Wizardquest Part 6: On the Road Again

Chapter 50

 

Your cart trundles down the road at a slow, steady pace. Looking up from your book, you sigh, taking a break from a particularly boring stretch of [Familiarity with your Familiar]. It’s about the esoteric nature of animal intelligence in combination with aetherical qualities and frankly it’s boring as sin.

The sun starts to dip past the mountains in the distance but it’s still light out and you figure Blake will want to travel a little longer before finding camp. You peek over at Hala to find her passed out on the cart, snoring like a particularly loud and wolf-life child, her paws sort of making running gestures as she smiles. Monsters, you tell yourself what.

Blake is still merrily humming a tune as he keeps the horses moving. Eh, you don’t really feel like bothering him for now which leaves Bubs. The little rat is scurrying around your shoulders as you read earlier and is now under your hat.

{Hey, think I could have a cool hat this like someday?}

“Can you even wear a hat? And wait, when did you get an interest in clothing?”

{I dunno, you tell me, you’re the Wizard.}

“Are you always going to default to that?”

{Sure am! I’m just a magical rat.}

You pinch the bridge of your nose and shake your head, which rattles Bubs around.

{Hey, hey big guy! I’m a gentle soul.}

“You’re a magical rat.”

{Rats can be gentle.}

“And they can stop eating garbage whenever they want also. Look, I’ll look into it okay.”

{That’s why you’re the boss}

You groan and pick the book back up. Fine, you guess reading is the only entertainment you’ll get. Skimming through the last few pages, you reach a new chapter called, “Metamorphosis and the Mind.” Well that is either a promising lead or a story about roaches, but let’s see what we have here…

“Once sufficient understanding of the link between familiar and practitioner is established, one can then force the link of trust between them to grow into something greater than the sum of the two parts. By installing aetheric energies in accordance with the will of both parties, the familiar can change, metamorphose in a sense, for a limited period of time. Generally this takes the form of the familiar gaining extra speed, or strength for brief periods of time, however the situation demands it.

“This is not to be done lightly however, as both parties must be in accordance with the desired outcome. Should one wish for a burst of speed through increased wing strength and the other increased leg density, the results are exceedingly explosive.”

You notice a footnote that says, “familiar literally will explode.”

“However, if all is well, then the gains are worth the risk. Note, that this must only be temporary, as the familiar is prone to explosive decompression of aether if their enhancement is forced upon them for too long. Generally this is around three minutes, however it may be less depending on the personal familiar. While studies have shown that this time can be increased, it is rarely by a significant margin due to less than satisfactory results.”

Huh. Well fuck you, guess you can make Bubs a dire rat for a little while. The exploding part kind of scares you a little, so you might not want to use this all the time, but goshes wouldn’t that be cool?

Beaming, you put away the book for now, thinking about the applications. Hells, infusing raw will is basically what you do as a Wizard anyway, so this is easy! All you have to do is get Bubs on board for this [Metamorphosis] and there we go!

You smirk and begin a happy dance, but as you do you notice that the cart has stopped. Blinking in confusion, you look to Blake, asking, “everything alright up there?”

“I… Think so?” Blake says, scratching at his head. “There’s just some rather large mushrooms in the middle of the road, it’s the damnedest thing.”

“Mushrooms?”

“Aye, aye, these should be familiar but for some reason I can’t seem to place it…” Blake rubs at his head, shaking it about. “Head feels kind of fuzzy all of a sudden also…”

You blink and cock your head, pushing your way to the front of the cart and stare out at the road. Sure enough, right in the middle is a large, red, spotted mushroom. It isn’t moving that you can see, so maybe you should just… avoid it.

“Can you go around it?” You ask looking at the mushroom quizzically.

“I uh…” Blake says, starting to sweat. “You know, maybe I should just go and check it out for a moment. I’ll… I’ll be right back.”

He jumps out of the cart and you can tell something clearly isn’t right here. You can’t stop him in time before he jumps down but you quickly perform a [Fast Scan].

Oh what the hells is this? Blake is positively infested with something that’s screwing his humours left and right. Opening your [Mage Sight], you can tell that the air is practically saturated with the stuff too. For some reason it doesn’t seem to be affecting you yet, but you bet gold coins to circular fried dough that it’s coming from the giant mushroom. Just as you’re about to say something to Blake, the thing shifts and stirs. Before your eyes it appears to uproot itself from the ground enough to twist and face Blake.

Under the head of the mushroom appears a feminine body, its legs terminating into a system of roots that bury further into the ground. Her body is pure white, the color of a mushroom stem, although her hair is a bright red, almost the same color as her cap. Many other mushrooms sprout all over her sensuously curved body, and she holds arms out for Blake as he trudges on toward her, a goofy smile on his face.

Shit, you need to torch that thing before it starts raping or worse, you. You grab your staff and start to channel your will. Before you can unleash the power however, you feel a strong set of paws pull you backwards, and you fall into the soft embrace of fur.

“Wizard….” Hala coos, starting to pant. “I feel all hot and bothered all of a sudden…I know it’s wrong but…” She sniffs you and starts to moan, one furred hand sliding in between her legs, the other holding fast to you as she starts to lick your cheek.

 

Chapter 51

 

She’s obviously being affected by the Mushroom…Girl…thing, whatever it’s called, and you’re starting to panic a little. You have to save Blake, but by the Gods, at the moment you need to save yourself because who knows how long until you start to feel the effects too?

Hala has a very soft, very wet tongue. Truly, it isn’t something you should have noticed but Gods damn, she just keeps licking your face like it’s candy. You start to feel really, really panicked as she moans louder, the movements of her hand between her legs becoming more furious as she holds onto you tighter.

Yeah, yeah that probably isn’t going to end well for you when she loses enough reason and remembers you have a dick. Better do something about this. Last time you were able to stop her with the [Irate Frog Song] so this should at least give you enough reprieve to stop the damn shroom.

{Cover your ears little guy!} You think to Bubs before opening your mouth to take in a deep breath and-

In the blink of an eye, Hala has her mouth pressed against yours so tightly you almost choke in surprise. You flail about, being caught totally off guard. When you try to pull your mouth away she holds on even tighter, and you can feel that soft, wet tongue probing the inside of your mouth. It coaxes your own tongue to dance with hers in a tango of pure depravity.

You begin to feel light headed. Whether from the intense stimulation or from oxygen deprivation, you’re not sure, but your eyes start to flutter closed. You know, this isn’t so bad… Hells, you can almost come to like this a little. Maybe you should just move your tongue in time with hers, just lose yourself in the swirling…

With a start you come back to yourself, mind feeling hazy. It shocks you to realize that you almost gave in to whatever this mushroom was doing to you! Hala is still going at it, and you can feel her starting to fumble at your robes, trying to tear them off while she maintains the pressure of the kiss.

You can try to blast her away with some magical force, but with the way your mind is, focusing in this situation is difficult at best and her constant… stimulation… is making things hard. In more ways than one. You really only have one choice.

{Bubs! Sick her!}

You feel the mental affirmative, and Bubs leaps out from nowhere to latch his sharp incisors onto Hala’s leg.

The Wolf Girl immediately pulls back from the kiss, crying out in what is either pain or ecstasy (maybe both). It gives you precious time to take a breath and begin the [Irate Frog Song].

Hala forcefully pushes off you and flies to the edge of the wagon, howling and yelping like a scared dog again. You quickly scrabble out the other side of the cart, panting as you rush toward Blake and the… Gods damn, was that Mushroom Girl always this attractive?

Fuck fuck fuck, okay shit you need to take care of this quickly. You are a little dismayed, and slightly angered however, to see the Mushroom Girl tightly embrace Blake as he fumbles at his pants to remove them, his smile wide as the sky.

“Hey! Bitch!” You scream toward the Monster. “Let him go and stop the spores or you’re going to be another thing I’ve torched this week!”

The Mushroom Girl pulls Blake in close to her bosom and pouts, her cheeks puffing out as she says a rather cute voice, “No! He’s mine! You wait your turn!”

Oh okay, well if you’re going to get a turn, then you can wait patiently and-

GODS DAMNIT.

You hold onto your head, vision swimming. Fucking hells, even if you remove the spores from yourself, you’ll just be re-infected as long she’s alive. You aren’t really in the business of killing Monsters without good reason, but this thing is a serious danger to just about anything. If it gets near the town, then they’ll steal her away from you! No, you can’t allow that to- Nrgh.

