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Melinda’s destination ended up being her own estate. She had summoned a carriage, and it took about ten minutes before reaching a small mansion on the outskirts of the capital city. Min gave me desperate and confused looks, but I merely shrugged and smiled. It was strange to have Min along with me in public, but after spending so much time with her, I found her presence to be very soothing and calming. I felt happy knowing that she would have my back.
The mansion of the Fry estate was impressive, and I found myself marveling at the way nobles lived as we were taken to her study. Although compared to the mansion I had gone to the night before, it’d be considered small, it had a decadent and simple form, and it looked a lot more livable than the sex mansion.
As Melinda offered Min and me refreshments, Destine and Mary were brought in as well. When their eyes met mine, they whitened a little, and the pair turned away, looking nervous. Melinda stared at the pair’s actions with falcon-like eyes and a small frown.
“You two girls wouldn’t be succumbing to rumors again, would you?”
The two girls stiffened at her words, and after a moment they let out sighs and faced us again. It ended up being Mary who spoke up first.
“That is… the rumors this time seem to be reputable, and…”
“And they’re true.” Melinda shrugged. “Cornelia told me herself what happened.”
The two girls made surprised noises and gave me a look until I turned my head in mock shame.
“But, wouldn’t you want to hear the truth from your friend, rather than silly rumors?”
“Ah, that’s true…” Destine said like she was letting out steam.
“We were going to! It’s just, we haven’t had the time to think about it-“ Mary started.
“And that’s probably a good thing!” Melinda interrupted. “Less you end up forming conclusions.”
“Right…” The two girls lowered their heads and sat down, properly chastised by the force of Melinda once again.
“So, now that I’ve got us all here, why don’t you explain yourself?” Melinda gave a nod to me, giving me the opportunity to talk.
Part of me was thankful that she did this for me. I understood that she was supporting me in her own way. She wanted me to be able to get over it and to do that, I needed the support of other women my age. As fondly as I thought of Destine and Mary, we’d only known each other a few weeks and they had no real incentive to want to stay my friends; they had no reasons to doubt some of the things they heard about me.
However, I also understood that I was a bit of a sexual deviant, and if they truly knew what I had been up to that previous night, I might lose more than just their respect. However, as I looked into Melinda’s eyes as she gave me a reassuring smile, I couldn’t help but speak honestly. Well, at least as honest as I was willing to go.
Simply put, I admitted to going to the party. Julian had invited me and insisted my husband-to-be would be going, and after seeing my future husband with Sylvia, I told them I wanted to see what he was up to. I didn’t want to feel apart from the rest of the royal family, so I took on the offer.
I didn’t give details on how many men I’d been with, but I mentioned the dungeon and how I ended up seeing the little girl. They laughed when they heard how I had sent Sylvia crying. And when I revealed to them that the king was planning on de-flowing a ten-year-old girl, they made the appropriate noises of disgust. I didn’t mention Devon, but I did tell them I had found someone to help the ten-year-old escape. When the story was done, Min and Melinda merely nodded, both having heard most of it before.
However, the other two girls remained silent for a bit until Mary broke the silence. “You’re a hero!”
“Eh?” I made a stupid noise as she suddenly looked at me with adoring eyes.
That was not what I was expecting them to say. Although their expressions seemed to suggest I was being silly for thinking they would reject me that was a far cry between looking at me with admiration.
Destine nodded as she spoke. “To think that is what happened. I can’t believe the King would strike his own future daughter-in-law, but I am glad to hear I picked you well as a friend.”
I tried to protest the girls, to let them know that my behavior was far from admirable. However, they seemed to be focused on the wrong things. The fact I was at the party and engaging in sex with unknown men seemed to be lost on them next to the story of me standing up to a king and saving a young girl. As I tried to get them to realize the truth about me, Melinda pinched my side and I turned to look at her with a pained expression.
“Just let the girls see things their own way,” Melinda whispered. “They’ll work things out on their own, but at the end of it, you’re still you.”
I sighed as I looked at Min nodding in agreement next to her. When did Min and Melinda suddenly end up on the same team? Either way, I relinquished and allowed the girls to come to their own conclusions about my actions, even if they seemed to be twisted into some kind of action figure saving a young Maiden from a cruel King. The fact that the man was their King seemed to be lost in the fantasy of it all.
“However!” Melinda suddenly spoke up. “I didn’t bring you all here to discuss the rumors surrounding Cornelia. No… we are here for a much more interesting purpose.”
