Over the next few days after returning to Ehmvier from their expedition into Toadstool Forest, Kanae worked closely with Rosaline in designing weapons out of the mana-burning spores. There were… many accidents. The magic took place underneath the shop where Rosaline conducted most of her alchemical concocting.
It was originally built with lighter reddish brown bricks, but some parts of the wall had been stained black with soot and evidence of explosions. Kanae kicked pieces of charred wood and broken glass wherever they walked.
In one corner of the room sat the tall, multi-tiered apparatus called the transmutation drum Eliza had Kanae deliver. All sorts of reagents were shoved into shelves with little intent for order. Kanae and Rosaline peered over the crescent table, inscribed with glowing runes that facilitated advanced alchemy. One rune heated up a glass beaker on it. A different rune cooled down another. Through a series of narrow tubing, they fed into the bubbling black cauldron.
"Are you sure this isn't going to explode, too?" Kanae asked.
"The crux of alchemy is experimentation! We won't know until it happens. Now, goggles on. Brace yourself!" Rosaline pulled the safety goggles over her eyes, and Kanae did the same.
The mixture started getting violent. It bubbled over the edge of the cauldron.
"That means it's unstable, right?!" Kanae cried, taking a step back.
"Gerbil slug mucus! Kanae, find the mucus in the back shelf. It should be in a small ceramic jar with a cork on!" Rosaline exclaimed.
Kanae turned around. The blood drained from her face. There were shelves lining the entire back wall. Which one was it?! She rummaged through them anyway and came across the ceramic jar. Popping it open revealed a viscous goo inside.
"Here!" Kanae tossed it to the alchemist, who quickly emptied the contents inside the cauldron.
Calm returned to the workshop. Both of them heaved a sigh of relief.
"Did it… work?" Kanae asked reluctantly only to notice the alchemist staring at the jar.
"Strange. Which shelf did you pull this out from?" Rosaline turned to her worriedly.
"It's not?! I found it… there. The rightmost shelf!" She pointed behind them.
"Ahh! I arrange the reagents on the shelves according to how they taste, from 'gross, get it off my tongue!' on the left to 'I could eat this like a snack!' on the right."
Kanae blinked in disbelief.
"Okay, so… how does gerbil slug mucus taste?" Kanae gulped.
"The most repugnant taste imaginable—"
The cauldron exploded. They hit the shelves hard. Falling reagents buried them in a mountain of alchemical ingredients. Kanae dragged herself out, coughing and groaning. Her ears were ringing, too. Rosaline's tail was poking out of another mound, so she dragged her right out.
"Well, now we know… cough! Cough! CAAUUUGGHH! Now we know dragon piss makes for a poor stabilizing ingredient. I've also found the gerbil slug mucus!" Rosaline exclaimed, lifting a ceramic jar that looked exactly like the other one.
"If Mikki grows up to be like you, we're going to have problems." Kanae sighed.
Although the cauldron was destroyed in the explosion, most of the workshop survived. The ones that were important, anyway. Rosaline had extra equipment to replace what couldn't be used anymore. After tidying up the workshop, they restarted the process. This time safely with the gerbil slug mucus. The end result…
"We've done it! This capsule shall inflict pain like nothing anyone has ever experienced before. With the added benefit of your creative touch, of course!" Rosaline handed Kanae what looked like a golf ball made out of mud and wrapped in cloth.
Applying just a bit of force caused a symbol on the surface to glow. The wrappings were made from enchanted threads which cost a lot of money. Their purpose was to contain a spell which activated at the onset of the ball's explosion. A simple yet reliable spell— Turn Horny. Upon exploding, the mana-burning spores would hurt anyone exposed to it and bleed their mana. After which Turn Horny would pulse out, catching all within radius. This two-pronged effect was intended to thoroughly incapacitate a group of enemies.
Now to test it. Kanae and Rosaline brought a dozen capsules outside of the city. Esta and Manabe were in the middle of working the Commonwealth soldiers to their bones. The army of mixed races was doing drills. Foot soldiers linked their rectangular shields to form a phalanx. Long spears protruded from thin gaps. Winged beastmen and succubi soared from above in multiple small groups. In the back, spellcasters lobbed artillery spells and healers provided support.
