Time To Make Some Magic
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Author: FINALLY DONE! Over 6800 words. Damn, im getting flashbacks to the prologue. Now that was a long one. Anyway a DOlly chapter sometime tomorrow. We're entering the school arc, ladies and gentleman. Oh we're gonna have some fun with this. Enough wanton killing, time to show why Day's got the reputation he does. Who wants to see what happens when you put Day in a room with a bunch of spoiled brats?  
**********

So.

Apparently, prayer gives me a wing stiffy. I finally feel I got the life bombs under control, mostly, and now this.

Complaints about the unfairness of life aside, I’ve decided to call the phenomenon a wingy. Worst part? I could still hear the voices of the true believers ringing in my ears. Annoying! Am I going crazy? I’m going crazy, right? What’s with all these voices, huh?

Look, I can’t heal your aching knees. I can’t cure your terminally ill daughter. I can’t make that cute merchant’s girl like you back.

Everyone please just shut up. What the hell is going on? All the yammering is making my head hurt.

“Lord Solair!”

“Great God!”

“Bless us…!”

“Your Magnificence, I…”

“Please, Your HIighness, I beg you…”

“Master is the most beautiful.”

“Master is the most holy, as expected, how dare I smudge his pristine self with such wicked thoughts! As penance, ten sets of prayers before bed. Nn.”

What? Who said those last things? Evie, Minnie, was that you two? Charlotte was onto something back then, I really am turning into a mind reader. This is bad, gents. I can’t be listening to people’s prayers all the time.

Shit’ll really drive me crazy, and I’m already coo-coo for Coco Puffs

I felt my wings burn. I wanted to bite them to death. They were glowing brighter and brighter as if they had a mind of their own. In all honesty, I was THIS close to calling Milly and hacking these things off.

Pluck off the feathers, mix ‘em in buttermilk for a couple hours with some cajun spices. Fry ‘em up in peanut oil.

Holy crap, the thought was glorious. Can I actually do that? I felt my mouth watering already.

While I was busy contemplating the best way to cook Angel wings the voices in my head grew deafeningly loud. Dammit, can’t ya’ll quiet down? I’m almost at foodgasm right now.

Ah, forget it. You forced my hand.

I wrinkled my nose and did my best to conjure a great ball of water to shut these new zealots up. Can’t be praying if you’re too busy surviving a tidal wave, eh? I didn’t intend to kill ‘em, but something had to be done.

I wasn’t sure if it’d work but I thought it weird if I had to use my hands to summon water so I tried it without. And it worked.

“Hahahahaha...take this!” I laughed evilly and sent the massive ball of water down upon their heads.

It suddenly occurred to me. Uh, with such a large body of water, wouldn’t they, like, really die? All that water falling on them at once, from such a high distance…

I quickly did a few calculations in my head. Based on the amount of water a ball that size would have….let’s see…

….They’d be pancakes, wouldn’t they? And even if not, they’d still have cracked bones--at best--after the water forces them against the buildings.

Alright. Nope. Bad news bears, bad news bears all over.

But it was already falling.

Hahaha...not good. Spread, spread damn you! Break! I watched anxiously as a massive Zepplin-sized body of water hurled towards the ground.

Normally the wind and shit would break it up, yes? People use similar methods to put out forest fires, don’t they? But this damn thing ain’t breaking up at all! It’s literally a giant, round ball of watery death!

“Master, is...is that safe?”

“...” I started to sweat.

“Master?”

I said break, bastard! Come on! I willed it to dissolve. Pop. Why won’t you pop? My good waterball, listen to your maker. Be a good boy and die for me!

Motherfucker!

I couldn’t look. Then it happened.

A sudden wave of light, almost too fast to see. And it broke. The ball of water, large enough to block the moon, was chopped up and reduced to harmless drops of rain.

A few moments later several voices came through.

“My knees, they don’t ache anymore! WIfey, all those positions we couldn’t do before are options again! Benevolent God, you’ve saved my marriage, I’ll think of you always!”

Don’t you dare, asshole!

“Sweetie, your face! It’s so rosy! Ah, your cough, it’s gone! And the rash too! My baby is well again...O Great and kind God, thank you! You saved my precious daughter, we’ll never forget what you’ve done!”

I could cure such illnesses? How potent are these drops? Wait, what’ll happen next time I take a piss, then?

