“Seriously?” Oswald let out a cry. “You’re going for this punk?”
Mako shot Oswald a displeased frown. “Don’t give me that look. I’ve carefully considered my options. With my virginity lost and my age advancing, I should have a baby now or I will never have the opportunity.”
“Still, shouldn’t you be interested in sleeping with a man more suitable considering your age?” Oswald asked.
“More suitable man? You mean…” Mako raised an eyebrow. “A man like you?”
Oswald nodded without hesitation. “Of course! I’m a well sought after stud. My numbers speak for themselves. 92% fertility rate and an average of 5.3 women a month.”
“Hmm… when you describe those stats, that’s exciting to hear.” Mako shot flatly.
“Excitement? We’re talking about procreation. What kind of excitement does a girl need?” Oswald responded dismissively.
“Romance? Love?” Mako raised an eyebrow, looking somewhat amused.
Oswald’s face turned incredulous as if those very concepts were silly to him. However, before he could say something, I stepped in.
“What are you doing, Oswald? Aren’t you the one who advised me to get Mako pregnant? Now you seem to be advising her to say no!”
Oswald shook his head. “Hey, this is a completely different situation.”
“Back then, I was telling you to rape her and make her pregnant. If you pushed her down and forced her, there was very little she could do about it. Anyone would have seen this as normal. However, for a teacher to suddenly chase after a student like this, how can I see this as anything but strange!”
“If that’s your way of asking if I have an alternative motive,” Mako huffed. “I assure you I do not!”
“Clyburn, I advise you to hold back.” Oswald snorted. “When it comes to procreation, I must say that woman cannot be trusted!”
I wore a complicated expression on my face. Even someone like Oswald didn’t seem to be able to avoid the common sense of this world polluting how he saw things. Men and women depended on each other, but couldn’t trust each other. Men fought for their slice, and women fought for their seed. It was the way of this world, yet even now I still couldn’t bring myself to get used to it. I found the whole thing to be an ugly system. All of these beautiful women around me that have supported me only showed me I was right on this. I could trust these women. I wanted to be a man they could trust as well.
“Oswald, Mako is-“
“I brought a Lilith’s contract.” Mako broke in, pulling a packet of papers out of her purse.
What stopped me from interrupting was the sudden shocked look on the faces of both Rose and Oswald. Oswald quickly turned stern and walked up, snatching the form from her hands.
“Seriously girl? You’d bring one of those?” Oswald frowned.
“This is archaic. Mako… you can’t honestly be serious!”
Mako squared her shoulders, looking determinedly over at me before nodding. “That is what I offer as my slice. I offer to sign a Lilith’s contract.”
“How did you even get one of these made?” Oswald flipped through the sheets of paper, his eyes widening. “These are a taboo of the highest order. Even getting a look at a design requires a very high clearance in the government. Are you sure it is real?”
“I’ve confirmed it’s authenticity.” Mako shrugged. “It was merely a chance encounter. A certain woman who once helped me on my path.”
Oswald’s eyes shot up. “Care to provide details?”
Mako gave a wry look. “I’m not going to be able to tell you what you want to know. After I found out that I was an aseeded, I went to some great lengths to find out how to cure my affliction. I ran into a mysterious woman deep in some library. It was a silly thing. She was short and couldn’t reach the higher shelves, so I helped her. She told me she wanted to repay me. I mentioned that I was aseeded, and that’s when she pushed that contract into my hands. She said that if I wanted to uncover the truth of magic, that I must submit to a man in entirety. She said that only by signing a Lilith contract could I regain my magic.”
“That…” Oswald shook his head helplessly.
“I know… I thought it was insane as well. This is why the contract was stowed away. I did take it to a trustworthy high-tier spellman, who confirmed it was real. I thought, one day, it might be something I could sell to a museum. Then… I lost my virginity, and I met Clyburn, another aseeded…”
There were several gasps this time. Rose even stood up from her seat, staring at me. I hadn’t bothered to tell any of them that I was aseeded. It was a bit of detail that I didn’t think needed to be known. However, they all looked at me with shock and surprise.
