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The rest of the night passed by without any more trouble, just as I had predicted. I woke up the next morning to find several different women in my bed. On my right arm was Aeryn, whom I had indeed gone to bed with that night. On my other arm was my Mother. In the end, I hadn’t kept my promise to sleep with her and had ended up passing out sometime after indulging Aeryn for a bit. However, it looked like mother was unwilling to let me be a liar, and thus she came in as well.

Of course, I could have easily slept for another few hours, but I heard a knocking on my door. The sun was just over the horizon. While traveling, we moved at a slow pace, only waking up once the sun was clear in the sky. However, the banging was incessant and even the two women on either arm were starting to wake up.  I wouldn’t be getting any more sleep tonight, it seemed.

“What is it!” I demanded, yelling at the door.

Normally, Aeryn would be the one to answer it, but she had also had a hard night last night. We all could use a bit more sleep.

The door opened with a bang. Taking two steps into my room was a catgirl wearing what appeared to be robes.

“How can you be sleeping this late?” She declared scornfully, making a pose with her nose in the air. “You made a promise last night to remove these curses, and you dare sleep in, nya?”

Actually, I had lost several liters of blood last night, and couldn’t even get a proper rest because I had so many women I had to please. Actually, that last part was probably partially my fault. The important thing was that I had been unable to get much sleep last night for various reasons.

“Can you keep it down? At least wait until I’ve had my coffee.” I sat up in the bed, the blanket falling down to my hips and revealing my bare chest.

The banging had woken up the two girls on either side of me as well. As Olivia gave me a glare, two women rose up sleepily, rubbing their eyes as they sat up to either side of me. Of course, neither woman was wearing any clothing either. Mother’s chest was very large, where Aeryn’s was more modest, but still full enough to need the whole palm. Mother didn’t hesitate to sandwich my arm between her two breasts she turned and hugged me. Aeryn took one glance at the other woman and said nothing.

As for Olivia, her eyes looked like they were about to pop out of her head and she lifted a finger at us. “Wh-wh-what is this, nya? That’s mom’s clone! What are you doing in bed with Mother, nya! And your maid too! Do you know any boundaries?”

“He doesn’t,” Aeryn responded shortly.

“Isn’t it clear what my son is doing? He’s taking responsibility and showing his Mother proper love.”

Leave it to both women to make the situation even worse, if just in completely different ways. One was possessive and mischievous while the other was sarcastic and chiding.

“Inya-excusable, brother!” Olivia shouted. “Nyo, Nyo, Nyo! What will your fiancée think? Saria will be devastated when she finds out! What do you think she’d say if she saw you right now!”

I let out a yawn. “I don’t know. What do you have to say about it?”

I reached down and lifted up my covers. A small form was curled up her arms wrapped around my chest as she slept dangerous close to something. With the covers over her head, she hadn’t been woken with the others. She drowsily woke up and spun around, facing the yelling woman.

“Eh? Olivia? What are you doing here?”

“S-s-s-sister! Nyat you too!” Olivia cried out before turning to me with a dark expression. “You bastard brother. You won’t get away with this. I’ll save my sisters from your devilish… errr… musk!”

“Musk?” I raised an eyebrow

She turned and fled the room. When she reached the door, she turned back, stuck her tongue out at me, and then continued on. The door slammed behind her, creating enough noise to jar everyone the rest of the way awake. Well, at least she was gone now, so that was something.

“Eh?” Saria turned back, “Why is everyone naked?”

Saria was the only one in the bed wearing a nightgown. However, it had slipped down substantially. Despite the lack of a chest, her clothing sitting that low was an erotic sight, and my eyes couldn’t help but slip to that particular area. When she noticed where I was looking, she hastily pulled up her nightgown and blushed.

“P-pervert… don’t get any ideas.” She responded. “I’m only here because I was scared of facing another nightmare.  Bala said she didn’t plan to go back to sleep, so I came here.”

“I didn’t say anything,” I responded. “Aeryn, get me some breakfast.”

As Aeryn got up, I gave her my orders, and then reached out and slapped her butt. I immediately realized I had just done that in front of two other girls. Usually, I woke up in the mornings alone with Aeryn, so such actions had become almost an impulse. As soon as I saw Aeryn’s bare bottom, my fingers itched a bit.

“So… fiancé is a pig after all.” Saria sniffed. “Don’t think you can get away with spanking me whenever you want.”

She immediately got up, although I could tell she wasn’t particularly upset. We had been very intimate the night before, I could feel that the relationship between us wasn’t the same as it used to be. As I watched her walk away, I noticed a very shapely, perfect shaped ass slightly bent over right next to my bed. I looked over to see my mother standing there. She was facing away from me, but she also didn’t move in the slightest, remaining in that position.

