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“I’ve finished with her wounds, you can come in now.” I sighed, laying back.

Jerard burst into the room and immediately walked up to Rosetta. “Rosetta! You’re alright.”

Rosetta was deliberately avoiding looking over at me, but she couldn’t stop the pink from forming on her cheeks. “Y-yes, of course!”

Jerard smiled in relief as the other girls piled in behind him. He sat next to her bed and grabbed her hand in a reassuring way. Meanwhile, I also avoided looking at Rosetta. Well, it wasn’t like I was bothered by having to use Cat’s Meow. Perhaps that big gash on her leg shouldn’t be so high up, but with Mental Resistance firing, I felt fine. However, it would have been nice if it did bother me just a little. That would have at least meant that I didn’t see putting my head between Rosetta’s legs and licking as something sexual.

Regrettably, my skills couldn’t lie to me. I got enough out of licking Rosetta’s legs that Mental Resistance cut in. So much for convincing myself this was purely professional. At the end of it all, I had to accept that I was a pervert in one way or another.

“I’ll be heading to my tent then,” I said.

Jerard barely nodded as his eyes were focused on his injured friend. However, I felt Rosetta’s eyes on my back as I left the tent. We were now in the area immediately outside the labyrinth. As labyrinths posed a real danger, there was a small grouping of soldiers stationed in the area to act as an early warning system. With that came merchants who wished to sell stuff to the traveling adventurers. The tent where we were stationed was a traveling healer, but there was also a makeshift bar and blacksmith for light repairs. Even though it was only about a five-hour journey to the town, sometimes that journey was too dangerous without a stop or rest.

“Ahhhh!” A small boy collapsed to the ground, a man behind him whipping the boy.

I glanced over at them. The boy had a collar around his neck just like the other slaves. It looked a bit like mine, except cheaper and more decrepit.

“Move!” The slave trader shouted. “Get up! Get up!”

He lifted the whip, ready to bring it down on the boy’s back. A woman ran over, throwing her herself around the boy. The whip struck her face instead.

“Naaaa…” She let out a cry as she weakly held the boy.

“Mother, no!” The boy under her cried out.

“You fucking whore!” The trader grew angrier.

The woman was pretty and likely had the potential to sell well. Giving her a scar on her face devalued her. The trader was basically angry at himself for damaging his profits, but he’d never say that out loud. Instead, he had both the mother and child pulled to the side and stripped down to their privies. Each one received five lashings on the back. A few adventurers or merchants watched, but this was mostly ignored by everyone.

I turned around and left with a forced smile on my face. It wasn’t my problem. It was only when I made it back to the small tent we had rented earlier when I realized that this behavior was different then what I once did. There was a time I would have run forward and taken her place. There was a time I would have seduced the slaver to go lenient on them or tried to buy them, using my body as the price. However, I realized that I didn’t care, and I wasn’t bothered by it at all.

This world, it was changing me into somebody I no longer recognized. Life wasn’t as important to me as it once was. Having lost so many people along the way, perhaps I was growing callous. Even earlier, I thought nothing of running that ogre through the neck. He looked at me with loving eyes, and I felt nothing. I wasn’t creeped out at his adoration. In fact, it felt normal to be looked at that way.

Thankfully, no one had seen me use my abilities. The group had retreated a distance by the time I slew the ogre. They found it difficult to believe I had killed it, especially when I wasn’t opened to details on explaining how. They summed it up to be pure luck as if the ogre had fallen on my blade by accident. Well, for all intent and purposes, he had. However, I wasn’t up to making up some kind of story, so as far as they were concerned, it was a serendipitous event.

As for my leveling, I didn’t even read the options that were given to me. I selected no instantly, locking myself out of making a choice. It would only tempt me to gain another special skill. I had over 40 special skills already, and yet none of it really made me all that powerful. Even if I selected another skill that I wanted, I didn’t think it could be as useful as evolving. If evolving turned out to be impossible, then I always had the point for my next level. And so, I sat in the tent with my status screen floating in front of me.

“What should I pick, seriously.”

