Book 6 – Chapter 13 – Avalara’s Adventure Date
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Jake walked into the nature sanctuary within their Refuge, dressed for his date slash adventure. Wearing his Champion’s Vestments, he had chosen them to look and feel like traveler’s robes. An oversized tunic with a belt at his waist, Jake was ready for whatever combat the world of Ganestra had in store for them.

Not that there was much that could threaten them where they were going. This world had been well-traveled, and Jake was not taking her to some ancient crypt with lost magics. While that sounded kind of cool, it wasn’t really a great place to go on a date. Maybe a group date with all of his wives when they weren’t pregnant, though?

Ava was standing in front of her mother and father’s trees and shrines, surrounded by various forest creatures. It was as if they were paying homage to nature’s sovereign, birds singing their songs, and the herbivores like the Highlands rabbit and deer watching her from the distance calmly. 

She stood wearing her yellow sundress, which contrasted with her light-green skin. It hugged her curves tightly, the spaghetti straps revealing the smooth skin on her shoulders. Proudly displaying her large chest, the dress dipped in the middle to display her cleavage for Jake. 

The dress was also nearly backless, and she wore no shoes. Ava was what looked like a reindeer parentage beastkin mixed with a dryad, her lesser avatar having a human’s legs and feet. 

He knew her full avatar had more deer-like appendages beneath the knee, but these were designed like little helpers for her main body. Her legs were long and lithe, making her tall, especially with the antlers on top of her head. 

It would be cold where they were going, but her outfit would work just fine.

Ava was with Jake, after all.

“How do I look?” She gave him a teasing smile as he looked at him, but with how her deer ears flicked up and down, he could tell she loved his attention.

“You look fantastic. Before we go, I have a gift for you.”

She touched her twilight blossom hairpin with a smile of anticipation, the luster of the magical flower ever present.

“You liked it?”

Ava smiled. “Of course, the first gift is always special. I’m happy that my mate is so thoughtful.”

Jake took out his gift–four plush toys, and offered them to her.

“Oh! It’s the guardian beasts! They’re so cute.” She hugged them to herself. “And so soft.” She gave him a smile, though there was a question in it.

“What is it?”

“I was just thinking of the other plushies you gave. Why was Bloodberri the only one to receive a plushie Jake?”

Jake shrugged. “I go with what feels right at the time. You were this close to receiving a weird plushy plant abomination.”

Ava giggled. “I want one. The plushie Jake.” To Jake’s surprise, her pale green cheeks took on a light reddish hue.

“I’ll make sure you get one. Let’s go.” He held out his elbow, which she was happy to hold to her chest as they teleported to the portal.

Jake looked over her. “I did tell you we were going on an adventure, right? Your dress looks great on you, but…”

She gave a mischievous smile, and held Jake’s arm a little tighter. “I believe my powerful mate is all the protection I require.”

They stepped through the portal, which Jake had Ophelia set up earlier–bringing them high into the mountains.

It was freezing where they arrived, with chilling winds whipping through their hair.

“Ah! Oh. It’s not cold?”

But not around Jake. His mere Hearthian Presence kept them both warm.

Ava seemed to understand this immediately, giving him a knowing smile. “So quickly I’m proven right. You’ll keep me warm no matter how cold it gets, won’t you?”

Jake smiled at her. “You can count on it.”

The wind died down a bit, and it was much easier to see what was ahead of them. An immense canyon and valley was covered in snow, with a waterfall driving water into a nearly-frozen lake. 

A purple and green haze floated through the air, a sea of stars filling the night sky. 

Despite it being nighttime and freezing cold, there was much activity. Odd sprites flittered about through the air across the ground and up the trees, glowing orbs of energy offering a dizzying array of colors and movement. 

There were animals or beasts as well, but they took no interest in the sprites. From what Jake understood, much of the native magic users of the world drew energy and power from the sprites in some way.

“How wondrous. It’s so different from Highlands, but also the same.”

