Chapter 59: Rental agreement
Since I had done so well with my language studies, Thessa agreed that I could stay with her for a while. In exchange, I would use my body and skills to repay her. She said those exact words. It was a joke brought on by my constant teasing...I think?
Thessa took me to her home which turned out to be a fairly large two-story shop called: The silk Boutique. The living quarters are upstairs while the downstairs has the shop, storage and workspaces. She lives with her niece, Scarlet, who runs the shop. In fact, it was Scarlet’s idea to open the shop because of a race specific trait she has called thread manipulation which lets her easily make cloth from most materials.
[Thread Manipulation] Gives the ability to transfer qi into threads of any kind to strengthen them temporarily and can use mana to manipulate them freely.
Her niece is a fairykin and arachne halfbreed. Thessa had to raise her because arachne have the disgusting habit of eating their mates and will abandon their young. Thessa’s brother had gone out to hunt one day when they were young and never came back. His remains were only found by the search party some time later in the nest with a clutch of eggs. Scarlet’s egg was different from the rest, so it was brought back to be investigated. Some time later, she hatched and bore more resemblance to a fairykin so her aunt adopted her. It’s important to know that most of the time, an arachne’s blood is so dominant that it will overpower any other that might be present. Half breeds are usually impossible.
“Welcome to...Welcome home aunt. How was your trip? Who’s that with you?”~Scarlet
I’m pretty sure she was about to say “Welcome to The Silk Boutique” before she changed it to greet her aunt. This must be Scarlet. Long white hair that is done up into an impossibly intricate weave of braids. The work of her trait, I’d guess. Which is pretty awesome! She’s red eyes like her namesake, fair unblemished skin, small face, big eyes, dainty nose, luscious pink lips and a short height. Only a few inches taller than me if we took our shoes off. My ‘spidey sense’ is tingling. Her shining eyes practically locked onto my ears the moment she first saw me.
“No good. The party I was requested to search for was already dead by the time I arrived. Some goblins got them. She, on the other hand, was lost and followed me home. Is it okay with you, Leti, if she stays here?”~Thessa
“That’s too bad. I don’t mind if…”~Scarlet
“...if Lilia stays. How long will she be staying?”~Scarlet
“She’ll leave with me for my dungeon dive, so two nights, for now anyways. Oh yeah, she’s got a mute curse in her status, but is able to write just fine to communicate. Just something you should know.”~Thessa
“How terrible! Mind watching the shop while I show her around and then I’ll make lunch?”~Scarlet
“Sure. I could use a break from all the running around.”~Thessa
“Haha. Very funny. This is one of the best clothing stores in the city. We just don’t get much business around lunchtime and you know it.”~Scarlet
“Scarlet, I can help to make lunch if you like?”~me(note)
She started out by showing me around her shop. It’s a womens’ boutique that mostly sells intimate apparel and some simple dresses. Next, her workshop was filled with different colors of silk, some dye baths and a workbench. The silk she uses is produced by herself from glands in her mouth. I’m then shown around out back where they have a small garden and lastly the upstairs residence.
“Waaah! Where did that adorable apron come from!?”~Scarlet
We had just entered the kitchen to start lunch and my attire changed. Now that I think about it, I think my maid clothes had appeared when I had first entered the shop. Somehow, Thessa didn’t seem too bothered about it earlier and only slightly frowned when she had looked at me with my changed attire.
“One of my curses is a hidden curse which, among other things, changes my attire to change to specific sets that match my situation.”~me(note)
“One of your curses? Ah, right. You also have the mute curse. Though, you must be pretty strong if you’re going with my aunt to explore the dungeon.”~Scarlet
I went ahead and showed her my status with a status orb. Her eyes stopped and glowed brightly for a moment when she was scanning through it.
“Um, I know that beastkin don’t usually let anyone except family do so, but can I touch them? Please?”~Scarlet
“I had already agreed with your aunt to pay for my stay with my body. It would seem that I’ll need to follow through with it after all. Please be gentle with me.”~me(note)
She didn’t pay any mind to my flirting and just started to mofu. I continued with the cooking and we sat down to eat together. Their afternoon worker had arrived, so Thessa had come up to eat with us shortly after. She looked at me and frowned, but sat down, once again ignoring something that should obviously be questioned.
