Done with the main aspects of this meeting, we spend some time just chatting a bit more. Ross gives me some details on what the other guys have been doing up until now and what are the results of their investigation. Looks like they were in quite a pinch for a moment, but thankfully, they all got out of it just fine.
They will rest in the capital for some time and then they have pretty much free reins over where to go and what to do. Of course, he will provide them with appropriate information and locations of previous outbreaks, and if any new ones happen, they will be immediately notified.
Ross believes that letting them roam free around the world and experience it more will be beneficial for their growth and I agree with that belief. We might have trained for like a year, but we do lack a lot of real battle experience. And our Classes and abilities are pretty much fresh and weak. This is the best course of action.
It doesn’t look like the world has a known date of its end and the Abyssals appear mostly randomly in small groups, but we both are pretty sure that there has to be some kind of a goal for them in the long run. They might be scouting, they might be probing the world’s defences, they might just be waiting for something to happen so that they can appear in their full strength and wipe out all life at once.
Unfortunately, we do not know anything about that. By their hierarchy, it’s implied that there might be some kind of chain of command in their ranks. The portal theory is quite sound. They might be invaders from some other realm and didn’t yet figure out how to launch a full-scale assault.
But I would really hope it’s some kind of a natural calamity caused by magic or something, which can be stopped and completely nullified. Having another realm with their eyes set on you is much more troublesome. We would have to somehow prevent them from crossing worlds if we wanted to completely stop their advances because I don’t think we can wipe out the other world from which they come out as a defence strategy.
I really hope more of this will clear up in the future. There are too many unknowns at this moment and pretty much all are just speculations. But the only thing I can do right now is to grow stronger and also help the girls around me advance too. We have to be ready for whatever comes. No one can guarantee that another outbreak won’t suddenly happen in our front yard on some random day. There weren’t any patterns noted in the past.
While we are having a pleasant conversation, Ross brings up another topic.
“That reminds me, I’ve heard that you ran into mother recently. She pretty much berated me for dragging you into my personal matters all the time, ehhhh…”
“Haha, yeah, I’ve almost walked straight into her but she was quick to step back. We had a short and pleasant exchange. Although, I think she might have gotten a bit more reserved towards me after learning about my Class. She kept her distance pretty visibly.”
Ross waves his hand.
“No, no, no, that’s not it. Do you really think that the Queen would judge someone based just on their Class? She knows you well enough for that to not happen,” he denies my assumption.
“Well, she still seemed quite uncomfortable in my presence.”
“She was always like that, it’s just you haven't noticed in the past. You are now more conscious of it due to the nature of your Class.” He sighs. “She is behaving similarly towards everyone in the castle. Actually, I should say to every man, including myself. Our time together was greatly reduced after father passed away. And it keeps shrinking slowly. We barely exchange a few sentences during breakfasts, over a long dining table.”
「Now, this is something new. The Queen was always quite kind and open towards everyone, that’s the first time I hear about her being like that. Maybe he is right, I’m paying much more attention to women around me because of the skills.」
Curiosity gets the better of me and I can’t hold myself back from getting deeper into this unusual case.
“But why is she like that? It kinda feels like she’s being awkward around others.”
Ross chuckles. “You see, they often say like a father like a son, if you catch my drift.” He looks at me but I just give him a bit of a confused look. “Right, forget that. The thing you don’t know is that father was… quite a lively person during the night. And while this might come surprising to you, mother wasn’t exactly the type to shy away from him. I’d say, it was the opposite. They were a pretty good match in that aspect. So good that it was hard to sleep on some days.”
I can’t believe what I’m hearing. And it’s not about the fact that he just shared a pretty intimate secret of the royal family, but about the Queen being that much into it. She always emanates an aura of someone gentle and quite petite. Looks really can be deceiving.
“I would never ever think of something like that when seeing her. She looks so delicate and fragile. I can’t really imagine her being as active as you described,” I voice out my doubts.
He laughs again. “Again, as they say, still water runs deep. I’m pretty sure she was the one who often initiated their night meetings.”
“Okay, but how does that connect with the current issue?” I ask him curiously.
