“Halt!” Kyrie raises her hand and pulls our small entourage to a stop.
I lean to the side a little, tilting my body while still on the horse, and try to see what might be the reason behind this interruption. But, besides a dark spot lying far ahead on the road, I don’t get much from that. It might be some kind of a monster or just the trunk of a fallen tree.
Alan passes me and joins our leader at the front. “Finally something to do? It was getting boring without even a single rabid dog jumping out of these woods. What’s the situation, boss?”
“I’m not exactly sure. As you can see yourself, there’s something on the road, but neither of us can tell much more from this distance.” Kyrie ponders for a while longer and turns around towards me and the rest of the squad. “Crawford, send Milly to check it out.”
“As you wish.”
The old magician slides his hand deep into his robes and pulls it out in the form of a fist. After unbending his fingers, a black-red spider is revealed. I might know quite a bit about monsters in this world, but I’m not a spider expert, so I have no idea if this one is any dangerous, but considering its quite big and frightful appearance, it certainly isn’t completely harmless.
Crawford brings his familiar close to his mouth and whispers some words to it that are too quiet for me to catch. The spider waves its two front legs at him and jumps onto the horse and then onto the ground, starting to skitter towards the obstacle lying ahead.
It takes three minutes for the little guy or girl to cover the distance between us and its task and Milly quickly climbs onto the magician’s shoulder after returning. He looks at the spider and keeps nodding his head while his friend makes a plethora of movements, mostly with its hairy legs. It looks like they don’t share a mental connection allowing them to communicate with thoughts or images.
After another minute, Crawford looks up to face the frontlinters. “It seems to be a horse with a rider under its body; both most likely dead. I can’t say for how long already, but they haven’t started rotting yet from what Milly has said. She circled the surroundings for a moment but didn’t spot anyone hiding in the bushes in close proximity. I can’t be completely sure if it’s not a trap though.”
“Hmmm… It’s not like we have that much of a choice…” Kyrie ponders. “Let’s stay alert and go by the road. If we get attacked, it should be easier to defend in the open than between the trees, considering our team composition. Alan, you ride first. I’ll stay with Alastair and others in case there’s a volley of arrows waiting for us. After the initial attack, the rest goes as usual. Edgar will switch with me later.”
Everyone nods and we shuffle our formation a little. The Berserker takes the front while the rest of us moves in a two-by-two block; Kyrie with me and Edgar with Crawford. Everyone prepares a defensive ability or spell and we continue forward. I’m currently borrowing Sixth Sense passive from Astrea to boost my awareness. My stealing skill is off-cooldown in case I’d need to grab something more offensive or defensive, but I’d rather save it for an emergency.
We cover half of the distance and begin to see the horse better. It’s lying sideways on the road with its belly towards us, unmoving obviously. There’s either no blood or we can’t see it from this side. I’m starting to wonder what could have happened here if it’s not just a bait to lure us into a trap.
A minute later, we reach the suspicious spot and slow down a little. It’s now clear that there truly is no blood. But, the animal’s neck looks to be unnaturally bent upwards, definitely being the cause of its death.
Crawford and I try to examine the crime scene as our group warily passes by it, with the rest of the party actively scanning the surroundings.
“As weird as it might sound, it looks like that horse was strangled. Even the man under it has his limbs broken as if someone or something squeezed him to death. I don’t think it’s bandits,” the mage informs the others of what we can see.
“A monster then? Nice. I haven’t cut anything in weeks! And it sounds like it’s something big! I hope it’s still around!” Alan chuckles to himself while applying a stronger grip on his two-handed axe.
“Don’t jinx us, idiot. We are on a mission. It’s better for us not to meet any trooooouuuuubbbbb—”
Kyrie’s words reach my ears in a slightly distorted state while time seemingly slows down for me. The skin on the nape of my neck suddenly tingles as if someone pinched and twisted it lightly. I have no idea what is happening, but I know one single thing—something is coming.
