“What?!” Carol and Renne exclaimed at once.
Gullivan’s expression darkened, “Zalena, if you’re planning on getting Soar to take on that labyrinth with you like you had with me, I swear to the Great Mother—”
“No, no, no, it’s nothing like that,” Zalena interrupted while waving her hand, “I’d like to help him reach his full potential as a Magician and a Hunter, that’s all. Just think about it for a moment. Soar just made a contract with his Earth and Light Fairy recently, yes? Now, think about everyone you know in this town, and tell me if they have a chance in topping me in magic in either of those elements, let alone magic in general. I’d love to meet them and see what they’ve got, altogether. Gully, I don’t think I need to mention how things will turn out if we faced off like we did back in the old days.”
Renne knew Soar’s parents couldn’t make an argument against the Hunter even if they tried. Everyone in the building knew who was the strongest Magician in Lunargrove right then, and she was sitting across from them with a knowing smirk.
Even putting Gullivan and myself together, even though this is my first time meeting Zalena, I can already tell we’re more likely to lose, Renne admitted.
“Now, there are schools of higher education that can teach Soar properly—I imagine he’s more than qualified to attend the Magician’s Academy right now, if he wanted to—but you don’t want to send him off while he’s still so young, do you?” Zalena asked, “While I do respect the love and care you have for your son, you have to face facts. With the way he is now, even if you taught him everything you know about Earth Magic, Gully, it won’t be long until there’s no one around these parts fit enough to teach him and help him improve. With me, however, a Magician and an S rank Hunter, who comes from a line of elves who breathe Light Magic and was able to teach you Earth Magic, Soar would gain the experience needed in all those areas, and maybe then some, to go far in life. And the best part? He can still stay at home and live with you.”
“And what would you gain from all this?” Gullivan asked, “I am grateful to you for helping Soar with the exam today, but obviously, something happened in the dungeon that has you interested in him. You wouldn’t go out of your way like this to give Soar such an opportunity for no reason. What will you ask of us? What are your motives?”
“Well, you are right that receiving lessons in magic and training as a Hunter from an S rank in said field wouldn’t come cheap,” Zalena rested a finger to her chin and looked up in thought, “Especially with the curriculum I have in the works for Soar that involves taking on quests. He would take these quests while the dark elf and bunny girl are in class and I’d make sure Soar is back in time to tutor them afterwards. I would take part of the reward after completing the quests, of course, but that wouldn’t cover nearly a fraction of the price I’d charge for my services. They aren’t cheap, but … I’m willing to settle with you providing me room and board. If you don’t wish for me to join you in meals, I’m fine with eating in my room or someplace else, but this is really the best way for me to teach him while he stays in Lunargrove.
“As for what my motives are …” Zalena then shrugged, “When it all comes down to it, I guess I’m just really bored and wish to change things up in my life a little. I believe taking Soar in as my newest apprentice is just the thing I need to give my recently boring life that dash of spice. That’s whether or not he’s able to achieve my first solution of summoning an angel. And, of course, I’ll keep an eye on anything strange between him and Sarise, too. Ah, yes, speak of the devil—no pun intended—I have yet to hear your thoughts on the arrangement, Sarise. Would you be willing to cooperate with me and an angel, or some other familiar from Zaleese if it meant you could stay here with Soar?”
Sarise was looking at Zalena with such great awe over the course of her negotiation, it took her a moment to respond, “O-Oh! Well, yes, that may depend on the familiar themselves, but you seem very capable in looking after my master if you really are as powerful as I sensed. I am willing to do almost anything if it means I am allowed to stay with my master.”
“Wonderful! Then, it all comes down to you two,” Zalena turned her attention back to Gullivan and Carol, who were more uncertain of things now than before.
“Erm … we’re going to need some time to discuss and think over this ourselves, this is all coming so fast so late at night,” Gullivan said.
“Of course! I understand completely,” Zalena said while standing, “Besides, I am sure there are some other matters you need to discuss with your wife alone, Gully, something that can’t seem to wait until you two are in your room?”
Gullivan cleared his throat as he pulled Carol in closer by the waist, slipping his hand under her apron at the same time, making his wife blush beet red. “You could say that, yes,” Gullivan answered.
“I’ll give you the rest of tonight and tomorrow to think about it,” Zalena continued, “Just take your sweet time alone and talk this out amongst yourselves. Sarise, Renne, and I will take our bath now and spend the night in one of the guest rooms. You can give us your answer later. You good with that, Sarise? Renne?”
“Yes, Lady Zalena.”
Renne then turned to the parents, “Is that okay with you two?”
“Yes, and we’d like to hear your opinion on the matter sometime soon, too, Renne,” Carol answered.
Renne, Sarise, and Zalena left the study and walked together to the bathing area, but not before the nosy elf placed her long, pointy ear against the door and heard the happily married couple giggling as they were getting busy. Zalena smirked for reasons Renne couldn’t quite guess for the life of her.
