The hell is a phytomagus? Garth thought as he and Sandi walked down the street together after the business hours of the guild were over. Plant magician? He didn’t feel like a plant, but then again, he was purple and hadn’t felt the need to eat in a few days either, so who knew?
“And this is where they sell spellbooks.” She said, pointing to the darkened windows of a shop shuttered after dark and glowing with magical wards.
“Sorry about using you to show me around town on our date” Garth said with a sheepish grin, setting aside his musings. They’d walked around the outpost and Sandi had pointed out every business that he intended to visit in the coming day. Garth’s list of things to do tomorrow were such:
- Post a request on the bounty board.
- Buy some clothes.
- Buy some spellbooks.
- Set up a business supplying people’s needs in this boomtown economy.
- Become fabulously wealthy and powerful.
And maybe the day after that he could start learning magic.
Who am I kidding? I’ll have to save the spellbook for last, or I won’t get anything else done that day. Maybe longer.
“It’s no problem. I really didn’t expect anything at all, so this is nice.” She said, shrugging. Garth glanced at the nearby shop windows as they walked and spotted the long insect legs weaving through pedestrian traffic beside him. She was so big he couldn’t make out her main body through the poor angle of the mirror.
“No, I’m gonna take you out and show you the human world,” Garth said, shaking his head and glancing back her way. The human avatar she maintained blushed and glanced away from him. the question you gotta ask yourself is, how much of that is what I want to see?
“And to pay you back for showing me around, I’d love to take you out to eat. Where would you like to go?” Garth wondered how much a body that size needed to eat.
“No, it’s okay, you wouldn’t want to.” She said. “I’ve got a big appetite.”
“I imagine,” Garth said with a chuckle. “but I wanna pay you back.”
“You can’t exactly take me to a restaurant.”
“It’s fiiine,” Garth said. “I’m new in town, I’ve got cash burning a hole in my pocket, and I wanna impress a girl. I don’t need to eat, and you’ve been splendid to me. So, where do you want to eat?”
Why am I not surprised.
Sandi grabbed his hand and steered him toward the outskirts of the town.
They came up to the stone wall of the city, which Sandi told him were made by earth wizards, who pulled the bedrock straight up into an unassailable wall. Walls that wouldn’t have done much against drone strikes and nuclear missiles, but those things didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell at working anymore, so it was a moot point.
Against the stone wall was a wooden fence and a massive pen where an alien in a straw hat chewed on a golden piece of wheat. It would have been charming, but for the massive, low-browed beast that sat beside him, with a similar indifferent look, chewing on a similar tuft of grass.
“Brian!” Sandi said, waving as she approached.
“Miss Sandi, you’re a couple days early.” Brian the Alien Farmer turned to face them. He looked like nothing less than a minotaur with a pair of overalls. He dusted his hands off as she approached, driving his shit-shovel deep into the earth with one hand.
“I know,” she said. “I’m on a date!” she said, pointing to Garth, who craned his neck to look up at Brain, who must have been eight feet tall if he was an inch.
Guy must have been closing on seven hundred pounds of pure muscle, and Garth couldn’t think of a single human that could possibly go toe-to-toe with him.
Except Andre The Giant, and by extension, The Man In Black.
The minotaur took a glance at Garth, his brows furrowed, then he looked back at Sandi.
“So is he like you, or…”
“I’m a native, actually. A human.”
“And you…know who Sandi is?”
“Brian!” Sandi exclaimed, to which the minotaur held his hands up, warding off a solid thump from Sandi. “I get enough of that from the boys in the Guild!”
“Sorry, I just wanted to be sure!” Brian gave a chuffing laugh, guarding himself as Sandi’s playful slaps knocked him – the eight-foot tall giant – around like a child.
“Brian, this is Garth, Garth, this is Brian. Garth is the nicest, handsomest guy I’ve ever met. He offered to treat me to dinner, and he smells soooo good, and I was starting to get hungry again, so I figured why not? If this doesn’t scare him off, nothing will.”