I could pick something seemingly strong, making it even more powerful. Or, I could pick something somewhat weak, hoping it becomes more useful in its next manifestation. There was the celestial whip, except that I was training with the sword now. Then again, if I leveled the celestial whip, would it become the celestial sword? Maybe something like that was possible. See? It wasn’t that easy selecting the ability I wanted to evolve.

Leveling up has become exceedingly slow. I convinced myself I didn’t need to level anymore, but perhaps a skill that amplified my experience would help? Wait… there was one thing that I wanted to try. When Masochism became BDSM, I gained control over a skill that was previously uncontrollable. Originally, all I could do was accept the extreme pleasure delivered by pain, causing me to nearly lose it at times from extreme sexual lust. Now, I could simply ignore the pain if I so chose. That was a very powerful change that imprinted on me deeply.

So, if an evolution of a passive skill made it controllable in the past, perhaps it could work again. The thing that hurt me the most, I felt, was the same thing that kept me alive the longest. Mental Fortitude was a skill that allowed me to resist all the horrifying things I experienced during sex. If I evolved it, maybe I’d have the ability to turn it off and on. That would be deeply helpful. Acting was like second nature to me now, but there were plenty of times when I couldn’t act. Situations where it took too long to react, for example. If I could have mastery over my mind, then perhaps I could finally start to feel human again.

“Very well, let’s do it!” I said to myself.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the best choice. Leveling up my mental fortitude would allow me to feel human again. Perhaps, I’d care about that slave boy and his mom. Perhaps I’d care more about the formation of adventurers I put in jeopardy. As I evolved on this path, I think it only fitting that my mental abilities evolved as well.

I concentrated on putting my point into mental fortitude. Instantly, I felt a surge of strength not unlike when I leveled up. A moment later, text appeared in my vision. It worked! I was so excited that it worked that it took me another minute to finally settle down and read the flavor text describing it.

{Your skill has evolved into Sexual Fortitude.}

{Replaces Mental Fortitude, every action is considered sexual in nature, the normal effect of mental fortitude remains.}

“Huh?” The words popped out of my mouth before I could help myself.

Every action is sex? I looked up, suddenly finding myself mildly aroused, just sitting there in the tent all alone. I crossed my legs quickly, my forehead furrowing as I glanced at the words again, and then a third time. No matter how much I looked at it, the words didn’t seem to change at all. Every action is considered sexual in nature. That means… I’m always horny?

“How does that help me?” I shouted, likely scaring anybody walking by my tent.

Isn’t this the exact opposite of what I wanted? I wanted my skill to become something I could shut off? This just did the opposite. If everything was sexual, then my mental fortitude would now never stop working. I would have cried, but apparently crying was too sexy, and thus mental fortitude could only allow me to fake cry. I barely felt human before, and now in an attempt to reclaim my humanity I had thrown the last of it away.

“Aria, are you here?” Jerard poked his head into the tent, causing me to jump.

I went to wipe the tears from my face, but when my hand touched my cheek, there were none. Right… Sexual Fortitude. I’d have to really work to push out tears now. A need suddenly rose up in me. I needed something emotional. Since I couldn’t cry, there was only one thing left that could make me feel. My eyes landed on Jerard, who was looking a bit more attractive to me now. I stood up and immediately walked up to Jerard, wrapping my arms around him.

“Aria?” Jerard gave me a confused look as I pulled him to me.

“Shut up,” I responded, my lips immediately attacking him.

Jerard barely offered resistance as I kissed him roughly for several minutes. He fought even less as I dragged him over to the bedding and pushed him down on it. Jerard may have been surrounded by beautiful women, but they play games with him all day. I wasn’t the kind of girl who liked to play games. No woman had ever come on to him so directly before, and thus his true nature was revealed here.

Jerard was just a spineless boy. I could do whatever I wanted to him, and he’d allow it. Did he care more about those other girls? Sure. But, they didn’t push him down as I did. They didn’t pull down his pants as I did. They didn’t take his dick, and run their lips over it, letting puffs of breath run over it and sending shivers down his spine. They didn’t hold his cock, caressing it to life, and once hard, they didn’t stick it in their mouths.

