On the local equivalent of the Saturday, all hell broke loose. I just woke up, did my morning business, and myself with only some pants on, I was lying around, playing with the fur balls, Aedim sitting nearby drinking some juice. I didn’t expect anything to happen, so I was a little surprised when seven girls showed up out of the blue.
When they saw me, the morning turned into a pandemonium. Different voices shouting same and different things. I was accused of being Satan, of being irresponsible, of being an asshole. I couldn’t really deny anything so I just stood quietly for a bit. When I realized that it is not going to get quieter, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
A single word made everybody freeze. My voice made walls vibrate slightly, everyone winced at the mere volume, even the fur balls who were carelessly playing now curled up into a ball.
“Now. I must apologize for running off, that was an act unbefitting a man. I got scared at you deciding for Mercissa to get married to me. She is not one of my fated ones, and she has known me very little. I didn’t want to burden the girl with an unhappy relationship and make her regret her decision.”
Girls stay quite, contemplating my words. Me, being a good fit with the six fated ones was akin to divine providence or fate, we were born together and we were meant for one another. The same douldn’t be said about Mercissa. She was a wild card, perhaps she would be the happiest girl in the world, perhaps she would get disappointed and torch half the human kingdom.
“Furthermore, my union with Mercissa undermines most of the effort we put towards peace with monsters. Regios loves Mercissa and wants to be with her. If he won’t be able to, he will attack us. Now, he asks for a duel for her hand, but who knows what will happen during or after the duel. I am not certain I can fight the dragon by myself, and depending on the result, I may die or be seriously crippled. That will also put Mercissa on a tight spot. Have any of you thought of that before making a decision?”
Obviously they have not. It was all spur of the moment, emotional and illogical. The girls would have considered all the fine points and thought about it properly. Now, we are left to deal with consequences, some of which are very dire.
“I admit, I should have told you girls about Mercissa, as I could have imagined her trying to get close to me, but I didn’t think expression I left on her would make her fall in love with me. That is my fault and I am sorry. But Mercissa, think about what have you done. You jeopardized future peace with monster races, risking a war and possibly getting many people killed in the future. Is that what you wanted? Does love worth it?”
Mercissa seems shocked by my words, she hasn’t considered every little bit to make her decisions. She just rushed in without thinking. I can see tears forming in her eyes. She is about to cry again.
“I admit, I am just as much at fault as you are. It were my words that affected you and my unwillingness to take action that led to this situation. I will accept responsibility for that and I will deal with that.”
Mercissa looks at me with a complicated expression. I had just accused her of possibly starting a war and how that would lead to a massive loss of life, but now I take full responsibility and let her be free of it. There is some admiration mixed in amongst all the other emotions. Just what I needed…
“Mercissa, if you want to join in with us, I will accept you as my girls have already done that. But, our union will happen with everybody else in three years time. Until then you will live as one of us and you will decide if you still want to bond with me, your body and soul and all…”
The dragon girls smiles slightly at that. Her guilt was great, but now she seems to have gotten what she wanted, and she even gets to live with me and my girls and study us. She will need to get accustomed to our way of life.
“Ok, now. I want you all to think about what you have done. As much as it was my fault, it was also yours that you accepted Mercissa instead of sending her away, making our relationship with Regios turn sour. I eon’t blame you, as I am the one to be blamed first and foremost, but I want you all to think next time before doing something foolish.”
The girls all nod in agreement, understanding that I want them to think about their actions and their decision. They didn’t even involve me, just saying they are ok. They didn’t care if I was ok or not, they ddin’t think of repercussions.
“Now, they issue that is most important right now is the duel with Regios. We need to find a way for me to beat him, so that Mercissa stays. Mercissa, mind you, because of what you did, Regios is now able to take you against your will if he succeeds. You are now a prize to be won. However bad that sounds, that is the truth.”
The dragon girl is downcast once again, with others patting her to make her feel better. She smiles at them weakly, it seems she just now understands her predicament. Then Eleanor speaks up, saying just the right thing.
“Well, a duel needs weapons and I think we have just the right one to even the odds.”
That makes us all blink once in confusion and then we all realize what she is talking about. That might actually be the trump card we need.
After my speech, we all settle down and relax. The girls were very nervous about me running off, so I now had to take a good amount of time to explain and apologize to them. We discuss the future duel and how to succeed. We also discuss me running away and finding the fur balls. They actually became popular amongst the girls. They tried biting but after a few well placed smacks they abandoned the idea. By now they were about the size of a small horse. If their parent is of any indication, they would grow to the size of a car. Mercissa didn’t know what they were, so we kept calling them fur balls.
At some point we all drifted towards the bathtub. Myself and eight other girls, including Flaer, a true harem… When I made the joke, everybody but Meriden looked confused, and she gave a smack. Then she explained it to others, earning me a few more smacks. Lilith, Leah and Aedim did it playfully, while Elaya and Eleanor did it wholeheartedly. The dragon girls just giggled, saying they like to be part of human customs. I had to explain that Flaer wasn’t part of it, which made her pout. The others all looked at me with dark expressions. Fearing for my life again, I told them that if I am still alive in a few hundred years, when Flaer matures, I would consider it. Strangely that satisfied them.
