It hadn’t really taken much effort for Ben to easily side step all of the matriarchs attempts to corner him. She definitely put in the required amount of effort, but when your entire security system has betrayed you, what options do you have?
So Ben simply followed the matriarchs path using the camera system and made sure to be in a different room. Things did get slightly hairy when she decided to check the security system itself, but Ben simply deleted his image from the footage. Until these idiots learned to lock their shit Ben was more than happy to take ample advantage of it.
Somehow lunch came and went in a blur of cat and mouse. Ben actually found the whole endeavor to be quite fun!
“I just knew Gellis would have a fun family.” Ben says with a half smirk on his face. Ben was walking confidently down a corridor that he was sure was devoid of life. After an evening of romance, and a morning of playtime Ben felt like a brand new man. He opened the door leading to the main dining room.
While many aspects of Ahrling culture are foreign, it was always the similarities that stuck out the most to Ben. The idea of a family eating together was still very closely embedded in this society, much the way it would be in any close knit family. It always made Ben happy to see a family unit function so well like this.
Ben quickly made his way to the table, only Gellis had arrived so Ben made sure to sit directly next to him.
“Hey bud! How are ya? I haven’t gotten a chance to see you all day.”
With a weak smile Gellis turns towards his pet. “Oh um..It was okay. I um..I talked to Ky about what happened yesterday, I don’t think she’ll try anything like that again. You’re not going to believe this she actually apologized to me!”
Bens lips twitch slightly at that announcement, but unfortunately for him that is what Gellis was waiting for. His eyes grow wide with horror and shock.
“What did you do!” He yells out sternly. His eyes filling with a dangerous light.
“Oh shit um…” Panicking slightly Ben thinks about bolting for the door. It would be the far easier and more tempting option. Ben really doesn’t want to have this conversation. Not about this, and especially not right now!
I mean, how do you tell someone that you may have brainwashed, experimented on, and then fully filled with seed their own sister. It could definitely be taken the wrong way.
Clearing his throat slightly Ben pulls Gellis close to him whispering harshly. “Listen, you deserve a full accounting of what happened, and you’ll get it. Just trust me man, I’m fixing things around here. You know the odd way I work, you just need to have faith that I wouldn’t betray you.”
The timber and emotion in Bens voice left little doubt to his honesty, and Gellis could feel his heart swelling with warmth towards his pet.
‘Afterall’ Gellis reasoned, ‘It’s not like he hurt anyone, he wouldn’t do that to me. My sisters though…they tried to kill me. He’s right, he’s the only person I can actually trust here.’
Clenching his fists tightly Gellis nods at Ben. “You’re right. Just..” Gellis cringed at the words exiting his own mouth. “Please don’t be to hard on them Ben.” Gellis pleaded at his pet. No matter how bad, how mean, how violent they were his family. Family matters damn it!
The clatter of plates from behind quickly calls Bens attention to the parade of staff swarming to cover the table in pristine sea-foam green dishes. The plates themselves gave off a very subtle hint of thyme. Then came the first course. It was a weak looking soup with what appeared to be chunks of chicken in the broth. There were a few other green things sprinkled in, they vaguely seemed like onions.
The first waft of aroma from the dish was revolutionary! While simple appearance did little to stir the appetite, the smell of the slightly salty broth combined with the meat and vegetables perfectly melded with the mild hint of thyme to create a feast for the senses. It smelt as amazing as anything Ben had ever eaten.
Ben was confused by the heavy pregnant silence in the room, that is, until he looked up to notice that Ky was staring at him with a dopey grin on her face. Gently swaying her head from side to side she was they very image of a young maiden firmly in love.
This wasn’t the cause of the silence, at least not directly. The true cause would be the thundering warhead that sight to Bens right at the head of the table. The matriarch had finally tracked down her quarry, he could run no longer.
With a raised eyebrow Ben casually calls out to Ky, “What no kiss?” The shock around the table from every face, save Kys, was priceless. Ben nearly broke and started laughing in the middle of dinner.
No one was more surprised than himself when Ky roughly pushed her chair out from the table and veritably ran around the room to reach him showering him with love with the barest provocation. Nuzzling her face against Bens she seemed to make herself at home in his lap, much to Bens chagrin.
“You’re right honey, so right.” She pants softly making sure to kiss her man between each word.
‘Okay, so double check Ky’s wiring got it.’
A muffled cough, though closer to a roar comes from the matriarch. “KY! What are you doing in the middle of dinner!” She calls out her ashen skin flushing slightly from the rage.
She simply could not figure out what had happened. She had even checked her daughter over with magic to make sure she wasn’t in a trance, or even a doppleganger, but no. This was her daughter, that she raised, rubbing her face on some alien thing like she has never been so happy.
Cairn slowly closed her eyes trying to force the rage in her heart to diminish. Clearly the only option her would be one of civility. “Ky, my darling daughter, whatever happened to that boy you were dating? You two seemed to be doing so well!” She says gently.
Kys eyes shoot open in alarm. “Oh my god mom you’re right! I need to go break up with him!”
And just like that 4 became 3 at this dinner of uncomfortable silence, and even more uncomfortable erections.
“Damn that Ky and her perfect little ass.” Ben mutters under his breath causing Gellis to wince at the thought.
“Okay Gellis, you go ahead and find Ky, that conversation is going to be hilarious.” The mischievous twinkle in Bens eye alarms Gellis, but…anything would be better than to sit in the middle of no-mans-land.
“You got it.” He says before sprinting out the door. This earned a surprised eyebrow raise from Cairn.
“Oh, no more running?” She asks simply raising a glass to her lips she drinks down the cool water slowly while taking her measure of the boy in front of her.
‘This kid must be an idiot.’
A simple smile from Ben makes her take pause, “Don’t worry love, I was never running merely waiting.”
‘This arrogant child!’ Cairn thinks coldly trying her best to not let her rage rule her.
“Oh I see. And what, pray tell, have you been waiting for young man?” The steel in her voice is barely hidden any longer. Nearly biting off the words as she spits them out.
“Why don’t I show you?” Ben asks simply before darting towards the matriarch. Given her level of power and control there was very little threat from Ben, there was no way that Gellis would ever be able to beat her in anything, so why on Ahrl would his pet be any different?
She reinforces her arm with mana before striking the young man forcefully. She slams her hand into has chest forcing him to nearly fly into the back wall.
It’s unfortunate that was nowhere near enough.
Lovers, Enemies, Children, Secrets, Banks, Grimoire,
That simple string was injected into her mana sequence the second her enforced arm struck Bens chest.
Thanks to the diligent work with Ky last night Ben now fully understood where magic would flow from to produce the Strength Enhancing effect. This also means that Ben knows there is a ready and open connection into the Matriarchs Mana network.
“Why fight when I’ve already won?” Ben asks weakly from the floor. Slumped against the wall with an aching sting in his chest.
Ben would love to gloat about this victory. That would be much easier without at least 2 broken ribs.
“Oi you! You or Ky who’s better at healing Magic?” Ben barks out to Cairn.
She shakes her head several times, her eyes seem dead and lifeless. That only last for a few seconds before she seems to awaken.
She shakily makes her way to her feet, and…’Why the fuck is she crying?’
Sobbing quietly Cairn kneels in front of Ben. “I um…I can do it for you…please?”
‘Well…if she’s gonna be all cute about it…’