The woman Peers called Mary let out a melodious laugh at my words, throwing back her head as she covered her mouth, even managing to make that look oddly sexual.
“Oh, my. Peers is right. You are an interesting human.”
I fought to keep the half-grin on my face from turning into a frown. I didn’t want this woman to see me being affected by her words. Rather, I felt I needed to act cool and in control of the situation at every moment. Mary continued to watch me for a few moments quietly to the point it started to worry me. What is it that she wanted with me? I considered my skills one more time. I had made the assumption that attempting to seduce Peers would end up backfiring horribly, so I hadn’t used any seduction based skills up until now.
However, now that I was being pushed into a corner, perhaps I’d need to throw out some skills. Unlike the slave traders, these Succubi didn’t have any invested interest in me outside of a potential food source. If I had to burn all my bridges, I could probably, at the very least, make myself more trouble than I’m worth. I didn’t necessarily have to drive them into killing themselves. Just backing away and letting me run.
Of course, then what? I’d be on my own again, lost in a forest with not even Min to help me. I didn’t belong with the humans of this world. I doubted whether I’d get along in the demon world, despite Reinhart’s endorsement. Therefore, I had to make things work here.
I raised my hand, a very deliberate motion. I activated the seduce ability. Mary’s smile flickered just a bit. She made an intake of breath. Had I not been looking for it, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed. However, I could see the sharpness in her eyes as the pair of us continued to stare at each other. She must have known I had used Seduce. Her eyes slowly narrowed as she watched me carefully. I dropped my hand and sighed. I had made it no secret. In essence, I showed her my cards. Now, she was going to show me hers.
A moment later, Mary’s eyes opened with a shocked expression, her mouth slightly gaping as she glanced between Peers and me.
“What are you, girl?” Mary finally demanded. “I’ve been using a very powerful charm magic on you since you first walked out that door. Any other being would be licking my boot by now, but rather than that, you actually try to use charm magic on me?”
“Charm magic!” Peers turned with a surprised look, taking a step away from me.
The expression on his face wasn’t disdain or fear like I has seen on so many humans. Instead, it seemed more like a look of curiosity. I had worried that if he knew I could seduce people, he’d accuse me of seducing him. Perhaps, for Succubi, that kind of line of thinking never even dawned on him. To these people, charm and seduction were not things to fear.
With increasing confidence, I continued to watch Mary without breaking eye contact. “I was hoping you could help me find out. I came here to find you. To find all of you… I was on my way to this colony before the slavers caught me. If you would just help-”
I took a step forward. Immediately the four guards tightened their grips, but Mary stopped them with a raise of her hand. She took a few steps forward to meet me, approaching until her body was nearly pressed against mine. Her succulent lips were only a few inches from my own. Her eyes seemed to be searching, as if she was looking for answers by observing my expression and body movements.
“What are you?” she repeated, her words seemed meant for her own thoughts. “I assumed you were human, but look at you. You even smell desirable. A week in a cell and you smell better than I do. What is going on in that mind of yours, girl?”
As she spoke, I could feel her breath against my skin. She was exceptionally attractive, and while she said I smelled good, her breath was sweet and her sweat gave off a flowery smell that was enough to weaken any man’s knees. My sexual drive was pushing in full gear just talking to this woman. While I had accepted my bisexual nature, it was usually more a matter of convenience. I enjoyed the kinship of sex with a woman, and of course, the orgasms. However, this was probably the first time a woman, through her own sexual prowess, actually started to cause me sexual excitement. I found myself fantasizing about having sex with this woman, an act I’d never particularly felt with Jenai or Min or any other attractive women I’ve met.
“I was thinking of kissing you, actually.” I answered honestly.
In fact, if I leaned forward just an inch, I would be able to take her lips right here. However, just when the temptation caused me to start leaning in, she gave a laugh, and covered her mouth again, unconsciously blocking off my attempt before I started. This time, with the pair of us so intimately close to each other, I let myself frown slightly at her interruption of our own building intimacy.
“I must ask, when you look at me, what do you see?” Mary tilted her head as she asked, giving a surprisingly cute expression on such a sultry woman.
I looked on with a confused look but continued to answer with honesty. “You’re a beautiful woman, with blonde hair ringlets and very kissable lips. Is that not what I’m supposed to see?”