“I’ll fill the whole basket and sell small bottles to the highest bidders. I’ll be rolling in gold, then Esme and that old coot will gladly accept me! Oh, my love, just you wait! Ahahahaha! Great God, my eternal gratitude!”

Oi, aren’t those two just gold diggers?! Aim higher, bro! Respect yourself a little.

“Fuck, my eyes! Shitty God!”

But not all were thankful.

Somehow a few drips became frozen, turning to hail.

Indeed, those that were hit cursed my na--

“Eh? W-What? I haven’t been able to see out of this eye for ages! Dear Heavens, it...it’s healed! Amazing! Still hurts though…Cunt.”

“Hm?! Young Master’s waters...ah, how refreshing. Although his sweat would be better.” A very familiar-sounding voice came through that sounded a touch disappointed.

Vera, that’s you. That’s definitely you, right? What the heck, you’re an olfactorphiliac too? I thought you were just a masochist.

Hold on.

I suddenly remembered something.

What happened to that messed up, sweaty shirt she took? Vera? My shirt, what did you do with my shirt?!

I shivered.

But ignoring that a moment, the light. I’d recognize it anywhere. And for the first time, I’m glad to see it.

I scanned all the rooftops but found nothing. However, I’m sure it was Kane. I dunno where he is, but damn, that was a great save!

“Master, that was amazing! You helped so many people, I can hear the cheers from all the way up here!”

Minerva was smiling brighter than the sun.

As for Evie, she was also staring at me. But there was something quiet and disturbing about her look that was worrying.

Now that I think of it, Dolly also gave me the same feeling multiple times recently.

“Master’s goodwill is a splendid thing to behold.” She whispered softly.

My mouth twitched. Look at these two! I had a whole damn thing planned. Now they’re here looking at me with faces of blind believers and it’s annoying! I was supposed to be “humanizing” myself to them.

This was supposed to be a step forward, not back!

I nearly popped a blood vessel. That dang Vera, what kinda game is she playin’ here? Sabotaging this big bro’s date before it began, how despicable! What is this, huh? Jealousy? Just cause she’s too young for my tastes, she’s thinkin’, “If I can’t, no one can!”?

Well. That’s totally fucking cute, now isn’t it? I don’t like the methods, but this at least shows SOME drive. It’s good she fights for what she wants. Can’t be mad at that. It ain’t gonna work on me since she’s, like, all but family. But still!

This is like Wyrm-chan and the Prince.

You go girl.

But I can’t accept you ruining my date, so although I can’t use the Devil’s Left on a little masochist like you, rest assured I’ve got other ways of dealing with bad apples…

No, no, calm down. Vera’s a good girl, after all, deep down. The best girl. What’s more, she seems like the self-sacrificing type. Now, why would that kinda character be sabotaging dates? Don’t make a lick of sense, I tell you h’what.

Hmmmm….

Maybe...Maybe she didn’t mean to sabotage?

Ah.

Okay.

So she was tryna be a wing woman then. We had the same goal! That’s, like, kinda pissin’ me off.

She can’t just help me get with another girl. Stupid chick. If this was an anime, I’d wanna smack her.

Why’s she tryna NTR herself? That’s basically what she’s doing, ain’t it? The gIrl’s tastes are heavy indeed!

And the guilt, it hurts. I can’t enjoy a date if I got Vee over my shoulder trying to help out. She’s got feelings for me. I can’t let her cuck herself like that, it’s too painful to watch.

What happened to Jake? Don’t tell me that guy can’t woo one little girl? What a useless waste of my time, dammit.

Vera’s way better than that fiance of his, he should be courting the hell out of her right now. Not helping her play matchmaker. That's my job.

Not that I’ve ever met the fiance personally, but I believe no matter how good she is she still can’t compete with our house’s Vee.

...Oh shut it. So what if he’s engaged? Don’t mean shit. I got a sixth sense for these things, he and Vee would make a WAY better couple.

I thought that even if she did somehow see me leave she’d just get a little sad. And then Jake, ever the good white knight with a savior complex, would comfort her.

Sparks fly and boom. Instant couple.

‘Course that was just one of the outcomes I imagined. The plan was originally for them to fall in love slowly.

I didn’t expect the girl to drag him along on some weird plan of her’s.

Even if you saw someone you liked sneak out with someone else, you’d mope, right? You wouldn’t follow and try helping them get together. That’s insane.

