Wormhole Ch.7 (Updated)


Author’s Note:

Don’t know how many people will read it but here is the revamped version of Wormhole Chapters 7 of 11. I’m getting ready for a release on other sites so I felt it had to be done. Chapter 12 will be coming soon.

Enjoy and comment. Even pointing out typos with your comments helps.

(Original Author’s Note:

Time for a showdown.  I was really glad that I could give some love to the Hornet.  I hadn’t seen too much fan art or stories based on her, so I guess it was up to me.)

 

 

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‘What are you doing, dumbass?’, I thought to myself as I hurried onto the scene like a knight in shining armor, ready to fight some other knights in shining armor. For once, you were actually safe. You could have just stayed in that barrier and you would have been sitting pretty. You’ve seen what a horde of mamono could do in a fight, so there wasn’t anything to worry about. Then why, pray tell, did you climb your ass up that branch and jump over that magical wall, damn near breaking your neck in the process? Even some of the mamono who witnessed my graceful crash landing called me a ‘crazy fool’. Maybe that was the answer; a ‘crazy fool’. I’ll accept that.

Why get myself involved in this war between the Order and the Demon Lord? This wasn’t my fight, or even my world. I had stayed clear of anything political up to this point, yet here I was ready to get shit on my boots. Stupid move by a stupid schmuck.

There sure wasn’t anyone else there to handle it. My company was the weak and defenseless, save for me. That left me on my own to take on this sure to be messy rescue mission.

And in hindsight, boy was I right about the ‘messy’ part.

As I followed the riotous scene, I came upon a wide, soiled area, untouched by the stone buildings. At the end of the flat area was the wall that blocked off Gamberton from the rest of the world. While it looked like an open spot plant some crops, it was there that I found the carnage that had already taken place. The bodies of five Hornets laid scattered about, dead as can be. Someone must have had one hell of a big can of Raid to do that. I figured they had to have been the queen’s bodyguards. She shouldn’t have spared the expense of a little more security than this. Now it bit her in the ass. Speaking of the queen, she was still being pinned down by the mage’s lightning, Star Wars style, as they dragged the snooty guy off. She let out a blood-curdling scream as one of the knights held his sword against the guy’s throat. That guy wasn’t the only one cutting it close.

I had to act quick, before they made their way to their nearby horses and took off through the hole in the wall surrounding the town. Activating my own combat helmet, I was ready to do a little target practice.

Before I was detected, I fired a few shots at the Hornet’s subduer. Nailed him in the shoulder, chest, and neck. He fell to the ground with a gush of blood. The queen was free from her magical torture rack, but hardly ready to fight back. Burns covered her body and she was struggling to even move.

Before my new adversaries got a chance to react, I tossed a vial from my jacket. The vial hit next to the wounded Hornet Queen and thus a shield bubble formed around her. Impenetrable or so I was told. That was one of my three barrier elixirs. Too bad I didn’t have the other two on me right now. Hope I can make this count.

If my hunch was right, they wouldn’t leave without the queen.

“Hey, ass-wipes! Why don’t you try picking on someone my size” I asserted with bravado. I didn’t have a clean shot at the son of a bitch holding Mr. Fancy Pants hostage. Even the other four attackers were a little too close to him for my taste. So I had to talk my way toward a clean shot.

The biggest of the knights stepped forward; over half a foot taller than me and clad in a formidable mini tank that might look like armor if you squint. He held a massive sword over half his height long. Can somebody say, ‘overcompensating’? His armor was decorated different from the other Order soldiers with him. With his dark green armor, emerald colored spikes, and multiple-horned helmet he sure stood out like a muddy elephant in the snow. It also had a bit of a glow to it. I hadn’t seen any knight with his kind of armor before. Now the scowl on his face, that I’d seen many times before.

“You just killed one of the Order’s mages, peasant” he said with a would-be mighty voice. I think it was just for show. “Who are you that trifles with me?”

“Yeah, that hit him in the throat? I’m sorry… I was aiming for his dick. If I had a shaft to throw that Palpetine cosplayer down, I would have. Besides, there seems to be a lot of death going around here, so I thought I’d join in” I retorted as I gestured toward the bodies of the Hornets behind me.

The smallest of his knights stepped up behind him and took off his helmet. He pointed at me, and said “That’s him, commander! That’s the one I told you about; the stranger that murdered my men”

He looked familiar. Wait… could it be?

“Well, well, well. Look who crawled back out of his hole in the wall. It’s Sir Shits-for-Brains. How’s that arm doing?” I mocked, reminding him of our previous encounter.

“Beware. He summons energy from those devices he holds in his hands” the little weasel said to the ‘commander’

“So, you are the infamous stranger that murdered my comrade’s soldiers? I expected someone at least bigger than a mere scribe” he scuffed at me.

“Funny. You look like you should be in the Super Bowl or at home abusing your wife” I scuffed back.

“Insolent scum. That barrier potion is not something available to purchase for peasants like you. So you’re a murderer, a scoundrel, and a thief. Worst of all, you’re a mamono sympathizer”

“You’re taking a piss, you fuck-tard. I’m not with them; I’m a solo act”

“Defending a mamono that you care nothing for? You must take me for a fool”

“Oh, I think much worse of you than that, Sir Lifts-A-Lot. But Spiderman never needed much of a reason to punch out a two-bit killer”

That was just my way of covering up the fact that I still didn’t know why I was sticking my neck out for these two bleeding hearts. I didn’t trust the Order or mamono. Maybe they were just the closest assholes around when I got the sudden urge to punch something.

“Enough of your rambling, you filthy dog. You’ve impeded my mission. For that, you will die” he hissed as he signaled his remaining mage to attack.

Round one. Fight!

I was so busy with talking shit that I didn’t notice that cross-dresser and the greenish energy building up around his hands. He raised his palm and launched a large, green ball of fiery death at my head.

Rolling away from the attack, I fired back with my handguns. To my surprise, the mage still stood with a green, hazy oval emitting from his other hand. My lasers were easily deflected by his magic ‘shield’ with another ripple effect.

Goddammit. Not this again.

He began to fire at me again with his left hand while maintaining his magical safeguard. I began to sprint while exchanging shots with my attacker, hoping that one shot might slip through a hole in his fence, so to speak.

Crashing through a window into a nearby restaurant. It was devoid of everything save for a bunch of empty tables, counters, and a big “Closed” sign that someone forgot to hang up. Not that I cared as long as it gave me some cover from the onslaught. I used my little lunch break to regroup, form a strategy, and curse myself for getting into a fight that was well over my head. How the fuck was I supposed to fight an enemy like this? He had solid defenses and a hell of a lot of firepower. And here I am with two handguns that might as well have been peashooters and a few gadgets in my coat. You never have a BFG 9000 in your pocket when you need it.