Without any consideration for my strength, I grab Kyrie’s arm on my right and push myself off my horse to the back as hard as I can. As a result, the two of us fly backwards and crash into Edgar and Crawford, and that’s what I was aiming for.
As we all are thrown off the horses and fall to the ground behind them, a huge-ass rock falls out of the sky from our right, smashes the two front animals I and Kyrie have been sitting on into a bloody paste with a loud boom, and bounces further into the forest to the left, leaving a path of carnage behind itself.
I quickly roll off Edgar and Crawford, helping Kyrie stand up. The two men are still in shock, but she’s already taking a defensive stance in front of them. I see Alan making his way towards us on foot, most likely after falling off his horse due to the insane tremor the rock created with its descent.
“What the fuck was that?!” he shouts while arriving by our side with a slide.
“I have no idea but get the fuck up before more come! Spread out and watch the sky!”
We follow Kyrie’s orders and increase the distance between us, waiting for the next strike to arrive. Everyone watches a different angle to let others know about an incoming projectile. But, there’s no follow-up.
“What kind of a joke—”
*THUD* *THUD* *THUD* *THUD*
Alan stops speaking when the ground begins to shake again, but this time, much lighter and at seemingly regular intervals. The loud thumping is gradually increasing in power and we all notice that its source seems to originate from the same direction as the previous attack. We all turn towards it and assume battle positions. It’s plainly obvious what is happening.
I quickly bring out my draconic hilt and shape it into a greatsword. Whatever is coming, it’s big. It’s better to have something long and wide to defend myself with. My weak scholar cover might be blown if I fight directly, but it’s better than taking an unnecessary risk.
Glancing at Kyrie, I see her whole body getting enveloped by a golden light that quickly takes the shape of see-through full plate armour. That’s her Holy Bastion. The additional coating covers all the exposed body parts, allowing her to sacrifice some metal in favour of greater mobility. She isn’t showing so much skin just for style points, you know.
At the same time, she thrusts her left arm into the sky and her tiny buckler also begins to glow in yellow hues, forming a big heater shield out of the same, transparent light. Ethereal Aegis. The name of their party and her skill at the same time. To top it all, her spiked flail explodes in golden flames, closing off the whole Holy Crusader set. Truly a warrior of light.
Alan just readies his giant axe with a battle-crazy grin on his face. I’m pretty sure he still hasn’t activated his Berserk ability and that’s just how much of a battle junkie he is. Well, that was to be expected.
Edgar has just finished erecting some kind of a barrier around himself and Crawford has somehow summoned his staff into his hand back from his horse which ran who knows where after the huge impact. The latter is holding a violet arc of lightning on standby, connecting his left hand with the head of his magical focus.
We notice some trees falling not that far from our position as the earth-shaking thumping nears closer. A moment later, two giant silhouettes emerge from the forest, accompanied by the creaking of wood. Their huge bodies are covered with light grey skin. One of them holds something akin to a big, makeshift club while the other seems to be barehanded.
“Cavern Trolls! One young and one mature! Shit! Looks like we are on the menu boys!” Kyrie curses.
“Menu? And how does turning your food into a bloody smudge help?” Alan barks back at her.
“Thinking isn’t exactly their forte! You take the smaller one with Crawford while I hold back the mature one until you guys finish it! Edgar, protect the VIP!”
The two of them charge forward and bring the Trolls’ attention onto themselves. A huge lightning bolt hits the spot between the two monsters, followed by another three thunderous attacks, effectively increasing the distance between them.
Alan launches himself at the Troll around two and a half times taller than himself with a mighty jump and slices through its belly with a wide diagonal swing, pushing it back even further. The wound begins closing at a pace visible to the naked eye and the angry monster starts throwing fists at the Berserker, forcing him to focus on dodging.
At the same time, the slightly taller mature one seems to have a better reaction time than its friend and tries to hit Kyrie with a horizontal sweep of its club as she reaches it. She comes to a stop and digs her metal heels deep into the road, shifting her ethereal shield towards the incoming attack. The weapon and shield connect, releasing a loud sound as if someone has just hit a huge bell and Kyrie is pushed a little to the back but holds her ground.