Raising your staff, you pant, and begin to channel a [Fireball] when you stop, cursing as Blake enters your line of fire, his pants- oh, they’re fully off now. Come on man, yes that’s impressive between your legs, but seriously. You don’t want to hurt him but you need him out of the way. Only thing you can really do here is stunning him with a low voltage [Lightning Bolt], but you’re afraid that you might end up being unable to regulate the power and fry the poor man. Of course, this would serve him right for trying to go first with the delicious Mushroom Girl and-

Fuck it, it has to be done. You raise your staff, power crackling off you, when you hear the sound of padded paws fly across the ground as loud howl fills the air,

“THAT’S MY DIIIIIICCCCKKK!”

Hala crashes into the other Monster, her fist smashing the Mushroom Girl so hard in the face that it comes uprooted from the earth. It falls over in pain and throws Blake to the side, the man so dazed that he can’t even stand right (although one part of him is quite able to stand…)

Hala savagely tears at the Mushroom Girl who literally has no defense against a frenzied Wolf Girl. The poor plant’s pitiful attempts to push Hala away only to end in an arm being torn off her body and her throat being ripped out. An off-yellow fluid leaks from the creature’s body as it flails, spasms, and dies.

You feel a pang of pure loss at her death and clutch at your chest, trying to get your breath back. Oh Gods she’s gone. Your precious is gone, dead, killed by the wolf, the wolf killed her, damn her damn the wolf…

You look up to Hala, anger in your vision, as she exalts in the glory of her kill. Then, as if forgetting it entirely, she bounds from the corpse of the Monster, throws off her leggings in one smooth gesture, and plunges Blake’s manhood into herself. This causes the poor, dazed man to scream in shock and delight, as the Wolf Girl begins shaking her hips like a wild beast. Which she is.

And that… For some reason that snaps you right out of it. Oh Gods, you seriously considered killing Hala in revenge for her doing exactly what you were going to do. That’s… that’s fucked up.

You quickly [Fast Scan] the environment to see the source of this, the spores made by the Monster, no longer being produced. Good, good you need to act quick, but at least it won’t get worse. You quickly probe your own body and find the greatest concentration. With a swift pull of magic, you tear them from you and suddenly the haze is lifted, your clarity of thought returned.

Rubbing your eyes, you look to your companions and find them busy, fucking like animals. Great, if only you could do this while not watching, but there’s nothing else for it. Thankfully it’s an easy procedure, and you quickly remove the spores from both of them in rapid order.

Blake snaps out of it first. He looks around, confused, before seeing Hala on top of him. Alarmed and embarrassed, he fumbles to remove her, clearly straining. Hala, on the other hand, either has a slower recovery, or she’s so lost in her lust that she doesn’t stop until Blake grunts and releases into her, her eyes shining bright as she screams out in delight. Then, without a trace of dignity, she falls limp and slides off him and onto the ground, a trail of white fluid flowing from between her legs, a smile plastered on her unconscious face.

You look at Blake with serious disapproval and he blushes furiously, doing his best to cover his shame.

“I uh, look Wizard, it was the Matango’s spores, it does things to people and…”

He looks goes quiet, turns around to clean himself up, and gets dressed again before putting Hala’s leggings back on. “Let’s just… Forget this ever happened, okay? And yes, you were right about the… rape thing.”

“Of course I am.” You say and, with a casual effort, torch the body of the Matango.

 

Chapter 52

 

A few hours later, you find yourself sitting around a campfire, looking at a vial you had filled with the [Matango spores]. You burned the rest, meaning all of them are gone except what’s in this vial. This stuff is seriously dangerous but maybe it might have a use somehow, not that you can figure it out yet. Maybe use it to send Monsters into a lustful frenzy? Actually, that sounds really dangerous…

Anyway, after the event earlier, Hala and Blake had both prostrated themselves before the mighty Wizard and begged forgiveness. Thankfully you’re a merciful master and you grudgingly forgave them their trespass. Not that Hala seemed all that upset, but she stayed away throughout the rest of the day, sticking close to Blake.

Now they both slumber together in a bedroll as you set up for your watch. Fireflies buzz around you, small patches of light popping in and out, while Mr. Ed gives a snort in his sleep. It’s rather peaceful night as you lean back to stare at the stars, considering what you should do.

{Boss.} Bubs sends.

{Yeah, I figure it’s about time.} You mentally sigh and strain your neck to look behind you.

There appears Selene, a wicked smile plastered on her face as she whispers, “Good evening, love.”

“Hello Selene, how are you?” You say, head tilted back so you see her upside down.

She smiles wider and saunters up to you, her hips purposefully swaying. “Ara ara, so familiar with me now? I seem to recall not long ago you were terrified of me.”

She kneels down and puts her furred hands against your cheeks, leaning her head over yours as her smiles gets wider and a tad malicious.

“As for how I am…” She begins to apply pressure to your cheeks, stretching them, and your face quickly becomes sore. “I’m a little miffed at the moment about your incident in that wagon today.”

You feel yourself start to sweat as she looks down at you, apparently trying to rip your face off. There isn’t much you say in your defense, so you desperately hang on as you look her in the eyes, pleadingly.

A few moments later she merely releases you just like that, raising her arms to the air with a flourish. “Ah, but it wasn’t your fault I suppose, little bitch would probably have fucked anything in that state. Nasty business those Matangos.”

She points at her head and smirks, “Messes with the heads of men and Monsters, and if those spores get into a human woman, well, the results are suitably erotic for a transformation.”

You rub your cheeks and try to rise when one of Selene’s tails wraps your waist and drags you close to her. She settles your head in her lap as you let out a surprised yelp that you abruptly cut off mid squeal when you realize you have to keep quiet. You look up to see Selene’s smirking face, right past her bosom.

“Enjoying the view?”

“Uh…”

She chuckles and begins to stroke your hair, not saying anything. Honestly, it’s really, really nice, but the situation is incredibly off putting to you. Yeah, sure, she’s been pretty blunt about things before, but she’s never really… done something like this. Hells, if Blake were to wake up there’s no way Selene would get away in time to avoid being seen.

She has the most serene face as she stares off into the distance, her hand making a smooth, rhythmic gesture across your scalp. The warmth of her body diffuses into you, making you feel safe, secure. It would be so easy just to drift away to sleep right here, but, no, that just won’t do.

You open your mouth to speak when Selene says, “I felt the magic being used in that town you know. Dark, powerful magics, clashing against one another. And then, in the midst of it seemed a bright light shining through the dark, cutting apart the shadows.”

Closing your mouth, you go silent. Your magic… appeared like a blade of light? That seems way too poetic. Besides, you aren’t some damn Hero, you’re a Wizard who has a rat familiar and manipulates shit and disease. You aren’t darkness, but perhaps merely a shade of grey.

Before you can stop yourself, you blurt out, “I really missed you down there.”

Her hand freezes in place. You feel her body tense up at your words and you hurriedly add, “For the battle! You know, missed you in a, uh, platonic way, yeah like things could have gotten out of hand or something.”

Selene’s hand seems to twitch. She looks down at you, a sad smile on her face. “Ah, is that it then? Of course.” Beginning to stroke your head again, she continues, “It seemed you had everything in hand.”

“Yeah, yeah, just a Lich and a purple punching power Lamia. Everything was in hand.”

She chuckles, “You really are an interesting one, aren’t you? Barely a child and you defeat not only the cold undead, but a Monster witch of a high caliber.”

She sniffs. “Certainly, that creature is nothing compared to me, but it felt as if she had quite the control of raw darkness to use it in… punching power you said?”

“Her fists were purple, yes.”

“I see. Dark magic is used by some Monster witches, however few can manipulate it in a such a focal space. It’s honestly quite interesting to hear about.”

“It seemed kind of cool. Is there any way I could learn that?”

“You? I’m not certain. Such magic is a blessing from Dollora, so even if you could, I shudder to think of what it would do to you.” She shakes her head. “Well it’s over and done with I suppose, and you seem the stronger for it. I swear, every time I see you, you seem to grow even more attractive.”

One of her fluffy tails snakes it’s way under your robes and caresses your leg, while another wraps around your left hand. On one hand, dear Gods the fluffiness has returned, while on the other hand, you still have the presence of mind to wonder how the hells she doesn’t slice you up with those blades.