It took me a moment to realize that she was waiting for me to smack her ass too. She had seen me touch Aeryn, and naturally, she was demanding the same. Even if her body aroused me, and the thought of pushing this woman down and having my way with her stirred up my blood, the thought of hitting her like that… I reached out my hand, and then lightly tapped the top of her buttocks, closer to her back than her meaty portion.

When I made it clear that this was the extent, I was going to give her, she gave an irritated noise and muttered to herself. “Hmph… I used to give you better spankings than that when you were a young one. Perhaps I haven’t been naughty enough?”

I gave a wry smile as my mother finally went back to her room, barely covering herself with a sheet before leaving. If any guard happened to see her like that, they would assuredly trip over their swords at the sight. A stunning beauty naked except for a thin sheet wrapped around her body. It wouldn’t be hard to confuse her for a goddess.

Aeryn returned in her maid outfit shortly, and then went and brought back food. I was in the middle of eating when another knock on my door brought Ayda. She had come to discuss the plans regarding the blood rune. She also had a box that had four potions in it. Those must be blood-forming potions or the closest thing to them. She had probably used the rest on Bala the night before realizing their effect would take too long to be effective.

They could increase the amount of blood the marrow made, speeding up the process, but someone who has already lost too much blood couldn’t instantly make it all up. Ayda had likely hoped she could solve things without me, but when she realized she couldn’t, she finally conceded. I immediately took one of the potions and drank it down. If they needed my blood, the sooner I started making more, the better. It would have been best if I had drank one last night, but I was too exhausted to bother.

“How far should this get you?” Ayda demanded.

“I should be able to protect the doors of everyone who is here,” I said. “But you need to understand that this is not a cure. The curse is still creating the nightmares, it’s simply that they can’t connect with their target. As for the land… I’ve seen this blight covered hundreds of acres of land. Even if you bled me dry and went and captured a thousand devilkin and sacrificed them as well, it wouldn’t be enough.”

Ayda bit her lip with a bitter expression on her face. “Then, what are we supposed to do about this?”

“Your men are exhausted and on edge. It’s for this reason that I offered my blood so that they could have a break. With fresh eyes, we must begin a search party. I planned to give you guys a few days, but since Olivia came with knights who are unblemished by the nightmares, perhaps it’d be best if we started sooner.”

“What do you mean by a search party? What are we searching for?

“Caves. Caverns. Mines. Some kind of underground labyrinth.” I responded.

Her eyes flashed as I said those words. “You think there is someone under us?”

“The land and this fort have stood for centuries. This sort of event has never previously been reported. Baba said that the ground itself was emitting the curse. My thought is that it must be someone underground deliberately making this attack on us.”

“Us?”

“You yourself have stated it’s suspicious that this curse appeared just before I arrived. I too do not find this to be a coincidence. Someone doesn’t simply want to harm the elves, but they want to implicate me as well.”

Ayda snorted. “Well, we all but confirmed it is not you, so it looks like their attempt to spread dissension has failed.”

“Has it?” I asked, causing her to frown. “All any of your people know is that I appeared right after the curse came and I conveniently hold the key to providing them relief from said curse. Even if you trust me, many of your men would not. Even if I did earn their trust, people in the capitol would hear about it and only suspect. The only way to thwart this plan is to destroy it at its source and find the culprit who is behind all of this.”

“You have… given this a lot of thought.” Ayda responded slowly. “At first, I thought you were a hot-tempered spoiled prince. Perhaps, I was allowing my own bias to get in the way of such things. Perhaps, you’re the proper prince of the human realm after all.”

“There are few in this world I feel are capable of saying such a thing at the moment,” I responded with a sigh. “Let’s get this over with quickly. I’d like to make it to Greenvale, and my time is short and precious.”

“What is your aim in coming here?” Ayda asked, and then looked away. “I know it’s not appropriate for me to ask…”

I raised my hand in reassurance. “You don’t need to worry. I don’t mean the elvish nation any harm. In truth, my primary reason for coming here has already begun.”

She frowned for a moment, but then her eyes widened. “Olivia?”

“I must win Olivia over and get her to abdicate the throne to me. The human realm cannot be destroyed. If it does… well… let’s just say I have it on good authority that this would be bad.”

“You really think you can become King? A devil on the human throne?” She responded, a tinge of disbelief in her voice.

“Whether I want it or not, that is meaningless,” I responded. “I must do it. The human realm cannot fall. If it takes a devil to do it, then a devil I shall be.”

