We arrive in front of the door to my chamber and I lead Shino inside, who is nervously fixing her clothes and hair all the time. That’s kind of adorable of her to worry about first impressions in such a situation. I’ve thought she would be much more awkward while I introduce her to other women I hold dear.
Everyone is there as we enter. Cornelia sits on the chair by my desk as usual, with Sirgia on her lap. Elea and Neira sit side by side on the edge of my bed while Astrea was most likely lying down on it as we see her rising up from behind them as we walk inside.
Shino glances around and stops at the duo on the chair.
“Cornelia-san? Why are you here?”
My charming magician chuckles softly. “Isn’t that obvious? I thought Al told you that he is going to introduce us to you.”
“Does this mean that you… are also…”
“Yes, I’m lucky enough to call myself one of Al’s lovers. Or rather, one of his future wives.”
“Wives…” Shino blushes seeing her playful smile and starts twirling her fingers.
“Alright. Don’t tease her too much right from the bat,” I say to Cornelia while brushing through Shino’s hair. “Come on. Let’s get to know each other first.”
Shino nods and Sirgia jumps off Cornelia’s lap, cutely walking up to the two of us. She stops in front of the samurai girl and glances up, meeting her gaze.
“I’m Sirgia. A Dwarf. I’ve heard about you. You might have known Master for much longer, but I love him a lot too. I would do everything for him. I hope we can get along and make him happy together.”
She then extends her petite hand and waits for a handshake. Shino gets a little flustered from this sudden statement, but she grabs Sirgia’s hand after nodding.
“Hello. I’m Shino. I’ll do my best for Sensei, you can be sure of that. Ummm… How did the two of you… meet?”
“I was accused of assassination and locked up as a criminal slave. Master bought me and saved my life. I was really happy after learning how much he cares for others and for me too. I decided to be of use to him with my cooking and smithing skills as much as I can. He even built me an amazing workshop. And even though I was a demi-human slave, he accepted me as his first woman.”
“I’m so sorry for you…” Shino assumes a sad expression. “But, I’m glad that Sensei found you. I’m sure you couldn’t have ended up in better hands.”
The two of them stare at each other for a while longer and Sirgia then glances up at me. I lower myself down and she leaves a peck on my cheek while I pat her head before she steps aside. Cornelia walks towards us next.
“I don’t think we need any introductions, right, Shino? If you don’t mind me calling you that.”
“Of course not, Cornelia-san. I wouldn’t mind it even before we became… ummmm… sister-wives?”
Cornelia chuckles again. “Good that you have finally made up your mind. I know how hard it can be, trust me. But, don’t worry too much about this. Just be yourself and everything will be fine. The worst thing you can do is try to forcefully fit in. We are all different, but there’s one thing that connects all of us, and it’s our feelings for that devilishly handsome guy by your side. If you are ever in doubt of anything, just go to him and he’ll make sure you get rid of those pointless thoughts. I’ll always be here to talk to too.”
Shino bows to her. “Thank you. I’ll be sure to remember that. And I’ll be in your care then.”
Cornelia smiles at her and then also pecks my cheek before returning to her previous spot. Elea and Neira approach us together with soft smiles. Shino has to look up at the tall women.
“You must be Dark Elves, right?” Shino asks. “It was my first time seeing your kind from up close yesterday. You are really so beautiful…”
Ah, right. I totally forgot Shino has a thing for dark-skinned fantasy races, especially Dark Elves or similar ones. Half of her non-commissioned works are dominated by them; both lewd and more appropriate ones.
Elea smiles at the shorter girl sweetly. “Oh, thank you. My name is Elea and this is Neira. Yes, we are Dark Elves. I was a Princess serving the Goddess in our settlement in the past while she was one of my attendants. The other Dark Elves you’ll meet here were in my group too. Unfortunately, our village's location was leaked to Humans and we were captured to be sold as slaves. But, Alastair showed up and saved us, infiltrating the illegal auction like a hero he is. As embarrassing as it might sound, I think I fell for him at that moment, fufufu~”
“Wait… Was that a very big event underground? And was there a fight? And the King’s men were involved?” Shino starts barraging her with questions.
“I think all of the answers would be yes.”
She then makes an exasperated sigh. “You are so reckless, Sensei… I was told it was a very dangerous operation...”