“Zalena, I admit I don't know much of your background aside from the rumors I heard,” Renne started, “Personal history aside, with your talent and experience, I think taking in Soar as your apprentice would be a wonderful opportunity for him to grow. It will be beneficial for him to stay in Lunargrove and tutor Fila and Onelri too. I have been giving him private magic lessons for some time, and it pains me to say there’s nothing left for me to teach him. Whatever Gullivan and Carol will decide, know that I’m willing to entrust Soar’s further education into your care, Zalena.”
“Thank you, Renne,” Zalena said with a smile, “I know it may not seem like it, but I’m also interested to see how much Soar will grow, and him being Gully’s son gives me all the more reason to look after him.”
Hm, that’s surprising. Does Zalena really care for Gullivan and Carol despite the air she was putting on? Renne wondered, before turning her attention to Sarise, “And Sarise, despite what reputation demons have around these parts, I can sense how much you really care for Soar. His parents may be conflicted right now, but I’m confident things will work out fine.”
“If that is coming from you, Lady Renne, then my hope has grown.”
Renne approached the door to the bathing area and opened it. “I’m glad. Today’s been a long day for you all, right? So, let’s relax and take a nice, long … soak?” she trailed off after turning her attention inside at the shocking sight before her. Zalena and Sarise also stared in surprise.
Inside the bathing area were two people, one a young boy with sky blue hair and only a towel around his waist, the other a large, curvy adult woman with a halo in the process of self-repair above her red hair, wearing nothing at all. The broken halo woman was sitting there with the majority of her large body glistening with soapy water, while the boy washed her lush backside with his bare hands. Both stared at the three of them in equally frozen shock for a moment.
“... H-Hey, guys! Look who I summoned from Zaleese!” Soar said with excitement before sporting a big grin.
How did he get an angel so quickly? Renne wondered, amazed. Outside of the fox-kin teacher’s awareness, Zalena was smirking behind her, entertained at the scene, while the life in Sarise’s eyes was fading to nothing.
There was a deathly silence after I tried to fake my enthusiasm introducing Melody. It felt like it’d stretch on throughout the rest of the night, and the tension was affecting my shoulders. I opened my mouth to try and break the silence again when the door clicked shut, stopping me.
“Well! This is certainly a pleasant surprise, isn’t it?! Quite the lucky break we have here, too!” Zalena exclaimed, quite a bit louder than what I was comfortable with, enough for me to silently cast Silencing Winds again to cover the entire bathing area so no other noise would get out. The subtle breeze passing over my bare skin was enough to tell that the spell was active.
“… Huh?” I uttered after I finished casting my spell, only just then catching up to Zalena’s pace.
Zalena then turned to Melody, “He’s telling the truth, right? You are an angel he just summoned from Zaleese?”
“Y-Yes! Th-That’s right!” Flustered, Melody quickly and carefully stood up and straightened herself at attention before bowing deeply, “M-My name is Melody, and I am an angel! I’ll be working as Soar—as Master Soar Osmis’ Zaleesian familiar from now on! It’s a pleasure to meet you!”
Zalena clapped her hands in delight, “How divine! Soar, you have to fill us in on what happened while you bathe with us!”
“Um, sure, I guess I could—wait, what?”
“Come on, Renne, Sarise, we don’t have all night!” Zalena urged as she started undressing, at which I immediately turned my gaze away.
“Wait, what?! We’re bathing with Soar in the room?!” Ms. Renne exclaimed.
“It shouldn’t be that big of a deal, right? He may be one of your students, but he’s still just a kid. Aren’t you curious to know how he summoned Melody so fast?” Zalena asked.
Ms. Renne stuttered, “I-I mean, I am, but he’s a growing boy! I can’t—aak! Z-Zalena! Not my top!”
“It’s fine, it’s fine. The other girls already had their chance and the parents will be busy, so we can take our time. Sarise, you’d like to bathe with Soar, too, would you?” Zalena asked.
“... Forgive me, but I am not feeling well right now. I will be stepping outside for a while, please excuse me,” Sarise said before she turned, ready to rush out of the bath.
Everything moved in slow motion, and in that moment, I caught a glimpse of her face in a pained expression, her eyes brimming with tears. I didn’t know what was going on and had no idea what happened during their meeting, but watching Sarise turning to leave in that moment, I had a bad feeling that I may never see her again if I let her leave. Whether or not I was the reason why she looked so hurt in that moment, I couldn’t let her disappear on me. I had to stop her, I went through too much with Melody just so Sarise could stay in this world with me, and I wouldn’t let my devil run from me like my angel almost did.
“Sarise! Wait!” I exclaimed, getting up and subconsciously casting ‘Dark Gate’ between my feet and the floor for me to fall through. I dropped out next to the door that led to the way out, just a couple feet away from Sarise. Standing firm with my arms spread wide, I hardened my resolve and furrowed my brow.
I hadn’t anticipated how fast Sarise would try to leave the bathing area, because before I finished speaking and she had a chance to respond, my devil walked right into me, mashing me into her large breasts face first before knocking me down. The shock surprised her enough to yelp and mess up her footing so that she fell forward and landed right on top of me. At that moment, both of us were barely wearing anything. I was pinned down by Sarise’s voluptuous body, deaf and dumb due to my face being trapped in her cleavage. Most of my body, in fact, was smothered by the weight of pure, sexy, womanly flesh.