"How's everyone looking?" Kanae asked as she and Rosaline joined them.
"They may just give the dragoons of Rotandrix a run for their gold. Time and action will tell if they are truly ready though," Esta said.
"I still don't know if I'm cut out for this," Manabe began dejectedly. "Five years ago, we were fighting armies without real cohesion. Isn't Rotandrix and Ortesia supposed to be like the people you don't mess with?"
Comparing Rotandrix and Ortesia to the likes of Bardell and Talon was no contest. The Commonwealth hadn't fought in a full-blown war before. Their battles against the Queen-Mother and Lord Charron's forces were all minor skirmishes, too.
"Are you telling me you're scared? You aren't going to leave me, are you?" Kanae sidled up the commander of the Commonwealth armies and drew circles on his chest with her finger.
"Eh, uh… ah… I… er… I would n-n-never!" Manabe turned bright red.
As a full-blown orc, he was much taller and bulkier than Kanae as a succubus. Bigger than most people in the Commonwealth, actually. She could count on one hand how many people rivaled his size. Orcs in this world, as Kanae had encountered in Talahurah, were gentle but often mistakenly regarded as vicious, mindless killing machines because of their looks. They were also incredibly stupid like ogres.
Manabe was different. Having come to this world like Kanae did, he was given the body of a different race. His mind was still very much human, fragile and full of doubts. Compared to Takumi who wifed-up Ingrid and Ichi who got himself a gaur harem, Takumi had no one.
"I know you wouldn't." Kanae smiled, pressing her breasts to his thick, muscular arm. "That's why I trust you. If you ever need me to reassure you, you should come by the castle more often. I'll treat you to some succubus~ hospitality~"
"We'll win this war even if I have to fight all of Rotandrix and Ortesia myself!" Manabe bellowed.
Seducing people was way too easy.
"Your forces are already in formation! This is the perfect chance to test our newest creation!" Rosaline's excitement was obvious in her forked tongue repeatedly flicking in and out.
"Oh, right! We wanted to test this out on the army. See how effective it is against a mass of troops. Think you can simulate a moving force for us?" Kanae asked.
"This isn't going to maim or poison anyone to death, is it?" Manabe shuddered, casting a rightfully cautious glance at the alchemist.
They explained the intended effects of the spore capsule. It was only dangerous in large quantities, like if someone dumped an entire glass jar of spores onto themselves. These contained diluted amounts that should resemble a mana burn spell, and at worst render a victim unconscious.
Manabe commanded two-thirds of the force to be the attackers, and Esta led the other third as the defenders. Both of them set up across the field from each other, falling into their respective assault and defensive formations to mimic the battle of an invading army. Kanae provided a bag of capsules to the captain of Esta's winged squadron, a Sister of Sin succubus. Her only instruction was to keep the invading force from reaching the defenders.
"Eh? That's it, Queen Kanae?" The succubus gawked at the bag in her hands.
"When and how you use it is up to your discretion. You won't disappoint me, will you?" Kanae stroked the succubus' cheek.
"No!" she exclaimed.
With the final preparations complete, Kanae and Rosaline ascended to the top of a hill to watch the battle unfold. Both armies were a short cavalry's charge away from each other.
War horns boomed. Manabe ordered his forces to advance. Esta's army volley after volley of illusory arrows across the field. The attacking force raised their shields to protect themselves. When the defending spellcasters joined the mix, the opposing side fired counterspells. Manabe's force was half-way there now.
Finally, Esta raised a hand and signaled to her winged squadron. Ten harpies and three succubi unfurled their wings and launched into the sky. Manabe's spellcasters responded by bombarding them with magic from below. A few harpies in Esta's winged squadron were spellcasters, too. They erected a barrier to block the onslaught. As soon as they were above the invading army, their spellcasters raised a barrier of their own.
