“Uh … would you allow me to explain myself?” I ask while trying to stay as calm as possible as I’m looking at this spider-girl that’s hanging upside down in front of me.
“I am a bit curious, and I’m not in a hurry. Enlighten me.”
“Okay … first, my name is Jinma Kotori, and I’m a human. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“Is that right? Lili, Arachne, likewise,” she introduces with a hint of sarcasm.
So that’s the name of her race. “I’m a lost traveler with no idea where I’m going, or where I am right now aside from the country of Padimon … this is Padimon, right?”
“Yes, you are correct. Are you aware that you’re in the Demon-Kin’s Territory right now?”
“Uh … no?”
“Huh. Okay, anything to add in your explanation?”
“I apologize if I’m intruding in your space, Ms. Lili, I really just want to find a place to settle for a bit before moving on without causing a lot of trouble. I would be most appreciative if you could help me down, especially since I’m terrible with heights, and direct me to the nearest town so that I can be on my way.”
“I see … and I assume this is your bag?” Ms. Lili uses a strand of webbing to pull up the MIB from the ground.
“Yes, that is my bag.”
“Hmm … how peculiar for a lost traveler to be carrying such a valuable item like a MIB. You must have a lot of stuff in the course of your travels.”
“That’s … right.”
“I’m going to have to search you for any other weapons you have. Let yourself hang and don’t struggle, please.”
“Okay …” If the relationships between humans and demons in this world are anything like what I’ve seen in the mangas, she wants to play it safe so that I don’t stab her in the back later. I’ll have to play along for now. I flop myself back in a hanging position while letting my arms sway loosely. I try and keep myself calm to not let my fear of heights get the better of me.
[You have now reached ‘Fear Resistance’ LV 5!]
Well, would you look at that? I leveled up a skill. I guess these things happen when you’re doing stuff associated with existing skills?
Ms. Lili starts the pat-down—or to be more technical, pat-up—from my shoulders first, checking the pockets in my suit for any contents before moving to the slacks. She then notices something in my pocket and feels around to pull out …
“W-What in the world?!” she exclaims while holding my IEB in front of her. She moves up and holds my chin to where I’m looking right at her while she stares back with a serious expression. “You … you’re a Champion, aren’t you?”
Ms. Lili sighs. “This is truly unfortunate.”
“Uh … what are you doing?” I ask as she drops the IEB in my bag, sets my arms at my sides, and starts spinning me around, briskly entwining her webbing on my body all the while. I quickly grow dizzy and delirious with the height fears and the blood rushing in my head on top of things.
“You were so cute and cooperative, I was willing to let you go, even escort you to the town I was heading back to myself, but the Demon King issued an order to all demons to capture any Champions and report them to the capital immediately for a generous reward in exchange.”
“The Demon King? What does he want with the Champions?”
“I don’t know, but if you’re lucky, she might let you go after giving me the reward. That’s what she’s done with the last few others that were brought before her from what I’ve heard.”
“Wait, the Demon King is a girl, and she didn’t do anything with the last few Champions before me?”
“Nope. I heard she gave them some money as an apology for the inconvenience and a night’s stay at the castle before she let them be on their way. They carried a signed note from her that they’ve already been dealt with and have no need with them any further. I don’t know what happened to them after they left.”
“Could this just be a mandatory procedure for any Champions that passed by in this territory?”
“I don’t know. Capturing and bringing the Champions to her was the first decree she made when she took the throne and didn’t explain any further as to why. Unfortunately, the other demons made this into some sort of competition and attempted to steal the Champions away from each other. It’s been going on for about 4 years now.”
“Huh …” Before I knew it, I’m wrapped in Ms. Lili’s cocoon webbing with my face still in the open. I feel like one of those silkworms I found in the mountains near Grandma’s residence when I was a tyke.
“You’re being surprisingly calm about this. I would think you’d try to escape and kill me by now.”
“Well, this webbing’s tougher than I thought, and … you sound like you’re telling the truth. Even if you’re passing me off for some money, at least you’re more honest with your intentions compared to the last girl I thought I could trust, and she was a human.” Thinking back to the last moments before I died on Earth, the memory has me tensing up to where I’m tightening my fist under Ms. Lili’s webbing.
“Is that right … I’m not sure if that’s supposed to make me feel better, but the least I can do is handle you well for being so calm about this.”
“I’d appreciate that.”
She then wraps my head in webbing, leaving enough space for me to breathe before she lowers me down to the ground. Going by my sensations, I’m being placed on top of a few other cocoons before getting tied together and get on top of the spider part of her back.
“I’ll keep your MIB on me until we get to my place first. We’ll get you something to eat while discussing what to do with you from there.”
