My plan of going out to the world to level up sounds easy, and if this world really was a perfectly designed game, where the player could develop progressively without getting frustrated or dying unnecessarily. But no, things are not that pretty and convenient.
We always have the little, mundane, and almost unimportant details about how this world works and what feudal society in the empire is like, primed and ready to screw up our lives at a moment's notice.
This world is far from a safe place; the populated areas are mainly the fiefdoms of some lord, and they barely keep the monsters at bay from eating their serfs or destroying their crops and mines.
There are cities administered directly by the empire, and they are generally very safe and pleasant places to live as long as you stay within the walls in the areas where the nobles live, since the slums are a nest of crime and other very unpleasant things that, luckily, I never had to experience in person.
As security measures, there are all kinds of entry controls and magical sensors to detect monsters in the surroundings, and even large-scale defensive magical formations, as well as some garrisons of soldiers, mercenaries, and adventurer guilds to defend noble citizens.
It would be very risky and screwed up to enter an imperial city in my current state, and entering the imperial capital would be downright suicidal.
I will have many problems in the future, in addition to the problems that I may have caused myself, such as using the night sun to erase the traces of Gor, which left me with a bad feeling.
I may have been too hasty and caught up in the emotion of the moment when using a spell so characteristic of my family, but at least I was careful to bombard the crater with demonic magic spells so as not to make it so obvious and to dissipate the residual traces of mana with the fire attribute.
— Could it be that I'm worrying more than necessary? —
As if my father could think that his trash daughter could use the night sun, no one would suspect that the useless Victoria is responsible for that anyway.
What I already did can't be reversed; still, it wasn't safe to stay in the ruins, and it was already suspicious enough that those rats didn't even pick up their things before leaving our old house.
It's like they ran away, but the barrier formation theoretically didn't allow anyone to "see" our room. Therefore, I suppose they must have had some “method” to detect possible threats.
The residual magical energy emitted from my darling's body is almost imperceptible, and as far as I can remember, there is no mana sensor that is capable of detecting such minute amounts of energy through a defensive formation like that.
— How could they detect it then? —
Did they detect my demonic attribute, mana? I was very angry, but I wasn't stupid enough to allow my mana to leak out of my body.
I must be very careful from now on; if any of those pests were able to sense me, with me being behind a defensive formation, it is almost certain that someone else with similar abilities would sense me instantly if I met them face-to-face.
I need to find out what method they used to detect me so I can take efficient countermeasures.
— But I'm sure I won't get the answer sitting next to this little pond. —
I sigh as a smile appears on my face.
Little by little, I slowly take off my uncomfortably tight dress. My smile is clouded by the disgust I feel when the essence of one of those beasts reaches my nose and I realize that it has permeated my entire body.
The constant buzzing in my head gets a little louder, which helps me calm down.
My beloved is incredibly considerate of me. For him, my personal well-being comes first. He always helps me when something worries me, scares me, or especially bothers me.
I know he does it to comfort and encourage me. It's like my personal negative emotion control system.
— Honey, this is how you're going to spoil me. —
I said between laughs, but I distracted myself by contemplating my reflection.
— Is this really me? —
If I were not sure that I was still myself, it would be impossible for me to recognize the woman reflected on the surface of the water.
— I'm fucking beautiful and sexy! So is that how you like girls, Gor? You really are a boy with very good taste. —
I say this to my lover, as I am shocked at how incredibly little remains of my former appearance as Victoria.
My skin is pale as if it were made of snow; my hair is totally black and straight; it looks so well cared for and shiny; I don't have split ends; It even reflects sunlight.
In all these years, I could only use my hands to comb my hair; I couldn't even wash my hair, but it still looks perfect—more perfect than I could ever achieve in my life as Victoria.
My facial features are much finer and more delicate, while the curves of my body are perfectly defined. I feel my curves with both hands; Emilia comes to mind, but there is almost no point of comparison.
I'm the kind of woman I would have always dreamed of having something with when I was Victor. But I don't feel the slightest emotion when I see myself naked.
— It's just my body, and that's it, as boring and simple as that. —
Not everything is good. My breasts are larger than I would like to be forced to carry every day, and it will be difficult to keep them under control during combat.
— Sigh. —
But this is the appearance my beloved gave me, so I'm willing to deal with the inconvenience.
It makes me very happy to know that I have the enviable opportunity to wear the look chosen by my loved one.
— I am perfectly fine with being like this for you, my love, but never forget that you must look at me and love me only and exclusively. —
— Only me, Victoria Eleanor Nightsun, is the only being in this world who deserves your love; you are mine and no one else's, no one, no one else! —
Involuntarily, I start laughing out loud. I try to stop myself by covering my mouth with one hand, but I can't stop laughing.