All hell broke loose. Explosions rocked the barriers, but Manabe's army held rank. The winged squadron left the field, and when the barriers vanished…
"What is this?!"
Manabe and his attackers stopped in their tracks. The cloud of spores rained down on them. Esta ordered her spellcasters to shoot magic and archers to fire arrows again. As the attacking army tried to raise their shields, they collapsed to the ground and started masturbating. Their spellcasters couldn't raise a barrier, too low on mana from the mana-burning spores to do anything.
"Amazing! Fascinating! This. Is. Alchemyyyyyyyyyyy!" Rosaline's glimmering eyes reflected the shine of the midday sun.
"I'm glad you're excited, but I think we should go down and—" Kanae swallowed the rest of her sentence when Manabe's army began stripping off their armor.
No. Worse. Many who hadn't fallen unconscious started having sex right there on the battlefield.
"I can't stop! It feels so good!"
"This itch won't stop until I orgasm! More, more!"
"So… pleasurable yet painful at the same time— ahh!"
A group of men were gangbanging a lone elven woman. Two beastmen ladies were blowing a male human. A group of women formed a cunnilingus train. It was an all-out orgy.
"Must… resist… joining…" Kanae gripped the side of her arm. "Hey, Rosaline. The enchanted threads my Turn Horny spell, but I know for sure it only makes people horny. Not immediately make them want sex. Did you add something to it?"
"As a matter of fact, I did! I wanted to see the effects of including another fungus into it. One that has been known to enhance physical pleasure and often used in aphrodisiac brews. Now I know! None of the effects have diminished. If anything, they have intensified each other!" Rosaline explained madly.
No sense in complaining. Ortesia was going to have a very depraved surprise waiting for them.
"Kanae…" Manabe lumbered up to them, his eyes glossy and his erect dick standing at attention. "Can I have some of that… succubus hospitality… now?"
"Wait, snap out of it! You're not all there! We should get our soldiers help before—"
Manabe pounced. He knocked Kanae down and pinned her underneath his large, orc body. His similarly large, orc cock plunged into her pussy despite her protests.
"Oooh! It's been so long! Kanae's wet succubus pussy!" Manabe roared as he pounded into her pussy.
"Mana…be… Nnghh… Fuck… I don't care anymore! Your orc dick is tearing me apart! Manabe, I'm cumming! Keep going and screw me as much as you waaaaaaaaaaaant!" Kanae climaxed hard, adding her moans to the chorus of an orgy.
The mock battle had ended and another battle took place. Esta and the defenders were left to care for the hornified attackers.
Meanwhile, Kanae and Manabe continued back at the castle. She buried her face into the pillow and bit on the cover. Manabe's orcish thrusts rocked the entire bed, causing it to crack and groan and her to moan.
"You're not as tight as Ulric's ass, but nothing beats your sopping wet pussy!" Manabe exclaimed as he unloaded a flood of cum into Kanae.
"Ahhh~ It's so hot… My pussy is going to drown from all your cum…" Kanae murmured in ecstasy.
"Uurk… wait… I feel so dizzy…" He fell backwards and collapsed loudly off the bed.
"M-Manabe?!" When she went to check on him, his eyes were spinning and his body was looking like a husk.
Kanae slapped a hand to her face. Not only did the mana-burning spores sapped his mana away, she ended up draining what was left of it. A quick cast of Restore Mana made him right as rain, but he was going to need a bit of rest. Too weak to lift him onto bed, she dragged the covers off and laid it on top of him instead.
Someone knocked furiously at the door and startled her. She quickly threw on the Matron's Regalia, then answered the door to find Esta panting.
"They have arrived. The demon army," Esta said stiffly.
"S-So soon?" Kanae gasped. "Find Lani. She should still be in her room. Do whatever it takes to keep her there. I'll meet them and think of something!"
Esta nodded, steadied her breathing, and calmly made her way to Lani's room.
The first of the guests had arrived. Esta only mentioned the demon army. Did she not see Lord Charron amongst them?
