survived, it was just sheer dumb luck!- I shouldn't yell but this made me angry. I can't let him get to me, making me say dumb things is his goal.

    -If it was just luck perhaps choosing you as the vanguard was a mistake as you lack the skill to survive such encounter- He turns his head away in contempt.

    -You do not have the authority to judge my skill or of my fellowship, you know very well that such a dragon requires an army to deal with. It all goes back to Miss Hildegard ignoring my advice for greed. In the end I recovered part of her body, her belongings, saved her slave, her guards and the subordinates, the only thing missing on this expedition was her returning alive.

    He stares at me and grinds his teeth. There, I closed all ways of attack.

    -As she ignored my advice her death is her own fault, I did everything I was asked to perfection and even went beyond, I demand full rewards, deduce the price of this young dragon from it- I point to Aoi, sleeping while curled to Hana's neck.

    -I can't give you full rewards, your target of protection is dead.

    -I can't protect those who have a death-wish, she broke the contract on her own. I demand full rewards- I had put 1 point into [Intimidate] and let out a bit of my power. I see his mouth twitch, he's a tough one.

    -Fine, here's your rewards... A young dragon costs 3 gold on the imperial market, even though yours looks like it's tamable I will respect your agreement with Miss Hildegard.

    He gives us a sack of coins, I use [Metal Appraisal] on them and nod to him, he quickly leaves and I sigh. Such negotiations leave me with a bitter taste in my mouth. I didn't like to bad-mouth Hilde but merchants in this world are ruthless, can't give them even a centimeter.

    -That was a really good negotiation, master. I didn't believe the representative would buckle like that- Lina says. I shudder at hearing the words "master" again.

    -I had some good teachers. Hana and Roxanne are experienced in this.

    -Yep, a little bit of intimidation at the right moment and any merchant will buckle, they try to put up a strong front but they are all cowards- Says Hana.

    -I see, it's a negotiation tactic different from when merchants deal with each other, it's all about a war of information and connections- Lina says with a pensive expression.

    -Remind me to never become a merchant. This seems like a nightmare to me, I'm way too straightforward- I say.

    -Well you can always use representatives if you become a merchant- She continues.

    I still don't wanna deal with that, even through someone else.

    -I'll go sell the monsters we have killed, you girls can go to a restaurant and have lunch.

    -Ah no, let's all eat together, it's not fair to you- Alissa says.

    -Hmm… Anyone with a different opinion?- I ask.

    Silence.



    We move downstairs and enter the dismantling room. Gordon and Sonny are chatting.

    -Oh, Mr. Good Luck! I heard about your exploits, you are always doing something interesting- Gordon greets me.

    -I wish I wasn't. Anyway, good to see you Mr. Gordon, Mr. Sonny.

    -Uh, yes. Good to see you too Mr. Ryder- Sonny is a bit distracted.

    -Oh, looks like you got a pet dragon eh? Now then what surprise you have for us?

    I pull out the Grey Berserker and the Young Ogre.

    -Oh! Such pristine fur! What an achievement Mr. Ryder, I'm impressed. How did you do it?

    -I held it with my earth elemental, after that we hit his head until it got dizzy and Alissa finished it.

    -That's amazing, only the best fellowships specialized in hunting Grey Berserkers can achieve this. Oi, Sonny, help me here.

    Sonny got out of his stupor and went appraise the bear. He kept stealing glances at us, no, he kept stealing glances at Roxanne. He's a demon race after all, I think he's a succubus too, maybe the name is incubus for men.

    I grab Roxanne's tail at twirl it around my hand, Sonny shudders. Roxanne looks at me with curiosity but then she looks at Sonny and smiles mischievously, she hugs me from behind and leans her body on me. Her hand enters my jacket from the top and she caresses my chest. Sonny's white skin turn red and he turns around, he focus on appraising the monsters and the proof of subjugation.

    -Here's your rewards- Sonny says between gritted teeth.

    -Keep bringing those bears to me, boy, I love Grey Berserker meat. Also, don't tease Sonny too much, eh?- Gordon says and winks.

    Sonny chokes on his spit, I just smile and leave.

    -Finally, let's eat something and go home.



    Intermission 5



    A man that doesn't tell his birthplace should not be trusted, a man that hides many secrets should not be trusted, a man who lacks the common sense of the populace should not be trusted, a man who hides mysterious skills should not be trusted. And yet I can't follow any of this advice, I feel hopelessly lost in darkness where the only light comes from his back, making me follow him. When I was used to the darkness, to the sameness and safety, he comes like a curious and innocent being who opens a path for me. It's not the same old life I yearned for but something new with a hint of nostalgia.

    He should be younger than me but I feel nothing that leads to believe it to be true, only his face and his love for women says the contrary, but that's not enough, I almost feel like stealing his ID card just to confirm his age. Logic tells me I should stay away, even though there's 2 blessings around him he's far too secretive or mysterious, but my instincts tell me otherwise, they tell me of an opportunity, of an adventure, of a new beginning. I thought I could help him but he might end up helping me more instead.

    Besides, what kind of man can please 3 women and still wake up with vigor every morning? One of them being a dragonkin no less. I only hear occasional the muffled ruffling and moaning but still, my imagination is making me embarrassed. Those have been some hard nights... And days, and mornings, do they ever stop?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019 at 1:48 AM
  2. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    -I-is it alright for me to eat with you?- Asks Lina.

    -Did you do any different with your last master?- I ask.

    -No… But Miss Hilde was special, as her personal attendant it would be very inconvenient to keep eating away from her.

    -Then see it the same way, it's inconvenient to treat you worse, it's just easier to treat you like everyone else.

    -Thank you, master…- She bows.

    -You chose the right person, little Lina, Wolfy is a really kind master. Just get prepared for the night, he's a sadistic sex beast- Teases Roxanne.

    Lina freezes, Ciel looks away.

    -Roxanne! Stop that, she's gonna get scared. I didn't accept you because I want your body, I already have enough women around me.

    -I see…- Lina says, did I notice a hint of disappointment?

    -Besides, Roxanne and Hana are the predators you should be scared of.

    -No thank you, the only ones I want inside of me are Roxanne and Wolfy- Hana says shaking her head.

    -Same, but inverted… I think...- Roxanne says and pulls out her tongue.

    Ciel is massaging her eyes. I cough.

    -Lina, do you like books?- I ask, changing the topic.

    Her yes shine.

    -Yes! Whenever Miss Hilde would take on a peddlers job she would bring some books and let me read them during the trip. She would bring about every kind of book possible so I always had a wide variety to read.

    -Well then, you know I'm studying in the magic university, right? I wanna let you use the library and research some things for me. Do you like reading about the legends and history of the world?

    -Oh, the magic library… Yes! I want to! But, is it okay to let a slave inside? If I ever damage a book, the price for it might be even higher than the price to buy me...- Her voice trails off.

    If that happens most masters would sell the slave, some might even go as far as executing the person.

    -That's alright, if something happens I might revoke your right to use the library but I'm not unreasonable, just don't be careless.

    -Yes!

    I feel like patting her head, she's so cute. When she's working she kept a firm expressionless face, but now she seems earnest and happy.

    -Why do you want to research legends?- Asks Ciel.

    -You know I'm from a far away land, I just wanna know more about the life around here, perhaps there might even be similarities in the myths from my land and the local's.

    Ciel seems interested, the other girls know where I'm from so they know why exactly I'm doing this. I have no information about the history of this world so using Lina to collect it for me might be the best way to go about it, I still have so much magic and training to do I can't spend time reading fairy-tales.

    -So your job is maintenance of our equipment and research. I think we can carry you with Alissa so we might as well go to the university together- I say. She's so small I don't think Alissa will mind the extra weight with her increased level in transformation.

    -I can also help with housework- She says raising her hand.

    -Not really necessary, the other girls already help a lot and my clay golems keep the house clean from dust. Ciel and I also have a strong [Clean] so we can just use magic whenever the clay golems aren't enough.

    Her hand falls down.

    -Ah yes, you are a summoner, the golems sure seem convenient- Lina says in a pensive tone.

    We start eating our meal. It's white sauce pasta with grated cheese and roasted Dragolite, we eat lemon pudding for dessert. This is a good restaurant, not too expensive and they didn't mind letting Aoi eat with us too, her intelligence and cleanliness is higher than some people. Lina melts when she eats her pudding, as a slave she didn't have many opportunities to eat sweets, even if Hilde was kind she was a bit spartan on her way of life.



    When we get home the griffin nature spirit is sleeping on a column of the gate of our house. I put points into [Animal Tongue] and approach it.

    -Helloo! Missed me?

    The little griffin opens his eyes and quickly gets up, he lets out a happy chirp. I pull out a piece of raw meat and leave it near the gate. The girls wave to it but no one has the courage to touch it yet. It happily eats while his cute ass shakes. Aoi is very interested on the spirit.

    When we enter I summon 3 clay golems and get them to work on the dusty house, I don't let anyone else help, today is time for us all to rest.



    -So Lina, where are you from?- Asks Ciel.

    We are on the living room, the fireplace is crackling, the tea is hot, the cookies are delicious, Ciel is chatting with Lina, Alissa is reading, Hana is massaging my brain and Roxanne is brushing her mane.

    -I was born on a surface village at the foot of the Mountainhome. Before Aremut fell to the undead the road around Mountainhome wasn't as popular and our village was only a small hub for adventurers. I was being trained as an enchanter like my father but all our tools got stolen, father had to sell me so he could buy new tools. Hilde bought me and we traveled as peddlers for a long way until we came here.

    -Wow, Mountainhome is on the other side of the continent, that's quite the distance. Where does the Roth family live?- Hana says.

    -The Roth family didn't have a home, it was only 2 years ago that we settled around the Shore of Leaves and the High Forest for hunting dragons. They bought a house in Goldcross but Miss Hildegard has a brother staying here so we should get a response from them soon- Lina continues.

    -What about you Ciel, born here?- I ask.

    -Yes, I never knew my parents but I believe they came from Sommerland since I have this skin color. I joined a Templar unit that was moving there when… The battle happened and I quit being a warrior priestess.

    -What about you Hana?- I say, trying to distract her from that memory.

    -I was born in Sommerland, I used to make escort caravans from there to Ryutake on the far south but unfortunately I never went into Gnomeria, the pixies at Betoverd Bos weren't allowing many people at the forest. If we ever get the chance let's go into Gnomeria, the gnomes are just so hugable- Hana loses her composure a bit and her eyes go wild, then she coughs- Once dad screwed up I decided to sell myself at Rabanara because there's a wide variety of strong adventurers here.

    The other 2 retold their stories. Alissa was born at the Misty Low Forest but never left until she came into Rabanara. Roxanne traveled a lot on the Maoka continent then she came through Goldport, she went as far as Goloria then she went back and moved to Rabanara so she never traveled much on this continent.

    -Do you wanna visit your home, Lina?- I say.

    -I… Do. Even though my parents sold me I know they had no alternative or we would starve, I know my body is rather childish so at least I'm thankful I wasn't sold to a perverted noble.

    -Sorry to ask but how old are you?- I ask.

    Ciel and Roxanne glare at me.

    -I am your slave, master, there's no need to worry about such things, I am 15.

    -What… That's just a year younger than me- I say. She looks younger.

    -Dwarven women are like that- Lina shrugs- Where do you come from, master?

    -My homeland is a secret, just like how I know [Gate] I have many other secrets we have to keep- I smile.

    Ciel smiles bitterly.

    -O-oh, I see, forgive me for prying- Lina bows her head in respect.

    -No need for forgiveness, ask anything and I will judge if I can answer.

    -Now that we are talking about it, how did you learn [Gate]?- Ciel asks.

    -That's another secret, but you should know that I have a talent for [Space Magic], just like how my [Item Box] is huge I can easily learn spells from that school.

    -Yet another secret...- Ciel mutters and even Lina look pensive.

    I think I will tell the truth to them soon, but I think I want to propose to Ciel before that. First I need to create a romantic situation with her, I don't wanna a repeat of the last proposals I had. Even though Alissa's was heart-wrenching I still feel embarrassed at the suddenness of it all, I appreciate Hana's help but I want to do it right this time.

    -Considering his talent with using [Telekinesis] in combat I can see why this is true- Hana helps me.

    I haven't had the opportunity to fight using [Telekinesis] but Hana assures me it's gonna be a powerful strike.



    After a while Hana spars with Lina to test her combat capability, luckly Hana has a wooden warhammer for sparring. The dwarves use a long hammer, almost as long as a halberd, it has the traditional flat part of a hammer, a hook on the back and a spear at the tip, quite versatile but it lacks in slashing power.

    -She has a bit of skill, around level 5 I would guess. She can kill most normal goblins around here but will struggle against orcs, her agility is not enough to face a Young Ogre yet and her [Stonebody] is average for her age- Hana says. Lina is dropped down on the ground, completely exhausted. Her white shirt is sticking to her body.

    [Stonebody] is a spell all dwarves have, it works similar to the dragonkin skin that hardens their bodies and even gives them physical strength. While the dragonkin is something innate and physical, the dwarven [Stonebody] is purely magical.

    -The wyvern attack is all but confirmed to come in one or two days- Ciel says- That dragon was far too smart and strong, it will easily command the wyverns. With that I think it's best to leave her out of the fight, keep her protecting Roxanne and Aoi, she doesn't have the power to face a wyvern yet.

    -Even so I would rather not let her use her body as a shield- I say.

    She seems very submissive so I have a feeling she would needlessly sacrifice herself to protect Roxanne since she's a slave and Roxanne is my fiancee.

    -Lina, I will bring you to fight but your first order is to not die, understand that? I don't want heroic sacrifices I want us to put all our effort into avoiding a situation where a sacrifice is necessary to begin with.

    -Y-yes! Understood, master!- Lina says in high spirits.

    Alissa and Hana share a warm smile.

    -You say that but you are the one who has a tendency to do put yourself in danger, right? The Symbol, the Orc Chief and this dragon where all you jumping in danger, literally- Roxanne says with her hands on her hip.

    -Well, uh...- I'm at a loss for words.



    Today is strength training, now that we are back home Hana pushes me hard, in both meanings.

    -Lina, Ciel, do you mind taking a bath together?- Alissa says with a suspicious glint in her eyes.

    -Not really, the bath is large for this reason, right?- Ciel says.

    -I'm a slave, you shouldn't be concerned with my embarrassment. But shouldn't I wash master?

    -It's best you not, the bath is… A place for, uh, bonding- I say.

    Ciel sighs and Lina stares blankly for a few seconds and then her cheeks reddens.



    Today is the 15th.

    Roxanne wakes me up, she doesn't have the skill but she's mastering sensual expressions with my dick in her mouth. After she's done I have to cast [Heal] on my lower back, Hana didn't unglue from me during the entire bath and then Roxanne wanted her share. Alissa, the pervert, masturbated in the corner all the time so she's happy by herself.

    My [Blessing Magic] and my [Summoning Magic] increased by 1 (now 0+11 and 11+9). It seems skills increase much faster when you are purposely training them.

    I spend my morning playing with Aoi in the sofa like you play with cats and a blade of wheat. Alissa had an idea and collected a few blades from the nearest farm yesterday, she lived with a few animal foxes and they have similar instincts to Aoi, it seems. Though I will need something stronger than the blades since Aoi completely destroys a blade with a simple swipe of her incredibly fast claws.

    At 9AM Alissa appears in the living room, she's smiling.

    -You have a visitor, his name is Nour Asaf.

    Ooooh. I go out to meet him. Nour is by the front door, he's observing the house with curiosity. It's the first time I saw him using casual clothes but there's no doubt he's rich, he's wearing red woolen clothes with a shining velvet waistcoat and a green cloak.

    Behind him is a tall dragonkin woman, she has pale white skin, shining emerald hair and ruby scales. Her nose is small, her chin is pointy and her eyes look sharp, a very feminine face. She has a chilling smirk that reminds me of my own man-eating woman. She's using a revealing red dress below a brown fur coat.

    Besides the dragonkin woman is another woman. She's short, a bit shorter than me, she has long brown hair with a few drills, freckles and a cute round face. She shyly looks at me and then turns away. She's wearing similar clothes to nour but with frills and a more feminine look.

    -It's been a long time Mr. Nour, I see you changed your companions.

    -Yes, well, a lot happened back home, but you changed more, Mr. Ryder.

    I stretch my hand for a handshake.

    -Just call me Wolf.

    -Then just call me Nour.

    I'm a bit glad to meet Nour. I'm not really a person that spends much time with friends, specially since now I have 5 women around me, but I'm still happy.

    I invite him over and we sit at the living room with Aoi at my lap, Alissa calls the others and soon the room is full and smelling of tea and cookies. Only Lina didn't know about Nour since I told them all in passing about my journey here, they all seem curious about who is the person that managed to befriend me.

    -This is Midori, my first wife and this is Safiya, my second wife- Nour says, embarrassed.

    Midori and Hana share a grin, Safiya blushes, bows and keeps looking down towards the cookies.

    -Uh, wait what- I say.

    -Well then- Nour immediately starts blushing, his voice is fast paces as if he just wants to get this over with- I was sent home for an arranged marriage. My father got a deal with a mercenary company and they will provide escorts exclusively for our products so we can branch out of the Principality, father is aiming to enter the market of the capital. The condition was to marry Midori, the captain's daughter, together we will train here in Rabanara for a few years and get stronger then we will inherit the mercenary company. During the ceremony Safiya interrupted, she's my friend from back at home, one thing led to another and I married her too...

    Nour averts his eyes in embarrassment while I blink blankly for a few seconds. Well then, it's my turn.

    -A-anyway, this is Alissa, my fiancee. She's the Blood Slave I got thanks to your gift and I'm really, really grateful for it. This is Hana, my second Blood Slave, she's also my fiancee. This is Roxanne, we met on a request, she's another fiancee. This is Ciel, she was priest at the temple and now she's part of our fellowship. This is Lina, she was a slave for my employer during my last request but she died and I decided to buy Lina, we will negotiate for her soon. And this is Aoi a small dragon I tamed on my last request- I failed in being different from Nour, talking about things like this I realise having so many women around me is a little excessive. Though I made sure I didn't put "first" or "second" on the fiancee order.

    At my words Nour opens his eyes wide and even Safiya looks at us. Nour chuckles.

    -I guess you win, your "troubles" are much more than mine.

    I cough.

    -W-well, uh, what happened to your sister?

    -Ah. When we got back home she eloped with Liam and married him- I knew it- I broke the contract with him and Rania swore she's gonna repay me someday. Dad was furious, he wanted her to inherit the business and marry a craftsman, but then he got an idea and managed to rope the lord into marrying his son to her, when eventually she came back to talk she got interested in the idea and accepted. Unlike me she's strong enough to fight alongside the lord's son and clear dungeons, perhaps in a year or so she might even turn into a True Noble. Liam is quite happy too, he was thinking about retiring but he enjoys fighting alongside her more.

    -I understand the sentiment- Hana comments.

    So she actually has 2 husbands, what an interesting world. I know Raina is a powerful mage, she was tired and still managed to cast [Ice Lance], which is a level 30 [Water Magic] spell. This spell is basically a one hit kill for anything that doesn't have a disgusting agility like the Orc Headhunter had.

    -Here's something I brought from home- Nour pulls something out of his [Item Box], it's a small basket and inside…

    -Chocolate!

    -W-what?- Nour looks confused.

    -He's addicted to chocolate- Alissa says.

    I immediately grab a black cube and eat. It's a semi-sweet chocolate, not my favorite and not the best taste but it's the first chocolate I ate in a long time. It melts into my mouth and I feel bliss.

    -Huh, where did you eat such a thing?- Nour raises an eyebrow- It's quite a new find that's popular on the Principality. When I left the emperor had requested an urgent caravan with chocolate for the capital so it's going to take some time for it to spread.

    -I uh, ate it once beyond the Maoka continent- I lie.

    Just saying "my homeland" and keeping quiet about it might not cut it. Ciel raises an eyebrow.

    -Well that's quite the journey, the Maoka continent itself exports a good amount of interesting products so I'm not that surprised.

    He should know I'm a bit reserved about my past.

    The girls eat and even Hana and Midori look pleased. Chocolate is love, chocolate is life.

    -You brought more chocolate with you?- I ask- The last of chocolate on the town has been for a long time.

    -Yeah, I came with a small caravan. I will tell you where they are selling the cocoa, the chocolate they make there will sell fast.

    -Say, Nour, what exactly your family works on?- I ask.

    -We are dealing with the new version of magic tools for flight. We have a few craftsmen that achieved a breakthrough in copying the tools of the chimeras. Dad has been working with the empire in building an airship fleet.

    Everyone is wide eyed.

    -That's... Your family must be quite powerful- I say.

    Nour cringes.

    -Yeaaah. Kinda... Well you know how it goes, when people get too much money the others start to covet. I came here to get away from all that nonsense, in Rabanara nobody really cares where you are from.

    Boy, am I thankful for that.

    -So, are you two from the same family or something?- I ask Hana and Midori.

    -I think so, the color of our scales says we are related somehow but your skin color is rare over at Ryutake- Says Midori.

    -I was born at Sommerland but mom is from Ryutake. Did you know the Yokubo family?- Says Hana.

    -Hm, I think I heard this name before...

    -Well the last Yokubo at Ryutake was my grandmother so it's no surprise you don't remember much.

    With that we talk freely. Nour is planning on hiring an archer or tracker and another vanguard and delving into dungeons, he's never going to set foot into Royd's Kerfuffle again, though. Hana is older so Midori has some things to learn from her, Hana's route passed through Faium so they had some stories to share.

    Safiya is quite shy but she did well with Roxanne and Ciel, she's a fire and wind mage. She started training when Nour left for the first time, then learned she has quite the magical aptitude, so she entered the magic university there for a basic course.

    At 10AM a letter came to me, Dietgard Roth, Hilde's younger brother, will like to meet me to receive Hilde's remains, her belongings and to negotiate Lina. He asks to meet in the afternoon. At 11AM Alissa, Ciel and Safiya go prepare lunch and we eat with Nour, good thing we have spare chairs as the table is getting crowded. I notice Nour is a bit uncomfortable around Midori, or rather, he's scared of her, in a cute way.



    -Thanks for the lunch Wolf, or should I say, Mr. Good Luck- Nour laughs- Stay out of trouble, I didn't think someone as careful as you would be involved in so much fighting.

    -Maybe it's because I'm careful that I can fight so much.

    -Certainly seems so.

    -One thing- I get closer to Nour and whisper- The dragon is a wild animal, you have to grab it and make it submit by force if you want to tame it. A dragon answers to power and if you don't tame it and ride it it will tame you and ride you.

    Nour squirms and I smirk. We shake hands and he leaves. It's interesting how the act of shaking hands is present on this world.



    At 2PM we leave house and go towards the inn that Dietgard is at, it's on the nobles quarters so it's close by. To enter the quarters you have to show your ID and I suspect that if your clothes are too low quality the guards won't let you pass.

    The houses here are all mansions or inns that look more like mansions, the shops even show their products behind glass panes allowing the beginnings of window-shopping to appear. Ciel and Roxanne show the most interest while Lina and Alissa hide their curiosity but I can still notice it. Hana only shows interest on the weapons shops but she scoffs at the weapons in display, they are all fashionable but of low quality.

    -Damn pompous nobles- She mutters.

    We reach a pretty building made of pale yellow concrete and salmon colored roof tiles, adding a small flower garden in the front, this inn looks so sweet I puke in my mouth. Bright colors seem to be the style of choice around the Quarters. The receptionist wears a matching pink and pale yellow uniform.

    -I'm looking for Dietgard Roth, my name is Wolf Ryder, he's expecting me- I tell the woman.

    With a fake smile she looks at the register and then goes out to call for him, in a minute Dietgard comes downstairs.

    Dietgard is a medium sized man who looks like Hildegard but with bob hair, quite the androgynous face. His clothes are a similar qipao and pants that Hilde used on the first meeting. Oh wait… He's a "trap".

    -Ah, Mr. Ryder, good meeting you, I'm Dietgard Roth- He says with a somber tone.

    -Good meeting you too, I'm sorry for your loss- I say and shake his hand.

    -I read the reports, it's such an unfortunate encounter. My sister was such a good person, I'm thankful you risked yourself to bring her remains. Please come with me, I prepared a room to receive her- He lowers his head while speaking.

    We go upstairs and enter a room, there's nothing besides a table with a thick cloth. A simple man with plain black clothes is standing at the corner.

    -Please put her here- Dietgard points to the table.

    I put her corpse in the table, it's wrapped in cloth but there's still blood dripping so the table cloth immediately gets bloody. I leave the sack with her belongings besides the table. Dietgard pulls the cloth in her face and grimaces.

    -Take her and prepare the ceremony- He says. The man in the corner wraps her corpse in the table cloth and stores it in his [Item Box] and then leaves.

    He grabs the sack and investigates its contents.

    -Thank you for bringing her belongings too. Ask me anything and I will reward you if it's on my capabilities.

    -Thank you for your consideration but I don't need rewards for this, I only did what was right.

    His lips curl in a small and painful smile

    -You are a good man, Mr. Ryder, pity we meet under such circumstances.

    -Indeed.

    He sighs.

    -Let us go downstairs and talk about Lina's future.

    We sit by a table on the restaurant. It seems that even though the outside is completely different the design of inns are all the same.

    -Now then, you wish to buy Lina?- His somber expression disappears and the sharp gaze of a serious merchant covers his face.

    -Yes.

    -50 gold coins- He answers immediately.

    I'm so dumbfounded I lose my voice, Lina's expressionless face turns into one of disbelief. The rest of the girls frown. Lina was bought first by 5 gold coins, this is not a reasonable amount.

    -Why do you think she's this valuable?- I ask.

    -She's a hard working slave with a keen business sense and much experience, she will bring a lot of value to any merchant that gets her- He says, his stare is so strong it's as if her wants to stare into my soul.

    I look at Lina, she pinches my thigh, this is a signal he's lying. During negotiations she used this kind of signal a lot with Hilde.

    -She's merely 15 and most of the credit goes to Miss Hildegard's business sense. Lina was merely a dedicated assistant, you can find such slave in the market for 1 or 2 gold coins- I say. Lina was more expensive because she's young and cute.

    It's mostly the poor that sells their family to temporary slavery. A few gold coins can change the life of a commoner.

    -Acquiring the experience of living with such a talented merchant like my sister is the most valuable aspect- I can feel his poker face straining.

    -Oh please, do not inflate Miss Hildegard's talent so much. She was capable but far from being such a genius that just by staying near her you could acquire talent my osmosis.

    -Os-osmosis?

    -Oh oops, expression from my homeland. I mean, acquire talent by just rubbing on it.

    -Still, her talents are more than just in business, she's quite capable of combat and crafting.

    -She's below average for combat and her crafting apprenticeship barely started- Hana says- I sparred with her personally and appraised her crafting using our equipment.

    -Oh if she's so average then why do you wish for her?- He pushes in a mocking tone.

    -If she's so average why are you asking so much for her?- I push back.

    -Because I see talent in her!- He's losing his temper, good.

    -And so do I. But I have plenty of other experienced individuals and the capabilities to help her. Hana is experienced in combat, Roxanne is experienced in magic and alchemy, Ciel is experienced in combat and healing, Alissa is experienced in tracking and archery, I'm experienced in magic and combat. Not only that but I have a blessing of the Goddess of Knowledge and I will let her use the library of the magic university that I'm currently enrolled in. What kind of future can you give her that's better than what I'm giving?

    He bites his lip in frustration, it would be sensual if he was a woman. He inhales and exhales, trying to calm himself.

    -Lina… Please marry me...- He says.

    I choke on my spit and Lina sighs. She looks at me while I recover.

    -Uh… You wanna speak? Please do- I say.

    -I'm sorry Grand Dietgard, I do not wish to marry you- She says and bows.

    I don't want to ask why.

    -Please, I can give you anything, you will be my first wife and we will inherit the house name. Ever since I first saw you when Hilde bought you I have been in love, I will treat you nicely and never marry another, we will be happy together, just the 2 of us- He says, his voice increasing in pitch, I'm not sure if it's a man or a woman talking anymore.

    -Please understand, I do not wish to marry you, I'm sorry- She says and bows again, this time her head keeps down for a long time.

    Dietgard sighs. He massages his eyes with his hands.

    -Name your price Mr. Ryder- He says in a defeated tone.

    -15 gold coins.

    He opens his eyes in surprise.

    -I told you she's valuable, but not that much- I say.

    -Fine…

    I give him the money and he takes it without looking. I pass him a thick piece of paper, it has the name, description, date, and place that Lina was bought, this is the proof of purchase. It's in the name of Hildegard Roth but since she's dead the closest family member, Dietgard, has authority over her sale. Lina was sold for 40 years, by the time she finished she her contract she would be 50, by then it would be unlikely she would ever find someone to marry.

    In a small space Dietgard writes his signature and the words "Sold to Wolf Ryder", now I have to go to a Slavers Guild to register her in my name. We share a weak handshake and we leave immediately, he didn't even look at Lina again. Having a slave decline marrying him must have hurt his pride.

    Once we are some distance from the inn Lina stops and grabs my arm.

    -Thank you, thank you. I won't disappoint you, I will work hard and make myself useful. I don't think Grand Dietgard was a bad person but I do not wish to be with him, thank you again for keeping me.

    With teary eyes she hugs me, her head barely reaches my chest. I pat her head, she's so cute, so cute. Wait, no, put that phone away please.

    Ciel looks at her with warm eyes as one looks at a puppy. When Lina releases her hug she's blushing like a tomato.

    -Don't need to overdo it, it's no good to be all work and no fun.

    -Well… I think going to the library might be more fun than work...- She says bashfully.



    On the way back we pass by some stores to buy a high quality set of clothes for Lina. Walking around with Aoi on Hana's neck is rather eye-catching.

    We end up passing by the Slavers Guild, it looks the same as the Golden Necklace, but less well decorated. Registering Lina is quite simple, with the paper, my name, and a small fee I get a new paper that proves her purchase and the tag in her metal collar gets change to a new one with my name. On my "Affiliations" the entry "Lina (slave)" appeared.

    After that we enter a luxurious store outside of the noble's quarters and Lina freezes inside, it takes Alissa to whisper something to her that she accepts to buy something from it. I see the store owner is a middle-aged man holding back a smirk, I get an idea and approach him.

    -Excuse me, I know this might not be the best place to ask but do you know of a romantic place where I could spend an evening with my women?- I ask, holding back my embarrassment.

    His face lights up.

    -I know just the place. Here's my favorite restaurant, I take my wife there every few day-cycles, what's special is the siren that sings there, there's also a lamia and a scylla that play instruments. If you are not going there for the singing at least go there for the view, these race's charms affect even the women so they are marvelous to looks at- His voice lowers to a whisper and he gives me a small paper.

    -The theater has a new play every day-cycle, most of them are aimed at women so perhaps you should go there. Coming next is "Roberto and Judea", I greatly recommend that one, my wife cried the first time she saw it.

    Sounds familiar.

    Well I gotta treat them better, I have been a bit too absorbed in working and not given them that much attention besides sex and cuddling.

    When Lina gets out of the fitting room she's blushing. I massage my forehead and pray Alissa isn't going overboard. In the end I see they chose a cute short white and black dress with silver lining, some stockings, a pair of low wedge black shoes and a cloak with bunny ears. I tap Alissa in the shoulder and kiss her cheek, that cloak is something special, such cuteness needs to be rewarded.



    The merchant stores are not something I had paid much attention to but now I'm starting to enjoy them. Most are a bit cramped and with their odd architecture it seems every single one tries to appeal with charm. There are wind chimes that play sounds that resemble the chirp of birds. Perfumes filling the store with a pleasant scent seem to be common among women's stores, the glands of monsters helps a lot in creating perfumes. Every shop related to food seems to have a specialty, they probably hire a specialized hunter to catch a specific monster. The Smirk has so many different dungeons with so many different monsters that I didn't even read about them all, I had just chosen the closest one because it fit what we wanted.

    On a store I found a set of not-chess called Noblesse Oblige, one side has humans and the other has goblins and orcs. Instead of king and queen it's lord and lady, bishop is warrior priest, tower is mage, pawn is soldier, horse is knight. Mage and knight have inverted move types and some other rule changes. There's a more advanced version that's humanoids versus humanoids, it uses more mages and weird, complex rules, it's called Civil War. I bought it and a set of not-backgammon.

    Alissa explained to me about the Lord and Lady titles. The title Lord is a little weird, it's given to any noble that holds land and it can be given to a man or woman. Lady is given to the wife of the noble regardless whether she fights alongside the noble or not. The title Gentleman is the Lady counterpart that's used only for when the man does not fight but even so it's rarely used aside for addressing amorphous groups of people. Even though this society does not put women down there's still some weird things in regards to gender differences.

    Before we go home I sneak out and make a reservation on the restaurant for the 19th. They certainly know where I went since the party radar is still working but hopefully they didn't pay much attention. I told them to wait for a surprise for the 19th.



    When we get home Lina tries to help with the kitchen but Alissa and Ciel get her out, seeing her dejected I give her a random book we have and her eyes sparkle. She can use our small library anytime but she seems reluctant, she must not have had much free time and is too used to having a lot of work to do.

    I'm actually quite content today so I reward Alissa and receive my love marks on my back.



    Today is the 16th.

    Everyday I have been awaking by a small piece of heaven, today I woke up to hell falling on earth. Waking up by air raid siren is bound to give an old man a heart attack.

    -W-where's the bunker!?- I ask.

    -The what?- Questions Alissa.

    -It's the wyvern attack, get up- Hana says. She's already putting on her clothes and armor.

    It's not even dawn yet, it's 5AM. Ciel explained to me how it's going to work so I just go to the hunters guild with Alissa while the girls prepare and wait at the house. We run through the town, the magical lights give an eerie atmosphere, the cloudy skies block the colorful moons, and the light rain is the cherry on the gloomy cake of today.

    When it's starting to feel chilly we reach the guild, there's adventurers coming from everywhere. The guild extended a large tent outside the building and everyone is huddling inside of it.

    -Silence! Speak only when necessary!- Yells an attendant with a magically enhanced voice.

    She repeats this every so often and the incessant talking dies down to murmurs. I can see Silas is at the middle of the tent on a table while one of his attendant is searching both on a map and a list. A line forms and I get on it.

    -Fellowship name?- The attendant asks.

    -Helios- I answer.

    -Farm protection. Number 3, east side.

    -We have great expectations upon you, Mr. Ryder, don't disappoint us on this time of need- Silas says, rubbing his magnificent beard

    The murmuring dies down completely and all eyes are on me. I expected a dangerous position but number 3 is worse than even Ciel imagined. Anyway, it's time to look cool.

    -Helios will not disappoint, we are ready and willing to fight for this town- I say, with a clenched fist over my heart.

    We will fight but we will not die, I will use [Gate] the moment any of us gets too close to danger. But my words seem to have the intended effect causing Silas to smile, then the murmuring exploded again making the attendant yell for silence.

    There's not much else to do, we return home.



    -By the gods, Wolf, you owe that guildmaster some favors or something?- Ciel asks.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    -I think he owes me, actually, after this I expect some good rewards. We did bring quite a lot of proof of subjugation of strong monsters so I guess he really thinks we are strong- I say.

    -Zinotue and Burkanolf are stronger than the average wyvern, the problem here will be the number- Roxanne says.

    -Well, you don't seem too worried about this fight- Ciel says.

    -I will keep [Gate] ready for us, any sign of real danger and we are leaving. I don't care if we have to escape the continent to avoid shame I won't let any of you die.

    -Awn...- Roxanne hugs me and sniffs- When we marry we can just live inside the succubus sacred territory, no one will question you there.

    -I hardly think we will have to go that far- Hana says- With Roxanne's elixir and a defensive position we will last a long time, we even have a good window to ask for assistance.

    We review our strategy. Ciel, Hana and me at the front, 3 water elementals behind for support, Lina for any stragglers, and Roxanne and Alissa on top of the chest high wall besides the road. Aoi will stay besides Roxanne, I have no confidence in ever leaving Aoi alone, a tamable dragon is valuable.

    -I am sorry for not being useful- Lina says and bows.

    That was uncalled for. I throw a hand chop on her head.

    -Gueh!

    -Don't be silly, we will train you and you will certainly get strong enough to be a vanguard- I say. I hate such submissive behavior.

    -Yes, I will work hard!

    -Now, give me your hand, it's time for the party.

    She extends her pale, frail hand. Such delicate hands, hard to believe she can wield such a large war hammer. Once I release her hand her pale face is as red as Hana's hair.



    We move towards the east gate, it's fully raining now. Above us a huge wooden platform floats towards the southern wall.

    -On top of that is the Lord's heavy ballista, the Dragon's Bane. We won't be able to see it but at position 3 perhaps we can see when the bolt fires- Says Ciel.

    We reach the gate and there's a long line of soldiers marching through it. Groups of adventurers are also leaving but in much smaller numbers. Once we cross we see the soldiers going south, they will be positioned to defend the wall. The soldiers are all holding rectangular scuta shields and long pikes.

    Any attack by monsters who are not breeders or led by a monster of the type of the Orc Chief will be just a horde attacking the biggest concentrations of humanoids, whether these humanoids are combatants or not. On Rabanara this means that hiding behind the walls will only cause the wyverns to fly over and enter the town, creating chaos.

    To counter that the lord brings out his army outside the south wall as bait and starts massacring any monster that gets close. They use mages to create ditches and moats, they put palisades to funnel them, traps at choke points and random spikes and rocks. The way they modify the terrain to maximize extermination efficiency could almost be considered art.

    There's also the main weapons, the balista array, they are magic tools that fire giant arrow upon arrow that almost seem like a machine gun from Earth, these terrifying weapons have a kill count that makes a hunter blush. And then there's the final weapon, the Dragon's Bane, a huge balista that killed any dragon it met with a single shot. This strategy and organization is what gave the title Enemy of Wyverns to the Anara family and to the Lord Alaraste. No one alive in this continent killed more wyverns than him.

    While the army butchers the main force of wyverns, we, the adventurers, either patrol the town for any invaders or protect the farming fields behind Rabanara. Without the farms Rabanara will surely wither and fall. Protecting the farms is a rather dangerous job because there's an unknown number of wyverns that will detach from the main force and come towards the farms. The hunters are arranged on a line along the road, starting from 1 being the closest to the gate and 2 further away and so forth. Since we are number 3 we are rather close to the main force of wyverns, meaning we will certainly deal with a considerable number of them.



    Our position is marked with a banner, far away we can see the number 2 and number 4 fellowships, they are too far to help in a timely manner if we screw up. The number of competent and reliable fellowships is not large, every wyvern attack the adventurers are spread thin, but the prestige from success won't be small. Being called here means we are considered a very strong fellowship, which will net us a good reward in the future, if we survive.

    We stay at our positions trying to concentrate while shivering in the cold rain. Ciel casts [Inspire], I manipulate Roxanne's extra skill points so she gives us each a cup of [Filling Waters]. I give us all area blessings, summon 3 water elementals, drink an MP potion, and sit down to recover mana. Before I close my eyes I see Roxanne smirking, my water elementals are women that have a distinctive ponytail, side bangs and wear oval glasses and high heel boots.

    Hello again, gods. I'm not directing this prayer to anyone in particular right now since I'm not sure who I should ask for help so please listen to me a little. This will be a dangerous fight, we don't know how many are coming so it's hard to prepare. I ask for a bit of mercy on this fight, I want to grow and get stronger but it seems every time I fight, something dangerous is thrown at me. I don't want these women to suffer but I realize it's useless to protect them up to this degree, they are all warriors who made their decisions. So I ask that you at least give them enough power for them to stand besides me, I want us all to fight and go back home together.



    Another air raid siren is sounded, two tones, the monsters are coming. I stand up, dawn is here, 70% of my mana is recovered. We all drink Roxanne's elixir. I put the 2 extra points I had into [Battlefield Perception], I don't gain eyes on my back but I always get an "intuition" about the state of the others. The ground shakes and we hear the noise of a large amount of footsteps.

    -GUAAAAH!- We hear the cry of a wyvern. Multiple cries follow it.

    -Two Hooknoses approaching from the sky!- Alissa yells. In the distance I see 2 black dots above the treetops.

    Hooknose is a type of 2-meters tall brown wyvern that has no claws but it has a curved sharp horn at the tip of its face, it uses it to launch it's prey in the air and kill it by gravity. It's jaw is wide and flat, good for crushing if the nose is not enough.

    A wyvern appears from the middle of the trees, it's a Deathclaw, a 1 and a half meter tall black wyvern. It has bat-like wings with 3 half-meter long claws at the wing bone, it uses these claws to rip the meat of its prey.

    -COME HERE YOU LITTLE CHICK, MAMA WILL GIVE YOU A SPANKING- Hana taunts.

    None of us have a shield, there's no projectiles coming so no need for that. Hana is going to be one of the main killers of this battle, without a shield her [Sword Use] and [Two-Handed Sword Use] add to each other, allowing her to show the true strength of the dragonkin.

    The Deathclaw is going to arrive first, he's charging straight to Hana. To conserve mana only the elemental behind her starts charging a spell.

    100 meters.

    80 meters.

    60 meters.

    40 meters.

    20 meters.

    [Water Blade]! I hear the elemental cast in my mind. Through Hana's side a large, thin blade rushes towards the frenzied wyvern and hits it on the shoulder. A deep gash appears, blood pours and mixes with the rain water. Its charge is disrupted and it tumbles forward.

    Hana jumps forward and her spear lands into the already open wound, it goes halfway in and she releases the spear.

    -GUAAH!- The wyvern cries in pain. It's head slowly moves in a dramatic way, a perfect target.

    Alissa wastes no time, with [Perfect Arrows] and her slightly enchanted bow she has no problem in the rain. Her first arrow is a hit and goes through the eyes of the wyvern, it goes limp and dies.

    -Holy shit Alissa, you are awesome as always- Hana says. I "feel" Alissa fidget.

    I'm a bit amused "holy shit" is also a swear here.

    Hana goes back to her spear and pulls it out. I store the corpse in my "Items". We can hear sounds of battle at the distance.

    The two Hooknoses land 60 meters in front of us and charge towards Hana.

    -ALL THREE!- I scream. The elementals all charge a spell.

    Like they are in sync, the 2 Hooknoses try to skewer Hana from each side at the same time. Hana summons her wings and jumps up, the Hooknoses collide with each other and the 3 Water Blades wound both, the left one loses his horn.

    Me, Hana, and Ciel strike at the same time after the [Water Blades] do their job. I make a downward strike with all my strength and increase my sword's weight with [Telekinesis], I cut the neck of the wyvern deeply and blood spurts on my arms. I jump backwards.

    Ciel's thrust penetrated the side of the neck of the wyvern, she pushes down and keeps his head in place. Hana falls down with all her strength and her spear lodges inside the skull of the left wyvern, it's dead.

    The wyvern I cut lashes out and tries to bite me, my [Dodge] skill makes itself useful until an arrow pierces the roof of the mouth.

    -GUYEH!- It screams in surprise and retreats.

    -HAH!- Hana yells and slashes downwards with her sword. It receives another deep cut on the other side of its neck.

    The wyvern writhes in pain and tries to run but collapses midway, it will die soon due to blood loss. I store the closest wyvern in "Items" after I help Hana recover her spear with [Telekinesis].

    -You are now level 18.

    I put all my points into [Sword Use] (now 13+6).

    -The way I'm using this spear it will break soon- Hana says.

    -It's low quality anyway, we should have gotten you a high quality one- I say.

    -Look forward! Three Coming!- Alissa yells and our short break ends.

    2 Hooknoses appear with a Deathclaw in the middle of both.

    -Ciel! Together!- Roxanne yells. I feel them both charging a spell.

    -Remember that you are light, don't let the Hooknose lift you!- Hana yells to me.

    Actually… I have an idea. I charge [Lightning Bolt].

    When in range, Ciel lets out [Wind Blade] and Roxanne [Water Blade]. The Hooknose loses the right wing to it and rolls around in the ground in pain, Ciel rushes to skewer it. Hana throws her spear into her Deathclaw, it pierces its chest, making it stagger and lose the speed of charge. I cast [Lightning Bolt] but mine barely slows down, I cast another and it reduces speed to a walk, 2 arrows pierce its flank, but not deeply.

    My wyvern bites 3 times, I swing my sword to keep it from trampling me, I land a few cuts. It swings its tail and I dodge, once its back is turned it receives a painful arrow in the back that sinks deep. Hana is having a sword fight with her Deathclaw and she cut off 2 claws already, Ciel is stabbing the Hooknose and slowly pushing it back, filling it with wounds.

    My wyvern growls and bites at me again, I have to make sure my sword doesn't get caught or I'm screwed. This time Alissa hits the tongue of the wyvern, it gets angrier and decides to try to skewer me. It lowers its head and pushes forward. I jump, slash downwards, and increase the weight of my sword as much as I can. The sword pierces the wyvern through the head and buries itself up until the hilt, it falls limp in the floor. With a little effort I manage to dislodge my bloodied sword.

    I go help Hana and slice off the foot of the Deathclaw, it falls down on the ground and Hana pierces its heart with her sword.

    Roxanne casts [Water Blade] towards the chest and finishes off the suppressed wyvern Ciel was fighting.

    We quickly collect the proof of subjugation of each monster.

    -Hana! Taunt them!- Alissa yells and points.

    There's 2 Jazars trying to sneak through our left side. The Jazar is a 2 and a half meter tall bright red wyvern, it has no wings but it has long and thin freaky arms, at its fingers are 10cm long claws with an edge. Hunters harvest those claws to use as knives.

    -OVER HERE, SHITTY GECKOS, I NEED NEW TOOTHPICKS!- Hana taunts.

    The running monsters make an emergency stop and immediately change course towards Hana.

    -ALL THREE! GIRLS, WAIT FOR THE SPELL!- I scream, the elementals obey.

    We gather near Hana and wait. The wyverns run with their arms raised high, it's really creepy.

    When they reach 20 meters three [Water Blades] fly through us. The right arm of the left wyvern gets cut off, the other wyvern receives one long cut through its flank and dodges the last blade.

    Hana charges with her spear and skewers the left wyvern, it gets stopped in place and her spear breaks, following the break Ciel stabs the wyvern and it tries to escape. My wyvern ignores me and I run my sword through its flank, due to [Telekinesis] the wound is much deeper than I could ever cut. The wyvern screams and tumbles down past me, when it raises its head it receives an arrow through the eye and dies.

    Hana moves past her wyvern and blocks its escape, this wyvern got desperate and its swinging its remaining arm wildly, blocking any of us from getting close.

    -Four more are coming!- Alissa yells. She can't do anything, the scales of this one are too tough for her arrows.

    -Roxanne! Finish it!- I yell, she starts gathering mana.

    -[Water Blade]!- She yells.

    The wyvern gets hit in the back and staggers, it was a really deep wound. Hana and Ciel waste no time, they both slash towards its neck and blood gushes out. We retreat, it wobbles a bit and collapses a few meters away from us.

    -EVERYONE…! BARRAGE!- I scream, trying to catch my breath. Everyone gathers mana, I charge [Lightning Bolt].

    The wyverns land 80 meters from us and pick up speed, they are all Hooknoses.

    -FIRE!- I yell.

    I let out my charged [Lightning Bolt], the one I hit falls down and eats dirt, before he even stops moving an arrow goes through his eye and he dies. The others get multiple wounds, one is wobbling and can only walk towards us, the last 2 keep their charge.

    Hana and Ciel get ready to receive the charge.

    -[Wind Wall]!- Ciel yells.

    An area in front of her gets blurred and the wyvern slows down, it struggles but passes through. This delay was enough and Ciel thrusts at its chest, the attack misses the heart but it goes deep. Ciel follows it with a slash, the already wounded wyvern gets cautious and stops moving just to receive an arrow at the flank. It enrages again and charges, receiving Roxanne's [Water Blade] on the skull, making it wince. Ciel then slashes downward with her glaive and the blade buries itself on the already wounded part of the head, the wyvern goes limp.

    Hana summons her wings and receives the charge by thrusting her sword at the chest of the wyvern and holding it in place. The monster tries to bite at her but she kicks it off her sword and pushes it to the side. It falls near me and I slash at its neck aided by [Telekinesis], blood spurts out again and reaches my face. The monsters whips back and tries to skewer me. Hana dashes forward and buries her sword into its skull through its eye, it's dead.

    The last wyvern limps forward and receives an arrow in the last leg, it falls down and pitifully tries to crawl towards us, its eyes glare at us with hate and evil intent. Then the shine on its eyes goes away as an arrow pierces one eye and kills it.

    We get a small breather. Hana pulls out a spare shitty spear we have.



    Lina collects the proof of extermination for us, she's quite anxious of not being able to do anything so she insisted on doing this. I'm sitting down trying to meditate but the cold from the rain is making it difficult.

    -Lina! Five coming!- Alissa yells.

    Lina cutely scurries back towards us and we get ready again.

    From multiple places 5 wyverns appear, 2 Hooknoses, 2 Deathclaws and a Jazar.

    -EVERYONE! FOCUS JAZAR! FIRE AT WILL!- I scream.

    Alissa lets out multiple arrows, the Jazar slows down. The elementals finish casting and multiple wounds cover its body, it stubbornly keeps moving. Ciel unleashes her [Wind Blade] and it barely dodges, opening a long cut on its flank. Alissa fires another arrow and it stumbles, Roxanne takes the opportunity and unleashes her [Water Blade], it goes through the skull and it dies on the spot.

    -DEATHCLAWS? MORE LIKE KNIFECLAWS, YOUR CLAWS CAN'T EVEN SCRATCH ME!- Hana taunts.

    The Deathclaws aim at her and the Hooknoses aim at me and Ciel, one for each of us. Mine seems a bit big though, I'm just slightly scared.

    -CIEL! JAZAR COMING!- Alissa screams. I "feel" that Roxanne is capable of assisting her, she will be fine.

    The Hooknose is coming too fast for me to face it head on. I don't wanna waste more mana on him and Alissa is busy covering Ciel, I will just avoid him until I get an opening.

    The wyvern comes with such a force the ground trembles. I dodge towards the side, I slash as I dodge and I manage to give a shallow wound, then my view goes dark…



    I blink, I see the sky and rain water goes into my eyes. My head hurts. I immediately cast [Heal], the pain goes away and I lift my body, I see the Sea of Trees in front of me. I feel a chill on my back so powerful I almost piss myself, "death" is coming. Fucker had spread its wings and hit me in the head as I moved past it.

    I roll sideways and I hear a pound, I roll again and I hear a clack, I get into a crouch position and jump, I feel the wind on my back as a tail swipes at were I was. I turn around and a pointy horn is thrusting towards me. I use [Telekinesis] on myself, reducing my weight, I put my foot on the nose besides the horn and I'm lifted upwards like a feather.

    I'm flying, kinda. I don't have a lot of control over [Telekinesis] when I use it on myself so I'm still kinda screwed when I fall down. I look at my hand and luckly I'm still holding my sword, convenient.

    I don't want to fall slowly into the open mouth of that monster so I increase the gravity of my sword as much as I can, it pulls me down fast.

    The monster opens its mouth and ignores my sword, fucking retard. I cut through its mouth like butter, its flesh, bone, and fangs were nothing to stop me. The sword was angled in such a way the lower jaw is left hanging by a small piece of bone. I fall down heavily on the ground, couldn't manipulate my gravity skillfully enough, my legs and spine hurt. I "feel" Hana is hurt, but I hear her laugh so I guess she's fine.

    The monster roars and shakes its head, spewing blood all over, its tongue falls down on the floor. For his temper tantrum he receives an arrow down his throat. The monster chokes and retches dramatically.

    I rush forward and slash at its leg, it falls down on one knee and tries to swipe at me with its tail. I block with my sword and I'm thrown back a few meters ass down into the mud. My muscles ache, I'm getting tired.

    I "feel" Ciel get hurt, my heart aches but I have to finish this one first, I believe Roxanne won't let her die.

    I dash forward and the monster tries to skewer me but it lacks power. I dodge and slash at its nose, a shallow wound. It tries to sweep me again but I'm too far, a small step back and I'm fine. Once its back is turned I slash at it other leg, it cries in pain again and nearly falls.

    It tries to squash me with its head but I dodge sideways and slash again, this time I make a deep wound at the neck with [Telekinesis].

    The girls are fine, the wounds are just like mine, acceptable. The monster tries to spread its wings again and hit me but I just duck and stab it. The monster tries to retract the wings and I pull my sword causing a large and painful tear on its wing . It gets cautious and glares at me, trying to retreat.

    An arrow on its back and it gets desperate, trying to trample over me. I crouch and use [Telekinesis] on the sword and thrust it upwards, the wyvern steps on me but it screams and retreats its huge foot, now bleeding.

    The monster stops for a second, perfect, I raise my free hand with a clenched fist and the elemental casts a [Water Blade] on the back of monster. It roars and falls, I dash and slash at its already wounded throat.

    -GUAaaaah~- The wyvern cries weakly.

    It tries to wobble away and collapses, I thrust my sword down its skull, its dead.

    -You are now level 19.

    Damn, that's a lot of experience. I put all my points into [Mana Recovery] (now 10+0).

    Hana and Ciel are fighting one Deathclaw each, the Jazar is already dead from the elementals and Roxanne. I rush towards Hana and cast [Lightning Bolt], the wyvern freezes, it's stunned.

    Hana's elemental unleashes a [Water Blade] and a wing is cut off. The monster roars and Hana takes the chance, she inflicts multiple deep cuts on the wyvern, her spare spear is already broken and half embedded into its chest. It flails its wings in vain, I slash at its leg and it falls on one knee.

    -HAAAH!- Hana yells.

    She slashes downward and the wyvern tries to defend but it's not strong enough. Its wings bends before Hana's slash and her sword gets embedded into the skull of the wyvern, its dead.

    Ciel pierces the jaw of Deathclaw and holds it in place, Alissa unleashes her arrow and it pierces the eye, killing it. She frees her glaive and crouches down, I rush towards her. She has a 3 slashes across her chest, some blood and a little bit of chocolate cleavage can be seen.

    I hear Ciel murmuring.

    -How are you?- I ask, and touch her shoulder.

    -… [Heal]. Ugh, I'm okay, just a flesh wound- She says and looks at her bloodied clothes.

    I cast [Clean].

    -Still bleeding?

    -Hm, nope, I'm fine- She says while feeling her clothes and armor- Don't look at me like that, I have been worse.

    I sigh. I get too anxious when I see them bloodied.

    -Heal Hana too please, I'm using too much of my mana already.

    Hana is also fine just a scratch and bruises. She has 3 slashes on her flank and one on her shoulder, cutting the padding of the brigandine and exposing the metal plates. Her only flesh wound is a slash on her cheek, though it won't scar, dragonkin skin is just that good.



    Wagons and horsemen rush around the road, wounded, news, replacement requests. This is a city wide effort and their experience shows, for hundreds of years they have been doing this every year or so.

    The rain is thinning but I'm still shivering with cold.

    -SEVEN COMING!- Alissa yells.

    Fuck me, they keep increasing.

    -BATTERY!- I yell.

    150 meters. They are not out of the woods yet.

    Hana brings out her bow and arrows. We all charge mana.

    -FIRE!

    Hana actually hits her arrow even in the rain with an average bow. No kills.

    -AIM!

    120 meters.

    -FIRE!

    No kills.

    -AIM!

    90 meters.

    -FIRE!

    1 down. 6 to go.

    -AIM!

    70 meters.

    -FIRE!

    1 down. 5 to go.

    -FIRE AT WILL!

    My mana is low, I have to save my spells.

    -YOU ARE JUST EXPERIENCE FOR MY SOUL! COME TO ME!- Hana taunts, she fires a last arrow and throws her bow.

    A Deathclaw comes to me, it has 2 arrows on its chest, its bleeding from the lower body and it has a long tear on a wing. I draw my knife on my back and throw it, I'm actually bad at throwing so I use a bit of [Telekinesis] and turn it into an arrow, it sinks heavily into the shoulder of wyvern and slows it down. I charge forward.

    I slash upwards and the wyvern parries with a claw, the other wing comes and I dodge back, the wyverns are awkward at fighting close range, they rely on overwhelming strength instead of skill. I lift my hand with a clenched fist and a weak [Water Blade] slashes the wyvern at the neck, it's a shallow wound.

    I gotta buy time for the elemental to charge a blade strong enough. Alissa is busy trying to support Hana, the 2 Jazars she's fighting are being tough, Roxanne is also busy helping Ciel fight 2 Hooknoses.

    The wyvern coughs blood, good, it's weakened so I can parry its attacks more easily. I say that but when I parried its claws its still stupid strong like an orc. I use my skills and deflect the attack allowing me a quick slice on its wing. The wyvern is not enraging, perhaps it's smarter than the others.

    We trade a few blows and I dodge back to catch my breath, it coughs blood again. It charges forward, I dodge sideways and it slashes at me at an odd angle, weak. I push back and jump forward to slash, I put weight into my sword and start to cut over its chest. Something hits my flank and I see the sky again.

    I fall down on something hard and the air escapes my lungs. Holy shit it hurts.

    -ALISSA! HELP MASTER!- Lina screams.

    I try to stand up and fall down in pain, I use nearly all my mana on [Heal], something is definitely broken. I had fallen on a rock, my ribs still hurt even after healing. If I use any more overuse symptoms will start.

    A shadow covers me and I look forward, the wyvern is going to bite me. A large orange fox tackles the wyvern and bites it on the wing. The wyvern struggles and shakes around, the fox suddenly flies away and lands on its feet, it has a bloody mouth and spits a lump of wyver musle.

    -Master, are you alright?- Lina asks, she brings a red potion to my mouth and I drink it.

    -I'm out, I can barely fight.

    The wyvern suddenly turns to me. Oh fuck, did it hear me? Can it understand me?

    It moves towards me. Alissa charges after it and bites the leg, the wyvern tumbles but doesn't fall.

    -HAAAH!- Lina screams.

    She immediately jumps forward and her long war hammer hits the head of the wyvern, it slashes back at the same time and Lina flies away. The wyvern struggles to keep moving, its head is wobbling, thanks Lina.

    I lift my hand in a clenched fist. The elemental lets out a blade, it buries deeply inside the neck of the wyvern. It falters and Alissa incredibly manages to throw it backwards, it twitches and doesn't get up.

    -You are now level 20.

    There must be some bonus for killing monsters the first few times.

    Hana is hurt again, I'm worried now.

    -Help Hana!- I yell to Alissa and regret it since pain strikes me again.

    She turns around and transforms back. With incredible speed she fires two shots and moves sideways to flank the wyverns.

    I look at Lina, she's getting up, she's just bruised and dirty with mud. With the help of Roxanne, Ciel finishes her last Hooknose, she immediately jumps forward and slashes at Hana's Jazar. It's too weak to dodge and defends itself with its arm, which gets cut off.

    Alissa circles around the last wyvern and puts 2 more arrows on its back, it struggles to move due to pain. Hana summons her wings and jumps, she lets gravity act and slashes downwards, she splits the head of wyvern in two.

    Hana falls on her knees, Ciel rushes to heal her. Hana's armor is ruined, she must have plenty of bruises now. I wonder what would have happened if we didn't have [Wind Armor] or Roxanne's elixir.

    Roxanne is tired, her mana is nearly gone, the elementals regenerate fast on this rain but they are still not that strong against these wyverns. They are the most stable to use in the rain, electric elementals are the most dangerous and fire elementals are useless, even earth elementals get weaker on the rain. We need to ask for replacement.

    I feel mana gathering far away, it's a lot of mana.

    5 wyverns appear on the forest line, it's a group of Jazars. They are rushing towards us but they slow down and stop.

    The mana gathering is so high the monsters are feeling it, even Hana who has the weakest [Sense Mana] stopped to look at the mana gathering. It's coming from the wall of the town, something is happening there.

    I feel chills down on my bone, it's like I'm being pressured by the mana, it's the fear of what kind of spell requires so much mana. I feel like I could be dragged into a hole if I went there, I feel an instinctive urge to run away. The wyverns freeze and Alissa kills one with an arrow through the eye, hah. The other wyverns retreat.

    I look back at the town and see black clouds gathering, our cloudy day turns into frightening night as a thunder storm starts. I don't feel much strength in my legs so I sit down.

    I hear something resonate into my mind… [THUNDER STRIKE]!

    The world turns white, day has come for a split second, the ground shakes and my ears hurt at the sound of a thunder so strong I wonder if it wasn't just a bomb instead. The cloudy day comes back after a few seconds.

    A black dot on the sky starts to become bigger, it's falling down. I see the familiar blue shine of dragon scales. The falling dragon gets so large there's no doubt about it, it was the ancient dragon that killed Hilde.

    Suddenly a thick black rod appears from the town and pierces the helpless falling dragon. As if it was nothing, the rod pushes away the dragon and it falls down far deep into the Sea of Trees.

    -GUEEE!

    -GUOOO!

    -GAAAAA!

    The wyverns cry. The ground shakes and we hear again the beat of a large amount of footsteps. The sound grows faint and distant until the only thing we can hear is the rain, no more sounds of battle.

    -We won!?- I ask.

    -YES!- Ciel cries and jumps.

    -WE WON!

    We hear cheers in the distance.

    -KWEEH!- Aoil yells.

    -WE WON!- Alissa jumps at me.

    -AH! My ribs!

    -Sorry! Sorry! Ciel, heal him please!

    After my ribs get put back into place we do a group hug. It's 9:00AM, we won the battle against the wyverns.
     
  3. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    I kind of leveled a lot. Could it have been help from the Goddess of Growth? I have been giving her small prayers every day, perhaps she answered. There's also what seems to be a boost to the first few kills of a new type of monster, same thing happened with the goblins at Royd's Kerfuffle. Or is it just diminishing returns? Perhaps it's an anti-grind mechanic. It's all just speculation, I got nothing.

    We wait a little longer and a squad of soldiers appear, they look winded but capable of fighting, they are here to hold the area and replace us. Soon the townspeople will be let out to recover the corpses of every wyvern killed. We will receive bonus for each proof we bring but the price of wyven ingredients will fall drastically so even if we bring all corpses the extra money isn't that great.

    There are still hunters inside town patrolling, a few wyverns decided to fly over town so they helped keep the town safe. The town is still silent and the populace are slowly coming out of their homes.

    With that everyone goes into the bath, except for Ciel and Lina. I'm feeling a little bad about them but they got magic tools to warm themselves so it will be fine. Alissa gets clingy during bath, she's getting a bit too overprotective, which just makes me feel bad because I think I'm even worse.

    Too tired to make a proper meal we just eat a lot of meat with bread.

    -Let me just say, I'm glad you are all here. This was a tough fight, but we survived, we succeeded and I'm very proud to fight alongside you all- I say and lift my cup for a toast.

    -Awn…- Roxanne tilts her head.

    Alissa sniffles and Hana gives me a bear hug.

    -I'm glad I decided to join- Ciel says.

    -I'm glad you are my master- Lina says.

    -Now… What are you doing?- Alissa asks.

    After surviving the bear hug I kept my cup raised waiting for the others.

    -Erm… A toast?

    -What? Bread?- Alissa tilts her head in confusion, cute.

    -No uhm… Here, in my homeland we celebrate by hitting the sides of our cups to make noise- I grab her cup and mimick a toast- Then we go like this and say "cheers"!

    -Ooooh, a "Brother's Pledge"- Says Lina.

    -What's that?- I ask.

    -Dwarven warriors hit their cups together and share their beer before battle, this is a pledge that since they will share blood together soon they might as well share alcohol too.

    -Curious, it's somehow similar- I say.

    -Well then, cheers!- Hana says and we clink our cups.



    We leave Aoi home with Hana and go to the university, the rain is very light so we just use a simple cloak. I'm not tired enough to skip classes and Lina is excited to enter the library. The problem is riding Alissa along with Lina, I have to hug her and she fits perfectly between my arms. This is quite stimulating.

    I enter the class feeling a little more tired than when I left home. I sit down on my chair and touch my ribs, the discomfort is still there. Healing magic leaves your body confused after you use it so you can still get some discomfort and reduced performance for a while even if you are perfectly healthy.

    -Oh Ryder! You are here! Aren't you supposed to be fighting?- Lyle asks as he enters the room.

    -What are you talking about the battle ended a few hours ago.

    -Is that so? Father had me locked in the room all day so I have no idea what happened- He says and scratches his cheek shyly.

    Wow, I can actually imagine him running out to try out his lightning on the wyverns.

    -What position were you in? Did you see grandpa's magic? Did you see the Dragon's Bane? Did you see the army fight? What about the other fellowships, did you see who had position one?- He rushes towards my desk.

    -Jesus, calm down. One question at a time.

    The entire class starts murmuring.

    -Erm, who's Jesus?

    -Reference from my homeland, ignore it… Anyway, I was position three, east side.

    -What!?- This time it's Garanae who's surprised.

    -Ah, you said "grandpa", so it was him who used [Thunder Strike]?

    -Yes! Tell me how it was!- He's like a child on christmas.

    Suddenly there's a circle of students around me waiting to hear the story.

    -Oh, what's with this commotion- Says professor Ludwick, he just arrived.

    -Professor! Ryder fought at position three!- Says a random student.

    Save me!

    -Wonderful! Tell us how it went!- The professor smiles widely and floats towards us.

    Seriously!



    After a distraction class resumes as usual. Today we will have a group learning session about [Item Box], we will use the method of staying close to someone who knows the spell and observing how his mana behaves. This method is easier if you don't know the theory of how the spell works. [Item Box] has a chant but it's like trying to sing a song on a language you don't know, you are just going to butcher the chanting. Learning with this method also cuts the need for a chant.

    We push back the desks and gather in a circle around the professor, everyone here should have enough levels in [Sense Mana] that we don't need to hug him to observe the spell. I feel a little sad though, for some reason this cute little old man is very hugable.



    As expected half the class pass with no one acquiring the skill. I kept quiet the entire time since people already saw me use "Items" but no one seem to remember. Possibly because "Items" uses no mana and so nobody payed attention when I used it.

    We sit by the usual spot at the buffet. It seems Garanae is acquiring some respect for me after he heard of my battle with the wyverns. He's still someone who never saw real combat and while we are (on the ouside) at the same age I'm already the town hero with plenty of notches on my experience belt. His family is rather protective of him as the sole child with combat prowess, but then again, neither Lyle or Hatara has experience in battle. I kind of understand their family's reasoning, Rabanara is a rather ruthless place to live so they are only going to fight after they finish their courses.

    After a few minutes of talking Lina finally appears.

    -This is Lina, my newest slave.

    She bows and sits and I introduce the others to her. Alissa pushes a plate with cookies for her and gives her a strong gaze. Lina is likely to not eat anything in front of these nobles so I guess she needs a little push.

    -Another!?- Garanae erupts. His respect for me waves goodbye, it was short but we had a good time.

    -She's just a slave, I'm having her read books at the library and soon I will get someone to teach her enchanting, hopefully.

    Lina was confused at Garanae's outburst but now she's perking her ears to my statement.

    -Still, another woman! How many are you gonna have around you until you are satisfied!?

    I shrug, Lyle sighs, Hatara squeezes his arm but he does not notice.

    -I actually never went after any of the women around me, we just met and they decided to love me.

    -That's... Shameful!- He stands up and looks down on us- That's not how love should be, love is dedicating yourself fully to another person. How can you say you are giving all your heart to Miss Alissa when you have to cut it into pieces to any woman that approaches you. The Goddess of Love would be disappointed.

    Lina clenches her fist and her face muscles twitch, she's struggling to keep her poker face. A slave shouldn't argue with a noble, thought it would please me if she did.

    -I have a blessing… From the Goddess of Love- Alissa says in a chipper tone.

    Garanae's mouth hangs open.

    -You lie- He finally lets it out.

    -I do not. You can check at the temple, we verified it there and told them how I got it. Perhaps they can even tell you the story if you are oh, so curious- Alissa says with poison on her tongue.

    Hatara finally manages to push him down. Garanae seems to be lost for words. He finally makes his mind and leaves silently, seemingly stunned. Hatara follows him close.

    -I apologize on his behalf, Mr. Ryder, his family is very pious and takes pride in that- Lyle says with a small nod.

    -No offense taken, we just have an irreconcilable difference on morals, I really don't think he's very knowledgeable, he's just repeating what he learned. But what about you? Do you share his opinion or will you have a harem of your own? If your grandfather is a powerful court mage then there might be a wide number of women that would be pleased to marry you.

    -I… Well, this is… Something…

    -Let me tell you that there's nothing better than waking up surrounded by women, specially when one wakes you up using her mouth- I smirk.

    -Wha, mou, huh, wake, dic-, hah…

    Lyle broke. He gets up.

    -See, uh, see you l-later, Mr. Ryder…

    -See you later, Mr. Rizek.

    Lyle leaves with robotic movements. Lina is blushing.

    -See, little Lina, your master is a proper sadist, even his friends aren't safe from his teasing- Alissa says with a grin.

    -Alissa, I-I'm not that bad.

    -So you say.

    -And you are just like me!

    -I take that as a compliment.

    Lina blushes harder.

    -Master, what did you mean by teaching me "enchanting"?

    I'm glad the topic changed.

    -Well, there's a dwarf in one of my classes that's researching enchanting. Perhaps he could help you increase your [General Enchanting] skill.

    -Oh, a dwarf! Perhaps we could use the dwarven pride against him, he would likely accept if we goad him in the right way- Her smile is mischievous.

    I'm a little concerned over your choice of words.



    We get back to class and Garane avoids my eyes, Hatara is annoyed and looks apologetic, Lyle is back to normal but a bit shy.

    The rest of the class is free, most people use this time to talk to the professor about the theory. If you are having trouble increasing your skill by practice then you need to touch up on your theory. It's nice that this university isn't hand-holding you with lengthy and boring classes, if you are here you are paying to learn, not to just get a useless degree to fill a check mark on a list of things necessary for you to succeed in life.

    Back at home Alissa had passed at the bakeries Nour talked about and brings the first wonder, chocolate chip cookies, my heart melts. With the rest of the minotaur milk I dunk my cookies in the milk and eat them in front of the fireplace while light rain pitter patters on the windows. Comfy.

    Ciel laughed at the idea of using milk like that but they all agreed it was wonderful, only chocolate chip cookies are worthy of being dunked.

    Aoi seems to dislike chocolate. Whatever, more to me then.

    During the night I talk to Lina and she tells me the resumed version of what she found. I'm telling her to focus on the story of the High Forest for now and then expand. I plan on visiting there once so I want to know all about the lands on the way there.



    Today is the 17th.

    I wake up refreshed as always and notice a lot has changed. My strength, endurance and speed increased by 1 (now 10, 11 and 11), my [Space Magic] increased by 4 (now 18+16), my [Blessing Magic] increased by 1 (now 0+12), my MP increased by 40 (now 600) and my "Magic Power" increased by 5 (now 240).

    Roxanne leveled up once and her [Water Magic] increased by 1 (now 23) and her [Mana Control] by 1 (now 25). I put all 7 remaining skill points Roxanne had into [Water Magic], with that she can cast [Ice Lance].

    Alissa leveled up twice, her [Bow Use] increased by 2 (now 25), her [Hawk Eyes] increased by 1 (now 3) and she gained the title "Blinding Arrows".

    -Blinding Arrows, why did you receive that?- I ask.

    -She did hit a lot of eyes with her arrows, perhaps the townsfolk that got the corpses recognized her kills- Ciel says.

    -How do titles work anyway?- I ask.

    -It's a way to reward those who accomplish great deeds with some glory. It has a bit of an effect like blessings do, though much, much more subdued. It's no surprise for an experienced fellowship to have people with titles.

    -But hers is different from mine, mine is a nickname.

    -Yeah unfortunately yours is not about great deeds. Nicknames are special but don't be ashamed when people use it, someone calling you by your nickname means well- Ciel says with a snicker.

    -Then why are you laughing?

    -I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing at your shy behavior when people mention your nickname.

    Well, whatever.

    At the morning I go to the hunters guild with Alissa to sell our corpses and submit the proofs of subjugation. When we enter the whispers start, most eyes are now on Alissa. Although I'm happy I'm not the attention I get jealous at a few of the stares, which are clearly lewd.

    When she sees us a familiar brunette attendant hurries out of her booth to greet us.

    -Mr. Ryder, good morning. I have a message addressed to you- She says with a bow- It's an invitation to the celebration party for the battle against the wyverns. The Lord is hosting it. Here.

    She hands me the envelope. The same as last time he invited us, only that the location is going to be on an estate owned by the Lord's family. This estate is behind the castle, so we will have quite the scenery to look at when we go there.

    We deliver our spoils to Gordon, who seems content at the number we killed. Sonny appears for delivering the rewards and I'm sure he looks a little disappointed. The reward for participation on the battle as position 3 was 40 gold coins, quite a good sum. But the guildmaster still owes me a bit.

    We go back home to spar.

    I have been putting some points into [Inspire Growth] but aside from my ridiculous growth none of the girls seems to have noticed any difference. Maybe it's because I'm not teaching them, the skill might need me to actually inspire them. I will put their extra points into [Increased Growth] when they are training.

    After my sparring session I finally acquire [Battlefield Perception] at level 1.



    Today is nature class, the professor teaches us [Regeneration], [Vine Weapon], [Grow] and [Animal Tongue]. We are to train individually any spell we want.

    Level 10 spell [Vine Weapon] creates and harden vines until they are usable as weapons. At first we can only use it to make blunt weapons but with higher levels you can make usable swords and make them last even when you release the vine. I learn the chant and try to copy the mana flow the professor is leaking. It was rather easy to make a club even though I'm not level 10. With a bit of effort you can easily make other things, like shields or armor.

    The next spell at level 15 is [Grow], it is the secret of the elves of the High Forest and the halflings of Lorei Laurelai. They are so good at these spells they just look at a plant and they can make it grow anyway they want. No wonder the halflings are considered experts in farming. The elves of the High Forest use this spell to mold the trees so they can live inside them. They can model walkways and roads high up on the trees and even make things like furniture and weapons from the wood.

    Level 20 is [Animal Tongue], it is the one I'm most interested into, I need this to talk to Aoi more easily. It's like a [Blessing Magic], which you cast once and it lasts a long time. It's odd because casting it from skill system without chanting is like flipping a switch, when the spell is on it consumes my mana very, very slowly. So I see there's more than one way the same spell can be invoked, I gotta research that, I never heard about such a thing before.



    We go back home and my discomfort with Lina increases. I use the skill every man should learn and achieve absolute mental purity while her cute little ass shakes and presses on my crotch. To make things worse I'm sure she intentionally moved herself backwards just to press her own body into mine.

    There's already plenty of wyvern meat on the market, it tastes exactly like turkey. Alissa bought a lot since it's dirt cheap.

    Aoi seems extra happy today, when we were gone she managed to approach the griffin nature spirit. Being part animal herself the spirit seems to not mind her presence, but even she won't dare touch it yet.



    Today is the 18th.

    My nature magic increased by 2 (now 0+11).

    At the morning we all leave to go shopping. I want to upgrade mine and Ciel's armor into scale armor, she nags me that it's a waste but she got cut last time in the chest by the claws, our armor should at least protect us against slashes.

    I feel like I wasted my time looking at other shops, the Bear Hug is the one we previously bought our equipment at and again it seems to have the best deals around. The owner is friendly large fat man with a round black beard and curly hair. His aura makes him seem very hugable but his eyes are of a predator and no one dares hug such a man, I only feel death by crushing will be the result.

    Lina's trivia: Mining in this world is a dangerous job. Not only can monster spawn inside long mines but the mines themselves get regularly attacked. This seem to explain the high price of metal armor and the comparatively low price of leather or scale armor. Even cloth armor is expensive in comparison.

    We settle down with adding emerald scales to our leather armor, quite literally an upgrade. Now it's heavier, more difficult to move in and makes more noise but it's nearly impervious to slashing. With the rewards for the wyvern battle this armor didn't even cost us half the reward, the market is overflowed with dragon and wyvern products right now.

    We give Roxanne a Grey Berserker jacket, she had an older Young Behemoth she got on her hometown. We wanted to give her a hauberk or something like that but she lacks the muscle for it, Hana will force Roxanne to exercise a bit with aerobics so she deals better with the increase in armor.

    I finally buy bodkin arrows for Alissa and a warbow with a strong draw. It's much bigger than the current one and requires a lot more strength to draw it so she won't be able to use it for eye-popping, it's going to be used for enemies with much stronger armor, like dragon scales or plate armor. I have a plan for it that involves Lina.

    Alissa bought a cabinet to put in the hallway and another in the living room with glass to display some fine plates, cutlery, and a tea set we bought along with a potted flower plant. Little by little our house gets comfier, too bad its a rental.

    Lina starts to show her usefulness as she shows us she can repair Hana's armor with time, she knows how to sew and with her [General Smithing] skill she can basically repair anything not magical or made of wood. Though right now Hana's armor was too damaged so we replaced the cloth entirely instead of just fixing it.

    I notice Rings of Fertility are rather common among shops, common and cheap. I saw a panty enchanted with [Regeneration], apparently it's for regenerating the hymen. Now I understand why sex before marriage seems to be dealt with so casually.

    I go early to the university and report my [Sense Soul] to Mathias. He verifies it and claps his hands in excitement, he fills some papers and finally I don't have to pay for my education, we pass by the treasury and they return what I already paid.

    The skill [Sense Soul] seems dangerous, I can just imagine that with levels I will be able to know the skills and even the stats of other people just like I can see that of my lovers. All this information is stored into the soul and this skill interprets what I see into information that I can digest. In the end, information is power.

    In [Electric Magic] class the professor teaches us [Shocking Touch] and [Rush]. [Rush] is a spell that gives you a burst of speed. You have to be careful as it's possible to hurt yourself if the burst is high enough because it stresses the nervous system. [Haste] is a level 50 spell from [Blessing Magic] that has a similar effect but it doesn't have the possibility to hurt yourself as it's more of a time dilation for yourself.

    The professor talks about how [Shocking Touch] is an amazing spell and gives examples of tales where the spell is used, including the one where a man uses it into the eyes of a dragon. The last example he gives is me and my fight with the Symbol, thankfully he didn't ask me to demonstrate as I had used the system so I can't chant it yet.



    When the bell chimes I get confused as Alissa is not waiting for me but instead she's behind another building. Lyle accompanies me, he seems to have recovered from the last tease, perhaps he's an M.

    I turn the corner of the building just in time to see Garanae steal a kiss from Alissa's lips.

    "Slap"! I was about to castrate someone when the incredibly satisfying sound of the slap filled my ears. The sound of such glorious slap must have traveled through dozens of meters. Garanae falls down and freezes.

    I smile at such beautiful sight.

    I see Alissa twitch and her hand goes towards her back, under her shirt. I get alarmed, like me that's where she hides her dagger. I desperately turn my Emergency Ring counterclockwise 3 times, it should turn red and give her a sting of pain so she shouldn't miss the signal.

    -Aren't you... Going to do something?- Says Lyle looking at me confused.

    -No, this is the breaking point of Garanae, after this he will never look at Alissa again.

    -"Breaking point"...?

    She stops and looks at her ring on her right hand, then she takes her hand out of her shirt. She says some things I can't hear since she's too far and points to the direction the exit of the university is. Garanae gets up and talks a bit more with his posture hunched. Alissa stamps her feet talks some more. Garanae shudders and looks away, then he drops his shoulder in defeat and leaves.

    Alissa immediately turns and runs towards us.