I pulled myself to my feet and peered outside. I spotted that fucking mage who strangely had halted his attack. Why would he do that? What was he up to? Was there a giant anvil forming over the top of this place? As I pondered all of the possible scenarios, I noticed something. Where was the third kni-

Just then, something else came crashing into the restaurant behind me. Using my instincts, I fired off my babies before even verifying that it was an Order knight. I hoped to catch him off guard the way he just caught me off guard. I was still fresh out of luck as the asshole possessed a massive, dark blue shield that damn near hid every inch of him from my sight. My shots hit but didn’t make too much of a mark in that mobile wall he called a shield, which coincidentally was closing in on me at an alarming rate.

The collision was quick and blunt. So this is what a club sandwich feels like. He had pinned me against the wall with all the force of a runningback hitting the line on fourth and ten. Before I recovered, he had jerked me by the torso and tossed me across the room through a table. Ow. I couldn’t even get all the way back up before he was on me again.

Barely sliding away from an incoming ax at my head, I increased the power level on my guns to near max. Time to see how his shield held up against a little more juice.

Firing some more shots, his shield was significantly more damaged this time around, forcing him into a heavier defensive stance. Bingo. If I keep this up, I’ll eventually turn that shield and him into Swiss cheese.

But my comeback was ceased with the sound of my guns clicking; my gameplan had hit a snag. Yeah between all the low-powered shots at the mage and the high-powered shots on this guy, my magazines had run dry.

I don’t suppose this knight would be honorable enough to let me reload first?

I got my answer as the shield-bearer rammed me again, this time sending me through another window back outside. Getting to my feet, I ran around the corner of the restaurant while trying to pop another magazine into my weapon. But yet again, I was interrupted by that damn mage shooting another magical wrecking ball in my direction. After nearly getting toasted, I had to duck behind a wagon. I knew this cover wouldn’t protect me for long but it was all I had. Now can I reload?

Nope. Another ax swipe smashed the wheel of the wagon to pieces as I sidestepped it. Well kind of sidestepped it. My armored back got clipped but was still holding up. Motherfucker! I couldn’t keep this up for long. This handicapped fight was beginning to overwhelm me.

It wasn’t so easy to reload my guns while having to duck and dodge this Spam Can’s barrage of ax swings. Even if I got some distance between us, that Hogwarts dickbag would just unleash some more Merlin piss on me. The mage only stopped when his chop-happy teammate was trying to give me the guillotine. With no time to reload, I had no choice but to change tactics… for now.

Since zoning was out of the question, I holstered my guns and moved in for a rush-down. With his huge shield and armor, I had the speed advantage over him; so it was time for some footsies.

I tangled with him in primal struggle but his strength was a lot to handle. The idea of being weaponless against him wasn’t flattering so I had to disarm him. If only I had an opening…

What am I saying? I had a weapon around my neck.

Taking another swipe at me, I ducked and swung the big ass, Sexiest Man of Gamberton medal into the side of his helmet, shattering the award to pieces. While the move wasn’t too damaging, it did stun him long enough for me to grab ahold of his shield arm. I quickly hyper-extended his elbow in a sloppy but effective jerk. He let out a deep groan of pain, which for me was as satisfying as an ice cold beer. Sure his armor was great against impacts, but not against a grappling hold.

With his grip loosened, I pulled the shield from his hands. Holy shit, this thing was heavy. He retaliated with another ax swing, which now was easy to block with my newly upgraded defenses. He gripped the shield and attempted to reclaim it. Guess he wasn’t too pleased with me fingering up his toy. We began thrashing and struggling with each other in an attempt to wrestle possession away from the other. Finally having enough, he swung me hard off to the side with a frustrated grunt. Since I held the shield by the handles, I flew back with it still in my hands. But he had thrown me against a wall, leaving me cornered. Without hesitation, he reigned down all hell on me with his ax and let out an equally pissed roar. Blow after blow, he hammered down on the shield, the only thing standing between me and getting that haircut I feared Naidy would’ve given me. Between the weight of the shield and the force of his blows, I was starting to get a bad case of noodle legs. I had to get out.

Fortunately, he was also showing signs of noodle arms. Thus his strikes became slower and slower. I seized a window in his attack and flipped the shield up, clipping him in the chin piece of his helmet. He staggered backwards, dazed by the impact. With a new burst of energy, I charged at him, Captain America style, and rammed the bastard with all my might. I owed him that; now he knows how it feels to be on the receiving end.

He dropped his ax after I slammed into him. Aw yeah. Picking it up filled me with a sense of cockiness and superiority. Like my dick just passed the eight inch milestone. Oh how the tables have turned. Too bad this new sense of privilege was misplaced.

Through my peripheral vision, I caught a glimpse of bright impending doom in the form of another green fireball coasting at me. Dammit, I knocked him far enough to make myself a clear target. I’m getting fed up with that sorcerer’s bullshit. With the shield now limiting my mobility, I decided to turtle behind the ACME shield and hope I would have better luck than Wile E. Coyote.

The force of the blast hit me like a freight train. I was knocked through the air with the shield and ax flying out of my hands. Damn, they didn’t even give me a chance to revel in my moment of glory before I lost them both. I didn’t even get to take a selfie… if I actually had a phone. Landing on my back, I started to shake the cobwebs out of my head. That stuff packs quite a punch. If only I could somehow use it to my advantage. Once I pulled myself up to my hands and knees, something solid brutally slammed into my stomach, knocking the wind out of me and flipping me onto my side. It hit my stomach so hard that I wouldn’t be surprised if I shat out a few ribs the next time I went to the outhouse.

Well hello, my old steel-bound friend. He’s come back to turn this into a simple brawl, beginning with that well placed kick. Good start on his part.

Not letting me grasp my agonizing stomach, the big lug mounted me and began to pummel my head with heavy fists. All I could do was cover up and try to last long enough to figure a way out before my face was fully tenderized. Even with my armored arms and mask, his blows still hurt like hell. And if you think that I was too preoccupied to notice the fact that a big bastard clad in full-body armor was putting all his weight on my newly aligned ribs, well I wish it were true.

Eventually he caught me with a sharp hook to my jaw, throwing off my guard. He used my mistake to seize my throat with his big meaty hands, robbing me of breath. There wasn’t even a chance for me to recover any oxygen from that gut shot and here I was being robbed of the small amount I had left. I tried in vain to punch him in the face, but my hits were ineffective against his helmet. Nor could I break his grip on my neck. Those extra pounds he had on me definitely weren’t just added weight from his armor. I had to do something before this war horse turned me into a flamingo. Fuck I would have resorted to a Three Stooges eye poke if I could fit my fingers through his helmet slits.

There wasn’t anything nearby to aid in my escape, except for some little flaming residue left from the mage’s magic when it splashed into me. If green, flaming syrup wasn’t a thing yet, I’ll be sure to contact the executives at Warner Brothers Channel; they’ll promote anything to kids. But when life gives you lemons in a bar fight, you squirt that shit at your enemies wounds.

Grabbing a handful of the soil and magical toxic waste, I chucked it at my strangler’s face. Bullseye. Just as I hoped, it slipped right through his helmet slits and into his eyes. He instantly released his death grip and screamed out in agonizing pain. He made a hasty retreat and attempted to rub the burning crap out of his eyes. Hopefully he wouldn’t turn into Daredevil.