They took a time to take it in, the view spectacular. Jake did actually think the view was quite close to what she could see from Harmony Peaks, and was one of the reasons he chose this location.

Jake withdrew an item he had some mixed feelings about. A sort of…magical skiff appeared, with a chaise lounge chair, with a back like a sofa in the back of the odd boat. Having a blue crystalline structure, it did look interesting.

“What…is this?” Ava looked at it with a bit of confusion, but interest. It was an odd vehicle.

He couldn’t help but chuckle. “It’s our ride. Blood picked it up, along with a few of the other cultivator items at auction for Faye. She wasn’t interested in this one.”

“Aw, I was hoping you’d fly me through the air, holding me in this prince carry Lia keeps telling me about.”

He groaned at her reference, but couldn’t help but smile at the memory. 

Jake was still working on magical flight. While he could mostly handle himself now with spellforms or directing his immense amounts of mana, he was still a bit slow. In addition, carrying a passenger was something he needed a lot more practice with.

It wouldn’t be too much longer, but he had other things he’d been working on. While he met all the Tier 2 requirements, it still took a fair amount of practice, and a month of off and on practice was simply not enough time.

 “I’m working on it, though I’m not quite ready for real travel. Still, I’m happy to give you a similar experience.”

Jake scooped her up off her feet, her body light in his arms. 

“Oh! Well I much like this.” Ava beamed, as Jake carried her over to the magical skiff.

Sitting with her draped across his lap, she wiggled, practically vibrated in place. Her tuft of deer tail swished against his leg, and her ears fluttered up and down.

Jake chuckled. The girl was easy to please–like most of his wives.

Operating the skiff actually required Qi. With Jake’s Energy Nexus skill, he powered a sort of orb and command module with it, transforming his hearth flames into the necessary energy. Using his Expert Energy Manipulation, he found it required much less effort than when he first learned it at the Advanced stage.

His ability to move the energy was probably less than an early Foundation Establishment cultivator, but the quantity he was able to produce would outpace them rapidly. The skiff rose a few feet in the air powered by magic rather than something like rowing–so why shape it like a skiff at all? Cultivators were weird. 

The ship flew forward as he tested the controls. It moved with wide turns like a boat on water, though in the air it definitely reminded him of how helicopters looked when they flew. Jake had spent a few minutes practicing back at the Refuge, but the chilling winds appeared to make it a little more difficult.

He took them high, Ava gasping at the speed of their assent. Her hair whipped behind her and to his side, her eyes wide with excitement.

“That feels really good! This…thing is a lot faster than it looks. And comfy.” She sneaked a quick peck on his cheek, before continuing to take in the view. He had actually turned the skiff around to head to the top of the peak, to show her the view from the top.

What was seen was actually more surprising than their original view. The mountain was like a central point for several different environments surrounding it. A desert was off in one direction, the area looking hot, and not even dark outside despite it being night. 

A moon shone brightly over that area only somehow, making it nearly as bright as it was during the day. Another area was a lush jungle, and a volcano sat in the distance. Lastly, there was a misty lake, with an island in the distance.

“Where to, Ava? This is your adventure.”

“Oh! I get to pick, huh?” She gave a beaming smile. “This is really neat! Well, the desert is right out–we just came from one. There looks like there are some ruins on that island? I wanna see that!”

He sped them up in that direction, her giggling in excitement. Landing on the small island, Jake carried her off the skiff before stowing it. 

Setting her down, he smiled as he realized something. “You chose the place that is like your namesake.”

“Oh! You’re right–this is like Avalon!” Ava beamed at him. “Did you like my choice for a name?”

“It’s a pretty name. Was the relation to the myth why you chose it?”

Ava gave him a playful smile. “Myth? Avalon is very real. I listened to your speeches when you arrived–and proclaimed you would protect me for all of time, remember? Your Clan had sought a home, a community. No matter what, I wanted Highlands to be that for you.”