There’s the pheromones I guess, but I wonder if I smell good in the want-to-eat way, or the want to have sex with way? Garth wasn’t sure he could handle either of those things.
“You’re right about that.” Brian said before his smile faded. “Actually, there was something I wanted to talk to you about.”
“What is it?” Sandi said, her large eyes blinking.
“To tell you the truth, this is the last time I can afford to sell you a buck. Back home the feed for the Bantas was cheap, they were hardy and they bred well, but now… it’s like they haven’t gotten used to this planet, and most especially, feed prices are just too steep to transport through the gate. I didn’t do the math well, I guess.”
Brian scratched his temple in shame.
“But Brian, you’re the only person here who knows me,” she said. “No one else is willing to sell to a succubus!”
“I know, I know. It’s just not sustainable. My feed’s costing an arm and a leg, and until someone starts a plot of Banta grass, I’m keeping them on quarter rations. They’re starting to starve and everyone in town expects them to do the same amount of work. I can’t take them outside yet either or they’ll get picked off by Kipling.”
“I hear…Earth animals can be pretty tasty?”
“I can’t go out and spend half my time hunting! I’ll lose my job at the Guild!” Sandi said, pouting. She leaned against Brian in dismay, and Garth noticed the minotaur was having a hard time keeping his eyes on her face.
Holy crap, this is a problem I can solve.
Garth cleared his throat, catching the attention of Sandi and Brian.
“I’m sorry,” she said, stepping away from Brian. “We should go. I don’t want to put such a bad end on our-“
“No, I think I can help both of you out.” Garth said. He spotted a bin beside the fence, marked FEED.
“What do you mean?” Brian asked as Garth walked up to the bin and opened it. It was empty, about the size of a dumpster, and there were a few bits of strawlike grass at the bottom. It was about six feet deep, so Garth had to nearly crawl in to snag a little bit of grain off the very bottom.
Garth held it up to the light of the outpost’s lanterns, inspecting the stalk with a few pieces of golden grain weakly hanging on. It looked indistinguishable from wheat or barley to a layman. Perhaps they were the same, and farmers like Brian simply hadn’t found the human farms yet. It had only been a week or so, after all. He’d have to talk to the minotaur about it.
“I’m an Apostle of Beladia.” Garth plucked a single grain free, watching Beladia’s green mana pulse through his fingers.
With his Mana Sight, he watched Beladia’s mana swirl, condense, fracture, then condense three more times, until the grain was crackling with energy, more than he’d ever been able to focus before his class change.
“Here you go.” Garth said, holding out the seed. “Toss that in your Banta pen.”
Brian gave him an odd look before glancing at Sandi. “So you had a run in with Beladia huh? Some things are starting to make sense.”
“And make sure to stand back. It should be fun.” Garth said, running the numbers in his head as the information flooded into his mind.
Just by holding the seed, he knew that the plant itself would give off fifty kernels per stalk in ideal conditions. Receiving the power of Beladia fell under ideal conditions. So, fifty kernels from the first, multiplied by fifty for the second generation, and so on, until the fourth generation.
Fifty to the power of four was six and a quarter million kernels. At seventeen thousand kernels to the pound he was looking at three hundred and sixty seven pounds of pure grain, give or take. Not including the body of the plant itself. That would be a few extra tons of plant matter.
Brian held the seed in his palm and snorted, giving Garth a suspicious look before shrugging.
“What the hell’ve I got to lose?” he said, walking out to the middle of the Banta pen. He ignored Garth’s warning to toss it and stand back, instead jamming the grain into the Banta-stomped dirt with his wrist-thick fingers.
“Wait-“ Garth tried to call out, but it was lost in the explosion of green with the minotaur at the epicenter. Seeds burst out violently, covering the ground before bursting out again, covering every inch of the Banta pen with a thick stand of waist deep grass, brimming with seeds just about to ripen.
the tidal wave of grain swept outside the pen and washed over Sandi and Garth, out into the packed dirt road leading up to the pens.