I looked up in surprise, and so did the other two girls. We had all assumed that we were simply here to support each other even while the rumors were flying all over the castle. Besides enjoying some tea, cookies, and talk, I had no clue what else we ever did.
“You, elf girl, they call you Min, yes?” Melinda’s finger suddenly pointed at Min, and I had to fight the urge to put myself between the two as Min’s eyes widened.
“Mm…” Min responded simply.
“You’re also the one who makes all of Cornelia’s dresses, right?”
Min’s eyes furrowed, but after a second she nodded a second time. Meanwhile, Melinda nodded while the rest of us merely wore confused looks.
“Would you be willing to make the rest of us dresses? We’ll pay you, of course… but I’m bored with the local seamstresses and was hoping to find something new.”
“Melinda!” I said in an admonishing tone.
I wasn’t sure if I was upset or not. I saw Min as something closer than a slave, so having someone treat her like a servant for hire bothered me slightly. However, she offered to pay so I guess that was more like asking to hire a craftsman. Before I could decide how I felt about it, Min gave me a look and then nodded to Melinda.
“Oh, I wanted one of those nightgowns, a sexy one like you make for Cornelia!” Mary spoke up excitedly.
Before I knew it, Min was taking measurements of the three women who were dressed down in their underwear. I admitted to taking a few peeks before Min noticed and threw me a dark look. I spent the remainder of the time turned away from the women, although they couldn’t understand why I was looking the other direction.
In the end, I had to listen to three almost naked women giggling and talking while I pretended to be interested in the artwork Melinda had hung on the wall. Min had it wrong though. It wasn’t like I was sexually attracted to my friends. I’m more interested in men anyway, and while I can enjoy a female body, it’s not like it would turn me on by itself like a male body could. If they were three men in their underwear talking and laughing, I’d find it considerably more tempting.
Don’t get me wrong, if one of the girls was naked and fingering herself while moaning my name, yeah, I could see myself growing excited, but I could look at myself in my underwear any day, and being attracted to women as a woman didn’t necessarily strike me in the same way as a man might find a woman attractive. Simply put, my sexual attraction for women didn’t work that way.
No, the reason I wanted to peek was more for the sake of comparison. I could guess how our bodies compared, but I never really got a good view of them and if I wanted to understand this world’s standard of beauty, I needed more examples. Min treating me like a horn dog was just completely unfair.
When the girls finally finished placing their orders and being measured, I finally turned back around and moved over to Min. I moved close to her as she continued to scribble on some paper with a pen and ink that Melinda had provided for her.
“Are you sure this is okay?” I asked Min quietly.
Min looked to make sure no one was listening in before whispering back, “Mm… need money for after.”
I stared blankly for a moment until I understood what she meant. She was, of course, correct. I wouldn’t remain a princess forever, and when Nova was finally defeated and the pair of us were free to go our way, we would suddenly find ourselves in the need of money. In those few words, Min had suggested she was saving money in order to support me once we were out of this situation. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this. I lived in a world where both the man and wife worked, and I didn’t feel great about being supported by Min. I then realized those thoughts were accepting Min as my wife, so I pushed them away and joined the women as they chatted.
“… saved the entire village,” Mary was explaining.
“Who saved what?” I asked, joining the conversation a bit late, but needing the distraction.
“Ah…” Melinda spoke up. “Mary was just suggesting you might not be the only hero in the kingdom.”
“Hero? You mean like the one who defeated the Demon King?” I asked, suddenly very interested in what they were talking about.
“Oh, no.” Mary shook her head. “Nothing so grand as that kind of hero. However, there was a band of adventurers who protected a village that was attacked by bandits.”
“Bandits? Like the Bandit King Nova?” I frowned, taking my experience with Bandits.
Melinda barked a laugh. “As if adventurers could have repelled a Bandit King. That village would have been ashes if it was anyone so organized. Just a random grouping of bandits. Probably trying to get in good with one of the Bandit Kings.”
“The King may honor them,” Destine broke in.
“Ah, yes… another knighting perhaps.” Melinda shrugged. “Classic move to push aside unrest. Raise a commoner up to lower nobility, hand him some farmland, send him away, and the people have a hero and the belief that they too could become noble if they fight hard enough.”
“Eh?” Mary had a tight face. “My family became nobles this way…”
Melinda sighed. “I mean nothing by it, dear, I’m not speaking badly against the nobles who rose the ranks. Just ignore my silly meanderings.”
