The day finally arrived. I’d be returning to Amaryllis. Although Amaryllis was a country, it was a small country with only one major city, also called Amaryllis. That was to say I’d be returning to the city of my roots. I’d finally be coming home after nearly four months in this new country. Of course, I didn’t have my old body. I was still trusting the unreliable Lilith to bring me back to life.
Of course, I was interested in Amaryllis’s place in the world, so I asked around. The country was part of a conglomerate of smaller countries, not too different from the European Union. It spoke the same language everywhere else did. Except for a few exceptions like the demon lord tongue, this entire world had been adapted to a single language called common tongue. Amaryllis also didn’t have their own currency but shared it with the alliance.
Other than that, there wasn’t much to say about Amaryllis. I had heard some talk about the flying islands of Amaryllis as if they were a world wonder. I supposed every country had their quirks, especially when it was a world with magic where wonders were actually real things someone could create. I was interested in learning more about this world. I might even listen in on more of Aunt Rose’s stories about her travels. If it came to me wanting to travel the world, I think I was done with that.
I still was hoping that I could find some way to remain in Amaryllis, and not have to return here as the prince. Spending the rest of my time stuck in this body resting in my mansion sounded far preferable to having to deal with more drama and politics involving this country.
When it was time to leave, my mother escorted me herself. I still hadn’t earned enough trust to be taken anywhere without guards watching me like a hawk. That probably wouldn’t change once we left the country. I’d need to keep my eyes open for the opportunity. We exited the palace and got into a limousine style hovercar. I was traveling separately from the remainder of the harem, my mother being the exception.
The location we were heading was the docks. This was the legitimate water dock too, not some kind of airdock. Airships seemed to come in all shapes and sizes, and some of them docked in the water, while others remained airborne indefinitely, not unlike the floating islands of Amaryllis. Different airships required different types of docks. As to why this ship was a water-bound type and why the one I arrived from departed from an airport is anyone’s guess.
I didn’t bring any luggage, as this was all done for me. I’ve steadily become used to having these kinds of details handled by maids. My only responsibility was to make babies. It took me a long time to finally accept my reality, but this was it. However, I looked at it, my responsibility to this world started and ended with making babies.
The last four months after losing so much on the day of Wrath had caused me to change my perspective on many things. In particular, I realized that it was a bit childish to keep fighting things and wanting to somehow alter my fate. Perhaps I had read too many Isekai, another thought I was some savior. Even though that might actually be true, at the end of it all, it was still basically just sex that I was needed for. After everything, that’s the truth that Lilith had exposed to me.
Maybe, I’d help in the field of magic engineering, biology, or something in between, but as long as I made babies, my worth to society was solid. This almost felt like it had to be part of some gods plan, especially considering that both this body and the body of the man from another world were both incapable of having children. Meanwhile, for me, making babies seemed to be about the only thing I was good at.
“Mother, let’s get a drink, shall we?” I offered as we headed up the platform.
Before I reached the top of the ramp, I noticed that the car containing my girls had also arrived. There were also the cars with my grandfather, the other council member, the guards, maids, and other staff. Overall, there were at least a hundred people coming on this trip. Suffice it to say, this was not a commercial craft. Maybe that was why it was a water-dwelling ship? Ah… who knew. The point was that it was rented out and exclusive to our group.
“These navy ships don’t have a proper turndown service or bar.” Mother responded bitterly. “I’m afraid we’ll be going dry on this journey.”
“Navy?” I looked to the side and realized that the ship did have guns on it.
So, it really was different from the ship I arrived in. The council members were considered too valuable to travel in public transportation where they could be attacked and kidnapped by pirates. The guns on this thing looked deadly enough that had I left Amaryllis in it I never would have ended up in this country in the first place. In fact, now that I noticed, most of the sailors who seemed to be getting it ready had a military air about it.
“I know a military ship isn’t the best place for you to blossom romance, my dear, but please do your best.” Mother shot me a gorgeous smile.
That was true too. I still had a few women who needed to become pregnant. I hadn’t announced any of the pregnancies so far to my grandfather. Doing so would have run the risk of getting in the way of Terah’s plan. If he told me to only bring the unpregnant women, then she would have been left behind. Rather, we’ll announce the news once we reach Amaryllis. That will also serve to help make the old man put his guard down.
I shivered as I had those kinds of thoughts. I was no assassin or killer. I wasn’t even sure if his death was called for. However, I wasn’t the real Caleb, and I didn’t have any passionate feelings for this country. As for any karma I had developed by using Caleb, I felt I had already filled it just with impregnating so many of the women in his name. If he didn’t have an heir, one of his daughters could have a chance. I heard in extreme situations the noble life can be preserved in this manner.
While I thought of such things, a man dressed in a uniform showed us to our rooms. A military ship similarly didn’t have any quarters to transport the likes of a Queen or a Prince. No, actually, these rooms were sufficiently large, but my life as a Prince was starting to warp my sense of propriety. The room given to me fit an entire King size mattress, although only just. Some of the rooms on the way, including the rooms my harem would be getting, were half the size and had four beds in them. Complaining about this kind of arrangement would only make me seem petulant.
