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“Milady, may I be honest for a moment?”

“Fuaaa~. Permission granted, Gabriella,” Noire says after yawning.

“Even if it’s to rest enough to prepare for your dungeon crawl, I don’t think it’s healthy to just eat and sleep throughout the majority of the day. It may be a bit daring to go at this time of night, but as long as I’m by your side, I think it would be wise to step out for a stroll and get some fresh air.”

Gabriella and Noire are currently in the lounge of the cottage where the latter is relaxing with her late-night cup of blood after a meal while wearing a fancy nightgown. She would head right back to sleep into her coffin after that.

Other than to wake up for her meals and change into a clean attire after a bath, Noire has been sleeping in her coffin all day … that is what Gabriella believes. While she has slept through most of the day, the reality is that the lady in question has been doing something in her coffin that would be considered out of place for her position. She just doesn’t wish for the Dullahan Dark Knight to get any funny ideas.

“It is because of you being there that does not make me wish to go out during the day. You are rather suffocating enough to be around as a bodyguard that makes me exhausted just thinking about going out. Besides, it is not like I will live very differently after that comes around, so I do not see how what I am doing right now is inadequate.”

Feeling awkward at this dark turn of the subject, Gabriella clears her throat—or what remains of it from her disembodied head—while coming up with a different topic. “Anyway, you received a new message from Dondegarm’s guild master, yes? Does it entail any updates to the quest?”

“Just an updated roster of adventurers who will be joining the original two.”

“… Milady, I’m aware that who you have chosen to escort us is at your discretion under the agreement with Lord Rowling, but I must admit that not knowing even what these adventurers are is putting me on edge. Would you at least give me a hint to who we’re working with for my own peace of mind?”

“Who is to say that ‘putting you on edge’ isn't what I was intending to do from the start?” Noire’s eyes as they’re locked on Gabriella’s are calm and collecting as she drank her blood, but the mischievous smirk from her lips as they’re against the rim of the teacup wasn’t hard to miss.

For a brief moment, Gabriella’s eye twitches.

“But … if what these adventurers are is what you desire to know, then I suppose I could give you at least that much, but I will only mention the additions to the roster that were stated in the message I received today,” Noire continues.

“That would be more than plenty enough. I thank you for our understanding, Milady,” Gabriella says while bowing.

“Let’s see … let us start with be the Werewolf Thief. She is a green rank and the first of two slaves owned by one of the original escorts.”

“Below what we’re expecting, but her skills to detect and disarm traps is most valuable for dungeon crawls. Her sense of smell as a Werewolf would also help us in detecting monsters.”

“Next is the Ogre Savage, the second of the two slaves and is a blue rank.”

“Okay, brute offense from an Ogre would be good to have as a vanguard.”

“The last of the new additions is the Centaur Mercenary, also a blue rank, and coincidentally is the guild master’s niece.”

“Ooh, if she was trained by the guild master, then she may be a very valuable asset, indeed. Is that everyone?”

“The guild master also mentioned in his message two familiars that one of the original escorts recently made contracts with, a bear and cougar cub pairing, but he does not know whether they are from the Holy or Cursed Realms.”

“Hmm … being able to contract two familiars in one day shows this escort has a high aptitude for magic. A Sage may be less likely, but Priestess or Sorceress, perhaps?”

“That is all I will say on the matter. As you can see, while these additions can be valuable assets, our original escorts that the guild master assigned us to are far greater than all of them combined, bringing their current party rank to red as a result. Does this put you at ease, Gabriella?”

“Rightfully so. I thank you for indulging me in this matter, Milady. Shall I bring you more blood?”

“That will not be necessary,” Noire says as she sets the finished teacup on its dish before putting it all on the table. “I will be powdering my nose and then turn myself in for the night. You get some rest as well, Gabriella.”

“Yes, Milady. You have a good evening.” Gabriella takes the tea set in her free hand before walking out of the room, her head being held in her other arm all the while.

By the time the Dullahan gets to the kitchen, she takes out the yellow Messaging Crystal and applies mana into it.

<“… What is it that you want so badly to wake me up from my sleep?”> Tyvera asks in a tired tone from the other end of the line.

“Tyvera, you know what tomorrow is, right?”

<“Um … the escorts will be coming to meet with Lady Krauss?”>

“That’s right, and I pulled some valuable information about some of their escorts comrades from the lady.”

<“That’s nice … so you want me to keep an eye out for them, right?”>

“Correct. Be on the lookout for a Werewolf, an Ogre, and a Centaur in the same group tomorrow. There may also be a bear and cougar cub familiar along with them. See if you can make out our two main escorts among them and report back to me as soon as you can. That will be your main task tomorrow.”

<“Can do. Going back to sleep now. Night.”> With that, Tyvera abruptly ends the call there.

… No hard feelings, Milady. Just following orders, Gabriella thinks to herself as she cleans the used tea set before heading in for the evening.

~~

“Ugh … I must admit, Master Jinma, while thy magic tool is rather multi-functional in an impressive way, this … ‘alarm feature,’ as thou called it can wake us up in quite the abrasive manner,” Kalline groans.

“Yeah, I hear that.”

“Even so, we must get ready to start the day posthaste! Our very first real quest as the Twilight Sky adventuring party is upon us!”

“Yep. We certainly should.”

“… Master Jinma, I cannot take thy words seriously when thou art under this … ‘condition.’”

“Well tell her that, because she’s definitely not letting me go,” I say while my face is pressed against Ume’s bare, impressive boobs while trapped in her embrace. It’s a miracle how my mouth is still free enough for me to breathe, but the close proximity along with the powerful essence of her feminine scent is making it hard for me to keep myself awake.