I brush through Shino’s hair while smiling wryly at her. “What can I say? Blame Ross for roping me into it. And I don’t regret it, even though it was quite close. It could have ended badly if Cornelia didn’t save my ass at the perfect moment. Damn, you were so hot back there.”
“Oh, stop it, you flirt.” Cornelia blushes a little and looks away.
“I’m not mad, but…” Shino continues. “I had a feeling you were involved in that but denied it since I was far away and couldn’t help but feel worried… Anyway. Ummmm. You are Neira-san, yes?”
“And I’m just no one special, really,” Neira replies. “But, after learning about my passion, he made a lot of effort to let me explore it comfortably and even prepared a studio for me. I’m an artist. The paintings you might have seen around were created by me. And well, I kind of slowly started to get attracted to him, not just physically. I’m also really happy Alastair let me get closer to him.”
“Oooohhhh. Did you make that big one too?” Shino asks with enthusiasm.
“Yes, of course. I put a lot of effort into it.”
“I know! The technique you used for the shadows to accentuate Sensei’s muscular body is amazing! And all the private areas look so realistic! Or how Elea’s breasts perfectly rest on sensei’s shoulders! I always struggle with the correct tension in such scenes!”
“Oh? Are you an artist too?” Neira asks; a spark of interest can be seen in her eyes.
“Yes! Although, I don’t have much experience in painting… We had… a different method back at home… But I’m very good with sketches!”
“I can confirm that,” I chime in. “Shino is amazing with dynamic poses. And I have a feeling you two can become great friends. She very much enjoys drawing her characters nude too. Or masturbating.”
“Sensei!” Shino turns to me with a blush and an angry face. “That’s not true! I only drew ecchi!”
“MILF Mondays, Titty Tuesdays, Fingering Fridays and Strap-on Sundays say otherwise.”
“What?!” Shino takes a step back in shock. “How do you know about these?!”
“Does the name FluffConnoisseur69 ring any bells?”
She points her finger at me. “That was you?!”
I chuckle. “One and only.”
“Ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I posted so many embarrassing things there! Wait. No. Did you…”
“Notice that some male characters seemed awfully similar to me while paired with girls of your stature?”
I keep laughing softly while she covers her completely red face, trembling from embarrassment. I crouch down to bring myself lower than her, moving closer to her.
“Come on. We’ve already established that you are a lewd and dirty girl. And I always loved your art too. I have some of it even printed and framed. And I would lie if I said that I didn’t… you know… got quite hot from seeing the quality content you’ve been putting online…”
She peeks through the gap in her fingers at me and I smile. Pulling myself up, I place a small peck on the back of her hand. Shino slowly removes them a moment later and reveals a tiny smile she was hiding behind them. Since she’s still a little too embarrassed, I take it on myself to bring a chaste kiss on her delicate lips. She reciprocates that effort with one from herself.
I stand back up while brushing through her black hair. Neira keeps looking at the two of us with a smile.
“There’s no need to be ashamed of such things. I don’t know how it was back at your home, but here, people love and admire lewd art. I’m looking forward to discussing our trade with you. There are also many people who would be willing to help you get a better idea of how to draw breasts adequately. You should know that personal experience helps a lot. While I’m also not that well-endowed, Elea can be our model and test subject.”
The mentioned elf smiles proudly while bumping her bountiful chest up and down a few times, capturing Shino’s and mine attention. Neira chuckles.
“And Alastair is a great model too. We could draw him together sometime. What do you say?”
“Eh? Like… ummm… naked?”
Shino’s face plunges into the crimson sea again, barely moments after calming down. And her eyes constantly wandering over a certain region of my body surely don’t help in taming her wild thoughts. I can only shake my head with a wry smile.
After she finally gets a grasp on her emotions with a few deep breaths—most likely supported with some technique taught by her family—Shino turns back to normal, as much as it’s possible while still retaining a very faint blush on her fair cheeks. Now, only one person is left and she glances at the mysterious figure sitting on the bed. Her eyes widen after a second.
“Sensei even seduced a real catgirl…”
“Oi. What is that supposed to mean?”
Everyone except for me, Shino and Astrea chuckles. The latter finally moves off the bed with slow and graceful movements. Her tail keeps very calmly waving behind her back as she makes her way to Shino.