I do breathing exercises slowly and steadily, inhaling until I fill my lungs and then exhaling slowly, repeating it over and over again until I finally become calmer and manage to stop laughing.
— I swear that sometimes I don't know what's wrong with me; I feel like so much happiness might be starting to drive me a little crazy, but only a little. —
Getting back to the topic, I begin the tedious work of washing the dress. It's not bad quality, so I guess its former owner at least had some good taste.
Washing the dress by hand is not something a noble lady like me is supposed to do, so I will do it with magic.
Magic in this world can be cast in three main ways.
The first, the most basic and inefficient of all, is pure instinct. It is generally the method by which monsters manage to make use of this power.
They are limited to basic, unrefined attacks or defenses, spend enormous amounts of mana, and sometimes damage their own bodies, although they are very fast to cast.
The second, most efficient and reliable of all, is through the use of "spells," a shorthand way of referring to mathematical representations of magical circuits created to flow mana in the manner necessary to cast magic.
With the help of scrolls, the pattern of these magical circuits is engraved on your body and soul almost perfectly and painlessly, so you can cast magic extremely efficiently, safely, and quickly. It is ideal for combat, and a noble mage usually has at least a dozen spells available.
The third and most common among beginner and commoner magicians, but unfortunately, my best option at the moment, is through "mental images."
It is a little more efficient than doing it by pure instinct, somewhat safer, and allows me to use more complex magic, but it is very unstable, slow, and difficult to use in combat because I must be fully concentrated. Even simply moving or breathing can cause my spell to fail catastrophically.
My father was already pouting at being forced to spend valuable magic scrolls on me. He was very reluctant to agree to give me some leftovers and only agreed through my mother's persuasion.
To him, a noble mage with a 33% fire affinity was a waste of resources and an embarrassment that tormented him every day.
He didn't even want to give my hand in marriage for fear of ruining his bloodline with more talentless offspring like me, much less giving me magical water scrolls with my low affinity for that element.
I'm surprised he didn't smother me with a pillow when I was born or abandon me in a forest, like in those typical stories. Even so, every time I remember his face looking at me, I only remember his expression of contempt and disgust.
— Fuck you selfish old man; I'll cast my own spells. You can fuck yourself in the ass with your expensive, shitty scrolls! —
I said it with great anger as I remembered my father, but I immediately realized that that is not the type of behavior appropriate for a lady like me.
That is not the vocabulary that a noble lady like me should use. I must always be a respectable woman and maintain my manners at all times, no matter the situation, lest I embarrass my beloved Gor.
At a slow pace, I concentrated magic in a small corner of the lagoon until I created a small whirlpool of water, and at the same time, I made the air mix with the water, resulting in thousands of small bubbles.
I just dropped the dress into the whirlpool, and after waiting twenty-five minutes, keeping the whirlpool and bubbles the cleanliness achieved by my "magic washing machine" is satisfactory.
— I think I finally managed to remove the smell of that other woman. —
I don't want Gor to be exposed to anything but my own essence.
I rule out the idea of drying it with magic because I'm worried that I might accidentally burn it when I use fire magic.
It is best to place it on the branches of some bushes and let the sun do the work for me. I could speed up the process a little with wind magic, but it's not worth it; I have other things to do.
Meanwhile, my dress is drying, so I will go take a bath. The last time I took one was many years ago. Still, I don't smell that bad, and I don't look that dirty either. Just some dried blood here and there, and traces of dried tears on my face.
How is this possible? I should look like a mess and smell like an unwashed garbage can, but my new body apparently has a very different metabolism than a normal human.
I imagine it helps not to have to eat or pass waste like a simple animal, and now that I think about it, I don't sweat either.
— Can I even continue to be considered a living being? —
— What am I really now? —
I am so different now than I was in my two past lives.
— Is this what I really want? —
I lost my humanity forever, and now I'm just a… monster—a very pretty and sexy demon, but a monster at the end of the day.
The ringing in my head gets louder and louder, my heart beats faster and faster, and it's hard for me to breathe.
I fall to my knees on the floor. I think I'm having a panic attack.
— I can't feel anything like before. —
— I can no longer enjoy absurd and mundane things like eating. —
— What else have I missed, and I'm still not even aware of it? —
— Am I still capable of loving like before? —
— Am I even truly in love right now? —
I'm drowning, my head hurts a lot, and blood is running from my eyes and ears.
— This is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad! —
— I don't want to stop being who I was; although I was always trash and in my two lives I didn't achieve anything important, at least I was still the pathetic me. —
— I don't want to lost myself forever! —
— I want to have control over my own life again, no matter how miserable it may be! This is my... life... —
The ringing in my head becomes so loud that I am no longer able to hear my own thoughts; it hurts so much as if my head were going to explode, and the pain is so strong that I end up passing out.