Rain sucked in air through his teeth and picked at the wound the Inquisitor had given him, a shallow slice that ran from his shoulder down to his elbow. It oozed blood.
“Who was that leveler?”
“An Inquisitor. I’ve heard of her. She’s new to the local dungeon town…. Dangerous… Inquisitors are known to hold grudges, so she will probably try and come for me again.”
“Hrmm. Too bad that Minotaur stumbled upon us. Stupid noisy Goblin slave.”
“They saw what we did to the Piscine and they knew about me so they needed to die. The Minotaur was bad luck though, or maybe good luck, we did need to separate them. Did the Goblin slave get away?”
“Yes,” said Opal, looking annoyed. “I had to get out of sight quickly and I accidentally dropped the chain. They could be anywhere in these tunnels by now.”
Rain shrugged but then got to his feet. Having eaten the Minotaur he now towered over Opal at an intimidating seven foot tall, the top of her head only coming up to around the bottom of his rib cage. The Minotaur had been unlucky. Unaware Rain was there he had crouched down to talk to the Goblin slave, the perfect opportunity for Rain to put his nearly unstoppable bite to use. The back of the Minotaur’s neck had lasted only a moment under his jaws.
“...I had better eat the Kobold slaves if I’m going to speed recovering this wound.”
“Well we have the Halfling and this too you know,” said Opal waving the severed arm of the Inquisitor and letting the hand and fingers flop around.
Rain blinked down at it. The arm, or rather, hand and half a forearm, was encased in black metal armour decorated with gold. The segmented fingers of the gauntlet were incredibly intricate and beautifully crafted to provide maximum flexibility and protection.
He snorted. “Yeah, it’s important to finish a meal I guess. See if you can get it out of the shell.”
Opal dropped herself down on the ground to sit cross-legged and began poking around and fiddling with the armour. Meanwhile, Rain picked up the longsword the Inquisitor had dropped in the sand. The blade was still glowing a faint blue but was rapidly dimming as the spells on it faded away. The sword was exquisite, just like the armour, with a heavy ruby in the pommel and a wyrm curling around the grip, its wings outstretched to form the cross-guard.
He nibbled on his lip. Something was bothering him. This was some awfully ornate looking gear even for an Inquisitor. It appeared to be more the sort of thing a noble would carry. He recalled the black horns on the Inquisitor’s head, a sign of her being some kind of half-breed. He knew little of her when he was human, she had only arrived at the town of Lynthia recently, not enough time for rumours to filter down to the castoffs of society.
He considered that the Inquisitor could come after him a lot harder than he might expect.
Well, she can come if she wants. I just need to get bigger and stronger faster than she can keep up with. Speaking of which.
He turned and dove on the Halfling tracker the Opal had conveniently already stripped. It didn't take long to make his way through the diminutive body and soon there was nothing left but a bloody smear in the sand.
Rain groaned as he felt himself get a little taller. A respectable seven-foot and a little bit of an inch. He was increasingly finding he had to eat more and more to gain height, each gained inch of height requiring more and more body mass he assumed.
“Halfling is pretty good, but I’ve got to deduct points for not being a full portion despite having the tastiness boost of being a leveler,” he said, scratching his jaw.
“AHA!” said Opal as a clicking sound signified she had figured out the trick to opening the ornate armour. She peeled off the gauntlet revealing the pale hand beneath and then tugged it free from the vambrace, with difficulty as it was still partially trapped under the crushed metal.
She cheekily stuck her tongue out. “Here you go wolfy I’ve got a treat for you.” She tossed the arm upward and Rain snapped it from the air on instinct. He froze.
Opal blinked at him. “Uh, you okay?”
Rain’s jaws slowly began moving and his eyes rolled up. “Soooo guud,” he moaned. “What even is this.” His ears folded down and his tail wagged of its own accord. His taste buds ignited as the lush sensation spread, he actually had difficulty moving his jaw just from the sheer overwhelming flavour.
