We retired to a smaller room to the side.
We were led to a round table with four seats. The Little Goddess' hands shook nervously as she poured us tea.
Meanwhile Mother was looking the blue-haired Goddess up and down with a critical eye.
Having long since recovered from a state similar to Dolly's pudding-form she now exuded the aura of a true Milf Queen with all the firm, imperial bearing that came with it.
"An Undine, huh. Not bad, your kind are fairly uncommon and you also agree with his bloodline perfectly. I suppose you're pretty enough as well. But you're much too small in that area. If you want to have any hope of being my son's concubine you need hips at least as "thick" as mine, as Damien would say. Really, how do you expect to birth healthy Dragonlings with such a thin body?"
She frowned in disapproval.
The poor girl was frozen solid in fright. "My apologies...I'll work harder...yes...sorry...."
"First, it's thicc." I corrected. "Second, I'm not taking anyone in as a concubine!" I snapped.
"Nonsense, love. Of course you will."
"What happened to the marriage approval from earlier?!"
The woman laughed lightly. "Please, son. Marriage is an entirely different matter. It's about happiness and mutual affection. I see that now. But the Dragon race comes first. We still need you to repopulate our numbers, after all. You're free to marry whoever you wish, I'll give you that because I care about your happiness. I can't, however, budge on you performing your duties as our race's Prince."
"About the repopulation thing, I heard you sent letters to some realm? The hell is that?"
"Multiple realms." She smiled gently, pinching my cheek. "And yes. I sent them the day you left. I was so angry and sad I couldn't help myself." She stuck out her tongue cutely. "Oh but I chose only those which house the strongest, rare and pure of bloodlines to make things easier. Many have already sent in notice of their acceptance so you'll have your work cut out for you in the future. Don't worry, I'll give you another year or two for your body to further mature before you begin."
"Why would you do something like that to begin with?!" I glared.
This isn't a laughing matter!
"I was planning to bring the girls over and have them pester you. I knew it'd drive you crazy." She grinned wildly. "Once women of certain realms have their eye on a male they don't give up till they get what they want."
An army of Yesminas!
I wanted to hit her. Wanting to turn veritable bloodhounds onto her own son like this...What kinda sadistic woman does that...?
"You're vicious." I said.
"Thank you." Another smile.
"Actually even if I went with this whole crazy idea what were you planning to do with the girls?"
"What do you mean?" She seemed surprised at the question, as if she'd never thought of it before.
"Well where would you put 'em?"
"Ah. That. No matter. They'd be sent back if anything, we only care about the children they would produce. They'd be well compensated. Or, if you like, we can send them to one of our personal realms for you to keep. I don't mind you making more. We live long lives and so do most races. There would be plenty of time for you to fully restore our stock of Dragons. Its a novel idea, isn't it? You'd basically be the progenitor of the entire next generation of Dragons. You'd likey even create new Dragon species never before seen. Quite exciting. Of course only those with the water attributes could be considered part of the Okeanos family officially, but only as a branch. We still have to keep the bloodline pure, you understand."
Father shifted uneasily at that. He'd been quiet up till now and this was the first time he expressed discontent. I was thankful since at least someone recognized Mother's insanity.
"You're basically calling them breeding horses." I deadpanned. "You realize that's fucking crazy."
"Like I said, they can be sent home."
"Still, you're planning to use them as mere babymakers!"
"Yeah." She admitted easily. "And?" An innocent blink of the eye. "If you don't want them why do we have to take care of them? Don't tell me you really want to take them in? I didn't think you were so magnanimous, son." The tone was a touch mocking.
I snorted. "I'm not, we both know that's unrealistic. But I'm not taking a child from their mother. So, yeah, fuck that plan."
"Fine." Mother folded her arms confidently. "I told you, we live long lives. If you feel so strongly about it then let's make a deal. Instead of a few hundred all at once, give me thirty."
I was confused. "Thirty what?"
"Kids." A shocking reply. "Only provide us with thirty children every ten years and after a few hundred years you won't have to make any more."
That's ten batches of thirty, basically 300 kids at least. Depending on how many hundreds of years she meant by "a few".
I was already quietly freaking out about the "long living" thing she talked about. I can't wrap my head around having so many children on top of that.
It just didn't sit well with me.
"Son, that just won't do. I know it's a lot of responsibility, or so it seems. But we'll take care of everything. You won't have to watch after them on your own, silly goose. Our clans will all pitch in and raise the children together."
"I am not gonna have strangers taking care of any kids of mine. No deal."
I saw an eyebrow twitch. "Son. I'm warning you now. Don't push me on this. I love you and your sister to death but this isn't a matter I'll leave alone. Either come to a compromise here and now, or--"
"Or what?" I challenged. This was starting to piss me off. "Here I am thinking we were getting along and you're still talking about all this unreasonable bullshit." I shook my head in disgust. "I was joking about the disowning thing. Now? Maybe that's not a bad idea after all."
"Do as you wish on that front." Mother's voice became almost imperceptibly hoarse. Almost. "But you'll give us what we want. One way or another."
And that was it. I was thoroughly sick of seeing her again.
"I don't negotiate with terrorists." Was all I said. "Go back. We're done here."
"Son--" Father started. I cut him off.
"So NOW you wanna speak up?"
His lips were set at a firm angle. There was steel in his eyes. "Yes." He stood. "Let's take a walk."
We left the others in a heavy atmosphere. I followed Father as he asked but I was silent the whole time. I only spoke once to let Cass know to find the others and round them up. I felt I still had a few things to talk to the Goddess--Undine, whatever--about once Mother and Father left.