“After father passed away, everything was fine for a few months, besides all the grief and mourning of course, but after that time, she began avoiding closer contact with all other men. I think the reason should be obvious. She didn’t suddenly change who she is deep inside. Even if she tries to act all composed, I’m pretty sure her body is not acting accordingly with her wishes. Without father around, there’s no one who could help her with that, and it naturally has an impact on her behaviour. She doesn’t want to show that side to others so she is taking as much distance as necessary to not slip up accidentally. After so much time, it got to the extent of her avoiding even me, and I don’t blame her obviously.” Ross sighs with a sad subtone.
So, basically from what he said, the Queen is actually a hidden nymphomaniac who is afraid of having others notice that fact after the person which was her other half isn’t there anymore. She doesn’t want Ross to feel weird around her too. I bet she thinks he would be disgusted by her if he noticed how much she is holding back to not fall into her desires but is not aware that he already knows pretty much everything. And the loyalty to her husband must play a big role in this too. There’s only so much she can do alone after years of a passionate relationship with the previous King.
“If only she had someone she could lean on…” Ross mutters under his breath with another long sigh. Then, his eyes open a bit wider and he slowly raises his gaze to look at me. “Hey, Al… maybe you could—”
I blink a few times and interrupt him. “You are not asking what I think you are.”
He smiles awkwardly and gestures with his hands as if trying to make his point. “Al, you know that I consider you my best friend and I know you see me as one too. So, I’d really like to request something from you just this once—”
“I’m not going to seduce your mother.”
He drops his head dejectedly. I look to the sky, slightly in disbelief. I was not expecting him to literally ask me to go after her.
“Are you aware of what you are even asking for? First, she was a Queen and is of royal blood while I’m just some random dude from some other world. And second, that would be literally spitting on her resolve and respect towards your father.” I reprimand him a bit.
He raises his head again with the wry smile still present on his lips.
“You are not just some random dude. And you are a Hero. Didn’t heroes often propose to princesses? I know you really well, you are a good man. And she obviously respects father, but the fact that he is gone won’t change. Choosing another person to rest a shoulder on has nothing wrong to it. Do you really think that a woman can’t try to find love and happiness again after the death of her husband?”
“I’m going to run a brothel in a few weeks and I’ve already slept with various other girls.”
“What’s the issue there? It’s not like the public has to know. And I’m sure she doesn’t find you any less attractive because of that. She mentions you in our short conversations pretty often so she definitely likes you to some extent already. She never brings up the other Heroes as much. I think she somehow got to know about your real intentions, even though I was being careful to not leak it by accident.”
It’s my time to sigh and I do that while starting to rub my temples with my hand. Cornelia’s phrase ‘a woman has her ways’, from the day she arrived at my doorstep, appears in my mind and I have a strange feeling that these two women might know each other better than some people would suspect.
Ross keeps looking at me with pleading eyes.
「For fuck’s sake… is he really trying to convince me to fuck the Queen? What the hell is wrong with this sudden development?」
I sigh again and shake my head. “Okay, I’m going with no right now—”
“—BUT, I can’t just leave you like that without any help after what you’ve done for me already.”
His expression brightens a little and he smiles more naturally. I continue.
“Do you maybe have any idea what her favourite colour or style is?”
He furrows his brows a bit at my question and then contemplates his answer for a moment.
“I’d say something in the likes of cyan blue. She has a lot of accessories in that shade. But, why does that matter?”
I smile back at him. “I have an idea for a gift which might help your mother a bit with her condition.”
“Splendid! Money does not matter, just state your price! If it can relieve her tense mood even a little, I’ll be in your eternal debt!”
I chuckle to myself a bit. “Oh, it will definitely help her relieve herself. And you don’t need to pay for anything, it’s supposed to be a gift.”
“Well, if you insist. Pass me a message as soon as you acquire it. I’ll have someone stand on watch around your mansion.”
“Hahah, I appreciate your eagerness, but I will be the one to present it to her personally. Trust me, it will be much better that way. And in case of my idea coming out as offensive, you won’t risk having your mother avoid you even more.”
“You are much better with women than I am so I’ll leave it in your hands. There’s no way it will fail if it’s your idea.”
