A pungent smell struck my nose. It smelled a bit like… flowers? As I struggled to regain consciousness, the first thing besides smell was noise. I was in some kind of echoey room. Numerous voices were speaking, but they were filled with so many echoes it was difficult to place any of them. The next thing I felt was pain, a throbbing in my head as well as some pain in my back. I felt like I had been dragged, my back getting scratched along the way.
Slowly, my mind started to return. I could remember I was walking home after cutting a deal with that woman named Rhea. Then… I was struck in the head and went unconscious. Was it a kidnapping? I tried to move my hands, and I found they were restrained. I was in a sitting position, seemingly tied to a chair. Did Sal find me and then kidnap me? If he did so, why was I even still alive? I got another whiff of that pungent smell, and I instinctively turned my head away.
“Shhh… he’s waking!”
The voices seemed to calm down as I finally forced my eyes open. The room was rather dark. There was a single torch on a stand sitting right in front of me, and standing behind the torch were a group of people. They were standing in a way that they were shrouded in shadows, unable to be seen from my point of view.
“What is going on?” I muttered, blinking my eyes a few times to try to get the dirt out of them.
“We’ll be asking the questions!” A deep voice came out.
No, it wasn’t a deep voice. It was a fairly feminine voice, but she was speaking in a way as if she was trying to make her voice sound deeper than it was. I blinked a few more times, trying to cope with my splitting headache before dealing with my aching back.
“What do you want with me?” I asked.
“I-I said we’ll be asking the questions. Isn’t that what I said?”
“That’s what you said, I heard you.”
“See, yes, that’s what I said.”
I shook my head, yawning to clear my ears out so I could hear better. “Alright, you want to ask some questions. What are your questions?”
“That’s also a question!”
“Can he ask a question if the question is asking us to ask a question?”
“Will all of you shut up?”
“Who’s going to ask him?”
“Alright, I will!” Some snapped before clearing their throat and speaking to me. You are the demon, Devon, from Devon’s Watering Hole, correct?”
“I am not.”
“Did we get the wrong person?”
“I told you it wasn’t him!”
“No, it’s definitely him.”
“Shut up! I’ll talk! Ahem… are you lying?”
“I’m not,” I responded with a straight face.
“Is he lying?”
“If he lied the first time, then he would have lied the second time!”
“Enough of this! Stop lying! We know you’re the demon, Devon. You created a brothel and captured poor women forcing them to perform sexual favors for demons! Admit it!”
“Okay, I admit it.”
“… is he lying?”
“Why would he lie if he admitted it? Ahem… listen here… demon, you are our prisoner. Do you understand?”
As the woman spoke, I was pretty certain they were all human women at this point, she tried to sound as tough and as intimidating as she could. I was pretty sure that this entire thing was an amateur job though. I had been snatched by these women suddenly, and now that they had met, they didn’t seem to know what to do with me. That didn’t necessarily make me feel any better. I didn’t have time for this. I had plans to make, and now my time was being wasted by a bunch of idiots. If they ended up doing something stupid and I died, wouldn’t that be the biggest joke for this planet?
“He’s not speaking…” Someone whispered.
“Maybe he doesn’t understand?”
“Shhh… you, demon! Answer.” The one who was trying to sound tough and take the lead demanded.
“What are your demands?” I asked.
“You captured me, so you have some demands, right? In exchange for releasing me, you want me to do something for you. Isn’t that how this all works?”
“Uhh… right! Right! Demands… um… we want you to get the demons to stop pestering us!”
“Ever since you opened up that brothel, demons have started to desire pleasures of the flesh. It’s not just your store. Many demons have taken to trying to snatch women off the street. That demon Sal has started rounding women up in droves… but everyone who goes off to him never return in one piece. We know bad things are happening to them. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to deal with increasingly worse conditions.”
“Our lives are already awful enough. We don’t need demons pestering us for sex.” Another girl cut in.
“Yeah! This is awful!” A third woman spoke up. “The other day, I was walking down the street and a demon started catcalling me. He told me he’d look pretty on my knees!”
Her words were lost as numerous other women started muttering in agreement. From the best I could tell from the voices and the shadows, there were about ten women present. When the muttering died down, there was silence, and I realized they were waiting for me to answer.
“Oh… um… well, are you pretty on your knees?”
“He’s a pervert.”
“We knew he was a demon, sisters… don’t let his words shock you.” The leader spoke again. “Demon, explain yourself immediately.”
“Have any girls tried… um… on their knees?”
There were some angry mutters, but the woman who was leading them spoke over them. “There is a small group of women who cater to these demons. In exchange for their services, the demons give them food and sometimes shelter. On nights they… bed… the demons, they are allowed to stay indoors a night, and they are often given gifts and food.”
As she spoke, the other women let out noises of disapproval.
I cleared my throat. “What’s wrong with that?”
I heard several gasps as the lead woman spoke up again. “What are you saying? Aren’t they just selling their bodies for comfort? They are truly the lowest women!”
I licked my lips for a moment. “So, a hand full of women… how many would you say have been doing this…”
“Nearly ha- ah… um… so, women are entering into relationships with demons-“
“Not relationships. Sex pacts! The demons are only interested in their bodies. Some demons even seek out multiple women.”
This caused more cries of disgust and outrage among the women.
“So, what you are saying…” I cut in. “Is that women are currently offering their bodies, exchanging sex for food, shelter, and security?”
“Exactly! This goes against nature. These demons are deplorable. That’s why we’ve kidnapped you. You are the source of all of this. You’re the one who turned demons into women. It was bad enough when demons were just mindless killing machines who wiped out all of our men, but now they are seeking the women. Things have only gotten worse!”
“Alright… so, for those of you who aren’t going with the demons, how have things gotten worse? Are the demons taking you forcefully?”
“N-no… not exactly…” She quieted for a second. “At first, there was a surplus of women willing compared to the demons, and the demons seemed to not be very picky. However, as things have continued, demons started patrolling, and if any demon tries to have their way, they are quickly punished.”
That must have been something set up by Lieutenant Dire. That sounded like something he would do.
“So, you’re being guarded? It sounds like you girls are safer than before…”
“Yeah, but the girls who find demons come around with full bellies and nice close and flaunt it!” One girl cried out.
“A demon had an interest in me, but I said no. Then, my sister took off with him, and now she eats three meals a day and lives in a mansion. It’s not fair!”
Ah… I think I finally figured out what was going on here. I was abducted by the jealous girls who failed to cease on the growing opportunity. I was kidnapped by spinsters!