“Shao, Salicia, I have a dangerous mission for each of you.”
“Whatever you want!”
“I will do it!”
Both girls were eager to please me. That was good. I needed people I could trust. I had never thought Lydia or Miki would ever betray me, but it happened. In a single night, that fake Deek had managed to steal half my women. He had claimed my strategists and my powerhouses. If I didn’t have a home-field advantage, I would truly be screwed. Not to mention I had to face a war on two fronts. Lord Reign or I guess I should start acknowledging that it might be the demon lord, was pressuring me from the north, and the fake was pressuring me from the east. I’d have to overcome both challenges to become a victor. Fake Deek had the advantage that Lord Reign didn’t even know he existed. Then again, it was thanks to this Fake that Lord Reign believed I was dead.
As for the idea that Fake Deek was sent by Lord Reign, I was no longer as sure as I had once been. Not everything added up when I thought about it. For example, I had already figured out he fled to the Capital. I had even tried to open a portal in the mansion only for it to be blocked. This wasn’t an ability that he had, so I figured it had to belong to Elaya.
“Shao… I need you to head north and spy on the forces of Lord Reign. I need to see what he is doing. Don’t get too close though. If that demon lord is with them, we can’t risk it.”
“Yes, Mistress…” Shao lowered her head.
“Shao… are you okay, with all of this. You’ve been rather quiet.”
She raised her head, but then looked away. “That… I’m just not sure about this other Deek. He looks and acts just like you. Plus, the other girls seem to trust him.”
“Yes… but you stayed.” I put a hand on her shoulder. “Your loyalty… I will reward it.”
Her body shook slightly. “Even if you say that…”
“What is it?”
“If he’s evil as you say… he’s still a copy of you, right? Can’t we change him? You once changed me. If they’re a copy of you, then clearly there is good in them. After all, you were their template.”
I blushed at those unexpected words. “I don’t know. Frankly, I’m not even sure how to handle them.”
“Well, their actions should be your actions. Shouldn’t we use the same techniques we used facing the doppelganger in Widow’s dungeon?”
“You mean… they’d act how I’d act if I was in their situation.” My eyes raised.
“Then, to defeat him, I must predict how he’d act, and then act like he wouldn’t expect.”
“Ahhh… I thought we were talking about changing him?”
“No… this will work. I will defeat him now!”
“You’re both Deek though…”
“There is only one Deek!” I snorted. “Thank you, Shao. I’m more certain the path I’ve decided on is correct.”
“Y-you are?” Shao looked at me uncertainly.
“I am. You’ll just have to trust me.” I sighed. “I know what I’m doing.”
“Master, what should I do?” Salicia asked.
“You will also perform a spy mission for me.” I grinned. “How do you feel about returning to your sister?”
Salicia’s eyes began to widen as I told her my plan.
“That woman is a fraud who stole your position?” Octavia shouted. “That’s so aggravating! If I get my hands on her, I’m going to get on top of her and I’m going to pound her.”
“Sister… didn’t we talk about phrasing?” Octius sighed helplessly.
“What? I’m just saying I want to tear her apart! From the inside! She’ll be crying when I’m done with her. I’m going to wreck her! She’ll never walk again!”
“That’s your sister… right?” I asked, feeling just as helpless.
At this point, things had calmed down. Octius managed to quickly assemble his makeup while I explained the situation that was happening. Octavia seemed to be an extremely emotional girl and instantly sympathized, even promising great pain upon the imposter Deedee. However, given her appearance, one would question if what she had between her legs was truly of the female variety.
“I’m afraid it is.” Octius sighed, drinking a cup of tear while massaging his head.
As much as Otto got a headache dealing with Octius’s over the top antics, it seemed like Octius had the same problem dealing with his sister’s antics. The two siblings couldn’t be more different. In the end, it seemed like Otto was the most normal of the bunch.
“Deek! We shall march our armies out and burn their city to the ground!” Octavia assured me.
“Ah… that’s my city though.” I laughed awkwardly, wondering what to do regarding her behavior.
“Sister, we’ve talked about this. Remember how dad says you’re too impulsive to fight with him on the border?”
Octavia stiffened. “He… might have mentioned such a thing.”
“And remember that incident at Jade Harbor?”
“That city was made completely out of wood! Any spark could have burnt that place to the ground!”
“It was built out on the ocean.”
“Either way, it never caused dad any problems!”
“That’s because there were no survivors.”
“Ah, moving along,” I interjected. “You don’t need to necessarily give me all of the forces. It’s more about borrowing your name so that the lords and ladies in the city more easily follow me.”