Stopping in front of the samurai girl, Astrea starts sniffing all around her, making Shino tense up a bit. She then pulls back, squints her eyes for a brief moment, and then tilts her head.
“How can a Human be in heat?”
Shino instantly grabs the hem of her skirt and covers her panties with it, entering another phase of heavy blushing.
“W-W-W-What could you mean b-by that?” she stammers while giving Astrea an embarrassed glance.
“It seems that it’s your first heat. Then, it’s not that easy to satisfy. Your body wants to mate with Alastair again. I can smell it. Your underwear is slightly damp too.”
After pointing out how much Shino wants to have sex with me again with a completely straight and almost emotionless face, Astrea glances up at me.
“You should mate. She will feel uncomfortable trying to suppress her first heat. I know it from experience. It will only make things worse for the next time and it will be really hard to control.”
“Ermmm… Thank you, Astrea… I’ll be sure to help Shino out later…”
I place my hand on the embarrassed girl’s shoulder, making my little samurai flinch from the contact, still gazing into the floor while hiding both the front and back of her panties from the others.
“Also, I’m sorry we didn’t train yesterday,” I add.
“It’s okay. Taking care of your other mates is more important than training. We can train at any time. I’ll come whenever you call, Alastair.”
She’s such a sweet girl. I give Astrea some ear scratches with my other hand, which she receives with her eyes closed and purring audibly. It actually brings Shino’s attention back from being flustered and she stares in awe at the cute display.
After a short while, Astrea opens her eyes and looks at Shino again.
“I’m Astrea. I stole Alastair’s bread and he tracked me down. He didn’t punish me though. He gave me more food and water. And even a home. And then he became strong. I am attracted to strong males. Alastair accepted me as his mate. You look strong too. You will be a good mate for him.”
“Ummm… Thank you…” Shino replies bashfully, with a soft smile.
“Alright.” I clap my hands lightly to capture everyone’s attention. “I assume that you girls are fine with Shino joining us, right?” They all nod. “Great. And you, Shino? Are you okay being with me and all these other women?”
She also nods, with a visible determination. “Yes, Sensei. I always wanted to. I love you and I’m sure I will get along with others that also feel the same.”
“I’m glad to hear that. I was really nervous, hahaha. I really want to be with you, but I’m certain that I wouldn’t be able to leave any of them if you asked for it. I know that’s selfish. I was ready for rejection.”
Shino shakes her head and steps closer to hug me. “Everyone is selfish to some extent, Sensei. And… if it really is love… it won’t be stopped by such things, right?”
“I guess.” I chuckle.
After we split, a black mist flows from my chest, spooking Shino a little bit. I follow it with my eyes and Ailish materializes behind me, with her arms around my neck.
“I apologize for showing up unannounced and uninvited. Hi there, shortie. I’m Ailish, an Arch Succubus. I wanted to introduce myself too, even though I understand that this is a meeting amongst all of those who have accepted Alastair exclusively. You know, I like him too, and maybe could even live only off his delicious cock milk, but it’s very hard going against your own nature. I won’t act as if I want to become his legitimate wife too, but if you all don’t mind, I would like to be included in this close group. Of course, I will stay away if you girls say so. Or if you’d find it uncomfortable with me acting like your lovers do, Alastair.”
Ailish’s anxiety is quite obvious to me through our bond. Even though she said that she will stay away so casually, she seems to be really worried about not receiving permission to stay.
I look at the others and they exchange glances amongst themselves too, finishing up at Shino. Then, everyone turns to Cornelia, who faces me. She really is like their leader.
“We don’t mind it, Ailish, as long as Alastair doesn’t either. He and Shino would be the only ones you’d have to convince since they came from a different world with different norms. We, who were born in Naharren, understand your nature well, and it’s not something unusual for us or most of the races. I’d go as far as to say that even Humans count too, at least those who aren’t treating every other race or species with hostility.”
Ailish looks at Shino, who nods, and then she rubs her cheek against mine, still hugging me from behind.
“Hmmm… As I said, I’m not really aiming to be recognized as your lover or wife, I understand that it might be too much, at least this early since we’ve barely met each other, but I would like to be included in this close circle as someone whose soul is connected to yours. What do you say?”
I reach to the back and gently rub one of Ailish’s horns, making her release a dreamy sigh into my ear.