For a brief moment, I thought I wouldn’t mind dying my second death like this.
“Master! Are you all right?!” Sarise exclaimed in panic, getting up on all fours, and freeing my head from her glorious canyon. Admittedly, I was disappointed to be free so soon.
When my vision adjusted, I felt like prey that was about to be devoured by a predator from how Sarise hovered over me. Having her barely bra covered tits dangling above me, just within an inch over my face, I thought I really had died again, and was now staring into the dark depths between her cleavage that could swallow me whole into the underworld. That was probably just me still delirious from the lack of oxygen moments ago, though … even if that wasn’t as long as my time being trapped in Melody’s breasts. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.
“Uh … I think I’m fine now,” I answered after taking a moment to process what just happened.
Sarise sighed, “What a relief. Please forgive me for falling on you, Master, and I apologize for the rush, but I really should be—”
Not letting her finish, I reached up, dug my hands under the cups of her leather bikini-like top and, grabbing a hold of her breasts, pulled them up to set her red tits with darker red nipples dangling free. Sarise stiffened up from the shock of getting aggressively stripped.
“Don’t make a sound,” I ordered quietly but firmly, before pinching her nipples.
I then inserted fire mana into the channels in Sarise’s tits with Mystical Hands, rapidly coursing it through the entirety of her breasts, just like I did during Melody’s massage. Somehow, despite the suddenness, she was able to follow my order and kept her mouth clamped shut. Only an internal squeal sounded as her body stiffened from the burst of intense heat in her chest. I honestly had no idea what I was doing teasing Sarise like this, but my subconscious seemed to think this was the best way to deal with her. This sudden authoritarian side of me that appeared felt similar to my reaction when Melody tried to make excuses to go back to Zaleese.
Having snared Sarise’s full attention, I switched from pinching her nipples to taking a breast in one of my hands and kneading it while still twirling the fire mana inside both of her red globes to tease her. My other arm supported me as I moved up to her ear.
“Now, you will get up and say you changed your mind and will bathe with us. You will pretend I didn’t play with your luscious breasts, let me wash your back, and we will have a telepathic talk about why you tried to run away from me. This is an order from me, as your master, and you are not allowed to reject it. Do I make myself clear, Sarise?” I whispered.
“C-Crystal … Master,” she panted.
Despite being on all fours, her limbs were wobbling as if she was about to collapse, and shaky, hot breaths sighed down my neck and shoulders, excitement clear in it. Having received her answer, I released my magical grip on her breasts, ending all the mana manipulation but leaving the fire mana where it was, which left Sarise buzzed and yet slightly disappointed, judging by her expression.
“Good, now pull me back up, please,” I ordered.
Sarise used her devil strength to hold me by the waist and gently pulled me back up to standing. She even took a moment to brush off whatever dirt was on me and fixed the towel around my waist—that I was amazed it hadn’t come undone during that time—before she got up herself. It was as if I had a glimpse of Sarise in 100% servant mode, making sure I was prim and proper, even when I was in nothing but a towel, before she fixed herself. Having her large, exposed red breasts jiggling in front of me as she worked was an admittedly nice touch.
“Are you okay, Soar?” Ms. Renne asked.
The Fox-kin had been held back by Zalena with an arm in front of her. I wasn’t sure why Zalena held my teacher back, but I was thankful for her interference, since it gave me enough time to ‘convince’ my devil to stay. Sarise turned around to face them with me at her side.
“I’m fine. I sort of hit the floor pretty hard, but I fixed myself with healing magic,” I answered, acting casual.
Granted, after all the training I went through, I had turned into a pretty durable kid. I actually didn’t even need to use healing magic, but I told Ms. Renne differently to pretend I was still somewhat normal.
I then turned to my devil familiar, “Now, will you be joining us, Sarise?”
She cleared her throat awkwardly, “Yes, well … since I troubled Master like this, I simply have to oblige.”
<How was that? Was that satisfactory?> Sarise asked me through telepathy.
<Nicely done,> I praised while giving her a pat on the ass, outside of Ms. Renne’s and Zalena’s view. There was a satisfying ripple across Sarise’s derriere, which sent obvious tingles along her spine and tail from the contact.
“Wonderful!” Zalena exclaimed in delight, “And I’m sure you two have a lot to talk about with Melody, so we’ll leave you three alone for a bit. Just come to the bath when you’re ready. Come along, Renne.”
“W-What the?! Hey! I don’t need to be lifted and stripped down with magic! I can do it myself!” Ms. Renne exclaimed as Zalena used her levitation magic to do just that.
The light elf helped herself to two of the available clean towels for both of them. I remembered my manners and averted my gaze while those two stripped down to the nude before moving to a secluded area of the washing station. Once Sarise had undressed herself with a snap of her fingers, I picked up a towel for her and we went to the washing station closest to Melody before sitting my devil down.
With Water Magic, I gave Melody’s soap sud-covered ass a quick rinse. <Melody, your butt is clean enough, so I’m going to wash and talk to Sarise for a bit,> I told Melody through telepathy.
<O-Oh! Okay! Don’t mind me!>