Octius grew serious in thought. “I see… and you say that the Demon Lord Aberis is involved? That’s a difficult pill to swallow.”
“I fought with him myself. If he succeeds in conquering the west, it’s only a matter of time before he sweeps across Aberis and conquers the entire territory again. Neither Elaya, Xin, or the King are still the hero’s they used to be.”
“Hmm… I suppose if Elaya managed to somehow sidestep death, there is no reason to doubt that the Demon Lord Aberis had managed to do it as well. As for this Xin you have taking care of your dungeon, are you sure that it is the true Xin?”
“I’m positive! Uh, why?”
“Nothing… it’s just, that upcoming marriage ceremony? The nobles are all preparing to head south for it. They’ve invited everyone in Aberis.”
“Aren’t they worried it’s a trap?”
“Very worried.” Octius sighed. “The most worrying part? Xin is on the name of the ones inviting. In twenty years, this is the first time that we’ve received any evidence that Xin was indeed in the Ost Republic. It had been assumed she went there, but they kept any news quiet. Now, you’re saying that you have the true Xin with you. If that is the case, then is there more than one imposter?”
“I will join you, and bring half of my forces. I’d like to investigate your Deedee, as well as this Xin. Frankly, I think we should be focusing on the demon lord Aberis, but those two should inform us about him as well. However, I’ll leave the decision of how we approach this up to you.”
I nodded. “Good. Just trust in me. I know what I’m doing.”
I stepped out into a portal. A second later, I jumped to the side as a slash came where I was. I rolled and came back up to my feet. Spinning around, I found a woman standing there. She wasn’t quite the size of an Osterian, but she also wasn’t a giant. Her face had changed as well.
“What happened to my dungeon boss?” I demanded.
“Deek… no… the imposter.” The woman standing before me shook her head.
“I am not the imposter, they are!” I snapped.
Elaya had attempted to keep me from entering the dungeon. She must have forgotten just who I was. While the other Deek seemed to lack the dungeon blessings, I still had all of mine. Opening a portal and entering the dungeon wasn’t something she could prevent. Well, she was able to prevent me from entering the mansion, so maybe she did have her ways, but they didn’t work just because the dungeon had gone rogue.
It was possible that because my blessings no longer showed thanks to my last blessing, that this Deek just assumed we had both lost the blessing. I was fine leaving him believe that. Either way, it was a simple matter to see what was going on in my dungeon. For it to suddenly be hostile against me put a bitter taste in my mouth, only reminding me of how many problems the appearance of that guy caused.
“That…” the woman touched her head. “I have the memories of that giant, but I also have the memories of Deek from Twilight dungeon. Elaya explained to me that you are both Deek and that I shouldn’t kill either of you.”
“Is that what she said?” I frowned. “You have a funny way of showing it.”
Elaya had been with me up until a few days ago. Then she had ended up with him. Suddenly, she was on his side. However, she had instructed this woman not to hurt me, then perhaps she was trying to play both sides. I just wish I understood what was going through her mind. That woman was an enigma.
“I’m sorry, you suddenly appeared in the boss room and I reacted without thinking. I’m still trying to come to terms with my new identity as Xin. She could be a bit aggressive.” She blushed.
“So, you really are Xin, then.” I sighed. “I had heard from Bernice that your soul was trapped in a dungeon and that Deek had united you back together.”
Xin nodded. “He did!”
I bit my lip for a second. “Will you help that Deek defeat me?”
“Elaya ordered me not to lend my help to either side.”
“Heh… I bet the other Deek doesn’t realize that.” I sighed. “Are you doing okay?”
She blinked. “Doing okay?”
“I mean… the giant. You were once that dungeon boss, monster, giant… whatever you want to call it.”
“That’s true…” She cocked her head thoughtfully. “What are you getting at?”
“You used to be less direct.” I sighed. “I’m trying to ask… do you regret it?”
“Combining. I mean, you’re not the Xin you were or the giant. It’s like two people ceasing to exist, to generate some third unknown. Maybe they’re more like the original Xin, but they’re also different too.”
“I see…” Xin nodded slowly. “The simplest answer would be no, I don’t regret it.”
“People change all the time. You won’t be the person tomorrow than you are today. It’s a sum of our experiences that make us who we are. If I add the experiences of both of them, it doesn’t make me less me. If anything, it makes me more me than I ever was before. Does that make sense?”
“Yeah… I guess it does.”
“Anything else, Master?”
“I like your new look,” I said. “You’re beautiful. I can see why Elaya fell for you.”
“You…” She blushed, looking away. “Either part of you, you’re still a lady killer!”