My mother didn’t have such reservations and noisily complained that the accommodations weren’t better until I asked her to stop. I had only settled down for a bit when the ship started to stutter into motion. It looked like we were departing. Curiously, I headed up to the deck. I wasn’t the only one. I saw about half of my girls there, including Bernice, Lyra, Kemala, and Veronika. The two youngest were making noises of excitement.
“You ladies have never left Matahari, have you?”
Kemala shook her head, but Veronika only smiled and winked at me. I took her answer to mean the same.
“I wonder how far this ship will sail the water before we launch.” I wondered out loud.
“Not long,” Lyra answered. “They just like to clear any other boats before they take off.”
“is that so…” I answered idly. “Then I suppose it’s worth staying out for. Do you girls have coats on? It’ll get chilly once we start rising.”
“B-brother…” Kemala said defensively, clearly without any protection.
“Daddy…” Veronika smiled smoothly. “When it gets cold, I will make sure to go and put on a…”
“By the time you feel the cold, it’ll be too late. The fact you’re pregnant makes it doubly important. Go, you two!” I ordered.
The two girls grudgingly left, but they did go. I noticed Lyra looking at me with a half-smile.
“What is it?”
She shrugged. “You seem really good with kids. I’d never seen Cly… I mean… I’d never seen you with kids. I didn’t expect that to be a thing men could do.”
I smiled haphazardly. “Well, I was raised in another world.”
She looked at me for a moment. “So… you’re trying to insist that even that part is true? Clyburn comes from another world where men are common?”
I nodded. “In my world, a girl like you would never look at a guy like me twice.”
Those words caused her eyes to widen. “Wh-what? Really?”
I chuckled. “Well, you’re exceptionally beautiful. As Caleb or Clyburn, I’m not ugly, but I was never particularly smooth either. In my old world, men had to chase after women, and men like me never got them.”
“You struggled to find a woman?” Lyra’s words held complete disbelief.
“Yup,” I shrugged. “Women could afford to be very choosy, and beautiful women only picked the richest and most successful guys. I was alright. It wasn’t as bad as all that. I mean… I did get married.”
My lips twitched and I looked down. “She cheated on me.”
As we spoke, the airship components were extended, and while the speed increased, the ship finally began to raise up into the sky. I clung to the rail, Lyra standing right next to me as we looked out over the crystalline water of the river while it pulled away, our ship heading steadily up into the clouds.
The two girls ran out of their spots, but seeing as we were already on the rise, they made groaning noises that they missed it. Veronika stuck her tongue out at me and then ran away. Kemala frowned, but after giving me an apologetic look she took off after the other girl.
“That one is vulgar…” Lyra frowned.
That was right, in this world, tongue meant equivalent to fuck you. Well, when the tongue was made at a guy, it had a humorous edge to it, so I didn’t take offense.
“You have no idea…” I chuckled, but when she shot me an unamused look, I realized it was probably a bad idea to brag about my sexual conquests with a 13-year-old to my older girlfriend.
We continued to stand at the balcony as the altitude increased. It really did drop about ten degrees as we reached cloud height. Whatever enchantment that protected us from pressure, wind and lack of oxygen didn’t seem to be able to regulate the temperature properly. That was why I had sent the younger girls to get coats. However, Lyra wasn’t wearing anything to protect herself either. She suddenly held her elbows and let out a shivering breath. I glanced over at her.
“You’re not going to order me to go fetch a sweater too, are you?” She asked, rolling her eyes.
“Actually, I thought I could take a more hands-on approach to keep you warm. “ I chuckled, opening up my robes and then wrapping them around her body, effectively pulling her against my body.
“Ah!” Lyra made a noise of surprise as I embraced her, but as she felt the warmth shared between us, she pressed back and allowed her body to press against mine.
After a few moments of watching the clouds rapidly approach, she leaned back and glanced at me breathlessly. “Are you sure you weren’t smooth in your old life. You seem pretty smooth to me.”
I let out a laugh, squeezing her soft warm body against my own. “Well, you pick up a few things after a few lifetimes, right?”
She didn’t respond, instead, leaning back and relaxing as I held her. Even as the temperature finished dropping, I didn’t feel cold as long as I was pressed against her.
“Something is going to happen in Amaryllis, isn’t it?” She asked.
My grip tightened for a second, “Ah… why would you say that?”
She shook her head. “You don’t need to worry, it’s just a feeling, but you just gave me the answer.”
“Sorry… it seems like I’m always finding myself in trouble.” I admitted. “My only hope is that you’re safe in the mansion by the time things go down.”
As I spoke, my hand unconsciously went to her stomach and I stroked it. Her hand went down the inside of the robe and found my hand, holding it against her stomach.