    -Wolfyy! You gotta reward me with your di-...- She stops mid sentence.

    She notices Lyle beside me, with his mouth hanging open. Why are you yelling such things in public?

    -You gotta reward me with your fat big cock! I need you to cum directly in my throat so the taint of that man gets out of my lips!- Alissa says with a wicked grin.

    Goddammit.

    Lyle squirms and closes his eyes. Not as bad as last time, perhaps he's adapting. I cough.

    - Alissa, why did he do that?

    -Oh my, he's such a...- She makes an angry face and a crushing motion with her hands- Well you know. He saw my blood slave symbol and he assumed I'm being forced to marry you. He simply can't believe "someone as pure as you would be in love with someone as corrupt as him"- She mimics his voice mockingly.

    -It seems he got the roles inverted.

    -Yep!- She jumps on my arms and hugs me.

    -I see, he never had a chance then...- Mutters Lyle.

    -What did you tell him to go away?- I ask.

    -I told him I wasn't a virgin and that I like to masturbate while watching you fuck other women- She answers in a flat tone.

    I cringe.

    -That was a bit... Too much information, right?

    -No, better just be over with it, he didn't seem to understand unless I was completely brutal with him. Besides, I was very angry too, I couldn't just hold back- She smirks.

    I sigh.

    -What did you mean by "breaking point"?- Lyle asks again, forcing himself to gloss over what just he heard.

    -Well he's obviously infatuated with Alissa and Hatara has been making moves on him. Unless he's a completely dense idiot he has to make a decision soon enough. Unfortunately for Hatara he chose Alissa first, but whatever, he'll go to her now and all's well that ends well.

    -You seem oddly calm at this- Lyle says with a frown.

    -That's trust, I love and trust Alissa- She smiles and kisses my cheek- Also there's no need to castrate him when Alissa already did it to his pride.

    Lyle shudders and we go to the buffet have our afternoon tea.



    We continue our class and I succeed in casting [Rush] that lasted for a second, I immediately smacked my hand on my face due to the lack of control of my speed. Lyle shocked himself with [Shocking Touch] and nearly passed out so I think I had the less shameful accident.

    On today's strength training I noticed the different a point in my stats makes, I can basically increase all the repetitions by 10 and during bath I have more power to keep Hana tamed.

    At the night I reward Alissa as she asked, choo choo, full steam ahead. I make her scream and she draws blood from sinking her nails on my back. She apologizes for that and I actually have to heal the wounds, can't go around with my back bleeding.



    Today is the 19th.

    My [Electric Magic] increased by 2 (now 0+7).



    Today is a free day for Selina so Alissa and Hana go visit her. Lina and Ciel are sparring and I spend the morning with Roxanne, she strokes my hair while reading an alchemy book and I practice [Sense Soul] on my summons.

    I can see where the "layer" boundary is on my soul, I can count these "layers" and get the level of my soul. I can see how the "layer" is the same as on Aoi, though hers covers only half her soul. There's no other layers on Aoi's soul and neither there is on the summons. It's something I expected since only humanoids should have the capability of gaining levels.

    The skill doesn't give me a full picture of the soul but I have a much deeper knowledge than I ever did without it. I have been identifying the similar patterns between them and I think I found what controls the limbs. All mammals and humans share many similarities in bone structure, we are all basically quadrupeds that slowly evolved their bodies into different forms. Like how a bird's wing is just a thin arm with very long, webbed fingers; a dog's leg is basically a human arm where they walk on their fingers, their digits, instead of their feet sole/hand palm, which is why they are called digitigrade; a whale's flipper is just a very small arm with long fingers turned into a single roll of muscle.

    Looking at the clay dolls I see there's a difference in how the "limb" part of the soul connects to the rest. While animals use muscles, which are controlled by electrical impulses from the brain the clay dolls bodies are hollow and they use some for of "magic muscle" to move their bodies. There's similarities to what this "nervous system" is connected to, which I believe is the "brain", but the interesting part is that this "brain" is merely a small part of what makes the soul.

    Something I want to understand is, is the soul a reflection of the body or is the body a reflection of the soul? Due to how [Illusion Magic] works I believe it's the latter. A soul has no sensory input, [Illusion Magic] hijacks the input the body receives and modifies it at it's own will, then the soul receives the warped input, creating an illusion. And there's the fact that [Illusion Magic] doesn't modify anything on the body. This makes me interested in knowing how a brain surgery would affect people here.

    I'll tell Alissa to find me some dolls of different materials, I will try to copy the clay golem's soul and see what happens.



    When we are getting ready to go to the university I see Lina and Alissa smile to each other before Alissa transforms. When we get on top of her Lina moves back into an uncomfortable position for her just so she can have her entire body touching mine. There's no doubt Alissa is influencing her to seduce me, but she's underestimating my willpower!

    Blessing class the professor taught us the chants of the spells I already knew so I just focused on shortening the chant.

    Hatara seems a bit sad today so I let her and Alissa talk alone. I ate my small piece of cake by myself, feeling lonely.

    After class we quickly go back home and take a bath, it's time for our special dinner.



    -Ciel, here's something we got for you, a gift- I present her a dress.

    A red velvet dress, just the way she likes, embroidered with white flowers. It covers her whole body so there's no cleavage but there's two straps that you tighten around the waist and below the bust. This dress will show all the curves of her body, she's going to look magnificent on it.

    -W-wow, thank you, Wolf. But why?- She looks at the dress, marveled.

    I smile.

    -Why not? You deserve as many dresses as you want, those priest robes really didn't show much of your beauty- I smile.

    She sighs and shakes her head then turns around. I can see a hint of a smile.

    The other girls don't hold back when it's time to look beautiful. As expected, Lina is totally on the camp of super cute along with Alissa and their frilly dresses while Hana and Roxanne are on the camp of super hot with their silk dress with cleavage.

    I don't want to stare but I think Ciel's breasts grew, I'm just a bit confused right now.

    -She was hiding them because she was ashamed of them and it was kinda inconvenient to fight with them bouncing around- Alissa whispers to me, noticing where I'm looking.

    A crime against men.

    -Why would she change now?- I ask, knowing the answer.

    -Now there's someone who's worthy of looking at them- She says in a joyful tone.

    I shiver. Those are two mountains I want to climb, they are even bigger than Hana's!



    We go by flying dinghy. The girls quickly find their seats and leave me, Lina, and Ciel with the back seat. Ciel keeps a calm expression but Lina quickly snuggles up to me and grabs my arm.

    Discreetly I put [Battlefield Perception] at 4 and I notice Ciel is stealing glances at Lina, slowly she gets fidgety. I guess she's jealous. I entwine my arm with Ciel's, she jumps in surprise but does nothing, her fidgeting stops.

    We quickly get to the place and Ciel tries to run in embarrassment but I grab her by the waist and keep her close, Lina doesn't even release my arm.

    The restaurant is a 3 storey building with a white cupola on top. It has silver gilded corbels and windows, white quoins on the corner of the yellowed brick walls and a loggia on the second floor where our table is at.

    The first floor has a reception and the normal buffet. On the second floor the lights are dimmer and there's a ceiling light projecting directly on our tables, making it much more difficult to look at others but very easy to look at our food.

    Lina is still a bit anxious that she has her own seat, which by coincidence ends up being besides mine. Her necklace is visible so everyone knows she's a slave, but it's quite common to have slaves being treated well. Perhaps they think she's my sex slave, which is… Ah screw it, who cares, let her be happy.

    At this loggia we get a nice view of the castle, every window shines with light and the stone gleams with the moonlight. The lonely castle up on the night sky make up for quite the picturesque scenery.

    We are high enough to see pretty far so we can see there's still a considerable number of people walking around the night streets, where only the main streets have light. The sky is clear and the psychedelic moon shines to us, though the roof of the loggia covers part of it. I can see the blue moon is shining brighter than any other.

    Inside the building there's a very well lighted stage with a large open area in front of it, just waiting for the show to start.

    This restaurant has seafood coming directly from Goldport so I take my chances with squid(?) rings accompanied by a sweet leafy salad and a thick not-shrimp soup. Roxanne seems delighted to eat crabs again, fresh water crabs from mangroves were a popular dish at her home.

    In a few minutes the wine is brought along the grape juice because screw getting drunk. The tables get filled and 3 women appear on stage.

    One of the women is a lamia, she has from the waist up the body of a woman and the rest is the body of a blue serpent. Her hair is the same color of her snake body and it flows down like silk up to her waist, her eyes shines light blue. Her delicate hand with long nails carries a large harp.

    Another is a scylla, like the lamia she's part human with a tanned skin, and the other part is a mess of purple octopus tentacles. Her hair is curly flows to her shoulders with the same color of her tentacles. Her hair along with her large chest jiggles with every movement she makes. She carries a lute as she glides through the floor.

    The last woman is what I believe, a siren. She's the one who looks the closest to a normal human, her ears are spiky and webbed, her hands have a bit of a webbing, her skin is so unnaturally white it reminds me of the demon-race. The most inhuman thing about her is actually her hair, it floats in the air as if she was underwater, it's as black as night and has no reflections, it feels like no light ever comes out of it.

    The siren scans the audience, when her eyes meet mine I feel my heart beat faster and my body gets hotter. I look at my stats and see that there's "Charmed (small)" under "Status Effects". Being able to see your "Status Effects" is based on your "Perception". I guess this is why she was scanning the audience, she's the reason this place is so popular.

    She lifts her hands and the floor goes silent. She starts singing and I feel my ears are being massaged, I feel she's directly whispering in my ear while the instruments clouds my mind every time a note is played. The singing of professor Alciel of [Blessing Magic] does not compare to this, this is truly a magical song.

    The siren sings and dances, the scylla glides around and the lamia slithers among us. The siren sings in a language I don't understand but I know what she's singing about, for some reason. She sings about the bittersweet life in this world, of the warm and innocent first love, of the pain of growing up and getting stronger, of the difficulties to fight for survival, of the happiness of going home to your loved ones and creating a new family with them, only for the cycle to repeat again.

    The next song is lighter and more whimsical, of a traveling person scraping by and exploring the world. With this song our food comes.



    Roxanne and Hana go dance in the middle of the floor, I don't dance so no way I'm going to follow them. Ciel goes upstairs to the cupola. Lina goes to the edge of the loggia to look at the outside. Aoi is curls up on a chair and sleeps soundly. It seems most places in this world do not care about pets, when you can easily talk and transmit feelings to them they become way less messy. I see a dog and a scaly mini horse beside other tables, pets from other rich people.

    -What a wonderful place you found, Wolfy- Alissa says to me, snuggling close.

    The current song is about each of the Festivals of Seasons.

    -Just by luck, I guess I have to thank the man who recommended this place.

    -Thank him a lot, I never imagined I would one day be coming to a place like this- She looks warmly at the siren.

    Each month has a theme. Birth, Dance, Drink, Food, Color, Song, Prayer, Love, Combat, and Death.

    -To a slave that wished only to treated as a tool to young woman snuggling to her fiance. You really came a long way- I smirk.

    She kisses my cheek.

    -That doesn't mean I abandoned my duty. It's just like you said, I can be happy while I stay true to my purpose.

    I'm glad she understood.

    -What do you think about the other girls?

    -Hm? What do you wanna know, specifically?

    Each month the temple tells the people to make a festival once a month in honor of these themes.

    -Well just, talk what you think about each of them, I want your opinion on how everyone's doing.

    -Hm… At first I thought Hana wasn't fit to be a slave but she was reliable and she could protect you so I thought it was fine. After you asked to marry her her behavior didn't matter anymore so I guess she's fine.

    Rabanara is a rather chaotic town so the Lord doesn't organize a single festival, instead he encourages people to keep up the festive mood the entire month.

    -Roxanne is fine too. She's powerful and she needs someone watching over her so I think you are the perfect choice for her, she won't ever think about leaving you.

    -Ciel I think is the most important. I feel you will get lost in this world even with my help, I'm…- She frowns slightly- Not fit to advise you, so I think someone with the experience of Ciel will help you the most. Just make sure you seduce her properly, she seems to be a playing a bit hard, eh?

    I smile wryly, Ciel just needs a few more pushes.

    The song tells us to embrace this, to keep living our lives with vigor everyday instead of only once a month.

    -And Lina is Lina, she's adorable and a hard worker, there's plenty of ways she will be helpful to us.

    -So why are you throwing Lina to me?- I say with a sharp glare.

    -You know what I want you to do to her, besides, she's getting attached to you, you are the first real man in her life so why not just enjoy her?- She says with a mischievous grin.

    The song tells us of a hero, a very pious hero who lived his life like this and achieved great glory.

    -Well I don't want to just keep adding women to our life anytime someone interested appears. You might not mind but what about the others?

    -They are fine with it.

    -What?

    -They are fine with it. Everyone thinks Lina is adorable, even Ciel likes her and wishes her to be happy.

    -Just… Don't any of you have the want to monopolize me or something? Why do you keep throwing women at me?- I'm dumbfounded.

    This hero ended up fighting to save a kingdom. After the biggest fight he was left standing alone, the sole survivor.

    -Ciel and Roxanne certainly do. Well, Roxanne likes women too so I don't know much about her… Ciel is too soft, I know she's a bit jealous of us, she keeps giving us stares and pouting. But what can you do if the man you love also gives his love to others? You just learn to share.

    -But… What about you? Why do you not feel jealous?

    She puts a finger in her chin and averts her eyes in thought. Cute, argh, focus.

    -Just me is not enough. It's like I said, the others have their strengths and their ways of helping you. Those days where it was just the 2 of us were the happiest I ever had, but also the most dangerous and anxious.

    -Then why not hire people, why couldn't we join a fellowship with people that could help me?

    The hero felt lost for losing so much, he endured the pain and decided to go back home. Little by little his soul healed and he didn't go back to being like he was, he became someone better.

    -It wouldn't be the same thing. To begin with you are really not the type to make friends, how long do you think it would take for a stranger to have the same amount of trust towards you as Hana has? Roxanne, Ciel and now even Lina, they are all ready to fight and work hard, to shed blood for you because they love you or are starting to love you. Having to fight alongside those you love is much safer than fighting alongside those whose bonds are only as deep as a pocket.

    -But what about the danger? If any of you die I will be devastated.

    -We just do as you always tell us, no need for sacrifices, we will just go in a way where such a situation will never happen to being with- She grins.

    I sigh, I lose. I might as well just throw myself at these women then, what reason is there not to?

    -What about Hana? Doesn't she gets jealous?

    -Hana is a freak, as long as she gets her share of your dick she's fine, I think.

    I laugh, I guess it's true.

    -Well, that's a bit rude to her. She does feel some jealousy but you do a good job with her so she's happy- Alissa adds- Anyway, we talked too long, go after Ciel.

    She pushes me away.

    -Yes yes, just making sure where you stood before I went to her.



    The cupola is a large round room with tall and wide windows, there's sofas pointed outwards and a few tables were a waiter keeps hot tea and cookies. There's a few couples around, displaying some envious public affection. Ciel is sitting alone in a sofa.

    -This place is even better than the loggia- I say sitting close beside her.

    -There's no wind here so it's very comfortable- She says with a smile.

    I grab a cup of tea and stare towards the view for a few minutes.

    -I'm glad you are here Ciel. You are the first person I befriended on this town.

    She chuckles.

    -So you were completely alone here before meeting me?

    -Yeah. I'm really not the kind that makes lots of friends. I just don't talk that much.

    -Except to women- She glares.

    -Come on, not just any women.

    -That's what they all say.

    I feel a hint of mockery, she's not completely serious.

    -Oh? So you have experience?

    She smiles.

    -You are not the first that invited me.

    -But I'm the first you accepted, why is that?

    -Because you are interesting. I already said that before.

    -Is that all?

    -... - She looks away I see the hint of a smile.

    -I feel like I really do care about you. Call it whatever you wish but I care about you as much as I care about the others- I say.

    -You care about Lina too?- She sends me a sharp gaze.

    -One step at a time, I know Lina for far too little time to say such a thing.

    -But you will eventually buckle.

    I shrug.

    -Who knows. Would that be a bad thing?

    -For Lina? No. But what about the future?

    -What about it?

    -Are you just going to accept any woman that throws herself at you?- I notice a hint of poison on her voice.

    -No. First of all, I won't accept any woman the others also do not accept, I just need one of them to disagree. I don't own them, we are a team, a fellowship, I just make the decision most of the time but I want, no, need their opinion on this, we are all equals and we all love each other. And so will be you, if you join us.

    She looks away. I grab her hand. Oh boy, it's now or never.

    -Ciel... Would like to marry me?

    She bites her lips and thinks. I'm getting chills.

    She stares into my eyes, her tone turns decisive and leaves no room for question.

    -No. You have to tell me your secrets first. Only then will I answer.

    I breath a sigh of relief.

    -I was planning on that, but I have to tell Lina too so perhaps we should wait until we are home, it's a long story.

    Ciel looks at me confused, then her eyes change to that of concern.

    -I'm not a bad person. You should know I'm alone here and I come from very far away, I just didn't come here walking.

    -Hm... So you teleported here? But how?

    -That's the difficult part to explain.

    Her expression freezes for a few moment.s

    -Will you go back?- I feel the anxiety in her voice.

    -No- I smile bitterly- I decided to keep here, to make a family here.

    She sighs. She interlaces her fingers with mine and squeezes my hand.

    No need for modesty, I pull her close and kiss her. She seems surprised and resist at first but then she melts. I push my tongue and a few seconds later we are passionately kissing each other, I grab her waist and pull her closer. Her delicious flowery perfume, the sweetness of the moisturizer she uses on her lips, the taste of Gorgon wine on her tongue, the slight breath of alcohol. I take it all and enjoy it, this woman is now mine, she didn't answer yet but it's not needed, I know she's mine.



    We break the kiss and spend some time cuddling. She pulled me so I just enjoy it, her massive breasts are a better pillow than Hana's, I'm sorry but it's the truth.

    It's getting late so we go down and bring back the girls. Alissa was dancing slowly with Lina, they refused other men who asked for a dance. Roxanne was at the table sleeping in Hana's arms. Aoi is biting Hana's cheek scales playfully.

    When we leave Roxanne wakes up and wants to drive, I give her a head chop, don't drink and drive. I'm the one who drives this time.

    Back at home Roxanne sobered up a bit and we all sit down at the table.

    -Time for the truth- I say.



    Ciel is looking at me with her mouth open, Lina is expressionless.

    -You can't possibly believe we will just accept this- Ciel says.

    -Just like this? No. Here, look at my ID card, look at the magic skills, specifically.

    I hand them card. Lina blushes.

    -[Enhanced Sem-...

    -Not that! The magic! Look at the magic!- I interrupt Ciel.

    -Oh, uh, okay- She blushes a bit.

    I put 15 points into [Water Magic] and cast [Water Breathing] on them both.

    -Wait, what!? This is [Water Magic] and you didn't even chant!

    -Look at the card again.

    -Oh... It's true...

    I end [Water Breathing] and remove the points.

    -Look at it again.

    -The skill is gone...- Ciel is stunned.

    Ciel covers her eyes with her hands and keeps quiet.

    "Slam"! Lina hits her hands on the table.

    -YOU ARE AMAZING, MASTER! I always knew there was something special about you, your power is amazing!- Her mouth hangs open.

    -Erm... The power is good, I agree but don't need to praise me this much. This system helps me learn things much faster than normal.

    -Precisely! No wonder you received a blessing from the Goddess of Knowledge. But how does the point manipulation works? Can you manipulate my skills? I don't have many skills so after the wyvern battle I have a lot of unused soul potential.

    -Well I didn't pay attention when it happened with Alissa but with the others it was after we... Had sex.

    She stares blankly for a moment.

    -Master! Please take my virginity!- She looks at me with fierce eyes.

    I facepalm. I knew it.

    -I don't want to use my power this way, sex is only for someone I love.

    -Ah... Forgive me master, I understand, I got carried away. It would be shameful to use you in such a way- She bows.

    The girls are chuckling while Ciel keeps thinking.

    -It actually makes sense...- Ciel finally talks- Two blessings, these coincidences, the women around you, the type of enemies you fought so far. You are being trained and tested, Wolf, you are going to be a hero in the future.

    Not again...

    -I don't wanna be a hero...

    -A hero is not something you choose to be, it's a destiny that's given to you. But in the end, it's the actions that you take that make you a hero.

    -Then I will just run and hide someplace safe!- I throw my hands in the air.

    -As if you could. You actually want to be a hero, right?- She says and grins.

    -Ok, who doesn't want to be a hero? Sure this power sounds nice but I'm scared, scared of fighting and losing any of you.

    -This is why the gods put us all together, because we can bring you forward and help you fight- Alissa says.

    The others nod, even Lina. Hopefully a hero's curse comes with enough plot armor.

    -Please don't tell me you are all here just because you believe that's what the Gods want- I say with crooked smile.

    -Wolf!- Alissa yells with reproachful eyes- What the Gods want does not matter, I love you and you know it!

    Hana pulls me and gives me a bear hug.

    -Don't say such things, Wolfy, I love you- Says Hana.

    -Don't make me repeat my vows- Says Roxanne, pouting.

    Aoi comes and curls herself on my lap.

    -Kweeh!- She makes a cute noise towards me.

    Yeah I guess I said something stupid.

    -I'm sorry...

    Ciel sighs.

    -Anyway, don't ever tell your powers to anybody. The empire would enslave you in an instant if they knew you could use [Blood Magic] and leave no traces. This is how they make our Identification Crystals and ID's, there would be a long line of criminals wanting your power- Ciel says.

    I break Hana's hug.

    -Yeah, I know. This is why I took so long to tell you, I wanted to know you more before I could trust you with this. It's scares me too much that someone could tear us apart- I say and look at the girls.

    -But now that you know it, you owe me an answer- I stare at Ciel.

    She blushes and starts flustering. After a minute she calms herself.

    -Wolf, I... I accept...

    -Even though I told you of how dangerous my life might be?

    -Yes, I'm not a coward, Wolf, well I was but... I trust you, I trust you will do everything to keep us safe. Even if we end up failing, that... That will be enough- She says, with a pained face but with a resolute tone.

    I go towards Ciel and grab her hand.

    -I will take care of you, support you, fight with you, and love you. I swear to be always at your side and that I will always work towards a better future, together.

    -I will take care of you, support you, fight with you, and love you. I swear to be always at your side and that I will always work towards a better future, together- She repeats and smiles.

    I give her a kiss.

    -Now please call me Wolfy from now on, it really tickles my heart.

    -Sure, Wolfy, I agree it's cute- Ciel says and laughs.

    -C-can I call you that too...?- Lina asks bashfully.

    -Sure, I'm uncomfortable with "master".

    Lina smiles.

    It's too late, we all just go to bed immediately.



    God I'm greedy, 4 women now.
     
  4. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Today is the 20th.

    Alissa seems extra eager this morning, the proposal must have put her fetish on overdrive.

    My [Sense Soul] and [Blessing Magic] increased by 1 (now 2 and 0+13). Now I can see someone's race with [Sense Soul].



    Ciel seems to have gone back to being an innocent maiden, she's blushing every time our eyes meet. I steal a kiss from her and sit close, she's nearly loses her composure. I see she looks a bit tired, perhaps she didn't sleep too well last night.

    After breakfast she goes to the living room and keeps fidgeting about, I guess she wants to talk.

    I give a piece of raw meat to Aoi and she brings it to the spirit griffin that's on our back wall like always, watching Hana and Lina spar. The griffin shyly gets closer to Aoi and chirps happily, then it starts to eat, I can feel Aoi is quite happy watching him eat. I turn to Ciel.

    -What's the matter with you now? Suddenly so shy.

    -It's nothing.

    A switch has been flipped.

    -Oh? You certainly wouldn't become so shy suddenly if you weren't thinking of something... Lewd- I smirk- Come on, tell me, you know we should talk about anything bothering you.

    -W-well... You, uh, you d-did it with the others, right?- She says looking down.

    -Did what?

    -That...

    -What is... "That"?

    -Y-you...! The thing, at night, together...

    -What thing? We do a lot of things at night, we cuddle, read, talk, play board games- I get closer to her.

    She groans.

    -Damn you! Sex, you had sex with the others, right!?

    I hear a chuckle in the distance. Ciel turns into a tomato. I actually wanna eat a tomato, I haven't found it in the farmers market or on the imports, I have to ask Alissa if she remembers if something similar to a tomato exists here.

    -Yes, I did it with the others, except Lina, of course.

    -T-then...

    -Then?- I get very close to her.

    She grits her teeth. She starts to breath heavily.

    I kiss her.

    -You know, the ceremony is merely a formality, our vows have been traded and they are valid. So... There's no reason to wait, right?

    She fidgets. I kiss her again and push my tongue in her mouth. I bring her close to me and I can feel the softness that would make men go to war to have a piece of. Her shyness quickly disappears and a thirst takes hold, she moves her tongue with vigor.

    I break the kiss. She almost lost herself on it.

    -Let's go upstairs- I say.

    She nods shyly.

    I lead her by hand and push her down on the bed. She seems very anxious, she's breathing heavily again. I look back and the wardrobe is ajar, a hungry eye watches over us. I immediately look forward and do my all to ignore what I saw.

    -What's wrong?- Ciel asks.

    -N-nothing.

    I kiss her to keep her quiet.

    I start to run my hand through her body, she squirms and locks her legs around my waist. I put my hand bellow her shirt and run up her body, I immediately grab her breast and she lets a noise in surprise. Such powerful softness was hidden behind a tight sash. I pull it down and play with her nipple.

    She moans and breaks the kiss. I pull up her shirt and grab the other breast. Black nipples, they look delicious, I put my mouth on one and play with them. She moans and closes her eyes.

    -What a crime hiding these two mounds of joy.

    She doesn't respond but purses her lips.

    Slowly she starts rubbing her crotch on me, I can feel its heat on my legs. I move a hand down below her pants, I reach the sacred place and feel her wetness, I push my finger inside and she opens her eyes. She's a little scared, she shivers and tries to squeeze my hand by closing her legs.

    I slowly move my finger, her resistance slowly melts and she opens her legs. She's moaning constantly now and my finger makes wet noises as I quickly move it inside her.

    I pull her pants down and remove her shirt, now she's completely exposed to me. Dreamy breasts with a bit of sag, only a dragonkin could have a skin so perfect they would never sag. Her delicious light chocolate color makes me want to kiss her all over, her shy face waiting for me to make the next move, her hair sprawled all over the bed, large dark chocolate nipples waiting for attention, her body with curves and softness all on the right places, those damn thick thighs, the perfect trim, lips spreading out from its home. This woman is mine and I love her.

    I take off my shirt and she traces her hands over my body. I have been getting fitter, even though I'm small I look manlier with this amount of muscle, I hope. When I take my pants off she freezes.

    -Never seen one before?- I smirk.

    -N-n-not like this.

    -Oh? Scared?

    She fidgets.

    I pull out the towel and put it below her.

    -I'm putting it in, okay?

    She nods.

    It slides in easily, such wonderful feeling.

    -Eh?- She makes a sound and her eyes open wide.

    -What?

    -S-shouldn't... Shouldn't it hurt? Shouldn't it have some resistance? I-I am virgin! I swear!- She panics.

    -Calm down- I pinch her cheek- Even if you weren't it wouldn't change anything. You were a warrior priestess, the, uh, the hymen could have tore during training or fighting.

    I'm actually surprised Hana still had hers.

    -O-oh...

    She calms down. I smile and start to move slowly, she winces and arches her spine, then she starts to moan. That face, those sounds, those are things no other man will ever see, they are the mark of her trust in me, the mark of her love.

    I kiss her, grope, finger her, suck her. I do everything I can, everything I want with her delicious body, she's just so sexy I want to bite and lick her all over. She sings for me with her moans. I flip her over, do her from behind, and pick up the pace. Dat ass, son, I sink my nails on the large peach.

    -Ah, T-too... Ah... Too much... Slow down- She barely manages to speak.

    I slow down and take that moment to hug her and grope her harder. I kiss every part of her that I can reach, her face, her cheeks, her neck, her shoulder, her back, then I flip her over again and kiss her breasts, her nipples, her legs, damn those thighs. She giggles amid moans.

    -Ciel, I love you.

    -I... Ah, love you, ah, too.

    I shut her mouth with a kiss. I feel something very warm on my heart. I love this woman, I cherish her, I want to make her happy, I want to giver he pleasure, I want to keep her safe, I want to keep her by my side. It's the same thing as the other girls, I don't care if it's too soon, whether it's real love or not, I just want to open my heart to them and live a happy life together. I will take all our vows to heart.

    I reach over and play with her clit as I thrust, making her sing louder. I focus on keeping a steady pace, slowly she moans louder and louder. She arches her back, her insides squeeze me, she loses her voice and she looks to the distance. She came.

    After she recovers her breath I start to move slowly again, I don't hold back and squeeze both her legs together. Such tightness is going to make me cum.

    -I will cum inside your mouth, ok?

    -O-ok.

    She locks her eyes with mine, she's a bit concerned. I guess not everyone is a freak.

    Her pained face as I pierce her puts me over the edge. I remove it from inside her and press it down her mouth. She awkwardly sucks on me and I cum down her mouth, then she swallows and grimaces.

    -A bit bitter...

    -Gotta drink too much juice to make it sweet.

    -Wait, you actually can do it?- She laughs.

    -Secrets of my world.

    I collapse beside her and pull her close, my arms and legs tie her up in place with a hug.



    I can finally look at her stats:

    Info
    Name:CielAge:21RaceHuman
    HP:100MP:705Magic Power:250
    Level:30Experience:8302/9000
    Stats
    Strength:14Endurance:13Dexterity:17
    Speed:18Intelligence:15Wisdom:18
    Willpower:12Charisma:17Piety:21
    Perception:12Sanity:19
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (fiance), Helios (Fellowship), Templar Knights (Honorary Member), Temple Priestess (Former Member)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Lina
    Crimes:NONE
    Her Skills:
    CielSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Glaive Use15Sword Use5Parry8
    Dodge6Block4Imperial hasterrum Style2
    Muscle Explosion2Battlefield Perception1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana2Mana Control6Reduced Mana Cost1
    Mana Efficiency4Wind Magic15Fire Magic1
    Light Magic23Space Magic3Conjuring Magic1
    Diagnosis7
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    First-Aid3Housework3Cooking2
    Cleaning1Washing1Riding1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    Her spells are:
    Spells
    CleanSpirit LightHealInspirePurify BodyWind Blade
    Wind HammerWind WallPerfect ArrowsFireballConjure WaterTelekinesis
    Item Box (weak)
    I caress her beautiful black hair, she close sher eyes and nearly falls asleep. I look to the wardrobe and give it a thumbs up. A very happy naked Alissa with a glistening pussy leaves the wardrobe in complete silence, must be [Quiet Action].

    I hug Ciel tighter.

    -Ciel, I really wanna know. What happened with you and the Templars that day?- I ask.

    She bites her lips and looks pained.

    -Please, you didn't tell me everything yet.

    -I guess it's only fair...

    -You know everything about me, quite literally.

    She takes a few breaths.

    -What do you know about the Templars?- She asks.

    -Very little, Lina didn't research this for me yet.

    -Well, Templar Knights are known as "Rabid Dogs", that's because of the system they use. Most of the knights fight alongside a lover, or more...- She coughs- This makes them have a very tight bond, they are one of the strongest of this realm. But the real strength comes when one of them dies, the way they are trained that only fuels rage, a rage that they can channel and fight even harder. This is why they are feared, they fight to the death and more.

    Kind of like what we are doing.

    -I joined a unit one day and was interested in... One of them. He was a good fighter, had more honor and grace than a noble, had the curiosity of a scholar, and a killer body...- Her voice trails off.

    I roll my eyes even though she can't see.

    -When the time came, when the enemies were many, I couldn't follow him, I couldn't do what was almost suicide. There was a chance to live, but only a chance, when the order came to retreat I ran as fast as I could and I... I left him to die...- She makes a pained face.

    I hug her tighter and kiss her neck.

    -I don't want to ever be in a situation like this again, I don't want to have to run to survive, I don't want to fight against such impossible odds. I'm a coward, I know you have a destiny to fight and I will do my best to help you with that but I'm a coward- She turns around and hugs me tight, her eyes water.

    -Then I'm a coward too, let's be cowards together. I don't want to put ourselves in such danger, I know I have to fight but I don't have any divine guidance saying I have to kill myself for others. I just want to live happy and safe with all of you- I pull her face up and kiss her, she smiles bitterly and snuggles up to my chest.

    We cuddle and she naps on my arms. Her face is of complete bliss, it almost makes me get overwhelmed with emotions. I love you, Ciel.

    We ask Roxanne for a bath and she's grinning while Ciel is blushing. As I wash her body and her beautiful ass shows itself to me, I'm not an ass man but damn. That puts me in the mood again, I play around with her body until she's wet and we do it again while inside the water. We move slowly while facing each other, my tongue never leaves her mouth. We keep like this until I finish inside her. Now I'm tired, really tired.



    On the trip with Lina to the university she tries to stimulate me again, which only makes me feel the pain of doing it too much.

    Today is mana cost class. I sit down on the magic training range and an owl flies through the students, it does a spin and lands beside me. In an instant it turns into Toroo.

    -Hahah, impressive.

    -My, thank you. How are you doing, Mr. Ryder? How was your expedition?

    -I'm fine, thank you. Well we had some some problems at the expedition but anyway, I got a few dragon eyes for you. What about you, how you doing?

    -Wonderful! I'm doing fine. I have been practicing hard my illusions but I reached a wall, I have to go back and brush up my theoretic knowledge, I have to study how light is perceived by the eyes.

    We cut our chat short as the professor arrived. Garanae and Hatara both didn't appear for this class, oh boy.



    As the bell rings for recess Lyle decides do accompany us. Toroo smirks when I introduce Lina to her and laughs lightly behind her hand. She graciously bows when she meets Lyle, embarrassing him.

    -These are the eyes, they are from young dragons of blue scales, I don't know the name of the species, though.

    I put down on the table a cloth where 4 large eyes are resting. The sclera of dragon eyes are any color from black to white and the iris is formed by a swirl of colors and bright dots, it reminds me of galaxies. These ones the sclera is pure black while the swirl is a mix of blues and reds.

    -Wonderful, just by the eyes I can say its the common "Azurite" species. Now, here's your book, I will give you a few pointers and teach you the chants of [Ghost Lights] and [Double Image].

    Chanting [Illusion Magic] has a sort of "waltz" rhythm to it and includes plenty of laughs. Rather curious magic.

    -I simply cannot understand how such magic works- Says Lyle. Alissa gives him a sympathetic look.

    He's been trying to stay on the same level of our talk but failing. I guess people have certain affinities they can't ignore, Lyle certainly knows more about [Electric Magic] than I do.



    Another class passes and no one makes any progress with this skill.

    When the last bell rings Alissa and Lina approaches us, we go towards the dwarf Gimbo Bombur. So far I haven't seen anyone ever talk to him.

    Lina's Trivia: The gnomes, dwarves and elves are undoubtedly the best craftsmen of the continent. They attribute their talent as an "inheritance" from the God of Creation, they call it the Spark of Creation. A dwarf would gladly teach another dwarf crafting skills, but Lina is a slave, the dwarves see slave craftsmen as having sold their Spark, they believe only a free person could truly achieve the greatness in their craft. Because of this Gimbo is unlikely to teach Lina, unless we do as Lina suggested, appeal to his emotions.

    -Excuse, Mr. Bombur?

    -Yes- He turns to us and speaks in a sleepy voice.

    -My name is Wolf Ryder, as you can see I'm also a researcher here, I'm studying [Golemancy]- He lifts and eyebrow- This is my fiancee Alissa and this is my slave Lina, she's a dwarf too and I'm searching for someone who could teach her enchanting.

    He narrows his eyes.

    -Not interested.

    He turns his head away.

    -Erm! Please, there must be something you are interested in, even if you don't, could you allow a fellow dwarf to be like this? She was sold as a debt slave and I took her in as her second master. I want to fully raise her to be a proud dwarf, something her previous master neglected.

    He looks at me, then at Lina, then at me again, and finally he stares at Lina. I don't know what's happening but they are having a staring contest.

    -The Spark of Creation resides within me, I only lack the means to do so- Lina says with a bow.

    -And you would submit your Spark under your master? Let him control your heart?- Gimbo says with poison on his tongue.

    -My Spark is my own but I will use every tool available to help my master, I owe him that much.

    -But you still submit.

    -Should we not pay our debts? Mine will be for life, there's no better way to repay it than with slavery.

    He furrows his eyebrows.

    -What could another do that even your Spark is up for sale?

    -Again, I didn't sell my Spark. Master gave me a new life, a new hope, a new way to see the world, and this is just the beginning. This collar is merely formality, I feel more free than the time I wasn't a slave.

    She hugs my arm. I nearly flinch in surprise but I maintain my poker face.

    Bimbo stares at us for a few seconds more.

    He sighs.

    -Very well, child. Two gold in total, every other day she should come towards my house for training starting on the 22nd. I will only teach her until I finish this course on the university. Deal?

    -Deal.

    We shake hands.

    I wait until we are far away.

    -If he ever tries to touch you inappropriately even for a second don't even think about it and just tell me, I will deal with him. Understood?- I say in a decisive tone towards Lina.

    -Understood. Though I hardly believe he will do so, I'm actually stronger than him.

    I don't know how she measured this but I guess it must be a dwarf thing.



    -S-should we all enter together?- Ciel asks.

    -There's room even for Lina- Alissa says.

    -Please, Lina would be a bit much- I say.

    -Eh, she's gonna be lonely taking a bath by herself, you know- Roxanne says with a grin.

    Yeah I'm totally gonna buckle and accept Lina soon, hopefully she's the last.

    -Let her deal with it... For now- I say.

    -A slave servicing her master is a common thing- Alissa says and turns her head away.

    Ciel tries to cuddle up with me but Roxanne stops her.

    -Now now, Miss Ciel, lately you have been a bit too close to him, don't you think? It's time for sharing the load- Roxanne says, grinning again.

    Roxanne comes over and sits on my lap, her hand strokes me slowly. Hana comes and hugs me from behind, I put my hand behind me and run up her legs.

    -Y-you are gonna do it? Here? In front of everybody?- Ciel mutters.

    -Well... It's the most practical way- I say with a shrug.

    -There are no secrets among us- Hana says.

    -I'm sorry but you will have to get used to it- Alissa says and rubs Ciel's shoulders.

    -Didn't you see have to take a bath with the other priestesses?- I ask.

    -Well, yeah. But no one would have sex with each other... At least not in public- She turns red and sinks on the bath, trying to hide.

    Her breasts float upwards and she pushes them down, getting even more embarraseed.

    Ciel is much more innocent than we thought, she didn't even lift her head once while me, Hana, and Roxanne were playing around.

    The burden on my body increased, I feel I will level that skill soon.



    We have the lord's party to go to so we just get a snack and leave early.

    As we fly low through the town I just stare at the night sky. The lack of light pollution makes the night sky absolutely dazzling, I can see a nebula that reminds me of Pillars of Creation from Earth. There's another that looks like a red eye with a blue sclera and another that's a swirl of colors like a striped tornado.

    At the gates there's plenty of proto-butlers to guide us and a few groups of people are coming behind us.

    After the first gate there's the guest houses for royalty or other very important people, it's a rather small strip of land filled with mansions. After the second gate I feel something weird, I don't know what so I have to ignore it for now.

    We cross by the flower gardens, hedge gardens, tree gardens, pool garden, and finally we finish passing by the side of the castle. Behind it is a row of mansions owned by the lord where his extended family lives. After the mansions comes another wall and the town continues for a bit more until it ends on the north gate.

    We are led into a very large victorian mansion. We pass by a circular fountain and a small circular steps, then enter the mansion and after a small corridor we are led into a huge ballroom. The floor is made of tiles painted with swirls that lead you over the available paths. The ceiling has paintings that remind of the Sistine Chapel and the walls are covered in embroidered fabric and gilded with gold. This is the most luxurious building I have ever been in this world.

    At the ballroom there's a fiddle, some big drums, a harp, a clavichord, a few flutes, and surprisingly a hurdy-gurdy. They are playing a light and low tone as background music while the guests still arrive.

    We see a few heads turns to us and a princess comes towards us in a hurried pace. She wears a long frilly dress with a wide crinoline. Her silver dress, her silver gloves, her silver tiara it all goes well perfectly with her silver hair and blue eyes making her seem angelical.

    -Alissa!- Silvane calls.

    -It's good to see you, Miss Silvane- She replies.

    -Likewise- Silvane gives a short ladylike bow.

    -Glad to see you are all fine, the battle with the wyverns was fierce- She continues.

    -Did you fight too?- I ask.

    -Certainly! I wouldn't dare leave my beloved to fight alone- She grins- Ah, but let me ask something, Mr. Ryder. Weren't you supposed to be attending the university? I couldn't find you there.

    -Hm? Yes I am attending, but I decided to start with beginners classes first to brush up my knowledge.

    -I see, because I'm already under apprenticeship I took intermediate classes. Perhaps we could meet during recess?

    -Certainly, I'm always at a certain spot at the buffet.

    Alissa seems very satisfied with this arrangement.

    -Excuse me, let me fully introduce you to my companions, my fiancees.



    Silvane looks at me wide eyed.

    -My, my, Mr. Ryder... The emperor would be proud- She gives me a wicked smile.

    -A-anyway, I have someone I want to meet, excuse me- I take my leave.

    The girls stay to talk with Silvane, only Lina decides to follow.

    -Wouldn't you enjoy more talking to Silvane?- I ask.

    -Not really, I'm not good at making conversation during parties.

    -You and me both.

    I'm glad I won't be left alone then.

    I notice the shining bald head among the crowd and find the glorious beard of Silas, the guildmaster.

    -Good evening, Mr. Silas.

    -Good evening, Mr. Ryder. My thanks to you, you and your fellowship helped us so much during the wyvern attack, the performance of your archer was astounding.

    -Yes, indeed, I'm very grateful- I say through gritted teeth- that someone such as me who has been known here for such a short time managed to be given the honor of the position three.

    Silas was quite reckless to put us at position 3. From 1 through 5 are only given to experienced and known fellowships, ours is quite young to be put at such place.

    Silas grins.

    -I pride myself on my ability to put the right people at the right place. Someone as reliable as you is hard to find, I am certainly in your debt for your efforts.

    Ciel told us Silas wants us dead or he really trusts us, it seems it's the latter.

    -I am glad to be of help to Rabanara but I greatly value the safety of my companions and fiancees, I would rather keep them away from such danger- I send a light glare to him.

    -I understand- His expression fades a little- But the next attack might be on the next year, someone like you would certainly be much more stronger until then.

    -Well, before next year I wish to leave town, we will likely go to the High Forest to conquer a dungeon and then explore the world.

    Silas looks disappointed.

    -Oh, what a shame, Rabanara would certainly benefit from your fellowship. But no matter, good fortune on your future adventures.

    -Thank you.

    We leave the conversation and go eat something. The food has been brought and the music is on full power. Self-service buffet seems to be the norm when dealing with adventurers because they likely do not know the etiquette necessary to have a proper meal with a noble.

    I'm eating some delicious fried sweets when I feel shiver. I look around and a presence catches my eyes, it's a vicious gaze that looks through my soul.

    A princess in a red and black dress as beautiful as Silvane's comes forward. She has long glossy black hair tied up with brooches in a dignified way, her eyes look sharp and her thin lips curve into a smile when she sees me.

    -Good evening, you must be Wolf Ryder, correct?- She asks, her voice rings in my ears with both authority and softness.

    -Yes, I am, forgive me as I do not know your name.

    -I am Vanea Anara, daughter of Lord Alaraste Anara.

    I shiver. I manage to give a proper bow. She's a few centimeters taller than me, must be the high heels.

    -A pleasure to meet you, Miss Anara. This is my slave, Lina.

    She gives a short nod.

    -I have seen your other companions, four women, all your fiancees- She sends a sharp gaze towards me- Quite a strong and brave fellowship you have Mr. Ryder to even achieve the position three in the defense, you will certainly achieve much more in the future.

    -You praise me too much. The battle was hard fought and I would pray to not have to repeat it, I'm not as brave as some stories tell.

    -Please, to throw yourself into the claws of the Symbol is enough proof of your bravery, surviving the battle with the wyverns is enough proof of your strength and such scars- She leans closer and brushes her fingers over the scar on my cheek- is proof of your experience, beside other things.

    She gives me a wicked smile. What is this woman planning? Lina is very anxious and holding herself.

    -What is so interesting over such a boy- Says a voice besides us.

    I look to my side and there's a tall man glaring at me. He has a square jaw, golden-blond hair and a stubble. He's wearing a proto-suit so well it's like he was born to wear it. I gotta admit, he's quite handsome.

    -Are you jealous Mr. Darean? He's a new hunter and yet he's the one who killed the Symbol and even saved brother's little flower.

    Darean's mouth twitches.

    -The symbol was killed by the mage, he just used himself as bait.

    -And what kind of man has the courage to face death in the hands of the Symbol like this?- She chuckles with her hand in her mouth.

    Just what is going on?

    -A fool, most likely- He says between gritted teeth.

    -How rude! Dare not disrespect my master in such way, master's bravery is what saved all of those present during the fight!- Lina lets out her anger.

    I let a sigh escape me. I don't feel anger, I'm just tired someone so bothersome is here. I put my hand on Lina's shoulder and she quiets down.

    -Excuse me, Miss Anara said your name is Darean is that right? Did we meet before? I don't remember your name or your face.

    -Yes, I am Darean, leader of Great Destiny, position one- His tone shows pride, his eyes show disgust.

    -Then what did I do to deserve such treatment from someone as yourself? As was said, I am someone new here so I do not know what I did towards you.

    -Nothing you should concern yourself with, I'm just making sure there's no fraud scurrying about near Lady Anara- He gives her a dashing smile.

    She chuckles graciously.

    -Please, Lady is a title, do not use it so carelessly.

    Before I can speak again a huge lion appears behind Darean. His mouth is so large he could bite my head off, his hand is the shape of a human's but his fingers are furry and with claws the size of my thumb, his short tail swings about wildly. He's wearing a fur coat that tell me he's the same social level as Darean. He's a beastfolk, they are very rare around here as the continent they come from, Bestiaram, is on the west of this continent, Gilios, and we are at the eastern end of the continent.

    The lion puts his large furry hand on the shoulder of Darean, he turns around and they trade a few hurried whispers, the lion man is very nervous.

    -Excuse me, Lady Anara, Mr. Ryder- He glares at me and ignores Lina- I must go for now, I have some business to attend to.

    Go away and never come back. He bows lightly and leaves with the lion.

    Vanea bites her lip in a sensual way and sighs.

    -What a shame, Mr. Ryder- Then she turns towards me, her expression turns somber, her voice becomes devoid of emotion, and for a second I see the real person behind her mask- If only he wasn't such a fool...

    Her gaze gives me chills. I have to strain myself so much to keep a poker face.

    -W-what is the matter with him? Why would he be so aggressive?

    -Who knows?- Her voice returns to ringing in my ears- His reputation is much to be desired, perhaps you had a run in with the underworld?

    Only the Red Smile... Oh? Was he a sibling of that golden-blond man we killed? He certainly resembles him, but could an adventurer at position 1 really be related to such a wicked person?

    -Tell me, Mr. Ryder. What do you plan for your future? Will you remain here?

    -Well, I plan on conquering a dungeon in the future- Her eyes gleam- But I'll leave to the High Forest for that, then I will travel through the world.

    -Hm. Won't you stay at the Shore of Leaves? There's much to be gained on this land, on the contrary of certain parts of the empire, the situation here is stable but very dynamic. There are many more opportunities here for an adventurer than in any other place in this realm.

    -I'm not chasing high positions, I'm only doing what I wish from my heart and one of those wishes is to see the world.

    Her expression freezes for a moment.

    -What a shame, if you ever change your mind remember that Rabanara is always open to the strong, no other place in the empire has the same values as ours.

    -I will keep that in mind. Excuse me, there's someone I wish to talk to.

    -Please come and visit me sometime, Mr. Ryder, I would love to hear about your tales of combat.

    We share a light bow and I leave. I will certainly not visit.

    -Master, I'm afraid of that woman, it's best we do not talk too much to her- Lina whispers to me.

    -Agreed. Anyway, didn't you say you would call me "Wolfy"?

    -N-not in public, please.

    -Alright...



    I find the shining bald head in the crowd, Silas. I wait until he leaves his circle to get more food and approach him.

    -Guildmaster, could you spare a minute?

    -Certainly.

    -What do you know about the fellowship Great Destiny?

    He stares at me for a second, perhaps he's thinking about my motives.

    -Not much and it's not good. Why do you wish to know?

    Bingo.

    -Well the leader, Darean, might have some... Disagreements with me.

    -You best keep away from him. He's position one so even the Lord depends on him but he's involved in far too many coincidences for him to be truly trustworthy. But do not worry too much, the temple has their eyes on him and they guarantee he's not wicked.

    A consolation prize.

    -What about his family? Any information on that?

    Silas frowns.

    -Even if we did we wouldn't be able to tell such things. I'm a guildmaster for the hunters, I don't run a spy network, you might want to talk to the Lord or the temple for that. But if even they haven't made a move then there's not much else there- He shrugs.

    -Then he's just an unpleasant person to associate with.

    -Yes... For now.

    -Oh?

    -He's becoming worse. It's been a month that he started to become a bit, unhinged.

    A month eh? It seems quite obvious now that he confronted me. Why would he do such a thing? Well, they say that the true criminals are those you never hear about so perhaps he's not as smart as he thinks he is.

    -Hm, thank you for this, guildmaster, it's enough to put my mind at ease. Not that I will put my guard down, though. I still don't consider this as a favor repaid.

    -Hah! You are come cunning than your age shows. I half expected you to confront him again.

    -What kind of stories have you heard about me?- I frown in disbelief.

    -Those that tell of your bravery, you even bragged about it once to the late Miss Hildegard, didn't you?

    -That's just a small part of what I am- I smile innocently.

    -I would have to agree- Lina says.

    Silas grins, we take our leave.



    -Who was that woman?- Ciel asks in a sharp tone.

    -Erm, what?- I lose my train of thought.

    -That beautiful brunette with that luxurious dress that so delicately traced her fingers on your cheek- I feel a bit of posion in her voice.

    Wow, such sharp eyes, we were on the other side of the ballroom. Silvane is chuckling.

    -That was Vanea Anara, daughter of the Lord and I mean no offense Silvane but I truly do not wish to associate with her.

    -None taken. She's a remarkable woman, I believe she would be capable of making the emperor ditch his own harem if she married him.

    This time Alissa shudders.

    We sit down upon a table and pass time. I mostly talk to Lina about her research like we are doing every night. Apart from her burst of jealousy, Ciel is pretty happy talking to Silvane. Hana and Roxanne are out dancing again, Hana is always leading. Aoi is sleeping on Silvane's lap, seems even Aoi trusts the pure heart of the elf princess.

    Haaran and the lord passed by a few times but they were a bit busy talking to groups of people, nobles, merchants and even hunters were pestering them about something all the time.

    There's a number of nobles talking freely, another opportunity for hunters to get a step in the door of upper society.



    It gets late and I carry an exhausted Roxanne like a princess. A bit of an odd sight since she's taller than me but I'm proud of my increased strength. Ciel takes the lead to drive since she didn't drink and she's been practicing it enough.

    I tell the others of our encounter with Darean and warn them not to ever walk alone. The only one who has permission to do it sometimes is Alissa since she's the fastest of us all.

    Not enough time or energy to take another bath we just used [Clean] and go to sleep. For the first time I sleep hugging Ciel. Hana and Roxanne are going to sleep together and then cycle with Ciel every day.



    Today is the 21st.

    -Y-you do this every morning?- Ciel asks.

    -Yesh- Says Alissa.

    -Don't talk with your mouth full Alissa, it's impolite- I say.

    She lifts her head and grins.

    -Yes, yes.



    I gained [Illusion Magic] with 2 points. Its a wonderful thing but I don't have time to keep training it yet.



    Lina is wearing a very loose and thin white shirt. When it presses on her body I can see the outline of her nipples. When she gets close to me I can see down her shirt and into her (non-existent) cleavage. Flat is justice.

    Roxanne has a hangover so she spends her morning cuddling with me again. I pull out the dolls Alissa found for me. There's a teddy bear, a girls cloth doll and a hollow clay statue of a toddler. I put the maximum points into [Golemancy], 15, and cast [Infuse].

    I'm tripping balls again but now I have some idea of what's happening. I try to remember what I saw with [Sense Soul], it takes some effort but by far the most difficult part is making the soul look the way I want. It's not as simple as imagining the pattern I want, souls aren't really "geometric patterns", it's just that my brain interprets this kind of "data" this way so just imagining the pattern is meaningless, I have to "manipulate" the soul so it forms what I want.

    Little by little I manipulate it by trial and error, like a puzzle where you have to copy the solution. Eventually I reach it but it's incomplete, the deeper parts are unknown, but whatever, let's do it. I press the imaginary "Complete" button of this spell and my vision returns to normal.

    There's a small shining ball on my hand, Roxanne groans and covers her eyes.

    -Wolfyy~

    -Sorry, just a second.

    I touch the teddy bear, the ball disappears and nearly all my mana is gone.

    I wait a few seconds, we are both filled with anticipation.

    It twitches. It falls down from its sitting position then it twitches again and again. The twitching increases in intensity and it starts to move its body. Like a baby it kicks around and rolls then the kicking slows down and it stops.

    -Is it dead?- Roxanne asks.

    -I hope not...

    It suddenly jerks and stands up, then it loses its balance and falls. It stands up again and falls just to stand again, little by little it gains balance and manages to stand. Then it turns away and turns his beady little eyes towards me.

    -Hello? Do you understand me?

    It nods awkwardly.

    I clap my hands.

    -Alive. It's alive! IT'S ALIIIVE! AHAHAHAH!

    -Wolfyy!- Roxanne clutches her head in pain.

    -Sorry. You should have drunk more water, remember, it prevents hangovers.

    -You should have reminded me of that...

    The girls appear on the window, Lina's sweaty shirt is clinging to her body. Roxanne conjures water directly on her mouth and chokes, I thought she was proficient in swallowing by now.

    -What's going on?- Hana asks.

    -Behold! My first golem!

    The teddy waves awkwardly.

    -Oh, my, god...

    Alissa jumps over the wall and hugs the teddy, it squirms but surrenders to its fate.

    In the end the golem behaves similarly to the small clay golems I created but it has a bit more personality than the summoned ones, that act like robots. I think the inner parts of the soul got filled with something, I don't know exactly what.

    It has very little dexterity and even though it learned how to use its body it does so poorly and walks like a toddler, it also has no strength. I will have to develop an intelligence training course to determinate how smart it is, perhaps I can get the university's help for that.

    After recharging my mana I infuse the cloth doll and the clay statue. The cloth goes the same as the teddy but the clay statue doesn't move, it only shakes about until it falls on the ground and shatters. It's dead, Jim. The other golems look at their fallen comrade and shrug, almost giving me a heart attack by cuteness.

    The golems also need recharge every hour or they just stop moving. It seems there's plenty I need to improve on. There's also the need for vocal chords, the elementals can grunt but I don't know how to copy it or how to improve it so they can talk. I will have to work with signs, the golems don't know how to write.

    Curiously they do not have a sense of self-preservation. I told the teddy I was going to kill it and it just nodded, I asked if it was sad and it shaked its head, I asked if its capable of being sad and it shaked its head. I think there's no ethical concerns on using them as test subjects then, I certainly need to keep them without this sense of self-preservation or the capability of feeling pain.

    During lunch I remember something.

    -Ciel, why don't any of you have the [Andraste Language] or [Writing] skills?- I ask.

    -Oh, you didn't know? Well, to learn the skill you need a very strong conscience, you learn the language mostly when you are a child so you end up never learning the skill and going about it the normal way. Once you get older your parents tell you to wish to never learn this skill not to waste your soul potential- Ciel answers. She has a different tone when she's explaining things, it's sweeter and calmer than her normal.

    -So you can "not" learn skills?

    -Yeah, you can also "unlearn" skills but that's a very difficult ritual the temple can do.

    -So who learns the language skill?

    -Language teachers, you need deep knowledge of the grammar to actually learn it.

    -Can you teach me andraste? I have been using the skill so far but I want to use the points I put on it.

    -Well sure, I don't think I'm the best teacher but I can teach the children at the orphanage at least- She smiles wryly.

    I will try to read things without the skill when we are resting, though it will make talking more difficult.



    [Space Magic] class brings a surprise, an awkward Garanae comes with his arm entwined with a woman. With confident steps and the dignity of a high noble Hatara leads him forward and she sits beside me. A wicked smile fills her lips and she looks away. Mission accomplished. Lyle looks surprised but then shakes his head, it seems he accepted whatever transformation Alissa did to Hatara.

    The class is a continuation of theory, most students should be hitting a wall now so we have to go back to theory. Things get a bit more advanced and the algebra starts to annoy even me.

    We all have a break together at my usual spot. When Hatara and Alissa's eyes meet they share a wicked grin. Garanae tries his best to keep his eyes away from Alissa or else Hatara pinches his arm, he's completely tamed. Lyle is becoming an adept at ignoring awkward situations and focuses on talking with Lina, to her surprise. He comes from the capital and has a few recommendations of books that teach history, since it was a required study for a noble he was taught it when he was younger.

    -Anyway, Mr. Rizek, where's your brother, Dennis?

    -Ah, just call my Lyle already. Anyway, my brother is traveling, he met a group of Templar Knights and left to who knows where. Last time I saw him he was muttering something about "future of glory". Do you want to meet him?

    Ack! No!

    -No need, I was just curious since he asked me to join his fellowship sometime ago.

    -I don't really understand him, he had plenty of arguments with his companions and ended up changing some of them. I also have no idea what he wants, it's unlikely he wants to succeed the family and join the Lord's court. I kinda do miss him, though, not even grandpa can match his love for [Electric Magic].

    What a family of eccentrics. I don't even want to ask about his father or mother.



    -Old maaan! How cruel, Ted told me you were going to dispose of him!- Ciel yells at me.

    -W-what? Who?

    Alissa glares at me as if I hurt her.

    -Ted! Our cute little golem.

    Oh, I see. It's actually impressive how you managed to get that info from him.

    -You already gave him a name... Anyway if you want to keep him ok, but I don't know what golems can do, they are different from elementals, they could even hurt you.

    -Ted is incapable of hurting a flower!- Alissa joins.

    -T-Ted is a pure soul- Lina mutters.

    I look at Hana, she shrugs.

    -Ted is nice. Also, Suzy too, he will be lonely without his girlfriend- Hana says.

    -Kwee! Teh!- Aoi yells.

    I sigh. Future tests must be done in secret.



    Today is the 22nd.

    Every morning I have been cleaning my face with [Clean] ever since I got a level in [Light Magic]. I had some hints of pimples appearing but since then my skin has been basically perfect, I guess this is the secret for the perfect skin that nearly everyone seems to have on this world.

    I got my first level in [Golemancy]. I will try to level it by using [Mold] on Ted, hopefully the girls won't mind.



    -Wolfy, there's something I remembered- Ciel says.

    -What is it?

    -It's about "Gifts" there's some tales that tell of people who can do things no other person can.

    Alissa tilts her head.

    -I never heard of such tale before- She says.

    -It's not something circulated to the populace. People with gifts are very sought after so they are generally protected, either by the empire or the temple.

    -Then perhaps my abilities can be explained as Gifts?- I ask.

    -Yes, precisely. I remember there's an "Oracle" at the temple in the capital, supposedly she could look into your soul and discover what kind of Gift you have. But since a Gift is something that doesn't come for hundreds of years I don't know how true it really is. It's only something I read about by curiosity during my training as priest. I guess those higher at the hierarchy would know more.

    -Remind me of that when we visit the capital. I don't think you should ask Arantos about it, it would be extremely suspicious.

    -Yeah it would.



    Ciel drives Lina to the house of Gimbo, he's a noble so they have to pass through the gate, fortunately our town pass also makes entering the noble's quarters easy. We got an Emergency Stone for Lina and Ciel will be in charge of the receiving end.

    This morning I spend with Alissa, I'm using the [Sense Soul] to try and understand where in her soul are the vocal cords. I summoned a small earth elemental and it had distinctive long black hair and bangs, much to Alissa's amusement. I used this elemental to understand the part of it's soul where it could make grunts and compare it to Alissa's.

    I see something different on Ted and Suzy's souls, there's a new, small protrusion that wasn't there before, I'm sure of it.

    What changed? I looked into our own souls and see a similar protrusion, the elemental doesn't have one, though. How curious, could it be the place where the name is stored? The little golems didn't have a name before yesterday and I noticed no other changes in their souls, from what limited vision I have. I'll leave it for later.

    There's only a very minute similarity between the 2 vocal cords, I couldn't identify anything else. So I put 15 points into [Golemancy] and cast [Mold]. My hands glow and when I touch Ted I'm put back into the "Soul Creation" mode. I look for the part where vocal cords are and see only straight lines. Slowly I try to change the soul to be the same way as the elemental.

    When I'm done Ted can mutter vowels with a voice similar to a dying old man. I try some trial and error and he improves to only an old man. Suzy ends up the same but I can't make her voice sound more feminine.

    Curiously I can store Ted and Suzy inside my "Items" but when I do it with the elemental it gets destroyed. For the little golems time completely freezes so they don't mind being stored. Once their "batteries" run out they feel like they go to sleep so they also don't mind.

    When Lina comes back she's rather happy with her lesson. Gimbo is actually a 70-years old retired adventurer and he's planning on getting more apprentices once he finishes his research. He's a Noble Descendant and lives with his wife.



    At class I train [Animal Tongue] exclusively and manage to cast a weak version of it, it last less time than when I put all the points required.

    At the break, Lyle and the others were waiting at our spot at the buffet. Hatara asked how nature class was and everyone except Alissa regretted listening about the Gloomy Pervert, as the class nicknamed the professor.

    Me and Alissa suddenly turn our heads at a frightening presence. I feel like I'm a rabbit in the open field while a hawk is approaching. The source of such gaze is Vanea Anara, beside her is Silvane, the devil and an angel are walking side-by-side towards us. With the corner of my eye I see Lyle sweating cold and I can feel the fear Alissa is trying to suppress.

    -Good afternoon, Mr. Ryder- Says Vanea.

    -Good afternoon. Finally found you, Mr. Ryder- Says Silvane with an innocent smile.

    After awkward introductions from Lyle and the others the two girls sit down. Clearly being acquainted with the Lord's daughter and the fiancee of Lord's son is no trifling matter.

    -I see you have good taste in tea, Mr. Ryder- Says Vanea.

    -Thank you.

    Alissa diligently and graciously serves both of them.

    -Mr. Ryder, everyone is amazed at the two skills you managed to create. The court mages are giddy with excitement trying to acquire [Sense Soul], they are desperately searching for someone who can teach them [Sense Presence]- Says Silvane with a giggle.

    -W-wait, he created two skills?- Asks Lyle, his eyes open wide with incredulity.

    -Precisely, and that's not even his aim as a researcher, it was the so mysterious [Golemancy]. By the way, how goes the research on that area?- Silvane continues.

    I'm getting uncomfortable, Vanea seems a bit too pleased.

    -Ah, I already managed to acquire it. I can't show the results now since I left the two golems I created back at home.

    The girls didn't want to let me take them.

    -Ohoh. That's great news, say, are you going to share your knowledge about this magic? I know someone who would be very interesting in learning about it- Asks Silvane.

    -Not for free. I think I will ask for a permanent chair in trade for my knowledge.

    -Oh, that's a great idea- Says Vanea.

    -Hm. Have you ever though about joining a circle of magi?- Asks Silvane.

    A what?

    -What is a circle of magi?- I ask.

    Silvane lifts an eyebrow. Another thing I should have known about if I were a native.

    -It's normally an organization of mages who share knowledge of magic, work together for a common goal, and develop Unique Spells. They also makes it very easy to become a court mage.

    Ahah, I knew it, she wants me to become a court mage. Everyone wants something with my power. The guildmaster, Vanea, and even my women would never fall for me if I was weak. Well this is a world made for the strong so I don't really blame them, you either live or you die at the belly of a monster.

    Lina's Trivia: Unique Spells are original magic that do not belong to a school and because of that they never show on the skill system. There are plenty of spells that need specific conditions for casting so even if they belong to a school of magic they won't show on the skill system. These spells are really sought for because they can be extremely powerful, but they are extremely dangerous to research. A good amount of magic tools are Unique Spells.

    -That sounds great, but what are the detriments of joining such organization?- I ask.

    Nothing good comes free, specially on this world.

    Silvane frowns and Vanea smiles.

    -You know how space mages who know [Gate] are treated right? Well it's the same thing, it all depends on how useful you are and how much backing you have- Says Vanea.

    -Vanea, don't exaggerate. [Gate] is a very dangerous spell on the wrong hands, the circles certainly do not put as much restrictions as the empire do.

    -That all depends on the mage.

    Silvane narrows her eyes, she certainly can't refute that argument.

    -Well, I don't feel like restricting myself yet, I have a long way to go until I settle down- I say.

    -Keep it in mind that the hunters guild and the university can give you some protection but their influence is limited- Vanea says- The further you are from Rabanara the less that influence works on keeping interested parties away. Be careful with whom you associate with Mr. Ryder- She smiles innocently.

    -I will take this advice to heart Miss Anara- I say.

    -... Anyway, Mr. Ryder, did you meet with Nononya yet?- Asks Silvane.

    -Who?- I ask.

    -It's the summoning researcher here, she complained to me once she couldn't find you. You want to meet her now?

    -Sure.

    We stand up and Lyle's group freezes, they have been very tense during this conversation. I guess I'm developing a little amount of a resistance to Vanea's eyes.

    -Mr. Ryzek you and your friends should come too- Says Vanea with a wicked smile.

    Lyle and the other immediately stand and follow us.

    Silvane leads us to a large white building, it almost reminds me of a hospital. I smell pure alcohol and other cleaning agents, I believe this means there's a lot of biological contaminants here.

    We enter a room and the first thing we notice is the smell of animals and the noise that comes with it. They are all caged in the walls, a variety of birds, dogs, and monsters that resemble birds and dogs. On the middle of the room there's a few operation tables and on one of them there's a woman with a light blue hospital scrub operating on a dead dog. I see a small and round white bunny tail protruding from her back.

    -Hello Nononya, I brought guests- Says Silvane.

    The woman turns around and removes her head protection. White and long bunny ears stand up, white short hair raised in a way that makes her head look very fluffy, large turquoise eyes stare at us in surprise. Her whiskers cutely twitch when the expression on her cute round face turns from surprise to happiness. A human with bunny characteristics, a werebunny.

    -He-he-hello Miss Silvane. Oh, Miss Anara, hello to you too- She answers with a slight bow.

    -This is Mr. Ryder, the other researcher who knows about summoning magic.

    -Ah! Finally, I searched for you everywhere. I went into your office but it looked abandoned.

    -Uh yeah, I work at home, I don't really need an office- I say shyly.

    -If you took your breaks at the appropriate time you would easily find him at the buffet- Reproaches Silvane.

    -B-b-b-b-but you also don't go to the buffet!- Responds Nononya.

    -That's because I'm always with Haaran. As his fiancee we should always treasure our private time together.

    -But you always have plenty of time together at night...

    -Nono!

    -Hihi. Sorry, sorry- She lets her tongue out.

    Silvane massages her eyes.

    -Anyway, I'll be taking my leave. Until another day.

    -I'll be going too- Says Vanea.

    She gives me a last sharp gaze and a smile, then leaves with Silvane. The atmospheric pressure immediately decreases a few psi.

    -Greetings Mr. Ryder. As Silvane said my name is Nononya. I was born on Conchononoi and came here as my lack of noble blood kept me from progressing- She says and bows.

    -No need for bowing, I'm no noble.

    Because I'm known by my last name people assume I'm a noble. After a bit of confusion we finish our greetings.

    Lyle and the others finally start talking. As a future healer, Hatara seems interested in anatomy and asks to see some of the drawings Nononya did from her dissections. Garanae is more of an animal person and got interested in the animals here, it must be the first time I actually saw him talking casually.

    Summoning magic is basically two parts, the body and the soul. Nononya's research was based around understanding the body of the summon, which is actually a perfect copy of a living being. My knowledge of the soul is much more advanced than what she has, she couldn't get much out of [Spirit Magic] so she was stumped in where to go next. In exchange for my knowledge of the soul she will share her knowledge of summoning.

    Nononya's research goal is on improving the [Summon Small Bird] and [Summon Dog] spells, she wants to increase control over it. She's trying to summon a condor bird, which is too big to be summoned by the spell, and she wants to summon wolves.

    Our time ends and the bell chimes, on the middle of the way back I turn to Lyle.

    -Why were you so afraid of Miss Anara?- I ask.

    -Hm... Since you aren't a noble you couldn't have known. Every noble here is actually afraid of her, or rather, afraid of what she wants. It seems it's her life's goal to have Rabanara acknowledged and have her family receive the recognition they deserve. Everyone is too afraid of what she might actually do to accomplish this.

    -Why would the empire not acknowledge Rabanara?

    -Well there's a few reasons. It's too far, too isolated, too troublesome to control, and I think the most important is that the Lord is far too close to the commoners, the adventurers.

    Heh, I kinda guessed that Rabanara had an odd relationship between nobles and commoners. My time here at the university as a commoner was far too peaceful.

    -Human nobles that want to escape the cloak and dagger of the capital come here, so plenty of the nobles here are considered "outcasts" by the royalty. Even grandpa was laughed at his face when he said he was going to Rabanara and you saw how much power he has- Lyle shrugs.

    -Hm, so everyone is afraid they will be dragged into a war or something?

    -Well, yes and no. An actual war would be too much, the nobles are far too afraid of a real war with the threat of the Monster King. Miss Anara's real power is her cunning, she could easily sail around the power games of the royalty but anyone that follows her will have an uncertain fate.

    That is certainly frightening.

    I'm glad I kept a rather low profile so far, if someone like Vanea found me when I had just came into this world she would surely sink her fangs on me and drag me into her fight. Well, the more I fight the more I get involved with those sorts of people, it feels like I can't escape this. It seems useless and foolish to run, so if I can't run then I better prepare to fight, at least now I feel prepared.

    I sigh. Vanea's gaze gives me shivers every time I think about her, I'll have to put some points in [Mental Resistance] next time I meet her.



    At home I start copying my notes for Nononya.

    -Why don't you use the study anymore?- Asks Alissa.

    -Ain't it obvious?

    I grab a chocolate tablet and eat it, then I rest my head on Hana's breast pillow and pull out a blanket to cover my legs. I use [Telekinesis] to hold a wooden board in front of me so I can copy my notes for Nononya while I listen to Lina continue talking about the books she read today, she absentmindedly plays with my feet with her own cute little feet. Ciel puts a few scented logs in the fireplace and Aoi tries to sustain a flame breath to try to light the logs. Roxanne plays with Ted and Suzy, she seems to be teaching them how to wrestle.



    Today is the 23rd.

    My [Nature Magic] increased by 2 (now 13), my [Golemancy] increased by 1 (now 2), my [Sense Soul] increased by 1 (now 3) and my "Intelligence" increased by 1 (now 21). I was right, the small "bump" in the soul is where the name is stored, now I can see everyone's names with [Sense Soul].



    I have decided to improve my MP. I have some mana problems because [Summoning Magic] uses so much of my mana and even limits the maximum, I really need loads of mana to summon a proper squad of elementals.

    I will use [Earth Magic] and see if I can get a few levels on it. Level 10 [Sand Storm] and level 15 [Soul Sand] are some really useful support spells. I can also teach Lina [Manipulate Metal] and that will help a lot when she's repairing our equipment or enchanting.

    As level 20 I have 80 skill points to use and 11 extra. I put 10 points into [Mana Overuse Resistance] 20 into [Increased Growth] and divide the rest into [Earth Magic], [Mana Recovery], [Mana Control] and [Reduced Mana Cost]. It assume [Increased Growth] requires quite a lot of points to make a difference since so far the girls didn't notice faster growth when I put this skill on them.

    I raise an earth wall and use [Earth Bullet] on it until it crumbles. Once my mana runs out I meditate and try to use [Redirect Mana] to speed my recovery without overexerting myself. Aoi and the griffin nature spirit sleep at the wall, uninterested at my repeating training regimen.

    I don't really understand much about what Aoi thinks, I can feel that she's content most of the time but she still doesn't talk much. She seems to very observant but aside from being petted there's not much she does. Monsters grow physically and mentally much much faster than any humanoid, this might explain how she has high intellect, lots of knowledge about the world, but low emotional intelligence.

    -What have you done!?- Yells Ciel.

    I'm thrown off my meditation and feel as if a bucket of cold water was poured on me.

    -Hm... What do you mean?- I ask innocently.

    -The garden is ruined!

    Hana stops her training and slowly sneaks away.

    -I-I need to train my mana, so I thought training w-with [Earth Magic] might be a good idea.

    -A good idea? The living room is filled with dust, the flowers bellow the windows are wilting, and the backyard is a mess filled with mud!- Ciel huffs at me, her angry face is not scary, it's heartbreaking.

    -I-I'm sorry... I can fix the garden...

    -You better!

    She closes the window with anger. From the kitchen window I see Alissa narrow her eyes, she closes the kitchen window slowly.

    I'm sorryyyyyyy...!



    I create a new shielding wall and don't let the earth hit the flowers or spread through the backyard. After I'm done I increase my mana control until I can destroy all earth I created and to lower the walls. With the spell [Grow] from level 15 [Nature Magic] I can fix the garden.

    I don't feel any pain from overuse but my morale is broken. I put 10 points into [Massage] and put Alissa to sleep through her ears, then I bring Ciel to the bedroom and massage her feet. She pouts for a little while but after a sigh she returns to normal. I had to ask Hana to take care of the lunch and make sure nothing burns while I work for forgiveness.



    Hatara seems elated and doesn't stay very far from Garanae, he's getting more comfortable with her and is responding to her affection. To the delight of everyone around him he's less uptight and rude to others.

    We are all reaching walls and progress has been slow, though I have been focusing on [Rush] since it's the most useful spell for now. I need to shorten chant time and then increase duration. Using the system and adding my free points to it so I can instant cast is easier to use but it's not as useful for training my [Electric Magic].



    On the way back I feel like I'm starting to lose my control with Lina, Alissa has been teaching her very well how to arouse me. Loose clothes that lets me see up her (non-existent) cleavage, hugging my arm tight whenever we walk, dropping her head on my lap whenever we talk about her books at the living room, wearing a very subtle and pleasing perfume on her hair that fills my nose every time we ride Alissa, and I swear she changed the way she looks at me, she went from expressionless to an abandoned puppy.

    Right now she's between my legs as I use [Manipulate Metal] while she feels the mana circulation in my body and tries to copy it. Every time we shuffle a bit she digs her ass more and more on my crotch, just a little more and the Buddhist monk will turn into a beast.

    Unfortunately I can't deal with her right now because Alissa told us something disturbing.

    -We are being stalked.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2019
  5. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    -Start from the beginning- I say.

    -Well, I have always been going to the same few stores since they always have a steady of the things we eat normally. So yesterday, before we found your little... Accident- I wince- I sent Ciel to buy some more wyvern meat but I forgot to tell her to get the smoked sausage, so I went after her. That's when I noticed an inconspicuous woman with a hat, the important part is that she was too inconspicuous, she's certainly using some magic that makes it harder to look at her.

    -Then what really called my attention is that I couldn't see her with [Sense Presence], she was using [Hide Presence], she's deliberately hiding. She followed Ciel and I managed to get a small look into her jaw before I hid. Then I decided to pass by her and got a sniff of her smell. Both the jaw and the smell jostled my memory, I had seen a few glances of her for a few days but never really payed any attention to her, I was too confident on my [Sense Presence] being infallible- She looks down and her ears flop.

    -Don't feel down, no one would imagine we would start being stalked- Ciel says rubbing Alissa's back.

    -Then I saw glimpses of her when I dropped you both at the university and when I went to get you back. I didn't see her when Ciel went to drop or pick Lina from Mr. Bombur but she could just be waiting in the middle of the way or at Bombur's.

    -But why?- I ask.

    -Red Smile?- Hana says.

    I sigh. I hope not.

    -There's also the circle of magi that Vanea mentioned- Says Lina. She rubs the right spot with her ass but the tension of the situation keeps me contained.

    Roxanne shudders.

    -Oh no, the Dawn of Fire is a circle of magi that used to stalk me at the High Forest. They stopped once I moved into Rabanara- Roxanne says.

    -But why would they stalk Ciel or Alissa?- I ask.

    Roxanne lowers her head.

    -There's always those hunters that want to know more about you, who think you could be a fraud. They could be jealous of your magic dick- Says Hana.

    -Well... Stalking would be a little too aggressive for them, wouldn't it?

    -Probably...- Hana sighs.

    -Then it most likely is about Red Smile, Darean- I massage my eyes.

    -Is she all day there? We could follow her when she goes home and murd-... Capture her or her accomplices- Says Lina.

    Don't tell me you too are being corrupted.

    -If Alissa can't feel her presence then she's an expert spy or assassin, who has enough experience to stalk a stalker?- I ask.

    -You- Says Ciel.

    Ah shit.

    -Not experience, but you can use your skills to increase your [Hide Presence] and stalk her... - She continues, she's cringing at this idea, but it's an idea- What about [Illusion Magic], do you know something that could help?

    -There's the level 10 spell [Ignorance], it makes it harder to be noticed by others, possibly what that girl was using. Which means they already have the support of a magician, it makes things even more dangerous- I respond.

    -Still, Wolfy, we can't let it stay like this. Being stalked is something very, very offensive to do. Nothing good will come out of it if we ignore the problem- Says Hana, she looks solemn.

    -Kweh...- Aoi makes an unhappy noise.

    Alissa comes to me and grabs my hand. Lina finally releases me from her claws, then sits somewhere else and she looks at me concerned. Alissa doesn't say anything, she stares at the ground. I bring her closer and hug her.

    -Yeah... We have to do it, you girls will follow me from a distance- I say.

    -Understood...- Alissa says dejected.

    -Should we do it tomorrow?- Asks Ciel.

    -I... Think we better wait a little more, perhaps after tomorrow. We can all spend some time thinking on a plan or on what might happen- I answer.

    -You mean, mental training?- Asks Hana.

    -I guess it's something like that. It's gonna be more difficult than just fighting monsters, we need time to get used to the idea of following the stalker and possibly ending up fighting her. Actually, the one who needs this training the most is me- I say.

    -Ciel, did you ever kill someone?- Alissa asks.

    Ciel looks away and grimaces.

    -Yes. As an honorary member of the Templars we killed a few bandits.

    -What about you Lina?- She asks again.

    -N-never. But I won't back down, if it's for defending Wolfy I will do anything it takes!- Her eyes glare in anger.

    -Careful. Don't let yourself be consumed by rage, to kill another humanoid you need a clear mind- Says Hana.

    -I killed once and I went berserk. I would rather not feel like that ever again- I confess. It still pains me to think about that.

    Alissa kisses my forehead. Ciel gives a knowing look.

    I pat Lina's head.

    -It's mostly us two who need to time to think. But I'm sure we will be able to do it.

    Lina nods and smiles.

    Fuck Darean.



    We end up the night with a group hug. Tonight Ciel is with us on the bed and I'm feeling like I want some comfort.

