Harem Heroes: Heaven’s Gold Spear / Chapters 40-41


 

Chapter 40:  David and Bernice

David took a deep breath as he closed the door. It was time to face Bernice.

With a thought, David teleported himself to the doors of Vasherton castle. A cadre of startled guards lowered their spears at him, and David was surprised to see they were all human. Almost as soon as they had lowered their spears, each one was embraced by a scantily-clad foreign monster, dressed in exotic robes that seemed as if they were nearly falling off. Each of the foreign girls had fox ears and tails behind them.

The foreign fox-girls whispered to the guards and they lifted their weapons. One of them, a tall man with a grey mustache grunted an apology.

“Lord Vasher has been waiting for you, sir. One of my men will escort you.”

David nodded to the man.

“Thank you. Which Lord Vasher, If I may ask?”

“Hm. Both of them, sir.”

David figured as much.

He followed the soldier through the castle doors and noticed the foreign girls had quickly began chatting up the guards again. David shot one of the guards a wink and wished him good luck.

The castle was nothing particularly special from David’s point of view. It was as he expected a castle to be, and filled with the fineries of higher living that, once upon a time, David would have killed for. The soldier led David up a flight of staircases and past several servants all bustling about redecorating the place in white and red. He almost asked why they were re-decorating, but he noticed on of the servants taking down a painting of a man slaying a giant and had a good guess.

The New Vasherton was a monster-friendly state, and David supposed a change of scenery helped cement that fact. As David continued to follow the taller man, he was surprised to find several mummies shambling in the hallways following after several of the servants. He also made note that the maids were all lamia and succubae.

The guard opened a door and gestured for David to enter. David thanked him and did so.

It was a large dining room, though by no means a feasting hall. It was long, with three tables within, but all chairs were stacked on the other side and no dishes were on the tables. On one side of the room, opposite the door David had come in, were Lord Vasher, Beatrice, John, Rupert, two glacies, Miyako, and Hoshiko. All of them were seated in plush chairs placed in a circle. Beatrice’s long pink snake body trailed out of the seat, and curled up around Lord Vasher’s chair.

As David entered, they all stopped their talking and gave him a glance. John was the only one to smile, but it was Lord Vasher that beckoned him to sit in an empty chair. David gave a single nod and did as the Lord wanted, stepping over Lady Beatrice’s tail and sitting next to John. John leaned over to him, a smile on his face.

“Nice to see you again, David. I heard the missions didn’t exactly work out.”

“Haven’t seen you in weeks and that’s the first thing you bring up.”

“Well it isn’t all bad, right Father? You didn’t exactly win either.”

His father gave a harrumph, but David didn’t miss the slight smile.

“To think, my own son plotted my overthrow. I didn’t think you had it in you.”

“Why you sound almost proud,” John said, a smirk on his face.

“Oh for crying out loud,” Rupert groaned, “You’ve had the same conversation every day since we started meeting. Now that the wizard is finally here, I say we get to Bernice already. We’ve put it off long enough.”

Beatrice sighed deeply.

“Yes, I think that is a good idea. David was it? You look smaller than when we were fighting.”

“You look a little longer.” David replied.

Beatrice took the comment in stride, and laughed, taking Lord Vasher’s hand.

“Yes, I suppose I am. I have Zagira to thank for that. I hear she’s taking a liking to you.”

“We’re getting close, is all I’ll say about that. Lord Vasher Sr., nice to meet you finally.”

“Hmm, Yes. It is. I’ve heard a lot about you, heard you were part of the reason Vasherton is now conquered. I heard my son was the other part.”

“I played a very minimal role in all that.” David said.

“Perhaps,” the older man said with a grin as he looked back to his son. “But I must say, I am proud that my boy has become so devious. I didn’t think he had the spine. The fact that my citizens aren’t being eaten is a good bonus. You’d think someone would have told me about that.”

The old man leveled his eyes at Rupert, who had the decency to blush.

“I already told you, the church thought it best the common man didn’t know. Do you know how many young lonely men would have charged headlong into the demon realms if we let the truth get out? I mean, sure, that sounds like a great idea now. But back before I met Krysta, Cynthia, Mara, Serena, Layla-”

Lord Vasher raised his voice.

“Oh shut up! So you have more than one wife! So does my son, but he doesn’t go on blithering about it. Now, about Bernice, now that… what was your name again?”

“David.”

Lord Vasher continued.

“Now that David is here, let’s get back to the matter at hand. She’s been monsterized, same as Beatrice here,” The old lord held up his hand which was intertwined with hers, two gold rings on their ring fingers. “But she’s hardly had any sort of psychological shift. Not the kind I think benefited Beatrice, anyway. She hasn’t said a word to anyone. Barely eats. She just sits in her room.”

“Room?” David questioned. “ I heard she was put in a dungeon.”

Beatrice eyed him.

“You think I’d put my own daughter in a dungeon?”

David held his hands up in a defensive position.

“No, no! Well, maybe. I was just told that she was in the castle dungeon by one of my friends. I guess they were just mistaken.”

Beatrice accepted the explanation. David however, thought this was a good time to give the group the bottle that contained… Bernice’s soul? Part of her soul. He rubbed his forehead in a bid to reduce his stress. This was really important, and he was beginning to think that he should have come here first.

“Actually, everyone, I have something important to say.”

“As do we,” John interjected. “Bernice has spoken some since we put her in her room. She wants to talk to you. That’s why we’ve been holding off. Lady Vanderhousen wanted to talk to her, but we thought she might react poorly to seeing her mother as a snake-woman.”

Hoshiko, the dark-skinned white-haired kunoichi wearing a short blue kimono, spoke next.

“I just don’t understand it! She’s so depressed! I’ve never seen anything like it. I thought she’d be happy. Monsterization is supposed to relieve anxiety, get one in tune with their desires! Make one… just go for it! But she’s just so sad. It makes me sad.”

David nodded in agreement.

“Yes, well I might have the answer to that.”

He pulled out the bottle Delilah had given him, the glowing yellow orb inside piquing everyone’s interest. Beatrice was especially interested.

“What is that, wizard?”