You cough as you look away from her, fluffiness addling your brain. “I err, yeah well, you see, uh… Th-thanks.”

Selene sighs wistfully and ruffles your hair, withdrawing her tails. “Ah, if only this could last forever…” She stretches her lithe body, and from your position you get a front row view as she opens her mouth wide, not unlike that of a cat yawning. You’re not sure why her comment makes you think of this, but you stir and ask,

“Selene, why were you absent from Feldergrod and Varruck? You had ample opportunity, yet I never seemed to find a trace of you in either.”

Selene becomes very quiet as she considers her answer carefully.

“I… do not wish to enter human settlements.”

“But… Why? Surely you’re not afraid, and I had heard that you even leveled an entire…”

SILENCE!” Selene hisses, her tails standing straight up, paws tensing as her nostrils flare.

You become silent, trying not to breathe like a panicked animal and only marginally succeed. Selene grits her teeth and her tails slowly lower to the ground as she calms her breathing down. You stay like that for a good, long while, too petrified to move while Selene gets her emotions back under control. Eventually she licks her lips, takes in a deep breath through her nose, and says, “I do not wish to speak further on the subject.”

“Of-of course. S-sorry.” You manage to croak out.

She shakes her head ruefully before placing a hand on your head. “It’s not your fault, I just… Well, we won’t speak further.”

“Right.”

Smiling again, she rubs your head. “It’s fine, I’m not mad at you. In fact, I’m still very proud of you, darling.” She leans down over you and places a light kiss on your lips before smiling and pushing off from you.

“A little good job present from me. Don’t get yourself raped now, you hear?” With that she makes to leave again.

“Wait!” You say, trying your best not to yell.

She turns around and quirks an eyebrow at you, the corner of her mouth curling up.

You lick your lips, trying to force the words out. “I…thank… Erm… Just.” You start to drop sauce covered noodles. “That is to say, well… Why do you serve the Monster Lady?”

Nailed it.

Selene seems startled for a moment before regaining her composure, though her mouth quibbles, trying to hold back laughter.

“Ask you Hero friend why he serves the Order, and you’ll understand. Farewell for now, love.”

She turns and speeds off into the night, leaving you alone in the quiet darkness, lit by the brief flashes of light.

As you lay back down onto the grass, staring up at the sky, you realize you really should have asked what she meant about the blade of light cutting through the darkness. Also, why couldn’t you simply say thanks?

Bubs crawls onto your chest and curls up into a ball, falling into a sleep while you rub his little rat ears and think. How things have changed in such a short period of time, but soon it will all go back to the way it was. But can it really go back at this point?

That thought keeps you awake until the sun rises and you set off again down the path to the Capital.

 

Chapter 53

 

A soft string of curses comes from the front of the wagon and you put a hand to your mouth, stifling a chuckle.

“That’s the fourth damn bird that’s got me today!” Blake grumbles, wiping bird shit off his armor. He turns around and looks at you, but you’re back to threading a needle again through some scraps of cloth into the vague shape of a hat, doing your best not to break out into giggle fits. He narrows his eyes and turns back to the front of the cart, grumbling.

Teeheeeeeeee.

You consider causing another bird to shit on him again, this time maybe a larger one, but think better of it. It’ll be funnier if it happens later. Besides, he seems to be suspicious now. Such is the life of a Copromancer you suppose.

The sun is shining bright today and you can feel a soft warmth spread through your body from the back of the wagon, despite the covering overhead. It isn’t that bad honestly, although you still prefer the indoors, as all good Wizards should. Looking about, you see Hala hanging off the back of the wagon, staring off at nothing while splayed out in a very undignified fashion. It’s… peaceful. Too peaceful.

You expect SOMETHING will try to rape/kill you today, as seems to be the theme made by some devious God who has it out for you. Probably Jackor, the god of pranks and general assholery.

Still, there is hope that you won’t have an attempted rape today, so you got back to being productive, picking up Bubs and staring him in the eyes.

{Oh boss, I didn’t know you felt that way.} Bubs sends, somehow managing to sound even more like a smartass than usual.

 “Gods damnit. Look, you want to be big and scare dogs right?” You say, frowning.

{Yeh.}

“Well, what did we talk about earlier?”

{If I’m a good boy and my thoughts sync up with yours I can become a big rat and scare dogs for about five minutes before I explode.}

“Uhhh. Yeah, except the explosion part. That’s only if we fuck this up.”

{Still not sure I like that part.}

“Meh, it’ll be fine.”

{Whatever you say big guy…}

You lower Bubs from your face but, when you do, you nearly jump back in surprise when you see Hala’s about a foot away.

“Wizzzaaaarrdddd.” She whines. “I’m boooooorrreeeeedddddd.”

You blink and wrinkle your brow. Seriously?

“Booooooorrrreeeeeeeed.”

Groaning, you put Bubs down, who immediately scurries under the pile of stuff nearby, and fold your arms, scowling at the pouting Hala.

“What do you want me to do about it?”

“I dunno, something fun or interesting? You’re pretty good at that, make something explode, I dunno.” She says, shrugging.

“Oh, you want something to explode do you?” She nods her head up and down, her tail wagging like an excited dog’s. You can feel Bubs feel very, very nervous nearby.

You cough and raise your voice, “Oh Hero! Tell me again, why is it you serve the Order?”

Blake pauses for a moment and looks over his shoulder at you with a quizzical expression.

“To protect people from dangerous Monsters, in order to promote peace between the two. It’s… Sort of a sense of duty to what the Order should represent.”

Yeah, basically what you knew before. If Selene was doing something similar to Blake, then she was serving the Monster Ladies as a matter of duty? Or was it because she believed in coexistence? But why would she have destroyed entire legions of soldiers if that was the case? Maybe it’s because the Monster Ladies had a role that they should fulfill, but weren’t?

Hmm. Ah, but back to business.

“Yes, yes, indeed, but what about those elements I’ve heard of who don’t want that? The Monster hunters, the paladins?”

Hala perks up an ear and cocks her head while Blake grimaces.

“The Chantry… They… Well, look, they serve their part, but-”

“I wonder what they’ll think about you bringing your brand new Monster girlfriend home?”

Hala blinks at your words and looks utterly confused. “G-girlfriend?”

Blake starts up, “W-Wizard, I-”

You look back to Hala and say, smirking, “Oh? You know, something like a mate, or a lover. Potentially a wife? Certainly that’s why you’re still around with us right?”

Hala’s eyes go very wide and her head cranks like a cog, slowly clicking toward Blake as her tail starts to thump the floor of the wagon.

Blake chokes up and he begins to stutter, his face growing very, very red as Hala puts on a massive smile and jumps straight up into the driver’s seat. Hands on her lap, she presses in close to Blake like an excited child waiting for a present from a parent.

“Is that true? Is it?”

Blake’s eyes dart around back and forth and his breathing becomes a little heavy as his face takes on the color of a strawberry. “U-uh, uuuuuhhhhh.”

Goshes it almost looks like he’s steaming! Oh dear, how exciting.

“Well, I…You see, it’s, erm.” He takes a shuddering breath and nods his head slowly.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” squeals Hala in an explosion of girlish delight and she buries her face into Blake, smashing him against her.

You cock your finger and thumb back in a gesture as you point it toward the two and you make a little “boom” sound. Want an explosion? You got an explosion. Wizard style.

You have no doubt that things will get weird when Blake bring her her to the Capital and someone tries to kill her something, but uh… Well she probably won’t to try to get it on with you anymore, so whatever. This is a net win and it gets Hala out of your hair so you can get back to business. Besides, you have another joke cooking to appease Jackor so that maybe he won’t fuck with you again.

“Bubs, let’s do this.”

(R…right. Why are we doing this now?)

You look toward the distracted Hala and see her basically molesting Blake at this point.

{She’s not really a dog you know.}

“CLOSE ENOUGH.”

Bubs mentally sighs and you two stare into each other’s eyes, trying to sync your thoughts. Big rat, large rat, fuzzy ball of fur. Warm rat, dire rat, hurr hurr hurr.

With a clear picture in mind of what you want, you raise your hands and focus your will through the link with Bubs.

He begins to change.

The process is far quicker than you’d expect. He gains muscle mass from seemingly nowhere, arms and legs bulging, his body swelling in size as he rapidly focuses aether and your will into a new form, positively rippling with magical force. When it’s done, now standing before you is a three foot tall, five foot long rat who looks back at you, eyes bright and excited.