“And what is that supposed to mean, huh?”
We both laugh and I ask Ross about some more little details in hopes of finding something unique. I can say that this would be our first custom order. And it’s for none other than the Queen. Who would have expected that?
Half an hour later we bid farewell to each other and head our own way. I return home and look around. The elves are tending to the garden together. They seem to be having a good time chatting with each other happily while taking care of a bit overgrown backyard.
I come to them and ask for a bit of their time to verify their seals. Even though I assure them that they just need to uncover a bit of their collarbone, they all pretty much unpin all the buttons of their shirts and their alluring bellies enter my vision, alongside the centers of their chests. At least their breasts are partially covered with the sides of their shirts.
They all smile at me enchantingly and form a line. I look at Elea and she just giggles before joining them instead of convincing them to not act so frivolously. I guess that's just how they are, less restricted by things like shame. I step closer to each one and touch their marks with my thumb, making three counter-clockwise circles over their edges. I learn that all their seals are now masterless as I suspected. The kingdom’s slavers must have already nullified the contracts with their owners.
I leave them with the garden after announcing that I will be trying to figure the seals out shortly and resume my stroll.
The craftsmen are working on the workshop as they should so I don’t unnecessarily interrupt them. Cornelia seems to be out for some errand. I can feel Safi and Emi lazing around in my room so I pay them a visit first. We cuddle together for some time while I tell them a bit more about our lectures and training which will be starting from this evening. They are both looking forward to it. Although, I can sense that they are looking forward to pleasing me more than learning.
After a few rounds of mana-pats, I leave and walk towards Sirgia’s room. She’s working on something inside. I knock lightly and come in. As I expected, she is completely focused on designing some artifact and I can pretty much guess that it’s the communication device from earlier. I move quietly around her and sit on the bed. With a smile on my face, I watch as she moves her pencil over the paper with a lot of attention, stopping only from time to time to think. I’m sure she noticed me already so I just wait patiently for her to finish the part she is drawing. She looks so mature and collected while focused.
Ten minutes later, she places the pencil on the side and turns to me on her chair.
“I’m sorry for taking so long, Master. I wanted to finish it before I forgot. Do you need anything from me?”
I smile and pat the bed on my side. Sirgia leaves her seat and walks to me to sit on the bed. After she is on my side, I place my hand on her shoulder and lean her down to give her a lap pillow, and begin brushing my fingers over the side of her face. She closes her eyes and exhales softly.
“I need to make sure that you take proper breaks,” I speak to her.
We sit like that for a moment. A faint smile paints her face. She then raises herself up and sits on my lap while leaning against my chest.
“Any more and I will fall asleep. It feels too nice.”
I chuckle a bit. “Let’s continue that later then. I actually have a request for you. I know you just started with the device from the morning, but this is something important, sorry.”
She looks up at me and places a soft kiss on my lips. “Master shouldn’t apologize, I will do anything for you.”
“Well then, we’ll have to create one more of those toys from before, but this time, it’s a bit more special case.”
“What do you mean by that, Master?”
I pat her head with my hand. “It’s a gift for the Queen.”
Sirgia's eyes widen in surprise. She lowers her gaze for a moment to think about something. She soon raises it back.
“Does Master know the Human Queen?” she asks.
“Yeah, you can say that. I’ve met her a few times.”
“That’s amazing. But… I’m not sure if I’m good enough to create something for such an important person…”
I pull her closer into my embrace.
“Don’t say that. I think there’s no one better for this job.”
She snuggles to my neck with a warm smile and hugs me tightly.
“So, do you think we can come up with a few new things for it? I will have to trouble you a bit to figure them out.”
“I’ll do my best for Master. Always.” She pulls back a bit so that we can look at each other. “Does Master have any ideas already?”
“Yes, a few. First, so far we used wood as a base, but can you make it work with stone or other mineral-type materials?”
“As long as it’s not something that requires advanced magic or machinery to sculpt and refine, it should be fine.”
I pat her more. “Great. Then, do you think it would be possible to make it change the temperature in a similar way to how the vibrations work currently? And if it can be put up together in one device?”