Mary gave a mysterious smile. “No, it is. Perhaps things are best this way, yes?”
“Hm?” I asked for clarification.
Mary shrugged. “So, you are a woman who cannot be charmed and cannot be controlled in her dreams. You seem to hold no distaste for us, and in fact, seduce others by your very nature. It’s interesting.”
“What’s interesting?” I pushed to keep her talking more.
However, Mary didn’t seem to take the bait as she only smiled in answer. “I will tell you this, Aria. Despite being born a Succubus that can only taste the Yang of men, I’ve found some pleasure in enjoying the company of women from time to time. Perhaps we could enjoy each other’s company some time soon.”
“D-does that mean you won’t kill her?” It was Peers who suddenly spoke hopefully, ignoring Mary’s sexual provocation in exchange for potentially good news.
Mary turned her head to him and sighed. “Peers… perhaps you were still too young to be given a new source. Fortunately, your actions aren’t completely beyond your fault. Had we known this random pick up would be so… unique… we never would have assigned her to you.”
Before Peers could breath a sigh of relief, Mary continued. “However, your actions will not go unpunished. You two, take him to his room and watch him. He’ll be on house arrest until the council decides his fate.”
“But Aria…” Peers immediately tied to protest before Mary held up a hand.
“This woman will be under my care. Her future… will be left to my discretion.”
“Peers.” I broke his words with a look. “I’ll be fine. I’m sure Mary and I can come to a mutually beneficial arrangement. I will see you again. I promise.”
In truth, I didn’t know if that was true. However, I did understand that Peers no longer could help me. Rather, as Mary just stated, my future fate was dependent on her. Therefore, she was the person I needed to focus on right now. There was much I could still learn from the Succubi. She had mentioned Yang. Does that mean Yin and Yang exist in this world? Are male lifeforce and female lifeforce different? My abilities never mentioned a specificity towards one sex. This just brought up even more questions.
I considered these things as the two men guided Peers away, who left willingly while still giving me worried looks. I responded by giving him a smile I hoped looked reassuring. As the men took Peers, there was no show of force. The men didn’t handcuff him or hold his arms. Peers seemed to know these men. The entire interaction seemed more personal, like family dealing with an internal problem rather than criminal being punished as part of a system. It gave me some hope for my future in the colony. They felt like a tight-nipped group.
Once Peers was out of sight, Mary turned to me. “Shall we?”
She gestured off in a direction to the right. Since I had no knowledge of where I was, I could only nod. I found myself walking hip to hip with Mary, who reached out and grabbed my arm as we went. It might have felt like two friend walking down the street, if not for the two remaining guards on either side of us.
Also, while I called it a street, it was closer to a dusty road. The buildings weren’t anything to be impressed about, even from what I’ve grown used to in this medieval setting of a world. While the jail was made of stone, most of the buildings were constructed from scraps of wood and animal furs. Fitting in line with Mary’s outfit, I got a strong sense of a primitive tribe culture. There were only a couple dozen buildings in sight, ranging from a large complex of tents not unlike the tent I once shared with Nova to single teepee style home.
When my eyes landed on a grouping of sheep being herded on a nearby hill, I couldn’t help but speak. “You eat food?”
Mary chuckled lightly, “Of course, we eat food. Everything must eat to survive.”
I frowned slightly. “Then what is the point of-“
“Of sex?” Mary gave a playful look, and I only could respond with a polite smile and nod before she continued. “The Cambions require life energy as well. Unlike the elves, the beastman, or the demons… the Cambion origins aren’t clear. To monsters and demons, magic is life. Only humans and beastmen seem to be able to survive in the absence of magic. Other species quickly grow sick and die. The Cambions, we are similar, but we found a way to circumvent the need for magic. By drinking from the very source of life itself, we propagate, we grow, we live.”
“We don’t need it. Well, not anymore.”
“If you guys need life to live, don’t you need more people to prey on? It doesn’t look like you have enough people so that you can have one person per succubus. Do you have enough people to feed everyone?”
“You are rather curious, aren’t you?” I merely shrugged at Mary’s careful look. “You assume that we eat life energy during the process of copulation. The act of copulation is merely the point in which we harvest the life energy. We can store it. Like milking a cow, life energy can be collected and distributed. We found greater yield and greater success when a single Cambion is assigned to each person. Familiarity aids in the illusions, and synchronization aids to greater harvest.”
