It was alright. I could fix this. It was a simple matter of telling a convincing lie while getting him to like me enough that I was no longer in danger. This was admittedly a little easier said than done with a knife to my throat. I started by activating the seduction ability one more time. His eyes flashed angrily and his knife increase in pressure. I felt liquid running down my throat, and I knew he was drawing blood.
“Your little charms don’t work on me. I have a high-level charm resistance item! So why don’t you start talking!”
Could items bestow resistance? Was charm a form of resistance too? Wait, he said resistance, does that mean others knew similar fantasy game terms? All of those questions popped into my head at the same time, tumbling all over each other like a giant mess.
Fear Resistance has increased to level 2.
That wasn’t helping! However, I needed to come up with a story, and he wasn’t giving me the time. That meant stalling…
“How did you know?” I asked, my mind trying to come up with a believable story.
He let out a harsh laugh. “Your deception skill is probably, what, level 1, level 2 at max? You’re hardly skilled enough to fool someone like me. However, even if your deception was level 5, I could see your charm attempts failing. What is the skill called, Seduction? I suppose that’s a special skill? Does that make your class a spy? Clearly a low-level one. Not sent from the royal family. Probably one of the small local lords. Which one sent you?”
“No one!” I protested.
My mind was reeling from the onslaught of new information. He was talking about levels, skills, and classes. He even knew about my special skills. It felt like all of my secrets had suddenly been exposed. I no longer felt as special as I had previously. I had gotten used to the thought that maybe I was the only one aware of things like levels and skills. To find out they were commonly used terms was a little disheartening. The only thing Darius ever talked about was adventuring, raids, and questing.
The man frowned. “One of my special skills is I can detect liars. It’s one of the only ways I can make it as a king of bandits and thieves, I always know when they lie… but I didn’t detect a lie there. If you weren’t sent here by anyone, then why did you come here?”
“It wasn’t by choice. I stumbled into your little raid on the caravan, or noble transport, or whatever, and the other guy just grabbed me!”
Nova’s mouth twisted into a wry smile. “You really have nothing to do with this? You’re just some random commoner?”
“Yes!” I nodded as enthusiastically as I could with a knife to my neck.
Nova refocused, and the smile on his face turned back to a frown. “Alright, last question, and you better not lie! Why were you trying to charm me!”
My eyes looked away, not quite able to meet his own. Was he really going to make me say it? Isn’t it natural for someone to want to protect themselves? Of course, in reality, that wasn’t the true reason I used it on him so aggressively, but it was close enough to the truth.
“Speak! If you don’t I’ll throw you outside and let every man, one after another, have their way with you until your body is wrecked and useless!”
I couldn’t stop my eyes from flashing with excitement.
Yes! That option! Thank you, bandit king, you’ve given me a way out.
Before I could come up with a suitable lie to get me punished, his eyes flashed in confusion. For the first time, he looked generally flustered and he lost his grip on his knife just a bit.
“You… you…” He shook his head in disbelief. “You’re either a genius at deception and I haven’t realized it yet, or I am seriously missing something… I just got the sense that you became happy at that suggestion…”
When he looked at me with those eyes that seemed to contain a bit of pity, suddenly I felt really bad. I’m not a complete pervert! It’s for the experience, the experience! Please don’t judge me! I abandoned the thought of lying and decided to give him the truth. I wasn’t really ashamed to say it, my Mental Fortitude made that impossible. However, old habits die hard.
“I… thought if I seduced you’d, I’d be safe. Plus, you’re handsome and it’s been a while for me so I figured we could have some fun.”
Nova put the knife down, backing up a step before looking me up and down. I stood, unashamedly, only hoping my Beautification made me pleasurable to his eye. I never considered myself bad-looking from the get-go, but I had no clue how universally well the Beautification ability worked. In a mirror, I looked exactly like I always had, so that was no indicator. After what seemed like minutes, Nova finally spoke.
“I sent you to take a bath because afterward, I was planning on aggressively having my way with you.” As he looked at me, he grimaced. “You need to do something about those perverted eyes, they tell me that you graciously took that bath expecting the same. However, I also planned on cutting your throat after, so you can stop being excited now.”
He had taken a step away from me and I now wiped the blood away from the nick on my neck, taking another gulp. If he’s telling me what he planned to do, I held on to the hope that he no longer had that plan.
“Do you have an adventurer plate?”
I shook my head. “I come from… very far away, and well, I don’t get a lot of things here.”
I said that to cover my butt in case I say more suspicious things. I’d rather he assume that I was stupid rather than assume I was trying to deceive him. He walked away, heading to a drawer next to his bed. He pulled a small silver plate out and walked up to me, handing me the plate.
“Don’t get excited. It’s fake. However, I want you to use it.”
I used Examine on the card, and a moment later it popped out.
I didn’t really know what he wanted me to do with it, so I closed my eyes and tried to put… something into it. Didn’t you need to use magic or something?
After a moment, Nova lets out an annoyed sound and reached out, grabbing my hand. He pulled the dagger and pokes my finger. I let out a little shout, but of all the things I’ve been poked with since I’ve been here, this wasn’t all that bad. A drop of blood formed on my finger, and he let it drop onto the card.
“You really don’t know anything, do you…”
The card shimmered and a moment later, information started to appear. Before I could read more than my name, Nova snatched the card from me and looked at it. He stared at the plate for a solid minute, a frown forming on his lips.
“What is a Seductress?” He shook his head.