“You’re an aseeded?” Lyra asked, covering her mouth.
“Yeah? So? What of it?” I didn’t mean to snap, but their expressions made me uneasy.
“It’s nothing, dear.” Rose glared at the two half-sisters, causing both of them also to zip their mouths.
I frowned, not willing to allow them to just ignore things I ought to know. The way they looked at me contained too much shock and pity to be a simple matter. Just as I was about to demand the answers I sought, Oswald spoke up.
“Men and women are about equal in magical power. Most noncitizens never learn it. However, among high society, there is a notion that magical power coincides with fertility. Being aseeded is about the same as claiming you’re infertile. For a woman, it’s a shame, but few men bother to ask, so it’s still possible to get with a man and get pregnant. These women never admit afterward they’re aseeded though, only perpetuating the myth. For a man though…”
“Fertility is everything…” I finished his line of reasoning. “But, I’ve had two children, and possibly more on the way.”
“That was all before your aseeded test,” Mako explained gently. “Anyone who found out you were aseeded would assume you burned it out during that first use.”
“W-we haven’t been able to get pregnant.” Madison stepped forward and spoke. “We’ve tried all month.”
“That’s not necessarily evidence of anything.” Oswald frowned. “Pregnancies can sometimes take several months. This does not necessarily mean he’s infertile.”
I lowered my head, clinching a fist. Infertile. Those words reared their ugly head again. I already had possibly as many as four children. In my old world, I would have been elated to have that many kids. In fact, I might have considered that too many. In this world, it was all but a death sentence for me. The mood in the room grew somber. I had gotten Mia pregnant on the first go, and Aiko even with a condom! Yet, Ashton didn’t get pregnant, and neither did Madison. No one since my accident. It was Madison who put her hand on my shoulder, feeling my body shaking slightly, she hugged my arm tearfully.
“It’s okay… we’ll keep trying.” Madison tried to reassure me.
“I-I will still give my virginity to Clyburn.” Lyra, who had been quiet since the announcement, raised her fist. “Even if he’s… I still want to try with Clyburn!”
Rose nodded. “You’ve already given me a beautiful daughter, how could I leave now?”
I remained in silence for a few moments before I looked up at Oswald. “You said… aseeded women are still capable of having children?’
“In women… yes… maybe… as I said, few women would admit to being aseeded in the first place.” Oswald sighed and then his eyes sharpened on Mako. “Aseeded… does anyone else know about this?”
Mako nodded her head sadly. “I didn’t put it in the medical record, but the overdraft was witnessed by Diba Monic. So did Rebecca, Brooke, and half the magic class. At the time, they thought she was Clarice though…”
Oswald hissed. “Damn it, Clyburn, you should have mentioned this before… if word gets out he’s aseeded, our biggest bargaining chip is off the table.”
“It’s all hearsay and conjecture though…” Rose spoke up. “If Mako left no records of it, then claiming he’s aseeded is just a blind accusation.”
“If she needed records, she’ll just fabricate them. If she believes he’s aseeded, they can force him to take a test, and if he fails it, then…”
“Why didn’t you tell me this before?” I demanded, glaring at Mako.
She lowered her head. “I’m sorry, it was my mistake. I still suspected you may have been the man who raped me, and so I was still angry. Part of me didn’t want to get into it. You looked so depressed about being unable to use magic, I didn’t want to spring thoughts of infertility on you. Secondly, I thought you were born aseeded, which meant that your kids proved you fertile. Knowing now that you are struggling to make Madison pregnant, I’m no longer as sure.”
Mako genuinely did look sorry. Her eyes teared up slightly and her face was red. My attitude started to soften at that. I was angry, but it wasn’t at any of the women here. This was supposed to be my second life. How could I be impotent again? Why was my life so cruelly unfair. I believed my girls when they told me that they would stay by my side… but I also believed my wife. Flashes of her on the examination table getting plowed by that doctor came flooding back to me. How longer before Madison or Lyra decided to take their chances with the first man that offers?