The hustle and bustle of the city was ignored by us both as we wandered. I thought he was gonna stay quiet for good, but just as the thought came to mind he opened his mouth once more.
"Damien." He said. "Your Mother's stubborn and prideful."
"Is that supposed to come as a surprise to me?"
"No. I'm telling you what you already know. But now I'm going to tell you what you don't." He stopped. Turned, and gave me a hard stare. "When I met your mother she was a woman who would kill as casually as breathing. She was arrogant and careless, a true tyrant. Lives meant nothing to her. Son, they still don't. You mother isn't a good person. Don't think she is, because she's not."
Woah there. "Is that something a guy who married her is supposed to say?"
"It's not, but then again it doesn't matter. I like her anyway. See, son, I'm strong enough to usually keep her from killing for every little displeasure. You may not know, but I'm not entirely human either. My bloodline is...special." He hesitated. "Only because of that could I be with your mother. Not because she'd only accept someone strong, but because if I wasn't so powerful I'd never be able to stand by her side for the simply fact I wouldn't be able to stop her from doing things that make my stomach turn. Even if she let me be with her, I couldn't. Not if she kept up the atrocities she'd committed when I first found her. Which, were I a weaker man, she would and for no other reason than she could." He spoke grimly.
" I love her in spite of all she's done, but only because she doesn't anymore."
Their relationship sounded complicated.
He loved Mother, but wouldn't be able to stand her continuing to be a massive cunt to everyone.
He can only be with her because she stopped, and she only stopped because he was strong enough to MAKE her stop. If not for that she'd still be pulling the kinds of stuff he'd be sickened over.
Their's wasn't a relationship that would ever work out if Father wasn't so powerful.
"I'm saying all this to you so that you understand her. Damien, your mother is capable of anything. She behaves because of me, yes. Though when it comes to the best interest of her race as a whole even I wouldn't be able to sway her. Her family is especially hard to deal with."
"The Water Dragons." He clarified. " The Okeanos Family specifically. There's several types of Dragons in existence, Damien, but only the Water Dragons are considered "evil"."
"Oi. I ain't evil."
"I saw the decapitations." He said dryly. "They were scum but I don't see any other fourteen-year-olds leading a band of zealous cultists to go and kill OTHER bands of zealous cultists. Do you?"
"I see your point. You were saying?"
"I was saying that they're covetous. Obsessive. And, frankly, unhinged in ways no one could ever fully understand. You, hell I don't even wanna get into how many levels of weird and sadistic you've got going on. What you did to that chief is really a work of art the likes of which only a twisted mind could've come up with."
"Anyway. Don't underestimate the lengths she'd go to, son. She calmed down for my sake and because I'm able to keep her in line...if barely. This matter, however, is one where even I won't be able to stop her from pursuing. Besides that you're making her feel like you're drifting away and, soncon that she is, that'll make her even more volatile. Just be ready for anything."
Mother, a soncon? Aren't they supposed to keep girls away from their sons, then? I don't get her thought processes. Maybe it's a "My son deserves all the girls!" Kind of thing? Ugh. Dunno.
He paused. "There's something else too."
There's more? Haaa...
"Remember the thing she said about keeping the bloodline pure?"
"...Damien, Dragon's don't have problems with birth defects. At least not the Okeanos Family from what I know."
Weird change of topic, but whatever.
He peered down steadily. Finally he turned away and sighed. "Look, don't think too much about it. It doesn't really matter anymore. But keep it in mind. That fact, it means Dragons don't have the same common sense as humans." He warned. " Both your mother and your mother's grandfather married outside the Dragon race. It wouldn't be allowed a third time under normal circumstances."
That sounded pretty damn shady. "What's that supposed to mean?"
He scratched his head in frustration."Nothing, it's nothing. Just thank the Gods you're different from the other male Dragons." He added, " And that you've got a cousin." He muttered.
Some dark theory formed at the back of my mind when I heard his words. But I forced it down and asked, "Quick question then. Would Mother kill any of the people I like?"
"Totally. She would play with them first, but yeah."
"Alright." I decided.
I smiled. And for the first time it was one I let display it's full innate ability for bone-chilling coldness. "If she tries doing that I'll just take her precious Dragon race and make sure they go extinct."
Extinction of an endangered species? Please, I was a human in my past life, we did that better than anyone.
Waiter! One Dragonslayer Spear to go, please!
Father blinked at me. "You realize most are already adults and that each one has the power to level an entire mountain range, right?"
"So? If Arifureta taught me anything about Dragons it's to always aim for the ass. And Big D will make a damn good pile driver."
Pro strat 1 : Sneak up, touch the bum and done.
But how will we sneak up on a Dragon, you ask?
Waiter! One cardboard box as well, please!
Oh yes, boys and girls. Good ol' cardboard box. The pinnacle of modern stealth tools. Boss would be proud.
Besides, aren't I a Dragon too? Bet I could even just Thu'um those lizards to death. Really need to try that out one of these days now that I think about it...
The man burst out laughing. "Ha!" He chuckled throatily. "Yeah, that makes a lot of sense!" He grinned. "You know, the ass is your mother's weakness t--"
I Flying Falcon Kicked him across the street.
"TMI. Gentlemen never tell."
Well, well, well.
Charlotte, looks like your services might be needed in the future after all. Gonna have to get that girl a certain Greatbow later on. Hopefully she don't use it on me too...
I left Father to savor the taste of dirt and went on my merry way.
Author: dont worry about the mother-son pair. When all is said and done they're good. Bit crazy. But loving. Bit crazy tho. Yes i know I said it twice.