That seemed to be enough to satiate Mary, and her face loosened. I was considering what they were talking about. Being a noble seemed to put you in a hard place. In the end, you were basically dependent on the decisions of the King, but you didn’t always agree with them. For example, these girls knew that most of the nobles in the city went to these sex parties, and every day they had to pretend that this sort of thing didn’t happen, feeding into the illusions they didn’t agree with.
Either way, another person being knighted had very little to do with me. I still didn’t know where I stood in the royal family after this day. Would the king still treat me the same way even after hitting me? I assumed that my relationship with Julian and Gregory was basically over, but how about Richard? Would he continue to treat me indifferently after we had sex? How would he react after having seen me the previous night?
“There was one last thing I brought you all here for,” Melinda spoke with a smile, then waved a hand at a servant who was attending nearby.
She bowed and then left the room. The rest of us voiced our questions, but Melinda merely smiled like a cat in the cage with a bird until the door opened again. Two men suddenly walked into the room, and I instantly recognized the pair.
“Sandor! Pratter!” I spoke up while standing before I could help myself.
“Ah, there she is!” Sandor spoke up, holding his arms out. “The genius that revolutionized our business.”
I went up and gave him a hug. He patted me on the back affectionately. I went and hugged Pratter as well, although he acted considerably more shyly, holding his arms around a box to his side and only giving me a nod and a smile until I pulled away.
“So, what are you guys doing here?” I asked.
“That is…” Sandor gave Melinda a nod. “Your friend here has been using your name. You haven’t stopped by our place recently, and we’ve been meaning to speak with you since our last meeting.”
I turned back and gave Melinda a look, but she shrugged unapologetically. “Well, it seemed to me that you basically invented the sex toy industry in this nation, you should be privy to some of the benefits.”
“Benefits?” I asked.
“Ah, right!” Sandor snapped and Pratter put a box on the tea table, which the servants had quickly cleared. “Our business was always decent, but after you gave use the idea of selling sex toys, the business has exploded. We have requests left and right, from dozens of nations. We’re going to be opening up stores in the capitals of other countries. And perhaps most importantly, we have been offered seats in the Merchant’s Guild. That’s the highest honor for a merchant to achieve! And I must say, it’s all thanks to you…”
Melinda waved her hand. “Get on with it. We’re not growing any younger.”
Sandor shot Melinda a wry look and then turned back to me. “Well, if you ever need anything from us, we’ll be happy to help. Orders, transport, you name it. However, the reason we came out today, upon Melinda’s suggestion, we wanted to show you some of our next-generation sex toys!”
“So that box then…” I looked down at the box on the table and twisted my mouth.
“Ah, yes, well the stuff we sent you was just our first-generation stuff. We figured we could do better, so we wanted you to see what we came up with.”
He began reaching into the box and pulling out small vials of stuff. I glanced down at the vial pressed into my hand. Since everyone else was uncorking it, I popped the lid off of mine and smelled it. It had a sweet fruity smell.
“These are?” Destine asked. ” It smells like a peach.”
“Ah, those are lubricant. After I heard tell of the male enhancement potions going around town, it gave me the idea to use a nonmagical lubricant that tastes and smells pleasing.”
The girls all made surprised and eager noises. “This would make it taste a lot more agreeable when I’m…”
Mary couldn’t finish that line, turning into a pile of blushes.
“You know.” Melinda chuckled. “Those potions are made exclusively by Cornelia…”
This time it was Sandor and Pratter’s turns to exclaim in surprise, “You created the potions too? Incredible! If you could give me the recipe, I’ll pay you handsomely!”
“Ah, that…” I gave a smile as I corked the lube and handed it back. “Family secret?”
He seemed to want to push more, going so far as to sign an exclusivity deal, but eventually, a word from Melinda got him to back down.
“Those lubricants are oil, aren’t they?” I asked.
“Yes, I do use oil in them.” Pratter confirmed with a nod.
“That means when they experience friction they can create heat. It can be uncomfortable during high friction and can even cause your condoms to rip. That’s why most lubricant where I come from is water-based.”
“Ah… a water-based lubricant, you say?” Pratter scratched his chin.
“Wait, what is a condom?” Sandor demanded.
This is how I ended up explaining condoms to the group. I believed that the old-day condoms were made from sheepskin or something. I said everything I understood about the process.
“Hmm… it’s an interesting idea. Prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease during sex.” Sandor nodded. “But magic can already keep a woman from getting pregnant and any healer could take care of most diseases. The priestess even offers free birth prevention spells at the local temple once a week. They last for a month. However, if a woman misses her spell, she’d have to wait for the next time. I know a lot of pregnancies that occurred because the woman forgot or couldn’t wait until the next time the temple opened. Perhaps I could find a market for these. Of course, we’d have to develop them first.”