    -So, Ciel...

    She looks at me expectantly.

    -You see...

    She looks a bit impatient.

    -Alissa is a pervert...

    -Well, all of you are- She smiles wryly.

    -Yes but she's a bit different. She... Likes to watch.

    Ciel slowly turns to Alissa, who's blushing.

    -So... Can we do it in front of her, while she masturbates?

    Ciel is expressionless. Alissa is trying to hide her smirk.

    -No- She says flatly.

    -Please... You already saw us doing it in the bath or the bed.

    -T-that's different- She looks exasperated.

    -Please. We are a family, no secrets among us and being open-minded like this only makes things easier for all of us. When we go on a trip we might not have room for everyone to have their own tent, it's going to be easier if we all share one and get comfortable doing things in front of each other- I make the best puppy eyes that I can.

    Ciel facepalms. She massages her forehead and groans. After a minute she responds.

    -Okay...

    Alissa claps her hands and instantly gets naked.

    -Remember that I'm doing this because I love you, I really do love you, Wolfy.

    -Awn... I love you too.

    I hug her tight and kiss her.

    -But don't ever think that I'm depraved, okay? I'm doing it because I love you and I love Alissa too, but I'm not completely shameless- She glares at Alissa.

    Alissa squirms in happiness and immediately starts masturbating, Ciel groans again.

    Tonight I'm extra gentle with Ciel, I use [Massage] on her breasts and make sure she orgasms at least twice. Alissa was incredibly happy.



    Today is the 24th.

    I learned [Earth Magic] and [Andraste Language] with 1 point, I guess that skills level very slowly if I don't learn the theory behind it. I increased my [Electric Magic] by 1 (now 0+8) and increased my MP by 30 (now 630).

    Ciel wrote for me some basic grammar rules and I have been trying to read without the language skill but it's very hard, using the skill really is a complete crutch for me.

    I'm impressed with my MP growth, yesterday I wasn't so focused because of shame so I'm going to do the same today and focus much harder. I'm gonna need the mana for confronting that stalker.



    We risked it and didn't change a thing in our routine. Today we won't be attacking, but tomorrow we will.

    With renewed vigor and caution, I train my mana again and make sure the backyard doesn't get destroyed. To the happiness of the girls the griffin spirit drops down from the wall and frolics on the grass besides Aoi, this way she might end up being the first one to touch it.



    On the break of the [Blessing Magic] class we have some time to speak with Hatara.

    -So, everything succeeded?- I ask.

    -Yep, he's mine, only mine- She answers with a giggle.

    -But do you have guarantees?- Alissa asks.

    -Heheh- She shows us a necklace, hidden under her clothes- This is his family's symbol, his father gave it to me. Once we graduate we are to marry immediately.

    It's a simple metal medallion, polished until it's almost a mirror. It has a flame and a drop of water engraved on it.

    -His father was a bit...- She cleans her throat- Annoyed at what I did to him but he relented when Gara told him I'm a mage. His father was looking for a court mage's daughter to introduce to him but he told us "she'll do"- She smiles bitterly.

    She doesn't seem very happy with Gara's father but it's understandable, considering their situation.

    -Wolfy, can you give us some privacy? There's still some... Things I have to teach her- Alissa says with a wicked smile.

    Hatara blushes but her eyes show expectancy.

    I shrug and leave. I take this time to visit Nononya.



    -Do you ever take a break?- I ask.

    -FUAH!- Nononya crops the scalpel with a clang.

    -That was an incredibly cute noise you made.

    -P-please, don't tease me like this, Mr. Ryder- She hunches over, her cheeks red in shame- Anyway, how can you be so silent?

    -I don't have [Quiet Steps], you are simply far too absorbed in your work.

    -That's... Yeah, Silvane told me this once- Her whiskers twitch, her ears drop. Cute.

    I chuckle.

    -Here are my notes on the soul. I'm still far from done, I can certainly improve more but I have many things I want to train so I have to keep a certain priority.

    I hand her my papers.

    -Ooh, impressive handwriting. Do you have the [Writing] skill?- She asks, swiping through my notes.

    -Well, no.

    I did put the skill on while writing the notes, my handwriting is some ugly noodles without it.

    -Even more impressive.

    I smile wryly.

    -So, here is the copy of my research. I didn't write them myself, I hired a scribe to copy them, too many drawings that I will never torture myself to remake them.

    She hands me a large stack of notes, most of them have anatomy drawings covering most of the page.

    -Say, do you know anything about the level 30 spell [Summon Monster]?- I ask.

    She squints her eyes and crosses her arms. Cuute.

    -Well [Summoning Magic] is very rare to acquire since there's no living teacher for it- She increases her speed and pitch after every word- To even reach level 30 on it would make you a master of summoning. You already have level 20 right? I heard you can summon elementals. Oh! This means you already reached level 30!?- She gets up from her chair and gets so close she's almost falling on top of me.

    -N-no. I'm just asking since I heard this is the next level- I lie. Well, half lie.

    I can see the spell now that I unlocked level 30 spells but I haven't used it yet, it sounded rather... Dangerous.

    -Hm...- She returns to her chair- Well this spell is incredibly useful, specially for hunters. You can summon any monster that you killed because part of their information was absorbed in your soul as experience. Though it won't be as strong as the original if your level in magic is not high enough.

    I'm straining myself in keeping up with her speed.

    -Please, speak slower.

    -Oh? Hahah, sorry, Silvane keeps telling me this and I always forget about it- Her speed turns back to normal.

    -Back on topic. The monster that I summon works the same as an elemental, right? It won't attack others?

    -Yes, that's the curious thing. Anyone with [Sense Presence] will think it's a monster, though if they get real close they might sense the mana that's leaking out of it, which is unnatural for a normal monster, but not many people would know that. Though if you don't tell them to act, anyone will immediately see there's something wrong with the monster if he doesn't attack humanoids on sight.

    Her whiskers keep twitching, she's making an effort to keep her talking speed constant. Cu~ute.

    -Sounds incredibly powerful. I heard there's one more spell at level 40, you know what it is?

    -Nope. Nobody does, if you ever reach that level you might as well call yourself the most powerful summoner in the world.

    I see. If people have difficulty reaching level 20 then [Summoning Magic] is actually a rather limited magic school, no wonder they don't teach it here yet. But if we can teach people how to get [Summon Monster] like we do [Item Box], then it could greatly influence civilization.

    There are a few monsters that could give me some massive benefits if I ever killed them, seems we are going to collect some monsters for my pocket.

    I look around at the cages, seems there's less than half of the animals and monsters of last time.

    -What do you do with all these animals?

    -Oh, I don't kill them all, Silvane would hit me if I did. Most of them I use to understand their behaviour, I take them for a walk, give them different food, observe their mating habits- I shudder, Tanya's flashback- or just play with them. You can learn a lot about their anatomy when you discover all their tickling spots, can't do that with the monsters, though.

    She giggles again.

    -You seem very close to Silvane, how did that happen?

    -Well, Conchononoi is next to Elaria. The silver elves have a good relationship with us. Silvane also seems to adore rabbit wereanimals, my ears, specifically... - Her voice trails off and a silly smile appears in her mouth.

    Those fluffy ears and hair seem alluring. They seem so soft, so cute. They are asking to be petted.

    -And you seem to adore them too- She says with a smile.

    I clean my throat and recompose myself. I have Alissa's tail and ears, even Hana's hair is comfy, there's no need to lose myself in anyone else.

    Nononya chuckles.

    -Payback- She whispers.

    -A-anyway, thanks for the notes, I will let you keep working.

    -No problem, come back anytime. I always end up forgetting to talk to other people so Silvane is the only one who I talk to regularly.

    I wave goodbye and go back to the buffet, this time there's a simple chocolate cake there, oof. I get one of the last pieces, those cakes are selling fast.

    A few minutes before the bell I go back to our place and see two evil beings plotting something and laughing. A succubus with a glint on her green eyes and a fox-demoness with a bewitching tail swaying about. When I sit by them Hatara snaps out of it and blushes.



    -How about we have a quick dinner and go to the theater?- I ask the girls while we prepare the meal.

    -Oh? Some interesting play there?- Roxanne asks while washing leaves.

    -Yeah, there' s a play there called Roberto and Judea, I heard it's pretty good. I think it would be good to relax a bit you know, like we do before a battle.

    -Hm. Alright, then let's just fry so meatballs, don't wanna waste too much time making dinner- Alissa says, grabbing some ground meat from the ice box.

    Lina looks at me with wonder, she might have never seen a play before. Roxanne claps the tips of her hands in excitement.



    During the trip to the theater Lina grabs my arm and leaves my hand on her thigh, dangerously close to the sacred place, her thin skirt doesn't help. I'm dealing with her tonight, it's very clear the other girls are giving her space like they did with Ciel.

    -Did you see her?- I ask Alissa, trying to clear my mind.

    -Yes. In the morning I saw her, or rather, felt the magic that made things difficult to see so I assume it was her. When we left I saw her a few blocks away from our house- She answers.

    Tomorrow after dinner we will stalk the stalker.

    I breath deeply to calm my rapidly beating heart.

    I already made my resolve, I will do whatever it takes to keep my family safe.



    It's 8:50PM. The ticketmaster is working non-stop as a line of people enter the theater. I'm happy that our clothes aren't out of the norm, we blend well with the average person here, though Hana and Roxanne are more risque than the average woman. There are a few who clearly have very expensive clothes, with their ridiculous embroidery, what looks like to be gems embedded in the clothes, even shiny scales, and most ridiculous of all a few have some very flashy feathers protruding out of their clothes.

    I assume that since there's no industry, having everything hand crafted, and the use of magic allows for some very advanced fashion, like Snow Weave, but makes it very limited in supply. The nobility also doesn't seem to have a monopoly on fashion, creating this carnival of time periods where the most "fashionable" person is the one with the most unique or well crafted clothes. Though official positions seem to follow a standard in uniforms, like how Rabanara's attendants seem to like velvet.

    We enter the theater and pay 50 silver per person. Lina and Ciel grimace at the cost.

    This time we are on the main floor chairs, the balconies are ridiculously expensive and the main floor gives enough of a good view. Most of the ridiculous looking people go to the balconies.



    It really is Romeo and Juliet. The families and Paris are put into a very bad light for trying to force Juliet to accept Paris. Prince Escalus is seen as a strict and foolish Lord who deals judgment without a Judge or listening to the circumstances. And Romeo and Juliet are seen as foolish for choosing suicide though their love for each other is respected.

    Alissa and Ciel are sniffling. Roxanne is simply entranced and Hana looks at her with warm eyes. Aoi fell asleep on the first few minutes. I would be paying more attention to it but Lina is absentmindedly caressing my hand, taking my focus away.

    What do I even see her as? She's clearly smitten by me and following all of Alissa's advice in how to seduce me, but why? What does she want from me?

    Every girl is with me for a reason. Alissa needed a master to follow, someone to honor her clan, she did not need to be a tool for this so she changed her personality to please me. Hana wants to stay safe from the scheming that tore her family apart, it might be impossible to stay way so we all have to work together. Roxanne was a lonely woman who wanted the happiness she denied herself, I can give her a strong reliable family where we rely on each other. Ciel wanted adventure but she wasn't ready for the ultimate sacrifice, like me she wants to help but doesn't want to tread too close to death.

    Is Lina looking for safety? Is she looking for the power that I give? Does she simply love me? Does she want to seduce me for better treatment? Or is it just lust since I'm the first real man in her life (Dietgard does not count, in more ways than one)?

    Does it matter...?

    Love is different here, the weak love the strong. As a slave marriage is a far-fetched dream for Lina, marrying someone you truly love and being exclusive is an even more impossible dream. For her I must be a prince.

    So why did I reject her advances until now? I'm not sure, I think it's because now that my mind is on a better place I regained my resistance to women. After putting a ring on my hand due to Lily certain women became much more flirty and I took pride that I was unaffected by them, it's regrettable that such homewreckers exist but they do. I guess this is why I rejected her, pride, pride that I was immune to women that threw themselves at me.

    But now I actually like Lina, of all the other girls she's the one with the personality the closest to mine. Quiet, reserved, introverted, curious, a bit cynical. While she enjoys reading about every book at the library I enjoyed going into my blue link adventures at Wikipedia. Even our outlook at life seem similar, we are both bitter realists.

    Then there's the fact that she's a slave. Different from a Blood Slave that can escape if they have enough willpower or are being treated bad enough, the traditional slave doesn't have a chance for this, unless if she runs to the temple. To treat her well, to give her the best life she could wish for, those things are entirely my responsibility.

    I guess I should do as Alissa said, I will just enjoy her, protect her and keep her happy, just like I do with the others. Though I'm not sure how our relationship will end up as being, she seems very insecure and has difficulty expressing her feelings, perhaps her feelings for me will evolve.



    Once we go back home I grab Lina's hand and lead her, she seems completely surprised at my action. I guess all the coaching in the world won't change her shy nature, when on the jaws of the beast even the most brave warrior can falter.

    -Let's talk a bit over here- I say and pull her to the living room.

    The girls go upstairs to the bed and I see Ciel smirk. I can't really discern their positions inside the house but I bet Alissa is outside by the door.

    I sit on the sofa and she sits on my lap without hesitation. Her aggressiveness becomes adorable because she completely stiffens when I hug her.

    -What do you see in me?- I ask.

    -W-wha-what...? I...- Her voice trails off.

    -Hmm... Maybe that wasn't fair to ask. If you can't tell me then show me what you want from me.

    I turn her around. She's trembling and avoiding looking at me, her face is beet red. She's straddling me and her skirt is riding up, if I look down I will see something wonderful.

    -I... I want you...- She mutters and keeps her head down, then she starts to breathe heavily.

    -Show me what you want.

    I grab her chin and bring her face up. I stare into her eyes, her expression shows fear. She swallows and her breath normallizes, she calmed herself. Her fear turns into courage and she kisses me.

    She freezes during the kiss, after a few seconds she breaks the kiss. She starts breathing heavily again. So adorable.

    I kiss her and now I push my tongue. Her mouth opens easily and I explore her mouth. Her tongue twitches and slowly she starts moving. Her hands that were hanging loosely besides her desperately grab my body, then she hugs me tight and intensifies the kiss.

    She starts whimpering and I break up the kiss.

    -What's the matter?- I ask.

    She's almost crying. She looks down again.

    -I just... I felt so...

    -Lonely?

    She shakes her head.

    -Scared?

    She doesn't move.

    -Because you thought I would abandon you?

    She squirms, I feel her heart beating faster.

    I bring her chin up and her expression shows fear again.

    -I won't abandon you. Not now, not ever, understood?

    She nods.

    -You don't have to worry. We will grow old together, even when your contract ends I will keep you with me. If you would still like it- I smile warmly.

    She nods furiously.

    -Then there's nothing to worry about.

    Her breath quickens again and this time she kisses me, her tongue explores mine. She hugs me tight, as tight as those twigs she call arms can without using magic.

    I push my hand up her shirt, slowly I go up until I find some very small softness and a very stiff nipple. I slowly rub it and she squirms.

    She breaks the kiss and hangs her head on my shoulder. I use my other hand and play with her other nipple.

    She moans so softly and high pitched it's almost like a cat meowing. I push her away and she keeps her eyes closed, her face scrunched up in embarrassment. I lift her shirt and start licking her nipples, pink and small, only barely noticeable breasts.

    She slowly stops trembling and fully enjoys my tongue. I slowly drift my hand downwards and when I get in the border of her panties, she's starts trembling again. I keep drifting my hand until I reach the entrance, she needs a bit more time so I slowly rub her.

    Her meows grow louder, her breath quickens even more. She hugs me tight and forces herself to keep her legs from closing.

    I get up with her hanging on me and lower her properly on the sofa. She's quickly getting wetter and wetter. I pull out a towel with one hand.

    I pull out her delicate shoes and kiss one of her cute feet. She opens her eyes and giggles. Then she goes back to moaning, I didn't take my hand off the middle of her legs.

    I lower my pants and she looks at me with fear.

    -I will put a bit of oil, won't hurt... As much.

    Thank God "Items" keeps the temperature of the objects I put. I pull out some warm scented oil and rub it on my member.

    I see fear turn into a bit of anticipation. I pull down her black laced panties and raise her skirt. A trimmed black bush just like Alissa's, a very pink slit glistening with moisture.

    -Ah... D-don't look.

    -Sorry, but I will look, I will look at every nook and cranny of your beautiful and cute body.

    She covers her face with her hands and whimpers. I slowly pull her hands apart.

    -Look at me, Lina.

    Slowly she opens her eyes. She's still cringing in embarrassment.

    -Look at me.

    She bites her lips, I kiss them and she smiles. There we go.

    I bring her waist up and angle it right. I turn on my Ring of Fertility, I never take it off. Slowly I push it in, a barely perceptible resistance is effortlessly pierced through. She's tight, very tight. She meows loudly.

    I'm intoxicated with lust, it's taking me a lot of self-control to keep myself from simply ravaging her innocence. Hana has been having quite the effect on me.

    -If it hurts tell me, if you want to stop tell me, understood?

    -U-understood.

    I hold her face towards me and touch our foreheads. Our breaths mingle and we stare into each other as I push. She bites her lips but endures.

    I get inside her completely and I stop. Her face, tense from pain, slowly loosens and relaxes.

    -I will start to move, okay?

    She nods.

    Very slowly I move. Even for me it's gonna be difficult to hold on, it's so tight.

    I play with her nipples while I move. She's holding her voice or otherwise I think she would be screaming, not from pain, I just know she wants to be loud.

    She looks so frail, so small, so weak, so vulnerable, so cute. She tickles my heart and all I want is to protect her, to hug her tight.

    Slowly her voice starts to escape and she starts to yell, which turns into screams as I pick up speed. The tightness is so amazing I don't last, I pull it out and finish all over her body and face.

    Defiled Angel, this is the name of the painting, the name of the scene she is in right now. Her cute face is that of bliss, her pure body dirtied by me. She grabs a small glob on her face, she tastes it and grimaces.

    -I-I'll get used to it...- She mutters.

    I chuckle. I cast [Clean] on her and wipe the rest with the towel, there's no blood on the towel, thankfully.

    -Thank you...

    -You wanna sleep on my bed? I think Ciel is on her room.

    I can't really discern the exact position she is through the fellowship connection, though I'm pretty sure Alissa is on the stairs, going back to our room.

    -If I can- She mutters again and looks away.

    I hold her hand and she gets up, she wobbles a little.

    -It might feel weird to walk, so lets go this way.

    I grab her and carry her like a princess. She doesn't say anything and just buries her head on my chest, I can see a smile on the corner of her mouth.



    Today is the 25th.

    I wake up to a very eager Lina trying to fit my member on her cute mouth. Alissa is whispering something to her, she smiles when I she notices I woke up. Lina blushes and freezes when our eyes meet.

    -I guess her jaw isn't good enough for this- Alissa says.

    -Just... Let me try... A bit more- Lina pleads, trying to fit it after every breath.

    She's trying very hard not to use her teeth, her jaw doesn't open enough and she's applying a lot of pressure with her tongue. It seems everything on her is tight.

    -I can't, my jaw hurts too much- She looks dejected.

    -Perhaps you can get used to it in the future- Alissa says rubbing her shoulder.

    -I will... Have to practice.

    -You can do it every day during bath then- I say.

    She blushes again. Her place skin reddens so easily.

    -Now then, let me show you how it's done- Alissa says with a mischievous smile.

    Lina intently stares until the end, then she breathes heavily and leaves quickly. I guess she can only retain her composure when it's time to learn.

    My [Earth Magic], [Redirect Mana] and [Blessing Magic] increased by 1 (now 0+2, 3 and 0+14), my MP increased by 40 (now 670) and my "Magic Power" increased by 20 (now 260). Impressive gains but I'm a bit tired, I will "rest" this morning, the other girls need attention.

    Now I can finally see Lina's status:

    Info
    Name:LinaAge:15RaceDwarf
    HP:100MP:200Magic Power:105
    Level:14Experience:223/3000
    Stats
    Strength:7Endurance:8Dexterity:12
    Speed:11Intelligence:16Wisdom:11
    Willpower:17Charisma:10Piety:10
    Perception:14Sanity:11
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (master), Helios (Fellowship)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel
    Crimes:NONE
    Her Skills:
    LinaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Hammer Use6Parry1Dodge1
    Block3
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control2Mana Efficiency1
    Fire Magic1Light Magic1Space Magic1
    Conjuring Magic1General Enchanting3Magic Tool Carving1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    General Blacksmith3Sewing3Housework1
    Cleaning2Washing1Math4
    Riding2Stonebody (innate)3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    Her spells are:
    Spells
    CleanSpirit LightFireballConjure WaterTelekinesisItem Box (weak)
    EnchantCarveSpirit of Gaia
    With 15 skill points remaining she will learn [General Enchanting] much faster. The amount of free skill points you have is called "soul potential". The more skill points remaining you have, the more your "potential, the "easier" it is to learn a skill. You can even have negative skill points, which will greatly reduce the speed you learn new skills. Lina was actually in the negative before the wyvern battle.

    So it's not necessary to level to learn crafting. You can also learn anything the normal way and just ignore the skill system, it just takes much longer.

    [Stonebody] passively increases your "Strength" and "Endurance" by the level of the skill so Lina actually has the same strength as me. [Spirit of Gaia] gives a boost to the passive at the cost of mana. This is why dwarves are so strong even though they have very little body mass.

    Lina's Trivia: Gaia is the name of the human that gave birth to the first dwarf, feeling blessed by the God of Creation she took upon herself to lead the new dwarves. She founded a kingdom, Mountainhome, and became their first queen.

    Now I'm quite sure that we can surpass human strength without the proper muscle mass for it. Hana is incredibly strong but her body is lean, she's toned but she's far from looking like a weight lifter. Lina also has the same strength as me when I first came to this world and I was a bit more toned than her delicate twigs she call arms, so there's more to this stat than pure muscle mass. Perhaps its growth is also related to level, I did get extra points after the wyvern battle.

    Lina comes back from the enchanting lessons looking very proud, she presents Alissa's warbow to us.

    -Mr. Bombur actually thinks I'm a genius now- Lina says, smiling.

    -You are just a cheater- Ciel says.

    The skill system gives muscle memory, intuition and guidance, but it gives no real knowledge. Putting all Lina's extra points into enchanting made her life much, much more easier but it didn't make her an expert in enchanting, she still needs someone to teach her the enchantments. Today she succeeded at enchanting the warbow with [Loosen], an enchantment that makes it easier to draw the bow.

    Right above where you grip the bow a small ring with a transparent crystal was added, this is where the spell is stored. Parting from the crystal, silver lines run through the wood. A small ring with another transparent crystal is put just above the place where you rest the arrow. This way once you nock an arrow and feed it just a bit of mana the bow will loosen and get easier to pull. Once you loosen the arrow it will stiffen back and throw the arrow just like a normal bow.

    -It really is a cheat- I say.

    We also have properly fitted Lina with armor. We used the older Grey Berserker armor set we had and had it reduced to her size and gave her a coif. We also got her a metal kite shield with a boss in the middle for griping and bashing. She's smaller than me so a small shield is enough to protect her whole body. Her war hammer is a long wooden shaft with an expensive steel head. Her eyes gleamed when she saw it, must have been the most expensive thing she ever used.



    The stalker didn't change, he's still watching us go. Class was a blur, as always no one has any progress with [Reduced Mana Cost].

    -Are you okay, Wolf?- Lyle asks.

    -Uh? What you mean?

    -You are very quiet, well, quieter than usual and your expression is very neutral. Normally you seem like you are always smiling a bit, even with your eyes- Lyle looks at me concerned.

    -Seems he's ruminating on something- Says Toroo.

    -Wow, didn't think you were this observing. Well I just have a lot on my mind so I have been thinking a lot.

    -Hmpf, I'm a noble from the capital, Wolf, if I wasn't at least observant enough to know your emotions I would be considered a failure- Lyle says with his chest swelled in pride- In any case, you can always count on my help, though I'm not sure I can help a lot.

    Lyle looks away embarrassed. Hatara looks concerned while Garanae keeps a poker face. Toroo smiles warmly. Alissa and Lina know what I'm thinking about so they keep quiet.

    -Thank you for your concern, Lyle, really. It's something that I will deal with so there's nothing to worry about, I'm just a little anxious- I smile warmly.



    When we go back home Alissa tells us she's a few blocks from our house. It's time.



    I have 91 skill points. I put my skills like this:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use0+6Dodge0+5Parry0+5
    Block0+8Shield Bash0+1Muscle Explosion0+1
    Battlefield Perception2+1Quiet Steps10+0Quiet Action10+0
    Sense Presence11+0Hide Presence10+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana0+5Mana Control0+7Mana Recovery0+0
    Mana Efficiency0+5Reduced Mana Cost0+0Mana Overuse Resistance0+2
    Electric Magic0+8Earth Magic0+2Light Magic6+4
    Nature Magic0+13Space Magic14+16Summoning Magic11+9
    Blessing Magic0+14Illusion Magic8+2Golemancy0+2
    Redirect Mana (creator)2Sense Soul (creator)2
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language9+1Dismantling0+2Enhanced Semen Recharge0+3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    I feel naked without my melee and the mana enhancements skills. I have to wear a cloak over my armor and I can't carry my shield. This is so dangerous.

    -Be safe- Alissa tells me.

    -We will be right behind you- Hana assures me.

    -It will be alright- Roxanne comforts me.

    -You can do this- Ciel cheers me.

    -...- Lina seems lost for words and merely looks at me with anxiety.

    -I'll come back- I tell her.

    Each gets a kiss. I cast [Ignorance] on myself.

    -This is a bit odd, my eye wants to look away, as if it hurts to look at you- Alissa says.

    -I can't see shit, it's like you are invisible- Says Hana, the one with the lowest "Perception".

    -I can feel the mana when I'm near you, though- Says Roxanne, the one with the highest [Sense Mana].

    -Even though this does wonders to hiding, it would be extremely suspicious to walk around with it, you only need one person to feel the oddity and you are screwed- I say.

    No more time to waste, I move towards her last known position.

    "Turning on" all those sneaking skills makes me feel like my body is made of lead but I can actually move normally, it just takes a lot of mental effort. I wonder if Alissa feels the same, probably not otherwise she would be mentally exhausted. Is this a limitation of the system? I see that the range of my [Sense Presence] isn't that much far, each level gives less and less range. Because I have a lot of skills I shouldn't have it's giving me some sort of diminishing returns? I should have tested this before but I didn't think such problems would exist, right now I gotta deal with it.



    Less than a minute after leaving I see her. The only person currently walking on this street. I can sense her presence, I turn the corner and see her walking away. Grey cloak, straw sun hat, lowered head, a hint of a thin jaw. With a bit of difficulty I keep my eyes on her and stare long enough to use [Sense Soul].

    Soul Info
    Name:Farana UiaraRace:HumanLevel:37
    The level of an experienced adventurer. She's dangerous.

    I keep my distance and stalk her. Only a few people are wandering about, drunks, people about to become drunk, bored guards, late adventurers, workers closing shop. Very few people on the street as the sun has now set and it's dark. Slowly the magical street lights turn on.

    I follow her for a long time, we are crossing town and I'm not liking the direction she's going. It's the slums, the part of the town I avoided and never ever got any close.

    Slowly the crooked and mixed buildings turn less crooked but more battered and run down. The mixed architecture goes away and only simple, weak looking wooden buildings remain. I think that this part of town would get completely destroyed on an attack so this is why the buildings look relatively the same.

    The street gets dirtier and slowly I start smelling something I never smelled on this town. Piss and shit. The brick roads get worn down and patches of dirt appear.

    I see a curious group, 4 guards protecting a duo of priests. It seems they are casting [Clean] around town but it does little amidst all this filth. None of them even spared a glance to either of us, we are both completely hidden in plain sight.

    The buildings get even worse and I start to see sick homeless sleeping around the buildings. Children and old people, cripples and the not-so-sane, drunks and drug users. Fuck me I live in the really good part of the town.

    We enter a narrow alley and my heart stops, perfect place for a trap. I nervously follow, I can sense the people inside the houses and no one makes a move, they are mostly sleeping or eating, or possibly fucking.

    We leave the alley and I let out a breath of relief. But the place we are now is worse, there are no homeless here, it's a wide open space.

    Farana runs. Fuck. 6 bleeps come running from the alleys towards me. FUCK!

    I turn the Emergency Ring red and draw my sword. Someone cloaked appears in front of me, he's walking straight to me. I see a slight rainbow shine, he has [Rainbow Shield], [Ignorance] doesn't work as well against him.

    -You! Stop right there, if you come closer I will kill you- I warn the cloaked person.

    The man stops but the other 5 don't.

    -Same goes for your five other friends!

    Now they stop. Wait a second, I get the weird feeling again before the party.

    -You have 10 seconds to drop your weapon and come with us, quietly, or we will force you- Says the man in front of me.

    -10.

    Oh no.

    -9.

    -8.

    -7.

    It doesn't work.

    -6.

    -5

    -4.

    IT'S NOT WORKING!

    -3.

    -2.

    -1...

    [Gate] IS NOT WORKING!

    The 4 rush forward, 2 stay back and I sense mana gathering.

    Fuck fuck fuck fuck, I'm going to die.

    I summon 4 earth elementals, can't concentrate they are all made of dirt and stone with a head full of long black hair. The group stops for a second.

    -Protect me!- I order them.

    My heard hurts, this was too much to cast on a single second. I cast [Lightning Bolt] on the man in front and follow with [Entangling Vines]. Now my head explodes in pain, overuse. Keep it together!

    The man pulls a small shield and blocks the bolt, it did nothing, but the vines tangle on of his foot and he falls once he tries to walk again. I rush towards him.

    With the help of [Telekinesis] I bury my sword on his head, it goes through mail and leather up to half way to his skull, he's dead.

    I can't stop, I gotta move, gotta move, gotta move.

    With a bit of effort I take my sword away and look around. 2 elementals are fighting a sword and shield duo to my right, in front an elemental is getting hit by a huge [Earth Bullet] and it's now skidding on the ground. To my left another elemental is on the ground, cut in half vertically, a huge man with blue dragon wings is charging towards me, he has a dark two-handed flamberge, there are jagged edges at each wave.

    I'm going to die! I gotta survive this charge!

    I cast [Vine Weapon] and create a small shield. I jump sideways to dodge and use my shield to deflect the blow. The sword ignores everything and cuts my hand away.

    -AAA-...

    My scream of pain gets interrupted, I feel "death" approaching. I use [Explosive Muscles] to move my upper body to the side, I feel a gust of wind and mana from my [Wind Armor], then a horrible pain surges on the right side of my neck. I fall on the ground and put my hand on my neck, it's wet and warm, I'm bleeding horribly, I cast the biggest [Heal] I can in a second.

    -You aren't supposed to kill him!- Yells the dragonkin.

    -HE KILLED NARIAN!- Someone screams.

    -FUCK NARIAN, WE AREN'T SUPPOSED TO KILL HIM!- Screams the dragonkin from the bottom of his lungs.

    I cast [Lightning Bolt] on the dragonkin, it doesn't work, it won't come out of my handless arm. I use the other, the bolt flies.

    -Heh- Laughs the dragonkin, the bolt arched towards the sword and disappeared.

    WHY DOESN'T IT WORK!

    I cast [Earth Bullet], it hits him square in the chest and the dragonkin flies away. A flying rock is still a flying rock, block this spell you fucker.

    -What the fuck- Says someone.

    A small breather, I can survive a bit longer.

    One elemental dies, the mage got him.

    My vision is foggy, too much mana in too little time, my head is splitting open. I get up, my stump is bleeding profusely, my legs are shaky, my neck is still bleeding.

    I see a hooded archer looking at the dragonkin, who's slowly getting up. The archer looks at me with fury and draws another arrow, I feel "death" coming again.

    "Thunk". I hear an arrow getting embedded in flesh. The archer falls on the ground with an arrow behind his head, he's dead.

    -You fuckers took too long!- Yells the dragonkin.

    Another elemental dies, one of the two swordsmen destroyed an elemental.

    -FUCK YOU FUCKING FUCKS I WILL KILL YOU, I WILL KILL YOU!- Screams Hana, I guess she's too angry to be creative.

    She lands in front of the dragonkin with a savage overhead slash. The dragonkin grunts and parries Hana.

    The mage gathers mana, it's a robed woman. She's ignoring me, the taunt worked.

    I rush her, you don't let a mage cast freely. Once she hears me it's too late, I jump on her and bury my sword on her chest, then I collapse on top of her.

    I feel mana gathering away, I hear footsteps and sounds of blades hitting shields.

    I see her yellow skin, backwards pointing horns, her hooves and fluffy goat legs, she's a krampus demon. The mage is still alive, trying to crawl away with the sword on her chest. I draw my dagger, I bury it on her back and twist it.

    -HYAAAAAAH...!- She shrieks and squirms below me. I feel horrible, I almost puke.

    -Please... Help me... I don't... Wanna die- She pleads.

    I can't, it's you or me, I can't. I remove the dagger again and stab her on the back of her neck, that did it. She gargles on blood and goes limp a few seconds later.

    I look in front of me. The dragonkin has an arrow on his chest, bodkin arrows doing work, he's being hit by a [Torrent] and falls on the ground. Hana is mid-flight and ready to skewer him, her face showing pure anger, something I never saw before.

    Ciel is slashing at one of the swordsmen, he's suppressed and moving backwards. The other is still fighting the elemental who's missing an arm and plenty of the dirt on its chest is missing.

    I hold my stump. It hurts too much, it's bleeding too much, my body feels cold.

    Hana falls on top of the dragonkin, her sword pierces him and gets embedded on the ground, he struggles and tries to grab the sword. Hana stomps on his neck repeadetly, I hear the bones breaking.

    Roxanne casts [Fire Whip] on the swordsman fighting Ciel, she grabs his foot and he loses his balance. Ciel stabs him in the shoulder and he drops his shield, screaming in pain. He tries to parry the next stab but lacks strength, Ciel stabs him in the heart and after a few seconds of struggling he goes limp.

    Alissa runs as a fox behind the last swordsman, he looks deathly pale, he's desperate. He tries to run away but falls on the ground with an arrow on his thigh and screams in pain.

    -MERCY! PLEASE, I YIELD!

    Lina comes running towards me, she has my hand with her. Her face is wet with tears. I turn off [Ignorance].

    -Get Ciel... I don't have much mana...- I mutter, my voice is hoarse, it's painful to talk.

    I'm shaking uncontrollably. I feel my legs are wet and warm, it's the blood of the mage that's pooling below me.

    I crawl away from the blood and nearly collapse. I drink an emergency MP potion.

    I hear the man scream again, Hana stepped on his other leg and crushed his knee. Alissa, Ciel and Lina rush to me.

    Alissa casts [Clean] while I hear Ciel hurriedly chant a [Heal], Lina brings my hand and holds it on my stump.

    I feel a little bit of pleasure and almost cry, the pain on my stump fades and I regain the feeling of having a hand. For now I can barely close my fist, tomorrow it will be much better. Ciel casts another and my neck stops hurting. Alissa and Lina hug me and cry.

    I almost died.



    I don't feel like puking, progress, but I can't feel my legs, adrenaline is one hell of a drug. It seems infinitely easier to kill monsters than humanoids, or maybe I'm just the weird one.

    I don't know how long we kept the hug. The screaming man got muffled, some time later I hear him mutter something and then he stops talking. Slowly I regain my movement, the girls help me walk.

    The other 3 are surrounding the last man and notice me, their eyes hold nothing but coldness to the surviving man. Aoi is on Roxanne's shoulders, there's smoke coming out of her nose, I can feel through [Animal Tongue] that she's grumbling. I wobble towards them, I'm still sweating cold.

    -You okay?- Asks Roxanne.

    -I think so- I answer. I look at my hand and see it's trembling a little.

    -It's okay, it will pass- Says Ciel. She holds my shoulder and rubs my back. It helps, gives me a bit of comfort.

    Lina grabs my other side, she's still silently crying.

    My breathing is erratic, I focus on controlling and slowly it turns back normal. My head is still hurting a lot.

    -Did you interrogate him?- I ask.

    -Yeah, they don't know anything significant, just hired swords- Hana answers with poison on her voice- The stalker would come here everyday and make the same routine while they wait. The stalker probably didn't even know you were following.

    -Anything about who paid them?

    -Nothing, just shady middle-men that only go by nicknames and masks. No wonder nobody gets a lead on Darean, he must have lots of money to buy silence and lackeys.

    Being a hunter pays well in Rabanara, we are proof of that.

    -Kill him- I mutter.

    Ciel sighs and nods to Hana. She lifts her sword and the whimpering man screams in fear, it gets cut short as his head falls from his body. I'm starting to feel sick again.

    -You are now level 21.

    That was necessary. Darean shouldn't know about my chanting speed and the extent of my magical knowledge, neither should he know about how close to failure we were. If he does, next time he's going be fully ready for us.

    -Bring me the bodies- I say.

    -What? Why?- Asks Ciel.

    -Infinite space- I answer.

    -Oh! Clean all the blood you can, get all the items. It's best not many people know what happened here- Alissa says.

    -Why!? Let's talk to the guards!- Ciel yells, confused.

    -It's because we collected a bounty that we are in this mess to begin with. Let's lay low for now- Says Hana.

    -Oh. I remember... Gods help us, let the wicked stay away from us, let this family be safe- Prays Ciel.

    I look at the headless man. I don't feel anger, he's just a hired sword. I feel pity, pity his life ended like this. The Gods tell us not to waste our lives, to work together for a better future, for a better chance of surviving the monsters. Yet here we are, hurting each other for money.

    -Let your next life be on a better place for this one was wasted here- I pray.

    I feel something change within me, my "Piety" increased by 2 (now 14).

    -This sword is special, this guy must have been famous- Says Hana.

    The two-handed flamberge is beautiful and frightening. It's made of black metal with small monster teeth embedded into it. The metal looks glossy and it faintly sparkles in the light.

    -That's "emellanat", a metal that absorbs magic- Lina says- It must have come from either Mountainhome or the silver elves. There's not much metal in Rabanara and definitely none of the special kind.

    So this is why [Wind Armor] and [Vine Weapon] did nothing against it.

    -Why does it use monster teeth?- I ask.

    -It doesn't hold an edge very well. It's good against mages and magic beings but it needs something else to cut.

    -There's a guy over here with another sword like that one, it's smaller though- Alissa says.

    -This shield has that metal behind it- Says Hana.

    This is how they killed my elementals so easily and why my bolts didn't work. They were prepared for me.

    -They knew I could use elementals and [Electric Magic], but they didn't know how fast I could chant. If it weren't for that I would have been kidnapped already- I say.

    Alissa grinds her teeth and the other girls look down. We underestimated them hard.

    -Why didn't you use [Gate]?- Asks Roxanne.

    -Oh yes, I couldn't, I tried but something blocked me.

    Roxanne opens her eyes wide.

    -Search the mage girl corpse, she must have a magic tool there.

    Lina rummages through the corpse without hesitation. She brings out a small disk. It's made of onyx with lots of circular silver inscriptions on it.

    -Wolf... I'm sorry, I-I forgot these things existed- Roxanne looks down, tears on the corners of her eyes.

    -What?

    -The disk is a Gate Scrubber, it blocks [Gate] and removes any "coordinate" someone would have put down on the area affected- She clutches her staff harder.

    -Oh, the Lords use it to protect their castles. Didn't know it could be used like this- Hana says.

    -You use it in the middle of a town and you screw over the entire transport system, this is why it's not talked much.

    -This mage girl is a runaway space mage- Lina says, bounty plate in hand.

    This is why she had it then. I grab Roxanne's shoulder.

    -It's okay. None of us would have imagined this- I say to her.

    -But, we should have, I should have warned you this could happen.

    -And the plan likely wouldn't have changed. It's okay.

    Ciel huggs her from behind.

    -We don't blame you, alright?

    Roxanne calms down and nods.

    -So, I guess now we really don't want the guards involved?- Hana says.

    -The empire would certainly investigate and use lie detectors on all of us- Roxanne answers.

    -That's... A bit risky- I say.

    -One thing is certain. Darean is not just a normal adventurer- Roxanne adds, fear in her voice.

    We use bounty plates on the other corpses, they were kidnappers and illegal slavers. The woman likely used [Gate] on the victim and teleported it to a cell or something. They weren't branded by the gods as wicked so they wouldn't be executed but the crimes they committed spelled a long sentence as a criminal slave. Except for the mage, the empire does not fuck around.

    I store everything on my "Items".

    -Let's go home- I say.

    I cast [Gate] to our living room. We go to sleep immediately after a quick wash. I hug Alissa tight and Hana hugs me from behind. Roxanne looks undecided for a second but then she drops besides Alissa and hugs her from the front.



    Today is the 26th.

    I wake up to Hana and Roxanne kissing with my dick in the middle, their tongue would entwine and then slowly play with my member, each getting a bit of time with it. I slowly built up my pleasure until I shot it all out upwards, making it rain all over the bed. I guess that wasn't a good idea.

    -Noo, what a waste- Hana says, licking my body and the sheets where it fell.

    Not because of that, though.

    My [Mana Overuse Resistance] increased by 1 (now 0+3). Ciel leveled up to 31 and increased her [Light Magic] by 1 (now 24).

    Aside from the morning lewdness we wake up without much energy, Roxanne more than the others. Everyone is slowly taking in the reality of the danger we were in. I have two new scars now, one on my wrist and the other on my throat. These don't have some glorious memory of it, just a reminder of the danger of overconfidence.

    I just feel so weak, both in combat and in spirit. I was so close to being kidnapped, I now know they certainly wouldn't have killed me. It seems Darean is avoiding being branded as wicked by not killing me, but he wants to do something to me, what exactly I do not know.

    -What now? You think it's safe to stay here or should we leave town?- I ask Hana.

    -I don't know, I fought the underworld a few times but I never got involved like this- She answers with a frown.

    -I think we need help- Says Ciel.

    -From whom?- I ask.

    -You tried talking to the guildmaster?- She asks.

    -I asked if Silas knew something about Darean's family but he said he wouldn't tell me even if he knew.

    -Tch, after all this he isn't giving much back- Ciel frowns.

    -What about Nour?- Alissa asks.

    -He came here to train, away from his family's schemes. I doubt he could help much- I answer.

    -Silvane?- Lina asks.

    -I don't think she has that much power, she's still a Blood Slave. We also don't really have much of a connection with the Lord's son or the Lord himself. Except...

    -Vanea- Lina finishes.

    I sigh.

    -She's dangerous, who knows what she's going to ask in return- I say.

    -But she's our only bet. From what you told us she has something against him- Ciel says.

    Alissa looks concerned.

    -I... Don't wanna deal with her- Hana says.

    -Why is that?- I ask.

    -You know... Nobles and schemes, this, this is why father...- Hana looks down, a lot of sadness in her eyes.

    Roxanne grabs one hand and I grab the other.

    -We don't really have much of an option, except running away- Roxanne says, caressing Hana's hair.

    Hana closes her eyes.

    -Wolfy, can you promise me that... That we will be safe?- She looks at me.

    -I can, those are my vows, to keep you all safe.

    -Dad said the same thing...- She mutters.

    Her voice shows a weakness she didn't have before. A weakness, a pain that I don't want to her to feel ever again.

    -I'm sorry Hana, but you know we don't have many options. There are things we just can't run from, we have to fight- Ciel says, a calming confidence in her voice.

    -We need to trust each other, not just trust Wolfy. We will deal with this, together- Alissa says, a sweet tone that gives us motivation.

    After a few seconds Hana breathes in deeply and nods, her face resolved, the weakness and pain gone from her face.

    -Should we go and meet her immediately?- I ask.

    -Vanea said she wanted you to visit, right? But did she give you a token or something?- Ciel asks.

    -No, she did not.

    -Then perhaps she meant you should visit her at the university? Visiting a Lord's daughter at her home is a privilege that shouldn't be taken lightly, even she wouldn't just give it to someone she just met.

    -Then we wait until classes are back. But should we just wait here?

    -Perhaps... We should flaunt our strength to Darean, show that we are not scared- Alissa answers.

    -Uh, what do you mean?

    -We could collect the bounty on those people, if Darean has more spies he would think we are confident in our power.

    -Or he might think we are overconfident and attack again.

    -I find it hard to believe he has two Gate Scrubbers, if he does we might as well assume he's funded by the royalty of the empire- Roxanne says.

    -He won't attack to kill us, he wanted to kidnap you. He will have to find another way to ambush you again, he won't be able to do that so quickly- Ciel says.

    -Well, in the end it's a bluff, we could see if it works- Says Roxanne.

    -Then what? Go waltz around town and show we are not scared?- I ask.

    -Well, we could go to a dungeon. We still need to keep earning money, my potions won't sustain us all forever. Specially because someone has some curious spending habits- Says Roxanne.

    I squirm and look away, the gazes are too much right now.

    -Oh, let's go to the Spiral Springs again. We can put a portal on the Moon Turtles floor and get more moss whenever we need- She says excitedly, but then she cringes- Though we have to go through the Ant Hill again.

    No pleasant memories there.

    -We could throw off any pursuers by teleporting back home, this could also serve as a trial for how much mana it's going to cost to teleport us far away- I say.

    -I don't think he's going to pursue us for some time, but yes, I think we should go to the Spiral Springs- Alisa says.

    -There's also something I wanna get on the Roulette of the Morning Dew.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
  6. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    We just buy simple food and ingredients from the current open shops and leave, there's not much else to do. We gave our goodbyes to the griffin spirit in our backyard and it chirped sadly.

    Lina is very depressed, going from losing her master to falling for me and then nearly losing me must be getting to her. I spend the trip hugging her and kissing her neck and hands.

    -I'm sorry, I shouldn't be making you worry about me like this- She says.

    -I'm the one who should be sorry, I got overconfident.

    -You are both sorry and that's it- Alissa interjects, I think she's getting jealous right now.

    I gotta give them all attention, we are all needy after facing terror.

    When the road looks clear we land behind a tree and I mark it as a "coordinate" for [Gate].

    We reach the Ant Hill pretty fast and in much more comfort than last time.

    I put my skills like this:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9+6Dodge5+5Parry5+5
    Block2+8Shield Bash0+1Muscle Explosion0+1
    Battlefield Perception2+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana2+5Mana Control0+7Mana Recovery7+0
    Mana Efficiency2+5Reduced Mana Cost7+0Mana Overuse Resistance0+3
    Electric Magic7+8Earth Magic0+2Light Magic6+4
    Nature Magic7+13Space Magic14+16Summoning Magic11+9
    Blessing Magic0+14Illusion Magic0+2Golemancy0+2
    Redirect Mana (creator)3Sense Soul (creator)2
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language9+1Dismantling0+2Enhanced Semen Recharge0+3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    I feel safer when my skills are properly distributed again.



    Everyone except Lina puts a Ring of the Servant, it's a ring that blocks experience gain and gives it all to the one without a ring. It's used by nobles for training but we will use it to power-level Lina, she's currently the weakest and can't properly fight besides us.

    I summon a spirit elemental, a light elemental and a fire elemental. The spirit elemental is invisible if you don't have [Spirit Magic], you can only sense the mana if you get too close. It's good for scouting, we will tell it to keep behind us a good distance away and warn if there's anyone following us. The light elemental is a shining outline of a curvy woman, it will give us light and it has a positive mental effect on all of us, something we are in need. The fire elemental will walk in front burning all webs.

    -Why are they all women?- Asks Ciel while frowning towards my light elemental.

    -Don't you see any similarities?- Asks Alissa.

    -To whom?- Ciel frowns harder.

    -Well, you?

    Ciel takes a few seconds, then she opens her yes wide and blushes a bit.

    -Now that we are talking about it, why are my elementals women? They come like this when I don't put an effort in changing them.

    -T-the elementals search the heart of the master for something to copy. They look for someone they... Hold deep in their heart- Ciel says bashfully.

    I smile and kiss her lightly. Lina looks at me with expectancy, I summon a small earth elemental and she covers her face with her hands.

    -Hahahah, well, it's not that different from you, it's you know, flat- Roxanne says and pulls her tongue.

    Lina groans and Alissa pats her back. Ciel is glaring at Roxanne who hides behind Hana.

    I go to Lina and grab her hand.

    -Remember, flat is justice- Then I kiss her.



    The trip is rather calm. The Giant Tarantulas are no match for any of our group. My shield hand still hurts so I hang back.

    We reach the arachne territory and Alissa tenses up. I put all our extra points into [Mental Resistance].

    -I hate this smell. I know it's not poison but it messes up with my smelling ability, again I won't be able to tell if we get poisoned- Alissa says, frowning.

    -Ciel, use [Diagnosis] on us every 10 or so minutes- I say.

    She nods.

    Aoi seems quite content, I thought she would be more afraid but she's very comfortable on Roxanne's shoulders. She even dared walk besides us until she tired. She tried to fire a fireball into a spider but the spider was too agile to hit, but it's good to know she can give a small help in a pinch.

    -There's something... Odd- Alissa frowns.

    -Oh, what is it?

    -Well, I'm feeling some "flashes" with [Sense Presence], as if pieces of souls are moving near us.

    -Hm... You are poisoned, it's a weak confusion- Ciel says.

    -Well then, it's another mind poison, right?- I grin.

    -Yeah, it's not affecting her body, only her mind- Ciel lifts an eyebrow.

    Roxanne smiles, she grabs Hana and they both kiss deeply. Alissa flinches and smiles, she remembers.

    A mere kiss won't do, to break any mind poison I have to pour my feelings into it.

    I grab Alissa by the waist and pull her. I kiss her and pour my love, my trust, my happiness for having her always besides me. I grab the back of her head and comb my fingers through her silky hair.

    When we break Ciel and Lina are lightly blushing and staring blankly.

    -Mind poison can be broken by the passion of love!- I spread my arms wide and pull Ciel.

    I do the same for her, I feel the squishiness of her body through her armor and remember all her delicious spots, her tight hug, her kind eyes, her sweet voice. I feel calm in her arms.

    I break the kiss and grab a fidgeting Lina and kiss her too. Her cute demeanor, her endless curiosity, her dedication to me, her innocent soul. All I want is to hug her and keep her safe.

    Once I finish I notice Roxanne is still kissing Hana. Roxanne is desperately trying to undo her armor, her robe is already on the ground.

    -Uh, Roxanne...?- I ask.

    -W-what?- She asks and immediately goes back to kissing.

    -What are you doing? Now is not the time.

    I grab her and pull her away. Hana sends me puppy eyes wanting more and Roxanne glares at me.

    -You okay?- I ask.

    She turns her head away and starts fidgeting.

    -Well she, uh, is still poisoned, it's a medium arousal- Ciel says.

    -What? No, can't it be just normal arousal? Does it means I'm poisoned?- Roxanne says, discreetly rubbing her legs on each other.

    -Well, sorry Roxanne- I say.

    A shining hand touches Roxanne's shoulder and she stops fidgeting, her anxious face turns into one of displeasure.

    -Noo, this feel so frustrating- She drops down her head.

    -Well, having an orgy in the middle of the arachne territory isn-...

    I get interrupted by an unpleasant feeling. I draw my sword.

    -The spirit elemental is dead, something is coming.

    Everyone gets ready for combat immediately, Roxanne lets out a long sigh.

    I stare at the tunnel and wait for it to come. I hear nothing.

    I hear my breath, it's slowly becoming heavier in anticipation. Adrenaline runs through my body. I feel my muscles creak as I hold my sword harder. The tension brings fatigue, my body is still weary.

    It's tiring to keep my head up, I will just look with the corner of my eyes. My posture is hurting my back, I will just hunch a little, it will be easier to stay like this. I look down, my head is too heavy to keep up, I gotta save energy. I feel sleepy.

    A shining hand touches my shoulder and I feel the pleasant sensation of mana coursing though my body.

    I look up and see Hana defending a strike from an arachne. It's a giant spider with the upper body of a woman on it's head, on a normal posture it's around 2 meters tall, this one is bigger, nearly 3 meters. This one's spider body is black while the human body is sickly white and full of blue veins with disheveled black hair.

    Holy shit I think this was a spell similar to [Illusion Magic's] level 15 spell [Pacify], how terrifying that I never felt it coming.

    Alissa hits two arrows on the arachne's human chest. Ciel keeps in front of me while I recover my senses. Lina is besides Hana, she crushed a spider leg. Hana is countering a blow from a very pointy spider leg, she opens a long cut on the arachne's body. Roxanne is gathering mana and besides her Aoi is staring at me, I feel her worry.

    I feel the arachne gathering mana. I charge a bit and release [Lightning Bolt] at the same time the fire elemental and Roxanne lets out [Fireball]. The arachne stops and convulses for a moment, it gets hit square in the exposed and well-endowed chest. Both breasts explodes, opening a large wound.

    -HIREEEEE!

    The arachne recoils in pain and cover her eyes from the explosion. Hana takes the opportunity and charges with her wings, she decapitates the arachne, which falls limp on the floor. That's how a sword fight goes, you look away from a second and you say goodbye to having a head on your shoulders.

    Lina falls down on the ground and starts crying.

    -Masteer! Don't leave meeee!

    -Awn, she just fell for an illusion too. It's seems to be a strong nightmare- Ciel says.

    A shining woman hugs Lina from behind and she slowly stops crying. Her eyes regain focus and she looks at us confused.

    -What? You are back! Wait, where's the arachne?- She asks, her eyes blinking repeatedly.

    -It's dead, she cast an illusion on you just before she died- I say, rubbing her hand.

    -Oh... That's good... What I saw was...- She looks with a pained face, tears still on the corner of her eyes.

    I interrupt her and give her a kiss. She stiffens and I give a few more all over her face until she giggles.

    After she recovers her composure the light elemental releases her and we move on. I summon another spirit elemental.

    -So, I think that one was really powerful, well magically, not physically. It didn't expect us to all have resistance, otherwise it wouldn't have attacked- Ciel says.

    -Yeah I was a bit surprised that me, Lina, and Roxanne had the worst with these illusions and poisons- I say.

    -You three have the lowest "Sanity", that makes you all more vulnerable- Ciel says.

    Roxanne sighs again. She must still be feeling frustrated.



    We don't have another encounter with an arachne, it seems our party size makes them wary of us and the last one who we met severely underestimated us.

    With the elemental we are ahead of schedule, we reach the mole territory and have lunch. Sandwiches and some hot tea do just fine here, you don't want to spend a long time eating on these dusty and oppressive brown tunnels, it is seriously depressing and sours the mood of the meal.

    After lunch Alissa goes to work. With her warbow she just one shots every mole, their thick skulls are now useless to the penetrating power of an enchanted bow.

    Not long and we reach the springs.

    -Ah! How I not missed this stuffy and moist atmosphere- Roxanne jokes, taking a deep breath.

    -If it weren't for the little devils around here I think it could be a bit comfy- I say.

    It's not so stuffy, at least not for the almost hermit me.

    The girls frown at me, except Lina who grabs my hand and nods with happiness. Aoi seems displeased at the wetness of the ground and decides to stop walking besides us.

    I dismiss the fire elemental and bring a lead earth elemental. He will strut in front of us, stepping on all traps and simply ignoring everything. Aoi loved the elemental and decides to nest on top of its flat and hairy head.

    When we reach the stairs Hana grabs me like a princess and we jump down. With her wings she slows the fall and we safely touch the ground. Then I open a [Gate] for the other girls and the elemental struts through the stairs. A vine trap grabs its leg and then snapes while the elemental continues like nothing happened.

    I drink an average MP potion so I can use [Gate] more times.



    Floor 2. 1 Stalker, dispatched by Alissa.



    Floor 3. Multiple bear traps latch on the elemental, they just scratch his feet before being crushed and falling off.



    Floor 4. 1 Stalker appears and Roxanne wants to try something.

    She gathers mana, she stretches her hand forward and points her staff. She makes gestures with her hand as if she's trying to crush something. She's not chanting.

    With a crackling noise a small ice stake grows out of nothing. I feel Roxanne's mana is coursing a few centimeters outside her body, this is not normal. Roxanne relaxes and the stake flies towards the stalker, I hear a thud in the distance.

    -Nice aim and you didn't even chant- I say.

    -Thanks. Yeah, I understand now how the system works, how that "itch" you explained can be "scratched". I never felt it before you put the points for me, I still feel the urge to chant but if I hold it in I can cast it without chanting and I still have control over it. [Ice Lance] is very mana intensive but with some effort this time it cost me 3/4th of the normal- Roxanne says, she seems very proud of herself.

    -This "itch" might be the reason I can "expand" my soul, see if you can move whatever is inside you like you moved a muscle or a finger to try and "scratch" that "itch". But try to do it when you are lacking mana otherwise it doesn't work properly. Maybe you can learn [Redirect Mana].

    -I see, I will try it- Roxanne says with a happy nod.

    -I also felt your mana coursing outside your body, is this an enchantment?

    -My robe has a [Mana Control] enchantment that improves it a bit.

    Lina's Trivia: mana boosting enchantments flow better on loose clothing than on metals or stiff leather, other enchantments work the opposite. Mana has to flow and harmonize, loose clothing allows the robes to flow where they are needed and aid mana flow. Chanting works in a similar way, it harmonizes the mana inside us and prevents it from running wild. The other enchantments have to control mana in a very specific way to form the spell required, which is why gems are more useful then metals, their crystalline structure guarantees a specific behavior.



    Floor 5. The puddles of water are bubbling and releasing noxious fumes. I put [Poison Resistance] on everybody and we just stroll through. With Ciel and Roxanne's potions it would be quite simple even without the Resistance. Only certain puddles aren't bubbling so I guess we would need to go around these if we wanted to not get poisoned. Thanks, skill system, it's basically cheating.



    Floor 6. A stalker is following us from too far, can't really get an angle for a shot. I summon a german shepherd dog and sic him on the stalker. After a minute or so I hear a death scream. The doggy latched on the neck of the Spriggan and snapped it. I tell him to pant and wag his tail and everyone gives him a pat.

    The lead elemental steps on a crumbling floor and gets stuck on the floor. He manages to look adorable as his huge leg dangles from the stairs.



    Floor 7. We enter a suspicious corridor.

    -Go past the corridor and torment any monster on the other side- I tell the spirit elemental.

    It goes through the wall and I get glimpses of mechanisms as I share my vision with it. Yep, it's that godsdamned trap again.

    -I could go ahead and kill whatever is in the other end, this corridor is nothing for my flight- Says Hana.

    -There are other traps in this corridor, better not risk it. If anything happens I will use [Gate] to send us back here, understood?

    Hana shrugs.

    A few seconds later we hear a painful scream. I share my vision and see the spirit is hurting the soul of a Spriggan.

    -Hihihih- Roxanne giggles evilly. She coughs and recomposes herself.

    With Alissa in front we dodge all traps. On the other side the Spriggan is rolling on the floor screaming in pain, these monsters are completely vulnerable to magic.

    -You know what. Hana, can you tie him up?

    -Oh, I see. Lemme try something- She grins.

    Hana first ties his hands and legs then she gets a very long rope and makes some very odd patterns with it. Once she's done it looks like the Spriggan is using a harness made of rope, it leaves him with very little mobility.

    -Hana... Where did you learn this?- I ask.

    -That's uh... A book my mom had, there were some very interesting... Illustrations- She looks away.

    Me, Ciel, and Alissa massage our eyes while Lina looks confused and Roxanne shivers.

    The lead elemental carries the tied up monsters as it struggles to break free. I can hear it cry, though I'm not sure if it's from the pain or humiliation.



    Floor 8. Alissa noticed the Spriggans come near every once in a while just to run away soon after. It seems they got the message and know what will happen if they get close, capturing a Spriggan was the best idea I ever had.



    Floor 9. The Spriggan stopped crying but it's now fidgeting in a weird way.



    Floor 10. The floor is filled with traps, now that the elemental is carrying the prisoner we use random rocks we had collected to set off the traps. Instead of blowing they cast a spell, either a water blade or an earth spike attacks whoever steps on it. We waste a lot of time on this floor.



    Floor 11. It's the floor full of vines. We keep the lead elemental in front but it gets slowed down by the amount of vines, though it made things easier for us.



    Floor 12. I just can't ignore the way the Spriggan is acting.

    -By the Gods don't tell me he's... Aroused?-I ask.

    -T-this pattern the rope is supposed to... Rub the crotch, ass and nipples...- Hana says, she fidgets and looks away.

    -Put it on the ground- I order the elemental.

    I cut one of the pieces of rope that's limiting it's movement the most.

    -Let's go- I say.

    Nobody says anything.



    Floor 13. There's heavy mist on this floor. We tie a rope to all of us and walk slowly.

    -Wolf, put all my points into [Wind Magic], at level 20 I can use [Wind Storm], it should clear the mist if I put some effort into it, though I won't be able to attack.

    -Good idea. In case we get attacked release the rope connecting us and surround Ciel and Roxanne.

    We slowly walk through the floor but nothing happens. When we reach the stairs they turn into a slide and gush water like last time. The elemental slips and slides down, he crashes into the spear trap at the ground and crushes them all.

    I touch the elemental and send a bit of mana, with this all the scratches and light penetrations get cleaned up.

    -Boy, am I glad you have [Gate]- Says Hana.

    -It's almost a cheat- I say.

    -Well, it is- Ciel says.

    I shrug.



    Floor 14. The mist continues, it gets even heavier, I can barely see a meter in front of me.

    -This is bad- I say.

    -It is. Eight are coming, we are surrounded!- Alissa yells.

    The girls huddle up on the elemental. Ciel starts gathering mana.

    -You know what, Hana, spread your fire around us- I say.

    She inhales, "FOO~M!" The fire spreads. I hear screams of pain.

    -[Wind Storm]!

    A strong wind makes it difficult to stand, at least we aren't being cut up to pieces like [Wind Storm] is supposed to work. The mist clears up around us and we see 4 Spriggans on fire and rolling on the ground in pain. The other 4 are frozen, watching their allies burn to death.

    -You guys seriously don't remember me?- I ask.

    One of the Spriggans runs away.

    -I will use your bark to smoke my meat!- Hana taunts.

    The 3 remaining charge and scream.

    -YAAAH!

    -HYAA!

    -HIII!

    Hana drops her shield and does an overhead strike on the first one. The second one blocks a small [Fireball] and gets bashed by Ciel, once he falls he gets his throat pierce by her glaive. The last one gets an arrow on the leg and his head stepped on by the elemental.

    -Huh, I think I understand too how that "itch" works- Ciel says.

    Aoi wakes up and smells the air. She gets down from the elemental and walks through the embers as if they were nothing, then she stops in front of one of the burned Spriggans and starts to eat his stomach.

    I turn around and wait until I hear a burp, Aoi comes running back to the elemental and returns to sleep on its head.

    -We have been giving her lots of raw meat but I guess a dragon would prefer barbecue- Hana says.

    -Her fire breath is getting more stable perhaps soon she should be able to roast her own meat- Ciel says with a smile.

    Alissa rubs my shoulder.



    Floor 15. We reached our target.

    Roxanne drops down on all fours, her staff clacks as it falls on the ground.

    There's no Moonlight Moss here.

    -There, there. With the [Gate] we can check here every few days and see if there's any more- I say, tapping Roxanne's shoulders.

    -Yeah don't worry, we still got enough of the elixir for a while- Hana says, tapping the other shoulder.

    Roxanne groans and gets a kiss on the cheek from each of us, this makes her giggle.



    It's 9PM. We make camp on a small, empty room and set up our bath. As soon as we enter Roxanne pounces on me. Hana gets jealous and turns Roxanne around, she rubs Roxanne's mouth on her pussy while I do her from behind. Alissa starts masturbating like always. Lina stares, trying to absorb every detail until Hana looks at her with hungry eyes and she blushes. Ciel looks down, trying to ignore Roxanne screams, Aoi is on her arms and both are pouting, feeling lonely.

    After that we relax around the cooking magic tool. Alissa starts cooking a blue soup, we found a blue grey moss that can be used as seasoning, it reminds me of annatto, nostalgic. Hana is taking care of a spit roast of large slabs of wyvern meat while Aoi watches it spin, completely entranced. Ciel is cutting some vegetables. Lina is huddled next to me, reading a book. Roxanne is studying some moss with Ted and Suzy at her lap. I'm studying andraste.

    -What are you doing Roxanne?- I ask.

    -Well I'm trying to look for the specific signature of the mana in the moss. There's always a mix of a few signatures and the mark of a good potion maker is how well he can separate those signatures- She shows me a small lens with a few black inscriptions.

    Lina stops reading and starts listening.

    -What are these signatures?

    Roxanne smiles wildly.

    -Plenty of substances like say, meat, have a lot of mana signatures, this huge amount of signatures makes the potion have unknown interactions. You could be making a healing potion that ends up poisoning the person in the long run. Or it could have adverse effects like nausea, confusion, loss of mana control. Or like my Moonlight Moss MP potion, it paralyses you.

    -I have been looking at the moss of this dungeon and it's incredibly similar to the Moonlight Moss, unfortunately it's not corrosive, it's this corrosion that makes it useful for MP potions. It bonds with silver and corrodes most signatures on common mana crystals, allowing it to refine MP potions to much better levels. The byproduct of this corrosion, unfortunately, is what causes the paralysis.

    Lina's trivia: Every atom can "absorb" mana, so when casting a spell you can "gather" this mana on the environment to aid you during chanting. Having a mana charged object close to you can affect your casting, possitively or negatively. Crystals have predictable behavior, making it beneficial when they are close. Since mana has a "signature", you can use a crystal to make it easier to convert mana into the type you require, like a filter for mana.

    -So we are drinking minerals on those potions? What happens to the silver?

    -Silver and gold are the metals that mana flows through the easiest, this is why enchanting lines are done with them, on potions they are used to make the mana flow easier from the crystals to the body. Because of how quickly a potion is absorbed the solids end up being destroyed when the mana is taken from it or from when the mana passes through them, so the potions we drink should end up completely disappearing when inside our bodies.

    -How do you know a mana signature is harmful?

    -There's a large encyclopedia detailing every signature- With a "poof" he pulls out a large, thick book- If you ever find a new one you can publish it and the empire might make you rich with the reward for that.

    Unsurprisingly, potions are rather complicated and not that different from real medicine.



    I pull out a large tent. This one has a flap that we can raise to cover the table and the inside fits beds for everyone.

    -Come over here my brown angel- I say, pulling Ciel to cuddle with me.

    -What was that, old man? What a horrible flirt. Do people of Earth flirt like this?- She raises an eyebrow at me.

    -N-no. I really am bad at flirting, I'm much more better at cuddling and kissing.

    -I don't really have anyone to compare to, but I will take your word for it- She smirks.

    -There's the other girls...

    -They do not count, their opinions are biased.

    -If they don't count then who would? I only ever kissed the ones I loved.

    -Well...

    She thinks and when she's about to talk I strike and kiss her. I run my hand through her body and lay her down on the bed. I undo the her sash and squeeze the two bags filled with the dreams of men.

    She turns her face away and frowns.

    -What's wrong?- I ask.

    -Well, I just didn't think we would have an audience for this...

    Everyone is just staring at us. Lina is the one staring the most intently.

    -Well that's... How things are going to be, kinda. Can you try to ignore them? Look at me, don't take your eyes off me.

    I grab her face and turn her to me. I kiss her repeatedly, this mellows her out a bit.

    I undress her and kiss her body, slowly making my way down. I pay extra attention to those big, delicious nipples. When I get to promised land I thank for the meal and dig in.

    She tries to keep composed but she eventually grabs my head and forces it in. I play with her clit, I love to nibble on it, and she seems to love it too. I give it a lot of attention and make use of my free hand to give attention to the other parts that need it.

    She closes her legs and holds my head in place, she has such strength in those thighs it's starting to hurt.

    I slow down and she releases me. She has her eyes closed.

    -Look at me.

    Slowly she opens her eyes and I penetrate her at the same time.

    The world fades away as we get entranced on each other, syncing our rhythm. We only hear our breaths, moans and the wet sounds we make.

    I feel her tighten and her face turns into ecstasy. I relax my control and slowly I feel it coming. When I'm about to finish she takes it off and pulls Alissa to me.

    Alissa starts sucking me without any hesitation and I finish on her mouth. I look at Ciel, my eyebrows raised in surprise.

    -Well... Better this than make a mess- She smiles with embarrassment.

    Alissa goes back and spits it out on Hana's mouth, then Hana grabs Roxanne and they both kiss. Roxanne punches her arm, embarrassed, but only a little. Ciel sighs and shakes her head.

    Seeing them both kissing makes me get up again. This time I grab Alissa and immediately penetrate her. You don't even have to ask, it seems she's wet all the time.

    With Alissa I go slow, I don't have much stamina anymore, I just hug her and she digs her nails on my back. I play with one of her ears and one of her nipples.

    Her cute soft moans ring on my ears like music. Every thrust her nails dig harder on me.

    -I bet she likes hurting you- Ciel says.

    -N-n-no! T-that's not...- Alissa stutters.

    Ciel laughs. I don't let Alissa talk and thrust her again.

    My strength is leaving me so I squeeze her legs together and stop holding it in. When I'm about to finish I take it out and Lina appears this time to drink it all. She swallows immediately and then licks all over to clean my shaft.

    I drop to the side and almost immediately fall asleep. I feel softness and warmth getting closer before my conscience fades away.



    Today is the 26th.

    I feel an incredible tightness. It gives me immense burst of pleasure in a rhythmic way. Slowly I open my eyes and see Lina on top of me with Alissa helping her move her hips up and down. Just as I understand what's happening I cum.

    -Awn...- Lina looks dejected.

    -Almost. But don't worry, I'm sure you will do well next time- Alissa pats her head and gives a warm smile.

    -Don't get up yet. Just give me a minute- I say.

    I fully wake up this time and slowly I feel it getting up while inside her. She's so tight.

    Now that it's completely lubed it's much easier to move. I grab Lina's hips and thrust savagely. She meows loudly.

    I have a problem with Lina, I can't last long without the "Sex Maniac" skills. The perfectly lubed tightness just makes it feel so good, so stimulating. I cum inside her again and it overflows. I barely woke up and I already feel drained.

    -Noo. Don't waste it- Hana cries.

    She takes Lina off me and cleans me. Then she pushes Lina down and cleans her insides too.

    Lina shivers but doesn't move, her legs lose strength and she moans one last time.

    I see an evil smile on Roxanne's face. I snap out of my stunned state.

    -Hana! You should ask before you do such things!- I chastise her.

    -Oh... Uhm, I'm sorry little Lina. I-I did something bad to you...- Hana looks down with puppy eyes.

    -It's... Okay...- She mutters and nods.

    Lina seems fine but she doesn't express herself a lot. I'm a bit worried about her, gotta have Ciel influence her to the right path.

    I increased [Space Magic] and [Summoning Magic] by 1 (now 14+17 and 11+10). I also increased [Enhanced Semen Recharge] again (now 0+4). Boy, whoever thought that satisfying 5 women was easy was wrong, very, very wrong.



    -Ciel, can I bring out the spirit of a dead person through it's body?- I ask.

    She stares at me for a moment.

    -Yes. You can use [Soul Search] for that, with [Spirit Eyes] and [Spirit Link] you can talk with it privately. With [Materialization] you can even have it talk with other people. I just gotta tell you to never use [Soul Touch] to harm a spirit, that is almost a Sin and the Gods will quickly hate you if you do that- She says with concern on her voice.

    -Well, I'm counting on your help so you keep me from doing anything stupid.

    Ciel shrugs.

    -Don't have to ask.

    We all move away from camp. I sigh, I'm not eager to do this. Alissa gives me a kiss on the cheek and it gives me a small boost in movitvation.

    I put 30 points into [Spirit Magic] and pull out the dragonkin corpse, he's only wearing underwear. Seeing him gives me chills.

    I cast [Soul Search]. My hands glow and I touch the corpse, the cold skin makes me feel disgusted.

    I feel like I grew another arm, except this arm is inside the dragonkin. I move this new arm and feel everything is empty.

    -How long does a soul linger on a body?- I ask.

    -Not long, but since you put his body on "Items" it should still have a connection- Ciel says.

    -Where should this connection be?

    -I don't know.

    I search all over his chest, then I move up his neck and feel something solid at his brain. I grab it, instinct tells me to pull so I obey.

    I feel my new arm move outside of the body, though I can't see anything. I cast [Materialize].

    An ethereal arm protrudes out of my body. On its hand is a cloth like protrusion that connects with a floating and ethereal body of the dragonkin. His hair is purple and his scales are the color of Lapis Lazuli. His neck is crooked and there's a cut that goes through his chest, allowing you to see through it.

    -Whaaat!- He grabs his crooked neck with one hand and his wound with anoter. His eyes open wide- Oh shit, I'm dead. You! You killed me. Wait no...

    The ghost points to Hana.

    -You killed me. Fuck! What's going on, why are you calling me...

    He looks at the cavern and his expression turns into fear.

    -Oi, oi. Y-you shouldn't mess with a spirit, the Gods will be mad, I wanna leave, please let me leave.

    I drag myself out of my stunned state.

    -Quiet!- I yell.

    The dragonkin winces.

    -I wanna know about your employer, any information about him. Any, little, detail- I say, threateningly.

    -You can torture me and get yourself branded as wicked, I don't care. I won't betray the others, they could even go for a necromancer and bring my spirit back, you know- He turns his head away and huffs.

    -I know you are not wicked so you won't go to hell, but you should know this person here is blessed by the Goddess of Knowledge- Ciel taps my shoulder. The dragonkin looks at me with curiosity- If you help him I'm sure the Gods could reward you with a little bit of time in paradise.

    I never asked Ciel but apparently hell and heaven are a thing here too.

    The dragonkin forgets he doesn't need to breathe and starts breathing heavier in anticipation.

    -Hm... Burn my corpse right now and I will help.

    Through [Soul Search] I feel he's not lying. I look at Ciel, she nods.

    -Roxanne, that's you- I say.

    I pull away from him, making sure to maintain my [Soul Search]. If I release him and he doesn't have a body to return to he will immediately disappear, forever.

    Roxanne concentrates and creates a very small [Firestorm] that consumes his body entirely. When it's over there's only a small pile of ashes and the smell of pork in the air.

    -There, now complete your side of the deal- I say.

    -Well then. I have some info but truth be told we don't know much about our employers. We only accept masked payers and they know where to find us, they only come by reference so this way we keep away from their business and they pay us extra- He scratches the back of his head- The only info I have is on the girl we had to watch. She came everyday at the same time and did the same things, I kinda started to watch her closely, you know, that cute little ass shakes so well I almost screwed the job just to get closer to her...

    He coughs. Oh boy, here we go.

    -She's small but she's not a dwarf. One day her hat flew and I got a good look at her, I burned her in my memory, she's just so cute. She has some traces that remind me of the elves, her chin is thin, her lips are small and red, her face is very pale and freckled, her brown hair is always braided and curled inside her hat. She doesn't have any breasts but her ass is big and her hips are wide, by the Gods I wanna put my dick in that ass.

    I massage the bridge of my nose and struggle to keep [Soul Search]. He's a dragonkin alright...

    -The only time I got near her I had a sniff of her perfume, it's a citric fruit, what do you call it... Ranja, I think it was form the High Forest.

    Alissa opens her eyes wide.

    -Yes! That's the smell I felt, I couldn't remember where I knew it from but now I'm sure. It's very, very faint, I think it's just a residue from her hair products. How did you smell her? I have a very good nose but I had to get close to her to feel that smell.

    The dragonkin looks embarrassed.

    -Well I... I have a good memory for smells, every pussy smells different, you know?

    Ciel groans. He looks at the girls then smiles at me.

    -You should know, right?- He asks.

    -Is that all you have?- I ask.

    -Yes. We di-...

    I release him.

    -That could be helpful in finding her. But we won't be able to do it alone. Not when she seems to move in the slums with ease. She also has someone cast [Illusion Magic] on her, she has help- I say.

    -Yeah. Just another reason talking to Vanea will be helpful- Alissa says, shuddering when she mentions that woman- Ah. Since his connection lasted this long then perhaps the body of the woman space mage should be valuable. The empire could interrogate her soul.

    -Another bargaining chip for Vanaea?- I ask.

    -Could be- Ciel answers.



    There's nothing else to do here so I prepare for [Gate]. The girls put on bags all the personal items they are carrying on their [Item Boxes]. I keep their armor and weapons just in case. I dismiss the elementals and I divide all my points into [Space Magic] and [Mana Efficiency], [Reduced Mana Cost] only helps on the first cast so efficiency is the way to go.

    -Alright, first Hana and Ciel, then Roxanne, Aoi and Lina, then me and Alissa.

    After it's done it took 2/3rds of my mana. If we want to go to the High Forest and be able to come back I'm going to have to keep increasing my mana, a lot.

    I pull the dinghy out and we go back to the Roulette of the Morning Dew.

    We reach the entrance before noon. I feel a chill remembering the 7th floor, thankfully we don't have to enter it. The floors we can go are shared with Lina so we all enter the 8th floor.

    The theme of this floor is mountaintop towns. There are 5 mountains connected in an 8 pattern, we are at a bridge connecting the two southernmost towns. Below us is only ominous mist.

    The brick bridge is overgrown and falling apart, there are plenty of holes around we have to move around. It's 20 meters wide and full destroyed carts, wagons, blockades, and skeletons, both civilian and those with ruined purple lamelar armor.

    -C-can we please move fast? T-these holes are giving me chills- Lina says, grabbing my arm.

    -Are you afraid of heights?- I ask.

    -I don't think there's a dwarf who isn't- Alissa says, patting Lina's head.

    We move with me holding one of Lina's hands and Alissa the other. If we were older we would look like a married couple walking our child. I kiss Lina's hand and she stops trembling.

    -I'm starting to get a bit jealous- Roxanne says with a smirk.

    Hana grabs her hand and kisses it, Roxanne giggles.

    -You guys would flirt in the middle of a battlefield- Ciel says, massaging her eyes.

    -Gotta keep the tension down somehow- Alissa shrugs.



    We move a few minutes west when Alissa looks north and narrows her eyes.

    -Harpies.

    I think I see black dots coming from the central mountaintop. I summon a wind elemental, Hana takes out her bow and spear.

    We reach halfway to our target when Alissa stops us.

    -They are coming towards us, no mistake.

    -Fire when in range. If we see a Needler then Hana, Lina, and me will stay in front. The rest focus on ranged attacks.

    Harpies are human-looking women with hawk legs and wings instead of arms. They predate upon smaller humanoids and attack in groups. The standard harpy only attacks by diving and gouging meat with her claws, the Needler variant can summon feathers that act as projectiles, if they hit and get embedded in flesh they limit movement and disrupt mana flow, monster acupuncture.

    Alissa lets out the first arrow. The harpy tried to dodge but it got hit in the wing, with trouble flying she falls down into the mist.

    Hana fires but her arrow is dodged.

    Roxanne fires a [Fire Arrow], it brushes the wing and starts a small fire, the harpy struggles to put it out.

    Alissa fires again. 2 down 11 to go.

    Ciel fires a [Wind Blade]. Three harpies have to stop to contain the blade.

    Alissa fires another arrow and kills one of the harpies that had stopped. 10 to go.

    Hana fires an arrow. It grazes the flank of a harpy, it shrieks in pain.

    The wind elemental waves its hand at a harpy, it starts to struggle to move. I cast [Gravity Crush] on it. Now the harpy is basically locked in place, it shrieks as its bones creak and crack. An arrow ends the shriek and I stop the spell. 9 to go.

