“Let’s relax until tomorrow then. It’s already late, and we all just got cleaned up, so we’ll go out and look around for a good spot to trick them tomorrow morning. They won’t be arriving until later in the day, right?” I ask.
“I believe so, darling,” Thera answers.
“Then yeah, let’s relax for the night.”
“Darling, all you wish to do is relax.”
“That is factually incorrect. All I want to do is have fun. Relaxing is an unfortunate requirement in order to have energy to have more fun. Wait, that reminds me! Sorry, Frederick. You told me to come and see you earlier after I was done with Lily, but I never did.”
“It is alright, Damian. I came to check on you and saw you sleeping with her, so I figured that you were too tired and passed out! Resting with a lovely woman is much better than having an old man use magic to wake you up,” Frederick says. “And our training went splendidly after you left!”
Huh? Training? My immediate thought is that kind of training, but… Lily wouldn’t go and do anything with Frederick, would she?
“It did!” Lily says, sounding excited. “I – I learned a new class!” Her eyes are full of pride and excitement when I look into them.
“She will make a great healer one day,” Frederick explains.
Oh. That’s what kind of training. Wait… yeah, now that he’s said it, I remember Lily wanted to stay back in the first place so that he could teach her healing. I don’t know if I’m having a bad day or if my memory is going. Aren’t I way too young to be having memory problems?
“Mon maître, c-come to me next time you’re hurt!” Lily tells me, holding onto me and nodding her head.
“She could not stop talking about how excited she is to heal you the next time you get hurt, but she wanted to assure me that she wished you would not get hurt at all,” Frederick explains, causing Lily to turn her head to look at him and pout. “Aha, sorry, I forgot I wasn’t supposed to tell you that,” he says, looking back at me.
I pet Lily’s head to comfort her and say, “Don’t worry, Lily. It just makes you even cuter.”
“Thank you, Lily, for making yourself useful. That master of yours could learn from you,” Thera says. While her words do strike me as unnecessarily harsh seeing as how—in my opinion—I’ve been doing some important things today, she’s smiling when I look up at her. Is she actually teasing me?
“I could say the same to you about fun,” I tease her back.
“Perhaps when you are strong enough,” she says back, completely serious now.
“You’re all so entertaining!” Syl declares. “Don’t get me wrong! Fay can be fun and nobody beats us at festivals and parties, but you humans are interesting!”
“I do not understand how you could find them entertaining, Chief Mother,” Asku says.
Asku looks into her eyes and bows his head. “Sorry.”
“Good pony! Now, Thera, right? Would you mind having a discussion with me in private?”
Thera crosses her arms and looks the fairy over before saying, “Is it important?”
“You should know who it’s about.”
Asku looks ready to shout about how he must absolutely not permit Syl to have a private discussion with Thera, but I’m guessing that Syl is expecting that since she turns to look at him again which causes him to lower his head once more.
“Excuse us, darling,” Thera says.
“Later, Daymee!” Syl says, placing a kiss on the tip of my nose before they head off together.
Asku just looks awkward now like he has no idea what to do.
I really want to know what they’re going to talk about, and who it’s about, but I don’t think I’ll be allowed to try and eavesdrop.
Looking at Frederick, he’s still all wrinkly from the water.
“You know, I doubt that’s good for your skin,” I tell him.
“I’m too old to worry about something like that!” Frederick answers.
“Girls would probably like you better if you stay from getting too wrinkly.”
“You’re right. I should worry about that some more.” Frederick grins and laughs. “Speaking of taking care of ourselves, now that I’ve begun training with Lily, when will we start your training?”
“Muscles, boy! You need some meat and muscles on you! Lily and… excuse me, what’s your name again?” he asks Akorya.
“Right. Lily and Akorya, wouldn’t you prefer Damian to have some muscles?”
The two girls look me over and actually look like they’re thinking pretty hard about this.
I don’t know how to feel about this.