Gasping and coughing, I sprung to my feet and jumped behind him as he pitifully lumbered around with his newfound pink eye, or green eye in this case. No way was I going to leave myself open to another shot from that pain in the ass mage. This knight was a better shield than the actual shield was. But it wouldn’t last long. This figurative, and literal, human shield was only a temporary solution. Even though I finally got a chance to reload my firearms, I didn’t know how to break through that mage’s magical defenses. He would only drop his defenses if he was feeling generous.

Well maybe I could coax a little charity out of him…

With the knight hopelessly blind and beaten, I grabbed him from the back and began to charge toward the mage while simultaneously reaching into my coat. I could see the bewildered look on the magician as I conga-lined the knight toward him. He was unsure of what to do. By the time we were less than ten yards away from the mage, we were nearly at a full blown sprint. I hit the brakes and skidded to a stop about ten feet away, letting the Tin Man go and land right next to the Wizard. Cough up a heart for this jackass.

I began to back off with nothing left to use as a shield. The mage’s confused expression lasted for only a moment before it turned into a malicious grin.

“Not a wise move, you pitiful fool” he boasted while holding up his magic shield in one hand and readying another hadouken in his other.

I answered his gesture by raising up my own hand, holding a small control pad. I also threw in a middle finger for good measure.

“Geronimo, motherfucker” I said in my best Bruce Willis impression and hit the button.

A little beep sounded from the payload I had tactfully planted on the still screaming knight behind the mage. That preceded a loud BANG as the explosion sent the mage soaring through the air, landing not too far off to my left.

I approached the shell-shocked mage face down on the ground. His low moans made it wonderfully clear that he was finding it hard to even begin getting to his feet. Best of all, the impact had caused his magic to cease, thus leaving him vulnerable. Fancy that.

I could see the dread fill his eyes once he noticed me standing above him with my gun drawn. The son of a bitch knew that he was in no condition to retaliate.

“How do you like some of my magic tricks?” I glowered.

One blast to the head and, to my surprise, his head completely exploded. Red goop and grey matter splattered onto the dirt like an overfilled water balloon.

Oh… I forgot that I had my gun turned up to maximum power. But I guess he had it coming.

After that bit of overkill, I turned first to the smoldering wreck that was once my armor-clad opponent, then to that damn commander and his little secretary knight. The look in his eyes was that of mild surprise and self-contained rage.

“Impressive” he growled with more contempt than admiration, yet was frighteningly calm in his tone. “Your weapons are almost as effective as magic yet you don’t display any form of spellcasting”

“I prefer to use my mouth to trash-talk, not to quote Harry Potter, you metal motherfucker. Speaking of which, why don’t you disappear before I put you down”

He then unsheathed his big ass sword to point it at me saying, “You killed three of my men. For that I will kill you… painfully” he said as he hid his face with his helmet. An intimidating looking helmet at that.

“Bring it, you oversized can of shit” I boasted as I gripped my gun.

“I’ll take pleasure watching you suffer” he snarled as he steadily approached me, entering into a battle stance.

Round two. Fight!

No shield on this dumbass. Easy enough, I’ll just pull an Indiana Jones and shoot this big, sword-wielding clown.

I fired a few high powered shots at his chest. Even without my guns set at their highest setting, I’ve penetrated knights’ armor before. Simple as that, right? So why didn’t they tear through his armor like a knife through butter? Instead, they just bounced off of his armor which then emitted an even brighter glow.

That can’t be good.

The big guy didn’t even flinch. “My armor cannot be broken by the likes of you, insect. It has been forged from the scales of the very Wurm that I slayed and reinforced with my mages’ finest anti-magic spells. Do you have any other tricks to amuse me?” he mocked at my great expense. That explains why the horns on his helmet looked dragon in nature.

Now that he mentioned it, I hadn’t planned too far past this point.

So much for my firepower advantage. Even though my guns weren’t magic by any means, they must have still qualified as a pure energy-based attack. I’d have a better chance of breaking his armor with blunt force than breaking through that magic.

Okay, Houston. We’re gonna need a bigger boat.

In a flash, I took off in the opposite direction. With my guns and the magic syrup having been benched for the remainder of the game, the only weapons I could rely on were the ax and shield. He must be slower than me so I could retrieve my last line of defense.

Picking up my medieval solutions, I found him much closer to me than I expected. Faster than I thought. What an encouraging thought. I went into a battle stance to mimic his. The shield was still pretty awkward to handle but I doubt my armor compared to his; I could use the defense buff. But even with the shield, he still probably had a defensive edge on me.

I expected him to make the first move, but instead he stood as still and precise as picture. With someone as burly as him I expected a brawler’s attack but certainly not a careful, methodical approach. It was more like a strategist’s pose. Even through the helmet, I could feel his piercing eyes studying my every move. Well, a war isn’t won through a staring contest, so I guess the ball was in my court. Time to serve.

I lunged at his stomach with the spiked top of my ax. He easily deflected it and steered me to the side. I tried it again but history likes re-runs. Both times, however, he didn’t follow up with an attack. Next, I threw a high slash which he caught with his sword. Deflecting me again, he slashed with a slow downward thrust. It was easy to see coming and just as easy to catch with my shield. To me, it didn’t seem like he put much effort into that strike, but it nevertheless knocked me back with considerable force which took more than two steps to steady myself from. It even took a noticeable chunk out of my shield. Anyone else getting as bad of vibes as I am?

Going back to good old Captain America again, I retaliated with a full force shield charge. Only this time, it felt like I hit a brick wall, sending a shockwave echoing through my skull. I looked up and saw his fierce helmet staring back at me. Without even a chance to load up a good, loogie filled spit-bomb to fire at him, he spun me around and gave me a sharp kick in the ass, sending me face first into the dirt.

Enough denial. It wasn’t my badass Dark Souls skills that was keeping me alive; the big cheese here was toying with me.

Nervousness increasing.

I began a full scan of him through my visors. If there was a weak point in his magical defenses, I was hoping to find it. After I pulled myself up, my test results came in… with a very sound negative. His anti-energy armor had no cracks to take advantage of. Fuck me, it didn’t even look smudged from when I rammed him.

“You lack real training, stranger. Do have any last words before our playtime ends?” he said moving into a patronizingly relaxed stance.

“Yeah. Can I get a refund? Because you suck at entertaining”

“Fine. Joke before you die”

With that, he charged forward with alarming speed. In an instant, he had batted the shield out of my hands and probably halfway across town. Instinctively, I gripped my ax in both hands, and swung it as hard as I could at his shoulder. He intercepted my blade with a balled up fist. A loud smash rang out as I squeezed my eyes shut. God I hoped that was the sound of his hand breaking into pieces and clattering onto the dirt at my feet. But the sudden lack of weight in my hand was a hint at how that was just wishful thinking on my part.

Damn fucking right, you hopeless dreamer. Down at my feet was in fact my ax that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men had to work overtime to put back together again.

I might have bust out crying if he hadn’t grabbed me by the throat and yanked me in for a face to face meeting.