WHY DOES SHE HAVE TO BE SO DAMN GOOD?!

Not to mention it blew up in both our faces. Her plan failed, my date ended prematurely. And now Min’s way deeper into the cultist mindset. Oh and let’s not forget that I nearly killed dozens of people. Though maybe they shouldn’t be yapping so loud. So they deserved it?

Except for the kid with whatever illness she had. I’d feel bad for her. Though the argument CAN be made she’d have a better next life.

Hell, I was a NEET and even I became a Noble. Karma my ass, right?

I looked at Minnie.

A sigh slipped past my nostrils. Man, my date lasted all of five minutes. I’m starting to think i should switch targets.

Maybe MInnie’s a lost cause as a waifu.

....No! Stopthat, me! You can’t just give up so easily. Let’s keep at it. Whether it was this one or my last one, my mama didn’t raise no quitter.

But the date IS ruined. Mood is just gone.

Fuck it, let’s go back and join the feast. I’m gonna drink my weight in liquor and then we’ll have ourselves a proper hunt.

***
Three weeks later.

The Cracked Plains region of the Dry Lands. 

Legends say this was once an ocean but now there was little except the sad remains of those who traveled the unforgiving land unprepared.

“You’re going to tell me everything I want to know.”

All around me were buildings lit with fire. The bodies of dead Aeil clogged the nostrils with the unique odor of burning hair and cooking flesh.

I’d attacked their mounts first to make sure that none escaped. It was my standard strategy. We moved either at night or with the rising sun at our back. My special concoction from a misspent youth was the next step. They threw up uncontrollably and died honorlessly when the arrows took their knees, and later, our blades their heads.

It was a necessary maneuver. Some Aeil were especially tough in body and arrows didn’t quite cut it either due to their agility or skin. So we subdued them in a way they couldn’t fight, by noxious gasses.

And if they somehow got past that their rides would be long dead, trapping them. None would escape the slaughter.

Of course I kept some alive, for a while. Had to gather intel, yeah? And that’s exactly what I was doing now.

The man stood in the destruction of his camp. Watching me with a bone-deep hatred and disdain.

He spat in my face, “I’ll die first.” A sneer.

And this was my favorite part. The resistance. The defiance.

It made me all kinds of warm and fuzzy. I smiled. It wasn’t nice. “No.” I replied. “You won’t. You’ll live. You’ll live a long, long time. And beg for death every second of it.”

The man before me was middle-aged. He bore the normal characteristics of an Aeil with lavender locks and golden skin. He killed five of my men by the time I got to him. Some of the camp occupants were inside a cave their base was built around, a similar but smaller structure to my own base of operations. They escaped the initial attacks and rushed out crazily.

I took note of the cave from the start and assumed their leader would be inside. Turns out I was right. I found that it was easy to tell who was higher in rank among these Evil God cultists. They were mainly Aeil and those who led their own groups had a strange circular tattoo at the back of their necks.

These past two weeks we found no less than three groups, including this. They were hidden well, but close to one aother. Only a few days between each.

Of the three leaders I’d fought, this guy was the most troublesome. He was stronger than your average Aeil warrior. He was a cut above the ones I played around with when saving Charlotte.

His every move was full of an animal-like ferocity and he was much swifter than any Aeil I’d encountered so far.

It was a real bitch trying to hit him. Guy nearly had a sword to my gut several times. But then I got annoyed and let loose a stream of water from my finger which caught him by surprise. Although he recovered quickly as a seasoned warrior the second of delay was more than enough for me to hit him with my monstrously large Big D.

Knocked him out cold. Thine cheeks were clapped.

I only wished Patches were here so I could threaten the guy with anal r*pe. Makes everyone sweat bullets when they saw the size of Patches’ schlong. They got this sick pasty white to their faces that showed they were close to breaking.

I seem to remember this one servant from some Noble’s party who literally pissed himself after the threat was made. Fun times.

Anyway--

“Nope, this fuck is dead.” Someone said, putting a spear through the man’s heart.

Lucy popped up from behind and plucked out the weapon. He quickly switched to an axe.

Lucy used a decapitation. The Aeil’s head was sliced clean through to the extent of not even falling off his shoulders. Lucy then roundhouse kicked the head a clear thirty feet.