“That’s fine with me. I was always the odd one back on Earth anyway, with my beliefs and views, so I don’t really care about you being this way. To me, it isn’t really cheating or being unfaithful when both sides know about it. And also, that’s pretty much like eating for you, right? You would feel sick after sticking to the same meal again and again, no matter how good it is, no? If you ever develop stronger feelings for me, we’ll talk about it openly. But even then, I don’t think I would mind. It would still kind of stroke my ego to know it’s me you would act all lovey-dovey with while treating all others like food or passing fun.”
She kisses my cheek and hums happily. “You are a godsend, really. I promise to be a good girl. Well then, let me begin by saying one thing. I can feel demonic energy inside Shino. It’s currently very faint, but I have a feeling like it’s in slumber. Some Demons can get into something similar like a Beastkin heat so it’s possible that’s the thing affecting her.”
“Ah. I have a skill called Demonification. It allows me to change into one of two available forms. For example, like this.”
Shino closes her eyes for a moment and we watch her body transform. Her skin turns almost completely black, just a little bit from it. Two horns sprout from the sides of her head and they rise straight up with a truly sinister shape. After opening her eyes, we notice that her pupils turned vertical, her irises glow in purple, and her whites are dark grey.
“This one I call Dark Mode,” she says after finishing. “There’s also Light Mode where I look like an Oni with white hair and silvery skin. They both give me different abilities.”
“You look stunning,” I comment on the unexpected change.
Shino giggles adorably. “Thanks…”
Ailish walks around her while nodding. “Yeah. This could be it. Such an amazing ability. You could pose as a Demon without an issue. Your actual body might be impacted by these transformations.”
We admire Shino’s new form for a few minutes—she even lets me caress her horns and we confirm that she feels really nice having them stroked—and then she reverts back. Cornelia walks closer to us with a smile.
“Alright then. I believe we are done here. There’s nothing urgent for you to take care of, Al, so why don’t you take Shino for a little date today? You guys spent a lot of time apart and surely have a lot to talk about.”
I glance down at my cute samurai. “Is what she says. Want to go out?”
Shino nods with an adorable smile. Everyone else besides the two of us leaves after receiving a soft peck from me and we get ready too. Shino is in her charming miko-battle outfit which I really adore, and I choose to pick up my adventuring gear to not stand out too much.
We move out together and I take the initiative to hold Shino’s hand. She shyly complies and walks by my side with a happy smile. The two of us did go out to various events together, but I guess this is our first proper date, with the both of us admitting it.
Since we’ve eaten breakfast not that long ago, we decide to just stroll through the city and visit some of the sightseeing spots and tourist locations. I’m happy to just sit down with Shino by a huge and beautiful fountain and chat about random things.
She lets me know more about her family and how she was brought up, also mentioning the prospect of getting wed to some heir of another notable clan. Even though it feels a little bad, Shino is glad that we ended up here together as it allowed her to escape that future without her having to show disrespect towards her family.
I comfort her as much as I can. Even if she says this, it’s still tough to get dragged away without even being able to say anything to her parents. Even I was feeling down about just disappearing without leaving a word to my grandparents. Hopefully, they will make use of the things that I’ve left them.
But, it’s not certain that we can’t go back. I’m sure Lumina would be willing to do something if we manage to prevent the Calamity from destroying this world. The question if we would like to return without being able to go back to Naharren is a different one, and more important to me. I've grown fond of at least a few people here.
While we discuss various things, I also share what I’ve learned from the Goddess with Shino. She gets touched by the story of this world and its inhabitants. Maybe not to the level of selflessly rushing ahead to do anything she can right here right now, but she certainly sympathizes with them.
She suggests that we go to the castle and meet up with others and the King. I’m not really against the idea of a small reunion but I would rather not stay for long around Kamil. He’s quite annoying and pretty much nothing else.
I agree with her and we continue our little date, for now, aiming to visit the others a bit later. And to let Ross know about it, I raise my arms into the air as if I’m stretching while making a few inconspicuous signs with my hands. Then, I ask Shino to follow me into an alley and we wait. If we are lucky, someone might have been keeping an eye on me as usual.