She continued, “I could feel how enchanted you were with the world I built, and my people. I got to experience you falling in love with Tanda, and her with you. You deserve a place to call home, and I wanted Highlands to be your place of healing and happiness. I wanted to be your Avalon.”

Jake was definitely starting to be attracted to the idea, and more and more in his mind he started to associate all the things he loved about Highlands with Avalara.

Holding hands, they walked toward the odd ruins. Dilapidated arches of stone and metal alike barely held, the rest crumbled and lost to the sands of time. The number of sprites seemed to increase, though many of them appeared to be of a green color.

Many of them flocked to float around Ava, her holding out her hand as she watched them closely. 

“They appear to be life spirits of some kind. Fascinating.”

A few chose to gather around her hair–near her hairpin, almost as if hanging in her hair. They didn’t have any appendages and were just a glowing haze, but Jake did like how they brightened her beautiful face in the night as they hovered around her.

Continuing their march, they walked through what was likely the center of the original building. A long corridor which had arches every dozen meters or so, the arches the only things standing against the test of time.

Ava smiled. “This reminds me a little of your wedding. We had a path of flowers instead, but the arches are spaced almost appropriately.”

“Do you want that? A wedding of your own.”

Ava gave him a mischievous smile. “Hmm, but wasn’t it like you already married me, when you were crowned lord and protector of Highlands? In truth, I wouldn’t mind it, and I’m willing. But like Tanda, I’m most interested in my people’s custom.” She grasped near her neck, as if grabbing for an invisible necklace.

“I do like the beastkin’s custom now that I know more about it. It felt strange at first, but it is just as varied and diverse as your people are.”

“Ah yes, the more submissive girls and being won over by their husband on the dueling grounds. I can see how a man from Earth would have a bit of difficulty with that. However, in a world filled with danger and where strength matters, I think it’s an important aspect to desire in a mate.”

Blood had mentioned the same sentiment, and Jake could certainly agree. They arrived at the main chamber of the ruins, and seeing this room, Jake realized what it likely was. 

“A temple or church of some kind.” Jake’s voice broke the silence of their walk, them taking in the room with interest. This room held up much better than the rest of the ruins, and there was even a stained-glass window. However, the color had been completely washed out, much of it cracked.

The density of the number of spirits was even higher in this room, and there was a much larger mixture of them.

“Hm. It looks like–”

A surge of energy occurred, and Jake’s Umbral Gaze watched through the void as something approached from beneath–straight for Avalara.

However, Jake didn’t need to move at all, only gathering his hearth flames in preparation. A giant specter appeared, its claw-like hand reaching for Ava.

It was rebuffed by Jake’s Aura, a flame blasting into its oncoming hands. The ghost wailed as its entire appendage was shredded by his flames, and Jake latched onto it with his will alone. His immense Presence attribute weighed down on the creature of nearly pure energy and soul, the monster unable to move.

To Jake, it felt like some kind of evil spirit. A gathering of malevolent energies or souls, eventually taking on the form of a specter. Jake began to capture the monster’s template, now capable of capturing such a creature.

Ava hummed. “Looks like it wanted my vast energy, no matter the cost.”

He nodded. “I was surprised–Ophelia and Valora already checked this place, but no spectre was found.”

The template finished capturing, the cubic lights disappearing. He was interested in using it for its special nature–he was pretty sure it was immune to physical attacks.

She walked forward a little bit from him, as if looking around. “Could be because it’s night now, or… I’m just too tempting?” As she said that, her deer tail began to dance and she looked over her shoulder at him. Her tail made her dress rise up her backside a bit more, showing her luscious figure all the more. Her waist was thin, but her hips flared outward to an attractive ass.

He chuckled–two of his girls essentially designed their own bodies, so how would they not be proud about them? “I’m going to go with both as my answer.” Walking up behind her, he placed his hand on her ass possessively. She wrapped a hand around his waist from the side, and her tail was happy to bat and caress the back of his hand as they began to move. They continued toward the center of the temple.