“Silas might have told you all about the time Bernice was attacked by a Parasite Slime, and he used the Heaven’s Gold Spear to cure her?”

“I know nothing of this.”

John interjected.

“He told Rupert and me about it. He also postulated on how the Spear worked. He knew it took a piece of your soul, he theorized it used that ‘soul matter’ to cut out foreign mana.”

David blinked.

“I didn’t realize he knew. I suspected, but…” David was distracted for a moment, realizing that Silas and himself had been at odds longer than he previously thought.

“That’s not quite true. It cuts out and absorbs the part of a soul that sticks out the most. For a wizard, its his magical ability. For a warrior, it would be her training and skill. For a monster, it would either be the Overlord’s influence, if they were born a monster, or the monster mana itself. This would either ‘cure’ monsterization, or it would revert a monster back into its former monstrous form.

“Delilah told me that souls are more complicated than that and implied more than just the monster parts were cut out. I suspect Bernice’s ability to trust, form relationships, and feel calm might all have been glued to the monster part of her soul that was cut out. Delilah was able to reverse this”

David held up the bottle.

“This is a sliver of Bernice’s soul. It may help. It may not. I don’t know if the slime monster mana will somehow interfere with the cursed sword currently latched onto her. I feel like this choice isn’t really mine to make. Of everyone here, Beatrice is the only one I think should make the call.”

“Considerate of you,” Beatrice said. “but I must ask, you are her friend, yes? The last time she and I spoke… before I became a lamia, I was trying to set her up with young John there,” she pointed at the handsome young man. “But she was quite stubborn about refusing him. I believe it may be because she grew to care for you. You and she spent some time on the road. She and I have had a strained relationship most of our lives. Of everyone here, I believe you might be the closest to her right now.”

Everyone there seemed to stare at him with more intensity than David had ever felt bearing down on him before. He felt a heavy weight on his shoulders.

“I don’t know if that’s wise.”

John sat up, and walked over to David’s seat. He placed a hand on his shoulder and gave him a confident smile.

“David, please. We need you to talk to her. I think you should make her whole just because I don’t believe shaving off a piece of someone’s soul is the healthiest thing in the world. Lady Vanderhousen will go with you, you won’t be alone. But Bernice hasn’t asked for her. She’s asked for you. Please go talk to her. I believe you’re wise enough to make the decisions”

“I appreciate that, but I still feel as if I really shouldn’t have last say about anything here.”

Beatrice got up out of her seat.

“Then I will ease your conscious. Come with me, it is time we see my daughter. Bring the bottle. You’ll know what to do when the time is right. She’s always been moody, but she always bounced back. Besides,” She gazed lovingly at Lord Vasher, pausing as she smiled “monsterization should help her, not hurt her. It pains me to see my daughter this way.”

David agreed. Bernice was his friend. He didn’t want her to suffer. He got up out of his chair and followed behind the older woman, leaving the room behind. The others wished them luck, before they passed the doorway. Beatrice said little at first but began to divulge more information as they walked through the halls. Bernice was locked in a very nice room and given three meals a day which she barely touched. She refused to talk to any guards, man or monster. John, Hoshiko, and Miyako had all attempted to speak to her, but she never even looked at them. Beatrice herself had wanted to speak to her afterward, but Bernice had shared one thing with John.

She had said she wanted to talk to David.

David thought hard about what he was going to say. Should he apologize? Apologize for what? Maybe just tell her he understood her troubles, that it hurt when your whole world changed in a matter of moments? He wasn’t sure what her state of mind was, so all of his postulating was in vain.

Beatrice slithered up to a room at the end of the hallway that had two succubae guards on either side. She nodded to them and asked them if Bernice had tried to leave her room at all. They responded in the negative, and with a sigh, she beckoned David to follow her into the room.

David felt his chest tighten as he passed through the doorway. He could feel sweat forming on his brow, and his heart beat faster. What was he going to say? He could still remember the look of utter contempt she had for him that day he was arrested. He could still hear her sobs in Aurora’s palace after Silas abandoned her.

Beatrice placed a hand on his shoulder.

“Relax. I have faith in you. You mean a lot to her. Just be honest and speak from the heart.”

The room inside was a bedroom, but a rather large one. Nearly as large as the dining room they had been in before. The entire room was paneled and painted a bright white. Red curtains blocked the sun from coming in the balcony windows. David saw a large bed in the corner, concealed by red transparent curtains. All along the floor were half-eaten dishes, from the door to the bed. Nothing was fully eaten, only nibbled on.

At the far end of the room was a fireplace, a crackling fire illuminating the room in a flickering red glow. Sitting in front of the fire was Bernice, her back to David and Beatrice, curled up and hugging her knees. She was unclothed, only the cursed sword’s black metallic tendrils wrapping around her, covered her decency, and then only barely. The sword had morphed into a heavy gauntlet on her right arm to allow her more versatility.

David steadied himself, not sure if he should get any closer. Beatrice, however, had no hesitation.

“Bernice. You haven’t been eating.”

Bernice flinched at the sound, and turned around slowly. When she spotted her mother, her mouth dropped open, shock evident on her face. Her eyes flit up and down her mother’s form, and rather than an angry scowl as David thought she would have, she adopted a look of profound disappointment.

“No…not you too.”

Bernice stood up, shaking her head.

“So there’s no hope then. Not even you can escape them.”

Bernice spotted David a second later, and the anger David expected came.

“Ah, the traitor. Is my mother another one of your whores? Are you the one behind this?”

David vehemently denied the accusation, holding both of his hands up in a placating fashion. Bernice’s mother was more harsh.

“Stop being unpleasant for the sake of it, Bernice. Its un-ladylike. I’m not involved with David in that way. We’re here to help you… and I’m here to apologize.”

“Mother, you aren’t the one that needs to apologize.” She glared at David, contempt in her eyes. “Though even if he begged me for forgiveness I wouldn’t give it to him.”

David steeled himself.

“Bernice, please. I only did what I thought was right. I never betrayed you-”

Yes. You. Did!”

“I didn’t! I never stole the Spear!”

