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Naturally, just by gaining a single level in Enchantment, I didn’t suddenly become able to enchant items at will. Rather, Peers informed me the next day that I would now have to dedicate half of my workday to an apprenticeship with Crish. The council had seen Crish’s success in creating a self-warming fabric and wanted me to further help him develop enchanted items to improve their quality of life. As a result, I found my days significantly restricted, sex with Peers being relegated to a morning quickie before I had to work on potions for half the day and the enchanting apprenticeship for the other half.

Of course, calling it an apprenticeship was laughable at best, since Crish had no greater understanding of Enchanting than I did. In fact, most of the time involved trying to translate and fill in the holes in Crish’s Enchantment instruction booklet. I also had to regurgitate everything I could remember about geometry and trigonometry in order to give Crish a crash course in high school mathematics. The total amount of information I could provide turned out to be limited in nature. I would have killed for a math textbook at that point and time.

So far, I had managed to create an Enchantment that allowed me to keep potions warm  or cold during the mixing process as a form of temperature control. It wasn’t much, but even a hotplate could help me when working on potion extractions. The council seemed to be happy with my progress so far, so I didn’t want to disappoint them. Besides the life potions that they craved the most, I also made sure to practice creating other potions as well.

A steady supply of health and mana potions were well received in the colony, and the Cambions were able to put up a bit more effort as a result. Hunts could be a little more dangerous knowing that minor repairs could quickly be healed, and mana users weren’t as afraid to exhaust themselves knowing they could take from the growing stock of refreshing potions I was providing at no cost. I also started trying to make poisons. Although the recipes the Cambions had access to were limited, they still could be used to help the hunters in incapacitating larger prey.

The creation that went over especially well for Cambions was unexpectedly, or perhaps most expectedly, the sex potions I had developed under Reinhart. Of course, the Cambions liked the skin lotion, but it was the vial of minor male enhancement lubrication that was most popular. It seemed the feeders got great use out of it. I had even managed to remake and perfect a recipe for the vial of sexual arousal, which I no longer feared with my charmless skill. It was also highly requested as well, even though the recipe required somewhat rare ingredients.

I considered the harsh reality that it was likely being used to help coerce the Cambion’s livestock. I had mixed feelings on helping them improve their capacity to manipulate and rape men and women. Peers had let slip that the arousal potion was used on a certain more resistive person to make her more amendable to their feeding. I instantly knew they were talking about Eva. I tried to tell myself that by increasing her arousal and sexual satisfaction from the exchange, that I was, in a small way, improving her life. However, even I couldn’t swallow that lie too much, which is exactly why I doubled down on working on my potions craft.

Two weeks passed by quickly by the time I finally managed to create my first moderate strength life potion. It required a great deal of distilling and concentrating various herbs to create a more powerful concoction. In reality, it used about ten times the ingredients of the previous vial, but it also boosted the vitality the same amount. In the grand scheme of things, it might seem like little difference if someone had to drink 10 weak vials compared to one moderate vial, but if I wanted to convince the Cambions to change, I needed to make it as convenient as possible.

{Vial of Moderate Seed – Rank A – Creator: Aria – Life in a vial – Quantity – Moderate}

Of course, it hadn’t simply been this potion that had advanced over that period. Ever since classing up and having the time to repeatedly work on crafts, my skills started to surge forward again as well.

{Sexual Arts has increased to Level 21.}

{Enchantment has increased to Level 3.}

{Poison Making has increased to Level 2.}

{Magic Sense has increased to Level 5.}

{Life Sense has increased to Level 3.}

{Mana Alchemy has increased to Level 6.}

{Manipulation has increased to Level 18.}

Other than the distillation, it was perhaps my rising Mana Alchemy that allowed me to overcome the barrier and create a moderate Vial of seed. By imbuing the vial with enchantress mana, it was bringing out the maximum amount of life. Understand life force was a difficult concept to grasp, and not one the Cambions were good at teaching, even though they fed off it to live. Expecting Cambions to understand life energy would be like expecting a person who eats food to understand sugar metabolism. However, my life sense was growing despite the fact I had no prior world reference to understand it. This likely meant that Life Sense was a core skill of Enchantress.

I held the vial up in front of Peers eyes proudly, “This… can you make the request now?”

Peers’ reaction was a bit awkward, reaching behind his neck and scratching before sighing. “I can make the request, but I can’t guarantee they’ll say yes.”

“Asking is enough for now.” I respond, trying to give him a slightly provocative smile to ease his tension.

Peers chuckled as he reached out and grabbed the vial before looking at it for a few moments and shaking his head. “I can feel the life force here. It’s about enough to replace a single feeding from a decent stock. However, your idea of replacing the feeders. Many here have old ideas, and will resist this sort of change.”

“Just get me in with the council, I’ll make the pitch.” I explained.

Although I was acting very confident with Peers, I didn’t feel remotely close to it. In fact, I was secretly freaking out. Mary made the day-to-day simple decisions, but it was the council who had the ultimate say on everything. On top of that, I had never met them before and knew very little about the Cambions even after being here for a few weeks. I’d seen a few more Cambions beyond Peers and Crish, but they were still somewhat shy and remained at a distance.

