Van looked sadly at Kassandra. Wishing it would end here and they could part to gather their thoughts. But sadly, there was still one more question he had to ask. “Kassandra… what were the Nilfan afraid of.”
That seemed to make her freeze, her face going pale.
“I have some memories… faded, not making much sense, but all of them had a desire to live… to live as long as possible. Which I can somewhat understand, but it almost seemed oddly desperate for a bunch of people who were nowhere near old age. Even memories of seeing you, studying and experimenting with potions, and other things to figure out a method of longevity. Why?” Van asked pointedly.
Kassandra’s chest seemed to heave in and out, almost as if she was going through a mini panic attack.
“And it wasn’t just the memories, you even alluded to it in passing several times. I want to know. Need to know. What were the Nilfan afraid of…” Van asked once more.
Kassandra looked like she shrunk inwardly like she saw her own ghost.
“Kassandra… Please…” Van asked one last time.
With a heavy deep breath, Kassandra slowly, forcibly, relaxed herself and tried to gather the courage needed to talk. Finally, after what felt like forever, she did so, in a shaky and unsure voice.
“We… That is to say, the Nilfan. Believed we were the pinnacle of magic and science.” she slowly began. “We believed there was nothing beyond our reach, that even death… that even godhood… was up for the taking… Nothing But Bloody Hubris.” she hissed out angrily that last part, surprising Van.
“Our so-called leaders… we… all…” she paused as she tried to gather the words. “We were not the only ones experimenting with creating artificial focal points. It just was too lucrative to pass up. Focal points were a great way to gather essence, essence that could make you stronger, extend your lifespan, give you powers beyond your wildest dreams. We were, we are always penned in by our need for essence.”
“And focal points didn’t just give us essence. They gave us a method to study the very fabric of reality… how it moves, how it breaks or bends. What does what and why. Just like one would figure out that hot air rises, or aerodynamics, geology! Chemistry!! Physics!!!” an exasperated look soon followed. “Our ‘dear leaders’ thought they could figure out a scientific way to warp reality, bend it to our will. Not impossible or inherently bad mind you, any good scientist would like to know the hows and whys of… well… everything! but they didn’t try for any ‘good reasons’ like scientific discovery…”
“No, what they wanted was power and control… and they got just what they deserved for it… and dragged us all along for the ride as well. Those FUCKERS.”
Van raised a brow at that.
Kassandra sighed, seemingly a little relieved at getting that off her chest, and started talking more professionally. “Those asshats poked something awake that shouldn’t have been. And it was mighty hungry after its long nap. But our ‘dear leaders’.” she kept saying dear leaders sarcastically. “Instead we're able to bargain with the creature, or whatever it was…”
“I have no idea what the deal was.” she admitted “All I know was it went wrong and our souls were now forfeit. When we die, it will go straight to who knows what. And no one wanted that…”
“So everyone went crazy, trying to look for a cure, a fix, a method to prevent our souls from being sucked away after we die. In a funny twist of fate. Only our slaves and serfs and anyone else that were deemed beneath us were spared the fate. Because whatever deal that our ‘dear leaders’ made, was only for the Nilfan and the Nilfan only. And they didn’t consider slaves, even if they were born here, as true Nilfan.”
“My theory, they were promised some sort of great power or gift, and instead of sharing it with everyone, made sure it went to the ‘right people’ if you get my meaning. Well, jokes on them now isn’t it…” she finished somewhat sarcastically. Her entire speech going through some dramatic and emotional changes. As she tried to explain her absolute fear and absolute anger to all the bullshit she and her people had to go through because of some assholes at the top.
Finally, she exhaled a deep breath she wasn’t even aware she held. “But at least the common folk were okay… and in the end. Those assholes got what's coming to them,” she said, finishing her story, sounding somewhat relieved to finally get it all out. “And that’s what happened. Sorry I couldn’t get into any more details than that.”
“No… thank you… this is much to think about.” Van said appreciatively. With that done, the two were finally able to move on from their conversation. And turn Van did, right into a waiting Lyn with her arms on her hips tapping air with one of her feet with an angry expression on her face.
“Are you done?” she angrily asked. “Because we need to talk.”
Van sighed. “Fine. I have to talk to you anyway.”
“What were you thinking! I told you not to take risks!” Lyn yelled. “Why would you do that!”
“It just was something I had to do okay,” Van replied testily.
Lyn then flew up into Van’s face. “I want to make something clear to you. I get you have faded memories of past lives and whatever that affects you. That you want to be able to stand on your own two feet. Trust me, I get it, I studied it with Ren.”
“Another thing I have to talk to Ren about after this.” Van thought
She then got very close to Van’s face. “But we are expendable. You are not. If you die, we all die. End of story. Do you have any idea how worried me and Anna were!?” she continued angrily.
“News flash Van! In our society women outnumber men. It’s normal that dozens of women would sacrifice themselves just to protect one male! I get you want to feel like a big Alpha or whatever! But let me ask you this. Would you try to act like that if you didn’t have past life memory gunk stuck up in your subconscious?”
Van was getting angry as Lyn continued her barrage, but hesitated at that last bit.