{HOLY HELLS THIS IS AWESOME.}

You almost reel back from the force of his louder mental voice and hold your head as it rings.

{Oi, oi, take it easy, ouch ouch.}

{SORRY BIG GUY. OR I GUESS, SLIGHTLY LESS BIG GUY.} He’s positively giddy.

{Yeah yeah, alright, you got your wish and you didn’t explode, so you know what to do.}

{SURE DO.} And with that, he silently scurries up to the drivers seat and sits next to Hala, waiting.

He doesn’t have to wait long as she senses something and looks over at Bubs before shrugging and going back to harassing Blake. A second later, her head snaps back around and she stares at Bubs who opens his mouth.

“Squeak.”

Hala flips her shit and practically backflips out of the driver’s seat, off onto the road, nearly knocking Blake out of his seat and sending the horses into a mild panic. Blake pulls hard on the reins, his face looking startled as well.

You and Bubs fucking lose it and start laughing like fucking madmen, which you very well might be. You hear Hala whimpering as she recovers from the shock and the fall and nearly convulse as if something hit you like a physical force, the laugher is so intense.

Oh, oh Gods, that was fucking priceless. Oh man, oh wow it was so worth it, haha.

As your laughter dies down you snicker and look down to see a foot-long quill protruding from your shoulder. Huh, that’s weird, when did that get there? You blink and turn around, looking at a hole punched into the canvas of the wagon cover and see a small, feminine shape moving toward your wagon, stalking with purposeful strides.

“OI! You chuckle fucks start making shit in my territory? I’ll fucking spear all of ya, ya cunts!”

 

Chapter 54

 

Huh. Wonder what she just said. This thought passes lazily through your mind as two more quills smash through the covering of the wagon, one zipping past your head as it punches through the canvas at the other side, and everything seems to click back again. Ah, yes, someone is shooting at you and you have a length of razor sharp hair in your arm. Pain seems appropriate.

Doing the logical thing, you drop to the floor of the wagon and start cursing like a Gods damned sailor as you head Blake yell, “Hala, no! Don’t attack the Porcupine Girl!” A moment later you hear a loud, yelping sound of pain. Not that you overly care at the moment, because your shoulder is on fire. You should probably do something about this situation, but seriously,

Fuck you Jackor.

You totally don’t whimper as you put a hand to the quill and stabilize your arm. The bleeding isn’t bad, but you figure that’s because there’s a giant quill in your arm, shocker. You grit your teeth and almost pull it out but think better of it. No sense in getting blood all over the nice wagon and, to be fair, you need to help with this far more than you need a hole in your arm.

Popping your head out the side of the wagon, you quickly dart back in as a another set of quills whizzes by you, missing your face by inches. You start to sweat and listen as Blake cries out, the sound of deflection off steel ringing nearby. Well, at least Blake is keeping himself alive, but damnit you have to think of something that wouldn’t end with you turned into a pincushion.

“Ya cheeky cunts! Ya send that little dog at me and expect it wouldn’ end with er on the ground rollin around with a face a needles? Ya daft or just loons?”

“Damnit, we didn’t mean to disturb you, we were just on our way through!” Shouts Blake as the sound of projectiles being deflected are heard again.

“Oi, oi, that’s where ya wrong eh? Ya see, I was having the best right dream of me life, bein ravaged by a great cocked wonda, ready to punch me ticket when ya cunts come by an wake me up. Now I’m right sore and I think a little blood and maybe a fuck’ll do for a right brekkie.”

“I… Have no idea what you just said.”

“Oh by the… Piss of ya cunt.”

More sounds of deflection come and you can now distinctly hear the sound of whimpering and whining in the distance. No matter how bad your arm feels, if Hala got some of those quills lodged in her from that close…

{SMALLER BIG GUY.} Bubs sends, his mental voice tearing a small hole in your sanity. {I THINK I KNOW WHAT TO DO HERE.}

You almost vomit from the intensity, {F-fine just… Oh Gods, calm your voice down.}

{WHOOPS. ANYWAY, I THINK I KNOW HOW TO TALK WITH HER.}

(What? How?)

(ITS SIMILAR TO THE NATIVE LANGUAGE OF THE RATS OF THE SOUTHERN ISLES.)

“How the fuck do you… You know what, fine magic rat, just tell me what to say.”

And he tells you, but you blanch as he finishes. {You can’t be…} Another quill flits through the canvas and you grit your teeth. {Ugh, fine.}

{YOU HAVE TO SAY IT JUST LIKE I TOLD YOU.}

{Yeah, yeah…} You send as you move to the side again and take a deep breath, steadying yourself. Okay, alright, one, two, three…

You roll out of the back of the wagon and yell out in a similar accent as the Porcupine Girl,

“What the fuck do ya think ya fuckin’ doing, ya silly cunt? Spazzing out at cunts like a fuckin’ bull ant? I’m a fuckin’ kadaitcha, mate! I’ll point me fuckin’ bone at ya silly cunt! I’ll point me fuckin’ bone! Ya fuckin’ dead mate!”

The Monster goes stock still and stares at you, her eyes wide, allowing you finally get a good look at her.

She can’t be more than five feet tall. Her body is built lean and compact with hints of delicate curves that never quite seem to fully become hips, although she does sport a modest bust hidden behind pieces of simple cloth. Her hands and legs are covered in layers of long, tipped quills, the appendages terminating in a series of clawed fingers and toes that flex in tension and anger. Her back is likewise covered in layer after layer of the quills which look larger and far more dangerous than the ones on her arms. Her skin, you notice, is a shade of chocolate that reflects her dark brown eyes, which smolder in anger as she regards you.

“The fuck ya say to me?”

“I say uh… Y-Yer dead mate! I point me uh…me fuckin bone!” You have no idea what you’re saying, but you can feel dire Bubs’s pride as you say it.

“Ya tellin me ya gunna right point ya bone at me, isat right?”

“Y-yeh.”

“Aww Gods damnit, ya one cheeky little fuck ain’t ya? Right, I think I’m gunna take ya bone and shove it up me own cunt, right? Gotta finish me ol’ dream right?”

That sounds distinctly like she’s going to rape you. That would be bad.

“No uh, no thanks… Mate?”

Smiling a wicked grin, she and charges at you full speed, which covers ground at a surprising pace. You raise your staff in your good arm and channel a [Fireball], hurling the finished spell right at the oncoming rape train.

She could have dodged, but she doesn’t. Instead, she curls up into a ball and rolls into the fire, her quills seeming to reflect the flames before she quickly rolls out into a sprint. Before you know it, she’s on top of you, straddling your crotch with hers. She pins your arms down and begins to grind her incredibly moist nether regions against your robes, leaving sticky little trails as she did so.

You think furiously as her movements start to stimulate your lower body despite your will. Unfortunately all you can do is start raving about “dogs” and “cunts.” She back hands you across the jaw, leaving your cheek throbbing and painful as the hells.

“Oi, ya shut it when I’m rapin’ ya hear? Ah fuck it, let’s just get right to it eh?”

Fuck fuck fuck, you desperately try to perform a [Fast Scan] to fuck with her humors but you’re so caught off guard that you can’t seem to make things click in your mind. Your mouth goes dry and panic begins to set in as you breathing grows shallow and rapid. Oh Gods. You survive certain doom by a Lich, an army of undead, and a powerful Lamia witch, and now you’re going to be raped here?

Seriously, fuck Jackor hard.

“Cease your actions, scoundrel!” Blake cries as he charges towards the rape beast upon you. You feel a surge of hope flow through you. Oh Blake, always here to help!

The Porcupine Girl casually looks over her shoulder, raises her free arm, and shoots a series of quills at Blake from those growing there. He manages to deflect some on the shield but one seemed to slip through hits Blake on the side. It’s not enough force to penetrate his armor, but enough to off balance his charge, and send him crashing to the dirt. Oh Blake, always here to fuck up.

The Monster chitters with laughter and looks positively giddy as she watches Blake moan and roll himself back up, her attention off you long enough to let you think properly. At this rate, [Indigestion] would just end up taking too long, so you need something quick, but fire and electricity spells will hit you too at this range. That leaves ice, but will it be enough? Those spines are strong enough to deflect even a [Fireball]!