“But you knew who did! And you protected them! You chose them over us! You fucked some…some…whore of a monster-”

“Ophelia is not a whore! And I won’t hear you talk about her that way.”

“You fucked her! And you liked it!” her voiced was dripping with venom.

“Bernice Vaughn Vanderhousen, enough!”

“Don’t you dare defend him! Look at you! Look at me! Look at the city! Everything is lost, the monsters won!”

“And what does that mean, really? Yes, we lost, technically. But if I’m honest Bernice, I feel better now than I’ve ever felt! I want to apologize to you Bernice. I nearly forced you to marry a man you didn’t love. I was doing it for selfish reasons, living through you. I made many mistakes in my youth, and I was forcing you to do things you didn’t want to do.

“I didn’t realize what I was doing until I was monsterized! It released my selfishness, my inhibitions. It allowed me to see myself for who I really was and make me realize what I truly wanted. I am so grateful for it… Bernice, losing this fight was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Bernice scowled.

“I know how you’re feeling mother; it’s all lies! It’s their magic, poisoning your thoughts! I felt it too, and its sweet, and fulfilling, I know that! But the truth is that it just makes us slaves to our own baser instincts! It tricks us into thinking we can have things we just can’t!”

“That’s not true, Bernice. I’m with the man I’ve quietly loved all my life. It was always there, I’ve always loved him, but I made mistakes… so many mistakes! I didn’t think it was possible to be with him, so I tried to live through you… and I believe he tried the same with his son.”

Bernice looked at her quizzically as realization came to her.

“Lord Vasher? You’re in love with Lord Vasher?”

“I am. I’ve married him, in the monster’s way.”

Bernice shook her head.

“What is this world coming to? My own mother… and that crotchety old man? Of all the men I knew would be loving their new street-walkers, I thought he’d have more decency.”

“We’re married, Bernice. I’m not a whore.”

“Shut up! You’re not my mother! You’re just a monster wearing her form!”

David fondled the bottle that held a shard of Bernice’s soul. He took a deep breath and decided that now was the time. He uncorked the bottle, and the glowing orb shot out as if knowing its purpose.

Bernice and Beatrice’s attentions were drawn to the yellow beam of light that shot out of the bottle. It initially went straight up towards the ceiling, then shot downwards straight at Bernice. Bernice, not knowing what it was, rolled to the side with inhuman speed, but the yellow beam of light followed after her. She rolled to the side again, and yet again it followed. She narrowed her eyes at David, a snarl on her lips.

With a leap she covered the distance in between them, and her right arm’s black metal reformed into the jagged sword David remembered. With a practiced movement, David chanted a spell, and spectral blue chains formed around Bernice’s arms and legs, anchoring her to the ground, just before she reached him.

She fell backwards as the chains yanked at her, and the yellow light hit her square in the back. The chains dissipated instantly.

She let out no sound as she fell to her back, but her eyes did close as if she were asleep. After a few moments Beatrice slithered up to her and picked her up tenderly, cradling her in her arms. David approached slowly, cautious.

“Is she alright?”

“I think so.” Beatrice wiped a strand of hair out of her daughter’s face. “She’s breathing, and I don’t see any bruises.”

“She hates me.”

“No. I think she feels quite the opposite about you.”

“I doubt that.”

Beatrice shook her head, a wistful smile on her face.

“No anger is greater than when you believe someone you care about cares about someone else.”

Before David could respond to Beatrice’s comment, Bernice began to squirm. The black metal sword retracted back into a jagged gauntlet, and her metal veins glowed red. In an instant, pink slime began oozing out of Bernice’s body like sweat, undulating and pouring over her body like a skin-tight suit under the metal. Where her skin had been bare, it was now being covered in translucent pink slime. One, two, then three thick pink tentacles sprouted from her body before wrapping around her.

David observed her in awe. She was still bound to the sword, but now she was also a slime carrier. A hybrid. He’d never heard of anything like it.

Bernice opened her eyes suddenly and sat up looking confused. She looked over her body and began pinching at the slime covering her body.

“What the hell was that?! What did you do?!”

David swallowed nervously.

“When Silas used the Spear on you all those weeks ago, he didn’t just cut out the monster’s mana. He also cut out a bit of your soul. I was afraid it wasn’t healthy, spiritually speaking, so I returned it.”

He was ready for Bernice to yell at him, but she didn’t. She stood up, and pushed her mother away, but she didn’t yell.

“Why should I believe that? Who’s to say you just didn’t want me to beg for your dick like I did when I was first infected?”

Beatrice raised her body like a cobra about to strike.

“Bernice! That is not the daughter I raised! This man is trying to help you!”

“Is he? Or is he trying to help himself? And don’t talk to me like that! Because you’re not the mother who raised me! Look at you,” she gestured to her mother’s body, “You’re a snake! You have scales and a tail! Look at me…” She hung her head. “I’m not the daughter you raised. I was never a lady…and I’m no warrior either, no soldier. I’m a failure, without any friends, worthless…”

Bernice rubbed her arm, her chin to her chest, her body language screaming defeat.

Beatrice lowered herself, her sadness evident on her face as she felt her daughter’s pain. David shook his head, not liking this turn of events.

“You’re not worthless Bernice! Don’t think like that. Silas just lost sight of what’s right. He’s single-minded in his goals. He even abandoned Lord Vasher, and they’ve been friends for decades from what John tells me. And I didn’t abandon you, I care for you Bernice, I do. You’re a good friend. But I wanted to protect Ophelia. You understand don’t you? I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I just wanted to keep her safe.”

Bernice shook her head.

“I’ve never… I don’t have any friends. I never have. My whole life all I’ve ever wanted is to be like you!” she pointed at her mother. “But I just wasn’t. Everyone in the Order knew I was nothing compared to the great Lady Vanderhousen. I was compared to you constantly, the great hero of Tenoria! I tried so hard to win people’s respect, but I was just a mediocre swordsman. Plenty of people wanted to get in good with me, to help their status. But no one actually cared about me. I was placed on the safest of missions, every time!

