78 – New Goals…?
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“Do you have diamonds?” I asked with the utmost seriousness I could manage.

He nodded, “I do.”

I smiled. “How big are they?”

He arched an eyebrow. “They're plaques with our Kingdom's founding history, records of every coronation, and every Monarch's personal achievements.”

I covered my face and let out a groan, “Do you have, like... records of who has big diamonds?”

“How big do you need them to be?” he asked with a chuckle.

“Thirty cubic centimeters would be ideal,” I replied with hope, leaning on the desk. “If not, thirty long and ten wide the smallest.”

“That's too big,” he shook his head. “Even the small option is bigger than anything out there.”

“Okay,” I sighed in defeat. “How about a diamond mine in a nearby country?”

He shook his head again. “Diamond isn't the main reason to open a mine anymore, and those that were are long depleted. There is, however, a large tregadite vein in the Human country of Wawr Goch to the far south, near the desert. They opened the ground recently.”

“What does trega-whatever have to do with diamond?” I inquired.

He chuckled. “Diamond forms underneath tregadite so you would have to wait until they extract it.”

I frowned. “But isn't diamond super useful to cut stone and industrial work like that?”

The King nodded. “In very small pieces, yes. The size you're looking for, though? Not so much. There is also a Halve-imposed limit on how many mines a country can run at once to prevent environmental damage. It's a very strict business. And since diamond is so... low-value, it's not a good idea to focus on it. That's one of the reasons the nearby mine was abandoned instead of asking a Halve to clear it for us.”

I let out a long sigh, “I see.”

He tilted his head. “Do you dislike spiders that much?”

I nodded with disgust. “Very much.”

He nodded in understanding. “You have options at least. You would need to clear the way into the dungeon to reach the mine, or wait until Humans deplete theirs.”

I hummed. “How long until they deplete it?”

“Two to three centuries,” he tentatively answered.

“Holy shit!” I blurted out. “I can't wait that long, my dude.”

“Hmm,” he looked me in the eye and chuckled. “Not much I can do there, I'm afraid.”

“Nah,” I shook my head. “You gave me a lot of information. Thank you, Gordon.”

“I'm glad to be of help,” he replied with a smile. “Is there anything else I can help you with?”

I looked at my hands, trying to remember anything that a King could help me with. “Ah,” I uttered as something came up on my mind, looking up at the man. “Do you perhaps know where Yulianna could be?”

He shook his head. “I'm afraid not. All I know is that she went to Makah.”

“I see,” I nodded and sighed. “Well, thank you for your time.” I extended a hand for him to shake.

He took it and gave me a firm handshake. “Any time, Natasha.” He gave a nod and a smile.

I returned the smile and stood up, then walked towards the door.

“Ah! Natasha,” the King called me.

I turned round and raised my eyebrows. “Yeah?”

“When someone asks you a favor, see past the words and look at what exactly they are asking you to do,” he warned me. “And what it means to give them aid. In this instance, you extended my rule.”

“And prevented a family from losing their father,” I added with a smile.

He looked down at the table and blinked a few times. “Indeed,” he muttered. “And I can't thank you enough.”

I giggled. “Then don't,” I retorted in a light tone and turned to the door. “Thank you for the tip, Gordon.”

“Any time, Natasha,” he replied in a quiet voice. “I mean it.”

I nodded and left the office into the empty corridor.

A low buzz caught my attention from the right, just next to the door. It was similar to high tension cables in the distance.

I looked both ways and stood perfectly still while holding my breath, trying to ascertain the origin of the sound.

Two sets of quiet breathing came from next to the door.

I retrieved the sunglasses and put them on, then looked in the general direction the sounds came from.

A couple of armored individuals were crouching next to the door.

One was looking at me and the other was looking forward.

Creepy, I thought and appraised them.

[Shishi Tigea, Lvl 292 Royal Guard – Shadow's Gaze]

[Urkila Tigea, Lvl 299 Royal Guard – Dusk Blade]

The one looking at me slowly turned their head away.

I shrugged and walked away towards the entrance hall of the palace. They were doing their job so it was none of my business.

A staff person opened the door for me on the way out.

Once outside I mounted Sonya and we quickly left. The mention of spiders made me feel dirty so I went back to the apartment.

***

There, I knocked on the door and Bonte opened up.

I walked in and appraised him.

[Bonte Slirmy – Bonded Companion – Shishi Tigea, Lvl 298 Shadow Chaser]

“You don't have a key?” he asked, gesturing at the door with his head.

“Nope,” I replied with a shake of my head. “How was the training?”

“Hell,” he groaned, frowning deeply.

I raised my eyebrows in doubt. “Can't be that bad, right?”

The catboy smiled and shrugged. “Not really, but I hadn't exercised that intensely in a few decades.”

“Was it fun?” I asked while I walked to the living room.

“Yeah,” he replied with a nod, walking into the kitchen area. “I'm making something to eat. Do you want anything?”

I shook my head and approached the door to my room. “No, thank you for asking.”

He nodded and focused on the things on the kitchen counter.