A middle-aged man enters our alley and brings out a cigarette, starting to light it up. He moves closer and leans onto the wall next to us, nodding at me. I notice a familiar crest on his cigarette and pass on my message, leaving shortly after. Shino jokes that it feels like we are in a spy movie and I have to agree.
We continue our fun time. It’s now mostly me filling her in on everything that happened after we split up at the castle. Shino eagerly listens to my tales; some boring, some unusual, some quite unbelievable. She also chimes in with her experiences from time to time.
Then, a familiar voice calls to me in the middle of the street.
We both turn around and notice a girl with short black hair jogging our way. She soon reaches us with a wide smile.
“Elise. Fancy meeting you here.”
“I know. I’ve been really lucky since our last conversation! Anyway, this is great. I was just going to the mansion to let you know that I’m done with everything. May I move in today?”
“Naturally. Feel free to go there whenever. The girls will give you a hand if you need help with anything. I’m currently a little bit busy to do it myself. Apologies.”
She notices our joined hands and gasps. “Oh! I’m sorry! I don’t remember seeing you back at the mansion though. Are you also one of Alastair's wives?”
Shino glances to the side while blushing slightly. I can feel a faint squeeze around my hand.
“Well… Something like that,” I answer in her stead.
“Alright! I won’t interrupt your date anymore! Have fun and see you back at home! I’m looking forward to working with you, Al!”
She starts jogging back the way she came from, waving at us for some time. I check on my timid samurai and she smiles at me before pulling on my arm to peck my lips like the sweet little thing she is.
We decide to wrap it up after a short romantic dessert in one of my favourite cafes. Shino seems to think the same after we eat our respective pieces of cheesecake. They truly have the best one in the capital here.
Filled to the brim with sweetness, we head towards the castle with a happy step. The guards recognize us instantly and let us through without an issue. Even though we know the directions, a maid guides us to a meeting room where Ross and others seem to have gathered after my notice.
Shortly before we enter through the fancy double door, I glance at Shino.
“Should I take my hand back now?”
She looks at our fingers still interlocked and then up at me while pondering for a moment.
“It’s okay. Pretty much everyone knows I like you a lot, Sensei. And I don’t care what Kamil-san says. Can I sit down near you?”
“Of course. You can even take my lap if you feel bold enough,” I answer with a smile.
A tinge of rosiness adorns her cheeks, telling me that it would be a little bit too much for Shino at the current moment, in front of the whole group of her friends and past classmates.
Ready for anything, we enter the chamber. Everyone turns to look at us immediately. Ross smiles at me and waves to encourage us to come closer. I can already see Kamil’s grimace after seeing me. The rest doesn’t seem to have any special reactions.
Well, maybe besides Natalie. She’s clearly staring at Shino with a very faint smile. Looking at the samurai girl by my side, I can see her smiling too, half-proud and half-embarrassed, slightly hiding behind me.
“Come! Come! Don’t just stand there in the open! It’s rare to get all of you together like that! Let’s make good use of this opportunity!” Ross keeps inviting us and we oblige.
Since Natalie is sitting alone on a couch while the other three take up another one, we walk up to her to sit down by her side, with Shino taking the spot between me and the blond-haired bard. They sneakily hit a low-five as we sit down. Is that how girls feel when they see guys congratulating each other on finally getting laid? Weird feeling. But not that bad, at least from the guy’s perspective.
“So… How are you guys doing recently?” I throw an open question into the air, not really directed at anyone.
“I think you’ve heard about our expeditions already, Mr Carter,” Natalie is surprisingly the first one to answer.
“Yes, I did. The King was kind enough to keep me updated on your movements. And please, we’ve talked about this already. Just call me Alastair or Al.”
Natalie nods a little hesitantly.
“Look who is getting all buddy-buddy with his students. If I remember correctly, you had this idiotic rule not to hit on girls under eighteen, and yet here we are. Looks like a little over a year in a different world truly brought your inner creep out. But who can blame you with that Class of yours, hahaha.”
And here it is. I can’t say I missed this voice and its very irritating tone. Well, at least he isn’t completely wrong like he usually is. Besides the fact that I’m not hitting on Natalie, but that’s a detail. I think her eighteenth birthday comes in a few months or something. Anyway, she seems as displeased with this oaf as I am, rolling her eyes at him.