“Hmm… you are kind of scrawny! But, it’s okay since your thing is huge,” Akorya says before nuzzling her face against my chest.
“I – I don’t know… mon maître, I like monsters with – with big muscles, like… like minotaurs, but umm, for your real body, umm, I – I think it’d be n-nice if you got… maybe… a little… I do not know the word… pudgy?” Lily suggests.
“You… want me to be pudgy?” I ask her.
“I… w-well, you – you already have sex as monsters, and umm, so I get to experience all those, b-but we only cuddle when you’re a human, so… if you’re soft, ma-maybe a bit pudgy, you’ll be comfier.”
You do understand that you’re already perfect, don’t you?
Now you’re telling me that you want me to get pudgier, when most would probably not want their master to get fat, because you want to cuddle more.
“Hmm,” Frederick says. “Becoming obese would not be any good, but I can make you like a bear! Powerful and with some spare skin to grab onto. We will just need to make sure that you are exercising enough while eating more.”
“Why am I thinking that you want to turn me into like, some sort of Russian strongman?” I ask.
Frederick looks confused, but Lily excitedly nods. “Yes! Mon maître, that is – that is what I mean!” Lily says. “Strong, but – but squishy!”
“I – I don’t even think I have the right frame to become like that.” Honestly, I’m not a wide guy. I’m pretty narrow and thin. I can’t imagine growing that massive.
But, between these three, I doubt I’m going to get to stay this size forever.
“There is no point. A human would never be able to become as powerful as a centaur,” Asku says, totally butting his ass into this conversation and being annoying about it.
You know what? Screw you, Asku. You were cool at first, but now you’re annoying.
I’m going to become stronger than you, defeat you in combat, and get to turn into a centaur afterward.
I’ve been personally challenged now.
“When do we start?” I ask Frederick.
“We will start once tomorrow’s matters are dealt with! I’m glad to see that fiery spirit in your eyes! Did something suddenly inspire you?” Frederick asks.
“Yeah, I want to be stronger than him,” I answer, looking at Asku.
Asku, for the first time, actually laughs. “You could never!” he says, laughing harder than I thought would be possible for him.
“Ma-master, I – I love your thing and all, but… don’t you think that might be a bit too unrealistic?” Akorya asks me.
I look down at Lily. She’s looking back at me with supportive eyes – she believes in me.
“Follow my routine and you’ll make it!” Frederick says.
“Foolishness. What is your force right now? A centaur starts at nineteen, and I can promise you it is far higher than that right now,” Asku says.
“Uhh, eleven, I think,” I answer.
“Maaassstteeerrrr…” Akorya whines.
“Do you believe in me, boy?” Frederick asks me.
“You know it, old man,” I answer.
“Then do as I tell you, and one year from now, you’ll be stronger than him.”
One year? Damn, that’s a long time… but I guess it’s pretty realistic for growing strong starting from nothing pretty much.
“Hear that? One year from now, we’ll have a duel and see who’s stronger,” I tell Asku.
“You use the bodies of others, right? You will not be allowed to use that skill to transform. You must defeat me as a human,” Asku says.
“Sure. I’ll defeat you without transforming with Feral Form.”
Akorya is whining even louder now and nuzzling against me, trying to get me to stop. She probably thinks I’m just digging myself a deeper and deeper hole.
“M-mon maître, you can – you can do it!” Lily encourages me.
Akorya looks at Lily, sighs, and then looks up at me as well. “Beat him up! You better not lose,” Akorya says.
“How could I lose when I’ve got two perfect cheerleaders?” I ask them, giving each of their foreheads a kiss.
“At least try to give me something to look forward to, Damian,” Asku says.
At least he can be respectful in moments like this. I guess he respects being honestly challenged? That sounds like a pretty centaur sort of thing. I think. “Want to pledge it? Though, just a heads up, I’m technically untrustworthy.”
“We will pledge it.”
“Then I promise to fight you one year from now without using Feral Form.”
“I promise to accept your challenge.”