Alright, calm down…
It had been years since Kanae last saw Lord Charron. He might not even remember her. She returned to the room to throw on more appropriate clothing. Upon opening the armoire, Arenade's glorious white dress with silver and gold chainmail underneath glinted back. It was the piece of armor Arenade had worn during the Aidenhall incident, and she had left it behind during their journey into Artaggon.
Kanae put it on in honor of Arenade. Surprisingly, it suited her form well. The contrast of the white battle dress on top of her sinful black garb, its features noticeable in the few revealing gaps like the long thigh slit, served as an enticing glimpse into what lay under.
Instead of flying out, Kanae rode through the city on Titan. The atmosphere was tense, but her citizens put on a brave face. She emerged from the city and came faced with two armies confronting each other. Commonwealth soldiers against an army of demons. The city ramparts were filled with archers and spellcasters at the ready.
"What's going on? You invited us to talk about an alliance, but welcomed us with a closed gate and sharpened weapons?" the voice of Lady Dahlia, tinged with anger and patronizing intent, asked.
The demon army split down the middle to let a hellhound beastman and herzulith demon through. Lady Dahlia and Minestra Val'doun. The demon lord himself, however, was nowhere to be seen.
"Kanae, my beloved! I promised you I'd convince them, so I'm expecting a reward later!" Minestra waved all four hands.
"Long time no see," Lady snarled past clenched fangs. "Lord Charron has tentatively accepted your proposal and awaits you at Highgreen. But before that… When was the last time we saw each other, Kanae? Oh, right. When you turned on me in Ha'Vavish!"
"H-Hold on! Let's talk about this? We might potentially become allies, so no need to start any violence and ruin that!" Kanae pleaded.
Before either of them had a chance to make a move, the ground at their feet turned into a swamp. Black tentacles sprouted all over to capture the demon army. Even Lady and Minestra were caught unawares. Kanae flew off Titan as he, too, was entangled.
"Bitch, I knew this was a trap!" Lady yelled.
"I swear, it wasn't me!" Kanae insisted, searching for the aggressor.
"Well, well, well! It looks like someone hasn't been entirely truthful to you, Lani. Maybe our new friend can answer some questions." Chappy's cheery and taunting voice turned the blood in Kanae's veins to ice.
"I'm the one who cast this spell." Lani walked past the gates with her arm outstretched and hand in a choking grasp. Chappy floated behind her, including Esta, who was wrapped in the same black tentacles that suspended her in the air. "As a crowned Warlock, I have Demon Sense as an innate passive skill. Do you mind explaining why there are demons here, Amethyst?"
No matter how much Kanae, Esta, Lady, and Minestra struggled, none of them could break free. These tentacles squeezed them with a vise. The real strength of Saint Priest Lanil Hammerthorn was on full display, and her magical prowess was no joke.
"I do have an explanation, but you and Grand Eye Analise probably won't like it. Sorry, Lani." Kanae apologized sincerely.
"You can save your explanation and sorry for the Grand Eye after I've restrained Demon Lord Charron's lieutenants," Lani said, retracting her outstretched arm to pull them in.
"The sorry wasn't for that. It's for what I'm about to do. Now!" she shouted.
Lapis hugged Lani from behind. The swamp and tentacles vanished. Lani's eyes snapped open in surprise. She turned to Chappy for help, but a death knight— with Edina on riding on his shoulder— threw an enchanted bag over him and tied it shut.
"Hey! What the hells? Let me out!" Chappy tried to punch through with his own tentacles, but to little success.
"A-A-Amethyst, consorting with demons is what got Bardell in trouble! What do you think you're doing?" Lani stammered, now powerless to do anything.
"I'm making sure the Commonwealth wins," Kanae said, preparing a charm spell on the Saint Priest. "I still want to maintain my alliance with Radevic, but we need an alliance with Lord Charron and the Queen-Mother if I want to beat Ortesia and Rotandrix. Sorry, Lani. I'm going to need you to keep quiet until the end of the war."
"Yes, Amethyst. As you wish." She nodded obediently.