I opened the door and found Yolin taking a nap on the bed. A smile spread on my face and I crossed the room towards the bathroom door. There, for the following hour, I took a long and much needed shower to cleanse myself of the disturbing feeling of the mention of spiders.

Just as I turned the shower off, someone knocked on the door.

“Come in,” I replied and started drying my hair with a towel.

The door opened and Pokora walked in with an extremely pained face.

“What's up?” I gave her a nod.

She stopped dead in her track and gave my body a look from top to bottom, stopping at my groin. Her eyes opened like saucers and she covered her mouth. “Holy shit!” she exclaimed in shock with a blush.

I looked down and noticed little Natasha was waving the world, then wrapped my waist with the towel while blushing. I let out a sigh and shook my head. “What got you so worked up?”

“That's huge!” she hissed in amazement, gesturing at my hips.

My cheeks burned and I cleared my throat. “I meant why did you come in with a face that says you were stabbed?” I pointed out.

She winced and approached the toilet. “Ah, that. The curry is fighting back with ruthless abandon, and the other bathrooms are occupied. I'm so, so sorry for intruding,” she groaned.

“Ah,” I uttered and walked to the door. “Then I'll leave you to it.”

“Thank you,” she muttered and sat on the bowl. “And I'm super sorry!”

I left the bathroom and closed the door, then covered my face in embarrassment... and a little excitement. Fuck! I hissed in my mind with a big smile. I didn't expect a cheeky bathroom encounter like that!

Saying Pokora is unattractive would be a fat lie. Still, I tried not to look at her with those kind of eyes.

The way her dull silver eyes scanned my body made my tummy tickle in a nice way.

No! Stop! I told myself. That's was an accident, and I won't start seeing her like that just because of it! I tried convincing myself.

A sigh escaped me and I ran my hands over my head, then noticed I was still wet from the shower. With a shake of my head I finished drying myself.

Yolin was still napping on the bed with her limbs spread in ways that should be uncomfortable.

Once dry, I put some clothes on and left the room.

Lapia was sitting in the living room, squinting at the low table in front of her as if it held the answers to immortality and it would spill them if she stared long enough.

I walked to her and picked her up.

She let out a surprised yelp and hugged my neck.

I sat down on the sofa and placed her on my lap. “How did it go?”

She smiled and gave me a soft kiss. “Pretty good, I'd say,” she replied with joy.

“Really?” I nodded. “What did you buy?”

She smirked. “It's not what I bought that was good, but the progress I made.”

I tilted my head. “And what would that be?”

She hummed. “What do you think about Pokh'Orra joining us?”

“Well, she's a good Archer and she has experience in the army, whatever that means,” I replied with a shrug.

“Not that,” she giggled with a big smile. “I mean into our relationship. Her blank face is super cute and she blushes easily, which is also cute. I was thinking of that today when we went to the market so I flirted with her. She was super fun to tease!” she let out an excited chuckle. “What do you think? Would you be okay with her joining? I'll ask Alyssa and Yolin later.”

“Would she be interested in the first place?” I argued, brushing Lapia's hair. “I think that goes before asking us.”

She arched an eyebrow. “Natasha... have you seen the way she looks at you?”

“Yes,” I sighed, leaning my head back and looking at the ceiling. “I have. I'm not a hundred percent sure if it's that kind of interest, though.”

“Hmm,” she thought for a second. “Well, that's basis for approach. If she's not interested then that's that,” she added with a shrug. “It's not that complicated.”

“True,” I nodded and looked at the Elf's lips.

She licked them and closed on me, giving me a cheeky kiss while whispering into my mouth, “Besides... we Elves have our last growth phase when our cycle arrives.”

“Oh?” I licked her lips and nibbled on them. “So you're considered and adult after the first cycle?”

Lapia bit my lower lip and pulled back a little, stretching it. “No,” she whispered and covered my lips with a juicy kiss for a few seconds. “We're considered adults by the law when we turn twenty years old,” her voice echoed in my head.

I wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her close, then explored her mouth with my tongue while caressing her thighs with my other hand.

The Elf put her left hand on my right breast almost immediately and ran her right hand on my stomach, feeling my abs.

The feeling of her plump lips, warm tongue, and the nibbles she sometimes gave me turned my brain into mush pretty quickly. In return, I licked her gums and palate with my entire tongue then entwined with hers.

The door to my room opened and I glanced at it.

Pokora walked out and noticed us. Her eyebrows went up and she smiled. “Enjoying yourselves?” she tried teasing us.

Lapia separated with a smirk and turned to her. “Wanna join?” she taunted.

Holy shit... I laughed in my mind.

The Archer blushed up to her ears and looked at me for help.

I summoned all my willpower to not burst out in laughter and gave her a wink while licking my lips. “You know how good a time it would be,” I joined the taunting.

“Ha, ha,” the woman rolled her eyes. “Is it 'make fun of Pokora' day?” she chuckled and walked away into her room.

Lapia turned to me with a victorious smile. “Now we planted the seed,” she muttered.

I chuckled and continued making out with her.

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