“Any others who’re there?”
“Just my mom. I’m on vacation visiting her and was hunting for our dinner.”
“Ah, and that trap was for your dinner.”
“Yep. Now sit tight and I’ll take us from here.”
Not like I’ll be going anywhere anytime soon.
An hour has passed by the time we make it to her birthplace, the city of Dondegarm from what she told me, with little words exchanged. We got there going from tree to tree instead of on the ground, as Ms. Lili would attract less attention from other monsters this way. It’s actually because of knowing how high we were that I could hardly speak and focused on keeping myself calm.
When we were close to the city, Ms. Lili got us back on the ground, warned me to keep quiet and play dead so she could get us through the toll. Since she’s a merchant of sorts, apparently, she could flash some ID to the guards and tell them she was transporting goods. While I’m fully cocooned, the others in her ‘luggage’ had heads and limbs sticking out enough so the guards know what she’s carrying. After paying a small fee, they let us through. I kept still and quiet all the while. It isn’t long before I hear the hustle and bustle of activity from the citizens. Ms. Lili even says hi to some of them as we walk by. It sounds like it’s pretty peaceful here. I wish I could see what my surroundings were like, but I’m supposed to be playing dead until we get to her home. I’m not sure how they fare with other humans passing through, but it’s clear Ms. Lili doesn’t want to take any chances of her carrying a Champion being let out.
“Hey, Lili! Great weather we’re having today, huh?!”
“Sure is, and the kebabs smell delicious as always!”
“Ms. Lili! Have you thought over my proposal?!”
“I’m still thinking about it, Carmen! Hey, Erizora, Ren!”
“Good afternoon to you as well, Ms. Lili.”
“… Good afternoon.”
Sounds like Ms. Lili’s pretty popular around these parts.
It takes about a couple of minutes before we finally make it to Ms. Lili’s residence. “Mom! I’m home!” she calls as she walks inside.
“I’m in the back, sweetie! You caught any big ones today?” a woman asks, who I can assume to be Ms. Lili’s mother.
“Well … I caught something, all right. Can you come in here?”
“In a sec!”
“Just stay quiet and let me do the talking until I say otherwise,” Ms. Lili whispers to me as I hear something locking the door behind us, probably her doing.
I move my head as much as I could to nod in response before she set me down on the floor. I can hear her setting the other cocoons to the side, too. Sounds like she’s also closing the windows in the room as well.
“Hi, sweetie~! Goodness, you really did bring some good ones,” a new woman, Ms. Lili’s mom, I’m guessing, says as I hear many trills of steps coming in the room. “That one seems smaller than the rest from what I remember seeing, though. Why are the windows closed?”
“Mom, there’s something I found in the forest that I need to show you, but you have to stay calm and keep quiet.”
“Lili, I don’t know why you sound so serious, but I have seen many surprising things in my life. I think I can handle whatever you may throw at me.”
“Okay then …”
Moments later, I see one of Ms. Lili’s claw-like fingers poking through the webbing covering my face before it circles around to clear the rest away. Finally, I see my surroundings for the first time since what felt like hours ago, finding many cobwebs covering the room.
Ms. Lili then sits me up on what feels like a couch(?) to where I see another Arachne that is her mother. Taking a quick glance between the two, they have strikingly similar appearances. Out of the two, the mom is slightly taller in height, has a bigger spider abdomen, larger breasts (as if Ms. Lili’s weren’t big enough already), and longer hair that stretches past her shoulders. What surprises me the most is that the mother looks so young that I might have mistaken her as Ms. Lili’s older sister. She looks at me with widened eyes.
“Mom … this is Jinma Kotori, he’s a human who got caught in one of my traps.”
“Psst. Jinma, you can speak.”
“Oh, uh … it’s nice to meet you?”
Ms. Lili’s mother falls into brief silence until she opens her mouth.
“Oh, sweetie, I know you haven’t had the best luck with men, but you gotta get with the times no matter how desperate you are in seeking a mate. Taking a man home by force has been outdated for centuries.”
“W-What?!” Ms. Lili exclaims with tinted cheeks.
“Still, your taste is surprisingly similar to mine. Not beefy in muscle, but there’s something about his presence that makes him stronger than he looks.”
“Um … thanks?”
“Mom! This isn’t about getting a mate! Jinma’s …” Ms. Lili trails off as she moves to her mother’s ear and whispers.
Guess the news is out.
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Hello and welcome. You may call me Orange Rain, and I looooove orange soda.
I not only like to read novels of many kinds, but I also like to write them. The stories published here will be in webnovel.com as well, so if you can, I'd appreciate it if you could support me on both platforms. I also like to read any professional critiques people may have on my works in order for me to become a better writer.
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