With all the colors from the many sprites, the ruined temple felt otherworldly. Using Jake’s Gaze, he was quick to see that there wasn’t really anything hidden, no deeper chamber to explore.

Jake noted. “It’s a nice view. Unfortunately, not much to explore here, or too much excitement.”

She looked at him with her large eyes, a smile tugging on her lips. “I disagree. How you took out that creature without even moving, and how you showed you wanted me has my heart aflutter.”

Jake smiled. “You want me to choose the next destination?”

She looked down at his hand, which still held her. “That depends. Maybe I am hoping for a different kind of adventure now.”

He could feel her longing over their bond, a warm desire and love that matched his girls. Being able to feel her desire or love, he felt a little guilty that his feelings weren’t as strong. Still, he was coming around. 

Jake was starting to desire Ava, and more than just for her beautiful body she created. The more time he spent with her, the more he could align in his mind that the world of Highlands and beastkin people were the same as her.    

Ava interrupted his thoughts. “That you long to return to me… I already feel loved. You just think too much. Here. Feel.”

Once again she wrapped him in her soul hug, the song of the world of Highlands reaching him. He could feel the vast jungles and oceans, and the beat of Ava’s heart at the world’s core. However, hearing the beat to the song, he noticed that Ava’s heartbeat of the one in front of him began to overlap. 

Jake knew she had shifted her song, to match the upcoming conflict the world of Highlands needed to face. She had chosen her path of life, death, and conflict against evil, a cycle of rebirth and evolution for the entire world. All to prepare it for the challenges to come, the War Trial. 

But it was like there was a second song, a layer or texture of a piece played over the other. It was as if this song changed the song of conflict, showing more hope and love. However, it was mixed with a fiery desire, a desire to be claimed. It took Jake a moment of feeling and listening, but eventually, he understood.

It was Ava’s love for Jake and her people. Her love for him was now shaping the world itself. Each change would be miniscule, from the height of a mountain to the width of a river, to the depth and magnitude of an ocean current. 

The flow of auril shifted the entire planet ever so slightly as the pulse of the world beat, a butterfly effect of epic proportions.

Ava interrupted his listening, “Right now, the song is incomplete. Can you guess what is missing?”

Jake had an idea. “My song?” He thought for a moment, realizing, in truth he did already love the beastkin and the world of Highlands. “And just how would I sing it?”

She beamed. “That’s right…and, when we form our hearth bond… I think that will handle it, thanks to your goddess’s planning. If not, I’m sure mom and dad can come up with something.” 

The more he thought about it, the more excited he seemed by the idea. Not because he was excited about shaping a world, but because of all the ways that Ava was so amazing. 

And most importantly, with Ava, all the hearts of his clan, his wives, were all beating as one. When Jake connected to Ava just now, he had noticed the desire of his wives increased, as they all felt the same. 

When he bound her originally, his family’s hearts had all beat as one, pushing their desire and wills to the limit to brand her with his mark. He took her on as a prospective mate–to let their love for each other grow, and to see if they could sing the song of family together.

He knew they could. He long since fallen in love with Highlands and the beastkin, and he knew his song of hope and love for them would almost mirror Ava’s. 

Leaning down, Jake kissed Ava on the lips. Her soft lips were warm and inviting, and somehow, tasted like sweet apples. Letting the kiss deepen as he wrapped his arms around her, her body molding to his as their tongues met. 

She moaned in excitement, her ears fluttering up and down–and her tail seemed to almost pinwheel from the anticipation, though slowly. Thinking on it, it seemed to almost move in time with her tongue. Seeing that with his Gaze, he couldn’t help but chuckle into her mouth.

Ava was now blushing furiously. “I-I’m not used to it yet–the kissing. It takes a lot of my…focus…elsewhere.”