“But then one day I was told I was escorting an important elven sage to Vasherton. The Jewel of the North! I thought I was finally being given a chance. I thought, ‘finally! They’re trusting me with something big!’ But that was a lie. I overheard the real reason. To marry me off like any other noblewoman to a man I never met. Not even my own mother cared about me.”

David could feel Beatrice’s heart break just from watching her face. She slumped her shoulders but did not interrupt Bernice’s monologue.

“Then, when I was on the road, I got to learn that the great elven sage was a grumpy old grouch. He may not have hated humans, but he didn’t think much of them. He didn’t think much of women either. But even still, he was the only one that wasn’t trying to schmooze me, get in good with me to boost their reputation. And I was dumb enough to think we had grown close. I fell for the same ruse with a wizard we saved from the ruins.”

“Bernice, I wasn’t-” David tried to interject, but Bernice just kept on talking, though she leveled her eyes at him as she continued. Her eyes no longer seemed brimming with anger, but wet with sorrow.

“We spent maybe two weeks talking, sharing stories, sharing jokes. I was able to put the fact that I was going to marry a stranger at the back of my mind as I got to know this handsome stranger from another world. He saved me from a fate I had thought worse than death, held off on what I know many men would have loved to do if given the opportunity. I slowly began to wonder what it would be like if my husband would be a man like him. If so, I thought… maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.”

Bernice wiped her cheek of a single tear.

“But when Silas said you had taken that Spear; I couldn’t understand it. It made no sense to me. I knew you were a good person. The idea that you could betray humanity made no sense to me. But when I looked you in the eyes… I could see it. The guilt. And it didn’t feel like you had betrayed something as abstract as humanity… It felt like you had betrayed… me.”

“Bernice, Ophelia stole the spear, I didn’t want the woods searched for her by a city that would have killed her.”

Bernice was quiet. It felt like an eternity as a few seconds passed. She broke the silence by clearing her throat.

“It had nothing to do with me?”

David felt like that was a trap, and didn’t answer with a yes or no.

“I didn’t want to leave you Bernice. I was locked up in a dungeon and tortured for information. Delilah, the one who orchestrated the takeover of the city, had befriended Ophelia. She sent two of her spies to rescue me. I chose to side with her only after I believed that she was right. Silas wants to turn all monsters back into the abominations I had to face 3000 years ago. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to live that nightmare again. The situation is difficult these days, I get it. But its way better than seeing a hundred men having their heads torn off by an ogre that’s not even trying.”

Bernice looked as if she was mulling something over, thinking about David’s answer.

“Can I meet this Ophelia?”

“You’re not going to hurt her are you?”

“No! Of course not… but you’ve talked about her a lot… I guess I just want to see what kind of girl you’d fall for.”

David spared a glance at Beatrice, who gave him a nod. David decided to agree and told the guards outside the room to go fetch her. He’d do it himself, but he felt like leaving Bernice alone might be a mistake.

Several long minutes passed, and David tried to talk to Bernice, but each attempt ended in failure. She refused to meet his eyes. When her mother tried to talk, it was much the same. For a long time there was no sound except the crackling of the fireplace as it illuminated the room in its flickering light.


Bernice stood silently as she waited for David’s friend to arrive. She scoffed to herself. Friend was not quite the right word. She was not a naïve little girl. She knew what David had done with this Ophelia person. The same thing he had done to the Ice Queen.

The fact that that wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t turned her back on him was pushed from her mind.

The silence was uncomfortable, but she couldn’t bring herself to talk to either David or her mother anymore. She had more to say, but the words just wouldn’t form. After a while, there was a knocking at the door, and one of the guards peeked their head in to announce that she was here.

Ophelia was not what Bernice expected. She was a centaur, for one. No… a unicorn? With two horns? Bernice wasn’t sure what she was. She didn’t recognize her form from her training in the Order. Any way she looked at it, however, she had the lower body of slim black horse. The thought of David… mounting her filled her with something she at first thought was disgust. But then was startled to find it was jealousy.

Ophelia was a pretty girl. She had long blonde hair a lighter shade than Bernice’s, her eyes too, were also blue. Though hers again were a lighter shade. Her lips were plump and rosy, her skin immaculate. Her human torso was covered only with a black lacey bra and gloves that came up past her elbows. Her breasts were as big as her head, which caused Bernice to scowl. She wasn’t small, but how was a human supposed to compete with that?

Then she remembered that she wasn’t human.

Almost without thinking she began looking at herself, to see what changes there had been to her body… beyond the obvious. She hadn’t noticed before, but her feminine traits had been altered, just not to the normal monstrous standard. Her torso had thinned, her hips were wider, her breasts were about the same size, which disappointed her. She felt eyes on her and glanced at her mother, who was smirking. Bernice rolled her eyes. Whatever her mother was thinking she was doing, it was wrong.

Bernice looked on as Ophelia and David whispered to each other. It wasn’t hard to guess what they were talking about. Ophelia stole frequent glances in her direction and seemed to be very openly examining her. Bernice didn’t feel bashful, however, and instead seemed to grow bolder. She planted her feet wide, and thrust out her chest, hands on her hips. She wasn’t afraid to show off her body. A thought occurred to her, that she was essentially naked, but she dismissed it.

When Ophelia and David were done whispering to each other, they kissed each other on the cheek, and looked at each other so sweetly Bernice felt her stomach lurch. Ophelia trotted up to her, a smile on her face.

“Hello there! My name is Ophelia. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Bernice looked the woman up and down before looking at David and then her mother.

“Alright then, I’d like to speak to her alone.”

David shook his head.

“I don’t think this is a good idea.”

Beatrice agreed.

Ophelia however, didn’t.

“That sounds lovely. David, could you please wait outside?”

“Ophelia, are you sure? Bernice is rather… perturbed right now.”

Bernice rolled her eyes.

“I’m not going to do anything. I just want to talk to her. Besides, I couldn’t hurt her if I wanted to. This sword just cuts people’s energy, remember?”

David and Beatrice hesitated, but Ophelia placed a hand on David’s shoulder and assured him that she’d be fine. With some hesitation, David and Beatrice left the room. There was silence for a few seconds. Ophelia stood serenely, smiling at Bernice who stood stone faced. The only sound was the crackling fire.

