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“Are you good, we need to go,” Peers stated.

“Huh?” My eyes focused on what appeared to be Peers’ knees.

I glanced up at his face. He was watching me with a troubled look, but his eyes also seemed to hold a certain level of impatience. I tried to focus on Peers’ face, my eyes seemed blurry and distorted. When had I fallen to my knees? My hand went to my head, trying to wipe the obstruction from my eyes. It was moisture, tears that were blocking my vision.


“I’m fine…” I said. “I’m fine.”

{Panic Resistance has increased to LVL 5!}

Peers looked down at me doubtfully.

“I’m fine!” It was more like I was trying to convince myself of that.

My body felt numb. There was a dull pain in my heart, but it was somewhat easy to ignore. Perhaps because, somewhere in the back of my mind I didn’t accept this reality. Min had survived too much for me to assume she died so easily.

You could use Stalker and remove all doubt. My mind whispered.

I shook my head from those thoughts as Peers cautiously held out his hand. I reached up and took it as he pulled me up to a standing position. I depended heavily on the Manipulation Art and its integrated deception and acting skills in order to keep my face from showing any thing else.

“A-are you sure it was her?” My voice barely cracked as I pushed down all emotion into a tiny corner of my mind.

“It was an elf. We’re not too far from their colony, we occasionally run into elves. It’s rare, but not impossible.” Peers explained uncertainly.

I nodded in understanding. Peers had never met Min before. It was unreasonable to expect anything clearer from him. As far as her death, I didn’t believe that they intentionally killed Min. Part of me felt that Min died the second the arrow struck her. Part of me wasn’t convinced she was dead at all. Perhaps I thought I might have been angrier at them for ‘feeding’ on her, but at the moment I couldn’t bring myself to have those feeling. I had started to form such an idea of kinship with the Succubus that accusing them of killing Min felt wrong. Although, in the end, I’m their prisoner, which meant my actions were likely the thoughts of an insane woman. Well, I already knew that I was no longer sane, so this came as no surprise to me.

“Why must we leave?” I asked as I allowed Peers to lead me out of my cell for the first time since the succubus took me.

“The council has grown suspicious of my interactions with you. I had to hide our relationship as much as possible.” Peers shook his head as if talking to himself. “They won’t understand… no, if they know what you really are, they’ll take you away from me! They won’t accept us! ”

My eyebrow raised in surprise. “Us?”

Peers turned back to me, grabbing both of my hands as his face moved closer to mine. It was a sudden act that showed a tinge of desperation and desire. I had been with the man for about a week, and although at times he could come off as downright amateurish in a cute kind of way, I had never seen him act so emotional.

“Aria, I… I love you.”

You barely know me… While those were the thoughts that came to my mind, I was smart enough not to voice them.

“I love you too.” The lie came with ease; I didn’t even feel any guilt as he reacted with a glowing smile of relief on his face.

“Then, the council might tear us apart. They might… they might decide you’re too much of a danger and put you to death.”

“Then… save me, my love.” I put a hand gently on his cheek and in a swift motion took his lips.

The kiss only lasted a few seconds, but as he pulled away, he seemed slightly regretful. However, the exposure lasted the exact amount of time I wanted it too. I didn’t feel too bad that I had to manipulate him so. If my life was in danger, I was willing to do anything. How I left the slave traders had shown my resolve. Furthermore, throwing myself at him as if we were a couple eased some pain in my heart left by Min’s absence. Her death, no, I didn’t know if she was dead or not, was something best pushed aside until I was in a safe place.

Peers nodded and continued to pull me along as I followed him closely. I took a quick peek into Eva’s room as we passed, but her form was hidden under a blanket and so I wasn’t able to make out the girl I had shared this last week with. I could barely protect myself, so the idea of trying to save her was out of the question. No, I was no hero. That childish aspiration Min had put in my head was dead now.

This world was too cruel and too evil for me to even attempt to try to fix. It was far better to live selfishly and move by my own path. Heroes didn’t have the abilities I had. Trying to live up to some imaginary standard I had set for myself is the very thoughts that got us enslaved and Min subsequently killed. I would never be as naïve again. This world ate up the idealistic.

We turned a corner, passing rows and rows of cells. More of them were empty than full, and while some seemed to contain demi-humans, there were a couple that contained only vaguely human-like monsters as well. It looked like the succubus were not selective when preying on life. We approached a cell that was particularly noisy. I could hear the rhythmic squeaking sounds of a dilapidated bed being used hard.

Peers raised a finger up to his lips and I gave a small nod. The pair of us crouched, moving forward slowly. As we passed the cell, I couldn’t help myself but glance over. There was a woman butt naked bouncing up and down on her knees while riding a man lying under her. Fortunately, her back was to the cell door, and so she was looking the other way. I couldn’t see her face or the man. He had two very hairy legs sticking out and a rather large cock the occasionally flashed from between her thighs. The woman’s ass was near perfect, and she shook it as she bounced up and down on his cock with enthusiasm.