“It’s cute. We’ll get you a lot more practice, I promise. Now–”

She cleared her throat, anticipating his question, “Here is good! We don’t…need to head back to the Refuge, for that. Didn’t I already say it? This was somewhat like your venue. As for mom and dad… I’m sure we can re-enact it for them later.” 

Jake couldn’t help but chuckle at that, but he realized she had waited long enough, thousands of years for a mate. 

He retrieved her necklace from his storage ring, the now seven hearts as one necklace. This one had plant much like her hairpin, and when she saw it, her eyes gleamed. “Oh! I love it. Even the gems are plants.”

His intentions were for her to be able to grow copies around any other avatars she had access to, but all thoughts left him when her lips mashed against his. She had leapt into his arms, kissing him fiercely once again. Her heart hammered with excitement, and he spun her around before putting her down.

“Alright–you’re excited, and I am too. But there’s one more stop–and it matches our desires perfectly.”

She sensed his thoughts, and her excitement grew. “Oh! I like that. Let’s go!”

Producing the skiff once more, she jumped into his arms happily. Taking off, they flew toward the volcano. Entering a cave nearby, Jake carried Ava to their destination.

A giant cavern filled with hot water was in front of them–hot springs. Lit by spirits, this place was a magical place for enjoyment and relaxation.

And it was occupied by his wives. Berri swam around the cavern with Tanda riding her, the two playing as they killed the time. They had rested for a while, but Berri had gotten bored quickly. Ophelia was reading a romance novel at the edge of the underground lake, and Blood did her best to enjoy the warm water while her sister moved through it all too quickly.    

Berri spotted their entry, Jake dismounting from the skiff with Ava in his arms. “Finally! Ava has her necklace!”

Tanda beamed from Bloodberri’s back, but waited for the giant snake woman to bring her right to the edge of the lake, holding on tight.

Jake’s vestments were instantly swapped with some swim trunks, and Ava removed her dress in the same way–and an odd, dark-green one-piece swimsuit was underneath, grown out of her leaves and vines.

The four girls fussed over Ava, making note of her new necklace. 

Blood smiled as she enveloped Ava in a warm hug, and looked over the vine necklace. “I do like your version. Perhaps once we all have some control over auril, we can use the same. It allows for better…customization, as well.”

Ophelia hugged Ava too, enveloping her in her warm wings. Pulling away, she frowned as she looked at it. “I do think I’ll be able to handle metal like this someday, but not quite yet.”

Tanda joined Ophelia in her hugging of Avalara, “I’m so happy for you, Ava! Oh, um… are you able to join us, like this?”

The tanned girl rubbed her belly, and Ava’s smile grew wide as she looked over to Jake’s semi-worried expression. “Hmm, I wonder? Whatever the case may be, I don’t think tonight is the right time for that. I feel like Faye should be first, don’t you think?”

Ophelia chuckled. “She might be happier if it’s at the same time. Because of the… implications.”

Ava’s smiled at Jake, though she fluttered her eyelashes and gave him a doe-eyed expression, “What do you think, my mate? Does that excite you, breeding your mates together? I know the wedding night was a special occasion, but…”

Remembering that special night, Jake’s desire reached an all time high. He had loved that night, and–

“Oh! He likes it. Hm, but I have multiple bodies, the two lesser avatars, and then the one in the heart. That could be a really fun night, don’t you think… my stag?”

Jake scooped her up. “That’s later, isn’t it? There was one more thing I did want to show you, tonight.”

Using a mixture of the Telekinesis spellform he learned from Blood, and sending mana out from his body as propulsion, he flew them slowly across the cavern–slow compared to his flying wives’ speeds, anyway.

A side tunnel led to a private grotto, with gemstones lining the ceiling. With the spirits fluttering about, the room was filled with a kaleidoscope of colors. The warm water wasn’t overly deep, with areas to sit and relax in the shallow pool. 

Holding his new mate to his chest, he carried her into the simmering water.