“Perhaps your execution can be delayed… for a time” he said with a small unsettling cheerfulness in his voice. He had sheathed his sword, but I wasn’t any more thrilled than before.

One hard body-blow to my injured stomach later and I was on the ground with a hell of a bad cough. Come on. Lay off the ribs, will you? With my hands already favoring the pain in my gut, I pulled out another explosive mine from my coat. Throwing the time bomb with a quick flick of the wrist, it planted onto his chest. I dove away like Batman in a comic panel.

A few seconds later, the explosion went off. I couldn’t help but smile at the image in my head of King Kong here, roasting inside a steaming pile of armor like a ham in an oven. Get me an apple to shove into his mouth.

However, the amusing thought was murderlized as the smoke cleared. He stood in the same position as I’d left him. He hadn’t even turned his head. No cracked armor and no burnt flesh. Oh come on, his armor still didn’t have a smudge after that.

I heard a low, flat chuckle coming from under that helmet. Wonderful, I managed to tickle him. Now we’re getting somewhere.

“Pitiful” he chided.

As he approached me, I sidestepped and grappled his arm. No energy weaponry and no blunt force could hurt him, so my only choice was to try and break some limbs. Or at least tear off that armor piece by piece.

I went to to hyper-extend his arm like I did to my first opponent but for once, history didn’t repeat itself. Goddammit. He easily yanked me about, preventing me from keeping a good grip on him. I tried to use my speed and agility to apply some other impromptu moves to hopefully gain an upper hand but whenever I tried to slide around and out-maneuver him, he was always right there, ready to counter me. Clearly this guy wasn’t your run of the mill grunt. He knew technique and patience in combat. I’d only seen veteran soldiers reach that kind of level.

Oh shit. That means I’m now trying to wrestle with an opponent who is much bigger and stronger than me, armed with way better offensive and defensive tools, and who’s probably had much more experience on the battlefield than I do. All I had was better trash talking skills, whoopity fucking doo.

How did I get myself into this dumbass predicament?

Even so, I tried to stay a few steps ahead of him as we tangoed. Taking a few blows at his armor here and there, hoping in vain to find a weak spot or at least catch him off guard. A shot to the knee didn’t drop him. My attempt to get my arm around his neck for a sleeper hold was blocked by his helmet. I tried to suplex him by lifting him… yeah right.

When I slid around back of him, I took ahold of his helmet. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t yank the damn thing off; it was sealed on there tight. I couldn’t even turn it around to blind him.

His punishment for such a dirty move was flipping me over top of him and hard down onto the ground at his feet. He didn’t let go as he pulled me back up. A sharp headbutt to my face, followed by an elbow-right hook combo was as pleasant as it sounds. My helmet got most of it but not enough for it not to sting. As I clutched my vibrating visor, he delivered a hard shoulder block right into my sternum. I flew back into the nearby wagon. If there were a crowd of spectators, they could tell that the back of my head made pretty good contact against the wood.

Well asshole, got any ideas left? You got yourself into this mess, and now it appears that it wasn’t as easy as you thought it would be. What now brown cow? What’s that? You never thought it would be easy? So this is what you fucking get.

Dipshit.

My internal scolding was cut off by someone familiar grabbing me by the shoulders.

‘Wait your turn! I haven’t finished kicking myself, yet!’ I thought to myself.

Like a toddler with a rag-doll, the big bastard began to repeatedly slam me into the wagon. My armor was tough, but the previous rounds had started to take their tole. Now I was really starting to hurt.

After being slammed into the wagon an unknown amount of times, I lost count somewhere after the eleventh time, he grabbed my wrist and yanked me into a crushing blow to my ribs… again. But he still didn’t let go. He yanked me forward a second time right into a stiff clothesline by that huge meaty arm of his. My upper body flew to down to the ground like a meteor. I laid there disoriented when he nailed me with a mean kick to the side of my head. Aren’t the fighters supposed to go to their respective corner when the opponent is down?

When I returned from the point of semi-conscious, I found myself hovering above him in a military press. Since I was facing the sky, I couldn’t brace myself as he smashed me through the wagon, breaking it down the middle and caving it in on me. It’ll feel pretty good to lay down for a second… once the pain stops.

One bit of consolation was that I didn’t need to dig myself out of the debris. He did it for me as he lifted me up and delivered a well-placed uppercut to my face. I think I saw the stars before I even hit the ground.

Even though I didn’t see any way of beating this guy, I amazingly, and pointlessly if we’re going to be honest, found myself crawling back to my feet. Why? I don’t know. I didn’t have another strategy in mind. And I didn’t feel like I had a second win in me. In fact, I looked like I was in the twelfth round while he looked like he hadn’t even got into the ring yet.

Knowing when to quit was something that I never quite learned. Oh well. Maybe a few more blows to the head might inspire me with an idea for a counterattack.

“You still bring yourself to stand? Commendable…” he said as he marched toward me with his sword drawn again. “but foolish”

“I can go all night. And the sun hasn’t even gone down yet” I jeered, trying to mask the ‘Oh shit’ tone in my voice.

“I won’t remember you, stranger. You could have at least entertained me” he said as he raised his sword for the killing blow.

I readied myself to dodge his blade… maybe. I really wasn’t sure what I planned to do or what I was still capable of doing. I was leaving it to luck… again. Not my strong suit.

Suddenly, his blade was halted by the shouts coming from Sir Shits-for-Brains. Dammit, now I’ll never know if I would have been able to dodge that strike.

“Commander! The mamono forces have spotted us!”

In the distance, I could see a small army of Hornets swarming toward our vicinity. Being Hornets, they were no doubt pissed. That is, more pissed than Hornets usually were.

“You miserable little son of a bitch. Those aren’t just weapons you have. You planned all along to distract me and my men long enough to draw the attention of the queen’s forces” he hissed at me. Somehow I knew that there was a sneer on his face.

I did? Oh he means that my gunshots and explosions were loud enough to alert the other mamono. Wow, I’m smart aren’t I?

Now if I could just hold these two off a little longer for the reinforcements to arrive, I might get out of this in one piece. Though it wouldn’t take long for this human tank here to run me through and still take off. I may have kept them from taking the queen but they could still escape with the king. What now? No new ideas had hit me yet. The only thing that I had smacked into my brain so far were stars. Stars…? That’s it! Stars!

“Die!” he yelled, raising his sword.

I quickly reached into my coat and tossed a homemade flash bomb into the air. The blinding light left the big guy momentarily stunned, giving me a chance to rush by him, toward Sir Shit-for-Brains and his hostage.

Luckily, yeah finally some fucking luck when I needed it, Sir Shits-for-Brains had moved away from his well-dressed hostage when he called to his commander. This gave me that clear shot I was looking for.

While in my battered sprint, I popped out a few shots. Even though I just missed, the high-powered blasts hit close enough to scathe the side of his leg with some sizzling energy, dropping him. In retrospect, I probably should have finished him off as I breezed by. But I was already running on fumes at that point so cut me some slack.

Reaching the unconscious rich guy, I quickly grabbed him by the waist and hulled him toward the barrier that still enclosed the Hornet Queen, who appeared to have just barely made it back to her feet.