“And stealing this life energy, it kills them?”
Mary raises an eyebrow, “Eventually. Life force isn’t simply recovered like mana or vitality, but it recovers to an extent. The higher your vitality, the better it recovers. Repeated feedings eventually chip away at a person’s life, but I know of few humans who make it to your maximum life span anyway.”
She wasn’t wrong. In this world, most people wouldn’t make it past the age of 50. What does it matter if they shave ten years off a hundred-year life you’d likely never live. However, on the same note, it’s not like studies have been done, so whatever the long-term effects of repeatedly giving your life force, it’s probably not known for certain in this world.
“Of course…” Mary gave a sigh after watching you for a moment while stopping in front of one of the tents. “Most humans build up a resistance eventually. We rarely are able to feed on any given human for more than a few years at max. And afterwards…”
“What do you do with them afterwards?” I asked with a frown.
Mary only smiled again, gesturing me to enter the tent flap. I did so, only to find myself in a small room. It was a bit warmer than outside, to the point where I might call it slightly muggy. In the middle of the tent was a table, and laid out over that table where various items. I recognized most of it. It was all of my chemistry equipment. At first, I was confused, but then Mary grabbed a potion bottle and held it up to me.
“This, where did you get it?” Mary’s voice suddenly took on a fervent look.
I looked at the potion bottle. It was one of the cum health potions. I had created this potion on a whim using Dirk’s seed. I was trying to create a health potion from cum without mixing in any existing health potion. For whatever reason, the idea that cum itself, being a property of life, should have healing properties is something I just couldn’t shake. However, it was a bust. I didn’t get around to throwing out the bottle, but I expected it would have been destroyed by the slavers.
“You made it, right?” Mary took another step forward.
I scrunched up my face slightly before nodding. “I’m an alchemist. This is simply one of my various experiments.”
“Alchemy…” Mary said in wonder and perhaps even a tinge of reverence. “An actual alchemist. Do you have any idea what this potion means?”
Frowning, I reached over and took the potion and used analyze on it.[Vial of Seed – Rank C – Creator: Aria – Life in a vial – Quantity – Very Small]
I froze as the description crossed my vision. This wasn’t the first time I had seen this description, but at the time, I was immediately repelled by the name of the vial, assuming I’d never be able to sell it. As far as the description provided, I figured it was just a vague mention of the fact that semen produces life. In essence, I had assumed it was just magically suspended seed, possibly a means of in vitro fertilization but nothing else.
However, now that I’ve become an Enchantress, gained skills like Absorb, and have met the Succubi, the word life took on an entirely new meaning. As the implications of this potion started to sink in, Mary talked excitedly.
“We had been interested in you even before we had gone over the contents of the slave wagon. Your life force, it’s strange. Peers has fed on your numerous times, but rather than steadily becoming weaker, the more he feeds, the stronger your vitality becomes. It’s almost like you can create life within yourself. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was the council’s thought to turn you into a life host. The entire village could feed on you alone, and farm enough life to sustain us for years to come.”
I gulped, putting on a slightly worried look, yet the darker side of me couldn’t help but think that this plan sounded a bit exciting. I’d level very quickly, and if Peers was any indication, the sex would be amazing. She said it herself, I wasn’t losing life. I had my own theories on this. Likely, my sexual endurance, which amplified my endurance by five times during sex had created a sort of perpetual energy machine within my body. However, it was slightly troubling that I couldn’t even come up with a down side to being used as a town battery. My line of thought stopped as Mary continued on.
“However, our village doesn’t have access to things like potions. We’re in need of an alchemist.” Mary managed to keep her voice from sounding regretful as she spoke of the alternative, but perhaps that was just my imagination. “You are already so much like us. I feel there is much we can learn from each other. As of now, those potions won’t be able to do much, but if you could make a stronger version of that potion, you could change our very way of life. Aria… will you join our village, and perfect this recipe? The future of all Cambions depends on you.”
Her question was a bit surprising, but it was well within what I had wanted. I didn’t even hesitate when I gave my answer. I would tie my fate with these kin of mine. This would be my new future.