    [Gravity Crush] is useful but due to the nature of acting directly on another living being's body it's rather mana intensive.

    Hana fires a last arrow and hits the gut of a harpy. It shrieks and has trouble moving, Alissa finishes it off with an arrow on the throat. 8 to go.

    -[Wind Storm]!

    3 Harpies get nearly cut to shreds inside of it. They survive but they won't be much help on the battle.

    One wounded harpy gets a [Fire Arrow] to the face and dies. 7 to go, 2 are wounded.

    The harpies are close. Hana drops her bow and grabs her shield and spear.

    -[Ice Lance]!

    A harpy gets a large hole on it's chest and coughs blood, slowly it falls towards the mist. 6 to go, 2 wounded.

    A harpy gets an arrow to the face. 5 to go, 2 wounded.

    Another harpy gets caught by my elemental, another [Gravity Crush] and it receives a [Wind Blade] to the face. 4 to go, 2 wounded.

    A harpy tries to dive on Hana, she blocks the claws and tries to riposte. The harpy contorts it's body and avoids the spear, receiving only a slight cut on the flank.

    A harpy tries to dive on Lina, I feel the mana coursing through her body and she defends against the claws as if it were nothing. On her riposte she swings her hammer wildly and it catches a retreating claw, which gets shattered. The harpy shrieks.

    An arrow kills a wounded harpy. 3 to go, 1 wounded.

    Aoi fires a fireball at the harpy that tried hit Hana. One wing gets singed and the harpy gets distracted, receiving a small [Wind Blade] to the chest, it struggles to recover. 3 to go, 2 wounded.

    -Needlers!- Alissa yells.

    I look into the distance and there's 3 harpies approaching fast. They have small feathers floating around it.

    I cast [Lightning Bolt] on a harpy. It struggles to maintain flight and gets a [Fire Arrow] on the wing. It flails about trying to put it out. 3 to go, all wounded, 3 Needlers.

    -Incoming!- Hana yells.

    I feel a hint of mana on the distance. I pull my shield up and Alissa hides behind me.

    Multiple clinks of something solid hitting metal can be heard. I feel a few hit my legs that aren't fully covered but the scale armor holds.

    A harpy screams just as the sounds stop. Hana perfectly skewered a harpy that tried to attack as soon as the barrage ended. She swings the spear and smashes the harpy on the bridge. Aoi inhales deeply and fires a fireball at the struggling harpy, its neck explodes. In a few seconds it passes out due to bleeding. 2 to go, 2 wounded, 3 Needlers.

    Alissa fires an arrow and gets the harpy with the [Fire Arrow] on the wing. 1 to go, 3 Needlers.

    The last harpy charges at Lina again. I cast [Lightning Bolt] and it convulses, failing to retreat in time. Lina's swings her hammer sideways, it connects with the harpy and it gets thrown into bridge. Ciel jumps into it and pierces the heart of the harpy, it struggles for a few seconds and goes limp. 3 Needlers to go.

    -Incoming!- Hana yells again.

    I feel the slight mana gathering and raise my shield again.

    -Elemental! Hold them all in place once the barrage is over!- I order.

    I hear an ethereal grunt in response.

    The clinking stops and I cast [Gravity Crush] on all harpies. To cast area magic you have to focus on a point in space and unleash your mana towards that point. Casting in the middle of the air is really difficult due to depth perception but since they are clumping I just cast it on the middle harpy.

    I pull all my effort in keeping them in place. "Willpower" does wonders for these type of spells.

    -[Wind Storm]!

    The harpies get cut up and blood flows off them, the blood swims in the air and slowly the tornado gets tinged red. The harpies shriek and they gradually lower the volume. Soon the Needlers turn silent.

    Unfortunately we can't recover the bodies or the proof's from the harpies, Needlers can give some good money. We end our spells and sit down on the ground. I grab Ciel's hand and give it a kiss, she shakes her head but I see her smile.

    After an MP potion and some meditation we are ready to go again. I recall the elemental.

    -You know, I think I can understand how your [Redirect Mana] works. Though I think it will take some good amount of effort to actually get it to work- Ciel says.

    -Well yeah, I would be depre-... Impressed if you managed to get it so easily. I did get it after a life or death situation- I say.

    -You better put some effort to get it. It's what saved my life- Roxanne says and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

    -A mage that can regenerate mana at will is almost cheating- Alissa says.

    -Good thing some of his cheats are rubbing off on us- Ciel smiles.

    -It's still not so easy to do it- I say.

    -It's still an unfair advantage no one else has- Ciel replies and shows me her tongue.



    We finally reach the end of the bridge. This town is called Mons Meridien. The mountaintop is circular so the town is divided in circular layers, we are at the middle layer. The same overgrown ruins full of partially destroyed concrete buildings, arches, and domes, with an overuse of columns. There's also ivies, vines, and moss covering any still-standing wall, tall grass everywhere that's not a paved road, pieces of rubble spread all over. A few not-olive trees on a garden or other.

    We walk down the steps, the only sound is the rustling of leaves and our footsteps. This floor is not very popular due to the harpies and the height.

    -I hear snoring- Alissa says.

    -Can you go check? Don't fight it, please- I say.

    -Yees- She smiles and goes off.

    She takes a minute and silently comes back. If I wasn't looking she could easily sneak on all of us.

    -It's a minotaur, female. Thankfully it's wearing a dress.

    -Still sleeping?

    -Yes.

    -Then I have an idea.

    We get closer, trying not to make any noise. It's starting to get misty. On a plaza I see a pile of rubble has two horns protruding out of it, the pile rises and lowers, if I concentrate I can hear it snoring.

    I put 5 points in [Throw].

    -Well then, here goes nothing.

    I cast [Summon Elemental]. Instead of making it appear instantly besides me I use the traditional way of creating a small ball of light. I pick this ball and throw it into the rubble.

    When the ball touches the rubble a large lead elemental appears and hugs the sleeping minotaur.

    -MOOOOO~!- It yells, trying to break free.

    -RAAA!- Hana yells, she charges forward with her emerald wings open wide.

    Hana falls besides the struggling minotaur and does an overhead slash with both hands. The minotaur tries to dodge but there's no room, all it does is that instead of being decapitated its neck gets cut halfway.

    In less than a minute the minotaur passes out. We just wait a little more and Alissa confirms the kill.

    -A cheat as always- Ciel sighs.

    -Oh? We got another one- Alissa says.

    Here comes the problem of this town. It's too small, other minotaurs might end up hearing the sounds of battle on this quiet town.

    The lead elemental awkwardly gets up and stands in front. Out of the mist a male minotaur appears, it's wearing a ripped, filthy shirt and a filthy loincloth.

    -Thank the Gods- I pray.

    -The bulge is still visible- Hana says.

    Ciel shudders.

    The minotaur pierces its horns into the chest of the elemental. I feel the metal bent slightly.

    For this he receives an arrow to the chest, a [Water Blade] to the flank, a [Wind Blade] to the belly, a hammer on the right knee, and a spear to the left thigh.

    It pushes the elemental away and I cast [Earth Bullet] on its chest. The air goes out of its lungs and it staggers back. It raises its head and an arrow pierces the eye.

    -MUOOOOH!- It roars again and jumps back. Alissa clicks her tongue, she's not using the warbow.

    Hana drops her spear and charges with her sword, she slashes towards the neck and the minotaur defends with his arms. Hana jerks her sword and the blade slides through the arms instead of getting stuck midway.

    Lina swipes sideways at its legs and it's forced on its knees. Blood pours through all its wounds, yet it finds the strength to swipe at Hana, sending her flying backwards. She uses her wings to stabilize in the air and lands gracefully.

    -Lina! Come back!- I yell.

    Lina turns and runs as awkwardly and adorably as a dwarf can. Her face is pale, she does not want to be swiped at by this minotaur.

    I charge the biggest [Earth Bullet] that I can. The minotaur stands up.

    -[Wind Blade]!

    -[Water Blade]!

    I let out my spell at the same time an arrow pierces its throat. He is hit in the face with a rock, and a deep wound on its chest opens from both spell blades. It falls backwards, unconscious.

    Hana joins us in the front and the elemental awkwardly gets up again. We wait a minute or so and it dies from blood loss. I recall the elemental.

    -Catching it by surprise really does make things easy- I say.

    -What, you thought this was hard? I was thinking we barely have a challenge here- Hana says and grins.

    -Don't start...

    She laughs.



    We continue our way down, the town slowly disappears into the mist and we plunge into near darkness. Our path that is circling around the mountain edge ends and we find a small door on the wall. We open it and it's the stairs down.



    We reach the 9th floor.

    This floor is kind of bad, it's called Tower of Melancholy, for the sake of our minds it's best we don't spend much time here. This whole dungeon floor is a single tower full of holes and crumbling ground, broken furniture all over making it difficult to walk, cobwebs make it horrifying to move, dust everywhere makes it difficult to breathe. It follows the same architecture style as the other floors, coupled with even more ominous skeletons around, including those of children. Outside there's only white mist. There's no known ground floor.

    We all cast [Spirit Light]. Lina is even more scared on this floor.

    I summon a nature elemental. It's a dryad, a green woman with moss-like skin, leaves for hair, and bark instead of nails or teeth. Thankfully she wears a modest ivy dress. The nature spirit is light so she won't crumble the floor like an earth elemental and she has enough physical strength to help with battle.

    We move out and start exploring. There's no maps of this dungeon floor, the floors are thought to be infinite and so there's only incomplete maps available. Also a single floor is the size of a village, making you waste time until you realize where you are.

    We spend a good amount of time mapping the floor so we don't get lost. Fortunately Ciel is good at drawings, so she and Roxanne work on that.

    -I got something. Seems it has a bit of knowledge in [Hide Presence]- Alissa says.

    We enter a room and our lights reflect on the eyes of a monster, a Shadow Satyr. Satyrs are humans with horse ears and horse legs, the shadow version is a monster that is eerily and completely black, it has a straight, featureless face. It wields a very curved scimitar, almost a crescent. It can cast bullets of darkness that hurt like a bitch. This is supposedly a rare monster, we are just that lucky.

    I immediately cast [Lighting Bolt] and it dodges, no it teleports sideways.

    -Motherfuc-...

    It charges Lina.

    An arrow flies and it dodges, I feel Alissa's anger. Roxanne lets out a weak [Fire Arrow], it singes his hair and embers fly. Hana slashes towards it and it dodges but it stops the charge. The elemental times the opening perfectly and manages to grab it with a vine.

    The satyr jumps around, trying to get free but it's not strong enough. It slashes the vines only to get its arm grabbed. The elemental pulls him and he falls on the ground, an arrow pierces his arm and it drops the scimitar.

    It decides to jump towards the elemental and scratch at its face. The elemental screams and turns into vines, entangling him more. Hana charges and slashes sideways cutting the satyr in half by the waist.

    In the middle of the air it fires a small dark bullet towards Lina. I extend my arm and block it with my shield.

    -AAAAARGH!

    I feel like my arm is crushed. I instinctively cast [Heal] but nothing happens. Lina grabs my arm and looks at me horrified.

    -Wolfy... Why would you do such a thing...- Lina mutters to me.

    -Well, I don't know...- I wince in pain- I just thought it would be better... If I felt the pain... Instead of you.

    The pain pulses but with each pulse it reduces. I feel a light chop on my head.

    -Wolfy, that's rude, Lina isn't so weak she can't handle some pain- Alissa says to me, reproachfully.

    I feel another chop on my head, this time it's Lina.

    -Alright, I get it.

    Just our luck, the stairs are on this room. After healing the elemental we move on.



    We reach the 10th floor.

    Once in a while you get filled with excitement and wonder at what a dungeon can show you, this is the prize explorers are looking for. This floor is a sky archipelago, floating islands in the middle of the sky, just like the sky lands of the chimeras. This floor is called Proud Memory.

    We are at grassland at the edge of an island, there's only a wooden fence between us and the infinite blue. There's no ground, there's only a blue abyss below us.

    Lina's Trivia: The sky lands are camouflaged magically. An ancient spell given to them possibly by the first emperor as a token of friendship. Anyone who looks towards the sky lands sees nothing, they are invisible. Anyone on a sky land who looks down only sees the infinite blue, they don't see land until they leave the spell's influence.

    Around us we see a grassland with a few pink willows and at the distance there's white and black marble ruins. The other islands follow a similar pattern, there are dozens around us, above or below. We see from above a few have lakes with fish that we could eat. Above we see the green crystals bellow the island that glow harmonically, they keep the islands afloat. White clouds once in a while pass through an island.

    A few wooden bridges and spiral stairs connect the islands. On these bridges we can see the Marker Kites, they are long squares of very light cloth where each corner is tied to a long, light rope. These markers then are left to fly about, most keep upwards as the wind normally comes from bellow. If you see one of these markers flailing about you have to stay away, a rogue gust of wind is passing through and you don't want to he hit by it while you are vulnerable near the edge of the blue abyss.

    Ciel runs up to the fence.

    -Wow...- It escapes her lips.

    -Hatara would love to come here- Alissa says, coming up besides Ciel.

    I grab Lina's hand and lead her to the fence, I feel her hand tremble.

    -Hold my hand tight, I will keep you safe.

    She nods and squeezes tighter. A few steps more and her trembling recudes a bit.

    We stare at the blue sky for a few minutes. It's feels odd that there's no sun here but the beauty of the environment is entrancing.

    I look behind us. On the middle of the island there is a 3 storey building with a cupola and a small tower on the top.

    -Let's go there, we can locate ourselves better on top of that building- I say.

    As we walk I feel an itch on my head. It's somehow similar to the "itch", of using magic, it's just stronger and makes me want to scratch it immediately. I squirm, trying to scratch it.

    Alissa jumps to my side and slashes near my shoulder with the scabbard of her sword. I look to where she tried to strike, a Plom floats about, Alissa tries to strike it again but it slips away and creates some distance from us.

    Alissa sighs and puts her scabbard back in place. Ploms are magical animals that feed on mana, they sneak on you and slowly suck your mana. They are nearly impossible to kill due to how easily they manipulate the air around them and slip away from any attack.

    -I'm surprised it could bypass your [Sense Presence]- I say.

    -It didn't, it just has such a small presence I didn't notice it. It's smaller than a mouse.

    -There are Ploms on Maoka. Annoying little creatures, adorable, but annoying- Roxanne says.

    She passes us by and I swat a Plom on her back. It slips from my attack, my hand only manages to brush at its fluffy fur. Roxanne groans.

    -My... Mana... 1/5th is gone!- She cries.

    -I'll pay more attention to them- Alissa says, with pitying eyes.

    -Pleeease!



    As we get closer to the building we reach a small group of marble houses.

    -There's something weird in there- Alissa says.

    -Living Armors. The satyrs only appear in dark places- I answer.

    Lina's Trivia: Living Armors are suits of armor that got possessed by spirits, somewhat similar to a nature spirit. Living Armors are generally found in battlefields or tombs, which means their personalities are aggressive or territorial. They give no proof of extermination and their metal is of poor quality, but if you can capture one the hunters guild pays a good price for them, depending on their form. They work well for sparring since you can control their aggressiveness with [Spirit Magic].

    -There's four, they are patrolling the front of the building.

    -We could go around but let's go fight them and see how we do- I say.

    We pass by the houses and enter a courtyard, the Armors are walking side by side through this courtyard and stop when they see us. They are ethereal humanoids without any features. Their armor is a hauberk with a metal plate cuirass on top, greaves, sabatons, metal pauldrons, vambraces, gauntlets, a bevor, and a sallet.

    Though they would look imposing with so much metal, it's nearly all rusted and decaying. Their longswords look a little better.

    They charge towards us. We'll do a melee test, Alissa, Roxanne, and Aoi will do nothing unless necessary.

    I ready myself. My Armor does an overhead slash, such telegraphed attack is easily dodged and deflected by my shield. I slash sideways and destroy the armor on the left arm. As a combo I slash again and destroy a part of armor on the chest.

    Hana takes the charge and ripostes towards his belly. The sword easily slides in and the Armor winces, somehow their spirits can be harmed physically.

    Ciel parries the attack while stepping back and digs her glaive on the Armor's shoulder. With a bit of a yank she removes the glaive and parries the next attack.

    I feel the mana circling on Lina's body, she takes the hit head on and immediately counters with a swing on the knee. It gets completely shattered and the Armor falls on its knee.

    My Armor tries to swing upwards and gets deflected again. I slide my blade on the exposed chest armor and pierces a lung, not that the spirit breathes, but it does "feel" pain.

    Hana slashes at the Living Armor's chest and it's sword is caught on the way and sent flying. She finishes the Armor by decapitating it, the crumbling bevor did nothing to protect its neck. The spirit believes it's alive, if you cut its head off it will believe it's "dead" and truly die.

    Ciel digs her glaive on the arm of the Armor, it tries to shorten the distance but gets a kick and it's pushed back again. Now it has only one functioning arm.

    Lina takes the chance and swings her hammer upwards and it connects with the chin of the armor, its bevor gets crushed and the helmet flies off. It's "dead".

    I bash my Armor on the moment it winces in pain. It falls backwards and I thrust my sword on it's neck, I use the bevor as a lever and push the sallet upwards. Then I thrust my blade on its round, featureless, and ethereal face, it's "dead".

    Ciel parries the weak slash and thrusts towards the heart. The blade slides in and she twists it, the armor squirms and struggles in pain for a few seconds then "dies".

    The remaining metal of the Living Armors corrodes and turns to dust.

    -That was easy- Lina says.

    -This is the first level with these monsters, they aren't that good- Hana says.

    -These were specially weak, really old looking. Living Armors shouldn't be this rusty- I say.

    -The ones at the guild looks like ceremonial armors compared to these ones- Alissa says.

    We move inside the building. It's rather large but completely empty, at least there's no ruined furniture, debris or skeletons. The walls are decorated with carvings of battles, mostly have winged humanoids and monsters fighting each other. The building has no seams, it's like it's carved from a rock of white marble with streaks of black, it's certainly not the minimalist architecture of the chimeras.

    -I have a few hits. Humanoids... I think I recognize three of them- Alissa says.

    Oh? We better go meet them.

    Me and Ciel share a look, we don't really believe in coincidences.



    Intermission 6



    I have never been happier, free to explore the library, discussing what I read everyday, continuing my training in enchanting, actually fighting alongside strong people. Mom, dad, I'm okay now, I'm happy. I just want you to know that, I don't want you to feel guilty anymore, I don't blame you for selling me, I just want you to know that I'm happy.

    Master Hilde, thank you for everything.

    I thought master wouldn't find me attractive seeing how Ciel is... Big. But now I'm sure I'm making him happy, it's the least I can do to repay this new life. Even so I have been training, this time I will have strength, this time I will have power, when the time comes, none shall stand on his path.
     
  7. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    -You all stay here, Hana and me will go upstairs so we look less threatening.

    Alissa frowns but she accepts. We start climbing the spiral staircase, it goes up the 3 floors and ends up on the cupola.

    On the middle of the way we hear footsteps above. A large woman in plate and leather comes out with a tower shield and behind her is a dog wereanimal woman archer in monster leather.

    -Who are you and why are you here- The archer tells us, arrow nocked.

    -Wolf Ryder, adventurer, just like you. I'm here because one of my companions sensed one of my friends, Nour Asaf.

    The archer expression lightens and pulls the shield woman upstairs. More footsteps and in a minute Nour appears.

    -What a coincidence! Never thought we would meet again inside a dungeon- Nour says with arms open wide. He is wearing his black leather again, this time he has a pristine black scaled shield hanging on his back.

    He goes down the stairs and we shake hands.

    -Was bound to happen, right? Neither of us can resist the call of the dungeons- I smile.

    -How are you doing, Wolf?- His eyes turn warm.

    -The same as always, very happy. You?

    Even though we have the problem with Darean my mood isn't bad.

    -Just starting my adventure, let's say that I'm very excited, no marriage proposal to take me away from here this time- He smiles- Come upstairs, the view is wonderful.

    -This is Iana, a tracker we hired- He points to the wereanimal woman.

    She has skin black as night and curly, short, boyish hair. Her black ears are nearly camouflaged among her hair.

    -This is Bellatrix, a Blood Slave- He points to the other woman.

    She removes her helmet. Bright red skin, two small protrusions on her forehead and swept back, glossy black hair that reaches the shoulders. Her grin shows some very pointy fangs. She's a devil-type demon.

    -So, you are the Wolf Ryder?- Asks Iana, her pretty eyes open wide.

    Oh boy.

    -W-well, what do you mean by this?

    -You know, the one who killed the Symbol and the one the town criers announced some time ago.

    -Yes, that's me.

    -Wow! Amazing- She shakes my hand vigorously.

    -I never thought you would be so small, some stories tell of your cold, killer eyes, of your booming commanding voice, your hundred spells you can call on a whim- She looks at the girls- But the other parts are true, just what is so special about you?

    The spells is partially true.

    -Nothing, really- I smile wryly.

    She holds her head in her hand and pouts cutely. I feel 2 of the girls are getting very annoyed. I hurry and continue the introductions, Nour lifts his eyebrow.

    -Another fiancee?- He laughs.

    -Look who's talking- I rebuke.

    Midori and Bellatrix smirk.

    -Anyway, let's go to the top of the tower, the view there is pretty good- Nour swiftly turns around.

    -Let's bring everyone, I can leave my elemental here as a guard.

    -Wonderful.



    The view really is nice, though just a bit windy, perhaps I should summon a wind elemental if it gets worse. We can view the entire island, we are on corner of a once marble town, possibly filled with living armors, not really a good place to go. There's the corner of an abandoned farm covering a good part of the island, in there we will be too exposed to the flying monsters of this level. Near the path we came there's the light forest, the safest place to go through, we will take a spiral stairs there and go to the next island, there are no stairs for the next level on this island.

    We look up the blue sky, the lights slowly dims as the sun sets outside the dungeon, it's weird not seeing a sun and not having an orange sunset to appreciate. As the light dims little stars can be seen very far in the distance, the mana crystals still retain some light, giving us the same light as a moon lit night. The little stars that surround us gives me a chill, I feel as if we are drifting among stars.

    I see Ciel smile in a way she didn't smile before. It's a daring smile, one you do before you jump from the plane and open your parachute. A smile of nostalgia, adventure was something she missed and now she's getting it back.

    We set up camp on the cupola and decided to spend the night together. Safiya, Alissa and Ciel got in charge of dinner, although Iana knows how to cook an adventurers cooking is far too rough for our sensitive palate. I force my disgust away and help butcher 2 harpies that Nour shared with us, my [Dismantling] getting it's rare use. Then the girls fry the bird parts, tastes like turkey with a mustard aftertaste, something on their fat does this.

    Even though people here eat orc and goblin, only when it's explicitly part human they don't eat it. Cannibalism really is a taboo here, but it has a line much further than that of Earth.

    After the gruesome butchering the girls responsible for the dinner don't need our help anymore. Lina and Bellatrix start maintaining the weapons and armor while Iana talks to them about enchanted bow maintenance. Hana and Midori go fawn over Aoi, tickling her belly, she seems to love the new dragonkin acquaitance. Roxanne comes to my side, she's having Ted and Suzy try to dance, I can see some jealous glances from Ciel towards the golems. Nour sits in front of me.

    -Say, Nour, you might have some more experience on this type of thing so I want your opinion.

    I tell him of Darean.

    -Wow, well not that surprising, some people can be vengeful. I agree that he doesn't want to kill you, most likely have you sent as a slave somewhere, I know some circle of magi use illegal slave mages- He says to me.

    Roxanne shudders.

    -I was afraid Dawn of Fire was involved in something like this. I feared what they would do if I traveled alone so I ran from Goloria and went to Rabanara, which seemed a place not under the influence of the circles of magi- Roxanne says.

    -Yeah, some of them are really bad, but you just need someone to vouch for you and they run off. They don't want to suffer through an investigation so they keep away from people that can bring them trouble- Nour says while nodding- But anyway, I really think Darean has backing.

    -Backing?- I ask.

    -Yes, that rogue space mage is not cheap and it's not easy to find, you know the empire is very protective of [Gate]. This is not something a simple adventurer can find with just money, he needs connections and someone to vouch for him, though he's seriously misusing his power.

    -Who would back him, then?

    -I don't know. I don't have connections in the underworld, at least not here...- He cleans his throat- So I don't know much about the factions that work here, I just know who to avoid. But we can try to make a deduction, do you know if he has allies and enemies?

    -I only know Vanea Anara seems to dislike him.

    He winces at her name. Roxanne looks at him concerned, she hasn't met the little devil.

    -So she could be his enemy. Perhaps he's the one who's blocking her.

    -What do you mean?

    -Well, you know that Vanea wants the emperor to recognize the efforts of her family, right?- I nod- To do that she's gathering allies, people who can owe her favors, people she can buy, people she can protect so they will swear loyalty to her, all this stuff, this being the reason she's one I want to avoid. The thing is, she can't get anyone near her, someone is blackmailing or buying out any ally she can get, most likely some faction from the capital.

    -So, Darean is position 1, he likely has a close relationship to the Lord and by extension he can get near Vanea rather easily, he seems to be showing he's romantically interested in her, though that could be fake. Being an adventurer means he most likely works for money so he can be bought, he's the perfect spy on the Anara family- I say.

    Rabanara's closeness to adventurers seems to be backfiring on this part.

    -Exactly, at position 1 Darean might as well be considered a knight working with the Lord, I hear they fight together a lot. This is only guess work but it's the closest you have. Sorry, but I can't help much more, since I don't have connections all I can do is get you bodyguards, but I don't think that's the kind of help you want.

    Roxanne nods in agreement.

    -Yeah, I don't want to live in fear. I was only looking for advice anyway. Say, if you have a name, body description and a possible quirk, like the smell of the hair product someone uses, how easy can you find this person? Though I know she could be using [Ignorance] to keep low.

    -That depends a bit, but the smell is a good thing, sniffers don't care about illusion spells. If the town doesn't suffer with smuggling then it's rather easy to lock down the town and make a sweep. If this person is in Rabanara then I think the Anara family can find them. I assume you got a lead?

    -Yeah, do you know hair products that use Ranja?

    -Oh yes, from the High Forest, one of the few things they export, those elitist bastards. Safiya loves it, bit expensive though- He whispers and then smiles- How did you get that information? You should have gotten very close to smell a hair product.

    -Well, I talked to a spirit of one of the kidnappers, he gave me a very good description of the one who lead me to the trap.

    Nour knits his eyebrows in worry

    -You didn't mess with him, right?

    -No, no. I still have my blessing, I didn't do anything bad.

    Nour's expression relaxes in relief.

    -Dealing with spirits of the dead is very... Dangerous. Lots of nobles got their lives ruined by going too far and the temple getting a whiff of what they have done.

    -Ciel is a former priestess, she helps me keep in line.

    He chuckles.

    -You got some good companions, I see. Rather, good wives-to-be.

    Roxanne chuckles.

    -Just what a good husband-to-be deserves- She gives me a kiss on the cheek.

    I smile. A productive conversation, now I know I actually got some bargaining chips for Vanea.

    -How did the 9th floor go for you?- Nour gives a pained smile- It was a nightmare for us, those damn spiders kept crawling up to me and Safiya. Then we met two minotaurs, luckly for us one fell on a crumbling piece of the floor and disappeared a few levels below. But we ended up meeting it again before we found the stairs.

    -Oh, well I just met a Shadow Satyr on the floor we arrived, behind him was the stairs so it was rather quick.

    Nour's mouth hangs open.

    -T-that's unfair, you and your damn good luck.



    After dinner comes time for bath. Safiya is a fellow mage who knows how to make a bath in a few seconds, though I saw Nour's bath tub was smaller than ours. With the summons we have the added cheat of not needing to keep guard.

    Bath ends up being Alissa's time, can't really make too much noise so Hana and Roxanne are left for bedtime, the gag will get used again with them. When Lina tries to "practice" Ciel sighs.

    -Even you, Lina?

    -I... I...

    -She just wants to make me happy- I say.

    Ciel rolls her eyes but she keeps watching Lina with the corner of her eye.

    I spend some time reviewing our coordination tactics. I decided to teach them a few commands in English, it's a good thing to be able to yell orders without the enemy knowing what they mean.

    The living armors occasionally patrol the lower floors but none came up towards the cupola. The anti-monster stone should have some effect on them too.



    Today is the 28th.

    A silent storm called Hana's mouth wakes me, Roxanne wasn't awake yet so she just swallowed all by herself.

    -Better this way, I get it all for me- Hana smiles.

    -Shameful, she's also your wife-to-be, you gotta share everything- I say.

    I actually got Hana, she looks away and blushes.

    My [Summoning Magic], [Space Magic], [Sword Use], [Andraste Language] and [Dismantling] increased by 1 (now 11+11, 14+18, 9+7, 8+2 and 0+3)

    Lina is leveling up nicely, now she's level 18. With this amount of extra skills points her learning rate is very fast.

    Hana increased her [Block] by 1 (now 8).

    -Why is your block so low? I would expect someone experienced like you to have it higher. Specially when your style is about blocking and countering- I ask Hana.

    -Well, I don't really have the... Delicacy, to learn how to block so effectively. Besides, with my strength and endurance I can just take the hit, even if it's not on a shield. If an attack can't penetrate my skin or scales, why block it? These things aren't just for the fetishists like you- She smiles and points to the scales on her cheeks- You know, these things already deflected a few blades.

    She really fights like a barbarian. I see Midori has a two hander with her, she might be even worse than Hana.

    For breakfast we share our charcuterie with Nour.

    -So, where are you going after this?- He asks.

    -We will go to the 13th floor.

    Nour and Safiya grimaces.

    -Ugh, I might as well pay for someone to help me skip those floors. Why are you going there?

    The Shadow Satyr was just an entree of what I really want. Two special monsters from the 13th floor.

    -Well, there's a monster I want to fight, for magic research. Though the description of that floor sounds interesting.

    -The monsters of that floor do have some very good uses for poison and dark magic- Safiya says.

    -Something like that, mostly poison, I don't deal with dark magic- I say.

    -You sound just like Rania- He smiles nostalgically.

    -What would she research?

    -Alchemicism. She had a very peculiar habit of trying out acids. You know, the Orc Headhunter was really lucky, she had just used all her acid- Nour makes a pained face, not because of the orc, but because of the image of what acid does.

    Lina's Trivia: Alchemicism is a magic school where alchemy is combined with spells. I can learn it with the skill system but I can't use it since I need to ingredients before I can cast a spell and the skill system does not give me the knowledge of which ingredients I need.

    -I, uh, I would rather not fight with acid, I'm having Roxanne create some poisons and venoms, though. I mainly want paralysis, some monsters are quite valuable if you get them intact.

    Roxanne looks at me with an evil smirk.

    -I would rather create healing potions but poison can be fun too- She says.

    -I see, well we rarely bring the bodies back, don't really need the money so Rania had no reason to hold back, besides for the effect it has on my mental health.

    -Well I, I also don't hold back, the less time fighting a monster the better- Safiya smiles a bit painfully.

    -The girls are the same, sometimes they hold back for me, I just do not do well with gore- I scratch my cheek, shyly.

    -Don't be ashamed of that. Everyone has a weakness- Alissa says, tapping my shoulder.

    Thanks, honey.

    -My weakness is invisible enemies- Hana says.

    -My weakness is swarms- Ciel says, frowning.

    Dream Eaters attack in swarms.

    -My weakness is spiders- Safiya says.

    Nour shares an understanding look with her.

    -My weakness is heights- Lina says, lowly.

    -My weakness is cute enemies- Midori says.

    Everyone raises an eyebrow at her, she chuckles.

    -I simply can't kill the Rabid Rabbit- She shrugs.

    Ciel puts a finger in her chin.

    -Understandable- She says.

    Roxanne nods in agreement.

    -Some people say you are not a proper adventurer if you can't handle gore- Nour says.

    -To hell with them!- I yell

    Nour laughs.

    -To hell with them!- He yells too.



    We break camp and say our goodbyes. Nour is going to a bigger island while we are going upstairs to the closest stair for the next dungeon floor.

    We meet some proper Living Armors this time. A trio that look like plated knights, they all use long swords.

    -Let's test our melee again. Lina, Wolfy, you two fight together one of them, you may have skills but it's not the same as having experience- Hana says.

    We nod. I give the warbow and bodkin arrows to Alissa, she won't be able to do much with just her normal bow. The nature elemental will be ready, any sign of blood and she will restrain the armor.

    The Armors are in the street walking towards us. We move out of our hiding spot and they immediately charge towards us.

    -I can handle the first strike- Lina says.

    I kinda agree, my "Strength" isn't rising quickly enough even though I have been doing strength exercises, [Stonebody] is a cheat.

    The Living Armor slashes sideways towards Lina. It was smart enough not to go all in on a single strike. She grunts and deflects the blow upwards. She counters with strike on the knee and the armor gets dented, forcing it to kneel for a second.

    I strike the bevor on the neck of the Armor, there aren't many openings in the armor so I have to create one. Nothing visible happens to the bevor but a few more strikes will be enough.

    Hana is not using her shield, she deflects the first strike with her sword and kicks the Armor away. She summons her wings and charges towards it.

    Ciel keeps the Armor away, it tried to force itself into her guard but she forced it back with a strong thrust towards its chest, denting the armor.

    Our Armor steps back and slashes downwards towards me, I dodge backwards and feel the tip of the blade get slow down by [Wind Armor]. It immediately slashes sideways towards Lina, she deflects upwards again and strikes the shin. The leg gets lifted with the strike and it jumps backwards to keep its balance.

    Hana strikes the Armor's sword upwards, opening its guard and hits it with her shoulder, sending it flying backwards. She lands on top of the arms of the Armor, preventing it from getting up, then she grabs the bevor and rips it away. She thrusts her sword into the neck and it pierces the coif, the Armor struggles for a few seconds but "dies".

    The Armor tries to charge again and Ciel finds an opening on the armpit of the Living Armor and disables the arm. The Armor tries to strike with a single arm but Ciel blocks the strike with her small shield strapped to her forearm, then she jumps backwards and gets ready for the next attack.

    Lina charges forward and strikes downwards, the Armor parries and tries to twist it's sword to pull the hammer off Lina's hand. She goes with it and bashes the Armor's hand, making it wince. I slide my blade below the bevor and it gets snagged into something, I pull my sword with all my strength and something snaps. The Armor recovers from the wince and kicks my shield, keeping me away.

    Ciel deflects an awkward blow from the Armor and slides her blade past the Armor's neck, she turns it around and uses the hook on her glaive to snag the bevor and pull it. The Armor stumbles and Ciel sweeps his legs, making it fall face down on the ground. Ciel thrusts and pierces the Armor on an opening at the back of its waist, making it desperately spasm. The Armor turns around and grabs the blade when Ciel tries to thrust again. She wrangles it from its hands and jumps backwards.

    The bevor is hanging from our Living Armor's neck, exposing the mail coif behind it. One of its legs is lame and it can't walk properly. I feint and strike the Armor towards the neck but it deflects my sword away. Lina charges and gets her shield kicked, I feel mana flowing through her, she holds her ground. She uses the hook on her hammer to pull the good leg of the Armor. It falls backwards on the ground.

    Ciel's Armor struggles to get up, it draws a dagger and lunges towards her. Ciel easily deflects it and sweeps its legs again. The Armor falls and Ciel drops on top of it. She draws a dagger and jams it on the opening of the bevor, the Armor tries to struggle but "dies".

    I step on one arm and Lina steps on the other. She smashes the helmet of the Armor and it caves in, the Armor loses most of its strength. I thrust with all my strength and pierce the coif, the Armor slowly stops struggling and "dies".

    I raise my head and look around, we are the last to finish. Hana is looking at us with a smirk. I just take a look at her work and smile.

    -You fight like a barbarian- Ciel says.

    -Only Hana could do such a thing- Lina says.

    Hana laughs.

    -I rather have magic than just muscles- Hana says.

    -Let them be envious for a bit more- I say.

    Magic really makes things much easier.

    The remaining metal of the Living Armors corrodes and turns rusty, parts of it turn to dust. This is why their metal isn't too valuable, it quickly ages when the spirit dies, even when the Armor looks new it's going to degrade a lot after killing it.

    We leave the small ruins and move towards the light forest.



    I'm glad it's daytime and bright, there's a chance Shadow Satyrs appear in dark places. Even though they are rare and valuable I'm not so eager to find one again.

    Alissa stops and stares towards the sky, her eyes narrow and then she smirks.

    -A Kite Dragon, looks young.

    -Oooh, how big?- I ask.

    -Looks to be around 2 or 3 meters long.

    -Can you hit it?

    -Just gonna prickle him at this distance, but it will certainly get his attention.

    Time for the real test of the warbow.

    -Let's get to a clearing and set the trap. Roxanne, how's the paralysis venom?

    -On a Kite Dragon it should take a minute or two to act- She taps her chin.

    -Perfect we can certainly hold it down until then.

    Screw Shadow Satyrs, a Kite Dragon is even more valuable. This dragon is flat and long, it has no wings but long flipper like limbs on its side, it swims through the air like a flatworm, its head is flat and triangular like a crocodile's but its eyes are on the sides of the mouth and move independently like a chameleon's. Its scales make high quality scale armor, even better than ours.

    I look up and don't see anything, the dragon has some camouflage, he lights his own scales to look bright enough you mistake it for the sky. I take 5 points from [Parry] and put it in [Electric Magic].

    Alissa nocks an arrow on the warbow, she waits, her eyes glued to wherever that dragon is. With nearly inhuman speed she draws her bow and releases the arrow. It flies high and I see a small blur on the sky, the arrow hits this blur and I finally manage to spot the outline of the dragon.

    Silently the dragon comes, its entire body snakes towards us in a fast zig-zag pattern.

    Hana is in the middle of the clearing while everybody is hiding behind a tree.

    -COME HERE LITTLE WORM, I WANNA USE YOU AS BAIT FOR FISHING!- Hana taunts and strikes her shield.

    -UROOOOO!- It answers.

    Its crocodile mouth opens and light comes out of it. A huge clump of ice shoots out of his mouth and towards Hana. She dodges sideways and the ice scratches her shield. The clump explodes in the ground, covering everything with an unusual chilling thin layer of snow.

    Hana breathes fire around her, she would quickly get frostbite otherwise.

    -URAAH!- The dragon screams again.

    Using its side flippers it swipes at Hana, the attack sends flying multiple emerald scales of her shield.

    I cast [Discharge]. Low voltage, high spread. The entire dragon gets covered in sparks coming out of my fingers. Unlimited Pow-...

    The dragon turns to me with anger in his eyes. He opens his mouth again and mana gathers.

    Fuck! More power!

    An arrow pierces the top of its mouth and it stops charging mana. It turns to Alissa.

    Fuck! EAT MORE POWER!

    -[Wind Hammer]!

    -[Torrent]!

    It gets disrupted again and with another arrow on its mouth it decides not to open it anymore. It turns upwards and starts to leave.

    MAXIMUM POWERRRR!

    My head hurts and my MP drops like a waterfall but finally the dragon starts convulsing. This is what [Discharge] is all about, disabling the enemy.

    An arrow pierces its head. Damn thick skull, it didn't penetrate much.

    Another set of attacks from Ciel and Roxanne. Scales break off its head, I feel tears forming at the coins disappearing.

    My head hurts, overuse is setting in, my mana is super low.

    -NOW!- I yell.

    The nature elemental throws its vines at the same moment I stop using [Discharge]. I fall behind the tree and drink an MP potion.

    The vines wrap around the body and keep it from leaving. The dragon tries to fly upwards and the elemental is dragged a meter before it wraps more vines on a tree.

    Hana flies and pierces its throat with her spear. Not enough "Dexterity" to hit the head while it's flailing about.

    Hana rides the dragon by holding on the spear and her weight lowers him near the ground. Dust and dirt gets kicked about as it struggles. Aoi flaps her wings in excitement, through [Animal Tongue] I feel she wants Hana to ride her.

    -IRAAAAH!- The Kite Dragon shrieks desperately.

    The dragon uses its last strength like a whip and throws Hana upwards. She spreads her wings and gracefully touches the ground.

    The elemental now has full control of the dragon. In a few seconds it loses the last of its strength and falls on the ground.

    -Careful, he's only paralysed- Alissa says.

    -Let me do the honors- Hana says.

    She draws her sword and with all her strength pierces the skull of the dragon. Now it's dead.

    -Without the warbow I wouldn't have even dented it- Alissa says.

    Lina looks away shyly and Alissa sneaks behind her.

    -It's all thanks to you!- She pounces and hugs Lina.

    -Wha-wha-... Oh, y-you welcome...- Lina mutters.

    -You okay, Wolf?- Roxanne comes to me.

    Alissa freezes and her head snaps to me, she hadn't noticed my struggle.

    -Had to use all my mana on [Discharge], didn't think it was that immune to electricity.

    -Well, yeah, dragons are kinda like that- Aoi chirps happily- Though I think it's just that your "Magic Power" is not high enough, even I wouldn't be able to contain him for long if I knew [Discharge].

    I sigh.

    -Gotta keep training my mana.

    -Well, we all gotta do this, with [Increased Growth] I think we can get a significant increase, even if it didn't show much with skill training- Ciel says.

    Roxanne groans.

    - You know, I'm the only one bringing stable income to us, can't I just continue making potions?

    -No- Ciel answers flatly.

    Roxanne pouts.

    -Learn [Redirect Mana] and it won't be as bad. With one or two points in [Mana Overuse Resistance] the headaches won't appear easily- I say.

    "Cheater" Ciel silently mouths to me, then she shows me her tongue.



    The forest had a few more Ploms but nothing else. Aoi started to notice them and fired a few fireballs before they approached. She seems much more active and happy when we are outside of town.

    We reach the spiral stairs and Lina stops on her tracks. There are railings on the wooden stairs but you can easily see the blue abyss if you look down. Even I am concerned with the safety of this thing.

    -If we put a blindfold on you would you feel better?- I ask.

    Lina shivers and looks at me with fear.

    -Ok, bad idea... What if I carry you?

    She looks pensively.

    -What if I carry you- Ciel says, smiling.

    Lina smiles faintly.

    -What if I carry you- Hana says, smirking.

    Lina squirms and looks away, then she nods.

    -What...?

    -Don't look too deep into it, Wolfy- Alissa pats my shoulder.

    We go through the stairs with a confident Hana in front and a scrawny Lina trying to disappear in her arms. I realize the error of my suggestion, no way I would have been safe carrying Lina, with every step the wood creaks, with every blow of wind the stair sways, with every second the blue abyss comes closer. I give a quick prayer and hurry upwards.

    The new island is very long and has a mountain on it, a grey, unremarkable conical mountain, in the middle of that mountain is our exit. There's only woods around here so the outside is safe, I just hope we don't meet a group of Shadow Satyrs inside the mountain.

    As we walk through the long field of pink willows, the soft breeze and warm, uh, mana crystal light tickles my skin. Soon I feel like simply closing my eyes while walking.

    -What's that, old man, is it time for your nap?- Ciel smirks.

    I'm pushed back to reality, there are still other monsters in the sky that could attack us.

    -Just enjoying the breeze.

    -The view makes you forget you are inside a dungeon, huh?

    -Yeah, you enjoying our little vacation?

    Ciel laughs.

    -Sure, with you around this really feels like a vacation.

    -Imagine what we are gonna be like in a few years when our levels are much higher- Alissa joins in.

    -Ridiculous- Ciel answers immediately.



    We reach the edge of the mountain.

    -Dwarven architecture- Lina says.

    -How can you tell?

    -The tunnel is wide and not very tall, the lines are perfectly straight, not much use of rounded edges, none of your silly drawings on the walls, the stone is smoothed to perfection, and the lights are embedded in the stone. It feels... Feels like home- She says with bittersweet happiness on her voice.

    -Silly drawings?

    -Well, murals depicting events are only for the most important of events. You can only carve a wall once, if you make a bad mural then you have soiled a good piece of wall, better to just hang a painting and not risk it.

    -Dwarves value good planning and carving things on the stone. The most prestigious buildings are entirely carved on stone, instead of constructed with bricks or cement like we do- Alissa says.

    Lina nods in agreement. Alissa seems to know a little about everything.

    The more you know.

    Like Lina said, there aren't rounded surfaces here, the tunnels all either branch on a grid or on an angle, they never curve. This makes it easier for us since we just go straight to the heart of the mountain.

    The lights on the walls get dimmer and eventually we have to use [Spirit Light]. I believe we are very close to the exit.

    -Four Living Armors- Alissa says.

    -Coming towards us?

    -No, they are standing in line on our path.

    -Well, let's just attack them when in range. I will use [Discharge] while you girls charge something powerful.

    As we approach we see these armors are a bit different.

    -Dwarven men-of-the-line- Lina mutters.

    4 metal squares block our way. Black shields with a boss and a small opening for a spear.

    -Let's see how they like this- Roxanne says and starts gathering mana.

    The shields immediately move forward followed by the clanking of heavily armored men.

    I cast [Discharge]. Same as the dragon, UNLIMITED POWWEEER!

    One shield falls, a fully plated and short Living Armor is behind it. It immediately receives an arrow that penetrates its helmet and "dies".

    -[Wind Hammer]!

    A burst of mana flies besides me and hits another Living Armor on the top of its head, making it fall forward on top of its shield with a large dent on the helmet.

    A large and long [Ice Lance] flies besides me and pierces the shield of another Living Armor, I don't believe it's dead but its chest could have been pierced.

    -Lina! Get the downed one!- Hana yells.

    -NOW!- I scream.

    My head hurts a lot, overuse is stacking.

    The nature elemental stretches its vines and holds the shield of the last Living Armor. Hana charges towards it with her wings, her spear pierces the Armor, it lets the shield go and it falls on the ground. Her spear breaks but she grabs the part that's stuck and drives it harder on the Armor.

    Lina charges forward and destroys the helmet with a savage overhead strike.

    The Armor with the [Ice Lance] drops its shield and staggers backwards, there's an opening on its chest. It receives an arrow on the face and "dies".

    I massage my forehead. Overuse keeps me from reaching my full potential with magic, guess if it weren't for that magic would be unstoppable.

    -...Tyrs!

    What? Alissa yelled something. I hear clopping.

    -AAARGH!

    Pain fills my shield arm and I drop it, I cast [Heal] on it and nothing happens. I feel "death" approaching. In reflex I lift my left shoulder and arm to protect myself, even though I have no shield in hand anymore.

    A shadow covers my sight and I feel immense pain on my side. A hand pulls me away and I fall backwards a meter.

    Ciel kicks the shadow and it jumps backwards, dodging it. It then charges forward again with such speed it nearly gets inside her guard.

    I cast [Lighting Bolt] and it teleports sideways, my head hurts even more. It charges Ciel but has to immediately stop as an arrow flies where its head was supposed to be. A [Fire Arrow] pierces its shoulder and lights a small fire.

    It looks to the fire and nearly fails do dodge Ciel's thrust, she makes a wound at it's neck. Ciel twists the glaive and uses the hook to grab the neck of the Shadow Satyr, she pulls it and it tumbles forward, only to be met with her knee. It falls down on the ground and an arrow pierces its face.

    I hear Lina scream in pain.

    She clutches her shield arm while Hana stands in front of her, parrying a blow from another Shadow Satyr. A vine tries to wrap around its leg only for it to teleport backwards, safe from harm.

    I grab my shield and walk backwards towards Roxanne and Aoi, I'm disabled until I can at least use my shield. Thankfully the scimitar didn't cut through my scale armor but my shoulder hurts like hell.

    Roxanne and Ciel prepare a spell. The Satyr momentarily looks at them, then it disappears and appears in front of Hana, she barely has time to react and receives the blow with her shield.

    Hana yells as a dark bullet hits her shield arm at point blank, she doesn't drop it and remains in front of Lina. But she couldn't counter so the Satyr moves to strike again.

    An arrow flies and the satyr teleports backwards. Silently, a [Wind Blade] cuts at its flank, sending black blood flying. An ice spear lodges on its chest and it staggers backwards. It looks at us in what seems to be confusion.

    An arrow hits its face and it dies.

    Ciel relaxes and comes to me, she chants a heal.

    -Better?

    -Better, thanks.

    I feel a light head chop.

    -You overused your mana and because of that you got distracted- Roxanne says to me, her mouth distorted in annoyance.

    I feel another light head chop.

    -You overuse your mana too much, you need to be more careful- This time a very angry Alissa looks at me.

    -I'm sorry...

    I just wanted to test [Discharge] on the Living Armors but I guess I was a too reckless.

    Alissa mellows out and kisses my forehead.

    -You said the 13th floor was even worse?- Hana asks with her hands on her hips.

    -Well, yes...

    -You gotta compensate us for that, this shit hurts and I'm not gonna let myself orgasm to a monster.

    -What...?- Ciel looks bewildered.

    -She has [Pain Conversion], it lets her convert pain into pleasure, but still feel the pain- I answer.

    Ciel facepalms.

    -You know what, screw it, I don't care, if this is the champion the Gods want then who am I to judge.

    She throws her hands in the air and starts walking. We share a few looks and smiles and then follow.

    Soon after we find the stairs.



    We reach the 11th floor.

    This is a weird floor, it's called Trial for the Reckless. Hundreds of island surround a large island, floating tunnels connects the smaller islands to the central island. Each tunnel section is dark and closed off and between each tunnel there's an exposed wooden spiral stair.

    We are thrown into one of the smaller islands, nothing but empty blue void around our island, except that above the central island the sky turns dark.

    We are on a marble road, there's only a few houses before the island suddenly ends, as if this piece of land was cut directly from a town.

    I'm quite happy that an elemental can go to the next floor if I order it. I thought the floor selection prompt wouldn't appear to it but it does, saving me from wasting mana dismissing and re-summoning it.

    Our mood was a bit dark until we sat down and filled our stomachs, it's difficult to be grumpy when satisfied.

    We force ourselves to move otherwise our mood will make the situation quickly degenerate into a cuddling session, possibly progressing even further.

    We reach the first tunnel and dwarven architecture is seen again. We push the heavy stone double doors and move forward. The light doesn't reach far so we invoke our [Spirit Lights].

    Each tunnel section we have to fight once. The first time it was a single Living Armor, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 5 so I summoned an earth elemental to help. With our experience it was a very simple fight, some of them lack shields, making them easy targets for Alissa.

    Lina had to be carried by Hana every spiral stair but she seemed to be less afraid each time.

    We fought 6 and then 7 Living Armors, then we get something new, a Nalusa, threat level 5. It's a two meters tall human-looking monster that looks like it's made of charred flesh with missing pieces of meat and exposed bones, it smells like burnt meat. It has hair on its back with white bones protruding out of it, it moves very fast and it swings sharp claws. Its face contains 4 eyes with a large white sclera, it's nose and mouth are mere slits that are almost invisible. It controls blood and turns it into projectiles, either their own or of their prey.

    It immediately charges forward.

    -Protect Alissa and Roxanne!- I order the nature elemental.

    The earth elemental stands besides Hana. Ciel stands between them and me and Lina are at the flanks.

    The monster slashes at the elemental, the shield on its left hand gets scratched and it counters with a spear stab. The monster dodges sideways and gets in range of Lina, she smashes one of its feet and it jumps backwards. A small clump of blood floats in front of it.

    It dodges an arrow and turns the clump of blood into a shard. It flies towards Alissa and the nature elemental intercepts it, getting stuck on her vines. The Nalusa tilts its head and dodges backwards again when a [Water Blade] flies towards it.

    -The blood has venom, talk to us if you get hurt by it!- I yell.

    I'm not sure on the physiology of the nature elemental, hopefully it is immune to poisons and venoms.

    A tense minute goes on. On this small corridor we risk too much friendly-fire to fire our ranged attacks wildly, besides, the monster is too fast for most of our ranged attacks but at least it can't get close due to our solid line.

    -Let's move forward, push it back to the wall!- Hana yells.

    -Understood! Keep the line!- I answer.

    The monster looks at us expressionlessly, its eyes blink out of sync. We slowly inch forward and it slowly inches backwards.

    It charges Hana.

    She strikes downwards, the monster parries it with a hand and the other scrapes by her shield. The elemental and Ciel pierce the chest lightly. It jumps backwards.

    A ball of blood floats besides it.

    -Tch, it will get more powerful if we only scratch it- I say.

    -No other way around it- Ciel says.

    Another minute and the ball gets bigger. It charges towards me.

    I cast [Entangling Vines] in front of me. The monster swipes at me and I block with my shield. The attack pushes me backwards, brutish strength but little sharpness on the claws.

    Hana strikes and wounds the arm, the bone is too tough, the sword can't cut through it. The vines wrap around an ankle. Another arm comes towards me.

    I rest my sword on my shield and it slides between the fingers of the monster, nearly splitting its hand into two. Hana tries to combo a thrust but it immediately jumps backwards and falls.

    Hana's thrust turns into a slash and cuts into its belly. I pierce a leg with my sword. It cuts the vines and rolls backwards.

    The blood ball is much bigger now, fortunately the monster seems to be slowing down. We keep inching forward.

    The monsters bleeds for another few minutes, I'm very concerned over the blood ball.

    We reach the end, the light shows the door at the end of the tunnel.

    The blood ball turns into hundreds of little spikes and they all fly towards us.

    I hide behind my shield, I lower down into the floor to reduce my exposed profile. I hear multiple shattering sounds as the solidified blood breaks into my shield. A spike pierces my boot and I feel a sharp pain in my foot.

    I look up and the monster is swinging at me. My position is bad, the arm hits my shield and I fly backwards.

    Hana strikes him but he defends with the other claw, it forces him down and he slips away forward. Ciel slashes at his leg but it feels nothing.

    I feel sick, I feel something moving inside my body.

    He covers his face with his claws and an arrow pierces his chest. He ignores me and charges towards Alissa.

    The nature elemental jumps in front of it and it gets thorn to shreds by the claws, but it's not dead. The monster jumps towards Alissa who's drawing her sword.

    A torrent hits its chest and it falls backwards into Hana's sword. She lifts it up and changes the direction of her charge midair, she swings her sword down and the moster crashes in the floor head first.

    The monster trashes and pushes itself off the ground, Hana loses her sword. I cast [Lightning Bolt] on it and my muscles tense, making me immobile, it's the venom Mage's Trap. Let's see if it was worth it.

    The monster convulses for a second and Ciel pierces it through the chest sending it back down.

    Alissa jumps sideways to get a clear shot and an arrow flies into an eye. It loses a brain, it still has another.

    Hana draws her dagger and falls on top of one arm, digging the knife on its shoulder. She covers her face and a blood spike pierces her arm. The other arm strikes her and pushes her off its body.

    It swings its hand again and Ciel jumps backwards not to get caught in that, the earth elemental pierces it and pushes it to the ground again. Alissa fires another arrow and it blocks its face with its nearly ruined arm.

    -HAAAH!- Lina screams.

    She rushes to the monster and does a savage overhead strike, the hammer buries itself into the head of the monster. A large blood spike flies and pierces Lina on the waist, an exposed part where the leather shirt ends.

    The monster drops its hand, it is dead.

    I'm sweating cold, I feel like something horrible is running free inside my body. Lina is hunched over, clutching her belly. Ciel rushes to her and starts chanting.

    -Wolf?- Alissa asks me.

    I can't answer.

    -He, he's paralyzed!- She yells, desperation on her voice.

    Ciel looks at me concerned but keeps chanting, Roxanne rushes towards me and pokes me all around. It hurts, my muscles are sore, stop it!

    -Mage's Trap, he got paralyzed because he used mana, the venom uses the mana of a spell to produce the paralytic substance. Only Ciel can heal him now, he can't drink anti-venom- Roxanne says, adjusting her glasses.

    Lucky for me using directly on the body of another person is very hard so there's no venom inside by brain or heart, though it's difficult to breathe I won't die.

    -C-Ciel!- Alissa calls her.

    -Lina takes priority- Roxanne puts a hand on her shoulder.

    Lina's wound is a bit problematic, it's deep. Ciel is taking a while to chant a proper heal.

    -We should have gotten her a hauberk- Hana says.

    -Wouldn't have helped, the blood spike would have flown through the openings of the rings just like it did on your arm- Alissa says, rubbing her arm, looking uncomfortable.

    Alissa comes to me and touches my cheek. Roxanne grabs her hand.

    -Better not, his muscles must be sore and sensitive.

    Alissa looks even more dejected, she sits down and holds her knee staring at me, worry in her eyes.

    Ciel finishes her chant and runs to me. She starts chanting [Purify Body].

    Another minute of that horrible feeling and she finally finishes. My muscles relax and I collapse, I feel exhausted.

    Alissa runs to to me and grabs my body. She lowers me and gives me a lap-pillow.

    Ciel instantly cast [Refresh] and much of the soreness goes away. Putting the spare points in [Light Magic] she can cast this level 25 spell.

    -That took a lot of mana- Ciel says.

    -Bring me the monster- I ask.

    Hana drags it to me and I immediately store it on "Items", can't let that precious blood run away. Alissa chuckles.

    -Greedy little man.

    I pout, feelings hurt.

    Lina walks to me and hugs my arm. I don't feel like pouting anymore.

    -You okay?- I ask.

    -Yes. Only a bit uncomfortable.

    -Cuddle puddle!- Roxanne drops on the ground and hugs me.

    -How romantic...- Ciel rolls her eyes and chuckles.

    The smell of the blood and burnt meat of the monster is still in the air.

    Hana scoops Roxanne and lays down besides me, with Roxanne on top of her.

    Ciel sighs and lays down on my other side. Lina releases my arm and moves over, laying down on my belly.

    I cast [Purify Body] on Lina and Hana.

    -Thank you, Wolfy- Lina says and curls up.

    -Muuch better, that thing feels horrible- Hana says.

    I sigh.

    -Getting myself paralyzed wasn't such a good idea- I say.

    -Eh- Hana shrugs.

    -I'm not that good at improvising.

    -That's why we are here- Alissa says.

    -To clean up your doo-doo's- Roxanne pokes me.

    Alissa plays with my hair and we spend some time like this. Life or death situations are the best for forming bonds.

    When we move it's 6PM.



    That was the last of the tunnels. After another spiral bridge we enter the central island. It's a place with very few monsters so fellowships camp here. Though not many fellowships come here in comparison with the other floors, the Nalusa being one of the reasons why.

    I would rather not camp here, it's always going to be tense meeting other fellowships with the amount of women ours have.

    We move inside the marble ruins and look for a clock tower. It's like the entire town simply petrified into marble. There are carts, people, guards, animals, furniture, everything is made of marble and glued to the ground.

    We find a specific house and enter, the stairs are there.



    We reach the 12th floor.

    This floor is called Faded Glory. There's two huge roots going in a spiral, they are as thick as Rabanara's castle. There are multiple islands stuck on those roots, simple marble bridges connect each island, and Marker Kites show when it's safe to move, multiple are swinging about.

    Around us there's no more blue sky, only a sandstorm a dozen meters away from the roots. The sandstorm is the only source of light, it produces a weak light that flickers, once in a while the sand sparkles.

    Above and below a black mist slowly blocks our view, preventing us from seeing too far up or down.

    Our island is a piece of a town, we find a walled off house and set up inside, ignoring the statues(?) of people, I pull our tent in the backyard.

    The first thing we do is take a bath.

    -Say, Hana, you said you wanted a reward?-I grin.

    I pull out a leather belt. She looks at me with hunger.

    I wrap the belt on her neck. By passing the tip through the buckle the more I pull, the tighter it gets. I put on my "Sex Maniac" build.

    She doesn't even say anything, she just turns around and spreads herself for me, I thrust immediately.

    With both hands I pull the belt in sync with my thrusts. She grabs the belt to give her a little more air but it's not enough, soon enough her strength starts to vanish, eventually she can't hold the belt anymore and lets it go.

    Her back arches and she chokes, trying to breathe. Little by little she loses her strength and her eyes go white. I loosen the belt and she gasps for air.

    When the gasps reduce a little I pull the belt back and resume thrusting.

    I slap her ass, again and again, she cums again and again, every time she cums her legs shake more and more. I feel like I'm riding a bull, I wonder if [Riding] would help here.

    I let her breathe two more times until I push her to the limit. She stops moving and uses all her strength to pull the belt back a little to breathe. As her desperation grows I feel her insides tighten more and more.

    I take my points off and cum inside her then I let the belt go and she collapses, barely any strength to let herself from drowning on the tub. Roxanne pulls her to the edge of the tub where she wheezes and coughs.

    -Don't... Heal me...- She mutters in a rough voice.

    Alissa looks very frisky so I take her next. Slowly from behind I thrust, one hand on the base of her tail, the other arm wrapped around her throat. I choke her lightly and bite her ears, making her squeal.

    She claws on my arm as her desperation grows. I relent and she coughs. Once we continue I hold it in until she's desperately out of air then I cum inside.

    After she regains her breath I keep my tongue inside her mouth during the rest of the bath.



    Hana has been getting better at roasting meat with her fire breath, though I had to heal her throat for this dinner. Aoi is trying to help but her flame is still too unsteady for roasting. We eat some nice Minotaur meat with not-potato and not-onion soup.

    -So, what do you want for your reward?- I ask Lina.

    She makes thinking sounds and fidgets about.

    -I... Don't know...

    -How about a massage?

    Ciel, who was almost falling asleep suddenly opens her eyes.

    -S-say, Wolfy, I'm gonna be on the front line too, d-don't I deserve a reward?- Ciel tries to sound as innocent as possible.

    Alissa mutter something to Roxanne.

    -M-me too! Using spells is tiring, you know! Walking around all day on those boots that you like makes my feet sore, you know- Roxanne says, nodding and grinning.

    -Well, I do like them but you use those high heeled boots because you like them too, I'm not forcing you- I answer.

    -T-that's not... I still walked a lot, and, and-and-and...- She loses her train of thought.

    I smirk.

    -I will do all of you.

    I put 20 points in [Massage], that's the maximum. I start with Aoi and massage her little body, she has a bit of meat to knead and seems to love have her scales pressed, I do it until she sleeps. Then I do Hana so she learns how it's supposed to feel, I mix some kisses and a few licks and get plenty of giggles in return, who knew that even Hana would be ticklish. I do Ciel as Hana copies my every move while doing Roxanne. As her reward I did Lina for twice as long as any.

    Ciel got frisky after all that, she might have a slight foot fetish.



    Today is the 29th.

    Me and Hana gained [Massage] with 1 point. I increased my [Sword Use], [Electric Magic] and [Summoning Magic] by 1 (now 9+8, 11+12), my [Light Magic] and [Mana Control] by 2 (now 6+6 and 0+9).

    Lina is now the same level as me, though she has less experience. I left 5 SP on Lina so she can grow her skills with more ease, like enchanting.
    LinaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Hammer Use6+8Parry2+3Dodge1+3
    Block6Muscle Explosion2+0Shield Bash1+0
    Battlefield Perception2+0Dwarven Pride Style2+0Enhanced Speed2+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control3Mana Efficiency1
    Fire Magic1Earth Magic5+0Light Magic1
    Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1General Enchanting7
    Magic Tool Carving1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    General Blacksmith4Sewing4Housework1
    Cleaning2Washing1Math4
    Riding2Stonebody (innate)3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    With this we remove the Rings of the Servant. After a few more levels I think the girls are going to use it again except me and Lina, we want everyone to be on a similar level. Currently the other girls are suppressing their skills growth so we have some extra skill points to use on what's necessary, like resistances.

    I switch the girls extra points to [Enhanced Speed] except Ciel because [Refresh] is going to be useful here. These enhancements skills aren't passive bonus to our status, they give you "intuition" and muscle memory of how to improve such status, though there might be a slight amount of magic involved into those skills. If I concentrate I can think of ways of moving faster and more efficiently but it takes a mental toll, it's impressive that Hana has so many of these enhancements skills.

    If the last floor was unpopular this one is deserted, it's because there's only a single type of monster here, Symbol of Envy, threat level 6. It is disgusting ball of meat, its eyes secrete a petrifying liquid, and it's black and white tentacles are long and sticky. Thankfully they don't move unless an enemy is found, otherwise we wouldn't be able to casually spend a night on this floor.

    Lina's Trivia: There was once a rich and xenophobic kingdom of chimeras during the Age of Oppression that left others to fend for themselves. The envy the others felt birthed this horrifying monster and eventually the kingdom fell to it, so the legends say. It would hide in their wells, making people unknowingly ingest the secretion and it would spread through the air once the water dried like when used for cooking or washing. Once the contamination reached a critical mass a bit of mana was all it took to start a chain reaction and petrify everyone and everything.

    is it Valuable? Yes. is it worth the risk of getting petrified and dying? No.



    We move out of our camp site and walk towards the edge of our island, there's a bridge that leads us to an island embedded into the roots. The Marker Kite shows only a slight turbulence.

    -Can you do this?- I ask Lina.

    She fidgets and I grab her hand. She slowly calms down and breathes deeply.

    -Yes- She says, resolute.

    As we pass the bridge Aoi flaps her wings and closes her eyes, feeling the wind.

    -Please don't even think about trying to fly here- I tell her.

    -Kweh!- She chirps as if she's offended.

    -Just making sure- I shrug.

    We move into the new island, a few pink willows and a lake cut in half. The water flows down into the nothingness but the level of the lake's water does not change.

    We reach the root and see a staircase carved into it. It leads us to top of the root. It's windy so I summon a nature elemental.

    The nature elemental turns it's arms into vines and we tie the vines to our belts. Tied to one arm is Hana, Roxanne and Ciel with Aoi on her shoulders and on the other is me, Lina and Alissa.

    It's a long climb until the next island. The wind starts to change and I wonder if this path was a good idea.

    -Oh no- Alissa mutters- IT'S COMING, IT'S ROLLING DOWN!

    Alissa points forward, there's a small ball on the distance rolling down the root. Ah shit, terrible place.

    -PUSH IT OVER THE EDGE. WAIT FOR MY SIGNAL- I yell.

    I summon a wind elemental.

    Hana moves to the front and readies her shield. We huddle up behind the nature elemental.

    The ball rolls rapidly. It's 2 meters tall, full of disgusting tentacles covering half of the surface, and small eyes covering the rest. There's a mouth somewhere but that's not important.

    I wait until it's around 50 meters from us.

    -Elemental... Now!

    The wind elemental swipes her hand sideways with great strength and a strong gust of wind hits the rolling ball. It flies sideways and rolls off the root. Mid-air a black tentacle shoots towards the root and gets stuck to it.

    -NOW!- I yell.

    -[Wind Hammer]!

    -[Torrent]!

    I cast [Earth Bullet].

    An arrow flies into the tentacle that grabbed the root. The tentacle releases the root and it flies away towards the nothingness with great speed.

    -Alright, move forward quickly!- I order.

    -Is the fall not gonna kill it?- Asks Hana.

    -The book tells to never underestimate it, that ball of horrors is tenacious- I answer.

    -It was like a horror story- Alissa says.

    -O-ok, let's go then- Ciel looks backwards repeatedly in worry.

    We quickly jog upwards. Ciel and Alissa keep glancing backwards every once in a while.

    -Kweh!- Aoi yells.

    I follow her gaze. There's a second root that twists around the one we are at. Over at the distance there's a ball that's shooting tentacles and using its momentum to swing forward very fast. It's coming at us.

    -Well, I'll be damned- Hana says.

    We run with a spring on our step. Nothing like being chased to give you renewed vigor and a horrible chill on your back that only gets stronger.

    The monster gets closer. The root it is on will pass right on top of us, at this speed it will intercept us.

    -Elemental, again!

    It swipes and the monster gets hit with another strong gust of wind. It swings towards the root and it disappears behind it. I bought us a few seconds.

    We pass by the root above us and I hear a disgusting sound of meaty flesh.

    -Above!- Alissa yells.

    The ball swung behind the root and now it's coming down directly on top of us. I cast [Earth Bullet] on it and it stops in the middle of the air. An arrow flies and pierces an eye.

    -Niroahoaho!- It screeches in a distorted voice.

    We keep running and the sound of wet, meaty flesh reaches our ears right behind us. Ciel cuts the tentacle that grabbed the root. Aoi throws a fireball and Hana fires her breath.

    "FOOOM!" The air behind us turns into flames.

    -NIOOROROROAHO!- The distorted screeching gets louder.

    We see the ball flying back, a tentacle grabbing further away from us. Multiple tentacles got charred but the monster has fast regeneration, it's a complete cheat, not that I'm not a cheater too.

    We are reaching the end of this root, it turns upwards suddenly but there's a small arch and stairs carved inside the root.

    We hear another wet, meaty sound and I look back, nearly at our side the slightly charred monster is flying towards us at frightening speed.

    A huge [Ice Lance] pierces it and it flies back from where it came from.

    -NIROOONIO!

    It swings around and in a few seconds it's on the other side of the root. We reach the entrance and move up the stairs. The entrance gets covered by the monster and a long white tentacle waves upwards towards us.

    Alissa dodges the tentacle and it gets stuck on Lina's shield. With a single motion and the help of [Telekinesis] I draw my sword and cut the tentacle.

    -NAAAARIAAAA!- The monster screeches in anger.

    Roxanne hurriedly pulls a potion and splashes it on Lina's shield, the tentacle stuck on it fizzles and melts, the petrification that was starting to appear stops and slowly recedes.

    -Don't stop!- Hana yells to us.

    We quickly move upwards and get ouf of reach.



    The stairs go up for a long time, the small mana crystals giving just about enough light that we don't trip during our run. Suddenly the stairs turn into marble.

    Our stairs end into a castle room. We push a very small door and we are into a hall, this was a secret exit, camouflaged into the wall.

    This castle is filled with statues(?) of chimeras. Most have legs of bulls, chest of humans, arms of lion-type beastfolk, wings of dragonkin, heads of dog-type wereanimals, and tail of a succubus. Chimeras have many variations but this is the most common among soldiers. Their armor is light, delicate scale. They carry spears, short swords, and bows.

    We go upwards, towards the highest tower. Hopefully the Symbol of Envy won't catch up, they have more trouble moving upwards than downwards.

    The guard-like chimeras change into softer, smaller and well-endowed women chimeras wearing very light and risque clothing. If I were to guess it was once semi-transparent.

    -The chimeras are very good painters, too bad we can't see anything now that it is petrified- Alissa comments.

    -True, it almost seems like there's no decoration at all- Ciel says.

    With a bit of difficulty we navigate the confusing castle and reach the correct tower. When you can fly everywhere it seems that walking distance is not of much concern to the castle engineers.

    After another long climb we reach the top. I switch my points so me and Ciel can cast [Refresh] on everybody and regain some lost stamina. The spell doesn't produce energy, it only speeds up the replenishment so we have to take a quick break to eat some snacks.

    The room at the top is rather fascinating, it's full of trinkets, gadgets, multiple telescopes, and books. Though I can't read any I see the name of a few have the titles written in relief on the book. With a little bit of luck messing with the skill system, I learn that the language of the chimeras is called "Reo".

    With a bit of pain in my heart we leave the room, on the only window of the room there's a bridge connecting to another staircase inside the root.

    Alissa looks down for a few seconds and squints her eyes.

    -It's still chasing us and it's almost completely regenerated, it seems.

    We start running again, the spring on our step comes back.



    This time the stairs are short, we come up on the plaza of a town. A quick look into the map and the compass and we find the way to the bridge we need.

    Alissa stops us all.

    -There's one right where we are supposed to go.

    -Go around then?

    -Yes, but we have to be quiet.

    We all look at Hana.

    -You better just put some points in [Quiet Steps]- She says scratching her cheek.

    Even [Quiet Steps] is not enough to completely silence Hana's stomps.

    We take a turn and move two blocks down, then we turn back to the direction we should be going. We move more blocks forward but we hit the town wall.The exit is a block to the side, we might be exposed to the monster if we leave this way.

    -Can you cast [Ignorance] on all of us?- Ciel asks.

    -No, too much mana and I don't have all my mana due to the elementals.

    Alissa's ears twitch.

    -Oh no- I say.

    -Oh yes- She smiles wryly- It's coming directly towards us.

    -Run.

    We run from behind our cover and dash towards the gate. Outside is a brick road into thick woods.

    We reach the woods.

    -Faster! They are both coming!- Alissa yells.

    -I can't!- Lina yells back.

    Her small legs are taking its toll. I slow down and move besides her. With a yank I grab her by her armpits.

    -Put your weapons away!

    She stores them inside her [Item Box], she's much lighter now. With this I can carry her like a princess.

    We are reaching the bridge. The Marker Kite is flapping wildly, fortunately the wind elemental helps protect us.

    -Hanaa...!- Roxanne complains.

    Roxanne stores her staff in her [Item Box] and Hana puts her weapons away. Hana slows and sweeps Roxanne off the floor.

    I put all my strength in running. The sounds of wet, meaty flesh get louder.

    -Elemental, now!- Roxanne orders.

    A gust of wind flies by us. Roxanne chants hurriedly.

    -[Torrent]!

    The sounds of chase wind down.

    -Nature elemental, after this bridge you stay and hold them down!- Roxanne orders again.

    The sounds of the chasers increase again, I glance back and see both of them swinging upwards from below the bridge. I throw an [Earth Bullet].

    -[Wind... Hammer]!- Ciel manages to cast something while breathing heavily.

    The nature elemental unwraps from us and stays behind. I feel it immediately getting hurt by monsters.

    This new island is a cave, it's too large, it won't stop the monsters.

    We run uphill, pebbles roll down all the time and it's hard to keep your footing. My legs ache but I trained for this, all that strength training wasn't for nothing, I can hold on much longer.

    The nature elemental dies.

    The stalagmites and stalactites increase in number and size. I get an idea.

    -Roxanne...! Explode... The stalactites!

    -The what?

    -Pointy things... On the ceiling!

    -Oh, right. Hold on to your butts! This will make a mess!

    I feel mana gathering, a lot of mana. The fleshy sounds are increasing rapidly.

    -Wind elemental... Hold them!- Ciel orders.

    The wind elemental explodes in a storm of wind. The fleshy sounds decrease.

    They quickly increase again. I see a dark shadow coming.

    -[EXPLOSION]!

    The blast was too close, I fall down and twist my body not to fall on top of Lina. My vision gets covered by dust and steam.

    I hear the sounds of flesh hitting stone but they are muffled.

    -The rubble is going to disappear soon, keep moving!- Roxanne orders.

    We don't have time to catch our breath, we run again.

    The sounds of flesh die down and only our echoing footsteps and quickened breaths remain.

    The cave finally opens up into another small wonder. A mana crystal cave. Twinkling lights, rotating shadows, rainbows of colors, small sounds of cracking and tinkles, all this creates a slightly psychedelic show. Most crystals are transparent, only a small number has other colors besides green. The green crystals have waving forms with multiple curls and turbulent points, they grow in many directions but mostly upwards.

    Lina's Trivia: Mana crystals are solidified mana that grows in mana-heavy places, mostly places where there's danger of a mana storm appearing. They can acquire an "affinity" to a magic type, we say that this crystal has "attuned". While most crystals naturally attune to the most prominent element of the environment they can also attune to any magic school, including spells or magic types not covered by the skill system. Attuned Mana crystals gather environment mana and turn it into the mana of its affinity, aiding in casting any spell related to that affinity.

    Unfortunately these crystals are all part of the dungeon, if we break them they simply disappear, but their effects are very real. This place would make a very good place to practice [Wind Magic]. Ciel looks around with a pained expression.

    -If only we weren't being chased- She mutters, which echoes on the cavern.

    We let Roxanne and Lina down. At the center of the crystal room there's our stairs.



    We reach the 13th floor.

    I drop down on all fours to catch my breath.
     
  8. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    We finally get to our destination, the Root of the Abyssal Forest.

    Purple grass, brown dirt, black leaves, brown bark with blotches of ominous white and green. Simple, small, and weak trees that look like birches fill this forest. Huge mushrooms glow a light blue and bring a little light to this darkness. Plenty of red and yellow fireflies buzzing around. Frogs croak on a lake near us. A faint weird smell on the air makes me think of "death".

    The sky is filled with galaxies and nebulas, none are familiar to me. The ground is completely broken and full of holes, we can see the abyss through them just like the chimera sky lands. This place is a mishmash of sky lands clumped together.

    On the distance huge roots with the same ominous blotches can be seen clumping up and moving upwards until they disappear on a black mist.

    The next levels are called Trunk of the Abyssal Forest and Crown of the Abyssal Forest. Hopefully we will never go to these floors, the crown, more specifically.

    Ciel flops down on the grass and laughs.

    -That was horrible- She says with a smile.

    I raise one of my eyebrows at her.

    -Yes, nothing like running for our lives in the morning, a rather pleasant and fun experience- I say.

    -I know you are being sarcastic but I do enjoy things like these, it's why I was born- Hana says with a satisfied grin on her face.

    -Don't complain, Wolfy, you chose both of them, it was pretty obvious how they would turn out to be- Alissa says, flopping down besides me.

    -Ei, you are the one who recommended them to me- I say.

    She smirks.

    -Anyway, we weren't really in that much danger, you can always use [Gate] to send us to a safe place- Ciel adds.

    -I know you enjoyed it too, Wolfy- Roxanne grins.

    -No, I did not.

    -I know you enjoyed carrying Lina- She continues.

    -Yes, that I did- I smile.

    Lina smiles shyly.

    -I... Enjoyed that too, even the running- She says.

    -Even you!

    It's almost mid-day but these floors are shrouded in an eternal night. After resting and cleaning our sweat we have a quick lunch.



    I put an extra point into [Blessing Magic], with this we can use [Rainbow Shield], we will need it here. With this spell on every once in a while a small rainbow forms near us. I split the girls extra points between [Mental Resistance] and [Pain Resistance], thought it's not much it will help a bit.

    I summon a spirit elemental and a light elemental. The spirit elemental is going to circle around us as early warning, unfortunately Alissa's [Sense Presence] is useless on this floor.

    -Ah, the nostalgic and also horrible feeling of not knowing when the enemy will attack- Hana says.

    -We got too used to Alissa's [Sense Presence]. It really is too convenient- Ciel says, twitching and looking around.

    -Some things we only appreciate when we lose them- I say, giving a kiss to Alissa's hand.

    -My ears and nose still work, you know.

    -That...- I try to speak but I actually forgot she has better senses than us, I also relied too much on her [Sense Presence].

    We walk surrounding Roxanne, Alissa, and the light elemental. Aoi decided to ride the light elemental, apparently her hair is very, very soft.

    Roxanne is a bit happy and anxious, there's a monster here who has very valuable materials for her potions.

    We move closer to the gigantic roots while being vaguely aware of our position on the map, the terrain is far too complicated. We all tie ropes to each other, better be safe than sorry when someone falls into the abyss.

    The spirit elemental picks up something.

    -Stop- I whisper.

    I point to the direction where the signal came from. We all huddle up and look out for every direction, the signal is a trap, the attack will most likely come from the opposite direction.

    Out of a bush a shadow slides out into the grass, Symbol of Darkness, a threat level 6 monster, but only if you are caught by surprise. I cast [Spirit Light] and throw it into the shadow, it slows down and I see it tremble.

    Ethereal tendrils shoot out of the shadow and hit my arms. Horrible pain but it's much less than the dark bullet from the Shadow Satyrs. Lina whimpers, she must be fighting another.

    I charge forward and pierce my sword into the shadow, it enters deeply into the ground. The shadow grows out of the ground and tries to engulf me, I immediately dodge back and leave my sword there, the shadow is stuck.

    I draw my dagger and wait. An arrow pierces it and tendrils shoot upwards, trembling.

