We made it back to the dungeon just as the sky started to lighten, and needless to say, both Thera and Lily were very surprised to see me back so soon. They were even more surprised to see everybody with me.
“So, darling. You are telling me that you went to the town, met with two more of the humans from your ‘Earth,’ got ambushed by that beast clinging to your arm, made friends with some more humans, got interrogated by the town’s leading authority figure, hired a healer, almost got assaulted by a slime which is also now clinging to you, unlocked two new forms for yourself to turn into, and came back from the village all within one day?” Thera asks.
Lily’s been looking pretty cutely jealous ever since we returned. She doesn’t seem too excited about Akorya and this slime clinging to my sides.
“Yeah, that pretty much sums it up,” I answer. “Oh, and this is Akorya, the old man here is Frederick, and the slime is… we’ll call her Goo.”
“Darling, you are aware that a slime cannot be a ‘her,’ yes?” Thera asks.
“She turned into a girl, though. She might just be a blob right now, but earlier, she had a girl’s body.”
Lily looks even more jealous now.
“’She’ would turn into a ‘he’ if you were a woman rather than a man. Go ahead and ask her to turn into a male,” Thera says.
Eh, why not? “Hey, Goo, turn into a guy,” I tell the slime stuck to my right arm.
Surely enough, Goo turns into a short, somewhat feminine boy with all parts attached.
“Well… what do you prefer being?” I ask Goo.
Goo goes back to looking like a girl.
“Then we’ll just go with calling her a her,” I explain.
Lily is pouting.
I’m going to have to give her some attention here soon.
“Maaasteeerrr, who’s she and why does she look so jealous of me?” Akorya asks, nuzzling against my arm while looking at Lily.
You just had to say something about it, Akorya. Now Lily is looking away and hiding behind her shaggy bangs.
But, before I can try to clear things up, Lily looks to develop some resolve and walks right on up to me. She slides her arms underneath my own to wrap them around me in a hug, pressing her breasts up against my chest as she looks up at me and says, “Welcome back, mon maître.”
She even goes so far as to lean up on the tips of her toes to place a kiss on my cheek.
“Ooohh, is that how it is, master?” Akorya says, yanking down on my arm so that the back of my hand is pressing up against her crotch with my arm held between her breasts. “Maasssteeerrr,” Akorya whines, “your kitten wants to do more naughty things with you,” she whispers into my ear, making sure to be loud enough for Lily to hear.
Meanwhile, Goo has left me alone to slide her way over to Al Capra whom has just been standing there the whole time listening to the rest of us talk.
What Goo does makes me realize that she’ll be perfect for training the men here. She can apparently make herself look like anything, and right now she’s making herself look like a female version of Al Capra, so that means my employees will be able to practice with her. With just one slime, they’ll be able to get used to different body types, races, and practice all sorts of techniques on her. The best part is that they won’t have to worry about accidentally hurting her since she’s a slime, assuming they are careful of her core.
“I have a question, darling,” Thera says.
“Yeah?” I ask while Lily and Akorya basically compete against each other in rubbing their bodies against me.
“You wish for this to be a dungeon for those with lustful desires to come and mate consensually, yes?”
“You’ve got it.”
“Most of your ‘employees’ are male and monsters.”
“I will not be partaking in any perverse activities with the ‘customers.’ Are either of those girls rubbing themselves on you going to be servicing others?”
I look down at them. Lily shakes her head from side to side which makes Akorya do the same.
“I… guess not,” I answer. I think I might see where Thera is going with this.
“And what of that slime?” Thera asks.
I look over at Goo. She’s servicing Al Capra. “She’s our only female employee, I guess. Plus, she can double as a male if needed.”
“You said the hot springs are down the left tunnel?” Frederick chimes in.
“You’ve got it.”
“That’s where you’ll be able to find me then. I haven’t had a hot bath in years!”
“Oh, actually, if you go to the room past the hot springs then you’ll find a pool specifically for bathing.”
“Ah, bathe first then take a dip in the springs? You’re one proper man, Damian.”
“I figured nobody would want to relax in the hot springs while somebody else is washing themselves off. Anyways, enjoy the water! Let me know if you can think of any improvements.”
Thera clears her throat. “As I was trying to say before.”
“Sorry, didn’t mean to interrupt you,” I apologize.
“Worry not, darling. I am just concerned that you may not be going about this the most logical way.”
“Alright. Let me hear what you think I could be doing better then. Seriously, I’m all ears. If you have a suggestion, I want to hear it. That goes for everybody here.”
“Very well. I should have said this before you went to the town in the first place, but dungeon masters are not known for seriously considering the ideas of their dungeon’s inhabitants. Now, my concern is this: you are trying to find human customers to visit your dungeon despite it mainly consisting of monsters. Do you not understand just how despised monsters are?”
