Taking a deep breath, you moved to leave the room, wondering if your 'guards' would still be there or not after the little chat with the Major.
Leo was not there, the corridor was devoid of movement and people.
Following the signs, you eventually reached what looked like a cafeteria... or you guess it's the cafeteria due to the tables and vending machines, not that there's anything else that might prove a source of nourishment within sight. Much to your surprise, though most of the options had a corresponding price-tag attached to them, all the machines had a multitude of options that were devoid of a price. The ones without a price also had only drawings to them rather than words.
Figuring it was the option for piss-poor patients such as yourself, you selected it. You got yourself a nice glass of water and a bowl of what could only be described as dog food pellets. You looked at it, feeling the hunger from the past couple days going away, the hell was this supposed to be?
A trickle of a thought... maybe some variant of the... chow? Was that the name? You didn't quite like the thought of the thing.
Sighing deeply, you looked out the window, glancing across the street and towards what seemed to be a restaurant. A movement across the corridor, a head of pink hair, it drew your attention as she entered the restaurant. She wasn't Dia, but she sure looked close.
...no, you refused to eat this. Putting the kibble aside, you drank the water and returned to your room, hospitals were meant to feed their patients, right? You began looking around for whatever option was the one meant to call a nurse over that you probably missed the first time around. You soon found it, a button with a painted nurse's cap on it above the bed.
It didn't take five minutes for someone to show up.
You felt slightly baffled at the fact that, though as pink-haired as the previous nurse, this one wore actually reasonable clothes. She also seemed older than Dia though you couldn't really tell by how much. "Dia's currently taking her break, I'm Doctor Hale." She introduced herself, her voice was definitely not quite friendly and it lacked that sense of deference. There was a moment as she looked you over, you realised there was also a lack of that naked hunger you'd started to associate with pink-haired women. "You seem to be recovering quite well, what would you need assistance with?"
Reality, right, you coughed a moment to organize your thoughts. "I'm sorry to bother, but what would be the food options available for someone... erm, like me?" You ask politely.
Your choice of words make her blink, the young woman laughed softly before quickly apologising. "Sorry, sorry, it's just... refreshing. Dia wouldn't stop saying how much of a charmer you are, seems she wasn't wrong." She waved away your unspoken question, giving you a sultry grin. "Yes, we do have food, but no, it's better you don't eat what's available for free in the cafeteria."
"What is it?"
"Monsterchow, it will keep you alive, but you'll regret it." She replied, placing her hands on her hips for a moment, pausing, she turned her focus downwards, looking around her pockets until she pulled out a colourful piece of paper. "This is a coupon; since you're not a tamer and are currently classified as a disaster victim, we will cover for your meal expenses."
"That's... nice." You grabbed the coupon. "Why... wasn't I informed of this earlier?"
The woman gave you a wink. "Because Dia probably got a little bit distracted."
You can't stop yourself from blushing slightly. "Uh, so how much..."
"Did she brag, swoon, blush, and coo? Give the description using metric units and precise temperatures in celsius? Plenty." The woman laughed softly at your embarrassed nervousness. "You really aren't from these parts are you? It was hard to believe until now."
Her words made you glance at her oddly. "Would you mind if we continued talking over lunch?" You asked innocently. The doctor's face lit up with a smile at that before she laughed again, louder than before. Pausing, she glanced at you before smiling a bit more coyly. "Ask me for dinner when you're not a patient and I'll think about it. Otherwise, Dia might stab me in my sleep."
Huh? You watched her leave feeling slightly confused, or rather, not quite sure which would be the better way to take this. It was certainly oddly reassuring not everyone in this world would jump your bones at the drop of a hat. Maybe. Or maybe not. Should this be a blow to your ego? Feeling desired in such a direct way was certainly very... new.
Your stomach growled to remind you there were other things that should be taken into consideration right now other than your meandering thoughts.
Such as food.
Food was important and you'd been abusing your digestive track for well over four days.
So you set forth to leave the hospital, the path to the exit a simple one, and the closer to the entrance you got the more women you saw moving about. Some on the side of things that were even more animalistic than Monica in appearance. But there was no random woman who just up and dragged you into a room, only a black-haired girl sitting bored behind the reception desk.