She activates some kind of a skill and swings her flail onto the wooden club from above after tracing a few quick circles with its chain. The force behind that hit breaks the wood into splinters, making its owner lose balance. She uses that opportunity to land more attacks with her fiery flail on the monster’s legs.
Both Kyrie and Alan are exchanging blows with their opponents. The former is doing a bit better due to her weapon being covered in Holy Fire, partially working as the Troll’s weakness and slowing down its regeneration, but neither is making any significant progress. They have to focus more on defence than on attacking.
Crawford is doing what he can to support the Berserker without mindlessly burning through his mana, but his magic doesn’t pack enough punch to tip the scales in favour of his colleague. No matter how you look at it, Edgar being ordered to look after me kind of whittles down their overall power as a team, even though he is throwing some fatigue-reducing and smaller healing spells at them all the time.
I turn to the priest and then to the mage. “Edgar, go join Kyrie. Crawford, after I switch with Alan, move your attention to the mature one too. I’ll hold back the smaller one while the four of you bring the big one down.”
“Are you crazy?” Edgar furrows his brows at me.
“We won’t get anywhere split like this. Don’t worry, I might be a scholar, but I’m working out regularly. I can stand my ground for a few minutes.”
I tap his shoulder with a smile and break into a dash towards Alan. He is very surprised to see me suddenly show up by his side, stepping away from a vertical attack that lands in between the two of us.
“What the hell are you doing here?! Get back to the backline, twerp!”
“Leave this one to me and join your party at the other thing. I can dodge its hits easily,” I say while moving my body just enough to not get slammed into the ground.
A giant fist lands behind my back while I keep looking Alan straight into the eyes. I keep making minimal movements to avoid a few more attacks and wave my hand at the man, shooing him away. He keeps staring at me with his eyebrows raised until Kyrie yells his name, most likely after getting my message from Edgar.
Finally left alone with my opponent, I switch my focus to dodging. I can’t just rely on Astrea’s Sixth Sense all the time. It’s quite OP, that’s for sure, but it only reacts to malicious intent, which kinda explains why she didn’t notice me approaching her that day on the streets.
If the Troll miraculously learns how not to think about killing me with each swing and decides to focus on just attacking instead, things may turn a little bit uglier. I would need Astrea’s Battle Sense to keep avoiding that. And I can’t steal two skills, unfortunately.
“Now, what can I do to you without revealing too much about myself, hmmm,” I ponder out loud while stepping from side to side to avoid its fists coming from the sky and ducking under a horizontal swing now and then.
“Oh, right! I can test my Charm Magic on you! Trolls are big and stupid so even the weaker spells should work! Let’s see…”
I summon the window with my available spells and take a quick glance through the list while still jumping around the giant. I’d rather not use anything that could potentially arouse the target in this scenario. I’m curious how Confusion works in this world so that’s what I cast at the poor monster.
With a wave of my hand, I can feel a chunk of my mana leave my body and shoot towards the designated target. After one more clumsy attack, the Troll staggers a little and supports its head with one of its hands. It still glares at me with its ugly face but gets visibly more sluggish.
It tries to kick me this time and almost trips itself with the motion, grabbing a nearby tree to catch balance. I smirk at the comical sight. It seems that Confusion messes up the target’s motor and directional senses, making them lose stability. Well, I can work with this.
I take a quick glance towards the others to check how they are faring and see the mature Troll under a heavy barrage of attacks from all four directions. It should be brought down shortly. Kyrie’s shield paired with Alan’s axe does wonders.
Turning back to my own enemy, I dodge another wobbly fist with ease. Unfortunately, that attack again makes it lose balance and the Troll slams its head into a tree after barely managing not to fall forward due to its pathetic swing.
“Alright, big guy. Let’s end this before you embarrass yourself even more.”