“Teach them to have ideas about this King’s little sis.” He took his axe, a gaudy thing with gold inlay and several glimmering gems along the haft, and put it over his shoulder with a self-satisfied smirk. It wasn’t the one he wanted but instead was one given by Bubbles after she started rummaging around the city treasure room.

I watched his prideful pose and wanted to explode. “Motherfucker, again?! This is the third time, asshole! We need to keep some alive to interrogate! I told you already, didn’t I?! Stop killing everyone! Wait till AFTER I’m done. You’re making the job harder than it has to be. We might’ve known about several more cultist hotspots if you didn’t keep waving that ugly thing around.”

The King showed no sign of apology. He thrust his chin forward stubbornly. “Mess with my imouto get a spear through the kokoro.”

...Alright, I admit, I liked that sentence.

I rolled my eyes at him. “Whatever, guess we have been doing alright.”

It was mainly due to Bubbles giving us a nice lead. She’d provided information on one of the city’s merchants suspected of having dealings with the Aeil’s extremist faction. Due to the City of Ko being one of the few places here where there actually existed a justice system, the lack of evidence meant he couldn’t be convicted so long as he stayed within its walls. He was protected by the laws in place and never left.

Not that I gave a damn about that.

Bubbles said she didn’t know the extent of the crimes being committed by the extremists before witnessing the Charlotte event. It wasn’t something she looked into. She’d been busy trying to keep the water flowing.

Now that she understood just how dangerous the group was she decided to have a heavier hand in the matter. But a full investigation would take time and she didn’t like that.

And that, lads, is where I come in.

She was a public figure and sort of didn’t feel it’d be good to get too involved right now when there wasn’t any evidence to warrant an arrest. Not to mention he had other merchant friends who were important in helping to keep the City of Ko up and running. Plus, like I said, a proper investigation would take a while.

So she said, “You know, as an unaffiliated third party if you used those excellent kidnapping skills of yours and brought him out of the city for some questioning… ”

Basically, as long as it didn’t implicate her I was told to do as I please. Which I did. Happily.

No one apart from the representatives knew about me being there. Even if someone somehow discovered me under my hooded figure, well, at the least, they wouldn’t recognize my face. I was just some random Joe without the Solair armor.

After a couple hours in my caring hands the merchant revealed a meeting where he sent people to provide supplies to an “anonymous buyer.” Supplies consisting of illegally acquired barrels of water, food, and beastkin. As sacrifices.

Sealed the deal for me. I HAD to kill him. He was a wealthy one but someone would take his place, it wasn’t a very big worry. I reckon some merchant or another with enough ambition and smarts will take his disappearance as an opportunity.

Anyway, after his people made the exchange I relied on Minnie and Evie’s prayers to get my wing on--really need to be more consistent with doing it myself. Harder than it looks, really-- then followed the Aeil from up high, found their hideout, and brought the gang along for a surprise inspection.

As for the captive beastkin I had Baz take them to HQ. Yeah, I’m totally taking full advantage of his convenient teleports.

And from there we gathered clues. Now here we are. I am making it sound easy, but trust me, it wasn’t.

As for any wondering about Vera, she came and went. Alex and Jacob, they followed us on our expeditions. Jacob said something about a Trial--no idea what that meant--while Alex followed his father’s instructions and joined the battles.

You could tell he was sickened the whole time. He had fine technique but he had never been in real battle before and it showed.

Thanks to his experiences with Wyrm-chan, however, he was somewhat calmer facing human enemies. Still, this was his third and bloodiest encounter so far. He was currently hunched over, exhausted, no more than ten feet away.

He stared at his bloodied hands, then looked around at the carnage in a daze. HIs eyes met mine and shifted quickly.

I walked over. “They wanted to kill Charlotte,” I told him. “Just think of them as cabbages.” I’d told him several times already. This must’ve been the tenth. Usually, he just stayed quiet.

Today he didn’t.

“...Something like that…” He stopped. He gazed again at the warzone around us. “Something like this….” He looked lost.

“They’re a bunch of crazy, desperate cultists who’re all ready to sacrifice my cute little loli to a dark god. What exactly are you feeling so down for?”

And he snapped back to me, nostrils flared. “You’re a monster. Being unreasonable and mean is one thing, but how can you kill so easily?”

“Cabbages,” I said simply and pat his shoulder, which he threw off roughly.

