“What is Perang?” I asked Aeryn as I put out my arms so she could dress them.
“Is that the name of another floozy that my Prince sticks his dick in?” She asked as she tugged my shirt on.
“I feel like we should discuss last night.”
“That is ridiculous. You are a devil. There is nothing to discuss.”
“I feel like there is. Bala asked me for her fate. I simply delivered it.”
“If Master thinks I care about the trash he rolls around in at night, you are mistaken.”
“Do you find Bala to be trash?”
“…” Aeryn looked away, not responding to my comment.
“There will be many other girls,” I started as Aeryn shot me a disgusted look. “All of my sisters will follow the same fate.”
Aeryn’s expression flicked for a second as her forehead furrowed in thought. “That is… none of my concern.”
“You won’t be the last, but you are the first,” I said.
Aeryn turned away, her expression turning bitter, “You should have spared me.”
I grabbed her arm and pulled her back to me. I brought her in close. She didn’t resist, but her expression offered nothing and she didn’t embrace me either.
“You, are someone I could never spare,” I said, lifting a hand and touching her cheek. “Every other girl will be because of duty. You’re the only girl that I desire.”
“You think I’m so easy as to be wooed by such empty words.” She spat.
“Then what would you have me do?” I asked.
She suddenly lifted her mouth and bit down on the palm of my hand. I let out a noise of surprise but no sooner had she bit than she lifted her hands and grabbed my wrist to keep me from pulling away. Her teeth had broken through the skin and I could feel her tongue licking my palm. No, she was sucking. I was bleeding and she was drinking it down, several gulps. Finally, removed her teeth, her little pink tongue stuck out and licked the wound clean before pulling away. Her tongue and lips had a slightly redder tinge to them thanks to my blood.
With that, her eyes flickered as if she was suddenly coming to her senses, and then she moved away, turning her back to me completely. My blood was an aphrodisiac. Knowingly ingesting it was the equivalent of knowingly driving yourself crazy with lust. Even though Aeryn had been enslaved, that didn’t mean she was immune to it. My semen alleviated the effect of it, but it also made her pregnant in the process. The pregnancy is what enslaved her, but the annulling effects of the semen were gone by that point.
The vials I had given to Bala were a mixture of blood and semen for exactly that reason. Using Baba’s skill in alchemy, we had created something that both annulled the effects using the semen but then brought them back within 24 hours using the blood. This was wildly different, a direct exposure to a rather large quantity of blood, at least as much as the first time I had done it to her.
Simply put, she had knowingly intoxicated herself with my blood. There would be only one cure, and that was my semen. With her back to me, I couldn’t get a read on her expression nor guess what she was thinking. I had said that the others I had slept with were for duty. Now that she had consumed my blood, my duty would mean I wouldn’t let her lose her mind. I’d have to sleep with her tonight.
“If you had any thoughts of Saria or Bala tonight, I would forget them, my lord.”
Her words came just as icy as ever, but there was a strangely hot edge to them. Was she sparing Saria and Bala from my scheming, or herself?
The door suddenly sounded as someone knocked on it. I looked away from Aeryn, quickly wrapping my hand.
“Come in,” I called out, and the door opened.
“It is time to meet with my sister,” Bala spoke up.
For the second time that morning, I was surprised. I had expected Bala to hide from me for a good while. After our previous night, I didn’t think she’d be so bold as to come straight to my room. More than that, she was openly pushing me to meet with her sister. Her expression was stoic and expressionless. If Aeryn was a glacier, then Bala was a rocky cliff. Two women who hid well, but in a completely different way. These were also both my slaves now.
I stood up. “Is it really so close to noon?”
“You will need to meet sister at the keep of Lord Stebe’s. There may be some issues.”
“Is that so?”
“I spoke to sister last night, and she said as much. She said she looked forward to seeing the look on your face when the guards refused you entry. Of course, you’d eventually be let in, but only after you’d been delayed to the point that she had already eaten while waiting for you.”
“Interesting. Lord Stebe clearly wishes to insult me, but what of Saria. Is this an insult, or a test?” I scratched my chin. “I’m a little surprised you’re the one telling me this.”
Bala’s eyes flickered to Aeryn, who was in the corner doing something I couldn’t guess before she glanced back to me. “I made my intentions clear last night.”
“So, you have.” I nodded. “In that case, do you know what Perang is?”
Aeryn glanced over her face flushing. I had asked her the same question, but she had decided to dig at me rather than help me. Now that I turned to question to Bala, it had to be like a slap in the face to Aeryn. Well, no one asked her to be so temperamental, even if I was slightly pleased that the previous night seemed to bother her.
Bala immediately nodded. “Perang is a border town. We’ll be passing it as the last stop in the human realm before heading into the elvish territory.”