“We live in a society where it’s normal for people to have a bunch of kids, just to send them to their deaths in the hopes they defeat some monster or another that could demolish an entire nation all by themselves. Think why goblin children don’t have any genetic relation with their father? You think it might be because that's just the way they were born? NOPE!”
“You, your father, and other males have a duty to make babies with goblins so that you can send them off to fight monsters, and when the mother dies of old, age, you will probably be fucking their daughters! Their Daughters! Not yours! Theirs! It’s one of the only few good things the goddess did for the goblins.”
Van was starting to go wide-eyed as this conversation continued.
“We live in a fucking world! Where giant titanic monsters roam free! Where eldritch horrors try to break into our reality like a chef trying to break an egg to get at its delicious yoke and suck it dry! A world, a universe! where breaks can happen anywhere, and things from horror or nightmares can kill you and everyone around you in a moment without so much as a courtesy notice! A world where just outside our safe castle walls lies monsters that could turn you into a toothpick with just one bite. People die by the Fucking thousands VAN! everywhere!”
Van was starting to lean a little away from Lyn.
“It's a world where we either have to staunch the never-ending tide of all the crap that's trying to kill us with overwhelming force, or with overwhelming numbers! So that means that you have to pull your weight and realize that, yes, you might not like it, but you are more important than you realize and you have a duty to do!”
“While most men don’t like it. They at least understand why they do it! And take some amount of pride in it!” Lyn then slowed down, panting.
“We… are… expandable. Yes, males might live somewhat like second-class people. Yes, it would be nice if things were more equal. But that doesn’t make males weak. They can do just as much as females can. But it will never change the fact that females have their own duty, a duty to protect males, it's our pride. Just like it's your duty to mate. It doesn’t mean it has to be with people you don’t like, but that's the facts.”
She then leaned in to give Van a small kiss on the nose. “We love you more than you can ever realize. So please… don’t think you have to chase some strange form of… masculinity from another world that you don’t even remember just to prove yourself! You are already the most amazing person we have ever had the fortune to meet.” she said kindly.
“Even if you don’t seem to feel the same way towards me…” she continued on sadly. “I’m part of the harem too, you know. And yet… you never slept with me. But that’s fine… I will wait for as long as it takes for you to finally love me…”
“Just please keep in mind. We are willing to do anything for you… and It scares us to death seeing you risk your life trying to prove yourself. When we already accept you for who you are…” Lyn finally finished, feeling relieved to have gotten that off her chest.
Van was taken aback by everything she said. It had never occurred to him that his actions might not only seem strange in the context of this world. But overly dangerous as well. In a way, He realized that she was right. If it weren’t for some of that past memory gunk, in his subconscious, he would probably be far happier accepting things as they were and doing what was expected of him for the good of all.
he was also a little hurt to think that Lyn thought he didn’t love her like everyone else. And went to set the record straight. Bending forward and speaking gently. “Lyn… of course, I love you. It’s just… there’s a bit of a… size difference between you and me…”
“And you're right… I may have been going about this the wrong way. I promise to take things a little slower and be not just a proper male in my eyes, but in yours and everyone's else's.” Van said.
Lyn nodded happily. “Good. That's all I could ask for!” then changing the subject. “Now what do you mean we have a size issue!? That’s never stopped you from fucking a few goblines when you were working at the lovers guild!” Lyn said, sounding like an angry and emotional wife. Taking Van aback once more.
“Come on Lyn. Let's be serious! The goblins were small, yes, but at least they could somehow accommodate my… size and… girth…” then shuddering as he remembered how a goblin that small could take a guy his size. It was both the most amazing and scariest experience of his life and took some getting used to. Heavens forbid if he had to try that with Lyn!
“Doesn’t matter! I’m a part of this harem. I demand equal treatment!” then sighing. “But if you just don’t love me enough… I suppose I could just… accept my lonely fate…” she then went all pouty and sad, acting like a spurned lover.
Van did his own sigh, feeling it was unfair how Lyn was trying to play with his feelings like this. “Fine… I promise to… mate with you…”
Lyn pumped her arm up and down. “Yess!” she then turned around. “And it has to be sometime soon!”
“Fine, I promise, sometime soon,” Van said, not actually taking it seriously.
“This month!” Lyn added.
“What!? No!” Van replied in shock.
“You promised sometime soon! One month is far longer than soon!” Lyn put her hand on her hips and glared at Van, daring him to contradict her.
Van sighed once more. “Fine… within the month…” he muttered.
“Amie! Write that down!” Lyn yelled, pointing over Van’s shoulder!
Confused, Van turned and nearly jumped out of his skin as a fairy hovering over his right shoulder seemed to appear out of nowhere. But was more likely always there and this was the first time he was noticing her. Making him wonder how in the world he didn’t sense her sneak up on him.
“As you command,” Amie said. Pulling out a clipboard and jotting a few notes down, giving time for Van to take a good look at her.