The boy grit his teeth. There was a wild gleam in his eyes. “ You’re insane. Completely mad. You lead slaughters like this for petty reasons and people praise you for it. It’s not...right. None of this is right.” He ran a hand through his hair, an obvious sign of stress.

“If you kill a killer the number of killers in the world remains the same.” I nodded. “But if you kill a whole lot of them then there’s definitely less” I used that good ol’ Punisher logic.

I always did respect that particular anti-hero in certain ways. I like Bats but he’s not a very effective hero to be honest. How many need to die before that shit’s enough? You had giant crocodile men walking about eating people and get you back broken by a ‘roided up asshole who can’t handle his drugs. Not to mention a pale-faced, abusive clown who literally makes people laugh themselves to death and you STILL think offing them is a bad idea? Like let’s be real, not many criminals are ever gonna be as dangerous as those sort of dudes. Not many replacements are available at that level.

Not that this is exactly the same thing. But it’s a similar concept.

“And what gIves you the right to decide who dies?” The kid demanded. I sort of admired his stubbornness. He’s normally more docile.

“I’d say being a caring human being gives me the right, no? And since I care so much, I’m stopping them. When you’re one of these guys then you’re into stuff that forfeits your right to live anyway.”

“You can’t decide that!”

“Said who? And someone has to. Why NOT Me? I don’t see anyone else stepping up.”

“That...might be true. Still…”

“Still what? There’s not really room for being nice here. If you really can’t stand it let’s try it your way, then. Let’s leave these scum cultists alone so they can cut off more ears. Let’s give them the opportunity to enslave more helpless innocents to use as sacrifices. Let them continue to kill in the name of their twisted beliefs and dark god. That’d be SO much better.”

I might have been a bit harsh-sounding. He is just a kid, after all, and he don’t got my advantage of desensitivity. Still. There’s reasons his father let him come with us. Why he allowed it.

The Prince tightened his fists. “I never said that! But--”

“But you don’t want to be here getting your hands dirty.” Someone joined it. Cass. He walked over while cleaning his blade with a rag. “These people want your sister and they won’t stop. Your father understands this. He’s personally here to make sure those that threaten his family won’t get the chance to. Damien, too, has started this crusade to help those he knows are suffering. Both of them have the determination to take action where others would not. He and your father know what needs to be done.”

...I Just wanted to hunt heretics...but the ego-stroking isn’t unappreciated.

Cass threw the boy a flask, probably full of the older man’s favorite wine, which he caught unconsciously.

Cass jerked his chin to the sight of Jacob putting his sword through a still-living cultist’s head.

“ It’s understandable you think the way you do. You weren’t raised like them. You’re a normal person who’s lived a mostly pampered life.” The man went on. “And Damien may not be right in the head, yes, but don’t pass judgment when you don’t even have the stomach to face the real world the way he does.” There was no arguing with that hard, stone-like tone. “These men let fear and faith be an excuse to commit great evil. And now that you’re here you try to turn your eyes away. Do you want to be the reason they take a child from their mother? Maim some innocent little boy or girl who only had the bad luck to be born in an intolerant society?” Cass stared the Prince down. The boy looked ready to wet himself. But Cass didn’t relent a single bit. “Remember that each cultist who survives these raids is just one more who might be the person to stick a blade in that young aunt of yours.” He sheathed his sword. “ Don’t bother feeling remorse for someone who wants to take away someone you love.”

And without a word more, he walked away.

I damn near clapped my hands. Cass is on a roll today. That was a nice speech. Really impactful. 10/10 would listen again. Shall we make him the 2nd Apostle?

Alex watched his retreating back for a long time before taking note of the flask in his hand. And after surveying the land one final time, he drank.

I left him alone and stood next to Lucius. He sat on a sizeable rock tearing apart a piece of jerky.

“So, have you made inquiries on your end?” I nudged him.

Baz had been teleporting the King from here to his Kingdom pretty often.

Lucy grunted. “There are a few suspects. However, their alibis are airtight and I can’t imagine they’d want to hurt her either. I don’t know who told the cultists about Lottie. But I think I have an idea of why.”

