[Vol. 2 pt. 51]
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I had nothing to hide from Anna, so I told her everything that there was to say about me, my ideals, and my drives. Though, it mainly came down to me just saying different versions of the usual, “I want to have a sex dungeon for consensual fun.”

I told her about the kid problem and trying to find ethical ways to deal with the dungeon’s supply issues as well. Overall, she sounded pleased with my answers, and then I let her have some alone time with Thera while I went and gave Lily and Akorya some attention before going out for the tunnels.

Speaking of the tunnels, once all bathing was done with, it took even longer than I thought it would in order to go around to all the different ones that Thera prepared. Hell, there probably wasn’t even any point in showing some of them since they were either collapsed or hidden so well that it’d be literally impossible to find them.

But, a deal is a deal, so we showed Anna every single tunnel that Thera had created.

There’s only one left now, and it’s the tunnel that we were using to go back and forth between the other side of the wall.

The problem is that both Thera and Anna seem worried about something as soon as we reach it.

“I can tell that it was used recently,” Anna says, looking the tunnel’s entrance over.

“Yeah, we were exploring on the other side a bit the other day. I wanted to learn more about what’s over there and look around before having to seal the tunnel off, to be honest,” I explain.

“I see, but you are not the only one to have used it recently.”

“Huh?”

“She is right, darling. Look,” Thera says, pointing down at a group of footprints.

Yeah… there are way too many footprints here.

Shit.

They all came this way without going back through, so that means something from the other side of the wall came over here.

“Hey, what are you doing?” I ask Anna.

She drew her blade from its sheath.

“I am preparing myself,” she answers. “I trust you, Damian, but I do not trust those tracks.”

“Wise choice,” Thera says, standing up tall and scanning the area with her eyes.

They’re both acting like we’re about to be ambushed at any time or something. I wasn’t feeling tense at all until I saw them like this, but now that I know they’re on guard, I can’t help but to feel like I need to be as well.

“Do you think it was the fay?” I ask.

“No,” Thera answers. “Look at the footprints again.”

Looking back down at them… I have no idea who they’re supposed to belong to. They just look like regular foot…prints.

The fay didn’t have regular feet.

Asku and his sisters had hooves, Syl had wings, and everybody else I saw in that town either had uniquely-shaped feet or would have left footprints way larger or way smaller than these.

These just look like regular-sized feet. Well, some of them are a bit elongated, but that’s it.

“Moon’s First,” Anna says.

“You uh, you mean the supposedly fluffy monster girl faction that’s full of vicious fighters and killers and all that?” I ask.

“The very same, darling,” Thera answers.

“Why would they be here? How’d they even discover this tunnel?”

“I wonder.”

Thera’s good mood seems to be gone. She was smiling and teasing earlier, but now she looks… afraid.

Anna looks fearful as well. She’s constantly turning around, checking over her shoulders, looking up above, and keeping her sword close.

I need to do something if these two women are this afraid.

“Feel free to come out if you’re out there!” I shout.

And... the pledge that I made to Syl about not trying to communicate with any members of the Moon's First just popped up telling me that I broke it.

Damn it. I completely forgot about that stupid pledge, and I’ve been doing so good lately keeping all my words! Then again, I planned on breaking this pledge in the first place.

But still, fuck.

Thera and Anna turn to look at me with wide eyes for just a second before going back to scanning our surroundings even more diligently.

I mean, if I could call out the “gods” and essentially challenge them, why can’t I do the same with some fluffy monsters?

“I believe that I have found an available escape route,” Thera says. “Stay close to me until we get back to the dungeon.”

“Are you even sure we’re in danger right now? Nothing is happening, I don’t hear or see anything, and—”

“They are trying to surround us,” Anna interrupts me.

“But they lack the numbers,” Thera says.

Seriously, how can they tell what’s going on? No matter where I look and no matter how hard I try to listen for the subtlest of clues, I can’t pick up on anything.

“A bug and humans cooperating. They weren’t lying then,” a rough voice says.

I spin around to try and pinpoint where the voice came from, but it doesn’t do anything.

It sounded like the voice came from every direction at once.

“Stay between us, darling. Remember, the dungeon will go berserk if anything were to happen to you,” Thera says.

I really don’t like Anna and Thera surrounding me like this as if they’re my bodyguards.

I’ll be my own bodyguard.

“Feral Form: Lusticore,” I say and transform. “You know I’m not going to let you do all the work.”

“I wish I could advise you to use this form to fly away, but I am afraid you would be snatched out of the air were you to try,” Thera says.

“Plus you know I wouldn’t abandon you two here anyways.”

“Of course. I have the most stubborn darling of them all.”

I swear I heard a bit of that happiness from earlier return to her voice, but I can’t tell if she’s smiling or not from here.

“Unfortunately, our escape route is no longer available,” Thera says.

“Why’s that?” I ask.

She points in the direction that previously was our escape.

Oh.

I guess it’s no longer available due to there being somebody there now, and that somebody is on all fours with their tail up in the air and fangs bared at us.

Snarling comes from every direction.

There are more people just like that first one all around us. I can see at least two in the trees, one in each direction away from here, and there’s even somebody coming out of hiding from within the tunnel now.

We’re completely surrounded.

“What happened to them not having the numbers?” I ask.

“I was wrong,” Thera admits.

I wish the situation was less serious so that I could tease her about being wrong for once.

I've got a new story up over on Royal Road. It's a LitRPG dungeon core with a harem, monster girls, evolutions, and will eventually have kingdom building. Anyways, feel free to check it out here! I'll be bringing it over here to SH once I'm not lazy, too. Probably once it has an actual cover.

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