“Brian, are you okay!?” Sandi called, her chest heaving with worry. Her chest heaved with anything, really.
“WHOOO!” Brian lunged out of the densest mass of Banta grass, letting out a roar that echoed off the walls of the outpost, his fist bloody where the grass had exploded against his fingers.
Brian surged forward, a towering wall of muscle bearing straight down on Garth. Garth only had time to flinch as the images of quarterbacks with broken spines ran through his head. Brian collided with him, driving all the wind out of Garth’s lungs as he wrapped his limbs around him and lifted him in a hug that threatened to eject his internal organs.
“That was awesome!” Garth heard Brian bellow above his head as he struggled to survive the minotaur’s gratitude.
“I’m…glad.” Garth wheezed.
Brian dropped him to the ground with a grin, flexing his wounded finger. The minotaur turned to watch the Banta eat, absentmindedly winding a bandage from his overalls around the thick stubs of his fingers. The starving beasts were going to town on the grass.
“Hot damn. That’s two days worth of feed there,” he said, dropping the bandage back into his front pocket. Brian looked back at Garth with a twinkle in his eye. “How much do you want for it?”
Garth shrugged. “I’m just here to buy Sandi dinner, so how about the first one’s on the house, then one fifth the import price for a charged seed like that?” he said, nodding toward the center or the pen, where the grass was so thick Banta were having trouble moving. They were doing their best to eat their way out, though.
“Really?” Brian said, kneeling down and grabbing Garth’s shoulders to stare him directly in the eye. The minotaur’s huge nostrils flared, sending a gust of minotaur breath directly into his face.
“Really. It’s no trouble to me, and we could both use the extra cash, right?”
“You’ve got a deal, Garth.” Brain said, clasping Garth’s hands in his own massive meathooks. Garth winced as his bones creaked. Garth was used to hard work, and his hands were by no means delicate, but the minotaur made him look like a doll by comparison.
“Great, I’ll stop by and make you a couple more seeds tomorrow morning. I don’t know If I’ll be in town all week, so I’ll make enough to last awhile.”
“Sounds good to me. By the way, do you have a way to control exactly where they grow, or should I expect to have to trim a little outside the pen. I don’t mind, it’s just a bit less time spent, you know?”
“I getcha,” Garth nodded. “I can’t control it, but if I ever can, you’ll be the first to know.”
“No problem,” Brian said, rubbing his chin and nodding.
“Boys?” Sandi said, drawing their attention to where the demonspawn was crossing her arms in irritation, pushing her breasts up and out even further than Garth had thought possible.
“Umm…yeah?” he asked, reorienting on her face.
“I’m happy that you two can get excited about things, but can we eat? I got my heart set on eating tonight, and now I’m starting to lose my mind.” Sandi drooled a bit. “You two are starting to look tasty.”
Brian hopped up, uncrossing his arms and getting to work with a quickness, he went over to the pen of reject bucks, hauling one apart from the others and guiding it to the entrance.
As soon as the mulish animal got out of the pen and stopped trying to gore Brian, it spotted Sandi. The Banta brayed and charged the succubus, stopping just shy of spearing her with its gnarled horns, throwing its legs over her shoulders and trying to hump her legs.
Garth stared at the strange scene, as a woman that size with a one-ton animal putting its weight on her would normally be crushed. Sandi laughed, petting the mindlessly rutting beast on its coat a moment before leaning forward and nibbling on it.
Garth wasn’t sure what to expect, but he wasn’t expecting the gaping wound that appeared on the back of the Banta’s neck. Sandi severed the tremendous beast’s spine in one bite, dropping it to the ground.
Garth didn’t even see what did it, the Succubus’s real body hidden behind a veil of illusion. He had to assume it was her mouth, but who knew.