Not what I wanted to hear. I already guessed what they intended. “As your sister, if you and Dana die then she’d be first in line for the throne until Alex comes of age. She’s also young, but in an emergency, it wouldn’t matter. The traitor would reveal her true identity, exposing the fact she’s of purer blood. She’d then become the new ruler until Alex, the Crown Prince, reaches full adulthood. And if Alex dies before that, and someone were to marry her, they’d also have some authority. Knowing she has a weak constitution they’d use it as an excuse to either keep her as a figurehead or, worst case, have her die too some years later. By law her husband and his lineage would then take over in the case she hadn’t produced children. Since they’d have to consummate the marriage they might poison her, make her barren. They’d essentially out your bloodline and install their own. Whoever wants her dead must be heavily against something like that happening. It also means they have to know someone who has that very idea, but, for some reason, isn’t willing to do the obvious thing and let you in on it.”

Lucy looked at me in wonder. “You thought about all that? And here I am thinking they did it just because they’re also a cultist fuckhead and knows she’s part Angel, and really weak, and so would make a great sacrifice. But damn, that theory is pretty good too. And a whole lot darker.”

I had considered that too. “That’s also a possibility. They might not care about her other than for the fact she’s both of an Angelic bloodline and yet an easy target. Perfect for a sacrifice. You’d be too hard to get to, and Alex’s bloodline is a grade lower than yours and Charlotte’s. They must not have known she was with someone as strong as SIr Kane. They probably thought it was a perfect time to act. Since Alex is at my parent’s place, in a heavily guarded Estate, under the protection of a mysterious witch like Mother and powerful Aura user like Father.”

But my theory sounds way more convoluted and cliche. So that automatically means it’s gotta be true

Question is, then why wouldn’t the asshat selling her out come forward if he knew someone wanted to use her? And more importantly, who is it?

“Not that the plan they’re worried about matters. In the first place how would they ensure I and Dana die without it looking suspicious as fuck?” Lucy strolled through past the pile of burning corpses with a casual disregard. “Furthermore father dotes on Lottie almost as much as I do and he’s way stronger than me, with little understanding of morals. He’d decimate the entire Dry lands if he knew someone hurt her. I think the only reason he isn’t here causing a bloodbath is that he knew she was completely safe. Your mother knew Kane was here, and she even sent you. Not to mention she’d step in to save her herself if it came down to it. If not for all that he’d come down and just start killing. A plan like what you described has zero chance of actually happening as long as he’s here.” Lucy asserted firmly. “ Even if someone wanted to out our bloodline, they couldn’t. But they wouldn’t know that, I suppose. Everyone who knows about our father believes he’s long gone from the realm. Although they are, admittedly, devoted to the bloodline only. Not exactly the individuals…” He trailed off a moment before reorganizing himself. “Your theory might be right. If they believed this third party capable of actually pulling off that plan, if they thought the person too powerful to stop even if he were revealed, the they really ust might take extreme actions to prevent it.” He frowned.

“I don’t know which of them could be the culprit if all this is right. To be safe should I just kill them all?”

I couldn’t help but stare.

I also had murder on my mind in that moment, thinking of something entirely different from court intrigue.

“You’re basically saying he knew what she was going through. So, essentially, he was watching while she was being kidnapped and roughed up, crying, screaming and struggling?” I nodded benignly. “Alright. It’s decided. I’m purging that useless father. I’m the only Papa she needs!”

The King coughed. “He’s tolerant up to a point, okay? Plus he’d done the same to me. He called it building character. Toughen your spirit. He wouldn’t let her actually get hurt.”

“He let her cry.”

“He was keeping a close watch, I’m sure.”

“He. Let. Her. Cry.” I enunciated. “I’m killing him and that’s that.”

“....Damien-sensei, you do realize he’s practically immortal, immune to physical attacks, and is a pure Angel who, in his true form, can catch a star and hurl it at you...right?”

“One training montage and that useless old fart of a father dies with a slap.” Damien’s an Angel AND a Dragon. His growth potential must be broken as fuck.

Alright, let’s ask Mother for help after all. We’ll get that Core going, then cultivate like mad. I’ll be Linley on steroids. Maybe Minnie can even help with a bit of dual cultivation, eh? No, wait, or would that be cultivation cauldron? Furnace?

Whatever.

In any case, I wanna get stronger and give that guy a punch!

How dare he compete with me for the role of Papa! 

Lucy was looking at me with a bitter expression. “Damien-sensei, you really don’t fear death at all.”

“Eh, it aint anything.  You get used to it.”

“To death?” He asked incredulously.

“Oh yeah.” I nodded. “ After you lose your sense of time, go insane, and eventually just get so bored of madness you go sane again,  that is. it’s really just a matter of waiting for the whole rebirth thing to kick in by then.”