It was likely, for all intent and purposes, the scene of a succubus feeding on a prisoner. As I focused on the scene, I could almost see something rising out of the man and entering the woman. Was this some embodiment of life? It didn’t look the same as magic, which as my magic sense rose started to take on a physical thread-like appearance. This rather looked like a cloud.

{Life Sense has increased to LVL 1!}

I nearly tripped over myself. It had been ages since I had last added a skill to my abilities. The “life” being pulled from the man became even more tangible as I gained the skill. To a small extent, I even felt like I could get a grasp for how much lifeforce was being taken. Perhaps this ability could be used along with my new skills?

There was a tug on my arm as Peers shot me a look. I shrugged shyly and continued forward. It was a scene I would have continued watching in earnest or even offered to join during normal circumstances. Now was not the time. I sighed that I’d not be able to play with my newly earned skill a little more.

We had finally made it out of the cell area. The location, despite being a prison, seemed surprisingly free of security. There appeared to be no second lock keeping prisoners from leaving. Well, one could consider the illusions and dream magic to already be the prison. In that respect, the cells were merely there as a formality. People like me who could break the illusion were few and far in between. If anything, this prison was more like a mess hall then a means of keeping people prisoner. It was no wonder they didn’t try to make the place any bleaker than they had to.

Lost in my thoughts, I ran smack face into Peers back before I stopped my steps. He had stopped just as he took the step out the front door. His hands reached behind and grabbed me, holding on tight as he took a step back before stopping with a sigh. As, I tried to get a look around his back to see what had stopped his movements, someone in front of him spoke up.

“Well, Peers, it seems that you have decided to go against the council’s will after all.” The voice was female, a smooth, attractive voice that seemed curved with seduction.

“Mary, f-fancy meeting you here.” Although Peers’ voice tried to come out casual, it broke, displaying the reservation and fear buried underneath.

I looked to the side, peaking out from behind Peers and finally getting a look at what I had to work with. There were five people there. It was a woman and four men that were dressed in armor. It wasn’t the fine armor I had seen on knights. Rather, it looked like a makeshift of random crap put together. It looked like it had been looted. Some of it was rusted, some of it was fine, and it was all held together with strings. Yet, for all intent and purposes, their blades were still sharp, and it didn’t matter to me how well this militia was dressed, I didn’t have a chance either way.

The woman standing in the middle was wearing very erotic clothing, or perhaps it’s better to say she was wearing an erotic lack of clothing. Her enormous chest was barely covered with a top that looked like a leather bikini. Her bottom had two sheets of dark brown cloth, one in the back and one in front, tied together around her hips with a single string. As to her hips, they were completely exposed, the sheets only just covering her nether regions, the roundness of her ass and pelvis visible from the side.

In short, she was dressed like an erotic depiction of a savage or wild woman. However, where women in her garb were typically depicted as darker skinned, with deep tans, she had extremely fair skin that seemed impossible in this sun. As to the sun beating down on us right now, it seemed like the snow was gone. In the week or so I was locked up the weather must have started changing to spring. I was a little surprised at today’s warmth and wondered if her erotic garb was weather specific or not.

The woman herself was incredibly beautiful. She had large ringlets of golden blond hair that ran down her back and chest. They seemed to outline and bring attention to her breasts even more. Her face was doll-like. Her lips were red and pursy, her eyes a deep purple that I’ve never seen on a human before. In short, she was exceptionally attractive. Had I seen her before I had accepted my own bisexuality, she’d be the type of girl I’d talk poorly about behind her back, making spiteful comments that she must be a slut while secretly being jealous of how she managed to pull of that appearance. Of course, that was the old me. The current me merely appreciated her body and wanted to get more familiar with it.

Her guards were also incredibly attractive men as well, although they all had various discrepancies, too many muscles or too large a chin to the point where I’d call Peers more attractive. These men were merely supermodel hunks where Peers felt like he was carved just for me. I distantly thought whether this had something to do with illusion, but right now I had more important things to focus on.

In particular, the incredibly attractive leader’s eyes snapped to me the instant my head came out from behind Peers. She gave a smile that looked predatory. However, I couldn’t tell if it was threatening look or seductive one.

“Well, aren’t you a pretty one…” She said to herself.

I didn’t know how to respond. Given her supermodel physique, I couldn’t tell if this comment was meant to be complimentary or derogatory. Without any more options, I took a step out behind the flustered Peers, straightening my shoulders and pulling on my deception, seduction, and every other skill I had acquired since coming to this world. The only thing I knew for certain was that I couldn’t show weakness at this point. I had to be strong. I had to go on the all-out offensive.

“You’re not so bad looking yourself,” I replied with a smirk. “Perhaps we should take this conversation somewhere more private?”

Well, I attacked in the only way I know how.

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