Heck, Oswald was right there. It could be him who ultimately impregnated my sister, fulfilling the job I couldn’t. I couldn’t stop the bitterness from spilling on my face. This further soured the mood in the room. The worst part of all of it was that I could never even explain to these girls what I was thinking. Perhaps the only woman who could understand was Hannah, and she was off doing gods knew what.
“This will severely hurt our case.” Oswald sighed. “The government likes to look for opportunities to arrest men and turn them into sperm dispensers. I have no doubt that they’ll be pushing for a conviction. They’ll test you out, and if it’s true, they’ll simply trade you off to another country, and if the rumors are false, they have one more cum dispenser. It’s just what they would do.”
“So, you understand why I came here with the Lilith’s contract then,” Mako spoke up eagerly. “We must complete the contract, and then we will have sex. I didn’t choose to come today on accident. I’ve been checking my calendar. Tonight, I am at my most fertile. If the contract works, then perhaps I’m more likely to get pregnant than any other woman. Perhaps two aseeded can make a baby under a Lilith’s contract. At the very least, we owe it to ourselves to try.”
“I still don’t understand.” Lyra broke in. “What is a Lilith’s contract?”
Oswald looked over at Rose, clearly disinterested in explaining something like this. Rose was fascinated by history, and new a great deal about this kinds of facts. She stepped forward excitedly and then started to speak after clearing her throat.
“Long ago, women were the only sex on this planet. Men had been wiped out along with the demons by God’s flood, and the world sustained itself for eons by bathing in the waters of life. However, two things seemed to occur concurrently. One was the birth of God’s son, the blessed man. The second was the rise of the demon lord, Lilith.”
“This is scripture.” I murmured to myself, recognizing the tale I had read as part of my mother’s birthday present to me years ago. It had seemed like a myth the way it was explained in the book, but Rose was talking about this as if it was history.
“Yes, this is the origin story of women’s sin and the 1/1000th curse. However, all of that came later. What came first was the demon lord and her armies of monsters. The blessed man made himself known to the world, and he gathered 12 disciples. He led a charge on the demon lord’s castle, and in the end, made the demon lord submit to him.
“This is where things start to grow a little fuzzy. Although it was known that the blessed man went on to father six daughters and six sons from his apostles, it has never been clear what happened to the demon lord. Did she father any children? Some claim the Queen was the demon lord, but only a few truly believe this to be so. The most accepted belief is that Lilith had a daughter with the blessed man. Some even believe that line exists until this very day!”
“Hmph… stop showboating…” Oswald grunted. “Just tell them what they need to know.”
Rose rolled her eyes and continued. “The demon lord was magically too powerful, and the apostles refused to accept her. Thus, to appease his women, the blessed man created a contract. The demon lord, who had fallen in love with the blessed man, signed this contract in blood, which bound her power to him. With that, it became known as a Lilith’s contract.
“Over the years, others copied and reused the contract. It became quite popular at various points, but it always had one predominate limitation. It only functioned between a man and a woman. It can be written to function either way, but at the end of it, one is subservient to the other. There is a similar marriage contract that exists that is less one-directional. Many people think that the marriage contract was the basis for the Lilith contract of vice-versa. As far as marriage contracts, your mother was the only woman I know to have ever signed one.
“As for Lilith contracts, they eventually became taboo. Although there is no official law that says one cannot exist, they are genuinely frowned upon no matter what direction they go. If you choose to do this, you would absolutely have to keep it a secret.”
I shook my head, trying to bring in all of this information, but still coming up a bit short. “I’m still a little confused. What does the Lilith contract do exactly?”
Rose straightened her glasses. “Hmm? It’s a magically binding contract. It creates a link between two people. By offering up their power to the other they bind their, what’s a good word-“
“Their soul.” Oswald’s voice cut into the conversation. “It’s a soul contract. Her mind, her body, everything… would be yours. You want to know what this is? It’s slavery. Mako… has just offered you her soul!”
My mouth fell open in a gasp, and even Lyra and Madison looked startled. Only Rose sighed, turning her eyes to Mako. Rather than shy back, Mako nodded and took a step forward.