Bernice broke the silence.

“Why?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Why did you steal the Spear?”

Ophelia’s smile vanished from her face.

“I was-I wanted to make a deal with someone.”

“Delilah?”

“How did you- I mean… yes. Yes, it was Delilah.”

“She’s a demon, right? She’s the one who planned this takeover. Were you a part of her army when you met David?”

“No. I wasn’t. I was wandering the forest on my own. I met David while you all were traveling.”

“All the way back then…” Bernice shook her head. “What even are you? A unicorn? But you’re black, so you must be some kind of variant. Plus, the fact you have two horns on your head.”

“I’m a bicorn. It’s what Delilah did to me in exchange for giving her the Spear.”

“So that form makes you more powerful, then? You befriended David to get the Spear, to give it to this Delilah… to become more powerful.”

Ophelia looked scandalized at the accusation.

No. No, no, no, no! No, it wasn’t like that at all! I fell in love with him during those long talks in the forest. I yearned for the cover of night every day so he could come see me! I wanted to tell him how much I liked him, but I was too… too timid. I followed you three all the way from the ruins to Vasherton.

But, it was the last night, and I still didn’t have the courage to talk to him. That’s when Delilah approached me, and she said she’d help me if I took the Spear.”

“And David didn’t give it to you?”

“No, He didn’t even know I knew about it. He was very careful about talking to me. He mostly just talked about his old life. I would share some of mine. Delilah was the one who told me about it. I didn’t even know how big of a deal it was at the time.”

Bernice shook her head, frustrated.

“So, you’re a thief. You stole from him, caused him to get thrown in prison and tortured… and he still loves you? Why?”

“…He’s a very loving person.”

“You did something to him. Or Delilah did. She’s a demon, right? Silas talked about her. She’s controlling him somehow for you.”

“No! She’s not! We seduced him the old-fashioned way!”

Bernice’s face turned beet-red. She hadn’t expected that.

“You- you make me sick! I cared about him too, you know! You made it impossible to defend him! What was I supposed to do? This is all your fault! You and that demon!” Tears began to fall from her face, and Ophelia’s face was crestfallen.

Bernice made no attempt to hide her tears.

“How many monsters have raped him? How many have tossed him around from claw to claw?”

“That’s not how-”

How many?!”

Ophelia swallowed, nervous.

“There are 15 of us. But he’s only slept with four of us at the moment.”

“At the moment? God,” She looked unbelieving “… is he your slave? Or… are all of you his? Did he take to his role that well?”

“He’s a very loving person! He’s always trying to help. All day he’s been meeting with everyone, giving gifts… showing everyone how much he cares. He loves you too you know, He wouldn’t be here if he didn’t.”

Bernice held up her hands and turned her head to the side.

“A man who has 15 whores doesn’t strike me as a loving-”

Bernice was struck across the face.

“Don’t you dare! We’re his wives! We love him, and he loves us!”

Bernice seemed taken aback, but she didn’t say anything more. Ophelia was the one with tears in her eyes this time.

“You know what I think? I think you’re feeling guilty. I did too, when I heard what I had caused. He really considered you and Silas friends, and he was hurt when he thought he’d destroyed those relationships. But he forgave me, because he’s just that kind of person. He’d forgive you too if you were just honest with yourself!”

“Why would I be feeling guilty?”

“Because you abandoned him! You might say he betrayed you, but really you were the one who betrayed him. Am I right?! When he needed you most, you left him to fend for himself!”

The words struck Bernice like a dagger to the heart. They were painful. They were painful because they were true. She did feel guilty. Not just for letting the guards take David, though. But also, for not taking him from the Ice Queen when she could have. She felt guilty for not even trying. She remembered the sword calling her cruel then. Now the sword didn’t speak, it just seemed to be another part of her body. But at the memory, she could feel a sort of smugness that wasn’t quite her own.

She could also feel the slime inside her, not literally, but within her soul. It was base, lurid, and didn’t like all the negative emotions that Bernice was feeling. She could feel it begin to push back on them, as if it were eating them. Bernice wasn’t angry anymore, so much as guilty and sorrowful.

“I’m sorry I called you a whore.”

Ophelia calmed down a bit, but she was still sniffling.

“I forgive you.”

“Just like that?”

“You said you were sorry.”

Bernice fell quiet. She wasn’t sure what she expected from the monster that stole David away, but this wasn’t it.

“I love him.” Bernice whispered, afraid to say the words.

Ophelia heard her, however, despite the whisper.

“I know.”

“I was angry that he was stolen from me. That’s how I felt. And I knew, really, that it was my fault. I could have stood up for him. But I was too busy thinking about myself, and my problems. I was just so hurt at the thought… not that he had taken some stupid artifact… but that he had given it some trollop succubus. I didn’t even know who you were, but I hated you.

“It felt like the only real friend I had in the world had been taken. I felt so alone. I was bitter, and I took it out on everyone.”

Bernice was startled as the bicorn wrapped her up in a hug.

“It’s okay. I understand. Love is complicated for humans.”

Bernice hugged her back.

“But I’m not human anymore am I?”

“Nope!” Ophelia said with a smile. “But that’s a good thing. Emotions are hard enough, they’re even worse when you have all that humanity holding you back.”

Bernice held the bicorn tighter.

“I don’t know what to do. My entire life was trying to be the best soldier for the Order I could be. I don’t know who or even what I am anymore.”

“Well…” Ophelia said, “Is that because you don’t know what you want… or you don’t think you can have what you want?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I mean, well… do you still love David?”

Bernice saw where she was going. She played along anyway.

“Yes.”

“Then why not marry him? I think we’d get along really well. You’re really pretty, and even though you’re pretty scary when you’re angry, you seem like a really tough girl.”

“He’s got 15 others. I doubt he wants a girl that hung him out to dry. I don’t know how well I’d do in a harem either. I know the ancient heroes of old sometimes had multiple wives, but the church didn’t seem to care for the practice. I… what am I doing? I can’t be number 16 of some guy’s list!”

