“Hmph!” Olivia snorted. “Arrest him!”
As soon as I introduced myself, she immediately declared for the guards to arrest me. The elvish men who had entered the fort with her began to move forward. As for Bala, she placed her hand on her sword in a threatening manner.
“May I ask what I have done?” I asked helplessly, trying to keep the place from turning into a sudden bloodbath.
“You know what you did, Nya!” She cried out angrily. “The illusion magic! The dying trees! This is a devil plot! I see only one devil, nya!”
“Is that all of your evidence?” I asked.
“What other evidence do I nyaeed!”
“Okay… just one thing, the nyas are definitely a joke, right?”
I could accept everything from her cat ears twitching to her cat tail swishing, but I absolutely couldn’t handle her way of talking. I was almost certain that she was doing it on purpose.
“What is that supposed to mean, nya?”
I looked over at the princesses for support. “Has she always been like this?”
Saria lifted an eyebrow. “Was she not like this at home? This has been the Olivia I have known since long ago.
I gave Saria a disbelieving look. Mother had described Olivia as borderline psychopathic. Saria had described her as violent and overbearing. However, when I looked at my older sister, she was actually quite cute. She had two fanged teeth in the style of yaeba teeth. Her tail was long and flexible, twisting back and forth as she talked. Furthermore, she had a large chest, a bit bigger than any of the other girls in my life. Despite that, she had a small body and was somewhat short. If it wasn’t for her big chest, she really would look like an elf.
“Stop talking without me!” She stomped her foot, “You’re a devil!”
“I’m your brother.”
“Nya, it’s not meaningless!” I shot back.
“Stop saying nya!” She ran up to me and glared, her face far closer to mine than necessary.
“I didn’t, I said naw!” I responded coolly.
She looked confused for a second, glancing back at the others as if trying to confirm what I had really said. For some reason, the more I teased her, the cuter she got. Was this seriously the enemy I was waiting for. Mages were typically supposed to be extremely intelligent. It was a field of intense study. Olivia didn’t have that feeling at all.
She finally glared at me, “Are nya making fun of me?”
“Bastard!” She suddenly reached out and started pinching me.
Her fingers were actually quite strong for a mage, and it actually hurt, even though my stomach was mostly muscle now.
“Ah… why are you pinching me! Bala, why is she attacking me!” I said desperately as she continued to injure me and my guard did nothing.
“She’s clearly having nyan of that,” Bala said.
Saria, Olivia, and I all turned to Bala. Olivia forgot to pinch me, her hand suddenly resting on my stomach. Her face was completely expressionless like always. Is there a slight twinkle in her eye. D-did she just make a joke?
“Arrest all of them!” Olivia suddenly yelled out.
As she said this, her hand was actually rubbing my stomach. It was as if she didn’t even realize she was doing it. It felt like she was pawing me. As soon as she yelled out her orders, the men she traveled with looked at her, seemingly just as helpless as the rest of us.
“Princess Olivia… these are Saria and Bala. These are the princesses of our own country. We cannot arrest them.” Someone had to explain this.
“Eh? Saria and Bala are here?” She asked, looking around in confusion.
The guards looked like they wanted to flip a table. As for me, I really couldn’t even believe that she was a mage. Then again, the grand magus was someone who also acted very stupid and immature. Perhaps there was a relation between magic and being functionally child-like.
“Hey… why are you looking at me like that?” Baba spoke, glaring at me. “I have a feeling you’re thinking something rude.”
“Saria!” Oliva finally released my stomach and then threw up her hands, hugging Saria aggressively.
Saria was a girl built around propriety. Naturally, she didn’t like hugs, and her discomfort at being touched by even a friend was clear to see. Olivia seemed oblivious to this fact.
“It’s been too long.” Saria laughed gently, although she didn’t hug Olivia back.
“Ah, well, where is Bala?”
I could understand her not noticing Saria. After all, she was small, stood in the back, and seemed skilled at not drawing attention to herself. However, she had already directly looked at Bala several times.
Saria sighed, even making this seem like something she was used to when it came to Olivia. “Bala is right here…”
Olivia looked at the place Saria was gesturing. She stared at Bala, who only returned with an equally vacant expression. I half expected to hear crickets chirping, but I supposed the dying landscape outside wasn’t inducive of a thriving insect population.
“Ah!” She let out a cry so suddenly that several people jumped. “Bala!”
She threw her hands out and jumped at Bala. Bala sidestepped her with ease, causing the catgirl to fall forward on her face before immediately leaping back to her feet. She immediately stomped her feet and gave Bala a petulant stare.
“Why do you always do that?”
“I was afraid if you came at me so fast, you would bounce off,” Bala responded flatly, clearly staring at Olvia’s large chest with just a slight degree of disdain.
“Hehe…” Olivia suddenly narrowed her eyes mischievously and used her arms to push her boobs together, creating a long, mouthwatering cleavage. “Nya? Bala has started to care about such things as breast size? I didn’t notice you before because you’re wearing makeup and starting to dress more feminine. You also stopped wrapping your chest and you’re letting your hair grow out past your shoulders. This can mean only one thing, there is clearly a guy you wish to impress! Please tell sister Olivia, who is it? A soldier? Nya?”
