Streaks of sunlight pierced through the canopy and illuminated the jungle before them. Kanae shielded her eyes walking under one, then gazed up. The golden beams were a bright and warm comfort to her skin. A kit of flying squirrels darted from tree to tree. They passed just over her head.
"I can't… I'm too tired… Just let me rest!" Arenade groaned from behind.
"We've only been walking for half an hour! It's those gigantic tits of yours that's slowing you down." Kanae teased.
"Well, sorry for having a body crafted so perfectly divine!" She planted her butt onto a stone protruding from the ground and refused to move another step. "If you want to keep going, then go. I'll catch up."
Kanae sighed and joined Arenade on the rock. This tranquil jungle was brimming with life, and there was no shortage of drama to behold. The trail of tiny ants carrying pieces of debris away from their mound. A family of birds resting on a branch and picking at their own feathers. Even dire beasts growling from afar, too fearful of coming any closer to two exceptionally high level adventurers.
Their hands just barely brushed up against each other. Kanae tiptoed her fingers over Arenade's, where they folded over the slender and lithe digits. Although they were glancing in opposite directions, the two slowly scooted closer to each other.
"If we're going to rest," Kanae began seductively, "how about a little snack—"
When Kanae turned to her arrogant high elven lover she saw, but a writhing ball of tentacles. They lifted her into the air. She snapped awake and found herself still in Lanil Hammerthorn's room, lying underneath the Saint Priest, and having their holes drilled by many tentacles.
"I'm cumming, Chappy! I'm cumming so hard it's driving me crazy!" Lani cried deliriously.
The bed shuddered and creaked. Chappy pounded into their asses and pussies with little regard for either of them. Kanae came, too. The tentacles pushed their heads closer together until they had no choice but to make out. Lani drooled into Kanae's mouth, and she was more than happy to suck on her tongue.
They remained embraced in bed, slimy tentacles caressing their bare bodies. Lani's glossy eyes gradually became clearer with every passing minute until finally—
"Am-Amethyst… EEP?!" Lani jumped out of bed and threw herself into the armoire closet.
"Morning, Chappy. Lani." Yawning, Kanae sat up at the edge of the bed and stretched.
"W-W-W-What are you doing in my room?" She poked her head out to ask.
"This busty succubus has been turning my pages all night! Hooweee! She's a real slut like you, Lani!" Chappy draped Kanae with all his tentacles, teasing her nipples, clitoris, and just anywhere on her skin that was still sensitive and tingly.
"I told you not to look through Chappy unless I'm around!" The Saint Priest shot out of the standing closet with a spare sheet wrapped around her.
Both Kanae and Chappy shrugged.
"You were around. I was in here with you the entire time," Kanae said.
"Uu… I don't mean when I'm asleep!" Lani pouted, her cute chubby-bunny cheeks bloating up like a balloon.
"Awww. Don't fret, Lani! We both know you're my favorite little bitch in heat!!" Chappy flew over to his owner and slipped tentacles underneath the sheet.
Lani straightened up and was falling into the mood again.
"Wait, mmm… not right now! What were you searching for anyway?" Lani shook off Chappy's advances and looked Kanae in the eyes.
"It's not a big secret or anything. I'm looking for a way to bring someone back to life. Chappy, did we find anything before I passed out?" Kanae asked.
"Oh, right. You want the good news or the bad news? Ah, screw it. I'll give ya both for being a good fuck." Chappy descended onto the table, revealing the last page Kanae had flipped to.
Strangely, it wasn't a bunch of texts like she expected from a grimoire. Drawn on the pages instead was a map. The far left and right edges of the pages were tracts of land. Port Kandis was written into the right. Far to the left, a X-mark approached at a gradual pace.
"What exactly are we looking at?" Kanae wondered aloud.
"Beats me," Chappy said. "Some things in my pages are unknown to even me! Good news is, what you're looking for is coming to this continent. Bad news? It probably means someone has it. No idea what it is, but it is something pertinent to what you're after."