“The food is really good today! Much better than the normal messy slop you usually make. And what exactly may I ask is Lilia wearing?”~Thessa
Oh! She finally couldn’t hold back from asking anymore.
“Is that what you think of my cooking?! A messy slop? I feel so hurt. Lilia told me that she has a hidden curse and as a part of it, that her attire will change depending on what the situation is.”~Scarlet
“Why would you feel hurt even though I said that you improved? And why didn’t you tell me about your hidden curse earlier? Seems like something I should know before we go dungeon diving together.”~Thessa
“That particular curse is currently in a mostly inactive state. It would not affect my combat ability even if it were active. Oh, and thanks for the compliment about lunch. I cooked lunch because Scarlet’s hands were otherwise…occupied.”~me(note)
“Sorry Leti! I was just trying to exaggerate the difference between today’s lunch and before. Your usual cooking isn’t at all bad. The poor way that I said it just made it seem like that.”~Thessa
After much flattery and some bribery later, Thessa finally managed to restore her reputation. Scarlet will apparently now be joining us for the dungeon dive and will be given ‘the item with the special effects’ that Thessa had kept from one of her previous dives. I spent the rest of lunch learning about my companions’ status and combat method.
Thessa is peak stage four in mind just like I had thought and specializes in ice magics. She also has a mid stage three body and a low stage two spirit. Her prefered method of attack is ice spear and she uses a bow for backup. Other than the usual skills everyone picks up, she has the inventory and hawkeye skills.
Scarlet is high stage three body, low stage three in mind and mid stage one in spirit. Her combat method is to use her threads for control and deliver fatal blows with daggers after they’re tied up. She only has the extra skill, dark sight.
Neither one had any idea that higher spirit can increase cultivation speed. They just raised it out of boredom when other crystals were low because spirit crystals are considered cheap goods here. Most people here would completely disregard spirit cultivation. It shocked them to learn of its usefulness.
I spent the rest of the day with Thessa learning things or helping out Scarlet with her shop. Before bedtime, I contacted Flora early for an update and was told that things are pretty much the same. We all took a bath together before bed. They loved the soaps and hair products that I brought out. I got to closely examine the both of them, but had to forego any horseplay because of the old wooden bathing tub they had. The thing was just itching to give us splinters, I just know it.
My sleeping arrangement had evidently already been determined because Scarlet dragged me off to her room saying that I would be sleeping with her tonight and Thessa didn’t try to stop her. Her room was a dresser, a wardrobe, a vanity set, a nightstand and a four-poster bed with a canopy. There’s a box on the nightstand that I saw Thessa reluctantly give to her earlier, but neither of them ever said what is in it.
“Time to pay your rent!”~Scarlet
Oh, so she did hear my flirting earlier.
In a striptease fashion, I promptly removed the nighty and underwear that had materialized earlier. Then I joined her in bed. We took turns at first, finding each other’s weak points while stimulating our lust. My tail is awesome. It feels just like I have a second tongue when I use it to explore. I stopped myself from using any of my love serum secretions though. In my honest opinion, I don’t think that our first time together should be influenced by such things. Even so, I still managed to coax her to orgasm many times with it.
She eventually became satisfied with her discoveries and moved on by pulling a toy from the drawer of the nightstand. When I saw the strap-on toy, I couldn’t help but think that these things have been around for a lot longer in this world than I had thought or Kat had set up some sort of special information channel for such things. I’m leaning more towards the latter.
During my pondering, Scarlet sneakily used her thread manipulation to secure my wrists and ankles with some tassel ropes that were on the bedposts. She even had the nerve to ask me if I was okay with such play, after the fact! I just rolled my eyes at her and grinned, but I really do admire the fact that she has the sensitivity to ask about such things.
Even though it’s been a while since experiencing what it’s like without my tattoo, I still had plenty of fun. She managed to bring me to climax multiple times before her stamina finally ran out. While my mind was still somewhat fogged up with bliss, she did something I completely didn’t expect.