Fuck it. You concentrate as best you can and focus a beam of [Ice] at her exposed back. She freezes, figuratively speaking, as her back becomes frozen, each quill becoming as if an icicle. She whips back to look at you, her eyes wide in anger, and she outright slugs you with her free hand.

“That’s it, its raping time.”

As she reaches for your dick, a form darts in from the corner of your eye and the sound of so many pieces of ice shattering is heard as the Monster topples forward onto you. Struggling, you push her mass off you, rolling clear while you survey what happened.

Bubs is utterly savaging the Monster’s exposed back, his leap hitting with enough force to shatter the brittle quills like glass. He begins to draw blood as he chews and snarls. The Hedgehog tries her best to dislodge him but can’t reach her hands around her quills, despite their frozen state. She cries out in pain, rolling back and forth, trying to rip him off without success.

“Oi, oi, oi! I fucking give, I fucking give ya cunts! Call of yer damn beast!” She screams, still trying to get Bubs off.

You stare at her as Bubs still tears at her. In no hurry, you look to Blake, who’s back on his feet, and sigh. Well, you do have the high ground now.

“Fine then, Bubs, that’s enough.”

Your familiar looks up at you with giant rat eyes, his teeth dripping with fresh blood, and you feel mildly terrified for a moment at this creature. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge your command at first before you glare at him. He blinks, looks down, and then slowly detaches, falling off and wandering back towards you. The Porcupine Girl groans and lays the ground.

“Fucka would gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for ya meddling kids and yer rat.”

You sigh and snap a finger. Bubs begins to shrink down to his normal size as you dispel the magic. He staggers for a moment before crawling up your leg and stowing himself in your pocket as Blake walks up, sword held ready.

The Porcupine Girl grumbles and then slowly stands up, dusting herself off. “Oi, oi, I know the drill. Fuckin shit it is…” She turns and leaves, pouting before shootings rock with a quill and rubbing her back, which is a bloody mess, with little effect. You just watch her leave, surprised at your luck. That… could have been bad if she continued, but hey! You don’t have to kill anyone today.

Blake helps you to your feet and you both head over to Hala, who has multiple quills in her face, arms, and torso. She lays in road, whimpering. Blake looks them over and breathes a sigh of relief.

“They’re all pretty shallow. I think I can remove them without much issue, but your arm…”

You shrug though it hurts like a bitch. “It’s not that… bad”

“The hells it is, we’re getting both of you patched up right now.”

You don’t feel like arguing. He takes Hala by himself to the wagon before removing her quills. She whines liked a Great Dane puppy the whole time, and Blake sighs at every pull of the quill. Heh, wuss.

“Alright, your turn.” Blake says, wiping off Hala’s blood.

“Eh, I’ll be fine.” You say, wincing.

A wicked smile appears on Blake’s face as he grabs your good arm, keeping you in place.. “Oh no, it’s for your health.”

You sure hope your screams aren’t as embarrassing as you think they are.

 

Chapter 55

 

 “Wizard? Hey wizard?’ Blake asks, shaking you.

You blink awake and realize with a start that it’s dark outside. Oh, right. After Blake’s ah, “ministrations,” you continued on your way down the road, making camp as night fell. Looking about, you see the horses tied up and munching on feed while a camp fire burns in the center at the same tune as the pain in your shoulder. Hala is curled up near Blake’s bedroll, and she yawns wide, seeming content with herself despite her face being red and puffy from the quills.

“It’s that late already?”

“Aye. Thought I’d let you sleep a little, but it’s your turn for watch. There’s some more stew over the fire if you’re hungry.”

You nod groggily and headed over to the food, your stomach rumbling as you filled your little bowl. Despite eating earlier, you still feel hungry. Thankfully, Blake has one use and that’s his cooking. Your heated bread pouches are ambrosia, but this stuff is a pretty close second. As you eat your food, you sit down on a rock and listen to the sounds of the night, dominated by the loud croaking of frogs and toads, which sound pretty close. Must be a lake nearby.

As you savor the food, you think about what you’d like to do tonight while wondering if Selene is going to come by later. You muse on why you even care, but can’t come up with a good answer. Shrugging with a little pain from your wound, you take another spoonful as the frog croaking grows louder. Mmm, stew.

With contentment you set down the bowl and stretch. Man, how does anyone sleep with all those frogs singing and bugs stirring anyway? Gods, you miss civilization.

“Hehehe.”

You look around sharply and see nothing, not hearing anything else beyond the sounds of the night. You quietly ask, “Selene?”

No response, just more croaking. W-weird. Oh well, best to ignore it you guess and do something else. On that note-

Waaaaaaaait.

You were so tired that you didn’t put up any wards once you made camp. After eating you immediately passed out and- Oh dear.

Bolting upright, you open your [Magic Sight], feeling around for any signs of danger as well as fresh ingredients for your [Circle of Shit]. You thankfully do not find the former, but the later is in abundance, thanks critters of the world! Gathering some up with your will, you bring it to you, starting to lay down your wards. As you do so, you feel Bubs pipe up from somewhere,

{Big guy, something’s coming and it ain’t fluffy tail.}

You grit your teeth. Damnit, these wards cannot be rushed, else they’d practically be meaningless. Without enough time, you’ll have to fight whatever it is off. With that thought, you form the shit you have ready into a lance and prepare to freeze it and throw at whatever is coming closer.

Bushes rustle and you tense up, preparing to sing the song of your people, when from the darkness emerges a girl. Scratch that, not just a girl, a Monster girl.

She is of average height with short, blonde hair that hangs around her neck and frames her face with very large, brown eyes. Her body is of average proportions as well, which for a Monster is downright beautiful, and she wears some kind of undergarments which appear to made out of waterproof material. Despite this though, her distinctive features are her long, bulbous hands and feet which have webbing in between them and, as you realize when she gets closer, are green.

She stops as she comes close to you and crouches down on incredibly powerful legs, then cocks her head. As she stares at you, her neck expands out and she gives a low, chirruping “ribbit.”

You both just look at each other, neither daring to make a move. After what seems a mild eternity, the Frog Girl tilts her head to the side, then slowly raises a webbed hand and says, “’Sup.”

You blink and your concentration falters, the control on the shit slipping. It falls from the air and splatters to the ground, causing the Frog Girl to recoil back and shield her face from the debris. You stare at it in horror as the Monster waves her arms back and forth pleadingly.

“Woah woah dude, I don’t mean any trouble, oh shit, I’m outtie.”

She turns to bound away when you raise a hand and say, “Wait, wait, I’m sorry! That was unintentional.”

You look over towards your companions but don’t see the stirring or anything. Damn they can sleep like bricks when they want to. You briefly wonder if they fucked again while you were asleep but… ahh, that’s none of your business.

“Sorry, look, I just don’t see many Monsters who don’t want to rape and or kill me on first sight, okay?”

The Frog Girl cocks her head to the side again and puts a long finger to her mouth. “I mean, yeah, you look really appealing and holding you down while my tongue wraps the base of your dick as I ram you into me would be super awesome, but eh.” She shrugs.

“Not really feeling it tonight.”

That was… oddly specific, but whatever. As long as she isn’t raping you, it’s probably going to be fine. You cough and little and ask. “If you uh… Aren’t here for that, then why are you here?”

“Eh, we don’t see many travelers these days, and that town few days away has kind of been a little sketch, you know?”

“Tell me about it, but it’s getting better.”

“Really? Wicked, maybe I can finally get a good fuck.”

She looks at you, eyebrow lifted. You shake your head and she shrugs.

“Eh, ya win some, ya lose some. Names Croakly, yeah my mother was an idiot, but what brings you this way?”

You scratch your head for a moment and think over this situation. While you’ve been working with Monsters pretty closely these past few days, it’s generally been fighting them, or trying to keep them from raping you. It’s kind of foreign to talk about something else so simply.

Briefly, you wonder if she’s trying to lure you into a false sense of security, but you’re fairly certain she could have jumped your junk, literally, if she wanted to, so this probably is okay? Hells you might as well be courteous or something. Not like you can’t scream or get Bubs to wake people up if you need to.

You look around a gesture to a log nearby. She cocks her head, then smirks and hops over to crouch down on a bump on the log.

“Thanks. So anyway, where ya headed to?”

“The uh… Capital.”

“Huh, aight, that’s the big city few days up the road right?”