“…”

Ayda didn’t appear angry or upset. Instead, she just lowered her head in silent contemplation. It was clear that my words had struck a chord with her, and she didn’t know how she was going to take them. Well, it was fine. My goal right now was to help the elvish nation and hopefully earn Olivia’s trust. Once she gave up the throne, I’d be free to head to my next sister.

After a few moments of silence, I spoke up. “Let Olivia know to get her troops together and ready. We need to start a perimeter search. I believe the entrance will be close, but it won’t be easy to find. It might very well have been part of the original fort, designed as an escape path or a means of launching a surprise attack. Years of neglect have probably had a toll in making the place even harder to locate. Actually, now that I think of it, I might be able to do something about that. I’ll join the party once I’ve gotten the runes up and tested some things out.”

“Very well.” Ayda sighed and stood up, stopping when she reached the door. “I’ve seen the effects of devil blood and the enslavement process. I fought devils in several skirmishes along the border.”

I knew what she was suggesting, but it took me a moment to respond. “Saria and Bala-”

“I’ve seen my two nieces look at you.” She said. “That maid as well.”

“…” I lowered my head.

I did what I had to do, but it didn’t mean I didn’t feel any guilt about it. Although Saria wasn’t enslaved by me yet, one could say it was probably only a matter of time. Bala and Aeryn were naturally already bound to me. How could I argue against Ayda?

“It’s not the same,” she said.

I looked up, a surprised expression on my face. “What do you mean?”

“Those who are enslaved by devils. There is a look in their eyes. Hopelessness. Despair. All the light has left them, and they are nothing but walking ghosts. The way my nieces look at you… I don’t know what your relationship is with them, and I don’t know how far you’ll get with your plans. However, even if you become king, if you hurt them, I will hunt you down and destroy you.”

I took a sip of wine. “Duly noted.”

With that, she left the room. As the door closed, Aeryn shot me a side-look.

“I like her,” she said lightly.

“Yeah, you would.”

After I finished breakfast, I called for Bala and Aeryn to join me. I showed them a drawing. It was one I had copied from one of my grimoires that Bala had lent me.

“This Is the rune. It must be drawn on every door in my blood. Since I don’t think Saria would be happy getting her hands dirty, you’re the only two who can appropriately do this.”

Naturally, the implication was clear. If either of them got blood on themselves, it wouldn’t be a major deal taking care of it. I definitely wouldn’t want to try this with any males. In truth, Baba would be the best person to draw these runes being as she was a skilled magician and seemingly unaffected by my blood in the same way other people were. However, she was quite short, and I was worried she’d have trouble putting the rune up on the door high enough. If she knew those were my thoughts, she’d likely set my clothing on fire.

So, I ended up using some tubing and a needle and allowing blood to flow into a couple of buckets. Once I half-filled one, Aeryn carefully took it and began applying it to the doors. She didn’t even bother to use a glove or any sort of tool, directly dipping her finger into my blood and then drawing. Aeryn seemed to be doing this a lot lately. It was almost like she was trying to inoculate herself to my blood, continuously exposing herself to it until she could fight it off. She already could likely last three times the amount a normal person who was exposed to devil blood would last.

I took another potion and filled another half-bucket. At this point, I was already feeling a little woozy. I filled a small goblet of blood and then I decided to end it there. If it turned out I needed more to finish the job, we could try again in a few hours. Bala took the other bucket, and she at least painted with a brush. However, she painted so closely that if the brush flicked a little, she’d have blood on her face.

With the two of them busy drawing, I went to visit Baba’s room. After knocking and getting no response, I opened the door to see a small loli girl lying at her desk, her head down sleeping. It looked like she had been up all night trying to work out the nightmares and come up with a counter curse. Something that upset the balance as badly as this had to be something that concerned her greatly.

I went to touch her when she suddenly twitched. Her mouth started moving, and then she started muttering something.

“Another world… don’t… please, don’t go…” Tears formed in her eyes, and she seemed to be shivering uncontrollably.

Baba had been accosted by mermaids, but that was someone else’s nightmare. I had never bothered to ask her what her own had been. Maybe, it was related to what was going on now. Did she have some connection to another world? Don’t go? Does that mean it was possible for me to return to my own world? When it was clear she wasn’t going to say anything else, I reached down and gently shook her awake.

“Huh? Ah… my snack arrived.”

“I’d prefer you didn’t call me a snack,” I sighed, putting the goblet of blood in front of her.

She grabbed the cup eagerly and took a sip. At times, I’d swear she was a vampire. When she was done, she made a pleased noise and then slammed the cup down.

“That really wakes me up!” She said excitedly. “Alright… Prince… I noticed that look in your eyes. You only get that when you want me to do something troublesome. What is it?”

“Ah, you know me well. I simply need your help. I’d like to do something new.” My eyes glimmered in the low lighting.

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