Of course this big cheese was really well fed and heavy.

I dropped him off in back of the bubble and readied myself in a cover-position. Mr. X had recovered from the flash and stopped about twenty feet away from the bubble. I didn’t need to see his face to know that he was seeing red under there.

“You got off easy, stranger. We will finish this another time” he seethed.

“I’ll bring the beer and knuckle-sandwiches. All you need to do is show up, you ape-sucking son of an Order-rented bitch” I spat back. Like I said, he had nothing on me in terms of insults.

We had a silent moment of glaring the other one down; just to seal the deal that we would be gunning for one another in the future. Maybe I had an advantage in that sense.

He and his limping second-in-command then mounted their nearby horses and rapidly road off. With them gone, I was finally able to deactivate my helmet and get a moment of relief as I dropped to my knees. I may have underperformed in that fight… well okay I got my ass kicked, but at least the two prisoners and I escaped. We were beat to hell and back but we were lucky to be alive with reinforcements nearly here. In fact, I could hear the buzzing of the Hornets incoming. I mean really incoming. Almost like they were-

Upon turning toward the incoming swarm, I was slammed by a large yellow blur which sent me off my feet and sliding along the ground toward home plate, so to speak. Good, my brains had already been knocked out of the park.

“Geez! W-what the fu-” I blurted out.

I looked up and, sure enough, a subordinate Hornet was sitting on top of my chest and shoulders, pinning me to the ground. She wore steel gauntlets on her hands and steel shin guards on her legs that reflected the sunlight into my eyes. A yellow sports bra covered her top with a strange lacy cloth on her lower region. Contrasting to her dark eyes was her short bright brown hair. Her light wings and antennas flickered combatively to accommodate her fierce expression. And I’m willing to bet that her second ass stinger was pointed at my stomach. With my throat recoiling from her spear tip, she snarled, “Who do you think you are to put your filthy hands on the Queen and King, you scum?”

Now there’s the kind of luck I’m much more used to.

“Ease up there, Sharpy. I got your point. Well, your other point. But you got the wrong guy” I insisted, trying to take her seriously despite my close-up view of her London and France. Is that where they store the stolen honey?

“Don’t kill him! He is not one of them!” the Queen Hornet commanded, frantically stepping out of the shield bubble to tend to her husband. She finally felt well enough to throw me a bone. No worries, actually. I had this situation well in hand. And in view…

My subduer placed her spear down yet didn’t dismount.

“Well go on. Get off” I demanded.

“My mistake, there big guy. But since you aren’t one of the Queen’s kidnappers, I think I’ll just take you for myself. After all, the way you talk and feel, it would be a shame to let a catch like you go. Hope you’re the type that likes it rough” she buzzed as she leaned down toward me. I could feel her stinger lightly rubbing across my chest plate.

Nothing like a little sweet-talk from a Hornet before she gets to the point.

“Buzz off! I’m Veina’s guest” I said hoping to identify myself.

“And that means what to me?”

Fuck, I’m gonna have to say it, aren’t I?

With a heavy sigh I painfully swallowed my pride. “I’m Veina’s lover”. Bloody hell, that stung worse than this girl ever could.

“Dammit” she cursed in a low voice. She promptly got off of me and stormed off while muttering to herself. It was nice to have Veina as my “Get Out of Bed Free Card”

Now that there were several Hornets surrounding the area, it finally felt safe. I went and picked up the pieces of my broken medal which I threw into my pocket. Why? Well why not? Afterwards, I approached the Queen and her husband on the ground. She carefully held the semi-conscious guy in her arms as her wings folded around them both. Had a protective vibe to it.

“How is he?” I asked the Queen.

“He very injured, but he’ll live. Farro, fetch me my healing potion” she commanded a nearby Hornet who flew off immediately.

“So what did that posse want with you? Your case of honey jars?”

“We were ambushed before we made it to the city’s defense point. They weren’t intending to kill us; they wanted to take us as hostages. Without Gamerton’s leaders, they could take control of the city and then inevitably, the entire region”

So that explains Fancy Dan here. He wasn’t just some guy in a spiffy get-up; he must have been a wealthy noble, or mayor, or something of that nature. Shit, that means I just broke up a major boon for the Order. Oh boy.

“Thank you for rescuing me and my beloved. I promise, you will be rewarded”. She then began to softly whisper to him as she tightly cradled him.

“Does this mean I can get honey on my toast free of charge? Though with you Hornets, I’d say that kind of stuff is bootlegged, right?”

“You can have much more than that. You saved the love of my life. For that, I could never repay you”

She began peppering him with a series of affectionate kisses. “You’ll be fine, darling. Tonight, I’ll make sure you forget all about this”

Cue the 70s porn music.

Eventually, her Hornet subordinate arrived with the healing potion. The Queen quickly uncorked it and helped her husband drink it.

“Where’s yours?” I questioned after checking out her burns and cuts. She looked even worse than he did.

“This is the last potion I had. I want his wounds healed before my own. So I will wait” she asserted with that stubborn determination that Hornets are infamous for.

Uh-oh. Veina’s claims of “love” popped back into my head. So being the suspicious asshat that I was, I broke the tender mood in my usual way.

“I’m no sentimental Romeo, but someone with your kind of looks and money, wouldn’t it be easier just to find another guy to replace him?” Yeah it was a dick thing to say, but Dick Tracy didn’t get to the bottom of things by asking soft-ball questions. I was just probing.

“He is my husband!” she shrieked. “I love him, more than all of my wealth, more than all of my power and authority! They mean nothing without him!” Either she’s a fantastic actress, or those were real tears in her eyes.

“Alright, alright, I’m sorry. You’ve got a major sweet-tooth and he’s you’re own personal sweetheart. My mistake” I said backing off. “Do I still get my reward?”

“Yes. Name it and it’s yours”

“Nice. Just give me some time to think about it. I’ll come find you when something comes to mind. But I’m holding you to that”

While she consoled her husband as he regained his vigor, I paced around trying to think about what my reward should be. It had to be something useful, like potions or explosive powder or an undead army. Or ice cream. Yeah, I’d take some ice cream if they could figure out how to make it.

I would have to decide later because I found it too hard to focus on those thoughts. At the moment, my brain was preoccupied by Veina and mamono in general. Not even getting another prize was able to take my mind off them. In my head, the debate raged on between the real motives of mamono and their heat-stricken Lord. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, something else pops up and throws off my calculations. I think I felt a headache coming on, but that could have been from a number of things. And thinking too hard only made matters worse. So save it for another time. The last thing my throbbing brain needed was to be teased by lingering thoughts.

“Jason!”

And there it is. It was Veina swooping down out of the sky and landing right in front of me. Oh, my poor brain.

“Well speak of the devil and she shall appear. Looks like we both ended up kicking some ass. I got the bonus of also having my ass kicked but tha-” I joked before she bolted forward and snatched me in a big embrace.

“Thank Maou you’re alive…” she whispered eagerly.

“I guess so” I mumbled back. Seeing Veina again made me feel a little bit of comfort.

“Jason, you’re hurt!”