“Y-yeah.”

She pauses and quirks her mouth up before doing another ribbit. It’s unsettling what it does to her eyes, but you don’t say anything. That would be in poor form after all. As she does so, you also notice the thin film of mucus covering her body that makes it shine in the firelight of your campfire. It has an odd effect of magnifying her proportions and highlighting the supple curves of her skin, especially as it trickles down into her clothing.

You shake your head and she gives a croaking laugh. “Oh, am I making you nervous? Rriiiibt, that’s kind of cute.”

“Errr, a-anyway. Yeah, we’re uh, just heading there so I can pick up a component for a magical device.”

She crosses her arms and nods her head. “Oh, you’re one of those Wizard types eh?”

You blink, genuinely surprised. “Y-you know what a Wizard is?”

“Yeah, sure, we gots one of them living around here, or says he is anyway. Not that anyone really goes to visit the dude. Kind of angry, especially around us Monsters.” She sighs and she leans on her elbows. “A shame, because I’d do everything to him.”

Your mouth goes dry as you think over the implications of this. If there’s another Wizard nearby, then he surely has a Communion Glass. And if he and a Communion Glass, then… then you can check on your matrices! By the Gods, you can see if that deadbeat finally weaved together the next installment of his runic signature! You swear to the Gods, if those other dumasses didn’t go the waifu route…

Shaking your head, you return to the moment and look to the Frog Girl with genuine interest.

“Can you tell me where he lives?”

“Yeah uh, lives in some creepy ass house down the way and off through some dirt path. Kind of hard to see due to it being pretty overgrown, but it’s not that far off the road I guess.”

That isn’t bad at all! Hells, you just have to convince Blake, and you’ll what, lose part of a day? Big whoop, he’ll live, you’ll live, it’ll be a good time.

“That is wonderful, thank you.”

She beams and makes the ribbit again, sounding very pleased this time as she leans in towards you. “Well gosh, if that isn’t the nicest thing. You know if you really wanted to thank me…”

“Uh… I don’t…”

She titters and pulls back. “Oh fine, be that way ya stick in the mud.”

You cough and look away from her when a thought comes to you. “You’re a Frog Girl, right?”

She peers down at her chest and blinks, pushing her breasts up and playing with them a little. “Yep, still a Frog Girl.”

“Ri-right. Uhm, you wouldn’t uh, happen to know anything about a uh…” You wave your hand. “Well, I call it the [Irate Frog Song].”

She blushes furiously when you mention it. “O-oh my. Y-you know the song? Oh, oh wow, are you sure you don’t want a little fuck, because Dollora damn it, that’s hot.”

“Errr. Maybe we should forget about that then…”

“Oh hells no, come on, give me a little taste.”

“I-it would wake up the others.”

“Fuck em, come on big guy, give me a little of that.”

You lick your lips. Shit, this is looking bad. Damn you and your big mouth. Ugh, but you don’t want to make this situation that much worse… Nrgh, fine, you’ll have your friends help you out when you wake them up by doing this. You’re in no danger.

Opening your mouth, you sing the [Irate Frog Song]. As you do, you feel a tingling sensation but you’re too into your singing to pay attention.

“REEEEEEEEE!”

Croakly gushes, her eyes going huge as she squeals in pure ecstasy. “Ohmaigods ohmaigods ohmaigods that’s so hot oh, ohhhhh.”

You finish the song quickly and watch as she squirms about, feeling herself up and down. “Oh wow, oh, oh Gods from a man’s throat it’s… it’s so wonderful. You could improve it by making the second EEE longer, like this, ‘REEEEEE!’

It’s odd though, as the glistening, heavily panting, sexy Frog lady stares at you with lust filled eyes, all you can think about is the fact that everyone else is asleep. Also, Bubs isn’t screaming in your head. Huh, that’s odd. Actually, you can’t feel him at all- almost as if someone had put up some kind of bar…rier…

Oh fuck.

“Ahem.” Says Selene from behind you. “Love, would you mind explaining what’s going on here?”

Your head cranks backward to regard Selene. Licking your lips, you take in a slow, deep breath, and tell Selene the truth.

 

Chapter 56

 

“What does it look like we’re doing here? I’m talking shop about the frog song, from an actual frog. Apparently it’s just… better for her than for most that hear it. We’re also talking about this other Wizard who lives down the road.”

You give her your most convincing smile. “What, you didn’t think I’d be doing something… untoward, did you?”

Selene narrows her eyes at you and you look back to Croakly, who’s still drooling a little.

Snapping your fingers, you hiss, “Croakly, back me up here.”

She blinks and then shakes her head as if coming out of a trance. “Huh? Who wha? Oh fuck, who the hells is that?” She says, jumping back from Selene in an acrobatic leap which ends with her hitting an invisible wall, before sliding down it in pain.

Selene casually walks forward and picks Croakly up with one of her tails. The Frog Girl looks a little desperate as she cowers in Selene’s grip. “H-hey now, I didn’t do anything to him, honest!”

You bolt up and hold out your hands pleadingly. “Selene, I’m being honest here. Yeah, so maybe asking advice on improving what could be mistaken as a ‘Frog Girl’ mating call was a bad idea, but she really helped me improve it so no other Monsters would rape me or something. Look, nothing happened, nothing will happen, please. Just put her down.”

Selene crosses her arms and looks back and forth between the two of you. Eventually she sighs, rolling her eyes. “Oh very well. I’d know if you were lying to me anyway.”

Gently, she sets down Croakly. The Frog Girl backs up against the barrier, staring at Selene. The older Monster bears her teeth, canines glinting in the firelight. Croakly gulps, letting out a small croak before speaking.

“Uh…uh, wow, like sorry. If I knew he had a wife I wouldn’t have come over, not that I was going to, you know, just the song and all.”

You look at Croakly, “Uh, she’s not my-“ you quickly shut up as Selene raises an eyebrow.

“Oh calm yourself little frog, had I meant to end your life I would have already done so. Besides, I like watching my little Wizard squirm.”

As she says this she saunters over and embraces you, one hand on your arm, the other on your chest as her leg slides up your body. She presses her head next to yours and smiles at Croakly.

“Would you care to stay and chat a while?”

Croakly looks between the smiling Selene and the stunned you. She gulps before making another croak. “Rrrrrribbt. I… I think I’m good. Uhm, thanks for the chat and the song, uh, Wizard, it was radical. If you’re ever down here again uh…” She looks up at Selene and raps on the barrier. “I-if you could?”

Selene sighs. “Oh very well. Have a pleasant evening. Oh, and do be quiet on your way out.” You feel that tingling sensation again as the barrier drop around you and the delicate noises of the evening return in force. Croakly looks about for a moment, then skedaddles the fuck out, doing her best to not make noise as she escapes back into the bushes.

{BOSSSSSSSSSS!} You suddenly hear in your head. Bubs flies out of nowhere, stops in front of you and mentally squeals, {Oh Gods boss, I felt her coming, but then she was here and then it went quiet and…} He trails off as he sees Selene fully. {Oh.}

Selene waves at him and smiles, closing her eyes. Bubs squeaks and slowly backs away.

{It’s fine little guy.} You send to Bubs, {I’m good.}

{Right. I’m just going to… hide over here.}

{I’ll get you a Bubby snack later.}

With that, Bubs scurries away under a pile of detritus. Which now leaves you alone with Selene. You sigh and pinch the bride of your nose. “Was that really necessary?”

“Well, you were going to wake your entire encampment, and then I wouldn’t get my time with you, would I?” She says, a cute little pout on her face. “Besides, she looked like she was chomping at the bit when you started that ghastly song.”

You take in a deep breath. Right, right, super old, super powerful, super JEALOUS cat lady. You aren’t afraid of anything happening to you, that’s not what this situation is, but you’re afraid she might have second thoughts about sparing Croakly. As odd as it is to say, it would make you sad to see such a nice Monster die. Guess there’s only one thing to do.

“Look, Selene, don’t get so worked up, it’s not like I have uh-” You gulp. “E-eyes, for anyone but you anyway.” With a shaking hand, you reach over with and start scratching her behind her large cat ears.

She blinks in shock and then melts into your body as she starts to utter a low, rumbling noise that shakes your frame. Her mouth hangs half open as you scratch and a look of pure bliss appears upon her gorgeous face. You keep this up for a little longer, caressing you hand across her ear, moving between stroking the pinna delicately and scratching vigorously at the base. Her purring grows in intensity as you do so, and she pushes in towards you, her tails standing loose but jerking every so often as if they have a mind if their own.

