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The rest of the walk back to the town had been slightly awkward, and the group had been split into two. You and your girls in the back, everyone else in the front. Which didn't mean to say your monstergirls seemed to mind all that much.

"Master," Diane commented after a moment of hesitation. You noticed she'd been just about to reach for your hand but had stopped.

You grabbed it before she could pull away; it surprised her a little. "Yeah?" The happy look on her face was well worth the little gesture.

"I was thinking about the Arachnae."

"Oh." You had been focused on something else entirely. "Right. We have to break her out of the feral state first."

"First?"

"Before we focus on Kiara." You nodded at your train of thought, squeezing her fingers. "We caught her first, and we don't want Kiara feeling she can step over anyone more than she already does."

"Right." The nurse nodded emphatically, and you could tell she relaxed a little at your statement. "If the spider monstergirl is feral-born, then it will be hard to train her, we might need Kiara's assistance afterwards."

"More of a chance for her to earn some points and 'prove herself' so to speak," you shrugged easily, then frowned. "Wait, what do you mean 'if' the monstergirl is feral-born? Is there an alternative?"

"Monstergirls can go feral on their own if she's not careful, Master. Most that do usually end up in the wilds one way or another," she spoke with a faux chiding tone, stopping herself when she realized you were being serious. "An Arachnae is a strong monstergirl requiring a special item to shift. But as we were in a forest, it would be very unlikely a feral would've found said item unless it was taken from a dead tamer. The fact that she didn't appear to have obvious scars could also be a sign of this. Yet Master didn't see wounds on her, correct?"

"I don't believe I was in a situation where I could pay close attention to her physical condition."

Diane nodded. "I suspect there's a decent chance she may have gone feral rather than be born feral. But that might be my own selfish interests."

Her words got a laugh out of you. "And why would you hope for that?"

"If she were domestic, then we can more properly focus on the Succubus and... putting her in her place." She had a small smile on her lips that gave you a moment of apprehension.

Frowning a little, you kept from commenting and let her stew on her own little strategy. Internally, you understood that Diane having a strong influence in the harem was to your advantage, comparatively speaking to the alternatives. Especially since she leaned on you so strongly.

Yet at the same time, you did not want her to feel complacent about her position.

You'd have to chew on that, not that it ought to be a concern currently. The thought of having to consider the politics within the harem gave you a slight headache. But with Kiara now a part of it, you were definitely going to have to keep a careful eye on it. She'd claimed she'd wanted to get all of Tomas' girls to-

"What's Sadie Poken's?" You asked, remembering the words the infernal had used.

"It's a special event," Diane beamed. "Once a year, monstergirls get the chance to choose who they want to serve... well, so long as they fulfil certain requirements." A little pause and a grin. "First they need to have been domesticated for at least a year. Second, it can only be monstergirls owned by tamers who've yet to establish themselves into a business enterprise or government-associated role, or retire from the circuit."

"Like... me?"

"Yes," she nodded, gushing. "Sadie Pokens is so much fun! I've only ever been an assistant with preparations, but the whole town came together to help. There were raffles and contests and food stands!"

You had to blink a moment. "Wait, what about the 'pick a master' thing?"

"Oh, that?" She giggled, reaching out to hug your hips. "I wonder, whoever shall I choose?"

Sighing, you patted her head. "I don't quite understand the point of Sadie Pokens, mind explaining?"

"It's a tradition. Something from before the war," she said. "There was a custom of giving something to the person you loved. After the war, it was monstergirls giving themselves to the people they liked." She sighed wistfully. "I think there was a story about it..."

Rubbing your chin, you pondered. "I'm not sure I get why there would be a day where the monstergirls can leave their tamers for another." Scratching your head, you frowned. "Even if it's only a small portion of the population... That must be a lot of monstergirls changing hands."

Diane let out a sigh, pouting.

You conceded to the pout. "Fine, fine. So when is it?"

"February fourteenth."

That stopped you. "Wait." A blink. "That's... Valentine's day?"

"Oh! Master knows the original name?" She gushed. "It was a festivity for lovers in the old world, so many monstergirls who love their tamers use it to enjoy it. Lots of people volunteer to help give everyone a special day to remember. It's a very big thing."