Ophelia broke the hug to look Bernice in the eyes

“You’re not number 16! That’s the wrong way to think about it. Do you love him? Then be with him! I know he loves you. He wouldn’t say no!”

“Would he say yes because he loves me? Or just because he’s collecting trophies?”

“Do you really think he’d come back to talk to you, knowing you were going to yell and scream at him and then put your soul back together anyway if he was just looking for a trophy?”

Bernice wanted to say that he could have, but she couldn’t. She didn’t know if it was the monster mana coursing through her, but she felt like Ophelia was right. And that thought was the first happy thought to come to her in a long time. The thought that David loved her.

“I want to talk to David.”

“I think that’s a good idea.”

Chapter 41: Love

David and Beatrice had dismissed the guards. They waited in silence, not particularly interested in conversation. Neither could hear much from the inside, and that caused some silent tension. David had no idea what they were talking about, but he knew what Ophelia wanted to do. He wasn’t sure he approved either.

The doors opened, and he and Beatrice shared a look as Ophelia asked them to come back inside.

Bernice stood with her arms at her sides and a neutral expression on her face. Her eyes were clear, if a little bloodshot. She met David’s gaze with a heavy stare that seemed to penetrate deep inside his soul. David felt uneasy at the intensity.

Bernice cleared her throat before stretching out her arm.

In a flash, a long thick translucent pink tentacle shot out of her hand and stuck onto David’s body and yanked him forward. Before David realized what was happening, Bernice wrapped her arms around him, and kissed him.

Time seemed to stop. A plethora of strong, and confused emotions ran through David’s mind. Bernice was a pretty girl, even more so with her monsterized body and seductive outfit, but she was his friend not his lover. She had been so angry with just a moment before, tears down her face, what was this?

David pushed her away, a look of concern on his face. He turned to Ophelia; his voice accusatory.

“Ophelia, what did you do? I told you just to talk to her.”

“That’s what I did. She and I had a good heart to heart.”

“Ophelia, this is serious. She’s not a toy.”

Bernice grabbed both sides of his cheeks and forced him to stare at her eyes.

“David, stop getting angry at Ophelia. She didn’t do anything to me. We just talked.”

David furrowed his brow.

“Then… why did you-”

“I love you, you idiot.”

“Listen, if she did anything you need to tell me. I can reverse it if-”

She forcibly kissed him again. But he pushed her away.

“Damn it, David! I said I love you! Don’t you love me back?!”

“Of course I do! but up until a few minutes ago, you hated me!”

Bernice hung her head, her cheeks deep fiery red from embarrassment.

“I never hated you. I was just angry. Angry at being alone. Angry at myself for not sticking up for you when I had the chance. I could have fought those guards off, or petitioned Lord Vasher for leniency, leveraged my position as John’s fiancé. But I didn’t do any of that. And I’ve regretted it ever since.

“These past 12 days all I’ve been thinking about is how alone I was. How much of a failure I was. How much I hated myself. But… there were times when I’d think of you. And the happiest times were the memories I had of us just talking, and laughing on the trip here. It might not have been much… but for me, you were my only real friend. I know you have others… and I don’t care. I love you. And I really really want you to love me back.

“I’m sorry for not being there for you. I’m sorry for yelling at you. I’m sorry for calling you a traitor. I was wrong, about all of it. Please forgive me.”

She looked up at him with wet doe-like eyes.

David felt his heart skip a beat, and his body flush. Those eyes seemed to stare into his soul a second time.

“I never held a grudge, Bernice. I forgive you.”

Bernice finally smiled. It was a big toothy grin that caused her watery eyes to let loose as she hugged him tightly. David took a moment, but then returned the hug with full force.

Beatrice smiled and silently headed to the door, though as Bernice looked over David’s shoulder, they shared a look. Bernice mouthed the words that she was sorry and Beatrice gave her daughter a nod. Ophelia was more brazen, walking up to the two and slapping David’s and then Bernice’s butts.

“Have fun, I’ll see you lovebirds tonight.”

With that the bicorn and lamia left the room.

David wasn’t sure what to say or do. This wasn’t where he thought the day was going to lead him.

“Are you okay? Really? I feel like there was a lot of stuff that just happened.”

“I’m better than fine.” Bernice assured him. “And a lot of stuff has happened. It’s been a long 12 days.”

David nodded.

“Are you hungry? I can go ask someone to bring you some food.”

Bernice’s face was impassive for a moment, before her cheeks lit up in a blushing red.

“Actually, I am rather hungry.”

“Great, I’ll go get something then.”

“But not for food.”

David looked at her confused.

“Then what are you-”

Bernice silenced him as she placed hand on his crotch, her blushing face inches from his. David’s ears turned bright red. He had expected this sort of thing from Ophelia but not from Bernice.

“I… I’m a monster now, you know. I don’t really know what kind of monster you’d call me… but monsters have certain needs, y-you know.”

“Never thought I’d hear you stutter.” David said smugly

“S-shut up. I’m just nervous, okay? I’ve never… I’ve never done this before.”

“We don’t have to do this right now Bernice. I mean… we just kind of started this.”

“I want, I want to make it official. I want us to be together. I like you. I like you a lot, and I was such a bitch. I want to make up for it.” She paused. “Also, this stupid sword has been making me really horny. It didn’t help when you put the slime back either.”

As if on cue, a pink tendril curled around David’s thigh.

David stopped and considered what was going on. He asked himself if he was really comfortable doing this. He liked Bernice, he cared about her. He loved her. But she seemed so vulnerable right now and was literally yelling and crying a few minutes before. Was it really right to just go for it? Right now?

What about all the others? He’d denied them. Asking her to wait to engage in a night of debauchery with his other romances, however, just didn’t seem right.

She made it difficult for him, as she continued to stroke his nether regions.

“One of the biggest reasons I was so angry was because ever since they put me in here, my body has been burning up. I’ve never felt anything like it, and seeing you is really making it bad. Touching you… I can barely control myself.”

David decided quickly. He wrapped his arms around Bernice’s petite frame and got two pleasant handfuls of her tight well-rounded rear.