    Lina is fighting one alongside Ciel. They are pounding and slashing it, I feel they are in quite a bit of pain. Hana is just starting to fight hers, Alissa pinned it with an arrow. Roxanne is casting a long spell, she won't be much help, these monsters are resistant to magic.

    The tendrils of my monster stop trembling and they shoot out towards me, I dodge but one hits my head.

    I see Alissa sprawled on the ground, tears running down her cheek, her hand clawing on her face as she goes insane. She's dying, the monster is eating her mind. A filthy man approaches her, he pulls down her pants...

    FUCK YOU!

    I dash forward and stab my dagger on the shadow repeatedly. Tendrils hit my chest and make me stop breathing. I win the endurance battle and the monster tries to retreat from me, it can't run further than where my sword is.

    I move back and catch my breath.

    -[Firestorm]!

    Roxanne casts a very contained firestorm somewhere, it burns specifically where the monster is. I can't hear shrieks but I can "feel" them, a horrible pain and darkness over my heart.

    The light elemental hugs me and the pain goes away, I melt on her arms and nearly fall asleep. The sound of a fireball hitting the grass and exploding gets me back on the fight. When I got out of the way Aoi fired a few towards my monster.

    Lina recovers her breath and moves to my side.

    -You okay?- She asks.

    -Now I am- I answer and break the elemental's hug, she really is soft.

    We dash towards the shadow and repeatedly pound it down, slowly breaking apart its existence. The closer the light elemental gets the more it trembles, it desperately tries to pull out my sword from the ground but it has little physical strength.

    It tries to send tendrils towards us but it misses our heads this time. I intensify my stabbing and a tendril hits my heart, I immediately feel cold and sluggish, I almost pass out. The light elemental touches my shoulder and I feel two opposite forces battling inside of me, it's not pleasant.

    Lina increases her speed seeing my suffering and the ground gets littered with small craters. The shadow loses power and the elemental wins the battle for my heart.

    The tendrils disappear and the shadow "cracks", light escaping from those cracks. With the sound of shattering glass the monster breaks apart repeatedly until it turns into dust and that dust turns into nothing.

    -[Firestorm]!

    Roxanne casts another small storm. I look in time to see a weakened Symbol of Darkness, filled with arrows, crack and disappear amid the fire.

    Mentally tired we all huddle up around the light elemental. She starts to dance and twirl, we just stare at her absentmindedly, slowly it heals our hearts.

    -Did anyone get hit in the head?- Hana asks.

    -I did- I answer.

    -Did you get a nightmare too?

    -Worse than a nightmare it was an illusion, for me it was real, it feels like a memory instead of feeling like a dream.

    -Even with our resistances it's still like this- She frowns.

    -This is why everyone hates these levels.

    -Yeah, but I can see it's worth it, though I didn't get hit in the head. [Summon Monster] really is powerful- Ciel says.

    -It will help a lot against Darean- Alissa says.

    -We need trinkets like mine, they help a lot with things like these- Roxanne says, showing us her amulet.

    It's a simple metal necklace with a medal in the shape of a closed fist, unremarkable.

    I grab Alissa's hand and kiss it, the dance of the elemental makes us temporarily forget the oppressive forest we are in.



    We move on and now I summon another spirit elemental, this one will patrol the top of the trees, we are looking for a Beholder, threat level 5. This monster lives mostly near the huge roots we are going towards. It's a small black eye with bat wings, two skinny legs with claws and a small mouth with very sharp teeth. It's even more difficult to find than the Symbol of Darkness, it's very small and it even casts a spell similar to [Ignorance] on itself. The danger is the poison, its extremely effective but very slow acting, you just need a tickle from the monster to get poisoned.

    There are small groups of Eldritch Horrors, little balls of purple flesh that move similarly to the Symbol of Envy. They move rather slowly and their blood is acidic so we just use them as target practice. These are the monsters Roxanne wants. She prances towards every corpse to analyze it and prod it, then makes me carry them all. She wants even the proof of extermination, the single purple eye they have.

    We reach the roots and start looking for the stairs, too much of a mess here, the map is useless. The roots smell of mold and the air is stale, this place just keeps getting worse.

    Ciel stops us and looks at Alissa.

    -You got poisoned.

    Roxanne pulls out a small flask and gives her to drink.

    -Damn, to sneak up on Alissa the little shits must be good- Hana says.

    -Exactly, it's why we are here, they are too good- I say- One must be stalking us, we stay here I will try to use my [Redirect Mana] to look for its trail. Spirit elementals, sweep the area.

    I sit down and the girls surround me. I kill my senses and focus on identifying the sources of mana floating around here. Every stream of mana I sense sends me shivers down my spine and makes my heart hurt, they all seem to be coming from the roots and going upwards.

    Time passes and I finally get a trickle of something foul, it makes me feel twitchy and anxious. I open my eyes and let my instincts take over, I point towards a root on top of us and cast [Lighting Bolt].

    -IIIIIIIIIIH!- A high pitched scream fills our heads as a black ball falls down in the middle of us.

    An arrow immediately pierces it and it's followed by a spear. It struggles for a moment and dies.

    -That took a while- Ciel breathes in relief.

    -How long was I out?- I ask.

    -About half an hour, I think.

    I have to work on my sense of time while meditating.

    -Now let's get the hell out of here.

    We hurry along the roots until we find the blessed stairs.



    The damp air, the smell of moss and nature, the feeling of the normal ground, the familiar trees, the pitch black darnkess. Finally we are out of the dungeon and into The Smirk.

    We all groan, the atmosphere of that floor was really oppressive, except for Roxanne, she loved those Eldritch Horrors.

    I look around, we are not anywhere near close the door to the dungeon.

    -Someone is entering the dungeon- Alissa says, squinting her eyes at the direction where I believe the doors is.

    -Some dungeons are dangerous because they teleport you right outside the entrance, perfect place for an ambush- Roxanne says, a little pain in her eyes.

    Hana consoles her and we leave the forest. We use our dinghy and we reach home well into the night.



    Today is the 30th.

    Alissa is the one who eagerly wakes me. Ciel ends up cuddling with Lina and they are both still sleeping. I gotta convince Ciel to sleep naked, she's the only one who sleeps in her underwear. All I want is to wake up one day with my morning wood buried into her ass.

    -How are you always awake before me?

    She smiles and swallows.

    -Your breathing gets faster before you awake. I wake Hana and Roxanne when it's time.

    -And you are that sensitive to my sleeping patterns?

    -Yes, I can tell when you are having a bad dream. I was trained to have light sleep in case I needed to protect my master.

    There are some things I just don't know how to react to.

    Good thing is that yesterday made me grow quite a bit. I increased my "Strength", "Endurance", "Speed", [Blessing Magic] and [Summoning Magic] by 1 (now 11, 12, 12, 0+15 and 7+13).

    Alissa and Roxanne leveled up. Alissa increased her [Bow Use] by 1 (now 26) and gained [Enhanced Stamina] with 1 point. She now has 10 skill points left.

    Roxanne increased her [Potion Brewing], [Fire Magic] and her "Endurance" by 1 (now 11, 23 and 9) and her [Poison Brewing] by 2 (now 4). She has 8 skill points left.

    Hana should be the next one to level up.



    With Roxanne and Ciel's success at chantless casting I believe it's time for everyone to learn a few spells, a single [Earth Bullet] is powerful when used chantless, doing it point blank to someone can send even a dragonkin flying, like I did. I put [Inspire Growth] on Ciel and Roxanne and [Increased Growth] on the other girls, hopefully it's enough to brute-force some skill learning without having to delve too much into the theory.

    When the spirit griffin appeared Aoi apparently got fired up and started to push her flame breath and fire balls to the limit.

    I put their extra points into [Earth Magic], except for Alissa, who wants to learn [Illusion Magic], she read the book a few times and wants to try it so I give her a single point in it. The first spell of [Illusion Magic] is [Ghost Lights], it's used to distract an enemy when it looks at you, perfect if you want to make someone incapable of dodging your arrows even if they are looking right at you. [Ghost Lights] is easy to cast but it requires good control, if you screw up your allies will be affected by it.

    Leaving them to their training I focus on my training for [Summoning Magic]. Increasing that summoning to level 30 takes too many points, I'm going to put Nononya's notes to use and try to level this skill asap.

    I summon 3 Symbols of Darkness and 1 Beholder, slowly of course, no need to overuse mana already. The Symbols of Darkness will now be called "Shad", Shad 1 will stay with me, Shad 2 will stay with Roxanne, Shad 3 with Lina. These monsters can easily hide in our own shadows and they will stay as a countermeasure against assassination. Unfortunately I can't summon one for everyone so this is one of the reasons why I have to train.

    The Beholder will now be called "Holly". It will stay mostly on top of our house as a sentry and will follow whoever leaves the house. This one can easily hide among people but it's risky, the [Ignorance] spell isn't perfect and it would cause an uproar if a monster was found inside the town, so it will remain far away from groups of peoples. If it's revealed that I can summon monsters then it might attract too much attention, more than the annoying amount I already have.

    With these monsters and the 2 clay golems all summoned at the same time my mana drops to 1/6th. It's quite massive but this is only for training. I try to keep the maximum amount of senses on but at 4 it's straining me, 5 makes my head hurt.

    The Shad's don't see like we do, they have a sort of "mana infrared", they see mana in the air directly but their vision isn't that great for much else, they don't serve as scouts unless you are hunting a mage. Interestingly they can't detect each other unless they are really close.

    Holly has dark vision (can see in absolute darkness) and hawk eyes, so she's(?) the perfect choice for scouting. Holly's poison doesn't work too well yet, it has a very delicate mana signature so I can't recreate it even with level 30 [Summoning Magic].

    I have one of the clay golems stare at Nononya's notes while I try to meditate and practice [Earth Bullet], even though I have very little mana. Basically multi-tasking. I level [Nature Magic] to 30 so I can use [Manasynthesis], with this I can recharge mana even faster just by staying in the sun.

    I can meditate with my summons out and my sense of time doesn't get too disrupted. But it feels weird, like I'm looking through a movie. If only I could talk to them telepathically I could seriously multi-task.



    Time for lunch comes and after that we all leave to the hunters guild to sell our stuff. We are going shopping after this.

    At the guild I get the stares like usual, I have a tendency of being dramatic and call my women goddesses but they are not that eye-catching, at least not without their dresses. It's just that the male:female ratio of our party attracts attention, specially when I'm not a charismatic 2-meters tall hunk.

    I see a request to investigate the Spriggans at the Spiral Springs, it claims that they suddenly started wearing ropes with weird patterns on them. I just move away from that board.

    Then I overhear a conversation about hunters complaining that they don't cut down the Sea of Trees anymore so the monsters use it as breeding grounds. This means that whatever is protecting the Sea of Trees likely made a deal with Rabanara, now what could a magical being offer a Lord that's worth so much?

    When I turn around after having my fill of the conversation I see a bear like man staring at me. His eyes are bloodshot and he clearly looks drunk, I think he's the leader of Escutcheon. He doesn't look like he has been having good days, I hurry Roxanne to the dismantling area and the others to leave the guild and wait outside. I should have brought Alissa, the loss of her blessing is stressing.

    -Mr. Ryder! Good to see you, how was your hunt?- Gordon asks with arms open wide, a bloody grin, and the usual shining bald head.

    -Wonderful, you might want to get Sonny here and it's not just because I want to tease him.

    Gordon chuckles while I pull out a male minotaur, the Kite Dragon, the 3 Shadow Satyrs, a pile of scrap metal from the Living Armors, and the Beholder. Gordon smile twitches in surprise but he tells his assistant to get Sonny. Gordon seems to be unable to decide where to start, his eyes dart between the Kite Dragon, the satyrs, and the Beholder.

    -S-so many rare monsters... Such "luck"- He sniggers.

    I sit down on Roxanne's lap and she runs her fingers through my hair.

    Sonny comes and his body jerks twice, once to look at Roxanne and again to continue marching forward, pretending that didn't happen.

    -Most scales are good, even the skull, it could be made into some wonderful plating. The satyrs are in good condition, somewhere there's a filthy potion maker that will be delightful in having their brains, eyes, and hearts. The Beholder has a considerable amount of poison on it's claws and it's poison gland isn't ruptured, the damage to the eye is regrettable but there's no other way to kill them- Sonny reads his report.

    He gives us 70 gold for it all. Ah, money, money, money, money. One day I want to kill the Symbol of Envy, I might get a rose coin for it, so juicy.

    Roxanne takes the gold from Sonny, she deliberately touches his wand and gives him a wink. He jumps in surprise and tries to keep his body upright.

    - Any, uh, if-if that's all I will come to, no, be leaving to my, my, room?- He questions his own words.

    -That's all, I will see you someday, Mr. Sonny- Roxanne says with a small bow.

    -Yes, uh, bye.

    He awkwardly leaves. I wonder how old he is, he seems to be nearly 20.

    -Boy, come more often, even if just for teasing him.

    -If I do you will eventually stop being surprised at my visits- I say smugly.

    -It better be this way, if not you will get in your head to fight that Symbol of Envy someday.

    Mind reader. I smile awkwardly.

    -See?- He gives me an exaggerated disapproving look.

    Roxanne chuckles.

    -My greedy little man- She hugs me tighter.

    I cough.

    -Say, I saw the leader of Escutcheon, I forgot his name-...

    -Logan.

    -Yeah, that one. He's looking pretty, uh, pretty bad, out of shape, you know? Anything happen to him?

    -You would know- He gives me a smug smirk- After the he met that ancient dragon he started drinking a lot. People heard him muttering things like "coward" and "abandoned". They say he was chasing that woman that died with you. His fellowship is taking an extended break, if they haven't disbanded already, so nobody is around to confirm these things.

    I raise an eyebrow.

    -Didn't know you were such a fan of gossiping- I make my tone as disapproving as I can.

    -Hey! I'm here all day waiting for monsters, what do you think I do to pass time? It's not like I enjoy it or anything...- Gordon looks away embarrassed.

    I just smirk and he shakes his head, he realizes he fell for my teasing.



    We leave the guild and go buy more armor. Everyone gets a proper padded barbute this time, Roxanne and Alissa get a comfortable high-quality padded coif. All the girls will now have to properly tie their hairs before using the helmets. We shouldn't skimp on protection, we have been avoiding monsters with projectiles but it won't always be like this.

    Roxanne looks at herself in the mirror.

    -I look so...

    -Protected- Ciel completes.

    -Safe- I add.

    -Unfashionable- Roxanne frowns.

    -There, there, nobody will notice- Hana consoles her and rubs her back.

    -But I want them to notice.

    -You only need to make us two notice and we notice you, all day, every day- I say.

    Hana nods in agreement. Roxanne her lips curve upwards a little and she shakes her head in defeat. At least she can still use her hat over her coif.

    Now everybody has scale armor, we also add fur padding to help with blunt attacks. It might get hot but Lina is going to focus on a temperature regulation enchantment next.

    There isn't much cloth armor here. Space in the Shore of Leaves comes at a premium, there's not enough space for livestock. People prefer to use the abundant monster fur and leather than waste the precious wool in disposable armor, wool is also a bit weaker than some of the fur of monsters. Even the everyday clothes made of wool are made with economy of materials in mind. Rabanara seems to import most of its clothes instead of making them here.

    We are now low on money. No more extravagant dinners, theaters or expensive food until the next break from my classes.

    We spent the afternoon shopping so after dinner I spend my time trying to talk to Ciel without the skill system. I talk like a toddler. Surprisingly I can't chant magic in English, it just does not work.



    Today is the 1st of the 8th month, the month of Love. Ciel told me this month the brothels are all cheaper, it's also the month most people marry or decide to have children.

    Roxanne wakes me up, she's starting to pick up a style, though it's still difficult to discern it I feel a bit of mischievousness with the rhythm she takes.

    I increased my "Willpower", [Nature Magic], [Earth Magic] and [Andraste Language] by 1 (now 16, 16+14, 0+3 and 7+3), [Summoning Magic] by 2 (now 15+15), my MP by 20 (now 690) and my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 265).

    The girls only grew a bit of MP, Roxanne and Ciel are likely to acquire [Redirect Mana] in a few days.



    I have been wondering how I am going to "unlock" level 40 spells. First time was when I prayed and increased "Piety" to 10, second time was after I got "Wisdom" to level 16 so maybe it's related to stats? What do some of these stats do anyway.

    -Roxanne, what are the effects of "Intelligence" and "Wisdom"?- I ask.

    I know that "Willpower" helps with mana control or with modifying spells. "Endurance" is about stamina and having your body resist shutting down. "Dexterity" is minute control over your muscles. "Charisma" has some sort of mental effect on others that can be dampened with [Mental Resistance].

    -"Intelligence" is your ability to learn new things, they help with skill growth, yours is quite high, even for a scholar. "Wisdom" helps with improvement and efficiency, it helps you apply better what you know- She answers.

    What does "Piety" and "Wisdom" have to do with not being able to use higher level spells? Is it a glitch of the system? Meaning that since I'm abusing something that shouldn't work this way it simply does not allow me to cast these spells but a normal person would achieve the requirements before being able to cast the spell? Or is it some arbitrary restriction that the "God" that brought me here created just so I couldn't easily use the highest spell possible?

    Now that I think about it, why do we automatically learn spells as soon as we level? Is there some reason why people wouldn't learn it?

    -Roxanne, did you ever hear about someone that has the level to cast a spell but can't for some reason?

    She taps her chin with the tip of her finger and thinks deeply.

    -Nope!- She gives me an innocent smile- You thinking about "unlocking" your level 40 spells?

    -Yeah, level 40 has some very interesting spells. Anyway, Why do we automatically learn spells as soon as we level?

    -Spells are just muscle memory for mana, once you reach a certain level you should have enough knowledge so that you can stabilize your mana and cast the spell properly.

    -If I try to learn a spell with a very high level, is there some danger?

    -Shouldn't be, it should only waste mana if you are using System Magic.

    Lina's Trivia: System Magic are the simplest and more well develop magic schools, Rabanara only teaches System Magic. The other magic schools are much more complicated and dangerous. Not many people practice these schools outside of the race that created them.

    -Hmm... So the other magic schools aren't safe?

    -Yes, they could have some nasty side effects from malformed spells.

    -Why is System Magic safe?

    -Skills are based on the collective knowledge of all humanoids that have ever lived. System Magic schools have explored very well how to create a spell and how not to create a spell, they know exactly how to manipulate mana safely. So what the skill system passes to us the most popular spell, which is the version that is the safest and easiest to control. Without the system we have to manipulate mana in a "raw" state, which is very dangerous.

    -Then perhaps if the system gives you spell "muscle memory" and I don't have the "muscles" to cast this spell then it won't give me the spell?

    -That sounds... Plausible.

    -But how do I gain this missing "muscle"?

    Roxanne shrugs.

    -It took us a long time until we learned how to scratch that "itch" you told us to cast spells chantless. When we did it's like a new world of magic opened to us, perhaps it's something similar, you are lacking some sort of "perspective" about the world- Ciel joins in.

    I got access to level 20 and 25 spells when I decided to pray to the gods before the goblins village extermination, it's when I decided to "trust" the Gods. I got access to level 30 spells when I had a better perspective on the differences of monsters and humanoids. Maybe the "Wisdom" and "Piety" increase was just a coincidence, it's not the stats it's the knowledge about the world. Magic is very dependent on our knowledge and visualization of the world.

    -I know I have tons of technical knowledge of physics so this is helping me level spells fast but I don't have in-depth knowledge of mana and magic, if I focus on these two then perhaps I could get a new "perspective"?

    -Perhaps- Ciel says.

    Roxanne nods in agreement.

    I have created skills, but maybe if I create a Unique Spell I would understand mana better. But then again, Unique Spells require me to manipulate raw mana, which is known to be dangerous...

    Nothing else will come of thinking about this "perspective" for now so I go back to my training. The girls spend the morning training the same way. This time I search Nononya's notes for the anatomy of more magical beasts, most of the ones she investigated are simple animals, what I need is to understand better how elementals work.

    The nature spirit griffin brings the spirit cat with an oversized head again. Both play tag and frolic at the grass. Aoi kept glancing at them but she focused on training her fire breath. I did notice a small growth on its size.



    Hana's [Earth Bullet] is pitiful, she never had much talent in magic but I pray that she gets help from the Gods, just a little more power and it could be a trump card for her.

    Back to the elementals, it seems their body operates a kind of inverted [Manasynthesis], they let mana course through their body and converts that mana into energy for the cells when necessary. This removes the need for veins and allows for the body to be easily reformed.

    Elementals do not have organs except for a source of mana, they move entirely by some sort of [Telekinesis] their cells are capable of using. Their cells are like spirits, held together by a thin layer of mana, which is why they are so vulnerable to emellanat, it easily cuts down their mana cells.

    So this is why even summons that are non-corporeal require a lot of mana to be summoned, their cell "spirits" require to be built and maintained. The mana cost covers the conjuration of the materials to build the body of the elemental while the maximum MP reduction is caused by a small part of the "mana source" or "mana organ" on the summoner to be transplanted to the summon, giving it life.

    This "mana organ" is where we store mana and how we gather mana from the environment. It's said to be part of our soul, but this mana source is not the only thing that gets taken, a small part of the soul goes with it and it's used as a base to give the summons its simple soul.

    The nature elemental's body is the most interesting, it's plant-like cells allow it to unglue from each other and then re glue themselves in basically any way it wants to with extreme ease. It can also use [Grow] on itself to quickly increase the size of its vines.

    Lina kept her back always touching mine as she felt my [Earth Bullet] and tried to copy it.



    Lunch comes and the time to talk to Vanea draws near.

    -So, the time to speak to Vanea is coming. Anyone has any objection?- I ask.

    We already talked a lot about it, we won't ask for help, we will carefully bargain with her. She doesn't have many allies, the information we have is very valuable to her, she needs us more than we need her.

    I don't hear any objection but Hana looks pained. I go to her side.

    -If you don't mind can you tell us, or at least me and Roxanne, what happened to you and your family? It would help in understanding your pain- I whisper.

    She breathes deeply.

    -It's fine, I guess it's better that everyone knows more about me- She answers.

    -It's not much, really. My family used to transport alchemy and potion materials from Sommerland to Ryutake, I was in charge of protecting our wagons. For most of the time nothing happened but about a year before everything fell apart the attacks intensified. Filthy bandits throwing their lives away to our swords, coordinated attacks uncharacteristic of the region, something was wrong. Our stores were being sabotaged and we started to lose merchandise and customers, people were ending contracts with us and little by little we were being driven out.

    -Dad kept firm, instead of fleeing he made us work harder until we could move no longer, we held on for a few more months but it was useless in the end. Father lost all the money but refused to back down, he started smuggling, he avoided taxes and transported some dangerous things, I don't even know what, I wanted as much distance from that as I could.

    -Smuggling didn't last long, an investigator from the empire suddenly appeared and knew exactly where to look. Someone betrayed us, don't know who, the bunch of mercenaries we employed have no real loyalty. I don't know what happened to them but dad was supposed to be locked away for a long time, but he was always frail...- She looks even more pained.

    Both me and Roxanne squeeze her hand and kiss it at the same time. Hana smiles faintly and shakes her head.

    -Mother is certainly on a prison somewhere, she would never sell herself after meeting dad. I have a brother and a sister too, they weren't trained enough to be worthy of being a Blood Slave like me, there's a chance they were sent to a noble as a servant slave but I don't know. The Judge made sure we were all separated and couldn't reunite easily. I chose slavery because there was a chance I would be sent to a lazy noble who only wanted a pet.

    She finishes her talking and keeps her head down.

    -If I become a noble is there a way I can release all of your family?- I ask.

    Hana immediately raises her head and stares me deeply.

    -Y-you would do that?- Her eyes show hope and pain.

    -I don't know what I can do, but I would if possible.

    She pulls me into a bear hug.

    -Your father would be difficult, your mother is a bit less uncertain. Your siblings would certainly be able to be released, the word of a noble with a blessing and a wife with another blessing certainly carry a lot of weight for a Judge. For your sister it would be very easy if she decides to marry Wolfy...- Ciel trails off.

    -Is she human or dragonkin?- Alissa asks.

    -Human.

    Alissa looks disappointed.

    -Stop with this, I won't be getting another woman- I say.

    -Yes, yes- Alissa giggles.

    -Anyway, thank you for sharing, Hana, I understand why this is difficult for you- Ciel says.

    -Yes, but from what you told us your father was too proud. We won't let the same thing happen to you again- Alissa says.

    -We are all cowards here, we will run the moment things get too dangerous- I say.

    -Starting over won't hurt, as we never had that much to begin with. The most important is that we stay together- Roxanne says, giving another kiss to Hana's hand.

    Lina just gives Hana an innocent smile.

    For a second Hana makes a crying face, then she collects herself and smiles with a bit of pain. I raise my head towards her.

    -Whenever you are ready let the tears out, it helps clear your mind- I whisper.

    She nods to me. It helped me, at least.

    -Group hug!- Roxanne declares.

    Hana's bear hug was already hurting my ribs a bit, now things are much worse.

    -Can't... Breathe... Help!



    Alissa finds no stalker these days. With Holly on the lookout we will not miss it again.

    -What happened to you?- Is the first thing Lyle says to me when he enters class.

    That's expected, I can't really hide this scar on my neck.

    -Had a fight with some monster, got a little too close to danger- I force an innocent smile.

    Lyle frowns but remains quiet.

    The professor asks the level of [Space Magic] others are at, everyone is around level 4 while I'm level 19. I lied and said level 10 and still got a big reaction from the class, the gnome professor wasn't that surprised since he saw me use [Telekinesis] chantless.

    -You planning on becoming a space mage, Wolf?- Lyle asks.

    -No, I just have a bit of talent with [Telekinesis], it's why I have so many levels with it.

    -If you are progressing this fast then you could certainly enter the advanced classes easily.

    Lina's Trivia: Beginner is considered up to level 10. Intermediate is from 11 to 30. Advanced is from 31 to 60. After that you are granted the tile Grand Magus of the magic school. There are very few people in history acquired level 100 on any skill, most of them are either the creators of such skills, an emperor with a fascination for such skill, or a hero.

    -I don't plan on increasing it much more, I would rather keep away from learning [Gate].

    -If you were to stay in Rabanara you could get the favor from the Lord to be free from working for the empire- Hatara says with a smile.

    It seems she also wants me here. If I didn't want to leave and become a noble, joining the knights sounds somewhat like a good career path.

    Before I can answer I feel a chill, a vicious gaze pierces my soul, this damn family and their stupid eyes. It seems Lina didn't need to ask Nononya where to find Vanea, she already knew about my fight. I turn my ring green so she comes back.

    -Good day, Mr. Ryder. A pleasant day for a chat isn't it?- Says Vanea with a beautiful smile.

    -Good day, Mr. Ryder. I heard you went deep in the dungeon of the Morning Dew- Says Silvane with an innocent smile.

    -Good day Miss Silvane, Miss Anara- I answer with a smile, thank the Gods for [Acting] and [Mental Resistance]- Yes, I was hunting for money, these floors were horrible but rather profitable, unfortunately I never got the morning dew in any of them. Anyway, I would love to chat Miss Anara.

    -Should we move somewhere more private?-Vanea asks.

    -Yes, please.

    Lyle and the others look worried, hopefully they won't gossip, I don't want many people knowing I'm associating with Vanea.

    We get up and follow Vanea towards the offices building. She leads us to the top floor into a large and luxurious office. On the door there's a metal plaque written "Vanea Arana, Chairwoman".

    The office is very large, it has a huge window overseeing the courtyard below, a lavish table with comfortable chairs and one large chair for her, two long comfy sofas with another decorated table, and multiple plants on the walls surrounding a painting of her family. They have a little sister I never met, a mini blue-eyed Vanea. The Lord's wife is a beautiful and delicate woman with long silky black hair and kind blue eyes, certainly recessive genes.

    -You are part of the administration?- I ask her.

    -Yes. I'm trying to get acceptance over [Cursing Magic]. The old quacks are too afraid of that magic school, they don't know who created it so they think it might be related to the undead like [Bloodwork] is- She sits on her chair and waves her hand dismissively.

    -I admit I know nothing about that magic school.

    It's one of the magic schools that I never mentioned for fear of what the reaction would be.

    Silvane grabs a chair and sits behind Vanea.

    -I would be very surprised if you did. Only a few mages in Dyrmorder or the savages at the Wild Steppes know anything about it. I wanted to bring it here to give us more power but unless if the emperor himself or his ministers endorse it the quacks won't accept it fully due to its... Dark nature.

    No wonder, just the name makes me apprehensive.

    -Is it a complete magic school?

    -It is, surprisingly.

    Lina enters the room.

    -Excuse me...

    I motion her to sit besides me. She trembles once but it stops, [Mental Resistance] doing work again.

    -I would like to know more about this school, does it have any books written on it?

    -Only a few, they are restricted so you won't be able to get them.

    -I want to submit my work on [Golemancy] and exchange it for a chair at the university, would that be enough?

    Vanea smiles.

    -Certainly, make sure you don't announce it to anyone else before you get your chair, the quacks would tremble in their boots if they knew what you were searching for. But anyway, we aren't here to discuss this.

    Everyone tenses up and straighten their postures. My moral support is assembled, it's time for battle.

    -Yes. I assume you know what happened at the 25th- I smile a bit.

    -Hard not to, seeing how much noise you made. Both during battle and the aftermath. It seems you might be requiring some help?- She smiles back.

    -Help? Have you seen how we fought? No, we don't require help, we are rather fine for now- I bluff.

    Vanea thinks for a second. I think it worked, her followers must not have seen the fight themselves.

    -Surely you understand Darean is more than a mere position 1 adventurer- Her soft and commanding tone is unchanging.

    She just confirmed for me that Darean is behind the attack.

    -Yes, but we aren't his main target, he's coming for us as a personal vendetta. His employer must be pretty mad from losing such an important team with absolutely nothing in return.

    She thinks longer. Does she know it was a kidnapping team that attacked me?

    -You don't think he will attack again?

    -Attack? No, he won't. His trap failed once and now it will never work again.

    -What gives you such confidence?- Her face shows a hint of worry and skepticism.

    I simply smile, the answer to that is a secret.

    Vanea looks down, her eyes race about, she's rapidly thinking of something

    -Do you have a Gate Scrubber?

    Blunt, but I can't just straight up admit it.

    -No- I keep my face expressionless.

    Vanea stares at me for a few seconds.

    -I can have you searched- Her tone turns stern.

    Careful now.

    -Yes you can, but you won't find anything. Even if you get the empire's lie detectors- I lie.

    Vanea stays still, my spidey senses are tingling.

    -It seems you don't want to go that far. Why are you so interested in this scrubber?

    -A Gate Scrubber was stolen sometime ago. We believe Darean tipped off a group of thieves who then sold the scrubber to the kidnappers, giving Darean his connection- Silvane confesses.

    Vanea gives her a look but Silvane doesn't budge.

    -Vanea, it would do well to show a bit of trust once in a while- Silvane says, no hint of unease in her voice.

    Information is key here, Silvane wants our trust so she gave something for free. The empire knowing they lost a scrubber would look really bad on them. I will certainly never tell anyone about this scrubber, I look at Silvane and give a grateful nod.

    -I see, but like I said, I don't need help. If I sniff a trap I can just walk away, I'm not tied to Rabanara.

    Silvane's poker face twitches. I'm sorry but I don't have loyalty to either of you.

    -But you won't leave yet?- Silvane asks.

    -I do not wish to. The only tie I have here is the university, with my research and blessing I can enter another rather easily. I don't need help Miss Anara, you do- I smile again.

    Her eye twitches.

    -Since you don't have a Gate Scrubber what help can you provide us?- She asks.

    Good, she fell for my bluff, she thinks we aren't afraid and that Darean is an inconvenience instead of a threat.

    -Information. I can help you get someone close to Darean.

    -Who?- She's fails to completely contain her eagerness, it seems she really was cornered by Darean.

    -What can you give in return?

    -I don't know the value of the information if I don't know the person- She smiles.

    -We can just agree in something preliminary. You will keep me updated on any move Darean makes, you knew I was being stalked and did nothing.

    -I am not that heartless, I lacked a lot of information- Vanea looks a bit offended.

    -I did not mean to offend, but you knew something and never warned me.

    -Fine. But you will have to provide all info that you know, everything, even whether you really have the scrubber. You can keep it as long as you keep it quiet from the empire- She slips a hint of anger in her tone.

    -A fair deal- I bow lightly.

    -The name?

    I slip her a piece of paper. "Farana Uiara, human, level 37. Small body, around 160cm tall, traces that resemble the elves, thin chin, small red lips, pale face and freckles, braided brown hair curled inside a hat. She doesn't have any breasts but her ass is big and her hips are wide. Her hair smells of Ranja hair products, expensive and possibly from the High Forest."

    Silvane lifts an eyebrow.

    -Who gave you that description?

    -A dragonkin.

    -Figures...

    Vanea breath quickens for a few seconds and then she controls herself.

    -That's his bitch, the little thief, she leads the thieves. We have to find her and capture her. She also has the help of someone with [Illusion Magic].

    -Yes, she was using [Ignorance] when stalking us.

    Vanea thinks for a second.

    -I want you to fight for me. Help me capture her- Vanea says, moving her body closer.

    -No- I answer immediately.

    -You don't understand, I don't have enough reliable people that could stand against an illusion mage, if you killed those kidnappers then you are good enough to fight for me- Her gaze is unwavering.

    Shit. I can't tell if she's bluffing, she was being pushed into a corner, there's a very good chance she's telling the truth.

    -I have to talk to the others about this. If we do we are at minimum going to ask for a lot of money, you must know our rates from when we escorted the representative for armorer's guild. We are gonna ask for a lot more than that.

    Vanea reclines back, her posture relaxes.

    -That's fine, Rabanara is rich.

    -And we are going to ask for protection, you must make sure nothing happens to us before, during or after the battle.

    She narrows her eyes.

    -You are going to have to fight, I can't hold your hand during the battle.

    -But you can help us prepare, we are going to fight against a mage and we don't have that much experience.

    She sighs, her authoritative voice is nearly gone.

    -I will prepare something. But I will only protect you as long as you are in Rabanara.

    I nod.

    -Do I have the word of Miss Vanea Anara, daughter of a True Noble?- I ask in a stern tone.

    She growls.

    -You will have to share everything you know.

    -Deal.

    She glares at me one final time.

    -... I, Vanea Anara, daughter of a True Noble give you my word, let the Gods observe me and judge me for my actions.

    An oath that Ciel taught me. Everything we agreed to is now under watch by the Gods, if she screws me over I can invoke the Gods wrath upon her.

    -Now spill everything else you know.

    It wasn't much but it was valuable information to her. I also gave her the remaining corpses and she will give me the bounty, but silently, no need to increase my fame. She glares at me when I tell the truth about the Gate Scrubber but I'm keeping it, she said it herself, it's also my guarantee Darean won't try to kidnap me again.

    Vanea says that after our fight the underworld got spooked about what the spirits on the corpses I have could spill and decided to hide. She is making sure no necromancer that could pull the spirits of the dead appears in Rabanara, they could do it even without a body.

    The kidnappers had bribed the guards to keep their patrols away from the location we were to fight, it backfired on them since the guards only found a small amount of dried blood the morning after. With this there was nothing to start an investigation so the guard just dropped it, not even the people of the slums wanted to testify that they heard the screams, they know nothing good would come from it.

    Vanea never saw the fight, she knew the kidnappers where bought and on the move but couldn't find any more lead on the target, she only knew later that they failed and disappeared, obviously died. She heard a rumor that Darean was targeting us and when the kidnappers failed someone slipped that Darean might have fucked over some valuable hired swords by sending them into a trap. With this she connected the dots and assumed we killed the kidnappers.

    -Here's how we talk. This one is for giving me your answer, turn it and it will send a signal to me that you accepted or rejected- Vanea points to an Emergency Ring.

    -This one is a compacted lithograph, I will send you the place where we meet. Keep it close to you, it will warm up when it receives a message- Vanea points to a small metal box.

    That box has a glass window where I can see a white and black liquid floating around it, they don't mix. I assume the black liquid will form words when the message comes. It's a fantasy pager.

    -With this we conclude our business- Vanea gives a wicked smile.

    I hope I haven't made a deal with the devil.

    Outside of that office the tension on my shoulders dissipates, it went as well as it could have been, Alissa gives me a quick shoulder massage. We go back to Lyle with Silvane in tow, she makes a small excuse that Vanea wanted to know in detail about my [Sense Soul], which is not totally a lie but covers my back in case someone gossips that I'm meeting her in private.



    We are going to get another influx of money, perhaps I can buy bone-and-chain armor for Hana. I kind of quit trying to have her wear plate, too expensive and the prices fluctuate too much. With [Alchemy] I think Lina and Roxanne can work together to maintain it.



    -I'm not really against fighting for her, if you want a job well done you do it yourself- Hana says.

    -You made her do the vow, the last thing she needs is the Gods turning her luck against her. She will be a good ally as long as we keep a distance and the advantage- Lina says.

    Lina seems to be getting more interested in the games of the nobility. It's not that different from the negotiations of the merchants, just more ruthless.

    -Fighting is our specialty, after all- Roxanne says.

    Ciel and me are anxious.

    -Wolfy, I think this is a time we have to fight, we can make sure this ends as quickly as possible- Alissa says, grabbing my hand.

    I kiss it.

    -We are not going to do it alone, she said she didn't have enough allies, not that she doesn't have any. The most obvious ones are Haaran and his knights. If our allies are not good enough we can always just walk away- Lina says.

    Now even she is encouraging us.

    -This time you won't be forced to put your points into sneaking, we will be able to fight full force- Alissa says.

    I don't have the energy to go against this argument. I look at Ciel and she doesn't either.



    I need to clear my head, I ask Hana and we all spar a bit. I train more of my [Telekinesis], I'm getting the hang of casting it on myself but I won't be able to use it for long when I have all my summons out.

    I can win against Alissa if she gets tired, otherwise she's just too fast for me. Lina had a very large growth on her martial prowess, the system gives too much of an advantage on melee. With her skill points she can already win against me, though I can't win against Ciel or Hana so it's not that big of a deal.

    -Do you think I should use a style, too? Now even Lina can get the upper hand on me- I ask Hana.

    -I don't think you should use a style from the system, you should create your own- She answers.

    -Why is that?

    -Your [Telekinesis] permits you to fight in a way I have never seen before, perhaps there is a style the old heroes used that could fit you but you still have quite a lot of unique options on how to fight. If you combine [Telekinesis] with [Fly] or [Rush] you could have incredible freedom in fighting.

    -It will take me a while until I learn [Wind Magic].

    -Still...

    -I could teach you- Ciel's bright smile lifts my spirits.

    -Later, there's too much to learn. Let's leave it for when I learn more about Andraste or when I finish my courses at the university.

    -Awn...

    I will certainly buy you some teacher cosplay one day.

    -So anyway, how should I go making my own style?

    -Well. Style is all about the strategy, [Sword Use] only tells you how to use a sword, the style tells you when to use the sword. I can show you the [Imperial Tower Style] as basis but you have to think of it on your own.

    -You have to think about things like posture, stance, footwork, strength, precision and speed of attacks or defenses, which direction to cut in, when and how to combo, grappling and bare handed attacks, feints and counters, weapons to use, and how to fight specific weapon and enemy type combinations. There's a lot to think about and your [Telekinesis] changes all of them, if you just adopt an existing style it will be very inefficient.

    -I see... It will really take a long time to develop a style, I guess I should just use a single point in [Imperial Tower Style] while we spar. By the way, how does this style compare to yours?- I ask.

    -This style is all about sword and shield while mine is more than just that, it encompasses all the weapons I use. It's also about fighting multiple enemies and how to counter them or overpower them. The imperial style is about coordination and working together with a simple sword and shield, the empire will never send their soldiers to be outnumbered or to work alone, I think this is why it would fit you well as a basis. It even tells about coordination with mages and archers, which you already do occasionally.

    Yes, that's certainly interesting. Coordinating with Alissa and Roxanne when I retreat opens up attacks for them, I already did this a few times before, if I master [Telekinesis] or [Rush] I can enter and leave attack range basically at will.

    While we talk Ciel pokes Roxanne's Shad with her finger. You shouldn't feel anything except for the mana leaking.

    -Wolf, you are not looking at us when we... Go to the bathroom, right?- Ciel asks, frowning slightly.

    -I'm a pervert but I'm not that perverted. Besides, I can barely see a proper outline with their vision.

    -That's, good to know.

    We go back to sparring and I start getting pummeled by Lina, I better develop a style fast, she's reading my movements already. She's a bit scary when we spar, there's a fire in her that reminds me of Hana, but at least Hana knows how to go easy.



    Tonight I act as human dildo for Hana and Roxanne as they take the stress of the training on each other. Alissa gives me a few scratches, I really do enjoy the feeling of her nails.

    After we are all done Aoi gets out of her bored trance and pulls me and Hana together with her little claws. She always sleeps with either of us but when we sleep together she wants to sleep between both of us.

    I spend a few more moments staring at Vanea's ring. The shrieks of that space mage I killed keep repeating in my head, I'm scared of fighting, I'm scared of the unknown enemy. I have to trust those women, even Ciel who doesn't want to fight got convinced. They trust me and I trust them.

    I turn the ring green, I hope I didn't make a deal with the devil.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2019 at 5:16 PM
  9. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Today is the 2nd.

    Lina wakes me up, her jaw still hurts a bit so she gets Alissa to finish.


    I increased my "Charisma", [Sense Mana], [Nature Magic] and [Space Magic] by 1 (now 12, 2+6, 15+15 and 11+19), my [Summoning Magic] by 2 (now 12+17), my MP by 20 (now 710) and my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 270).


    Today we can't even go outside since it's raining, worst of all the griffin spirit doesn't appear and Aoi gets depressed. Without Lina to hug I sit on Hana's lap while she practices her control by making the smallest [Earth Bullet] that she can. Roxanne asked for a corgi so she can cuddle with it while she works.

    I bring Holly, a nature elemental, and my Shad in front of me while I observe them. The secret to level up is on them, Nononya's notes had a lot of information about anatomy but it isn't the same information that I can get if I use my soul to look inside their bodies.

    I "expand" my soul towards them and "enter" their bodies to explore. I don't cut my feeling of taste, I need to know precisely how each of these are made.

    Holly has a weird, diminutive body. She feeds on blood from unconscious victims, but the size of her stomach is too small to digest it, she must be absorbing the mana inside the blood. Mana courses through the body by using the veins as "guides", this makes blood the most mana charged part of our bodies, because of this many MP potions use blood of monsters as base ingredient.

    Holly also doesn't have any sort of fat storage, she must be using inverted [Manasynthesis], converting mana into energy for the body. The poison gland is interesting, it's a mix of using digested blood with some other ingredient created by mana, this is something that's not on her entry on the monster book.

    If I concentrate I can see in much more detail, I can go up to discerning the borders of every cell. Her cells are not glued by mana so these monsters shouldn't be vulnerable against emellanat. For their size they cost more mana than the elementals, it must be because their cells are more well developed. I wish I could look deeper into the cell, it starts to hurt my brain if I try to see more detail.

    Hana hugs me and rests her head besides mine.

    Shad's anatomy is basically nonexistent, it absorbs mana from the environment so it doesn't starve easily but it seeks out sources of mana, like mages. I can't see anything on their "bodies" besides where the soul rests, they are "magical beings", they do not follow the laws of physics like most monsters do. Roxanne's tail, wings and horns are considered to be of the same class of matter.

    They are not even considered spirits or ghosts, they are literally shadows. Their ethereal tendrils are semi-corporeal though, they have a very weak interaction with matter, allowing them to move things like when one tried to remove my sword.

    They react to interactions like Living Armors do, they get "cut" and "crushed" until their form breaks and dissipates. They easily interact with magic, which breaks apart their cohesion, but they have a lot of resistance to it. For example they don't "burn" from the [Firestorm], only the storm of mana raging through their bodies causes their cohesion to break.

    It's all interesting to learn more about their anatomy but it isn't doing enough to level the skill faster. I need to look deeper, this anatomy analysis is only after the summoning, I need to learn how matters is formed the moment the monster is summoned.

    Hana pulls my dick out and starts stroking it, with her other hand she fingers herself.

    "Hana?" I ask.

    "W-what you did, it felt so good," he answers, her breath is ragged and her face is very warm.

    Oh, I guess she touched my soul "expansion" for a moment.

    "We have to do it fast, we still have to train more."

    "Okay…"

    She turns me around and mounts me. Even on this comfy sofa my hips receive blunt trauma.

    The girls open their eyes for a second and then go back to their own training.

    "You should use that soul thing you do on all of us," Roxanne says.

    "That would... turn into... a massive... orgy," I say between crushing attacks.

    I still want to use the bunny ears hood on the girls, it's just that normal sex with each of them is already satisfying enough for now, I don't need even more stimulation.

    "Exactly," he gives an evil grin.

    "I'm not sure. It felt good but it only makes you feel like you are empty, like you are missing something," Ciel says, reminiscing my casual sexual harassment at the cave.

    "Like, a dick inside of you?"

    "I, ye-, w-, well, I guess so," Ciel stumbles on her words and her face reddens.

    Alissa opens her eyes and tilts her head. She and Lina are the only ones who didn't experience this.

    After finishing inside Hana, Roxanne helps me out and cleans us both with her tongue while I cast [Heal] on my hips.

    Back to training, this time I put my back to Hana's so she won't "accidentally" brush on my soul. I cast [Summon Monster] and use the orb method, I throw the summoning orb in the air and expand my soul, absorbing every moment as the ball falls and turns into Holly.

    There's too much information to process. I couldn't really see how it "appears" but I saw how it grows. It literally grows, from an embryo to a baby to a young monster to its adult form. It's like watching a video of a baby growing in fast forward, but I could also see how its insides grow.

    I dismiss it and summon a Shad. This time instead of it an embryo appearing it simply grows into its maximum size. I summon it again and focus giving it more power, it only grew a little bigger. I do the same with Holly and instead of being bigger it was "older", it spent more time "growing".

    I can modify the shape of the elementals at will but I can't do it with the monsters. If I killed a different kind, say an older or bigger type then sure, I can summon the bigger version, but I can't change their form. The only thing I can control is the age, I can only summon a "younger" version than the one I killed, I can even summon embryos, which are disgusting and die quickly. Interestingly I can summon armored goblins.

    Maybe if I increase my magical knowledge and mana control I can dabble on summoning customized monsters. There's many "safety measures" on this skill system that limit versatility.

    I try to focus on the moment the ball of light turn into an embryo to see if I can absorb more details but it's so fast that I actually doubt there's something in between these moments. It could even be that there's nothing there and it instantly turns into an embryo as soon as the light ball hits the ground.

    I observe every other monster that I can summon, except for the big ones like the Kite Dragon or the Symbol of Hate, they wouldn't fit inside this room. My knowledge of anatomy reached a limit.


    Today is nature class, more theory, at least we ended the talk about mating habits.

    The Gloomy Pervert taught us about the importance of the moons to nature, the brightest moon should influence the behavior of nature and the spirits. You shouldn't try to interact with nature when the brightest moon is red (aspect of aggressiveness), like for example, hunting, they are very aggressive during this period and many animals that are passive or skittish will actively fight back. When the purple (aspect of wickedness) moon is the brightest things get worse as the entire forest might hunt you and "play" with you. Indigo (aspect of othewordlyness) things just get... Weird, so it's also not that great of an idea to go to the forest. Any other color is fine.

    Alissa going away and coming is getting annoying, losing and gaining her blessing is stressing to me. I really do feel good when I'm near her and I'm starting to dread when she goes away. I'm tempted to ask her to always stay nearby.


    Lina spent the afternoon at home, sparring with the girls. I have cut her time at the library in half until she has gained all the combat skills she needs. She will stay home the same days I have to do strength training, we will do this training together, me for muscles, her for [Stonebody].

    When we are getting near home Holly spots a cloaked man who was at the same spot since last time. I tell Alissa to stop, I pull my sword out of "Items" and tie the belt to my waist.

    She goes back home to call the girls and in a minute everyone is by the corner of the street.

    This stalker is not even trying to hide, it's a big burly man with his face hidden by a hood. He is simply staring at our house a block away.

    "I don't think it's related to Darean, he's too obvious, maybe he just wants to talk?" Alissa says, slightly confused.

    "It's very suspicious to be cloaked and just staring at our house. Why doesn't he just come and knock?" Hana says and sends him an obvious glare, the man doesn't move.

    "He looks at bit drunk," Ciel says.

    After looking more carefully I see he's swaying slowly.

    "There's no one near him to help, Holly scouted the area and he's alone," I say.

    "Then there's nothing else to do besides confronting him," Alissa says.

    "Turn on the scrubber for safety," Lina says.

    I hope no space mage dropped a "coordinate" nearby.

    We carefully approach him. Once close enough I can see past his hood, black beard, round face, dark brown skin, it's Logan from Escutcheon.

    "Wolf... Ryder!" He says with a slur on his voice, clearly drunk.

    "Yes, me and my wives. And you are Logan."

    "Yesh...! I have been meaning to... talk to you..." I see a toothy grin.

    "What for? Why not just knock on our door?" Hana says, clearly very annoyed.

    "That's... Well, it'sh no matter! We are here now so let'sh talk!"

    Hana clenches her teeth.

    "Sure..." I say.

    "You remember little Hilde, right? That... Woman we were with sssome time ago? How long washit?"

    Uh... I'm bad with dates.

    "About a month," Alissa saves me.

    "Already!? Huh..." He loses himself in thought.

    "So, what about it?" I ask.

    He jolts back to reality and takes two steps forward.

    "We were shuppos' to protect her... Right?"

    "Only us, you were paid to kill the dragons."

    He takes another step forward. The girls are getting anxious.

    "Yesh but, we were shuppos' to help, like all good humanoidss we are shuppose' tha be."

    He takes another step, I can smell he didn't take a bath. Hana is gripping her sword.

    "And we did, we did all we could but it wasn't enough," I say, bitterness seeps into my voice as I'm being reminded of this.

    Lina makes a pained face, holding some tears.

    "It washn't enough!"

    He takes another step and falls on his knees. I can only stare at him, bewildered.

    "We weren't enough!"

    He grabs my waist and pulls me closer. He sobs and the hood falls off his head, he's completely disheveled, his beard is unkempt, and he lost considerable weight. Tears flow freely on his face.

    "We, didn't, do, enough," he mutters between sobs.

    Gods help me.

    After a few seconds of sobbing I put my hand on his shoulder.

    "There, there... We did all we could. Sometimes that's just not enough," I try to console him.

    "And that's how life is," Ciel says, she lowers herself to his height and rubs his other shoulder, "We live and we die, we do our best and even then we fail, so we should always live life to the fullest. Don't let her death ruin you too, if she could she would tell you not to waste your life with sadness."

    He hugs my waist tighter. Please stop, this hurts.

    "She was a strong woman, she will certainly spend some time in paradise. Now you need to grow more, you need to be stronger so you can join her when it's your time too."

    This does something to him, he loosens his grip slowly. Ciel grabs his chin and makes him look forward.

    "Remember to live well, you can still see her again one more time."

    "One more time..." He repeats.

    Ciel takes his arms off of me and pulls his hand so he stands again.

    "I'm younger than you so when it's my time I expect to see you there," I say.

    Logan chuckles. I hope this "paradise" works like this.

    Ciel grabs him and sends a few more words to him. His beard is wet but his tears ran dry. At least his eyes regain some focus, some of their wildness returns. She pulls him back and they walk a few steps until he stops.

    "Thank you, priestess," he looks at me and nods, "One more time…"

    Ciel taps him on his huge back and he walks away. Ciel comes back to us and sighs.

    "You worked well," I say.

    "His type is the most common at the temple, people who lost loved ones so they lose their way."

    I feel proud to have such a woman with me, I give her a kiss on her hand and she looks at me warmly.

    "You are a wonderful woman," I say and give her a pure smile.

    She waves me away and goes back home, cheeks dyed red.


    I feel like training to get my mind out of this. I have to train my strength with Lina so I have Hana work us both hard, Lina needs to clear her mind too, those memories are still painful to her.

    Lina still uses thin and loose white shirts when training just to provoke me. Her small, cute, and pink nipples are just inviting me, I see them get hard once I start staring at her. We go to the bath and I feel like punishing her, just as we enter the bath Hana moves towards me.

    "Roxanne, can you take care of Hana today?" I ask.

    Roxanne smiles and pushes her backwards. I take a look at Lina.

    "Someone was provoking me during training so I gotta deal some punishment," I glare at Lina.

    She misunderstands me and her face goes pale, slave training is still ingrained in her. I grab her and kiss her deeply, her tongue keeps still until I suck on it and she realizes what I'm doing.

    I angle my dick and immediately thrust. She gasps and soon she's yelling following by screaming. She grinds her teeth and closes her eyes, her senses are nearly overwhelmed.

    Her tight little pussy feels delicious, she squeezes me tighter and makes me groan in pleasure. She's so light I can easily pierce her just by holding on her cute little ass. I nibble on her lips and suck on her tongue, she barely has any energy to fight back.

    Once I'm near I take it out and shove it on her mouth, having her drink it all. She's getting good, she didn't choke.

    It seems punishment was effective as Lina decide to cover my chest with kisses, eliciting a jealousy response from Ciel who wanted attention. I felt peace as I played with Lina's hair with one hand and Ciel's with the other as I kissed her.

    At night I spend my time studying Andraste again. It reminds me of greek, not that I ever heard someone speak greek but the letters are strikingly similar. I will likely never forget them, I have seen too many alphas, betas, and thetas in math to forget how they look.

    "Ciel, why are there so few people with accents?" I ask.

    I barely remember anyone but Simon having an accent.

    "Most places have a teacher with a few points in Andraste, only the very small or isolated villages don't have a proper language teacher."

    Knowing how Simon behaves I'm not surprised. But this is interesting, it's not an "everyone has an accent" situation, people literally do not have accents due to the skill never changing along time. Words get added but the pronunciation of existing words never changes.

    I slowly play with Alissa and Roxanne in bed, can't have anyone feel neglected.


    Today is the 3rd.

    Hana wakes me up and then wakes Roxanne up with a sticky kiss.

    My [Summoning Magic] and [Andraste Language] increased by 1 (now 13+17 and 6+4). It seems I have to change my training regimen, simply repeating what I was doing won't take me much further. Even my MP increase slowed down.


    This morning I train my MP. I use [Fireball] this time because I actually miss having this spell readily available. The next days I'm going to train Wind and [Water Magic] too because the first spell of each of these schools can actually be useful.

    Leaving only Lina's Shad and Holly out I have enough mana to train. [Manasynthesis] is becoming really useful for this type of training.


    "What does the spell [Rush] has in common with electricity?" The professor asks.

    That's actually a good question.

    "It's for the same reason why [Lightning Bolt] is effective against metal armor while natural electricity isn't."

    Holy shit, I completely forgot about Faraday cages. Metal armor should protect against electricity except for burns due to heat, the way I use my bolt it flies through the body of my target completely unimpeded. Electricity wasn't my forte anyway.

    "It's all about the 'abstract concept'. Magic has two ways to work, the first is 'copying', it's when we try to copy a phenomenon, like say, a lightning strike. We try to copy all the conditions necessary for the phenomenon and supplant whatever we don't know how it works or can't recreate with our own pure mana, creating things out of nothing by sheer 'Willpower'.

    "The second way is the 'concept'. We copy characteristics of phenomenons and use them to create a spell that ignores the laws of our realm, we make it work in much more complex ways than a simple bolt of lighting.

    "[Lightning Bolt] copies the physical part of a real lightning strike but it ignores certain properties, in fact it completely inverses a property. [Lightning Bolt] 'copies' the affinity electricity has for metals and also uses it as 'concept' so it can ignore the individual differences in resistance, making the spell behave the same way regardless of the metal it touches.

    "It also uses a 'concept' of 'path' where charging the atmosphere with particles with opposite potential will 'ease' any sort of traversal. This is how you 'target' someone or 'guide' the bolt towards the body of the target.

    "[Rush] works on the same 'concept' of the 'path', it just takes it much, much further and has it affect yourself instead of a bolt of electricity.

    "So understanding these 'concepts' is what allows you to improve your magic and create more complex and frightening spells. Whenever you are training in a school of magic keep in mind these 'concepts' and you will increase the level of your skills with much ease."

    Lyle stares at his hero with a mouth hanging open, I believe he just got his mind blown.

    The professor takes us to the training range again so we can try out our new found inspiration. I mostly focus on [Rush], if I can couple this spell with [Telekinesis] my fighting style could become really ridiculous.

    Lyle became the class... "clown"? Everyone is eager to see what is he gonna do this time, whenever we have a proper increase in our skill levels Lyle tries something ridiculous. This time he's trying to use [Rush] as a way to increase the speed of his punches and kicks. Apparently he didn't see my [Rush]-powered facepalm, needing Hatara to heal him after he hit his shin at the training dummy with such force it gave me a chill.


    By the break Lyle calms down and we can have a proper conversation with him.

    "Hey, Wolf. I couldn't say this last time but our families took us to a dungeon so we could increase our levels. This time though, father made us fight together against a few Samu Stalkers, some wolves that live in the cold."

    "How did it go?" I ask.

    Garanae smiles.

    "Fur burns very well," he says.

    "Though the smell was horrible. I just wish I had more attack magic, staying behind like this isn't that pleasant," Hatara says, her green eyes look gloomy as she stares at her half empty tea cup.

    Garanae rubs her hand, bringing her back to her now usual gracious demeanor.

    "It's best that you don't have to work," he says with an unusual gentleness on his voice.

    "Stil doesn't help with the boredom," he answers with a bitter smile.

    "Anyway, now that father is giving us more freedom I wanted to explore a dungeon called Wisps of the Proud," Lyle says.

    Both Hatara and Garanae look away with a slight cringe. Lina reacts the opposite, her little mouth hangs open.

    "What's..." I pause to observe Lina's cute frozen expression for a moment, "So special about that dungeon?"

    "It's supposedly a burial site for a king of the dragonoid race."

    "Wait, dragonoid?"

    Lina's Trivia, part one: Dragonoids are more dragon than human while dragonkin are more human than dragon. The dragonoids that I saw in books have a dragon body full of scales but they are at most 3-meters tall and their bodies have skeletons similar to humans. They have long necks, long dragonic faces with thick horns, wide leathery wings, a thin but strong tail as long as their bodies, good affinity for magic, very muscular arms and legs that end in claws, and enough dexterity to rival humanoids.

    Lina's Trivia, part two: Most types of dragonoids are extremely brutal, they have a tendency to eat those who they fight and rape the survivors amidst all the blood and carnage, no matter if they are alive or not. Their extremely bestial behavior makes them very dangerous and I made sure to avoid dungeons with them.

    "It's suspected that this was a race that live in the Sea of Trees but got extinct before they ever made contact with anybody. The Sea of Trees is surrounded by mountains, it was rather difficult to get out of it until the empire carved an entrance with the forts Erda and Reita. The existence of the dragonoids would explain why the Sea of Trees has so many monsters of the dragon type.

    "And you wanna go there? A dungeon crawling with barbaric dragonoids?"

    "No no, Wo-... ,aster," Lina answers me, her bangs shake with her head, "These dragonoids are very subdued, they are more like emotionless guardians than the standard barbaric dragonoid."

    "Hmm... Then it's not a very popular dungeon if I never heard of it before."

    "Indeed, it's also not very hard to enter, but there's not much there. It's mostly an investigation site but not many people have interest on it because no one knows how to go deeper into the tomb."

    Lina's Trivia: Dungeoneering is exactly what the name implies, dungeon engineering. Seeing how the formation of a dungeon is a natural phenomenon, researchers found ways to manipulate how a dungeon is formed and even how to induce an artificial mana storm. Kings of old have created many tombs for them and their families using mana storms, the robustness of a dungeon as a tomb is unparalleled to anything even the empire of today can build.

    The most common signs of a dungeon-tomb is when the dungeon doesn't grow and when there is no reasonable way of getting deeper to reach the core.

    "So I have a proposal for you Wolf, how I about I hire you to escort us there?" Lyle asks.

    Lina barely contains her excitement.

    "I will have to talk to my wives but it's likely we will accept."

    Hardly anyone will have the heart to go against Lina's cuteness.

    "Wonderful!"

    "Are you two coming too?" I ask to the inseparable couple near us.

    "Archaeology is something we do not really know much about, you see," Garanae tries to excuse himself.

    Lyle rolls his eyes.

    "These two are like newly-weds, they completely abandoned me during the half-cycle break," Lyle gives a mock disdainful look to them.

    "We kinda are..." Hatara mutters with a blush.

    "You should enjoy your youth Lyle," Garanae says barely keeping a smile as his face distorts in embarrassment.

    "I am! You know that we have slower aging due to our Levels, I'm taking my time building my base until I have enough power to enjoy myself," Lyle turns his nose in a snobbish manner but still blushes.

    Lyle is level 28, Garanae is level 26, Hatara is level 19. Nobles normally have their children create parties with servants wearing the Ring of the Servant, then they kill monsters for them, power-leveling their children.

    "We do not need to tease you all anymore, you embarrass yourselves without our help," Alissa says with smug smile.

    They do not have a comeback, they all look away and try to hide their faces.

    Conversation goes back to normal after a while, Lina and Lyle start discussing where we are going to go. I talk to Lina at night about what she reads but I'm not such a history buff like Lyle is, I feel like he is her first friend ever since she joined us.

    I do feel irrational amounts of jealousy towards Lina, I just have such a protective feeling over her it's making me anxious. It's wonderful she's talking with someone but she's mine, she's my little thing, I just wanna hug her and kiss her and pet her and fuck her brains out.

    I unconsciously grab Alissa's hand and squeeze it. I only notice it when she's rubbing my hand with her other hand, this calms me greatly. I'm being irrational, gotta calm my heart, too much love will wilt our relationship.


    Back at home a single look at Lina and everyone agreed to Lyle's proposal. I discussed it with him quickly and we agreed in 1 gold per person escorted. We will meet on the eastern end of The Smirk at the 11th.

    At night I give Ciel some of the attention she was craving, I put on [Massage]. I start with cuddling and some light flirting, then I slowly massage her neck and give it some kisses. I pull her shirt up spilling those huge marshmallows but I focus on her back, I have her lay down on the sofa while I knead on her spine, giving more kisses and a few licks.

    Her cheeks flush and I see she's starting to get wet already. I move to her lower back and massage that huge perfect round ass, I'm not an ass guy but damn, girl. I have to summon all my willpower to not finger her right now.

    I move towards her thighs and spread oil on them. I give it a few bites along with kisses and licks. We are both breathing heavily, this woman is too much for me to keep my calm.

    I move to her calves and Alissa is already masturbating, she just stares at the tent in my pants and bites her lips sensually.

    I'm starting to lose my composure so I just move to her feet, Ciel moans with every press. I have her turn around, the view of her delicious nipples nearly pushes me over the edge. Her expression is of some heavily contained expectations, she's staring deeply into me just waiting for what I'm going to do next.

    I suck on her toe, she shivers and her brown face turns deep red.

    "W-what..." That's all she can muster, she's completely flustered.

    I keep sucking and licking while I massage her cute feet. She squirms but still doesn't take her feet away, she actually pushes them to me. She moans louder and I see that she got even wetter.

    I can't control myself anymore and I just pull my dick out and use her feet to get me off. The corners of her mouth twitch into a smug smile and she breathes heavier in anticipation.

    It doesn't take long and I cum all over her feet and legs, at the last moment Alissa puts a towel beneath her legs so the droplets that missed doesn't stain the sofa. CIel looks supremely satisfied.

    "We found your fetish, Ciel," Roxanne says with a grin.

    "N-n-no! It, it just felt good, this is not a fetish," he desperately looks at the others for reassurance.

    "Uh huh," Roxanne gives a sassy look.

    Ciel just purses her lips and tries to not look even more embarrassed.

    Hana, our dedicated cum-cleaner, cleans my dick with her mouth, making me flinch due to my sensitivity. Once she's done she licks Ciel's legs and clean them from all the cum, then she sucks on Ciel's feet just like I did. Ciel shivers wildly but she doesn't move, once Hana is done with one feet I help her and suck on the one she just cleaned, I don't want to taste my own cum.

    After a few minutes Ciel is breathing so heavily I would bet she would easily have an orgasm. She suddenly pulls her feet away and brings me forward, she kisses like she never did before. Then she pulls my waist and directs my dick inside her.

    She's so wet her panties are almost dripping, I slide in easily and focus on speed. She stops kissing me and just grabs my face, staring deep into my eyes. Her mouth hangs open and she barely moans, she's completely entranced. I grab her large nipples and play with them like I always do, making her mouth open even wider.

    Barely a few minutes of hard pounding go and I feel her insides tighten so much she's getting close to Roxanne's level of pressure. Her whole body trembles and her back arches, she just had a massive orgasm.

    All the wind goes out of her and she collapses on the sofa, her eyes lose focus. Roxanne claps her hands in excitement at such sight, Hana grabs Roxanne by the legs and starts licking her feet just like I did.

    Alissa pushes me out of Ciel and mounts me, she's just as wet as Ciel. I see Lina is now the one masturbating wildly, I call her over and finger her with a spare hand.

    Alissa soon orgasms on top of me but keeps going. I finger Lina so hard she yells but she never pulls away. Roxanne doesn't last long and both are already on a 69, biting and sucking on each others clits.

    The whole room smells like sex and the only one not doing anything is Aoi, soundly sleeping near the fireplace she herself lit. Ciel is just casually rubbing herself with her eyes closed and a very pleased expression.

    I cum inside Alissa so hard that after she gets off me she's dripping. This time Lina rushes over and cleans her dripping pussy with a few licks. Alissa completely freezes until Lina is done.

    I almost chastise Lina for this but Alissa pushes her hand as deep as she can inside herself and brings out more cum. Then she pushes her hand inside Lina's mouth, having her lick her fingers clean. This repeats a few more times until Alissa is satisfied with her "cleaning".

    I have to admit, I have a huge lesbianism fetish, just this sight got me hard again. This time Lina mounts me and with the help of Alissa they slap her thin waist into mine. Roxanne is fisting Hana, who screams in pleasure and pain, the entirety of Roxanne's hand is inside Hana.

    While Lina rides me I suck on her cute little toes and massage her cute little feet.

    "Yes, master, it feels... Good. Yes!"

    Lina stops talking and just yells again. I don't last long and finish inside her, then she cleans herself and drinks it again.

    By now I'm tired too tired to continue. Hana wants to fist Roxanne but it hurts her too much so she just contends with fingering her with all her speed, making her scream.

    We watch for a few more minutes until Roxanne begs to stop and Hana finally listens. We all collapse on the sofas, our bodies drenched with fluids and sweat, the room warm with the fire and our breaths, the air smells absolutely wonderful.

    "Good thinking on putting those towels around, Alissa, can't get those sofas stained," I say.

    "Uh? What...? Oh! Yes, we certainly made a mess," Ciel wakes up from her trance and looks around to the aftermath with embarrassment.

    Alissa giggles and pushes her tongue on my mouth. We spend a few more minutes just kissing until we all decide to sleep.

    Holy shit, now that was an orgy.


    Today is the 4th.

    Alissa wakes me up and I barely feel drained, [Enhanced Semen Recharge] doing its work.

    I gained [Fire Magic] with 1 point, I increased my [Electric Magic] by 2 (now 9+11), my MP by 30 (now 740) and my "Magic Power" by 10 (now 260).

    Alissa learned [Illusion Magic] with 2 points in it, she increased her [Mana Control] by 2 (now 3). Now she can properly mold her spell not to affect us. Her MP Increased by 110 (now 235) and her "Magic Power" by 41 (now 65).


    At breakfast Roxanne comes out looking haggard.

    "You didn't sleep well?"Ciel asks.

    Hana snorts.

    "She decided to spend more time working on those potions instead of coming to bed," he says.

    "I'm getting close to having a breakthrough on a poison, I just need a little more time, the training is taking too much of my time," Roxanne says, her mouth curves into a slightly evil smile.

    "Don't start overworking again, Roxanne," I say.

    "It had seemed she changed since the time she spent on the temple hospital, but I guess it didn't last long," Ciel says.

    Roxanne pouts in response.

    This morning I have to spend at the Dungeoneering Guild taking a look at information about the Wisps of the Proud. Alissa accompanies me, she takes her time analyzing the anatomy of the dragonoids. Interestingly they do not have nipples or breasts and have little sexual dimorphism. Thankfully these guardians of the dungeon aren't similar to the monster types, their never berserk like the monsters do.

    We have to buy some mountaineering equipment, we are going to have to scale some large walls and cross some big gaps, the terrain is not friendly there, specially if we cannot fly. I have to get Ciel to teach me [Wind Magic] so we can use [Fly]. We could use the dinghy but I'm afraid of the wind there, without protection from it like [Fly] does we risk getting swept into a wall or something, that dinghy is not very strong.

    Ciel visits Arantos, she had been visiting him regularly during the afternoons, this time she wants to have a word with him about Logan.


    Alissa got some nuts and not-olive oil that came from the empire Mainland. With this I show them "pesto alla genovese". Alissa thinks she heard about a similar dish, it might actually be a thing on the Mainland.

    TIme for Blessing class. After a long time chanting I manage to cast [Rainbow Shield], with this I raise my [Blessing Magic] by 1 (now 0+15) immediately.

    "Wonderful, wonderful," Professor Alciel claps her hand in excitement, "You are a natural at this type of magic, your chanting is not the best and your voice needs some adjustment but you have some inherent ease to learn magic that's envious."

    She unconsciously summons her angel wings, which quickly flap about in excitement.

    Well, I'm just a cheater.

    I wonder how much more powerful Roxanne can get if I use [Rainbow Crystal] on her. The problem with these spells is that they cost shit tons of mana, specially when I want everyone to have them, it takes quite a while to have everyone properly buffed.


    "Where's Miss Lina?" Lyle asks.

    "She's back at home practicing her combat techniques, she's going to fight on the front lines so she has to be in top shape."

    "Oh..." Lyle looks a bit disappointed.

    "Don't worry, you will have a long time to talk to her during our trip," Alissa says with a mischievous smile.

    Lyle looks away in embarrassment and changes the topic.

    I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine. It's okay to be a bit jealous, she's just his friend, that's right, just friends, friends are good, she needs friends, just friends. I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine...


    I make sure to give Lina (and Ciel after she gets a pang of jealousy) lots of love during bath, Roxanne and Hana are sleeping on my bed tonight so I have to do it before both of them drain me.


    Today is the 5th.

    Roxanne succeeds in making me cum before I wake up, though she has to use her inside muscles for it.

    "That was cheating," Hana says with a frown.

    "None of us can do something like this," Alissa says, also frowning.

    "Hihihih," she grabs Hana's head and uses her to clean herself.

    "Do you, admit, defeat, in front, of the, superior, succubus, race?" She says amid moans.

    Hana takes offense on her cheekiness and uses her for a while to punish her.

    Once we are almost finishing breakfast a very tired Roxanne comes out of our room.

    "You look well," Ciel says, knitting her eyebrows.

    "She's learning what being cheeky gets her," Hana says, folding her arms.

    "I don't really... regret it," Roxanne says with a stupid smile.

    "You want more?" Hana growls to her.

    "N-no! I'm fine! I'm sorry! Hahahahah..." She laughs awkwardly.

    Ciel and Lina blush until it's time for them to go to Bombur's.


    This morning I spend training my mana using [Wind Magic]. I wish I could focus on [Golemancy], I really want to give Ted and Suzy better voices and more physical strength. My morning gets interrupted when I feel my pocket get very warm.

    I take out Vanea's lithograph. The black liquid slowly forms words.

    "Tomorrow, 10PM, Baalfire's Tavern".

    Shit, already?

    Lunch is very tense. The expertly seasoned bacon, beans and cornmeal that Alissa and Ciel made with so much love tasted like sand to me.

    "How's Lina's training?" I ask Hana.

    "She's ready to fight grunts toe-to-toe but anything else she will get suppressed. I focused on teaching her how to defend properly first so she won't die easily," Hana taps Lina's shoulder with pride.

    Lina herself gives me a confident smile and a nod.

    "She and Hana also have enough mana and power for a proper chantless [Earth Bullet], it will certainly catch whoever fights them unaware," Roxanne says with another proud smile.

    "Remember it's only as a trump card, don't tell them of our skills," Ciel says.

    With Alissa's [Illusion Magic] ready, [Ghost Lights] makes it very difficult to dodge her arrows, if you look at her you could get nearly blinded by lights.

    "I will keep out my 3 Shad's and Holly, I still don't have much mana for anything else so depending on the terrain I will be on the back line. The Shad's will cover me, Alissa, and Roxanne. I will focus on scouting with Holly."

    I learned that summons know everything I know so I can use English with them to give them secret commands. Yelling your commands to your summons will ruin certain strategies since the enemy will know.

    Lina increased her "Strength", [Hammer Use], [Parry], [Dodge], [Muscle Explosion], [Shield Bash], [Battlefield Perception], [Dwarven Pride Style], [Mana Control] and [General Enchanting] by 1, her [Earth Magic] by 2, her MP by 70, her "Magic Power" by 35.

    Hana learned [Earth Magic] with 1 point, she increased her MP by 95 (now 220), her "Magic Power" by 36 (now 60), and her "Intelligence" and "Wisdom" by 1 (now 9 and 10).

    Roxanne increased her MP by 100 (now 1205) and her "Magic Power" by 21 (now 380).

    Ciel increased her "Willpower" by 1 (now 13), her MP by 80 (now 885) and her "Magic Power" by 20 (now 270).


    Info
    Name:AlissaAge:16RaceFox-Type Wereanimal
    HP:100MP:235Magic Power:65
    Level:29Experience:100/8000
    Stats
    Strength:11Endurance:18Dexterity:22
    Speed:20Intelligence:11Wisdom:12
    Willpower:16Charisma:10Piety:15
    Perception:17Sanity:15
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:Blessing from the Goddess of Love, Blinding Arrows
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (fiance), Blood Slave (Owner: Wolf Ryder), Helios (Fellowship)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Roxanne Succubus, Hanafuria, Ciel, Lina
    Crimes:NONE
    AlissaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use9Bow Use26Parry4
    Dodge2Sense Presence6Hide Presence4
    Enhanced Olfact5Enhanced Hearing3Hawk Eyes3
    Muscle Explosion1Quiet Steps3Quiet Action2
    Enhanced Stamina1Tracking2
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control3Fire magic1
    Light Magic1Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1
    Illusion Magic2Fox Transformation (innate)5
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Housework3Cooking4Cleaning2
    Washing 5Riding2Oral Technique4
    Pain Resistance2Hand Technique2
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)



    Info
    Name:Roxanne SuccubsAge:21RaceSuccubus-Type Demon
    HP:100MP:1205Magic Power:380
    Level:33Experience:6022/10000
    Stats
    Strength:8Endurance:9Dexterity:11
    Speed:8Intelligence:18Wisdom:17
    Willpower:14Charisma:15Piety:10
    Perception:10Sanity:12
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Helios (Fellowship), Wolf Ryder (Fiance)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Ciel, Lina
    Crimes:NONE




    Roxanne SuccubusSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Dagger Use2
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana3Mana Control24Reduced Mana Cost3
    Mana Efficiency9Fire Magic22Water Magic23
    Ligh Magic1Space Magic8Conjuring Magic5
    Alchemy3Potion Brewing11Poison Brewing2
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Housework1Cooking1Cleaning1
    Washing1Riding1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)

    Info
    Name:HanafuriaAge:23RaceFire-Type Dragonkin
    HP:150MP:220Magic Power:60
    Level:36Experience:11050/12000
    Stats
    Strength:19Endurance:24Dexterity:10
    Speed:13Intelligence:9Wisdom:10
    Willpower:19Charisma:16Piety:11
    Perception:9Sanity:17
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (fiance), Blood Slave (Owner: Wolf Ryder), Helios (Fellowship)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel, Lina
    Crimes:NONE
    HanafuriaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use20Spear Use14Bow Use9
    Two-Handed Sword Use9Pole Arm Use6Dagger Use4
    Shield Bash6Block8Parry6
    Dodge4Tatesomu Style4Muscle Explosion4
    Battlefield Perception2Taunt3Intimidate2
    Enhanced Reflexes2Enhanced Stamina4Enhanced Strength2
    Enhanced Endurance4
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control1Fire magic1
    Earth Magic1Light Magic1Space Magic1
    Conjuring Magic1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel
    Housework 2Cooking 1Cleaning1
    Washing1Riding3Massage1
    Dismantling4Oral Technique1Pain Conversion1
    Fire Breath (innate)5Summon Wings (innate)2
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)



    Info
    Name:CielAge:21RaceHuman
    HP:100MP:885Magic Power:270
    Level:31Experience:3500/9500
    Stats
    Strength:14Endurance:13Dexterity:17
    Speed:18Intelligence:15Wisdom:18
    Willpower:13Charisma:17Piety:21
    Perception:12Sanity:19
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (fiance), Helios (Fellowship), Templar Knights (Honorary Member), Temple Priestess (Former Member)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Lina
    Crimes:NONE

    CielSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Glaive Use15Sword Use5Parry8
    Dodge6Block4Imperial Hasterrum Style2
    Muscle Explosion2Battlefield Perception1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana2Mana Control6Reduced Mana Cost1
    Mana Efficiency4Wind Magic15Fire Magic1
    Light Magic24Space Magic3Conjuring Magic1
    Diagnosis7
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    First-Aid3Housework3Cooking2
    Cleaning1Washing1Riding1
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)



    Info
    Name:LinaAge:15RaceDwarf
    HP:100MP:270Magic Power:140
    Level:21Experience:1240/7000
    Stats
    Strength:8Endurance:8Dexterity:12
    Speed:11Intelligence:16Wisdom:11
    Willpower:17Charisma:10Piety:10
    Perception:14Sanity:11
    Other
    Status Effects:NONETitles:NONE
    Affiliations:Wolf Ryder (master), Helios (Fellowship)
    Companions:Wolf Ryder, Alissa, Hanafuria, Roxanne Succubus, Ciel
    Crimes:NONE

    LinaSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Hammer Use5+9Parry1+4Dodge0+4
    Block0+6Muscle Explosion1+1Shield Bash0+1
    Battlefield Perception1+1Dwarven Pride Style1+1Enhanced Speed2+0
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana1Mana Control4Mana Efficiency1
    Fire Magic1Earth Magic3+2Light Magic1
    Space Magic1Conjuring Magic1General Enchanting8
    Magic Tool Carving1
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    General Blacksmith4Sewing4Housework1
    Cleaning2Washing1Math4
    Riding2Stonebody (innate)3
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)


    We have to level Roxanne and Ciel so they can learn more advanced spells, Hana is also suffering from only having 2 skill points left.

    We tried to formulate a plan but aside from brushing up on our team tactics there's not much else to do, we don't know who and where we are fighting.

    Due to the tenseness of the atmosphere I summoned a corgi for the girls.

    "Roxaaanne, It's my turn now," Ciel cries.

    "Nuh-uh you spent 15 minutes with it last time, I'm not even 10 yet," Roxanne answers, keeping the corgi away from her reach.

    "We didn't even get a chance to cuddle with it yet," Alissa says, her fox ears drop.

    I massage my eyes and try not to laugh at them.

    "How about this, we cycle the corgi, Ted, Suzy, and Aoi. Ten minutes and then you girls change the one you are cuddling with," I say.