As if somehow understanding the meaning behind my words, it releases a loud roar while rubbing its forehead and begins to rush at me in a very unstable charge, flailing its arms in total chaos.
「That’s even more perfect.」
I take a few quick steps back to position myself between two thick trees, glance at each of them, nod to myself, and wait for the Troll to come at me. Watching it attentively, I reshape my weapon into a double-edged greataxe with very long blades. Satisfied with the result, I swing it down and lodge one side deep into the ground, making the other blade stick out vertically.
Just as the Troll is reaching the trees I eyed-up up earlier, I snap my fingers and a thick strap of purplish material shoots out of one of them, connecting the trunks at the height of the monster’s ankles. It doesn’t even notice the change and fabulously trips over my Void Chains, starting to fall forwards. I jump to the side and watch as its neck perfectly lands on the previously prepared blade, decapitating it with a clean cut. I nod my head in satisfaction.
Turning to check on others, I see the other Troll kneeling on one of its knees, brought to that position most likely by Edgar who is standing behind its legs. It seems to be stunned by Crawford as purplish streaks of lightning jump all over its skin. Making use of that opportunity, Kyrie boosts Alan off her shield and his axe shines in crimson light before beheading the monster while he is in midair.
Instead of celebrating their kill, the whole group hastily breaks into a run in my direction but quickly slows down after seeing me wave at them from the side of the dead Troll. Well, at least it’s good to know that they are level-headed and don’t casually forget about others after winning their battle.
Kyrie is the first to reach me, followed by Alan, Edgar and Crawford. They stare at the huge body for a moment before moving their eyes onto me with clear confusion and surprise on their faces.
“My bad, my bad. I was supposed to stall for time but it somehow tripped and fell onto my axe which I dropped from all the shaking it created with its attacks.” I point at the weapon still lodged in the ground and smile. “Beginner’s luck, I guess?”
Kyrie sighs, releasing all the tension from the fight, and chuckles at me. Alan steps forward with his axe resting on his shoulder.
“How in hell did you dodge it like that? Weren’t you supposed to be a scholar?”
“You know what my Class is. I don’t spend all my time in a lab, you know? And well, that was one of my abilities—Sixth Sense. I can detect incoming attacks to some extent.”
“So that’s how you knew about that rock earlier,” Kyrie comments with a curious expression.
“Yeah, pretty much.”
She makes a slight bow. “Thank you for pushing me away back then. That could have ended up badly.”
I wave my hand in dismissal. “No worries. I was just doing my part. Besides, I could feel you gathering mana shortly before the impact so I’m sure you had something in your sleeve too.”
“My Holy Bastion can activate on its own once a day to block an incoming attack even without my input. It would have most likely saved my life, but I have no doubts that I would have been disabled from the fight for quite some time while Edgar would have to focus completely on healing me.”
“And that could have been dangerous with just me and Crawford left behind to fend off the Trolls,” Alan adds. “Well, at least in our usual squad. It might have been a little bit easier to hold on with you present, if that rock wouldn’t have crushed you too, hah. I guess you are not that much of a twerp in the end.”
I smile wryly at Alan’s weird attempt at complimenting me. Well, I’m at least graduating from useless dead weight in his eyes so that’s something. Edgar and Crawford are still in a bit of disbelief, but it looks like Kyrie trusts my words completely. She did seem like a kind person during our previous conversations.
None of us has any fire abilities or magic potent enough to burn a whole Troll, so we just drag their decapitated bodies quite a bit from the road so that the monsters they possibly attract won’t get too close to it. We also bury the poor man who was used as bait.
It takes us an hour to find the runaway horses. The problem is, the two that I and Kyrie were using aren’t exactly in a state allowing them to carry us any further. Yeah… I don’t think Edgar can fix that…
Thus, after a short break to recuperate, we decide to continue in pairs. My horse didn’t have any additional baggage so only Kyrie’s equipment gets split to all the other animals. At least that part of it which is salvageable. Most of her spare potions got shattered and I’m pretty sure we won’t be trying to eat rations completely drenched in horse blood.