Peers merely nodded and sighed. “Why don’t you head to Crish, I’ll show this to Mary and see if I can get you in with the council. Alright?”

“Thanks, you’re the best.” I leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss on the lips before pulling back with a blush.

He gave a wink and smile before he turned away, walking out of the tent. Once he left out of sight the blush immediately left my cheeks and my flirtatious smile disappeared. It wasn’t even something I consciously did anymore. Had Peers burst back into the tent, the mask would have reasserted itself in an instant. In the same way that the Cambions had to use illusions and dreams to manipulate, I also had my own façade. That was most likely the reason Manipulation was increasing. I was pretty confident that Peers was as he appeared, a simple, laid back guy with concerns about family and his own place in it. However, I knew that he preferred someone a little shy and coquettish, so I naturally filled the part.

At that point, I realized that he had left without me. That was the first time I was left on my own without an escort between tents. Knowing Peers, this had likely been done thoughtlessly as he concentrated more on what he was going to say to Mary to get me my appointment. However, I really was done working in the potion tent for today and Crish was likely waiting on me. If I waited here alone for several hours until someone fetched me, I’d feel like a fool later.

Thus, I took my first step out of the tent. As much as I enjoyed Peers’ company, and I still had the slight giddiness of an early relationship euphoria, after spending nearly every waking moment for 2 weeks with Peers’, even the novelty of a fresh fuck was starting to wear thin. Being outside unsupervised felt incredibly refreshing. I stretched out as I walked toward Crish’s tent, allowing the sun which was becoming more dominant as spring set in to wash over me.

One advantage of the Cambion colony being quite small was the fresh air. The city smelled quite bad, especially given the fantasy-like lack of indoor plumbing and such. Here, the air was clean, the sun was bright, and I was starting to feel a bit good about myself.

As I had my hands stretched out while standing in the middle of the road with my eyes closed, a hand suddenly slapped my butt. My first thought was that Peers came back, but Peers wasn’t the kind of guy who slapped my ass or talked dirty for that matter. He was too laid back and gentle to get rough with me. Therefore, I immediately glared back with a dark look to search for someone who’d dare sexually assault me in broad daylight.

However, when I turned, there was no one behind me. My eyes snapped around in confusion until a sudden giggle brought my eyes down. As if he was looking to stay just long enough to get caught, a small boy suddenly jumped around me, and with a single wave of his hands, pulled up my skirt with enough force that the wind took in the rest of the way. In high school, I usually wore jeans, so wearing skirts was something I wasn’t fully used to. Plus, growing up in the modern era, even those kinds of pranks were treated extremely seriously.

As a result, I had never experience the so-called skirt flip, and my mind could only stare in blank confusion as my skirt went up, revealing everything underneath. The boy stared wide eyed at my unmentionables. I stared with a confused look at the boy. When my skirt finally fluttered back down, that was the point when I finally put two and two together.

Mental Fortitude inhibited any sense of actual shame, so my body didn’t consciously react to having my skirt flipped. Furthermore, since it was something I never experienced before and I was caught off guard, even my acting skill failed to react in time. However, as my brain caught up and I realized this boy was being mischievous, my face immediately turned red. My hands started shaking and I took a violent step forward.

“Why you…” I growled lowly, immediately readying myself to throttle the boy.

The boy himself had seemed to freeze at the sight, forgetting to run until my words broke him from his trance. He let out a high pitch squeal, recovering from his successful attack only to spin around and run away. Before I could move to chase, a second person ran right next to me. As my eyes suspiciously turned to them, I realized it was a cute little girl about the same age as the boy. She immediately bowed her head.

“I’m sorry, miss, the other boys dared him and my friend is not very bright. Please forgive him this once.” The little girl pleaded innocently.

She was such a sweet girl, that my heart immediately went out to her. It was clear at sight that she liked the boy. She seemed flushed as if she had been chasing him all day cleaning up after his mischievousness. It certainly was tough for this childhood crush.

I bent over and gave her a gentle smile and a pat on the head. “It’s fine, dear, go on and play with your friend.”

The girl nodded before hesitating and glancing down at my skirt for a second and then back at me. “You should probably wear underwear too, or the men will look down on you and you’ll never find a husband!”

With that, she turned around and ran off, chasing after the boy who had already disappeared into a nearby brush. I wiped away the wrinkle in my forehead over the girl’s misguided comment and borderline slut-shaming and gave a sniff.

“If he didn’t want to see a woman in all her glory, he shouldn’t be flipping skirts.” I muttered.

The angry expression I had immediately dissipated. Having my skirt flipped had done nothing for me. I had experienced no shame and no humilation. While Mental Fortitude was likely the only reason my mind hadn’t broken in this world, it still had many setbacks as well. I wouldn’t even consider a boy flipping my skirt to be a sexual thing, yet Mental Fortitude had kicked in anyway. Was it becoming stronger with the class up? That didn’t seem right, but the alternative, that I found a ten year old boy peaking at my privates sexual… was a more disturbing option. I marched off to Crish’s tent with one more worry added to my list.

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