Olivia was absolutely right. Since leaving the capitol, Bala hadn’t cut her hair. It was now nearly down to her shoulders. As for her clothing, she had found a more feminine looking armor in Virdainia and took the wearing that. My general assumption was that her previous attempts to look like a boy were uncomfortable, and since everyone around her knew her to be a girl now, there was no use continuing to hide her body. It seemed like my sister had come to a different conclusion.
“Don’t be ridiculous.” She responded, but her eyes couldn’t help but flicker to me for a second.
Olivia noticed her eyes as soon as I did, and spun around. However, she was still leaning forward, her chest smooshed together, and I could see right down the canyon. Her shocked expression quickly dissipated as she noticed where my eyes were locked. She immediately stood up, her face turning red as an angry expression spilled across her face.
“A-a-arrest him! Why is he not in chains?” She said agitatedly. “Clearly, the fort is under attack by this… this pervert…”
I couldn’t even follow along with this woman. She was a complete airhead. After meeting my sister Lucy, I had expected all of my sisters to be cool, diplomatic, manipulative, and cunning. However, Olivia appeared to be the exact opposite of that. She was childish, appeared to have an attention deficit, and acted overbearing.
“What does perversion have to do with the attack on the fort!” I demanded, feeling a vein throb in my forehead.
“Hmm! Isn’t it because you seduced my loving sisters? Not to mention, you put your devilish intentions on me!”
“Hmph, who would want to have sex with a crazy pussy like you anyway!” I snapped back.
“S-s-sex!” Her entire face went red, and then she grew even angrier, pointing. “No one said something about sex! So, it is true. You wish to have… to do… to put this… in that… mmmm….”
Suddenly all of her steam was lost and she lowered her head. Apparently, even the mention of sex was too much for her to handle. I had never seen a girl’s face become as red as hers. Even her chest started to become red, but I still managed to fight the urge to look at it.
“Ridiculous. What kind of person do you take me for?” I shot back.
I mean, it was true. At some point, I had to push her down and have my way with her, but now that I was accused of it, how could I mention such a thing out loud? She had really put me in a hard place, and all because her mind was a complete mess. She was the kind of girl that back home should be on various medications.
“A pervert.” Saria suddenly answered my rhetorical question.
“A sexual deviant,” Bala said at roughly the same time.
The two girls glanced at each other in surprise, but then Saria giggled, and even Bala’s expression turned slightly amused. Seeing this, Olivia managed to recover. She took a deep breath, clearly intending on giving another round of condemnation in my direction. Fortunately, Ayda stepped forward. She had been watching the exchange with some amusement. Apparently, after my display yesterday, she took great pleasure over seeing other women bullying men. I couldn’t get rid of the frown on my face, and I planned to take it out on someone soon.
“Princess Olivia,” Ayda spoke before the girl could launch into another ridiculous tirade and accuse me of something else. “Although I also admit that the appearance of Prince David has been suspicious, these illusions have been happening for days before he’d arrived, and he’s done nothing tonight that is particularly suspicious.”
“Hmph… that’s what he wants you to think, Nya!” She declared, causing even Ayda’s face to twitch.
“Sister, I have been traveling with him these last few weeks, I can guarantee that he is not responsible for this attack,” Saria spoke up.
A word from her sister was far more difficult for her to refute. The reluctance in her expression was clear, as she looked between me and the two women vouching for me. Of course, I didn’t feel any pleasure or happiness from their comments. It never should have gotten to this point in the first place. It only reminded me of just how far I had to go to convince any of my sisters to allow me to run the kingdom. Of course, there was also the pure enslavement path, but it would likely destroy the family and lead to war anyway.
The leaders of every country that possessed one of my sisters would like to know what happened if their hostage suddenly became a loyalist to a devil prince. This would be followed by soldiers and would only escalate from there. It was a factor that this world’s God hadn’t considered when he gave me this mission.
“E-even so… there needs to be proof!” The stubborn Olivia found herself unwilling to give up on the thought of condemning me as an evil person.
This was her last attempt to try to stick all of the blame on me. I could only sigh and shake my head at having such an unrelenting sister in the family. She shot me a defiant look, waiting for me to come up with an argument to redeem myself from a crime I didn’t do. Of course, I had already prepared for this outcome. In fact, since the moment I realized they were illusions, I had been thinking through the problem and coming up with solutions.
“I cannot offer any additional proof that I am not the guilty party than what has already been provided,” I stated, causing Olivia’s eyes to brighten considerably and a rotten grin to form on her cute face. “However, I can give you something that whoever is doing this never would. A means of counteracting these attacks.”
Olivia’s grin dissipated, but it was Ayda who stepped forward with an excited expression on her face. “You truly have a means of stopping the nightmares? You can reverse this curse?”
She had already had to deal with a week of sleepless nights. Half of her men were dead and the other half were on the verge of mental collapse. There was absolutely no way she wouldn’t take any olive branch extended to her. At least, she gave me that kind of feeling.