When it comes to deciding who rides with who, Alan is adamantly against sharing a horse, for whatever reason. That leaves the four of us to come to a conclusion. The decision actually arrives very quickly as Kyrie points out our team composition and I end up with her while Crawford has to pick up Edgar so that each pair has someone with good defences.
Thanks to that, I can enjoy the rest of our journey in one saddle with a pretty girl in my arms. She, fortunately, doesn’t belong to the extremely shy holy maidens category and actually urges me to hold on tighter to her body so that I won’t fall off the horse. Her stomach is so soft and tender at the same time…
Ekhm… Anyway, it takes us another four days to reach Turna village. A short palisade surrounds the place and you can spot eight watchtowers, two per direction. Judging by the distance between the opposite sides, the village doesn’t seem to be too big and the irregularly placed wooden houses confirm that.
We make our way through the streets and head towards an inn after being directed by one of the locals. The building has its own stable and that’s where we leave our horses. It doesn’t seem that there are too many travellers here and we easily book a room for each of us. Kyrie wanted to cover my expenses as a leader of the party, but I politely declined, explaining that I rarely have any occasions to spend anyway.
After a quick bath and a filling dinner, we move to the town hall after asking for more directions from the inn owner, expecting to find the mayor there. There’s no Adventurer’s Guild branch in such a small village so we need to speak with him about our task.
All freshened up and with full bellies, we stand in front of the entrance to the town hall. Kyrie glances at the rest of us and we all nod at her. We enter a wooden hall and head straight for the alone receptionist in the middle. She’s a mature woman in the usual commoner clothes you’d expect in such a location.
“Welcome! How can I help you?”
“Hello, my name is Kyrie and I’m the leader of Ephemeral Aegis, an A-ranked party. The mayor should be expecting our arrival. Can we meet him?”
The woman’s face switches from a professional smile into almost pure joy when Kyrie introduces our group.
“Ah, yes, yes, you are finally here! I’ll go and get him immediately! Wait a moment, please!”
She hastily stands up and pretty much dashes through the door behind her, leaving us a little bit surprised.
“Looks like the issue might be more serious than what has been reported,” Edgar comments and we all agree.
The woman soon comes back and instructs us to come to the public meeting hall not that far from this building in around fifteen minutes from now. The mayor wants to gather a few people to meet us as a group in anticipation of potential questions we could have. With each passing minute, we start believing more and more that the situation might be really desperate if they are so organized for this.
We wait for the appointed time and show up in front of the meeting hall. A young boy leads us inside a room with a long table with many people sitting around it. One end has five empty chairs, most likely for us, and a single older man sits on the opposite side. We assume that’s the mayor. There are also some men and women of various ages standing around in the background.
“Welcome, adventurers. I’m Philip, the current mayor of Turna village. Please, take a seat.”
As we guessed, the old man is the mayor. We follow his instructions and sit at the appointed spot. You can easily tell how expectant the atmosphere is. There are many curious gazes directed at us, but there are many more hopeful ones too. I also catch some… troubled ones? I guess it might be a little awkward to talk about Succubi for some men in front of their women.
“Let me begin the explanation then and we’ll go from there. Ekhm. Around three months ago, we started noticing the disappearance of some men from our village. Mostly young and able-bodied. They were going missing either for a whole night or day, coming back the next dusk or dawn while looking barely alive, sometimes even like dried-up fruits. The disappearances were occasional and irregular and the men always came back.”
Everyone in the hall keeps nodding along with the mayor’s story.
“It was usually just one person that went missing, but it soon increased into pairs or even groups, like the three brothers standing behind me. The tallest one is part of the first victims of the monster. Then, after a short period of time, he was kidnapped with his brother, and then again after like a month, all three of them were gone. At first, we just thought people are losing their way through the woods while drunk as it often happened in the past, but around a month ago, we managed to find out from the victims that it was all the work of a Succubus.”