"If that's Port Kandis, then whoever or whatever it is must be traveling by sea. In other words, someone is bringing an item capable of resurrection across the ocean? Why?" Lani asked, tilting her head so that both ears fell sideways.
A single thought crossed Kanae's mind. It was the most likely answer.
"I have an idea… The direction it's coming from is the Empire of Ortesia, and they recently declared war on the Commonwealth. It has to be them. I don't know why they're bringing it here, but I'm not letting this chance go. I'm going to take it from them," Kanae said.
In order to do that, however, they needed to win and it wasn't going to be easy. Kanae spent enough time with Lani and Chappy. She let them have their privacy to go make sure preparations for war were going smoothly.
Just the very thought that a chance existed in bringing Arenade back lifted Kanae's hopes. She twisted the Ring of Destined Matrimony that sat snug on her ring finger.
"You look to be in a good mood this morning, Master." Esta smiled.
"Is it obvious?" Kanae asked, massaging her cheeks and not realizing she had been grinning ever since leaving Lani's room. "There's hope, Esta! But we're going to have to fight for it."
"And fight, we shall. The citizens of Ehmvier are waiting to hear your address. Word of war spread across the city like wildfire last night. Many have also found out that Arenade is gone," she explained.
Of course, everyone was going to find out eventually. This wasn't something that could be hidden forever. They ascended the castle to Arenade's royal bedchamber. A balcony offered a view of the city. Today, worried citizens of the Commonwealth gathered in mass. They filled the streets and the courtyard in front of the castle.
Among them, Kanae met the familiar faces of her friends, Ichi, Manabe, and Takumi, who had come a long way since their boring lives on Earth. Ingrid and Edina, two former pawns of the Outriders, who had broken the shackle once held by Bardell. Tess and her gaur herd, who had cast away their nomadic ways to settle here. So many people had come to the Commonwealth with their own reasons to start anew, and they had given back to the Commonwealth for providing them a home.
"The Empire of Ortesia is coming," Kanae said, walking up to the railing.
Their gasps were quick and sharp.
She continued, "When Arenade, Edina, and I came to No Man's Land, we never expected to found a country. We were hiding out here because there were people who wanted us gone. One thing led to another, and we decided to carve out a place for ourselves. That is the Commonwealth. It doesn't matter who you are or what walk of life you came from, as long as you were kind and in need of a place to call home, we welcomed you. As many have already suspected… Arenade Brightwind, the Queen-regent, is no longer with us."
People in the crowd began to shed tears. Some covered their gaping mouths, in sheer disbelief that one of the Commonwealth's founders was gone.
"Arenade, more than anyone, wanted to build a place where no one lived on the streets. Where no children had to beg for food or walk in dirty rags. Where no one looks down on anyone and if someone is down, we'll gladly pick them back up. Where we can have as much pre-marital sex as we want! That is the Commonwealth. Now, the richest and most powerful nation in the world is coming to tear down everything we've built. What Arenade built! Are we going to let them take all that away from us?"
"NO!" the citizens of Ehmvier roared.
"And what are we going to do about it?" Kanae asked.
"FUCK THEM IN THE ASS!" they shouted.
"Er… n-not quite what I had in mind, but I like everyone's enthusiasm! We're going to kick them out of the Commonwealth, because this is our land. If they won't leave, then sure, let's fuck them in the ass!"
What started as an anxious crowd had now turned into an impassioned force, rallied behind all that they knew and love of the Commonwealth. Everyone shared the same desire— to protect their homes.
"Your speeches always have a flair for turning sexual." Esta chuckled at her expense.
"This time it wasn't even my doing! Ugh… whatever. As long as everyone is fired up and ready for war, that's all it matters. By the way, have you seen my kids? I wanted to check on Kanade about her crowned status," Kanae said.
"Gretchen is with Kanade and Suvee at the barracks training grounds," she answered as a matter of factly.
They arrived behind the barracks garrison, a flat field with Commonwealth soldiers sparring with each other, against Edina's summoned undead, and firing at target dummies. Past them all, Gretchen was watching over Kanae's children while Kanade fired holy spells at a bone brute.