“Eh? I was hoping you knew!”
Nova scratched his chin, and then he started talking. “There are said to be as many classes as there are people. New classes are discovered all the time, but those are usually 2nd or 3rd tier classes. For the 1st tier, there are only about 10 classes. Those that don’t take on a class are automatically given Villager, Noble, or Royal based on their birthright. These are considered classless jobs. To gain a class, it involves two things… knowledge, and determination. Most people gain their first class around their teens. If you fight beasts, you might become a warrior or adventurer. If you practice magic, a magician. If you practice crafts, you become a craftsman. That kind of thing. I’ve never heard of anyone becoming a seductress. To obtain that, I assume you’d need to be knowledgeable about sex at a very young age, and then commit… well…”
Suddenly Nova started looking sheepish. Meanwhile, I was trying to keep up. I had reasoned out some of this already. The class system sounded like a catch-22. You became the class that you practiced skills in, but you got the capacity to practice skills by becoming a class. Most people in this world started out as babies protected by their parents, gradually growing into whatever field they wanted to do. While teenagers may think about sex, few of them would be incredibly knowledgeable about sex, while also wanting to use sex as a means of survival.
I chose sex, not as a way to make money, but as a means of survival. If I had attempted to stab the goblins with the sword, I’d have probably become a warrior or something like that. This meant that I was in completely unknown territory here. No guidebooks, no skilled mentors to show me the ropes. I spoke up before Nova could continue.
“Goblins. When I got here. They took me. For an entire month…”
For the first time, Nova looked genuinely sympathetic, and I found myself thinking he wasn’t all that bad of a guy. “Still, I don’t understand what half of these abilities you have are. However, seeing this, I’m even more certain…”
He handed the card back to me before nodding to himself and going on. “How should I put this? I need someone with your particular talents. It’s been something I’d considered for a while now, and the timing is basically perfect. Had I known a class title existed that literally represented everything I needed, I would have searched for that. In fact, I’ve been slowly training Jenai for this purpose, but it’ll be years before she’s ready.”
“I don’t understand,” I asked suspiciously. “What is it exactly you want?”
The Bandit King gave a dark smile. “Well, you know that you got grabbed today in place of another. The other would be Princess Batrum. She is a beautiful princess, currently unwed. Her father is a small and insignificant King of a small kingdom to the west. However, thirty years ago, during the war of succession, he had saved King Hyburn’s life. The two agreed to marry their children, and thus, Princess Batrum was on her way to Hyburn castle to meet her future prince.”
I nodded. “But you ended up with me instead…”
Nova shook his head. “Not exactly. You see, there were two carriages. I sent a party to both. Dox’s party came back with you. The other party returned three hours ago.”
“You managed to catch the princess?” I asked in surprise.
I had never seen a princess before, maybe this would be my chance. Admittedly, these were poor circumstances, but I had to take what I could get, considering. However, as soon as the question left my lips, he was already shaking his head, a look that resembled rage flashed across his face.
“I overestimated my own men. Maybe Dox is one of the better ones. Maybe your poor deception skill made the men nervous. I don’t know… You made it back here. She didn’t. Some of my men, they got excited by the thoughts of a princess. Had their way with her, and an accident happened. Her neck was broken, so I’ve been told.”
I gasped audibly, putting my hand over my mouth and giving a silent prayer for the woman I’d never meet. In a lot of ways, that could have been me a hundred times now. I had to remember how dangerous this world was.
“The men are dead.” He threw this out as an afterthought. “Or at least they should be. I had them skinned alive.”
He said it so unpassionately that I involuntarily let out another gulp.
“So-so… what is it you want from me.”
He let out a smile. “Well, you’re about her height, her weight. Your hair’s a little darker, but that can be fixed. The Hyburn family hasn’t seen the princess since she was a baby. “
“Oh…” I took a step back, already realizing where this was going.
“The Hyburn castle has one of the largest treasury rooms on the continent! You’re going to help me steal it all!”
My body felt numb after hearing that statement. It sounded exciting, but also sounded very dangerous. I would have preferred another cave full of goblins. Plus, weren’t nobles in these fantasy settings always corrupt and evil? In that way, this man, Nova, I could imagine he is a bit like Robin Hood. However, I was no thief!
“Yo-you said so yourself, my deception skill is limited!”
Nova waved his hand. “Oh, I’m not saying we won’t have to get you up a few levels. I’ll personally train you in the skills you’ll need to succeed as a princess. We can work out a surefire plan of success!”
“I-I don’t have a choice, do I?”
Nova laughed at that. “Of course not. And the best part? If you ever told any of them, they’d kill you for impersonating a princess! So I know you won’t betray me.”
After a moment, I finally let out a sigh, my shoulders relaxing. I was going on in this world so far completely carefree, and now I was wrapped up in a conspiracy against a kingdom. It was a bit much for the simple girl like me to take. After collecting my thoughts for a bit, I looked up at him. Nova was extremely knowledgeable about this world. If he was going to teach me, then I could learn a lot about how things worked here. If I got nothing else out of this, at least I’d get a lot of information.
“So, what’s the next step?” I tried to put vigor into my eyes.
Nova chuckled while he moved over and flopped back into the bed. He tossed the loincloth that was covering him aside, and a second later, his very large manhood sprung to attention, causing my eyes to glue to it with desire.
“The next step is to get you out of those sexy clothes I put you in, and start teaching you how to be a real woman.”
Now that was something a girl like me understood very well.