“Would there be any reason we should avoid Perang on our trip to the elvish capital?” I asked.
Bala cocked her head, a confused expression on her face. “Not that I know of, my lord. Should I encourage my sister to change our course?”
“No…” I shook my head. “I had just heard some baseless rumors and was wondering if I should act on them.”
I didn’t know who sent this message. If it was from an enemy, it was a threat that wanted to keep me away from something important. If they wanted to keep me away, then I had every desire to find out why. It seemed less likely it’d be a friend. If it was, they were simply looking out for me and trying to protect me. I still would want to know why.
“Aeryn… do not stay in all day.” I suddenly barked. “Make yourself useful by finding out anything you can on Perang.”
Aeryn shot me a glare. Her cheeks were already slightly blushed. She had consumed my blood, so aphrodisiacs were pumping through her system. In a few hours, she’d be incredibly horny, and by the end of the night, she’d be begging. Well, she did it to herself, so I had no qualm about it. My hand still hurt from her impulsive bite, so I’d leave at that and hope she repented.
“Bala, lead the way.” I stood up and followed Bala out the door.
I had gotten up somewhat early this morning. I may have spent most of the previous knight with Bala, but I also was still in a new town and wished to explore for one more day. Unfortunately, my visit couldn’t be someplace interesting like an auction house or an Adventurer’s guild. Rather, I was having to go to the castle.
“I’m here for the Lady Saria.” I said, “We have a date.”
The two guards looked at each other and then back to me. Then, their faces formed fake looking smiles that instantly alerted me that they were up to no good. Even if Bala hadn’t warned me in the slightest, I knew something would be up the second that this happened.
“I’m sorry… we were not informed of anyone coming today. We’ve sent a messenger. As soon as he gets a response from our Lord, we will let you in. My apologies.”
They spoke in a way that would have convinced anyone except for the obvious fact that there was no Messenger. Oh, I’m sure if I pressed they’d come up with something like a magical item they triggered or a messenger who keeps watch out of site. If their behavior wasn’t outrageous, then it wouldn’t be satisfying.
I let out a sigh. “Well, it seems like there are issues. I only wanted to inform the princess that I am busy, and won’t be able to make it today. If your… messenger can pass this message, I’ll be on my way.”
The smile on the two men’s faces shrunk a bit as they realized I was leaving. They were likely informed to keep me there, distracted, for as long as possible. They couldn’t have any fun if I just left immediately. My embarrassment would be at it’s weakest.
“W-wait…” the guard tried to stop me. “Actually, there is a waiting room inside.”
I raised an amused eyebrow, “Then why aren’t you taking me to it? Bala, come on.”
Bala frowned but didn’t say anything as we entered the castle. With her presence, their little game could have been ended in an instant. As Bala’s brother or sister, whichever lie they were told that day, she’d be able to enter. As soon as she spoke her identity to these guards, they wouldn’t be able to stop her from passing the message quickly and ending their little game. Of course, Bala would be ruining the game and showing her sister whose side she was on, but perhaps she could play it off as a dumb mistake. Given Saria’s opinion of her sister, she may be willing to believe it was an honest mistake.
I wasn’t interested in taking things in that direction. Rather, I had my own plans. Thus, I let them take me to their little room. We’d likely be sitting there for ten hours if they had their way. I was determined that they wouldn’t have their way in the slightest. Well, I had ruined plan A, and now we had moved into plan B. The waiting room was infinitely more comfortable than the outdoors, but now they could keep me contained. I could do nothing but wait, and if I tried to leave, they could show a little more force given they’ve already invited me in and shown me some hospitality.
Part of me wished that Lord Stebe’s games were a bit more complex than this. It felt like child’s play to me. Ah, well, as we were settled in our waiting room, I decided it was time to make my move.
“Bala, go distract the guards for a moment. Try to…” I looked Bala up and down and groaned. “Just distract them.
Bala cocked her head. I was going to tell her to use some sex appeal to keep their eyes on her, but she was dressed as a boy. Although she was an elf and quite pretty, if she tried to sell any sex appeal, it’d likely be disastrous. Funny, but also a complete mess. It was better if she just stuck to what she knew. Bala walked out into the hallway. The guards stopped her, of course, and then she began to talk to them. I didn’t even try to guess what the conversation would entail.
As for me, I drew an incantation using my blood on the floor. I did what Baba had taught me to do. After reading off the cantations and saying the words, I looked down at my hands. Nothing seemed to have changed. I frowned but decided that the only true way to figure out if the spell was taking hold was to test out its function. So, I cautiously opened the door, slowly and methodically so that it didn’t make a peep. It took nearly a minute to just open it enough for me to squeeze through. Once I was in the hallways, I slowly let the door close. The guards were facing away from the door, and Bala was talking to them sternly.