She perked up instantly when she spotted you and smiled. You gave her a friendly nod and carried on.
Stepping outside into the sun felt good, you were left feeling slightly dazed right after when you realized that of every person within your immediate line of sight, four out of five were monstergirls in varying states of clothing. And most of them had at least one thing about them that definitely didn't count as "normal", ranging from odd hair colours to wings and fur and...
...and how some of them were looking at you made you feel like you were a lost lamb walking down a street populated mostly by hungry wolves.
That still felt weird, it was as if you'd woken up and the world found you far more desirable than a month ago in a way that was almost threatening.
...it would take a while for you to fully adjust to this.
Your brain sort of fritzed for a bit. Your stomach growled to remind you you had a mission. Right, food. There had to be a place decent enough around here, right? Meat, definitely meat. And this time it wouldn't be the flesh of a sentient person. The relief was great.
Your nose lead the way, and it didn't disappoint, the sight you saw at the entrance of "Super B Diner" was certainly quite the delicious meal.
"Master, thishishshogud!" A... you guessed a monstergirl, told the man she was sitting next to, eating the burger with absolute adoration in her eyes as she looked at the man seated opposite to her. Stepping inside, you realize the sight was a common one in this place. Lots of very happy looking people eating food as if it was ambrosia handed down by the Gods themselves.
"I wuv you Master!" A blonde proclaimed while taking in a delicious looking meal.
You had to guess that if the average 'tamer owned' monstergirl ate that kibble from the vending machine, then... yeah, that made sense.
"Good day, Master." The voice was aimed your way, and you turned to face what you had to figure was a waitress. The clothes selection didn't exactly scream 'uniform' so much as 'going out for a run'. "Welcome to the Super Burger Diner, table for how many?"
"Just one." You replied, feeling slightly confused by the look she gave you right after that proclamation.
"Right this way!" Her cheery expression didn't miss a beat to come right back up, she led you to a table near the centre of the diner. "Here you are, Master." She handed you a menu. "I'll be right back to take your order in just a minute."
Without even blinking, she turned to leave towards the back. The more you looked around the more you asked yourself what sort of place was this? Wasn't it a restaurant? You wondered as you read the menu of various types of "meat between pieces of bread", there was nothing odd about it short of the names and that the prices had a lot of zeroes. But that may just be a currency thing since you had absolutely no frame of reference.
And yet you began to pay a little closer attention.
The more you looked through the menu the more you started noticing things that were "off". For example, there were no soft-drinks, it was either juice, beer, or water. Then there was the "meat" part, you noticed there were 4 "types": Kang, Slowlectra, KATTLE, and 'Farm'.
The 'Farm' option cost over ten times more than any of the others.
The waitress was back. "Have you made your choice, Master?"
"Uh... do you accept vouchers?" Your brain was considering whether it would be a better option to walk out, but the food looked good, smelled good too.
"Sure thing! Just not for farmed meat, cows are very expensive!" She declared cheerfully. Actually, was there anything about her that didn't seem cheerful? You looked back at the menu and gulped.
"A beer." You said with a heavy and very tired sigh, you definitely needed one. "Also, what would you recommend with KATTLE meat?"
"Hm..." Tapping her lower lip, the girl placed the other hand on her hip. "I'd recommend the Kang-Deluxe since Mary's been gorging on some good stuff yesterday, but KATTLE meat?"
You watch her consider things and your brain kept trying to interpret what she meant regarding "Mary".
"I guess the tartare would be a good pick if you're not squeamish about raw meat..."
Her words cause a knot of tension in your neck you hadn't expected, it came from the image of Monica as she fed on the corpses. Your stomach revolted and had it not been empty you would've certainly hurled. "No... nothing raw please." You declared, calming down quickly, hiding the squeamishness, but rather certain you were slightly paler for it. For a second you wondered if you could eat meat at all, but you shove that down.
"Sure thing, then I'd say the next best thing would be steak."
There's a lag on your thoughts, you double check. "That's not on the menu."
"Nope." She winks. "Most food here is feral-born friendly, so the tamers don't have to worry about teaching them how to use a fork and knife." A little giggle followed. "We had steak for a while, but some of the girls kept just ripping into it and causing a mess."