“I have given this some thought. I’ve decided Clyburn should be the man to have my child. I may be infertile. I certainly didn’t get pregnant my first time with the boy named Ben. You cannot trust me fully as I am, so I offer this contract. Maybe, that woman wasn’t crazy, maybe there is some kind of synergy between a master and his slave that allows us to have a child, or better yet, allows us to use magic. This is my hope, and this is why I decided to come.”
“Even if she gets pregnant tonight, the fact that he is an aseeded will still be part of the trial.” Rose sighed. “What will be the point, then?”
“It’ll be proof.” Oswald snapped his fingers. “As you said before, this is all hearsay. If we can put a woman in front of the court who was impregnated after the incident, we throw into complete doubt Diba Monic’s statements. If she tries to push for this, we can essentially crush her argument before it goes anywhere.”
Mako gives Oswald a wry smile. “Does that mean you finally approve of me?”
Oswald sighed, glancing over at me. “Get the job done this time, will you? I don’t know what these crazy women see in you that would make them go the lengths of signing a Lilith’s contract, but you should be glad that you have some crazy women in your life, or I’d predict you’d be dead already.”
“Thanks… I think.” I scratched my cheek.
“I’m going to go digest this information.” He lifted the packet. “Get her pregnant, if you can, and then rest until the court case. Be there sharp, and make sure you have proper security.”
“Yes.” I nodded. “And… thank you, Oswald… I really mean that.”
“This one… is for your father.” Oswald sighed. “You remind me of him… a bit. I did him some wrongs. This is just my way of making up for it.”
I somberly watched as he turned away and left the room. After he walked out, it seemed like a bubble had been pricked.
“I suppose it’s time I head to bed.” Madison stretched.
“Oh, ah… me too!” Lyra jumped a little. “If I don’t get home soon, brother will come looking for me again. He really is way too much sometimes.”
Rose headed over and gave me a small hug. “I’m going to check on our daughters. Don’t stay up too late.”
I blinked as I realized every girl was clearing out of the room except Mako. That meant that I and Mako were supposed to… that’s right. We had a ceremony to do. This magical contract wasn’t going to make itself, right? That would be followed by… getting a teacher at my school pregnant. I could only give a wry smile when a thought struck me. Wait… magical contract?
“Ah!” I let out a noise, causing the three women to stop at the door. “If this is a magical contract, and we’re both aseeded, doesn’t that mean that I’ll need someone who can use magic to assist?”
Rose looked like she was going to speak for a second, but it was Mako who tugged on my arm and caused me to glance over at her. “Magical contracts for some reason work differently than runes. It isn’t understood why, but if a man and a woman put magic in together, the overdraft doesn’t occur. This is true when an aseeded and a seeded are bound by a contract. Although it hasn’t been properly tested, I believe the same should be true between two aseeded. Contracts remain one of the few magical things an aseeded can do without external power assistance.”
“Oh…” I responded simply, giving a forced smile.
That settled that, but I still hesitated. This whole event felt off to me, and for some reason. I didn’t want to be left alone with Mako. There was a bit of dread inside me that I couldn’t understand. Rose picked up on my discomfort and quickly understood my hesitation. She gave me a gentle smile. Perhaps, she knew me better than I knew myself because she got right to the heart of the issue that even I myself didn’t understand.
“Clyburn, don’t worry so much about this.” Rose smiled. “The day I decided to give a man my heart, I knew your obligations would require you to be with other women. I don’t believe you’re doing this out of selfishness or lack of control. You will have many lovers in the years to come. Hundreds of them, possibly. Some women will bear your children whose names you cannot remember. It’s the fact that you try that makes me happy. With the contract, Mako will be in your life for as long as you will it. I admit I feel a bit jealous that she will gain this bond with you, but I also understand the sacrifice she’s making. In short, do not feel like what you’re doing will in any way change how I feel about you. You’re the father of my children, and my heart won’t waver no matter what.”