"..."

As we rounded up Cass and the rest of our men there was just one more question bugging me.

If what Lucy said is true and he’s actually still somewhere out there right now, then why didn’t that father of theirs do anything when Charlotte was murdered in the game?

***

Bubbles aka Chelsea, our resident blue-haired middle-school looking Undine, was smiling at me happily while clapping her hands.

“Well done, Your Grace! It’s perfect!” She examined the clone closely and gave her approval.

As expected, the hand seals were the way to go.

“You’re a quick learner.” Came the praise. It was a world of difference from the way she chewed me out a couple of weeks ago when she learned I nearly killed several dozens of her adoring citizens.

“It looks great.” She continued.

I narrowed my eyes at the brown-haired violet-eyed boy staring back at me. He was taller now, with longer hair nearly reaching his shoulders. His limbs were no longer as thin as they once were and he gave off an incredibly sturdy feeling. His broadening shoulders, developing muscle mass and darkly handsome features joined together to form a youth one would find hard to look away from.

“I dunno. I think his nose isn’t right. “

“That’s just because you aren’t used to seeing yourself like this.”

“So how real is it anyway?”

“Really real. It’s about as strong as you. At least, your powers as a Water Dragon should be perfectly replicated. As for any other abilities, I can’t say. Undine can’t use magics that don’t align with our affinity for water. And Aura is, strangely enough, hard for us to use. So we normally don’t. I’m not sure how your clone will fare with things like that. You can use magic and Aura. I don’t know if the Water Clone technique can handle that sort of stuff.”

I followed along and poked at my clone’s cheek. “Cool. No matter. How’s it’s management skills?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“Like, can it run an organization?”

“You..huh? I don’t get it.” Her dainty little brows furrowed as she brought a finger to her lip, deep in thought. “...But I guess it’s as smart as you? It holds all your memories and knowledge but not your personality. It should be able to do anything you can do though.”

“Nice. Alright, me, listen up. Your first order is simple: Hunt cultists. Except for our cultists, they’re cool. After that build us an empire. Alright, chop-chop. Get to it.”

The other me nodded indifferently. “The scum who dared to make my baby girl cry will die horrible deaths.” He promised. And without another word he turned into a spire of water, flew out of the room, and vanished.

I couldn’t believe my ears. “Bastard, that’s MY baby girl, dammit!” I shouted at it’s retreating figure. “Cunt.” I cursed.

“Maybe it can have more of your personality than I thought.” Bubbles commented. “But hey, why’d you even want to learn this technique?”

“At first it was just to escape my responsibilities. Now though I’m just splitting the workload. I’ve come to realize deities don’t have to do a damn thing but lay around looking pretty.”

“You trying to say something?”

“Don’t worry. At least you aren’t useless like Aqua.”

She snorted.“And how does all that matter?”

“It matters because I can just sit back while my followers erect a kingdom around me. I understand there might be a need for building up a strong force.”

My gamer instincts told me something might happen soon. Both my left AND my right nut itched these days and that could only mean dark times were upon us. Also this world was WAY darker than the games let on.

I was guessing that the whole war from the sixth game only started because Evie-who would've grown up hating Nobles due to them killing Minnie and probably plotting revenge via Alex's status-and the Prince had done horrible things to Dolly. Making Mother go mad and making her send a group of Dragons to fuck up their day in response. 

people would have led to a misunderstanding as people of the Kingdom and, likely the other races' Kingdoms, blamed the Demons for the attack. 

After all the Demons had their Wyvern Corps and not many knew the difference between Wyverns and Dragons.

Now Evie was a good girl... if a bit worrying. And Dolly was growing up into a truly remarkable airhead with all the butterflies and rainbows in the world coloring her adorably naive mind. 

So no need for concern there.

Still, all the cults and their worship of a long-dead conqueror had me on edge. That was definitely an event in the making.

I just felt the war might happen anyway through some disaster or another. And I wanted to be prepared if it did. I had to protect the Furry-Eared Ones! The exodus must not be allowed to fail.

For the time being I should cultivate the land and my people. then when we’re strong enough, make our journey to the lush forest of the Dwarves.

I’m sure Mary won’t mind us hanging around and settling down near her true body.

“Now that I know Baz has been holding out on me I can go from supervising my up-and-coming Kingdom and working on my school life at a mere flick of the wrist.”