“It’s like the most savoury yet richest meat I’ve ever eaten. Dear gods it’s melting in my mouth!”
“Are you messing with me?”
“No! It’s something about the meat.” He closed his eyes as the last of it slipped down his gullet. “Rank one food, no, I might need to make a new special rank for this. Oh, it’s good for growth too!” said Rain, rolling his shoulders as his body grew a little once more.
Opal tilted her head to the side. “Now you’ve made me regret giving it to you instead of keeping it for myself. Why was it special? You’ve eaten levelers before.”
He shook his head as though to clear his overwhelmed senses. “It’s that Inquisitor, she wasn’t entirely Human, I know whatever made up her other part- it was special, just tasting that mere fraction of it- gods I want to eat whatever species that is.”
Rain considered just what the Inquisitor could partly be. Most obvious was Drake or Wyverling which would be fitting for the sword, perhaps even a rare breed of Minotaur or Goatrian would cause those horns, or maybe, maybe even a Drag- but no, that couldn’t possibly be... could it?
“Hrmm. Well too late to chase her down now and that other Human that ran off screaming has vanished, so I guess you’ll have to make do.”
Rain sighed and felt a little depressed to his surprise. Just the thought of not getting more immediately was almost too much to bear.
“Fine, if I can't have quality then I'll just have to settle for quantity. Where can I find lots and lots of monsters to eat Opal? I want, no, I need to eat and become stronger.”
“Well, the Piscine seem to have abandoned this floor. Disappearing one of their armies would do that. Uhm, I do know of somewhere we could try, not far, lots of food, but it might be very dangerous.”
“Alright, let's see if we can scout it out.”
He handed over the longsword to the Goblin who attached it to the top of her pack. She now had three swords, a cutlass and a rapier, one at each hip, plus the new longsword.
They left the darkened tunnel and found themselves by the two remaining Kobold slaves that Opal had chained up. The two Kobolds looked up at Rain with fear, backing away nervously. That fear was not without reason.
“I, I helped you with your trap! You’ve got to let me live! Look, eat this guy, he’s way tastier than I am, just look how fat and obese his tail is!” said the red-scaled Kobold.
The fat-tailed Kobold screamed in outrage at this and attacked the red-scaled Kobold clawing at his face before a massive paw came down on his shoulder and pulled him back into Rain’s jaws swiftly ending his life. He ate him from top to bottom entirely, fat tail included. He checked his injury and noted it was gradually starting to heal.
“Listen, I can help! Just let me live, please!” said the remaining Kobold.
“Sorry scaley, big and hungry over here already has me,” said Opal, picking under her nails with her knife.
Rain paused and glared at the Kobold. “How?”
“H-how?” stammered the Kobold. “Uhm, uh, I can c-carry stuff!”
Rain snorted, then laughed aloud.
Opal gave Rain a scathing look.
“He has a point and your pack is getting kind of full,” said Rain giving her a pointed look in return. “Besides, it makes it harder for you to do important stuff lugging that around.”
“Grr. Okay fine. Don’t make me regret this you scaley bastard.”
She dumped her rucksack and removed the longsword which she strung across her back. Then she grabbed the chains that the other two slaves had been wearing and formed an extra long chain with which to use on the newly promoted pack Kobold.
“I won’t disappoint you! You can count on me to provide top tier stuff carrying services!” said the suddenly hysterically happy Kobold.
“If you try to run away I will eat you while you’re still alive so you can watch it happening,” growled Rain.
The Kobold let out a little high pitched squeak and hurried to hide behind Opal.
The group set off into the cave system with Opal leading the way. Soon they left the area that the Piscine liked to inhabit and were moving into a more green and plant-filled cave biome. Grass began to carpet the tunnel floors and vines were strung across the walls and overhead. It wasn’t long before they came across an exceptionally lush and beautiful cavern. White crystals embedded in the ceiling cast the room in picturesque natural light.
