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Sitting up in my bed, I pulled out an outfit I had hastily put away yesterday. These were fine quality cut clothes and the likes of which you wouldn’t be able to find easily in this world anymore. An arm wrapped around my shoulder, and I could smell the sweet scent of the woman behind me.

“Katarina…” I breathed out, turning to face her.

She leaned close and kissed me gently on the lips, her eyes filled with seriousness and concentration as always.

“I’m yours now. I’ve given you a piece of me, and now you have to take responsibility.” As if to betray that confident and hard exterior, her cheeks pinkened and her eyes dropped.

“I planned to anyway,” I responded, reaching up and touching her cheek.

I was only a seventeen-year-old boy. Meanwhile, Katarina was a couple of years older. In my world, she would have been a college girl. Suffice it to say that last night had been intense, and my mind was still dizzy with disbelief about what had happened. I thought I had done a pretty good job too for my first time. I was able to hold on for a good ten minutes. Part of that was because I wasn’t completely healed and still full of pains.

As I was putting on my socks, Katarina went and helped me put on my sports coat. I meant to present myself in style. I turned my head and kissed her one more time. The kiss started growing more intense and might have even become something more, but a gentle knock on the door disturbed us.

“Master, it’s time.” A voice came through.

“In a moment,” I called back.

I glanced over at the door and then bit my lip. Katarina seemed to notice the conflict on my face.

“You like Kiera too, don’t you?”

My eyes widened and I immediately tried to protest, but Katarina gave me a look and all of my excuses were instantly fizzled.

“I’m sorry…”

“You shouldn’t be.” She chuckled. “Part of the reason I moved like this is that I feared Kiera would get you first if I didn’t take the initiative.”

“That is…”

“This is a harsh and unforgiving world. My mother taught me that if you find a man whose ability to provide for you, you should give yourself to him fully. After you saved me, I’ve realized you’re that man for me. So, I’m yours, and I give myself to you in hope that you will continue to take care of me as well.”

“I need you.” I grabbed her hand on my shoulder.

“That makes me happy to hear.” She smiled. “However, don’t torture Kiera and leave her hanging.”

I nodded. “I’ll let her know I’m with you.”

“Good.” She nodded. “Let her know that before you take her to bed.”

“I will… wait, what?” I spun to Katarina, who still had an easy look on her face. “You want me to have sex with her?”

Katarina gave me an amused expression. “Were you not going to?”

She asked it in such a matter-of-fact way that it was hard for me to answer. “I mean… I… not for certain, but…”

She laughed again. “If you have the resources to take care of many women, then why shouldn’t you have many women? This is that kind of world too.”

“You’re not jealous?” I asked hesitantly.

“If you don’t give me attention, I might become jealous.” She responded. “I heard before the fall, men and women used to get in monogamous relationships. It’s amazing how people lived. Survival of the fittest. Should the fittest man be able to spread his seed to the next generation?”

“I’m not…that fit…” I responded. “I just have resources…”

“Resources are enough to make anyone powerful.” She agreed. “However, you’re also the same man who saved my life twice. You went up against a bandit clan, and the Syndicate… solo! You’ve earned the ability to take what you want. I’m sure if you approached Jeri, she wouldn’t say no either. I’m sure that Feather girl wouldn’t hesitate, and Raven…”

“What about Raven?” I furrowed my brow.

She coughed. “Uh, nothing.”

Although she said that, her expression turned slightly awkward for a moment. I was about to ask her more, but there was a larger pounding on the door.

“Hey! They’re gathering outside! Get off your ass!” A lower voice than Kiera’s shouted.

I stood up and grabbed the door, opening it. Raven, who had his fist still on the door, stumbled slightly as I opened it up. His eyes fell on me first and then widened. He looked me up and down, his mouth slightly agape. Then, his eyes fell on Katarina, who was still lying in my bed, a sheet wrapped around her body. His eyes narrowed.

“You guys have this kind of relationship?” He asked.

I hadn’t wanted Kiera to find out this way, but I hadn’t cared as much if Raven did. I was a bit surprised at how angry he looked. He seemed to not get along with Katarina. They were like cats and dogs the second he had seen her.