She had her sword out the only thing she knew. Was she giving them sword cleaning instructions? They were looking at her with great interest. Well, that was something I wouldn’t be able to understand in the slightest. Instead, I turned and walked the other direction. Bala’s eyes met mine. She seemed to be able to see me. Her look was too obvious though because a second later, one of the guards looked back. I froze in my steps.
His look was extremely quick, and then he turned back to Bala and kept talking. I let out a breath. He hadn’t seen me. Rather, my illusion spell was working. It wasn’t effective on Bala. It could be because she was an elf. It could be because she was expecting me to sneak out. It could be because she was a will user. Any of these options could be true, but at the least, the guards didn’t see me. Feeling more relaxed, I turned and walked away, heading down the hallways.
There were a few other guards, but they all seemed to ignore me as I made my way from room to room. I wasn’t acting sneaky, but I did peak in every room, one after another. That’s when I turned a corner and ran into the last person I wanted to see, Lord Stebes. He had his head up in the air and was whistling. However, he walked right past me, not even acknowledging my presence. It’s easy to hide what you don’t expect. Lord Stebe’s would never expect to run into me walking down his corridor, so he didn’t see it. This didn’t mean he didn’t see anyone, it just meant that he ignored me. I could have been a servant or someone else beneath him, so his mind made that true.
With curiosity, I decided to follow behind him. A guest following the lord probably seemed even more reasonable, and thus my notice decreased as long as I walked behind Stebes. The illusion was truly a terrifying spell. Or perhaps it only was terrifying when taught by someone like a Grand Magus?
He walked along a few more corridors before stopping at a large door and knocking lightly. “It’s Lord Stebes.”
A voice inside said he could enter, so he pushed open the door. I didn’t want to barge in. instead. I just slid a toe in so the door was opened barely a crack. With that, I brought my ear to the crack and listened. My hearing as a devil was explementary, and the voice inside might as well have been right next to me.
“Lord Stebes, what do I have the honor of your visit?” The voice was instantly recognizable as Saria’s.
I looked inside, and I could just see the pair of them through the crack. Saria was wearing a summer dress which actually made her look quite charming. Was that what she had chosen for our date? I had thought of so many factors, but I had never considered bettering my dress. Looking down at my typical clothing, I suddenly felt like I should have worn more.
“It would seem that I have a message to pass on. Your fiancé has declared he is busy today, and won’t be joining you for lunch.”
I frowned at those words. So, the Lord himself was going to go in and get his hands dirty. I had sent a message like that, but then they had invited me into the keep. It was clear they planned to waste as much of my time as possible.
Saria wasn’t dumb though, and her expression showed suspicion. “I wonder why he would cancel. He seemed so interested in this date.”
I rolled my eyes, but continue to watch and listen.
“I don’t mean to spread gossip, but he was seen with a woman at his arm. It is possible he has decided to fornicate with her instead? Perhaps it was that woman he rode into town with.”
I frowned at that. Now he was moving into complete lies. Saria let out a soft chuckle that left his room.
“His mother? Well… I can’t say I’d be surprised though.” Saria giggled.
“That’s the queen?” The man gasped.
“Of a sort.” She responded, but then shook her head. “Lord Stebes, why are you here?”
“Is it not obvious?” He asked. “You’re a very beautiful lady, too beautiful to be placed with a devil like that.”
“Be careful, my lord, words like that could be considered treason.” She smiled coyly.
“For me, perhaps, but not for an elf beauty such as yourself. Since the moment I laid eyes on you, on knew that I had to have you for myself.”
Saria blinked, for the first time her smile of superiority slipping. “Wh-what?”
“Don’t act like you’re not attracted to me.” He grinned. “I mean, there is no way you’d be interested in that fiancée of yours. It must have been lonely all these months. I can warm your bed better than he ever could.”
“Lord Stebes… this is inappropriate.” Saria’s face turned red with anger, her deceptive mask that I always saw her with breaking apart like glass.
I was honestly very shocked. I realized that for all of Saria’s charms, there was one thing she was apparently really bad with. That was being hit on!
“Enough of this!” He stepped forward. “Your elvish patrol are all drunk or distracted. That brother of yours is being kept with your devil boyfriend. It’s just you and me for the next hour or two. I plan to make the most time of it!”
My eyes widened as I realized the situation was going south quickly. Saria was shocked silly, unable to regain her composure, and Stebes was advancing on her quickly. He was serious about having her without any pretense. Was he insane? The answer didn’t really matter, because in a few moments he was going to push Saria down with or without her consent!