“Meh, just some bumps and bruises to go along with a little scrape here and there. Nothing unusual. I’m just tired”

“I won’t stand to see you injured like this! Come, let’s soothe those wounds”

“Geez, relax. You’re starting to sound like that that Hornet over there” Ha! She’s a THOT. “If you get this concerned over a little roughing up, you’re gonna wind up clinging to me every second of the da-“. I stopped myself.

“What?”

“Nevermind” I murmured.

“I told you to stay in the safety of the Witches’ barrier. Why did you leave?” she pleaded with a mix of anger and fear in her eyes.

“Well, I got bored. Thought I’d go for a stroll” I sneered. “Besides, I don’t care for crowds”

“He saved our lives!” the noble spoke up after the healing elixir apparently repaired his glass jaw. “The Order would have kidnapped us both if he hadn’t interfered”

Blabbermouth.

Veina looked back at me. Bewilderment was all over her face, a major contrast to the confident calmness she regularly displayed.

“Oh yeah. And… that” I said dismissively as my gaze wandered off, embarrassed.

Veina flicked her eyes around the crime scene before returning to me.

“You fought Order knights and their mages? You could have been killed!”. She hugged me again. Her wings ensnared around me in a manner similar to the Queen. Now I know for sure it was for protection. “I won’t risk your safety and I don’t want you to either. Please, don’t ever do that again. Promise me” she whimpered into my shoulder.

I was caught off guard by her compassion. I was expecting more of a tongue-lashing; like partying in an older sibling’s room without permission. Lots of screaming and yelling and maybe a wack or two in the head. After all, I was the one to blame, not her. But a loving hug followed by extreme relief that I’m okay? I wasn’t prepared for that little bit of insanity.

“Well after what I went through, you don’t need to convince me that they were dangerous. Mind if we go home now?” My favor from the Queen and King of Sting could wait. After crashing parties and crashing through buildings, the next thing I wanted to crash into was my own bed.

“Of course, my love. But first we need to bandage your wounds”. Veina took ahold of my shoulders and led me away, being careful not to handle me too carelessly.

“Hey, forget about it. You don’t have to worr-”

“No, Jason! You are mine and it’s my duty to ease your pain”

Okay. I guess you’ve got to do what the doctor tells you.

—–

After a few bandages and salves from the local Unicorn, we began riding our way back to Vallick. Veina clutched my arm and nuzzled against my chest as I drove. Now, I was taught to pay attention to the road when driving. And Veina probably didn’t count as a “hands-free-device”

“I told you I’m fine. Stop worrying” I said breaking the uncomfortable silence. Normally Veina teased me with so much shameless abandon that it was impossible for me to ever get bored. Now, our ride home was so painfully quiet that I just had to say something. At least to confirm that she was still alive.

Funny isn’t it? Finally I got Veina to be quiet and I just couldn’t stand it.

“It’s not fine. I failed” she sadly muttered after a brief pause.

“Why, what’s wrong? You said the Order pulled out, didn’t you? Gamberton’s fine and so are it’s two utmost citizens”

“I’m don’t mean Gamberton. I mean you. I failed you

“What do you mean? I still got all my limbs, all my teeth, and Mr. Happy between my legs. I’d say I’m doing all right”

She sat up as our eyes met. I think I saw a tear. In Veina’s eyes? No way.

“I brought you here to forget about your troubles. I wanted to cure you of your woeful state as of late. It means a tremendous deal to me to see you happy. But above all, I needed to keep you safe. Yet you ended up right in the middle of an Order attack” she grieved as her voice began to crack.

“Yeah, so? You kicked their asses, I… sort of kicked their asses, and they ran off. Big deal”

“That’s no excuse for almost getting you killed”

“Oh come on. You couldn’t have known they would attack. It wasn’t your fault. And need I remind you that you didn’t get me involved in that fight. That was my choice” I assured, giving her a pat on the shoulder.

“Yes but…” she sighed “you being in danger is too terrifying a thought. I want to live the rest of my life with you. Showering you with my undying love. I would rather endure the wrath of the entire Order than face the living hell of losing you. I they had taken you, I’d travel to the ends of the world to find you. But if they had killed you, I would have lost all control. My anger would never cease until I hunted down every last one of them. Unleashing a fury that the lands have never seen before” she hissed in a disturbingly monotone voice.

Wow. I actually believe she would have. She scared me more than that green Order knight.

“Well you didn’t lose me. I’m right here. Besides, I don’t plan on going down at the hands of a couple of stooges like them. So cool your jets, woman”. I felt it was best for everyone to try and defuse her killing instinct.

After another prolonged silence, she finally spoke up again.

“So why did you interfere?”

Oh shit. Right between the eyes.

I gave a simple shrug, but kept quiet. If she pushed on, I’d just tell her my only theory: I was a dumbass.

“Mmm, yes. I forgot how much of a driven soul you have”

“I got a big mouth too”

“Indeed. Your boldness is one of the many things I love about you”

“I’m not that great” I scuffed.

“You’re better than you think. I meant it when I said that your heart beats strong. All mamono dream of finding someone with your courage. There are so few humans who would willingly engage with the Order like that. Even fewer would put their lives on the line to save a mamono”

“Assholes like them just make a festival worse. They ruin the mood and make people even more sick. Someone had to eject them from the park”

“I’m sorry you’re now involved in this war. And I’m sorry that you hated being at this festival. I had hoped you would enjoy it”

“Who said I hated it?”

“You did”

“I don’t remember that. Today was actually pretty fun. It cheered me up”

“Oh… That’s comforting to know” she said meekly.

“It’s true, you made me feel better than I have in weeks. Not always through conventional means but give yourself some credit” I said as I nudged her playfully.

“But you were quite angry, remember? For that, I am sorry”

Aww shit. I forgot about that. But she’s the one who’s sorry? After what happened between us before the Order attacked, I felt I deserved a good slap in the head for what I said. Which I did end up getting in the end; and then some.

However, the rage I unleashed before stood true. I didn’t trust the high powers of this world and I didn’t feel bad about it. What I had felt bad about was who I’d made the target of my anger.

“Look Veina, about what I said earlier, I… I was just being an jerk. I still have lots of things on my mind. But I’m the one that should be sorry”

“Yes, you do have many things weighing on your mind. You have problems that you intend to fix. It’s the most noble thing to do. But… just let me help you through them”

“Don’t you think it’s better to leave the stupid stuff to me? You got enough shit on your plate to worry about so why would you want a part in mine?”

“What you did wasn’t stupid. You did what you thought was right. As selfish as I am about your well-being, it was valiant to intervene on behalf of the Hornet Queen and her lover”. She interlocked her claws with my fingers. “I find that so very sexy” she said with a slight smirk. I could feel her arousal starting to swell again.

“Now there’s the Veina I know” I said with a half smile.

She rested her head back on my shoulder.

“Tell me about your world” she whispered.

“Why would you want to know about my crap-hole world?”