"Mooooom!" Suvee saw Kanae first and raced over. "I want to shoot spells like Kanade, too!"
The older sister of the two shot magic like it came naturally to her. Obviously, the spells barely hurt the bone brute. Each time a holy blast struck the plate on its chest, it brushed it off and came out unhurt. What stuck out to Kanae the most, however, was that her daughter cast spells without a staff.
"You're going to have to wait until you're older, sweetie. Until then, you can always train with what you have. Your auntie Esta doesn't cast magic either, but she protects mommy with her sword and shield," Kanae explained.
"It's true, Suvee. Not just my equipment, I am your mother's sword and shield. You can be that way for your sister." Esta kneeled down and patted the girl's head.
"Oooh! Teach me, teach me!" Suvee grabbed the hand and tugged her towards a dummy.
Kanae got up and joined Gretchen in watching Kanade's unceasing barrage of spells.
"Kanade is a lot stronger than we initially believed," Gretchen said.
"How do you mean?" Kanae asked.
"As we spellcasters know, casting magic generally requires a focusing or casting element. You have your wand which you wield with your tail. I have my staff. Edina has hers. Yet somehow, Kanade has broken those limitations with Somatic Mastery. Take a look. Kanade, dear. Will you show your mother your sigil?" she called to the high elven girl.
Kanade stopped flinging spells and skipped over. She extended her right wrist which bore the sigil of a clenched fist over a sun.
Kanade Toyomi Lvl. 1
Crusader. Not a priest?
Among Kanade's skill list was Succubus Ancestry, High Elven Ancestry, Demonic Ancestry, some low-level holy spells, and a unique passive skill called Somatic Mastery.
[Somatic Mastery: You possess the ability to cast magical spells with only your hands.]
That explained why Kanade was able to jump out of nowhere and shoot a spell at Avaline without a focusing element.
"It must have happened during the Rook of Rotandrix's siege on Aidenhall. But she wrongly believed Kanade was crowned a Priest, no. It's a class that hasn't been seen since the era of Saint Rue— Crusader," Gretchen explained.
"Th-That sounds like a big deal. What makes a Crusader so special?"
"Priests are capable of casting holy spells but have little in the way of physical attacks, at least until they come to learn Holy Armament, of course. Paladins are capable of infusing holy magic into their weapons— which does not require a focusing element— and use some holy spells. Crusaders combine the best of both, hence an extremely high base STR and INT stat. What confounds me the most is that neither Priest nor Paladin, let alone Crusader, should be a class available to a succubus. I've crowned many during my life, and know that the gods have deemed only certain races are able to be crowned certain classes. Kanade is an anomaly, or perhaps favored by the Supreme One or a god of The Many."
"I'm special?" Kanade asked.
"Special? You've been special the day you were born!" Kanae squished her daughter's cheeks with both hands.
It took every ounce of willpower not to tell Kanade that there might be a way to resurrect her mother, Arenade. Kanae didn't want to give the girl any false hopes. What if they failed? What if everything went horribly wrong? What if Chappy was misleading them?
The outburst drew everyone's eyes to Suvee, who had her ear pressed to Esta's stomach.
"Is it that much of a shock?" Esta asked.
"Yes! I'm not going to be the baby sister anymore! I get to have a baby sibling instead! Yay!" Suvee jumped for joy and ran back over to grab Kanade. "We're going to be big sisters, Kanade!"
"Congratulations, Queen Kanae. I suppose I'm going to be next?" Gretchen raised a brow.
"Now is the worst time to be thinking about having more kids!" Kanae put a hand to her face and sighed.
As the afternoon rolled in, Gretchen brought the kids back home. Meanwhile, Kanae and Esta visited the Cathedral of the Eminence of Sin. The 24-hours should be up already. Inside the place of profane worship, having not moved since other than to switch positions, Lilith and Zadris laid on top of each other, covered in sweat and cum.