At some point I have forgotten about the girls’ punishment, allowing them to join in with us. It has been months already, girls had plenty of time to reflect on their mistakes. And I’ve seriously missed them, the Eleanor’s shy and closeted attempts at the show of affection, the Leah avoiding, yet wanting to jump me and looking at me with love-struck eyes, the Lilith teasing me and making me horny constantly. In all honesty I wanted everything to be the way it was. And I wanted Lilith… To help me in certain areas…
We also discussed other matters. Girls were excited to learn that I would go do some mining. They also got very interested in Aedim’s progress. We talked about the House of Bloodlust and about our affairs in the demon Kingdom. We also had to say something about what to do with my father and the elders who betrayed me. Only Elaya wanted to pardon them, seeing as they were Val men. I and Eleanor both agreed on execution, while other girls somewhat swayed towards our opinion. I just wanted them all dead, but Eleanor understood how dangerous is it to have people who want you gone around. Look where it got King Robert. So we agreed on that and decided to work out the details later.
Aster that after all the emotional trauma and stress, girls earned a good vacation, so we all spent a week just lazing about in elven territory. We swung some vines, we drunk some wines. It was a good time with all of us together. It was a while since the last time we were all together like that, except now there were even more of us.
Aedim showed her teleportation successes. She said that once the dwarves make the two pairs of gates, one pair will be sent here and the other will stay there, so we can have instantaneous travel. Gnomes were vary of the elves, but this would allow Aedim to go back and forth easily to oversee the construction and perhaps get some gnomes to collaborate on the project. They are known to be great tinkerers and they often think outside the box. Sometimes at wrong times, but right now it could be beneficial.
Aedim said that once I go to dwarves, I would take a port-stone with me. Once the gates are complete, I would teleport them here and then travel back through them once they are set up. It was quick, efficient and smart.
She actually gave us port-stones made of blue adamthril, so we could teleport to her at any time. They were permanent, as they didn’t burn out upon use like the ones made of actual stone did. She planned on expanding the designs, perhaps allowing all of us to teleport between various destinations and towards one another. Everybody agreed that they needed a function to teleport to me. These port-stones also doubled as whisper-stones, although very quiet ones. You’d have to actually concentrate to hear anything.
After we spent time together, we had to part ways. Everybody had their responsibilities. Flaer and Meriden were always with me, other girls went about their business. Mercissa decided that she wanted to get to know each one of us, so she would fly around and observe me and the girls as she pleased.
I got in contact with Regios, who it turns out calmed quite a bit after talking with his father. Lord Zil told Regios that the girl’s heart is a fragile and mysterious thing, and nothing short of a miracle will make her change her mind. After they had a thorough discussion, Regios calmed down, as he didn’t want to make Mercissa unhappy. He also hoped that spending time with me would make Mercissa rethink her decision. But he still insisted on a duel, if not to win her over then to make sure I can protect her. I thought it was a fair request. We decided to do the duel right before my next trial, as a way to entertain people. It wouldn’t be the actual rite of passage, plans were already made for that, it would just be something to excite people as well as give reason for Regios to attend.
So, with most important part over, we started doing things we planned one by one. First thing was the execution. We decided to do it in Kernun kingdom, as to avoid violating any Val laws. Val man can’t spill the blood of another Val man. So we had an executioner from human kingdom who would do it.
We came to a conclusion that people would be beheaded, it would be simple enough if not for the number of people. Previously elder council consisted of fifty people. Now, only thirteen of them served, while others would be executed. So thirty seven people would have their heads roll. My father would get a truly royal treatment. Actual event would take place in the Vieldon city square. This would allow everybody see, how traitors of the Crown would be dealt with.
Execution took place a month after our time spent with elves. Only I, Meriden and Eleanor were present for the execution. Two vixens were busy with their jobs and Elaya wished to be left out. There was a little more than half a year left before next Rite, so we didn’t rush things just yet. Killing so many people was bloody, we had to use four different men to behead them, as they would get tired quickly.
We would lead each one of those traitors, read out the charges against them and give them a slither of hope. They were given last meal the night befor and now they had a few last words to say. They would often beg, cry or curse me. I didn’t care, I just looked at them with hate and anger, wanting them to understand how little I thought of those cockroaches.
The beheadings were all normal, nobody messed up, nobody made mistakes. The men who were executed all tried asking for mercy, but nobody listened; they were rotten to the core. My father was the last man to die.
For Legiros’ punishment I decided to have him quartered, because it was like fate, giving me just the right tools to do the job. The four fur balls, even if they were not too big yet, they were plenty strong. So, I had four mithril chains attached to each of Legiros’ limb, those chains connected to each fur ball. Then I issued the commands.