She rubs her chin with her hand and ponders for a moment. I can see her eyes darting from left to right, most likely trying to imagine possible complications and also solutions to them. After a moment, she looks up at me again with an energetic smile.
“Yes! I think there shouldn’t be any problems! And if the material is not heat-resistant itself, then I should be able to easily infuse the core of the structure with heat-based enchantment and follow it up with some directional pathing via conductive mana line-circuits. I would need to figure out how to split the mana intake between them so that the function which is desired is the one that gets enabled and not both at once.”
Seriously, she gets so passionate when talking about this stuff. I can’t wait to see her work on some bigger projects in the new workshop already.
“Would it be possible to create designated areas on the surface of it, or on the bottom part, where you could press your finger and transfer the mana through that point and each place would correspond to one function?” I try to give her some help with how buttons work back at home.
“Hmmm… Interesting… So, depending on where the mana would flow, it would be directed to the correct part… And we could mark it somehow so it would be known where that spot is… Yes, I believe it should be doable.”
I ruffle through her hair a bit more ferociously, evoking a little giggle out of her.
“You are so damn amazing, you know! Coming up with solutions for anything I mention.”
“Ehehe~. Master didn’t ask for anything that hard yet. You don’t have to be so considerate.”
“You little… Do you really think I see you that undependable?”
I start tickling her and she begins squirming in my arms while laughing. She playfully hits my chest but doesn’t force me to stop. Listening to her laughter is like music to my ears. She finally gets enough of this and uses her strength to push me back and I fall on the bed. Sirgia also falls with me, landing flat on my chest. I look down at her while she glances up along my body.
“I wouldn’t mind if Master gave me more… hard things… to work with…” she says with her cheeks getting slightly flushed.
I chuckle and pull her up for a passionate kiss.
“Then, if you do good with this request, I’ll let you jump onto the hardest project I have, for as long as your body endures. I don’t want to inconvenience you too much while you have so many things to work on right now. Sounds good?”
She hides her red face in my shirt. This kind of flirting isn’t really her strong point, besides the time during the heat of the moment. It’s already impressive for her to even use such an implicative tone by herself. I can hear her quiet response, muffled by the material and my body.
I bring us back up and after calming the embarrassed dwarf down a bit, we sit together by her desk and begin drawing first drafts of the toy. Since it has to be somewhat special, I ask Sirgia to carve a little protruding fragment near the lower part of it and include a smaller vibrating core on its end. She has no problems with adding that part.
We spend another hour discussing various aspects of it. Most of the time it’s just me listening to her explanations about how she plans to use different enchantments together to produce the effect we want. She’s like a magical engineer. Just give her some rough idea and she will use her vast knowledge of artisanship and magic to figure out how to make it work.
Then, time just flies while I wait for Ross to contact me about the meeting with the slaver. During the day, we work around the mansion or help a bit with the workshop construction. Sirgia works relentlessly over the gift for the Queen so I have to check on her pretty often to remind her to take a break. I also spend some more time with Elea and other elves.
During the evenings, we have our class time with Safi and Emi. There’s a lot of theory about human anatomy, but there are also practical parts obviously. Some might think that due to them being Slimes they would have a hard time learning stuff like that, but they gobble my lessons as easily as they can gobble anything with their jelly bodies. They get so good at controlling their slime to stimulate various sensitive spots that it’s quite hard to believe they knew barely anything about them from the girls’ memories.
We also cover a lot of aspects connected to their own safety. Whatever may happen, they are fully allowed to take action or defend themselves if they feel threatened or forced to do something they didn’t agree on. Especially when it comes to anything linked with their cores. Even touching them is a no-go and I’ll have to stress it out properly in the rules later. And since they can’t speak, I advise them to use writing to communicate with customers before they begin.
I plan to introduce a clear list of services that the girls will provide and the customers will have to explicitly point out and choose those which interest them for the current session with the employee. Naturally, if Sirgia succeeds with the communication device, we’ll be able to offer additional service after someone decides to pick something more during their time in the room, but before that, they would be limited to what they choose at the counter and maybe at things that the girls will have a good grasp on without requiring more instructions beforehand.