    Aoi raises her head, just waking up from her nap on Hana's shoulder. Hana looks at me as if I was stealing Aoi.

    "Let's all share the things we love, we are all mature enough for that, right?" I say, the two girls look guiltily at each other, "Just like how you all share me we should share other things, right?"

    They nod. I look at Hana, she purses her lips and then nods.

    I'm glad I did this. Lina and Alissa monopolize everything until it's time for my classes. I certainly did not expect a teddy bear riding a corgi having a mock battle with a cloth doll riding a small dragon.


    I try to focus on my mana cost class, I feel it's related to how mana in general works. It's essentially the same thing as "Magic Power", you do more with less, it's just that it's something deliberate. With the skill you learn how to do it while "Magic Power" it's your body that increases its "affinity" with mana.

    The professor is telling us to focus on the unit of mana, the smallest amount of mana you can invoke and turn into a spell, to focus on this and repeatedly try to increase the power of the spell while maintaining the same mana cost.

    Normally this is impossible, mana cost equals power used but he's trying to have us disassociate these two concepts. Mana equals power but the conversion isn't static, it's dynamic, it depends on our "Intelligence" to learn more about mana, our "Wisdom" to refer back to what we already know and our "Willpower" to force the world to bend to our will. In the case of [Light Magic] our connection to the gods helps us change the world in accordance to their will, we understand more of it and allow them to help us channel magic through our bodies.

    I feel like I understand it, somewhat. The focus on the unit of mana is helping me, it's like it's on the tip of my tongue. It's dangerously close to direct mana manipulation, or rather, it's nearly the same thing, we are manipulating how the mana is used for our spells. We are rejecting the reality of how mana works and replacing it with our own.

    I feel refreshed and excited, this is kind of a mindfuck for me but I feel like I grasped something significant over this lesson.

    "It's all on the unit of mana, that's the secret," I say.

    "Hoh, for me it's more on the 'building' aspect of the spells, I feel like there's redundancy," Toroo says.

    "What do you mean?"

    "Well, I have been observing how mana flows through me and I see that every spell has many similar aspects, the gathering, the conversion, the building, the expulsion, and the trigger. The 'building' part seems very similar, like a 'stack of boxes', just that they are not all boxes and instead they have many shapes and forms. I have been trying to see how they can fit better together, the more 'snug' this building is the more stable the spell is, requiring less mana."

    Interesting. I haven't been looking very closely to how exactly the mana transforms into a spell, my concern was more philosophical, I guess.

    "That's a completely different view from what I have. I guess mine is about rejecting the way magic is formed and creating your own in a more efficient or rather, personal way."

    "That! That's what I was thinking about!" Lyle exclaims.

    Hatara and Lyle are leaning more to my side, Garanae is leaning to Toroo's side. Well it's not really a "side", more like a perspective. I can focus on training on my perspective but when I reach a wall I can switch to Toroo's perspective to continue leveling the skill.

    Alissa and Lina pay a lot of attention to our discussion, both are wanting to get more involved in magic so it will be useful for them in the future.


    Back at home I spend all my free time giving attention to each of them. Except for when we leave for a dungeon we always get very tense and sex help us all relax, though I feel drained again, 6 times on a single night, Hana wanted seconds.

    Tonight is Ciel and Lina on our bed. I crawl inside and nearly collapse, life's good.

    Ciel comes behind me and squishes my head in her bare breasts, it's her turn to cuddle with me. I grab Alissa and hug her from behind, Lina is then hugged by Alissa. It's going to be warm but I can deal with it, I'm already used to sleeping like this.

    "Say, Wolfy. What is sex to you?" Ciel asks.

    "The ultimate show of affection to your partner, that's the common interpretation on my world. Why do you ask?"

    "Well, your world is different so I wanted to know if we thought things similarly."

    "In comparison to my world, people in here have sex much more easily. The most unusual thing I see is prostitution being so accepted, religion in my world is not very fond of casual sex."

    "So 'love' is the only accepted reason for having sex?"

    "Kinda, the idea of having sex only for pleasure is accepted up to a certain point but it's complicated. The idea of selling your body is definitely not accepted in a large part of the world, even on the parts that are accepted it's not a respected profession. Also, people would definitely be disgusted to what I did to Alissa, Hana, and Lina."

    Now Alissa and Lina turn their heads towards me.

    "What do you mean?" Alissa asks.

    "Slavery is not accepted, in my world you are basically sex slaves, I have absolute power over you. Even if you consent to having sex with me your decision would be considered biased, tainted by the fact that I can punish you in any way I want if you deny me. Even if I treat you like an equal you are still subservient to me, you are not able to give me proper consent to me, so in a way, I am raping you."

    Alissa grimaces.

    "The Gods say it isn't so, I do not care what your world is like, I am yours and you are mine," her voice is tinged by anger.

    Hearing her say these words brings me peace.

    "When in Rome, do as the Romans do, that's a saying in my world. I'm trying my best to adapt to this world, I do not care what others would think of me back at the home I abandoned. I already made my decision to live here as Wolf Ryder."

    Alissa kisses my lips lightly, Ciel kisses the back of my neck. I extend my hand to Lina and instead of coming to me she kisses it, that's not what I wanted but whatever.

    "In this world sex has more uses," Ciel says, "It can be a way to give comfort to loved ones or help ease their pain, even if that person is merely a friend or family."

    "Wait what, incest is a thing?"

    "Incest?" Alissa asks.

    "Parents having sex with children or siblings having sex with each other."

    "Yes, as long as you don't procreate," Ciel continues, "Keep in mind the Sin of rape, family rapists suffer in hell for much longer."

    "Is there an afterlife? Like, when you die your soul goes to suffer in hell or have pleasure in heaven?"

    "Heaven?"

    "Paradise."

    "Yes, there is. Sinners suffer in hell in proportion to their sins, some necromancers try to trap their souls eternally or simply break their spirits making them dissipate into nothing so they don't have to go through hell, no one knows if that works," he shrugs, "Others try to become undead, but that is another thing completely. Paradise is a place for family to reunite one last time, it's also for heroes that did not get to live long enough to enjoy their rewards. Anyways, we are digressing, you said that prostitution is not accepted?"

    "Yes, selling your body is not accepted."

    "So who heals the broken and the lonely?"

    "Therapists, I guess. These problems of the mind are given much less attention than the ones of the body. Things were improving on that area, though. Do prostitutes do that?"

    "Prostitutes are trained by priests in how to help the lonely or those with a broken heart or mind. During sex people bare their hearts to each other, it's in this most vulnerable state that we can truly see inside someone's mind and give them the proper help they need."

    Sex as comfort and healing, seems progressive.

    "Seeing how prostitutes might be the most common client for priests it makes sense they help each other."

    "Indeed. Surprises me it isn't like this in your world, you said they had more evolved knowledge of the non-magical sciences."

    "Things are more complicated than that, the morality of my world is different. Over here people are pragmatic and hierarchical, in my world people are very individualistic. It's a very heterogeneous world, I think that the lack of the Gods made people go their own ways, only in science can we find the most things in common that we agree upon."

    And even in science there's a lot to disagree on.

    "So the world is in the Age of Discord," Lina says.

    "A proper comparison, but my world is much, much less deadly."

    The conversation dies down on this point. Prostitutes with a degree in psychology, incest, and sex for comfort. This world never stops to surprise me.


    Today is the 6th.

    Alissa wakes me up, she was so delicate I dreamed we were floating in the sky as she gave me head. When I woke up I was a little confused whether or not that dream was real.

    I pull her close to me and hug her tight. The shrieks of the dying space mage woman replay in my head every time I think about tonight.

    "What are you feeling?" Alissa asks.

    "... Scared…"

    "So am I…"

    There's no more words that need to be said.

    I pull strands of her hair from blocking her beautiful orange eyes, which then look deeply into mine.

    I grab one of her ears and just massage it, she lets out a sound that was almost a purr.

    She runs her hand through my hair and we give each other a massage until Ciel and Lina properly wake up.

    I increased my MP by 20 (now 760) and my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 265), it seems I couldn't focus much on training yesterday due to Vanea's message. I learned [Wind Magic] with 1 point and surprisingly I learned [Reduced Mana Cost] with 2 points.


    The gloomy mood spreads and we eat breakfast in silence.

    "Let's just relax this morning, we already trained all we could and it's best that we don't go into battle too tense," Alissa says.

    There are no arguments against this. We spend this chilly morning in front of the fireplace, we bring blankets and pull the table away so we can all cuddle in front of it. I spend my time brushing Alissa's tail and hair, I just love to touch this fluffiness, it's not the fluffiness itself that makes me happy but it's the person it's attached to.

    After a while I just hug her from behind and rest my chin on her shoulders. Lina is sleeping on Ciel's lap, which in turn is playing with Lina's silky hair. Roxanne is taking care of Hana's hair, she grumbles whenever she finds a matted patch, she first brushes it then she passes some oily hair product so it won't mat anymore, Hana is just obediently sitting still. Ted and Suzy are awkwardly dancing with each other in front of the fireplace, something Roxanne taught them.

    Aoi is on Alissa's lap, she traces her fingers lightly over Aoi's scales. Aoi raises her head and looks at me.

    "Saa?" She asks.

    I feel she wants to know why we are all so sad.

    "We are not sad, we are tense, we will have to fight."

    "Faig, fuun," he strains herself to talk.

    She thinks fighting is fun. It might be if we are on a dungeon and we know what's coming.

    "We are fighting other people again, it's not fun for us to fight other humanoids."

    She looks confused and tilts her head, imitating Alissa. Cute.

    "For us, fighting other humanoids there's no glory, it's... Almost like fighting a friend," Alissa says.

    "Freen?"

    Aoi is starting to understand what the other girls talk, but they don't fully understand her yet.

    "Almost a friend," I say.

    "Udeer-tan…"

    I reach over and rub her slick head.


    In space class the professor made the students demonstrate [Item Box], then he held a discussion about how the skill feels and how it could be modified. Not that many space mages actually reach level 20 on this magic school, those who are dedicated enough can improve the amount they can carry without increasing the level of the skill. I didn't participate much and thankfully the professor didn't mind.

    Listening to Lyle and Lina helped me clear my mind, even though jealousy burned in my heart.


    I cast on everyone [Wind Armor], [Sharp Blades], [Swift Foot], [Rainbow Shield], and [Rainbow Crystal]. The last spell creates a faint rainbow diamond on the back of our hands, it's certainly more visible than the other spells.

    We make a simple dinner and by 9:30PM we leave towards Baalfire's.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
  10. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    We all wear simple weapons at our sides but we don't wear our armor, it would be too conspicuous.

    The tavern is on the main road near the castle so it's a rather well made building. It's a brown and grey brick building squashed between two other bigger food shops. The tavern has no windows and a very heavy metal door, it reminds me of the "secret club" type of pubs where it was mostly a discreet and quiet place for higher class men to share a few smokes and drinks.

    Once we enter my suspicions are confirmed, the ambient is filled with murmuring, the occasional laughs and smoke of whatever thing they use to smoke around here. Everyone is dressed in rather conservative velvet clothing but of high quality, there's very few women in here. Seems like a gathering point for official servants of the town.

    Our eyes adjust to the low-light environment as the murmuring reduces and I hear the music being played.

    "♪ He saw no way around. The monster made him pause. His companion was about to fall down. So he jumped into those claws! ♪" The singer makes exaggerated movements as he sings.

    As we walk the stares increase. Alissa motions to us and we quickly sit down on a table, it's very snug and comfortable, the low hanging light on the table makes our faces less recognizable.

    "♪ Like a hero from legend. He used [Shocking Touch]. He paralyzed the wretched. And bet it all on a clutch! ♪" The singer quietens as the instruments start a crescendo.

    A proto-waiter appears before us.

    "Good evening grand patrons. Would you like to go to our exclusive room? We can give you more personalized service worthy of someone of your position," his voice rings in our ears but his unnatural emphasis makes it obvious to us what he wants.

    "Sure, lead the way," I say.

    "♪ The monster was a fearsome foe. No one would dare get so close! He attacked but his heart was filled with woe. Until his companion made the monster explooode! ♪"

    The lyrics makes me uncomfortable but the instruments are being played well, with a little tuning it could be an epic song.

    We move deeper into the tavern and enter a corridor. The proto-waiter stops and looks around, there's no one here besides us, then he opens a side door leading downstairs and motions for us to go.

    "The bottom door," he says and leaves.

    The stairs go down for what seems to be a few floors underground, we go deep below the city. There are a few heavy doors flanking us but we continue. We finally reach the end of the stairs and open the last heavy door.

    On a very wide and unremarkable grey room Vanea and Haaran are hunched over a table with a few papers and drawings. Surrounding them are men and women in fully plate armor, a few have leather or robes.

    Once we enter all heads turns to us and Vanea gives me a wide and genuine smile. Aside from a few people most knights give us looks of annoyance. Alissa and Lina return the stares, they seem unmoved at the attention. Hana is completely unfazed. Ciel and Roxanne shiver as they get the full brunt of both the siblings soul-piercing stare for the first time.

    Haaran rolls his eyes and puts a sack of what could be coins, due to the sound they make, on the table. A devil-type knight besides him snickers and puts the sack on his [Item Box].

    "What a pleasure to know you are here, Mr. Ryder," Haaran greets me with a bitter smile.

    The gazes of the siblings penetrate my [Mental Resistance] and give me a shiver.

    "I'm merely fulfilling my part of the deal," I force a smile with a small bow.

    "I told you it was a stupid bet," Vanea says with a smug smile towards her brother.

    Haaran's face scrunches up for a moment.

    "Sir Haaran bet we wouldn't fulfill our word?" Alissa raises an eyebrow in annoyance.

    "Not... Exactl-..."

    "He bet you would come in all scared and skittish," says the devil-type man.

    "Marduk…" Haaran says in a low growl.

    The man bites his lips to suppress a smile. This exchange amuses Alissa and Hana, but it only makes Lina angry.

    "Anyway, let's continue with our business at hand," Haaran says through gritted teeth and a forced smile.

    His embarrassed face makes him look like another person, he looks almost... Normal.

    "Come around, everyone, it's time for a briefing," Vanea says and everyone bunches up around the table.

    There's a large diagram with what seems to be a map of part of the town. There are a few simple carved wooden soldiers surrounding a specific building. One has a golden dot on the top of its head, another has a silver dot, a third has a red dot, and the others have numbers.

    "First of all, context," Vanea starts, her face becomes neutral again, "We are dealing with an information leak, there's a spy in the castle that's hampering our efforts. This is the only information everyone is allowed to share, anything else is on a need-to-know basis. Do not share this information with anyone else besides your superiors."

    "For this operation I assembled this team. First is my brother, who will be leading gold squad. His second-in-command is Sir Marduk."

    The devil-type man waves. His skin is red as blood and his eyes are black. His features are thin and a bit effeminate. He barely looks like a proper knight with his smirk crooked smile and casual posture.

    "For leader of silver squad will be Dame Larana, her second-in-command is Sir Tarano."

    A petite werecat woman waves. She reminds me of a Maine coon, grey skin and white hair with black stripes. Small snout, whiskers, yellow cat eyes, and cat ears. Her eyes are sharp and her face is bony and imponent, she looks calm and cold.

    A small incubus-type man clenches his fist over his chest. He's similar to Sonny, pale white skin and hair, but red eyes instead of yellow. Small spiral horns on the temples and a dagger-like tail floating besides him. He has a bit of a ratty face with a long nose, thin chin and a suspicious smile.

    "And this is the fellowship Helios, they will be red squad. Mr. Wolf and Misses Alissa, Roxanne, Hana, Ciel, and Lina. None of you except for Haaran has fought with him yet but I won't hear a single complaint," her gaze washes over every knight, "I have no time to deal with inflated pride, this operation is too sensitive to let petty feelings get in the way of the results. If any of you have any doubts remember this fellowship killed the Symbol of Hate and fought side-by-side with Haaran during the goblin village extermination."

    The mood of the knights turn into surprise and they murmur between each other. A little bit of fear enters their hearts and the annoyance they have with us slowly disappears, no one seems stupid enough to go against her.

    "Quiet. Now, for the operation. Two days ago one of our sniffers found a trail of Farana Uiara's scent while she was buying simple groceries on a shop, she was being escorted by two men. We got our stalkers after her and we tracked her going inside this mansion," Vanea points to a large rectangle on the map, "She hasn't come out yet but we had a tracker sense her presence in there."

    "We have detected twenty people plus Farana in there. We do not know about their equipment but there hasn't been much movement inside, we think these are well trained guards since they don't go outside. Farana herself is restricting her own movements a lot, she believes she's in danger but she doesn't know just how..." Her face twitches as she forces herself not to swear, " much danger she is in."

    "There's movement on the buildings surrounding the mansion. One of my spies confirmed these to be simple guards who rotate their deployment and think they are just protecting the daughter of a merchant."

    "A few of the knights will have to deploy around the mansion to hold these guards, we are certainly going to have to fight so I would rather fight with less men than risk being flanked by random confused grunts," Haaran says.

    Vanea places around 6 numbered soldier carvings on the buildings surrounding the mansion.

    "You all know where the buildings you are assigned are and how to get to them. Any questions?" She looks to the knights in question.

    6 plated knights hit their chests with a closed fist and shake their heads.

    "No, my dame," says one of them.

    "Continuing. The rest of the numbered knights will surround the mansion and guard the exits. If someone tries to run use your signal bombs and try to delay with the rest of your tools, but don't try to fight if you are outnumbered."

    7 carvings are positioned around roads leading to the mansion.

    "Silver squad will go through the back first and carefully enter the mansion. Two minutes after we will get gold squad and red squad to storm the front. Both gold and silver will use the scrubbers to prevent escape once the assault truly begins. Only Farana gets to live, everyone else don't bother leaving alive," her voice turns cold.

    "What if they surrender?" Ciel asks.

    "Cut their legs and heal them, then go back to the fight. You shouldn't have a problem with this, right, priestess?" Vanea glares at Ciel.

    Ciel sustains her gaze and glares back.

    "No, as long as we do not kill with reckless abandon."

    "For me the most important thing is that none of my men dies. I don't know how much loyalty these mercenaries have but none of them is worthy of risking one of these knights," Vanea shows a disturbing smile.

    A few of the younger knights straighten up in pride, for as much they fear her they still greatly respect her. Haaran raises his hand to call attention to him.

    "Anyway, we have to move in the dark like this otherwise she might use a rogue space mage to escape. We know they had contact with one, this means they know where to go for such services so if we try to scout more we risk her escaping. This is an important woman, lover of a very important enemy to Rabanara, she's the key to catching this spy," he says.

    "This is it, any questions?" Vanea asks.

    All knights hit their chests with a closed fist and repeat in unison.

    "No, my dame."

    "I would like to speak with Dame Vanea in private," I say to Vanea.

    I feel that if I said "you" one of the knights would slap me.

    "You are all dismissed!" She waves at the knights.

    The knights straighten up and everyone moves towards the exit. The room empties as Haaran is the last one out.

    "We have to decide upon a reward," I say.

    "Ten gold for each of you," she answers immediately, "Also, thirty more gold coins as the bounty for those kidnappers you killed."

    We are taken aback in surprise. I look at Lina and she nods to me. Vanea chuckles.

    "Five gold would be the standard for an inexperienced group of mercenaries. But we have no reason even try to rip you off, we treat and pay those who work for us very well," she smiles innocently.

    "I would prefer the better treatment than the better pay."

    "You don't have to worry, I will value your help greatly. You can even keep the money as a gift of goodwill."

    I give her a thankful nod.

    "Well then, can you watch over my dragon until we come back? She's not combat-ready for this type of battle.

    Aoi looks at me with biggest puppy eyes she can muster, when I show no reaction she looks for support on the other girls. None of them flinch, Hana gives her a kiss on the top of her head and pats her.

    "You will be ready in a few years, perhaps," she says.

    Vanea raises an eyebrow.

    "Sure, I will be waiting in the [Gate] room so she can just stay there. If she stays in the corner of the room nobody will bother her."

    "Understood, that is all."

    "Come to the first room to the right."

    As Vanea leaves I relay the message to Aoi and I feel the same coldness and loneliness of when we first met. Being left alone in the corner with nobody giving attention to her is exactly what her parents did ever since she was born.

    "We will not be able to always stay by your side, my little dragon," Hana says with a softness that could even soothe us, "But you have to trust us, we will come back, we are not abandoning you."

    "Wolf will never abandon us, we will never abandon him, and we will never abandon you," Lina says.

    "Thruus-t..." Aoi forces out.

    "Yes trust us as we trust you," I say.

    She sadly nods and hangs her head low.

    We pull out our recently padded armor. All our chest pieces now have a small white gem near the neck, we just send a small amount of mana to the gem and it will cast [Breeze] depending on the amount of mana, this will keep us from overheating in this amount of fur. Some silver lines circle around the inside of our armor and even go down towards our pants.

    We had the two-handed emellanat sword reforged into a smaller bastard sword that Hana can use, the remaining metal of the reforged sword got added to Ciel's shield. I'm using the one-handed emellanat sword. The other shield with emellanat we had it removed and added to Lina's shield. Our front line is nearly spell-immune, emellanat can only absorb a limited amount of "Magic Power" after all.

    "How are you feeling, Wolfy?" Alissa asks.

    "I'm fine."

    She grabs my hand, I notice I'm shaking.

    "Well I guess I'm very anxious. What about Lina?"

    She looks at us, she's frowning but she's not shaking.

    "I guess better than me," I laugh, then I turn to Ciel, "What do the Gods say about killing?"

    "A life without conflict goes against the teachings of the God of Change, but we need a very good reason for this conflict. No life shall be wasted."

    "Senseless murder", so there are reasons for it to be accepted.

    "Are you ready to fight, not for yourself, but for us?" Alissa asks.

    That surprises me a little.

    "I fought for you when we were attacked by the Red Smile," I say.

    "But you lost yourself, you weren't ready."

    "I admit I'm fearing this a little…"

    "We all are," Hana interrupts.

    "Yes, we all are. But right now I am ready, as ready as I'll ever be."

    She smiles then gives me a peck on the lips.

    I silence the shrieking woman in my head. There's no time for fear, there's only time for being resolute. I need to strike true and with decisiveness, hesitation will get you killed. I will deal with my PTSD some other time.

    Fortune favors the bold. Fear is the mind-killer. Hesitation is the kiss of death. Fortune favors the bold. Fear is the mind-killer. Hesitation is the kiss of death. Fortune favors the bold. Fear is the mind-killer. Hesitation is the kiss of death...


    We enter the room Vanea talked about, it's another unremarkable room. The knights are all forming lines in front of robed men and women I haven't seen before. Vanea points to us to a robed man with no one in front.

    "Form a line here, this space mage will send you to your destination. Haaran's squad will appear near you, just remember to follow him and everything will be fine. Here," Vanea motions and a servant besides her opens a box for us.

    "Grab one of these necklaces, they have been blessed by the Goddess of Will and will give you some [Mental Resistance], it should be enough to resist against [Illusion Magic]. This is a gift so don't even think about losing or selling it," she gives me a stern look coupled with a sweet smile.

    It's similar to Roxanne's, a simple necklace with a metal medallion, a pair of closed eyes is drawn on relief.

    We give our thanks as we take the necklaces.

    "Everyone ready...? Good. Now... GO!" Vanea orders.

    A black circle appears in front of us, we give one last look to Aoi, depressingly curled on the corner of the room and one by one we enter it.

    I am ready.


    We appear in an alley, it ends in a road and on the other side of this road there's another alley. Shining in the moonlight a group of plated knights comes out of it, Haaran in the lead. He waves us over.

    My skills are like this:

    Wolf RyderSkill Report
    Physical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sword Use10+8Dodge5+5Parry5+5
    Block2+8Shield Bash0+1Battlefield Perception1+1
    Muscle Explosion1+1
    Magical
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Sense Mana3+6Mana Control0+9Mana Recovery9+0
    Mana Efficiency4+5Reduced Mana Cost7+2Mana Overuse Resistance0+3
    Fire Magic0+1Earth Magic0+3Wind Magic0+1
    Electric Magic9+11Light Magic4+6Space Magic11+19
    Summoning Magic13+17Blessing Magic5+15Nature Magic0+15
    Illusion Magic0+2Golemancy0+2Redirect Mana (creator)3
    Sense Soul (creator)3
    Miscellaneous
    Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel Skill NameLevel
    Andraste Language6+4Dismantling0+3Massage0+1
    Enhanced Semen Recharge0+4
    OBS: Level means (free point)+(trained point)
    I discreetly summon Holly behind us and whisper her to fly around the mansion.

    We huddle near a corner on the road, if we take that corner the mansion is straight two blocks down. Haaran looks at a clock in his hand, when it turns into exactly 10:10PM a ring on his other hand turns green. Through Holly I see a group of 6 people sneaking towards the back of the mansion, they are completely covered by the darkness so only with night vision they could be seen. Now we wait, two minutes.

    Haaran's sword and shield are different. The sword has gems on the handle, his shield also has a few on its back. Makes sense to put those things where people can't really see, enchantments must be hidden from the enemy to catch them unaware. I feel a hint of mana coming from them, definitely powerful enchantments.


    Not even a minute goes by and the ring turns red.

    "They got spotted, charge!" Haaran orders and we rush down the corner.

    I feel mana gathering besides us, a mage from Haaran's squad is casting something. Another mage is fiddling with a small black gem, it's the scrubber. In a moment I'm attacked by the discomfort of having my [Gate] blocked.

    "[Fireball]!"

    The spell flies forward and hits the gate, it burst open the same moment the double doors of the mansion are violently open.

    10 men and women pour out of the doors, one familiar cloaked woman is behind them. Everyone looks a bit "odd", it's just slightly straining to keep an eye on them. The necklace is working, they are all using [Ignorance] but its effect was greatly reduced.

    4 men step forward with shields, 2 have spears, 2 have bows and 2 have staffs. The shield users have some very thick textile armor, either brigandines or fur-padded chest pieces. Haaran has 2 shield users plus himself, 2 spears, 1 archer and 1 mage. The enemies are level 30-40, the knights are level 40-50, Haaran is level 56.

    "She's at the back!" Alissa yells.

    All the men and women in front of us looked very wary and angry, after Alissa yell a little bit of fear enters their expressions, they now look desperate and desperate warriors are the most dangerous.

    They quickly form a line in front of us, too quickly. They are all completely dressed and armed, this wasn't a complete surprise for them. Worst of all, the shield users bring out war hammers, they were prepared to face the knights.

    Now comes an important part, the mages try casting area spells on each other.

    "I'll interrupt!" Roxanne yells.

    "I'll cast!" Ciel yells.

    "I'll cast!" Yells the other mage.

    "I'll interrupt" Yells one of the spear users.

    I feel a large amount of mana moving wildly around us. Feels like a storm, but this is only a small battle, a real fight between armies could cause a real mana storm to form and consequently, a dungeon.

    I feel like there are two black holes near us, creating a swirl of mana and absorbing it when it gets too close, those are area spells being cast directly in the middle of us. One of their spearmen is chanting something, another half-mage like Ciel.

    Just like how you control mana at range to cast a spell like [Firestorm], others can also control that mana and interrupt your spells. This phase of the battle is a dick measurement battle, the one with the biggest amount of control wins, but that rarely happens, you need a huge amount of [Mana Control] to finish a spell while being interrupted.

    "I'll interrupt!" I yell.

    I focus on one of the black holes, controlling mana is like trying to hold on multiple balls at the same time, you eventually learn how to juggle but it's always a large effort. Interrupting a juggle is much easier than juggling yourself, I "grab" the "event horizon" of the spell and pull it apart, it stretches a little and I see the spearman wince.

    The other spell gets broken and the black hole disperses. I feel more "hands" grabbing this spell, with all this power the spearman doesn't hold and the spell is pulled apart. The mana is released and the storm recedes, only ripples of this storm remain on the atmosphere. Ciel and the allied mage's spell are broken too.

    The front lines are understandably anxiously staring at each other. If one of the spells went off then chaos would have happened without them being able to do a thing.

    I cast [Lighting Bolt], the shield guy that receives it didn't even flinch.

    "EMELLANAT!" I yell.

    Even Hana's [Fire Breath] won't have much effect on the front line.

    "ATTACK!" Haaran commands.

    Something on his voice lifts our spirits and clears our minds. Did he learn [Godly Language]? Such magic is restricted to high lords and royalty.

    No time for this, the front line moves forward and the back line runs for cover. The enemy archers hide behind two trees, they are flanking the small road towards the gate. The front line meets each other at the gate and a tense battle starts.

    The enemy's pole arms stay behind the shield users, spears won't do much good to a knight unless they hit a vulnerable spot, which there aren't many. It's best to leave the war hammers in front. Haaran and us assume a similar tactic, better to have more swords in front than poke each other at distance with spears, we have the numeric advantage, we have to use it.

    The mansion is encircled with a metal fence, allowing for arrows to fly through. But the gate is not large enough for our front line to use their numerical advantage to full effect, we can't surround them. Hana is also constrained as her wings would get in the way of others, dragonkin do not fight well on a shield line.

    In the middle of the street I pull out a barricade made of logs and crouch behind it. Roxanne hides behind the arch of a house to our right. Alissa is behind a porch of the same house as Roxanne's, there's a chest high wall she can hide behind.

    Haaran's mage is on the left behind another archway of a house to our left. The archer is behind a pillar of the veranda of that house.

    A [Wind Blade] hits my barricade and splinters fly, it can take about 6 more of these hits, this mage is not particularly strong. But the fight won't last as long.

    At this position I don't have much I can do, I can't spam spells like [Discharge] because I don't have much mana due to the summons, there's also a large difficulty in not causing friendly-fire.

    Alissa and the allied archer trade arrows with the enemy archer and try to flank the shield wall. But there's no angle to fire that won't let them exposed to counter-fire.

    Roxanne chucks spells towards the mansion's doors, where the mages are covering themselves. She has the power to destroy the mansion, but I don't want her to waste mana so she's holding herself back.

    Good thing Vanea surrounded this area with knights, the explosions definitely woke up the neighborhood.

    I need to do something, the battle is on a stalemate right now, they are only giving each other light wounds. The ferocity of the knights is being matched by the resilience of the mercenaries which are like a cornered animal. No one on the shield line is exposing themselves, they need a distraction.

    Hana gets impatient pushes a bit forward, she bashes the shield of the swordsman she's fighting and deflects the counter from the spearman. Ciel tries to snag his spear with the hook in her glaive but the man is experienced enough to not fall for it.

    The swordsman Hana is fighting regains his composure and bashes her shield. Another swordsman and a spearman on his side help by attacking her in sync, she's too forward and exposed to more attacks.

    The attacks have effect and Hana nearly loses her balance. The attacks continue and Ciel supports her back so she doesn't fall. A sword flashes towards Hana's neck.

    Hana played them perfectly, she steadies her feet and with incredible speed she hunches over, the sword hits the side of her barbute right where her cheek scales are and crack them along with bending the metal of her barbute. She grabs the hand of the swordsman with her shield hand and blocks the other two fighters, her sword flashes forward.

    Ciel manages to get a slash into the shoulder of the second swordsman, it didn't pierce his padded leather but he received a good bruise, his shield arm is going to lose some power. Hana's sword enters the throat of the swordsman in front of her, she twists the sword and the man jumps backwards, escaping her grip.

    The spearman immediately drags back the hurt man and starts chanting. That's it, an opening! I should just throw a dog on their back line and they will quickly dissolve!

    Mine and Roxanne's Shad's detect mana coming from behind us, it's on the form of a capsule. It turns into a person instantly, there's someone right behind us!

    "Invi-...!

    "Behi-...!

    "UAAAAAH!"

    "GAAAAH!"

    Alissa and the allied mage's warnings gets drowned by blood curdling screams coming from behind us, the battlefield nearly stops to a standstill. I look back and there's someone kneeling that can only be described as a ninja. Textile body-conforming clothes, balaclava, very light shoes, all black, and a dagger on hand. Multiple ethereal tentacles coming out of my shadow are passing through his body, one is directly on his forehead.

    I slash with my sword and his head falls from his shoulders. Roxanne points her staff and fires a chantless [Ice Lance] directly on the head of the assassin behind her, causing it to nearly explode. I feel Alissa get hurt.

    "ASSASSINS! STAND YOUR GROUND!" Haaran roars, his words gives my body new vigor.

    I look at Alissa, an arrow entered her left cheek and exited through her jaw hinge on the right side, she's nearly tumbling over. I feel the most amount of fear I have ever felt, my legs are frozen. She snaps her head back in place and recovers her posture, with blinding speed she draws her bow and fires an arrow behind where we are.

    The arrow flies and suddenly stops in the middle of the air, blood pours from nowhere.

    A glowing flask is thrown towards the floating arrow and it breaks on the floor. Hundreds of fireflies pour out in anger. In a second most of them congregate into 3 humanoid shapes. The [Invisibility] wears off and we see 3 assassins, two are archers, one of those has an arrow on his chest, the last one has no weapons and turns to run.

    I cast [Lighting Bolt] on the one running, he trips and falls on the floor. Arrows, spells and another chantless [Ice Lance] pepper the surviving archers. A spear knight runs towards the assassin who fell on the ground.

    The allied mage has an arrow coming out of his neck, Marduk breaks the arrow and pulls it out. He grabs an ethereal dagger and plunges into the heart of the mage. This is [Martyrism], demon-race magic. He will "absorb" the wound into his soul and "heal" his own soul.

    I look at Alissa, she breaks the shaft of the arrow and pulls out the rest from the right side. She looks at me, I see a hint of smugness. My legs that had been like jelly suddenly get a burst of strength when I see blood pouring out of her wounds. I rush towards her.

    I immediately cast two strong [Heals], the wound closes up entirely. She pinches my cheek.

    "Don't waste so much mana! I can handle a little pain, remember I have [Pain Resistance]!" She chastises me.

    "I.. I'm sorry. D-drink some anti-venom, just in case."

    "Alright, now go back to the fight, we are back to a stalemate until the knights are back in shape," she leans into the wall and drinks a general anti-venom from a metal flask.

    That's right! The dog! I cast [Summon Dog] and grab the light ball.

    "Tackle one of them, do as much damage as you can," I tell the ball, in English.

    With a shamefully awkward throw the ball lands into garden behind the fence. A German Shepherd comes out and lunges towards the mage hiding behind the doors just as the enemy spearman finishes chanting a heal to the injured swordsman.

    "AAAH! HELP ME!" Screams a mage in high-pitched desperation.

    Ciel jumps back and mock-chants a [Windstorm] into the archers behind two not-apple trees. They scatter and the enemy spearman tries to interrupt, the last unharmed mage is trying to help his partner mage and can't help interrupt.

    Alissa jumps out of hiding and sends an arrow in the chest of the spearman mage. He falls into the ground and stops interrupting the spell.

    Ciel casts the storm and moves it after one of the archers. It slashes him in the back and he falls into the ground, the wind digs into his flesh, opening up multiple deep cuts.

    The other archer tries to hit Alissa but she casts [Ghost Lights] chantless and he gets blinded for a moment, she turns into a fox and runs back to cover. The archer flips a table and hides behind it. Roxanne fires a [Fireball] into it and the table partially explodes, leaving the archer exposed again. Alissa fires an arrow and the archer protects her face with her arm.

    This is my cue, no more archers that can stop me, I cast [Rush]. I concentrate all I can in retaining control. I run towards the fence and jump towards a concrete pillar.

    I pull myself up with ease as I cast a short [Telekinesis] on myself and I swing over the other side of the fence. One spearman tries to break from the line and engage me. He's too slow, I rush towards the double doors.

    My dog finally dies and I see a mage with a completely shredded arm and partially burned clothes. Embers and the smell of burnt fur fill the air. I'm sorry you died so horribly, doggy.

    The last mage is on the middle of the main hall, he sees me and starts chanting, it's a simple [Fireball]. It's not fast enough.

    I slide and cut off his left leg right on the knee. He falls sideways and shrieks. I grip my sword backwards and stab him in the back of his head. He gargles, he's going to die in a few seconds.

    The enemy spearman is almost catching up to me. Hana finally breaks through the shield line and with her wings she charges towards the spearman. He didn't even see her coming and his head fell from his shoulder.

    The last mage lifts his hand towards me. I cast [Earth Bullet] into his face, he starts bleeding profusely from a wound in his forehead. Hana lands in front of me with a smile and turns around, she sees the last mage and sends her own chantless [Earth Bullet], a rock stake pierces his forehead and he stops moving.

    I hear footsteps behind us. The door behind us opens and 1 men and two women appear. One woman is an archer, the other is a mage and the man is a spearman. They are winded and wounded, fleeing from their battle with the silver squad. Their faces pale as they see us.

    Hana rushes the spearman, he meekly raises his spear only to have it break on her shield. She slashes downwards, he tries to defend with his shield but he gets sprawled on the ground.

    I cast [Rush] and dash towards the archer, she quickly abandons trying to pull an arrow and draws her sword just in time to defend my blow. I feint a thrust and slash downwards with a little help of [Telekinesis], she can't handle the surprise weight and loses her sword.

    I slash at her wrist and her left hand falls off, she quits trying to draw her dagger from her back and falls on her knees.

    "I YIELD!" The archer screams.

    The mage girls is shaking and drops her staff.

    "I-I y-yield!" The mage is terrified.

    I hear footsteps upstairs, must be Farana.

    With a broken shield line and no support, multiple weapons fall down on the floor as the remaining mercenaries surrender. Haaran bursts into the hall.

    "Where is she!?" He asks in desperation.

    His armor is still pristine, only tainted by a few drops of the blood of our enemies.

    "Upstairs! I think she's running!" I answer.

    "I'll handle them, go!" Hana yells.

    I dash through the left stairs while Haaran dash towards the right. I hear the mage woman scream, Hana must have cut her hands so she can't cast spells. Brutal, but necessary.

    I cast [Rush] and [Spirit Light] and my head starts hurting. I'm on my last legs here, hopefully she won't fight.

    "Hold her in place," I tell my Shad in English, I only feel a sense of someone telling me "yes".

    Holly is flying around the mansion, Farana won't escape.

    I hear a door bursting open at the far end of the corridor. Gotcha.

    I can't even admire the luxury of this mansion, I get over the end of the corridor so fast I almost crash into the wall, [Rush] is still dangerous if I lose concentration for even a second.

    I hear Haaran's plate cacophony coming closer. I'm on the entrance of a huge room full of furniture covered by dust, Farana is hiding here somewhere.

    "Find her."

    I pull my shield up and wait. I get a single glance at a shadowy figure and I sense "death" coming, I pull my shield up just as a dagger clanks against it. Farana tries to run towards the window.

    A huge shadow emerges from the ground and covers her. She falls down on the ground, her screams muffled by the Shad.

    I walk towards her and remove the 3 other daggers and the shortsword I can see on her waist. I put my sword on her neck and my foot on her back.

    "That's enough, back to protecting me."

    Farana stops screaming. I see her eyes are vacant, she's stunned by the pain. Slowly as her eyes gain focus she tries to raise herself, only for me to force her back down. Realization of her situation quickly washes over her face.

    She's really cute and small. Braided brown hair to the side and a pale freckled face. Her larger than average ass is visible even for me.

    A large orange fox and a pristine knight burst into the room. Alissa turns back and aims her drawn bow at Farana. Haaran stops to catch his breath and sighs in relief.

    Haaran brings out manacles and quickly restrains Farana, two other knights appear and start patting her down. I move back towards Alissa and relax.

    We are sweaty but I don't care, I just hug her and inspect where her wound was.

    "It's fine, didn't even leave a scar," she slaps my exploring hands with a smile.

    Good.

    "What now?" I ask Haaran.

    "Return to your fellowship and watch over the prisoners, we will find silver squad."

    We quickly walk back to where we came. There's only 7 prisoners there, including the 3 that surrendered to me, the rest haven't surrendered fast enough and were cut down. Once a shield line breaks and people get surrounded things turn bad quickly.

    I see Ciel is healing the stumps of the crying mage girl. She might get her hands back later, though I don't know what exactly is going to happen to them, they should be simple mercenaries.

    "Wound report," I tell the girls.

    "Nothing," says Roxanne.

    "Nothing," says Ciel.

    "My shield hand hurts a lot," Lina says.

    "Just a small bruise and this," Hana says, tapping her crushed scales.

    "How do I heal those scales?" I ask.

    Some of them are missing parts, things like these don't heal without the level 80 [Regrowth] spell from [Light Magic] or a very long use of [Regeneration].

    "Let me find the broken parts and it should heal normally, if not then in about a day-cycle or so they should grow back to normal."

    Me, Lina, and Ciel surround the prisoners as Roxanne and Hana search for pieces of her scales.

    Hana finds them and lays down on the ground, she puts the broken pieces on her face where they should fit.

    "That's it, now just do it."

    I signal Ciel with my eyes. Can't tell the prisoners I'm low on mana. She chants quickly and heals her.

    "Alright, feels a bit off, some didn't get fully healed but this will go back to normal in a day or two," Hana says.

    "Hana, can you bring me the corpses of the assassins? They might have valuable things on them, three of them are our kills so I won't let Vanea have them. Even the one who tried to run could be considered my kill but I will let her have two."

    "What spell was that?" Ciel asks.

    "[Invisibility], it's level 50, this illusion mage is no joke," I answer.

    It's from [Illusion Magic]. The interesting thing about it is that you can't see anything when you use it, light curves around you, which means that light also never enters your eyes. You have to use other means to see where you are going.

    Not even Holly can see them if they are using this spell, her vision depends on some sort of particle for vision, somehow, we owe our lives to the Shad's mana vision. The allied mage survived an arrow to the throat but if these assassin had reached us we could have died instantly.

    Hana easily drags them, they are all rather small and thin, one is a werecat. The archer's armor is nearly ruined.

    We wait nearly 20 minutes until Haaran comes back with Farana and the silver squad, they look beaten and bloodied. Larana looks tired, Tarano is limping and holding his ribs, and there's 2 dead knights with them. Haaran looks very bitter.

    "Everyone here...? Good, calling back our way out," he says.

    Haaran fiddles with a small gem on his hand. In a minute a group of space mages and a two knights come out of an alley and rush towards the gate.

    "You two," Haaran points at the knights, "Find knight number 1, he must have been killed by the assassins. Then get the town guards and scour this area, I want every single hired guard around this mansion under arrest, someone was working with the spy."

    "Yes, sir!" They answer in unison.

    The space mages open the [Gate] and we are back in the room we came from. A few robed men and women come take a look at the wounded silver squad. Vanea is waiting for us in the middle of the room, her face is stern.

    Aoi comes running towards us and tackles my stomach.

    "You little... Careful, this hurts."

    "Kweh!" She says, she's not sorry.

    Aoi tries to lick my mouth but only reaches my chin. Then she jumps off and claws up everyone else, giving them a lick too.

    Vanea comes towards us and Haaran. The other knights wordlessly move out of the room, dragging the crying mercenaries and slowly the room clears.

    "Report," she says, subduing her anger.

    "A spy among the outer guards sent an early warning, silver squad got ambushed and lost two but managed to kill nearly everyone else. There were also invisible assassins, fortunately no one died to them," he sends us a look mixed with concern and confusion, "We can assume that the knight responsible for our flank is dead."

    Vanea visibly grinds her teeth, knights are very valuable to a Lord, the only death you want to give them is of old age.

    Farana is thrown on Vanea's feet.

    "You better be worth this or I will make it worth it," she growls towards Farana, the fury in her words barely masked by a cold expression.

    Farana is completely quiet, her face shows pure terror, she barely had the strength to walk as one of the knights had to nearly drag her.

    "We didn't find the illusion mage, he could have been entering and leaving the mansion by [Gate]," Haaran continues.

    "Then he still has a rogue space mage and a very powerful illusion mage," Vanea says, then she looks at us.

    "Our deal was to get Farana," I respond immediately, I let some bitterness in my voice, "Not only that but you greatly underestimated him, my fellowship killed three of the assassins, no thanks to your help."

    I'm really bitter about those assassins, if it weren't for the Shads, me and Roxanne would likely be dead and Alissa would be vulnerable and wounded.

    She looks at Haaran, he comes towards her and they hurriedly whisper.

    "How did you survive?" She asks after a few seconds of whispering.

    "I will not answer this."

    "If you really want to end this once and for all you will come to fight for us again. You have better chances to survive this than even my own brother."

    Both of them stare at us, this time though their eyes show a hint of pleading. My light headache from overuse just intensified.

    Lina comes to my side.

    "Let's just leave this for later," she whispers.

    I agree.

    "We will continue this later, we are too tired for such a thing."

    "As you wish..." Vanea says with a hint of annoyance.

    She might have been trying to force this out of us since we are tired and more vulnerable.

    "Here's you rewards. You can also keep the bodies of those assassins you killed."

    I just nod in answer, then a proto-butler comes forward and hands me a sack of coins. I put it into my "Items".

    She turns to Farana and smiles wickedly. Haaran frowns and moves out of the room, now there's only us, Vanea, her follower, and Farana.

    "Careful with her, dame," Ciel says, with a small respectful bow.

    "Do not worry, priestess. I will allow you to cast [Detect Evil] on me anytime you wish, I will not throw away all I conquered just for this..." She seems unsure which swear is more appropriate for Farana.

    Farana curls up on the ground, one eye staring at Vanea with pure fear.

    "I will not go so far, but I must tell you the temple will be keeping an eye on you."

    "They already are. I'm well acquainted with the Three Sins, I know very well what 'sadistic torture' means and I assure you my 'Piety' is higher than 10."

    Ciel and Vanea start a staring contest.

    "That is all that I have for you," Vanea says to us and waves her hand dismissively.

    I would like to say that Ciel won the contest.

    We give a small bow and take our leave, we take off our armor and leave the tavern. The patrons are all too drunk to even notice us.

    On the trip home I use [Regeneration] on Hana's scales to get them back to normal. Once we are home we all go immediately to sleep.


    Today is the 7th.

    I woke up first instead of Alissa. She seems to sleep heavily when she's exhausted. I wanted to give her a surprise and kiss her but this time Roxanne is cuddling with me, her tail is curled up my leg and also curled up on my penis, she's slowly rubbing it with every breath. Ticklish, not stimulating. Her horns go floppy when she sleeps so they look like they are made of rubber and jiggle as her chest inflates with every breath.

    The air coming out of her nose tickles my face. I see Hana slept with a hand fondling one of Roxanne's breasts. We all sleep naked now, Ciel sleeps in her panties but we her convinced to sleep without her breast sash, it was an amazing view to see Lina's head buried in the hopes and dreams of men.

    I use [Clean] on my mouth and give Roxanne a kiss on the nose. She twitches her nose cutely. I press her nose and she starts to squirm and let out soft cute groans.

    "Unyaa~..."

    I feel movement on my other side. Alissa is stretching her arms.

    "Not fair, you woke up first," she pouts.

    "Everyone was too tired, it seems," I say.

    She casts [Clean] on her mouth and gives me a kiss. I don't let her go and kiss her as deeply and passionately as I can. Yesterday was close, too close, too damn close!

    "You worry too much," she says after I finally release her, she read my heart.

    "Yes and I don't plan on changing that."

    She smiles and rests her head on my chest, I play with her silky hair. Whatever Roxanne has bought is doing wonders to the hair of the girls, they all feel and smells so good. Alissa's smells like oranges, Hana's smells like strawberries, Roxanne's smells like some flower, I guess it's lavender? Lina's is very, very sweet, and Ciel's reminds me of chocolate.

    "How did you notice the assassins?" I ask.

    "One of them passed close to me to reach Roxanne. I managed smell him, they stank of a sweat I never smelled before."

    Who knows what that arrow would have done if Alissa hadn't moved her head at that time.

    Roxanne's tickling turns into tugging that turns into stroking. I look at my side and Roxanne is smiling at me mischievously. I give her a morning kiss too, her mouth is already clean. When we are done Hana gives her morning kiss to my dick as I burst into her mouth.

    This time she swallows everything. She cleans her mouth and gives her morning kiss to Roxanne and then to me.

    It's already 10AM. I want my arms to turn into noodles or tentacles just so I can tie them all down in bed and spend all day like this. Not that I'm thinking of anything else.

    My "Dexterity" increased by 1 (now 10). I guess the focus required to use [Rush] pushed me to increase this stat.

    Hana leveled up to 37. She didn't increased any skill so she has some free skill points for me to manipulate.


    Breakfast is light. The griffin clawed the window of the kitchen until we gave it some piece of raw meat. Then it happily ran off with the meat hanging from its mouth.

    "How you all holding up?" I ask.

    "What?" Alissa tilts her head.

    "I mean, how are you all feeling?"

    I guess we should do this often.

    "I'm fine," Alissa answers immediately.

    "I'm fine..." Roxanne answers, her shoulders are slumped.

    "Barely fought, it was quite fast," Hana says with a shrug.

    "Same," Ciel says.

    "I just defended..." Lina says.

    "Kweh," Aoi was lonely.

    Ciel looks at me, prodding me to talk. I sigh. It's actually quite hard to talk about your feelings.

    "Yesterday scared the shit out of me but when I remember [Godly Language]... What you girls think of me asking for Haaran to teach me [Godly Language] in return for us helping them again?" I ask.

    Lina's Trivia: [Godly Language] is a magic school where your voice carries power and other humanoids are compelled to obey, the higher the "Piety" the more effect it has. You can even make these humanoids accomplish things impossible for them, it's almost like bending reality with only your voice. I didn't train this school because you can easily kill yourself if you screw up, it's one where you really need a proper teacher for it.

    Lina frowns.

    "Was that really [Godly Language]?" Ciel asks.

    "Seems like it, just by words he filled us with vigor, I didn't even sense mana or a chant from a spell. Unless it's a unique support spell that he can cast chantless like I can then it's [Godly Language]."

    "This might be one of the reasons the capital hates Rabanara, learning this magic school is a privilege only reserved for those of high prestige or direct descendants from the emperor," Alissa says.

    "Vanea did mention she wanted to bring [Cursing Magic] school to Rabanara against the wishes of the chairmen of the university. They might be so starved for power to control the Shore of Leaves it must be hurting their reputation," Lina says.

    "She also the mentioned blocking soul manipulator necromancers from coming into Rabanara. She might be acquainted with the 'husk' manipulators," Alissa adds.

    Lina's Trivia: Necromancy does not create undead, they reanimate flesh and bodies without the need for a soul. These reanimated dead are called "husks". They are not explicitly illegal, you can get a permit to use it but hardly anybody wants smelly, rotting, pestilent zombies walking around. The part of necromancy that deals with forcing a soul back into a body is the one that's illegal. The real "undead" is something else entirely.

    "Rabanara got destroyed a few times before the Anara family took control, perhaps this is how they did it, they accepted anything that's not explicitly illegal. They are known to be pragmatics after all," Ciel says.

    "So, I assume they might not have qualms with teaching [Godly Language] to a commoner?" I ask.

    "Seems so. If Vanea truly is in need of allies then we can squeeze this out of her. But this might be the limit, anymore and we might get her ire," Lina says, her tone seems cold.

    "Do any of you girls also want to learn it?" I ask.

    "I don't think me and Ciel have enough 'Willpower' for it," Roxanne says.

    "It also needs a lot of 'Intelligence'..." Alissa says sadly and looks at Hana.

    Both aren't really qualified for this.

    "Can't I compensate this with pure 'Willpower'?" Hana asks.

    "Perhaps, but it will be difficult," Roxanne answers.

    "If she's willing to train for a long time I can teach her after I learn myself," I say.

    "I'm fine with this," Hana says.

    "So that only leaves you and Lina," Roxanne says.

    "I'm... Okay with this, though I might not have enough time until we finish enchanting lessons, no?" Lina says.

    "If I learn I can just train you alongside Hana," I say.

    "Sounds good," she gives me an adorable smile.

    "Anyway, do you all agree in fighting for Vanea one more time in exchange for [Godly Language]?"

    "I'm getting anxious about it... Last time was too close," Roxanne says, her posture shrinks.

    "I agree. It feels tempting though, [Godly Language] will help against any other humanoid we fight but at what cost," Ciel says, she's concerned but also tempted.

    "We could ask for the right to refuse if she's being too reckless," I say.

    "That would be nice but Vanea does not seem to be the type to throw lives away," Lina says, "she needs allies and if we can end our relationship on a good note it would be beneficial for her in the future. She knows we want to conquer a dungeon, after all."

    "Next time we can properly scout with the Shad's since Wolfy doesn't have to hide his ability anymore, right?" Hana asks.

    "Yes, [Invisibility] won't be a problem, I'm scared of what else is gonna be thrown at us," Roxanne says, "Darean is getting put into a corner, what's he gonna do when he's desperate?"

    That put us into thought. What else is Darean's backer capable of throwing at us? If he has a mage that can cast [Invisibility] then he certainly has someone powerful behind him, someone not even Vanea might know who it is.

    "I think it's worth to risk it," Hana says.

    "Me too," Alissa says.

    Lina, Ciel, and me are in doubt. I'm leaning towards fighting.

    "I think we should," Lina says meekly.

    "Why?" I ask.

    "We will never get another chance at this."

    Roxanne sinks further. We could use a vote but it might not be the best choice, how would she feel if we just ignore her concerns?

    "Roxanne... We will be fine, my love," Hana grabs Roxanne by the waist and buries her head on Hana's breasts.

    Roxanne closes her eyes. Ciel's head is hanging low but she's staring at Roxanne. I move towards her and do the same as Hana.

    "We will be fine, my love," I repeat.

    I'm rewarded with a chuckle from Ciel.

    "There's also the need to fully end this. If we help deal a strong blow to Darean, Vanea can finish him off without our help," Alissa says.

    Roxanne looks at Ciel for help but Ciel answers with a small apologetic smile.

    "Alright…"

    Hana hugs her tighter.


    I pull out the 3 corpses of the assassins inside our basement. They have simple black clothes created in a way they are soundless instead of offering any sort of protection. Their daggers are nondescript. The only thing worthy of notice was that they had some paralysis venom, it was the right idea to have Alissa drink a general anti"venom. Roxanne got interested in this venom that she never saw before, even though it isn't particularly strong.

    [Invisibility] makes you blind, so how did they find us and even coordinate to attack us? There must have been something else there to aid them that we missed. Could it have been [Sense Presence]? It still wouldn't help them avoiding any sort of obstacle while they walk, they would easily trip on anything. Probably some sort of Unique Spell that faded when they died, all assassins are dead so we can't even ask them.

    They even did something to their souls, I can't find their souls using [Soul Touch]. It's possibly what Ciel said where wicked people destroy their souls upon death to escape hell.


    At nature class the professor tries to teach us [Manasynthesis]. It's a very useful spell for mages since it increases the recovery rate of mana, I would bet most students are here just for this spell. It goes as well as expected since it's a level 30 spell, it will take a few more classes for the students to learn it.

    At the break I bring Lina and Alissa with me for support. We knock on Vanea's office door.

    "Come in," she says, "Ah, Mr. Ryder. A pleasure to see you so soon."

    Vanea has an uncharacteristic pure smile, her hair tied to a ponytail gives her a very refreshing expression.

    "Hello, Miss Anara. You seem very happy."

    "Yes, I'm taking my time teaching the little bird how to sing," her smile grows wider.

    If one didn't knew what she was talking about one would assume she's a pure person teaching a real bird how to sing. The lack of evilness in her smile just makes me worried, I wish I didn't ask.

    "Anyway, we are here to talk about your deal to fight again."

    "Sure, sit down, please."

    This time we sit at her cushy sofas. Alissa brings out tea and cookies for us, Vanea grabs one cup with a kind smile. With this attitude and her ponytail Vanea feels like a sister to Silvane.

    "We will only accept with one condition," -Vanea lifts her eyes to me- "if you teach me [Godly Language]."

    Vanea continues sipping from her tea and eats a cookie. She calmly reclines on the sofa and looks at the ceiling, thinking. Then she turns her head to me.

    "Why would you want to learn this?" Her voice tells she's asking a genuine question.

    Truth be told, [Godly Language] is known to be very difficult to learn, but I have the aid of the skill system. Learning anything is much easier for me since I can instantly learn about half of what's necessary to gain any skill.

    "Power is power. I also believe I will have an easier time to learn it than the normal."

    Vanea looks very amused. She stares at us with a smile while slowly stirring her teacup.

    "You don't have any qualms about teaching me this?"

    "No..." She shakes her head, her ponytail cutely bounces, "The pompous bastards at the capital be damned. I would rather not announce to the world that I'm teaching you this but I really do not care. If it weren't for the royalty having a near monopoly on this I would have fought for it to be taught at Rabanara instead of [Cursing Magic]."

    I felt like asking for [Cursing Magic] instead but [Godly Language] is much more rare and interesting. She sips at her tea again.

    "What did you put on this tea? Tonsel? It tastes wonderfully," Silva-, I mean, Vanea asks.

    "Yes, it is Tonsel, but I think it tastes better cold and with much more sugar."

    "I will try that later," she adorably smiles, "Anyway, I will only teach you this if you agree to hunt down that illusion mage. Your monster summoning is too good and a proper counter for illusions. Not only that but Haaran is sure some of your women cast a chantless spell. As far as we know they have no idea of your skills, we can catch them all by surprise."

    Not like last "surprise" worked well for us. But the fact she knows I can use [Summon Monster] is worrying. I don't think she's going to exploit us, our relationship is balanced for now but this will be the last time we make a deal, [Godly Language] seems too good to pass up.

    "Hm... I will reserve a right to refuse to participate if I feel you are sending us to our deaths. I won't risk so much again, Alissa got an arrow to the face."

    She stares at Alissa for a few moments. The arrow thankfully didn't leave a scar due to my powerful [Heals] but still, the mental scarring of seeing her like that won't disappear so soon.

    "Fine."

    "Then I accept the deal."

    "Now I will be the one to ask for your word, Wolf Ryder, Blessed by the Goddess of Knowledge."

    I kinda expected this.

    "I, Wolf Ryder, leader of Helios, Blessed by the Goddess of Knowledge, give you my word. Let the Gods observe me and judge me for my actions."

    I feel a small constriction on my heart, it's not painful, it's only a bit uncomfortable. It's the Gods answer to me, they are telling me they heard my oath.

    "You have a Symbol of Darkness, right? Do you have a Beholder?"

    "Yes to both of these."

    "Do you also have a Dream Eater?"

    "No, we only went to the 13th floor of the Roulette of the Morning Dew."

    "You should get yourself one, they are going to be even more useful than a Symbol of Darkness."

    Ciel might really dislike this, she could even be traumatized by them, I really do not want to get her to suffer through this.

    "Maybe... I'm very busy this class break, I might not be able to go to that dungeon again."

    I also do not want to touch the 14th floor.

    "I will get Haaran to capture one. After the end of the coming class break come see me and it should be ready by then. We will start training you in [Godly Language] then."

    Can't really go against it when she's just giving me in a platter.

    "Understood."

    "Then that is all."

    "I'll return to you the bodies of the assassins. They didn't really have anything of value in the end."

    "Sure, just put them at the empty office just like last time."

    I bow and we take our leave, Vanea was much more pleasant this time. Perhaps she wasn't such a fearsome figure until she started to get cornered.


    "So it's confirmed we are fighting again?" Hana asks.

    She's not fearful of Vanea, our dealings with her are going much better than what she was used to with the other nobles. When you are not at each other's throats or competing for the same resources a more pleasant relationship is possible.

    "Yes, she knows I can summon monsters, she will give us a Dream Eater so we might end up with a more passive role this time."

    Ciel shudders, it really was a good idea not to go to the 14th floor. I grab Roxanne's hand.

    "One last fight, so we can end this once and for all."

    She looks anxious but she gives me a nod in agreement. We will see this until the end, together.


    Intermission 7

    Everyone is dead or surrendered. My friends, the people I got to know so well, the people who put so much to help me, to keep me safe, they all failed. Everything seems to be falling apart as if a knife is slowly being thrust in my heart. I don't even know where I am anymore.

    But that's not the worst.

    I hear footsteps coming down towards my filthy hole, there's only one person who would visit me, there's only one thing that that person might want from me.

    She stops in front of my hole and stares down into it. With her came the only light I can see, the sphere of light floats behind her head, shadowing her face. Even though I can't see her expression her eyes pierce me like a monster's fang pierces the flesh of its prey.

    Just through the eyes I can see all the pain, hatred, fury... And carnage, that those eyes spell. I know it because part of it was caused specifically by me, I'm one of her worst enemies and now all she has to do is close her jaws. I'm scared, I'm so scared.

    I feel the floor get wet and warm. Darean, help me..
     
  11. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Today is the 8th.

    Lina wakes me up. She's getting nearly there, though it's still very tiring for her jaw. She watches Alissa finish me with an innocent smile. Ciel awakes and I see her get fidgety, I will have her participate soon enough.

    Even though I trained with [Manasynthesis] my skill didn't level. I feel like I'm reaching a "wall" in my growth. Perhaps the bonus from Earth knowledge is running out and now I need to improve my knowledge through practice.

    This morning I practice [Water Magic]. Hopefully Bombur won't be mad Lina skipped two of his lessons, we were so tense we forgot to warn him.

    Roxanne seems to be straining. She grunts and squirms until finally she opens her eyes and jumps into a pose with her hands on her hips.

    "I did it! I redirected mana to myself!"

    We all clap as she smugly looks towards the sky.

    "And that's all for me. I'm back to my potions for a while!" And she runs off towards her room.

    Nothing needs to be said, we just sigh and shrug. I go back to my meditation to refill my mana.


    I felt as if warm rushing water suddenly touched by leg. I immediately open my eyes in surprise only to see the spirit griffin has laid his head on my lap. His kind yellow eyes locked to mine.

    Holy fucking shit, the spirit touched me. It's such a weird feeling, it feels like there's a storm passing through my leg, it's pleasant, but the lack of visible movement makes me uneasy. It's like feeling the world spin and yet your eyes tell you that you are standing still.

    Trembling, I pass my hand through it's feathery head, the spirit closes its eye and chirps happily. Ah, my heart.

    "I shall name thee Gify."

    "Gi" from "gift" and "fy" from "finish".

    Gify chirps happily again and closes his(?) eyes.

    Ciel has her mouth hanging open. Hana runs off to get Roxanne. Alissa and Aoi stalk closer, as if they afraid of scaring him off. I feel bad for Lina, she missed this historic moment.

    With a nearly trembling hand Alissa is the second one to touch it. Aoi watches every second like a hawk. Alissa runs her hand through Gify's white plumage and rolls her eyes in pleasure.

    "Aren't you enjoying this a tad too much?" I ask, eyebrows knit in worry.

    "The Misty Fox clan lives among the forest, we see these spirits day in day out. Having one accompany you is a symbol of status, of being in sync with nature. Being this close to one has always been my dream," Alissa says, she closes her eyes and enjoys the feeling.

    I swear Gify looks smug.

    Ciel comes forward and Roxanne appears just as Aoi gathers courage and lays down besides Gify with her head also on my lap. Aoi closes her eyes and I see the corner of her long mouth turn into a small smile.

    Ciel starts shaking Alissa, wanting her turn. The shaking gradually gets stronger until Alissa groans and lets Ciel have her turn.

    "This feels amazing…"

    That's all Ciel manages to say for the whole 2 minutes she was allowed to pet Gify.

    Roxanne gets her turn and Gify decides to show us his tummy. Ciel pukes rainbows and the other girls almost need a [Heal] to keep their hearts from stopping.

    The spirit is slowly giving me profound calmness. I feel the leaves from the tree in the front yard falling. I hear the stove slowly cooking the minotaur meat, I can feel the steam slowly leaving the pot, twirling, and cooling in the air and then seeping out from the kitchen window.

    Nature is all about "connections", one living being connected to another, they consume each other in a cycle that maintains nature stable. A nature's spirit is the personification of that, Gify slowly "connects" my mind and that of the girls to the environment and to each other.

    I can feel happiness radiating from Alissa, all of that is aimed towards me, her mind is in perfect order except for her jealousy from not being in touch with the spirit. There's a single blurry spot inside the sun that is her love, a single curious spot. I can hear the people moving about their business on another calm morning.

    I can feel Ciel restraining her heart from tackling Gify, she has an immense love for all things fluffy and cute. Apparently I'm included in those feelings. Her feelings for me are mixed with Gify's in a whirlwind. I can feel the warm sun slowly permeating my heart and taking away the humidity of the morning.

    I can feel Roxanne's bliss, the crushing loneliness like a storm in the distance moving away. I can feel the breeze blowing far above us, taking the humidity that's fleeing the sun and sending it to the farms around Rabanara.

    I can feel Hana's warm gaze, her desire to protect is unnecessary right now so her awereness relaxes and satisfaction clouds her blood thirst. The excitement and anxiety of battle is slowly fading away. I feel a tickle as the grass is gently caressed by the wind.

    I can feel Aoi's sea of calmness and comfort, a sunny island in the middle of it showing her eagerness to fight. I feel like an ant in this world, just another small force trying it's best at living life.

    In a way, Gify's power is just like my spirit extension, only that it's a lot more directed. My "soul sensing" is all about raw information, Gify filters all that information through the consciousness of the spirit and connects us all. I finally understand why nature spirits are so respected.

    I'm pretty sure my feelings are being transmitted to the girls. They all look at each other with shy smiles then they look at me.

    "Nature spirits are also called 'a lover's best friend'. Because they allow us to know what we feel about each other, but only if the feeling is strong enough," Ciel says.

    She scooches over to my side and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

    The overwhelming amount of feelings is making me emotional, I have to clean the corners of my eyes. I don't even know how to respond, I don't think I even need to respond, they are all looking right inside my heart.

    I spent some time already in this position for my training, I have to stretch my legs. Hana's turn is about to end anyway.

    "My legs are hurting a bit…"

    I make a move to change from my cross-legged position but two iron grips make me stop. Hana and Ciel's murderous intent is made clear through their eyes and the spirit connection, we are not perturbing Gify right now. After I stop resisting they return to fawning over Gify.

    We stay like this for a long time until Gify awakens and flies towards the kitchen. Alissa and Ciel hurry after him, both because they want to spend more time with him and also because they forgot to check the stove. Luckly nothing burned.

    When I try to move my legs I feel they completely fell asleep. I manually straighten them and they crack loudly.


    Lunch has 3 selections of peppers. One like bell pepper, one that reminds me of jalapeño with very mild heat, and another that reminds me of cayenne and it's used as seasoning in fried chicken meat. It's pepper season in Maoka so the peppers are flooding Rabanara as we are very close to that continent.

    Ciel brings Lina back just as we are about to have lunch. When Lina notices Gify sitting on top of my usual chair she freezes.

    "Touch it," I say, smiling widely.

    She does not move, like always she's too shy to act. I roll my eyes and grab her by the hand and lead it to touch Gify.

    "His name is Gify. All the other girls already touched him so you get extra time because you weren't there during the first time."

    As our hand approaches Gify, Lina starts trembling.

    "Are you scared?" I ask.

    "No..." She lies.

    "She's scared of showing you her feelings," Alissa says with a smug smile.

    Lina blushes and her trembling increases, her hand tries to escape mine but I just grip her harder. I force her forward, you are going to show me your feelings and I'm going to show you mine!

    When my hand touches Gify an explosion of feelings enters my mind. The girls quickly come around and Gify opens all our hearts again.

    I drop down on my knees and hug Lina.

    "I never told you this, but I love you, I really do. You shouldn't hold it back, you are precious to me," I say.

    Lina hardly talks about her feelings. The turmoil of happiness, lust, anxiety, and self"doubt have been eating her from the inside. The fear of death has been mounting but it got beaten by her desire to destroy my enemies. Not her enemies, my enemies. She adores me, I don't deserve such dedication but I should at least make sure she's as happy as I can make her.

    A teary-eyed Alissa hugs Lina from behind, she gives Lina a kiss on the cheek and together we crush Lina's ribs.

    "I love you..." She whispers, "I love you... I love you. I love you!" Her faint voice gathers courage and turns into a yell.

    She finally hugs me back and her noodle arms try to crush me, good thing she's not using [Stonebody]. She doesn't cry but I feel the wavering of her legs.

    Gify stands in my head and chirps repeatedly at Lina. Oddly, I don't understand what it's talking about.

    "You understand him?" I ask.

    "I don't... I don't understand how but. I think he told me to stop hiding'."

    "Hiding your feelings. You were always serious, except when talking about books," Ciel says with the sweetest tone, "Remember to not keep it bottled up, we are here for you so you should share more."

    I think I just understood something.

    "You shouldn't let your feelings take charge of your decisions but you must take your feelings in consideration when making a decision,"I say.

    The fear of Vanea and fighting Darean must have been like a storm in her heart. Her other feelings were bottled up and safe inside a bunker but the damage of the storm keeps mounting. She wants to do the "right thing" so much it's hurting her.

    "Okay... I will, I will try my best!" She says with a conviction unheard of her.

    "It's not about trying your best, it's about working towards what makes you happy."

    She keeps quiet for a while but I feel her nod. I break the hug and clean the corners of her eyes. Now understand why Lina is so quiet, she's shy but she is also really insecure, so insecure she hardly shows her feelings.

    "Let's eat, the food will get cold," Ciel says.

    Gify slowly stops sharing our feelings and we return to our normal, except I'm feeling reinvigorated. I see Lina's usual expressionless face slowly turn into a more relaxed and happy one. She's avoiding looking at my eyes, though. As we eat her expression then slowly changes into a frown.

    "Is there something on your mind?" I ask.

    "Well, there's always something on my mind. I'm always thinking, after all," she smirks.

    "You cheeky little... I meant, is there something bothering you?"

    She smiles shyly.

    "Well... Mr. Bombur was mad, he kept repeating a few phrases about 'responsibility' and 'dedication'."

    "I'm sorry Lina, you got chastised because of us," Alissa said.

    "You don't have to apologize, it wasn't problem, I know it wasn't your fault and I don't regret missing those days."

    "But yet you still frown. Remember what we said about 'hiding'?" I say.

    Lina looks at me surprised. She never complained about anything, It is simply unnatural for her to be like this.

    "I... Okay... I was angry, it was unfair, I never did anything wrong," she looks down.

    "Go on…" Ciel urges.

    "And you all owe me for this," she gives an impish smile and immediately blushes in embarrassment.

    "We'll get you something sweet from the buffet at the university as an apology," Alissa says.

    Lina blushes harder and tries to hide her face but I see the beginnings of a smile on the corner of her mouth.


    Gify seems to like to ride my head. The feeling of moving water dies down and only reappears when I focus on it, the "connection" we share also only reappears if Gify feels like it. This is a good thing otherwise it would be too stimulating for all of us to keep our hearts open all the time. But his claws from his bird front legs and lion hind legs do not hurt, in fact he has no bones, his entire form is spongy yet the texture of his body feels real.

    "Gify, you are tousling his hair," Lina says.

    "Gih!" He chirps indignation, he believes my haircut looks better with him on my head.

    "I have to agree with Lina, please, he has to keep a tidy outlook to maintain his reputation," Alissa says, her fox mouth unmoving.

    "Gih…"

    *Pop*, *pop*. Gify disappears and suddenly reappears in my shoulder.

    "Thank you," Lina says and combs my hair.

    I say nothing, there's no greater joy than being pampered.


    As I enter the class I feel my entire body shiver. Flashbacks that I thought I had buried long, long ago resurfaces as the entire class looks at me and murmurs. Gify on my shoulder just increases my fame, luckily my reputation is that I'm rather unapproachable, this keeps the class from swarming me.

    Unfortunately that does not apply to Lyle as him and his friends swarm my table. Fortunately Gify seems to have an impact on Garanae, making him mellow out a bit more.

    "C-can I touch it?!" Asks Lyle.

    "I don't know, Gify, can Lyle touch you?" I ask.

    Gify looks up to him, his beady little eyes measuring him up and down.

    "Gih."

    "That's a yes, but only the head and be quick about it."

    Lyle wastes no time and pets his head, he shudders at the stimulating feeling that the spirit provokes in him, I feel thankful Gify didn't open my heart to Lyle. Gify feels slightly sickened, though.

    "Gih!" He says after a minute and moves his head away.

    "Alright, that's enough."

    "Awn... But still, it felt awesome," Lyle smiles brightly while staring at his hand.

    Garanae twiddles his thumbs.

    "Gih, geh, gih."

    "You can go too, Garanae, but Hatara comes first."

    Her green eyes look like a hunter who found its prey. Gify looks at her lecherously for a moment, disarming her.

    "Was that…"

    "Gih!"

    "Don't waste more time, the professor is coming," I say.

    She recomposes herself and pets Gify. I feel he wants to open my heart to Hatara, the little shit is already trying to cause trouble. He feels my annoyance and hums happily, its lion tail swaying about.

    Two minutes goes by and he moves his head away.

    "Gih."

    "That's you, Garanae."

    The most fearful of the trio, his hand trembles as he pets Gify. He shows us an uncharacteristic face of unbridled happiness, Garanae really is a pet person.

    When his time reaches exactly 1 minute the bell chimes. Garanae straightens up, he kisses Hatara on the lips and runs away, red faced. Instead of also blushing, Hatara smugly looks at a corner of the room where a few girls give her mean looks. Whodathunk.

    In this class I don't concentrate much, I can easily cast [Discharge] so the professor leaves me alone. I can't concentrate because I keep reminiscing of the feelings of the girls.

    At the break Lina eats her large piece of not-strawberry cake absentmindedly while the discussion revolves around a very smug looking Gify. Today she was supposed to train with Hana but we let her skip it.

    "How did you get him to follow you?" Lyle asks.

    "He appeared on my backyard when I learned [Nature Magic]. After that I kept giving him food until he decided to touch me," I respond.

    "That's surprising," Hatara says wide eyed.

    "Why?"

    "A lot of them are quite whimsical, I read it being compared to a commoner trying to swoon a noblewoman."

    "Maybe our personalities are compatible," I shrug.

    "Maybe there's something special about you," Hatara says, she narrows her eyes and smiles slightly.

    Alissa looks at me with a very smug "I told you so" expression. Garanae's jealousy explodes and he gives me a stink eye.

    I don't want anymore attention so I return the conversation to stories about other nature spirits.


    I'm still moved by the exchange this morning so tonight I show my women the meaning of my feelings.

    Fortunately Gify is only mirroring my preferences in not wanting to be touched by men. If he really was a "male" then I would have to force him to go away when it was time for skinship, no man shall ever lay his eyes upon the heavenly naked bodies of my women. He cuddles with Aoi when we begin our session.


    Today is the 9th.

    Alissa wakes me up, she didn't let Hana because she wouldn't be delicate enough with my prized member. She knows how tired and sensitive it currently is. Thank you my love.

    My [Enhanced Semen Recharge] increased by 1 (now 0+5), my hips are sore and I had to cast [Heal] on my dick due to the prolonged friction that made the skin extremely sensitive, I believe that if we continued it would have started to peel. I also gained [Water Magic] with 1 point in it.

    Roxanne gained [Redirect Mana] with 1 point. I can increase it for her up until level 3, the same as mine.


    This morning I spend my time training [Conjuring Magic]. [Torrent] could also be used to conjure water but it comes with such a force it causes blunt trauma, it's not the best choice to use it to clean your private parts.

    Gify appears whenever he pleases, the house was filled with the sounds of him popping everywhere as he explored every room. It seems he created a "connection" to me somehow, I can wish for him and he appears on my head, to the dismay of Alissa, Ciel, and Lina.


    Blessing class was the same as always, calming as everyone lowly chants their spells and the professor walks by us, correcting our singing whenever she finds a mistake. I noticed that Hatara has been singing with more motivation, her voice is quite lovely, too.

    At the break she goes to wherever Garanae is so it's only me, Alissa, and Lina.

    "Excited for our expedition?" Alissa asks Lina.

    "A bit..." She shrinks her posture.

    "Is that all?" I ask, raising an eyebrow at her.

    "Well, okay, I'm very happy," she smiles shyly.

    "The books at the dungeoneering guild tell of a lost language of the dragonoids. It's interesting that it does not exist on the skill system," I say.

    Other races like goblins and orcs also have their own language but nobody is interested in learning it.

    "Yes, it's because our knowledge of it is incomplete. There's no one alive anymore who can speak it so the skill disappeared from the system," Lina says.

    "Couldn't it become a new skill then?" I ask.

    "You would need a lot of people speaking it fluently for it to become a skill."

    "Hm... But the skills that I created are different, I can give them to any of you ever since I created them and I'm the only one in the world who has [Sense Soul]."

    "Perhaps language skills are different?" Alissa asks.

    "Or perhaps no one wants to waste skill points on an incomplete or dead language," Lina says.

    "Or is there not enough knowledge for it to turn into a skill?" I ask.

    "Why not all of them?" Lina asks.

    Our speculation gets stuck on this point.


    Today is the 10th.

    Lina succeeds in waking me up with her lower lips.

    "You must be the heaviest sleeper I have ever seen, Wolfy," Ciel says.

    "It's better this way," Alissa says and smiles.

    "Don't you wanna try it too?" I ask Ciel.

    She immediately turns around and leaves, I see a hint of a blush on her.

    "Just give her some time," Alissa says, her smile turns devious.

    I increased my [Blessing Magic] by 1 (now 4+16), my MP by 10 (now 770) and my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 270). I finally gained [Conjuring Magic] with 1 point.


    For breakfast a gloomy-looking Roxanne comes out alongside an annoyed Hana.

    "Overworking again?" Ciel asks.

    "Yes…" Hana answers and sends a glare to Roxanne, "she doesn't overwork when we are sleeping with Wolfy."

    "Oh please, Hana, I'm working to help us, at least I'm not getting fat from meditating all day and only riding dick as an exercise," she spews her mind.

    The table turns silent and I bite my lips to contain a smile. Hana's expression slowly turns into one of pain.

    "I'm not getting fat!" Hana cries.

    "Roxanne!" Ciel chastises.

    Lina frowns and looks down. Alissa massages her eyes.

    "Roxanne... You should always have a good night's sleep, it's making you too irritable," I say.

    Roxanne opens her mouth to speak.

    "We understand you want to help," Ciel interrupts, "But you don't need to go so hard on it. You also didn't need to hurt Hana."

    Roxanne looks up to Hana and frowns.

    "I'm sorry..." She mutters.

    "Just come to bed earlier, ok? I don't like sleeping alone," Hana says in a soft voice.

    "Okay…"

    "And I am not getting fat."

    "You are not getting fat…"


    This morning I spend casting random spells to increase my mana. Even with [Increase Growth] I believe I haven't been making much progress, everything has been slowing down.

    At [Reduced Mana Cost] class our group has a small discussion while practicing spells. It seems me, Tooru, and Bombur where the first to acquire the skill, probably because of our mindset is more developed than that of the teenagers.

    At the break I approach Bombur.

    "Hello, Mr. Bombur. Would you like to join us on the buffet?" I ask.

    "Gimbo is fine. But sure," he responds in a tired tone.

    I awkwardly lead him to our usual seats.

    "Everyone, this is Gimbo Bombur. He's teaching Lina enchanting."

    Everyone gives him a respectful bow and introduce themselves. Garanae seems very happy to meet another noble.

    Just as we finish Gify decides to pop on my shoulder.

    "Hoh! So you have a new follower then," Toroo says, she gets up and gets closer to Gify, her big eyes examine every inch of him.

    "Gih-gih!"

    "My, thank you, it makes me very happy to hear this," her cheeks swell with a smile.

    "What did he say?" I ask.