“What can I say? People change, adjust and adapt to the new environment. You can’t stay stuck in the past. It’s not too relevant and helpful anymore.” I decide to just go with the flow instead of confronting him for now.
“Nice excuses. As expected. So, how is our Mister Sexmancer faring so far? Did you already sell yourself to a brothel or something, to make yourself useful? How many bitches have you seduced with your power and then nailed? Because there’s no way even a single girl would sleep with such a freak out of her own volition, hahaha.”
Damn. Is he actually smart and just acts like a total moron? His guess isn’t that far, hah. Who am I kidding? Even a blind squirrel can stumble on a nut once in a while. Well, at least it’s more amusing than irritating right now.
“Honestly, I have no idea. I’ve lost count after my first sixsome.”
“Pffffffffffffffft, cough, cough, cough!”
Marcia suddenly does a powerful spit-take, releasing the contents of her mouth straight at Kamil, turning her head to the side to avoid splattering the King with the tea she has been drinking as she is sitting the closest to him. Okay. Maybe it was worth coming here.
She stares at me with wide eyes while Kamil shouts some expletives as he wipes his face and hair. Paul glances at me with a raised eyebrow while the duo by my side giggles very quietly. Ross has an awkward smile, clearly not sure what to say or do.
“Anyway, my sex life aside, I know about you guys, but I’m sure most of you heard nothing about me, so I feel obliged to fill you in. Kamil is not that far off. I’ve opened a brothel on the border of mercantile and noble districts. Quite a fancy one. We employ only non-humans as service workers. It’s kind of a theme, I guess. Feel free to pay us a visit if you want. With this card, you’ll get a nice discount for the first time. I’d love it if you maybe waited a little bit though, Natalie. Yeah, I’m still kind of sticking to that rule.” I turn to the actress beauty while throwing our business cards onto the table.
She shows a warm smile. “Thank you, Mr Ca—Alastair. But, I’m not sure if I would be interested anyway.”
“Ah. If you are wondering, then no, we do not employ men, but there are many other ways we make sure our female clientele leaves fully satisfied.”
“Like what? Yourself?” Marcia asks with a cheeky grin.
“Check the card. You’ll understand.”
She quickly grabs the piece of cardboard and scans it with her eyes. They open wide after she reaches the back.
“YOU EVEN HAVE TOYS THERE?! OH MY GOD! I MISS THEM SO MUCH!” Marcia shouts, standing up at the same time.
I chuckle at her. The others also pick up the cards and examine them, perhaps not completely believing in what they’ve been hearing in the last few minutes. Only Shino is not that surprised since we’ve talked about it and she even visited one of the Pleasure Chambers with me.
“As I said, feel free to come whenever we are open. Even if I’m not around. I’m quite busy with various things recently, but all of the girls there are very competent and helpful. Just don’t stir any trouble. They can kick your ass many times over. Got it?” I stare at a certain blond-haired dude specifically.
“Pfft, yeah, for sure they can. I can already see it,” Kamil scoffs.
“Listen. I have nothing against you having some fun there, but the moment you break the rules or overstep your boundaries, you better be ready to lose your life if you are planning on putting up a fight. There are many Tier 3 girls there. Some even at Tier 4. And they do not lack combat experience.”
An awkward silence falls on the chamber, for whatever reason. I look all over their faces and even Shino seems to be… a little ashamed.
Oh. Right. She did say that she and Natalie were growing the fastest out of them and Shino advanced to Tier 3 literally last night with me. I guess I touched a sore spot. But hey, tiering-up supposedly shouldn’t be as easy as I have it, so it’s understandable.
I clear my throat and turn to Ross. “Since we are all gathered here, I may as well share what I’ve learned about the Calamity with everyone, instead of having the King pass it on to you guys.”
“You? What could you have gathered in that sex den of yours, ha? Rumours from some horny miners?” Kamil sneers at me, slowly regaining his usual attitude.
“All I can say is that my source is trustworthy. Anyhow, it looks like we are facing a god.”
“What?” Ross furrows his brows. “Why would she summon you then? That’s illogical.”
“No, no, no. I didn’t mean Lumi—cough, Goddess Lumina. She’s truly a guardian of this realm. But, it wasn’t like that from the start. Naharren was under the rule of her evil sister, who tortured its inhabitants. Lumina locked her in a different realm since she couldn’t bring herself to kill her sister and then began watching over the world actively. And it looks like the seal is weakening or the other goddess found a way to intrude into this dimension. Abyssals are the monsters she is creating to wipe out all that’s living, kind of in revenge, you could say.”