He points at the three men of different heights standing behind his left shoulder as he speaks. The tallest, and most likely the oldest one, keeps nodding with his arms crossed over his chest and looking straight at us while the other two seem more withdrawn, even avoiding our gazes.
Kyrie raises her hand to interrupt the mayor’s story and directs her eyes to the three men. “Since you knew about the Succubus for three months already, why didn’t you report it earlier?”
The timid brothers look very surprised with her quite logical question and glance at the taller one a few times before looking awkwardly to the side. The oldest brother keeps nodding to himself with his eyes closed for like five seconds before he starts answering.
“Somehow, we just couldn’t. There was something wrong with our heads and we just didn’t think of it. It’s definitely the work of that cursed Succubus.”
There are some grunts and yells of agreement with his words, mostly from the male population, while the women shout something about killing the damn monster that keeps stealing their husbands and such. It takes a moment for the mayor to calm the mob down.
「Hmmm… There WAS something wrong with your head but it’s not anymore? It conveniently stopped after two months, just like that? Suspicious...」
“Alright, alright, that’s enough. Let’s continue. We have interrogated some of the villagers, who weren’t too eager to cooperate—” I again catch some men turning their heads away, “—and managed to learn about the monster’s existence and where its den is located. I gathered up some men and led our group after it.”
“What?!” Alan slams the table with a clearly unamused expression. “You sent a bunch of farmers after an Arch Succubus?! Are you braindead?! Sigh… Bunch of idiots… And?”
“Three men died during the attack and six were captured, never to be seen again…”
“Obviously.” Alan throws his arms into the air and rolls his eyes.
Kyrie sighs too and shakes her head. “How did you even come back alive?”
“After making an example of the chosen few, the monster spared us while saying that it would be improper to waste food. We made a deal where the village promised to send a different man to its den daily and that’s what we have been doing recently. But, it doesn’t look like that monster is upholding its part of the bargain and other men besides the ones sent into its lair are still disappearing. This monster destroyed many families, couples and marriages already. Men always come back unable to work for at least two days and with those stupid, smiling faces. Our morale is sinking lower and lower.”
The women start shouting again, agreeing with the mayor’s words. It gets much louder this time with many housewives screaming that their husbands became useless, many girls that their boyfriends stopped looking at them as much as before and such. The men just support them with nodding or some affirmative shouts, not too fired up though.
After Philip calms them down again, he lets us ask questions to anyone present in the room. I glance at the three brothers. “And how exactly are you guys being kidnapped repeatedly?”
The tall one shows a bit more surprise this time. “Uhhh… Ummm… We… don’t know? It just… happens? One moment you are walking through the fields... and then suddenly you are in that cave doing… uhhhh… these things… then you are suddenly in the forest afterwards…”
“That bitch is brainwashing them and getting rid of their memories!” some woman shouts from the crowd.
“Yeah! She’s making them stupid! My husband now keeps dozing off in the middle of work after he was kidnapped five times!” another one adds.
“Burn that monster on a stake!” a younger girl adds oil to the fire and the mob starts throwing insults again.
I can see Kyrie discussing something with Edgar and Alan but I can’t hear what they are saying due to all that screaming and shouting. I’m pretty sure we won’t get much more from this and it seems that we are in a mutual understanding about that as we all nod at each other.
Kyrie thanks the mayor and the people for their help and we leave the meeting hall, heading back to the inn. Just as we exit, I shout back at Philip that we’ll monitor the situation for a few days to see what we can learn about the kidnappings.
Everyone gathers up in Kyrie’s room and we host our own small meeting to discuss what we have learned.
“At least we don’t have to worry about time here. It looks like the only deaths are the ones that came from their pathetic raid. And there was one old dude who most likely flipped after his heart couldn’t stand the pussy,” Alan shares his thoughts.
“You are right. We should be thankful that this Succubus is sucking out just enough of their vitality to leave them barely hanging. It’s both a good and bad thing. Bad because that means it’s smart and not just following its instincts,” Crawford joins in.