“Please. I want to know”

She wanted to know about my world? Okay, but I don’t think she was in the right state of mind to hear the uncensored version of it. With a Demon’s life of debauchery, she would find my Earth as enchanting and comforting as the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Best to hold my tongue on certain matters. Save that for a dark and stormy night.

I talked about the basics of my world. Just broad, broad strokes. Of course I had to tell her how there was no magic or monsters for that matter; only in folklore. I also gave her a taste of the kind of bullshit I’d encountered on a regular basis back on Earth. Not too nitty-gritty, I didn’t want to scare the shit out of her. But she might have been bothered somewhat. Damn.

Thanks Veina. I wasn’t bored anymore.

—–

We arrived back in Vallick late at night. What a day. And what a date. But believe it or not, I’ve actually had worse dates.

I found it difficult walking into my apartment. Not just because of my little earlier MMA qualifying match, but because Veina was still clinging to my arm.

“We’re home; safe and sound. You can let go now” I said anxiously.

“No, my love. I can’t bring myself to do that”

“I really need some sleep. And do you remember the rules of the bedroom?”

“Jason… can I hold you as we sleep? Just for tonight?” she asked in a slightly timid manner. There’s a first.

Uh-oh. Incoming intimacy. Heavily armed with temptation.

“Why? You think that an Order ninja is waiting in the shadows?”

“Jason, please! I almost lost you forever. And I can’t sleep until I’m sure that nothing will happen to you”

She was either a strategic genius or a lucky little duckling because she always came to me with these requests when I was too pooped to put up a shitstorm. Damn, another truly crappy joke.

“Fine. But just for tonight” I asserted firmly. She gave me a treat today, so I’ll give her one.

She answered with a calm smile.

Making our way to the bedroom, I managed to crawl into bed with Veina as my sidekick. I couldn’t undress even if I wanted to. But with Veina so close to me, it was better this way.

Finally getting comfy, I closed my eyes. It wouldn’t take long to doze off given my current state. But Veina kept me awake when she switched from hugging my bicep to wrapping her arms around my sore torso and tangling her legs around one of mine. I don’t recall calling a cease-fire on all of the bedroom rules.

“Hey, easy on the ribs! You asked to sleep with me in your arms. Not become one of my arms” I quipped while wincing in pain. But it didn’t hurt as bad as I thought. Her touch was so satisfying that is countered some of the pain.

“No one is going take you from me, Jason…” It was then that I noticed the room started getting even darker than it already was. Within seconds, a black sphere, similar to my barrier potion, had engulfed us and the bed. Several glistening orbs hovered within the twilight sphere, beaming us with black light like some kind of kinky sex room. I frowned at Veina, demanding an explanation.

“This will protect us while we sleep, my love”

Sounds good, but where do I go to the bathroom in this thing?

“You’re getting a bit excessive, don’t you think?”

“Nothing is too much for my mate. My husband”

Okay, I was going to give her one last chance get fed up with me and leave. For good. Otherwise, I might do something stupid.

“We’re not going to have sex. Just go spend a night with that Brailo douche if you have to get all the horniness out of your system. In the morning, you’ll wake up sober and realize that I’m not the one for you. He’s better looking than me anyway” I sneered.

“Please stop saying that!” she exclaimed. Quickly releasing my waist and cupping my cheeks in her claws, she leered into my eyes. I’d never heard her yell before. And this time there was no mistaking it; she was actually crying. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it.

Before I could respond with another wisecrack, she continued after subduing herself. “Do you have any idea how much that hurts me? To be constantly rejected by the one you truly love? I want you, Jason. More than you could ever understand. I have ached to release the desires of my heart upon you. Every second I go without tasting your spirit energy feels like a lifetime. But I have chosen to endure this torment for your sake. And today, you were almost slayed. Even worse, it was before we have sealed our love. Don’t you know how much that tears at my very soul?” she pleaded, snuggling her buxom chest into me way beyond what my nighttime rules would allow. Her black eyes were wet and puffy red. Looked like the red tint in Darth Vader’s mask.

“Veina, I’m a loner with serious trust issues. Why would you love me?”

“Do I need a reason why I fell in love with you?”

“That’s usually how it works. But I guess mamono don’t need a reason to want sex; they just need a place”

“There is no better way to show how much I love you”

“How much could you love someone who only acted like a douche to you?”

“Your fiery side can be difficult but I find it seductive. And I can see things deeper within you than you realize. Even sexier things. My love for you is greater than even the Maou’s power and I’ve yet to find anything about you that can challenge those feelings. Here…” She pulled my head into her huge breasts. “Listen to my heart, my love. Do you feel how heavy it beats? I’ve met many men in my life, but I’ve only ever felt this thunderous pounding within me when I’m around you. Do you still doubt what my heart is telling you?”

I could feel her heart pulse between my ears as her fine skin smoldered against my cheek. It pounded loud and clear in rapid succession. It also felt soft and pillowy. Kind of enticing and- wait! That was something else. Don’t think about that!

I uttered an indistinct wisecrack as she nestled me firmly into her bust. Oh well. It wasn’t a good quip anyway.

“Oh Jason…” Veina breathed blissfully as her lust flared up. “My womb constantly craves your seed. Let me show you…”. She grabbed my hand and began to move it below her hips.

“Woah there! I’ll take your word for it!” I said as I pulled away from her.

My vision had blurred from the overwhelming stimulation she administered onto me. Not only did I get a feel for the supernatural sensation seeping in that blue skin, but I also realized just how huge her tits actually were. Wow…

But nevertheless, I held my ground and my restraint.

She caressed my cheeks pleadingly, despite me refraining from her exhibition. That familiar sex drive had crept back onto her emotional face.

“Jason, I care about you more than any of my worldly possessions. I’d surrender all of my years of training in the mystic arts and all of my authority just for one night with you. Today, I felt a new, disturbing fear when I realized that I may never have been able to embrace you in my arms again. To have never indulged in my passion for you” She gulped uneasily. “I’ve never felt that way before and I tremble at it becoming a reality. For so long, I’ve yearned to unite my lust with yours, thus I can never lose you or give up on you. And I never want to feel that fear again”

“Veina-” I stuttered, trying to avoid an emotional eye contact.

“Why don’t you believe me?” she begged as she forced my focus back into her eyes; those sharp, red, beautiful eyes of hers. So alluring and seductive, now contained such care and affection.

I know crocodile tears, and this wasn’t the case.

Go on, asshole. Admit it. You’re not so sure about her anymore. You’ve just been fooling yourself into thinking that you’re being smart. But really, all you’ve been doing is being overly paranoid and mulish. Admit that today was the first time in a long time, even before you got to this world, that you actually laughed and had fun; all thanks to her. That, despite her tricks and antics, you never truly hated her for it. That she’s shown you more compassion than you ever thought you deserved. Regardless of your scornful outlook, her devotion to you actually… might have… somewhat… touched you…

Well it was true. I had never seen someone care about me as much as her. No matter what I did, she always answered me with more adoration and passion than I knew what to do with. Leave it to me to treat love and affection with suspicion and snarkiness. For some reason, that I actually knew why but pretended that I didn’t know, I… I actually believed her. The longing look in her scarlet eyes echoed her devotion to me and my happiness. She really meant everything she said. But that also means that… someone like Veina, who happens to be insanely built, gorgeous, voluptuous, stunning, sultry, sensuous, alluring, lascivious, erotic, enticing, and any other words to describe ‘sexy as fuck’, really did want to have tons of hardcore, kinky, sweaty, and ‘no-fetish-is-off-the-table-plus-everything-is-free-of-charge-and-on-the-house-because-we-can-do-the-giggity-on-said-table-or-on-said-house-if-you-want-and-as-many-times-as-you-want’ sex with me. And not because she was scheming something, but only because she was crazy about me? I mean really crazy about me.