What halted Rain in his tracks though was the crystal clear and shining pool of water in the middle of the cavern.
“Oh. We’re stopping here.”
“Wait, what, why?!” cried Opal.
Opal looked over herself. Filthy and splattered in blood. Then she looked at Rain. Absolutely drenched in blood.
“But we’re both perfectly clean! we don't need nasty water on us!”
Rain’s brow rose at that. “You know it's not surprising Goblins have a bad reputation.”
“I’m not going in! No way!”
Rain picked her up and held her over his head kicking and screaming.
He marched down to the lake and dropped down the Kobold’s chain then kicked a boulder over it to keep it in place.
“Stop! Let me down! Kobold slave, I demand you stop him!”
The Kobold looked up at the Goblin as though she had just told him that monsters and levelers could all live in harmony, in other words, bonkers crazy talk.
“Uh. I’m moving this up the chain of command, that would be your call your wolfliness, pleasedon'teatme!” said the Kobold as he ducked behind the boulder.
“NUUUU!!” cried Opal as Rain took a running leap and cannonballed into the lake with a Kersploosh!
The Goblin spluttered to the surface and spat water.
“Why do you do this! This is the worst!”
“Because it’s good to be clean,” he said as he grabbed her and dunked her below the surface. He held her down as he tore all her clothes off before letting her swim back to the surface.
“You’re so mean about it too!” she pouted, her cheeks colouring.
Rain simply grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her away from the massive discoloured patch of water they had created. He then began rubbing her down with his paw pads, scrubbing her skin clean through dint of effort. He didn't even pretend shame and squeezed and pawed at her chest before moving on to the next part. Even her privates did not escape this treatment and the goblin made her gasps quite verbal. At last he came to her hair and ran his claws through her black locks over and over as she sat in his lap until it was as clean as he could manage.
The Goblin looked over her spotlessly clean body and scowled.
Rain lazed in the water and casually ran his paws over this own fur. He gave her the side eye.
“You’re going to need to get used to it. I intend to bathe you at every single opportunity possible.”
“GRAAH!” said the Goblin slamming her fists in the water. She turned on Rain.
“Fine. But this isn't going to be one sided.”
She leapt on the wolf and began furiously rubbing his chest fur. Rain simply continued cleaning his arms and pretended not to notice. Her hands worked their way down his torso and abs until they were touching up to his oversized sheath, it had grown enormously since last time she had been with him, enough that she couldn't even get her hands around it. A lewd leer crossed her face as she began to fondle and rub at him, her breath coming in pants as her cheeks reddened. A huge paw came down and enclosed her hands however.
“We’re about to attack some very dangerous monsters. Remember what happened last time? after the mushrooms? You couldn't walk straight for a full night and then you got kidnapped by slavers when your legs turned to jelly at the worst possible moment.”
The Goblin made a strangled scream and slammed her small fists down on his thighs before flouncing away.
Rain sighed and relaxed back into his bathing routine.
Half an hour later he emerged from the lake and shook himself dry, his glossy clean black fur gleaming in the cavern light. He had the Kobold go and fetch Opal’s clothing from the water and then he hung the clothing over a bush to dry. A little later he found Opal sulking and throwing pebbles in the lake. She looked up at him as though expecting a talk. Instead, he picked her up and put her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and marched back to her clothing while she swore up a storm. When she refused to put on clothes he began dressing her himself. He held her arms up In the air in one paw and carefully wrapped her chest with the other. Then lifted her off the ground and put her legs in the holes of her shorts before ramming them up causing her to yelp.
The Goblin looked like she was about to explode and her face was blushing bright red. Rain gravelled a laugh.
“You wanted me to do that didn’t you.”
Opal opened her mouth to angrily retort, paused, closed it, and bit her lip. She turned away as she reached new never before known heights of blushing.
The group set off and Opal, trying to avoid looking Rain in the eye, led the way.