When you stop her body collapses onto yours like a sack of gelatin and she starts panting, trying to catch her breath. “A-ara ara, wh-who said you could so freely touch me?”

You kind of feel like you just did something which may be considered incredibly erotic among Cat Girls and you gulp. “Uh, well, you know, I just felt like uh, you’d enjoy it?”

Selene smirks and pulls in close to you, planting little kiss on your cheek. You feel yourself flush. Oh boy.

“You were right.” She whispers into your ear.

Feeling uncomfortable, you stammer, “Uh… Uh, h-hey, let’s take a seat shall we?” You point to the log and move to break from Selene, but she holds fast you.

“I don’t know…” She drawls languidly. “I kind of like seeing you flustered like this.”

“I’ll uh… I’ll rub your head?”

She considers this for a moment, and then smirks. “Oh very well then.” She lets you go and you zoom onto the log. At least you can hide this Gods forsaken boner that way. Unfortunately Selene lays down and rests her head in your lap, staring up at you.

“Oh, this is nice too.”

Gods her head is soft and warm. Fuck everything, she really is trying to make you squirm. Better make her focus on something else. Your hand drifts down to her head and begins to stroke her hair delicately. She lets out a sigh, stretching before crossing her arms on her belly.

“It’s been faaarrrr too long since anyone has done this you know. I almost forgot how good it feels to have a man’s hands run through you hair.”

Internally screaming, you say, “S-so, there’s this Wizard up the road…”

“Yes…” Selene says, her expression becoming sedate. “I can feel the magic around his abode. It’s quite elaborate for this day and age, but nothing like what Wizards could do before. Still, I believe he might be more powerful than you.”

“Oh, okay then.”

“Ara ara… Is that a tone of jealously I hear? Oh, don’t worry, I too only have eyes for you.”

Hand pausing for a moment, you sigh before stroking her head again. “Selene… It’s not like I don’t enjoy these moments together, and fighting can sometimes be a rush, but I don’t think I can entertain you for much longer. Our journey is almost over, and then I’m going home.”

Selene goes quiet, allowing the sounds of night to play an unobstructed symphony about you. The sound of frogs calling in the distance has died down some, but crickets and other insects begin to play their tunes.

As the songs of the evening play about, you suddenly feel very aware. Aware that what you said was true. While you do feel an existential panic whenever Selene says she loves you, you don’t actually hate your little moments together. Hells, you legitimately missed her back in Varruck.

But what you said after that was also true. You still just want your Galmathorian Glass and to go home, to return to the life you once lived. That’s it. This game between you and she will have to end eventually and you have to make sure it ends with your virginity intact. You are a Wizard after all.

With a Z.

Your attention drifts back to Selene as she stirs and looks up at you, her eyes searching yours. She seems to find something and then nods her head before closing her eyes.

“No, you won’t.”

“H-huh?” You ask, startled.

“You won’t just get your glass and leave. I don’t believe for a second that you will avoid everything that will come to pass. Once you enter that city, you won’t be able to stop events from occurring. Instead, I feel you’ll be the one to shape them.”

She smiles wanly. “I don’t believe in fate much, but I do believe in people.”

“I don’t… I don’t understand.”

“Nor do I, nor does anyone, but things are starting to build up again and I can feel the pull of my Lady, that self absorbed little bitch. When she calls for war I’ll have to be there, and I’m afraid I’ll see you on the other side.”

Gritting your teeth, you ask, “What if I refuse, if I choose to stay the course? I don’t have any intention of getting involved in any of this war nonsense like Blake wants. I’m not a fighter.”

She opens her eyes, her expression tired. “Don’t disappoint me, love.”

You both just sit there: you stroking her hair, and she, resting in your lap. You have no idea how this escalated so quickly, or where it came from, but holy hells, that’s a lot to think about. But if she’s going to leave you on her own…

While you feel relief, something inside you feels a little sad at the thought. Oddly enough, you feel a desire to talk with her.

You ask quietly. “Tell me about yourself.”

She blinks and looks at you quizzically, “Hmm? That’s interesting, you’ve never been so curious before…”

“If you’re going to leave then… I guess I should know a little bit more before I lose the chance.”

She smirks and rubs her head into your hand, giving a light purr. “Very well then, I suppose you’ve earned it then. What would you like to know?”

 

Chapter 57

 

“Well…” You say, choosing your words carefully. “Why don’t we start off with how you came to serve the Monster Ladies?”

Selene chuckles softly in your lap. “Oh, that. Well, let’s see, it was around the time of the Third Monster Lady, Terebitha, when I decided to venture forth as a young warrior and try my mettle against the greatest of Monster kind. You know, so I could fight the good fight against the humans and bring their little Kingdom under the rightful rule of the Monster Nation.”

She looks up and you and blushes. “No offense.”

“Uhm, none taken?”

“Heh, right. Well, there I was, facing down Darloth, a Ghoul warrior, when I sent her head flying halfway across the arena to land at the feet of none other than the Lady herself. She thought the spectacle was so amusing that she brought me in as one of her elite warriors. From there, I’m certain you know of the assault on Sanctifrond?”

Of course you do. It was about one and a half thousand years ago, but everyone remembers the tale of the grandest Monster Invasion ever, where the capital was sieged and only through the combined might of the Hero Ajax and the Sorceress Bella, was the Monster Lady put down, her army scattered to the four winds. That battle is partially why certain Monster populations such a Hellhounds can be found stalking outlying mining towns even now, though they generally do well with humans, so sayeth rumors.

“Well, I was the one who broke the barrier around the city I suppose. I was pretty eager to prove myself and I guess I went a little overboard… In my defense, at the time it seemed like a good idea. Still, when Terebitha was killed, I immediately saw what was right in front of me the whole time. The Monster horde is just that, a horde united around a strong, fear inducing leader. Without one, it’s nothing more than a collection of… of savages.” She twists her mouth, as if she’d eaten something bitter.

“When the dust settled and everyone had returned to the Monster Nation, it was like nothing ever happened. A new Lady was chosen and everyone just accepted that these things happen. They talked about fighting, taking prisoner husbands, and converting new women the same as before. It was then I realized that nothing had changed, but me.” She looks up at the sky and sighs.

“I figured out during that war that continuing on this way would one day result in the end of either us or the humans, and the cycle of fear and hate will end up destroying everything. So I did the only thing I could do: I used my clout gained in the Invasion and became one of the four Temple Guardians with the goal of keeping the Monster Ladies in check. You wonder why the next Invasions were relatively mild compared to the third? It’s because I managed to keep the Ladies grounded in reality and kept losses to a minimum. Of course, I couldn’t stop them entirely.”

You stare openly at Selene as she relates everything to you without a hint of hesitation. Either she implicitly trusts you, or she doesn’t care at all about letting this out. Regardless, you stay quiet and listen with rapt attention.

“That worked fairly well for a time, hells, during the fourth Invasion the Lady, Sekmopt, an Anubis from the east, was enamored by a battle Wizard named Paulo and the Invasion ended when they eloped and she left her position open.” Selene beams brightly, “They had really cute puppies.”

You cough into your hand. “You uh, you implied that it stopped working?”

“Yes…” she starts, her voice becoming sullen. “The seventh Invasion was not actually an Invasion more than a counter measure. There was a counter Invasion by the Order after the sixth Invasion and many, many Monsters were slaughtered, their land seized by the decree of the human King of that time. He uh-” She to chokes up before taking a deep, shuddering breath. “He uh… Ordered the execution of entire species of Monsters. One such being m-m-my…”

You rest your free hand on hers and she grabs onto it, squeezing for reassurance before speaking again. “I wasn’t there when I happened, but I heard my people were slaughtered utterly and without remorse. Not a single kitten had remained.” She takes a deep breath. “I didn’t… want to talk about this yesterday because it’s so painful.”

Taking another deep breath, she continues. “When I heard the news I did not take it well. I… I was the only Monster present in the entire seventh Invasion. I annihilated Ravenshold, a border city. Not a single soul was left alive.” She chokes up and rubs at her eyes.

“I… I can never forget that, not to this very day.”