“Touching me like that, I can honestly say the same.”

David had known Bernice the longest out of anyone in this strange new world. They had had their ups and downs, but here and now, David’s heart was beating for her. He leaned in and kissed her, a soft gentle kiss that conveyed everything he wanted to tell her. She mattered, and he loved her.

The softness of her flesh, the warmth and pressure of her body… it lit a fire under him that caused his lust to swell. As he kissed her, it ceased to be chaste. David slipped his tongue inside her mouth and quickly began to show her the many tricks that had been use on him earlier in the day. Suckling and twisting her own tongue, inviting her into his mouth, the pleasure and arousal both were feeling began to soar.

Bernice removed David’s cape from his shoulders, allowing it to fall to the ground. All the while, neither gave up their hold on the other’s tongue. David’s hands began to roam all over Bernice’s body, and he and she both were happy to find that the metal surrounding her could be controlled. Bernice removed the metal from her tits and slit, baring herself completely to the man she had just declared her love for.

Bernice’s mind was swimming with emotion and memories. She remembered finding David frozen in stone, freeing him, saving him, her being sloppy, getting monsterized, then being saved by him in turn. Granted, she was even more of a monster now, but it was the thought that counted. He was looking out for her, even back then. She moaned into his mouth as David’s hands grasped her hips and began to grind into her.

Bernice had never felt these sensations before, and her body was beginning to tremble with anticipation. She felt at David’s chest, caressing his body, and getting frustrated at the clothes that got in the way. He laughed a bit and removed his shirt with a quick motion, letting it lay on top of his cape. He then removed his boots and went to remove his pants. Bernice, however, grabbed his wrists and prevented him from doing so. When he looked down at her, confused, she looked back at him with large blue eyes and a smile.

“I want to take those off.”

David smirked a bit and nodded his head.

Bernice, happy and eager, dropped to her knees in front of David’s groin. She paused, seemingly taking in the situation. With a lick of the lips, she place her hands in David’s waistband, and tugged.

David’s hard erect dick popped out of his pants and slapped Bernice on the face. David wanted to laugh, but Bernice was the one to let out a chuckle.

“That’s actually kind of fun,” she said, as she wrapped her soft delicate hands around his shaft.

“Your hands are really soft.”

“They weren’t always. They used to be really rough, calloused…”

Bernice trailed off, stroking David’s cock with soft ministrations.

“It’s so weird. It’s like it’s really hard, but springy too.”

Bernice placed the fingers of one hand on one of David’s family jewels and began to gently fondle it. The palm of her hand rolled the sack around in a playful manner as her fingers stroked the taint, her other hand slipping around and gripping a little harder at the base of David’s shaft. David grunted and involuntarily bucked his hips, which caused Bernice to smile, and continue her fondling. She brought her face close to David’s cock, and opened her mouth, breathing gently on his sensitive manhood.

F-fuck. Bernice, have you really never done this before?”

“No. I’ve never even seen a dick before. But somehow… I just know what to do. This is fun! And it smells so…”

Bernice took a whiff of David’s groin, causing David’s ears to burn red again, and Bernice’s cheeks to redden too

“…intoxicating.”

Bernice opened her mouth and placed her lips on David’s shaft, rubbing her mouth up and down, wetting David’s cock with her saliva. Her tongue brushed his shaft along the underside, flicking and twisting as she continued to pleasure him. David could see that he wasn’t the only one enjoying this, as Bernice’s cunt began dripping fluids on the floor. He could see it actually soaking wet, slick with Bernice’s juices in anticipation.

Bernice’s mouth and hands worked in tandem to bring David to the edge of orgasm, her hands were gentle, more light brushes, than hard pressure. She loved to play with his dangling sack, gently pulling and pushing his balls as she kissed and licked the shaft of his cock. As she came up to the head, she finally engulfed his manhood and moaned at the taste.

She wasn’t the only one enraptured at the experience. David moaned himself as he felt his cock wrapped up in her warm wet embrace. He entangled his fingers in her silky hair, relishing in its softness.

Bernice bobbed her head up and down David’s cock as her hands played with his balls, his hands petting her head as she did so. Both were enjoying the experience a great deal. After a few moments, Bernice switched her technique, and angled David’s cockhead to the side, rubbing it against her cheek wall as her tongue flicked its underside.

David groaned as his orgasm finally came.

Bernice was surprised, but happy, as a jet of hot white cum filled her mouth. One powerful burst after another filled her mouth with seed as it dribbled out of her mouth and down David’s shaft, dripping off of his balls and onto the floor. Bernice did her best to keep up and keep it all in her mouth, but there was too much for her to hold and she couldn’t swallow fast enough.

She let go of David’s dick just as another hot burst of cum shot out into the air, painting her face in thick white jizz. Bernice reveled in the slimy texture, smearing it with her fingers as she looked up at David in a look of reverence. David looked back in a state of heavy arousal, his lust swirling around in him like a storm. Bernice took deep breaths, trying to compose herself.

“Do-does everyone cum that much?”

David, mouth still slightly agape from the orgasm, shook his head

“No. Even I didn’t come that much until recently. I think it might be because I’m an incubus.”

Bernice looked at him quizzically as she wiped a strand of cum from her chin and placed the finger in her mouth.

“What’s that? An Incubus”

David swallowed, composing himself as his cock hardened. Bernice hadn’t calmed him down at all.

“Delilah explained it to me. It’s what happens to men who have sex with monsters. It increases their libido, the amount of cum they ejaculate, how often they can ejaculate, and how frequently.”

“Sounds convenient.” Bernice said, as she sucked the jizz from her finger, never breaking eye contact.

“I can’t decide if I want to suck your cock again or stick it in.”

“I kind of want to stick it in. If that’s okay.”

Bernice laughed a little bit and got up before placing her mouth onto David’s and wrapped her arms around his neck. David was surprised at first but returned her kiss with fervor. He noted, briefly that he could still taste some of himself inside her mouth, but that was briefly forgotten in the fire of their passion. When Bernice’s lips departed from his, a small trail of saliva linked their lips as David stared into her beautiful eyes. Her face was still covered in his seed, but somehow that only made her more beautiful. His cock twitched with a pleasurable pain.