During the time when I’m not doing anything in particular, I sit down and begin creating the terms of service and some crucial rules. At first, I start with some simple and general ones, like the prohibition of any abuse or forceful behaviour which isn’t part of the service or acting.
We reserve the right to turn down any request and decline offering our services to any person we deem unsuitable. All clients will go through a short verification phase at the reception during their first visit, where they have to check the rules and confirm their agreement to follow them.
Any breach of the TOS will have consequences, starting at a warning, through a temporary banishment, ending at lifelong one with high reparations for the issues caused. And they have to remember that the girls are allowed to act in self-defence.
Another very important part I want to stress out for potential customers is also regarding the girls' safety. I’m pretty sure a lot of them will have their own style we will go with and it’s quite possible some may like it rough, there’s nothing wrong with that. So, all customers will be obliged to prepare a set of safety measures with the chosen girl, like a safeword. And in case of being unable to speak, some non-verbal signs too. I’ll have to talk about some examples and ideas for those with each of them beforehand.
There are many smaller rules which are mostly situational, like the touching of the Slimes’ cores, and I believe there will be even more specific ones in the future if some other races or species join us. Pretty much each one must have something they wouldn’t feel comfortable about.
We go through all the rules and TOS I come up with together with Cornelia and after some tweaks and changes from her side, we finish a quite decent first version of them. Both of us are satisfied with the result.
With all that happening, almost two weeks pass by. We finally receive the rest of the uniforms and collars. All the girls now have their own outfits and the elves look just beautiful. Their dark skin goes great with black and white clothing and purple accessories and ribbons here and there. The gems in their collars are perfect too.
The craftsmen finish their work without any troublesome issues coming up. When Sirigia sees the underground workshop full of various stone tables, forms, kilns, furnaces and pretty much anything you can come up with that’s linked with her field of expertise, she can’t stop tears from flowing down her cheeks like a river. I spend a good hour with her in my arms before she calms down a bit. Even I am amazed by how rich in functionality it turned out. And it’s still not everything she had designed for this place.
After getting ahold of herself, she pretty much gets lost in trying out all the devices and bringing down all of her stuff there. I decide to not bother her for some time so she can have fun exploring her new second home. I have a feeling I’ll need to prepare a bed there too, just in case.
I also finally get the notice about the meeting from Ross. It will happen in three days from now. The timing is almost perfect since Sirgia finished our little gift just recently. I notify him in my reply to pass my wish to meet with his mother when I’ll be at the castle on that day.
In the evening, I go down underground to check on Sirgia and just as I expected, I find her asleep while lying over one of the desks. It was so obvious she will end up like that due to all the hype and emotions. I bring her back to her room and place her in the bed, undressing her a bit so she doesn’t get uncomfortable during the night.
The weird thing is, while I’m working on some small stuff in my room, Safi and Emi don’t come over. Pretty much every night it’s either them or Sirgia who sleeps by my side, and since the latter one is already out of the equation, I was pretty sure they would be storming here at the very first second.
My confusion gets cleared when I hear knocking on the door to my room. The thing is, it’s the door from Cornelia’s chamber. And I can clearly feel her on the other side if just the previous fact wasn’t making it obvious who is announcing their visit.
I turn myself on the chair to face the entrance. Cornelia walks in, slowly closing the door behind her, looking quite embarrassed there. And I think it’s pretty obvious why that is. She wears the purplish neglige I’ve seen her in before, but with a few more additional parts which are semi-transparent in the same violet hue. Folds of soft material flow down around her whole body, creating something akin to a see-through, short dress. Just her breasts and nether regions are hidden behind a silky, purple material.
She begins rubbing her arm nervously while stealing shy glances at me with her head turned to the side. Even with just the moonlight coming through my huge window I can discern a visible blush on her cheeks. She looks unimaginably enchanting in this getup paired with beautiful, pale light.
“Ummm… You said you’ll be my test subject whenever I need so… I decided to finally move onto more practical experiments...” she announces quietly.
I smile to myself.
「You really can’t be honest with yourself even for a moment, can you? Well then, let’s see for how long you can keep that excuse up.」