Kind of hard to wrap my brain around a bonkers thought like that. But I bet my Solid Snake had something to say about it, like wanting to hide in her ‘box’. Besides that thought bouncing around in my head, yes that head, I was staggered by how she finally opened up to me. Veina was one of the most imposing people I had ever met, despite her captivating appeal. With her natural charm and finesse, she always came across as focused and fully in command of everything around her. Never surprised by anything. Being on the receiving end of her wiles for a while now had only made me feel powerless around her. A helpless ant tangled in the web of a cruel spider. And that definitely built up some resentment within me. But now… now that resentment had disappeared. The emotional distress I’d seen on her had fused itself into my mind. That look of vulnerability had taught me so much more about Veina than ever before. Maybe, I had more power over her than I realized. The most precarious power of all; the ability to hurt her. And of course we all know what Uncle Ben would say in this situation.

What’s this? Am I actually feeling something in this hardened heart of mine? After years of toughening myself up to the hardships of reality, did Veina actually find a crack? Dammit. She was both the best and worst person to do that to me. I knew I couldn’t tell her that. At least not yet. There’s too many things to worry about. But right now though, I had to do something stupid.

I held out my arm and gave her a slight smirk. “Go on. Secure the area”

She responded with a smile as her tears changed from tears of fear to tears of joy. After re-cuddling up next to me, I placed my arm around her back, eliciting a contented sigh. I answered with an emotionless sigh, since there were too many emotions in me to sort out right now. It was the best I could do.

“Come by my lab tomorrow. I’ll give you a little tour and let you in on the loop” I whispered.

Like I said, ‘something stupid’

“Thank you. There is no Demon in all the land as lucky as I am. You make me so happy when I am with you, my love” she whispered back, her voice slightly giddy with excitement.

“Do I?” I asked in a dry tone. However, seeing her this happy actually did tickle a little soft spot in my broken down heart.

“Yes, indeed. In fact, I know how you could make me even happier…” she said throatily as she began caressing my decreasingly flaccid member. Yep, the old Veina was back.

“I said we could cuddle tonight. But I don’t want any fondling going on around here” I retorted as the pleasure induced by her hands caused me to squirm. “I just want to go to sleep”

“I think this and your heart say otherwise, my love. You crave something, don’t you?”

Damn that little traitor.

“Well, uhh… th-that has a mind of its own. But I’m the one in charge!” I stuttered. I was amazed at how her handiwork did more wonders for my member in such a brief moment than I would have thought possible. Seriously, in less than five seconds, I was as hard as a lead pipe. Just how lewdly talented was this fucking girl?

“It’s the most honest reaction there is. Anything I have that pleases you, is yours if you ask. I’m sure you’ll find me most satisfying” she chuckled insidiously. “Show me just how much you desire me, Jason”

“Look, let’s just enjoy each other’s company for the night; in silence”. There was little to no doubts in my mind about her bold claims.

She erotically moaned in agreement and gave a slight squeeze to my manhood before letting go. I guess her antics gave her enough gratification for one night.

“I love you so much, Jason” she whispered tenderly as she snuggled into my neck and closed her eyes.

Oh no, not that. I wasn’t ready yet.

We spent the rest of the night silently cuddling. It was especially nice after a day like that. I had a lot to think about. Well, even more than usual to think about; all because of a few crazy hours. I guess when it rains, it pours… and then zaps your ass full of lightning. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, there was more to mamono than I originally thought. Based on what I’d seen that day, Veina’s promise of no master-slave “couples” seemed true. None of the guys sounded like zombies or submissive bitches. They were right where they wanted to be; with the woman they loved. Veina, and by extension all mamono, claimed that their mate meant more to them than life itself. It still seemed unbelievable to me that mamono could fall that much in love with someone in a millisecond and without much reason. But everything I’d seen up to this point supported that. Even if one of those giant monster chicks decided to rape their way into a guy’s heart, I guess what matters is if it ends with legitimate feelings toward each other. A fucking non-politically correct way of going about it, but hell, some guys probably found that quirk rather adorable.

Well hooray for them, but this cynical prick wasn’t broken that easily. Just because I was wrong about them doesn’t mean I support their cause. As kickass as it might have been to have the Demon Lord’s fairy tale become a reality, I knew for a fact that if there was even the smallest bit of wiggle room for power to be abused, you could bet dollars to donuts it would end up starting the Hunger Games. That Demon Lord bitch wasn’t to be trusted with complete power. Her crusades were still for conquering as far I was concerned. She and her monster squads weren’t exactly a rock band going on a tour.

All that said, the Order was still just as bad. Though I may have had a little more salt toward them, for obvious reasons. As a human myself, I couldn’t blame the Order for not exactly whipping out the ‘baby bottle’ and offering all these monster babes endless nights of “free refills”, especially considering how dangerous monsters were in the past. Who wouldn’t be hesitant? But their mass extermination mentality was clearly turning into the goddamn Salem Witch Trials. No doubt that was literal in some cases. That was like taking truck of TNT to a neighbor’s house just because you don’t approve of their wild, late-night sex parties. There had to be a middle ground; like a privacy fence, if you will.

But fuck me if I knew what that middle ground was. Nor did I want be the one to figure it out. Despite what Veina told me, I wasn’t planning to get any more involved in this war. I had my own war to fight with the Skarliks. That was a full time job. Still, I had to accept the fact that the Order now had an eye out for me. Well, if they showed up, I’ll put both their eyes out. But for now, I had to tend to the Skarliks.

As for Veina, well, I was still playing that part by ear. I was finally able to tolerate her staying with me, but I didn’t want her to help me with my problems. It would only make matters worse if things got even more… complicated. Shit, I was starting to think that being able to bang mamono so freely might actually be more troublesome than if money was involved. At least if you had to pay to have sex with them, it would cost less.

But… if it was so easy to win Veina’s love, does that make it cheap? I mean, I did nothing to earn it, kind of the opposite in fact. So how strong could her feelings actually be? Oh man, so many questions.

But nevermind that. Tomorrow was another day. For now, I could take a little time to enjoy some peaceful intimacy with an extremely beautiful woman. Nothing else. But boy did she feel good. Her blue skin felt exhilarating to the touch, like usual. That rich, sweet scent she carried practically had my taste buds watering. Her soft spots that she mashed up against me were superb. She was arousingly warm, and even her breathing seemed intoxicating enough to turn me on. Oh momma…

That wood in my pants was definitely going to last until morning.

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