First, that man was just hung in the rain, between two cat-moles. They stood there, building up his annoyance and nervousness. This kind of punishment was rarely used, but everybody knew it was painful. After a bit, I told the little ones to move out slowly. The limbs got stretched, bringing great pain and making the executed scream. It wasn’t enough to damage him fatally, but it was enough to hurt him.
The whole process was slow deliberately. I wanted him to suffer, to feel how it felt to be abandoned. It, as well as his betrayal brought me pain. Now I wanted him to feel it as well. It also made me ecstatic, seeing him scream. I think I looked like a madman, with my eyes lit up and staring at the man with a sadistic smile. But I was just glad that this was over and that I got to hurt somebody.
At some point, the skin began tearing and cracks were heard from the joints, dislocating something. His clothes became strained with blood. I didn’t stop, only doing this slowly and letting him feel everything.
At the start, he was silent, then he was screaming. At some point he began cursing me, wishing for me to die, wanting my people to burn and for the dark gods to take me back. He hated me and he showed it clearly.
Soon, he became incoherent. He was just screaming, pain and suffering emanating from him, making people wince and cringe at the sight. He started spamming, throwing up… He lost control over himself and went mad from the pain. At that point Eleanor had enough, she made the fur balls do a swift motion at separated that man’s body in four, with blood and entrails spilling on the floor. It was a gruesome sight.
I wasn’t too happy about premature command from Eleanor, but I was about to stop it myself. Besides, people had to see me as ruthless King, wanting to torture and execute evildoers, while Eleanor was a merciful Queen, keeping me in check and defending people from me. When the deed was done, we just stood up and walked away, leaving the mess to be dealt with by executioners.
So, that issue was dealt with. I thought I would feel some regret or remorse, but I didn’t. That man was hardly anybody to me, he abandoned me and then he betrayed me and wanted to kill me. “All who draw the sword will die by the sword” and all that.
Next came the issue of the House of Bloodlust. Lord Hooligein actually got in contact with us while I was “away”. Lilith handled him well and he agreed to give us necessary status and land. We didn’t have a base of operation yet, so I took Lilith and Sonja as well as Eclaire with me and flew towards the demon kingdom. There we looked for a good piece of land and hired plenty of workers. We made them build a massive, luxurious mansion where my Bloodborn will live within the demon kingdom. It would be big enough to fit all of us and more. It would be magnificent once it would be finished.
After that we had some talks with Lord Hooligein and he asked us to be very discreet. It was not official yet that a new house will be formed, and he wanted to keep that a secret for as long as possible. To this, we asked Leah to send a few of her best people who could manipulate information well. They would mask our plans and make sure no rumors leak about us.
Until the headquarters will be finished, there was little to do here, so after having some nice dinners with demon lord, we left towards home. It was estimated that the house would be completed sometime after the next Rite. How convenient.
And of course next came my mining expedition. I traveled to dwarven territory rather quickly atop my trusty steed. Flaer didn’t like me calling her that, but what could she do?
Once we were amongst the small people, I went to work learning mining and blacksmithing. My monstrous strength and sharp claws made digging and mining a breeze. I could easily dig through a lot of dirt and get a lot of ore. It also made it easy to forge weapons made of harder alloys. But when I tried to make some jewelry or add some finer details, I found that I lacked dexterity and finesse. I was a brute with massive strength, but I had little control over my body. I needed to learn to use small portions of my strength, so I could do fine little details easy. This was difficult, but I was somewhat successful in that regard.
At some point the port-gates were completed. Just as Aedim planned, I teleported them with me back to the elven territory. There they took few days to set up, but in the end we had a permanent and quick way to travel from the south part of the Great Forest to the northern mountains. Aedim was able to meet the gnomes and dwarves who worked on the gate, and they were very impressed by the success. Now they could mass produce those.
Aedim talked to main engineers and tinkerers, trying to squeeze as much ingenuity out of them. Putting all their mind power together, they came up with simpler yet more complex designs for gates, eliminating unneeded parts, while allowing different gates to connect together. Now you only needed to know which gates you want to travel to, dial the code and open the portal. This eliminated the need to have a pair of gates for every distinct location you could come up with. Man, Aedim and the gnomes invented stargates. They looked different, but they functioned the same. When I told her that, she liked the name and changed it from port-gates to stargates.
The time before the next rite of passage was spent productively. Leaders all came in contact with Regios and they made an early version of a pact. Peace talks were still going on, but they seemed to be successful for the most part. Some people were sent towards monster territories to learn about them. Their first stop was always Mielztkin’s town, which had some mentions of me. The new inflow of people allowed him to earn more money, and I was one of the main attractions. He actually showed the ball I made from a tankard and challanged people to repeat my feat, for a price of course. He also sold lots of drinks and foods, as he was the owner of the only inn in town.
So, doing this and that, the time for the next Rite slowly closed in. Leah was excited about it and about the show that would be put on. Regios said he would be ruthless. I wasn’t scared of him anymore, I had my secret weapon primed and ready. I too couldn’t wait for the next trial. From what I learned so far, Leah’s blood smelled a bit like vanilla. I was looking forward to that. It really felt like the world waited for my next rite.