“Is it… dangerous?”
“Would you believe me if I said it wasn’t?” I asked hopefully.
“I don’t want you to be there. This isn’t like Wrath. This is just something I have to see to the end. I borrowed this body. I just need to see it to the end.”
“I can’t lose you again,” Lyra said, turning around in my arms. “I can’t even imagine how the rest of your family is holding up, but when I heard your ship went down and your body was lost, all of my hope in this world died. I still don’t know if the reason I believe your him is because I genuinely do, or because I want it to be true so bad that I won’t question it.”
“Lyra… I am me…” I said, touching her cheek. “And I’m coming home.”
“In one piece…”
“At least one piece…”
“Yes…” I leaned my forehead against hers. “ I know… I will… be careful. Believe me, I want to run away too.”
“Then… why don’t you? The second the ship lands, can’t we both just run straight to your mansion. We can hide out there until this whole thing with your body is worked out.”
“Why not? What is…” Her eyes looked over to see Kemala running by giggling.
I looked in the same direction and sighed. “I owe them something. An heir? Change? Safety? I wish I knew what I owed them, but I have to finish things here. As for you, I want you to go back home with Brooke. The least you can do is let the girls know I’m alright. With that, I’ll feel a bit more at peace.”
“Now you’re making it sound like it is a matter of life or death,” Lyra said.
I met her eyes, and the seriousness in them caused the humor to leave her expression.
We remained standing on the deck until night came and the light began to fade completely. We finally separated and I returned back into my room. I had gotten my dinner, something plain and militaristic rather than the posh meals I was used to. I wondered if this was part of grandfather’s attempt to train me into being a man or something. Just as I dug into my dry and tasteless meal, there was a knock on my door.
I went to open the door, and standing there was the little girl in the cat mask.
“What is it you want?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.
I hadn’t asked Lyra yet, but I wanted her to take this girl as well when we landed. If I could just protect those three, I’d consider this all worth it.
“Ah… I wanted to chat with mister earlier but you were too busy feeling up the big-breasted onee-chan.”
“Is that so?” I asked wryly.
I wondered a bit what Lyra would think of being called the big-breasted onee-chan.
The little catgirl nodded. “I wanted to thank you, mister, for taking me back to Amaryllis. Is there really a family where I can have a home?”
I nodded and smiled. “Yes. I know a place where you can be safe. Maybe, it’ll be a place where you’re comfortable taking off that mask.”
The girl suddenly grabbed her mask and gasped, backing away like she thought I’d take it. I didn’t move. Instead, I just watched her and kept the smile on my face. I didn’t want to scare her away or cause her any distress. I hoped she could live in my home for a while. I suspected she had burns all over her face, which was why she wore the mask. I could already see burns on her hands. The rest of her body she left carefully hidden. In this world where men were rare, any kind of imperfection could be considered a death sentence when it came to a woman’s future potential. I refused to let her continue on without anything. When she came of age, I’d provide seed myself.
“Mister… why are you intent on undressing me?” She asked innocently.
“Geh… what was that?”
“You want me to take my mask off… isn’t that like shedding my inhibitions?” She asked. “Next, you’ll say ‘hehe… while removing you mask… next, you can remove your clothing!’”
“I don’t want you to remove your clothing.” I sighed.
“Ah… so… you want to do it with my clothing on… I see… I don’t know quite how, but I’m sure big brother will be a good teacher.”
“How can you say such things?” I finally had enough of her games. “I thought you already married. How casually do you want to flirt with other men!”
It was a bit petty of me, but invoking the man she lost, even if that man was me, perhaps she’d start to show a little restraint.
“Eh?” the girl scratched her ear. “But aren’t you the man I’m married to?”
“Huh?” What do you mean, I’m a prince, remember?”
She nodded. “And I’m a kitty. We both wear masks some times. I didn’t notice at first, but the more I’m with you, the more I’m certain you’re him.”
“Th-that’s impossible!” I said, so flustered I fell back on my bed, missed, and my butt landed on the floor.
The girl walked over to me and leaned closer. “It’s okay, my husband, I’d recognize you anywhere. I’ll keep your secrets. It’s because I’m best girl! Not like big-boobs!”
She pulled up her mask, and there was Charlie. There wasn’t a single burn on her face.
“Your face… a-aren’t you the burned girl?” I said, my mouth completely dry.
“Mm!” She nodded. “They made me work in the kitchens and I kept getting burned on the ovens so they started calling me burned girl!”
“Wait… wh-why were you wearing the mask?”
“Eh? Cause it’s cute! Why else would I wear a mask?” Charlie wore a questioning look.
I raised my hands and then shrugged. I had no way to answer that.
“Hubby, you’re kind of dumb sometimes, huh? I’ll need to fix that before we have babies… otherwise, the babies will be stupid.”
“I’m not even going to explain everything wrong with that sentence…”
I had a headache growing, and somehow I had a feeling it was going to last the entire journey.