    "Something about the most beautiful bird he has ever seen," she chuckles with her hand over her mouth.

    You... She's married, stop with it.

    "Anyway," I try to gloss over as Toroo retakes her seat, "How did you acquire the skill, Gimbo? What angle did you take?"

    He was stunned at Gify's sudden appearance but quickly recollects himself.

    "Spells are very similar to runes, they follow a 'pattern'. I spent time learning these patterns and recognized a few redundant ones, fortunately this redundancy applied to all spells so I managed to earn 1 point in [Reduced Mana Cost]."

    Lina's Trivia: Dwarves created [Runic Enchanting], which are tattoos painted on their bodies that activate spells when mana is sent. The late Aremut kingdom created [Runic Warding], which is similar to enchanting but made on consumable paper. The painting requires crushed mana crystals attuned to a spell or magic school.

    "Hoh. Yet another different angle to magic."

    The group starts to discuss his angle but Gimbo quickly fades out of the discussion.

    "How is Lina doing on her training?" Alissa asks Gimbo.

    "She is wonderful, a natural. You should keep her coming every day, you must not let her disrupt her own learning," he gives Alissa a sharp gaze, "Enchanting is no simple skill, it will take a lot of dedication for her to learn it. Doubly so since we do not have a lot of time."

    Gimbo is a man of few words, Alissa quickly learns he does not have much else to talk about Lina so he returns to merely observing our discussions.


    Back at home Roxanne is a bit fidgety and Hana is quieter than usual. Each one sits on one of my sides during bath. Ciel is across me while I massage her feet.

    "You two didn't make up yet?" I ask.

    They look away from each other. I offer one of Ciels feet to Hana, who promptly takes it up one her mouth to suck on her toes. Ciel melts in happiness as Roxanne pouts.

    "Is something bothering you? You know you could just ask what you want," Alissa says.

    Roxanne pouts a bit harder. I roll my eyes and grab one of Roxanne's feet.

    "Yah! Geh...!"

    She tries to run but ends up swallowing water.

    I shove Roxanne's foot up Hana's mouth. She glares at me but quickly starts to suck on her toes and licking in between them. Roxanne shudders and then closes her eyes when Hana starts to massage her.

    I sneak away and continue my session with Ciel.

    "Help me out, Lina?" I ask and offer Ciel's free foot.

    She hesitates a little but then shyly starts to imitate me.

    By the Gods I wanna see Lina and Ciel having sex with each other. If only Alissa were bisexual too...

    I feel mana gathering and suddenly a very familiar mouth starts sucking me off. Roxanne cast [Water Breathing] on herself and decided to relieve me. Alissa is just blissfully masturbating, as always.

    I end up cumming twice on Roxanne's mouth, the first time she swallows the second time she surfaces and goes to kiss Hana.

    They kiss for a minute then Hana pulls her off. She stares deeply into Roxanne's eyes, I see lust, guilt, and love in them.

    Hana pulls out scented oil, she grabs Roxanne's tail and rubs it.

    Immediately me and Alissa pull Lina and Ciel out of the bath.

    "W-what's going on? They did in front of us many times already, what's the problem?" Ciel asks.

    "Hana rubbed Roxanne's tail, if you don't want to be dragged in a wild lesbian orgy then you should stay away," I say.

    Ciel and Lina look at each other in disbelief but start drying themselves just as Roxanne violently pushes her fist inside Hana. They quickly learn no mortal woman would leave this bath unscathed.

    Aoi receives a wave of bath water on her face and wakes up.

    "Gueh..! Wha? Oh..." She quickly swims to the edge and jumps out. Ciel grabs a towel and helps Aoi dry up.

    "What about you? Wouldn't that be perfect for you?" Ciel asks with a smug smirk.

    "If I join my dick might fall off, after yesterday I'm not ready yet for more."

    Ciel chuckles.

    "Dry below your scales," Alissa says.

    "Muuuh," Aoi groans.

    Aoi slips out of Ciel's grasp and darts to the door. Alissa is just out of reach, he hand brushes Aoi's wing. I smile at the familiar scene and try block her with my body but she barrel rolls to the side and slips through with a jump.

    Lina shows her combat reflexes by grabbing Aoi mid-jump, mana courses through her body and the battering ram is held firm.

    "Nooo…" Aoi cries.

    "I'll dry her," Lina says.

    Roxanne suddenly screams as Hana brings her to orgasm with her tongue. Lina jumps in place and loosens her grip. Aoi takes the chance and jumps out of her grasp again and runs downstairs.

    "Or not..." She mutters and her face reddens.

    Alissa and Ciel put their underwear on and hurry out of the bath. Lina hears another moan and hurries out too. A last look and I see two sweaty beauties mid"tribadism, their foreheads touching and hungry eyes try to devour each other.

    "Got you!" Alissa pulls up her prey by the neck, her eyes remind me of the hunting gaze of Hana.

    "Muuh!"

    "Ow! Don't harder your scales!" Alissa grits her teeth but don't release the little blue weasel.

    "Aoi! That's enough! We are doing this for you," I chastise her. I grab her little snout and force her to look at me, this way [Animal Language] will make sure she fully understands my meaning.

    Her claws retract and her wings flop down. She averts her eyes and looks away.

    "So, y," she forces out an apology.

    Lina receives Aoi and Alissa rubs her hand, a large cut on the palm bleeding slightly. Ciel grabs her hand and heals her.

    "Thank you," Alissa smiles to Ciel.

    Ciel turns around, gushing. I smirk at her and she immediately controls her expression.

    Lina dries up Aoi and I give her a head pat. Her scales now dry tinkle loudly when my hand runs through her spine. Her mood lifts and she huffs a bit of smoke.

    "See? Your scales ring more when dry, can't let them get moldy or filled with grime," Lina says.

    "Kaay."

    As we make dinner we hear both of them screaming even through the sound-proofed walls. I think we should buy some monster dildos for them, if they exist. Lina slightly blushes until the screaming stops.

    After that both were too exhausted for anything else so I only paid attention to Lina and Ciel.


    Today is the 11th.

    Alissa wakes me up early, then she wakes up Roxanne by sucking on her toe once. I look at Alissa with surprise on my face and she gives me a mischievous smile. Hana sees Alissa's smile and does the same thing.

    Roxanne shivers and jolts awake, she and Hana share a long morning kiss and they nearly start having sex again. That puts me in the mood again so I abuse Alissa.

    I hold her from behind and mount her. One hand holds the base of her tail, the other holds her on a choke hold. I press her down on the bed and bite on her ear, making her yelp.

    I breathe down her neck and see her hair rise.

    "I love you," I whisper on her ear.

    She shivers and in a few seconds I feel her cum. I pull it out of her and finish all over her ass. I leave her to deal with the aftermath.

    I increased [Reduced Mana Cost] by 1 (now 6+3), my MP by 10 (now 780), my "Magic Power" by 5 (now 280).


    We leave by dinghy through the eastern gate and move towards the end of The Smirk. Lyle and his friends each have a different way of traveling so we decided to meet at the entrance of the Sea of Trees, with this we can all leave at our own pace.

    We reach our destination just before lunch. The Sea of Trees to our right disappears and after a stretch of tree stumps a normal forest starts. The farms to our left end abruptly as the cliff of The Smirk appears, after that the terrain slowly decreases in a ramp, soon the Sea of Trees of The Smirk starts.

    On the edge of the cliff a small watchtower with a few guards keep whatever appears out of the Sea of Trees away from the farms, but beyond that and until we reach fort Reita we would be on our own. Very far on the distance we can see a crack in the blue-gray mountain range, that's where the fort Reita resides.

    As we approach the guards nod to us, this is a popular spot for adventurers to pass by. We sit off the road near the watchtower and have our lunch, mushroom and pepper soup with bread and a thick slab of minotaur thighs. A group of adventurers passes us by and enters the Sea of Trees, they stare at our food like hungry wolves.

    Roxane and Hana are extra cuddly towards each other, last night savage sex reigniting their passion. The few male guards get very interested in them and this time even I can't fault them as even I am getting jealous.

    Ciel hugs me from behind and two balloons filled with love and happiness are crushed behind my back.

    "You know, what I felt from you that Gify shared with me was that you were really containing yourself. You don't really have to be so reserved, sending me more love will only make me fall in love with you even harder," I say.

    She hugs me harder and I feel her cheeks get warmer.

    "I just... I feel a bit scared sometimes..." She whispers.

    "Scared of what?"

    "Of... Screwing up and pushing you away."

    I'm not sure how to help her on this part, I'm much more determined and casualist.

    "I think that sometimes I exaggerate on the way I drown in pleasures…"

    "Yeah you do," she quips.

    I feel no shame, I only smile at her frankness.

    "But perhaps you are the contrary, you reserve yourself too much from pleasure."

    "Hm…"

    She goes quiet after that and hugs me harder.

    Just as our filled stomachs make us feel groggy I see a conspicuous covered wagon and carriage duo coming towards us. The driver of the wagon is visibly armed and armored, not a common sight unless it's part of a caravan, but then there would be guards surrounding it. The carriage is simple but the materials that make it are visibly strong.

    The duo stops in front of us. Out of the wagon comes out Lyle, his disheveled hair as disheveled as ever. Behind him comes a tall and lanky green-eyed ginger boy, his well-groomed, wavy hair makes me jealous. At his side there's what seems to be his twin sister with equally glorious auburn wavy hair. Behind them come two nondescript human space mage servants.

    Out of the carriage comes out a well dressed, tall, delicate, and older looking boy. He has long dark hair tied in a loose bun and dark eyes. His clothes are similar to the others but he shows a bit more wealth in them with an embroidered jacket, he could be richer than Lyle. He is followed by a matching well dressed knight in well maintained plate-and-mail. I was not expecting this knight, he's a last minute addition.

    "Hello, Wolf."

    "Hello, Lyle."

    We share a handshake. For the first time I see Lyle with casual clothes, they are really casual, though, he's not ready for combat. He and the twins still show some wealth in their clothes and they fit them perfectly, they are paradoxically well-dressed in casual travel gear. A nice, comfortably looking black fur cloak, a thick brown leather jacket, possibly enchanted like ours, a white shirt, tough looking black pants and some good brown boots.

    "This is Delwyn Griffiths and his twin sister Gwinevere. They came from the Maplethorne Dominion."

    Maplethorne is in English, could they have maple syrup there!? It's been quite a while, now I want some waffles, cream, and blueberries. How far are they? I really have to tell Lina to find me a proper map of the continent. Wait, now's not the time.

    "This is Ankara Gartania and his knight Sir Tankar."

    He points to the stoic black-haired boy. Even though the knight's sallet is raised I can barely see his face, I can only see a black beard and small eyes.

    "I'm Wolf Ryder and this is Helios, my fellowship."

    I introduce each of the girls. Lyle seems quite content in meeting the rest of them and gives them a respectful bow. The twins look at each other and then at Lyle in surprise. Ankara seems uninterested.

    "You are the Wolf Ryder?" Asks Delwyn.

    "Well, I think there's only one person with this name here, so yes?" I answer.

    "Who?" Ankara seems to finally focus on us.

    "How do you not…" Delwyn loses his train of thought.

    "Know who he is?" Gwinevere continues where Delwyn left, "The one who got the Symbol of Hate, participated in the extermination of the goblin village, famous for being a summoner who can invoke elementals, position 3 on the last wyvern attack."

    Ciel holds back a snort. Hana and Roxanne's face twitch from holding back a smile. Alissa and Lina beam with pride. I feel my ears burn, it's embarrassing having your "accomplishments" being listed this way.

    Only when position 3 was mentioned that Ankara decides to take a good look at me. He raises an eyebrow and look at the girls at my side. Gify takes this moment to pop on my shoulder, surprising our employers. Gwinevere seems to turn from happy to overly excited in an instant.

    "It's a pleasure to meet you, Lyle talked so much about you…" Gwinevere grabs my hand.

    "Gwin...!" Lyle whispers in embarrassment.

    "You are a rising star in Rabanara, your fellowship is becoming quite famous, you even have a little dragon!" She shakes my hand vigorously, her gaze passes from me, to a concerned Aoi, to a smug Gify, and finally to Roxanne, "Specially certain aspects of it."

    She forgets to release my hand while she stares at Roxanne like someone admires a painting.

    [Battlefield Perception] triggers, two of the girls are getting ready to kill me and another wants to hurt Gwinevere. Roxanne sweats cold, unused to this kind of attention.

    "Stop wasting time and let us move," Ankara says and moves off towards the Sea of Trees.

    Gwinevere snaps back to reality and straightens up, releasing my hand. Delwyn rolls his eyes and drags her away.

    The wagon and the carriage turn around and leave. The space mages give us a respectful nod and follow Lyle, they seem to be holding back a smile, they know all about the personalities of their masters.

    I shouldn't be surprised Lyle's friends are eccentrics as well. Me, Gify, and the girls all share a silent look, I should have asked who was coming with Lyle. But right now I gotta take the lead, Ankara is going in the front like a fool.

    "Alissa, begin scouting, I will have Holly follow you quietly and give you a Shad. The other Shad will remain with Roxanne and the last with me," I quietly tell her.

    She nods and changes into a fox, running ahead of everyone. Unfortunately I can't let Alissa rest, Lyle and the others do not know I can use Holly for scouting. Staying away from Alissa dampens my mood, I'm grateful for the effects of her blessing but these mood swings are stressful.

    We hurry up ahead of Ankara.

    "Excuse me, follow us, please."

    "You know the way?" Ankara asks.

    "Yes...? My task is to escort you all, I'm supposed to guide you."

    "Fine…"

    I do not know what is more worrisome, the 3 eccentrics or the unreadable youth and his silent knight.

    Lyle quickly starts a discussion about the language of the dragonoids and disputed translations. I look at Lina and she gives me a quick puppy-eyed glance.

    "Remember, stop hiding," I say.

    "Hm... C-can I join them?" She whispers.

    "Yes, make sure they don't speak too loudly."

    She nearly claps in happiness like Roxanne does and slows down until she's walking besides Lyle. The twins look at her oddly, her status as a slave is very obvious so they feel awkward to talk normally to one. Lyle's indifference sets the tone, so the twins shrug and continue their discussion.

    As the grass gets substituted by the moss, entangled roots, and small bushes, the forest quickly turns dark so we all cast our own [Spirit Lights].

    Barely 30 minutes later and Alissa already comes back to us with a dead Rabid Rabbit on her fox mouth. I quickly store it.

    "Holly pointed him out to me before it even got in range of my senses," she whispers, gushing with happiness and then runs off in front again.


    The journey is uneventful, everyone is using a proper anti"scent so no monsters can detect us easily. The Smirk is also rather safe during the day, it's the night that the more dangerous types of monsters come out to hunt. Also there was a purge just yesterday, the worse roaming monsters are all dead.

    Lina's enchantment shows its usefulness, [Breeze] consumes an insignificant amount of mana and completely prevents us from sweating. Feels like I'm wearing nothing at all while a small breeze tickles my entire body.

    We reach the northern part of the valley deep inside The Smirk by 6PM. Blue"grey rock with yellowish cracks make up the wall in front of us. A large crack on the wall is our entrance.

    "Wolfy, they look rather tired," Ciel whispers.

    Ankara and Delwyn look sullen, they walk hunched over and slightly out of breath.

    "Oops," I whisper back.

    I almost fail to contain a smile. I look at Tankar, I can't tell his expression but he's not very happy. I would have cast [Swift Foot] on them but the awkward introductions made me feel petty. I'm actually surprised Lyle and Gwinevere are fine, they are looking excitedly at the entrance. No word on the space mages, they are professionals.

    "Let's take a rest at the entrance. We will walk some more and camp inside," I say.

    Tankar immediately pulls out a small cushioned stool for Ankara to fall on top of.

    "Whaat... Damnit Lyle, you didn't tell us how far we would have to walk," Delwyn complains.

    "Oh yes, I didn't expect you to have such girly feet they can't deal with a stroll on a little grove," he responds.

    "You shut your gay mouth, you spent a whole day-cycle telling me how fun it would be and how much we could unearth. Did you ever think about why scholars don't come here? Because it's too far!" Delwyn gestures with his closed fist as he talks, "Scholars aren't made for traveling and you know I'm a scholar too!"

    I have to contain my expression, professionalism tells me I shouldn't acknowledge such bickering between nobles.

    "If I didn't rope you in like this you would never grab your pompous sorry little ass out of that library. Don't you have any excitement out of learning something new? This dungeon isn't even fully explored yet! We could be discovering new history just by reaching a new place. Don't any of you feel excitement over this?" He looks around, a wild smile on his face.

    Even I admit adventuring is nice, I want to explore the world. Even though I don't like killing monsters or the gore I won't change my way of life, I'm not so naive to think that I can live in this world without killing. Besides, I have to keep increasing my level, whatever the God that threw me here has planned for me won't be fulfilled if I remain passive and weak.

    "I... I think this is exciting," Lina says, shyly.

    "You don't count, you are an adventurer!" Delwyn shakes his fist at her.

    Lina drops her shoulders in dejection.

    "Come now, my frail and younger little brother, adventure and discovery awaits," Gwinevere taps him on the back and pushes him forward.

    "You are only older by a second!"

    "Yet I am still older," she chuckles and moves after him.

    Lyle watches them go inside and then turns to Ankara.

    "How are you doing? Regretting coming?"

    "I am fine..." He smiles bitterly, first real expression he shows, "I am the one who had the original idea, you do not have to worry about me."

    "But I'm the organizer, you should come to me for any trouble," Lyle looks at him with concern.

    Alissa is waiting for us inside. I go check on her to make sure the twins aren't causing trouble.

    "Wait, where's the ruins?" Delwyn asks.

    "You dunce, there's a long way inside this cave until we reach the entrance to the dungeon," Gwinevere responds.

    Delwyn groans. Alissa is looking like a statue while the twins examine the cave wall besides her. As I approach her Ankara comes inside.

    "Mr. Ryder, why don't we camp outside already?" He asks, a little annoyed.

    "You like arthropods?" I ask.

    "What...?"

    "Spiders, centipedes, beetles."

    "They are fine...?" He narrows his eyes.

    "What about giant ones?"

    He shows only a hint of disgust. Gwinevere on the other hand shows pure panic and grabs Ankara's arm.

    "I don't care what you feel like Anky, we are not sleeping outside."

    "F-fine..." He pushes her away.


    We take a 10 minutes break, once I see Delwyn and Ankara's faces relax I tell them to move. Delwyn groans as he rises and Ankara frowns deeply.

    This cave is a crack on the mountain, the ground is very broken and difficult to walk. I'm tempted on taking out our mountaineering equipment because our little charges are very bad at balancing themselves.

    Lina's Trivia: This cave was created by an earthquake, such earthquakes are common occurrence when an underground mana storm happens. Mana storms are the most destructive natural event possible, the immense amount of mana circulating literally rips people apart.

    "Maybe we should have Hana carry someone," Ciel whispers.

    "The privilege of being carried by Hana is reserved for only us," I whisper back.

    "You... What...?"

    "You should try it sometime, I feel so safe and fragile at the same time when Hana carries me."

    "You are irredeemable."

    "But you like me this way."

    She doesn't answer and moves forward. I hurry in front of her and catch a glimpse of her smile.

    "Maybe you would like to carry me instead."

    "Fine, I will do it in front of Lyle and the others," she turns to me and glares.

    Are we playing chicken now?

    "I would like that, go on, show them I'm your man, show them who rides on top of who."

    You have chosen the wrong opponent.

    Ciel stares at me and I stare back, smugly. Slowly her cheeks redden and she finally averts her eyes. She tries to leave but I grab her arm.

    "Remember, you are mine," I whisper in her ear.

    She shivers and I release her arm.

    "Hey, those are my vows, not hers," Alissa joins, she heard everything with her enhanced hearing.

    "Yes, but she can be mine too. "

    Alissa purses her lips in thought. She comes closer and whisper in my ear.

    "She can be yours but you are only mine."

    Now I'm the one shivering, in happiness.

    Alissa continues forward, her orange tail swaying widely.


    A few Skritters are casually dispatched by the girls, Aoi on the other hand is taking it very seriously.

    "You are doing a very good job," Hana says and pats Aoi, who is on her shoulder.

    "Kweh! Rit... Boom...!"

    Aoi's fireball is improving, she's copying Roxanne's own [Fireball]. Roxanne has enough control over [Fire Magic] that she can make her [Fireball] explode or burn. This is something that I don't have, I can't mold my spells to take different effects, at least not yet.

    Lyle jumps over a small crack on the ground and stumbles forward.

    "Your little dragon is impressive, Miss Hana," he says after regaining balance.

    "That she is."

    Aoi rubs her head on Hana's cheeks affectionately, the scales of both of them clink as they touch each other.

    "My heart…" Gwinevere mutters.

    "Keep moving, we are almost there," Ciel says, breaking the trance of our little slowpokes, even Ankara was staring.

    A few minutes later the crack that we are moving through opens into a tall rectangular tunnel, the ground suddenly turns level, and imposing double doors blocks our path. The doors are made of amber, it feels like it waves as our [Spirit Lights] approach. I see multiple carvings of snakes and curiously there's two ouroboros on each side of the door, each ouroboros has 8 snakes, each snake is made of a different material.

    "Moonstone, onyx, aquamarine, ruby, emerald, amethyst, gold and silver. Each represents a magic power of the dragonoids," Lyle says.

    He walks up to the double doors and touches the ouroboros, he barely reaches it, it's too tall and Lyle is only slightly taller than me. He sighs and stops admiring it.

    "Dragonoids are known to be tall," he smiles painfully.

    Ankara moves besides him, as he's taller he can observe the ouroboros better.

    "We can rest on the other side," I say.

    Immediately both stop their observation and push the doors, they slide open with ease.

    "I assume this dungeon is a mana solidification, right? Otherwise these gems would have been stolen a long time ago," Gwinevere asks.

    "Yes, it's also why scholars aren't eager to come, there's nothing to salvage here, unlike real tombs. So it's quite possible this dungeon is only a sliver of the dying consciousness of the supposed dragonoid race," Lina answers.

    As the doors open we are greeted with a huge hall, so big our light doesn't reach the end or the ceiling. There's not even a pillar in sight.

    "Certainly resembles the main hall of Hombombein, if it were completely devoid of life, that is," Lina says.

    "I heard the capital has a hall like this inside the castle. It's a marketplace where only certain stalls are allowed, like perfumes, spices, and gems," Hana says.

    "Certainly fits that nobility would enjoy grandiose architecture," Alissa says.

    We all enter the hall and slowly the double doors silently close.

    "Let's just make camp here, no point in going any further," I say.


    The space mages immediately pull out tents and a cooking set. In a minute there's a pot of water boiling and a slab of Great Boar being roasted in a flame-less magic tool fire pit.

    Space mages can be hired from multiple mercenary guilds, they come in all flavors, fighters, mages, cooks, maids, butlers, prostitutes, bards, dancers, and many others. These are two simple looking men who have a very quiet demeanor, popular among nobility.

    I dismiss the Shads, they won't be useful here. Nononya's notes talked about chanting so I fake a short summoning chant and invoke a fire and an earth elemental. To summon elementals the chant has to be adapted to the element it represents. [Fire Magic] chanting has a very aggressive tone with a few screams, put some metal song behind it and it won't be out of place. [Earth Magic] reminds me of opera, you have to hold the notes for a few seconds and add tremolo to the voice, making it a bit annoying to chant.

    While the earth elemental draws raised eyebrows the fire elemental draws the stares of the men and boys. Hana was always wearing armor so none of our escortees knows what's below, the elemental is basically wearing nothing, showing the full glory of her sculpted body.

    "I ordered the elemental to singe whoever stares for too long," I announce.

    A chuckle and a slowly increasing flame floating in front of the elemental wards off the stares.

    I pull out our tent and the bath partition, with the elementals and a hidden Holly nothing should approach us. Delwyn knows water and fire magic so he prepares the bath for the others, the knight and the space mages have to take a towel bath, though.

    During bath I play with Alissa's little bean, I mix rubbing, licks, sucking, and nibbling that culminates in a high pitched moan that makes her gag almost fall off. I nearly rip the gag off and make her scream, as much as I want to make a power move my rationality still exists so I retain my composure.

    After the bath I see Gwinevere, Delwyn, and Ankara are avoiding looking us in the eye, Lyle on the other hand has mastered the art of not giving a shit.

    "Wolf, come eat with us, these space mages have enough food to last us quite some time," Lyle says.

    "You sure? I brought my own."

    "Yes, I am sure, now sit," he motions us to a wooden bench.

    I have a cushioned one but I have to contain myself, can't show the furniture shop I have inside my "Items".

    "I'm a better cook," Alissa whispers to the girls with pride, she's glaring at the oblivious space mage cook.

    "I know it," I rub her ears with a smile on my face, her tail sways at a mere compliment.

    Seriously, that mage is over seasoning the meat. Seasoning is an art form and you have to take extreme care to reach the point of perfection.

    The diet of wild animals changes how the meat tastes, this change is said to be how "gamey" the meat taste. It's interesting how in this world the meat from hunted animals doesn't have a strong gamey taste, from what I have seen they use [Purify Body] on the corpse and it reduces the gamey taste a significant amount. Also, most of the more commonly hunted monsters don't live enough to acquire this strong taste so they taste much better than most wild animals.

    The meat is accompanied by a hearty soup, something similar to arracacha gives it a distinct taste and a thick consistency. It's a nice soup but we can do better. It's an annoying situation that I can't really show how much food we brought, no adventurer brings such a large amount or variety of ingredients like we do, most simply use [Conjure Bland Meal] and eat whatever they hunt while on an expedition. Lyle bringing simple soups and meat is already a display of wealth.

    Roxanne brings out Ted and Suzy, she starts humming a waltz and the golems start dancing. I don't understand the lyrics, it's on her native tongue.

    "What are those things?" Delwyn asks.

    "Golems, it's part of my research, I'm researching [Golemancy]," I answer.

    "Impressive, they have such natural movements."

    "They have actual souls, but they are closer to elementals than real people."

    Ankara leaves his seat and hurriedly circles the table towards us. He stops near Roxanne and leans over, he studies Ted and Suzy with a perplexed look.

    "How much gold do you want for either of them?" He says, still staring at the golems.

    "Not for sale," Roxanne replies immediately.

    "One rose coin."

    "No."

    "Two rose coins."

    "Mr. Gartania, we are not selling these golems," I interject.

    Ankara's eyes turns to me, his gaze seems to measure my resolve. He finally turns silently and goes into his tent, Tankar follows.

    "Just what's with him, he's always so... cold," I say.

    "I'm sorry, Wolf, Anky is not a bad person, he has some... Issues and he acts a bit odd once in a while," Lyle says, smiling apologetically.

    A bit.

    The twins shrug.

    We just talk for a little longer and retire to our tents. We huddle up and I start to polish Hana's scales, we have a small, circular whetstone that I use to sharpen the edge of the scales. Hana absolutely loves it and slowly her warm eyes turn hungry.

    "So, what do you gals think about our employers?" I ask.

    "That girl ain't right," Roxanne says while shaking her head.

    "I know, right. I feel she's dangerous," Hana says.

    "I think Gartania is trouble," Ciel says.

    "I agree with Ciel," Alissa says and frowns, "He's too... Different, you don't know what to expect out of him."

    "I like the twins, I don't like Gartania," Lina says.

    She huddles up near me and wraps both her arms around my waist.

    "Lina should be in charge of keeping an eye on the twins then," Alissa says.

    "Since I'm likely to stay back I'll try to keep an eye on the one with the crazy eyes," Roxanne says.

    "I will keep an eye on Gartania," Ciel says.

    "What is his problem? Does he have a Plom up his ass or something?" Hana says.

    "His sudden interest on Ted and Suzy was incredibly weird," Ciel says, she hugs Ted and he disappears on her large bosom.

    Suzy tries to pull Ted away from the death by breasts, they seem to think they require to breathe to live.

    "It is an interesting magic school that was basically abandoned a long time ago but what would he want to do with them?" I question rhetorically.

    Ciel suffocates Suzy too, misunderstanding her pleading for a need for affection.

    "Seeing how he casually displays his wealth I thought he would try to buy Aoi instead," I say.

    "Keh!" Aoi coughs in disgust.

    She tackles me and tries to lick my mouth. She's 100 years too early for this, countless years avoiding french-kissing my lick-happy dogs gave me perfect evasion. All she accomplishes is to lick my chin because I allow it.

    Hana waves her fingers towards Aoi, who switches targets and tackles Hana. Aoi is not that enthused about licking her, perhaps because I deny her she feels like I'm a challenge.

    "I wouldn't be surprised if we find bandits waiting for us when we leave this place," Hana says.

    I cringe at this thought.

    "The Gartania family are Lords of Fort Erda, his face could be known, he was being careless in coming in a carriage," Alissa says.

    "Or he's overconfident," Ciel says.

    "I would bet on careless. He's fixated with something else, he's too distracted."

    Lina's hand slowly caress my body from below my shirt. Ciel drops both golems, they pat their own bodies, checking for damage.

    "Alissa, finish this for me please, I gotta help out a lonely little girl," I say, handing her the whetstone.

    I turn around and pounce Lina. Her silky black hair sprawls over the bed, her gloomy eyes spell innocence, but as my hand explores her body her smile slowly turns impish. I kiss those small lips and she eagerly pushes her tongue, she seeks my tongue and sucks on it.

    "I'll give you something to suck, alright."

    Hana looks like a chained animal, she has to wait Alissa to finish before she can take me. I make sure she sees very well every thrust on Lina, I spread her legs wide while I play with her little bean.

    "I love you my little thing."

    "I... Love you... Masterr~..." Her voice trails off as she loses her capability to speak.

    Then I put her on reverse cowgirl, sprawling Lina wide just for Hana. Lina's cute little ass are cupped by my hands as I help her move her hips up and down. Roxanne makes sure to stay away from Hana, she wants to tease Hana to the maximum.

    I start playing with Lina's clit again, I'm slowly learning the favorite way that each of the girls likes to be stimulated. Lina is very sensitive to pinching, a few pinches at the right moment and she orgasms on top of me.

    I pull it out of her and a hungry monster immediately pounces on my dick, Hana is incredibly wet. I have to hold on to the storm until Hana's lust passes, sometimes the wild dragon has to be let to rampage for a while.

    "I love... Your dick..." She grunts amid attempts at self-impalement.

    "Just... My dick...?"

    "Everything... I love... Everything…"

    I am finished by Lina's mouth who did not mind the amount of juices from Hana that covered my member.

    Ciel stares, burning with jealousy, but tonight I will neglect her, I want her to take the initiative. Just to tease her further I sleep while hugging her, one of my hands cupping her breast the other hand on her thigh.

    "Irredeemable…"
     
  12. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    Today is the 12th.

    I feel warm, very warm and wet. I feel Ciel moving.

    I cup her breast harder and she moans. My member is between her legs, touching the gate to heaven, she's wet and using me to get herself off. I move my hand that was on her thigh and use it to angle my dick, I thrust forward and enter her. She gasps and wakes Lina, who was smothered by her breasts.

    Alissa kisses my neck and gets up. I start thrusting harder and soon Hana and Roxanne are also awoken by us. I play with Ciel's clit and pinch her nipples, I make a hickey on her neck and suck on her earlobes.

    "Wolfyy~...," her voice is very high pitched, "I love you~..."

    "I love you too, you are my delicious piece of chocolate."

    She chuckles amid moans and soon she orgasms. I slow down and take it off from her. She turns around and kisses me while Roxanne comes to finish me off.

    "I'm getting the hang of this," Roxanne says after swallowing.

    I pull my tongue off Ciel's mouth and kiss Roxanne on the forehead.

    "That you are, my love."


    We go outside to have a quick breakfast. When we are finishing, Lyle and the others come out. The space mages barely retain their professionalism, Tankar glares at us with even more intensity, the nobles maintain their dignity.

    I feel like I'm getting kinkier by the day, I barely made efforts to make the sound of our beds creaking less obvious. I'm starting to have some exhibitionism fantasies, I have to contain those, they are starting to go too far. I do have a dream of having sex while using [Fly], though.

    While they have their breakfast Alissa goes out scouting ahead while we stay behind stretching and warming up. I decide to focus on casting [Swift Foot] for everybody on the camp.

    Stretching the effect of the spell so much makes it start to go unstable, this could be dangerous. Molding spells away from their standard use is the mark of a proper mage and it is something that I lack since I learned everything by cheating.

    I take my time, chanting and re-chanting, slowly inching forward the area of effect. I have experience with it since it's the same thing as my soul "expansion" but it feels like holding multiple balls with your hands and I haven't properly learned how to juggle yet.

    It took me 10 minutes of lowly chanting but I did it.

    "Boy, you knew this spell from the beginning?" Tarkan asks with irritation, his voice has a strong low bass that makes the earth tremble.

    First time I hear him talk, this shocks me for a second. The entire camp goes silent to hear us.

    "Yes, I knew it."

    "Then why did you make master Gartania suffer by not giving him the spell?"

    "I wanted to gauge the physical conditions of everyone. I don't know how much strength you or the space mages have but at least now I know the strength of our employers," I graciously gesture to the young nobles.

    "That was highly unnecessary," he growls at me.

    "You would do well not to coddle them, this isn't a vacation, this is a dangerous expedition."

    "Unnecessary hardship to fulfill your fantasies of taking your anger of impotence on your betters," he quickly retorts.

    "That was oddly specific, but no, I do not have such fantasies."

    I didn't lie, I just didn't tell I was being a bit petty.

    Lyle comes forward.

    "Please. This argument is unnecessary," he shows us the palm of his hand, gesturing us to stop, " Wolf's method is valid and now we are not going to suffer the same thing again

    Tarkan turns around in a huff and goes back to his tent.

    "Boo... baad," Aoi mumbles her displeasure.

    Gify pops into my shoulder.

    "Gih!"

    Yep, that duo means trouble.


    Alissa comes back, the hall is completely empty. We tear down our tents and start to move. It's a rather long walk, around 30 minutes just to reach the end of the hall, at the end a much larger, but broken, double door can be seen.

    When our light reaches beyond the door we see the ruins of a town. Rubble upon piles of rubble, the few buildings still standing are partially swallowed by the low ceiling. It's like this town was transported inside a small cave. We smell dust and the air is stuffy. Just by staring at these ruins I'm starting to feel gloomy, the name of this dungeon is rather fitting.

    The dragonoids create their buildings by using their own version of [Transformation Magic], they raise the earth and transform it into pure stone. You can see little "veins" from where the ground was "sucked up", they almost look like roots, making the buildings look like they grew from the ground like a tree.

    Lina's Trivia: [Transformation Magic] exists on the system, but it's extremely dangerous to use. It's similar to raw mana manipulation but it's based on the will of the user. It's the only magic that can cure birth defects, it can even change the soul and mind of people. But you must have the mind of a monk to use it safely, a single stray thought while using it is enough to transform a person into a pile of shredded meat and broken bones.

    The remaining buildings all have odd shapes, they might have come from a workshop of abstract sculpting than something an architect would ever dream of creating. Many of these do not even have walls, telling of the dragonoids complete lack of shame and their collectivist society.

    Lyle and Delwyn look around, hungry for details. But this place is completely explored, there's no new detail here for them, only refreshers for their memories.

    "Make sure they don't stumble into something, we do not want to make much noise here," I whisper to Lina.

    She nods and slows down until she's behind our careless employers, keeping an eye on them while occasionally looking around, herself. Soon enough she guides Lyle from tripping on a ruined round shield on the ground.

    "You can see how the marks on the ground are made by their claws, they are digitigrade and leave small punctures on the stone wherever they step on," Lyle says.

    "Please speak lower, Mr. Rizek," Lina says.

    Lyle winces and makes an apologetic expression.

    "Lyle is fine," he responds in a lower tone.


    Our peaceful trek through the ruin is cut short as Alissa detect something.

    "You can't see in the dark, right?" I ask her.

    "No. There must be a Unique Spell that does it, though."

    "Then we have to go after it all together, it's impossible to sneak up on them since we can't see in the dark.

    "It's likely a guard. They are not particularly strong but remember that all dragonoids know magic," Lina says.

    "It's time for the emellanat, then," Hana says.

    She is very fond of that ominous looking bastard sword. As we bring out our swords Gwinevere's eyes open wide.

    "Where did you get these swords? Emellanat is very rare around here," she asks.

    "Secret," Hana answers with a grin.

    She looks at me but I just shrug. Gwinevere frowns but lets it go.

    "You all stay here with the elementals while we fight, if any problem appears then come to us and we will handle it," I say.

    Gify suddenly pops into my shoulder.

    "Gih, gih."

    "So it really is a guard then. How do you know? Can you go invisible?" Iask.

    "Guh, gah, gih."

    "From what I understood he has something similar to Alissa's [Sense Presence]. Though it seems it's not instantaneous like the skill."

    "Gih!"

    And with a pop he disappears again, he does not like dungeons.

    "I wish he would stay longer," Ciel says with slumped shoulders and a hint of sadness on her voice.

    "Yeah, he could cuddle with us when we sleep," Alissa says, mirroring her demeanor.

    Both of them pout for a few seconds.

    "Back to the fight, you two," Hana says and rolls her eyes.

    Alissa blushes at her own distraction.

    "Anyway, the guard is over the corner?" Iask.

    Alissa closes her eyes and focus a bit.

    "Yes, he's kneeling and looking down, apparently," she says.

    "Weird."

    "They use some sort of spell that preserves themselves, they don't move or eat for a long time," Lina says.

    Weird.

    We go forward until the end of the block, we turn right and move forward. Before we our light even reaches the monster we hear the characteristic tinkling of chain mail. I feel mana gathering in front of us.

    The town turns bright as a thunder roars and hits Hana's sword. For a split second we see our target, grey scales, golden lines wave wildy all over its body and shine lightly, long neck, dragonic face, short black hair spiking backwards, claws on hands and feet, and compact folded wings. Two thick and long whiskers coming out of the top of it's snout like a chinese dragon and a very long and thin tail stands straight upwards, those are the signs of a male. He has a round metal shield, a spear, chain mail on the chest, and a thick cloth covering both the chest and the legs.

    Alissa lets out a bodkin arrow and it pierces the shield of the dragonoid, getting stuck on it.

    "Just our luck, the first one is attuned to thunder," I say.

    "[Fire Arrow]! More experience, then," Roxanne says.

    The magical arrow pierces the shield, lighting the position of the dragonoid. He charges forward.

    "I'll keep an eye on our flanks," Alissa says.

    "[Wind Hammer]!"

    The dragonoid charge gets stopped when the spell hits him square on the shield. Hana takes the opportunity and charges using her wings.

    A clang echoes as Hana hits the dragonoid's shield, I feel mana gathering on the dragonoid. Her sword slides off downwards and she swings again, making a cut on the leg armor of the dragonoid. Suddenly the dragonoid glows very bright and lightning crackles.

    Hana covers her eyes and jumps backwards, just barely deflecting a spear thrust with her shield. A thin tail wraps up on her left leg and pulls her forward. She tumbles and uses her wings to move backwards.

    Ciel and Lina arrive at the same time and strike towards the dragonoid. His lizard eyes don't even look at them. He deflects Ciel's thrust with the shield and gets his right foot crushed by Lina.

    He jumps backwards and Ciel's hook on her glaive snags a scale on his throat, ripping it off. The dragonoid spreads his wings and hovers over the ground, completely motionless. His foot and the place missing a scale bleeds.

    The dragonoid defends against another arrow. A chantless [Fire Whip] snags his right leg. He gets pulled forward and the girls take their chance. Lina misses, Hana pierces the abdomen slightly and Ciel creates a large wound on his neck.

    The dragonoid pulls back immediately. Roxanne learned her lesson and lets the whip go, she doesn't have the strength to hold him in place.

    "Move back, you are too far!" Iyell.

    The girls cautiously retreat. The monster starts regenerating. His mana is not endless, he's not a transformation type so he won't be able to regenerate for long.

    The dragonoid flies higher and points his spear towards me. Another thunder cracks and nothing happens, I only feel that my sword gets hot. This is why I'm besides the back line, I don't have much mana with 3 summons out so I'm taking it easy, Lina would do better in the front than me.

    An arrow, a fireball from Aoi, a [Fire Arrow] and a [Wind Hammer] hit his shield. It's starting to get bent and ruined, soon enough he will be an easy target for us.

    He lowers down. His wings don't flap, only slightly move, telling us of his fine control over flight.

    The dragonoid charges again, this time towards Lina. She steels herself and deflects the spear, a thin tail moves towards her face like a whip. With incredible speed she moves her upper body sideways and the tail leaves a scratch in her helmet, that tail is sharp.

    Hana counters with a savage downwards strike, the shield of the dragonoid gets bent in half.

    "[Wind Blade]!"

    The cut on his neck opens again. He flies backwards as a [Torrent] hits his chest immediately afterwards. Another arrow pierces his shield, this time blood drips from his arm as the arrow hit exactly where his arm is strapped on.

    It immediately charges again towards Lina but gets stopped by [Wind Hammer].

    "Stubborn like an assfolk," Hana says.

    "Don't say that, it's offensive," Ciel chastises.

    Donkey beastfolk are known to be loud and foulmouthed, though they are unlikely to really take offense on that.

    "Hit me, you limp dicked goblin!" Hana taunts.

    I'm not sure the taunt worked on him.

    The dragonoid receives another normal arrow and a [Fire Arrow] where his arm should be holding the shield. He grabs the [Fire Arrow] and pulls it out. The advantage of that spell is that it continually burns for quite some time, requiring immediate attention.

    Hana charges the occupied dragonoid, forcing him to hurriedly defend with his spear. Hana was expecting that, she supports the spear with her shield and strikes the shaft with her sword, cutting it in two. The dragonoid immediately abandons the spear and counters with his claws and a tail whip.

    The claws chip a scale from Hana's shield but the tail does nothing as it hits Hana's tassets that protects her thighs.

    "Behind!" Alissa yells.

    Ah, shite. I turn around and stand in front of the girls, waiting for the charge of whatever is coming.

    "I will help!" Ciel yells.

    A fireball lights the town far away from where I am. I raise my shield and point my sword forwards. When the fireball nears all I feel is a light hot breeze as the fireball dissipates, my sword gets slightly hotter. These are heavy spells if they can make such noticeable changes in my sword.

    Immediately after the fireball dissipates a white dragonoid with glowing red lines thrusts his spear towards me, another male. I struggle to push the spear away but I manage to deflect the blow, the dragonoids put their entire weight on their charges. Truly fearsome lancers.

    With my shield hand I cast [Lighting Bolt] and make sure the path goes towards his heart. Unfortunately emellanat impedes me from casting with my right hand.

    The bolt hits him on the shield and I feel it going past it, hitting the target just as I wanted. The white dragonoid loses much of his strength and almost collapses on top of me.

    A [Water Blade], a fireball, and an arrow hits him straight in the chest. He fails to dodge Ciel, she gives him a cut on his right flank, metal rings fly about as his flimsy chain mail gets shredded. Ciel flips her glaive again and rips flesh as the hook gets stuck on his wound.

    Over all this pain the dragonoids are eerily quiet.

    "We will finish the first one!" Alissa yells.

    She and Roxanne turn around and I feel their happiness as the other dragonoid gets wounded again.

    The white dragonoid looks towards Ciel and charges her. Both thrust their polearms and both attacks get deflected at the same time.

    I cast [Rush] and I nearly instantly appear besides the dragonoid. He flies upwards, limiting my reach but I manage to slice his tail and right foot off with a single slash.

    I hear Hana's wings beat as she flies upwards.

    The white dragonoid immediately flies away from me, for the first time he shows some emotion as he looks at me in surprise. Even monsters have a cast time on their spells.

    I hear the sound of something hitting the ground.

    The monster decides I'm a mortal threat and charges me. Ciel slashes at him and makes him veer off course a small amount.

    He thrusts at my shield with all his strength, the spear breaks and I nearly fall backwards. I cast a desperate [Earth Bullet] and the dragonoid is caught unaware again, the spell hits the corner of his shield and bends it, the stone ends up hitting his right shoulder. He spins and crashes on the ground to my side.

    I hear the fleshy sound of meat and bones getting crushed behind us.

    As I regain my balance Ciel dashes past me, I can't chase since I have to stay near the girls in case a spell gets thrown towards them.

    Ciel plunges her glaive in the back of the white dragonoid. He thrashes about, trying to take flight only to get wounded deeper. Ciel removes her glaive and nearly cuts off one of the wings as a bonus.

    "RAAH!" Hana yells.

    "Another!" Alissa yells.

    Bunch of nibbling Skritters. This is about to get out of hand. Through Holly I can see where the next one is coming from.

    "Ciel, you are on your own!" Iyell.

    "Yes!" She answers.

    I stand in front of where Alissa is looking, a sky blue dragonoid with long flowing white hair appears from atop the ruins to our left. It has very small and thin whiskers, its tail waves about as it flies, the signs of a female. This one has horns, she is old and more powerful. She has a more red lines than the others, they wave wildly over her body and glow with more intensity.

    A fireball is hurled towards us and I dissipate it again, my sword gets quite hot. This one doesn't charge immediately and observes the battlefield. The red lines on her body calm and lose its glow, those lines are a visual representation of her mana.

    Hana twists her sword in the chest of the struggling dragonoid, she seems to like to stand on top of her enemies... And lovers.

    Lina strikes the base of the neck of the dragonoid, his lower body goes limp but his head still flails about. He tries to bite Hana but she's too far away, he then bites her sword and tries to pull it out of him, but Hana is stronger.

    His eyes turn gold as he tries to cast a bolt towards Lina, but nothing happens as her shield absorbs it. Hana takes the opportunity finishes him off by decapitating him. All of the equipment of the dragonoid turns to mush and dissolves.

    I feel a storm of mana right on top of me, me and Roxanne effortlessly interrupt the attempt of the female dragonoid of casting a spell on top of us. It's a bit frightening the dragonoid is capable of that.

    The white dragonoid is struggling to take flight, he decides to fight Ciel on the ground even though he's limping due to the lack of a foot. His claws extend to the size of a long dagger. He suffers against her range advantage.

    The blue dragonoid charges towards me, I steel myself and concentrate. She dodges a [Torrent] with incredible agility, she receives an arrow that pierces her shield arm but doesn't slow down.

    It's difficult but I can do it for a single moment and a moment is all I need, I cast [Telekinesis] on the tip her spear. Her spear tips downwards and with a bit of help of my shield it gets stuck on the ground and snaps.

    I thrust my sword at the same time but I get parried by her shield. I feel the immense strength on her shield arm and I'm glad I didn't take the spear directly.

    Before she has the opportunity to continue her charge towards the back line, a chantless [Earth Bullet] from Lina hits her on the flank sending her far away from us.

    Ciel jumps back to catch her breath, one"on"one a dragonoid is a tough fight. The white dragonoid stops for regeneration but gets interrupted as Hana charges him, forcing him to defend himself with his claws.

    I can see with the vision from the elementals that the blue dragonoid fell backwards so far that she appeared on the corner of the road. Thankfully she didn't notice the group of wary humans staring at her and charged back towards us.

    "Fire at the same time as me!" Itell the girls and they nod towards me.

    I charge my mana to the maximum.

    "[Lighting Bolt]!"

    "[Torrent]!"

    An arrow and a fireball flies.

    The blue dragonoid gets hit by the bolt, with her muscles stiffened for a second she couldn't dodge the attacks. She receives the spell square on the shield and starts spinning, the arrow hits her right shoulder and the fireball hits the back. She crashes on the ground and rolls, kicking up dust.

    Lina arrives besides Hana, who breaks away and rushes towards the blue dragonoid that's getting up. An arrow towards the white dragonoid forces him to defend himself with the shield, allowing Ciel to make a quick move and snag the rest of the dragonoids mail with her hook. She pulls her glaive and the hole on the frail hauberk opens wider.

    Hana attacks the raising blue dragonoid, forcing her to defend with her shield. Then Hana bashes her shield, forcing her into an awkward angle. Hana follows with a savage slash on the now exposed legs, cutting deep into the left thigh through the armor.

    Lina manages to smash the remaining foot of the dragonoid. He tumbles and falls on his ass, the lack of a good part of his tail does not help with his balance. Ciel stabs the groin, angling it towards his right leg, she twists the blade and pulls it out. This dragonoid is nearly completely disabled.

    The blue dragonoid does not let Hana regain the advantage, she swipes savagely at Hana. Even with a range advantage Hana is not keen on exposing herself yet to this enemy, she can just wait for backup. She blocks, deflects and feints to keep the dragonoid from pressing her too hard.

    The white dragonoid has to use two hands to defend itself from Lina's pounding with her war hammer. His shield bends more and more with each attack. Ciel circles around him and slashes half his throat off. The dragonoid tries to lash and bite at Ciel, he even tries to bite at the blade, to try and pry it off of her.

    Hana steps sideways, giving a small opening for us to attack the berserking blue dragonoid.

    "[Water Blade]!" Me and Roxanne cast at the same time.

    Both our spells aimed for the head and the blue dragonoid defended from both with her right arm. Roxanne's spell clearly made a much deeper cut. Now the dragonoid's attacking arm is completely disabled, allowing Hana to push back with ease.

    The white dragonoid arms break and his shield presses on his own body. He tries to move with hiss regenerating right leg but he has no power to stand up. Ciel slashes again at the throat and creates another deep wound, the dragonoid is bleeding profusely.

    The white dragonoid opens his mouth and looks at Lina, the depths of his throat start glowing. On the moment his head stops moving an arrow pierces his right eye and buries itself deep, the tip appears on the back of the skull. His body goes limp, he's dead.

    The blue dragonoid senses her impending doom and throws her shield at Hana. She uses her only good arm to try to at least kill her. She swings wildly at spits fireballs at Hana, the dragonkin answers with a smile on her face as she deflects the attacks and slashes the fireballs into nothing with her sword.

    Suddenly Hana stops and bashes the dragonoid followed by a thrust. The bash leaves the dragonoid exposed, allowing the sword to pierce the throat with ease. Hana twists her sword, opening a large wound on the dragonoid and immediately pulls back, allowing the dragonoid to restart her rampage.

    Ciel appears on the right side of Hana and with a swing her glaive slashes off the left hand of the dragonoid. That was the strong hand the dragonoid was using to attack. Lina appears on the left side of Hana and strikes the right knee of the dragonoid, making the leg bend backwards, forcing the dragonoid to use her wings to stay upright.

    The dragonoid swings weakly with her slowly regenerating arm but it does not even scratch the shields of the girls. She loses a part of her tail when she tries to whip it at Ciel. Her claws on her feet get destroyed by Lina. Her chain mail gets snagged and ripped by the hooks. The cloth armor slowly falls apart with slash upon slash.

    Hana takes flight again and sends an [Earth Bullet] downwards, hitting the dragonoid on the chest and forcing her to kneel. Lina smashes at the right knee, breaking the entire leg. Ciel slashes at the exposed chest, creating a deep gash that bleeds profusely.

    The entire chest of the dragonoid turns red. She tries to take flight and charge Hana but gets sent down again with a savage overhead slash that carries the entire weight of Hana. The dragonoid falls on the ground and Ciel thrusts at her, forcing her to the ground.

    Lina smashes the left shoulder, rendering the remaining arm useless. Hana slashes the neck of the pinned dragonoid and her head falls on the ground.

    Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Roxanne holds her head in pain.

    "Too many spells in too little time. It's hard not to overuse when you don't have to chant anymore," she says.

    "Now you understand how I feel," I say.

    She chuckles.

    We spend a few minutes still tense, waiting for any other dragonoid guard to appear. Meanwhile we recover the blue dragonoid parts and I store it in my "Items", we collect the pair of whiskers from the other 2, that's the proof of subjugation.

    Aoi hops down from Roxanne's shoulder, she rips the scales easily and starts eating the white dragonoid's flesh.

    "Don't you want us to roast it first, little one?" Hana asks.

    "No~!" Aoi responds and continues eating.

    "Dragonoids have lots of mana, perhaps roasting would reduce the amount of mana on the meat," Lina says.

    "Yeesh~" Aoi mumbles with her mouth full.

    "Don't talk with your mouth full, you are a monster but you are still a woman," Alissa scolds.

    Look who's talking.

    Roxanne chugs a small MP potion and sits down with her back on a small wall. She doesn't have [Mana Recovery] so she uses her own potions to recover mana. She has specialized small potions that heal mana slowly and have a low toxicity. In this world the old adage "the dose makes the poison" is still true.

    I push her so I can sit behind her and pull her into my arms. [Breeze] is doing its work, she doesn't smell of sweat, only of the sweet fragrance of lavender.

    She leans her staff on the wall and scootches closer to me to get more comfortable.

    "If we stay like this I'm going to fall asleep," she says.

    "Then do, I will protect you and wake you up when it's time," I answer.

    She gives me a long kiss on the lips and takes off her pointy hat, coif, and glasses. No need to go so far and untie her hair so she just drops her head into my chest and closes her eyes. She looks sexy even while sleeping.

    Ciel brings Lyle and the others towards us. They look a bit wary at the amount of blood around, except Gwinevere, she seems indifferent. Hana and Ciel then spend some time cleaning their clothes of the stray drops of blood that splashed on them.

    "You guys okay?" Lyle asks with furrowed eyebrows.

    The amount of blood around and Roxanne sleeping in my arms does make a slightly worrying scene.

    "Yes, just tired, she overused her mana a bit so we are going to rest," Alissa says in a lower voice.

    "We saw a blue one, where is the body?" Lyle asks, nearly whispering.

    "Wolf stored it in his [Item Box]. It was bigger so it could be valuable."

    "I see... Well, you are all quite powerful, the size of these monsters is frightening."

    "Hopefully it will be enough to impress Mr. Garanae."

    I can't see her face but I can tell Alissa is smirking.

    "Perhaps. I assume it was you who influenced Hatara, both of them changed in impressive ways."

    "It was, I believe my blessing from the Goddess of Love wasn't wasted on me."

    Oh yeah, I can feel the smugness on her voice.

    "Well, nothing bad came out of their relationship, it's actually rather refreshing how soft Gara has become. To think all he needed was a girlfriend…"

    "Everyone needs some love, nobody is perfect. We all need people who complete us, after all. But what about you, Mr. Lyle, you said you are focusing on power but is it truly so? Can't you spare a bit of your time so you can spend it with a loved one?"

    The smugness levels are off the charts.

    "T-that's not... I don't have, I don't have time, really," Lyle turns his face away and cleans his throat.

    "Reeeaally...?"

    Now she's sassy.

    "Y-yes... Ah, Gwin, h-how are the dragonoids?"

    He waves to Gwinevere and moves away from Alissa. It seems Lyle can still be teased when the heat is on him.

    "Dead...?" She looks at him confused.

    "That's not…" He shakes his head, "Did you identify anything from their clothes and armor?"

    I play with Roxanne's hair while she sleeps. The quartet of scholars examine the grey dragonoid, they seem to be avoiding Aoi, who's still eating the white dragonoid. The space mages lowly discuss how to cook dragonoid meat, apparently it's very hard to prepare properly, it's very tough and tastes very gamey. The diet of animals and monsters define how strong the meat tastes, monsters that use lots of mana are known to taste slightly better. The dragonoids guards don't seem to eat a lot because of their self-preservation mode, but such spells are known to ruin meat. In the end they decided to take the body.

    After 30 minutes I wake Roxanne up. She yawns and gives me a peck on the lips. Then she frowns as she puts the coif back on.

    "Feeling better?" Iask.

    "Yep, time to move."

    "It's impressive how easily you fell asleep in this uncomfortable stone."

    "That's because I felt safe in your arms," she winks at me.

    Awn, my heart...


    We continue moving through town. The sound of thunder traveled far as we don't meet another guard.

    We reach a main road, it's larger and has details on the sidewalk, simple tribal geometric carvings. We manage to get glimpses of our target, a large tower, the scholars believe it is a primeval temple.

    "Even though they could fly they still required proper roads and sidewalks for they had servants of some kind. Not much is known about who these servants were," Lyle says.

    "Could it be another extinct race?" Lina asks.

    "Could be."

    As we near the tower Alissa stops us.

    "Another guard. Big like the blue one."

    There's a building near us that's still standing, it surprisingly has some walls in the first floor.

    "Hide there," I point to the building, "We will deal with the guard like last time"

    We might need to have them always hide when we fight, those are not easy fights, we have to go all out. Having them see so many chantless spells would attract too much attention, I specifically don't want Ankara to see us fight.

    We move towards the guard and suddenly the ground starts to get muddy, there was no cast time and a spell instantly started having effect. Me, Ciel, and Roxanne interrupt the spell immediately, a few seconds more and our feet would have sank on the ground.

    "Transformation!" Lina yells.

    He's gonna be annoying.

    Alissa lets out an arrow, I hear it clang on metal. A second later a black dragonoid appears, the white lines on its scales glow. It's a male with two long and forward"facing straight horns, they look dangerously sharp. He charges towards Hana.

    She takes the charge and immediately counters. The dragonoid fails to defend itself from the attack, his belly gets pierced by Hana, his neck is wounded by Ciel and his leg is hit by Lina. He spins from Lina's attack and flies backwards. His wounds instantly close, not a single drop of blood hits the ground.

    Transformation types have extra regeneration capabilities.

    The dragonoid receives a [Torrent] on his shield followed by a fireball and an arrow. Already his shield is bending. He charges Lina.

    She steels herself and stands like a statue. When the tip of the spear approaches Lina moves with incredible speed, her shield hits the spear perfectly on the middle. The tip of the spear gets stuck on the shield and the shaft breaks.

    "Come at me you squishy gecko!" Hana taunts.

    She slashes at the thigh of the dragonoid, it cuts through the cloth armor and inflicts a light wound that closes immediately. When the dragonoid retreats Ciel unleashes a [Wind Blade] that gets blocked by his shield.

    "I will cut your wings and turn you into my slave!" She taunts again.

    The dragonoid spares her no mind and charges Ciel. Without his spear her reach prevents him from hurting her. He impales himself on her glaive and swipes at her shield, his claws get stuck midway on her wooden shield.

    With his claws stuck and his belly pierced, he takes an extra second to retreat. Hana slashes down with her sword and cuts his right hand off while he retreats.

    He blocks an arrow and dodges a [Fire Arrow]. He lowers himself and touch the ground, limiting the aim of Alissa and Roxanne. I see something is coming out of his stump, his bones are already regrowing. Stupid transformation types.

    He charges towards Hana, Alissa is on a line behind her. She takes the opportunity, she casts [Ghost Lights] and releases an arrow at the same time. The dragonoid blocks his face with his shield and the arrow hits exactly where his eyes would be. Hana takes the chance and slashes at his exposed thighs again, this time the wound is much deeper and blood seeps from the wound.

    This is why a kite shield is better, his legs would be less exposed this way.

    He retreats again, meat and bones grow out of his stump in real time in a disgusting manner. Suddenly the ground becomes wet and slippery, his body glows brightly.

    He charges towards Lina again. Hana flies to intercept, her sword hits his shield and bends it in half. He veers off course but manages to spin and kick Lina, she remains like a statue and slides through the floor.

    I use [Telekinesis] on her, she slows down and slides until she nearly touches me. Roxanne casts a chantless [Ice Lance], it pierces through the shield and nearly wounds his chest lightly.

    "[Wind Blade]!"

    The spell flies towards his flank, his tail is sliced off cleanly at the base. Hana strikes him again with all her power and he crashes on the ground. I cast [Entangling Vines], his arms and legs get pulled to the ground. He tries to liquefy my vines but I keep casting the spell continuously.

    Hana hacks at him wildly, he lifts his arms to defend himself and they get chopped off. Bones and scales grow wildly out of his stumps only to get hacked again.

    "[Wind Blade]!"

    "[Water Blade]!"

    The two spells are cast with a lot of mana and with a completely vulnerable target both legs get sliced off. Hana continues to hack, more and more blood and gore spills from the butchering.

    Eventually his regeneration slows down and Hana sinks her blade on his head, splitting his skull in two. He flails for a few seconds and finally stops. Hana steps away from him, she's drenched in blood and pieces of meat and bone. I'm starting to feel sick so I wobble away from that scene.

    Roxanne spends nearly a minute manipulating water to clean the floor of the oil.

    "Hana, you are having a bath," I say.

    "Eh, it's only blood," she answers with a shrug.

    "I agree with Wolfy, it's worth spending some time to clean you," Alissa says.

    "I agree," Ciel says.

    "I also agree. You gotta take better care of yourself, my love," Roxanne says, tapping Hana's back, one of the few places untainted by blood.

    Lina simply avoids eye contact with Hana.

    "Fine…" She shrugs again.

    "I will wash you," I say.

    Now Hana smiles.

    "Wolfy, no sex," Alissa says with a serious tone.

    "Shouldn't you be saying that to Hana?"

    "Yes, but she has Roxanne, tonight you are mine," she looks like a predator about to pounce on her prey.

    Wow, where is that possessiveness coming from?

    We go behind a still standing wall and I pull out the bath requirements, Roxanne comes to help wash Hana's clothes while I carefully wash her body and scales. I take my time feeling up her abs, her biceps, her thighs, her calves, her very cute feet, and her two beautiful and perfect breasts.

    "If you continue we will have to apologize to Alissa," she says.

    "Wha...?"

    "I'm about to pounce on you."

    Alright then. I change to her scales, impressive how the blood seeped so deep in her, I carefully look below each to find any drop of blood that I could have missed.

    "You know I'm not made of glass, you can be rougher with me," she says, one eyebrow raised.

    "Sometimes I just feel like pampering you, why be rough when I can be delicate?"

    "Please stop talking, I'm seriously about to pounce on you," her face shows some anxiety.

    I just smile and finish up.

    We store everything and bring Lyle.

    "Dwarven beard, you did this?" Delwyn asks, he looks away sickly.

    Idioms are starting to turn into their localized versions instead of being translated into their Earth equivalent. "Dwarven beard" means something impressive. Earlier I thought "nibbling Skritters", it means "annoying little shits".

    "Well, yes," I answer, "Actually no, that was Hana."

    "There's no way around it, transformation types have ridiculous regeneration," Lina says.

    Delwyn groans and shudders.

    "It's not that bad little brother, it's just some blood and meat. The real dragonoids would do much worse if they caught one of us," Gwinevere rubs his shoulder.

    "You are not helping," he answers flatly.

    "As a noble you should have a stronger spirit, Delwyn," Ankara says, he shakes his head in disapprovement, "How are we supposed to lead the commoners if you get sick at looking at the mere results of a fight?"

    "I'm not a fighter and I will never be, there's no need for me to have to stomach this."

    "Then you shouldn't..." Ankara stops himself.

    Him and Delwyn glare at each other. I'm sure Ankara would have said that he "shouldn't be a noble then". Tankar seems to be looking at Delwyn with pity.

    "Keep moving, we don't have time for this," Lyle says in a commanding voice.


    We reach the entrance to the temple, a row of steps flanked by 14 pedestals. Only one of the pedestals has a statue on it, the others are all partially destroyed without any hint of what their statues might be. The only statue is of a naked dragonoid, not that they regularly wear clothes.

    "Some say these status represent the other humanoid races," Lyle says.

    We enter the temple. It's completely hollow, not even the floor remains, it turns into the jagged floor of the cave. The middle of the tower has an out of control enchantment, a chaotic wind runs through the entire height, it's almost a visible tornado.

    We take a quick lunch break. "Items"-ready meal for us and the remains of yesterday's meal for the others.

    "So, I will summon another earth elemental and me and Hana will climb to the top. In there we will fix a pulley so the rest can be brought up by a suspended scaffold, then I will use a wind elemental to secure the scaffold for you guys."

    Alissa seems anxious, she will be the first to come up, though.

    I unsummon Holly and I fake a chant, I summon an earth elemental and a wind elemental. Then I bring out the small scaffold and leather harnesses we prepared.

    We have a 4 pulleys system for raising the scaffold, 2 pulleys bellow, two on top. I grab the top pulley and hook it to the elemental. Good for us that someone measured the height of his tower, 164 meters, because of this we can bring the proper amount of rope. In this world "meters" is called "metris".

    "Your [Item Box] is quite big, Wolf," Lyle says.

    It's not funny when a man says it. I force a smile.

    "You know I'm good with [Space Magic]."

    "So it seems," he looks at me with curiosity.

    Me and Hana put on our harnesses and tie ourselves to each earth elemental. We climb on their backs and the elementals move towards the walls. They touch the wall and their hands fuse with the stone, then they pull themselves upwards and do the same for their feet. They unfuse their hands and fuse again higher up. This cycle repeats and we slowly climb up the tower.

    The wind blows hard and we have to cling to the elementals or we would flap about wildly. It's difficult to breathe and the dust is irritating my nose. The wind is cold and soon I'm chilled to the bone, even with the fur padding of my armor.

    After an eternity that lasted 20 minutes we reach the top. The tower suddenly opens into the cave environment again. This time it's full of stalagmites and stalactites, water drips constantly and rills flow towards a large crack in the ground about 100 meters from us. The wind is strong here too.

    I have one of the elementals fuse with the ground and hold the pulley for us, the other will pull the rope while we secure the area. I turn my Emergency Ring red then green then off. The signal that we are ready.

    A few seconds later my ring turns red then green then off. I signal the elemental and it starts pulling. 5 minutes later the scaffold appears with Alissa, Lyle and the fire elemental. The wind elemental floats above the scaffold. The fire elemental lights up our surroundings and we see a dance of small lights reflected on the wet ground of the cave.

    We lower the scaffold and the wind elemental floats down.

    "How was it?" Iask.

    "A bit cold, barely any swaying, though I don't recommend looking down," Lyle says.

    "Better than our trip up. Heat me up," I tell the fire elemental.

    The flames of the elemental spring to life and she blows a kiss to me.

    "They are getting personalities now," Alissa mutters.

    Hana looks very satisfied.

    Next comes Tankar, Ankara, and one of the space mages. Ankara seems to heavily dislike the wet environment, he maintains close to the elemental but keep his eyes away from her two large traps.

    Next comes the twins and the other space mage.

    "Ooh~..." Gwinevere looks around in wonder.

    "Yeah, kinda nice," Delwyn talks absentmindedly.

    "Nicer than just those ruins you and Lyle love so much. Do either of you play with yourselves while thinking about those ruins?"

    If one were to ignore the context you would only hear an innocent maiden talking.

    "I'm gonna tell mom" -Delwyn narrows his eyes and glares at his sister- "she's gonna have you pass those etiquette classes all over again."

    "Ahahahah..."She laughs awkwardly and looks away, "What are you talking about, little brother, it was just a joke, a mere joke. N-no need to get so offended. Ahahah…"

    "Something is coming!" Alissa yells.

    This jolts us back to reality.

    "Stay with the elemental and move to the back of the cave!" Iyell and wave them to move away.

    The earth elemental is pulling Roxanne, Ciel, and Lina. They will be here soon, we only have to hold on if whatever is coming is too much for us.

    We hear the clanking of metal before we see what it is. It shines in the reflected lights of the cave with such intensity I thought Haaran was coming towards us. It is an old male dragonoid, he has one horn, long silver hair and a few spikes on his spine. Once he got close we realized his shine is waving by itself, it is the visible mana of the dragonoid, it is silver.

    "Metal type! Cook him alive! Fire elemental, come to us!" Iyell

    I hear the sound of air being inhaled. *FOOOOM* Hana spews out fire.

    "[Fireball]!"

    "[Fireball]!"

    Me and Alissa fire our spells. The silver-surfer-looking dragonoid gets swallowed by flames. I see Alissa draw an arrow and fire it into the flames but more to our right. Hana follows the arrow and I fire another [Fireball] too.

    The fire elemental arrives and just as Hana's fire runs out the elemental starts her own fire-breath. Alissa fires another arrow towards the right and me and Hana throw a [Fireball] there, the elemental turns her flamethrower to follow.

    Eventually the fire elemental runs out of gas too and stops the fire breath. We see a red-hot dragonoid, his silver light is running wildly through his body, it's keeping the metal armor from burning him or melting off. I see two burned arrow stumps on his chest.

    Hana inhales again and lets out more fire-breath along with a [Fireball]. We let out more spells and arrows. Hot blasts of wind make the cave become even more windy. I smell burnt meat.

    "It's charging!"

    Hana stops her fire and lifts her shield just in time to receive a claw from a half burned dragonoid. His metal armor melted off nearly completely.

    He jumps back and turns the remaining metal on his body into a red-hot spear and a round shield. Now he's completely naked, fortunately a dragonoid's penis is retracted inside his body. He charges again at Hana, but this time she's even more ready. She trades blows with him as I charge towards her left side.

    I strike down with my sword and he lowers his spear, letting Hana get into his guard and lightly pierce his right shoulder. His spear doesn't rise again, allowing us to keep the pressure on.

    Alissa doesn't dare leave the side of the elemental, they are too nimble and would overpower her easily.

    I strike again and open a wound on his right leg. He counters by using his tail to pierce me, I dodge backwards and he only weakly hits my belly. It didn't penetrate the leather and the impact got softened by the fur padding.

    Hana bashes his shield and strikes down at the same time. The dragonoid's posture doesn't crumble but his shield gets nearly cut in half as Hana's sword gets stuck midway into the shield.

    He's not powerful enough to pull Hana back. His shield turns into liquid, allowing Hana's sword to slide out, she forces the sword down again and slices his arm to the bone. At this moment the rest of the girls arrive.

    "Lina! With me!" Alissa orders.

    With this they run sideways to the flanks, Alissa fires an arrow that pierces the right shoulder of the dragonoid.

    He lifts his spear, his shoulder healed and he charges Alissa. Hana goes flying behind him. Lina gets into position.

    "[Wind Blade]!"

    The spell goes off and it hits his spear arm, blood flies but the wound is not deep. Alissa casts a silent [Ghost Lights]. He strikes at Lina, he is blinded so she deflects it easily and counters with her hammer. I hear bones crunching as he defends with his shield, it bent backwards, his forearm is broken.

    He flies backwards for a second and receives Hana's strike with his spear. The spear shines lightly and doesn't break. But Hana feinted, she uses her momentum to spin and kicks the dragonoid away.

    He flies back a few meters and immediately charges again. An arrow pierces his throat.

    "[Fire Wall]!"

    The smell of burnt meat grows stronger, he is trapped inside for a few seconds. Then the wall recedes.

    "[Wind Blade]!"

    His shield is dripping away, his spear is thin, one of his eyes is cooked. He charges again and it gets stopped by the spell that hits his chest, followed Hana's sword that cuts down his shoulder down to his heart.

    He struggles for a second then goes limp. Hana lands on the ground and kicks him to dislodge him off her sword.

    "Ah, a tooth broke off," she says with sadness, she passes her fingers on a spot of metal where a very sharp teeth should be.

    "Bound to happen, these swords aren't that resistant," Lina says.

    The wary escort NPC's come to us.

    "Oh, it seems you are all competent mages," Lyle says.

    "Eh," Hana shrugs, "Only a thing or two that helps us in situations like these."

    We rest for a few minutes here.

    "Aside from the smell of burnt meat this is a really nice place," Ciel says.

    "The sound of the dropping water is relaxing," I say.

    "Exactly. I would love to spend a night here."

    "I will put a [Gate] 'coordinate' here then," I whisper.

    She gives me a peck on the lips.


    The crack near us is the only way forward, there's a way down but our target is not there so we are going over it.

    We put our harnesses on again. This time I unsummon the fire elemental and summon another earth elemental. One elemental will stay here and hold the bottom pulley, two will ferry me and Hana across the crack through the wall. Then we will have an elemental hold the top pulley and the other will pull the scaffold.

    The trip through the crack is short, it's barely more than 50 meters wide, the out of control wind enchantment is also much more subdued here. At the bottom we see faint glowing spots, there are more dragonoid guards down there, tough those are active.

    We ferry everyone and cross safely without any other fights. Our path narrows and small ruined steps appear embedded in the rock once in a while. Fortunately this part isn't wet otherwise the risk of falling would be high.

    The tunnel slowly opens up, weak mana crystals appear embedded in the walls, giving us the first natural light of the dungeon that we have seen.

    Long minutes pass and we finally approach the limits of explored territory as we reach a cobble wall with only a small arch as an opening. Below the arch the skeleton of a halfling on the ground is the evidence of the result of the last expedition here, one of them died and the rest ran away. This place is a pain to get to, add that to the dragonoid family of 5 members that guards this place and nobody else felt like bothering coming here.

    The sloths stay behind as we approach the arch.

    "Last report said there should be a family of dragonoids guarding this place," I whisper.

    "I sense nothing, dragonoids shouldn't have skills that hide their presence, right?" Alissa whispers.

    "Correct," Lina whispers.

    "Curious how the skeleton is still here, I guess these dragonoids do not eat their victims?" Roxanne asks.

    "They are different from the normal ones anyway," Lina says.

    "Let's gather the bones and give it a proper cremation," Ciel says.

    Nobody buries their dead, graveyards attract monsters and necromancers.

    "First let's make sure the area is safe, eyes peeled in all directions," I say.

    We approach the arch we see it has a raised metal gate, it's a gatehouse not a simple stone arch. Past it we see buildings raised by the dragonoids, but instead of being attempts at abstract architecture they are much more similar to the engraved buildings of the temple. They are all engraved with tribal or flowery patterns.

    There's only one road and the buildings end into the cave wall halfway, there's not much to explore and no way to miss any monster that could be hiding. Either they have some sort of [Hide Presence] or [Invisibility], or there's simply nothing here.

    After a long hour of cautiously walking we find another gatehouse.

    "Let's just get Lyle and we see how far he wants to explore," I say.

    We double back and reach the first gatehouse. We pile the bones of dead halfling on a corner and Roxanne casts a small [Firestorm]. He had some ruined textile and chain armor that burned and melted, only a small lump of ashes and metal remains.

    "Gods, let his connection to this world end and the cycle of his soul be allowed to continue," Ciel prays.

    We quietly repeat her prayer and move on. We bring Lyle through the small remains of the town.

    "What is this architecture!" Lyle exclaims as he sees the engraved buildings.

    "Please keep your voice down," Lina pleads.

    Lyle winces again.

    "Sorry, sorry," he whispers.

    Delwyn has to be herded by Lina as he lost his voice and part of his capability of walking. Ankara is very fidgety and only Gwinevere retains her composure as she only occasionally look around with curiosity.

    We reach the second gatehouse and cross it. We enter what seems to be a large garden, except it's dead and smell like it's rotting. It's actually a bit unpleasant, I fear a trap as I can sense something wrong with this place.

    "This must be the entrance to a castle. But why is everything so dead?" Lyle questions.

    "There's something wrong here," Roxanne says.

    "I agree," Ciel says.

    I nod.

    The other 3 look at us puzzled.

    "Doesn't make much sense for it to be rotting like this," Gwinevere says, she holds her chin in thought. "This dungeon is a solidification of mana, it can recreate any sort of matter it want, it could easily recreate perfectly healthy green grass even if it were in complete darkness."

    "Maybe it rotted on the original castle this was based on," Lyle says.

    Delwyn snaps from his trance. "Assuming this dungeon was based on a real location. It could simply be a thematic shift, there could be something bad inside this castle," he says.

    We continue forward with renewed alertness. The rotting grass reminds me of a swamp, the claustrophobic environment and the stuffy air does not help stave off our disgust.

    Eventually the tunnel splits into two, one goes to our right and deeper into the garden, the other way goes into the entrance of what could be a castle. The imponent stairs up into the building certainly signal this to be an important building.

    "Castle," Lyle says the moment we stop.

    We enter the castle into a large hall similar to the first room of the dungeon, except the low ceiling of the cave is visible. We reach the end and Lyle gets disappointed as the stairs to the second floor get cut halfway.

    To the sides of the hall there's doors leading to corridors. One side has skeletons, ruined armor suits, rusted weapons, some rotting clothes, and broken furniture. The quartet of scholars seem ecstatic, there are remains of heraldry and designs never seen before. The skeletons are clearly dragonoid and their weapons are similar to ancient Greece of Earth, this means they are from a time period far from current days.

    We nearly had to drag them away from there as we still have the right side to explore. When we got there they nearly shat themselves, there's a small library with readable books.
     
  13. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    "Diamond dragon scales!" Lyle exclaims, he furiously flips through one of the books, "The books are written in the dragonoid language! We stumbled on something amazing! Mr. 'Good Luck' I'm gonna kiss ya, your nickname is a perfect fit!"

    "Please don't."

    The book crumbles on his careless touch and he yelps, all heads turn towards him in surprise.

    "Lyle... It's okay, the book will regenerate," Lina says in a soft voice.

    "Oh, yes, right," he laughs at himself.

    The book turns to dust that quickly disappears into nothing. A few seconds later a black goo appears on the shelf, it slowly reforms into the shape of a book. Eventually it regains color and texture, finishing its regeneration.

    Ciel motions for us to assemble.

    "The rotten grass, I'm almost sure it's undead corruption," she says.

    "You are not sure?" Alissa asks.

    "No, I only crossed some small corruption a long time ago, we were passing through the remains of a nest of a White Arachne. These arachnes are quite weak so I never really had the opportunity to fight one, the adventurers would always kill them before the temple found one."

    Lina's Trivia: Monsters mutate quite often, ironically the God of Destruction uses evolution, i.e. gradual change, as a way to bolster his forces. One of the rare mutations is the monsters acquiring the knowledge to become "undead". They find a way to dissociate their soul and body from the influence of all Gods, they become something "unnatural" to our reality, detached from the cycle of mana. They can absorb any matter to survive, live forever, disrupt life and matter just by existing, and need to be completely annihilated to truly die.

    "That is actually worrying, if the family of dragonoids that guarded the gatehouse became undead then they would be very difficult to deal with. No, they would be impossible to deal with," I say.

    "Indeed," Ciel says.

    "Yeah, I agree, you shouldn't underestimate those dragonoids," Hana says.

    "I will scout ahead, we need to know what exactly is out there," Alissa says.

    I take a moment to think about her words.

    "I will go with you," I say.

    We stare at each other. She doesn't want to risk me and I don't want to risk her.

    "We are stronger together," I say with more resolution in my tone.

    Her stare slowly turns into a smile.

    "Together then," she grabs my hand and kisses it, then I kiss her hand back.

    "Tell the others what we just discussed," I say to Ciel.

    "Make sure to come back before dinner, whatever is out there you can properly scout tomorrow," Ciel says, her tone leaves no room for questioning.

    "Yes, mom," I mutter and walk away.

    "I heard that!"

    I walk away faster.



    I left a single earth elemental to guard the entrance to the castle, for us I summoned a Shad and Holly to help us with vision. I will ride Alissa during the trip.

    "This is nostalgic, just the two of us," I whisper.

    "Not really a pleasant memory, you were too close to danger before Hana," she whispers back.

    I can fell her pout even though her fox mouth doesn't move. I just smile and hug her fluffiness harder, I love this fox form of her so much.

    Before meeting her I was scared out of my mind, I was lost and incredibly lonely. I threw myself at her and she opened her heart to me. She's my anchor and I'm her light, we will live together and die together, that I am sure.

    "Hey..." A very peculiar thought occurred to me, "Can you feel pleasure in your fox form?"

    Alissa stops, her fox face looks at me, slowly the corner of her lips rise into a frightening smile full of pointy fangs.

    "Yes," she answers calmly.

    "Ok... Let's keep moving."

    I will continue that train of thought another time.



    The smell of rot gets stronger, the cave opens up and we enter a dead orchard. I summon another Holly and tell it to fly about, if she finds another living being she must return to us immediately.