“Hey,” Garth called to Brian as they both watched Sandi bend over the beast, ass wiggling, her long pink tongue lapping up the blood while her breasts were jostled by the dying beast’s twitching legs. As she erotically sucked up the blood, large chunks of the animal disappeared into what Garth assumed was her real mouth.
“Yeah?” Brian asked, his eyes fixed on the spectacle.
“Is it possible to be aroused and scared at the same time?”
“You tell me.”
“Is this why you sell to her?” Garth managed to tear his eyes away from where a blood-covered Sandi was basically dry-humping her meal, and sent a glance at Brian.
Brian rubbed the back of his neck, his fleshy nose turning red. “There aren’t a lot of minotaur ladies where we’re from, so after she visits…”
“I won’t tell Sandi.”
“Thanks. I blew it with her a long time ago.”
“Garth, do you want some?” Sandi called from the 1/3rd eaten Banta as she pushed herself up from the exposed ribcage. Her bodice had been pushed down around her waist as she ate, freeing her head-sized melons to swing below her. Blood dripped down her breasts as her nipples brushed against the carcass beneath her.
“You got a grill I could borrow?” Garth asked.
“Sure.” Brian said, heading into his wooden shack.
“Could I get a couple ribs to share with Brian?” Garth asked, approaching the blood-covered succubus. She reached into the buck with her dainty hands and tore out a section of ribs about four feet long by three feet wide, exposing the Banta’s steaming internal organs.
“I don’t have to eat, but I am curious.”
She held the chunk of meat out to Garth, and he glanced toward the shack, where Brian was still clomping around. No time like the present to see how far this could go.
“Mind if I cop a feel?” he asked, kneeling down and taking the ribs out of her hands.
Sandi glanced down at herself and blinked, covering herself. “Oh, I didn’t mean to tempt you like that, I was just really hungry.”
“Do I look like I mind?” Garth asked. If he got angry every time he saw a nice pair of tits, what kind of man would that make him? Matter of fact why the hell did anyone get angry seeing a nice pair of tits? Crazy bastards. “I’m all for it.”
“Oh, well, I guess it’s okay.” She said, putting her arms down and uncovering the massive tits.
Garth gently ran a hand over her breasts, the blood making the soft, pliable flesh slip over his hands, the nub of her nipple brushing his palm with the slightest resistance. Garth was amazed at how blood was coming off on his hand. Were the boobs real or not? His mind was brimming with ideas.
How much of her false image was real, and what kinds of things could he do with it?
Sandi stifled a moan, giving Garth pause.
“It’s just, right after eating, I’m a little sensitive.”
“Ah. Well.” Garth gave her nipple a light tug, making Sandi yelp before he stood up. “Probably shouldn’t go too far on the first date anyway.” Gotta find a mage armor spell or something in case Sandi’s love bites get a little intense.
“If you say so,” she said, glaring at him as she covered her assets. The corners of her mouth twitched as she tried to suppress a smile. There was a slam from the minotaur’s shack as he kicked open the door with a cloven hoof.
“Here’s the grill!” Brian shouted, carrying out a charred wooden frame supporting a cast iron box with a grill full of charcoal. Resting on top of the grill was an old-timey barrel with a spigot and three huge mugs.
Black dust covered the minotaur’s hands from where he’d been handling the charcoal. Red blood covered Garth’s hand from where he’d been handling Sandi. The minotaur didn’t seem to notice as Garth handed him the bloody rack of ribs, probably assuming it was from the meat.
“All right, let’s get this party started!” Brian shouted.
An hour later, Brian and Garth were sitting and drinking beer and eating roast Banta with live entertainment, having convinced Sandi to finish her meal entirely nude. It got real interesting when her avatar started licking itself clean.
“This is weird.”
“What?” Brian asked.
“This is the best date I’ve ever been on.” Garth said around a mouthful of steaming Banta.