While those girls sat in their tent, waiting for Jerard to return, I fucked him. Everything is sex? That’s the direction this world was pushing me to? Fine then. There was no longer any use holding back.

My lips rocked up and down Jerard’s shaft while he looked down at me with a permanently surprised expression on his face. I didn’t know for certain if he was a virgin, but he seemed to ever expect to be having sex at the moment. Well, I delivered as well as I could, providing a blowjob of a lifetime. Soon, he was gasping and moaning.

Did one of the girls come over to the tent to see what the hold up was? Did she hear those strange moans, glance inside, and then walk away in shame and embarrassment? How long will she keep in those thoughts and doubts… knowing the man she’d love would put out for any woman? Those cruel thoughts danced through my head, but in truth I didn’t notice anyone come inside. When I was pretty sure he was a moment away from exploding, I carefully lifted up my skirt and then squatted on his dick.

A moment later, I was riding him for all he was worth. To Jerard’s credit, he held on to my hips. As I gyrated against his cock, grinding it into me, his hands followed along, maybe even helping push and pull me so that I maintained the rhythm. His cock was ordinary. I’d call him neither large or small. He wasn’t proactive during sex, but he wasn’t a limp noodle either. Other than that initial kiss, I didn’t kiss him again. There was nothing intimate about this. This was a pure sexual need. I needed to fuck right now, and Jerard was there to do the job.

“Ah… Aria…” Jerard moaned, encouraging me to move my hips faster and faster.

Jerard started to thrust up into me, trying to pierce me with his cock. I’ve had bigger men than him get inside me deeper and harder, but for a girl like me, it was enough to make me cum. I let out a light moan as the euphoria overtook me. Sex felt… good. I didn’t know why I kept looking for so much more. As long as I could have sex, it was fine. After Jerard came inside me, I cleaned it up quickly using my immaculate skill and then stood.

“Thank you, Jerard,” I responded, my throat not meaning to come out as flat as it did.

“Ah… ye-yeah…” Jerard had an awkward look on his face, clearly not sure how to take what we just did. “I-it was good.”

I nodded simply. “Why did you come, Jerard?”

“Huh? Oh!” Jerard suddenly smacked his head. “I forgot! Another group came in with someone who has a status misalignment. Although we decided to head back and skip the labyrinth for today, I thought it’d be good to do them a favor.”

I smiled wryly. “I don’t kiss for free, what do I get out of it?”

“Ah?” He looked down at me as I put on my stockings and then blushed. “He… isn’t doing it to be kind sufficient.”

My smile twisted a bit. “Maybe… once… but that was a long time ago…”

Jerard scratched his back, looking uncertain. I didn’t mean to act so callously, but I wasn’t in a generous mood. I had healed Rosetta to pull my weight in the group as well as try to ingratiate myself with Rosetta. Now, I just wasn’t feeling like the type to help people anymore. Any part of me that dreamed of being a hero died with Min. It took far longer for me to accept this than it should have. I lost… too much.

“They look… rich…” Jerard offered the information, looking like he didn’t want to. “I think they might be lords. They could reward you.”

I let out a sigh. “Very well, show me then.”

The pair of us headed out of the tent. It felt like we had eyes on us, people who knew that we had been fornicating in the tent. To Jerard’s credit, he only withered a little under the stares of those people. As for me, Sexual Fortitude was strong, and I had no shame left in my body.

The place we were heading was only three tents down, closer than the medical tent the girls were likely still waiting in. As soon as Jerard opened the tent flap and I stepped in, I took a step back and hissed.

“You…” A man sitting on a cot suddenly stood up, his eyes locked on me with shock.

“What are you doing here?” I said, taking another step back.

“Oh, you know each other?” Jerard said, not grasping the mood as quickly as the man’s nearby guards, who put their hands on their swords.

“I know Aria…” The man’s voice was dark as he gently stroked the hilt of his blade. “After all, you never forget your first… right, Aria?”

Jerard’s mouth fell open. All I could do was stand tall and survive this storm.

“Hello, Devon… it’s been a while.”

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