From what he could tell. She was some sort of wind fairy. With double wings that were a vibrant emerald color. Her dress was a mish-mash of both office secretary and medieval royal adviser. She wore half-rimmed glasses that had the top half cut in half so only the bottom half was available for reading, something he was one hundred percent sure she only wore for the aesthetics. Her hair was a golden blond color that was curled and flowed over her shoulder. Her eyes the same green color of her wings yet they also seemed to change color in the light, sometimes turning into a beautiful blue. Finally, she carried herself like a professional, back straight with a no-nonsense expression.
“Please keep in mind you have a very busy schedule tomorrow.” she began as she flipped over the papers of her clipboard. “Because of your sudden disappearance a few hours ago, we had to reschedule a few appointments that I was able to push off till tomorrow. With your next appointment coming up in one hour,” she said professionally.
Lyn sighed in relief. “Oh thank the gods.” then looked at her secretary. “Where would I be without your Amie,” she said appreciatively.
Amie nodded stoically. “There is also the matter with the queens and your promise?”
Lyn froze at that and smacked her hand to her head. “Of course…”
Van watched the play by play thoroughly confused, before shaking it off. “As much as I would like to watch your back and forth. Before I go. I just have to ask.” he said, turning to Lyn. “What did you mean by holy water?” remembering what Lyn said before they fought Rudrick.
Lyn froze for the second time. Then gave a nervous smile and tapped her fingers together. “Funny you should ask that…”
Van had no idea why. But he already felt like he wasn’t going to like the answer that he was going to hear as his eyes narrowed in suspicion. “Lyn. What did you do…”
“I… might have stolen some of your… sperm… after a few of your sessions with Luna…” she said, a little scared.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! It's just that… I was so desperate to finally have a taste and couldn’t help myself and kept some for later! I’m sorry!” Lyn shouted in panic.
Now Van smacked his hand to his face. “I can’t believe you, and you even made me promise to mate with you later. Seriously?”
“I’m sorry…” Lyn apologized lamely, looking downcast.
Van sighed. Thinking about how it wasn’t her fault the stupid goddess made women a bunch of perverts. “Well… I suppose it’s my fault for not paying enough attention to you or whatever. Just don’t do it again.”
Lyn nodded, shaking her hand up and down hard. “I promise!”
“Now, before I go. Do you have anything else you would like to say to me?” Van asked.
“Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.” Lyn began.
Van eyes narrowed. “Lyyyyyynnn...Spit. It. Out…”
Lyn nervously turned to Amie and back again. “I… Might have… promised the queens… that is to say, the insect-kin queens… you know the ones… the ones that we sent their children by the hundreds to their death when we fought Rudrick who turned out to be an echo of you? Ya… I might have promised them some of your… sperm… when they joined up with me…”
Van looked down at Lyn. his expression. Unreadable. As Lyn in turn tried to give the best, ‘please don’t kill me’ smile of her life.
His mind made up, he stepped forward, grabbed Lyn’s entire body with his hand, took a stance, and flung Lyn as far as he could throw her! Really putting his arm and back into it.
“YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!!!!!” Lyn screamed as she was flung far through the air.
After a few minutes, when Lyn finally reached the end of her flight, she zipped as fast as she could back to Van panting heavily with an excited expression on her face. “Again! Again!”
Van was very tempted to do ‘again’. But instead just wanted to smack himself in the face once more, and resisted that temptation, with difficulty, and instead asked. “Why did you promise my sperm to a bunch of people I don’t know?”
Lyn deflated once more as she remembered Van was still mad at her. “Well… it was a long time ago, back when we were in the forest… and I was fighting for the sovereignty of the big shiny leaf tree. The horrible termite kingdom and the wasp hoard had joined forces to take control over the ‘great dewdrop river’ and ‘star water lake’.”
“With the river and lake under their control, their forces could march unimpeded through the thorn jungle and make use of the wind chime wood caverns. Taking the glow cap forest, and the sleep trees at their pleasure! Giving them far more power than anyone insect queendom should have!”
“This was of course after I fixed the issue between the bees and the zappers. That's a story for another time. Anyway, in order to convince a few of the queens to band together and fight. I had to promise that I would rule effectively as high queen. And one of the many promises I made was a way for the insect-kin queens to get some fresh sperm!”
“Sure! They could reproduce asexually, but not in great numbers or being able to produce great warriors for the fight up ahead, or even able to produce an heir! So I had to promise them that they could risk it because I had a method to get them their sperm and not just any sperm! But sperm from someone who was high class!”
“After much debating, haggling, and negotiation. I was able to forge a united front against the termite kingdom and the wasp hoard, even gaining a temporary alliance with the dragon insects!”
She then went up and whispered into his ear. “They don’t like being called dragonflies. They think being associated with flies is demeaning.” then taking her distance one more continued.
“After A hard-fought war, and losing many lives, we slowly turned the tides of the war! Together, I lead them to victory! And they made me the official queen of the big shiny leaf tree!”
“And that’s what happened!” Lyn said, finishing her story with great pride, puffing out her chest.
Van looked at her completely befuddled, a blank expression on his face. He turned to Amie, who turned to him and simply nodded. Then turn back to Lyn.
“Well… damn…” was all he could say, still trying to wrap his head around everything he just heard. He felt like there was still a lot of context and the story missing. but at least he got the gist of it.