    With the second Holly's vision I can see how big the cave has become, the orchard turns into a hedge maze that we contour. When the second Holly starts to fly over the maze a stone statue of a dragonoid archer releases its arrow towards Holly.

    She immediately doubles back towards us. The arrow misses narrowly and with the corner of Holly's vision I can see the statue drawing another arrow.

    "Stop! Go back to the entrance!" I tell Alissa.

    "Ok, what's going on?"

    "Holly got attacked by a statue."

    Her fox eyes spell confusion.

    Holly leaves the maze just as another arrow flies past her, her small size is a real advantage against projectiles. I see the statue returns to its normal position, with a drawn bow pointing upwards.

    "A trap to prevent other dragonoids from flying above. This maze has anti-air statues, they take life and shoot arrows at flying targets," I say.

    "Why would they do something like that? You don't put defenses like these unless you are guarding something valuable."

    "Indeed, but dragonoids have a rather ruthless society, perhaps it's a prank, perhaps it's a test. If it's not related to their culture it could be something a dungeon rarely creates."

    "A treasure chest!" Alissa seems ecstatic.

    "Wanna bet Ciel is gonna side with Lyle when we tell them this?"

    She snorts.

    "No, that would be a dumb bet."

    "Heh. Anyway, let's go around this maze and continue scouting."

    I tell second Holly to circle around the maze on the opposite direction of us. The maze is quite wide so we reach the border of the cave while running around it. Aside from the inside of the maze we scouted every single inch of this cave, then we meet up on the other end of the maze.

    We continue forward and pass a creepy statue garden, it has all sorts of statues of dragonoids. There are butchers, robed cultists, soldiers, actors, bone armored robed cultists, alchemists, mages, robed cultists stabbing themselves, merchants, nobles, executioners cutting heads off, cultists sacrificing other dragonoids, farmers, scholars, cultists eating other dragonoids, cultists raping other dragonoids, tall piles of dragonoid skulls, and a very large and mean looking dragonoid.

    We do not talk about the statues, the increasing creepiness makes us not want think any more than necessary about this place. The only thing we paid mind is the corruption, the smell of rot was gone but a very faint smell of acetone fills the air.

    After the statues we reach a water park. It literally has water slides, they look incredibly fun except for the black and bubbling slimy water. The air is filled with suspended particles that sparkle when our light touches them.

    Alissa takes great care to avoid the deadly water. The smell of rot returns faintly and the smell of acetone increases. It also starts to slightly burn our lungs, it's damaging us. After 10 minutes smelling this "acetone" I see it reduced my HP by 1 point.

    After the ridiculously large water park comes a grassland followed by a grove. At the border of the grove I tell Alissa to stop.

    "What is it now?" She asks.

    "Holly found something, seems to be a dragonoid. Her vision is being disrupted greatly, I think it could be the undead."

    "Her vision is supposedly very sensitive, makes sense for it to be disrupted by the corruption of the undead."

    "Yes."

    "Where is the undead and where is it going?"

    "It's deeper into the grove a long way to our left, it's moving away from us. I couldn't see anything else since Holly turned back as soon as she sensed it. I believe that one had a green glow, wind type."

    As Holly moves towards us her vision quickly improves. It was like an analog TV having interference, the image distorted and got grainy. Holly even suffered some damage just by getting close to it. We are much tougher than her so we wouldn't take instantaneous corruption damage just by meeting an undead, but it would be detrimental to our health if we fought it.

    "Let's return," Alissa says.

    "Yes, Ciel would kill us if we went deeper."

    "With the way Lina is changing she would join Ciel."

    This time I'm the one who snorts.



    "Undead, huh..." Lyle is in deep thought.

    "It's dangerous to stay here," I say.

    "It would be very tough to kill a single undead dragonoid," Hana says.

    "Even worse is that out there is probably a family of undead dragonoids that were supposed to be protecting the entrance to this place," Alissa says.

    Lyle purses his lips.

    "We are not leaving," Ankara says with decisiveness.

    "Why?" I ask.

    "This place is too valuable, we have to stay here and compile the books in this small library," he says.

    "Let a Glutton eat your words, you can come back here later," Hana says.

    Lina's Trivia: Gluton is a slime-type monster that eats anything related to plants or animals (including humanoids). Hana's expression means "screw that".

    Ankara narrows his eyes in annoyance.

    "We are staying here, if we come back later this place will be filled with other scholars and soldiers to subjugate those undead dragonoids," he says.

    "Oh, so that is what you are worried about, that someone would steal all your glory," I say.

    His composed face breaks and he glares at me with anger.

    "You should know your place, boy, show some respect," Tankar says through gritted teeth.

    "What are you on about?"

    "It is Mr. Gartania and Sir Tankar, not 'you'," he spews.

    I can barely discern his expression, he never takes off that helmet.

    "I, do, not, care, I'm not your fucking squire," I look at him with disdain.

    Tankar clenches his mailed fist in anger.

    "That's enough! Both of you!" Lyle yells and hits his fist on the table.

    Ah shit, I gotta calm down. I'm not used to dealing with this amount of self-importance.

    "The undead are very far away, we can keep an eye on them, can't we?" Lyle says and looks at me.

    "The corruption is too strong and damages us. I will not let any of my women stand guard in the middle of that nasty air, I will use summons and let them at the border of the corrupted air. This should give us 30 minutes of early warning if the dragonoids come to us."

    "Then that's enough, there's no need to run away now."

    I'm conflicted, the maze, or safety, the maze, or safety. I look at Ciel, her eyes show a hint of excitement ever since we mentioned the maze. Ah, fuck it, we will stay.

    "Keep in mind the price of your glory," Hana says to Ankara, she shares my disdain.

    I let a sigh escape.

    "I will agree to stay but only if I get whatever is inside that maze, no questions asked," I say.

    "I wish to explore that maze," Lyle says earnestly, eager to change the topic.

    "Now that's pushing it," Hana says.

    Lyle drops his shoulders.

    "I will stay with the books, that maze smells like a treasure chest," Ankara says.

    "Me too," Delwyn says.

    "I would like to go to the maze," Gwinevere says.

    "We could split, no problem," Lyle says innocently.

    "Bad idea," Ciel says.

    Alissa nods in agreement. Lyle looks like a dejected puppy.

    "Look, we are not taking any of you, it's too dangerous," I say.

    Lyle seems hurt but without him we can use [Gate] to return instantly if something goes bad.

    "I'm sorry but I'm not taking any chances, we will explore that place but only if we are alone. That way we can easily run away if danger comes either to us or to you."

    Tankar scoffs.

    "I'm more than enough to keep the undead away if you decide to prance about that maze," he says.

    Death-flag.

    "Suit yourself," I wave my hand at him, "We will leave two elementals here anyway to help."

    "Then you are going tomorrow?" Lyle asks.

    "Yes, tomorrow morning."



    Ankara spoiled the mood again so we end up eating dinner separately. After that I immediately bring Alissa to bed and seek her tongue, her tail ruffles the sheets as it wags below her.

    I will never get tired of this, of her taste, of her feeling. I easily get hard and I slide my hand past her bush, she immediately opens her legs and receives my finger with a moan. I play with her until I feel her little bean grow on my hand, I pull her pants halfway and penetrate her.

    She breaks the kiss as she cannot contain her moans anymore. I shove the gag on her mouth, this time it's one of her sexier lacy panties, such an erotic sight. Her orange eyes lock into mine and the sounds of the world drowns.

    She takes off the gag and whispers something in my ears. I stop for a few seconds to process what she wants.

    "You sure?" I ask.

    She nods.

    "I trust you," she says, her smile is adorable.

    I pull out of her and pull out two leather belts, I tie one to her arms and the other to her legs. Then I stare again into her eyes and smile, I wrap my hands on her throat and choke her.

    She struggles and tries to break free, those leather belts were made for Hana, she's not getting away. She eventually kicks me with both her feet and I fall from the bed, my ass hurts.

    This woman is gonna be my wife, I love her and she loves me.

    "You bitch, you are gonna pay," I growl at her.

    Her eyes turn into fear and she tries to crawl away from me.

    "P-please, no, Wolfy, no…"

    "Quiet."

    I grab the gag and straddle her, I shove it deep into her mouth. She chokes and tries to spit it out but I pull out another belt and tie it around her mouth.

    She has accepted that she is not a slave anymore, she's free but she willingly binds herself to me.

    "A breeding sow does not need to talk," I spit at her.

    She struggles again and tries to break free. I put points into [Enhanced Strength]. This time her kick misses and I pull a rope and tie it around her folded legs. Alissa is not that strong, she focus on being fast and precise, it's rather easy to overpower her.

    Now she can't struggle anymore, she's completely immobile. She whimpers behind her gag.

    There's still something on her that wants to submit, though, she wants to be forced by me. She desires so much to serve me she wishes she didn't have free will.

    I turn the squirming whore around, her ass and pussy are completely exposed to me. She jerks her head and manages to see me pulling my cock out with the corner of her eyes.

    "No..." I can hear she mutter from behind her gag.

    She wants to feel helpless before me. She wants to be raped by me.

    I penetrate her, her dripping pussy betrays her acting. Hana might be depraved but Alissa might be the bigger degenerate. This is the small, blurry, curious spot in her heart, she fantasizes on me cheating on her and then raping her. Perhaps I am the biggest degenerate since I am thoroughly enjoying this?

    I don't hold back. All I want is to inflict as much pain as possible, I want to make her suffer and crumble beneath me. I choke her and she moans in pleasure and cries in pain.

    That's not enough. I pull out of her and bring out our scented lube. I push a finger inside her asshole and cast the strongest [Clean] I can muster, her whole body shivers in response. I spread a generous amount of lube on my cock, then I aim it at her second entrance.

    She jerks her body again to look at me, now there it is, genuine fear.

    "This is your lesson, you whore."

    I push my big fat cock inside her small virgin asshole. She screams in pain, blood drips out her and a towel appears below us to catch the drops of blood. I pull it out, I cast [Heal] on her ass, [Clean] on my dick and apply more lube. She's not bleeding anymore but it doesn't mean she's not in pain. I penetrate her again.

    She whimpers with every thrust. I feel her asshole tighten and pulse with every heartbeat, this amount of tight puts Lina to shame. I steel myself and pound her harder, her cute small ass turns red as her ass cheeks clap on my thighs.

    I choke her harder and I see her struggle to breathe, I leave just a bit of room so she doesn't pass out. I bite her shoulder and with my free hand I pinch her clit, I pull on it hard and she yells in pain, the sound passing through the gag. Tears roll through her face.

    I cum inside her in a way I never came before, it fills her insides and overflows. I stay like this for a while, her ass drips with my cum and her pussy drips with her wetness. Slowly I break my hold and she gasps for air. I remove her gag and she coughs.

    I lay on top of her and hug her, my dick still inside her.

    I look to the side and Hana is on her fours being fisted by Roxanne, looking at us with begging eyes, she wants to be next. Ciel and Lina are frozen in confusion, disgust, fear, and extreme arousement.

    I pull out of Alissa and push it inside Hana's mouth for her to clean. Then I move behind Hana and Roxanne leaves. I clean Hana's asshole while she tongues Alissa's, trying to take out any remaining cum.

    "Fucking whores, the both of you."

    I penetrate Hana, for her I put less lube. She yelps in pain and holds her mouth. Every thrust she cries, she cries while smiling, her tears wet the sheets. I don't heal Hana so the smell of blood starts to enter my nose.

    Instead of feeling disgust I feel pleasure at the smell of blood, I will make Hana bleed and cry. I increase my speed and her asshole tightens so much I need more lube. I clean most of the blood and apply a generous amount of lube.

    Roxanne is fingering Hana while they kiss. Every few seconds Hana moans and cries, breaking their kiss. During these moments Roxanne smiles like a maniac while she appreciates the show.

    I grow tired and stop holding myself, I feel it come and Hana tightens purposefully. I cum a huge amount again and a mix of blood and cum overflows out of her.

    I pull it out and flop down on our huge bed.

    "Uh... The taste of blood ruins it," Hana says, a little apologetic.

    Alright then. I cast [Clean] on myself.

    I look at Alissa, her face is back to normal but it's wet with tears. I untie her and she immediately pushes me down, her mouth devours my dick.

    With lots of enthusiasm but still with delicacy she stimulates me perfectly, she pays proper attention to that special spot, the frenulum. A small strip of flesh that's especially delicate and sensitive, she applies special attention to it.

    Her words ring in my head "I am your whore, your cock-sleeve, your sex toy. Hurt me, rape me, show who owns me". I let it repeat in my head, the perfect sexy whisper on my ears turned on the beast in me. I close my eyes and cum on her mouth, she doesn't slow down her movements and not a single white drop can be seen, she swallowed it all.

    "Thank you for the meal, master," she says with an innocent smile.

    She casts [Clean] on her mouth and lays down besides me.

    "Wow..." That's all I can say.

    "Yes," she says.

    Hana is sprawled on the bed while Roxanne plays with her hair.

    "That was amazing to watch," Roxanne says.

    Lina and Ciel are naked, they are wet and their breaths are haggard, their hands glisten in their own juices. They just finished furiously masturbating.

    "I'm not complaining but what's gotten into you?" I ask Alissa.

    "I wanted to push things a little further because of what Gify showed us..." She starts.

    Gify pops into the bed.

    "Gih!"

    "Yes, you. Gify showed us your heart and I have been thinking what it meant."

    "What exactly did you see?"

    "Two seas divided by a wall, one is stormy and the other is paradise. Slowly the wall crumbles while storm recedes at the same speed. I want to make sure the storm is gone before the wall falls apart entirely. That storm, what is bothering you?"

    For now there's only one thing that keeps popping in my mind every once in a while, something I push away immediately.

    "Hmm... Whenever I think about fighting other people I hear the space mage we killed shrieking…"

    The girls quickly recover from their stupor after my words.

    "We all have painful memories, they eventually fade if we don't feed them," Alissa says.

    "I keep remembering Wolfy on top of the body of that woman with his hand missing," Lina says, she frowns and looks down.

    Ciel pulls Lina on a hug and smothers her on her breasts. Sha pats Lina and the face of the little dwarf melts on a smile.

    "What do these memories make you two feel?" Ciel asks.

    "Fear, fear of hearing any of you scream like her," I say.

    "Fear that I will one day find Wolfy looking worse than that," Lina says.

    I free Lina of her pillows and pull her into a hug. I feel her softness as our naked and sweaty bodies touch each other. My limp penis touches her ass and I feel her shiver, Lina's ass is certainly gonna be tighter than Alissa's.

    "I think we all fear the same as Lina, it's just that we don't let those thoughts influence our mood," Ciel says.

    "We have to deal with problems as they come, to dwell on fear will only hold you back," Hana says.

    "But fear is what keeps us from doing stupid things," Roxanne says.

    "I know... I just need to get used to controlling it," I say.

    "Self-control is the thing you lack, we talked about this after you fought the Red Smile," Ciel says.

    "I have been getting better," I smile wryly.

    "Yes you have. There was one last thing, something unpleasant buried deep inside you," Alissa says.

    I know myself well, there's only one thing I'm trying to bury, to forget.

    "Must be about home... Or rather, my former home."

    I grit my teeth, I do not want to be reminded of Earth again. Alissa grabs my face and looks into my eyes.

    "If you ever need to get something out of you, we are here to listen to you," she says.

    I smile again at her earnest concern. I know talking helps but I don't want to talk about it now.

    "I will be here to do the same," I say and I kiss her lips lightly.

    "And you too," she kisses Lina's forehead, making her smile shyly.

    "Anyway, what did you girls feel from Gify?" I ask.

    "The same as Alissa, except 'paradise' was the warmth of the sun," Hana says.

    "Yeah, I felt incredible sweetness," Roxanne says.

    "I felt like I was being hugged really tight," Ciel says.

    "I felt safe and comfortable," Lina says.

    "Kweh!" Aoi felt big and strong.

    "Did he show the feelings you have to each other?" I ask.

    "He showed ours," Hana says with a beaming smile, she pulls Roxanne into a hug," I felt something clinging on my back very hard.

    "I... Felt like a warm and comfy blanket was all over me," Roxanne says with a blush, she averts her eyes.

    The other girls just shake their heads.

    I get erect between Lina's ass cheeks. She's spent for now so I grab Roxanne, who didn't get enough love today.

    I cover her body with kisses while I caress it and apply some [Massage] to her.

    "I will show you my sweetness, then," I say.

    I think about touching those horns and that tail again but I think twice. I need energy for tomorrow and she's gonna suck my lifespan if I go with the first idea.

    She's already wet from playing with Hana so I immediately enter her. With every thrust I apply the smallest amount of force, sliding in and out with the utmost of gentleness. I oil her nipples and rub them with just enough strength so it would feel good and not tickle.

    I kiss her lips and suck on her tongue, I guide it around and stimulate every part equally. I [Massage] her mouth with my tongue. I explore her mouth and made sure she was breathless before I broke the kiss and moved down to play with her nipples with my mouth.

    Every thrust elicits a long and soft moan, slowly growing into intensity, her voice is pure sexyness. She syncs her body with mine, every shiver, every movement is filled with her sensuality. She's impossibly intoxicating.

    With my free hand I find her clit and caress it, making her gasp and moan harder. As her body approached climax her back arched, her legs quiver and her insides tightened like no other can, squeezing another shot from me. I feel my mind clear, her hold over me wanes.

    I leave the clean up to Hana, who picks up where I left off and gently makes Roxanne climax again. Now I'm finally spent.



    I help Lina replace the broken tooth on Hana's sword with the use of [Manipulate Metal]. I think that soon Lina will learn this spell.

    "Say, Hana, didn't you deal with snotty nobles like Ankara on your travels?" Roxanne asks.

    "Yeah," she stops massaging Roxanne's head, "Well, most of the annoying ones wanted to dangle their little cocks in front of me to suck so the reasons I dislike them are different than why I dislike Ankara."

    Alissa lifts her eyes from her book.

    "You swear too much, Hana, you should change this behavior," she says with a slight disapproving tone.

    "Hmm... That would be hard..." Hana turns her head away, "After I learned [Taunt] these things became ingrained in my mind."

    Alissa rolls her eyes.

    "But how did you deal with the nobles?" Roxanne asks.

    "Mostly ignoring, if they try to brag you act dumb and uninterested, that squashes their motivation to talk to you."

    "Not like you had to try hard to act dumb."

    Hana flickers her forehead.

    "Ow..." Roxanne rubs the reddening skin.

    "You deserved it" Hana looks at her with cold eyes.

    "I did," Roxanne smiles, unrepentant.

    "Anyway," her warmth comes back, "Others try to buy you, there's no way than just flat out denying them, if you leave any detail uncertain they will come back and keep insisting."

    "The only one you would sell yourself to is Wolfy," she taps Hana's scales on her cheek.

    "Don't even need to sell, I would have stolen him for myself if I wasn't a Blood Slave," her man-eating gaze strikes me, giving me a chill. "Ankara is the last kind, he's a little bitch, you gotta walk carefully with him. You must always keep your distance, you can't give him a reason to talk to you, you have to appear as unapproachable as possible, then he will leave you alone. Problem is, you can't really offend him, that just makes the stubborn idiot to come after you harder."

    "That's going to be difficult," I say.

    "Ankara would use whatever he has to get what he wants, I bet he's a schemer like Vanea," anger flickers on her voice, "The best way to avoid fighting him is keeping away from him."

    The best way to play a rigged game is to not play.

    "You don't have to swallow your pride, Wolfy," Ciel says, "You just have to make sure you deny him without offending him."

    "Alright, I get it. I guess it's not really a good thing to have the group leader be hot-headed."

    Lina hugs me and smiles. From the few expressions she shows I know this one means pride.

    "Better you than me, I would have blown off on him already," Hana says, then she smiles bitterly, "Father would always deal with these types when they started to get too annoying, I was never good at being delicate with the nobles."

    "I have a feeling that none of us is particularly experienced or comfortable in dealing with these kinds of nobles," Alissa says, she looks to the girls and their expressions tell they agree with Alissa, although they do not express it openly.

    "I guess this is just one of the jobs of a leader, no job is perfect," I shrug.

    Alissa gives me a sympathetic look, not even she wants to save me from this.

    I heal Hana before we sleep. Alissa snatched Gify and curled around him. I don't think that nature spirits sleep but he started snoring in a cute high pitched voice a minute after that.

    Tonight Roxanne clung to me with a silly smile, her tail caressing any part of my body it could reach.



    Today is the 13th.

    Roxanne wakes me up. When I open my eyes I see that her face and glasses are plastered with my semen, her expression is frozen in surprise as she couldn't predict when I would climax. I feel like I found my next fetish to indulge in.

    My [Blessing Magic] and [Mana Control] increased by 1 (now 4+17 and 0+10). Yesterday's large area casting helped.



    Alissa groans as she sits on the chair, I cast [Heal] on her.

    "It wasn't like that yesterday," she says.

    Lina seems to be looking at Alissa with a lot of worry.

    "Don't worry, little Lina," Roxanne says with an evil grin, "You will definitely survive when Wolfy's fat cock rips your asshole open."

    Lina fidgets, her mouth moves but no word comes out. Ciel massages her eyes as she chews her food.

    "I don't even feel disgusted. We are definitely not a normal family," she says.

    "Slowly we all sink into depravity," I smile, I'm imagining we all having an orgy while we eat lunch. Hana would definitely season her food with man sauce.

    Fortunately for us we chose a room far away from the others so they didn't hear a thing from us. We finish our breakfast and go find Lyle, his groups is finishing theirs.

    "We will leave an earth elemental and a fire elemental, they will stay at the door so don't go out. I allowed you to command them during battle but the first order is to avoid it. I can see and hear through the earth elemental so if something bad happens I will know," I say.

    Lyle sighs and nods.

    "Shame we couldn't see you guys fighting," Gwinevere pouts.

    I'm seriously unsure if she's a lesbian or if she simply enjoys carnage, maybe a bit of both.

    "Then we will be off."

    They wave to us and we leave.

    "You okay with leaving, Lina?" I ask.

    She raises her head to me and her gloomy eyes brighten with a small smile.

    "It's okay, I'm not letting you fight without me."

    Oof, my heart.



    We walk fast and reach the hedge maze entrance. I summon two Holly's, they will go deeper to each side of the maze, then they will stay at the corners and follow whatever appears.

    I leave a [Gate] "coordinate" at the entrance of the maze. I do not want to directly teleport in front of the castle or anywhere in possible view of Ankara.

    The Holly's can fly high and look over the maze, but oddly the more they look the less I see, I can't make a mental map of what I see, it seems to be illusion magic. Unfortunately I can't give [Mental Resistance] to my summons. This damn place is enchanted to hell and back.

    As we enter the maze I summon a spirit elemental.

    "Explore the area," I order.

    It crosses the hedge and immediately dies.

    "What the…"

    "What?" Alissa asks.

    I touch the dead hedge row. The leaves crumble to the touch but they immediately reform in a black sludge. I approach my face to the hedge, I feel a very faint amount of mana emitting from it. I push my hand into deeper only to feel it touch something solid. I dig out the surrounding leaves and branches, I see a pure black wall, this is what's emitting trace amounts of mana.

    "This destroyed my spirit elemental," I say.

    "No cheating for you then," Ciel says with a smile.

    "That's just more work for us…"

    "Cheater no cheating," she puts her hands on her hips.

    I shrug with a smile and we continue.

    Roxanne's distance approximations for spells and Lina's inherent architecture affinity give them both a good sense of distance so they are responsible for mapping. Hana and Ciel's senses are better for shorter distances. Alissa has the best sense of distance but she's at the front, behind Hana, she's going be sniffing for traps.

    On a particularly long corridor huge bardiches suddenly materialize in the air. A second later they start swinging, it's the cliche trap of swinging weapons.

    "That's exactly the same as the symbol on the dungeoneering guild," I say.

    "It's not a symbol by mere coincidence," Roxanne says.

    "Still, I'm not sure how I feel," I say, "A mix of disappointed and amused. I feel like I'm back into one of my VR games."

    "'VR'?" Lina asks.

    "Er, I'll explain later."

    "I feel like I'm into one of my books," Alissa says with a smile.

    Hana frowns.

    "You guys are getting way too distracted," she says.

    "Hahah...," I laugh awkwardly, "Anyway, no need for all of us to risk crossing. I will go with Hana and open a [Gate] for you all."

    I feel a slight displeasure from Alissa but she's learning to trust me more.

    Hana keeps one hand over my shoulder and we both keep our shields raised. It's one thing to do this inside of a game, it's another to do it in real life where you can hear and feel the breeze caused by the bardiches cutting the air.

    One by one we slowly pass by them. At the end there's no room to wait between each bardiche.

    "We gotta run the last stretch," I say.

    "Let me carry you, I'll definitely survive a hit from one of these, no big deal."

    "The casual way you put yourself in harms way concerns me."

    "I swore to myself I would go through the depths of hell to save you, " she hits her chest with her fist.

    "T-that does not mean you gotta hurt yourself so casually!"

    Her resolve moves me a little.

    "You got a better solution?" She looks into my eyes and raises an eyebrow.

    Well...

    "No…"

    She grins. She stores her shield and sword in her [Item Box], then she picks me up princess-style. I store my sword inside my "Items".

    "You actually do like when I carry you like this?"

    "Yes, I have no shame."

    She laughs, then she breathes twice. The bardiches open up, she runs. Hana is capable of moving faster than me, her longer legs give her even more of an advantage.

    The sound of bardiches cutting through the air gives me chills, stale air blows in my face. She stomps the ground loudly and the sound of air being cut increases, the bardiches are cutting closer, she's not fast enough.

    A blade appears on her side, I cast [Telekinesis] and hold the blade in place for a second. Another blade appears, I can't cast it again fast enough. Hana hunches over and jumps.

    I fall on the ground and roll, I regain my balance and land on my knees. I skid and scrape my gloved hand on the ground. I look back and Hana is sprawled on the ground.

    She lifts her head up with a shit-eating grin that makes me mad as hell. Her brigandine has a huge gash on the back, I see a glimmer of the metal plates below the cloth.

    "You okay?" I ask.

    "Yep, the fur padding absorbed most of the shock."

    I breathe in relief. I open a [Gate] for the girls. For this small distance this spell uses very little mana.

    "You got hit," Ciel says.

    Roxanne runs her fingers through Hana's armor and frowns.

    "It's fine," Hana says, she pats Roxanne's cheeks.

    Roxanne lightly punches her, not that she could have felt it due to the armor. Lina pulls out a sewing kit and does emergency repairs on the cloth.



    We enter another particularly long corridor, a few steps in Alissa stops. She looks down and stomps her foot in the ground.

    "It's hollow," she says.

    I have to strain myself to notice the difference, the concrete slabs that make up the floor must be quite thick.

    "Well, prepare to run at any moment," I say.

    "I will keep an eye on the back, it could be another challenge like the bardiches," Ciel says.

    "True."

    "Hana, I will have to go in the front, there's a big chance that there's a button or wire somewhere," Alissa says.

    Hana nods and we slowly move forward.

    Half way in Ciel's idea was proven correct, the first hollow slab we stepped on suddenly disappears into darkness.

    "RUN!" She yells.

    I realize I should have let them wait and use [Gate] like last time...

    The slabs fall with a noise of stone scraping on stone, a few seconds later we hear a muffled sound of stone breaking.

    Half way along the corridor the slabs stop falling. We stop for a second to understand what happened. Alissa taps the slabs again.

    "These ones are hollow! Don't stop!" She yells.

    The moment we start running again the slabs just behind us start falling. It was a trap in a trap, made for us to waste time looking back.

    I lift Lina by the armpits and start running faster. Roxanne slows down, Aoi jumps from Roxanne's shoulder to my back and curls around my neck, she gives a small lick on my cheek.

    "I will just float, damn stupid traps," Roxanne mumbles.

    Her bat wings materialize, then she crosses her legs and slowly floats after us. With our two snails neutralized we manage to pick up speed and run faster than the falling slabs.

    Alissa slows down near the end of the corridor and stomps the slabs again.

    "Those are fine."

    I slow down and catch my breath. I kiss the forehead of the cute small animal cuddling on my chest and let her down. A minute later Roxanne lands behind us. Aoi gives me another lick then runs back to Roxanne's shoulder and gives her a small lick, eliciting a smile from Roxanne.

    "Weren't you supposed to be training your body?" Ciel asks with a bit of sass.

    "Ye-yeah..." Roxanne purses her lips, trying to remain expressionless.

    "The only way to get that one to exercise is by rubbing her tail," Hana says.

    "But if we had to do that regularly either you or Wolfy would die," Alissa says.

    Roxanne pulls down the brim of her hat in embarrassment.

    "Stop picking on me," she says, muffled by her hat.

    "We are just giving your jokes back," Alissa says with a smug smile.

    "So it's revenge then," Roxanne narrows her eyes.

    Lina nods vigorously.

    "At this point it's a cycle, a never ending cycle of teasing," I say.

    My words ring true as no one argues against it.



    We turn a corner and see a creepy stone dragonoid head standing still mid-air. His long mouth is open and his stone teeth look menacing.

    "I don't like that," Alissa says.

    She slows down and hides behind Hana.

    We approach the statue cautiously, when we are two meters from it its eyes glow green. We immediately hide behind our shields, Ciel covers Roxanne and I feel she's gathering mana.

    A voice comes out of the statue. It has two tones, one is a low rumbling that reverberates in our ears and the other is a deep male voice.

    "Dwie kaczki przed dwiema kaczkami, dwie kaczki za dwiema kaczkami i dwie kaczki obok dwóch kaczek. Ile jest kaczek?" The voice says, the only thing I understand is the intonation at the end makes me believe it is a question.

    "What in the...," I mutter.

    "It's talking in the dragonoid language!" Lina exclaims.

    "Can you understand?" Ciel asks.

    Lina shakes her head behind her shield, her bangs flail wildly.

    "We only know about written language, we have little idea to how it's pronounced. The only hint is when wild dragonoids sometimes exclaim things, most likely expletives…"

    "I have a hunch this is a riddle," I say.

    "Theeen... We are screwed?" Roxanne asks.

    "I think so…"

    Lina nods in agreement.

    "Czas minął, giń!"

    We snap our heads forward, the statue's eyes glow red and its open mouth glows. A fireball is spit out towards Hana, she puts her sword in front and the fireball dissipates. Before we can even talk another fireball flies, then another, and another, and another.

    "[Firewall]!"

    The fireballs stop flying and get absorbed by the literal wall of fire, strengthening the wall but consuming more mana. We see only small bulges where the fireballs try to pass through.

    "I have an idea, get down on the ground, now!" I yell.

    Awkwardly we lay our bellies down and put our shields above us, I try to cover me and Alissa with mine.

    "My mana won't last long like this!" Roxanne yells.

    I wait and see the bulges on the wall lower. I hear a sound of stone hitting stone and the fireballs stop a good 60 centimeters above us.

    "We can crawl through this! Just keep your heads down!" Hana yells.

    "Stop the wall!" I yell.

    Roxanne ends the spell and a stream of fireballs flies through our heads, they continue until they hit the end of the corridor, burning the hedge but doing nothing to the black magical wall.

    Slowly and with a bit of difficulty we crawl forward and move past the dragonoid's statue. When the last of us crosses, the statue stops spewing fireballs and floats back to its original height.

    "That was interesting..." Ciel says, she looks at the statue with a bit of amusement.

    "Should we destroy it?" I ask.

    "No!" Lina yells, then she drops her head and her cheeks turn red.

    "Okay," I smile to her cuteness.

    "We could learn a lot about the dragonoid language if we listen to it," Lina says meekly.

    Roxanne looks over the corner.

    "Well, I think it might be a bit difficult to find it again, mostly because this maze makes zero sense," she says.

    "What do you mean?" I ask.

    "Lina, come here and check with me, we didn't make a mistake right?" Lina scurries over to Roxanne and they look over the map they were drawing. "If this is right then it makes no sense, this corridor goes way past a path we already passed through. Either the maze changed or the dimensions of our map are completely off. This maze barely looks like a maze too, look at this."

    The paths we are taking look more like a root system than a neatly packed maze where every single meter is either an explorable corridor or a wall. The path we took clearly looks like there's a single correct way while every other branch ends into a dead end sooner or later. I have been paying attention to the vision of the summons so I haven't been paying attention to the path we took.

    "I will put a 'coordinate' here," I say, "Let's go back and double check the map."

    We prepare ourselves and run past the dragonoid head. Fireballs follow after us but Roxanne casts another [Firewall].

    We go back to the place where Roxanne thinks the paths intersect and there's nothing wrong there. Now even I can see the maze really isn't warped.

    I open a [Gate] back to our previous position and a negligible amount of mana is used. That's odd. I get an Idea

    "There's a spell in [Space Magic] called [Warp Space], you can create a house that on the inside is bigger than on the outside," I say.

    The girls look confused but Roxanne seems to have an idea of what I'm talking.

    "In my world we call it non-euclidean space. Going into a direction doesn't have the same cost as going in another direction.

    "Ah, I remember, it's called warped-distances space," Roxanne says, "An example, you could say that going north for 5 minutes at a constant speed would make you walk 10 meters, then you walk south for 5 minutes and you end up walking 20 meters."

    "That's incredible, I never heard of a dungeon doing something like this," Ciel asks.

    "That's because it's commonly used in gauntlet type dungeons where they try to challenge the perception of the adventurer," I say, "These types of dungeons are sets of challenges. They are extremely rare because at the end of the dungeon there's a reward, once the reward is taken normally the dungeon collapses."

    "This also kind of confirms there's a treasure chest at the end of this maze," Roxanne says, "Though I'm not sure why the maze is using warped-distances space, so far it has only made mapping the maze more confusing."

    We get the answer to our question at the next corner.

    "That's an [Eternal Gate]," Roxanne says.

    It's a spell from [Space Magic]. I can only feel trace amounts of mana coming out of it, it's a very well done spell. It's a retangular portal covered by a very thin see-through white cloth, we see the maze on the other side. If it weren't for the "cloth" the portal would be nearly imperceptible.

    With zero resistance we pass through the white "cloth" and the maze gets more annoying, behind us there's no way back, this is a one-way portal.

    A small light shines through the cracks on the ground.

    "Faza druga," a dragonoid voice whispers around us.

    We warily wait for a few minutes but nothing else happens so we continue our exploration.



    "This looks familiar," Roxanne says.

    "Yes, the portal could have sent us back," Lina says.

    A few minutes later we reach a corridor of swinging bardiches. I still have the "coordinate" of the first bardiche corridor. I open the [Gate] and I'm taken to the other side of this corridor, we really did get sent back.

    "Cheat," Ciel mutters after she crosses the [Gate].

    We enter a corridor and see another portal on it.

    "This is different, there was only a dead-end here last time," Roxanne says.

    "I guess we gotta map it exhaustively, then," I say.

    We enter the portal and slowly the lights of our [Spirit Lights] dim until there's nothing.

    "Hold each other!" I yell.

    I grab Hana and Lina.

    "Role call!" I order.

    "Here," Alissa says.

    "Here," Hana says.

    "Here," Lina says.

    "Here," Roxanne says.

    "Kweh!" Aoi yells.

    "Here," Ciel says.

    "Gih!" Gify pops into my shoulder and chirps.

    I breathe in relief. Everyone tries to cast [Spirit Light] again but nothing happens, Hana breathes fire and I hear small fireballs being cast but neither produces any light.

    Suddenly our [Spirit Lights] suddenly produce light again and I nearly jump back in surprise.

    The hedges were substituted by mirrors. Our reflections are repeated endlessly all around us, we look pale from the recent fear of darkness. Now there's a ceiling covering us and square arches hold each mirror in place.

    "Creepy as hell," Roxanne says.

    "Eh, kinda beautiful," Ciel says.

    Roxanne looks at her with a crooked smile.

    "You know, your sense of beauty is kinda skewed. You enjoy the dungeons way too much."

    In other words, Ciel is kind of an adrenaline junkie.

    "What?" Ciel shrugs, "I just like seeing new things, things that impress me."

    "Yeah, dangerous things, you are addicted to having your heart beat fast."

    "I agree with Ciel, dungeons can give us some very interesting experiences," Alissa says.

    "You are both weird," Roxanne shakes her head.

    "Look who's talking," Ciel says with a hint of sass.

    "Ei, I'm a fun person."

    "Better being like this than being a blood lusting weirdo," Alissa says.

    Now Hana pouts.

    "I don't think she was referencing you," I say to Hana.

    "Oh..." Hana looks away with embarrassment.

    The fact that Hana assumed she was being talked about tells us all we need about how Hana sees herself.

    "Just admit you are all weirdos, I'm a weirdo and so is Lina too," I say, Lina looks down in sadness, "It doesn't matter, you are all good people and I love you all."

    Though Hana and Alissa are more on the depraved side than on the weird side. Ciel rolls her eyes and gives me a kiss on the cheek.

    "You and your honeyed words," she says.

    "Well then...?" I look at the others.

    After a row of kisses, a lick, and a head rub from Gify we move on. Or try to move on, Alissa gets highly disoriented in this maze.

    "Too much movement, it's making me dizzy," she says.

    Perhaps her eyes see too much detail. Dozens of our reflections plus our [Spirit Lights] must be too much information for her.

    "Focus on the ground, keep looking at the corner between the wall and where the ground should be," I say.

    Looking forward disorients yourself too much.

    In the end all this one does is make us waste time, we finally reach another portal and we are taken back into a familiar hedge corridor. We take our time there and have our lunch.

    We pass through the falling slabs again, I put a "coordinate" and run along with only Hana, then I teleport the girls. After that we reach again the floating stone dragonoid head, it immediately starts spewing fireballs. This time with a [Firewall] placed right on its face we crawl past it faster.



    We enter another portal and I feel trace amounts of mana behind us. Me, Roxanne, and Ciel look up, there's a large and perfectly round boulder floating above us.

    "This is bad, RUN!" I yell.

    I saw that movie, I saw how this goes.

    We start running and the sound of stone scraping on stone can be heard behind us. The hedges aren't 90º degrees corners anymore, they curve smoothly, allowing the large boulder to continue forward without losing much momentum.

    After a minute of running Alissa yells.

    "The boulder is not getting faster or slower, this is weird!"

    "Everyone stop and fire a single spell at it on my signal then run!" I yell.

    I keep running for a few seconds longer, then we reach a straight corridor.

    "Now!"

    We turn around and multiple [Earth Bullets], a [Torrent] a [Wind Hammer] and Aoi's fireball are sent towards the boulder. Cool guys don't look at explosions so we start running again.

    We hear the sound of glass cracking and the sound of the boulder stops. We finally look back to see a large amount of glass chunks spread all over the corridor. The boulder only had a small crust made of stone. In the middle a small green gem can be seen, this is what was moving the boulder.

    In the next few seconds the chunks turn grey and melt, slowly they evaporate into nothing.

    "You know, this place is kinda crazy," I say.

    "Agreed," Roxanne says.

    "Eh, it's fun," Hana says.

    Alissa and Ciel nod in agreement.

    "Why do we have to run so much..." Lina says and pouts.

    I pat her head. I actually like running, but I understand the short legs of a dwarf make this more tiring for her than for us.



    On the last corridor that we explore we see a portal.

    "It should be ending soon," Ciel says.

    "Good, my feet are tired," Roxanne says.

    I feel a sudden burst of mana in front of us, the world loses color, I look forward and Alissa is not there anymore. I look at the ground and a small circular formation is glowing and slowly fading. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

    "Teleport trap!" Roxanne yells.

    I focus on my connection with Alissa. I can still sense it but I can't discern the distance or the direction. No no no no.

    I drop a "coordinate" and jump into the glowing circle.

    Nothing happens.

    FUCKING FUCK FUCK TITS FUCK CUM PUS FUCK!

    Wait! this maze didn't have a single real enemy, she's not in immediate danger. It's okay, she's fine, she's gonna be fine. We have time to find her, lots of time, I can still go back to Lyle, teleport them all on the outskirts of Rabanara and spend however long here to find her. Consequences be damned, I will hide behind Vanea's oath to escape the empire if the fact that I can use [Gate] becomes known.

    I look at my Emergency Ring, it glows green. She's fine, everything is fine, we will find her, this is just a prank/hahah funny/you got trolled type of dungeon. Fuck whoever thought random teleportation traps were a good idea, I hope you are burning in hell.

    I turn my Emergency Ring green, I'm fine, everything is fine. Wait, fuck, I'm dumb, I'm so fucking dumb, I'm so massively fucking dumb. MORSE CODE, I COULD HAVE TAUGHT HER MORSE CODE SO WE COULD TALK IF SOMETHING EXACTLY LIKE THIS EVER HAPPENED.

    I hit my head with my palm. Someone hugs me from behind.

    "Wolfy, calm down," Ciel whispers into my ears.

    Roxanne, Hana, and Lina surround me. I'm really thankful I have them around to keep me straight.

    "I-I'm calm, I just remembered something I could have taught her so we could communicate through the Emergency Rings," I say.

    Ciel looks at me puzzled, I think she has an idea of what I'm talking about.

    "Maybe we should have bought that lithograph you once talked about," Hana says.

    "Yeah, maybe, but we have to focus on the now," Ciel says.

    "We are going back and scouring through what we already explored," I say.

    The girls nod and we quickly move on. I still have my "coordinates" so the journey will be much faster.



    She's not there, we wasted a whole hour searching for nothing. I have us quickly go back to the last portal, I hit myself for not leaving a "coordinate" there.

    We return and cross the last portal, while the maze so far was rather straightforward, this part is a complete mess. Corridors that bend smoothly, circles and circles upon circles, corridors that go endlessly only to end up looping on itself. Even the square slabs that were being used to help with measuring distance now are a complete patchwork. Roxanne and Lina have to stress themselves to measure distances and during all this time my anxiety increases.

    "We have to move faster," I say.

    "We don't know if there would be other traps," Hana says, her eyebrows scrunch up in concern.

    I grit my teeth, I'm not the kind to be reckless but the anxiety is pushing me towards that way.

    I put down a "coordinate" every minute or so. I only have 7 slots and 5 of them are being used for other places. I step on every slab and walk sideways so I step on every part of the corridor just so I can make sure no one else falls to these traps.

    I end up falling to 3 teleportation traps, vindicating my behavior. I yell Alissa's name every so often and also whenever I fall into a trap, but I hear nothing in return.

    I return from the fourth trap, I'm getting a headache. This is the 77th coordinate I have put down and no sign of Alissa.

    I feel a pain in one of my fingers, I look at it and my Emergency Ring is glowing red. I feel Alissa is on the move, though I still can't feel her direction or distance.

    "FUCK! We have to move faster!" I yell.

    The girls frown but Roxanne nods.

    "Lina, we have to deal with only making a rough sketch, pay attention to the map and nothing else," Roxanne says.

    Lina nods and we start jogging.

    More curves, more weird bends, more loops, more crossroads. Fuck this place.



    "Czas minął, giń!" Whispers a dragonoid voice.

    I feel mana gathering behind us. We all turn and ready our shields, a stone dragonoid head appears from behind a corner, his eyes are red and his mouth is glowing.

    We instantly chuck multiple spells at it, making it blow into multiple pieces.

    "Well, that's a waste," Ciel says.

    The pieces start to float again and in a few seconds the dragonoid face is reconstructed.

    "Ah fucking hell, run!" I yell.

    We turn the corner as a fireball flies pasts us and burns part of the hedge.

    We keep running, the map be damned, we are relying on pure memory now. The only good thing being that the stone head doesn't fly fast, Lina isn't going to get tired from running so soon.

    I have to do something, I have to find a way to get back to Alissa, some way, somehow. My "Companion" connection with her is useless I have to do something else, the Holly's can't see movement inside the maze, whatever space warp is used here is very strong.

    I look at my Emergency Ring, there must be a way that information is transferred between them, it works even in a spatial distortion, there must be something special with it.

    "Hold the stone head for me for a second," I say and stop.

    I turn my Emergency Ring green and "extend" my soul over it. I feel something and then it's gone. I turn it off then on again. Same thing, there's really something going on. It uses a single point of my mana to work, it's sending that mana somewhere.

    I focus all my attention on that ring and turn it. I felt something, it went north-west.

    "Done! Move!"

    I see that the stone head is decreasing its regeneration time, soon enough it might be unstoppable.

    We run more and I stop again, still north-west.

    I fell on a teleportation trap, I immediately come back.

    We run and stop again, west.

    We run and stop again, west.

    We run and stop again, north-west.

    We run and stop again, north.

    I fell on another teleportation trap, I come back with the stone head almost on top of me. My sword eats the fireballs as I catch up with the girls. The fireballs are quite powerful, I think I can only eat about 5 of them before the emellanat melts.

    We run and stop again, north.

    "ALISSA!" I yell.

    We run and stop again, north.

    We run and stop again, north.

    "ALISSA!"

    "WOLF!"

    FUCKING FINALLY.

    Alissa appears on a corner, color comes back to my world. I run up to her and fall on another teleportation trap. FUCK YOU MAZE!

    I come back to a deathly pale Alissa, she immediately runs up to me. I hug her tight, the sweet smell of her hair fills my nose. Stupid fucking dungeon.

    "We have to go!" Hana yells.

    I look away from the face of my love to see that we are cornered by the stone heads on both sides.

    "Move forward!" I yell and release Alissa.

    Alissa's stalker must still be weaker than ours. We blow it up and run past it.

    Alissa guides us through the path she didn't take, her memory is quite good. We loop a few times back into already explored territory but we slowly map out this last part of the maze.

    Lina and Roxanne tire out again, me and Hana have to carry them.

    A few minutes after I notice the heads are not following us anymore. We continue exploring and meet up face-to-face with one of the heads, we run away and the stone head stops at a certain point.

    "What the hell?" I mutter.

    This happens twice, there's a small area that it seems the heads do not move past.

    "The end must be around here!" Roxanne exclaims.

    Shit, that's true.



    We slow down and carefully map the area. Ciel carries Lina when my arms get tired. After a spiral we reach a portal.

    Beyond the portal is a very long wooden chest, it's gilded with gold and silver, a golden dragonoid face is gilded on the front.

    "Finally..." I mutter.

    We release our breaths and nearly collapse, the tension of the chase slips away.

    We slowly walk up to the chest. Alissa fires an arrow on it and we stand ready.

    Nothing happens.

    "Good, no mimic," Ciel says.

    I approach the chest and put a hand on the handle.

    "Together now," I say.

    We all lift up the chest lid.

    There's a beautiful spear inside it. The shaft is made of a piece of brown wood with multiple tin black circles on it. There's a single gem above the area where normally one would grip it one handed. The shape of the tip is simple, it is made of glossy grey wood. There's an intricate wavy pattern carved all over it and filled with silver.

    "An elven spear," Alissa says.

    Roxanne nods in agreement.

    "From the High Forest, specifically," she says.

    The elves from the High Forest use wood on their weapons. They can harden it and enchant it to have similar strength and edge to steel.

    "I guess this means this dungeon is just a fragment of dragonoid culture instead of being a proper tomb," Lina says with a hint of disappointment,"No way a high elven spear would be found inside it otherwise."

    I put points on [Wood Appraisal].

    "The shaft is made of high quality heartwood from the Hearthtree while the tip is made from the bark of the Tree of the Stalwart."

    "No idea what this means but I assume it is good," Hana says, her eyes glued to the spear.

    "Same," I shrug.

    Ciel looks enviously at Hana, her glaive is more versatile but it seems this spear is enchanted. Hana picks the spear and pours mana in it, it's 2 meters tall and in a second it stretches to 2.5 meters tall.

    "Now that's amazing," Hana says, nearly drooling.

    "Hopefully it won't break," Roxanne says.

    "If a high elven spear breaks easily I will stab the nearest golden elf with it," Hana says and chuckles.

    We hear a hiss going upwards and an explosion, we look up and fireworks fill the sky. Multiple colors and shapes, explosion upon explosion upon explosion fills the cave with light and a rainbow of sparkles.

    "Gratulacje, wygrywasz!" A very loud dragonoid voice yells, it shakes our bones and nearly hurts our ears.

    The cave turns silent and a chill runs trough my back.

    "We have to go," I say.

    I open a [Gate] back to the outside of the maze.



    The elementals at the entrance to the castle saw and heard the fireworks, a space mage popped his head out of the castle for a second to see what was happening. There is no doubt in my mind that the undead inside that forest have seen or heard this, we have to run away.

    We reach the castle and everyone is on the entrance waiting for us.

    I stop in my tracks and nearly trip. One of the Holly's see 6 shadows moving towards her at incredible speed, 5 shadows run past her while one takes flight. It's a white scaled dragonoid with a black glow, destruction types are very sensitive to spells. It charges Holly with a spear and before it strikes I dismiss both Hollys.

    "The undead are coming towards us! Run!" I yell.

    Everyone's faces pale and Tankar grips his sword.

    "Ciel, make sure no one falls behind!" I order.

    Her face shows fear for a second, perhaps she thought she could be left behind? Right now she's the best for this. I keep my gaze stern and color returns to her face, she makes up her resolve and nods to me.

    "Move!"



    I summon a small bird, I tell it to hide and observe at the first gatehouse. We are reaching the second gatehouse when the bird spots the dragonoid undead. I can feel the bird's life slipping away as the undead approach, I dismiss it and form a plan.

    We reach the tunnel and I stop.

    "Alissa, Ciel, Lina, you three go with Lyle and escort them to the bottom of the tower. Once there you turn the Emergency Ring green. Me, Roxanne, and Hana will hold this tunnel until then."

    I dismiss the fire elemental and summon two earth elementals and a wind elemental.

    "What!? No!" Alissa yells.

    "No time to argue! The undead are almost on top of us! Overload the scaffold and it should be fast!" I pull Alissa close and whisper in her ear, "I can use [Gate] to reach the cave, I need Lyle away so we can fight at full power."

    She grits her teeth and clenches her fist. She gives me an angry kiss on the cheek and they run away, I see Lina is extremely anxious. She leaves with 2 earth elementals and the wind elemental. I'm left with the last earth elemental.

    Hana pulls out her new spear. She and Roxanne are very tense. Aoi is quiet and focused, her monster nature makes her a natural for combat.

    "Let's see how well this holds out," Hana says and smiles fearsomely.

    I take away 2 points from [Mana Recovery] and add them to [Earth Magic], making it 2+3, now I can use [Earth Wall].

    "We'll be fine, drink an elixir and we can keep them away," I say.

    I drink one too and smile to Roxanne. Gify pops into my shoulder.

    "Gih, giih, gih!"

    Roxanne chuckles.

    "What did he say?" I ask.

    "Something about lizard barbecue, he wants me to give him a piece of those dragonoids."

    I'm unsure how a nature spirit would react to eating undead but whatever, he helped Roxanne relax.

    With Hana at the middle and me and the elemental flanking her, the tunnel gets a bit cramped. But that's enough to hold back the undead.



    Two minutes later 6 shadowy figures appear. They hide behind their round shields like a phalanx, except there's 3 on top, making it a vertical wall of shields.

    I feel my lungs get filled with the smell of acetone, it burns my insides and my eyes water. I feel shivers run through my entire body, my bones instinctively tell me to run, that this presence is wrong. Small particles of dust slowly stop moving and get suspended in the air, another sign of reality bending to the presence of the undead.

    The calming feeling of water running through my shoulder clears my head. For a second Gify links our minds, our fears turn into one but so does our courage. We stand our ground united, we are in sync.

    They all charge at the same time, a wall of spears thrust into us. They are not using pikes, with this Hana's spear is longer. Her spear bends one of the shields and penetrates it slightly. The elemental takes a spear on the arm, it barely scratches him. Roxanne lets out a [Ice Lance] in the middle, helping Hana hold them back. I cast [Earth Wall] on the ceiling, the top 3 spears get stuck into the wall I made.

    I feel mana gathering. Two breaths of fire slip through the shield gaps and get dissipated by mine and Hana's swords. Hana is holding her sword with her shield hand just for the spell"absorbing effect.

    "[EXPLOSION]!"

    Blood and small pieces of meat fly through the gaps, all shields retreat except the one on the middle which falls down on the ground. A pool of meat and blood is all that remains, I see the 5 dragonoid eyes peek around their shields. They look at their fallen brethren.

    "Spirits!" I order.

    We all cast another [Spirit Light] and throw the balls towards them. The undead retreat even more.

    "Humanoids, surrender. None of you will escape us," I hear an ethereal dragonoid voice, it's raspy and shaky.

    There's no reason to provoke them, we keep our mouths shut.

    I feel the blood drops that spilled on my face suddenly move, I get frightened and nearly smack myself. The blood drop escapes through my hand and floats back to where the undead exploded.

    His body slowly pieces together and a few minutes later he's standing again, it's the destruction type dragonoid. He has white scales, black lines that wave and glow, two long spiral horns that circle many times over his temples, and a pair of penetrating eyes.

    "Humanoid, we will turn you into servants. Surrender now and you will suffer no torture" His voice is not ethereal anymore, it's only slightly raspy and deep toned.

    Yeah, no.

    He looks at us for a few seconds, then he grabs his shield and returns to the shield wall.

    "So be it then, you made your choice," the raspiness of his voice is gone.

    The more time they take the better for us. The shield wall reforms and move forward, they strike the [Spirit Lights] and they disappear in a flash. I see their spears tremble, it takes them a minute return to normal.

    Wind picks up dust and nearly blinds us. I feel a lump of mana is coming, I lift my shield and a blunt strike of compacted air hits me. I look forward and the tip of a spear is coming towards me, I parry with ease, the elixir is doing its job.

    Small lumps of earth fall in front of us. My [Earth Wall] is being dismantled by the destruction type.

    They strike again and again and again, merely trying to overpower us. It's good for us that their mana powers are low, their breaths and wind strikes are weak. They lost some of their affinity to their mana once they turned undead.

    We are slowly pushed back into the tunnel, better for us as it got cramped. Suddenly 2 of them break off and stay behind, I get a bad feeling from this. I retreat from the line and stay in front of Roxanne.

    The undead try to trample us over, they try a suicide charge. I cast [Earth Wall] twice and close the tunnel, trapping 2 of them in the middle of my walls. Their bodies are crushed and nearly split into two. One of them dies and Hana cuts down the other, slowly their bodies turns into grey mush and seep back behind the wall.

    I put down my wooden log barricade and fuse it with the [Earth Wall].

    My wall and the logs are slowly chipped away by the fire and wind types. Once a hole is opened I get a feeling of "death". To my side a rumbling sound comes out and the wall crumbles, the falling stone simply disappears. A spinning metal drill pops out followed by the metal and destruction type dragonoids.

    Fuck.

    "HANA!" I yell.

    The drill turns into a spear and is thrown towards Hana. She looks behind and barely avoids getting skewered. The metal dragonoid charges her while the destruction dragonoid comes to me.

    His claws strikes my shield, scales fly and a large scratch appears on it. I can't take a full hit from those claws, undead corruption is stacking with his destruction magic, scary.

    An [Ice Lance] hits him in the chest and I cast a [Earth Bullet] on top of it. He's sent flying back into his hole.

    "HUMAAAAAN!" He bellows.

    The destruction dragonoid is pinned to the wall deep into the tunnel.

    Hana abandons the front line and charges the metal dragonoid, who's generating a new spear on his hand. The earth elemental walks forward and holds the dragonoids as their claws rip it to shreds. Hana casts [Earth Bullet] into the spear shoulder of the dragonoid, having his strike veer off course and allowing her to pierce his throat with her spear.

    I cast [Earth Wall] twice and close again the tunnel. My head explodes in pain, overuse.

    "[EXPLOSION]!"

    The destruction dragonoid has his body turn into very small giblets as the tunnel trembles with her spell.

    Hana pushes the metal dragonoid into the wall and pins her spear into the stone. This is an incredibly sharp spear.

    I cast [Entangling Vines] in the metal dragonoid, he gets bound to the wall. Hana struggles for a second but she manages to pull out the spear.

    "RUN!" I yell.

    I throw an Escape Bomb behind us. It shouldn't make them run but it should at least annoy the shit out of them and slow down their advance for a moment longer.

    The tunnel is quite long, we have lots of room for another ambush. I drink an MP potion and pray my overuse doesn't stack too much. We all drink an HP potion, the corruption of the undead already took a few points from us, it's doing more damage than the elixir can heal.

    I get a whiff of the Escape Bomb and my stomach churns. That thing smells like what I believe rotten goblin ass sweat would smell like, it provokes an instinctual need to puke.

    The earth elemental is killed, I stop and cast a small [Earth Wall] and narrow down the tunnel. [Earth Wall] is easier to destroy than a normal wall, so I make it seem similar to the tunnel stone, this way they might not realize it's a spell.

    Hana switches her spear for her sword. We wait a good 10 minutes, they are taking their time regenerating.

    I hear the sounds of claws hitting stone. It grows louder and louder.

    The first ones to come are two dragonoids glowing green.

    "[FIRESTORM]!"

    They burn greatly before the fire dragonoids can interrupt the storm. I see Roxanne grimace and lean on her staff, she's suffering from overuse too. Hana hacks at the burned wind dragonoids and decapitate them, immediately their bodies start to slowly reconstruct.

    The next one that comes forward is the metal dragonoid, his body is covered in metal and he looks like the Silver Surfer. Hana fires her breath while me, Roxanne, and Aoi chucks fireballs. Aoi seems to be unloading all of her power on this attack.

    The dragonoid tries to move forward but it is using all its power and concentration to keep his metal from burning him.

    The moment Hana's fire breath runs out I pounce forward and slash at the dragonoid. He's slightly burned and receives a large gash on his chest, he staggers backwards and Hana decapitates him. The wind dragonoids are also partially burned by the fire and get their revival delayed.

    The next to come are the fire dragonoids, they come full force trying to overpower Hana.

    "[Water Wall]!"

    Both are caught into the wall and struggle to get out, their mana refuses to leave their bodies. Roxanne holds her head in pain, her breath is ragged.

    Hana slashes at the water and it turns red with blood. Suddenly it dies out, Roxanne didn't dispell it, the destruction dragonoid came.

    "You shall pay for this!" The white dragonoid yells.

    He flies towards us. I feel a lot of mana coming from him, his claws pierce Hana's shield and vambraces, it enters her arm. I believe this is enough to poison her, we have to get back to Ciel.

    I cast another [Earth Wall] and my head spins.

    The dragonoid is squished into the wall, allowing Hana to get herself free from its claws and to slash his arm off. She grimaces in pain and she's one who's used to dealing with pain.

    I slash at the legs of the dragonoid, I cut a foot off. Aoi chucks fireballs at the easy target, his eyes get burned.

    "Resistance is futile, you will serve me!" The dragonoid yells.

    "Run!" I yell.

    "I WILL FIND YOOOOO-...!" He screams, his voice booms and reverberates. Then Aoi chucks more fireballs and his scream is cut off.

    This time we don't stop, the fear of that voice gives us a final boost in speed, but my lungs burns so much I'm getting out of breath. Roxanne is the one who stops first.

    "I'm sorry... I can't... run... anymore," she nearly whispers.

    "It's okay…"

    Hana's arm is necrotic, half her forearm is blackened and she's sweating cold, this is the danger of the undead. We get another minute to rest and the ring turns green.

    "That's our cue."

    I open the [Gate].

    "Gih!"

    Gify says a quick goodbye and pops out of existence, our connection wears off and I suddenly feel much more tired.

    "Thanks, Gify."

    We enter the wet cave, it's quite dusty here and there's mana in the air. I look around and see the corpse of a dragonoid, an arrow pierced one of his his eyes. His glow is no more but I can assume it was a wind-type.

    "Hana, I don't think we have time to lower down through the scaffold," I say.

    "What are you planning?"

    "Hold us and use your winds to keep us from hitting the walls. I will dismiss the elementals and use the last burst of mana on [Telekinesis] to keep us from splatting on the ground."

    Hana laughs and sighs.

    "Fine," she says.

    Aoi curls herself on Hana. Hana grabs Roxanne with one hand and holds me with the weakened arm. Roxanne looks pale.

    "Hana... I love you," Roxanne says.

    "I love you too," Hana smiles and gives her a peck on the lips, "But we are not gonna die, at worst we will get broken legs."

    Roxanne grimaces and her legs shake. I dismiss the elementals and the pulley the earth elemental in front of us is holding falls down.

    "I love both of you and we are not going to die, not until old age," I say.

    "Kweh!"

    She loves us all.

    Hana jumps without another word and I regret everything.

    "AAAAAAAAAAAAH!" Roxanne shrieks.

    Hana's wings wrap around us. Aoi seems to be laughing inside her mind, the feeling of flight something she desires greatly. We sway around and Hana's wings scrape on the walls. I feel my body turns cold as the light below us rapidly approaches.

    I wished I paid more attention to the physics of Kerbal Space Program, perhaps they could help in calculating the optimal distance for the landing burn.

    I let my regrets behind and focus on gathering all my mana, no time to be conservative. I cast [Telekinesis] on me and Hana. I feel the deceleration and get nauseous, my consciousness nearly slips away.

    We are too fast, the wind enchantments is making things harder, I have to use it all. My head explodes, my vision and hearing goes away, I only guide myself by the feeling of the wind.

    My mana drains like water. Even through blindness I can still see my menu until my mana dips to minus 100, then I blackout.
     
  14. Manasong

    Manasong Member

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    I open my eyes and the first thing I see are the orange eyes that I love so much.

    "Hello, my love," I say.

    She smiles but then pouts.

    "Hello, my stupid husband."

    "Ouch."

    "You..." she frowns in anger and then her expression lightens, "There really wasn't a better way?"

    "I don't think so, couldn't risk having the undead reach us. Talking about it, where are we and where's the undead?"

    We are in a bed, it's not my tent or bed. Roxanne is sleeping besides us in another bed.

    "I found us a safe place. Enough cover for us to hide in a basement or cellar or whatever. I was outside a while ago, the undead spread out but didn't find us."

    "Good. Whose tent is this?"

    "The twins, these are their beds."

    "For some reason I would prefer to get up immediately," I smile wryly, she shakes her head and smiles too, "How long was I out?"

    "Two hours."

    I give her a kiss on the nose, she brightens up a little.

    "Did anyone get hurt?"

    "Hana hurt her legs, Ciel already healed her and the corruption. Roxanne scraped on the walls but she ended up floating down safely, though she was very dizzy and tired. Hana held you and Aoi without problems. If you give a point to Ciel in [Light Magic] she can use [Refresh] on Roxanne and we should be fine."

    "Can you call her? My body is still heavy."

    She nods and reluctantly parts with my body. A minute later I hear the light jingling of scale armor, Alissa came back with Ciel in tow. Ciel is still armored and the shield strapped to her arm is damaged, it was a disposable shield anyways.

    "Good to see you up, old man," she smiles at me.

    Not really up yet but whatever. I smile and nod back.

    "[Refresh]."

    Roxanne shivers and stretches herself, she yawns and rubs her eyes. "That felt soo goood," she says.

    "How's Hana's arm?" I ask.

    "Healed, but it's sensitive," Ciel says, "Her scales will need some [Regeneration], though. Lina is fixing her shield but she needs you to fix the hole in the metal."

    "Can we stay the night here? I don't think it's a good idea to walk back yet."

    "I think so," Alissa says, "There's space for all tents but they will need to be next to each other."

    "We can just use the gag."

    Ciel rolls her eyes.

    I stand up slowly and Alissa supports me. My body hurts, some vitality was definitely used when my MP reached the negatives.

    "[Refresh]."

    My bones creak and I feel like stretching myself.

    "Oh yeah, that felt really good," I say.

    I'm still feeling very tired though, mentally tired.

    I put Ciel's extra points back to [Wind Magic].

    I go outside the tent and pull ours. The faint sweet perfume of the girls is much better than the smell of leather of the tent of the twins.

    This basement is basically a cellar full of broken barrels and broken glass bottles, this once housed dragonoid alcohol. Another tent right next to the one of the twins opens up and the quartet comes out.

    "Wolf! Good to see you up again," Lyle says.

    "Yeah, that was a close one," I smile bitterly, "Thanks for lending the tent."

    Gwinevere grins.

    "No problem," says Delwyn and waves his hand dismissively.

    I know exactly why they lent it to us.

    "Let's stay here tonight, I will summon a few dogs to stay around, they can't see in the absolute darkness but they will be able to hear things."

    It seems these undead can perceive the environment through something else other than their eyes.

    "Understood. I sincerely thank you for your effort, I realize how close you were to danger," Lyle says and bows.

    The twins bow more conservatively and Ankara simply nods. Oh well, progress.

    "Don't need to bow, I only did the necessary" -I wave my hand and they straighten up- "We are not completely safe yet."

    "Then simply accept my gratitude," he smiles.

    "That I will. Now I gotta get the girls on the top back and position some dogs. I'm still tired so after that I will retire to my tent."

    "Understood. We already ate dinner, we could share some meat with you if you wish."

    "No need, I have my own."

    We nod to each other and I turn around, I see the pulley and scaffold are on the ground. I guess the space mages have brought it for me, I put them back into my "Items" and go upstairs.

    The upper floor has plenty of chairs and tables, there's a long counter where Tankar and the space mages are staying. Hana, Lina, and Aoi are anxiously looking out through the windows.

    I pop my head up and Lina comes running to me as quietly as she can. Her head hits my chest as she hugs me.

    "Sorry I got you worried," I say.

    Lina shakes her head, rubbing it on my chest.

    "I understand what you did and why you did it. But that doesn't change the fact that I was worried," she says, her voice muffled as she buries her head on my chest.

    "That's way better than a certain someone."

    "I can still hear you!" I hear Alissa say loud just enough that it carries up to our floor.

    I smile wryly. Then I pat Lina and kiss the top of her head, she tightens the hug.

    I summon 3 Labradors, from what I remember their hearing is excellent. I discreetly also summon a Holly.

    "Hana, come down, let's grow your scales and then we fix your armor," I say.

    "Sure."

    I break the hug and we move to our tent. I spend 30 minutes being hugged by Hana while I use [Regeneration] on her. Her breast pillows are the best, Ciel's are just as comfy but her breasts are more sensitive to prolonged use.

    Hana's scales were only a very small stump. As I healed them they visually grew until they were back to her former glory, though they look blunted, now we have to sharpen them again.

    "Even the irritation went away. Thanks, Wolfy," she tests her scales by raising and lowering them.

    She hugs me and I get a head massage by her breasts and a brain massage by her hands as a reward.

    After that we eat dinner, a simple hot sandwich with bean paste and ground meat.

    I use [Manipulate Metal] to heat up our damaged metal equipment. The spell also allows me to slowly mold it without the need for a hammer, unfortunately this reduces the quality of the tempering so it's not a perfect fix.

    With the repairing done I release the stress of Alissa and Lina with a skillful use of the gag, I'm not feeling as depraved as I was when we first entered this dungeon.



    Today is the 14th.

    Lina wakes me up, she still can't finish before I'm awake.

    "It's too thick," she says.

    "You can say that again."



    We have a quiet breakfast, no cooking so no smell escapes this basement.

    After that we move out, we only use a single [Spirit Light] in low power. I thank the Gods Holly exists, she scans the area and makes sure we are in the clear.

    I deliberate if I should cast [Rainbow Shield] on us. With emellanat we haven't even taken a proper spell for it to help. It doesn't activate unless it reaches my skin so my shield prevents it from showing its usefulness.

    Eh, I will cast it, better safe than sorry.

    "The dogs heard some movement yesterday so make sure to keep noise to a minimum," I say.

    The quartet looks apprehensive but nod in understanding,

    We slowly move through the middle of the road to avoid tripping over the debris. Huddling up together we sneak by the ruins.

    Holly sees movement in the distance, I extinguish our light.

    "Lay down!" I whisper anxiously.

    The floor is dusty and nearly makes me sneeze.

    We spend tense minutes like this. The nearly imperceptible figure moves about the ruins without a set goal, it meanders through the streets. When it comes closer my heart beats faster, then it moves away and I relax. Then it comes back and the mood swings stress me out.

    Eventually it moves away completely.

    "Ok, let's go."

    I'm extremely scared of being ambushed at the exit. My only comfort is that it is possible that the undead do not know where the exit is, monsters are born in a dungeon without knowledge of its layout. There are quite a few paths that take us to other places so if they don't know where the exit is they would need to guard every door.



    Alissa's ears twitch and turn to our left.

    "I hear metal hitting metal," Alissa says.

    "The undead must be fighting guards," Hana says.

    "The undead are not considered monsters of the dungeon anymore so it's possible the guards recognize them as intruders. That or the undead are simply trying to gather more followers," Ciel says.

    "That destruction undead seems smarter than the average," I say, "It is possible only he has a power similar to the [Create Undead] skill. He said 'followers', this means they are bound to him, somehow. Which means there might be a limit to how many souls he can bind."

    This is nearly the limit of my knowledge on the undead. There's not much information on that skill, possibly to prevent other people from trying to acquire it.

    "Yes, there should be a limit or he would have turned the entire dungeon into an undead army," Ciel says.

    We are casually chatting about this because Holly gives me confidence no undead is nearby, but the quartet and even Tankar seem to grow even more tense as time passes. I see one of the space mages reciting a silent prayer.

    Our way is clear of guards, allowing us to progress quite fast.

    "I smell corruption," Alissa says, "They must have spent some time here... I smell blood too, I guess they fought a guard."

    "Well, they cleared a path for us, so we gotta thank these orc-brains," Hana says.

    A minute later everyone notices the brutalized and rotting corpse of a dragonoid. Lyle shivers and even Gwinevere seems pale.

    "You fought something that did this?" Lyle points to the corpse.

    "You saw Hana's arm yesterday?" I ask back.

    "I didn't, her wound was hidden by her vambraces."

    "Yeah well, a single attack pierced her shield and rotted half her forearm."

    Lyle frowns and looks sickened at the corpse.

    "I sincerely underestimated their power," he says.

    "Not just you..." I whisper.

    I take a look at Ankara and he's gritting his teeth. Tankar looks pensive, perhaps he's remembering his stupid words of fighting the undead by himself.

    "That wound was the most painful and horrible thing I have ever felt, and I'm a masochist," Hana says.

    Delwyn massages his eyes but his expression quickly turns serious.

    "These undead must be quite the danger to adventurers then," he says.

    "Yes, which is why killing undead is very profitable," Ciel says.

    "You didn't learn any spells against the undead, Miss Ciel?"

    "No, I was simply a warrior priestess and then a healer when I was working for the temple."

    If I had more spells unlocked I could possibly teach her. The higher levels spells at [Light Magic] school are one of the few ways to permanently deal with the undead. Fucking terminators, that's what these goblin dicks are.



    We finally reach the long hall without any more encounters. It should be noon already but no one wants to stop. Alissa runs ahead with Holly and then comes back half an hour later.

    "It's clear," she says.

    "Alright, let's run from this place," I say.

    Lyle and Delwyn break into a full blown sprint as we all run towards safety. With relieved breaths we reach the large double doors.

    "Honestly we shouldn't stop," Alissa says "Let's keep this pace as long as we can. The sooner we leave The Smirk, the better."

    The 4 turtles look at me concerned.

    "Just because we left the dungeon doesn't mean they won't keep following us, they are not bound to the dungeon," I say.

    The 4 make pained faces but even Tankar won't help them on this matter.

    "Let's just eat a snack first," Lyle says.

    "Alright."

    On the other side of the double doors we stuff our faces with sandwiches and drink water as fast as we can.

    "Don't eat too much or you will puke," Hana says.

    Lyle looks at his massive sandwich with puppy eyes and returns half of it to the space mage.

    We can't run on the difficult ground of the cave but we maintain a quick pace. After a long march and a few blown Skritters we finally we reach the comforting and oppressive darkness of The Smirk. Halfway there.

    We keep our hurried pace, it's been so long since I last saw the sun even I am getting anxious.

    Alissa suddenly comes back from scouting.

    "I saw lots of tracks," she whispers.

    "Any idea on the number of people?" I ask.

    "Seems most are two-man groups, standard scouting parties."

    "Keep close to us, don't scout too far and make sure our rear is safe too."

    "Understood."

    I signal the girls to gather and spread them around us. Hana front, me right, Lina left, Ciel back, and Roxanne middle. I summon a Shad and a bird at the same time to cover my spell casting.

    Lyle comes towards me.

    "Wolf, is something wrong?" He asks.

    "There are too many scouting parties on this forest. Something is going on, alert the others."

    Lyle pales and tenses up, he quickly marches back and spreads the news. This has been a bad day so far.



    Gify pops into my shoulder.

    "Gih…"

    Danger is coming. Godsdammit. I turn my emergency ring green.

    "Girls!" I wave my hand and they come to me, " Gify says danger is coming, we are going to wait and prepare for an attack."

    "We shouldn't show our emellanat. If they are thieves they will be very enticed in stealing it," Hana says.

    Lina and Ciel are the only ones with protection from spells now.

    "Agreed, prepare for battle," I say, then I point to Lyle, "Hide behind a tree, this could turn ugly.

    The quartet pales and moves. The girls faces harden but Lina seems angry.

    "Are you okay?" I ask.

    "I am ready, I will do it," she answers, resolute.

    "We will do it," I say.

    She nods to me and looks towards the woods, waiting.

    A minute later Alissa comes running back.

    "What is it?" She asks.

    "Gify said danger is coming."

    She stares at him and nods. She nocks an arrow on her bow. Just another minute and Alissa turns back to me again.

    "Twenty people are running towards us," she says.

    Aaaaah, shiiiite.

    "We are going to assume they aren't good news, we must not get surrounded so I will use warning shots," I summon two wind elementals, "Pay attention to my signal."

    They nod and Alissa holds my hand, I'm trembling again.

    "We did this already, we will be fine," she says.

    "Gih!"

    Yes, Gify is here too to keep me straight. He shares Alissa's feelings and a wave of bravery, anxiety, and anger washes over me. In the end this helps keep me focused. The flood of emotions stuns us for a moment.

    "Your fear is a bit overwhelming," Alissa says, her breath is haggard.

    "Your anger too," I say and kiss her hand.

    I can feel an incredible need to strangle the men coming towards us. Regardless of their intentions they are causing us grief. They dare act so aggressively, they strut towards us as if they are immune from harm!

    Alissa steels herself and nods to me. I see the fire in my eyes mirrored in hers, for now we are in sync.

    Gify pops out of existence.

    The wicked shall be slain by my hand!



    We spread in our usual battle formation and draw our weapons. I take my time to look at our situation.

    Alissa is stoic but I know the angry storm inside her heart. A broadhead arrow nocked into her enchanted warbow, she keeps both types of arrows on the quiver hanging from her waist. She looks almost like a statue, ready to react to any movement.

    Roxanne looks sharp and confident, the spherical gem on her black metal staff changes from red to blue and back with simplistic beauty. Anyone who looks at her would know she's dangerous, a clear contrast to her air-headed nature. She grips the staff harder and the gem pulses with a faint light.

    Hana shows a mix of anger and excitement. Certainly not the face you want to see when a tall dragonkin charges towards you with its wings spread and sword held high. She stands straight and tall, her spear and shield pointing forward and ready. None shall pass through her guard.

    Ciel shows a very serious look, it does not fit her kind and adventurous mood. It gives me even more motivation to fight hard so I can see her smile again. Her green glaive stands upright, threatening with a chop anyone who dare come close. Her face may be cute and round but her eyes show the calmness of experience, it would be a mistake to underestimate her.

    Lina shows a dark look, anger is clear on her face and I fear she might turn too reckless. The quiet little girl should not be forced into a situation like this, I pray she retains her "Sanity". Her hammer and heater shield do not combine with her slim arms and cute face, but it's her expression that will make others wary. She has the eyes of someone who will crush anything.

    The quartet of cowering little animals hides behind a tree alongside the praying space mages. Lyle anxiously grips a simple simple metal staff with a gem that flashes with faint light every few seconds. Delwyn keeps his eyes closed as he mutters a silent prayer. Gwinevere holds a red wand with black vein-like carvings, her eyes race about as if she's lost on what to do. Ankara looks pale and his hands tremble as he holds a beautiful and ornate long sword, it almost looks ceremonial. Tankar stands in front to protect them with a plain but well maintained long sword. His expression is completely emotionless and he breathes deeply to keep his emotions in check.

    From the way we just came I hear lots of footsteps slowly increasing in volume. Small lights come out of the trees and quickly approach us. A large group of men wearing reliable"looking padded leather armor appears. Their most expensive equipment seems to be their metal plus grey scale kite shields. There are 7 spearmen with shields, 5 long swordsmen, 5 archers and 3 robed mages. The mages use simple wooden staffs with no gems.

    They quickly move into a line and start to spread around us.

    "[Lighting Bolt]!"

    I cast it towards the front of the man at the flank and everyone stops on their tracks.

    "You will not surround us," I say, mustering all my austerity.

    "Easy the're, mate. We a're not he're fo'r a fight," A scarred dark-skinned man approaches.

    He's the tallest of them all, he has an enviable black beard. He pronounces his "r" with a retroflex flap instead of the american way.

    "Then for what reasons would you try to surround us without a single word?" I ask.

    "Just making su're we a're all on a nice, comfo'rtable position to talk," he spreads his arms and grins, his round face gets rounder. I only see mischief in his eyes.

    "Yes, talk, what reason do you have to follow us?" Hana says.

    His beady eyes scan over everyone, he spends a moment longer at Hana's spear, then stops at me. He narrows his eyes, his face turns into one of deep thought.

    "Well. We a're he're to make a simple t'ransaction," his face softens and he smiles.

    "Not interested, go away," I say.

    "Not that simple" -he shakes his head- "We simply need the fou'r lit'tle noble kids behind you and nobody gets hu'rt. No need to fight, we a're not wicked."

    Good, it's not related to Darean.

    "Impossible!" Tankar barks.

    "Not fo'r you to decide, I'm af'raid," the man lowers his head in mocking apology.

    "What are you going to do with them?" I ask.

    "Simple. We need money, ransoming nobles give loads of money," he grins, his teeth are shining white.

    I look at Tankar. His expression shows so much anger in those eyes that I believe that if I decided to sell them he would cut me down immediately.

    "Perhaps we could make a different trade, we have some very valuable things with us," I say.

    "Oh, it would be ha'rd to offe'r me something mo're valuable than those lit'tle nobles," he looks at me dubiously.

    The men around him tense up, they are about to strike, maybe I have a bit more time.

    "Lina, turn around your shield for a second."

    She scores her shield on the ground and turns it.

    "Emellanat!" One of the men exclaims.

    "We have more," I say.

    The men relaxes, greed is like a drug for them.

    The leader pauses for a second. He scans our equipment, he spends a bit of time looking at the transparent, yet still very visible, crystal at Roxanne's ungloved hand. It's my [Rainbow Crystal] spell.

    "How much?"

    "One single handed sword, one bastard sword, another small shield, one glaive, and one war hammer. You see we aren't showing these weapons since they could attract... Unwanted attention."

    The leader scans me again, he must be evaluating if I'm lying or not.

    "We are going to need more," he finally says, then he points to Aoi, "And the d'ragon too."

    Greedy fucking bastards!

    I look at the girls, they all keep a poker face, even Aoi. She should understand the words by now but the only expression on her dragonic face is that of hunger.

    "I carry a lot of money with me, 90 gold coins. I'm sure the little nobles must carry some more with them," I say.

    "Why would you car'ry so much?" The leader asks.

    "I don't trust banks and I'm a well-paid adventurer. I wouldn't be escorting four nobles if I were cheap."

    Now he stares at the two wind elementals. Judging your chance of survival?

    "Throw