"And it's a couple of months away." You frowned. "...Monica wouldn't qualify."

"Not for this year," Diane nodded. "But don't worry Master, I'm sure no monstergirl would leave, you're fair and kind."

But what about abusive tamers? You blinked a little at the thought. Maybe that was what the whole thing was meant to tackle. Take power away from abusive tamers.

"If your monstergirls are willing to leave you, then there's something you're doing wrong..." You muttered under your breath.

"Hm?" Diane had heard you.

"No, something I was chewing on," you muttered. "If a monstergirl leaves you during Sadie's, then you did something wrong."

"Oh, that." The nurse giggled a little. "The official motto is 'The worthy shall shine'." There was a little grin. "There are competitions for tamers to participate in and show off. Maybe I'll get to see Master participate in one of them?"

"Don't have anything to prove," you muttered, rolling your eyes and sighing. "Let's focus on the issue ahead, got a spider to tame."

"And a rank test."

"What?"

"The ranking test," Diane said. "Before we leave, Master should participate and earn his first rank up."

"Oh... right," you sighed. "Honestly I'm just hoping that little 'what were the Succubus' plans' stunt you helped with pays off."

"Whatever would Master mean?" She looked at you innocently, fluttering her eyelids.

You just chuckled and continued towards town.

Tomas and Kat had gone straight to town and vanished into the streets. It was clear they had no intention to talk to you, so you didn't go around looking for them. Mr. Gabriel did mention it would be best to agree on a time to meet back up since everyone had to leave to the next town over sooner or later.

And as a group was still the best option.

You'd wait for the others to send you a message or you'd send one to them tomorrow.

Going into the medical center, you put everyone through healing, a cleaning, and then placed the arachnid monstergirl through a level 3 so she'd be stunned once she came out of the capture device. Fortunately, they had a taming room for you to use.

It looked as intimidating as the one over at Bark town.

"Diane, plan?"

"Monica restrains her if she's not cooperative."

"If she is?"

"Monica restrains her anyway." She proceeded to place her hand against your chest and then nudge you all the way against the farthest wall in the room. "And if anything goes wrong, Master leaves the room."

"...sure," you muttered, already eyeing the emergency button.

With the pokeball in hand, Diane moved towards the bed. "Monica, pin," she declared as the sphere opened and the red contents spilt forth.

Your eyes caught sight of the monstergirl for only a split second before Monica was upon her. The half-asleep monstergirl barely managed to react before Diane placed the restraints around her arms and neck. There was a bit of a struggle, but you noticed the nurse's body began to glow.

A sudden sense of calmness tickled at the edges of your mind.

It took you a second to recognize she was using her 'aura of calm' power.

The struggling diminished and, slowly, stopped.

Monica had a placid grin on her lips as Diane leaned away from the equally placid looking spider monstergirl. The pink-haired monstergirl appeared clearly, utterly exhausted. "She's in her taming form." She pointed to the Arachnae that was currently bound to the bed. "All yours, Master."

Stepping closer, you looked at her.

"So the spider part?"

"In her combat form, Master," Diane said with a little smile. "We should get to work on waking her from the feral state."

You paused, sighing. "Do I need to fuck her?"

"It would be the fastest way to potentially create the bond." Diane shrugged. "Most ferals have instinctive desires to reproduce after all, even though ferals already do so through parthenogenesis, the instinct is still there."

You scratched your head. "And if I'm not in the mood?"

"Well..." The nurse's eyes shone a little as she grinned. "You could take the slow route, keep her restrained, feed her, give her some slow contact and build her up to trusting you. The bond would form eventually. Another way would be to subjugate her, impose yourself on her and..." She gestured at the wall to your left, at the paddles, whips, chains. "Or..." With a wink, she blew a kiss your way. "You could ask one of your girls to help put you in the proper mood."

"Let's try with some food first." You muttered with a sigh. "Then we'll see where things go."

The tired nurse pouted.

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Ravnicrasol

Bio: Got into writing English fiction out of practice.

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