“I don’t despise you. Lily doesn’t. The old man doesn’t seem to care, either. Hell, he was checking you out.”
“Yes, I could tell that he was. However, you three consist of an extreme minority. Unless you plan on changing racial biases that have been keeping our races apart for hundreds of years, which could not be realistically accomplished within your lifetime and certainly not by a human with no political power nor status, the most likely outcome of your attempts will be bringing humans here only to run away out of fear and to bring guards and adventurers here.”
“Yeah… alright, that’s fair. Very fair. I mean, I’ll see what I can do about changing people’s minds, but I don’t know how successful that’ll be.”
“It will not be successful.”
“Alright, alright. Then what do you suggest we do that doesn’t involve killing any humans who come here?”
“I do not know how to deal with the inevitable threat of humans coming here en masse to slay us and conquer your dungeon, but I do have a plan regarding ‘customers.’”
“And that would be?”
“This region is politically split into three. The humans of the town you visited own this eastern side of the crater. They have erected walls connecting the lake to the mountains on both the south and north side of the lake, splitting the crater into halves. Very few of us monsters remain on the eastern side of the wall. Those of us who do are either lucky, imbeciles, or powerful.”
While Akorya talks, both Lily and Akorya have been fighting over my chest butting heads and seeing who gets to act the neediest. I’m honestly surprised to see this much fighting spirit come from Lily. Though, as much as I’m proud of Lily for having some backbone over fighting for me, Akorya is clearly in this to tease Lily as much as she’s in this for my attention. Akorya doesn’t even look like she’s taking this seriously whereas Lily does.
I pet both of their heads while Thera continues.
“To the west of the wall are two more factions. A small sliver of the forest there is controlled by one of my young’s favorite snacks: fay,” Thera says.
“Like, fairies?” I ask.
“Fairies are part of them, yes. There are fairies, elves, gnomes, pixies and sprites, lesser elementals, and a few others that I am likely forgetting.”
“So, your spiders like to eat fairies?”
“No more fairy eating, alright?”
Thera sighs. She actually sounds disappointed. “I expected as much from you, but that is alright. They know better than to come over here, so many of my young have never even had the opportunity to delight in the taste of a fay.”
“Thera… how many fairies have you eaten?”
“Let us just say that there is a reason why they no longer come across the wall, and it has more to do with humans capturing them.”
“What do humans capture them for?”
“Their body parts. Fairies in particular, from what I have read, are useful in many different schematics. Their glowing bodies can serve as light sources during the night until they die, their wings and antennae are valuable ingredients for many potions and meals, and their bones can be crushed into a fine dust that enhances the alchemical effects of whatever it is mixed into.”
“How do you know all this?”
“A book I took from a man whom came into the forest hunting for fay. He killed one of my young, so I turned him into a meal and took his belongings.”
“You didn’t just kill him for the book, right?”
“I do enjoy reading, darling.”
“Alright, alright. And the other faction?”
“Before I continue, many of the fay are enslaved by the dominant force on the other side of the wall. This dominant force refers to itself as the Moon’s First. They are a faction of beasts twisted from magic that worship the crystals found throughout this crater.”
“When you say they’re beasts, what do you mean?”
“Like the girl there and myself, darling,” she says, pointing at Akorya. “Beasts with the features of humans. They are predominantly wolves, bears, hawks, and other natural predators. The rabbits make up a large portion of their slave labor, and the fay fill in the gaps. The Moon’s First is full of powerful, capable fighters as well.”
Did I just hear wolf girls and bunny girls? Bear girls? Harpies?
I want to meet them.
“But I’m guessing they’re not as powerful as humans if they don’t rule the whole region,” I say.
“That is not it, darling. They are far more powerful than most humans. However, they lack the numbers and intelligence of humanity. They are hunters first and foremost, not builders nor strategists. Their strategies are only as advanced as fighting in packs and herding enemies into traps, but such tactics do not work against ranged enemies hiding upon walls.”
“I’m guessing they were the ones the purge was against?”
“You have heard of that?”
“Yeah, the guy who took me into town on his wagon told me about it.”
“I see. Yes, the purge was against all monsters within the forest, and the Moon’s First was the main target of the humans. Thousands were slaughtered for naught more than more land for humans to rip apart in search of crystals and metal.”
“So, what’s all of this have to do with the plan of yours?”
“Apologies, darling. I got sidetracked. My plan is to, rather than gather human ‘customers,’ we approach those beyond the wall to service within your dungeon. They will be much more likely to be interested in what you wish to offer them, and they will not wish to kill us all for simply existing.”
“Monster clients instead of human clients?”