We finished passing around and tasting the lube. Mary was the most interested, actually tilting the vial and drinking some instead of just sticking her finger in, leaving us all laughing at the look on her face.
The next item turned out to be the one I was most interested in, the prosthetic penis. Although it didn’t look much different from the standard strap-on, they claimed that it could be put on and would ultimately emulate a penis perfectly for the wearer. It used illusion magic to make it look real and even became erect or softened based on the arousal of the wearer. However, before I could grab the thing, Min picked it up.
I asked him if I could buy it now, and he waved his hands. “I wasn’t lying dear, you could order whatever you want. Take the whole box with you if you want, it still wouldn’t be enough to even out how much you’ve done for us.” Sandor smiled.
“In many ways.” Pratter’s eyes twinkled.
Fortunately, the other girls were distracted playing with magical restraints he had brought out and didn’t notice our conversation as Min pocketed the fake penis. However, I was getting the sense that the introduction of sex toys had done more than make the couple rich. I think their own sex lives had improved as well.
The magical restraints were interesting simply because they were magical. That meant they could change length, tighten, or strengthen based on the will of the user. This reminded me of Min’s sexy dress which I had abandoned at the meeting. I mentioned the dress in part to Sandor and Pratter, and before long, they were also placing an order with Min to create a few prototypes, although they’d be a lot tamer than mine.
We were also shown a dildo that could lengthen and widen based on the user’s will, which included a throbbing mode that certainly tempted me. I ended up adding that to my collection. The box also included a prostate stroker, a specially made vibrator that could easily reach that certain area. The girls didn’t get it, but by the way Pratter and Sandor looked at it, I suspected they had gotten quite a bit of use out of one just like it.
There was a ring that told the user when they were starting their period. All four of us demanded one, but as their benefactor, I got the only one they had brought with them. I put it on my finger as the other girls gave me jealous looks, even Min. They also had some nipple clamps which shot out a little electricity. I had seen the things at the sex club so they must have already been selling them. The other girls were not even remotely interested in it.
The last item was the equivalent of a vagina pump. They had a penis pump as well. I hadn’t suggested the existence of either of the items earlier, so Pratter had come up with this design on his own. Essentially, it was a cup you put over your sexual organs, and it would create a sucking feeling by vacuuming out air. Many people had the belief that penis pumps were there to increase the size of a guy’s penis, however, they didn’t likely work that way. Instead, they existed mostly to fulfill a sexual stimulus that some people must enjoy.
I had forgotten these existed in my world, and frankly, I struggled to see the appeal. However, Melinda had quickly shown interest in it and had forked over several gold coins to buy the one they had. Unlike me, the other girls had to pay.
The evening drew to a close as we went through Pratter and Sandor’s mobile stock of toys. I had taken Pratter aside and discussed a few more ideas, including the creation of a whip. I didn’t sugarcoat the fact that I was not only looking for a toy whip but also a weapon. He said they usually wouldn’t, but because it was me, they’d look into it.
As our night wore on, our tea had transitioned to wine, and we joked, told stories, and played around until the evening. Min wasn’t really part of most of it, but like when we were in my bedroom, she stayed off to the side and watched after me. Surprisingly, she had also managed to get Pratter’s ear, and the two had discussed something in private.
However, when I tried to get her to talk, she merely put her finger to her mouth and said, “Secret.”
Her look was cute enough that I couldn’t bring myself to force it out of her, so I figured I’d have to wait. As it started to get dark, I finally got over the fear of going back to the castle. Spending a day away from the castle after the previous night had been a good idea. I felt rejuvenated now, and I felt like I was more equipped to deal with whatever the King and other nobles threw at me. I still had Min and Reinhart, and even to an extent Devon, so I could make it.
Melinda gave me a reassuring nod, and I felt relieved that I had run into a woman as caring and supportive as her. I had never gotten along well with my mother, so in a way, she felt like a mom to me. I gave each of the three a hug and got back into the carriage with Min, who had also taken enough wine that her cheeks were glowing red.
The trip back to the castle was uneventful, but when I opened the door into my dark room, I saw a figure standing there. They were cloaked and immediately suspicious-looking. I almost turned to call for a guard, but when they turned, I saw under their hood and gasped in recognition. I knew the person in front of me.