Madison stepped forward, following Rose’s lead. “You’re my brother, as well. We grew up together, and you’ve shown me nothing but kindness, even though there are other brother’s who may have turned on me after finding out I wasn’t their full sister, you stuck by me and chased me when I was my most vulnerable. I love you as well. I-if this contract helps her get pregnant, then I also would like to do this contract!”
“Do not be so rash, girl…” Rose chastised Madison, causing her cheeks to redden, but she remained firm in her stance, not backing down from what she said.
Her actions caused my heart to swell with a bit of respect and admiration. These women really were stronger than I was. My memories didn’t all match the lifestyle of a harem. My wife had cheated on me, and it had killed me. Going around and sleeping with other women felt a bit like cheating. Although I had gotten around that mentally by keeping the women separate from each other, that was no longer the case. It was reaching the point where my women would see me with other women, and I needed to get used to that fact. Eventually, we’d need to start creating a schedule where I took turns or something. If the situation was reversed, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.
Finally, Lyra came forward. “Clyburn… when you get back to school, you must spend more time with me. I’ve kept my distance out of respect for you and other women, but I refuse to be left behind! I won’t even say something like my feelings for you won’t change. My feelings for you only seem to grow the more I know you. Therefore, I just want to know you and have a place in your heart like these other women!”
Lyra’s speech stunned me and the other girls there. Her eyes were closed and she wore a blush when she finally finished. I broke into a smile, the words of these women finally relieving my fear and anxiety.
“Lyra, you already do have a place in my heart,” I responded simply. “Be ready, because once I knock Mako up, I’m coming for you next!”
Lyra made a sound of surprise while shaking slightly. Madison and Rose shot me wry looks. I let out a laugh and rubbed the back of my head. I guessed I went a little overboard there, but I meant every word. The three women said goodnight one last time and then left, leaving me alone with Mako.
“Should we go to my bedroom?” I asked, feeling slightly nervous.
It sounded weird, but outside of the family, Mako was the first adult woman I was sleeping with within this world. All of the other women I had been with were seventeen or younger. They were young, and childish, and a bit irresponsible. Mom and Aunt didn’t count because they were family, and thus the word ‘adult’ didn’t seem to apply to them in particular. Neither was the case with Veris who grew up taking care of me and her daughter whom she led in our first sexual encounter. Thus, I felt a bit of pressure from Mako I hadn’t felt before. She was a woman, and I was still in the body of a fifteen-year-old boy.
Her legs were long, her butt round and tight. Her body was undeniably an adult woman’s body. I could only sigh as I brought her to my room. My only saving grace was that she was just as inexperienced with sex as any woman in this world. Although she was no longer a virgin, she was unconscious during that time. That meant that I’d need to be leading the way in this encounter. Once the door was closed, and I made sure to lock it this time, I sat down on the bed. Mako laid the contract down on the table.
“That contract-” I started, only to have Mako cut me off.
“I know what you want to say, and I insist.”
I continued forward anyway. “The likelihood of this fixing our magic, let alone making your pregnant is basically nothing. Plus… if you get pregnant and it turns out to have nothing to do with this contract, what will we do then? We won’t know whether I’m truly impu-impudent. Or whether the Lilith contract can indeed fix it. I don’t want you being hurt unnecessarily.”
Mako gave me a gentle smile. “That you are willing to concern yourself with my well-being is exactly why I know this is the right decision. We do not have the time to guess. You must make me pregnant tonight if we want any chance of confirming your success by the trial.”
I let out a sigh. “I just… wanted our first time… to be special.”
Mako smiled. “With you, my first time will be. As far as I’m concerned, you’re the only man I’ve been with, and the only man I’ll ever want to be with.”
“Now… enough diddle dallying. Come, my love… or perhaps I should call you master?” Her eyes twinkled.
“Hmm… we’ll decide what feels right when the time comes.”
“That sounds like you’re avoiding my say on the matter…”
“Let us get the contract over with. I will need a drop of your blood.” Mako demanded, pulling out a medical lance.
She grabbed my hand and poked the finger, letting a drop of blood fall on the contract. She did the same with her own blood a moment later using another lance. It lost a lot of the effect. These sorts of rituals usually involved taking some ceremonial knife and slicing your hand open. It seemed like none of that was really necessary.