"I'll have that, then." You nod, offering the coupon.
"Sure thing, Master, one steak and one beer coming right up!" She snatched the paper and walked off, leaving you to your thoughts. Most of those thoughts were that you'd likely have to work through some of the things that had happened while in the forest, you doubted you had come out as mentally unscathed as you'd thought.
Maybe that was the way to go, get Monica and look up some psychiatrist, get your head examined, find some 9 to 5 job and settle down in some small house. The thought was as close as comforting as you could honestly consider within the current situation. Was going back to your world even possible? You thought it over, then thought about Monica and...
"Is this seat taken?" A voice interrupted your thoughts.
Rising your eyes towards the source, you have to do a double-take.
You hastily averted your eyes from looking directly at her, just who could find those comfortable...? You realized the girl was still looking at you with an expression of not really giving much of a shit regarding where your gaze had been at.
"Sure." You reply after a heartbeat, not quite sure whether to feel awed or sorry, but certainly there was a part of you that was reacting to her presence despite every other thought in your head right now. It was a strange pulse of heat that coursed through you. "And you are...?"
"Rachel." She replied with the same lack of shits to give her expression showed, opening the menu as she did.
You frown. Rachel stopped the waitress with a gesture, actually, the moment she'd made the gesture it felt as if everyone was looking her way, like the room as a whole had suddenly felt her presence and was now, collectively, paying attention to her. "Bring me one farm-burger with fries and an apple juice."
The moment passed, everyone turned back to their meals as if nothing had happened.
"Uh... sure thing." The waitress blushed, wobbling slightly before agreeing. The odd woman leaned back on her chair, regarding you for a moment before her attention shifted towards the other patrons in the restaurant, seeming bored as she watched them eat.
"Rick." You answer to her introduction, even if slightly late.
She didn't respond to your name, only glancing your way for a moment before just going back to looking around. You feel your eyes drifting towards her figure again, but you refrain yourself, remaining calm and patient while waiting for your meal. What was wrong with you? This felt odd. You try to distract yourself, just how long would the meal take? Your thoughts shift back towards Rachel, and that strange weird magnetic pull within you, but you opt to push it aside.
Something felt dangerous even if you're not sure how or why.
The situation feels awkward, but your caution takes the wheel, turning your attention away from her entirely.
"Here's your beer and... your apple juice!" The waitress happily spoke, interrupting the awkward silence and placing the drinks on the table. She wandered away in what was clearly a bit of a hurry to get away from the horned woman sitting in front of you.
That sealed things, yeah, this Rachel was not someone you wanted to just openly antagonize.
Quietly you keep your focus on your beer. You also noticed you were starting to feel a slight tightness in your pants with each wave of pulsing warmth, but nothing you couldn't really ignore. The beer remained untouched, it didn't really feel like the right time to take any of it, but you noticed the strange woman glancing in your direction one more time before setting about her eyes into the crowd more intently.
Mentally you start going over what you'll need to do after this, probably best to find Dia or the others and talk things through... hm... you start wondering whether it'd be a good idea to maybe specifically-. "Ah!" Someone's voice sounds out, you turn your head to see the waitress falling down next to your table, spilling the couple drinks she'd been carrying all over the floor.
Some of it had almost reached your table.
Rachel turned to look down her nose at the waitress, her expression seeming silently judgemental. "So sorry." The waitress quietly shrank while she rushed to pick up the glasses and clean up the mess.
"Need help miss?" You stand up without hesitation and reach out to offer a helping hand to the waitress.
"Th-thanks, Master." She declared nervously, accepting the hand and quickly letting go when she glanced at the horned woman sharing the table with you. "I will have everything cleaned up right away, no need to help."
"Sure..." You reply amicably, sitting back down after a moment.
A slight chill ran down your spine and you feel like a flash of heat and arousal coursed you from head to toe right after, the odd feelings make you frown and then you glance around, and start noticing something... odd. The women, uh, monstergirls, they were acting strangely. No, yes, stranger than before, it was subtle, but as soon as you paid attention you realized it was happening everywhere at once. All the girls were sporting slight blushes, and doing those million small gestures to signal their interest in their partners in a more intense tone. They'd lean forwards or carefully brush their hand against their arm or fingers.