“And don’t forget that it’s messing with their heads too. That tells a bit how strong it is, even though it’s common folk we are talking about,” Edgar also chimes in.
“That’s truly a tough case. We might need to do some reconnaissance before we dive into its den. What do you think, Alastair?” Kyrie rubs her chin for a moment and turns to me with everyone.
I chuckle. “Well, I think it’s all a huge sham.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“I’ve been carefully observing the reactions of people in that meeting hall. Especially men. I’m fairly sure there’s no kidnapping involved. Well, maybe besides the few first cases, but that’s not certain either.”
“Then what is happening?”
“Think about it for a moment. The Succubus demanded a single man daily after the raid, which means that she doesn’t have a need for any more or she could have asked for a greater number. The villagers wouldn’t be able to refuse. She was also kidnapping a single man now and then in the beginning. Then, she for some reason captured a man and his brother. And later the three of them at the same time. Why exactly them and not some random people?”
They look at each other and then back at me, shrugging their shoulders and waiting for me to continue.
“It’s obvious that they are going in willingly.”
“What?” Kyrie starts blinking repeatedly and furrows her brows. “That’s stupid. Why would they do that?”
I roll my eyes at her. “Succubi are literal lust demons so obviously to have sex with her, why else? I can bet all my money that she’s the most sensual woman they’ve ever seen in their lives, willingly spreading her legs in front of them much more often than their wives certainly do.”
Kyrie’s eyes widen a little and her freckled face turns a shade redder after she hears my response. I ignore her embarrassed, downcast gaze and continue.
“The tallest brother must have got hooked on that sex and kept coming for more whenever he could. It’s only natural that one of his brothers managed to find out one day. I bet he made him promise to keep it a secret in exchange for bringing him too. Then, the situation repeated and all three of them were in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the same for other groups of men. These present in the room did look like families or close buddies to me.”
“T-that’s… I-I d-don’t think… they would… It’s… a monster...” Kyrie stutters a little trying to disagree.
“Oh, come on. It’s pretty much a free brothel with the hottest girl in the neighbourhood always present and happy to see them. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about. There’s no man who would be opposed to this.”
I move my eyes to the guys and Alan awkwardly clears his throat while looking away. Edgar seems to be very interested in exploring the ceiling with his gaze and Crawford repeatedly brushes his fingers through his long beard, for sure trying to act all indifferent.
Kyrie takes a deep breath and raises her eyes back up. “A-anyway, our task doesn’t change... We are going to take it down. That’s what the King asked us to do.”
“I never said that it changes anything. You wanted to hear what I think and I obliged. I’m certainly not going to spread that information in the village. I can already imagine the chaos.”
With our leader a little bit flustered and the atmosphere quite awkward, we finish our first strategy meeting and everyone walks back to their own room. For the rest of the evening, I lie down on my bed and mentally chat with my lovers, sharing with them this quite hilarious situation. Even though I haven’t confirmed anything, I’m completely sure about my conclusion.
The next morning, Kyrie seems to be back to normal, which is good. She does blush a little bit when I remind her of my thesis by telling everyone that my promise to watch over the village can easily prove it, which was my aim from the start.
And just as I predicted, in the next five days, there are no additional kidnappings. Only the designated people go to the Succubus’ lair, one a day. If that doesn’t clearly show how everyone is now hiding their asses at their homes to not get accidentally caught then I have no idea what will.
Nevertheless, it doesn’t seem like the bad Succubus will make an appearance in the village, so we decide to prepare as much as we can and head out to its lair. I spend a good deal of time explaining everything I know about Succubi to them and introducing my anti-succubi grenades, just in case that she will actually be much more hostile than I assume.
These makeshift bombs are just glass vials with various fruity combinations of homemade viagra inside, enchanted with Seismic Wave sigils meant to break the container on contact after the user fills them with their mana before the throw. They are also corked, allowing an oral application too. Sirgia and Dhosk truly did deliver.
We gear up, check on all of our equipment, discuss strategies again and head towards the cave system north of the village. Time to get me a Succubus.