“Okay… now that the rune has been primed, then we both will need to pour power into it at the same time. As long as we do this, it should cast correctly, rather than explode. Since this rune influences how our magic interacts with each other rather than an external environment, these sorts of contracts do not require calculation changes.”
I nodded as I stared down at the final page of the contract, which was actually a very fancy piece of paper as well as a complex magical rune. Its complexity was terrifying, actually. Compared to the rune I had tinkered with that one day, this made it look like child’s play. Well, it was child’s play. Looking at this, I realized true magic looked more like computer programing than learning a few variables. The idea of trying to keep this complex form in my head was impossible. The only way to invoke it was to draw it out.
I swallowed loudly and then pressed my hand against the rune. Mako put hers on top of mine. I didn’t know this, but this was the way that the marriage contract was fulfilled. It wasn’t necessary to touch the rune at all. It didn’t make the rune more powerful or anything. It was another one of those mental things, like gesturing or saying an incantation. People simply did it because it made them more comfortable. For me, I couldn’t imagine poring power into a run at a distance.
I started pushing power into it. The second I went, I felt that familiar tug. It was almost like the power was being dragged out of me. It only lasted a second, because Mako’s power came in. The second our powers entered the rune, they began to merge. The suction ceased, and instead, I felt like I could move my magic and fill the rune, completing the invocation.
With the sheer complexity of the rune, this took a while, and it didn’t seem to matter whether it was her guiding the magic or me. If we both worked on spreading the magic throughout the rune, it’ll likely be faster, but this was already a fine speed for me. In truth, Mako had been studying magic far longer than I had. She was also an aseeded for far longer than I was. That meant I trusted her to do the job correctly more than myself. Thus, I could only wait as she continued to invoke this complicated contract.
As I allowed myself to dwell on things, that’s when I started to notice something odd about the magic. Our will, or mana, or chakra, it went by many names but it was all essentially the same thing, was something that existed between Mako and me. It felt something like a circuit. My body had will flowing through it. However, when I went to exude will using an invocation, I had to open my circuits.
This was when the event occurred called an overdraft. Like a cut powerline, it dangerously exploded with power, the current moving in whatever direction without insulation. However, when I had Mako here, the circuit felt different. It felt complete. Well, sort of. The contract, the rune we were invoking, felt like a buffer, a glue that closed our circuit. Her power flowed into me and my power flowed into her, and both of our powers flowed into the Rune. Even though the bonding process wouldn’t start until the invocation was fully powered, we already felt connected.
However, was the Rune even really necessary? What if I pushed my power directly into Mako? Would the circuit be completed? Of course, I wasn’t sure what that would mean. If our circuit was made complete, how could then invoke magic into a rune? This was all just stupid pondering. Before I could dwell on it too much longer, Mako reached the end. There was a blinding flash, although it didn’t occur in front of me. It was more like my mind suddenly went white.
I felt a tug on my mind like was being pulled somewhere. I wanted to resist, but I stopped myself as I realized the direction was Mako. Mako herself looked a bit like a choked chicken, her eyes bulging as the magic erupted around her, and then finally subsided. When it was all over, Mako bent over, gasping for breath.
“Are you okay?” I asked.
However, before she could answer, I realized I already knew. She was okay. She had felt out of breath and tired, but otherwise okay. She actually had stubbed her toe sometime earlier that day, and it still hurt a bit. I could feel an itch on her back that she hadn’t scratched because she had needed to focus on the rune. I also felt her emotions. They were complicated, a jumbled mess. But when she looked up at me, something I distinctly felt was love and affection.
I gasped as I realized that with this bond, I knew every part of Mako. Information flooded into my mind, learning every nuance of her body. Her weaknesses, her strengths, her sensitive areas, every piece of information became mine if I but asked for it. She looked up at me, her mouth opened as she panted slightly.
“Mako…” I said, suddenly feeling all doubts gone. “Let’s make a baby.”
Mako stared up at me, her eyes teary with bursting affection. “Yes… Master.”