While I’m in my night shirt and boxers—or at least this world’s equivalent of the latter provided by Lili the Arachne who made it with her own web—Ume’s currently butt naked as she holds me like a large stuffed bear. It’s amazing that I was able to reach for my smartphone to turn off the alarm in this position. When Kalline asked Ume why she was so bent on sleeping naked last night, she repeated her distaste for clothes as she had to me, Ren, and Erizora already, along with the logic of why wear something overnight when I’d need to take it off to have sex if I wanted to do it at the last minute.

I don’t think I’m that crazy for sex to have the gall to wake up one of the girls just so we would do it in the middle of the night … especially when there are others sleeping in the same room. Sure, there’s [Soundproof], but there’s still the stench to take into account and not all parties like Kalline, Kenaka, and Mametama would want to be nearby when the action happens.

Despite that, Ume was weirdly stubborn with it and said she was used to sleeping like that with those she cherishes, as it is also the norm for how those in her race does so. Who one considers they ‘cherish’ includes their mate, friends they would trust, and their family.

I’m pretty sure she was speaking more of her experiences back home as a Dragon as I’m not certain the Lizardmen are also like this. The only reason why it makes a lick of sense for her is that they all likely sleep in their true forms, as well as living on a daily basis, and so it would be ridiculous for Dragons to wear clothes to sleep with, let alone for any occasion.

So basically … Dragons are just natural-born nudists?

I then get a weird image of Ume sleeping the way she is now in her Lizardman Form and having other family members doing the same alongside her … that would include her dad and brother (if she had one) back in her birthplace.

I’m pretty sure a ‘normal’ human being would be more than weirded out at such an image, but it wasn’t so much for me since the conditions I grew up in back home had led me to live with Mom in a similar fashion. Not that she’d sleep next to me naked, of course … not always, anyway. She would frequently change clothes for her jobs while I was still in the room and was almost always in a hurry enough to just leave her underwear strewn about. You can probably guess how I got my current level of the Housekeeping skill from that alone.

Anyway, because of her hectic schedule, she would likely be around the place in loungewear when she had the rare day off and sometimes would fall asleep right after getting home. From her still being fully-clothed from her job, to half-dressed, to barely anything at all that she might as well have been naked.

Of course, being her son and the only one around to look after her, I had to help her dress and get to bed properly while she was still asleep so she wouldn’t catch a cold, but she was someone who snores and moves around in her sleep to where she pulled me into some awkward positions ...

That said, how Ume was sleeping with her family up to her departure was not in my place to judge, which was part of why I couldn’t step in to say otherwise on her habits, among other obvious reasons as a man. Kalline gave in by that point and so we wound up here. I felt Ren and Erizora were getting some strange ideas following Ume’s example last night, though. I’m kind of thankful yet disappointed I didn’t find either of them under the same condition as my wife when we woke up.

“Mmgh … I don’t wanna,” Ume whines tiredly. It seems she has also woken up partially but refuses to continue any further.

“Come on, Ume, as much as I like to see how cute you are like this, we need to get ready for our quest.”

“No.”

“It wouldn’t be good for us to get to our first important quest late.”

“Don’t care.”

“I’ll cook us a delicious breakfast~.”

“… Still not getting up.”

“She almost gave in there,” Ren points out.

“… Okay, Ume, I didn’t want to resort to this but you pulled my hand to do it. You all, give me some space.”

The others had no idea what I was planning but heeded my warning anyway judging from their fading footsteps.

I concentrate hard and summon purplish-black tendrils with my Darkness Manipulation. I could hear the others gasp from the sheer number that sprouted around us.

“Have a taste of my special Darkness Manipulation technique: The Tickle Torture of Terror!”

“Eh?”

Kocho kocho kocho kocho kocho!

“Ahahahahahaha! W-What is this?! W-What are you doing to me, you jer-hahahaha!”

Just as I begin my assault, Ume’s hold loosens immediately enough for me to move away while she cackles uncontrollably. An urge to take this a step further grows within me enough that I put on my Sadistic Smile on instinct. It’s as if my Shadow Tendrils have read my thoughts that they bound her wrists, ankles, and even her flailing tail in place on the floor as they continue their assault. “Oh~? Have you never been tickled before, Ume? Still not willing to get up? Well, then, let’s learn more of where you’re the most sensitive, shall we? Sides and armpits are no surprise. Ooh, how about your little lizard footsies? Maybe somewhere around the underside of your tail, perhaps?” I ask while controlling my Shadow Tendrils to assault those spots.

“Ahahahahahaha! Okay! Okay! I’m up! I give in, so please stop! I can’t stop! I’m gonna pee! I’m gonna peeee~!”

Seeing as Ume had enough, I abruptly stop the torture and made the Shadow Tendrils disappear. Ume lies flat on her back and gasping for breath, her breasts rising and lowering while the rest of her nude body is covered in a light sweat.

Such an erotic sight, I was tempted to take her right there.

“The Tickle Torture of Terror … what a fearsome sight.” [Ren]

“Would we also … fall under the same fate should we misbehave?” [Kalline]

“That looks like … so much fun …” [Erizora]

“Should I expect our mornings to be this energetic every day?” [Mametama]

“Well, it’s better than the crappy wake-up calls I’ve had the displeasure of experiencing back in the Cursed Realm, for sure.” [Kenaka]

<“Yes~, good, good~, let the ‘S’ flow through you, my dear apprentice. Fwahahahaha~.”> [Nyra]

All I’ve learned from this experience is that I might’ve found a new kind of play that Erizora might be willing to help me experiment further whenever we have a chance.

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Orange_Rain

  • United States

Bio: 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.

Thank you for your time, and I hope you'll enjoy what I have in store.

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