Jacob could not snap his stupid head out of it.
The swinging, swaying pair of asses were too distracting even if his heart firmly belonged to Paige.
He kept saying that inside his head and kept looking away, but still, his eyes would drag itself to them and focused more on the bigger, more luxurious ones. He even imagined how soft they were in his hands or as he humped at them.
It was so torturous until he wished he had volunteered to be the vanguard.
But he knew that volunteering as one would be like committing suicide.
He was torn apart inside!
All of this was wrong! He had done nothing but virtuous things in his life and yet his first love was stolen from him. What made it much worse, it was not Artus but his esteemed mother’s men who had wronged her! Jacob had exploded in anger, and not only his mother, even he was surprised by it.
Paige first should be his! Her dear childhood friend, protector, and lover.
Their relationship would be opposed but he would never stop to fight for her. Failing that, he would keep her as his true love and only mistress if she insisted. But together they would fight to keep their love forever even if she couldn’t be his wife.
And yet he was staring at another man’s future Acolyte’s bottom! The Lord of Light, the very own Divine Ascended himself had approved it. Not the usual lowly bishop or something.
It was the same as wanting another man's wife but only much, much worse! The whole church could descend upon him and his family.
What was wrong with him!?
What kind of honorable Mage-knight would he be if he lusted over another’s divine partner?
It was fine for him to want Paige or the spearwoman to ease his bloodlust after a fight, but lusting over Elia would be his undoing. If words got out he would be called a pariah, but more importantly, Jacob could never live with himself.
Lusting over someone’s wife? He would be a monster!
He would rather kill himself, but, but he couldn’t even tear his eyes from her back! Goddammit!!
Jacob realized that he had to do something about this before it got out of hand. Paige would never agree to help him even when she was now no stranger to sex. Not before he cleared the muddy water between them, and that only left him with the spearwoman.
‘What's her name again?’ he asked himself.
“Head’s up,” said Artus in a low voice. “Goblins, two of them, Paige, you first, anyone want to back her up?”
“I will,” his mouth open before he could think about it.
“Okay, fewer people joined the better, more essence for her.”
“Wait, you are not going to help her?”
“No, I won’t and so do you, not until she needs it.”
“But that is risky, it is we who should face the danger!” Jacob protested.
“Every woman should know how to fend for herself, one way or the other,” Elia added. “Men can’t protect us when they are not around.”
“Well said,” Artus said to the priestess. “For now Paige, just try to crack their heads with blunt force, that should kill them.”
Jacob's steps halted when he heard that. Artus was right. She could have easily killed the thugs all in one hit. Healing or not. Critical damage like a massive hit on the head could never be healed by natural healing alone.
Who would need a healer if that was not true?
Only healers like Elia could reconnect limbs, cut necks, or blown off heads. Each of those was realm above more difficult than before but still in the realm of possibility. Well, unless their Core had been destroyed too in the attack. No one could survive that.
Jacob stopped beside Paige who wore a serious face. She nodded to him and he nodded back. Ever since they were little kids they had been taught to take every dungeon seriously. There was no space for personal things in the dungeon or it going to use it against you.
“Blessing of the Light,” muttered a voice behind them and suddenly the cave was a lot brighter in their eyes. At the same time, the Light Orbs disappeared.
Jacob almost forgot that they had a priestess assigned personally for their team. This would be too easy for Paige when she could see through the dark.
Paige readied her spell. Two small-sized water balls appeared and hovered around her palm, and Jacob already learned personally how terrifying those small water balls.
“Activate the third optional spell circle, Paige, this will spin the water itself, and let some sand mix with the water, it will increase the spell’s effectiveness,” said Artus. “Take your time to aim properly, there is no need to rush it.”
The girl nodded to the advice but never looked back. She was really serious about this and trusted Artus’s spell all her heart. There was no reason not to.
Jacob's hand went to the pommel of his sword when he heard them. He took real care removing the long sword from its scabbard. The goblins might be weak but they still could easily kill and do more nasty things to men and women.
Their childhood was filled with all kinds of horrifying stories about them.
Their equally hideous yells echoed in the dungeon as the two creatures rushed towards the two lone humans. One of the humans was a female and didn’t have any weapons.
It was too tasty to not have a taste of her smooth skin until their mouths were drooling.
Their feet skid to a stop before their nose sniffed the air. Something smelled foul in the air and it smelled like an ambush. The goblins agreed with one another that they had smelled the others who were hiding.
How dare the humans had tried to ambush the goblins. Only goblins could ambush humans. One of the goblins then snarled at the humans to let them know.
The snarling goblin’s head cracked open as a hole appeared right in between their eye sockets. The other one suffered a similar fate as their brain matter spewed out from the back of their skulls.
The corpse then fell onto the ground unceremoniously.
Jacob could have blinked and missed it all.
‘The water balls had drilled right into their skulls!? How in the hell!?’ thought Jacob.
Paige gasped out loud right after her first kill. Unlike the spell's effects, Jacob had been expecting this to happen. The girl then fell to her knees while gasping for air as if there was not enough of it around.
“Are you okay?” said Artus worried as he arrived at her side. “Is she okay?” he turned around and asked.