“I came to him last night to show him my appreciation,” Katarina responded, seeming amused by Raven more than upset.

“Of course, you did,” Raven responded.

Before he could say more, I stepped out and closed the door. The upcoming event was between me and the raiders. A pretty colonist like Katarina wouldn’t help in that situation, which is why she wasn’t coming. My backup was going to be the Fire Ravens. Well, I was just going to say my piece, so it wasn’t like I would need backup. If things got dicey, I could always flee this world anyway.

“You don’t like Katarina?” I asked.

“She’s a colonist. Why would I?” Raven snorted. “She’s had a silver spoon in her mouth since she was born, but she gave it all up to live out here. She’s a fool. I only respect people who grew up struggling.”

“You could say the same about me,” I responded.

He stiffened. “Y-you’re different… besides, you’re the boss, right?”

I shrugged and started walking beside Raven. I felt a bit relieved getting to the bottom of things. It wasn’t that complicated. Raven was a raider who had grown up from the bottom, while Katarina was a colonist. They were diametrically opposed. That was why there was a strange conflict between them.

“Sorry. I’ll try not to flaunt it in your face in the future.”

“It’s none of my business who you fuck.” He responded stiffly.

“I guess…” I responded, and then thought about what Katarina had said earlier. “Just asking, but… would you be comfortable in a relationship… with two girls?”

Raven missed a step. “I’m sorry, what?”

“It’s just… something Katarina said. She told me I could have other women, so…”

“That is… I’d need to think about it!” Raven shot me a strange look.

“It’s just, you’re a guy like me, so I was wondering if it was normal for guys to have two women. You had Payne… ah… sorry.” I noticed Raven had stopped walking and I had taken a few steps past him.

I turned back to look at him. He had a dumbfounded expression on his face. After a moment, he shook his head.

“I… understand now. Um… I thought I felt something for Payne, but I never confessed to her. It turned out she was just using me. Feather is quite promiscuous, so she’s been with multiple partners…”

“I’m not talking like that. I mean, like, exclusively. You know… like a harem.”

“H-harem…” He looked away awkwardly. “I’m probably not the right… guy… to talk to about that. Is there a particular girl you’re interested in?”

“Well, there is Kiera.”

“Kiera… right, but she’s like a slave, so it doesn’t count.” That last part he seemed to almost mutter to himself. “Why are you asking me? I’m just a bandit.”

“I’m sorry. I know we haven’t known each other for long, but you’ve always been approachable. I thought, maybe… I don’t know like we were friends.”  

“You… see me as a friend?” He asked.

“If… you’re willing. I mean… you’re friends with hunter and husk, right?”

“No,” he shook his head. “I mean, they’re more like big brothers.”

“I see…”

“It’s fine!” He nodded. “We can be friends. I’d like that.”

He looked up at me and smiled. I frowned slightly.

“Do you need like gel or something with the mohawk?”

“I’m almost out of stuff.” He reached up and touched it. “Why?”

“Ah, it’s leaning a bit. Might need some more. When it’s down and you smile like that, you kind of look like a girl.”

His face turned red, and he started straitening it savagely. “R-ridiculous! I’m… I’m a guy! Shit, go on without me!”

I probably went too far. He looked slightly offended. He turned around and ran off to his room to fix his mohawk. I laughed slightly.

“What about me?” A female voice spoke up from my wrist.

I looked down at the Perco. “What about you?”

“Shouldn’t you apologize for rubbing your relationship in my face?”

“Aren’t your senses limited in the Perco?”

“I can still hear! I heard all of that gross stuff you did last night! You owe me an apology!”

“Can’t you turn the microphone off? Why were you listening?”

“If I turn it off, then I feel lonely! Are you not apologizing!”

“I’m not.”

“You bastard! I should never have made you my Master.”

I chuckled. “That’s not how I remember it.”

Cecelia still argued with me until stepped out the door. The warm air outside blasted my face as I stepped from a hallway into an unfinished floor. Although I was far enough back in the building that I could see out, this entire area was an unfinished part of the building with no windows. This would also be the stage I had chosen to begin my enterprise.

In a few minutes, I’d address the raiders in place of Ascension. I would offer my proposal, and then we’d see. It was time for my business to have an aggressive expansion.

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