“Of course, its ok.” Bernice said.

David smiled and picked her up off the floor in a bridle carry. She gave a soft “meep” as he did so, blushing furiously. She felt incredibly small in his arms, but she was surprised at how much she liked the feeling. She felt like she was owned, protected, loved.

She was a sword, and he was her wielder. She got used to the situation quickly and nuzzled into his bare chest with a grin.

“Eh, Bernice, you’re getting jizz on me.”

“It’s your cum, it’s not that big a deal.”

“It’s still gross.”

Bernice smiled up at him as one of her hands gathered up a few sticky strings of his cum and placed them in her mouth.

“I don’t think its gross at all.”

David’s cock twitched again, and he groaned in need of another release. He carried her towards the bed, eager to copulate with her. He was slowed by the amount of half-eaten plates of food on the floor. Bernice muttered an apology, and with a wave of her arm, a long pink tendril of slime ejected from her body and picked up the plates.

In a few moments, the path was clear as the food and dishes were suspended in Bernice’s ooze. David thought it fascinating as Bernice dissolved the food in her slime, and then placed the squeaky clean plates in a neat pile nearby.

“I thought you said weren’t hungry?” David quipped.

“Well I thought I might as well pick up a little. C’mon, quit stalling and carry me to the bed.”

David complied, and walked towards the bed. He parted the sheer red curtains and placed her on the bed rather gently. Bernice, however, was too impatient, and jumped out of his arms, causing him to fall into the bed. As he tumbled, she wrestled him under her, and straddled him.

Before David could react, she grabbed his wrists and pinned him to the bed, and leaned down to kiss him. David put up some token resistance, if only because his seed was still dripping off of her face, but the kiss was too sweet to reject.

Their lips met and David felt as if his body were immersed in a warm bath, as if all his anxiety just melted away. A blaze was stirring in the both of them, spreading and consuming. Bernice’s kiss deepened, and she lost her timidity. David could barely keep up as Bernice leveraged her new-found monster instincts to violate his mouth in the most pleasurable ways. She broke the kiss every few second just to kiss him again, nibbling at his lower lip and placing small chaste kisses on his cheeks. David reveled in the sensations and kissed her back as fiercely as he could, playing with her tongue and trying not to cum from just her kisses alone.

Finally she let go of his wrists and aggressively palmed her breasts, massaging them and rolling them in his hands. Bernice threw back her head and moaned as her nipples were squeezed and pinched and flicked in all the right ways.

She continued to moan as David massaged and groped at her tits, all the while swiping up all the cum that had been left on her face, and swallowing it, basking in its taste and texture which went beyond anything she had ever experienced. She knew it was due to her monsterization that it tasted as good as it did, but she didn’t care. She needed more.

David’s cock was hard and firm against her buttocks, and Bernice felt it was time to finally lose her maidenhood.

“Alright. L-let’s do it”

David paused the teasing of Bernice’s nipples and looked up at her, a grin on his face.

“Are you sure?”

Bernice’s face was scarlet as she nodded in the affirmative.

David moved his hands to Bernice’s hips, running over the metallic veins that covered her, and over the pink goo that still encapsulated much of her body. He stroked her sides gently before lifting her up. Bernice gave a bit of a squeal but steadied herself. She looked down at her coin-slot tight pussy and took a deep breath. Before David could lower her down on top of his cock, she speared herself all at once, taking it in one motion.

Bernice screamed, but not from pain. Her body trembled as she fell on top of David, her fingers clutching at she sheets of the bed. She twitched and convulsed as drool escaped her mouth, and she moaned into David’s ear. David was slightly concerned at the scream and wrapped his arms around her, pressing her naked body close to his.

“Hey, you okay?”

“I came! I came! God it felt so good!  I heard it would hurt, but that felt like… like… God I can’t describe it.”

“Monsterization’s not so bad, huh?”

Bernice nodded her head, still trembling.

David smirked and began bucking his hips. Bernice gripped the sheets even harder and let out another groan, locking her legs with David’s. David kissed her on the cheek with nearly every thrust as Bernice just enjoyed the motions. Every moan she gave stirred David on to keep thrusting. She wasn’t hard to bring to orgasm, as she came again with a loud moan that David silenced with a kiss. Bernice let go of the sheets and flipped David over, moving him on top of her.

Now on the bottom, Bernice wrapped her legs around David in a leg-lock and wrapped her arms under David’s. She nibbled at the base of his neck as she begged David to keep going. David was happy to comply, indulging in the feel of her body on his. He loved the soft pliancy of her breasts against his chest, the warmth and suppleness of her stomach on his. Her legs helped him thrust into her with every pump, and David never felt more wanted than at that moment.

Bernice’s slit was tight, warm, slick, and twitching with every thrust. David could feel the heat with every push, and it only stirred him onward. He pressed down inside, his hips rotating as he ground into her, and felt his balls contract as he orgasmed for the second time.

Ropes of white creamy cum shot deep inside of her, filling her and causing her to experience another orgasm of her own, causing her to hold David even tighter, smooshing their bodies even closer together, her legs and arms gripping him as if she were afraid of him leaving. He came so much that his semen spilled out of her and pooled on the bed, leaving behind a large sticky mess.

Neither minded that as they adjusted themselves to gaze into the other’s eyes.

They were both breathing heavily, sweat on their brow, faces flush, yet neither of them could imagine the other looking any more beautiful. They kissed softly, sweetly, and lovingly as they basked in the afterglow.

They continued to make love for up to an hour, both of their bodies altered to such a degree that they simply couldn’t stop fucking even if they wanted to. And they most certainly didn’t want to stop.

Finally, after many orgasms, and a considerable amount of spilt semen, they stopped. Bernice helped David get dressed, and restored her modesty, covering her breasts, pussy and backside. David was impressed as Bernice’s pink ooze was able to clean up the copious amount of cum that they had spilt on the bed without even leaving a stain. It was only after everything was done that, they noticed the small amount of blood left behind, a remnant of Bernice’s lost maidenhood.

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