"Whew. Succubi really know how to take a dicking," Lapis said, wiping the sweat from her forehead.
"Good work, Lapis. You'd make for a great Sister of Sin if you wanted to join the sisterhood." Kanae gave her a pat on the shoulders for a job well-done, then turned a sour glare at twitching succubus pair. "Explain yourselves. What did you do to my country while I was gone?"
Both of them sat upright.
"Lilith sent Sisters of Sin westward to subjugate small powers. Because of this, our army has been spread thin dealing with pockets of rebellion!" Zadris exclaimed.
"Zadris is withholding resources from me to complete the conquest! We could have subjugated those errant sovereignties and our armies would be home home months ago were it not for her!" Lilith fired back.
"Shut up. Exchange a kiss and express to the other how much you love them," Kanae ordered.
Lilith and Zadris tensed up. They faced each other and kissed like awkward teenagers, all the while whispering words of affection that made them red in the face.
"I sometimes forget how cute you can be," Zadris whispered sweetly.
"You're only saying that because the Mistress ordered you! Don't try and butter me up!" Lilith blushed redder than a tomato.
"Now, tell me what's with this whole black robe business? You're supposed to be draped in pure white," Kanae said.
"It was my idea." When they separated their lips, Lilith spoke first. "Mine and Zadris' quarrel eventually spilled over to the other Sisters of Sin. Few by few, they began to pick sides. We've eventually started calling ourselves the Sisters in Black, and Zadris, the Sisters in White."
"And I'm assuming the Sisters in Black are the ones going out doing the conquering?"
Zadris continued, "We, the Sisters in White, have taken a less savage approach. The trade routes to Highgreen and Talahurah have long been plagued by banditry. We're forming political partnerships with smaller nations, who initially rejected Commonwealth rule, to serve as mercenaries. Yes, it costs a lot to hire them, but as they profit from us, we profit even more from our resources and merchant caravans reaching other cities intact."
"What the… You guys are better at ruling than I am!" Kanae threw her hands in the air. "I don't like the idea of a fractured sisterhood, but I also don't want to disband what you two created either. The Sisters in Black and the Sisters in White can stay, but I want you both working together. Zadris, speak with Takumi and Ingrid to see how much of our refined metal stores we can part with. Sell them. Provide Lilith a share of that money to support her conquest. Is that understood?"
"Understood!" Lilith and Zadris bowed, then went their separate ways to get to work.
"You went easy on them. They could have done with a little discipline," Esta said.
"Lilith nurtured the Sisters in Black into a warmongering force. Zadris cultivated the Sisters in White into versed political assets. Both of them are going to be important. We also need to resolve the Commonwealth's own problems before Ortesia and Rotandrix get here. The Queen-Mother and Lord Charron need to know I'm someone worth allying with, too. They won't think that way if I don't get my country under control."
Esta stared at Kanae with her mouth agape.
"What?" Kanae asked.
"You claimed you aren't very good at ruling, yet I just witnessed mercy, cunning, and wisdom all from a single decision. Again, never have I been more proud to call you my master and to bear your child." Esta rested both hands over her stomach.
"I've been meaning to bring this up, but… Do you really plan on sticking with me to fight even while pregnant?"
"That is a matter of course. Why wouldn't I? The child shall learn battle first hand!" She nodded approvingly, but Kanae was shaking her head instead.
They had one more thing to do for the day, and that was at the adventurer's hall of Ehmvier City. Little had changed. If anything, the building had grown larger and its members even bigger. The walls were decorated with trophies from giant monsters. Worn weapons from fallen adventurers were displayed as a memorial. Minstrels played music on the stage for resting adventurers back from a long quest.
"Queen Kanae!" A succubus receptionist at the counter beamed. "How may I help you today? Are you perhaps interested in taking a quest again as an adventurer?"
"Sort of. I want to charter an expedition into Toadstool forest and need a handful of strong adventurers. Pay comes directly from the crown. The quest will be to collect a substance called mana-burning spores." Kanae grinned.