And their owners weren't being subtle about their reciprocation either.
Your eyes return towards the horned woman, your attention was becoming drawn to her figure once more, but you resist yet again as heat pulsed through your body. This time you see that the way she was looking at the other patrons was more akin to a hungry wolf looking at a herd of sheep.
Very suddenly you had little doubt that, somehow, she was doing this. A power? An ability? Some magical skill? You couldn't tell, but it was obvious she had something to do with the growing flirtatiousness in the crowd and perhaps even the own flashes of heat going through you.
Enough was enough.
"I'm guessing you find this amusing, miss?" You asked dryly, watching her with a flat expression. Rachel glanced your way and went back to looking at the crowd, completely ignoring your comment. Your frown deepened. "It's very rude to ignore someone when they're talking to you."
At your works, she merely made a silent 'harumph' sound. "I'm not interested in eunuchs."
Something snapped, she was causing the increasing heat in the room, and was annoyed you had yet to react. Was that it?
"It must be hard living among teenagers." You commented with an exaggerated roll of your eyes. "First person who can control themselves around your powers and you think he's a eunuch." Maybe you were being petty, you tried to reason.
"Impotent then?" She replied without missing a beat, keeping her eyes on the others and seeming bored with the conversation with you. "You need some lust-dust to get hard?"
"Your meal, Master!" The waitress brought a much appreciated moment of distraction as she placed the platters in front of both of you with a shrill tone to her voice that went past merely friendly. "Hope you enjoy your meal!" As soon as she'd dropped the plate she was gone, you could almost make the smoky outline of her silhouette with how fast she'd moved to leave.
Rachel kept an icy look on the woman until she'd been gone from sight. Her eyes glanced at her food before looking at you without much interest. "Is that why you don't have any monstergirls? Can't get it up without help?"
You smile at her words, calmly digging into your meal.
Oh fuck, it was delicious. You almost drop the conversation entirely to dig in, but you restrain yourself and keep the pace calm. "It looks to me like you're the one who can't get some action without using your powers." You avoid the grin from spreading as you see her eyes widen slightly. "Wonder what'd happen when you meet someone who's immune to them?"
The look on her face was akin to getting slapped, her eyes were wide, a flabbergasted look plastered all over. Her jaw clenched, fury rising like a bubbling volcano within seconds. "I will show you!" She seethed.
A flash of heat passes through you, and you hear moans all around, but to you, it felt more like showering in hot water and a gentle massage more than anything else. The look on the woman's face is priceless as she went from rage to something even more vastly stunned than before, and then even greater anger.
"Trying to get me to find you attractive using your powers?" You chuckled, was it something about you that was making you not very reactive to that strange ability? You couldn't tell, but you were certainly feeling amused by it.
The woman opened and closed her mouth, an attempt to say something was made, and she failed.
Realizing she couldn't even speak, she instead threw her plate across the room, smashing it into tiny pieces. It took her a moment to realise what she'd done, looking at you with that look of consideration that made you realise maybe you'd pushed things too far. But it was too late, she'd drawn the attention of the other patrons, many of the monstergirls were being visibly kept in their seats by their tamers, their eyes glaring at the one who'd ruined their fun.
The horned woman scowled, glared at you for a split second, and left.
A collective sigh was released.
Your own shoulders loosened as you took a long swing of beer.
What a brat.
As you go back to eating, the waitress deemed showing up after a handful of seconds, moving to apologise to the patrons and begin picking up everything. You feel like you're at least partially responsible for the whole thing and apologized, trying to lend a hand to clean some of the mess to little avail as the waitresses insisted, repeatedly.
"She wasn't your girl was she?" The initial waitress asked, seeming worried and relieved in equal measure.
"Never met her before." You shrugged.
"Oh, that's good." She nodded, clear relief as her smile broadened into one that was far more natural. "Girls like her are always trouble."
"She was a brat. I'll keep it in mind if I ever see her again." You shrug, going back to your meal and finishing it up, feeling quite satiated and happy about it.
As you moved to leave, you noticed the waitress intercepting you, her hand gently touching your wrist in what normally would've been a dismissable gesture, yet you notice something was dropped on your hand, you notice a piece of paper.