“You better not be tricking us!” Olivia declared angrily.
“I can show you right now.” I sighed, walking passed a surprised Olivia and heading toward an area along the wall.
I held out my hand a to guard, and after a moment he snorted and then pulled out a knife, handing it to me. It was small, and wouldn’t be able to pierce his armor, so it was effectively useless. However, it was big enough for what I needed.
Olivia immediately followed me, nearly jumping to look over my shoulder as I walked to a plant in a planter. It was brown now, and almost dead despite there being no reason. The soil was rich and moist, yet the flowers just wouldn’t thrive. Olivia was right next to me, trying to see what I was doing. When I put the knife to my hand, Ayda moved forward, grabbed Olivia, and pulled her back.
Olivia struggled with irritation. “Nya! What are you doing? I want to see!
“Stand back, he’s going to cut himself?”
“Yeah, so what? I want to see!”
“His blood is… well…” Ayda suddenly found herself unable to explain as Olivia looked up at her innocently.
Given Olivia’s current resolution when it came to simply mentioning sex, how could they possibly explain to her that my blood was a potent aphrodisiac that would make her go wild with lust if she allowed too much of it to touch her body?
“She doesn’t want to see your clothing ruined with blood,” I said smoothly.
Olivia frowned, but she stopped struggling and accepted that. “Nya… I don’t want brother’s blood on me either. Good thinking, Auntie…”
Ayda could only make a face behind Olivia’s back. It was clear that the elf royals had a great affection for Olivia and took care of her, but to the usually reserved elves, she was a bit much to handle. I wouldn’t be surprised if she was sent here to investigate the complaint exactly so Greenvale could have a break from her for a while.
I cut my hand and then dribbled a few drops on the plant and it’s surrounding soil. Within a minute, the plant started to perk up, and even some of it started to turn green once again.
“So, this is a devilish plot!” Ayda declared.
I shook my head. “I can’t say that for certain. Devil blood is merely very resistant to curses. As Baba has already confirmed, it seems like the very ground under us is cursed. I suspect that there is a tunnel system that someone nefarious has accessed. My blood merely repels back the curse.”
“Good!” Olivia laughed, “So, we bleed him dry and then place a few drops on everybody in the fort!”
There were numerous things wrong with the words she said, but the thing that caught most of those listening was the part about putting drops of my blood on their bodies. Ayda had assuredly told all of the soldiers about my blood at this point. It would work on men as much as it worked on women. Ayda was giving me a suspicious look. She was probably worrying that I was playing some kind of game with them.
“Although my blood has anti-curse properties, if you spread it into a certain runic charm, it’s power increases. If we simply draw a rune under the beds where everyone will sleep, cutting between the connection of the cursed ground and the people, it should be able to protect everyone and allow them a good night’s sleep. Your men should be wary about getting up in the middle of the night, and your patrols will have to stay in one spot, but it will work.”
“The distribution charm.” Baba made an impressed noise. “So, you have been studying…”
Baba knew what I was talking about by runic charm. She was the one who told me to return those books.
“Of course, I do everything you tell me, Baba…” I responded dryly.
At first, she was pleased, but then she looked at me suspiciously like she was suspecting I was trying to deceive her.
“Then, start bleeding. Show a few men how to draw the runes, and then…” Ayda was trying to reestablish her command after the hectic night, but I couldn’t help but stop her.
“As fun as that sounds, I think I’ve already lost enough blood for tonight.” I raised my arm, reminding her that I had to save Bala by giving her a lot of my blood. “If I’m correct, the nightmares only come in one wave. Since the threat has passed, I would like to get whatever sleep I can to recover my body. In the meantime, you should search this place for any blood-making potions you might have. Tomorrow, I’m going to need them if I’m going to be setting up runes.”
Bala looked away awkwardly, knowing that it was her that lead to my deficiency in blood. Ayda frowned, wanting to make an argument with what I said, but not finding any satisfying rebuttal. After a moment, she nodded in acquiescence.
“Very well, you may go. We’ll clean up here.”
I began to leave the courtyard. Meanwhile, Olivia chased after Ayda, clearly still having things to say to her.
“Aeryn, to me.” I declared.
“Master needs me.”
“Mm… I’ve built up a great deal of stress tonight.”
“Is that Master’s way of saying he’s going to have me tonight?”
“Did you not drink my blood earlier?”
“You seem, okay?”
“The nightmare I had, naturally, it was a copy of you, just like your mother. He played with me a lot and satisfied me greatly, so naturally, I’m no longer need anymore.”
“Hmph… is that so.” I frowned. “You said you killed it in the end?”
“It was a pleasant nightmare…” She responded shortly.
Of course, I hadn’t noticed that her hands that she was holding behind her back were shaking. She’d never tell a soul, but her nightmare had been the exact opposite of what she claimed. Her nightmare wasn’t that I showed up, but that I didn’t. She had been forgotten, left on her own without being by my side. The second she had laid eyes on me, her nightmare had shattered. As for what happened next, it was a pleasing fantasy.