Fuck, so it was true. Tightening your grip on her hand, you say, “I can’t even imagine the pain you felt- still feel I guess.”

She squeezes your hand back and takes in a shuddering breath. “Thank you…”

You feel a change of subject is in order. “Uh… t-tell me about the other Temple Guardians.”

Selene shifts uncomfortably and is silent for a moment before sighing. “Oh very well… As I mentioned, there are four Temple Guardians whose duty is to advise and protect the Monster Lady as she rules over Monster controlled land. When an Invasion is not in progress we are essentially free to act and advise as we see fit. For myself, it’s keeping Invasions off the minds of others, or otherwise calming our people until their passion grows too hot, then I direct it as is fit. Since the… Incident, I haven’t been forced to hold a particularly heavy role in battle, but if I was ordered to…” She shrugs and makes a little exploding gesture with her hand.

“Ah.”

“Indeed. But it hasn’t come to that, yet. As for the other three…” She holds up a finger. “First is Tolosh, a Kejourou, and the spiritual leader of the Monsters. She is the High Priestess of Dollora and her power as a priestess is as powerful as her faith.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that I’d probably lose some of my tails if I tried to kill her at the height of her power.”

“O-oh.”

She holds up another finger. “The next is Victoria, an Arachne.”

“That doesn’t sound so bad.”

“Her hobby is kidnapping humans. She turns the men into one stop semen shops and women captives into other spiders via cocoons that she immaculately grooms. She has an army of followers at her beck and call and her specialty is to strike when the foe least expects her.”

“That sounds more bad.”

“Clearly.” She holds up a third finger and frowns. “Last is…ugh, Third.”

“Well, sure she’s third, but what’s her name?”

“No, that’s just it. Her name actually is Third. She’s an odd sort of Monster known as a Chimera and… Well even I am creeped out by her. She’s just so odd and rarely ever speaks except to take commands by the Lady.”

“How did someone like that become a Temple Guardian?”

“She was made by the current Lady to replace the former Guardian after she angered her. None of us could question the decision.”

You both go silent as you think it over. What kind of… pardon your phrasing, MONSTER, does that to her confidants? You feel you have to ask.

“Selene, it’s obvious you don’t like this Lady very much. Why would you serve her? Why don’t you just, I don’t know… depose her?”

Selene’s eyes go wide. “You have no idea what that would mean. Yes, she’s an egotistical, narcissistic, homocidial, megalomaniac of a Dragon Girl with a mean streak to boot, but if she was deposed, it was be unprecedented. Many species of Monsters live together because of the rule of the Lady, if she was gone, nothing would stop them from wrecking havoc across Deleor.”

“Then… why don’t you just become the Lady? Surely you’ve had ample time.”

Selene thinks about it and shrugs. “It’s Implied that Temple Guardians serve the Ladies. No Guardian has ever BECOME one. No, no I can’t do it.”

“But that doesn’t make…”

“Please? Just trust me on this one.” She looks at you with pleading eyes. “Someone else could defeat her. While it would be my duty to try and stop that, it’s not like I’d be sad about it.”

A chill runs down your spine as she says this. “Are you saying you want me to-”

“I am not saying anything except watch yourself because life is not going to be kind to you. Do you understand?”

You don’t, but sure, why not. “I do. “

“Thank you. So, what else do you want to know?”

Sighing, you think about it before nodding your head. Might as well get the elephant out of the room…

“Hmmm, tell me about Victor.”

Selene thinks to herself for a moment, a smirk touching her lips as she begins to speak again. “Ah, I see. Victor… was a Wizard, as I had mentioned before. He was one of tremendous power who lived very much like you I assume, alone and in his little house, spending his days on that magic network or whatever.”

“Communion matrix.”

“Sure, that. He was about thirty-five when I met him, and only because he had to leave his house in search of, and I quote, ‘the ultimate elixir.’” I have no idea what that is and he wouldn’t explain it to me at the time.”

She looks at you expectantly and you zip the fuck up. The ultimate elixir is a story told in hushed whispers and private runic signatures about a mountain elixir so potent that it’s flavor could not only sustain a Wizard, but enhance their power as well. Normies could never know about this and it was an unspoken rule that you do NOT discuss it openly. That this Victor would break such a commandment…

Selene rolls her eyes. “Well anyway, I found him one day on one of my little sojourns, searching through a map on the side of a road near the Monster border. At the time, I thought he might be a good lay to help clear my mind.”

You raise an eyebrow and she scoffs. “What, did you think I was a virgin? Oh by the Gods no, with hips like these? I’ve raped more men then you’ve probably ever met in your life, although I’ve never had any kittens, which might have been a blessing…” She pauses before shaking her head. “Anyway, before I could pin him down, the bastard placed a chaining spell on me and began asking directions.”

She chuckles, “The nerve of that man! I could have broken him in two, but his cocksure attitude was so different from the other Wizards I’d met after that ‘communion matrix’ was invented. I was intrigued. He and I traveled the lands together, having adventures, and eventually I felt something I’d never felt before: I believe it was love.” She smirks and looks into your eyes, searching.

“Of course, we both knew that should he give in to me, his powers would be gone and he’d be a… Norman?”

“Normie, but that works as well.”

“Right, normie. Although he tried his best to grow apart from his feelings, I knew he felt something too. But never did touch me, not once, and I tell you, I masturbated furiously because of it.”

“I don’t think I needed to know that.” You say blushing. Selene merely waves a hand back and forth.

“Oh don’t be such a… Wizard. So yes, our journey took us to the Solomon mountains, where he believed this elixir was. When he found a cave that he thought the elixir was in, he told me to stay put and he’d retrieve it.” She looks crestfallen again, “I waited an hour before going in. I found him being raped senseless by a hungry Manticore. She hit him before he fully knew what happened and the shock of her furious raping had damaged his pelvis and internal organs so severely that we both knew once he had ejaculated, his life was essentially over.”

Her voice became little more than a whisper. “I killed the Manticore and finished him off myself. I still remember as I placed him inside me, he whispered, ‘I’m glad it was you.’”

You close your eyes and take that in. What a life Selene had led up until now. And this Victor, you can almost feel a certain kinship with him, which terrifies you. Was that to be your fate? Killed by some Monster’s wonton smashing of your pelvis into paste, dying with a smile on your lips as you lose your Wizardhood? You feel so very small and powerless for some reason.

Sighing, you wave a hand and say, “Looks like I’m just making things harder for you, sorry. Why not-”

“You really do remind me of him, in some ways.”

You pause what you’re saying and kind of choke up as she lifts her hand and strokes your beard. “Of course, his beard was much longer. Still, you have the same eyes, full of determination and intelligence, fixated so much on your convictions that it gives you strength.”

She sighs a curls her tails up into herself. “Maybe I’m just trying to replace him with you, but it just doesn’t feel that way, I don’t know.” Wiping at her eyes, she says. “Look at me, all emotional again. I haven’t cried in front of anyone in ages.”

She chokes out, “I guess I really do fall for your kind, huh?”

You uh. Wow. See, this has happened before, but last time you were in a death grip and you were afraid for your life. This time, she’s just so… vulnerable. You can’t bring yourself to feel anything but shame at having felt afraid of her or her feelings. That’s not to say that you still don’t, she is a crazy powerful Monster and you still don’t want to have sex, but damnit, you have to admit that you like her.

Platonically. No seriously, it isn’t a lie to yourself, but the truth.

Rubbing her head again, you whisper. “It’s fine. I think I understand, and maybe I should be honored that someone like yourself took interest in someone like, well, me.”

She chokes up, laughing. “G-Gods wizard, I… Hah, that sounds almost like affection.”

“Well,” you start, smiling, “You know me.”

“Not quite as well as I’d like…”

You chuckle and rub her ears. “Fine, but only if I can touch one of your fluffy tails.”

She laughs and does that “ara ara” thing before waving a tail in front of your face, and you start to tell her about yourself.

————————————————————————————–

You spend the rest of your watch, Selene curled up in your lap, talking to each other about your lives, hobbies, etc. You find out that Selene actually had two sisters who died in the purge and that she has a hobby of carving wood statues. Her favorite are tiny reindeers for some… reason…

Still, as night begins to shift into day, Selene has to give her farewell. She leaves as stealthy as she came, leaving your lap cold and lonely. It isn’t long after that Blake and Hala wake up and you all set off on the road again, your mind filled with much more to think on.

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