“School life...Your Grace?”

“Yup. I’m going to ask Mother to help me form my second Core, then I’m going back to school.”

“Why not invite someone to teach you? Can’t Nobles invite people like that?”

“It’s hard. Most mages are forbidden from teaching magic outside of controlled environments. Housecalls aren’t common.”

“Your mother, then.”

“I’m a little against it.”

“Oh please. You just want to mess around more, don’t you?”

“You know me so well in the short time we’ve been together.” I wanted to grin. Though there are other reasons why I want to go to school. I had one in particular within my crosshairs.

If I remember right there’s a useful item just ripe for the taking. The only downside is there was a heroine from the sixth game who should still be studying at the place during this time period.

And i didn’t want to get involved with any of the heroines from that game. They cheated on my character and made him wear all kinds of green hats. Such thottery isn’t easily forgiven. Hoes ain’t loyal.

Alright. Really, though, I don’t actually care about that. In truth i just don’t want to have anything to do with the Hero and that meant his heroines too. No way am i gonna get roped into helping to “save the world” along with those self-righteous goody-two-shoes idiots.

I remember a ton of tedious adventures they go through and just the thought of going through them again is making my teeth hurt. I’ll just look after me and mine, thank you very much.

As for Milly, sorry dude. Doesn’t seem like she wants to go back to waiting in that dusty old cave.

“Well, I’m glad I can help.” She glanced at where the clone had disappeared. “Sadly you can’t have more than one active at a time. Otherwise, I’d have wanted to borrow it.”

“I’d ask why but I think I already know.

“Shut up. Like you wouldn’t want one of MY clones.”

“You know, I don’t consider having a blow-up doll cheating. And in a sense, this is the same thing. Or maybe more like a sex bot. So hey, if you’re offerin’....”

“No thanks in that case. I won’t get benefits myself, so why would I give you any? By the way, I never asked. How’d the date go?” She smiled playfully. “ You know before you tried killing my citizens.”

“I had an entire plan all worked out but a certain little tree decided to be helpful for a change. Went disastrously wrong. I got a wingy in public--totally embarrassing--and I started hearing voices in my head. How did it go? Not very good, my cute little fish friend. Not very good at all.”

She tilted her head in interest. We were currently in a private room at the back of the temple. VIP suite apparently. Or something. It was spacious and, so she claimed, a nice place to relax.

“Neat. I heard some Angels have that ability. Strange you have it, considering you aren’t pure.”

“I’m the Divine Dragon reborn, I guess.”

“Ha!” She snorted. “You’d best hope not, otherwise we’d have all the goddesses in the Upper Planes coming down to fight over you then.”

“And I’m sure if the women don’t tear me apart, the men would.”

“You heard that story, huh?”

“I call it….the Cuckening.”

The fairy-like little beauty coughed and blew her tea out of her nose in laughter. I don’t think she understood the reference, obviously.

“The word alone sounds like the title for some kind of weird NTR novel.”

My ears twitched. “You know NTR?”

“I AM an adult, despite appearance.” She smiled faintly. “I like that genre especially. The feeling of seducing another woman’s man and watching them fall into despair...I never experienced it personally but it sounds amazing!” A dreamy sight. “ I’ll have you know I’ve read all of Sir Long Johns masterworks on the subject.”

I was speechless.

“But yeah, that ancestor of yours was really something else.”

I stiffened. My mood soured.“...His mother probably wanted to whore him out, too. Tryna spread them perfect being genes and whatnot. Is that a thing here? Moms pimping out their sons?”

“Hm? What’s that?”

“Nothin’.” I muttered grumpily. I was still bitter over that. Tryna use me like some breeding horse. Why I never!

“Alright!” Bubbles suddenly stood up. “Onto business.”

Business?

“ So, that end’s today’s tutoring session. I think the reward for my services today should be better than normal, yeah? I worked hard, after all. And it’s a special occasion. You should be just as earnest, no?”

So that’s the real reason we’re in this big room away from everything else, huh? She was planning to let loose.

“Whoever told you about my past work deserves to be knocked on the head,” I spoke mildly, rolling up my sleeves and rubbing my hands with a specially prepared oil she enthusiastically threw over. “Not that I’m complaining about the result.”

Soon enough a symphony of soft, satisfied moans resounded through the room.

35