“She is fine, this will happen to anyone with a weak Spirit,” said Jacob.
“What do you mean she is fine?” asked the man and Jacob turned toward Artus with a question inside his head.
“Absorbing essence has an effect on people, Artus,” said the Priestess. “The essence contains the dead creatures’ will to live, to fight, and to breed. She will get used to it but the effect will only get worse. Remember how you were after you killed all those grizlards? You handled yourself well because of your much stronger spirit, but others like her would have gone insane with that much essence.”
“Grizlards!!?” said Felicia and Jacob both.
Jacob turned towards the spearwoman as she looked at him. Both of them then turned to look at the unassuming man who was scratching his neck in a new light. They both now realized what kind of man they were dealing with. Artus was just playing around.
The situation also reminded him of another very crucial thing. There was a good reason why sex between teammates had become almost an unspoken tradition. Because it was in fact, inevitable.
“Is there a way to counter it?” asked the oddly oblivious man.
“Yes,” answered Elia with a big sinister smile, “the easiest way is through intercourse.”
She was right, even at fifty essences, things might get really hot inside a person.
Jacob himself was at forty-one. Young people were trained by increasing the essence little by little until they were able to handle enough essence to level up without going nuts.
As at one hundred, one might go insane without relieving themselves. Artus was trying to level up the girl in one dive. The girl shouldn’t have the problem as she already had a partner to help her if Artus really was going for her level up.
But considering his own position right now, Jacob might need to do something very drastic. He knew he had very little choice as he walked towards Felicia and asked to talk to her in private.
This would cost him a lot but it was better than the alternative. He didn’t want to suddenly gain back his sanity while he was in between the priestess’s legs.
It had happened before and he would never let it happen to him. It might be still too early but it was still better to be prepared rather than be sorry.
He seriously would kill himself if that ever happened.
Felicia returned with a huge winning smile on her face. Artus guessed something good might have happened between them because Jacob wasn’t frowning on the way back. Instead, he looked more relieved as if the young man had dodged a trainwreck.
The spearwoman waited until Jacob was out of earshot before she talked to Artus.
“Thanks, Artus, for this,” she said to his surprise. “But I still want to ask one last favor.”
“I’ll do what I can if I can,” he answered carefully.
Felicia breathed in relief, “please let Jacob have some essence too,” she asked. “More than he could handle would be the best.”
“There should be plenty for everyone, but why do you ask?”
Felicia’s face turned pink, “I can be his mistress if I helped him, you know… And he is really cute too and not some old fat man. I can’t let this one go, please, Artus. For the longest time, I wanted to devote myself to only one man, and I feel like I’m turning into a whore.”
“Ah, I see,” he mumbled.
It should have been obvious when he thought about it now. Jacob had ‘employed’ Felicia so that when the essence pushed the young master beyond his limits, he had someone to quickly help him get his relief. The man feared that he might do something irreversible if he didn't prepare. He was quite smart.
Paige wouldn’t likely become his target because of their past, but the former Lady Eliane was someone who would have appeared in every man’s wet dream. Her sudden appearance had some good use in this after all.
Artus chuckled, “Of course, I'll help you.”
“Thank you, but as I said, I can’t be with you anymore, okay?” she said it out loud and secretly winked at him.
“Okay,” Artus answered a bit surprised. This woman was really crafty as she was even using him to get herself on Jacob’s good side.
Artus sighed in defeat not because of her words but because of how devious a woman could get when she really wanted something. Men could never win against their machining.
To make matters even worse, Jacob even got a winning smile when the man witnessed the final exchange between him and Felicia. The young master must have thought that he had been able to steal the spearwoman from him for some reason. Artus wouldn't say that Felicia wasn't a price considering her looks.
Artus also didn’t think Felicia would be that bad of influence because she had lived a hard life and Jacob could learn a lot from her. Felicia also would jeopardize herself because she was far more cunning than that. She would want her man to succeed so she could profit from it.
Everything was falling into places on its own for a change.
Did Elia’s existence has caused all of this? Artus couldn’t see any other better arrangement than this. His plan for Jacob to try and win Paige over wasn’t jeopardized as he got an ally by his side to help him. It couldn’t be more perfect than this.
Maybe Elia was his lady luck after all.
Artus realized right then. He shouldn’t be offended by her machining.
How else could a woman navigate in men dominated world? She was only doing what she could as she could have never been able to fight her way out. It was clear when he compared her to Paige.
Lady Eliane had to do what she had done because no one was willing to help her out like how he had helped Paige out. Not even her two fathers, the men she should have been able to depend on, couldn’t have done anything for her sake.
Women who realized the fact that they were physically weaker than men wouldn’t have much choice other than using their cunningness to get the upper hand. In a matter of fact, anyone, even men would have done the same.
The bottom line was, it was nothing personal. He had just happened to be there when Lady Eliane needed help the most.
And now, she just wanted to make up for it. It had always been her objective all along.
If she truly was selfish, she could have lived happily ever after with the men of her own choosing. Eligible bachelors would have lined up and competed to get her attention.
Nevertheless, he should talk to her later.
“Do any of you know what a speed run is?” He asked his teammates.