And again, silence falls on the chamber, for a different reason this time.
“Are you… sure?” Ross asks.
“I would say you can’t get a more reliable source no matter how hard you look.”
“Then… what now?”
“All I’ve been told so far was to keep growing stronger and at some point, the way to deal with her will be revealed. She isn’t that close to invading this realm, but her forces will definitely keep leaking into it for years to come if nothing changes.”
Ross sighs while rubbing his forehead. “I guess there’s nothing else we can do but let you guys roam around the world while having you deal with any outbreaks you can reach…”
“No… We’ll have to leave again…” Shino drops her gaze down with a sad expression.
I quickly wrap my arm around her and rub her side. “You don’t need to travel very far. We can now speak freely so I’ll be there to meet you whenever I can, alright? Maybe even outside of the capital.”
She smiles faintly and nods. Kamil’s laugh catches our attention.
“Hahaha! You’ve really fallen for a pimp, Shino! Seriously! Why are you so much into that trash! Your tastes always were weird as fuck, but to have a thing for a whoremonger? Are you not right in the head?”
I can see Shino preparing herself to fight him back, but I squeeze her arm to stop her and smile reassuringly. After Kamil finishes, I move my gaze to him and my expression turns cold.
“I’ve never cared about what you think or say about me, and I still don’t, but there’s one thing I have to ask of you. Do not bring Shino or the others into this. This is going to be your one and only warning. As you have said it yourself, I did change. If you don’t want to see how much exactly, you better not do or say anything stupid.”
It seems that some of my aura has leaked out because Ross gives me a little anxious look and the others seem to be staring at me too. Well, everyone except one person. Why am I not surprised that he noticed nothing?
“Pffft! Or what? Are you going to fight me? With that useless Class?”
“No.” I wave my hand dismissively. “I’d rather not kill you by accident while not knowing how much I need to hold back.”
Shino and Natalie snicker a little and even Marcia smirks. Kamil stands up and points his finger at me.
“You fucker! Come at me then! Have you already forgotten who is the real Hero here, you pussy? Duel me if you have balls!”
I shake my head and sigh. I knew it would end up like that but I just couldn’t stop myself from speaking up. But, you reap what you sow.
“Alright. Let’s take it to the training grounds.”
The King reluctantly agrees and we move out. While walking to our destination, I glance at Shino, expecting her to give me a worried look, but she just smiles at me softly. Well, I guess she wouldn’t be that worried after seeing my stats and hearing about my experiences. I really will have to hold back a lot, won’t I?
We arrive at one of the open-air arenas and the knights practising here move aside as per the King’s request. Looks like we’ll have a small audience for our awkward show. And it seems that some of them recognize me, whispering between themselves while inconspicuously pointing their fingers at me. I did train here a few times when coming to visit Ross.
Kamil gets geared up in his amazing armour and brings out his impressive sword and shield. You do have to appreciate the beauty and functionality of these artifacts, even if the wearer is an ass. But what should I use myself?
As I’m wondering, Shino shows up at my side.
“Sensei. Good luck.”
She gingerly pulls on my sleeve and pecks my cheek. I smile at her and give her a few pats. This actually gives me an idea.
“Thank you. I’ll make sure to show you something interesting.”
She looks at me with a confused expression before I send her back. Kamil doesn’t seem too happy with our little exchange. Somehow, it makes me feel good. Am I a bad person?
Nevertheless, I navigate through my menus and check a few things. Nodding to myself, I bring out my draconic hilt.
“Hahaha! Are you going to fight me with an imaginary sword?”
While Kamil is ridiculing me, I focus my mind on sending the hilt instructions on a weapon we haven’t formed yet. Without any issues, pinkish mist starts shaping a very long and curved blade. In a flash, I have a mesmerizing nodachi in my hands, sometimes called a daikatana. Basically, a greatsword version of a katana.
I slowly bring it to the level of my shoulder and point the tip towards Kamil. While holding the hilt close to my body, I lower my posture. A cute gasp from somewhere behind me confirms that Shino has realized what I’m trying to do. A small smile appears on my lips.